John 19:6
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
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(6) When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him.—Comp. John 18:3. The spectacle, so far from moving their pity, excites their passionate hatred, and they frustrate any other cry which may arise by that of “Crucify Him!” (Comp. Matthew 27:22.)

Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.—Comp. Notes on John 18:31; John 18:38. “Crucify Him,” the words mean, “if you dare to do so; there is no charge on which I can condemn Him; and I will be no party to your act.”

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!They cried out, saying, Crucify him ... - The view of the Saviour's meekness only exasperated them the more. They had resolved on his death; and as they saw Pilate disposed to acquit him, they redoubled their cries, and endeavored to gain by tumult, and clamor, and terror, what they saw they could not obtain by justice. When men are determined on evil, they cannot be reasoned with. Every argument tends to defeat their plans, and they press on in iniquity with the more earnestness in proportion as sound reasons are urged to stay their course. Thus sinners go in the way of wickedness down to death. They make up in firmness of purpose what they lack in reason. They are more fixed in their plans in proportion as God faithfully warns them and their friends admonish them.

Take ye him ... - These are evidently the words of a man weary with their importunity and with the subject, and yet resolved not to sanction their conduct. It was not the act of a judge delivering him up according to the forms of the law, for they did not understand it so. It was equivalent to this: "I am satisfied of his innocence, and shall not pronounce the sentence of death. If you are bent on his ruin - if you are determined to put to death an innocent man - if my judgment does not satisfy you - take him and put him to death on your own responsibility, and take the consequences. It cannot be done with my consent, nor in the due form of law; and if done, it must be by you, without authority, and in the face of justice." See Matthew 27:24.

6, 7. When the chief priests … saw him, they cried out—their fiendish rage kindling afresh at the sight of Him.

Crucify him, crucify him—(See Mr 15:14).

Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him; for I find no fault in him—as if this would relieve him of the responsibility of the deed, who, by surrendering Him, incurred it all!

Our Lord finds more compassion from Pilate, though a heathen, than he found from those of his own nation; yea, those that pretended highest to religion amongst them: Pilate would have saved him; they cry out for his blood. Pilate leaves another testimony behind him, that what he did, at last overborne with a great temptation, he did contrary to the conviction of his own conscience, and as yet declineth the guilt of innocent blood.

When the chief priests therefore, and officers, saw him,.... In this piteous condition, in his mock dress, and having on him all the marks of cruel usage, enough to have moved an heart of stone: and though they were the principal men of the priesthood, and who made great pretensions to religion and piety, and the officers were their servants and attendants, and all of them used to sacred employments; which might have been thought would have at least influenced them to the exercise of humanity and compassion to fellow creatures; yet instead of being affected with this sight, and wrought upon by it, to have agreed to his release, as Pilate hoped,

they cried out, saying, Crucify him, Crucify him; which was done in a very noisy and clamorous way; and the repetition of their request shows their malignity, vehemence, and impatience; and remarkable it is, that they should call for, and desire that kind of death the Scriptures had pointed out, that the Messiah should die, and which was predicted by Christ himself.

Pilate saith unto them, take ye him, and crucify him, for I find no fault in him. This was not leave to do it, as appears from the reason he gives, in which the innocence of Christ is again asserted; nor did the Jews take it in this light, as is evident from their reply; and it is clear, that after this Pilate thought he had a power either to release or crucify him; and he did afterwards seek to release him; and the Jews made a fresh request to crucify him; upon which he was delivered to be crucified: but this was said in a way of indignation, and as abhorring the action; and is an ironical concession, and a bitter sarcasm upon them, that men that professed so much religion and sanctity, could be guilty of such iniquity, as to desire the death of one that no fault could be found in; and therefore, if such were their consciences, for his part, he desired to have no concern in so unrighteous an action; but if they would, they must even do it themselves.

When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, {a} Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

(a) They will have him crucified whom, by an old custom of theirs, they should have stoned and hanged up as convicted of blasphemy: but they desire to have him crucified after the manner of the Romans.

John 19:6-8. Of the presence of the people (who perhaps kept silence, Lücke thinks; comp. Luthardt, according to whom the high priests desired to forestall any possible expressions of compassion on the part of the people) the text says nothing; the Ἰουδαῖοι, John 18:31; John 18:38, were just pre-eminently the ἀρχιερεῖς of the present passage.

ὅτε οὖν εἶδον] The spectacle, instead of calming their bitterness, goads them on.

λάβετε αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς, κ.τ.λ.] A paradox, amounting to a peevish and irritated refusal, since the Jews did not possess the right of execution, and crucifixion was certainly not a Jewish capital punishment. Crucify him yourselves, if you will have him crucified!

Now, however, they introduce the authority of their law, according to which Jesus (as being a blasphemer, namely, of God, Leviticus 24:16; Matthew 26:63-64) must die. They thus prudently give to their demand another legal basis, to be respected by the procurator in conformity with Roman policy, and to the accusation the corresponding religious sanction. An admission, however, that their political suspicion of Jesus had only been a pretext (Steinmeyer), is not contained in this; it is only another turn given to the charge.

ἡμεῖς] With haughty emphasis, opposed to the preceding ἐγὼαἰτίαν. On ὅτι υἱὸν, κ.τ.λ., comp. John 5:18, John 10:33.

μᾶλλον ἐφοβ.] His fear only became the greater (μᾶλλ., see John 5:18), namely, of suffering Jesus to be executed. To the previous fear of conscience was now, in truth, added the fear of the vengeance of a God, namely, of Jehovah, the God of the Jews, in case the assertion mentioned should turn out to be true. He explained to himself the υἱὸς θεοῦ after the analogy of pagan heroes, like the centurion, Matthew 27:54. That he was moved by the idea of the unity of God (Hengstenberg) has nothing to support it; nay, viewed in the light of the wanton words, John 18:38, very improbable.

John 19:6. Instead of allowing him to release the prisoner, “the chief priests and their officers,” not “the people,” who were perhaps moved with pity (Lücke), “roared” (ἐκραύγασαν) “Crucify, crucify”; “To the cross”. To this demand Pilate, “in angry sarcasm” (Reynolds), but perhaps rather merely wishing strongly to assert, for the third time, that he for his part would not condemn Jesus to death, “If He is to be crucified, it is you who must do it,” retorts, Λάβετεαἰτίαν, “Take ye Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him”.

6. and officers] Better (as in John 18:18), and the officers. The leaders take the initiative, to prevent any expression of compassion on the part of the crowd. The sight of ‘the Man’ maddens rather than softens them.

cried out] The verb (kraugazo) expresses a loud cry, and (excepting Matthew 12:19; Acts 22:23) occurs only in this Gospel in N.T. Comp. John 11:43, John 12:13, John 18:40, John 19:12; John 19:15.

Crucify him] Omit the pronoun, which is not in the Greek. The simple imperative better expresses the cry which was to give the cue to the multitude. According to all four Evangelists the demand for crucifixion was not made at first, but after the offer to release Jesus in honour of the Feast.

Take ye him] Better, Take Him yourselves, as in John 18:31. We may admit that it ought to have been beneath the dignity of a Roman judge to taunt the people with a suggestion which he knew that they dare not follow; but there is nothing so improbable in it as to compel us to believe that the Jews had the power of inflicting capital punishment (see on John 18:31). Pilate is goaded into an exhibition of feeling unworthy of his office.

for I find] As in John 18:38, the ‘I’ is emphatic; ‘for I do not find in Him a ground of accusation.’

John 19:6. Ὅτε, when) Pilate had wished to move their compassion, but he only augments (exasperates) their cruelty.—λέγοντες, σταύρωσον, saying. Crucify Him) Matthew 17:22. For they rejected one appeal of Pilate to them after another, with this cry (common party-cry or watch-word), “Crucify Him.” [From the scourging that had taken place, according to the received custom (which made scourging to precede crucifixion), they draw the conclusion of crucifixion.—V. g.]

Verse 6. - When then the chief priests and the officers saw him, they stifled every movement of possible sympathy by "loud harsh cries" (ἐκραύγασαν). They cried out, Crucify, crucify him! Scourging and mockery do not meet the case, nor exhaust the curse and the verdict they have already pronounced. He must die the doom of the vilest. He must be done to death as a slave. Pilate saith unto them, certainly not granting to them permission to take the law into their hands, irrespective of the Praetorian court and against his will, but in angry sarcasm, and with an unconcealed threat, Take him, ye yourselves, and crucify; that is, if you dare. Go, do your deed of blood by your own hands, take all the responsibility; for I find no crime in him. Pilate thus derides their powerlessness, and repeats his verdict of acquittal (see John 18:31). At this moment the so-called trial might have ended, so far as Pilate was concerned, with a frank and immediate release. It would seem as though the governor had decided, and there could be no more discussion. But - John 19:6They cried out

See on John 18:40.


The best texts omit Him.

Take ye Him (λάβετε αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς)

According to the Greek order, "take Him ye." Rev., take Him yourselves. See on John 18:31.

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