Luke Chapter 23, Verse 34

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Book of Luke
Chapter 23
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34: ο δε ιησους ελεγεν πατερ αφες αυτοις ου γαρ οιδασιν τι ποιουσιν διαμεριζομενοι δε τα ιματια αυτου εβαλον κληρον— edit Textus Receptus
34: Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.— edit KJV text
34: And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But they, dividing his garments, cast lots.— edit Douay text



Father, forgive them. This is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isa 53:12: He made intercession for the transgressors. The prayer was offered for those who were guilty of putting him to death. It is not quite certain whether he referred to the Jews or to the Roman soldiers. Perhaps he referred to both. The Romans knew not what they did, as they were really ignorant that he was the Son of God, and as they were merely obeying the command of their rulers. The Jews knew, indeed, that he was innocent, and they had evidence, if they would have looked at it, that he was the Messiah; but they did not know what would be the effect of their guilt; they did not know what judgments and calamities they were bringing down upon their country. It may be added, also, that, though they had abundant evidence, if they would look at it, that he was the Messiah, and enough to leave them without excuse, yet they did not, in fact, believe that he was the Saviour promised by the prophets, and had not, in fact, any proper sense of his rank and dignity as "the Lord of glory." If they had had, they would not have crucified him, as we cannot suppose that they would knowingly put to death their own Messiah, the hope of the nation, and him who had been so long promised to the fathers. See "1Cor 2:8".

They know not what they do. It was done through ignorance, Acts 3:17. Paul says that,

"had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,"

1Cor 2:8. Ignorance does not excuse altogether a crime if the ignorance be wilful, but it diminishes its guilt. They had evidence; they might have learned his character; they might have known what they were doing, and they might be held answerable for all this. But Jesus here shows the compassion of his heart, and as they were really ignorant, whatever might have been the cause of their ignorance, he implores God to pardon them. He even urges it as a reason why they should be pardoned, that they were ignorant of what they were doing; and though men are often guilty for their ignorance, yet God often in compassion overlooks it, averts his anger, and grants them the blessings of pardon and life. So he forgave Paul, for he "did it in ignorance, in unbelief," 1 Tim 1:13. So God winked at the ignorance of the Gentiles, Acts 17:30. Yet this is no excuse, and no evidence of safety, for those who in our day contemptuously put away from them and their children the means of instruction.

-- edit commentary

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