Acts 23:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul replied, "Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'"

New Living Translation
"I'm sorry, brothers. I didn't realize he was the high priest," Paul replied, "for the Scriptures say, 'You must not speak evil of any of your rulers.'"

English Standard Version
And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

New American Standard Bible
And Paul said, "I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK EVIL OF A RULER OF YOUR PEOPLE.'"

King James Bible
Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest," replied Paul. "For it is written, You must not speak evil of a ruler of your people."

International Standard Version
Paul answered, "I didn't realize, brothers, that he is the high priest. After all, it is written, 'You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.'"

NET Bible
Paul replied, "I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, 'You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.'"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Paulus said to them, “I was not aware, brothers, that he is The Priest, for it is written: 'Do not curse The Ruler of your people.' “

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Paul answered, "Brothers, I didn't know that he is the chief priest. After all, Scripture says, 'Don't speak evil about a ruler of your people.'"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Paul said, I did not know, brethren, that he was the prince of the priests, for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said Paul, I knew not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.

American King James Version
Then said Paul, I knew not, brothers, that he was the high priest: for it is written, You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.

American Standard Version
And Paul said, I knew not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Paul said: I knew not, brethren, that he is the high priest. For it is written: Thou shalt not speak evil of the prince of thy people.

Darby Bible Translation
And Paul said, I was not conscious, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evilly of the ruler of thy people.

English Revised Version
And Paul said, I wist not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said Paul, I knew not, brethren, that he is the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

Weymouth New Testament
"I did not know, brethren," replied Paul, "that he was the High Priest; for it is written, 'Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of Thy people.'"

World English Bible
Paul said, "I didn't know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, 'You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.'"

Young's Literal Translation
and Paul said, 'I did not know, brethren, that he is chief priest: for it hath been written, Of the ruler of thy people thou shalt not speak evil;'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

23:1-5 See here the character of an honest man. He sets God before him, and lives as in his sight. He makes conscience of what he says and does, and, according to the best of his knowledge, he keeps from whatever is evil, and cleaves to what is good. He is conscientious in all his words and conduct. Those who thus live before God, may, like Paul, have confidence both toward God and man. Though the answer of Paul contained a just rebuke and prediction, he seems to have been too angry at the treatment he received in uttering them. Great men may be told of their faults, and public complaints may be made in a proper manner; but the law of God requires respect for those in authority.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - And Paul said for then said Paul, A.V.; high for the high, A.V.; a ruler for the ruler, A.V. I wist not, etc. These words express, as distinctly as words can express anything, that St. Paul was not aware, when he called Ananias a "whited wall," that he was addressing the high priest. Different reasons for this ignorance have been given. Some think that it arose from the uncertainty that existed whether Ananias really was high priest or not at this time, or whether the office was not in abeyance. Others attribute to Paul's weakness of sight the fact that he did not see that Ananias was sitting in the presidential chair, neither was able to recognize his features. Others, giving to οὐκ ἤδειν α sense which it never bus, render, "I did not reflect," or "bear in mind, that he was high priest." What is certain is that for some reason or other Paul did not know that he was speaking to the high priest. Had he known it, he would not have said what he did say, because the Law is express which says, Ἄρχοντα τοῦ λαοῦ σου οὐ κακῶς ἐρεῖς (Exodus 22:28, LXX.).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest,.... Or I did not know that he was the high priest; and the sense is, that he did not really know him, either because he had been long absent from Jerusalem; and besides there were new high priests made, sometimes every year, and sometimes oftener, that it is no wonder he should not know him; or because he might not sit in his usual place; or chiefly because he was not, in his habit, an high priest; for the priests, both the high priest, and the common priests, only wore their priestly robes, when they ministered in their office, and at other times they wore other clothes, as laymen did, according to Ezekiel 44:19 which the Targum paraphrases thus;

"when they (the priests) shall go out of the holy court into the outer court, to be mixed with the people, they shall put off their garments in which they ministered, and lay them up in the holy chamber, and shall clothe themselves with other garments, that they may not be mingled with the people, "in their garments".''

For as soon as they had performed their office, there were servants that attended them, who stripped them of their robes, and laid them up in chests which were in the temple (r) till they came to service again, and put them on common garments; for they might not appear among the common people in their priestly garments; which when they were off of them, they were, as Maimonides says (s), "as strangers", or as laymen, like the rest of the people; for which reason Paul might not know Ananias to be the high priest: and this points to another sense of these words; for it was a rule with the Jews (t), that

"at the time the priests' garments were upon them, their priesthood was upon them, but when their garments were not on them, , "there was no priesthood upon them"; for lo, they were as strangers.''

And then the sense is, Ananias not being in the discharge of his office, nor in his habit, the apostle did not know, or own him as an high priest, or consider him as in such a station; or rather, since the priesthood was changed, and there was no other high priest of God but Jesus Christ, he did not own him as one; had he, he should not have spoke to him in the manner he did. Moreover, if this was Ananias, the son of Nebedaeus, as is the opinion of many, he had no right to the office of the priesthood when he was first made an high priest; after which he was sent a prisoner to Rome; during which time several succeeded in the priesthood; and at this time not he, though he had got the management of affairs in his hands, was high priest, but Jesus the son of Gamaliel; so that the apostle's sense might be, he did not own or acknowledge him high priest. Some take the apostle's words in an ironical sense; he an high priest, I should not have known him to be an high priest, he looks and acts more like a furioso, a madman, an unjust judge, and a tyrant, than an high priest, who ought to behave in another guise manner. But what follows shows rather that the apostle spoke seriously, unless the words can be thought to be a citation made by Luke,

for it is written, in Exodus 22:28 "thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people"; which the Jewish writers generally understand of the head of the great sanhedrim, as Ananias might be, or of a king (u).

(r) Misna Tamid c. 5. sect. 3. & Bartenora in ib. (s) Hilchot Cele Hamikdash, c. 10. sect. 4. (t) Maimon. Hilchot Cele Hamikdash, c. 10. sect. 4. (u) Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 26. sect. 1. & Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Torn, pr. neg. 209.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. I wist not … that he was the high priest—All sorts of explanations of this have been given. The high priesthood was in a state of great confusion and constant change at this time (as appears from Josephus), and the apostle's long absence from Jerusalem, and perhaps the manner in which he was habited or the seat he occupied, with other circumstances to us unknown, may account for such a speech. But if he was thrown off his guard by an insult which touched him to the quick, "what can surpass the grace with which he recovered his self-possession, and the frankness with which he acknowledged his error? If his conduct in yielding to the momentary impulse was not that of Christ Himself under a similar provocation (Joh 18:22, 23), certainly the manner in which he atoned for his fault was Christ-like" [Hacket].

Acts 23:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
4But the bystanders said, "Do you revile God's high priest?" 5And Paul said, "I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK EVIL OF A RULER OF YOUR PEOPLE.'" 6But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!"…
Cross References
Exodus 22:28
"Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.

Ecclesiastes 10:20
Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

Acts 23:4
Those who were standing near Paul said, "How dare you insult God's high priest!"
Treasury of Scripture

Then said Paul, I knew not, brothers, that he was the high priest: for it is written, You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.

I wist. Soon after the holding of the first council at Jerusalem, Ananias, son of Nebedenus, was deprived of the high priest's office, for certain acts of violence, and sent to Rome, whence he was afterwards released, and returned to Jerusalem. Between the death of Jonathan, who succeeded him and was murdered by Felix, and the high priesthood of Ismael, who was invested with that office by Agrippa, an interval elapsed in which this dignity was vacant. This was the precise time when Paul was apprehended; and the Sanhedrin being destitute of a president, Ananias undertook to discharge the office. It is probable that Paul was ignorant of this circumstance.

Acts 24:17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.

Thou.

Exodus 22:28 You shall not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of your people.

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no not in your thought; and curse not the rich …

2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, …

Jude 1:8,9 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, …

Jump to Previous
Aware Chief Conscious Evil Evilly High Idea Paul Priest Realize Ruler Speak Wist Written
Jump to Next
Aware Chief Conscious Evil Evilly High Idea Paul Priest Realize Ruler Speak Wist Written
Links
Acts 23:5 NIV
Acts 23:5 NLT
Acts 23:5 ESV
Acts 23:5 NASB
Acts 23:5 KJV

Acts 23:5 Bible Apps
Acts 23:5 Bible Suite
Acts 23:5 Biblia Paralela
Acts 23:5 Chinese Bible
Acts 23:5 French Bible
Acts 23:5 German Bible

Alphabetical: a about And aware brethren Brothers did Do evil for he high I is it not of Paul people people' priest realize replied ruler said shall speak that the was written You your

NT Apostles: Acts 23:5 Paul said I didn't know brothers that (Acts of the Apostles Ac) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Acts 23:4
Top of Page
Top of Page