And they¹ watched² him³,
whether he³ would heal⁴ him⁵
on the sabbath day⁶;
that they¹ might accuse him³.
¹) The Pharisees.
²) To stand beside and watch, to observe carefully; to see what he is going to do.
⁴) Cure, restore to health.
⁵) The man with the withered hand.
⁶) The day of rest.
From other translations:
And [the Pharisees] kept watching Jesus [closely] to see whether He would cure him on the Sabbath, so that they might get a charge to bring against Him [formally]. [AMP] And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. [ESV] The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction. [MSB] And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. [KJV] Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. [NIV] Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus' enemies watched him closely. Would he heal the man's hand on the Sabbath? If he did, they planned to condemn him. [NLT] So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. [NKJV]
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During His walk on earth, the question of what is and is not allowed on the Sabbath has more than once been the cause of conflict.
The Pharisees were apparently so convinced of Jesus’ power and of His willingness to help, that they kept a keen eye on Him, to see if He would commit a sin against the Sabbath law.
It is bitter to return evil for good in this way. Jesus’ question is sobering: Is it lawful on Sabbath days to do good or to do evil … And they were silent – no answer to a question of conscience.
Searching for an accusation is always a sign of hatred, which can go so far as to plan how to get rid of Jesus. Jesus suffered, all the time of His life on earth…
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