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Mark 15:21

Context
The Crucifixion

15:21 The soldiers 1  forced 2  a passerby to carry his cross, 3  Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country 4  (he was the father of Alexander and Rufus).

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

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

3 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.

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



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