|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 35. - Crowd for people, A.V. Borne of the soldiers. Lifted off his legs and carried up the steps. The stairs from the temple area at the northwest corner to the castle of Antonia (see ver. 31, note, and ver. 32). Alford quotes the description of the fort Antonia in Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 5. 5:8, in which he says (Traill's translation), "Its general appearance was that of a tower with other towers at each of the four corners. That at the southeast angle rose to an elevation of seventy cubits, so that from thence there was a complete view of the temple. Where it adjoined the colonnades of the temple it had passages leading down to both, through which the guards - for in the fortress there always lay a Roman legion - descended and disposed themselves about the colonnades in arms at the festivals, to watch the people, and repress any insurrectionary movement."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when he came upon the stairs,.... Or steps, which led up to the castle; for it was built upon a very high place, as appears from the account of it in the preceding verse; to which agrees what Aristaeas (g) says of it in the following words;
"in order to have knowledge of all things, we went up to a castle adjoining to the city, which is situated in a very high place, fortified with very high towers, built with large stones, as we supposed for the preservation of the places about the temple, if there should be any lying in wait, or tumult, or enemies should enter; so that none might be able to make way in at the walls about the temple; for in the towers of the castle lay very sharp darts and various instruments, and the place was upon a very great eminence.''
So it was that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people: the sense is, either that the crowd of the people was so great, and they so pressed upon Paul and the soldiers that conducted him, that he was even thrown upon them, and bore up by them; or else such was the rage of the people against him, that the soldiers were obliged to take him up in their arms, and carry him, in order to secure him from being tore in pieces by them.
(g) Hist. de 70 Interpret. p. 36. Ed. Oxon.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35, 36. Away with him—as before of his Lord (Lu 23:18; Joh 19:15).
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