And so Pilate, willing to content the people
To satisfy and make them easy, who were become very noisy and tumultuous, and fearing the consequences of their resentment, should he not comply, of which he had formerly had experience; therefore to humour them, and keep in their favour, after he had washed his hands, to testify his innocence in the matter,
he released Barabbas unto them;
the seditious person, robber, and murderer, as they desired:
and delivered Jesus when he had scourged him;
or having scourged him; for this he had done before, hoping the Jews would have been satisfied with that, and not have insisted on any further punishment. The Arabic version very wrongly renders the words, "and delivered unto them Jesus, that he might be scourged": as if this was afterwards to be done by the Jews, or Roman soldiers; whereas he had scourged him before, and now delivered him
to be crucified,
as they desired; in which he acted contrary to law and justice, to the violation of his own conscience, and merely to gratify the humour of the people; (See Gill on Matthew 27:26).