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Monday, October 2nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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John 13

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

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Verse 1

John 13:1 . Πρό , before ) immediately before, the day before [ on the fourth day of the week , Wednesday. V. g.] This Gospel is divided into three parts, of which the sum and substance is: I have come from the Father; I have been in the world; I go to the Father . [329] ἀγαπήσας ) having embraced in His love . [ This little verse contains as it were a general introduction to those things which are narrated both subsequently in this chapter and in the following ones . Harm., p. 489.] τοὺς ἰδίους , His own ) John 13:18 , “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen.” This is in antithesis to those alien to Him, ch. John 12:37-41 . [330] ἠγάπησεν ) He loved , whilst He conferred on them perfect purity and humility of soul, and so thereby the qualifications needed for discharging the duties of their embassy in the world after the departure of Jesus: John 13:10 , “He that is washed is clean every whit;” 14, “If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet;” 20, “He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth Me.”

[329] εἰδώς , knowing ) So also at ver. 3, “ Jesus knowing that,” etc. V. g.

[330] εἰς τἐλος , even to the end ) even to His very ‘departure.’ Now that He has finished His words to the multitude, Jesus enters upon so much the closer terms of intimacy with His disciples. V. g.

ἡ ὥρα , His hour ) concerning which He had spoken already at ch. John 12:27 , “Father, save Me from this hour, hut,” etc. Harm. , p. 489.

ἐκ πρός , from to ) from this evil world to His own everlasting joys. V. g.

Verse 2

John 13:2 . Δείπνου , supper ) Indefinitely. That was the day before the Passover supper. γενομένου , when it was being made [but Engl. Vers., “supper being ended”]) Therefore the washing of feet was about the beginning of supper. Comp. the words, He riseth from , John 13:4 , and lying down again [“after He was set down again”], John 13:12 . Also the general custom of the Jews is in accordance with this view. ἤδη , now ) Chrysost. Æth. Arab. Lat , in some MSS., Pers . and Sy [331] . versions, omit the particle; but it ought to be retained. The τότε , then , John 13:27 , answers to it. [332] βεβληκότος , when he had [having] put into ) There is great force in this. The words διαβόλου [Th. βάλλω ] and βεβληκότος are conjugates. καρδίαν , the heart ) The purpose of Judas was as yet hidden. Ἰούδα , of Judas ) Precaution was taken by the washing of feet, that the impurity of Judas should not infect the hearts of the rest. Comp. John 13:11 , “He knew who should betray Him; therefore said He, Ye are not all clean.” Ἰσκαριώτου , Iscariot ) This is the surname, not of Simon, but of Judas; ch. John 6:71 , John 14:22 , “Judas not Iscariot.”

[331] yr the Peschito Syriac Version: second cent.: publ. and corrected by Cureton, from MS. of fifth cent.

[332] Orig. 2,120; 4,212; 409; 425, omits ἤδη ; also ac . But ABD bd Vulg. and Orig. elsewhere retain ἤδη . E. and T.

Verse 3

John 13:3 . Εἰδώς , inasmuch as He knew ) The consciousness of His own glory, and the servile office of washing feet, wonderfully meet together. The preface intimating His glory is equivalent to a protestation beforehand, lest the Lord should be regarded as having done something unworthy of Him, in washing the feet of His disciples. πάντα , all things ) The nearer that Jesus Christ came to His passion, John 13:2 , the more He Himself thinks of, and the more clearly the Scripture speaks of, His glory. So also at John 13:30-31 , “He, Judas , having received the sop, went immediately out; therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.” The Father, as it were, said this to the Son, All things, which have revolted from Me, I give to Thee: conquer what Thou wilt; claim to Thyself [assert Thy claim to] what Thou wilt: ch. John 17:2-3 , “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”

Verse 4

John 13:4 . Ἐγείρεται , He riseth ) Jesus always connected with the remembrance of His entering on His glory specimens of His humility. τὰ ἱμάτια , His garments ) Those which would be an encumbrance to Him in the act of washing.

Verse 5

John 13:5 . Εἶτα , [ after that ] next ) There is no doubt but that the disciples must have been in a great state of expectancy as to what He was preparing to do. τόν ) [ the basin, not a ]. There was generally within reach, in the room where the supper was, a foot-basin , of metal or of wood, as our wash-hand basin in the present day. This is the force of the article. ἤρξατο , He began ) A new and marvellous “beginning.” The word is rare in John. νίπτειν , to wash ) Great condescension, and yet becoming. The angel did not do so to Peter, Acts 12:8 .

Verse 6

John 13:6 . Ἔρχεται , He cometh ) He seems to have come to Peter not absolutely before all the rest, but, however, among the first; and from his case the other disciples learned that they ought not to oppose the proceeding of the Saviour. A lovely grace is ἀπεριεργία [artlessness], the obedient simplicity of believers. Κύριε , Lord ) Peter on this occasion speaks thrice: in the first and third instance he calls Him, Lord : the second address is as it were a continuance of the first. σύ μου , thou my ) He takes it indignantly, as though a thing unworthy of the Lord.

Verse 7

John 13:7 . Ὅ , what ) A most evident axiom. οὐκ ἄρτι δὲ μετὰ ταῦτα ) A similar sentiment occurs, John 13:36 , “Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me afterwards.” μετὰ ταῦτα , hereafter ) See John 13:12 , “So after He had washed their feet, etc., He said, Know ye what I have done to you?” (so that in this view the words, γνώσῃ , γινώσκετε , thou shalt know , John 13:7 , and know ye , John 13:12 , have a most close connection): also John 13:17 , “If ye know these things, happy are ye, if ye do them;” or even Luke 12:37 , “Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching: verily, I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself , and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them .” The fulfilment is not merely hereafter , but begins at once, even more speedily than the promise seems to indicate.

Verse 8

John 13:8 . Λέγει , saith ) A second protestation against it need not to have been added. εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα , ever at any time ) Peter opposes this to the μετὰ ταῦτα , hereafter , John 13:7 . An emphatic form of denying: 1 Corinthians 8:13 , “I will eat no flesh εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα , while the world standeth .” ἐάν , if ) We ought to yield to the will of the Lord. σέ ) thee , saith He, not thy feet . This brevity of expression is strictly accurate; for he who has not his feet washed, is accounted as wholly unwashed. οὐκ ἔχεις , thou hast not ) The necessity for that grace [humility] was shown to them through the washing of their feet. There is no doubt but that the wonderful humility of the Lord very much changed and melted the souls of the disciples. Peter especially was in need of it. μετʼ ἐμοῦ , with Me ) Jesus therefore [notwithstanding this act of humiliation] still remains their Lord.

Verse 9

John 13:9 . Μή , not ) Since washing keeps me as one having part with Thee, I give myself up to be washed all over by Thee. χεῖρας , κεφαλήν , hands, head ) A gradation is here presented. A sense of his own uncleanness overwhelming Peter, by reason of the majesty of the Lord, which stooped so low in condescension, dictated these words. Comp. Luke 5:8 , [Peter at the draught of fishes] “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Verse 10

John 13:10 . Ὁ λελουμένος ) λούω (whence comes λουτρόν ) is said of the whole body; νίπτω of a part of it. οὐ , not ) Jesus brings back the feeling of Peter to due bounds. πόδας , feet ) which are the last in being washed, and the first in being soiled. ὅλος , all over ) when the feet have been washed. καθαροί , clean ) ch. John 15:3 , “Now ye are clean through the word, which I have spoken unto you.”

Verse 11

John 13:11 . Τὸν παραδίδοντα , who should betray Him ) who, like the rest, had received the washing of his feet.

Verse 12

John 13:12 . Ὅτε , when ) On this adverb the two verbs depend, as at ch. John 12:41 , “These things spake Esaias, ὅτι , or ὅτε εἶδεν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ , καὶ ( ὅτε ) ἐλάλησεν περὶ αὐτοῦ .” αὐτῶν , of them ) of the disciples: fresh water having been taken to wash each of them. ἀναπεσών , lying down at table [set down again]) as their Lord. Luke 22:27 , “Whether is greater he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat?” τί ) what , and for what reason .

Verse 13

John 13:13 . Ὁ διδάσκαλος ) The Nominative for the Vocative, which is extant at Luke 6:46 [ με καλεῖτε , Κύριε , Κύριε ]. καί , and ) They sometimes used to call Him Master , sometimes Lord : and thereby they were professing themselves to be His disciples and servants . ὁ Κύριος , Lord ) John 13:6 ; John 13:9 ; John 13:25 ; John 13:36-37 ; ch. John 14:5 ; John 14:8 ; John 14:22 .

Verse 14

John 13:14 . Καὶ ὑμεῖς , ye also ) The washing of their feet, which the Lord performed for His disciples, had as its object both the benefit of conferring on them complete purity, and the inculcation of the lesson of humble love, which they needed to be taught: John 13:34 , with which comp. John 13:1 , “A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” “Having loved His own He loved them to the end.” Thence it follows, that the disciples’ mutual washing of one another’s feet has this as its object, that one should assist the other in every possible way towards attaining purity of soul; and that one should wash the feet of the other, either literally, 1 Timothy 5:10 , “well reported for good works; if she have washed the saints’ feet,” and that in good earnest, if, namely, it should happen to be needed: for it is an affirmative [ positive ] precept, obligatory always [where needed], but not under all circumstances [ i.e . not, where it is not needed], such as is also the character of that precept, 1 John 3:16 , “We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren;” or the precept is to be obeyed ‘synecdochically’ [ i.e . the one particular of washing feet being put for the whole circle of offices of self-denying love], by means of all kinds of offices which one can render to another, even servile and mean offices, if only the occasion require them. Therefore the Lord, by the very act of washing their feet, purified the disciples; wherefore also He lovingly compelled Peter to submit to it: but it was not on this account [with a view to purification thereby] that He enjoined on the disciples mutual washing of one another’s feet; nor is there such great necessity of imitating up to the very letter the Lord’s act of feet washing, as some have decided there is: inasmuch as, for instance, John on no occasion washed the feet of Thomas: and yet there is a greater similarity between the cases of feet-washing by the Lord, and that by brethren mutually, than most persons recognise. In our day, popes and princes imitate the feet-washing to the letter; but a greater subject for admiration would be, for instance, a pope, in unaffected humility, washing the feet of one king [his own equal in rank, and so the exact analogue to the disciples’ mutual washing as brethren] than the feet of twelve paupers. Now that I have made these observations, let me recommend to the reader’s study the dissert. of Ittigius , “de Pedilavio.” ὀφείλετε , ye ought ) because of My example: with which comp. γάρ , for , John 13:15 .

Verse 16

John 13:16 . Ἀμὴν , ἀμήν , verily, verily ) The force of this affirmation belongs to John 13:17 , “If ye know these things, happy are ye, if ye do them.” μείζων , greater ) Nor ought he to refuse to do the same things, and submit to the same things.

Verse 17

John 13:17 . Ταῦτα ) these things , which I have done.

Verse 18

John 13:18 . Λέγω , I speak of ) when I speak of you as happy [ Joh 13:17 ]. ἐγώ ) I the Lord; although ye know not, especially each of you [cannot know] concerning the rest. ἐπʼ ἐμέ , above [Engl. Vers. ‘against’] Me ) So far is he from washing the feet of his brethren. τὴν πτέρναν , the heel ) This word is in happy consonance with the washing of the feet ; and with the ancient custom of reclining [when of course the foot and heel would be lifted up ] for the act of eating bread . Comp. עקב , Genesis 3:15 , “It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Verse 19

John 13:19 . Ἀπʼ ἄρτι ) from this time [ Now , Engl. Vers.]; for He presently after again says it, and more expressly, John 13:21 , “One of you shall betray Me.” πρὸ τοῦ γένεσθαι , before that it happens ) ch John 14:29 , “Now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” ἵνα , that ) This has the same scope as ch. John 14:29 ; John 16:4 , “These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.” πιστεύσητε , ye may believe ) This is a great criterion of truth, the correspondence of the event to the prophecy.

Verse 20

John 13:20 . Ἀμὴν , ἀμήν , verily, verily ) Jesus, after having imbued His disciples, in Joh 13:1 and following verses, with His own disposition, and His own purity, with a view to their sanctification, now also graces them with His own authority. He who has beautiful [ ὡραίους ] feet , John 13:5 [as were the disciples’ feet , when washed by Jesus] Romans 10:15 , “How beautiful ( ὡραῖοι ) are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace” and who humbles himself John 13:14 , “Ye ought to wash one another’s feet ;” Matthew 18:4-5 , “Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven; and whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me ,” the same [and he alone] can act as an ambassador of Christ, John 13:16 , [for such is Christ’s own character] “The servant is not greater than his Lord.”

Verse 21

John 13:21 . Ἐμαρτύρησε , testified ) gravely [impressively], as in the case of a thing hidden. εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν , one of you ) It was advantageous to them all, that Jesus at first spake indefinitely.

Verse 23

John 13:23 . Ὃν ἠγάπα , whom He loved ) [So also ch. John 19:26 , John 21:7 ; John 21:20 . V. g.] John avoids with great care express mention of himself It is more an object to be desired, to be loved by Jesus, than to be distinguished by a proper name. There is, however, in this passage, a designation [intimation by description] of the proper name itself (as in Luke 2:11 , notes; the name Jesus not being given, but its equivalent force being represented by the term Saviour ; Revelation 1:4 , “Him which is, and which was, and which is to come,” a periphrasis for the Tetragram of Jehovah, יהוה ; add, if you please, the observations I have made in Paneg. Gregorii Thaum. p. 181); for John is designated as the one especially favoured by the grace of the Lord. [333] Accordingly this appellation is put, even where the accompanying context did not much require it: for instance, in ch. John 20:2 , in connection with Peter, whose name is given. Moreover here, when Jesus’ passion was at hand, the first remarkable intimation of His love was given to John, through the revelation to him of the secret [ Joh 13:20 ]; previously he seems not to have known that he was so dear to Him.

[333] This is the meaning of the Hebrew name John . E. and T.

Verse 24

John 13:24 . Νεύει , intimates by signs [beckons]) from behind [at the back of] Jesus. The middle place was the seat of honour: Jesus was occupying it: above Him Peter, below Him John, seems to have had his place. There was a close intimacy between Peter and John, as appears from ch. John 20:2 [Mary Magdalene, after being at the empty tomb, “cometh to Simon Peter , and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved ”]; John 21:7 ; John 21:20 [They are associated together at Jesus’ appearing to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius; John saith to Peter, “It is the Lord.” Also after the dinner which followed, Peter asks as to John, “Lord, and what shall this man do?”] A silent intimation, rather than words, was here appropriate. πύθεσθαι , that he should ask ) The convenience, for the purpose, of the position with which John was favoured, admitted of this.

Verse 25

John 13:25 . Ἐπιπεσών , throwing himself back [not as Engl. Vers. lying on ]) This was a new [unprecedented] instance of freedom, such as neither he nor any other disciple used on any other occasion [therefore it is specially referred to, as something extraordinary in]: ch. John 21:20 . John was lying in the bosom of the Lord: from that position he leaned back with loving familiarity to the breast of Jesus, by that very act hiding his purpose of asking the question: he then asked the question privately. Comp. John 13:28 , “Now no man at the table knew with what intent Jesus spake this unto Judas .” ἐκεῖνος ) Many copies formerly added οὕτως . It is a good gloss [interpolated explanatory note]; comp. ch. John 4:6 , note. [334]

[334] Jesus at the well, ἐκαθέζετο οὕτως . BCLX Δ add the οὕτως here, ch. John 13:25 . But AD abc Vulg. Orig. 4,437 c , support Beng. and Rec. Text in omitting it. E. and T.

Verse 26

John 13:26 . [336] ἈΠΟΚΡΊΝΕΤΑΙ , answers ) into the ear of John. τὸ ψώμιον , the morsel [sop]) Jesus, whilst speaking, took this into His hand. δίδωσιν , He gives it ) Jesus gave it with the utmost long-suffering; and the rest of the disciples no doubt thought Judas to be blessed thereby above others. But when Judas was not even thus led to repentance, he became in a peculiar degree the organ of Satan, and most hostile to Christ. [ How very near to Jesus was Judas on this occasion! But in a short while after, by what a wide gulf did glory separate Jesus from Judas, and destruction separate Judas from Jesus! V. g.]

[336] λέγει αὐτῷ , saith unto Him ) Love to Jesus renders the question a legitimate one, which otherwise could hardly escape the stigma of mere curiosity. V. g.

Verse 27

John 13:27 . Μετὰ τὸ ψώμιον , after the giving of the morsel ) not at the time of giving the morsel . τότε , then ) The time is accurately marked, and may be compared with the similar notation of time, Luke 22:3 ; Luke 22:7 , “Then ( δέ ) entered Satan into Judas; then ( δέ ) came the day of unleavened bread,” etc. εἰσῆλθεν , entered ) Previously he may have only suggested [“ put into his heart”] the thought, John 13:2 [ch. John 12:4 (his objection to the waste of the ointment on the person of Jesus); John 6:70-71 , “Jesus answered, One of you is a devil: He spake of Judas”]. As the economy of evil and that of good may, from opposite sides, be compared with one another in all respects: so also the degrees of satanic operation and possession may be compared with those of the Divine operation and indwelling. ἐκεῖνον , that man ) He already marks Judas by a pronoun that removes him to a distance . ὃ ποιεῖς , what thou doest ) He does not desire him to do it, but, if he must persist in doing it, to do it quickly; and thereby He intimates, that He is ready for suffering. Judas might have perceived from this ray of the Lord’s omniscience, that he is known. τάχιον , more quickly ) So εὐθέως , John 13:30 , “He then, having received the sop, went immediately out.” In John 13:31 , “Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified ,” the cause is shown why Jesus thus hastened to the passion.

Verse 28

John 13:28 . Οὐδείς , no man ) except Jesus and John, and also Judas himself.

Verse 29

John 13:29 . Εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν , against the feast ) These things occurred a little before the feast, on the day before the Passover; nor however had they any thought, that the passion of the Lord was so near at hand. These incidents do not accord with the idea of their being on the very evening of the paschal supper.

Verse 30

John 13:30 . Ἐξῆλθεν , went out ) However he afterwards returned: as appears by a comparison with Matthew 26:20 [Judas was one of the Twelve , with whom He sat down on the following even , that of the paschal supper]; and indeed otherwise he could hardly have acted the part of a traitor. ἦν δὲ νὺξ , ὅτε ἐξῆλθε ) Moreover it was night, when he went out . A similar form of expression occurs, ch. John 9:14 , It was moreover the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay, etc. The words which were spoken on the following day, begin at John 13:31 .

Verses 30-31

John 13:30-31 . Ἦν δὲ νὺξ , ὅτε ἐξῆλθε . Λέγει ὁ Ἰησοῦς , Νῦν , κ . τ . λ .) It was night when Judas went out . But it was not in the beginning of that night, but on the following day, early in the morning, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified , etc., as we have shown in the Harmon. Evang. §§ 174, 178. It is therefore wrongly that some have construed this clause, ὅτε ἐξῆλθε , with λέγει , and some have even inserted οὖν after ὅτε . [337]

[337] A and other Uncial MSS., Chrysostom, and Stephens’ Edition, agree with Beng. in joining ὅτε ἐξῆλθε with ἦν δὲ νύξ : ΑΛΔ , and both Syr. Versions, omit οὖν . But (B?) CDLX abc Vulg. Orig. 4,445 e support the οὖν . E. and T.

Verse 31

John 13:31 . Λέγει ) Jesus saith on the following day, namely, early in the morning of the fifth day of the week (Thursday), with which comp. John 13:1 ; John 13:38 , “ Before the feast of the Passover:” whereas the words spoken, John 13:38 , were during the Passover, “The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice.” A discourse also beginning abruptly is thus marked: so ch. John 18:26 , “One of the servants saith , Did not I see thee,” etc.; with which comp. Luke 22:59 . [338] The Lord begins to give utterance to the greatest things which had been revolved in His own heart; and at this place the scene, as it were, is thrown open for the conference, which is continued in the foil. chapters. νῦν , now ) The exact point of time is precisely marked as being in the present. Comp. ch. John 12:27 ; John 12:31 , notes, “ Now is My soul troubled.” “Now is the judgment of this world.” This now fixes its own limits: now , saith He, namely, whilst I am speaking these things; although the very time of His speaking is not expressed by the Evangelist, but is left to be gathered from the context. So the word to-morrow is used [the day of speaking being left to be inferred from the context], Exodus 8:10 ; Exodus 8:20 ; Exodus 8:29 ; Exodus 9:5 ; whereby a reply is given to D. Hauber, Harm. Anm ., p. 207. The end of Judas has in itself no connection with this particle. [ Although it is an opinion which may with good reason be held, that Judas at that very moment did that which Jesus at Joh 13:27 had desired him to do quickly, and that the chief priests also then made all their arrangements for seizing on Him . Harm., p. 497.] ἐδοξάσθη , is glorified ) Jesus regards His passion as a short journey, and rather looks forward to the goal. ἐν αὐτῷ , in Him ) There was passing at the time in the heart of the Lord the thought of something most solid; nor was He merely having regard to the things immediately about to be, but He was having a most inward and vivid realisation and foretaste of them, whilst He was devoting [betaking] Himself wholly to suffering. What Christ gave utterance to at the commencement of the day, is something prior in point of time to that which He afterwards, in the evening, sought from the Father. John 17:1-2 , “ Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” Let the emphasis of the now be considered, and the difference of the words in [Him], in [Him, in Himself], John 13:31-32 , and on [earth], with [Thine own self: with Thee], ch. John 17:4-5 .

[338] “About the space of one hour after , another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with Him.” The speech therefore was an abrupt one. E. and T.

Verse 32

John 13:32 . Δοξάσει , shall glorify ) by His being lifted up. The connection of the if with the also is striking. Comp. Colossians 3:3-4 , “Your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” ἐν ἑαυτῷ , in His own self ) This is correlative to ἐν αὐτῷ .

Verse 33

John 13:33 . Τέκνια , little children ) In this passage, when putting forward the precept of love, He for the first time so calls them. Comp. ch. John 21:5 . [339] τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις , unto the Jews ) In this one passage alone, when speaking with the disciples, He calls them Jews, never on any other occasion, except to the Samaritan woman, to Caiaphas, and to Pilate, once only to each of these persons; ch. John 4:22 ; John 18:20 ; John 18:36 . Also in chapters 14 17. He never uses the appellation, Jews or Israel. ζητήσετέ με , ye shall seek Me ) He does not add, ye shall not find Me [as He did to the Jews]. οὐ δύνασθε , ye cannot ) They were not as yet matured enough for that: John 13:36 , “Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now ; but thou shalt follow Me afterwards .” ἄρτι , now ) He was unwilling to say this to the disciples sooner: whereas to unbelievers He said it sooner [at an earlier period].

[339] After the resurrection at the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus, when not yet recognised by the disciples, addresses them with the appellation, which might have reminded them of His love, “ Children , have ye any meat?” E. and T.

Verse 34

John 13:34 . Ἐντολὴν καινήν , a new commandment ) The commandment is called new , not so much in respect to the Old Testament, as in respect to the school of Christ; on account of the new measure [standard] established, concerning a love which goes so far as that even life is to be laid down for those who ought to be, or who are, the objects of that love; with which comp. 1 John 3:16 , “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Previously the following after Jesus in His several steps had guided the disciples, and this by implication comprised love [such as He now gives as a new commandment ]: but they cannot follow Him now that He is departing from them; therefore the sum of their duty is prescribed to them in this commandment. Comp. as to prayer, ch. John 16:24 , “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name : ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full;” as to giving them the appellation, ‘friends,’ John 15:15 , “ Henceforth I call you not servants, but I have called you friends ; for all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you;” as to the hatred of the world, ch. John 16:4 , “These things (as to persecution) have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.” Thence it is that it is called the law of Christ , Galatians 6:2 , “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Thus it is that the commandment heard from the beginning, and the new commandment, are opposed to one another, 1 John 2:7-8 , “I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment, which ye had from the beginning; again a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and you:” ( Joh 13:10 ) “He that loveth his brother,” etc. Ἐντολή , a commandment [precept, charge, injunction], is moreover the term applied to it, in this sense: inasmuch as it is enjoined, not on slaves, but on freemen. Moreover, at the same time a most sweet taste of its newness is added to this commandment, resulting from the perception of the glory, the mention of which goes before. Moses before his death, more than ever previously, in Deuteronomy, [340] recommended the love of God; so Jesus, before His departure, gives to the disciples a new commandment, that they should cherish mutual love. Thus the second law and the new commandment may be compared with one another. ἀγαπᾶτε ἀγαπᾶτε , that ye love that ye love ) This sentiment is twice set forth: first simply, then afterwards with Epitasis [Some augmentation , or emphatic addition , or explanation added . See Appendix on this figure]. A similar instance is that one, “ peace [I leave with you:” then with Epitasis], “ My peace ” ch. John 14:27 . Comp. Genesis 48:5 , “Thy two sons (are) mine: as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine ; Psalms 27:14 , “ Wait on the Lord, etc.: wait, I say , on the Lord;” Psalms 37:20 , “They shall consume; into smoke they shall consume ;” Psalms 47:7 , “Sing praises, etc., sing praises with understanding;” Psalms 68:24 , “Thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God in the sanctuary;” Psalms 118:16 , “The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly;” Ezekiel 7:2 , “ An end, the end is come .”

[340] = “The Second giving of the law,” just as the “ New commandment” here E. and T.

Verse 35

John 13:35 . Γνώσονται , shall know ) A mark whereby Christians may be known, is love: Romans 14:18 , at the close of the ver., comparing with it the middle of John 13:15 , “He that in these things serveth Christ is approved of men : walkest charitably ;” 1 John 3:10 , “In this the children of God are manifest , and the children of the devil: whosoever, etc., is not of God, neither He that loveth not his brother .” ἐμοί ) of Me , who love even to [the endurance of] death for the sake of others. μαθηταί , disciples ) ch. John 15:8 , “That ye bear much fruit: so shall ye be My disciples.” ἀγαπήν , love ) and this, for My sake, and even as I have loved.

Verse 36

John 13:36 . [342] ΠΈΤΡΟς , Peter ) Peter speaks in this place, then Thomas, then Philip, then Judas, ch. John 14:5 ; John 14:8 ; John 14:22 , then all the disciples , ch. John 16:29 . [ Those very interlocutory speeches, noted down in ch , 14., seem to imply that Peter and John had not returned, and that the paschal lamb had not yet been got ready. And though this be so, John had no less power to describe the speeches (subjects) contained in that chapter, than had Luke those in his ch. Luke 1., etc. Would any one readily venture to describe those speeches, even though he had heard or read them a hundred times? It (the power) was divinely given to the sacred winters. But if you are of opinion, that the discourse which meets us in ch. 14. was delivered before that Peter and John had departed into the city, no doubt the series of the remaining parts of the narrative is not disarranged thereby: however, the rest of the discourse, on this supposition, will have to be separated from the short clause , Arise, etc., ch. John 14:31 . Harm., p. 506, etc.] ποῦ , whither ) John 13:33 , “Ye shall seek Me; as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” Peter was asking the question, as one who was supposing that he could follow the Lord. The heart of Peter had clung close to Jesus: ch. John 6:68 , “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life;” John 21:7 , “When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, and did cast himself into the sea.” ἀπεκρίθη , answered ) To the question whither , He answers, after an interval, ch. John 14:2 , “In My Father’s house , etc., I go to prepare a place for you,” etc., 12, “I go unto My Father,” 28, John 16:5 , “Now I go My way to Him that sent Me.” οὐ δύνασαι , thou canst not ) Neither did the circumstances admit of it, nor the weakness of Peter; but Peter has regard to this latter alone in his objection in reply. Peter did ‘follow,’ ch. John 18:15 [at Jesus’ apprehension], but it was “afar off” [ Mat 26:58 ], and not without loss to himself. ἀκολουθήσεις , thou shalt follow ) ch. John 21:19 ; John 21:22 , “This (as to “another girding him”) spake Jesus , signifying by what death Peter should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto Him, Follow Me.” “If I will that he (John) tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me.”

[342] ἐν ἀλλήλοις , among yourselves, one toward the other ) Men of the world love one another mutually, ch. John 15:19 , “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own.” The disciples of Christ much more love mutually and are beloved. The men of the world account the disciples of Christ as an object of hatred: therefore he who cherishes love towards the latter, is himself a disciple. V. g.

Verse 37

John 13:37 . Ὑπὲρ σοῦ , for Thy sake ) Nay, it was Jesus who would lay down His life for Peter’s sake.

Verse 38

John 13:38 . Ἀπαρνήσῃ , thou shall have denied Me) owing to cowardice. So far are you from being ready to die. The threefold denial was thrice foretold: first in this passage; next, as recorded in Luke; lastly, in Matthew and Mark. There is a wonderful connection of the first verse of the following chapter with this prediction. For He most sweetly replies to the question that had gone before, as to whither He is going , although Peter, and the rest of the disciples with him, were at the time so exceedingly weak and wavering.

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 13". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/john-13.html. 1897.
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