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John 19:2

Context
19:2 The soldiers 1  braided 2  a crown of thorns 3  and put it on his head, and they clothed him in a purple robe. 4 

John 19:5

Context
19:5 So Jesus came outside, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. 5  Pilate 6  said to them, “Look, here is the man!” 7 

1 tn Grk “And the soldiers.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.

2 tn Or “wove.”

3 sn The crown of thorns was a crown plaited of some thorny material, intended as a mockery of Jesus’ “kingship.” Traditionally it has been regarded as an additional instrument of torture, but it seems more probable the purpose of the thorns was not necessarily to inflict more physical suffering but to imitate the spikes of the “radiant corona,” a type of crown portrayed on ruler’s heads on many coins of the period; the spikes on this type of crown represented rays of light pointing outward (the best contemporary illustration is the crown on the head of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor).

4 sn The purple color of the robe indicated royal status. This was further mockery of Jesus, along with the crown of thorns.

5 sn See the note on the purple robe in 19:2.

6 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Pilate) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 sn Look, here is the man! Pilate may have meant no more than something like “Here is the accused!” or in a contemptuous way, “Here is your king!” Others have taken Pilate’s statement as intended to evoke pity from Jesus’ accusers: “Look at this poor fellow!” (Jesus would certainly not have looked very impressive after the scourging). For the author, however, Pilate’s words constituted an unconscious allusion to Zech 6:12, “Look, here is the man whose name is the Branch.” In this case Pilate (unknowingly and ironically) presented Jesus to the nation under a messianic title.



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