And the Lord said, Simon, Simon
Peter is particularly, and by name, spoken to, either because he might be a principal person in the debate and contention about superiority, mentioned in the context; or because he was chiefly to suffer in the following temptation of Satan; or because he was generally the mouth of the rest of the apostles; and he is addressed, not by the name of Peter, the name Christ gave him, when he first called him, signifying his future solidity, firmness, and steadfastness; because in this instance, he would not give any proof of it; but by his former name, Simon, and which is repeated, partly to show the earnestness of Christ in the delivery of what follows, and partly to express his affectionate concern for him; so the Jews observe F19 concerning God's calling, "Moses, Moses", ( Exodus 3:4 ) that (hbx Nwvl) (lwpk) , "the doubling of the word", is expressive "of love", and finding grace and favour; even as it is said, "Abraham, Abraham", ( Genesis 22:11 ) or it may be to excite attention to what Christ was about to say. Though the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read the first of these, "to Simon", thus: Jesus said to Simon,
Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you;
not only Peter, but all the apostles; for the word (umav) , "you", is plural: Satan, the enemy of the woman's seed, the accuser of the brethren, the wicked one, and the tempter, desired, asked leave of God, for he can do nothing without permission; that he might have these disciples under his power, and in his hand; just as he got leave to have the goods, and even the body of Job in his hand, and fain would have had his life, and soul too, could he have obtained it; and he would have the lives and souls of others; for he goes about, seeking to devour whom he may; and he had now an evil eye upon the apostles, and wanted an opportunity to gratify his malice and envy: his end in desiring to have them in his power was,
that he may sift you as wheat;
not to separate the chaff from the wheat, but to make them look like all chaff, by covering the wheat of grace with the chaff of sin and corruption; or to destroy the wheat, was it possible; or to toss them to and fro as wheat is in a sieve; that is, to afflict and distress them; see ( Amos 9:9 ) by scattering them both from Christ, and one another; by filling them with doubts about Jesus being the Messiah and Redeemer: and by frightening them with the fears of enemies and of death, which end he obtained; see ( Matthew 26:56 ) ( Luke 24:31 ) ( John 20:19 ) .
F19 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 38. 4. Jarchi in Gen. xxii. 11. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 14. fol. 217. 1.