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Thursday, December 7th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 24

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "And after five days," (meta de pente) "Then after five days," after Paul had been in Caesarea about five days, and after the events surrounding his arrival there, as described in the latter part of chapter 23. Or it may mean, as supposed by some, that it was five days after Paul was escorted out of Jerusalem by 470 Roman guards, Acts 23:23; Acts 23:31.

2) "Ananias the high priest descended with the elders," (katebe ho archiereus Hananias meta presbuterron) "Ananias the high priest came down (from Jerusalem) with the, or certain, elders," from Jerusalem, the capitol of Judea, to Caesarea, the seacoast city of Rome’s Regional Governing Center, accompanied by a certain group of Sanhedrin elders, Acts 23:2.

3) "And with a certain orator named Tertullus," (tiono kai hreteros Tertullon tinos) "And a certain one who was an advocate orator, Tertullus," came with them, as a professional pleader, to formally accuse Paul for the Jews, before Felix the governor or Roman procurator of Judea. It is considered that he was well versed in the form of Roman Law as a prosecuting council.

4) "Who informed the governor against Paul." (oitnes enephanisan to hegemoni kata tou Paulou) "Who orally delivered the charges to the governor against Paul." Tertullus is considered to have been a Roman who was able to give a formal oral abstract brief, or declaration of the grounds for the prosecution of Paul, as formerly noted, Acts 21:27; Acts 23:2; Acts 23:30; Acts 23:35; and, later given Acts 25:2.

Verse 2

1) "And when he was called forth," (klethentos de auto) "When he (Paul) was or had been called," summoned to the trial.

2) "Tertullus began to accuse him, saying," (erksato kategorein ho Tertullos legon) "Tertullus began categorically to accuse (Paul) saying," with clever subtlety.

3) "Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness," (pollus eirenes tugchanontes dia sou) "Observing that we have obtained much peace through you," thru your administration, as he first complimented or flattered Felix, Solomon wrote, "A man that flattereth spreadeth a net," Proverbs 20:19.

4) "And that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation," (kai diorthomaton ginomemo to ethnei touto) "And that (needed) reforms, changes for better, are coming to this nation," to our people, as a result of your administration. "Excellent results flow from your imperial care for our Jewish people," the orator, Tertullus suggested. Proverbs 26:28 declares "a flattering mouth worketh ruin."

5) "By thy providence," (dis tes ses pronoias) "Through your forethought," your fine planned administration or by your foresight, oversight, and rule.

This was a case of base flattery used to influence a judge in a court of Roman justice. The Psalmist wrote, “the Lord will cut off all flattering lips," Psalms 12:3.

Verse 3

1) "We accept it always, and in all places," (pante te kai pnatachou apodechometha) "We welcome it (as deeply religious elders) both in everything and everywhere," your influence and reforms, changes for better reach. In this flattering opening where was a measure of truth, for Felix had put down certain bandit gangs of robbers that infested the country, but himself dealt in every license and excess, according to Josephus the historian.

2) "Most noble Felix," (kratiste pheliks) "Most excellent Felix," a title of nobility conferred on him, who was formerly said to have been a slave.

3) "With all thankfulness." (meta pases eucheristias) "With all kind of thankfulness," more than I can tell you in feeble words. What pious hypocrisy and fickle flattery this orator Tertullus lay on thick! Concerning such flattery Solomon advised, "He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favor than he that flattereth with his tongue," Proverbs 28:23.

Even children seem to recognize fickle hypocrisy and insincerity in an exaggerated veneer of over compliments. Of such Job 17:5 reads, "He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail," will not be able to face or countenance it.

Verse 4

1) “Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee," (hina de me epi pleion se egkopto) "Yet, in order that I may not hinder you anymore," may take up no more of your busy and valuable time or schedule; Tertullus thus suggests that Felix was so engaged in public duties that he would not deprive him of a moment of it more than necessary, making Felix feel important.

2) "I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us," (parakalo akousai se hemon) "I appeal to you to hear us," to give a responsive hearing to me, and my colleague elders, from up at Jerusalem.

3) "Of thy clemency a few words." (suntomos te se epieikeia) "Very briefly in your forbearance," in your equity, your fair play, as opposed to strictly following the law, a thing that Tertullus, the grandiloquent flattering orator feared in this case.

Verse 5

1) "For we have found this man a pestilent fellow," (heurontes gar ton andra touton loimon) "For we have found this man (to be) a pest," a rowdy meanderer, a loiterer. Proof or specific example would have been more proper than bare exaggerated assertion in this court of Roman equity. The term pestilent means a "plague-breeder," yet he was really a preacher of the gospel of life eternal, eternal health, not a "disease spreader," 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

2) "And a mover of sedition," (kai kinounta staseis) "And an (incitor who stirs) seditions," leads unpatriotic insurrections, exciting disturbances against the law and nation of Israel. Then why not give some specific example please grand orator, pleading prosecuting attorney, Tertullus!

3) "Among all the Jews," (pasin tous loudaiois) "Among Jews" everywhere - He was the "hot air," “whole hog" type of accuser, without sustaining evidence.

4) "Throughout the world," (tois kata ten oikoumenen) "Throughout all the inhabited earth," a pretty big area of influence for one man, is it not? Tertullus, would you name the witnesses to back up these first two claims? Don’t drag in all the population, of all the Jews, in all the world. Simply present two or three witnesses to sustain each of the charges or cut off the hot air please, Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

5) "And a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:" (protostaten te tes ton Nazoraion haireseos) "And a lead man of the Nazarene sect," from which it is generally known that no good thing comes, a term of derision among the Jews, who often asked, "can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" John 1:46.

Tertullus was, as a prosecuting attorney the lead-lying witness against Paul, a professional, hired false witness who began his address with foamy flattery, and lathered himself into a lying attack against Paul, alleging matters he knew were untrue and that he could not prove, Acts 6:13; Acts 16:20; Acts 21:28; 1 Peter 2:12-15.

Verse 6

1) "Who also hath gone about to profane the temple:”(hos kai to hieron epeitasen bebelosai) "Who also attempted to profane (desecrate) the temple; Deliberately tried to pollute the temple, a third falsehood that he could not sustain with evidence. Note: Tertullus, the orator that Jerusalem Jews hired to prosecute Paul before Felix the governor, invented three basic false charges against Paul: 1) A charge of sedition, 2) A charge of heresy, and 3) A charge of profaning or desecrating the temple, without any truthful evidence to support a single charge, Acts 24:12-16; Acts 25:7-8; Acts 26:31.

2) "Whom we took," (hon kai ekratesamen) "Whom we even went so far as to lay hold of;" We grabbed in the very act, in his polluting the temple; This was a deliberate lie- -not one witness, even one, did they have to sustain this charge, and Tertullus knew it. They had just "supposed" that he had brought an uncircumcised Greek into the temple, Acts 21:28-29.

3) "And would have judged according to our law." (omitted in older manuscripts) but appears to bring forward what is asserted, Acts 21:27-31.

Verse 7

(Entire verse omitted from older manuscripts)

1) "But the chief captain Lysias came upon us," (came down with soldiers from the fort castle of Antonio, adjacent to the temple area), Acts 21:30-32. This is another statement, slanted in favor of the accusing Jews with whom Tertullus (though not a Jew) identified himself, to sway Felix, a form of intellectual dishonesty. This also insinuates that Lysias, the chief captain of the Roman Guard, stuck his nose in the business of the Jews.

2) "And with great violence took him away," (from where we were beating and about to stone him) Acts 21:33-34. They took him with violence, which was an error, a grave error in binding him with two chains, without inquiring to find out that he was a freeborn Roman citizen, and that it was illegal publicly to chain him, before a hearing, Acts 21:39; Acts 22:24-29.

3) "Out of our hands," (away from the death we were about to give him), much as they had done to Stephen, Acts 7:59-60, or as the Jews had treated him earlier in Lystra, Acts 14:19-20.

Verse 8

1) "Commanding his accusers to come unto thee:” (This too is omitted from older manuscripts) Tho the fact is disclosed as occurring later, Acts 23:30.

2) "By examining of whom thyself mayest," (par’ ou dunese autos anakrinas) "From whom examining, when you have examined, you will be able," through the legal, judicial method of investigation or examination, not by torture or scourging, Acts 22:24-25.

3) "Take knowledge of all these things," (peri panton touton epignonai) "To know fully all these things," these charges submitted in this brief or abstract that constituted the body of three basic complaints: 1) First, of Sedition, 2) Second, of Heresy, and 3) Third, of Profaning or Desecrating the temple, Acts 24:5-6. It was as if Tertullus said this will all be safe in your hands, Felix."

4) "Whereof we accuse him." (hon hemeis kategoroumen autou) "Of which we accuse him," accuse or indict Paul, yet without a sustaining thread of truthful evidence for either of their three charges. Note Tertullus, reeling and rocking in grandiloquent oratory, included himself in the phrase "we accuse him."

Verse 9

1) "And the Jews also," (sunepethenta de kai hoi loudaioi) "Then the Jews (present) also joined in like a symphony," like a parrot, to sanction the broadside, hot-air, unsustained trial of charges that Tertullus, the professional orator, and the Sanhedrin elders had secured to represent them.

2) "Saying that these things were so." (phaskontes taute houtos echein) "Alleging these things Tertullus had said to be that exact way," to be factual, offering no specific testimony by a single person; If all the world and all the Jews knew these charges to be true, why did not Tertullus call his witnesses, one by one, to testify on charge by charge, place by place, time by time, regarding the alleged charges or crimes. See John 8:17; Deuteronomy 17:6; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

Verse 10


1) "Then Paul answered," (apekrithe to ho Paulos) "Then Paul replied," to the charges, responded after the prosecution had rested its case, without putting up a single witness, subject to cross examination.

2) "After that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak," (neusantos auto tou hegemonos legem) "When the governor had beckoned him to proceed to speak," to reply, to give his testimony regarding the charges of religious desecration of the temple, and his being a roving seditionist, etc., and an heretic.

3) "Forasmuch as I know," (epistagmenos) "Because I well know or understand," recognize from your experience in matters of adjudication of legal matters, of your judicial experience.

4) "That thou hast been of many years," (ek pollon eton onta) "That you have been (for) many years," out of many years of experience, some six or seven years, as Felix became governor in A.D. 52 and this was A.D. 58 or 59.

5) "A judge unto this nation," (se krite to ethnei touto) "You have been a judge to this nation;" There is no flattery here, but an acknowledgment of experience.

6) "I do more cheerfully answer for myself:" (euthomos ta peri emautou apologoumai) "I cheerfully defend myself, on my own, concerning (as to) the things brought against me;" being innocent, as I plead, I do not need an orator, you see! 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Verse 11

1) "Because that thou mayest understand," (dunamenou sou epignonai) "As you are able to know fully," you can easily understand or verify.

2) "That there are yet but twelve days," (hoti ou pleious eisin moi hemerai dodeka) "That there are, (exist) or have been no more than twelve days," less than two weeks, as follows: First, the day of his arrival in Jerusalem, Acts 21:15; Acts 21:17; Second, his interview day with James, Acts 21:18; Third, that of his vow, Acts 21:26; The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh day of his vow ending in his arrest, Acts 21:27; Eighth, appearance before the Sanhedrin; Ninth that of conspiracy, Acts 23:12; Tenth, the dispatch of Paul from Jerusalem to Caesarea, Acts 23:23-31, and the remaining period referred to Acts 23:33; Acts 24:1, to show how unlikely he had had time to do all that was alleged against him.

3) "Since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship." (ap’ es aneben proskuneson eis lerousalem) "Since (when) I went up into Jerusalem worshipping," a very different purpose from that motive imputed to him by his accusers. Would a man who had gone to a place for worship, maliciously profane the peace? He would have Felix know that he had gone to the feast in a very reverent frame of mind, to worship "in spirit and in truth," John 4:24, as well as to carry alms to his own nation, Romans 15:25-26.

Verse 12

1) "And they neither found me in the temple," (kai oute to hiero heuron me) "And they (who accuse me) neither found me in the temple;" He didn’t have to be "found." He was there with others to worship, not incite trouble.

2) "Disputing with any man." (pros tina dialegomenon) "Discouraging or disputing with anyone," seeking to stir up a controversy or argument with anyone, nor can they produce such a witness, or they would have. He was in the temple, but not teaching, Acts 21:26-27.

3) "Neither raising up the people," (he epistasin poiounta ochlou) "Nor did they find me collecting or causing to come together a crowd," to incite sedition against my nation, in any manner, nor have they or can they produce a single witness of such, I categorically assert.

4) "Neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:”(outeen tais sunagogais oute kata ten polin) "Neither did they find me in the synagogues or any other place throughout the city," doing a single thing that they have alleged thru Tertullus: 1) First, that I am a Seditionist; 2) Second, that l am an Heretic, and 3) that I have polluted or desecrated the temple. See Acts 25:8; Acts 28:17-20.

Verse 13

1) "Neither can they prove," (oude parastesai dunatai soi) "Nor are they able to prove to you," give factual, trustworthy evidence to you. Not a single one will go on the stand to give personal testimony against me on these charges, for not a single one can do it, and tell the truth. With boldness, Paul pressed his innocence of the charges before Felix; Holy boldness is a desirable trait of faith, for which each child of God should pray; 2 Corinthians 7:4; Ephesians 6:19; Hebrews 4:16.

2) "The things whereof they now accuse me." (peri on nuni kategorousin mou) "Concerning the things of which they now and hereafter accuse me;" Let it be recalled that our Lord prefaced His sermon on the Mount by warning His disciples that they should face such things, Matthew 5:10-12; John 5:19-21.

Verse 14

1) "But this I confess unto thee," (homologo de touto soi) "But this I confess to you," your honor, Felix.

2) "That after the way which they call heresy,” (hoti kata ten hoson hen legousin airesin) "But in the way which they call (with derision) a sect," heretical - The "they" being his accusers, primarily Sadducee Jews who denied the existence of angels, or spirits, and of the physical resurrection of the dead, Acts 23:8; as affirmed by our Lord, John 5:28-29,

3) "So worship I the God of my fathers," (houtos latreuo to patroo theo) "I thus worship the ancestral God," the trinitarian elohim God of our Jewish fathers, of the ancient fathers of Israel, Acts 26:21-23; 2 Timothy 1:1.

4) "Believing all thing which are written in the law," (pisteuon pasi tois kata ton nomon) "Believing all the things according to (in harmony with) the law," law of Moses, interpreted in contextual setting, Acts 28:23-24.

5) "And in the prophets:” (kai tois en tois prophetais gegrammenois) "And the things also having been written in the prophets," as they relate to salvation and obedient service in and to the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 16:16; Luke 24:44; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:38-41; Acts 15:9.

Verse 15

1) "And have hope toward God," (elpida echon eis ton theon) "We have or hold hope toward God;" We possess hope toward this ancient, ancestral God of our fathers, hope founded on the word of the God of our ancestral fathers, Exodus 3:6; Matthew 22:31-32; Mark 12:36; Ac 7,32

2) "Which they themselves also allow," (hen kai autoi houtoi peosdechomtai) "Which these themselves also expect or anticipate;" They themselves believed in and hoped for the resurrection of the dead, the reunion of the redeemed, beyond the experience of death, as expressed Job 14:13-15; Job 19:23-27; Psalms 16:8-11; Psalms 17:15.

3) "That there shall be a resurrection of the dead," (anastasin mellein esesthai) "That there is to be (to come to be) a resurrection of the dead," Daniel 12:2-3; Acts 23:6-8; Acts 28:20. This age-long, continuing hope is also expressed Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:2.

4) "Both of the just and unjust." (dikaion te kai adikon) "Of both the just and the unjust ones," John 5:28-29; Romans 2:4-8; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. It is not to be a resurrection of the righteous alone, as some teach, See also Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Hosea 13:14.

Verse 16

1) "And herein do I exercise myself," (en touto kai touto asko) "in this (hope) or expectation I also exercise myself." on the grounds or in the light of the resurrection and accountability beyond the grave, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; as also set forth Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Romans 2:4-8. I strive, endeavor, work hard that I may stand before Him, unashamed in my resurrection body, at the hour of judgement, Philippians 1:20.

2) "To have always a conscience void of offence," (aposkopon suneidesin echein) "To have, hold, or continually possess a blameless conscience," Acts 23:1. A conscience that I offend not other men or God, 1 Corinthians 10:32, Jew, Gentile, or members of the Lord’s church. Solomon calls the conscience "the candle of the Lord," Proverbs 20:27. It is the memorex system or monitor of the soul, touched by the Spirit or God, causes men to remember good and evil, even beyond death, Luke 16:25.

3) "Toward God, and toward men." (pros ton theon kai tous anthropous dia pantos) "Always toward God and toward all men;" Paul asserted that these were priority principles in his life, to respect the conscience of others, and to avoid offending both God and men, in what he said and did, 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 2:17. Paul desired to have a conscience, that he was living and had lived, always in a manner that would avoid causing any person to stumble in spiritual matters, 1 Timothy 1:18-19; 1 Timothy 3:9. Such a conscience is called a "good conscience," and a "pure conscience" in the latter passages, a goal, object, or priority that if continually sought by children of God, would keep so many from emotional, psychiatric, or nervous breakdown problems, and keep others from stumbling, or being offended.


Before James A. Garfield became President of the United States he served for a number of years in Congress as Representative of an Ohio district. One day, as he reviewed his political career, he said to some friends: "I have for many years represented a district in Congress, whose approbation I greatly desired; but, though it may sound a little egotistical to say it, I desired still more the approbation of one person, and his name is Garfield. He is the only man I am compelled to sleep with, and eat with, and live with, and die with; and if I do not have his approbation I should have bad companionship."

- William R. King, in "Motives for Christian Living,

Harper & Brothers, publishers

Verse 17

1) "Now after many years," (di’ eton de pleionon) "Then after many years," after many years had passed; after I had been away from Jerusalem many years, and even out of Judea for several years, at least four or five years.

2) "I came to bring alms to my nation," (elelmosunas poieson eis to ethnos mou paregenomen) "I arrived bringing alms to my nation of people," to the Jews, not merely to Jewish Christians, though this was his primary concern, yet he knew they had those in their households, for whom they were responsible, who were not Christians. He cared for them all, saved and unsaved, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Romans 9:1-3; Romans 10:1-4; Romans 15:25-26; Acts 20:16.

3)."And offerings." (kai prosphoras) "And offerings," special gifts. He had collected these from both Macedonia and Achaia (Greece) on the European continent, even as he had formerly directed such a project among those of Galatia, on the Asian continent, 1 Corinthians 16:1 A; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; Galatians 2:10. Offerings were made in connection with Jewish vows - He brought such offerings for worship, and for his own vow, and for others, Acts 24:11; Acts 24:18.

Verse 18

1) "Whereupon certain Jews from Asia," (en hais) Among which," among the Jewish people, (tines de apo tes Asias loudaioi) "Then some certain (kind of) Jews from Asia," who were a self-appointed, self-imagined, "Jewish truth-squad," to preserve traditions of the elders, Mark 7:1-9. These "certain Jews from Asia," were Christian hate-mongers, such as hounded Paul thru all his ministry, Acts 13:45; Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5; Acts 14:19; Acts 17:5; Acts 17:13; Acts 19:8-9; Acts 20:3; Galatians 1:6; Galatians 1:9; Galatians 2:4-5; Galatians 2:13; Galatians 3:1-5; Galatians 4:9-11; Galatians 4:15-18.

2) "Found me purified in the temple," (heuron me hegnesmenon en to heiro) "They found me, when I had been purified, in the temple," Acts 21:26-27. When I was offering oblations, or having offered the oblations with other brethren relating to sacred vows each of us had taken. It was under such circumstances they pounced upon me in the temple.

3) "Neither with multitude, nor with tumult." (ou meta ochlou lude meta thorubou) "Neither in, or associated with, a crowd nor with an uproar of any kind," nor trying to assemble a tumult in any manner or degree, not in the least. Paul was separated or sanctified as a Nazarite, very different from inciting a mob. Spiritually blind persons, Spiritually astigmatized persons, often see things, generally see things enigmatized, thru a fog, a mental haze, lacking understanding or comprehension, Ephesians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

Verse 19

1) "Who ought to have been here before thee," (hous edei eip sou pareinei) "Who should have been present," here before you. The "certain Asiatic Jews," who had stirred up the uproar in the temple at Jerusalem, should have been brought along, that is subpoenaed to witness before the governor Felix, against Paul, if they had seen, heard, or knew any wrong doing by Paul, relative or germane to the charges, Acts 23:30.

2) "And object, if they had ought against me." (kai kategorein ei ti echoien epoe eme) "And to make accusations, if they have anything of substance against me," that, as required in civilized courts, there be two or three witnesses, against one, before finding him guilty of the nature of crimes lodged against Paul by Tertullus, the "hot-air" prosecuting orator. For he had charged Paul with the crimes of: 1) Sedition, 2) Heresy, and 3) Profaning or Desecrating the Jewish temple, all of which were proved to be about as basically false as the charge of the Jews that Jesus was not Caesar’s friend, Acts 24:5-6; Acts 25:16; 2Co 131; John 19:21.

Verse 20

1) "Or else let these same here say," (e autoi houtoi epiatosan) "Or let these themselves say," the members of the Sanhedrin, who had parroted all together that "these things were so," that the charges were so, Acts 24:9. Their very absence was grounds for suspicion of the falsity of their charges; It is thought they were Jews of the goddess Diana industrial trade in Ephesus, who had instigated this, and they were likely on their way home from the feast gloating over the evil stink they had stirred, Acts 21:26-30.

2) "If they have found any evil doing in me," (ti heuron adikema atantos mou) "What misdeed (unrighteous thing) standing out of me;" Paul simply stated that if "all these things (three charges of Acts 24:5-6) were true," they should at least two or three of them specify what word he said or deed they knew he had done that would constitute evidence or prove that either of the three broadside charges placed against him was true. It was a reasonable request, John 8:17.

3) "While I stood before the council," (epi tou sunedriou) "While I stood (and was examined) before the council," of the Sanhedrin for their examination of me, in any way relative to these charges that they had brought by Tertullus, their hired accuser, Acts 22:30; Acts 23:1-2; Acts 24:1-8.

Verse 21

1) "Except it be for this one voice," (e peri mias tautes phones) "Unless or except it be concerning this one thing I voiced;" When Tertullus had failed to get one witness, even one, to get on the stand from among all the Jews present to give any specific or sustaining evidence of the charges against him, he then suggested that the only real thing he recalled might be a matter of his discourtesy in raising his voice before the council and getting a little loud when the issue of the doctrine of the resurrection was before the council.

2) "That I cried standing among them," (hes ekekraksa en autois hestos) "Which I cried out loudly, while standing in the midst of them," hardly a serious enough breach of courtesy or speech ethics, under the emotional pressure of the moment, to justify any of the three grave charges lodged against him, Acts 24:5-6; Acts 23:6; Acts 28:20.

3) "Touching the resurrection of the dead," (hoti peri anastaseos nekron) "That was concerning a resurrection of dead persons," a doctrinal matter that sharply divided the Pharisees and Sadducees who were on the council. For Paul was a Pharisee in theology and philosophy regarding the resurrection, not a denier or fatalist, like the negative pessimist, stoic Sadducee theological philosophers of the council, Acts 23:8; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.

4) "I am called in question by you this day." (ego keinomai semeron eph’ humon) "I am being judged before you today," Acts 28:20; Job 19:24-27; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.


Then the shepherds had the Pilgrims to another place, called Mount Innocence, and there they saw a man clothed in white; and two men, Prejudice and III-will, continually casting dirt upon him. Now, behold, the dirt, whatsoever they cast at him, would in a little time fall off again, and his garment would look as clear as if no dirt had been cast thereat. Then said the Pilgrims, What means this? The Shepherds answer, This man is named Godly man, and this garment is to show the innocency of his life. Now those that throw dirt at him are such as hate his well-doing; but, as you see, the dirt will not stick upon his clothes; so it shall be with him that liveth innocently in the world. Whoever they be that would make such men dirty, they labor all in vain; for God, by that a little time is spent, will cause that their innocence shall break forth as the ight, and their righteousness as the noon-day.


Verse 22

1) "And when Felix heard these things " (anebaleto de autous ho pheliks) "Then Felix deferred or postponed them," the hearing of any further alleged charges or evidence to sustain them.

2) "Having more perfect knowledge of that way," (akribesteron eidos ta peri tes hodou) "When he knew more accurately certain things concerning the way," the way of the cross, Christian conduct and testimony, and resurrection hope, Galatians 6:14; Acts 1:8; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. It was "the way" that had once incited Paul when he was a religious rebel against God, Acts 9:2.

3) "He deferred them," (anebaleto) "He deferred or postponed the hearing," delayed, adjourned the trial for lack of any logical, coherent, or sustaining evidence against Paul, though it appears he may have then justly have acquitted him and dismissed the charges.

4) "And said, when Lysias the chief captain shall come down," (eipas hotan Lusias ho chiliarchos katabe) "Saying, when Lysias the chief captain comes down," down from Jerusalem to Caesarea. For it was he who rescued Paul from the Jewish incited mob and had given him custodial security to come before Felix, Acts 21:31-40; Acts 22:24-29; Acts 23:25-30.

5) "I will know the uttermost of your matter." (diagnosomai ta kath’ humas) "I will determine the full matter of things related to you," under these charges, and hand down a decision. Whether Lysias ever came or was further consulted is not known or disclosed in the Scriptures. Yet, thru it all, abounds the faith and hope and assurance of Romans 8:28; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 23

1) "And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul," (diataksameons to hekaton tarche tereisthai auton) "And he commanded the centurion to guard him," to keep him (Paul) under guard as a prisoner under security there in Herod’s palace (praetorium apartment) in Caesarea near where the trial had been held.

2) "And to let him have liberty," (echein te anesin) "And to let him have indulgence- liberty," liberty only in the limited sense of indulgence regarding food, from solitary confinement, and with permission to have his friends come to visit him. His imprisonment was not to be harsh or severe, as if he were already a condemned, hardened criminal, as Julius; the centurion later did, Acts 27:2-3.

3) "And that he should forbid none," (kai medena koluein) "And to permit no one to forbid his indulgence-liberty," or obstruct or turn away none of his friends who came to visit, comfort or offer him clothing, medicine, or personal things that he might need. It appears that Felix actually held him for a "pay off," a bribe, hoping that Paul’s friends would pay money "under the table" for his release, Acts 24:26.

4) "Of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him," (ton idion autou huperetein auto) "Of his own people (his Christian brethren) to attend to him," perhaps his intimate friends recently with him on the journey to Jerusalem - - - Luke, Trophimus, and Aristarchus, Acts 20:4-5; Acts 21:29, etc; Acts 23:16. It is likely, and believed, that it was during the next two years while he was detained in prison here in Caesarea, that Luke stayed nearby, ministered to Paul’s needs, and wrote the gospel of Luke, Acts 24:26-27.

Verse 24


1) "And after certain days," (meta de hemeras tinas) "And after certain days," had thereafter passed, following Paul’s imprisonment with liberties, perhaps for shake-down" purposes of Felix’s receiving money, Acts 24:26-27.

2) "When Felix came with his wife Drusilla," (paragenomenos ho pheliks sun Drousille) "When Felix in company with Drusilla arrived;" She was the younger daughter of Agrippa 1, sister to Agrippa 11, married at age 14 as a beauty queen to Azizus King of Emeseses. Felix persuaded her to leave King Azizus and marry him; to them a son by name of Agrippa was born and perished in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius, according to-Josephus, A.D. 79.

3) "Which was a Jewess,"(te idia gunaiki ouse loudaia) "His own wife (Drusilla) being a Jewess;" She was the third daughter of Herod Agrippa 1, who was eaten by worms, Acts 12:1; Acts 12:20-23. She was also the sister of Agrippa 2, before whom Paul later pled his innocence, Acts 26:1-32.

4) "He sent for Paul," (metepempsato ton Paulon) "He sent to bring Paul from his guard who had held him with indulgence liberty," Acts 24:23. He perhaps wanted his wife Drusilla to hear this noted man Paul, who was a Christian Jew.

5) "And heard him concerning the faith in Christ." (kai ekousen autou peri tes Christon lesoun pisteos) "And heard him give his testimony concerning his faith in Jesus Christ," and with relationship to Jesus Christ. Paul sought always to point men and women to Jesus Christ as Savior, and to His service for their life commitments, Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 14:16; He, without question, knowing the morality and ethics of their lives, preached repentance, faith, accountability and the judgement to come, to them, Acts 24:25; Acts 17:30; Acts 17:32; Romans 2:4-5; 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Verse 25

1) "And as he reasoned of righteousness," (dialegomenou de autou peri dikaiosunes) "And as he discoursed concerning righteousness," before God and toward men, while Felix and his wife Drusilla apparently lacked both, knew nothing of the righteousness of God, that comes to atone for sinners, by repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ, Acts 20:21; Romans 4:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2) "Temperance, and judgement to come," (kai egkrateias kai tou krimatos tou mellontos) "And concerning self-control and concerning the coming judgement," he discoursed, because an appointment for accountability for sins of intemperance, righteousness, and rebellion of Jesus Christ, has been made to and for every person, and for every sin, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 12:36; Acts 17:31-32; Hebrews 9:26-27.

3) "Felix trembled, and answered," (emphobos genomenos ho pheliks apekrithe) "Felix becoming afraid, or terrified, replied," with paleness, conviction, and trembling, brought on by the power of the word and spirit of God that cuts to, pricks, and gives understanding to the hearts or emotions of unsaved men and women, Proverbs 1:22-23; Hebrews 4:12; Acts 9:5; John 16:7-11; Romans 2:4-5.

4) "Go thy way for this time;” (to nun echon poreuou) "For the present and till I send for you, get out," or you go and stay gone, stay away. Like the rich young ruler who “turned and went away sorrowfully," convicted of the Holy Spirit, because of his own sin of covetousness, or greed for more money, Felix too turns away, perhaps for hell forever, Matthew 9:21-22; 2 Corinthians 6:2.

5) "When I have a convenient season," (kairon de metabaion) "Then when I have a season by and by," a more convenient time, which so far as history recounts never came - He bid good-by, turned his back on one who wanted to be the best friend he had ever had, Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 4:7; Proverbs 29:1; Proverbs 27:1.

6) "I will call for thee." (metakalesomai se) "I will call for you, of my own accord," otherwise just don’t bother calling on me, is the idea - He damned his soul with “preacher don’t call me, I’ll call you," covetous, yet hopeful that money would be paid him by Paul to loose him, Acts 24:26; Matthew 19:21-22; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Luke 18:20-21.


There was a man in Chicago who twice determined to give his heart to God, but never had the courage to acknowledge Christ before his ungodly companions. When recovering from a long sickness, he still refused to come out boldly on the side of Christ, saying, "Not yet; I have got a fresh lease of lie. I can’t be a Christian in Chicago. I am going to take a farm in Michigan, and then l will profess Christ." I asked him, "How dare you take the risk?" He said, "I will risk it, don’t trouble yourself any more about my soul. I have made up my mind," The next week he was stricken down with the same disease. His wife sent for me, and said, "He don’t want to see you, but I can’t bear that he should die in such an awful state of mind. He says, ’My damnation is sealed, and I shall be in hell in a week."’ I tried to talk and pray with him, but I was no use; he said his heart was as hard as stone. "Pray for my wife and children, but don’t waste your time praying for me." His last words were, "The harvest is past."

- D. L. Moody.

Verse 26

1) "He hoped also," (hama kai elpizon) "At the same time he was also hoping," covetously, greedily, selfishly chained by the "king of all sins," covetousness, which is idolatry. It is a sin of carnal presumption that incites the breaking of the principle of divine holiness, expressed in each of the ten commandments; If man were without self-willed covetousness, he would never break any of God’s commandments; Exodus 20:17; Colossians 3:5.

2) "That money should have been given him of Paul," (hoti chremata dothesetai auto hupo tou Paulou) "That money would be doled out to him by Paul," that Paul would offer him ransom, or bribe money, for his release. His kind is that of which Paul wrote "many had pierced themselves thru with many sorrows," 1 Timothy 6:10. Covetousness pursued, is what damned the rich barn builder in hell, the rich man of royalty in hell, and turned the rich young ruler on that course, Matthew 19:21-22; Luke 12:20-21; Luke 16:25.

3) "That he might loose him." (This clause is not in older Gk. texts, or R.V.) yet, it is what the context implies. Felix had no doubt learned of the funds of charity Paul had liberally raised among his friends in Christ, in churches in Europe and Asia, and sought to force him to do the same for him, for his freedom, Acts 24:17.

4) "Wherefore he sent for him the oftener," (dio kai puknoteron auton metapempomenos) "Because of this covetous desire he sent for Paul more frequently," repeatedly, all the time hoping to receive "bribe money," or ransom money, for a period of two full years, Acts 24:27. Yet, Felix was a slave to his lusts, greed, and covetousness, and a young wife he had taken from a king.

5) "And communed with him." (homily auto) "And he conversed with him," about what? Perhaps some type of ransom or bribe as a condition of Paul’s release. Perhaps only Paul and Luke, his physician helper, really knew how much "pay-off" this licentious, hard hearted, slave-to money, this greedy Felix, was trying to squeeze out of Paul, 1 Timothy 6:10. This two year "shake down" effort of Felix against Paul denotes two things: First, the wicked, soul-damning covetousness of Felix; and Second, the corruption of the Roman Empire officials. Such perversion of justice was specially forbidden, Exodus 23:8; Exodus 10:17; Exodus 16:19; Such blinds justice, 1 Timothy 6:10.

Verse 27

1) "But after two years," (dietias de plerotheistes) "Then after two years had been completed," had passed, during which time it is believed Luke stayed near, conferred with him, and attended to many of Paul’s needs. Here too, during this time of two years in Caesarea, it is believed also that Luke wrote the gospel of Luke.

2) "Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room:” (eleben diadochon ho Pheliks Porkian Pheston) "Felix received Porcius Festus, a successor as governor," about whom, beyond this, little is known, Acts 25:1.

3) "And Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure," (thelo te charita katathesthai tois loudaiois ho Pheliks) "And Felix, wishing deeply to show a favor to the Jews," to incur their good will and favor, more than minister justice to an accused and imprisoned innocent. person. Festus later followed the same policy, Acts 25:9; Acts 25:14. He desired popularity more than justice and at the price of justice.

4) "Left Paul bound." (katelipe ton Paulon dedemenon) "Left Paul bound," bound under bonds or chains, with restrictions of humiliation, for two full years, during which time he repeatedly tried to extract a bribe from Paul for his release, Acts 24:26. When he could not, he had Paul again bound with chains on both hands, to ingratiate himself with the Jews, and kept him that way until he was later brought before King Agrippa, Acts 26:29.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 24". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-24.html. 1985.
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