|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:16-24 Satan, though the father of lies, will declare the most important truths, when he can thereby serve his purposes. But much mischief is done to the real servants of Christ, by unholy and false preachers of the gospel, who are confounded with them by careless observers. Those who do good by drawing men from sin, may expect to be reviled as troublers of the city. While they teach men to fear God, to believe in Christ, to forsake sin, and to live godly lives, they will be accused of teaching bad customs.
Verse 19. - But for and, A.V.; gain for gains, A.V. (ἐργασία, as ver. 16); bald hold on for caught, A.V.; dragged for drew, A.V.; before for unto, A.V. The rulers (οἱ ἄρχοντες); the archons. Meyer thinks these were the city judges, or magistrates (who always had their court in the ἀγορά, or forum), by whom Paul and Silas were sent to the praetors (στρατηγοί) for judgment. So in Luke 12:58, the litigants go to the ἀρχών, first, and he sends them on to the κριτής, or judge, who orders them for punishment. This seems a more probable explanation than that commonly adopted (Howson, Alford, Renan, Lewin, etc.), that the ἄρχοντες and the στρατηγοί mean the same officers. No reason can be conceived for Luke's calling them ἄρχοντες if he meant στρατηγοί, or for naming the office's twice over when once was sufficient. Nor is it likely that officers of such high rank as the duumviri, or proctors, as they had come to be called, should be always in the forum, to try every petty case (see articles "Colonia, Duumviri," and "Praetor," in 'Dict. of Greek and Roman Antiquities'). It seems, therefore, that Meyer's explanation is right. At Athens the general term ἄρχοντες was applied to inferior magistrates, as well as to the nine archons ('Dict. of Greek and Roman Antiquities' "Archon"). Ver. 20. - When they had brought for brought, A.V.; unto for to, A.V.; they said for saying, A.V. The magistrates; στρατηγοί, i.e. the praetors. Philippi, being a colony, was governed by Roman magistrates called duumviri, corresponding to the two consuls at Rome. But we learn from Cicero that in his time the duuraviri in the colonies were beginning to be called praetors, a little previously used only at Rome ('De Leg. Agrar.,' 34), and to be preceded by lictors (ῤάβδουχαοι of ver. 35). Two inscriptions have been found in which the duumviri of Philippi are mentioned (Lewin, p. 26).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when her masters saw,.... As they might by her sedateness and composure; she not being wild and frantic, and not having such motions and agitations she had whilst under the possession of the evil spirit:
that the hope of their gains was gone; the Syriac version adds, "out of her"; namely, the evil spirit which was the ground and foundation of all their hope of gains, they expected to acquire for themselves; that being gone, they had no more work to do, nor tricks to play, nor profit to expect from the maid: wherefore
they caught Paul and Silas; they being the chief speakers, and principally concerned in the ejection of the evil spirit; they laid hold on them, took them by the collar, or held them by their clothes,
and drew them into the market place: or rather into the court of judicature, as the word also signifies; there to accuse them, and to have them tried, condemned, and punished:
unto the rulers; the judges of the court, it may be the Decuriones; for in a Roman colony as Philippi was, they chose out every tenth man, that was of capacity and ability, to make and establish a public council, and who therefore were called by this name.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas—as the leading persons.
and drew them into the market-place—or Forum, where the courts were.
to the magistrates, saying, &c.—We have here a full and independent confirmation of the reality of this supernatural cure, since on any other supposition such conduct would be senseless.
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