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Bible Commentaries
Acts 24

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

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Verse 1

And with an Orator, one Tertullus (κα ρητορος Τερτυλλου τινος). A deputation of elders along with the high priest Ananias, not the whole Sanhedrin, but no hint of the forty conspirators or of the Asian Jews. The Sanhedrin had become divided so that now it is probably Ananias (mortally offended) and the Sadducees who take the lead in the prosecution of Paul. It is not clear whether after five days is from Paul's departure from Jerusalem or his arrival in Caesarea. If he spent nine days in Jerusalem, then the five days would be counted from then (verse Acts 24:11). The employment of a Roman lawyer (Latin orator) was necessary since the Jews were not familiar with Roman legal procedure and it was the custom in the provinces (Cicero pro Cael. 30). The speech was probably in Latin which Paul may have understood also. Ρητωρ is a common old Greek word meaning a forensic orator or advocate but here only in the N.T. The Latin rhetor was a teacher of rhetoric, a very different thing. Tertullus is a diminutive of Tertius (Romans 16:22).

Informed (ενεφανισαν). Same verb as in Acts 23:15; Acts 23:22, somewhat like our modern "indictment," certainly accusations "against Paul" (κατα του Παυλου). They were down on Paul and the hired barrister was prosecuting attorney. For the legal form see Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Vol. II., p. 162, line 19.

Verse 2

When he (Paul) was called (κληθεντος αυτου). Genitive absolute (as so often in Acts) with first aorist passive participle of καλεω. Seeing that by thee we enjoy much peace (πολλης ειρηνης τυγχανοντες δια σου). Literally, obtaining much peace by thee. A regular piece of flattery, captatio benevolentiae, to ingratiate himself into the good graces of the governor. Felix had suppressed a riot, but Tacitus (Ann. XII. 54) declares that Felix secretly encouraged banditti and shared the plunder for which the Jews finally made complaint to Nero who recalled him. But it sounded well to praise Felix for keeping peace in his province, especially as Tertullus was going to accuse Paul of being a disturber of the peace.

And that by thy providence (κα δια της προνοιας). Forethought, old Greek word from προνοος (προνοεω in 1 Timothy 5:8; Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21), in N.T. only here and Romans 13:14. "Providence" is Latin Providentia (foreseeing, provideo). Roman coins often have Providentia Caesaris. Post-Augustan Latin uses it of God (Deus).

Evils are corrected for this nation (διορθωματων γινομενων τω εθνε τουτω). Genitive absolute again, γινομενων, present middle participle describing the process of reform going on for this nation (dative case of personal interest). Διορθωμα (from διορθοω, to set right) occurs from Aristotle on of setting right broken limbs (Hippocrates) or reforms in law and life (Polybius, Plutarch). "Reform continually taking place for this nation." Felix the Reform Governor of Judea! It is like a campaign speech, but it doubtless pleased Felix.

Verse 3

In all ways and in all places (παντη τε κα πανταχου). Παντη, old adverb of manner only here in N.T. Πανταχου also old adverb of place, several times in N.T. But these adverbs most likely go with the preceding clause about "reforms" rather than as here translated with "we accept" (αποδεχομεθα). But "with all gratitude" (μετα πασης ευχαριστιας) does naturally go with αποδεχομεθα.

Verse 4

That I be not further tedious unto thee (ινα μη επ πλειον σε ενκοπτω). Koine verb (Hippocrates, Polybius) to cut in on (or into), to cut off, to impede, to hinder. Our modern telephone and radio illustrate it well. In the N.T. (Acts 24:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; Galatians 5:7; Romans 15:22; 1 Peter 3:7). "That I may not cut in on or interrupt thee further (επ πλειον) in thy reforms." Flattery still.

Of thy clemency (τη ση επιεικεια). Instrumental case of old word from επιεικης and this from επ and εικος (reasonable, likely, fair). "Sweet Reasonableness" (Matthew Arnold), gentleness, fairness. An επιεικης man is "one who makes reasonable concessions" (Aristotle, Eth. V. 10), while δικαιος is "one who insists on his full rights" (Plato, Leg. 757 D) as translated by Page.

A few words (συντομως). Old adverb from συντεμνω, to cut together (short), abbreviate. Like δια βραχεων in Hebrews 13:22. In N.T. only here and Acts 24:16 (shorter conclusion).

Verse 5

For we have found (ευροντες γαρ). Second aorist active participle of ευρισκω, but without a principal verb in the sentence. Probably we have here only a "summary of the charges against Paul" (Page).

A pestilent fellow (λοιμον). An old word for pest, plague, pestilence, Paul the pest. In N.T. only here and Luke 21:11 (λοιμο κα λιμο, pestilences and famines) which see. Latin pestis. Think of the greatest preacher of the ages being branded a pest by a contemporary hired lawyer.

A mover of insurrections (κινουντα στασεις). This was an offence against Roman law if it could be proven. "Plotted against at Damascus, plotted against at Jerusalem, expelled from Pisidian Antioch, stoned at Lystra, scourged and imprisoned at Philippi, accused of treason at Thessalonica, haled before the proconsul at Corinth, cause of a serious riot at Ephesus, and now finally of a riot at Jerusalem" (Furneaux). Specious proof could have been produced, but was not. Tertullus went on to other charges with which a Roman court had no concern (instance Gallio in Corinth).

Throughout the world (κατα την οικουμενην). The Roman inhabited earth (γην) as in Acts 17:6.

A ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes (πρωτοστατην της των Ναζωραιων αιρεσεως). Πρωτοστατης is an old word in common use from πρωτος and ιστημ, a front-rank man, a chief, a champion. Here only in the N.T. This charge is certainly true. About "sect" (αιρεσις) see on Acts 5:17. Ναζωραιο here only in the plural in the N.T., elsewhere of Jesus (Matthew 2:23; Matthew 26:71; Luke 18:37; John 18:5; John 18:7; John 19:19; Acts 2:22; Acts 3:6; Acts 4:10; Acts 6:14; Acts 22:8; Acts 26:9). The disciple is not above his Master. There was a sneer in the term as applied to Jesus and here to his followers.

Verse 6

Assayed to profane (επειρασεν βεβηλωσα). A flat untruth, but the charge of the Asian Jews (Acts 21:28-30). Verbum optum ad calumnian (Bengel).

We seized (εκρατησαμεν). As if the Sanhedrin had arrested Paul, Tertullus identifying himself with his clients. But it was the mob (Acts 21:28-31) that attacked Paul and Lysias who rescued him (Acts 21:32).

Verse 7

This whole verse with some words at the end of verse Acts 24:6 and the beginning of verse Acts 24:8 in the Textus Receptus ("And would have judged according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come unto thee") is absent from Aleph A B H L P 61 (many other cursives) Sahidic Bohairic. It is beyond doubt a later addition to the incomplete report of the speech of Tertullus. As the Revised Version stands, verse Acts 24:8 connects with verse Acts 24:6. The motive of the added words is clearly to prejudice Felix against Lysias and they contradict the record in Acts 24:21. Furneaux holds them to be genuine and omitted because contradictory to Acts 24:21. More likely they are a clumsy attempt to complete the speech of Tertullus.

Verse 8

From whom (παρ' ου). Referring to Paul, but in the Textus Receptus referring to Lysias.

By examining him thyself (αυτος ανακρινας). Not by torture, since Paul was a Roman citizen, but by hearing what Paul has to say in defence of himself. Ανακρινω is to examine thoroughly up and down as in Luke 23:14.

Verse 9

Joined in the charge (συνεπεθεντο). Second aorist middle indicative of συνεπιτιθημ, old verb, double compound, to place upon (επ) together with (συν), to make a joint attack, here only in the N.T.

Affirming (φασκοντες). Alleging, with the accusative in indirect assertion as in Acts 25:19; Romans 1:22 (nominative with infinitive, Robertson, Grammar, p. 1038).

Were so (ουτως εχειν), "held thus," common idiom.

Verse 10

When the governor had beckoned to him (νευσαντος αυτω του ηγεμονος). Genitive absolute again with first aorist active participle of νευω, to give a nod, old word, in N.T. only here and John 13:24. "The governor nodding to him."

Forasmuch as I know (επισταμενος). Knowing, from επισταμα.

That thou hast been of many years a judge (εκ πολλων ετων οντα σε κριτην). The participle in indirect assertion after επισταμενος (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1041). Paul goes as far as he can in the way of a compliment. For seven years Felix has been governor, οντα being a sort of progressive present participle with εκ πολλων ετων (Robertson, Grammar, p. 892).

Cheerfully (ευθυμως). Old adverb from ευθυμος (ευ and θυμος, good spirit), here only in N.T.

Make my defence (απολογουμα). Old and regular word for this idea as in Luke 21:14 which see.

Verse 11

Seeing that thou canst take knowledge (δυναμενου σου επιγνωνα). Genitive absolute again. The same word and form (επιγνωνα) used by Tertullus, if in Greek, in verse Acts 24:8 to Felix. Paul takes it up and repeats it.

Not more than twelve days (ου πλειους ημερα δωδεκα). Here η (than) is absent without change of case to the ablative as usually happens. But this idiom is found in the Koine (Robertson, Grammar, p. 666).

Since (αφ' ης). Supply ημερας, "from which day."

To worship (προσκυνησων). One of the few examples of the future participle of purpose so common in the old Attic.

Verse 12

Disputing (διαλεγομενον). Simply conversing, discussing, arguing, and then disputing, common verb in old Greek and in N.T. (especially in Acts).

Stirring up a crowd (επιστασιν ποιουντα οχλου). Επιστασις is a late word from εφιστημ, to make an onset or rush. Only twice in the N.T., 2 Corinthians 11:28 (the pressure or care of the churches) and here (making a rush of a crowd). The papyri give examples also for "onset." So Paul denies the two charges that were serious and the only one that concerned Roman law (insurrection).

Verse 13

Prove (παραστησα). First aorist active infinitive of παριστημ, to place beside. They have made "charges," mere assertions. They have not backed up these charges with proof, "nor can they," says Paul.

Now (νυν). As if they had changed their charges from the cries of the mob in Jerusalem which is true. Paul has no hired lawyer to plead for him, but he has made a masterly plea for his freedom.

Verse 14

I confess (ομολογω). The only charge left was that of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. This Paul frankly confesses is true. He uses the word in its full sense. He is "guilty" of that.

After the Way (κατα την οδον). This word Paul had already applied to Christianity (Acts 22:4). He prefers it to "sect" (αιρεσιν which means a choosing, then a division). Paul claims Christianity to be the real (whole, catholic) Judaism, not a "sect" of it. But he will show that Christianity is not a deviation from Judaism, but the fulfilment of it (Page) as he has already shown in Acts 24:3; Acts 24:9.

So serve I the God of our fathers (ουτως λατρευω τω πατρωιω θεω). Paul has not stretched the truth at all. He has confirmed the claim made before the Sanhedrin that he is a spiritual Pharisee in the truest sense (Acts 23:6). He reasserts his faith in all the law and the prophets, holding to the Messianic hope. A curious "heretic" surely!

Which these themselves also look for (ην κα αυτο ουτο προσδεχοντα). Probably with a gesture towards his accusers. He does not treat them all as Sadducees. See Titus 2:13 for similar use of the verb (προσδεχομενο την μακαριαν ελπιδα, looking for the happy hope).

Verse 15

That there shall be a resurrection (αναστασιν μελλειν εσεσθα). Indirect assertion with infinitive and accusative of general reference (αναστασιν) after the word ελπιδα (hope). The future infinitive εσεσθα after μελλειν is also according to rule, μελλω being followed by either present, aorist, or future infinitive (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 870, 877, 878).

Both of the just and the unjust (δικαιων τε κα αδικων). Apparently at the same time as in John 5:29 (cf. Acts 17:31). Gardner thinks that Luke here misrepresents Paul who held to no resurrection save for those "in Christ," a mistaken interpretation of Paul in my opinion. The Talmud teaches the resurrection of Israelites only, but Paul was more than a Pharisee.

Verse 16

Herein (εν τουτω). His whole confession of belief in verses Acts 24:14; Acts 24:15.

Do I also exercise myself (κα αυτος ασκω). "Do I also myself take exercise," take pains, labour, strive. Old word in Homer to work as raw materials, to adorn by art, then to drill. Our word ascetic comes from this root, one who seeks to gain piety by rules and severe hardship. Paul claims to be equal to his accusers in efforts to please God.

Void of offence (απροσκοπον). This word belongs to the papyri and N.T. (only in Paul), not in the ancient writers. The papyri examples (Moulton Milligan, Vocabulary) use the word to mean "free from hurt or harm." It is a privative and προσκοπτω (to cut or stumble against). Page likes "void of offence" since that can be either active "not stumbling" as in Philippians 1:10 or passive "not stumbled against" as in 1 Corinthians 10:32 (the first toward God and the second toward men), the only other N.T. examples. Hence the word here appears in both senses (the first towards God, the second towards men). Paul adds "alway" (δια παντος), a bold claim for a consistent aim in life. "Certainly his conscience acquitted him of having caused any offence to his countrymen" (Rackham). Furneaux thinks that it must have been wormwood and gall to Ananias to hear Paul repeat here the same words because of which he had ordered Paul to be smitten on the mouth (Acts 23:1).

Verse 17

After many years (δι' ετων πλειονων). "At an interval (δια) of more (πλειονων) years" (than a few, one must add), not "after many years." If, as is likely Paul went up to Jerusalem in Acts 18:22, that was some five years ago and would justify "πλειονων" (several years ago or some years ago).

To bring alms (ελεημοσυνας ποιησον). Another (see προσκυνησων in verse Acts 24:11) example of the future participle of purpose in the N.T. These "alms" (on ελεημοσυνας see on Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:4; Acts 10:2, common in Tobit and is in the papyri) were for the poor saints in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 1 Corinthians 16:9; Romans 15:26) who were none the less Jews. "And offerings" (κα προσφορας). The very word used in Acts 21:26 of the offerings or sacrifices made by Paul for the four brethren and himself. It does not follow that it was Paul's original purpose to make these "offerings" before he came to Jerusalem (cf. Acts 18:18). He came up to worship (verse Acts 24:11) and to be present at Pentecost (Acts 20:16).

Verse 18

Amidst which (εν αιλ). That is, "in which offerings" (in presenting which offerings, Acts 21:27).

They found me (my accusers here present, ευρον με),

purified in the temple (ηγνισμενον εν τω ιερω). Perfect passive participle of αγνιζω (same verb in Acts 21:24; Acts 21:26) state of completion of the Jewish sacrifices which had gone on for seven days (Acts 21:27), the very opposite of the charges made.

With no crowd (ου μετα οχλου). "Not with a crowd" till the Asiatic Jews gathered one (Acts 21:27).

Nor yet with tumult (ουδε μετα θορυβου). They made the tumult (Acts 27:30), not Paul. Till they made the stir, all was quiet.

Verse 19

But certain Jews from Asia (τινες δε απο της Αλιας Ιουδαιο). No verb appears in the Greek for these words. Perhaps he meant to say that "certain Jews from Asia charged me with doing these things." Instead of saying that, Paul stops to explain that they are not here, a thoroughly Pauline anacoluthon (2 Corinthians 7:5) as in Acts 26:9. "The passage as it stands is instinct with life, and seems to exhibit the abruptness so characteristic of the Pauline Epistles" (Page).

Who ought to have been here before thee (ους εδε επ σου παρεινα). This use of επ with genitive of the person is common. The imperfect indicative with verbs of necessity and obligation to express failure to live up to it is common in Greek (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 919-21). "The accusers who were present had not witnessed the alleged offence: those who could have given evidence at first-hand were not present" (Furneaux). There was no case in a Roman court. These Asiatic Jews are never heard of after the riot, though they almost succeeded in killing Paul then.

If they had aught against me (ε τ εχοιεν προς εμε). A condition of the fourth class or undetermined with less likelihood of being determined (ε with the optative, Robertson, Grammar, p. 1021). This is a "mixed condition" (op.cit., p. 1022) with a conclusion of the second class.

Verse 20

These men themselves (αυτο ουτο). Since the Asiatic Jews are not present and these men are.

Wrong doing (αδικημα). Or misdeed. Old word from αδικεω, to do wrong. In the N.T. only here and Acts 18:14; Revelation 18:5. Paul uses "αδικημα" from the standpoint of his accusers. "To a less sensitive conscience his action before the Sanhedrin would have seemed venial enough" (Furneaux).

When I stood (σταντος μου). Genitive absolute, second aorist active participle of ιστημ (intransitive), "when I took my stand."

Before the council (επ του συνεδριου). Same use of επ with genitive as in verse Acts 24:19.

Verse 21

Except it be (ε). Literally, "than," but after interrogative τ = τ αλλο "what else than."

For this one voice (περ μιας ταυτης φωνης). The normal Greek idiom with the attributive use of ουτος calls for the article before μιας, though some inscriptions show it as here (Robertson, Grammar, p. 702).

That (ης). Genitive of the relative attracted to the case of the antecedent

phonˆs .

I cried (εκεκραξα). Reduplicated aorist as is usual with this verb in the LXX (Judges 3:15). Robertson, Grammar, p. 348.

Touching (περ). Concerning (around, about).

I am called in question (κρινομα). As in Acts 23:6.

Before you (εφ' υμων). Same idiom as in verses Acts 24:19; Acts 24:20.

Verse 22

Having more exact knowledge (ακριβεστερον ειδως). "Knowing" (second perfect active participle of οιδα) "more accurately" (comparative of adverb ακριβως). More accurately than what? Than the Sanhedrin supposed he had "concerning the Way" (τα περ της οδου, the things concerning the Way, common in Acts for Christianity). How Felix had gained this knowledge of Christianity is not stated. Philip the Evangelist lived here in Caesarea and there was a church also. Drusilla was a Jewess and may have told him something. Besides, it is wholly possible that Felix knew of the decision of Gallio in Corinth that Christianity was a religio licita as a form of Judaism. As a Roman official he knew perfectly well that the Sanhedrin with the help of Tertullus had failed utterly to make out a case against Paul. He could have released Paul and probably would have done so but for fear of offending the Jews whose ruler he was and the hope that Paul (note "alms" in verse Acts 24:17) might offer him bribes for his liberty.

Deferred them (ανεβαλετο αυτους). Second aorist middle indicative of αναβαλλω, old verb (only here in N.T.) to throw or toss up, to put back or off, in middle to put off from one, to delay, to adjourn. Felix adjourned the case without a decision under a plausible pretext, that he required the presence of Lysias in person, which was not the case. Lysias had already said that Paul was innocent and was never summoned to Caesarea, so far as we know. Since Paul was a Roman citizen, Lysias could have thrown some light on the riot, if he had any.

Shall come down (καταβη). Second aorist active subjunctive of καταβαινω.

I will determine your matter (διαγνωσομα τα καθ' υμας). Future middle of διαγινωσκω, old and common verb to know accurately or thoroughly (δια). In the N.T. only here (legal sense) and Acts 23:15. "The things according to you" (plural, the matters between Paul and the Sanhedrin).

Verse 23

And should have indulgence (εχειν τε ανεσιν). From ανιημ, to let loose, release, relax. Old word, in the N.T. only here and 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 8:13. It is the opposite of strict confinement, though under guard, "kept in charge" (τηρεισθα).

Forbid (κωλυειν). To hinder "no one of his friends" (μηδενα των ιδιων). No one of Paul's "own" (cf. Acts 4:23; John 1:11) or intimates. Of these we know the names of Luke, Aristarchus, Trophimus, Philip the Evangelist.

Verse 24

With Drusilla his wife (συν Δρουσιλλη τη ιδια γυναικ). Felix had induced her to leave her former husband Aziz, King of Emesa. She was one of three daughters of Herod Agrippa I (Drusilla, Mariamne, Bernice). Her father murdered James, her great-uncle Herod Antipas slew John the Baptist, her great-grandfather (Herod the Great) killed the babes of Bethlehem. Perhaps the mention of Drusilla as "his own wife" is to show that it was not a formal trial on this occasion. Page thinks that she was responsible for the interview because of her curiosity to hear Paul.

Sent for (μετεπεμψατο). First aorist middle of μεταπεμπω as usual (Acts 10:5).

Verse 25

Was terrified (εμφοβος γενομενος). Ingressive aorist middle of γινομα, "becoming terrified." Εμφοβος (εν and φοβος) old word, in the N.T. only Luke 24:5; Acts 10:5; Acts 24:25; Revelation 11:13. Paul turned the tables completely around and expounded "the faith in Christ Jesus" as it applied to Felix and Drusilla and discoursed (διαλεγομενου αυτου, genitive absolute) concerning "righteousness" (δικαιοσυνης) which they did not possess, "self-control" or temperance (εγκρατειας) which they did not exhibit, and "the judgment to come" (του κριματος του μελλοντος) which was certain to overtake them. Felix was brought under conviction, but apparently not Drusilla. Like another Herodias her resentment was to be feared (Knowling).

Go thy way for this time (το νυν εχον πορευου). The ancient Greek has this use of το νυν εχον (Tobit 7:11) in the accusative of time, "as for the present or holding the now."

When I have a convenient season (καιρον μεταλαβων). Second aorist active participle of the old verb μεταλαμβανω, to find a share in, to obtain. It was his "excuse" for dodging the personal turn that Paul had given.

Verse 26

He hoped withal (αμα κα ελπιζων). "At the same time also hoping." Paul had mentioned the "alms" (Acts 24:17) and that excited the avarice of Felix for "money" (χρηματα). Roman law demanded exile and confiscation for a magistrate who accepted bribes, but it was lax in the provinces. Felix had doubtless received them before. Josephus (Ant. XX. 8, 9) represents Felix as greedy for money.

The oftener (πυκνοτερον). Comparative adverb of πυκνος, old word, in N.T. only here and Luke 5:33 which see and 1 Timothy 5:23. Kin to πυγμη (Mark 7:3) which see from πυκω, thick, dense, compact. Paul kept on not offering a bribe, but Felix continued to have hopes (present tense ελπιζων), kept on sending for him (present tense μεταπεμπομενος), and kept on communing (imperfect active ωμιλε from ομιλεω, old word as in Acts 20:11; Luke 24:14, which see, only N.T. examples of this word). But he was doomed to disappointment. He was never terrified again.

Verse 27

But when two years were fulfilled (διετιας δε πληρωθεισης). Genitive absolute first aorist passive of πληροω, common verb to fill full. Διετια, late word in LXX and Philo, common in the papyri, in N.T. only here and Acts 28:30. Compound of δια, two (δυο, δις) and ετος, year. So Paul lingered on in prison in Caesarea, waiting for the second hearing under Felix which never came. Caesarea now became the compulsory headquarters of Paul for two years. With all his travels Paul spent several years each at Tarsus, Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus, though not as a prisoner unless that was true part of the time at Ephesus for which there is some evidence though not of a convincing kind. We do not know that Luke remained in Caesarea all this time. In all probability he came and went with frequent visits with Philip the Evangelist. It was probably during this period that Luke secured the material for his Gospel and wrote part or all of it before going to Rome. He had ample opportunity to examine the eyewitnesses who heard Jesus and the first attempts at writing including the Gospel of Mark (Luke 1:1-4).

Was succeeded by (ελαβεν διαδοχον). Literally, "received as successor." Διαδοχος is an old word from διαδεχομα, to receive in succession (δια, δυο, two) and occurs here alone in the N.T. Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 115) gives papyri examples where ο διαδοχο means "higher officials at the court of the Ptolemies," probably "deputies," a usage growing out of the "successors" of Alexander the Great (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary), though here the original notion of "successor" occurs (cf. Josephus, Ant. XX. 8, 9). Luke does not tell why Felix "received" a successor. The explanation is that during these two years the Jews and the Gentiles had an open fight in the market-place in Caesarea. Felix put the soldiers on the mob and many Jews were killed. The Jews made formal complaint to the Emperor with the result that Felix was recalled and Porcius Festus sent in his stead.

Porcius Festus (Πορκιον Φηστον). We know very little about this man. He is usually considered a worthier man than Felix, but Paul fared no better at his hands and he exhibits the same insincerity and eagerness to please the Jews. Josephus (Ant. XX. 8, 9) says that "Porcius Festus was sent as a successor to Felix." The precise year when this change occurred is not clear. Albinus succeeded Festus by A.D. 62, so that it is probable that Festus came A.D. 58 (or 59). Death cut short his career in a couple of years though he did more than Felix to rid the country of robbers and sicarii. Some scholars argue for an earlier date for the recall of Felix. Nero became Emperor Oct. 13, A.D. 54. Poppaea, his Jewish mistress and finally wife, may have had something to do with the recall of Felix at the request of the Jews.

Desiring to gain favour with the Jews (θελων τε χαριτα καταθεσθα τοις Ιουδαιοις). Reason for his conduct. Note second aorist (ingressive) middle infinitive καταθεσθα from κατατιθημ, old verb to place down, to make a deposit, to deposit a favour with, to do something to win favour. Only here and Acts 25:9 in N.T., though in some MSS. in Mark 15:46. It is a banking figure.

Left Paul in bonds (κατελιπε τον Παυλον δεδεμενον). Effective aorist active indicative of καταλειπω, to leave behind. Paul "in bonds" (δεδεμενον, perfect passive participle of δεω, to bind) was the "deposit" (καταθεσθα) for their favour. Codex Bezae adds that Felix left Paul in custody "because of Drusilla" (δια Δρουσιλλαν). She disliked Paul as much as Herodias did John the Baptist. So Pilate surrendered to the Jews about the death of Jesus when they threatened to report him to Caesar. Some critics would date the third group of Paul's Epistles (Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians) to the imprisonment here in Caesarea, some even to one in Ephesus. But the arguments for either of these two views are more specious than convincing. Furneaux would even put 2 Timothy 4:9-22 here in spite of the flat contradiction with Acts 21:29 about Trophimus being in Jerusalem instead of Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20), a "mistake" which he attributes to Luke! That sort of criticism can prove anything.

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 24". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/acts-24.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
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