Matthew 27:29

29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

Matthew 27:29 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27:29

And when they had platted a crown of thorns
What sort of thorn this crown was made of, whether of the bramble, or of the white thorn, is not very material F2: the word used in the Syriac version, is rendered by interpreters, "white thorns", and which were common in Judea: these, be they what they will, they made into the form of a crown, and

they put it upon his head;
both to reproach him as a king, and to torture him as a man: however, it had its significance, and was an emblem of men, comparable to thorns; either of wicked men, and of his being encompassed with them at this time; or of good men, chosen out from among them, redeemed by him, and accounted as a royal diadem with him F3: or it might represent the sins of his people, which, like thorns, pierced him, and like a crown of them surrounded him every side; or else the many troubles he was exercised with, and through which he did, as his members do, enter the kingdom: and especially, his being made a curse for us, thorns and briers being the curse which was inflicted on the earth, for the sin of man: in this Christ was the antitype of the ram, caught by his horns among the thickets, which "Abraham" sacrificed in the room of his son. This may teach us many useful lessons: we may see what a curse sin brought upon man, and upon the earth for man's sake; and even upon the Messiah, in the stead of men: we may observe the difference between us and Christ: we are a crown of glory, and a royal diadem in his hand; we are crowned with loving kindness and tender mercies, and have a crown of righteousness, life, and glory, laid up for us, and he was crowned with thorns; as also the difference between Christ in his state of humiliation wearing such a crown, and his state of exaltation, in which he is crowned with glory and honour. The Jews acknowledge this circumstance of the sufferings of Jesus, though they ascribe it to the elders of Jerusalem; who, they say {d},

``took thorns and made a crown of them, and put it upon his head.''

Which are the very words of the evangelist:

and a reed in his right hand,
or "cane"; and Munster's Hebrew Gospel uses the word, (hnq) , "a cane", such as men walk with; and this may be confirmed from the barbarous use they afterwards made of it, by smiting him on the head with it: a "reed" indeed may fitly express the weakness of his kingdom in the eye of the world: but any cane or common staff, or stick, put into his hands in the room of a sceptre, would also signify the meanness of his kingdom, which was not of this world, and came not with observation: they meant to reproach him with it, but they will find one time or another, that he, has another sceptre, even a sceptre of righteousness, a staff of strength, a rod of iron, with which he will rule and break in pieces, all the wicked of the earth. However, we may learn from hence, Christ does not disdain to hold a reed in his hand: nor will he break the bruised reed, or discourage, or crush the weakest believer.

And they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail,
king of the Jews:
being thus clad in a scarlet, or purple robe, or both; and having a crown of thorns on his head, and a reed instead of a sceptre in his hand, they carry on the mockery still further, and bend the knee to him, as to a prince just come to his throne, and salute as such; and in a mock way, wish him long life and prosperity: thus deriding him in his kingly office, as all such do, who call him Lord, Lord, but disregard his commands.


F2 Vid. Bartholin. de Spinea Corona, sect. 1. 2.
F3 Vid. Paschal. de Coronis, l. 10. c. 12. p. 701, 702.
F4 Toldos Jesu, p. 17.

Matthew 27:29 In-Context

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him.
28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,
29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.
31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.