Luke 23
Vincent's Word Studies
And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
We found

In a judicial sense: as the result of their examination before the council.

And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
Were the more fierce (ἐπίσχυον)

Only here in New Testament. The verb means, literally, to grow strong. See on Luke 14:30; and Luke 16:3. Here the sense is, they were more energetic and emphatic. Rev., urgent. Wyc., waxed stronger.

Stirreth up (ἀνασείει)

See on Mark 15:11. The increased urgency is shown by the use of a stronger word than perverteth (Luke 23:2).

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
Of Galilee

The best texts omit.

And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
Sent (ἀνέπεμψεν)

Lit., sent him up (ανα). Used of sending up to a higher court. Compare Acts 25:21, of sending Paul to Caesar. It also means to send back, as in Luke 23:11, and Plm 1:11.

And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
Of a long time (ἐξ ἱκανοῦ)

See on Luke 7:6.

Hoped (ἤλπιζεν)

Imperfect; was hoping - all this long time.

Miracle (σημεῖον)

See on Matthew 11:20; and compare Acts 2:22, Rev.

Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
Many (ἱκανοῖς)

Compare long, Luke 23:8.

And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
Vehemently (εὐτόνως)

Only here and Acts 18:28, of the preaching of Apollos. Originally the word means well-strung; hence, in medical language, of a well-toned body.

And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
Gorgeous (λαμπρὰν)

Lit., bright or brilliant. Compare Acts 10:30; Revelation 15:6. Wyc. and Tynd., white. Mark has purple (πορφύραν), and Matthew scarlet (κοκκίνην).

Apparel (ἐσθῆτα)

The general term for raiment. Matthew specifies the garment (Matthew 27:28). Mark has simply purple (Mark 15:17).

And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
Perverteth (ἀποστρέφοντα)

Another compound of στρέφω, to turn; διαστρέφοντα is rendered by the same word in Luke 23:2. Probably the words are used without any intentional distinction of meaning. Διαστρέφοντα implies more of the idea of distraction (compare Wyc., turning upside down); turning different ways; while ἀποστρέφοντα emphasizes the turning away (ἀπό) of the people from their civil and religious allegiance. So Wyc., turning away.

Examined (ἀνακρίνας)

Originally implying a thorough examination; ἀνά, up, from bottom to top. Technically, of a legal examination.

No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
Chastise (παιδεύσας)

Originally to bring up a child (παῖς). Hence, to instruct; so Acts 7:22, of Moses instructed in the wisdom of the Egyptians; and Acts 22:3, of Paul instructed in the law. To discipline or correct, as Hebrews 12:6, Hebrews 12:7. The word is not synonymous with punish, since it always implies an infliction which contemplates the subject's amendment; and hence answers to chastise or chasten. So Hebrews 12:10; Revelation 3:19. In popular speech chastise and punish are often confounded. Chasten is from the Latin castus, "pure," "chaste ;" and to chasten is, properly, to purify. This meaning underlies even the use of the word by Pilate, who was not likely to be nice in his choice of words. Instead of punishing him with death, he will chastise him, in order to teach him better. So Wyc., I shall deliver him amended.

(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
All together (παμπληθεὶ)

The whole multitude (πλῆθος) of them. Only here in New Testament.

Away (αἶρε)

Lit., take away. Compare Acts 21:36; Acts 22:22.

(Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
Who (ὅστις)

Classifying him. One of such a kind as that he had been imprisoned, etc.

Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
Spake (προσεφώνησεν)

Addressed. Compare Acts 21:40; Acts 22:2. Always in the New Testament in the sense of to accost, whether an individual or a crowd.

But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
Shouted (ἐπεφώνουν)

Imperfect. Kept shouting. Used by Luke only. Compare Acts 12:22; Acts 22:24.

And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
Said (εἶπεν)

Dropping the speech-making tone, and simply asking a question.

And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
They were instant (ἐπέκειντο)

Instant, in the sense of urgent, pressing. See on Luke 7:4. Compare Romans 12:12; 2 Timothy 4:2; Luke 7:4; Acts 26:7. The verb means to lie upon, and answers to our vulgarism, to lay one's self down to work. Compare Aristophanes, "Knights," 253: κἀπικείμενος βόα, roar with all your might. Lit., roar, lying down to it.

Their voices

Omit of the chief priests.

Prevailed (καίσχυον)

Had power (ἰσχύς) to bear down (κατά) the remonstrances of Pilate. Only here and Matthew 16:18.

And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
Gave sentence (ἐπέκρινεν)

Pronounced the final sentence. Only here in New Testament.

And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
Laid hold on (ἐπιλαβόμενοι)

Compare the peculiar word used by Matthew and Mark. See on Matthew 5:41.

And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
Hills (βουνοῖς)

Only here and Luke 3:5.

For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
Tree (ξύλῳ)

Originally wood, timber. In later Greek, a tree. Used of the cross by Peter, Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39; and 1 Peter 2:24. Compare Galatians 3:13.

And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
Two other

The possible omission of a comma before malefactors in the A. V. might make a very awkward and unpleasant statement. Better Rev., two others, malefactors.

Put to death (ἀναιρεθῆναι)

Lit., to take up and carry away; so that the Greek idiom answers to our taken off. So Shakspeare:

"The deep damnation of his taking off."

Macbeth, i., 7.

"Let her who would be rid of him, devise

His speedy taking off."

Lear, v., 1.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Calvary (Κρανίον)

The Greek word is the translation of the Hebrew Golgotha. See on Matthew 27:33.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

See on Luke 10:18.


See on Luke 16:14.

If he

The A. V. does not give the contemptuous emphasis on οὗτος, this fellow.

And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
Coming to him

Coming up close to the cross.


See on Matthew 27:34.

And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

See on Mark 15:26.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
Railed (ἐβλασφήμει)

Imperfect: kept up a railing.

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

Are receding would be better.

Amiss (ἄτοπον)

Lit., out of place, and so strange, eccentric, perverse; as in 2 Thessalonians 3:2, where it is rendered unreasonable. The expression here answers nearly to our familiar phrase, "has done nothing out of the way." Compare Acts 28:6; no harm.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
Into thy kingdom

Some texts read for εἰς, into, ἐν, in. So Rev. In that case we must understand, "in thy kingly glory."

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
In Paradise (παραδείσῳ)

Originally an enclosed park, or pleasure-ground. Xenophon uses it of the parks of the Persian kings and nobles. "There (at Celaenae) Cyrus had a palace and a great park (παράδεισος), full of wild animals, which he hunted on horseback....Through the midst of the park flows the river Maeander ("Anabasis," i., 2, 7). And again' "The Greeks encamped near a great and beautiful park, thickly grown with all kinds of trees" (ii., 4, 14.) In the Septuagint, Genesis 2:8, of the garden of Eden. In the Jewish theology, the department of Hades where the blessed souls await the resurrection; and therefore equivalent to Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22, Luke 16:23). It occurs three times in the New Testament: here; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7; and always of the abode of the blessed.

"Where'er thou roam'st, one happy soul, we know,

Seen at thy side in woe,

Waits on thy triumph - even as all the blest

With him and Thee shall rest.

Each on his cross, by Thee we hang awhile,

Watching thy patient smile,

Till we have learn'd to say, ' 'Tis justly done,

Only in glory, Lord, thy sinful servant own.'"

Keble, Christian Year.

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
Sixth hour


Ninth hour

See on Matthew 27:46.

And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

See on Matthew 27:51.

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
I commend (παρατίθεμαι)

See on Luke 9:16.

Gave up the ghost (ἐξέπνευσεν)

Lit., breathed out (his life). Wyc., sent out the spirit. See on Matthew 27:50.

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
That followed (συνακολουθοῦσαι)

Lit., followed with (σύν). So Rev. See on Matthew 27:55.

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counseller; and he was a good man, and a just:

See on Mark 15:43. Matthew calls him rich; Mark, honorable; Luke, good and just.

(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
Consented (συγκατατεθειμένος)

Only here in New Testament. Another of Luke's numerous compounds. The Greek student will be struck with the array of compounds, from Luke 23:49 to Luke 23:56, inclusive. The verb means to put (τίθημι), down (κατά), along with (σύν). Hence to put down the same vote or opinion with another: to agree with or assent to.

This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
Linen (σινδόνι)

See on Mark 14:51; and compare Luke 16:19.

Hewn in stone (λαξευτῷ)

Only here in New Testament, and not at all in classical Greek.

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Returned (ὑποστρέψασαι)

This word occurs thirty-two times in Luke, and only three times in the rest of the New Testament. It is a significant fact that, reckoning the aggregate space occupied by the four Gospels, nearly one-sixth of the whole amount is occupied with the account of the twenty-four hours beginning with the last supper and ending with the burial of Jesus. There is no day in all Bible history narrated with the fulness of that day. If we possessed the whole life of Christ, written with the same detail, the record would occupy one hundred and eighty volumes as large as the whole Bible.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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