What does John 19:24 mean?
ESV: so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things,
NIV: Let's not tear it,' they said to one another. 'Let's decide by lot who will get it.' This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, 'They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.' So this is what the soldiers did.
NASB: So they said to one another, 'Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be.' This happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: 'THEY DIVIDED MY GARMENTS AMONG THEMSELVES, AND THEY CAST LOTS FOR MY CLOTHING.' Therefore the soldiers did these things.
CSB: So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it, to see who gets it." This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled that says: They divided my clothes among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. This is what the soldiers did.
NLT: So they said, 'Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.' This fulfilled the Scripture that says, 'They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.' So that is what they did.
KJV: They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Verse Commentary:
Soldiers participating in crucifixion apparently had the right to take what they wanted from the victims. In Jesus' case, there are five articles of clothing: probably some kind of head cover, sandals, a cloak, and a belt. The undergarment, a tunic, seems to have been the highest quality item. Rather than rip the fabric apart, the four men gamble to see who gets to keep a second souvenir (John 19:23). The commanding officer, being well-paid, probably had no interest in those garments at all (Matthew 27:54).

Other gospels note that it was around this time when Jesus expressed forgiveness towards these men who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).

John, also known as one "whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23), has been brave enough to come close to the cross during this time (John 19:26). He would have seen, first-hand, these soldiers shamelessly gambling for a dying man's clothes. John notes how this resembles the words of Psalm 22:18, which depicts an innocent person suffering at the hands of His enemies. Later, as He nears death, Jesus will recite the opening lines of this same Psalm (Matthew 27:46).
Verse Context:
John 19:17–30 describes Jesus' unjust execution by crucifixion. The Roman governor, Pilate, ironically puts a sign on Jesus' cross proclaiming Him "King of the Jews." This angers Jewish religious leaders, but the governor refuses to take the sign down or change the wording. As Jesus calls out to John to care for His mother, Mary, soldiers gamble for what's left of His clothes. Jesus pronounces the completion of His atoning sacrifice and dies. Matthew 27:31–56, Mark 15:22–41, and Luke 23:32–49 cover this same series of events.
Chapter Summary:
Pilate recognizes Jesus' innocence, but fears the mob assembled by Jewish religious leaders. He attempts to satisfy them by having Jesus viciously whipped and mocked. This only results in more cries for Jesus' death. The governor then shifts to protect his own reputation, ordering Jesus to be crucified on a charge of being "King of the Jews." John is directly present as Jesus is executed. He notes the fulfillment of several prophecies as Jesus dies. Once He is confirmed to be dead, Jesus' body is taken by two friendly members of the ruling council. They hastily bury Him in the borrowed crypt of a rich man.
Chapter Context:
When Jesus was first brought to Pilate, His innocence was obvious (John 18:36–38). However, the mob refuses to be satisfied with anything less than crucifixion. Pilate gives in to these demands. John, who is present for the entire gory spectacle, notes several instances of fulfilled prophecy (Psalm 22:18; Psalm 69:21; Exodus 12:46; Zechariah 12:10). Jesus is then buried in the borrowed tomb of a rich man (Isaiah 53:9) to complete yet another Old Testament prediction. A guard will be posted to ensure no one steals the body (Matthew 27:62–68), which will only serve to confirm that Jesus' eventual resurrection was a true miracle (John 20:1–8).
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/13/2024 9:32:08 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.