John 11:32-44

John 11:32-44
All Saints’ Day B


32 When MaryA came where JesusB was and sawC him,

Notes on verse 32a

A “Mary” = Maria. From Hebrew Miryam (Aaron and Moses’s sister); from marah (to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, provoking, disobedient; to be or make bitter or unpleasant; figuratively, to rebel or resist; causatively to provoke). This is Miriam or Mary.
B “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
C “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.

she kneltD at his feetE and said to him, “Lord,F if you had been here, my brotherG would not have died.”H 

Notes on verse 32b

D “knelt” = pipto. This is to fall literally or figuratively.
E “feet” = pous. This is foot literally or figuratively.
F “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
G “brother” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
H “died” = apothnesko. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (to die, be dead). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.

33 When Jesus saw her weeping,I and the JewsJ who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbedK in spiritL and deeply moved.M 34 He said, “Where have you laidN him?”

Notes on verses 33-34a

I “weeping” = klaio. This is to weep, lament, or sob. It is weeping aloud.
J “Jews” = Ioudaios. From Ioudas (Judah, Juadas); from Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
K “greatly disturbed” = embrimaomai. 5x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + brimaomai (snorting due to anger). This is affected by anger, stern admonishment, scolding, or being deeply moved. It is snorting displeasure or anger or roaring from rage. It can also mean to blame, sigh or murmur against someone.
L “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
M “deeply moved” = tarasso. 18x in NT. This is trouble, agitate, stir up. It is motion back and forth, creating inner turmoil or confusion, roiling water.
N “laid” = tithemi. This is to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense. Properly, it is placing something in a passive or horizontal position.

They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”O 35 Jesus began to weep.P 

36 So the Jews said, “SeeQ how he lovedR him!” 

Notes on verses 34b-36

O “see” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
P “weep” = dakruo. 1x in NT. From dakruon (teardrop). This is to cry or weep.
Q “see” = idou. Same as “see” in v34. See note O above.
R “loved” = phileo. From philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person). This is friendship love and fondness with personal attachment.

37 But some of them said, “CouldS not he who openedT the eyesU of the blindV man have keptW this man from dying?”

Notes on verse 37

S “could” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
T “opened” = anoigo. From ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + oigo (to open). This is to open in  literal or figurative sense.
U “eyes” = ophthalmos. From optanomai (to appear, be seen by). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
V “blind” = tuphlos. Derivation unclear. Perhaps from tuphoo (to be conceited, foolish, puffed up, haughty; properly, to blow smoke; figuratively being muddled or cloudy in mind; poor judgment that harms spiritual clarity; also, being covered with smoke – so filled with pride); from tuphos (smoke, vanity, arrogance); from tupho (to raise smoke, smolder, slowly consume without flame). This is blind or a blind person – perhaps in the sense of smoke making things opaque and impossible to see. This is blind literally or figuratively.
W “kept” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.

38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb.X It was a cave,Y and a stoneZ was lyingAA against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take awayBB the stone.”

Notes on verses 38-39a

X “tomb” = mnemeion. From mousikos (to remember); from mneme (memory or mention); from mnaomai (to remember; by implication give reward or consequence); perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is properly a memorial – a tomb, grave, monument.
Y “cave” = spelaion. 6x in NT. From speos (cave, grotto). This is a cavern, which implies a place to hide. So, this word can also mean den or hideout. This is the word used for “den of robbers” in Matthew 21:13. Also, this is where the word “spelunk” comes from.
Z “stone” = lithos. This is stone, literal or figurative.
AA “lying” = epikeimai. 7x n NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + keimai (to lie, recline, be placed, lie outstretched, be appointed). This is to lie up, impose, insist, oblige, press on.
BB “take away” = airo. This is to lift up in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could mean to lift, carry, or raise. It could also imply lifting something in order to take it away or remove it. Figuratively, this can be used for raising the voice or level of suspense. It can mean sailing off as raising the anchor. It can also correspond to a Hebrew expression for atonement of sin (lift/remove sin).

Martha,CC the sisterDD of the dead man,EE said to him, “Lord, already there is a stenchFF because he has been dead four days.”GG 

Notes on verse 39b

CC “Martha” = Martha. 13x in NT. From Aramaic marta (mistress, lady); from mar (master). This is Martha. See also (
DD “sister” = adelphe. Related to “brother” in v32. From adelphos (see note G above). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense.
EE “dead man” = teleutao. 13x in NT. From teleute (end, finishing, consummation; can also be used for death); from teleo (to complete, fulfill, accomplish, end); from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one). This is to complete or come to the end/end goal. It can also mean to finish life or to meet one’s ultimate fate in heaven or hell.
FF “is a stench” = ozo. 1x in NT. This is to stink, to give off a foul odor.
GG “four days” = tetartaios. 1x in NT. From tessares (four; figuratively, total coverage). This is fourth day or four days after.

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed,HH you would seeII the gloryJJ of God?”KK 

Notes on verse 40

HH “believed” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
II “see” = horao. Same as “saw” in v32. See note C above.
JJ “glory” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
KK “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwardLL and said, “Father,MM I thankNN you for having heardOO me. 

Notes on verse 41

LL “looked upward” = airo + ho + ophthalmos + ano. Literally, “lifted his eyes upwards.” Airo is the same as “take away” in v39. See note BB above. Ophthalmos is the same as “eyes” in v37. See note U above. Ano is 9x in NT. From ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew). This is literally up, upward, to the brim. Figuratively, it can refer to things above, i.e. of the heavens.
MM “Father” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
NN “thank” = eucharisteo. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); {from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards)}. This is giving thanks, being thankful. It is a recognition that God’s grace is good and actively showing gratitude. It can also be used for saying grace before eating. This is where “eucharist” comes from.
OO “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.

42 I knewPP that you alwaysQQ hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here,RR so that they may believe that you sentSS me.” 

Notes on verse 42

PP “knew” = eido. Related to “see” in v34. See note O above.
QQ “always” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.
RR “standing here” = periistemi. 4x in NT. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm). This is to stand around, surround, be a bystander, avoid.
SS “sent” = apostello. Related to “standing here” in v42. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (see note RR above)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.

43 When he had said this, he criedTT with a loudUU voice,VV “Lazarus,WW comeXX out!” 

Notes on verse 43

TT “cried” = kraugazo. 9x in NT. From krauge (a very emotional shout or cry generally or clamor against someone else; a cry of alarm, trouble, or grief); from krazo (to cry out, scream, shriek; onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call; figuratively, this is means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt). This is to cry, shout, clamor. It is a screaming or shrieking that is often impossible to understand exact words in. It is sound expressing feeling/urgency. Properly, this refers to loud animal sounds.
UU “loud” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
VV “voice” = phone. Probably from phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is a voice, sound, tone or noise. It can also be a language or dialect.
WW “Lazarus” = Lazaros. 15x in NT. From Hebrew Elazar (God has helped or God is helper); {from el (God, a god) + azar (to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid)}. This is Lazarus or Eliezer, meaning “God has helped” or “God is helper.”
XX “come” = deuro. 9x in NT. This is come here, hither, hence, now, until now.

44 The dead manYY came out, his handsZZ and feet boundAAA with strips of cloth,BBB

Notes on verse 44a

YY “dead man” = thnesko. Related to “died” in v32. 9x in NT. See note H above.
ZZ “hands” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
AAA “bound” = deo. To tie, bind, compel, put in chains. This is to bind in a literal or figurative sense. Can also mean declaring something unlawful.
BBB “strips of cloth” = keiria. 1x in NT. This is bandage or grave cloths. It could be a winding sheet.

and his faceCCC wrappedDDD in a cloth.EEE Jesus said to them, “UnbindFFF him, and letGGG him go.”HHH

Notes on verse 44b

CCC “face” = opsis. Related to “saw” in v32. From horao (see note C above). This is seeing, face, features, appearance.
DDD “wrapped” = perideo. Related to “bound” in v44. 1x in NT. From peri (about, around, concerning, encompassing) + deo (see note AAA above). This is to tie around or enwrap.
EEE “cloth” = soudarion. 4x in NT. From Latin sudarium (sweat cloth) This is a napkin, face cloth, or handkerchief. It can be used as a towel to wipe sweat from the face or a cloth for the head of a corpse.
FFF “unbind” = luo. This is to loose, release, or untie. Figuratively, it can mean to break, destroy, or annul. This is releasing what had been withheld.
GGG “let” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
HHH “go” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.

Image credit: “Biblical Scene (Lazarus)” by Eliseu Visconti, circa 1913.

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