John 11:54

Therefore walked no more openly (oun ouketi parrhsiai periepatei). Imperfect active of peripatew, to walk around. Jesus saw clearly that to do so would bring on the end now instead of his "hour" which was to be at the passover a month ahead. Into the country near to the wilderness (ei thn cwran eggu th erhmou). It was now in Jerusalem as it had become once in Galilee ( Romans 7:1 ) because of the plots of the hostile Jews. The hill country northeast of Jerusalem was thinly populated. Into a city called Ephraim (ei Epraim legomenhn polin). Poli here means no more than town or village (kwmh). The place is not certainly known, not mentioned elsewhere in the N.T. Josephus mentions (War, IV. ix. 9) a small fort near Bethel in the hill country and in 2 Chronicles 13:19 Ephron is named in connexion with Bethel. Up here Jesus would at least be free for the moment from the machinations of the Sanhedrin while he faced the coming catastrophe at the passover. He is not far from the mount of temptation where the devil showed and offered him the kingdoms of the world for the bending of the knee before him. Is it mere fancy to imagine that the devil came to see Jesus again here at this juncture with a reminder of his previous offer and of the present plight of the Son of God with the religious leaders conspiring his death? At any rate Jesus has the fellowship of his disciples this time (meta twn maqhtwn). But what were they thinking?

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