John 19:4
Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
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(4) Pilate therefore went forth again.—He had returned to the palace, and had ordered the scourging in the courtyard (Mark 15:15-16). He now goes forth again with Jesus wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, and hopes by the spectacle to move the sympathy of the people, and to prevent the design of the rulers.

That ye may know that I find no fault in him.—Comp. Note on John 18:38. Had he found proof of a legal crime he would have ordered His execution, and not have led Him forth in this mock royal attitude to move the feelings of the people.

(4) That the third, sixth, and ninth hours (comp. Matthew 20:3; Matthew 20:5) seem to have been, in common life, rough divisions of the day, corresponding to the watches of the night. An event occurring at ten o’clock might have been spoken of roughly as about the third hour, while it might, on the other hand, be thought of as within the division called the sixth hour.

John 19:4-7. Pilate went forth again — Although he had given sentence that it should be as the Jews desired, and had delivered Jesus to the soldiers, to be scourged and crucified, he thought, if he were shown to the people in the condition in which he now was, covered with blood and wounds through the scourges, spit upon, crowned with thorns, &c., they might yet relent and let him go. And that the impression might be stronger, he went out himself and spoke to them, saying, Behold, I bring him forth, &c. — Though I have sentenced him to die, and have scourged him as one that is to be crucified, I bring him forth to you this once, that I may testify to you again how fully I am persuaded of his innocence, and that you may have an opportunity to save his life. Upon this Jesus appeared on the pavement, having his face, hair, and shoulders all clotted with blood, and the purple robe bedaubed with spittle: when Pilate said, Behold the man! But all was to no purpose. The priests, whose rage and malice had extinguished, not only the sentiments of justice and feelings of pity natural to the human heart, but that love which countrymen usually bear to one another, no sooner saw Jesus than, fearing, perhaps, lest the fickle populace might relent, they cried out with all their might, Crucify him! Crucify him! Pilate saith, Take ye him and crucify him — He seems to have uttered these words in anger, vexed at finding the chief priests and rulers thus obstinately bent on the destruction of a person from whom they had nothing to fear that was dangerous either to the church or state. But they refused this offer also, perhaps “thinking it dishonourable to receive permission to punish one who had been more than once publicly declared innocent by his judge. Besides, they considered with themselves that the governor afterward might have called it sedition, as the permission had been extorted from him. Wherefore they told him, that though none of the things alleged against the prisoner were true, he had committed such a crime in the presence of the council itself, as by their law (Leviticus 24:16) deserved the most ignominious death. He had spoken blasphemy, calling himself the Song of Solomon of God, a title which no mortal could assume without the highest degree of guilt. And therefore, said they, since by our law blasphemy merits death, and though Cesar is our ruler, he governs us by our own laws, you ought by all means to crucify this blasphemer.” It is evident they must have understood our Lord as using the title, Song of Solomon of God, in the highest sense, otherwise they could not have accounted his applying it to himself blasphemy.

19:1-18 Little did Pilate think with what holy regard these sufferings of Christ would, in after-ages, be thought upon and spoken of by the best and greatest of men. Our Lord Jesus came forth, willing to be exposed to their scorn. It is good for every one with faith, to behold Christ Jesus in his sufferings. Behold him, and love him; be still looking unto Jesus. Did their hatred sharpen their endeavours against him? and shall not our love for him quicken our endeavours for him and his kingdom? Pilate seems to have thought that Jesus might be some person above the common order. Even natural conscience makes men afraid of being found fighting against God. As our Lord suffered for the sins both of Jews and Gentiles, it was a special part of the counsel of Divine Wisdom, that the Jews should first purpose his death, and the Gentiles carry that purpose into effect. Had not Christ been thus rejected of men, we had been for ever rejected of God. Now was the Son of man delivered into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. He was led forth for us, that we might escape. He was nailed to the cross, as a Sacrifice bound to the altar. The Scripture was fulfilled; he did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, but among criminals sacrificed to public justice. And now let us pause, and with faith look upon Jesus. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? See him bleeding, see him dying, see him and love him! love him, and live to him!Behold, I bring him forth ... - Pilate, after examining Jesus, had gone forth and declared to the Jews that he found no fault in him, John 18:38. At that time Jesus remained in the judgment hall. The Jews were not satisfied with that, but demanded still that he should be put to death, John 19:39-40. Pilate, disposed to gratify the Jews, returned to Jesus and ordered him to be scourged, as if preparatory to death, John 19:1. The patience and meekness with which Jesus bore this seem to have convinced him still more that he was innocent, and he again went forth to declare his conviction of this; and, to do it more effectually, he said, "Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know," etc. - that they might themselves see, and be satisfied, as he had been, of his innocence. All this shows his anxiety to release him, and also shows that the meekness, purity, and sincerity of Jesus had power to convince a Roman governor that he was not guilty. Thus, the highest evidence was given that the charges were false, even when he was condemned to die. 4, 5. Pilate … went forth again, and saith … Behold, I bring him forth to you—am bringing, that is, going to bring him forth to you.

that ye may know I find no fault in him—and, by scourging Him and allowing the soldiers to make sport of Him, have gone as far to meet your exasperation as can be expected from a judge.

Pilate appeareth convinced in his own conscience that Christ had done nothing worthy either of death or bonds, and a great while resisted that strong temptation which he was under to please the people, and to secure his own station, lest any complaint made to the Roman emperor against him should have prejudiced him.

Pilate therefore went forth again,.... When all this was done to Jesus, Pilate went again out of the judgment hall, or however from the place where Jesus had been scourged, and ill used in the manner he was: he went a little before him unto the Jews that stood without,

and saith unto them, behold I bring him forth unto you; that is, he had ordered him to be brought forth by the soldiers, and they were just bringing him in the sad miserable condition in which he was, that the Jews might see, with their own eyes, how he had been used:

that ye may know that I find no fault in him; for by seeing what was done to him, how severely he had been scourged, and in what derision and contempt he had been had, and what barbarity had been exercised on him, they might know and believe, that if Pilate did all this, or allowed of it to be done to a man whom he judged innocent, purely to gratify the Jews; that had he found anything in him worthy of death, he would not have stopped here, but would have ordered the execution of him; of this they might assure themselves by his present conduct. Pilate, by his own confession, in treating, or suffering to be treated in so cruel and ignominious a manner, one that he himself could find no fault in, or cause of accusation against, was guilty of great injustice.

{2} Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

(2) Christ is again acquitted by the same mouth with which he was afterwards condemned.

John 19:4-5. Πάλιν] For, according to John 18:40, Pilate has returned into the praetorium, and has caused Jesus to be scourged, John 19:1. The scourging was certainly carried out so that the Jews could see it. The prisoner, scourged and arrayed like the caricature of a king, he causes to be led forth in his train.

ὑμῖν] Vobis; what follows gives the more exact explanation of this reference.

ἵνα γνῶτε, κ.τ.λ.] For had he found Him guilty, he would certainly not make the repeated attempt, implied in this leading forth and presentation of Jesus to them, to change the mind of the Jews, but would dispose of the matter by ordering execution.

John 19:5. ἐξῆλθενἱμάτιον is not a parenthesis, but the narrative, according to which Jesus comes forth in the train of Pilate, proceeds without interruption, in such a manner, however, that with λέγει (Pilate) the subject suddenly changes; see Heindorf, ad Plat. Euthyd. p. 275 B; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 8.

φορῶν] Not φέρων; for the kingly attire is now to the close of the proceedings His permanent garb (Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 585).

The short significant ecce homo! behold the man, whose case we are condemning! has its eloquent commentary in the entire manifestation of suffering in which the ill-treated and derided one was set forth. This suffering form cannot be the usurper of a throne! The words are gently and compassionately spoken, and ought to excite compassion (comp. already Chrysostom); it is in John 19:14 that he first says with bitterness: ἴδε ὁ βασιλεὺς ὑμῶν.

John 19:4. Pilate, judging that this will content the Jews, brings Jesus out that they may see Him and ἵνα γνῶτεεὑρίσκω, that Pilate may have another opportunity of pronouncing Him guiltless.

4. Pilate therefore] The true text gives, and Pilate. What follows is a continuance rather than a consequence of what has preceded.

I find no fault in him] There is a slight change from John 19:38, the emphasis here being on ‘crime’ instead of on ‘I’; ground of accusation I find none in Him.

4–7. Outside the Praetorium; Pilate’s appeal, ‘Behold the man;’ the Jews’ rejoinder ‘He made Himself Song of Solomon of God.’

John 19:4. Ἴδε ἄγω, Behold, I bring Him forth) as though he were not about again to bring Him before them. Pilate wishes to appear to act deliberately.

Verses 4-7. - (e) [Without the Praetorium.] Further protestations by Pilate of Christ's innocence bring out the hitherto-concealed Jewish verdict that he had claimed to be the Son of God. Verse 4. - And Pilate, with grim insouciance, allows the mockery to take place, and then, with his poor derided sham-king at his side, he went forth again from the Praetorium to the public seat, where he kept up the conflict with the accusers and the ever-gathering crowd, and saith to them, with more of passion than before, imagining that this pitiable caricature of a king would reduce the cry of "Crucify him!" into some more moderate and less preposterous demand. Behold, I lead him forth to you, crowned, but bleeding, robed as a king, but humiliated to a condition worse than a slave, that ye may know that I find no crime in him; literally, no charge; i.e. no "crime." Pilate rims renews and varies his testimony to the character of the Holy One! He makes another fruitless appeal to the humanity and justice of the maddened mob. But what a revelation of Pilate's own weakness and shame! He can find no fault, but has connived at, nay, ordered, the worst part of this atrocious punishment. Keim would have us think that Pilate's anxiety to save a Jew is a mere invention made by the second-century fabricator. There is however, nothing incompatible with a Roman official's anxiety not to commit a judicial murder, for his own sake, and perhaps for the honor of his order. The hypothesis is irrational that the entire representation of Pilate's desire to screen or save Jesus from the malice of the Jews was a device of the author, due to his Gentile nationality and proclivities, anxious to put even the Roman officials in the best possible light. Surely Christians had no temptation to mitigate their judgments upon Rome at the time of the persecution under Marcus Antoninus. Thoma, like Strauss, finds the basis of the representation in the prophetic types of Isaiah 53. and Psalm 22. John 19:4
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