John 18:1
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
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(a)Before Annas (John 18:12-23);

(b)Before Caiaphas (John 18:24).

(c)Denied by St. Peter (John 18:17; John 18:25; John 18:27).

(3)THE TRIALS BEFORE THE ROMAN PRO CONSUL (John 18:28 to John 19:16);

(a)The first examination. The kingdom of truth (John 18:28-40);

(b)The second examination. The scourging and mock royalty (John 19:1-6);

(c)The third examination. The power from above (John 18:7-11);

(d) The public trial and committal (John 18:12-16).

(4)JESUS SUBMITS TO DEATH (John 19:17-42);

(a)The Crucifixion (John 18:17-24);

(b)The sayings on the Cross (John 18:25-30);

(c)The proof of physical death (John 18:31-37);

(d)The body in the Sepulchre (John 18:38-40).]

In this chapter we again come upon ground which is common to St. John and the earlier Gospels. Each of the Evangelists has given us a narrative of the trial and death of our Lord. The narrative of each naturally differs by greater or less fulness, or as each regarded the events from his own point of view, from that of all the others. It is only with that which is special to St. John that the notes on his narrative have to deal. The general facts and questions arising from them have already been treated in the notes on the parallel passages.

(1) He went forth with his disciplesi.e., He went forth from the city. (Comp. John 14:31.)

The brook Cedron.—The Greek words mean exactly “the winter torrent Kedron,” and occur again in the LXX. of 2Samuel 15:23, and 2Kings 15:13. The name is formed from a Hebrew word which means “black.” The torrent was the “Niger” of Judæa, and was so called from the colour of its turbid waters, or from the darkness of the chasm through which they flowed. The name seems to have been properly applied not so much to the torrent itself as to the ravine through which it flowed, on the east of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. Its sides are for the most part precipitous, but here and there paths cross it, and at the bottom are cultivated strips of land. Its depth varies, but in some places it is not less than 100 feet. (Comp. article, “Kidron,” in Kitto’s Biblical Cyclopœdia, vol. ii., p. 731; and for the reading see Excursus B: Some Variations in the Text of St. John’s Gospel.)

Where was a garden.—Comp. Matthew 26:36. St. John does not record the passion of Gethsemane, but this verse indicates its place in the narrative. (Comp. Note on John 12:27.)

John 18:1-3. When Jesus had spoken these words — Had delivered the discourse recorded above, and concluded his intercessory prayer; he went with his disciples over the brook Cedron — On the other side of which was a garden, known by the name of the garden of Gethsemane; (see notes on Matthew 26:36;) and probably belonging to one of his friends. He might retire to this private place, not only for the advantage of secret devotion, but also that the people might not be alarmed at his apprehension, nor attempt, in the first sallies of their zeal, to rescue him in a tumultuous manner. Cedron, or Kedron, was (as the name signifies) a dark, shady valley, on the east side of Jerusalem, between the city and the mount of Olives, through which a little brook ran, which took its name from it. It was this brook which David, a type of Christ, went over with his people, weeping, in his flight from Absalom. Judas, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus oft-times resorted thither, &c. — Namely, for the sake of retirement and devotion. Judas, having received a band of men — Greek, την σπειραν, a cohort of Roman foot-soldiers, as the word signifies, and the title of its commander (χιλιαρχος, a chiliarch, answering to our colonel) implies; and officers — Some Jewish officers, sent for that purpose; from the chief priests and other Pharisees — Belonging to the sanhedrim, who were chiefly concerned in this affair; cometh thither with lanterns and torches, &c. — Which they brought with them, though it was now full moon, to discover him if he should endeavour to hide himself; and weapons — To use if they should meet with any opposition, which they foolishly imagined they might.

18:1-12 Sin began in the garden of Eden, there the curse was pronounced, there the Redeemer was promised; and in a garden that promised Seed entered into conflict with the old serpent. Christ was buried also in a garden. Let us, when we walk in our gardens, take occasion from thence to mediate on Christ's sufferings in a garden. Our Lord Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and asked, Whom seek ye? When the people would have forced him to a crown, he withdrew, ch.The brook Cedron - This was a small stream that flowed to the east of Jerusalem, through the valley of Jehoshaphat, and divided the city from the Mount of Olives. It was also called Kidron and Kedron. In summer it is almost dry. The word used here by the evangelist - χειμάῤῥου cheimarrou - denotes properly a water-stream (from χεῖρμα cheimōn, shower or water, and ῥέω reō, ῥόος roos, to flow, flowing), and the idea is that of a stream that was swollen by rain or by the melting of the snow (Passow, Lexicon). This small rivulet runs along on the east of Jerusalem until it is joined by the water of the pool of Siloam, and the water that flows down on the west side of the city through the valley of Jehoshaphat, and then goes off in a southeast direction to the Dead Sea. (See the map of the environs of Jerusalem.) Over this brook David passed when he fled from Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:23. It is often mentioned in the Old Testament, 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16; 2 Chronicles 30:14; 2 Kings 23:6, 2 Kings 23:12.

Where was a garden - On the west side of the Mount of Olives. This was called Gethsemane. See the notes at Matthew 26:36. It is probable that this was the property of some wealthy man in Jerusalem - perhaps some friend of the Saviour. It was customary for the rich in great cities to have country-seats in the vicinity. This, it seems, was so accessible that Jesus was accustomed to visit it, and yet so retired as to be a suitable place for devotion.


Joh 18:1-13. Betrayal and Apprehension of Jesus.

1-3. over the brook Kedron—a deep, dark ravine, to the northeast of Jerusalem, through which flowed this small storm brook or winter torrent, and which in summer is dried up.

where was a garden—at the foot of the Mount of Olives, "called Gethsemane; that is, olive press (Mt 26:30, 36).John 18:1-9 Judas betrayeth Jesus: the officers and soldiers at

Christ’s word fall to the ground.

John 18:10,11 Peter cutteth off Malchus’s ear.

John 18:12-14 Jesus is led bound to Annas and Caiaphas.

John 18:15-18 Peter denieth him.

John 18:19-24 Jesus is examined by the high priest, and struck by

one of the officers.

John 18:25-27 Peter denieth him the second and third time.

John 18:28-40 Jesus, brought before Pilate, and examined,

confesses his kingdom not to be of this world;

Pilate, testifying his innocence, and offering to

release him, the Jews prefer Barabbas.

Chapter Introduction

Having so largely discoursed the history of our Saviour’s passion, See Poole on "Matthew 26:1", and following verses to Matthew 26:71, See Poole on "Matthew 27:1", and following verses to Matthew 27:66, where (to make the history entire) we compared what the other evangelists also have about it; I shall refer the reader to the notes upon those two chapters, and be the shorter in the notes upon this and the following chapters.

Matthew hath nothing of those discourses, and prayer, which we have had in the four last chapters; no more have any of the other evangelists, who yet all mention his going into the mount of Olives, after his celebration of his last supper, Matthew 26:30 Mark 14:26 Luke 22:39. Our evangelist saith, he went over the brook Cedron into a garden. The others say nothing of a garden, but mention his coming to a place called Gethsemane. It is probable that this village was at the foot of Mount Olivet; and the garden mentioned was a garden near that village, and belonging to it (for they had not their gardens within their towns, but without): now the way to this was over the brook Cedron; of which brook we read, 2 Samuel 15:23; David passed over it when he fled from Absalom; and 1 Kings 2:37, where it is mentioned as Shimei’s limit, which he might not pass. This brook was in the way towards the mount of Olives; which being passed, he with his disciples went into a garden belonging to the town Gethsemane.

When Jesus had spoken these words,.... Referring either to his discourses in John 14:1, in which he acquaints his disciples with his approaching death; comforts them under the sorrowful apprehension of his departure from them; gives them many excellent promises for their relief, and very wholesome advice how to conduct themselves; lets them know what should befall them, and that things, however distressing for the present, would have a joyful issue: or else to his prayer in the preceding chapter, in which he had been very importunate with his Father, both for himself and his disciples; or to both of these, which is highly probable:

he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron; the same with "Kidron" in 2 Samuel 15:23; and elsewhere: it had its name, not from cedars, for not cedars but olives chiefly grew upon the mount, which was near it; and besides the name is not Greek, but Hebrew, though the Arabic version renders it, "the brook" , "of Cedar": it had its name either from the darkness of the valley in which it ran, being between high mountains, and having gardens in it, and set with trees; or from the blackness of the water through the soil that ran into it, being a kind of a common sewer, into which the Jews cast everything that was unclean and defiling; see 2 Chronicles 29:16. Particularly there was a canal which led from the altar in the temple to it, by which the blood and soil of the sacrifices were carried into it (m). This brook was but about three feet over from bank to bank, and in the summer time was quite dry, and might be walked over dry shod; and is therefore by Josephus sometimes called the brook of Kidron (n), and sometimes the valley of Kidron (o): in this valley were corn fields; for hither the sanhedrim sent their messengers to reap the sheaf of the firstfruits, which always was to be brought from a place near to Jerusalem (p); and it is very likely that willows grew by the brook, from whence they might fetch their willow branches at the feast of tabernacles; for the Jews say (q), there is a place below Jerusalem called Motza, (in the Gemara it is said to be Klamia or Colonia,) whither they went down and gathered willow branches; it seems to be the valley of Kidron, which lay on the east of Jerusalem, between that and the Mount of Olives (r); it had fields and gardens adjoining to it; see 2 Kings 23:4. So we read of a garden here, into which Christ immediately went, when he passed over this brook. The blood, the filth and soil of it, which so discoloured the water, as to give it the name of the Black Brook, used to be sold to the gardeners to dung their gardens with (s). It was an emblem of this world, and the darkness and filthiness of it, and of the exercises and troubles of the people of God in it, which lie in the way to the heavenly paradise and Mount of Zion, through which Christ himself went, drinking "of the brook in the way", Psalm 110:7; and through which also all his disciples and followers enter into the kingdom of heaven: it may also be a figure of the dark valley of the shadow of death, through which Christ and all his members pass to the heavenly glory. And I see not why this black and unclean brook may not be a representation of the pollutions and defilements of sin; which being laid on Christ when he passed over it, made him so heavy and sore amazed in the human nature, as to desire the cup might pass from him. Once more let it be observed, that it was the brook David passed over when he fled from his son Absalom; in this David was a type of Christ, as in other things: Absalom represented the people of the Jews, who rejected the Messiah, and rebelled against him; Ahithophel, Judas, who betrayed him; and the people that went with David over it, the disciples of our Lord; only there was this difference; there was a father fleeing from a son, here a son going to meet his father's wrath; David and his people wept when they went over this brook, but so did not Christ and his disciples; the sorrowful scene to them both began afterwards in the garden. This black brook and dark valley, and it being very late at night when it was passed over, all add to that dark dispensation, that hour of darkness, which now came upon our Lord; yet he went forth over it of his own accord, willingly and cheerfully; not being forced or compelled by any; and his disciples with him, not to be partners of his sufferings, but to be witnesses of them, and to receive some knowledge and instruction from what they should see and hear:

where was a garden into which he entered; and his disciples: there were no orchards nor gardens within the city of Jerusalem, but rose gardens, which were from the times of the prophets (t); all others were without; and this was a very proper place for gardens, where so much dung was near at hand. Whether this garden belonged to one of Christ's friends, is not certain; but since he often resorted hither, no doubt it was with the leave, and by the consent of the proprietor of it. However, so it was, that as the first Adam's disobedience was committed in a garden, the second. Adam's obedience to death for sin, began here; and as the sentence of death, on account of sin, was passed in a garden, it began to be executed in one.

(m) Misn. Middot, c. 3. sect. 2. Meila, c. 3. sect. 3. & Bartenora in ib. Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Zebachim, c. 8. 7. & Temura, c. 7. sect. 6. (n) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 1. sect. 5. (o) Ib. l. 9. c. 7. sect. 3. & de Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2. & c. 6. sect. 1.((p) Misna Menachot, c. 10. sect. 2, 3.((q) Misna Succa, c. 4. sect. 5. (r) Jerom de locis Hebraicis, fol. 92. C. (s) Misn. Yoma, c. 5. sect 6. Maimon. Meila, c. 2. sect. 11. (t) T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 82. 2. Abot. R. Nathan, c. 35. Maimon. Beth Habbechira, c. 7. sect. 14. Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Torn praecept. Aff. 164.

When {1} Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

(1) Christ goes of his own accord into a garden, which his betrayer knew, to be taken, so that by his obedience he might take away the sin that entered into the world by one man's rebellion, and that in a garden.

John 18:1-2. ʼΕξῆλθε] from Jerusalem, where the meal, John 13:2, had been held. The ἄγωμεν ἐντεῦθεν, John 16:31, was now first carried out; see in loc.: πέραν νοῦ χειμ,. then expresses: whither He went; see on John 6:1.

τοῦ Κεδρών] Genit. of apposition (2 Peter 2:6, comp. πόλις ʼΑθηνῶν and the like). On this torrent dry in summer (χείμαῤῥος, Hom. Il. xi. 493; Soph. Ant. 708; Plat. Legg. v. p. 736 A; Joseph. Antt. viii. 1. 5), קִדְרוֹן, i.e. niger, black stream, flowing eastward from the city through the valley of the same name, see Robinson, II. p. 31 ff.; Ritter, Erdk. XV. 1, p. 598 ff. As to the name, comp. the very frequent Greek name of rivers Μέλας (Herod. vii. 58. 198; Strabo, viii. p. 386, et al.).

κῆπος] According to Matthew 26:36, a garden of the estate of Gethsemane. The owner must be conceived as being friendly to Jesus.

ὅτι πολλάκις, κ.τ.λ.] points back to earlier festal visits, and is a more exact statement of detail, of which John has many in the history of the passion. We see from the contents that Jesus offered Himself with conscious freedom to the final crisis. Comp. John 18:4.

Typological references (Luthardt, after older expositors: to David, who, when betrayed by Ahithophel, had gone the same way, 2 Samuel 15:23; Lampe, Hengstenberg, following the Fathers: to Adam, who in the garden incurred the penalty of death) are without any indication in the text.

John 18:1-12. The arrest of Jesus.

1–11. The Betrayal

1. he went forth] From the upper room. The same word is used of leaving the room, Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39. Those who suppose that the room is left at John 14:31 (perhaps for the Temple), interpret this of the departure from the city, which of course it may mean in any case.

the brook Cedron] Literally, the ravine of the Kedron, or of the cedars, according to the reading, the differences of which are here exceedingly interesting. Of the cedars (τῶν Κέδρων) is the reading of the great majority of the authorities; but of the Kedron (τοῦ κεδροῦ or τοῦ κεδρών) is well supported. Of the cedars is the reading of the LXX. in 1 Kings 15:13 and occurs as a various reading 2 Samuel 15:23; 1 Kings 2:37; 2 Kings 23:6; 2 Kings 23:12. The inference is that both names were current, the Hebrew having given birth to a Greek name of different meaning but very similar sound. Kedron or Kidron = ‘black,’ and is commonly supposed to refer to the dark colour of the water or the gloom of the ravine. But it might possibly refer to the black green of cedar trees, and thus the two names would be united. This detail of their crossing the ‘Wady’ of the Kidron is given by S. John alone; but he gives no indication of a “reference to the history of the flight of David from Absalom and Ahitophel” (2 Samuel 15:23). ‘Brook’ is misleading; the Greek word means ‘winter-torrent,’ but even in winter there is little water in the Kidron. Neither this word nor the name Kedron occurs elsewhere in N.T.

a garden] Or, orchard. S. Matthew and S. Mark give us the name of the enclosure or ‘parcel of ground’ (John 4:5) rather than ‘place,’ of which this ‘garden’ formed the whole or part. Gethsemane = oil-press, and no doubt olives abounded there. The very ancient olive-trees still existing on the traditional site were probably put there by pilgrims who replanted the spot after its devastation at the siege of Jerusalem. S. John gives no hint of a comparison between the two gardens, Eden and Gethsemane, which commentators from Cyril to Isaac Williams have traced. See on Mark 1:13 for another comparison.

and his disciples] Literally, Himself and His disciples, Judas excepted.

John 18:1. Ἐξῆλθε, He went forth) straightway. Therefore He had spoken in the city the words which have been written in the preceding chapters.—τῶν Κέδρων) It is called by the Hebrews קדרון. The Latin Vulgate has Cedron, not Cedrorum. Therefore we regard the τῶν as inserted by transcribers.[376] The Greeks inflected several Hebrew nouns so as to accord with the sounds of their own language, as Hiller shows in the Onom., p. 715: therefore in this way ΤῶΝ ΚΈΔΡΩΝ might have place. But the LXX. never have it so, save at 1 Kings 15:13, where however the Tigurine Edition,[377] and moreover the Cod. Alex., have ἐν τῷ χειμάῤῥῳ τοῦ Κέδρων. In other cases the LXX. are wont to say, without an article, ἐν τῷ χειμάῤῥῳ Χοῤῥάθ, εἰς τὸν χειμάῤῥουν Κεισῶν, κ.τ.λ. Also, during the times of the LXX. translators and of John, the phrase, τῶν κέδρων, does not seem to have been in use.

[376] BCLX Orig. read τῶν Κέδρων, and so Tisch.; but A Δ, τοῦ Κέδρων, and so Lachm. Dabd Memph. Theb. read τοῦ Κέδρου. Τοῦ Κέδρων, being the most difficult reading, is least likely to be the work of transcribers. D, not understanding how τοῦ could be joined with what seemed to it a Greek Plural (but which is really a Hebrew Singular form), changed it into τοῦ Κέδρου: BC, etc., into τῶν Κέδρων.—E. and T.

[377] So also Grabe in his Edition. This confirms the reading of τοῦ here.—E. and T.

Verse 1. - John 19:42. -

1. The outer glorification of Christ in his Passion. Verses 1-11. -

(1) The betrayal, the majesty of his bearing, accompanied by hints of the bitter cup. Verse 1. - When Jesus had spoken these words - i.e. had offered the prayer, and communed with his Father touching himself, his disciples, and his whole Church - he went forth with his disciples; i.e. from the resting-place chosen by him on his way from the "guest-chamber" to the Valley of Kedron; it may have been from some corner of the vast temple area, or some sheltered spot under the shadow of its walls, where he uttered his wondrous discourse and intercession. He went over the ravine - or, strictly speaking, winter-torrent - of Kedron. The stream rises north of Jerusalem, and separates the city on its eastern side from Scopas and the Mount of Olives. It reaches its deepest depression at the point where it joins the Valley of Hinnom near the well of Rogel, contributing to the peculiar physical conformation of the city. The stream is in summer dry to its bed, and Robinson, Grove, and Warren conjecture, in agreement with an old tradition, that there is, below the present surface of its bed, a subterraneous watercourse, whose waters may be heard flowing. The stream takes a sudden bend to the southeast at En-Rogel, and makes its way, by the convent of Saba, to the Dead Sea. It is not without interest that this note of place given by St. John alone - for the three other evangelists simply speak of "the Mount of Olives" - brings the narrative into relation with the story of David's flight from Absalom by the same route, and also the Jewish expectation (Joel 3:2), and Mohammedan prediction, that here will take place the final judgment (Smith's 'Dictionary,' art. "Kedron," by Grove; 'Pictorial Palestine,' vol. 1; Robinson, 'Bib. Res.,' 1:269: Winer's 'B. Realworterbuch,' art. "Kedron;" Dean Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine;' 'The Recovery of Jerusalem,' by Capt. Warren and Capt. Wilson, John 1. and 5.). Where was a garden. This reference is in agreement (Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32) with the synoptic description of the χωρίον, "parcel of ground," small farm, or olive yard, enclosed from the rest of the hillside, and called "Gethsemane" (gath-shammi, press for oil). The traditional site of the garden dates back to the time of Constantine, and may be the true scene of the agony described by the synoptists. There are still remaining "the eight aged olive trees," which carry back the associations to the hour of the great travail. It is certain that the general features of the scene still closely correspond with what was visible on the awful night ('Pictorial Palestine,' 1:86, 98). Patristic and mediaeval writers, with Hengstenberg and Wordsworth, see parallels between the garden of Eden lost by man's sin, and the garden of Gethsemane where the second Adam met the prince of this world, and bore the weight of human transgression and shame, and regained for man the paradise which Adam lost. It is still more interesting to notice a further touch recorded by John: Into which - into the quiet retreat and partial concealment of which - he (Jesus) entered himself, and his disciples. We know from the other Gospels that they were separated -eight remained on watch near the entrance, and Peter and James and John went further into the recesses of the garden, and again, "about a stone's cast," in the depth of the olive-shade, our blessed Lord retired to "pray." John 18:1Compare Matthew 26:30, Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:26, Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46.

Brook (χειμάῤῥου)

From χεῖμα, winter, and ῥέω, to flow. Properly, a winter torrent. Only here in the New Testament. Rev., in margin, ravine. In classical Greek it occurs in Demosthenes in the sense of a drain or conduit. It may be taken as equivalent to the Arabic wady, which means a stream and its bed, or properly, the valley of a stream even when the stream is dry.

Kidron (Κέδρων)

Which might also be rendered of the cedars, which some editors prefer. There is some uncertainty as to the exact meaning of the word cedar, which occurs frequently, some supposing it to be a general name for the pine family. A tree of dark foliage is mentioned in the Talmud by the name of cedrum. The ravine of Kidron separated the Mount of Olives from the Temple-Mount. Westcott cites from Derenbourg ("On the History and Geography of Palestine") a passage of the Talmud to the effect that on the Mount of Olives there were two cedars, under one of which were four shops for the sale of objects legally pure; and that in one of them pigeons enough were sold for the sacrifices of all Israel. He adds: "Even the mention of Kidron by the secondary and popular name of 'the ravine of the cedars' may contain an allusion to a scandal felt as a grievous burden at the time when the priests gained wealth by the sale of victims by the two cedars." The Kidron is the brook over which David passed, barefoot and weeping, when fleeing from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:23-30). There King Asa burned the obscene idol of his mother (1 Kings 15:13). It was the receptacle for the impurities and abominations of idol-worship, when removed from the temple by the adherents of Jehovah (2 Chronicles 29:16); and, in the time of Josiah, was the common cemetery of the city (2 Kings 23:6). In the vision of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 47:5, Ezekiel 47:6, Ezekiel 47:7) he goes round to the eastern gate of the temple, overhanging the defile of Kidron, and sees the waters rushing down into the valley until the stream becomes a mighty river.

A garden

Neither John nor Luke give the name Gethsemane.

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