Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Acts 25

Verse 1

Was come into the province ( ἑπιβὰς τῇ ἐπαρχίᾳ )

Lit., having entered upon the province.

Verse 2


The imperfect denotes their persistence:kept beseeching.

Verse 3

Laying wait ( ἐνέδραν ποιοῦντες )

Lit., making or arranging an ambush.

Verse 4

Should be kept ( τηρεῖσθαι )

This puts it as a peremptory denial of the Jews' request by Festus; whereas it is only his statement of a fact. Render, as Rev., that Paul was kept in charge. Festus' reply is conciliatory, and is put on the ground of convenience.

Verse 6


See on Acts 7:5.

Verse 8

Have I offended ( ἥμαρτον )

See on the kindred noun ἁμαρτία , sin, Matthew 1:21.

Verse 9

Do a pleasure

See on Acts 24:27. Rev., better, to gain favor.

Before me ( ἐπ ' ἐμοῦ )

Not with him as judge, but by the Sanhedrim in his presence.

Verse 10

Very well ( κάλλιον )

The force of the comparative should be preserved: “thou knowest better than thy question implies.”

Verse 11

Deliver ( χαρίσασθαι )

With an underlying sense of giving him up as a favor to the Jews.

I appeal ( ἐπικαλοῦμαι )

The technical phrase for lodging an appeal. The Greek rendering of the Latin formula appello.

Verse 12

The council

A body of men chosen by the governor himself from the principal Romans of the province. These were called assessors, sometimes friends, sometimes captains. Though a Roman citizen had the right of appeal to the emperor, a certain discretion was allowed the governors of provinces as to admitting the appeal. It might be disallowed if the affair did not admit of delay, or if the appellant were a known robber or pirate. In doubtful cases the governor was bound to consult with his council, and his failure to do so exposed him to censure. Cicero, in his impeachment of Verres, the brutal governor of Sicily, says: “Will you deny that you dismissed your council, the men of rank with whom your predecessor and yourself had been wont to consult, and decided the case yourself?” (ii., 33). That Festus exercised this discretion in Paul's case is shown by his conferring with the council.

Verse 13

Agrippa the king

Herod Agrippa II., son o£ the Herod whose death is recorded in Acts 12:20-23.


Sister of Drusilla, the wife of Felix. She is said to have lived in incestuous relations with her brother. Juvenal, in his sixth satire, alludes to this: “A most notable diamond, made more precious by having been worn on the finger of Bernice. This a barbarian king once gave to his incestuous love. This Agrippa gave to his sister.”

Verse 16

Opportunity ( τόπον )

Lit., place. An unclassical use of the word.

Verse 18

Stood up ( σταθέντες )

See on Luke 18:11; and Luke 19:8.

Verse 19

Superstition ( δεισιδαιμονίας )

See on Acts 17:22. Better, religion, as Rev. As Agrippa was a Jew by religion, Festus would not have insulted him by applying the word superstition to his faith. Note, however, that he speaks of it as their own religion, not identifying Agrippa with them. It was a non-committal expression, since the word meant either religion or superstition according to circumstances. He left Agrippa “to take the word in a good sense, but reserved his own view, which was certainly the Roman one” (Meyer). There is, indeed, a similar tact in Paul's use of the word to the Athenians. He selected “a word which almost imperceptibly shaded off from praise to blame” (Trench).

Affirmed ( ἔφασκεν )

The imperfect implies something habitual. “Paul kept asserting.

Verse 21

Of the Emperor ( τοῦ Σεβαστοῦ )

Lit., the august one; hence a translation of Augustus, which was not a proper name, but a title of the Roman emperors.

Verse 26

Lord ( κυρίῳ )

An instance of Luke's accuracy. The title “lord” was refused by the first two emperors, Augustus and Tiberius. The emperors who followed accepted it. In the time of Domitian it was a recognized title. Antoninus Pius was the first who put it on his coins.

Verse 27

Crimes ( αἰτίας )

Rev., more correctly, charges.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Acts 25". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.