And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar.—The “vinegar” was the sour wine, or wine and water, which was the common drink of the Roman soldiers. and which they at an earlier stage, and as in derision (Luke 23:36), had offered to the Sufferer. The sponge had probably served instead of a cork to the jar in which the soldiers had brought the drink that was to sustain them in their long day’s work. Some one, whether soldier or Jew we know not, heard, not only the cry, “Eli, Eli, . . .” but the faint “I thirst,” which St. John records as coming from the fevered lips (John 19:28), and prompted by a rough pity, stretched out a cane, or stalk of hyssop (John 19:29), with the sponge that had been dipped in the wine upon it, and bore it to the parched lips of the Sufferer. It was not now refused (John 19:30).
And gave him to drink.—The Greek verb is in the imperfect tense, as implying that while he was doing this, the others tried to interrupt him.
Took a sponge - A sponge is a well-known porous substance that easily absorbs water. It was used in this case because, Jesus being elevated, it was difficult to convey a cup to his lips.
Filled it with vinegar - This was the common drink of Roman soldiers. It was a light wine, turned sour and mixed with water. John says John 19:29 there was a vessel set full of vinegar, probably for the use of the soldiers who watched his crucifixion.
And put it on a reed - John says it was put upon "hyssop." The "hyssop" was a "shrub," growing so large sometimes as to be called a "tree," 1 Kings 4:33. The stalk of this was what Matthew calls a "reed." The sponge fastened to this could easily be extended to reach the mouth of "Jesus." This vinegar Jesus drank, for it was not intended to "stupefy" him or blunt his sense of pain, like the "wine" and myrrh.
For the exposition, see on Joh 19:18-30.See Poole on "Matthew 27:50". John 19:29,
and filled it with vinegar; dipping it into it, it sucked it up. Some of these sponges had leathern handles to them. (r).
And put it on a reed; a stalk of hyssop; See Gill on John 19:29,
and gave him to drink; not to revive his spirits, or hasten his death, as some have thought, but in contempt of him, and to mock him, he having signified that he was athirst,And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 27:48 f. A touch of sympathy on the part of some one who had been moved by the painful cry of Jesus, and who would fain relieve Him by reaching Him a cordial. What a contrast to this in Matthew 27:49! According to John 19:28, Jesus expressly intimated that He was thirsty. Mark 15:36 makes it appear that the person who reached the drink to Jesus was also one of those who were mocking Him, a discrepancy which we should make no attempt to reconcile, and in which we can have no difficulty in detecting traces of a more corrupt tradition. Luke omits this incident altogether, though in Matthew 23:36 he states that by way of mocking our Lord the soldiers offered Him the posca just before the darkness came on. Strauss takes advantage of these discrepancies so as to make it appear that they are but different applications of the prediction contained in Psalms 69, without, however, disputing the fact that drink had been given to Jesus on two different occasions.
ὄξους] poscae, sour wine, the ordinary drink of the Roman soldiers. Comp. Matthew 27:34 and Wetstein thereon.
ἄφες] stop! don’t give him anything to drink! we want to see whether Elias whom he is invoking as his deliverer will come to his help, which help you would render unnecessary by giving him drink.
ἔρχεται,] placed first for sake of emphasis: whether he is coming, does not fail coming!Matthew 27:48. εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν, one of the bystanders, not one of the τινὲς, with some human pity, acting under the impression, how got not indicated, that the sufferer was afflicted with thirst.—ὄξους, sour wine, posca, the drink of Roman soldiers, with sponge and reed at hand, for use on such occasions.48. took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar] The soldiers’ sour wine (posca), the reed, or hyssop stalk (John), and the sponge, were kept in readiness to quench the sufferers’ thirst.Matthew 27:48. Ὄξους, with vinegar) The soldiers were accustomed to drink vinegar themselves, as Gataker remarks, Posthumous Miscellanies, ch. 4.
 Vinegar, mixed with water, and drunk by the soldiers, was called posca (pusca, Veg. Vet. ii. 48). Pl. Mil. iii. 2. 23: Plin. xxvii. 4, 12, Th. PO of potus; comp. esca.—ED.Verse 48. - Ran, and took a sponge. According to St. John, Jesus had just said, "I thirst." The sponge and the wine were provided for the purpose of ministering some relief to the crucified. Common humanity was not quite extinct even in the executioners and spectators. Vinegar. The acid wine used by the soldiers, and called posca (see on ver. 34). Put it on a reed. St. John calls it a stalk of hyssop; and if this is the caller plant, it, though of a climbing nature, can produce a stick some three or four feet long (see on ver. 29). Gave him to drink (ἐπότιζεν, imperf., was offering him to drink); perhaps with the idea of helping him to endure till Elijah came. Thus was fulfilled the psalmist's word, "In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Psalm 69:21).
Sour wine; the posca or ordinary drink of the Roman soldiers.
Gave him to drink (ἐπότιζεν)
The imperfect tense implies was in the act of giving, or about to give. At this point the Jews standing near interposed, saying, Let be (ἄφες)! "Stop! Do not give him the drink. Let us see if Elijah will come to his aid."
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