18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, pulled it out and struck the high priest’s slave, 1 cutting off his right ear. 2 (Now the slave’s name was Malchus.) 3 18:11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?” 4
2 sn The account of the attack on the high priest’s slave contains details which suggest eyewitness testimony. It is also mentioned in all three synoptic gospels, but only John records that the disciple involved was Peter, whose impulsive behavior has already been alluded to (John 13:37). Likewise only John gives the name of the victim, Malchus, who is described as the high priest’s slave. John and Mark (14:47) both use the word ὠτάριον (wtarion, a double diminutive) to describe what was cut off, and this may indicate only part of the right ear (for example, the earlobe).
3 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
4 tn Grk “The cup that the Father has given me to drink, shall I not drink it?” The order of the clauses has been rearranged to reflect contemporary English style.
sn Jesus continues with what most would take to be a rhetorical question expecting a positive reply: “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” The cup is also mentioned in Gethsemane in the synoptics (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42). In connection with the synoptic accounts it is mentioned in Jesus’ prayer; this occurrence certainly complements the synoptic accounts if Jesus had only shortly before finished praying about this. Only here in the Fourth Gospel is it specifically said that the cup is given to Jesus to drink by the Father, but again this is consistent with the synoptic mention of the cup in Jesus’ prayer: It is the cup of suffering which Jesus is about to undergo.