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Whence He Comes

The Old English word "whence" means "from what place." The King James Version translators used the word in reference to the coming of the Christ:

"7:27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is." (John 7:27 KJV)

The "no man knoweth whence he is" means "no one knows from where he comes." Modern-English translations are usually more clear (to today's readers) of what was actually said e.g.

"7:27 Yet we know where this man comes from; and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from." (John 7:27 RSV)

"No one will know where he comes from"?

It seems like an incredible statement by those who knew that they were awaiting the Christ - and yet they said "no one will know where he comes from." Their own Hebrew Scriptures (what many call the "Old Testament" - see The Older Testament) were (and still are to those who still can't "see") are filled with prophecies of the Messiah's coming. Some examples:

Galilee Bethlehem, the prophecy and the fulfillment:

"5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2 KJV)

"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king [see The Herods], behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matthew 2:1-6 KJV)

Egypt, the prophecy and the fulfillment:

"11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11:1 KJV)

"2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." (Matthew 2:13-15 KJV)

Galilee, the prophecy and the fulfillment:

"9:1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations." (Isaiah 9:1 KJV)

"2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. 2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:19-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why were so many of the people of Judah unable to make the connection between their awareness that a Messiah was coming and from where He would come?
See Why Can't 'The Chosen People' See?


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