World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

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48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

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48. Whence knowest thou me—conscious that his very heart had been read, and at this critical moment more than ever before.

Before Philip called thee—showing He knew all that passed between Philip and him at a distance.

when … under the fig tree, &c.—where retirement for meditation and prayer was not uncommon [Lightfoot]. Thither, probably—hearing that his master's Master had at length appeared, and heaving with mingled eagerness to behold Him and dread of deception—he had retired to pour out his guileless heart for light and guidance, ending with such a prayer as this, "Show me a token for good!" (See on Lu 2:8). Now he has it, "Thou guileless one, that fig tree scene, with all its heaving anxieties, deep pleadings and tremulous hopes—I saw it all." The first words of Jesus had astonished, but this quite overpowered and won him.