Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Acts 26

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verse 1

1 Act 26:1. Agrippa was courteously invited to share the judicial "bench" with Festus. Under such a privilege, he bade the defendant to make a speech in his own behalf. Stretched forth his hand was a gesture of respect for the court, and a call to attention.

Verse 2

2 Act 26:2. Paul made a complimentary speech to Agrippa, but it was not flattery as we shall see. He had good reasons for his happy feelings over the situation.

Verse 3

3 Act 26:3. Paul here states the reasons for his happiness expressed in the preceding verse. Agrippa was not of pure Jewish blood, yet he was brought up under the influence of Jewish teaching, and was acquainted with the law of Moses. This would qualify him to appreciate the things that Paul would say.

Verse 4

4 Act 26:4. Paul was brought up in Jerusalem (chapter 22:3), so that the leaders of his own nation had full opportunity for knowing about his manner of life.

Verse 5

5 Act 26:5. Most straitest is a double superlative and hence is an improper translation. The two words are derived from AKRIBES (by superlative inflection), and Thayer defines it "most exact." Paul means that he was a member of the Pharisees who were the most exacting of the Jews in their adherence to the law of Moses. They should have known, therefore, that he would not violate that law as the Jewish leaders charged him.

Verse 6

7 Act 26:6-7. The promise has a general reference to the benefits expected to come to the world through the seed of Abraham (Christ), but the special item of those benefits was the resurrection from the dead (verse 8). The Pharisees professed to believe in the resurrection as well as did Paul, but they resented his teaching that it was to be accomplished through Jesus (chapter 4:2).

Verse 8

8 Act 26:8. Why should it be thought, etc. The resurrection from the dead would not be any more impossible with God than any of the other works of His providence, therefore it was unreasonable to call that particular miracle in question.

Verse 9

9 Act 26:9. The apostle then took up the history of his personal case to show that his present conduct and teaching was a complete change from what it had once been. (See the comments on this subject at chapter 22:4.)

Verse 10

0 Act 26:10. A saint is one who is "set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his," according to Thayer. It is one of the names applied to the followers of Christ who are elsewhere called Christians and disciples. Paul's mention of the authority of the chief priests was to show he acted according to the recognized law of the Jews.

Verse 11

1 Act 26:11. Compelled them to blaspheme. The American Standard Version translates this clause, "strove to make them blaspheme," which is evidently the meaning of the apostle. The first word is from the same original as "compellest" in Gal 2:14, where we know that Peter did not actually induce the Gentiles to do the things mentioned, for Paul's rebuke put a stop to his perversion. But he was using pressure for the purpose of forcing them to do as he contended. Likewise, Paul tried to terrorize the disciples into blaspheming the name of Christ, but they suffered death or imprisonment before denying their Lord. Unto strange cities means those on the outside. His last campaign was to reach to Damascus which was a city "outside" Palestine.

Verse 12

3 Act 26:12-13. At midday the sun would be straight over them, hence a light that would be above the brightness of the sun would indeed be a strong one.

Verse 14

4 Act 26:14. All of the group fell to the ground but only Paul (or Saul) heard the voice. (See the comments at chapter 9:5 for the meaning of pricks.)

Verse 15

5 Act 26:15. This is also explained at chapter 9:5.

Verse 16

6 Act 26:16. Jesus did not appear to Paul to make him a Christian; men were appointed for that work. But an apostle must have seen the Lord after his resurrection, and that is why, he appeared to Paul. Having been a witness of the fact that Jesus was alive, he was also to minister or serve Him by telling it to others.

Verse 17

7 Act 26:17. Paul's delivery from his enemies was to be continued until the work for which he had been appointed had been accomplished.

Verse 18

8 Act 26:18. Open their eyes spiritually to the truths of the Gospel. Darkness is ignorance of those truths, and light is the knowledge of them. Satan is the minister of darkness, and God is the source of divine light. Forgiveness of sins was to be the personal benefit conferred on those who accepted these truths. Inheritance means a share of the spiritual possessions enjoyed by the sanctified, which denotes the same as the "saints" in verse 10, and this state was to be obtained by faith in the risen Lord.

Verse 19

9 Act 26:19. Not disobedient refers to the assignment to preach as the next verse shows. Chapter 9:20 says he "straightway" preached Christ in the synagogues.

Verse 20

0 Act 26:20. First unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem. According to Gal 1:18 it was three years before Paul preached at Jerusalem and other places in Judea.

Verse 21

1 Act 26:21. Paul had done nothing that called for any punishment whatsoever, much less that of being slain. He therefore wished this court to know the truth of the motive for being persecuted by the Jews.

Verse 22

2 Act 26:22. Paul again declared that his preaching was according to the predictions of the very writings that the Jews professed to believe. It is good to hear him give God the glory for his endurance, as he stood in the hearing of this mixed judicial court.

Verse 23

3 Act 26:23. In this verse Paul specifies the most important one of the "things" of which he made mention in the preceding one. That was the fact that Christ was the first that rose from the dead (to die no more, Rom 6:9). And that this great fact was bringing light to the Gentiles (as well as to the Jews).

Verse 24

4 Act 26:24. Learning is from GRAMMA which Thayer defines, "Any writing, a document or record." Paul had made such wide reference to the writings of ancient scribes that Festus thought such knowledge had thrown him into a state of frenzy, to the extent -that he had lost control of himself.

Verse 25

5 Act 26:25. Paul made a direct denial of the charge concerning his mental condition, soberness being from a Greek word that means "self-control." But his reply to Festus was respectful and one that recognized his standing. Thayer says the word for noble is "used in addressing men of conspicuous rank or office."

Verse 26

6 Act 26:26. The king means Agrippa for whose special hearing Paul was making this speech, and who was acquainted with the ancient writings to which the apostle had referred. Corner is from GONIA which Thayer defines, "A secret place." This thing means the story of Jesus including his public life, crucifixion and evidences of his resurrection, all of which was known to thousands of people.

Verse 27

7 Act 26:27. Agrippa was acquainted with the Old Testament writings, and this question of Paul was a challenge to the king to make a consistent application of them.

Verse 28

8 Act 26:28. Agrippa was logical enough to see the conclusion required from the premises that Paul had cited. He really believed the truth of the prophetic statements, and the facts and truths connected with the story of Christ clearly connected Him with the prophecies. His unwillingness to go all the way that his conclusions would lead, was not from any doubts as to the rightful claims of the Gospel upon his life. But many personal interests of a worldly nature intervened against his better judgment. He was willing only to make the concession to Paul that is expressed by the famous sentence that has become the subject of song and poetry in various literature.

Verse 29

9 Act 26:29. This verse expresses the sincere interest of the apostle in the spiritual welfare of his distinguished listeners. There is no sign of personal triumph in his remarks, for he realizes that nothing short of wholehearted obedience to Christ will avail anything for the unsaved, hence Yes wish was for the completeness of the conviction that was acknowledged by Agrippa. Except these bonds. How gracious was this remark, which shows the complete absence of bitterness, or any feeling that others too should be humiliated who were no better than he.

Verse 30

1 Act 26:30-31. At the conclusion of Paul's speech the meeting "broke up" and the royal hearers went aside to confer with each other. That was not in order to decide on a verdict, for such action had been taken from them by the appeal of the prisoner. But to see if either of them had discovered "somewhat to write" to Caesar (chapter 25:26). It was admitted that no such discovery had been made, but rather that the prisoner was not worthy even of bonds.

Verse 32

2 Act 26:32. Agrippa was the visiting jurist who was invited to give a critical ear to the speech of the prisoner. It was proper, therefore, for him to express the opinion that we have recorded. Had it not been for the appeal that Paul had made, he could have been released from all custody at this time.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Acts 26". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/acts-26.html. 1952.
Ads FreeProfile