And they that had laid hold on Jesus
Who were the band, and the captain, and the officers of the Jews, as ( John 18:12 ) , or as the Jews themselves say F17, the elders of Jerusalem; who not only laid fast hold on him, but bound him; and that both for greater security of him, some of them perhaps knowing how he had made his escape from them formerly; or at least taking the hint from Judas, to hold him fast, and lead him away safely; and by way of reproach and contempt, thereby showing that he was a malefactor, and had done some crime worthy of bonds; and having him thus in fast and safe custody, they
led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest;
who was high priest that year; for the priesthood was frequently changed in those times, and men were put into it by the Roman governor, through favour or bribery. The year before this, Simeon, or Simon ben Camhith, was high priest; and the year before that, Eleazar, the son of Ananus; and before him, Ishmael ben Phabi, who were all three, successively, made high priests by the Roman governor: as was also this Caiaphas, this year; and who by Josephus F18, and in the Talmud F19 likewise, is called Joseph. From whence he had his name Caiaphas, is not certain: Jerom F20 says, it signifies "a searcher", or "a sagacious person"; but may be better interpreted, he adds, "one that vomits at the mouth"; deriving the word, as I suppose, from (awq) , "to vomit", and (yp) , "the mouth"; (See Gill on Matthew 26:3). It was to the house, or palace of this man, the high priest, that Jesus was led;
where the Scribes and elders were assembled:
a council was held about a week before this, in which Caiaphas assisted, and then gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient, that one man should die for the people, ( John 11:47 John 11:49 John 11:50 ) , whether that was held at his house, or elsewhere, is not certain, very probably it might; however, it is clear from ( Matthew 26:2 Matthew 26:3 ) , that two days ago, the chief priests, Scribes, and elders, were assembled together in his palace, to consult about putting Jesus to death; and here they were again met together on the same account, waiting to have him brought before them.
F17 Toldos Jesu, p. 16, 17.
F18 Antiq. l. 18. c. 14.
F19 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 47. 1.
F20 De Heb. nominibus, fol, 104. col. 4. Tom. 3.