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Matthew 27:31-37

Context
27:31 When 1  they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then 2  they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

27:32 As 3  they were going out, they found a man from Cyrene named Simon, whom they forced 4  to carry his cross. 5  27:33 They 6  came to a place called Golgotha 7  (which means “Place of the Skull”) 8  27:34 and offered Jesus 9  wine mixed with gall to drink. 10  But after tasting it, he would not drink it. 27:35 When 11  they had crucified 12  him, they divided his clothes by throwing dice. 13  27:36 Then they sat down and kept guard over him there. 27:37 Above 14  his head they put the charge against him, 15  which read: 16  “This is Jesus, the king of the Jews.”

1 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

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

3 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

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

5 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. Mark 15:21 names him as father of two people apparently known to Mark’s audience.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

7 tn This is an Aramaic name; see John 19:17.

8 sn A place called Golgotha (which means “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).

9 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 sn It is difficult to say for certain who gave Jesus this drink of wine mixed with gall (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.

11 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

12 sn See the note on crucified in 20:19.

13 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.

14 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

15 sn Mention of the inscription is an important detail, because the inscription would normally give the reason for the execution. It shows that Jesus was executed for claiming to be a king. It was also probably written with irony from the executioners’ point of view.

16 tn Grk “was written.”



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