The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJohn 11:55
And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand…
Which was the
fourth passover from Christ's entrance on his public ministry, and
the last he ate with his disciples; when he, by being sacrificed for
his people, put an end to that, and all other ceremonial
and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem, before the
not only from the country where Ephraim was, but from all
other countries in Judea and Galilee: all the males were obliged to
go up to Jerusalem, at the time of the passover, where it was only
kept; but many went before that time, for the reason following:
to purify themselves;
we read in (2 Chronicles 30:18) of many that had not
cleansed themselves, and yet ate the passover; for whom Hezekiah
prayed, that they might be pardoned, which shows that they had done
amiss: upon which place, Jarchi has this observation; that
``Judah (the men of Judah) were all clean, because they were
near to Jerusalem, and could purify and sanctify
themselves, and return to Jerusalem; but many of Ephraim,
and Manasseh, and Issachar, and Zabulon, could not do so.''
And this seems to be the case of these people, they were country
people, that lived at a distance, and not having purified themselves
from several uncleannesses, came up before the time, that they might
cleanse themselves, and be ready at the time: in several cases
purification was required; as with new mothers, menstruous and
profluvious persons, and such that had touched a dead body, or any
creeping thing, and in other cases; and which by reason of distance,
might be neglected; wherefore it was necessary they should come up
before the time of the passover, to fit themselves for it: the rule
about defiled persons eating the passover, is this F2;
``if the congregation is polluted, or the greatest part of
it, or the priests are unclean, and the congregation pure,
it is kept in uncleanness; but if the lesser part of the
congregation is defiled, the pure keep the first passover,
and the unclean the second.''
This, their commentators say F3, is to be understood of
uncleanness, by touching the dead, which required seven days of
purification; and it is very probable that this was the case of
these persons, since it was about so many days before the passover,
that they came up; see (John 12:1) . The account Maimonides F4 gives
of this matter is this;
``who is a defiled person, that is put off to the second
passover? everyone who cannot eat the passover, on the
night of the fifteenth of Nisan, because of his
uncleanness; as profluvious men and women, menstruous and
new mothers, and the husbands of menstruous women; but
he that toucheth the dead carcass of a beast, or a
creeping thing, and the like, on the fourteenth, lo, he
dips, and they slay for him (the passover) after he has
dipped; and in the evening, when his sun is set, he eats
the passover; he that is defiled by touching the dead,
whose seventh day happens to be on the fourteenth, though
he dips and is sprinkled on, and lo, he is fit to eat the
holy things at evening, yet they do not kill for him, but
he is put off to the second passover; as it is said,
(Numbers 9:6) . "And there were certain men who were defiled
by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the
passover on that day"; by tradition it is learned, that it
was their seventh day, and therefore they asked if it
should be killed for them, and they should eat at evening?
and it was declared to them, that they should not kill for
them: of what is this to be understood? when he is polluted
with a defilement by the dead, which Nazarites shave for;
but if he is polluted with other defilements by the dead,
which the Nazarites do not shave for, they kill for him on
his seventh day, after he has dipped, and is sprinkled
upon; and when his sun is set, he eats his passover; a
profluvious person, who sees two appearances, and reckons
seven days, and dips on the seventh, they kill for him, and
he eats at evening.--They do not kill for a menstruous
woman on her seventh day, for lo, she does not dip till the
eighth night, and she is not fit to eat holy things until
the ninth night.''
These, with many other cases there instanced, may serve to
illustrate this passage.
F2 Misn. Pesachim, c. 7. sect. 6. Vid. Maimon. Korban Pesach. c. 7.
sect. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. & Biah Hamikdash, c. 4. sect. 10-18.
F3 Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. ib.
F4 Hilchot Korban Pesach. c. 6. sect. 1, 2, 3.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 11:55". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=joh&chapter=011&verse=055>. 1999.