Luke 22:4
And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(4) Chief priests and captains.—The latter term is used by St. Luke, and by him only in the New Testament, of the officers who presided over the Levite guardians of the Temple. Here and in Luke 22:52 it is used in the plural. In Acts 4:1; Acts 5:24, we read of “the captain of the Temple,” presumably the chief officer in command. Such was in earlier times Pashur, the “governor of the house of the Lord” (Jeremiah 20:1). As watchmen the Levite sentinels carried clubs, and would use them freely against any sacrilegious intruder. The attempt to seize our Lord, recorded in John 7:32, shows why Judas applied to these officers as well as to the priests.

22:1-6 Christ knew all men, and had wise and holy ends in taking Judas to be a disciple. How he who knew Christ so well, came to betray him, we are here told; Satan entered into Judas. It is hard to say whether more mischief is done to Christ's kingdom, by the power of its open enemies, or by the treachery of its pretended friends; but without the latter, its enemies could not do so much evil as they do.Chief priests and captains - See the notes at Matthew 26:14. See the account of the bargain which Judas made with them explained in the Matthew 26:14-16 notes, and Mark 14:10-11 notes.

Absence of the multitude - The multitude, "the people," were then favorable to Jesus. He had preached in the temple, and many of them believed that he was the Messiah. It was a hazardous thing, therefore, to take him by force, and in their presence, as they might rise and rescue him. Hence, they sought to take him when "he" was away from the multitude; and as Judas knew of a place where he could be found "alone," they were glad of the opportunity of so easily securing him.

3. Then entered Satan, &c.—but not yet in the full sense. The awful stages of it were these: (1) Covetousness being his master—passion, the Lord let it reveal itself and gather strength by entrusting him with "the bag" (Joh 12:6), as treasurer to Himself and the Twelve. (2) In the discharge of that most sacred trust he became "a thief," appropriating its contents from time to time to his own use. Satan, seeing this door into his heart standing wide open, determines to enter by it, but cautiously (2Co 2:11); first merely "putting it into his heart to betray Him" (Joh 13:2), suggesting the thought to him that by this means he might enrich himself. (3) This thought was probably converted into a settled purpose by what took place in Simon's house at Bethany. (See Mt 26:6, and see on [1717]Joh 12:4-8.) (4) Starting back, perhaps, or mercifully held back, for some time, the determination to carry it into immediate effect was not consummated till, sitting at the paschal supper, "Satan entered into him" (see on [1718]Joh 13:27), and conscience, effectually stifled, only rose again to be his tormentor. What lessons in all this for every one (Eph 4:27; Jas 4:7; 1Pe 5:8, 9)! See Poole on "Luke 22:3"

And he went his way,.... From Christ, and the rest of the apostles, out of Bethany; and when it was night, about two miles from Jerusalem, whither he went directly:

and communed with the chief priests and captains; that is, of the temple, as in Luke 22:52 and so the Persic version reads, "the militia of the temple"; and the Syriac version renders it, "the captains of the militia of the temple"; instead of captains, the Ethiopic version, reads "Scribes", and so does the Arabic, and which, adds, "and the soldiers"; but these captains were not Roman officers, or soldiers, but ecclesiastical persons, who presided in the temple, and were heads and governors, over bodies of men employed there, of which sort were the following (i):

"there were fifteen, presidents, or governors in the sanctuary, and so they were appointed for ever over each of these fifteen things, one governor; and they are these: one was over the times, or solemn seasons; the second, over the shutting of the gates: the third, over those that kept watch; the fourth, over the singers; the fifth, over the cymbal, with the rest of the singing instruments; the sixth, over the lots; the seventh over the nests (of doves); the eighth, over the seals, or tickets; the ninth, over the drink offerings; the tenth, over the sick (priests); the eleventh, over the waters; the twelfth, over the business of the shewbread; the thirteenth, over the business of the incense; the fourteenth, over the business of the vail; and the fifteenth, over the business of the priests' garments; and every one of these governors had under him "abundance of men", that so they might prepare the business they presided over.''

These seem rather to be meant, than the watch in the temple; which, though kept in several places, there was but one single person that presided over it; as appears from the above account, and from what follows; and who was called the man of the mountain of the house, or the governor of the temple (k):

"in three places the priests kept watch in the sanctuary, in the house of Abtines, and in the house of Nitzotz, and in the house of Moked, and the Levites in twenty and one places--the man of the mountain of the house, went round every ward with torches burning before him, and every one that was not standing, he said unto him, peace be on thee; and if he found he was asleep, he struck him with his staff, and had power to burn his garments.''

Whence it does not appear to me, that there were heads or captains over every ward, as Dr. Lightfoot suggests, but one over them all; perhaps these captains may be the same with the governors of the temple, as in 1:Esdras:

And Helkias, Zacharias, and Syelus, the governors of the temple, gave to the priests for the passover two thousand and six hundred sheep, and three hundred calves. (1 Esdras 1:8)

Did very carefully oversee the holy works, assisting the ancients of the Jews and governors of the temple. (1 Esdras 7:2)

But be these who they will, Judas it seems was informed where, and upon what they were met together, and he went to them, and conversed with them:

how he might betray him unto them; in the most secret manner, and with, the least noise and disturbance.

(i) Maimon. Hilch. Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 1, 2. Misu. Shekalim, c. 5. sect. 1, 2.((k) Misn. Middot, c. 1. sect. 1, 2.

And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and {a} captains, how he might betray him unto them.

(a) Those that had the charge of keeping the temple, who were not from among the priests and bishops, as is shown below in Lu 22:52.

Luke 22:4. στρατηγοῖς: a military term which might suggest the captains of Roman soldiers, but doubtless pointing to the heads of the temple watches (Levites) who kept order during the feast. They would be necessary to the carrying out of Judas’ plan. The Levites had to perform garrison duty for the temple (vide Numbers 8:24-25). In Acts 4:2 we read of one στρατηγὸς τ. ., who was doubtless the head of the whole body of temple police.—τὸ πῶς: a second reference to the perplexing how.

4. he went his way] We infer -from the combined accounts that he met the priests on two occasions, on one of which the bargain was proposed, and on the other concluded.

communed] Spoke with.

captains] Literally, “generals” The Levitic captains of the Temple who kept order during the Feasts. There was strictly only one who bore the title of “the general of the Temple”—“man of the mountain of the House” (see Nehemiah 2:8; Nehemiah 7:2; Jeremiah 20:1; 2Ma 3:4); but he had guards under him (Jos. B. J. vi. 5, § 3), and the name might be applied to the whole body. One of the bitter complaints against the High Priests of the day was that they made their own sons “generals of the Temple.” St Luke was aware that the special title applied only to one person, as appears from Acts 4:1.

how he might betray him] Rather, give Him up. The word used is not prodo, but the milder parado.

Luke 22:4. Τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσι καὶ τοῖς στρατηγοῖς, with the chief priests and captains) Different classes of men conspired together; στρατηγοὶ τοῦ ιἑροῦ were the leaders or officers of the Jews, in command of the soldiers who were on watch at the temple. See Luke 22:52. See Acts 4:1, with which comp. 1Ma 4:60-61.

Luke 22:4Captains (στρατηγοῖς)

The leaders of the temple-guards Compare Acts 4:1.

Luke 22:4 Interlinear
Luke 22:4 Parallel Texts

Luke 22:4 NIV
Luke 22:4 NLT
Luke 22:4 ESV
Luke 22:4 NASB
Luke 22:4 KJV

Luke 22:4 Bible Apps
Luke 22:4 Parallel
Luke 22:4 Biblia Paralela
Luke 22:4 Chinese Bible
Luke 22:4 French Bible
Luke 22:4 German Bible

Bible Hub

Luke 22:3
Top of Page
Top of Page