What does Matthew 27:35 mean?
ESV: And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.
NIV: When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
NASB: And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments among themselves by casting lots.
CSB: After crucifying him, they divided his clothes by casting lots.
NLT: After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
KJV: And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
NKJV: Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”
Verse Commentary:
Victims were almost always crucified naked. Jesus is almost always depicted wearing some minimal clothing in artwork. However, the balance of history and Roman practice suggests He was stripped nude as part of the shame and humiliation of crucifixion. The number of items being dispersed is given as five, in John 19:23–24. This would correspond to an entire outfit, including the undergarment. This, the tunic, seems to have been the subject of the gamble. Rather than tear the cloth, the soldiers each take an item and the last object is assigned by a game of chance.

It's believed that executioners at a crucifixion could take the victim's remaining clothing or personal effects as a bonus payment. The Roman soldiers perfectly and unknowingly fulfilled the prophecy found in Psalm 22:18: "they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." Luke records Jesus praying for forgiveness for these men (Luke 23:34).
Verse Context:
Matthew 27:32–44 describes Jesus' march to the cross, aided by a man named Simon of Cyrene. Jesus is offered a numbing, bitter wine, but refuses it, and is nailed to the cross. Soldiers gamble for His clothes. A somewhat sarcastic sign above Him reads "the King of the Jews." Observers, including several Jewish religious leaders, mock Jesus for not being able to save Himself. Even the criminals being executed on either side of Jesus insult Him. Mark 15:20–32, Luke 23:36–43, and John 19:16–27 cover this same process.
Chapter Summary:
When Judas learns Jesus has been condemned, he regrets betraying the Lord. He throws down his ill-gotten money and hangs himself. Jesus is taken to Pilate, who finds nothing to charge Him with. Given the choice, the people shout for the release of a convicted murderer and insist on Jesus' death. Jesus is mocked by a battalion of soldiers and then taken to be crucified. On the cross, He is mocked for not being able to save Himself. After three hours of darkness, Jesus dies. He is buried by a rich follower in a new tomb. This location is tightly guarded to prevent anyone from stealing the body.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 27 begins with an official meeting of the Jewish ruling council. They affirm Jesus' condemnation from the previous night, described in chapter 26. Judas confesses his betrayal and hangs himself. Pilate tries to release Jesus, but the mob shouts for Jesus to be crucified. Jesus is humiliated by Roman soldiers and marched to be executed. On the cross, He is mocked by Jewish religious leaders and others. He dies and is buried in a never-used tomb. Extensive efforts to secure His body from being stolen only serve to prove the miraculous nature of His resurrection, which is detailed in chapter 28.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 5/27/2024 12:32:05 PM
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