John 13:26
Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
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(26) He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.—The better reading is probably, He it is for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him; but the change does not affect the sense. The pronouns are emphatic. “He it is for whom I . . .”The word “morsel” or “sop” occurs in the New Testament only in this context. The meaning is illustrated by the use in the LXX. in Ruth 2:14 (“Come thou hither, and thou shalt eat of the bread and dip thy morsel in the vinegar”); and Job 31:17 (“And if I ate my morsel alone, and did not impart it to the orphan”). The cognate verb occurs twice in the New Testament—Romans 12:20 and 1Corinthians 13:3. (See Notes on these passages.) The original root of the word means “to rub.” Hence it is “anything rubbed or broken off.” It was often used for a mouthful just like “morsel,” which means literally, a little bite. As used here, the word means any portion of food. The general explanation that the morsel was dipped in the Charosheth (comp. Note on Matthew 26:28) implies that this supper was the Paschal Supper. (See Excursus F: The Day of the Crucifixion of our Lord.)

Our Lord would preside at the meal, and distribute to each guest his portion. When John asked the question, He was about to give the morsel to Judas. He avoids the name, and makes the act which He is about to perform convey the answer to the question. That act is the token of friendship and love which even now would redeem the heart full of treachery, if that heart would but receive it. (Comp. John 13:18.)

He gave it to Judas Iscariot.—Better, He takes and gives . . . , with the majority of good MSS. Note the solemn and sad fulness with which the name of Judas is again given by the Evangelist. (Comp. John 13:2.)

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.Jesus answered - That is, he answered John. It does not appear that either Judas or the other apostles heard him.

Shall give a sop - The word translated "sop" means a morsel, a piece of bread, or anything else eaten - as much as we are accustomed to take at a mouthful. Jesus was about to dip it in the sauce which was used at the Passover. The word "dip," in the original, is that from which is derived the word "baptize." It means here that Jesus would dip it into the sauce as we do a piece of bread. It is probable that it was not an unusual thing for the master of a feast to help others in this way, as it does not appear to have attracted the attention of the others as at all remarkable. It was an indication to John who the betrayer was, and a hint which Judas also probably understood.

26. Jesus answered—also inaudibly, the answer being communicated to Peter perhaps from behind.

He … to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it—a piece of the bread soaked in the wine or the sauce of the dish; one of the ancient ways of testifying peculiar regard; compare Joh 13:18, "he that eateth bread with Me."

And when he had dipped … he gave it to Judas, &c.—Thus the sign of Judas' treachery was an affecting expression, and the last, of the Saviour's wounded love!

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it; we have the same, though not mentioned as spoken in particular to John, Matthew 26:23 Luke 22:21; though neither of them mention Christ’s own dipping the sop, but Matthew saith, he dipped his hand with him in the dish; and Luke saith, his hand was with him on the table. Without question all the evangelists speak of the same time; for it is not reasonable to think that this discovery should be made, and Judas gone out, and that afterward he should return again to eat the passover. This maketh me very inclinable to think, that though the washing of the feet might be during the time of a common supper, preceding the passover, yet the supper they were now at was the passover supper: where,

1. Were none but he and the twelve disciples.

2. It is plain they were in that leaning posture, not used at common meals, but on the passover nights (as Dr. Lightfoot tells us from their writings).

3. The discourse passed at the table is the very same (though not in words, yet in sense) with that mentioned by Matthew and Luke, at the passover supper.

4. It is not reasonable to think that after such a discovery as Christ now made of the traitor, he should come again to be pointed at and exposed.

Concerning the sop, what it was, hath been some question; and a learned writer of our own (but in this point I think much too critical) hath increased the difficulty, by affirming the word here used, qwmion, signifies a piece of bread, or the lower part or chippings of the bread; for which he quotes Hesychius, who indeed doth say so of qwyion, but not qwmion. The learned annotator thinks qwyion is a false print for qwmion, but it cannot be: for,

1. There are in Hesychius several words in alphabetical order, between qwyion, and this word.

2. Though qwmion be not in Hesychius, yet qwmh is, and expounded by him ta merh, parts; now all know that this qwmion, which is but a diminutive derived from qwmov or qwmh, can signify no more than a little part, let it be of what it will; for it is manifest out of Homer, that, joined with an adjective, it signifies a mouthful of man’s flesh, which came out of the Cyclops’ mouth.

So as the sense of these words is, He it is to whom I shall give a little part or portion of meat, when I have dipped it. And having dipped it, he gave it to Judas the son of Simon: not the Judas who wrote the Epistle, and who is mentioned, John 14:22, but he that was the son of Simon, called from his place which he lived in, Kiroth, Iscariot: by which he did as perfectly describe the traitor as if he had named him. Jesus answered, he it is,.... Jesus replied, by whispering; for had he spoken out, the rest could not have been so ignorant, as they still continued, after the sign was given: Christ, I say, whispered to John, and told him by what sign he might know the person, and that it was he,

to whom, says he,

I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. This was not the passover sop, which was dipped into a sauce made of various things, called by the Jews for this was not the "paschal" supper, but a common supper at a private house, two days before the feast of the passover; but this sop, or rather crust of bread, which whether dipped into a liquid, or only a piece of dry bread, which Christ dipped his hand into the dish for, and took, as some think, is not very material, was a piece of common bread, which Christ took up, without regard to any custom, or ceremony used at any feasts, and gave it to the betrayer, as a sign by which John might know him:

and when he, had dipped the sop; either into some sort of broth, or any other liquid, or had dipped his hand into the dish for it:

he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon; so called, to distinguish him from another apostle, whose name was Judas, and was then present.

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
John 13:26. But even in answer to John’s question, τίς ἐστιν; Jesus does not name Judas, but merely gives a sign by which John may recognise the traitor: Ἐκεῖνοςἐπιδώσω, “he it is for whom I shall dip the sop and give it him”. Some argue from the insertion of the article τὸ ψωμίον that this was the sop made up of a morsel of lamb, a small piece of unleavened bread, and dipped in the bitter sauce, which was given by the head of the house to each guest as a regular part of the Passover; and that therefore John as well as the Synoptists considered this to be the Paschal Supper. But not only is the article doubtful, see W.H[84], but it is an ordinary Oriental custom for the host to offer such a tid-bit to any favoured guest; and we are rather entitled to see in the act the last appeal to Judas’ better feeling. The very mark Jesus chooses to single him out is one which on ordinary occasions was a mark of distinctive favour. At any rate he is thus all the more effectually screened from the others.

[84] Westcott and Hort.26. to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it] The text here is uncertain, but there is no doubt as to the meaning. Perhaps the better reading is, for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him. Copyists have possibly tried to correct the awkwardness of ‘for whom’ and ‘to him.’ In any case ‘sop’ or ‘morsel’ must have the article. The Greek word is derived from ‘rub’ or ‘break,’ and means ‘a piece broken off:’ it is still the common word in Greece for ‘bread.’ To give such a morsel at a meal was an ordinary mark of goodwill, somewhat analogous to taking wine with a person in modern times. Christ, therefore, as a forlorn hope, gives the traitor one more mark of affection before dismissing him. It is the last such mark: ‘Friend, wherefore art thou come?’ (Matthew 26:50) should rather be ‘Comrade, (do that) for which thou art come,’ and is a sorrowful rebuke rather than an affectionate greeting. Whether the morsel was a piece of the unleavened bread dipped in the broth of bitter herbs depends upon whether this supper is regarded as the Paschal meal or not.

And when, &c.] The true reading is, Therefore, when He had dipped the morsel He taketh and giveth it. The name of Judas is once more given with solemn fulness as in John 6:71, Judas the son of Simon Iscariot. Comp. John 13:2.John 13:26. [336] ἈΠΟΚΡΊΝΕΤΑΙ, answers) into the ear of John.—τὸ ψώμιον, the morsel [sop]) Jesus, whilst speaking, took this into His hand.—δίδωσιν, He gives it) Jesus gave it with the utmost long-suffering; and the rest of the disciples no doubt thought Judas to be blessed thereby above others. But when Judas was not even thus led to repentance, he became in a peculiar degree the organ of Satan, and most hostile to Christ. [How very near to Jesus was Judas on this occasion! But in a short while after, by what a wide gulf did glory separate Jesus from Judas, and destruction separate Judas from Jesus!—V. g.]

[336] λέγει αὐτῷ, saith unto Him) Love to Jesus renders the question a legitimate one, which otherwise could hardly escape the stigma of mere curiosity.—V. g.Verse 26. - Jesus (then) answered - "then," οϋν, is introduced by the modern editors, as well as βάψω for βάψας - He it is for whom I shall dip the sop (or, morsel), and give it him; so (καὶ ἐμβάψας is exchanged, on very strong authority, into βάψας οϋν, and ἐπιδώσω into δώσω) when he had dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it to Judas the son of Simon, the Iscariot. The ψωμίον was the morsel of meat or bread dipped into the charoseth, a mead of wine and fruit used at the Paschal meal. The usage is illustrated by the LXX. version of Ruth 2:14 and Job 31:17. In the New Testament ψωμίζω is used for distribution of food, Romans 12:20; 1 Corinthians 13:3. The act of Jesus was almost contemporaneous with the "Thou sayest it" of the synoptists It was twofold in meaning, explaining to John what he wished to know fur Peter's sake, and giving Judas one more gracious chance to repent and believe in the Divinity of love rather than that of display, power, and pomp. Judas had been dipping his hand into the same dish with his Master, eating his bread. Instead of resenting such effrontery the blessed Lord gave him in pity the last opportunity to escape, he puts the morsel sopped in the acid wine, the bread of fellowship, into his very lips, and the miscreant received it. The name of Judas, and of his father, and of the place cursed by being his birthplace, are once more introduced at length (cf. John 6:71). To whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it (ᾦ ἐγὼ βάψας τὸ ψωμίον ἐπιδώσω)

The best texts read ᾦ ἐγὼ βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αὐτῷ, for whom I shall dip the sop and give it him.

Sop (ψωμίον)

Only in this chapter. Diminutive from ψωμός, a morsel, which, in turn, is from ψάω, to rub, or to crumble. Homer, of the Cyclops:

"Then from his mouth came bits (ψωμοί) of human flesh

Mingled with wine."

"Odyssey," ix., 374.

And Xenophon: "And on one occasion having seen one of his companions at table tasting many dishes with one bit (ψωμῷ) of bread" ("Memorabilia," iii., 14, 15). The kindred verb ψωμίζω, rendered feed, occurs Romans 12:20; 1 Corinthians 13:3. See also Septuagint, Psalm 79:5; Psalm 80:16. According to its etymology, the verb means to feed with morsels; and it was used by the Greeks of a nurse chewing the food and administering it to an infant. So Aristophanes: "And one laid the child to rest, and another bathed it, and another fed (ἐψώμισεν) it" ("Lysistrate," 19, 20). This sense may possibly color the word as used in Romans 12:20 : "If thine enemy hunger, feed (ψώμιζε) him;" with tender care. In 1 Corinthians 13:3, the original sense appears to be emphasized: "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor (ψωμίσω)." This idea is that of doling away in morsels. Dean Stanley says: "Who that has witnessed the almsgiving in a Catholic monastery, or the court of a Spanish or Sicilian bishop's or archbishop's palace, where immense revenues are syringed away in farthings to herds of beggars, but must feel the force of the Apostle's half satirical ψωμίσω?"

Dipped the sop

Compare Matthew 26:23; Mark 14:20. The regular sop of the Paschal supper consisted of the following things wrapped together: flesh of the Paschal lamb, a piece of unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. The sauce into which it was dipped does not belong to the original institution, but had been introduced before the days of Christ. According to one authority it consisted of only vinegar and water (compare Ruth 2:14); others describe it as a mixture of vinegar, figs, dates, almonds, and spice. The flour which was used to thicken the sauce on ordinary occasions was forbidden at the Passover by the Rabbins, lest it might occasion a slight fermentation. According to some, the sauce was beaten up to the consistence of mortar, in order to commemorate the toils of the Israelites in laying bricks in Egypt.

To Judas Iscariot the son of Simon (Ἱούδᾳ Σίμωνος Ἱσκαριώτῃ).

The best texts read Ἱσκαριώτου. "Judas the son of Simon Iscariot." So John 6:71. The act was a mark of forbearance and goodwill toward the traitor, and a tacit appeal to his conscience against the contemplated treachery.

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