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The English word stripes originated from the same French word as strips. In the Bible, in referring to flogging, the word is used to translate a number of different Hebrew words of the Old Testament which variously mean a blow, a wound, to strike and to bruise, and a Greek word of the New Testament meaning a stroke or a wound. The various meanings of the English word stripes, or strips, provide a multifaceted view of what was involved i.e. the person being flogged was usually stripped of clothing, the person being flogged often had his flesh stripped (cut and shredded) or striped (narrow welts, whip marks) and the device was itself often made of strips of leather, sometimes with pieces of metal or animal bone fastened along the length of the thongs to make it far more painful and damaging. Christ's beating and stripes as inflicted by the Roman troops were particularly horrendous i.e. "His visage was so marred more than any man" (Isaiah 52:14 KJV)

"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed"

Stripes were included in the famous "eye for an eye" verses:


"And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." (Exodus 21:23-25 KJV)

Among the people of Israel, no offender was to be given more than forty stripes:

"And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee." (Deuteronomy 25:2-3 KJV)

The Lord used stripes (mostly) in a figurative way for the house of King David, the royal line (see Israelite Dynasties) of imperfect men that would eventually produce the perfect Messiah.

"He shall build an house for My Name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee." (2 Samuel 7:13-15 KJV)

The Messiah later used stripes in His lesson of how those with the knowledge of the truth have a responsibility to the truth and to God who gave it to them.

"The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." (Luke 12:46-48 KJV)

Like many witnesses (see Martyrs) of the Gospel, Paul and Silas knew beatings and imprisonment for the "crime" (in Satan's world; see Who Still Rules The World Today?) of speaking the Truth.

"And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them." (Acts 16:22-25 KJV)

Paul later spoke of those "trials" (see Trials and Tribulations):

"But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." (2 Corinthians 6:4-10 KJV)

Fact Finder: What will the stripes that Jesus Christ endured do for those who repent (The Christian Passover is about Christ's sacrifice; The Christian Feast Of Unleavened Bread is about repentance to make Christ's sacrifice take effect i.e. Christ didn't die for sinners, Christ died for repentant sinners - those who refuse to repent are headed for the lake of fire)? Were the stripes that Christ endured a fulfilment of a prophecy found in the Old Testament?
1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:5

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