Tuesday, August 06, 2013

John 6:49 Meaning of the Wilderness and Death

Greek: οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν ἔφαγον ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ τὸ μάννα καὶ ἀπέθανον (WH with Diacritics)

"Your forefathers ate the manna in the Desert, and they died" (Weymouth NT).

"Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died" (NIV).

Theodore of Mopsuestia's commentary on this passage:

" 'Your fathers who ate manna,' he says, 'were not only not delivered from the sentence of death, but every last one of them in fact died in the wilderness, and not one of them was found worthy of entering the promised land. But whoever eats this food is freed from death."

See Commentary on the Gospel of John (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2010), p. 68.

Thomas Aquinas remarks similarly in his Commentary on John:

"Secondly, he mentions for how short a time this was done, saying, in the desert: for they were not given manna for a long period of time; and they had it only while in the desert, and not when they entered the promised land (Jos 5). But the other bread [from the true heaven] preserves and nourishes one forever. Thirdly, he states an inadequacy in that bread, that is, it did not preserve life without end; so he says, and they are dead. For we read in Joshua (c 5) that all who grumbled, except Joshua and Caleb, died in the desert. This was the reason for the second circumcision, as we see here, because all who had left Egypt died in the desert."

See http://dhspriory.org/thomas/John6.htm

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