Acts 18:12
And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,
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(12) And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia.—“Deputy” stands, as before (see Note on Acts 13:7), for “proconsul.” Here, also, St. Luke shows his characteristic accuracy in the use of official titles. Achaia, which included the whole of Greece south of the province of Macedonia, had been an imperial province under Tiberius (Tacitus, Ann. i. 76), and had been governed by a prætor, but had been recently, in the same year as the expulsion of the Jews from Rome, restored to the senate by Claudius, as no longer needing direct military control (Suetonius, Claud. c. 25). Gallio, or to give his full name, M. Annæus Novatus, who had taken the agnomen of Gallio on his adoption by the rhetorician of that name, was the brother of L. Annæus Seneca, the tutor of Nero. The philosopher dedicated to him two treatises on Anger and the Blessed Life; and the kindliness of his nature made him a general favourite. He was everybody’s “dulcis Gallio,” was praised by his brother for his disinterestedness and calmness of temper, as one “who was loved much, even by those who had but little capacity for loving” (Seneca, Ep. 104). On the whole, therefore, we may see in him a very favourable example of what philosophic culture was able to do for a Roman statesman. On the probable connection of the writer of the Acts with his family, see Introduction to the Gospel of St. Luke.

Made insurrection . . . against Paul. Better, perhaps, rose up against, or rushed upon, our word “insurrection” having acquired the special meaning of a revolt of subjects against rulers.

And brought him to the judgment seat.—The habit of the Roman governors of provinces was commonly to hold their court in the agora, or marketplace on certain fixed days (see Note on Acts 19:38), so that any one might appeal to have his grievance heard. Gallio was now so sitting, and the Jews, having probably preconcerted their plans, took advantage of the opportunity.

Acts 18:12-13. When Gallio was the deputy — Greek, Γαλλιωνος ανθυπατευοντος, Gallio being proconsul; of Achaia — Of which Corinth was the chief city. This Gallio, the brother of the famous Seneca, is much commended both by him and by other writers, for the sweetness and generosity of his temper, and easiness of his behaviour. Yet one thing he lacked! But he knew it not, and had no concern about it! The Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul — His great success at Corinth, and in Peloponnesus, in converting the Gentiles to the faith of Christ, provoked the Jews to the highest pitch of rage, especially when they found he led his converts to despise the institutions of Moses, by assuring them that they might be justified and saved through faith in Christ, without the use of these institutions: and brought him to the judgment-seat — Of Gallio; saying, This fellow — The author of insufferable mischiefs, here and all over the country; persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law — It seems Paul had taught that, the law of Moses being now abrogated, men were no longer bound to worship God with sacrifices and washings, and other bodily services, but in spirit and in truth. And this doctrine being deemed contrary to the law of Moses, the unbelieving Jews, in this tumultuous manner, brought Paul, the teacher of it, before the proconsul, in order to have him punished, as one who, by opposing the law of Moses, had acted contrary to the laws of the empire, which tolerated the Jews in the exercise of their religion.

18:12-17 Paul was about to show that he did not teach men to worship God contrary to law; but the judge would not allow the Jews to complain to him of what was not within his office. It was right in Gallio that he left the Jews to themselves in matters relating to their religion, but yet would not let them, under pretence of that, persecute another. But it was wrong to speak slightly of a law and religion which he might have known to be of God, and which he ought to have acquainted himself with. In what way God is to be worshipped, whether Jesus be the Messiah, and whether the gospel be a Divine revelation, are not questions of words and names, they are questions of vast importance. Gallio spoke as if he boasted of his ignorance of the Scriptures, as if the law of God was beneath his notice. Gallio cared for none of these things. If he cared not for the affronts of bad men, it was commendable; but if he concerned not himself for the abuses done to good men, his indifference was carried too far. And those who see and hear of the sufferings of God's people, and have no feeling with them, or care for them, who do not pity and pray for them, are of the same spirit as Gallio, who cared for none of these things.And Gallio - After the Romans had conquered Greece they reduced it to two provinces, Macedonia and Achaia, which were each governed by a proconsul. Gallio was the brother of the celebrated philosopher Seneca, and was made proconsul of Achaia in 53 a.d. His proper name was Marcus Annaeus Novatus, but, having been adopted into the family of Gallio, a rhetorician, he took his name. He is mentioned by ancient writers as having been of a remarkably mild and amiable disposition. His brother Seneca ("Praef. Quest." Nat. 4) describes him as being of the most lovely temper: "No mortal," says he, "was ever so mild to anyone as he was to all: and in him there was such a natural power of goodness, that there was no semblance of art or dissimulation."

Was the deputy - See this word explained in the notes on Acts 13:7. It means here proconsul.

Of Achaia - This word, in its largest sense, comprehended the whole of Greece. Achaia proper, however, was a province of which Corinth was the capital. It embraced that part of Greece lying between Thessaly and the southern part of the Peloponnesus.

The Jews made insurrection - Excited a tumult, as they had in Philippi, Antioch, etc.

And brought him to the judgment seat - The tribunal of Gallio; probably intending to arraign him as a disturber of the peace.

12-17. when Gallio was the deputy—"the proconsul." See on [2048]Ac 13:7. He was brother to the celebrated philosopher Seneca, the tutor of Nero, who passed sentence of death on both. This Gallio was brother to that deservedly famous Seneca, (who was tutor to Nero), and hath great commendations given him, as being a man of excellent disposition, beloved by all men, an enemy to all vice, and especially a hater of flattery.

Deputy of Achaia; this man was proconsul, governing Achaia and all Greece absolutely, or with the power of a consul.

With one accord; wicked men in their evil deeds are unanimous, for Satan knows that his kingdom would not stand if it were once divided.

And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia,.... This province, which was now become a Roman one, Pliny the younger (q) calls true and mere Greece; it went by the name of Aegialus (r), and now it is called Livadia: it has on the north the country of Thessaly, and on the west the river Acheloo, or Aracheo, on the east the Aegean sea, and on the south Peloponnesus, or the Morea. Gallio, who was now deputy of it, was brother to L. Annaeus Seneca, the famous philosopher, who was preceptor to Nero; his name at first was M. Annaeus Novatus, but being adopted by L. Junius Gallio, he took the name of the family. According to his brother's account of him (s), he was a very modest man, of a sweet disposition, and greatly beloved; and Statius (t) calls him Dulcem Gallionem, "the sweet Gallio", mild and gentle in his speech, as Quintilian says. Seneca (u) makes mention of him as being in Achaia; and whilst he was deputy there he had a fever, when as soon as it took him he went aboard a ship, crying, that it was not the disease of the body, but of the place.

The Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul; being provoked that so many of their people, as well as of the Gentiles, were converted by him to the Christian religion, and were baptized:

and brought him to the judgment seat; of Gallio, the deputy, to be tried and judged by him.

(q) L. 8. Ephesians 24. (r) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 5. Pausanias, l. 7. p. 396. (s) Praefat. ad. l. 4. Nat. Quaest. (t) Sylvarum, l. 2. Sylv. 7. (u) Ephesians 104.

{5} And when Gallio was the deputy of {f} Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,

(5) The wicked are never weary of doing evil, but the Lord wonderfully mocks their endeavours.

(f) That is, of Greece, yet the Romans did not call him deputy of Greece, but of Achaia, because the Romans brought the Greeks into subjection by the Achaians, who in those days were Princes of Greece, as Pausanias records.

Acts 18:12-13. Achaia (i.e. according to the Roman division of provinces, the whole of Greece proper, including the Peloponnesus, so that by its side Macedonia, Illyria, Epirus, and Thessaly formed the province Macedonia, and these two provinces comprehended the whole Grecian territory), which originally had been a senatorial province (Dio Cass. liii. p. 704), but by Tiberius was made an imperial one (Tacit. Ann. i. 76), and was again by Claudius (Suet. Claud. 25) converted into a senatorial province (see Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 190, 1–3), and had in the years 53 and 54 for its proconsul (ἀνθύπατος, see on Acts 13:7) Jun. Ann. Gallio, who had assumed this name (his proper name was M. Ann. Novatus) from L. Jun. Gallio, the rhetorician, by whom he was adopted. He was a brother of the philosopher L. Ann. Seneca (Tacit. Ann. xv. 73, xvi. 17), and was likewise put to death by Nero. See Lipsius, in Senec. prooem. 2, and ep. 104; Winer, Realw.

κατεπέστ.] they stood forth against him, is found neither in Greek writers nor in the LXX.

παρὰ τ. νόμ.] i.e. against the Jewish law. See Acts 18:15.[79] To the Jews the exercise of religion according to their laws was conceded by the Roman authority. Hence the accusers expected of the proconsul measures to be taken against Paul, whose religious doctrines they found at variance with the legal standpoint of Mosaism. Luke gives only the chief point of the complaint. For details, see Acts 18:15.

[79] They do not mean the law of the state; nor yet do they express themselves in a double sense (Lange, apost. Zeitalt. II. p. 240). Gallio well knew what ὁ νόμος signified in the mouth of a Jew.

Acts 18:12. ἀνθ., cf. Acts 13:7, another proof of St. Luke’s accuracy, Achaia from B.C. 27 (when it had been separated from Macedonia, to which it had been united since B.C. 146, and made into a separate province) had been governed by a proconsul. In A.D. 15 Tiberius had reunited it with Macedonia and Mysia, and it was therefore under an imperial legatus as an imperial province, Tac., Ann., i., 76. But a further change occurred when Claudius, A.D. 44, made it again a senatorial province under a proconsul, Suet., Claudius, 25. On subsequent changes in its government see Ramsay, “Achaia,” Hastings’ B.D. Corinth was the chief city of the province Achaia, and so probably chosen for the residence of the governors.—Γαλλίωνος: we have no direct statement save that of St. Luke that Gallio governed Achaia. Gallio’s brother Seneca tells us that Gallio caught fever in Achaia, Ep. Mor., 104, and took a voyage for change of air (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 258) (see also the same reference in Zahn, Einleitung, ii., p. 634, and as against Clemen, Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 260), a remark which Ramsay justly regards as a corroboration of St. Luke; on the date see Ramsay St. Paul, p. 258, and Expositor March, 1897, p. 206; “Corinth,” Hastings’ B.D.1, p. 481; Turner, “Chronology of the New Testament,” ibid. Gallio could not have entered on the proconsulship of Achaia before 44 A.D., and probably not before 49 or 50: Ramsay thinks during the summer of A.D. 52 Renan and Lightfoot, A.D. 53), whilst recently Schürer (so Wendt, 1899) places the proconsulship of Gallio between 51–55 A.D., Zw. Th., 1898, p. 41 f. as against O. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, who places it before 49 A.D.). The description of Gallio in Acts is quite consistent with what we know of his personal character, and with his attitude as a Roman official. Statius, Silv., ii., 7, 32, speaks of him as “dulcis Gallio,” and his brother Seneca writes of him: “Nemo mortalium uni tam dulcis est quam hic omnious,” Quæst. Nat., iv., Præf., and see other references and testimonies, Renan, Saint Paul, p. 221, and “Gallio,” B.D.2 It is quite possible that the Jews took advantage or his easy-going nature and affability, or, if he had recently arrived in the province, of his inexperience. Gallio’s Hellenic culture may have lea to his selection for the post (Renan, u. s., p. 222). The notion that as a Stoic he was friendly disposed towards the Christians, and on that account rejected the accusations of the Jews, is quite without foundation, see Zöckler, in loco. The name of Junius Gallio was an assumed one; its bearer, whose real name was Marcus Annæus Novatus, had been adopted by the rhetorician, L. Junius Gallio, a friend of his father.—κατεπέστησαν, cf. Acts 16:22, verb, only found here. Rendall, in loco, renders “made a set assault upon Paul,” expressing the culmination of the Jewish hostility in a set assault (not against, as in A. and R.V.).—ὁμοθ., as in Acts 15:25.—τὸ βῆμα: of the proconsul, probably erected in some public place, a movable seat o judgment.

12–17. Paul is accused before Gallio, who declines to consider the charge against him. In consequence the populace fall at once on Sosthenes, a chief man among the Jews, but Gallio lets their assault pass unnoticed

12. And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia] Better, But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia (so R. V.). The narrative is about to enter on something which was adverse to the spirit of quiet rest mentioned in the previous verse, therefore “but” is the fitting conjunction. To give the governor of the province his proper title is of much importance, and here forms a mark of the fidelity of the narrative. Achaia was a Roman province. Such provinces belonged either to the Senate or to the Emperor. When they were senatorial the governor was styled Proconsul. Now Achaia had been a senatorial province under Augustus, but under Tiberius was an imperial province for a time, but after a.d. 44 under Claudius (Suet. Claud. xxv.), which is the reign in which these events in St Paul’s life occurred, it was once more made senatorial and so had a Proconsul at this period for its governor. This Gallio was the brother of the famous philosopher Seneca, who was tutor and for a time minister of the Emperor Nero. Originally Gallio was called Marcus Annæus Novatus, and took the name of Gallio from the orator Lucius Junius Gallio, by whom he was adopted. The character of Gallio as described by his Roman contemporaries is that of a most bright, popular, and affectionate man. He is spoken of as “Sweet Gallio,” and Seneca declares that “those who love him to the utmost, don’t love him enough.”

the Jews made insurrection [Better (with R. V.), rose up] with one accord against Paul] They probably thought to avail themselves of the inexperience of a newly arrived proconsul, and by appearing in a body to obtain the expulsion of the Apostle from their city.

and brought him to the judgment seat] To Gallio they would seem a company of Jews accusing one of their own race of some erroneous teaching. If he had only lately come from Rome, he would be likely to have heard there of the troubles about “Christus” (see above on Acts 18:2), and he would consider that he had come into the midst of a quarrel about the same matter.

Acts 18:12. Γαλλίωνος) This Gallio was brother of Seneca, and was commended by Seneca and others for his yielding disposition and sweet temper. The action of Gallio in this passage is in accordance with such a character.—ἀνθυπατεύοντος) Achaia was then strictly a proconsular province [ἀνθυπαος = proconsul].—’Αχαΐας, of Achaia) of which Corinth was the metropolis.

Verse 12. - But for and, A.V.; proconsul for the deputy, A.V.; with one accord rose up for made insurrection with one accord, A.V.; before for to, A.V. Gallio. Marcus Annaeus Novatus took the name of Lucius Junius Annaeus Gallio, on account of his adoption by L. Junius Gallio. He was the elder brother of Seneca, and a man of ability, and of a most amiable temper and disposition. His brother Seneca said that he had not a fault, and that everybody loved him. He was called "Dulcis Gallio" by Statius. It is unfortunately not known exactly in what year Gallio became either Consul or Proconsul of Achaia. Had it been known, it would have been invaluable for fixing the chronology of St. Paul's life. Lewin puts it (his proconsulate) in the year A.D. , and so does Renan; Howson, between A.D. and A.D. . The circumstantial evidence from secular writers corroborating St. Luke's account is exceedingly curious. There is no account extant either of his consulate or of his proconsulate of Achaia. But Pithy, speaking of the medicinal effect of a sea-voyage on persons in consumption, gives as an example, "as I remember was the case with Annaeus Gallio after his consulate," and seems to imply that he went to Egypt for the sake of the long sea-voyage; which would suit very well his going there from his government in Achaia (Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.,' 31. cap. 6:33). And that his proconsulate was in Achaia is corroborated by a chance quotation in Seneca's Epistle 104, of a saying of "my lord Gallio, when ha had a fever in Achaia and immediately went on board ship," where the phrase "domini met," applied to his own brother, seems also to indicate his high rank. Profane history also shuts up the probable date of Gallio's proconsulate between the year A.D. and the year A.D. or 66, in which he died. There is a diversity of accounts as to his death. Ernesti, in his note on Tacitus, 'Auual.,' 15. 73, where Tacitus speaks of him as frightened at the death of his brother Seneca, and a suppliant for his own life, says, "quem Nero post interfecit," and refers to Dion Cassius, 58,18, and Eusebius. But Dion is there speaking of Junius Gallio in the reign of Tiberius, not of our Gallio at all; though afterwards, speaking of the death of Seneca, he says, "and his brothers also were killed after him "(62, 25). As for Eusebius, the passage quoted is not found in the Greek or Armenian copies of the 'Chronicon,' but only in the Latin of Jerome. But, as Scaliger points out, there is a manifest blunder here, because the 'Chronicon ' places the death of Gallio two years before that of Seneca, whereas we know from Tacitus that Gallio was alive after his brother's death. Moreover, the description "egregius declamator" clearly applies to Junius Gallio the rhetorician, and not to Gallio his adopted son. Though, therefore, Renan says, "Comme son frere il eut l'honneur sous Neron d'expier par, la mort sa distinction et son honnetete" ('St. Paul,' p. 222), if we give duo weight to the silence of Tacitus, it is very doubtful whether he died a violent death at all. St. Luke, as usual, is most accurate in calling him proconsul. Achaia had been recently made a senatorial province by Claudius. For ἀνθύπατος, see Acts 13:7, 8, 12; Acts 19:38. The verb occurs only here in the New Testament. The term deputy was adopted in the A.V. doubtless from that being the title of the Viceroy of Ireland, and other officers who exercise a deputed authority, just as the proconsul was in the place of the consul. Rose up against; κατεπέστησαν, one of Luke's peculiar words, found neither in the New Testament nor in the LXX., nor in classical writers (Steph., 'Thesaur.'). The judgment seat (see note to ver. 12). Acts 18:12Gallio

Brother of the philosopher Seneca (Nero's tutor), and uncle of the poet Lucan, the author of the "Pharsalia." Seneca speaks of him as amiable and greatly beloved.


See on Acts 13:7. The verb, to be deputy, occurs only here.


See on Acts 7:5.

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