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Bible Commentaries
Acts 22

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "Men, brethren, and fathers," (andres, adelphoi, kai pateres) "Responsible men, brethren, and fathers," who are like me, according to the flesh, my own kindred race, of mutual decent. The term "and fathers" refers to the “priests and elders" of Israel. His tone of address was conciliatory.

2) "Hear ye my defence," (akousate mou apologias) "You all give attention to my defence," or "hear my testimony regarding the charges," with honest consideration, with fair play. The term "defence" is used in the legal sense of his desire to give logical, evidentiary, and testamentary evidence to sustain his Christian experience and actions - - - such as might be accepted in either a civil, criminal, or religious court of equity; Hear it from me, since I am the one charged, Philippians 1:17; Acts 25:16.

3) "Which l make now unto you." (tes pros humas nuni) "Which I make now and hereafter (for a while) am permitted to make to you," which will exist to the hour of judgement, Ecclesiastes 12:14; His defence was made against false religious charges laid against him. He not only was “set for the defence" of the gospel but was also ready to "fight the good fight of faith," 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:16-17. Peter called all believers to a "defence of the faith," in charging them to "be ready always to give a reason (a logical, legally defensible reason) for the hope in them," 1 Peter 3:15.

Verse 2

1) “(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them," (akousantes de hoti te Hebraidi dialekto prosephonei autois) "And when they heard that he addressed them directly in the Hebrew language;" They expected him to speak to them in the Greek, as they had been led to believe that he had turned heathen, having been seen with Trophimus, a Greek, whom they considered to be an heathen, Acts 21:29; Acts 21:37.

2) "They kept the more silence:" (mallon paresdon hesuchian) "They showed more quietness," gave a more respectful hearing, with regards for their sacred language, their mother tongue, Acts 21:40. With a wave of the hand he received a silence from the multitude, and with a rolling Hebrew voice he held silence of the thousands for a period of time, Acts 11:18; Acts 12:17; Acts 15:12.

3) "And he saith,) (kai phesin) "And then he spoke out," as follows - giving an historical sketch of his life from his conversion, as recounted Acts 9:1-31.

Verse 3

1) "I am verily a man which am a Jew," (ego eimi aner loudaios) "I am myself (verily or truly) a Jew-man," one of your own nation, Israel. This opening, specific identity of himself, was designed by Paul to correct the mistaken notion, of any in the crowd, that he was some desperado from among the many then in Judea, a first thing that Lysias the captain thought, Acts 21:38; 2 Corinthians 11:22.

2) "Born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia," (gegennemos en Tarso tes Kilikias) "Who was born in Tarsus of Cilicia," a city of Cilicia, Acts 9:11; Acts 21:39.

3) "Yet brought up in this city " (anatelhrammenos de en te polei taute) "Yet, having been brought up in this city," of Jerusalem, city of peace, from the age of 11 to 13 years when he entered Gamaliel’s School until he was finished and later converted, at some thirty years or more of age, Acts 26:4.

4) "At the feet of Gamaliel,”(para tous podas Gamaliel) "Along-side the feet (having been taught) of Gamaliel," a highly respected Hebrew Scholar, often sought for his wisdom in the council of the Sanhedrin, Acts 5:34-40. Paul, like Moses, was brought up and educated in the very area where he was to give his greatest witness, Acts 7:21-23.

5) "And taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers," (pepaideumenos kata akribeian tou patroou nomou) "Having been trained from boyhood according to the definitive exactness of the ancestral law," the law of Moses and the customs and traditions of the elders or fathers, Acts 26:4-11; Philippians 3:4-7.

6) "And was zealous toward God," (zelotes huparchon tou theou) "Being or existing therein a zealot of God," as far as I had been taught and then understood, though both my interpretations and practices of the law were in ignorance, Galatians 1:14; 1 Timothy 1:13; Romans 10:2; Romans 10:1.

7) "As ye all are this day " (kathos pantes humeis este semeron) "Just as you all are today;" This was at the same time flattering, complimentary, and condemning, because ignorant zeal exercised for the law, unlawfully, brings condemnation, Romans 10:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians 4:8.

Verse 4

1) "And I persecuted this way unto the death," (hos tauten ten hodon edioksa achri thanatou) "Who persecuted this way (of Jesus Christ) to the point of death," killing and consenting to kill followers of Jesus Christ. While a zealot Pharisee, he held murder in his heart, and with premeditated intent set about to annihilate followers of Jesus and His church, Acts 22:20; Acts 26:10; Acts 9:1; Acts 9:13-14; Acts 9:21.

2) "Binding and delivering into prisons," (desmeuon kai paradidous eis phulskas) "Binding and delivering into prisons," continually, repeatedly, zealously, even to strange cities, cities he actually did not know, in regions beyond Jerusalem and Judea, Acts 26:11; Acts 8:1; Acts 8:3; Galatians 1:13; Galatians 1:23. He himself had often been bound since, for the name of Christ.

3) "Both men and women." (andras te kai gunaikas) "Both mature and responsible men and women," Acts 8:3; 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 11:23.

Verse 5

1) "And also the high priest doth bear me witness," (hos kai ho archiereus marturei moi) "Even as the high priest witnesses," testifies or bears witness to me, to my former conduct, Acts 26:10. The high priest at this time was Ananias, whereas Caiphas had been high priest it the time of Saul’s early life. A witness is one who would be a willing accuser or defender, Acts 23:2.

2) "And all the estate of the elders:” (kai pan to presbuteroion) "And all the estate (senate)," the official elders of Israel’s organized religion, called the Sanhedrin, Luke 22:66.

3) "From whom also I received letters," (par’ hon kai epistolas deksamenos) "From whom also when I had received letters," official authority, warrants, Acts 9:1-2; Acts 26:10.

4) "Unto the brethren, and went to Damascus," (eporeuomen pros tous adelphous eis Damaskon) "To the Jewish brethren (of the flesh)into Damascus I journeyed," Acts 9:2-3. But the journey was to receive Christians who had been arrested by the Jews, Acts 26:11-12.

5) "To bring them which were there bound," (akson kai tous ekeise ontas dedemenous) "Leading those whom they had bound there," and were holding, for the purpose of escorting them under guard or legal detainment,

6) "Unto Jerusalem, for to be punished." (eis lerousalem hina timorethosin) "Into Jerusalem in order that they might there be punished." Tho more than twenty years had passed, it is more than likely that half the then members of the Sanhedrin were still alive, there in Jerusalem, if they would come forward and tell the truth about Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8; Acts 26:10-11.

Verse 6

1) "And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey," (egeneto de moi poreumeno) "Then it happened to me in journey," as I traveled to Damascus for this purpose, still journeying, Acts 26:12.

2) "And was come nigh unto Damascus about noon," (kai engizonti te Damasko peri mesembrian) "And as we were drawing near to Damascus, about the middle of the day," about noontime, Acts 9:3; Acts 26:12.

3) "Suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me." (eksaiphnes ek tou ouranou periastrapsai phos hikanon pen) "There suddenly shone around me a great, (brilliant) light out of heaven," Acts 9:3; Acts 26:13. The light was in brilliance above the Eastern sun; A supernatural brightness is implied by the term glory" used, Acts 22:11.

There are three detailed accounts of Paul’s conversion recorded Acts 9:1-43; Acts 22:1-30; Acts 26:1-32.

Verse 7

1) "And I fell unto the ground,"(epesa te eis to edaphos) "Then (in an instant) I fell to the ground," because of the voice and the supernatural light, Acts 9:4.

2) "And heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul," (kai ekousa legouses moi Saoul, Saoul) He recognized the voice as one of intelligible address, or understood what the voice said. Whereas his companions "heard not the voice" of Him that spoke, or did not hear in the sense of understanding what was said, Acts 22:9; Acts 9:7.

3) "Why persecutest thou me?" (ti me diokeis) "Why do you persecute me?" my people and my work? Acts 9:4; Acts 26:14.

Verse 8

1) "And I answered, Who art thou, Lord?" (ego de apekrithen tis ei kurie) "And I replied, who are you, Lord?" This indicates that he recognized that he had heard the voice of God, in Christ Himself, speaking to him, Proverbs 1:22-23; Hebrews 3:7-8; Hebrews 4:7.

2) "And He said unto me,"(eipente proseme) "Then He said (responded) to me," as surely and personally as He spoke to Moses at the burning bush, or Isaiah in the temple of the Lord, Exodus 3:4-10; Isaiah 6:8.

3) "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest." (ego eimi lesous ho Nazoraios hon su diokeis) "I am Jesus, the Nazarene whom you are persecuting;" The voice of Jesus was a voice of authority, and He established His identity, before He gave Paul his commission, Acts 9:5; Acts 26:15. To persecute the people of the Lord, and the church of Jesus, is to persecute Jesus, even as Paul stated that he had once done in ignorance, 1 Timothy 1:13.

Verse 9

1) "And they that were with me saw indeed the light," (hoi de sun emoi ontes to men phos etheasanto) "Now those who were in consort with me (traveling for the same purpose I was) indeed beheld or gazed upon the brilliant light," Acts 26:13.

2) "And were afraid;" "Stood speechless," as recounted, Acts 9:7.

3) "But they heard not the voice," (ten de phonen ouk ekousan) "Yet the voice they heard not," did not – recognize or understand what was said, as I did. There is no contradiction between this passage and Acts 9:7 where it is said, “they heard" a voice. In this passage the idea is they "heard not," in the sense that they did not understand.

4) "Of Him that spake to me." (tou lalountos moi) "Of the one who was speaking t o me," of the risen and ascended Jesus of Nazareth, who identified Himself as Jesus of Nazareth, the resurrected, living, and ascended Lord, Acts 22:8; Acts 9:5; Acts 1:10-11.

Verse 10

1) "And I said, what shall I do, Lord?" (eipon de ti poieso kurie) "Then I said, Lord, what may I do?" for you, on your behalf? Acts 9:6.

2) "And the Lord said unto me," (ho de jurios eipen pros me) "And the Lord instructed (directed) me," Acts 9:6.

3) "Arise and go into Damascus;" (anastas proeuou eis Damaskon) "Arise (stand up), get up off the ground, and go on into Damascus," not related in Acts 9:1-43.

4) "And it shall be told thee," (kakei soi lalithesetai) "And when you arrive there, it will be told (disclosed) or revealed to you," Acts 9:6.

5) "Of all things which are appointed for thee to do." (peri panton hon tetaktai soi poiesai) "Concerning all things which have been arranged (purposed) for you to do," the whole scope of what you have now been called to do, also disclosed to Ananias in a vision as recounted, Acts 9:10-16.

According to Acts 26:16-18 the character of the work Saul was to do was indicated to him, from the first, by the Lord directly and by Ananias, God’s preacher in Damascus later.

Verse 11

1) "And when I could not see for the glory," (hos de ouk eneblepon apo tes dikses) "Then as I saw not, resulting from the high intensity of the glory," from the brilliance of the supernatural light; Acts 9:8 gives the fact of the blindness, while this recounts the cause of it.

2) "Of that light," (tou photos ekeinou) "Of that spotlight," that light reflector from heaven that had fallen on me, and shined round about me in particular, me specifically, bringing temporary, total blindness, Acts 9:9. This is the only explanation of the reason of the Apostle’s blindness that is given.

3) "Being led by the hand of them that were with me," (keiragogoumenos hupo) "As I was led by the hand," after getting up from the ground, Acts 9:8.

4) "I came into Damascus." (elthon eis Damaskon) "I went on into Damascus." Acts 9:8-11.

Verse 12

1) "And one Ananias," (Ananias de tis) "Then a certain Ananias," a certain kind of person, Acts 9:10; Acts 9:12-13; Acts 9:17.

2) "A devout man according to the law," (aner eulabes kata ton nomon) "A devout man according to or in harmony with the law," the law of Moses, on moral and ethical grounds, a disciple at Damascus, and perhaps pastor of a congregation into whose fellowship he was baptized, is believed to have baptized, Paul, Acts 9:10; Acts 22:16.

3) "Having a good report," (marturoumenos) "Holding a good testimony, witness, or reputation," even as Cornelius had, though unsaved, Acts 10:2; Acts 10:22; He was a well known, as well as a good man.

4) "Of all the Jews which dwelt there," (hupo panton ton katoikouton loudaion) "By all the Jews residing there," dwelling or making their residence in Damascus. This "good report" from these without, without the church, was a prerequisite to being an ordained elder, or to one’s being a bishop - - - a pastor, 1 Timothy 3:7. To have obtained this "good report" of all the Jewish residents of Damascus it is necessarily inferred that he had lived among them for a considerable time.

Verse 13

1) "Came unto me," (elthon pros eme) "Coming to me," of his own accord, of his own will or choosing, where Paul was staying in the house of a man by the name of Judas, in the Street called Straight, in the city of Damascus, Acts 9:11, as instructed in a vision.

2) "And stood, and said unto me," (kai epistas eipen moi) "And standing upright, he said to me," or "standing over one," he called to me from my blindness, when I was yet in the house of Judas, in the Street called Straight, Acts 9:11-15. One is to think of Saul as sitting in blindness in the house of Judas, as Ananias came and stood beside or before him.

3) "Brother Saul, receive thy sight." (Souls adelphe anablepaon) "Saul, brother, look up," open your eyes, Acts 9:17.

4) "And the same hour I looked up upon him." (kago aute te hora aneblepsa eis auton) "And in that very same hour I looked up at him," saw him, I looked upon him, with my vision or sight restored, and was baptized, Acts 9:18; Acts 22:16.


A returned soldier related his conversion in a rebel prison of Atlanta, GA, thus: "There were twenty-two of us in that prison, all wild boys. We suffered every kind of privation; but we spent our time in any way, playing cards, and the like. We were pretty much all at cards one day, when some rebel officers came in; and one of them read the names of eight of us, with the order of execution, and directed those whose names were called to prepare immediately for death. Their lives were to be taken in retaliation for something the rebels said our side (the Yankees) had done. Those eight of our comrades hardly had time to say good-bye, and they were led out and hung. It came upon the rest of us like a thunderbolt. Then we began to think we needed something more than we had to be ready to die. We didn’t know who would have to go next. There were fourteen of us left. We got a Bible, and began to read and pray. We had prayer-meetings every day, morning and night; and there, in that prison, every one of us found Christ. One of the number is now a preacher of the Gospel. I have been able to hold on since; and my Christian experience is the sweetest remembrance I have of the army."

Verse 14

1) "And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee," (ho de eipen ho theos ton pateron hemon proecheirisato se) "Then he, Ananias, said, the God of our fathers (of the Jews in a special way) has already, specially chosen you; He identified himself with his hearers, as worshippers of the God of Abraham, Exodus 3:16. The term "chosen" conveys also the idea of pointed out or appointment to a special task, Galatians 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:11.

2) "That thou shouldest know His will," (gnonai to thelema autou) "To know His high, holy will," His purpose, Acts 9:4-7; To know and do the will of God is the highest good in the life of every man, Ephesians 5:17; Romans 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; John 7:17.

3) "And see that Just One," (kai idein ton dikaion) "And to see (perceive) the Just One," the righteous one, Jesus Christ, whom he had seen, met on his way to Damascus, in that midday experience. He is called "that Just One" by Stephen, Acts 7:52 and by James, James 5:6; 1 Corinthians 15:8.

4) "And shouldest hear the voice of His mouth." (kai akousai phonen ek tou stomatos autou) "And has chosen you to hear a voice directly out of His mouth," which he heard when he was born (again) on the Damascus road, and put him on an equal with other apostles, who saw the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:8; Acts 9:4; Acts 9:17.

Verse 15

1) "And thou shalt be His witness," (hoti ese martus auto) "Because you will be a witness to Him," as all members of the Lord’s church are called to be, Acts 1:8.

2) "Unto all men," (pros pantas anthropous) "Toward all men," the whole human race, to all races or nations. Tho he cautiously avoided the term "Gentiles" at this point in his address, he included them in the phrase "unto all men," Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 9:15.

3) "Of what thou hast seen and heard." (on heorakas kai ekousas) "Of things which you have both seen and heard," Acts 23:11; Acts 26:16.

Verse 16

1) "And now why tarriest thou?" (kai nun ti melleis) "And now, and for the future, what are your intentions?" What course of service in life do you choose to pursue?

2) "Arise, and be baptized," (anastas baptisai) "Stand up, (take a stand, or arise) to be baptized;" Middle voice of the Greek indicated a submission to be baptized, indicating a willingness to be identified with members of the Lord’s church, whom he had formerly persecuted, even as the Jews had done at Pentecost, Acts 15:9; Galatians 1:13; Acts 2:36-38.

3) "And wash away thy sins," (kai apolousai tas hamartias sou) "And wash away (to, for, or in your own behalf) your sins;" The washing was symbolic, a practice of the Jewish people, in connection with ceremonial washing of purification; The ceremonial washings did not purify the Jews from pollution, but were offered after purification had occurred to declare the former unclean one purified, Acts 21:26. In like manner, baptism washes away sins, only in a symbolic sense, picturing the gospel, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, by faith in which, one becomes a child of God, or is saved, Romans 1:16; Galatians 3:26-27.

4) "Calling on the name of the Lord." (epikalesamenos to onomata autou) "Invoking the name of Him," who told you that He would tell you what things you are to do, Acts 22:10. Paul cautiously avoided mentioning to the Jews this name," except where it is unavoidable, Acts 22:8; Colossians 3:17.

Verse 17


1) "And it came to pass," (egeneto de moi) "Then it happened to me," it occurred or came to be to me.

2) "That when I was come again to Jerusalem," (hupostrepsanti eis lerousalem) "When I had returned into Jerusalem," for the first time after my conversion, Acts 9:26-30. From Galatians 1:18, it is indicated that this first visit to Jerusalem was at least three years after his conversion, which period of time was spent in Arabia, Galatians 1:17.

3) "Even while I prayed in the temple," (kai proseuchamenou mou en to heirou) "Even as I was praying in the temple," indicating that after his conversion he kept up his connection with the temple, a hint that he did not despise the temple, or hold it in contempt, Acts 11:30.

4) "I was in a trance;” (genesthai me en ekstasei) "I came to be in a trance," a state of ecstasy, perhaps as referred to in Acts 9:9. This first visit lasted some 15 days, during which time it appears that this otherwise unrecounted vision came to him; Galatians 1:18.

Verse 18

1) "And saw Him saying unto me," (kai idein auton legonta moi) "I saw (perceived) Him instructing me," as He, the Lord, was instructing me personally.

2) "Make haste, and get thee quickly” (speuson kai ekselthe en tachei) "Make haste and go forth," get out or escape quickly, Galatians 1:18; casting not his pearls before the swine, Matthew 7:6.

3) "Out of Jerusalem:” (eks lerousalem) "Out of and away from Jerusalem," as assisted by the disciples of the church there, Acts 9:29-30.

4) "For they will not receive thy testimony concerning me," (dioti ou paradeksontai sou marturian peri mou) Because they will not receive your testimony concerning me," will not believe what you say about me. Time is not to be wasted among rejectors of truth; For the "dust of one’s feet" is to be shaken off, before the obstinate rejectors, Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5. For the servant is not greater than his Lord, John 15:20.

Verse 19

1) "And I said, Lord," (kago eipon kurie) "And I responded (to Him), Lord," as in personal communion with Him, appealing to the Lord regarding His own nation, as in Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-4.

2) "They know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue," (autoi epostantai hoti ego hemen phulakizon kai deron kata tis sunagogas) "They understand that I was once continually imprisoning and beating (the imprisoned) throughout the synagogues," or in all the synagogues where I could find Christians, Acts 22:4. For the Sanhedrin could order that, what they considered religiously erring Jews, be whipped or scourged publicly, in the synagogues, a matter that Paul promoted against Christians, Matthew 10:17; Mark 13:9; Acts 5:40.

3) "Them that believed on thee:” (tous posteountas epi se)"Those believing on thee," or those who have believed on thee, and let it be known, Christians everywhere I could find them, Acts 8:3; Acts 26:9-11.

Verse 20

1) "And when the blood," (kai hote to haima) "And at the time the blood," the very life of Stephen, a devout man of God, was being shed.

2) "Of thy martyr Stephen was shed," (eksechunneto Stephanou tou marturossou)"Of Stephen thy martyr was being shed," when-or as he was being stoned, Acts 7:59. He was a martyr because he willingly witnessed "unto death" for his Lord, Revelation 2:10.

3) "I also was standing by, ’(kai autos hemen ephestos) "I also myself was standing by in person," among the scoffers and ungodly, those who opposed Jesus Christ, Psalms 11:1-7; Acts 7:58.

4) "And consenting unto his death," (kai suneudokon) "And consenting," giving approval with my presence, Acts 8:1.

5) "And kept the raiment of them that slew him." (kai phulasson ta himatia ton anairouton auton) "And keeping guard over the garments of those who were killing or executing him," by stoning life from his body; Under Jewish law the stoning was because one had been judged to be a capitol criminal, and all present were to join in the execution, Deuteronomy 13:9; Deuteronomy 17:7; Hebrews 13:12.

Verse 21

1) "And He said unto me, Depart:” (kai eipen pros me poreuou) "And He said to me, go," from this place, get away, get out of Jerusalem, where you have been for some fifteen days, after your three years in Arabia, Galatians 1:11-21; Acts 9:26-30.

2) "For I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles." (hoti ego eis ethne makran eksapistelo se) "Because I will send you forth afar into the nations," into the idolatrous, heathen, Gentile countries and continents, in distant places away from Jerusalem and Judea, at God’s own appointed time, to begin some yet nine years later, Acts 9:30; Acts 13:1-4.

The mere mention of the Gentiles, for whom they held hate in their hearts, roused fury in them, similar to their outburst, Acts 21:28 and at the murder of Stephen, Acts 7:57-60.

Verse 22

1) "And they gave him audience unto this word," (akouon de autou achri toutou tou logou) "And they listened to him up to this word," until this point or statement, they gave him a patient hearing. The "this word" that incited them was the word "Gentiles."

2) "And then lifted up their voices, and said," (kai

eperan ten phonen auton legontes) "And (then) lifted up, or raised the pitch of their voices repeatedly, saying," as a rabble mob once again, Acts 21:30-34.

3) "Away with such a fellow from the earth:” (aire apo tes ges ton toiouton) "Away with such a man, take him from the earth," kill him, was their disposition of hate for his testimony of Jesus Christ in bearing the gospel to the Gentiles, to all nations, Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8. They had also treated Jesus this way, Luke 23:18-25.

4) "For it is not fit that he should live." (ou gar katheken auton zen) "Because it is not becoming, fitting, or proper that he should keep living." They would have killed him, stoned him to death already as they did Stephen, if it had not been for the Roman captain Lysias, and his cohort of soldiers, Acts 21:31-40.

Verse 23

1) "And as they cried out," (Kaugazonton te auton) "And as they were repeatedly shouting to them," to the Roman guardians of Paul.

2) "And cast off their clothes," (kai hriptounton ta himatia) "And ripping and tearing off their clothes," like lunatics in an insane mob, throwing off their loose outer clothes that would hinder them in stoning or beating Paul, if they could get to him.

3) "And threw dust into the air," (kai koniorton ballonton eis ton aera) "And as they were throwing dust, dirt, and roots and grass into the air," like pawing, raging bulls, like maniacs, with violent emotional and mental agitation, as Shimei did against David, 2 Samuel 16:13.

Verse 24

1) "The chief captain commanded him to be brought

(ekeleusen ho chiliarchos eisagesthai auton) "The chief captain Lysias commanded him (Paul) to be led in," into the fort-castle or Roman barracks, Acts 23:26; Acts 24:22.

2) "Into the castle," (eis ten parembolen) "Into the castle-fort," for protection of his life from the Jewish lynch-mob. He saw that Paul’s defence had not satisfied the Jews.

3) "And bade that he should be examined by scourging," (eipas mastiksin anetazesthai auton) "Bidding him to be examined with scourges," to determine that he would tell the truth in answering their questions. Whether or not Lysias could understand what Paul had been saying in the Hebrew language, he understood the rage of the Jews.

4) "That he might know," (hina epignou) "in order that he might fully know," have a complete statement or knowledge of why he was so despised by the mob of Jews of his own race. The scourging was according to Roman practice, to try to get information by torture.

5) "Whereof they cried so against him." (di’ en aitian houtos epephonoun auto) "For what felonious deed or crime they were repeatedly, crying, or accusing him of, regarding "this way," on the public streets. Lysias supposed he must have been guilty of some crime, from the way the mob of Jews was screaming and acting, Acts 22:22-23.

Verse 25


1) "And as they bound him with thongs," (hos de proeteinen auton tois himasin) "Then as they stretched him out (forward) with the thongs," to prepare to beat him, scourge him with cruel blows, lashes, as he was stretched on the block, Acts 16:37.

2) "Paul said unto the centurion that stood by," (epien pros ton hestota hekastontarchon ho Paulos) "Paul inquired of the centurion who was standing by, looking on," as he was being stretched out and tied up for scourging examination. The centurion was standing by to superintend the torture and receive the confession expected to be extracted from, beat out of him.

3) "Is it lawful," (ei eksestin) "if it is (exists as) a lawful thing," in the purview of Roman law.

4) "For you to scourge a man that is a Roman?" (humin mastizen anthropon hromaion) "For you to scourge a man who is a Roman?" The peril of a centurion’s taking part in such a thing caused the preparation for the torture to be interrupted, immediately. The torture was illegal in case of a Roman citizen, though it might be employed in the case of slaves and foreigners.

5) "And uncondemned?" (kai anatakriton) "and not even condemned?" Is what you are about to do to me, a Roman citizen, actually legal under or according to Caesar’s law? Of course it was not, and the centurion feared immediately for his own life and political job, Acts 16:37.

Verse 26

1) "When the centurion heard that," (akousas de ho hekatontarches) "Then when the centurion had heard," given honest attention to Paul’s astute, definitive, and judicious question.

2) "He went and told the chief captain, saying," (proselthon to chiliarcho apengeilen legon) "He approached the chief captain, Lysias, saying repeatedly, explicitly, warning him,"

3) "Take heed what thou doest:” (ti melleis poiein) "do you know what you are about to do? Take heed or, hadn’t you better be cautious?"

4) "For this man is a Roman." (ho gar anthropos houtos hromaios estin) "For this man (Paul) is a Roman," Acts 22:29; Acts 23:27.

Verse 27

1) "Then the chief captain came, and said unto him," (proselthon de he chiliarchos eipen auto) "Then the chief captain approaching (Paul) inquired of him;" Lysias was this chief captain of the entire Roman command, Acts 23:26; Acts 24:22.

2) "Tell me, art thou a Roman?" (lege moi su hromaios ei) "Tell me, are you a Roman?" Give it to me straight, confirm it, if you can. He had not apparently accepted that Paul was a Roman citizen, as Paul had formerly disclosed to him, that he was one, from Tarsus, Acts 21:39.

3) "He said, yea." (ho de ephe via) "Then he said, (replied), yea, I certainly am," for he was, Acts 21:39.

Verse 28

1) "And the chief captain answered," (apekrithe de ho chiliarchos) "Then the chief captain replied," or responded. Claudius Lysias is believed to have been a Greek, who took the name Claudius (a Roman name), when he bought his citizenship under Claudius Caesar, the Roman emperor.

2) "With a great sum obtained I this freedom." (ego pollou kepalaiou ten politeian tauten ektesamen) "I acquired this citizenship(of my position) for a great sum of money." That is, he bought his citizenship, and the privileges of freedom it afforded under Roman law.

3) "And Paul said, But I was free born." (ho de Paulos ephe ego de kai gegennemai) "Then Paul explained (asserted), but I honestly have been born as a Roman," have been a Roman, even from birth. His father was a Roman citizen, whether he received it by purchase or from special service is not known, but Paul inherited his Roman citizenship. Both the chief captain (Lysias) and the centurion knew that to claim to be a Roman citizen falsely was a serious crime, but no more serious than for a Roman official to beat a Roman citizen before an open trial, on mere allegations of charges against a prisoner.

Verse 29

1) "Then straightway they departed from him," (eutheos oun apestesan ap’ autou) "Immediately therefore they stood off, backed off from him," from binding and scourging him.

2) "Which should have examined him:” (hoi mellontes auton anetazein) "Those who were about to examine him by means of scourging,"

3) "And the chief captain also was afraid," (kai ho kiliarchos de ephobethe) "Then (at that point) the chief captain, Claudius Lysias, was also afraid," for he was legally responsible to Caesar for the affair, and manner in which it was handled, Acts 23:26; Acts 24:22.

4) "After he knew that he was a Roman," (epignous hoti hromaios estin) "Fully realizing (fully convinced) that he was a Roman," very much as the magistrates at Philippi, after they had ordered him beaten without a trial, Acts 16:38.

5) "And because he had bound him." (kai hoti auton en dekekos) "And because he had had him fully bound," and humiliated without legal evidence of guilt as a Roman citizen, Acts 21:33. He was now convinced that he had acted illegally, without investigation, by having bound Paul for the scourging. His bonds (chains)were, no doubt, less severe after the captain was convinced that he was a free born Roman citizen, Acts 22:24-28.

Verse 30

1) "On the morrow," (te de epaurion) "Then on the following day," after the arrest, binding, and detainment.

2) "Because he would have known," (boulomenos gonnai) "Being disposed (minded) to know," to satisfy his uncertainty, and quiet his fear, Acts 22:29.

3) "The certainty whereof he was accused of the Jews," (to asphales to ti kategoretai hupo ton loudaion) "The certain or specifically clear matter for which he was accused by the Jews;" The chief captain had not yet even heard the accusations of the Jews against Paul.

4) "He loosed him from his bands," (elusen auton) "He released him," from his band-restraints by which he had been bound, from the two chains at least, Acts 21:33.

5) "And commanded the, chief priests and all their council," (kai ekeleusen sunelthem) "And he commanded to come together," (tous archiereis kai pan to sunedrion) "The chief priests and all the Sanhedrin (the council)," for he had authority to summon them on issues of Jewish religious matters.

6) "To appear," (sunelthein) "To make their appearance," and personally confront Paul, in a lawful assembly, on Mt Zion, to hurl their complaints and accusations.

7) "And brought Paul down and set him before them." (kai katagagon ton Paulon estesen eis autous) "And when he had brought Paul down from confinement he set him among them," the priests and Sanhedrin elders, to hear their questioning and complaints against him, as Peter and other apostles, Acts 5:26-40.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 22". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-22.html. 1985.
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