The Epilogue

13. Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. 26:1-28:20

ix] Jesus' humiliation and passion


Matthew's narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus has three parts to it: The mockery of Jesus by the Roman soldiers, v27-31; The hostility of the churchmen along with the silent suffering of the servant of the Lord, v32-44; The significance of that suffering and the climactic choice facing those who witness it, v45-56.


"Messiah has accomplished his mission and the salvation of the world is attained", Cox.


i] Context: See 26:1-16.


ii] Structure: Jesus' humiliation and passion:

The mockery of the Roman soldiers, v27-31;

The crucifixion, v32-37;

The two men crucified with Jesus, v38;

The mocking of Jesus, v39-44;

Darkness covers the land, v45;

Jesus' dying words, v46-50;

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

The strange events accompanying Jesus' death, v51-53;

The confession of the soldiers, v54;

The women watch at a distance, v55-56.


iii] Interpretation:

Matthew's account of the crucifixion proper, v32-56, is simple and to the point. We are told of Simon carrying the cross, the offer of wine, the division of Jesus' clothing, the placement of the sign, the abuse directed at Jesus, the two "robbers" crucified with Jesus, Jesus' last words, the offer of vinegar and the strange happenings which followed Jesus' death. The simplicity of the account is particularly evident in the climactic death of Jesus; "then Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and breathed his last", v50. John tells us that Jesus uttered the word tetelestai, "it has been completed." Certainly for John, this utterance is a cry of triumph.

France well sums up Matthew's message: "Matthew expects his readers to catch the ironical truth of the honors heaped upon Jesus in jest and mockery; even in a setting of public humiliation and torture this really is the king of the Jews, the temple builder, the Savior, the Son of God. And while the uncomprehending bystanders mock, Jesus' chilling cry of abandonment, followed by the drama of the earthquake, the tearing of the temple curtain, and the restoration to life of the pious dead, will tell all who are willing to hear that something of profound and world-changing significance is taking place there in the darkness, so that eventually even the hard-bitten soldiers who so recently had knelt in derision before the disgraced king of the Jews can now see that this man really was God's son"


iv] Synoptics:

For Matthew, the mockery of Jesus, v27-31, is an important event, illustrating the suffering of the servant King. John mentions the mocking in passing, Luke only refers to Jesus' mockery before king Herod, while Mark's narrative account is much shorter. Matthew's account, on the other hand, has a more theologically nuanced mockery by the Jewish authorities and detached bystanders. D&A argue that Matthew has used Mark 15:16-20, although they concede a "slight influence from oral tradition is possible." For the crucifixion, v32-56, Mark is usually regarded as the source. Only a few verses in Matthew find no parallel in Mark, v36, 43, 51b-3, all of which may well reflect his source (oral??) rather than be the result of redaction (editorial license!). Note that Matthew's quote in v46 of Psalm 22:1 is closer to the Hebrew / Aramaic text than Mark, evidencing his knowledge of Hebrew.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 27:27

The final conflict: i] The mockery of the Roman soldiers, v27-31. First, the soldiers denigrate Jesus as a mock king, and then he is adorned with a soldier's scarlet cape serving as a robe (Mark has "purple", but the colors are similar), and a palm frond as a crown (the spikes are probably pointing outward, or upward, ie., torture is not necessarily the intention). They spat on Jesus and punched him repeatedly (the verb etupton, "to strike", is imperfect expressing repeated action). With the fun over, Jesus is given back his outer cloak and taken away for crucifixion.

tote adv. "then" - This temporal adverb is used to indicate a step in the narrative.

tou hJgemonoV (wn oV) gen. "governor's [soldiers]" - [the soldiers] of the governor. The genitive is adjectival, possessive.

paralabonteV (paralambanw) aor. part. "took [Jesus]" - having taken [jesus]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "gathered together."

to praitwrion (on) "the Praetorium" - [into] the praetorium. The governor's residence, probably Herod's palace.

speiran (a) "company of soldiers" - [gathered around him entire] cohort. The tenth part of a legion. Normally relating to a company of 600 men, but sometimes to a smaller group of around 200.

ep (epi) + acc. "around [him]" - Probably spacial, "around, before, etc.", but possibly expressing opposition, "against him."


ekdousanteV (ekduw) aor. part. "they stripped [him]" - [and] having taken off = stripped [him]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "they put around", as NIV. A variant exists, "having put on", possibly indicating that his undergarments were put back on him after the scourging in v26 and that the "robe", most likely an officer's cloak, was put on over the undergarments, while his outer garment was put back on after the soldiers took off the purple cloak, v31. All guesswork, of course.

autw/ dat. pro. "[put a scarlet robe on] him" - [they place around] him [a scarlet robe]. Dative of direct object after the peri prefix verb "to place around."


plexanteV (plekw) aor. part. "then twisted together" - [and] having woven, platted around. Again the participle is attendant on the main verb "they place", although usually treated as forming a temporal clause, "when they had platted."

stefanon (oV) "a crown" - wreath. Accusative direct object of the verb "to weave." A festive garland used by the elite on special occasions. The thorns may not have been pressed into Jesus' head, as mockery was the point of the exercise, not torture. "Made a crown out of thorny branches", TEV.

ex (ek) + gen. "of [thorns]" - Expressing source / origin; "a crown made out of / from thorns."

epi + gen. "on [his head]" - [they placed] upon [the head of him, and a staff in the right hand of him]. Spacial; "upon".

gonupethsanteV (gonupetew) aor. part. "knelt" - [and] having knelt. Attendant circumstance participle, attendant on the verb "they mocked / ridiculed"; "they knelt .... and mocked him."

emprosqen + gen. "in front of [him]" - before him. Spacial.

autw/ dat. pro. "[mocked] him" - [they ridiculed] him [saying]. Dative of direct object after the en prefix verb "to ridicule."

caire (cairw) imp. "hail" - rejoice. A mocking "Ave Caesar"; "Hail, Your Majesty", Phillips.

twn Ioudaiwn gen. adj. "[king] of the Jews" - The adjective serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, idiomatic / subordination; "king over the Jews."

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "they said" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to ridicule", "they mocked him and said", although it may be classified as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of the ridicule; "in saying ....." Olmstead suggests that it is instrumental, expressing means, "by saying ......."


emptusanteV (emptuw) aor. part. "they spit [on him]" - [and] having spat [to him]. Attendant circumstance participle, attendant on / expressing action accompanying the verbs "they took ..... and were striking."

etupton (tuptw) imperf. "struck" - [they took the staff and] were striking [to the head of him]. Imperfect, being durative, possibly indicates repetition, "they repeatedly struck him", Weymouth, but certainly to indicate a process. Again, probably not with violence, but rather in fun, so "beat him", REB, CEV, is going a bit far. It was possibly done as an expression of mock honor.


o{te + ind. "after" - Introducing a temporal clause, as NIV.

autw/ dat. pro. "[they had mocked] him" - Dative of direct object after the en prefix verb "to ridicule."

eiV to + inf. "to [crucify him]" - This construction usually forms a final adverbial clause expressing purpose; "in order to crucify [him]."


ii] The crucifixion, v32-37. Matthew does not dwell on the violence of the crucifixion, but rather the mockery of Jesus and how it illustrates his true person - King of the Jews, Son of God, King of Israel. The site of the crucifixion is possibly that of the church of the Holy Sepulcher just outside the Herodian city wall. Jesus carries his own cross member (the upright post is permanently in place) to Golgotha, but can't make the distance and so Simon of Cyrene (North Africa) is conscripted to carry it the rest of the way. Of the crucifixion itself, Cicero called it "the most cruel and the most horrible torture." The wine and gall (myrrh) was served as a sedative, but Jesus refused it, probably so he can keep his wits about him. Note how the language of these verses follows Psalm 22. The presence of the guards serves to stop any rescue attempt and as was their right, they get to keep the remaining possessions of the executed prisoners. The charge against Jesus serves to deter any others with liberation on their mind. Placing it "above his head" indicates the crucifixion is on a cross.

exercomenoi (exercomai) pres. part. "as they were going out" - [and] coming out [they found a man]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal. Coming out of where? Possibly, "on their way out of the city", Phillips.

onomati (a atoV) dat. "named [Simon]" - [a cyrenian] by name [simon]. Dative of reference / respect; lit., "a man from Cyrene, with respect to his name, Simon."

hggareusan (aggareuw) aor. "they forced" - [this man] they pressed into service. The word is used of compelling a person to undertake public service.

iJna + subj. "to [carry]" - that [he might carry the cross of him]. Taking hggareusan with the sense "they ordered, commanded", this construction introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech, expressing what the soldiers compelled the man to do; "they commanded that he carry his (Jesus') cross." Olmstead suggests that it is adverbial, final, expressing purpose, "in order that ......"


elqonteV (ercomai) aor. part. "they came" - [and] having come [to]. Attendant circumstance participle, attendant on / expressing action accompanying the verb "they gave", v34, but possibly better adverbial, expressed as a temporal clause, "when they came to the place called Golgotha."

topoV "place" - Note, no mention of a hill! The "place" is actually unknown.

legomenon (legw) pres. pas. part. "called [Golgotha]" - being called [golgotha]. As with legomenoV, "which means / translated means", the participle is adjectival, attributive; "to a place which is called."

kraniou (oV) gen. "[which means the place] of the skull. [which is being called place] of skull. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / identification; "which translated means the place known as the skull", possibly, "which resembles a skull." Matthew does not normally translate local place names, but obviously at this point he wants to emphasize the dread of the crucifixion.


autw/ dat. "[they offered] Jesus" - [they gave] to him. Dative of indirect object; "they gave wine to Jesus."

pein (pinw) aor. inf. "to drink" - to drink [wine]. The infinitive is probably best treated as the complement of the object "wine"; "they gave him wine to drink." Olmstead suggests that it is adverbial, final, expressing purpose, "in order to drink." "They gave him a drink of wine", Moffatt.

memigmenon (mignumi) perf. pas. part. "mixed" - having been mingled, mixed. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "wine"; "which had been mixed."

meta + gen. "with" - Expressing accompaniment.

colhV (h) "gall" - Gall, meaning "bitter", so "wine with gall" may just mean "bitter wine" = "dregs", therefore given in fun, or the "gall" may refer to the bitterness of a narcotic herb, so "drugged wine."

geusamenoV (geuomai) aor. part. "after tasting" - having tasted. The participle is adverbial, probably temporal; "when/after he tasted it."

piein (pinw) aor. inf. "[he refused] to drink it" - [he did not wish] to drink. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the negated verb "he did not wish."


staurwsanteV (staurow) aor. part. "when they had crucified" - [but/and] having crucified [him]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as introducing a temporal clause. The brevity of Matthew's description of the crucifixion is interesting.

diemerisanto (diamerizw) aor. "they divided up" - they divided [they divided the garments of him]. "They shared out", Phillips. The soldiers may have left Jesus with the loin cloth, although some commentators argue that the removal of all clothing is in accord with Jewish custom.

ballonteV (ballw) pres. part. "casting [lots]" - throwing [a lot]. The participle is adverbial, probably instrumental, "by means of casting lots". "They shared out his clothing with the throw of the dice."


kaqhmenoi (kaqhmai) pres. part. "sitting down" - [and] sitting. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "they guarded", "they sat down and guarded him there", but possibly temporal, so Quarles, "then they sat down", ESV.

ethroun (threw) imperf. "they kept watch over" - they guarded [him there]. The soldiers guarded the prisoners to make sure that no one could attempt a rescue.


apanw + gen. "above [his head]" - [and they placed] above [the head of him]. Spacial; "above, over, .."

gegrammenhn (grafw) perf. pas. part. "written" - [the cause = charge of him] having been written. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "charge"; "the charge which had been written."

thn aitian (a) "the [written] charge" - the cause. It was common practice to place a copy of the charge against the criminal, along with their name, on the execution stake, or around their neck. So, Jesus is named, along with his rejected claim to kingship. The religious authorities were correct in wanting the charge changed to "he claimed" ("this is Jesus who claimed to be the king of the Jews"), but Pilate had obviously had enough of the whole business and let the prophetic typo remain. "A written copy of the charge against him", Barclay.

autou gen. pro. "against him" - of him. The genitive is adjectival, verbal, objective; "the charge which had been brought against him", Cassirer.

twn Ioudaiwn adj. "[king] of the Jews" - [this is jesus the king] of the jews. The adjective serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, idiomatic / of subordination; "king over the Jews."


iii] The two men crucified with Jesus. The "robbers" are probably political revolutionaries, cf. Jn.18:40. So, Jesus was truly "numbered with the transgressors."

tote adv. "-" - then. Temporal adverb, indicating a step in the narrative; "Then two robbers were crucified with him", ESV.

lh/stai (hV ou) "robbers" - [were crucified with him two] thieves, ........ Commonly a "brigand/bandit", but may also be used of a "revolutionary." It seems more likely that they were insurgents operating against the occupying forces of Rome rather than just mere bandits.

sun + dat. "with [him]" - Expressing accompaniment.

ek + gen. "[one] on [his right]" - [one] on [right [and one] on [left]. Here technically expressing separation, but used idiomatically with a spacial sense; "at the right side."


iv] The ridicule of those who passed by - the chief priests, scribes and elders, and even the two robbers mock Jesus, v39-44. The psalmist cries out to God in the face of mocking and here we see Israel mock the true "Son of God", Ps.22:7. The full weight of religious Judaism joins in the ridiculing of Jesus. "If the just man is God's son, God will stretch out a hand to him and save him from the clutches of his enemies", Wis.2:10-20. Of course, the Father will care for his Son, but the eyes of unbelief will not see it. Even the criminals join in, although Luke tells us that one didn't.

oi paraporeuomenoi (paraporeuomai) pres. part. "those who passed by" - [and] the ones passing alongside. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to blaspheme." The word seems to apply to casual onlookers who happened on the crucifixion, and even they hurl abuse.

eblasfhmoun (blasfhmew) imperf. "hurled insults [at him]" - blasphemed, abused [him]. The imperfect, being durative, indicates ongoing action; "poured abuse upon him", Cassirer.

kinounteV (kinew) part. "shaking [their heads]" - nodding, moving, shaking [the heads of them]. The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of their passing by; "wagging their heads", REB; "tossing", Barclay. The participle serves to emphasize their derision.


legonteV (legw) pres. part. "saying" - The participle stands with "shaking" and so is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of their hurling abuse, although Olmstead classifies it as instrumental, means, "by ....."

oJ kataluwn (kataluw) pres. part. "you who are going to destroy [the temple]" - the one destroying [the temple]. The participle serves as a substantive, possibly vocative.

en + dat. "in [three days]" - Temporal use of the prepositon.

oikodomwn (oikodomew) pres. part. "build" - building. The article oJ applies; the participle serves as a substantive. The present tense may be futuristic, "will build", or possible conative (tendential) where the action is being contemplated, or proposed; "and think you are able to rebuild it in three days."

apo + gen. "[come down] from [the cross]" - Expressing separation; "away from."

ei + ind. "if" - if, as is the case, [you are son of god] then [come down from the cross]. Introducing a conditional clause, 1st. class, where the proposed condition is assumed true, here for the sake of argument; "if, as is the case for argument sake, ...... then ......." "If you reckon you're the son of God, hop down from the cross."

uiJoV "the Son" - son. Predicate nominative. Here we have an example of Colwell's Rule where a definite predicate noun that precedes the verb usually lacks the article. Therefore, it is not translated "a son", but "the Son."

tou qeou (oV) gen. "of God" - The genitive is adjectival, relational, although the phrase "Son of God" serves as a messianic title; see 8:20.


oJmoiwV adv. "in the same way" - likewise. Comparative adverb; "in like manner." "So to", Moffatt; "also made fun of Jesus", CEV.

kai "-" - and. Adjunctive; "also".

meta + gen. "-" - [the chief priests] with [the scribes and elders]. Expressing association.

empaizonteV (empaizw) pres. part. "mocked" - mocking [said]. Technically an attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the imperfect verb "were saying", "..... mocked ....... and said"; "mocked him saying", ESV. In English the words are best combined; "the chief priests too joined in the mockery with the experts in the Law and the elders", Barclay. It is interesting that the religious authorities should be present along with the rabble. Carson suggests that "they do not address Jesus directly but speak of him in the third person, in a stage whisper meant for his ears." Given that their words are recorded it seems more likely that they addressed the onlookers, giving support to their taunts.


swsai (swzw) aor. inf. "[he can't] save" - [he saved others but himself he is not able] to save. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the negated verb "is not able." The tense indicates a single event is in mind, ie., getting off the cross. Even Jesus' accusers underline his primary claim, namely that of savior, but fail to recognize the saving significance of his suffering.

basileuV (euV ewV) "[he is] the King [of Israel]" - Predicate nominative, emphatic by position; note that Colwell's rule applies. The genitive "of Israel" is adjectival, idiomatic / subordination, "King over Israel." Said with tongue in cheek, but the joke is on the authorities, not Jesus; Matthew is again poking the cocky! Williams adds "is he?" to underline the cynicism.

katabatw (katabainw) imp. "let him come down" - let come down [now from the cross and]. Again, the authorities look for a miracle to authenticate Jesus' claims, but as Jesus once noted, even if someone were to rise from the dead they still wouldn't believe.

ep (epi) + acc. "[we will believe] in [him]" - Local, but here expressing movement toward; used in the sense of placing one's trust upon / on someone, of resting in faith upon someone.


These words are only found in Matthew's gospel and seem to allude to Psalm 22:8

pepoiqen (peiqw) "he trusts" - he has trusted [in god]. A stative verb that is read as present tense; "he puts his trust upon (epi) God." "He believes God will take care of him", TH.

ei + ind. "if" - if, as is the case for argument sake, [he wants him] then [let him rescue him now]. Introducing a conditional clause, 1st class, where the proposed condition is assumed to be true for argument sake.

gar "for [he said]" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why God would, for argument sake, rescue Jesus, namely, because of / on the basis of Jesus' claim."

oJti "-" - that [i am son of god]. Introducing an object clause / dependents statement, direct speech. The religious authorities obviously hold that Jesus has claimed divine sonship, probably in messianic terms, rather than a divine father/son relationship. Yet, if he were the messiah, would not divine protection spare him from suffering? Not if he were the suffering servant, which reality they have failed to comprehend.


oiJ saustaurwqenteV (sustaurow) aor. pas. part. "who were crucified [with him]" - [and the same also the thieves] having been crucified with. The participle is best treated as an attributive adjective limiting robbers, as NIV, although it could be treated as a substantive standing in apposition to robbers; "the robbers, those who were crucified with Jesus, also reviled him."

sun + dat. "with [him]" - Expressing accompaniment / association. A redundant use of the preposition given the sun prefix verb "to crucify with", but idiomatic Koine Gk.

wneidizon (oneidizw) pl. imperf. "[the robbers] ... heaped insults" - were reproaching, upbraiding [him]. "Hurled abuse", Phillips. Turner suggests that the plural here is an example of a plural used for a singular. Luke has only one of the robbers abusing Jesus.


v] Darkness covers the land, v45. Mark tells us that the crucifixion began at the third hour, 9am. Matthew now tells us that at the sixth hour, noon, darkness covered the land. This event continues the Exodus imagery - the darkness over Egypt as a sign of judgement. This event is probably a dust storm, certainly not an eclipse. The darkness continues until Jesus' death at the ninth hour, 3pm, cf., Amos 8:9.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative; "Now from the sixth hour", ESV.

apo + gen. "from" - Temporal use of the preposition.

ekthV (oV) "the sixth hour / noon" - "At noon ....... which lasted for three hours", TEV.

e{wV + gen. "until [three in the afternoon]" - until [the ninth hour]. Temporal use of the preposition.

skotoV egeneto "darkness came" - darkness became. Popularly seen as an eclipse, but no eclipse lasts three hours. Possibly a dust storm. "It is an omen of divine displeasure or judgment, a sign of cosmic significance and a token of Nature's sympathy and mourning, and it makes Jesus resemble other famous men .... whose deaths induced supernatural dusk", Davies & Allison. "At midday the sky turned dark", CEV.

epi + acc. "over" - Spacial; "upon".

thn ghn (h) "the land" - the earth. "From noon to three the whole earth was dark", Peterson.


vi] Jesus' dying words, v46-50. Jesus' cry to the Father in the words of Psalm 22:1, expresses the alienation experienced by him. He is now the rejected one, the cursed one. His death as a "ransom for many", 20:28, well explains the depth of his experience. The crowd wonders - will Elijah come and inaugurate the kingdom? One individual even acts in kindness and gives Jesus a drink, while others tell him not to interfere. Finally, Jesus breaths his last with a loud cry - John tells us that he cried "it is finished."

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative; "now".

peri + acc. "About" - about [the ninth hour]. Temporal use of the preposition; "about / around".

anebohsen (anaboaw) aor. "[Jesus] cried out" - cried. The prefix serves to intensify the action of crying out. Often treated as a cry of anguish, of suffering which "previews the persecution of the church", Gundry.

fwnh/ megalh/ "in a loud voice" - The dative is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of his cry; "with a loud voice."

legwn (legw) pres. part. "-" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle, redundant, expressing action accompanying the verb "cried out"; "cried out and said."

hli hli "Eloi Eloi" - eli eli [lema sabachthani]. Interestingly Matthew quotes Hebrew whereas Mark quotes Aramaic elwi elwi, although see Nolland p1206.

tout estin "which means" - that is. Mark has the fuller oJ estin meqermhneuomenon, "which is translated." "Which being translated means."

qee "God" - god [of me]. An imperative form of "God", rather than Mark's more normal oJ qeoV.

egkatelipeV (egkataleipw) aor. "[why] have you forsaken [me]" - abandoned, deserted. Jesus is possibly not abandoned by God, but rather he feels it. That the messiah should feel a sense of abandonment in the face of the rejection of his piers is not unreasonable. Yet, something more seems to be indicated by these words. As Habakkuk declares of Yahweh, "your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing", Hab.1:13, so it is possible that Jesus' suffering on the cross is related to the weight of human sin and its consequence, namely, separation from God. Although sensing this separation from the Father, Jesus does not "curse" God, he does not turn his face away from God, rather he responds, "my God, my God." Jesus' words are a faith response, not the response of a rebel. None-the-less, Matthew may simply intend us to see these words in the context of Psalm 22. Abandonment by God is related to covenant rebellion, yet when a covenant compliant person (either by faith, or in Jesus' case, deed) faces suffering they naturally respond with the question, "why have you abandoned me [given that I am covenant compliant / righteous]?" The answer is that the abandonment is superficial / temporary,for God keeps his promises - the righteous will live. The epistles exegete the truth of the cross for us, but even so, while we live in this shadow-land the cross will always be shrouded in mystery.


de "-" - but/and. Transitional, "now".

twn .... eJsthkotwn (iJsthmi) gen. perf. part. "[some] of those standing [there]" - [some] of the ones having stood [there]. The participle serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, partitive; "The bystanders", NRSV.

akousanteV (akouw) perf. part. "when ..... heard" - having listened. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV; "some of the bystanders, when they heard this, said ....."

oJti "-" - [said] that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement, direct speech, expressing what they said.

ou|toV "he's" - this one. Nominative subject of the verb "to call out." This use of the pronoun is usually regarded as contemptuous, lacking respect.

fwnei (fwnew) pres. "calling" - calls, shouts. "Calls out to Elijah for help."

Hlian (aV ou) "Elijah" - for elijah. Accusative direct object of the verb "to call out." The crowd knew well that Elijah had been translated so he may come to Jesus' aid, although it is probably said mockingly. Of course, in recording the words, Matthew has already revealed that Elijah has come in and through the ministry of John the Baptist, so believers have the last laugh.


euqewV adv. "immediately" - Matthew is underling haste in the person's actions' ; "quickly ran to get a sponge", NJB.

ex (ek) + gen. "[one] of [them]" - Here the preposition stands in for a partitive genitive.

dramwn (trecw) aor. part. "ran" - running. The participle, as with "having taken [a sponge]", "having filled [with vinegar]" and "having placed [on a stick]", is attendant circumstance expressing action accompanying the main verb "he gave to drink"; "one of them ran, took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, put it on a stick and gave it to him to drink."

oxouV (oV) gen. "wine vinegar" - [and having taken a sponge and having filled] of sour wine. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / content; "filled it full of sour wine." "Cheap wine" used by soldiers and laborers, TEV.

kalamw/ (oV) dat. "[put it on] a staff" - [having placed upon] a reed, stick. Dative of direct object after the peri prefix verb "to place upon." The word can mean "reed", as of a reed of grass, but extends to "a rod", so "staff", NIV.

epotizen (potizw) imperf. "offered it" - he gave a drink, he gave to drink [him]. The durative aspect of the imperfect may imply some force, or is simply expressing tendential / attempted action; "tried to make him drink it", TEV.


de "-" - but/and. Best handled here as an adversative; "but the others said", ESV.

oiJ ... loipoi adj. "the rest" - the others [said]. The adjective serves as a substantive.

afeV (afihmi) aor. imp. "leave him alone" - allow, permit, leave [him alone]. The singular would indicate that the imperative is addressed by the onlookers to the person trying to give Jesus a drink. They don't want him to interfere; there is always the possibility that Elijah will intervene. On the other hand, Moulton argues that a 1st person imperative is often formed by afeV + a subjunctive, thus the injunction would be "let us see", REB, rather than "stop, let us see", Moffatt; "wait, let us see", Williams.

idwmen (eidon) aor. subj. "let's see" - See Moulton's suggestion above. Otherwise, a hortatory subjunctive, typically 1st person plural = "let us ...." So, at least one person wanted to help Jesus.

ei "if" - if [elijah comes]. Here serving to introduce an interrogative object clause, indirect question; "let us see whether Elijah will come."

swswn (swzw) fut. part. "to save [him]" - saving [him]. The participle is adverbial, final, expressing purpose. This is particularly indicated by the future tense. A simple "will come and save him", CEV, makes the point.


de "and" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative. Matthew is contrasting the onlookers with Jesus.

kraxaV (krazw) aor. part. "when [Jesus] had cried out [again]" - [jesus] having cried out [again]. The participle is adverbial, probably best treated as temporal, as NIV.. Was the shout "it is finished", a cry of victory, or at least of accomplishment, cf. Jn.19:30?

qwnh/ megalh/ dat. "in a loud voice" - The dative is adverbial, modal, expressing manner; "with a loud voice."

afhken (afihmi) aor. "he gave up" - abandoned, left, gave up. The sense is that Jesus was in charge of the moment of his death. Note that the word "death" is not used as though it would be an improper description of what was happening to Jesus. The other gospel writers are similarly cautious with their language. Jesus did die, they make that clear, but they use other words for his dying breath.

to pneuma (a atoV) "his spirit" - the spirit. Not the Holy Spirit, rather the spirit of life, so "breathed his last", TEV


vii] The strange events that accompany Jesus' death, v51-53. In a symbol of God's judgement, an earthquake (e.g. Joel 3:16) accompanies Jesus' death. The ripping of the curtain before the Holy of Holies carries both a symbol of judgement upon Israel and a provision of access into the presence of God. Even the graves of the dead are shaken with apparitions of the resurrection in the last day.

kai idou "At that moment" - and behold, look. A dramatic comment used to underline what follows, so "take note of this"

tou naou (oV) gen. "[the curtain] of the temple" - The genitive is adjectival, possessive, or attributive, "the temple curtain", Olmstead, or partitive, "the curtain of the temple", Culy.

escisqh (scizw) aor. pas. "was torn" - was torn, split, rent, divided. Presumably the curtain hiding the holy of holies is the one Matthew is referring to. It's tearing probably illustrates the open access that now exists into the presence of God through Christ's sacrifice, but may also be symbolic of judgment on Israel and its religious institutions.

eiV + acc. "in [two]" - [from above to below] into [two]. Spacial; the curtain was torn into two pieces. Possibly result, so Olmstead, where the curtain is torn from top to bottom and as a result ends up in two parts, BDAG 490.4.e.

ap (apo) "-" - from [from above]. The preposition used with the adverb anwqen, "from above", is unnecessary, ie., a pleonasm.

e{wV "to [bottom]" - Spacial; "as far as."

eseisqh (seiw) aor. pas. "shook" - [and the earth] was shaken [and the rocks split]. Divine passive indicating the agent of the action is God. Matthew is describing an earthquake, a not uncommon feature for a country straddling the rift valley. Earthquakes are always viewed as an important apocalyptic portent, eg., Jer.10:10.


Davies & Allison explain the preemptive resurrection of the dead in these words: "Jesus death is a resurrecting death: the dead are revived by his dying. As he passes from life to death they pass from death to life." We possibly have an apparition - a shadowy image of the coming day of resurrection, a collision of the now and not yet.

twn kekoimhmenwn (koimaw) perf. pas. part. "[holy people] who had died" - [and the tombs were opened and many bodies of the holy] the ones having fallen asleep. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "holy people / saints", as NIV. Again the euphemism of sleep is used for death, given that resurrection awaits the righteous.

hgerqhsan (egeirw) aor. pas. "were raised to life" - were raised, lifted up. Above ground or rock tombs would certainly suffer in an earthquake and be broken open, but what is Matthew describing when he says "those holy ones having fallen asleep were raised"? Most translators supply the object "to life" and this is certainly a reasonable assumption, but is this a resurrection to life in terms of the promised resurrection of the dead? Moffatt has "rose up", and although active, leaves the form of this rising undefined. Apparitions, as described in v53, probably indicate that this "rising to life" is but prefiguring the resurrection in the last day and is not a resurrection in the fullest sense. Such shaking of time further illustrates the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection.


exelqonteV (ercomai) aor. part. "they came out of" - [and] having gone out [from the tombs]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "they entered." Possibly adverbial, consecutive, expressing result, "with the result that they came out of ...", or modal, expressing the manner of their rising, "they rose up, leaving their graves."

meta + acc. "after [Jesus' resurrection]" - after [the raising of him]. Temporal use of the preposition. This phrase is rather awkward. Is Matthew saying that having broken the bonds of the grave it was only after the resurrection of the Jesus that the apparitions entered the city and appeared to the populous, or is he saying that both the rising and appearing of the apparitions took place after Jesus' resurrection? Although there is strong textual support for the phrase, Davies & Allison treat it as secondary - an attempt to correct an assumed sequential problem, namely the dead rising before Jesus rises. Other commentators (eg., Nolland) think that Matthew is being true to the received tradition, namely that with Jesus' resurrection there was an evidential resurrection of "the holy ones having fallen asleep" and that such was part of the strange events associated with Jesus' death.

polloiV dat. adj. "[appeared to] many people" - [they entered into the holy city and appeared to] many. The adjective serves as a substantive, dative of direct object after the en prefix verb "to appear to."


viii] The confession of the soldiers, v54. Looking on, a soldier affirms that "this man was God's Son!"

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

idonteV (oJraw) aor. part. "when ......... saw" - having seen [the earthquake and the things taking place]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV.

throunteV (threw) pres. part. "who were guarding [Jesus]" - [the centurion and the ones of him] guarding [Jesus]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the centurion and those with him", as NIV.

ta genomena (ginomai) aor. part. "all that had happened" - the things becoming, taking place. The participle serves as a substantive; "the other happenings", Cassirer.

efobhqhsan (fobeomai) aor. pas. "they were terrified" - were afraid [greatly]. "Were filled with awe", TEV, although this is moving toward "amazed" and Matthew would have used a different word if he intended "amazed", amazement being the first step toward faith.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "and exclaimed" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "were afraid"; "they were filled with awe and said." The participle can also be treated as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of their being awe-struck, namely, "exclaiming", or even result, "and as a result said ...."

alhqwV adv. "surely" - truly. The adverb adds weight to what Jesus "was"; "this man was really / truly / certainly the Son of God."

qeou uiJoV "the Son of God" - [this one was] god's son / a son of god. Another example of Colwell's rule, see v40. Yet, would a Roman military officer be so theologically correct to say "the Son of God"? Phillips goes for "a son", as does REB; NRSV has it as an alternate. Yet, it is likely that Matthew wants us to hear the soldier declare that Jesus is "the Son of God", whether or not the soldier understood what he was saying, or even whether he just garbled what he was saying. As is usually the case, the title is more messianic than filial.


ix] The women who watched Jesus' crucifixion at a distance, v55-56. A believing band, countering the mocking crowd, stay with their Lord.

hsan (eimi) imperf. "[many women] were [there]" - [and] there were [there many woman]. The imperfect may be viewed as durative implying a continued presence of the women over the duration of the crucifixion.

qewrousai (qewrew) pres. part. "watching" - watching, observing. The participle is adjectival, attributive, "there were many women who were looking on from a distance."

makroqen adv. "from a distance" - from afar, far off. Local adverb, again introduced with an unnecessary apo, "from". It would not be proper for women to come close to a crucifixion, particularly if those executed were unclothed. This is actually a beautiful image and demonstrates the devotion given Jesus by his female disciples. Other than John, the other male disciples were in hiding.

hkolouqhsan (akolouqew) aor. "followed" - [who] followed. "Accompanied", Williams.

tw/ Ihsou (oV) dat. "Jesus" - Dative of direct object after the verb "to follow."

diakonousai (diakonew) part. "to care for [his] needs" - ministering to. The participle is adverbial, probably final, expressing purpose, possibly meaning just "to serve", ie., "waited on him", Moffatt, but elsewhere we are told that the women provided for Jesus' daily needs, cf. Lk.8:1-3, so NIV.

autw/ dat. pro. "his" - him. Dative of direct object after the dia prefix verb "to serve, wait on"; "ministered to him", ESV.


en "among" - in [whom was]. Here expressing association; "with"; "among whom."

Maria hJ Magdalhnh "Mary Magdalene" - Nominative subject of the verb to-be. Mary from the village of Magdala, a village on the Sea of Galilee. Often conflated (in the West) with Mary of Bethany and/or the Mary who had seven demons cast from her, cf., Lk.8:2.

tou Iakwbou kai Iwshf gen. "[and Mary the mother] of James and Joses" - The genitive is adjectival, relational. "The mother of James and Joses" stands in apposition to "Mary". Possibly the wife of Clopas, possibly sister of Mary the mother of Jesus, possibly even actually Jesus' mother, given that two of Jesus' brothers were so named.

twn uiJwn Zebedaiou gen. "[the mother] of Zebedee's sons" - [the mother] of the sons of zebadee (ie., James and John). The genitive is adjectival, relational. Mark mentions three women, but for this lady he has Salome instead. Are they one in the same?


Matthew Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]