|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:18-30 Our Lord had often spoken of his own sufferings and death, without such trouble of spirit as he now discovered when he spake of Judas. The sins of Christians are the grief of Christ. We are not to confine our attention to Judas. The prophecy of his treachery may apply to all who partake of God's mercies, and meet them with ingratitude. See the infidel, who only looks at the Scriptures with a desire to do away their authority and destroy their influence; the hypocrite, who professes to believe the Scriptures, but will not govern himself by them; and the apostate, who turns aside from Christ for a thing of naught. Thus mankind, supported by God's providence, after eating bread with Him, lift up the heel against Him! Judas went out as one weary of Jesus and his apostles. Those whose deeds are evil, love darkness rather than light.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom,.... Not pressing upon that part of Christ's body, which would have been irreverent in John, and troublesome to Christ; but leaning at table upon his bed or couch, on which he lay; and which was next to, and just before Christ; so that he was very near unto, and seemed to lie in the bosom of Christ; as such are said to do, who sit next at table to another. The posture of the Jews at table, was either "sitting" or "lying", and a difference they make between these two;
"if, say they (d), , "they sat" to eat everyone asked a blessing for himself; but if "they lay down", one asked a blessing for them all.''
This lying down was not on their backs, nor on their right side, but on their left; for they say (e), that
"lying down on the back, is not called "lying down"; and lying on the right side, is not called lying down.''
And the reason given is (f), because they have need of the right hand to eat with; but as they elsewhere (g) observe,
"they used to eat lying along, leaning on the left side, their feet to the ground, and every man on a single couch.''
Would you know the order in which they, lay, take the account as they have given it (h);
"when there were but two couches, the principal person lay first, and the second to him above him; and when there were three, the principal person lay in the middle, the second to him above him, and the third below him; and if he would talk with him, he raised himself upright, and sitting upright he talked with him; that is, as the gloss explains it, if the principal person was desirous to talk with him that was second to him, he must raise himself up from his lying down, and sit upright; for all the white he is leaning, he cannot talk with him, because he that is second to him, is behind the head of the principal person, and the face of the principal person is turned to the other side; and it is better for the second to sit below him, that he may hear his words, whilst he is leaning.''
The form in which Christ and his disciples sat or lay at table, we may conceive was this (i); a table was placed in the middle and as many beds or couches round it, as there were persons; Christ the principal and most worthy person lay first, with his head toward the table, his face somewhat turned from it, leaning on his left elbow upon the couch; in this posture lay Jesus, upon the first couch; in the same posture lay John, in the next to him, and just before him; the hinder part of his head being towards, and near the breast and bosom of Jesus; whence he is said to lean upon it: now to lie next to the principal person, was a very great honour, as well as a mark of great affection; and for John to lie next to Jesus, and as it were to lean on his bosom, showed how much he was respected and honoured by him; and therefore John modestly conceals his name, and only says,
one of his disciples whom Jesus loved; Christ, as the Son of God, and surety of his people, loved his true disciples, as he does all his elect, alike; not one more than the other; but as man, he had a particular affection for this disciple, and therefore admitted him near his person, and was very familiar with him.
(d) Misn. Beracot, c. 6. sect. 6. (e) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 108. 1.((f) Gloss in ib. (g) Gloss in T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 46. 2. & Bartenora in Misn. Beracot, c. 6. sect. 6. (h) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 46. 2.((i) Vid. Alstorphium delectis veterum, p. 109, 110.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23-26. there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved—Thus modestly does our Evangelist denote himself, as reclining next to Jesus at the table.
Peter … beckoned to him to ask who it should be of whom he spake—reclining probably at the corresponding place on the other side of Jesus.
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