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Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible - New Testament

Acts of the Apostles 22 (Chapter XXII Study)

 

Acts of the Apostles Exposition: Index | Introduction to the book of Acts of the Apostles | Acts of the Apostles 1 | Acts of the Apostles 2 | Acts of the Apostles 3 | Acts of the Apostles 4 | Acts of the Apostles 5 | Acts of the Apostles 6 | Acts of the Apostles 7 | Acts of the Apostles 8 | Acts of the Apostles 9 | Acts of the Apostles 10 | Acts of the Apostles 11 | Acts of the Apostles 12 | Acts of the Apostles 13 | Acts of the Apostles 14 | Acts of the Apostles 15 | Acts of the Apostles 16 | Acts of the Apostles 17 | Acts of the Apostles 18 | Acts of the Apostles 19 | Acts of the Apostles 20 | Acts of the Apostles 21 | Acts of the Apostles 22 | Acts of the Apostles 23 | Acts of the Apostles 24 | Acts of the Apostles 25 | Acts of the Apostles 26 | Acts of the Apostles 27 | Acts of the Apostles 28

Acts of the Apostles full text: Acts of the Apostles 1 | Acts of the Apostles 2 | Acts of the Apostles 3 | Acts of the Apostles 4 | Acts of the Apostles 5 | Acts of the Apostles 6 | Acts of the Apostles 7 | Acts of the Apostles 8 | Acts of the Apostles 9 | Acts of the Apostles 10 | Acts of the Apostles 11 | Acts of the Apostles 12 | Acts of the Apostles 13 | Acts of the Apostles 14 | Acts of the Apostles 15 | Acts of the Apostles 16 | Acts of the Apostles 17 | Acts of the Apostles 18 | Acts of the Apostles 19 | Acts of the Apostles 20 | Acts of the Apostles 21 | Acts of the Apostles 22 | Acts of the Apostles 23 | Acts of the Apostles 24 | Acts of the Apostles 25 | Acts of the Apostles 26 | Acts of the Apostles 27 | Acts of the Apostles 28

In the close of the foregoing chapter we had Paul bound, according to Agabus's prophecy of the hard usage he should receive from the Jews at Jerusalem, yet he had his tongue set at liberty, by the permission the chief captain gave him to speak for himself; and so intent he is upon using that liberty of speech which is allowed him, to the honour of Christ and the service of his interest, that he forgets the bonds he is in, makes no mention of them, but speaks of the great things Christ had done for him with as much ease and cheerfulness as if nothing had been done to ruffle him or put him into disorder. We have here, I. His address to the people, and their attention to it, ver. 1, 2. II. The account he gives of himself. 1. What a bigoted Jew he had been in the beginning of his time, ver. 3-5. 2. How he was miraculously converted and brought over to the faith of Christ, ver. 6-11. 3. How he was confirmed and baptized by the ministry of Ananias, ver. 12-16. 4. How he was afterwards called, by an immediate warrant from heaven, to be the apostle of the Gentiles, ver. 17-21. III. The interruption given him upon this by the rabble, who could not bear to hear any thing said in favour of the Gentiles, and the violent passion they flew into upon it, ver. 22, 23. IV. Paul's second rescue out of the hands of the rabble, and the further course which the chief captain took to find out the true reason of this mighty clamour against Paul, ver. 24, 25. V. Paul's pleading his privilege as a Roman citizen, by which he was exempted from this barbarous method of inquisition, ver. 26-29. VI. The chief captain's removing the cause into the high priest's court, and Paul's appearing there, ver. 30.

Paul's First Defence.

1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. " alt="St-Takla.org Image: Paul said to the officer nearby, Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasnt even been tried? Roman citizens could not be punished without a trial. (Acts 22: 25) - "Paul arrested in Jerusalem" images set (Acts 21:27 - Acts 23:35): image (11) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "فلما مدوه للسياط، قال بولس لقائد المئة الواقف: أيجوز لكم أن تجلدوا إنسانا رومانيا غير مقضي عليه؟" (أعمال الرسل 22: 25) - مجموعة "القبض على بولس في أورشليم" (أعمال الرسل 21: 27 - أعمال الرسل 23: 35) - صورة (11) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا" width="640" height="463">

St-Takla.org Image: Paul said to the officer nearby, Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasnt even been tried? Roman citizens could not be punished without a trial. (Acts 22: 25) - "Paul arrested in Jerusalem" images set (Acts 21:27 - Acts 23:35): image (11) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "فلما مدوه للسياط، قال بولس لقائد المئة الواقف: أيجوز لكم أن تجلدوا إنسانا رومانيا غير مقضي عليه؟" (أعمال الرسل 22: 25) - مجموعة "القبض على بولس في أورشليم" (أعمال الرسل 21: 27 - أعمال الرسل 23: 35) - صورة (11) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا

VII. The chief captain was surprised at this, and put into a fright. He had taken Paul to be a vagabond Egyptian, and wondered he could speak Greek (ch. xxi. 37), but is much more surprised now he finds that he is as good a gentleman as himself. How many men of great worth and merit are despised because they are not known, are looked upon and treated as the offscouring of all things, when those that count them so, if they knew their true character, would own them to be of the excellent ones of the earth! The chief captain had centurions, under-officers, attending him, ch. xxi. 32. One of these reports this matter to the chief captain (v. 26): Take heed what thou doest, for this man is a Roman, and what indignity is done to him will be construed an offence against the majesty of the Roman people, as they loved to speak. They all knew what a value was put upon this privilege of the Roman citizens. Tully extols it in one of his orations against Verres, O nomen dulce libertatis, O jus eximium nostr civitatis! O lex Porcia! O leges Semproni; facinus est vincere Romanum civem, scelus verberareO Liberty! I love thy charming name; and these our Porcian and Sempronian laws, how admirable! It is a crime to bind a Roman citizen, but an unpardonable one to beat him. "Therefore" (says the centurion) "let us look to ourselves; if this man be a Roman, and we do him any indignity, we shall be in danger to lose our commissions at least." Now, 1. The chief captain would be satisfied of the truth of this from his own mouth (v. 27): "Tell me, art thou a Roman? Art thou entitled to the privileges of a Roman citizen?" "Yes," says Paul, "I am;" and perhaps produced some ticket or instrument which proved it; for otherwise they would scarcely have taken his word. 2. The chief captain very freely compares notes with him upon this matter, and it appears that the privilege Paul had as a Roman citizen was of the two more honourable than the colonel's; for the colonel owns that his was purchased: "I am a freeman of Rome; but with a great sum obtained I this freedom, it cost me dear, how came you by it?" "Why truly," says Paul, "I was free-born." Some think he became entitled to this freedom by the place of his birth, as a native of Tarsus, a city privileged by the emperor with the same privileges that Rome itself enjoyed; others rather think it was by his father or grandfather having served in the war between Csar and Antony, or some other of the civil wars of Rome, and being for some signal piece of service rewarded with a freedom of the city, and so Paul came to be free-born; and here he pleads it for his own preservation, for which end not only we may but we ought to use all lawful means. 3. This put an immediate stop to Paul's trouble. Those that were appointed to examine him by scourging quitted the spot; they departed from him (v. 29), lest they should run themselves into a snare. Nay, and the colonel himself, though we may suppose him to have a considerable interest, was afraid when he heard he was a Roman, because, though he had not beaten him, yet he had bound him in order to his being beaten. Thus many are restrained from evil practices by the fear of man who would not be restrained from them by the fear of God. See here the benefit of human laws and magistracy, and what reason we have to be thankful to God for them; for even when they have given no countenance nor special protection to God's people and ministers, yet, by the general support of equity and fair dealing between man and man, they have served to check the rage of wicked and unreasonable illegal men, who otherwise would know no bounds, and to say, Hitherto it shall come, but no further; here shall its proud waves by stayed. And therefore this service we owe to all in authority, to pray for them, because this benefit we have reason to expect from them, whether we have it or no, as long as we are quiet and peaceableto live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty, 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. 4. The governor, the next day, brought Paul before the sanhedrim, v. 30. He first loosed him from his bands, that those might not prejudge his cause, and that he might not be charged with having pinioned a Roman citizen, and then summoned the chief priests and all their council to come together to take cognizance of Paul's case, for he found it to be a matter of religion, and therefore looked upon them to be the most proper judges of it. Gallio in this case discharged Paul; finding it to be a matter of their law, he drove the prosecutors from the judgement-seat (ch. xviii. 16), and would not concern himself at all in it; but this Roman, who was a military man, kept Paul in custody, and appealed from the rabble to the general assembly. Now, (1.) We may hope that hereby he intended Paul's safety, as thinking, if he were an innocent and inoffensive man, though the multitude might be incensed against him, yet the chief priests and elders would do him justice, and clear him; for they were, or should be, men of learning and consideration, and their court governed by rules of equity. When the prophet could find no good among the poorer sort of people, he concluded that it was because they knew not the way of the Lord, nor the judgments of their God, and promised himself that he should speed better among the great men, as the chief captain here did, but soon found himself disappointed there: these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds, Jer. v. 4, 5. But, (2.) That which he is here said to aim at is the gratifying of his own curiosity: He would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews. Had he sent for Paul to his own chamber, and talked freely with him, he might soon have learned from him that which would have done more than satisfy his enquiry, and which might have persuaded him to be a Christian. But it is too common for great men to affect to set that at a distance from them which might awaken their consciences, and to desire to have no more of the knowledge of God's ways than may serve them to talk of.

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Other commentaries and interpretations on the Book of Acts of the Apostles:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28

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