The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJohn 8:57
Then said the Jews unto him, thou art not yet fifty years
One copy reads forty, but he was not that; no, not much
more than thirty; not above two or three and thirty years old: the
reason of their fixing on this age of fifty might be, because Christ
might look like such an one, being a man of sorrows and acquainted
with griefs, as well as of great gravity; or they might be free in
allowing him as many years, as could be thought he should be of, and
gain their point; for what were fifty years, when Abraham had been
dead above two thousand? and therefore he could never see Abraham,
nor Abraham see him; moreover, this age of fifty, is often spoken of
by the Jews, and much observed; at the age of fifty, a man is fit to
give counsel, they say F1; hence the Levites were dismissed from
service at that age, it being more proper for them then to give
advice, than to bear burdens; a Methurgeman, or an interpreter in a
congregation, was not chosen under fifty years of age F2; and if a
man died before he was fifty, this was called the death of cutting
off F3; a violent death, a death inflicted by God, as a punishment;
Christ lived not to that age, he was now many years short of it:
and hast thou seen Abraham?
if he had not, Abraham had seen him, in
the sense before given, and in which Christ asserted it, and it is to
F1 Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 21.
F2 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 14. 1. Juchasin, fol. 44. 2.
F3 T. Hieros. Biccurim, fol. 64. 3. T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 28. 1.
Macsecheth Semachot, c. 3. sect. 9. Kimchi in Isa. xxxviii. 10.