What is a “sop?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

It is featured thrice in the King James Bible.

John chapter 13: [18] I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me…. [21] When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. [22] Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. [23] Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. [24] Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. [25] He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? [26] Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. [27] And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. [28] Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. [29] For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. [30] He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.”

This is the night of the Last Supper—the final time Christ will eat the Passover with His disciples before His death (Luke 22:13-16). They have assembled in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, and upon revealing the news that someone will betray Him, He is asked to elaborate on that person’s identity. He marks the traitor by handing him a “sop.” As you may have guessed, “sop” is related to “sup” (as in “supper”), “sip,” and “soup.” A “sop” is just a morsel of bread, or even meat, dipped into a soup, broth, or gravy. (Think of something like our chips and dip.) Sop was originally given to an honored guest to signify friendship, and, apparently, Judas Iscariot was Jesus’ best friend (see Psalm 41:9; John 13:18,21). Foods were dipped because our table utensils were unknown to this culture.

Also see:
» Did Judas Iscariot have to betray Christ?
» Where did Matthias go after replacing Judas Iscariot?
» Who is Judas’ replacement—Matthias or Paul?
» Why did Jesus select evil Judas Iscariot to be an apostle?
» Why does the Bible give two accounts of Judas’s death?