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Pontius Pilate


Pronunciation:  PAHN-shus + PAI-luht

Occurrences:  42

First Reference:  Yeshua 1:4


Now in Caesarea did Pilate rule harshly over the lands of Palestine, being made subject himself unto Vitellius, Governor of Syria. Yet in Galilee and Perea did Herod reign wickedly, having been made king by Caesar Augustus.



See:  Ceasarea, Claudia Procula, Marcus Galerius


Summary:  The Roman governor (Prefect) of Palestine and Judea, Pontius Pilate succeeded Valerius as Prefect in 26 CE and ruled for ten years. Pilate was married to Claudia Procula, the niece of Emperor Tiberius (Y:26:12). While his official residence was in Caesarea, Pilate would often travel throughout Judea to perform various duties and attempt to keep peace in the region. However, his brutal methods in dealing with the people often resulted in uprisings and revolts.


Pilate was kept informed of the socio-political circumstances of Judea by the Roman Tribune, Marcus Galerius, who was hired by Pilate to keep peace in the area (Y:5:1-16, 27; Y:39:44-50). Galerius was stationed at the Fortress Antonia, which overlooked the temple grounds in city of Jerusalem.



Significant Events


• Pilate arrives in Jerusalem and counsels with the chief elders of the temple regarding Yeshua             Y:31:39-51


Galerius writes a letter to Pilate requesting he travel to Jerusalem with military support        Y:39:44-50


• Pilate and Galerius witness the people of Jerusalem celebrate Yeshua’s entrance into the city          Y:42:8-12


Caiaphas arrests and delivers Yeshua to Pilate, who orders Yeshua to be crucified         Y:47:15-33



Azrael’s Commentary - Pontius Pilate

Governor of Palestine and subordinate of Vitellius, Governor of Syria. Pilate was a frustrated man who always felt cheated by life. Married to the Emperor’s niece, Pilate thought he deserved better. But his constant complaining and haranguing caused the Emperor to send him to the undesirable post of governing Palestine.

Yet in Caesarea, his brutality in dealing with local citizens was viewed by his superiors as excessive. Sent to Palestine to ensure peace among the local inhabitants, Pilate caused one insurrection after another. First he plundered the treasury of the Jewish temple in order to pay for the building of an aqueduct in Caesarea. When 2,000 Jewish men protested in front of his palace over this violation of the sacred precinct, he ordered his soldiers to kill them. This brutal action caused an uproar in the Roman senate, and increased the hostility between the Roman governor and the Jews of Palestine.

Pilate was notorious for his hatred of Jews. Their religious arrogance and air of superiority filled Pilate with loathing and contempt. Pilate, therefore, took every opportunity to humiliate and ridicule the Jewish people. As part of this humiliation, Pilate ordered the sacred vestments of the High Priest to be kept in the fortress of Antonia; forcing the High Priest to go to the Roman Prefect of Jerusalem whenever he needed his vestments to officiate at the temple.

To Pontius Pilate, Yeshua was just another pretentious messiah out to cause more trouble for him. He thought no more about crucifying Yeshua than he would killing a fly. He did not agonize over it, did not have second thoughts and certainly did not wash his hands over the issue. To Pilate, Yeshua was just another annoying pest that he had to deal with.

Pilate was a grasping, suspicious and resentful man. In 38 CE, Pontius Pilate was recalled to Rome to answer for the brutal way in which he governed Palestine. Fearing public humiliation, Pilate committed suicide in route to Rome.



Azrael’s Commentary - Arius

The chief steward in the house of Pontius Pilate in the port city of Caesarea. Arius, a man of middle age, was afflicted with an advanced case of tuberculosis. He was miraculously healed by Yeshua. It was Arius who first told Pilate’s wife Claudia, about Yeshua’s power to heal.

After his healing, Arius went every evening to hear Yeshua teach. For six weeks Arius wrote down everything Yeshua said and did. When Yeshua returned to Judea, Arius, who was by that time an ardent follower, began to quietly teach and to preach. At the time of Yeshua’s death, he had converted up to one fourth of Pilate’s own household.



Azrael’s Commentary - Caesar Tiberius  (para. 6)

[...] Every month Tiberius received a full account of the sayings and doings of Yeshua. When he heard of Pilate’s own surveillance of Yeshua on suspicion of insurrection (Yeshua 10:83), Tiberius sent orders to have Yeshua taken into the Emperor’s personal custody. However, due to the slowness of travel and communication, Yeshua was dead by the time Caesar’s order was placed into the hands of Pontius Pilate. [...]






For they which were of the temple, being privy to the intrigues of the High Priest, would not that they should appear before the people to kill the Lord, lest all Israel rise against them;

For this cause did they desire to bring the Lord unto Herod Antipas that perchance he might kill him even as he killed John; and if he would not, then would they deliver the Lord unto Pilate.

But these things did they conspire to do privily, desiring to be seen of men as innocent, being held blameless in the death of the Holy One of Israel.

Yeshua 38:3-5


Now when they were come unto the place, they crucified the Lord, and they placed above his head a placard which said: This is Yeshua of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

And this did all the people read, for it was written in Hebrew, and in Greek, and in Latin; and all which traveled in and out of the city saw it plainly.

Then came unto Pilate the chief priests and elders, saying: “Write not ‘the King of the Jews’; but that he said: ‘I am the King of the Jews.’”

But Pilate answered them, saying: “What I have written I have written, let no man change.” And calling forth the guard he cast them out before him.

Yeshua 47:43-46


Now there came unto Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea, and he petitioned that Pilate should give unto him the body of Yeshua whereby he might bury it according to the law.

And when it was agreed, Joseph gave unto Pilate a talent of silver and, taking authority of Pilate to receive the body of the Lord, he returned quickly unto Golgotha.

Yeshua 47:64-65




Polybius of Salinus