|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:47-56 No enemies are so much to be abhorred as those professed disciples that betray Christ with a kiss. God has no need of our services, much less of our sins, to bring about his purposes. Though Christ was crucified through weakness, it was voluntary weakness; he submitted to death. If he had not been willing to suffer, they could not conquer him. It was a great sin for those who had left all to follow Jesus; now to leave him for they knew not what. What folly, for fear of death to flee from Him, whom they knew and acknowledged to be the Fountain of life!
Verse 52. - Put up again thy sword into his (its) place. Christ orders Peter to sheathe his sword; but the wording is peculiar, Turn away (ἀπόστρεψον) thy sword; as if Christ would say, "The sword is none of mine; the arm of flesh and the carnal weapon are thine; turn off thy sword from the use which thou art making of it to its proper destination, to be wielded only at God's command." Then he gives a motive for this injunction. For all they that take (οἱ λαβόντες) the sword shall perish with the sword. There is a stress on the word "take," and there is an imperative force in the future, "shall perish." The Lord is speaking of those who arbitrarily and presumptuously resort to violence; and he says, "Let them feel the sword." The word was of wide application, and contained a universal truth; it was, in fact, a re-enactment of the primaeval law touching the sacredness of human life, and the penalty that ensues on its infringement (Genesis 9:5, 6). It enforced also the general lesson that violence and revenge effect no good end, and bring their own punishment. There is no prophecy here (as some suppose) of the destruction of the Jews at the hands of the Romans; nor is Christ intent on soothing Peter by the thought of the future retribution which awaited the enemies whom he was so eager to chastise. Such suggestions are arbitrary and unwarranted by the context.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then said Jesus unto him,.... That is, unto Peter,
put up again thy sword into its place, or sheath. This Christ said not only to rebuke Peter for his rashness, but to soften the minds of the multitude, who must be enraged at such an action; and which was still more effectually done by his healing the man's ear: and indeed, had it not been for these words, and this action of Christ's; and more especially had it not been owing to the powerful influence Christ had over the spirits of these men, in all probability Peter, and the rest of the apostles, had been all destroyed at once,
For all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword. This is not to be understood of magistrates who bear not the sword in vain, are ministers of God for good, and revengers of evil works; but of private persons that use the sword, and that not in self-defence, but for private revenge; or engage in a quarrel, to which they are not called; and such generally perish, as Peter must have done, had it not been for the interposition of almighty power. Though this seems to be spoken not so much of Peter, and of the danger he exposed himself to, by taking and using the sword, and so to deter him from it, but rather of these his enemies: and as an argument to make and keep Peter easy and quiet, and exercise patience, since, in a little time, God would avenge himself of them; and that the Jews, who now made use of the sword of the Roman soldiers, would perish by the sword of the Romans, as in a few years after the whole nation did.
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