John 18:3

The band of soldiers (thn speiran). No word for "of soldiers" in the Greek, but the Latin spira (roll or ball) was used for a military cohort (Polybius 11, 23, 1) as in Matthew 27:27 ; Acts 10:1 , etc., here for a small band secured from the Tower of Antonia. The Synoptics do not mention the soldiers, but only the "officers" as here (uphreta for which see Matthew 26:58 ; Mark 14:54 Mark 14:65 ) or temple police from the Sanhedrin. Cometh (ercetai). Dramatic historical present middle indicative. With lanterns and torches (meta panwn kai lampadwn). Both old words, pano only here in N.T., lampa, an oil lamp ( Matthew 25:1 ). It was full moon, but Judas took no chances for it may have been cloudy and there were dark places by the walls and under the olive trees. Meta is accompanied with and weapons (kai oplwn). Mark ( Mark 14:43 ) mentions "swords and staves." Probably the temple guard had weapons as well as the soldiers.

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