Matthew 27:20

20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to 1ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.

Matthew 27:20 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27:20

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude,
&c.] Among whom the choice lay who should be released. This they did not by haranguing them, or making a public oration to them; but by sending their servants, or proper persons among them, telling them that Jesus had been examined before the sanhedrim that morning, and was found to be a blasphemer; and that the whole court had unanimously condemned him to death, and therefore it became them to act according to their decree: and besides, should this man be set free, they might suggest to them, since he has given out that he is the king Messiah, the Romans hearing of it, will be jealous of such a person, and come and take away both our place and nation, or deprive us of the privileges we have remaining: with such sort of arguments as these, it may be supposed they worked upon the common people. The Persic version reads, "commanded", instead of "persuaded",

that they should ask Barabbas
to be released to them,

and destroy Jesus;
for nothing short of that would satisfy them: they thirsted after his blood, and were bent upon his death: to release Barabbas, if Jesus was not destroyed, would not answer their end: they desired Barabbas's liberty for no other reason, but for the sake of the destruction of Jesus.

Matthew 27:20 In-Context

18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.
19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream."
20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas."
22 Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?"They all said, "Let him be crucified!"

Cross References 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.