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On the Gospel of John, Part 47: The Jewish Murder of the Messiah of Israel
As we presented the first part of John chapter 19 and the account of the trial of Christ before Pontius Pilate, which we had titled Gods and Emperors, we also found a need to discuss at greater length the issue of culpability for the crucifixion of Christ. This is because there is much propaganda in presumably Christian literature which places the preponderance of guilt for the crucifixion of Christ on Pontius Pilate, or on the Romans in general, when Christ Himself, and His apostles after Him, had clearly placed that guilt on the Judaeans. So it is a wonder to us, that the Jewish propaganda which has forever attempted to shift the blame onto Pilate is so strong that now even so-called Christian scholars, or so-called scholars who claim to be Christians, no longer believe their Bibles or the veracity of the only surviving eye-witness accounts. Instead, they believe the lies of the Jews who with cunning and sophistry have imagined that they can escape the ultimate punishment which awaits them for their act of Deicide, as well as their continued acts of rebellion against that very same God whom they had slain, which they have perpetrated throughout history.
The phenomenon of Bolshevism was not new in 1917. It has erupted continually throughout history, and it is always instigated by the same people who today are known as Jews. The Bolshevik Revolution was not Russian, and the French Revolution was not French. The result of both was the oppression of Christianity and the attempt to introduce an atheistic utopia. While at least most of the Reformers were not Jews, the Jews of Europe certainly also had a significant role in assuring the success of the Reformation, and Martin Luther was allied with them until he recognized their treachery, after which he tried to warn the world, but by then it was too late and the world did not heed his warning.
Likewise, the persecution of Christians was not exclusively Roman, as according to some of the earliest Christian writers, including Luke and Paul but also Tertullian and Minucius Felix, the Jews were the primary instigators. This is plainly evident throughout the Book of Acts and in the histories of Flavius Josephus. For example, in Acts chapter 17 we see a tactic of Bolshevism, as the Gospel was being accepted among the Greeks of Thessalonica and Luke wrote: “5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.” They then made the same charges against the Christians which they had made against Christ here, that Christians rejected Caesar as king in favor of Christ.
But once Christianity had finally prevailed, in spite of the fact that it was not true apostolic Christianity, for their behavior the Jews had been ejected from various nations in the West on over a hundred occasions over a twelve-hundred year period. But they themselves always claim that they were ejected merely for being Jews, crying persecution. Their hatred and envy of Christ and the trial of Christ before Pilate is exemplary of the behavior for which they have always been despised, which is a characteristic that is intrinsic to their nature. It is inevitable that it will continue to erupt until they are ejected once and for all, as the God of our Scripture also promises.
Returning to John, the Judaeans had threatened Pontius Pilate politically if he did not accede to their demands, and as Matthew had attested, if Pilate did not fulfill their wishes there was about to be a riot in Jerusalem while the population was greatly inflated by people attending the feast. This was a very volatile period in the history of the city, and Roman troops were present in sufficient numbers to put down the ensuing violence, but it was improbable that they could do so without much bloodshed. With all certainty, that would have caused the Judaeans to send an embassy to complain to Caesar, and Pilate would have faced charges that were certain to cost him his career, and even his life, since the Judaeans would have claimed that the reason for their riot was that Pilate had released a man who claimed to be both a king and the Son of God, claims which were clearly seditious in the eyes of the Romans since both titles belonged to Caesar.
In the end, the Judaeans would have looked like pagan saints, defenders of the sovereignty and divinity of the emperor, while Pilate would have been made to look as though he had defended and pardoned a contender for the throne. So Pilate had no other logical choice but to allow the Judaeans to prevail, especially since Christ did not defend Himself against their accusations.
So while Pilate wanted no part of it, it was the Judaeans, whom Matthew described as having been about to riot, who had demanded in verse 15 that he “Kill! Kill! Crucify Him!” One thing we did not explain when we discussed that verse in Part 45 of our commentary, is that the word “kill” in that exclamation is from the Greek verb αἴρω, which literally means to raise up, elevate or lift, or to take away or remove. So the King James Version has it as “away with”, and adds a pronoun to complete the thought, while in the context of crucifixion, the common Roman form of execution at the time, we have rendered it simply as kill.
Then, as John recorded it, Pilate said to them: “Shall I crucify your king?” And the chief priests answered in return: “We have no king except Caesar!” This is also an indication that the Judaeans deferred to Caesar, and knew what must be the outcome of the charges with which they had accused Christ. But this also proves that they had turned their backs on the God of the Old Testament in favor of Caesar, at least those among them who were actual Israelites and not Edomites. As we read in Isaiah chapter 33 “22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” Then in Isaiah chapter 43: “15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.” Then in Isaiah chapter 44: “6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Yet by their charges before Pilate where they accused Christ of wrongdoing for calling Himself the Son of God, they were acknowledging the Roman use of the title, and thereby they were also committing idolatry.
In Jeremiah chapter 23 we see a Messianic prophecy of a coming King: “5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Examining these passages and many others like them, it is evident that the Judaeans were not keeping the Old Covenant, they were not faithful to the Scriptures, and neither did Christ expect them to, because, as He said to them, in John chapter 10, “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” Rather, for the most part His adversaries were Idumaean converts, Edomites conquered by the Hasmonaeans who came to dominate the province from the time of the first Herod. Caesar was their king and their god. But ultimately, at least many of the true Israelites in Judaea as well as the twelve tribes which were scattered abroad did indeed accept Christ as their King.
Now, continuing from where we had left off in John chapter 19, he speaks of Pilate and says:
16 So then he handed Him over to them that He would be crucified.
John’s description is concise, and as we have said throughout this commentary, he may have purposely omitted things which perhaps he had felt were satisfactorily described in the other gospels, which had already been written and were being circulated before the time when he wrote his own account. Matthew’s account certainly seems to have been the earliest written gospel, and at this point in Matthew chapter 27 we read: “27 Then the soldiers of the governor taking Yahshua into the Praetorium, the whole cohort gathered upon Him 28 and clothing Him they wrapped around Him a scarlet cloak, 29 and braiding a crown out of thorns they set it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand, and falling to the knees before Him they had mocked Him, saying ‘Hail! King of the Judaeans!’ 30 And spitting at Him they took the reed and beat it on His head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the cloak and clothed Him in His garments and led Him off for which to be crucified.”
The Roman troops assigned to any given province were always taken from other provinces, because in that manner the troops would have no loyalty to the local population. This was especially true in the Imperial provinces, which were military provinces whose governors were appointed by the emperor rather than by the Senate. As we have also already seen, prefect was a military title, and that was Pilate’s title at this time. In Acts chapter 10, although the record there is an account of events which happened several years after the crucifixion, we read “1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band…” At this time Caesarea Maritima was the seat of the governor, or prefect, so Cornelius was a centurion in a legion of which at least one cohort was comprised of troops from Italy and assigned to one of the successors of Pilate, but the precise date of the events of Acts chapter 10 is difficult to ascertain. Other legions or cohorts in Judaea, including this one that was with Pilate at the crucifixion of Christ, could have been from any of the other Roman provinces or subject states. The death of Herod Agrippa I recorded in Acts chapter 12 is esteemed to have occurred in 44 AD and since he was made a king by the emperor Claudius in 41 AD, Judaea did not have a prefect or procurator during those last three years of his rule.
The exchanges between Pilate and the Judaeans were most likely made in Greek, and it can be established that many educated Judaeans were indeed fluent in Greek, but Greek literacy varied among the common people. The Roman commander who arrested Paul, a chiliarch or leader of a thousand and therefore of higher rank than Cornelius since the term was used in Greek to describe a Roman tribune, was surprised that Paul could speak Greek although he also thought Paul may have been an Egyptian, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 21. But at least most of the inscriptions and coins of the period from the time of the first Herod were written in Greek.
These troops certainly had all spoken Greek, to at least one extent or another, because Greek was the common language of much of Italy as well as much of the Empire, and they may have also spoken, or at least, they must have been familiar with Latin, since that was the official language of the Roman government and military. The portions of the later empire which were not Hellenized, or Romanized, had not yet been conquered. However we read here in this chapter in John that the charges for which Christ was to be crucified were written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek, and therefore the charges must have already been known to all who were present.
So while the soldiers would have had no intimate knowledge or understanding of Christ, His ministry, the prophecies concerning a Messiah, or anything else which was at that time considered peculiar to the Judaeans, they would have understood the charges from a Roman perspective and as they must have heard them from the proceedings which were conducted in Greek. The soldiers also swore oaths of allegiance and made sacrifices at the altars which were dedicated to Caesar, and considered Caesar to be their only king as well as the Son of God, a title publicly conferred upon the emperor by the Roman Senate. Therefore where they mocked Christ, dressing Him up as a king and abusing Him, we see the natural reaction of Romans to the charges which were leveled against Christ by the Judaeans, and by that the difficult position into which Pilate had been placed by the Jews should be made all the more evident. The Jews certainly did know what they were doing and how the Romans would interpret the charges which they had made, so that ultimately there would be no choice but for Pilate to execute Christ. So John continues:
Therefore they took [א and W have “Then taking”, A and the MT “Then they took”; the text follows B] Yahshua [P66 and A insert “and brought Him”, א “they brought Him away”, the MT “and brought Him away”; W “they brought Him away”; the text follows B], 17 and bearing the cross for Him, He went out to what is called “Place of the Skull”, which is called in Hebrew “Golgotha”,
Wherever John provides a Hebrew word or name for a Greek term, we see plain evidence that John had written his gospel in Greek. But the 3rd century papyrus P66 wants the entire first part of this verse which reads “and bearing the cross for Him, He went out”; the Codex Alexandrinus (A) and the Majority Text have the first clause to read “and bearing His cross”, for which the King James Version translators had written “and he bearing his cross”; the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Washingtonensis (W) have “and bearing His Own cross”; our text follows the Codex Vaticanus (B). The reading of the Codex Vaticanus is most likely correct, comparing Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21 and Luke 23:26.
Matthew’s account reads: “32 And going they found a man, a Kurenaion with the name Simon. Him they had conscripted in order that he would carry His cross. 33 And having come to a place called Golgotha, which is called “Place of the Skull”, 34 they gave to Him wine mixed with bitters to drink, and having tasted it He did not wish to drink. 35 Then crucifying Him they parted His garments casting lots, 36 and being seated watched Him there. 37 And they set His charge above His head, being written: “This is Yahshua the King of the Judaeans”. 38 Then they crucify with Him two robbers, one on the right hand and one on the left.” Luke wrote “26 And as they led Him away, they seized upon one Simon, a Kurenaian who was coming from the field, and placed upon him the cross to bear behind Yahshua. ” In Mark’s gospel, Simon the Cyrenian is called “the father of Alexandros and Rouphos”, showing a familiarity by which we may discern that Simon was a Judaean from Cyrene who must have been visiting Jerusalem for the feast. Now, speaking of Golgotha, John writes:
18 where they crucified Him, and with Him two others on the left and right, and Yahshua in the middle.
Where we have “two others on the left and right”, the Greek phrase ἄλλους δύο, ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐντεῦθεν is literally only “two others, there and there”, but the clause which follows, where it says “and Yahshua in the middle”, provides substantiation for the inference which we have made from John’s description. Where Matthew, Mark and Luke all give similar descriptions, the words for right and left are explicit.
We have just presented Matthew’s more elaborate description. Similarly, Luke states here: “33 And having come to a place called Golgotha, which is called ‘Place of the Skull’, 34 they gave to Him wine mixed with bitters to drink, and having tasted it He did not wish to drink. 35 Then crucifying Him they parted His garments casting lots, 36 and being seated watched Him there. 37 And they set His charge above His head, being written: ‘This is Yahshua the King of the Judaeans’.”
To that, Luke adds the following: “27 And there followed Him a great multitude of people and of women mourning and lamenting Him. 28 Then turning to them Yahshua said: ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children, 29 because behold, the days are coming in which they shall say ‘Blessed are the sterile and the wombs which have not brought forth and breasts which have not nursed!’ 30 Then they shall go on to say to the mountains ‘fall on us!’ and to the hills ‘cover us!’ 31 because if they do these things to the moist wood, what happens to the dry?’” This report evokes the words of Christ in His prophecy of the coming destruction of Jerusalem found in Matthew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 21.
Here we see a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:12 where it says “he was numbered with the transgressors”. The entire chapter is part of a much longer Messianic prophecy. I am going to repeat and discuss it here, in parts, because there are Jewish interpreters and their acolytes who have claimed that Isaiah chapter 53 is a prophecy about Jews, while employing rather ridiculous interpretations that defy the language of that and the surrounding passages. Isaiah chapter 53 is actually part of a long Messianic prophecy which spans several chapters of Isaiah.
At the beginning of Isaiah chapter 52 we read of a call for Zion to awaken, and a little further on it says in verse 7: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” There we also see a declaration that God is King. After that, there is an announcement of redemption and salvation for the people of God, and an admonition for them to depart and separate themselves from the unclean. The admonition to depart from the unclean upon publication of the Gospel is also paralleled in Matthew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 21, where Christ warns His disciples of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and He says “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.”
From there, at the end of Isaiah chapter 52 we read “12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. 13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” Paul of Tarsus cited this passage in reference to the gospel of Christ in Romans chapter 15 where he wrote “21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.”
Perhaps when it is read in isolation, taken out of context, this may be interpreted to represent the children of Israel collectively, however it is wrong to make such an attempt, because it is actually only introducing Christ Himself as a servant who is described in the subsequent text of chapter 53. The kings and nations who were going to be sprinkled, representing His cleansing and redemption of Israel, are the same kings and nations which were promised to come from the loins of Abraham in antiquity. That promise was far along the path to fulfillment even by the time of Isaiah. Paul of Tarsus had explained this in Acts chapter 26, in Romans chapter 4, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, and in Galatians chapter 4. The nations of Europe which had descended from the twelve tribes of Israel are the nations to whom Paul of Tarsus had brought the Gospel, to whom the other apostles had also referred.
So Isaiah 53 opens: “1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” As Christ told the Judaeans who opposed Him, in John chapter 10, “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” So we see that they did not believe Him because they were not of Israel, as Paul had explained in Romans chapter 9. But then in Romans chapter 10, Paul had cited this same passage along with Isaiah 52:7 in reference to the spread of the Gospel, which is the announcement of redemption and salvation to the lost sheep of Israel. These lost sheep are mentioned even here in this chapter of Isaiah, it is they alone for whom Christ had come, and they are described at greater length in Ezekiel chapter 34. Then, in Ezekiel chapter 35, we see a description of Esau taking the lands of Judah and Israel for himself, after Israel and Judah had been deported, and that is the real reason for the division among the Judaeans at the time of Christ: they were Edomites, and not His sheep.
Now, returning to Isaiah chapter 53, the servant mentioned earlier is described from verse 2: “2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” The stature and appearance of Christ were apparently those of a plain man, and not of a great warrior or king.
This cannot describe the children of Israel, who had already grown into many nations and who were taken into captivity by the Assyrians by the time that Isaiah wrote this prophecy. Nowhere in Scripture is the apostasy of Israel presented as an apostasy from Israel, but only as an apostasy from God. So in the promise of redemption in Isaiah chapter 52 we read: “3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.” This references the two captivities, the sojourn in Egypt and then the Assyrian captivity. This also cannot describe Jews, because the Jews were never in the Assyrian captivity. The Judaeans of the time of Christ were a mixture of Edomites and some of those who had returned from the later Babylonian captivity from about 520 to 458 BC, in the times of Zerubbabel, Nehemiah and Ezra.
Now continuing with Isaiah chapter 53, the plight of this servant and the reason for his plight are described: “4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” This proves that the subject of the prophecy, the servant, is not Israel collectively, but about a man who was condemned on behalf of Israel, a man who could only be the promised Messiah.
So Isaiah continues: “7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?” The Hebrew word dowr here, generation Strong’s # 1755, is better interpreted as lifespan, the time of His life. Continuing with the verse: “… for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” For the sins of Israel the Messiah had to sacrifice Himself. “9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” The fact that Yahshua was condemned without guilt, as Pilate had declared, but that He did not defend Himself against the charges, remaining silent in spite of them, clearly shows that He fulfilled this prophecy.
Now the rest of the passage seems on the surface to be a prophecy of reward for suffering, but it is actually a prophecy of resurrection, of life after death, and of ultimate vengeance against the enemy. From Isaiah 53:10: “10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul [or life] an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” This is a promise of redemption and resurrection, as it has already said that “he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death”. Furthermore, Christ had no earthly children of His own, however once it is realized that Yahshua Christ is God incarnate, then it may be understood that “He shall see His seed”, because they live on account of His sacrifice.
Verse 12 in the King James Version, based on the Masoretic Text, seems to be problematical: “12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” However while the translation may be debated, the same verse in the Septuagint, in a fair translation of the Greek by Brenton, reads: “12 Therefore he shall inherit many, and he shall divide the spoils of the mighty; because his soul was delivered to death: and he was numbered among the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and was delivered because of their iniquities.” This represents the coming day of vengeance which is also prophesied in many other places in Scripture.
The fact that it was the Messiah who was to be cut off on behalf of His people is more explicit in Daniel chapter 9. Because Daniel fully supports our interpretation of the fulfillment in Christ of Isaiah chapters 52 and 53, we shall also discuss that briefly. In Daniel chapter 9, the prophet is in captivity in Babylon shortly after Jerusalem was destroyed by the Chaldaeans, and he is praying for the restoration of the people of Israel. Early in the chapter he acknowledged the prophecy in Jeremiah which said that Jerusalem would be desolate for 70 years, and since Daniel is making this prayer after the Persians had defeated the Babylonians and had come to rule over the world of that time, which happened around 539 BC, Daniel knew that the 70 years were drawing to a close.
So at the end of the chapter Daniel describes a very specific answer which he had received from Yahweh, which told him that “24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” Those 70 weeks could not have been literal weeks, since it took much longer than that merely to rebuild the temple. The rebuilding of the temple began in 520 BC, and the second temple was completed in 516 BC. That ended the 70 years of desolation prophesied in Jeremiah. Later, Nehemiah came and rebuilt the walls around the site of the old city, from about 502 to 490 BC. In 490 the Persians became distracted with the Battle of Marathon and the resulting war with the Greeks. But the 70 weeks of the prophecy would not begin until “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem”, and not only the temple or the walls, and that did not happen until the time of Ezra, around 458 BC. Then we read in Daniel that from that time “unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks”, and apparently each week must represent a year, as it is stated elsewhere in the law and the prophets, and it was indeed approximately 69 weeks of years, 483 years, from the rebuilding of the city by Ezra until the beginning of the ministry of Christ.
Furthermore, while it does not explicitly say king, the word prince in the phrase "Messiah the prince" is the Hebrew word nagiyd, Strong’s # 5057, and the word was used as a title for a man who was appointed king over Israel, first of Saul where in the King James Version it is translated as captain in 1 Samuel chapters 9, 10 and 13, and then of David in 1 Samuel chapter 25 where the prophet told him that Yahweh had “appointed thee ruler over Israel”. It is used in that same sense frequently in later Scriptures, such as in 1 Kings chapter 14 referring to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So it should have been understood by the Judaeans that the Messiah would also be the ruler, or King, over Israel.
Now of course, the Jews may argue with this interpretation and think up a thousand different ones to try to counter it, but there is one thing which they will never get around, although they have tried incessantly, and that is the last two verses of Daniel chapter 9: “26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
The Messiah would be “cut off, but not for himself” because He was that same servant prophesied by Isaiah who would be “wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” He was cut off so that He could reconcile His people to Yahweh their God, as Paul had written in Ephesians chapter 2, “ 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”, or in Colossians chapter 1, “20… having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
The “people of the Prince” in Daniel 9:26 are the people of the same Prince called “Messiah the Prince” in verse 25. So Paul told the Roman Christians, in chapter 16 of his epistle, that “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly”, knowing what was going to happen from this very prophecy in Daniel. But in any event, if the Messiah did not come before Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome, then Daniel is a liar and the Jews, who are not even Israelites, might still expect a Messiah. But if the Jerusalem which was prophesied by Daniel and built by Ezra was destroyed by the Romans, then God is true and Yahshua Christ is God the Messiah. But the Jews killed Him because they are not His sheep, as He said to them in John chapter 8: “Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.”
Now here the Jews are truly exposed as devils, as those who killed the Messiah, and Christ is proven to be that Messiah. That is because they themselves freely admit that they no longer offer the sacrifices to Yahweh which were demanded in the Old Testament, because the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. So by that fact they admit that Christ is the Messiah even as they deny that Christ is the Messiah, and they have condemned themselves. Killing the Messiah, the Jews killed God, having committed Deicide. That is because Yahweh God Himself had said that He was the Messiah, although not in explicit language. So we read, among many other places in Isaiah, in Isiah chapter 47: “4 As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.” Then again, in Isaiah chapter 54: “5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Therefore, since the Jews have rejected Him and will always reject Him, so far as concerns the Jews all we await is the real holocaust, which Christ Himself has promised them. In Job, who was an early Israelite, we read: “25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” When that finally happens, there will be no more Jews, as all of His enemies will be destroyed.
Now, returning to John chapter 19:
19 Then Pilatos wrote an inscription and set it upon the cross, and it was written: “Yahshua the Nazoraian, the King of the Judaeans”. 20 Therefore many of the Judaeans read this inscription, because the place where they crucified Yahshua was near the city, and it was written in Hebrew in Roman, and in Greek.
There is a similar statement in Luke 23:58 which reads in the King James Version: “38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” However in the oldest manuscripts of Luke, the words “in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew” are wanting, and therefore we do not accept them as being original to that gospel. Both Matthew and Mark also mention the inscription, but neither of them elaborate on the languages in which it was written.
However here in John, the testimony that the inscription was written in Hebrew, Roman and Greek is found in all of the oldest surviving manuscripts, although the Codex Alexandrinus (A) and the Majority Text have the words in a different order, and the Codex Washingtonensis has an obvious error, where it reads “… in Hebrew, in Roman, and in Hebrew.” The word for Roman is translated as Latin in the King James Version.
Here where Pilate had written “Yahshua the Nazoraian [or perhaps, Nazarene], the King of the Judaeans”, he was once again mocking the Judaeans themselves, just as he had mocked them earlier where he asked them whether he should “release for you the King of the Judaeans?” and then when they rejected that, he asked “Shall I crucify your king?” Now, as John records it, it is evident that the Judaeans had realized that what he was doing had mocked them, and they appealed to him to change it:
21 Then the high priests of the Judaeans said to Pilatos: “Do not write ‘King of the Judaeans’, but that He said ‘I am King of the Judaeans’!” 22 Pilatos replied: “That which is written, is written!”
Pilate was indeed mocking them, and he refused to change his mind. Yet Pilate’s mockery became an indication of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, as Christ certainly was born to be king not only of the Israelites among the Judaeans, but of all Israel, which had long been scattered abroad. When Christ first encountered the men who would become His apostles, we see that they knew the significance of the expected Messiah, as Nathanael had attested, as it is recorded in John chapter 1, where he is speaking to Christ: “49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” Likewise, as it is recorded in Luke chapter 1: “30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Yahshua, took His garments and they made four parts, a part for each soldier, and the shirt. Now the shirt was seamless, woven altogether from the top.
Later, John cites a passage in Zechariah which is a prophecy concerning the crucifixion, or the piercing of the hands and feet of the Messiah. However this also fulfills the words of David in a Messianic prophecy in the 22nd Psalm where he wrote: “16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.”
The word for shirt here is χιτών, where the King James Version has coat. It is actually a tunic, the garment which was typically worn next to the skin. The word for garments which appears earlier in the verse is ἱμάτιον, and that described an outer garment, a cloak or a mantle, although the word was used in a more generic sense and could also sometimes describe a tunic.
Matthew describes the inscription after the parting of the garments, but that does not mean that it was not made in the order in which John describes here. But Matthew, and also Mark, state something which John and Luke each omit, where just before they had crucified Christ, “34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.” John, as well as Luke, only mention this later, as He is on the cross just before his death, however that does not mean that any of the accounts are inaccurate, as it certainly seems to have happened twice.
24 Therefore they said to one another: “We shouldn’t tear it, but we should cast lots for it, whose it shall be”, that the writing would be fulfilled [A, W and the MT insert “which says”; the text follows א and B]: “They divided My garments among themselves and cast lots for My clothing”. So therefore the soldiers did these things.
The other apostles record the casting of lots, but John’s description of this event is more complete. The text of Matthew at this point, which is at Matthew 27:34-35, has a long interpolation but adds nothing above what John has recorded here. However at this point in Luke we do see something which no other gospel has, where most translations of Luke 23:34 have something similar to the King James Version which reads: “34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” The Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C), and the Majority Text all contain that sentence. The subject is obviously the Roman soldiers who were assigned the task of the actual execution of Christ But the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codices Vaticanus (B), Bezae (D) and Washingtonensis (W) do not have that sentence, and therefore we must consider it to be an early interpolation made on behalf of the Roman soldiers. In our opinion, Luke 23:34 should read only “And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
We have already pointed out the fulfillment of Psalm 22:16 in the piercing of the hands and feet of Christ, which is a necessary aspect of death by crucifixion. Here we shall read a greater portion of that Psalm, because the act of parting the garments and casting lots for them fulfills another declaration in the Psalm. So although we must acknowledge that these words describe events which befell David in his own time, at the same time they prophesy of things which the Christ would suffer, as David was a type for the Messiah: “12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”
The last part of the Psalm declares the sovereignty of Yahweh God as King, and His power to preserve the life of His servant, so it is a prophecy of resurrection and the defeat of the enemy in resurrection, and ultimately, how God is glorified in that. Thus we read: “19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. 21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. 25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. 26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD:” This describes the children of Israel who were scattered to the ends of the earth. Next it describes the nations promised to come from Abraham: “and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations. 29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. 30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. 31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.”
Only Yahweh God is King, but the risen Christ as King is the manifestation of Yahweh in the physical world. That aspect of Old Testament prophecy, the Jews continue to resist and deny because they themselves prefer the rule of the devil, so they themselves preferred the rule of Caesar, rather than of God.
25 Now there stood by the cross of Yahshua [W wants “of Yahshua”] His mother and the sister of His mother, Maria [א has “Mariam”] the wife of Klopas and Maria [א has “Mariam”] the Magdalene.
Some interpreters claim that “Maria the wife of Klopas”, or as the King James Version spells it, Cleophas, was the mother of James the less and Joses, who is also mentioned in the corresponding account in Mark chapter 15. However James and Joses are the brethren of Christ, as we read of Christ in Matthew chapter 13, “55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” That passage is corroborated in Mark chapter 6, so in Mark 15 the apostle is certainly referring to that same Mary who is also the mother of Christ, as John is here.
But there is a Kleopas, or Cleopas, who is named in Luke chapter 24 as one of the two disciples who encountered the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus, and this seems to be a reference to his wife. However the words the wife are a conjecture, and are only inferred by the text, which is “Maria of Klopas”, and while the reading is the most probable it may have been the daughter of Klopas.
We read in Mark chapter 15: “40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.” This Salome was evidently a half-sister of Christ, and in Mark 6:3 it is attested that Christ had at least two half-sisters. Likewise, in Matthew chapter 27: “55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.”
The mother of Zebedee’s children would be the mother of this John, our apostle and author of this gospel, who in the next verse did not mention himself by name:
26 Then Yahshua seeing the mother and that student which He loved standing near, He says to the [A and the MT have “His”; the text follows P66, א, B and W] mother: “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He says to the student: “Behold your mother!” And from that hour the student took her into his own affairs.
So Yahshua, who was of course Mary’s eldest son, had committed his mother into the hands of John, his most-beloved disciple, in spite of having had half-brothers, James and Joses and Simon and Jude. Two of those brothers were apostles themselves, James the son of Alphaeus and his brother Jude, and they would go on to write epistles which were included in our Scriptures. However for what ever reason they were not considered here, we may never know… except for the writings to which John refers.
28 With this, Yahshua seeing that He had already [W wants “already”] finished all things, in order that the writing would be completed [א has “fulfilled”; P66 wants the clause “in order that the writing would be completed], He says: “I thirst!” 29 [א inserts “Then”, the MT “Therefore”; the text follows A, B and W] A vessel full of vinegar sat there. Therefore they brought to His mouth a sponge full of vinegar wrapped in hyssop.
The Codex Alexandrinus (A) and the Majority Text have the last sentence of verse 29 to read “Then they filled a sponge with vinegar and they wrapped it in hyssop, they brought it to His mouth.” The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P66, and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Washingtonensis (W).
According to the large 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon, Pliny the elder in his Natural History (14.109) mentions a wine prepared with hyssop, which is also mentioned by Dioscorides the physician in de Materia Medica (5:40). This hyssop seems to be Hyssopus officinalis, a European mint with aromatic and pungent leaves. It is native to Southern Europe and the Middle East, and seems also to have been used as anti-bacterial ointment, for example in Numbers chapter 19, or in the 51st Psalm where it says “7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
30 Then when He received the vinegar Yahshua [א has “He”] said “It is finished!” And turning the head He surrendered the Spirit.
In verse 28 above, John already implied that Christ, by declaring “It is finshed”, had meant that He had fulfilled all of the writings concerning the coming of the Messiah and the things which He would suffer. But this event also fulfilled another Messianic prophecy, which is found in the 69th Psalm, and which reads in part: “16 Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. 17 And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. 18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies. 19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. 20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Here we see the fulfillment of this prophecy in Christ.
But perhaps there was another reason why Christ had committed His mother to John, and with that we can explain why Mary was not committed to her own sons, the half-brethren of Christ, because earlier in that same Psalm we read: “6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. 7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. 8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. 9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.”
Evidently James and Jude did not stand by Christ through His trials and crucifixion, and as He Himself said, as it is recorded in John chapter 16, “32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” So in this Psalm, a Messianic prophecy, we read “8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.” Then Christ committed his mother to the disciple who did stand by Him. Perhaps John worded his account in this manner so that we may make that realization.
The 69th Psalm was cited twice by Paul of Tarsus in his epistles. Verse 9 is quoted in Romans 15:3 where Paul wrote “3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” Then from verse 22, which we did not present here, there are curses against His enemies which begin with the admonition “Let their table become a snare before them…”, which Paul refers to in part where he wrote in Romans chapter 11 “9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” Paul was praying for the true Israelites in Judaea, and distinguished them from the Edomites, who were not of Israel, as he explained in Romans chapter 9.
Because those Edomites never accepted Christ, they prove for themselves to be accursed by God, and for that the Scripture promises that they shall ultimately be destroyed. The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD proves that Christ is indeed the Messiah which was expected by Daniel, but it also proves that the disbelieving Judaeans, today’s Jews, are the Satan as it is described by Paul, in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 where he wrote, in part: “3 You should not be deceived by anyone, in any way, because if apostasy had not come first, and the man of lawlessness been revealed; the son of destruction, 4 he who is opposing and exalting himself above everything said to be a god or an object of worship, and so he is seated in the temple of Yahweh, representing himself that he is a god. 5 Do you not remember that, yet being with you I had told these things to you? 6 And you know that which now prevails, for him to be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already operating, he prevailing only presently, until he should be out of the way, 8 and then will the lawless be revealed, whom Prince Yahshua will destroy with the breath of His mouth, and abolish at the manifestation of His presence. 9 Whose presence is in accordance with the operation of the Adversary in all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and in every trick of unrighteousness in those who are perishing, because they accepted not the love of the truth, for them to be preserved. ”
So the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, satan professing for himself to be god, was revealed with the Jewish Murder of the Messiah of Israel. The Jews are living devils who have gone so far as to kill God Incarnate, and ever since then have they operated in a manner exactly as Paul has described. They continue in that same pattern to this very day. They often boast that they would kill Him again, as they continue to persecute the true Israel of God in Christ.