Acts 23
Pulpit Commentary
And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
Verse 1. - Looking steadfastly on for earnestly beholding, A.V.; brethren for men and brethren, A.V.; I have lived before God, etc., for I have lived, etc., before God, A.V. Looking steadfastly; ἀτενίσας, as in Acts 1:10; Acts 3:4, 12; Acts 6:15; Acts 7:55; Acts 10:4; Acts 11:6; Acts 13:9; Acts 14:9. It governs a dative here, as in Acts 3:12; Acts 10:1; Acts 14:9; Luke 4:20; Luke 22:56; elsewhere it is followed by εἰς. Brethren. He emits here the "fathers" which he added in Acts 22:1. If there is any special significance in the omission, it may be that he meant now to assume a less apologetic tone, and to speak as an equal to equals. Howson and Lewin think that he spoke as being, or having been, himself a member of the Sanhedrim. But he may have meant merely a friendly address to his countrymen. I have lived, etc. πεπολέτευμαι τῷ Θεῷ); comp. Philippians 3:20; I have had my conversation (vitam degi) unto God, or, for God, i.e. according to the will of God, with a view to God as the end of all my actions. So Josephus ('De Maccabeis,' sect. 4) says that Antiochus Epiphanes made a law that all Jews should be put to death οἵτινες φάνριεν τῷ πατοίω νόμω πολιτευόμενοι "who were seen to live according to the Law of their fathers." And so in 2 Macc. 6:1 it is said that he sent to compel the Jews to forsake the Law of their fathers - καὶ τοῖ τοῦ Θεοῦ νόμοις μὴ πολιτεύεσθαι ( ανδ not live agreeably to the laws of God. And once more, in 3Macc. 3:3, 4 the Jews are said to fear God and to be τῷ τούτου νόμῳ πολιτευόμενοι, living according to his Law. Here, then, πολιτεύεσθι τῷ Θεῷ means to live in obedience to God. St. Paul boldly asserts his undeviating compliance with the Law of God, as a good and consistent Jew (Philippians 3:6).
And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
Verse 2. - Ananias, the son of Nebedaeus, successor of Joseph the son of Camel, or Camydus ('Ant. Jud.,' 20. 1:3; 5:2), appears to have been actually high priest at this time. He was a violent, haughty, gluttonous, and rapacious man, and vet looked up to by the Jews ("tres considere," Renan). He had probably lately returned from Rome, having been confirmed, as it seems, in his office by Claudius, to whom Quadratus, the predecessor of Felix, has sent him as a prisoner, to answer certain charges of sedition against him. He seems to have been high priest for the unusually long period of over ten years - from A.D. to A.D. (see Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 20. 5:2; 6:2, 3; 8:8). But, on the other hand, Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,' 20. 8:5) speaks of a certain Jonathan being high priest during the government of Felix, and being murdered by the Sicarii at his instigation; which looks as if Ananias's high priesthood had been interrupt el. It would appear, too, from 20. 8:8, that Ismael the son of Fabi succeeded to Jonathan, net to Ananias, as is usually supposed. But the question is involved in great obscurity.
Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
Verse 3. - And for for, A.V.; according to for after, A.V. God shall smite thee (τύπτειν σε μέλλει). A distinct announcement of something that would happen. (For the incident itself, comp. 1 Kings 22:24, 25; Jeremiah 28:15, 17; and Acts 12:1, 2, 23) Ananias perished by the daggers of the Sicarii (Josephus, 'Bell. Jud,' 2. 17:9), at the beginning of the Jewish war under the procuratorship of Florus, in the year A.D. . He had been previously deposed from the high priesthood by King Agrippa toward the close of the government of Felix ('Ant. Jud.,' 20. 8:8), about A.D. , or early in A.D. , less than two years from the present time. Thou whited wall. This expression is admirably illustrated by the quotations from Seneca in Kuinoel: "These base and sordid spirits are like the walls of their own houses, only beautiful on the outside." "What are our gilt roofs hut lies? for we well know that under the gilding unseemly beams are concealed." "It is not only our walls which are coated with a thin outward ornament; the greatness of those men whom you see strutting in their pride is mere tinsel; look beneath the surface, and you will see all the evil that is hid under that thin crust of dignity" ('De Provid.,' 6, and 'Epist.' 115). Ananias was sitting in his priestly robes of office, presiding over the council in power and dignity, and presumably a righteous judge, but his heart within was polluted with injustice, selfishness, and a corrupt disposition, which made him act unrighteously (comp. Matthew 23:27). Contrary to the Law; or, acting illegally; παρανομῶν, only found here in the New Testament, but common in classical Greek. St. Paul's temper was very excusably roused by the brutality and injustice of Ananias. But we may, perhaps, think that he did not quite attain to "the mind that was in Christ Jesus," who "when he was reviled, reviled not again," but was "led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, he opened not his mouth" (Acts 8:32).
And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
Verse 4. - God's high priest. This seems to show that Ananias actually was high priest, though some think that he had thrust himself into the office after his return from Rome, without due authority, and that this was the reason why St. Paul excused himself by saying, in ver. 5, "I wist not that he was high priest."
Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
Verse 5. - And Paul said for then said Paul, A.V.; high for the high, A.V.; a ruler for the ruler, A.V. I wist not, etc. These words express, as distinctly as words can express anything, that St. Paul was not aware, when he called Ananias a "whited wall," that he was addressing the high priest. Different reasons for this ignorance have been given. Some think that it arose from the uncertainty that existed whether Ananias really was high priest or not at this time, or whether the office was not in abeyance. Others attribute to Paul's weakness of sight the fact that he did not see that Ananias was sitting in the presidential chair, neither was able to recognize his features. Others, giving to οὐκ ἤδειν α sense which it never bus, render, "I did not reflect," or "bear in mind, that he was high priest." What is certain is that for some reason or other Paul did not know that he was speaking to the high priest. Had he known it, he would not have said what he did say, because the Law is express which says, Ἄρχοντα τοῦ λαοῦ σου οὐ κακῶς ἐρεῖς (Exodus 22:28, LXX.).
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Verse 6. - Brethren for men and brethren, A.V. (as in ver. 1); a son of Pharisees for the son of a Pharisee, A.V. and T.R.; touching for of, A.V. When Paul perceived, etc. Possibly the Pharisees in the Sanhedrim were disgusted at the brutal act of Ananias, and were not sorry to hear him called "a whited wall;" and St. Paul's quick intelligence saw at a glance that the whole council did not sympathize with their president, and divined the cause. With a ready wit, therefore, he proclaimed himself a Pharisee, and, seizing upon the great dogma of the resurrection, which Christians held in common with the Pharisees, he rallied to his side all who were Pharisees in the assembly. Of Pharisees. The R.T. has Φαρισαίων (in the plural), which gives the sense that his ancestors were Pharisees (comp. Philippians 3:5). Touching the hope, etc. (see Acts 24:21). The words are somewhat difficult to construe. Some take "the hope and resin'. rection of the dead" for a hendiadys, equivalent to "the hope of the resurrection of the dead." Some take ἐλπίς by itself, as meaning "the hope of a future life." Perhaps the exact form of the words is, "Touching the hope and (its ultimate object) the resurrection of the dead I am called in question." The article is omitted after the preposition (Alford). As regards St. Paul's action in taking advantage of the strong party feeling by which the Sanhedrim was divided, there is a difference of opinion. Some, as Alford, think that the presence of mind and skill with which Paul divided the hostile assembly was a direct fulfillment of our Lord's promise (Mark 13:9-11; see Homiletics, 1-11) to suggest by his Spirit to those under persecution what they ought to say. Farrar, on the contrary, strongly blames St. Paul, and says," The plan showed great knowledge of character... but was it worthy of St. Paul?... Could he worthily say, 'I am a Pharisee'? Had he any right to inflame an existing animosity?" and more to the same effect (vol. it. pp. 325-328). But it could not be wrong for St. Paul to take advantage of the agreement of Christian doctrine with some of the tenets of the Pharisees, to check the Pharisees from joining with the Sadducees in crushing that doctrine. He had never thrown off his profession as a Jew, and if a Jew, then one of the straitest sect of the Jews, in any of its main features; and if he claimed the freedom of a Roman citizen to save himself from scourging, why not the fact of being a Pharisee of Pharisees to save himself from an iniquitous sentence of the Sanhedrim?
And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
Verse 7. - Sadducees for the Sadducees, A.V.; assembly for multitude, A.V.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
Verse 8. - Neither angel, etc. Is there any connection between this expression and that in Acts 12:15, "It is his angel" (see ver. 9)? For the statement regarding the Pharisees and Sadducees, see Luke 20:27.
And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
Verse 9. - Clamor for cry, A.V.; some of the for the, A.V.; of the Pharisees part for that were of the, etc., A.V.; stood up for arose, A.V.; and what for but, A.V.; a spirit hath spoken to him, or an angel for a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, A.V.; the R.T. omits the clause in the T.R., let us not fight against God. The scribes (comp. Luke 20:39). We find no evil in this man (comp. John 18:29, 33; Luke 23:14, 15, 22). What if a spirit, etc.; alluding to what Paul had said in Acts 22:17, 18.
And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
Verse 10. - Be torn for have been pulled, A.V.; by for of, A.V.; take for to take, A.V.; bring for to bring, A.V. A great dissension; στάσεως, as in Acts 15:2. and above, ver. 7. The state of things here described is exactly what the pages of Josephus and of Tacitus disclose as to the combustible state of the Jewish mind generally just before the commencement of the Jewish war. The Roman power was the one element of quiet and order. The tower of Antonia was the one place of safety in Jerusalem.
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Verse 11. - The R.T. omits Paul, in the T.R. and A.V.; concerning for of, A.V.; at for in, A.V. The Lord stood by him. The jaded, harassed, and overwrought spirit needed some unusual support. The Lord whom Paul loved, and for whom he was suffering so much, knew it, and in his tender care for his servant stood by him and spake a word of gracious encouragement to him. Paul felt that he was not forgotten or forsaken. There was more work for him to do, in spite of all the hatred of his countrymen. The capital of heathendom must hear his testimony as well the metropolis of the circumcision.
And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
Verse 12. - The Jews for certain of the Jews, A.V. and T.R. Banded together (ποιήσαντες συστροφὴν). This word συστροφή is found in the New Testament only here and Acts 19:40, where it is rendered "concourse." The sense of "a conspiracy," which it has here, is common in the LXX. (see Amos 7:10; 2 Kings 15:15, etc.). The verb συστρέφειν in the LXX. has the sense of "to conspire" (2 Samuel 15:31; 2 Kings 10:9; 2 Kings 15:30, συνέστρεψε σύστρεμμα). Bound themselves under a curse (ἀνεθεμάτισαν ἑαυτοὺς). The word ἀνάθεμα (Romans 9:3; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Galatians 1:8, 9) corresponds to the Hebrew צּצּצּ, the devotion of anything to destruction; and hence "the thing itself so devoted." And the verb ἀναθεματίζεν corresponds to the Hebrew צּצּצּ, to devote to destruction, without the possibility of redemption. Here they made themselves an ἀνάθεμα if they did not kill Paul before partaking of any food. It seems, however, that there was a way of escape if they failed to keep the vow. Lightfoot, on this passage, quotes from the Talmud: "He that hath made a vow not to eat anything, woe to him if he eat, and woe to him if he do not eat. If he eat he sinneth against his vow; if he do not eat he sinneth against his life. What must such a man do in this case? Let him go to the wise men, and they will loose his vow" ('Hebrews and Talmud. Exercit. upon the Acts').
And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.
Verse 13. - Made for had made, A.V. Conspiracy; συνωμοσία, in Latin conjuratio. It only occurs here in the New Testament, but is used occasionally by Diodorus Siculus and other Greek writers. The kindred word συνωμότης is found in the LXX. of Genesis 14:13, rendered "confederate," A.V.
And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
Verse 14. - The elders for elders, A.V.; to taste for that we will eat, A.V.; killed for slain, A.V. The chief priests, etc. Meaning, no doubt, those who were of the party of the Sadducees, to which the chief priests mainly belonged at this time. A great curse. There is nothing in the phraseology of this verse, as compared with that of ver. 12, to warrant the introduction of the word "great." It is simply, "We have anathematized ourselves with an anathema."
Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would inquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
Verse 15. - Do ye for ye, A.V.; the R.T. omits tomorrow, in the A.V.; judge of his case more exactly for inquire something more perfectly concerning him, A.V.; slay for kill, A.V. With the council. Either the temporary feeling of the Pharisees had subsided, and their old hatred come to the front again, or the high priest and Sadducees, by some plausible excuse, persuaded the Pharisees of the council to join with them in asking that Paul might be brought before them again. Signify. The word ἐμφανίζειν only occurs here and at ver. 22, in this sense of "signifying" or "making known" something, which it has in Esther 2:22, LXX.. Codex Alexandrinus (as the rendering of אָמַר, to tell), and in 2 Macc. 3:7, and in Josephus, as also in classical Greek. Elsewhere in the New Testament it means "to manifest," or "show," as in John 14:21, 22; in the passive voice "to appear," as in Matthew 27:53; Hebrews 9:24; and in a technical legal sense "to give information" (Acts 24:1; Acts 25:2, 15). Judge of his case more exactly; διαγινώσκειν κ.τ.λ. The word only occurs here and in Acts 24:22. The classical use of the word in the sense of "deciding," "giving judgment," is in favor of the R.V.; διαγινώσκειν, like διάγνωσις, diagnosis (Acts 25:21), is a word of very frequent use in medical writers, as is the ἀκριβέστερον, which here is joined with it (Acts 24:22, note).
And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
Verse 16. - But for and when, A.V.: and he came for he went, A.V. Lying in wait; ἐνέδρα, only here and in Acts 25:3 in the New Testament; but common in the Books of Joshua and Judges in the LXX., and also in classical Greek.
Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
Verse 17. - And for then, A.V.; called unto him one, etc., for called one, etc., unto him, A.V.; something for a certain thing, A.V.
So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
Verse 18. - Saith for said, A.V.; asked for prayed, A.V.; to for unto, A.V.
Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
Verse 19. - And for then, A.V.; going aside asked him privately for went with him aside privately, and asked him, A.V. Took him by the hand (ἐπιλαβόμενος τῆς χειρὸς); see above, Acts 17:19, note. The action denotes a kindly feeling towards St. Paul, as indeed his whole conduct does (comp. Acts 24:23; Acts 27:3; also Daniel 1:9 and Psalm 106:46).
And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would inquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
Verse 20. - Ask thee to bring for desire thee that then wouldest bring, A.V; unto for into, A.V.; thou wouldest for they would, A.V. and T.R.; more exactly concerning him for of him more perfectly, A.V. Have agreed. Συντίθημι occurs four times in the New Testament, of which three are in St. Luke's writings (Luke 22:5; this passage; and Acts 24:9), and the fourth in John 9:22. As though thou wouldest. The R.T., which reads μέλλων for μέλλοντες, must surely be wrong. It is in contradiction to ver. 15, and makes no sense. The pretext of further inquiry was theirs, not Lysias's.
But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
Verse 21. - Do not thou therefore for but do not thou, A.V.; under a curse for with an oath, A.V.; neither to eat nor to drink for that they will neither eat nor drink, A.V.; slain for killed, A.V.; the for a (promise), A.V. Do not... yield (μὴ πεισθῇς); be not persuaded by them; do not assent unto them (see Luke 16:6; Acts 5:40; Acts 17:4, etc.). The promise, etc.; τὴν ἀπὸ σοῦ ἐπαγγελίαν. The word occurs above fifty times in the New Testament, and is always rendered "promise" in the A.V., except in 1 John 1:5, where it is rendered both in the A.V. and the R.V. "message," which is the literal meaning of the word. In Polybius it means "a summons." Either of these meanings suits this passage better than "promise."
So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.
Verse 22. - Let for then let, A.V.; go for depart, A.V.; charging for and charged, A.V.; tell for see then tell, A.V.; signified for showed, A.V. (see ver. 15, note). Charging (as in Acts 1:4; Acts 4:18; Acts 5:28, 40, etc.).
And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
Verse 23. - Of the centurions for centurions, A.V.; and said for saying, A.V.; as far as for to, A.V. Two hundred soldiers; one hundred for each centurion; στρατιώτας, foot-soldiers, who alone would be under the command of the centurions. The ἱππεῖς and the δεξιολάβοι would be under the command perhaps of a τουρμάρχης, or decurio, captain of a turma, or squadron. Here there would seem to be two turmae because a turma consisted of thirty-three men - here possibly of thirty-five. Spearmen; δεξιολάβοι. This word occurs nowhere else in Scripture or in any ancient Greek author. It is first found in" Theophylactus Simocatta, in the seventh century, and then again in the tenth century in Constantine Porphyrogenitus" (Meyer). It seems most probable that it was the name of some particular kind of light infantry. But it is not easy to explain the etymology. Perhaps they were a kind of skirmishers thrown out on a march to protect the flanks of an army; as Plutarch speaks of javelin-men and slingers being placed to guard, not only the rear, but also the flanks of the army on the march (Steph., 'Thesaur.,' under οὐραγία). "Holding or taking the right" might be the force of the compound, somewhat after the analogy of δεξιόσειρος δεξιοστάτης, etc.; which agrees with the explanations of Phavorinus παραφύλακας, and with that of Beza, "Qui alicui dextrum latus [meaning simply latus] munit." Only, instead of the improbable notion of these men being a body-guard of the tribune - which their number makes impossible - it should be understood of the troops which protect the flank of an army on the march. Other improbable explanations are that δεξιολάβος means the soldier to whom the right hand of prisoners was fastened, or those who grasp with the right hand their weapon, the lance or javelin. The object of Lysias in sending so large a force was to guard against the possibility of a rescue in the feverish and excited state of the Jewish mind. And no doubt one reason for sending Paul away was his dread of a Jewish riot.
And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
Verse 24. - He bade them provide for provide, A.V, (the infinitive παραστῆσαι); might for may, A.V.; thereon for on, A.V. Beasts (κτήνη); here "riding-horses," as Luke 10:34. In Revelation 18:13 it is applied to "cattle;" in 1 Corinthians 15:39 it means "beasts" generally. In the LXX. it is used for all kinds of beasts - cattle, sheep, beasts of burden, etc. Beasts is in the plural, because one or more would be required for those who guarded Paul.
And he wrote a letter after this manner:
Verse 25. - Form for manner, A.V. After this form. Luke does not profess to give the letter verbatim, but merely its general tenor, which Lysias might have communicated to Paul, or which Paul might have learnt at Caesarea.
Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
Verse 26. - Greeting for sendeth greeting, A.V. Governor; ἡγεμών, as ver. 24; propraetor of an imperial province, as distinguished from the ἀνθύπατος, or proconsul, who governed the provinces which were in the patronage of the senate. Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:7, 8) was a proconsul, and so was Gallio (Acts 18:10); Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:2) and Felix were procurators, ἡγεμόνες, only in a looser sense, as the more exact name of their office was ἐπίτροπος procurator. Only, as they were appointed by the emperor, and often exercised the full functions of a legatus Caesaris, they were called ἡγεμόνες as well as proprietors. Felix, called by Tacitus, Antonius Felix ('Hist.,' 5:9), was the brother of Pallas, the freedman and favorite of Claudius. He as well as his brother Felix had originally been the slave of Antonia the mother of the Emperor Claudius; and hence the name Antonins Felix, or, as he was sometimes otherwise celled, Claudius Felix. Tacitus, after mentioning that Claudius appointed as governors of Judaea sometimes knights and sometimes freedmen, adds that among the last Autenius Felix ruled this province with boundless cruelty and in the most arbitrary manner, showing by his abuse of power his servile origin. He adds that he married Drusilla, the granddaughter of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, so that he was Mark Antony's grandson-in-law, while Claudius was Antony's grandson. But see Acts 24:24, note. In the 'Annals' (12. 5) Tacitus further speaks of the incompetence of Felix to govern, stirring up rebellions by the means he took to repress them, and of the utter lawlessness and confusion to which the province was reduced by the maladministration of Felix and his colleague, Ventidius Cumanus ("cut pars provinciae habebatur"). He adds that civil war would have broken out if Quadratus, the Governor of Syria, had not interposed, and secured the punishment of Cumanus, while Felix, his equal in guilt, was continued in his government. This was owing, no doubt, to the influence of Pallas. The same influence secured the continued government to Felix upon Nero's accession, Pallas being all-powerful with Agrippina. Such was "the most excellent governor Felix." For further accounts of him, see Josephus ('Bell. Jud.,' 2. 12:8; 13.), who ignores his share in the government as the partner of Cumauus, and dates his appointment subsequently to the con-detonation of Cumanus at Rome, and is also there silent as to his misdeeds. (For further accounts of Felix, see 'Ant. Jud.,' 20. 7:1, 2; 8:5-7, which relate his adulterous marriage with Drusilla, and some of his murders and cruelties.)
This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
Verse 27. - Seized by for taken of, A.V.; was about to be slain for should have been killed, A.V.; when I came for then came I, A.V.; upon them with the soldiers for with an army, A.V.; learned for understood, A.V. The soldiers (τὸστράτευμα, as ver. 10). The army of the A.V. is out of place. Having learned, etc. Lysias departs here from strict truth, wishing, no doubt, to set off his zeal in defense of a Roman citizen, and also to anticipate any unfavorable report that Paul might give as to his threatened scourging.)
And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:
Verse 28. - Desiring to know for when 1 would have known, A.V.; down unto for forth into, A.V.
Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
Verse 29. - Found for perceived, A.V.; about for of, A.V. Questions; ζητήματα, only in the Acts, where it occurs five times (Acts 15:2; Acts 18:15; Acts 23:29; Acts 25:19; Acts 26:3). St. Luke also uses ζήτησις (Acts 25:20), as does St. Paul four times in the pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 1:4, T.R.; 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9).
And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
Verse 30. - Shown to for told, A.V.; that there would be a plot against for how that the Jews laid wait for. A.V. and T.R.; I sent him to thee forthwith for I sent straight- way to thee, A.V.; charging for and gave commandment to, A.V.; to speak against him before thee for to say before thee what they had against him, A.V.; the R.T. omits fare- well, in the A.V. That there would be a plot, etc. Two constructions are mixed up either by the writer of the letter, or by the transcriber. One would be Μηνυθείσης δέ μοι ἐπιβουλῆς τῆς μελλούσης ἔσεσθαι, "When I was informed of the plot which was about to be laid against him;" the other, Μηνυθέντος μοι ἐπιβουλὴν μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι, "When I was informed that a plot was going to be laid," etc. Against the man; πρὸς αὐτόν, as Acts 6:1; 1 Corinthians 6:1. But λέγειν πρός (instead of κατά), "to speak against" any one, is an unusual phrase. The T.R., which is retained by Mill, Alford, Wordsworth, Meyer, etc., is far more probable. Other readings are
Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
Verse 31. - So for then, A.V. Antipatris; "forty-two Roman miles from Jerusalem, and twenty-six from Caesarea, built (on the site of Kaphor Saba) by Herod the Great, and named in honor of Antipater, his father" (Alford). According to Howson, following the American traveller, the Rev. Eli Smith, the route lay from Jerusalem to Gophna, on the road to Nablous, and from Gophna, leaving the great north road by a Roman road of which many distinct traces remain, to Antipatris, avoiding Lydda or Diospolis altogether. Gophna is three hours from Jerusalem, and, as they started at 9 p.m., would be reached by midnight. Five or six hours more would bring them to Antipatris, most of the way being downhill from the hill country of Ephraim to the plain of Sharon. Attera halt of two or three hours, a march of six hours would bring them to Caesarea, which they may have reached in the afternoon.
On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
Verse 32. - But on for on, A.V. On the morrow, after their departure from Jerusalem, not, as Alford suggests, after their departure from Antipatris. It was a forced march, and therefore would not occupy two days and a night.
Who, when they came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
Verse 33. - And they for who, A.V.; letter for epistle, A.V. Presented Paul; πάρεστησαν. This is a word particularly used of setting any one before a judge (see Romans 14:10, and the subscription of 2 Timothy, Ὅτε ἐκ δευτέρου παρέστη Πῦλος τῷ Καίσαρι Νέρωνι).
And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
Verse 34. - He for the governor, A.V. and T.R.; it for the fetter, A.V. Province; ἐπαρχία, only here and in Acts 25:1. A general word for a government, most properly applied to an imperial province.
I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.
Verse 35. - Thy cause for thee, A.V.; also are for are also, A.V.; palace for judgment hall, A.V. I will hear thy cause; διακούσομαί σου, found only here in the New Testament; but used in the same sense as here for "hearing a cause," in Deuteronomy 1:16, Διακούσατε... καὶ κρίνετε, "Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously," A.V. See also Job 9:33, Διακούων ἀναμέσον ἀμφοτέρων, "That might lay his hand upon us both," A.V., i.e. judge between us. Palace (ἐν τῷ πραιτωρίῳ). The praetorium - for it is a Latin word - was originally the proctor's tent in a Roman camp. Thence it came to signify the abode of the chief magistrate in a province, or a king's palace. Herod's palace seems to have been a palace originally built by King Herod, and now used, either as the residence of the procurator or, as the mode of speaking rather indicates, for some public office. (For the use of the word πραιτώριον, see Matthew 27:27; John 18:28, 33; John 19:9; Philippians 1:13.)

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