This was a severe punishment! It is often fatal. It always preceded Roman crucifixion (see Livy, 33,36), but it seems initially from Luke 23:16,22; John 19:1,12 that it was possibly another attempt by Pilate to gain sympathy for Jesus from the crowd.

The Gospels use different words to describe this brutal beating.

1. phragelloō in Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:15, translated by NASB as "scourged"

2. derō in Luke 22:63, translated by NASB as "beating"

3. mastigoō in John 19:1, translated by NASB as "scourged" (cf. Matt. 20:19; Mark 10:34; Luke 18:33; Acts 22:24)

A person was unclothed (i.e., Acts 16:22) and their hands tied to a stake in the ground i.e., Acts 22:25). Then a whip of leather thongs with pieces of rock, metal, or bone braided into the end of the nine thongs was lashed across the exposed back. It is recorded that these thongs often

1. blinded the victim

2. opened the ribs to the bone

3. knocked out teeth

4. even caused death

There was no limit to the number of lashes given by the two Roman soldiers, one on each side ( as there was in Jewish floggings, i,e., 39, cf. Deut. 25:1-3; 2 Cor. 11:24).

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