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1. TWv Képwv (XBCLX Origen) is to be preferred to roll Kéδρου (RD) or του Κεδρών (ΑΝΔ). Both των Κέδρων and του Κεδρών occur in LXX. as various readings (2 S. xv. 23; 1 K. ii. 37, xv. 13; 2 K. xxiii. 6, 12): Josephus uses Kedpwvos as the genitive of Keopov (4. J. VIII. i. 5). We infer that both names were current, the Hebrew having given birth to a Greek name of different meaning but similar sound.
4. εξηλθεν και λέγει (BC1D Origen) for εξελθών είπεν (NAC3). 10. wraplov (XBCILX) for urlov (AC3D from Matt. xxvi. 51 ?). 14. αποθανείν (NBCDLX) for απολέσθαι (AC3).
16. ο γνωστός του αρχιερέως (BCIL) for δς ήν γνωστός το αρχιερεί (RAC2 from v. 15).
21. έρωτάς; ερώτησον (NBCLX) for επερωτας και έπερερώτησον (υ. 7). 29. Insert tW (KBCÎLX) after IIllátos: Angiv (KBC’LX) for ETTEV (AC3 correction to harmonize with eenader).
30. KAKÒV Tow (&BL) for kakoToLÓS (AC3 for simplification; the word perhaps comes from 1 Pet. ii. 12, 14, iii. 16, iv. 15).
We enter now upon the second part of the second main division of the Gospel. The Evangelist having given us the INNER GLORIFICATION OF CHRIST IN HIS LAST DISCOURSES (xiii.—xvii.), now sets forth His OUTER GLORIFICATION IN HIS PASSION AND DEATH (xviii., xix.). This part, like the former (see Introduction to chap. xiii.), may be divided into four sections. 1. The Betrayal (xviii. 1–11); 2. The Jewish Trials (12—27); 3. The Roman Trial (xviii. 28—xix. 16); 4. The Death and Burial (17—42).
Dr Westcott (Speaker's Commentary, N. T., Vol. II. p. 249) observes; “1. It is a superficial and inadequate treatment of his narrative to regard it as a historical supplement of the other narratives, or of the current oral narrative on which they are based...... The record is independent and complete in itself. It is a whole, and like the rest of the Gospel an interpretation of the inner meaning of the history which it contains.
“Thus in the history of the Passion three thoughts among others rise into clear prominence: (1) The voluntariness of Christ's sufferings ; xviii. 4, 8, 11, 36;
xix, 28, 30. (2) The fulfilment of a divine plan in Christ's sufferings ; xviii.
4, 9, 11, xix. 11, 24, 28, 36, 37. (3) The Majesty which shines through Christ's sufferings; xviii. 6, 20—23 (comp. Luke xxii. 53), 37, xix. 11, 26, 27, 30.
“The narrative in this sense becomes a commentary on earlier words which point to the end; (1) x. 17, 18; (2) xiii. 1; (3) xiii. 31.
“2. In several places the full meaning of S. John's narrative is first obtained by the help of words or incidents preserved by the synoptists. His narrative assumes facts found in them: e.g. xviii. 11, 33, 40, xix. 41.
“3. The main incidents recorded by more than one of the other Evangelists which are omitted by S. John are: (by all three) the agony, traitor's kiss, mockery as prophet, council at daybreak, impressment of Simon, reproaches of the spectators, darkness, confession of the centurion; (by S. Matthew and S. Mark) the desertion by all, exam. ination before the Sanhedrin at night, false witness, adjuration, great Confession, mockery after condemnation, cry from Ps. xxii., rending of the veil.
“Other incidents omitted by S. John are recorded by single Evangelists: (S. Matthew) power over the hosts of heaven, Pilate's wife's message, Pilate's hand-washing, self-condemnation of the Jews, earthquake; (S. Mark) flight of the young man, Pilate's question as to the death of Christ; (s. Luke) examination before Herod, lamentation of the women, three “words' from the Cross (xxiii. 34, 43, 46), repentance of one of the robbers.
“4. The main incidents peculiar to S. John are: the words of power at the arrest, examination before Annas, first conference of the Jews with Pilate and Pilate's private examination, first mockery and Ecce Homo, Pilate's maintenance of his words, the last charge (xix. 25—27), the thirst, piercing of the side, ministry of Nicodemus.
“5. In the narrative of incidents recorded elsewhere S. John constantly adds details, often minute and yet most significant: e.g. xviii. 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 26, 28, xix. 14, 17, 41. See the notes.
“6. In the midst of great differences of detail the Synoptists and S. John offer many impressive resemblances as to the spirit and character of the proceedings: e.g. (1) the activity of the High Priests' (i.e. the Sadducaean hierarchy) as distinguished from the Pharisees; (2) the course of the accusation-civil charge, religious charge, personal influence; (3) the silence of the Lord in His public accusations, with the significant exception, Matt. xxvi. 64; (4) the tone of mockery; (5) the character of Pilate.”
1-11. THE BETRAYAL. 1. éñlev. From the upper room. The word is used of leaving the room, Matt. xxii. 39; Mark xiv. 26; Luke xxii. 39. Those who suppose that the room is left at xiv. 31 (perhaps for the Temple), interpret this of the departure from the city.
TWv Képwv. Of the Cedars, rather than toû Keopuv, of the Kedron. Kedron or Kidron=' black,' and is commonly referred to the dark colour of the water or to the gloom of the ravine. But it might refer to the black green of the cedars, and thus both names would be united. Xeluappoūs or pápavě (Josephus uses both words) indicates the ravine rather than the water: even in winter the stream is small. This detail of Jesus crossing the Wady' of the Kidron is given by S. John only; but he gives no hint of a reference to the flight of David from Absalom and Ahithophel (2 S. xv. 23). If we are to seek a reason for his noting the fact, we may find it in his characteristic Symbolism: έκ χειμάρρου έν οδώ πίεται (Ps. cx. 7); χείμαρpov dinadev yuxń (Ps. cxxiv. 4). This gloomy ravine with its dusky waters is a figure of the affliction through which the Messiah is passing. See on iii. 2, x. 22, xiii. 30.
Kýros. Garden or orchard. Gethsemane means oil-press,' and olives probably abounded there. The very ancient olive-trees still existing on the traditional site were probably put there by pilgrims who replanted the spot after its devastation at the siege of Jerusalem. S. John gives no hint of a comparison between the two gardens, Eden and Gethsemane, which commentators from Cyril to Isaac Williams have traced. See on Mark i. 13 for another comparison.
2. Trapadidoús. Who was betraying; he was at that moment at work : his knowing the place disproves the sneer of Celsus, that Jesus went thither to hide and escape. Origen (Cels. II. x.) appeals to vv. 4, 5 as shewing that He deliberately surrendered Himself. Euvnxon (literally, assembled) suggests that they met for a definite purpose, such as teaching or devotion. The owner must have known of these frequent gatherings and may have been a disciple.
3. ó oův ’I. Judas therefore. It was because he knew that Jesus often went thither that he came hither to take Him. The details which follow are minute and accurate as of an eyewitness.
Trịv otreipav. The band of soldiers : this is one part of the company; Roman soldiers sent to prevent an uproar' among the thousands of pilgrims assembled for the Passover (see on Matt. xxvi. 5). Streipa seems elsewhere in N.T. to mean “cohort,' the tenth of a legion (Matt. xxvii. 27; Mark xv. 16; Acts x. 1, xxi. 31, xxvii. 1), and with this Polybius (xl. xxi. 1; [xxiii. 1]) agrees. But Polybius sometimes (vi. xxiv. 5, xv. ix. 7, 111. cxiii. 3) appears to use oneipa for “maniple,' the third part of a cohort and about 200 men. In any case only a portion of the cohort which formed the garrison of the fortress of Antonia can here be meant: but that the arrest of Jesus was expected to produce a crisis is shewn by the presence of the chief officer of the cohort (v. 12). The Jewish hierarchy had no doubt communicated with Pilate, and his being ready to try the case at so early an hour as 5 A.m. may be accounted for in this way.
éK T. ápx. K. T. $. From the Sanhedrin (see on vii. 32, 45, xi. 47). These úrnpétal may have been either officers of justice appointed by the Sanhedrin, or a portion of the Levitical temple-police: that some of the latter were present is clear from Luke xxii. 4, 52. This is a second part of the company. S. Luke (xxii. 52) tells us that some of the chief priests themselves were there also. Thus there were (1) Roman soldiers, (2) Jewish officials, (3) chief priests. The bavoi and lajtrades were the common equipment for night duty, not rendered useless by the Paschal full moon. Dark woods or buildings might need Searching. Pavós occurs here only in N.T. Both A. V. and R.V. vary between .torch,' 'light,' and 'lamp' for lautás (Matt. xxv. 1–8; Acts xx. 8; Rev. iv. 5, viii. 10). Torches were fed with oil carried in a vessel for the purpose, and perhaps 'torch' would be best everywhere for lautás, leaving 'lamp' for the translation of lúxvos (v. 35; Matt. v. 15, vi. 22; Luke viii. 16, &c.). There is a suppressed irony in the details of this verse: “all this force against one; against one who intended no resistance; against One who with one word (v. 6; Matt. xxvi. 53) could have swept them all away.'
4. nadev. From what? (1) from the shade into the light; (2) from the circle of disciples; (3) from the depth of the garden; (4) from the garden itself. It is impossible to say which of these is right; the last is not contradicted by v. 26. The kiss of Judas is by some placed here, by others after v. 8. While 'His hour was not yet come' (vii. 30, viii. 20), He had withdrawn from danger (viii. 59, xi. 54, xii. 36); now He goes forth to meet it. He who had avoided notoriety (v. 13) and royalty (vi. 15), goes forth to welcome death. His question may have had two objects; to withdraw attention from His disciples (v. 8), and to make His captors realise what they were doing.
5. 'I. T. Nagwpasov. Jesus the Nazarene (Matt. ii. 23), a rather more contemptuous expression than 'Jesus of Nazareth' (i. 46; Acts X. 38; comp. Matt. xxi. 11). "The Nazarene' in a contemptuous sense occurs xix. 19; Matt. xxvi. 71; Mark xiv. 67. It is sometimes used in a neutral sense (Mark x. 47; Luke xviii. 37, xxiv. 19). Later on the contempt of Jews and heathen became the glory of Christians (Acts ii. 22, iii. 6, iv. 10, vi. 14).
iyo elut. These words to Jewish ears were the name of Jehovah. We have had the same expression several times in this Gospel (iv. 26), vi. 20, viii. 24, 28, 58, xiii. 1 (see notes). Judas, if not the chief priests, must have noticed the significant words. There is nothing in the narrative to shew that either the whole company were miraculously blinded (Luke_xxiv. 16), or that Judas in particular was blinded or paralysed. Even those who knew Him well might fail to recognise Him at once by night and with the traces of the Agony fresh
clotń KEL...Ó Trapa&.doús. Judas, who was betraying Him (v. 2) was standing with them. This tragic detail is stamped on the Evangelist's memory: that one dark figure standing as the chief representative of the è covoia ToŮ OKóTOUS. S. John has been accused of personal hatred towards Judas; but he alone of the four Evangelists omits the traitor's kiss. For ciotńkel v. 16, comp. i. 35, vii. 35, xix. 25, xx. 11.
6. us oŮv elnev. When therefore He said; intimating that what followed was the immediate consequence of His words. They fell backwards, recoiling from the majesty of goodness, not forwards in adoration of it. Whether their falling was the natural effect of guilt meeting with absolute innocence, or a supernatural effect wrought by Christ's will, is a question which we have not the means of determining.
Moreover, the distinction may be an unreal one. Is it not His will that guilt should quail before innocence? The result in this case proved both to the disciples and to His foes that His surrender was entirely voluntary (x. 18). Once before, the majesty of His words had overwhelmed those who had come to arrest Him (vii. 46); and it would have been so now, had not He willed to be taken. Comp. Matt. xxvi. 53, where the expression • legions of angels' may have reference to the fragment of a legion that had come to superintend His capture.
7. tráliv oův. Again therefore. Their first onset had been baffled: He Himself gives them another opening. They repeat the terms of their warrant; they have been sent to arrest •Jesus the Nazarene.'
8. äbere roútovs útráyelv. He is no hireling (x. 12); His first thought is for the sheep. At first Jesus had gone forward (v. 4) from His company, as Judas, to give the kiss, from his. Judas has fallen back on his followers, while the disciples gather round Christ. Thus the two bands and two leaders confront one another.
9. oüs 8€8. H., oủk ám. Of those whom Thou hast given Me, I lost not one. The reference is to xvii. 12, and is a strong confirmation of the historical truth of chap. xvii. If the prayer were the composition of the Evangelist to set forth in an ideal form Christ's mental condition at the time, this reference to a definite portion of it would be most unnatural. The change from ‘not one of them perished' to 'I lost of them not one' brings out the protective intervention of Christ.
It does not follow, because S. John gives this interpretation of Christ's words, that therefore they have no other. This was a first fulfilment, within an hour or two of their utterance, an earnest of a larger fulfilment in the future. The meaning here must not be limited to bodily preservation. Had they been captured, apostasy might have been the result, as was actually the case with S. Peter. 10. E. oov II. Simon Peter therefore ; because he
saw what would follow' (Luke xxii. 49). The position of oủv is remarkable, as if IIét pos had been added as an after-thought, possibly in allusion to the significance of the name. All four Evangelists mention this act of violence; S. John alone gives the names. While S. Peter was alive it was only prudent not to mention his name; and probably S. John was the only one who knew (v. 15) the servant's name. This impetuous boldness of ó Depuò's IIétpos illustrates his impetuous words xiii. 37 and Mark viii. 32. The sword was probably one of the two produced in misunderstanding of Christ's words at the end of the supper (Luke xxiii. 38). To carry arms on a feast-day was forbidden; so that we have here some indication that the Last Supper was not the Passover. No doubt Malchus had been prominent in the attack on Jesus; hence τον τ. αρχ. δούλον, which does not mean that only one servant was there (v. 26). Or Tòv 8. may mean the servant of whom you have so often heard.' S. Peter had aimed at his head. S. Luke also mentions that it was the right ear that was cut, and he alone mentions the healing, under cover of which S. Peter probably escaped.