Acts 18:16
And he drave them from the judgment seat.
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(16) He drove them from the judgment seat.—The words imply a magisterial act. The order was given to the lictors to clear the court, and the Jews, who did not immediately retreat were exposed to the ignominy of blows from their rods.

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 he drave them ... - He refused to hear and decide the controversy. The word used here does not denote that there was any violence used by Gallio, but merely that he dismissed them in an authoritative manner. 16. drave them, &c.—annoyed at such a case. He commanded them to be gone, having dismissed their case; and, if need were, added threatening and force.

And he drave them from the judgment seat. He would not hear, and try the cause; but dismissed them with threatening them, if ever they brought an affair of that kind to him any more. And he drave them from the judgment seat.
Acts 18:16-17. Ἀπήλασεν] he dismissed them as plaintiffs, whose information it was not competent to him to entertain. Comp. Dem. 272. 11. 1373. 12.

Under the legal pretext of the necessity of supporting this ἀπήλασεν of the proconsul, all the bystanders (πάντες, partly perhaps Roman subordinate officials, but certainly all Gentiles, therefore οἱ Ἕλληνες is a correct gloss) used the opportunity of wreaking their anger on the leader and certainly also the spokesman of the hated Jews; they seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, even before the tribunal, and beat him.

Σωσθένης is by Theodoret, Erasmus, Calvin, and others, also Hofmann, heil. Schr. d. N.T. II. ii. p. 4 f., very arbitrarily (especially as this name was so common) considered as identical with the person mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:1; hence also the erroneous gloss οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι added to πάντες has arisen from the supposition that he either was at this time actually a Christian, or at least inclined to Christianity, and therefore not sufficiently energetic in his accusation. Against this may be urged the very part which Sosthenes, as ruler of the synagogue, evidently plays against Paul;[80] and not less the circumstance, that the person mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:1 was a fellow-labourer of Paul out of Corinth; according to which, for the identification of the two, a more extended hypothesis would be necessary, such as Ewald has. Chrysostom considers him even identical with Crispus.

τὸν ἀρχισυν.] Whether he was a colleague (see on Acts 13:15) of the above-named ΚΡΊΣΠΟς, Acts 18:8, or successor to him on his resignation in consequence of embracing Christianity (Olshausen, de Wette, Baumgarten, Ewald, and others), or whether he presided over another synagogue in Corinth (Grotius), remains undetermined.

ΚΑῚ ΟὐΔῈΝ ΤΟΎΤΩΝ Κ.Τ.Λ.] and Gallio troubled himself about none of these things, which here took place; he quite disregarded the spectacle. The purpose of this statement is to exhibit the utter failure of the attempt. So little was the charge successful, that even the leader of the accusers himself was beaten by the rabble without any interference of the judge, who by this indifference tacitly connived with the accused.

[80] According to Hofmann, be was so linked with his people, that, although inwardly convinced by the preaching of the apostle, he yet appeared at the head of the furious multitude before the proconsul against Paul, because he could not forsake the synagogue. What a character would thus be the result! And what reader could from the simple words put together for himself traits so odious! How entirely different were Joseph and Nicodemus!

Acts 18:16. ἀπήλασεν: probably by his lictors who would be commanded to clear the court. This interpretation of the word is in accordance with the next verse, which describes the crowd of Greeks as prepared to follow up the decision of Gallio by similar treatment of a leading Jew on their own account. See critical note.

16. And he drave them from the judgment seat] The description given by St Luke makes it probable that the seat of Gallio was in some open public place, where all might come and bring their plaints. The proconsul would be attended by his lictors and other officials, and those he now commands to clear the place of these troublesome cavillers about words and names. The new magistrate found perhaps enough to do in matters which came within his jurisdiction in the busy mercantile life of Corinth.

Verse 16. - And he drave them; ἀπήλασεν, found only here in the New Testament or LXX. But it is used by Demosthenes and Plutarch in exactly the same connection: ἀπὸ τοῦ συνεδρίου ἀπὸ τοῦ βήματος (Demosthenes, 1373,12; Plutarch, ' Marcell.,' p. 410, in Schleusner). It implies the ignominious dismissal of the case, without its being even tried. The judgment seat (βῆμα); the proconsular place of judgment. The βῆμα (here and ver. 12) was properly the "raised space," or "tribune," on which, in the case of a consul, proconsul, or praetor, the sella curulis was placed on which he sat and gave judgment. It was usually a kind of apse to the basilica. In Matthew 27:19; John 19:13, and, indeed, here and elsewhere, it seems to be used, generally, for the judgment-seat itself (see Acts 25:10). Acts 18:16
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