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.
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