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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Malchus


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Malluch in Old Testament (1 Chronicles 6:44; Nehemiah 10:4.) The assault by Peter on the high priest's servant (slave), when in the act of arresting Jesus, is given by all the evangelists, but the name of the servant by John only (John 18:10; John 18:15-16). Naturally so, for John was "known to the high-priest" and his household, so that he procured admission from her that kept the door, for his close colleague Peter, and was able to state, what the other evangelists omit, that another servant who charged Peter with being Jesus' disciple "was his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off." Another incidental propriety confirming genuineness is, Jesus says to Pilate, "if My kingdom were of this world then would My servants fight"; yet none charged Him, not even Malchus's kinsman who was near, with the violence which Peter had used to Malchus. Why?

Because Jesus by a touch had healed him (Luke 22:51), and it would have wonderfully tended to elevate Jesus as one more than human in love and in power, in Pilate's estimation, had they charged Him with Peter's act. Malchus was Caiaphas the high priest's own servant, not a minister or apparitor of the council. 'There were but two swords in the disciples' hands (Luke 22:38); while the holder of one was waiting for Christ's reply to their question, "Lord, shall we smite with the sword?" the holder of the other, Peter, in the same spirit as in Matthew 16:22, smote with the weapon of the flesh. What a narrow escape Peter providentially had of a malefactor's and a murderer's end! The sheath is the place for the Christian's sword, except as the judicial minister of God's wrath upon evil doers (Romans 13:4).

Seeing the coming stroke Malchus threw his head to the left, so as to expose the right ear more than the other. Our Lord when His enemies held His hands said to them (not to the disciples), "suffer Me thus far," i.e. leave Me free until I have healed him. Luke (Luke 22:51) alone records this. Matthew and Mark mention the previous laying hold of Him; Luke does not, but in undesigned coincidence, marking truthfulness, implies it here. Jesus used His last moment of liberty in touching and healing afflicted man. The healing by a "touch" implies that the ear hung to its place by a small portion of flesh. Luke, the physician, appropriately is the only one who records the healing. This was Jesus' last miracle relieving human suffering. The hands so often put forth to bless and to cure were thenceforth bound and stretched on the cross, that form of His ministry in the flesh ceasing forever.


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Malchus'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/m/malchus.html. 1949.

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