|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:17-25 There is no prison so dark, so strong, but God can visit his people in it, and, if he pleases, fetch them out. Recoveries from sickness, releases out of trouble, are granted, not that we may enjoy the comforts of life, but that God may be honoured with the services of our life. It is not for the preachers of Christ's gospel to retire into corners, as long as they can have any opportunity of preaching in the great congregation. They must preach to the lowest, whose souls are as precious to Christ as the souls of the greatest. Speak to all, for all are concerned. Speak as those who resolve to stand to it, to live and die by it. Speak all the words of this heavenly, divine life, in comparison with which the present earthly life does not deserve the name. These words of life, which the Holy Ghost puts into your mouth. The words of the gospel are the words of life; words whereby we may be saved. How wretched are those who are vexed at the success of the gospel! They cannot but see that the word and power of the Lord are against them; and they tremble for the consequences, yet they will go on.
Verse 24. - The captain of the temple for the high priest and the captain, etc., A.V. and T.R.; words for things, A.V.; were much perplexed concerning them for doubted of them, A.V. The captain of the temple, etc. Meyer, followed by Alford, retains the T.R., in which the word for the high priest is ὁ ἱερεὺς. It is true that this word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament for "the high priest." But in the Old Testament כֹהֵן is very frequently used to designate the high priest, as Exodus 29:30; Exodus 35:19; Numbers 3:32; 2 Chronicles 22:11; 2 Kings 22:10; 1 Kings 1:8, etc.; and in such places is represented by ἱερεὺς in the LXX. So that St. Luke may very probably have used it here where the context made the meaning clear, and where he intended to use the word ἀρχιερεῖς for "the chief priests." For the captain, see above (Acts 4:1, note). He was especially interested as being, probably, the officer who had arrested the apostles the day before. Were much perplexed concerning. The verb (διαπορέω), which only occurs in the New Testament here and Acts 2:12, 10:17, Luke 9:7, and (in the middle voice) Luke 24:4, means properly "to be in doubt which road to take," hence generally to be in doubt, perplexity. Them may apply either to the words, the strange things just reported to them, or to the apostles about whom the things were reported. It seems most natural to refer it to the words. They were in doubt and perplexity as to what it would all grow to.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now when the high priest,.... Or "the priests", as it is read in most copies; the Complutensian edition reads, "the high priest"; and he is certainly designed, since he is distinguished from the chief priests after mentioned: the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, leave out this word; as does also the Alexandrian copy:
and the captain of the temple; the same versions read in the plural number; See Gill on Luke 22:4, Luke 22:52, Acts 4:1.
and the chief priests heard these things; which the officers related, that the prison doors were shut and sure, and the keepers upon their watch, and yet the apostles gone:
they doubted of them, whereunto this would grow; they did not doubt of the truth of the things their officers told them, but they were amazed at them, and hesitated in their minds about them, and were anxiously thoughtful; what this would, or should be, or how this should be done; that the prison doors should be shut, and yet the prisoners gone; they were in suspense and anxiety of mind, what to impute it to; whether to a divine and supernatural power, or to magic art; and were uneasy in their minds what would be the issue of so strange and surprising an event.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24-26. they doubted—"were in perplexity."
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