John 19:24
They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
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(24) That the scripture might be fulfilled.—Comp. Note on Matthew 1:22.

They parted my raiment among them.—The quotation is from Psalm 22:18, closely following the Greek translation.

19:19-30 Here are some remarkable circumstances of Jesus' death, more fully related than before. Pilate would not gratify the chief priests by allowing the writing to be altered; which was doubtless owing to a secret power of God upon his heart, that this statement of our Lord's character and authority might continue. Many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament. All things therein written shall be fulfilled. Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, where we looked not for it. Christ's example teaches all men to honour their parents in life and death; to provide for their wants, and to promote their comfort by every means in their power. Especially observe the dying word wherewith Jesus breathed out his soul. It is finished; that is, the counsels of the Father concerning his sufferings were now fulfilled. It is finished; all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished. It is finished; the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away. It is finished; an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. His sufferings were now finished, both those of his soul, and those of his body. It is finished; the work of man's redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken from him by force, but freely given up.Let us not rend it - It would then have been useless. The outer garment, being composed of several parts - fringes, borders, etc. Deuteronomy 12:12 - could be easily divided.

That the scripture ... - Psalm 22:18.

24. Let us not rend it, but cast lots … whose it shall be, that the scripture might be fulfilled which saith, They parted my raiment among them; and for my vesture they did cast lots—(Ps 22:18). That a prediction so exceedingly specific—distinguishing one piece of dress from others, and announcing that while those should be parted amongst several, that should be given by lot to one person—that such a prediction should not only be fulfilled to the letter, but by a party of heathen military, without interference from either the friends of the enemies of the Crucified One, is surely worthy to be ranked among the wonders of this all-wonderful scene. Now come the mockeries, and from four different quarters:—(1) "And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads" in ridicule (Ps 22:7; 109:25; compare Jer 18:16; La 2:15). "Ah!"—"Ha," an exclamation here of derision. "Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself and come down from the cross" (Mt 27:39, 40; Mr 15:29, 30). "It is evident that our Lord's saying, or rather this perversion of it (for He claimed not to destroy, but to rebuild the temple destroyed by them) had greatly exasperated the feeling which the priests and Pharisees had contrived to excite against Him. It is referred to as the principal fact brought out in evidence against Him on the trial (compare Ac 6:13, 14), as an offense for which He deserved to suffer. And it is very remarkable that now while it was receiving its real fulfilment, it should be made more public and more impressive by the insulting proclamation of His enemies. Hence the importance attached to it after the resurrection, Joh 2:22" [Webster and Wilkinson]. (2) "Likewise also the chief priests, mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, Himself He cannot save" (Mt 27:41, 42). There was a deep truth in this, as in other taunts; for both He could not do, having "come to give His life a ransom for many" (Mt 20:28; Mr 10:45). No doubt this added an unknown sting to the reproach. "If He be the king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him" (Mt 27:42). No, they would not; for those who resisted the evidence from the resurrection of Lazarus, and from His own resurrection, were beyond the reach of any amount of merely external evidence. "He trusted in God that He would deliver him; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him [or 'delight in Him,' compare Ps 18:19; De 21:14]; for He said, I am the Son of God" (Mt 27:41-43). We thank you, O ye chief priests, scribes, and elders, for this triple testimony, unconsciously borne by you, to our Christ: first to His habitual trust in God, as a feature in His character so marked and palpable that even ye found upon it your impotent taunt; next, to His identity with the Sufferer of the twenty-second Psalm, whose very words (Ps 22:8) ye unwittingly appropriate, thus serving yourselves heirs to the dark office and impotent malignity of Messiah's enemies; and again, to the true sense of that august title which He took to Himself, "The Son of God," which He rightly interpreted at the very first (see Joh 5:18) as a claim to that oneness of nature with Him, and dearness to Him, which a son has to his father. (3) "And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him and offering Him vinegar, and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save Thyself" (Lu 23:36, 37). They insultingly offer to share with Him their own vinegar, or sour wine, the usual drink of Roman soldiers, it being about the time of their midday meal. In the taunt of the soldiers we have one of those undesigned coincidences which so strikingly verify these historical records. While the ecclesiastics deride Him for calling Himself, "the Christ, the King of Israel, the Chosen, the Son of God," the soldiers, to whom all such phraseology was mere Jewish jargon, make sport of Him as a pretender to royalty ("KING of the Jews"), an office and dignity which it belonged to them to comprehend. "The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth" (Mt 27:44; Mr 15:32). Not both of them, however, as some commentators unnaturally think we must understand these words; as if some sudden change came over the penitent one, which turned him from an unfeeling railer into a trembling petitioner. The plural "thieves" need not denote more than the quarter or class whence came this last and cruelest taunt—that is, "Not only did scoffs proceed from the passers-by, the ecclesiastics, the soldiery, but even from His fellow-sufferers," a mode of speaking which no one would think necessarily meant both of them. Compare Mt 2:20, "They are dead which sought the child's life," meaning Herod; and Mr 9:1, "There be some standing here," where it is next to certain that only John, the youngest and last survivor of the apostles, is meant. And is it conceivable that this penitent thief should have first himself reviled the Saviour, and then, on his views of Christ suddenly changing, he should have turned upon his fellow sufferer and fellow reviler, and rebuked him not only with dignified sharpness, but in the language of astonishment that he should be capable of such conduct? Besides, there is a deep calmness in all that he utters, extremely unlike what we should expect from one who was the subject of a mental revolution so sudden and total. On the scene itself, see on [1910]Lu 23:29-43. This made them choose rather to cast lots for that, than to divide it, as they had done his inward garments. But there was something more in it than the soldiers knew; Christ hereby proved a true Antitype to David, who said of himself figuratively, Psalm 22:18, They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture; by which he meant no more, than that his enemies loaded themselves with his spoils: those words which figuratively were true of David, proved literally true as to Christ. Thus vile and wicked men are fulfilling the Scriptures when they little think of it.

They said therefore among themselves,.... When they saw what a curious piece of work it was, and that it was pity to divide it into parts: and besides, that it would have been rendered entirely useless thereby: they moved it to each other, saying,

let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be, that the Scripture might be fulfilled: not that they knew anything of the Scripture, or had any intention of fulfilling it hereby, but they were so directed by the providence of God, to take such a step; whereby was literally accomplished the passage in Psalm 22:18

which saith, they parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. The whole psalm is to be understood of the Messiah, not of David, as some do (f); many passages in it cannot be applied to him, such as speak of the dislocation of his bones, the piercing of his hands and feet, and this of parting his garments, and casting lots for his vesture: all which had their literal accomplishment in Jesus: nor can it be understood of Esther, as it is by some Jewish (g) interpreters; there is not one word in it that agrees with her, and particularly, not the clause here cited; and there are some things in it which are manifestly spoken of a man, and not of a woman, as Psalm 22:8 nor can the whole body of the Jewish nation, or the congregation of Israel be intended, as others say (h); since it is clear, that a single person is spoken of throughout the psalm, and who is distinguished from others, from his brethren, from the congregation, from the seed of Jacob and Israel, Psalm 22:22 and indeed, no other than the Messiah can be meant; he is pointed at in the very title of it, Aijeleth Shahar, which words, in what way soever they are rendered, agree with him: if by "the morning daily sacrifice", as they are by the Targum; he is the Lamb of God, who continually takes away the sins of the world; and very fitly is he so called in the title of a psalm, which speaks so much of his sufferings and death, which were a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of his people: or by the morning star, as others (i) interpret them; Christ is the bright and morning star, the day spring from on high, the sun of righteousness, and light of the world: or by "the morning help", as by the Septuagint; Christ had early help from God in the morning of his infancy, when Herod sought his life, and in the day of salvation of his people; and early in the morning was he raised from the dead, and had glory given him: or by "the morning hind", which seems best of all, to which he may be compared, as to a roe or hart, in Sol 2:9 for his love and loveliness, and for his swiftness and readiness in appearing for the salvation of his people; and for his being hunted by Herod in the morning of his days; and being encompassed by those dogs, the Scribes and Pharisees, Judas and the band of soldiers; see Psalm 22:16. The first words of the psalm were spoken by Jesus the true Messiah, when he hung upon the cross, and are truly applied to himself; his reproaches and sufferings endured by him there, are particularly and exactly described in it, and agree with no other; the benefits which the people of God were to enjoy, in consequence of his sufferings, and the conversion of the Gentiles spoken of in it, which is peculiar to the days of the Messiah, show to whom it belongs. The Jews "themselves" are obliged to interpret some parts of it concerning him; they sometimes say (k), that by Aijeleth Shahar is meant the Shekinah, a name that well suits with the Messiah Jesus, who tabernacled in our nature; the Psalm 22:26 is applied by Jarchi to the time of the redemption, and the days of the Messiah; so that upon the whole, this passage is rightly cited with respect to the Messiah, and is truly said to be fulfilled by this circumstance, of the soldiers doing with his garments as they did:

these things therefore the soldiers did; because they were before determined and predicted that they should be done: and therefore they were disposed and directed by a superior influence, in perfect agreement with the freedom of their wills to do these things. The whole of this account may be spiritually applied. The Scriptures are the garments of Christ; or, as a prince of Anhalt said, the swaddling clothes in which the infant of Bethlehem was wrapped; these exhibit and show forth Christ in his glory, and by which he is known and bore witness to, and are pure and incorrupt, fragrant, and savory. Heretics are the soldiers that rend and tear the Scriptures in pieces, part them, add unto them, or detract from them; who corrupt, pervert, wrest, and misapply them; but truth is the seamless coat; it is all of a piece, is of God, there is nothing human in it; though it may be played with, betrayed, sold, or denied, it cannot be destroyed, but is, and will be preserved by divine providence: or the human nature of Christ is the vesture, with which his divine person was as it were covered, was put on and off, and on again as a garment; is of God, and not man; is pure and spotless; and though his soul and body were parted asunder for a while, this could never be parted from his divine person: or else the righteousness of Christ may be signified by this robe, which is often compared to one, because it is put on the saints, and they are clothed with it: it covers, keeps warm, protects, beautifies, and adorns them; this is seamless, and all of a piece, and has nothing of men's works and services tacked unto it; is enjoyed by a divine lot by some men, and not all, and even such as have been sinful and ungodly; it is pure, perfect and will last for ever.

(f) R. R. in Kimchi in Psal. 22. (g) R. R. in Jarchi in Psal. 22. (h) Kimchi & Ben Meleeh in ib. (i) Vid. Kimchi & Abendana in ib. (k) Zohar in Lev. fol. 5. 4. & Imre Bina in ib.

They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
John 19:24. The soldiers therefore said, Μὴ σχίσωμεν αὐτόν ἀλλὰ λάχωμεν, “let us not rend it but cast lots”. λαγχάνειν is, properly, not “to cast lots,” but “to obtain by lot”. See Field, Otium Norv., 72. In this John sees a fulfilment of Psalm 22:18, the LXX. version of which here quoted verbatim.

24. that the scripture] It was in order that the Divine purpose, already declared by the Psalmist, might be accomplished, that this twofold assignment of Christ’s garments took place. S. John quotes the LXX. verbatim, although there the difference, which both he and the original Hebrew mark between the upper and under garment, is obliterated. It is from this passage that the reference to Psalm 22:18 has been inserted in Matthew 27:35; none of the Synoptists refer to the Psalm.

my raiment] A capricious change of translation; the same word is rendered garments in John 19:23.

John 19:24. [Λάχωμεν, cast lots for it) A rare event, and yet not unforetold.—V. g.]—ταῦτα, these things) which they had spoken of among themselves.

Verse 24. - They said therefore to one another, Let us not rend it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be. How obviously we have the eye-witness again, and the observation of one whose whole heart was bleeding with unutterable anguish! Here is the true explanation of the "lot" referred to by the synoptists, and moreover a subsequent reflection of the evangelist, who saw once more a realization of the prophetic picture of the ideal Sufferer at his last extremity of reproach and humiliation. He quotes almost verbally from the LXX., That the Scripture might be fulfilled (which saith), They parted my garments among them (to themselves), and for my vesture (ἱματισμόν μου) they did cast lots. If John had quoted accurately from the Hebrew, he would have preserved more obviously the contrast between the בְּגָדִם and the לְבּושׁ,which yet was clearly in his mind. The χιτών was the portion of the ἱματισμός upon which the lots were cast. Lucke and De Wette (though not Meyer) regard it as certain that John took the ἱματισμός as identical with the χιτών. Strauss describes Psalm 22. as the programme of the Crucifixion. He styles it thus for the purpose of undervaluing the historical character of the narrative, and of suggesting that it owed its origin to the prophetic picture rather than to the actual fact (so Thoma). There is another sense in which the statement is true. Unconsciously the various concomitants of the suffering of the Holy One of God were being one by one realized by the Divine Lord. The synoptists, without reference to the ancient oracle, record the fact imperfectly. John adds what came under his own eye, explains their inadequate representation of the "lot," and discerns the veritable fulfillment of the prophecy. The reference in Matthew to this fulfillment of prophecy is expunged from the text by Tischendorf (8th edit.), Westcott and Herr, and R.T., on the authority of א, A, B, D, nine uncials and two hundred manuscripts, numerous versions and Fathers. Thus the fourth evangelist is the solitary authority for this fulfillment of the prophetic word, and he reveals a feature which is sometimes denied him by those who try to establish the Gentile origin of the Gospel. These things therefore the soldiers did. A graphic and historic touch, corresponding with the method in which Herodotus closed his account of the slaughter at Thermopylae. In John's case more was suggested. While Pilate had announced to the world that Jesus of Nazareth was "King of the Jews," and Caiaphas had declared that "it was expedient that one man should die for the people," the Roman soldiers, without any knowledge of Hebrew oracles, had all unconsciously filled up the features of the suffering Messiah in literal harmony with the ancient prediction. In a commentary on John's Gospel we cannot here discuss some of the other impressive features of the Crucifixion, upon which the fourth evangelist is silent. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all describe a revolting scene of brutal mockery which ridiculed the dying Lord with his helplessness, and charged him with hypocrisy, scoffed at his having boasted of his Divine Sonship, and of power to build the demolished temple in three days - an ominous charge, which he was so soon to meet. They did not see that they were destroying the temple of his body, and that he would verily paralyze all their power to crush his kingdom by building it up at the predestined hour. The great cry was, "Come down from the cross, and we will accept thy claims, and believe that thou art ' Son of God.'" This was even a greater provocative of his human soul than that which the devil had suggested in the wilderness, or which he had endured on the Mountain of Transfiguration (Godet's 'Biblical Studies of the New Testament'). He knew that he could at once have stepped upwards from the high mountain on the shining way, and left behind him a perfect and most gracious memorial and ideal of the blessed life. But he had a "decease to accomplish," and he came down to "give his life a ransom for many," to take all our burden and all our care and all our sin upon him, to lay down his life that he might take it again (cf. John 10:17). But the question does arise - Has he not done enough to meet all the case? Has he not been offered up as certainly as Isaac was when Abraham bound his son upon the altar? Could he not, might he not, now come down from the cross, having perfectly consecrated himself? Would he not by this act make converts of the Sanhedrin? and would not tens of thousands at once turn their curses into jubilant hosannas? The chief priests join in the same taunt, and, according to Matthew and Mark, even the dying robbers cast the same reproaches in his teeth. The special taunt was, "He saved others; himself he cannot save." Sublimely true, the very hurricane of abuse, as it reaches him, is transformed into the sweetness and fragrance of the eternal love. He had power in the desert to make the kingdoms of the world his own, if he would have bowed down to the prince of this world. He had authority to vanish into the ethereal home with Moses and Elijah. He might have saved himself, but he could not. He must drink the cup to the final dregs. He must bear the death-penalty itself. If he had not done this, the sympathy with man had fallen infinitely below the demands of his own heart. Sin and death would still have been inseparably linked; the curse would not have been broken, nor the sacrifice been completed. As before Pilate, Herod, and the rest, he was silent. No murmur, no rebuke, broke from him. The breath of his mouth is as vet no two-edged sword. But the penitent brigand, overcome by his majestic patience, pleads for mercy, and, after the long hours have passed, the cry of the helpless sufferer at his side meets with immediate response, while all the cruel howling bigots around him could not prevail to draw from him one syllable of remonstrance! The "To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise" is the royalist of all the words from the cross. According to the hypothesis of the Tübingen school, they ought unquestionably to have been selected for citation by the author of the Fourth Gospel. The assumption of the existence and reality of his kingdom, and the admission in the other world of his conscious Lordship over the souls of men, is the most explicit and unapproachable claim that he ever made to Divine prerogatives. John takes notice of another most impressive scene, in which himself had personal concern, and which affected the remainder of his own wonderful life. An incident this which the other evangelists did not presume to touch. It was the Divine expression of the true humanity of the Son of God. John 19:24Vesture (ἱματισμόν)

Clothing, collectively. Rev., garments, for ἱμάτια, is better than raiment, which is collective, while the word is used of the separate pieces of clothing.

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