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25:1 Having come into the province [epibas tēi eparcheiāi]. Second aorist active participle of [epibainō], to set foot upon. Literally, “Having set foot upon his province.” [Eparcheia] is a late word for province, in N.T. only here and 23:34. Judea was not strictly a province, but a department (Page) of the province of Syria which was under a propraetor [legatus Caesaris] while Judea was under a procurator [epitropos]. After three days [meta treis hēmeras]. So in Ac 28:17 in Rome. That is on the third day, with a day of rest in between. Precisely the language used of the resurrection of Jesus “after three days” = “on the third day.” So by common usage then and now.
25:2 The principal men [hoi prōtoi]. The first men, the leading men of the city, besides the chief priests. In verse 15 we have “the chief priests and the elders.” These chief men among the Jews would desire to pay their respects to the new Procurator on his first visit to Jerusalem. There was another high priest now, Ishmael in place of Ananias. Informed him against Paul [enephanisan autōi kata tou Paulou]. “This renewal of the charge after two years, on the very first opportunity, is a measure, not only of their unsleeping hatred, but of the importance which they attached to Paul’s influence” (Furneaux). Besought [parekaloun]. Imperfect active, kept on beseeching as a special favour to the Jews.
25:3 Asking favour against him [aitoumenoi charin kat’ autou]. A favour to themselves (middle voice), not to Paul, but “against” [kat’], down, against) him. That he would send for [hopōs metapempsētai]. First aorist middle subjunctive of [metapempō] (see 24:24, 26) with final particle [hopōs] like [hina]. Aorist tense for single case. Laying wait [enedran poiountes]. See on 23:16 for the word [enedra]. Old idiom (Thucydides) for laying a plot or ambush as here. Only these two uses of [enedra] in N.T. Two years before the Sanhedrin had agreed to the plot of the forty conspirators. Now they propose one on their own initiative. On the way [kata tēn hodon]. Down along, up and down along the way. Plenty of opportunity would occur between Caesarea and Jerusalem for ambush and surprise attacks.
25:4 Howbeit [men oun]. No antithesis expressed, though Page considers [de] in verse 6 to be one. They probably argued that it was easier for one man (Paul) to come to Jerusalem than for many to go down there. But Festus was clearly suspicious ( verse 6) and was wholly within his rights to insist that they make their charges in Caesarea where he held court. Was kept in charge [tēreisthai]. Present passive infinitive of [tēreō] in indirect assertion. [Hoti] with finite verb is more common after [apokrinomai], but the infinitive with the accusative of general reference is proper as here (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1036). Shortly [en tachei]. In quickness, in speed. Old and common usage, seen already in Lu 18:8; Ac 12:7; 22:18. Festus is clearly within his rights again since his stay in Caesarea had been so brief. He did go down in “eight or ten days” (verse 6). Luke did not consider the matter important enough to be precise.
25:5 Them therefore which are of power among you [hoi oun en humin dunatoi]. “The mighty ones among you,” “the men of power” [dunatoi] and authority, “the first men,” the Sanhedrin, in other words. Note change here by Luke from indirect discourse in verse 4, to direct in verse 5 [phēsin], says he). Go down with me [sunkatabantes]. Double compound [sun, kata] second aorist active participle of [sunkatabainō]. It was a fair proposal. If there is anything amiss in the man [ei ti estin en tōi andri atopon]. Condition of the first class, assuming that there is (to be courteous to them), but not committing himself on the merits of the case. [Atopon] is an old word, specially common in Plato, meaning “out of place.” In N.T. only here and Lu 23:41 which see; Ac 28:6; 2Th 3:2. Note present tense active voice of [katēgoreitōsan] (imperative) of [katēgoreō], repeat their accusations.
25:6 On the morrow [tēi epaurion]. Locative case of the article with [hēmerāi] understood [epaurion], adverb, tomorrow). Festus lost no time for the chief men had come down with him. Sat on the judgment seat [kathisas epi tou bēmatos]. A legal formality to give weight to the decision. Ingressive aorist active participle. For this use of [bēma] for judgment seat see on Mt. 27:19; Joh 19:13; Acts 12:21; 18:12; 25:10, 17. Same phrase repeated in 25:17. To be brought [achthēnai]. First aorist passive infinitive of [agō] after [ekeleusen] (commanded). Same words repeated in 25:17 by Festus.
25:7 When he was come [paragenomenou autou]. Genitive absolute of common verb [paraginomai] (cf. 24:24). Which had come down [hoi katabebēkotes]. Perfect active participle of [katabainō]. They had come down on purpose at the invitation of Festus (verse 5), and were now ready. Stood round about him [periestēsan auton]. Second aorist (ingressive) active (intransitive) of [periistēmi], old verb, “Took their stand around him,” “periculum intentantes” (Bengel). Cf. Lu 23:10 about Christ. They have no lawyer this time, but they mass their forces so as to impress Festus. Bringing against him [katapherontes]. Bearing down on. See on 20:9; 26:10, only N.T. examples of this ancient verb. Many and grievous charges [polla kai barea aitiōmata]. This word [aitiōma] for old form [aitiama] is found in one papyrus (Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary) in sense of “blame.” But the charges were no “heavier” than those made by Tertullus (24:5-8). Paul’s reply proves this and they were also probably on court record (Furneaux). See this adjective [barus] (heavy) used with [lukoi] (wolves) in 20:29. Which they could not prove [ha ouk ischuon apodeixai]. Imperfect active of [ischuō], to have strength or power as in 19:16, 20. Repetition and reiteration and vehemence took the place of proof [apodeixai], first aorist active infinitive of [apodeiknumi], to show forth, old verb, in N.T. only here, Ac 2:22 which see and 1Co 4:9).
25:8 While Paul said in his defence [tou Paulou apologoumenou]. Genitive absolute again, present middle participle of [apologeomai], old verb to make defence as in 19:33; 24:10; 26:1, 2. The recitative [hoti] of the Greek before a direct quotation is not reproduced in English. Have I sinned at all [ti hēmarton]. Constative aorist active indicative of [hamartanō], to miss, to sin. The [ti] is cognate accusative (or adverbial accusative). Either makes sense. Paul sums up the charges under the three items of law of the Jews, the temple, the Roman state (Caesar). This last was the one that would interest Festus and, if proved, would render Paul guilty of treason [majestas]. Nero was Emperor A.D. 54-68, the last of the emperors with any hereditary claim to the name “Caesar.” Soon it became merely a title like Kaiser and Czar (modern derivatives). In Acts only “Caesar” and “Augustus” are employed for the Emperor, not “King” [Basileus] as from the time of Domitian. Paul’s denial is complete and no proof had been presented. Luke was apparently present at the trial.
25:9 Desiring to gain favour with the Jews [thelōn tois Ioudaiois charin katathesthai]. Precisely the expression used of Felix by Luke in 24:27 which see. Festus, like Felix, falls a victim to fear of the Jews. Before me [ep’ emou]. Same use of [epi] with the genitive as in 23:30; 24:19, 21. Festus, seeing that it was unjust to condemn Paul and yet disadvantageous to absolve him (Blass), now makes the very proposal to Paul that the rulers had made to him in Jerusalem (verse 3). He added the words “[ep’ emou]” (before me) as if to insure Paul of justice. If Festus was unwilling to give Paul justice in Caesarea where his regular court held forth, what assurance was there that Festus would give it to him at Jerusalem in the atmosphere of intense hostility to Paul? Only two years ago the mob, the Sanhedrin, the forty conspirators had tried to take his life in Jerusalem. Festus had no more courage to do right than Felix, however plausible his language might sound. Festus also, while wanting Paul to think that he would in Jerusalem “be judged of these things before me,” in reality probably intended to turn Paul over to the Sanhedrin in order to please the Jews, probably with Festus present also to see that Paul received justice [me presente]. Festus possibly was surprised to find that the charges were chiefly against Jewish law, though one was against Caesar. It was not a mere change of venue that Paul sensed, but the utter unwillingness of Festus to do his duty by him and his willingness to connive at Jewish vengeance on Paul. Paul had faced the mob and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, two years of trickery at the hands of Felix in Caesarea, and now he is confronted by the bland chicanery of Festus. It is too much, the last straw.
25:10 I am standing before Caesar’s judgment-seat [Hestōs epi tou bēmatos Kaisaros eimi]. Periphrastic present perfect indicative [hestōs eimi], second perfect participle [hestōs] of [histēmi] (intransitive). Paul means to say that he is a Roman citizen before a Roman tribunal. Festus was the representative of Caesar and had no right to hand him over to a Jewish tribunal. Festus recognized this by saying to Paul “wilt thou” [theleis]. Where I ought to be judged [hou me dei krinesthai]. Rather, “Where I must be judged,” for [dei] expresses necessity (it is necessary). Paul exposes the conduct of Festus with merciless precision. As thou also very well knowest [hōs kai su kallion epiginōskeis]. “As thou also dost understand (hast additional knowledge, [epiginōskeis] better” (than thou art willing to admit). That this is Paul’s meaning by the use of the comparative [kallion] (positive [kalōs] is made plain by the confession of Festus to Agrippa in verse 18. Paul says that Festus knows that he has done no wrong to the Jews at all [ouden ēdikēka] and yet he is trying to turn him over to the wrath of the Jews in Jerusalem.
25:11 If I am a wrong-doer [ei men oun adikō]. Condition of the first class with [ei] and the present active indicative of [adikeō] [a] privative and [dikē]: “If I am in the habit of doing injustice,” assuming it to be true for the sake of argument. And have committed anything worthy of death [kai axion thanatou pepracha]. Same condition with the difference in tense [pepracha], perfect active indicative) of a single case instead of a general habit. Assuming either or both Paul draws his conclusion. I refuse not to die [ou paraitoumai to apothanein]. Old verb to ask alongside, to beg from, to deprecate, to refuse, to decline. See on Lu 14:18f. Josephus (Life, 29) has [thanein ou paraitoumai]. Here the articular second aorist active infinitive is in the accusative case the object of [paraitoumai]: “I do not beg off dying from myself.” But if none of these things is [ei de ouden estin]. [De] here is contrasted with [men] just before. No word for “true” in the Greek. [Estin] (“is”) in the Greek here means “exists.” Same condition (first class, assumed as true). Whereof these accuse me [hōn houtoi katēgorousin mou]. Genitive of relative [hon] by attraction from [ha] (accusative with [katēgorousin] to case of the unexpressed antecedent [toutōn] (“of these things”). [Mou] is genitive of person after [katēgorousin]. No man can give me up to them [oudeis me dunatai autois charisasthai]. “Can” legally. Paul is a Roman citizen and not even Festus can make a free gift [charisasthai] of Paul to the Sanhedrin. I appeal unto Caesar [Kaisara epikaloumai]. Technical phrase like Latin Caesarem appello. Originally the Roman law allowed an appeal from the magistrate to the people (provocatio ad populum), but the emperor represented the people and so the appeal to Caesar was the right of every Roman citizen. Paul had crossed the Rubicon on this point and so took his case out of the hands of dilatory provincial justice (really injustice). Roman citizens could make this appeal in capital offences. There would be expense connected with it, but better that with some hope than delay and certain death in Jerusalem. Festus was no better than Felix in his vacillation and desire to curry favour with the Jews at Paul’s expense. No doubt Paul’s long desire to see Rome (19:21; Ro 15:22-28) and the promise of Jesus that he would see Rome (Ac 23:11) played some part in Paul’s decision. But he made it reluctantly for he says in Rome (Ac 28:19): “I was constrained to appeal.” But acquittal at the hands of Festus with the hope of going to Rome as a free man had vanished.
25:12 When he had conferred with the council [sunlalēsas meta tou sumbouliou]. The word [sumboulion] in the N.T. usually means “counsel” as in Mt 12:14, but here alone as an assembly of counsellors or council. But the papyri (Milligan and Moulton’s Vocabulary) furnish a number of instances of this sense of the word as “council.” Here it apparently means the chief officers and personal retinue of the procurator, his assessors [assessores consiliarii]. These local advisers were a necessity. Some discretion was allowed the governor about granting the appeal. If the prisoner were a well-known robber or pirate, it could be refused. Thou hast appealed unto Caesar [Kaisara epikeklēsai]. The same technical word, but the perfect tense of the indicative. Unto Caesar thou shalt go [epi Kaisara poreusēi]. Perhaps the volitive future (Robertson, Grammar, p. 874). Bengel thinks that Festus sought to frighten Paul with these words. Knowling suggests that “they may have been uttered, if not with a sneer, yet with the implication ‘thou little knowest what an appeal to Caesar means.’” But embarrassment will come to Festus. He has refused to acquit this prisoner. Hence he must formulate charges against him to go before Caesar.
25:13 When certain days were passed [Hēmerōn diagenomenon]. Genitive absolute of [diaginomai], to come between, “days intervening.” Agrippa the King [Agrippas ho basileus]. Agrippa II son of Agrippa I of Ac 12:20-23. On the death of Herod King of Chalcis A.D. 48, Claudius A.D. 50 gave this Herod Agrippa II the throne of Chalcis so that Luke is correct in calling him king, though he is not king of Judea. But he was also given by Claudius the government of the temple and the right of appointing the high priest. Later he was given also the tetrarchies of Philip and Lysanias. He was the last Jewish king in Palestine, though not king of Judea. He angered the Jews by building his palace so as to overlook the temple and by frequent changes in the high priesthood. He made his capital at Caesarea Philippi which he called Neronias in honour of Nero. Titus visited it after the fall of Jerusalem. Bernice [Bernikē]. He was her brother and yet she lived with him in shameful intimacy in spite of her marriage to her uncle Herod King of Chalcis and to Polemon King of Cilicia whom she left. Schuerer calls her both a Jewish bigot and a wanton. She afterwards became the mistress of Titus. Arrived at Caesarea [katēntēsan eis Kaisarian]. Came down (first aorist active of [katantaō] to Caesarea from Jerusalem. And saluted Festus [aspasamenoi ton Phēston]. The Textus Receptus has [aspasomenoi] the future participle, but the correct text is the aorist middle participle [aspasamenoi] which cannot possibly mean subsequent action as given in the Canterbury Revision “and saluted.” It can only mean contemporaneous (simultaneous) action “saluting” or antecedent action like the margin “having saluted.” But antecedent action is not possible here, so that simultaneous action is the only alternative. It is to be noted that the salutation synchronized with the arrival in Caesarea (note [kata], down, the effective aorist tense), not with the departure from Jerusalem, nor with the whole journey. Rightly understood the aorist participle here gives no trouble at all (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 861-3).
25:14 Tarried [dietribon]. Imperfect active of [diatribō], common verb for spending time (Ac 12:19, etc.). Many days [pleious hēmeras]. More days (than a few). Accusative case for extent of time. Laid Paul’s case [anetheto ta kata ton Paulon]. Second aorist middle indicative of [anatithēmi], old verb to set before, to place up, as if for consultation in conference. Only twice in N.T. here and Ga 2:2. The motive of Festus is not given, though it was natural enough in view of the quandary of Festus about Paul (the things about Paul) and Agrippa’s interest in and responsibility for Jewish worship in the temple in Jerusalem. It is quite possible that Festus had a bit of [ennui] over the visit of these Jewish dignitaries as “more days” went by. Hence the tone of Festus about Paul in this proposal for the entertainment of Agrippa and Bernice is certainly one of superficial and supremely supercilious indifference. Left a prisoner [katalelimmenos desmios]. Perfect passive participle of [kataleipō], to leave behind. Paul is one of Felix’s left overs (left behind), a sort of “junk” left on his hands. This cowardly Roman procurator thus pictures the greatest of living men and the greatest preacher of all time to this profligate pair (brother and sister) of sinners. Undoubtedly today in certain circles Christ and his preachers are held up to like contempt.
25:15 Informed [enephanisan]. Same word as in 23:15, 22; 25:2 which see. Asking for sentence against him [aitoumenoi kat’ autou katadikēn]. Only N.T. example of this old word (penalty, fine, condemnation) from [kata] and [dikē] (justice against).
25:16 It is not the custom of the Romans [hoti ouk estin ethos Rōmaiois]. If a direct quotation, [hoti] is recitative as in Authorized Version. Canterbury Revision takes it as indirect discourse after [apekrithēn] (I answered), itself in a relative clause [pros hous] with the present tense [estin], is) preserved as is usual. There is a touch of disdain (Furneaux) in the tone of Festus. He may refer to a demand of the Jews before they asked that Paul be brought to Jerusalem (25:3). At any rate there is a tone of scorn towards the Jews. Before that the accused have [prin ē ho katēgoroumenos echoi]. This use of the optative in this temporal clause with [prin ē] instead of the subjunctive [an echēi] is in conformity with literary Greek and occurs only in Luke’s writings in the N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 970). This sequence of modes is a mark of the literary style occasionally seen in Luke. It is interesting here to note the succession of dependent clauses in verses 14-16. The accusers face to face [kata prosōpon tous katēgorous]. Same word [katēgoros] as in 23:30, 35; 25:18. This all sounds fair enough. And have had opportunity to make his defence concerning the matter laid against him [topon te apologias laboi peri tou egklēmatos]. Literally, “And should receive [laboi] optative for same reason as [echoi] above, second aorist active of [lambanō] opportunity for defence (objective genitive) concerning the charge” [egklēmatos] in N.T. only here and 23:19 which see).
25:17 When they were come together here [sunelthontōn enthade]. Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of [sunerchomai], but without [autōn] (they), merely understood. Delay [anabolēn]. Old word from [anaballō], only here in N.T.
25:18 Brought [epheron]. Imperfect active of [pherō], referring to their repeated charges. Of such evil things as I supposed [hōn egō hupenooun ponērōn]. Incorporation of the antecedent [ponērōn] into the relative clause and change of the case of the relative from the accusative [ha] object of [hupenooun] to the genitive like [ponērōn] (Robertson, Grammar, p. 719). Note the imperfect active [hupenooun] of [huponoeō] to emphasize Festus’s state of mind about Paul before the trial. This old verb only three times in the N.T. (here, Ac 13:25 which see; 27:27).
25:19 But had [de eichon]. Descriptive imperfect active of [echō] and [de] of contrast (but). Concerning their own religion [peri tēs idias deisidaimonias]. See on 17:22 for discussion of this word. Festus would hardly mean “superstition,” whatever he really thought, because Agrippa was a Jew. And of one Jesus [kai peri tinos Iēsou]. This is the climax of supercilious scorn toward both Paul and “one Jesus.” Who was dead [tethnēkotos]. Perfect active participle of [thnēskō] agreeing with [Iēsou] (genitive). As being dead. Whom Paul affirmed to be alive [hon ephasken ho Paulos zēin]. Imperfect active of [phaskō], old form of [phēmi] to say, in the N.T. only here and Ac 24:9; Ro 1:22. Infinitive [zēin] in indirect discourse with [hon] (whom) the accusative of general reference. With all his top-loftical airs Festus has here correctly stated the central point of Paul’s preaching about Jesus as no longer dead, but living.
25:20 Being perplexed [aporoumenos]. Present middle participle of the common verb [aporeō] [a] privative and [poros] way), to be in doubt which way to turn, already in Mr 6:20 which see and Lu 24:4. The Textus Receptus has [eis] after here, but critical text has only the accusative which this verb allows (Mr 6:20) as in Thucydides and Plato. How to inquire concerning these things [tēn peri toutōn zētēsin]. Literally, “as to the inquiry concerning these things.” This is not the reason given by Luke in verse 9 (wanting to curry favour with the Jews), but doubtless this motive also actuated Festus as both could be true. Whether he would go to Jerusalem [ei bouloito poreuesthai eis Ierosoluma]. Optative in indirect question after [elegon] (asked or said) imperfect active, though the present indicative could have been retained with change of person: “Dost thou wish, etc.,” [ei boulēi], etc.). See Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1031, 1044. This is the question put to Paul in verse 9 though [theleis] is there used.
25:21 When Paul had appealed [tou Paulou epikalesamenou]. Genitive absolute with first aorist middle participle of [epikaleomai], the technical word for appeal (verses 11, 12). The first aorist passive infinitive [tērēthēnai] (to be kept) is the object of the participle. For the decision of the emperor [eis tēn tou Sebastou diagnōsin]. [Diagnōsin] (cf. [diagnōsomai] 24:22, I will determine) is the regular word for a legal examination [cognitio], thorough sifting [dia], here only in N.T. Instead of “the Emperor” it should be “the Augustus,” as [Sebastos] is simply the Greek translation of Augustus, the adjective (Revered, Reverent) assumed by Octavius B.C. 27 as the [agnomen] that summed up all his various offices instead of Rex so offensive to the Romans having led to the death of Julius Caesar. The successors of Octavius assumed Augustus as a title. The Greek term [Sebastos] has the notion of worship (cf. [sebasma] in Acts 17:25). In the N.T. only here, verse 25; 27:1 (of the legion). It was more imposing than “Caesar” which was originally a family name (always official in the N.T.) and it fell in with the tendency toward emperor-worship which later played such a large part in Roman life and which Christians opposed so bitterly. China is having a revival of this idea in the insistence on bowing three times to the picture of Sun-Yat-Sen. Till I should send him to Caesar [heōs an anapempsō auton pros Kaisara]. Here [anapempsō] can be either future indicative or first aorist subjunctive (identical in first person singular), aorist subjunctive the usual construction with [heōs] for future time (Robertson, Grammar, p. 876). Literally, “send up” [ana] to a superior (the emperor). Common in this sense in the papyri and Koinē writers. Here “Caesar” is used as the title of Nero instead of “Augustus” as [Kurios] (Lord) occurs in verse 26.
25:22 I also could wish [eboulomēn kai autos]. The imperfect for courtesy, rather than the blunt [boulomai], I wish, I want. Literally, “I myself also was wishing” (while you were talking), a compliment to the interesting story told by Festus. The use of [an] with the imperfect would really mean that he does not wish (a conclusion of the second class condition, determined as unfulfilled). [An] with the optative would show only a languid desire. The imperfect is keen enough and yet polite enough to leave the decision with Festus if inconvenient for any reason (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 885-7). Agrippa may have heard much about Christianity.
25:23 When Agrippa was come and Bernice [elthontos tou Agrippa kai tēs Bernikēs]. Genitive absolute, the participle agreeing in number and gender (masculine singular, [elthontos] with [Agrippa], [Bernikēs] being added as an afterthought. With great pomp [meta pollēs phantasias]. [Phantasia] is a Koinē word (Polybius, Diodorus, etc.) from the old verb [phantazō] (Heb 12:21) and it from [phainō], common verb to show, to make an appearance. This is the only N.T. example of [phantasia], though the kindred common word [phantasma] (appearance) occurs twice in the sense of apparition or spectre (Mt 14:26; Mr 6:49). Herodotus (VII. 10) used the verb [phantazō] for a showy parade. Festus decided to gratify the wish of Agrippa by making the “hearing” of Paul the prisoner (verse 22) an occasion for paying a compliment to Agrippa (Rackham) by a public gathering of the notables in Caesarea. Festus just assumed that Paul would fall in with this plan for a grand entertainment though he did not have to do it. Into the place of hearing [eis to akroatērion]. From [akroaomai] (to be a hearer) and, like the Latin auditorium, in Roman law means the place set aside for hearing, and deciding cases. Here only in the N.T. Late word, several times in Plutarch and other Koinē writers. The hearing was “semi-official” (Page) as is seen in verse 26. With the chief captains [sun te chiliarchois]. [Chiliarchs], each a leader of a thousand. There were five cohorts of soldiers stationed in Caesarea. And the principal men of the city [kai andrasin tois kat’ exochēn]. The use of [kat’ exochēn], like our French phrase par excellence, occurs here only in the N.T., and not in the ancient Greek, but it is found in inscriptions of the first century A.D. (Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary). [Exochē] in medical writers is any protuberance or swelling. Cf. our phrase “outstanding men.” At the command of Festus [keleusantos tou Phēstou]. Genitive absolute again, “Festus having commanded.”
25:24 Which are here present with us [hoi sunparontes hēmin]. Present articular participle of [sunpareimi] (only here in N.T.) with associative instrumental case [hēmin]. Made suit to me [enetuchon moi]. Second aorist active indicative of [entugchanō], old verb to fall in with a person, to go to meet for consultation or supplication as here. Common in old Greek and Koinē. Cf. Ro 8:27, 34. See [enteuxis] (petition) 1Ti 2:1. Papyri give many examples of the technical sense of [enteuxis] as petition (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 121). Some MSS. have plural here [enetuchon] rather than the singular [enetuchen]. Crying [boōntes]. Yelling and demanding with loud voices. That he ought not to live any longer [mē dein auton zēin mēketi]. Indirect command (demand) with the infinitive [dein] for [dei] (it is necessary). The double negative [mē—mēketi] with [zēin] intensifies the demand.
25:25 But I found [egō de katelabomēn]. Second aorist middle of [katalambanō], to lay hold of, to grasp, to comprehend as in 4:13; 10:34. That he had committed nothing worthy of death [mēden axion auton thanatou peprachenai]. Perfect active infinitive of [prassō] in indirect assertion with negative [mē] and accusative [auton] of general reference, the usual idiom. verse 25 repeats the statement in verse 21, perhaps for the benefit of the assembled dignitaries.
25:26 No certain thing [asphales ti—ou]. Nothing definite or reliable [a] privative, [sphallō], to trip). All the charges of the Sanhedrin slipped away or were tripped up by Paul. Festus confesses that he had nothing left and thereby convicts himself of gross insincerity in his proposal to Paul in verse 9 about going up to Jerusalem. By his own statement he should have set Paul free. The various details here bear the marks of the eyewitness. Luke was surely present and witnessed this grand spectacle with Paul as chief performer. Unto my lord [tōi kuriōi]. Augustus (Octavius) and Tiberius refused the title of [kurios] (lord) as too much like rex (king) and like master and slave, but the servility of the subjects gave it to the other emperors who accepted it (Nero among them). Antoninus Pius put it on his coins. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, p. 105) gives an ostracon dated Aug. 4, A.D. 63 with the words “in the year nine of Nero the lord” [enatou Nerōnos tou kuriou]. Deissmann (op. cit., pp. 349ff.) runs a most interesting parallel “between the cult of Christ and the cult of Caesar in the application of the term [kurios], lord” in ostraca, papyri, inscriptions. Beyond a doubt Paul has all this fully in mind when he says in 1Co 12:3 that “no one is able to say [Kurios Iēsous] except in the Holy Spirit” (cf. also Php 2:11). The Christians claimed this word for Christ and it became the test in the Roman persecutions as when Polycarp steadily refused to say “ Lord Caesar” and insisted on saying “Lord Jesus” when it meant his certain death. Before you [eph’ humōn]. The whole company. In no sense a new trial, but an examination in the presence of these prominent men to secure data and to furnish entertainment and pleasure to Agrippa (verse 22). Especially before thee [malista epi sou]. Out of courtesy. It was the main reason as verse 22 shows. Agrippa was a Jew and Festus was glad of the chance to see what he thought of Paul’s case. After examination had [tēs anakriseōs genomenēs]. Genitive absolute, “the examination having taken place.” [Anakrisis] from [anakrinō] (cf. 12:19; 24:8; 28:18) is a legal term for preliminary examination. Only here in the N.T. Inscriptions and papyri give it as examination of slaves or other property. That I may have somewhat to write [hopōs schō ti grapsō]. Ingressive aorist subjunctive [schō] (may get) with [hopōs] (final particle like [hina]. [Ti grapsō] in indirect question after [schō] is either future indicative or aorist subjunctive (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1045). Festus makes it plain that this is not a “trial,” but an examination for his convenience to help him out of a predicament.
25:27 Unreasonable [alogon]. Old word from [a] privative and [logos] (reason, speech). “Without reason” as of animals (Jude 1:10; 2Pe 2:12), “contrary to reason” here. These the only N.T. instances and in harmony with ancient usage. In sending [pemponta]. Note accusative case with the infinitive [sēmānai] though [moi] (dative) just before. Cf. same variation in 15:22f.; 22:17. Signify [sēmānai]. First aorist active infinitive (not [sēmēnai], the old form) of [sēmainō], to give a sign [sēmeion]. The charges [tas aitias]. This naive confession of Festus reveals how unjust has been his whole treatment of Paul. He had to send along with the appeal of Paul litterae dimissoriae [apostoli] which would give a statement of the case (Page).
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