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Matthew 26:45-75

Context
26:45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is approaching, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 26:46 Get up, let us go. Look! My betrayer 1  is approaching!”

Betrayal and Arrest

26:47 While he was still speaking, Judas, 2  one of the twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. 26:48 (Now the betrayer 3  had given them a sign, saying, “The one I kiss is the man. 4  Arrest him!”) 5  26:49 Immediately 6  he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi,” and kissed him. 7  26:50 Jesus 8  said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and took hold 9  of Jesus and arrested him. 26:51 But 10  one of those with Jesus grabbed 11  his sword, drew it out, and struck the high priest’s slave, 12  cutting off his ear. 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! 13  For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword. 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and that he would send me more than twelve legions 14  of angels right now? 26:54 How then would the scriptures that say it must happen this way be fulfilled?” 26:55 At that moment Jesus said to the crowd, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me like you would an outlaw? 15  Day after day I sat teaching in the temple courts, yet 16  you did not arrest me. 26:56 But this has happened so that 17  the scriptures of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Condemned by the Sanhedrin

26:57 Now the ones who had arrested Jesus led him to Caiaphas, the high priest, in whose house 18  the experts in the law 19  and the elders had gathered. 26:58 But Peter was following him from a distance, all the way to the high priest’s courtyard. After 20  going in, he sat with the guards 21  to see the outcome. 26:59 The 22  chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were trying to find false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 26:60 But they did not find anything, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally 23  two came forward 26:61 and declared, “This man 24  said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 26:62 So 25  the high priest stood up and said to him, “Have you no answer? What is this that they are testifying against you?” 26:63 But Jesus was silent. The 26  high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, 27  the Son of God.” 26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand 28  of the Power 29  and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 30  26:65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and declared, 31  “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Now 32  you have heard the blasphemy! 26:66 What is your verdict?” 33  They 34  answered, “He is guilty and deserves 35  death.” 26:67 Then they spat in his face and struck him with their fists. And some slapped him, 26:68 saying, “Prophesy for us, you Christ! 36  Who hit you?” 37 

Peter’s Denials

26:69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A 38  slave girl 39  came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 26:70 But he denied it in front of them all: 40  “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 26:71 When 41  he went out to the gateway, another slave girl 42  saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” 26:72 He denied it again with an oath, “I do not know the man!” 26:73 After 43  a little while, those standing there came up to Peter and said, “You really are one of them too – even your accent 44  gives you away!” 26:74 At that he began to curse, and he swore with an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment a rooster crowed. 45  26:75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. 46 

1 tn Grk “the one who betrays me.”

2 tn Grk “behold, Judas.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

3 tn Grk “the one who betrays him.”

4 tn Grk “The one I kiss is he.”

5 sn This remark is parenthetical within the narrative and has thus been placed in parentheses.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

7 sn Judas’ act of betrayal when he kissed Jesus is especially sinister when it is realized that it was common in the culture of the times for a disciple to kiss his master when greeting him.

8 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

9 tn Grk “and put their hands on Jesus.”

10 tn Grk “And behold one.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

11 tn Grk “extending his hand, drew out his sword, and struck.” Because rapid motion is implied in the circumstances, the translation “grabbed” was used.

12 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.

13 tn The translation “put your sword back in its place” for this phrase is given in L&N 85.52.

14 sn A legion was a Roman army unit of about 6,000 soldiers, so twelve legions would be 72,000.

15 tn Or “a revolutionary.” This term can refer to one who stirs up rebellion: BDAG 594 s.v. λῃστής 2 has “revolutionary, insurrectionist, guerrilla” citing evidence from Josephus (J. W. 2.13.2-3 [2.253-254]). However, this usage generally postdates Jesus’ time. It does refer to a figure of violence. Luke uses the same term for the highwaymen who attack the traveler in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30).

16 tn Grk “and” (καί, kai), a conjunction that is elastic enough to be used to indicate a contrast, as here.

17 tn Grk “But so that”; the verb “has happened” is implied.

18 tn Grk “where.”

19 tn Or “where the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.

20 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

21 sn The guards would have been the guards of the chief priests who had accompanied Judas to arrest Jesus.

22 tn Grk “Now the.” Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

23 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

24 tn Grk “This one.”

25 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the false testimony.

26 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

27 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.

28 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1. This is a claim that Jesus shares authority with God in heaven. Those present may have thought they were his judges, but, in fact, the reverse was true.

29 sn The expression the right hand of the Power is a circumlocution for referring to God. Such indirect references to God were common in 1st century Judaism out of reverence for the divine name.

30 sn An allusion to Dan 7:13 (see also Matt 24:30).

31 tn Grk “the high priest tore his clothes, saying.”

32 tn Grk “Behold now.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

33 tn Grk “What do you think?”

34 tn Grk “answering, they said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

35 tn Grk “he is guilty of death.” L&N 88.313 states, “pertaining to being guilty and thus deserving some particular penalty – ‘guilty and deserving, guilty and punishable by.’ οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν, ᾿Ενοχος θανάτου ἐστίν ‘they answered, He is guilty and deserves death’ Mt 26:66.”

36 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.

37 tn Grk “Who is the one who hit you?”

sn Who hit you? This is a variation of one of three ancient games that involved blindfolds.

38 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

39 tn The Greek term here is παιδίσκη (paidiskh), referring to a slave girl or slave woman.

40 tn Grk “he denied it…saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in English and has not been translated.

41 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

42 tn The words “slave girl” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the feminine singular form ἄλλη (allh).

43 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

44 tn Grk “your speech.”

45 tn It seems most likely that this refers to a real rooster crowing, although a number of scholars have suggested that “cockcrow” is a technical term referring to the trumpet call which ended the third watch of the night (from midnight to 3 a.m.). This would then be a reference to the Roman gallicinium (ἀλεκτοροφωνία, alektorofwnia; the term is used in Mark 13:35 and is found in some mss [Ì37vid,45 Ë1] in Matt 26:34) which would have been sounded at 3 a.m.; in this case Jesus would have prophesied a precise time by which the denials would have taken place. For more details see J. H. Bernard, St. John (ICC), 2:604. However, in light of the fact that Mark mentions the rooster crowing twice (Mark 14:72) and in Luke 22:60 the words are reversed (ἐφώνησεν ἀλέκτωρ, efwnhsen alektwr), it is more probable that a real rooster is in view. In any event natural cockcrow would have occurred at approximately 3 a.m. in Palestine at this time of year (March-April) anyway.

46 sn When Peter went out and wept bitterly it shows he really did not want to fail here and was deeply grieved that he had.



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