Crown of Thorns
Illustration of the Crown of Thorns

Illustration of the Crown of Thorns

Jesus was mocked by Roman soldiers who placed a crown of thorns upon his head, similar to this painted illustration. Mark's gospel records that Jesus was mocked as a king 3 times. To the Roman soldiers the title of King was laughable.

Pontius Pilate pronounced the final sentence upon Jesus of Nazareth some time between six and nine o'clock. He gave the orders to the Roman soldiers that Jesus was to be crucified. The soldiers led Jesus into the open court of the governor's Palace, and when they called the rest of the Roman cohort together to take part in a cruel scourging they stripped Jesus of clothing and put upon him a purple robe. The purple robe was to symbolize royalty, and they mocked him as King of the Jews.

The scourging is performed with a whip called the "flagrum" and had pieces of sharp instruments embedded into the cord which was designed to remove flesh quickly. As Jesus was bent over with a lacerated body they hailed him King of the Jews, and the soldiers put together a garland of flexible boughs (Aramaic "nubk") which were bushes filled with long sharp thorns, and they created a crown of thorns and placed it upon his already bruised head. To mock him even further they created a scepter made out of a reed and placed it in his right hand, and they began striking him similar to when he was stricken before the Sanhedrin.

Matthew 27:27-31
27 - Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band [of soldiers].
28 - And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
29 - And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it] upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
30 - And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
31 - And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify [him].


Crown of Thorns in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Mt 27:29 Our Lord was crowned with thorns in mockery by the Roman soldiers. Obviously some small flexile thorny shrub is meant perhaps Capparis spinosa. "Hasselquist, a Swedish naturalist, supposes a very common plant naba or nubka of the Arabs, with many small and sharp sines; soft, round and pliant branches; leaves much resembling ivy, of a very deep green, as if in designed mockery of a victor's wreath."  Read Full Article

Crown of Thorns in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Our Lord was crowned with a Crown of Thorns, in mockery by the Romans (Matt. 27:29). The object of Pilate's guard in doing this was probably to insult, and not specially to inflict pain. There is nothing to show that the shrub thus used was, as has been supposed, the spina Christi, which could have been easily woven into a wreath. It was probably the thorny nabk, which grew abundantly round about Jerusalem, and whose flexible, pliant, and round branches could easily be platted into the form of a crown.   Read Full Article

Crown of Thorns in the Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
thornz (akdnthinos stephanos): Three of the four evangelists mention the crown of thorns, wherewith the rude Roman soldiers derided the captive Christ (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2). All speak of the akanthine (Acanthus) crown, but there is no certainty about the peculiar plant, from the branches of which this crown of cruel mockery was plaited. The rabbinical books. mention no less than twenty-two words in the Bible signifying thorny plants, and the word akantha in the New Testament Greek is a generic and not a specific term. And this word or its adjective is used in the three Gospels, quoted above. It is therefore impossible definitely to determine what was the exact plant or tree, whose thorny branches were selected for this purpose. Tobler (Denkbl., 113, 179) inclines to the Spina Christi, as did Hasselquist. Its botanical name is Zizyphus Spina Christi, It is very common in the East. Its spines are small and sharp, its branches soft, round and pliable, and the leaves look like ivy, with a dark, shiny green color, making them therefore very adaptable to the purpose of the soldiers. Others have designated the Paliurus aculeatus or the Lycium horridum. Both Geikie (Life of Christ, 549) and Farrar (Life of Christ, note 625) point to the Nubk (Zizyphus lotus). Says the latter, "The Nubk struck me, as it has all travelers in Palestine, as being most suitable both for mockery and pain, since its leaves are bright and its thorns singularly strong. But though the Nubk is very common on the shores of Galilee, I saw none of it near Jerusalem." The settlement of the question is manifestly impossible.  Read Full Article

Crown of Thorns in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Christ's "crown of thorns" has been supposed to have been made of the Ramnus nabeca (Hasselquist) or the Lycium spinosum, probably the latter (Sieber). To mock rather than to pain Him was the soldiers' object, and they took whatever came to their hand first. The dark green was a parody of the triumphal ivy wreath.   Read Full Article


Heart Message 

The Crown of Thorns

A Crown of Life

Hail, King of the Jews

Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. Matt. 27:27-30

Mathew, Mark and John report in their gospels that when Pilate handed Jesus over to the soldiers, they brutally scourged him, probably using the infamous Roman Flagrum, a multi-thonged whip embedded with sharp pieces of lead, metal or bone designed to remove flesh.

After the scourging, the soldiers had a bit of sadistic fun with the bleeding savior, mocking his claims of Kingship by dressing him up with a scarlet robe, placing a staff in his hand, as if it were a king’s scepter, and cruelly creating a crown from a thorn bush and pressing it into his scalp. They kneeled before Him in sarcasm saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

His crown of thorns, the crown that fallen humanity placed on his head was an awful symbol showing man’s complete contempt for all that God loves and values. It was also emblematic of our Saviors love for all of us and our minds which are deceived and pained by so much of this world’s lies. Perhaps it is also a vicarious witness that he bore the very thorns created by man’s original sin and rebellion in the garden, so that we might one day wear the crown of life and glory. (James 1:12, Rev. 2:10, 1 Peter 5:4)

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev. 19:11-16

Relevant Bible Verses The Bible mentions a lot regarding the word "crown":

Exodus 25:11 - And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.

Philippians 4:1 - Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, [my] dearly beloved.

Exodus 37:26 - And he overlaid it with pure gold, [both] the top of it, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns of it: also he made unto it a crown of gold round about.

Genesis 49:26 - The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Esther 6:8 - Let the royal apparel be brought which the king [useth] to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:

Psalms 89:39 - Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown [by casting it] to the ground.

Revelation 2:10 - Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

2 Samuel 12:30 - And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof [was] a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was [set] on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

1 Chronicles 20:2 - And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and [there were] precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.

Jeremiah 48:45 - They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.

Esther 8:15 - And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

Leviticus 21:12 - Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God [is] upon him: I [am] the LORD.

Proverbs 17:6 - Children's children [are] the crown of old men; and the glory of children [are] their fathers.

Exodus 37:27 - And he made two rings of gold for it under the crown thereof, by the two corners of it, upon the two sides thereof, to be places for the staves to bear it withal.

2 Kings 11:12 - And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and [gave him] the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.

2 Chronicles 23:11 - Then they brought out the king's son, and put upon him the crown, and [gave him] the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king.

Exodus 29:6 - And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.

Leviticus 8:9 - And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, [even] upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Isaiah 3:17 - Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.

Revelation 14:14 - And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

Psalms 21:3 - For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.

Isaiah 62:3 - Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

Ezekiel 16:12 - And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.


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