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John 19:28-30

Context
Jesus’ Death

19:28 After this Jesus, realizing that by this time 1  everything was completed, 2  said (in order to fulfill the scripture), 3  “I am thirsty!” 4  19:29 A jar full of sour wine 5  was there, so they put a sponge soaked in sour wine on a branch of hyssop 6  and lifted it 7  to his mouth. 19:30 When 8  he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed!” 9  Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 10 

1 tn Or “that already.”

2 tn Or “finished,” “accomplished”; Grk “fulfilled.”

3 sn A reference to Ps 69:21 or Ps 22:15.

4 sn In order to fulfill (τελειωθῇ [teleiwqh], a wordplay on the previous statement that everything was completed [τετέλεσται, tetelestai]) the scripture, he said, “I am thirsty.” The scripture referred to is probably Ps 69:21, “They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Also suggested, however, is Ps 22:15, “My tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth, and you [God] lay me in the dust of death.” Ps 22:1 reads “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?,” a statement Jesus makes from the cross in both Matt 27:46 and Mark 15:34. In light of the connection in the Fourth Gospel between thirst and the living water which Jesus offers, it is highly ironic that here Jesus himself, the source of that living water, expresses his thirst. And since 7:39 associates the living water with the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ statement here in 19:28 amounts to an admission that at this point he has been forsaken by God (cf. Ps 22:1, Matt 27:46, and Mark 15:34).

5 sn The cheap sour wine was called in Latin posca, and referred to a cheap vinegar wine diluted heavily with water. It was the drink of slaves and soldiers, and was probably there for the soldiers who had performed the crucifixion.

6 sn Hyssop was a small aromatic bush; exact identification of the plant is uncertain. The hyssop used to lift the wet sponge may have been a form of reed (κάλαμος, kalamo", “reed,” is used in Matt 27:48 and Mark 15:36); the biblical name can refer to several different species of plant (at least eighteen different plants have been suggested).

7 tn Or “and brought it.”

8 tn Grk “Then when.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

9 tn Or “It is accomplished,” “It is finished,” or “It is ended.” See tn on John 13:1.

10 tn Or “he bowed his head and died”; Grk “he bowed his head and gave over the spirit.”



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