Acts 21:32
Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
21:27-40 In the temple, where Paul should have been protected as in a place of safety, he was violently set upon. They falsely charged him with ill doctrine and ill practice against the Mosaic ceremonies. It is no new thing for those who mean honestly and act regularly, to have things laid to their charge which they know not and never thought of. It is common for the wise and good to have that charged against them by malicious people, with which they thought to have obliged them. God often makes those a protection to his people, who have no affection to them, but only have compassion for sufferers, and regard to the public peace. And here see what false, mistaken notions of good people and good ministers, many run away with. But God seasonably interposes for the safety of his servants, from wicked and unreasonable men; and gives them opportunities to speak for themselves, to plead for the Redeemer, and to spread abroad his glorious gospel.Centurions - Captains of 100 men. 32. the chief captain—"the chiliarch," or tribune of the Roman cohort, whose full number was one thousand men. A wonderful providence of God for Paul’s preservation, that the chief captain should be so near, as to be able to hinder the massacring of Paul; and especially that he should be defended and preserved by one that was a stranger to him, and an enemy to his religion!

They left beating of Paul, lest they should have been set upon by the soldiers, for breaking the peace, &c. The fear of man caused them to forbear what the fear of God could not. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions,.... A very large number of soldiers, for they are called an army, in Acts 23:27 with a sufficient number of officers called centurions, who were each of them over an hundred men, to command them, and put them in order:

and ran down unto them: from the tower to the temple, the outer part of it; perhaps the mountain of the house, where they had dragged Paul, and were beating him; hither the captain, with his officers and soldiers, came in great haste; all which shows his vigilance, prudence, and quick dispatch; and in which there was a remarkable appearance of divine providence in favour of the apostle, who otherwise in all likelihood would have quickly lost his life:

and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers; coming down upon them in great haste, with sword in hand:

they left beating of Paul; this beating was what the Jews call , "the rebels' beating"; or beating, on account of rebellion and obstinacy; and differed from whipping or scourging, which was done by the order of the sanhedrim, and in measure with forty stripes save one; but this beating was without any order from a court of judicature, and was without measure and mercy: this was inflicted upon various offenders, particularly on such who received not admonitions given them, or transgressed by doing what was forbidden by the words of the wise men (c); or if any defiled person entered into the court of the women; and such the people would fall upon at once, and beat them unmercifully with their fists, or with clubs and staves, and which often issued in death; so, for instance, when a priest ministered in his uncleanness, his brethren the priests did not bring him to the sanhedrim, but the young priests brought him without the court, and dashed his brains out with clubs (d).

(c) Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrin, c, 18. sect. 5. (d) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 9. sect. 6.

Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 21:32. ἐξαυτῆς, cf. Acts 10:33.—παραλ. στρ. καὶ ἑκατοντ., indicating that he thought the tumult considerable.—κατέδραμεν ἐπʼ αὐτούς, “ran down upon them” from Antonia, so R.V. vividly; verb found only here in N.T. In Job 16:10 (11) A we have the verb with accusative and ἐπί.—ἐπαύσαντο τύπτοντες after παύομαι: the act or state desisted from, indicated by the addition of a present participle, frequent in Luke, cf. Luke 5:4, Acts 5:42; Acts 6:13; Acts 13:10; Acts 20:31; cf. also Ephesians 1:16, Colossians 1:9, so in LXX, Grimm, sub v., Winer-Moulton, xlv. 4.32. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions] Clearly he had charge of a considerable troop, which perhaps might just then be augmented in anticipation of any disturbance to which such a concourse, as would come together for the feast, might give rise.

and ran down unto them] Rev. Ver.upon them.” The tower was on the height above the temple, so that the verb is very correct.

and when they saw … left beating of Paul] The Rev. Ver. alters the last four words into “left off beating Paul” which gives a rhythm not so pleasant, and the older English was not misunderstood. The mob probably knew that Roman law would do justice, and that if the Apostle were found by the chief captain to have been wrongfully treated they would be brought to an account.Acts 21:32. Ἐξαυτῆς, immediately) He supposed that delay is dangerous: Acts 21:38.Verse 32. - And forthwith he for who immediately, A.V.; upon for unto, A.V.; and they, when, etc., left off for and when they, etc., they left, A.V.; beating for beating of, A.V. Ran down upon (κατέδραμεν ἐπὶ). Κατατρέχω only occurs here in the New Testament, but is used in the LXX. of 1 Kings 19:20, followed by ὀπίσω, to run after. In classical Greek it governs an accusative or genitive of the person or thing attacked. Here the force of κατά seems to be merely the running down from the castle of Antonia, and therefore the A.V. unto seems preferable to the R.V. upon. Centurions

See on Luke 7:2.

Unto them ( ἐπ' αὐτούς)

Better, upon them.

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