|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:22-32 The place where our Lord Jesus was crucified, was called the place of a scull; it was the common place of execution; for he was in all respects numbered with the transgressors. Whenever we look unto Christ crucified, we must remember what was written over his head; he is a King, and we must give up ourselves to be his subjects, as Israelites indeed. They crucified two thieves with him, and him in the midst; they thereby intended him great dishonour. But it was foretold that he should be numbered with the transgressors, because he was made sin for us. Even those who passed by railed at him. They told him to come down from the cross, and they would believe; but they did not believe, though he gave them a more convincing sign when he came up from the grave. With what earnestness will the man who firmly believes the truth, as made known by the sufferings of Christ, seek for salvation! With what gratitude will he receive the dawning hope of forgiveness and eternal life, as purchased for him by the sufferings and death of the Son of God! and with what godly sorrow will he mourn over the sins which crucified the Lord of glory!
Verse 23. - And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. There were two occasions on which drink was offered to our Lord during the agonies of his crucifixion. The first occasion is that mentioned by St. Matthew (Matthew 27:34), when they offered him wine mingled with gall. This was a kind of stupefying liquor, a strong narcotic, made of the sour wine of the country, mingled with bitter herbs, and mercifully administered to dull the sense of pain. This was offered before the actual crucifixion took place. It is to this first occasion that St. Mark here refers. The words in the original are (καὶ ἐδίδουν αὐτῷ ἐσμυρνισμένον οϊνον), "they were giving, they offered him." But he received it not. He would not seek alleviation of the agonies of the crucifixion by any drugged potion which might render him insensible. He would bear the full burden consciously. The second occasion on which drink was offered to him was after he had been some hours on his cross, and when the end was drawing near; and it was then given in answer to his exclamation, "I thirst." This drink does not appear to have been mingled with any stupefying drug; and we do not read that he refused it. St. Mark does not record this second occasion.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh,.... Wine mingled with frankincense was what was usually given by the Jews to persons going to die (w):
"he that goes to be executed they mix for him, , "a grain of frankincense in a cup of wine", that his mind may be disturbed, or not sensible; as it is said, Proverbs 31:6, "give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to the bitter in soul": and the tradition is, that the honourable women in Jerusalem gave this freely, and brought it them; and if they did not, it was provided by the congregation,''
at the public expense; the design of it was to intoxicate, that they might not feel their pain and misery: but neither the rich women in general, nor were the public so disposed towards Christ, as to provide such a potion for him: it is most likely therefore that this was prepared by his friends, as Mary Magdalene, Martha, and others, in order to cheer and refresh his spirits; and was different from what the soldiers gave him, which was vinegar mixed with gall, though the Persic version so reads here:
but he received it not; nor would he so much as taste of it, as he did of the other, to show that he needed no such outward means to support his spirits, nor desired any allay of his sorrows, and was not afraid to meet death in all its terrors; and besides, he had said he would drink no more of the fruit of the vine till he drank it new in his Father's kingdom, Matthew 26:29; See Gill on Matthew 27:34.
(w) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 43. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 10. fol. 193. 4. Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 13. sect. 2, 3. Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora, pr. affirm. 98.
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