Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 18:18

Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Court;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Peter;   Priest;   Prisoners;   Thompson Chain Reference - Association-Separation;   Associations;   Evil;   Fall;   Peter;   Simon Peter;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fire;   Houses;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Caiaphas;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Endurance;   Persecution;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Fire;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Caiaphas, Joseph;   John the Apostle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Cooking and Heating;   Fuel;   John, the Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Annas ;   Annas (2);   Coal;   Denial;   Fire ;   Heat ;   House;   Jerusalem (2);   Minister, Ministration;   Night (2);   Officer (2);   Peter;   Trial of Jesus;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Coal;   Officer;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Dwelling;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Justice;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Coal;   Cold;   Peter, Simon;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Agony;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Servants and officers - These belonged to the chief priests, etc.; the Roman soldiers had probably been dismissed after having conducted Christ to Annas.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 18:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-18.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the servants and officers stood there,.... In a certain part of the hall, the middle of it; the Vulgate Latin reads, "by the coals": it follows,

who had made a fire of coals, for it was cold; though it was the passover, and harvest near. Dr. Lightfoot has observed from our countryman Biddulph, who was at Jerusalem at this time of the year, that though in the daytime it was as hot as with us at Midsummer, yet such very great dews fell as made it very cold, especially in the night; and from one of the Jewish canonsF13Maimon. Hilch. Kiddush Chodesh, c. 4. sect. 6. , that the year was not intercalated, (which when done was chiefly on account of the passover,) neither for snow nor frost; which, as he justly remarks, supposes there might be frost and snow at the time of the passover. The same is observed in the TalmudF14T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 11. 1. , where the gloss upon it is,

"that they might not desist, on that account, from coming to the passover.'

The sense is, that whereas sometimes snow fell about the time of the passover; which might be thought to be an hinderance to some from coming to it; this never was a reason that came into consideration with the sanhedrim, or prevailed upon them to intercalate a month, that so the passover might not fall at a time of year when there was usually snow. The passover was always in the spring of the year, when nights are commonly cold, as they are generally observed to be at the vernal equinox: this night might be remarkably cold; which seems to be suggested by the Persic version, which reads, "for it was cold that night"; and the Ethiopic version, "for the cold of that night was great"; and adds what is neither in the text, nor true, "for the country was cold". The Arabic version, as it should seem, very wrongly renders it, "for it was winter"; since the passover was never kept in the winter season, but always in the spring, in the month Nisan: the winter season, with the Jews, were half the month of Chisleu, all Tebeth, and half ShebetF15T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 106. 2. ; though this is to be observed in favour of that version, that the Jews distinguish their winter into two parts; the one they call חורף, which, as the gloss says, is the strength of winter, the coldest part of it, and which lasts the time before mentioned; and the other they call קור, which is the end of winter, and when the cold is not so strong; and half Nisan is taken into this; for they say that half Shebat, all Adar, and half Nisan, are reckoned to this part of winter: so that, according to this account, the fourteenth of Nisan, which was the day on which the passover was killed; or at least the fifteenth, which was now begun, was the last day of winter, and so just secures the credit of the above version.

And they warmed themselves, and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself: he was cold both inwardly and outwardly; and being so, he gets into bad company; and it may be with a view that he might not be suspected, but be taken for one of their own sort, as one who had the same ill opinion of Jesus they had; and by the light of the fire he is again discovered and challenged, which makes way for a second denial.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 18:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-18.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

And the servants and officers — the menials and some of the “band” that “took Jesus.” (Also see on Mark 14:54.)

stood there, who had made — “having made.”

a fire of coals, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves — “John alone notices the material (charcoal) of which the fire was made, and the reason for a fire - the coldness of the night” [Webster and Wilkinson]. “Peter went in and sat with the servants to see the end (Matthew 26:58), and warmed himself at the fire” (Mark 14:54). These two statements are extremely interesting. His wishing to “see the end,” of issue of these proceedings, was what led him into the palace, for he evidently feared the worst. But once in, the serpent coil is drawn closer; it is a cold night, and why should not he take advantage of the fire as well as others? Besides, in the talk of the crowd about the all-engrossing topic, he may pick up something which he would like to hear. “And as Peter was beneath in the palace” (Mark 14:66). Matthew (Matthew 26:69) says, “sat without in the palace.” According to Oriental architecture, and especially in large buildings, as here, the street door - or heavy folding gate through which single persons entered by a wicket kept by a porter - opened by a passage or “porch” (Mark 14:68) into a quadrangular court, here called the “palace” or hall, which was open above, and is frequently paved with flagstones. In the center of this court the “fire” would be kindled (in a brazier). At the upper end of it, probably, was the chamber in which the trial was held, open to the court and not far from the fire (Luke 22:61), but on a higher level; for Mark (Mark 14:66) says the court was “beneath” it. The ascent was, perhaps, by a short flight of steps. This explanation will make the intensely interesting details more intelligible.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-18.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

18. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.

[For it was cold.] It was the very dead of night, almost at cockcrowing. Our countryman Biddulph, who was at Jerusalem at the very time when they were wont to celebrate the Passover, gives us the reason of this cold by his own experience. He acknowledgeth indeed that he found it so hot at that time as we usually feel it in our own country about midsummer, that he could not but wonder how Peter, at that time of the year, should be so cold. But within a few days his doubt was resolved, for there were mighty dews fell, which not being wholly dried up by the sun made it very cold, especially in the night, &c.

Nay, the traditional fathers suppose there may be frost and snow in the time of Passover, by that canon of theirs: "They do not intercalate the year either for snow or for frost."

The intercalation of the year respected chiefly the Paschal solemnity; namely, that by the interposing of the intercalated month all things might be ripe and fit for that feast. If when it came to the month Nisan the barley was not yet ripe enough to offer the sheaf of the first fruits, then they put a month between, which they called the second Adar. So if the ways were so bad that people could not travel up to Jerusalem, if the bridges were so broken that they could not pass the rivers, they intercalated or put a month between, that at the coming in of the month Nisan every thing might be ready that was requisite for the Paschal solemnity. But if frost or snow should happen when Nisan was entering in its ordinary course, they did not put a month between upon that account. From whence it is plain that frost and snow did sometimes happen at that time.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 18:18". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-18.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

A fire of coals (αντρακιανanthrakian). Old word, in lxx, only here and John 21:9 in N.T. A heap of burning coals (αντραχanthrax coal). Cf. our “anthracite.” It was cold (πσυχος ηνpsuchos ēn). “There was coldness.” The soldiers had apparently returned to their barracks.

Were warming themselves (ετερμαινοντοethermainonto). Direct middle imperfect indicative of τερμαινωthermainō (from τερμοςthermos). So as to τερμαινομενοςthermainomenos about Peter. “Peter, unabashed by his lie, joined himself to the group and stood in the light of the fire” (Dods).

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Stood

It is discouraging to see how the A.V. habitually ignores the imperfect tense, and thus detracts from the liveliness of the narrative. Render, as Rev., were standing.

Fire of coals ( ἀνθρακιὰν )

Only here and John 21:9. Matthew does not mention the fire. Mark has τὸ φῶς , strictly, the light of the fire. Luke says they had kindled a fire ( πῦρ ).

Warmed

Rev., correctly, were warming. So, John 18:25, was standing and was warming, for stood and warmed.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

Now the servants and the officers were standing [there], having made a fire of coals; for it was cold; and they were warming themselves: and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself1.

  1. And Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. See .

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 18:18". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-18.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Петр также стоял. Евангелист, добавляя, что Петр стоял со слугами и рабами у костра, делает это, как мы впоследствии увидим, для общего контекста. Кроме того, отсюда ясно, какое оцепенение охватило Петра, который спокойно стоял с толпой нечестивых, уже отрекшись от Учителя. Хотя, возможно, его удерживал страх: он боялся выйти из дома и попасть в такую же историю.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-18.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.

Ver. 18. And warmed himself] But while he warmed without, he cooled within. Evil company is a great quench coal, an ill air for zeal to breathe in, it casts a damp. "For the abundance of iniquity, the love of many waxeth cold," Matthew 24:12. Peter’s evil example was a compulsion to other good people, Galatians 2:14. What marvel then if the swearing, cursing soldiers compelled him to do the like? They were the trunks through which the devil delivered himself, jeering at and railing upon Christ, no doubt, &c.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 18:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 18:18. A fire of coals; for it was cold See the note on Jeremiah 36:22. Fires in winter are used but for a little while at Aleppo, which is considerably further to the north than Jerusalem; and some there make use of none at all. The fires they then use in their lodging-rooms are of charcoal, in pans; which sort of fire also is used by the Egyptians. They had no chimneys. But what seems most to have required the use of wood, and consequently chimneys, among the Jews, was the dressing the paschal lamb; for charcoal might without doubt be sufficient for their common cookery. If, however, they roasted the lambs of the passover, as Thevenot tells us the Persians do whole sheep, as well as lambs, which are not designed for sacred purposes, the use of smoky wood might be avoided; for they do it, he says, in ovens, which have the mouth open at the top; into which, after they are well heated, they put the meat, with an earthen pan underneath, to receive the fat: they roast alike on all sides, and he acknowledges that they dress them well. He subjoins anotherway of roasting a whole sheep, practised by the Armenians, by which also the use of smoky wood is avoided: for having flayed it, they cover it again with the skin, and put it into an oven upon the quick coals, covering it also with a good many of the same coals, that it may have fire under and over, to roast it well on all sides; and the skin keeps it from being burned. But however these things may be, it is certain that this account is in no wise contradicted, but rather confirmed, by what St. John says of a fire kindled in a palace at Jerusalem, to warm persons who had been out in a cold night, which it seems was a fire of charcoal, not of wood, and gives a propriety to the mentioning of this circumstance which I never observed to be remarked in any author. In like manner paschal ovens are also mentioned by Jewish writers. See the Observations on Sacred Scriptures, p. 117.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 18:18". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-18.html. 1801-1803.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 18:18. πέτρος, Peter) He had become cold on the Mount of Olives.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 18:18". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Here is nothing in this verse which needeth any explication, unless any should ask how it could be cold weather at that time of the year, (about April 14), especially in a country where it now was the time of harvest? Which may easily be resolved. It was now about three of the clock in the morning, and we know that in summer (the spring especially) nights are cold; besides that in those countries that are more equinoctial, the nights are longer, and consequently colder towards the morning, as the air hath had more time to cool.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 18:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.Made a fire of coals—The square court (Vol. i, pp. 121, 326) enclosed within the structure of an Eastern house, lying under the open air, is often paved, and furnishes the proper basis for a coal fire. It is not unfrequent that at the Passover period the weather is cold enough in Jerusalem to render a fire desirable.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-18.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Peter not only denied Jesus, but He also stood with Jesus" enemies as they warmed themselves in the courtyard of the high priest"s large residence. The detail that the fire was a charcoal (Gr. anthrakia) one will feature later in John"s narrative (21:9). Such a fire would not have generated much light or heat, so those who wanted to stay warm had to stand close together.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-18.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 18:18. And the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of charcoal; for it was cold, and they were warning themselves; and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. These ‘servants’ and ‘officers,’ it must be remembered, are those who had so recently laid hold of Jesus, and who were the instruments of His sufferings. They had made a fire of charcoal, a circumstance in itself exceedingly natural in the cold of that spring night; and at it they stood and warmed themselves. ‘Peter’ also ‘with them’ was standing and warming himself. Such seems at first to be the sole meaning of the words: but the clause ‘for it was cold,’ reminding us of chap. John 10:22 and chap. John 13:30, forces upon us the impression that the Evangelist has something more in view than the simple fact apparent to the first glance at the words employed by him. The fact is historical. We know that even from the other Gospels. But it is more than historical. To the symbolic eye of John it has a deeper meaning. In this night of cold he sees Peter associating himself with the enemies of Jesus, perhaps consulting his own comfort while his Master suffers, at all events putting himself in a position where the faithlessness that had already led to his first denial must gain strength; and he thus prepares us to expect that the sin of which he has been already guilty may, probably will, be followed by a still greater fall. Whether this idea is brought out also by the ‘fire of charcoal’ is more difficult to say. It seems not unlikely that it is, for the word is not used by the other Evangelists; ‘coals of charcoal’ are in the Old Testament one of the symbols of Divine judgment (Psalms 18:13; Psalms 120:4; Psalms 140:10); and this symbolic meaning may be extended to chap. John 21:9, the only other passage of the New Testament where we find the word. Apart from this, however, there is enough to show that John 18:18 is not simply historical. The peculiar spirit of the Evangelist appears in it, and we have thus the less occasion for surprise if we meet in the narrative other traces of the same spirit.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-18.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 18:18. . The household servants and the Sanhedrim servitors had made a fire in the open court of the house and were standing round it warming themselves. Peter, unabashed by his lie, joined himself to this group and stood in the light of the fire. Cf.Luke 22:56, . Jerusalem, lying 2500 feet above sea-level, is cold at night in spring.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 18:18". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-18.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

officers. The Chiliarch and Roman soldiers had gone back to their barracks (Antonia), leaving the Lord in the hands of the Jews.

stood . . . warmed. All these verbs are in the imperfect.

a fire of coals. Greek anthrakia. Only here and John 21:9.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 18:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-18.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) And the servants and officers stood there.—i.e., in the quadrangular court. The “servants” “are the household servants or slaves of the high priest. The officers are the Temple servants. (Comp. Note on John 18:3.)

A fire of coals.—In the Greek this phrase is expressed by one word which occurs again in the New Testament in John 21:9; and in the LXX. in Sirach 11:30; Sirach 11:32; and 4 Maccabees 9:20. It means a glowing fire. One of the Greek translators (Aquila) uses it in Psalms 119:4 (English version Psalms 120:4 : “coals of juniper”—that is, of the broom plant).

Peter stood with them, and warmed himself:—It is implied that the other disciple had been admitted into the house. As the houses were usually constructed, the court would be visible from the interior. Peter has already been identified as a disciple. To stand aloof would have been to call further attention to himself. He joins the company, therefore, round the fire.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
who
25; Mark 14:54; Luke 22:55,56
for
Luke 22:44
Peter
Genesis 49:6; 1 Kings 19:9; Psalms 1:1; 26:4-10; Proverbs 13:20; Acts 4:23; 1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:15-17; Ephesians 5:11,12
Reciprocal: Acts 28:2 - because

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 18:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

18.And Simon Peter was standing with them. When the evangelist adds that Peter was standing near the fire, along with the others and servants, this serves to connect the various parts of the narrative, as we shall afterwards see. But this shows how great was Peter’s stupidity, when, without the least concern, he warmed himself along with a multitude of wicked men, after having denied his Master; though it is possible that he may have been restrained by fear lest, in going out of the high priest’s house, he should fall into another danger of the same kind.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 18:18". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-18.html. 1840-57.