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John 3:8

    John 3:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The wind goes where its pleasure takes it, and the sound of it comes to your ears, but you are unable to say where it comes from and where it goes: so it is with everyone whose birth is from the Spirit.

    Webster's Revision

    The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    World English Bible

    The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    Definitions for John 3:8

    Listeth - To please; to choose.
    Tell - To number; count.
    Whence - From where.
    Whither - Where; which place.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 3:8

    The wind bloweth - Though the manner in which this new birth is effected by the Divine Spirit, be incomprehensible to us, yet we must not, on this ground, suppose it to be impossible. The wind blows in a variety of directions - we hear its sound, perceive its operation in the motion of the trees, etc., and feel it on ourselves - but we cannot discern the air itself; we only know that it exists by the effects which it produces: so is every one who is born of the Spirit: the effects are as discernible and as sensible as those of the wind; but itself we cannot see. But he who is born of God knows that he is thus born: the Spirit itself, the grand agent in this new birth, beareth witness with his spirit, that he is born of God, Romans 8:16; for, he that believeth hath the witness in himself, 1 John 4:13; 1 John 5:10; Galatians 4:6. And so does this Spirit work in and by him that others, though they see not the principle, can easily discern the change produced; for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, 1 John 5:4.

    Barnes' Notes on John 3:8

    The wind bloweth ... - Nicodemus had objected to the doctrine because he did not understand how it could be. Jesus shows him that he ought not to reject it on that account, for he constantly believed things quite as difficult. It might appear incomprehensible, but it was to be judged of by its effects. As in this case of the wind, the effects were seen, the sound was heard, important changes were produced by it, trees and clouds were moved, yet the wind is not seen, nor do we know whence it comes, nor by what laws it is governed; so it is with the operations of the Spirit. We see the changes produced. Men just now sinful become holy; the thoughtless become serious; the licentious become pure; the vicious, moral; the moral, religious; the prayerless, prayerful; the rebellious and obstinate, meek, and mild, and gentle. When we see such changes, we ought no more to doubt that they are produced by some cause - by some mighty agent, than when we see the trees moved, or the waters of the ocean piled on heaps, or feet the cooling effects of a summer's breeze. In those cases we attribute it to the "wind," though we see it not, and though we do not understand its operations. We may learn, hence:

    1. that the proper evidence of conversion is the effect on the life.

    2. that we are not too curiously to search for the cause or manner of the change.

    3. that God has power over the most hardened sinner to change him, as he has power over the loftiest oak, to bring it down by a sweeping blast.

    4. that there may be great variety in the modes of the operation of the Spirit. As the "wind" sometimes sweeps with a tempest, and prostrates all before it, and sometimes breathes upon us in a mild evening zephyr, so it is with the operations of the Spirit. The sinner sometimes trembles and is prostrate before the truth, and sometimes is sweetly and gently drawn to the cross of Jesus.

    Where it listeth - Where it "wills" or "pleases."

    So is every one ... - Everyone that is born of the Spirit is, in some respects, like the effects of the wind. You see it not, you cannot discern its laws, but you see its effects," and you know therefore that it does exist and operate. Nicodemus' objection was, that he could not "see" this change, or perceive "how" it could be. Jesus tells him that he should not reject a doctrine merely because he could not understand it. Neither could the "wind" be seen, but its effects were well known, and no one doubted the existence or the power of the agent. Compare Ecclesiastes 11:5.

    Wesley's Notes on John 3:8

    3:8 The wind bloweth - According to its own nature, not thy will, and thou hearest the sound thereof - Thou art sure it doth blow, but canst not explain the particular manner of its acting. So is every one that is born of the Spirit - The fact is plain, the manner of his operations inexplicable.
    Book: John