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Delivered to be Crucified
John 19.1-15
took Jesus, and scourged him.  
(2)  And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him
a purple robe,  (3)  And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their
(4)  Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to
you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.  
(5)  Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate
saith unto them, Behold the man!  
(6)  When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify
him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault
in him.  
(7)  The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he
made himself the Son of God.  
(8)  When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;  (9)  And went again
into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no
(10)  Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have
power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?  
(11)  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given
thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.  (12)  And
from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him:
but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend:
whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.  
(13)  When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the
judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.  
(14)  And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith
unto the Jews, Behold your King!  
(15)  But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him.
Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King?
The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Pilate took Jesus, and had Him whipped with a cat-of-nine-tails.

A Roman implement for severe bodily punishment. Horace calls it horribile
flagellum. It consisted of a handle, to which several cords or leather thongs
were affixed, which were weighted with jagged pieces of bone or metal, to
make the blow more painful and effective. It is comparable, in its horrid
effects, only with the Russian knout. The victim was tied to a post (Act_22:
25) and the blows were applied to the back and loins, sometimes even, in
the wanton cruelty of the executioner, to the face and the bowels. In the
tense position of the body, the effect can easily be imagined. So hideous
was the punishment that the victim usually fainted and not rarely died under
it. Eusebius draws a horribly realistic picture of the torture of scourging
(Historia Ecclesiastica, IV, 15). By its application secrets and confessions
were wrung from the victim (Act_22:24). It usually preceded capital
punishment (Livy xxxiii. 36). It was illegal to apply the flagallum to a Roman
citizen (Act_22:25), since the Porcian and Sempronian laws, 248 and 123 BC,
although these laws were not rarely broken in the provinces (Tac. Hist. iv.
27; Cic. Verr. v. 6, 62; Josephus, BJ, II, xiv, 9). As among the Russians today,
the number of blows was not usually fixed, the severity of the punishment
depending entirely on the commanding officer. In the punishment of Jesus,
we are reminded of the words of Psa_129:3. Among the Jews the
punishment of flagellation was well known since the Egyptian days, as the
monuments abundantly testify. The word “scourge” is used in Lev_19:20,
but the American Standard Revised Version translates “punished,” the
original word biḳḳōreth expressing the idea of investigation. Deu_25:3 fixed
the mode of a Jewish flogging and limits the number of blows to 40.
Apparently the flogging was administered by a rod. The Syrians
reintroduced true scourging into Jewish life, when Antiochus Epiphanes
forced them by means of it to eat swine's flesh (2 Macc 6:30; 7:1). Later it
was legalized by Jewish law and became customary (Mat_10:17; Mat_23:34;
Act_22:19; Act_26:11), but the traditional limitation of the number of blows
was still preserved. Says Paul in his “foolish boasting”: “in stripes above
measure,” “of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one,”
distinguishing it from the “beatings with rods,” thrice repeated (2Co_11:23-

The other Old Testament references (Job_5:21; Job_9:23; Isa_10:26; Isa_28:
15, Isa_28:18 שׁוט, shōṭ; Jos_23:13 שׁטט, shōṭēṭ) are figurative for “affliction.”
Notice the curious mixture of metaphors in the phrase “over-flowing
scourge” (Isa_28:15-18).

        International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

The soldiers made a crown out of thorns, and put it on His head, and put a
purple robe (the sign of royalty) on Him. Then they made fun of Him, saying,
Hail, King of the Jews! And they slapped Him in the face with their hands.
The crown of thorns was more mockery than torture. He was given the
crown and the robe of royalty to mock Him and to humiliate Him.

Three of the four evangelists mention the crown of thorns, wherewith the
rude Roman soldiers derided the captive Christ (Mat_27:29; Mar_15:17;
Joh_19:2). All speak of the akanthine (AcanThus) crown, but there is no
certainty about the peculiar plant, from the branches of which this crown of
cruel mockery was plaited. The rabbinical books. mention no less than
twenty-two words in the Bible signifying thorny plants, and the word
ákantha in the New Testament Greek is a generic and not a specific term.
And this word or its adjective is used in the three Gospels, quoted above. It
is therefore impossible definitely to determine what was the exact plant or
tree, whose thorny branches were selected for this purpose. Tobler
(Denkbl., 113, 179) inclines to the Spina Christi, as did Hasselquist. Its
botanical name is Zizyphus Spina Christi, It is very common in the East. Its
spines are small and sharp, its branches soft, round and pliable, and the
leaves look like ivy, with a dark, shiny green color, making them therefore
very adaptable to the purpose of the soldiers. Others have designated the
Paliurus aculeatus or the Lycium horridum. Both Geikie (Life of Christ, 549)
and Farrar (Life of Christ, note 625) point to the Nubk (Zizyphus lotus). Says
the latter, “The Nubk struck me, as it has all travelers in Palestine, as being
most suitable both for mockery and pain, since its leaves are bright and its
thorns singularly strong. But though the Nubk is very common on the
shores of Galilee, I saw none of it near Jerusalem.” The settlement of the
question is manifestly impossible.

        International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Pilate went out to the people again, and said, Behold, I bring Him to you,
that you may know that I find Him guilty of no crime. Jesus was found
innocent, but yet sentenced. There was no attempt at justice. There was no
concern with truth.

Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe.
And Pilate said, See the man! They could see Him in His humiliation. They
could see the mockery that their enemies had subjected Him to. But, it
made no impression. It made no difference.

When the chief priests and the officers saw Jesus, they cried out, saying,
Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Their cry was for blood. They are whipping the
crowd into a frenzy of blood fever.

Pilate said to them, You take Him, and crucify Him: because I find Him guilty
of nothing. Pilate is attempting to distance himself from the consequences
of his actions; but, you can run away from everything except for yourself.
The Jews replied, By our Law (the Law of Moses), He ought to die, because
He made Himself the Son of God!

Yes, by the Jewish Law if He made the claim falsely, He should die. But, He
should not die at the hands of the Romans. He should be stoned to death.
The problem is, Jesus is not making the claim falsely, and the Jews lack the
courage of their convictions in carrying out the sentence. But, that is a
matter of prophecy.

When Pilate heard what they said, he was even more afraid; and returning
into the judgment hall, said to Jesus, What are You?

The response of the people scared Pilate. He wanted to release Jesus, but
did not know how to do it without offending the Jews. Their response drove
home the fact that it was becoming increasingly difficult to reach that end,
and it was probably out of reach.

But Jesus did not answer.

Remember the prophecy of Isaiah 53.

Then Pilate said to Jesus, Will You not speak to me? Do You not know that I
have the authority to crucify You, and have the authority to let You go?
Pilate thought Jesus’ silence was insolence.

Jesus answered Pilate saying, You could have no authority over me, except
it was given you from heaven: therefore, he that delivered me to you has
the greater sin.

Jesus informs Pilate of the truth of authority in the universe: God is over
all. Pilate is not exempt from this truth. Judas, however, bore the greater
guilt, as did the leaders of the Jews, for delivering Him to the Romans.
And from that point Pilate sought to release Jesus: but the Jews cried,
saying, If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend: whoever makes
himself a king speaks against Caesar.

Pilate’s weakness was his lack of political courage. He feared the people,
because he feared what might bet back to Caesar.

When Pilate heard what they said, he brought Jesus out, and sat Him down
in the judgment seat in the place called Lithostrotos, or Gabbatha [see
below]. It was time for the preparation of the Passover, about noon, and
Pilate said to the Jews, Behold your king!

1) a raised place, elevation. In the Greek was called Lithostrotos, or the
pavement of stones, as the Syrian version renders it: it is thought to be the
room Gazith, in which the Sanhedrin sat in the temple when they tried
capital causes; and it was so called, because it was paved with smooth,
square hewn stones: “it was in the north part; half of it was holy, and half of
it was common: and it had two doors, one for that part which was holy, and
another for that part that was common; and in that half that was common the
sanhedrin sat.” So that into this part of it, and by this door, Pilate, though a
Gentile, might enter. This place, in the language of the Jews, who at that
time spoke Syrian, was Gabbatha, from its height, as it should seem; though
the Syrian and Persian versions read Gaphiphtha, which signifies a fence or
enclosure. Mention is made in the Talmud of the upper Gab in the mountain
of the house; but whether the same with this Gabbatha, and whether this is
the same with the chamber Gazith, is not certain. The Septuagint uses the
same word as John here does, and calls by the same name the pavement of
the temple on which Israelites fell and worshipped God. (2Ch_7:3) (Gill) The
Hebrew word for Pavement occurs only once in the Old Testament. In
2Ki_16:17 we read, “King Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and
removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brazen
oxen that were under it, and put it upon the pavement of stones.” In Ahaz’s
case his act was the conclusive token of his abject apostasy. So here of
Pilate coming down to the apostate Jews. In the former case it was a Jewish
ruler dominated by a Gentile idolater; in the latter, a Gentile idolater
dominated by Jews who had rejected the Messiah! (AWP Joh_19:13)

-- Thayer

But the response of the people was, Away with Jesus, away with Him!
Crucify Him!

Earlier it was the chief priests who were crying for the blood of Jesus. Now,
it is the people.

Pilate responded in surprise, Shall I crucify your king?

The chief priests answered the Roman party line, We have no king but

They abhorred Rome, but now Rome was ready to do their bidding. They
were willing to make use of their enemy to get rid of Jesus.