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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 18 - Verse 28

Verse 28. See

Mt 27:1,2.

 

Hall of judgment. The praetorium—the same word that in Mt 27:27, is translated common hall. See Barnes "Mt 27:27".

It was the place where the Roman praetor, or governor, heard and decided cases brought before him. Jesus had been condemned by the Sanhedrim, and pronounced guilty of death (Mt 26:66); but they had not power to carry their sentence into execution (Joh 18:31), and they therefore sought that he might be condemned and executed by Pilate.

Lest they should be defiled. They considered the touch of a Gentile to be a defilement, and on this occasion, at least, seemed to regard it as a pollution to enter the house of a Gentile. They took care, therefore, to guard themselves against what they considered ceremonial pollution, while they were wholly unconcerned at the enormous crime of putting the innocent Saviour to death, and imbruing their hands in their Messiah's blood. Probably there is not anywhere to be found among men another such instance of petty regard to the mere ceremonies of the law and attempting to keep from pollution, at the same time that their hearts were filled with malice, and they were meditating the most enormous of all crimes. But it shows us how much more concerned men will be at the violation of the mere forms and ceremonies of religion than at real crime, and how they endeavour to keep their consciences at ease amid their deeds of wickedness by the observance of some of the outward ceremonies of religion—by mere sanctimoniousness.

That they might eat the passover. See Barnes "Mt 26:2, See Barnes "Mt 26:17".

This defilement, produced by contact with a Gentile, they considered as equivalent to that of the contact of a dead body (Le 22:4-6; Nu 5:2), and as disqualifying them to partake of the passover in a proper manner. The word translated passover means properly the paschal lamb which was slain and eaten on the observance of this feast. This rite Jesus had observed with his disciples the day before this. It has been supposed by many that he anticipated the usual time of observing it one day, and was crucified on the day on which the Jews observed it; but this opinion is improbable. The very day of keeping the ordinance was specified in the law of Moses, and it is not probable that the Saviour departed from the commandment. All the circumstances, also, lead us to suppose that he observed it at the usual time and manner, Mt 26:17,19. The only passage which has led to a contrary opinion is this in John; but here the word passover does not, of necessity, mean the paschal lamb. It probably refers to the feast which followed the sacrifice of the lamb, and which continued seven days. Comp. Nu 28:16,17. The whole feast was called the Passover, and they were unwilling to defile themselves, even though the paschal lamb had been killed, because it would disqualify them for participating in the remainder of the ceremonies (Lightfoot).

{s} "Then led they Jesus" Mt 27:2; Mr 15:1; Lu 23:1

{4} "the hall of judgment" or, "Pilate's house" {t} "lest they should be defiled" Ac 10:28

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