But the chief priests moved the people
Greatly solicited and persuaded them, both in person, and by their officers they employed, and dispersed among them, to make use of arguments with them to prevail upon them:
that he should rather release Barabbas unto them;
than Jesus of Nazareth; choosing rather to have a murderer granted unto them, than the holy and just one. The Persic version, as before, reads, "the chief of the priests"; but they were all concerned, and were the most active men in bringing about the death of Christ; though Caiaphas was behind none of them in envy, rage, and malice; (See Gill on Matthew 27:20).