Ac 22:1-30. Paul's Defense
from the Stairs of the Fortress—The Rage of the Audience Bursting Forth, the Commandant Has
Him Brought into the Fort to Be Examined by Scourging, but Learning
that He Is a Roman, He Orders His Release and Commands the Sanhedrin to Try
2. when they heard … the Hebrew
tongue—(See on Ac 21:40).
they kept the more silence—They could
have understood him in Greek, and doubtless fully expected the
renegade to address them in that language, but the sound of their holy
mother tongue awed them into deeper silence.
3. a Jew of Tarsus, brought up in this city, at
the feet—(See on Lu 10:39).
of Gamaliel—(See on Ac 5:34); a fact of great importance in the apostle's
history, standing in the same relation to his future career as Moses'
education in the Egyptian court to the work for which he was
the perfect manner of the law of the
fathers—the strictest form of traditional Judaism.
toward God as ye all are this day—his
own former murderous zeal against the disciples of the Lord Jesus being
merely reflected in their present treatment of himself.
4. I persecuted, &c.—(See on Ac 9:1,2; Ac 9:5-7).
5. the high priest—still alive.
doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the
elders—the whole Sanhedrim.
8. Jesus of Nazareth—the Nazarene. See
on Ac 9:5.
9-11. they that were with me—(See on Ac 9:7, &c.)
12. Ananias, a devout man, according to the law,
having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there—One
would not know from this description of Ananias that he was a Christian
at all, the apostles object being to hold him up as unexceptionable,
even to the most rigid Jews.
13-15. The God of our fathers hath chosen
thee—studiously linking the new economy upon the old, as but
the sequel of it; both having one glorious Author.
14. that thou shouldest … see
Just One—compare Ac 3:14; 7:52.
hear the voice of his mouth—in order
to place him on a level with the other apostles, who had "seen the
16. be baptized and wash away thy
sins—This way of speaking arises from baptism being the
visible seal of remission.
calling on the name of the
Lord—rather, "having called," that is, after having
done so; referring to the confession of Christ which preceded
baptism, as Ac 8:37.
17-21. it came to pass, &c.—This
thrilling dialogue between the glorified Redeemer and his chosen vessel
is nowhere else related.
when I was come again to Jerusalem—on
the occasion mentioned in Ac 9:26-29.
while I prayed in the temple—He thus
calls their attention to the fact that after his conversion he kept up
his connection with the temple as before.
18. get … quickly out of
Jerusalem—compare Ac 9:29.
for they will not receive thy testimony …
And I said, Lord, they know, &c.—"Can it be, Lord, that
they will resist the testimony of one whom they knew so well as among
the bitterest of all against Thy disciples, and whom nothing short of
resistless evidence could have turned to Thee?"
21. depart for I will send thee far hence unto the
Gentiles—that is, "Enough; thy testimony is not to be thrown
away upon Jerusalem; the Gentiles, afar off, are thy peculiar
22, 23. gave him audience to this word …
then … Away with such a fellow from the earth,
&c.—Their national prejudices lashed into fury at the mention
of a mission to the Gentiles, they would speedily have done to him as
they did to Stephen, but for the presence and protection of the Roman
24-26. examined by scourging—according
to the Roman practice.
that he might know wherefore they cried
so—Paul's speech being to him in an unknown tongue, he
concluded from the horror which it kindled in the vast audience that he
must have been guilty of some crime.
25. Paul said to the centurion that stood
by—to superintend the torture and receive the confession
expected to be wrung from him.
Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a
Roman, &c.—See on Ac 16:37.
27-29. art thou a Roman?—showing that
this being of Tarsus, which he had told him before (Ac 21:39) did not necessarily imply that he was a
28. With a great sum obtained I this
freedom—Roman citizenship was bought and sold in the reign of
Claudius, we know, at a high price: at a subsequent date, for next to
nothing. But to put in a false claim to this privilege was a capital
I was free born—born to it, by
purchase, or in reward of services, on the part of his father or some
29. chief captain also was afraid,
&c.—See on Ac 16:38.
30. commanded the chief priests and all their
council to appear—that is, the Sanhedrim to be formally
convened. Note here the power to order a Sanhedrim to try this case,
assumed by the Roman officers and acquiesced in on their part.