At Matthew 27: 19 we see the advice given to Pilate by his wife during the trial of Jesus:

While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.

Had Pilate acceeded to the advice his wife, Jesus could not have accomplished His Mission. Was it possible that the dream of Pilate's wife had been induced by The Enemy? What is the take of Catholic Church on the dream of Pilate's wife?

  • This sounds like a "What if" question. Christ knew he would be crucified, he didn't for example say. " I will go to Jerusalem, and unless Pilot heeds the advice of his wife, there is a good chance I may die and on the third day be raised"
    – Marc
    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:55
  • Did the answer satisfy your question?
    – J. Tate
    Oct 20, 2017 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


There are a few speculations on what exactly this verse means. St. Thomas Aquinas compiled gospel commentaries of Church fathers in the Catena Aurea. I have copied the relevant comments from the Catena below:

Raban.: It is to be noted, that the bench (tribunal) is the seat of the judge, the throne (solium) of the king, the chair (cathedra) of the master. In visions and dreams the wife of a Gentile understood what the Jews when awake would neither believe nor understand. Jerome: Observe also that visions are often vouchsafed by God to the Gentiles, and that the confession of Pilate and his wife that the Lord was innocent is a testimony of the Gentile people.

Chrys.: But why did Pilate himself not see this vision? Because his wife was more worthy; or because if Pilate had seen it, he would not have had equal credit, or perhaps would not have told it; wherefore it is provided by God that his wife should see it, and thus it be made manifest to all. And she not merely sees it, but "suffers many things because of him," so that sympathy with his wife would make the husband more slack to put Him to death. And the time agreed well, for it was the same night that she saw it.

Chrys., Hom. iii, in Caen. Dom.: Thus then the judge terrified through his wife, and that he might not consent in the judgment to the accusation of the Jews, himself endured judgment in the affliction of his wife; the judge is judged, and tortured before he tortures.

Raban.: Or otherwise; The devil now at last understanding that he should lose his trophies through Christ, as be had at the first brought in [p. 942] death by a woman, so by a woman he would deliver Christ out of the hands of His enemies, lest through His death he should lose the sovereignty of death.

Chrys.: But none of the foregoing things moved Christ's enemies, because envy had altogether blinded them, and of their own wickedness they corrupt the people, for they "persuaded the people that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus."

Gloss., non occ.: Pilate is said to make this answer, "Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?" either to the message of his wife, or the petition of the people, with whom it was a custom to ask such release on the feast-day.

  • Notice that in the second paragraph, it is supposed that God supplied the vision but in the third paragraph, the devil.
    – J. Tate
    Oct 9, 2017 at 14:52

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