Luke 23:16
I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
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(16) I will therefore chastise him.—The primary meaning of the word was to correct as children are corrected, thence to use the rod, as in Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 29:17. As used here it implied the Roman punishment of scourging. Pilate was here, as throughout, halting between two opinions, convinced of the innocence of the Accused, yet afraid to oppose the people. Would it not be enough, he thought, that they should see Him treated as guilty of a minor offence? Would they not accept His release as part of the ceremonial of the day?

23:13-25 The fear of man brings many into this snare, that they will do an unjust thing, against their consciences, rather than get into trouble. Pilate declares Jesus innocent, and has a mind to release him; yet, to please the people, he would punish him as an evil-doer. If no fault be found in him, why chastise him? Pilate yielded at length; he had not courage to go against so strong a stream. He delivered Jesus to their will, to be crucified.I will therefore chastise him - The word "chastise" here means to "scourge or to whip." This was usually done before capital punishment, to increase the sufferings of the man condemned. It is not easy to see the reason why, if Pilate supposed Jesus to be "innocent," he should propose publicly to scourge him. It was as "really" unjust to do that as it was to crucify him. But probably he expected by this to conciliate the minds of his accusers; to show them that he was willing to gratify them if it "could" be done with propriety; and perhaps he expected that by seeing him whipped and disgraced, and condemned to ridicule, to contempt, and to suffering, they would be satisfied. It is farther remarked that among the Romans it was competent for a magistrate to inflict a "slight" punishment on a man when a charge of gross offence was not fully made out, or where there was not sufficient testimony to substantiate the precise charge alleged. All this shows,

1. The palpable "injustice" of our Lord's condemnation;

2. The persevering malice and obstinacy of the Jews; and,

3. The want of firmness in Pilate.

He should have released him at once; but the love of "popularity" led him to the murder of the Son of God. Man should do his duty in all situations; and he that, like Pilate, seeks only for public favor and popularity, will assuredly be led into crime.

Lu 23:13-38. Jesus Again before Pilate—Delivered Up—Led Away to Be Crucified.

(See on [1736]Mr 15:6-15; and [1737]Joh 19:2-17).

See Poole on "Luke 23:1"

I will therefore chastise him,.... Give him some correction, as by scourging, or beating with rods: this he proposed, not because he thought him deserving of it, but in complaisance to the Jews; since it would look as if their charges were not altogether weak and groundless; and that Jesus was not entirely innocent: this would carry a show of guilt and punishment, and he hoped this might be thought sufficient, and so he should please them, and save Jesus from dying, which he much desired:

and release him; from his bonds, and let him go.

{5} I will therefore chastise him, and release him.

(5) The wisdom of the flesh is to choose the lesser of two evils, but God curses such plans.

Luke 23:16. παιδεύσας: doubtless used here in the Hellenistic sense of chastise, scourge—a mild name for an ugly thing. The policy of the proposal Euthy. thus explains: “a moderate flagellation (μετρίαν μαστίγωσιν) to mitigate their wrath, that thinking they had gained their point they might cease from further madness”. A weak, futile policy. “Hic coepit nimium concedere” (Bengel). Fanaticism grows by concession (Schanz).

16. I will therefore chastise him] This was the point at which Pilate began to yield to the fatal vacillation which soon passed into guilt and made it afterwards impossible for him to escape. He had just declared the prisoner absolutely innocent. To subject Him, therefore, to the horrible punishment of scourging merely to gratify the pride of the Jews, and to humble Him in their eyes (Deuteronomy 25:3), was an act of disgraceful illegality, which he must have felt to be most unworthy of the high Roman sense of ‘Justice’ The guilty dread which made Pilate a weak man is well illustrated by what Philo says of him (Leg. ad Caium, 38). But he was the unconscious fulfiller of prophecy (Isaiah 53:5). The restless eagerness of his various attempts to secure the acquittal of Jesus is brought out most forcibly by St John.

Luke 23:16. Παιδεύσας) Having chastised, viz. with scourging. A Meiosis [i.e. the term παιδεύσας is a softer expression than what Pilate really meant]. At this point Pilate began to concede more than he ought.

Luke 23:16Chastise (παιδεύσας)

Originally to bring up a child (παῖς). Hence, to instruct; so Acts 7:22, of Moses instructed in the wisdom of the Egyptians; and Acts 22:3, of Paul instructed in the law. To discipline or correct, as Hebrews 12:6, Hebrews 12:7. The word is not synonymous with punish, since it always implies an infliction which contemplates the subject's amendment; and hence answers to chastise or chasten. So Hebrews 12:10; Revelation 3:19. In popular speech chastise and punish are often confounded. Chasten is from the Latin castus, "pure," "chaste ;" and to chasten is, properly, to purify. This meaning underlies even the use of the word by Pilate, who was not likely to be nice in his choice of words. Instead of punishing him with death, he will chastise him, in order to teach him better. So Wyc., I shall deliver him amended.

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