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Matthew 27:26-31

27:26 Then he released Barabbas for them. But after he had Jesus flogged, 1  he handed him over 2  to be crucified. 3  27:27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s residence 4  and gathered the whole cohort 5  around him. 27:28 They 6  stripped him and put a scarlet robe 7  around him, 27:29 and after braiding 8  a crown of thorns, 9  they put it on his head. They 10  put a staff 11  in his right hand, and kneeling down before him, they mocked him: 12  “Hail, king of the Jews!” 13  27:30 They 14  spat on him and took the staff 15  and struck him repeatedly 16  on the head. 27:31 When 17  they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then 18  they led him away to crucify him.

1 tn The Greek term φραγελλόω (fragellow) refers to flogging. BDAG 1064 s.v. states, “flog, scourge, a punishment inflicted on slaves and provincials after a sentence of death had been pronounced on them. So in the case of Jesus before the crucifixion…Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15.”

sn A Roman flogging (traditionally, “scourging”) was an excruciating punishment. The victim was stripped of his clothes and bound to a post with his hands fastened above him (or sometimes he was thrown to the ground). Guards standing on either side of the victim would incessantly beat him with a whip (flagellum) made out of leather with pieces of lead and bone inserted into its ends. While the Jews only allowed 39 lashes, the Romans had no such limit; many people who received such a beating died as a result. See C. Schneider, TDNT, 515-19.

2 tn Or “delivered him up.”

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

4 tn Or “into their headquarters”; Grk “into the praetorium.”

sn The governor’s residence (Grk “praetorium”) was the Roman governor’s official residence. The one in Jerusalem may have been Herod’s palace in the western part of the city, or the fortress Antonia northwest of the temple area.

5 sn A Roman cohort was a tenth of a legion, about 500-600 soldiers.

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

7 sn The scarlet robe probably refers to a military garment which had the color of royal purple, and thus resembled a king’s robe. The soldiers did this to Jesus as a form of mockery in view of the charges that he was a king.

8 tn Or “weaving.”

9 sn The crown may have been made from palm spines or some other thorny plant common in Israel. In placing the crown of thorns on his head, the soldiers were unwittingly symbolizing God’s curse on humanity (cf. Gen 3:18) being placed on Jesus. Their purpose would have been to mock Jesus’ claim to be a king; the crown of thorns would have represented the “radiant corona” portrayed on the heads of rulers on coins and other artifacts in the 1st century.

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

11 tn Or “a reed.” The Greek term can mean either “staff” or “reed.” See BDAG 502 s.v. κάλαμος 2.

12 tn Grk “they mocked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated.

13 tn Or “Long live the King of the Jews!”

sn The statement Hail, King of the Jews! is a mockery patterned after the Romans’ cry of Ave, Caesar (“Hail, Caesar!”).

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

15 tn Or “the reed.”

16 tn The verb here has been translated as an iterative imperfect.

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

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

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