John 6:32
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
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(32) Moses gave you not that bread.—Again His solemn words bring to their thoughts the deeper reality which they are passing over. They had implied a contrast between their fathers and themselves, between Moses and Jesus. They expressed the glory of the Mosaic sign in the language of the Psalm; but there the gift is ascribed to God, and it is named to mark the darkness of their unbelief. The gift of God was ever the same. He it was who gave then; He it is who ever giveth. “You think of Moses; but Moses was the messenger of My Father. You speak of bread from heaven; but heaven is My home, from which I am come to give the true bread to the world, which in very truth is its sustenance.” (Comp., for the full sense of “true,” the Note on John 1:9.)

John 6:32-33. Jesus said, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven — It was not Moses who in ancient times gave the manna to your fathers, neither was the manna bread from heaven, though it be so called by the psalmist, on account of the thing which it typified: for it dropped from the air only; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven — It was my Father that gave to your ancestors the manna, and he now giveth you the true spiritual, heavenly bread, of which the manna was only a symbolical representation, and which is sufficient to sustain, not a single nation only, but the whole world. For the bread of God — The bread only worthy of that name; is he — Or rather, is that which cometh down, as ο καταβαινων should here be rendered, being a participle, referring to ο αρτος, the bread, which is of the masculine gender: for it appears, from what follows, that our Lord did not intend at once to lay aside the veil, wherein he had wrapped his meaning: for the request made to him in the very next verse, Give us always this bread, shows that he was not yet understood as speaking of a person, which he must have been if his expression had been as explicit as that of our translation. From heaven — Not from the aerial, but from the highest heavens; and giveth life unto the world — Not that which preserveth a mere temporal life to one people only, but imparteth spiritual and eternal life to as many of the whole world as will be persuaded to partake of it; and that from generation to generation.

6:28-35 Constant exercise of faith in Christ, is the most important and difficult part of the obedience required from us, as sinners seeking salvation. When by his grace we are enabled to live a life of faith in the Son of God, holy tempers follow, and acceptable services may be done. God, even his Father, who gave their fathers that food from heaven to support their natural lives, now gave them the true Bread for the salvation of their souls. Coming to Jesus, and believing on him, signify the same. Christ shows that he is the true Bread; he is to the soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life. He is the Bread of God. Bread which the Father gives, which he has made to be the food of our souls. Bread nourishes only by the powers of a living body; but Christ is himself living Bread, and nourishes by his own power. The doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was. He is the Bread which came down from heaven. It denotes the Divinity of Christ's person and his authority; also, the Divine origin of all the good which flows to us through him. May we with understanding and earnestness say, Lord, evermore give us this Bread.Moses gave you not that bread from heaven - This might be translated, "Moses gave you not the bread of heaven." The word "that," which makes some difference in the sense, is not necessary to express the meaning of the original. It does not appear that Jesus intended to call in question the fact that their fathers were fed by the instrumentality of Moses, but to state that he did not give them the true bread that was adapted to the wants of the soul. He fed the Body, although his food did not keep the body alive John 6:49 but he did not give that which would preserve the soul from death. God gave, in his Son Jesus, the true bread from heaven which was fitted to man, and of far more value than any supply of their temporal wants. He tells them, therefore, that they are not to seek from him any such supply of their temporal wants as they had supposed. A better gift had been furnished in his being given for the life of the world.

My father giveth you - In the gospel; in the gift of his Son.

The true bread - The trite or real support which is needed to keep the soul from death. It is not false, deceitful, or perishing. Christ is called bread, because, as bread supports life, so his doctrine supports, preserves, and saves the soul from death. He is the true support, not only in opposition to the mere supply of temporal wants such as Moses furnished, but also in opposition to all false religion which deceives and destroys the soul.

32, 33. Moses gave you not, &c.—"It was not Moses that gave you the manna, and even it was but from the lower heavens; 'but My Father giveth you the true bread,' and that 'from heaven.'" You are mistaken in your opinion of that manna, which indeed was bread from heaven, spiritual meat, ( as the apostle calleth it, 1 Corinthians 10:3), but it was not given you by any power or virtue in or from Moses. Moses said otherwise; when it was first rained down, he told them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat, Exodus 16:15. It was the Lord, not Moses, that gave you that bread. Nor was that true spiritual bread; it was only spiritual (as the apostle calleth it) because it was typical, and prefigurative of me.

My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven; it was he that gave your fathers manna, not Moses; and it is he who giveth you me, who am the true bread of which that bread was but typical, a shadow, and a figure.

Then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you,.... It is truth, and may be depended on, whether it will be believed or not:

Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; in which Christ denies that that bread, or manna, did come from heaven; that is, from the highest heavens, only from the air, and was not such celestial bread he after speaks of, and which came down from the heaven of heavens: and moreover, he denies that Moses gave them that bread; it was the Lord that gave them it, as is expressly said in the passage referred to, in the above citation. Moses had no hand in it; he did not so much as pray for it, much less procure it, or prepare it: it was promised and prepared by God, and rained by him, and who directed to the gathering and use of it. This stands opposed to a notion of the Jews, that the manna was given by means of Moses, for his sake, and on account of his merits: for they say (g),

"there arose up three good providers, or pastors for Israel, and they are these, Moses, and Aaron, and Miriam; and three good gifts were given by their means, and they are these, the well, the cloud, and the manna; the well by the merits of Miriam; the pillar of cloud by the merits of Aaron; , "the manna, by the merits of Moses".''

This our Lord denies; and affirms,

but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven: he not only gave the manna to the Jewish fathers, and not Moses; but he also gives that bread which the manna was typical of, by which he means himself; who may be compared to bread, because of the original of it, or the matter of it, of which it is made, wheat, he is called a corn of wheat, John 12:24; and from its preparation for food, being threshed, and winnowed, and ground, and kneaded, and baked; all which may express the sufferings and death of Christ, by which he becomes fit food for faith; and from its being the main part of human sustenance, and from its nourishing and strengthening nature, and from its being a means of maintaining and supporting life: and he may be called the "true" bread, because he is the truth and substance of the types of him; the unleavened bread, eaten at the passover, was typical of him, as he was free from sin in nature and life; and from all error in doctrine; and so was the showbread a type of his intercession, and set forth the continuance of it, its efficacy and acceptance, of which the priests only shared; and so were the meat offerings in the sacrifices, which were offered up day by day: and particularly the manna, the bread from heaven, the Jews were now speaking of: Christ was the truth of that type; that was but shadowy bread, Christ is the true bread, or the antitype of it in its name; whether it be derived from "manah", to prepare, Christ being the bread of life, and salvation of God, prepared in the council and covenant of grace, and by his sufferings and death before the face of all people; or from the words "man hu", what is it? Christ being as little known by carnal men, as the manna was at first to the Israelites: and in its nature, kind, form, and quality; it was round in form, which might be expressive of the perfections of Christ, and particularly his eternity, being without beginning or end; it was white in colour, which may denote the purity and innocence of him; it was sweet in taste, as he, his fruits, his word, and ordinances, are to them that are born again; it was small in quantity, which may set forth the meanness of Christ in his state of humiliation: it was also typical of Christ in its usefulness; it was sufficient to supply a, great multitude, and that for many years, as the fulness of grace in Christ is sufficient for the whole family in heaven, and in earth, in time, and to all eternity; the Israelites all shared in it, and had all an equal portion of it; so all the people of God have an interest in Christ, and equally participate of the blessings of his grace, and shall enjoy the same eternal life and glory by him: one has neither more nor less than another; Christ is all in all, and made alike all things to them: and he may be called the bread "from heaven"; because he came from thence, not by change of place, but by assumption of nature, even from the highest heavens, the third heaven, from whence the manna came not: he is the Lord from heaven, and is such bread as has a virtue and tendency in it to nourish men for heaven, and is truly of a heavenly nature: and this is Christ's Father's gift, and is of pure grace, without any consideration of works and merits in men. Philo the Jew says (h), the heavenly food of the soul, which is called "manna", the divine word distributes alike to all that ask.

(g) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 9. 1. Seder Olam Rabba, p. 28. (h) Quis rer. divin. haeres. p. 507.

{7} Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not {h} that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

(7) Christ, who is the true and only author and giver of eternal life, was represented unto those in the Old Testament by the manna.

(h) He denies that manna was the true heavenly bread, and says that he himself is the true bread, because he feeds the true and everlasting life. And as for 1Co 10:1-5, where Paul calls manna spiritual food, it does not contradict what is said here, for Paul joins the thing signified with the sign: but in this whole disputation, Christ deals with the Jews after their own opinion and conceit of the matter, who thought of the manna only in terms of physical food.

John 6:32-33. Jesus does not mean to deny the miraculous and heavenly origin of the manna in itself (Paulus), nor to argue polemically concerning the O. T. manna (Schenkel), but He denies its origin as heavenly in the higher ideal sense (comp. τὸν ἀληθινόν). The antithesis is not between the ἀήρ and the κυρίως οὐρανός (Chrysostom, Euthymius Zigabenus, Grotius, and most others), but between the type and the antitype in its full realization.

ὑμῖν] your nation.

ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ] here and in the second half of the verse to be joined to δέδωκεν (and δίδωσιν): “It is not Moses who dispensed to you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who dispenseth to you from heaven that bread which is the true bread.” In John 6:31, too, ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ is to be joined with ἔδωκεν; and observe also, that in Exodus 16:4 מִן הַשָּׁמָיִם belongs not to לֶחֶם, but to מַמְטִיר. The expression ἐκ τοῦ οὐρ. is taken from Exodus 16:4; for, if we follow Psalm 78:24; Psalm 105:40 (where שׁמים is an attribute of bread), we should have ἄρτον οὐρανοῦ. Comp. Targ. Jonath. Deuteronomy 34:6 : “Deus fecit descendere filiis Israel panem de coelo.”

δίδωσιν] continuously; for Jesus means Himself and His work.

τὸν ἀληθινόν] corresponding in reality to the idea. See on John 1:9. Ἐκεῖνος γὰρ ὁ ἄρτος τυπικὸς ἦν, προτυπῶν, φησὶν, ἐμὲ τὸν αὐτοαλήθειαν ὄντα, Euthymius Zigabenus. This defining word, placed emphatically at the end, explains at the same time the negative statement at the beginning of the verse.

John 6:33. Proof that it is the Father who gives, etc. (John 6:32); for it is none other than the bread which is being bestowed by God, that comes down from heaven and giveth life to the world. The argument proceeds ab effectu (ὁ καταβ.… κόσμῳ) ad causam (ὁ ἄρτος τοῦ θεοῦ).

ὁ καταβαίνων, κ.τ.λ.] refers to ὁ ἄρτος, and states its specific property, both as to its origin and working, both being essentially connected; it does not refer to Jesus (“He who cometh down,” etc.), though, in the personal application of the general affirmation, Jesus, by the bread, represents, and must represent, Himself; and hence the expression “cometh down” (against Grotius, Dav. Schulz, Olshausen, Fritzsche in his Novis opusc. p. 221, Godet, and others). The direct reference to Jesus would anticipate the subsequent advance of the discourse (John 6:35), and would require ὁ καταβάς (John 6:41; comp. John 6:48). See on John 6:50.

ζωήν] life. Without this bread, humanity (ὁ κόσμος) is dead in the view of Jesus—dead spiritually (John 6:35) and eternally (John 6:39-40).

32. Moses gave you not] Christ shews them that He quite understands their insinuation: they are comparing Him unfavourably with Moses. He denies both their points; (1) that Moses gave the manna; (2) that the manna was in the truest sense bread from heaven.

giveth you the true bread, &c.] Literally, giveth you the bread out of heaven (which is) the true bread; ‘true’ in the sense of ‘real’ and ‘perfect’ (see on John 1:9); the manna was but the type, and therefore imperfect. Note the change of tense from ‘gave’ to ‘giveth:’ God is continually giving the true bread; it is not a thing granted at one time and then no more, like the manna.

John 6:32. Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, verily, verily, I say unto you) This assertion has, especially in this passage, great force, when the Jews had objected to Him, that it was written, John 6:31.—οὐ Μωσῆς δέδωκεν ὑμῖν τὸν ἄρτον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, Moses gave you not the bread from heaven) Understand here also τὸν ἀληθινόν, the true. It was not Moses who gave you or your fathers the manna; and the manna was not that true bread from heaven, which is incapable of corruption. Exodus 16:20, “Some left of the manna until the morning, and it bred worms and stank.”—δίδωσιν, giveth) In antithesis to δέδωκεν, gave. Now the bread was present: comp. John 6:33, “The bread of God is He, which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”—τὸν ἀληθινόν, true) which, whosoever tastes, he will no longer seek any-other sign: for the taste in the bread is of itself a sufficient criterion; and the truth of it shall hereafter be made manifest: John 6:39, “This is the Father’s will, that of all which He hath given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” The truth and the life are often here mentioned.

Verse 32. - Jesus therefore said to them, with the tones of special emphasis, Verily, verily, I say unto you, It was not Moses, of whom you are reasonably thinking with due reverence, who gave you the bread out of heaven. There are two assertions here. There is also an implication, which the hearers of Jesus were called on to make.

(1) It was not Moses who gave to your fathers the bread out of heaven, such as the historians, psalmists, and expositors speak of; for such as it was, - a needed food for the body rained on you out of heaven, - it was the gift of God, not of Moses.

(2) Moreover, the manna was not the veritable "bread of heaven." There is a richer and more nourishing food than that, which alone deserves to be called Bread from heaven. The "corn of heaven," though God's gift, was not that of which I speak, nay, it was only the shadow and type of that. But my Father is giving you, even now, the veritable bread out of heaven (ἀληθινόν); that which fully answers the description of the term - food for your spiritual sustenance, bread which will save your souls alive, which, if assimilated by you, will convey the consciousness and reality of eternal blessedness. The kind of strength which will arise within you when once appropriated, is an eternal possession, an abiding advantage; the satisfaction is not exhausted by a short interval, it remains forever. The Son of man is entrusted with power to bestow it. He is sealed and sanctified and sent into the world for this purpose. This bread is veritably from heaven. Moses did not even give, nor was he the almoner even of, the manna. All the giving then was God's work, but he whom God has sent, on whom you have to believe, is a veritable Giver of this true bread from heaven. John 6:32Moses gave you not (οὐ Μωσῆς δέδωκεν ὑμῖν)

The antithesis is between Moses and my Father. So Rev., rightly, "it was not Moses that gave you," etc. - "but my Father giveth," etc. Some editors change the perfect tense, δέδωκεν, hath given, to the aorist, ἔδωκεν, gave.

The true bread from heaven (τὸν ἄρτον ἐκ τοῦοὐρανοῦ τὸν ἀληθινόν)

The translation would gain by following the Greek order, "the bread out of heaven, the real bread."

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