mal'-kus (Malchos, from melekh, i.e. "counselor" or "king"):
The name of the servant of the high priest Caiaphas whose right ear was smitten off by Simon Peter at the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (compare Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50; John 18:10). It is noteworthy that Luke "the physician" alone gives an account of the healing of the wound (Luke 22:51). As Jesus "touched his ear, and healed him," the ear was not entirely severed from the head. The words of Jesus, "Suffer ye thus far," may have been addressed either to the disciples, i.e. "Suffer ye that I thus far show kindness to my captors," or to those about to bind him, i.e. asking a short respite to heal Malchus. They were not addressed directly to Peter, as the Greek form is plural, whereas in Matthew 26:52; John 18:11, where, immediately after the smiting of Malchus, Jesus does address Peter, the singular form is used; nor do the words of Jesus there refer to the healing but to the action of his disciple. A kinsman of Malchus, also a servant of the high priest, was one of those who put the questions which made Peter deny Jesus (John 18:26).
C. M. Kerr
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