Acts 23

Earnestly beholding; looking around upon the assembly with an air of confidence and conscious innocence.

Offended at so bold and decided an assertion of his innocence.

Thou whited wall; thou hypocrite. Ananias did, in fact, afterwards come to a violent and miserable death, by the hands of assassins.

I wist not—that he was the high priest. He was not high priest officially, though he had held the office at a former period, and still retained the title. On this account it may have been that there was nothing in his dress, or in his situation in the assembly, to designate his rank.

Of the hope, &c. Here was another artifice, (21:26;) for, although what Paul said was strictly true, as he had actually met with opposition on this account, still it was not this, but other and very different charges, (21:28, 22:22,) which had been the exciting cause of the present tumult; so that, at this time, such a statement was adapted to give a false impression. The conduct of Paul in this, and in the former case, has generally been approved,—the cases having been regarded as examples of commendable adroitness. But whether it was best to resort to these indirect measures, rather than to take the bold and perfectly honest course usually characteristic of him, ought not to be considered as settled simply by the fact that he did resort to them. We was liable to fall into error and sin in his conduct and measures, as well as all other inspired men. We observe that no permanent good resulted from the artifices in either case.

No resurrection; no future existence.

At Rome; thus implying that he was to be rescued from the danger which threatened him, and enabled to execute his purpose of going to Rome. (19:21.)

Under a curse; under an oath.

And we, &c.; that is, they were to lay wait for him and assassinate him on the way.

Thus Paul appealed to a military a man for protection, which, if granted, he knew must necessarily be military. His example is of no absolutely binding authority; but the case shows, at least, how he understood the gospel in respect to the right of human governments to exercise such powers, for the purposes of public and private protection.

To Caesarea; in order to remove him effectually from the scene of danger. The foot-soldiers were only to accompany him a part of the way, until he should have reached a safe distance from the city.

The governor; the governor of Judea, a successor of Pilate.

Having understood that he was a Roman. Lysias misrepresented the facts in his own favor. He speaks as if his taking Paul was a rescue prompted by his zeal to protect the rights of a Roman citizen. By this means, he thought he should exhibit himself in a favorable light before the governor; whereas the fact was, that he arrested Paul as a criminal, and was going to put him to the torture, he accidentally learned that he was a Roman. (22:24-30.)

When I would have known; that is, in order that I might know.

Of bonds; imprisonment.

And returned; as the prisoner was now so far from the city as to be out of immediate danger.

In Herod's judgment-hall; in a place of confinement connected with it. This hall was a celebrated public edifice erected by Herod.

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