When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water…
There is another point. This makes me a Puritan. I had rather be a Puritan than a Pilate. What is a Pilate? A Pilate is one of those courtly gentlemen, polished, tasteful expert, who is not disturbed nor warped by convictions in over-measure; who looks upon all moral qualities as a gambler looks upon cards, which he shuffles, and plays according to the exigency of his game — and one just as easy as another. A Pilate is a man who believes in letting things have their own way. "Do not sacrifice yourself. Do not get in the way of a movement. Do the best thing. Live in peace with your time. Be not like the fool, who stands in his own light. Maintain good appearances-that is profitable. See to it that you do not go too far, one way or another. Study the interest of Number One all through. And, whatever comes, see that you come out uppermost. Do not be gross, brutal, fanatical — that is not profitable. Preserve your balance. See that you keep your eye on the chances. If they go this way, you go with them far enough to reap them. If they go the other way, go with them. Do not be too scrupulous. Be just enough so to gain your ends. Use men, use events, use everything that is profitable. Do not use your conscience too much i " This is the language of the Pilates of our day. Those men who ride astride of the times, and of administrations, and of policies; those men who are polished, cold, calculating, speculating — these are the Pirates — the Pilates, I mean! It was a blunder of the lip, but, after all, it hit right!
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
WEB: So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it."