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

Acts of the Apostles 23 (Chapter XXIII 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

The close of the foregoing chapter left Paul in the high priest's court, into which the chief captain (whether to his advantage or no I know not) had removed his cause from the mob; and, if his enemies act there against him with less noise, yet it is with more subtlety. Now here we have, I. Paul's protestation of his own integrity, and of a civil respect to the high priest, however he had upon a sudden spoken warmly to him, and justly, ver. 1-5. II. Paul's prudent contrivance to get himself clear of them, by setting the Pharisees and Sadducees at variance one with another, ver. 6-9. III. The governor's seasonable interposal to rescue him out of their hands likewise, ver. 10. IV. Christ's more comfortable appearing to him, to animate him against those difficulties that lay before him, and to tell him what he must expect, ver. 11. V. A bloody conspiracy of some desperate Jews to kill Paul, and their drawing in the chief priests and the elders to be aiders and abettors with them in it, ver. 12-15. VI. The discovery of this conspiracy to Paul, and by him to the chief captain, who perceived so much of their inveterate malice against Paul that he had reason enough to believe the truth of it, ver. 16-22. VII. The chief captain's care of Paul's safety, by which he prevented the execution of the design; he sent him away immediately under a strong guard from Jerusalem to Csarea, which was now the residence of Felix, the Roman governor, and there he safely arrived, ver. 23-35.

Paul's Second Defence.

1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. " alt="St-Takla.org Image: That night, the soldiers escorted Paul as far as Antipatris. They returned to the fortress the next morning, while the mounted troops took Paul on to Caesarea. I will hear your case myself when your accusers arrive, the governor told Paul. (Acts 23: 31-35) - "Paul arrested in Jerusalem" images set (Acts 21:27 - Acts 23:35): image (24) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "فالعسكر أخذوا بولس كما أمروا، وذهبوا به ليلا إلى أنتيباتريس. وفي الغد تركوا الفرسان يذهبون معه ورجعوا إلى المعسكر. وأولئك لما دخلوا قيصرية ودفعوا الرسالة إلى الوالي، أحضروا بولس أيضا إليه. فلما قرأ الوالي الرسالة، وسأل من أية ولاية هو، ووجد أنه من كيليكية، قال: سأسمعك متى حضر المشتكون عليك أيضا. وأمر أن يحرس في قصر هيرودس" (أعمال الرسل 23: 31-35) - مجموعة "القبض على بولس في أورشليم" (أعمال الرسل 21: 27 - أعمال الرسل 23: 35) - صورة (24) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا" width="640" height="463">

St-Takla.org Image: That night, the soldiers escorted Paul as far as Antipatris. They returned to the fortress the next morning, while the mounted troops took Paul on to Caesarea. I will hear your case myself when your accusers arrive, the governor told Paul. (Acts 23: 31-35) - "Paul arrested in Jerusalem" images set (Acts 21:27 - Acts 23:35): image (24) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "فالعسكر أخذوا بولس كما أمروا، وذهبوا به ليلا إلى أنتيباتريس. وفي الغد تركوا الفرسان يذهبون معه ورجعوا إلى المعسكر. وأولئك لما دخلوا قيصرية ودفعوا الرسالة إلى الوالي، أحضروا بولس أيضا إليه. فلما قرأ الوالي الرسالة، وسأل من أية ولاية هو، ووجد أنه من كيليكية، قال: سأسمعك متى حضر المشتكون عليك أيضا. وأمر أن يحرس في قصر هيرودس" (أعمال الرسل 23: 31-35) - مجموعة "القبض على بولس في أورشليم" (أعمال الرسل 21: 27 - أعمال الرسل 23: 35) - صورة (24) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا

2. The chief captain orders, for the greater security of Paul, that he be taken away at the third hour of the night, which some understand of three hours after sun-set, that, it being now after the feast of pentecost (that is, in the midst of summer), they might have the cool of the night to march in. Others understand it of three hours after midnight, in the third watch, about three in the morning, that they might have the day before them, and might get out of Jerusalem before Paul's enemies were stirring, and so might prevent any popular tumult, and leave them to roar when they rose, like a lion disappointed of his prey.

3. He writes a letter to Felix the governor of this province, by which he discharges himself from any further care about Paul, and leaves the whole matter with Felix. This letter is here inserted totidem verbisverbatim, v. 25. It is probable that Luke the historian had a copy of it by him, having attended Paul in this remove. Now in this epistle we may observe,

(1.) The compliments he passes upon the governor, v. 26. He is the most excellent governor Felix, this title being given him of course, his excellency, &c. He sends him greeting, wishes him all health and prosperity; may he rejoice, may he ever rejoice.

(2.) The just and fair account which he gives him of Paul's case: [1.] That he was one that the Jews had a pique against: They had taken him, and would have killed him; and perhaps Felix knew the temper of the Jews so well that he did not think much the worse of him for that, v. 27. [2.] That he had protected him because he was a Roman: "When they were about to kill him, I came with an army, a considerable body of men, and rescued him;" which action for a citizen of Rome would recommend him to the Roman governor. [3.] That he could not understand the merits of his cause, nor what it was that made him so odious to the Jews, and obnoxious to their ill-will. He took the proper method to know: he brought him forth into their council (v. 28), to be examined there, hoping that, either from their complaints or his own confession, he would learn something of the ground of all this clamour, but he found that he was accused of questions of their law (v. 29), about the hope of the resurrection of the dead, v. 6. This chief captain was a man of sense and honour, and had good principles in him of justice and humanity; and yet see how slightly he speaks of another world, and the great things of that world, as if that were a question, which is of undoubted certainty, and which both sides agreed in, except the Sadducees; and as if that were a question only of their law, which is of the utmost concern to all mankind! Or perhaps he refers rather to the question about their rituals than about their doctrinals, and the quarrel he perceived they had with him was for lessening the credit and obligation of their ceremonial law, which he looked upon as a thing not worth speaking of. The Romans allowed the nations they conquered the exercise of their own religion, and never offered to impose theirs upon them; yet, as conservators of the public peace, they wound not suffer them, under colour of their religion, to abuse their neighbours. [4.] That thus far he understood that there was nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds, much less proved or made out against him. The Jews had, by their wickedness, made themselves odious to the world, had polluted their own honour and profaned their own crown, had brought disgrace upon their church, their law, and their holy place, and then they cry out against Paul, as having diminished the reputation of them; and was this a crime worthy of death or bonds?

(3.) His referring Paul's case to Felix (v. 30): "When it was told me that the Jews laid wait for the man, to kill him, without any legal process against him, I sent straightaway to thee, who art the most proper person to head the cause, and give judgment upon it, and let his accusers go after him, if they please, and say before thee what they have against him, for, being bred a soldier, I will never pretend to be a judge, and so farewell."

4. Paul was accordingly conducted to Csarea; the soldiers got him safely out of Jerusalem by night, and left the conspirators to consider whether they should east and drink or no before they had killed Paul; and, if they would not repent of the wickedness of their oath as it was against Paul, they were now at leisure to repent of the rashness of it as it was against themselves; if any of them did starve themselves to death, in consequence of their oath and vexation at their disappointment, they fell unpitied. Paul was conducted to Antipatris, which was seventeen miles from Jerusalem, and about the mid-way to Csarea, v. 31. Thence the two hundred foot-soldiers, and the two hundred spearmen, returned back to Jerusalem, to their quarters in the castle; for, having conducted Paul out of danger, there needed not strong a guard, but the horsemen might serve to bring him to Csarea, and would do it with more expedition; this they did, not only to save their own labour, but their master's charge; and it is an example to servants, not only to act obediently according to their masters' orders, but to act prudently, so as may be most for their masters' interest.

5. He was delivered into the hands of Felix, as his prisoner, v. 33. The officers presented the letter, and Paul with it, to Felix, and so discharged themselves of their trust. Paul had never affected acquaintance or society with great men, but with the disciples, wherever he came; yet Providence overrules his sufferings so as by them to give him an opportunity of witnessing to Christ before great men; and so Christ had foretold concerning his disciples, that they should be brought before rulers and kings for his sake, for a testimony against them, Mark xiii. 9. The governor enquired of what province of the empire the prisoner originally was, and was told that he was a native of Cilicia, v. 34; and, (1.) He promises him a speedy trial (v. 35): "I will hear thee when thing accusers have come, and will have an ear open to both sides, as becomes a judge." (2.) He ordered him into custody, that he should be kept a prisoner in Herod's judgment-hall, in some apartment belonging to that palace which was denominated from Herod the Great, who built it. There he had opportunity of acquainting himself with great men that attended the governor's court, and, no doubt, he improved what acquaintance he got there to the best purposes.

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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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