|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:22-33 The apostle gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.
Verse 25. - Thrice was I beaten with rods. This alludes to scourgings inflicted by Gentile magistrates with the vitis, or vine stick, of soldiers, or with the fasces of lictors. Only one of these horrible scourgings, which likewise often ended in death, is narrated in the Acts (Acts 16:22). We do not know when the others were inflicted. In any case they were egregious violations of St. Paul's right of Roman citizenship; but this claim (as we see in Cicero's various orations) was often set at nought in the provinces. Once was I stoned. At Lystra (Acts 14:19). Thrice I suffered shipwreck. Not one of these shipwrecks is narrated in the Acts. The shipwreck of Acts 27, took place some years later. A night and a day I have been in the deep. An allusion, doubtless, to his escape from one of the shipwrecks by floating for twenty-four hours on a plank in the stormy sea. We have no right to assume that the deliverance was miraculous. The perfect tense shows St. Paul's vivid reminiscence of this special horror. "In the deep" means "floating on the deep waves." Theophylact explains the words ἐν βυθῷ to mean "in Bythos," and says that it was a place near Lystra, apparently like the Athenian Barathrum and the Spartan Caeadas - a place where the bodies of criminals were thrown. The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thrice was I beaten with rods,.... Or "wands", by the Romans; for this was a Roman punishment, distinct from scourging with cords used by the Jews. There is mention made but of one time only that he was so beaten, elsewhere, and that is in Acts 16:22 which was at Philippi; but that he was so many times beaten in this way, there is no room to doubt:
once was I stoned. This was at Lystra, at the instigation of the Jews that came from Antioch and Iconium, Acts 14:19 by whom he was left for dead:
thrice I suffered shipwreck; neither of which are mentioned by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles; for the shipwreck he suffered as when he went to Rome was some time after the writing of this epistle, and therefore cannot be one of these here referred to
a night and a day I have been in the deep; some understand this of a well, called "Bythos", or "the deep", which was near Lystra, where the apostle was hid for such a space of time after his deliverance there; but this, were it so, he would scarcely reckon among his very great hardships and sufferings: others of a prison at Cyzicum in Asia, which, because of its very great height, was called "the depth of the sea", in which the apostle was imprisoned for such a time; but, we nowhere read that he ever was at that place, or preached there, and much less was imprisoned there; and had he, it is not likely that he should particularly point out such a short imprisonment, but would have let it pass in the general account of being in prisons before mentioned: but rather this is to be understood of the sea, often called the "deep" in Scripture, where by some accident he was cast, and was in it, as the Syriac version has it, , "where was no ship", or without one, being shipwrecked; or being cast, or having fallen into the sea, he was swimming in it, or was preserved by a broken piece of the ship, or by some other means, or by the wonderful providence of God for so long a time; though as sailing in those times was chiefly by coasting, this phrase may only signify that the ship in which he was was drove from the coast into the sea, and lost sight of the land for the space of a day and night, and lay floating about in the deep, which was reckoned very dangerous. The word "a night day", signifies a whole natural day, consisting of a night and a day; and is an Hebraism, and answers to , "the evening and the morning", which make a full day; see Genesis 1:5 Daniel 8:14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. The beating by Roman magistrates at Philippi (Ac 16:23) is the only one recorded in Acts, which does not profess to give a complete journal of his life, but only a sketch of it in connection with the design of the book, namely, to give an outline of the history of the Gospel Church from its foundation at Jerusalem, to the period of its reaching Rome, the capital of the Gentile world.
once was I stoned—(Ac 14:19).
thrice … shipwreck—before the shipwreck at Melita (Ac 27:44). Probably in some of his voyages from Tarsus, where he stayed for some time after his conversion, and from which, as being a seafaring place, he was likely to make missionary voyages to adjoining places (Ac 9:30; 11:25; Ga 1:21).
a night and a day … in the deep—probably in part swimming or in an open boat.
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