on John 18 :1
Over the brook Cedron - Having finished the prayer related in the preceding chapter, our Lord went straight to the garden of Gethsemane, Matthew 26:36, which was in the mount of Olives, eastward of Jerusalem. This mount was separated from the city by a very narrow valley, through the midst of which the brook Cedron ran: see 1 Maccabees 12:37; Joseph. War, b. v. c. 2, s. 3. xii. 2. Cedron is a very small rivulet, about six or seven feet broad, nor is it constantly supplied with water, being dry all the year, except during the rains. It is mentioned in the Old Testament: 2 Samuel 15:23; 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Kings 23:4. And it appears the evangelist only mentions it here to call to remembrance what happened to David, when he was driven from Jerusalem by his son Absalom, and he and his followers obliged to pass the brook Cedron on foot: see 2 Samuel 15:23. All this was a very expressive figure of what happened now to this second David, by the treachery of one of his own disciples. This brook had its name probably from קדר Kadar, he was black; it being the place into which the blood of the sacrifices, and other filth of the city, ran. It was rather, says Lightfoot, the sink, or the common sewer, of the city, than a brook. Some copyists, mistaking Κεδρων for Greek, have changed του into των, and thus have written των Κεδρων, of cedars, instead of του Κεδρων, the brook of Cedron: but this last is undoubtedly the genuine reading.
A garden - Gethsemane: see on Matthew 26:36 (note).
The Jewish grandees had their gardens and pleasure grounds without the city even in the mount of Olives. This is still a common custom among the Asiatics.
St. John mentions nothing of the agony in the garden; probably because he found it so amply related by all the other evangelists. As that account should come in here, the reader is desired to consult the notes on Matthew 26:36-47 (note). See also Mark 14:30-36 (note), and Luke 22:40-44 (note).
on John 18 :1
The brook Cedron - This was a small stream that flowed to the east of Jerusalem, through the valley of Jehoshaphat, and divided the city from the Mount of Olives. It was also called Kidron and Kedron. In summer it is almost dry. The word used here by the evangelist - χειμάῤῥου cheimarrou - denotes properly a water-stream (from χεῖρμα cheimōn, shower or water, and ῥέω reō, ῥόος roos, to flow, flowing), and the idea is that of a stream that was swollen by rain or by the melting of the snow (Passow, Lexicon). This small rivulet runs along on the east of Jerusalem until it is joined by the water of the pool of Siloam, and the water that flows down on the west side of the city through the valley of Jehoshaphat, and then goes off in a southeast direction to the Dead Sea. (See the map of the environs of Jerusalem.) Over this brook David passed when he fled from Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:23. It is often mentioned in the Old Testament, 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16; 2 Chronicles 30:14; 2 Kings 23:6, 2 Kings 23:12.
Where was a garden - On the west side of the Mount of Olives. This was called Gethsemane. See the notes at Matthew 26:36. It is probable that this was the property of some wealthy man in Jerusalem - perhaps some friend of the Saviour. It was customary for the rich in great cities to have country-seats in the vicinity. This, it seems, was so accessible that Jesus was accustomed to visit it, and yet so retired as to be a suitable place for devotion.
on John 18 :1
18:1 A garden - Probably belonging to one of his friends. He might retire to this private place, not only for the advantage of secret devotion, but also that the people might not be alarmed at his apprehension, nor attempt, in the first sallies of their zeal, to rescue him in a tumultuous manner. Kedron was (as the name signifies) a dark shady valley, on the east side of Jerusalem, between the city and the mount of Olives, through which a little brook ran, which took its name from it. It was this brook, which David, a type of Christ, went over with the people, weeping in his flight from Absalom. Mt 26:30; Mr 14:26; Lu 22:39.