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Bible Commentaries
Luke 23

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Verses 1-99

23:1-7. The Civil Trial before Pilate. Comp. Matthew 27:2, Matthew 27:11, Matthew 27:12; Mark 15:1-3; John 18:28-37. Lk. assumes that his reader know that Jesus was condemned to death by the Sanhedrin. But it was necessary to have Him condemned by Roman procurator also, in order that the sentence might be executed, and without delay, by him who possessed μέξρι τοῦ κτείνειν ἐξουσίαν (Jos. B. J. ii. 8, 1).1 It is almost certain that at this time the Jews were deprived of the right of inflicting capital punishment. They sometimes did inflict it and risked the consequences, as in the case of S. Stephen: and the Romans sometimes found it expedient to ignore these transgressions (John 5:18, John 5:7:1, John 5:25, John 5:8 [5, ] 59; Acts 5:33, Acts 21:31, Acts 26:10). A good deal would depend upon the character of the execution and the humour of me procurator. But besides John 18:31 we have the express statement, quadraginta annis ante vastatum templum ablata sunt judicia capitalia ab Israële (Bab. Sanh. f. 24, 2). See Blass on Acts 7:57.

But it is quite possible that in some of the cases in which the Jews are represented as trying to put persons to death, the meaning is that they wished to no them over to the Romans for execution. See notes on John 18:31 in Camb. Grk. Test. In the accounts of this Roman trial we have the attempts of the Jews to induce Pilate to condemn Jesus contrasted with Pilate’s attempts to save Him from execution. The Sanhedrin hoped that Pilate would confirm their sentence of death; but Pilate insists on trying the case himself. This be does in his πραιτώριον or palace (Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:16; John 18:28, John 18:33, John 18:19:9). But we do not know where this was. A little later than this (Philo, Leg. ad Gaium, § 38, ed. Mangey. ii. 589) the Roman governor resided in “Herod’s Prætorium,” a large palace on the western hill of the city. But Pilate may have used part of the fortress Antonia, the site of which is supposed to be known; and some conjecture that a chamber with a column in it is the scene of the scourging. For the rather considerable literature concerning Pilate see Leyrer in Herzog, art. Pilatus, sub fin., and Schürer, Jewish People, etc. I. 2. p. 82, who refers especially to G. A. Müller, Pontius Pilatus, Stuttgart, 1888.


The form εὔραμεν is well attested here (B* L T X) as�2 Samuel 17:20 we have ἐ͂ραν with ἦλθαν and παρῆλθαν. See small print on 1:59.

διαστρέφοντα τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν. They imply that the perversion of the nation was seditious. The excitement caused by Christ’s ministry was notorious, and it would not be easy to prove that it had no political significance. For the verb comp. 9:41; Acts 13:10, Acts 13:20:30; Exodus 5:4; 1 Kings 18:17, 1 Kings 18:18.

κωλύοντα φόρους Καίσαρι διδόναι. Jesus had done the very opposite a day or two before (20:25). But this second charge seemed to be of one piece with the third. If He claimed to be a king, He of course would forbid tribute to a foreign power. Vulg. wrongly changes the dare of Lat. Vet. to dari.

χριστὸν βασιλέα. “Messias. a king” (comp. 2:11) is more probable than either “King Messias,” or. “an anointed king” (Schegg). They add βασιλέα that Pilate may know the political significance of Χριστός (Schanz). It is here that the charge made before Pilate approximates to the charge on which they condemned Jesus (22:69-71). But with them it was the theological significance of His claim that was so momentous: and this Pilate could not regard.

Epiphanius (Marc. 316, 317, 346) tells us that after διαστρέφοντα τὸ ἔθνος Marcion inserted καὶ καταλύοντα τὸν νόμον καὶ τοὺς προφήτας; and that after κωλύοντα … διδόναι he added καὶ�

4. καὶ τοὺς ὄχλους. The first mention of them. The procession of the Sanhedrin would attract a crowd; and perhaps some had come to ask for the customary release of a prisoner (Mark 15:8).

αἵτιον. = αἰτία is peculiar to Lk., and is always combined with a negative: vv. 14, 22; Acts 19:40.

5. ἐπίσχυον. Intransitive, as in 1 Mac. 6:6, so that nothing is to be understood: “they were the more urgent,” invalescebant (Vulg.). They became more definite in their accusations, because Pilate took the matter too easily.

καθʼ ὅλης τῆς Ἰουδαίας. Comp. 4:44. Whether this means the whole of Palestine (1:5, 7:17; Acts 2:9, Acts 2:10:37, Acts 2:11:1, Acts 2:29) or Judæa proper (2:4; Acts 1:8, Acts 8:1), is uncertain. In either case we have allusion to an activity of Jesus in southern Palestine of which Lk. records very little.

ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας. Nutrix seeditiosorum hominum (Grot). The ἕως ὧδε may have special reference to the triumphal entry into Jerusalem; but it may also refer to previous visits of Jesus to the city.

With the constr.�Acts 1:22; Matthew 20:8; [John 8:9]. The very words καθʼ ὅλης τῆς Ἰουδαίας,�Acts 10:37.

At the end of ver. 5 Cod. Colb. adds et filios nostros et uxores avertit a nobis, non enim baptizatur sicut nos; and Cod. Palat. has the same down to nobis, and continues non enim baptizantur sicut et nos nec se mundant.

The retention of “Jewry” in AV. here, John 7:1, and Daniel 5:13 (where the same word is translated “Jewry” and “Judah”) was probably an oversight.

7. ἐπιγνούς. Freq. in Lk. in the sense of “thoroughly ascertain” 7:37; Acts 19:34, Acts 22:29, Acts 24:11, Acts 28:1, etc.

ἀνέπεμψεν αὐτόν. The verb may be used in the legal sense of “sending up” to a higher authority or “referring” to another jurisdiction, like remitto, which Vulg. has here and vv. 11, 15: comp. Acts 25:21; Jos. B. J. ii. 20, 5; Philo, De Creat. Prin. 8. But in vv. 11, 15 the meaning “send back” is more suitable, and may be retained here: comp. Philemon 1:12. If Jesus originally belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, sending Him to Herod was, sending Him back; just as the man born blind is said to recover his sight �John 9:15, John 9:18). It was perhaps chiefly in order to get rid of a difficult case, or to obtain official evidence from the tetrarch, that Pilate sent Jesus, rather than merely to conciliate Antipas. Justin says that Pilate χαριζόμενος δεδεμένον τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἔπεμψε4�

8-12. § The Trial before, Herod. It has been noticed by Schleiermacher that its omission by Jn. is no serious objection to its authenticity. “The transaction is too circumstantially detailed to admit a doubt, and our reporter seems to have had an acquaintance in the house of Herod who supplied him with this fact, as John seems to have had in the house of Annas” (S. Luke, p. 304, Eng. tr.). Joana, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward (8:3), would be a likely source of information: see on 8:3 and 24:10.

8. ἦν θέλων, τὸ�Acts 8:11), χρόνους ιὙκανούς (20:9).

TR. follows A R Γ D L in reading ἐξ ἱκανοῦ, to which H M C Π add χρόνου. But א B D L T, Sah. Arm. give the plural.

9. αὐτὸς δὲ οὐδὲν�

εὐτόνως. “At full stretch, vehemently,” in N. T. only here and Acts 18:28: comp. Joshua 6:8; Jos_2 Mac. 12:23. In Latin texts we have instanter (c), fortiter (d), vehementer (a r), constanter (f Vulg.). Apparently they had kept silence while Herod was questioning Jesus; but his silence had exasperated them. Syr-Sin. omits vv. 10-12.

11. ἐξουθενήσας … ἐμπαίξας. These participles are put first in their clauses with emphasis. Herod’s baffled curiosity takes this despicable revenge: comp. 18:9; Galatians 4:14. We need not suppose that Antipas formally pronounced Him innocent, but that he did not condemn Him to death. He evaded the responsibility, as Pilate tried to do. In the Gospel of Peter Herod sentences the Lord; and when “Joseph, the friend of Pilate and of the Lord,” asks Pilate before the crucifixion for the Lord’s body, Pilate sends to ask Herod for it. The chief guilt throughout is transferred from Pilate to Herod and the Jews.

σὺν τοῖς στρατεύμασιν. Probably a guard of honour: cum militibus suis (f). It was one of these perhaps that he had sent to behead John in the prison (Mark 6:27; Matthew 14:10). It was fitting that the prince who had murdered the Baptist should mock the Christ.

ἐμπαίξας. He treats Him as a crazy enthusiast, and gives a mock assent to His claim to be a king, which the scribes no doubt reported. Latin texts have irrisit (c), inludens (d), deludens (r), delusum (a), inlusit (Vulg.).

ἐσθῆτα λαμπράν. “A bright robe,” splendidum (c), rather than “a white robe,” candida (a), alba (f Vulg.). That it was a toga candida to mark Him as a candidate for royalty, is not likely: it was to mark Him as already king. The epithet does not indicate its colour, but its “gorgeous” character: comp. James 2:2, James 2:3. In Acts 10:30 it is used of angelic apparel. Elsewhere in N.T. ἐσθής occurs only 24:4; Acts 1:10, Acts 12:21: comp. 2 Mac. 8:35, 11:8.

12. ἐγένοντο δὲ φίλοι. Although Pilate failed in the attempt to transfer the responsibility to Herod, yet something was gained by the transaction. In the Gospel of Peter Herod addresses him as Ἀδελφὲ Πειλᾶτε. The cause of enmity may easily have been some dispute about jurisdiction.

Ephrem conjectured that the enmity arose through Pilate sending soldiers to punish the chief men of Galilee who had been the guests of Herod when he put the Baptist to death, and that this was the occasion when the blood of Galileans was mingled with their sacrifices. For the importance of this strange idea as a link in the evidence respecting the Diatessaron see Rendel Harris in Contemp. Review, Aug. 1895, p. 279.

D transposes the clauses, and has�

13-25. The vain Attempts of Pilate to avoid Sentencing Jesus to Death. Comp. Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15. Pilate’s first two expedients had failed: (1) telling the Jews to deal with case themselves; (2) sending it to Herod. He now tries two others: (3) to release Him in honour of the feast; (4) to scourge Him and let Him go. Roman dislike of a gross injustice to an innocent person possibly influenced him; but perhaps the chief motive was the superstitious fear, produced by his wife’s dream and confirmed by Christ’s bearing and words. Jn. states that he again and again declared Jesus to be innocent (18:38, 19:4, 6). In wording Lk. is not very similar to either Matthew 27:15-26 or Mark 15:6-15; but the substance of all three is the same. Jn. is more full and quite independent; he distinguishes the conversation inside the prætorium with Jesus and outside with the Jews.

13. συνκαλεσάμενος. See on 9:1. Pilate in taking the matter in hand again summons not only the hierarchy, whose bitterness against Jesus he knew, but the populace, whom he hoped to find more kindly disposed, and able to influence their rulers.


ἀνακρίνας. In its forensic sense of a judicial investigation word is peculiar to Lk. in N.T. (Acts 4:9, Acts 12:19, Acts 24:8, Acts 28:18). But the classical use for a preliminary examination must not here be pressed. See Dict. of Grk. and. Rom. Ant., art. Anakrisis; Gardner and Jevons, pp. 574ff. Pilate’s οὐθὲν εὗρον is in direct contradiction to their εὕραμεν (ver. 2). For αἴτιον see on ver. 4.


16. παιδεύσας. He uses a light word to express the terrible flagellatio, in order to excuse the injustice to his own conscience, and to hide his inconsistency from them. It is no punishment, but a chastisement to warn Him to be more circumspect in future. But the priests would see that a judge who was willing to inflict this on an innocent person could be induced by further pressure to inflict death. Scourging was sometimes fatal: Hor. Sat. i. 2, 41; comp. i. 3, 119. Comp. Deuteronomy 22:18.

17. This verse is wanting in A B K L T Π, Sah. a, while D, Syr-Cur. Syr-Sin. Æth. insert it after ver. 19. It is a gloss based on Matthew 27:15, and Mark 15:6. Alf. urges that�1 Corinthians 7:37) and S. Jude (3). Homœoteleuton (ΑΝΑΓΚΗΝ, ΑΝΕΚΡΑΓΟΝ) might explain the omission in one family of witnesses; but against this is the widespread omission, and the fact that the gloss is inserted in two different places. The passage reads more naturally without the gloss than with it.

18.�Mark 1:23, Mark 6:49: and in LXX both aorists are common. Here A X Γ have�

Αἶρε τοῦτον. E medio tolle istum: Acts 21:36, Acts 21:22:22; Matthew 24:39; John 19:15: comp. Acts 8:33. They are perhaps recalling such passages as Deuteronomy 17:7, Deuteronomy 19:19.

ἀπόλυσον δὲ ἡμῖν. Nothing is known of this custom of releasing a prisoner at the Passover apart from the Gospels. Pilate says “Ye have a custom” (John 18:39), which is against the hypothesis that he originated it: The Herods may have done so in imitation of Roman customs. At the first recorded lecstisternium prisoners were released (Livy, v. 13, 7).

βαραββᾶν. “Son of Abba” (father). Other instances of the name are given by Lightfoot: Samuel Bar-Abba, Nathan Bar-Abba (Hor. Heb. Matthew 27:16). But evidence is wanting that Abba was a proper name. On the remarkable reading “Jesus Barabbas” Matthew 27:16, Matthew 27:17 see WH. ii. App. 19.

19. διὰ στάσιν τινὰ γενομένην. Of Barabbas they might with some truth have said τοῦτον εὕραμεν διαστρέφοντα τὸ ἔθνος (ver. 2). Not that he had originated the στάσις but that he had taken a conspicuous part in it. The στάσις was probably no popular movement, but some plundering disturbance. Jn. calls him simply “a robber,” and he may have been connected with the other two robbers who were crucified with Jesus. The rather awkward order of the words in the verse is perhaps to intimate that while the στάσις took place in the city the murder did not.

On the rare form of periphrastic tense (ἦν with aor. part.), see Burton., § 20. βληθείς is the reading of B L T, for which א* a A D X Γ etc. have the more usual βεβλημ(μ)ένος: and while א B L T X, f qhave ἐν τῇ φυλακ͂ͅ, A D Γ Δ etc. have the obvious correction εἰς τὴν φυλακήν.

Excepting Mark 15:7 and Hebrews 9:8, στάσις in N.T. is peculiar to Lk. (ver. 25; Acts 15:2.Acts 15:19; Acts 15:19:40, Acts 15:23:7, Acts 15:10, Acts 15:24:5). In LXX it represents several Hebrew words of different meaning. Syr-Sin. here has “wicked deeds.”

20. That we should read δέ (א A B D T, Latt. Bob. Sah.) and not οὖν (C Γ Δ L etc.) after πάλιν is certain. That αὐτοῖς is to be added after προσεφώνησεν (א B L T, Latt. Boh. Sah. Syx-Cur. Æth.) is also certain. But Lk. uses the verb absolutely, 13:12; Acts 21:40. Contrast 7:32; Acts 22:2.

21. ἐπεεφώνουν. “Kept shouting at him”: clamabant (f), proclamahant (a), succlamabant (Vulg.). In N.T. the verb is peculiar to Lk. (Acts 12:22, Acts 21:34, Acts 22:24); but it is classical. According to all four Gospels the demand for crucifixion was not made until Pilate had proposed to release Jesus on account of the feast. Lk. and Jn. give the double cry, “Crucify, crucify.” Mt. has σταυρωθήτω, Mk. and Jn. σταύρωσον, Lk. σταύρου.

We must read σταύρου, 2 pers. imper. act., and not σταυροῦ, mid. א B D Fa have σταύρου (bis), A L R C Γ etc. have σταύρωσον (bis); but U 157, a b e f ff2 1 Arm. Aeth. omit the second “Crucify.”

22. τί γὰρ κακὸν ἐποίησεν ; So in all three. The γάρ means “Impossible; for what evil hath this man done?” This is well represented by the idiomatic “Why,” which we owe to the Vulg. Quid enim, through Rhem. Cov. has “What evil then, ” etc. The τρίτον refers to vv. 4 and 14.

οὐδὲν αἴτιον θανάτου. The θανάτου is a qualification added after failure of the mission to Herod (ver. 15). Previously it was οὐδὲν αἴτιον without limitation (vv. 4, 14). In his weakness Pilate s to admit, “Well, perhaps He may be guilty of something: but He is not guilty of a capital offence.” He began by saying that Herod had not found Him worthy of death. Now he says the same himself. In each case the proposal is the same,—παιδεύσας�

κατίσχυον. Comp. 21:36: “they prevailed,” but not until Pilate had tried whether the παιδεύειν would satisfy them (John 19:1). Mt. and Mk. connect the scourging with the crucifixion, because it usually preceded this punishment in Roman law.1 It is extremely unlikely that Pilate allowed the scourging to be repeated. He merely separated it from the crucifixion in the hope that the latter would not be required. Note the impressive repetition of φωναί.

24. ἐπέκρινεν. “He gave sentence”; 2 Mac. 4:47?; 3 Malachi 4:2. Here only N.T., but classical. For τὸ αἴτημα comp. Philippians 4:6.

25.�Acts 3:14, and note the contrast between these aorists and the imperfect ᾐτοῦντο, “kept demanding.” Both the repetition of τὸν διὰ ατάσιν, κ.τ.λ. and the addition of τῷ θελήματι αὐτῶν are peculiar to Lk. The writer thus emphasizes the enormity of the transaction. In the Gospel of Peter Herod is present at this point and gives the sentence. He does not wash his hands, and the blame is transferred to him and the Jews. So also in the Acta Pilati (B. x.) it is the Jews who hastily execute the sentence, as soon as Pilate has pronounced it. Comp. Justin (Try. 108.) ὃν σταυρωσάντων ἡμῶν. See Hastings, D.B. 1. p. 245.

26-32. § The Road to Calvary. Simon the Cyrenian, and the Daughters of Jerusalem. With the exception of ver. 26, the whole of this peculiar to Lk. In ver. 26 his wording is closer to Mark 15:21 than to Matthew 27:32.

26. Κυρηναῖον. Josephus tells of the origin of the Jewish colony in Cyrene (Apion. 2:4), and quotes Strabo respecting it (Ant. xiv. 7, 2): this gives us important information respecting branch of the Dispersion. Comp. Ant. xvi. 6. 1, 5; 1 Mac. 15:23; 2 Mac. 2:23. That Cyrene was the chief city of the district, which is the modern Tripoli, is shown by the name Cyrenaica and by Acts 2:10. For the literature of the subject see D. B.2 i. p. 688. This Simon may have been a member of the Cyrenian synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). It has been proposed to identify in with “Symeon that was called Niger,” who is mentioned in company with “Lucius of Cyrene” (Acts 13:1). But Simon or Symeon was one of the commonest of names; and Lk. would probably have given the same designation in both books, if he had meant the same person. If the Rufus of Romans 16:13 is the Rufus of Mark 15:21, then the wife of Simon of Cyrene was well known to S. Paul.


ἐπέθηκαν αὐτῷ τὸν σταυρόν. His being a provincial may have made them more ready to make free with him. Perhaps it was only the cross-beam (patibulum) which he carried; and if he carried both pieces, they would not be fastened together as finally erected. On the shape of the cross see Justin, Try. xci.; 1, Apol. lv.; Iren. ii. 24, 4; Tert. Adv. Jud. x.; Ad. Nat. xii.; and Schaff’s Herzog, art. “Cross”; Kraus, Real-Enc. d. Chr. Alt. ii. p. 225. At first Jesus carried it Himself (John 19:17), according to the usual custom. ἕκαστος τῶν κακούργων ἐκφέρει τὸν ἑσυτοῦ σταυρόν (Plutarch, De Sera Num. Vind. 9. p. 554 B), as indicated by the word furcifer: but He was physically unable to continue to do so. Indeed it has been inferred from φέρουσιν αὐτόν (Mark 15:22) that at length He was unable even to walk, and was therefore carried to Golgotha: but comp. Mark 1:32, Mark 7:32, Mark 8:22, Mark 9:19. On the other hand Lange interprets φέρειν ὄπισθεν as meaning that Simon carried the lower end, while the top was still carried by Jesus. But this is not in harmony with ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ (Mt. Mk). Syr-Sin. here has, “that he might bear the cross and follow Jesus.” See Hastings, D.B. 1. p. 529.

The Basilidian Gnostics taught that Simon was crucified in the place of Jesus, being transformed by Jesus to look like Him, while Jesus in the form of Simon stood by and laughed at His enemies: and it was for this reason that they disparaged martyrdom, as being an honour paid, not to Christ, but to Simon the Cyrenian. See Photius, Bibl. cxiv. 292. Irenæus (i. 24. 2) wrongly attributes that doctrine to Basilides himself, who was not docetic, but made the sufferings of Jesus an essential part of his system. Contrast Hippol. Refut. vii. 15 the Mahometans teach a similar doctrine; that God deceived the Jews and caused them to crucify a spy, or an emissary of Judas, or Judas himself, in mistake for Jesus. See Sale’s Koran, pp. 38, 70, Chandos ed.

27. γυναικῶν αἳ ἐκόπτοντο. This incident is in place in the “Gospel of Womanhood” (1:39-56, 2:36-38, 7:11-15, 37-50, 8:1-3, 10:38-42, 11:27, 13:11-16). These are probably not the women who had ministered to Him previously (8:1-3), but sympathizers from the city. Comp. Zechariah 12:10-14. In the Gospels there is no instance of a woman being hostile to Christ. For ἐκόπτοντο comp. 8:52 and Matthew 11:17.

The καί after αἳ—“which also bewailed” (AV.)—must be omitted upon decisive evidence: A B C * D L L X. Boh. Sah. Vulg. etc.

28. στραφεὶς πρὸς αὐτάς. As they were following Him, this would hardly have been possible, if He was still carrying the cross: comp. 7:9, 44, 9:55, 10:23. For “daughter of” = “inhabitant of” comp. Isaiah 37:22; Zephaniah 3:14; Jeremiah 46:19; Ezekiel 16:46.

μὴ κλαίετε ἐπʼ ἐμέ· πλὴν ἐφʼ ἑαυτὰς κλαίετε. Comp. Judges 11:37, Judges 11:38. Note the chiasmus, making the contrast between ἐμέ א and ἑαυτάς very emphatic. His sufferings will be short, and are the road to glory: theirs will be prolonged, and will end in shame and destruction. Christ is not rebuking mere sentimentality or sympathetic emotion, as if the meaning were that they ought to lament their own sins rather than His sufferings. The form of command is similar to that in 10:20. They are not wrong in weeping for Him: nevertheless there is something else for which they may weep with far greater reason. That for which He wept (19:41-44) may rightly move them to tears,—the thought that a judgment which might have been averted must now take its course. For the legend of Veronica see D. of Chr. Biog. iv. p. 1107.

Comp. an eloquent passage in a lecture on the relation of Art to Religion by Ruskin, in which he contrasts the barren emotion produced by realistic representations of the past agonies of Christ with sympathetic realization of the present miseries of mankind (Lecturers on Art, Oxford, 1870, § 57, p. 54).

29. ἔρχονται ἡμέραι. “Days are coming”: comp. Hebrews 8:8; Jeremiah 7:32, Jeremiah 7:9:25, Jeremiah 7:16:14, Jeremiah 7:19:6, Jeremiah 7:23:5, Jeremiah 7:7, etc. In all these cases ἰδού precedes ἔρχονται. In Lk. the fut. is more common: 5:35, 17:22, 19:43, 21:6. Here the nom. to ἐροῦσιν is not τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν, but “people, the world in general”: man wird sagen.

Μακάριαι αἱ στεῖραι. As a rule childless women are commiserated or despised (1:25, 36), but in these dreadful times they will be congratulated. Comp. Eur. Androm. 395; Alc. 882; Tac. Ann. ii. 75, 1. See on 1:24.

30. τότε ἄρξονται. The nom. is the same as to ἐροῦσιν, —the population generally, not the women only; and the τότε means simply ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις. The wish is that the mountains may fall on them and kill them, not hide and protect them. Death is preferable to such terror and misery. So also in the original passage Hosea 10:8; comp. Revelation 6:6, and contrast Isaiah 2:19.

31. ὅτι εἰ ἐν τῷ ὑγρῷ ξύλῳ. This is not a continuation of the cry of despair, but gives the reason for predicting such things. “These horrors will certainly come, because, ” etc. In Syr-Sin. the ὅτι is omitted: “Who do these things in the moist tree, what shall they do in the dry?” Proverbs of similar import are found in various languages, and are capable of many applications: comp. Proverbs 11:31; 1 Peter 4:17, 1 Peter 4:18. This saying is an argument à fortiori, and it may be easily applied in more than one sense here. (1) If the Romans treat Me, whom they admit to be innocent, in this manner, how will they treat those who are rebellious and guilty? (2) If the Jews deal thus with One who has come to save them, what treatment shall they receive themselves for destroying Him? (3) If they behave thus before their cup of wickedness is full, what will they commit when it overflows? The use of εύλον, lignum, for a tree as well as for timber is late Greek (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 1:2:9, Genesis 1:3:1; Isaiah 14:8; Psalms 1:3). In Ezekiel 21:3 [20:47] we have ξύλον χλωρόν and ξύλον ξηρόν combined; but otherwise there is no parallel.

For the delib. subjunct. γένηται comp. Matthew 26:54, and Ὤμοι ἐγώ, τἱ πάθω; τί νύ μοι μήκιστα γένηται; (Hom. Od. v. 465). See Burton., § 169.

32. ἕτεροι κακοῦργοι δύο. This is the order of א B and Aegyptt., which has been corrected to ἕτεροι δύο κακοῦργοι, to avoid the implication that Jesus was a κακοῦργος. With a similar object Syr-Sin. with Codd. Colb. and Palat. omits ἕτεροι, and perhaps the omission of καί before ἕτεροι (Syr-Cur. b) is due to the same cause. Yet the implication is not necessary. We may retain the order of א B and translate, “others. viz. two malefactors”; or, “two very different malefactors.” In the latter case κακοῦργος is used of Jesus with irony against those who treated Him as such: ἐν τοῖς�Isaiah 53:12). But it is perhaps best to regard it as what Field calls “a negligent construction” not likely to be misunderstood. In that case the AV. is courageously accurate with “two other malefactors”: for the comma after “other” is a later insertion of the printers; it is not found in the edition of 1611. These two κακοῦργοι were bandits (Matthew 27:38, Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:27). The hierarchy perhaps contrived that they should be crucified with Jesus in order to suggest similarity of crime. In the persecutions, Christians were sometimes treated in this way. Comp. πολλάκις ἅμα κακούργοις ἐμπομπεύσας τῷ σταδίῳ (Eus. Mart. Pal. vi. 3).

Note the characteristic σύν, and for�

The Latin Versions render κακοῦργοι latrones (a b e f ff2 l), maligni (d), rei (c), nequam (Vulg.), to which are added the names of the robbers, Ioathas et Maggatras (1). Similarly in Mark 15:27 we have names added, Zoathan et Chammatha (c), and in Matthew 27:38, Zoathan et Camma. See on ver. 39.

33-38. The Crucifixion. The narrative is substantially the same as Matthew 27:33-44 and Mark 15:22-32; but it has independent features.

33. τόπον. This word is used by all three. The precise place is still a matter of controversy, and must remain so until excavation has determined the position of the old walls, outside which it certainly was. See MacColl. Contemp. Rev., Feb. 1893, pp. 167-188; D. B.2 i. pp. 1205, 1652-1657.

τὸν καλούμενον Κρανίον. See on 6:15. It was so called on account of its shape, not because skulls were lying there unburied, which would have outraged Jewish feeling. Lk. omits the Hebrew name Golgotha (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17), which would have conveyed in meaning to Greek readers, as he has already omitted (without Greek equivalent) Gethsemane and Gabbatha. It is from the Latin (locum qui vocatur Calvariæ) that the word “Calvary” has come into all English Versions prior to RV., which has, “the place which is called The Skull.”

The ancient explanation that the place was thus called because of the skull of Adam, who was buried there by Noah after the Flood, is rejected by Jerome (on Mat_27, Migne, xxv. 209), as interpretatio mulcens aurem populi, nee tamen vera. But he wrongly adopts the view that it was a plac in which truncantur capita damnata, a view which even Fritzsche (on Matthew 27:33) has defended. No such place has ever existed in the East, least of all at Jerusalem: and such a place would be styled κρανίων τόπος not κρανίου. A rocky protrusion, resembling a skull in form, is no doubt the meaning. Thus Cyril of Jerusalem speaks of it as “rising on high and showing itself to this day, and displaying even yet how because of Christ the rocks were then riven” (Catech. Lect. xiii. 39).

For the attractive Adam legend compare Ambrose, ad loc.: Congruebat quippe ut ibi vitæ nostra primitia locarentur, ubi fuerant mortis exordia (Migne, xv. 1852). Chrys. and Euthym. do not o beyond tradition (φασί τινες), which they do not expressly accept. See Tisch. app. crit. ad John 19:17.

ἐσταύρωσαν αὐτόν. It will always remain disputable whether our Lord’s feet were nailed as well as His hands. John 20:25-27 proves that His hands were nailed: but it is not certain that Luke 24:39 has way reference to the nails. In the Gospel of Peter, before the burial, nails are taken from the hands only. Ewald refers to the Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, i. 20, for evidence that in Palestine the mediæval tradition limited the nailing to the hands; but this is less probable.

ὃν μὲν … ὃν δέ … For this late use of the relative comp. Matthew 21:35, Matthew 21:22:15; 1 Corinthians 11:21; 2 Timothy 2:20; Romans 9:21.

34, a. As in we cases of 22:19b, 20 and of 43, 44, we have to consider whether this passage is part of the original text. For the evidence see the additional note at the end of the chapter. “Few verses of the Gospels bear in themselves a surer witness to the truth of what they record than this first of the Words from the Cross: but it need not therefore have belonged originally to the book in which it is now included. We cannot doubt that it comes from an extraneous source. Nevertheless, like 22:43f.; Matthew 16:2 f., it has exceptional claims to be permanently retained, with the necessary safeguards, in its accustomed place” (WH. ii. App. p. 68).

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν. The δέ and the imperf. refer back to ἐσταύρωσαν αὐτόν: while they crucified Him, He in contrast to them was saying.

ἄφες αὐτοῖς. This cannot refer to the Roman soldiers, who were doing no more than their duty in executing a sentence which had been pronounced by competent authority. It was the Jews, and especially the Jewish hierarchy, who were responsible for what was being done: and but for the pressure which they had put upon him, even Pilate would have remained guiltless in this matter. What follows shows that the petition refers to the act of crucifixion, not to their sins generally. In this way He “made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12); where, however, LXX has διὰ τὰς�

οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν. This was true even of the rulers (Acts 3:17), still more of the people, and most of all of Pilate. Their ignorance of what they were doing in crucifying the Christ mitigates their guilt. Comp. 12:48, and ποιοῦσιν in ver. 31: also the use of the words attributed to James the Just at his martyrdom (Hegesip. ap. Eus. H.E. ii. 23, 16).

34, b. Διαμεριζόμενοι … κλῆρον. The wording is very similar in all three, and is influenced by Psalms 22:19, which Jn. (19:24, quotes verbatim from LXX. Some texts wrongly insert the quotation Matthew 27:35; but the Synoptists use the wording of the Psalm without directly quoting it. Jn. tells us that it was a quaternion of soldiers (comp. Acts 12:4) who were carrying out the procurator’s sentence, and thus came to share the clothes as their perquisite. And Jn. distinguishes, as does the Heb. of Psalms 22:19, although LXX and the Synoptists do not, between the upper and under garments. This dividing of the clothes is one more detail in the treatment of Christ as a criminal, and a criminal whose career was closed.

The sing. κλῆρον (א B C D L, b c d Aeth.) has been altered in some texts to κλήρους (A X, a e f ff2 Vulg. codd. plur. Syr-Sin.) to harmonize with usage, e.g. 1 Chronicles 25:8, 1 Chronicles 25:26:13, 1 Chronicles 25:14; Nehemiah 10:34, Nehemiah 11:1, etc.

35. θεωρῶν. ἐξεμυκτήριζον. Both words are from Psalms 22:8: πάντες οἱ θεωροῦντές με ἐξεμυκτήρισάν με. Mt. and Mk. use other words; but they add, what Lk. omits, the fulfilment of ἐκίησαν κεεφαλήν. Lk. marks clearly four kinds of ill-treatment which Jesus received. The people ἱστήκει θεωρῶν, the rulers ἐξεμυκτήριζον, the soldiers ἐνέπαιξαν, and the robber ἐβλασφήμει. They form a sort of climax. The θεωρῶν implies vulgar curiosity, staring as at a spectacle (comp. ver. 48): for ἐκμυκτηρίζω comp. 16:14, where, as here, Cod. Bezae has subsannabant. For the form ἱστήκει see on ver. 10.

Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν. This sarcasm is preserved in all three narratives, but Lk. alone gives the contemptuous οὗτος and ὁ ἐκλεκτός. Comp. 9:35. Jesus was elected from all eternity to fulfil all there things. Comp. Enoch, xl. 5.

WH. and RV. put a comma after τοῦ Θεοῦ, which belongs to ὁ Χριστός, not to ὁ ἐκλεκτός. TR., following A C3 Q X Γ etc., places ὁ before τοῦ Θεοῦ, while C*, ff2 have ὁ ἐκλεκτός before Θεοῦ. Syr-Sin. supports this combination. D has εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰ Χριστὸς εἷ ὁ ἐκλεκτός, si filius es dei si christus es electus; and the insertion of υἱός is found in other texts.

The σὺν αὐτοῖς after ἄρχοντες (A Γ Δ Π, f Vulg. Syr-Sin.) is an insertion to harmonize with Mt. and Mk.

36, 37. This mockery by the soldiers is peculiar to Lk. Apparently it was the hierarchy who took the initiative. They told the King of Israel to come down from the cross; the soldiers told the King of the Jews to save Himself. Note the change of tense (ἐξεμυκτήριζον, εἐέπαιξαν, which implies that the soldiers were less persistent in their derision than the rulers. The reading ἐνέπαιζον (A C D Q etc.) has all the look of a correction.

36. ὄξος προσφέροντες. Offering some of their sour wine or posca, which the Evangelists call ὄξος, perhaps in connexion with ἐπότισάν με ὄξος (Psalms 68:22). Probably they could not have reached His lips with a vessel held in the hand; otherwise the sponge would no have been placed on a stalk, however short (John 19:29): but there is no reason for supposing that Christ’s feet were on a level with the heads of the spectators, as pictures sometimes represent. Syr-Sin. omits the words.

Comp. the words which legend has put into the mouth of His Mother at the cross: κλῖνον σταυρέ, ἵνα περιλαβοῦσα τὸν υἱόν μου καταφιλήσω τὸν ἐμὸν υἰόν (Acta Pilati, B. x.).

ἧν δὲ καὶ ἐπιγραφὴ ἐπʼ αὐτῷ. For ἐπιγραφή Mt. has τ. αἰτίαν αὐτοῦ, Mk. ἡ ἐπιγραφὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτους, Jn. τίτλον. Thus Mk. again has the whole expression of which Mt. and Lk. have each a part: comp. 4:40, 5:13, 22:34. The name and crime of the person executed was sometimes hung round his neck as he went to the place of crucifixion and then fastened to the cross. The καί suggests that this inscription was an additional mockery.

The wording differs in all four Gospels, and perhaps it varied in the three languages. It was directed against the hierarchy rather than against Jesus. All four variations contain the offensive words “The King of the Jews” (John 19:21). But Lk. regards it as an insult to Jesus. In the Gospel of Peter the wording is “This is the King of Israel, ” just as at the mock homage the address is “Judge righteausly, O King of Israel.”

The words γράμμασιν Ἑλληνικοῖς καὶ Ῥωμαικοῖς καὶ Ἑβραικοῖς are almost certainly a gloss from Joh_19. They are omitted in אc a B C* L, Syr-Cur. Syr-Sin. Boh. Sah., and by the best editors. The authorities which insert the words differ as to the order of the languages and as to the introductory words γεγραμμένη or ἐπιγεγραμμένη, ἐπʼ αὐτῷ or ἐπʼ αὐτῷ γεγραμμένη. The omission of the statement, if it were genuine, would be unintelligible. Comp. Jos. Ant. xiv. 10, 2; B. J. vi. 2, 4, v. 5, 2. In the inscription itself the order of א B L, ὁ βας. τῶν Ἰ. οὗτος, is to be preferred. D has the same, adding ἐστιν after οὗτος, rex Judæorum hic est. Contrast Eus. H. E. v. 1, 44.

39-43. § The Two Robbers. Mt. (27:44) and Mk. (15:32) merely state that those who were crucified with Him reproached Him.

Harmonists suggest that during the first hour both robbers reviled Jesus, and that one of them (who may have heard Jesus preach in Galilee) afterwards changed his attitude and rebuked his comrade. So Origen, Chrysostom, Jerome, Theophylact, Euthymius, on Mat_27. But Cyril of Jerusalem, Ambrose, and Augustine confine the reviling to one robber, who in Mt. and Mk. is spoken of in the plur. by synecdoche. See Maldonatus on Matthew 27:44: wt Suarez he adopts the latter view. Or they insist upon the difference between ὠνείδιζον, which Mt. and Mk. use of the two robbers, and ἐβλασφήμει, which Lk. uses of one of them. Both bandits reproached Jesus (perhaps for not having them in their revolt against existing conditions of society); but only one of them railed upon Him. It is much simpler to suppose that Mt. and Mk. regard the two λῃσταί as a class, to which the conduct of either of them may be hear attributed. Christ’s conversation with the penitent robber would not be heard by many. The constant reviling (imperf.) of the other would be much more widely known. That ὀνειδίζω may mean much the same as βλασφημέω is seen from 6:22; Romans 15:3; 1 Peter 4:14. The two verbs are combined 2 Kings 19:22, and seem to be synonymous. Mt. and Mk. would hardly have omitted the incident of the penitent robber, if they had known it; but here Lk. once more other sources of information. The incident would have special interest for him as illustrating the doctrine that salvation is open to all.

In the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy (xxiii.) the names of the two robbers are given as Titus bribes Dumachus. Titus bribes Dumachus to release the Holy Family, whom they had captured. In the Greek form of the Gospel of Nicodemus (Acta Pilati x.) the penitent malefactor is Dysmas, and the other is nameless. In the Latin form (Gesta Pilati x.) the two are Dismas and Gestas. See small print note on ver. 32.

39. εἶς δὲ τῶν κρεμασθέντων. When used of hanging on a cross or gibbet ἐπὶ ξύλου is commonly added (Acts 5:30, Acts 5:10:39; Galatians 3:13; Genesis 40:19, Genesis 40:22; Deuteronomy 21:22, Deuteronomy 21:23, etc.): but here the context is sufficient.

Οὐχὶ σὺ εἶ. This is the true reading (א B C* L and most Versions, including Syr-Sin.) rather than Εἰ σὺ εἶ (A Q R X etc. c f q vulg.). “Art thou not” is a more bitter taunt than “If thou art.”

D d e omit the utterance, and 1 substitutes qui destruebas templum et in tribus diebus reædificabas illum, salvumm te fac nunc et descende de cruce.

40. Οὐδὲ φοβῇ σὺ τὸν Θεόν. The οὐδέ cannot be taken with either σύ (De W. Nösg.) or τὸν Θεόν (Pesh.), but only with φοβῇ. “Dost thou not even fear,” to say nothing of penitent submission (Schanz). “Dost not even thou fear” would be οὐδὲ σὺ φοβῇ; Vulg. Neque tu times, Beza Ne tu quidem times, and Godet Et toi non plus, tu ne crains donc point, are all inaccurate. The meaning is, “You and He will soon have to appear before God. Does not even fear restrain you from adding to your sins; whereas He has nothing to answer for.”

41. οὐδὲν ἄτοπον. A meiosis: “nothing unbecoming;” still less anything criminal; Acts 25:5; Job 27:6, 34:12, 35:13; Prov. 24:55; Pro_2 Mac. 14:23.

D has οὐδὲν πονηρὸν ἔπραξεν and then adds a characteristic amplification: καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τὸν κύριον εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μνήσθητί μου ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῆς ἐλεύσεώς σου.�

42. Ἰησοῦ, μνήσθητὶ μου. “Jesus, remember me,” The insertion of κύριε (A R X Γ Δ etc. and most Versions) was made because Ἰησοῦ was mistaken for the dat. after ἔλεγεν: dicebat ad Jesum, Domine, memento mei (Vulg.). So also Syr-Sin. Comp.�Genesis 40:14). The robber knew that he had only a few hours to live, and therefore this prayer implies a belief in a future state in which Jesus is to receive him in His Kingdom. Possibly he believed that Christ would raise him from the dead. In any case his faith in one who is crucified with him is very remarkable. Some saw Jesus raise the dead, and did not believe. The robber sees Him being put to death, and yet believes. Contempserunt Judæi mortuos suscitantem: non contempsit latro secum cruce pendentem (Aug. Serm. xxiii. 3). D again amplifies with στραφεὶς πρὸς τ. κύριον.

ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου. This is perhaps the best supported reading: comp. Matthew 16:28, Matthew 25:31. It means “when Thou comest in the glory and power of Thy Kingdom”: whereas εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν σου (B L, Vulg., Hil Ambr.) would mean “comest into Thy Kingdom.” The former refers to Christ’s return in glory, the latter to his return to the Father through death. The alteration of ἐν into εἰς as more appropriate to ἔλθῃς seems more probable than the converse. That the robber had heard what is recorded John 18:36, John 18:37 is possible, but not probable. He believes that Jesus is the Messiah, and he knows that the Messiah is to have a kingdom. It is all but certain that the robber was a Jew. This is antecedently probable; and to a heathen the word “paradise” would hardly have been intelligible.

There is no reason for supposing that the robber felt the need of obtaining forgiveness from the Messiah. To the Jew death is an expiation for sin. In the “Confession on a Death Bed” in the Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations we have, “O may my death be an atonement for all my sins, iniquities, and transgressions, of which I have been guilty against Thee” (p. 317).

43. Ἀμήν σοι λέγω. As usual, this introduces something of special importance, or beyond expectation: 4:24, 12:37, 18:17, 29, 21:32. B C* L have this order; others the common Ἀμὴν λέγω σοι.

σήμερον. To take this with λέγω robs it of almost all its force. When taken with what follows it is full of meaning. Jesus knows that both He and the robber will die that day, and He grants him more than he had asked or expected. Uberior est gratia quam precatio. Ille enim rogabat ut memor esset sui Dominus cum venisset in regnum suum: Dominus autem ait illi: Amen, amen dico tibi: Hodie mecum eris in paradiso. Ubi Christus, ibi vita, ibi regnum (Ambr. ad loc.).

μετʼ ἐμοῦ ἔσῃ. Not merely in My company (σὺν ἐμοι), but sharing with Me. The promise implies the continuance of consciousness after death. If the dead are unconscious, the assurance to the robber that he will be with Christ after death would be empty of consolation.

ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ. The word, said to be of Persian origin, is used in various senses in Scripture: 1. “a park or pleasure-ground” (Nehemiah 2:8; Song of Solomon 4:13; Ecclesiastes 2:5); 2. “the garden of Eden” (Genesis 2:8-10, Genesis 2:15, Genesis 2:16, Genesis 2:3:Genesis 2:1-3, Genesis 2:8-10, etc.); 3. “Abraham’s Bosom,” i.e. the resting-place of the souls of the just until the resurrection (the meaning here); 4. “a region in heaven,” perhaps identical with “the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:4). It is doubtful whether ὁ παράδεισος τοῦ Θεοῦ (Revelation 2:7) is the same as 3 or 4, or is yet a fifth use. By His use of the word, Jesus neither confirms nor corrects Jewish beliefs on the subject. He assures the penitent that He will do far more than remember him at some unknown time in the future: this very day He will have him in His company in a place of security and bliss. See Wetst.

Epiphanius (317, 347) states that Marcion omitted this promise of Christ to the robber.

Origen sometimes adds τοῦ Θεοῦ to παραδείσῳ: e l r add patris. Syr-Cur. substitutes in horto Eden. See Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 148.

44-49. The Death. In substance, and sometimes in wording Lk. is the same as Matthew 27:45-56 and Mark 15:33-41. But the words recorded in ver. 46 are peculiar to this Gospel, and once more (comp. vv. 27-32) are among the most precious details in the history of the Passion.

44. ἤδη ὡσεί ὥρα ἔκτη. This is Lk.’s first note as to the time of day (22:66), and he qualifies it with his favourite ὡσεί (3:23, 9:14, 28, 22:41, 59, 24:11). In days in which there were no clocks, and on a day on which the darkness and the earthquake caused so much disturbance of the ordinary signs of the hour, very large margin for inaccuracy may be covered by ὡσεί. All three Synoptists give the sixth hour, i.e. about noon, as the time when the darkness began; while Mk. (15:25) gives the third hour as the time of the Crucifixion. On the apparent discrepancy between these statements and John 19:14 see Ramsay in the Expositor for March 1893 and June 1896. The ἤδη is in B C* L Boh.

ἐφʼ ὅλην τὴν γῆν. “Over the whole land” (Orig. Luth: Calv. Bez. Mald. Nösg. Schanz, Hahn, Tyn. Con Gen. RV.), rather than “over all the earth” (Euthym. Beng. De W. Mey. Godet, AV.). For “land” comp. 4:25, 21:23: for “earth” 21:35; Acts 1:8. The Gospel of Peter has ἦν δὲ μεσημβρία καὶ ακότος κατέσχε πᾶσαν τὴν Ἰουδαίαν, where, as here, the time of day and the darkness are co-ordinate (καί, not ὅτε): Win. liii. 3, p. 543.

These exceptional phenomena, as Godet points out, may be attributed either to a supernatural cause or to a providential coincidence. On ne peut méconnitre une relation profonde, d’un côté, entre l’homme et la nature, de l’ autre, entre l’humanité et Christ. The sympathy of nature with the sufferings of the Son of God is what seems to be indicated in all three accounts, which are here almost verbally the same; and possibly the Evangelists believed the darkness to have enveloped the whole earth.

45. τοῦ ἡλίου ἐλέποντος. The reading is doubtful; but this is probably correct, although ἐλιπόντος may possibly be correct. “The sun failing,” or “the sun having failed.” is the meaning: and we must leave it doubtful whether Lk. supposes that there was an eclipse (which is impossible at full moon), or uses ἐκλείπειν in its originally vague sense of “fail.” The latter is probable. Neither in LXX nor elsewhere in N.T. is ἐκλείπω used of the sun. The fact that it might mean an eclipse, and that an eclipse was known to be impossible, would tempt copyists to substitute a phrase that would be free from objection; whereas no one would want to change ἐσκοτίσθη ὁ ἣλιος. The Gospel of Peter states that “many went about with lamps, supposing it is night.” and that the darkness lasted until Jesus was taken from the cross, when the earthquake took place: “then the sun shone out, and it was found to be the ninth hour.” See Charles. Assump. of Moses, 41, 87.

The evidence stands thus:—

τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλείπόντος (or ἐκλιπόντος א L al., Tisch.) א B C* (?) L codd. ap. Orig. Aegyptt. Orig. “Cels.” WH. RV. Weiss. καὶ ἐσκοτίσθη ὁ ἥλιος A C3 D Q R X Γ etc., codd. ap. Orig-lat. Latt. Syr. Marcion ap. Epiph. Lach. Treg. D has ἐσκ. δέ. The Latin renderings are intenebricatus est sol (a),tenebricavit sol (c), obscuratus est sol (d e f Vulg.). See WH. ii. App. pp. 69-71 for a full discussion of the evidence.

Julius Africanus (c. a.d. 220) in his Chronica opposes the heathen historian Thallus for explaining this darkness as an eclipse, which at the Passover would be impossible (Routh, Rel Sacr. ii. pp. 297, 476). In the Acta Pilati, A. xi. the Jews are represented as explaining away the darkness in a similar manner: ἔκλειψις ἡλίου γέγονεν κατὰ τὸ εἰωθός!

Origen (Con. Cels, ii. 33, 59; comp. 14) tells us that Phlegon (a freedman of Hadrian) recorded the earthquake and the darkness in his Chronicles. Eusebius in his Chronicle quotes the words of Phlegon, stating that in the 202nd Olympiad (4th year of the 203rd, Arm. Vers.) there was a very great eclipse; also that there was a great earthquake in Bithynia, which destroyed a great part of Nicæa (Eus. Chron. p. 148, ed. Schœne). It is impossible to determine whether the events recorded by Phlegon have any connexion with the phenomenoa which accompanied the death of Christ.

ἐσχίσθη δὲ τὸ καταπέτασμα. Between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies (Exodus 26:31; Leviticus 21:23, Leviticus 21:24:3; Hebrews 6:19; comp. Hebrews 10:20) there was a curtain called τὸ δεύτερον καταπέτασμα (Hebrews 9:3), to distinguish it from the curtain which separated the outer court from the Holy Place. The latter was more accurately, but not invariably, called τὸ κάλυμμα (Exodus 27:16; Numbers 3:25). But Jewish traditions state that there were two curtains, one cubit apart, between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, the space between them being called τάραξις because of the perplexity which led to this arrangement (J. Light. foot on Matthew 27:51). It is not clear how many curtains are included in τὰ καταπετάσματα in 1 Mac. 4:51. It is futile to speculate how the curtain was rent; but the fact would be well known to the priests, “a great company” of whom soon afterwards became “obedient to do faith” (Acts 6:7). The μέσον of Lk. is more classical than the εἰς δύο of Mt. Mk. and the Gospel of Peter.1

46. φωνήσας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ. All three mention this loud voice, which seems to indicate that Jesus did not die of exhaustion. Comp. Stephen’s cry (Acts 7:60). But here the fondness of Lk. for cognate words is conspicuous. While he has φωνήσας φωνῇ, Mt. has κράξας φωνῇ, and Mk.�Psalms 31:6 and attributed them to Jesus, in order to express His submissive trust in God at the moment of death. Are we to suppose that Jesus did not know Psa_31? or that, if He did not, such a thought as this could not occur to Him?

εἰς χεῖράς σου παρατίθεμαι τ. πν. μ. The psalmist, thinking of a future death, has παραθήσομαι, which L and inferior MSS. read here. The voluntary character of Christ’s death is very clearly expressed in this last utterance, as in�Psalms 16:10, 139:8; Acts 11:27).

Strauss, Renan, and others are unwilling to decide whether all the Seven Words from the Cross are to be rejected as unhistorical. Keim will commit himself to no more than “the two probable facts, that shortly before His death Jesus uttered a cry of lamentation, and when on the point of dying a death-cry” (vi. p. 162). One asks once more, Who was capable of inventing such words? Compare the inventions in the apocryphal gospels.

47. ὁ ἐκατοντάρχης. The one who was there to superintend the execution, supplicio præpositus: all three speak of him as “the centurion.” Legend has invested him with the name Longinus (Acta Pilati, B. xi.), which perhaps originally meant the soldier with the λόγχη (John 19:34), and later writers make both him and the soldier with the spear die a martyr’s death. See D. of Chr. Ant. p. 1041.

τὸ γενόμενον. Not merely the manner of Christ’s death, but its extraordinary circumstances. Mt. has τὸν σεισμὸν καὶ τὰ γινόμενα, Mk. ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν. Mt. says that those with him joined in the exclamation, and that they “feared greatly.”

ἐδόξαζεν τὸν Θεόν. He glorified God unconsciously by this public confession, by saying (λέγων) that Jesus was no criminal, but had died in accordance with God’s will. The statement is the Evangelist’s appreciation of this heathen’s attitude towards the death of Christ. Some, however, suppose that the centurion was a proselyte, and that He first consciously praised God, and then added the remark which is recorded: comp. the use of the phrase 2:20, 5:25, 26, 7:16, 13:13, 13:15, 18:43; Acts 4:21, Acts 11:18, Acts 21:20. The good character of the centurions in N.T. confirms the statement of Polybius, that as a rule the best men in the army were promoted to this rank (vi.24. 9). See small print on 7:5. A C P Q X etc. have ἐδόξασε.

Ὄντως … δίκαιος ἧν. Mt. and Mk. have�

48. συνπαραγενόμενοι … θεωρίαν. Neither word occurs elseWhere in N.T. For θεωρία comp. Daniel 5:7; Dan_2 Mac. 5:26, 15:12; 3 Mac. 5:24. Note the πάντες here and ver. 49. Neither Mt, nor Mk. has it: comp. 20:18, 45, 21, 29, 23:1. The multitude would be very great, owing to the Passover, and thousands would see Jesus hanging dead upon the cross. They had looked on the whole tragedy as a sight, spectaculum (ver. 35).

τύπτοντες τὰ στήθη. Many of them had had no share in clamouring for Christ’s death; and those who had taken part had been hounded on by the priests, and now felt remorse for what they had caused. In the Gospel of Peter they are made to say, “Woe to our sins, for the judgment and the end of Jerusalem is at hand!” One Latin MS.(G) here adds dicentes væ nobis quæ facta sunt hodie propter peccata nostra, adpropinquavit enim desolatio hierusalem. In Syr-Sin. the verse runs, “And all those who had ventured there and saw what happened, smote upon their breasts, saying, Woe to us, what hath befallen us! woe to us for our sins!” Syr-Cur.. is similar. D adds καὶ τὰ μέτωπα to στήθη.

49. ἱστήκεισαν δὲ πάντες οἱ γυωστοὶ αὐτῷ. “But (not “And,” as AV. RV.), in contrast to the crowds who ὑπέστρεφον (Lk.’s favourite word), the faithful few remained.” Lk. alone mentions this fact: the Apostles perhaps are included. Comp. ἐμάκρυνας τοὺς γυωστούς μου�

50-56. The Burial. Comp. Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47. In this section the whole of vv. 54-56 and portions of the rest are peculiar to Lk. Mk. tells us of Pilate’s surprise that Jesus was already dead, and of his sending for the centurion to be certified of the fact. John 19:38-42 is altogether independent. All four show how, even before the Resurrection, love and reverence for the Crucified was manifested.

50. Note the characteristic καὶ ἰδού (1:20, 31, 36), ὀνόματι (see on 5:27). ὑπάρχων (see on 8:3 and 41).

βουλευτής. A member of the Sanhedrin is meant; and ὑπάρχων is to be taken with βουλευτής. Another amphibolous expression: comp. vv. 35, 43.

The Latin Versions render βουλευτής by decurio, the technical word for a member of a municipal senate; but δ has consiliarius. Cod. Colb. after Joseph continues de civitate arimathia cum esset decurio qui sperabat regnum dei et bonus homo non consentiens concilio et actui eorum hic accessit, etc.—a free transposition.

ἀγαθὸς καὶ δίκαιος. Syr-Cur.. and Syr-Sin. transpose the epithets, which refer to his life as a whole, and not merely to his conduct at this time (1:6, 2:25). Mt. says that Joseph was πλούσιος, Mk. that he was εὐσχήμων, Jn. that he was μαθητὴς τοῦ Ἰησοῦ κεκρυμένος δὲ διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶ Ἰουδαίων.

51. οὐκ ἦν συνκατεθειμένος. We do not know whether he had absented himself, or abstained from voting, or voted in opposition to the sentence: the verb occurs Exodus 23:32. Apparently he was not present when the sentence recorded Mark 14:64 was pronounced, for that was unanimous.

τῇ βουλῇ. Excepting 1 Corinthians 4:5; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 6:17. βουλή is peculiar to Lk. in N.T. See on 7:30. In LXX it is very common. Syr-Sin. has “to the accusers.”

τῇ πράξει. When the word is used in a bad sense, the plur. is more common (Acts 19:18; Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:9), as in our “practices”: but Polybius uses the sing. in this sense. Here the method by which they compassed the death of Jesus is specially meant.

ἀτῶν. Who these are is suggested rather than stated by the preceding βουλευτής: αὐτῶν means “of the Sanhedrin.” Win. 22:3(2), P. 182.

ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας πόλεως τ. Ἰ. The�Matthew 21:11): his having a burial-place at Jerusalem shows that be had settled there; and his being one of the Sanhedrin confirms this. Arimathæa is commonly identified with Ramah, the birthplace and home of Samuel. Its full name was Ramathaim-zophim = “Double Height of the Watchers.” In LXX it is called Ἀρμυαθαίμ (1 Samuel 1:19), and the identification of its site “is, without exception, the most complicated and disputed problem of sacred topography” (Stanley, Sin. & Pal. p. 224). The addition of πόλεως τῶν Ἰουδαίων points to Gentile readers.

προσεδεδέχετο τ.βασιλείαν τ. Θεοῦ. “He was waiting for the Messianic Kingdom”: that he recognized Jesus as the Messiah is not implied. Comp. 2:25, 38; Acts 23:21, Acts 24:15. The verb is not found in Mt. or Jn, and only once in Mk., but occurs seven times in Lk. and Acts.

52. The wording of all three is very similar, and also of the Gospel of Peter, which represents Joseph as coming before Jesus was dead. and Pilate as sending to ask Herod for the body, who replies. “Brother Pilate, even if some one had not asked for Him, we were intending to bury Him … before the first day of the unleavened bread.” Comp. the addition made in Cod. Colb.

53. ἐνετύλιξεν αὐτὸ σινδόνι. The verb occurs only here, Matthew 27:59, and John 20:7. All three mention the σινδών, which was cut into strips (ὀθόνια or κειρίαι) for the burial. Mk. (15:46) tells us that it had been bought by Joseph for the purpose, and therefore on that day; which is another sign that the feast had not begun the previous evening. The Gospel of Peter says that Joseph washed the body before wrapping it in linen.

ἐν μνήματι λαξευτῷ. For μνῆμα see on 24:1: the adjective is not classical; once in LXX (Deuteronomy 4:49) and four times in Aquila (Numbers 21:20, Numbers 21:23:14; Deuteronomy 34:1; Joshua 13:20). Comp. λαξεύω (Exodus 34:1, Exodus 34:4; Numbers 21:19, Numbers 21:23:14; Deuteronomy 3:27, Deuteronomy 3:10:1, Deuteronomy 3:3, etc.). Verb and adjective seem to belong to the important class of words which became current through having been needed to express Jewish ideas and customs. Kennedy. Sources of N.T. Grk. p. 116.

οὐκ ἦν οὐδεὶς οὔπω. Accumulation of negatives: comp. Hebrews 13:5, and see Win. 4:9. b, p. 626; Burton.. § 489. Mt. has καινῷ. The fact is mentioned as a mark of special honour in contrast to the shameful death: comp. 19:30.

Cod. Bezae has hue one of its characteristic interpolations. After κείμενος it adds καὶ θέντος αὐτοῦ ἐπεθηκε τῷ μνημείῳ λείθον ὀν μόγις εἴκοσι ἐκύλιον: et posito eo imposuit in monumento lapidem quem vix viginti movebant. Scrivener (Cod Bezae p. 52) remarks that this “strange addition” is “conceived somewhat in the Homeric spirit.” Comp. Obadiah 1:9:241. Prof. Rendel Harris (Cod. Bezae, ch. vii) finds a hexameter in the Latin: imposuit … lapidem quem vix viginti movebant. But against this (as an acute critic in the Guardian of May 25, 1892. p. 787, points out) are to be urged (1) the intrusive in monumento. (2) the shortening of the final s syllable in viginti, which is improbable so early as the second century, (3) the fact that the same loss, rather differently worded, is found not only in. cod. Colb, but in the Sahidic Version. Thus in one we have, posuerunt lapidem quem vix viginti volvebant (c); in the other, posuit lapidem in porta sepuleri quem viginti homines volvere possent. To assume a Greek gloss, which was differently translated in two Latin and one Egyptian text, is a simpler hypothesis than a Latin gloss translated into Greek and Egyptian, and then from the Greek act into a different Latin. Moreover. the fact that the tone of the gloss is Homeric rather than Virgilian points to a Greek origin. That there were Homerizers and Virgilianizers at this early date may be inferred from Tertull, De Præser, Hær. 39.

54. παρασκευῆς. The word may mean either the eve of the sabbath or the eve of the Passover: and on this occasion the sabbath probably coincided with Nisan 15, the first day of the Passover. This fist day ranked as a sabbath (Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7), and therefore was doubly holy when it coincided with an ordinary sabbath. If the Passover had begun the previous evening, would Lk. and Mk. (15:42) speak of its first day as the eve of an ordinary sabbath? Just as we should hardly speak of “the first Sunday in April,” if that Sunday was Easter Day. But, although the day was a παρασκευή to both sabbath and Passover, it is the former that is probably meant. Comp, Mark 15:42. Caspari (§ 157) would take it the other way.

For παρασκευῆς (א B C* L 13 346, cenæ puræ a b c l parasceues Vulg.) A C2 P X etc., f ff2 have παρασκευή, Syr-Cur. feria sexta. For the whole verse D substitutes ἦν δὲ ἡ ἡμέρα προσαββάτου erat autem dies antesabbatum.

σάββατον ἐπέφωσκεν. An inaccurate expression; because the sabbath began, not at dawn, but at sunset. But “it was dawning” easily comes to mean “it was beginning,” and is transferred to things which cannot “dawn.” In the Gospel of Peter, when Pilate before the Crucifixion asks Herod for the body of Jesus, Herod replies that in any case the body would have been buried that day, ἐπεὶ καὶ σάββατον ἐπιφώσκει, γεγραπται γὰρ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ, ἥλιον μὴδῦναι ἐπὶ πεφονευμένῳ. The verb has nothing to do with lighting lamps at the beginning of the sabbath (J. Lightfoot, Wetst.), nor is the rising of the stars or the glow of sunset meant (Hahn).

55. Κατακουθήσασαι. In N. T. here and Acts 16:17 only: in LXX Jeremiah 17:16; Jer_1 Esther 7:1; Judith 11:6; Daniel 9:10; Dan_1 Mac. 6:23. Their following from the Crucifixion (ver. 49) to Joseph’s garden is meant, and the κατα- does not mean “down into the grave” but “after Joseph and his assistants.” Syr-Sin. and Syr-Cur.. have “And the women, who came with Him from Galilee, went to the sepulchre in their footsteps, and saw the body when they [had] brought it in there.” The fact of the women beholding the tomb in which the body was laid is in all three Synoptic Gospels. It is part of the evidence for the Resurrection.

For αἰ γυναῖκες (B L P X, Boh Sab.) D 29, a b e ff2 q r have δύο γυναῖκες while TR. follows certain cursives in reading καὶ γυναῖκες. א A C Γ etc. have γυναῖκες without αἰ or δύο or καί, and this Tisch. adopts.

ὡς ἐτέθη. We Might have expected πῶς comp. 6:4, 8:47, 24:35.


אa A B R T 124 : 13 has ὤφθη δέ prima manu, the rest secunda manu Co 69 and all known Evangelistaria have the passage inserted after Matthew 26:39, A S V G D P and others, including nine cursives. have the passage marked with asterisks or obeli. Et in Græcis et in Latinis codd. complur. known to Hilary it was wanting. and it was found only in quibusdam exemplaribus tam Græcis quam Latinis known to Jerome

f, most MSS. of Boh. including the best, some MSS. of Sah. and of Arm. (see Sanday, App. ad N.T. pp. 188. 191). Syr-Sin., Syr-Harcl. marg.

Cry-Alex. omits in his Homilies on Lk. Ambr. likewise. The silence of clem-Alex. Orig. Cyr-Hier. Ath. and Greg-Nys. can hardly be accidental in all even in most.

Excision for doctrinal reasons will not explain the omission. “There is no tangible evidence for the excision of a substantial portion of narrative for doctrinal reasons at any period of textual history” (WH ii. App. p. 66).

Nor does “Lectionary practice” seem to be an adequate cause for such widespread omission. It is suggested that. because the passage was read after Matthew 26:39 in the Lection for Holy Thursday, and omitted after Luke 22:42 in the Lection for Tuesday after Sexagesima, therefore some MSS. came to omit in Lk. or both Gospels.

It will be observed that the early non-patristic evidence in favour of the words is א*D Latt. Syrr. “a frequent Western combination.”

But, if we regard the passage as probably a Western insertion in the text of Lk. we need have no hesitation whatever in retaining it as a genuine portion historical tradition. It is true, whoever wrote it.

(2) 22:68. After οὐ μὴ�

Cyr-Alex is said by Arethas to have regarded it as spurious; and this is confirmed by the text prefixed to the Syriac Homily on Luke 23:32-43 (p. 718 ed. Payne Smith). This, however, exists in only one which ends before ver. 34 is properly reached.

The omission in such witnesses would be very difficult to explain, if the passage had been part of the original text of Lk. But, even more strongly than in the case 22:43, 44, internal evidence warrants its in retaining the passage in its traditional place as a genuine portion of the evangelic narrative. That point being quite certain, it matters comparatively little whether we owe this precious fragment to Lk. or not.

Additional Note on 23:45

Dr. E. A. Abbott conjectures that both here and 22:51 we have instances of substitution through misunderstanding. In the Classical Review of Dec. 1893, p. 443, he writes: “Though these words (τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλείποντος) might mean the sun failing (to give its light),’ yet the natural meaning is ‘the sun being eclipsed.’ Now every one knew that an eclipse could not happen except at new moon, and every Jew knew that Passover was at full moon.” Why, then, he goes on to ask, does Lk. give an explanation of the darkness, which neither Mt. nor Mk. give, and which involves a portentous miracle? To the imaginary reply, “Because Lk. wished to make it clear that it was a miracle and not a natural obscuration of the sun; for he is not afraid of being the only Evangelist to insert a miracle, as is shown by his account of the healing of Malchus’ ear,” Dr. Abbott rejoins that “the latter miracle is substituted rather than inserted. It is substituted for a rebuke to Peter, ‘restore thy sword to its place.’ Comp. Matthew 26:52; John 18:11, with�Jer_29. (Heb. 47) 6, and it will appear that the miraculous narrative probably arose from a misunderstanding of some ambiguous word, such as�Matthew 12:13; Mark 3:5, Mark 3:8:25; Luke 6:10, where it is used of a withered hand, or of a blind man) to mean ‘restored to its original condition.”

Is it possible that the present, also, may be a case of substitution through misunderstanding? Let us turn to the parallel passage in Mt (27:46-49) and Mk. (15:34-36). Here we find no mention of an eclipse, but of a saying of Jesus which was interpreted by the bystanders to mean that “Elise” had “abandoned” (ἐγκαταλείπειν) Jesus. This Lk. omits altogether. But the genitive case of “Elise” is the same so that of the “sun,” viz. ἡλείου or in MSS. ἡλίου and ἐκλείπειν although not often used of persons failing others in an emergency, is so used occasionally. Thus ηκλίου ἐκλείποντος might mean either “the sun being, eclipsed,” or “Elias failing, or forsaking.”

But how could ἐκαταλείποντος be changed into ἐκλείποντος? Curtailments of long compounds are not infrequent in MSS. of the N.T., and specially with κατά: comp. Mark 14:40; Luke 6:36; Matthew 13:40; James 2:13, James 3:14.… If Lk., or others before him, concluded that ἡλίου must mean the sun, they would naturally infer that ἐγκαταλείποντος must be an error for ἐκλείποντος.

… It seems probable that Lk., finding obscure and divergent traditions about some utterance of Jesus, … considered that he was restoring the original meaning, and a meaning worthy of the subject, in retaining two or three words of the current tradition, but placing them in such a context as to show that it was the sun, and not Elias, that “failed.”

Jos. Josephus.

1 The expressions jus gladii and potestas gladii are of later date. Professor Chwolson argues that the Sadducees were dominant when Jesus was condemned to death. It was against the law as maintained by the Pharisees to sentence a criminal and execute him within a few hours. The law required an interval of forty days for the collection of evidence on his behalf. It was the Sadducees, the servile upholders of Roman authority, who took the lead against Christ. They were the wealthy class, who lived on the temple sacrifices and dues, and therefore were bitter antagonists of a Teacher whose doctrine tended to the reform of lucrative abuses (Das letzte Passamahl Christi, etc., Appendix).

Tyn. Tyndale.

Cov. Coverdale.

Gen. Geneva.

AV. Authorized Version.

B B. Cod. Vaticanus, sæc. 4. In the Vatican Library certainly since 15331 (Batiffol, La Vaticane de Paul 3, etc., p. 86).

L L. Cod. Regius Parisiensis, sæc. viii. National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.

X X. Cod. Monacensis, sæc. ix. In the University Library at Munich. Contains 1:1-37, 2:19-3:38, 4:21-10:37, 11:1-18:43, 20:46-24:53.

Vulg. Vulgate.

Lat. Vet. Vetus Latina.

A A. Cod. Alexandrinus, sæc. v. Once in the Patriarchal Library at Alexandria; sent by Cyril Lucar as a present to Charles 1. in 1628, and now in the British Museum. Complete.

R R. Cod. Nitriensis Rescriptus, sæc. 8. Brought from a convent in the Nitrian desert about 1847, and now in the British Museum. Contains 1:1-13, 1:69-2:4, 16-27, 4:38-5:5, 5:25-6:8, 18-36, 39, 6:49-7:22, 44, 46, 47, 8:5-15, 8:25-9:1, 12-43, 10:3-16, 11:5-27, 12:4-15, 40-52, 13:26-14:1, 14:12-15:1, 15:13-16:16, 17:21-18:10, 18:22-20:20, 20:33-47, 21:12-22:15, 42-56, 22:71-23:11, 38-51. By a second hand 15:19-21.

§ Found in Luke alone.

TR. Textus Receptus.

D D. Cod. Bezae, sæc. vi. Given by Beza to the University Library at Cambridge 1581. Greek and Latin. Contains the whole Gospel.

M M. Cod. Campianus, sæc. ix. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.


C. Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus, sæc. 5. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the following portions of the Gospel: 1:2-2:5, 2:42-3:21, 4:25-6:4, 6:37-7:16, or 17, 8:28-12:3, 19:42-20:27, 21:21-22:19, 23:25-24:7, 24:46-53.

These four MSS. are parts of what were once complete Bibles, and are designated by the same letter throughout the LXX and N.T.

אԠא Cod. Sinaiticus, sæc. iv. Brought by Tischendorf from the Convent of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai; now at St. Petersburg. Contains the whole Gospel complete.

Sah. Sahidic.

Arm. Armenian.

Syr Syriac.

Cur. Curetonian.

Sin. Sinaitic.

WH. Westcott and Hort.

Aug. Augustine.

K K. Cod. Cyprius, sæc. ix. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.

Δ̠Δ. Cod. Sangallensis, sæc. ix. In the monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland. Greek and Latin. Contains the whole Gospel.

Latt. Latin.

Wic. Wiclif.

RV. Revised Version.

Win. Winer, Grammar of N.T. Greek (the page refers to Moulton’s edition).

Burton. Burton, N.T. Moods and Tenses.

Alf. Alford.

Boh. Bohairic.

F F. Cod. Boreeli, sæc. ix. In the Public Library at Utrecht. Contains considerable portions of the Gospel.

Aeth. Ethiopic.

Rhem. Rheims (or Douay).

1 Jos. B. J. ii. 14, 9, v. 11, 1; Livy, xxii. 13, 6, xxxiii. 36, 3; Cir. In Verr. v. 62, 162. Capital punishment of any kind was generally, according to Roman custom, preceded by beating.

D. B. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2nd edition.

Iren. Irenæus.

Tert. Tertullian.

Hippol. Hippolytus.

Aegyptt. Egyptian.

Eus. Eusebius of Cæsarea

Chrys. Chrysostom.

Euthym. Euthymius Zigabenus.

Tisch. Tischendorf.

אԠאc attributed to the beginning of sæc. 7. Two hands of about this date are sometimes distinguished as אca and אcb

a אa contemporary, or nearly so, and representing a second MS. of high value;

De W. De Wette.

Nösg. Nösgen.

Pesh. Peshitto.

Ambr. Ambrose.

Wetst. Wetstein.

Orig. Origen.

Beng. Bengel.

Mey. Meyer.

Orig-lat. Latin Version of Origen.

Epiph. Epipnamus.

Treg. Tregelles.


Jerome says. In evangelio autem quod Hebraicis litteris scriptum est, legimus non velum templi scissum, sed superlimenare Templi miræ magnitudinis coruisee (Ad Hedyb. viii.). Elsewhere he says. superlimenare templi infinitæ magnitudinis fractum esse atque divisum legimus (Com. in. Matt. xxvii. 51). See Nicholson, Gospel acc. to the Hebrews, p. 62.

In the Gemara it is stated that some forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, the heavy gates of the temple, which could with difficulty be moved by many men, and which were locked at the time, flew open about midnight at the Passover. Josephus (B.J. vi. 5, 3) reports an occurrence of this kind shortly before the capture of the city. As Neander remarks (L. J. C. § 293 n.), these accounts hint at some strange occurrence as being remembered in connexion with the time of the Crucifixion.

The rending of the veil perhaps symbolized the end of the temple and its services. In Clem. Recogn. i. 41 It is otherwise interpreted as a lamentation (comp. the rending of clothes) over the destruction which threatened the place. Better Theophylact: δεικνύντος τοῦ Κυρίου, ὅτι οὐκ ἕτι ἅβατα ἕσται τὰ Ἅγια τῶν ἑγίων,�

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Luke 23". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/luke-23.html. 1896-1924.
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