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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 5 - Verse 40

Verse 40. And to him they agreed. Greek, They were persuaded by him; or they trusted to him. They agreed only so far as their design of putting them to death was concerned. They abandoned that design. But they did not comply with his advice to let them entirely alone.

And beaten them. The usual amount of lashes which were inflicted on offenders was thirty-nine, 2 Co 11:24. Beating, or whipping, was a common mode of punishing minor offences among the Jews. It was expressly foretold by the Saviour that the apostles would be subjected to this, Mt 10:17. The reason why they did not adopt the advice of Gamaliel altogether, doubtless was, that if they did, they feared that their authority would be despised by the people. They had commanded them not to preach; they had threatened them, (Ac 4:18; 5:28;) they had imprisoned them, (Ac 5:18;) and now, if they suffered them to go without even the appearance of punishment, their authority, they feared, would be despised by the nation, and it would be supposed that the apostles had triumphed over the sanhedrim. It is probable, also, that they were so indignant, that they could not suffer them to go without the gratification of subjecting them to the public odium of a whipping. Men, if they cannot accomplish their full purposes of malignity against the gospel, will take up with even some petty annoyance and malignity, rather than let it alone.

{a} "beaten them" Mt 10:17 {b} "commanded" Ac 4:18

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