And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Some cried one thing, some another.—We note the parallelism with the like confused clamour at Ephesus (Acts 19:32), which is described in exactly the same terms.
He commanded him to be carried into the castle.—The Greek, which literally means encampment, is translated “armies” in Hebrews 11:34. By a transition which reminds us of the connection between the words castrum and castellum, or castle, it came to be applied to a regular structure of stone or brick, such for example, as the Tower Antonia, described in the Note on Acts 21:31.Acts 21:31. Compare Acts 23:10, Acts 23:16.
to be carried into the castle—rather, perhaps, "the barracks," or that part of the fortress of Antonia appropriated to the soldiers. The fort was built by Herod on a high rock at the northwest corner of the great temple area, and called after Mark Antony.Some cried one thing, some another; as is usual in popular commotions, they agreed in doing mischief, but not in the reason of it.
Into the castle called Antonia, because it was built in honour of Mark Antony, on the north side of the temple.
and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult; could not come at the truth of the matter, or any certain knowledge of it, not anything that could be depended upon, because of the noise of the people, and the different notes they were in:
he commanded him to be carried into the castle; of Antonio, formerly called Baris, of which Josephus (e) gives this account;
"on the north side (of the wall) was built a four square tower, well fortified and strong; this the kings and priests of the Asmonaean race, who were before Herod, built, and called it Baris; that there the priestly robe might be laid up by them, which the high priest only wore, when he was concerned in divine service:''
this tower King Herod made more strong, for the security and preservation of the temple; and called it Antonia, for the sake of Antony his friend, and the general of the Romans: the description of it, as given by Dr. Lightfoot (f), which is collected by him out of Josephus and other writers, is this;
"upon the north side, and joining up to the western angle (but on the outside of the wall), stood the tower of Antonia, once the place where the high priests used to lay up their holy garments; but in after times a garrison of Roman soldiers, for the a wing of the temple: when it served for the former use, it was called Baris (it may be from "ad extra", because it was an outer building), but when for the latter, it bare the name of Antonia; Herod the great having sumptuously repaired and called it after the name of the Roman prince Antony: it stood upon the north west point of Moriah, and was a very strong and a very large pile; so spacious a building with all its appurtenances, that it took up to two furlongs' compass; the rock it stood upon was fifty cubits high, and steep, and the building itself was forty cubits above it; it was four square, encompassed with a wall of three cubits high, which enclosed its courts, and had a turret at every corner, like the white tower at London; but that it was more spacious, and that the turrets were not all of an height; for those at the north east and north west corners were fifty cubits high, but those on the south east and south west were seventy cubits high, that they might fully overlook the temple: it had cloisters or walks about it, and baths and lodgings, and large rooms in it; so that it was at once like a castle, and like a palace. There was a passage out of it, into the north and west cloisters of the mountain of the house, and by that the Roman garrison soldiers went down at every festival of the Jews, to take care against tumults and seditions, in those great concourses of the people.''
And it was by this passage that the chief captain, with the centurions and soldiers, came down so quickly and suddenly upon the Jews, while they were beating Paul in the temple; and this castle being on such an eminence as described, hence he with the soldiers is said to run down, Acts 21:32 And it was in this way that the apostle was led up to the castle.And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 21:34. ἐβόων: if we read ἐπεφώνουν, see critical note, a verb peculiar to St. Luke, Luke 23:21, Acts 12:22; Acts 22:24 = “shouted,” R.V., cf. Acts 19:31.—μὴ δυνάμ., see critical note.—τὸ ἀσφαλὲς: adjective, three times in St. Luke with this same shade of meaning, Acts 22:30, Acts 25:26 (cf. Acts 2:36, and Wis 18:6, ἀσφαλῶς).—παρεμ.: the word may mean an army, Hebrews 11:34, or the camp which it occupies (so in LXX = Heb. מַחֲנֶה Jdg 4:16; Jdg 8:10, 1Ma 5:28). In this passage may = the castle itself, as A. and R.V., or perhaps the barracks in the castle. A Macedonian word according to Phryn., but see Kennedy, Sources of N.T. Greek, pp. 15, 16, and also for its meaning here, Schürer, Jewish People, div. i., vol. ii., p. 55, E.T.34. And some cried [R. V. shouted] … another] The verb is the same which St Luke uses for the din of the multitude which shouted against Jesus (Luke 23:21), “Crucify him;” also for the adulatory shouting in honour of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:22). No other New Testament writer uses the word. The chief captain appears to have made an effort to learn what was laid to the charge of the Apostle.
and when … tumult [R. V. uproar]. Perhaps as at Ephesus (Acts 19:32) a large part of the shouters hardly knew themselves for what the clamour was raised.
he … to be carried [R. V. brought] into the castle] The Greek word signifies “an encampment,” but was employed to designate the barracks which the Romans had in the Tower of Antonia. The same word is rendered “army” in Hebrews 11:34.Acts 21:34. Παρεμβολὴν) the castle, which the Roman guards (garrison) were holding possession of.Verse 34. - Shouted for cried, A.V. and T.R.; crowd for multitude, A.V.; uproar for tumult, A.V.; brought for carried, A.V. The certainty. He could not get at the truth because of the tumult and the different accounts given first by one and then by another. The Greek word τὸ ἀσφαλές, and its kindred ἀσφαλεία ἀσφαλῶς ἀσφαλίζω, and ἐπισφαλής, are of frequent use by St. Luke (Acts 2:36; Acts 5:23; Acts 16:23, 24; Acts 22:30; Acts 25:26; Acts 27:9; Luke 1:4). These words are all very much used by medical writers, and specially the last (ἐπισφαλής), which is used by St. Luke alone in the New Testament. The castle (τὴν παρεμβολήν), "the camp or barracks attached to the tower of Antonia" (Alford); Acts 22:24; Acts 23:10, 16, 32. It means the castle-yard within the fortifications, with whatever buildings were in it.
Better, barracks. The main tower had a smaller tower at each corner, the one at the southeastern corner being the largest and overlooking the temple. In this tower were the quarters of the soldiers. The word is derived from the verb παρεμβάλλω, to put in beside, used in military language of distributing auxiliaries among regular troops and, generally, of drawing up in battle-order. Hence the noun means, a body drawn up in battle-array, and passes thence into the meaning of an encampment, soldiers' quarters, barracks. In Hebrews 11:34, it occurs in the earlier sense of an army; and in Hebrews 13:11, Hebrews 13:13; Revelation 20:9, in the sense of an encampment. In grammatical phraseology it signifies a parenthesis, according to its original sense of insertion or interpolation.
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