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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Acts 24

Verse 1

An orator [ρητορος] . An advocate. The Jews, being little acquainted with Roman forms and laws, had to employ Roman advocates.

Verse 3

Very worthy deeds [κατορθωματων] . From katorqow, to set upright. Hence, a success consequent on right judgment; a right action. The best texts, however, read diorqwmatwn, settings right; amendments. Thus the sentence reads, literally, obtaining much peace through thee, and amendments taking place for this nation through thy providence, we accept, etc.

Providence [προνοιας] . Forethought. Previdentia Augusti (the providence of the emperor) was a common title on the coins of the emperors.

Verse 4

Be tedious [εγκοπτω] . See on hindered, 1 Peter 3:7. The meaning is, rather, " that I may not further hinder thee, or detain thee.

Clemency [επιεικεια] See on gentle, 1 Peter 2:18.

A few words [συντομως] . Lit., concisely. From suntemnw, to cut down or cut short.

Verse 5

Pestilent fellow [λοιμον] . Lit., a plague or pest.

Ringleader [πρωτοστατην] . Originally, one who stands first on the right of a line; a file - leader. Thus Thucydides says that all armies when engaging are apt to thrust outward their right wing; and adds, "The first man in the front rank [ο πρωτοστατης] of the right wing is originally responsible for the deflection" (v., 71). Here, of course, metaphorically, as A. V. and Rev. Only here in New Testament.

Sect [αιρεσεως] . See on heresies, 2 Peter 2:1.

Nazarenes. The only passage in scripture where this term is used to denote the Christians. See on Matthew 2:23.

Verse 6

To profane [βεβηλωσαι] . The word is akin to bhlov, threshold, and bainw, to step; and its fundamental idea, therefore, is that of overstepping the threshold of sacred places. The word profane is the Latin pro fanurn, in front of the sanctuary; that which is kept outside the fane because unholy.

We laid hold. The best texts omit all after these words as far as by examining.

Verse 8

From whom. Paul. It would refer to Lysias if the omitted passage above were retained.

Verse 9

Assented [συνεθεντο] . But the best texts read sunepeqento, jointly set upon or assailed. So Rev., joined in the charge.

Verse 10

The more cheerfully [ευθυμοτερον] . The best texts read the positive of the adverb, eujqumwv, cheerfully.

Verse 14

The way. See on ch. Acts 9:2.

A sect. See on verse 5. The word is commonly used in an indifferent sense, as signifying merely a school or party. So ch. Acts 14:5; Acts 28:29. Here, however, in a bad sense - a schisomatic sect, as in 1 Corinthians 11:19.

Worship [λατρευω] . Better, as Rev., serve. See on Luke 1:74.

God of my fathers [τω πατρωω θεω] . A familiar classical phrase, and therefore well known to Felix. Thus Demosthenes calls Apollo the patrwov (ancestral God) of Athens. Socrates is asked (Plato, "Euthydemus," 302), "Have you an ancestral Zeus [ζευς πατρωος] ? So, frequently, in the classics. Similarly, the Roman phrase, Di patrii," the gods of the forefathers. " On the Roman reverence for the ancestral religion, see note on ch. 16 21. The Roman 's own sentiment would prepare him to respect Paul 's.

Verse 15

Allow [προσδεχονται] . Or, as Rev., look for. The word admits of either sense.

Verse 16

Exercise myself [ασκω] . Originally, to work raw material, to form : hence, to practice, exercise, discipline; and so, in ecclesiastical language, to mortify the body. Of the kindred adjective ajskhtikov, our word ascetic is a transcript.

Void of offense [αποσκοπον] . Lit., without stumbling; unshaken. The word is used thus in a passive sense here, as in Philippians 1:10. In 1 Corinthians 10:32, it occurs in the active sense of giving offense to others, causing them to stumble.

Verse 18

Whereupon [εν οις] . More correctly, in which (occupation); while so engaged. The best texts, however, read ejn ai=v, in which, the pronoun agreeing in gender with offerings. The sense, according to this, is, as Rev., margin, in presenting which (offerings).

Verse 22

Deferred [ανεβαλετο] . Adjourned the case. Only here in New Testament.

I will know the uttermost [διαγνωσομαι] . Better, as Rev., I will determine. See on ch. Acts 23:15.

Verse 23

Liberty [ανεσιν] . From ajnihmi, to send up; thence, to loosen, release. It is almost exactly expressed by our vulgarism, to let up. The noun here is more correctly rendered by Rev., indulgence. In all the other New Testament passages it is rendered rest, ease, or relief. See 2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 8:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7.

To minister [υπηρετειν] . See on officer, Matthew 5:25.

Verse 25

Righteousness, temperance, the judgment to come. Three topics which bore directly upon the character of Felix. Tacitus says of him that he "exercised the authority of a king with the spirit of a slave;" and that, by reason of the powerful influence at his command, "he supposed he might perpetrate with impunity every kind of villainy." He had persuaded his wife Drusilla to forsake her husband and marry him. He had employed assassins to murder the high - priest Jonathan, and might well tremble at the preaching of the judgment to come. Temperance [εγκρατεια] is, properly, self - control; holding the passions in hand.

Trembled [εμφοβος γενομενος] Lit., having become in fear. Rev., better, was terrified.

For this time [το νυν εχον] . Or, for the present. Very literally, as to what has itself now.

Verse 26

He hoped also [αμα δε και ελπιζων] . A comma should be placed after thee (ver. 25), and the participle ejlpizwn, hoping, joined with answered : "Felix answered, 'Go thy way, etc., ' hoping withal that money would be given him."

Communed [ωμιλει] . See on talked, ch. 20 11.

Verse 27

Porcius Festus came into Felix 's room [ελαβε διαδοχον ο φηλιξ πορκιον φηστον] . Rev., better, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. The Greek idiom is, Felix received Porcius Festus as a successor.

To shew the Jews a pleasure [χαριτας καταθεσθαι τοις ιουδαιοις] . Lit., to lay up thanks for himself with the Jews. Rev., correctly, to gain favor with the Jews.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Acts 24". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.