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Mocking of Jesus

Matthew 27:29 
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary27:26-30 Crucifixion was a death used only among the Romans; it was very terrible and miserable. A cross was laid on the ground, to which the hands and feet were nailed, it was then lifted up and fixed upright, so that the weight of the body hung on the nails, till the sufferer died in agony. Christ thus answered the type of the brazen serpent raised on a pole. Christ underwent all the misery and shame here related, that he might purchase for us everlasting life, and joy, and glory.Barnes’ Notes on the BibleHad platted – The word “platted” here means “woven together.” They made a “wreath” of a thorn-bush.

A crown – Or perhaps, rather, a wreath.

A crown was worn by kings, commonly made of gold and precious stones. To ridicule the pretensions of Jesus that he was a king, they probably plucked up a thornbush growing near, made it into something resembling in shape a royal crown, so as to correspond with the old purple robe, and to complete the mockery.

Of thorns – What was the precise species of shrub denoted here is not certainly known. It was, however, doubtless, one of that species that has sharp points of very hard wood. They could therefore be easily pressed into the slain and cause considerable pain. Probably they seized upon the first thing in their way that could be made into a crown, and this happened to be a “thorn,” thus increasing the sufferings of the Redeemer. Palestine abounds with thorny shrubs and plants. “The traveler finds them in his path, go where he may. Many of them are small, but some grow as high as a man’s head. The Rabbinical writers say that there are no less than 22 words in the Hebrew Bible denoting thorny and prickly plants.” Professor’s Hackett’s Illustrations of Scripture, p. 135. Compare Proverbs 24:30-31Proverbs 15:19Jeremiah 4:3.

And a reed in his right hand – A reed is a straight, slender herb, growing in marshy places, and abundant on the banks of the Jordan. It was often used for the purpose of making staves for walking, and it is not improbable that this was such a staff in the possession of some person present. The word is several times thus used. See 2 Kings 18:21Isaiah 36:6Ezekiel 29:6. Kings commonly carried a “sceptre,” made of ivory or gold, as a sign of their office or rank, Esther 4:11Esther 8:4. This “reed” or “staff” they put in his hand, in imitation of a “sceptre,” to deride, also, his pretensions of being a king.

And they bowed the knee – This was done for mockery. It was an act of pretended homage. It was to ridicule his saying that he was a king. The common mode of showing respect or homage for kings was by kneeling or prostration. It shows amazing forbearance on the part of Jesus that he thus consented to be ridiculed and set at naught. No mere human being would have borne it. None but he who loved us unto death, and who saw the grand results that would come from this scene of sufferings, could have endured such mockery.

Hail, King of the Jews! – The term “hail” was a common mode of salutation to a king, or even to a friend. It implies, commonly, the highest respect for office as well as the person, and is an invocation of blessings. Here it was used to carry on what they thought to be the farce of his being a king; to ridicule in every possible way the pretensions of a poor, unattended, unarmed man of Nazareth, as if he was a weak impostor or was deranged.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers(29) A crown of thorns.—The word is too vague to enable us to identify the plant with certainty, but most writers have fixed on the Zizyphus Spina Christi, known locally as the Nebk, a shrub growing plentifully in the valley of the Jordan, with branches pliant and flexible, and leaves of a dark glossy green, like ivy, and sharp prickly thorns. The likeness of the crown or garland thus made to that worn by conquering kings and emperors, fitted it admirably for the purpose. The shrub was likely enough to be found in the garden attached to the Prætorium.

A reed in his right hand.—Here also the word is vague, and it may have been the stalk either of a sugar-cane, a Papyrus, or an Arundo. It represented, of course, the sceptre which, even under the Republic, had been wielded by generals in their triumphs, and which under the Empire, as with Greek and Eastern kings, had become the received symbol of sovereignty.

They bowed the knee before him.—We have to represent to ourselves the whole cohort as joining in the derisive homage. The term in Mark 15:19 implies a continued, not a momentary act—the band filing before the mock-king, and kneeling as they passed.


Published by Erik

Congregate of Covenant People's Ministries. I encourage you to visit their websites.... Website: Forum: YouTube: This WordPress is edifying Bible topics.

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