And when they had laid many stripes on them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And when they had laid many stripes upon them.—The words imply a punishment of more than usual severity, such as would leave their backs lacerated and bleeding. So in 1Thessalonians 2:2, St. Paul speaks of having been “shamefully entreated” at Philippi.2 Corinthians 11:24. But there was no such law among the Romans. They were unrestricted in regard to the number of lashes, and probably inflicted many more. Perhaps Paul refers to this when he says 2 Corinthians 11:23, "In stripes above measure." that is, beyond the usual measure among the Jews, or beyond moderation.
charged the jailer … who … thrust them into the inner prison—"pestilential cells, damp and cold, from which the light was excluded, and where the chains rusted on the prisoners. One such place may be seen to this day on the slope of the Capitol at Rome" [Howson].Laid many stripes upon them; partly by the lictors or executioners, and partly by the furious rabble.
The jailer; this jailer’s name (of whose conversion we read hereafter) was Stephanas, as may appear if you compare 1 Corinthians 1:16 with what follows by St. Luke in this story. Of him also we read, 1 Corinthians 16:15,17. 2 Corinthians 11:35.
They cast them into prison; designing doubtless to inflict some greater punishment upon them, after they had further examined into their affairs:
charging the jailer to keep them safely; suggesting, that he must be answerable for them, should they escape, either through his favour or his negligence; and they might rather give this strict charge, because they perceived that they were uncommon men, possessed of a strange power, which they had exerted in the casting out of the evil spirit, which might come to their knowledge by some means or other; they might look upon them to be a sort of magicians, and therefore were to be narrowly watched, that they did not make use of their art to deliver themselves; however, they judged it necessary to use all the precautions they could, to secure them: some have thought this jailer to be the same with Stephanas, 1 Corinthians 1:16 but this is not certain, nor very probable.And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 16:23. δεσμοφύλακι, Lucian, Tox., 30; Jos., Ant., ii., 5, 1, LXX ἀρχιδεσμοφύλαξ, Genesis 39:21-23; Genesis 40:3 A, Genesis 41:10 A (cf. the word ἀρχισωματοφύλαξ, Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien, p. 93). Chrysostom and Oecumenius identify him with Stephanus, but he was the first-fruits of Achaia, 1 Corinthians 16:15.23. cast them into prison] So that they should have no chance of teaching any longer. They appear (see Acts 16:35) to have intended to keep them one night in prison and then to turn them out of the city.Acts 16:23. Ἐπιθέντες, when they had laid upon them) They do not immediately say that they are Romans; or else in the tumult they were not heard. We are not always to use all helps (safeguards against ill-treatment) in every way: we must give ear to the Divine direction.—παραγγείλαντες, having charged) More for the sake of appeasing the crowd, as it seems probable, than that they thought Paul and Silas guilty: Acts 16:35.
See on Acts 5:21.
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