Matthew 26:5

5 But they said, "Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people."

Matthew 26:5 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 26:5

And they said, not on the feast day
Upon mature deliberation, it was an agreed point with them, at least it was carried by a majority, that nothing of this kind should be attempted to be done on the feast day, on any of the days of the feast of passover, which was now at hand; though this was contrary to their common rules and usages: for, a person that sinned presumptuously, and such an one they accounted Jesus to be, they say F1,

``they do not put him to death by the order of the sanhedrim of his own city, nor by the sanhedrim of Jabneh; but they bring him up to the great sanhedrim at Jerusalem, and keep him "until the feast", and put him to death, (lgrb) , "on a feast day"; as it is said, ( Deuteronomy 17:13 ) , "and all the people shall hear and fear"''

But what influenced them at this time to take another course, is the reason following;

lest there be an uproar among the people:
they had no fear of God before their eyes, or in their hearts, only the fear of the people; many of whom believed in Christ, and others that did not, yet had a great veneration for him, having seen his miracles, and received favours from him; themselves, or their friends and relations, being cured by him of various diseases: besides, at the feast, people from all parts came up to Jerusalem; and they knew that large numbers from Galilee, where he had the greatest interest, would be present; and they feared, should they attempt anything of this nature at this time, the people would rise, and rescue him out of their hands. But God had determined otherwise, and his counsel shall stand; it was his pleasure, that he should be put to death at this feast, that the truth might answer the type of the passover lamb; and that all Israel, whose males now met together, might be witnesses of it: and so it was, that though these men had concluded otherwise in their council; yet an opportunity offering by Judas, to get him into their hands, they embrace it; and risk the danger of the people's uprising, who they found compliant enough to their wishes.


F1 Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 10. sect. 4. Maimon. Hilch. Memarim, c. 3. sect 8.

Matthew 26:5 In-Context

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
4 and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
5 But they said, "Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people."
6 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,
7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.