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Saturday, May 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 28

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

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Verse 1

1 Act 28:1. Smith's Bible Dictionary says the following: "Melita, the modern Malta. . . . It is 17 miles long by 9 or 10 broad. It is naturally a barren rock, with no high mountains, but has been rendered fertile by industry and toil."

Verse 2

2 Act 28:2. Barbarous sometimes means to be rude in speech; rough, harsh. It also means to speak in a foreign tongue. At our place Thayer says it is not used reproachfully, and that the inhabitants were of Phoenician origin, who had some refinement of manners. These facts explain the kind treatment they gave the shipwrecked group.

Verse 3

3 Act 28:3. A cold rain was falling and Paul was building a fire for warmth. A viper is a poisonous snake that came out of 'the- sticks and clung to his hand. It had evidently been sheltering itself among the sticks and was numb from the cold. The heat brought it to its feeling and caused it to attack him as might be expected to be done by such a creature.

Verse 4

4 Act 28:4. The islanders were rather superstitious and thought this incident was the work of some supreme being. They thought Paul was trying to escape just punishment.

Verse 5

6 Act 28:5-6. They fully expected to see Paul drop dead. Seeing his mastery over it, they reversed their opinion and said he was a god. While that was not the object of the miracle, it, did serve to prove Paul and his companions to be good men.

Verse 7

7 Act 28:7. Same quarters means that same part of the island. Publius was probably the governor of the island, because he had possessions sufficient to give hospitality to Paul and his group for a period of three days.

Verse 8

8 Act 28:8. Paul had a chance to "return the favor" by healing the father of Publius of a serious disease, which he did by laying his hands miraculously on him.

Verse 9

9 Act 28:9. The good deed done for Publius' father was reported over the island. As a result, others came to Paul and were healed of diseases.

Verse 10

0 Act 28:10. We are not told just how these honors were manifested while Paul and his companions remained on the island. But when they were ready to leave, the natives gave them a supply of the necessities of life.

Verse 11

1 Act 28:11. Castor and Pollux was the label inscribed on the side of the ship. The words were derived from some legend about heathen gcds.

Verse 12

3 Act 28:12-13. The stop of three days at Syracuse was either because of the conditions of the weather, or to perform the regular business of a vessel. Fetched a compass means they took a circuitous route by the place, and coming to Puteoli they landed for a few days.

Verse 14

4 Act 28:14. Smith's Bible Dictionary says Puteoli was "the great landing-place of travelers to Italy," so it is not surprising that some brethren would be there.

Verse 15

5 Act 28:15. The brethren at Rome heard of Paul's voyage toward their city and came to meet him. According to Smith's Bible Dictionary, Appi forum was 43 miles from Rome and Three taverns was 33. The same information is given in Thayer's lexicon under the word TABERNAI. Paul was heartened by seeing this brotherly welcome from those who were willing to brave the uncertainties of the sea to meet this "prisoner of Jesus Christ."

Verse 16

6 Act 28:16. Thayer says the captain of the guard was the "captain of the Roman emperor's body-guard." To this officer the centurion delivered his prisoners, thus discharging the duty that was imposed upon him at Caesarea. But Paul was not placed in the soldiers' camp; instead, he was permitted to dwell separately with a single soldier as his guard. This would give him opportunity for seeing persons in whom he was interested.

Verse 17

7 Act 28:17. Paul called these Jews men and brethren because of their common blood, not that they were brethren in Christ. He related how he was made a prisoner of the Romans by the Jews, though he was not guilty of wrong-doing against any laws.

Verse 18

8 Act 28:18. Who means the Romans into whose hands Paul had been delivered. Finding nothing wrong in him, they were disposed to discharge him from all accusations.

Verse 19

9 Act 28:19. Paul appealed unto Caesar as a defendant, and not as a complainant against his nation. That is, he merely wished to clear his own good name, not that he wanted to cause his Jewish brethren any trouble.

Verse 20

0 Act 28:20. Lest he might be misjudged by his Jewish brethren, however, he thought it well to explain the presence of the chain that was attached to him. Hope of Israel refers to the hope of a resurrection through Christ. That was the reason why he called them to him three days after arriving in their city.

Verse 21

1 Act 28:21. These Jews had heard the report about the disciples in general, but had not received any news of accusations against Paul personally.

Verse 22

2 Act 28:22. Because of the unfavorable report these Jews had heard about the disciples, they wished to have Paul's personal story. Sect is from HAIRESIS, and Thayer defines it at this place, "a sect or party."

Verse 23

3 Act 28:23. These Jews professed to believe the Old Testament, hence Paul used it as a basis for his speeches. He showed them that their own religious literature had foretold the coming of the kingdom of God, the institution referred to as a "sect."

Verse 24

4 Act 28:24. As usual, the hearers disagreed among themselves over what they heard.

Verse 25

5 Act 28:25. Because of the disagreement between themselves the Jews departed. Before they left Paul spoke one word, meaning one quotation from Esaias (Isaiah).

Verse 26

6 Act 28:26. Go unto this people denotes that Isaiah was to carry a message to this people, the Jews. Hear . . . not understand . . . see . . . not perceive. This all means the Jews would refuse to make the proper use of their mental faculties.

Verse 27

7 Act 28:27. Waxed gross denotes they had become stupid through their own prejudice. Their motive for such an attitude was to reject the reformation of life that the teaching of the Gospel might work in them.

Verse 28

8 Act 28:28. This announcement to the Jews was on the same basis as set forth in such passages as chapter 13:46. The Jews were given the first opportunity of hearing the Gospel. When the Gentiles had the divine truth offered to them, they showed a greater readiness to receive it.

Verse 29

9 Act 28:29. Had great reasoning. The Jews did not agree among themselves upon the teaching of Paul, hence they got into dispute over it. They were familiar with the law as Paul quoted it, but their prejudice prevented them from accepting his teaching.

Verse 30

0 Act 28:30. Hired house means a rented building which Paul used at his own expense. He was still in custody, hence could preach only to those who came in unto him.

Verse 31

1 Act 28:31. No man forbidding him all comes from AKOLUTOS which Thayer defines, "without hindrance." We know that men objected to the preaching of Paul, but God sustained him so that the preaching of the cause of Jesus Christ continued with great zeal.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Acts 28". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/acts-28.html. 1952.
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