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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Luke 23



Verse 2

We found

In a judicial sense: as the result of their examination before the council.

Verse 5

Were the more fierce ( ἐπίσχυον )

Only here in New Testament. The verb means, literally, to grow strong. See on Luke 14:30; and Luke 16:3. Here the sense is, they were more energetic and emphatic. Rev., urgent. Wyc., waxed stronger.

Stirreth up ( ἀνασείει )

See on Mark 15:11. The increased urgency is shown by the use of a stronger word than perverteth (Luke 23:2).

Verse 6

Of Galilee

The best texts omit.

Verse 7

Sent ( ἀνέπεμψεν )

Lit., sent him up ( ανα ). Used of sending up to a higher court. Compare Acts 25:21, of sending Paul to Caesar. It also means to send back, as in Luke 23:11, and Philemon 1:11.

Verse 8

Of a long time ( ἐξ ἱκανοῦ )

See on Luke 7:6.

Hoped ( ἤλπιζεν )

Imperfect; was hoping - all this long time.

Miracle ( σημεῖον )

See on Matthew 11:20; and compare Acts 2:22, Rev.

Verse 9

Many ( ἱκανοῖς )

Compare long, Luke 23:8.

Verse 10

Vehemently ( εὐτόνως )

Only here and Acts 18:28, of the preaching of Apollos. Originally the word means well-strung; hence, in medical language, of a well-toned body.

Verse 11

Gorgeous ( λαμπρὰν )

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

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


Verse 14

Perverteth ( ἀποστρέφοντα )

Another compound of στρέφω , to turn; διαστρέφοντα is rendered by the same word in Luke 23:2. Probably the words are used without any intentional distinction of meaning. Διαστρέφοντα implies more of the idea of distraction (compare Wyc., turning upside down )turning different ways; while ἀποστρέφοντα emphasizes the turning away ( ἀπό ) of the people from their civil and religious allegiance. So Wyc., turning away.

Examined ( ἀνακρίνας )

Originally implying a thorough examination; ἀνά , up, from bottom to top. Technically, of a legal examination.

Verse 16

Chastise ( παιδεύσας )

Originally to bring up a child ( παῖς ). Hence, to instruct; so Acts 7:22, of Moses instructed in the wisdom of the Egyptians; and Acts 22:3, of Paul instructed in the law. To discipline orcorrect, as Hebrews 12:6, Hebrews 12:7. The word is not synonymous with punish, since it always implies an infliction which contemplates the subject's amendment; and hence answers to chastise or chasten. So Hebrews 12:10; Revelation 3:19. In popular speech chastise and punish are often confounded. Chasten is from the Latin castus, “pure,” “chaste;” and to chasten is, properly, to purify. This meaning underlies even the use of the word by Pilate, who was not likely to be nice in his choice of words. Instead of punishing him with death, he will chastise him, in order to teach him better. So Wyc., I shall deliver him amended.

Verse 18

All together ( παμπληθεὶ )

The whole multitude ( πλῆθος ) of them. Only here in New Testament.

Away ( αἶρε )

Lit., take away. Compare Acts 21:36; Acts 22:22.

Verse 19

Who ( ὅστις )

Classifying him. One of such a kind as that he had been imprisoned, etc.

Verse 20

Spake ( προσεφώνησεν )

Addressed. Compare Acts 21:40; Acts 22:2. Always in the New Testament in the sense of to accost, whether an individual or a crowd.

Verse 21

Shouted ( ἐπεφώνουν )

Imperfect. Kept shouting. Used by Luke only. Compare Acts 12:22; Acts 22:24.

Verse 22

Said ( εἶπεν )

Dropping the speech-making tone, and simply asking a question.

Verse 23

They were instant ( ἐπέκειντο )

Instant, in the sense of urgent, pressing. See on Luke 7:4. Compare Romans 12:12; 2 Timothy 4:2; Luke 7:4; Acts 26:7. The verb means to lie upon, and answers to our vulgarism, to lay one's self down to work. Compare Aristophanes, “Knights,” 253: κἀπικείμενος βόα , roar with all your might. Lit., roar, lying down to it.

Their voices

Omit of the chief priests.

Prevailed ( καίσχυον )

Had power ( ἰσχύς ) to bear down ( κατά ) the remonstrances of Pilate. Only here and Matthew 16:18.

Verse 24

Gave sentence ( ἐπέκρινεν )

Pronounced the final sentence. Only here in New Testament.


Verse 26

Laid hold on ( ἐπιλαβόμενοι )

Compare the peculiar word used by Matthew and Mark. See on Matthew 5:41.


Verse 30

Hills ( βουνοῖς )

Only here and Luke 3:5.

Verse 31

Tree ( ξύλῳ )

Originally wood, timber. In later Greek, a tree. Used of the cross by Peter, Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39; and 1 Peter 2:24. Compare Galatians 3:13.

Verse 32

Two other

The possible omission of a comma before malefactors in the A. V. might make a very awkward and unpleasant statement. Better Rev., two others, malefactors.

Put to death ( ἀναιρεθῆναι )

Lit., to take up and carry away; so that the Greek idiom answers to our taken off. So Shakspeare:

“The deep damnation of his taking off.

Macbeth, i., 7.

“Let her who would be rid of him, devise

His speedy taking off.”

Lear, v., 1.

Verse 33

Calvary ( Κρανίον )

The Greek word is the translation of the Hebrew Golgotha. See on Matthew 27:33.


Verse 35


See on Luke 10:18.


See on Luke 16:14.

If he

The A. V. does not give the contemptuous emphasis on οὗτος , this fellow.

Verse 36

Coming to him

Coming up close to the cross.


See on Matthew 27:34.

Verse 38


See on Mark 15:26.

Verse 39

Railed ( ἐβλασφήμει )

Imperfect: kept up a railing.

Verse 41


Are receding would be better.

Amiss ( ἄτοπον )

Lit., out of place, and so strange, eccentric, perverse; as in 2 Thessalonians 3:2, where it is rendered unreasonable. The expression here answers nearly to our familiar phrase, “has done nothing out of the way. Compare Acts 28:6; no harm.

Verse 42

Into thy kingdom

Some texts read for εἰς , into, ἐν , in. So Rev. In that case we must understand, “in thy kingly glory.”

Verse 43

In Paradise ( παραδείσῳ )

Originally an enclosed park, or pleasure-ground. Xenophon uses it of the parks of the Persian kings and nobles. “There (at Celaenae) Cyrus had a palace and a great park ( παράδεισος )full of wild animals, which he hunted on horseback … .Through the midst of the park flows the river Maeander (“Anabasis,” i., 2,7). And again' “The Greeks encamped near a great and beautiful park, thickly grown with all kinds of trees” (ii., 4,14.) In the Septuagint, Luke 16:22, Luke 16:23). It occurs three times in the New Testament: here; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7; and always of the abode of the blessed.

“Where'er thou roam'st, one happy soul, we know,

Seen at thy side in woe,

Waits on thy triumph - even as all the blest

With him and Thee shall rest.

Each on his cross, by Thee we hang awhile,

Watching thy patient smile,

Till we have learn'd to say, ' 'Tis justly done,

Only in glory, Lord, thy sinful servant own.'”

Keble,Christian Year.


Verse 44

Sixth hour


Ninth hour

See on Matthew 27:46.

Verse 45


See on Matthew 27:51.

Verse 46

I commend ( παρατίθεμαι )

See on Luke 9:16.

Gave up the ghost ( ἐξέπνευσεν )

Lit., breathed out (his life )Wyc., sent out the spirit. See on Matthew 27:50.


Verse 49

That followed ( συνακολουθοῦσαι )

Lit., followed with ( σύν ). So Rev. See on Matthew 27:55.

Verse 50


See on Mark 15:43. Matthew calls him rich; Mark, honorable; Luke, good and just.

Verse 51

Consented ( συγκατατεθειμένος )

Only here in New Testament. Another of Luke's numerous compounds. The Greek student will be struck with the array of compounds, from Luke 23:49 to Luke 23:56, inclusive. The verb means to put ( τίθημι )down ( κατά )along with ( σύν ). Hence to put down the same vote or opinion with another: to agree with or assent to.

Verse 53

Linen ( σινδόνι )

See on Mark 14:51; and compare Luke 16:19.

Hewn in stone ( λαξευτῷ )

Only here in New Testament, and not at all in classical Greek.

Verse 56

Returned ( ὑποστρέψασαι )

This word occurs thirty-two times in Luke, and only three times in the rest of the New Testament. It is a significant fact that, reckoning the aggregate space occupied by the four Gospels, nearly one-sixth of the whole amount is occupied with the account of the twenty-four hours beginning with the last supper and ending with the burial of Jesus. There is no day in all Bible history narrated with the fulness of that day. If we possessed the whole life of Christ, written with the same detail, the record would occupy one hundred and eighty volumes as large as the whole Bible.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 23:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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