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John 12:6

    John 12:6 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bore what was put therein.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    (He said this, not because he had any love for the poor; but because he was a thief, and, having the money-bag, took for himself what was put into it.)

    Webster's Revision

    Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein.

    World English Bible

    Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 12:6

    Not that He cared for the poor - There should be a particular emphasis laid on the word he, as the evangelist studies to show the most determined detestation to his conduct.

    And bare what was put therein - Or rather, as some eminent critics contend, And stole what was put in it. This seems the proper meaning of εβαϚαζεν; and in this sense it is used, John 20:15 : If thou hast Stolen him away - ει συ εβαϚασας αυτον. In the same sense the word is used by Josephus, Ant. b. xii. c. 5, s 4; where speaking of the pillage of the temple by Antiochus, he says, Τα σκευη του Θεου βαϚασαι, He carried off, or Stole, also the vessels of the Lord. See also Ant. b. viii. c. 2, s. 2, where the harlot says before Solomon, concerning her child, βαϚασασα δε τουμον εκ των γονατων προς αὑτην μεταφερει - She Stole away my child out of my bosom, and removed it to herself. And Ibid. b. ix. c. 4, s. 5, speaking of the ten lepers that went into the Syrian camp, he says, finding the Syrians fled, They entered into the camp, and ate, and drank; and, having Stolen away (εβαϚασαν) garments, and much gold, they hid them without the camp. See the objections to this translation answered by Kypke, and the translation itself vindicated. See also Pearce in loc., Wakefield, Toup. Em. ad Suid. p. iii. p. 203. If stealing were not intended by the evangelist, the word itself must be considered as superfluous; for, when we are told that he had the bag, we need not be informed that he had what was in it. But the apostle says he was a thief; and because he was a thief, and had the common purse in his power, therefore he stole as much as he conveniently could, without subjecting himself to detection. And, as he saw that the death of Christ was at hand, he wished to secure a provision for himself, before he left the company of the apostles. I see that several copies of the old Itala version understood the word in this sense, and therefore have translated the word by auferebat, exportabat - took away, carried away. Jerome, who professed to mend this version, has in this place (as well as in many others) marred is, by rendering εβαϚαζεν, by portabat.

    The γλωσσοκομον, which we translate bag, meant originally the little box, or sheath, in which the tongues or reeds used for pipes were carried; and thus it is interpreted by Pollux in his Onomasticon; and this is agreeable to the etymology of the word. The Greek word is used in Hebrew letters by the Talmudists to signify a purse, scrip, chest, coffer, etc. As our Lord and his disciples lived on charity, a bag or scrip was provided to carry those pious donations by which they were supported. And Judas was steward and treasurer to this holy company.

    Barnes' Notes on John 12:6

    Had the bag - The word translated "bag" is compounded of two words, meaning "tongue," and "to keep or preserve." It was used to denote the bag in which musicians used to keep the tongues or reeds of their pipes when traveling. Hence, it came to mean any bag or purse in which travelers put their money or their most precious articles. The disciples appear to have had such a bag or purse in common, in which they put whatever money they had, and which was designed especially for the poor, Luke 8:3; John 13:29; Acts 2:44. The keeping of this, it seems, was intrusted to Judas; and it is remarkable that the only one among them who appears to have been naturally avaricious should have received this appointment. It shows us that every man is tried according to his native propensity. This is the object of trial - to bring out man's native character; and every man will find opportunity to do evil according to his native disposition, if he is inclined, to it.

    And bare ... - The word translated "bare" means literally "to carry as a burden." Then it means "to carry away," as in John 20:15; "If thou hast borne him hence." Hence, it means to carry away as a thief does, and this is evidently its meaning here. It has this sense often in classic writers. Judas was a thief and stole what was put into the bag. The money he desired to be entrusted to him, that he might secretly enrich himself. It is clear, however, that the disciples did not at this time know that this was his character, or they would have remonstrated against him. They learned it afterward. We may learn here:

    1. that it is not a new thing for members of the church to be covetous. Judas was so before them.

    2. that such members will be those who complain of the great waste in spreading the gospel.

    3. that this deadly, mean, and grovelling passion will work all evil in a church. It brought down the curse of God on the children of Israel in the case of Achan Joshua 7, and it betrayed our Lord to death. It has often since brought blighting on the church; and many a time it has betrayed the cause of Christ, and drowned men in destruction and perdition, 1 Timothy 6:9.