corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.11.12
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Acts 22

 

 

Verse 1

Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

The Defense ()

Men, brethren, and, fathers - more simply, 'Brethren and fathers,' "hear ye my defense which I make now unto you."


Verse 2

(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue (see the note at Acts 21:40) to them, they kept the more silence. They could have understood him in Greek, and doubtless fully expected the renegade to address them in that language; but the sound of their holy mother-tongue awed them into deeper silence.

And he saith). This sketch of his life having been already made use of, in illustration of the remarkable account given of his conversion, by the historian in Acts 9:1-43 , a few supplementary notes are all that seem requisite here.


Verse 3

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

I am verily a man which am a Jew ('I am a Jew'), born in Tarsus (see the note at Acts 21:39), [a city] in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet (see the note at Luke 10:39) of Gamaliel (see the note at Acts 5:34) - a fact of great importance in the apostle's history, standing in the same relation to his future career as Moses' education in the Egyptian court to the work for which he was destined.

And taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers - `according to the rigidity of the ancestral law,' the strictest form of traditional Judaism.

And was zealous (or 'a zealot') toward God, as ye all are this day - his own murderous zeal against the disciples of the Lord Jesus being merely reflected in their present treatment of himself.


Verse 4

And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

And I persecuted this ('the') way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons ...


Verse 5

As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

As also the high priest (still alive, it seems) doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders - the whole Sanhedrim (cf. Luke 22:66 , Gr.); a powerful appeal this:

From whom also I received letters unto the brethren (in the Jewish Faith), and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.


Verse 6

And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.

7. And it came to pass ...


Verse 7

And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 8

And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth ('Jesus the Nazarene,') whom thou persecutest.


Verse 9

And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid. The external evidence against this last clause is strong, but besides that there is nearly equal authority for it, internal evidence bespeaks it genuine; it being a favourite phrase of Luke, as Tischendorf notes-being used by him four times elsewhere, and only once by any other New Testament writer. Accordingly Tischendorf, who had excluded it in a former edition, restores it in his last one; and though Lachmann and Tregelles reject it, Meyer, DeWette, Lechler, and Alford pronounce in favour of it.

But they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.


Verse 10-11

And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

And I said ... I came into Damascus.


Verse 12

And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,

And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there. One would not know from this description of Ananias that he was a Christian at all, the apostle's object being to hold him up as unexceptionable even to the most rigid Jews. Acts 22:13

Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I, [kagoo (Greek #2504 ) autee (Greek #846) tee (Greek #3588) hoora ( G5610 )] - 'And I the self-same hour,' "looked up upon him."


Verse 14

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee - studiously linking the new economy upon the old, as but the sequel of it, both having one glorious Author.

That thou shouldest know his will, and see that ('the') Just One (cf. Acts 3:14; Acts 7:52 ),

And shouldest hear the voice of his mouth - in order to place him on a level with the other apostles who had "seen the (Risen) Lord."


Verse 15

For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.


Verse 16

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, [ baptisai ( G907 ) kai ( Greek #2532 ) apolousai (Greek #628): cf. 1 Corinthians 6:11. Gr.] - literally, 'have thyself baptized and thy sins washed away.' Forgiveness of sins is obtained solely through faith in the Lord Jesus, (Acts 10:43 , etc.); but baptism being the visible seal of this, it is here and elsewhere naturally transferred from the inward act of faith to that which publicly and formally proclaims it.

Calling on , [epikaleesamenos ( G1941 )] - 'having (that is, after having) called on,' referring to the confession of Christ which preceded baptism,

The name of the Lord - `on His name' is the true reading (the Received Text having but inferior support).


Verse 17

And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem - for the first time after his conversion; see the note at Acts 9:30 :

Even (rather 'and') while I prayed in the temple - thus calling their attention to the fact, that after his conversion he kept up his connection with the temple as before, "I was in a trance;"


Verse 18

And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.


Verse 19

And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:

And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:


Verse 20

And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting [unto his death]. (The bracketed words are too weakly supported, and have probably gotten in here from Acts 8:1.)

And kept the raiment of them that slew him.


Verse 21

And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence [ makran ( G3112 )] - 'far away'

Unto the Gentles. On this thrilling dialogue between the Redeemer and His chosen vessel-nowhere else related-see the note at Acts 9:30.

The concluding words of this Defense having raised an uproar among the crowd, the Tribune ignorant of the cause, orders him to be removed to the castle and examined by scourging, but is restrained and alarmed on learning that he is a Roman citizen-Next day, having had him released, he orders him to be tried by the Sanhedrin ()


Verse 22

And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth; for it is not fit , [katheeken ( Greek #2520), in the imperfect-`was not fit,' has decisive authority; katheeken has hardly any: it is a mixture of the direct and indirect way of reporting a speech: but it is needless to follow this in the translation]

That he should live. Their national prejudices lashed into fury at the mention of a mission to the Gentiles, they would speedily have done to him as they did to Stephen, but for the presence and protection of the Roman officer. The profanation of the temple by the presence of Gentiles seemed nothing to Gentiles being deliberately placed on a level in religious privileges with the covenant-people.


Verse 23

And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,

And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes - `tossed their garments' (their cloaks),

And threw dust into the air - in token of rage.


Verse 24

The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging - according to the Roman practice;

That he might know wherefore they cried so against him. Paul's speech being to him in an unknown tongue, he concluded, from the horror which it kindled in the vast audience, that he must have been guilty of some crime.


Verse 25

And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

And as they bound him with thongs, [proeteinan, ( Greek #4385), or - proeteinon ( Greek #4385) auton ( Greek #846) tois ( Greek #3588) himasin (Greek #2438)] - 'were stretching him out (or "putting him on the stretch") with thongs'; that is, fixing him in this way for receiving the keen strokes of the scourgers. [The Received Text-`he bound him' (proeteinen (Greek #4385) - is here properly departed from by our translators, with Beza: it has next to no support.]

Paul said unto the centurion that stood by - to superintend the torture, and receive the confession expected to be wrung from him,

Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? See the note at Acts 16:37.


Verse 26

When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.

When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest - the true reading clearly is, 'What doest thou?' [ hora ( Greek #5610) being insufficiently attested].

For this man is a Roman.


Verse 27

Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.

Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? - showing that his being of Tarsus, which he had told him before ( Acts 21:39), did not necessarily imply, at least in his estimation, that he was a Roman citizen.

He said, Yea.


Verse 28

And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. Roman citizenship was bought and sold in the reign of Claudius we know, at a high price: at a subsequent date, for next to nothing. But to put in a false claim to this privilege was a capital crime.

And Paul said, But I was [free] born, [ gegenneemai (Greek #1080 )] - 'born to it;' either by purchase or in reward of services, on the part of his father or some ancestor.


Verse 29

Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was Roman, and because he had bound him. See the note at Acts 16:38.


Verse 30

On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.

On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear , [holon ( G3650 ) to ( G3588 ) sunedrion ( G4892 )] - 'the entire Sanhedrim to assemble,'

And brought Paul down, and set him before them. Note here the power to order a Sanhedrim to try this case, assumed by the Roman officers and acquiesced in on their part.

Remarks: Here again one cannot but mark that rare combination of great qualities which made Paul that man of ten thousand which he was. We have seen on Acts 21:1-40 (Remark 2, at the close of that section) how, immediately after being rescued with some difficulty from assassination by the military tribune, and standing manacled on the castle stairs, on his way to the barracks, he pleaded for and obtained permission to address the multitude that stood thick beneath him; and we have now seen what a calm and sublime account he could give in such circumstances of his miraculous conversion to the Lord Jesus on his way to Damascus, and of the vision which he had thereafter of his Lord in the temple, warning him that his efforts to gain his country men in the metropolis would be fruitless-that he must escape from it without delay, and that, instead of making his countrymen his chief care, he was to be sent far away to the Gentiles.

That word, however, "unto the Gentiles," rousing their national prejudices to the uttermost, lashed the mob into a mad fury, which, but for the presence of the tribune, would quickly have produced fatal results. The commanding officer-helpless from his ignorance of the language in which Paul had delivered his address, and concluding that he must be some desperado, and probably an Egyptian, who before that had made insurrection at the head of a formidable baud of assassins-has him tightened with thongs, as already his hands had Been bound with chains, to prepare him for the lash by which he thought to extort from him a confession of his crimes. In these critical circumstances, Paul, rising to the dignity of a Roman citizen, calmly demands of the attendant centurion whether such procedure toward a Roman was legal. This leads to an interview with the tribune himself, who, knowing that if the prisoner were indeed a Roman, he had acted illegally, anxiously questions him on the subject. In this interview, the dignity, calmness, and perfect presence of mind with which the apostle carried himself contrasts finely with the conscious inferiority of the tribune, in point of civil position, to the man whom he had so dishonoured. Accordingly, while the commanding officer is glad to have him loosed from his bonds and handed over to the Sanhedrim for trial, as the proper tribunal, the apostle is just as ready to stand before these ecclesiastics as before he had been to meet face to face the military authority.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Acts 22:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/acts-22.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology