|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 33. - Through a window. A "little door," or lattice in some house which abutted on the wall. In a basket (comp. Joshua 2:15; 1 Samuel 19:12). The word used by St. Luke in Acts 9:25 is spuris, which is a general name for a large basket. The word here used is sargane, which is defined by Hesychius to be a basket of wickerwork, but which may also mean a rope basket. This particular incident, no doubt, seems to be less perilous and trying than many which St. Paul has already mentioned. We must, however, remember that escape from a window in the lofty wall of a city guarded by patrols was very perilous, and also that such a method of concealment was very trying to the dignity of an Oriental rabbi, such as St. Paul had been. Further, it is clear that St. Paul only mentions this as the earliest incident in along line of perils which it had been his original intention to recount. But at this point he was interrupted, and laid aside his task of dictation - an incident which has not unfrequently had its effect in literature. When next he resumed, the Epistle, he was no longer in the mood to break through his rule of reticence on these subjects. He had played "the fool" and "the madman," as he says of himself with indignant irony, enough; and he proceeds to speak of other personal claims which he regards as more Important and more Divine. Of all "chapters of unwritten history," not one is more deeply to be regretted than the one which we have them lost.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And through a window in a basket was I let down,.... The house in which he was, like Rahab's, was built upon the wall of the city, and as she let down the spies by a cord through the window, and as David was by Michal; so the apostle was let down by the brethren with cords, as Jeremiah was, Jeremiah 38:6 where the Septuagint use the same word as here, through a window; "which", as the Arabic version reads it, "was in the wall"; or he was let down by the wall side, "in a basket or net"; so and the word which the Syriac version here uses, signify and design a basket made of withs, wrought together in the form of network; frequent mention is made in the Jewish writings (e) of , "the networks and lattices of windows"; whether these were not taken off the window and put into a form like a basket, and in it the apostle let down by the brethren with the help of cords, may be inquired into: however, he
escaped his hands; the governor's, and the Jews too who lay in wait for him. This deliverance he mentions with thankfulness to God, and as an instance of divine Providence in the preservation of him, for much usefulness to the church of Christ; the Vulgate Latin version reads, and "thus he escaped his hands".
(e) Misn. Oholot, c. 8. sect. 4. & Negaim, c. 13. sect. 3. T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 125. 2.
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