729. Stupefying Potion

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It was customary among the Romans to give to the person to be crucified a stupefying potion of wine and myrrh. This, according to Mark, is what was offered to Jesus, while Matthew states that they offered vinegar and gall. Some think the wine, being sour, is represented by the word “vinegar,” and the myrrh, being bitter, by the word “gall.” Lightfoot suggests that Mark gives the ordinary name by which the usual stupefying potion was known, while Matthew tells literally what was offered instead by the soldiers, in mockery, as Luke says. See Luke 23:3636And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, (Luke 23:36). It may be, after all, that two distinct drafts were offered, the one by way of mocking his agony, and the other according to the usual custom.