And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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).Matthew 27:26-30. 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 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.
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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