Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Acts 23

Introduction

1As Paul pleads his cause,
2Ananias commands them to smite him.
7Dissension among his accusers.
11God encourages him.
14The Jews' laying wait for Paul,
20is declared unto the chief captain.
27He sends him to Felix the governor.

Verse 1

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
earnestly
6; 6:15; 22:5; Proverbs 28:1
Men
22:1
I have
24:16; 1 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 4:2; 2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 13:18; 1 Peter 3:16
Reciprocal: Genesis 17:1 - walk;  Isaiah 58:4 - and to smite;  Jeremiah 37:18 - GeneralMatthew 10:17 - for;  Mark 13:9 - take;  Luke 1:6 - walking;  Acts 1:16 - Men;  Acts 5:27 - set;  Acts 25:8 - Neither;  Acts 28:17 - though;  Romans 2:15 - their conscience;  Galatians 2:11 - because;  1 Timothy 1:5 - a good

Verse 2

And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
Ananias
24:1
to smite
1 Kings 22:24; Jeremiah 20:2; Micah 5:1; Matthew 26:67; John 18:22
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 18:23 - Zedekiah;  Job 16:10 - they have smitten;  Isaiah 58:4 - and to smite;  Jeremiah 37:15 - the princes;  Mark 13:9 - take;  Mark 14:65 - GeneralLuke 6:29 - smiteth;  1 Corinthians 4:11 - and are buffeted

Verse 3

Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
God
God did smite him in a remarkable manner; for about five years after this, after his house had been reduced to ashes, in a tumult raised by his own son, he was besieged and taken in the royal palace; where having attempted in vain to hide himself, he was dragged out and slain.
thou whited
Matthew 23:27,28
for
Leviticus 19:35; Psalms 58:1,2; 82:1,2; 94:20; Ecclesiastes 3:16; Amos 5:7; Micah 3:8-11
smitten
Deuteronomy 25:1,2; John 7:51; 18:24
Reciprocal: Exodus 22:28 - nor curse;  Numbers 20:10 - GeneralDeuteronomy 16:19 - wrest;  2 Chronicles 18:23 - Zedekiah;  Job 34:18 - GeneralJeremiah 37:15 - the princes;  Matthew 26:67 - and others;  Luke 9:55 - Ye know;  Luke 11:44 - for;  John 18:22 - struck

Verse 5

Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
I wist
Soon after the holding of the first council at Jerusalem, Ananias, son of Nebedenus, was deprived of the high priest's office, for certain acts of violence, and sent to Rome, whence he was afterwards released, and returned to Jerusalem. Between the death of Jonathan, who succeeded him and was murdered by Felix, and the high priesthood of Ismael, who was invested with that office by Agrippa, an interval elapsed in which this dignity was vacant. This was the precise time when Paul was apprehended; and the Sanhedrin being destitute of a president, Ananias undertook to discharge the office. It is probable that Paul was ignorant of this circumstance.
24:17
Thou
Exodus 22:28; Ecclesiastes 10:20; 2 Peter 2:10; Jude 1:8,9
Reciprocal: Exodus 34:29 - wist;  2 Samuel 15:3 - there is;  2 Samuel 16:9 - curse;  2 Samuel 19:6 - thou regardest;  Job 34:18 - GeneralPsalm 138:1 - before;  John 18:22 - Answerest;  Titus 3:2 - speak

Verse 6

But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Paul
Matthew 10:16
I am
26:5; Philippians 3:5
of the hope
24:15,21; 26:6-8; 28:20
Reciprocal: Psalm 55:9 - divide;  Jeremiah 38:27 - and he told;  Matthew 3:7 - the Pharisees;  Matthew 16:1 - Sadducees;  Matthew 22:23 - the Sadducees;  Mark 12:18 - say;  Luke 18:10 - a Pharisee;  Luke 20:27 - the Sadducees;  John 11:24 - I know;  Acts 1:16 - Men;  Acts 4:1 - the Sadducees;  Acts 5:17 - all;  Acts 22:1 - brethren;  Acts 22:3 - taught;  Acts 23:1 - earnestly;  Acts 23:29 - questions;  Philippians 3:11 - attain;  Colossians 1:5 - the hope;  Hebrews 6:2 - resurrection;  Hebrews 11:35 - that they

Verse 7

And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
there
14:4; Psalms 55:9; Matthew 10:34; John 7:40-43
Reciprocal: Zechariah 11:14 - I cut;  John 7:43 - GeneralJohn 10:19 - GeneralActs 5:34 - stood;  Acts 7:2 - Men

Verse 8

For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
4:1; Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27
Reciprocal: Psalm 104:4 - Who maketh;  Matthew 16:12 - but;  John 1:24 - were of;  John 12:29 - An angel;  Acts 23:9 - if;  1 Corinthians 15:13 - General

Verse 9

And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
We
25:25; 26:31; 1 Samuel 24:17; Proverbs 16:7; Luke 23:4,14,15,22
if
8; 9:4; 22:7,17,18; 26:14-19; 27:23; John 12:29
let
5:39; 11:17; 1 Corinthians 10:22
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 12:5 - ye have;  Psalm 35:1 - fight;  Jeremiah 26:16 - GeneralMatthew 2:4 - scribes;  Matthew 15:1 - scribes;  Luke 20:39 - thou;  Ephesians 3:3 - by;  2 Timothy 2:24 - strive

Verse 10

And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
fearing
27; 19:28-31; 21:30-36; Psalms 7:2; 50:22; Micah 3:3; James 1:19; 3:14-18; James 4:1,2
to take
22:24
Reciprocal: Psalm 83:2 - lo;  Proverbs 24:11 - GeneralJeremiah 26:24 - that;  Matthew 27:23 - But;  Luke 23:5 - they;  John 18:12 - the captain;  Acts 21:34 - into;  Acts 24:6 - whom;  Acts 24:7 - great;  Acts 26:17 - Delivering;  Acts 26:22 - obtained;  Acts 27:43 - willing;  2 Corinthians 6:5 - in tumults;  2 Timothy 3:11 - but

Verse 11

And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
the Lord
2:25; 18:9; 27:23,24; Psalms 46:1,2; 109:31; Isaiah 41:10,14; 43:2; Jeremiah 15:19-21; Matthew 28:20; John 14:18; 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
Be
27:22,25; Matthew 9:2; 14:27; John 16:33
for
19:21; 20:22; 22:18; 28:23-28; Romans 1:15,16; Philippians 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:17
must
28:30,31; Isaiah 46:10; John 11:8-10
Reciprocal: Psalm 31:15 - My times;  John 7:44 - no man;  John 15:27 - ye also;  Acts 2:10 - strangers;  Acts 22:15 - thou shalt;  Acts 24:11 - but;  Acts 25:12 - unto Caesar shalt;  Acts 26:16 - in the;  Acts 26:22 - obtained;  Acts 27:1 - when;  Acts 28:16 - Rome;  1 Corinthians 1:6 - the;  1 Corinthians 9:1 - have;  2 Corinthians 12:1 - visions;  Galatians 2:2 - by;  2 Timothy 2:25 - instructing

Verse 12

And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
certain
21,30; 25:3; Psalms 2:1-3; 64:2-6; Isaiah 8:9,10; Jeremiah 11:19; Matthew 26:4
bound
1 Kings 19:2; 2 Kings 6:31; Matthew 27:25; Mark 6:23-26
under a curse
or, with an oath of execration.
Leviticus 27:29; Joshua 6:26; 7:1,15; Nehemiah 10:29; Matthew 26:74; *Gr:; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Galatians 3:13
that
Such execrable vows as these were not unusual among the Jews, who, from their perverted traditions, challenged to themselves a right of punishing without any legal process, those whom they considered transgressors of the law; and in some cases, as in the case of one who had forsaken the law of Moses, they thought they were justified in killing them. They therefore made no scruple of acquainting the chief priests and elders with their conspiracy against the life of Paul, and applying for their connivance and support; who, being chiefly of the sect of the Sadducees, and the apostle's bitterest enemies, were so far from blaming them for it, that they gladly aided and abetted them in this mode of dispatching him, and on its failure they soon afterwards determined upon making a similar attempt. (ch. 25:2, 3.) If these were, in their bad way, conscientious men, they were under no necessity of perishing for hunger, when the providence of God had hindered them from accomplishing their vow; for their vows of abstinence from eating and drinking were as easy to loose as to bind, any of their wise men or Rabbis having power to absolve them, as Dr. Lightfoot has shown from the Talmud.
1 Samuel 14:24,27,28,40-44; Psalms 31:13
Reciprocal: Genesis 28:20 - vowed;  Genesis 37:18 - conspired;  Exodus 1:10 - wisely;  Leviticus 5:4 - to do evil;  Leviticus 27:28 - no devoted;  Numbers 30:2 - swear;  Deuteronomy 23:23 - hast vowed;  Judges 21:1 - There;  1 Kings 20:10 - The gods;  2 Kings 6:13 - spy where;  Nehemiah 4:8 - all;  Nehemiah 4:11 - They shall not;  Esther 2:22 - the thing;  Job 5:12 - their hands;  Job 24:5 - rising;  Psalm 11:2 - that;  Psalm 26:10 - In;  Psalm 36:4 - deviseth;  Psalm 56:6 - gather;  Psalm 83:5 - For;  Psalm 102:8 - sworn;  Proverbs 12:6 - words;  Proverbs 27:10 - better;  Jeremiah 11:9 - GeneralJeremiah 20:10 - we shall;  Jeremiah 44:25 - We will;  Hosea 5:2 - profound;  Hosea 6:8 - polluted with blood;  Micah 2:1 - to;  Habakkuk 1:4 - for;  Matthew 10:17 - beware;  Matthew 27:23 - But;  Mark 6:24 - The head;  Acts 6:11 - they;  Acts 9:24 - their;  Acts 12:11 - all;  Acts 14:6 - were;  Acts 20:3 - the Jews;  Acts 23:20 - The Jews;  Acts 26:21 - the Jews;  Romans 15:31 - 1may;  2 Corinthians 11:26 - in perils by mine;  2 Timothy 3:11 - but;  1 John 3:15 - hateth

Verse 13

And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.
which
2 Samuel 15:12,31; John 16:2
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 6:31 - if the head;  Nehemiah 4:8 - all;  Psalm 83:5 - For;  Mark 6:24 - The head;  Galatians 5:11 - why

Verse 14

And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
Psalms 52:1,2; Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12; Hosea 4:9; Micah 7:3
Reciprocal: Numbers 30:2 - to bind;  Judges 11:35 - I cannot;  Esther 5:14 - the thing;  Psalm 64:2 - secret;  Proverbs 18:7 - his lips;  Acts 23:21 - an oath;  1 Corinthians 16:22 - Anathema;  Galatians 1:8 - accursed;  Galatians 5:11 - why;  1 John 3:15 - hateth

Verse 15

Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
that he
25:3; Psalms 21:11; 37:32,33; Proverbs 1:11,12,16; 4:16; Isaiah 59:7; Romans 3:14-16
Reciprocal: Judges 16:2 - kill him;  2 Samuel 13:5 - Lay thee;  Nehemiah 6:7 - Come now;  Esther 5:14 - the thing;  Psalm 35:20 - but;  Psalm 59:4 - run;  Psalm 64:2 - secret;  Proverbs 12:6 - words;  Micah 2:1 - when;  Acts 22:30 - commanded;  Acts 23:20 - as

Verse 16

And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
when
Job 5:13; Proverbs 21:30; Lamentations 3:37; 1 Corinthians 3:19
he went
2 Samuel 17:17
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 19:2 - Jonathan;  1 Samuel 23:9 - David;  Proverbs 24:15 - Lay;  Jeremiah 36:19 - GeneralJeremiah 37:20 - lest;  Acts 21:34 - into;  Acts 23:30 - it was;  Acts 26:22 - obtained

Verse 17

Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
one
23; 22:26; Proverbs 22:3; Matthew 8:8,9; 10:16
Reciprocal: Matthew 8:5 - a centurion;  Matthew 27:54 - the centurion;  Luke 7:2 - centurion's;  Luke 7:8 - under;  John 18:12 - the captain;  Acts 21:31 - chief;  Acts 22:25 - the centurion;  Acts 27:1 - a centurion

Verse 18

So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
Paul
16:25; 27:1; 28:17; Genesis 40:14,15; Ephesians 3:1; 4:1; Philemon 1:9
something
Luke 7:40
Reciprocal: Judges 3:19 - a secret;  2 Kings 9:6 - he arose

Verse 19

Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
took
Jeremiah 31:32; Mark 8:23; 9:27
What
Nehemiah 2:4; Esther 5:3; 7:2; 9:12; Mark 10:51
Reciprocal: Judges 3:19 - a secret;  2 Kings 9:6 - he arose

Verse 20

And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
The Jews
as
15; Psalms 12:2; Daniel 6:5-12
Reciprocal: Acts 5:9 - have

Verse 21

But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
do not
Exodus 23:2
for
12-14; 9:23,24; 14:5,6; 20:19; 25:3; 2 Corinthians 11:26,32,33
an oath
14; Romans 9:3
Reciprocal: Numbers 30:2 - to bind;  Numbers 35:20 - by laying;  Deuteronomy 23:23 - hast vowed;  Joshua 8:4 - lie in wait;  Nehemiah 4:11 - They shall not;  Nehemiah 10:29 - entered;  Psalm 10:9 - He lieth;  Psalm 59:3 - they;  Psalm 119:95 - wicked;  Ephesians 4:14 - lie

Verse 22

So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.
Joshua 2:14; Mark 1:44

Verse 23

And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
two centurions
at
About nine o'clock in the evening, for the greater secrecy, and to elude the cunning, active malice of the Jews.
Matthew 14:25; Luke 12:38
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 16:13 - cast dust;  Proverbs 24:11 - GeneralProverbs 27:10 - better;  Matthew 8:5 - a centurion;  Matthew 27:54 - the centurion;  Luke 7:8 - under;  Acts 8:40 - Caesarea;  Acts 10:1 - in;  Acts 17:10 - the brethren;  Acts 18:22 - Caesarea;  Acts 21:8 - Caesarea;  Acts 21:32 - took;  Acts 23:31 - as;  Acts 24:7 - the chief;  Acts 24:11 - but

Verse 24

And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
beast
Nehemiah 2:12; Esther 8:12; Luke 10:34
Felix
26,33-35; 24:3,10,22-27; 25:14
the governor
Matthew 27:2; Luke 3:1
Reciprocal: Acts 17:10 - the brethren;  Acts 21:32 - took;  Acts 23:31 - as;  Acts 27:43 - willing;  Acts 28:7 - the chief

Verse 26

Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
the most
24:3; 26:25; *Gr:; Luke 1:3
greeting
15:23; James 1:1; 3 John 1:14
Reciprocal: Ezra 4:17 - Peace;  Luke 2:2 - governor;  Luke 3:1 - Pontius Pilate;  Luke 7:8 - under;  Acts 23:24 - Felix

Verse 27

This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
was taken
10; 21:31-33; 24:7
having
22:25-29
Reciprocal: Acts 7:57 - they cried;  Acts 18:14 - If;  Acts 21:32 - and ran;  Acts 21:39 - a citizen;  Acts 22:24 - The chief;  Acts 22:26 - Take

Verse 28

And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:
22:30
Reciprocal: John 18:29 - What

Verse 29

Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
questions
6-9; 18:15; 24:5,6,10-21; 25:19,20
but
25:7,8,11,25; 26:31
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 21:22 - GeneralJeremiah 26:16 - GeneralJohn 18:35 - Amos I;  Acts 25:10 - as thou

Verse 30

And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
it was
and gave
24:7,8; 25:5,6
Farewell
15:29; 2 Corinthians 13:11
Reciprocal: Acts 23:12 - certain;  Acts 23:35 - when;  Acts 24:1 - Ananias;  Acts 24:19 - General

Verse 31

Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
as
23,24; Luke 7:8; 2 Timothy 2:3,4

Verse 33

Who, when they came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
delivered
presented
28:16
Reciprocal: Matthew 10:18 - be;  Acts 8:40 - Caesarea;  Acts 10:1 - in;  Acts 15:30 - delivered;  Acts 23:24 - Felix;  Acts 24:11 - but;  Acts 28:17 - was

Verse 34

And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
he asked
25:1; Esther 1:1; 8:9; Daniel 2:49; 6:1; Luke 23:6
Cilicia
15:41; 21:39
Reciprocal: Ezra 2:1 - the children;  Matthew 10:18 - be;  Acts 6:9 - Cilicia;  Acts 22:3 - a city;  Galatians 1:21 - Cilicia

Verse 35

I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.
when
30; 24:1,10,22,24-27; 25:16
in
Matthew 2:1,3,16
judgment
Matthew 27:27; John 18:28 Reciprocal: Jeremiah 38:13 - Jeremiah;  Acts 24:8 - Commanding;  2 Corinthians 6:5 - imprisonments

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Acts 23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/acts-23.html.