Luke 23:11
And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
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(11) Herod with his men of war.—Better, perhaps, troops, or soldiers. The word is the same as that translated “armies” in Matthew 22:7, Acts 23:27; “soldiers” in Acts 23:10.

Arrayed him in a gorgeous robe.—Literally, bright. The word is used of the angel’s garment, in Acts 10:30; of fine linen, in Revelation 15:6; Revelation 18:4; of crystal, in Revelation 22:1; of a star, in Revelation 22:16. It may have been such as Josephus describes Herod Agrippa as wearing, in the incident which he records (Ant. xix. 8, § 4) in common with Acts 12:21—a robe of white tissue of some kind richly embroidered with silver. We may, perhaps, venture to trace in the outrage, a vindictive retaliation for the words which the Prophet had once spoken of those who were “gorgeously apparelled.” (See Notes on Matthew 11:8; Luke 7:25.)

23:6-12 Herod had heard many things of Jesus in Galilee, and out of curiosity longed to see him. The poorest beggar that asked a miracle for the relief of his necessity, was never denied; but this proud prince, who asked for a miracle only to gratify his curiosity, is refused. He might have seen Christ and his wondrous works in Galilee, and would not, therefore it is justly said, Now he would see them, and shall not. Herod sent Christ again to Pilate: the friendships of wicked men are often formed by union in wickedness. They agree in little, except in enmity to God, and contempt of Christ.Herod with his men of war - With his soldiers, or his body-guard. It is probable that in traveling he had "a guard" to attend him constantly.

Set him at nought - Treated him with contempt and ridicule.

A gorgeous robe - A white or shining robe, for this is the meaning of the original. The Roman princes wore "purple" robes, and "Pilate," therefore, put such a robe on Jesus. The Jewish kings wore a "white" robe, which was often rendered very shining or gorgeous by much tinsel or silver interwoven. Josephus says that the robe which Agrippa wore was so bright with silver that when the sun shone on it, it so dazzled the eyes that it was difficult to look on it. The Jews and Romans, therefore, decked him in the manner appropriate to their own country, for purposes of mockery. All this was unlawful and malicious, as there was not the least evidence of his guilt.

Sent him to Pilate - It was by the interchange of these civilities that they were made friends. It would seem that Pilate sent him to Herod as a token of civility and respect, and with a design, perhaps, of putting an end to their quarrel. Herod returned the civility, and it resulted in their reconciliation.

11. his men of war—his bodyguard.

set him at naught, &c.—stung with disappointment at His refusal to amuse him with miracles or answer any of his questions.

gorgeous robe—bright robe. If this mean (as sometimes) of shining white, this being the royal color among the Jews, it may have been in derision of His claim to be "King of the Jews." But if so, "He in reality honored Him, as did Pilate with His true title blazoned on the cross" [Bengel].

sent him again to Pilate—instead of releasing him as he ought, having established nothing against Him (Lu 23:14, 15). "Thus he implicated himself with Pilate in all the guilt of His condemnation, and with him accordingly he is classed" (Ac 4:27) [Bengel].

at enmity—perhaps about some point of disputed jurisdiction, which this exchange of the Prisoner might tend to heal.

See Poole on "Luke 23:1"

And Herod, with his men of war,.... Or his soldiers, his bodyguards that attended his person, who came with him from Galilee, and were both for his security and service, and for his pomp and magnificence:

set him at nought; made nothing of him; had him in no account; treated him as a silly, and contemptible creature, that could not do any thing that was reported of him; nor able to say any thing for himself; but took him to be a mere fool and idiot; and so they used him:

and mocked him; as a king, and made sport and pastime with him:

and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe. The Vulgate Latin renders it, "a white robe"; a token of his innocence, though not so designed by them, but rather by way of derision, as a symbol of his simplicity and folly. The Syriac version renders it, "scarlet"; and the Arabic and Persic versions, "red". It is very likely that it was an old worn-out robe of one of the officers, or soldiers, which they put on him; in contempt of his being a king, as the Roman soldiers afterwards did, upon the same account:

and sent him again to Pilate; uncondemned, not knowing what to make of him, or the charge against him, and he might be unwilling to have any hand in his death, not having forgotten the case of John the Baptist; and therefore remits him to Pilate, to do as he thought fit with him.

And Herod with his {c} men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

(c) Accompanied with his nobles and soldiers who followed him from Galilee.

Luke 23:11. ἐξουθενήσας: on this verb and kindred forms, vide at Mark 9:12. Herod, feeling slighted by Jesus, slights Him in turn, inciting his bodyguards (τοῖς στρατεύμασιν, which cannot here mean armies) to mock Him, and having Him invested with a costly robe, probably a cast-off royal mantle of his own, and so sending Him back a mock king to Pilate, a man to be laughed at, not to be feared or punished.—ἐσθῆτα λαμπρὰν, a splendid robe; of what colour, purple or white, commentators vainly inquire.—ἀνέπεμψεν, “sent Him again” (A.V[194]), or “back” (R.V[195]). The verb may mean here, as in Luke 23:7, sent Him to Pilate as the proper person to try the case. The two magnates compliment each other, and shirk unpleasant work by sending Jesus hither and thither from tribunal to tribunal, the plaything and sport of unprincipled men.

[194] Authorised Version.

[195] Revised Version.

11. with his men of war] Literally, “with his armies f i.e. with his soldiers.

set him at nought] treating Him not as a criminal, but only as a person worthy of contempt. “He is despised and rejected of men;” “he was despised and we esteemed him not,” Isaiah 53:3.

in a gorgeous robe] Literally, “bright raiment,” Acts 10:30. Probably a white festal garment.

sent him again] anepempsen as before—remisit in forum apprchensionis. This involved a second distinct acquittal of our Lord from every political charge brought against Him. Had He in any way been guilty of either (r) perverting the people, (2) forbidding to pay tribute, or (3) claiming to be a king, it would have been Herod’s duty, and still more his interest, to punish Him. His dismissal of the case was a deliberate avowal of His innocence.

Luke 23:11. Ἐξουθενήσας, having set at nought) He did not think Jesus of sufficient importance to give himself any trouble about Him, as respects the allegations, whatever they might be, which the priests were making. He thought at the time that he had stripped Jesus of His wisdom and of His power.—ἐσθῆτα λαμπρὰν, a gorgeous robe) A royal vestment. [Such as he himself may be supposed either to have worn, or to have wished to wear.—V. g.] Herod seems to have meant contemptuously to indicate that he has no fears from such a king as this. But in reality he honoured Him unconsciously by the robe, as Pilate did by the inscription on the cross. [The elder Herod gave way to fears sooner than there was just reason for: this Herod, on the other hand, when the kingdom of Christ was now more immediately imminent, gives way to careless security. Such is the perverse way of the world.—V. g.]—ἀνέπεμψεν, sent Him back) He had it in his power, and ought to have rather let Him go free. [Therefore in sending back the innocent to Pilate, he involved himself in the guilt of Pilate. Acts 4:27 (“Against thy holy child Jesus—both Herod and Pontius Pilate—were gathered together”).—Harm., p. 548].

Verse 11. - And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. He treated him, not as a criminal, but as a mischievous religious Enthusiast, worthy only of contempt and scorn. The "gorgeous robe," more accurately, "bright raiment," was a white festal mantle such as Jewish kings and Roman nobles wore on great occasions. It was probably an old robe of white tissue of some kind, embroidered with silver. Dean Plumptre suggests that we might venture to trace in this outrage a vindictive retaliation for the words which the Teacher had once spoken - with evident allusion to Herod's court - of those who were gorgeously apparelled (Luke 7:25). It was this Herod of whom the Lord had spoken so recently with for him a rare bitterness, "Go ye, and tell that fox [literally, 'she-fox'] Herod" (Luke 13:32). Luke 23:11Gorgeous (λαμπρὰν)

Lit., bright or brilliant. Compare Acts 10:30; Revelation 15:6. Wyc. and Tynd., white. Mark has purple (πορφύραν), and Matthew scarlet (κοκκίνην).

Apparel (ἐσθῆτα)

The general term for raiment. Matthew specifies the garment (Matthew 27:28). Mark has simply purple (Mark 15:17).

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