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Bible Commentaries
Acts 28

Vincent's Word StudiesVincent's Studies

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Verse 1

They knew. The best texts read we knew : ascertained or recognized : with a reference to ver. 39.

Verse 2

Barbarous people. From the Roman point of view, regarding all as barbarians who spoke neither Greek nor Latin. Not necessarily uncivilized. It is equivalent to foreigners.

Compare Romans 1:14; 1 Corinthians 14:11. The inhabitants of Malta were of Carthaginian descent. "Even in the present day the natives of Malta have a peculiar language, termed the Maltese, which has been proved to be essentially an Arabic dialect, with an admixture of Italian" (Gloag).

No little [ου τυχουσαν] . See on special, ch. 19 11. Rev., much better, "no common kindness."

Kindness [φιλανθρωπιαν] . See on the kindred adverb courteously, ch Acts 28:3.

Present rain [υετον τον εφεστωτα] . Lit., which was upon us, or had set in. No mention of rain occurs up to this point in the narrative of the shipwreck. The tempest may thus far have been unattended with rain, but it is hardly probable.

Verse 3

Of sticks [φρυγανων] . Only here in New Testament. From ajpo to roast or parch. Hences dry sticks.

Out of [εκ] . The best texts read ajpo, by reason of.

Verse 4

Justice [δικη] . Personified.

Suffereth not [ουκ ειασεν] . The aorist tense : did not suffer. His death is regarded as fixed by the divine decree.

Verse 5

The beast [το θηριον] . Luke uses the word in the same way as the medical writers, who employed it to denote venomous serpents, and particularly the viper; so much so that an antidote, made chiefly from the flesh of vipers, was termed qhriakh. A curious bit of etymological history attaches to this latter word. From it came the Latin theriaca, of which our treacle [μολασσεσ] is a corruption. Treacle, therefore, is originally a preparation of viper 's flesh, and was used later of any antidote. Thus Coverdale's translation of Jeremiah 8:22 has, "There is no more treacle in Gilead." Gurnall (" Christian in Complete Armor ") says : "The saints ' experiences help them to a sovereign treacle made of the scorpion 's own flesh (which they through Christ have slain), and that hath a virtue above all other to expel the venom of Satan 's temptations from the heart." So Jeremy Taylor : "We kill the viper and make treacle of him."

Verse 6

Swollen [πιμπρασθαι] . Only here in New Testament. The usual medical word for inflammation.

Looked [προσδοκωντων] . Occurring eleven times in Luke, and only five times in the rest of the New Testament. Frequent in medical writers, to denote expectation of the fatal result of illness.

No harm [μηδεν ατοπον] . Lit., nothing out of place. The word atopov occurs three times in Luke, and only once elsewhere in the New Testament (2 Thessalonians 3:2). Used by physicians to denote something unusual in the symptoms of disease and also something fatal or deadly as here. Rev., nothing amiss. Compare Luke 23:41; and Acts 25:5, where the best texts insert the word.

Said [ελεγον] . The imperfect, denoting current talk.

A God. "Observe," says Bengel, "the fickleness of human reasoning. He is either an assassin, say they, or a God. So, at one time bulls, at another stones" (Acts 14:13, Acts 14:19).

Verse 7

The chief man [τω πρωτω] . Official title, without reference to his rank and possessions. Though not occurring as the official designation of the governor of Malta in any ancient author, it has been found in two inscriptions discovered in the island.

Verse 8

Sick [συνεχομενον] . Lit., taken or holden. See on taken, Luke 4:38. Fever [πυρετοις] . Lit., fevers. This peculiarly medical use of the plural is confined to Luke in the New Testament. It denotes successive and varying attacks of fever.

Bloody flux [δυσεντερια] . Only here in New Testament. Our word dysentery is nearly a transcript of it. Hippocrates often speaks of the two complaints in combination.

Healed [ιασατο] . See on Luke 6:19.

Verse 10

Honors [τιμαις] . The word was applied to payments for professional services, and that fact may have influenced Luke in selecting it; but it is evidently not used in that sense here.

Verse 11

Sign. Answering to the ship 's name in modern times. It was the image of a God, a man, a beast, or of some other object, sculptured or painted on the prow. The figure of the guardian deity was affixed to the stern.

Castor and Pollux. Known as the twin brothers and the Dioscuri, or sons of Jove. They were regarded as tutelary deities of sailors.

Verse 16

The centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard. The best texts omit.

Verse 20

I am bound [περικειμαι] . Lit., compassed.

Verse 22

We desire [αξιουμεν] . Rather, we think it fitting. Compare ch. 14 38. Sect. See on heresies, 2 Peter 2:1.

Verse 25

Agreed not. See on agreed together, ch. verse 9.

Verse 27

Waxed gross. See on Matthew 13:15.

Their ears are dull of hearing. Lit., with their ears they heard heavily. Closed. See on Matthew 13:15.

Verse 30

Hired house [μισθωματι] . Probably different from the xenia, or lodging - place, where he resided for the first few days, perhaps as the guest of friends, though under custody, and where he received the Jews (ver. 23). ===Romans 1:0


Superscription (vers. 1, 2). Dr. Morison observes that the superscription is peerless for its wealth of theological idea.

Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Acts 28". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/acts-28.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.
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