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Acts 28

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

HOSPITABLE RECEPTION OF PAUL and SNAKE-BITE EXPERIENCE ON MELITA V. 1-6

1) "And when they were escaped " (kai diasothentes) "And when we were all safely on land," escaped drowning from the commercial grain ship of Alexandria, Egypt.

2) "Then they knew," (tote epgnomen) "We then found out," learned, came to know, or recognize, as likely told to them by the inhabitants of the Island.

3) "That the island was called Melita." (hoti Melite he nesos kaleiti) "That the island was called (known as) Melita," the "certain or particular island," as foretold by Paul, after the angel of the Lord had disclosed it to him in the night, during the storm at sea, Acts 27:26. The island was doubtless that one now known as Malta, as it appears yet to meet the description of Acts 27:39.

Verse 2

1) "And the barbarous people," (hoti te barbaroi) "Then the foreign inhabitants," though barbarous like people, so-called because they spoke neither Greek nor the Latin language, Romans 1:14; 1 Corinthians 14:11; Colossians 3:11. As former Phoenicians they are thought to have spoken either the Punic or Carthaginian dialect.

2) "Shewed us no little kindness:” (pareichon ou ten techousan philanthropian) "Showed us not merely ordinary kindness," but more than ordinary kindness or hospitality. They were therefore not savages or barbarians, in our sense of the term today, but showed Hebrew-Christian ethics of compassion, Hebrews 13:2; Genesis 18:3; Matthew 25:35.

3) "For they kindled a fire," (hapsantes gar puran) "For when they had lit a fire," to warm their chilling bodies and dry their clothes, with sympathy and care.

4) "And received us every one," (proselabonto pantas humas) "They welcomed (heartily received) us all," the entire 276, without respect of person, by reason of the storm and near tragedy of the shipwreck, Acts 27:37; Acts 27:41-44.

5) "Because of the present rain," (dia tou hueton ton ephestota) "On account of the rain coming on us," the rain that continued to pour down upon the island heavily under the passing storm.

6) "And because of the cold." (kai dia to psuchos) "And on account of (because of) the cold," that accompanied the rain, at the close of the Hebrew atonement and fast season, about the time of the autumn equinox, as the autumn cold presaged the winter, Acts 27:9. These "barbarians" were more exemplary of charity, in an hour of need, than many since who have worn the name Christian. Their kindness to this band of drenched and shivering shipwreck victims reflects great charm.

Verse 3

1) "And when Paul had gathered," (sutrepsantos de tou Paulou) "Then when Paul had collected," had gotten together, cheerfully desiring to be useful, do his part, avoid being a drag, a freeloader.

2) "A bundle of sticks," (phruganon ti plethos) "A quantity (good pile) of sticks," of firewood or brush for the fire, that the kindly Islanders had kindled for them, Acts 28:2.

3) "And laid them on the fire," (kai epithentos epi ten puran) "And had placed them upon the fire"’ not leaving by example, all the work for the Islanders to do, showing to all that he was willing to work with his own hands, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Acts 20:34-35. This reflects Paul’s vigor and character, even now in old age.

4) "There came a viper out of the heat," (echidna apo tes thermes ekselthousa) "A snake (viper) came out from the heat," a venomous (poisonous) reptile darted out of the heat, perhaps coming out of a hollow limb where it was about to hibernate for the winter, Deuteronomy 32:24; Job 20:16.

5) "And fastened hold on his hand." (kathepsen tes cheiros autou) "And fastened hold on his hand," whether by coiling around the hand or by penetrating fang bite, or by both, is not made clear. But the hold on Paul’s hand was so tight or hard that natives who saw it were shocked. It is likely that it was a viper with long teeth called fangs in the upper jaw (grooved fangs) attached to poison glands above. When the poison fangs are driven into a victim, the venom flows quickly from the fang grooves into the flesh wound of the victim, causing partial paralysis, pain, and often near sudden death.

HOW TO KEEP UP THE FIRE

It was down on the coast of Florida, in war-time. A little band of Christian soldiers held a weekly prayer meeting in a church building, deserted of its ordinary congregation. One evening a new voice was heard there. An officer who had been in frequent attendance, but who had not before taken part in the exercises, said: "I am not accustomed to speak in prayer- meetings. I do no feel competent to that service. But I have greatly enjoyed these meetings, week after week, that I have thought it was hardly fair for me to be always warming myself by this Christian fire without ever furnishing an armful of fuel; so I rise to tell you that your Saviour is my Saviour, and that I am grateful for all the help and cheer you have been to me in His service, at these week-night prayer meetings." And as that little "bundle of sticks" was thrown into that army prayer-meeting fire, the flame flashed up there in new light and warmth, and more than one soldier present rejoiced afresh in its glow. When did you gather the last bundle of sticks for the fire of your church or neighborhood prayer-meeting?

- Trumbull.

Verse 4

1) "And when the barbarians saw," (hos de eidon hoi barbaroi) "And when the barbarians (natives of the island) saw it,’’ realized what had happened.

2) "The venomous beast hang on his hand," (kremamenon to therion ek tes cheiros autou) "Saw the beast-like-snake hanging from his hand," either by its fangs in his hand, or coil around his hand, or both.

3) "They said among themselves," (pros allelous elegon) "They concluded in their hasty speech, one to another, among themselves," the Islanders, natives of the island who were referred to as barbarians.

4) "No doubt this man it a murderer," (pantos phoneus estin hon anthropos houtos) "This man is in all likelihood a murderer," to be sure this man is a murderer, an impression that may have been strengthened by seeing prison clothes on his body, or chains upon his hands.

5) "Whom though he hath escaped the sea," (hon diasothenta ek tes thalasses) "Whom though he has been saved (from drowning) out of the sea," at sea in the shipwreck. They believed in an eventual supreme payment for wrong, a just retribution for sin, a universal, divine truth, Galatians 6:7-8.

6) "Yet vengeance suffereth not to live." (he dike zen ouk eiasen) "The God of justice did not allow or permit to live," to escape death by reason of his being a murderer. These heathen, like too many heathen in civilized society today, prejudged Paul, as guilty of a presumed capital crime that merited death. Their words indicate that the bite of the serpent had apparently marked him as good as dead already.

Verse 5

1) "And he shook off the beast," (ho men oun apotinaksas to therion) "He (Paul) then shook off the viper beast," the snake.

2) "Into the fire” (eis to pur) "Upon and into the fire," that had been kindled with the firewood, right before the eyes of the islanders, the native barbarians.

3) "And felt no harm." (epathen ouden kakon) "And felt no evil effect at all," felt no bad effect or harm, in the least. This appears to be a demonstration of the miraculous power, granted by our Lord to the early apostles, including Paul, as recounted, Mark 16:18; Luke 10:19; Hebrews 2:4.

Verse 6

1) "Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen," (hoi de prosedokon auton mellein pimprasthai) "Then they (the heathen natives) watched closely, anticipating that he would swell up," expecting him to swell, as they would normally have done from such a bite. The sight normally dimmed, swelling immediately came, pain came to the stomach, then convulsions and death.

2) "Or fallen down dead suddenly:" (e ketapiptein aphno nekron) "Or they expected him to fall down dead at any instant," with instant physical death, as if the bite would be fatal. The term "fallen down" was another medical term, used by Luke, indicating a fall of an epileptic, or one with a mortal wound, a sudden fall.

3) "But after they had looked a great while," (epi polu de auton prosdokonton) "Then when they expected, looking on (for him to fall dead in his body), for an extended period of time," after watching for mortal sickness or pain that never came to Paul.

4) "And saw no harm come to him," (kai theorounton meden atopon eis auton ginomenon) "And though scrutinizing him (from head to toe in wonder and expectancy of his death) when they realized nothing amiss happening to him, that he had no real harm from the viper.

5) "They changed their minds," (metabalomenoi) "Changing their minds," their attitudes, dispositions, or conclusions of their own will, choice or volition, Hebrews 2:4.

6) "And said that he was a god." (elegon auton linai theon) "They pronounced him to be, concluded aloud that he was a god," much as those of Lystra had done after Paul healed the cripple man, Acts 14:11-18; Acts 8:10. Note the change of attitude of the islanders toward Paul, "from a murderer," one moment, to "a god," the next.

Verse 7

PAUL’S HEALING OF PUBLIUS’ FATHER DEPARTURE FOR ROME

V. 7-14

1) "In the same quarters," (en de tois peri ton topon ekeinon) "Now in those parts or that immediate locality," that neighborhood.

2) "Were possessions of the chief man of the island," (huperchen choria to proto tes nesou) "Were land holdings of the chief man (the patriarch) of the island of Melita or Malta." He is also believed to have been a Roman Knight.

3) "Whose name was Publius; who received us," (onomati Poplio hos anadeksamenos hemas) "Whose name was Publius welcomed us (the two hundred and seventy of us)," showed us hospitality. Publius was the chief authority and leader in the island, under the praetor of Sicily and of the Roman Emperor.

4) "And lodged us three days courteously” (hemeras treis philophronos eksenisen) "And courteously or hospitably lodged us for a period of three days;" Some think that Publius lodged only Paul, Luke, and Aristarchus, including Julius, for the three days as his personal guests. But it is more likely that the "us" received and lodged for three days courteously, refers to the care of all the shipwreck passengers, including sailors and prisoners. The account is one of noble, friendly, hospitable nature, Hebrews 13:2; Acts 10:6; Acts 10:23. This was done until arrangements were made for a more comfortable winter place for them all.

HOSPITALITY

Dr. Payson once, when traveling, having occasion to call on a lady, when she and some of her friends were sitting down to tea: she would have him stay, and treated him very hospitably. When he left, he said, "Madam, you have treated me with such kindness and hospitality, for which I sincerely thank you. Allow me to ask you one question before we part, - How do you treat my Master?" The visit was much sanctified, and led eventually to the conversion of the lady and her household.

- Bowes.

Verse 8

1) "And it came to pass that the father of Publius," (egenetodeton pateratou Popliou)"Then it occurred that the father of Publius," who lodged them, the landholder chief’s father.

2) "Lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux:” (puretois kai dusenterio sunechomenon katakeisthai) "Was down feverishly ill, suffering with dysentery," with repeated attacks of fevers or recurring fever with dysentery. This is one of those definitive terms used by Luke in describing a disease, that no other writer used, and is one reason he is thought by scholars to be a physician, Luke 22:44; Acts 12:23; Acts 13:11.

3) "To whom Paul entered in, and prayed " (pros hon ho Paulos eiselthon kai proseuksamenos) "To whom Paul went, entering where he lay, praying for him," as elders of that era were divinely admonished to do, James 5:14-15; Prayer signifies belief in, need of, and dependence upon Supernatural help for temporal needs, Luke 18:1; James 1:5; Mark 6:5; James 5:14-15.

4) "And laid his hands on him," (epitheis tas cheiras auto) "Placing, putting, or laying his hands upon him," signifying care and compassion and authority to heal the sick, as he had done on previous needy occasions, Acts 19:11; Hebrews 2:4. As the Lord rewarded Peter for the use of his boat, so Paul richly repaid Publius for his hospitality, Luke 5:3.

5) "And healed him." (iasato auton) "He healed him," or caused him to be well from his suffering seizure of sickness, as the Lord miraculously did, to attest that He was the Son of God, Matthew 8:14-17; Matthew 9:1-8; Matthew 9:35-38; 1 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Corinthians 12:28. The gift of miracles was given to members-of the New Testament Church, in her early mission work, as credentials of her authority; 1 Corinthians 12:1-29. These were given to last, as special gifts of the Holy Spirit, only till the New Testament was completed, after which all gifts ceased, except the gifts of Faith, Hope, and Charity, 1 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 4:4-14.

Verse 9

1) "So when this was done," (toutou de genomenou) "Then when this had happened," was done and the father of Publius was up and well.

2) "Others also, which had diseases in the island," (kai hoi poipoi hoi en te neso echnotes astheneias) "Those remaining (the rest) in the island;" Malta is 17 miles long and 9 miles wide, located 58 miles from Sicily. Its chief city is now Valetta, with a population of about 125,000.

3) "Came," (proserchonto) "Came to Paul of their own accord," and to Luke, during the three months of winter that Paul and his company spent on the island.

4) "And were healed." (kai etherapeuonto) "And were therapeutically made well," cured, or physically healed, upon coming to Paul, who may also have been physically assisted by Luke, who ministered to their medical needs. The term "healed" is derived from a root Word that indicates being made well or cured by medical or therapeutic means, not of instantaneous miraculous healing only, as they "kept coming and getting healed or cured."

Verse 10

1) "Who also honoured us with many honours;” (hoi kai pollais timais epimesan hemas) "Who also honored us with many honors," perhaps ever with what is termed later "double honors," due elders that serve well, 1 Timothy 5:17. It is likely that Luke, a medical doctor, who wrote two books of the New Testament, (Luke and Acts) was also an elder and teacher who assisted Paul in both physical needs and in teaching the Word until his death in Rome, 2 Timothy 4:16.

2) "And when we departed” (kai anagomenois) "And when we arose and were putting out to sea," on out journey to Italy, and to Rome; When we sailed away from the island of Melita, where we had been stranded.

3)"They laded us with such things as were necessary." (epethento ta pros tas cherias) "They placed on us the things to meet our needs." It may have included money, but surely included those things they needed to complete their journey to Rome. It appears that even these native barbarians found a joy in hospitality, and giving in time of need, Acts 20:34-35; Romans 12:13. They provided for every need that Paul and the others had lost in the storm. Little wonder that out of Paul’s hard experiences he would write "God shall supply all your need," Philippians 4:19.

Verse 11

1) "And after three months," (meta de treis menas) "Then after three months," in Malta, or on the island of Melita. If the shipwreck occurred in November, after the storm of more than two weeks, it appears that the new departure, sailing season at hand to go on to Rome, may have begun in February, very early for sailing.

2) "We departed in a ship of Alexandria," (anechthemen en ploio Aleksandrio) "We departed (or sailed away) in an Alexandrian ship," another corn or wheat ship, of sufficient size to take 276 passengers on board their continuing journey, Acts 27:37.

3) "Which had wintered in the isle," (parakesheimakoti en te neso) "That had spent the winter in the island," at dock, perhaps because of the same gale that destroyed the ship on which Paul was sailing. The dock was at the harbor now known as the city of Valetta.

4) "Whose sign was Castor and Pollux." (parasemo Diodkourois) "With a Dioscuri sign," a symbol or insignia of Castor and Pollux, the twin brothers. This symbol was both the insignia and the tutela of the ship, representing the gods of sailors at sea. It was located on the prow’s head, often on both stern and stem, near the back and front of the ship or boat. In ancient sea lore these were the two sons of Jove who were supposed to rule the winds and waves of the sea.

Verse 12

1) "And landing at Syracuse," (kai katachthentes eis Surakonsas) "And when we had been brought into port (to land) at Syracuse," about 100 miles from the Island of Malta; It was the capital of Sicily and a Roman colony, a usual stopping place for Alexandria ships, and a mercantile city. Local tradition holds that Paul founded a church in Sicily.

2) "We tarried three days." (epemeinamen hemeras treis) "We remained there (stayed over) for a period of three days," perhaps waiting for a favorable wind from the south, early in the spring, to help them on their final journey to Rome, Romans 1:14-16; Romans 15:22-24; Romans 15:28-29; Romans 15:32. For it was to Rome he had longed to go and preach the gospel, as certified in Scriptures here cited.

Verse 13

1) "And from thence we fetched a compass," (hothen perielthontes) "From there when we had gotten a compass," for keeping direction in sailing, for "tacking" or altering course of sailing, and the "set of sail," according to the gale and destination of the ship.

2) "And came to Rhegium:” (katentesamen eis Hregion) "We arrived in Rheguim," for our next stop; unable to sai I directly, by good seamanship, frequent altering, tacking, manipulating the sails they worked their way up to Rhegium, a circuitous direction to Reggio, a seaport now in Italy, off the north east end of Sicily.

3) "And after one day the south wind blew," (kai meta mian hemeran epigenomenou notou) "And after one day, as a south wind came on, or arose," a favorable wind in contrast to the previous wind, for the direction they desired to sail on toward Rome.

4) "And the next day we came to Puteoli:” (deuteraioi elthomen eis Patiolous) "We came into Puteoli on the second day," a distance of about 180 miles, that could have been reached in about 26 hours of favorable sailing at seven knots per hour.

It was a great harbor for trade with Egypt, Syria, and Spain, located on what is now known as the Bay of Naples, one of the then loveliest trade centers on earth, 8 miles south west of Naples or Neapolis.

Verse 14

COURAGE AT APPII-FORUM AND ENTRANCE INTO ROME v. 14 16

1) "Where we found brethren," (ou heurontes adelphous) "Where we found or located brethren," believing brethren, disciples of the Lord, as in Acts 1:15; Romans 1:8; Romans 1:12; Romans 1:15. These were likely church brethren who had been won and established as a result of the Pentecost revival and the return of believers to Italy, the European continent, Acts 2:10.

2) "And were desired with them," (pareklethem par’ autios) "And we were besought (appealed to by them) along with them," as they motivated, plead with us in brotherly love, John 13:34-35; Hebrews 13:2; Romans 12:13.

3) "To tarry seven days:" (epimeinai hepta) "To remain (stay over) for a week, a period of seven days," for fellowship in the Word, the Spirit, and exchange of testimonies for Christ, Matthew 5:15-16; Acts 1:8; Psalms 107:2. It is believed that the centurion Julius arranged for Paul to stay over at least one Sunday with the church at Puteoli.

4) "And so we went toward Rome." (kai houtos eis ten hromen elthomen) "And thus (after the manner of their appeal and our stay for seven days with the brethren at Puteoli) we went on into Rome," where Paul had long desired to preach the gospel, Romans 1:14-16; To the church to whom he addressed the book of Romans, some two years earlier, Romans 1:7. From Puteoli to Rome was about 135 miles.

SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY

A circumstance has come to light within the last thirty years which does surprise us concerning this same neighborhood, showing how extensively the Gospel had permeated and honey combed the country parts of Italy within the lifetime of the first Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ. Puteoli was a trading city, but Pompeii was a pleasure-loving city, thinking of nothing else, and where sin and iniquity consequently abounded. Yet Christianity had made its way into Pompeii in the lifetime of the Apostles. How then do we know this? Pompeii, as every person of moderate education knows, was totally overthrown by the first great eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. It remained for seventeen hundred years concealed from human sight or knowledge, till revealed in the year 1755 by excavations systematically pursued. Now at the time that Pompeii was destroyed there was a municipal election going on, and there were found on the walls numerous inscriptions. Among these inscriptions of mere passing and transitory interest, there was one found which illustrates the point at which we have been laboring, for there amid the election notices of 79 A.D., there appeared scribbled by some idle hand the brief words, "Igni gaude Christiane" (0 Christian, rejoice in the fire), proving clearly that Christians existed in Pompeii at that time, that persecution and death had reached them, and that they possessed and displayed the same undaunted spirit as their great leader and teacher, St. Paul, being enabled like him to rejoice amid the sevenfold- heated fires.

- Stokes.

Verse 15

1) "And from thence, when the brethren heard of us," (kakeithen hoi adelphoi ta peri hemon) "And from there (in Rome) the brethren having heard things concerning us," A report from Puteoli, of Paul, Luke, and Aristarchus’ coming, Romans 1:14-16; Romans 15:24-32; Acts 27:1-2. No specific New Testament record is given recounting how the gospel and New Testament Church work was brought to Rome, such as is given about its entrance into Asia Minor and Eastern Europe, but most likely it first began from returning Pentecost believers, Acts 2:10.

2) "They came to meet us as far as Appii-Forum," (elthen eis apantesin hemin achri Appiou phorou) "Came unto a meeting (for a meeting) with us as far as Appii-Forum," a prominent market place and inn, some 40 miles south-east of Rome. There appear to have been two parties of Christian brethren who came from Rome to greet Paul, one as far as Appii-Forum and the other as far as the three taverns locality.

3) "And the three taverns:” (kai triton tabernon) "And three taverns," a place called three taverns; Without the "Gk. article" this indicates simply a place where three prominent taverns were located, 30 miles south east of Rome.

4) "Whom when Paul saw," (hous idon ho Paulos) "Whom when Paul beheld," or recognized, as brethren of Rome, who came to greet him with brotherly love, John 13:34-35. He was so often touched emotionally by expressions of kindness from his brethren, Romans 1:9-12.

5) "He thanked God, and took courage." (eucharistesas to theo elabe tharos) "Giving thanks, or expressing gratitude to God, he took courage," or had new courage and strength. It is great that Christian fellowship in time of trouble helps comfort one who is in trouble, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. God gives courage to his children, that they may share it to strengthen others from depression, doubt, and despondency, Joshua 1:6-7; Joshua 1:9; 1 Samuel 30:6; Psalms 27:14. This cordial good will of brethren, unashamed of his bonds, cheered him, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Verse 16

1) "And when we came to Rome," (hote de eiselthomen hromen) "Then when we entered the city of Rome," in company with the brethren who came out to cheer and greet us.

2) "The centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard:” (this clause is omitted from better Gk. scripts and the R.V.)

3) "But Paul was suffered to dwell by himself," (epetrape to Paulo menein kath’ heauton) "He (the centurion) permitted Paul to remain by himself," separate from the other prisoners, with privacy in his own rented house, on probation, yet under military custody, Acts 28:30.

4) "With a soldier that kept him. ’ (sun to phulassonti auton stratiote) "In close colleague, or agreement, with the soldier who was guarding him," as in Acts 24:23; Acts 27:3. He was granted private liberties, more than the common prisoner. This was related to two things: 1) The good will Paul had generated thru his conduct and testimony while in custody of the centurion, and 2) In the light of the manner in which Festus had reported the case to Caesar, Acts 25:10-12; Acts 25:25-27; Acts 26:31-32. There was a changing of the guard for Paul daily, which permitted him to witness for Christ even to the Praetorian guards of Caesar, Philippians 1:12-13; Romans 8:28,

Verse 17

PAUL SUMMONED AND ADDRESSED THE CHIEF JEWS OF ROME V. 17-24

1) "And it came to pass after three days," (egento de meta hemeras treis) "And it occurred that after three days," in Rome. After his energies were renewed and he was refreshed with his friends.

2) "Paul called the chief of the Jews together:” (sugkalesasthei auton tous ontas ton loudaion protous) "He called to him those who were the first (order) chief ones in order or rank of the Jews," from the synagogues to meet together with him. The former persecution of Claudius Caesar, against the Jews, had now been lifted and many had returned to prosperity in Rome, Acts 18:2.

3) "And when they were come together, he said unto them." (sunelthonton de auton elegen pros autous) "And when they came together, where he was, he said to them," making his defence "to the Jews first," it appears, before giving his extended time and teaching more to the Gentiles, Romans 1:16; Acts 28:28-31. He affirmed that, though a prisoner, he was not a criminal.

4) "Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people," (ego andres adelphoi ouden enantion poiesas to lao) -I, brethren, responsible men, have done not one thing contrary to the people (our Jewish brethren)," hurtful, immoral, unethical, or illegal against the Jewish people, Acts 23:28-30; Acts 24:12-13; Acts 25:8.

5) "Or customs of our fathers," (etois tois patroois) "Or contrary toward the ancestral ethics, the ancient customs of our Jewish fathers."

6) "Yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem," (desimos eks lerosolumon paredothen) "Yet I was given over by them, as a prisoner, from Jerusalem," to Felix and Festus as recounted, Acts 21:28; Acts 21:33.

7) "Into the hands of the Romans." (eis tas cheiras ton hromaion) "Into the hands (custody) of the Romans," as a prisoner.

Verse 18

1) "Who, when they had examined me," (oitines anakrinantes me) "Who when they had examined me," in an orderly, judicial arraignment manner, Acts 24:8. When judicial inquiries had been made by order of both governors, Felix and Festus.

2) "Would have let me go," (eboulonto apolusai) ’Who were disposed to release me," Acts 26:31-32.

3) "Because there was no cause of death in me." (dia to medemian aitian thanatou huparchein en emoi) "Because there was (existed) no cause of death to be (found) in me," Acts 23:28-29, as here attested, announced by Felix, the governor publicly; He was pronounced to be innocent of any capital crime, again and again, much as our Lord was publicly pronounced innocent by Pilate repeatedly, before he released Him to be crucified, fulfilling the statement of our Lord, John 15:20.

Verse 19

1) "But when the Jews spake against it," (antilegonton de ton loudaion) "Then when the Jews spoke against this," the release for me, with bitter resentment, saying that I ought to die, Acts 21:31; Acts 21:36; Acts 22:22; Acts 23:12-14; Acts 23:27; Acts 25:3. They opposed his acquittal.

2) “I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar;” (enagkasthen epikalesasthai Kaisara) "I was (then) compelled to appeal to Caesar," Acts 25:11; Acts 26:32; Acts 27:24. This he had to do to obtain a fair, impartial trial, and to save his life.

3) "Not that I had ought to accuse my nation of " (ouch hos tou ethnous mou echon ti kategorein) "Not that I held anything to accuse my nation of," to bring as an accusation, a bill of indictment against my nation, Israel, the Jews. They were still his nation of people, and he, a true patriot, was not ashamed to call them "my nation," when he appeared before the Roman tribunal, Acts 24:17; Acts 26:4. He loved and desired their salvation still, Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-4.

Verse 20

1)"For this cause therefore! called for you," (dia tauten oun ten aitian parekaleisa humas) "Because of this situation or circumstance therefore I called to you all," for consultation and conference, for you to speak with rine. I called to explain specifically and clearly why I am here.

2) "To see and to speak with you:" (idein kai proslalesai) "To see and to speak with you ’ “to converse with you regarding "the faith," I entreated to you, to see you and speak with you, acknowledging that in the midst of council there is safety, Proverbs 11:14.

3) "Because that for the hope of Israel," (heineken gar tes elpidos tou Israel) "For the sake of the hope of Israel." This Christian missionary leader, and the Jewish leaders, all had "one hope of their calling," and in that hope, both were as one with God, in Jesus Christ, Numbers 24:17; Malachi 3:1; Malachi 4:2; Luke 24:27; John 1:45; John 5:39; Revelation 19:10. He is that "blessed hope," Titus 2:13.

4) “I am bound with this chain." (ten halusin tauten perikeimai) "I have this chain-bond or restrainer around my body," yet, I am also bound with, or wear this chain with hope in Him, as He also expressed when before King Agrippa, Acts 26:6-7; Acts 26:29. And for no other reason am I bound. See also Ephesians 6:19-20; 2 Timothy 1:10-12.

Verse 21

1) "And they said unto him," (hoi de pros auton eipan) "Then they said to him," the chiefs of the synagogue replied to Paul.

2) "We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee," (hemeis oute grammata peri sou edeksametha apo tes loudaias) "We have neither received letters about you from Judea," of either complaining or complimentary nature. There was no official information from synagogue chiefs in Judea, to those in Rome, regarding Paul or his ministry.

3) "Neither any of the brethren," (oute paragenomenos tis ton adelphon) "Nor any of the arriving brethren," of the racial Jewish brethren of the council of the Sanhedrin.

4) "That came shewed or spake any harm of thee." (apengeilon e elalesen ti peri sou poneron.) "Told or spoke anything evil concerning you," at all. Perhaps the Judean synagogue chiefs would have been overly cautious about such letters or verbal messages after King Agrippa had acknowledged Paul’s innocence, Acts 26:31-32. The Jews did not assert that they knew nothing about Paul, but that they had received no official report on him, or against him.

Verse 22

1) "But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest:” (aksioumen de para sou akousai ha phroneis) "But we think it is fit or proper to hear from you, what things you think," that may have been so offensive to them, to some of our brethren back in Jerusalem.

2) "For as concerning this sect," (peri men gar tes aireseos tautes) "For certainly concerning this sect," as despised, foretold by Simeon, Luke 2:34; Acts 24:5; Acts 24:14; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 4:14.

3) "We know that everywhere it is spoken against." (gnoston hemin estin hoti pantakou antilegetai) "We do know that it is spoken against, everywhere," we turn. Their desire to hear Paul appears to be out of mixed motives, of curiosity and contempt, for what they had heard about Christianity, Yet they did not want to stir up Caesar against themselves, lest they, as Jews, be driven from Rome again, Acts 18:2.

Verse 23

1) "And when they had appointed him a day” (tachamenoi de auto hemeran) "Then when they had arranged a day," made a more convenient appointment to meet with and hear him a second time, more extensively, concerning what he believed, taught, and practiced.

2) "There came many to him into his lodging; ’(elthon pros auton eis ten ksenian pleiones) "There came to him in his lodging more(of the Jews)."The place of his lodging is believed to have been one belonging to a Christian, probably Aquila and Priscilla. The term (Gk. Ksemian) means a "guest-lodging place," (Philemon 1:22) not "his own hired house," as in Acts 28:30. His friends Aquila and Priscilla had returned to Rome at this time, Romans 16:3; Acts 18:3.

3) "To whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God," (hois eksetitheto diamarturomenos ten basileian tou theou) "To whom he solemnly witnessed of the kingdom of God," and the kingdom of heaven, and the Hope of Israel, Acts 28:31.

4) "Persuading them concerning Jesus," (peithom te autous peri autou lesou) "Persuading them (the Jews) concerning Jesus," with convincing power or persuasion, that Jesus was that Messiah Savior, who was to come, and had come.

5) "Both out of the law of Moses," (apo te tou nomou Mouseos) "From both the law of Moses," whose enemy he was represented to be, Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-45.

6) "And out of the prophets," (kai ton propheton) "And from the testimony of the prophets," that Jesus was the Redeemer, the Messiah, the Savior for all the world, Acts 10:43; Romans 3:21-22; Luke 16:31.

7) "From morning till evening." (apo proi heos hesperas) "From morning until evening," all day long, as used Exodus 18:13-14; Job 4:20. Much discussion occurred that day, regarding the death, burial, and resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 1:16.

Verse 24

1) "And some believed the things which were spoken," (kai hoi men epeithonto tois legomenois) "And some of them (of the Jews) believed or were persuaded immediately by the things being said," that Paul had said. His word does not return to Him void, Isaiah 55:10-11. When the word of God is faithfully preached some believe, as in Acts 14:4; Acts 17:4; Acts 17:34; Acts 19:8-9.

2) "And some believed not." (hoi de epistoun) "Then some believed not," disbelieved, as in Acts 17:32; Acts 19:9. In spite of the frivolous hearers, the mocking hearers, the bigot, fault-finding hearers, some believe and are saved, wherever the gospel message is faithfully given, and some continue disbelieving, doubting, and rejecting the gospel call to repentance and faith, Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:4; Romans 10:9-13.

Verse 25

THE JEWS TURNED AWAY --- PAUL’S FINAL MINISTRY, TWO YEARS IN ROME, V. 25-31

1) "And when they agreed not among themselves," (asumphonoi de ontes pros allelous) "Then when they disagreed with one another," when those Jews who had come to Paul’s lodging to hear his arguments and conclusions concerning Jesus Christ as the Hope of Israel, the Messiah, could not agree among themselves, on what they heard.

2) "They departed, after that Paul had spoken one word," (apeluonto eipontos tou Paulou herma hen) "They were dismissed after Paul spoke one particular word," one significant or relative word or statement - one statement from the scriptures, regarded by both him and the Jews as the Holy Ghost speaking to Israel, much as Jesus quieted the chief priests, scribes, and elders when He asked them "one thing," Luke 20:3.

3) "Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet," (hoti kalos to pneuma to hagion elalesen dia Isaiou tou prophetou) "That the Holy Spirit spoke well, through Isaiah the prophet." Paul used the same prophetic quotation in this solemn conclusion of Ac that Jesus used when He introduced the parables as a method of teaching the Jews, Matthew 13:14; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40.

4) "Unto our fathers," (pros tous pateras humon) "To your fathers," to the fathers of you all, referring to Old Testament Hebrew fathers, in the particular time of Isaiah the prophet, Isaiah 6:9.

Verse 26

1) "Saying, Go unto this people, and say," (legon poreutheti pros ton laon kai eipon) "Saying, go to this people, and say to this people," the Jewish people, to National Israel, bear this message, Isaiah 6:9; Matthew 10:20. It was the Holy Spirit, that spoke thru Isaiah and the prophets, that had disclosed the self-willed obstinacy against the Messiah.

2) "Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand;" (akoe akousete kai ou me sunete) "In hearing you all will hear, and will by no means understand," you will put it all together, but will not comprehend what you hear, Jeremiah 5:21-25.

3) "And seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:” (kai blepontes blepsete kai ou me idete) "And looking matters over continually, -you all will look (overlook), and not at all perceive," that Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior, the Redeemer of whom the law and the Prophets spoke and wrote, Ezekiel 12:2. The god of this world had blinded their eyes, and dulled their minds, of vision and perception or comprehension of spiritual things, Romans 11:8.

Verse 27

1) "For the heart of this people is waxed gross," (epachunthe gar he kardia tou laou toutou) "For the heart (affections) of this people (Jewish race), is or has become thickened, enlarged, puffed up or swelled up like a blowfish," with pride, with selfish obstinacy, resisting the Holy Spirit, Acts 7:51.

2) "And their ears are full of hearing," (kai tois osin bareos ekousan) "And with their ears they hear heartily," hear with ample sound, but they did not understand, or do not clearly grasp what the gravity of the message they hear really is. All is incited by the carnal nature of sin, blinded by the god of this world, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

3) "And their eyes have they closed;” (lao tous ophthalmous auton ekammusan) "And their eyes they closed, clamped together," willfully closed in contempt toward the revelation of Jesus Christ, as their Redeemer, Proverbs 1:22-30; Proverbs 29:1.

4) "Lest they should see with their eyes," (mepote idosin tois) "Lest they should at any moment see (perceive) with the eyes of their understanding," as the Holy Spirit was poured out, to make known to them their ways, Proverbs 1:23.

5) "And hear with their ears," (kai tois osin akousosin) "And they should clearly hear or grasp the words of the Law and the Prophets," Romans 10:14; Romans 10:17. If men hear not the word of God, they can not have its offered salvation, John 8:24; Acts 3:23.

6) "And understand with their heart," (kai te kardia sunosin) "And in affinity with the ears, eyes, and heart, they should understand," have it all together concerning who Jesus was and is, Ephesians 4:18.

7) "And should be converted, and I should heal them." (kai epistrepsosin kai iasomai autous) "And turn (in repentance and faith), and I shall cure them," make them well or whole, from their malady of sin. Paul sorrowed for them, Romans 9:2; Romans 10:1.

Verse 28

1) "Be it known therefore unto you," (gnoston oun esto humin) "Let it therefore be known to you all," let it be realized, accepted as true, as he had already disclosed to other previous rejecting, opposing Jews, Acts 13:44-48; Acts 18:6.

2) "That the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles," (hoti tois ethnesin apestale touto to soterion tou theou) "That to the nations (heathen, Gentiles, or races) this salvation of God was sent or mandated," by our Lord, thru the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; and by our Lord to Paul, as a specially called missionary to the Gentiles, Acts 9:6; Acts 11:5; Acts 26:13-20; Ephesians 3:1-6; Ephesians 3:8-10; Ephesians 3:21.

3) "And they will hear it." (autoi kai akousontai) "And they will hear (give heed to) it," hear it willingly, hear it gladly, with believing hearts, Acts 13:46-47; Acts 22:21; Romans 11:11.

Verse 29

1) "And when he had said these words," (completed his comments on the quotation from Isaiah and his reference to the law.)

2) "The Jews departed," (turned and went away, like the rich young ruler), of their own will, accord, or choice.

3) "And they had great reasoning among themselves." (and they continuing, as they turned away, jabbered, quarreled and contentiously reasoned with one another, in uncertainty, and mental confusion or disorientation, regarding what Paul had preached.) (This passage is omitted in older Greek manuscripts.) The passage Acts 28:25; Acts 28:27 is accurately taken from the Septuagint version, however, as found Isaiah 6:9-10.

Verse 30

1) "And Paul dwelt two whole years," (enemeined de dietian holen) "Then he (Paul) remained for a period of two full years;" The aorist tense of this passage indicates that Paul had received liberty of two years for this testimony and teaching, a period that had then ended when Luke wrote the letter. Whether the finished period was terminated by his death, or more serious confinement, Luke does not record.

2) "In his own hired house," (en idio misthomati) "in his own rented, leased or paid for apartment:" Whether he paid for the house-hire, by gifts from helping churches and individual brethren, or by having been given liberty under restricted parole or probation to work with his own hands to pay from his own wages for the hired house where he taught, is not clear, Philippians 4:10; Philippians 4:14; Philippians 4:18.

3) "And received all that came in unto him," (kai apedecheto pantas tous eisporeuomenos pros auton) "And he welcomed (greeted gladly) all those continually coming to him, of their own will, choice, and accord;" This indicates his zeal for God, to the last inspired earthly report we have on his life, as he had formerly expressed to Timothy, 2 Timothy 4:7-14. He not only taught during these two years but also perhaps wrote the Prison Epistles of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, and perhaps even 1 & 2 Timothy.

There is much dispute whether Paul had one or two Roman imprisonments around 62 to 68 A.D.- with an extended degree of probation of liberty, even for travel, between the two imprisonments in Rome, if there were two, 2 Timothy 4:20; Acts 20:4; Acts 21:29.

Verse 31

1) "Preaching the kingdom of God," (krusson ten basileian tou theou) Proclaiming (preaching) the kingdom of God," that God was king, ruler, administrator, and had sent His Son to bring salvation and restitution of all things to His will, Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:20-29; 1 Timothy 3:15-16.

2) "And teaching those things," (kai didoskon ta) "And continually teaching those things," relating to church truth and Christian doctrine, Galatians 6:6; Colossians 3:17.

3) "Which concern the Lord Jesus Christ," (peri tou lesou Christou) "Which concerns, or are concerning, the Lord Jesus Christ," as head of all things to His church, and the work He left His "church ye" to do, until His return for her, as His bride, based on His mandates to her, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-52; John 15:16; John 15:27; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 19:5-7.

4) "With all confidence," (meta pases parresias) "With all kinds of boldness, confidence, faith, or assurance in his voice, carriage, and emotional delivery of the testimony he gave regarding Jesus Christ, and His sufficiency for all one’s spiritual needs, Acts 20:35; Ephesians 6:19; Philippians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

5) "No man forbidding him." (akolutos) "Unhindered in any way, by any person," other than his detainment to keep him from leaving Rome. Paul had suggested that brethren from Asia ought to be called to serve as witnesses regarding the charges against him, Acts 24:19. It is also possible that Felix may have sent a formal report to Caesar by Julius, the centurion, and the papers may have been lost in the storm and shipwreck. At least God overruled his stay in Rome, so that Paul is found preaching and teaching in the Gentile Roman capitol, as earth’s first true church history book comes to a close, Romans 8:28.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 28". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-28.html. 1985.
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