|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-14 They bound Christ. It is good for us often to remember the bonds of the Lord Jesus, as bound with him who was bound for us. By delivering up the King, they, in effect, delivered up the kingdom of God, which was, therefore, as by their own consent, taken from them, and given to another nation. Christ gave Pilate a direct answer, but would not answer the witnesses, because the things they alleged were known to be false, even Pilate himself was convinced they were so. Pilate thought that he might appeal from the priests to the people, and that they would deliver Jesus out of the priests' hands. But they were more and more urged by the priests, and cried, Crucify him! Crucify him! Let us judge of persons and things by their merits, and the standard of God's word, and not by common report. The thought that no one ever was so shamefully treated, as the only perfectly wise, holy, and excellent Person that ever appeared on earth, leads the serious mind to strong views of man's wickedness and enmity to God. Let us more and more abhor the evil dispositions which marked the conduct of these persecutors.
Verse 6. - St. Mark omits here what took place next in the order of events, namely, the sending of our Lord by Pilate to Herod (Luke 23:5). This was Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee; and Pilate, apparently convinced of our Lord's innocence, hoped to escape the responsibility of condemning an innocent man, by handing him over to Herod; for Pilate had heard that our Lord was a Galilean. Moreover, he hoped to accomplish another good result, namely, to recover the favor of Herod, which was desirable on political grounds. The first intention failed; for Herod sent our Lord back to Pilate in mockery, "arraying him in gorgeous apparel" (περιβαλὼν ἐσθῆτα λαμπρὰν). But the second succeeded: "Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day" (Luke 23:12). There was now, however, another resource. At the feast (κατα ἑορτὴν) - literally, at feast-time - he used to release unto them one prisoner, whom they asked of him ὅνπερ ἠτοῦντο). In St. John (John 18:39) we read that Pilate said, "Ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now at that feast,.... The feast of the passover, which was at that instant; see John 18:39. The Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read, "at every feast"; as if the following custom was used at every feast in the year, at the feasts of pentecost and tabernacles, as well as at the passover; whereas it was only at the latter:
he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired; of this custom See Gill on Matthew 27:15.
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