|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:25-35 God has instruments for every work. The natural abilities and moral virtues of the heathens often have been employed to protect his persecuted servants. Even the men of the world can discern between the conscientious conduct of upright believers, and the zeal of false professors, though they disregard or understand not their doctrinal principles. All hearts are in God's hand, and those are blessed who put their trust in him, and commit their ways unto him.
Verse 35. - Thy cause for thee, A.V.; also are for are also, A.V.; palace for judgment hall, A.V. I will hear thy cause; διακούσομαί σου, found only here in the New Testament; but used in the same sense as here for "hearing a cause," in Deuteronomy 1:16, Διακούσατε... καὶ κρίνετε, "Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously," A.V. See also Job 9:33, Διακούων ἀναμέσον ἀμφοτέρων, "That might lay his hand upon us both," A.V., i.e. judge between us. Palace (ἐν τῷ πραιτωρίῳ). The praetorium - for it is a Latin word - was originally the proctor's tent in a Roman camp. Thence it came to signify the abode of the chief magistrate in a province, or a king's palace. Herod's palace seems to have been a palace originally built by King Herod, and now used, either as the residence of the procurator or, as the mode of speaking rather indicates, for some public office. (For the use of the word πραιτώριον, see Matthew 27:27; John 18:28, 33; John 19:9; Philippians 1:13.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will hear thee, said he,.... The Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, "we will hear", which is a grand courtly way of speaking:
when thine accusers are come; which Lysias, in his letter, informed him that he had ordered them to come; which shows the governor to have some sense of justice and integrity, being desirous to hear both sides before he judged of the affair, though there was so much said in the chief captain's letter in favour of Paul's innocence, and against his enemies.
And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall; or palace: this was a place built by Herod the great at Caesarea, of whose magnificent buildings here Josephus gives a large account. For besides the famous haven or port which he made here, he adorned the place with splendid palaces, he built a theatre, and an amphitheatre, and a "forum" (h), which was either a market place, or a court of judicature; and if the latter, perhaps the same that is here meant, in a part of which, or in a place adjoining to it, the apostle was put. Here he was kept by a guard of soldiers, but not in close confinement; he had much liberty, and his friends and acquaintance had leave to come to him; see Acts 24:23. We read (i) of , which some interpret "the chamber of the judges of Caesarea"; or the place where they sat in judgment, and may be the same that is here meant; though others interpret it a prison; and so it seems was this judgment hall of Herod's.
(h) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 21. sect. 5, 8. (i) Megillat Esther, fol. 85. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. I will hear thee—The word means, "give thee a full hearing."
to be kept in Herod's judgment hall—"prætorium," the palace built at Cæsarea by Herod, and now occupied by the Roman procurators; in one of the buildings attached to which Paul was ordered to be kept.
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