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And Pilate, calling Nicodemus and the twelve men who said that He was not born of fornication, says to them: What am I to do, seeing that there is a sedition among the people? They say to him: We do not know; let them see to it. Again Pilate, calling all the multitude of the Jews, said: You know that you have a custom during the day of unleavened bread, that I should release to you one that is bound. I have a notable one bound in the prison, a murderer who is called Barabbas, and Jesus who is called Christ, in whom I find no cause of death. Whom do you wish that I should release unto you? And they all cried out, saying: Release unto us Barabbas. Pilate says to them: What, then, am I to do with Jesus who is called Christ? They all say: Let him be crucified. Again the Jews said: Thou art no friend of Cæsar’s if thou release this man, for he called himself the Son of God, and a king; unless, perhaps, thou wishest this man to be king, and not Cæsar.
Then, filled with fury, Pilate said to them: Always has your nation been seditious, and always have you been opposed to those who were for you. The Jews answered: Who are for us? Pilate says to them: Your God,—who rescued you from the hard slavery of the Egyptians, and led you forth out of Egypt through the sea as if through dry land, and fed you in the desert with manna and quail, and brought water to you out 443of the rock, and gave you to drink, and gave you a law; and in all these things you provoked your God, and sought for yourselves a god, a molten calf. And you exasperated your God, and He wished to slay you; and Moses made supplication for you, that ye should not die. And now you say that I hate the king.
And rising up from the tribunal, he wished to go outside. And the Jews cried out, and said to him: We know that Cæsar is king, and not Jesus. For the Magi also presented gifts to him as to a king; and Herod, hearing from the Magi that a king was born, wished to slay him. But when this was known, his father Joseph took him and his mother, and fled into Egypt; and Herod hearing, destroyed the infants of the Jews which were born in Bethlehem.
Pilate, hearing those words, was afraid. And silence being made among the people, who were crying out, Pilate said: This, then, is he whom Herod sought? They say to him: It is he. And taking water, Pilate washed his hands in presence of the people, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man; see ye to it. Again the Jews cried out, saying: His blood be upon us, and upon our children.
Then Pilate ordered the veil to be loosened,19611961 See note 5, p. 420. and said to Jesus: Thine own nation have brought charges against thee as a king; and therefore I have sentenced thee first to be scourged on account of the statutes of the emperors, and then to be crucified on a cross.
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