Acts 17:8
And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Acts 17:8-10. And they troubled the people and the rulers — As the charge was formed in such a manner that their neglecting it might render them obnoxious to the Romans, both the multitude and the magistrates of the city were alarmed when they heard these things. They were not willing, however, to proceed to extremities against an inhabitant of the place, merely for harbouring persons who, whatever might be alleged against them, were in a manner strangers to him; and, therefore, when they had taken security of Jason, and the other — Brethren who were brought before them, that they would behave as good subjects; they let them go — Dismissed them for that time. This liberal conduct of the rulers of Thessalonica restrained the malice of the Jews for the present. But the brethren — Fearing some new tumult might arise, thought it prudent to send Paul and Silas — And probably Timothy also, Acts 17:15; away by night to Berea — A populous city in the neighbourhood. Luke has not told us what time Paul and his assistants spent at Thessalonica. But there are circumstances mentioned in the apostle’s epistles from which we may infer, that they spent some months in planting a church there; such as that, during his abode at Thessalonica, he received money twice from the Philippians, (Php 4:15,) and communicated the spiritual gifts to the brethren in plenty, (1 Thessalonians 5:19,) and appointed προισταμενους, presidents, or rulers, statedly to exercise the ministry among them, (1 Thessalonians 5:12,) having formed them into a regular church; all which implies that he abode a considerable time in this city.17:1-9 The drift and scope of Paul's preaching and arguing, was to prove that Jesus is the Christ. He must needs suffer for us, because he could not otherwise purchase our redemption for us; and he must needs have risen again, because he could not otherwise apply the redemption to us. We are to preach concerning Jesus that he is Christ; therefore we may hope to be saved by him, and are bound to be ruled by him. The unbelieving Jews were angry, because the apostles preached to the Gentiles, that they might be saved. How strange it is, that men should grudge others the privileges they will not themselves accept! Neither rulers nor people need be troubled at the increase of real Christians, even though turbulent spirits should make religion the pretext for evil designs. Of such let us beware, from such let us withdraw, that we may show a desire to act aright in society, while we claim our right to worship God according to our consciences.And they troubled the people - They excited the people to commotion and alarm. The rulers feared the tumult that was excited, and the people feared the Romans, when they heard the charge that there were rebels against the government in their city. It does not appear that there was a disposition in the rulers or the people to persecute the apostles; but they were excited and alarmed by the representations of the Jews, and by the mob that they had collected. 7. all do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, &c.—meaning, probably, nothing but what is specified in the next words.

saying … there is another king, one Jesus—(See on [2040]Joh 19:12).

They troubled the people; hearing something to have been done against the Roman state, under whom they were, and not knowing what it might come to, or how it might be construed.

And the rulers; for fear of an insurrection and tumult. And they troubled the people, and the rulers of the city,.... Fearing some revolution would be made, and some new king, or rather tyrant, would start up, and usurp a power over them; or that they should come under some suspicion or charge with the Roman government, and should be called to an account, for admitting such men and tenets among them; with such fears were they possessed,

when they heard these things; alleged against the apostle and his company.

And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 17:8-9. Ἐτάραξαν] This was alarm at revolutionary outrage and Roman vengeance. Comp. Matthew 2:3.

λαβόντες τὸ ἱκανόν] Comp. Mark 15:15, where τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιεῖν τινι is to satisfy one, so that he can demand nothing more. Therefore: after they had received satisfaction, so that for the present they might desist from further claims against the persons of the accused, satisdatione accepta. Comp. Grotius. But whether this satisfaction took place by furnishing sureties or by lodging a deposit of money, remains undecided; certainly its object was a guarantee that no attempt against the Roman majesty should prevail or should occur. This is evident from the relation in which λαβόντες τὸ ἱκανόν necessarily stands with the point of complaint (Acts 17:7), and with the disquietude (ἐτάραξαν) excited thereby. Therefore the opinions are to be rejected, that λαβ. τ. ἱκ. refers to security that Paul and Silas would appear in case of need before the court (Grotius, Raphel), or that they would be no longer sheltered (Michaelis, Heinrichs, comp. Ewald), or that they should immediately depart (Heumann, Kuinoel). Moreover, it is erroneous, with Luther and Camerarius, to suppose that by τὸ ἱκανόν is meant a satisfactory vindication. Luke would certainly have brought out this more definitely; and λαβόντες denotes an actual receipt of the satisfaction (τὸ ἱκανόν), as the context suggests nothing else.

Observe, too, how here (it is otherwise in Acts 16:20) the politarchs did not prosecute the matter further, but cut it short with the furnished guarantee, which was at least politically the most prudent course.Acts 17:8. ἐτάραξαν: the people would be disturbed at intelligence which might point to a revolution, and the politarchs, lest they should themselves be liable to the same charge of treason for not defending the honour of the emperor. No charge would be more subtle in its conception, or more dangerous in the liabilities which it involved, cf. Tacitus, Ann., iii., 38.8. And they troubled the people] i.e. spread alarm among them at the prospect of insurrection, and made them eager to punish the Apostles.Verse 8. - Multitude for people, A.V. (τὸν ὔχλον, not δῆμον).
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