He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He then having received the sop.—Comp. Note on John 13:27. The narrative is resumed from that point, John 13:28-29 being an explanatory note added by the writer. Returning to the record of what took place, he dwells again on the moment of receiving the sop as that in which the betrayer took the fatal step which could not be retraced.
And it was night.—These words doubtless state the physical fact that at the time when Judas left the room the darkness of night had already come on. He went out, and went out into the darkness of night. We cannot say that the writer meant them to express more than this, and yet we feel that there is in them a fulness of meaning that cannot have been unintentional. It was night; and he stepped forth from light into darkness; from the presence and guidance of the Light of the World, to be possessed by and guided by the prince of darkness. It was night; and St. John could hardly have written these words without remembering those he had written but a short time before: “If a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.” (See Note on John 11:10.) Comp., for the way in which St. John gives emphasis to a tragic fulness of meaning by expressing it in a short detached sentence, John 11:35; John 18:40.
(a)His glory is at hand, because He is going to the Father; they are therefore to love one another (John 13:31-38);
(b)In the Father’s house He will receive them to Himself. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:1-10);
(c)Being in the Father, He will be present in the disciples (John 13:11-24):
(α) By answering their prayers (John 13:12-14);
(β)By sending to them the Paraclete (John 13:13-17);
(γ)By abiding in them (John 13:18-24).
(d)His legacy of peace to them (John 13:25-31).]
and it was night—but far blacker night in the soul of Judas than in the sky over his head.
1. That it is impossible to prove that Judas was with our Saviour when he instituted and celebrated the supper; though if he were, it proveth nothing of a liberty for ignorant and scandalous persons to be there, (for Judas was not such a one), nor yet of a lawfulness for ministers of the gospel, knowing any to be such, to give the Lord’s supper to them. For although Christ knew Judas’s heart, yet he acted not according to his omniscience, but as the first and prime minister of the gospel, setting us an example, not to judge of secret things, but of things open only.
2. It also appeareth from hence, that it is not probable that this was any other supper than the passover supper; for if it were not, the passover supper must be after this, and this same supper preceding it. Our famous Dr. Lightfoot thinks it was a supper in Bethany, at two miles distance (or near so much) from Jerusalem. But then it must follow:
a) That John speaks nothing of the paschal supper, or the Lord’s supper; and:
b) It doth by no means appear probable to me, that Judas, after such a discovery of him, should come again to eat the passover with Christ and his disciples.
These things, together with what I noted before, that here is no mention made of more guests than the twelve; that the posture used (especially as to leaning) was peculiar to the paschal supper; that the discourse mentioned by this evangelist as had at this supper about the discovery of the traitor, is the same in substance (though not in terms) with what Matthew and Luke report, as passed at the passover: all these things confirm me, that it is the paschal supper that John speaketh of. Whether Judas was at the Lord’s supper, which we know followed the passover immediately, depends upon the sense of the particle euyewv, which we translate immediately; but doth not signify necessarily such a present departure, but the action of the Lord’s supper might be first over; though in reason it seemeth to me more probable, because of those words,
having received the sop, he immediately went out, that it should be here interpreted strictly, and that shame and horror should not suffer him to stay so long, as till the action of the supper was over: though whether he were at the Lord’s supper (as I said before) signifieth nothing at all to the questions about mixed communion, either as to the part of the minister administering, or the people communicating.
went immediately out; fearing lest an entire discovery should be made, and he be prevented accomplishing his design; or being more violently stirred up to it by, Satan, who after the sop entered into him, he directly went from Bethany to Jerusalem, to the chief priests, there, in order to consult and agree upon the delivery of him into their hands:
and it was night; this circumstance is added, to show how eagerly he was bent upon it; that though it was night, it did not hinder or discourage him from setting out on his journey to Jerusalem; and as this was a work of darkness, the night was the fittest time for it, and was a proper emblem of the blackness of the crime he was going to perpetrate.He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 13:30-31. Λαβὼν οὖν] connecting with John 13:27. With ἐξῆλθεν εὐθύς begins the fulfilment of the command of Christ, given in John 13:27. How erroneous therefore is Hengstenberg’s statement, in spite of the εὐθύς: he went away first at the close of the meal! Before the ἐξῆλθεν the supper, indeed, is said to have its place, and Judas to have taken part in it!
ἦν δὲ νύξ] The meal had begun in the evening, and—when one considers also the time consumed in the feet-washing—had already advanced into the night. This conclusion of the narrative respecting Judas presents, unsought, something full of horror, and precisely in this simplest brevity of expression something that profoundly lays hold of the imagination. Comp. Luke 22:53. With ὅτε οὖν ἐξῆλθε begins a fresh break in the narrative. To omit οὖν (see critical notes), and to connect these words with ἦν δὲ νύξ (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, and several others, including Bengel, Paulus, Ewald), has against it, apart from the critically certified οὖν, the considerations that the following λέγει would stand very abruptly, ὍΤΕ ἘΞῆΛΘΕ itself would be very superfluous, and the deeper emphasis of the mere ἮΝ ΔῈ ΝΎΞ at the close would be lost.
 Ewald supposes that “by an old mistake” ὅτε οὗν ἐξῆλθεν had dropped out before λέγει. But such is the reading of Cyril only.John 13:30. Judas on his part, having accepted the sop, ἐξῆλθεν εὐθύς, the εὐθύς answering to τάχιον, John 13:27; he went out immediately, taking the purse with him no doubt. ἦν δὲ νύξ, “and it was night”. The sudden darkness succeeding sunset in the East suddenly fell on the room, impressing John’s sensitive spirit and adding to the perturbation of the company. The note of time may however only result from John’s desire to keep his narrative exact.30. He then having received the sop] Better, He therefore having received the morsel. The pronoun here and in John 13:27 (ekeinos) indicates that Judas is an alien. Comp. John 7:11, John 9:12; John 9:28. The last two verses are a parenthetical remark of the Evangelist; he now returns to the narrative, repeating with solemnity the incident which formed the last crisis in the career of Judas.
went immediately out] This is no evidence as to the meal not being a Paschal one. The rule that ‘none should go out at the door of his house until the morning’ (Exodus 12:22) had, like standing at the Passover, long since been abrogated. “When Satan entered into him, he went out from the presence of Christ, as Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.”
and it was night] The tragic brevity of this has often been remarked, and will never cease to lay hold of the imagination. It can scarcely be meant merely to tell us that at the time when Judas went out night had begun. In the Gospel in which the Messiah so often appears as the Light of the World (John 1:4-9, John 3:19-21, John 8:12, John 9:5, John 12:35-36; John 12:46), and in which darkness almost invariably means moral darkness (John 1:5, John 8:12, John 12:35; John 12:46) a use peculiar to S. John (1 John 1:5; 1 John 2:8-9; 1 John 2:11),—we shall hardly be wrong in understanding also that Judas went forth from the Light of the World into the night in which a man cannot but stumble ‘because there is no light in him’ (John 11:10). Thus also Christ Himself said some two hours later, ‘This is your hour, and the power of darkness’ (Luke 22:53). For other remarks of telling brevity and abruptness comp. ‘Jesus wept’ (John 11:35); ‘He saith to them, I am He’ (John 18:5); ‘Now Barabbas was a robber’ (John 18:40).
These remarks shew the impropriety of joining this sentence to the next verse; ‘and it was night, therefore, when he had gone out;’ a combination which is clumsy in itself and quite spoils the effect.John 13:30. Ἐξῆλθεν, went out) However he afterwards returned: as appears by a comparison with Matthew 26:20 [Judas was one of the Twelve, with whom He sat down on the following even, that of the paschal supper]; and indeed otherwise he could hardly have acted the part of a traitor.—ἦν δὲ νὺξ, ὅτε ἐξῆλθε) Moreover it was night, when he went out. A similar form of expression occurs, ch. John 9:14, It was moreover the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay, etc. The words which were spoken on the following day, begin at John 13:31.Verse 30. - He then having received the sop went out straightway: and it was night. There is no advantage to be secured by omitting the οϋν, and connecting the η΅ν δὲ νύξ with the ὅτε (συν) ἐξῆλθε, nor is it preferred by the later editors. The immediate departure of Judas when he had taken the sop is compatible with all the context - a horror of the shadow of death falls on the tragic scene. He at least passes out into the outer darkness, apt symbol of his soul and of his deed. Hengstenberg imagines the Lord's Supper to have followed the previous words, and that the εὐθύς must be interpreted with some laxity, leaving time for the sacred meal to have been instituted and the solemn song to have been sung. It is difficult to say where the Eucharistic service is to be introduced, and every possible suggestion has been made. The statement of Luke 22:21, 22 makes it probable that the traitor was present at it. And all the synoptists make the indication of the traitor follow the institution of the Eucharist, and two of them place it on the very way to the garden of Gethsemane. Bengel, in harmony with his chronological scheme, supposes that the traitor went out and returned. According to Keim, the Eucharistic meal may be supposed to be introduced at the close of John 14. and before the discourse on the vine; but that discourse follows a summons of Jesus to his disciples to leave the upper chamber. And every attempt to find a place for it in the midst of the valedictory discourse is unsatisfactory (see these amply discussed in Godet, Lucke, Meyer). Thus Paulus, etc., place it after ver. 30. Lucke and Meyer, between vers. 33 and 34; but Peter's question looks back to ver. 33, allowing no such break. Neander and Ebrard place after ver. 32. Tholuck, after ver. 34, Lange identifies it with the new commandment; and Bengel makes the discourse down to John 14:31 precede Christ's journey to Jerusalem to keep the Passover, so that no clashing takes place. I think that the simplest solution of the difficulty is to put it at the commencement of the feast, and in the folds as it were of the sentence in John 13:2, which tells us that Jesus loved his disciples to the uttermost (εἰς τὸ τέλος). The endeavor made by Strauss, to argue from the silence of the fourth evangelist that he knew nothing of the institution of the Eucharist, is a great exaggeration. The synoptic tradition must, ex hypothesi of the late authorship of the Gospel, be well known to the author, and 1 Corinthians 11:33, etc., was ample proof of its historic basis. There was, in the entire representation of this Gospel, an intense perception of the inner meaning of the Eucharist, and of the new covenant and commandment based on the assumption of the Passion and death of the incarnate God; so that instead of describing the ceremonial, he expounds its ideas (see Introduction, pp. 105, 106.). Ver, 31 - John 16:33. - 3. THE VALEDICTORY DISCOURSES OF THE LORD.
See on John 13:27.
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