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NAVE: Scourging
EBD: Scourging
SMITH: SCOURGING
ISBE: SCOURGE; SCOURGING
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Scourging

Scourging [EBD]

(1 Kings 12:11). Variously administered. In no case were the stripes to exceed forty (Deut. 25:3; comp. 2 Cor. 11:24). In the time of the apostles, in consequence of the passing of what was called the Porcian law, no Roman citizen could be scourged in any case (Acts 16:22-37). (See BASTINADO.) In the scourging of our Lord (Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:15) the words of prophecy (Isa. 53:5) were fulfilled.

Scourging [NAVE]

SCOURGING, corporal punishment by stripes. Prescribed in the Mosaic law for fornication, Lev. 19:20; Deut. 22:18; for other offenses, Deut. 25:2.
Forty stripes the maximum limit, Deut. 25:3.
Fatal, Job 9:23; of servants avenged, Ex. 21:20.
Foretold by Jesus as a persecution of the Christians, Matt. 10:17.
Of children, See: Children, Correction of; Punishment.
Instances of
Of Jesus, Matt. 20:19; 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1.
Of Paul and Silas, Acts 16:23.
Of Paul, Acts 21:32; 22:24; 2 Cor. 11:24, 25.
Of Sosthenes, Acts 18:17.
Figurative
Of the oppressions of rulers, 1 Kin. 12:11.
Of the evil tongue, Job 5:21.
See: Assault and Battery; Stripes.

SCOURGING [SMITH]

The punishment of scourging was common among the Jews. The instrument of punishment in ancient Egypt, as it is also in modern times generally in the East, was usually the stick, applied to the soles of the feet --bastinado. Under the Roman method the culprit was stripped, stretched with cords or thongs on a frame and beaten with rods. (Another form of the scourge consisted of a handle with three lashes or thongs of leather or cord, sometimes with pieces of metal fastened to them. Roman citizens were exempt by their law from scourging.)

SCOURGE; SCOURGING [ISBE]

SCOURGE; SCOURGING - skurj, skur'-jing (@mastix], mastigoo; in Acts 22:25 mastizo, in Mk 15:15 parallel Mt 27:26 phragelloo): A Roman implement for severe bodily punishment. Horace calls it horribile flagellum. It consisted of a handle, to which several cords or leather thongs were affixed, which were weighted with jagged pieces of bone or metal, to make the blow more painful and effective. It is comparable, in its horrid effects, only with the Russian knout. The victim was tied to a post (Acts 22:25) and the blows were applied to the back and loins, sometimes even, in the wanton cruelty of the executioner, to the face and the bowels. In the tense position of the body, the effect can easily be imagined. So hideous was the punishment that the victim usually fainted and not rarely died under it. Eusebius draws a horribly realistic picture of the torture of scourging (Historia Ecclesiastica, IV, 15). By its application secrets and confessions were wrung from the victim (Acts 22:24). It usually preceded capital punishment (Livy xxxiii.36). It was illegal to apply the flagallum to a Roman citizen (Acts 22:25), since the Porcian and Sempronian laws, 248 and 123 BC, although these laws were not rarely broken in the provinces (Tac. Hist. iv.27; Cic. Verr. v.6, 62; Josephus, BJ, II, xiv, 9). As among the Russians today, the number of blows was not usually fixed, the severity of the punishment depending entirely on the commanding officer. In the punishment of Jesus, we are reminded of the words of Ps 129:3. Among the Jews the punishment of flagellation was well known since the Egyptian days, as the monuments abundantly testify. The word "scourge" is used in Lev 19:20, but the American Standard Revised Version translates "punished," the original word biqqoreth expressing the idea of investigation. Dt 25:3 fixed the mode of a Jewish flogging and limits the number of blows to 40. Apparently the flogging was administered by a rod. The Syrians reintroduced true scourging into Jewish life, when Antiochus Epiphanes forced them by means of it to eat swine's flesh (2 Macc 6:30; 7:1). Later it was legalized by Jewish law and became customary (Mt 10:17; 23:34; Acts 22:19; 26:11), but the traditional limitation of the number of blows was still preserved. Says Paul in his "foolish boasting": "in stripes above measure," "of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one," distinguishing it from the "beatings with rods," thrice repeated (2 Cor 11:23-25).

The other Old Testament references (Job 5:21; 9:23; Isa 10:26; 28:15,18 shot; Josh 23:13 shotet) are figurative for "affliction." Notice the curious mixture of metaphors in the phrase "over-flowing scourge" (Isa 28:15-18).

Henry E. Dosker




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