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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 18)



18:1 {With} (sun). See 12:2 for another example of sun in John (common in Paul). The usual meta reappears in verse 2. {Over} (peran). "Beyond," preposition with the ablative as in 6:22,25.
{Brook} (cheimarrou). Old word, flowing (roos, re“) in winter (cheima), only here in N.T.
{Kidron} (ton Kedr“n). 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 tou Kedr“n (indeclinable). As a matter of fact it was always dry save after a heavy rain.
{A garden} (kˆpos). 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).

18:2 {Resorted thither} (sunˆchthˆ ekei). First aorist passive indicative of sunag“, 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).

18:3 {The band of soldiers} (tˆn speiran). 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 (hupˆretas for which see Mt 26:58; Mr 14:54,65) or temple police from the Sanhedrin.
{Cometh} (erchetai). Dramatic historical present middle indicative. {With lanterns and torches} (meta phan“n kai lampad“n). Both old words, phanos only here in N.T., lampas, 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. Meta is accompanied with {and weapons} (kai hopl“n). Mark (Mr 14:43) mentions "swords and staves." Probably the temple guard had weapons as well as the soldiers.

18:4 {Knowing all the things that were coming upon him} (eid“s panta ta erchomena ep' auton). 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.

18:5 {Was standing} (histˆkei). Second past perfect active of histˆmi 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.

18:6 {Fell to the ground} (epesan chamai). Second aorist active indicative of pipt“ with first aorist ending (-an). This recoil made them stumble. But why did they step back? Was it the former claim of Jesus ({I am}, eg“ eimi) to be on an equality with God (8:58; 13:19) or mere embarrassment and confusion or supernatural power exerted by Jesus? B adds Iˆsous which must mean simply: "I am Jesus."

18:7 {Again} (palin). The repeated question receives the same answer. The soldiers and officers know who it is, but are still overawed.

18:8 {Let these go their way} (aphete toutous hupagein). Second aorist active imperative of aphiˆmi. The verb hupagein 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.

18:9 {That might be fulfilled} (hina plˆr“thˆi). 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.

18:10 {Having a sword} (ech“n machairan). 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 (heilkusen, first aorist active indicative of helku“ 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 “tarion, diminutive of ous, see Mr 14:47 (only other N.T. example), another diminutive “tion in Mt 26:51 (Mr 14:47; Lu 22:51).

18:11 {Into the sheath} (eis tˆn thˆkˆn). Old word from tithˆmi, to put for box or sheath, only here in N.T. In Mt 26:52 Christ's warning is given.
{The cup} (to potˆrion). 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 to potˆrion is the suspended nominative for note auto (it) referring to it.
{Shall I not drink?} (ou mˆ pi“;). Second aorist active subjunctive of pin“ with the double negative ou mˆ in a question expecting the affirmative answer. Abbott takes it as an exclamation and compares 6:37; Mr 14:25.

18:12 {The chief captain} (ho chiliarchos). They actually had the Roman commander of the cohort along (cf. Ac 21:31), not mentioned before.
{Seized} (sunelabon). Second aorist active of sullamban“, 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} (edˆsan). First aorist active indicative of de“, 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} (pros Annan pr“ton). Ex-high priest and father-in-law (pentheros, 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} (tou eniautou ekeinou). Genitive of time.

18:14 {He which gave command} (ho sumbouleusas). First aorist active articular participle of sumbouleu“, old verb (Mt 26:4). The reference is to Joh 11:50.
{It was expedient} (sumpherei). Present active indicative retained in indirect assertion after secondary tense (ˆn, was). Here we have the second aorist active infinitive apothanein as the subject of sumpherei, both good idioms in the "Koin‚".

18:15 {Followed} (ˆkolouthei). Imperfect active of akolouthe“, "was following," picturesque and vivid tense, with associative instrumental case t“i Iˆsou.
{Another disciple} (allos mathˆtˆs). Correct text without article ho (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} (ˆn gn“stos t“i archierei). Verbal adjective from gin“sk“, 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} (suneisˆlthen t“i Iˆsou). Second aorist active indicative of the double compound suneiserchomai, old verb, in N.T. here and 6:22. With associative instrumental case.
{Into the court} (eis tˆn aulˆn). 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.

18:16 {Was standing} (histˆkei). Same form in verse 5 which see. So also histˆkeisan in 18. Picture of Peter standing outside by the door.
{Unto the high priest} (tou archiere“s). Objective genitive here, but dative in verse 15.
{Unto her that kept the door} (tˆi thur“r“i). Old word (thura, door, “ra, care), masculine in 10:3, feminine here, door-keeper (male or female).

18:17 {The maid} (hˆ paidiskˆ). Feminine form of paidiskos, diminutive of pais. See Mt 26:69. When "the maid the portress" (apposition).
{Art thou also?} (mˆ kai su ei;). Expecting the negative answer, though she really believed he was. {This man's} (tou anthr“pou toutou). Contemptuous use of houtos with a gesture toward Jesus. She made it easy for Peter to say no.

18:18 {A fire of coals} (anthrakian). Old word, in LXX, only here and 21:9 in N.T. A heap of burning coals (anthrax, coal). Cf. our "anthracite." It was cold (psuchos ˆn). "There was coldness." The soldiers had apparently returned to their barracks.
{Were warming themselves} (ethermainonto). Direct middle imperfect indicative of thermain“ (from thermos). So as to thermainomenos about Peter. "Peter, unabashed by his lie, joined himself to the group and stood in the light of the fire" (Dods).

18:19 {Asked} (ˆr“tˆsen). First aorist active indicative of er“ta“, 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.

18:20 {Openly} (parrˆsiƒi). As already shown (7:4; 8:26; 10:24,39; 16:25,29. See 7:4 for same contrast between en parrˆsiƒi and en krupt“i.) {I ever taught} (eg“ pantote edidaxa). 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.

18:21 {Ask them that have heard me} (er“tˆson tous akˆkootas). First aorist (tense of urgent and instant action) active imperative of er“ta“ and the articular perfect active participle accusative masculine plural of akou“, 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.

18:22 {When he had said this} (tauta autou eipontos). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of eipon, to say. {Standing by} (parestˆk“s). Perfect active (intransitive) participle of paristˆmi (transitive), to place beside. One of the temple police who felt his importance as protector of Annas. {Struck Jesus with his hand} (ed“ken rapisma t“i Iˆsou). Late word rapisma is from rapiz“, 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} (hout“s). As Jesus had done in verse 21, a dignified protest in fact by Jesus.

18:23 {If I have spoken evil} (ei kak“s elalˆsa). Condition of first class (assumed to be true), with ei 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} (marturˆson peri tou kakou). First aorist active imperative of marture“, to testify. This is the conclusion (apodosis). Jesus is clearly entitled to proof of such a charge if there is any.
{But if well} (ei de kal“s). Supply the same verb elalˆsa. The same condition, but with a challenging question as the apodosis. {Smitest} (dereis). Old verb der“, 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).

18:24 {Therefore sent him} (apesteilen oun auton). First aorist active of apostell“, not past perfect (had sent). The preliminary examination by Annas was over.
{Bound} (dedemenon). Perfect passive participle of de“, to bind. Jesus was bound on his arrest (verse 12) and apparently unbound during the preliminary examination by Annas.

18:25 {Was standing and warming himself} (ˆn hest“s kai thermainomenos). 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.

18:26 {Did not I see thee in the garden with him?} (ouk eg“ se eidon en t“i kˆp“i met' autou;). This staggering and sudden thrust expects an affirmative answer by the use of ouk, not 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} (euthe“s). As in Mt 26:74 while Luke has parachrˆma (Lu 22:60). Mark (Mr 14:68,72) speaks of two crowings as often happens when one cock crows. See Mt 26:34 for alekt“r (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".

18:28 {They lead} (agousin). Dramatic historical present of ag“, 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} (eis to prait“rion). 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} (pr“i). 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} (hina mˆ mianth“sin). Purpose clause with hina mˆ and first aorist passive subjunctive of miain“, 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} (alla phag“sin to pascha). Second aorist active subjunctive of the defective verb esthi“, 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 pascha 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.

18:29 {Went out} (exˆlthen ex“). Note both ex and ex“ (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} (katˆgorian). Old word for formal charge, in N.T. only here, 1Ti 5:19; Tit 1:6.
{Against this man} (tou anthr“pou toutou). Objective genitive after katˆgorian. A proper legal inquiry.

18:30 {If this man were not an evil-doer} (ei mˆ ˆn houtos kakon poi“n). Condition (negative) of second class (periphrastic imperfect indicative), assumed to be untrue, with the usual apodosis (an and aorist indicative, first aorist plural with k). 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 kakopoios (malefactor) as in 1Pe 2:12,14, with which compare Luke's kakourgos (23:32f.; so also 2Ti 2:9), both meaning evil-doer. Here the periphrastic present participle poi“n with kakon emphasizes the idea that Jesus was a habitual evil-doer (Abbott). It was an insolent reply to Pilate (Bernard).

18:31 {Yourselves} (humeis). 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).

18:32 {By what manner of death} (poi“i thanat“i). Instrumental case of the qualitative interrogative poios in an indirect question, the very idiom used in Joh 12:32 concerning the Cross and here treated as prophecy (Scripture) with hina plˆr“thˆi like the saying of Jesus in verse 9 which see.

18:33 {Again} (palin). Back into the palace where Pilate was before.
{Called} (eph“nˆsen). First aorist active indicative of ph“ne“. 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?} (su ei ho basileus t“n Ioudai“n;). 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} (su). 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.

18:34 {Of thyself} (apo seautou). Whether a sincere inquiry on Pilate's part or a trap from the Sanhedrin.

18:35 {Am I a Jew?} (mˆti eg“ Ioudaios eimi;). 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 mˆti in a question. The gulf between Jew and Gentile yawns wide here.
{Nation} (ethnos as in 11:48-52, rather than laos, while both in 11:50). For pared“kan see verse 30. {What hast thou done?} (ti epoiˆsas;). First aorist active indicative of poie“. 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.

18:36 {My kingdom} (hˆ basileia hˆ emˆ). Christ claims to be king to Pilate, but of a peculiar kingdom. For "world" (kosmou) see 17:13-18.
{My servants} (hoi hupˆretai hoi emoi). 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} (ˆg“nizonto an). Imperfect middle of ag“nizomai common verb (only here in John, but see 1Co 9:25) from ag“n (contest) with an, 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} (hina mˆ paradoth“). Negative final clause with hina mˆ and first aorist passive subjunctive of paradid“mi (see verses 28,36). Jesus expects Pilate to surrender to the Jews.
{But now} (nun de). In contrast to the condition already stated as in 8:40; 9:41; 15:22,24.

18:37 {Art thou a king then?} (oukoun basileus ei su;). Compound of ouk and oun 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} (su legeis hoti). In Mt 27:11; Mr 15:2; Lu 23:3, su legeis clearly means "yes," as su eipas (thou saidst) does in Mt 26:64 (= "I am," eg“ eimi, in Mr 41:62). Hence here hoti had best be taken to mean "because": "Yes, because I am a king."
{Have I been born} (eg“ gegennˆmai). Perfect passive indicative of genna“. The Incarnation was for this purpose. Note repetition of eis touto (for this purpose), explained by hina marturˆs“ tˆi alˆtheiƒi (that I may bear witness to the truth), hina with first aorist active subjunctive of marture“. Paul (1Ti 6:13) alludes to this good confession when Christ bore witness (marturˆsantos) before Pilate. Jesus bore such witness always (Joh 3:11,32; 7:7; 8:14; Re 1:5).

18:38 {What is truth?} (ti estin alˆtheia;). 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" (eg“ oudemian heurisk“ en aut“i aitian). For this use of aitia see Mt 27:37; Mr 15:26. Pilate therefore should have set Jesus free at once.

18:39 {A custom} (sunˆtheia). Old word for intimacy, intercourse, from sunˆthˆs (sun, ˆthos), in N.T. only here, 1Co 8:7; 11:16. This custom, alluded to in Mr 15:6; Mt 27:15, is termed necessity (anagkˆ) in Lu 23:17 (late MSS., not in older MSS.). All the Gospels use the verb apolu“ (release, set free). Then hina apolus“ is a subject clause (hina and first aorist active subjunctive) in apposition with sunˆtheia.
{Will ye therefore that I release?} (boulesthe oun apolus“;). Without the usual hina before apolus“, asyndeton, as in Mr 10:36, to be explained either as parataxis or two questions (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 430) or as mere omission of hina ("ibid"., p. 994). There is contempt and irony in Pilate's use of the phrase "the king of the Jews."

18:40 {Cried out} (ekraugasan). First aorist active of kraugaz“, old and rare verb from kraugˆ, outcry (Mt 25:6), as in Mt 12:19.
{Not this man} (mˆ touton). Contemptuous use of houtos. 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 Barabbas in Aramaic simply means son of a father.
{A robber} (lˆistˆs). Old word from lˆizomai, 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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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 18)



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