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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Acts 25

Verse 1

Acts 25:1 . Τρεῖς ἡμέρας after three days : quickly enough.

Verse 2

Acts 25:2 . Ἐνεφάνισαν [informed him against], appeared against [understanding ἐαυτοὺς ]) After so long intervals of time Jewish zeal [bigotry] does not abate: Acts 25:24 . So with the greater justice Paul embraced the Gentiles. παρεκάλουν , besought ) On this depends ὅπως , that , Acts 25:3 .

Verse 3

Acts 25:3 . Εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ , to Jerusalem ) where Festus already was.

Verse 4

Acts 25:4 . Ἀπεκρίθη , answered ) The zeal of Festus in defending the Imperial rights proves advantageous to Paul. Luke skilfully portrays the mind of the procurator, a novice, and therefore haughty. ἐν τάχει , speedily ) See Acts 25:6 . μέλλειν ἐκπορεύεσθαι ) that he is about to go forth , to give sentence in the case.

Verse 5

Acts 25:5 . Δυνατοὶ ) Those who are able , viz. to perform the journey [not, able to prove guilt in Paul ]. The urbane (witty) ἦθος of Festus is hereby expressed, as he thus answers the Jews, who made their pretext (for wishing Paul to be brought from Cesarea to Jerusalem) the troublesomeness of the journey. συγκαταβάντες , going down together ) with me. The Court-house (Forum) does not follow the pleader (plaintiff). εἴ τι , if aught ) He does not simply and implicitly believe the Jews: Acts 25:10 , at the end. ἐν τῷνο ͂ ρι ) in the man . So the Latin Vulg. with the best MSS. More recent authorities add τούτῳ . [141]

[141] Memph. and both Syr. Versions are the only very old authorities for τούτῳ : which Tisch. reads. But ABCE e Vulg. Lucifer omit τούτῳ , and add ἄτοπον : and so Lachm. E. and T.

Verse 6

Acts 25:6 . Οὐ πλείους ὀκτὼδέκα ) not more than eight or ten , is the reading of the Latin Vulg. And this reading is supported by old Greek MSS., along with the Coptic (Memphitic) Version. An excellent reading. [142] So Οὐ ΠΛΕΊΟΥς ἩΜΈΡΑΙ ΔΕΚΑΔΎΟ , Κ . Τ . Λ . , ch. Acts 24:11 , Acts 4:22 , Acts 23:13 . Others omit Οὐ , or also ὈΚΤΏ , or Οὐ ΠΛΕΊΟΥς . Eight or ten days are a sufficiently short time ( Act 25:4 ) for the stay of the new governor in the city of Jerusalem. Within that time he could not conveniently have discussed Paul’s case.

[142] Which is rated more highly in the margin of Exodus 2:0 and the Germ. Vers. than in the larger Ed. E. B.

ABC Vulg. Memph. read οὐ πλείους ὀκτώ , except that B has πλείονας . Rec. Text omits οὐ and ὀκτώ . E e omit οὐ , but retain ὀκτώ . Lucifer retains both. Chrysostom in his commentary omits πλείους ἢ , but in the text retaius the words. E. and T.

Verse 7

Acts 25:7 . Περείστησαν , stood round about ) threatening danger. πολλὰ , many ) Where many charges are alleged, often not even one is true. καὶ βαρέα , and grievous ) What these were is intimated in the following verse φέροντες , bringing ) with clamour: Acts 25:24 .

Verse 9

Acts 25:9 . Θέλεις ; wilt thou? ) Festus could have given the decree without asking Paul; but conscience kept him back, and the matter was divinely so ordered, that Paul should be given cause for making an appeal . ἐπʼ ἐμοῦ , before me ) This Festus adds plausibly. Paul answers presently, ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος , κ . τ . λ ., before the tribunal , etc.

Verse 10

Acts 25:10 . Ἑστώς εἰμι , I stand ) viz. here at Cesarea. κάλλιον ) better than others [not as Engl. Vers. very well ]. ἐπιγινώσκεις , thou knowest ) He touches the conscience of Festus.

Verse 11

Acts 25:11 . Ἀδικῶ ) The present absolute (as in Colossians 3:25 , ὁ ἀδικῶν ), in which the preterite is involved, as in Chrys. de Sacerd. sect. 55, at the end, οὐχ ἀδικῶ . Comp. ch. Acts 26:31 , πράσσει . τὸ ἀποθανεῖν ) That this was the issue at stake, is denoted by the article. οὐδεὶς , no man ) Modestly expressed; i.e . thou canst not. ἐπικαλοῦμαι , I appeal ) Sometimes we may employ legal remedies in the cause of GOD. Paul lays hold of a help towards his going to Rome, according to what was the will of God expressed in the vision, ch. Acts 23:11 .

Verse 12

Acts 25:12 . Συμβουλίου , with the council ) This consisted of the persons who were with the governor. πορεύσῃ , thou shalt go ) Festus seems to have said this by way of terrifying Paul.

Verse 13

Acts 25:13 . Βερνίκη , Bernice ) Sister of Agrippa τὸν Φῆστον , Festus ) the new governor.

Verse 14

Acts 25:14 . Πλείους , more ) Festus handles the matter concerning Paul negligently. ἀνὴρ , a man ) The whole language of Festus savours of the new governor.

Verse 16

Acts 25:16 . Ῥωμαίοις , Romans ) Would that none of those things, which the Romans were not wont to do, were done among Christians!

Verse 17

Acts 25:17 . Ἀναβολὴν μηδεμίαν , no delay ) This in itself was not bad.

Verse 18

Acts 25:18 . Ὑπενόουν , I supposed , or suspected ) from their very great vehemence. ἐγὼ , I ) as yet a stranger.

Verse 19

Acts 25:19 . [ Ζητήματα , questions ) There is a great variety in questions. The most unimportant are often accounted as the most important, and the most important as the most unimportant. See that from your heart you estimate as of the highest importance questions concerning Jesus. V. g.] ἰδίας ) Truly the Jews seemed to the Gentiles to have something peculiar about them. Agrippa was not a Jew: otherwise Festus would not thus express himself to him. He was of the family of the Herods, an Idumean, a Proselyte; but, as usually happens in the case of great men, without any great zeal for religion. Festus therefore might have held Agrippa as a Gentile. Compare also ch. Acts 26:27 . δεισιδαιμονίας , superstition religion ) A word middle between a good and bad sense; it is sometimes employed in the former, but oftener in the latter sense. περί τινος , concerning a certain Jesus) Thus the wretched Felix speaks concerning Him, to whom even knee shall bow. [If ye refuse to believe, ye mockers and despisers! who is that Certain One ye shall see with wailing and lamentation? V. g.] τεθνηκότος , dead ) Festus either did not know or did not trouble himself about the cross (crucifixion of Jesus). ζῇν , to be alive ) He does truly live. This is no doubt true: not a fiction. V. g.]

Verse 20

Acts 25:20 . Ἀπορούμενος , being in doubt ) Thou oughtest to have inquired, Festus. An elegant construction, ἀπορούμενος ζήτησιν . Scapula has examples. ζήτησιν ) Ζητήματα are tne things which are the subjects of inquiry, Acts 25:19 : ζήτησις , the act of inquiry or question. The ζήτημα is the object (or subject) of inquiry, ζήτησις . [ εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ , to Jerusalem ) Here Festus is silent as to his dangerous purpose (counsel), which he had taken up through desire to favour the Jews against Paul. V. g.]

Verse 21

Acts 25:21 . Τηρήθηναι , to be kept ) By this verb Festus betrays that he had wished to have given up Paul to the will of the Jews. Σεβαστοῦ ) Augustus .

Verse 22

Acts 25:22 . Ἐβουλόμην ) for βούλομαι · a courteous enallage [change of tense. Append.] καὶ αὐτὸς I myself ) A prudent wish. If thou knowest for thyself, thou wilt see and hear more than others tell thee. [The world truly is full of lies: but nowhere is it the custom to lie more absurdly, or wantonly than when a question arises concerning either holy persons or holy things. V. g.] αὔριον ) The same day by Festus is termed αὔριον , to-morrow ; by Luke, ἐπαύριον , on the following day , Acts 25:23 .

Verse 23

Acts 25:23 . Φαντασίας , pomp ) a crowd of attendants, ornament, and ceremony. [A great number of officers of higher and lower grade were present in attendance. V. g.] ἀκροατήριον the place of hearing ) which was capacious, being the residence of the governor. χιλιάρχοις , tribunes [chief captains]) viz. military tribunes. ἄνδρασι πόλεως , principal men of the city ) These were the civil magistrates. ὁ Παῦλος , Paul ) To him so noble an occasion was a matter of joy.

Verse 24

Acts 25:24 . Ἡμῖν , with us ) with me and Agrippa. ἄνδρες , men ) Festus spares (does not mention) Bernice, in order not to (seem to) present the prisoner before a woman. θεωρεῖτε ) Indicative: ye see . With this comp. ch. Acts 3:16 , “This man whom ye see;” Acts 19:26 , Acts 21:20 .

Verse 26

Acts 25:26 . Τῷ κυρίῳ , to my lord ) Cæsar. Lately this, appellation, Lord , had arisen.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Acts 25". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.