Lazarus was already dead four days (Jn 11:39-11:39)

“Jesus said.

‘Take away the stone!’


The sister of the dead man,

Said to him.



There is a stench

Because he has been dead

Four days.’”

λέγει ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἄρατε τὸν λίθον. λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ ἀδελφὴ τοῦ τετελευτηκότος Μάρθα Κύριε, ἤδη ὄζει· τεταρταῖος γάρ ἐστιν.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus (ὁ Ἰησοῦς) said (λέγει) to take away (Ἄρατε) the stone (τὸν λίθον) in front of the tomb cave.  However, Martha (Μάρθα), the sister of the dead man (ἡ ἀδελφὴ τοῦ τετελευτηκότος), called Jesus “Lord (Κύριε).”  She said to him (λέγει αὐτῷ) that already there was a stench or stinky bad odor (ἤδη ὄζει) because Lazarus had been dead for four days (τεταρταῖος γάρ ἐστιν).  John was the only Greek biblical writer who used this word τεταρταῖος that means forty years, fourth day, or four days since.  Jesus wanted to open up the tomb, but Martha said that there would be bad smell because he was already dead four days.  There was a common belief that the spirit remained with the body for three days.  This was also an indication that Lazarus was really dead because his body was already deteriorating and decomposing as the smell would indicate.  Have you ever seen a body decomposing?

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