Acts 16:39
And they came and sought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
16:35-40 Paul, though willing to suffer for the cause of Christ, and without any desire to avenge himself, did not choose to depart under the charge of having deserved wrongful punishment, and therefore required to be dismissed in an honourable manner. It was not a mere point of honour that the apostle stood upon, but justice, and not to himself so much as to his cause. And when proper apology is made, Christians should never express personal anger, nor insist too strictly upon personal amends. The Lord will make them more than conquerors in every conflict; instead of being cast down by their sufferings, they will become comforters of their brethren.And they came and besought them - A most humiliating act for Roman magistrates, but in this case it was unavoidable. The apostles had them completely in their power, and could easily effect their disgrace and ruin. Probably they besought them by declaring them innocent; by affirming that they were ignorant that they were Roman citizens, etc.

And desired them to depart ... - Probably:

(1) To save their own character, and be secure from their taking any further steps to convict the magistrates of violating the laws; and,

(2) To evade any further popular tumult on their account. This advice Paul and Silas saw fit to comply with, after they had seen and comforted the brethren, Acts 16:40. They had accomplished their main purpose in going to Philippi; they had preached the gospel; they had laid the foundation of a flourishing church (compare the Epistle to the Philippians); and they were now prepared to prosecute the purpose of their agency into surrounding regions. Thus, the opposition of the people and the magistrates at Philippi was the occasion of the founding of the church there, and thus their unkind and inhospitable request that they should leave them was the means of the extension of the gospel into adjacent regions.

39, 40. And they came—in person.

and besought them—not to complain of them. What a contrast this suppliant attitude of the preachers of Philippi to the tyrannical air with which they had the day before treated the preachers! (See Isa 60:14; Re 3:9).

brought them out—conducted them forth from the prison into the street, as insisted on.

and desired—"requested."

them to depart out of the city—perhaps fearing again to excite the populace.

Two things the magistrates had to desire of them:

1. That they would excuse the wrong done unto them, which they feared lest the Romans might revenge.

2. That, to avoid further mischiefs, (as they thought), they would leave the city. But the words here used do signify, also, that they comforted them, as well as besought, or exhorted them: both by word and deed they sought to make amends for the injury they had offered unto them; and desired them to depart for their own safety, lest the people should express their rage and madness against them. And they came,.... To the prison in person, as Paul had insisted on they should:

and besought them; that they would put up the injury that had been done them, and quietly depart out of prison:

and brought them out; that is, out of prison; took them by the arms, and led them out, as they had put them in, which was what the apostle required:

and desired them to depart out of the city; lest there should be any further disturbance about them: in Beza's most ancient copy, and in another manuscript copy, this verse is read thus, and which more clearly explains the passage;

"and they came with many friends unto the prison, and desired them to go out, saying, we are not ignorant of your case, that you are righteous men; and bringing them out they besought them, saying, go out of this city, lest they (the people) should turn again upon you, crying against you;''

which looks as if they took along with them some persons, who were friends to the apostles as well as to them, to prevail upon them to depart quietly; and they excuse themselves by attributing what had passed to popular rage and fury, and pretend they consulted the safety of the apostles, by desiring them to go out of the city.

And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 16:39. See addition in , critical note. The fear of a further riot expressed by the magistrates is exactly what we should expect in the cities of the Ægean lands, which were always weak in their municipal government. [300] also expresses the naïve way in which the magistrates not only try to throw the blame upon the people, but wanted to get out of a difficulty by procuring the withdrawal from the city of the injured parties, Ramsay, u. s., p. 224. The Greek pointedly and dramatically expresses the change in the whole situation: ἐλθόντεςπαρεκάλεσανἐξαγαγόντες ἠρώτων! (Wendt).

[300] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.39. And so finding they had offended in this way, they come in the humblest wise, beseeching that the disciples by departing from Philippi will relieve them of their anxiety.Verse 39. - When they had brought them out they asked for brought them out and desired, A.V.; to go away from for to depart out of, A.V.
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