John 19:3
And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
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(3) And said, Hail, King of the Jews.—The reading of the better MSS. is, and they kept coming to Him and saying . . . It is a description of the mock reverence which they paid Him. They kept drawing near and bowing before Him. (Comp. Matthew 27:29.)

They smote him with their hands.—Comp. Note on John 18:22.

(3) That St. John is not careful to give the time more than roughly “about the sixth hour.” The hours of that day may well be confused, for their sorrow would have made minutes seem as hours, and the sun, which on other days marked the hours, was on that day itself darkened. St. Matthew is equally uncertain at what exact time there was the cry with a loud voice (Matthew 27:46), and St. Luke does not give the exact time when the darkness commenced (Luke 23:44).

19:1-18 Little did Pilate think with what holy regard these sufferings of Christ would, in after-ages, be thought upon and spoken of by the best and greatest of men. Our Lord Jesus came forth, willing to be exposed to their scorn. It is good for every one with faith, to behold Christ Jesus in his sufferings. Behold him, and love him; be still looking unto Jesus. Did their hatred sharpen their endeavours against him? and shall not our love for him quicken our endeavours for him and his kingdom? Pilate seems to have thought that Jesus might be some person above the common order. Even natural conscience makes men afraid of being found fighting against God. As our Lord suffered for the sins both of Jews and Gentiles, it was a special part of the counsel of Divine Wisdom, that the Jews should first purpose his death, and the Gentiles carry that purpose into effect. Had not Christ been thus rejected of men, we had been for ever rejected of God. Now was the Son of man delivered into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. He was led forth for us, that we might escape. He was nailed to the cross, as a Sacrifice bound to the altar. The Scripture was fulfilled; he did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, but among criminals sacrificed to public justice. And now let us pause, and with faith look upon Jesus. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? See him bleeding, see him dying, see him and love him! love him, and live to him!See the notes at Matthew 27:26-30. 3. And said, Hail, King of the Jews!—doing Him derisive homage, in the form used on approaching the emperors. "And they spit upon Him, and took the reed and smote Him on the head" (Mt 27:30). The best comment on these affecting details is to cover the face. They mocked him when they said, Hail, King of the Jews! But yet spake a great truth, though not in their sense. The other evangelists speak of more indignities offered him: See Poole on "Mark 15:19".

And said, hail, King of the Jews!.... Some copies before this clause read, "and they came unto him"; and so read the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, Coptic, and Ethiopic versions; that is, they came and prostrated themselves before him; bowed the knee unto him, and addressed him in a mock way, as if he was an earthly monarch just come to his crown, and whom they wished long to live; thus mocking at his kingly office, and despising him under that character, as many do now: some will not have him to reign over them, but reject him as King; and others, though in words they own him to be King, yet disregard his commands, and act no better part than these scoffing soldiers did:

and they smote him with their hands: upon his cheeks, as the Syriac version reads it. These, and many other affronts they gave him; in all which they were indulged by Pilate, and was a pleasing scene to the wicked Jews, whose relentless hearts were not in the least moved hereby, though Pilate hoped they would; and which was his view in allowing the soldiers to use such incivilities and indecencies to him.

And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
John 19:3. καὶ ἤρχοντο πρὸς αὐτόν, “and they went on, coming to Him,” imperfect of continued action; “and hailing Him king,” χαῖρε κ. τ. λ., as they were accustomed to shout “Ave, Caesar”. At the same moment they struck Him on the face with their hands.

3. And said] The best authorities add a graphic touch not given by the Synoptists; and they kept coming unto Him and saying. We see each soldier coming up in turn to offer his mock homage.

Hail, King of the Jews] Like the Procurator, they mock the Jews as well as their Victim.

smote him with their hands] Literally, gave Him blows, but whether with a rod, as the root of the word implies, or with the hand, as is more probable, we are uncertain (see on John 18:22). The old Latin version adds in faciem.

John 19:3. Ῥαπίσματα, strokes) with a reed [not “with their hands,” as Engl.: see note, ch. John 18:22]; Mark 15:19.

Verse 3. - They kept on coming to him, and saying to him, in sportive mockery of his supposed Kingship, and utter scorn of the nation whose Messianic hope they derided, Hail, King of the Jews! They did a sham obeisance to him, having elected him, as Roman guards often did, an "imperator" on the field of battle. The offerings which they presented to him were not the kiss of homage, but ῤαπίσματα. They kept on offering him blows on the face, strokes with the hand or with rods (cf. John 18:22, note). Hengstenberg, recalling here (Matthew 27:29) that they put a reed in his hand, symbol of a scepter, supposes that he refused to hold it, in consequence of which they took it from him, and smote him with it. The awful indignity was a wondrous prophecy. Nay, from that very hour he began to reign. That crown of thorns has been more lasting than any royal diadem. Those cruel insults have been the title-deeds of his imperial sway, by which he has mastered the nations. He was wounded, bruised, for the iniquities of us all. The representatives of the outside world thus share expressly in the shame and ban by which the Hebrew theocracy is crushed, and the prince of this world is judged. "They know not what they do;" but Jew and Roman are guilty before God. John 19:3And said

Add καὶ ἤρχοντο πρὸς αὐτόν, and kept coming unto Him, before and said or kept saying. The imperfect denotes the successive acts of homage of the soldiers as they came up one after the other.

They smote Him with their hands (ἐδίδουν αὐτῷ ῥαπίσματα).

Literally, kept giving Him blows with their hands. See on John 18:22.

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