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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Matthew: Chapter 26)

26:2 {Cometh} (\ginetai\). Futuristic use of the present middle
indicative. This was probably our Tuesday evening (beginning of
Jewish Wednesday)
. The passover began on our Thursday evening
(beginning of Jewish Friday). {After two days} (\meta duo
is just the familiar popular mode of speech. The
passover came technically on the second day from this time. {Is
delivered up}
(\paradidotai\). Another instance of the futuristic
present passive indicative. The same form occurs in verse 24.
Thus Jesus sets a definite date for the coming crucifixion which
he has been predicting for six months.

26:3 {Then were gathered together the chief priests and elders of
the people}
(\Tote sunēchthēsan hoi archiereis kai hoi
presbuteroi tou laou\)
. A meeting of the Sanhedrin as these two
groups indicate (cf. 21:23). {Unto the court} (\eis tēn
. The _atrium_ or court around which the palace buildings
were built. Here in this open court this informal meeting was
held. Caiaphas was high priest A.D. 18 to 36. His father-in-law
Annas had been high priest A.D. 6 to 15 and was still called high
priest by many.

26:4 {They took counsel together} (\sunebouleusanto\). Aorist
middle indicative, indicating their puzzled state of mind. They
have had no trouble in finding Jesus (Joh 11:57). Their problem
now is how to {take Jesus by subtilty and kill him} (\hina ton
Iēsoun dolōi kratēsosin kai apokteinōsin\)
. The Triumphal Entry
and the Tuesday debate in the temple revealed the powerful
following that Jesus had among the crowds from Galilee.

26:5 {A tumult} (\thorubos\). They feared the uprising in behalf
of Jesus and were arguing that the matter must be postponed till
after the feast was over when the crowds had scattered. Then they
could catch him "by craft" (\dolōi\) as they would trap a wild

26:6 {In the house of Simon the leper} (\en oikiāi Simōnos tou
. Evidently a man who had been healed of his leprosy by
Jesus who gave the feast in honour of Jesus. All sorts of
fantastic theories have arisen about it. Some even identify this
Simon with the one in Lu 7:36ff., but Simon was a very common
name and the details are very different. Some hold that it was
Martha's house because she served (Joh 12:2) and that Simon was
either the father or husband of Martha, but Martha loved to serve
and that proves nothing. Some identify Mary of Bethany with the
sinful woman in Lu 7 and even with Mary Magdalene, both
gratuitous and groundless propositions. For the proof that Mary
of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and the sinful woman of Lu 7 are
all distinct see my _Some Minor Characters in the New Testament_.
John (Joh 12:1) apparently locates the feast six days before
the passover, while Mark (Mr 14:3) and Matthew (26:6) seem to
place it on the Tuesday evening (Jewish Wednesday) just two days
before the passover meal. It is possible that John anticipates
the date and notes the feast at Bethany at this time because he
does not refer to Bethany again. If not, the order of Mark must
be followed. According to the order of Mark and Matthew, this
feast took place at the very time that the Sanhedrin was plotting
about the death of Jesus (Mr 14:1f.).

26:7 {An alabaster cruse of exceeding precious ointment}
(\alabastron murou barutimou\). The flask was of alabaster, a
carbonate of lime or sulphate of lime, white or yellow stone,
named alabaster from the town in Egypt where it was chiefly
found. It was used for a phial employed for precious ointments in
ancient writers, inscriptions and papyri just as we speak of a
glass for the vessel made of glass. It had a cylindrical form at
the top, as a rule, like a closed rosebud (Pliny). Matthew does
not say what the ointment (\murou\) was, only saying that it was
"exceeding precious" (\barutimou\), of weighty value, selling at
a great price. Here only in the N.T. "An alabaster of nard
(\murou\) was a present for a king" (Bruce). It was one of five
presents sent by Cambyses to the King of Ethiopia (Herodotus,
iii. 20)
. {She poured it upon his head} (\katecheen epi tēs
kephalēs autou\)
. So Mark (Mr 14:3), while John (Joh 12:3)
says that she "anointed the feet of Jesus." Why not both? The
verb \katecheen\ is literally to pour down. It is the first
aorist active indicative, unusual form.

26:8 {This waste} (\hē apōleia hautē\). Dead loss (\apōleia\)
they considered it, nothing but sentimental aroma. It was a cruel
shock to Mary of Bethany to hear this comment. Matthew does not
tell as John does (Joh 12:4) that it was Judas who made the
point which the rest endorsed. Mark explains that they mentioned
"three hundred pence," while Matthew (26:9) only says "for
much" (\pollou\).

26:10 {Why trouble ye the woman?} (\ti kopous parechete tēi
A phrase not common in Greek writers, though two
examples occur in the papyri for giving trouble. \Kopos\ is from
\koptō\, to beat, smite, cut. It is a beating, trouble, and often
work, toil. Jesus champions Mary's act with this striking phrase.
It is so hard for some people to allow others liberty for their
own personalities to express themselves. It is easy to raise
small objections to what we do not like and do not understand. {A
good work upon me}
(\ergon kalon eis eme\). A beautiful deed upon
Jesus himself.

26:12 {To prepare me for burial} (\pros to entaphiasai me\). Mary
alone had understood what Jesus had repeatedly said about his
approaching death. The disciples were so wrapped up in their own
notions of a political kingdom that they failed utterly to
sympathize with Jesus as he faced the cross. But Mary with the
woman's fine intuitions did begin to understand and this was her
way of expressing her high emotions and loyalty. The word here is
the same used in Joh 19:40 about what Joseph of Arimathea and
Nicodemus did for the body of Jesus before burial with the
addition of \pros to\ showing the purpose of Mary (the infinitive
of purpose)
. Mary was vindicated by Jesus and her noble deed has
become a "memorial of her" (\eis mnēmosumon autēs\) as well as of

26:15 {What are ye willing to give me?} (\ti thelete moi
This "brings out the _chaffering_ aspect of the
transaction" (Vincent). "Mary and Judas extreme opposites: she
freely spending in love, he willing to sell his Master for money"
(Bruce). And her act of love provoked Judas to his despicable
deed, this rebuke of Jesus added to all the rest. {And I will
deliver him unto you}
(\kagō h–min paradōsō auton\). The use of
\kai\ with a co-ordinate clause is a colloquialism (common in the
_Koinē_ as in the Hebrew use of _wav_. "A colloquialism or a
Hebraism, the traitor mean in style as in spirit" (Bruce)
. The
use of \egō\ seems to mean "I though one of his disciples will
hand him over to you if you give me enough." {They weighed unto
(\hoi de estēsan auto\). They placed the money in the
balances or scales. "Coined money was in use, but the shekels may
have been weighed out in antique fashion by men careful to do an
iniquitous thing in the most orthodox way" (Bruce). It is not
known whether the Sanhedrin had offered a reward for the arrest
of Jesus or not. {Thirty pieces of silver} (\triakonta arguria\).
A reference to Zec 11:12. If a man's ox gored a servant, he had
to pay this amount (Ex 21:32). Some manuscripts have \statēras\
(staters). These thirty silver shekels were equal to 120
\denarii\, less than five English pounds, less than twenty-five
dollars, the current price of a slave. There was no doubt
contempt for Jesus in the minds of both the Sanhedrin and Judas
in this bargain.

26:16 {Sought opportunity} (\ezētei eukarian\). A good chance.
Note imperfect tense. Judas went at his business and stuck to it.

26:17 {To eat the passover} (\phagein to pascha\). There were two
feasts rolled into one, the passover feast and the feast of
unleavened bread. Either name was employed. Here the passover
meal is meant, though in Joh 18:28 it is probable that the
passover feast is referred to as the passover meal (the last
had already been observed. There is a famous controversy
on the apparent disagreement between the Synoptic Gospels and the
Fourth Gospel on the date of this last passover meal. My view is
that the five passages in John (Joh 13:1f.,27; 18:28; 19:14,31)
rightly interpreted agree with the Synoptic Gospels (Mt
26:17,20; Mr 14:12,17; Lu 22:7,14)
that Jesus ate the passover
meal at the regular time about 6 P.M. beginning of 15 Nisan. The
passover lamb was slain on the afternoon of 14 Nisan and the meal
eaten at sunset the beginning of 15 Nisan. According to this view
Jesus ate the passover meal at the regular time and died on the
cross the afternoon of 15 Nisan. See my _Harmony of the Gospels
for Students of the Life of Christ_, pp.279-284. The question of
the disciples here assumes that they are to observe the regular
passover meal. Note the deliberative subjunctive (\hetoimasōmen\)
after \theleis\ with \hina\. For the asyndeton see Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 935.

26:18 {To such a man} (\pros ton deina\). The only instance in
the N.T. of this old Attic idiom. The papyri show it for "Mr. X"
and the modern Greek keeps it. Jesus may have indicated the man's
name. Mark (Mr 14:13) and Luke (Lu 22:10) describe him as a
man bearing a pitcher of water. It may have been the home of Mary
the mother of John Mark. {I keep the passover at thy house}
(\pros se poiō to pascha\). Futuristic present indicative. The
use of \pros se\ for "at thy house" is neat Greek of the classic
period. Evidently there was no surprise in this home at the
command of Jesus. It was a gracious privilege to serve him thus.

26:20 {He was sitting at meat} (\anekeito\). He was reclining,
lying back on the left side on the couch with the right hand
free. Jesus and the Twelve all reclined. The paschal lamb had to
be eaten up entirely (Ex 12:4,43).

26:21 {One of you} (\heis ex humōn\). This was a bolt from the
blue for all except Judas and he was startled to know that Jesus
understood his treacherous bargain.

26:22 {Is it I, Lord?} (\mēti egō eimi, Kurie;\). The negative
expects the answer No and was natural for all save Judas. But he
had to bluff it out by the same form of question (verse 25).
The answer of Jesus, {Thou hast said} (\su eipas\), means Yes.

26:23 {He that dipped} (\ho embapsas\). They all dipped their
hands, having no knives, forks, or spoons. The aorist participle
with the article simply means that the betrayer is the one who
dips his hand in the dish (\en tōi trubliōi\) or platter with the
broth of nuts and raisins and figs into which the bread was
dipped before eating. It is plain that Judas was not recognized
by the rest as indicated by what Jesus has said. This language
means that one of those who had eaten bread with him had violated
the rights of hospitality by betraying him. The Arabs today are
punctilious on this point. Eating one's bread ties your hands and
compels friendship. But Judas knew full well as is shown in verse
25 though the rest apparently did not grasp it.

26:24 {Good were it for that man} (\kalon ēn autōi\). Conclusion
of second-class condition even though \an\ is not expressed. It
is not needed with verbs of obligation and necessity. There are
some today who seek to palliate the crime of Judas. But Jesus
here pronounces his terrible doom. And Judas heard it and went on
with his hellish bargain with the Sanhedrin. Apparently Judas
went out at this stage (Joh 13:31).

26:26 {And blessed and brake it} (\eulogēsas eklasen\). Special
"Grace" in the middle of the passover meal, "as they were
eating," for the institution of the Supper. Jesus broke one of
the passover wafers or cakes that each might have a piece, not as
a symbol of the breaking of his body as the Textus Receptus has
it in 1Co 11:24. The correct text there has only to \huper
humōn\ without \klōmenon\. As a matter of fact the body of Jesus
was not "broken" (Joh 19:33) as John expressly states. {This is
my body}
(\touto estin to sōma mou\). The bread as a symbol
_represents_ the body of Jesus offered for us, "a beautifully
simple, pathetic, and poetic symbol of his death" (Bruce). But
some have made it "run into fetish worship" (Bruce). Jesus, of
course, does not mean that the bread actually becomes his body
and is to be worshipped. The purpose of the memorial is to remind
us of his death for our sins.

26:28 {The Covenant} (\tēs diathēkēs\). The adjective \kainēs\ in
Textus Receptus is not genuine. The covenant is an agreement or
contract between two (\dia, duo, thēke\, from \tithēmi\). It is
used also for will (Latin, _testamentum_) which becomes operative
at death (Heb 9:15-17). Hence our _New Testament_. Either
covenant or will makes sense here. Covenant is the idea in Heb
7:22; 8:8 and often. In the Hebrew to make a covenant was to cut
up the sacrifice and so ratify the agreement (Ge 15:9-18).
Lightfoot argues that the word \diathēke\ means covenant in the
N.T. except in Heb 9:15-17. Jesus here uses the solemn words of
Ex 24:8 "the blood of the covenant" at Sinai. "My blood of the
covenant" is in contrast with that. This is the New Covenant of
Jer 31; Heb 8. {Which is shed for many} (\to peri pollōn
. A prophetic present passive participle. The act
is symbolized by the ordinance. Cf. the purpose of Christ
expressed in 20:28. There \anti\ and here \peri\. {Unto
remission of sins}
(\eis aphesin hamartiōn\). This clause is in
Matthew alone but it is not to be restricted for that reason. It
is the truth. This passage answers all the modern sentimentalism
that finds in the teaching of Jesus only pious ethical remarks or
eschatological dreamings. He had the definite conception of his
death on the cross as the basis of forgiveness of sin. The
purpose of the shedding of his blood of the New Covenant was
precisely to remove (forgive) sins.

26:29 {When I drink it new with you} (\hotan auto pinō meth'
humōn kaimon\)
. This language rather implies that Jesus himself
partook of the bread and the wine, though it is not distinctly
stated. In the Messianic banquet it is not necessary to suppose
that Jesus means the language literally, "the fruit of the vine."
Deissmann (_Bible Studies_, pp. 109f.) gives an instance of
\genēma\ used of the vine in a papyrus 230 B.C. The language here
employed does not make it obligatory to employ wine rather than
pure grape juice if one wishes the other.

26:30 {Sang a hymn} (\humnēsantes\). The _Hallel_, part of Ps
115-118. But apparently they did not go out at once to the
Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus tarried with them in the Upper Room
for the wonderful discourse and prayer in Joh 14-17. They may
have gone out to the street after Joh 14:31. It was no longer
considered obligatory to remain in the house after the passover
meal till morning as at the start (Ex 12:22). Jesus went out to
Gethsemane, the garden of the agony, outside of Jerusalem, toward
the Mount of Olives.

26:33 {I will never be offended} (\egō oudepote
. "Made to stumble," not "offended." Volitive
future passive indicative. Peter ignored the prophecy of the
resurrection of Jesus and the promised meeting in Galilee (32).
The quotation from Zec 13:7 made no impression on him. He was
intent on showing that he was superior to "all" the rest. Judas
had turned traitor and all were weak, Peter in particular, little
as he knew it. So Jesus has to make it plainer by pointing out
"this night" as the time (34). {Before the cock crows} (\prin
alektora phōnēsai\)
. No article in the Greek, "before a cock
crow." Mark (Mr 14:30) says that Peter will deny Jesus thrice
before the cock crows twice. When one cock crows in the morning,
others generally follow. The three denials lasted over an hour.
Some scholars hold that chickens were not allowed in Jerusalem by
the Jews, but the Romans would have them.

26:35 {Even if I must die with thee} (\k…n deēi me sun soi
. Third-class condition. A noble speech and meant
well. His boast of loyalty is made still stronger by \ou mē se
aparnēsomai\. The other disciples were undoubtedly embarrassed by
Peter's boast and lightheartedly joined in the same profession of

26:36 {Gethsemane} (\Gethsēmanei\). The word means oil-press in
the Hebrew, or olive vat. The place (\chōrion\) was an enclosed
plot or estate, "garden," or orchard (\kēpos\). It is called
_villa_ in the Vulgate according to Joh 18:1. It was beyond the
torrent Kedron at the foot of the Mount of Olives about
three-fourths of a mile from the eastern walls of Jerusalem.
There are now eight old olive trees still standing in this
enclosure. One cannot say that they are the very trees near which
Jesus had his Agony, but they are very old. "They will remain so
long as their already protracted life is spared, the most
venerable of their race on the surface of the earth. Their
guarded trunks and scanty foliage will always be regarded as the
most affecting of the sacred memorials in or about Jerusalem"
(Stanley, _Sinai and Palestine_). {Here} (\autou\), {Yonder}
(\ekei\). Jesus clearly pointed to the place where he would pray.
Literally "there."

26:37 {He took with him} (\paralabōn\). Taking along, by his side
(\para-\), as a mark of special favour and privilege, instead of
leaving this inner circle of three (Peter, James, and John) with
the other eight. The eight would serve as a sort of outer guard
to watch by the gate of the garden for the coming of Judas while
the three would be able to share the agony of soul already upon
Jesus so as at least to give him some human sympathy which he
craved as he sought help from the Father in prayer. These three
had been with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and now they
are with him in this supreme crisis. The grief of Christ was now
severe. The word for {sore troubled} (\adēmonein\) is of doubtful
etymology. There is an adjective \adēmos\ equal to \apodēmos\
meaning "not at home," "away from home," like the German
_unheimisch, unheimlich_. But whatever the etymology, the notion
of intense discomfort is plain. The word \adēmonein\ occurs in
P.Oxy. II, 298,456 of the first century A.D. where it means
"excessively concerned." See Php 2:26 where Paul uses it of
Epaphroditus. Moffatt renders it here "agitated." The word occurs
sometimes with \aporeō\ to be at a loss as to which way to go.
The _Braid Scots_ has it "sair putten-aboot." Here Matthew has
also "to be sorrowful" (\lupeisthai\), but Mark (Mr 14:33) has
the startling phrase {greatly amazed and sore troubled}
(\ekthambeisthai kai adēmonein\), a "feeling of terrified

26:38 {Watch with me} (\grēgoreite met' emou\). This late present
from the perfect \egrēgora\ means to keep awake and not go to
sleep. The hour was late and the strain had been severe, but
Jesus pleaded for a bit of human sympathy as he wrestled with his
Father. It did not seem too much to ask. He had put his sorrow in
strong language, "even unto death" (\heōs thanatou\) that ought
to have alarmed them.

26:39 {He went forward a little} (\proelthōn mikron\). As if he
could not fight the battle in their immediate presence. He was on
his face, not on his knees (McNeile). {This cup} (\to potērion
. The figure can mean only the approaching death. Jesus
had used it of his coming death when James and John came to him
with their ambitious request, "the cup which I am about to drink"
(Mt 20:22). But now the Master is about to taste the bitter
dregs in the cup of death for the sin of the world. He was not
afraid that he would die before the Cross, though he
instinctively shrank from the cup, but instantly surrendered his
will to the Father's will and drank it to the full. Evidently
Satan tempted Christ now to draw back from the Cross. Here Jesus
won the power to go on to Calvary.

26:40 {What} (\houtōs\). The Greek adverb is not interrogation or
exclamatory \ti\, but only "so" or "thus." There is a tone of sad
disappointment at the discovery that they were asleep after the
earnest plea that they keep awake (verse 38). "Did you not thus
have strength enough to keep awake one hour?" Every word struck

26:41 {Watch and pray} (\grēgoreite kai proseuchesthe\). Jesus
repeats the command of verse 38 with the addition of prayer and
with the warning against the peril of temptation. He himself was
feeling the worst of all temptations of his earthly life just
then. He did not wish then to enter such temptation (\peirasmon\,
here in this sense, not mere trial)
. Thus we are to understand
the prayer in Mt 6:13 about leading (being led) into
temptation. Their failure was due to weakness of the flesh as is
often the case. {Spirit} (\pneuma\) here is the moral life
(\intellect, will, emotions\) as opposed to the flesh (cf. Isa
31:3; Ro 7:25)
. {Except I drink it} (\ean mē auto piō\).
Condition of the third class undetermined, but with likelihood of
determination, whereas {if this cannot pass away} (\ei ou dunatai
touto parelthein\)
is first-class condition, determined as
fulfilled, assumed to be true. This delicate distinction
accurately presents the real attitude of Jesus towards this
subtle temptation.

26:43 {For their eyes were heavy} (\ēsan gar autōn hoi ophthalmoi
. Past perfect passive indicative periphrastic.
Their eyes had been weighted down with sleep and still were as
they had been on the Mount of Transfiguration (Lu 9:32).

26:45 {Sleep on now and take your rest} (\katheudete loipon kai
. This makes it "mournful irony" (Plummer) or
reproachful concession: "Ye may sleep and rest indefinitely so
far as I am concerned; I need no longer your watchful interest"
(Bruce). It may be a sad query as Goodspeed: "Are you still
sleeping and taking your rest?" So Moffatt. This use of \loipon\
for now or henceforth is common in the papyri. {The hour is at
(\ēggiken hē hōra\). Time for action has now come. They
have missed their chance for sympathy with Jesus. He has now won
the victory without their aid. "The Master's time of weakness is
past; He is prepared to face the worst" (Bruce). {Is betrayed}
(\paradidotai\). Futuristic present or inchoative present, the
first act in the betrayal is at hand. Jesus had foreseen his
"hour" for long and now he faces it bravely.

26:46 {He is at hand} (\ēggiken\). The same verb and tense used
of the hour above, present perfect active of \eggizō\, to draw
near, the very form used by John the Baptist of the coming of the
kingdom of heaven (Mt 3:2). Whether Jesus heard the approach of
the betrayer with the crowd around him or saw the lights or just
felt the proximity of the traitor before he was there (J. Weiss),
we do not know and it matters little. The scene is pictured as it
happened with lifelike power.

26:47 {While he yet spake} (\eti autou lalountos\). It was an
electric moment as Jesus faced Judas with his horde of helpers as
if he turned to meet an army. {Let us go} (\agōmen\), Jesus had
said. And here he is. The eight at the gate seemed to have given
no notice. Judas is described here as "one of the twelve" (\heis
tōn dōdeka\)
in all three Synoptic Gospels (Mr 14:43; Mt 26:47;
Lu 22:47)
. The very horror of the thing is thus emphasized, that
one of the chosen twelve apostles should do this dastardly deed.
{A great multitude} (\ochlos polus\). The chief priests and
Pharisees had furnished Judas a band of soldiers from the
garrison in Antonia (Joh 18:3) and the temple police (Lu
with swords (knives) and staves (clubs) with a hired
rabble who had lanterns also (Joh 18:3) in spite of the full
moon. Judas was taking no chances of failure for he well knew the
strange power of Jesus.

26:48 {Gave them a sign} (\edōken autois sēmeion\). Probably just
before he reached the place, though Mark (Mr 14:44) has "had
given" (\dedōkei\) which certainly means before arrival at
Gethsemane. At any rate Judas had given the leaders to understand
that he would kiss (\philēsō\) Jesus in order to identify him for
certain. The kiss was a common mode of greeting and Judas chose
that sign and actually "kissed him fervently" (\katephilēsen\,
verse 49)
, though the compound verb sometimes in the papyri has
lost its intensive force. Bruce thinks that Judas was prompted by
the inconsistent motives of smouldering love and cowardice. At
any rate this revolting ostentatious kiss is "the most terrible
instance of the \hekousia philēmata echthrou\ (Pr 27:6)," the
profuse kisses of an enemy (McNeile). This same compound verb
occurs in Lu 7:38 of the sinful woman, in Lu 15:20 of the
Father's embrace of the Prodigal Son, and in Ac 20:37 of the
Ephesian elders and Paul.

26:50 {Do that for which thou art come} (\eph' ho parei\).
Moffatt and Goodspeed take it: "Do your errand." There has been a
deal of trouble over this phrase. Deissmann (_Light from the
Ancient East_, pp. 125 to 131)
has proven conclusively that it is
a question, \eph' ho\ in late Greek having the interrogative
sense of \epi ti\ (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 725). The use of
\eph' ho\ for "why here" occurs on a Syrian tablet of the first
century A.D. 50 that it "was current coin in the language of the
people" (Deissmann). Most of the early translations (Old Latin,
Old Syriac)
took it as a question. So the Vulgate has _ad quid
venisti_. In this instance the Authorized Version is correct
against the Revised. Jesus exposes the pretence of Judas and
shows that he does not believe in his paraded affection (Bruce).

26:51 {One of them that were with Jesus} (\heis tōn meta Iēsou\).
Like the other Synoptics Matthew conceals the name of Peter,
probably for prudential reasons as he was still living before
A.D. 68. John writing at the end of the century mentions Peter's
name (Joh 18:10). The sword or knife was one of the two that
the disciples had (Lu 22:38). Bruce suggests that it was a
large knife used in connexion with the paschal feast. Evidently
Peter aimed to cut off the man's head, not his ear (\ōtion\ is
diminutive in form, but not in sense, as often in the _Koinē_)
He may have been the leader of the band. His name, Malchus, is
also given by John (Joh 18:10) because Peter was then dead and
in no danger.

26:52 {Put up again thy sword} (\apostrepson tēn machairan sou\).
Turn back thy sword into its place. It was a stern rebuke for
Peter who had misunderstood the teaching of Jesus in Lu 22:38
as well as in Mt 5:39 (cf. Joh 18:36). The reason given by
Jesus has had innumerable illustrations in human history. The
sword calls for the sword. Offensive war is here given flat
condemnation. The Paris Pact of 1928 (the Kellogg Treaty) is
certainly in harmony with the mind of Christ. The will to peace
is the first step towards peace, the outlawing of war. Our
American cities are often ruled by gangsters who kill each other

26:53 {Even now} (\arti\). Just now, at this very moment.
{Legions} (\legiōnas\). A Latin word. Roman soldiers in large
numbers were in Palestine later in A.D. 66, but they were in
Caesarea and in the tower of Antonia in Jerusalem. A full Roman
legion had 6,100 foot and 726 horse in the time of Augustus. But
Jesus sees more than twelve legions at his command (one for each
and shows his undaunted courage in this crisis. One
should recall the story of Elisha at Dothan (2Ki 6:17).

26:54 {Must be} (\dei\). Jesus sees clearly his destiny now that
he has won the victory in Gethsemane.

26:55 {As against a robber} (\hōs epi lēistēn\). As a robber, not
as a thief, but a robber hiding from justice. He will be
crucified between two robbers and on the very cross planned for
their leader, Barabbas. They have come with no warrant for any
crime, but with an armed force to seize Jesus as if a highway
robber. Jesus reminds them that he used to sit (imperfect,
in the temple and teach. But he sees God's purpose
in it all for the prophets had foretold his "cup." The desertion
of Jesus by the disciples followed this rebuke of the effort of
Peter. Jesus had surrendered. So they fled.

26:58 {To see the end} (\idein to telos\). Peter rallied from the
panic and followed afar off (\makrothen\), "more courageous than
the rest and yet not courageous enough" (Bruce). John the Beloved
Disciple went on into the room where Jesus was. The rest remained
outside, but Peter "sat with the officers" to see and hear and
hoping to escape notice.

26:59 {Sought false witness against Jesus} (\ezētoun
. Imperfect tense, kept on seeking. Judges have
no right to be prosecutors and least of all to seek after false
witness and even to offer bribes to get it.

26:60 {They found it not} (\kai ouch heuron\). They found false
witnesses in plenty, but not the false witness that would stand
any sort of test.

26:61 {I am able to destroy the temple of God} (\dunamai
katalusai ton naon tou theou\)
. What he had said (Joh 2:19)
referred to the temple of his body which they were to destroy
(and did) and which he would raise again in three days as he did.
It was a pitiful perversion of what Jesus had said and even so
the two witnesses disagreed in their misrepresentation (Mr

26:63 {Held his peace} (\esiōpa\). Kept silent, imperfect tense.
Jesus refused to answer the bluster of Caiaphas. {I adjure thee
by the living God}
(\exorkizō se kata tou theou tou zōntos\). So
Caiaphas put Jesus on oath in order to make him incriminate
himself, a thing unlawful in Jewish jurisprudence. He had failed
to secure any accusation against Jesus that would stand at all.
But Jesus did not refuse to answer under solemn oath, clearly
showing that he was not thinking of oaths in courts of justice
when he prohibited profanity. The charge that Caiaphas makes is
that Jesus claims to be the Messiah, the Son of God. To refuse to
answer would be tantamount to a denial. So Jesus answered knowing
full well the use that would be made of his confession and claim.

26:64 {Thou hast said} (\su eipas\). This is a Greek affirmative
reply. Mark (Mr 14:62) has it plainly, "I am" (\eimi\). But
this is not all that Jesus said to Caiaphas. He claims that the
day will come when Jesus will be the Judge and Caiaphas the
culprit using the prophetic language in Da 7:13 and Ps 109:1.
It was all that Caiaphas wanted.

26:65 {He hath spoken blasphemy} (\eblasphēmēsen\). There was no
need of witnesses now, for Jesus had incriminated himself by
claiming under oath to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Now it
would not be blasphemy for the real Messiah to make such a claim,
but it was intolerable to admit that Jesus could be the Messiah
of Jewish hope. At the beginning of Christ's ministry he
occasionally used the word Messiah of himself, but he soon
ceased, for it was plain that it would create trouble. The people
would take it in the sense of a political revolutionist who would
throw off the Roman yoke. If he declined that role, the Pharisees
would have none of him for that was the kind of a Messiah that
they desired. But the hour has now come. At the Triumphal Entry
Jesus let the Galilean crowds hail him as Messiah, knowing what
the effect would be. Now the hour has struck. He has made his
claim and has defied the High Priest.

26:66 {He is worthy of death} (\enochos thanatou estin\). Held in
the bonds of death (\en, echō\) as actually guilty with the
genitive (\thanatou\). The dative expresses liability as in Mt
5:21 (\tēi krisei\) and as \eis\ and the accusative (Mt 5:22).
They took the vote though it was at night and they no longer had
the power of death since the Romans took it away from them. Death
was the penalty of blasphemy (Le 24:15). But they enjoyed
taking it as their answer to his unanswerable speeches in the
temple that dreadful Tuesday a few days before. It was unanimous
save that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did not agree. They
were probably absent and not even invited as being under
suspicion for being secret disciples of Christ.

26:68 {Thou Christ} (\Christe\). With definite sneer at his
claims under oath in 26:63. With uncontrolled glee and abandon
like a lot of hoodlums these doctors of divinity insulted Jesus.
They actually spat in his face, buffeted him on the neck
(\ekolaphisan\, from \kolaphos\ the fist), and struck him in the
face with the palms of their hands (\erapisan\, from \rapis\, a
, all personal indignities after the legal injustice already
done. They thus gave vent to their spite and hatred.

26:69 {Thou also} (\kai su\). Peter had gone within (\esō\) the
palace (26:58), but was sitting {without} (\exō\) the hall
where the trial was going on in the open central court with the
servants or officers (\hupēretōn\, under rowers, literally,
of the Sanhedrin. But he could possibly see through the
open door above what was going on inside. It is not plain at what
stage of the Jewish trial the denials of Peter took place nor the
precise order in which they came as the Gospels give them
variously. This maid (\paidiskē\, slave girl) stepped up to Peter
as he was sitting in the court and pointedly said: "Thou also
wast with Jesus the Galilean." Peter was warming himself by the
fire and the light shone in his face. She probably had noticed
Peter come in with John the Beloved Disciple who went on up into
the hall of trial. Or she may have seen Peter with Jesus on the
streets of Jerusalem.

26:70 {I know not what thou sayest} (\ouk oida ti legeis\). It
was an affectation of extreme ignorance (Bruce) that deceived no
one. It was an easy and ancient dodge and easy subterfuge. Dalman
(_Words of Jesus_, 80f.) suggests that Peter used the Galilean
Aramaean word for know instead of the Judean Aramaean word which
betrayed at once his Galilean residence.

26:71 {Into the porch} (\eis ton pulōna\). But Peter was not safe
out here, for another maid recognized him and spoke of him as
"this fellow" (\houtos\) with a gesture to those out there.

26:72 {With an oath} (\meta horkou\). This time Peter added an
oath, probably a former habit so common to the Jews at that time,
and denied acquaintance with Jesus. He even refers to Jesus as
"the man" (\ton anthrōpon\), an expression that could convey
contempt, "the fellow."

26:73 {They that stood by} (\hoi hestōtes\). The talk about Peter
continued. Luke (Lu 22:59) states that the little while was
about an hour. The bystanders came up to Peter and bluntly assert
that he was "of a truth" (\alēthōs\) one of the followers of
Jesus for his speech betrayed him. Even the Revised Version
retains "bewrayeth," quaint old English for "betrayeth." The
Greek has it simply "makes thee evident" (\dēlon se poiei\). His
dialect (\lalia\) clearly revealed that he was a Galilean. The
Galileans had difficulty with the gutterals and Peter's second
denial had exposed him to the tormenting raillery of the loungers
who continued to nag him.

26:74 {Then began he to curse and to swear} (\tote ērxato
katathematizein kai omnuein\)
. He repeated his denial with the
addition of profanity to prove that he was telling the truth
instead of the lie that they all knew. His repeated denials gave
him away still more, for he could not pronounce the Judean
gutterals. He called down on himself (\katathematizein\)
imprecations in his desperate irritation and loss of self-control
at his exposure. {The cock crew} (\alektōn ephōnēsen\). No
article in the Greek, just "a cock crew" at that juncture,
"straightway" (\euthus\). But it startled Peter.

26:75 {Peter remembered} (\emnēsthē ho Petros\). A small thing,
but _magna circumstantia_ (Bengel). In a flash of lightning
rapidity he recalled the words of Jesus a few hours before (Mt
which he had then scouted with the proud boast that "even
if I must die with thee, yet will I not deny thee" (26:35). And
now this triple denial was a fact. There is no extenuation for
the base denials of Peter. He had incurred the dread penalty
involved in the words of Jesus in Mt 10:33 of denial by Jesus
before the Father in heaven. But Peter's revulsion of feeling was
as sudden as his sin. {He went out and wept bitterly} (\exelthōn
exō eklausen pikrōs\)
. Luke adds that the Lord turned and looked
upon Peter (Lu 22:61). That look brought Peter back to his
senses. He could not stay where he now was with the revilers of
Jesus. He did not feel worthy or able to go openly into the hall
where Jesus was. So outside he went with a broken heart. The
constative aorist here does not emphasize as Mark's imperfect
does (Mr 14:72, \eklaien\) the continued weeping that was now
Peter's only consolation. The tears were bitter, all the more so
by reason of that look of understanding pity that Jesus gave him.
One of the tragedies of the Cross is the bleeding heart of Peter.
Judas was a total wreck and Peter was a near derelict. Satan had
sifted them all as wheat, but Jesus had prayed specially for
Peter (Lu 22:31f.). Will Satan show Peter to be all chaff as
Judas was?

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Matthew: Chapter 26)