Matthew 27:38

38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Matthew 27:38 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27:38

Then were there two thieves crucified with him
Which seems contrary to one of their canons, which runs thus; (dxa Mwyb) (Mynv Nynd Nya) , "they do not judge two in one day" F25, unless they were both in the same crime, and died the same death: but here were three persons, Jesus, and these two malefactors, condemned and executed in one, and the same day: these two thieves were led out with Jesus, to be put to death with him, according to ( Luke 23:32 ) , and were crucified with him upon the same spot of ground; their death was the same, but not their crime:

one the right hand, and another on the left;
and Jesus in the midst, as John relates, ( John 19:18 ) , and hereby was fulfilled, as Mark observes, ( Mark 15:28 ) , a prophecy in ( Isaiah 53:12 ) . If this was so ordered by Pilate, it might be done in order to cover the sin, and take off the reproach of putting an innocent person to death, suggesting hereby he was one of them; though this seems rather to be done by the Jews, the soldiers agreeing to it, for the greater reproach of Jesus; intimating, that he was the worst of these malefactors, and a ringleader of such sort of persons: and whereas they had observed, he took it ill at their hands that they should come to apprehend him with swords and staves, as if he was a thief and a robber; to vex and distress him the more, they crucify him between two such persons: but the grand reason why it was so ordered, was, that though Christ was no transgressor, he was accounted one, and stood in the room and stead of sinners, and was numbered with them, and as such was treated by divine justice, and accordingly died for them.


F25 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 35. 1. & 46. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 8. fol. 190. 1.

Matthew 27:38 In-Context

36 And sitting down they watched him there;
37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
The King James Version is in the public domain.