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In the Gospel of John, Malchus is the servant of the Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas, who participated in the arrest of Jesus. According to John, one of the disciples, Simon Peter, being armed with a sword, cut off the servant's ear in an attempt to prevent the arrest of Jesus.
The story is related in all four gospels, in Matthew 26:51, Mark 14:47, and Luke 22:50-51, and John 18:10–11, but the servant and the disciple are named only in John. Also, Luke is the only gospel that says Jesus healed the ear.
The relevant passage in the Gospel of John, KJV, reads:
10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Thornton Wilder wrote a short play entitled, "The Servant's Name Was Malchus." It appeared in the collection "The Angel That Troubled the Waters and Other Plays."
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- The picture wrongly shows Peter about to strike off his left ear. Both Luke 22:50 and John 18:10 say he "cut off his right ear".