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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 23)

23:1 {Looking steadfastly} (\atenisas\). See on this word 1:10;
3:12; 6:15; 7:55; 13:9. Paul may have had weak eyes, but
probably the earnest gaze was to see if he recognized any faces
that were in the body that tried Stephen and to which he
apparently once belonged. {I have lived before God}
(\pepoliteumai tōi theōi\). Perfect middle indicative of
\politeuō\, old verb to manage affairs of city (\polis\) or
state, to be a citizen, behave as a citizen. In the N.T. only
here and Php 1:27. The idea of citizenship was Greek and Roman,
not Jewish. "He had lived as God's citizen, as a member of God's
commonwealth" (Rackham). God (\theōi\) is the dative of personal
interest. As God looked at it and in his relation to God. {In all
good conscience unto this day}
(\pasēi suneidēsei agathēi achri
tautēs tēs hēmeras\)
. This claim seems to lack tact, but for
brevity's sake Paul sums up a whole speech in it. He may have
said much more than Luke here reports along the line of his
speech the day before, but Paul did not make this claim without
consideration. It appears to contradict his confession as the
chief of sinners (1Ti 1:13-16). But that depends on one's
interpretation of "good conscience." The word \suneidēsis\ is
literally "joint-knowledge" in Greek, Latin (_conscientia_) and
English "conscience" from the Latin. It is a late word from
\sunoida\, to know together, common in O.T., Apocrypha, Philo,
Plutarch, New Testament, Stoics, ecclesiastical writers. In
itself the word simply means consciousness of one's own thoughts
(Heb 10:2), or of one's own self, then consciousness of the
distinction between right and wrong (Ro 2:15) with approval or
disapproval. But the conscience is not an infallible guide and
acts according to the light that it has (1Co 8:7,10; 1Pe 2:19).
The conscience can be contaminated (Heb 10:22, evil \ponērās\).
All this and more must be borne in mind in trying to understand
Paul's description of his motives as a persecutor. Alleviation of
his guilt comes thereby, but not removal of guilt as he himself
felt (1Ti 1:13-16). He means to say to the Sanhedrin that he
persecuted Christians as a conscientious (though mistaken) Jew
(Pharisee) just as he followed his conscience in turning from
Judaism to Christianity. It is a pointed disclaimer against the
charge that he is a renegade Jew, an opposer of the law, the
people, the temple. Paul addresses the Sanhedrin as an equal and
has no "apologies" (in our sense) to make for his career as a
whole. The golden thread of consistency runs through, as a good
citizen in God's commonwealth. He had the consolation of a good
conscience (1Pe 3:16). The word does not occur in the Gospels
and chiefly in Paul's Epistles, but we see it at work in Joh
8:9 (the interpolation 7:53-8:11).

23:2 {Ananias} (\Hananias\). Not the one in Lu 3:2; Joh 18:13;
Ac 4:7, but the son of Nebedaeus, nominated high priest by
Herod, King of Chalcis, A.D. 48 and till A.D. 59. He was called
to Rome A.D. 52 to answer "a charge of rapine and cruelty made
against him by the Samaritans, but honourably acquitted" (Page).
Though high priest, he was a man of bad character. {Them that
stood by him}
(\tois parestōsin autōi\). Dative case of second
perfect participle of \paristēmi\, to place, and intransitive.
See the same form in verse 4 (\parestōtes\). {To smite him on
the mouth}
(\tuptein autou to stoma\). See on ¯12:45; 18:17. Cf.
the treatment of Jesus (Joh 18:22). Ananias was provoked by
Paul's self-assertion while on trial before his judges. "The act
was illegal and peculiarly offensive to a Jew at the hands of a
Jew" (Knowling). More self-control might have served Paul better.
Smiting the mouth or cheek is a peculiarly irritating offence and
one not uncommon among the Jews and this fact gives point to the
command of Jesus to turn the other check (Lu 6:29 where \tuptō\
is also used)

23:3 {Thou whited wall} (\toiche kekoniamene\). Perfect passive
participle of \koniaō\ (from \konia\, dust or lime). The same
word used in Mt 23:27 for "whited sepulchres" (\taphoi
which see. It is a picturesque way of calling
Ananias a hypocrite, undoubtedly true, but not a particularly
tactful thing for a prisoner to say to his judge, not to say
Jewish high priest. Besides, Paul had hurled back at him the word
\tuptein\ (smite) in his command, putting it first in the
sentence (\tuptein se mellei ho theos\) in strong emphasis.
Clearly Paul felt that he, not Ananias, was living as a good
citizen in God's commonwealth. {And sittest thou to judge me?}
(\Kai su kathēi krinōn me?\) Literally, "And thou (being what
thou art)
art sitting (\kathēi\, second person singular middle of
\kathēmai\, late form for \kathēsai\, the uncontracted form)

judging me." Cf. Lu 22:30. \Kai su\ at the beginning of a
question expresses indignation. {Contrary to the law}
(\paranomōn\). Present active participle of \paranomeō\, old verb
to act contrary to the law, here alone in the N.T., "acting
contrary to the law."

23:4 {Of God} (\tou theou\). As God's representative in spite of
his bad character (De 17:8f.). Here was a charge of
irreverence, to say the least. The office called for respect.

23:5 {I wist not} (\ouk ēidein\). Second past perfect of \oida\
used as an imperfect. The Greek naturally means that Paul did not
know that it was the high priest who gave the order to smite his
mouth. If this view is taken, several things may be said by way
of explanation. The high priest may not have had on his official
dress as the meeting was called hurriedly by Lysias. Paul had
been away so long that he may not have known Ananias on sight.
And then Paul may have had poor eyesight or the high priest may
not have been sitting in the official seat. Another way of
explaining it is to say that Paul was so indignant, even angry,
at the command that he spoke without considering who it was that
gave the order. The Greek allows this idea also. At any rate Paul
at once recognizes the justice of the point made against him. He
had been guilty of irreverence against the office of high priest
as the passage from Ex 22:18 (LXX) shows and confesses his
fault, but the rebuke was deserved. Jesus did not threaten (1Pe
when smitten on the cheek (Joh 18:22), but he did
protest against the act and did not turn the other cheek.

23:6 {But when Paul perceived} (\gnous de ho Paulos\). Perceiving
(second aorist ingressive of \ginōskō\). Paul quickly saw that
his cause was ruined before the Sanhedrin by his unwitting attack
on the high priest. It was impossible to get a fair hearing.
Hence, Vincent says, "Paul, with great tact, seeks to bring the
two parties of the council into collision with each other." So
Alford argues with the motto "divide and conquer." Farrar
condemns Paul and takes 24:21 as a confession of error here,
but that is reading into Paul's word about the resurrection more
than he says. Page considers Luke's report meagre and
unsatisfactory. Rackham thinks that the trial was already started
and that Paul repeated part of his speech of the day before when
"the Sadducees received his words with ostentatious scepticism
and ridicule: this provoked counter-expressions of sympathy and
credulity among the Pharisees." But all this is inference. We do
not have to adopt the Jesuitical principle that the end justifies
the means in order to see shrewdness and hard sense in what Paul
said and did. Paul knew, of course, that the Sanhedrin was nearly
evenly divided between Pharisees and Sadducees, for he himself
had been a Pharisee. {I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees} (\Egō
Pharisaios eimi huios Pharisaiōn\)
. This was strictly true as we
know from his Epistles (Php 3:5). {Touching the hope and
resurrection of the dead I am called in question}
(\peri elpidos
kai anastaseōs nekrōn krinomai\)
. This was true also and this is
the point that Paul mentions in 24:21. His failure to mention
again the fact that he was a Pharisee throws no discredit on
Luke's report here. The chief point of difference between
Pharisees and Sadducees was precisely this matter of the
resurrection. And this was Paul's cardinal doctrine as a
Christian minister. It was this fact that convinced him that
Jesus was the Messiah and was "the very centre of his faith"
(Page) and of his preaching. It was not a mere trick for Paul to
proclaim this fact here and so divide the Sanhedrin. As a matter
of fact, the Pharisees held aloof when the Sadducees persecuted
Peter and the other apostles for preaching resurrection in the
case of Jesus and even Gamaliel threw cold water on the effort to
punish them for it (Ac 5:34-39). So then Paul was really
recurring to the original cleavage on this point and was able to
score a point against the Sadducees as Gamaliel, his great
teacher, had done before him. Besides, "Paul and Pharisaism seem
to us such opposite ideas that we often forget that to Paul
Christianity was the natural development of Judaism" (Page). Paul
shows this in Ga 3; Ro 9-11.

23:7 {When he had so said} (\touto autou lalountos\). Genitive
absolute of present participle (Westcott and Hort) rather than
aorist (\eipontos\). While he was saying this. {A dissension}
(\stasis\). This old word for standing or station (Heb 9:8)
from \histēmi\, to place, we have seen already to mean
insurrection (Ac 19:40 which see). Here it is strife as in
15:2. {Was divided} (\eschisthē\). See on ¯14:4.

23:8 {There is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit} (\mē
einai anastasin mēte aggelon mēte pneuma\)
. Infinitive with
negative \mē\ in indirect assertion. These points constitute the
chief doctrinal differences between the Pharisees and the
Sadducees. {Both} (\amphotera\). Here used though three items of
belief are mentioned as in 19:16 where the seven sons of Sceva
are thus described. This idiom is common enough in papyri and
Byzantine Greek (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 745).

23:9 {Strove} (\diemachonto\). Imperfect middle of \diamachomai\,
old Attic verb, to fight it out (between, back and forth,
. Here only in the N.T. It was a lively scrap and Luke
pictures it as going on. The Pharisees definitely take Paul's
side. {And what if a spirit hath spoken to him or an angel?} (\ei
de pneuma elalēsen autōi ē aggelos?\)
. This is aposiopesis, not
uncommon in the N.T., as in Lu 13:9; Joh 6:62 (Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 1203)
. See one also in Ex 32:32.

23:10 {When there arose a great dissension} (\pollēs tēs
ginomenēs staseōs\)
. Present middle participle (genitive
. Literally, "dissension becoming much." {Lest Paul
should be torn in pieces by them}
(\mē diaspasthēi ho Paulos\).
First aorist passive subjunctive of \diaspaō\, to draw in two, to
tear in pieces, old verb, in the N.T. only here and Mr 5:4 of
tearing chains in two. The subjunctive with \mē\ is the common
construction after a verb of fearing (Robertson, _Grammar_, p.
. {The soldiers} (\to strateuma\). The army, the band of
soldiers and so in verse 27. {To go down} (\kataban\). Second
aorist active participle of \katabainō\, having gone down. {Take
him by force}
(\harpasai\). To seize. The soldiers were to seize
and save Paul from the midst of (\ek mesou\) the rabbis or
preachers (in their rage to get at each other). Paul was more of
a puzzle to Lysias now than ever.

23:11 {The night following} (\tēi epiousēi nukti\). Locative
case, on the next (following) night. {The Lord} (\ho kurios\).
Jesus. Paul never needed Jesus more than now. On a previous
occasion the whole church prayed for Peter's release (12:5),
but Paul clearly had no such grip on the church as that, though
he had been kindly welcomed (21:18). In every crisis Jesus
appears to him (cf. Ac 18:9). It looked dark for Paul till
Jesus spoke. Once before in Jerusalem Jesus spoke words of cheer
(22:18). Then he was told to leave Jerusalem. Now he is to have
"cheer" or "courage" (\tharsei\). Jesus used this very word to
others (Mt 9:2,22; Mr 10:49). It is a brave word. {Thou hast
(\diemarturō\). First aorist middle indicative second
person singular of \diamarturomai\, strong word (see on ¯22:18).
{Must thou} (\se dei\). That is the needed word and on this Paul
leans. His hopes (19:21) of going to Rome will not be in vain.
He can bide Christ's time now. And Jesus has approved his witness
in Jerusalem.

23:12 {Banded together} (\poiēsantes sustrophēn\). See on 19:40
(riot), but here conspiracy, secret combination, binding together
like twisted cords. {Bound themselves under a curse}
(\anethematisan heautous\). First aorist active indicative of
\anathematizō\, a late word, said by Cremer and Thayer to be
wholly Biblical or ecclesiastical. But Deissmann (_Light from the
Ancient East_, p. 95)
quotes several examples of the verb in an
Attic cursing tablet from Megara of the first or second century
A.D. This proof shows that the word, as well as \anathema\
(substantive) from which the verb is derived, was employed by
pagans as well as by Jews. Deissmann suggests that Greek Jews
like the seven sons of Sceva may have been the first to coin it.
It occurs in the LXX as well as Mr 14:71 (which see and Luke
; Ac 23:12,14,21. They placed themselves under an
anathema or curse, devoted themselves to God (cf. Le 27:28f.;
1Co 16:22)
. {Drink} (\pein=piein\). Second aorist active
infinitive of \pinō\. For this shortened form see Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 343. {Till they had killed} (\heōs hou
. First aorist active subjunctive of \apokteinō\,
common verb. No reason to translate "had killed," simply "till
they should kill," the aorist merely punctiliar action, the
subjunctive retained instead of the optative for vividness as
usual in the _Koinē_ (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 974-6). Same
construction in verse 14. King Saul took an "anathema" that
imperilled Jonathan (1Sa 14:24). Perhaps the forty felt that
the rabbis could find some way to absolve the curse if they
failed. See this verse repeated in verse 21.

23:13 {More than forty} (\pleious tesserakonta\). Without "than"
(\ē\) as in verse 21; 24:11 and often in the ancient Greek.
{Conspiracy} (\sunōmosian\). Old word from \sunomnumi\, to swear
together. Only here in the N.T.

23:14 {Came to the chief priests and the elders} (\proselthontes
tois archiereusin kai tois presbuterois\)
. The Sanhedrin, just as
Judas did (Lu 22:4). {With a great curse} (\anathemati\). This
use of the same word as the verb repeated in the instrumental
case is in imitation of the Hebrew absolute infinitive and common
in the LXX, the very idiom and words of De 13:15; 20:17, an
example of translation Greek, though found in other languages
(Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 531). See on ¯Lu 21:5 for the
distinction between \anathema\ and \anathēma\. Jesus had
foretold: "Whoso killeth you will think that he doeth God
service" (Joh 16:2).

23:15 {Ye} (\humeis\). Emphatic. {Signify} (\emphanisate\). First
aorist active imperative of \emphanizō\. Make plain from
\emphanēs\, chiefly in Acts. Repeated in verse 22. The
authority is with the chiliarch not with the Sanhedrin, but he
had appealed to the Sanhedrin for advice. {As though ye would
judge of his case more exactly}
(\hōs mellontas diaginōskein
akribesteron ta peri autou\)
. \Hōs\ with the participle gives the
alleged reason as here. So also in verse 20. \Diagnoskō\, old
verb to distinguish accurately, only here in N.T. and 24:22.
{Or ever come near} (\pro tou eggisai auton\). "Before the coming
near as to him." \Pro\ and the genitive of the articular
infinitive of \eggizō\ with accusative of general reference. {We
are ready to slay him}
(\hetoimoi esmen tou anelein auton\).
Genitive of purpose of the articular infinitive after the
adjective \hetoimoi\ (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1061). \Anelein\,
second aorist active of \anaireō\.

23:16 {Their lying in wait} (\tēn enedran\). Old word from \en\
(in) and \hedra\ (seat), ambush. In N.T. only here and 25:3.
Accusative object of \akousas\. {He came} (\paragenomenos\).
Second aorist middle participle of \paraginomai\. It may mean,
"having come upon them" and so discount their plot, a graphic
touch. Vincent thinks that some Pharisee, since Paul was a
Pharisee and so a member of the "guild," told his nephew of the
plot. Perhaps, and perhaps not. {Told Paul} (\apēggeilen tōi
. This nephew is not known otherwise. He may be a student
here from Tarsus as Paul once was. Anyhow he knows what to do
when he catches on to the conspirators. He had enough address to
get into the barracks where Paul was. He ran the risk of death if

23:17 {Called unto him} (\proskalesamenos\). First aorist
participle indirect middle, calling to himself. Paul laid his
plans as energetically as if Jesus had not promised that he would
see Rome (23:11). {Bring} (\apage\). "Take away."

23:18 {Paul the prisoner} (\ho desmios Paulos\). Bound
(\desmios\) to a soldier, but not with two chains (21:33), and
with some freedom to see his friends as later (28:16), in
military custody (_custodia militaris_). This was better than
_custodia publica_ (public custody), the common prison, but more
confining. {Who hath something to say to thee} (\echonta ti
lalēsai soi\)
. Same idiom as in verse 17,19, but \lalēsai\ here
instead of \apaggeilai\.

23:19 {Took him by the hand} (\epilabomenos tēs cheiros autou\).
Kindly touch in Lysias, _ut fiduciam adolescentis confirmaret_
(Bengel). Note genitive with the second aorist middle (indirect,
to himself)
of \epilambanō\ as in Lu 8:54 with \kratēsas\ which
see. How old the young man (\neanias\) was we do not know, but it
is the very word used of Paul in 7:58 when he helped in the
killing of Stephen, a young man in the twenties probably. See
also 20:9 of Eutychus. He is termed \neaniskos\ in verse 22.
{Asked him privately} (\kat' idian epunthaneto\). Imperfect
middle, began to ask (inchoative).

23:20 {The Jews} (\hoi Ioudaioi\). As if the whole nation was in
the conspiracy and so in verse 12. The conspirators may have
belonged to the Zealots, but clearly they represented the state
of Jewish feeling toward Paul in Jerusalem. {Have agreed}
(\sunethento\). Second aorist middle indicative of \suntithēmi\,
old verb to join together, to agree. Already this form in Lu
22:5 which see. See also Joh 9:22; Ac 24:9. {To bring down}
(\hopōs katagagēis\). Very words of the conspirators in verse
15 as if the young man overheard. Second aorist active
subjunctive of \katagō\ with \hopōs\ in final clause, still used,
but nothing like so common as \hina\ though again in verse 23
(Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 985). {As though thou wouldest inquire}
(\hōs mellōn punthanesthai\). Just as in verse 15 except that
here \mellōn\ refers to Lysias instead of to the conspirators as
in verse 15. The singular is used by the youth out of deference
to the authority of Lysias and so modifies a bit the scheming of
the conspirators, not "absurd" as Page holds.

23:21 {Do not therefore yield unto them} (\Su oun mē peisthēis
. First aorist passive subjunctive of \peithō\, common
verb, here to be persuaded by, to listen to, to obey, to yield
to. With negative and rightly. Do not yield to them (dative) at
all. On the aorist subjunctive with \mē\ in prohibitions against
committing an act see Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 851-4. {For there
lie in wait}
(\enedreuousin gar\). Present active indicative of
\enedreuō\, old verb from \enedra\ (verse 16), in the N.T. only
here and Lu 11:54 which see. {Till they have slain him} (\heōs
hou anelōsin auton\)
. Same idiom as in verse 12 save that here
we have \anelōsin\ (second aorist active subjunctive) instead of
\apokteinōsin\ (another word for kill), "till they slay him."
{Looking for the promise from thee} (\prosdechomenoi tēn apo sou
. This item is all that is needed to put the scheme
through, the young man shrewdly adds.

23:22 {Tell no man} (\mēdeni eklalēsai\). Indirect command
(_oratio obliqua_) after \paraggeilas\ (charging) with first
aorist active infinitive of \eklaleō\ (in ancient Greek, but here
only in N.T.)
, but construction changed to direct in rest of the
sentence (_oratio recta_) as in 1:4, "that thou hast signified
these things to me" (\hoti tauta enephanisas pros eme\). Same
verb here as in verse 15. This change is common in the N.T.
(Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1047).

23:23 {Two} (\tinas duo\). "Some two" as in Lu 7:19, indicating
(Page) that they were not specially chosen. {Soldiers}
(\stratiōtas\), {horsemen} (\hippeis\), {spearmen}
(\dexiolabous\). The three varieties of troops in a Roman army
like the cohort of Lysias (Page). The \stratiōtai\ were the
heavy-armed legionaries, the \hippeis\ belonged to every legion,
the \dexiolaboi\ were light-armed supplementary troops who
carried a lance in the right hand (\dexios\, right, \lambanō\, to
. Vulgate, _lancearios_. At the third hour of the night
(\apo tritēs hōras tēs nuktos\). About nine in the evening.

23:24 {Provide beasts} (\ktenē parastēsai\). Change from direct
to indirect discourse just the opposite of that in verse 22.
{Beasts} (\ktēnē\). For riding as here or for baggage. See on ¯Lu
10:34. Asses or horses, but not war-horses. Since Paul was
chained to a soldier, another animal would be required for
baggage. It was also seventy miles and a change of horses might
be needed. The extreme precaution of Lysias is explained in some
Latin MSS. as due to fear of a night attack with the result that
he might be accused to Felix of bribery. Luke also probably
accompanied Paul. {To bring safe} (\hina diasōsōsin\). Final
clause with \hina\ and the first aorist active subjunctive of
\diasōzō\, old verb, to save through (\dia\) to a finish. Eight
times in the N.T. (Mt 14:36; Lu 7:3; Ac 23:24; 27:43,44; 28:1,4;
1Pe 3:20)
. {Unto Felix the governor} (\pros Phēlika ton
. Felix was a brother of Pallas, the notorious
favourite of Claudius. Both had been slaves and were now
freedmen. Felix was made procurator of Judea by Claudius A.D. 52.
He held the position till Festus succeeded him after complaints
by the Jews to Nero. He married Drusilla the daughter of Herod
Agrippa I with the hope of winning the favour of the Jews. He was
one of the most depraved men of his time. Tacitus says of him
that "with all cruelty and lust he exercised the power of a king
with the spirit of a slave." The term "governor" (\hēgemōn\)
means "leader" from \hēgeomai\, to lead, and was applied to
leaders of all sorts (emperors, kings, procurators). In the N.T.
it is used of Pilate (Mt 27:2), of Felix, (Ac 23:24,26,33;
, of Festus (26:30).

23:25 {And he wrote} (\grapsas\). First aorist active participle
of \graphō\, agreeing with the subject (Lysias) of \eipen\ (said)
back in verse 23 (beginning). {After this form} (\echousan ton
tupon touton\)
. Textus Receptus has \periechousan\. The use of
\tupon\ (type or form) like _exemplum_ in Latin (Page who quotes
Cicero _Ad Att_. IX. 6. 3)
may give merely the purport or
substantial contents of the letter. But there is no reason for
thinking that it is not a genuine copy since the letter may have
been read in open court before Felix, and Luke was probably with
Paul. The Roman law required that a subordinate officer like
Lysias in reporting a case to his superior should send a written
statement of the case and it was termed _elogium_. A copy of the
letter may have been given Paul after his appeal to Caesar. It
was probably written in Latin. The letter is a "dexterous mixture
of truth and falsehood" (Furneaux) with the stamp of genuineness.
It puts things in a favourable light for Lysias and makes no
mention of his order to scourge Paul.

23:26 {Most excellent} (\kratistōi\). See on ¯Lu 1:3 to
Theophilus though not in Ac 1:1. It is usual in addressing men
of rank as here, like our "Your Excellency" in 24:3 and Paul
uses it to Festus in 26:25. {Greeting} (\chairein\). Absolute
infinitive with independent or absolute nominative (\Klaudios
as is used in letters (Ac 15:23; Jas 1:1) and in
countless papyri (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1092).

23:27 {Was seized} (\sullēmphthenta\). First aorist passive
participle of \sullambanō\. {Rescued him having learned that he
was a Roman}
(\exeilamen mathōn hoti Romaios estin\). Wendt,
Zoeckler, and Furneaux try to defend this record of two facts by
Lysias in the wrong order from being an actual lie as Bengel
rightly says. Lysias did rescue Paul and he did learn that he was
a Roman, but in this order. He did not first learn that he was a
Roman and then rescue him as his letter states. The use of the
aorist participle (\mathōn\ from \manthanō\) after the principal
verb \exeilamen\ (second aorist middle of \exaireō\, to take out
to oneself, to rescue)
can be either simultaneous action or
antecedent. There is in Greek no such idiom as the aorist
participle of subsequent action (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp.
. Lysias simply reversed the order of the facts and
omitted the order for scourging Paul to put himself in proper
light with Felix his superior officer and actually poses as the
protector of a fellow Roman citizen.

23:28 {To know} (\epignōnai\). To know fully, \epi\, second
aorist active infinitive. {They accused him} (\enekaloun autōi\).
Imperfect active indicative, were accusing him (dative),
repeating their charges.

23:29 {Concerning questions of their law} (\peri zētēmata tou
nomou autōn\)
. The very distinction drawn by Gallio in Corinth
(Ac 18:14f.). On the word see on 15:2. {But to have nothing
laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds}
(\mēden de axion
thanatou ē desmōn echonta enklēma\)
. Literally, "having no
accusation (or crime) worthy of death or of bonds." This phrase
here only in the N.T. \Egklēma\ is old word for accusation or
crime from \egkaleō\ used in verse 28 and in the N.T. only here
and 25:16. Lysias thus expresses the opinion that Paul ought to
be set free and the lenient treatment that Paul received in
Caesarea and Rome (first imprisonment) is probably due to this
report of Lysias. Every Roman magistrate before whom Paul appears
declares him innocent (Gallio, Lysias, Felix, Festus).

23:30 {When it was shown to me that there would be a plot}
(\mēnutheisēs moi epiboulēs esesthai\). Two constructions
combined; genitive absolute (\mēnutheisēs epiboulēs\, first
aorist passive participle of \mēnuō\)
and future infinitive
(\esesthai\ as if \epiboulēn\ accusative of general reference
in indirect assertion after \mēnuō\ (Robertson, _Grammar_,
p. 877)
. {Charging his accusers also} (\paraggeilas kai tois
. First aorist active participle of \paraggellō\ with
which compare \mathōn\ above (verse 27), not subsequent action.
Dative case in \katēgorois\. {Before thee} (\epi sou\). Common
idiom for "in the presence of" when before a judge (like Latin
as in 24:20,21; 25:26; 26:2. What happened to the forty
conspirators we have no way of knowing. Neither they nor the Jews
from Asia are heard of more during the long five years of Paul's
imprisonment in Caesarea and Rome.

23:31 {As it was commanded them} (\kata to diatetagmenon
. "According to that which was commanded them," perfect
passive articular participle of \diatassō\. {By night} (\dia
. Through the night, travelling by night forty miles from
Jerusalem to Antipatris which was founded by Herod the Great and
was on the road from Jerusalem to Caesarea, a hard night's ride.

23:33 {And they} (\hoitines\). Which very ones, the cavalry, the
horsemen of verse 31. {Delivered} (\anadontes\). Second aorist
active participle of \anadidōmi\, old verb to give up, to hand
over, here only in the N.T. {Presented Paul also} (\parestēsan
kai ton Paulon\)
. First aorist active (transitive, not second
aorist intransitive)
indicative of \paristēmi\, common verb to
present or place beside. What would Paul's friends in Caesarea
(Philip and his daughters) think of the prophecy of Agabus now so
quickly come true.

23:34 {When he had read it} (\anagnous\). Second aorist active
participle of \anaginōskō\, to know again, to read. {Of what
province he was}
(\ek poias eparcheias estin\). Tense of \estin\
(is) retained in indirect question. \Poias\ is strictly "of what
kind of" province, whether senatorial or imperial. Cilicia, like
Judea, was under the control of the propraetor of Syria (imperial
. Paul's arrest was in Jerusalem and so under the
jurisdiction of Felix unless it was a matter of insurrection when
he could appeal to the propraetor of Syria.

23:35 {I will hear thy cause} (\diakousomai\). "I will hear thee
fully" (\dia\). {When--are come} (\paragenōntai\). Second aorist
middle subjunctive of \paraginomai\ with temporal conjunction
\hotan\, indefinite temporal clause of future time (Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 972)
, "whenever thine accusers come." {In Herod's
(\en tōi praitōriōi\). The Latin word \praetorium\. The
word meant the camp of the general, then the palace of the
governor as here and Mt 27:27 which see, and then the camp of
praetorian soldiers or rather the praetorian guard as in Php

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 23)