Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 19:23

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Art;   Death;   Dress;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Lot, the;   Soldiers;   Thompson Chain Reference - Crucifixion;   Indignities Suffered, by Christ;   Sufferings of Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Arts of the;   Garments;   Roman Empire, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Garments;   Weaving;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Crucifixion;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Persecution;   Psalms, Theology of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Christianity;   Humiliation of Christ;   Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Coat;   Crucifixion;   Dress;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Army;   Dress;   Number;   Priest;   Weaving;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Cloth, Clothing;   John, the Gospel of;   Quaternion;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Dress;   Spinning and Weaving;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Chance;   Cloke ;   Coat;   Coat (2);   Crucifixion;   Dress (2);   Lots ;   Numbers (2);   Political Conditions;   Portion ;   Quaternion (2);   Soldiers;   Trades;   Vinegar ;   Weaving;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Garments;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Crucifixion;   Priest;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Four;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Priest;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Dress;   Seam;   Weaving;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for March 5;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

To every soldier a part - So it appears there were four soldiers employed in nailing him to and rearing up the cross.

The coat was without seam - Several have seriously doubted whether this can be literally understood, as they imagine that nothing with sleeves, etc. can be woven without a seam. But Baun, de Vest. Sacer. Heb. l. 1, c. 16, has proved, not only that such things were done by the ancients, and are still done in the east, but himself got a loom made, on which these kinds of tunics, vents, sleeves, and all, were woven in one piece. See much on this subject in Calmet. The clothes of a Hindoo are always without a seam; and the Brahmins would not wear clothes that were otherwise made. Besides, the Hindoos have no regular tailors.

Our Lord was now in the grand office of high priest, and was about to offer the expiatory victim for the sin of the world. And it is worthy of remark that the very dress he was in was similar to that of the Jewish high priest. The following is the description given of his dress by Josephus, Ant. b. iii. c. 7, s. 4: "Now this coat (χιτων ) was not composed of two pieces, nor was it sewed together upon the shoulders and sides, but it was one long vestment, so woven as to have an opening for the neck; not an oblique one, but parted all along the back and breast; it was also parted where the hands were to come out." A little before, the same author says, that "the high priest had a long robe of a blue color, which hung down to the feet, and was put over all the rest." It is likely that this was the same with that upper garment which the soldiers divided among them, it being probably of a costly stuff. I may just add here, that I knew a woman who knit all kinds of clothes, even to the sleeves and button holes, without a seam; and have seen some of the garments which she made; that the thing is possible I have the fullest proof. For an explanation of χιτων and ἱματιον which we translate cloak, and coat, see the note on Luke 6:29.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 19:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-19.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

His garments - The plural here is used to denote the outer garment. It was made, commonly, so as to be easily thrown on or off, and when they labored or walked it was girded about the loins. See the notes at Matthew 5:40.

Four parts - It seems, from this, that there were four soldiers employed as his executioners.

His coat - His under garment, called the tunic.

Was without seam - Josephus (Antiq., b. 3 chapter 8, Section 4) says of the garment or coat of the high priest that “this vesture was not composed of two pieces, nor was it sewed together upon the shoulders and the sides; but it was one long vestment, so woven as to have an aperture for the neck. It was also parted where the hands were to come out.” It seems that the Lord Jesus, the great High Priest of his people, had also a coat made in a similar manner. Compare Exodus 39:22.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-19.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore one to another, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my garments among them, And upon my vesture did they, cast lots.

The soldiers ... There were four of them, a quaternion. A centurion was in charge. They did not wait for Jesus to die but went about, dividing up his clothes as if he were already dead.

The coat ... may be rendered tunic" (English Revised Version margin). This was the vesture, or undergarment, which formed a usual part of the clothing of that day. Here John described the manner of its manufacture. This is one of the most astounding things in the Bible. The clothes of Jesus! Can anyone tell what Napoleon was wearing when he died, or what Franklin D. Roosevelt had on when he was stricken, and how the garments were made and what became of them? The record of Jesus is itself supernatural. Concerning that seamless vesture, Saunders said: "It was the type of garment worn by the high priest (Leviticus 16:4). Christ is the true high priest whose death is the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world."[14]

That the Scriptures might be fulfilled ... The soldiers did not consciously fulfill prophecy in their disposal of the clothing; but this was a case of the all-powerful Providence accomplishing through evil or indifferent men the fulfillment of divine prophecy. The Scripture fulfilled is Psalms 22:18. For an extensive examination of twenty prophecies of the crucifixion contained in that Psalm, see my Commentary on Matthew, Matthew 27:66.

ENDNOTE:

[14] Ernest W. Saunders, John Celebrates the Gospel (New York: Abingdon, 1966), p. 149.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-19.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus,.... The crucifixion of Christ was at the request and solicitation of the Jews, was ordered by the Roman governor, and performed by the Roman soldiers; the sinful men into whose hands Christ was to be delivered:

took his garments; which they had stripped his body of, crucifying him naked; as what properly belonged to them, it being usual then, as now, for executioners to have the clothes of the persons they put to death; these were his inner garments:

and made four parts, to every soldier a part; for it seems there were four of them concerned in his execution, and who were set to watch him:

and also his coat; or upper garment;

now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout: in such an one the Jews sayF2T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 11. 2. Gloss in ib. Moses ministered: and of this sort and make was the robe of the high priest, said to be of "woven work", Exodus 28:32 upon which Jarchi remarks, ולא במחט, "and not with a needle"; it was all woven, and without any seam: and so the Jews sayF3T. Bab. Yoma, c. 7. foi. 72. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Cele Hamikdash, c. 8. sect. 16. in general of the garments of the priests:

"the garments of the priests are not made of needlework, but of woven work; as it is said, Exodus 28:32. Abai says, it is not necessary (i.e. the use of the needle) but for their sleeves; according to the tradition, the sleeve of the garments of the priests is woven by itself, and is joined to the garment, and reaches to the palm of the hand.'

So that this was an entire woven garment from top to bottom, excepting the sleeves, which were wove separately and sewed to it; of this kind also was his coat, which Jacob Iehudah Leon saysF4Relation of Memorable Things in the Tabernacle, &c. c. 5. p. 23. ,

"was a stately woollen coat of a sky colour, wholly woven, all of one piece, without seam, without sleeves;'

such a garment Christ our great High Priest wore, which had no seam in it, but was a curious piece of texture from top to bottom. The very learned BrauniusF5De vestitu Sacerdot. Heb. l. 1. c. 16. p. 346, 360, 361. says, he has seen such garments in Holland, and has given fine cuts of them, and also of the frame in which they are wrought. What authority Nonnus had to call this coat a black one, or others for saying it was the work of the Virgin Mary, I know not.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 19:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-19.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

7 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also [his] coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

(7) Christ signifies by the division of his garments amongst the bloody butchers (except for his coat which had no seam) that it will come to pass, that he will shortly divide his benefits, and enrich his very enemies throughout the world: but in such a way that the treasure of his Church will remain whole.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 19:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-19.html. 1599-1645.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

23. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

[They took his garments--and coat, &c.] By the word garments, we are to understand all his clothes, excepting his coat, or upper garment; for which, because it was without seam, they cast lots.

Targumist upon Psalm 22:18. They cast lots upon my sindon, or linen. Proverbs 31:24: that is, sindon, as it is the same with talith, the upper coat.

Matthew 5:40: "If any man will take away thy coat," or outward garment, "let him have thy inward garment also."

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 19:23". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-19.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Four parts (τεσσερα μερηtessera merē). There were four soldiers, the usual quaternion (τετραδιονtetradion Acts 12:9) besides the centurion (Mark 15:39; Matthew 27:54; Luke 23:47). The clothes (ιματιαhimatia outer clothes) of the criminal were removed before the crucifixion and belonged to the soldiers. Luke (Luke 23:34) mentions the division of the garments, but not the number four. The four pieces would be the head gear, the sandals, the girdle, the ταλλιτtallith (outer garment with fringes).

The coat was without seam (ο χιτων αραποςho chitōn araphos). For χιτωνchitōn (the inner garment) see Matthew 5:40. ΑραποςAraphos is compound of αa privative and ραπτωraptō to sew together, and so seamless (unsewed together), only here in N.T. It occurs elsewhere in Josephus, Ant. III. 6, 4.

Woven
(υπαντοςhuphantos). Verbal (old word) from υπαινωhuphainō (some MSS. in Luke 12:27), only here in N.T.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-19.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Four parts

All the Synoptists relate the parting of the garments. The four pieces to be divided would be, the head-gear, the sandals, the girdle, and the tallith or square outer garment with fringes. Delitzsch thus describes the dress of our Lord: “On His head He wore a white sudar fastened under the chin and hanging down from the shoulders behind. Over the tunic which covered the body to the hands and feet, a blue tallith with the blue and white fringes on the four ends, so thrown over and gathered together that the gray, red-striped undergarment was scarcely noticeable, except when the sandal-shod feet came into view” (“A Day in Capernaum”).

Coat ( χιτῶνα )

Or tunic. See on Matthew 5:40.

Without seam ( ἄῤῥαφος, or ἄραφος )

Only here in the New Testament. From ἀ , not, and ῥάπτω , to sew together. Like the tunic of the High-Priest. Only John records this detail.

Woven ( ὑφαντὸς )

Only here in the New Testament.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-19.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

The vesture — The upper garment.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 19:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-19.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout2.

  1. The soldiers . . . took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. See .

  2. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. This was the tunic or undergarment in two pieces, which were fastened at the shoulders by clasps; but Josephus tells us that the tunic of the high priest was an exception to this rule, being woven without seam (Ant. 3:7.4). Thus in dividing the Lord's garments, they found a suggestion of his high priesthood.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 19:23". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-19.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The coat was without seam. The coat, as it is here called,--a garment very different from any now worn,--was of such a form as to admit of its being manufactured as here described.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-19.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Воины же. Другие Евангелисты также упоминают о разделении одежд Христовых между воинами. Было четыре воина, разделивших между собой остатки одежд. Но оставался несшитый хитон, который они не смогли разделить и бросили о нем жребий. Дабы привлечь наше внимание к замыслу Божию, Евангелисты говорят, что Писание исполнилось даже в этой части. Место же, которое они приводят из Пс.21:19, кажется не относящимся к данному случаю. Ведь Давид жалуется там на то, что стал добычею для врагов и иносказательно означает словом «одежда» все себе принадлежащее. Он как бы говорит, что ограблен и полностью раздет нечестивыми людьми. Евангелисты же, пренебрегши этим иносказанием, отходят от подлинного смысла. Но следует знать: во-первых, псалом говорит не только о Давиде. Это явствует из многих его стихов. Особенно из заключительных, где сказано: Буду славить имя Твое в народах, – что необходимо понимать как относящееся ко Христу. Так что не удивительно, если в лице Давида косвенно изображалось то, что яснее исполнилось во Христе. Ведь истине подобает быть яснее своего образа. Будем же знать, что Христос был лишен своих одеяний, дабы облечь нас в Собственную праведность. Его обнаженное тело было выставлено на позор, дабы мы явились на суд Божий облеченными в славу.

То же, что некоторые толкуют это место аллегорически и относят его к Писанию, раздираемому еретиками, довольно натянуто. Вполне уместно сравнение, что как воины однажды разделили одежды Христовы, так и сегодня превратные люди разрывают Писание чуждыми измышлениями. То Писание, в которое облекся Христос, дабы явить Себя нам. Но никак нельзя терпеть извращенность папистов, соединенную с ужасным богохульством. Они говорят, что Писание раздирается еретиками, а хитон, то есть – Церковь, остается при этом целым. Так что, отвергнув авторитет Писания, они видят единство веры в одной лишь Церкви. Словно само единство Церкви покоится на чем-то еще, а не на вере Писания. Итак, отрывая веру от Писания, чтобы покорить ее одной лишь Церкви, они не только обнажают Христа, но в жестоком святотатстве раздирают Само Его Тело. И если мы согласимся с ними в том, что символом Церкви являлся несшитый хитон Христов, они и в этом случае не достигнут желаемого. Ибо надо еще доказать, что Церковь пребывает среди них, не являющих ни малейшего ее признака.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

Ver. 23. Took his garments] Christ, as Elias, being now to ascend into heaven, did willingly let go his garments; and the rather that he might clothe us with his righteousness. Let us suffer with joy by the spoiling of our goods, as knowing in ourselves (not only by books or relation of others) that we have in heaven a better and more enduring substance, Hebrews 10:32. But what a wise fool was Sir Thomas Moore, who being brought to the Tower, a malefactor, and one of the officers demanding his upper garment for a fee, meaning his gown, he said he should have it; and took him his cap, saying, it was the uppermost garment that he had. So, when he was to be beheaded, he said to the hangman, I pray you let me lay my beard over the block, lest you should cut it. He thought it no glory, unless he might die with a mock in his mouth. These be the world’s wizards.

Now the coat was without seam] Christi tunica est unica: they that rent it by schisms, are worse than the rude soldiers. There can be no greater sin committed, saith Cyprian, than to break the unity of the Church: yea, though one should suffer martyrdom, yet cannot he expiate his thereby sin of discord. This, saith Chrysostom, is a bold, but a true speech of Cyprian. {a} And like to this, is that of Oecolampadius to the Lutherans in Switzerland; Our error may be pardoned, so that Christ by faith be apprehended, Discordiam, neque si sanguinem fundamus, expiabimus, but the blot of our discord we cannot wash off with our heart blood. (Oecol. ad fratres in Suevia.)

{a} Inexpiabilis discordiae macula martyrii sanguine ablui et passione purgari non potest. Cypr. de Unit. Eccles. Chrysost. Hom. xi. ad Ephes.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 19:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-19.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here we have recorded our Saviour's sufferings from the soldiers; they stript him of his garments, before they fastened him to his cross, and divided those garments which could be parted amongst them, and cast lots on his woven coat which could not be divided. Little did these vile soldiers think that they were now fulfilling a scripture prophecy; yet so it was, this action of theirs being foretold, Psalms 22:18 They part my garments, among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. Not that the prophecy made them do it, but was fulfilled by their doing of it.

From hence we may gather, that Christ suffered naked upon the cross, as naked, some say, as he came into the world. We had made ourselves naked to our shame, and Christ bacame naked to cover our shame. If, sensible of our own nakedness and shame, we flee unto him by faith, we shall be clothed with robes of righteousness, and garments of everlasting praise.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 19:23". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-19.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 19:23. στρατιῶται, the soldiers) viz. four.— καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα, and the tunic) [the inner vest] they took.— ἄραφος, without seam, not sewed together) appropriate to the holy body of the Saviour. Weigh well what Fabricius, in the Centifolium, p. 407, has collected concerning the mode of living of the Saviour. Nor did He ever rend His garments in sunder.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 19:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-19.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Both Matthew, Matthew 27:35, and Mark, Mark 15:24, mention this parting of Christ’s garments amongst them, which must be understood of his inward garments; which some tell us might easily be done, because their garments were made up of four parts. But his outward garment, which is called his coat, was all of a piece.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 19:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-19.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

одежды Егои хитон По обычаю одежда осужденного становилась собственностью палачей. Деление одежды предполагает, что в группу, производящую казнь, входило четыре солдата (ср. Деян. 12:4). Туника была самой нижней частью одежды. Множественное число слова «одежды», вероятно, относится к другой одежде, включая верхнюю одежду, ремень, сандалии и покрывало на голову.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 19:23". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-19.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.Of the parting of garments John, as an eye-witness and as an expositor of the prophetic fulfilment, gives the fullest statement. By the Roman law the garments of the executed malefactor went as perquisites to the executioner. And thus here a Roman custom strangely comes in to fulfil an ancient Hebrew prediction.

Between this full statement of John and the briefer one of Mark there is variation, but no contradiction. Mark says: “They parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” Here the garments are viewed in mass as being “parted,” and a “casting lots upon them” is affirmed; whether the cast lots affected the whole, or only a part, is not said. Still less is there a contradiction of Matthew, who says they “parted his garments, casting lots.” This only affirms that there was a casting lots, more or less, in the process of the division. These two statements are indefinite, but John’s precise.

Four parts—Hence, but four soldiers (commanded, perhaps, by a centurion) were required to crucify, numerous as was the band that first apprehended him.

Coat—At this they arrived last, as being the under tunic or shirt. It was commonly worn by the priests, and consisted of two oblong pieces of cloth, fastened at the upper ends upon the shoulder with a clasp or buckle, and hanging down, before and behind to the feet.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-19.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 19:23. The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his tunic: now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top throughout. The soldiers are no longer a ‘band.’ They are only four in number, the usual number of a Roman guard (comp. Acts 12:4). When they went out against Jesus to the garden of Gethsemane it was in force, because they knew not how far He might really be the leader in a popular insurrection against the government. There was evidently no occasion for such a fear now, and their number therefore could with perfect safety be reduced. By the ‘garments’ here spoken of we are to understand all the articles of clothing belonging to Jesus with the exception of His ‘vesture’ or tunic,—viz. His sandals, girdle, outer robe, head-dress, etc. These they divided into four parts, giving to each of the four soldiers a part. Another course had to be taken with the tunic or under-garment. By it we are without doubt to understand the long garment reaching to the feet, woven so as to fit closely to the body (not pieced or sewed together), which was worn by the high priest,—the garment of Revelation 1:13. It is hardly possible not to feel that this vestment is to John the symbol of the fact that He who now hangs upon the cross as King is also Priest of His people. We are next told what was done with the vestment.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-19.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 19:23. “The soldiers, then, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments”—the executioner’s perquisite (Apuleius has the comparison “naked as a new-born babe or as the crucified”)—and as there were four soldiers, , Acts 12:4, they divided the clothes into four parts. This was the more easily done because the usual dress of a Jew consisted of five parts, the headdress, the shoes, the chiton, the outer garment, and the girdle. The remained after the four other articles were distributed. They could not divide it into four without spoiling it, and so they cast lots for it. It was seamless, , unsewed, and woven in one piece from top to bottom.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 19:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-19.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

They made four parts. Christ's upper garment had seams, which the four executioners could easily divide; but his under garment, or vest, was without seam, so that being cut, it would have been of no use. (Witham) --- This coat without seam is a figure of the unity of the Church. (St. Cyprian, de unit. Eccles.) --- The Rev. Fred. Nolan, of Woodford, in Essex, in his late work, entitled, Objections of a Churchman to uniting with the Bible Society, after quoting 2 Peter iii. 15, 16, says: "That the Bible may, therefore, prove the remote, but innocent cause of harm, is not, I apprehend, to be disputed, if we are to admit of its own authority:" p. 23, and again, p. 24, "that the present mode of circulating the Scriptures must prove a most effectual specific for multiplying sects and schisms; and consequently, for increasing, to an infinite degree, the greatest evil, under which Christianity has suffered, from the time of its promulgation, down to the memorable epoch of this happy invention, for the establishment of Christian faith, and the extension of Christian unanimity." P. 62 in the same work, "That the Bible is the foundation of our religion, is new doctrine, unless in the divinity of the conventicle. We are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. (Ephesians ii. 20.) On this foundation others still build, who are labourers together with God; (1 Corinthians xi. 9. 10.) of which divine co-operation the successors of the apostles have an express promise, to the end of the world. (Matthew xxviii. 20.) And by persons thus authorized (John xx. 21.) apostolical tradition has been delivered down to the present day, p. 63. The one body, of which our Lord was resolved his Church should consist, was to have one faith, (Ephesians iv. 4, 5.) it was to contain no schism, (1 Corinthians xii. 25.) but the present confederacy is formed on the principle of combining every sect and party, and this, while we have received an express prohibition against associating with those, who reject apostolical traditions, committed to the Church." (2 Thessalonians iii. 6. 14.) In a foot-note on the above, the learned divine very appositely cites St. Ignatius, in which quotation we find these emphatic words: Greek: Me planasthe adelphoi mou, ei tis schizonti akolouthei, Basileian theou ou Kleronomei. Be not deceived, my brethren, not only acknowledged schismatics, but whoever shall join with a schismatic, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The same apostolic Father, in another part, adds: he who corrupts the faith of God, for which Christ suffered, shall go into unquenchable fire: Greek: eis to pur to asbeston choresei. St. Alexander, in the fourth century, says of the Arians: that seamless garment, which the murderers of Jesus Christ would not divide, these men have dared to rip asunder. Greek: Tou arrekton chitona schisai eiolmesan.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 19:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-19.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the soldiers. These were probably slaves attached to the legion who were employed as executioners.

took = received. The garments were their perquisite.

coat. Greek. chiton. A tunic worn next the body, and reaching to the knees.

without seam. Greek. arraphos. Occurs only here. Josephus says one of the high priest"s garments was without seam.

the top = the parts above (Greek. ta anothen). Compare Matthew 27:51. Mark 15:38.

throughout = through (Greek. dia. App-104. John 19:1) the whole.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 19:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-19.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part - of the four soldiers who were the executioners, and whose perquisite they were.

And also his coat, [ ton (Greek #3588) chitoona (Greek #5509)] - the Roman tunic, or close-fitting vest.

Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. Perhaps, say Webster and Wilkinson, denoting considerable skill and labour, as necessary to produce such a garment-the work, probably, of one or more of the women who ministered in such things unto Him (Luke 8:3).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-19.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) On John 19:23-24, comp. Notes on Matthew 27:35-36; Luke 23:34. St. John’s account is again more full than any of the others.

And made four parts, to every soldier a part.—The soldiers there who carried the sentence into execution were one of the usual quarternions (Acts 12:4), under the command of a centurion.

Also his coat: now the coat was without seam.—More exactly, the tunic, or under-garment. It reached from the neck to the feet, while the outer “garment” was a square rug thrown round the body. Ordinarily the tunic consisted of two pieces connected at the shoulder by clasps; but that worn by Jesus was made in one piece. This seems to have been the rule with the priestly tunics. (Comp. the account of Aaron’s tunic in Jos. Ant. iii. 7, § 4.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-19.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
the soldiers
Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34
now
Such was the [chiton (xitwñn)] or coat, of the Jewish high-priest, as described by Josephus.
woven
or, wrought.
Exodus 39:22,23
Reciprocal: Exodus 28:32 - that it be not rent;  1 Kings 12:15 - that he might;  Psalm 22:16 - they pierced;  Psalm 22:18 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 19:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-19.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.Then the soldiers. The other Evangelists also mention the parting of Christ’s garments among the soldiers, (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34.) There were four soldiers who parted among themselves all his garments, except the coat, which, being without seam could not be divided, and therefore they cast lots on it. To fix our minds on the contemplation of the purpose of God, the Evangelists remind us that, in this occurrence also, there was a fulfillment of Scripture. It may be thought, however, that the passage, which they quote from Psalms 22:19, is inappropriately applied to the subject in hand; for, though David complains in it that he was exposed as a prey to his enemies, he makes use of the word garments to denote metaphorically all his property; as if he had said, in a single word, that “he had been stripped naked and bare by wicked men;” and, when the Evangelists disregard the figure, they depart from the natural meaning of the passage. But we ought to remember, in the first place, that the psalm ought not to be restricted to David, as is evident from many parts of it, and especially from a clause in which it is written, I will proclaim thy name among the Gentiles, (Psalms 22:22) which must be explained as referring to Christ. We need not wonder, therefore, if that which was faintly shadowed out in David is beheld in Christ with all that superior clearness which the truth ought to have, as compared with the figurative representation of it.

Let us also learn that. Christ was stripped of his garments, that he might clothe us with righteousness; that his naked body was exposed to the insults of men, that we may appear in glory before the judgment-seat of God. As to the allegorical meaning to which some men have tortured this passage, by making it mean, that heretics tear Scripture in pieces, it is too far-fetched; though I would not object to such a comparison as this, —that, as the garments of Christ were once divided by ungodly soldiers, so, in the present day, there are perverse men who, by foreign inventions, tear the whole of the Scripture, with which Christ is clothed, in order that he may be manifested to us. But the wickedness of the Papists, accompanied by shocking blasphemy against God, is intolerable. They tell us, that Scripture is torn to pieces by heretics, but that the coat that is, the Church — remains entire; and thus they endeavor to prove that, without paying any attention to the authority of Scripture, the unity of faith consists in the mere title of the Church; as if the unity of the Church were itself founded on any thing else than the authority of Scripture. When, therefore, they separate faith from Scripture, so that it may continue to be attached to the Church alone, by such a divorce they not only strip Christ of his garments, but tear in pieces his body by shocking sacrilege. And though we should admit what they maintain, that the coat without seam is a figure of the Church, they will be very far from gaining their point: for it will still remain to be proved, that the Church is placed under their authority, of which they show no sign whatever.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.