From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
Books Utilized Code Numbers at End of Chapter
Weymouth: As soon as they led Him away, they laid hold on one Simon, a Cyrenaean, who was coming in from the country, and on his shoulders they put the cross, for him to carry it behind Jesus.
WEB: When they
led him away, they grabbed one Simon of
Young’s: And as they led him
away, having taken hold on Simon, a certain Cyrenian,
coming from the field, they put on him the cross, to bear it behind Jesus.
Conte (RC): And as they were leading him away, they apprehended a certain one, Simon of
And as they led him away. From the scene of the trial to the place of crucifixion. That place was doubtless the usual one for the execution of criminals, in which character those who now had to deal with Jesus would regard Him. 
they laid hold
upon Simon, a Cyrenian. From
[It had] a
large colony of resident Jews. These Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue of their own in
coming out of the country. [This] proves nothing as to whether he was first coming into the city, or was resident there for a shorter time (as for the Passover), or for a longer period. 
The Apocryphal “Acts of Pilate” says that the soldiers met Simon at the city gate (John ). There is no historical authority for the identification of the Via Dolorosa or for the “Stations” of the Via Crucis. The latter are said to have originated among the Franciscans. 
and on him they laid the cross. They started with Jesus bearing His cross Himself (John ), according to the custom usual with those who were on the way to crucifixion. 
The crosses were not nearly so high as generally represented, the body being often only about one or two feet above the ground. On the crossbar the hands of the condemned man were nailed or in some other way fastened. The body rested on a peg driven into the upright post. The person ordinarily died from starvation and pain, not from any fatal injury. 
need not think of the cross as being so large and heavy a structure as it is
often represented in the pictures. The
scarcity of timber in the neighborhood of
that he might bear it after Jesus. Hence various Gnostic sects (e.g. the Basilidians) devised the fable that Simon was executed by mistake for Jesus, a fable which, through Apocryphal legends, has found its way into the Koran (Suras 3, 4). Matthew and Mark use the technical [Greek] word “impressed for service.” Perhaps the Jews had received a hint that Simon was a disciple. 
It is not unlikely that the perpendicular posts may have remained permanently fixed in the place of death, and only the rude cross timber had to be carried thither. But in the state of weakness to which we have just seen the Savior reduced, even this may naturally have overpowered Him before He had gone far. 
Or: Probably to bear one end of the cross. Jesus was feeble, and unable to bear it alone, and they compelled Simon to help Him. 
WEB: A great multitude of the people followed him, including women who also mourned and lamented him.
Young’s: And there was following him a great
multitude of the people, and of women, who also were beating themselves and
Conte (RC): Then a great crowd of people followed him, with women who were mourning and lamenting him.
And there followed Him a great company of people. The people” in verses 4 and 13 were exclusively—or, at a minimum, overwhelmingly—those hostile to Jesus. The execution march through the city would pick up a wider cross section of individuals. Virtually anyone scheduled for Roman crucifixion would gain the sorrow of those who saw the cross and the soldiers since, knowing nothing of the facts of a given case, the locals would be heavily inclined to think of the arrested as victims of the occupying power. Those who had time would follow out of sympathy or, if of harsher bent, to “enjoy” the “entertainment.” (The phenomena is certainly known in later history and, since fundamental human nature, doesn’t dramatically change, was surely present back then as well.) Those who did recognize Jesus--or who heard His name brandied about and followed as well--would follow out of a shocked horror and wonder of “how in the world did this come about?” [rw]
and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him. These were not the women who had followed Him from Galilee, but the ordinary crowd collected in the streets on such occasions, and consisting, as is usually the case (and especially at an execution), principally of women. Their weeping appears to have been of that kind of well-meant sympathy which is excited by any affecting sight, such as that of an innocent person delivered to so cruel a death. This description need not of course exclude many who may have wept from deeper and more personal motives, as having heard Him teach, or received some benefit of healing from Him, or the like. 
Or: They are addressed afterward as daughters of Jerusalem; but this does not, from Old Testament usage, hinder our supposing there were among them some of those who came with Him from Perea and Galilee. 
Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of
Young’s: and Jesus having turned unto them, said,
Conte (RC): But Jesus, turning to them, said: "Daughters of
But Jesus turning unto them said. This likely implies that He stopped for a minute to say these things. The soldiers likely permitted the short pause because of His obvious weakness and because they rather fancied the words of something even worse coming upon their city. Can’t one easily imagine a smile coming to the lips of more than one of them? [rw]
The only recorded words between His condemnation and crucifixion. Pity wrung from Him the utterance which anguish and violence had failed to extort. 
weep not for Me. I am not to be pitied. Great as are my appointed pains, they have a great end in view; they are transient also, and will end in glory and joy (Hebrews 12:2). 
but weep for yourselves, and for your children. This refers to the calamities that were about to come upon them in the desolation of their city by the Romans. 
Some of them at least would survive till the terrible days of the Siege. 
Weymouth: For a time is coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the women who never bore children, and the breasts which have never given nourishment.'
WEB: For behold, the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.'
Young’s: for, lo,
days do come, in which they shall say, Happy the barren, and wombs that did not
bare, and paps that did not give suck;
Conte (RC): For behold, the days will arrive in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts that have not nursed.'
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. More
than one country in the western world in these early decades of the
twenty-first century are committing national suicide through the intentional
reduction of the reproduction rate below that which can maintain the existing
population. This is partly neutralized
by the introduction of millions from other countries—with a heavy tendency of
the new immigrants wishing to maintain their own linguistic and cultural ties
rather than becoming fully assimilated; in
This situation would have been totally incomprehensible in the first century. That was not only because of the lack of the birth control pill but at least equally as much because of family loyalty—their family would continue into the next generation and their children would continue the lineage indefinitely into the future. Indeed, why would we be blessed with the reproductive capacity unless such were intended?
Work from such assumptions—as they did—and the thought of childlessness was embarrassing if not humiliating. Jesus warns them that what is going to happen is so dire, catastrophic, and destructive, that it will make the women they had previously looked upon as blessed as those to be pitied—that it will totally reverse the normal evaluation and make the childless look like the truly blessed ones. A vivid way to describe, indirectly, what we would, more directly, describe as “the ultimate catastrophe.” [rw]
Also: Compare 11:27; Hosea 9:12-16. The words received their most painful illustration in the incident of the Siege, which had long been foretold in prophecy (Deuteronomy 28:53-57; Jeremiah 19:9), that women were driven even to kill and eat their own children: Josephus, Wars of the Jews, v. 10, vi. 3. The “Blessed” showed an awful reversal of the proper blessedness of motherhood. 
WEB: Then they will begin to tell the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and tell the hills, 'Cover us.'
Young’s: then they shall begin to say to the
mountains, Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us; --
Conte (RC): Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall over us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.'
Then shall they begin to say. At the time referred to, a sudden, even though a terrible death, would be regarded as a benefit. (Comp. Hos. ix. 14, x. 8; Rev. vi. 16.) 
mountains, Fall on us and to the hills, Cover us. Hosea
10:10. The reference is to the limestone
caves which abounded near
An application of the prophecy in Hosea 10:8. Compare Isaiah 2:19; Revelation 6:16; 9:6. It was originally intended to picture the helplessness and despair of God’s enemies, when they find the threats of punishment which they have despised now receiving fulfillment. 
No less than 2,000 were killed by being buried under the ruins of these hiding-places (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, vi. 9.4). Even a terror is entreated as a relief from yet more horrible calamities. 
Weymouth: For if they are doing these things in the case of the green tree, what will be done in that of the dry?"
WEB: For if they do these things in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?"
Young’s: for, if in the green tree they do these
things -- in the dry what may happen?'
Conte (RC): For if they do these things with green wood, what will be done with the dry?"
For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? A "green" tree is one that is not easily set on fire. A dry one is easily kindled, and burns rapidly. 
Old Testament usage of the imagery: The good and just man is, by the prophets,
represented under the metaphor of "a green tree" or a tree whose
leaves do not wither (Psalm 1:3); of "a green olive-tree" (Psalms
52:8); of "a green fir-tree" (Hosea 14:8); of "a tree whose
leaves are ever green (Jeremiah 17:8).
Whereas of the wicked it is said, "His branch shall not be
green" (Job ). Thus God by Ezekiel threatens that He will
"cut off every green tree, and every tree in
Interpretation of Jesus’ use of the imagery: Bleek and others
interpret this saying here thus: The green wood represents
Jesus condemned to crucifixion as a traitor in spite of his unvarying loyalty
Or: St. Gregory says: "He has called Himself the green wood, and us the dry, for He has in Himself the life and strength of the divine nature; but we who are mere men are called the dry wood." 
And: The meaning of this proverb is not clear, and hence it early received the most absurd explanations. It can however only mean either (1) “If they act thus cruelly and shamefully while the tree of their natural life is still green, what horrors of crime shall mark the period of its blighting”—in which case it receives direct illustration from Ezekiel 20:47; compare 21:3, 4; or (2) “If they act thus to Me the Innocent and the Holy, what shall be the fate of these, the guilty and false?”—in which case it expresses the same thought as 1 Peter 4:17, 18. (See Proverbs 11:31; Ezekiel 20:47, 21:4; Matthew 3:10.) For the historic fulfillment in the horrors of a massacre so great as to weary the very soldiers, see Josephus, Wars of the Jews, vi. 44. 
Weymouth: They brought also two others, criminals, to put them to death with Him.
WEB: There were also others, two criminals, led with him to be put to death.
Young’s: And there were also others -- two
evil-doers -- with him, to be put to death;
Conte (RC): Now they also led out two other criminals with him, in order to execute them.
And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. It is probable that Pilate, having two criminals awaiting execution, took this opportunity to put them to death, as much to signify his contempt for the Jews and their solemn feast-day, as for the convenience of disposing of three cases at once. He was, unconsciously, fulfilling the prophecy: “And He made His grave with the wicked,” “And He was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:9-12). It has, not without some force, been urged by those who hold this Friday to have been only the preparation for the Passover, that the scribes, however ready to allow the death of Jesus to be perpetrated, would not, without [protest], have suffered the great Paschal Sabbath to be defiled by ordinary executions. 
two other. Perhaps followers of the released Barabbas. They were not “thieves,” but “robbers” or “brigands,” and this name was not undeservedly given to some of the wild bands which refused Roman authority. 
WEB: When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
Young’s: and when they came to the place that is
called Skull, there they crucified him and the evil-doers, one on the right
hand and one on the left.
Conte (RC): And when they arrived at the place that is called
they were come to the place, which is called
Literally, “unto the place which is called the skull.” The familiar name "
We can say nothing further concerning the locality than what the Scripture itself affords us, with any certainty whatever. From Hebrews , we are informed that it was “without the gate,” and John tells us that “the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city.” That is all we can know as to its distance from, or its relations to, the city. In that locality, there was a garden, and in the garden, a tomb (John ). 
there they crucified Him, and the malefactors. One touch of mercy seems to have been given to the Crucifixion by the Romans, or, possibly, by Jewish compassion, but of which Jesus chose not to share the intended advantage. They were accustomed to give to the condemned person a stupefying potion before he was nailed to the cross, that his susceptibility to pain might be diminished. It was a mixture of the juice or extract of some bitter herb with myrrh, in wine; and this, according to Matthew and Mark, was offered to Jesus the first thing, but refused by Him. He would pass through His appointed trial with faculties clear, and all His powers in full exercise. 
one on the right hand, and the other on the left. We are not told why Jesus was given the center cross. In light of the fact that Pilate was “strong armed” into this hideous farce of abused “justice” in the first place, it may well have been his way of giving Jesus the “pre-eminence” the Jewish “spiritual” leaders were so reluctant to do. This is reinforced by the fact that there was a sign labeling Him “King of the Jews.” What more appropriate place for a “King” than at the “center” of what happens? [rw]
In depth: The length of time required to die from crucifixion . In the case of strong men, in full vitality, death might not follow from this infliction for several days. From the first moment, however, the pain of the lacerated limbs; the impeded circulation through the whole distorted frame; the fever, and naked exposure to the weather—were trials such as to make death seem a blessing, and to insure its arrival, in most cases, in two or three days. It is a truly horrible fate to think of, in the case even of malefactors, such as those who were to suffer on either side of Jesus, and supposing them to have been the worst wretches that ever ravaged human society. When we would mention it in connection with our gracious Lord, whose whole life was one of stainless innocence, of perfect righteousness, of self-sacrificing kindness toward all men, the pen refuses to complete the description. Yet it is well, sometimes, to dwell upon the facts which are intimated in the trite phrase, “the sufferings of Christ,” and when we say we believe that “He suffered under Pontius Pilate.” Suffered—what? Happily, we need not and cannot comprehend it all.
WEB: Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots.
Young’s: And Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them,
for they have not known what they do;' and parting his garments they cast a
Conte (RC): Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them. For they know not what they do." And truly, dividing his garments, they cast lots.
Then said Jesus, Father. This is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 53:12, "He made intercession for the transgressors." 
forgive them. St Chrysostom says: "This prayer He uttered as He ascended the cross, not but that He might have Himself forgiven them without it; but that He might teach us, not by word only but by deed, to pray for our persecutors. And when He says 'forgive them,' it implies, if they should repent; to assist those that would repent, that after a wickedness so great, they might wash out their guilt through faith." 
Those excluded from the prayer: If a case exists, as, for instance, Caiaphas, of one who knows--without any ignorance--this is no prayer for him. 
for they know not what they do. The persons for whom the prayer was offered were those who were ignorant of the real nature of the act they were performing. This was undoubtedly true of the Roman soldiers. How far the rulers and priests, the real murderers of our Lord, were included in the terms of this prayer, we cannot say. Our Lord does not mention the ignorance of those He prays for, as a plea for pardon, but as a description of their state. 
Who are here intended? Doubtless, first and directly, the four soldiers, whose work it had been to crucify Him. The [Greek] points directly at this: and it is surely a mistake to suppose that they wanted no forgiveness, because they were merely doing their duty. Stier remarks, "This is only a misleading fallacy, for they were sinners even as others, and their obedient and unsuspecting performance of their duty was not without a sinful pleasure in doing it, or at all events formed part of their entire standing as sinners, included in that sin of the world, to which the Lord here ascribes His Crucifixion" (vi. 403, edn. 2). But not only to them, but to them as the representatives of that sin of the world, does this prayer apply. 
This is also the testimony of the Apostles. Acts iii. 17; 1 Cor. ii. 8. They might have known it. There was evidence sufficient in the prophecies of the Scriptures (John v. 39), and in the words and works of Christ to have convinced them. John xiv. 11. But their sin lay in willfully blinding their minds and rejecting this evidence, till, in the heat of their prejudices and passions, they were hurried by Satan on to this crime. 
And they parted His raiment, and cast lots. The person crucified was usually stripped naked; and the four soldiers that carried out the execution of each victim regarded His clothes as their perquisite. John (, 24) gives the detail of their proceedings. Luke summarily says that they distributed all by lot. 
In depth: What is the relationship between ignorance and forgiveness ? On the one hand, we must beware of supposing that ignorance is not blameworthy, and that ignorant persons deserve to be forgiven their sins. At this rate ignorance would be a desirable thing. All spiritual ignorance is more or less culpable. It is part of man's sin that he does not know better than he does. His not knowing God is only part of his guilt. Ignorance, to be an excuse, or to diminish the intensity of a crime, must be sincere and unavoidable, and it must be the ignorance of a will that would have done right had it known the truth. That those who aided in bringing our Lord to the cross were guilty, is evident, not only from the fact that Peter, in his sermon (Acts ii. 23), declared, "Him ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain;" but also from the fact that three thousand were "pricked in their hearts," and said: "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
In depth: The sayings of Jesus on the cross . The seven words from the cross are:
(1) "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke ), of the soldiers as they were nailing Him to the cross.
(3) "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in
(3) "Woman, behold thy son! . . . Behold thy mother" (John -27), to Mary and John.
(4) "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).
(5) "I thirst" (John ).
(6) "It is finished" (John ).
(7) "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke ).
The first three for others; the next two describe His own sufferings (1) mentally, (2) bodily; in the last two Jesus triumphantly closes His mission and surrenders Himself to His Father, having finished the work given Him to do. Three are recorded by Luke only and three by John only.
WEB: The people stood watching. The rulers with them also scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!"
Young’s: And the people were
standing, looking on, and the rulers also were sneering with them, saying,
'Others he saved, let him save himself, if this be the Christ, the choice one
Conte (RC): And people were standing near, watching. And the leaders among them derided him, saying: "He saved others. Let him save himself, if this one is the Christ, the elect of God."
And the people stood beholding. They are not said to have derided Him. More humane and sympathetic, apparently, than the class above them, they looked on with wonder, and many, we may be assured, with grief; contrasting this end with what their crude hopes had promised five days before. [ ? ]
And the rulers also with them derided Him. The One they could not best in intellectual argument they now gloat over for they are “destroying” Him in a way they never could with His arguments. Unwilling to learn from either His teachings or His lifestyle, they are condemned to the triumph of belligerent prejudice and ignorance. [rw]
Derided. Jeered; the Greek denotes the most intense mockery. 
saying, He saved others; let Him save himself. The “he” was ironically emphatic. “Saved”—in the mouths of these people—meant no more than deliverance from pains and bodily evils. In that view there was a certain point in their ridicule. Little did they imagine that only by thus suffering unto death could their innocent victim become, in the highest sense, a Savior, “the author of eternal salvation” to those who should be willing to suffer with Him. Their taunt became very familiar to His disciples, as it was repeated wherever they went, in the first ages—the absurdity of presenting as a Saviour, one who had died on the cross. 
if he be Christ, the chosen of God. Here they acknowledge their two root complaints: (1) He claimed to be the Christ, the Messiah; (2) He claimed to be “chosen of God.” Both were transparently absurd: If He had really been such, national liberation (with them as key officials, of course!) would have been launched. Furthermore, if He had truly been “chosen of God,” He would have been teaching the things they deemed to be truth. That such too often differed from scripture, what possible difference could that make? They were the “proper” and “ordained” interpreters, weren’t them? So they thought. [rw]
Weymouth: And the soldiers also made sport of Him, coming and offering Him sour wine and saying,
WEB: The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar,
Young’s: And mocking him also were the soldiers,
coming near and offering vinegar to him,
Conte (RC): And the soldiers also ridiculed him, approaching him and offering him vinegar,
And the soldiers. A quaternion of soldiers (John ) with a centurion. 
also mocked him. You are a Roman. You are stuck on a guard detail to oversee
the death of what you regard as “another worthless Jew.” You may even be on the detail as a punishment
for annoying an officer. You are not
really in the mood to be sympathetic in the first place. You hear that this guy was to be their
Messiah to liberate them from mighty
It was their duty to watch Him (Matthew 27:36), for sufferers sometimes lingered alive upon the cross for days. By the word “mocked” seems to be meant that they lifted up to His lips the vessels containing their ordinary drink—sour wine (posca, John 19:29; compare Numbers 6:3; Ruth 2:14)—and then snatched them away. Probably a large earthen jar of posca for the use of these soldiers lay near the foot of the Cross (Psalms lxix. 21; John ). All these insults took place during the earlier part of the Crucifixion, and before the awful darkness came on. 
coming to Him, and offering him vinegar. Being aware that as one called King, they came with mock reverence, offering Him vinegar, i.e., the soured wine of their own drink, mingled with water. At a later hour (Matthew 27:48), some one, moved with real compassion, reached to His mouth a sponge filled with vinegar, that He might taste it, if He would; but now they brought it before Him, tantalizing Him, if possible with the sight of what He could not touch. It was a savage jest. 
WEB: and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
Young’s: and saying, 'If thou be the king of the
Jews, save thyself.'
Conte (RC): and saying, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."
And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. They here took up the gibe of the Jews (verse 35), and handed it down in the Gentile line—a stumbling-block to Jews, and to Greeks foolishness (1 Corinthians ). [ ? ]
As the title over thy Cross asserts. The soldiers would delight in these taunts, because, like the ancients generally, they detested all Jews. 
WEB: An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."
Young’s: And there was also a
superscription written over him, in letters of Greek, and Roman, and Hebrew,
'This is the King of the Jews.'
Conte (RC): Now there was also an inscription written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
And a superscription also was written over Him. This had probably been attached to the upper extremity of the cross, over His head, immediately when Jesus was raised upon it. It had been written by Pilate himself, or by his order (John ). Mark () speaks of it as a customary thing; and it is known to have been usual to carry a sign before the condemned, stating his offence, or (perhaps, also) to have it proclaimed by a crier. Luke mentions the inscription here, either to show why the soldiers addressed Christ as King of the Jews, or, more probably, as an additional feature of the mockery. 
[The sign was] a titulus written in black letters on a board smeared with white gypsum, and therefore very conspicuous. To put such a board over the head of a crucified person was the ordinary custom. The jeers of the soldiers were aimed at the Jews in general quite as much as at the Divine Sufferer; and these jeers probably first opened the eyes of the priests to the way in which Pilate had managed to insult them. This was their King, and this was how they had treated Him.  And quite likely the unspoken implication was intended by Pilate: “And if you ever try to foist upon this kingdom a real temporal king like you want in your hearts, this is what I’ll do to him as well!” [rw]
in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This is the King of the Jews. The superscription was evidently drawn up by Pilate himself and, in order that everyone might understand it, it was composed in three languages--Hebrew or Aramaic, the local speech of the people, Greek, the language of commerce and culture, and Latin, the official language of the Roman empire. It is variously reported by each of the four evangelists. This may have been because the inscription itself differed in each of the three languages, or perhaps because each evangelist records only a part of what Pilate wrote, as shown in the following scheme.
Pilate: This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
Matthew: This is Jesus the King of the Jews.
Mark: the King of the Jews.
Luke: This is the King of the Jews.
John: Jesus of
This inscription was unquestionably intended by Pilate as a revenge on the haughty and implacable priests for their momentary triumph over him, and in derision of their present impotence. That a crucified malefactor should be so described they took as a deadly insult. 
WEB: One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!"
Young’s: And one of the evil-doers
who were hanged, was speaking evil of him, saying, 'If thou be the Christ, save
thyself and us.'
Conte (RC): And one of those robbers who were hanging blasphemed him, saying, "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us."
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him. “Were hanged” intimates simply the suspended position of one on the cross. Matthew and Mark speak in the plural, of “the thieves also which were crucified with Him,” “they that were crucified with Him,” as having reproached Him. From this, it is probable that, at first, both taunted Him. It was evidently brought into the early and commonly diffused account as another instance, and an eminent one, of the obloquy vented on Jesus by passers by, by priests and scribes, by soldiers, and now by fellow-sufferers. With that aspect of the case, the first two Gospels stop, especially as these were both only malefactors, while Luke, in his researches, found the additional fact here following, for which the world must ever remain indebted to his truly catholic Gospel. 
Or: Matthew and Mark say both the thieves railed. It seems probable that if the penitent thief had railed at Jesus, he would have confessed that sin when he rebuked his companion for the same. It is probable that they use the plural number in the general way that people sometimes use it, when describing a transaction. For example, it is said (Heb. xi. 33), they stopped the mouths of lions," when in fact, it was but one, namely, Daniel, who did so, and "they were sawn asunder," when in all likelihood, that allusion is but to one, namely Isaiah. (See on Matt. xxvii. 41-43.) 
Or: In Matthew and Mark we are told that both the robbers “reviled” Him. The explanation of the apparent contradiction lies in the Greek words used. The two first Synoptists tell us that both the robbers during an early part of the hours of crucifixion reproached Jesus, but we learn from Luke that only one of them used injurious and insulting language to Him. If they were followers of Barabbas or Judas of Galilee they would recognize no Messiahship but that of the sword, and they might, in their very despair and agony, join in the reproaches leveled by all classes alike at One who might seem to them to have thrown away a great opportunity. It was quite common for men on the cross to talk to the multitude and even to make harangues; but Jesus, amid this universal roar of execration or reproach from mob, priests, soldiers, and even these wretched fellow-sufferers, hung on the Cross in meek and awful silence. 
saying, If thou be Christ. If Thou art the Messiah; if Thou art what Thou dost pretend to be. This is a taunt or reproach of the same kind as that of the priests in verse 35. 
Or, in the true [“critical”] text, “Art not Thou the Christ, save thyself and us.” This might, in itself, be understood as no worse than an impatient and faithless appeal to Jesus on the ground of His Messiahship, to save them from their wretched condition. But the “thou” has, in the Greek, a sarcastic tone, and the statement of the narrator, as well as the comment of the other felon, shows that it was spoken (compare verse 35, 37) in ridicule. 
save thyself and us. Save our lives. Deliver us from the cross. 
WEB: But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Don't you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?
Young’s: And the other
answering, was rebuking him, saying, 'Dost thou not even fear God, that thou
art in the same judgment?
Conte (RC): But the other responded by rebuking him, saying: "Do you have no fear of God, since you are under the same condemnation?
But the other. The Apocryphal Gospels contain many legends about the penitent thief. He is called Titus or Dysmas (Gospel of the Infancy, 8:1-8). 
supports the notion that this penitent thief was a Gentile. But surely this is an unwarranted
assumption. What should a Gentile know
answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God. He mocks the absurdity: what are you doing mocking Him because He is about to die when so are you! You will be standing before God yourself soon enough. Do you really think He will take kindly to such behavior? We have enough to answer for. Why increase the burden? [rw]
seeing thou art in the same condemnation. Condemnation to death, not death for the same thing but the same kind of death. 
Weymouth: And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving due requital for what we have done. But He has done nothing amiss."
WEB: And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong."
Young’s: and we indeed righteously, for things
worthy of what we did we receive back, but this one did nothing out of place;'
Conte (RC): And indeed, it is just for us. For we are receiving what our deeds deserve. But truly, this one has done nothing wrong."
And we indeed justly. An amazing number of people today claim innocence even when they are clearly guilty. It would be natural to assume that the situation was similar in the first century. But this criminal was not going to blind himself. Whether he liked being punished or not—obviously not, when the punishment was this severe!—there was no doubt that it was the retribution for what he had actually done. Of this there could be no question. [rw]
for we receive the due reward of our deeds. The proper punishment for our crimes. 
It has been, not unreasonably, conjectured that these “robbers” had been concerned in the affair with Barabbas, which involved “insurrection and murder.” 
this man hath done nothing amiss. Literally, “did nothing out of place” (like our “out of the way,” i.e., nothing unusual or wrong). The word prasso in both clauses implies grave actions (see verse 51) and this testimony implies entire innocence. It is the broadest possible acquittal. 
More than this his companion was incapable of receiving; this much he could not help admitting. 
Many interpret this as implying far more than just not having done anything criminal or worthy of death: Not only has committed no crime, done no wrong, as against any human law, but has done nothing “amiss,” [i.e.] bad, improper. This defense of Jesus supposes much more knowledge of Him than what the speaker could have gathered on this scene, as still more evidently does his prayer [request] which follows. From the wide publicity of Christ’s travels and teaching, through the country as well as the city and towns, nothing is more supposable than that the man had heard Him speak, and got some idea of His principles, claims, and promises. 
WEB: He said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
Young’s: and he said to Jesus, 'Remember
me, lord, when thou mayest come in thy reign;'
Conte (RC): And he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me. This is a phrase praying [= asking] for favor or asking Him to grant him an interest in His kingdom or to acknowledge him as one of His followers. It implied that he believed that Jesus was what He claimed to be--the Messiah; that though He was dying with them, yet He would set up His kingdom. 
He calls Him “Lord” whom the very Apostles had left, and recognizes Him as a King who even when dead could benefit the dead. Even Apostles might have learnt from him. (Bengel.) 
when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. It is impossible now to fix the precise idea which this robber had of Christ's coming. Whether it be that he expected that He would rise from the dead, as some of the Jews supposed the Messiah would, or whether he referred to the day of judgment, or whether to an immediate translation to His kingdom in the heavens, we cannot tell. 
We must not lose sight of the faith which can alone have dictated this intense appeal to One who hung mute upon the Cross amid universal derision. 
said to him, "Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in
Young’s: and Jesus said to him, 'Verily I say to
thee, To-day with me thou shalt be in the paradise.'
Conte (RC): And Jesus said to him, "Amen I say to you, this day you shall be with me in
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee. Note the “verily” which Jesus so often used to stress the absolute certainty of what He speaks about. [rw]
Today. Perhaps the thief had feared that he should have to languish slowly away, hanging one or several days on the cross, as was not unusual before death ensued. 
He asked for some future
remembrance. Jesus promises an immediate
reward. Before the sun
set the souls of both had fled from the pains of
A few interpreters have referred the phrase today to the verb say; making Jesus mean, "Today I say unto thee." Nothing can relieve the vapidness of such a construction. It is with hardly less truth than severity than Alford says of this interpretation, "considering that it not only violates common sense, but destroys our Lord's meaning, it is surely something worse than silly." It would be scance less absurd in Luke 19:9 to render the words, "Jesus said unto him this day." 
shalt thou be with Me. Instead of being merely remembered, thou shalt be with me--perfect fellowship and communion is promised. 
in paradise. 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, full of wild animals, which he hunted on horseback. . .
. Through the midst of the park flows
Transferred into the
later Hebrew, it is translated “orchard” (Canticles ), “garden” (Ecclesiastes 2:5), “forest”
(Nehemiah 2:8), and spelled in Greek letters, as here, it is used in the
Septuagint to translate the Hebrew for “garden,” as the “Garden of Eden.” Thus it was freely adopted to denote a place
of delight; and we find it in the later
portions of the New Testament as a synonym for heaven, or at least some part of
the immediate home of God (2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7)—“paradise of
God.” Some think that to be the
reference here; but, as Acts 2:31 (compare Acts 2:27; 1 Peter 3:18, 19) seems
plainly to teach that Jesus spent the interval between his death and
resurrection in the world of the dead, or at least went directly thither, it is
generally thought more likely that in our passage Paradise is, rather, that sphere
of Hades—the general receptacle of the dead—in which the saints are happy in
“Abraham’s bosom.” Certain early church
Fathers, following Jewish speculations, supposed the Garden of Eden still to
exist as a scene of extra-mundane felicity, neither in heaven nor on
earth. The penitent on the cross would
understand it in the sense common among his countrymen at that time. Indeed, if Christ had spoken directly in
Greek, the language used here would naturally have reached the allegorical
meaning, consciously, through the literal and primary: To-day wilt thou be
with me in the pleasure-garden. 
WEB: It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.
Young’s: And it was, as it were, the sixth hour,
and darkness came over all the land till the ninth hour,
Conte (RC): Now it was nearly the sixth hour, and a darkness occurred over the entire earth, until the ninth hour.
And it was about the sixth hour.  Our Lord had been three hours on the cross (Mark ), and the agony from His wounds and the distorted posture in which He hung, might have made further speech impossible. 
and there was a darkness. The secondary cause of it, if there was any, cannot be known. The efficient cause was God’s power, exerted so as to veil from human eyes the closing pains of His own dear Son. 
During the three hours’ darkness no incident is recorded, but we trace a deepening sense of remorse and horror in the crowd. The fact that the sun was thus “turned into darkness” was, at last, that “sign from heaven” for which the Pharisees had mockingly asked. 
over all the earth. It is well known that, according to the Hebrew usage, the phrase "all the earth" may mean only "all the land," as the English version is in Matthew and Mark--though the same term is used by all in the original. 
There is no reason to believe that the darkness was over all the world. The Fathers (Origen, c. Cels., ii. 33, 59, and Jerome, Chron.) indeed appeal to two heathen historians—Phlegon and Thallus—for a confirmation of it, but the testimony is too vague to be relied on either as to time or circumstance. They both speak of an eclipse. 
until the ninth hour. It lasted far too long to be a mere natural phenomena. However gleeful the religious establishment was over their judicial murder of their foe, could even they avoid a sense of eeriness and unease? [rw]
In depth: Reconciling
the synoptists and John on the hour the crucifixion
began . This verse gives us the time of the duration
of the "darkness"--from the sixth to the ninth hour; that is in our
reckoning, from to
With this date the other two synoptists agree
(comp. Matt. xxvii. 45; Mark xv. 33).
Our Lord had then been on the cross three hours (see Mark xv. 25, where
it is stated that he was crucified in the third hour, i.e. ). But while the three synoptists
are in perfect harmony, we are met with a grave difficulty in
At first sight, to attempt here to harmonize St. John with the three synoptists would seem a hopeless task, as St. John apparently gives the hour of the final condemnation by Pilate, which the three give as the hour when the darkness began, i.e., when the Sufferer had already hung on the cross for three hours. Various explanations have been suggested; among these the most satisfying and probable is the supposition that, while the three synoptists followed the usual Jewish mode of reckoning time, St. John, writing some half a century later in quite another country, possibly twenty years after Jerusalem and the temple had been destroyed, and the Jewish polity had disappeared, adopted another mode of reckoning the hours, thus following, probably, a practice of the province in which he was living, and for which he was especially writing.
in an additional note on John xix. 14, examines the four occasions on which St.
John mentions a definite hour of the day; and comes to the conclusion that the
fourth evangelist generally reckoned his hours from midnight. The Romans reckoned their civil days from , and there are also traces of reckoning
the hours from in
Weymouth: The sun was darkened, and the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn down the middle,
WEB: The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Young’s: and the sun was darkened, and the vail of the sanctuary was rent in the midst,
Conte (RC): And the sun was obscured. And the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.
And the sun was darkened. Rather, “the sun’s light failing.” This adds to the preceding statement of the fact of darkness, simply that it was due to a darkening of the sun, by which light was cut off everywhere. Or, is the thought of the writer that darkness spread over the face of the earth so dense and broad that the sun itself was hidden from view? The text followed by the Revision is clear of ambiguity, and assigns a true cause of the darkness. “The sun’s light”—or, more directly, “the sun failing.” The terms used are those appropriate in Greek to signify an eclipse; but might be used to make an effect like that of an eclipse, without asserting that the moon then shut out the light. That, of course, would be an impossibility at the Passover season, when the moon was full. It is difficult to decide between the texts; but the authority for the latter seems at least fully equal to that against it. No explanation of the fact, however, which attempted to do away with its miraculous character, would be consistent with the earthquake, the torn veil of the temple, the rending of the rocks, and bursting of tombs (Matthew 27:51 ff.)—all in sympathy with the Divine Sufferer on the cross. 
and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. This “veil” was the great and splendid curtain which served in part as the partition, in the temple, between the inner shrine, “holy of holies,” and the outer sanctuary, in which some priest must visit the altar of incense every day. Beyond that dividing veil had been the ark, in the tabernacle, and in the first temple, and the cherubim over the ark, the seat of the Shechinah, whither only the high priest could ever penetrate, and he only once in the year, to make atonement for the sins of the people. The tearing of that veil from the top to the bottom, in connection with the death of Christ, was suited better than anything else imaginable to shadow forth the end of the office of the earthly high priest, and the opening of a new and living way, by which every one, through Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice, may approach the very throne of God for himself. This event took place near the end of the three hours of darkness. 
This veil or curtain was some sixty feet long, and it was impossible for
it to be thus rent, as some have imagined, by the force of the earthquake. This miracle must have been as striking and
terrible to the priests who ministered in the temple as the darkness was to the
WEB: Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" Having said this, he breathed his last.
Young’s: and having cried with a loud voice, Jesus
said, 'Father, to Thy hands I commit my spirit;' and these things having said,
he breathed forth the spirit.
Conte (RC): And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." And upon saying this, he expired.
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice. Jesus could not be expected long to survive that accumulation of sufferings; but as is often seen that, just before a lingering death, the remnant of life blazes forth in one supreme effort, so Jesus, with a full and distinct voice, uttered these last words. 
Luke here omits the Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani, and the effect of that cry on the multitude (Matthew 27:46-50); the “I thirst,” which was the sole word of physical suffering wrung from Him in all His agonies; and the one word (Tetelestai) in which He expressed the sense that His work was finished. 
He said, Father, into Thy hands I commend [commit, NKJV] My spirit. It is the language now of calm and filial trust in a Father consciously present. “I entrust to thy charge and disposition that life which I received of Thee, and which has accomplished Thy appointed work, borne all Thy holy will.” “Spirit” is, here, the principle of life. Compare 8:55; James 2:26. 
and having said thus, He gave up the ghost [breathed His last, NKJV]. Or, “He expired.” That, of course, is what the verb here, translated strictly means; but the translators and revisers have, perhaps, been moved to retain it in this passage, and in Mark 15:37, 39, instead of giving its direct sense, to favor the idea that Jesus gave up His life in some other sense than that in which Stephen, or Paul, or John yielded his. It is, indeed, noticeable that both the expressions for Christ’s decease (“gave up the ghost,” Matthew and John) avoid the usual word, “died.” This, we suppose is not so much because they thought of Him, what He had said in John 10:18, but because they thought of Him, in an altogether [special] way, as alive even in death; He was dead, and is alive, and liveth evermore. In the death of our Lord, moreover, it is involved, necessarily, that there was a unique consent of His will to the will of His Father, known beforehand, that He should thus die. But this must be so thought of as to distinguish it from everything like the voluntary shortening of His stay in life. 
Weymouth: The Captain, seeing what had happened, gave glory to God, saying, "Beyond question this man was innocent."
WEB: When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous man."
Young’s: And the centurion having seen what was
done, did glorify God, saying, 'Really this man was righteous;'
Conte (RC): Now, the centurion, seeing what had happened, glorified God, saying, "Truly, this man was the Just One."
Now when the centurion. A captain of a hundred men. He was doubtless the commander of the quaternion of soldiers who watched Jesus' death. 
It is remarkable that Luke gives us several instances of “good centurions,” 7:2, ; Acts 10:1, , 27:43. 
saw what was done. The death of Christ in that manner and all the phenomena attending it. 
he glorified God. He had never seen such amazing instances of Divine power, and, therefore, took occasion to adore God as the Almighty. 
A notice characteristic of Luke (, , , , , ). 
asaying, certainly this was a righteous
“Righteous man” is only an interpretation of the sentiment which in the other Synoptics took the form, “a (not “the”) Son of God.” 
At the very least, he recognized that this Jew had been unjustly sent to an early and unjustified death. He was not a person in authority who could do anything about it, but that did not mean that he had to pretend that the situation was anything different than what it really was. [rw]
Weymouth: And all the crowds that had come together to this sight, after seeing all that had occurred, returned to the city beating their breasts.
WEB: All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts.
Young’s: and all the multitudes who were come
together to this sight, beholding the things that came to pass, smiting their
breasts did turn back;
Conte (RC): And the entire crowd of those who came together to see this spectacle also saw what had happened, and they returned, striking their breasts.
And all the people. This describes the mass of the people whom we have seen attracted to the vicinity of the cross, as to any popular spectacle, and who “stood beholding” (verse 35), not reviling. Even the rabble that mocked may also have been referred to now, as changed in their views and feelings, by “beholding the things which were done.” 
that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done. The earthquake, and darkness, and the sufferings of Jesus. 
smote their breasts. In token of alarm, fear, and anguish. They saw the judgments of God; they saw the guilt of the rulers; and they feared the further displeasure of the Almighty. 
At the very least: They felt that great cruelty and a horrible wrong had been committed on an innocent person. 
and returned. To the city of
WEB: All his
acquaintances, and the women who followed with him from
Young’s: and all his acquaintances stood afar off,
and women who did follow him from Galilee, beholding these things.
Conte (RC): Now all those who knew him, and the women who had followed him from
and the women
that followed Him from
stood. The word is emphatic in this place, as if, while others were breaking up, or had left the ground, they remained, unwilling to abandon the spot. 
afar off, beholding these things. Both the male and female followers and friends of Jesus stood apart because they were a separate group of onlookers—bound by affection for the crucified One rather than by hostility (the clerics) or curiosity (which would surely have caused a number to be there—gross as it may sound today, in that age it was “free entertainment.”) [rw]
WEB: Behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the council, a good and righteous man
Young’s: And lo, a man, by name Joseph, being a counsellor, a man good and righteous,
Conte (RC): And behold, there was a man named Joseph, who was a councilman, a good and just man,
Background context: Why the bodies could not be left on the cross longer . Of course, no friends of Jesus could have previously made any preparations for the burial of their Master, and no known friend was in a situation that he could do it now, when the necessity appeared. Yet how much depended on His being buried in some way like that which God had planned. To men it might indeed seem that no necessity for burial had arisen, since the bodies of those crucified were commonly left on the cross until burial was no longer possible.
But here that difficulty was obviated by the ceremonial sanctity of those Jews who had slain Jesus, but could not bear that His unburied corpse should remain into the next day, which was a day of a great Sabbath. That would defile their city, and hinder the worthy celebration of their feast. This led them to ask and obtain of Pilate (John ) that the body should be taken down that night. So it was, not a bone having been broken, after His side had been pierced with a spear, so that there flowed from it mingled blood and water, which the bursted arteries had allowed to collect about His heart. And now the providence of God calls forth out of the darkness two men, able and willing, with the faithful women, to do the rest.
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph. See on Mark xv. 43. Matthew calls him rich; Mark, honorable; Luke, good and just. 
A counseller. A member of the Sanhedrin, and therefore (as one of the 70 most distinguished members of the ruling classes), a person of great distinction. Mark () calls him “an honorable councilor.” 
and he was a good man and a just. = righteous—excellent in general character, and scrupulously upright and just. He would neither as a private man do wrong, nor, as a counselor, sanction injustice. This is proved by the parenthetic sentence [that is found in the next verse]. 
Or: Good is here used of one who is kind, benevolent, compassionate; just, of one who is a strict observer of the law. 
WEB: (he had
not consented to their counsel and deed), from Arimathaea,
a city of the Jews, who was also waiting for the
Young’s: -- he was not consenting to their counsel
and deed -- from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who
also himself was expecting the reign of God,
Conte (RC): (for he had not consented to their decision or their actions). He was from Arimathea, a city of
(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them.) Namely, in condemning Jesus. Matthew adds that he was rich, which made his intervention here the more effectual. 
is remarkable that Joseph is the only Sanhedrist of
whom this exception is recorded. We
cannot, however, doubt that it was true of Nicodemus also, since he was “the
he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews. His
residence was, apparently, the city of Samuel’s parents (1 Samuel 1:1), Ramathaim; called also Ramah (1 Samuel ), which is supposed to have lain a few
miles north of
who also himself. It was not a mere belief that he knew others held nor was it was one he gave pro forma assent to because it was expected. It was one he genuinely embraced. [rw]
i.e., as well as Christ’s open followers. The same word is preserved in Matthew 27:57, “who also himself was a disciple,” though as John () adds, “secretly for fear of the Jews.” 
waited for the
In depth: Joseph as representative of a minority of Pharisees . That one so prominent, before unheard of, should appear at this dark hour, may help to explain the instances of seeming friendliness toward Jesus which we have more than once had to notice, on the part of the Pharisees. Such were anticipating the near advent of the Messiah, and were more free to consider His claims. Joseph, indeed, had before this become a disciple of Jesus (Matthew 27:57), so far as to believe in His Messianic character and claims, but had concealed this fact (John ) until now.
Strange revelation! To be made at such an hour, of a brotherhood with the band of scattered and dismayed disciples, in attachment to the Savior slain, on the part of one of the members of the great Council of the nation.
WEB: this man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus' body.
Young’s: he, having gone near to Pilate, asked the
body of Jesus,
Conte (RC): This man approached Pilate and petitioned for the body of Jesus.
This man went unto Pilate. Unless there had been a special application to Pilate in behalf of Jesus, His body would have been buried that night in the common grave with the malefactors, for it was a law of the Jews that the body of an executed man should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath. It needed no small measure of courage to do this. Jesus had just been condemned, mocked, spit on, crucified--the death of a slave, or the most guilty wretch. To show attachment for Him now was proof of sincere affection. 
The act was a strange
one, as seldom did any person concern himself about the body of one who had
been gibbeted on a cross. It even
required a considerable boldness, at the time, to show an interest in that
man’s body. But the character and social
position of Joseph would now stand him in hand; and Pilate, after making
himself sure that Jesus was really dead so soon, freely granted his
and begged the body of Jesus. This shows that Joseph believed our Lord to be dead. 
WEB: He took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that was cut in stone, where no one had ever been laid.
Young’s: and having taken it down, he wrapped it
in fine linen, and placed it in a tomb hewn out, where no one was yet laid.
Conte (RC): And taking him down, he wrapped him in a fine linen cloth, and he placed him in a tomb hewn from rock, in which no one had ever been placed.
And he took it down. With the help of Nicodemus (John -40). 
and wrapped it in linen. A large square shroud or sheet. The head was wrapped separately in a napkin of this material. 
[Wrapped] in a sindon, or piece of fine white linen. Compare Mark 14:51. Two other words, othonia (John ) and soudarion (John 20:7), are used of the various cerements of Jesus. That Joseph bought this sindon, apparently on this day (Mark 15:46), is one of the many incidental signs furnished even by the Synoptists that the true Passover did not begin till the evening of the Friday on which our Lord was crucified. On the part taken by Nicodemus in the Entombment, and the spices which he brought, see John 19:39, 40. Both Joseph and Nicodemus in acting thus not only showed great courage, but also great self-sacrifice; for the touching of a corpse made them ceremonially unclean, and thus prevented them from any share in the Paschal Feast. 
The deceitful imagination of painters has depicted this simple transaction in a hundred phases of falsehood, to which the simple sentence given to it in each of the Four Evangelists, lends not a shadow of warrant. There is not a hint that any disciple, save Joseph and Nicodemus, had anything to do with it; as, indeed, the women could not properly have. 
and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone. We must figure to ourselves a large room cut horizontally into the solid rock for a vault. In this room we enter, from the open air, by a large door. On entering you would see small, long cells, or niches, cut into the solid, adamantine sides, as depositories of the corpses; or from this first main room you may enter one or several niches for corpses are cut. A person could enter into the first main vault, and then into either of the smaller apartments. 
In the vicinity of the
place of crucifixion, was a garden, in the sense in which
wherein never man before was laid. Probably Joseph had the new vault made for his own family. It was so ordered, in the providence of God, that Jesus was laid in a tomb where never man before was laid, that there might be no suspicion about His identity when He rose, that it might not be alleged that another person had risen. Besides, by being buried here an important prophecy was remarkably fulfilled. (Isa. liii. 9.) 
WEB: It was the day of the Preparation, and the Sabbath was drawing near.
Young’s: And the day was a preparation, and sabbath was approaching,
Conte (RC): And it was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was drawing near.
And that day was the preparation. The preparation of the Jews began strictly at in the afternoon, but the name preparation was properly applied to the whole day. 
Although the Scripture
had required no such thing, the tradition of the elders had made Friday, after
the ninth hour, a preparation for the Sabbath, beginning at sunset (Josephus,
and the sabbath drew on. I.e., the evening was approaching, at which time the Jewish Sabbath commenced. 
Literally, “the Sabbath
was dawning”—a curious transfer of ideas appropriate to the opening light of
the natural day, to the deepening twilight of the day beginning with
night. There was need of haste,
therefore, in disposing of the body before the sacred time should begin. This made the nearness of the new tomb a more
manifest favor of
women, who had come with him out of
Young’s: and the women also who have come with him
out of Galilee having followed after, beheld the tomb, and how his body was
Conte (RC): Now the women who had come with him from
And the women also, which came
with Him from
and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. Although they could take no part in the lowering or draping of the naked body, they had noted, at a distance, what was done, and would not leave the precious relic out of sight, until they had marked the place where it was to rest. As far as appears, if they had not done so, none of the eleven would have known where to look for the Master’s body, when the question should arise whether He had risen. Two other Gospels name two [women] in particular, “Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary,” “Mary of Joses,” who were among these women. 
WEB: They returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Young’s: and having turned back, they made ready
spices and ointments, and on the sabbath,
indeed, they rested, according to the command.
Conte (RC): And upon returning, they prepared aromatic spices and ointments. But on the Sabbath, indeed, they rested, according to the commandment.
And they returned. Into the city. 
As but a short time remained until sunset, they must have hasted home with great diligence to the purchase and preparation of those ointments and spices. What they lacked, however, they procured when the Jewish Sabbath had ended, which was at sunset preceding the morning of the resurrection. 
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 fullness 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. 
and prepared. They lived
spices and ointments. The former refers to myrrh, aloes and other preventives of putrefaction, and odorous perfumes, the latter to the ointments and oils with which bodies were anointed. 
spices. Which are dry. 
ointments. Which are liquid. 
and rested on the sabbath day according to the commandment. (See Exod. xx. 10.) Eager as they were to perform the last offices of love to their Lord, yet these pious women would not transgress the commandment. 
They could not, according to the received views of their time, proceed with even so sacred a labor as the proper laying out of the remains of their revered Master, until the Sabbath was past, and the light of the first day of the week had come. As there was nothing to tell of the word or work or fortune of Christ during the interval, we hear not a syllable out of those thirty-six hours. Yet how much must have passed in the experience of the disciples! A merely human narrative would surely have entertained us with an account of the individual reflections, and the mutual conferences, during that day of memories and anticipations on the part of the disciples of the Lord. 
(with number code)
1 = Adam Clarke. The New Testament . . . with a Commentary and
Volume I: Matthew to the Acts. Reprint,
2 = Marvin R. Vincent. Word Studies in the New Testament. Volume I:
The Synoptic Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles of Peter, James,
and Jude. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887; 1911 printing.
3 = J. S. Lamar. Luke. [Eugene S. Smith, Publisher; reprint, 1977 (?)]
4 = Charles H. Hall. Notes, Practical and Expository on the Gospels;
volume two: Luke-John.
5 = John Kitto. Daily Bible Illustrations. Volume II: Evening Series:
The Life and Death of Our Lord.
6 = Thomas M. Lindsay. The Gospel According to St. Luke. Two
7 = W. H. van Doren. A Suggestive Commentary on the New Testament:
Saint Luke. Two volumes.
8 = Melancthon W. Jacobus. Notes on the Gospels, Critical and
Explanatory: Luke and John.
Brothers, 1856; 1872 reprint.
9 = Alfred Nevin. Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts: Luke.
10 = Alfred Nevin.
The Parables of Jesus.
Board of Publication, 1881.
11 = Albert Barnes. "Luke." In Barnes' Notes on the New Testament.
Reprint, Kregel Publications, 1980.
12 = Alexander B. Bruce. The Synoptic Gospels. In The Expositor's
Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. Reprint, Grand
13 = F. Godet. A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. Translated
from the Second French Edition by E. W. Shalders and M. D. Cusin.
14 = D.D. Whedon. Commentary on the Gospels: Luke-John. New
15 = Henry Alford. The Greek Testament. Volume I: The Four Gospels.
16 = David Brown. "Luke" in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and
David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
Old and New Testaments.
Volume II: New Testament.
S. S. Scranton Company, no date.
17 = Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly. An Exposition of the Gospel
of St. Luke.
18 = H. D. M. Spence. “Luke.” In the Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D.
M. Spence. Reprinted by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
19 = John Calvin. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists,
Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Translated by William Pringle. Reprint,
20 = Thomas Scott. The Holy Bible ...with Explanatory Notes (and)
21 = Henry T. Sell. Bible Studies in the Life of Christ: Historical and
22 = Philip Vollmer. The Modern Student's Life of Christ.
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912.
23 = Heinrich A. W. Meyer. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the
Gospels of Mark and Luke. Translated from the Fifth German
Edition by Robert Ernest Wallis. N. Y.: Funk and Wagnalls,
1884; 1893 printing.
24 = John Albert Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. A New
Translation by Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent.
25 = John Cummings. Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-
26 = Walter F. Adeney, editor. The Century Bible: A Modern
missing from copy.
27 = Pasquier Quesnel. The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.
Volumes I and II. (Luke
is in part of both).
D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867 reprint.
28 = Charles R. Erdman. The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition.
29 = Elvira J. Slack. Jesus: The Man of
Board of the Young Womens Christian Associations, 1911.
30 = Arthur Ritchie. Spiritual Studies in St. Luke's Gospel.
The Young Churchman Company, 1906.
31 = Bernhard Weiss. A Commentary on the New Testament. Volume
Two: Luke-The Acts.
32 = Matthew Henry. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Volume V:
Matthew to John. 17--. Reprint,
Company, no date.
33 = C. G. Barth. The Bible Manual: An Expository and Practical
Commentary on the Books of Scripture. Second Edition.
34 = Nathaniel S. Folsom. The Four Gospels: Translated . . . and with
Critical and Expository Notes. Third Edition.
Upham, and Company, 1871; 1885 reprint.
35 = Henry Burton. The Gospel according to Luke. In the Expositor's
36 = [Anonymous]. Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from
Old and New Sources.
37 = Marcus Dods.
The Parables of Our Lord.
Revell Company, 18--.
38 = Alfred Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
39 = A. T. Robertson. Luke the Historian in the Light of Research.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920; 1930 reprint.
40 = James R. Gray. Christian Workers' Commentary on the Old and
ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.
41 = W.
Sanday. Outlines of the Life of Christ.
Scribner's Sons, 1905.
42 = Halford E. Luccock. Studies in the Parables
Methodist Book Concern, 1917.
43 = George H. Hubbard. The Teaching of Jesus in Parables. New
44 = Charles S. Robinson. Studies in Luke's Gospel. Second Series.
45 = John
Laidlaw. The Miracles of Our Lord.
Wagnalls Company, 1892.
46 = William M. Taylor. The Miracles of Our Saviour. Fifth Edition.
47 = Alexander Maclaren. Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. Luke.
New York: George H. Doran Company, [no date].
48 = George
Miracles of Our Lord.
George Routledge & Sons, 1878.
49 = Joseph Parker. The People's Bibles: Discourses upon Holy Scrip-
50 = Daniel Whitby and Moses Lowman. A Critical Commentary and
Paraphrase on the New Testament: The Four Gospels and the Acts
of the Apostles.
51 = Matthew Poole. Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1600s.
52 = George R. Bliss. Luke. In An American Commentary on the New
53 = J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. The Fourfold Gospel.
54 = John Trapp. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1654.
55 = Ernest D. Burton and Shailer Matthews. The Life of Christ.
Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1900; 5th reprint,
56 = Frederic W. Farrar. The Gospel According to St. Luke. In “The
the University Press, 1882.