Now at that feast the governor was wont to release to the people a prisoner, whom they would.…
No trace of this custom is found in the Talmud. But the release of prisoners was usual at certain festivals at Rome, and at Athens during the Panathenaic festival prisoners enjoyed temporary liberty. It is not, therefore, improbable that Herod the Great, who certainly familiarized the Jews with other usages of Greece and Rome, introduced this custom, and that the Roman governor, finding the custom established and gratifying to the Jews, in accordance with Roman practice, retained the observance of it.
(A. Carr, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.