The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJohn 18:18
And the servants and officers stood there…
certain part of the hall, the middle of it; the Vulgate Latin reads,
"by the coals": it follows,
who had made a fire of coals, for it was cold;
though it was the
passover, and harvest near. Dr. Lightfoot has observed from our
countryman Biddulph, who was at Jerusalem at this time of the year,
that though in the daytime it was as hot as with us at Midsummer,
yet such very great dews fell as made it very cold, especially in
the night; and from one of the Jewish canons F13, that the year was
not intercalated, (which when done was chiefly on account of the
passover,) neither for snow nor frost; which, as he justly remarks,
supposes there might be frost and snow at the time of the passover.
The same is observed in the Talmud F14, where the gloss upon it is,
``that they might not desist, on that account, from coming
to the passover.''
The sense is, that whereas sometimes snow fell about the time of the
passover; which might be thought to be an hinderance to some from
coming to it; this never was a reason that came into consideration
with the sanhedrim, or prevailed upon them to intercalate a month,
that so the passover might not fall at a time of year when there was
usually snow. The passover was always in the spring of the year,
when nights are commonly cold, as they are generally observed to be
at the vernal equinox: this night might be remarkably cold; which
seems to be suggested by the Persic version, which reads, "for it
was cold that night"; and the Ethiopic version, "for the cold of
that night was great"; and adds what is neither in the text, nor
true, "for the country was cold". The Arabic version, as it should
seem, very wrongly renders it, "for it was winter"; since the
passover was never kept in the winter season, but always in the
spring, in the month Nisan: the winter season, with the Jews, were
half the month of Chisleu, all Tebeth, and half Shebet F15; though
this is to be observed in favour of that version, that the Jews
distinguish their winter into two parts; the one they call (Prwx) ,
which, as the gloss says, is the strength of winter, the coldest
part of it, and which lasts the time before mentioned; and the other
they call (rwq) , which is the end of winter, and when the cold is not
so strong; and half Nisan is taken into this; for they say that half
Shebat, all Adar, and half Nisan, are reckoned to this part of
winter: so that, according to this account, the fourteenth of Nisan,
which was the day on which the passover was killed; or at least the
fifteenth, which was now begun, was the last day of winter, and so
just secures the credit of the above version.
And they warmed themselves, and Peter stood with them, and warmed
he was cold both inwardly and outwardly; and being so, he
gets into bad company; and it may be with a view that he might not
be suspected, but be taken for one of their own sort, as one who had
the same ill opinion of Jesus they had; and by the light of the fire
he is again discovered and challenged, which makes way for a second
F13 Maimon. Hilch. Kiddush Chodesh, c. 4. sect. 6.
F14 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 11. 1.
F15 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 106. 2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on John 18:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=joh&chapter=018&verse=018>. 1999.