Matthew 27:1
When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
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(1) Took counsel.—Better, held a council. (Comp. the use of the word in Acts 25:12.) Another formal meeting was held (according to the Jewish rule that the sentence of the judges was not to be given at the same sitting as the trial) to confirm the previous decision, and probably to determine on the next step to be taken. It ended, as the next verse shows, in sending our Lord to Pilate, and leaving to him the responsibility of punishing. They entered, as the sequel shows, on a kind of diplomatic struggle as to the limits of the ecclesiastical and imperial powers, the former seeking to make the latter its tool, the latter to avoid the responsibility of seeming to act in that character.

Matthew 27:1-2. When the morning was come — As soon as the day dawned, the chief priests and elders took counsel against Jesus, &c. — It seems they separated for the space of an hour or two, and at daybreak came together again to consult what method they should take to carry into execution the sentence they had passed against him, namely, to put him to death for the pretended crime of blasphemy. And now they resolved to carry him before Pilate the governor, loaded with chains, that he likewise might give sentence against him. For, indeed, otherwise they could not accomplish their purpose; the power of life and death being now taken out of their hands. The Roman governors of Judea, it must be observed, resided commonly at Cesarea, and there was only an inferior officer in Jerusalem, with a single legion to keep the peace of the city. At the great festivals, however, they came up to prevent or suppress tumults, and to administer justice; for the governors of provinces frequently visited the principal towns under their jurisdiction on this latter account. Accordingly it is insinuated, John 18:39, that Pilate was wont to give judgment in Jerusalem at the passovers. Being come, therefore, as usual, a while before the feast, Pilate heard of the stir that was among the rulers, and was informed, perhaps by Nicodemus, or Joseph of Arimathea, of the character of the person on whose account it was made; and that the chief priests were actuated by envy in their proceedings against him, Matthew 27:18.

27:1-10 Wicked men see little of the consequences of their crimes when they commit them, but they must answer for them all. In the fullest manner Judas acknowledged to the chief priests that he had sinned, and betrayed an innocent person. This was full testimony to the character of Christ; but the rulers were hardened. Casting down the money, Judas departed, and went and hanged himself, not being able to bear the terror of Divine wrath, and the anguish of despair. There is little doubt but that the death of Judas was before that of our blessed Lord. But was it nothing to them that they had thirsted after this blood, and hired Judas to betray it, and had condemned it to be shed unjustly? Thus do fools make a mock at sin. Thus many make light of Christ crucified. And it is a common instance of the deceitfulness of our hearts, to make light of our own sin by dwelling upon other people's sins. But the judgment of God is according to truth. Many apply this passage of the buying the piece of ground, with the money Judas brought back, to signify the favour intended by the blood of Christ to strangers, and sinners of the Gentiles. It fulfilled a prophecy, Zec 11:12. Judas went far toward repentance, yet it was not to salvation. He confessed, but not to God; he did not go to him, and say, I have sinned, Father, against heaven. Let none be satisfied with such partial convictions as a man may have, and yet remain full of pride, enmity, and rebellion.Jesus is brought before Pilate - See also Mark 16:1; Luke 23:1; John 18:28.

When the morning was come - This was not long after Jesus had been condemned by the Sanhedrin.

Peter's last denial was probably not far from three o'clock a. m., or near the break of day. As soon as it was light, the Jews consulted together for the purpose of taking his life. The sun rose at that season of the year in Judea not far from five o'clock a. m., and the time when they assembled, therefore, was not long after Peter's denial.

The chief priests and elders of the people took counsel - They ned on his trial Matthew 26:65-66 agreed that he deserved to die, "on a charge of blasphemy;" yet they did not dare to put him to death by stoning, as they did afterward Stephen Acts 7, and as the law commanded in case of blasphemy, for they feared the people. They therefore "consulted," or took counsel together, to determine on what pretence they could deliver him to the Roman emperor, or to fix some charge of a civil nature by which Pilate might be induced to condemn him. The charge which they fixed on was not that on which they had tried him, and on which they had determined he ought to die, but "that of perverting the nation, and of forbidding to give tribute to Caesar," Luke 23:2. On this accusation, if made out, they supposed Pilate could be induced to condemn Jesus. On a charge of "blasphemy" they knew he could not, as that was not an offence against the Roman laws, and over which, therefore, Pilate claimed no jurisdiction.

To put him to death - To devise some way by which he might be put to death under the authority of the Roman governor.


Mt 27:1-10. Jesus Led Away to Pilate—Remorse and Suicide of Judas. ( = Mr 15:1; Lu 23:1; Joh 18:28).

Jesus Led Away to Pilate (Mt 27:1, 2).

For the exposition of this portion, see on [1367]Joh 18:28, &c.

Remorse and Suicide of Judas (Mt 27:3-10).

This portion is peculiar to Matthew. On the progress of guilt in the traitor, see on [1368]Mr 14:1-11; [1369]Joh 13:21-30.Matthew 27:1,2 Christ is delivered bound to Pilate.

Matthew 27:3-10 Judas hangeth himself.

Matthew 27:11-14 Christ’s silence before Pilate.

Matthew 27:15-18 Pilate’s custom at the feast, and proposal to the people,

Matthew 27:19 his wife’s message.

Matthew 27:20-26 Being urged by the multitude, he washes his hands in

his own justification, and releasing Barabbas

delivereth Jesus to be crucified.

Matthew 27:27-32 Christ is mocked of the soldiers, crowned with thorns,

Matthew 27:33-38 crucified between two thieves,

Matthew 27:39-44 reviled,

Matthew 27:45-50 and calling upon God expires.

Matthew 27:51-56 The astonishing events which attended his death: the

centurion’s confession.

Matthew 27:57-61 Joseph of Arimathea begs his body, and buries it.

Matthew 27:62-66 His sepulchre is sealed, and a watch set over it.

See Poole on "Matthew 27:2".

When the morning was come,.... Or, as soon as it was day, as Luke says, Luke 22:66. The sanhedrim had been up all night, which, after eating the passover, they had spent in apprehending, trying, and examining Jesus, and the witnesses against him; and had come to an unanimous vote, that he was guilty of death; upon which they either put Jesus out of the room for a while, or went into another themselves, to consult what further steps should be taken: or if they went home to their own houses, they very quickly got together again, and met in the temple, where they seem to be, Matthew 27:5, unless the story of Judas is, by anticipation, inserted here; and in their council chamber, where they led Jesus, and examined him again concerning his being the Son of God; see Luke 22:66, all which shows how intent they were upon this business, and with what eagerness and diligence they pursued it; their feet ran to evil, and they made haste to shed blood. This was the time of their morning prayers, of their saying their phylacteries, and reciting the "shema", "hear, O Israel! the Lord our God is one Lord", according to their canon, which is this (e):

"from what time do they read the "shema" in the morning? from such time that a man can distinguish between blue and white: says R. Eliezer, between blue and green; and he finishes it before the sun shines out. R. Joshua says, before three hours had elapsed:''

but religion, rites, ceremonies, and canons, must all give way to the accomplishment of what their hearts were so much set upon:

all the chief priests and elders of the people. The Syriac and Persic versions leave out the word "all", but it is retained in the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and in Munster's Hebrew Gospel, and that very rightly. The Scribes and elders met at Caiaphas's house before, Matthew 26:57, but it being in the night, they might not be all together; Annas particularly seems to have been absent, John 18:24, but now they all assemble together, as in a case of necessity they were obliged to do: their rule was this (f);

"the sanhedrim, consisting of seventy and one (as this was), are obliged to sit all of them as one, (or all, and everyone of them,) in their place in the temple; but at what time there is a necessity of their being gathered together, , "they are all of them assembled"; but, at other times, he who has any business may go, and do his pleasure, and return: yet so it is, that there may not be less than twenty three sitting continually all the time of their sitting; (their usual time of sitting was from the morning daily sacrifice, to the evening daily sacrifice (g);) one that is under a necessity of going out; this looks upon his companions that remain, and if twenty three remain, he may go out; but if not, he may not, until the other returns.''

This being now a case of necessity, and great importance, they are all summoned and gathered together, unless we except Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus; who yet might be there, though they did not consent to their counsel and deed, as is certain of the former, Luke 23:51, these

took counsel against Jesus; God's holy child Jesus, his anointed, the Messiah; and which was taking counsel against the Lord himself; and so the prophecy in Psalm 2:2, had its accomplishment: what they consulted about was

to put him to death; it was not what punishment to inflict upon him, whether scourging or death; that was before determined; they had already condemned him to death: but now they enter into close consultation what death to put him to, and in what manner; whether privately, he being now in their hands; or whether by the means of zealots, or by the Roman magistrate; or whether it should be by stoning, which must have been the case, if they put him to death according to their law; and by their authority; or whether by crucifixion, which they chose as the most ignominious and painful; and therefore determined to deliver him up to the Roman governor, and use their interest with him to put him to death, according to the Roman law.

(e) Misn. Beracot, c. 1. sect. 2.((f) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 3. sect. 2.((g) lb. c. 3. sect. 1. Bernidbar Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 177. 3.

When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
Matthew 27:1 By the time the Sanhedrim met, as it now did, in full sederunt (πάντες, comp. Matthew 26:59), for the purpose of consulting as to how they were now to give effect to the verdict of Matthew 26:66, it was well on in the morning (after cock-crowing, Matthew 26:74).

ὥστε] they consulted before going further (comp. on Matthew 22:15) as to what the consequence might be (comp. on Matthew 24:24) if they carried out their intention of putting Him to death, in other words, if they were likewise to give effect to the verdict already agreed upon: ἔνοχος θανάτου ἐστί.

Matthew 27:1-2. Morning meeting of the Sanhedrim (Mark 15:1, Luke 22:66; Luke 23:1).

Ch. Matthew 27:1. The Second and formal Meeting of the Sanhedrin

St Mark 15:1; St Luke 22:66-71; not mentioned by St John

Matthew 27:1. Πάντες, all) This council was more fully attended than that of the preceding night; see ch. Matthew 26:57.—ὥστε θανατῶσαι Αὐτὸν, to put Him to death) In execution of the sentence which had been passed on the preceding night.

Verses 1, 2. - Jesus brought to Pilate. (Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66; Luke 23:1; John 18:28.) Verse 1. - When the morning was come. This is the early morning of Good Friday, the 14th of Nisan. If the rulers had had special regard to legality, they could not have condemned Christ to death at night, as they had done at the late informal assembly; but their respect for conventional rules was overborne by passion and hatred. They had decreed his death by general consent, and then retired for a few hours' necessary rest. Now they again met together, still in the palace of Caiaphas (John 18:28), in order to complete their evil work, to endorse the previous sentence, and, under some pretence, hand their Victim over to the Roman governor, who alone could execute their murderous purpose. The particle δὲ (πρωι'´ας δὲ γενομένης), omitted by the Authorized Version, takes us back to the conclusion of the council (Matthew 26:66), the account of its further proceedings being interrupted by the episode of Peter. All the chief priests and elders of the people. It was a large assembly of the Sanhedrin, many members, doubtless, taking part in these proceedings, now that the capital sentence was past, who would not have deliberately planned a judicial murder. Such was the course of Jewish casuistry. To (ὥστε) put him to death. The council had merely to determine how to formulate such a political charge against Jesus as would compel the Romans to punish the offender with death. They were determined that he should die by an ignominious and cursed death, that his pretensions, as being sent by God, might be disposed of forever. Hence arose the persistent cry, "Crucify him!" (vers. 22, 23). The Jewish view of crucifixion is seen in Deuteronomy 21:23 and Galatians 3:13. They possibly feared some outbreak if they delayed the execution, and kept him prisoner till the conclusion of the feast. Matthew 27:1
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