Acts 18:12 MEANING

Acts 18:12
(12) And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia.--"Deputy" stands, as before (see Note on Acts 13:7), for "proconsul." Here, also, St. Luke shows his characteristic accuracy in the use of official titles. Achaia, which included the whole of Greece south of the province of Macedonia, had been an imperial province under Tiberius (Tacitus, Ann. i. 76), and had been governed by a praetor, but had been recently, in the same year as the expulsion of the Jews from Rome, restored to the senate by Claudius, as no longer needing direct military control (Suetonius, Claud. c. 25). Gallio, or to give his full name, M. Annaeus Novatus, who had taken the agnomen of Gallio on his adoption by the rhetorician of that name, was the brother of L. Annaeus Seneca, the tutor of Nero. The philosopher dedicated to him two treatises on Anger and the Blessed Life; and the kindliness of his nature made him a general favourite. He was everybody's "dulcis Gallio," was praised by his brother for his disinterestedness and calmness of temper, as one "who was loved much, even by those who had but little capacity for loving" (Seneca, Ep. 104). On the whole, therefore, we may see in him a very favourable example of what philosophic culture was able to do for a Roman statesman. On the probable connection of the writer of the Acts with his family, see Introduction to the Gospel of St. Luke.

Made insurrection . . . against Paul. Better, perhaps, rose up against, or rushed upon, our word "insurrection" having acquired the special meaning of a revolt of subjects against rulers.

And brought him to the judgment seat.--The habit of the Roman governors of provinces was commonly to hold their court in the agora, or marketplace on certain fixed days (see Note on Acts 19:38), so that any one might appeal to have his grievance heard. Gallio was now so sitting, and the Jews, having probably preconcerted their plans, took advantage of the opportunity.

Verse 12. - But for and, A.V.; proconsul for the deputy, A.V.; with one accord rose up for made insurrection with one accord, A.V.; before for to, A.V. Gallio. Marcus Annaeus Novatus took the name of Lucius Junius Annaeus Gallio, on account of his adoption by L. Junius Gallio. He was the elder brother of Seneca, and a man of ability, and of a most amiable temper and disposition. His brother Seneca said that he had not a fault, and that everybody loved him. He was called "Dulcis Gallio" by Statius. It is unfortunately not known exactly in what year Gallio became either Consul or Proconsul of Achaia. Had it been known, it would have been invaluable for fixing the chronology of St. Paul's life. Lewin puts it (his proconsulate) in the year A.D. , and so does Renan; Howson, between A.D. and A.D. . The circumstantial evidence from secular writers corroborating St. Luke's account is exceedingly curious. There is no account extant either of his consulate or of his proconsulate of Achaia. But Pithy, speaking of the medicinal effect of a sea-voyage on persons in consumption, gives as an example, "as I remember was the case with Annaeus Gallio after his consulate," and seems to imply that he went to Egypt for the sake of the long sea-voyage; which would suit very well his going there from his government in Achaia (Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.,' 31. cap. 6:33). And that his proconsulate was in Achaia is corroborated by a chance quotation in Seneca's Epistle 104, of a saying of "my lord Gallio, when ha had a fever in Achaia and immediately went on board ship," where the phrase "domini met," applied to his own brother, seems also to indicate his high rank. Profane history also shuts up the probable date of Gallio's proconsulate between the year A.D. and the year A.D. or 66, in which he died. There is a diversity of accounts as to his death. Ernesti, in his note on Tacitus, 'Auual.,' 15. 73, where Tacitus speaks of him as frightened at the death of his brother Seneca, and a suppliant for his own life, says, "quem Nero post interfecit," and refers to Dion Cassius, 58,18, and Eusebius. But Dion is there speaking of Junius Gallio in the reign of Tiberius, not of our Gallio at all; though afterwards, speaking of the death of Seneca, he says, "and his brothers also were killed after him "(62, 25). As for Eusebius, the passage quoted is not found in the Greek or Armenian copies of the 'Chronicon,' but only in the Latin of Jerome. But, as Scaliger points out, there is a manifest blunder here, because the 'Chronicon ' places the death of Gallio two years before that of Seneca, whereas we know from Tacitus that Gallio was alive after his brother's death. Moreover, the description "egregius declamator" clearly applies to Junius Gallio the rhetorician, and not to Gallio his adopted son. Though, therefore, Renan says, "Comme son frere il eut l'honneur sous Neron d'expier par, la mort sa distinction et son honnetete" ('St. Paul,' p. 222), if we give duo weight to the silence of Tacitus, it is very doubtful whether he died a violent death at all. St. Luke, as usual, is most accurate in calling him proconsul. Achaia had been recently made a senatorial province by Claudius. For ἀνθύπατος, see Acts 13:7, 8, 12; Acts 19:38. The verb occurs only here in the New Testament. The term deputy was adopted in the A.V. doubtless from that being the title of the Viceroy of Ireland, and other officers who exercise a deputed authority, just as the proconsul was in the place of the consul. Rose up against; κατεπέστησαν, one of Luke's peculiar words, found neither in the New Testament nor in the LXX., nor in classical writers (Steph., 'Thesaur.'). The judgment seat (see note to ver. 12).

18:12-17 Paul was about to show that he did not teach men to worship God contrary to law; but the judge would not allow the Jews to complain to him of what was not within his office. It was right in Gallio that he left the Jews to themselves in matters relating to their religion, but yet would not let them, under pretence of that, persecute another. But it was wrong to speak slightly of a law and religion which he might have known to be of God, and which he ought to have acquainted himself with. In what way God is to be worshipped, whether Jesus be the Messiah, and whether the gospel be a Divine revelation, are not questions of words and names, they are questions of vast importance. Gallio spoke as if he boasted of his ignorance of the Scriptures, as if the law of God was beneath his notice. Gallio cared for none of these things. If he cared not for the affronts of bad men, it was commendable; but if he concerned not himself for the abuses done to good men, his indifference was carried too far. And those who see and hear of the sufferings of God's people, and have no feeling with them, or care for them, who do not pity and pray for them, are of the same spirit as Gallio, who cared for none of these things.And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia,.... This province, which was now become a Roman one, Pliny the younger (q) calls true and mere Greece; it went by the name of Aegialus (r), and now it is called Livadia: it has on the north the country of Thessaly, and on the west the river Acheloo, or Aracheo, on the east the Aegean sea, and on the south Peloponnesus, or the Morea. Gallio, who was now deputy of it, was brother to L. Annaeus Seneca, the famous philosopher, who was preceptor to Nero; his name at first was M. Annaeus Novatus, but being adopted by L. Junius Gallio, he took the name of the family. According to his brother's account of him (s), he was a very modest man, of a sweet disposition, and greatly beloved; and Statius (t) calls him Dulcem Gallionem, "the sweet Gallio", mild and gentle in his speech, as Quintilian says. Seneca (u) makes mention of him as being in Achaia; and whilst he was deputy there he had a fever, when as soon as it took him he went aboard a ship, crying, that it was not the disease of the body, but of the place.

The Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul; being provoked that so many of their people, as well as of the Gentiles, were converted by him to the Christian religion, and were baptized:

and brought him to the judgment seat; of Gallio, the deputy, to be tried and judged by him.

(q) L. 8. Ephesians 24. (r) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 5. Pausanias, l. 7. p. 396. (s) Praefat. ad. l. 4. Nat. Quaest. (t) Sylvarum, l. 2. Sylv. 7. (u) Ephesians 104.

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