Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 18:8

Jesus answered, "I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Prisoners;   Prophecy;   Traitor;   Thompson Chain Reference - Defender of the Weak;   Weak;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gethsemane;   Judas;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gethsemane;   I Am;   John, the Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Arrest ;   Gethsemane ;   Judas Iscariot (2);   Mount of Olives ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Officer;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Let these go their way - These words are rather words of authority, than words of entreaty. I voluntarily give myself up to you, but you must not molest one of these my disciples. At your peril injure them. Let them go about their business. I have already given you a sufficient proof of my power: I will not exert it in my own behalf, for I will lay down my life for the sheep; but I will not permit you to injure the least of these. It was certainly the supreme power of Christ that kept the soldiers and the mob from destroying all the disciples present, when Peter had given them such provocation, in cutting off the ear of Malchus. There were probably no other disciples with Christ than Peter, James, and John, at this time. see Matthew 26:37; Mark 13:33.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 18:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Let these go their way - These apostles. This shows his care and love even in the hour of danger. He expected to die. They were to carry the news of his death to the ends of the earth. Hence he, the faithful Captain of salvation, went foremost into trials; he, the Good Shepherd, secured the safety of the flock, and went before them into danger. By the question which he asked those who came out against him, he had secured the safety of his apostles. He was answered that they sought for him. He demanded that, agreeably to their declaration, they should take him only, and leave his followers at liberty. The wisdom, caution, and prudence of Jesus forsook him in no peril, however sudden, and in no circumstances, however difficult or trying.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-18.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he,.... This he said, upbraiding them with their stupidity; signifying he was ready to deliver himself up into their hands; and which he did with intrepidity and calmness, only on this condition, with this proviso for his disciples;

if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: Christ was about to suffer for them, and therefore it was not just that they should suffer too; nor was it proper that they should suffer with him, lest their sufferings should be thought to be a part of the price of redemption. Besides, their suffering time was not come, and they had other work to do: this shows the love of Christ to his disciples, and his care of them, and also his power, and that he could have saved himself as well as them. Moreover, these words may be considered as an emblem and pledge of the acquittance and discharge of God's elect, through the suretyship engagements, and performances of Christ, who drew near to God on their account, substituted himself in their room, and undertook for them in the council and covenant of peace, and laid himself under obligation to pay their debts, to satisfy for their sins, to bring in an everlasting righteousness, to keep and preserve them in this world, and to make them happy in another. Accordingly, in the fulness of time he was made under the law, and stood in their place and stead, and was taken, suffered, died, and rose again. Now, as there was a discharge and acquittance of them from eternity, a non-imputation of sin to them, and a secret letting of them go upon the suretyship engagements of Christ, and in virtue thereof, a passing by, and over, the sins of the Old Testament saints so there was an open acquittance and discharge of them all upon the apprehension, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ; complete deliverance from wrath and condemnation being obtained, and a full title to eternal glory made. Moreover, these words may be considered not only and merely as spoken to the Jews, but as addressed to the law and justice of God; or however, as having some respect to them, while directed to the others; for justice finding the sins of all the elect upon Christ, on whom the Father had laid them, and Christ had took them upon himself, was seeking for, and about to demand satisfaction of him for them; and he being under the law, and coming into the world to fulfil it, in the room and stead of his people, was about to bear the curse of it; wherefore seeing this was the case, he insists upon it, that they who were convicted of the law as transgressors, and held under it as condemned criminals and malefactors, and who were liable, as considered in themselves, to be seized upon by the justice of God, and to have the sentence of condemnation and death executed upon them, might be discharged and let go; and accordingly, upon the satisfaction made by Christ, this is the case: Christ's people are no longer under the law, as a ministration of condemnation and death, nor liable to suffer the vindictive wrath of God; they are become free from the curses of a righteous law, and are let go by divine justice, and will never suffer the strokes of it, neither in this world nor in that to come; there is no demand to be made upon them, either by the law or justice of God; there is no wrath or punishment will be inflicted on them, either here or hereafter; and they may, and shall go their way into everlasting life, when time shall be no more with them, neither law nor justice having anything to say to the contrary.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 18:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

4 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am [he]: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

(4) Christ does not neglect the office of a good pastor, not even in his greatest danger.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 18:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way — Wonderful self-possession, and consideration for others, in such circumstances!

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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 18:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-18.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Let these go their way (απετε τουτους υπαγεινaphete toutous hupagein). Second aorist active imperative of απιημιaphiēmi The verb υπαγεινhupagein 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.

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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 18:8". "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

These

The disciples.

Go their way ( ὑπάγειν )

Withdraw.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 18:8". "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.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

If ye seek me, let these (my disciples) go - It was an eminent instance of his power over the spirits of men, that they so far obeyed this word, as not to seize even Peter, when he had cut off the ear of Malchus.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 18:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-18.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

When therefore he said unto them, I am [he], they went backward, and fell to the ground1.

  1. They went backward, and fell to the ground. The older commentators regard the falling to the ground as a miracle, but modern scholars look upon it as a result of sudden fear. Jesus merely manifested his dignity and majesty, and the prostration followed as a natural result.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 18:8". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-18.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

These, his disciples, who were with him.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-18.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Я сказал вам, что это Я. Здесь мы видим не только, как Сын Божий добровольно покорялся смерти, дабы послушанием Своим покрыть наши грехи, но и как Он, подобно доброму пастырю, защищает Свое стадо. Он видит нападение волков, но, будучи стражем, не ждет, пока они подберутся к овцам, и своевременно заслоняет овец Своим телом. Посему не будем сомневаться: всякий раз, когда на нас нападают бесы и нечестивые, Он окажет нам ту же самую помощь. Кроме того, Своим примером Христос дает пастырям правило, которому они должны следовать, если хотят правильно исполнять свое служение.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-18.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

Ver. 8. Let these go their way] This seems to indent with the Jews ere he yielded himself their prisoner. As a good shepherd, he interposeth between the wolf and the flock: as a heavenly eagle, he hath ever an eye to his nest, when he flieth highest from it.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 18:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 18:8. If therefore ye seek me, This was not a request, which would have been but little attended to by an inveterate multitude, but a command; for the same divine power which struck them to the ground, John 18:6 withheld their hands from seizing the disciples, even after Peter had assaulted Malchus. Who can fail remarking the extreme tenderness of our Lord towards those who had so lately neglected him, sleeping while he was in such an agony; that yet he would not suffer them to be terrified by so much as a short imprisonment. His disciples perhaps might consider this speech as an excuse for their forsaking him: but had they viewed it in a just light, it would rather have appeared a strong engagement upon them to have waited for that fair dismission, which our Lord seemed about to give them. See the parallel pl

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 18:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-18.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

8.] Bengel strikingly says of this ἐγώ εἰμιTertio dicet olim.” And Augustine, “Quid judicature faciet, qui judicandus hoc fecit? Quid regnaturus poterit, qui moriturus hoc potuit?” Tract. cxii. 3.

ἄφετε τούτους, “quos illi cæci adoriebantur.” Bengel. This saying was sufficient to shew Peter and the rest what was the appointed course for them;—the ἄφ. τούτ. ὑπάγειν to the band, is ὑπάγετε ὑμεῖς to the Apostles.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 18:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-18.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 18:8. ἀπεκρίθη, answered) Twice He says, I am [He]: if He had said it the third time, they would not have taken Him. He shall say it the third time hereafter.— τούτους, these) viz. the disciples; whom they were blindly attacking.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 18:8". 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

See Poole on "John 18:7"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 18:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-18.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

These; his disciples. Such was the love of Christ to his disciples, and such his delight in their enjoyment, that he was more ready to save them from their enemies, than to save himself from the agonies of the cross.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-18.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.I have told you—An intimation to the armed crowd what playthings they might be in his hand.

These—Pointing to the disciples; sacrificing himself, but saving others.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-18.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 18:8. Jesus answered, I told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way. And then the Evangelist tells us of the illustration which he beheld in this of the meaning of certain words of Jesus uttered not long before.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-18.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

if. App-118.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 18:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am [he]. If therefore ye seek me, let these go their way - Wonderful self-possession and consideration for others in such circumstances!

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) If therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.—It may be that some of the Roman cohort, not knowing Jesus, were already laying hands on the disciples. In any case, they are exposed to this danger, and the Good Shepherd, who Himself goes forth to meet the danger, will shield the flock from it.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
if
Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 5:25
let
10:28; 13:1,36; 16:32; Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50-52; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Peter 5:7
Reciprocal: Zechariah 13:7 - I will turn;  Luke 22:51 - Suffer;  John 18:17 - I am not

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 18:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.I have told you that it is I. Here we see how the Son of God not only submits to death of his own accord, that by his obedience he may blot out our transgressions, but also how he discharges the office of a good Shepherd in protecting his flock. He sees the attack of the wolves, and does not wait till they come to the sheep which have been committed to his care, but immediately goes forward to guard them. Whenever, therefore, either wicked men or devils make an attack upon us, let us not doubt that this good Shepherd is ready (133) to aid us in the same manner. Yet by his example Christ has laid down to shepherds a rule which they ought to follow, if they wish to discharge their office in a right manner.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 18:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-18.html. 1840-57.