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John 13:4

4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

Read John 13:4 Using Other Translations

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.
So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist,

What does John 13:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
John 13:4

He riseth from supper
In the midst of the entertainment, and which no doubt was considerable, his mind being intent on something else; and it being his meat and drink to do his Father's will, he rises and leaves his disciples sitting to finish their meal; and whilst they were murmuring at the waste of the ointment poured on his head, and were filled with indignation at it, as they all of them were, see ( Matthew 26:8 ) ; he rises up to wash their feet; amazing patience and humility!

And laid aside his garments;
not all his garments, only his upper ones, that he might better dispatch the business he was going about; and which was an emblem of his laying aside, as it were for a while, his glory and dignity as the Son of God, and of his appearing in the form of a servant.

And took a towel;
or "linen cloth", (lention) , the same with (tyjnwl) in the Jerusalem Talmud F18:

and girded himself;
with the towel, or linen cloth, which served both for a girdle, and after he had washed his disciples' feet, to wipe them with. This was a servile habit; so servants used to stand at the feet of their masters, girt about with a linen cloth F19; and shows, that the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Sabbat, fol. 3. 1. & 12. 1.
F19 Suetonius in Caligula, c. 26.
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