John 18:10
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
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(10) Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it. . . .—Comp. Note on Matthew 26:51. The fact is recorded by all the Evangelists. St. John only tells us that it was done by Peter, and that the servant’s name was Malchus. He is also careful to note, as St. Luke does too, that it was the “right ear.”

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.See the notes at Matthew 26:51-52.

The servant's name was Malchus - His name is mentioned by neither of the other evangelists, nor is it said by the other evangelists who was the disciple that gave the blow. It is probable that both Peter and the servant were alive when the other gospels were written.

10, 11. Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus—None of the other Evangelists mention the name either of the ardent disciple or of his victim. John being "known to the high priest" (Joh 18:15), the mention of the servant's name by him is quite natural, and an interesting mark of truth in a small matter. As to the right ear, specified both here and in Luke (Lu 22:50), the man was "likely foremost of those who advanced to seize Jesus, and presented himself in the attitude of a combatant; hence his right side would be exposed to attack. The blow of Peter was evidently aimed vertically at his head" [Webster and Wilkinson]. It is thought that this action of Peter’s was before the apprehension of our Saviour, though after the discovery of it, as our evangelist reports it; because upon the apprehension of our Saviour, both Matthew 26:56, and Mark 14:50, agree, that the disciples fled; and it can hardly be thought that if Peter had seen his Master apprehended he would have adventured upon so daring and provocative an action; nor could Christ, had he been first bound, have stretched out his hand, to have touched his ear, and healed it. Lest any should wonder how Peter came by a sword, we may read, Luke 22:38, that the disciples had two swords amongst them, probably brought out of Galilee for the defence of themselves and their Master against assaults from robbers in that long journey. Then Simon Peter having a sword,.... Girt about him, which he either wore in common, or particularly at the feast, as the Galilaeans are said to do, to preserve them from thieves and wild beasts by the way; or was one of the two the disciples had with them in the garden; or what Peter purposely furnished himself with to defend his master, taking a hint from what was said by him, Luke 22:36;

drew it; before Christ could give an answer to the question put by his disciples, whether they should smite or not, Luke 22:49; being encouraged thereunto by what Christ said, Luke 22:38; or by what he had just done in, striking the man to the ground; and being provoked by that servant's going to lay hold on Christ, and who it is probable was more forward and busy than any of the rest; for it appears from the other evangelists, that Peter did this, though he is not mentioned by name by any of the rest, just as they were seizing and apprehending Christ:

and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear; he doubtless struck at his head, and intended to have cleaved him down, but missed his aim, and took off his ear: the person is particularly described, that he was a servant, and the servant of the high priest, and he is mentioned also by name;

and the servant's name was Malchus; that if the truth of this relation was called in question, it might easily be looked into and examined, when it would appear that it was perfectly right. All the evangelists give an account of this action of Peter's, but none of them mention his name but this evangelist; perhaps the reason might be, that Peter was alive when the other evangelists wrote, and therefore it was not safe to say who it was that did it, lest he who was the minister of the circumcision, and dwelt among the Jews, should be persecuted for it, or their minds should be prejudiced against him on that account; but John writing his Gospel many years after his death, the reason for the concealment of his name no longer subsisted: nor indeed is the name of the high priest's servant mentioned by any other of the evangelists: John had, or however he writes, a more exact and particular account of this matter. This was a name frequent with the Syrians, Phoenicians, and Hebrews. Jerom (c) wrote the life of one Malchus, a monk or Eremite, who was by nation a Syrian; and Porphyry, that great enemy of Christianity, who was by birth a Tyrian, his original name was Malchus, as was his father's; and "which", in the Syrian, and his country dialect, as he himself (d) and others (e) say, signifies a "king". Josephus (f) speaks of one Cleodemus, whose name was Malchus, that wrote a history of the Hebrews. And some Jewish Rabbins were of this name; hence we read of , "R. Maluc" (g), and of , "R. Malcio" (h); the name is the same with Malluch, Nehemiah 10:4.

(c) Tom. I. fol. 87. (d) Porphyr. vita in Plotin. c. 17. (e) Eunapius in vita Porphyr. p. 16. (f) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 15. (g) T. Hieros. Succa, fol. 53. 3. & Bab. Bathra, fol. 16. 1.((h) T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 52. 1.

{5} Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

(5) We ought to contain our zeal for God within the bounds of our calling.

John 18:10-11. Comp. Matthew 26:51 ff., and parall.

οὖν] In consequence of this danger, which he now saw for Jesus. On its position between Σίμ. and Πέτρ., comp. John 21:7.

Only John here names Peter, and also Malchus.[208] Personal considerations, which may have kept the names so far away from the earliest tradition, that they are not adduced even by Luke, could now no longer have influence.

δοῦλον] slave, therefore none of the officials of the court of justice, John 18:3, but also not the guide of the temple-watch (Ewald). The slave had accompanied the rest, and had pressed forward.

τὸ ὠτάριον] not purposely (Hengstenberg), but the blow which was aimed at the head missed.

Cast the sword into the sheath! certainly more original than the calmer and more circumstantial words in Matt. On θήκη, sheath, see Poll. x. 144. In the classics, κολεός. Comp. Hom. Od. x. 333: κολεῷ μὲν ἄορ θέο.

τὸ ποτήρ.] Comp. Matthew 20:22; Matthew 26:39. The suffering of death which He must now, after He has become clearly conscious of God’s will and object (John 3:14-15, John 6:51), approach, is the cup to be drunk, which the Father has already given to Him (into His hand), δέδωκε.

αὐτό, as in John 15:2.

[208] A name of frequent occurrence; see Wetstein. In Phot. Bibl. cod. 78, a Sophist is so called. Hengstenberg gives artificial interpretations.John 18:10. Peter did not wish to be thus dissociated from the fate of his Master, John 13:38, and thinks a rescue possible, as only the Sanhedrim officials would enter the garden, leaving the soldiers outside. ἔχων μάχαιραν, “having a sword,” “pro more peregrinantium in iis locis,” Grotius, and cf. Thucyd., i. 6; Luke 22:36. He struck τὸν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως δοῦλον, “the high priest’s servant”. The δοῦλοι are distinguished from the ὑπηρέται, John 18:18. John, being acquainted with the high priest’s household, both identified the man and knew his name, which was a common one, see Wetstein, and cf. Nehemiah 10:4; also, Porphyry, Life of Plotinus, 17. “In my native dialect I (Porphyry) was called Malchus, which is interpreted, king.” ἀπέκοψεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον τὸ δεξιόν. In Mark 14:47 ἀφεῖλεν τὸ ὠτάριον. τὸ δεξιόν indicates eye-witness or subsequent intimate knowledge. Peter meant, no doubt, to cleave the head.10. Then Simon Peter] Simon Peter therefore (John 18:3), because he ‘saw what would follow’ (Luke 22:49). All four Evangelists mention this act of violence; S. John alone gives the names. While S. Peter was alive it was only prudent not to mention his name; and probably S. John was the only one who knew (John 18:15) the servant’s name. S. Peter’s impetuous boldness now illustrates his impetuous words John 13:37 and Mark 8:32.

having a sword] Probably one of the two produced in misunderstanding of Christ’s words at the end of the supper (Luke 22:38). To carry arms on a feast-day was forbidden; 30 that we have here some indication that the Last Supper was not the Passover.

the high priest’s servant] No doubt he had been prominent in the attack on Jesus, and S. Peter had aimed at his head. S. Luke also mentions that it was the right ear that was cut, and he alone mentions the healing, under cover of Which S. Peter probably escaped.John 18:10. Σίμων, Simon) John alone records that it was Simon who did this: the other evangelists keep back the name of Peter. [No doubt because these latter wrote at a time when Peter might readily have run risk with the world (had his name been mentioned): John, writing last of all, filled up the omission of the name when all risk was over.—Harm., p. 531. Comp. ch. John 21:19, note marg.]

[378]—ἔχων having) Even to have a sword was attended with danger.—ἀπέκοψεν, cut off) with a dangerous stroke.—Μάλχος, Malchus) It is probable that, for a long time after, this man continued to be well known among Jews and Christians. The name of the servant is given in the sacred narrative, as that of the maid (Rhoda), Acts 12:13.

[378] John wished also, now that danger from the disclosure was past, to honour the zeal and courage of Peter in behalf of His Lord, as a set-off against his subsequent thrice repeated denial.—E. and T.Verse 10. - Then Simon Peter. The other evangelists simply tell us that one of the number of the disciples performed the following act. The οϋν here is introduced between Simon and Peter, as if to imply that it was not merely Simon son of Jonas, but Simon the Rock, the man of mighty impulsive passion, ready, as he said a few hours since, to go with his Master to prison and to death. The name and identification of Peter with the brave man who struck at least one blow for his Master, is a proof, not of John's animosity against Peter, or any desire to humble him, but rather to exalt him. The extraordinary concomitance of this act with all the other delineations of Peter's character is another undesigned hint of the authenticity of the narrative. Simon Peter, then, having a sword. Here we see the unintentional agreement with the synoptic narrative (Luke 22:38). Nothing would be less likely than that Peter should have a sword at his disposal; i.e. judging from the Johannine narrative. The Gospel of Luke explains it. Having a sword, he drew it, and smote the slave (not one of the ὑπηρέται, but the δοῦλος, body-servant) of the high priest, and eat off his right ear. The slave, in receiving such a wound, must have been in fearful danger of his life. The reference to the right ear, mentioned also by Luke (Luke 22:50), is noteworthy. Now the name of the slave was Malchus. Here the eye-witness, not the theologian, nor the dramatist, reveals his hand. Thoma sees, however, the fulfillment of prophetic outline, and a reference to the kings and chief captains, the Malchuses and chiliarchs, that are ultimately to flee before him. The subsequently mentioned circumstance (Ver. 15) that the evangelist was "known to the high priest," explains this recovery of an otherwise valueless name. The instant when Peter cried, "Shall we smite with the sword?" was most opportune. For the moment Peter felt that the whole band could be discomfited by a bold stroke. Christ with his word, the brave-hearted apostle with his weapon, could scatter all the foes of the Lord. As on so many other occasions, Peter gives advice to the Master, only to find himself in grievous mistake. Simon Peter

The names of Simon Peter and Malchus are mentioned only by John in connection with this incident. The incident itself is related by all the Evangelists.

A sword

Contrary to the rule which forbade the carrying of weapons on a feast-day.

The high priest's servant

See on Matthew 26:51.

Right ear

Luke and John. The others do not specify which ear. For ear John and Mark have ὠτάριον, a diminutive; Luke, οὐς, and Matthew, ὠτίον, a diminutive in form, but not in force. See on Matthew 26:51.

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