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John 18

John 18:1

With (συν). See 12:2 for another example of συν in John (common in Paul). The usual μετα reappears in verse 2.

Over (περαν). "Beyond," preposition with the ablative as in 6:22,25 .

Brook (χειμαρρου). Old word, flowing (ροοσ, ρεω) in winter (χειμα), only here in N.T.

Kidron (τον Κεδρων). Literally, "of the Cedars," "Brook of the Cedars." Only here in N.T. So 2Sa 15:23 . Textus Receptus like Josephus (Ant. VIII, 1, 5) has the singular του Κεδρων (indeclinable). As a matter of fact it was always dry save after a heavy rain.

A garden (κηπος). Old word, in N.T. only here, verse 26; 19:41 (Joseph's); Lu 13:19 . John, like Luke, does not give the name Gethsemane (only in Mr 14:32; Mt 26:36 ). The brook of the cedars had many unhallowed associations (1Ki 2:37; 15:13; 2Ki 23:4ff.; 2Ch 29:16; Jer 31:40 ).

John 18:2

Resorted thither (συνηχθη εκε). First aorist passive indicative of συναγω, old verb to gather together. A bit awkward here till you add "with his disciples." Judas knew the place, and the habit of Jesus to come here at night for prayer (Lu 22:39 ). Hence his offer to catch Jesus while the feast was going on, catch him at night and alone in his usual place of prayer (the very spirit of the devil).

John 18:3

The band of soldiers (την σπειραν). No word for "of soldiers" in the Greek, but the Latin spira (roll or ball) was used for a military cohort (Polybius 11, 23, 1) as in Mt 27:27; Ac 10:1 , etc., here for a small band secured from the Tower of Antonia. The Synoptics do not mention the soldiers, but only the "officers" as here (υπηρετας for which see Mt 26:58; Mr 14:54,65 ) or temple police from the Sanhedrin.

Cometh (ερχετα). Dramatic historical present middle indicative.

With lanterns and torches (μετα φανων κα λαμπαδων). Both old words, φανος only here in N.T., λαμπας, an oil lamp (Mt 25:1 ). It was full moon, but Judas took no chances for it may have been cloudy and there were dark places by the walls and under the olive trees. Μετα is accompanied with

and weapons (κα οπλων). Mark (Mr 14:43 ) mentions "swords and staves." Probably the temple guard had weapons as well as the soldiers.

John 18:4

Knowing all the things that were coming upon him (ειδως παντα τα ερχομενα επ' αυτον). Mentioned already in Joh 13:1 . He was not taken by surprise. The surrender and death of Jesus were voluntary acts, though the guilt of Judas and the rest remains.

John 18:5

Was standing (ιστηκε). Second past perfect active of ιστημ used as imperfect, a vivid picture of Judas in the very act of betraying Jesus. John does not mention the kiss by Judas as a sign to the soldiers and police. Tatian suggests that it came before verse 4. Then Jesus stepped forth and affirmed that he was the one whom they were seeking.

John 18:6

Fell to the ground (επεσαν χαμα). Second aorist active indicative of πιπτω with first aorist ending (-αν). This recoil made them stumble. But why did they step back? Was it the former claim of Jesus ( I am , εγω ειμ) to be on an equality with God (8:58; 13:19 ) or mere embarrassment and confusion or supernatural power exerted by Jesus? B adds Ιησους which must mean simply: "I am Jesus."

John 18:7

Again (παλιν). The repeated question receives the same answer. The soldiers and officers know who it is, but are still overawed.

John 18:8

Let these go their way (αφετε τουτους υπαγειν). Second aorist active imperative of αφιημ. The verb υπαγειν means to withdraw ( 11:44). Jesus shows solicitude for the eleven as he had warned them and prayed for them (Lu 22:31f. ). He is trying to help them.

John 18:9

That might be fulfilled (ινα πληρωθη). The regular formula ( 17:12) for Scripture, here applied to the prophecy of Jesus ( 17:12) as in verse 32. John treats the saying of Jesus as on a par with the O.T.

John 18:10

Having a sword (εχων μαχαιραν). It was unlawful to carry a weapon on a feast-day, but Peter had become alarmed at Christ's words about his peril. They had two swords or knives in the possession of the eleven according to Luke ( 22:38). After the treacherous kiss of Judas (on the hand or the cheek?) the disciples asked: "Lord, shall we smite with the sword?" (Lu 22:49 ). Apparently before Jesus could answer Peter with his usual impulsiveness jerked out (ειλκυσεν, first aorist active indicative of ελκυω for which see 6:44) his sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus (Joh 18:10 ), a servant of the high priest. Peter missed the man's head as he swerved to his left. Luke also (Lu 22:50 ) mentions the detail of the right ear, but John alone mentions the man's name and Peter's. There was peril to Peter in his rash act as comes out later (Joh 18:26 ), but he was dead long before John wrote his Gospel as was Lazarus of whom John could also safely write ( 12:9-11). For ωταριον, diminutive of ους, see Mr 14:47 (only other N.T. example), another diminutive ωτιον in Mt 26:51 (Mr 14:47; Lu 22:51 ).

John 18:11

Into the sheath (εις την θηκην). Old word from τιθημ, to put for box or sheath, only here in N.T. In Mt 26:52 Christ's warning is given.

The cup (το ποτηριον). Metaphor for Christ's death, used already in reply to request of James and John (Mr 10:39; Mt 20:22 ) and in the agony in Gethsemane before Judas came (Mr 14:36; Mt 26:39; Lu 22:42 ), which is not given by John. The case of το ποτηριον is the suspended nominative for note αυτο (it) referring to it.

Shall I not drink? (ου μη πιω;). Second aorist active subjunctive of πινω with the double negative ου μη in a question expecting the affirmative answer. Abbott takes it as an exclamation and compares 6:37; Mr 14:25 .

John 18:12

The chief captain (ο χιλιαρχος). They actually had the Roman commander of the cohort along (cf. Ac 21:31 ), not mentioned before.

Seized (συνελαβον). Second aorist active of συλλαμβανω, old verb to grasp together, to arrest (technical word) in the Synoptics in this context (Mr 14:48; Mt 26:55 ), here alone in John.

Bound (εδησαν). First aorist active indicative of δεω, to bind. As a matter of course, with the hands behind his back, but with no warrant in law and with no charge against him.

To Annas first (προς Ανναν πρωτον). Ex-high priest and father-in-law (πενθερος, old word, only here in N.T.) of Caiaphas the actual high priest. Then Jesus was subjected to a preliminary and superfluous inquiry by Annas (given only by John) while the Sanhedrin were gathering before Caiaphas. Bernard curiously thinks that the night trial actually took place here before Annas and only the early morning ratification was before Caiaphas. So he calmly says that "Matthew inserts the name Caiaphas at this point (the night trial) in which he seems to have been mistaken." But why "mistaken"?

That year (του ενιαυτου εκεινου). Genitive of time.

John 18:14

He which gave command (ο συμβουλευσας). First aorist active articular participle of συμβουλευω, old verb (Mt 26:4 ). The reference is to Joh 11:50 .

It was expedient (συμφερε). Present active indicative retained in indirect assertion after secondary tense (ην, was). Here we have the second aorist active infinitive αποθανειν as the subject of συμφερε, both good idioms in the Koine.

John 18:15

Followed (ηκολουθε). Imperfect active of ακολουθεω, "was following," picturesque and vivid tense, with associative instrumental case τω Ιησου.

Another disciple (αλλος μαθητης). Correct text without article ο (genuine in verse 16). Peter's companion was the Beloved Disciple, the author of the book (Joh 21:24 ).

Was known unto the high priest (ην γνωστος τω αρχιερε). Verbal adjective from γινωσκω, to know (Ac 1:19 ) with dative case. How well known the word does not say, not necessarily a personal friend, well enough known for the portress to admit John. "The account of what happened to Peter might well seem to be told from the point of view of the servants' hall" (Sanday, Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, p. 101).

Entered in with Jesus (συνεισηλθεν τω Ιησου). Second aorist active indicative of the double compound συνεισερχομα, old verb, in N.T. here and 6:22. With associative instrumental case.

Into the court (εις την αυλην). It is not clear that this word ever means the palace itself instead of the courtyard (uncovered enclosure) as always in the papyri (very common). Clearly courtyard in Mr 14:66 (Mt 26:69; Lu 22:55 ). Apparently Annas had rooms in the official residence of Caiaphas.

John 18:16

Was standing (ιστηκε). Same form in verse 5 which see. So also ιστηκεισαν in 18. Picture of Peter standing outside by the door.

Unto the high priest (του αρχιερεως). Objective genitive here, but dative in verse 15.

Unto her that kept the door (τη θυρωρω). Old word (θυρα, door, ωρα, care), masculine in 10:3, feminine here, door-keeper (male or female).

John 18:17

The maid (η παιδισκη). Feminine form of παιδισκος, diminutive of παις. See Mt 26:69 . When "the maid the portress" (apposition).

Art thou also? (μη κα συ ει;). Expecting the negative answer, though she really believed he was.

This man's (του ανθρωπου τουτου). Contemptuous use of ουτος with a gesture toward Jesus. She made it easy for Peter to say no.

John 18:18

A fire of coals (ανθρακιαν). Old word, in LXX, only here and 21:9 in N.T. A heap of burning coals (ανθραξ, coal). Cf. our "anthracite." It was cold (ψυχος ην). "There was coldness." The soldiers had apparently returned to their barracks.

Were warming themselves (εθερμαινοντο). Direct middle imperfect indicative of θερμαινω (from θερμος). So as to θερμαινομενος about Peter. "Peter, unabashed by his lie, joined himself to the group and stood in the light of the fire" (Dods).

John 18:19

Asked (ηρωτησεν). First aorist active indicative of ερωταω, to question, usual meaning. This was Annas making a preliminary examination of Jesus probably to see on what terms Jesus made disciples whether as a mere rabbi or as Messiah.

John 18:20

Openly (παρρησια). As already shown (7:4; 8:26; 10:24,39; 16:25,29 . See 7:4 for same contrast between εν παρρησια and εν κρυπτω.

I ever taught (εγω παντοτε εδιδαξα). Constative aorist active indicative. For the temple teaching see Joh 2:19; 7:14,28; 8:20, 19:23; Mr 14:49 and Joh 6:59 for the synagogue teaching (often in the Synoptics). Examples of private teaching are Nicodemus (Joh 3 ) and the woman of Samaria (Joh 4 ). Jesus ignores the sneer at his disciples, but challenges the inquiry about his teaching as needless.

John 18:21

Ask them that have heard me (ερωτησον τους ακηκοοτας). First aorist (tense of urgent and instant action) active imperative of ερωταω and the articular perfect active participle accusative masculine plural of ακουω, to hear. There were abundant witnesses to be had. Multitudes had heard Jesus in the great debate in the temple on Tuesday of this very week when the Sanhedrin were routed to the joy of the common people who heard Jesus gladly (Mr 12:37 ). They still know.

John 18:22

When he had said this (ταυτα αυτου ειποντος). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of ειπον, to say.

Standing by (παρεστηκως). Perfect active (intransitive) participle of παριστημ (transitive), to place beside. One of the temple police who felt his importance as protector of Annas.

Struck Jesus with his hand (εδωκεν ραπισμα τω Ιησου). Late word ραπισμα is from ραπιζω, to smite with a rod or with the palm of the hand (Mt 26:67 ). It occurs only three times in the N.T. (Mr 14:65; Joh 18:22; 19:3 ), in each of which it is uncertain whether the blow is with a rod or with the palm of the hand (probably this, a most insulting act). The papyri throw no real light on it. "He gave Jesus a slap in the face." Cf. 2Co 11:20 .

So (ουτως). As Jesus had done in verse 21, a dignified protest in fact by Jesus.

John 18:23

If I have spoken evil (ε κακως ελαλησα). Condition of first class (assumed to be true), with ε and aorist active indicative. Jesus had not spoken evilly towards Annas, though he did not here turn the other cheek, one may note. For the sake of argument, Jesus puts it as if he did speak evilly. Then prove it, that is all.

Bear witness of the evil (μαρτυρησον περ του κακου). First aorist active imperative of μαρτυρεω, to testify. This is the conclusion (apodosis). Jesus is clearly entitled to proof of such a charge if there is any.

But if well (ε δε καλως). Supply the same verb ελαλησα. The same condition, but with a challenging question as the apodosis.

Smitest (δερεις). Old verb δερω, to flay, to skin, to beat, as in Mt 21:35; Lu 22:63; 2Co 11:20 (of an insulting blow in the face as here).

John 18:24

Therefore sent him (απεστειλεν ουν αυτον). First aorist active of αποστελλω, not past perfect (had sent). The preliminary examination by Annas was over.

Bound (δεδεμενον). Perfect passive participle of δεω, to bind. Jesus was bound on his arrest (verse 12) and apparently unbound during the preliminary examination by Annas.

John 18:25

Was standing and warming himself (ην εστως κα θερμαινομενος). Two periphrastic imperfects precisely as in verse 18, vivid renewal of the picture drawn there. John alone gives the examination of Jesus by Annas ( 18:19-24) which he places between the first and the second denials by Peter. Each of the Four Gospels gives three denials, but it is not possible to make a clear parallel as probably several people joined in each time. This time there was an hour's interval (Lu 22:59 ). The question and answer are almost identical with verse 17 and "put in a form which almost suggested that Peter should say 'No'" (Bernard), a favourite device of the devil in making temptation attractive.

John 18:26

Did not I see thee in the garden with him? (ουκ εγω σε ειδον εν τω κηπω μετ' αυτου;). This staggering and sudden thrust expects an affirmative answer by the use of ουκ, not μη as in verses 17,25 , but Peter's previous denials with the knowledge that he was observed by a kinsman of Malchus whom he had tried to kill (verse 10) drove him to the third flat denial that he knew Jesus, this time with cursing and swearing (Mr 14:71; Mt 26:73 ). Peter was in dire peril now of arrest himself for attempt to kill.

Straightway (ευθεως). As in Mt 26:74 while Luke has παραχρημα (Lu 22:60 ). Mark (Mr 14:68,72 ) speaks of two crowings as often happens when one cock crows. See Mt 26:34 for αλεκτωρ (cock). That was usually the close of the third watch of the night (Mr 13:35 ), about 3 A.M. Luke (Lu 22:61 ) notes that Jesus turned and looked on Peter probably as he passed from the rooms of Annas to the trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin (the ecclesiastical court). See Mrs. Browning's beautiful sonnets on "The Look".

John 18:28

They lead (αγουσιν). Dramatic historical present of αγω, plural "they" for the Sanhedrists (Lu 23:1 ). John gives no details of the trial before the Sanhedrin (only the fact, Joh 18:24,28 ) when Caiaphas presided, either the informal meeting at night (Mr 14:53,55-65; Mt 26:57,59-68; Lu 22:54,63-65 ) or the formal ratification meeting after dawn (Mr 15:1; Mt 27:1; Lu 22:66-71 ), but he gives much new material of the trial before Pilate ( 18:28-38).

Into the palace (εις το πραιτωριον). For the history and meaning of this interesting Latin word, praetorium, see on Mt 27:27; Ac 23:35; Php 1:13 . Here it is probably the magnificent palace in Jerusalem built by Herod the Great for himself and occupied by the Roman Procurator (governor) when in the city. There was also one in Caesarea (Ac 23:35 ). Herod's palace in Jerusalem was on the Hill of Zion in the western part of the upper city. There is something to be said for the Castle of Antonia, north of the temple area, as the location of Pilate's residence in Jerusalem.

Early (πρω). Technically the fourth watch (3 A.M. to 6 A.M.). There were two violations of Jewish legal procedure (holding the trial for a capital case at night, passing condemnation on the same day of the trial). Besides, the Sanhedrin no longer had the power of death. A Roman court could meet any time after sunrise. John ( 19:14) says it was "about the sixth hour" when Pilate condemned Jesus.

That they might not be defiled (ινα μη μιανθωσιν). Purpose clause with ινα μη and first aorist passive subjunctive of μιαινω, to stain, to defile. For Jewish scruples about entering the house of a Gentile see Ac 10:28; 11:3 .

But might eat the passover (αλλα φαγωσιν το πασχα). Second aorist active subjunctive of the defective verb εσθιω, to eat. This phrase may mean to eat the passover meal as in Mt 27:17 (Mr 14:12,14; Lu 22:11,15 ), but it does not have to mean that. In 2Ch 30:22 we read: "And they did eat the festival seven days" when the paschal festival is meant, not the paschal lamb or the paschal supper. There are eight other examples of πασχα in John's Gospel and in all of them the feast is meant, not the supper. If we follow John's use of the word, it is the feast here, not the meal of Joh 13:2 which was the regular passover meal. This interpretation keeps John in harmony with the Synoptics.

John 18:29

Went out (εξηλθεν εξω). Note both εξ and εξω (went out outside), since the Sanhedrin would not come into Pilate's palace. Apparently on a gallery over the pavement in front of the palace (Joh 19:13 ).

Accusation (κατηγοριαν). Old word for formal charge, in N.T. only here, 1Ti 5:19; Tit 1:6 .

Against this man (του ανθρωπου τουτου). Objective genitive after κατηγοριαν. A proper legal inquiry.

John 18:30

If this man were not an evil-doer (ε μη ην ουτος κακον ποιων). Condition (negative) of second class (periphrastic imperfect indicative), assumed to be untrue, with the usual apodosis (αν and aorist indicative, first aorist plural with κ). This is a pious pose of infallibility not in the Synoptics. They then proceeded to make the charges (Lu 23:2 ) as indeed John implies (18:31,33 ). Some MSS. here read κακοποιος (malefactor) as in 1Pe 2:12,14 , with which compare Luke's κακουργος (23:32f. ; so also 2Ti 2:9 ), both meaning evil-doer. Here the periphrastic present participle ποιων with κακον emphasizes the idea that Jesus was a habitual evil-doer (Abbott). It was an insolent reply to Pilate (Bernard).

John 18:31

Yourselves (υμεις). Emphatic. Pilate shrewdly turns the case over to the Sanhedrin in reply to their insolence, who have said nothing whatever about their previous trial and condemnation of Jesus. He drew out at once the admission that they wanted the death of Jesus, not a fair trial for him, but Pilate's approval of their purpose to kill him (Joh 7:1,25 ).

John 18:32

By what manner of death (ποιω θανατω). Instrumental case of the qualitative interrogative ποιος in an indirect question, the very idiom used in Joh 12:32 concerning the Cross and here treated as prophecy (Scripture) with ινα πληρωθη like the saying of Jesus in verse 9 which see.

John 18:33

Again (παλιν). Back into the palace where Pilate was before.

Called (εφωνησεν). First aorist active indicative of φωνεω. Jesus was already inside the court (verse 28). Pilate now summoned him to his presence since he saw that he had to handle the case. The charge that Jesus claimed to be a king compelled him to do so (Lu 23:2 ).

Art thou the King of the Jews? (συ ε ο βασιλευς των Ιουδαιων;). This was the vital problem and each of the Gospels has the question (Mr 15:2; Mt 27:1; Lu 23:3; Joh 18:33 ), though Luke alone ( 23:2) gives the specific accusation.

Thou (συ). Emphatic. Jesus did claim to be the spiritual king of Israel as Nathanael said (Joh 1:49 ) and as the ecstatic crowd hailed him on the Triumphal Entry (Joh 12:13 ), but the Sanhedrin wish Pilate to understand this in a civil sense as a rival of Caesar as some of the Jews wanted Jesus to be (Joh 6:15 ) and as the Pharisees expected the Messiah to be.

John 18:34

Of thyself (απο σεαυτου). Whether a sincere inquiry on Pilate's part or a trap from the Sanhedrin.

John 18:35

Am I a Jew? (μητ εγω Ιουδαιος ειμι;). Proud and fine scorn on Pilate's part at the idea that he had a personal interest in the question. Vehement negation implied. Cf. 4:29 for μητ in a question. The gulf between Jew and Gentile yawns wide here.

Nation (εθνος as in 11:48-52, rather than λαος, while both in 11:50). For παρεδωκαν see verse 30.

What hast thou done? (τ εποιησασ;). First aorist active indicative of ποιεω. Blunt and curt question. "What didst thou do?" "What is thy real crime?" John's picture of this private interview between Pilate and Jesus is told with graphic power.

John 18:36

My kingdom (η βασιλεια η εμη). Christ claims to be king to Pilate, but of a peculiar kingdom. For "world" (κοσμου) see 17:13-18.

My servants (ο υπηρετα ο εμο). For the word see verse 3 where it means the temple police or guards (literally, under-rowers). In the LXX always (Pr 14:35; Isa 32:5; Da 3:46 ) officers of a king as here. Christ then had only a small band of despised followers who could not fight against Caesar. Was he alluding also to legions of angels on his side? (Mt 26:56 ).

Would fight (ηγωνιζοντο αν). Imperfect middle of αγωνιζομα common verb (only here in John, but see 1Co 9:25 ) from αγων (contest) with αν, a conclusion of the second-class condition (assumed as untrue). Christians should never forget the profound truth stated here by Jesus.

That I should not be delivered (ινα μη παραδοθω). Negative final clause with ινα μη and first aorist passive subjunctive of παραδιδωμ (see verses 28,36 ). Jesus expects Pilate to surrender to the Jews.

But now (νυν δε). In contrast to the condition already stated as in 8:40; 9:41; 15:22,24 .

John 18:37

Art thou a king then? (ουκουν βασιλευς ε συ;). Compound of ουκ and ουν and is clearly ironical expecting an affirmative answer, only here in the N.T., and in LXX only in A text in 2Ki 5:23 .

Thou sayest that (συ λεγεις οτ). In Mt 27:11; Mr 15:2; Lu 23:3 , συ λεγεις clearly means "yes," as συ ειπας (thou saidst) does in Mt 26:64 (= "I am," εγω ειμ, in Mr 41:62 ). Hence here οτ had best be taken to mean "because": "Yes, because I am a king."

Have I been born (εγω γεγεννημα). Perfect passive indicative of γενναω. The Incarnation was for this purpose. Note repetition of εις τουτο (for this purpose), explained by ινα μαρτυρησω τη αληθεια (that I may bear witness to the truth), ινα with first aorist active subjunctive of μαρτυρεω. Paul (1Ti 6:13 ) alludes to this good confession when Christ bore witness (μαρτυρησαντος) before Pilate. Jesus bore such witness always (Joh 3:11,32; 7:7; 8:14; Re 1:5 ).

John 18:38

What is truth? (τ εστιν αληθεια;). This famous sneer of Pilate reveals his own ignorance of truth, as he stood before Incarnate Truth (Joh 14:6 ). Quid est veritas? The answer in Latin is Vir est qui adest as has been succinctly said by the use of the same letters. Pilate turned with indifference from his own great question and rendered his verdict: "I find no crime in him" (εγω ουδεμιαν ευρισκω εν αυτω αιτιαν). For this use of αιτια see Mt 27:37; Mr 15:26 . Pilate therefore should have set Jesus free at once.

John 18:39

A custom (συνηθεια). Old word for intimacy, intercourse, from συνηθης (συν, ηθος), in N.T. only here, 1Co 8:7; 11:16 . This custom, alluded to in Mr 15:6; Mt 27:15 , is termed necessity (αναγκη) in Lu 23:17 (late MSS., not in older MSS.). All the Gospels use the verb απολυω (release, set free). Then ινα απολυσω is a subject clause (ινα and first aorist active subjunctive) in apposition with συνηθεια.

Will ye therefore that I release? (βουλεσθε ουν απολυσω;). Without the usual ινα before απολυσω, asyndeton, as in Mr 10:36 , to be explained either as parataxis or two questions (Robertson, Grammar, p. 430) or as mere omission of ινα (ibid., p. 994). There is contempt and irony in Pilate's use of the phrase "the king of the Jews."

John 18:40

Cried out (εκραυγασαν). First aorist active of κραυγαζω, old and rare verb from κραυγη, outcry (Mt 25:6 ), as in Mt 12:19 .

Not this man (μη τουτον). Contemptuous use of ουτος. The priests put the crowd up to this choice (Mr 15:11 ) and Pilate offered the alternative (Mt 27:17 , one MS. actually gives Jesus as the name of Barabbas also). The name Βαραββας in Aramaic simply means son of a father.

A robber (ληιστης). Old word from ληιζομα, to plunder, and so a brigand and possibly the leader of the band to which the two robbers belonged who were crucified with Jesus. Luke terms him an insurgent and murderer (Lu 23:19,25 ). They chose Barabbas in preference to Jesus and apparently Jesus died on the very cross planned for Barabbas.

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