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John 19:23-24

Context

19:23 Now when the soldiers crucified 1  Jesus, they took his clothes and made four shares, one for each soldier, 2  and the tunic 3  remained. (Now the tunic 4  was seamless, woven from top to bottom as a single piece.) 5  19:24 So the soldiers said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but throw dice 6  to see who will get it.” 7  This took place 8  to fulfill the scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they threw dice.” 9  So the soldiers did these things.

1 sn See the note on Crucify in 19:6.

2 sn Four shares, one for each soldier. The Gospel of John is the only one to specify the number of soldiers involved in the crucifixion. This was a quaternion, a squad of four soldiers. It was accepted Roman practice for the soldiers who performed a crucifixion to divide the possessions of the person executed among themselves.

3 tn Or “shirt” (a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin). The name for this garment (χιτών, citwn) presents some difficulty in translation. Most modern readers would not understand what a ‘tunic’ was any more than they would be familiar with a ‘chiton.’ On the other hand, attempts to find a modern equivalent are also a problem: “Shirt” conveys the idea of a much shorter garment that covers only the upper body, and “undergarment” (given the styles of modern underwear) is more misleading still. “Tunic” was therefore employed, but with a note to explain its nature.

4 tn Or “shirt” (a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin). See the note on the same word earlier in this verse.

5 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

6 tn Grk “but choose by lot” (probably by using marked pebbles or broken pieces of pottery). A modern equivalent, “throw dice,” was chosen here because of its association with gambling.

7 tn Grk “to see whose it will be.”

8 tn The words “This took place” are not in the Greek text but are implied.

9 tn Grk “cast lots.” See the note on “throw dice” earlier in the verse.

sn A quotation from Ps 22:18.



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