Compiled by Bruce Hurt
John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God: hoi ouk ex aimaton oude ek thelematos sarkos oude ek thelematos andros all ek theou egennethesan (3PAPI) (NASB: Lockman)
were born: John 3:3,5 Jas 1:18 1Pe 1:3,23 1Pet 2:2 1Jn 3:9 1Jn 4:7 1Jn 5:1,4,18
not of blood: John 8:33-41 Mt 3:9 Ro 9:7-9
nor of the will of the flesh: Ge 25:22,28 Ge 27:4,33 Ro 9:10-16
nor of the will of man: Ps 110:3 Ro 9:1-5 Ro 10:1-3 1Co 3:6 Php 2:13 Jas 1:18
of God: John 3:6-8 Titus 3:5 1Jn 2:28,29
Who were born - This of course speaks of a dead soul (Eph 2:1) being born again by grace through faith. John uses the same verb gennao to give a preview of the great drama in John 3 where Jesus takes Nicodemus who is thinking of natural birth and shows him his great need is for supernatural birth by the Holy Spirit. (John 3:3-6)
Spurgeon - So that those who receive Christ, those who truly believe on Christ, are people who have been born, as others have not been born, by a new birth from heaven, a supernatural birth, so that they are a people set apart by themselves as those who have been twice created, first as human beings just like others, and then as new creatures in Christ Jesus.
Steven Cole - They were born, but it was not a natural birth. “Blood” (lit., “bloods”) refers to human ancestry. “The will of the flesh” refers to the decision of human parents to have a child. “The will of man” refers to human willpower. John probably piles up these phrases to counter the Jewish pride of race (Morris, p. 101). Ed Blum explains (The Bible Knowledge Commentary), ““The birth of a child of God is not a natural birth; it is a supernatural work of God in regeneration. A person welcomes Jesus and responds in faith and obedience to Him, but the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit is ‘the cause’ of regeneration (Jn 3:5-8).” Just as we had nothing to do with our physical birth, so we had nothing to do with our spiritual birth. We can’t take credit for it. We can’t boast in our wise decision to believe in Christ. All glory must go to God. (John 1:6-13 God’s Witness, Your Verdict)
Spurgeon - This new birth is something that brings change to the life. "The man is like a watch which has a new mainspring, not a mere face and hands repaired, but new inward machinery, with freshly adjusted works, which act to a different time and tune; and whereas he went wrong before, now he goes right, because he is right within."
Were born (were begotten) (1080)(gennao from genos = offspring, in turn from ginomai = to become) means to beget, to bring forth, to give birth, to procreate a descendant, to produce offspring, to generate. To beget Is spoken of men (Mt 1:2-16), whereas to bear is spoken of women. The passive voice means to be begotten or to be born. This is the only place in John's Gospel where the phrase born of God is used and is a phrase peculiar to John (and also 5x in his first epistle - 1Jn 3:9, 1Jn 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18).
John uses gennao 25x (out of 97 uses in NT) - John 1:13; Jn 3:3, 3:4 (2x), Jn 3:5, 3:6 (2x), Jn 3:7, 8; 8:41; 9:2, Jn 9:19-20, 32, 34; 16:21 (2x); Jn 18:37; 1John 2:29; 3:9 (2x); 1Jn 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18
Westcott on were born - The thought is of the first origin of the new life, and not of the introduction of the living being into a new region. The phrase appears to be parallel with as many as received. The act of reception coincided with the infusion of the divine principle, by which the later growth became possible. It is important to notice generally that St John dwells characteristically upon the communication of a new life, while St Paul dwells upon the gift of a new dignity and relation (huiothesia, Ro 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph 1:5). When St Paul brings out the newness of the Christian’s being he speaks of him as a new “creation” (Gal. 6:15; 2 Cor. 5:17). The language of St James (1:18) and of St Peter (1 Pet. 1:3, 1:23) corresponds with that of St John.
Patrick Henry once said, "The most cherished possession I wish I could leave you is my faith in Jesus Christ, for with Him and nothing else you can be happy, but without Him and with all else, you'll never be happy"
Cole - The question comes up, “Do we first believe and then are born again, or are we born again and then believe?” They both happen at the same instant, and so it’s a question of logical, not chronological, order. The clearest verse for answering the question is 1John 5:1, which is literally translated, “Whoever believes [present tense] that Jesus is the Christ has been born [perfect tense] of God.” In other words, believing in Christ is evidence that God has given you new life through the new birth. John Stott comments on that verse and its verb tenses (The Epistles of John [Eerdmans], p. 172), “It shows clearly that believing is the consequence, not the cause, of the new birth. Our present, continuing activity of believing is the result, and therefore the evidence, of our past experience of new birth by which we became and remain God’s children.” There is a mystery here that we can’t fully resolve. Suffice it to say that your responsibility is to believe in Christ for salvation and to urge others to believe in Christ. But whenever we believe in Christ, we can’t take credit for our faith or our wise decision. All we can say is, “If God had not graciously chosen me and imparted new life to me, I would still be in my sin. All glory goes to Him!” (See 1Cor. 1:26-31; Eph. 2:1-10; Acts 13:48.) So now you’ve heard the witnesses. John has testified that Jesus is the Light. Jesus Himself shines as the true Light. It’s time for your verdict. Will you ignore Him as you pursue your own agenda? Will you flat out reject Him because He confronts your pride? Or, will you receive Him by believing in His name so that you become His child, born of God? (John 1:6-13 God’s Witness, Your Verdict)
NOT OF BLOOD
Not of blood - Of physical descent. We are not born into the family of God just because both of our parents are believers. The new birth has nothing to do with physical generation. Some see this as a reference to being born into a particular nation or ethnicity (Jewish).. Certainly the Jews in large part thought they were "safe" from judgment. This supernatural birth has nothing to do with one's heredity or physical lineage. You can ride your believing parents spiritual coat-tails… God has no spiritual grandchildren!
A W Pink - the taking place of the new birth is “not of blood,” that is to say, it is not a matter of heredity, for regeneration does not run in the veins.
Jon Courson - Your grandfather may have been an awesome Christian, and you may have fourteen preachers in your family tree. But according to this verse, none of that makes a bit of difference because birth into God's family is not passed on genetically. It has nothing to do with blood, which speaks of descent. (Jon Courson's Application Commentary)
David Stern in his "Jewish NT Commentary" comments that "There can be no doubt that in the 1st century c.e. the doctrine was widespread that descendants can benefit and even can claim salvation on the ground of their ancestors’ righteousness. Yeshua’s opponents made exactly such a claim at (In Jn 8:33 after Jesus had told His audience that if they the truth would set them free, the Jews "answered Him" saying "We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free'?"), Paul’s own opponents obviously were making use of the idea at [ Paul wrote "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I." 2Cor 11:22]. Rabbinic literature does well in pointing up Abraham's faithful and trusting attitude toward God. For example, the Midrash Rabba records: “In the 'olam haba [world to come] Israel will sing a new song, as it is said, ‘Sing unto Adonai a new song, for He has done marvelous things’ (Ps98:1). By whose z'khut [merit] will they do so? By the merit of Avraham, because he TRUSTED in the Holy One, blessed be he, as it says, ‘And he TRUSTED in Adonai’ (Ge 15:6).” (Exodus Rabbah 23:5) Romans 4 investigates the nature of Avraham’s own “merit”: what is it that he obtained by his own efforts?… Didn’t he have “works,” meritorious “deeds” that earned him his salvation? This is what Paul’s hypothetical questioner is asking." (Jewish NT Commentary) (For more discussion of this topic see commentary on Romans 4-1-3 Commentary)
Considering the aberrant teaching of the rabbis it is not surprising that many of the first century Jews believed they possessed salvation solely on the basis of being Abraham's offspring. In addition, they thought that they determined who was eligible for salvation, because they owned it! Before the coming of Christ, they shared "salvation" (or what they thought was salvation) only with those willing to become Jewish proselytes. When proselytes converted to Judaism, they were instructed to be circumcised and to place under obedience to the Law of Moses. It is surprising to discover that there are many non-Jews today who still feel that in the OT for one to be "saved" they must enter into salvation via Judaism. Nothing could be further from the truth, but this misconception does reflect how good their Jewish "propaganda" has been, even among evangelicals who should know better -- God's righteousness has always been reckoned only on the basis of faith - Sola Fide -- and does not require one to join a particular church or carry out any act (including baptism). Justification is a gift graciously given by God to undeserving sinners.
Gangel summarizes these three alternative ways people think they can gain entrance into the family of God as "physical birth, self-determination, or the choice of another person."
MacArthur - Those three negative statements stress the fact that salvation is not obtainable through any racial or ethnic heritage (blood), personal desire (flesh), or man-made system (man). (John 1-11 MacArthur New Testament Commentary)
Here are passages that underscore the truth that this supernatural birth is of God, not man …
F B Meyer - And for lineage, it is revealed that all such may trace their descent past earthly parentage---"not of blood"; past natural instinct or desire --"not of the will of the flesh"; past human volition--"not of the will of man" : to the thought, and purpose, and grace of the Eternal Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Westcott - The spring of the new life to which the believer has “right” lies solely in God. The beginning of it cannot be found in the combination of the material elements, by which physical life is represented, nor in the natural instinct, in obedience to which beings are reproduced, nor in the will of the rational man. This appears to be the meaning of the three-fold negation. The progress is from that which is lowest in our estimate of the origin of life to that which is highest. At the same time the three clauses naturally admit a moral interpretation. The new birth is not brought about by descent, by desire or by human power. (The Gospel According to St John)
Utley on not of blood, etc - The term “blood” is PLURAL. This refers not to racial privilege nor to human sexual descent, but to God’s electing and drawing of those who trust in His Son (cf. Jn 6:44, 65 - "No one (absolutely no one) can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws (Or "attracts him," or "pulls him." The word is used of pulling or dragging, often by force. It is even used once of magnetic attraction) him; and I will raise him up on the last day. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one (absolutely no one) can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.”). John 1:12 and John 1:13 exhibit the covenantal balance between God’s sovereignty and the need for human response.
W E Vine on not of blood - Blood is the element which is the means of physical life (Lev. 17:11): the plural “bloods” in the original is idiomatic and emphatic, it does not indicate the two sexes.
Blood (129)(haima) is literally the red fluid that circulates in the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins of a vertebrate animal carrying nourishment and oxygen to and bringing away waste products from all parts of the body and thus is essential for the preservation of life. Click for in depth discussion of blood below.
NOT OF WILL OF THE FLESH
Nor of the will of the flesh - We cannot "will" ourselves into the family of God. Personal effort is of absolutely no avail in bringing about our supernatural birth! The new birth has nothing to do with our desire for the truth is no man seeks God! (Ro 3:11).
A W Pink - “nor of the will of the flesh,” the will of the natural man is opposed to God, and he has no will Godward until he has been born again
John Phillips says "No amount of wishful thinking makes me a child of God. I might wish I were the child of a millionaire but that does not make me one. I may even live in a fantasy world where I convince myself that I am the son of a millionaire, but to do so is folly."
William MacDonald - No other man can save a person. A preacher, for instance, may be very anxious to see a certain person born again, but he does not have the power to produce this marvelous birth. (Believer's Bible Commentary)
Hendriksen feels will of the flesh refers to "carnal desire, the sexual impulse of man or woman." (New Testament Commentary Exposition of the Gospel According to John)
NET Note on will of the flesh - The phrase oude ek thelēmatos sarkos is more clearly a reference to sexual desire, but it should be noted that sarx in John does not convey the evil sense common in Pauline usage. For John it refers to the physical nature in its weakness rather than in its sinfulness. There is no clearer confirmation of this than the immediately following verse, where the logos became sarx. (Jn 1:14)
Heading feels nor will of the flesh means "namely not through the rites of ceremonial religion."
Will (2307)(thelema from thelo= to will with the "-ma" suffix indicating the result of the will = "a thing willed") generally speaks of the result of what one has decided. One sees this root word in the feminine name "Thelma." In its most basic form, thelema refers to a wish, a strong desire, and the willing of some event. Thelema has both an objective meaning (“what one wishes to happen” or what is willed) and a subjective connotation (“the act of willing or desiring”). Most of the NT uses of thelema (over 3/4's) refer to God's will and signify His gracious disposition toward something.
Flesh (4561)(sarx) is used 147 times in the NT. A simple definition of sarx is difficult because sarx has many nuances (e.g., some Greek lexicons list up to 11 definitions for sarx!). The diligent disciple must carefully observe the context of each use of sarx in order to accurately discern which nuance is intended. The range of meaning extends from the physical flesh (both human and animal), to the human body, to the entire person, and even to all humankind!
NOR OF WILL OF MAN
John Phillips on nor of the will of man - No amount of parental or personal resolve can make me a child of God. My parents may have me baptized as a baby, but that does not make me a child of God; that is only "the will of man." I may use all my strength of character to live a good life, perform religious duties, achieve spiritual goals, but those things will not impart new life. It is a birth. We are "born of God. "
A W Pink - “nor of the will of man,” that is to say, the new birth is not brought about by the well-meant efforts of friends, nor by the persuasive powers of the preacher; “but of God.”
Hendriksen feels nor the will of man refers to "the procreative urge of the male." (New Testament Commentary Exposition of the Gospel According to John)
W E Vine on nor of the will of man feels "Man stands for the male sex, and stresses the human determination."
Constable - new spiritual life does not come because of a human decision either, specifically the choice of a husband to produce a child. It comes as the result of a spiritual decision to trust in Jesus Christ. The Greek word for “man” here is andros meaning “male.” The NIV interpreted it properly as “husband” here.
NET Note on the will of man - The third phrase, oude ek thelēmatos andros, means much the same as the second one. The word here (anēr) is often used for a husband, resulting in the translation “or a husband’s decision,” or more generally, “or of any human volition whatsoever.” L. Morris may be right when he sees here an emphasis directed at the Jewish pride in race and patriarchal ancestry, although such a specific reference is difficult to prove (John [NICNT], 101).
BUT OF GOD
But - This is a term of contrast which in context clearly sets man's natural way of salvation versus God's supernatural way.
A W Pink - The new birth is a Divine work. It is accomplished by the Holy Spirit applying the Word in living power to the heart. The reception Christ met during the days of His earthly ministry is the same still: the world “knows him not;” Israel “receives him not;” but a little company do receive him, and who these are Acts 13:48 tells us—“as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” And here we must stop.
Samuel Davies quipped "You may as well expect to be men without being born, as to love God without being born again."
Salvation is a gift to be received (Jn 4:10, 14), not a reward to be achieved!
Of God - Spiritual birth is brought about only by God, from beginning to end (cf Jn 6:44-45).
A W Pink - But who receive Him thus? Not all by any means. Only a few. And is this left to chance? Far from it. As the following verse goes on to state, “which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). This explains to us why the few “receive” Christ. It is because they are born of God. Just as Jn 1:12 gives us the human side, so Jn 1:13 gives us the Divine. The Divine side is the new birth.
W E Vine on nor of the will of man - the word stands for the male sex, and stresses the human determination; “but of God.” Three times John declares that human generation has nothing to do with divine and spiritual generation.
HCSB concludes that these statements make it "clear that true children of God come into being through faith in Messiah, not physical birth or ethnic descent (Jn 8:41-47; cp. Jn 3:16). This opens the way for Gentiles to become God's children (Jn 11:51-52; cp. Jn 10:16)."
John MacArthur comments that "the phrase but of God means that salvation, that is, receiving and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, is impossible for any sinner. God must grant the power supernaturally and with it the divine life and light to the lifeless, darkened sinner." (John 1-11 MacArthur New Testament Commentary)
Hendriksen sums up this passage - Note the climactic arrangement of the three expressions. All three emphasize that in no sense whatever do believers derive their birth or standing from physical or biological causes. Nicodemus needed that lesson; so did most of the Jews, as is very clear from following passages: 3:6; 8:31–59; Luke 3:8; Gal. 3:11, 28. (New Testament Commentary Exposition of the Gospel According to John)
God (2316)(theos) refers to the supreme being described in the OT and amplified in the NT in Jesus, the Son of God. The Supreme Being; Jehovah; the eternal and infinite spirit, the On Who is perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness Who is worshipped as the Creator and sovereign Ruler of the universe. "Personal Creator and Lord of the universe, the Redeemer of His people, the ultimate author and principal subject of Scripture, and the object of the church’s confession, worship, and service." (Holman) Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q.4): “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”
Blood (129)(haima) (click for all 90 uses below) is literally the red fluid that circulates in the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins of a vertebrate animal carrying nourishment and oxygen to and bringing away waste products from all parts of the body and thus is essential for the preservation of life. Haima gives us English words like hemorrhage (Gk - haimorragia from haimo- + rragia from regnuo - to burst) English derivatives inclue hematology (study of blood) and "leukemia" which is from leuco (white) plus haima (blood), which is fitting as leukemia is a disease that affects the white blood cells. Derivatives of haima are : haimatekchusía (130), shedding of blood; haimorroéō (131), to hemorrhage. Haima was used to describe “descent” or “family” in ancient times. “To shed blood” is to destroy life.
In Matthew 27:24, 25 - When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves."25 And all the people said, "His blood shall be on us and on our children!" - Clearly Pilate and and the Jewish crowd use of blood as a metonymy to depict Jesus' death. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus' "sweat became like drops of blood." (Lk 22:44) See discussion of hematidrosis, a rare condition in which a human sweats blood.
Blood "has great significance in the Bible. Its meanings involve profound aspects of human life and God's desire to transform human existence. Blood is intimately associated with physical life. Blood and “life” or “living being” are closely associated." (Blood - Holman Bible Dictionary)
Blood Of Christ which in many contexts represents the life that He gave for our atonement - Matthew 26:28, Mk 14:24, Lk 22:20, John 6:53, 55, 56, John 19:34, Acts 20:28 Ro 5:9, Eph 2:13, Colossians 1:20, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 1:18, 1 Peter 1:19, 1 John 1:7, Revelation 1:5, Revelation 5:9, Revelation 7:14, Revelation 12:11 Redemption through Christ's blood (Mt 26:28, Jn 6:56, 19:34, Acts 20:28, Ro 5:9, Col 1:20, Heb 9:14, 1Pe 1:18, 1:19, 1Jn 1:7, Rev 1:5, 5:9, 7:14, 12:11) It is clear that the blood of Christ is supremely significant in the NT (1Cor. 10:16; Ep 2:13), not so much His material blood, but what happened to His material blood - it was shed in violent death.
Haima is used in the phrase "blood of the covenant" (Ex 24:8, Mt 26:28, Mk 14:24, Heb 9:20, 10:29). See also blood associated with covenant (Zech 9:11, Lk 22:20, 1Cor 11:25, Heb 9:18, 12:24, 13:20). In John John 6:53-56 Jesus refers to drinking His blood, which clearly is not literal and is probably best explained as entering into the new covenant in Jesus' blood (Lk 22:20) by grace through faith. John MacArthur explains it this way - "Jesus’ point was an analogy that has spiritual, rather than literal, significance: just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life, so also is belief in His sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life. The eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting Jesus’ cross work." (MacArthur Study Bible).
Blood and life - Blood has this special significance because ‘the life of the flesh is in the blood’ (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23). However, the Bible’s emphasis is not on blood circulating through the body, but on shed blood; not on blood’s chemical properties, but on its symbolic significance. Since blood in the body represents life, shed blood represents life poured out; that is, death. (Blood - Bridgeway Bible Dictionary)
Zodhiates adds that "haima is used to denote life given up or offered as an atonement since, in the ritual of sacrifice, special emphasis is laid upon it as the material basis of the individual life. The life of the animal offered for propitiation appears in the blood separated from the flesh which the Jews were forbidden to eat (Ge. 9:4; Lev. 3:17; 17:10-14; Deut. 12:23; Heb. 9:7-13, 18-25; 11:28; 13:11). This life is, on the one hand, in the blood, presented to God; on the other hand by sprinkling, appropriated to man (Heb. 9:7, 19, 20). This blood thus becomes the blood of the covenant or testament (see diathekē) which God commanded to us (Heb. 9:20). (Complete Word Study Dictionary- New Testament)
Haima is used in the expression blood money in Judas' betrayal of Jesus - Judas while not repentant was filled with remorse declaring "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” (Mt 27:4) "The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money (the 30 pieces of silver paid for betraying Jesus) (Mt 27:6) "Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out." And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)" (Acts 1:18-19)
Haima is used in the phrase "flesh and blood" which describes physical (as opposed to spiritual) aspect of a man or woman (the natural human body) (Mt 16:17, 1 Cor 15:50, Gal 1:16, Eph 6:12, Heb 2:14)
Haima often describes death by shedding of blood (Matt. 23:30, 35; 27:4, 6, 8, 24; Luke 11:50, 51; Acts 1:19; 22:20; Ro. 3:15; Heb. 12:4; Rev. 6:10; 16:6; 18:24; 19:2; Sept.: Gen. 4:10; 9:6; 37:22; 2Sa 16:7; Ezek. 18:10; 24:6, 9).
TDNT - In apocalyptic (literature and contexts), blood may be used for the color red, indicating eschatological terrors such as war (Acts 2:19), hail and fire (Rev. 8:7), and judgment (Rev. 14:20). Ex. 7:17ff. underlies this use. Wine is the blood of grapes in Ge 49:11; Dt. 32:14, etc., and the wine harvest is an eschatological image in Is. 63:3; cf. Rev. 14:19-20. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. TDNT)
Blood (haima) has a number of associations in both the Old and the New Testaments. Note that all of the OT passages listed have the Hebrew word dam translated in the Septuagint by haima - Blood is the life of animals (Ge 9:4; Lev 17:11,14) Sprinkled Blood (Ex 12:7, 24:8, Lev 4:6, Nu 19:4, Heb 11:28, 12:24, 1Pe 1:2). Shedding of Innocent blood (Dt 19:10, 1Sa 19:5, 1Ki 2:31, 2Ki 21:16, Ps 94:21, Isa 59:7, Lam 4:13, Joel 3:19, Mt 27:4) Eating blood is forbidden (Ge 9:4, Lev 3:17; 7:26, 17:10,12, Dt 12:16, 1Sa 14:34, Acts 15:20,29). The Jews were often guilty of eating blood (1Sa 14:32,33; Ezek 33:25). When animals were slain blood was to be poured on the earth and Covered (Lev 17:13; Dt 12:16). The shedding of human blood was forbidden (Ge 9:5), was hateful to God (Pr 6:16,17), defiled the land (Ps 106:38), defiled the person (Isa 59:3), was something Jews were often guilty of (Jer 22:17; Ezek 22:4), was something that was always punished (Ge 9:6), was descriptive of the "blood money" Judas received for betraying Jesus (Mt 27:6). Blood was vital to the sacrificial system ordained by God (Typical of the Blood of Christ) to provide atonement (Ex 30:10; Lev 17:11, Heb 9:7), protection from angel of death (Ex 12:13), purification (Heb 9:13, 22) Sacrificial blood was to be disposed as directed (Ex 29:12; Lev 4:7), was not to be offered with leaven (Ex 23:18; 34:25), was ineffectual to remove sin (referring to blood of animals) (Heb 10:4), was used by idolaters who made drink-offerings of blood (Ps 16:4). Water turned into blood was used as a sign (Ex 4:30) and the waters of Egypt turned into blood as a judgment (Ex 7:17, 19, 21) Blood applied to persons for consecration or purification (Ex 29:20, Lev 8:23, 14:14, 14:25)
Figurative uses of blood (see "blood money" - Mt 27:6) Washing the feet in blood figuratively spoke of victories (Ps 58:10; 68:23). Building a city with blood depicted oppression and cruelty (Hab 2:12) Giving one over to blood (bloodshed) depicted judgment for condoning shedding of blood (Ezekiel 35:6) Blood on one's head figuratively described one's guilt (2Sal 1:16; Ezek 18:13) The figure of giving blood to drink depicted severe judgments (Ezek 16:38; Rev 16:6) Figurative use of "blood upon men" speaks of guilt (2Sa 1:16, Jer 2:34, Lk 11:50, Acts 5:28, 18:6)
W E Vine on haima - Noun Masculine — haima — hah'ee-mah ) (hence Eng., prefix haem, - "hemorrhage" , etc), besides its natural meaning, stands, (a) in conjunction with sarx, "flesh," "flesh and blood," Matthew 16:17; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 1:16; the original has the opposite order, blood and flesh, in Ephesians 6:12; Hebrews 2:14; this phrase signifies, by synecdoche, "man, human beings." It stresses the limitations of humanity; the two are essential elements in man's physical being; "the life of the flesh is in the blood," Leviticus 17:11; (b) for human generation, John 1:13; (c) for "blood" shed by violence, e.g., Matthew 23:35; Revelation 17:6; (d) for the "blood" of sacrificial victims, e.g., Hebrews 9:7; of the "blood" of Christ, which betokens His death by the shedding of His "blood" in expiatory sacrifice; to drink His "blood" is to appropriate the saving effects of His expiatory death, John 6:53 . As "the life of the flesh is in the blood," Leviticus 17:11 , and was forfeited by sin, life eternal can be imparted only by the expiation made, in the giving up of the life by the sinless Savior. (Blood - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
Summary of haima - (1) human blood (Jn 19.34); by metonymy human nature, physical descent (Heb 2.14); (2) of sacrificial animals blood (Heb 9.7); (3) idiomatically - literally pour out blood, i.e. kill (Rev 16.6); menstrual flow, hemorrhage (Mk 5.25); literally fountain of blood, i.e. bleeding (Mk 5.29); (4) by metonymy, of another’s murder (Mt 23.30); of Christ’s atoning sacrifice death, the blood of Christ (Ro 3.25); (5) in apocalyptic language, the red color of blood as symbolizing disaster (Acts 2.19) (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament- Barbara Friberg and Neva F. Mille Timothy Friberg)
Semantic domains on haima—1. blood, red life-fluid in of humans and animals (Mk 5:25; Lk 22:44); 2. death (Mt 27:25); 3. killing (Mt 23:30, 35; Ro 3:15); 4. die as sacrifice (Mt 26:28); 5. vaginal bleeding (Mk 5:25, 29; Lk 8:43, 44); 6. sarx kai haima = human being, one of mankind, formally, flesh and blood (Mt 16:17; 1Co 15:50; Gal 1:16; Eph 6:12; Heb 2:14); 7. koinōneō haimatos kai sarkos = be a person, be a physical being (Heb 2:14)
Colin Brown on classic uses of haima - Already in Homer haima is used physiologically as the bearer of life and the life force. It is prerequisite for the maintenance of life both of man and beast, for it is physically and organically necessary to them. In Homer haima metaphorically denotes lineage. Since blood is the seat of life, “shedding blood” was used already at an early date as a synonym for “kill” (Aesch., Eumenides 653). In secular usage haima was used for the blood of both men and beasts. It gained special importance in cultic usage, for it was the most important element in human sacrifice, and then in animal sacrifice which took its place. Greeks and Romans had blood sacrifices for the dead; originally the blood was poured over the dead, then later onto the funeral pyre, and finally into the grave and on the grave mound (Il., 23, 34; cf. Od. 11, 35 f., 50, 96). Blood guilt had to be atoned for by blood. Since Orestes had shed his mother’s blood, the Erinyes wished to drink his blood (Aesch., Eumenides, 261 ff.). But human blood could be replaced by animal blood, and Orestes was purified by the blood of a young pig (Aesch., Eumenides 28 ff.). Sacrificial blood was regarded as having strengthening and cleansing power (Heraclit., Frag. B5; Diels, I, 78). Various blood rituals involving the drinking or sprinkling of blood, often including human blood, were employed especially in magical rites to bring rain, welfare, love or harm. The drinking of blood, especially that of a killed enemy (Hdt., 4, 64, 1), brought strength and gave the gift of prophecy (Pausanias, 2, 24, 1). In a blood covenant human blood was collected in drops in a cup and drunk in wine by all participants. Haima in the Septuagint - For the OT, as in the classical world, blood was the seat of life. The “soul”, i.e. life, life force, is in the blood (Ge 9:4; Lev 17:11, 14; Dt. 12:23). God is the sole Lord of all life. He is sovereign over the blood and life of men (Ezek 18:4). Hence he avenges the shedding of innocent blood (Gen. 9:5; cf. Jer. 51:35f.). Animal blood also belongs to God. It is holy, and the consumption of blood is forbidden on pain of death (Lev 3:17; 7:26f.; 17:10, 14; Dt. 12:23; 1Sa. 14:32ff.). Lev. 17:8, 10, 13, 15 stress that these laws apply not merely to Israelites but also to “strangers”, the heathen resident aliens. In the OT the blood of the sacrificial animals is given back to God, being poured out at the base of the altar. It was used for sprinkling the altar (Ex 29:16; Lev. 3:2), the high priest (Ex 29:21), and also the temple veil (Lev. 4:6; Num. 19:4). The power of the sacrificial blood is atoning (Lev. 16:6, 15ff.), purifying (Lev 14), and sanctifying (Ex 29:30f.). It belongs to the making of the covenant (Ex 24:6ff.). Blood removed sin in sacrifices of purification, sin and guilt, especially on the great Day of Atonement (Lev. 16). It purified the priests, the people and the temple, and renewed the covenant (2Chr 29:23f.). Blood put on the doorposts protected the first-born from death (Ex. 12:22f.). (New International Dictionary of NT Theology)
Gilbrant on haima in classical Greek - Among classical writers, from the time of Homer on (ca. Eighth through the Sixth Centuries B.C.), haima denoted the physical “blood” of an animal or human being. With a change of context the term could indicate a relationship, like a “blood relative.” Blood was often associated with “murder” or the “shedding of blood” (Liddell-Scott). Greeks and Romans alike understood a cultic significance of blood, and it played a major role in pagan religions. Such meanings continued through the period of the Septuagint and into the New Testament era. (Complete Biblical Library)
Almost without exception haima is used to translate the Hebrew word for blood which is dām. V.P. Hamilton says “blood” is “life offered up in death” (TWOT) The key role of blood in the OT is in the Levitical sacrifices for in Lev 17:11 Jehovah says "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." Israel was strictly forbidden to consume blood (Lev 3:17; 7:26-27; 17:10; Dt 12:23; 1Sa 14:32-34) The “blood” of grapes refers to their juice (Dt 32:14).
97x in 90v - Translated blood (94), hemorrhage* (3). Notice that Hebrews is especially a "bloody" book which is not surprising given that it was written to Jews who were struggling with the concepts of the Old Covenant which included an emphasis on blood.
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 23:30 and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'
35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Matthew 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 27:4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!"
6 The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood."
8 For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves."
25 And all the people said, "His blood shall be on us and on our children!"
Mark 5:25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,
29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Mark 14:24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
Luke 8:43 And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone,
44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.
Luke 11:50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation,
51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.'
Luke 13:1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
Luke 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.
44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 6:53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
Acts 1:19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
Acts 2:19 'AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.
20 'THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.
Acts 5:28 saying, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man's blood upon us."
Acts 15:20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell."
Acts 18:6 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
Acts 20:26-note "Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Acts 21:25 "But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication."
Acts 22:20 'And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.'
Romans 3:15-note "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
25-note whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
Romans 5:9-note Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
1 Corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Galatians 1:16-note to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
Ephesians 1:7-note In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
Ephesians 2:13-note But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 6:12-note For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Colossians 1:20-note and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Hebrews 2:14-note Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Hebrews 9:7-note but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.
12-note and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
13-note For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,
14-note how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
18-note Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.
19-note For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
20-note saying, "THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD COMMANDED YOU."
21-note And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood.
22-note And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
25-note nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.
Hebrews 10:4-note For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
19-note Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
29-note How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Hebrews 11:28-note By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.
Hebrews 12:4-note You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
24-note and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 13:11-note For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.
12-note Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
20-note Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
1 Peter 1:2-note according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
19-note but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
1 John 1:7-note but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 5:6-note This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
8-note the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
Revelation 1:5-note and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood--
Revelation 5:9-note And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Revelation 6:10-note and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Revelation 6:12-note I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
Revelation 7:14-note I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 8:7-note The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8-note The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood,
Revelation 11:6-note These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.
Revelation 12:11-note "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
Revelation 14:20-note And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.
Revelation 16:3-note The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.
4-note Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.
6-note for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it."
Revelation 17:6-note And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.
Revelation 18:24-note "And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth."
Revelation 19:2-note BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER."
13-note He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
Haima - 264 verses in the Septuagint - Gen 4:10f; 9:4ff; 37:22, 26, 31; 42:22; 49:11; Ex 4:9, 25f; 7:17, 19ff; 12:7, 13, 22f; 23:18; 24:6, 8; 29:12, 16, 20; 30:10; 34:25; Lev 1:5, 11, 15; 3:2, 8, 13, 17; 4:5ff, 16ff, 25, 30, 34; 5:9; 6:27, 30; 7:2, 14, 26f, 33; 8:15, 19, 23f, 30; 9:9, 12, 18; 10:18; 12:4f, 7; 14:6, 14, 17, 25, 28, 51f; 15:19, 25; 16:14f, 18f, 27; 17:4, 6, 10ff; 19:16; 20:18; Num 18:17; 19:4f; 23:24; 35:12, 19, 21, 24f, 27, 33; Deut 12:16, 23, 27; 15:23; 17:8; 19:6, 10, 12f; 21:7ff; 27:25; 32:14, 42f; Josh 20:3, 9; Jdg 9:24; 1Sa 14:32ff; 19:5; 25:26, 31, 33; 26:20; 2 Sam 1:16, 22; 3:27f; 4:11; 14:11; 16:7f; 20:12; 21:1; 23:17; 1Kgs 2:5, 9, 31ff, 35, 37; 18:28; 21:19; 22:35, 38; 2Kgs 3:22f; 9:7, 26, 33; 16:13, 15; 21:16; 24:4; 1Chr 11:19; 22:8; 28:3; 2Chr 19:10; 24:25; 29:22, 24; 30:16; 35:11; 36:5; Esther 8:12; Job 6:4; 16:18; 39:30; Ps 5:6; 9:12; 14:3; 16:4; 26:9; 30:9; 50:13; 51:14; 55:23; 58:10; 59:2; 68:23; 78:44; 79:3, 10; 94:21; 105:29; 106:38; 139:19; Pr 1:11, 16; 6:17; 21:3; 29:10; 30:33; Isa 1:11, 15; 4:4; 14:19; 15:9; 26:21; 33:15; 34:3, 6f; 49:26; 59:3, 7; 63:3, 6; 66:3; Jer 2:34; 7:6; 19:4; 22:3, 17; 26:15; 46:10; 48:10; 51:35; Lam 4:13f; Ezek 3:18, 20; 5:17; 14:19; 16:6, 9, 22, 36, 38; 18:10, 13; 21:32; 22:2ff, 6, 9, 12f, 27; 23:37, 45; 24:6ff, 14, 17; 28:23; 32:5; 33:4ff, 8; 35:6; 38:22; 39:17ff; 43:18, 20; 44:7, 15, 24; 45:19; Hos 1:4; 4:2; 12:14; Joel 2:30f; 3:19, 21; Jonah 1:14; Mic 3:10; 7:2; Nah 3:1; Hab 2:8, 12, 17; Zeph 1:17; Zech 9:7, 11
Born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. - A sculptor may take a piece of rough marble, and work from it the figure of a Madonna; but it is still nothing but marble, and lifeless. A carver may take a piece of wood, and work out of it a scene of conviviality; but it is still wood, and insensible. A watch-cleaner may take a watch, the mainspring of which is broken: he may clean every wheel, cog, pin, hand, the face, and the cases; but, the mainspring not rectified, it will be as useless for going and time-telling as before. A painter may decorate the outside of a pesthouse with the most beautiful colors; but, if he produce no change within, it is still a pesthouse. A poor man may clothe himself in the garb of a monarch; but he is still a poor man. A leper may cover all his spots with his garment; but he is still a leper. So the sinner may reform in all the externals of his life, so that he shall attain to the moral finery of Saul of Tarsus, or Nicodemus, a master in Israel, but, except he be born again FROM ABOVE, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. -- Bate
John Bunyan’s Last Sermon on John 1:13 - August 25 - John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, was a mender of pots and pans who, following his conversion, became a mender of souls. In 1660 he was imprisoned in Bedford, England, for his Puritan views, and his cell became his study, his pulpit, his prayer chamber, his counseling center, and his writing studio. Following his release, Bunyan served the Baptist church in Bedford (which had elected him pastor while he was still in prison).
In August, 1688, Bunyan, 60, was drenched in a rainstorm while traveling to London; but, arriving in the city, he proceeded to bring the Sunday morning sermon at a church in Whitechapel. He choose for his text John 1:13, and he ended his message saying: O do not flatter yourselves with a portion among the sons, unless you live like sons. When we see a king’s son play with a beggar, this is unbecoming; so if you be the king’s children, live like the king’s children; if you be risen with Christ, set your affections on the things above, and not on things below; when you come together, talk of what your Father promised you; you should all love your Father’s will, and be content and pleased with the exercises you meet with in the world. If you are the children of God, live together lovingly; if the world quarrel with you, it is no matter; but it is sad if you quarrel together; if this be amongst you, it is a sign of ill-breeding; it is not according to the rules you have in the Word of God. Dost thou see a soul that has the image of God in him? Love him, love him; say, This man and I must go to heaven one day; serve one another, do good for one another, if any wrong you, pray to God to right you, and love the brotherhood. Two days later, Bunyan was gripped by a high fever and put to bed in his hotel. He died twelve days after his last sermon. (From This Verse - Robert Morgan)