|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:27-40 In the temple, where Paul should have been protected as in a place of safety, he was violently set upon. They falsely charged him with ill doctrine and ill practice against the Mosaic ceremonies. It is no new thing for those who mean honestly and act regularly, to have things laid to their charge which they know not and never thought of. It is common for the wise and good to have that charged against them by malicious people, with which they thought to have obliged them. God often makes those a protection to his people, who have no affection to them, but only have compassion for sufferers, and regard to the public peace. And here see what false, mistaken notions of good people and good ministers, many run away with. But God seasonably interposes for the safety of his servants, from wicked and unreasonable men; and gives them opportunities to speak for themselves, to plead for the Redeemer, and to spread abroad his glorious gospel.
Verse 31. - Were seeking for went about, A.V.; up to for unto, A.V.; confusion for an uproar, A.V. Tidings; φάσις, only here in the New Testament. The legal use of the word in Greek is an "information" against any one laid before a magistrate. Here it is the information conveyed to the tribune by the sentinels on guard (Lange; see Hist. of Susanna 55). Came up; viz. to the castle of Antonia, to which steps led up from the temple area on the north-west side (see vers. 32 and 35). The chief captain; the chiliarch, or tribune; literally, the commander of a thousand men (see John 18:12). The band (τῆς σπείρης); the cohort which formed the Roman garrison of Antonia (see Acts 10:1, note; also vers. 32, 33, etc.; Acts 22:24, 26, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And as they went about to kill him,.... In the manner as zealots did, without bringing him before any court of judicature, without any charge, trial, and condemnation:
tidings came unto the chief captain of the band; the Roman band of soldiers, who were placed near the temple, to keep the peace of the city, and persons in order; and who were more especially needful, at such a time as the feast of Pentecost, when there was such a great concourse of people in the city, and indeed always were in arms at such times (b); this chief captain was Claudius Lysias, as appears from Acts 23:26 to him the report of the disturbance was brought; or as it is in the Greek text, the "fame ascended" to him; who very likely might be in the tower of Antonia, which joined to the temple:
that all Jerusalem was in an uproar; or in confusion, and therefore it became him, as a Roman officer, to take care to quell it, lest it should issue in sedition and rebellion.
(b) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 1. & l. 5. c. 5. sect. 8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. tidings came—literally, "went up," that is, to the fortress of Antonia, where the commandant resided. See on Ac 21:32. This part of the narrative is particularly graphic.
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