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And with an Orator, one Tertullus
(κα ρητορος Τερτυλλου τινος). A deputation of elders along with the high priest Ananias, not the whole Sanhedrin, but no
hint of the forty conspirators or of the Asian Jews. The Sanhedrin had become divided so that now it is probably Ananias (mortally
offended) and the Sadducees who take the lead in the prosecution of Paul. It is not clear whether after five days is from
Paul's departure from Jerusalem or his arrival in Caesarea. If he spent nine days in Jerusalem, then the five days would be
counted from then (verse
11). The employment of a Roman lawyer (Latin orator) was necessary since the Jews were not familiar with Roman legal procedure and it was the custom in the provinces (Cicero
pro Cael. 30). The speech was probably in Latin which Paul may have understood also. Ρητωρ is a common old Greek word meaning a forensic
orator or advocate but here only in the N.T. The Latin rhetor was a teacher of rhetoric, a very different thing. Tertullus is a diminutive of Tertius (Ro 16:22
When he (Paul) was called
(κληθεντος αυτου). Genitive absolute (as so often in Acts) with first aorist passive participle of καλεω. Seeing that by
thee we enjoy much peace (πολλης ειρηνης τυγχανοντες δια σου). Literally, obtaining much peace by thee. A regular piece of
flattery, captatio benevolentiae, to ingratiate himself into the good graces of the governor. Felix had suppressed a riot, but Tacitus (Ann. XII. 54) declares that Felix secretly encouraged banditti and shared the plunder for which the Jews finally made complaint
to Nero who recalled him. But it sounded well to praise Felix for keeping peace in his province, especially as Tertullus was
going to accuse Paul of being a disturber of the peace.
39553955 In all ways and in all places (παντη τε κα πανταχου). Παντη, old adverb of manner only here in N.T. Πανταχου also old adverb of place, several times in N.T. But these adverbs most likely go with the preceding clause about "reforms" rather than as here translated with "we accept" (αποδεχομεθα). But "with all gratitude" (μετα πασης ευχαριστιας) does naturally go with αποδεχομεθα.
That I be not further tedious unto thee
(ινα μη επ πλειον σε ενκοπτω). Koine verb (Hippocrates, Polybius) to cut in on (or into), to cut off, to impede, to hinder. Our modern telephone and radio illustrate
it well. In the N.T. (Ac 24:4; 1Th 2:18; Ga 5:7; Ro 15:22; 1Pe 3:7
). "That I may not cut in on or interrupt thee further (επ πλειον) in thy reforms." Flattery still.
For we have found
(ευροντες γαρ). Second aorist active participle of ευρισκω, but without a principal verb in the sentence. Probably we have
here only a "summary of the charges against Paul" (Page).
Assayed to profane
(επειρασεν βεβηλωσα). A flat untruth, but the charge of the Asian Jews (21:28-30). Verbum optum ad calumnian (Bengel).
39593959 This whole verse with some words at the end of verse 6 and the beginning of verse 8 in the Textus Receptus ("And would have judged according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come unto thee") is absent from Aleph A B H L P 61 (many other cursives) Sahidic Bohairic. It is beyond doubt a later addition to the incomplete report of the speech of Tertullus. As the Revised Version stands, verse 8 connects with verse 6. The motive of the added words is clearly to prejudice Felix against Lysias and they contradict the record in Ac 21 . Furneaux holds them to be genuine and omitted because contradictory to Ac 21 . More likely they are a clumsy attempt to complete the speech of Tertullus.
(παρ' ου). Referring to Paul, but in the Textus Receptus referring to Lysias.
Joined in the charge
(συνεπεθεντο). Second aorist middle indicative of συνεπιτιθημ, old verb, double compound, to place upon (επ) together with
(συν), to make a joint attack, here only in the N.T.
When the governor had beckoned to him
(νευσαντος αυτω του ηγεμονος). Genitive absolute again with first aorist active participle of νευω, to give a nod, old word,
in N.T. only here and Joh 13:24
. "The governor nodding to him."
Seeing that thou canst take knowledge
(δυναμενου σου επιγνωνα). Genitive absolute again. The same word and form (επιγνωνα) used by Tertullus, if in Greek, in verse
8 to Felix. Paul takes it up and repeats it.
(διαλεγομενον). Simply conversing, discussing, arguing, and then disputing, common verb in old Greek and in N.T. (especially
(παραστησα). First aorist active infinitive of παριστημ, to place beside. They have made "charges," mere assertions. They
have not backed up these charges with proof, "nor can they," says Paul.
(ομολογω). The only charge left was that of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. This Paul frankly confesses
is true. He uses the word in its full sense. He is "guilty" of that.
That there shall be a resurrection
(αναστασιν μελλειν εσεσθα). Indirect assertion with infinitive and accusative of general reference (αναστασιν) after the
word ελπιδα (hope). The future infinitive εσεσθα after μελλειν is also according to rule, μελλω being followed by either present,
aorist, or future infinitive (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 870, 877, 878).
(εν τουτω). His whole confession of belief in verses 14,15
After many years
(δι' ετων πλειονων). "At an interval (δια) of more (πλειονων) years" (than a few, one must add), not "after many years."
If, as is likely Paul went up to Jerusalem in Ac 18:22
, that was some five years ago and would justify "πλειονων" (several years ago or some years ago).
(εν αιλ). That is, "in which offerings" (in presenting which offerings,
But certain Jews from Asia
(τινες δε απο της Αλιας Ιουδαιο). No verb appears in the Greek for these words. Perhaps he meant to say that "certain Jews
from Asia charged me with doing these things." Instead of saying that, Paul stops to explain that they are not here, a thoroughly
Pauline anacoluthon (2Co 7:5
) as in
26:9. "The passage as it stands is instinct with life, and seems to exhibit the abruptness so characteristic of the Pauline
These men themselves
(αυτο ουτο). Since the Asiatic Jews are not present and these men are.
Except it be
(ε). Literally, "than," but after interrogative τ = τ αλλο "what else than."
Having more exact knowledge
(ακριβεστερον ειδως). "Knowing" (second perfect active participle of οιδα) "more accurately" (comparative of adverb ακριβως).
More accurately than what? Than the Sanhedrin supposed he had "concerning the Way" (τα περ της οδου, the things concerning
the Way, common in Acts for Christianity). How Felix had gained this knowledge of Christianity is not stated. Philip the Evangelist
lived here in Caesarea and there was a church also. Drusilla was a Jewess and may have told him something. Besides, it is
wholly possible that Felix knew of the decision of Gallio in Corinth that Christianity was a religio licita as a form of Judaism. As a Roman official he knew perfectly well that the Sanhedrin with the help of Tertullus had failed
utterly to make out a case against Paul. He could have released Paul and probably would have done so but for fear of offending
the Jews whose ruler he was and the hope that Paul (note "alms" in verse
17) might offer him bribes for his liberty.
And should have indulgence
(εχειν τε ανεσιν). From ανιημ, to let loose, release, relax. Old word, in the N.T. only here and 2Th 1:7; 2Co 2:13; 7:5; 8:13
. It is the opposite of strict confinement, though under guard, "kept in charge" (τηρεισθα).
With Drusilla his wife
(συν Δρουσιλλη τη ιδια γυναικ). Felix had induced her to leave her former husband Aziz, King of Emesa. She was one of three
daughters of Herod Agrippa I (Drusilla, Mariamne, Bernice). Her father murdered James, her great-uncle Herod Antipas slew
John the Baptist, her great-grandfather (Herod the Great) killed the babes of Bethlehem. Perhaps the mention of Drusilla as
"his own wife" is to show that it was not a formal trial on this occasion. Page thinks that she was responsible for the interview
because of her curiosity to hear Paul.
(εμφοβος γενομενος). Ingressive aorist middle of γινομα, "becoming terrified." Εμφοβος (εν and φοβος) old word, in the N.T.
only Lu 24:5; Ac 10:5; 24:25; Re 11:13
. Paul turned the tables completely around and expounded "the faith in Christ Jesus" as it applied to Felix and Drusilla and
discoursed (διαλεγομενου αυτου, genitive absolute) concerning "righteousness" (δικαιοσυνης) which they did not possess, "self-control"
or temperance (εγκρατειας) which they did not exhibit, and "the judgment to come" (του κριματος του μελλοντος) which was certain
to overtake them. Felix was brought under conviction, but apparently not Drusilla. Like another Herodias her resentment was
to be feared (Knowling).
He hoped withal
(αμα κα ελπιζων). "At the same time also hoping." Paul had mentioned the "alms" (24:17) and that excited the avarice of Felix
for "money" (χρηματα). Roman law demanded exile and confiscation for a magistrate who accepted bribes, but it was lax in the
provinces. Felix had doubtless received them before. Josephus (Ant. XX. 8, 9) represents Felix as greedy for money.
But when two years were fulfilled
(διετιας δε πληρωθεισης). Genitive absolute first aorist passive of πληροω, common verb to fill full. Διετια, late word in
LXX and Philo, common in the papyri, in N.T. only here and Ac 28:30
. Compound of δια, two (δυο, δις) and ετος, year. So Paul lingered on in prison in Caesarea, waiting for the second hearing
under Felix which never came. Caesarea now became the compulsory headquarters of Paul for two years. With all his travels
Paul spent several years each at Tarsus, Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus, though not as a prisoner unless that was true part of
the time at Ephesus for which there is some evidence though not of a convincing kind. We do not know that Luke remained in
Caesarea all this time. In all probability he came and went with frequent visits with Philip the Evangelist. It was probably
during this period that Luke secured the material for his Gospel and wrote part or all of it before going to Rome. He had
ample opportunity to examine the eyewitnesses who heard Jesus and the first attempts at writing including the Gospel of Mark
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