Matthew 27:65 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 27:65, NIV: Take a guard,' Pilate answered. 'Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.'

Matthew 27:65, ESV: Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”

Matthew 27:65, KJV: Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

Matthew 27:65, NASB: Pilate said to them, 'You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.'

Matthew 27:65, NLT: Pilate replied, 'Take guards and secure it the best you can.'

Matthew 27:65, CSB: "Take guards," Pilate told them. "Go and make it as secure as you know how."

What does Matthew 27:65 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Some of the chief priests and Pharisees have come to Pilate to make one more request about the false Messiah Jesus. They know He claimed the ability to rise from the dead after three days (John 2:19–22). They don't believe this, of course. However, they are worried His followers may steal the body and then tell everyone Jesus has been resurrected. How could they fight that fraud once it got started? If the body were simply to go missing, the lie would be harder to refute (Matthew 27:62–64).

Pilate seems to recognize the danger of such an event. His statement of "you have a guard of soldiers" can also be translated as "you may have a guard" or "take a guard." At the same time, he's not likely interested in using any of his own men for a relatively easy task. The Roman soldiers who will watch over Jesus' grave site are likely those already assigned to duty near the temple in Jerusalem. The religious leaders are, most likely, being given permission to reassign those men to Jesus' grave site.

He tells the Jewish religious leaders to do whatever they can to make the location secure. That will include placing a seal on the rock (Matthew 27:60) warning against tampering, as well as having the guards observe the area.