Matthew 26:67
Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
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(67) Then did they spit in his face.—We learn from St. Mark (Mark 14:65) and St. Luke (Luke 22:63) that these acts of outrage were perpetrated, not by the members of the Sanhedrin, but by the officers who had the accused in their custody, and who, it would seem, availed themselves of the interval between the two meetings of the council to indulge in this wanton cruelty. Here, also, they were unconsciously working out a complete correspondence with Isaiah’s picture of the righteous sufferer (Isaiah 1:6). The word “buffeted” describes a blow with the clenched fist, as contrasted with one with the open palm.

Matthew 26:67-68. Then did they spit in his face, &c. — Spitting in the face was the greatest contempt and disgrace which could possibly be shown. See Numbers 12:14. Buffeting, or striking a person with the fist on the temples, was esteemed one of the most disgraceful punishments by the Greeks, from whom the Romans might have adopted it. Smiting with the open palm of their hands, was such a dishonour as none but a slave ought to endure. “Because Matthew here says, that they who condemned Jesus spit in his face, and buffeted him: and Mark 14:65, mentions the indignities which the servants in particular put upon him; it appears that he was smitten, blindfolded, and buffeted even by some of the council; who, to ridicule him for having pretended to be the great prophet foretold by Moses, bade him exercise his prophetical gift in guessing who it was that struck him; Prophesy unto us, thou Christ — It was hardly possible for those miscreants to invent any thing more expressive of the contempt in which they held our Lord’s pretensions to be the Messiah. Thus was the Judge of the world placed at the bar of his own creatures, falsely accused by the witnesses, unjustly condemned by his judges, and insulted by all. Yet, because it was agreeable to the end of his coming, he patiently submitted, though he could with a frown have made his judges, his accusers, and those who had him in custody, all to drop down dead in a moment, or to shrivel into nothing.” — Macknight.

26:57-68 Jesus was hurried into Jerusalem. It looks ill, and bodes worse, when those who are willing to be Christ's disciples, are not willing to be known to be so. Here began Peter's denying him: for to follow Christ afar off, is to begin to go back from him. It is more our concern to prepare for the end, whatever it may be, than curiously to ask what the end will be. The event is God's, but the duty is ours. Now the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said, False witnesses are risen up against me. Christ was accused, that we might not be condemned; and if at any time we suffer thus, let us remember we cannot expect to fare better than our Master. When Christ was made sin for us, he was silent, and left it to his blood to speak. Hitherto Jesus had seldom professed expressly to be the Christ, the Son of God; the tenor of his doctrine spoke it, and his miracles proved it; but now he would not omit to make an open confession of it. It would have looked like declining his sufferings. He thus confessed, as an example and encouragement to his followers, to confess him before men, whatever hazard they ran. Disdain, cruel mocking, and abhorrence, are the sure portion of the disciple as they were of the Master, from such as would buffet and deride the Lord of glory. These things were exactly foretold in the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah. Let us confess Christ's name, and bear the reproach, and he will confess us before his Father's throne.Then did they spit in his face - This, among the Jews, as among us, was significant of the highest contempt and insult, Numbers 12:14; Isaiah 50:6; Job 30:10.

And buffeted him - That is, they struck him with their hands closed, or with the fist.

Others smote him with the palms of their hands - The word used in the original here means literally to strike with rods. It also means to strike the mouth with the open hand, as if to prevent a person's speaking, or to evince abhorrence of what he had spoken.

Mt 26:57-75. Jesus Arraigned before the Sanhedrim Condemned to Die, and Shamefully Entreated—The Denial of Peter. ( = Mr 14:53-72; Lu 22:54-71; Joh 18:13-18, 24-27).

For the exposition, see on [1366]Mr 14:53-72.

See Poole on "Matthew 26:68".

Then did they spit in his face,.... Not the judges, the members of the sanhedrim, but the servants of the high priest, and the officers that had Jesus in hold, and were the guard upon him; see Luke 22:63, who seeing him condemned as guilty of death, thought they might insult him at pleasure, and use him in the most indecent and barbarous manner; and therefore, in a way of contempt, spit in his face; than which nothing was more reproachful and disgraceful: the Jews (x) say, that he that spits before, or in the presence of his master, is guilty of death, so nauseous and filthy was it accounted; and how much more must it be so, to spit in the face of anyone? hereby a prophecy was fulfilled, Isaiah 50:6, "I hid not my face from shame and spitting": and hereby, together with his sweat and blood, his visage was more marred than any man's, and his form than the sons of men:

and buffeted him; cuffed, or boxed him with their double fists:

and others smote him, with the palms of their hands; gave him many a slap on the face with their open hands, or struck him on the face with rods, as the word will bear to be rendered: they rapped him with the wands they had in their hands, and struck him on the head with the rods or staves they had with them; whereby was accomplished the prophecy, in Micah 5:1, "they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek". This was very injurious treatment, the Jews themselves being witnesses; who have in their canons enjoined (y), that "if a man strikes his neighbour with his double fist, he must give him a shekel; R. Judah says, on account of R. Jose the Galilean, a pound: if he gives him a slap of the face, he must pay him two hundred zuzims, or pence; and if with the back of his hand (which was accounted (z) the more ignominious) four hundred zuzims: if he plucked him by his ear, or plucked off his hair, or spit, so as that the spittle came upon him, or took away his cloak--he must pay four hundred zuzims, and all according to his honour or dignity.

All these indignities were done to Christ; see Isaiah 50:6.

(x) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 99. 1.((y) Misn. Bava Kama, c. 8. sect. 6. (z) Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.

Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
Matthew 26:67. Those to whom Matthew here refers are the members of the Sanhedrim (as are also the τινές of Mark 14:65). Μετὰ γὰρ τὴν ἄδικον καταδίκην ὡς ἄτιμόν τινα καὶ τριωβολιμαῖον λάβοντες, κ.τ.λ., Euthymius Zigabenus. Coarse outburst of passion on the verdict being announced. A somewhat different form of the tradition is adopted by Luke (Luke 22:63), who, moreover, represents the maltreatment here referred to as having taken place before the trial. The way in which harmonists have cut and carved upon the individual features of the narrative is altogether arbitrary. The account in John 18:22 has no connection with that now before us, but refers to an incident in the house of Annas, which the Synoptists have entirely omitted.

ἐκολάφ.] buffetings, blows with the fist. Comp. the Attic expression κόνδυλος.

ἐῤῥάπτ.] slaps in the face with the palm of the hand; ῥαπισμὸς δὲ τὸ πταίειν κατὰ τοῦ προσώπου, Euthymius Zigabenus; comp. Matthew 5:39; Hosea 11:5; Isaiah 50:6; Dem. 787, 23; Aristot. Meteor. ii. 8. 9; 3 Esdr. 4:30; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 176; Becker, Anecd. p. 300. It is in this sense that the word is usually taken. But Beza, Bengel, Ewald, Bleek, Lange, maintain that it is a blow with a rod that is meant (Herod. viii. 59; Anacr. vii. 2; Plut. Them. xi.), the sense in which the word is commonly used by Greek authors, and which ought to be preferred here, because οἱ δέ (see on Matthew 28:16) introduces the mention of a different kind of maltreatment, and because in Mark 14:65 the ῥαπίζειν is imputed to the officers of the Sanhedrim, which, however, would not warrant us in identifying with the latter the οἱ δέ of Matthew.

Matthew 26:67-68 : to judicial injustice succeed personal indignities: spitting in the face (ἐνέπτυσαν), miting with the fist (ἐκολάφισαν, not Attic, κονδυλίζω used instead), or with the open hand (ἐρράπισαν, originally to beat with rods). Euthy. Zig. distinguishes the two last words thus: κολαφισμὸς is a stroke on the neck with the hollow of the hand so as to make a noise, ῥαπισμὸς a stroke on the face. The p petrators of these outrages in Mk. are τινὲς and οἱ ὑπηρέται, the former word presumably pointing to some Sanhedrists. In Mt. the connection suggests Sanhedrists alone. Incredible that they should condescend to so unworthy proceedings, one is inclined to say. Yet it was night, there was intense dislike and they might feel they did God service by disgracing a pretender. Hence the invitation to the would-be christ to prophesy (προφήτευσον) who smote him when he was struck behind the back or blindfolded (Mark 14:65). Thus did they fill up the early hours of the morning on that miserable night. Sceptical critics, e.g., Brandt, p. 69, also Holtz., H. C., suggest that the colouring of this passage is drawn from O. T. texts, such as Micah 4:14 (Sept[146] Matthew 5:1, A. V[147]), Isaiah 50:6; Isaiah 53:3-5, 1 Kings 22:24, and that probably the texts created the “facts”. That of course is abstractly possible, but the statement of the evangelist is intrinsically probable, and it is to be noted that not even in Mt. is there a “that it might be fulfilled”.

[146] Septuagint.

[147] Authorised Version.

67. buffeted him] Struck Him with clenched fist.

Matthew 26:67. Τότε, κ.τ.λ., then, etc.) As if no outrage would now be unjust towards Him. The elders insult Him with greater subtlety, the multitude more grossly. He who assails the honour of God, deserves every contumely. Such an one they considered Jesus to be.—ἐκολάφισαν, they struck Him) with the fist, with the hand.—ἐῤῥάπισαν, they smote Him) with rods, for the attendants carried these. See Mark 14:65. Chrysostom observes, οὐδὲν ταύτης τῆς πληγῆς ἀτιμότερον, nothing is more disgraceful than this blow.

Verse 67. - The scene that ensued upon the verdict being pronounced is beyond measure hideous and unexampled. When the meeting broke up, Jesus was for a time left to the brutal cruelty and the unbridled insolence of the guards and servants. Involuntarily, by their profanity and coarseness, they fulfilled the words of the prophet, speaking in the Person of Messiah, "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting" (Isaiah 50:6). Did they spit in his face. A monstrous indignity, so regarded by all people at all times (Numbers 12:14; Deuteronomy 25:9; Job 30:10). Buffeted him (ἐκολάφισαν αὐτὸν); struck him with fists. Smote him with the palms of their hands (ἐῥῤάπισαν). There is some doubt whether the verb here means "to smite with a rod" or "to slap in the face with the open hand;" but as we have already had mention of striking with the hands, it is probable that beating with a stick is here intended. Matthew 26:67Buffet (ἐκολάφισαν)

With the fist.

Smote with the palms of their hands

All expressed by one word, ἐράπισαν, from ῥαπίς, a rod, and meaning to smite with rods, not with the palms. The same word is employed in Matthew 5:39. It came to mean generally to strike.

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