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With (συν). See John 12:2 for another example of συν in John (common in Paul). The usual μετα reappears in verse John 18:2.
Over (περαν). "Beyond," preposition with the ablative as in John 6:22; John 6:25.
Brook (χειμαρρου). Old word, flowing (ροοσ, ρεω) in winter (χειμα), only here in N.T.
Kidron (τον Κεδρων). Literally, "of the Cedars," "Brook of the Cedars." Only here in N.T. So 2 Samuel 15:23. Textus Receptus like Josephus (Ant. VIII, 1, 5) has the singular του Κεδρων (indeclinable). As a matter of fact it was always dry save after a heavy rain.
A garden (κηπος). Old word, in N.T. only here, verse John 18:26; John 19:41 (Joseph's); Luke 13:19. John, like Luke, does not give the name Gethsemane (only in Mark 14:32; Matthew 26:36). The brook of the cedars had many unhallowed associations (1 Kings 2:37; 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Kings 23:4; 2 Chronicles 29:16; Jeremiah 31:40).
Resorted thither (συνηχθη εκε). First aorist passive indicative of συναγω, old verb to gather together. A bit awkward here till you add "with his disciples." Judas knew the place, and the habit of Jesus to come here at night for prayer (Luke 22:39). Hence his offer to catch Jesus while the feast was going on, catch him at night and alone in his usual place of prayer (the very spirit of the devil).
The band of soldiers (την σπειραν). No word for "of soldiers" in the Greek, but the Latin spira (roll or ball) was used for a military cohort (Polybius 11, 23, 1) as in Matthew 27:27; Acts 10:1, etc., here for a small band secured from the Tower of Antonia. The Synoptics do not mention the soldiers, but only the "officers" as here (υπηρετας for which see Matthew 26:58; Mark 14:54; Mark 14:65) or temple police from the Sanhedrin.
Cometh (ερχετα). Dramatic historical present middle indicative.
With lanterns and torches (μετα φανων κα λαμπαδων). Both old words, φανος only here in N.T., λαμπας, an oil lamp (Matthew 25:1). It was full moon, but Judas took no chances for it may have been cloudy and there were dark places by the walls and under the olive trees. Μετα is accompanied with
and weapons (κα οπλων). Mark (Mark 14:43) mentions "swords and staves." Probably the temple guard had weapons as well as the soldiers.
Knowing all the things that were coming upon him (ειδως παντα τα ερχομενα επ' αυτον). Mentioned already in John 13:1. He was not taken by surprise. The surrender and death of Jesus were voluntary acts, though the guilt of Judas and the rest remains.
Was standing (ιστηκε). Second past perfect active of ιστημ used as imperfect, a vivid picture of Judas in the very act of betraying Jesus. John does not mention the kiss by Judas as a sign to the soldiers and police. Tatian suggests that it came before verse John 18:4. Then Jesus stepped forth and affirmed that he was the one whom they were seeking.
Fell to the ground (επεσαν χαμα). Second aorist active indicative of πιπτω with first aorist ending (-αν). This recoil made them stumble. But why did they step back? Was it the former claim of Jesus ( I am , εγω ειμ) to be on an equality with God (John 8:58; John 13:19) or mere embarrassment and confusion or supernatural power exerted by Jesus? B adds Ιησους which must mean simply: "I am Jesus."
Again (παλιν). The repeated question receives the same answer. The soldiers and officers know who it is, but are still overawed.
Let these go their way (αφετε τουτους υπαγειν). Second aorist active imperative of αφιημ. The verb υπαγειν means to withdraw (John 11:44). Jesus shows solicitude for the eleven as he had warned them and prayed for them (Luke 22:31). He is trying to help them.
That might be fulfilled (ινα πληρωθη). The regular formula (John 17:12) for Scripture, here applied to the prophecy of Jesus (John 17:12) as in verse John 18:32. John treats the saying of Jesus as on a par with the O.T.
Having a sword (εχων μαχαιραν). It was unlawful to carry a weapon on a feast-day, but Peter had become alarmed at Christ's words about his peril. They had two swords or knives in the possession of the eleven according to Luke (John 22:38). After the treacherous kiss of Judas (on the hand or the cheek?) the disciples asked: "Lord, shall we smite with the sword?" (Luke 22:49). Apparently before Jesus could answer Peter with his usual impulsiveness jerked out (ειλκυσεν, first aorist active indicative of ελκυω for which see John 6:44) his sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus (John 18:10), a servant of the high priest. Peter missed the man's head as he swerved to his left. Luke also (Luke 22:50) mentions the detail of the right ear, but John alone mentions the man's name and Peter's. There was peril to Peter in his rash act as comes out later (John 18:26), but he was dead long before John wrote his Gospel as was Lazarus of whom John could also safely write (John 12:9-43.12.11). For ωταριον, diminutive of ους, see Mark 14:47 (only other N.T. example), another diminutive ωτιον in Matthew 26:51 (Mark 14:47; Luke 22:51).
Into the sheath (εις την θηκην). Old word from τιθημ, to put for box or sheath, only here in N.T. In Matthew 26:52 Christ's warning is given.
The cup (το ποτηριον). Metaphor for Christ's death, used already in reply to request of James and John (Mark 10:39; Matthew 20:22) and in the agony in Gethsemane before Judas came (Mark 14:36; Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42), which is not given by John. The case of το ποτηριον is the suspended nominative for note αυτο (it) referring to it.
Shall I not drink? (ου μη πιω;). Second aorist active subjunctive of πινω with the double negative ου μη in a question expecting the affirmative answer. Abbott takes it as an exclamation and compares John 6:37; Mark 14:25.
The chief captain (ο χιλιαρχος). They actually had the Roman commander of the cohort along (cf. Acts 21:31), not mentioned before.
Seized (συνελαβον). Second aorist active of συλλαμβανω, old verb to grasp together, to arrest (technical word) in the Synoptics in this context (Mark 14:48; Matthew 26:55), here alone in John.
Bound (εδησαν). First aorist active indicative of δεω, to bind. As a matter of course, with the hands behind his back, but with no warrant in law and with no charge against him.
To Annas first (προς Ανναν πρωτον). Ex-high priest and father-in-law (πενθερος, old word, only here in N.T.) of Caiaphas the actual high priest. Then Jesus was subjected to a preliminary and superfluous inquiry by Annas (given only by John) while the Sanhedrin were gathering before Caiaphas. Bernard curiously thinks that the night trial actually took place here before Annas and only the early morning ratification was before Caiaphas. So he calmly says that "Matthew inserts the name Caiaphas at this point (the night trial) in which he seems to have been mistaken." But why "mistaken"?
That year (του ενιαυτου εκεινου). Genitive of time.
He which gave command (ο συμβουλευσας). First aorist active articular participle of συμβουλευω, old verb (Matthew 26:4). The reference is to John 11:50.
It was expedient (συμφερε). Present active indicative retained in indirect assertion after secondary tense (ην, was). Here we have the second aorist active infinitive αποθανειν as the subject of συμφερε, both good idioms in the Koine.
Followed (ηκολουθε). Imperfect active of ακολουθεω, "was following," picturesque and vivid tense, with associative instrumental case τω Ιησου.
Another disciple (αλλος μαθητης). Correct text without article ο (genuine in verse John 18:16). Peter's companion was the Beloved Disciple, the author of the book (John 21:24).
Was known unto the high priest (ην γνωστος τω αρχιερε). Verbal adjective from γινωσκω, to know (Acts 1:19) with dative case. How well known the word does not say, not necessarily a personal friend, well enough known for the portress to admit John. "The account of what happened to Peter might well seem to be told from the point of view of the servants' hall" (Sanday, Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, p. 101).
Entered in with Jesus (συνεισηλθεν τω Ιησου). Second aorist active indicative of the double compound συνεισερχομα, old verb, in N.T. here and John 6:22. With associative instrumental case.
Into the court (εις την αυλην). It is not clear that this word ever means the palace itself instead of the courtyard (uncovered enclosure) as always in the papyri (very common). Clearly courtyard in Mark 14:66 (Matthew 26:69; Luke 22:55). Apparently Annas had rooms in the official residence of Caiaphas.
Was standing (ιστηκε). Same form in verse John 18:5 which see. So also ιστηκεισαν in John 18:18. Picture of Peter standing outside by the door.
Unto the high priest (του αρχιερεως). Objective genitive here, but dative in verse John 18:15.
Unto her that kept the door (τη θυρωρω). Old word (θυρα, door, ωρα, care), masculine in John 10:3, feminine here, door-keeper (male or female).
The maid (η παιδισκη). Feminine form of παιδισκος, diminutive of παις. See Matthew 26:69. When "the maid the portress" (apposition).
Art thou also? (μη κα συ ει;). Expecting the negative answer, though she really believed he was.
This man's (του ανθρωπου τουτου). Contemptuous use of ουτος with a gesture toward Jesus. She made it easy for Peter to say no.
A fire of coals (ανθρακιαν). Old word, in LXX, only here and John 21:9 in N.T. A heap of burning coals (ανθραξ, coal). Cf. our "anthracite." It was cold (ψυχος ην). "There was coldness." The soldiers had apparently returned to their barracks.
Were warming themselves (εθερμαινοντο). Direct middle imperfect indicative of θερμαινω (from θερμος). So as to θερμαινομενος about Peter. "Peter, unabashed by his lie, joined himself to the group and stood in the light of the fire" (Dods).
Asked (ηρωτησεν). First aorist active indicative of ερωταω, to question, usual meaning. This was Annas making a preliminary examination of Jesus probably to see on what terms Jesus made disciples whether as a mere rabbi or as Messiah.
Openly (παρρησια). As already shown (John 7:4; John 8:26; John 10:24; John 10:39; John 16:25; John 16:29. See John 7:4 for same contrast between εν παρρησια and εν κρυπτω.
I ever taught (εγω παντοτε εδιδαξα). Constative aorist active indicative. For the temple teaching see John 2:19; John 7:14; John 7:28; John 8:20; John 19:23; Mark 14:49 and John 6:59 for the synagogue teaching (often in the Synoptics). Examples of private teaching are Nicodemus (John 18:3) and the woman of Samaria (John 18:4). Jesus ignores the sneer at his disciples, but challenges the inquiry about his teaching as needless.
Ask them that have heard me (ερωτησον τους ακηκοοτας). First aorist (tense of urgent and instant action) active imperative of ερωταω and the articular perfect active participle accusative masculine plural of ακουω, to hear. There were abundant witnesses to be had. Multitudes had heard Jesus in the great debate in the temple on Tuesday of this very week when the Sanhedrin were routed to the joy of the common people who heard Jesus gladly (Mark 12:37). They still know.
When he had said this (ταυτα αυτου ειποντος). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of ειπον, to say.
Standing by (παρεστηκως). Perfect active (intransitive) participle of παριστημ (transitive), to place beside. One of the temple police who felt his importance as protector of Annas.
Struck Jesus with his hand (εδωκεν ραπισμα τω Ιησου). Late word ραπισμα is from ραπιζω, to smite with a rod or with the palm of the hand (Matthew 26:67). It occurs only three times in the N.T. (Mark 14:65; John 18:22; John 19:3), in each of which it is uncertain whether the blow is with a rod or with the palm of the hand (probably this, a most insulting act). The papyri throw no real light on it. "He gave Jesus a slap in the face." Cf. 2 Corinthians 11:20.
So (ουτως). As Jesus had done in verse John 18:21, a dignified protest in fact by Jesus.
If I have spoken evil (ε κακως ελαλησα). Condition of first class (assumed to be true), with ε and aorist active indicative. Jesus had not spoken evilly towards Annas, though he did not here turn the other cheek, one may note. For the sake of argument, Jesus puts it as if he did speak evilly. Then prove it, that is all.
Bear witness of the evil (μαρτυρησον περ του κακου). First aorist active imperative of μαρτυρεω, to testify. This is the conclusion (apodosis). Jesus is clearly entitled to proof of such a charge if there is any.
But if well (ε δε καλως). Supply the same verb ελαλησα. The same condition, but with a challenging question as the apodosis.
Smitest (δερεις). Old verb δερω, to flay, to skin, to beat, as in Matthew 21:35; Luke 22:63; 2 Corinthians 11:20 (of an insulting blow in the face as here).
Therefore sent him (απεστειλεν ουν αυτον). First aorist active of αποστελλω, not past perfect (had sent). The preliminary examination by Annas was over.
Bound (δεδεμενον). Perfect passive participle of δεω, to bind. Jesus was bound on his arrest (verse John 18:12) and apparently unbound during the preliminary examination by Annas.
Was standing and warming himself (ην εστως κα θερμαινομενος). Two periphrastic imperfects precisely as in verse John 18:18, vivid renewal of the picture drawn there. John alone gives the examination of Jesus by Annas (John 18:19-43.18.24) which he places between the first and the second denials by Peter. Each of the Four Gospels gives three denials, but it is not possible to make a clear parallel as probably several people joined in each time. This time there was an hour's interval (Luke 22:59). The question and answer are almost identical with verse John 18:17 and "put in a form which almost suggested that Peter should say 'No'" (Bernard), a favourite device of the devil in making temptation attractive.
Did not I see thee in the garden with him? (ουκ εγω σε ειδον εν τω κηπω μετ' αυτου;). This staggering and sudden thrust expects an affirmative answer by the use of ουκ, not μη as in verses John 18:17; John 18:25, but Peter's previous denials with the knowledge that he was observed by a kinsman of Malchus whom he had tried to kill (verse John 18:10) drove him to the third flat denial that he knew Jesus, this time with cursing and swearing (Mark 14:71; Matthew 26:73). Peter was in dire peril now of arrest himself for attempt to kill.
Straightway (ευθεως). As in Matthew 26:74 while Luke has παραχρημα (Luke 22:60). Mark (Mark 14:68; Mark 14:72) speaks of two crowings as often happens when one cock crows. See Matthew 26:34 for αλεκτωρ (cock). That was usually the close of the third watch of the night (Mark 13:35), about 3 A.M. Luke (Luke 22:61) notes that Jesus turned and looked on Peter probably as he passed from the rooms of Annas to the trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin (the ecclesiastical court). See Mrs. Browning's beautiful sonnets on "The Look".
They lead (αγουσιν). Dramatic historical present of αγω, plural "they" for the Sanhedrists (Luke 23:1). John gives no details of the trial before the Sanhedrin (only the fact, John 18:24; John 18:28) when Caiaphas presided, either the informal meeting at night (Mark 14:53; Mark 14:55-41.14.65; Matthew 26:57; Matthew 26:59-40.26.68; Luke 22:54; Luke 22:63-42.22.65) or the formal ratification meeting after dawn (Mark 15:1; Matthew 27:1; Luke 22:66-42.22.71), but he gives much new material of the trial before Pilate (John 18:28-43.18.38).
Into the palace (εις το πραιτωριον). For the history and meaning of this interesting Latin word, praetorium, see on Matthew 27:27; Acts 23:35; Philippians 1:13. Here it is probably the magnificent palace in Jerusalem built by Herod the Great for himself and occupied by the Roman Procurator (governor) when in the city. There was also one in Caesarea (Acts 23:35). Herod's palace in Jerusalem was on the Hill of Zion in the western part of the upper city. There is something to be said for the Castle of Antonia, north of the temple area, as the location of Pilate's residence in Jerusalem.
Early (πρω). Technically the fourth watch (3 A.M. to 6 A.M.). There were two violations of Jewish legal procedure (holding the trial for a capital case at night, passing condemnation on the same day of the trial). Besides, the Sanhedrin no longer had the power of death. A Roman court could meet any time after sunrise. John (John 19:14) says it was "about the sixth hour" when Pilate condemned Jesus.
That they might not be defiled (ινα μη μιανθωσιν). Purpose clause with ινα μη and first aorist passive subjunctive of μιαινω, to stain, to defile. For Jewish scruples about entering the house of a Gentile see Acts 10:28; Acts 11:3.
But might eat the passover (αλλα φαγωσιν το πασχα). Second aorist active subjunctive of the defective verb εσθιω, to eat. This phrase may mean to eat the passover meal as in Matthew 27:17 (Mark 14:12; Mark 14:14; Luke 22:11; Luke 22:15), but it does not have to mean that. In 2 Chronicles 30:22 we read: "And they did eat the festival seven days" when the paschal festival is meant, not the paschal lamb or the paschal supper. There are eight other examples of πασχα in John's Gospel and in all of them the feast is meant, not the supper. If we follow John's use of the word, it is the feast here, not the meal of John 13:2 which was the regular passover meal. This interpretation keeps John in harmony with the Synoptics.
Went out (εξηλθεν εξω). Note both εξ and εξω (went out outside), since the Sanhedrin would not come into Pilate's palace. Apparently on a gallery over the pavement in front of the palace (John 19:13).
Accusation (κατηγοριαν). Old word for formal charge, in N.T. only here, 1 Timothy 5:19; Titus 1:6.
Against this man (του ανθρωπου τουτου). Objective genitive after κατηγοριαν. A proper legal inquiry.
If this man were not an evil-doer (ε μη ην ουτος κακον ποιων). Condition (negative) of second class (periphrastic imperfect indicative), assumed to be untrue, with the usual apodosis (αν and aorist indicative, first aorist plural with κ). This is a pious pose of infallibility not in the Synoptics. They then proceeded to make the charges (Luke 23:2) as indeed John implies (John 18:31; John 18:33). Some MSS. here read κακοποιος (malefactor) as in 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 2:14, with which compare Luke's κακουργος (John 23:32; so also 2 Timothy 2:9), both meaning evil-doer. Here the periphrastic present participle ποιων with κακον emphasizes the idea that Jesus was a habitual evil-doer (Abbott). It was an insolent reply to Pilate (Bernard).
Yourselves (υμεις). Emphatic. Pilate shrewdly turns the case over to the Sanhedrin in reply to their insolence, who have said nothing whatever about their previous trial and condemnation of Jesus. He drew out at once the admission that they wanted the death of Jesus, not a fair trial for him, but Pilate's approval of their purpose to kill him (John 7:1; John 7:25).
By what manner of death (ποιω θανατω). Instrumental case of the qualitative interrogative ποιος in an indirect question, the very idiom used in John 12:32 concerning the Cross and here treated as prophecy (Scripture) with ινα πληρωθη like the saying of Jesus in verse John 18:9 which see.
Again (παλιν). Back into the palace where Pilate was before.
Called (εφωνησεν). First aorist active indicative of φωνεω. Jesus was already inside the court (verse John 18:28). Pilate now summoned him to his presence since he saw that he had to handle the case. The charge that Jesus claimed to be a king compelled him to do so (Luke 23:2).
Art thou the King of the Jews? (συ ε ο βασιλευς των Ιουδαιων;). This was the vital problem and each of the Gospels has the question (Mark 15:2; Matthew 27:1; Luke 23:3; John 18:33), though Luke alone (John 23:2) gives the specific accusation.
Thou (συ). Emphatic. Jesus did claim to be the spiritual king of Israel as Nathanael said (John 1:49) and as the ecstatic crowd hailed him on the Triumphal Entry (John 12:13), but the Sanhedrin wish Pilate to understand this in a civil sense as a rival of Caesar as some of the Jews wanted Jesus to be (John 6:15) and as the Pharisees expected the Messiah to be.
Of thyself (απο σεαυτου). Whether a sincere inquiry on Pilate's part or a trap from the Sanhedrin.
Am I a Jew? (μητ εγω Ιουδαιος ειμι;). Proud and fine scorn on Pilate's part at the idea that he had a personal interest in the question. Vehement negation implied. Cf. John 4:29 for μητ in a question. The gulf between Jew and Gentile yawns wide here.
Nation (εθνος as in John 11:48-43.11.52, rather than λαος, while both in John 11:50). For παρεδωκαν see verse John 18:30.
What hast thou done? (τ εποιησασ;). First aorist active indicative of ποιεω. Blunt and curt question. "What didst thou do?" "What is thy real crime?" John's picture of this private interview between Pilate and Jesus is told with graphic power.
My kingdom (η βασιλεια η εμη). Christ claims to be king to Pilate, but of a peculiar kingdom. For "world" (κοσμου) see John 17:13-43.17.18.
My servants (ο υπηρετα ο εμο). For the word see verse John 18:3 where it means the temple police or guards (literally, under-rowers). In the LXX always (Proverbs 14:35; Isaiah 32:5; Daniel 3:46) officers of a king as here. Christ then had only a small band of despised followers who could not fight against Caesar. Was he alluding also to legions of angels on his side? (Matthew 26:56).
Would fight (ηγωνιζοντο αν). Imperfect middle of αγωνιζομα common verb (only here in John, but see 1 Corinthians 9:25) from αγων (contest) with αν, a conclusion of the second-class condition (assumed as untrue). Christians should never forget the profound truth stated here by Jesus.
That I should not be delivered (ινα μη παραδοθω). Negative final clause with ινα μη and first aorist passive subjunctive of παραδιδωμ (see verses John 18:28; John 18:36). Jesus expects Pilate to surrender to the Jews.
But now (νυν δε). In contrast to the condition already stated as in John 8:40; John 9:41; John 15:22; John 15:24.
Art thou a king then? (ουκουν βασιλευς ε συ;). Compound of ουκ and ουν and is clearly ironical expecting an affirmative answer, only here in the N.T., and in LXX only in A text in 2 Kings 5:23.
Thou sayest that (συ λεγεις οτ). In Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3, συ λεγεις clearly means "yes," as συ ειπας (thou saidst) does in Matthew 26:64 (= "I am," εγω ειμ, in Mark 41:62). Hence here οτ had best be taken to mean "because": "Yes, because I am a king."
Have I been born (εγω γεγεννημα). Perfect passive indicative of γενναω. The Incarnation was for this purpose. Note repetition of εις τουτο (for this purpose), explained by ινα μαρτυρησω τη αληθεια (that I may bear witness to the truth), ινα with first aorist active subjunctive of μαρτυρεω. Paul (1 Timothy 6:13) alludes to this good confession when Christ bore witness (μαρτυρησαντος) before Pilate. Jesus bore such witness always (John 3:11; John 3:32; John 7:7; John 8:14; Revelation 1:5).
What is truth? (τ εστιν αληθεια;). This famous sneer of Pilate reveals his own ignorance of truth, as he stood before Incarnate Truth (John 14:6). Quid est veritas? The answer in Latin is Vir est qui adest as has been succinctly said by the use of the same letters. Pilate turned with indifference from his own great question and rendered his verdict: "I find no crime in him" (εγω ουδεμιαν ευρισκω εν αυτω αιτιαν). For this use of αιτια see Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26. Pilate therefore should have set Jesus free at once.
A custom (συνηθεια). Old word for intimacy, intercourse, from συνηθης (συν, ηθος), in N.T. only here, 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Corinthians 11:16. This custom, alluded to in Mark 15:6; Matthew 27:15, is termed necessity (αναγκη) in Luke 23:17 (late MSS., not in older MSS.). All the Gospels use the verb απολυω (release, set free). Then ινα απολυσω is a subject clause (ινα and first aorist active subjunctive) in apposition with συνηθεια.
Will ye therefore that I release? (βουλεσθε ουν απολυσω;). Without the usual ινα before απολυσω, asyndeton, as in Mark 10:36, to be explained either as parataxis or two questions (Robertson, Grammar, p. 430) or as mere omission of ινα (ibid., p. 994). There is contempt and irony in Pilate's use of the phrase "the king of the Jews."
Cried out (εκραυγασαν). First aorist active of κραυγαζω, old and rare verb from κραυγη, outcry (Matthew 25:6), as in Matthew 12:19.
Not this man (μη τουτον). Contemptuous use of ουτος. The priests put the crowd up to this choice (Mark 15:11) and Pilate offered the alternative (Matthew 27:17, one MS. actually gives Jesus as the name of Barabbas also). The name Βαραββας in Aramaic simply means son of a father.
A robber (ληιστης). Old word from ληιζομα, to plunder, and so a brigand and possibly the leader of the band to which the two robbers belonged who were crucified with Jesus. Luke terms him an insurgent and murderer (Luke 23:19; Luke 23:25). They chose Barabbas in preference to Jesus and apparently Jesus died on the very cross planned for Barabbas.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 18". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent