and there were certain -- seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest -- who are doing this thing;
Acts 19:14 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests - The original Ιουδαιου αρχιερεως, dignifies a Jewish high priest; but it is not probable that any sons, much less seven sons of a Jewish high priest, should be strolling exorcists: it is therefore likely that υἱοι Σκευα τινος ἱερεως, the sons of Skeva, a certain priest, as it stands in the Codex Bezae, is the true reading. The whole verse in that MS. reads thus: Among them there also the sons of Skeva, a priest, who wished to do the same: for they were accustomed to exorcise such persons. And entering in to the demoniac, they began to invoke that Name, saying, We command thee by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth, to go out. And the evil spirit angered, and said unto them, Jesus I know, etc. It has been often remarked that in our Lord's time there were many of the Jews that professed to cast out demons; and perhaps to this our Lord alludes, Matthew 12:27. See the note there.
Josephus, in speaking of the wisdom of Solomon, says that he had that skill by which demons are expelled; and that he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they are cast out; and that those arts were known among his countrymen down to his own time; and then gives us the following relation: "I have seen a certain man of my own country whose name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacs, in the presence of Vespasian, his sons, his captains, and the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner of the cure was this: He put a ring, that had a root of one of those sorts mentioned by Solomon, to the nostrils of the demoniac, after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and, when the man fell down, immediately he adjured him to return into him no more, making still mention of Solomon, and reciting the incantations that he had composed. And when Eleazar would persuade the spectators that he had such power, he set at a little distance a cup of water, and commanded the demon, as he went out of the man, to overturn it; and, when this was done, the skill and wisdom of Solomon were showed very manifestly." Joseph. Antiq. book viii. cap. 2, sect. 5. Whiston's edition.
That there were such incantations among the Jews we know well, and that there are still such found, and that they are attributed to Solomon; but that they are his remains to be proved; and could this even be done, a point remains which can never be proved, viz. that those curious arts were a part of that wisdom which he received from God, as Josephus intimates. Indeed, the whole of the above account gives the strongest suspicion of its being a trick by the Jewish juggler, which neither Josephus nor the emperor could detect; but the ring, the root, the cup of water, the spell, etc.; all indicate imposture. Magicians among the Jews were termed בעלי שם baaley shem, Masters of the Name, that is, the name of Jehovah יהוה by a certain pronunciation of which they believed the most wonderful miracles could be wrought. There were several among them who pretended to this knowledge; and, when they could not deny the miracles of our Lord, they attributed them to his knowledge of the true pronunciation of this most sacred name.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Acts 19:13 But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches."
Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?"
Acts 19:14 Parallel CommentariesChief Family High High-Priestly Jew Jewish Priest Priests SevenChief Family High High-Priestly Jew Jewish Priest Priests SevenTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
Acts 19:14 Mobile Bible
Acts 19:14 Bible Suite
Acts 19:14 Biblia Paralela
Acts 19:14 Chinese Bible