Mark 15:15
And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
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(15-21) And so Pilate, willing to content the people.—The word which St. Mark uses for “content” appears to be the Greek equivalent for the Latin satisfacere, and so takes its place in the evidence for St. Mark’s connection with Rome and the Roman Church.

Scourged him.—The word, like that in St. Matthew, is formed from the Latin flagellum, and forms another link in the chain of evidence just referred to.

15:15-21 Christ met death in its greatest terror. It was the death of the vilest malefactors. Thus the cross and the shame are put together. God having been dishonoured by the sin of man, Christ made satisfaction by submitting to the greatest disgrace human nature could be loaded with. It was a cursed death; thus it was branded by the Jewish law, De 21:23. The Roman soldiers mocked our Lord Jesus as a King; thus in the high priest's hall the servants had mocked him as a Prophet and Saviour. Shall a purple or scarlet robe be matter of pride to a Christian, which was matter of reproach and shame to Christ? He wore the crown of thorns which we deserved, that we might wear the crown of glory which he merited. We were by sin liable to everlasting shame and contempt; to deliver us, our Lord Jesus submitted to shame and contempt. He was led forth with the workers of iniquity, though he did no sin. The sufferings of the meek and holy Redeemer, are ever a source of instruction to the believer, of which, in his best hours, he cannot be weary. Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I, a vile sinner, fret or repine? Shall I indulge anger, or utter reproaches and threats because of troubles and injuries?See the principal events in this chapter explained in the notes at Matthew 27. CHAPTER 15

Mr 15:1-20. Jesus Is Brought before Pilate—At a Second Hearing, Pilate, after Seeking to Release Him, Delivers Him Up—After Being Cruelly Entreated, He Is Led Away to Be Crucified. ( = Mt 26:1, 2, 11-31; Lu 23:1-6, 13-25; Joh 18:28-19:16).

See on [1518]Joh 18:28-19:16.

See Poole on "Mark 15:2"

And so Pilate, willing to content the people,.... To satisfy and make them easy, who were become very noisy and tumultuous, and fearing the consequences of their resentment, should he not comply, of which he had formerly had experience; therefore to humour them, and keep in their favour, after he had washed his hands, to testify his innocence in the matter,

he released Barabbas unto them; the seditious person, robber, and murderer, as they desired:

and delivered Jesus when he had scourged him; or having scourged him; for this he had done before, hoping the Jews would have been satisfied with that, and not have insisted on any further punishment. The Arabic version very wrongly renders the words, "and delivered unto them Jesus, that he might be scourged": as if this was afterwards to be done by the Jews, or Roman soldiers; whereas he had scourged him before, and now delivered him

to be crucified, as they desired; in which he acted contrary to law and justice, to the violation of his own conscience, and merely to gratify the humour of the people; See Gill on Matthew 27:26.

And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
Mark 15:15-20. See on Matthew 27:26-31. Comp. Luke 23:24-25.

τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι] satisfacere, to do what was enough, to content them. See examples from Diog. Laert., Appian, and so forth, in Wetstein and Kypke. Comp. λαμβάνειν τὸ ἱκανόν, Acts 17:9.

Mark 15:16. Matthew has: εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον; the vividly descriptive Mark has: ἔσω τῆς αὐλῆς, ὅ ἐστι πραιτώριον, into the interior of the court, which is the praetorium, for they did not bring Him into the house and call the cohorts together thither, but into the inner court surrounded by the buildings (the court-yard) which formed the area of the praetorium, so that, when people went from without into this court through the portal (πυλών, comp. on Matthew 26:71) they found themselves in the praetorium. Accordingly αὐλή is not in this place to be translated palace (see on Matthew 26:3), but court, as always in the N. T. Comp. Mark 14:66; Mark 14:54.

On the attracted by the predicative substantive, comp. Winer, p. 150 [E. T. 206]

πορφύραν] a purple robe. Matthew specifies the robe more definitely (χλαμύδα), and the colour differently (κοκκίνην), following another tradition.

Mark 15:18. ἤρξαντο] after that investiture; a new act.

Mark 15:15. Pilate was now quite sure what the people wished, and so, as an opportunist, he let them have their way.—τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι: to satisfy (here only in N. T.) = satisfacere in Vulg[153], perhaps a Latinism (vide Grotius), but found in later Greek (vide Raphel and Elsner).—φραγελλώσας: certainly a Latinism, from flagellare.

[153] Vulgate (Jerome’s revision of old Latin version).

15. And so Pilate] One hope, however, the procurator still seems to have retained. Irresolution indeed had gone too far, and he could not retrace his steps. He thought he must content the people, and therefore released Barabbas unto them. But he imagined there was room for a compromise. Clamorous as was the crowd, perhaps they would be satisfied with a punishment only less terrible than the Cross, and so he gave the order that He, Whom he had pronounced perfectly innocent, should be scourged.

willing to content the people] “willinge for to do ynow to þe peple,” Wyclif. Here we have one of St Mark’s Latinisms. The Greek expression answers exactly to the Latin satisfacere=to satisfy appease, content.

when he had scourged him] Generally the scourging before crucifixion was inflicted by lictors (Livy, xxxiii. 36; Jos. Bell. Jud. ii. 14. 9; v. 11. 1). But Pilate, as sub-governor, had no lictors at his disposal, and therefore the punishment was inflicted by soldiers. Lange, iv. 356 n. The Roman scourging was horribly severe. Drops of lead and small sharp-pointed bones were often plaited into the scourges, and the sufferers not unfrequently died under the infliction. Compare the horribile flagellum of Hor. Sat. i. iii. 119; and “flagrum pecuinis ossibus catenatum,” Apul. Met. viii. That the soldiers could not have performed their duty with forbearance on this occasion, is plain from the wanton malice, with which they added mockery to the scourging.

to be crucified] But the compromise did not content the excited multitude. The spectacle of so much suffering so meekly borne did not suffice. “If thou let this man go,” they cried, “thou art not Cæsar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar” (John 19:12). This crafty well-chosen cry roused all Pilate’s fears. He could only too well divine the consequences if they accused him of sparing a prisoner who had been accused of treason before the gloomy suspicious Tiberius (“atrocissimè exercebat leges majestatis,” Suet. Vit. Tib. c. 58; Tac. Ann. iii. 38). His fears for his own personal safety turned the scale. After one more effort therefore (John 19:13-15), he gave the word, the irrevocable word, “Let Him be crucified” (John 19:16), and the long struggle was over. St John, it is to be observed, mentions the scourging as one of Pilate’s final attempts to release Jesus. St Mark, like St Matthew, looks upon it as the first act in the awful tragedy of the Crucifixion. Both views are equally true. The scourging should have moved the people; it only led them to greater obduracy; it proved, as St Mark brings out, the opening scene in the Crucifixion.

Mark 15:15. Τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι) to content, or satisfy.

Verse 15. - And Pilate, wishing βουλόμενος to content the multitude, released unto them Barabbas, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. St. Luke and St. John are more full in details here. From their narratives it appears that when Pilate found that his attempt to rescue our Lord, by putting Barabbas in contrast with him, had failed, he next hoped to move the multitude to pity by the terrible punishment of scourging, after which he trusted that they would relent. Scourging was a vile punishment, inflicted on slaves. But it was also inflicted upon those who were condemned to death, even though freemen This scourging, which was a part of the punishment of crucifixion, was of frightful severity. Horace ('Sat.' 1:3, 119) speaks of it as "horrible flagellum." But it appears from St. John (John 21:1) that the scourging of Jesus took place before his formal condemnation to be crucified; we may therefore suppose that it was not a part of the ordinary punishment of crucifixion. At all events, there is nothing, upon a careful comparison of the narratives, to lead us to the conclusion that our blessed Lord was scourged twice. In fact, Pilate anticipated the time of the scourging, in the vain hope that he might by this means save our Lord from the capital punishment. A comparison of the narratives of St. Matthew and St. Mark with that of St. John will make this clear; for they all three refer to one and the same scourging. Recent investigations at Jerusalem have disclosed what may probably have been the place of the punishment. In a subterranean chamber, discovered by Captain Warren, on what Mr. Fergusson holds to be the site of Antonia, Pilate's praetorium, stands a truncated column, no part of the structure itself, but just such a dwarf pillar as criminals would be tied to to be scourged. The chamber cannot be later than the time of Herod (see Professor Westcott on St. John 19.). Mark 15:15To content (τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι)

Lit., to do the sufficient thing. Compare the popular phrase, Do the right thing. A Latinism, and used by Mark only. Wyc., to do enough to the people.

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