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Jehovah’s Witnesses

English
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

According to John 9:1-41

9  As he was passing along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him: “Rabbi,+ who sinned, this man or his parents, so that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered: “Neither this man sinned nor his parents, but it was so that the works of God might be made manifest in his case.+  We must do the works of the One who sent me while it is day;+ the night is coming when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the world’s light.”+  After he said these things, he spat on the ground and made a paste with the saliva, and he smeared the paste on the man’s eyes+  and said to him: “Go wash in the pool of Si·loʹam” (which is translated “Sent Forth”). And he went and washed, and came back seeing.+  Then the neighbors and those who formerly used to see that he was a beggar began to say: “This is the man who used to sit and beg, is it not?”  Some were saying: “This is he.” Others were saying: “No, but he looks like him.” The man kept saying: “I am he.” 10  So they asked him: “How, then, were your eyes opened?” 11  He answered: “The man called Jesus made a paste and smeared it on my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Si·loʹam and wash.’+ So I went and washed and gained sight.” 12  At this they said to him: “Where is that man?” He said: “I do not know.” 13  They led the formerly blind man to the Pharisees. 14  Incidentally, the day that Jesus made the paste and opened his eyes+ was the Sabbath.+ 15  So this time the Pharisees also began asking the man how he gained sight. He said to them: “He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.” 16  Some of the Pharisees then began to say: “This is not a man from God, for he does not observe the Sabbath.”+ Others said: “How can a man who is a sinner perform signs of that sort?”+ So there was a division among them.+ 17  And again they said to the blind man: “What do you say about him, since it was your eyes that he opened?” The man said: “He is a prophet.”+ 18  However, the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had gained sight, until they called the parents of the man who could now see. 19  And they asked them: “Is this your son who you say was born blind? How, then, does he now see?” 20  His parents answered: “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21  But how it is that he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him. He is of age. He must speak for himself.” 22  His parents said these things because they were in fear of the Jews,+ for the Jews had already come to an agreement that if anyone acknowledged him as Christ, that person should be expelled from the synagogue.+ 23  This is why his parents said: “He is of age. Question him.” 24  So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him: “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” 25  He answered: “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know, that I was blind, but now I can see.” 26  Then they said to him: “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27  He answered them: “I told you already, and yet you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become his disciples also, do you?” 28  At this they scornfully told him: “You are a disciple of that man, but we are disciples of Moses. 29  We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he is from.” 30  The man answered them: “This is certainly amazing, that you do not know where he is from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31  We know that God does not listen to sinners,+ but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, he listens to this one.+ 32  From of old it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one born blind. 33  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing at all.”+ 34  In answer they said to him: “You were altogether born in sin, and yet are you teaching us?” And they threw him out!+ 35  Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and on finding him, he said: “Are you putting faith in the Son of man?” 36  The man answered: “And who is he, sir, so that I may put faith in him?” 37  Jesus said to him: “You have seen him, and in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”+ 38  He said: “I do put faith in him, Lord.” And he did obeisance to him. 39  Jesus then said: “For this judgment I came into this world, that those not seeing might see+ and those seeing might become blind.”+ 40  Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and they said to him: “We are not blind also, are we?”+ 41  Jesus said to them: “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ Your sin remains.”+

Footnotes

Study Notes

the authority of darkness: Or “the power of darkness,” that is, of those who are in spiritual darkness. (Compare Col 1:13.) At Ac 26:18, darkness is mentioned together with “the authority of Satan.” Satan exercised his authority by influencing human agents to carry out the works of darkness that led to the execution of Jesus. For example, the account at Lu 22:3 says that “Satan entered into Judas, the one called Iscariot,” who then betrayed Jesus.—Ge 3:15; Joh 13:27-30.

the night is coming: In the Bible, the word “night” is sometimes used in a figurative sense. Jesus is here referring to the time of his trial, execution, and death when he would be unable to engage in the works of his Father.—Job 10:21, 22; Ec 9:10; compare study note on Lu 22:53.

the saliva: On three occasions recorded in the Bible, Jesus used his saliva when miraculously healing someone. (Mr 7:31-37; 8:22-26; Joh 9:1-7) Saliva was commonly used in folk remedies, but Jesus’ miracles were performed under the power of God’s spirit. Therefore, it was not his saliva that healed people. The man born blind was told: “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” before he received his sight. (Joh 9:7) This was undoubtedly a test of his faith, just as bathing in the Jordan River was required of Naaman before he was freed from his leprosy.—2Ki 5:10-14.

pool of Siloam: The remains of a first-century C.E. pool thought to be the pool of Siloam have been found S of the temple mount. It is at the base of the southern spur on which the ancient city was first built, near the junction of the Tyropoeon Valley with the Kidron Valley. (See App. B12.) Siloam is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name “Shiloah,” which may be related to the Hebrew verb sha·lachʹ, meaning “to send (out).” Thus, John translates the meaning of the name Siloam as Sent Forth. At Isa 8:6, where the Hebrew name Shiloah designates a water conduit or canal as part of Jerusalem’s water supply, the Septuagint uses the name Siloam. The pool of Siloam was supplied with water from the Gihon Spring, which intermittently gushes, or sends forth, water. The name Siloam may be related to this. At Joh 9:7, a number of translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures into Hebrew (referred to as J7-14, 16-19, 22 in App. C4) use the term “Shiloah.”

the Jews: As used in the Gospel of John, this term conveys different meanings, depending on the context. In addition to referring to Jewish or Judean people in general or to those living in or near Jerusalem, the term may also refer more specifically to Jews who zealously adhered to human traditions connected with the Mosaic Law, which were often contrary to the spirit of that Law. (Mt 15:3-6) Foremost among these “Jews” were the Jewish authorities or religious leaders who were hostile to Jesus. In this passage and in some of the other occurrences of this term in John chapter 7, the context indicates that the Jewish authorities or religious leaders are referred to.—Joh 7:13, 15, 35a.

the Jews: Apparently referring to the Jewish authorities or religious leaders.—See study note on Joh 7:1.

He is of age: Or “He is old enough.” The expression might refer to the age at which men qualified for military service under the Mosaic Law, which was 20. (Nu 1:3) This fits with the fact that he is called “a man” (Joh 9:1), not a child, and that he had been a beggar (Joh 9:8). Some consider the expression as referring to the age of legal maturity in Jewish society, which was 13.

the Jews: As used in the Gospel of John, this term conveys different meanings, depending on the context. In addition to referring to Jewish or Judean people in general or to those living in or near Jerusalem, the term may also refer more specifically to Jews who zealously adhered to human traditions connected with the Mosaic Law, which were often contrary to the spirit of that Law. (Mt 15:3-6) Foremost among these “Jews” were the Jewish authorities or religious leaders who were hostile to Jesus. In this passage and in some of the other occurrences of this term in John chapter 7, the context indicates that the Jewish authorities or religious leaders are referred to.—Joh 7:13, 15, 35a.

local courts: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Greek word sy·neʹdri·on, here used in plural and rendered “local courts,” is most often used with reference to the Jewish high court in Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin. (See Glossary, “Sanhedrin,” and study notes on Mt 5:22; 26:59.) However, it was also a general term for an assembly or a meeting, and here it refers to local courts that were attached to the synagogues and had the power to inflict the penalties of scourging and excommunication.Mt 23:34; Mr 13:9; Lu 21:12; Joh 9:22; 12:42; 16:2.

the Jews: Apparently referring to the Jewish authorities or religious leaders.—See study note on Joh 7:1.

expelled from the synagogue: Or “excommunicated; banned from the synagogue.” The Greek adjective a·po·sy·naʹgo·gos is used only here and at Joh 12:42 and 16:2. An expelled person would be shunned and scorned as a social outcast. Such cutting off of fellowship from other Jews would have severe economic consequences for the family. The synagogues, which were used primarily for education, to some extent were also used as places for local courts that had the power to inflict the penalties of scourging and excommunication.—See study note on Mt 10:17.

Give glory to God: An idiomatic expression used to put a person under obligation to tell the truth. The intended meaning of the idiom could be conveyed by saying: “Give glory to God by speaking the truth” or “Speak the truth before God.”—Compare Jos 7:19.

do obeisance: Or “bow down.” When the Greek verb pro·sky·neʹo is used to refer to the worship of a god or a deity, it is rendered “to worship.” In this context, however, the astrologers were asking for “the one born king of the Jews.” So it is clear that it refers to obeisance or homage to a human king, not a god. A similar usage is found at Mr 15:18, 19, where the term is used of the soldiers who mockingly “bowed down” to Jesus and called him “King of the Jews.”—See study note on Mt 18:26.

did obeisance to him: Or “bowed down to him; honored him.” People mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures also bowed down when meeting prophets, kings, or other representatives of God. (1Sa 25:23, 24; 2Sa 14:4-7; 1Ki 1:16; 2Ki 4:36, 37) This man evidently recognized that he was talking to a representative of God who had power to heal people. It was appropriate to bow down to show respect for Jehovah’s King-Designate.Mt 9:18; for more information on the Greek word used here, see study note on Mt 2:2.

did obeisance to him: Or “bowed down to him; paid him homage.” These people recognized Jesus as God’s representative. They rendered obeisance to him, not as to a god or a deity, but as to “God’s Son.”—See study notes on Mt 2:2; 8:2; 18:26.

did obeisance to him: Or “bowed down to him; paid him homage.” By calling Jesus “Son of David” (Mt 15:22), this non-Jewish woman evidently recognizes him as the promised Messiah. She renders obeisance to him, not as to a god or a deity, but as to a representative of God.—See study notes on Mt 2:2; 8:2; 14:33; 18:26.

did obeisance to him: Or “bowed down to him; prostrated himself to him; paid him homage.” When the Greek verb pro·sky·neʹo is used to refer to the rendering of worship to a god or a deity, it is translated “to worship.” (Mt 4:10; Lu 4:8) In this context, however, the healed man, who was born blind, recognized Jesus as God’s representative and did obeisance to him. He viewed him, not as God or a deity, but as the foretold “Son of man,” the Messiah with divine authority. (Joh 9:35) When he bowed down to Jesus, he apparently did so in a way similar to that of people mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures. They bowed down when meeting prophets, kings, or other representatives of God. (1Sa 25:23, 24; 2Sa 14:4-7; 1Ki 1:16; 2Ki 4:36, 37) On many occasions, the obeisance done to Jesus expressed a gratitude for divine revelation or evidence of divine favor.—See study notes on Mt 2:2; 8:2; 14:33; 15:25.

Media

Pool of Siloam
Pool of Siloam

The name Siloam is mentioned only in the Bible book of John. For years, its location in Jerusalem was traditionally identified with a small pool called Birket Silwan. However, in 2004 the remains of a much larger pool were discovered less than 100 m (330 ft) southeast of the site of the smaller pool. Coins found during the excavation date back to the Jewish revolt against Rome (between 66 and 70 C.E.), giving evidence that the pool was in use until Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. This larger pool is now generally recognized as the pool of Siloam referred to at Joh 9:7. As seen in the photograph, a series of steps and landings led to the bottom of the pool (now filled with dirt and vegetation), which made it possible for people to wade into the pool even when the water level varied.

1. Pool of Siloam

2. Temple Mount