And Saul, yet breathing of threatening and slaughter to the disciples of the Lord, having gone to the chief priest,
Acts 9:1 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter - The original text is very emphatic, ετι εμπνεων απειλης και φονου, and points out how determinate Saul was to pursue and accomplish his fell purpose of totally destroying the infant Church of Christ. The mode of speech introduced above is very frequent in the Greek writers, who often express any vehement and hostile affection of the mind by the verb πνεειν, to breathe, to pant; so Theocritus, Idyll. xxii. ver. 82:
Ες μεσσον συναγον, φονον αλλαλοισι πνεοντες.
They came into the assembly, breathing mutual slaughter.
Euripides has the same form, πυρ πνεουσα και φονον, breathing out fire, and slaughter, Iphig. in Taur.
And Aristophanes more fully, referring to all the preparations for war: -
Αλλα πνεοντας δορυ και λογχας και λευκολοφους τρυφαλειας,
Και πηληκας, και κνημιδας, και θυμους ἑπταβοειους.
They breathed spears, and pikes, and helmets, and crests, and greaves, and the fury of redoubted heroes.
The figure is a favourite one with Homer: hence μενεα πνειοντες Αβαντες, the Abantes breathing strength. - Il. ii. 536. And how frequently he speaks of his fierce countrymen as, μενεα πνειοντες Αχαιοι, the Greeks breathing strength, see Il. iii. 8; xi. 508; xxiv. 364, which phrase an old Scholiast interprets, being filled with strength and fury. St. Luke, who was master of the Greek tongue, chose such terms as best expressed a heart desperately and incessantly bent on accomplishing the destruction of the objects of its resentment. Such at this time was the heart of Saul of Tarsus; and it had already given full proof of its malignity, not only in the martyrdom of Stephen, but also in making havoc of the Church, and in forcibly entering every house, and dragging men and women, whom he suspected of Christianity, and committing them to prison. See Acts 8:3.
Went unto the high priest - As the high priest was chief in all matters of an ecclesiastical nature, and the present business was pretendedly religious, he was the proper person to apply to for letters by which this virulent persecutor might be accredited. The letters must necessarily be granted in the name of the whole Sanhedrin, of which Gamaliel, Saul's master, was at that time the head; but the high priest was the proper organ through whom this business might be negotiated.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Acts 9:11-13,19-21 And the Lord said to him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul...
Acts 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Acts 22:3,4 I am truly a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel...
Acts 26:9-11 I truly thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth...
1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God...
Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
Psalm 27:12 Deliver me not over to the will of my enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
Acts 9:1 Parallel CommentariesBreath Breathing Chief Death Desire Destruction Disciples High Lord's Meanwhile Murder Murderous Priest Saul Slaughter Threat Threatening Threatenings ThreatsBreath Breathing Chief Death Desire Destruction Disciples High Lord's Meanwhile Murder Murderous Priest Saul Slaughter Threat Threatening Threatenings ThreatsTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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