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Verse 25. Thrice was I beaten with rods. In the Acts of the Apostles there is mention made of his being beaten in this manner but once before the time when this epistle was written. That occurred at Philippi, Ac 16:22,23. But there is no reason to doubt that it was more frequently done. This was a frequent mode of punishment among the ancient nations; and as Paul was often persecuted, he would be naturally subjected to this shameful punishment.

Once was I stoned. This was the usual mode of punishment among the Jews for blasphemy. The instance referred to here occurred at Lystra, Ac 14:19. Paley (Horae Paulinae) has remarked that this, when confronted with the history, furnished the nearest approach to a contradiction, without a contradiction being actually incurred, that he ever had met with. The history (Ac 14:19) contains but one account of his being actually stoned. But prior to this, (Ac 14:5,) it mentions that "an assault was made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone them, but they were aware of it, and fled to Lystra and Derbe." "Now," Paley remarks, "had the assault been completed; had the history related that a stone was thrown, as it relates that preparations were made both by Jews and Gentiles to stone Paul and his companions; or even had the account of this transaction stopped without going on to inform us that Paul and his companions were aware of their danger and fled, a contradiction between the history and the epistle would have ensued. Truth is necessarily consistent; but it is scarcely possible that independent accounts, not having truth to guide them, should thus advance to the very brink of contradiction without falling into it."

Thrice I suffered shipwreck. On what occasions, or where, is now unknown, as these instances are not referred to in the Acts of the Apostles. The instance of shipwreck recorded there, (Ac 27,) which occurred when on his way to Rome, happened after this epistle was written, and should not be supposed to be one of the instances referred to here. Paul made many voyages in going from Jerusalem to Tarsus, and to Antioch, and to various parts of Asia Minor, and to Cyprus; and shipwrecks in those seas were by no means such unusual occurrences as to render this account improbable.

A night and a day, etc. The word here used (nucyhmeron) denotes a complete natural day, or twenty-four hours.

In the deep. To what this refers we do not now certainly know. It is probable, however, that Paul refers to some period when, having been shipwrecked, he was saved by supporting himself on a plank or fragment of the vessel until he obtained relief. Such a situation is one of great peril, and he mentions it, therefore, among the trials which he had endured. The supposition of some commentators, that he spent his time on some rock in the deep; or of others, that this means some deep dungeon; or of others, that he was swallowed by a whale, like Jonah, shows the extent to which the fancy is often indulged in interpreting the Bible.

{e} "with rods" Ac 16:22 {f} "stoned" Ac 14:19 {g} "night and a day" Ac 27

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