John 13:28
Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
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(28) Now no man at the table knew.—This is a comment of the Apostle’s, as he writes in remembrance of the impression made at the time upon all who were present. They heard our Lord say to Judas, “What thou doest, do quickly; “but none of them knew until afterwards that these words referred to the betrayal.

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.No man at the table knew - This shows that Jesus had signified to John only who it was that should betray him.

The bag - The traveling-bag in which they put their common property. See the notes at John 12:6.

Have need of against the feast - The feast of the Passover. This feast continued seven days, and they supposed that Jesus had directed him to make preparation for their needs on those days.

28, 29. no man … knew for what intent he spake this unto him … some thought … Jesus … said … But what we need … or, … give … to the poor—a very important statement, as showing how carefully. Jesus had kept the secret, and Judas his hypocrisy, to the last.Ver. 28,29. How innocent are honest hearts! Charity thinketh no evil, saith the apostle. Although our Saviour had plainly enough deciphered him as the traitor, by telling John that he to whom he should give the sop was he, and then by giving it to Judas; yet whether they all did not hear what our Saviour said to John, or did not think of so sudden a tragedy, they do not suspect that the hour was at hand when Judas should perfect his intended villany: though they heard our Saviour bid him get him out, and do quickly what he had to do; yet Judas being he who carried that little stock of money which Christ had, John 12:6, they thought that that which our Saviour bid him do, as a work he had undertaken to do, was laying out some money, either to buy some things which were necessary for them, for the seven days of the feast of unleavened bread; either for food for them to eat, or for sacrifices for them to offer; or that it was our Saviour’s mind, that he should out of this little stock distribute something to the poor: they little thought that our Saviour’s words argued a giving him over to perfect the treacherous designs which he had conceived in his heart.

Now no man at the table,.... Not one of those who lay upon the couches at the table, excepting John, to whom the signal was given:

knew for what intent he spake this unto him; and perhaps he might not know the meaning of his last words, that he spoke concerning the act of betraying him; nor did not imagine that the thing was so near and so speedily to be done, as it was.

Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
John 13:28-29. Οὐδείς] Even John not excepted (against Bengel, Kuinoel, Lange, Hengstenberg, Godet), from whom the thought was remote, that now already was the treason to be accomplished.

πρὸς τί] for behoof of what.

John 13:29. γάρ] Proof, by way of example, of this non-comprehension. Some of the disciples had taken those words as an order, to hasten a matter of business known to Judas, the bearer of the chest. They had therefore two more definite suppositions between which they wavered, both produced by a helpless state of mind, but not irrational, since it is not said that they meant instantaneous attention to the command, even in the course of the night.

εἰς τ. ἑορτ.] belongs to ὧν χρ. ἔχ. There was therefore as yet no matter needful for the feast purchased. This, following as it does the statement of time already adduced in John 13:1, presupposes that the present meal was not the festal meal, for the latter belonged to the feast itself, which, according to John 13:1, was still impending (against Wieseler, pp. 366, 381, Tholuck, Lange, Luthardt, Baeumlein, Hengstenberg, Paul in the Stud. u. Krit. 1866, p. 366 f., and several others). See also Bleek, p. 129 f.; Rückert, Abendm. p. 27 f.; Hilgenfeld, Paschastr. p. 147; Isenberg, p. 10 f.

τοῖς πτωχοῖς] placed first as the other subject referred to in this second supposition. Comp. Galatians 2:10. This giving to the poor is likewise thought of as designed for the approaching celebration, because they attempted thereby to explain the present order to the purveyor.

In the transition into the indirect form of speech, , κ.τ.λ. must be supplied; or that He said that to him, in order that he, etc.

John 13:28. Τοῦτοαὐτῷ. All heard the command given to Judas, but none of them knew its object, not even John; for although he was now aware that Judas was the traitor he did not connect the command “Do it quickly” with the actual work of betrayal.

28. no man … knew] Even S. John, who now knew that Judas was the traitor, did not know that he would act at once, and that it was to this Jesus alluded.

John 13:28. Οὐδείς, no man) except Jesus and John, and also Judas himself.

Verses 28, 29. - Now not one (οὐδείς, not even John) of those reclining at table knew with reference to what matter or behoof he said this to him. The τοῦτο is very emphatic, and, on the supposition of the authenticity of the narrative, John expressly disclaims the knowledge. It is arbitrary for Keim to say that John must have known. The whole of this "aside" was the work of a moment. For certain of them were supposing, because Judas held the purse - or, box (see note, John 12:6) - Jesus said to him; Buy the things we have need of for the feast; or, (he spake) in order that he should give something to the poor. (See Introduction, p. 92, for an explanation of this passage, and the use that has been made of it to settle the question of the day of our Lord's death.) If the great feast of the Jews was to be held on the following day, and this was the 13-14th of Nisan, this advice would be perfectly comprehensible, whereas, if it was the 14-15th when Jesus and also all the Jews were celebrating the Passover, the purchase of any articles would have been contrary to law; and on both grounds the conclusion is drawn that this was the evening of the 13-14tb, and that the Paschal meal had certainly been anticipated by Jesus; but this is not absolutely conclusive, because, even though this were the Passover meal, it is certain that further sacrifices, called "Passovers," were consumed on the great day of unleavened bread that followed the Paschal meal, and it is not perfectly certain what was the custom of the Jews with reference to purchase. Talmudic authorities may be quoted both ways; and a large number of distinguished commentators ( Hengstenberg, Tholuck, Lange, M'Clellan) take the latter view, harmonizing John with the synoptists; but considering all the other difficulties that arise, Meyer, Godet, and Westcott take the former view. The supposition of a gift to the poor from the little stock is very suggestive of the almsgiving spirit that had pervaded all the habits of disciples taught by Christ (cf. John 12:5; Galatians 2:10). Hengstenberg urges that the night of the Passover was that above all others on which the poor needed help to rejoice before the Lord. John 13:28
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