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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

Luke 23

Verses 1-5

1–5.] HE IS ACCUSED BEFORE PILATE. Matthew 27:2; Matthew 27:11-14. Mark 15:1-5. John 18:28-38. Our account, not entering at length into the words said, gives a particular and original narrative of the things transacted at this interview.

Verse 2

2.] This charge was intended to represent the result of their previous judgment, εὕραμεν;—whereas, in fact, no such matter had been before them: but they falsely allege it before Pilate, knowing that it was the point on which his judgment was likely to be most severe. The words themselves which they use are not so false, as the spirit, and impression which they convey. The κωλύοντα φ. κ. διδ. was, however, false entirely (see ch. Luke 20:22 ff.); and is just one of those instances where those who are determined to effect their purpose by falsehood, do so, in spite of the fact having been precisely the contrary to that which they assert.

Verse 3

3.] This question is related in all four Gospels. But in John the answer is widely different from the distinct affirmation in the other three, amounting perhaps to it in substance—at all events affirming that He was ‘a King’—which was the form of their charge. I believe therefore that the Three give merely the general import of the Lord’s answer, which John relates in full. It is hardly possible, if Jesus had affirmed the fact so strongly and barely as the Three relate it, that Pilate should have made the avowal in Luke 23:4—which John completely explains.

Verse 4

4.] The preceding question had been asked within the prætorium—a fact which our narrator does not adduce,—representing the whole as a continuous conversation in presence of the Jews: see John 18:38. We may remark (and on this see Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10) that Pilate must have known well that a man who had really done that, whereof Jesus was accused, would be no such object of hatred to the Sanhedrim. This knowledge was doubtless accompanied (as the above-cited verses imply) with a previous acquaintance with some of the sayings and doings of Jesus, from which Pilate had probably formed his own opinion that He was no such King as His foes would represent Him. This is now confirmed by His own words (as related by John); and Pilate wishes to dismiss Him, finding no fault in Him.

Verse 5

5.] Possibly they thought of the matter mentioned ch. Luke 13:1, in introducing Galilee into their charge.

ἐπίσχ.] they strengthened, redoubled, the charge—or perhaps intransitive they became urgent.

Verses 6-12

6–12.] HE IS SENT TO HEROD, AND BY HIM RETURNED TO PILATE. Peculiar to Luke: see remarks on Luke 23:12. Pilate, conscious that he must either do the duty of an upright judge and offend the Jews, or sacrifice his duty to his popularity, first attempts to get rid of the matter altogether by sending his prisoner to Herod, on occasion of this word Galilee. This was Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Peræa (see ch. Luke 3:1 and note on Matthew 14:1), who had come up to keep the feast.

Verse 7

7. ἀνέπεμψεν] “Propriam Romani juris vocem usurpavit. Nam remittitur reus qui alicubi comprehensus mittitur ad judicem aut originis aut habitationis. Itaque Pilatus Herodi, ut Tetrarchæ ejus loci unde esse Jesus dicebatur, potestatem permisit Jesum abducendi in Galilæam, ibique, si vellet, cognoscendi de ejus causa: ut fieri inter Romanos provinciarum rectores solebat.” Grotius. So Vespasian, in judging the inhabitants of Tarichææ (Jos. B. J. iii. 10. 10), allowed Agrippa to dispose of those ἐκ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείας.

Verses 8-9

8, 9.] The reason of our Lord’s silence is sufficiently shewn, in the account of Herod’s feelings at seeing Him. “Noluit Christus miraculis et sermonibus, ut non ad auditorum curiositatem aut propriam jactantiam, ita nec ad suam ipsius a morte liberationem uti.” Drusius.

Verse 10

10.] The accusations, of worldly kingship and of blasphemy, would probably be here united, as Herod was a Jew, and able to appreciate the latter.

Verse 11

11.] στρατ. are the bodyguard in attendance upon Herod.

ἐσθῆτα λαμπρ.] Variously interpreted:—either purple, as befitting a king,—and why should this not be the very χλαμὺς κοκκίνη afterwards used by Pilate’s soldiers (Matthew 27:28; ἱμάτιον πορφυροῦν, John 19:2)?—or white, as λαμπρ. is rendered by some (but see note), Acts 10:30.

Verse 12

12.] The cause of the quarrel is uncertain: apparently something concerning Herod’s power of jurisdiction, which was conceded by Pilate in this sending Jesus to him, and again waived by Herod in sending Him back again. From chap. Luke 13:1, Pilate appears to have encroached on that jurisdiction.

The remarks of some Commentators about their uniting in enmity against Christ (so even, recently, Wordsworth), are quite beside the purpose. The present feeling of Pilate was any thing but hostile to the person of Christ; and Herod, by his treatment of Him, shews that he thought Him beneath his judicial notice.

This remission of Jesus to Herod seems not to have been known to either of the other three Evangelists. It is worthy of notice that they all relate the mocking by the soldiers of Pilate, which Luke omits,—whereas he gives it as taking place before Herod. This is one of the very few cases where the nature of the history shews that both happened.

Let the student ask himself, How could John, if he composed his Gospel with that of Luke before him, have here given us a narrative in which so important a fact as this is not only not related, but absolutely cannot find any place of insertion? Its real place is after John 18:38;—but obviously nothing was further from the mind of that Evangelist, for he represents Pilate as speaking continuously.

Verses 13-25

13–25.] FURTHER HEARING BEFORE PILATE, WHO STRIVES TO RELEASE HIM, BUT ULTIMATELY YIELDS TO THE JEWS. Matthew 27:15-26. Mark 15:6-15. John 18:39-40. Our account, while entirely distinct in form from the others, is in substance nearly allied to them. In a few points it approaches John very nearly, compare Luke 23:18 with John 18:40, also ἕνα, Luke 23:17, with John 18:39.

The second declaration of our Lord’s innocence by Pilate is in John’s account united with the first, Luke 23:38. In the three first Gospels, as asserted in our Luke 23:14, the questioning takes place in the presence of the Jews: not so, however, in John (see John 18:28).

Verse 15

15.] ἐστὶν πεπ. αὐτῷ—is done by him—not ‘to him,’ see ch. Luke 24:35, ἐγνώσθη αὐτοῖς.

Verse 16

16.] ‘Hic cœpit nimium concedere Pilatus,’ Bengel. If there be no fault in Him, why should He be corrected at all?—the Jews perceive their advantage, and from this moment follow it up.

Verse 23

23.] κατίσχυον—got the upper hand, prevailed: see reff.

Verse 25

25. τὸν δ. σ. κ. τ. λ.] The description is inserted for the sake of contrast;—see Acts 3:14. Luke omits the scourging and mocking of Jesus. It is just possible that he might have omitted the mocking, because he had related a similar incident before Herod; but how shall we say this of the scourging, if he had seen any narratives which contained it? The break between Luke 23:25-26 is harsh in the extreme, and if Luke had any materials wherewith to fill it up, I have no doubt he would have done so.

Verse 26

26. ἐρχόμενον ἀπʼ ἀγρ.] See on Mark.

ὄπισθεν τ. ἰη. is peculiar to Luke, and a note of accuracy.

Verses 26-33

26–33.] HE IS LED FORTH TO CRUCIFIXION. Matthew 27:31-34. Mark 15:20-23. John 19:16-17. Our account is original—containing the affecting narrative Luke 23:27-32, peculiar to itself.

Verse 27

27.] These were not the women who had followed Him from Galilee, but the ordinary crowd collected in the streets on such occasions, and consisting, as is usually the case (and especially at an execution), principally of women. Their weeping appears to have been of that kind of well-meant sympathy which is excited by any affecting sight, such as that of an innocent person delivered to so cruel a death. This description need not of course exclude many who may have wept from deeper and more personal motives, as having heard Him teach, or received some benefit of healing from Him, or the like.

Verse 28

28.] στραφείς—after He was relieved from the burden of the cross. This word comes from an eye-witness.

ἐπʼ ἐμέHis future course was not one to be bewailed—see especially on this saying, Hebrews 12:2,— ὃς ἀντὶ τῆς προκειμένης αὐτῷ χαρᾶς ὑπέμεινεν σταυρόν, αἰσχύνης καταφρονήσας. Nor again were His sacred sufferings a mere popular tragedy for street-bewailing; the sinners should weep for themselves, not for Him.

ἐφʼ ἑαυτὰς καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν] See Matthew 27:25, where the people called down the vengeance of His blood on themselves καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν. Many of those who now bewailed Him perished in the siege of Jerusalem. Those who now were young wives, would not be more than sixty when (A.D. 70) the city was taken. But to their children more especially belonged the miseries of which the Lord here speaks.

Verse 29

29. ἔρχονται ἡμ.] Between this and then would be time for that effectual weeping, which might save both themselves and their children: see Acts 2:37-38,—but of which few availed themselves. These few are remarkably hinted at in the change to the third person, which excludes them— ἐροῦσιν, i.e. not ‘men in general,’ nor ‘My enemies,’—but ‘the impenitent among you,—those who weep merely tears of idle sympathy for Me, and none of repentance for themselves;—those who are in Jerusalem and its misery, which My disciples will not be.’

On the saying itself, compare the whole of Hosea 9, especially Luke 23:12-16.

Verse 30

30.] This is cited from the next chapter of Hosea (ref.).

It was partially and primarily accomplished, when multitudes of the Jews towards the end of the siege sought to escape death by hiding themselves in the subterranean passages and sewers under the city.… οὓς δʼ ἐν τοῖς ὑπονόμοις ἀνηρεύνων, καὶ τὸ ἔδαφος ἀναῤῥηγνύντες ὅσοις μὲν ἐνετύγχανον ἀνεῖλον. εὑρέθησαν δὲ καὶ ἐκεῖ νεκροὶ πλείους δισχιλίων, Jos. B. J. vi. 9. 4. But the words are too solemn, and too often used in a more awful connexion, for a further meaning to escape our notice: see Isaiah 2:10; Isaiah 2:19; Isaiah 2:21, and Revelation 6:16, where is the striking expression ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς τοῦ ἀρνίου—of Him who now was the victim about to be offered. And the whole warning—as every other respecting the destruction of Jerusalem—looks through the type to the antitype, the great day of His wrath. Now, ἔρχονται ἡμέραι—then ἦλθεν ἡ ἡμέρα ἡ μεγάλη τῆς ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ, Revelation 6:17.

It is interesting to see how often David, who had passed so long in hiding among the rocks of the wilderness from Saul, calls the Lord his Rock (see Psalms 18:2; Psalms 18:46; Psalms 42:9, &c.). They who have this defence, will not need to call on the rocks to hide them.

Verse 31

31.] This verse—the solemn close of our Lord’s teaching on earth—compares His own sufferings with that awful judgment which shall in the end overtake sinners, the unrepentant human kind—the dry tree. These things— ταῦτα—were a judgment on sin;—He bore our sins;—He,—the vine, the green tree, the fruit-bearing tree,—of Whom His people are the branches,—if He, if they in Him and in themselves, are so treated, so tried with sufferings,—what shall become of them who are cast forth as a branch and are withered? Read 1 Peter 4:12-18;—Luke 23:18 is a paraphrase of our text. Theophylact’s comment is excellent: εἰ ταῦτα ποιοῦσιν ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐγκάρπῳ καὶ ἀειθαλεί καὶ ἀειζώῳ διὰ τὴν θεότητα, τί γένηται ἐν ὑμῖν ἀκάρποις καὶ πάσης δικαιοσύνης ζωοποιοῦ ἐστερημένοις;

The explanations which make the green-tree = the young, and the dry = the old (Bengel),—or the green-tree = the women, comparatively innocent, the dry = the guilty (Baumgarten-Crusius), at the destruction of Jerusalem—seem to me unworthy of the place which the words hold, though the latter agrees with the symbolism of Ezekiel 20:47, compared with Luke 21:4.

Verse 32

32.] The digest shews that the reading ἕτεροι κακοῦργοι δύο has diplomatically almost as great claims to be the true one as that in the text: and if we take the probabilities of alteration into account, it has even stronger claims. Of course it can bear but one meaning—two other malefactors. That this should have been substituted for ἕτεροι δύο κακοῦργοι, which may mean two other, malefactors (as rendered in E. V.), is simply inconceivable; that the transposition took place vice versa, is highly probable. This having now appeared by the additional evidence of the Codex Sinaiticus, it is impossible to annotate as was done in my earlier Editions.

Verses 33-49

33–49.] THE CRUCIFIXION, MOCKING, LAST WORDS, AND DEATH OF JESUS. Matthew 27:35-50. Mark 15:24-37. John 19:18-30; with however some particulars inserted which appear later in the other Gospels.

Verse 34

34.] Spoken apparently during the act of the crucifixion, or immediately that the crosses were set up. Now first, in the fullest sense, from the wounds in His Hands and Feet, is His Blood shed, εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν (Matthew 26:28), and He inaugurates His intercessional office by a prayer for His murderers,— ἄφες αὐτοῖς. This also is a fulfilment of Scripture, Isaiah 53:12;—where the contents of our Luke 23:33-34 are remarkably pointed out.

His teaching ended at Luke 23:31. His High-Priesthood is now begun. His first three sayings on the Cross are for others: see Luke 23:43 : John 19:26-27.

πάτερ] He is the Son of God, and He speaks in the fulness of this covenant relation. ἐγὼ ᾔδειν ὅτι πάντοτέ μου ἀκούεις:—it is not merely a prayer—but the prayer of the Great Intercessor, which is always heard. Notice that though on the Cross, there is no alienation, no wrath of condemnation, between the Father and the Son.

ἄφες αὐτοῖςwho are here intended? Doubtless, first and directly, the four soldiers, whose work it had been to crucify Him. The ποιοῦσιν points directly at this: and it is surely a mistake to suppose that they wanted no forgiveness, because they were merely doing their duty. Stier remarks, “This is only a misleading fallacy, for they were sinners even as others, and their obedient and unsuspecting performance of their duty was not without a sinful pleasure in doing it, or at all events formed part of their entire standing as sinners, included in that sin of the world, to which the Lord here ascribes His Crucifixion” (vi. 403, edn. 2). But not only to them, but to them as the representatives of that sin of the world, does this prayer apply. The nominative to ποιοῦσιν is οἱ ἄνθρωποιmankind,—the Jewish nation, as the next moving agent in His death,—but all of us, inasmuch as for our sins He was bruised.

οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν, primarily, as before, spoken of the soldiers,—then of the council, who delivered Him up, see John 11:49, ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε οὐδέν,—then of all, whose sin is from lack of knowledge of the truth, of what sin is, and what it has done—even the crucifixion of the Lord. But certainly from this intercession is excluded that one sin—strikingly brought out by the passage thus cited as committed by him who said it, viz. Caiaphas, and hinted at again by our Lord, John 19:11—and perhaps also by the awful answer Matthew 26:64, σὺ εἶπας—‘thou saidst it’—viz. in prophecy, John 11:49; see also Matthew 26:25,—and on the sin alluded to, Matthew 12:31; 1 John 5:16.

Observe that between the two members of this prayer lies the work of the Spirit leading to repentance—the prayer that they may have their eyes opened, and know what they have done: which is the necessary subjective condition of forgiveness of sins, see 2 Timothy 2:25-26.

Verse 35

35.] The insults of the people are by no means excluded, even with σὺν αὐτοῖς omitted: nay they are implied, by the δὲ καί which follows. To find a discrepancy with Matt. and Mark here, is surely unfair (Meyer, De Wette):—the people’s standing looking on, does not describe their mind towards Jesus: Luke reports no more than he had before him: and the inference may be drawn that those whom he has related to have cried out an hour ago, ‘Crucify him,’—would not have stood by in silence.

On Luke 23:48, see note there.

οἱ ἄρχοντες are the chief priests and members of the Sanhedrim: Matthew 27:41.

τ. θ. ὁ ἐκλ., either the Christ of God, His elect one,—or, the elect Christ of God; I prefer the former: but either way, χρ. τ. θεοῦ must be taken together, not as in re(115).

Verse 36

36.] A different incident from that related Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:28-29. It was about the time of the mid-day meal of the soldiers,—and they in mockery offered Him their posca or sour wine, to drink with them.

Verse 38

38.] See on Matthew 27:37.

ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, over Him, on the projecting upright beam of the cross.

Verses 39-43

39–43.] Peculiar to Luke. Matthew and Mark have merely a general and less precise report of the same incident.

All were now mocking; the soldiers, the rulers, the mob:—and the evil-minded thief, perhaps out of bravado before the crowd, puts in his scoff also.

Verse 40

40.] Bengel supports the notion that this penitent thief was a Gentile. But surely this is an unwarranted assumption. What should a Gentile know of Paradise, or of the kingdom of the Messiah as about to come? The silence of the penitent is broken by the ἡμᾶς of the other compromising him in the scoff.

οὐδέ alludes to the multitude—Dost thou too not fear God? ὅτι—(as thou oughtest to do), seeing that.…

Verse 41

41. ἡμεῖς] He classes himself with the other in condemnation, but not in his prayer afterwards.

ἄτοπον, unseemly. This is a remarkable testimony to the innocence of Jesus from one who was probably executed for his share in those very tumults which He was accused of having excited.

Verse 42

42.] The thief had heard of the announcements which Jesus had made,—or at all events of the popular rumour concerning his Kingdom. His faith lays hold on the truth that this is the King of the Jews in a higher and immortal sense. There is nothing so astounding in this man’s faith dogmatically considered, as De Wette thinks; he merely joins the common belief of the Jews of a Messianic Kingdom, in which the ancient Fathers were to rise, &c.,—with the conviction, that Jesus is the Messiah. What is really astounding, is the power and strength of that faith, which, amidst shame and pain and mockery, could thus lift itself to the apprehension of the Crucified as this King. This thief would fill a conspicuous place in a list of the triumphs of faith supplementary to Hebrews 11.

ἐν τῇ βασ.] The Vulgate, which is followed by Luther,—and the E. V.,—renders this as if it were εἰς τὴν βασ. (see var. readd.), which is a sad mistake, as it destroys the force of the expression. It is in thy Kingdom—with thy Kingdom, so ἔλθῃ ἐν τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ, Matthew 25:31, which we (E. V.) have translated rightly. The above mistake entirely loses ἔλθῃς—making it merely ‘comest into,’ just as we say to ‘come into’ an estate: whereas it is the chief word in the clause, and ἐν τῇ β. σου its qualification, at Thy coming in Thy Kingdom.

It will be seen that there is no necessity for supposing the man to have been a disciple, as some have done.

It is remarkable how, in three following sayings, the Lord appears as Prophet, Priest, and King: as Prophet, to the daughters of Jerusalem;—as Priest, interceding for forgiveness;—as King, acknowledged by the penitent thief, and answering his prayer.

Verse 43

43. ἀμήν σοι λέγω] The Lord surpasses his prayer in the answer; the ἀμήν σοι λέγω, σήμερον, is the reply to the uncertain ὅταν of the thief.

σήμερον] this day: before the close of this natural day. The attempt to join it with σοὶ λέγω, considering that it not only violates common sense, but destroys the force of our Lord’s promise, is surely something worse than silly: see below.

μετʼ ἐμοῦ ἔσῃ can bear no other meaning than thou shalt be with Me, in the ordinary sense of the words, ‘I shall be in Paradise, and thou with Me.’

ἐν τῷ παρ.] On these words rests the whole exegesis of the saying. What is this PARADISE? The word is used of the garden of Eden by the LXX, Genesis 2:8, &c., and subsequently became, in the Jewish theology, the name for that part of Hades, the abode of the dead, where the souls of the righteous await the resurrection. It was also the name for a supernal or heavenly abode, see reff. N.T. The former of these is, I believe, here primarily to be understood;—but only as introductory, and that immediately, to the latter. By the death of Christ only was Paradise first opened, in the true sense of the word. He Himself, when speaking of Lazarus (ch. Luke 16:22), does not place him in Paradise, but in Abraham’s bosom—in that place which the Jews called Paradise, but by an anticipation which our Lord did not sanction. I believe the matter to have been thus. Our Lord spoke (as Grotius has remarked) to the thief so as He knew the thief would understand Him; but He spoke with a fuller and more blessed meaning than he could understand then. For that day, on that very evening, was ‘Paradise’ truly ‘regained’—opened by the death of Christ. We know (1 Peter 3:18-19, where see note; Luke 4:6) that our Lord went down into the depths of death,—announced His triumph (for His death was His triumph) to the imprisoned spirits,—and in that moment—for change of state, to the disembodied, is all that change of place implies—they perhaps were in the Paradise of God,—in the blessed heavenly place, implied by the word, 2 Corinthians 12. That this is not fulness of glory as yet, is evident;—for the glorified body is not yet joined to their spirits,—they are not yet perfect (Hebrews 11:40); but it is a degree of bliss compared to which their former degree was but as imprisonment.

This work of the Lord I believe to have been accomplished on the instant of His death, and the penitent to have followed Him at his death—some little time after—into the Paradise of God. That our Lord returned to take his glorified Body, was in accordance with His design, and He became thereby the first-fruits of the holy dead, who shall like Him put on the body of the resurrection, and be translated from disembodied and imperfect bliss in the Paradise of God, to the perfection of glorified humanity in His glory, and with Him, not in Paradise, but at God’s right hand.

Verses 44-46

44–46.] Our account is very short and epitomizing—containing however, peculiar to itself, the last word of our Lord on the cross.

The impression conveyed by this account, if we had no other, would be that the veil was rent before the death of Jesus;—but the more detailed account of Matthew corrects this.

Verse 45

45.] The words ἐσκοτ. ὁ ἥλ. are probably added to give solemnity to the preceding, assigning its reason; so that the gloss τοῦ ἡλ. ἐκλείποντος shews a right apprehension of the words. It can hardly be, as Me(116)., that the earth was darkened till the ninth hour, and then the sun became dark also.

Verse 46

46.] The use of φωνῇ μεγάλῃ shews that this was the cry to which Matt. and Mark allude. The words are from the LXX, varying however from the common reading παραθήσομαι, and giving the verb in the present, which is also the rendering of the Hebrew ( אַפְקִיד).

These words have in them an important and deep meaning. They accompany that, which in our Lord’s case was strictly speaking the act of death. It was His own act—not ‘feeling the approach of death,’ as some, not apprehending the matter, have commented; but a determinate delivering up of His spirit to the Father.— παρέδωκεν τὸ πνεῦμα, John: see John 10:18οὐδεὶς αἴρει αὐτὴν ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλʼ ἐγὼ τίθημι αὐτὴν ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ. None of the Evangelists say ‘He died:’ although that expression is ever after used of His death stated as one great fact:—but it is, ἀφῆκεν τὸ πν., Matt.; ἐξέπνευσεν, Mark, Luke; παρέδωκεν τὸ πνεῦμα, John.

The πνεῦμα here is the Personality—the human soul informed by the Spirit, in union: not separated, so that His soul went to Hades, and His spirit to the Father (Olshausen). Both are delivered into the hand of the Father—by Whom quickened (but ζωοποιηθεὶς πνεύματι of 1 Peter 3:18 is to be rendered ‘quickened in the spirit’—by the Father is understood in ζωοποιηθείς) He worked His great victory over death and Hell.

See again 1 Peter 3:18-19, and notes, and Romans 8:10-11.

The latter part of the verse in Psalms 31, ‘for Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth,’ is not applicable here. The whole Psalm is not strictly prophetic, but is applied by the Lord to Himself.

Verses 47-49

47–49.] Our account, as well as that of Mark, ascribes the impression made on the centurion to that which took place at the death of Jesus,—i.e. ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν. Something in the manner and words convinced him that this man was the Son of God; which expression he uses doubtless with reference to what he had before heard, but especially to the words just uttered—“Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” Luke has not expressed the words exactly the same,—but the E. V. has wrongly and ungrammatically rendered what he relates the centurion to have said, and made ‘a righteous man’ (Luke) stand in the place of ‘the Son of God’ (Mark);—whereas they only give the general sense of the persuasion of the centurion. Truly, this man was innocent:—and if innocent (nay, more, δίκαιος, just, truthful), He was the Son of God, for He had asserted it.

Verse 48

48.] Peculiar to Luke.

τὰ γενόμενα are the darkness and other prodigies, after which we have no more raillery:—men’s tempers are changed, and we here see the result.

τύπτοντες a sign of self-accusation, at least for the time,—which is renewed on the preaching of Peter, Acts 2:37.

Verse 49

49.] See on Matt. and Mark.

Verses 50-56

50–56.] BURIAL OF THE BODY OF JESUS BY JOSEPH OF ARIMATHÆA. Matthew 27:57-61. Mark 15:42-47. John 19:38-42. See notes on Matt.

Verse 51

51. οὗτος] Peculiar to Luke. The meaning is, he had absented himself, and taken no part in their (the council’s) determination against Jesus.

Verse 53

53.] Notice the similarity of our οὐκ ἦν οὐδεὶς οὔπω κείμενος to St. John’s οὐδέπω οὐδεὶς ἐτέθη.

Verse 54

54.] παρασκευή—‘the day before the sabbath,’—which now ἐπέφωσκεν, drew on;—a natural word, used of the conventional (Jewish) day beginning at sunset. There is no reference to the lighting of candles in the evening or on the sabbath. Lightfoot (in loc.) has shewn that such use of the word was common among the Jews, who called the evening (the beginning) of a day אוֹר, ‘light.’

Verse 55

55.] Only Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses (‘the other Mary,’ Matt.),—Mark.

Verse 56

56.] They bought their spices, &c. in the short time before sunset. The μέν before σάβ. answers to δέ, ch. Luke 24:1, which ought therefore to continue the sense, as I have punctuated it in the text.

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.