When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth…
Pilate's time for playing with the situation is gone; now the situation plays with him. First he said, not asked, "What is truth?" Now his frightened heart, to which the emperor's favour is the supreme law of life, says, "What is justice?"
(J. P. Lange, D. D.)
A place that is called the pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gahbatha. — Both these words occur here only, and are instances of the writer's minute knowledge of the localities in Jerusalem. It may have been better to have preserved the Greek name (Lithost-roton), as well as that by which the place was known in the Hebrew (Syro-Chaldaic), of the time. The word literally means stonepaved, and was the Greek name for the tesselated "pavement" of marble and coloured stones with which, from the time of Sylla, the Romans delighted to adorn the Praetorium. The Chaldic word means "an elevated place," so that the one name was given to it from its form, and the other from the material of which it was made. Suetonius tells us that Julius Caesar carried about with him such pieces of marble and stone, but the mention of the "place" bears the impression that it was a fixture in front of the Praetorium at Jerusalem, in which the Bema was placed; or it may have been a portion of the northern court of the sanctuary to which Pilate came out, if we identify the Praetorium with the tower Antonia (cf. Matthew 27:27). Josephus mentions that the whole of the Temple mountain was paved with this kind of mosaic work.
Parallel VersesKJV: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.