John 5.4: Angel stirred up the pool - is it biblical?

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Mar 12, 2019
55
12
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#1
"John 5:4: For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had."

How does this be biblical?
* name of God was not used here. So I assume it was just the power of an angel but not of God.
* faith or holiness was not required to get cured. Only eligibility was to become the first person into the pool.
* and the angel was not willing to cure the second person (but Jesus cured all who came to Him)

What is the difference between the above pool and some so-called holy ponds/rivers in today's world where people take bath for their wellness?
Can a Christian believe on such places to get cured? If no, how does the pool in john 5.4 be biblical?
 

Corban

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2020
994
334
63
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#2
"John 5:4: For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had."

How does this be biblical?
* name of God was not used here. So I assume it was just the power of an angel but not of God.
* faith or holiness was not required to get cured. Only eligibility was to become the first person into the pool.
* and the angel was not willing to cure the second person (but Jesus cured all who came to Him)

What is the difference between the above pool and some so-called holy ponds/rivers in today's world where people take bath for their wellness?
Can a Christian believe on such places to get cured? If no, how does the pool in john 5.4 be biblical?
In John 20:30-31 we have the reason why everything in John was written, especially the "signs":

30 "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."


So we see that what happened at Bethesda in Jerusalem is one of those "signs" - just the like first "sign" where our Lord Jesus changed water into wine. This does not mean the events did not happened. Truly they literally happened as recorded, but we are to find where it shows our Lord Jesus coming to give life in a death-situation. Here is the text under discussion - John 5:1-10.

1 "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed."

  • Verse 1 immediately shows that this event concerns Israel, for it is a "Feast of the Jews" and the setting is Jerusalem.
  • Verse 2 introduces the sheep market. The margin renders it the "sheep-gate", the place in the fortified walls of Jerusalem where the animals that were to be sacrificed were brought into the City. Our Lord Jesus is that "Lamb" of God coming to the center of God's City and God's religion.
  • Verse 2 introduces Bethesda. Bethesda means "House of Mercy". Law does not allow for mercy. It is, and "eye for an eye" and "life for a life" and "ye shall not pity the man" (Deut.19:13). So Bethesda introduces a House that will experience mercy.
  • Verse 2 introduces FIVE porches. A porch is a sheltering element and five has two meaning in scripture, (i) Five is the number of God and the living creatures. Adam is fourth of the living creatures and God is One. This indicates God's responsibility to His creature, but also His creatures responsibility to God, and (ii) Five times Two is the number of Laws on one Stone Tablets. Two is the number of Witness.
  • Verse 3 shows the meaning of the previous verse. The man should have been sheltered by the law, but it only witnessed against him. And the result of breaking the Law was DEATH. 38 is the number of death in scripture. From Kadesh-Barnea and the 12 spies until Israel entered the Good Land, and ALL men 20 years and over had DIED, was thirty eight years.
  • Verse 6 shows the whole "SIGN". The man was an Israelite. He had broken the Law and was headed for death. He was impotent ot help himself for the "Law of sin and death" dwelt in him. The Feast should have been a joyous occasion, but this man could not enjoy the Feasts of the Jews. The Law that should have sheltered and blessed him called for his DEATH.
  • Verse 4 shows that God, even though Law is in place, still gives mercy. Israel has Cities of Refuge for those who accidentally kill. And the Law, although from God, was administered by angels (Act.7:53, Gal.3:19). The Law has some mercy, but very little, and the man admitted his IMPOTENCY - not only impotency to get there first, but impotency to get his life back from death.
  • Verse 7 shows Jesus offering complete restoration, but the man answers according to religion. Man always wants to DO something, or get help to DO something.
  • Verse 8 shows the man being healed. But the word is RISE - not "be healed". RISE is the the action of a dead man RISING, and the man's impotency is so removed that he can ALSO now CARRY that which carried him - his bed. The SIGN is of a man of Israel, at the center of Israel's Law and Religion and ruling City, IMPOTENT to ward off death because of Law, RAISED up to LIFE, and able to SERVE the bed that served him for 38 years of DEATH.
  • Verse 9 & 10. But the day of LIFE is the Sabbath. The Law-KEEPERS - the Pharisees - see only Law being broken. They did not appreciate that a man, impotent for 38 years, could RISE and serve that which had served him. And so we see that from verse 1, where the Jews are meant, to verses 10 where the Sabbath is meant, we have a picture of Israel is the MESSIANIC KINGDOM. The Messianic Kingdom will be when TWO DAYS are past (Hos.6:2). The time from Adam to Jesus is 4,000 years, or 4 days to God (2nd Pet.3:8). The Church age is 2 days of chastisement for Israel (Hos.6:2), and Israel is restored IN the 3rd day when the Church is complete (Act.15:14-16). From Christ's death to the restoration of Israel is 2 days from Christ but SEVEN from Adam.

The narrative of John Chapter 5 shows Christ as the resurrection LIFE even for Israel (see Ezekiel 37 and Daniel 12:2). Jerusalem will witness the Lamb of God Who was exclusive to Israel. He comes when Israel is totally dead because of a broken Law. He takes His responsiblity to His people even though they did not take theirs. He takes away the "sins of the world" and gives LIFE where death was earned. What a Lamb. What a Savior. What a Man. What a Keeper of Promises!
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
12,816
5,744
113
#3
... name of God was not used here. So I assume it was just the power of an angel but not of God.
The name of God does not have to be used every time an angel does something. Angels are servants of God, therefore this angel was doing God's bidding. God is the Divine Healer, regardless of the instrument who does His bidding. John states it as a fact, whether you like it or not.
 
Mar 21, 2009
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New York
#4
Was it recording what the people believed happened or was it supporting the fact that an angel came down? Was it a myth that they believed, a superstition. I don't know the answer, I have not studied it.
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,117
904
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#5
There were many myths and wivestales back in that day even as there are now. This was one of them.
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
26,721
3,905
113
#6
"John 5:4: For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had."

How does this be biblical?
* name of God was not used here. So I assume it was just the power of an angel but not of God.
* faith or holiness was not required to get cured. Only eligibility was to become the first person into the pool.
* and the angel was not willing to cure the second person (but Jesus cured all who came to Him)

What is the difference between the above pool and some so-called holy ponds/rivers in today's world where people take bath for their wellness?
Can a Christian believe on such places to get cured? If no, how does the pool in john 5.4 be biblical?
It's Biblical because it is Scripture........goodness.........

As well, this was under the 1st Covenant, where things were different than they are now under the New Covenant, Grace.................

MEWATCHU.jpg
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
12,816
5,744
113
#7
There were many myths and wivestales back in that day even as there are now. This was one of them.
That is NOT the impression John leaves us. John is in the habit of explaining things which are not totally clear. So had the appearance of the angel at the pool of Bethesda been a myth he might as said something to this effect:

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had (as was mistakenly believed by many Jews).
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
32,926
10,867
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Florida
#8
Since John 5:4 is part of scripture the answer is yes, it is indeed biblical. The name of God was not mentioned because it was an act of God. Without the previous stirrings of the water by the angel and subsequent healings, the blind man would not have been by the pool in the first place.

The previous stirrings set up the blind man by the pool and Jesus having pity on him and healed his blindness. The whole series of events leading up to the healing and the healing itself was orchestrated by God.

Jesus healed many that either didn't believe in God or doubted God.

The 'holy' ponds and rivers for wellness have no scriptural basis whatsoever. Wellness is not even close to a miraculous healing by the power of God. For wellness I pop a couple Advil, for healing I pray to God.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
32,926
10,867
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65
Florida
#9
There were many myths and wivestales back in that day even as there are now. This was one of them.
If that is true then the bible if full of myths and wives tales and not to be taken seriously.
 

soggykitten

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2020
2,319
1,351
113
#10
"John 5:4: For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had."

How does this be biblical?
* name of God was not used here. So I assume it was just the power of an angel but not of God.
* faith or holiness was not required to get cured. Only eligibility was to become the first person into the pool.
* and the angel was not willing to cure the second person (but Jesus cured all who came to Him)

What is the difference between the above pool and some so-called holy ponds/rivers in today's world where people take bath for their wellness?
Can a Christian believe on such places to get cured? If no, how does the pool in john 5.4 be biblical?
How can this be Biblical?
Please let me take a wild guess. Because the book of John is in the Bible? https://www.bible.com/bible/1588/JHN.5.AMP
 
Mar 21, 2009
2,335
899
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New York
#13
That is NOT the impression John leaves us. John is in the habit of explaining things which are not totally clear. So had the appearance of the angel at the pool of Bethesda been a myth he might as said something to this effect:

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had (as was mistakenly believed by many Jews).
2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had

Did they see an angel? No. The waters were moving or agitated and by that they knew. Were they attributing it to an angel as a way of explanation or did they KNOW for certain it was an angel. Is John making a divinely inspired statement that it was an angel and how did John know? Was John explaining the mystery of the pool of Bethesda because he now had insider information being an apostle and being full of the Holy Ghost or was he simply recording what everyone had believed about the explanation of people getting healed if they got in the water when it started moving?

I suppose that without a comment like "it was believed that..." and instead a statement "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: " that there is no authority to say that it was only a superstition. The way it is written doesn't really allow an interpretation that it was just a myth.
 
Sep 3, 2016
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#14
Verse 7, teaches us this impotent man proclaims his dependence on man, which has brought nothing but disappointment (type and shadow of most people). Love selected this man as being the most miserable, needy, and helpless in all that sad company.

Luke 10:42 teaches us one thing is needful: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified

Verse 14, tells us first of all that his sickness of thirty-eight years had been brought up on him because of sin; as well, it tells us that disobedience to the Lord can open the door for "worse things."
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,117
904
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#15

Raphael (/ˈræfiəl/; Hebrew: רְפָאֵל, translit. Rāfāʾēl, lit. 'It is God who heals', 'God Heals', 'God, Please Heal'; Ancient Greek: Ραφαήλ, Coptic: ⲣⲁⲫⲁⲏⲗ, Arabic: رفائيل‎ or إسرافيل Ethiopic (Ge'ez):ሩፋኤል ) is an archangel responsible for healing in the traditions of most Abrahamic religions. Not all branches of these religions consider the identification of Raphael to be canonical.

Saint Raphael the Archangel

Saint Raphael the Archangel by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Archangel, 'Angel of Tobit', Angel of the Trumpet Venerated in Judaism
Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
IslamCanonized Pre-CongregationFeast
Attributes Archangel holding a bottle or flask; Archangel walking with Tobias; Archangel sounding a trumpet; young man carrying a fish; young man carrying a staffPatronage Apothecaries; Ordained marriage; blind people; bodily ills; diocese of Madison, WI; druggists; archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; insanity; lovers; mental illness; nightmares; nurses; pharmacists; healing; physicians; archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; Abra de Ilog, Mindoro Occidental, Philippines; Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines; shepherds; sick people; travelers; young people

In Christianity, Raphael is generally associated with an unnamed angel mentioned in the Gospel of John, who stirs the water at the healing pool of Bethesda. Raphael is recognized as an angel in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as he is briefly mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants.[2] Raphael is an important figure in the Book of Tobit, which is accepted as canonical by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and some Anglicans.

In Islam, Raphael is the fourth major angel; and in the Muslim tradition, he is known as Isrāfīl. Though unnamed in the Quran, hadith identifies Israfil with the angel of Quran 6:73. Within Islamic eschatology, Israfil is traditionally attributed to a trumpet, which is poised at his lips, and when God so commands he shall be ready to announce the Day of Resurrection.

Now I'm watching you..😏😏😏
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,117
904
113
#16
That is NOT the impression John leaves us. John is in the habit of explaining things which are not totally clear. So had the appearance of the angel at the pool of Bethesda been a myth he might as said something to this effect:

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had (as was mistakenly believed by many Jews).
Raphael (/ˈræfiəl/; Hebrew: רְפָאֵל, translit. Rāfāʾēl, lit. 'It is God who heals', 'God Heals', 'God, Please Heal'; Ancient Greek: Ραφαήλ, Coptic: ⲣⲁⲫⲁⲏⲗ, Arabic: رفائيل‎ or إسرافيل Ethiopic (Ge'ez):ሩፋኤል ) is an archangel responsible for healing in the traditions of most Abrahamic religions. Not all branches of these religions consider the identification of Raphael to be canonical.

Saint Raphael the Archangel

Saint Raphael the Archangel by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Archangel, 'Angel of Tobit', Angel of the Trumpet Venerated in Judaism
Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
IslamCanonized Pre-CongregationFeast
Attributes Archangel holding a bottle or flask; Archangel walking with Tobias; Archangel sounding a trumpet; young man carrying a fish; young man carrying a staffPatronage Apothecaries; Ordained marriage; blind people; bodily ills; diocese of Madison, WI; druggists; archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; insanity; lovers; mental illness; nightmares; nurses; pharmacists; healing; physicians; archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; Abra de Ilog, Mindoro Occidental, Philippines; Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines; shepherds; sick people; travelers; young people

In Christianity, Raphael is generally associated with an unnamed angel mentioned in the Gospel of John, who stirs the water at the healing pool of Bethesda. Raphael is recognized as an angel in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as he is briefly mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants.[2] Raphael is an important figure in the Book of Tobit, which is accepted as canonical by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and some Anglicans.

In Islam, Raphael is the fourth major angel; and in the Muslim tradition, he is known as Isrāfīl. Though unnamed in the Quran, hadith identifies Israfil with the angel of Quran 6:73. Within Islamic eschatology, Israfil is traditionally attributed to a trumpet, which is poised at his lips, and when God so commands he shall be ready to announce the Day of Resurrection.


Watching you too😉😉😉😉
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,117
904
113
#17
If that is true then the bible if full of myths and wives tales and not to be taken seriously.

Raphael (/ˈræfiəl/; Hebrew: רְפָאֵל, translit. Rāfāʾēl, lit. 'It is God who heals', 'God Heals', 'God, Please Heal'; Ancient Greek: Ραφαήλ, Coptic: ⲣⲁⲫⲁⲏⲗ, Arabic: رفائيل‎ or إسرافيل Ethiopic (Ge'ez):ሩፋኤል ) is an archangel responsible for healing in the traditions of most Abrahamic religions. Not all branches of these religions consider the identification of Raphael to be canonical.

Saint Raphael the Archangel

Saint Raphael the Archangel by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Archangel, 'Angel of Tobit', Angel of the Trumpet Venerated in Judaism
Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
IslamCanonized Pre-CongregationFeast
Attributes Archangel holding a bottle or flask; Archangel walking with Tobias; Archangel sounding a trumpet; young man carrying a fish; young man carrying a staffPatronage Apothecaries; Ordained marriage; blind people; bodily ills; diocese of Madison, WI; druggists; archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; insanity; lovers; mental illness; nightmares; nurses; pharmacists; healing; physicians; archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; Abra de Ilog, Mindoro Occidental, Philippines; Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines; shepherds; sick people; travelers; young people

In Christianity, Raphael is generally associated with an unnamed angel mentioned in the Gospel of John, who stirs the water at the healing pool of Bethesda. Raphael is recognized as an angel in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as he is briefly mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants.[2] Raphael is an important figure in the Book of Tobit, which is accepted as canonical by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and some Anglicans.

In Islam, Raphael is the fourth major angel; and in the Muslim tradition, he is known as Isrāfīl. Though unnamed in the Quran, hadith identifies Israfil with the angel of Quran 6:73. Within Islamic eschatology, Israfil is traditionally attributed to a trumpet, which is poised at his lips, and when God so commands he shall be ready to announce the Day of Resurrection.


Just when you thought I wasn't looking..😉😉😉😉
 
Jul 6, 2020
905
325
63
#18
I know right.
So opens up my mind to things i don't have a clue about.
there are a handful of verses like this one that give a glimpse into the other side.
The other one i like is the one where angels long to look.
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
4,403
2,144
113
#19
"John 5:4: For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had."

How does this be biblical?
* name of God was not used here. So I assume it was just the power of an angel but not of God.
* faith or holiness was not required to get cured. Only eligibility was to become the first person into the pool.
* and the angel was not willing to cure the second person (but Jesus cured all who came to Him)

What is the difference between the above pool and some so-called holy ponds/rivers in today's world where people take bath for their wellness?
Can a Christian believe on such places to get cured? If no, how does the pool in john 5.4 be biblical?
Israel came out of the desert into a fruitful land followed by many supernatural events done by Holy Spirit. When Jesus came, He took the people out of spiritual desert into the fruitful land of Kingdom of God by supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. There is a certain likeness: one foreshadows the other.
We can see that many things in the Old testament were such signs, and Bethesda is no exception.
So the properties of this water were not natural, like in wellness ponds and such, but supernatural.

I believe that the first person being made whole by the well was to give us a sign or hint. Particularly, having something to do with both baptism, and being firstborn.
This was signified in that the first person in order received the Spirit and was made a whole creature from their sickness (aka, born again). Being the first person signifies being firstborn, the water signifies birth (breaking of the water).
Jesus is the firstborn of all that ever lived, and when we get baptized and born again, He is also begotten in us by the Spirit and we are made whole.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, (...)
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
I will also note that the Holy Spirit is also referred to as "angel of the Lord", or even "AN angel of the Lord", in certain places in the Bible. From some verses it is clear that in this phrase "angel" means "spirit" and not a created being, and that it is Creator speaking, and not creation.
Here's an example to prove it:

Judges 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
So "an angel" working at Bethesda might be a servant creature carrying out a commandment of God, but might very well been, and is what I rather believe, the Holy Spirit Himself.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
12,816
5,744
113
#20
Not all branches of these religions consider the identification of Raphael to be canonical.
What does Raphael have to do with this discussion? The Gospel does not name the angel. That is simply a red herring.