Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Acts 23

Verse 1

earnestly beholding. Greek. atenizo. App-133.

council. See note on Acts 22:30.

Men and brethren. See note on Acts 1:11.

lived. Greek. politeuomai, to live as a citizen. Only here and Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:27.

conscience. Greek. suneidesis. Compare Acts 24:16.

before = to.

God. App-98.

Verse 2

Ananias. Son of Nedebaeus. He was murdered by a band of the Sicarii some years after, being caught in an aqueduct where he had concealed himself (Josephus, Antiquities XX. v. 2 ; vi. 2 ; ix. 2 ; Wars, II. xvii. 9).

him on the = his.

Verse 3

shall = is about to.

whited = whitewashed. Greek. koniao. Only here and Matthew 23:27. See note there.

wall. Greek. toichos. The wall of a building, not the wall of a city (teichos). Only here.

to judge = judging. Greek. krino. App-122.

after = according to. Greek. kata. App-104.

contrary to the law = acting against law. Greek. paranomeo. Only here.

Verse 4

Revilest. Greek. loidoreo. See note on John 9:28.

Verse 5

wist = knew. Greek. oida. App-132.

the. Omit.

is written = has been written, or standeth written. See Exodus 22:28.

evil. Greek. kakos. Compare App-128. Compare John 18:23. James 4:3 (amiss).

people. Greek. laos. See note on Acts 2:47.

Verse 6

But = Now.

perceived = got to know. Greek. ginosko. App-132. Some may have heard Paul"s address on the stairs (Acts 22:1-21), and were discussing his statement about the risen Lord, and might have put a question to him.

Sadducees . . . Pharisees. App-120.

other. Greek. heteros. App-124.

son. Greek. huios. App-108.

of = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

the = a.

hope and resurrection = resurrection-hope. Figure of speech Hendiadys. App-6.

resurrection. Greek. anastasis. App-178.

of the dead. Greek. nekron. No art. App-139.

called in question = judged. Greek. krino, as in Acts 23:3.

Verse 7

so said = spoken (Greek. laleo. App-121.) this.

dissension. Greek. stasis. See note on Acts 15:2.

between = of.

multitude. Greek. plethos. See Acts 2:6.

divided. Greek. schizo. See note on Acts 14:4.

Verse 8

the. Omit.

neither . . . nor. Greek. mete . . . mete.

spirit. App-101.

Verse 9

cry. Greek. krauge. Here; Matthew 25:6. Ephesians 4:31. Hebrews 5:7. Revelation 14:18; Revelation 21:4.

arose. Greek. anistemi. App-178.

strove = were earnestly contending. Greek. diamachomai. Only here.

no = nothing. Greek. oudeis.

evil. Greek. kakos. App-128.

man. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

hath spoken = spoke. Greek. laleo, as in Acts 23:7.

let us not, &c. All the texts omit. They suddenly broke off. Perhaps the Pharisees were afraid to express their thoughts. It is the Figure of speech Aposiopesis. App-6. The words in the Authorized Version were probably added by some copyist from Acts 5:39. adapting Gamaliel"s language.

Verse 10

chief captain. See note on Acts 21:31.

fearing. Greek. eulabeomai. Only here and Hebrews 11:7. The texts read phobeomai (as Acts 22:29), a much more common word.

pulled in pieces = torn asunder. Greek. diaspao. Only here and Mark 5:4.

of = by. Greek. hupo. App-104.

soldiers. Literally an army or detachment. Greek. strateuma. Here, Acts 23:27. Matthew 22:7. Luke 23:11. Revelation 9:16; Revelation 19:14, Revelation 19:19.

take . . . by force. Greek. harpazo. Compare Acts 8:39 (caught away).

from among = out of (Greek. ek) the midst of.

castle. See note on Acts 21:34.

Verse 11

following. Greek. epeimi. See note on Acts 7:26.

the Lord. App-98.

Be of good cheer = Take courage. Greek. tharseo. Here; Matthew 9:2, Matthew 9:22; Matthew 14:27. Mark 6:50; Mark 10:49. Luke 8:48. John 16:33.

Paul. The texts omit.

testified. Greek. diamarturomai. See note on Acts 2:40.

bear witness. Greek. martureo. See p. 1511 and note on John 1:7.

also at Rorne = at Rome also.

Verse 12

certain of. The texts omit.

banded together = having made a coalition, i.e. of the two sects. Greek. sustrophe. See note on Acts 19:40.

bound . . . curse. Greek. anathematizo. Only here, verses: Acts 14:21, and Mark 14:71, where see note.

saying, &c. Josephus records a vow taken by ten men to kill Herod the Great. In a papyrus from Oxyrhyiichus, in the Bodleian Library, there is a letter from an Egyptian boy, threatening that, if his father will not take him to Alexandria, he would neither eat nor drink.

Verse 13

conspiracy. Greek. sunomosia. Only here.

Verse 14

elders. App-189.

We have bound . . . curse. Literally we have anathematized ourselves (see Mark 14:71) with an anathema. A Hebraism. Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-6.

curse. Greek. anathema. Here; Romans 9:3. 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Corinthians 16:22. Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:8, Galatians 1:9.

that we will = to.

eat = taste. See note on Acts 10:10.

Verse 15

signify. Greek. emphanizo. App-106.

bring . . . down. Greek. katago. See note on Acts 21:3.

though ye would = being about to.

enquire. Greek. diaginosko. This is the medical word for making a careful examination. Only here and Acts 24:22. The noun diagnosis only in Acts 25:21.

something . . . him = the things concerning him more accurately (Greek. akribesteron, comparative of akribos, Acts 18:25, Acts 18:26). Occurs Acts 18:26; Acts 24:22.

concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

or ever = before. Greek. pro. App-104.

kill. Greek. anaireo. See note on Acts 2:23. Not the same word as in verses: Acts 12:14.

Verse 16

lying in wait. Greek. enedra. Only here and Acts 25:3.

went, &c. This may be rendered "having come in upon (them) and entered", suggesting that he made the discovery accidentally. See Revised Version margin But it was of God. Paul was not to be "cut off" at the will of the enemy, any more than the "seed". See Exodus 2:6, and App-23.

told = reported (it to). Greek. apangello. See note on Acts 4:23.

Verse 17

centurions. See note on Acts 21:32.

young man. Greek. neanias, but the texts read neaniskos. App-108.

a certain thing. Greek. tis. App-123.

Verse 18

So, &c. = He therefore indeed having taken him, brought him.

Paul the prisoner. This was a title the apostle cherished as one of honour. See Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 4:1. 2 Timothy 1:8. Philemon 1:9.

prisoner. Greek. deamios.

prayed = asked. Greek. erotao. App-134.

something. Greek. tis. Same as "a certain thing", Acts 23:17.

say = speak. Greek. laleo App-121.

unto = to.

Verse 19

took. Greek. epilambanomai. See note on Acts 9:27.

went . . . aside = having withdrawn. Greek. anachoreo. Compare Matthew 12:15.

privately. Greek. kat" (App-104) idian. This expression occ many times in the first three Gospels, translated apart, aside, &c.

asked = enquired of. Greek. punthanomai. See note on Acts 21:33.

Verse 20

have agreed = agreed. Greek. suntithemi. Here, Acts 24:9. Luke 22:5. John 9:22.

desire. Same as "prayed", Acts 23:18.

enquire. Same as "asked", Acts 23:19.

somewhat = something, as in Acts 23:18.

Verse 21

yield unto = be persuaded by. Greek. peitho. App-150.

lie in wait. Greek. enedreuo. Only here and Luke 11:54. Compare Acts 23:16.

men. App-123.

looking for. Greek. prosdechomai. Compare Acts 24:15. Mark 15:43 (waited for).

a = the. This shows that some promise of a further trial of Paul had been given.

Verse 22

So, &c. The chief captain indeed then.

let . . . depart = sent away. Greek. apoluo. App-174.

charged = commanded. Greek. parangello. See note on Acts 1:4.

See thou tell = to tell. Greek. eklaleo. Only here.

no man = no one. Greek. medeis.

shewed. Same as "signify", Acts 23:15.

Verse 23

he called = having called.

two = certain (Greek. tis. App-123.) two.

saying = he said.

to = as far as. Greek. heos. About seventy miles.

Caesarea. See note on Acts 8:40.

horsemen. Greek. hippeus. Only here and Acts 23:32.

spearmen. Greek. dexiolabos. Only here. Some light-armed troops are meant.

at = from. Greek. apo. App-104. The third hour of the night was 9pm, and no one could pursue till the gates were open at 6am.

Verse 24

beasts. Greek. ktenos. Here; Luke 10:34. 1 Corinthians 15:39. Revelation 18:13.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

set . . . on. Greek. epibibazo. Here, and Luke 10:34; Luke 19:35.

bring . . . safe = keep him safe and bring him. Figure of speech Ellipsis. App-6. Greek. diasozo. See Matthew 14:36.

Felix. Claudius made him Procurator of Judsea in A.D. 52. Josephus gives many details of the stirring times of his rule, and of his cruelty and treachery (Ant. XX. vii. 1 ; viii, 5, 6, 7, &c).

governor. Greek. hegemon. The general term for a subordinate ruler, Felix being a lieutenant of the Propraetor of Syria.

Verse 25

And he wrote = Having written.

after this manner = having (Greek. periecho, but texts read echo) this form (Greek. tupos, Acts 7:43).

Verse 26

Claudius Lysias. As the Procurator"s legate, he was responsible for order in Jerusalem. He had shown promptness and vigour, and, moreover, kindly consideration for his prisoner (Acts 23:19), and in his letter puts Paul"s case in a favourable light. He certainly claims some credit for himself to which he was not entitled (Acts 23:27), and says nothing about his proposing to scourge a Roman citizen. But he stands far above Felix, or even Festus, and is entitled to rank with Julius (Acts 27:3, Acts 27:43).

most excellent. Greek. kratistos. Only occurance here; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25, and Luke 1:3. It was an official title. Compare "Excellency".

greeting. See note on Acts 15:23.

Verse 27

was taken = having been seized. See note on Acts 1:16

should have been = being about to be, or on the point of being.

Then came I = having come.

an army = the detachment, as in Acts 23:10.

and rescued him = I delivered. Greek. exaireo. See note on Acts 7:10.

understood = learnt. He did not learn it till he was about to have him scourged. It has been called "a dexterous falsehood".

Verse 28

when I would have known = wishing (Greek. boulomai. App-102.) to know.

known. Greek. ginosko. App-132. but the texts read epiginosko.

wherefore = on account of (Greek. dia. App-104. Acts 23:2) which.

accused = were accusing. Greek. enkaleo. See note on Acts 19:38.

Verse 29

perceived = found.

questions. Greek. zetema. See note on Acts 15:2.

to have nothing, &c. = as having no accusation.

laid to his charge. Greek. enklema. Only here and Acts 25:16.

Verse 30

it was told me, &c. Literally a plot was revealed to me as about to be laid against the man.

told = revealed. Greek. menuo. See Luke 20:37 (shewed).

the Jews. The texts omit.

for = against. Greek. eis. App-104.

sent. Greek. pempo. App-174.

straightway. Greek. exautes. See note on Acts 10:33.

and gave commandment = having commanded, or charged. Greek. parangello. See Acts 23:22.

accusers. Greek. kategoros. Here; Acts 23:35; Acts 24:8; Acts 25:16, Acts 25:18. John 8:10. Revelation 12:10.

what they had. Omit.

Farewell. Omit.

Verse 31

Then = So then.

as it was = according to (Greek. kata. App-104.) that which was.

commanded. Greek. diatasso. See note on Acts 7:44.

by = through. Greek. dia. App-104. Acts 23:1.

Antipatris. A small town in the plain of Sharon, about forty miles from Jerusalem. Built by Herod the Great, and called after his father, Antipater.

Verse 32

left. Greek. eao. Generally translated "suffer" in the sense of "permit".

Verse 33

when they came = having entered.

delivered = having delivered. Greek. anadidomi. Only here.

epistle. Same as letter, Acts 23:25.

before = to.

Verse 34

when, &c. The texts read "when he had read it".

asked = questioned. Greek. eperotao. See note on Acts 1:6.

province. Greek. eparchia. Only here and Acts 25:1.

Understood = learnt by enquiry. Greek. punthanomai. See verses: Acts 23:19, Acts 23:20. of = from. Greek. apo. App-104.

Cilicia. Cilicia was included in the province of Syria, and therefore in the jurisdiction of Felix.

Verse 35

hear = hear fully. Greek. diakouo. Only here.

are also come = also shall have come.

kept = guarded.

judgment hall. Greek. praitorion. See note on Matthew 27:27. John 18:28. It here means the guard-room attached to Herod"s palace.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Acts 23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.