|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-12 Sin began in the garden of Eden, there the curse was pronounced, there the Redeemer was promised; and in a garden that promised Seed entered into conflict with the old serpent. Christ was buried also in a garden. Let us, when we walk in our gardens, take occasion from thence to mediate on Christ's sufferings in a garden. Our Lord Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and asked, Whom seek ye? When the people would have forced him to a crown, he withdrew, ch.
Verse 2. - Now Judas also, who was betraying him (notice present tense in contrast with ὁ παράδους of Matthew 10:4), knew the place: because oftentimes Jesus resorted (literally, was assembled there) thither with his disciples. Luke tells us that during this very week (Luke 21:37) they had passed their nights (ηὐλίζετο) on the "Mount of Olives," and it is most likely that Judas conjectured that they had gone thither again to pass the night. The fact here mentioned by John, that Judas knew the place, disposes of the ignorant and vulgar taunt of Celsus, that our Lord sought to escape from his enemies after having challenged them (see Orig., 'Contra Cel.,' 2:9. 10). Keim, with perversity, declares that John only represented the place as known to Judas, in order to enhance the voluntary nature of the sacrifice. Some explanation may thus be given of the fact that the eleven disciples, having reached an accustomed place of repose, all slumbered and slept, and were not able to watch one hour. The choice of this particular garden for the purpose cannot be unraveled. Dean Plumptre suggests that it was the property of Lazarus, who was no other than the rich young man, who sold his all and gave to the poor, all but one solitary garment, and that he himself was keeping this one possession for the uses of his Lord on that very night, and that when in danger of arrest he it was that fled away naked. This is pure conjecture.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Judas also which betrayed him, knew the place,.... This character is given of Judas, to distinguish him from another disciple of the same name; and though as yet he had not betrayed him, yet it was determined he should, and Christ knew it, and he was now about to do it: and it is observed, that Judas was as well acquainted with the place of Christ's resort, and knew the garden he frequently retired to, as the rest of the disciples; to show that Christ did not go there to hide and secure himself from him, but to meet him, and that he might have an opportunity of finding him with the greater case:
for Jesus often times resorted thither with his disciples; when at Jerusalem at any of the feasts, and at this festival; partly for refreshment and rest after he had been preaching in the temple, and partly for prayer, and also for private conversation with his disciples.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Judas … knew the place, for Jesus ofttimes—see Joh 8:1; Lu 21:37.
resorted thither with his disciples—The baseness of this abuse of knowledge in Judas, derived from admission to the closest privacies of his Master, is most touchingly conveyed here, though nothing beyond bare narrative is expressed. Jesus, however, knowing that in this spot Judas would expect to find Him, instead of avoiding it, hies Him thither, as a Lamb to the slaughter. "No man taketh My life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself" (Joh 10:18). Besides, the scene which was to fill up the little breathing-time, the awful interval, between the Supper and the Apprehension—like the "silence in heaven for about the space of half an hour" between the breaking of the Apocalyptic Seals and the peal of the Trumpets of war (Re 8:1)—the AGONY—would have been too terrible for the upper room; nor would He cloud the delightful associations of the last Passover and the first Supper by pouring out the anguish of His soul there. The garden, however, with its amplitude, its shady olives, its endeared associations, would be congenial to His heart. Here He had room enough to retire—first, from eight of them, and then from the more favored three; and here, when that mysterious scene was over, the stillness would only be broken by the tread of the traitor.
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