John 13:4

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

John 13:4 in Other Translations

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

John 13:4 Meaning and Commentary

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.


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

John 13:4 In-Context

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Matthew 20:28
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