King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Luke 23

Christ before Pilate. (1-5) Christ before Herod. (6-12) Barabbas preferred to Christ. (13-25) Christ speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem. (26-31) The crucifixion, The repentant malefactor. (32-43) The death of Christ. (44-49) The burial of Christ. (50-56)

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Christ before Pilate

1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.

2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.

Christ before Herod

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

7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

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

9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.

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

12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

Barabbas preferred to Christ

13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,

14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:

15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.

16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.

17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:

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

20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.

21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

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

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

24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Christ speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem

26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

The crucifixion, The repentant malefactor

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

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

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

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

37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.

38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

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

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

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

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

The death of Christ

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

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

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

47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

The burial of Christ

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

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

52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.

54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.

56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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.

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.

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.

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.