Then said Pilate to him, Speak you not to me? know you not that I have power to crucify you, and have power to release you?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Speakest thou not unto me?—The position of the pronoun in the original is strongly emphatic—“To me dost Thou not speak?” Pilate is true to the vacillating character which now as man trembles before One who may be a Being from the other world, and now as Roman governor expects that Being to tremble before him.
Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?—The text of the better MSS. inverts the order, reading,. . . . have power to release Thee, and have power to crucify Thee. This is the more natural order of thought—“Thy life is in my power; yea, and Thy death also.”
knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?—said to work upon Him at once by fear and by hope.
speakest thou not unto me? he wondered that he stood in no fear of him, who was the Roman governor, his judge; who had the power of life and death; and that he should make no answer to him, who was in so much dignity, and in so high and exalted a station.
Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? proudly boasting of his authority to do one or the other. The sudden change of the man from fear, to vain and proud boasting, is to be observed; just now he was afraid of the divine power of Christ, lest he should have any divinity in him; and now he boasts and brags of his own power, and menaces and threatens with his authority to punish with death, even the death of tho cross; in which he discovers his wickedness, as a magistrate, to endeavour to terrify one that he himself believed to be innocent: and besides, his assertion is false; for he had no power, neither from God nor man, to crucify innocent men, and release criminals: and moreover, he himself must be self-condemned, who had a power, as he says, of releasing him, and yet did not do it, though he had once and again declared he found no fault in him.Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 19:10. At this silence Pilate is indignant; Ἐμοὶ οὐ λαλεῖς; “To me do you not speak?” It is intelligible that you should not count it worth your while to answer the charges of that yelling mob; but do you not know that I have power to crucify you and have power to release you?10. Then saith, &c.] Better, Pilate therefore saith to Him, To me Speakest thou not? Whatever He might do before His Jewish persecutors, it was folly to refuse an answer to the Roman governor.
power] Or, authority. See on John 1:12 and comp. John 5:27, John 10:18, John 17:2. In the best texts ‘to release’ is placed first, ‘to crucify’ second.John 19:10. Ἐμοὶ, unto me) This was said with severity.Verse 10. - Therefore saith Pilate to him; nettled by this silence, and with the arrogance of a Roman procurator, Speakest thou net to me? "I do not wonder at your silence before that malignant crowd, but to me your refusal to speak is inexplicable." He did not appear to desire genuine information, nor was his conscience touched by reflecting upon the hateful mistake he had made. "The ἐμοί bears the emphasis of mortified power, which attempts even then to terrify and entice" (Meyer). Archdeacon Watkins says well, "Pilate is true to the vacillating character which now, as man, trembles before One who may be a being from the other world, and now as Roman governor expects that Being to tremble before him." Knowest thou not that I have authority (ἐξουσίαν) to release thee; and that I have authority to crucify thee? Pilate scoffingly assumes supreme authority of life and death, He virtually says, "I am the judge; you are the accused criminal. I am your master, and the master of the Jews; you are absolutely in my power." This, then, was another moment of critical and intense interest, and of tremendous temptation from the prince of this world. The destiny of the Church, of Christianity, and of the world might seem to be trembling in the balance. A single glance, a single word of admission or pleading, a gesture of deference, or merely human confidence, or gentle flattery, to say nothing of the exercise of the very power by which the Lord had erewhile spell-bound his captors, or paralyzed the arms which meant to stone him, and the whole history of the world (judged from human and historical standpoints) would have been utterly different. But the same Christ who would not accept the help of daemons, nor ascend from the mountain of Transfiguration to his native and primeval home, nor at any time work a miracle for the supply of his merely personal need, uttered the memorable words -
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