John 19:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 19:33, NIV: But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

John 19:33, ESV: But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

John 19:33, KJV: But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

John 19:33, NASB: but after they came to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

John 19:33, NLT: But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn't break his legs.

John 19:33, CSB: When they came to Jesus, they did not break his legs since they saw that he was already dead.

What does John 19:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John has noted several instances where Jesus' crucifixion fulfilled prophetic statements in the Old Testament. Jesus' death without any broken bones is one such fulfillment. A major component of Passover symbolism (1 Corinthians 5:7) is the sacrifice of a spotless lamb, with explicit care taken not to break bones (Exodus 12: 43–46; Numbers 9:12). Psalm 34:20 makes a similar reference, and this is the verse John will cite in this passage (John 19:36). To speed up this round of executions (John 19:17–18), the governor has agreed to break the legs of the crucified victims. This would make the condemned suffocate in a matter of minutes, rather than hours or days. The two men on either side of Jesus are killed in this way (John 19:32).

Jesus, however, was scourged with a Roman flagrum prior to being crucified (John 19:1). This multi-headed whip was woven with lead weights, rocks, glass, or hooks, and could easily kill a victim. When the soldiers come to hurry Jesus' death, it's clear He's already dead (John 19:30). Perhaps at the request of Pilate (Mark 15:44), the Roman executioners will leave no doubt (John 19:34).