John 21:18
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go."

King James Bible
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

Darby Bible Translation
Verily, verily, I say to thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst where thou desiredst; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and bring thee where thou dost not desire.

World English Bible
Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don't want to go."

Young's Literal Translation
verily, verily, I say to thee, When thou wast younger, thou wast girding thyself and wast walking whither thou didst will, but when thou mayest be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another will gird thee, and shall carry thee whither thou dost not will;'

John 21:18 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

When thou wast young - When in early life thou didst gird thyself, etc. The Jews, in walking or running, girded their outer garments around them, that they might not be impeded. See the notes at Matthew 5:38-41.

Thou girdedst - The expression here denotes freedom. He did as he pleased - he girded himself or not he went or remained, as he chose. Perhaps the expression refers rather to that time than to the previous period of Peter's life. "Thou being now young or in the vigor of life, hast just girded thyself and come freely to the shore." In either case the Saviour intimates that at the end of his life he would not be thus free.

When thou shalt be old - Ancient writers say that Peter was put to death about thirty-four years after this. His precise age at that time is not known.

Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands - When Peter was put to death, we are told that he requested that he might be crucified with his head downward, saying that he who had denied his Lord as he had done was not worthy to die as he did. This expression of Christ may intimate the readiness of Peter thus to die. Though he was not at liberty as when he was young, though bound by others, yet he freely stretched out his hands on the cross, and was ready to give up his life.

Another shall gird thee - Another shall bind thee. The limbs of persons crucified were often bound instead of being nailed, and even the body was sometimes girded to the cross. See the notes at Matthew 27:35.

Carry thee ... - Shall bear thee, or shall compel thee to go to prison and to death. This is not said to intimate that Peter would be unwilling to suffer martyrdom, but it stands opposed to the freedom of his early life. Though willing when compelled to do it, yet he would not seek it; and though he would not needlessly expose himself to it, yet he would not shrink from it when it was the will of God.

John 21:18 Parallel Commentaries

Library
An Eloquent Catalogue
'There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples.'--JOHN xxi. 2. This chapter, containing the infinitely significant and pathetic account of our Lord's appearance to these disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, is evidently an appendix to the Gospel of John. The design of that Gospel is complete with the previous chapter, and there is a formal close, as of the whole book, at the end thereof. But whilst
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

Youth and Age, and the Command for Both
Annual Sermon to the Young '... When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.... And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him, Follow Me.'--JOHN xxi. 18, 19. The immediate reference of these words is, of course, to the martyrdom of the Apostle Peter. Our Lord contrasts the vigorous and somewhat self-willed youth and the mellowed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

Instructions to Converts.
Text.--Feed my lambs.--John xxi. 15. YOU, who read your Bibles, recollect the connection in which these words are found, and by whom they were spoken. They were addressed by the Lord Jesus Christ to Peter, after he had denied his Lord, and had professed repentance. Probably one of the designs which Christ had in view, in suffering Peter to sin so awfully as to deny his master, was to produce a deeper work of grace in him, and thus fit him for the peculiar duty to which he intended to call him, in
Charles Grandison Finney—Lectures on Revivals of Religion

Synopsis. --Arbitrary Criticism of the Biblical Narratives of the Raising of the "Dead. " --Facts which it Ignores. --The Subject Related to the Phenomena of Trance
III SYNOPSIS.--Arbitrary criticism of the Biblical narratives of the raising of the "dead."--Facts which it ignores.--The subject related to the phenomena of trance, and records of premature burial.--The resuscitation in Elisha's tomb probably historical.--Jesus' raising of the ruler's daughter plainly a case of this kind.--His raising of the widow's son probably such.--The hypothesis that his raising of Lazarus may also have been such critically examined.--The record allows this supposition.--Further
James Morris Whiton—Miracles and Supernatural Religion

Cross References
Luke 12:37
"Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.

John 13:36
Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered, "Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later."

John 21:17
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep.

John 21:19
Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me!"

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