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Pilate is afraid, and examines him again.
393 7 The Jews answer. The Jews then answered him, There is no cd him, We have a law, and by our law he
room to represent him as a faultless person, nor ought to die, because any reason to be backward to condemn him ; John he made himself the but these objections you have made oblige us Xlx. 7. Son of God.
to mention one circumstance which, for the
xxii. 70, p. 372.),
Romans believed many poetical stories of men
without engaging their divine parents in the
plainly from whence thou camest, and from
f He was still more afraid than before.] Whence art thou ?] It is strange Mr. Though I think, with Mr. Cradock, and Locke should think (as he does in his Reaseveral others, the interpretation given in sonableness of Christianity, Vol. I. p. 133.) the paraphrase the most natural; yet I can that Christ declined giving him an anszer, not forbear mentioning that of Dr. Lardner, lest, when he heard he was born at Bethle. who thinks he was afruid of a sedition as hem, he should have any such apprehenmong the Jews, from his knowledge of their sions as Herod had entertained. Pilate great obstinacy in any thing in which re. probably knew nothing at all of that proligion might seem to be concerned : and he phecy, as Herod hiinself indeed did not, adds, he might be the more reasonably till he had learnt it from the Jewish scribes alarmed on this head, as since the begins whom he consulted on Christ's birth. (Mat. ning of his governinent he had met with ii. 4, 5, 6, Vol. VI. p. 78.) The answer two remarkable instances of their stiffness; which our Lord had made to his former inone in an attempt he made to bring the quiries shewed how far he was from declin-' image of Cæsar into Jerusalem ; the other ing any danger; and the true reason of his in a design he had formed of supplying the present silence was that Pilate's unsteady city with water at the expence of the sacred conduct rendered him unworthy of any treasury of the temple. See Lard. Credib. farther information, part i. Vol. I. p. 330--338.
Pilate, convinced of his innocence, sought to release him.
10 Then saith Pilate thou make me no reply, and not so much as speak thou not 'unto me?
anto him, Speakest John to me in such a circumstance as this, in which Knowest
thou not, XIX. 10 thy life is so evidently concerned ? Dost thou that I have power to
not know that I have power and authority to crucify thee, and have crucify thee, and have power to release thee, if power to release thee? I please, notwithstanding all the clamorous de
mands of thine enemies h. 11 Jesus calmly replied, Thou couldst have no power Thou couldst have no
at all against me, except it were given thee from
power at all against
ought not to be given up to popular fury. 12
And from this time Pilate was so far satisfied 12 And from thenceof the injustice of the prosecution, and of the forth Pitate sought to innocence of Jesus, that he endeavoured the more
Jews earnestly to release him. But the Jews still in. sisted on his passing sentence on him to be cruci. fied; and apprehensive of the governor's design,
livered me unto thee
release him : but the
h Dost thou not know that I have power to i Thou couldest hate no power at all against crucify thee &c.] Even they who main me, ercept it were given thee from above.] tajn that the Jews had a power of executing Some have thought that the word ayubiy, capilal sentences in Chiist's time, acknow- from abose, refers to the situation of the Icdge that power to have been under the temple, which stood much higher than the control of the Roman governor ; and that it pratorium ; and that it is as if Jesus had was in fact so often controlied, that at last the said, “ I know that wliatever thou dost Jewish sanhedrim removed from the cham- against me is only in consequence of the ber in which alone they could regularly sentence passed in yonder court held above; pass them, that they might not have the so that their guilt is greater than thine." mortification of seeing continually how lit But though this would very well account tle their decisions availed, when the most for the connection of the latter part of the notorious criminal, if he bad but money, verse, I cannot think it altogether just; could buy a pardon from their common for had providence peripitted Pilate to masters. So that the dispute, after all the seize Christ as one dangerous to Cæsar's noise it has made in the learned world, dignity, he would have had as much seems at last to terminate in this nicety, power of putting him to death as he now “ whether the consent of the Roman gover- bad. It is therelorc much more reasonnor were expressly asked before the Jews able to suppose it refers to the permission proceeded to an execution, or were taken of God's providence. No thought was for granted if the contrary did not appear?" more proper to the occasion ; and I think Or, in other words, “ Whether the efficacy the interpretation I have given to the latter of a sentence passed by the Jews were clause in this view is natural, though not owing to the express consent or the connivance very common. But if any are not satisfied of the Romans?” The conduct of the Jews with it, they may consider whether die in this case seems to prove the former of 3xlo may not be connected with the begins these to have heen the true state of the ning of the verse, so that it might be transaffair ; and vindicates not only the sub. lated, Thou couldest have no power at all stance of what Dr. Lardner has maintained, against me, unless it were gren thee frum but the particular manuer in which he above for this purpose. (Compare note' on expresses it. See note con Mat, xxvii. 2, John vii. 21, sect. xcix. Vol. VI. p. 515.
About the third hour Pilate brings him out as their king. 395 Jews cried out, saying, that they effectually might put a stop to his in- SECT: if thou let this man tention of discharging nim, they eagerly cried
clxxxviii sar's friend: whosoever out, saying, If thou let this mun go off with his
John maketh himself a king, life, ihou art not Cæsar's friend, though thou XIX.12. speaketh against Ce- bearest his commission, and representest bis
person ; for every one that makes himself a king
IVhen Pilate therefore heard that speech, he 13 therefore heard that
was very much alarmed, as he well knew how saying, he brought Je. suis forth, and sat down suspicious a prince Tiberius was, and how many in the judgment-seat
, spies he kept on all his officers, that nothing in a place that is called might be done or permitted by them in any of the Hebrew, Gabba. the provinces, wbich could at all interfere with ta.
bis authority k: and, that he might not then be
by a considerable number of people's
solemnity (see John xix. 31, sect. cxcii.); and
* As he well knew how suspicious a lic, and especially on judicial, occasions. prince 'Tiberius was, &c.] Every body that I plainly appears from the connection of knows the character of Tiberius, especially the words that it was not in his house, but as illustrated by Suetonius in his excellent somewhere without, probably in some open History, will see how naturally Pilate might place. be apprehensive on this head.
Was drawing on apace towards the I In Hebrew, Gabbalha.] There are va. sirth hour, and was now about the third rious etymologies of this word. I think the hour, &c.] Difficulties, which seem to most probable is that which derives it from me quite invincible, attend the reailing 1701, elevavit, and so it intimates its be- which is generally received, [1t was about ing raised on high. It was, perhaps, a kind the sixth hour,] whether we reckon it, acof stage, or scaffolul
, in the midst of a spa. cording to the Roman method of compucious urea belonging to the palace, in which tation, şir in the morning, or, according the govcruor might place hinself on pube to the Jewish computation, twelve at noon, V01., il. 3D
396 But they cried out, Away with him, Crucify him.
sict. they might have execution done, as usual, beclxxxvui
fore noon. And Pilate, finding he must, after John all, yield to the people, and consent to the death xix.14. of Jesus, lest bis former struggle should be mis
represented at Rome, was resolved to manage
Behold your hing, if you think fit to own him,
away with him, crudain, sway with [him] away with [him); we cify him. Pilate saith are so far from owning bim, that we desire thee unto them, Shall ! to crucify him. Pilate says to them, What, shall crucify your king I crucify your king? How strange, and how ex- swered, We have no travagant a demand is this! And the chief priests king bui Cesar. answereil, in the name of all the people, Ti'e have no king but the emperor Tiberius Cesar, whose royal authority we all of us acknowledge, and will always maintain. And Pilate, seeing that it signified nothing any when Pilate saw that
MAT. XXVII. 94. XXVII. longer to oppose the popular torrent, but that 24
- The best commentators I know (and conferences with the Jews about him, as also
Pilate washing his hands, they wish his blood on themselves. 397 he could prevail no they rather grew more tumultuous by the delay, thing, but that rather
clxxxviii was determined however to do all he could to a tuinult was made, he took wa'er, and make his own conscience easy in complying with washed his hands be. this their unjust request ; and therefore he took XXVII. fore the multitude, say, water, and washed his hands in the presence of 24 the blood of this just the multitude", saying, I cull heaven and earth to person : : see ye to it. witness that I am innocent of the blood of this
righteous (man) ; look you to the consequences
of shedding [it], and remember you are answer. 25 Then answered able for them, whatever they may prove. And 25 all the people, and all the people answered, saying, We will venture us, 'and on our chil- those consequences, may his blood, if innocent, dren. be on us, and on our children! and
the curse of shedding it lie upon us throughout all gene
rations! LUKE XXIII. 24. And when they had said this, Pilate, who now Luke And Pilate (willing to
XXIII. was something easier in his own mind, and was content the people]
2+ gave desirous to satisfy the people P, since be perceived
n He look water, and washed his hands, impresses and astonishes me beyond any &c.] It is well known that the Jews in other which I recollect in the whole story. some cases were appointed to wash their If this were not the very finger of God, hands as a solemn token that they were not pointing out their crime in crucifying his themselves concerned in the murder com. Son, it is hard to say that could deserve to mitted by some unknown person (see Deut. be called 50.- Elsner has abundantly xxi. 1—9): but, as this was also a rite that shewn, that among the Greeks, the perwas frequently used by the Gentiles in 10 sons vu whose testimony others were put ken of innocence, it is more probable that to death, used, by a very solcmn execration, Pilate, who was a Gentile, did it in con to devote themselves to the Divine ven. formity to thein. Sce Grolius in loc. and geance, if the person so condemned were Elsner. Observ. Vol. I. p. 122, 123. not really guilty. Elsner. Observ. Vol. I.
o May his blood be on us, and on our p. 123–125.)--We are told by Grotius children?] As this terrible imprecation was (de Jure Bell. & Pac. lib. ii. cap. 4. $ 9, dreadfully answered in the ruin so quickly No. 2) that Titus commanded the women brought on the Jewish nation, and the ca and children of the Jews to be exposed in launities which have since pursued that theatres, and there to be devoured hy wild wretched people, in almost all ages and beasts : a fact which I should have thinugbt countries ; so it was peculiarly illustrated it extremely proper to mention here, if in the severity with u bich Titus, merciful any authority were introduced to support as he naturally was, treated the Jews whom it. But as I cannot meet with any such he took during the siege of Jerusalem; of account in Josephus, I am ready to aseribe whom Josephus bimself writes (Bell
. Jud. what Grotius says of it to a slip of memolib. v. cap. 11 (al. vi. 12), § 1), that ry in that great critic; especially consipaces by leznai uvrsavarla, having been scourg- dering how improbable it was that so hued and tortured in a very terrible manner, mane a prince as Titus should be guilty of they were crucified, in the view, and near such almost uvexampled cruelty. On the the walls of this city; perhaps, among contrary, in the only passage i recollect, other places, on mount Calvary: and it is where Josephus speaks of exposing the very probable this might be the fate of some Jewish captives to wild beasts, (Joseph. of those very persons who now joined in Bell. Jul. lib. vi. cap. 9. [al. vii. 16), 2), this cry, as it undoubtedly was of many of it is expressly said that Titus sold all who their children. Por Josephus, who was an were under seventeen years old. eye-witness, expressly declares, “that the p Desirous to satisfy the people: TO BYCZYON number of those thus crucified was so wonga..] As his former administration had great, that there was not room for the given them a great deal of disgust, he might crosses to stand by each other; and that very probably think it absolutely necessary at last they had not wood enongh to make thus to appease them : yet they afterwards crosses of.” A passage which, especially followed him with their accusations to his wheo compared with the verse before us, ruin; and thus, by the righteous judg
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