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
Illustration of the Crown of
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 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
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
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
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
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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.
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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.
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.
The Crown of Thorns
A Crown of
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
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
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
Philippians 4:1 - Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and
longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the
Lord, [my] dearly beloved.
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.
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.
- 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:
89:39 - Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant:
thou hast profaned his crown [by casting it] to the
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
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.
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
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
- 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.
17:6 - Children's children [are] the crown of
old men; and the glory of children [are] their fathers.
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.
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.
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.
- And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy
crown upon the mitre.
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.
- 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.
- For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou
settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
- Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of
the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
16:12 - And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in
thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.