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23 And the governor said, 25 Then answered all the Why, what evil hath he done? people, and said, His blood be But they cried out the more, on us, and on our children. saying, Let him be crucified. 26 Then released he Barab
24 When Pilate saw that he bas unto them: and when he could prevail nothing, but that had scourged Jesus, he delivrather a tumult was made, he ered him to be crucified. took water, and washed his 27 Then the soldiers of the hands before the multitude, say- governor took Jesus into the ing, I am innocent of the blood common hall, and gathered unto of this just person : see ye to it. him the whole band of soldiers. hedrim had condemned Jesus for blas- ishment of crucifixion. The person phemy; and the Jewish law (Lev. 24 : was almost entirely stripped of his 16) had directed that a blasphemer clothes, and was beaten, commonly should be stoned. They had also with whips. The whips were also brought, in the presence of Pilate, a armed with stings, making the suffernew accusation against Jesus ; that of ing so severe that the victim would arraying himself against the authority sometimes die under it. This, then, of Cesar. Luke 23: 2. In view of was not the scourging which Pilate this, they could represent that a Ro- had proposed to inflict, just to satisfy man mode of punishment was requir- the people, so that he might release ed Besides, they wished to heap all Jesus. See Luke 23: 16. It would possible indignity upon Jesus; and seem, however, from the account givcrucifixion was a most cruel and ig- en by John (19: 1–16), that after Pinominious punishment, inflicted by late had thus permitted him to be scourthe Romans only on slaves and the ged (which act was regarded as prelimvilest malefactors, as robbers, assassins inary to crucifixion), Pilate still made and rebels.
an effort to release him, by again com23. What evil hath he done ? Thus ing forward and protesting his belief Pilate, by again declaring his convic- in the innocence of Jesus, hoping, pertion that Jesus had been guilty of no haps, that after all which had passcrime, made another ineffectual effort ed, the scourging that had just been to obtain for him a release. Compare inflicted might so far excite their Luke 23: 22.
coinpassion as to procure their assent 24. He took water and washed his to his release. But it was in vain. hands. By this symbolical act, he They were determined on his death; wished to declare to the people his and they let Pilate know, that if he conviction of the innocence of Jesus, released Jesus, his own loyalty to and his desire that, if Jesus were put Cesar would be suspected, and he to death, he might be known as having would thereby endanger himself. See no participation in such an act. The John 19: 12. Having so long enJews well understood the import of deavored to avoid compliance with such an action. See Deut. 21:6, 7. the clamors of the priests and the
25. His blood be on us, &c.; on us people, he at last desisted from the and on our posterity be the conse- fruitless effort, and delivered Jesus to quences of putting him to death; we their will. will bear the blame. the curse of 27. The soldiers of the governor ; God follows, let it fall on us. Fatal | the Roman soldiers. || The common imprecation! fulfilled, alas! with hor- hall. This is the same "as is called in rors indescribable.
John 18: 28, 33,“ the judgment hall.” 26. When he had scourged Jesus. The original word properly signifies Scourging always preceded the pun- the house, the palace, which was emhim they
28 And they stripped him, and took the reed, and smote and put on him a scarlet robe. him on the head.
29 And when they had plat- 31 And after that they had ted a crown of thorns, they put mocked him, they took the robe it upon his head, and a reed in off from hiin, and put his own his right hand : and they bowed raiment on him, and led him the knee before him, and mock-away to crucify him. ed him, saying, Hail, King of 32 And as they came out, the Jews!
they found a man of Cyrene, 30 And they spit upon him, Simon by name : ployed for the residence of the Ro- | upon his head ; in derision of his claimman governor, or procurator, when he ing to be a king, as a crown is an apshould be in Jerusalem ; for he gener- pendage of royalty. There is no intially resided in Cesarea. The tribunal, mation, however, that they put this that is, the place for holding trials, was mock crown on his head in such a manoutside, in the open court or area, at- ner as to wound his fesh. A reed; tached to the palace. Jesus, then, answering to a royal sceptre. || Mockwas taken into an inner apartment. ed him; not in our sense of the word This palace was situated in the vicini- mock, that is, to imitate another; but ty of the temple. || The whole band derided, insulted him. of soldiers. At the time of the pass
The indignities heaped upon Jesus, over, it was usual for one cohort of the
as related in vs. 28–30, were not reRoman army to be stationed in Jerusalem. A cohort was divided into quired by any rule or custom respectsmaller portions, each containing be crucified, but arose wholly from
ing those who had been condemned to sometimes a hundred and thirty men, the domineering disposition of the Roand sometimes two hundred and ten. One of these smaller divisions is proba
man soldiers, and their desire to make
sport. They probably had no particbly here meant.
ular spite against Jesus ; they knew 28. They stripped him; that is, of his mantle. Il il Å scarlet robe. A gar- but what they had very recently heard
very little, perhaps nothing, of him, ment of the kind here mentioned was from the Jews, his adversaries; and sometimes worn by the Roman empe- they cared very little about him. rors, by military commanders, and by They probably thought him a weaksoldiers. Pilate's soldiers, in derision minded and unfortunate fanatic, over of the claim, which they knew Jesus whom they might triumph, and with had made, to be the king of the Jews, whom they might make sport without placed on him, instead of his own man danger to themselves; just as many tle, an old military robe. Matthew calls it a scarlet robe, or, as the origi- rough sensibilities, can with pleasure
persons of uncultivated minds, and of nal word may be translated, crimson, join a crowd that may be abusing a a red color less bright than scarlet; | fellow-creature. but Mark (15: 17) and John (19: 2) speak of it as a purple garment. There 32. As they came out; that is, from is, however, no difficulty connected the city. It was customary for pun, with this variety of expression; for ishments of this nature to be inflicted anciently the term purple was applied outside of the city. Compare Num. to any very red color, and in good 15: 35. 1 Kings 21: 13. ! Cyrene. writers, the original words, signifying This was a large city of Lybia, in the purple and scarlet, or crimson, are in northern part of Africa. Here large terchanged, and used synonymously. numbers of Jews resided. The Jews
29. A crown of thorns; a crown of this city were in the habit of visitmade of a thorn bush. || They put it | ing Jerusalem at the great festivals ;
compelled to bear his cross. I gotha, that is to say, A place of
33 And when they were a skull, come unto a place called Gol- 34 They gave him vinegar to so that there was even a synagogue one was passing by, whose assistance in Jerusalem for their accommodation. they might command. It is not unSee Acts 2: 10. 6: 9. || Simon by likely, too, that the Jews who were
Mark (15: 21) mentions the present might have known Simon, additional circumstance, that he was as one who had favored Jesus; and father of Alexander and Rufus. These they therefore suggested to the Rowere men who, at the time of Mark's | mans the compelling of his services. writing, were well known among the Luke (23: 27—32) informs us, that a Christians. Whether they were the multitude of the people and of women same as those mentioned in Acts 19: followed to the place of execution ; 33, Roin. 16: 13, cannot be decided. and that two malefactors were also led As Jesus and the attending company forth to be crucified. The cross con. were going on to the place of exe- sisted of a piece of wood placed upcution, Simon was on his way from right, with another piece placed across the country (Mark 15:21) to the city, it at right angles near the top. It sel. intending doubtless to enter by the dom exceeded ten feet in height; and same gate through which Jesus had the crucified person was usually about passed. || They compelled. The origi- three feet from the ground. Near the nal word'here is the same as in 5:41. middle of the upright piece, there was The reinarks there made may show, a projection on which the victiin sat; that the attending officers had a right the arms were extended, and fastened to call into service any persons. || To to the cross-piece by nails through the bear his cross.
It was customary for palms of the hand ; through each foot the condemned criminal, after having also a nail, or spike, was driven. been scourged, to endure the addition- Sometimes the victim was fastened to al suffering of being obliged to carry the cross after it was erected ; somethe cross himself to the place of pun- times while it was lying on the ishment. In the present instance, ground. doubtless, there was such an exhaus- 33. Golgotha ; an eminence at that tion of strength, that aid was neces- time near the city, on the north-west, sary, lest Jesus should die on the way. where malefactors were commonly Nor can this be wondered at. After executed. Luke (23,: 33) says, the the occupation of the preceding day, place was called Calvary. This latter he had attended on the passover-sup- name comes to us from ihe Latin lanper, and had had a long conversation gnage, in which the word Caltaria with his disciples. During the night, signifies a skull ; and the original word he not only had had no sleep, but had used by Luke is the Greek word for been enduring the most exhausting a skull. Golgotha is properly a Heanguish before being apprehended; brew word, having the same significathen he was hurried away to the house tion. The evangelists agree together, of Annas, thence to that of Caiaphas, then, in the name; only some of them where he endured insult and abuse, use a Hebrew word, and one of them both as to body and to mind. Thence a Greek word, which is a translation he was sent to Pilate, thence to Her of the Hebrew ; while our word Calod, and back again to Pilate. Short- vary is drawn from a Latin translaly after, he was scourged, and then tion of the same name. || A place of a abused by the Roman soldiers; and af- skull. The bones of criminals were ter all this, the weight of the cross frequently left exposed on this rising was laid on him. It doubtless appeared ground; hence it was called the place to the soldiers, and the accompanying of a skull, or of skulls. Jews, a happy circumstance that some 34. Vinegar to drink, mingled with
drink, mingled with gall : and 36 And sitting down, they when he had tasted thereof, he watched him there; would not drink.
37 And set up over his head 35 And they crucified him, his accusation, written, THIS and parted his garments, cast- IS JESUS, THE KING OF ing lots; that it might be ful- THE JEWS. filled which was spoken by the 38 Then were there two prophet, They parted my gar- thieves crucified with him; one ments among them, and upon on the right hand, and another my vesture did they cast lots. on the left.
gall. Our word vinegar hardly cor. ken by the prophet. Ps. 22: 18. The responds to the term in the original. language of the psalm was literally The drink which was now offered to applicable to the conduct of the sol. the Saviour, was the one ordinarily diers. Though the soldiers had no given to criminals just before execu- intention of fulfilling any thing which tion, so as to produce intoxication and had been written respecting Jesus, yet insensibility to the pains which would the manner in which they conducted otherwise be endured. It was made towards him exactly accorded with of a poor sort of wine, with which what inspired men had written. myrrh was ringled, and various bitter 36. Sitting down, they watched him ingredients, such as wormwood, &c., there. It was customary for a crucified coming under the general name gall. person to remain on the cross till he It was not offered to the Saviour now died; but while he exhibited any as an indignity, or to aggravate his signs of life, he was watched by a distress, but to render him insensible guard. to pain by drowning his senses. The 37. Set up over his head his accusasame mixture is called by Mark, tion. It was customary to write in “ wine mingled with myrrh.” || He black letters, on a whitened tablet, the would not drink. Jesus was unwill. crime for which the person suffered. ing to drown his sensibilities, but This tablet was fastened to the cross, chose to meet death in all its bitter- probably just above the sufferer's head. ness, without any of its pains being The inscription on the cross of Jesus diminished by such artificial methods. was prepared according to the direcHaving therefore just tasted of the tion of Pilate (John 19: 19), and was mixture, and perceived what it was, expressed in Hebrew (that is, the diahe declined drinking it.
lect of Hebrew which the Jews in 35. Purted his garments; divided Judea then spoke), in Greek, and in them among themselves; for persons Latin, so that all who should go to the who were crucified were fastened to place might be able to read. This the cross perfectly naked. It was the inscription was not satisfactory to the custom of the Roman soldiers to claim Jews. John 19 : 20, 21. the garments of persons whom they 38. Two thieves ; more properly, had executed. || Casting lots. John robbers. The season of the passover, (19: 23, 24) explains distinctly that when many were assembled at Jerusome of his garments they divided salem, was regarded as suitable for the ainong themselves; but for his tunic, execution of criminals, that an impresthat is, the inner garment, which they sion might be made on as many as were unwilling to cut, they cast lots, possible. Compare Deut. 17: 13. It to see to whom it should fall. The was also customary among the Ronumber of soldiers engaged in the mans to crucify several criminals at crucifixion and in taking the gar- the same time. These robbers might ments was four. John 19: 23. || Špo. I have been condemned some time be
39 And they that passed by | king of Israel, let him now reviled him, wagging their come down from the cross, and heads,
we will believe him. 40 And saying, Thou that 43 He trusted in God; let destroyest the temple, and him deliver him now, if he will buildest it in three days, save have him: for he said, I am the thyself. If thou be the Son of Son of God. God, come down from the cross. 44 The thieves, also, which
41 Likewise, also, the chief were crucified with him, cast priests, mocking him, with the the same in his teeth. scribes and elders, said,
45 Now from the sixth hour 42 He saved others, himself there was darkness over all the he cannot save. If he be the land, unto the ninth hour.
fore, and their execution delayed till curred the interesting facts related in the return of the passover. Luke (23: John 19 : 25—27. 34) informs us, that when the act of 45. From the sixth hour there was crucifying was completed, Jesus meek- darkness, &c.; that is, from our twelve ly prayed for the forgiveness of those o'clock to our three o'clock. The who were accessory to his death. darkness here mentioned could not
39. Wagging ; shaking the head by have been an eclipse of the sun; beway of derision.
cause it was the time of full moon, 40. Thou that destroyest, &c. Com- when the passover occurred; and such pare 26 : 61. || If thou be the Son of is the position of the moon at that God. Compare 26 : 63.
time, that an eclipse of the sun cannot 41. Mocking; deriding, insulting. take place. Besides, the duration of
42. If he be the king of Israel. this darkness altogether opposes the Compare John 19: 14, 15.
thought of its having been what we 43. He trusted, &c. These revi- call an eclipse. Undoubtedly it was lings of the chief priests, scribes, and a supernatural darkness, caused by the elders, appear to have excited the Author of nature, as being harmoniRoman soldiers to similar abuse of ous with the events then passing on Jesus. Luke (23 : 36) relates that Golgotha. ll Over all the land. Luke they, coming near, offered him vinegar says (23: 44) in our translation, “over (that is, the inferior sort of wine used all the earth ;” but precisely the same by the Roman soldiers), and reproach- word in the original is employed by ed him in much the same style as did him, as by the other evangelists. It the principal men among the Jews. would have been better to have trans
44. Cast the same in his teeth. This lated the word in Luke in the same was a phrase more common formerly manner as it is in the other evangethan at present, meaning that the lists. The word is often used to ex. robbers reviled Jesus, by using much press a comparatively small portion of the same language. Luke relates (23 : the earth; and it is probable that only 39—43) that one of the robbers relent. Palestine, the country of the Jews, ed, exhibited a penitent spirit, and and the neighboring regions, were received a gracious assurance from here intended. Jesus that lie should speedily be in It may be well to mention here, that bliss. Matthew and Mark (15: 32), John (19: 14,16) mentions that it was without intending to be precise, speak about the sixth hour, when Jesus was only in a general way of the robbers; given up by Pilate to be crucified. It while Luke descends to particulars. is probable, however, that some manu
At this point of time, probably, oc- scripts of John's Gospel were, at an