They were saying this to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch him saying something wrong so that they could have a charge against him. But Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger.
They were asking this to ·trick [trap; test] Jesus so that they could have some ·charge [accusation] against him. But Jesus ·bent over [stooped down] and started writing on the ground with his finger [C we do not know what he is writing though there has been much speculation].
They said this to test him, so that they might have some good grounds for an accusation. But Jesus stooped down and began to write with his finger in the dust on the ground. But as they persisted in their questioning, he straightened himself up and said to them, “Let the one among you who has never sinned throw the first stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and continued writing with his finger on the ground. And when they heard what he said, they were convicted by their own consciences and went out, one by one, beginning with the eldest until they had all gone. Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing where they had put her. So he stood up and said to her, “Where are they all—did no one condemn you?”
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
But this they were saying to put a nissayon before Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach that they might have something about which to accuse him, but he, having stooped down with his finger, was writing on the ground.
They were only testing Jesus because they hoped to trap him with his own words and accuse him of breaking the laws of Moses. But Jesus didn’t answer them. Instead he simply bent down and wrote in the dust with his finger.
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