Luke 23:17
(For of necessity he must release one to them at the feast.)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) For of necessity he must release one unto them.—Literally, he had a necessity. The better MSS. are singularly divided as to this verse. Most omit it altogether. One, followed by some of the versions, has it after Luke 23:19. It would seem probable from these facts that the narrative was originally written without it, that it was then felt that the release of Barabbas required an explanation, and that a note was first added in the margin, either by a transcriber or by the writer himself in a duplicate copy, and then found its way into the text. The precise form of the phrase, to “have a necessity,” is not found in the other Gospels, but is common to St. Luke (Luke 11:18 and here), and St. Paul (1Corinthians 7:37). It is found also in Hebrews 7:27; Jude Luke 23:3. On the practice thus described, see Note on Matthew 27:15.

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.See the notes at Matthew 27:15. 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" For of necessity he must release one,.... And therefore proposed to release Jesus

unto them at the feast; of passover, which now was; not that there was any law that obliged to it, but it having been customary with the Roman governor to do so, the people expected it; custom had made it necessary: and so the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions render it, "it was a custom to release", &c. not at each feast, or every feast, as the last of these versions read, only at the passover, as is expressed, John 18:39.

(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 23:17-25. Pilate finally succumbs (Matthew 27:15-26, Mark 15:6-15).17. For of necessity, &c.] Rather, But. The whole verse, however, is of dubious genuineness, and may have come from a marginal gloss. It is omitted in A, B, K, L. In D it is placed after Luke 23:19. The Gospels are our sole authority for this concession, which is, however, entirely in accordance with Roman policy.Verse 17. - (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) Probably, however, before the scourging was inflicted, the attempt to liberate Jesus in accordance with a custom belonging to that feast was made by Pilate. We know it failed, and a condemned robber called Barabbas was preferred by the people. The more ancient authorities omit this verse (17). It probably was introduced at an early period into many manuscripts of St. Luke as a marginal. gloss, as an explanatory statement based on the words of Matthew 27:15 or of Mark 15:6. As a Hebrew custom, it is never mentioned save in this place. Such a release was a common incident of a Latin Lectisternium, or feast in honour of the gods. The Greeks had a similar custom at the Thesmophoria. It was probably introduced at Jerusalem by the Roman power.
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