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Verse 1. There were present. That is, some persons who were present, and who had heard his discourse recorded in the previous chapter. There was probably a pause in his discourse, when they mentioned what had been done by Pilate to the Galileans.

At that season. At that time—that is the time mentioned in the last chapter. At what period of our Lord's ministry this was, it is not easy to determine.

Some that told him. This was doubtless an event of recent occurrence. Jesus, it is probable, had not before heard of it. Why they told him of it can only be a matter of conjecture. It might be from the desire to get him to express an opinion respecting the conduct of Pilate, and thus to involve him in difficulty with the reigning powers of Judea. It might be as a mere matter of news. But, from the answer of Jesus, it would appear that they supposed that the Galileans deserved it, and that they meant to pass a judgment on the character of those men, a thing of which they were exceedingly fond. The answer of Jesus is a reproof of their habit of hastily judging the character of others.

Galileans. People who lived in Galilee. See Barnes "Mt 2:22".

They were not under the jurisdiction of Pilate, but of Herod. The Galileans, in the time of Christ, were very wicked.

Whose blood Pilate had mingled, &c. That is, while they were sacrificing at Jerusalem, Pilate came suddenly upon them and slew them, and their blood was mingled with the blood of the animals that they were slaying for sacrifice. It does not mean that Pilate offered their blood in sacrifice, but only that as they were sacrificing he slew them. The fact is not mentioned by Josephus, and nothing more is known of it than what is here recorded. We learn, however, from Josephus that the Galileans were very wicked, and that they were much disposed to broils and seditions. It appears, also, that Pilate and Herod had a quarrel with each other (Lu 23:12), and it is not improbable that Pilate might feel a particular enmity to the subjects of Herod. It is likely that the Galileans excited a tumult in the temple, and that Pilate took occasion to come suddenly upon them, and show his opposition to them and Herod by slaying them.

Pilate. The Roman governor of Judea. See Barnes "Mt 27:2".


{a} "Galileans" Ac 5:37 {b} "mingled" La 2:20

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