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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Acts 24

Verse 1

Acts 24:1 . Πέντε , fire ) They make all haste. A Sabbath seems to have intervened. Ἀνανίας , Ananias ) who was hostile to Paul. ῥήτορος , orator ) This is the only passage in the whole of Scripture in which an orator , and the term orator , present themselves. Τερτύλλου , Tertullus ) He seems to have been an Italian. ἐνεφάνισαν ) Intransitive: ch. Acts 25:2 ; Acts 25:15 , Acts 23:15 , ἐμφανίσατε : Malachi 3:1; Malachi 3:1 ; 2Ma 11:29 .

Verse 2

Acts 24:2 . Κληθέντος , when he was called forth ) courteously. He was not brought (in the manner of a prisoner, as Paul was commanded ἀχθῆναι ), ch. Acts 25:6 .

Verse 3

Acts 24:3 . Πολλῆς , great quietness) A speech utterly unlike that of Paul, which was true, modest, and solid, without any varnish. Felix was a man of flagitious character, and hateful to the Jews. εἰρήνης ) Peace , a blessing most of all to be desired in a state. κατορθωμάτων ) A word grand in itself; which Tertullus borrowed from the philosophers: and for this reason there is no epithet added. There follow others in the same clause. προνοίας , thy providence ) This term they often attributed to the gods.

Verse 4

Acts 24:4 . Δὲ , but ) He implies that more might have been said in praise of Felix. Understand μὲν , indeed , in Acts 24:3 , to answer to δὲ here.

Verse 5

Acts 24:5 . Εὑρόντες ) for εὕρομεν . ἄνδρα λοιμὸν ) So 1Ma 15:3 , ἄνδρες λοιμοί . στάσεις ) So the best MSS. [136] Others read ΣΤΆΣΙΝ . Sedition was an invidious term among the Romans and Jews. πρωτοστάτην ) a ringleader . Ναζωραίων , of the Nazarenes ) A name (nickname) of Christians, taken from the surname applied to our Lord, which Paul does not refuse: Acts 24:14 .

[136] Therefore in this passage both the margin of Exodus 2:0 withdraws from the larger Ed., and the Germ. Vers. agrees with the more recent decision. E. B.

Στάσεις is the reading of ABE e Vulg. Memph. None of the oldest authorities, except both Syr. Versions and Theb., support the στάσιν of Rec. Text and Tisck. E. and T.

Verse 6

Acts 24:6 . Ἐπείρασε , attempted ) This verb may be understood of a mere attempt, or else of an effectual effort: therefore it was a term suited for creating odium.

Verse 8

Acts 24:8 . Παρʼ οὗ , from whom ) i.e . from Paul.

Verse 9

Acts 24:9 . Συνεπέθεντο ) An apposite verb: τὰ ἔθνη τὰ συνεπιτιθέμενα συνεπέθεντο εἰς κακά Zechariah 1:15 . And so elsewhere. A few read here συνέθεντο . [137] ΦΆΣΚΟΝΤΕς ) saying , with feigned gravity.

[137] Rec. Text has συνέθεντο , with no old authority. ABE support συνεπέθεντο . E. and T.

Verse 10

Acts 24:10 . [ Ὁ Παῦλος , Paul ) By a simple narrative Paul overthrows the exaggerated accusation. V. g.] νεύσαντος , having beckoned to him) A gesture becoming the gravity of a judge. ἐκ πολλῶν ἐτῶν , for many years ) Six or seven. Experience on the part of a judge is desired by one who has a good cause: ch. Acts 26:3 . κριτὴν , a judge ) Paul does not flatter (by adding any complimentary epithet). εὀθύμως ) So the old MSS. [138] Afterwards more recent MSS. have εὐθυμότερον .

[138] Thence the reading εὐθύμως , formerly marked with the sign δ , has been elevated in the margin of Exodus 2:0 to the sign β , with the consent of the Germ. Vers. E. B.

ABE Vulg. read εὐθύμας ; but Rec. Text, εὐθυμότερον , without the oldest authorities’ sanction. E. and T.

Verse 11

Acts 24:11 . Δεκαδύο , twelve ) Deducting the five days, of which Act 24:1 speaks, there were seven days: and concerning these seven see ch. Acts 21:17-18 ; Acts 21:26-27 (the seven days of purification were nearly ended ἔμελλον συντελεῖσθαι , when he was made prisoner), wherein the verb ἔμελλον should be attended to; and the sense is, When these things were being done, which Paul had taken in hand, Acts 24:26 : furthermore see ch. Acts 22:30 , Acts 23:11-12 ; Acts 23:32 . ἀνέβην I went up ) from Cesarea. Felix might have understood or known ( δυναμένου σου ἐπινιῶναι ) the fact from the Cesareans.

Verse 12

Acts 24:12 . Ἱερῷ , in the temple ) He hereby refutes Tertullus, Acts 24:6 . Add Acts 24:18 . ἐπισύστασιν ) A double compound. The people were in crowds in the temple: Paul did not congregate together the crowd [ ποιεῖν ἐπισύστασιν , to excite a concourse of people ]. συναγωγαῖς , in the synagogues ) of Jerusalem, ch. Acts 26:11 . κατὰ τὴν πόλιν , in the city ) Jerusalem, Acts 24:11 : κατὰ , when followed by the article, has not the distributive force (city by city).

Verse 13

Acts 24:13 . Νῦν ) now , for the first time.

Verse 14

Acts 24:14 . Ὁμολογῶ , I confess ) A forensic word, and one also used in sacred things, and appropriately employed here. A confession ingenuous, voluntary, full; having respect to faith in this verse; to hope , in the following verse; to love , in Acts 24:17 . They who assent to this confession are accused of being a sect ( heresy ), with the same injustice as Paul was. ὁδὸν , way ) He confesses that he is one of those whom Tertullus had termed “Nazarenes.” λέγουσιν αἴρεσιν , they call a sect, heresy ) This appellation ( Act 24:5 ) Paul corrects, not that it was at the time an odious term (as sect or heresy is now), but because it is not a sufficiently worthy one. Αἵρεσις , a sect , is a thing of human caprice (humour): the way ( ὁδὸς ) is a thing divinely ordained. He had said all that was required for his defence; but now, skilfully making a handle of the opportunity, he adds a confession of faith. πατρῷῳ ) Paul confutes the prejudice as to the newness of Christianity. νόμον , in the law ) Again he refutes Tertullus, Acts 24:6 . γεγραμμένοις , written ) concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Acts 24:5 .

Verse 15

Acts 24:15 . Ἔχων , having ) [in actual possession]. This is more than προσδέχονται , expect look for [but Engl. Vers. allow ]. δικαίων τε καὶ ἀδίκων , of the just as well as also the unjust ) An appropriate division: for he was speaking in a court of justice .

Verse 16

Acts 24:16 . Ἐν τούτῳ , herein ) whilst I have this hope. αὐτὸς , I myself ) whatever others do. ἀσκῶ , I exercise myself, I aim ) This verb forms an allegory, with the word αἴρεσις , sect . Both words occur in the history of philosophical sects. πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους , toward God and men ) What follows accord with this, viz. alms and offerings .

Verse 17

Acts 24:17 . Πλειόνων , many ) He, who was long away, could not have been planning revolution; but ought to have been received with kindness, especially as he was about to present an offering of alms.

Verse 18

Acts 24:18 . Ἐν , οἷς , in which ) viz. occupations, aims. ὄχλου θορύβου ) Ὄχλος , a crowd of men ; θόρυβος , a crowd or confusion of things : ὄχλος is something more fortuitous; θόρυβος , a crowd , denotes something more violent, and attempted with more deliberate purpose. τίνες δὲ ) Δὲ is genuine, being established by very many MSS. [139] Understand ΕἾΔΟΝ , saw me.

[139] AB (according to Lachm.) CE e Vulg. Meraph. Theb. later Syr. have the δέ ; but Elzevir Rec. Text omits it, with B (Judging from the silence of collators), according to Tisch. E. and T.

Verse 19

Acts 24:19 . Οὓς , whom ) Never does the world commit greater solecisms (blunders) in violation even of its own laws, than in persecuting the faith.

Verse 20

Acts 24:20 . Στάντος μου ) whilst I stood . That standing is mentioned, ch. Acts 22:30 , ἔστησεν , made him stand .

Verse 21

Acts 24:21 . Περὶ ) Never is there an occasion when Paul omits to make mention concerning the resurrection of the dead.

Verse 22

Acts 24:22 . Ἀνεβάλετο , he deferred them) Dilatory measures are the safe ones for the world in the case of Divine things. ἀκριβέστερον , more accurately ) Through these governors accurate knowledge of Christianity was carried to Rome.

Verse 23

Acts 24:23 . Τηρεῖσθαι , that he should be kept ) be secured in safety. ἄνεσιν , rest ) Thus he was able to propagate the Gospel. The Jews were annoyed at this, but could not prevent it.

Verse 24

Acts 24:24 . Παραγενόμενος , having arrived ) in the judgment-hall (governor’s residence) of Herod, where Paul was being detained captive; with this comp. Acts 23:35 . But Felix does not seem to have been in the same place, but to have had a particular residence of his own. τῇ γυναικί , the woman, partner ) Accurate language. She was not the legitimate wife of Felix, but having left her former husband, had married Felix. Ἰουδαίᾳ , a Jewess ) of the family of Herod. See Joseph. l. 20, Ant. c. 5.

Verse 25

Acts 24:25 . Διαλεγομένου , as he reasoned ) Paul had no desire to insinuate himself into their good-will by subtle disquisitions. Along with his discourse concerning faith in Christ, he also conjoined what needed to be spoken to the judge Felix, and to the same Felix and Drusilla in their private capacity. [Drusilla was not even the lawful wife of Felix. V. g.] τοῦ , the judgment) The article not being added to the first and second head of those particulars which are here enumerated, forms an Epitasis [Emphatic addition. Append.] ἔμφοβος γενόμενος , being struck with fear, trembling ) Truth makes Felix to fear even a prisoner in bonds. [Who should not be struck with fear? But he who is so struck should suffer himself to be urged forward to repentance and faith, so that fear may give place to love. V. g.] τὸ νῦν ἔχον , for the present time ) Such a present time having been neglected in this life, shall hereafter cause gnawing remorse to each of the damned. Procrastination is dangerous. καιρὸν δὲ λαβὼν ) Instead of λαβὼν , most copies have μεταλαβὼν , owing to alliteration with μετακαλέσομαι . [140] LXX., Psalms 55:0 (54):3, ὍΤΑΝ ΛΆΒΩ ΚΑΙΡΌΝ . [This very time should have been the convenient season. V. g.]

[140] Hence the more recent margin of Bengel prefers λαβὼν , which the older had reckoned among the less established readings. E. B.

Μεταλαβὼν is the reading of BC: παραλαβὼν of A. No very old authority favours λαβὼν , except Chrysostom be considered such. E. and T.

Verse 26

Acts 24:26 . Ἐλπίζων , hoping ) A bad hope: an evil eye. χρήματα , money ) which so many Christians would have contributed through love of Paul. Comp. Acts 24:17 ; Acts 24:23 . Thus the wretched Felix neglected to secure the treasure of the Gospel.

Verse 27

Acts 24:27 . Διετίας , after two years ) during which the imprisonment continued. The time of the government of Felix began a year before Paul’s imprisonment; although it was by successive steps that he attained to the government of Judea: whence Paul, in Acts 24:10 , could with correctness say, that he was for many years a judge of this people. Comp. Ord. Temp., p. 285. ἔλαβε , received ) against his will, as may be inferred from Acts 24:10 ; Acts 24:24 . χάριτας καταθέσθαι , to gratify, to show a pleasure to ) in order that the favour of the Jews might follow him in leaving the government. So χάριν καταθέσθαι , ch. Acts 25:9 : φιλίαν καταθέσθαι 1Ma 10:23 . Worldly men, in order to gratify one another, stretch out their hands against those things which are GOD’S: ch. Acts 25:9 .

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Acts 24". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.