And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Matthew 27:26; and for the purple robe, Matthew 27:28; Mark 15:17.
(2) That St. John distinguishes between the condemnation to be scourged (John 19:1) and that to be crucified. In St. Matthew and St. Mark the flagellation is regarded as the preliminary and part of the punishment. If it was the third hour at which this commenced—i.e., if the incident of John 19:1 of this chapter is to be assigned to nine o’clock—then the Crucifixion itself would naturally come about twelve o’clock.Matthew 27:26-30.
and they put on him a purple robe—in mockery of the imperial purple; first "stripping him" (Mt 27:28) of His own outer garment. The robe may have been the "gorgeous" one in which Herod arrayed and sent Him back to Pilate (Lu 23:11). "And they put a reed into His right hand" (Mt 27:29)—in mockery of the regal scepter. "And they bowed the knee before Him" (Mt 27:29).
And put it on his head: not only by way of derision, as mocking at his character, the King of the Jews, but in order to afflict and distress him.
And they put on him a purple robe: Matthew calls it a scarlet robe; and the Arabic and Persic versions here, "a red" one: it very probably was one of the soldiers' coats, which are usually red: this was still in derision of him as a king, and was an emblem of his being clothed with our purple and scarlet sins, and of the bloody sufferings of his human nature for them, and through which we come to have a purple covering, or to be justified by his blood, and even to be made truly kings, as well as priests, unto God.And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. And the soldiers] Herod and his troops (Luke 23:11) had set an example which the Roman soldiers were ready enough to follow. Pilate countenances the brutality as aiding his own plan of satisfying Jewish hatred with something less than death. The soldiers had inflicted the scourging; for Pilate, being only Procurator, would have no lictors.
a crown of thorns] The context seems to shew that this was in mockery of a royal crown rather than of a victor’s wreath. The plant is supposed to be the thorny nâbk, with flexible branches, and leaves like ivy, abundant in the Jordan valley and round about Jerusalem.
a purple robe] S. Mark has ‘purple,’ S. Matthew ‘scarlet,’ S. Luke is silent. ‘Purple’ with the ancients was a vague term for bright rich colour and would be used of crimson as well as of violet. The robe was a military chlamys, or paludamentum, perhaps one of Pilate’s cast-off cloaks. The garment in which Herod had mocked Jesus was probably white. Comp. 1Ma 8:14; 1Ma 10:20; 1Ma 10:62. The scourging and mockery were very possibly visible to the Jews outside.John 19:2. Οἱ στρατιῶται, the soldiers) The delivering up of Jesus by Pilate, was a thing done in successive steps [not all at once]. See Harm.Verse 2. - Pilate then allowed the wounded and bruised man to be yet further and cruelly insulted by the Roman soldiers, who delighted in cruel play and coarse scorn. And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe. The "gorgeous robe" which had been put upon Jesus by Herod had been probably taken' from him before he was brought the second time into the Praetorium, and necessarily before his scourging. Now, though it is called a "purple robe" by John, it was probably a cast-off toga of the Herodian court, in all likelihood it was the same garment which was thrown again around his fettered limbs, his bowed and bleeding form. And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns; in imitation of the victor's wreath at a "triumph," rather than the coronet or diadem of a king. The material is believed by Winer, Hug, Luthardt, and Godet to be the Lycium spinosum, often found at Jerusalem, not the acanthus, whose leaves decorate our Corinthian columns. It is of flexible stem, and would be soon woven into a wreath, the spikes of which, when it was placed around that majestic head, would be driven into the flesh, and produce great agony.
So Matthew and Mark. Luke does not mention the crown of thorns. See on 1 Peter 5:4.
Of thorns (ἐξ ἀκανθῶν)
So Matthew. Mark has ἀκάνθινον, the adjective, made of thorns, which John also uses in John 19:5. All attempts to define the botanical character of the thorns used for Christ's crown are guesses. The word for thorns used here is the only one that occurs in the New Testament; the σκόλοψ (thorn in the flesh) of 2 Corinthians 12:7, being properly an impaling-stake.
Both the crowning with thorns and the flagellation are favorite subjects in Christian art. Some of the earliest representations of the latter depict the figure of the Lord as fully draped, and standing unbound at the column, thus illustrating the voluntariness of His sacrifice. In a MS. of the fourteenth century, in the British Museum, He stands, wholly clothed, holding a book in one hand, and blessing with the other. The more devout feeling which predominated in such representations was gradually overpowered by the sense of physical suffering. The earlier paintings represented the back turned toward the spectator, and the face, turned in a forced attitude, exhibited in profile. Later, the face and figure are turned full to the front, and the strokes fall upon the chest. Hence Jerome, in his commentary on Matthew, says that the capacious chest of God (!) was torn with strokes. The standing position is the accepted one, but instances occur in which the Savior is on the ground attached to the column by one hand. Such is the revolting picture by L. Caracci in the Bologna gallery, in which the soldier clutches Jesus by the hair as he plies the bundle of twigs. In a Psalter of the fifteenth century the Savior stands in front of the column, covering His face with His hands.
According to the later type, the moment chosen is when the execution of the sentence is just beginning. One man is binding the hands to the pillar, another is binding together a bundle of loose switches. The German representations are coarser than the Italian, but with more incident. They lack the spiritual feeling which appears in the best Italian specimens.
A field for a higher feeling and for more subtle treatment is opened in the moments succeeding the scourging. One of the very finest examples of this is the picture of Velasquez, "Christ at the Column," in the National Gallery of London. The real grandeur and pathos of the conception assert themselves above certain prosaic and realistic details. The Savior sits upon the ground, His arms extended, and leaning backward to the full stretch of the cord which binds His crossed hands. The face is turned over the left shoulder full upon the spectator. Rods, ropes, and broken twigs lie upon the ground, and slender streams of blood appear upon the body. A guardian angel behind the figure of the Lord, stands bending slightly over a child kneeling with clasped hands, and points to the sufferer, from whose head a ray of light passes to the child's heart. The angel is a Spanish nursery-maid with wings, and the face of the child is of the lower Spanish type, and is in striking contrast with the exquisite countenance of Murillo's Christ-child, which hangs next to this picture, and which is of the sweetest type of Andalusian beauty. The Savior's face is of a thoroughly manly, indeed, of a robust type, expressing intense suffering, but without contortion. The large, dark eyes are ineffably sad. The strong light on the right arm merges into the deep shadow of the bound hands, and the same shadow falls with startling effect across the full light on the left arm, marked at the wrist by a slight bloody line.
In the portrayal of the crowning with thorns, in a few instances, the moment is chosen after the crown has been placed, the action being in the mock-worship; but the prevailing conception is that of the act of crowning, which consists in pressing the crown upon the brow by means of two long staves. A magnificent specimen is Luini's fresco in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. Christ sits upon a tribune, clad in a scarlet robe, His face wearing an expression of infinite sweetness and dignity, while a soldier on either side crowds down the crown with a staff. The Italian artists represent the crown as consisting of pliable twigs with small thorns; but the northern artists "have conceived," to quote Mrs. Jameson, "an awful structure of the most unbending, knotted boughs, with tremendous spikes half a foot long, which no human hands could have forced into such a form." In a few later instances the staves are omitted, and the crown is placed on the head by the mailed hand of a soldier.
Put on (περιέβαλον)
Literally, threw about. Rev., arrayed.
An adjective. Found only here, John 19:5, and Revelation 18:16. Mark uses the noun πορφύρα, purple, which also occurs in Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:12. See on Luke 16:19. Matthew has κοκκίνην, scarlet.
Better, as Rev., garment, since robe gives the impression of a trailing garment. See on Matthew 5:40. Matthew has χλαμύδα, a short military cloak (Matthew 27:28). Luke describes the garment as λαμπρὰν, gorgeous, bright or brilliant (Luke 23:11).
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