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Bible Commentaries
Acts 22

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

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Verses 1-29

Paul’s reply to the crowd (21:37-22:29)

By his command of the situation, Paul showed much physical courage and mental alertness. One minute he was snatched from a violent death, the next he was able to address a mob of wildly excited Jews who were screaming for his blood. He spoke with such power that a rioting crowd of would-be murderers listened to him in silence (37-40).
Paul wanted to show that he was a zealous Jew, called by God to serve him. He told of his Jewish upbringing and education, and of his religious zeal in persecuting those he thought to be law-breakers (22:1-5). But then the risen Jesus intervened and he became a believer (6-11). Through the announcement of a respected and law-abiding Jew named Ananias, he learnt of God’s purpose for him to take the gospel to people everywhere (12-16). Above all he wanted his own people, the Jews, to hear the gospel, and only when they rejected it did God send him to preach it among the Gentiles (17-21).
As soon as Paul mentioned his mission to the Gentiles, uproar broke out afresh. All Paul’s speech and all the crowd’s shouting were in Aramaic, which the Roman commander probably could not understand. So he decided there was only one way to find out the truth, and that was by flogging (22-24). When Paul told the soldiers that he was a Roman citizen, they quickly untied him. They knew how close they themselves had come to being law-breakers (25-29).

Verse 30

Before the Sanhedrin (22:30-23:11)

Still wanting to find out the story behind this remarkable man, Lysias called the Jewish Sanhedrin to examine him (30). Paul soon saw, however, that the Sanhedrin was already set against him and he was not likely to get justice there (23:1-5).
Paul therefore changed his tactics. The one who had spoken to the Roman commander in Greek, addressed the mob in Aramaic, announced himself as God’s apostle to the Gentiles and claimed to be a Roman citizen, now called himself a Jewish Pharisee! He was being condemned because of his orthodox Pharisaic belief in the resurrection (6).
The immediate result of Paul’s declaration was that the Sanhedrin split in two, Pharisees against Sadducees. Some Pharisees thought Paul was not such a bad person after all (much the same as another Pharisee had said of Peter and John in a similar Sanhedrin dispute more than twenty years earlier; see 5:33-39). In the uproar that followed, the Roman soldiers again saved Paul from possible death (7-10). The Lord was still with Paul and eventually would bring him to Rome (11).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Acts 22". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/acts-22.html. 2005.
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