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As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

18:6 fell to the ground. This surprising reaction of the arresting party was probably occasioned by Jesus’ mien as He announced: “I am!” (the “he” is not in the original, as is evident from the use of italics in the King James translation). This was the divine title as announced by Jehovah to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14; see also John 8:58). Already aware of His many claims to deity (they were arresting Him because of that very fact!), they could sense momentarily that they were, indeed, in the presence of God.

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