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Song of Solomon
Acts 22 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)
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Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence
which I make
now unto you.
, A.V. (
, note); the for my, A.V.;
This is the technical word in classical Greek for a defense in answer to an accusation. Thus e.g. the oration of Gorgias entitled,
Υπὲρ Παλαμήδους ἀπολογία,
κατηγορία καὶ ἡ ἀπολογία κρίσις οὐ περὶ θανάτου
. And Demosthenes opposes
to accuse, to
, to make one's defense. And an
ἀπολογία δικαία καὶ ἁπλῆ
is to prove that
, "the things of which the person is accused," were never done. But it is probably from St. Paul's use of the word here that it became common to call the defenses of the Christian religion by the term
. Thus we have the 'Apologies' of Justin Martyr, of Tertullian, of Minutius Felix, among the ancients; me 'Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae,' by Bishop Jewel, and many others.
(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
- Unto them in the Hebrew language
in the Hebrew tongue to them
, A.V.; were
the more quiet
kept the more silence
When they heard
, etc. This trait is wonderfully true to nature, and exhibits also St. Paul's admirable tact and self-possession. It was strikingly in harmony with his addressing them as "brethren" that he should speak to them in their own mother tongue. There is a living reality in such touches which seems at once to refute Renan's suspicion that St. Luke invented this and other of St. Paul's speeches in the later chapters of the Acts. The full report of these later speeches is abundantly accounted for by the fact that through this time St. Luke was with St. Paul, and heard the speeches.
I am verily a man
a Jew, born in Tarsus,
in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel,
taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
verily a man which am a Jew
, A.V. and T.R.;
a city in Cilicia
for the, A.V.;
for as, A.V.
Born in Tarsus
, etc. (see
). St. Paul was evidently proud of his native city, "the famous capital of a Roman province," watered by the "swift stream of the Cydnus," and looked down upon by the snowy summits of Mount Taurus; "a center of busy commercial enterprise and political power;" "a free city,
libera ct immunis"
(Farrar, 'Life of St. Paul,' vol. 1.
.). St. Paul's express assertion that he was "born at Tarsus" directly refutes the tradition handed down by St. Jerome that he was horn at Giscala, and carried thence to Tarsus by his parents when Giscala was taken by the Romans (Farrar, ibid.).
, a classical word, only found in the New Testament in the Acts (
Acts 7:20, 21
, and here). It is found also in Wisd. 7:4. It implies early education.
At the feet of
. The scholar sits or stands humbly beneath the raised seat of the teacher (comp.
). The stop is rightly placed after
. Some, however, put the stop after
, and connect
παρὰ τοὺς πόδας Γαμαλιὴλ
Acts 4, 5:3
Instructed according to the strict manner of the Law of our fathers
, "I profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers," where for
τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεων.
Paul probably included the traditions, as well as the written Law, which the Pharisees so rigidly observed (comp.
αἵρεσιντῆς ἡμετέρας θρησκείας
corresponds with the
ἀκρίβειαν τοῦ πατρώου νόμου
The strict manner
, found only here in the New Testament; but a word of repeated use in this sense in Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom, and also, with the adjective
and the adverb
used by medical writers.
are used by St. Luke only (
Acts 23:15, 20
six times to three in the rest of the New Testament.
Zealous for God
ζηλωτὴς τοῦ Θεοῦ
And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
- I persecuted (see
1 Corinthians 15:9
1 Timothy 1:13
Acts 19:9, 23
). Unto the death (comp.
). Binding, etc. (comp.
As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
unto Jerusalem in beads
bound unto Jerusalem
The high priest
. Ananias, the present high priest, who may have been one of St. Paul's hearers included among the "fathers," and who had probably been already a member of the Sanhedrim at the time of St. Paul's conversion (see
). Others, however, understand "the high priest" to mean him who was high priest at the time of St. Paul's journey to Damascus, viz. Theophilus, who was still alive.
. The Jews at Damascus. St, Paul speaks to his hearers emphatically as a Jew.
To be punished
); whether by rods or by death. The word occurs in the New Testament only here and
, but is not infrequent in the LXX. and in classical writers;
is common in medical language in the sense of "to treat medically," to "correct" by medical treatment.
And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
- Drew nigh
was come nigh
, A.V. The phraseology of the following narrative is nearly identical with that of
(where see notes).
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
Beheld indeed the light [and were afraid
, A.V.]. This corresponds with the statement in
, that the men who journeyed with Saul "stood speechless." They were dazzled and amazed at the sudden brightness.
But they heard not the voice
. This at first sight seems inconsistent with the statement in
, "hearing the voice." But the apparent inconsistency disappears when we observe that here St. Paul wished to impress upon his hearers that, though his companions had seen the light, they had not heard the words which were addressed to him by the Lord Jesus (see ver. 14); whereas St. Luke, in the narrative in
, wished rather to insist upon the fact that though the men had seen the light and heard the sound of the voice, they had not seen Jesus. To see and hear the risen Christ was a privilege given to St. Paul alone.
And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
When I could not see
, and note).
Them that were with me
τῶν συνόντων μοι
occurs only here and
, but is used several times by the LXX. It is very common in medical waters for the
symptoms of a disease.
And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt
Well reported of by
having a good report of
Well reported of
Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
- Standing by me
in that very
And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
that thou shouldest know
to see the Righteous One
see that Just One
to hear a voice from
shouldest hear the voice of
Hath appointed thee
, a word found in the New Testament only here and in
, and in
(R.T.). In classical Greek it means mostly "to get anything ready beforehand;" to cause anything to be
, ready to hand. And in the LXX. it means "to choose," or "
, where it is not a translation of
, but a paraphrase of the sentence, "Appoint one by whom thou wilt send." Here it may be rendered indifferently either "choose" or "appoint."
The Righteous One
. The designation of Messiah in such passages as
, etc. (see in the New Testament
1 John 2:1
, etc.). A voice from his mouth is a very awkward though literal rendering. The A.V. expresses the sense much better.
For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
witness for him
. An essential attribute of an apostle (see
Acts 1:8, 22
Seen and heard
1 John 1:1-3
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
- His Name
the Name of the Lord
, A.V. and T.R.
Wash away thy sins
, only here and in
1 Corinthians 6:11
, where it is found in exactly the same sense of "washing away sins" (see vers. 9, 10) in holy baptism. Hence the
, "the washing of regeneration" (
; and see
Calling on his Name
, note; Acts 9:14, 21;
Romans 10:12, 13, 14
1 Corinthians 1:2
2 Timothy 2:22
1 Peter 1:17
, all texts distinctly justifying prayer to the Lord Jesus.
And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
- Had returned
was come again
Into a trance
And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
of thee testimony
, A.V. and T.R.
Get thee quickly
, etc. The narrative in
does not mention the vision, but gives the murderous opposition of the Hellenist Jews as the reason of Saul's departure from Jerusalem to Tarsus. Possibly, if it had not been for the Divine warning, the apostle would have braved the danger and lost his life.
And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
- They themselves
In every synagogue
. It appears from
that offenders were beaten in the synagogue, and doubtless by command of the synagogue authorities. A delation to any synagogue that any member of it was a blasphemer (i.e. a Christian) would lead to such a punishment. But probably the meaning here rather is that he went or sent to every synagogue to find out who there was among them that believed in Jesus, and then had them punished at Jerusalem (
And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
- Stephen thy witness
thy martyr Stephen
consenting unto his death
, A.V. and T.R.;
keeping the garments
kept the raiment
1 Corinthians 7:12, 13
). It is also found in 1 Macc. 1:60; 2 Macc. 11:34, 35.
Of them that slew him
τῶν ἀναιρούν των αὐτόν
, in the sense of "to kill," is a favorite word of St. Luke's (
Acts 5:33, 36
Acts 9:23, 24, 29
Acts 23:15, 21, 27
); but elsewhere in the New Testament only
2 Thessalonians 2:8
, R.T. It is frequent in the LXX. and also in medical writers in the sense of "taking away" or "
And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
- Send thee forth
, A.V. The natural understanding of the preceding dialogue is that Saul, when bid depart quickly out of Jerusalem because the Jews would not receive his testimony, was unwilling to obey, and pleaded that surely the Jews must listen to him and be convinced, since they were well aware how hot and zealous a partisan of the Jews he had been, and must see that nothing but a great miracle could have converted him. It was the argument of a young and impetuous man, with little experience of the headstrong obstinacy of bigoted men. The Lord cut him short with a peremptory "Depart!" but with the gracious addition, "I will send thee unto the Gentiles" - a commission which is more fully given in
Acts 26:17, 18
, and which was carried out in his whole life.
And they gave him audience unto this word, and
lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a
from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
Unto this word
. They could not bear the idea of the Gentiles being admitted into the kingdom of God. It was a blow to their pride of exclusiveness. The leveling-up of the Gentiles seemed to be as intolerable as the leveling-down of themselves, as spoken of
And as they cried out, and cast off
clothes, and threw dust into the air,
- Threw off their garments
east off their clothes
Threw off their garments
. Either "wild signs of fury, gestures by which they gave to understand that they would gladly accomplish the cry, 'Away with him from the earth!'" (Lunge), tokens of applause and consent at the sentiment of the cry (see the passages quoted by Kuinoel,
ἀνασείων ἐκρότει τὸν Προαιρέσιον
"The proconsul applauded Proairesius the rhetorician by shaking his purple robe," Eunapius, 'Life of the Emperor Julian;' "The whole theatre raved together, and leaped, and shouted, and threw off their garments (
τὰς ἐσθῆτας ἀπεῥῤίπτουν
," Lucian, ' De Salt,'); or (so Meyer) signifying that they were ready to stone the culprit (see ver. 20).
The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
for what cause
, A.V.; so
The chief captain
, only here and in ver. 29. In
(Codex Alexandrinus) and in the Hist. of Susanna 14 the verb has the simple sense of "inquiring." The classical word for "examining" and especially by torture, is
. By scourging (
was in Latin the
, the m st severe implement of flogging, though even with the lighter
, the rod of the lictor, slaves and others were beaten to death (
usque ad necem
). It was not lawful to beat a Roman citizen even with the
Acts 16:22, 35, 37
, notes. The
, or scourge, was that with which our Lord was scourged at the bidding of Pilate (
is from the Latin
). Doubtless Lysias had not understood Paul's Hebrew speech, and so had not known what it was which provoked so fierce an uproar among the people.
And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
they had tied him up with the thongs
as they bound him with thongs
When they had tied him up
, etc. This does not seem to be a right rendering.
can only mean "to stretch out before," or "expose to the action," of anything, when taken in a literal sense;
, again, more naturally means the "thong" or lash of a whip or scourge than a thong to bind a man with; indeed, it is thought to be etymologically connected with
, Meyer, therefore, rightly understands the passage to mean when they had stretched him on the stake ready to receive the scourging.
Is it lawful
, etc.? Paul now pleads his privileges as a Roman citizen, just in time to stop the outrage, remembering, no doubt, the terror inspired in the Philippian magistrates when they found they had beaten with rods an uncondemned Roman citizen (see
). Uncondemned (
16:37. Only found in these two passages in the New Testament, and nowhere else.
When the centurion heard
, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
- And when
and told him, saying
What art thou about to do?
Take heed what thou doest
Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
and he said
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was
am a Roman
A great sum
). The word is only found here in the New Testament in the sense of a "sum of money," but is so used in classical writers.
, for "freedom of the city," in Xenophon, AElian, Polybius, Dion Cassius, etc., and 3Macc. 3:21. Dion Cassius (9 17) relates that Messaliua, the wife of the Emperor Claudius, used to sell the freedom of the city, and that at first she sold it (
) for a very high price, but that afterwards it became very cheap. In all probability Lysias had so purchased it, and in consequence took the name of Claudius (Renan, ' St. Paul,' p. 524).
I am a Roman born
. It is not known how St. Paul's family acquired the Roman citizenship.
Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
- They then which were about to examine him straightway departed from him
then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him
Had bound him
), as related in
: "Facinus est vinciri civem Remanum," Cicero, in 'Verrem,' 5:66 (quoted by Meyer).
On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from
bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.
- But on
for on, A.V.;
desiring to know
because he would have known
loosed him from his bands
, A.V. and T.R.;
, A.V. and T.R.;
to come together
, A.V. and T.R.
Brought Paul down
; from the castle to the council-room below, either to the hall Gazith or to some other place of meeting. Lysias probably still kept Paul a prisoner through the night, on account of the excited state of the people.
Courtesy of Open Bible
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