Verse 30. "The prince of this world" - toutou, of this, is omitted by ABDEGHKLMS, Mt. BH, one hundred others; both the Syriac, later Persic, all the Arabic, and several of the primitive fathers. I rather think the omission of the pronoun makes the sense more general; for, had he said THIS world, the words might have been restrained to the Jewish state, or to the Roman government. But who is the person called here the prince of the world? 1. Mr. Wakefield thinks that Christ speaks here of himself, as he does in chap. xii. 31, (see the note there,) and translates this verse and the following thus: For the ruler of this world is coming; and I have nothing now to do, but to convince the world that I love the Father, and do as he commanded me. On which he observes that our Lord speaks of what he shall be, when he comes again, and not of what he then was: compare ver. 18; chap. xvi. 16; xvii. 2; Matt. xxviii. 18; Phil. ii. 9. And how often does he speak of himself, as the Son of man, in the third person! See his vindication of this translation in the third vol. of his New Testament.
2. Others think that our Lord refers to the Roman government, the ruler of the world, who, by its deputy, Pilate, was going to judge him, but who should find nothing (eurhsei ouden, which is the reading found in some excellent MSS. and versions, and is followed by almost all the primitive fathers,) as a just cause of death in him-nothing in the whole of his conduct which was in the least reprehensible; and this indeed Pilate witnessed in the most solemn manner. See chap. xviii. 38; xix. 4, 12; see also Luke xxiii. 4, &c., and Matt. xxvii. 24.
3. But the most general opinion is that Satan is meant, who is called the prince of the power of the air, Eph. ii. 2; and who is supposed to be the same that is called the god of this world, 2 Cor. iv. 4; and who at his last and most desperate trial, the agony in the garden, should be convinced that there was nothing of his nature in Christ, nothing that would coincide with his solicitations, and that he should find himself completely foiled in all his attacks, and plainly foresee the impending ruin of his kingdom. It is very difficult to ascertain the real meaning here: of the different opinions proposed above, the reader must take that which he deems the most likely.
Verse 31. "Arise, let us go hence." - Calmet supposes that Christ, having rendered thanks to God, and sung the usual hymn, Matt. xxvi. 30; Mark xiv. 26; rose from the table, left the city, and went towards the garden of Olives, or garden of Gethsemane, on the road to which, a part of the following discourse was delivered. It was now about midnight, and the moon was almost full, it being the 14th day of her age, about the time in which the Jewish passover was to be slain.
THE reader should carefully note the conduct of our Lord. He goes to die as a SACRIFICE, out of love to mankind, in obedience to the Divine will, and with unshaken courage. All our actions should be formed on this plan.
They should have the love of God and man for their principle and motive; his glory for their end; and his will for their rule. He who lives and acts thus shall live for ever. Amen.