Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 19:32

So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him;
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Legs;   The Topic Concordance - Jesus Christ;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Persecution;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Christianity;   Humiliation of Christ;   Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Passover;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Burial;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Blood and Water ;   Septuagint;   Soldiers;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Cross;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Leg;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for November 13;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

The soldiers therefore came, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him: but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and straightway there came out blood and water.

Two prophecies regarding Jesus were fulfilled in this: (1) that no bone of him should be broken (Psalms 34:20), and (2) that "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced" (Zechariah 12:10). The soldiers disobeyed one set of orders to fulfill the first, and instituted actions without any orders to fulfill the second. Soldiers in a disciplined army would not have followed such a pattern of behavior once in a million events. Who but God was commanding that detail of soldiers? One cannot resist the thought that there was not enough power in the Roman army to have broken the little finger of Jesus. And where was Satan when this happened? Maybe he was still talking to the Sanhedrin and gloating over the fact that they had contravened the prophecies!

There came out blood and water ... There has to be some element of the miraculous in this. Naturalistic explanations have some plausibility, as for example that of Dr. Stroud quoted by Westcott, who supposed that "the blood rapidly separated into its more solid and liquid parts, which flowed forth in a mingled stream."[17] But the trouble with that explanation is that blood serum is not water; and there is also the time factor, there having been insufficient time for such a separation to have taken place. In addition, as Westcott pointed out, "the separation of the blood into its constituent parts is a process of corruption."[18] The Father did not permit the Holy One to see corruption (Psalms 16:10).

John attached the greatest importance to this phenomenon, and also wrote, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood" (1 John 5:6).

The Ante-Nicene writers elaborated all kinds of fanciful teachings based on this occurrence, most of them finding a suggestion of the two baptisms (as they viewed it) of blood for the martyrs and water for all Christians. The most reasonable interpretations, as viewed here, are those of Augustine and Leo, as follows:

The sleep of the man (Adam) was the death of Christ; for when he hung lifeless on the cross, his side was pierced by the spear, and thence flowed forth blood and water, which we know to be the sacraments (baptism and the Lord's Supper), by which the church, the antitype of Eve, is built up.[19]

When the side of the Crucified was opened by the soldier's spear let the impugner of Christ's person understand whence flowed the blood and the water, that the church of God might be refreshed both by the laver (baptism) and the cup (the Lord's supper).[20]SIZE>

Sacraments ... The so-called seven sacraments exhibit only two with Greek names (baptism and the Lord's supper), indicating that the other five are not mentioned in the Greek New Testament and are therefore excluded from apostolic Christianity.

I am poured out like water ... from Psalms 22:14 was also fulfilled by the event mentioned in this verse. As noted above, the great ordinances of the faith, baptism and the Lord's supper, typified by this issue from the side of Jesus, made it appropriate to observe that, in a sense, the church itself thus came forth from Jesus' side, as Eve, the type of the church, came from Adam's side; and, as the guilt (through the woman) came out of Adam's side, so salvation came out of the side of the Second Adam (Christ).

[17] Ibid., p. 279.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid., p. 286.

[20] Ibid.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 19:32". "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 came the soldiers,.... Pilate having granted the Jews what they desired; either the soldiers that crucified Christ, and the others with him, and watched their bodies, being ordered by Pilate, went from the place where they sat; or a fresh company, which were sent for this purpose, came from the city:

and brake the legs of the first; they came unto, which whether it was he that was crucified on his right hand, and was the penitent believer in him, as some have thought, is not certain:

and of the other which was crucified with him; who, if the former is true, must be he that reviled him; and was this their position, it was a lively emblem of the last day, when the sheep shall stand at the right, and the goats on the left hand of Christ.

Copyright Statement
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 19:32". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-19.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Which was crucified with him (του συνσταυρωτεντος αυτωιtou sunstaurōthentos autōi). First aorist passive articular participle of συνσταυροωsunstauroō with associative instrumental case. Cf. Paul‘s Χριστωι συνεσταυρωμαιChristōi sunestaurōmai (Galatians 2:19).

Copyright Statement
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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 19:32". "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

Brake the legs

A detail recorded only by John. This crurifragium, leg-breaking, consisted in striking the legs with a heavy mallet in order to expedite death. It was sometimes inflicted as a punishment upon slaves. Some horrible illustrations are furnished by Suetonius, in his lives of Augustus and Tiberius.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 19:32". "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.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

Ver. 32. Brake the legs of the first] The good thief also had his legs broken and his life taken away; though by his repentance he made his cross a Jacob’s ladder, whereby angels descended to fetch up his soul.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 19:32". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-19.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 19:32. τοῦ πρώτου, καὶ τοῦ ἄλλου, the first, and the other) Pains often remain even to the converted [as here in the case of the penitent robber]; and an equal amount of outward bodily suffering with the ungodly. ἄλλος, the other (a different one), is the expression used, not, the second; from which it may be inferred, as it seems, that by the first is meant the converted robber, who was more speedily released from his pains than the other.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 19:32". 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

Ver. 32,33. They brake the two other malefactors’ legs, but not Christ’s, because they found him dead. It is very possible in a natural course, that of three men dying in the same manner, one may die sooner than another; but it is but rationally presumed, that the cause of our Saviour’s quicker death, was not the failure of his spirits sooner, but his own voluntary surrender of his soul.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 19:32". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-19.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

32.Came the soldiers—At a little after three o’clock the soldiers, either the four who had watched the crucifixion, or a special number sent by Pilate, came to the two thieves first and to Jesus last, as being in the middle.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 19:32". "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 19:32. The soldiers therefore came and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. The bodies had been suspended on the cross with Jesus in the midst. It is natural to suppose that the soldiers, approaching from two opposite sides, would proceed in the order thus mentioned: each would strike his blow on one malefactor’s body; then they would come to Jesus.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 19:32". "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 19:32. The two robbers were thus dispatched. , but when the soldiers who were carrying out Pilate’s orders came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they refrained from breaking His legs.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 19:32". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-19.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the first, &c. See App-164.

crucified with. Greek. sustauroo. Only here, Matthew 27:44. Mark 15:32. Romans 6:6. Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:20.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 19:32". "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 came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

Crucifixion being a very lingering death, the life of the criminals was still in them, and was thus barbarously extinguished.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:32". "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

(32) Then came the soldiers,. . . .—The words do not mean, as they have sometimes been understood, that other soldiers came, but refer to the quaternion before named (John 19:23), who had naturally fallen back from the crosses, and are here represented as coming forward to complete their work. The mention of the “first” and the “other” suggests that they formed two pairs, and began on either side breaking the legs of the thieves crucified with Jesus.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 19:32". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-19.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
of the first
18; Luke 23:39-43
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 12:15 - that he might;  2 Chronicles 10:15 - that the Lord;  Proverbs 12:10 - but;  Mark 14:8 - she is;  John 19:14 - the preparation

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 19:32". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-19.html.