And when he came on the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)When he came upon the stairs . . .—This was one of the flights leading, as has been said, from the tower to the Temple area. Here the violence of the crowd became greater as they were more pressed in, and the soldiers had literally to lift him from his legs and carry him in, while the troops lined the staircase on either side.When he came upon the stairs, in the ascent to the castle,
he was borne of the soldiers; either because the press was so great, he being in the midst of them; or being taken up by them, to secure him from the fury of the enraged multitude.
"in order to have knowledge of all things, we went up to a castle adjoining to the city, which is situated in a very high place, fortified with very high towers, built with large stones, as we supposed for the preservation of the places about the temple, if there should be any lying in wait, or tumult, or enemies should enter; so that none might be able to make way in at the walls about the temple; for in the towers of the castle lay very sharp darts and various instruments, and the place was upon a very great eminence.''
So it was that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people: the sense is, either that the crowd of the people was so great, and they so pressed upon Paul and the soldiers that conducted him, that he was even thrown upon them, and bore up by them; or else such was the rage of the people against him, that the soldiers were obliged to take him up in their arms, and carry him, in order to secure him from being tore in pieces by them.And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 21:35-36. Ἐπὶ τ. ἀναβαθμ.] when he came to the stairs (leading up to the fortress, Joseph. Bell. Jud. v. 5. 8). See examples of the form βαθμός, and of the more Attic form βασμός, in Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 324.
συνέβη βαστάζ. αὐτόν] brings forward what took place more markedly than the simple ἐβαστάζετο. Either the accusative (as here) or the nominative may stand with the infinitive. See Stallb. ad Plat. Phaed. p. 67 C.
αἷρε αὐτόν] The same cry of extermination as in Luke 23:18. Comp. Acts 22:22. On the plural κράζοντες, see Winer, p. 490 [E. T. 660]. Comp. Acts 5:16.Acts 21:35. ἐγέν. ἐπὶ, cf. Acts 21:17, and Luke 24:22, Grimm, sub γίν., 5, g. ἀναβ.: the steps which led up to the fortress from the Temple area. B.J., v., 5, 8, describes the surroundings of the scene vividly, and the καταβάσεις which led down from Antonia to the Temple; see above on Acts 21:31, and O. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte, p. 138.—συνέβη βαστάζ.: the σύν is not superfluous (see Meyer—Wendt and Hackett), it indicates the peril of the situation; the pressure of the people became increasingly violent as they saw that St. Paul would escape them, and compelled the soldiers to carry him, that he might not be torn from them altogether, so that the carrying was not merely “propter angustias loci”. βαστάζ., cf. Acts 3:2, see Schürer, u. s.35. And … stairs] This was the flight of steps leading from the Temple area up to the Tower where the soldiers were stationed. The stairs were not covered in, for St Paul is able to address the multitude while standing on them (Acts 21:40).
so it was … for the violence of the people [R. V. crowd]. The crowd pressed on St Paul with all the more fury because they saw that he was now to be taken out of their hands. Hence it came to pass, that some of the soldiers were obliged, in order to keep him safe, to lift him from his feet and carry him up till he was out of reach, their comrades meanwhile keeping back the people from the foot of the stairs.Acts 21:35. Συνέβη, it occurred, so it was, that) An auxiliary verb, akin to ἐγένετο, it came to pass.Verse 35. - Crowd for people, A.V. Borne of the soldiers. Lifted off his legs and carried up the steps. The stairs from the temple area at the northwest corner to the castle of Antonia (see ver. 31, note, and ver. 32). Alford quotes the description of the fort Antonia in Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 5. 5:8, in which he says (Traill's translation), "Its general appearance was that of a tower with other towers at each of the four corners. That at the southeast angle rose to an elevation of seventy cubits, so that from thence there was a complete view of the temple. Where it adjoined the colonnades of the temple it had passages leading down to both, through which the guards - for in the fortress there always lay a Roman legion - descended and disposed themselves about the colonnades in arms at the festivals, to watch the people, and repress any insurrectionary movement."
Leading from the temple-court to the tower. There were two flights, one to the northern and the other to the western cloister, so that the guard could go different ways among the cloisters in order to watch the people at the Jewish festivals.
So it was (συνέβη)
Lit., it happened. The verb means, literally, to come together; hence, of a coincidence of events. It is designedly introduced here to express more vividly the fact of the peculiar emergency and the peril of Paul's situation. Things came to such a pass that he had to be carried up the stairs.
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