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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 4 - Verse 5

Verses 5, 6. Their rulers. The rulers of the Jews; doubtless the members of the sanhedrim, or great council of the nation. Comp. Ac 4:15. See Barnes "Mt 2:4; 5:22".

The expression their rulers, looks as if this book was written for the Gentiles, or Luke would have said our rulers.

Elders. Presbyters; or those who were chosen from among the people to sit in the sanhedrim. It is probable that the rulers were those who held also some other office, but were also authorized to sit in the great council.

Scribes. See Barnes "Mt 2:4".


And Annas, etc. See Barnes "Joh 18:13".

It is by no means certain that Annas was at that time the high priest, but he had been, and doubtless retained the title. He was father-in-law to Caiaphas the high priest; and from this fact, together with his former dignity, he is mentioned first.

Caiaphas. Son-in-law of Annas, and now exercising the office of the high priest, Joh 18:13.

John, and Alexander, etc. Of these persons nothing more is known. It is clear that they were members of the great council, and the mention of their names shows that the men of chief authority and influence were assembled to silence the apostles. Annas and Caiaphas had been concerned in the condemnation of Jesus, and they would now feel a special interest in arresting the progress of the gospel among the people. All the success of the gospel reflected back light upon the wickedness of the act of condemning the Lord Jesus. And this fact may serve, in part, to account for their strong desire to silence the apostles.

At Jerusalem. eiv. This was the usual place of assembling the sanhedrim. But the Jewish writers (see Lightfoot on this place) say, that forty years before the destruction of the city, on account of the great increase of crime, etc., the sanhedrim was removed from place to place. The declaration of Luke, that they were now assembled in Jerusalem, seems to imply that they sometimes met in other places. It is probable that the members of the sanhedrim were not in the city at the time mentioned in , and this was the reason why the trial was deferred to the next day.

{b} "Annas the High Priest" Joh 18:13

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