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

Acts of the Apostles 26 (Chapter XXVI 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 at the bar, and Festus, and Agrippa, and Bernice, and all the great men of the city of Csarea, upon the bench, or about it, waiting to hear what he had to say for himself. Now in this chapter we have, I. The account he gives of himself, in answer to the calumnies of the Jews. And in this, 1. His humble address to king Agrippa, and the compliment he passed upon him, ver. 1-3. 2. His account of his origin, and education, his profession as a Pharisee, and his adherence still to that which was then the main article of his creed, in distinction from the Sadducees, the "resurrection of the dead," however in rituals he had since departed from it, ver. 3-8. 3. Of his zeal against the Christian religion, and the professors of it, in the beginning of his time, ver. 9-11. 4. Of his miraculous conversion to the faith of Christ, ver. 12-16. 5. Of the commission he received from heaven to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, ver. 17, 18. 6. Of his proceedings pursuant to that commission, which had given this mighty offence to the Jews, ver. 19-21. 7. Of the doctrine which he had made it his business to preach to the Gentiles, which was so far from destroying the law and the prophets that it showed the fulfilling of both, ver. 22, 23. II. The remarks that were made upon his apology. 1. Festus thought he never heard a man talk so madly, and slighted him as crazed, ver. 24. In answer to him, he denies the charge, and appeals to king Agrippa, ver. 25-27. 2. King Agrippa, being more closely and particularly dealt with, thinks he never heard a man talk more rationally and convincingly, and owns himself almost his convert (ver. 28), and Paul heartily wishes him so, ver. 29. 3. They all agreed that he was an innocent man, that he ought to be set at liberty, and that it was a pity he was provoked to put a bar in his own door by appealing to Csar, ver. 30-32.

Paul's Fifth Defence.

1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: " alt="St-Takla.org Image: Agrippa interrupted him. Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly? (Acts 26: 28) - "Paul's trial before Festus and Agrippa" images set (Acts 25:1 - Acts 26:32): image (10) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "فقال أغريباس لبولس: بقليل تقنعني أن أصير مسيحيا" (أعمال الرسل 26: 28) - مجموعة "محاكمة بولس أمام فستوس وأغريباس" (أعمال الرسل 25: 1 - أعمال الرسل 26: 32) - صورة (10) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا" width="640" height="463">

St-Takla.org Image: Agrippa interrupted him. Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly? (Acts 26: 28) - "Paul's trial before Festus and Agrippa" images set (Acts 25:1 - Acts 26:32): image (10) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "فقال أغريباس لبولس: بقليل تقنعني أن أصير مسيحيا" (أعمال الرسل 26: 28) - مجموعة "محاكمة بولس أمام فستوس وأغريباس" (أعمال الرسل 25: 1 - أعمال الرسل 26: 32) - صورة (10) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا

3. Paul, not being allowed time to pursue his argument, concludes with a compliment, or rather a pious wish that all his hearers were Christians, and this wish turned into a prayer: euxaimen an to TheoI pray to God for it (v. 29); it was his heart's desire and prayer to God for them all that they might be saved, Rom. x. 1. That not only thou but all that hear me this day (for he has the same kind design upon them all) were both almost, and altogether, such as I am, except these bonds. Hereby, (1.) He professes his resolution to cleave to his religion, as that which he was entirely satisfied in, and determined to live and die by. In wishing that they were all as he was, he does in effect declare against ever being as they were, whether Jews or Gentiles, how much soever it might be to his worldly advantage. He adheres to the instruction God gave to the prophet (Jer. xv. 19), Let them return unto thee, but return not thou unto them. (2.) He intimates his satisfaction not only in the truth, but in the benefit and advantage of Christianity; he had so much comfort in it for the present, and was so sure it would end in his eternal happiness, that he could not wish better to the best friend he had in the world than to wish him such a one as he was, a faithful zealous disciple of Jesus Christ. Let my enemy be as the wicked, says Job, ch. xxvii. 7. Let my friend be as the Christian, says Paul. (3.) He intimates his trouble and concern that Agrippa went no further than being almost such a one as he was, almost a Christian, and not altogether one; for he wishes that he and the rest of them might be not only almost (what good would that do?) but altogether such as he was, sincere thorough-paced Christians. (4.) He intimates that it was the concern, and would be the unspeakable happiness, of every one of them to become true Christiansthat there is grace enough in Christ for all, be they ever so manyenough for each, be they ever so craving. (5.) He intimates the hearty good-will he bore to them all; he wishes them, [1.] As well as he wished his own soul, that they might be as happy in Christ as he was. [2.] Better than he now was as to his outward condition, for he excepts these bonds; he wishes they might all be comforted Christians as he was, but not persecuted Christians as he wasthat they might taste as much as he did of the advantages that attended religion, but not so much of its crosses. They had made light of his imprisonment, and were in no concern for him. Felix detained him in bonds to gratify the Jews. Now this would have tempted many a one to wish them all in his bonds, that they might know what it was to be confined as he was, and then they would know the better how to pity him; but he was so far from this that, when he wished them in bonds to Christ, he desired they might never be in bonds for Christ. Nothing could be said more tenderly nor with a better grace.

III. They all agree that Paul is an innocent man, and is wronged in his prosecution. 1. The court broke up with some precipitation (v. 30): When he had spoken that obliging word (v. 29), which moved them all, the king was afraid, if he were permitted to go on, he would say something yet more moving, which might work upon some of them to appear more in his favour than was convenient, and perhaps might prevail with them to turn Christians. The king himself found his own heart begin to yield, and durst not trust himself to hear more, but, like Felix, dismissed Paul for this time. They ought in justice to have asked the prisoner whether he had any more to say for himself; but they thought he had said enough, and therefore the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and those that sat with them, concluding the case was plain, and with this they contented themselves, when Paul had more to say which would have made it plainer. 2. They all concurred in an opinion of Paul's innocency, v. 31. The court withdrew to consult of the matter, to know one another's minds upon it, and they talked among themselves, all to the same purport, that this man does nothing worthy of bondshe is not a dangerous man, whom it is prudent to confine. After this, Nero made a law for the putting of those to death who professed the Christian religion, but as yet there was no law of that kind among the Romans, and therefore no transgression; and this judgment of theirs is a testimony against that wicked law which Nero made not long after this, that Paul, the most active zealous Christian that ever was, was adjudged, even by those that were no friends to his way, to have done nothing worthy of death, or of bonds. Thus was he made manifest in the conscience of those who yet would not receive his doctrine; and the clamours of the hot-headed Jews, who cried out, Away with him, it is not fit he should live, were shamed by the moderate counsels of this court. 3. Agrippa gave his judgment that he might have been set at liberty, if he had not himself appealed to Csar (v. 32), but by that appeal he had put a bar in his own door. Some think that by the Roman law this was true, that, when a prisoner had appealed to the supreme court, the inferior courts could no more discharge him than they could condemn him; and we suppose the law was so, if the prosecutors joined issue upon the appeal, and consented to it. But it does not appear that in Paul's case the prosecutors did so; he was forced to do it, to screen himself from their fury, when he saw the governor did not take the care he ought to have done for his protection. And therefore others think that Agrippa and Festus, being unwilling to disoblige the Jews by setting him at liberty, made this serve for an excuse of their continuing him in custody, when they themselves knew they might have justified the discharging of him. Agrippa, who was but almost persuaded to be a Christian, proves no better than if he had not been at all persuaded. And now I cannot tell, (1.) Whether Paul repented of his having appealed to Csar, and wished he had not done it, blaming himself for it as a rash thing, now he saw that was the only thing that hindered his discharge. He had reason perhaps to reflect upon it with regret, and to charge himself with imprudence and impatience in it, and some distrust of the divine protection. He had better have appealed to God than to Csar. It confirms what Solomon says (Eccl. vi. 12), Who knows what is good for man in this life? What we think is for our welfare often proves to be a trap; such short-sighted creatures are we, and so ill-advised in leaning, as we do, to our own understanding. Or, (2.) Whether, notwithstanding this, he was satisfied in what he had done, and was easy in his reflections upon it. His appealing to Csar was lawful, and what became a Roman citizen, and would help to make his cause considerable; and forasmuch as when he did it it appeared to him, as the case then stood, to be for the best, though afterwards it appeared otherwise, he did not vex himself with any self-reproach in the matter, but believed there was a providence in it, and it would issue well at last. And besides, he was told in a vision that he must bear witness to Christ at Rome, ch. xxiii. 11. And it is all one to him whether he goes thither a prisoner or at his liberty; he knows the counsel of the Lord shall stand, and says, Let it stand. The will of the Lord be done.

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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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