John 19:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 19:29, NIV: A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.

John 19:29, ESV: A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.

John 19:29, KJV: Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

John 19:29, NASB: A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.

John 19:29, NLT: A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.

John 19:29, CSB: A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it up to his mouth.

What does John 19:29 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

What John describes here as "sour wine" may be an especially strong alcohol, or vinegar mixed with water. This may or may not be the same liquid which Jesus refused when He was first put on the cross (Matthew 27:34). Knowing He is seconds away from death (John 19:28), He would no longer have to worry about any numbing effects of the drink. Another possibility is that this unpleasant substance is being given to Jesus as a form of torment: one last sneer from His executioners.

John connects this moment to Psalm 69:21, much as he saw prophecy fulfilled when soldiers gambled for Jesus' clothes (John 19:24; Psalm 22:18).

Hyssop has a spongy quality, so it might have been used to offer Jesus a drink without having to hold up the entire jar. Contrary to popular culture, crucifixion victims were not usually lifted far above the ground. The hyssop branch mentioned here was probably less than two or three feet long.