John 19:34
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

King James Bible
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Darby Bible Translation
but one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.

World English Bible
However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

Young's Literal Translation
but one of the soldiers with a spear did pierce his side, and immediately there came forth blood and water;

John 19:34 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

One of the soldiers - One of those appointed to watch the bodies until they were dead. This man appears to have doubted whether he was dead, and, in order to see whether he was not yet sensible, he pierced him with his spear. The Jews designed that his legs should be broken, but this was prevented by the providence of God; yet in another way more satisfactory proof was obtained of his death than would have been by the breaking of his legs. This was so ordered, no doubt, that there might be the fullest proof that he was truly dead; that it could not be pretended that he had swooned away and revived, and so, therefore, that there could not be the least doubt of his resurrection to life.

With a spear - The common spear which soldiers used in war. There can be no doubt that such a stroke from the strong arm of a Roman soldier would have caused death, if he had not been already dead; and it was, doubtless, to furnish this conclusive proof that he was actually dead, and that an atonement had thus been made for mankind, that John mentions so particularly this fact. Let the following circumstances be remembered, showing that death must have ensued from such a wound:

(1) The Saviour was elevated but a little from the ground, so as to be easily reached by the spear of a soldier.

(2) the wound must have been transversely upward, so as to have penetrated into the body, as he could not have stood directly under him.

(3) it was probably made with a strong arm and with violence.

(4) the spear of the Roman soldier was a lance which tapered very gently to a point, and would penetrate easily.

(5) the wound was comparatively a large wound. It was so large as to admit the hand John 20:27; but for a lance thus tapering to have made a wound so wide as to admit the hand, it must have been at least four or five inches in depth, and must have been such as to have made death certain. If it be remembered that this blow was probably in the left side, the conclusion is inevitable that death would have been the consequence of such a blow. To make out this fact was of special importance, probably, in the time of John, as the reality of the death of Jesus was denied by the Gnostics, many of whom maintained that he died in appearance only.

Pierced his side - Which side is not mentioned, nor can it be certainly known. The common opinion is that it was the left side. Car. Frid. Gruner (Commentatio Antiquaria Medica de Jesu Christi Morte, 30-36) has attempted to show that it must have been the left side. See Wiseman's Lectures, pp. 161, 162, and Kuinoel on John 19:34, where the arguments of Gruner are fully stated. It is clear that the spear pierced to the region of the heart.

And forthwith came ... - This was evidently a natural effect of thus piercing the side. Such a flowing of blood and water makes it probable that the spear reached the heart, and if Jesus had not before been dead, this would have closed his life. The heart is surrounded by a membrane called the pericardium. This membrane contains a serous matter or liquor resembling water, which prevents the surface of the heart from becoming dry by its continual motion (Webster). It was this which was pierced and from which the water flowed. The point of the spear also reached one of the ventricles of the heart, and the blood, yet warm, rushed forth, either mingled with or followed by the water of the pericardium, so as to appear to John to be blood and water flowing together. This was a natural effect, and would follow in any other case. Commentators have almost uniformly supposed that this was significant; as, for example, that the blood was an emblem of the eucharist, and the water of baptism, or that the blood denoted justification, and the water sanctification; but that this was the design there is not the slightest evidence.

It was strictly a natural result, adduced by John to establish one fact on which the whole of Christianity turns that he was truly dead. On this depends the doctrine of the atonement, of his resurrection, and all the prominent doctrines of religion. This fact it was of importance to prove, that it might not be pretended that he had only suffered a syncope, or had fainted. This John establishes. He shows that those who were sent to hasten his death believed that he had expired; that then a soldier inflicted a wound which would have terminated life if he had not been already dead; and that the infliction of this wound was followed by the fullest proof that he had truly expired. On this fact he dwells with the interest which became a subject of so much importance to the world, and thus laid the foundation for undoubted assurance that the Lord Jesus died for the sins of men.

John 19:34 Parallel Commentaries

Library
October 18 Morning
One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.--JOHN 19:34. Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you.--The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls.--It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Jesus said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.--By his own blood he entered in once into
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

The Irrevocable Past
'What I have written I have written.'--JOHN xix. 22. This was a mere piece of obstinacy. Pilate knew that he had prostituted his office in condemning Jesus, and he revenged himself for weak compliance by ill-timed mulishness. A cool-headed governor would have humoured his difficult subjects in such a trifle, as a just one would have been inflexible in a matter of life and death. But this man's facile yielding and his stiff-necked obstinacy were both misplaced. 'So I will, so I command. Let my will
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI

The Last Look at Life,
(Passion Sermon.) TEXT: JOHN xix. 30. "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished." THESE greatest and most glorious of the last words -*- of our Saviour on the cross come immediately after those which are apparently of the least significance and importance. The Lord said, "I thirst;" then the moistened sponge was handed to Him; and when He had received the soothing, though not pleasant draught, He cried, "It is finished." And we must not break the connection of these
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

The Shortest of the Seven Cries
As these seven sayings were so faithfully recorded, we do not wonder that they have frequently been the subject of devout meditation. Fathers and confessors, preachers and divines have delighted to dwell upon every syllable of these matchless cries. These solemn sentences have shone like the seven golden candlesticks or the seven stars of the Apocalypse, and have lighted multitudes of men to him who spake them. Thoughtful men have drawn a wealth of meaning from them, and in so doing have arranged
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 24: 1878

Cross References
John 19:33
but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

John 20:20
And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

1 John 5:6
This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

1 John 5:8
the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

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