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Chapter 22

22:1 Brethren and fathers [Andres adelphoi kai pateres] Men, brethren, and fathers. The very language used by Stephen (7:2) when arraigned before the Sanhedrin with Paul then present. Now Paul faces a Jewish mob on the same charges brought against Stephen. These words are those of courtesy and dignity (amoris et honoris nomina, Page). These men were Paul’s brother Jews and were (many of them) official representatives of the people (Sanhedrists, priests, rabbis). Paul’s purpose is conciliatory, he employs “his ready tact” (Rackham). The defence which I now make unto you [mou tēs pros humas nuni apologias]. Literally, My defence to you at this time. [Nuni] is a sharpened form (by [-i] of [nun] (now), just now. The term [apologia] (apology) is not our use of the word for apologizing for an offence, but the original sense of defence for his conduct, his life. It is an old word from [apologeomai], to talk oneself off a charge, to make defence. It occurs also in Ac 25:16 and then also in 1Co 9:3; 2Co 7:11; Php 1:7, 16; 2Ti 4:16; 1Pe 3:15. Paul uses it again in Ac 25:16 as here about his defence against the charges made by the Jews from Asia. He is suspected of being a renegade from the Mosaic law and charged with specific acts connected with the alleged profanation of the temple. So Paul speaks in Aramaic and recites the actual facts connected with his change from Judaism to Christianity. The facts make the strongest argument. He first recounts the well-known story of his zeal for Judaism in the persecution of the Christians and shows why the change came. Then he gives a summary of his work among the Gentiles and why he came to Jerusalem this time. He answers the charge of enmity to the people and the law and of desecration of the temple. It is a speech of great skill and force, delivered under remarkable conditions. The one in chapter Ac 26 covers some of the same ground, but for a slightly different purpose as we shall see. For a discussion of the three reports in Acts of Paul’s conversion see chapter Ac 9. Luke has not been careful to make every detail correspond, though there is essential agreement in all three.

22:2 He spake [prosephōnei]. Imperfect active, was speaking. See aorist active [prosephōnēsen] in 21:40. They were the more quiet [māllon pareschon hēsuchian]. Literally, The more [māllon] they furnished or supplied (second aorist active indicative of [parechō] quietness [hēsuchian], old word, in the N.T. only here and 2Th 3:12; 1Ti 2:11ff.). Precisely this idiom occurs in Plutarch (Cor. 18) and the LXX (Job 34:29). Knowling notes the fondness of Luke for words of silence [sigē, sigaō, hēsuchazō] as in Lu 14:4; 15:26; Ac 11:18; 12:17; 15:12; 21:14,40. It is a vivid picture of the sudden hush that swept over the vast mob under the spell of the Aramaic. They would have understood Paul’s Koinē Greek, but they much preferred the Aramaic. It was a masterstroke.

22:3 I am a Jew [Egō eimi anēr Ioudaios]. Note use of [Egō] for emphasis. Paul recounts his Jewish advantages or privileges with manifest pride as in Ac 26:4f.; 2Co 11:22; Ga 1:14; Php 3:4-7. Born [gegennēmenos]. Perfect passive participle of [gennaō]. See above in 21:39 for the claim of Tarsus as his birth-place. He was a Hellenistic Jew, not an Aramaean Jew (cf. Ac 6:1). Brought up [anatethrammenos]. Perfect passive participle again of [anatrephō], to nurse up, to nourish up, common old verb, but in the N.T. only here, 7:20ff., and MSS. in Lu 4:16. The implication is that Paul was sent to Jerusalem while still young, “from my youth” (26:4), how young we do not know, possibly thirteen or fourteen years old. He apparently had not seen Jesus in the flesh (2Co 5:16). At the feet of Gamaliel [pros tous podas Gamaliēl]. The rabbis usually sat on a raised seat with the pupils in a circle around either on lower seats or on the ground. Paul was thus nourished in Pharisaic Judaism as interpreted by Gamaliel, one of the lights of Judaism. For remarks on Gamaliel see chapter 5:34ff. He was one of the seven Rabbis to whom the Jews gave the highest title [Rabban] (our Rabbi). [Rabbi] (my teacher) was next, the lowest being [Rab] (teacher). “As Aquinas among the schoolmen was called Doctor Angelicus, and Bonaventura Doctor Seraphicus, so Gamaliel was called the Beauty of the Law” (Conybeare and Howson). Instructed [pepaideumenos]. Perfect passive participle again (each participle beginning a clause), this time of [paideuō], old verb to train a child [pais] as in 7:22 which see. In this sense also in 1Ti 1:20; Tit 2:12. Then to chastise as in Lu 23:16, 22 (which see); 2Ti 2:25; Heb 12:6f. According to the strict manner [kata akribeian]. Old word, only here in N.T. Mathematical accuracy, minute exactness as seen in the adjective in 26:5. See also Ro 10:2; Gal 1:4; Php 3:4-7. Of our fathers [patrōiou]. Old adjective from [pater], only here and 24:14 in N.T. Means descending from father to son, especially property and other inherited privileges. [Patrikos] (patrician) refers more to personal attributes and affiliations. Being zealous for God [zēlōtēs huparchōn tou theou]. Not adjective, but substantive zealot (same word used by James of the thousands of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, 21:20 which see) with objective genitive [tou theou] (for God). See also verse 14; 28:17; 2Ti 1:3 where he makes a similar claim. So did Peter (Ac 3:13; 5:30) and Stephen (7:32). Paul definitely claims, whatever freedom he demanded for Gentile Christians, to be personally “a zealot for God” “even as ye all are this day” [kathōs pantes humeis este sēmeron]. In his conciliation he went to the limit and puts himself by the side of the mob in their zeal for the law, mistaken as they were about him. He was generous surely to interpret their fanatical frenzy as zeal for God. But Paul is sincere as he proceeds to show by appeal to his own conduct.

22:4 And I [hos]. I who, literally. This Way [tautēn tēn hodon]. The very term used for Christianity by Luke concerning Paul’s persecution (9:2), which see. Here it “avoids any irritating name for the Christian body” (Furneaux) by using this Jewish terminology. Unto the death [achri thanatou]. Unto death, actual death of many as 26:10 shows. Both men and women [andras te kai gunaikas]. Paul felt ashamed of this fact and it was undoubtedly in his mind when he pictured his former state as “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious (1Ti 1:13), the first of sinners” (1Ti 1:15). But it showed the lengths to which Paul went in his zeal for Judaism.

22:5 Doth bear me witness [marturei moi]. Present active indicative as if still living. Caiaphas was no longer high priest now, for Ananias is at this time (23:2), though he may be still alive. All the estate of the elders [pan to presbuterion]. All the eldership or the Sanhedrin (4:5) of which Paul was probably then a member (26:10). Possibly some of those present were members of the Sanhedrin then (some 20 odd years ago). From whom [par’ hōn]. The high priest and the Sanhedrin. Letters unto the brethren [epistalas pros tous adelphous]. Paul still can tactfully call the Jews his “brothers” as he did in Ro 9:3. There is no bitterness in his heart. Journeyed [eporeuomēn]. Imperfect middle indicative of [poreuomai], and a vivid reality to Paul still as he was going on towards Damascus. To bring also [axōn kai]. Future active participle of [agō], to express purpose, one of the few N.T. examples of this classic idiom (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1118). Them which were there [tous ekeise ontas]. Constructio praegnans. The usual word would be [ekei] (there), not [ekeise] (thither). Possibly the Christians who had fled to Damascus, and so were there (Robertson, Grammar, p. 548). In bonds [dedemenous]. Perfect passive participle of [deō], predicate position, “bound.” For to be punished [hina timōrēthōsin]. First aorist passive subjunctive of [timōreō], old verb to avenge, to take vengeance on. In the N.T. only here, and 26:11. Pure final clause with [hina]. He carried his persecution outside of Palestine just as later he carried the gospel over the Roman empire.

22:6 And it came to pass [egeneto de]. Rather than the common [kai egeneto] and with the infinitive [periastrapsai], one of the three constructions with [kai (de) egeneto] by Luke (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1042f.), followed by [kai], by finite verb, by subject infinitive as here. As I made my journey [moi poreuomenōi]. To me (dative after [egeneto], happened to me) journeying (participle agreeing with [moi]. See this same idiom in verse 17. Luke uses [egeneto de] seventeen times in the gospel and twenty-one in the Acts. Unto Damascus [tēi Damaskōi]. Dative after [eggizonti] (drawing nigh to). About noon [peri mesēmbrian]. Mid [mesos] day [hēmera], old word, in the N.T. only here and 8:26 which see where it may mean “toward the south.” An item not in ch. 9. Shone round about me [periastrapsai peri eme]. First aorist active infinitive of [periastraptō], to flash around, in LXX and late Greek, in the N.T. only here and 9:3 which see. Note repetition of [peri]. A great light [phōs hikanon]. Luke’s favourite word [hikanon] (considerable). Accusative of general reference with the infinitive.

22:7 I fell [epesa]. Second aorist active indicative with [-a] rather than [epeson], the usual form of [piptō]. Unto the ground [eis to edaphos]. Old word, here alone in N.T. So the verb [edaphizō], is in Lu 19:44 alone in the N.T. A voice saying [phōnēs legousēs]. Genitive after [ēkousa], though in 26:14 the accusative is used after [ēkousa], as in 22:14 after [akousai], either being allowable. See on 9:7 for discussion of the difference in case. Saul’s name repeated each time (9:4; 22:7; 26:14). Same question also in each report: “Why persecuted thou me?” [Ti me diōkeis?]. These piercing words stuck in Paul’s mind.

22:8 Of Nazareth [ho Nazōraios]. The Nazarene, not in 9:5; 26:15 and here because Jesus is mentioned now for the first time in the address. The form [Nazōraios] as in Mt 2:23 (which see) is used also in 24:5 for the followers of Jesus instead of [Nazarēnos] as in Mr 1:24, etc. (which see).

22:9 But they heard not the voice [tēn de phōnēn ouk ēkousan]. The accusative here may be used rather than the genitive as in verse 7 to indicate that those with Paul did not understand what they heard (9:7) just as they beheld the light (22:9), but did not see Jesus (9:7). The difference in cases allows this distinction, though it is not always observed as just noticed about 22:14; 26:14. The verb [akouō] is used in the sense of understand (Mr 4:33; 1Co 14:2). It is one of the evidences of the genuineness of this report of Paul’s speech that Luke did not try to smooth out apparent discrepancies in details between the words of Paul and his own record already in ch. 9. The Textus Receptus adds in this verse: “And they became afraid” [kai emphoboi egenonto]. Clearly not genuine.

22:10 Into Damascus [eis Damaskon]. In 9:6 simply “into the city” [eis tēn polin]. Of all things which [peri pantōn hōn]. [Hōn], relative plural attracted to genitive of antecedent from accusative [ha], object of [poiēsai] (do). Are appointed for thee [tetaktai soi]. Perfect passive indicative of [tassō], to appoint, to order, with dative [soi]. Compare with [hoti se dei] of 9:6. The words were spoken to Paul, of course, in the Aramaic, Saoul, Saoul.

22:11 I could not see [ouk eneblepon]. Imperfect active of [emblepō], I was not seeing, same fact stated in 9:8. Here the reason as “for the glory of that light” [apo tēs doxēs tou phōtos ekeinou]. Being led by the hand [cheiragōgoumenos]. Present passive participle of [cheiragōgeō], the same verb used in 9:8 [cheiragōgountes] which see. Late verb, in the N.T. only in these two places. In LXX.

22:12 A devout man according to the law [eulabēs kata ton nomon]. See on 2:5; 8:2; Lu 2:25 for the adjective [eulabēs]. Paul adds “according to the law” to show that he was introduced to Christianity by a devout Jew and no law-breaker (Lewin).

22:13 I looked up on him [anablepsa eis auton]. First aorist active indicative and same word as [anablepson] (Receive thy sight). Hence here the verb means as the margin of the Revised Version has it: “I received my sight and looked upon him.” For “look up” see Joh 9:11.

22:14 Hath appointed thee [proecheirisato]. First aorist middle indicative of [procheirizō], old verb to put forth into one’s hands, to take into one’s hands beforehand, to plan, propose, determine. In the N.T. only in Ac 3:20; 22:14; 26:16. Three infinitives after this verb of God’s purpose about Paul: to know [gnōnai], second aorist active of [ginōskō] his will, to see [idein], second aorist active of [horaō] the Righteous One (cf. 3:14), to hear [akousai], first aorist active of [akouō] a voice from his mouth.

22:15 A witness for him [martus autōi]. As in 1:8. Of what [hōn]. Attraction of the accusative relative [ha] to the genitive case of the unexpressed antecedent [toutōn]. Thou hast seen and heard [heōrakas], present perfect active indicative [kai ēkousas], first aorist active indicative). This subtle change of tense is not preserved in the English. Blass properly cites the perfect [heōraka] in 1Co 9:1 as proof of Paul’s enduring qualification for the apostleship.

22:16 By baptized [baptisai]. First aorist middle (causative), not passive, Get thyself baptized (Robertson, Grammar, p. 808). Cf. 1Co 10:2. Submit yourself to baptism. So as to [apolousai], Get washed off as in 1Co 6:11. It is possible, as in 2:38, to take these words as teaching baptismal remission or salvation by means of baptism, but to do so is in my opinion a complete subversion of Paul’s vivid and picturesque language. As in Ro 6:4-6 where baptism is the picture of death, burial and resurrection, so here baptism pictures the change that had already taken place when Paul surrendered to Jesus on the way (verse 10). Baptism here pictures the washing away of sins by the blood of Christ.

22:17 When I had returned [moi hupostrepsanti], while I prayed [proseuchomenou mou], I fell [genesthai me]. Note dative [moi] with [egeneto] as in verse 6, genitive [mou] (genitive absolute with [proseuchomenou], accusative of general reference [me] with [genesthai], and with no effort at uniformity, precisely as in 15:22, 23 which see. The participle is especially liable to such examples of anacolutha (Robertson, Grammar, p. 439).

22:18 Saw him saying [idein auton legonta]. The first visit after his conversion when they tried to kill him in Jerusalem (9:29). Because [dioti, dia] and [hoti], for that.

22:19 Imprisoned and beat [ēmēn phulakizōn kai derōn]. Periphrastic imperfect active of [phulakizō] (LXX and late Koinē, here alone in the N.T.) and [derō] (old verb to skin, to beat as in Mt 21:35 which see). In every synagogue [kata tas sunagogas]. Up and down [kata] in the synagogues.

22:20 Was shed [exechunneto]. Imperfect passive of [ekchunnō] (see on Mt 23:35), was being shed. Witness [marturos]. And “martyr” also as in Re 2:13; 17:6. Transition state for the word here. I also was standing by [kai autos ēmēn ephestōs]. Periphrastic second past perfect in form, but imperfect (linear) in sense since [hestōs=histamenos] (intransitive). Consenting [suneudokōn]. The very word used by Luke in Ac 8:1 about Paul. Koinē word for being pleased at the same time with (cf. Lu 11:48). Paul adds here the item of “guarding the clothes of those who were slaying [anairountōn] as in Lu 23:32; Ac 12:2) him” (Stephen). Paul recalls the very words of protest used by him to Jesus. He did not like the idea of running away to save his own life right where he had helped slay Stephen. He is getting on dangerous ground.

22:21 I will send thee forth far hence unto the Gentiles [Egō eis ethnē makran exapostelō se]. Future active of the double [ex], out, [apo], off or away) compound of [exapostellō], common word in the Koinē (cf. Lu 24:49). This is a repetition by Jesus of the call given in Damascus through Ananias (9:15). Paul had up till now avoided the word Gentiles, but at last it had to come, “the fatal word” (Farrar).

22:22 They gave him audience [ēkouon]. Imperfect active, they kept on listening, at least with respectful attention. Unto this word [achri toutou tou logou]. But “this word” was like a spark in a powder magazine or a torch to an oil tank. The explosion of pent-up indignation broke out instantly worse than at first (21:30). Away with such a fellow from the earth [Aire apo tēs gēs ton toiouton]. They renew the cry with the very words in 21:36, but with “from the earth” for vehemence. For it is not fit [ou gar kathēken]. Imperfect active of [kathēkō], old verb to come down to, to become, to fit. In the N.T. only here and Ro 1:28. The imperfect is a neat Greek idiom for impatience about an obligation: It was not fitting, he ought to have been put to death long ago. The obligation is conceived as not lived up to like our “ought” (past of owe). See Robertson, Grammar, p. 886.

22:23 As they cried out [kraugazontōn autōn]. Genitive absolute with present active participle of [kraugazō], a rare word in the old Greek from [kraugē] (a cry). See on Mt 12:19. Two other genitive absolutes here, [rhiptountōn] (throwing off, present active participle, frequent active variation of [rhiptō] and [ballontōn] (present active participle of [ballō], flinging). These present participles give a lively picture of the uncontrolled excitement of the mob in their spasm of wild rage.

22:24 That he be examined by scourging [mastixin anetazesthai auton]. The present passive infinitive of [anetazō] in indirect command after [eipas] (bidding). This verb does not occur in the old Greek (which used [exetazō] as in Mt 2:8), first in the LXX, in the N.T. only here and verse 29, but Milligan and Moulton’s Vocabulary quotes an Oxyrhynchus papyrus of A.D. 127 which has a prefect using the word directing government clerks to “examine” [anetazein] documents and glue them together into volumes [tomoi]. The word was evidently in use for such purposes. It was a kind of “third degree” applied to Paul by the use of scourges [mastixin], instrumental plural of [mastix], old word for whip, as in Heb 11:36. But this way of beginning an inquiry by torture (inquisition) was contrary to Roman law (Page): Non esse a tormentis incipiendum, Divus Augustus statuit. That he might know [hina epignōi]. Final clause with [hina] and second aorist active subjunctive of [epignōskō] (full knowledge). Lysias was as much in the dark as ever, for Paul’s speech had been in Aramaic and this second explosion was a mystery to him like the first. They so shouted [houtos epephōnoun]. Imperfect active progressive imperfect had been so shouting.

22:25 When they had tied him up [hos proeteinan auton]. First aorist active indicative of [proteinō], old verb to stretch forward, only here in the N.T. Literally, “When they stretched him forward.” With the thongs [tois himasin]. If the instrumental case of [himas], old word for strap or thong (for sandals as Mr 1:7, or for binding criminals as here), then Paul was bent forward and tied by the thongs to a post in front to expose his back the better to the scourges. But [tois himasin] may be dative case and then it would mean “for the lashes.” In either case it is a dreadful scene of terrorizing by the chiliarch. Unto the centurion that stood by [pros ton hestōta hekatontarchon]. He was simply carrying out the orders of the chiliarch (cf. Mt 27:54). Why had not Paul made protest before this? Is it lawful? [ei exestin?]. This use of [ei] in indirect questions we have had before (1:6). A Roman and uncondemned [Romaion kai akatakriton]. Just as in 16:37 which see. Blass says of Paul’s question: Interrogatio subironica est confidentiae plena.

22:26 What art thou about to do? [Ti melleis poiein?]. On the point of doing, sharp warning.

22:27 Art thou a Roman? [Su Romaios ei?]. Thou (emphatic position) a Roman? It was unbelievable.

22:28 With a great sum [pollou kephalaiou]. The use of [kephalaiou] (from [kephalē], head) for sums of money (principal as distinct from interest) is old and frequent in the papyri. Our word capital is from [caput] (head). The genitive is used here according to rule for price. “The sale of the Roman citizenship was resorted to by the emperors as a means of filling the exchequer, much as James I. made baronets” (Page). Dio Cassius (LX., 17) tells about Messalina the wife of Claudius selling Roman citizenship. Lysias was probably a Greek and so had to buy his citizenship. But I am a Roman born [Egō de kai gegennēmai]. Perfect passive indicative of [gennaō]. The word “Roman” not in the Greek. Literally, “But I have been even born one,” (i.e. born a Roman citizen). There is calm and simple dignity in this reply and pardonable pride. Being a citizen of Tarsus (21:39) did not make Paul a Roman citizen. Tarsus was an urbs libera, not a colonia like Philippi. Some one of his ancestors (father, grandfather) obtained it perhaps as a reward for distinguished service. Paul’s family was of good social position. “He was educated by the greatest of the Rabbis; he was at an early age entrusted by the Jewish authorities with an important commission; his nephew could gain ready access to the Roman tribune; he was treated as a person of consequence by Felix, Festus, Agrippa, and Julius” (Furneaux).

22:29 Departed from him [apestēsan ap’ autou]. Second aorist active indicative (intransitive) of [aphistēmi], stood off from him at once. Was afraid [ephobēthē]. Ingressive aorist passive indicative of [phobeomai], became afraid. He had reason to be. That he was a Roman [hoti Romaios estin]. Indirect assertion with tense of [estin] retained. Because he had bound him [hoti auton ēn dedekōs]. Causal [hoti] here after declarative [hoti] just before. Periphrastic past perfect active of [deō], to bind.

22:30 To know the certainty [gnōnai to asphales]. Same idiom in 21:34 which see. Wherefore he was accused [to ti kategoreitai]. Epexegetical after to [asphales]. Note article (accusative case) with the indirect question here as in Lu 22:1, 23, 24 (which see), a neat idiom in the Greek. Commanded [ekeleusen]. So the Sanhedrin had to meet, but in the Tower of Antonia, for he brought Paul down [katagagōn], second aorist active participle of [katagō]. Set him [estēsen]. First aorist active (transitive) indicative of [histēmi], not the intransitive second aorist [estē]. Lysias is determined to find out the truth about Paul, more puzzled than ever by the important discovery that he has a Roman citizen on his hands in this strange prisoner.

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