Or Whip. The punishment of scourging was very common among the Jews. Our Savior was subjected to this barbarous and ignominious torture, which was at times so sever as to end in death, John 19:1. Moses limits the number of stripes to forty, which might never be exceeded, Deuteronomy 25:1-3. The Jews afterwards, in order to avoid in any case exceeding forty, and thus breaking the law, were accustomed to give only thirty-nine stripes, or thirteen blows with a scourge of three thongs. There were two ways of giving the lash: one with thongs or whips made of rope-ends, or straps of leather sometimes armed with iron points; the other with rods or twigs. The offender was stripped from his shoulders to his middle, and tied by his arms to a low pillar, that he might lean forward, and the executioner the more easily strike his back; or, according to the modern custom in inflicting the bastinado, was made to lie down with his face to the ground, Deuteronomy 25:2.
Paul informs us, 2 Corinthians 11:24, that at five different times he received thirty-nine stripes from the Jews; and in the next verse, shoes that correction with rods was different from that with a whip; for he says, "Thrice was I beaten with rods." The bastinado with rods was sometimes given on the back, at others on the soles of the feet.