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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
Luke 22

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

1. ἤγγιζεν. ‘Was drawing near.’

ἡ λεγομένη πάσχα. This little explanation shews that St Luke is writing mainly for Gentiles. Strictly speaking the Passover was not co-extensive with the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as is clearly stated in Numbers 28:16-17, Leviticus 23:5-6. Passover is the translation of the Hebrew Pesach; of this πάσχα is a transliteration with a sort of alliterative allusion to the Greek πάσχω. See on the Passover Exodus 12:11-20. The Jews of later ages had gradually assumed that a wide difference was intended between the “Egyptian passover” and the “permanent passover.”


Verse 1-2

Luke 22:1-2. APPROACH OF THE PASSOVER. THE PURPOSE OF THE PRIESTS

In this narrative of the Last Supper, Passion, Trial, and Crucifixion the chief points peculiar to St Luke are in Luke 22:8; Luke 22:15; Luke 22:24; Luke 22:28-30; Luke 22:43-44; Luke 22:61, Luke 23:2; Luke 23:5-16; Luke 23:27-31; Luke 23:34; Luke 23:39-43; Luke 23:46; Luke 23:51.


Verse 2

2. ἐζήτουν. ‘Were seeking.’ The word involves a continuous effort, and probably includes the memorable meeting in the Palace of Caiaphas, which is traditionally placed on the ‘Hill of Evil Counsel,’ but was probably close to the Temple precincts. They seem to have come on that occasion, in consequence of the advice of Caiaphas, to three conclusions. [1] To put Jesus to death; [2] to do it as secretly as possible; and [3] not to do it during the Feast, so as to avoid the chance of tumults on the part of the Galilaean pilgrims. If this meeting was on Tuesday evening, at the very time that they were deciding not to kill Jesus (Psalms 2:2) for more than eight days—and it was unusual to put to death during the Passover, Acts 12:4—He, seated on the slopes of Olivet, was telling His disciples that before the Passover He should be slain, Matthew 26:1-5.

οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς. Their humiliation and defeat before the people—the divine superiority of the wisdom of Jesus so publicly displayed—had at last aroused them into irreconcilable hostility. It is very noticeable that the Pharisees, as a distinct party, now vanish entirely into the background. They are scarcely mentioned again except in Matthew 27:62.

τὸ πῶς ἀνέλωσιν αὐτόν. Having decided ‘to do away with Him’ they now only considered the most feasible plan. Ἀναιρέω, vaguely rendered ‘kill’ in the A. V[378], is common in St Luke (twice in the Gospel, nineteen times in the Acts), but elsewhere only occurs in the N.T. in Matthew 2:16, and in another sense in Hebrews 2:9 (the reading in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 is uncertain).

ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν λαόν. The crowds which listened to Jesus (Luke 21:38) shewed that He had friends among the multitude.


Verse 3

3. εἰσῆλθεν δὲ σατανᾶς εἰς Ἰούδαν. No other expression seems adequately to explain his wickedness. It began in avarice, disappointment, and jealousy; and, when he had long weakened his soul by indulgence in these dark, besetting sins, the imaginary loss of the “300 pence” of which he would have had the disposal (John 12:4-5; Mark 14:10),—the now undisguised announcement of our Lord that He should be not only rejected, but crucified (Matthew 20:19)—the consequent shattering of all Messianic hopes—the growing sense that he was becoming distasteful to his Master and his fellows—the open rebuke which he had drawn on his own head by his hypocritic greed at Bethany (John 12:6)—the rumoured hostility of all the most venerated authorities of the nation—all these formed the climax of his temptations:—and then, at last, the tempting opportunity met the susceptible disposition. “Instead of dominion—service; instead of power—persecution; instead of honour—shame; this was all that was left of his hopes and prospects once so brilliant.” His crime was but the epitome of months—perhaps years—of secret faithlessness. “Dicitur Satan in reprobos intrare, cum reverso Dei metu, extincta rationis luce, pudore etiam excusso, sensus omnes occupat.” Calvin.

Ἰσκαριώτην. See on Luke 6:16.

τῶν δώδεκα. The circumstance is mentioned from its pathos. The mere information was needless, Luke 6:16.


Verses 3-6

3–6. THE TRAITOR AND THE PRIESTS


Verse 4

4. ἀπελθών. We infer from the combined accounts that he met the priests on two occasions, on one of which the bargain was proposed, and on the other concluded.

συνελάλησεν. ‘Spoke with.’

στρατηγοῖς. Literally, “generals;” some MSS. add the gloss τοῦ ἱεροῦ. The Levitic captains of the Temple who kept order during the Feasts. There was strictly only one who bore the title of “the general of the Temple”—“man of the mountain of the House” (see Nehemiah 2:8; Nehemiah 7:2; Jeremiah 20:1; 2 Maccabees 3:4); but he had guards under him (Jos. B. J. VI. 5, § 3), and the name might be applied to the whole body. One of the bitter complaints against the High Priests of the day was that they made their own sons “generals of the Temple.” St Luke was aware that the special title applied only to one person, as appears from Acts 4:1.

τὸ πῶς. Luke 22:2. The fact had been already determined; the only remaining question was the how. Judas and the priests foresaw the possibility of danger in the attempt.

παραδῷ. ‘Give Him up.’ It is a milder word than προδῷ.


Verse 5

5. ἐχάρησαν. This spontaneous offer—and that too from one of Christ’s immediate followers—seemed to solve all their difficulties.

συνέθεντο. ‘Agreed’; in St Mark, ‘promised.’ In Matthew 26:15 it is said that they ‘paid’ or ‘weighed’ him the money, with a reference to Zechariah 11:12-13 (LXX[379]). This was perhaps done at a second meeting when the actual plan was ripened.

ἀργύριον δοῦναι. The proposal came from the wretched man himself (Matthew 26:15). The paltry sum given (which is mentioned by St Matthew only)—30 shekels, about £3. 16s., the price given for the meanest slave—shews that this sum was either regarded as earnest-money, or more probably that the Priests felt themselves quite able to carry out their plot, though less conveniently, without any aid from Judas. On one side of these shekels would be stamped the olive-branch, the emblem of peace; on the obverse the censer, the type of prayer, with the inscription, “Jerusalem the Holy”!


Verse 6

6. ἐξωμολόγησεν. ‘He consented.’ The aor. and imperfect imply that he at once accepted their terms and began to look out for an opportunity to fulfil his bargain.

ἐζήτει εὐκαιρίαν. Doubtless he was baffled at first by the entire and unexpected seclusion which Jesus observed on the Wednesday and Thursday.

ἄτερ ὄχλου. ‘Without a mob’; ἄτερ is poetic, and only occurs here and in Luke 22:35.


Verse 7

7. ἡ ἡμέρα τῶν ἀζύμων. All leaven was most carefully and scrupulously put away on the afternoon of Thursday, Nisan 13.

θύεσθαι. ‘Be sacrificed.’

EXCURSUS V.

ON Luke 22:7

WAS THE LAST SUPPER AN ACTUAL PASSOVER?

The question whether, before the institution of the Lord’s Supper, our Lord and His Disciples ate the usual Jewish Passover—in other words, whether in the year of the Crucifixion the ordinary Jewish passover (Nisan 15) began on the evening of Thursday or on the evening of Friday—is a question which has been ably and voluminously debated, and respecting which eminent authorities have come to opposite conclusions.

Luke 24:1.

1. From the Synoptists alone we should no doubt infer that the ordinary Paschal Feast was eaten by our Lord and His Disciples, as by all the Jews, on the evening of Thursday (Matthew 26:2; Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:14-16; Luke 22:7; Luke 22:11-13; Luke 22:15).

Luke 24:2.

2. On the other hand, St John uses language which seems quite as distinctly to imply that the Passover was not eaten till the next day (Luke 13:1, “before the Feast of the Passover;” 29, “those things that we have need of against the feast;” Luke 18:28, “they themselves went not into the judgment-hall lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover”). He also calls the Sabbath (Saturday) a high day (a name given by the Jews to the first and last days of the octave of a feast) apparently because it was both a Sabbath and the first day of the Passover; and says (Luke 19:14) that Friday was “the preparation of the Passover.” Here the word used is παρασκευή (as in Luke 23:54). Now this word may no doubt merely mean ‘Friday,’ since every Friday was a preparation for the Sabbath; but it seems very difficult to believe that the expression means ‘Passover Friday.’ (See the note on Luke 23:54.)

Luke 24:3.

3. Now since the language of St John seems to be perfectly explicit, and since it is impossible to explain away his expressions by any natural process—though no doubt they can be explained away by a certain amount of learned ingenuity—it seems more simple to accept his express statement, and to interpret thereby the less definite language of the Synoptists.

We may set aside many current explanations of the difficulty, such as that—

α. Two different days may have been observed in consequence of different astronomical calculations about the day.

or β. Some laxity as to the day may have been introduced by different explanations of “between the two evenings.”

or γ. The Jews in their hatred put off their Passover till the next evening.

or δ. St John, by “eating the Passover,” may have meant no more than eating the Chagigah or festive meal.

or ε. The supper described by St John is not the same as that described by the Synoptists.

or ζ. The Last Supper was an ordinary Passover, only it was eaten by anticipation.

Setting aside these and many other untenable views, it seems probable that the Last Supper was not the ordinary Jewish Paschal meal, but was eaten the evening before the ordinary Jewish Passover; and that the language of the Synoptists is perfectly consistent and explicable on the view that our Lord gave to His last Supper a Paschal character (“to eat this Passover,” or “this as a Passover,” Luke 22:15), and spoke of it to His disciples as their Passover. Hence had arisen in the Church the view that it actually was the Paschal meal—which St John silently corrects. The spread of this impression would be hastened by the fact that in any case Thursday was, in one sense, ‘the first day of unleavened bread,’ since on that day all leaven was carefully searched for that it might be removed.

When we adopt this conclusion—that the Last Supper was not the Paschal Feast itself, but intended to supersede and abrogate it—it is supported by a multitude of facts and allusions in the Synoptists themselves; e.g.

i. The occupations of the Friday on which Jesus was crucified shew no sign whatever of its having been a very solemn festival. The Jews kept their chief festival days with a scrupulosity almost as great as that with which they kept their Sabbaths. Yet on this Friday working, buying, selling, holding trials, executing criminals, bearing burdens, &c. is going on as usual. Everything tends to shew that the day was a common Friday, and that the Passover only began at sunset.

ii. The Sanhedrin had distinctly said that it would be both dangerous and impolitic to put Christ to death on the Feast day (Mark 14:2, and comp. Acts 12:4).

iii. Not a word is said in any of the Evangelists about the Lamb—the most important and essential element of the Paschal meal; nor of the bitter herbs; nor of the account given by the Chief Person present of the Institution of the Passover, &c.

Further than this, many arguments tend to shew that this Last Supper was not a Paschal meal; e.g.

α. Early Christian tradition—apparently down to the time of Chrysostom—distinguished between the Last Supper and the Passover. Hence the Eastern Church always uses leavened bread at the Eucharist, as did the Western Church down to the 9th century.

β. Jewish tradition—with no object in view—fixes the Death of Christ on the afternoon before the Passover (Erebh Pesach).

γ. The language of St Paul (1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23) seems to imply that the Lord’s Supper was not the Passover, but a Feast destined to supersede it.

δ. If our Lord had eaten an actual Paschal meal the very evening before His death, the Jews might fairly have argued that He was not Himself the Paschal Lamb; whereas

ε. There was a peculiar symbolic fitness in the fact that He—the True Lamb—was offered at the very time when the Lamb which was but a type was being sacrificed.

For these and other reasons—more fully developed in the Life of Christ, pp. 471–483—I still hold that the Last Supper was not the actual Jewish Passover, but a quasi-Passover, a new and Christian Passover.


Verses 7-13

7–13. PREPARATION FOR THE PASSOVER


Verse 8

8. ἀπέστειλεν. Apparently our Lord, now withdrawn from His active work, said nothing about the Passover till the disciples questioned Him as to His wishes. The old law that the Paschal Lamb must be chosen ten days beforehand had long fallen into desuetude. Its observance would have been impossible for the myriads of pilgrims who came from all parts of the world.


Verse 10

10. ἄνθρωπος κεράμιον ὕδατος βαστάζων. A very unusual sight in the East, where the water is drawn by women. He must probably have been the slave of one who was an open or secret disciple; unless we have here a reference to the Jewish custom of the master of a house himself drawing the water with which the unleavened bread was kneaded on Nisan 13. If so the “man bearing a pitcher of water” may have even been the Evangelist St Mark, in the house of whose mother, and probably in the very upper room where the Last Supper was held, the disciples used at first to meet (Acts 12:12). The mysteriousness of the sign was perhaps intended to baffle, as long as was needful, the machinations of Judas.


Verse 11

11. τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ. See on Luke 12:39.

τῆς οἰκίας. The addition is pleonastic, but shews that the notion of οἰκοδεσπότης was simply that of ‘owner.’ Comp. Acts 7:48, οἰκοδομεῖν οἶκον aedificare domum. John 12:13, τὰ βαΐα τῶν φοινίκων, ‘the palm-branches of the palms.’ Such expressions are very common in Greek, as in πόλεμον πολεμεῖν &c. See my Brief Greek Syntax, § 312.

τὸ κατάλυμα. Rendered “inn” in Luke 2:7.

τὸ πάσχα. Although reasons will be given in Excursus V. for the view that this was not the actual Passover, it is clear that our Lord designedly spoke of it as His Passover, and gave it a paschal character. It is possible that Jewish customs unknown to us made it allowable for individuals on special occasions to anticipate the regular passover.


Verse 12

12. ἀνάγαιον. The Attic form of the word is ἀνώγεων. This large room under the roof is the usual place of resort for large gatherings in a Jewish house; probably the very room which also witnessed the appearance of the Risen Christ to the Twelve, and the Descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.

ἐστρωμένον. Laid out with cushions on the divans, &c. Ezekiel 23:41 (LXX[380]); Acts 9:34 (Greek).


Verse 14

14. ἡ ὥρα. If the meal was intended to be directly Paschal, this would be “between the two evenings” (Exodus 12:6); a phrase interpreted by the Jews to mean between three and six, and by the Samaritans to mean between twilight and sunset. Probably Jesus and His disciples, anxious to avoid dangerous notice, would set forth towards dusk. It is almost impossible to suppose that the disciples at that dangerous crisis, when Jesus was under a ban, and in imminent peril of death, could have arranged to procure a paschal lamb. None of the Evangelists allude to a lamb as forming part of the meal.

ἀνέπεσεν. ‘He reclined.’ The custom of eating the Passover standing had long been abandoned. The real reason why the Jews now sat at the meal was because it had lost much of its original simplicity and was a prolonged and joyous festival. The Rabbis gave it as a reason for the change that the standing attitude only suited slaves.


Verses 14-38

14–38. THE LAST SUPPER


Verse 15

15. ἐπιθυμίᾳ ἐπεθύμησα. I earnestly desired. A Hebraism. Matthew 13:14; John 3:29; Acts 4:17; Acts 5:28, &c. Winer, p. 584.

τοῦτο τὸ πάσχα φαγεῖν. The expression may perhaps point to the fact that this was not the actual Jewish Paschal meal, but one which was intended to supersede it by a Passover of far more divine significance.


Verse 16

16. [οὐκέτι] οὐ μὴ φάγω αὐτό. ‘I will not eat it.’ The “not any more” however is a correct gloss.

ἕως ὅτου πληρωθῇ κ.τ.λ. i.e. until the true Passover has been offered by my death, and so the new kingdom established.


Verse 17

17. δεξάμενος ποτήριον εὐχαριστήσας. Literally, “and after receiving a cup, and giving thanks.” From εὐχαριστεῖν comes our word Eucharist. The word δεξάμενος (differing from λαβὼν in Luke 22:19) seems to imply that the cup was handed to Him.

The main customs of the Jewish Passover are as follows:—[1] Each drinks a cup of wine—‘the cup of consecration’—over which the master of the house pronounces a blessing. [2] Hands are washed, and a table carried in, on which are placed bitter herbs, cakes of unleavened bread, the Charoseth (a dish made of dates, raisins, and vinegar), the paschal lamb, and the flesh of the Chagigah or thank-offering. [3] The father dips a morsel of unleavened bread and bitter herbs, about the size of an olive, in the Charoseth, eats it with a benediction, and distributes a similar ‘sop’ to all present. [4] A second cup of wine is poured out, and the youngest present asks the meaning of the service, to which the father replies. [5] The first part of the Hallel (Psalms 107-114) is sung. [6] Grace is said, and a benediction again pronounced; after which the father distributes bitter herbs and unleavened bread dipped in the Charoseth. [7] The Paschal lamb is eaten, and a third cup of wine handed round. [8] After another thanksgiving, a fourth cup—the cup of joy—is drunk. [9] The rest of the Hallel (Psalms 115-118) is sung.

The cup mentioned in this verse has been supposed to be the third cup of wine in the Jewish ceremonial; and the actual chalice of the Eucharist (the “cup of blessing,” 1 Corinthians 10:16, Cos ha-Berâchah) is identified with the fourth cup. We also see in the Last Supper the benediction, and possibly the Hallel (Matthew 26:30). But [1] the identifications are somewhat precarious. [2] There is no certainty that the “Sacrificial Passover” then observed by the Jews was identical in ceremonial with the “Memorial Passover” which now alone they are able to observe.


Verse 18

18. οὐ μὴἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν. It is not certain from these words that our Lord declined to drink of the Passover wine; and that He partook of it seems to be implied in the ἀπ' ἄρτι of Matthew 26:29.

ἀπὸ τοῦ γενήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου. This is perhaps a reference to the Jewish benediction pronounced over the first cup, “Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, who hast created the fruit of the vine.”


Verse 19

19. λαβὼν ἄρτον. The account in St Luke closely agrees with that given by St Paul (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), which he ‘received from the Lord.’

τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου. Comp. “I am the door,” John 10:7. “That rock was Christ,” 1 Corinthians 10:4. “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16. All the fierce theological debates between Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Zuinglians, Calvinists, &c. might have been avoided if men had borne in mind the warning of Jesus, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” John 6:63. As for the word “is” on which so much stress has been laid, if Jesus spoke in Aramaic he would not have used the verb at all.

διδόμενον. St Paul uses κλώμενον instead. 1 Corinthians 11:24.

εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. Only here and in 1 Corinthians 11:24. The emphasis is on the latter words. The Christian Passover was no more to be in remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt, but of that far greater deliverance wrought by Christ.


Verse 19-20

19, 20. These verses after διδόμενον are omitted in D, and some versions substitute 17, 18 for them.


Verse 20

20. ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη. Hence the name of the New Testament. The word διαθήκη (Heb. Berîth) means both a will, and an agreement or covenant, see Jeremiah 31:31. “It contains all the absolute elements of the one, with the conditional elements of the other. Hence the New Testament (καινὴ διαθήκη) is the revelation of a new relation on God’s part with the conditions necessary to its realisation on man’s part.” Fairbairn.

ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου. I.e. ratified by my blood shed for you. The best comment is Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 9:18-22; 1 Corinthians 11:25. The other Synoptists have “my blood of the New Testament.”

τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον. The participle (by what is called hypallage or the abnormal relation of words in a sentence) agrees with the αἶμα in αἵματι. Otherwise we must suppose that by metonymy it agrees with ποτήριον, ‘cup,’ in the sense of ‘the contents of the cup.’ See Winer, p. 791.


Verse 21

21. ἡ χεὶρ τοῦ παραδιδόντος με. For fuller details of this last awful warning to Judas, see Matthew 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; John 13:21-26. Whether Judas actually partook of the Holy Communion has always been uncertain. Bengel quotes the language of St Ambrose to Theodosius, “Will you hold forth those hands still dripping with the blood of unjust slaughter, and with them take the most holy body of the Lord?”


Verse 22

22. κατὰ τὸ ὡρισμένον. Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27-28. Revelation 13:8. The type of Judas was Ahithophel, Psalms 41:9.


Verse 23

23. συνζητεῖν πρὸς ἑαυτούς. The pathetic details are given by St John. It is characteristic of their noble, simple, loving natures that they seem to have had no suspicions of Judas.

τὸ τίς ἄρα εἴη. ‘The (question) who it could possibly be.’ See note on Luke 15:26, Luke 18:36.

τοῦτο. I.e. τὸ παραδιδόναι. The position of the word before the verb gives it the emphasis of horror, and the character of the deed is connoted, as is sometimes the case in classical Greek, by the verb πράσσειν.


Verse 24

24. φιλονεικία. ‘An ambitious contention,’ occurs here only. It is probable that this dispute arose while they were taking their places at the couches (τρικλίνια), and may possibly have been occasioned by some claim made by Judas for official precedence. He seems to have reclined on the left of our Lord, and John on the right, while Peter seems to have been at the top of the next mat or couch, at the left of Judas, across and behind whom he stretched forward to whisper his question to St John (John 13:23-24). For previous instances of this worldly ambition see Luke 9:46-48; Matthew 20:20-24.


Verse 25

25. εὐεργέται καλοῦνται. εὐεργέται—a name often inscribed on coins. Comp. εὐεργέτην ἀπογραφῆναι, Herod. VIII. 85. How worthless and hollow the title was the disciples knew from the instances of Ptolemy Euergetes and other Syrian tyrants. Onias had been more deserving of the name, 2 Maccabees 4:2.


Verse 26

26. ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐχο ὕτως. Understand ἐστέ. Your case is different. St Peter learnt this lesson well. See 1 Peter 5:3.

γινέσθω. ‘Let him become,’—let him shew himself to be.

ὡς ὁ νεώτερος. Who in Eastern families fulfils menial duties. Acts 5:6.

ὡς ὁ διακονῶν. The true Euergetes is the humble brother, not the subtle tyrant. See Matthew 20:28; Philippians 2:7. St Luke here omits the beautiful acted parable of the Lord washing the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-20), as also the words to Judas, and his going forth into the night.


Verse 28

28. ἐν τοῖς πειρασμοῖς μου. See on Luke 4:13.


Verse 29

29. διατίθεμαι ὑμῖνβασιλείαν. I ordain for you (dispono) a kingdom; not ‘I bequeath.’ See Luke 12:32; 2 Timothy 2:12. διατίθεμαι is ‘I appoint by way of bequest,’ Psalms 81:4 (LXX[381]).


Verse 30

30. καθήσεσθε. This promise becomes more emphatic, by being stated separately, and not made dependent on ἵνα. See note on Luke 20:10.

ἐπὶ θρόνων. Our Lord here perhaps designedly omitted the word “twelve,” Matthew 19:28 (Revelation 3:21).

κρίνοντες. 1 Corinthians 6:2. The clause is omitted in some MSS.


Verse 31

31. Σίμων Σίμων. The repetition of the name gave combined solemnity and tenderness to the appeal (Luke 10:41). Comp. Acts 9:4.

ἐξῃτήσατο ὑμᾶς. ‘Satan demanded you,’ or ‘gained you by asking;’ all of you, ‘not content with Judas,’ Luke 22:3. Bengel.

τοῦ σινιάσαι. The word σινιάσαι, from σίνιον, a sieve, occurs here only. Satan, too, has his winnowing fan, that he may get his chaff. Judas has been already winnowed away from the Apostolic band, and now Satan demands Peter (comp. Job 1:9). The warning left a deep impression on Peter’s mind. 1 Peter 5:8-9. For the metaphor see Amos 9:9-10.


Verse 32

32. ἐδεήθην περὶ σοῦ. ‘I made supplication concerning thee,’ shewing that Peter, the most confident, was at that moment the most imperilled, though Jesus had prayed for them all (John 17:9; John 17:11).

μὴ ἐκλίπῃ. The aor. points to this special crisis. Some MSS. read ἐκλείπῃ which would imply a continuous failure of faith. The verb ἐκλείπω means ‘fail utterly, or finally.’

σύ ποτε ἐπιστρέψας στήρισον τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου. ‘When once thou hast turned again stablish thy brethren.’ John 21:4-17. For στηρίζω see Romans 1:2, 1 Peter 5:10. In the latter verse it is accompanied by σθενόω ‘strengthen.’ Comp. Psalms 51:13. The very word for ‘strengthen’ sank into his heart, and is repeated in his Epistle, 1 Peter 5:10. Ἐπιστρέψας does not here imply conversion in the technical sense—but ‘when thou hast turned again.’ It means more, however, than merely vicissim, ‘in turn.’ Comp. 1 Peter 2:25; 2 Peter 2:21-22; Matthew 13:15, &c.


Verse 33

33. μετὰ σοῦ ἕτοιμός εἰμι. ‘With Thee I am ready,’ &c. The order is emphatic. ‘If only Thou be with me I am prepared for the very worst.’

καὶ εἰς φυλακὴν καὶ εἰς θάνατον. ‘Even into prison, even into death.’ This ‘flaring enthusiasm’ is always to be suspected of weakness. Proverbs 28:26; 1 Corinthians 10:12.


Verse 34

34. Πέτρε. The only occasion on which Jesus is recorded to have used to him the name He gave. It is used to remind him of his strength as well as his weakness.

οὐ φωνήσει σήμερον ἀλέκτωρ. It was, perhaps, already past midnight. St Mark says more exactly (Luke 14:30) ‘shall not crow twice.’ But St Luke’s expression merely means, ‘that part of the dawn which is called the cock-crow (ἀλεκτοροφωνία, gallicinium) shall not be over before,’ &c.


Verse 35

35. ἄτερ βαλλαντίου κ.τ.λ. See Luke 9:3, Luke 10:4.


Verse 36

36. ἀλλὰ νῦν. This was an intimation of their totally changed relation to the world. There was no spontaneous hospitality, no peaceful acceptance, no honoured security, to be looked for now.

ὁ μὴ ἔχων. ‘He that hath not’ (either purse or scrip to buy a sword with), ‘let him,’ &c. Of course the expression was not meant to be taken with unintelligent literalness. It was in accordance with that kind metaphorical method of expression which our blessed Lord adopted that His words might never be forgotten. It was to warn them of days of hatred and opposition in which self-defence might become a daily necessity, though not aggression. To infer that the latter is implied has been one of the fatal errors which arise from attributing infallibility to wrong inferences from a superstitious letter-worship.


Verse 37

37. μετὰ ἀνόμων ἐλογίσθη. Isaiah 53:12. Hence the sword could not be for His defence, as they carelessly assumed.

καὶ γάρ. ‘For indeed.’

τέλος ἔχει. The end, or fulfilment, was drawing near; it would come on the following day (τετέλεσται, John 19:30).


Verse 38

38. μάχαιραιδύο. It was a last instance of the stolid literalism by which they had so often vexed our Lord (Matthew 16:6-12). As though He could have been thinking of two miserable swords, such as poor Galilaean pilgrims took to defend themselves from wild beasts or robbers; and as though two would be of any use against a world in arms! It is strange that St Chrysostom should suppose ‘knives’ to be intended. This was the verse quoted by Boniface VIII., in his famous Bull Unam sanctam, to prove his possession of both secular and spiritual power, which Calvin rightly calls protervum ludibrium.

ἱκανόν ἐστιν. Not of course meaning that two swords were enough, but sadly declining to enter into the matter any further, and leaving them to meditate on His words. The formula was one sometimes used to waive a subject; comp. 1 Maccabees 2:33, and ἱκανούσθω ὑμῖν, Deuteronomy 3:26. See p. 384. “It is a sigh of the God-man over all violent measures meant to further His cause.”


Verse 39

39. ἐξελθών. St Luke here omits all the touching incidents which St John alone records—the discourses so “rarely mixed of sadness and joys, and studded with mysteries as with emeralds;” Peter’s question, “Lord, whither goest thou?”; the melancholy remark of Thomas about the way; Philip’s “Lord, shew us the Father;” the perplexed inquiry of Judas Lebbaeus; the rising from the Table; the Parable of the Vine and the Branches, perhaps suggested by the trellised vine under which they passed out into the moonlight; and the great High Priest’s prayer.

κατὰ τὸ ἔθος. ‘As His custom was.’ The word ‘custom’ seems too wide to apply only to our Lord’s practice during these few days. It leads us to suppose that He disliked sleeping in the crowd and closeness of cities, and habitually chose to spend the night in the olive-yards of the Hill.

εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν. See note on Luke 19:29. The way led down the valley over the brook, or, rather, dry wady of the Kedron, and then up the green slope beyond it to the garden (see Jos. B. J. Luke 22:2, § 2, VI. 1, § 1), or small farm (χωρίον) of Gethsemane, “the oil press,” which is about half a mile from the city. Probably (John 18:2) it belonged to a disciple; possibly to St Mark. Judas knew the spot, and had ascertained that Jesus was going there. He had gone out to get the band necessary for His arrest.

ἠκολούθησαν. The walk would be under the full Paschal moon amid the deep hush that falls over an Oriental city at night. The only recorded incident of the walk is one more warning to the disciples, and specially to St Peter. Matthew 26:32-35.


Verses 39-46

39–46. THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN


Verse 40

40. εἶπεν αὐτοῖς. First He left eight of them to sleep under the trees while He withdrew with Peter and James and John, whom He told to watch and pray.


Verse 41

41. ἀπεσπάσθη. Vulg[382] avulsus est. Literally, “He was torn away,” or ‘He tore Himself away’ (comp. Luke 21:1), shewing the reluctance with which He parted from this support of loving sympathy under the imperious necessity of passing through His darkest hour alone. Perhaps He withdrew deeper into the shadow of the ancient olive-trees. In estimating the force of such words as ἐκβάλλω, ἀποσπόω, &c. it should indeed be borne in mind that in Hellenistic Greek their old classical force was weakened by colloquialism. See 2 Maccabees 12:10. But since this verb is not used elsewhere in the N. T., and since the idea of withdrawal—secessit—is expressed by ανεχώρησεν (Matthew 12:15, &c.), St Luke seems to have used the word in its proper sense.

ὡσεὶ λίθου βολήν. The accusative of space as in John 6:19, &c.

θεὶς τὰ γόνατα. “And fell on His face,” Matthew 26:39.


Verse 42

42. εἰ βούλει. Aposiopesis. Sacrifice of His own will was the principle of His whole life of suffering obedience, John 5:30; John 6:38.

παρένεγκε. So BD, Vulg[383] It[384] &c. If παρενεγκεῖν be read with the Rec[385] or παρενέγκαι with א we must suppose that as in Luke 19:42 “sorrow has suppressed the apodosis”—Winer, p. 750.

τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον. Matthew 20:22; comp. Ezekiel 22:31; Psalms 75:8. This prayer is an instance of the “strong crying and tears,” amid which He “learned obedience by the things which He suffered,” Hebrews 5:7-8.


Verse 43

43. ὤφθη δὲ αὐτῷ ἄγγελος. As after His temptation, Matthew 4:11. This and the next verse are omitted in AB, and by the first corrector of א; and Jerome and Hilary say that they were omitted in “very many” Greek and Latin MSS. They are not found in the Itala or Peshito.


Verse 43-44

43, 44. These verses are omitted in AB Sab. and some cursives, and in some MSS. are obelised and marked with asterisks. Their occasional omission is noticed as early as Epiphanius, Hilary, and Jerome.


Verse 44

44. ἐν ἀγωνίᾳ. Comp. 2 Maccabees 3:16-17. The word which occurs here only in the N.T.—though we often have the verb ἀγωνίζομαι—means intense struggle and pressure of spirit, which the other Evangelists also describe in the strong words ἀδημονεῖν (Matthew 26:37) and ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι (Mark 14:33). It was an awful anguish of His natural life, and here alone (Matthew 26:38; John 12:27) does He use the word ψυχὴ of Himself. It was not of course a mere shrinking from death and pain, which even the meanest natures can overcome, but the mysterious burden of the world’s guilt (2 Corinthians 5:21)—the shrinking of a sinless being from the depths of Satanic hate and horror through which He was to pass. As Luther says ‘our hard impure flesh’ can hardly comprehend the sensitiveness of a fresh unstained soul coming in contact with horrible antagonism.

ὡσεὶ θρόμβοι αἵματος. Such a thing as a ‘bloody sweat’ seems not to be wholly unknown (Arist. Hist. Anim. III. 19) under abnormal pathological circumstances. (It is said that in the Netherlands the Duke of Anjou died sweating blood.) The blood of Abel ‘cried from the ground;’ but this blood ‘spake better things than the blood of Abel’ (Genesis 4:10; Hebrews 12:24). St Luke does not however use the term ‘bloody sweat,’ but says that the dense sweat of agony fell from him “like blood gouts”—which may mean as drops of blood do from a wound. This is the sense given to the words by Theophylact, Euthymius, Grotius, Hammond, Michaelis, Olshausen, Bleek, &c.


Verse 45

45. κοιμωμένους ἀπὸ τῆς λύπης. Psalms 69:20. The last two words give rather the cause than the excuse. They are analogous to “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” of Matthew 26:41. St Luke here abbreviates the fuller records given in Matthew 26; Mark 14, from which we find that Jesus thrice came to His Apostles, and thrice found them sleeping (see Isaiah 63:3),—each momentary pause of prayer marking a fresh step in His victorious submission. This was the Temptation of Jesus by every element of anguish, as He had been tempted in the wilderness by every element of desire.


Verse 46

46. τί καθεύδετε; Matthew 26:40; Mark 14:37. The second time He does not seem to have spoken to them. The third time He knew that it was too late. The object of their watching had now ceased, for He heard the tramp of men in the distance, and saw the glare of their torches; and therefore it was with a tender irony that He said, ‘Sleep on now and take your rest’ (as far as any help which you can render to Me is concerned), but ‘Rise, let us be going,’ for now sleep will be alike impossible to us all.

προσεύχεσθε ἵνα μή. Not “pray lest” (as in A. V[386]) but “pray that ye enter not” (as in R. V[387]).


Verse 47

47. ὄχλος. Composed of Levitical guards under their ‘general;’ a Roman chiliarch (‘tribune’), with some soldiers, part of a maniple or cohort (σπεῖρα) from the Fort of Antonia (John 18:12); and some priests and elders.

εἷς τῶν δώδεκα. Comp. Luke 22:3. It seems as if in narrating the scene the Evangelists unconsciously add the circumstance which to their mind branded the deed with its worst horror. For the terror which seized the multitude, the precipitate entrance of Judas into the garden, and our Lord’s first words to him, see John 18:3-9.


Verses 47-53

47–53. THE TRAITOR’S KISS. THE ARREST. MALCHUS


Verse 48

48. φιλήματι. He exclaimed ‘Rabbi, Rabbi, hail’ (‘Peace to thee, Rabbi’), Mark 14:45; but received no ‘Peace to thee’ in reply. Overacting his part, he not only kissed His Lord (ἐφίλησεν), but kissed Him fervently (κατεφίλησεν, deosculatus est).


Verse 49

49. οἱ περὶ αὐτόν. Specially Peter, but the Synoptists suppress his name from obviously prudential reasons which no longer existed when St John wrote.

εἰ πατάξομεν ἐν μαχαίρῃ. On εἰ with the future in a dubious question see Winer pp. 348, 639. Ionic forms like μαχαίρῃ are common in Hellenistic Greek, Winer p. 71. Since it was illegal to carry swords on a feast-day, we have here another sign that the Last Supper had not been the Passover. The bringing of the sword was part of the misconception which Jesus had not cared further to remove at the supper; and if Judas had pressed into the enclosure they may have been entirely unaware as yet of the number of the captors. Future years would teach them that Christ’s cause is served by dying, not by killing. The full reply of our Lord on this incident must be found by combining Matthew 26:53, John 18:10-11. St Peter—perhaps stung by our Lord’s previous warnings to him—impetuously acted “non expectato Domini responso.” Grotius.


Verse 50

50. τοῦ ἀρχιερέως τὸν δοῦλον. Malchus. St John, writing long after the event, is the first Evangelist who felt at liberty to mention the names of Peter and Malchus.

τὸ δεξιόν. A specific touch not found in the other Evangelists. All three use the diminutive—if the readings can be relied on. (ὠτίον, Matthew 26:51; ὠτάριον, Mark 14:47; ὠτίον, John 18:10. In this passage we have both οὖς and ὠτίον.) No stress can be laid on this. Languages in their later stage often adopt diminutives to avoid the trouble of genders. See my Language and Languages, p. 319.


Verse 51

51. ἐᾶτε ἕως τούτου. The meaning is uncertain. If addressed to the disciples it meant, Let them even bind and lead me away. Possibly however it was addressed to the captors, and meant, Excuse thus much resistance; or ‘Allow me liberty thus far’—free my arms a moment that I may heal this wounded man. These snatches of dialogue—often of uncertain interpretation from their fragmentary character (e.g. Mark 9:23; Matthew 26:50; John 8:25), are inimitable marks of genuineness. It was probably during this pause that ‘all His disciples’—even Peter, even John—‘forsook Him and fled.’


Verse 52

52. πρὸς τοὺς παραγενομένους ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἀρχιερεῖς. The expression shews that these venerable persons had kept safely in the background till all possible danger was over. It is evident that the whole band dreaded some exertion of miraculous power.

ἐπὶ λῃστήν. Against a brigand or robber. Am I one of the Sicarii, or bandits? It is a reproach to them for their cowardice and secrecy. ‘If I had really done wrong, how is it that you did not arrest Me in the Temple?’


Verse 53

53. αὕτη ἐστὶν ὑμῶν ἡ ὥρα. A reproach to them for their base, illegal, midnight secrecy. St Luke omits the incident of the young man with the σινδὼν cast round his naked body, Mark 14:51-52.

ἡ ἐξουσία τοῦ σκότους. ‘The authority’ (or rather, here, the licence) ‘of darkness.’—On this bad sense of ἐξουσία see Bishop Lightfoot’s note on Colossians 1:13 where St Chrysostom paraphrases it by τυραννίς. The power is not independent, but delegated or permitted, since the Death of Christ is part of a divine plan (John 18:4; John 19:11, &c.).


Verse 54

54. συλλαβόντες δὲ αὐτόν. The word implies violence.

ἤγαγον. With His hands bound, probably behind His back, John 18:12.

εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως. The actual High Priest was Joseph Caiaphas (another form of Kephas), son-in-law of Annas (see on Luke 3:2). The trial of our Lord by the Jews was in three phases—[1] before Annas (John 18:12-18); [2] before Caiaphas (here and Matthew 26:59-68; Mark 14:55-65); [3] before the entire Sanhedrin at dawn (Luke 22:66; Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1). Each trial might be regarded as supremely important. Annas, or Hanan son of Seth, was the most influential of the ex-High Priests, and may, as Sagan (Deputy) or Nasi (President), have virtually wielded the sacerdotal power. The result therefore of a trial before him would involve a fatal praejudicium, since the utmost reverence was paid to his age, wealth, power, and shrewdness.—The second trial was before the most important committee of the Sanhedrin, which might in one sense be called ‘the whole Sanhedrin’ (Mark 14:55), and though it could have no legal validity, being held at night, it served as a sort of ἀνάκρισις or preliminary inquiry, which left the final decision only formal.—The third trial was held at dawn before the entire Sanhedrin, and passed the final decree of condemnation against Jesus for blasphemy, which had been already predetermined. The enmity of the priests may have partly arisen (as I have given reasons for believing in the Life of Christ, II. 334) from the fact that the cleansing of the Temple involved an interference with their illicit gains. After the first trial—at which Jesus was first smitten—He was sent bound to Caiaphas, who perhaps lived in the same house. These three Jewish trials were illegal in almost every particular. The Sanhedrin was generally a merciful and cautious tribunal, but was now a mere dependent body entirely under the influence of the Sadducees, who were the most ruthless of Jewish sects.

ἠκολούθει μακρόθεν. “To see the end,” Matthew 26:58. It was a most unwise exposure of himself to temptation. His admission into the courtyard of the High Priest’s house was due to the influence of John, who was known to the High Priest, and spoke to the portress (John 18:15-16).


Verses 54-62

54–62. PETER’S DENIAL


Verse 55

55. πῦρ. The spring nights at Jerusalem, which is 2610 feet above the level of the sea, are often cold.

τῆς αὐλῆς. ‘Of the court.’

συνκαθισάντων ἐκάθητομέσος αὐτῶν. ‘When they sat down together, Peter sat midmost among them,’ i.e. among the servants of the High Priest. He sat in the middle of a group composed of the very men who had just been engaged more or less directly in the arrest of his Lord. It was like the impetuosity of his character, but most unwise for one of his temperament. St John says (Luke 18:18) that “he stood,” and perhaps we have here a touch of restlessness.


Verse 56

56. παιδίσκη τις. Apparently the portress (John 18:17) who had been meanwhile relieved, and who, after a fixed gaze, recognized Peter as the man whom she had admitted. She therefore exclaimed, “This fellow too (as well as John) was with Him.” The reports of the Evangelists differ, but each faithfully preserves the καί. The accounts of these denials by the Evangelists are (as St Augustine says of their narratives generally) “various, but not contrary.” They are capable of perfectly easy and perfectly natural reconcilement, and are a valuable proof of independence.

πρὸς τὸ φῶς. “To the light,” i.e. with the light of the brazier shining full on him.

ἀτενίσασα. ‘Fixing her eyes on him.’ See Luke 4:20.


Verse 57

57. οὐκ οἶδα αὐτόν, γύναι. ‘I do not know Him, woman,’ ‘nor do I understand what you mean,’ Mark 14:68. Peter—who has been described as ὁμαλῶς ἀνώμαλον, or ‘consistently inconsistent’—shewed just the same kind of weakness many years later. Galatians 2:12-13.


Verse 58

58. μετὰ βραχύ. The trial before the Sacerdotal Committee naturally took some time, and they were awaiting the result.

ἕτερος. After his first denial “before them all” (Matthew 26:70) he probably hoped to shake off this dangerous curiosity; and, perhaps as his guilt was brought more home to him by the first crowing of the cock (Mark 14:68), he stole back out of the light of the brazier where he had been sitting with the servants, to the gate or vestibule (πυλῶνα, Matthew 26:71, προαύλιον, Mark 14:68). Of this second denial St John says, “they said to him” (Luke 18:25); and as the portress was sure to have gossiped about him to the girl who relieved her at her post, the second denial was due to his being pointed out by the second maid to the group of idlers who were hanging about the door, one of whom was prominent in pressing the charge against him. Matthew 26:71 (ἄλλη); Mark 14:69 (ἡ παιδίσκη); John 18:25 (εἶπον); here ἕτερος. What discrepancy then worth speaking of is there here? Doubtless the second and third charges became more and more general as the news spread among the group. It is much more important to notice the moral law of “linked lies” by which ‘once denied’ always has a tendency to become ‘thrice denied.’ “Whom,” asks St Augustine, “have you ever seen contented with a single sin?”

ἄνθρωπε. A mode of displeased address. Luke 12:14.


Verse 59

59. ὡσεὶ ὥρας μιᾶς. To St Peter it must have been one of the most terrible hours of his life.

ἄλλος τις. Here again the main charge was prominently made by one—a kinsman of Malchus, who had seen Peter in the garden, and was known to St John from his acquaintance with the High Priest’s household (John 18:26, συγγενης); but others came up (προσελθόντες οἱ ἑστῶτες, Matthew 26:73; οἱ παρεστῶτες, Mark 14:70), and joined in it, and this is implied by St Mark’s “kept saying to Peter” (ἔλεγον).

Γαλιλαῖός ἐστιν. This they could at once tell by the misplaced gutturals of the provincial dialect which ‘bewrayed him’ (i.e. pointed him out).


Verse 60

60. οὐκ οἶδα ὃ λέγεις. St Luke drops a veil over the ‘cursing and swearing’ which accompanied this last denial (Matthew 26:74).

ἀλέκτωρ. ‘A cock.’ It crew for the second time. Minute critics have imagined that they found a ‘difficulty’ here because the Talmud says that cocks and hens, from their scratching in the dung, were regarded as unclean. But as to this the Talmud contradicts itself, since it often alludes to cocks and hens at Jerusalem (e.g. Berachôth, p. 27, 1). Moreover the cock might have belonged to the Roman soldiers in Fort Antonia.


Verse 61

61. στραφεὶςἐνέβλεψεν. St Luke alone preserves this most touching incident. Jesus must have looked on His erring Apostle either from the chamber in which He was being tried, if it was one of those chambers with open front (called in the East muck ’ad); or else at the moment when the trial was over, and He was being led across the courtyard amid the coarse insults of the servants. If so the moment would have been one of awful pathos to the unhappy Apostle.


Verse 62

62. ἐξελθών. Into the night, but “to meet the morning dawn.”

ἔκλαυσεν. Not only ἐδάκρυσεν, ‘shed tears,’ but ἔκλαυσεν, ‘wept aloud;’ and, as St Mark says (Mark 14:72), ἔκλαιεν, ‘he continued weeping.’ It was more than a mere burst of tears.

πικρῶς. St Mark says ἐπιβαλών, which may mean, ‘when he thought thereon,’ or ‘flinging his mantle over his head.’


Verse 63

63. δέροντες. No less than five forms of beating are referred to by the Evangelists in describing this pathetic scene—δέροντες here (a general term); ἔτυπτον, ‘they kept smiting;’ παίσας in the next verse, implying violence; ἐκολάφισαν, ‘slapped with the open palm,’ Matthew 26:67; ἐῤῥάπισαν, ‘smote with sticks’ (id.); and ῥαπίσμασιν ἔβαλλον, Mark 14:65. See the prophecy of Isaiah 50:6. The Priests of that day, and their pampered followers, were too much addicted to these brutalities (Acts 21:32; Acts 23:2), as we learn also from the Talmud.


Verses 63-65

63–65. THE FIRST DERISION

Hanan had simply tried to entangle Jesus by insidious questions.

The course of the trial before Caiaphas was different. The Priests on that occasion “sought false witness,” but their false witnesses contradicted each other in their attempt to prove that He had threatened to destroy the Temple. Since Jesus still kept silence, Caiaphas rose, walked into the midst of the hall, and adjured Jesus by the Living God to say whether He was “the Christ, the Son of God.” So adjured, Christ answered in the affirmative, and then Caiaphas, rending his robes, appealed to the assembly, who, most illegally setting aside the need of any further witnesses, shouted aloud that He was ‘A man of Death’ (îsh maveth), i.e. deserving of capital punishment. From this moment He would be regarded by the dependents of the Priests as a condemned criminal.


Verse 64

64. περικαλύψαντες αὐτόν. Probably by throwing an abba over his head and face. Mark 14:65. The Talmud says that the False Messiah, Bar Cochba, was similarly insulted.


Verse 65

65. βλασφημοῦντες. This term now bears a different meaning. Here it merely means ‘reviling Him,’ as in Matthew 27:39.


Verse 66

66. ὡς ἐγένετο ἡμέρα. The Oral Law decided that the Sanhedrin could only meet by daylight. Sanhedrin 9. 1.

τὸ πρεσβυτέριον. Literally, “the presbytery of the people,” as in Acts 22:5.

πρεσβυτέριονἀρχιερεῖςγραμματεῖς. See Mark 15:1. The three constituent parts of the Sanhedrin, 1 Maccabees 14:28. The Sanhedrin was the successor of the Great Synagogue, which ended with Simon the Just. Where they met is uncertain. It was either in the Paved Hall, or ‘Hall of Squares’ (Lischath haggazzith); or in the Beth Midrash (Temple Synagogue), a chamber which abutted on the “middle wall of partition” (Chêl), or in the Chanujoth ‘shops’ or ‘booths’ founded by the house of Hanan to sell doves, &c. for the temple.

ἀπήγαγον. Some MSS. read ἀνήγαγον, which would mean ‘led Him up.’

συνέδριον. From which the word Sanhedrin (mistakenly spelt Sanhedrim) is derived. Polybius uses the word of the Amphictyonic Council, the Roman Senate, &c.; but it is first applied to the Jewish Presbytery on the occasion when they summoned before them Hyrcanus II., son of Alexander Jannaeus. It gloried in being a mild tribunal, but was now an extremely degenerate body, and unworthy of its earlier traditions (Jos. Antt. XIII. 10, § 6; B. J. II. 8, § 14). The Jewish authorities had lost the power of inflicting death; they could only pass sentence of excommunication, and hand over to the secular arm.

εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστός. The object of the Sanhedrin was somewhat different from that of the Priests in the house of Caiaphas. They had only succeeded in establishing (by a most illegal personal appeal) a charge of constructive blasphemy. But ‘blasphemy’ was not a charge on which a Roman could pronounce capital sentence. Hence, in order to get Christ crucified, they needed a charge of treason, which might be constructed out of His claim to be the Messiah.


Verses 66-71

66–71. THE THIRD JEWISH TRIAL


Verse 67

67. οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε. As they had shewn already. John 8:59; John 10:31.


Verse 68

68. οὐ μὴ ἀποκριθῆτε. This is our Lord’s protest against the illegal violence of the whole proceedings.


Verse 69

69. ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν δὲ ἔσται ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καθήμενος. ‘But from henceforth (comp. Luke 1:48, Luke 5:10) shall the Son of man be seated at.’ (Vulg[388] erit sedens.) Our Lord seems at last to have broken His silence in these words, in order to end a miserable and useless scene. The words would at once recall Psalms 110:1; Daniel 7:13-14; see John 1:51.


Verse 70

70. ὑμεῖς λέγετε, ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι. A Hebrew formula (attem amartem). “Your words verify themselves.” See some striking remarks in De Quincey, Works, III. 304. But the formula like “Thou sayest” in John 18:37 seems also to have been meant to waive further discussion. See p. 385.


Verse 71

71. τί ἔτι ἔχομεν μαρτυρίας χρείαν; Caiaphas had made the same appeal to the audience at the night trial. Van Oosterzee mentions that at the trial of the Reformer Farel, the Genevan Priests addressed him in these very words, and he replied, “Speak the words of God, and not those of Caiaphas.”—This trial was followed by the second derision, in which it almost seems as if the Sanhedrists themselves took part. Matthew 26:67. St Luke here omits the remorse and horrible end of Judas, on which he touches in Acts 1:18.

 


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"Commentary on Luke 22:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/luke-22.html. 1896.

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