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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Acts 22



Verse 1

Defence ( ἀπολογίας )

See on answer, 1 Peter 3:15.

Verse 2

Kept - silence ( παρέσχον ἡσυχίαν )

Lit., gave quiet.

Verse 3

At the feet

Referring to the Jewish custom of the pupils sitting on benches or on the floor, while the teacher occupied an elevated platform.


One of the seven Rabbis to whom the Jews gave the title Rabban. Rab,teacher, was the lowest degree; Rabbi, “my teacher,” the next higher; and Rabban, “our teacherthe highest. Gamaliel was a liberal Pharisee. “As Aquinas among the schoolmen was called Doctor Angelicus, and Bonaventura Doctor Seraphicus, so Gamaliel was called the Beauty of the Law. He had no antipathy to the Greek learning. Candor and wisdom seem to have been features of his character” (Conybeare and Hewson). See Acts 5:34sq.

Instructed ( πεπαιδευμένος )

See on chastise, Luke 23:16.

According to the perfect manner ( κατὰ ἀκρίβειαν )

Lit., according to the strictness. See on perfect understanding, Luke 1:3; and diligently, Acts 18:25. Compare, also, Acts 18:26; Acts 26:5.

Zealous ( ζηλωτὴς )

Or a zealot. On the word as a title, see on Mark 3:18.

Verse 4


See on Acts 9:2.

Verse 5

Estate of the elders ( πρεσβυτέριον )

The eldership or Sanhedrim.


The imperfect: was journeying.

Verse 6

About noon

Not mentioned in ch. 9.

Verse 8

Of Nazareth ( ὁ Ναζωραῖος )

Lit., the Nazarene. Not mentioned in ch. 9.

Verse 9

Heard not ( οὐκ ἤκουσαν )

The verb is to be taken in the sense of understood, as Mark 4:33; 1 Corinthians 14:2, which explains the apparent discrepancy with Acts 9:7.

Verse 11

For the glory of that light

The cause of his blindness is not stated in ch. 9.

Verse 12

A devout man, etc

In Acts 9:10, he is called a disciple. Paul here “affirms that he was not introduced to Christianity by an opponent of Judaism, but by a strict Jew” (Gloag).

Verse 13

Stood ( ἐπιστὰς )

More correctly, as Rev., “standing by ( ἐπί ).”

Receive thy sight ( ἀνάβλεψον )

Better, look up. See the following words: I looked up upon him. The word admits of both translations, to look up and to recover sight.

I looked up upon him

Some unite both meanings here: I looked up with recovered sight. So Rev., in margin.

Verse 14

The God of our fathers - Just One

A conciliatory touch in Paul's speech, mentioning both God and Christ by their Jewish names. Compare Acts 3:14; Acts 7:52.

Hath chosen ( προεχειρίσατο )

See on Acts 3:20. Better, as Rev., appointed.

Verse 15

All men

He keeps back the offensive word Gentiles (Acts 9:15).

Verse 16

Wash away ( ἀπόλουσαι )

See on Acts 16:33.

Verse 17

I was in a trance ( γενέσθαι με ἐν ἐκστάσει )

Rev., more correctly, I fell into a trance; the verb meaning to become, rather than the simple to be. On trance, see note on astonishment, Mark 5:42; and compare note on Acts 10:10.

Verse 20


Better, as Rev., witness. The special sense of the word was probably not in use at this time. See on Acts 1:22. It occurs, however, in Revelation 2:13; Revelation 17:6.

Standing by

See on Acts 22:13.

Consenting ( συνευδοκῶν )

See on allow, Luke 11:48; and compare Acts 8:1.


See on Luke 23:32.

Verse 21


“The fatal word, which hitherto he had carefully avoided, but which it was impossible for him to avoid any longer, was enough … .The word 'Gentiles,' confirming all their worst suspicions, fell like a spark on the inflammable mass of their fanaticism” (Farrar, “Life and Work of Paul”)i1.

Verse 22

They gave him audience ( ἤκουον )

The imperfect. Up to this word they were listening.

Lifted up their voice, etc

“Then began one of the most odious and despicable spectacles which the world can witness, the spectacle of an oriental mob, hideous with impotent rage, howling, yelling, cursing, gnashing their teeth, flinging about their arms, waving and tossing their blue and red robes, casting dust into the air by handfuls, with all the furious gesticulations of an uncontrolled fanaticism” (Farrar). Hackett cites Sir John Chardin (“Travels into Persia and the East Indies”) as saying that it is common for the peasants in Persia, when they have a complaint to lay before their governors, to repair to them by hundreds or a thousand at once. They place themselves near the gate of the palace, where they suppose they are most likely to be seen and heard, and there set up a horrid outcry, rend their garments, and throw dust into the air, at the same time demanding justice. Compare 2 Samuel 16:13.

Verse 24

Examined ( ἀνετάζεσθαι )

Only here and Acts 22:29. Not found in classical Greek. Apocrypha, Susanna, ver. 14.

By scourging ( μάστιξιν )

Lit., with scourges.

Verse 25

Bound him with thongs ( προέτειναν αὐτὸν τοῖς ἱμᾶσιν )

Against the rendering of the A. V. is the word προέειναν ,they stretched forward, in allusion to the position of the victim for scourging, and the article with thongs;the thongs,” with reference to some well-known instrument. If the words referred simply to binding him, with thongs would be superfluous. It is better, therefore, to take thongs as referring to the scourge, consisting of one or more lashes or cords, a sense in which it occurs in classical Greek, and to render stretched him out for (or before )the thongs. The word is used elsewhere in the New Testament of a shoe-latchet (Mark 1:7; Luke 3:16; John 1:27).


See on Acts 16:37.

Verse 28

Sum ( κεφαλαίου )

Lit., capital. The purchase of Roman citizenship was an investment. Under the first Roman emperors it was obtained only at large cost and with great difficulty; later, it was sold for a trifle.

I was free-born ( ἐγὼ καὶ γεγέννημαι )

Lit., I am even so born, leaving the mind to supplyfree or a Roman. Better, as Rev., I am a Roman born.

Verse 30

Brought Paul down

To the meeting-place of the Sanhedrim: probably not their usual place of assembly, which lay within the wall of partition, which Lysias and his soldiers would not have been allowed to pass.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Acts 22:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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