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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 26 - Verse 47

Verses 47-57. The account of Jesus' being betrayed by Judas is recorded by all the evangelists. See Mr 14:43-52; Lu 22:47-53; Joh 18:2-12.

 

Verse 47. Judas, one of the twelve, came. This was done while he was addressing his disciples. John informs us that Judas knew the place, because Jesus was in the habit of going there with his disciples. Judas had passed the time, after he left Jesus and the other disciples at the passover, in arranging matters with the Jews, collecting the band, and preparing to go. Perhaps, also, on this occasion they gave him the money which they had promised.

A great multitude with swords and staves. John says, that he had received a band of men and officers from the chief priests, etc. Josephus says, (Ant. xx. ch. iv.) that at the festival of the Passover, when a great multitude of people came to observe the feast, lest there should be any disorder, a band of men was commanded to keep watch at the porches of the temple, to repress a tumult, if any should be excited. This band, or guard, was at the disposal of the chief priests, Mt 27:65. It was composed of Roman soldiers, and was stationed chiefly at the tower of Antonia, at the north-west side of the temple. In addition to this, they had constant guards stationed around the temple, composed of Levites. The Roman soldiers were armed with swords. The other persons that went out carried probably whatever was accessible as a weapon. These were the persons sent by the priests to apprehend Jesus. Perhaps other desperate men might have joined them.

Staves. In the original, "wood;" used here in the plural number. It means rather clubs or sticks, than spears. It does not mean staves. Probably it means any weapon at hand, such as a mob can conveniently collect. John says, that they had lanterns and torches. The passover was celebrated at the full moon. But this night might have been cloudy. The place to which they were going was also shaded with trees; and lights, therefore, might be necessary.

{r} "Judas" Ac 1:16

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