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

Acts of the Apostles 24 (Chapter XXIV 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

We left Paul a prisoner at Csarea, in Herod's judgment-hall, expecting his trial to come on quickly; for in the beginning of his imprisonment his affairs moved very quickly, but afterwards very slowly. In this chapter we have his arraignment and trial before Felix the governor at Csarea; here is, I. The appearing of the prosecutors against him, and the setting of the prisoner to the bar, ver. 1, 2. II. The opening of the indictment against him by Tertullus, who was of counsel for the prosecutors, and the aggravating of the charge, with abundance of compliments to the judge, and malice to the prisoner, ver. 2-8. III. The corroborating of the charge by the testimony of the witnesses, or rather the prosecutors themselves, ver. 9. IV. The prisoner's defence, in which, with all due deference to the governor (ver. 10), he denies the charge, and challenges them to prove it (ver. 11-13), owns the truth, and makes an unexceptionable profession of his faith, which he declares was it that they hated him for (ver. 14-16), and gives a more particular account of what had passed from their first seizing him, challenging them to specify any ill they had found in him, ver. 17-21. V. The adjourning of the cause, and the continuing of the prisoner in custody, ver. 22, 23. VI. The private conversation that was between the prisoner and the judge, by which the prisoner hoped to do good to the judge and the judge thought to get money by the prisoner, but both in vain, ver. 24-26. VII. The lengthening out of Paul's imprisonment for two years, till another governor came (ver. 27), where he seems as much neglected as there had been ado about him.

The Speech of Tertullus.

1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. " alt="St-Takla.org Image: Felix hoped that Paul would bribe him to get released, so he talked with him quite often. Felix, who also wanted to be popular with Pauls accusers, kept him in prison for the next two years. Felix was then succeeded by Porcius Festus. (Acts 24: 26-27) - "Paul's trial before Felix" images set (Acts 24:1-27): image (10) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "وكان أيضا يرجو أن يعطيه بولس دراهم ليطلقه، ولذلك كان يستحضره مرارا أكثر ويتكلم معه. ولكن لما كملت سنتان، قبل فيلكس بوركيوس فستوس خليفة له. وإذ كان فيلكس يريد أن يودع اليهود منة، ترك بولس مقيدا" (أعمال الرسل 24: 26-27) - مجموعة "محاكمة بولس أمام فيلكس" (أعمال الرسل 24: 1-27) - صورة (10) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا" width="640" height="463">

St-Takla.org Image: Felix hoped that Paul would bribe him to get released, so he talked with him quite often. Felix, who also wanted to be popular with Pauls accusers, kept him in prison for the next two years. Felix was then succeeded by Porcius Festus. (Acts 24: 26-27) - "Paul's trial before Felix" images set (Acts 24:1-27): image (10) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "وكان أيضا يرجو أن يعطيه بولس دراهم ليطلقه، ولذلك كان يستحضره مرارا أكثر ويتكلم معه. ولكن لما كملت سنتان، قبل فيلكس بوركيوس فستوس خليفة له. وإذ كان فيلكس يريد أن يودع اليهود منة، ترك بولس مقيدا" (أعمال الرسل 24: 26-27) - مجموعة "محاكمة بولس أمام فيلكس" (أعمال الرسل 24: 1-27) - صورة (10) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا

IV. After all, he detained him a prisoner, and left him so, when two years after he was removed from the government, v. 26, 27. He was convinced in his conscience that Paul had done nothing worthy of death or of bonds, and yet had not the honesty to release him. To little purpose had Paul reasoned with him about righteousness, though he then trembled at the thought of his own iniquity, who could thus persist in such a palpable piece of injustice. But here we are told what principles he was governed by herein; and they were such as make the matter yet much worse. 1. The love of money. He would not release Paul because he hoped to make his market of him, and that at length his friends would make a purse to purchase his liberty, and then he would satisfy his conscience by releasing him when he could withal satisfy his covetousness by it; but he cannot find in his heart to do his duty as a judge, unless he can get money by it: He hoped that money would have been given him of Paul, or somebody for him, and then he would have loosed him, and set him at liberty. In hopes of this, he detains him a prisoner, and sends for him the oftener, and communes with him; not any more about the faith of Christ (he had had enough of that, and of the judgment to come; Paul must not return to those subjects, nor go on with them), but about his discharge, or ransom rather, out of his present captivity. He cannot for shame ask Paul what he will give him to release him, but he sends for him to feel his pulse, and gives him an opportunity to ask why he would take to release him. And now we see what became of his promise both to Paul and to himself, that he would hear more of Christ at some other convenient season. Here were many seasons convenient enough to have talked that matter through, but nothing is done in it; all his business now is to get money by Paul, not to get the knowledge of Christ by him. Note, It is just with God to say concerning those who trifle with their convictions, and think they can have the grace of God at command when they please, My Spirit shall no more strive with them. When men will not hear God's voice to-day, while it is called to-day, the heart is commonly hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Paul was but a poor man himself, silver and gold he had none to give, to purchase his liberty; but Felix knew there were those who wished well to him who were able to assist him. He having lately collected a great deal of money for the poor saints to relieve them, it might also be expected that the rich saints should contribute some to release him, and I wonder it was not done. Though Paul is to be commended that he would not offer money to Felix, nor beg money of the churches (his great and generous soul disdained both), yet I know not whether his friends are to be commended, nay, whether they can be justified, in not doing it for him. They ought to have solicited the governor as pressingly for him as his enemies did against him: and if a gift was necessary to make room for them (as Solomon speaks) and to bring them before great men, they might lawfully have done it. I ought not to bribe a man to do an unjust thing, but, if he will not do me justice without a fee, it is but doing myself justice to give it to him; and, if they might do it, it was a shame they did not do it. I blush for them, that they would let such an eminent and useful man as Paul lie in the jail, when a little money would have fetched him out, and restored him to his usefulness again. The Christians here at Csarea, where he now was, had parted with their tears to prevent his going to the prison (ch. xxi. 13), and could they not find in their hearts to part with their money to help him out? Yet there might be a providence of God in it; Paul's bonds must be for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ, and therefore he must continue in bonds. However, this will not excuse Felix, who ought to have released an innocent man, without demanding or accepting any thing for it: the judge that will not do right without a bribe will no doubt do wrong for a bribe. 2. Men-pleasing. Felix was recalled from his government about two years after this, and Porcius Festus was put in his place, and one should have expected he would have at least concluded his government with this act of justice, the release of Paul, but he did not; he left Paul bound, and the reason here given is because he was willing to do the Jews a pleasure. Though he would not deliver him to death, to please them, yet he would continue him a prisoner rather than offend them; and he did it in hope hereby to atone for the many offences he had done against them. He did not think Paul had either interest or inclination to complain of him at court, for detaining him so long in custody, against all law and equity; but he was jealous of the high priest and elders, that they would be his accusers to the emperor for the wrongs he had done them, and therefore hopes by gratifying them in this matter to stop their mouths. Thus those who do some base things are tempted to do more to screen themselves and bear them out. If Felix had not injured the Jews, he needed not to have done this to please them; but, when he had done it, it seems he did not gain his point. The Jews, notwithstanding this, accused him to the emperor, and some historians say he was sent bound to Rome by Festus; and, if so, surely his remembering how light he had made of Paul's bonds would help to make his own chain heavy. Those that aim to please God by doing good will have what they aim at; but so will not those that seek to please men by doing evil.

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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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