And there was one named Barabbas
A prisoner of that name at Jerusalem;
which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him:
he had been at the head of a seditious mob, and he and his accomplices were taken and put in prison:
who had committed murder in the insurrection;
which may be connected either with Barabbas, and read in the singular number, as it is in the Vulgate Latin version, "he had committed"; or with the seditious persons he lay bound with, and be read in the plural number, "they had committed murder", as it is in the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions; and so in the ancient copies; and the Ethiopic renders it, "he was bound with seditious persons and murderers"; though, no doubt, he was guilty of murder as well as they; and so Peter calls him a murderer, ( Acts 3:14 ) . About this time murders were very frequently committed: the Jews say F18 that
``from the time that murderers increased, the slaying of the red heifer ceased; (the reason the commentators F19 give, is, because they were known who were accustomed to commit murder;) and that was from the time that Eleazar ben Dinai came, and Techinah ben Perishah he was called; and they called him again the son of a murderer;''(See Gill on Matthew 27:16).
F18 Misn. Sota, c. 9. sect. 9. Maimon. Hilch. Rotzeach. c. 9. sect. 12.
F19 Jarchi & Bartienora in ib.