In John 7:26–27, it is written,

26 “But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.” NKJV, ©1982

The people appeared to doubt that Jesus was the Christ (the Messiah) because they knew where he was from. They reason that, when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.

This seems to me a curious statement. Surely the Old Testament reveals that the Messiah would be from Beit-Lechem.1 What, then, is the meaning of the people’s statement that no one will know where the Messiah is from? Is that belief derived from the Old Testament?


        1 Micah 5:2 cf. Matt. 2:4–6

1 Answer 1


This passage is apparently consciously showing the reader that Jesus really is the Messiah by fulfilling Isaiah's prediction that the facts about his actual parentage would not be publicly declared:

Isaiah 53:8 LXX2012(i) 8 In [his] humiliation his judgment was taken away: who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken away from the earth: because of the iniquities of my people he was led to death.

The word "generation" (γενεὰν, G1074) refers to his "origin":

[Jhn 7:27-29 NLT] (27) But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from." (28) While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, "Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I'm not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don't know him. (29) But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you."

This is the word "declare" found in Isaiah 53:8:

διηγ-έομαι, Aset out in detail, describe, [ἔργα] Heraclit. 1; πρᾶγμα Ar. Av. 198; τὴν ἀλήθειαν περί τινος Antipho 1.13, cf. Th. 6.54, Pl. Prt. 310a, al.; περὶ ταύτης εἰπεῖν καὶ διηγήσασθαι D. 21.77: c. acc. pers., οἷον . . σὺ τοῦτον διηγῇ such as you describe him, Pl. Tht. 144c.

The other predicted origin/birth matters are also addressed in the gospels, including the virgin birth, out of Egypt I have called my Son in Matthew and Bethlehem in Luke. John covers "Who will give a description of his birth?" by their "knowing" wrong information about it, since they think he is Joseph's son.

  • Nice touch on Isa. 53:8! Jun 27, 2020 at 22:01
  • Thanks. I had to run to the commentaries because I didn't have a clue but once I saw that passage referred to it all clicked. I considered citing commentaries but I wanted most of all to show that the NT writers were consciously all about Jesus fulfilling ALL of the prophecies. I liked Bengel: biblehub.com/commentaries/john/7-27.htm
    – Ruminator
    Jun 27, 2020 at 22:20

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