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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Acts 22

Verses 1-21

Acts 22:1-Ecclesiastes : . Paul’ s Speech to the Jews.— The opening of the speech is like that of Stephen ( Acts 7:2). In 2 Corinthians 11:22 Paul attests his full membership of the Jewish people, and having lived many years in Palestine he could no doubt speak Aramaic, though his countrymen did not expect it of him.

Acts 22:3 . at the feet of Gamaliel: Jewish boys sat on the floor at their lessons.— Gamaliel: cf. Acts 5:34. Some scholars are strongly inclined to put Paul down as a pure Hellenist in his schooling. If he did study with Gamaliel, it was probably immediately before his conversion ( Acts 11:25 *).— zealous for God: cf. Galatians 1:14.

Acts 22:4 . this Way: cf. Acts 9:2, Galatians 1:13; on the High Priest’ s letters cf. Acts 9:2. The following narrative has curious differences from that in ch. 9 ; it was an oft-told tale.

Acts 22:6 . about noon is a new touch here.

Acts 22:7 f. as in ch. 9 .

Acts 22:9 differs from Acts 9:7.

Acts 22:14 . The knowledge of his vocation, which Paul himself ( Galatians 1:16) ascribes to Divine revelation, is here communicated to him by Ananias. In Acts 9 Ananias has it imparted to him; here he imparts it to Paul.— know his will: cf. Luke 12:47, Romans 2:18.— the righteous one: cf. Acts 3:14.

Acts 22:15 . In Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22 the believers are to be witnesses of the Resurrection; what Paul has seen and heard qualifies him to be so too.

Acts 22:16 . calling on his name: cf. Acts 2:21, Acts 9:14.

Acts 22:17-Ecclesiastes : . Paul’ s call to the Gentile mission is here represented as taking place not as, in Acts 9:15 and Acts 26:17, at his conversion, but some time after it at Jerusalem. This is not consistent with his own statements in Galatians 1, where his first visit to Jerusalem had no such importance for him; but explains how his call came to be different from that of the first apostles.

Verses 22-29

Acts 22:22-Joel : . After the Speech, in the Barracks.— Like Stephen, Paul is interrupted, and threatened with stoning. The throwing dust into the air is probably to be understood as an expression of blind fury ( cf. 2Ma_4:41 ). But the tribune takes him into the barracks and proceeds himself to deal with him. The story is taken up from Acts 21:38. If Paul is a leader of sedition, the case must be dealt with instantly. The examination was to be with scourging, as was customary with slaves and persons not citizens (see Luke 23:16). The apostle is being stretched out “ for” ( mg.) the scourging with leather thongs, when he remonstrates with the centurion in charge (as at Philippi, Acts 16:37) that he is a Roman who must not be subjected to such usage, and that there has been no trial. The tribune comes to inquire into the first point: he is a Roman himself, by purchase, and knows he has gone too far. It was a crime to bind a Roman citizen (Cic. in Verrem, ii. 5 ). On Paul’ s citizenship, which he inherited from his father, as he perhaps from his, see Ramsay, Cities of Paul: Tarsus.

Verse 30

Acts 22:30 to Acts 23:10 . Paul Before the Sanhedrin.— This is a difficult section, and does not advance the action. Unless the proceedings took place in Greek, the tribune would scarcely secure his object of learning the charge against Paul; it is strange that he should have called a meeting of the Sanhedrin for this purpose, which could be reached otherwise. Paul is released from his chains and faces the court without them, and without the presence of military. He begins a speech which was to explain his position, but is rudely interrupted; he has not been asked to speak, and might be regarded as treating the court without respect. He retorts with applying an abusive epithet to the High Priest who had ordered the interruption. The “ and” before his question ( Acts 23:3 b) expresses surprise or indignation. Ananias, son of Nedebæ us, was High Priest from about A.D. 47 ; Paul might not have seen him before, but he was presiding at the meeting, “ judging” him, Paul says. There is a screw loose in the narrative, and the appeal ( Acts 22:5) to Exodus 22:28 does not make it tight. Paul, however, is not silenced; he calls out aloud the subject of difference between the two great parties, which they no doubt ignored at their meetings, thus playing the enfant terrible among those grave and reverend men. It is on account of the hope and the resurrection of the dead that he is being judged, he says. He was not being judged at all ( Acts 22:30), and if he was, the charge against him was not that he believed in the Resurrection, but that he subverted the authority of Moses among the Jews of the Dispersion ( Acts 21:21). The diversion, however, is very successful; the meeting is at once in an uproar. Some of the Pharisees actually defend Paul; they find the story he tells (ch. 22 ) of his vision credible. He may have been visited by a spirit or an angel, and then— the conclusion is left to be imagined. The tribune fears that in spite of this Paul will be torn in pieces; the military are to come and remove him. The author does not state his conclusion as to the charge here, but see Acts 22:29.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Acts 22". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.