Matthew 27:25
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) His blood be on us, and on our children.—The passionate hate of the people leads them, as if remembering the words of their own Law, to invert the prayer—which Pilate’s act had, it may be, brought to their remembrance—“Lay not innocent blood to Thy people of Israel’s charge” (Deuteronomy 21:8), into a defiant imprecation. No more fearful prayer is recorded in the history of mankind; and a natural feeling has led men to see its fulfilment in the subsequent shame and misery that were for centuries the portion of the Jewish people. We have to remember, however, that but a fractional part of the people were present; that some at least of the rulers, such as Joseph of Arimathæa, Nicodemus, and probably Gamaliel, had not consented to the deed of blood (Luke 23:51), and that even in such a case as this it is still true that “the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father” (Ezekiel 18:20), except so far as he consents to it, and reproduces it.

27:11-25 Having no malice against Jesus, Pilate urged him to clear himself, and laboured to get him discharged. The message from his wife was a warning. God has many ways of giving checks to sinners, in their sinful pursuits, and it is a great mercy to have such checks from Providence, from faithful friends, and from our own consciences. O do not this abominable thing which the Lord hates! is what we may hear said to us, when we are entering into temptation, if we will but regard it. Being overruled by the priests, the people made choice of Barabbas. Multitudes who choose the world, rather than God, for their ruler and portion, thus choose their own delusions. The Jews were so bent upon the death of Christ, that Pilate thought it would be dangerous to refuse. And this struggle shows the power of conscience even on the worst men. Yet all was so ordered to make it evident that Christ suffered for no fault of his own, but for the sins of his people. How vain for Pilate to expect to free himself from the guilt of the innocent blood of a righteous person, whom he was by his office bound to protect! The Jews' curse upon themselves has been awfully answered in the sufferings of their nation. None could bear the sin of others, except Him that had no sin of his own to answer for. And are we not all concerned? Is not Barabbas preferred to Jesus, when sinners reject salvation that they may retain their darling sins, which rob God of his glory, and murder their souls? The blood of Christ is now upon us for good, through mercy, by the Jews' rejection of it. O let us flee to it for refuge!His blood be on us ... - That is, let the guilt of putting him to death, if there be any, be on us and our children. We will be answerable for it, and will consent to bear the punishment for it. It is remarked by writers that, among the Athenians, if anyone accused another of a capital crime, he devoted himself and children to the same punishment if the accused was afterward found innocent. So in all countries the conduct of the parent involves the children in the consequences of his conduct. The Jews had no right to call down this vengeance on their children, but, in the righteous judgment of God, it has come upon them. In less than forty years their city and temple were overthrown and destroyed. More than a million of people perished in the siege. Thousands died by famine; thousands by disease; thousands by the sword; and their blood ran down the streets like water, so that, Josephus says, it extinguished things that were burning in the city. Thousands were crucified suffering the same punishment that they had inflicted on the Messiah. So great was the number of those who were crucified, that, Josephus says, they were obliged to cease from it, "room being wanted for the crosses, and crosses for the men." See the notes at Matthew 24. To this day, also, the curse has remained. They have been a nation scattered and peeled; persecuted almost everywhere, and a hissing and a byword among people. No single nation, probably, has suffered so much; and yet they have been preserved. All classes of people, all the governments of the earth, have conspired to overwhelm them with calamity, and yet they still live as monuments of the justice of God, and as proofs, going down from age to age, that the Christian religion is true - standing demonstrations of the crime of their fathers in putting the Messiah to death, and in calling down vengeance on their heads. Mt 27:11-26. Jesus Again before Pilate—He Seeks to Release Him but at Length Delivers Him to Be Crucified. ( = Mr 15:1-15; Lu 23:1-25; Joh 18:28-40).

For the exposition, see on [1372]Lu 23:1-25; [1373]Joh 18:28-40.

See Poole on "Matthew 27:26".

Then answered all the people,.... They were as unanimous in their imprecations upon themselves, as in desiring the crucifixion of Christ:

and said, his blood be on us, and on our children; not for the cleansing of them from sin, which virtue that blood has, but if there were any stain, blot, or pollution, through the shedding of it, they wished it might be on them and theirs: not for the forgiveness of sins, which that blood was shed for; but on the contrary, if there was any sin and guilt in it, they desired it might be imputed to them: nor for their justification before God, and security from wrath to come, both which are by his blood; but all the reverse of this, that if there were any punishment, and condemnation, and death, due for the shedding of it, they imprecated it all upon themselves, and their posterity: so this phrase is used in Joshua 2:19, and in other places, and in the Talmud (s): and it is a notion of the Jews, that the guilt of innocent blood, and the blood of that innocent man's children, lie not only upon the persons immediately concerned, but upon their children to the end of the world: and so the judges used to address the witnesses upon a trial, after this manner (t);

"know ye, that capital causes, are not as pecuniary ones: in pecuniary causes, a man gives his money, and it atones for him; but in capital causes, , "his blood, and the blood of his seed, hang upon him", to the end of the whole world: for lo! of Cain it is said, "the voice of the blood of thy brother cryeth", &c. his blood, and the blood of his seed.''

And this imprecation of theirs, has been notoriously verified in them; for though this blood was shed for many of them, and Christ prayed for the forgiveness of them, and they had the Gospel, and the doctrine of remission of sins first preached among them, which was made the power of God unto salvation to some of them, even of those who were concerned in the crucifixion of Christ; yet, on the generality of them, his blood was in the sense they wished it; and for the shedding of it, wrath came upon them to the uttermost, in the entire destruction of their nation, city, and temple, and very remarkable it is, that great numbers of them were put to death by crucifixion; and very likely some of those very persons, that were so clamorous for the crucifying of Christ; and if not, at least their children; five hundred of the Jews and more, were sometimes crucified in a day, whilst Titus was besieging the city; till at length there wanted "room for crosses", "and crosses for bodies", as Josephus (u) says, who was an eyewitness of it: and to this day, this dreadful wish of the blood of Christ upon them, is to be seen in their miserable, abject, and captive state; and will be, until such time that they look to him whom they have pierced, and mourn.

(s) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 110. 1. Yoma, fol. 2l. 1. & Avoda Zara, fol. 12. 2.((t) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 12. sect. 3.((u) De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 12.

Then answered all the people, and said, {i} His blood be on us, and on our children.

(i) If there is any offence committed in slaying him, let us and our posterity suffer for it.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 27:25 Ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς, κ.τ.λ.] Defiant and vindictive cry, in the hurry of which (τοιαύτη γὰρ ἡ ὁρμὴ κ. ἡ πονηρὰ ἐπιθυμία, Chrysostom) the verb is left to be understood (Matthew 23:35). Comp. 2 Samuel 1:16, and see on Acts 18:6. From what we know of such wild outbursts of popular fanaticism, there is no ground for supposing (Strauss; comp. also Keim, Scholten, Volkmar) that the language only represents the matter as seen from the standpoint of Christians, by whom the destruction of the Jews had come to be regarded as a judgment for putting Jesus to death. And as for their wicked imprecations on their own heads, they were only in accordance with the decrees of the divine nemesis, and therefore are to be regarded in the light of unconscious prophecy.

25. His blood be on us, and on our children] Also peculiar to Matthew. St Peter finds as the sole excuse for his fellow countrymen, “I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17). The prayer of Jesus on the cross for His murderers was meant for these as well as for the Roman soldiers.

Matthew 27:25. Πᾶς ὁ λαὸς, κ.τ.λ., all the people, etc.) An argument against the Jews why they are at present in exile, although that exile is somewhat less severe than formerly.—ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς, κ.τ.λ., upon us, etc.) cf. Deuteronomy 28:18; Psalm 69:24; Psalm 109:17. They mean, “We will be accountable for it.”[1189]

[1189] They bind themselves with the bonds of guilt, but yet do not thereby set Pilate free from it. You may possibly, in a single moment, commit an act which you must pay the penalty of throughout your whole life, nay, even throughout eternity. Nor are there wanting persons who have much less hesitation in incurring guilt than Pilate had.—V. g.

Verse 25. - Then answered all the people. Instigated by the Sanhedrists working insidiously among them, the multitude, now very numerous, respond with fiendish alacrity to Pilate's deprecation. It was a unanimous, a national assumption of guilt, lightly undertaken, terribly vindicated. His blood be on us, and on our children. The consequences of this condemnation, be they what they may, we are willing to suffer. Let God visit it, if he will. upon us and our children; we and they will cheerfully bear the penalty. A mad and impious imprecation. the fulfilment of which quickly commenced, and has continued unto this day. The terrible events connected with the destruction of Jerusalem, the overthrow of the theocracy, and the eighteen centuries of exile and dispersion, bear witness to the reality of the vengeance thus wantonly invoked. "As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them" (Psalm 140:9). Matthew 27:25
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