and having plaited him a crown out of thorns they put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand, and having kneeled before him, they were mocking him, saying, 'Hail, the king of the Jews.'
Matthew 27:29 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
A crown of thorns - Στεφανον εξ ακανθων. It does not appear that this crown was intended to be an instrument of punishment or torture to his head, but rather to render him ridiculous; for which cause also they put a reed in his hand, by way of scepter, and bowed their knees, pretending to do him homage. The crown was not probably of thorns, in our sense of the word: there are eminently learned men who think that the crown was formed of the herb acanthus; and Bishop Pearce and Michaelis are of this opinion. Mark, Mark 15:17, and John, John 19:5, term it, Ϛεφανον ακανθινον, which may very well be translated an acanthine crown or wreath, formed out of the branches of the herb acanthus, or bear's foot. This, however, is a prickly plant, though nothing like thorns, in the common meaning of that word. Many Christians have gone astray in magnifying the sufferings of Christ from this circumstance; and painters, the worst of all commentators, frequently represent Christ with a crown of long thorns, which one standing by is striking into his head with a stick. These representations engender ideas both false and absurd.
There is a passage produced from Philo by Dr. Lardner, which casts much light on these indignities offered to our blessed Lord.
"Caligula, the successor of Tiberius, gave Agrippa the tetrarchy of his uncle Philip, with the right of wearing a diadem or crown. When he came to Alexandria, on his way to his tetrarchate, the inhabitants of that place, filled with envy at the thoughts of a Jew having the title of king, showed their indignation in the following way. They brought one Carabus (a sort of an idiot) into the theater; and, having placed him on a lofty seat, that he might be seen by all, they put a diadem upon his head, made of the herb byblos, (the ancient papyrus, or paper flag); his body they covered with a mat or carpet, instead of a royal cloak. One seeing a piece of reed, παπυρου (the stem, probably, of the aforesaid herb) lying on the ground, picked it up, and put it in his hand in place of a scepter. Having thus given him a mock royal dress, several young fellows, with poles on their shoulders, came and stood on each side of him as his guards. Then there came people, some to pay their homage to him, some to ask justice, and some to consult him on affairs of state and the crowd that stood round about made a confused noise, crying, Mario, that being, as they say, the Syriac word for Lord; thereby showing that they intended to ridicule Agrippa, who was a Syrian." See Philo, Flace. p. 970, and Dr. Lardner, Works, vol. i. p. 159.
There is the most remarkable coincidence between this account and that given by the evangelists; and the conjecture concerning the acanthus will probably find no inconsiderable support from the byblos and papyrus of Philo. This plant, Pliny says, grows to ten cubits long in the stem and the flowers were used ad deos coronandos, for Crowning The Gods. See Hist. Nat. lib. xiii. c. 11.
The reflections of pious Quesnel on these insults offered to our blessed Lord merit serious attention. "Let the crown of thorns make those Christians blush who throw away so much time, pains, and money, in beautifying and adorning a sinful head. Let the world do what it will to render the royalty and mysteries of Christ contemptible, it is my glory to serve a King thus debased; my salvation, to adore that which the world despises; and my redemption, to go unto God through the merits of him who was crowned with thorns."
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Matthew 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to whip, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Psalm 35:15,16 But in my adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yes, the attackers gathered themselves together against me...
Psalm 69:7,19,20 Because for your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face...
Isaiah 49:7 Thus said the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors...
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him...
Jeremiah 20:7 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and have prevailed: I am in derision daily...
Hebrews 12:2,3 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame...
Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Matthew 26:49 And immediately he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
Mark 15:18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
Luke 23:36,37 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar...
John 19:3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
Matthew 27:29 Parallel CommentariesBowed Bowing Braided Cane Crown Hail Hand Head Jews Knee Kneeled Kneeling Knees Live Mocked Mockery Mocking Plaiting Platted Reed Right Rod Sceptre Shouted Sport Thorns Thorny Twigs Twisted Woven WreathBowed Bowing Braided Cane Crown Hail Hand Head Jews Knee Kneeled Kneeling Knees Live Mocked Mockery Mocking Plaiting Platted Reed Right Rod Sceptre Shouted Sport Thorns Thorny Twigs Twisted Woven WreathTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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