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Mark 15:20-24

15:20 When they had finished mocking 1  him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes back on him. Then 2  they led him away to crucify him. 3 

The Crucifixion

15:21 The soldiers 4  forced 5  a passerby to carry his cross, 6  Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country 7  (he was the father of Alexander and Rufus). 15:22 They brought Jesus 8  to a place called Golgotha 9  (which is translated, “Place of the Skull”). 10  15:23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, 11  but he did not take it. 15:24 Then 12  they crucified 13  him and divided his clothes, throwing dice 14  for them, to decide what each would take.

1 tn The aorist tense is taken consummatively here.

2 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

3 sn See the note on Crucify in 15:13.

4 tn Grk “They”; the referent (the soldiers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Or “conscripted”; or “pressed into service.”

6 sn Jesus was beaten severely with a whip before this (the prelude to crucifixion, known to the Romans as verberatio, mentioned in Matt 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1), so he would have been weak from trauma and loss of blood. Apparently he was unable to bear the cross himself, so Simon was conscripted to help (in all probability this was only the crossbeam, called in Latin the patibulum, since the upright beam usually remained in the ground at the place of execution). Cyrene was located in North Africa where Tripoli is today. Nothing more is known about this Simon.

7 tn Or perhaps, “was coming in from his field” outside the city (BDAG 15-16 s.v. ἀγρός 1).

8 tn Grk “him.”

9 tn Grk “a place, Golgotha.” This is an Aramaic name; see John 19:17.

10 sn The place called Golgotha (which is translated “Place of the Skull”). This location is north and just outside of Jerusalem. The hill on which it is located protruded much like a skull, giving the place its name. The Latin word for the Greek term κρανίον (kranion) is calvaria, from which the English word “Calvary” is derived (cf. Luke 23:33 in the KJV).

11 sn It is difficult to say for certain who gave Jesus this drink of wine mixed with myrrh (e.g., the executioner, or perhaps women from Jerusalem). In any case, whoever gave it to him most likely did so in order to relieve his pain, but Jesus was unwilling to take it.

12 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

13 sn See the note on Crucify in 15:13.

14 tn Grk “by throwing the lot” (probably by using marked pebbles or broken pieces of pottery). A modern equivalent, “throwing dice,” was chosen here because of its association with gambling. According to L&N 6.219 a term for “dice” is particularly appropriate.

sn An allusion to Ps 22:18.

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