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?
When Jesus saw him lie,.... In such a helpless condition:
and knew that he had been now a long time, in that case, or "in his disease", as the Ethiopic version supplies; even seven years before Christ was born; which is a proof of his omniscience: the words may be literally rendered, as they are in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, "that he had had much time"; or as the Arabic version, "that he had had many years"; that is had lived many years, and was now an old man; he had his disorder eight and thirty years, and which seems from John 5:14 to have arisen from some sin of his, from a vicious course of living, perhaps intemperance; so that he might be a middle aged man, when this distemper first seized him, and therefore must be now stricken in years:
he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? which question is put, not as if it was a doubt, whether he was desirous of it, or not; for to what purpose did he lie and wait there else? but partly to raise in the man an expectation of a cure, and attention in the people to it: and it may be his sense and meaning is, wilt thou be made whole on this day, which was the sabbath; or hast thou faith that thou shall be made whole in this way, or by me?