Matthew 27:35

35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots;

Matthew 27:35 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27:35

And they crucified him
That is, the soldiers: they laid the cross upon the ground, and stretched Christ upon it; they extended his two arms as far as they could, to the transverse part of it, and nailed his hands unto it: his two feet they fixed by each other on a basis, in the body of the cross, through which they also drove nails; and then raising it up, fixed it in the earth, and left him hanging on it till he expired. This death was not only painful and cruel, but exceedingly shameful and ignominious: it was what was inflicted on the meanest of persons, as servants, whose form Christ had taken; and upon the worst of men, as murderers, cut-throats, thieves, and the vilest of men F18 among whom Christ was now numbered:

and parted his garments, casting lots:
for they stripped him of his clothes before they fixed him to the cross, and crucified him naked, as was the custom of the Romans F19; as it was of the Jews to stone and hang persons naked: their canons run thus F20;

``when he is four cubits off of the place of stoning, they strip off his garments; a man they cover before, a woman both behind and before; the words of Judah: but the wise men say, a man is stoned naked, and a woman is not stoned naked: a man, they hang him with his face to the people; a woman, with her face to the tree. R. Eliezer, and the wise men say, a man is hanged, but a woman is not hanged.''

On which the Gemara F21 says,

``what is the sense of the Rabbins? the Scripture says, "thou shalt hang him"; him, and not her: and, says R. Eliezer, him, (wtwok alb) , "without his clothes".''

So our Lord was crucified; his clothes were a perquisite of the soldiers; there were four of them, as we learn from ( John 19:23 ) , and they parted them into four parts, and then cast lots whose each part should be; or rather, they divided his garments into four parts, and each took his part; but his vesture, or coat, being seamless, and woven from top to bottom, they did not choose to tear it into pieces, but cast lots for it, who should have it:

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,
by David, in ( Psalms 22:18 ) ,

they parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they
cast lots.
All this, Beza says, is not in any of the ancient copies; nor is it in the Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions, but stands in the Vulgate Latin, and in Munster's Hebrew Gospel; (See Gill on John 19:24).


F18 Lipsius de Cruce, l. 1. c. 12. & 13.
F19 Lipsius de Cruce, l. 2. c. 7.
F20 Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 6. sect. 3, 4.
F21 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 46. 1.

Matthew 27:35 In-Context

33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull),
34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots;
36 then they sat down there and kept watch over him.
37 Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities add [in order that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, "They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots."]
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.