VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Kidron (Kedrwn). Which might also be rendered of the cedars, which some editors prefer. There is some uncertainty as to the exact meaning of the word cedar, which occurs frequently, some supposing it to be a general name for the pine family. A tree of dark foliage is mentioned in the Talmud by the name of cedrum. The ravine of Kidron separated the Mount of Olives from the Temple-Mount. Westcott cites from Derenbourg ("On the History and Geography of Palestine") a passage of the Talmud to the effect that on the Mount of Olives there were two cedars, under one of which were four shops for the sale of objects legally pure; and that in one of them pigeons enough were sold for the sacrifices of all Israel. He adds: "Even the mention of Kidron by the secondary and popular name of 'the ravine of the cedars' may contain an allusion to a scandal felt as a grievous burden at the time when the priests gained wealth by the sale of victims by the two cedars." The Kidron is the brook over which David passed, barefoot and weeping, when fleeing from Absalom (2 Samuel xv. 23-30). There King Asa burned the obscene idol of his mother (1 Kings xv. 13). It was the receptacle for the impurities and abominations of idol-worship, when removed from the temple by the adherents of Jehovah (2 Chron. xxix. 16); and, in the time of Josiah, was the common cemetery of the city (2 Kings xxiii. 6). In the vision of Ezekiel (xlvii. 5, 6, 7) he goes round to the eastern gate of the temple, overhanging the defile of Kidron, and sees the waters rushing down into the valley until the stream becomes a mighty river.
A garden. Neither John nor Luke give the name Gethsemane.
2-12. Compare Matt. xxvi. 47-56; Mark xvi. 43-52; Luke xxii. 47-53.
Resorted (sunhcqh). Literally, assembled. The items of this verse are peculiar to John.
Officers (uphretav). See on Matt. v. 25. Sent from the Sanhedrim. The temple police. The Synoptists speak of the body which arrested Jesus as oclov, a multitude or rabble; but both Matthew and Mark mention the band (speira) later in the narrative (Matt. xxvii. 27; Mark xv. 16).
Lanterns (fanwn). Only here in the New Testament. A detail peculiar to John. Though it was full moon, it was feared that Jesus might hide and escape.
Stood (eisthkei). Imperfect tense. Rev., correctly, was standing.
Go their way (upagein). Withdraw.
A sword. Contrary to the rule which forbade the carrying of weapons on a feast-day.
The high priest's servant. See on Matt. xxvi. 51.
Right ear. Luke and John. The others do not specify which ear. For ear John and Mark have wjtarion, a diminutive; Luke, oujv, and Matthew, wjtion, a diminutive in form, but not in force. See on Matt. xxvi. 51.
Sheath (qhkhn). Only here in the New Testament. From tiqhmi, to put. That into which the sword is put.
The cup. Compare Matt. xxvi. 39; Mark xiv. 36; Luke xxii. 42. Peculiar to John.
Took (sunelabon). Rev., better, seized. It is the technical word for arresting. Literally, took with them, of which there is a suggestion in the modern policeman's phrase, go along with me. Compare Luke xxii. 54.
13-18. Compare Matt. xxvi. 57, 58; 69-75; Mark xiv. 53, 54; 66-72; Luke xxii. 54-62.
Father-in-law (penqerov). Only here in the New Testament.
That same year. See on xi. 49.
The other disciple. The correct reading omits the article. Another. Probably John himself.
Palace (aulhn). Not palace, but court, as Rev. See on Matt. xxvi. 3; Luke xi. 21.
Door. The door opening from the street into the court.
Her that kept the door (th qurwrw). See on x. 3.
Art thou (mh su). The question is put in a negative form, as if expecting a negative answer: thou art not, art thou?
Also. Showing that she recognized John as a disciple.
Fire of coals (anqrakian). Only here and xxi. 9. Matthew does not mention the fire. Mark has to fwv, strictly, the light of the fire. Luke says they had kindled a fire (pur).
Warmed. Rev., correctly, were warming. So, ver. 25, was standing and was warming, for stood and warmed.
19-24. Compare Matt. xxvi. 59-68; Mark xiv. 55-65; Luke xxii. 63-71.
Doctrine (didachv). Rev., better, teaching.
Always resort (pantote sunercontai). For pantote always, read pantev all. Sunercontai is rather come together, assemble. Rev., where all the Jews come together.
Bound. Probably He had been unbound during His examination.
28-38. Compare Matt. xxvii. 1, 2; 11-14; Mark xv. 1-6; Luke xxiii. 1-5.
Hall of judgment (praitwrion). A Latin word, proetorium, transcribed. Originally, the general's tent. In the Roman provinces it was the name for the official residence of the Roman governor, as here. Compare Acts xxiii. 35. It came to be applied to any spacious villa or palace. So Juvenal: "To their crimes they are indebted for their gardens, palaces (proetoria), etc." ("Sat.," i. 75). In Rome the term was applied to the proetorian guard, or imperial bodyguard. See on Philip. i. 13. Rev., palace.
Early (prwi). Used technically of the fourth watch, 3-6 A. M. See Mark xiii. 35. The Sanhedrim could not hold a legal meeting, especially in capital cases, before sunrise; and in such cases judicial proceedings must be conducted and terminated by day. A condemnation to death, at night, was technically illegal. In capital cases, sentence of condemnation could not be legally pronounced on the day of trial. If the night proceedings were merely preliminary to a formal trial, they would have no validity; if formal, they were, inso facto, illegal. In either case was the law observed in reference to the second council. According to the Hebrew computation of time, it was held on the same day.
Be defiled (mianqwsin). Originally, to stain, as with color. So Homer: "Tinges (mihnh) the white ivory with purple." Not necessarily, therefore, in a bad sense, like moluvw, to besmear or besmirch with filth (1 Corinthians viii. 7; Apoc. iii. 4). In classical Greek, miainw, the verb here used, is the standing word for profaning or unhallowing. So Sophocles:
"Not even fearing this pollution (miasma) dire, Will I consent to burial. Well I know That man is powerless to pollute (miainein) the gods."
And Plato: "And if a homicide... without purification pollutes the agora, or the games, or the temples," etc. ("Laws," 868). See on 1 Pet. i. 4. The defilement in the present case was apprehended from entering a house from which all leaven had not been removed.
Eat the Passover. The purpose of this work forbids our entering upon the much-vexed question of the apparent inconsistency between John and the Synoptists as to the time of celebrating the Passover.
What accusation. Not implying Pilate's ignorance of the charge, but his demand for the formal accusation.
Fight (hgwnizonto). The imperfect tense, denoting action in progress: would now be striving.
Was I born - came I (gegennhmai - elhluqa). Both perfects. Have I been born-am I come. So Rev. The Greek order is I for this have been born, etc., throwing the emphasis on Christ's person and destiny. The perfect describes His birth and coming not merely as historical facts, but as abiding in their results. Compare this confession before Pilate (1 Timothy vi. 13) with the corresponding confession before the high-priest (Matt. xxvi. 64). "The one, addressed to the Jews, is framed in the language of prophecy; the other, addressed to a Roman, appeals to the universal testimony of conscience. The one speaks of a future manifestation of glory, the other speaking of a present manifestation of truth. The one looks forward to the Return, the other looks backward to the Incarnation" (Westcott).
Of the truth (ek thv alhqeiav). Literally, out of: sprung from: whose life and words issue from the truth. See on xiv. 6, and compare viii. 47.
Fault (aitian). Properly, cause of accusation. Rev., crime. See on Matt. xxvii. 37, and compare on Matt. xix. 10.
39, 40. Compare Matt. xxvii. 15-26; Mark vi. 15.
At the Passover (en tw pasca). More specific than Matthew and Mark, where the expression is general, kata eJorthn, at feast-time.
Again. Assuming John's recollection of a previous "crying out," which he has not recorded.
Robber (lhsthv). See on Matt. xxvi. 55; Mark xi. 17; Luke x. 30. Matt. calls him a "notable prisoner" (xxvii. 16). Mark states that he had made insurrection, and had committed murder (xv. 7), speaking of the insurrection as a well-known event. Luke says, "for some insurrection (stasin tina) that had arisen in the city, and for murder" (xxiii. 19). Writing for Gentiles, Luke would not refer to the event as something familiar. Bandits of this kind were numerous in the neighborhood of Jerusalem under the Roman dominion. Their leaders were well known. Josephus describes them by the same word which Matthew uses, ejpishmoi, notable. Their depredations were often committed under patriotic pretenses, so that Barabas might have had influential friends among the people.