Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spoke.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him.—The tense in the original is present. “Simon Peter therefore beckons,” or, makes a sign. We have to remember that these Apostles were both members of the first group, who are from some special characteristics nearer to our Lord than the others. They had both been disciples of the Baptist (John 1:40-41), and we may think of them in the earlier as in the later work as in a special sense companions and friends. (Comp. John 20:2; Acts 3:1; Acts 4:13.)
That he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.—The better reading is, and saith unto him, Say who it is of whom He speaketh. St. Peter supposes that the disciple whom Jesus loved is more than any other in the confidence of his Master, and that he knew who was here referred to, and makes a sign to him to tell what he knew.Matthew 23:6.
Whom Jesus loved - This was doubtless John himself. The evangelists are not accustomed to mention their own names when any mark of favor or any good deed is recorded. They did not seek publicity or notoriety. In this case the appellation is more tender and honorable than any mere name. John was admitted to special friendship, perhaps, because the natural disposition of our Saviour was more nearly like the amiableness and mildness of John than any of the other disciples (Robert Hall). The highest honor that can be conferred on any man is to say that Jesus loved him. Yet this is an honor which all may possess, but which none can inherit without his spirit and without loving him. It is an honor which cannot be won by wealth or learning, by beauty or accomplishments, by rank or earthly honors, but only by the possession of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Peter 3:4; compare Romans 8:9.
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.
One of you shall betray me.
that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake: which he did not out of mere curiosity, but from an honest intention and pure zeal, that he, with the rest, might show their abhorrence of such a person, and avoid him; and do all that lay in their power to hinder him from putting his designs into execution, and that the innocent might be free from all suspicion.Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. that he should ask … spake] The better reading gives, and saith to him, Say who it is of whom He speaketh. S. Peter thinks that the beloved disciple is sure to know. The received reading, besides being wanting in authority, contains an optative mood, which S. John never uses.John 13:24. Νεύει, intimates by signs [beckons]) from behind [at the back of] Jesus. The middle place was the seat of honour: Jesus was occupying it: above Him Peter, below Him John, seems to have had his place. There was a close intimacy between Peter and John, as appears from ch. John 20:2 [Mary Magdalene, after being at the empty tomb, “cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved”]; John 21:7; John 21:20 [They are associated together at Jesus’ appearing to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius; John saith to Peter, “It is the Lord.” Also after the dinner which followed, Peter asks as to John, “Lord, and what shall this man do?”] A silent intimation, rather than words, was here appropriate.—πύθεσθαι, that he should ask) The convenience, for the purpose, of the position with which John was favoured, admitted of this.Verse 24. - Simon Peter therefore beckoned to this (disciple), and saith to him. Wherefore he must have been far enough off to beckon, and near enough to speak. Westcott imagines that Peter was on the left side, in the place of real honor (?), though not in such proximity as, unobserved, to ask the question. Edersheim also speaks of the left side as the place of honor, but assigns no adequate reason for such a violation of universal usage and metaphor. The natural impetuosity of Peter would have induced him, if he had been so near, to have asked the question himself. It is more probable that Judas himself was there, judging from the language of Matthew 26:23, and from the act which follows. Either with T.R., He spake to him, to ask who it might be; or, saith, Tell (us) who it is concerning whom he speaks; as though Peter had rushed to the conclusion that John knew. This is singularly like Peter, and John may tacitly have been supposed to be better acquainted than the rest with the mind of Jesus.
That he should ask who it should be (πυθέσθαι τίς ἄν εἴη)
The best texts read, καὶ λέγει αὐτῳ εἰπὲ τίς ἐστιν, and saith unto him, Tell us who it is.
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