John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 23 (John 19:23)

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus ,.... The crucifixion of Christ was at the request and solicitation of the Jews, was ordered by the Roman governor, and performed by the Roman soldiers; the sinful men into whose hands Christ was to be delivered:

took his garments ; which they had stripped his body of, crucifying him naked; as what properly belonged to them, it being usual then, as now, for executioners to have the clothes of the persons they put to death; these were his inner garments:

and made four parts, to every soldier a part ; for it seems there were four of them concerned in his execution, and who were set to watch him:

and also his coat ; or upper garment;

now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout : in such an one the Jews say F2 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 11. 2. Gloss in ib. Moses ministered: and of this sort and make was the robe of the high priest, said to be of "woven work", Exodus 28:32 upon which Jarchi remarks, ולא במחט , "and not with a needle"; it was all woven, and without any seam: and so the Jews say F3 T. Bab. Yoma, c. 7. foi. 72. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Cele Hamikdash, c. 8. sect. 16. in general of the garments of the priests:

"the garments of the priests are not made of needlework, but of woven work; as it is said, Exodus 28:32 . Abai says, it is not necessary (i.e. the use of the needle) but for their sleeves; according to the tradition, the sleeve of the garments of the priests is woven by itself, and is joined to the garment, and reaches to the palm of the hand.'

So that this was an entire woven garment from top to bottom, excepting the sleeves, which were wove separately and sewed to it; of this kind also was his coat, which Jacob Iehudah Leon says F4 Relation of Memorable Things in the Tabernacle, &c.; c. 5. p. 23. ,

"was a stately woollen coat of a sky colour, wholly woven, all of one piece, without seam, without sleeves;'

such a garment Christ our great High Priest wore, which had no seam in it, but was a curious piece of texture from top to bottom. The very learned Braunius F5 De vestitu Sacerdot. Heb. l. 1. c. 16. p. 346, 360, 361. says, he has seen such garments in Holland, and has given fine cuts of them, and also of the frame in which they are wrought. What authority Nonnus had to call this coat a black one, or others for saying it was the work of the Virgin Mary, I know not.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary