Matthew 26:23

23 He answered, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.

Matthew 26:23 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 26:23

And he answered and said
In order to make them easy, and point out the betrayer to them,

he that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray
This seems to refer to the dipping of the unleavened bread, or bitter herbs, both, into the sauce called "Charoseth", which the Jews F26 say,

``was made of figs, nuts, almonds, and other fruits; to which they added apples; all which they bruised in a mortar, and mixed with vinegar; and put spices into it, calamus and cinnamon, in the form of small long threads, in remembrance of the straw; and it was necessary it should be: thick, in memory of the clay.''

The account Maimonides F1 gives of it is,

``the "Charoseth" is a precept from the words of the Scribes, in remembrance of the clay in which they served in Egypt; and how did they make it? They took dates, or berries, or raisins, and the like, and stamped them, and put vinegar into them, and seasoned them with spices, as clay in straw, and brought it upon the table, in the night of the passover.''

And in this he says, the master of the family dipped both the herbs, and the unleavened bread F2, and that both separately and conjunctly; for he says F3, that

``he rolled up the unleavened bread and bitter herbs together, (lbjmw) and dipped them in the Charoseth.''

And this was twice done in eating the passover; for so it is observed F4 among the many things, which distinguished this night from others: "in all other nights we dip but once, but in this night twice". By this action, Christ gave his disciples a signal, whereby they might know the betrayer: for this is not the general description of one, that sat at the table, and ate of his bread with him, and so fulfilled the prediction, in ( Psalms 41:9 ) , though this is too true; but then, this was saying no more than he had before done, when he said, "one of you shall betray me"; though the phrase is so

F5 used; for instance,

``if a man goes and sits at table with them, (Nhme lbwjw) , and "dips with them", though he does not eat the quantity of an olive, they bless for him.''

But this refers to a particular action then performed by Judas, just at the time Christ spoke these words; and who might sit near him, and dip into the same dish he did; for since there were thirteen of them, there might be more dishes than one; and two or three might have a dish to themselves, and Judas dip in the same dish with Christ.

F26 Bartenora in Misn. Pesach. c. 10. sect. 3. Vid. Maimon. & Yom Tob, in ib. & Piske Tos. Pesach. art. 322.
F1 Hilch. Chametz Umetzah, c. 7. sect. 11.
F2 Ib. c. 8. sect. 2. 8.
F3 Ib. sect. 6. & T. Bab. Pesach. fol. 115. 1.
F4 Misn. Pesach. c. 10. sect. 4, Maimon. Chametz Umetzah, c 8. sect. 2. Haggadah Shel Pesach, p. 5.
F5 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 91. fol. 78. 4.

Matthew 26:23 In-Context

21 and while they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me."
22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, "Surely not I, Lord?"
23 He answered, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.
24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born."
25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" He replied, "You have said so."
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.