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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 13 - Verse 10

Verse 10. O full of all subtilty and mischief. The word subtilty denotes deceit and fraud; and implies that he was practicing an imposition, and that he knew it. The word rendered mischief, radiourgiav denotes, properly, facility of acting, and then sleight of hand; sly, cunning arts, by which one imposes on another, and deceives him with a fraudulent intention. It is not elsewhere used in the New Testament. The art of Elymas consisted probably in sleight of hand, legerdemain, or trick, aided by skill in the abstruse sciences, by which the ignorant might be easily imposed on. See Barnes "Ac 8:9".

 

Child of the devil. Being under his influence; practicing his arts; promoting his designs by deceit and imposture, so that he may be called your father. See Barnes "Joh 8:44".

Satan is here represented as the author of deceit, and the father of lies.

Enemy of all righteousness. Practicing deceit and iniquity, and thus opposed to righteousness and honesty. A man who lives by wickedness will, of course, be the foe of every form of integrity. A man who lives by fraud will be opposed to the truth; a pander to the vices of men will hate the rules of chastity and purity; a manufacturer or vender of ardent spirits will be the enemy of temperance societies.

Wilt thou not cease to pervert. In what way he had opposed Paul and Barnabas is not known. Probably it might be by misrepresenting their doctrines; by representing them as apostate Jews; and thus by retarding or hindering the progress of the gospel. The expression, "wilt thou not cease," implies that he had been engaged sedulously in doing this, probably from the commencement of their work in the city.

The right ways of the Lord. The straight paths, or doctrines of the Christian religion, in opposition to the crooked and perverse arts of deceivers and impostors. Straight paths denote integrity, sincerity, truth, Jer 31:9; Heb 12:13. Comp. Isa 40:3,4; 42:16; Lu 3:5.

Crooked ways denote the ways of the sinner, the deceiver, the impostor, De 32:5; Ps 125:5; Pr 2:15; Isa 59:8; Php 2:15.

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