|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:1-12 See how restless malice is. Persecutors deem it a peculiar favour to have their malice gratified. Preaching Christ, the end of the law, was no offence against the law. In suffering times the prudence of the Lord's people is tried, as well as their patience; they need wisdom. It becomes those who are innocent, to insist upon their innocence. Paul was willing to abide by the rules of the law, and to let that take its course. If he deserved death, he would accept the punishment. But if none of the things whereof they accused him were true, no man could deliver him unto them, with justice. Paul is neither released nor condemned. It is an instance of the slow steps which Providence takes; by which we are often made ashamed, both of our hopes and of our fears, and are kept waiting on God.
Verse 2. - And for then, A.V.; chief priests for high priest, A.V. and T.R.; principal men for chief, A.V.; and they besought for and besought, A.V. Chief priests; as in ver. 15 and Acts 22:30. But the reading of the T.R., "the high priest," is more in accordance with Acts 24:1, and is approved by Alford. The high priest at this time was no longer Ananias, but Ismael the son of Phabi, who was appointed by King Agrippa towards the close of Felix's government (Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 20. 8:8). He went to Rome to appeal to Nero about the wall which the Jews had built to screen the temple from being overlooked, and which Agrippa had ordered to be pulled down; and being detained at Rome as a hostage, he was succeeded in the high priesthood by Joseph Cabi the son of Simon. We may feel sure that on this occasion he was present before Festus, for he had not yet gone to Rome. Informed him (ἐνεφάνισαν); see Acts 24:1, note. The principal men of the Jews (οἱ πρῶτοι). In ver. 15 Festus speaks of them as οἱ πρεσβύτεροι. The question arises as to whether the two phrases are identical in their meaning. Meyer thinks that the πρῶτοι includes leading men who were not elders, i.e. not Sanhedrists. Josephus calls the leading Jews of Caesarea οἱ πρωτεύοντες τῶν Ἰουδαίων ('Ant. Jud.,' 20. 8:9).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then the high priest,.... Ananias, as in Acts 23:2 the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin version, and all the Oriental versions, read, "the chief priests", the whole college of the priests:
and the chief of the Jews; their rulers and elders, the members of the Jewish sanhedrim;
informed him against Paul; they took the first opportunity of waiting upon him, when he was come to Jerusalem; hoping it might be a favourable one to them, since he was just entering upon his government, and might be willing to gratify the chief of the nation, and gain their affection and esteem, and since as yet he was not acquainted with their wicked dispositions and artifices; and brought a bill of information against Paul, and gave a large account of him, what a wicked man he was, and what evils he had committed; they laid many things to his charge, and very heavily accused him, and endeavoured to prepossess the governor, and prejudice him against him:
and besought him; that he would grant them the following request.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Then the high priest—a successor of him before whom Paul had appeared (Ac 23:2).
and the chief of the Jews—and "the whole multitude of the Jews" (Ac 25:24) clamorously.
informed him against Paul …
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