Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 19:41

Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Burial;   Jerusalem;   Jesus, the Christ;   Joseph;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Burial;   Gardens;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Calvary;   Gardens;   Joseph;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Golgotha;   Jerusalem;   Joseph of arimathea;   Nicodemus;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Burial;   Disciple, Discipleship;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Christianity;   Humiliation of Christ;   Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Burial;   Gardens;   Golgotha;   Samuel;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Burial;   Garden;   Golgotha;   Tombs;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Garden;   Grave;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   John, the Gospel of;   Joseph;   Nicodemus;   Tomb of Jesus;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Garden;   Joseph;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Golgotha ;   Joseph (2);   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Arden;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Joseph;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Garden;   Joseph of Arimathaea;   Nicodemus;   Sepulchre;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Burial;   Golgotha;   Horticulture;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

There was a garden - It was an ancient custom for particular families to have burying places in their gardens. See 2 Kings 21:18, 2 Kings 21:26.

New sepulchre - See on Matthew 27:60; (note).

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 19:41". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-19.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb wherein was never man yet laid.

Thus the Second Adam slept in a garden, associating the redemption of the race with a garden, even as the fall of the first Adam had occurred in a garden. Matthew identified the tomb as Joseph's, noted that it was new, hewn out of rock, and that it was closed by a great stone. Luke recorded that it was hewn out of rock and that no man had ever lain in it. John supplied the details that it was in a garden and that no one had ever lain in it. This composite description is fully harmonious.

THE TWO GRAVES OF JESUS

1. It was prophesied of Messiah that "THEY made his grave with the wicked (plural) and with the rich (singular) in his death" (Isaiah 53:9). Matthew's identification of Joseph as a rich man, together with the description of the garden tomb itself, makes it clear that the second clause of the prophecy was fulfilled by the burial in Joseph's tomb.

But what about the grave with the wicked? Here is another example of prophecy supplying details regarding Jesus which are not given in the Gospels (such as the piercing of Jesus' feet mentioned in Psalms 22:16). In the same manner, this prophecy mentions the two graves: (1) one with a rich man (singular), (2) the other with the wicked (plural). Remember that the prophecy speaks of "grave" with the wicked, not merely "death" with the wicked. The soldiers who carried out the execution certainly provided the graves for all three men who were crucified, that being a part of their duty. Not knowing of the efforts and intentions of Joseph and Nicodemus, and having had all day in which to do it, they had without any doubt at all provided three graves for the condemned, including, of course, a grave for Jesus. That grave was with the wicked (plural), fulfilling the prophecy exactly. Authority for this conclusion is the prophecy itself. The "they" of the prophecy (RSV) would have been "he" if only Joseph had been meant. It therefore includes prophetic mention of the soldiers. That Jesus never slept in the grave made by the soldiers did not keep it from being the one "they" made for him.

2. "Wherein was never man yet laid ..." is important for two considerations: (1) Jesus' body never came in contact with corruption; and (2) it removed any possibility that his resurrection might have been attributed to his body's having come in contact with the bones of a prophet. The Old Testament records such a miracle, thus:

It came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet (2 Kings 13:21).

Jesus' being buried in a new tomb (mentioned in three Gospels) prevented any false ascription of his resurrection to such an occurrence as that of the Old Testament. There is no evidence that Jesus' enemies ever admitted his resurrection, choosing to deny it rather than to explain it as a miracle like that involving the bones of Elisha; but the infinite Wisdom guarded the sacred event of our Lord's resurrection against every possible deprecation of it, even against eventualities that never materialized.

3. This detailed description of the grave where Jesus was buried is important also as a refutation of the satanically inspired slander of the priests to the effect that his disciples had stolen the body. The "great stone" was so large that several women freely admitted that all of them together would never have been able to roll it away (Mark 16:3). Also, the particular type of rock-hewn sepulchre described in the Gospels facilitated the official sealing of the grave which was ordered by the governor (Matthew 27:62). The sealing of another type of grave, such as that provided by the soldiers, would have been far more difficult and less secure.

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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 19:41". "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

Now in the place where he was crucified,.... Which takes in all that spot of ground that lay on that side of the city where he was crucified; or near to the place of his crucifixion, for it was not a garden in which he was crucified:

there was a garden; all gardens, except rose gardens, were without the city, as has been observed; see Gill on John 18:1. This, it seems, belonged to Joseph: rich men used to have their gardens without the city for their convenience and pleasure:

and in the garden a new sepulchre; they might not bury within the city. Some chose to make their sepulchres in their gardens, to put them in mind of their mortality, when they took their walks there; so R. Dustai, R. Janhal, and R. Nehurai, were buried, בפרדס, "in a garden", or orchardF6Jechus haabot, p. 43. Ed. Hottinger. ; and so were Manasseh and Amon, kings of Judah, 2 Kings 21:18. Here Joseph had one, hewn out in a rock, for himself and family, and was newly made. The Jews distinguish between an old, and a new sepulchre; they sayF7Massech. Sernacot, c. 24. fol. 16. 3. ,

קבר חדש, "a new sepulchre" may be measured and sold, and divided, but an old one might not be measured, nor sold, nor divided.'

Wherein was never man yet laid; this is not improperly, nor impertinently added, though the evangelist had before said, that it was a new sepulchre; for that it might be, and yet bodies have been lain in it; for according to the Jewish canonsF8Ib. ,

"there is as a new sepulchre, which is an old one; and there is an old one, which is as a new one; an old sepulchre, in which lie ten dead bodies, which are not in the power of the owners, הריזה כקבר חדש, "lo, this is as a new sepulchre".'

Now Christ was laid in such an one, where no man had been laid, that it might appear certainly that it was he, and not another, that was risen from the dead.

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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 19:41". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-19.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was e never man yet laid.

(e) That no man might frivolously object to his resurrection, as though someone else that had been buried there had risen; Theophylact.
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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 19:41". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-19.html. 1599-1645.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

A garden (κηποςkēpos). See John 18:1, John 18:26.

New (καινονkainon). Fresh, unused.

Was never yet laid
(ουδεπω ην τετειμενοςoudepō ēn tetheimenos). Periphrastic past perfect passive of τιτημιtithēmi It was Joseph‘s mausoleum, a rock tomb hewn out of the mountain side (Mark 15:46; Matthew 27:60; Luke 23:53), a custom common with the rich then and now. For royal tombs in gardens see 2 Kings 21:18, 2 Kings 21:26; Nehemiah 3:16.

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 19:41". "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

A garden

Mentioned by John only.

New ( καινὸν )

See on Matthew 26:29. John omits the detail of the tomb being hewn in the rock, which is common to all the Synoptists.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 19:41". "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

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

In the place where he was crucified — There was a garden in the same tract of land: but the cross did not stand in the garden.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 19:41". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-19.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb wherein was never man yet laid1.

  1. And in the garden a new tomb wherein was never man yet laid. See .

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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 19:41". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-19.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

На том месте. Это – третье обстоятельство, на которое надо обратить внимание в рассказе о погребении. Евангелист по многим причинам указывает конкретное его место. Во-первых, не без провидения Божия Христос был погребен в новосделанном гробе. Хотя его смерть и была похожей на смерть остальных, поскольку Он был перворожденным из мертвых и начатком воскресения, Ему полагалась новая могила. Иное намерение было у Никодима и Иосифа. Поелику до восхода солнца оставалось мало времени, что знаменовало бы начало субботы, они прежде всего смотрели на удобство места. Бог же, кроме сего, дал Своему Сыну еще и нетронутую могилу. Итак, этим святым людям понравилась близость места, позволявшая им не осквернить субботы. Бог же дает им то, чего они никак не искали, дабы выделить погребение Сына Своего каким-нибудь особым знаком. Так что обстоятельства выбора погребального места способствовали прославлению будущего воскресения, и приведенная в следующей главе история проливает на это немалый свет.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:41". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

Ver. 41. A new sepulchre] Fit for him that was the "first-born from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep." Besides else it might have been said, that some other had risen, and not he (saith Theodoret), as Mahomet saith that Christ was not crucified, but another for him. ινα μη συκοφαντισθη η αναστασις, ως αλλου ανασταντος..

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 19:41". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-19.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 19:41. And in the garden a new sepulchre, In the description of the sepulchre given by the evangelists, it is particularly remarked, that it was nigh to the place where Jesus was crucified, consequently nigh to Jerusalem. By this circumstance all the cavils are prevented, which might otherwise have been occasioned, in case the body had been removed further off. Moreover, it is observed, that the sepulchre was a new one, wherein never any man had been laid. This plainly proves, that it could be no other than Jesus who arose, and cuts off all suspicion that he was raised by touching the bones of some prophet or other, who had been buried there, as happened to the corpse which touched the bones of Elisha, 2 Kings 13:21. The evangelist further observes, that it was a sepulchre hewn out of a rock, to shew that there was no passage by which the disciples could get into it, but the one at which the guards were placed, Matthew 27:62; Matthew 27:66 and, consequently, that it was not in their power to steal away the body while the guards remained there performing their duty.

As we are now just arrived at the end of the evangelical history, and the conclusion of the two subsequent chapters will be taken up with the great subject of them,—our Lord's resurrection, we shall here endeavour to give the reader a brief sketch of the character of our Lord Jesus Christ, which itself affords the most incontestable proof of the truth and divine authority of the scriptures.

FOR, THE CHARACTER OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, even considered only as it relates to his humanity, and as it may be collected from the plain narrations of the gospels, is manifestly superior to all other characters, fictitious or real; whether drawn by historians, orators, or poets. It is entirely different from that of all other men; for whereas they have the selfish passions deeply rooted in their breasts, and in their natural state are influenced by them in almost every thing they do, Jesus was so entirely free from them, that the narrowest scrutiny cannot furnish one single action in the whole course of his life, wherein he consulted his own interest only. The happiness of others was what he had chiefly at heart; and while his cotemporaries followed some one kind of occupation, some another, Jesus had no other business but that of promoting the welfare of men. He went about doing good. He did not wait till he was solicited; but sought opportunities of conferring benefits on such as stood in need of them, and always reckoned it more blessed to give than to receive.

In the next place, whereas it is common for persons, even of the most exalted faculties, on the one hand, to be elated with success and applause, and on the other, to be dejected with great disappointments, it was not so with Jesus. He was never more courageous than when he met with the greatest opposition, and the worst treatment; nor more humble than when men fell down and worshipped him. He came into the world inspired with infinitely the greater purpose that ever was formed, even that of saving, not a single nation, but the whole world; that is to say, all that would yield to be saved by his grace: and in the execution of it, went through the largest and heaviest train of labours that ever was sustained; and that with a constancy of resolution, on which no disadvantageous impression could be made by any incident whatever. In short, calumny, threatening, opposition, bad success, with the other evils befalling him, served only to quicken his endeavours in this glorious enterprise, which he pursued unweariedly, till he finished it by his glorious, though infamous death.

But again; whereas most men are prone to retaliate the injuries that are done them, and all seem to take a satisfaction in complaining of the cruelties of those who oppress them; the whole of Christ's behaviour breathed nothing but meekness, patience, and forgiveness, even to his bitterest enemies, and in the most extreme sufferings. The words, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do! uttered by him when his enemies were nailing him to the cross, or when he hung thereupon, fitly expressed the temper which he maintained through the course of his life, even when assaulted with the heaviest provocations. The truth is, on no occasion did he ever signify the least resentment, by speech or by action, nor indeed any emotion of mind whatever, except such as flowed from pity and charity; consequently such only as expressed the deeper concern for the welfare of mankind.

The greatest and best men have had failings, which darken the lustre of their virtues, and shew them to have been but men. This was the case with Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, David, Solomon, Paul, Peter, and the other heroes celebrated in sacred history. The same may be said of all the greater geniuses in the Heathen world, who undertook to instruct and inform mankind: for, omitting the narrowness of their knowledge, and the obscurity with which they spake upon the most important subjects, there was not one of them who did not fall into some gross error or other, which dishonoured his character as a teacher. The accounts that we have in history of the most renowned sages of antiquity, and the writings of the philosophers still remaining, are proofs of this.

It was otherwise with Jesus in every respect; for he was superior to all the men that ever lived, as well in the simplicity of his doctrine, and the purity of his manners, as in the perfection of his virtues. He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners: he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.

His whole life was perfectly free from spot or weakness, at the same time that it was remarkable for the greatest and most extensive exercises of virtue: but never to have committed the least sin, in word or in deed; never to have uttered any sentiment that could be found fault with, upon the various topics of religion and morality which were the daily subjects of his discourses; and that through the course of a life filled with action, and led under the observation of many enemies, who had always access to converse with him, and who often came to find fault;—this is such a pitch of perfection, as is plainly above the reach of humanity; and therefore he who possessed it, must certainly have been Divine. Accordingly, the evidence of this proof being undeniable, both as argument and as a matter of fact, Jesus himself publicly appealed to it before all the people in the temple, Ch. John 8:46. Which of you convinceth, or rather, convicteth me of sin? And if, in affirming that I am perfectly free from sin, I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

Upon this character of our Lord, we may make the following observations: first, that admitting the present disorders of the moral world, and the necessity of the love of God and our neighbour, and of self-annihilation, in order to the pure and ultimate happiness of man; which all must admit, who know any thing of themselves or of the nature of true religion;—there must be a necessity also for a suffering and atoning Saviour. Besides this, we may affirm, that the condescension of Christ, in leaving the glory which he had with the Father, before the foundation of the world, and in shewing himself a perfect pattern of obedience to the divine will, both in doing and suffering, has a most peculiar tendency, under divine grace, to rectify the present moral depravity of our natures, and to exalt us thereby to pure spiritual happiness. Now it is remarkable, that the evangelists and apostles have thus given to the world a character which all the great men among the antient heathens missed, and which, however clear it does, and ought now to appear to us, was a great stumbling-block to them, as well as to the Jews: the first, seeking, after wisdom, that is to say, human philosophy and eloquence; and the last, requiring a sign, or a glorious temporal Saviour. Nor can this be accounted for, but by admitting the reality of the character, that is to say, the divine mission of Christ, and the consequent divine inspiration of those who drew it up; that is to say, the truth and divine authority of the scriptures.

Secondly, It will be wonderfully difficult to reconcile so great a character, claiming divine authority, either with the moral attributes of God, or indeed with itself, upon the supposition of the falsehood of that claim. One can scarce suppose that God would permit a person apparently so innocent and excellent, so qualified to impose upon mankind, to make so impious and audacious a claim, without having some evident mark of imposture set upon him: nor can it be conceived how a person could be apparently so innocent and excellent, and yet really otherwise.

Thirdly, The manner in which the evangelists speak of Christ, shews that they drew after a real pattern, and demonstrates the genuineness and truth of the gospel history. There are no direct encomiums upon him, no laboured de-fences, or recommendations: his character arises from a careful and impartial examination of all that he did and said; and the evangelists appear to have drawn this greatest of all characters without any direct design to do it.

But it is evident that their view was to shew their Master to the persons to whom they preached, as the promised Messiah of the Jews, and the Saviour of mankind; and as they had been convinced of this themselves from his discourses, actions, sufferings, and resurrection, accompanied by the inspiration of his own divine Spirit, they knew nothing more was wanting to convince such others as were serious and impartial, but a simple narrative of what Jesus said and did, accompanied with the sacred influences of the same divine Spirit.

And indeed, if we compare the transcendent greatness of this character with the indirect manner in which it is delivered, and the illiterateness and low condition of the evangelists, it will appear impossible that they should have forged it; that they should not have had a real original before them; so that nothing was wanting for its authenticity, but to record it simply and faithfully under the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.

How could mean and illiterate persons excel the greatest geniuses, ancient and modern, in drawing a character?—How came they to draw it in an indirect manner?—This is indeed a strong evidence of genuineness and truth: but then it is of so recluse and subtle a nature, and, agreeable to this, has been so little taken notice of by the defenders of the Christian religion, that one cannot conceive that the evangelists themselves were at all aware that it was an evidence. The character of Christ, as drawn by them, is therefore genuine and true, and consequently proves his Divine mission, both by its transcendent excellence, and by his laying claim to such a divine mission.

And here it ought to be particularly remarked, that our Saviour's entire devotion to his heavenly Father, and sufferings for the sake of men in compliance with his will, is a pitch of perfection which was never proposed before his coming, unless as far as this is virtually included in the precepts for loving God above all, and our neighbours as ourselves, and other equivalent passages in the Old Testament.

To conclude, we may observe, that Jesus has, by his death, set open the gates of immortality to men; and by his great atonement, Spirit, word, and example, graciously offers to make them meet for, and to conduct them into the inheritance of the saints in light. Wherefore, being born under the dispensation of his gospel, we have through his grace enjoyed the best means of acquiring wisdom, holiness, virtue, and happiness, the lineaments of the image of God.

We have been called to aspire after an exaltation to the nature and felicity of God, set before our mortal eyes in the humanity of Jesus Christ, to fire us with the noblest ambition. His gospel teaches us, that we are made for eternity; and that our present life is to our after-existence, what childhood is to man's estate: but as in childhood many things are to be learned, many hardships to be endured, many habits to be acquired, and that by a tedious course of exercises, which in themselves though painful, and, it may be, useless to the child, yet are necessary to fit him for the business and enjoyments of manhood: just so, while we remain in this infancy of human life, things are to be learned, hardships to be endured, and habits to be acquired through the grace of God, and by the influences of his Holy Spirit, and by a laborious course of discipline, which, however painful, must be cheerfully undergone, because necessary to fit us for the employment and pleasures of our riper existence above.

Our heavenly Father, in his infinite pity and love, has sent down his own eternal Son, the express image and character of his person, to initiate us by his grace and Spirit, and carry us through this course of education for eternity by the same Spirit. Inflamed therefore with the love of immortality and its joys, let us submit ourselves to our heavenly Teacher, and learn of him those graces which alone can make life pleasant, death desirable, and fill eternity with extatic joys.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Pilate having failed in his first attempt to release the innocent prisoner, bethought himself of another to move the people's compassion.

1. He delivered him up to the officers to be publicly scourged, hoping probably, that after this ignominy and punishment their fury might be appeased. The soldiers to whose custody Jesus had been committed, added the most cruel mockery to his sufferings, and in derision of the dignity to which he pretended, platted a crown of thorns, and, put it on his head, arrayed him in robes of mock majesty, and bowing the knee, saluted him king of the Jews; while with their hands they smote him, and offered the vilest indignities. Note; (1.) By these stripes he fulfilled the prophetic word, and in part procured the healing of our guilty souls. (2.) Many now make a jest of things sacred, who will shortly prove them to their most serious realities. (3.) He who endured such pain and shame for us, has left us his example of patient suffering: how dare we then at any time complain, when we consider what he endured?

2. Thus arrayed, Pilate once more ordered him to be led forth, hoping that this would satisfy his persecutors, and that they might be prevailed upon to let him go; when he adds withal his solemn testimony, that he found no fault in him, and that he therefore regarded him as an object rather to be pitied than feared; and pointing to him as he stood, wearing the crown of thorns and purple robe, his face black with buffeting, and smeared with blood, he said, Behold the man! and let such an object of misery plead with you for mercy. Note; (1.) That man, once treated with such insult and contempt, should be for ever in our eyes the object of our admiration, love, and praise; for, as he humbled himself thus low, the more we see of his abasement, the more the riches of his grace should rise in our esteem. (2.) If we be hooted at, and made gazing-stocks by wicked men, we are only called to a fellowship in Christ's sufferings, and should therein rejoice.

3. Far from being softened and melted by the misery of the innocent sufferer, the chief priests and their officers, more exasperated through the fear of losing their prey, instigated the people, and in a most tumultuous manner headed the mob, and led the cry, Crucify him, Crucify him. Pilate, shocked at their cruelty and injustice, or ironically reproaching them, who pretended to so much sanctity, with so wicked a deed, replies, Take ye him, and crucify him, if ye are so madly set upon it; I choose to have nothing to do with so base an action, for I find no fault in him. Fearing that Jesus should yet escape them, they produce a new accusation of a capital nature. At first they charged him as a traitor against the government, now as a blasphemer against God; pretending, that according to their law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God, and pretended to the incommunicable honours of the Godhead.

4. Pilate, more terrified at that saying, lest he should bring the divine vengeance more fearfully on his head, determined to examine farther into the matter; and therefore, taking Jesus into the judgment-hall, demanded whence he came, whether of human or divine extraction. But Jesus, knowing it was useless to reply, gave him no answer. Pilate, resenting his silence as a contempt of his authority, with haughtiness adds, Speakest thou not unto me? art thou mute, though a prisoner at my bar? knowest thou not, that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? He boasts of his authority as absolute, as able to save or to destroy: so apt are proud worms in office to magnify themselves, and to affect a display of their power.

5. Christ nobly checks his arrogance, and exposes the vanity of his boasts. Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above; as a magistrate, it was from heaven he received his authority, and should rule with justice; and in this particular case, had it not been permitted in the councils of God, not all the Roman powers combined could have prevailed in the minutest particular against him. Therefore he that delivered me unto thee, Caiaphas the high priest, hath the greater sin. Note; (1.) There is a difference in sins; some transgress with more aggravated guilt than others, as they act against greater light, and offend with greater malice.

6. Pilate, now more deeply stung in his conscience, sought earnestly to obtain the release of Jesus, but in vain. Had he acted as an upright magistrate, and according to the convictions of his conscience, he would have feared no popular resentment; but his corruptions overcame his convictions; and the fear of offending the people, and of endangering himself, at last prevailed. The Jews, perceiving how he was disposed, in order to compel him to consent, clamoured loud, and urged, that if he let this man go, he could not be Caesar's friend; since whoever made himself a king, spoke against Caesar, and was a rebel against his government; though the fact was so notoriously false, Christ having never assumed the least temporal authority; he commanded, on the contrary, the tribute to be paid to Caesar; and when the people would have made him a king by force, he left them, and disappointed their designs. But this they craftily urge, as what must most powerfully influence Pilate, who might now be liable to an accusation before the emperor for betraying his trust, if he should let him go, whom they accused as a traitor. Thus they, who in heart abhorred the Roman government, now would appear the most zealous subjects of Caesar. Wicked men, to effect their purposes, can transform themselves into every shape.

7. Pilate, terrified into compliance with their request by this suggestion, and well apprized of the cruel and suspicious temper of Tiberius the Roman emperor, sat down on the judgment seat, in a place called Gabbatha, or the pavement, in order to pronounce sentence upon the prisoner. And it was the preparation day of the passover sabbath, a solemn season when very different subjects should have engaged their time and thoughts, and about the sixth hour. Once more to try if any thing would work upon them, Pilate bids them behold their king, and think a moment if such a miserable object could afford any real cause to fear his pretensions, even if he had affixed royalty. But they, impatient for his condemnation, shouted Away with him, away with him, crucify him; they will hear nothing in his favour, and are determined in their purpose. Pilate remonstrates with them hereupon, Shall I crucify your king? either meaning to excite their compassions, or ridiculing their hopes of a Messiah. They, who at other times ever testified their abhorrence of the Roman yoke, now eagerly embrace it, and with deep professions of loyalty cry, We have no king but Caesar. Pilate then, seeing it in vain to contend, pronounced sentence, and delivered up the innocent prisoner to them to be crucified. Thus was he arraigned and condemned for us, for a pretended crime, that the condemnation due to us for our real rebellions against God might be removed.

8. The sentence is immediately put in execution by his blood-thirsty persecutors, with every circumstance of ignominy. They drag him to the place where malefactors were executed without the city, bearing his own cross; and there nail him to the accursed tree, between two criminals, who were executed with him, to make him appear the vilest of the vile; thus fulfilling the scriptures, which foretold that he should be numbered with the transgressors, Isaiah 53:12. We cannot too frequently in our meditations come and see this great sight: calvary offers the noblest object to our view, God incarnate dying for our iniquities: with what anguish for our guilt, which brought the Saviour to the cross; with what love to him, who so freely consented to bear our sins in his own body on the tree, should we then look up to a crucified Jesus!

2nd, The circumstances of Christ's death are here somewhat more fully related than by the other evangelists.

1. On a tablet at the top of his cross, Pilate wrote a superscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, containing the accusation laid against him, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Multitudes of the Jews then, who came from the city to the place of execution, read the superscription; and the chief priests, offended at the title given him, regarded it as a mark of infamy upon their nation, and therefore requested Pilate to alter the writing into another form, and not to call him absolutely King of the Jews, but that he said, I am King of the Jews; desiring to fix upon his memory this infamy of an impostor. But Pilate, indignant at the injustice they had driven him to commit, with displeasure rejects their request, saying, What I have written, I have written, and will not alter. Note; (1.) The very superscription proved the innocence of Jesus. No crime was charged upon him, but his asserting his real character as the King Messiah. (2.) God holds the hands and lips of wicked men, and can, when he pleases, make them write and speak in such a way, as shall bear testimony to his truth.

2. The soldiers who crucified him, as he hung on the tree, sat down to part his garments among them; and, unwilling to rend his seamless coat, determined rather to cast lots which of them should have it, fulfilling literally the scriptures, which had said, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. (Psalms 22:18.) Those things therefore the soldiers did, with the utmost freedom as to themselves, and yet in a remarkable correspondence to the divine oracle and prescience.

3. In the midst of his agonies Jesus shewed the tenderest concern for his afflicted mother, who stood by his cross with the disciple whom he loved; and kindly addressing her, he recommends her to the care of his beloved John, desiring her to regard him henceforth as her son, and directing him to pay her the duty and affection due to a mother; and from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home, glad to obey the commands of his dying Master, and well pleased to have an opportunity of testifying his unfeigned love towards him. Note; (1.) Christ on the cross hath taught all children an eminent instance of filial duty towards their parents, whose wants to the utmost they are bound to provide for. (2.) When one friend fails, the Lord can raise us up another: if we trust him, we shall not be destitute. (3.) They who love the adored Jesus, will be happy to embrace every opportunity of testifying their regard for him.

4. Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, and his work of atonement nearly complete, that the scripture might be fulfilled (Psalms 22:15; Psalms 69:21.) saith, I thirst; and a vessel of vinegar being near, which was probably mixed with water, as drink for the Roman soldiers, they dipped a spunge in the liquor, and on a stalk of hyssop lifted it to his lips. Jesus felt that wrath of God, and thirsted, which had he not endured, we must for ever have lain down in everlasting burnings, without one drop of water to cool our tongues.

5. Jesus having received the vinegar, saith, It is finished, the victory is obtained over death and hell; the full atonement is made; all the types and prophesies fulfilled; the law magnified by a perfect obedience unto death, and the justice of God satisfied; and therefore now his sufferings end. He bowed his head and gave up the ghost; freely resigning his soul into his Father's hands, and surrendering that life which otherwise none could have taken from him, as the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2.)

3rdly, The indignity intended to be shewn to Jesus in the breaking of his bones, and that also shewn to him by the soldier in the piercing of his side, are recorded only by this evangelist.

1. The Jews, superstitiously observant of the sabbath, and hypocritically pretending reverence for that sacred institution, while their hands were red with the blood of him who was Lord of the sabbath—that the bodies might not hang on the trees till evening, when the sabbath began, which was a high day, and kept with great solemnity, they besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away; to kill them outright, if they were not dead before, and to bury them immediately. Note; Hypocrites often appear very scrupulous about the ceremonies of religion, while they are living in open violation of its most essential precepts.

2. Pilate granted their request; and the two malefactors, not being yet dead, had the dreadful operation performed on them: but when the soldiers came to Jesus, perceiving him already dead, they broke not his legs; but one of the soldiers, to put the matter past dispute, with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water; either the pericardium bring pierced, and thus the water it contained rushing out with the blood, or this separate discharge was miraculous, but typical at all events of the great blessings of justification and sanctification, obtained by Christ's blood-shedding for us. And John, who was standing by, adds his attestation, as an eye-witness to this fact, as most indubitably true, that we might believe the certainty of Christ's death, and receive the inestimable blessings which this blood and water signified. Note; (1.) We are by nature polluted with guilt, and defiled with corruption; but this is the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. Jesus came by blood to make the atonement, by water to purge our consciences from dead works to serve the living God: whoever therefore cometh to him, shall find the mighty efficacy of his blood to pardon the most guilty, and of his grace to purify the most polluted soul. (2.) We have not followed cunningly devised fables in the gospel of our salvation, but believe on the evidences of facts, supported by the most unshaken authority, and attested by the most competent witnesses.

3. In this transaction particular notice is taken of the fulfilment of two scriptures: (1.) A bone of him shall not be broken (Exodus 12:46.); which, though spoken of the paschal lamb, yet especially regarded him, who in the fulness of time, as our passover, should be sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7.). (2.) Another scripture said (Zechariah 12:10.) They shall look on him whom they pierced. Thus were the prophesies accomplished by those, who thought of nothing less in what they did, than the confirmation of our faith in Jesus as the true Messiah.

4thly, Though now Jesus seemed deserted of all, and his corpse ready to be laid with malefactors in a common grave, God raises up one who is appointed to give it a more honourable interment.

1. Joseph of Arimathea, who through fear of the Jews had concealed his sentiments, and, though secretly a disciple of Jesus, was afraid to profess it, now boldly appears, and begs of the governor the body of Jesus, which was granted. Note; (1.) The higher men are in the world, the greater temptation they are under to shun the reproach of the cross; and, though persuaded of the truth of the gospel, not to make bold and open profession of it. (2.) When some of the most courageous disciples are foiled, God can say to the fearful hearts, Be strong, and can enable them to appear boldly in the cause of truth.

2. Nicodemus, who at the first appearing of Jesus came to him by night, now joined Joseph in this pious work, and provided a large quantity of myrrh and aloes, in order to embalm the body of Jesus, as was often done to men of eminent reputation and dignity. No expence to serve him, will be grudged by those who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. They took down the body, and wrapped it in linen clothes, with the spices, as was the manner of the Jews to bury their great men: and as Joseph had a garden near the place where Jesus was crucified, in which he had prepared himself a new tomb, hewn out of a rock, where never man had lain before, there laid they the body of Jesus, it being very convenient, as they were straitened for time, the preparation-day being far advanced, and the sabbath approaching. Thus was our great Surety laid under the arrests of death, and consigned to the silent grave, that he might make the clods of the valley sweet to us, prepare our bed of dust perfumed with his own glorious body, and comfort us in the reviving hope of following him through the grave, the gate of death, unto a joyful immortality.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 19:41". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-19.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

41.] See note on Matthew 27:60. The words ἐν τῷ τόπῳ ὅπου ἐσταυρώθη are so far in favour of the traditional site of the Holy Sepulchre, that Calvary and the Sepulchre are close together, under the roof of the same church. And those who have found an objection in that circumstance have forgotten this testimony of John.

καινὸν …, and therefore given for the purpose—so that the additional particular not here mentioned, that it belonged to Joseph, is almost implied. The newness of the tomb was important, that it should be seen “neminem præter Jesum, neque Jesum alterius virtute, ut olim circa sepulchrum Elisæi acciderat, resurrexisse” (Lampe): so that (Luthardt) no room might be left for the evasions of unbelief.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 19:41". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-19.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 19:41. ἐν τῷ τόπῳ, in the place) The cross itself was not in the garden.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 19:41". 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

As all their gardens were out of the city, so also their burial places, which usually were vaults, or caves within the earth.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 19:41". 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

41.In the garden a new sepulchre—John’s account here, had we no other, would appear not a little mysterious. By what right do the friends of this supposed malefactor take possession of the nearest new sepulchre? But from Matthew we learn (Matthew 27:60) that it is Joseph’s own new tomb. We have thus one of those happy but undesigned coincidences which show that truth is the basis of the account. As the next verse shows, the time required haste, and the body was deposited in this sepulchre temporarily, in order, after the sabbath was passed, to give it an honourable tomb in the proper burial ground.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 19:41". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-19.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no man had ever yet been laid. There then, because of the Jews’ preparation, (for the tomb was nearby), they laid Jesus.’

The burial had to be accomplished quickly because of the coming Sabbath. But Joseph had this tomb conveniently near to the place of crucifixion. It had never been used (a Jewish tomb might be used to house a number of bodies of family members) and was in a garden. The mention of the unused tomb is to stress the importance of the One Who laid there. He was being treated as royalty. The thought may also be that it had not been defiled by death. Furthermore new, unused things were regularly used when God was seen as involved (compare 2 Samuel 6:3)

The fact that it was in a garden reminds us that when man first sinned that too was in a garden. Now a garden was seeing the death of the second Adam, He through Whose coming sacrifice the first Adam had been spared. We learn elsewhere that the tomb was cut out of the rock, that it had a low entrance and that a great stone was rolled across to cover the entrance. Many examples of such tombs are known.

That Jesus was buried was an important part of the New Testament message. It stressed that He was truly man in a human body and that He truly died. Paul could say, ‘He died, ---- and was buried’ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). But in His case it was not the end. It was in preparation for a new beginning.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 19:41". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-19.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

John is the only evangelist who recorded that there was a garden and an unused new tomb near the place of Jesus" crucifixion. The tomb was probably an artificial cave in the limestone, several examples of which are observable in Palestine today. Matthew noted that the garden and its tomb belonged to Joseph ( Matthew 27:60). John"s mention of the garden prepares for his reference later to a gardener ( John 20:15). His reference to the tomb being new and unused prepares for the Resurrection in which no other corpse was in the tomb ( John 20:8; John 20:12).

"The fall of the first Adam took place in a garden; and it was in a garden that the second Adam redeemed mankind from the consequences of Adam"s transgression." [Note: Tasker, p219.]

The site was probably not the "Garden Tomb" near Gordon"s Calvary since Jesus" tomb would have been closer to the crucifixion site that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher now covers. Jesus" tomb could have been quite similar in appearance to this "Garden Tomb," however.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 19:41". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-19.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 19:41. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. Nothing further is told by John of the garden and of the sepulchre thus referred to. We learn only from the other Evangelists that they belonged to Joseph, and that the sepulchre, as is common round Jerusalem, was hewn in the rock. It is not easy to say whether the Evangelist, in referring to the particulars he mentions, may have desired to prepare the way for the reality of the resurrection. They certainly tend to do so, because they help to show that, when the grave was found empty, none but Jesus could have risen from it. It seems more probable, however, that they are mentioned with the view of bringing out the honour paid to Jesus in His death. He was laid, not in the place of common burial, but in a garden, and in a new sepulchre, where no one had been laid before Him. Finally, we are informed why they laid Jesus there in the condition in which He was.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 19:41". "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 19:41. , see Genesis 50:1-3. , “There was in the place,” i.e., in that neighbourhood, , a garden, which, according to Matthew 27:60, must have belonged to Joseph. , a tomb, rock-hewn according to Synoptists, which had hitherto been unused, and which was therefore fresh and clean.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 19:41". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-19.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

is added, lest it should be said, that it was not Christ, but some other, that rose from the dead; or at least, that he rose by the virtue of some other person reposing there. (Calmet).

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 19:41". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-19.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

garden. Greek. kepos. See John 18:1.

new. Greek. kainos. See on Matthew 9:17.

sepulchre = tomb. Greek. mnemeion. Before this in John translated "grave", John 5:28; John 11:17, John 11:31, John 11:38; John 12:17.

wherein = in (Greek. en. App-104.) which.

never man yet = not yet any one. Greek. oudepo oudeis.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 19:41". "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

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. The choice of this tomb was, on their part, dictated by the double circumstance that it was so near at hand, and its belonging to a friend of the Lord; and as there was need of haste, even they would be struck with the providence which thus supplied it.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:41". "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

(41) Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden.—Comp. John 18:1. St. John’s account makes the choice of the sepulchre depend on its nearness to the place of crucifixion; the account in the earlier Gospels makes it depend on the fact that the sepulchre belonged to Joseph. The one account implies the other; and the burial, under the circumstances, required both that the sepulchre should be at hand, and that its owner should be willing that the body should be placed in it.

A new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.—An emphatic combination of the two statements made in Matthew 27:60 and Luke 23:53.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 19:41". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-19.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
and in
20:15; 2 Kings 23:30; Isaiah 22:16; Matthew 27:60,64-66; Luke 23:53
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 16:14 - his own sepulchres

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 19:41". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-19.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 41. "Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid."

The place must naturally be taken with a wide meaning. The circumstance that the sepulchre had never been used before is made so emphatically prominent by the Evangelists (Matthew, "in his new sepulchre;" Luke 23:53, "wherein yet never man lay:" John takes "new" from Matthew, and "never man yet" from Luke), that it must have been regarded as an important fact. They discerned in it a Divine hand, so ordering it that the Prince of life was never laid in a place of corruption. Something analogous we may note in the "new cart," with the "two milch kine on which there hath come no yoke," whereon the ark of the covenant was to be brought back from the Philistines, 1 Samuel 6:7.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 19:41". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-19.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

41.Now, in the place where he was crucified there was a garden. This is the third point, as I have said, which ought to be observed in the history of the burial. It is related by the Evangelist for various reasons. In the first place, it did not happen by accident, but by an undoubted providence of God, that the body of Christ was buried in a new sepulchre; for although he died as all other men die, still, as he was to be the first-born from the dead, (Colossians 1:18,) and the first-fruits of them that rise, (1 Corinthians 15:20) he had a new sepulcher, in which no person had ever been laid True, Nicodemus and Joseph had a different object in view; for, in consequence of the short time that now remained till sunset, which was the commencement of the Sabbath, they looked to the convenience of the place, but, contrary to their intention God provided for his own Son a sepulchre which had not yet been used. The good men are merely gratified by the place being near at hand, that they might not violate the Sabbath; but God offers them what they did not seek, that the burial of his Son might have some token to distinguish him from the rank of other men. The local situation served also to prove the truth of his resurrection, and to throw no small light on the narrative which is contained in the following chapter.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:41". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.