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8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.

Probably Herod would promise to set him free on condition of his working some miracles, but to all Herod's questions and suggestions he was absolutely impenetrable.*

11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Set him at nought

Herod's mood then changed to exasperation. He jeered at him and mocked him, and was at a loss to express the intensity of his angry scorn and contempt. In this he was supported by his officers and soldiers, who easily and eagerly made sport of a prisoner who was the butt of their master's rage.

..."I am a worm and no man, a reproach of men and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn. They shoot out the lip; they shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him; let Him deliver him, seeing He delighted in him ... Trouble is near.

There is none to help: Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.... Dogs have compassed me. The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me ... Thou hast known my reproach and my shame and my dishonour. Mine adversaries are all before thee.

Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness. I looked for some to take pity, and there was none: and for comforters, but I found none ... I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax. It is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws: and thou hast brought me into the dust of death." *

12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

That Herod, who had been at enmity with Pilate, should have become reconciled to him again, through such a transaction, only added a further ingredient of bitterness and humiliation to the sufferings of Christ. Flattered with Pilate's attention in sending Jesus to him, Herod sent Jesus back to him for final adjudication; which Pilate, in his turn, accepted as a pleasant compliment, and returned to sentiments of amity.

It is no new thing for bad men to become friends, over the destruction of the righteous. But what about the vindication, when

"God shall judge the secrets of men by Christ Jesus?"


*Nazareth Revisited Ch 57

12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

Acts 4:27 tells us: "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together..."

According to Josephus, "The cause of the enmity between Herod and Pilate seems to have been this, that Pilate had intermeddled with the Tetrarch's jurisdiction, and had slain some of his Galilean subjects, and, as he was willing to correct that error, he sent Christ to Herod at this time." (antiquities,pg 548-footnote)

Bro Matt Drywood [Hamilton Book Road (Can)] Comment added in 2003

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

A common question that rises about Luke 23:34 is who is forgiven for crucifying Jesus?

The Romans were forgiven because they knew him not but, what about the Jewish authorities who set out to kill him?

Jesus clears this up in John 19:11 when he answered Pilate, "he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin."

Therefore, the Sanhedrin bear 'the greater sin' because of their actions and will be held responsible.

Bro Matt Drywood [Hamilton Book Road (Can)] Comment added in 2003

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee Today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.

I say unto thee Today - An exceptional case. The malefactor's brethren must await the verdict to be given on the day of judgement to learn whether or not they will be with him in paradise. 

His acceptance has already been pronounced 'Today' - namely the day the Lord submitted to the crucifixion.

There is no immortality, nor Paradise until then [the second advent]; neither can any attain to them unless they "overcome the world;" for the promise is only "to him that overcometh."

But, to this doctrine sceptics object, that Paradise must have a present existence somewhere; seeing that, on the day of His crucifixion, Jesus told the thief that he should be with Him in Paradise on that day; as it is written, "I say to thee, to-day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise " (Luke 23:43).

I admit, that it is so written in English; but, I find there are various readings and punctuations in the Greek. In the first place, the thief's petition is differently worded in some manuscripts. In the common version it reads, "remember me, Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom, but in others it is various, though in sense the same -- as, "remember me when Thou comest in the day of Thy coming'.

Now the Lord "comes in His kingdom" "in the day of His coming;" therefore, I say, the two phrases are in sense the same, only the latter more plainly suggests to "the unskilful in the word of righteousness" (Heb. 5:13), the import of the term "to-day, " in the answer to the petition.

In the next place, Jesus did not evade the thief's prayer, but gave him a direct and intelligible reply. He told him, in effect, that what he requested should be granted; in other words, that when He was Himself in His kingdom he should be there too.

But, does the reader imagine, that Jesus told him the time when, seeing that He was not even Himself acquainted with the time when the Jewish State, as constituted by the Mosaic code, should be abolished? And, till this was set aside, He could not come in His kingdom; for then He is to sit and rule, and be a Priest upon His throne (Zech. 6:12, 13, 15); which He could not be co-existent with the law; because the law of Moses would permit no one to officiate as a priest, who was not of the tribe of Levi; and Jesus was descended from Judah (Heb. 7:12-14).

"Heaven and earth," or the Mosaic constitution of things in Eden, "shall pass away," said Jesus: "but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:31,32).

Furthermore, does the reader suppose, that the Lord informed the thief of the time when He would come in His kingdom; or, that it could possibly be, that He came in His kingdom on the day of His suffering; seeing that on the forty-third day afterwards He refused to tell even the apostles, the times and the seasons when He would "restore AGAIN the kingdom of Israel?" "It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power" (Acts 1:3, 6, 7). This was His language to the apostles.

The kingdom could not be restored again to Israel under the Mosaic code. This had "decayed, and waxed old, and was ready to vanish away" (Heb. 8:13). It was to be "cast down to the ground," the daily sacrifice was to be taken away, and the temple and city to be demolished, by the Little Horn of the Goat, or Roman power" (Dan. 8:9, 12, 24 ; 9:26).

To tell them of the times and the seasons of the kingdom, would have been to have informed them of this national catastrophy; of which they were kept in ignorance, that they might not fall asleep, but be continually on the watch.

But, though Jesus did not then know the times and the seasons of the kingdom, He knows them now; for, about thirty years after the destruction of Jerusalem, "God gave Him a revelation of the things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1:1); and in this apocalypse, the times and seasons are set forth in order.

But, to return to the case of the thief. In saying, "to-day," Jesus did not, and could not, tell him the precise time when he should be with Him in Paradise. In some Greek manuscripts, there is a various, and no doubt the correct punctuation. The comma, instead of being after "thee," is placed after "to-day;" as, "I say unto thee to-day, thou shalt be with Me in the Paradise" that is, "at this time, or, I now say to thee, thou shalt be with Me in My kingdom in the day of My coming."

Elpis Israel 1.2.

44 And it was about the 6th hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Having finished the work the Father had given Him to do (John 17:4), on the sixth day of the week, Jesus, while suspended on the accursed tree, cried with a loud voice, "It is finished!" (John 19:28-30). "All things were now accomplished," so that the Mosaic handwriting was blotted out, being nailed with Him to the cross, and taken out of the way as a rule of life.

The Lord Jesus "rested from His labours" on the seventh day in the silent tomb, and "His disciples rested according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56). He abode in His place, and did not go out of it until the sabbath was at an end" (Mark 16:1). But, on the eighth day, styled also the first day, God gave Him liberty (Matt. 28:2).

Elpis Israel 1.2.