It was the preparation - Every Sabbath had a preparation which began at the ninth hour (that is, three o' clock) the preceding evening. Josephus, Ant. b. xvi. c. 6, s. 2, recites an edict of the Emperor Augustus in favor of the Jews, which orders, "that no one shall be obliged to give bail or surety on the Sabbath day, nor on the preparation before it, after the ninth hour." The time fixed here was undoubtedly in conformity to the Jewish custom, as they began their preparation at three o' clock on the Friday evening.
That the bodies should not remain - For the law, Deuteronomy 21:22, Deuteronomy 21:23, ordered that the bodies of criminals should not hang all night; and they did not wish to have the Sabbath profaned by either taking them down on that day, or letting them hang to disturb the joy of that holy time. Probably their consciences began to sting them for what they had done, and they wished to remove the victim of their malice out of their sight.
For that Sabbath day was a high day -
1.Because it was the Sabbath.
2.Because it was the day on which all the people presented themselves in the temple according to the command, Exodus 23:17.
3.Because that was the day on which the sheaf of the first fruits was offered, according to the command, Leviticus 23:10, Leviticus 23:11. So that upon this day there happened to be three solemnities in one. - Lightfoot. It might be properly called a high day, because the passover fell on that Sabbath.
Their legs might be broken - Lactantius says. l. iv. c. 26, that it was a common custom to break the legs or other bones of criminals upon the cross; and this appears to have been a kind of coup de grace, the sooner to put them out of pain.
Other Adam Clarke entries containing John 19:31:
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