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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament
Acts 22

 

 

Verse 1

Acts 22:1. ἄνδρες . καὶ π., cf. Acts 7:2. So St. Stephen had addressed a similar assembly, in which had been Saul of Tarsus, who was now charged with a like offence as had been laid to the charge of the first Martyr. Those whom he addressed were his brethren according to the flesh, and his fathers, as the representatives of his nation, whether as Sanhedrists, or priests, or Rabbis. The mode of address was quite natural, since St. Paul’s object was conciliatory: τοῦτο τιμῆς, ἐκεῖνο γνησιότητος, Chrys., Hom., xlvii.— ἀκούσατε: “hear from me,” cf. John 12:47, a double genitive of the person and thing, as in classical Greek, or “hear my defence,” cf. 2 Timothy 4:16.— ἀπολογίας: five times in St. Paul’s Epistles, once elsewhere in Acts 25:16, in a strictly legal sense (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). Used with the verb ἀπολογέομαι of defending oneself against a charge, Wisdom of Solomon 6:10, Xen., Mem., iv., 8, 5. In 2 Maccabees 13:26 the verb is also used of Lysias ascending the rostrum and addressing the people in defence.


Verse 2

Acts 22:2. προσεφώνει: only in Luke and Paul, except Matthew 11:16, cf. Matthew 6:13; Matthew 7:32; Matthew 13:12; Matthew 23:20, Matthew 21:40, see Friedrich, p. 29, for the frequency of other compounds of φωνεῖν in Luke.— μᾶλλον παρ. ἡσυχ: the phrase is used similarly in Plut., Coriol., 18, Dion Hal., ii., 32, and LXX, Job 34:29; on the fondness of St. Luke for σιγή, σιγᾶν, ἡσυχάζειν, and the characteristic way in which silence results from his words and speeches, or before or during the speech, see Friedrich, p. 26, cf. Luke 14:4; Luke 15:26, Acts 11:18; Acts 15:12, Acts 12:17; Acts 21:40, and for ἡσυχάζειν, 1 Thessalonians 4:11, Luke 14:4, Acts 11:18; Acts 21:14, so too παρέχειν with accusative of the thing offered by any one, Acts 19:24, Acts 28:2 (Acts 16:16). The verb is used only in Matthew 26:10, and parallel, Mark 14:6, except in Luke and Paul, Luke 6:29; Luke 7:4; Luke 11:7; Luke 18:5, Acts 16:16; Acts 17:31, and as above, and five times in St. Paul’s Epistles.


Verse 3

Acts 22:3. γεγενν. ἐν τ., see above p. 202.— ἀνατεθ. δὲ: although by birth a foreign Jew, yet brought up in Jerusalem, and so belonging to his hearers. It was important for the Apostle to emphasise this, as his close association with Jerusalem had a significant bearing on his future life. The comma best after γαμ., so that each clause begins with a participle, but Weiss places comma after ταύτῃ (so De Wette, Hackett). Probably Paul went to Jerusalem not later than thirteen, possibly at eleven, for his training as a teacher of the law. ἀνατεθ.: only in Luke, cf. Acts 7:20-21, Luke 4:16 (W.H(365) margin), “educated,” so in classical Greek, 4 Maccabees 10:2; 4 Maccabees 11:15, but in latter passage AR τραφ. In Wisdom of Solomon 7:4 we have ἐν σπαργάνοις ἀνετράφην (A ἀνεστρ.).— παρὰ τοὺς πόδας: the more usual attitude for teacher and taught according to the N.T. and the Talmud; according to later Talmudic tradition the sitting on the ground was not customary until after the death of Gamaliel I., J. Lightfoot, Hor. Heb., on Luke 2:46; cf. also Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. 1, p. 326, E.T., and Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, pp. 14, 15, 2nd edit.; even if the later tradition was true, the scholar standing would still be at the feet of his teacher on his raised seat.— κατὰ ἀκρίβειαν: noun only here in N.T., but cf. Acts 26:5, “according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers,” R.V., and so practically A.V. For a comment on the words cf. Jos., Ant., xvii., 2, 4, Vita, 38, and B.J., ii., 8, 18. φαρισαῖοι οἱ δοκοῦντες μετὰ ἀκριβείας ἐξηγεῖσθαι τὰ νόμιμα: Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah, ii., 314, note on ἀκρίβεια as used by Josephus and St. Paul, Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. ii., p. 54. E.T. Whether therefore τοῦ πατ. νόμου (3 Maccabees 1:23) included anything besides the Mosaic law or not, the words before us at least refer to the strictness upon which the Pharisees prided themselves in the observance of the law. In Galatians 1:14 St. Paul speaks of being a zealot of the traditions handed down from his fathers, πατρικῶν, where the traditions are apparently distinguished from the written law, Jos., Ant., xiii., 16, 2, and 10, 6; but the “oral law” which the scribes developed was apparently equally binding with the written Thorah in the eyes of the Pharisees, Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. ii., pp. 10, 11, E.T., but cf. also Lightfoot, u. s. The word πατρῴου would appeal to the hearts of the people, who loved the Thorah as the chief good, but St. Chrysostom’s words are also to be remembered: “all this seems indeed to be spoken on their side, but in fact it told against them, since he, knowing the law, forsook it” Hom., xlvii.— ζηλωτὴς ὑπάρ. τοῦ θεοῦ: St. Paul might have called himself a zealot of the law, or a zealot of God (Lightfoot, u. s.), cf. 2 Maccabees 4:2, ζηλ. τῶν νόμων, sued of Phinehas, 4 Maccabees 18:12.— καθὼς πάντεςσήμερον: he recognises that their present zeal was a zeal for God, as his own had been, ἀλλ ̓ οὐ κατʼ ἐπίγνωσιν, Romans 10:2 : argumentum concilians, Bengel.


Verse 4

Acts 22:4. ταύτην τὴν ὁδὸν, see above Acts 9:2.— ἄχρι θανάτου: sometimes taken to mean not that he prosecuted the Christians “unto death” (for if this was the meaning the following participles would sound feeble), but that this was his aim; Acts 22:20 and Acts 26:10, however, seem fully to justify the former meaning.— φυλακὰς: plural, perhaps in relation to Acts 26:11, where Paul’s persecuting fury extends to strange cities; usually singular.


Verse 5

Acts 22:5. ὡς καὶ ἀρχ.: not the high priest at the time he was speaking, for that was Ananias, Acts 23:2, but rather to the high priest Caiaphas who gave him his commission to Damascus, and who may have been still alive, hence μαρτυρεῖ, present.— τοὺς ἀδελ.: the word was used by the Jews of each other, Exodus 2:14, Deuteronomy 15:3, and St. Paul uses it here to show that he regarded the Jews as still his brethren, cf. Romans 9:3.— τοὺς ἐκεῖσε ὄντας, cf. Acts 21:3, the adverb may imply those who had come thither only, so that refugees, not residents in Damascus, are meant, but the word may simply = ἐκεῖ, see on Acts 21:3, and Winer-Moulton, liv. 7. In Hipp., Vict. San., ii., 2, p. 35, we have οἱ ἐκεῖσε οἰκέοντες.— τιμωρηθῶσιν: only here and in Acts 26:11 in N.T.: used as here in classical Greek, but in this sense more frequent in middle.


Verse 6

Acts 22:6. περὶ μεσημ., cf. Acts 26:12, not mentioned in 9, note of a personal recollection.— ἐξαίφνης: only here in Acts and in Acts 9:3, see note; twice in Luke’s Gospel, only once elsewhere in N.T.; see further on Acts 26:12 note, on the three accounts of St. Paul’s Conversion.— περιαστράψαι: so also in Acts 9:3, nowhere else in N.T., see note above, cf. Acts 26:13, περιλάμπειν (note); the supernatural brightness of the light is implied here in δόξης, Acts 22:11.


Verse 7

Acts 22:7. ἔπεσον: on the form ἔπεσα W.H(366) see Kennedy, Sources of N.T. Greek, p. 159, Winer-Schmiedel, p. 111.— ἔδαφος: only here in N.T. (in LXX, 1 Kings 6:15, Wisdom of Solomon 11:5, etc., and in 4 Maccabees 6:7, πίπτων εἰς τὸ ἕδ.), but the verb ἐδαφίζειν is found in Luke 19:44, and there only in N.T.— ἤκουσα φωνῆς, see on Acts 9:4; Acts 9:7, cf. Daniel 10:6-9.— σαοὺλ, σαοὺλ, as in Acts 9:4, see note on Acts 26:14 (and cf. reading in (367) text).


Verse 8

Acts 22:8-9. See on Acts 9:5 and Acts 9:4; Acts 9:7; Acts 9:9.— ἔμφ. ἐγέν., see critical note.


Verse 11

Acts 22:11. οὐκ ἐνέβλεπον, cf. Xen., Mem., iii., 11, 10, here absolute, Grimm-Thayer, sub v.: chap. ix., 8, gives the fact of the blindness, here we have its cause as from St. Paul’s personal reminiscence.— δόξης: Heb. כָּבוֹד cf. 1 Corinthians 15:40, 2 Corinthians 3:7, and Luke 9:31.


Verse 12

Acts 22:12. ἀναν., Acts 9:10. The description is added, ἀνὴρ εὐ. ., manifestly fitting before a Jewish audience, and a proof that the brother who came to Saul was no law-breaker, Lewin, St. Paul, ii., 146. On the reading εὐλαβής, cf. Acts 2:5.— τῶν κατοικ.: seems to imply that Ananias had dwelt for some time in Damascus, 9.


Verse 13

Acts 22:13. ἐπιστὰς: “standing over one,” used frequently in Acts of the appearance of an angel, or of the intervention of a friend (or of an enemy), see Luke 2:9; Luke 4:39; Luke 10:40; Luke 12:7; Luke 24:4, only found in Luke and Paul, Friedrich, p. 42, see above Acts 12:7. μαρτ., Acts 6:3. ἀδελφέ, Acts 9:17.— ἀνάβλεψονἀνέβλ. εἰς αὐτόν: “receive thy sight, and in that very hour I recovered my sight and looked upon him,” R.V. margin, ἀναβλέπειν may mean (1) to recover sight, Acts 9:17-18, or (2) to look up, Luke 19:5, but used frequently as if combining both meanings, Humphry on R.V., and Page, in loco. Meyer and Zöckler render “to look up” in both clauses.— αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ, see note on Acts 16:18.


Verse 14

Acts 22:14. θεὸς τῶν πατ. ἡμῶν: again a conciliatory phrase, cf. Acts 7:32, so St. Peter in Acts 3:13, Acts 5:30.— προεχειρ.: “hath appointed,” only in Acts in N.T., Acts 3:20, and in Acts 26:16, again used by Paul in narrating his conversion and call. In LXX, cf. Exodus 4:13, Joshua 3:12, 2 Maccabees 3:7; 2 Maccabees 8:9, always with the notion of some one selected for an important duty (Lumby): to which may be added Dan., LXX, Acts 3:22 (see H. and R.), cf. note on Acts 3:20.— τὸν δίκαιον, see on Acts 3:14, and Acts 7:52.— φ. ἐκ τοῦ στ.: “a voice from his mouth,” R.V., so Rhem., as the Apostle heard it at his conversion. στ. is often used in phrases of a Hebraistic character, so here fitly by Ananias, cf. Acts 15:7.


Verse 15

Acts 22:15. μάρτυς αὐτῷ: “a witness for him,” R.V., cf. Acts 1:8.— πάντας ἀνθ.: we may see another evidence of the Apostle’s tact in that he does not yet employ the word ἔθνη.— ὧν ἑώρακας καὶ ἤκουσας, Blass well compares for the former verb the Apostle’s own words, 1 Corinthians 9:1; perfect tense, marks what was essential in giving him enduring consecration as an Apostle, cf. Blass, Gram., p. 237.


Verse 16

Acts 22:16. καὶ νῦν: so by St. Paul in Acts 20:22; Acts 20:25, Acts 26:6, Acts 16:37, Acts 13:11; also found in Acts 3:17, Acts 10:5, but no instances in Luke’s Gospel of καὶ νῦν beginning a sentence, Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 145.— τί μέλλεις: only here in this sense in N.T., cf. 4 Maccabees 6:23; 4 Maccabees 9:1, and so often in classical Greek, Aesch., Prom., 36, etc.— ἀναστὰς, see Acts 5:17.— βάπτισαι: middle voice (so perhaps in 1 Corinthians 10:2, W.H(368) text, but passive in margin, as Blass), as a rule naturally in the passive, “to be baptised,” cf. Acts 9:18, but the convert in “getting baptised” was conceived as doing something for himself, not merely as receiving something (Simcox, Language of the N.T., pp. 97, 98), so apparently Blass, Gram., p. 182, or the middle may mean that he submitted himself to Christian Baptism, Bethge, p. 197, and Alford.— ἀπόλουσαι: also middle, cf. Acts 2:38, and 1 Corinthians 6:11, the result of the submission to Baptism, Titus 3:5, Ephesians 5:26.— ἐπικαλ., cf. p. 81, on the significance of the phrase. This calling upon the name of Christ, thus closely connected with Baptism and preceding it, necessarily involved belief in Him, Romans 10:14. There is no contradiction in the fact that the commission to the Apostleship here and in 9 comes from Ananias, whilst in 26 he is not mentioned at all, and the commission comes directly from the mouth of the Lord. It might be sufficient simply to say “quod quis per alium facit id ipse fecisse putatur,” but before the Roman governor it was likely enough that the Apostle should omit the name of Ananias and combine with the revelation at his conversion and with that made by Ananias other and subsequent revelations, cf. Acts 26:16-18. Festus might have treated the vision to Ananias with ridicule, Agrippa would not have been influenced by the name of a Jew living in obscurity at Damascus (Speaker’s Commentary).


Verse 17

Acts 22:17. ἐγέν. δέ μοι ὑποσ.: refers to the first visit of St. Paul to Jerusalem after his Conversion, Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 84, 93, 125. Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 60, refers it to the second visit, (1) because the reason for Paul’s departure from Jerusalem is given differently here and in Acts 9:29. But may not St. Luke be describing the occurrence in relation to the Jews and the Church, and St. Paul in relation to his own private personal history, St. Luke giving us the outward impulse, St. Paul the inner motive (Hackett), so that two causes, the one natural, the other supernatural, are mentioned side by side? cf. Acts 13:2-4 (so Lightfoot, Felten, Lumby). (2) Ramsay’s second reason is that Paul does not go at once to the Gentiles, but spends many years of quiet work in Cilicia and Antioch, and so the command of the vision in Acts 22:20-21 is not suitable to the first visit. But the command to go to the Gentiles dates from the Apostle’s Conversion, quite apart from the vision in the Temple, cf. Acts 9:15, Acts 26:17, and the same commission is plainly implied in Acts 22:15; the words of the command may well express the ultimate and not the immediate issue of the Apostle’s labours. On ἐγέν. δέ, Luke seventeen times, Acts twenty-one, and ἐγέν. followed by infinitive, see Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 30, and Plummer’s St. Luke, p. 45. For the reading in Acts 12:25, ὑπέστ. εἰς ., and its bearing on the present passage see Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 63, 64, and also above, Acts 11:29, Acts 12:25.— προσευχτῷ ἱερῷ: there was a special reason for the mention of the fact before St. Paul’s present audience; it showed that the Temple was still for him the place of prayer and worship, and it should have shown the Jews that he who thus prayed in the Temple could not so have profaned it, Lewin, St. Paul, ii., p. 146.— ἐν ἐκστάσει, Acts 10:10. For the construction see Burton, p. 175, Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 58, Blass, Gram., p. 247.


Verse 18

Acts 22:18. σπεῦσον καὶ ἔξ.: implying danger, cf. Acts 9:29.— σου μαρτ.: grounded upon the occurrence before Damascus, and so a striking testimony.


Verse 19

Acts 22:19. κύριε, Acts 9:5.— αὐτοὶ ἐπίσ.: Paul seems as it were to plead with his Lord that men cannot but receive testimony from one who had previously been an enemy of Jesus of Nazareth; the words too are directed to his hearers, so that they may impress them with the strength of the testimony thus given by one who had imprisoned the Christians.— δέρων: on the power of the Sanhedrim outside Jerusalem see on p. 151.— κατὰ τὰς συν., cf. Acts 8:3, Acts 20:20, and for such punishments in the synagogues cf. Matthew 10:17; Matthew 23:34, Mark 13:9, Luke 21:12, cf. Luke 12:11, Edersheim, History of the Jewish Nation, p. 374.


Verse 20

Acts 22:20. τοῦ μ. σου: he identifies himself with Stephen, his testimony like that of the martyr is borne to Christ; on the word see p. 67; the term is here in a transition stage from “witness” to “martyr,” cf. also Revelation 17:6 : Hackett quotes the Christians of Lyons, towards the close of the second century, refusing to be called “martyrs” because such an honourable name only belonged to the true and faithful Witness, or to those who had sealed their testimony by constancy to the end, and they feared lest they should waver: Euseb., Hist., v., 2.— καὶ αὐτὸς, cf. Acts 8:13, Acts 15:32, Acts 21:24, Acts 24:15-16, Acts 25:22, Acts 27:36, here it is placed in sharp contrast to the preceding words about Stephen (with whose witness he was now identified). On καὶ αὐτὸς as characteristic of Luke in his Gospel and Acts see Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 33, as compared with its employment by the other Synoptists, sometimes it is inserted with emphasis, Plummer on Luke 1:16.— συνευδ., see note on Acts 8:1.


Verse 21

Acts 22:21. εἰς ἔθνη: the mere mention of the Gentiles roused their fury, and they saw in it a justification of the charge in Acts 21:28; the scene closely resembled the tumultuous outburst which led to the murder of St. Stephen.


Verse 22

Acts 22:22. ἐπῆραν τὴν φ., see on Acts 2:14.— αἶρε, cf. Acts 21:36, emphasised here, by ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς; present tense, a continuous cry.— καθῆκον: only used by St. Paul elsewhere in N.T., cf. Romans 1:28. The imperfect, καθῆκεν, see critical note, implies that long ago he ought to have been put to death “for it was not fit,” etc., non debebat (or debuerat) vivere, Winer-Moulton, lxi. 2. καθ- = προσῆκον Att. In LXX, Deuteronomy 21:17, Ezekiel 21:27 (32), and other passages, also several times in Books of Macc. (see H. and R.). For construction cf. Burton, p. 15.


Verse 23

Acts 22:23. κραυγαζόντων δὲ ( τε, Weiss, Wendt, W.H(369)), only here in Acts (cf. Luke 4:41, but doubtful: W.H(370) read κράζοντα), six times in St. John, and four times in his narrative of the Passion of the cries of the Jewish multitude, cf. especially Acts 19:15, so too in 2 Esdras 3:13, in classical Greek rare (Dem.), used by Epict., Diss., iii., 4, 4, of the shouts in the theatres.— ῥιπτ. τὰ ἱμἁτια: not throwing off their garments as if preparing to stone Paul (for which Zöckler compares Acts 7:58, and see Plato, Rep., 474 A), for the fact that the Apostle was in the custody of the Romans would have prevented any such purpose. The verb may be used as a frequentative, ῥιπτεῖν, jactare, ῥίπτειν, jacere, while some of the old grammarians associate with it a suggestion of earnestness or effort, others of contempt, Grimm-Thayer, sub v. (for the form in LXX cf. Dan., Theod., ix., 18, 20). The word here rather means “tossing about their garments,” a manifestation of excitement and uncontrollable rage, cf. Ovid, Am., iii., 2, 74, and also instances in Wetstein, cf. Chrys., who explains ῥιπτάζοντες, ἐκτινάσσοντες. Dean Farrar refers to Pal. Expln. Fund, 1879, p, 77, for instances of the sudden excitability of Oriental crowds, and for similar illustrations see Hackett, in loco.κονιορτὸν βαλλ.: best taken as another sign of the same rage and fury, a similar demonstration; this is preferable to the supposition that they threw dust into the air to signify that they would throw stones if they could. εἰς τὸν ἀέρα seems to imply the interpretation adopted; the dust could scarcely have been aimed at Paul, for he was out of reach; but see 2 Samuel 16:13.


Verse 24

Acts 22:24. χιλ., see Acts 21:31.— παρεμ., Acts 21:34.— εἰπὼν: whether the chiliarch understood Paul’s words or not, he evidently saw from the outcries of the mob that the Apostle was regarded as a dangerous person, and he probably thought to obtain some definite information from the prisoner himself by torture.— μάστιξιν, cf. 2 Maccabees 7:1, 4 Maccabees 6:3; 4 Maccabees 9:12, etc., and 1 Kings 12:11, Proverbs 26:3, and in N.T., Hebrews 11:36; the Roman scourging was a terrible punishment; for its description cf., e.g., Keim, Geschichte Jesu, iii., p. 390 (for Jewish scougings see Farrar, St. Paul, ii., Excurs., xi.).— ἀνετάζεσθαι: not found in classical Greek, but ἐξετάζεσθαι used specially of examination by torture. It is found in the active voice in Judges 6:29 A, and Susannah, ver 14.— ἐπεφ.: “shouted against him,” R.V., see on Acts 21:34, and 3 Maccabees 7:13—only here with dative.


Verse 25

Acts 22:25. προέτειναν: “and when they had tied him up with the thongs,” R.V., i.e., with the ligatures which kept the body extended and fixed while under flogging; Vulgate, “cum astrinxissent eum loris”; but προέ. is rather “stretched him forward with the thongs,” i.e., bound him to a pillar or post in a tense posture for receiving the blows, see critical note. Blass takes προέτειναν as an imperfect, cf. Acts 28:2.— τοῖς ἱμᾶσιν: referring to the thongs usually employed for so binding, and this seems borne out by Acts 22:29 δεδεκώς: not “for the thongs,” as in R.V. margin, so Lewin, Blass, Weiss and others, as if = μάστιξ. Grimm admits that the word may be used either of the leathern thongs with which a person was bound or was beaten, but here he prefers the latter.— τὸν ἑστῶτα ἑκατόν.: the centurion who presided over the scourging, just as a centurion was appointed to be in charge over the execution of our Lord; on the form ἑκατόν., only here in Acts, see Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 30, and see Moulton and Geden, sub v. - άρχης, and above on Acts 10:1.— εἰ: “interrogatio subironica est, confidentiæ plena,” Blass (so Wendt).— καὶ: “and that too,” δύο τὰ ἐγκήματα· καὶ τὸ ἄνευ λὁγου καὶ τὸ ῥωμαῖον ὄντα, Chrys., cf. Acts 16:37. The torture was illegal in the case of a Roman citizen, although it might be employed in the case of slaves and foreigners: Digest. Leg. 48, tit. 18, c. 1. “Et non esse a tormentis incipiendum Div. Augustus constituit.” At Philippi St. Paul had probably not been heard in his protests on account of the din and tumult: “nunc quia illi negotium est cum Romanis militibus, qui modestius et gravius se gerebant, occasione utitur” Calvin.


Verse 26

Acts 22:26. ὅρα, see critical note.— τί μέλλεις ποιεῖν, cf. 2 Maccabees 7:2 R, τί μέλλεις ἐρωτᾶν;— γὰρ ἄν. οὗτος, on St. Luke’s fondness for οὗτος in similar phrases, Friedrich, pp. 10, 89.


Verse 28

Acts 22:28. πολλοῦ κεφ., cf. LXX, Lev. 5:24 (Leviticus 6:4), Numbers 5:7; Jos., Ant., xii., 2, 3 (used by Plato of capital (caput) as opposed to interest). Mr. Page compares the making of baronets by James 1. as a means of filling the exchequer.— τὴν πολιτείαν ταύτην: “this citizenship,” R.V., jus civitatis, cf. 3 Maccabees 3:21; 3 Maccabees 3:23, so in classical Greek. Probably A.V. renders “freedom” quite as we might speak of the freedom of the city being conferred upon any one. On the advantages of the rights of Roman citizenship see Schürer, div. ii., vol. ii., pp. 277, 278, E.T., and “Citizenship,” Hastings’ B.D.— ἐκτησάμην: Dio Cassius, lx., 17, tells us how Messalina the wife of Claudius and the freedmen sold the Roman citizenship, and how at one time it might be purchased for one or two cracked drinking-cups (see passage in full in Wetstein, and also Cic., Ad Fam., xii., 36). Very probably the Chiliarch was a Greek, Lysias, Acts 23:26, who had taken the Roman name Claudius on his purchase of the citizenship under the emperor of that name.— ἐγὼ δὲ καὶ γεγέννημαι: “but I am a Roman even from birth”: “item breviter et cum dignitate,” Blass. St. Paul’s citizenship of Tarsus did not make him a Roman citizen, otherwise his answer in Acts 21:39 would have been sufficient to have saved him from the present indignity. Tarsus was an urbs libera, not a colonia or municipium, and the distinction made in Acts between the Roman and Tarsian citizenship of Paul is in itself an additional proof of the truthfulness of the narrative. How his father obtained the Roman citizenship we are not told; it may have been by manumission, Philo Leg. ad ., 23, or for some service rendered to the state, Jos., Vita, 76, or by purchase, but on this last supposition the contrast here implied would be rendered less forcible. However the right was obtained, it is quite certain that there is nothing strange in St. Paul’s enjoyment of it. As early as the first century B.C. there were many thousands of Roman citizens living in Asia Minor; and the doubts raised by Renan and Overbeck are pronounced by Schürer as much too weak in face of the fact that it is precisely in the most trustworthy portion of Acts that the matter is vouched for.


Verse 29

Acts 22:29. καὶδὲ, cf. Acts 3:24, Luke 2:35, Matthew 10:18; Matthew 16:18, John 6:51; John 15:27, Romans 11:23, 2 Timothy 3:12, and other instances, Grimm-Thayer, sub v., δέ, 9.— ἐφοβήθη, cf. Acts 16:38, and the magistrates of Philippi. He seems to have broken two laws, the Lex Porcia and the law mentioned above, Acts 22:26.— ἐπιγ. ὅτι ῥωμαῖός ἐστι: the punishment for pretending to be a Roman citizen was death, and therefore St. Paul’s own avowal would have been sufficient, Suet., Claudius, 25.— ὅτι ἦν αὐτὸν δεδεκώς: on the construction usual in Luke see Acts 1:10. The words may be best referred to the binding in Acts 22:25 like a slave; this is more natural than to refer them to Acts 21:33. If this latter view is correct, it seems strange that Paul should have remained bound until the next day, Acts 22:30. No doubt it is quite possible that the Apostle’s bonds were less severe after the chiliarch was aware of his Roman citizenship, and that the later notices, Acts 23:18, Acts 24:27, Acts 26:29, Acts 27:42, may contrast favourably with Acts 21:33.


Verse 30

Acts 22:30. τὸ τί κατηγ. παρὰ τῶν .: epexegetical of τὸ ἀσφαλὲς, cf. Acts 4:21 for the article, and Luke 1:62; Luke 9:46; Luke 19:48; Luke 22:2; Luke 22:4; Luke 22:23-24; Luke 22:37, also 1 Thessalonians 4:1, Romans 8:26, Matthew 19:18, Mark 9:10; Mark 9:23. The usage therefore is more characteristic of St. Luke than of the other Evangelists, Viteau, Le Grec du N.T., p. 67 (1893), Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ, p. 38.— παρὰ, if retained, cf. Winer-Moulton, xlvii., 5 b, who takes it to mean “on the part of the Jews,” i.e., they had not as yet presented any accusation.— ἔλυσεν αὐτὸν: according to Acts 22:29 it looks as if the chiliarch immediately he knew of St. Paul’s Roman citizenship released him from his severe bondage. Overbeck, Weiss, Holtzmann therefore refer τῇ ἐπαύριον only to βουλ. γνῶναι, and not to ἔλυσεν and ἐκέλευσεν, but the order of the words cannot be said to favour this, and Wendt (1899) rejects this interpretation. The words may possibly mean that he was released from the custodia militaris in which he had been placed as a Roman citizen, although he had been at once released from tine chains, cf. Acts 21:33. In Acts 22:10 of the next chapter he apparently stands before the Council not in any way as a prisoner, but as one who stood on common ground with his accusers.— καταγ., i.e., from Antonia.— συν( ελθεῖν) … τὸ συν. Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. i., p. 190, E.T., contends that the Council probably met upon the Temple Mount itself; it could not have been within the Temple, or we could not account for the presence of Lysias and his soldiers (see also Schürer, u. s., p. 191, note), but cf. on the other hand for the place of meeting, O. Holtzman, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, p. 176, and also the remarks of Edersheim, Hist. of the Jewish Nation, p. 131. Hilgenfeld, Zw, Th., p. 517 ff. (1896), so Wendt, Clemen, Jüngst, J. Weiss and Spitta regard the whole scene before the Sanhedrim as an interpolation extending from Acts 20:30 to Acts 23:10. But most of the objections to the passage may be classed as somewhat captious, e.g., objection is taken to the fact that on the second night of his imprisonment St. Paul is assured by Christ that he should testify at Rome, Acts 23:11; why should such a communication be delayed to the second night of the imprisonment? it belongs to the first night, just as we reckon dreams significant which occur in the first night of a new dwelling-place! So again it is urged that the vision of the Lord would have had a meaning after the tumult of the people in 22, but not after the sitting of the Sanhedrim in 23. But if Acts 22:10 is retained there was every reason for Paul to receive a fresh assurance of safety. In Acts 23:12-35 we have again Hilgenfeld’s source , and in this too Hilgenfeld finds a denial of the preceding narrative before the Sanhedrim, on the ground that Paul’s trial is not represented as having taken place, but as only now in prospect. But Acts 22:15; Acts 22:20 may fairly be interpreted as presupposing a previous inquiry, unless we are to believe, as is actually suggested, that ἀκριβέστερον may have prompted the author of Acts to introduce the account of a preceding hearing.

 


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Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Acts 22:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/acts-22.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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