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VER. 9. And there arose a great cry: and the sion, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should
scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded and strove, saying, We find "no evil in this the soldiers to go down, and to take him by man : but if a spirit' or an angel hath spoken force from among them, and to bring him into to him, let us not ) fight against God.
the castle. h Chap. xxv. 25; xxvi. 31. i Chap. xxii. 17, 18. A great dissension.--A great tumult, excite's j Chap. v. 39.
ment, or controversy. Into the castle.- Note,
chap. xxi. 34. A great cry. A great clamour and tumult. The scribes. The learned men, They would naturally be the chief speakers. Of the Pha
Ver. 11. And the night following, the Lord risees' part.-- Who were Pharisees; or who be
stood i by him, and said, Be of good cheer, longed to that party. The scribes were not a Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jeru. distinct sect, but might be either Pharisees or
salem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. Sadducees. We find no evil in this man.-No opinion which is contrary to the law of Moses; j Psa. xlvi. 17. Chap. xviii. 9; xxvii, 23, 24. and no conduct in spreading the doctrine of the
k Chap. xxviii. 30, 31. Rom. i. 15. resurrection which we do not approve. The importance of this doctrine, in their view, was so
The Lord stood by him.-Evidently the Lord great as to throw into the back ground all the
Jesus. See Note, chap. i. 24. Comp.chap. xxii. 18 other doctrines that Paul might hold ; and pro
The appearance of the Lord in this case was a vided this were propagated, they were willing to
proof that he approved the course which Paul had vindicate and sustain him. A similar testimony
taken before the sanhedrim. Be of good cheer.was offered to the innocence of the Saviour by
It would not be remarkable if Paul, by these Pilate. (John xix. 6.) But if a spirit or an
constant persecutions, should be somewhat de- ! angel, &c. - They here referred, doubtless, to
jected in mind. The issue of the whole matter what Paul had said in chap. xxii. 17, 18. He
was as yet doubtful. In these circumstances, it! had declared that he had gone among the Gen
must have been peculiarly consoling to him to tiles in obedience to the command which he re
hear these words of encouragement from the Lord ceived in a vision in the temple. As the Phari
Jesus, and this assurance that the object of his sees held to the belief of spirits and angels, and
desires should be granted, and that he would be to the doctrine that the will of God was often permitted to bear the same witness of him in delivered to men by their agency, they were
Rome. Nothing else can comfort and sustain ready now to admit that he had received such a
the soul in trials and persecutions, but evidence communication, and that he had gone among the
the of the approbation of God, and the promises of Gentiles in obedience to it, to defend their great
his gracious aid. Bear witness also at Rome. doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. We
This had been the object of his earbest wish, are not to suppose that the Pharisees had become
(Rom. i. 10; xv. 23, 24,) and this promise of the the friends of Paul, or of Christianity. The true
Lord Jesus was fulfilled. (Chap. xxvii. 30, 31.) solution of their conduct doubtless is, that they
The promise which was here made to Paul vas were so inflamed with hatred against the Sad
not directly one of deliverance from the present ducees, that they were willing to make use of any
persecution, but it implied that, and made it cer. argument against their doctrine. As the testi
tain, mony of Paul might be turned to their account, they were willing to vindicate him. It is re
VER. 12. And when it was day, certain 'of the markable too, that they perverted the statement Jews banded together, and bound themselves of Paul in order to oppose the Sadducees. Paul m under a curse, saying that they would neihad stated distinctly, (chap. xxii. 17, 18,) that he had been commanded to go by the Lord, meaning
ther eat por drink " till they had killed Paul. the Lord Jesus. He had said nothing of “a 1 Ver. 21, 30. Chap. xxv. 3. mh or, with an oath of spirit or an angel." Yet they would unite with
execration. 1 Psa. xxxi. 13. the Sadducees so far as to maintain that he had received no such command from the Lord Jesus.
Certain of the Jews. Some of the Jews. They But they might easily vary his statements, and I were more than forty in number. (Ver. 13.) suppose that an “angel or a spirit" had spoken Banded together.--Made an agreement, or com- i to him, and thus made use of his conduct as an | pact. They conspired to kill him. And bound argument against the Sadducees. Men are not themselves under a curse. See the margin. The always very careful about the exact correctness
Greek is, “ they anathematized themselves ;" of their statements, when they wish to humble a that is, they bound themselves by a soler
that is, they bound themselves by a solemn oath. rival. Let us not fight against God.-See Note,
They invoked a curse on themselves, or devoted chap. v. 39. These words are wanting in many themselves to destruction, if they did not 10. MSS. and in some of the ancient versions. The
it. Lightfoot remarks, however, that they could Syriac reads it, “ If a spirit or angel have spoken
be absolved from this vow by the Rabbins, if to him, what is there in this?” i, e. what is there
they were unable to execute it. Under Farious unusral or wrong?
pretences they could easily be freed from such oaths, and it was common to take them; and if
there was any difficulty in fulfilling them, they VER. 10. And when there arose a great dissen- could easily apply to their religious teachers, and
be absolved. That they would neither eat nor request of the sanhedrim. It was only by such drink. That is, that they would do it as soon as a request that they had any hope that the chief possible. This was a common form of an oath, captain would remove Paul from the castle. or curse among the Jews. Sometimes they only . Signify to the chief captain.-Send a message or vowed abstinence from particular things, as from request to him. That he bring him down unto meat, or wine. But in this case, to make the you.—That he bring him from the castle to the oath more certain, and binding, they vowed ab- usual place of the meeting of the sanhedrim.
stinence from all kinds of food and drink till | As this was at some distance from the castle, or , they had killed him. Who these were—whether tower of Antonia, where Paul was, they supposed 1. they were Sadducees or not, is not mentioned by it would be easy to waylay him, and take his the sacred writer. It is evident, however, that life. To-morrow. This is wanting in the Syriac,
the minds of the Jews were greatly inflamed Vulgate, and Ethiopic versions. It is, however, · against Paul; and as they saw him in the cus probably, the correct reading of the text, as it
tody of the Roman tribune, and as there was no would be necessary to convene the council, and prospect that he would punish him, they resolved make the request of the tribune, which might to take the matter into their own hands. Mi- require the whole of one day. As though ye would chaelis conjectures that they were of the num inquire, &c.-- This request appeared so reasonable ber of the Sicarii, or cut-throats, with which that they did not doubt that the tribune would Judea then abounded. See Note on chap. xxi. , grant it to the council. And though it was ob38. It is needless to remark that this was a viously a false and wicked pretence, yet these most wicked oath. It was a deliberate purpose conspirators knew the character of the persons to commit murder; and it shows the desperate to whom they addressed themselves so well, that state of morals among the Jews at that time, and they did not doubt that they would prevail on the infuriated malice of the people against the the council to make the request. Public justice apostle.
must have been deeply fallen, when it was known
that such an iniquitous request could be made VER. 13. And they were more than forty which with the certain prospect of success. Or ever he I had made this conspiracy.
come near.- Before he comes near to the sanhe
drim. The great council will thus not be susWhich had made this conspiracy.--This oath, pected of being privy to the deed. We will way. (our wuoriav,) this agreement, or compact. This | lay him, and murder him in the way. The plan · large number of desperate men, bound by sowas well laid ; and nothing but the interposition solemn an oath, would be likely to be successful ; | of Providence could have prevented its execution. and the life of Paul was therefore in peculiar danger. The manner in which they purposed VER. 16. And when Paul's sister's son heard of to accomplish their design is stated in ver. 15.
their lying in wait, he ? went and entered into VER. 14. And they came to the chief priests
the castle, and told Paul. and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves
9 2 Sam. xvii. 17. under a great curse, that we will eat nothing
Paul's sister's son. This is all we know of the until we have slain Paul.
family of Paul. Nor do we know for what pur. Hos. iv. 9.
pose he was at Jerusalem. It is possible that Paul
might have a sister residing there; though, as And they came. &c. Probably by a deputation. Paul had been sent there formerly for his educaTo the chief priests and elders. The members of tion, it seems more probable that this young man the great council, or sanhedrim. It is probable was sent there for the same purpose. Entered
that the application was made to the party of the into the castle.-Paul had the privileges of a | Sadducees, as the Pharisees had shown their | Roman citizen, and as no well-founded charge had I determination to defend Paul. They would have been laid against him, it is probable that he was I had no prospect of success had they attacked not very closely confined, and that his friends the castle, and they therefore advised this inge might have free access to him. bions mode of obtaining access to Paul, where they might easily dispatch him. Under a great
| VER. 17. Then 'Paul called one of the centurions curs.--Greek, “ We have anatbematized our unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto selves with an anathema.” We have made the the chief captain ; for he hath a certain thing Fow as solemn as possible.
to tell him. VER. 15. Now therefore ye, with the council,
Prov. xxii. 3. Matt. x. 16. signify to the chief captain that he bring him
Called one of the centurions. Who might at down unto you to-morrow, as though ye
that time have had special charge of the castle, , would inquire something more perfectly con- | or been on guard. Paul had the most positive 1 cerning him: and we, or ever he come near,
assurance that his life would be spared, and that
he would yet see Rome; but he always underare ready P to kill him.
stood the divine promises and purposes as being p Psa, xxi, 11; xxxvii. 32, 33.
consistent with his own efforts, and with all pro
per measures of prudence and diligence in secur. Ye with the council. With the concurrence or | ing his own safety. He did not rest merely on the divine promise without any effort of his own ; ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third but he took encouragement from those promises
hour of the night; to put forth his own exertions for security and for salvation.
And he called unto him two centurions, &c.--Each
centurion had under him one hundred men. The Ver. 18. So he took him, and brought him to the and brought him to the chief captain resolved to place Paul beyond the
power of the Jews, and to protect him as became chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner:
a Roman citizen. Two hundred soldiers. These called me unto him, and prayed me to bring foot-soldiers were designed only to guard Paul this young man unto thee, who hath some till he was safely out of Jerusalem. The horse thing to say unto thee.
men only were intended to accompany him to
Cæsarea. See ver. 32. And horsemen.– These', s Chap. xxviii. 17. Eph. iii. 1; iv. I. Philem. 9. were commonly attached to foot-soldiers. In
this case, however, they were designed to attend And prayed me.—And asked me.
Paul to Cæsarea. And spearmen, celonáborç.-|
Testament, and occurs in no classic writer. It Ver. 19. Then the chief captain took him by the properly means those who take, or apprehend by !
hand, and went with him aside privately, and the right hand ; and might be applied to those asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
who apprehend prisoners, or to those who hold a
spear or dart in the right hand for the purpose Took him by the hand.-As an expression of
of throwing it. Some have conjectured that it kindness and civility. He did it to draw him
should be read δεξιοβόλους- those who cast or
should be aside from the multitude, that he might commu
throw (a spear] with the right hand. So the nicate his message privately,
Vulgate, the Syriac, and the Arabic understani it. They were probably those who were arbird
with spears or darts, and who attended on the Ver. 20. And he said, The Jews have' agreed tribune as a guard. At the third hour of the night.
to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down -At nine o'clock.. This was in order that it Paul to-morrow into the council, as though
might be done with secrecy, and to elude the
hand of desperadoes that had resolved to murder they would inquire somewhat of him more
Paul. If it should seem that this guard was: 1 perfectly.
very numerous for one man, it should be remem.
bered, (1.) That the number of those who had ! Ver. 12.
conspired against him was also large, and, (2.)
That they were men accustomed to scenes of And he said, &c.—In what way this young
blood, of desperate characters, and who had soman had received intelligence of this, we can
lemnly sworn that they would take his life. In only conjecture. It is not improbable that he
order, therefore, to deter them effectually froul was a student under some one of the Jewish
attacking the guard, it was made very numerous teachers, and that he might have learned it of
and strong, and nearly five hundred men ap him. It is not at all probable that the purpose of the forty men would be very closely kept.
pointed to guard Paul as he left Jerusalem. Indeed it is evident that they were not themselves very anxious about concealing their oath, as they
| VER. 24. And provide them beasts, that they may mentioned it fully to the chief priests and elders. set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the (Ver. 14.)
VER. 21. But do not thou yield" unto them: for
And provide them beasts.-One for Paul, and there lie in wait for him of them more than
| one for each of his attendants. The word trans
lated “ beasts," (kthyn,) is of a general characforty men, which have bound themselves with ter, and may be applied either to horses, to an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink camels, or to asses. The latter were most comtill they have killed him: and now are they
monly employed in Judea. Unto Feliz the
governor.---The governor of Judea. His place ready, looking for a promise from thee. of residence was Cæsarea, about sixty miles from u Exod. xxiii. 2.
Jerusalem. See Note, chap. viii. 40. His name
was Antonius Felix, and was a freedman of An. Waiting for a promise from thee.- Waiting for tonia, the mother of the emperor Claudius. He your consent to bring him down to them. was high in the favour of Claudius, and was
made by him governor of Judea. Josephus calls
him Claudius Felix. He had married three VER. 22. So the chief captain then let the young wives in succession that were of royal families,
man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no one of whom was Drusilla, afterwards mentioned man that thou hast showed these things to me. I in chap. xxiv. 24, who was sister to King Agrippa 23. And he called unto him two centurions, .
Tacitus (Hist. v. 9) says, that he governed with
| all the authority of a king, and the baseness and saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to 1 insolence of a slave. “He was an unrighteous go to Cæsarea, and horsemen threescore and governor, a base, mercenary, and bad man."
Clarke. See his character further described in the Note on chap. xxiv. 25.
delivered the epistle 6 to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
VER. 25. And he wrote a letter after this manner:
6 Ver. 25—30. 26. Claudius Lysias unto the most excel
They left the horsemen.--As they were then ! lent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
beyond the danger of the conspirators, the solUnto the most ercellent governor Felir.—The
diers who had guarded them thus far returned to
Jerusalem. most honoured, &c. This was a mere title of orice. Greeting.–A term of salutation in an epistle wishing health, joy, and prosperity.
VER. 34. And when the governor had read the
letter, he asked of what province he was. Ter. 27. This man was taken of the Jews, and And when he understood that he was of Cili. I should have been killed of them: then came I
cia; with an army, and rescued him, having under
c Chap. xxi. 39. stood that he was a Roman.
Of what province he was.--Greek, of what « Chap. xxi. 33; xxiv. 7.
heparchy (zapxias) he was. He knew from Should have been killed of them.-Was about to the letter of Lysias that he was a Roman, but he be killed by them. The life of Paul had been was not informed of what place or province he
twiee endangered in this manner. (Chap. xxi. / was. This he doubtless did in order to ascertain , 3): xxii. 10.) With an army. With a band of whether he properly belonged to his jurisdiction. soldiers. (Ver. 10.)
Roman provinces were districts of country which
were intrusted to the jurisdiction of procurators. VER. 28. And when I would have known the How far the jurisdiction of Felix extended, is
not certainly known. It appears, however, that cause wherefore they accused him, I brought
it included Cilicia. Was of Cilicia.—Tarsus, him forth into their council:
the birth-place of Paul, was in this province. 29. Whom I perceived to be accused of (Chap. xxi. 39.) questions of their law, but to have nothing y laid to his charge worthy of death or of
Ver. 35. I will hear thee, said he, when thine bonds.
accusers d are also come. And he commanded
him to be kept in · Herod's judgment-hall. 10 Chap. xxii, 30. 2 Chap, xviii. 15; xxv. 19. y Chap. xxvi. 31.
d Chap. xxiv. 1, &c.; xxv. 16. e Matt. xxvii. 27. Questions of their law.–So he understood the In Herod's judgment-hall.—Greek, in the prewbole controversy to be. Worthy of death.-By |
be,, Worthy of death. -BY torium of Herod. The word here used, denoted the Roman law. He had been guilty of no crime
formerly the tent of the Roman prætor; and as against the Roman people. Or of bonds.-Of
that was the place where justice was adminischains, or of confinement.
tered, it came to be applied to halls, or courts of
justice. This had been reared probably by Herod VER. 30. And when it was told me how that
the Great as his palace, or as a place for admin; the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straight | istering justice. It is probable also, that prisons,
way to thee, and gave a commandment to his or places of security, would be attached to such accusers also to say before thee what they had | places. against him. Farewell.
31. Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
CHAPTER XXIV. • Ver. 20, 21, a Chap. xxiv. 8 ; XXV. 6. Ver. 1. And after five days Ananias the high To Antipatris.—This town was anciently call
priest descended with the elders, and with a ed Cafar-Saba. Josephus says, (Antiq. xiii. 23,) certain orator named Tertullus, who informed that it was about seventeen miles from Joppa. the governor against Paul. It was about twenty-six miles from Cæsarea, and of course about thirty-five from Jerusalem.
a Chap. xxiii. 2; xxv. 2. Psa. xi. 2. Herod the Great changed its name to Antipatris, in honour of his father Antipater. It was
And after five days. This time was occupied, situated in a fine plain, and watered with many
| doubtless, in their receiving the command to go springs and fountains.
to Cæsarea, and in making the necessary arrange
ments. This was the twelfth day after his arVER. 32. On the morrow they left the horsemen
rival at Jerusalem. See ver. 11. Ananias, the to go with him, and returned to the castle:
| high priest.--See Note, chap. xxiii. 2. Descended.
| -- Came down from Jerusalem. This was the 33. Who, when they came to Cæsarea, and usual language when a departure from Jerusalem
was spoken of. See Note, chap. xv. 1. With a was no doubt that the peace of Judea was owing ! certain orator named Tertullus.— Appointed to to Felix. But at the same time that he was an accuse Paul. This is a Roman name, and this | energetic and vigilant governor, it was also true! man was doubtless a Roman. As the Jews were, that he was proud, and avaricious, and cruel. to a great extent, ignorant of the Roman customs Josephus charges him with injustice and cruelts and laws, and of their mode of administering | in the case of Jonathan, the high priest, (Ant. justice, it is not improbable that they were in the b. xx. chap. 8, § 5;) and Tacitus (Hist. B. v. habit of employing Roman lawyers to plead their chap. 9) and Suetonius (Life of Claudius, chap. causes. Who informed the governor against Paul. 28) concur in the charge. -Who acted as the accuser, or who managed their cause before the governor.
VER. 4. Notwithstanding, that I be not further VER. 2. And when he was called forth, Tertullus
tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou would
est hear us of thy clemency a few words. began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very Be not further tedious unto thee.—By taking worthy deeds care done unto this nation by | up your time with an introduction, and with thy providence,
commendation, c Psa. xii. 2.
VER. 5. For we have found this man a postilent
fellow, d and a mover of sedition among all the And when he was called forth.-- When Paul was
Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader called forth from prison. See chap. xxiii. 35. We enjoy great quietness.—This was said in the of the sect of the Nazarenes · customary style of flatterers and orators, to con
d Luke xxiii. 2. Chap. vi. 13; xvi. 20; xvii. 6; xxi. 28. ciliate his favour, and is strikingly in contrast
1 Pet. ii. 12, 19. with the more honest, and straightforward introduction in the reply of Paul. (Ver. 10.) Though | We have found this man a pestilent fellow, ! it was said for flattery, and though Felix was in Aotuòv.-This word is commonly applied to a many respects an unprincipled man, yet it was plague, or pestilence, and then to a man who cortrue that his administration had been the means rupts the morals of others, or who is turbulent, of producing much peace and order in Judea, and an exciter of sedition. Our translation someand that he had done many things that tended to | what weakens the force of the original expres. promote their welfare. In particular, he had sion. Tertullus did not say that he was a pestiarrested a band of robbers, with Eleazar at their | lent fellow, but that he was the very pestilence' head, whom he had sent to Rome to be punished, itself. In this he referred to their belief, that he (Jos. Ant. b. xx. chap. 8;) he had arrested the had been the cause of extensive disturbances Egyptian false prophet, who had led out four every where among the Jews. And a morer of thousand men into the wilderness, and who sedition.-An exciter of tumult. This they prethreatened the peace of Judea, (see Note, chap. tended he did by preaching doctrines contrary to xxi. 38 ;) and he had repressed a sedition which the laws and customs of Moses, and exciting the arose between the inhabitants of Cæsarea and of Jews to tumult and disorder. Tloroughout the Syria. (Jos. Jewish Wars, b. ij. chap. 13, § 2.) | world.--Throughout the Roman empire, and thus Very worthy deeds.— Acts that tended much to leading the Jews to violate the laws, and to propromote the peace and security of the people. duce tumults, riots, and disorder. And a ringHe referred to those which have just been men- | leader. IIowtográrnv.—This word occurs no tioned as baving been accomplished by Felix, | where else in the New Testament. It is properly particularly his success in suppressing riots and a military word, and denotes one who stands first seditions; and as, in the view of the Jews, the in an army, a standard-bearer, a leader, or comcase of Paul was another instance of a similar mander. The meaning is, that Paul had been so kind, he appealed to him with the more con active, and so prominent in preaching the gospel, fidence that he would suppress that also. By that he had been a leader or the principal person thy providence.-By thy foresight, skill, vigilance, in extending the sect of the Nazarenes. Of the prudence.
sect.—The original word here (aipéoewg) is the
word from which we have derived the term Ver. 3. We accept it always, and in all places, heresy. It is, however, properly translated sect, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. or party, and should have been so translated in
ver. 14. See Note, chap. v. 17. Of the NazaWe accept it always. We admit that it is owing renes. - This was the name usually given to to your vigilance, and we accept your interposi Christians by way of contempt. They were so tion to promote peace, with gratitude. Always, called because Jesus was of Nazareth. and in all places. Not merely in your presence, but we always acknowledge that it is owing to Ver. 6. Who also hath gone about to profane e your vigilance that the land is secure. “What the temple : whom we took, and would have we now do in your presence, we do also in your
judged / according to our law: absence. we do not commend you merely when you are present. - Wetstein. 'Most noble Felir. e Chap. xix. 37; xxi. 28. John xiji. 31. —This was the title of office. With thankfulness. - In this, there was probably sincerity, for there Who also hath gone about.-Who has endea- ·