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John 19:31

    John 19:31 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) sought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day ), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Now it was the day of getting ready for the Passover, and so that the bodies might not be on the cross on the Sabbath (because the day of that Sabbath was a great day), the Jews made a request to Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    Webster's Revision

    The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day ), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    World English Bible

    Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn't remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    Definitions for John 19:31

    Besought - Entreated; asked; called.
    Sabbath - A rest; cessation from work.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 19:31

    It was the preparation - Every Sabbath had a preparation which began at the ninth hour (that is, three o'clock) the preceding evening. Josephus, Ant. b. xvi. c. 6, s. 2, recites an edict of the Emperor Augustus in favor of the Jews, which orders, "that no one shall be obliged to give bail or surety on the Sabbath day, nor on the preparation before it, after the ninth hour." The time fixed here was undoubtedly in conformity to the Jewish custom, as they began their preparation at three o'clock on the Friday evening.

    That the bodies should not remain - For the law, Deuteronomy 21:22, Deuteronomy 21:23, ordered that the bodies of criminals should not hang all night; and they did not wish to have the Sabbath profaned by either taking them down on that day, or letting them hang to disturb the joy of that holy time. Probably their consciences began to sting them for what they had done, and they wished to remove the victim of their malice out of their sight.

    For that Sabbath day was a high day -

    1. Because it was the Sabbath.

    2. Because it was the day on which all the people presented themselves in the temple according to the command, Exodus 23:17.

    3. Because that was the day on which the sheaf of the first fruits was offered, according to the command, Leviticus 23:10, Leviticus 23:11. So that upon this day there happened to be three solemnities in one. - Lightfoot. It might be properly called a high day, because the passover fell on that Sabbath.

    Their legs might be broken - Lactantius says. l. iv. c. 26, that it was a common custom to break the legs or other bones of criminals upon the cross; and this appears to have been a kind of coup de grace, the sooner to put them out of pain.

    Barnes' Notes on John 19:31

    The preparation - John 19:14.

    That the bodies ... - The law required that the bodies of those who were hung should not remain suspended during the night. See Deuteronomy 21:22-23. That law was made when the punishment by crucifixion was unknown, and when those who were suspended would almost immediately expire. In the punishment by crucifixion, life was lengthened out for four, five, or eight days. The Jews therefore requested that their death might be hastened, and that the land might not be polluted by their bodies remaining suspended on the Sabbath day.

    Was an high day - It was:

    1. The Sabbath.

    2. It was the day on which the paschal feast properly commenced.

    It was called a high day because that year the feast of the Passover commenced on the Sabbath. Greek: "Great day."

    Their legs might be broken - To hasten their death. The effect of this, while they were suspended on the cross, would be to increase their pain by the act of breaking them, and to deprive their body of the support which it received from the feet, and to throw the whole weight on the hands. By this increased torment their lives were soon ended. Lactantius says that this was commonly done by the Romans to persons who were crucified. The common period to which persons crucified would live was several days. To compensate for those lingering agonies, so that the full amount of suffering might be endured, they increased their sufferings by breaking their limbs, and thus hastening their death.

    Wesley's Notes on John 19:31

    19:31 Lest the bodies should remain on the cross on the Sabbath - Which they would have accounted a profanation of any Sabbath, but of that in particular. For that Sabbath was a great day - Being not only a Sabbath, but the second day of the feast of unleavened bread (from whence they reckoned the weeks to pentecost:) and also the day for presenting and offering the sheaf of new corn: so that it was a treble solemnity.