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John 1:48

    John 1:48 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Nathanael said to him, From where know you me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Nathanael said to him, Where did you get knowledge of me? In answer Jesus said, Before Philip was talking with you, while you were still under the fig-tree, I saw you.

    Webster's Revision

    Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

    World English Bible

    Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

    Definitions for John 1:48

    Whence - From where.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 1:48

    Whence knowest thou me? - He was not yet acquainted with the divinity of Christ, could not conceive that he could search his heart, and therefore asks how he could acquire this knowledge of him, or who had given him that character. It is the comfort of the sincere and upright, that God knows their hearts; and it should be the terror of the deceitful and of the hypocrite, that their false dealing is ever noticed by the all-seeing eye of God.

    Under the fig tree - Probably engaged in prayer with God, for the speedy appearing of the salvation of Israel; and the shade of this fig tree was perhaps the ordinary place of retreat for this upright man. It is not A fig tree, but την συκην, The fig tree, one particularly distinguished from the others. There are many proofs that the Jewish rabbins chose the shade of trees, and particularly the fig tree, to sit and study under. See many examples in Schoettgen. How true is the saying, The eyes of the Lord are through all the earth, beholding the evil and the good! Wheresoever we are, whatsoever we are about, may a deep conviction of this truth rest upon our hearts, Thou God seest Me!

    Barnes' Notes on John 1:48

    Whence knowest thou me? - Nathanael was not yet acquainted with the divinity of Christ, and supposed that he had been a stranger to him. Hearing him express a favorable opinion of him, he naturally inquired by what means he had any knowledge of him. His conscience testified to the truth of what Jesus said that he had no guile, and he was anxious to know whence he had learned his character.

    Before that Philip called thee - See John 1:45.

    When thou wast under the fig-tree - It is evident that it was from something that had occurred under the fig-tree that Jesus judged of his character. What that was is not recorded. It is not improbable that Nathanael was accustomed to retire to the shade of a certain tree, perhaps in his garden or in a grove, for the purpose of meditation and prayer. The Jews were much in the habit of selecting such places for private devotion, and in such scenes of stillness and retirement there is something especially favorable for meditation and prayer. Our Saviour also worshipped in such places. Compare John 18:2; Luke 6:12. In that place of retirement it is not improbable that Nathanael was engaged in private devotion.

    I saw thee - It is clear, from the narrative, that Jesus did not mean to say that he was bodily present with Nathanael and saw him; but he knew his thoughts, his desires, his secret feelings and wishes. In this sense Nathanael understood him. We may learn:

    1. that Jesus sees what is done in secret, and is therefore divine.

    2. that he sees us when we little think of it.

    3. that he sees us especially in our private devotions, hears our prayers, and marks our meditations. And,

    4. that he judges of our character chiefly by our private devotions. Those are secret; the world sees them not; and in our closets we show what we are. How does it become us, therefore, that our secret prayers and meditations should be without "guile" and hypocrisy, and such as Jesus will approve!

    Wesley's Notes on John 1:48

    1:48 Under the fig tree I saw thee - Perhaps at prayer.