John 7:52

New Testament

45 Then the officers returned to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why didn’t you bring him back with you?” 46 The officers replied, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 Then the Pharisees answered, “You haven’t been deceived too, have you? 48 None of the members of the ruling council or the Pharisees have believed in him, have they? 49 But this rabble who do not know the law are accursed!” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before and who was one of the rulers, said, 51 “Our law doesn’t condemn a man unless it first hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?” 52 They replied, “You aren’t from Galilee too, are you? Investigate carefully and you will see that no prophet comes from Galilee!”

Jerusalem Pesachim 5.3

Jerusalem Talmud

Rebbi Simlai came to Rebbi Jonathan. R. Simlai became famous as a preacher. K and the Medieval sources add that he was too young to be taught these matters.. He said to him, teach me homiletics. He answered him, I have a tradition from my forefathers not to teach homiletics either to a Babylonian or to a Southerner, since they are gross in spirit and have little learning. And you are from Nahardea and live in the South. He said to him, tell me this one thing, what is the difference between “for its purpose and not for its purpose” and “for those who eat it and those who cannot eat it”. Why is the former disqualified and the latter qualified.? He answered him, “for its purpose and not for its purpose”, the disqualification is intrinsic. “For those who eat it and those who cannot eat it”, the disqualification is of others. “For its purpose and not for its purpose”, you cannot pick out the disqualified from the qualified. [“For those who eat it and those who cannot eat it”, you can pick out the disqualified from the qualified.] The corrector’s addition is justified by K, which reads “you can’t” instead of “you can. “For its purpose and not for its purpose”, applies to all sacrifices. Mishnah Zevaḥim 1:1: “All sacrifices, except Pesaḥ and purification offerings, which were slaughtered not for their purpose are qualified but do not relieve their owners from their obligations.”; “for those who eat it and those who cannot eat it” applies only to the Pesaḥ.

 Notes and References

"... In John 7 there are denigratory expressions regarding Galilee. The question of verse 41, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee?”, is not an actual denigration of Galilee, but just an inference from the tradition that “the Messiah will come from the seed of David and from Bethlehem, where David was” (verse 42). At the end of the chapter, however, the Pharisees say to Nicodemus: “Are you also from Galilee? Search [i.e., expound the Scriptures] and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” ... It should not be forgotten that Galilee resembled Judea, and the Land of Israel in general, in being oppressed by government officials. Thus this vague rebuke cannot cancel or even lessen the generality of the proofs of the presence of the sages and their teaching of Torah, in great measure in Galilee as we shall see below. But even if we accept Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai’s authorship of this statement, we can draw no definite conclusions from its blunt language which was employed under specific circumstances. It may be simply an unobjective denigration of the kind we find elsewhere directed against the residents of other geographical areas. An example is another tradition in the Jerusalem Talmud ..."

Safrai, Shmuel The Jewish Cultural Nature of Galilee in the First Century (pp. 147-186) Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel, 1990

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.