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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 18 - Verse 2

Verse 2. And found a certain Jew. Aquila is elsewhere mentioned as the friend of Paul, Ro 16:3; 2 Ti 4:19; 1 Co 16:19.

Though a Jew by birth, yet it is evident that he became a convert to the Christian faith.

Born in Pontus. See Barnes "Ac 2:9".

 

Lately come from Italy. Though the command of Claudius extended only to Rome, yet it was probably deemed not safe to remain, or it might have been difficult to procure occupation in any part of Italy.

Because that Claudius. Claudius was the Roman emperor. He commenced his reign A.D. 41, and was poisoned A.D. 64. At what time in his reign this command was issued is not certainly known.

Had commanded, etc. This command is not mentioned by Josephus; but it is recorded by Suetonius, a Roman historian, (Life of Claudius, chap. 26,) who says, that "he expelled the Jews from Rome, who were constantly exciting tumults under their leader, Chrestus." Who this Chrestus was, is not known. It might have been a foreign Jew, who raised tumults on some occasion, of which we have no knowledge—as the Jews in all heathen cities were greatly prone to excitements and insurrections. Or it may be that Suetonius, little acquainted with Jewish affairs, mistook this for the name Christ, and supposed that he was the leader of the Jews. This explanation has much plausibility; for,

(1.) Suetonius could scarcely be supposed to be intimately acquainted with the affairs of the Jews.

(2.) There is every reason to believe that, before this, the Christian religion was preached at Rome.

(3.) It would produce there, as everywhere else, great tumult and contention among the Jews.

(4.) Claudius, the emperor, might suppose that such tumults endangered the peace of the city, and resolve to remove the cause at once by the dispersion of all the Jews.

(5.) A Roman historian might easily mistake the true state of the case; and while they were contending about Christ, he might suppose that it was under him, as a leader, that these tumults were excited. All that is material however, here, is the fact, in which Luke and Suetonius agree, that the Jews were expelled from Rome during his reign.

{c} "Aquila" Ro 16:3

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