And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That they might take Jesus by subtilty.—The plan implied in these words and in those that follow (“not on the feast day”) would seem to have been hastened in its accomplishment by the unexpected treachery of Judas. They had intended to wait till the feast was over, but the temptation thus offered was too great to be resisted, and they accordingly stepped out of the limits which their caution had suggested, and were content to run the risk even of an “uproar among the people” within the twenty-four hours of the Paschal Feast.
Jesus was regarded by the people as a distinguished prophet, and by most of them, probably, as the Messiah; and the Sanhedrin did not dare to take him away openly, lest the people should rise and rescue him. They were probably aware that he had gone out to Bethany, or to some place adjacent to the city; and as he passed his nights there and not in the city, there was need of guile to ascertain the place to which he had retired, and to take him.
Mt 26:1-16. Christ's Final Announcement of his Death, as Now within Two Days, and the Simultaneous Conspiracy of the Jewish Authorities to Compass It—The Anointing at Bethany—Judas Agrees with the Chief Priests to Betray His Lord. ( = Mr 14:1-11; Lu 22:1-6; Joh 12:1-11).
For the exposition, see on Mr 14:1-11.See Poole on "Matthew 26:5".
and kill him; not with their own hands, nor privately; but their scheme was to apprehend him privately, by some secret artifice, and then deliver him to the Roman governor; to put him to death according to law, publicly, for crimes they had to charge him with; hereby Psalm 2:2, had its accomplishment, at least in part.And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 26:4. ἵνα with subjunctive after a verb of effort or plan; in classic Greek oftener ὅπως with future indicative (Burton, § 205).—δόλῳ by, craft, a method characteristic of clerics; indigna consultatio (Bengel); cowardly and merciless.4. consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty] It was no longer possible (1) to entrap Him by argument (Matthew 22:46); (2) to discredit Him with the Roman government (Matthew 22:22); or (3) to take Him by force.Matthew 26:4. Δόλῳ, by craft) An unworthy consultation.Verse 4. - By subtilty. They had decided to put Jesus to death; the question was how to get possession of his Person when there would be no attempt at a rescue, nor any tumult in his favour. The original is literally, They took counsel in order that they might take, etc. They seem scarcely to have reckoned on any legal trial; once they had him quietly in their hands, they would find means to dispose of him.
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