Ver. 7. He sent him away to Herod. Pilate, in this instance, not only extricated himself from the importunities of the Jewish priests, (v. 5) but moreover obeyed the Roman law in that particular, which forbade any one to be condemned by a governor to whom he was not the subject. Theophylactus.
Ver. 11. And mocked him. It is evident from the behaviour of Herod on this occasion, that he was far from believing him to be that seditious person he was represented; otherwise he would have undoubtedly treated his prisoner with less ridicule, and paid more serious attention to the accusations of his enemies. Theophylactus.
--- Putting on him a white garment. The Greek signifies not only a white, but a shining splendid robe: perhaps with some resemblance to royal garments, but at the same time through scorn and derision. Wi.
Ver. 15. Nothing worthy of death is done to him. Herod has not treated him as a criminal, or one worthy of death. He only derided him as a fool: had there been any cause to punish him, he would not have failed to have done it himself, or commanded me to put him to death. Calmet.
Ver. 16. It was a very common punishment among the Jews to scourge those who had committed crimes for which death would have been too severe. According to the laws of the Hebrews, (Deut. xxv. 3.) the number of blows could not exceed thirty-nine. Pilate dares not condemn Jesus to death, because he believes him innocent; yet not to disoblige the people and magistrates, who demanded his death, he takes a middle way, which, as is usual in such cases, satisfies neither party. He neither saves the innocent Victim, nor satisfies justice. In lieu of one punishment, Jesus suffers two. He is at length both scourged and crucified. Calmet.
Cyrene (Media)Cyrene was the capital of a province in Africa, near Lybia. See Acts ii. 10. Some are of opinion that this Simon was a Jew; his name favours that sentiment, and there were many Jews in that province. V.
Ver. 28. Weep not over me. If you knew the evils that threaten and must soon fall upon your city, upon yourselves, and upon your children, you would preserve your tears to deplore your own misfortunes. My death is for the good of mankind; but it will be fatal to your nation because you have been pleased to make it so. In the ruin of Jerusalem, which is at hand, happy shall they be who have no children. They shall save themselves the grief of seeing their sons and daughters perish miserably, and in some sort of suffering as many deaths as they have children to die. Calmet.
Ver. 31. In the green wood: by which are signified persons of virtue and sanctity; as by the dry wood, the wicked, who bring forth no fruit, and who, like dry wood, are fit to be cast into the fire. Wi.
--- If they be thus cruel with me, how will they treat you!
Ver. 33. Called Calvary. A place at a small distance from Jerusalem, where condemned malefactors were beheaded. So Christ, as a malefactor, dies on Calvary for the redemption of all: that where sin abounded, grace might more abound. Ven. Bede.
--- In this mountain, according to the Hebrew doctors, were interred the remains of our protoparent, Adam. Athana.
CalvaryGolgotha, i.e. the place of Calvary,of heads and skulls: perhaps, says S. Jerom, from the skulls of persons executed, and buried there. Several ancient writers would have it so called, from Adam's skull, whom they guess to have been buried there. Some also say that a part of this mountain was called Moria, the place where Abraham was ready to have sacrificed his son Isaac. Wi. --- Calvary. A place at a small distance from Jerusalem, where condemned malefactors were beheaded. So Christ, as a malefactor, dies on Calvary for the redemption of all: that where sin abounded, grace might more abound. Ven. Bede. --- In this mountain, according to the Hebrew doctors, were interred the remains of our protoparent, Adam. Athana.
Ver. 43. I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise; i.e. in a place of rest with the souls of the just. The construction is not, I say to thee this day, &c., but, thou shalt be with me this day in the paradise. Wi.
--- In paradise. That is, in the happy state of rest, joy and peace everlasting. Christ was pleased by a special privilege, to reward the faith and confession of the penitent thief with a full discharge of all his sins, both as to the guilt and punishment, and to introduce him, immediately after death, into the happy society of the saints, whose limbo (that is, the place of their confinement) was now made a paradise by our Lord's going thither. Ch.
--- The soul of the good thief was that same day with Jesus Christ, in the felicity of the saints, in Abraham's bosom, or in heaven, where Jesus was always present by his divinity. S. Aug.
--- S. Cyril, of Jerusalem, says he entered heaven before all the patriarchs and prophets. S. Chrys. thinks that paradise was immediately open to him, and that he entered heaven the first mankind.—Tom. v. homil. 32.
Ver. 51. Arimathea. In other parts of Scripture it is called Ramatha, a city of Judea, where Samuel, the prophet, was born. Ven. Bede.
ArimatheaThe town of Arimathea is placed on the maps about eighteen or twenty miles north-west of Jerusalem. --- Arimathea. In other parts of Scripture it is called Ramatha, a city of Judea, where Samuel, the prophet, was born. Ven. Bede.
Ver. 52. This man went to Pilate. We may suppose that from his rank and condition in life, he had always access to Pilate.
Ver. 54. Parasceve. That is, the eve or day of preparation for the sabbath. Ch.
--- And the sabbath drew near. Lit. shined. The sabbath began in the evening, at sunset. It may, perhaps, be said to shine by the moonlight, at full-moon, or because of a great many lights that used to be set up at that time, on account of the great sabbath. Wi.
--- We learn from Maimon, that all the Jews were so strictly bound to keep a light in their dwellings on the sabbath-day, that although a man had not bread to eat, he was expected to be from door to door, to purchase oil for his lamp. P.