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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 21 - Verse 18

Verse 18. When thou wast young. When in early life thou didst gird thyself &c. The Jews, in walking or running, girded their outer garments around them, that they might not be impeded. See Barnes "Mt 5:38-41".


Thou girdedst. The expression here denotes freedom. He did as he pleased—he girded himself or not—he went or remained, as he chose. Perhaps the expression refers rather to that time than to the previous period of Peter's life. "Thou being young or in the rigour of life, hast just girded thyself and come freely to the shore." In either case the Saviour intimates that at the end of his life he would not be thus free.

When thou shalt be old. Ancient writers say that Peter was put to death about thirty-four years after this. His precise age at that time is not known.

Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands. When Peter was put to death, we are told that he requested that he might be crucified with his head downward, saying that he who had denied his Lord as he had done was not worthy to die as he did. This expression of Christ may intimate the readiness of Peter thus to die. Though he was not at liberty as when he was young, though bound by others, yet he freely stretched out his hands on the cross, and was ready to give up his life.

Another shall gird thee. Another shall bind thee. The limbs of persons crucified were often bound instead of being nailed, and even the body was sometimes girded to the cross, See Barnes "Mt 27:35".


Carry thee, &c. Shall bear thee, or shall compel thee to go to prison and to death, This is not said to intimate that Peter would be unwilling to suffer martyrdom, but it stands opposed to the freedom of his early life. Though willing when compelled to do it, yet he would not seek it; and though he would not needlessly expose himself to it, yet he would not shrink from it when it was the will of God.

{n} "When thou was young" Joh 13:36; Ac 12:3,4

{o} "shall gird thee" Ac 21:11

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