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Bible Commentaries
Acts 25

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

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Verse 1

Having come into the province (επιβας τη επαρχεια). Second aorist active participle of επιβαινω, to set foot upon. Literally, "Having set foot upon his province." Επαρχεια is a late word for province, in N.T. only here and Acts 23:34. Judea was not strictly a province, but a department (Page) of the province of Syria which was under a propraetor (λεγατυς Χαεσαρις) while Judea was under a procurator (επιτροπος).

After three days (μετα τρεις ημερας). So in Acts 28:17 in Rome. That is on the third day, with a day of rest in between. Precisely the language used of the resurrection of Jesus "after three days" = "on the third day." So by common usage then and now.

Verse 2

The principal men (ο πρωτο). The first men, the leading men of the city, besides the chief priests. In verse Acts 25:15 we have "the chief priests and the elders." These chief men among the Jews would desire to pay their respects to the new Procurator on his first visit to Jerusalem. There was another high priest now, Ishmael in place of Ananias.

Informed him against Paul (ενεφανισαν αυτω κατα του Παυλου). "This renewal of the charge after two years, on the very first opportunity, is a measure, not only of their unsleeping hatred, but of the importance which they attached to Paul's influence" (Furneaux).

Besought (παρεκαλουν). Imperfect active, kept on beseeching as a special favour to the Jews.

Verse 3

Asking favour against him (αιτουμενο χαριν κατ' αυτου). A favour to themselves (middle voice), not to Paul, but "against" (κατ', down, against) him.

That he would send for (οπως μεταπεμψητα). First aorist middle subjunctive of μεταπεμπω (see Acts 24:24; Acts 24:26) with final particle οπως like ινα. Aorist tense for single case.

Laying wait (ενεδραν ποιουντες). See on Acts 23:16 for the word ενεδρα. Old idiom (Thucydides) for laying a plot or ambush as here. Only these two uses of ενεδρα in N.T. Two years before the Sanhedrin had agreed to the plot of the forty conspirators. Now they propose one on their own initiative.

On the way (κατα την οδον). Down along, up and down along the way. Plenty of opportunity would occur between Caesarea and Jerusalem for ambush and surprise attacks.

Verse 4

Howbeit (μεν ουν). No antithesis expressed, though Page considers δε in verse Acts 25:6 to be one. They probably argued that it was easier for one man (Paul) to come to Jerusalem than for many to go down there. But Festus was clearly suspicious (verse Acts 25:6) and was wholly within his rights to insist that they make their charges in Caesarea where he held court.

Was kept in charge (τηρεισθα). Present passive infinitive of τηρεω in indirect assertion. Hοτ with finite verb is more common after αποκρινομα, but the infinitive with the accusative of general reference is proper as here (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1036).

Shortly (εν ταχε). In quickness, in speed. Old and common usage, seen already in Luke 18:8; Acts 12:7; Acts 22:18. Festus is clearly within his rights again since his stay in Caesarea had been so brief. He did go down in "eight or ten days" (verse Acts 25:6). Luke did not consider the matter important enough to be precise.

Verse 5

Them therefore which are of power among you (ο ουν εν υμιν δυνατο). "The mighty ones among you," "the men of power" (δυνατο) and authority, "the first men," the Sanhedrin, in other words. Note change here by Luke from indirect discourse in verse Acts 25:4, to direct in verse Acts 25:5 (φησιν, says he).

Go down with me (συνκαταβαντες). Double compound (συν, κατα) second aorist active participle of συνκαταβαινω. It was a fair proposal.

If there is anything amiss in the man (ε τ εστιν εν τω ανδρ ατοπον). Condition of the first class, assuming that there is (to be courteous to them), but not committing himself on the merits of the case. Ατοπον is an old word, specially common in Plato, meaning "out of place." In N.T. only here and Luke 23:41 which see; Acts 28:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:2. Note present tense active voice of κατηγορειτωσαν (imperative) of κατηγορεω, repeat their accusations.

Verse 6

On the morrow (τη επαυριον). Locative case of the article with ημερα understood (επαυριον, adverb, tomorrow). Festus lost no time for the chief men had come down with him.

Sat on the judgment seat (καθισας επ του βηματος). A legal formality to give weight to the decision. Ingressive aorist active participle. For this use of βημα for judgment seat see on Acts 27:19; John 19:13; Acts 12:21; Acts 18:12; Acts 25:10; Acts 25:17. Same phrase repeated in Acts 25:17.

To be brought (αχθηνα). First aorist passive infinitive of αγω after εκελευσεν (commanded). Same words repeated in Acts 25:17 by Festus.

Verse 7

When he was come (παραγενομενου αυτου). Genitive absolute of common verb παραγινομα (cf. Acts 24:24).

Which had come down (ο καταβεβηκοτες). Perfect active participle of καταβαινω. They had come down on purpose at the invitation of Festus (verse Acts 25:5), and were now ready.

Stood round about him (περιεστησαν αυτον). Second aorist (ingressive) active (intransitive) of περιιστημ, old verb, "Took their stand around him," "periculum intentantes" (Bengel). Cf. Luke 23:10 about Christ. They have no lawyer this time, but they mass their forces so as to impress Festus.

Bringing against him (καταφεροντες). Bearing down on. See on Acts 20:9; Acts 26:10, only N.T. examples of this ancient verb.

Many and grievous charges (πολλα κα βαρεα αιτιωματα). This word αιτιωμα for old form αιτιαμα is found in one papyrus (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary) in sense of "blame." But the charges were no "heavier" than those made by Tertullus (Acts 24:5-8). Paul's reply proves this and they were also probably on court record (Furneaux). See this adjective βαρυς (heavy) used with λυκο (wolves) in Acts 20:29.

Which they could not prove (α ουκ ισχυον αποδειξα). Imperfect active of ισχυω, to have strength or power as in Acts 19:16; Acts 19:20. Repetition and reiteration and vehemence took the place of proof (αποδειξα, first aorist active infinitive of αποδεικνυμ, to show forth, old verb, in N.T. only here, Acts 2:22 which see and 1 Corinthians 4:9).

Verse 8

While Paul said in his defence (του Παυλου απολογουμενου). Genitive absolute again, present middle participle of απολογεομα, old verb to make defence as in Acts 19:33; Acts 24:10; Acts 26:1; Acts 26:2. The recitative οτ of the Greek before a direct quotation is not reproduced in English.

Have I sinned at all (τ ημαρτον). Constative aorist active indicative of αμαρτανω, to miss, to sin. The τ is cognate accusative (or adverbial accusative). Either makes sense. Paul sums up the charges under the three items of law of the Jews, the temple, the Roman state (Caesar). This last was the one that would interest Festus and, if proved, would render Paul guilty of treason (μαjεστας). Nero was Emperor A.D. 54-68, the last of the emperors with any hereditary claim to the name "Caesar." Soon it became merely a title like Kaiser and Czar (modern derivatives). In Acts only "Caesar" and "Augustus" are employed for the Emperor, not "King" (Βασιλευς) as from the time of Domitian. Paul's denial is complete and no proof had been presented. Luke was apparently present at the trial.

Verse 9

Desiring to gain favour with the Jews (θελων τοις Ιουδαιοις χαριν καταθεσθα). Precisely the expression used of Felix by Luke in Acts 24:27 which see. Festus, like Felix, falls a victim to fear of the Jews.

Before me (επ' εμου). Same use of επ with the genitive as in Acts 23:30; Acts 24:19; Acts 24:21. Festus, seeing that it was unjust to condemn Paul and yet disadvantageous to absolve him (Blass), now makes the very proposal to Paul that the rulers had made to him in Jerusalem (verse Acts 25:3). He added the words "επ' εμου" (before me) as if to insure Paul of justice. If Festus was unwilling to give Paul justice in Caesarea where his regular court held forth, what assurance was there that Festus would give it to him at Jerusalem in the atmosphere of intense hostility to Paul? Only two years ago the mob, the Sanhedrin, the forty conspirators had tried to take his life in Jerusalem. Festus had no more courage to do right than Felix, however plausible his language might sound. Festus also, while wanting Paul to think that he would in Jerusalem "be judged of these things before me," in reality probably intended to turn Paul over to the Sanhedrin in order to please the Jews, probably with Festus present also to see that Paul received justice (με πρεσεντε). Festus possibly was surprised to find that the charges were chiefly against Jewish law, though one was against Caesar. It was not a mere change of venue that Paul sensed, but the utter unwillingness of Festus to do his duty by him and his willingness to connive at Jewish vengeance on Paul. Paul had faced the mob and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, two years of trickery at the hands of Felix in Caesarea, and now he is confronted by the bland chicanery of Festus. It is too much, the last straw.

Verse 10

I am standing before Caesar's judgment-seat (Hεστως επ του βηματος Καισαρος ειμ). Periphrastic present perfect indicative (εστως ειμ), second perfect participle εστως of ιστημ (intransitive). Paul means to say that he is a Roman citizen before a Roman tribunal. Festus was the representative of Caesar and had no right to hand him over to a Jewish tribunal. Festus recognized this by saying to Paul "wilt thou" (θελεις).

Where I ought to be judged (ου με δε κρινεσθα). Rather, "Where I must be judged," for δε expresses necessity (it is necessary). Paul exposes the conduct of Festus with merciless precision.

As thou also very well knowest (ως κα συ καλλιον επιγινωσκεις). "As thou also dost understand (hast additional knowledge, επιγινωσκεις) better" (than thou art willing to admit). That this is Paul's meaning by the use of the comparative καλλιον (positive καλως) is made plain by the confession of Festus to Agrippa in verse Acts 25:18. Paul says that Festus knows that he has done no wrong to the Jews at all (ουδεν ηδικηκα) and yet he is trying to turn him over to the wrath of the Jews in Jerusalem.

Verse 11

If I am a wrong-doer (ε μεν ουν αδικω). Condition of the first class with ε and the present active indicative of αδικεω (α privative and δικη): "If I am in the habit of doing injustice," assuming it to be true for the sake of argument.

And have committed anything worthy of death (κα αξιον θανατου πεπραχα). Same condition with the difference in tense (πεπραχα, perfect active indicative) of a single case instead of a general habit. Assuming either or both Paul draws his conclusion.

I refuse not to die (ου παραιτουμα το αποθανειν). Old verb to ask alongside, to beg from, to deprecate, to refuse, to decline. See on Luke 14:18. Josephus (Life, 29) has θανειν ου παραιτουμα. Here the articular second aorist active infinitive is in the accusative case the object of παραιτουμα: "I do not beg off dying from myself."

But if none of these things is (ε δε ουδεν εστιν). Δε here is contrasted with μεν just before. No word for "true" in the Greek. Εστιν ("is") in the Greek here means "exists." Same condition (first class, assumed as true).

Whereof these accuse me (ων ουτο κατηγορουσιν μου). Genitive of relative ον by attraction from α (accusative with κατηγορουσιν) to case of the unexpressed antecedent τουτων ("of these things"). Μου is genitive of person after κατηγορουσιν.

No man can give me up to them (ουδεις με δυνατα αυτοις χαρισασθα). "Can" legally. Paul is a Roman citizen and not even Festus can make a free gift (χαρισασθα) of Paul to the Sanhedrin.

I appeal unto Caesar (Καισαρα επικαλουμα). Technical phrase like Latin Caesarem appello. Originally the Roman law allowed an appeal from the magistrate to the people (provocatio ad populum), but the emperor represented the people and so the appeal to Caesar was the right of every Roman citizen. Paul had crossed the Rubicon on this point and so took his case out of the hands of dilatory provincial justice (really injustice). Roman citizens could make this appeal in capital offences. There would be expense connected with it, but better that with some hope than delay and certain death in Jerusalem. Festus was no better than Felix in his vacillation and desire to curry favour with the Jews at Paul's expense. No doubt Paul's long desire to see Rome (Acts 19:21; Romans 15:22-28) and the promise of Jesus that he would see Rome (Acts 23:11) played some part in Paul's decision. But he made it reluctantly for he says in Rome (Acts 28:19): "I was constrained to appeal." But acquittal at the hands of Festus with the hope of going to Rome as a free man had vanished.

Verse 12

When he had conferred with the council (συνλαλησας μετα του συμβουλιου). The word συμβουλιον in the N.T. usually means "counsel" as in Matthew 12:14, but here alone as an assembly of counsellors or council. But the papyri (Milligan and Moulton's Vocabulary) furnish a number of instances of this sense of the word as "council." Here it apparently means the chief officers and personal retinue of the procurator, his assessors (ασσεσσορες χονσιλιαρι). These local advisers were a necessity. Some discretion was allowed the governor about granting the appeal. If the prisoner were a well-known robber or pirate, it could be refused.

Thou hast appealed unto Caesar (Καισαρα επικεκλησα). The same technical word, but the perfect tense of the indicative.

Unto Caesar thou shalt go (επ Καισαρα πορευση). Perhaps the volitive future (Robertson, Grammar, p. 874). Bengel thinks that Festus sought to frighten Paul with these words. Knowling suggests that "they may have been uttered, if not with a sneer, yet with the implication 'thou little knowest what an appeal to Caesar means.'" But embarrassment will come to Festus. He has refused to acquit this prisoner. Hence he must formulate charges against him to go before Caesar.

Verse 13

When certain days were passed (Hημερων διαγενομενον). Genitive absolute of διαγινομα, to come between, "days intervening."

Agrippa the King (Αγριππας ο βασιλευς). Agrippa II son of Agrippa I of Acts 12:20-23. On the death of Herod King of Chalcis A.D. 48, Claudius A.D. 50 gave this Herod Agrippa II the throne of Chalcis so that Luke is correct in calling him king, though he is not king of Judea. But he was also given by Claudius the government of the temple and the right of appointing the high priest. Later he was given also the tetrarchies of Philip and Lysanias. He was the last Jewish king in Palestine, though not king of Judea. He angered the Jews by building his palace so as to overlook the temple and by frequent changes in the high priesthood. He made his capital at Caesarea Philippi which he called Neronias in honour of Nero. Titus visited it after the fall of Jerusalem.

Bernice (Βερνικη). He was her brother and yet she lived with him in shameful intimacy in spite of her marriage to her uncle Herod King of Chalcis and to Polemon King of Cilicia whom she left. Schuerer calls her both a Jewish bigot and a wanton. She afterwards became the mistress of Titus.

Arrived at Caesarea (κατηντησαν εις Καισαριαν). Came down (first aorist active of κατανταω) to Caesarea from Jerusalem.

And saluted Festus (ασπασαμενο τον Φηστον). The Textus Receptus has ασπασομενο the future participle, but the correct text is the aorist middle participle ασπασαμενο which cannot possibly mean subsequent action as given in the Canterbury Revision "and saluted." It can only mean contemporaneous (simultaneous) action "saluting" or antecedent action like the margin "having saluted." But antecedent action is not possible here, so that simultaneous action is the only alternative. It is to be noted that the salutation synchronized with the arrival in Caesarea (note κατα, down, the effective aorist tense), not with the departure from Jerusalem, nor with the whole journey. Rightly understood the aorist participle here gives no trouble at all (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 861-3).

Verse 14

Tarried (διετριβον). Imperfect active of διατριβω, common verb for spending time (Acts 12:19, etc.).

Many days (πλειους ημερας). More days (than a few). Accusative case for extent of time.

Laid Paul's case (ανεθετο τα κατα τον Παυλον). Second aorist middle indicative of ανατιθημ, old verb to set before, to place up, as if for consultation in conference. Only twice in N.T. here and Galatians 2:2. The motive of Festus is not given, though it was natural enough in view of the quandary of Festus about Paul (the things about Paul) and Agrippa's interest in and responsibility for Jewish worship in the temple in Jerusalem. It is quite possible that Festus had a bit of εννυ over the visit of these Jewish dignitaries as "more days" went by. Hence the tone of Festus about Paul in this proposal for the entertainment of Agrippa and Bernice is certainly one of superficial and supremely supercilious indifference.

Left a prisoner (καταλελιμμενος δεσμιος). Perfect passive participle of καταλειπω, to leave behind. Paul is one of Felix's left overs (left behind), a sort of "junk" left on his hands. This cowardly Roman procurator thus pictures the greatest of living men and the greatest preacher of all time to this profligate pair (brother and sister) of sinners. Undoubtedly today in certain circles Christ and his preachers are held up to like contempt.

Verse 15

Informed (ενεφανισαν). Same word as in Acts 23:15; Acts 23:22; Acts 25:2 which see.

Asking for sentence against him (αιτουμενο κατ' αυτου καταδικην). Only N.T. example of this old word (penalty, fine, condemnation) from κατα and δικη (justice against).

Verse 16

It is not the custom of the Romans (οτ ουκ εστιν εθος Ρωμαιοις). If a direct quotation, οτ is recitative as in Authorized Version. Canterbury Revision takes it as indirect discourse after απεκριθην (I answered), itself in a relative clause (προς ους) with the present tense (εστιν, is) preserved as is usual. There is a touch of disdain (Furneaux) in the tone of Festus. He may refer to a demand of the Jews before they asked that Paul be brought to Jerusalem (Acts 25:3). At any rate there is a tone of scorn towards the Jews.

Before that the accused have (πριν η ο κατηγορουμενος εχο). This use of the optative in this temporal clause with πριν η instead of the subjunctive αν εχη is in conformity with literary Greek and occurs only in Luke's writings in the N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 970). This sequence of modes is a mark of the literary style occasionally seen in Luke. It is interesting here to note the succession of dependent clauses in verses Acts 25:14-16.

The accusers face to face (κατα προσωπον τους κατηγορους). Same word κατηγορος as in Acts 23:30; Acts 23:35; Acts 25:18. This all sounds fair enough.

And have had opportunity to make his defence concerning the matter laid against him (τοπον τε απολογιας λαβο περ του εγκληματος). Literally, "And should receive (λαβο optative for same reason as εχο above, second aorist active of λαμβανω) opportunity for defence (objective genitive) concerning the charge" (εγκληματος in N.T. only here and Acts 23:19 which see).

Verse 17

When they were come together here (συνελθοντων ενθαδε). Genitive absolute of second aorist active participle of συνερχομα, but without αυτων (they), merely understood.

Delay (αναβολην). Old word from αναβαλλω, only here in N.T.

Verse 18

Brought (εφερον). Imperfect active of φερω, referring to their repeated charges.

Of such evil things as I supposed (ων εγω υπενοουν πονηρων). Incorporation of the antecedent πονηρων into the relative clause and change of the case of the relative from the accusative α object of υπενοουν to the genitive like πονηρων (Robertson, Grammar, p. 719). Note the imperfect active υπενοουν of υπονοεω to emphasize Festus's state of mind about Paul before the trial. This old verb only three times in the N.T. (here, Acts 13:25 which see; Acts 27:27).

Verse 19

But had (δε ειχον). Descriptive imperfect active of εχω and δε of contrast (but).

Concerning their own religion (περ της ιδιας δεισιδαιμονιας). See on Acts 17:22 for discussion of this word. Festus would hardly mean "superstition," whatever he really thought, because Agrippa was a Jew.

And of one Jesus (κα περ τινος Ιησου). This is the climax of supercilious scorn toward both Paul and "one Jesus."

Who was dead (τεθνηκοτος). Perfect active participle of θνησκω agreeing with Ιησου (genitive). As being dead.

Whom Paul affirmed to be alive (ον εφασκεν ο Παυλος ζηιν). Imperfect active of φασκω, old form of φημ to say, in the N.T. only here and Acts 24:9; Romans 1:22. Infinitive ζηιν in indirect discourse with ον (whom) the accusative of general reference. With all his top-loftical airs Festus has here correctly stated the central point of Paul's preaching about Jesus as no longer dead, but living.

Verse 20

Being perplexed (απορουμενος). Present middle participle of the common verb απορεω (α privative and πορος way), to be in doubt which way to turn, already in Mark 6:20 which see and Luke 24:4. The Textus Receptus has εις after here, but critical text has only the accusative which this verb allows (Mark 6:20) as in Thucydides and Plato.

How to inquire concerning these things (την περ τουτων ζητησιν). Literally, "as to the inquiry concerning these things." This is not the reason given by Luke in verse Acts 25:9 (wanting to curry favour with the Jews), but doubtless this motive also actuated Festus as both could be true.

Whether he would go to Jerusalem (ε βουλοιτο πορευεσθα εις Ιεροσολυμα). Optative in indirect question after ελεγον (asked or said) imperfect active, though the present indicative could have been retained with change of person: "Dost thou wish, etc.," (ε βουλη, etc.). See Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1031, 1044. This is the question put to Paul in verse Acts 25:9 though θελεις is there used.

Verse 21

When Paul had appealed (του Παυλου επικαλεσαμενου). Genitive absolute with first aorist middle participle of επικαλεομα, the technical word for appeal (verses Acts 25:11; Acts 25:12). The first aorist passive infinitive τηρηθηνα (to be kept) is the object of the participle.

For the decision of the emperor (εις την του Σεβαστου διαγνωσιν). Διαγνωσιν (cf. διαγνωσομα Acts 24:22, I will determine) is the regular word for a legal examination (χογνιτιο), thorough sifting (δια), here only in N.T. Instead of "the Emperor" it should be "the Augustus," as Σεβαστος is simply the Greek translation of Augustus, the adjective (Revered, Reverent) assumed by Octavius B.C. 27 as the αγνομεν that summed up all his various offices instead of Rex so offensive to the Romans having led to the death of Julius Caesar. The successors of Octavius assumed Augustus as a title. The Greek term Σεβαστος has the notion of worship (cf. σεβασμα in Acts Acts 17:25). In the N.T. only here, verse Acts 25:25; Acts 27:1 (of the legion). It was more imposing than "Caesar" which was originally a family name (always official in the N.T.) and it fell in with the tendency toward emperor-worship which later played such a large part in Roman life and which Christians opposed so bitterly. China is having a revival of this idea in the insistence on bowing three times to the picture of Sun-Yat-Sen.

Till I should send him to Caesar (εως αν αναπεμψω αυτον προς Καισαρα). Here αναπεμψω can be either future indicative or first aorist subjunctive (identical in first person singular), aorist subjunctive the usual construction with εως for future time (Robertson, Grammar, p. 876). Literally, "send up" (ανα) to a superior (the emperor). Common in this sense in the papyri and Koine writers. Here "Caesar" is used as the title of Nero instead of "Augustus" as Κυριος (Lord) occurs in verse Acts 25:26.

Verse 22

I also could wish (εβουλομην κα αυτος). The imperfect for courtesy, rather than the blunt βουλομα, I wish, I want. Literally, "I myself also was wishing" (while you were talking), a compliment to the interesting story told by Festus. The use of αν with the imperfect would really mean that he does not wish (a conclusion of the second class condition, determined as unfulfilled). Αν with the optative would show only a languid desire. The imperfect is keen enough and yet polite enough to leave the decision with Festus if inconvenient for any reason (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 885-7). Agrippa may have heard much about Christianity.

Verse 23

When Agrippa was come and Bernice (ελθοντος του Αγριππα κα της Βερνικης). Genitive absolute, the participle agreeing in number and gender (masculine singular, ελθοντος) with Αγριππα, Βερνικης being added as an afterthought.

With great pomp (μετα πολλης φαντασιας). Φαντασια is a Koine word (Polybius, Diodorus, etc.) from the old verb φανταζω (Hebrews 12:21) and it from φαινω, common verb to show, to make an appearance. This is the only N.T. example of φαντασια, though the kindred common word φαντασμα (appearance) occurs twice in the sense of apparition or spectre (Matthew 14:26; Mark 6:49). Herodotus (VII. 10) used the verb φανταζω for a showy parade. Festus decided to gratify the wish of Agrippa by making the "hearing" of Paul the prisoner (verse Acts 25:22) an occasion for paying a compliment to Agrippa (Rackham) by a public gathering of the notables in Caesarea. Festus just assumed that Paul would fall in with this plan for a grand entertainment though he did not have to do it.

Into the place of hearing (εις το ακροατηριον). From ακροαομα (to be a hearer) and, like the Latin auditorium, in Roman law means the place set aside for hearing, and deciding cases. Here only in the N.T. Late word, several times in Plutarch and other Koine writers. The hearing was "semi-official" (Page) as is seen in verse Acts 25:26.

With the chief captains (συν τε χιλιαρχοις). Χιλιαρχς, each a leader of a thousand. There were five cohorts of soldiers stationed in Caesarea.

And the principal men of the city (κα ανδρασιν τοις κατ' εξοχην). The use of κατ' εξοχην, like our French phrase par excellence, occurs here only in the N.T., and not in the ancient Greek, but it is found in inscriptions of the first century A.D. (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary). Εξοχη in medical writers is any protuberance or swelling. Cf. our phrase "outstanding men."

At the command of Festus (κελευσαντος του Φηστου). Genitive absolute again, "Festus having commanded."

Verse 24

Which are here present with us (ο συνπαροντες ημιν). Present articular participle of συνπαρειμ (only here in N.T.) with associative instrumental case ημιν.

Made suit to me (ενετυχον μο). Second aorist active indicative of εντυγχανω, old verb to fall in with a person, to go to meet for consultation or supplication as here. Common in old Greek and Koine. Cf. Romans 8:27; Romans 8:34. See εντευξις (petition) 1 Timothy 2:1. Papyri give many examples of the technical sense of εντευξις as petition (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 121). Some MSS. have plural here ενετυχον rather than the singular ενετυχεν.

Crying (βοωντες). Yelling and demanding with loud voices.

That he ought not to live any longer (μη δειν αυτον ζηιν μηκετ). Indirect command (demand) with the infinitive δειν for δε (it is necessary). The double negative (μη--μηκετ) with ζηιν intensifies the demand.

Verse 25

But I found (εγω δε κατελαβομην). Second aorist middle of καταλαμβανω, to lay hold of, to grasp, to comprehend as in Acts 4:13; Acts 10:34.

That he had committed nothing worthy of death (μηδεν αξιον αυτον θανατου πεπραχενα). Perfect active infinitive of πρασσω in indirect assertion with negative μη and accusative αυτον of general reference, the usual idiom. Verse Acts 25:25 repeats the statement in verse Acts 25:21, perhaps for the benefit of the assembled dignitaries.

Verse 26

No certain thing (ασφαλες τι--ου). Nothing definite or reliable (α privative, σφαλλω, to trip). All the charges of the Sanhedrin slipped away or were tripped up by Paul. Festus confesses that he had nothing left and thereby convicts himself of gross insincerity in his proposal to Paul in verse Acts 25:9 about going up to Jerusalem. By his own statement he should have set Paul free. The various details here bear the marks of the eyewitness. Luke was surely present and witnessed this grand spectacle with Paul as chief performer.

Unto my lord (τω κυριω). Augustus (Octavius) and Tiberius refused the title of κυριος (lord) as too much like rex (king) and like master and slave, but the servility of the subjects gave it to the other emperors who accepted it (Nero among them). Antoninus Pius put it on his coins. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, p. 105) gives an ostracon dated Aug. 4, A.D. 63 with the words "in the year nine of Nero the lord" (ενατου Νερωνος του κυριου). Deissmann (op. cit., pp. 349ff.) runs a most interesting parallel "between the cult of Christ and the cult of Caesar in the application of the term κυριος, lord" in ostraca, papyri, inscriptions. Beyond a doubt Paul has all this fully in mind when he says in 1 Corinthians 12:3 that "no one is able to say Κυριος Ιησους except in the Holy Spirit" (cf. also Philippians 2:11). The Christians claimed this word for Christ and it became the test in the Roman persecutions as when Polycarp steadily refused to say " Lord Caesar" and insisted on saying "Lord Jesus" when it meant his certain death.

Before you (εφ' υμων). The whole company. In no sense a new trial, but an examination in the presence of these prominent men to secure data and to furnish entertainment and pleasure to Agrippa (verse Acts 25:22).

Especially before thee (μαλιστα επ σου). Out of courtesy. It was the main reason as verse Acts 25:22 shows. Agrippa was a Jew and Festus was glad of the chance to see what he thought of Paul's case.

After examination had (της ανακρισεως γενομενης). Genitive absolute, "the examination having taken place." Ανακρισις from ανακρινω (cf. Acts 12:19; Acts 24:8; Acts 28:18) is a legal term for preliminary examination. Only here in the N.T. Inscriptions and papyri give it as examination of slaves or other property.

That I may have somewhat to write (οπως σχω τ γραψω). Ingressive aorist subjunctive σχω (may get) with οπως (final particle like ινα). Τ γραψω in indirect question after σχω is either future indicative or aorist subjunctive (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1045). Festus makes it plain that this is not a "trial," but an examination for his convenience to help him out of a predicament.

Verse 27

Unreasonable (αλογον). Old word from α privative and λογος (reason, speech). "Without reason" as of animals (Judges 1:10; 2 Peter 2:12), "contrary to reason" here. These the only N.T. instances and in harmony with ancient usage.

In sending (πεμποντα). Note accusative case with the infinitive σημανα though μο (dative) just before. Cf. same variation in Acts 15:22; Acts 22:17.

Signify (σημανα). First aorist active infinitive (not σημηνα, the old form) of σημαινω, to give a sign (σημειον).

The charges (τας αιτιας). This naive confession of Festus reveals how unjust has been his whole treatment of Paul. He had to send along with the appeal of Paul litterae dimissoriae (αποστολ) which would give a statement of the case (Page).

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 25". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/acts-25.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
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