27:1 Now when morning was come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: THIRD STAGE OF JEWISH TRIAL. JESUS FORMALLY CONDEMNED BY THE SANHEDRIN AND LED TO PILATE. (Jerusalem. Friday after dawn.) Matthew 27:1,2; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-23:1; John 18:28
All the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against
Jesus. See Mark
27:2 and they bound him, and led him away, and
delivered him up to Pilate the governor1.
And delivered him up to Pilate the governor. See Mark
27:3 Then Judas,
who betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned1,
repented himself, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief
priests and elders,
REMORSE AND SUICIDE OF JUDAS. (In the temple and outside the wall of
Jerusalem. Friday morning.) Matthew
Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned.
Judas, having no reason to fear the enemies of Jesus, probably stood in
their midst and witnessed the entire trial.
27:4 saying, I
have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood1. But they
said, What is that to us? see thou [to it].
I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood. There are two
Greek words which are translated "repented", the one properly so
translated, "metanoeo", which means literally "to know
after" and which therefore means a change of mind or purpose; and the
other, "metamellomai", which is used here and which means
literally "to care after", indicates a sorrow for the past. The
first should be translated "repent"; the second,
"regret". Trench draws the distinction thus:
"He who has "changed his mind" about the past is in the
way to change everything; he who has an "after care" may have
little or nothing more than a selfish dread of the consequences of what he
Considering the prophecy which had been uttered with regard to Judas' act
26:24), he had good reason to fear the consequences. While he testifies
as to the innocence of Jesus, he expresses no affection for him.
What is that to us? see thou [to it]. The rulers did not share with
Judas the wish to undo what had been done. They have been censured for not
receiving the testimony which Judas gave as to the innocence of Jesus. But
as they condemned Jesus upon his own testimony, any evidence which Judas
might give would be, from their standpoint, irrelevant and immaterial. Could
Judas testify that Jesus was indeed the Son of God? If our Lord's own
testimony to this effect was regarded as blasphemy, nothing which Judas
could say would change the case. But the testimony of Judas, in the free,
untechnical court of public opinion, is of vast weight and importance. It
shows that one who had every opportunity of knowing Jesus, and who was
sordid enough to betray him, was yet forced for conscience' sake to admit
that there was no reason why he should have done so.
27:5 And he cast
down the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, and departed1;
and he went away and hanged himself.
He cast down the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, and departed.
Judas found the chief priests in the sanctuary. Having obtained from Pilate
the condemnation of Jesus, they hastened back to the temple to discharge
their morning duties. This gave the soldiers time to mock Jesus and Pilate
time to order and prepare the crucifixion. And so, though Jesus was
sentenced at six o'clock in the morning (John
19:14), he was not crucified until the third hour, or nine o'clock (Mark
15:25). Thus the priests were enabled to be present at the crucifixion,
or at least very soon after the crosses were erected. Judas, finding that
they would not receive his money, cast it down before them that his hands
might be no longer burnt by holding it.
27:6 And the chief priests took the pieces
of silver, and said, It is not lawful to put them into
the treasury, since it is the price of blood1.
It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price
of blood. The law of God made no provision as to the uses of blood
money; it was the tradition of the elders which thus forbade to put it into
the treasury. Theirs was a strange conscience indeed, which could take out
the Lord's money (and, under the then existing Jewish theocratic government,
all public money was the Lord's money) and spend it for blood, but when it
was so spent they could not put it back! Moreover, theirs was a strange
admission. If the money given to Judas was properly expended for the arrest
of a real criminal, it was justice money, and not blood money at all.
27:7 And they took counsel, and
bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in1.
And bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. That
is, the foreigners who died in Jerusalem. Whether rich or poor, they were
not wanted in Jewish graveyards. The potter's field, being excavated for
clay, would be of little value, and would sell cheap.
that field was called, the field of blood, unto this day1.
Wherefore that field was called, the field of blood, unto this day.
This mark of time shows that Matthew's Gospel was written a good many years
after the crucifixion.
27:9 Then was
fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah1 the
prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of
silver2, the price of him that was priced, whom [certain]
of the children of Israel did price;
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah. This
quotation is not found in any writings of Jeremiah which we have, and as
there are no other indications of lost writings of that prophet, it is
reasonable to suppose that Matthew refers to Zechariah
11:12,13, and that early transcribers miscopied the name, which, in the
Greek, could be done by changing only two letters; viz.: "i" for
"z" and "m" for "r".
And they took the thirty pieces of silver, etc. The prophecy is one
of the third class described previously. See Matthew
27:11 Now Jesus
stood before the governor1: and the governor asked him,
saying, Art thou the King of the Jews2?
And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
FIRST STAGE OF THE ROMAN TRIAL. JESUS BEFORE PILATE FOR THE FIRST TIME.
(Jerusalem. Early Friday morning.) Matthew
Jesus stood before the governor. Jesus is called from the guards
who have him in custody and stands alone before Pilate that the governor may
investigate his case privately.
Art thou the King of the Jews? etc. See Mark
27:12 And when he
was accused by the chief priests and elders1, he
When he was accused by the chief priests and elders. See Luke
He answered nothing. When Pilate left the Praetorium to speak with
the Jewish rulers, it is evident that Jesus was led out with him, and so
stood there in the presence of his accusers.
27:13 Then saith Pilate unto him, Hearest
thou not how many things they witness against thee1?
Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? See Mark
27:14 And he gave
him no answer, not even to one word1: insomuch that the
governor marvelled greatly.
He gave him no answer, not even to one word. See Mark
27:15 Now at the
feast1 the governor was wont to release unto the multitude
one prisoner, whom they would.
THIRD STAGE OF THE ROMAN TRIAL. PILATE RELUCTANTLY SENTENCES HIM TO
CRUCIFIXION. (Friday. Toward sunrise.) Matthew
Now at the feast, etc. See Mark
27:16 And they
had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas2.
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. See Mark
27:17 When therefore they were gathered
together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas,
or Jesus who is called Christ?
Whom will ye that I release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called
Christ? See Mark
27:19 And while he was sitting on the
judgment-seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have
thou nothing to do with that righteous man1; for I have
suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
Have thou nothing to do with that righteous man, etc. This message
of Pilate's wife suggests that the name and face of Jesus were not unknown
to Pilate's household. Pilate would be much influenced by such a message.
The Romans generally were influenced by all presages, and Suetonius tells us
that both Julius and Augustus Caesar attached much importance to dreams.
27:20 Now the
chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitude1s
that they should ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitude, etc. See Mark
27:23 And he said, Why,
what evil hath he done1? But they cried out exceedingly,
saying, Let him be crucified.
Why, what evil hath he done? etc. See Mark
27:24 So when
Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing1, but rather that a
tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hands
before the multitude2, saying, I am innocent of the blood
of this righteous man; see ye [to it].
When Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing. See Luke
He took water, and washed his hands before the multitude. Pilate's
act was symbolic, intended to show that he regarded the crucifixion of Jesus
as a murder, and therefore meant to wash his hands of the guilt thereof. The
Jewish law made the act perfectly familiar to the Jews (Deuteronomy
27:25 And all the people answered and
said, His blood [be] on us, and on our children1.
His blood [be] on us, and on our children. Had the Jewish rulers
not been frenzied by hatred, the sight of Pilate washing his hands (Matthew
27:24) would have checked them; but in their rage, they take upon
themselves and their children all the responsibility. At the siege of
Jerusalem they answer in part for the blood of Christ, but God alone
determines the extent of their responsibility, and he alone can say when
their punishment shall end. But we know that it ends for all when they
repentantly seek his forgiveness. The punishments of God are not vindictive,
they are the awards of justice meted out by a merciful hand.
27:26 Then released he unto them Barabbas;
but Jesus he scourged1 and
delivered to be crucified.
But Jesus he scourged, etc. See Mark
27:27 Then the
soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium1,
and gathered unto him the whole band.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium,
etc. See Mark
27:28 And they
stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe1.
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. See Mark
27:29 And they
platted a crown of thorns1 and put it upon his head, and a
reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and
mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews2!
And they platted a crown of thorns. See Mark
And mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! See Mark
27:30 And they
spat upon him1, and took the reed and smote him on the
And they spat upon him. See Mark
27:31 And when
they had mocked him1, they took off from him the robe, and
put on him his garments, and led him away to crucify him.
THE CRUCIFIXION. A. ON THE WAY TO THE CROSS. (Within and without Jerusalem.
Friday morning.) Matthew
And when they had mocked him, etc. See Mark
27:32 And as they came out, they
found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name1: him they compelled
to go [with them], that he might bear his cross.
They found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, etc. See Mark
27:33 And they were come unto a place
called Golgotha, that is to say, The place of a skull,
When they were come unto a place called Golgotha. See Mark
27:34 they gave
him wine to drink mingled with gall1: and when he had
tasted it, he would not drink.
They gave him wine to drink mingled with gall, etc. See Mark
27:35 And when
they had crucified him1, they parted his garments among
them, casting lots;
THE CRUCIFIXION. B. JESUS CRUCIFIED AND REVILED. HIS THREE SAYINGS DURING
FIRST THREE HOURS. (Friday morning from nine o'clock till noon.) Matthew
When they had crucified him, etc. See Mark
27:36 and they sat and watched him there.
They sat down and watched him there. They were on guard to prevent
any attempt at rescue.
27:37 And they
set up over his head his accusation written1, THIS IS
JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
And they set up over his head his accusation written, etc. See Mark
27:38 Then are
there crucified with him two robbers1, one on the right
hand and one on the left.
Then are there crucified with him two robbers, etc. See Mark
27:39 And they
that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads1,
They that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads. See Mark
27:40 and saying,
Thou that destroyest the temple1, and buildest it in three
days, save thyself: if thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross.
And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, etc. See Mark
27:42 He saved
others; himself he cannot save1. He is the King of Israel;
let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe on him.
He saved others; himself he cannot save. See Mark
He is King of Israel, etc. See Mark
27:44 And the
robbers also that were crucified with him cast upon him the same reproach1.
And the robbers also that were crucified with him cast upon him the
same reproach. See Mark
27:45 Now from
the sixth hour1 there was darkness over all the land until
the ninth hour.
THE CRUCIFIXION. C. DARKNESS THREE HOURS. AFTER FOUR MORE SAYINGS, JESUS
EXPIRES. STRANGE EVENTS ATTENDING HIS DEATH. Matthew
Now from the sixth hour, etc. See Mark
27:46 And about
the ninth hour1 Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,
Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
And about the ninth hour, etc. See Mark
27:47 And some of them stood there, when
they heard it, said, This man calleth Elijah1.
This man calleth Elijah. See Mark
27:48 And straightway one
of them ran, and took a sponge1, and filled it with
vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
One of them ran, and took a sponge, etc. See Mark
27:49 And the
rest said, Let be1; let us see whether Elijah cometh to
The rest said, Let be, etc. See Mark
27:50 And Jesus
cried again with a loud voice1, and yielded up his spirit.
Jesus cried again with a loud voice. See Luke
And yielded up the spirit. See Mark
27:51 And behold, the
veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom1;
and the earth did quake; and the rocks were rent;
The veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom.
27:53 and coming
forth out of the tombs after his resurrection1 they
entered into the holy city and appeared unto many.
And coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection. The
earthquake, the rending of the rocks, and the consequent opening of the
27:51,52), occurred at the moment of Jesus death, while the resurrection
and visible appearance in the city of the bodies of the saints occurred
"after his resurrection", for Jesus himself was the
"firstborn of the dead" (Colossians
1:18). Matthew chooses to mention the last event here because of its
association with the rending of the rocks, which opened the rock-hewn
sepulchers in which the saints had slept. There has been much speculation as
to what became of these risen saints. We have no positive information, but
the natural presumption is that they ascended to heaven. These resurrections
were symbolic, showing that the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection
of the race (1 Corinthians
27:54 Now the centurion, and they that
were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that
were done, feared exceedingly, saying, Truly this was
the Son of God1.
Truly this was the Son of God. See Mark
27:55 And many women were there beholding
from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee,
ministering unto him2:
Many women were there beholding from afar off. See Mark
Who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him. As to
the ministering of these women, see Luke
27:56 among whom
was Mary Magdalene1, and Mary the mother of James and
Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Among whom was Mary Magdalene, etc. See Mark
15:40, additional note on the four women.
27:57 And when even was come, there came a
rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph1, who also himself
was Jesus' disciple:
THE CRUCIFIXION. D. JESUS FOUND TO BE DEAD. HIS BODY BURIED AND GUARDED IN THE
A rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph. See Mark
27:58 this man
went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus1. Then
Pilate commanded it to be given up.
This man went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. See Mark
27:59 And Joseph took the body, and
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth1,
A clean linen cloth. A sindon, or linen vestment. See Mark
27:60 and laid it
in his own new tomb1, which he had hewn out in the rock:
and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.
And laid it in his own new tomb. To the sindon, or linen vestment,
Joseph adds the honor of a burial in his own tomb. The unused state of the
tomb is mentioned to show that there is no shadow of doubt as to whose
resurrection opened it.
27:61 And Mary
Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre1.
Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting over against the
sepulchre. See notes at Luke
27:62 Now on the
morrow, which is [the day] after the Preparation1, the
chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together unto Pilate2,
Now on the morrow, which is [the day] after the Preparation. When
did they come to Pilate? Meyer, Cook, etc., say that the Greek word
"epaurion" translated "morrow" precludes any other idea
than it was after daylight Saturday morning, but Michaelis, Paulus, Kuinoel,
etc., say that they came Friday night, and we think their view is correct.
The word also means "the next day". As the Jewish day began at
sunset, we know of no other Greek adverb by which Matthew could have
expressed the beginning of a day. Had it been the Sabbath morning there is
no reason why Matthew should not have said so. By mentioning, instead, the
Preparation, he draws the mind back to what we would call Friday night. It
is highly improbable that the Jews would leave the tomb of Jesus unguarded
for one whole night.
The chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together unto Pilate.
This was not the whole Sanhedrin, but members of it. Their gathering thus to
Pilate in the shades of evening presents a gruesome picture.
27:63 saying, Sir, we remember that that
deceiver said while he was yet alive, After three days
I rise again1.
After three days I rise again. See Matthew
12:39,40 for this saying. Also see John
therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day1,
lest haply his disciples come and steal him away2,
and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: and the last error will be
worse than the first.
Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day.
Had the phrase "after three days" meant three full days to them,
they would have said "until the fourth day". For the Jewish method
of counting days, see Matthew
Lest haply his disciples come and steal him away, etc. The
marvelous signs accompanying the death of Jesus appealed to men's fear
rather than to their love, and were, therefore, calculated to make a far
deeper impression upon his enemies than upon his friends. We find,
therefore, these Jewish rulers full of active interest in the dead Christ
while his apostles and friends are listless in despair. They, of course, did
not think it possible that Jesus could indeed rise, but, seeing the profound
impression which the portents attending the crucifixion had made upon the
23:48), and judging the disciples of Jesus by themselves--full of all
subtlety and cunning --they grasped at once the idea that the disciples
could make a great stir among the people by stealing the body and
proclaiming the predicted resurrection. The apostles, on the other hand,
when the actual resurrection had taken place, did not learn for fifty days
what use to make of it, thus showing they could not have planned a pretended
27:65 Pilate said unto them, Ye
have a guard1: go, make it [as] sure as ye can.
Ye have a guard. The Greek here may be the indicative or the
imperative; it is clearly the latter. If the Jews had possessed a guard,
they would not have asked for one. Pilate consents to their request by
saying, "Have ye a guard", thereby fully sanctioning their idea.
27:66 So they
went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone1, the
guard being with them.
So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone. They
sealed the stone by drawing a string or tape across it and fastening the
ends with wax or clay to the surface of the rock on either side. If either
seals were broken, that fact would show that the tomb was entered from