John 19:31
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.

New Living Translation
It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn't want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down.

English Standard Version
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.

New American Standard Bible
Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

King James Bible
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Since it was the preparation day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special day). They requested that Pilate have the men's legs broken and that their bodies be taken away.

International Standard Version
Since it was the Preparation Day, the Jewish leaders did not want to leave the bodies on the crosses during the Sabbath, because that was a particularly important Sabbath. So they asked Pilate to have the men's legs broken and the bodies removed.

NET Bible
Then, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not stay on the crosses on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was an especially important one), the Jewish leaders asked Pilate to have the victims' legs broken and the bodies taken down.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But the Judeans, because it was evening, they were saying, “These bodies will not pass the night on their crosses, because the Sabbath day is approaching”, for it was a great Sabbath day. And they sought from Pilate to break the legs of those who had been crucified, and they would be taken away.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Since it was Friday and the next day was an especially important day of worship, the Jews didn't want the bodies to stay on the crosses. So they asked Pilate to have the men's legs broken and their bodies removed.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross {Gr. stauros – stake} on the sabbath day (for that sabbath day was a high day) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.

King James 2000 Bible
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was a high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

American King James Version
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) sought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

American Standard Version
The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day ), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Darby Bible Translation
The Jews therefore, that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for it was [the] preparation, (for the day of that sabbath was a great [day],) demanded of Pilate that their legs might be broken and they taken away.

English Revised Version
The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Webster's Bible Translation
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath, (for that sabbath was a great day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Weymouth New Testament
Meanwhile the Jews, because it was the day of Preparation for the Passover, and in order that the bodies might not remain on the crosses during the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was one of special solemnity)

World English Bible
Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn't remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Young's Literal Translation
The Jews, therefore, that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, since it was the preparation, (for that sabbath day was a great one,) asked of Pilate that their legs may be broken, and they taken away.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

19:31-37 A trial was made whether Jesus was dead. He died in less time than persons crucified commonly did. It showed that he had laid down his life of himself. The spear broke up the very fountains of life; no human body could survive such a wound. But its being so solemnly attested, shows there was something peculiar in it. The blood and water that flowed out, signified those two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification; blood for atonement, water for purification. They both flow from the pierced side of our Redeemer. To Christ crucified we owe merit for our justification, and Spirit and grace for our sanctification. Let this silence the fears of weak Christians, and encourage their hopes; there came both water and blood out of Jesus' pierced side, both to justify and sanctify them. The Scripture was fulfilled, in Pilate's not allowing his legs to be broken, Ps 34:20. There was a type of this in the paschal lamb, Ex 12:46. May we ever look to Him, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, nay, sometimes against convictions and mercies; and who shed from his wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in his name.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 31-37. -

(6) The piercing of the side, with its significance - the final close of the life of earth. Verse 31. - The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation; that is, the day before the sabbath (Mark 15:42). This note of time certainly blends both the synoptists and John in the assurance that the crucifixion took place on a Friday. It was also, according to the previous statement, the preparation of the Passover, which, we have seen, is better understood in that literal sense than in the sense of "the Friday of Passover week." Consequently, there was a twofold sanctity about that particular sabbath, seeing that the sabbatic rest of the day following the Paschal meal coincided with the ordinary weekly sabbath; (for great, or high, was the day of that sabbath) (cf. Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7; and notes on John 13:1; 18:28; 19:14). It was a "great" and "high" day in a sense far more profoundly impressive than any that could be derived from the ceremonial enactments of the Hebrew code. The sabbath of his rest came at length. The toil, the agony, are over, the whole world is transformed during its hours into his resting-place. There has been no such sabbath since the creative Word rested from all his work. In order that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath. This statement, with the events which followed, strongly confirms our interpretation of the day of the Crucifixion. The Jews would scarcely have justified a crucifixion on the first sabbatic day of the feast, if they shrank from the proceeding here described as in danger of taking place on the ordinary sabbath. They follow the law (Deuteronomy 21:22, 23) so far as it would apply, and hasten the dissolution of the crucified, if it had not already occurred. (They) asked Pilate that their legs might be broken (crushed) [κατεαγῶσιν, the same as aorist passive, κατάγνυμι (Winer, Eng. trans., p. 85), ἀρθώσιν, first aorist passive], and that they might be taken away, as polluting corpses. The σκελοκοπία, equivalent to crurifragium, is a Roman custom, as it is clearly established by numerous authorities (Suet., 'Aug.,' 67; Seneca, ' De Ira.,' 3:32; see Wettstein); - a brutal custom, which added to the cruel shame and torment, even though it hastened the end.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation,.... That is, either of the passover, as in John 19:14 which was the Chagigah or grand festival in which they offered their peace offerings and slew their oxen, and feasted together in great mirth and jollity; or of the sabbath, the evening of it, or day before it, as in Mark 15:42

that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day; which was now drawing near: according to the Jewish law, Deuteronomy 21:22 the body of one that was hanged on a tree was not to remain all night, but to be taken down that day and buried; though this was not always observed; see 2 Samuel 21:9. What was the usage of the Jews at this time is not certain; according to the Roman laws, such bodies hung until they were putrefied, or eaten by birds of prey; wherefore that their land might not be defiled, and especially their sabbath, by their remaining on the cross, they desire to have them taken down:

for that sabbath day was an high day; it was not only a sabbath, and a sabbath in the passover week, but it was the day in which all the people appeared and presented themselves before the Lord in the temple, and the sheaf of the first fruits was offered up; all which solemnities meeting together made it a very celebrated day: it is in the original text, "it was the great day of the sabbath"; which is the language of the Talmudists, and who say (d),

"is called the great sabbath", on account of the miracle or sign of the passover;''

and in the Jewish Liturgy (e) there is a collect for the "great sabbath": hence the Jews pretending a great concern lest that day should be polluted, though they made no conscience of shedding innocent blood,

besought Pilate that their legs might be broken; which was the manner of the Jews (f), partly to hasten death, since, according to their law, the body was to betaken down before night; and partly that it might be a clear point that the person was rightly executed; for this was not the Roman custom, with whom breaking of the legs, or rather thighs, was a distinct punishment, and was done by laying a man's legs or thighs upon an anvil, and striking them with an hammer (g); which could not be the case here; this seems to have been done by striking the legs of those that were crucified, which were fastened to the cross, with a bar of iron, or some such instrument. Nonnus suggests that their legs were cut off with a saw or sword; but the former seems more reasonable:

and that they might be taken away; which it seems the Jews had not power to do, but must be done by the Roman soldiers, or by leave at least from the Roman governor; and therefore they make their request to him.

(d) Piske Tosephot Sabbat, art. 314. (e) Seder Tephillot, fol. 183. 2. &c. Ed. Basil. (f) Lactantii Divin. Institut. l. 4. c. 26. (g) Lipsius de Cruce, l. 2. c. 14. p. 110, 114.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Joh 19:31-42. Burial of Christ.

31-37. the preparation—sabbath eve.

that the bodies should not remain—over night, against the Mosaic law (De 21:22, 23).

on the sabbath day, for that sabbath day was an high day—or "great" day—the first day of unleavened bread, and, as concurring with an ordinary sabbath, the most solemn season of the ecclesiastical year. Hence their peculiar jealousy lest the law should be infringed.

besought Pilate that their legs might be broken—to hasten their death, which was done in such cases with clubs.

John 19:31 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus' Side is Pierced
31Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him;…
Cross References
Exodus 12:16
On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do.

Deuteronomy 21:23
you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God's curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Joshua 8:29
He impaled the body of the king of Ai on a pole and left it there until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered them to take the body from the pole and throw it down at the entrance of the city gate. And they raised a large pile of rocks over it, which remains to this day.

Joshua 10:26
Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening.

Matthew 27:62
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.

John 19:14
It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. "Here is your king," Pilate said to the Jews.

John 19:42
Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Treasury of Scripture

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) sought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

because.

John 19:14,42 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: …

Matthew 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief …

Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that …

that the.

Deuteronomy 21:22,23 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be …

that sabbath.

Leviticus 23:7-16 In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do …

their. Lactantius says that it was a custom to break the legs of criminals upon the cross; which was done, we are told, at the instep with an iron mallet; and appears to have been a kind of coup de grace, the sooner to put them out of pain.

John 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies …

Micah 3:3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off …

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Alphabetical: for a and asked away be Because bodies broken cross crosses day day did down during have high it Jews left legs might next not Now of on Pilate Preparation remain Sabbath so special taken that the their Then they to want was would

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