Acts 23:5
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.’”

Berean Study Bible
“Brothers,” Paul replied, “I was not aware that he was the high priest, for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’”

Berean Literal Bible
And Paul was saying, "I was not aware, brothers, that he is high priest; for it has been written: 'You shall not speak evil of the 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.

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."

Contemporary English Version
Paul replied, "Oh! I didn't know he was the high priest. The Scriptures do tell us not to speak evil about a leader of our people."

Good News Translation
Paul answered, "My fellow Israelites, I did not know that he was the High Priest. The scripture says, 'You must not speak evil of the ruler of your 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.'"

New Heart English Bible
Paul said, "I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, 'You must not speak evil of 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.'"

New American Standard 1977
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.’”

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;'
Study Bible
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
4But those standing nearby said, “How dare you insult the high priest of God!” 5“Brothers,” Paul replied, “I was not aware that he was the high priest, for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’” 6Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. It is because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”…
Cross References
Exodus 22:28
You must not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.

Ecclesiastes 10:20
Do not curse the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich even in your bedroom, for a bird of the air may carry your words, and a winged creature may report your speech.

Acts 23:4
But those standing nearby said, "How dare you insult the high priest of God!"

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.

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

Thou.

Exodus 22:28
Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

Ecclesiastes 10:20
Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

2 Peter 2:10
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.







Lexicon
“Brothers,”
ἀδελφοί (adelphoi)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 80: A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian. A brother near or remote.

Paul
Παῦλος (Paulos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3972: Paul, Paulus. Of Latin origin; Paulus, the name of a Roman and of an apostle.

replied,
Ἔφη (Ephē)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 5346: To say, declare. Properly, the same as the base of phos and phaino; to show or make known one's thoughts, i.e. Speak or say.

“I was not aware
ᾔδειν (ēdein)
Verb - Pluperfect Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1492: To know, remember, appreciate.

that
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

he was
ἐστὶν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

[the] high priest,
ἀρχιερεύς (archiereus)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 749: High priest, chief priest. From arche and hiereus; the high-priest; by extension a chief priest.

for
γὰρ (gar)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.

it is written:
γέγραπται (gegraptai)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Middle or Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1125: A primary verb; to 'grave', especially to write; figuratively, to describe.

‘Do not speak
ἐρεῖς (ereis)
Verb - Future Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2046: Probably a fuller form of rheo; an alternate for epo in certain tenses; to utter, i.e. Speak or say.

evil
κακῶς (kakōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 2560: Badly, evilly, wrongly. From kakos; badly.

[about the] ruler
Ἄρχοντα (Archonta)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 758: Present participle of archo; a first.

of
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

your
σου (sou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

people.’”
λαοῦ (laou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2992: Apparently a primary word; a people.
(5) I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest.--These words admit of three different explanations:--(1) We may take them as stating that St. Paul, either from defective sight (see Notes on Acts 9:18; Acts 14:9), or because the high priest was not sitting as president of the Sanhedrin, literally did not know who it was that had given the order, and thought it came from one of the subordinate members of the council. (2) That the words were a somewhat ironical protest against the authority of Ananias as having been improperly appointed. (3) That the "I wist not" stands for "I did not consider," and is an apologetic recantation of what had been uttered with a full knowledge that the words had been spoken by the high priest. Of these the first seems by far the most probable. The solemn sneer pointed by words from Scripture suggested by (2) is at variance with St. Paul's character; and (3) puts upon the words a greater strain than they will bear. It is obvious that St. Paul might well think that greater reverence was due to the high priest than to one filling an inferior position in the councils.

Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.--The passage (Exodus 22:28) is interesting as one of those in which the Hebrew word Elohim, commonly translated "God," is used of earthly rulers. St. Paul probably quoted it in Hebrew (see Acts 22:2), while St. Luke reproduces it from the LXX. version. It need hardly be said that to act on that law towards the rulers, not, of "the people" only, but of the heathen; to see below all the corruptions of human society and the vices of princes, the scheme of a divine order; to recognise that "the powers that be are ordained of God," was throughout the ruling principle of the Apostle's conduct, and, for the most part, of that of the early Christians (Romans 13:1-6; 1Peter 2:13-17). Christianity was a great revolution, but they were not, politically or socially, revolutionists.

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.). 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.
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