And as they led him away
From Pilate's hall, and out of the city of Jerusalem, towards Calvary; which was done by the Jews and Roman soldiers, after they had stripped him of his own clothes, and put on him a scarlet coat, and had platted a crown of thorn, and put it on his head, and a reed in his hand, and bowed the knee, and mocked him, saluting him as King of the Jews; after they had finished their sport and pastime with him, and had put on him his own clothes again:
they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian;
father of Alexander and Rufus, ( Mark 15:21 ) , (See Gill on Matthew 27:32).
coming out of the country;
either out of the country part of Judea, to the city of Jerusalem; or out of the field where he had been about rural business, and was now returning home, and perhaps knew nothing of the matter, what had been doing at Jerusalem:
and on him they laid the cross;
on which Jesus was to be crucified, and which he was bearing himself; but finding that he was weak, and languid, and unable to carry it himself, and fearing, should he die by the way, they should be disappointed of glutting their malice, and seeing him in shame and agony on the cross, and of triumphing over him there; and being in haste for the execution of their malicious designs, they put the cross, at least one end of it, upon this man's shoulders:
that he might bear it after Jesus:
either the whole of it, following Jesus; or only one end of it, Jesus going before with the other end on his shoulder; which seems to be the order in which it was carried between them.