Matthew 27:24

Washed his hands (apenipsato ta ceira). As a last resort since the hubbub (qorubo) increased because of his vacillation. The verb aponiptw means to wash off and the middle voice means that he washed off his hands for himself as a common symbol of cleanliness and added his pious claim with a slap at them. I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man (or this blood); see ye to it. (Aqwio eimi apo tou aimato tou dikaiou toutou or tou aimato toutou as some manuscripts have it, umei opsesqe.) The Jews used this symbol ( Deuteronomy 21:6 ; Psalms 26:6 ; Psalms 73:13 ). Plummer doubts if Pilate said these words with a direct reference to his wife's message ( Psalms 26:19 ), but I fail to see the ground for that scepticism. The so-called Gospel of Peter says that Pilate washed his hands because the Jews refused to do so.

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