(And when they heard that he spoke in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he said,)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They kept the more silence.—The opening words had done the work they were meant to do. One who spoke in Hebrew was not likely to blaspheme the sacred Hebrew books. What follows was conceived in the same spirit of conciliation.Acts 21:40.
they kept the more silence—They could have understood him in Greek, and doubtless fully expected the renegade to address them in that language, but the sound of their holy mother tongue awed them into deeper silence.The Hebrew tongue; the ordinary Hebrew; that which was taken for Hebrew, and spoken by the Hebrews after their return from the captivity, though mixed with the Syriac; as Acts 21:40.
They kept the more silence; it being more grateful unto them to hear Paul speak in their mother tongue, especially they having so great a prejudice against all other nations and languages. Acts 21:40.
they kept the more silence; it being their mother tongue, and which they best understood; and which the captain and the Roman soldiers might not so well under stand; and chiefly because the Hellenistic language was not so agreeable to them, nor the Hellenistic Jews, who spoke the Greek language, and used the Greek version of the Bible; and such an one they took Paul to be, besides his being a Christian; wherefore when they heard him speak in the Hebrew tongue, it conciliated their minds more to him, at least engaged their attention the more to what he was about to say:(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 22:2. προσεφώνει: only in Luke and Paul, except Matthew 11:16, cf. Matthew 6:13; Matt 7:32; Matthew 13:12; Matthew 23:20, Matthew 21:40, see Friedrich, p. 29, for the frequency of other compounds of φωνεῖν in Luke.—μᾶλλον παρ. ἡσυχ: the phrase is used similarly in Plut., Coriol., 18, Dion Hal., ii., 32, and LXX, Job 34:29; on the fondness of St. Luke for σιγή, σιγᾶν, ἡσυχάζειν, and the characteristic way in which silence results from his words and speeches, or before or during the speech, see Friedrich, p. 26, cf. Luke 14:4; Luke 15:26, Acts 11:18; Acts 15:12, Acts 12:17; Acts 21:40, and for ἡσυχάζειν, 1 Thessalonians 4:11, Luke 14:4, Acts 11:18; Acts 21:14, so too παρέχειν with accusative of the thing offered by any one, Acts 19:24, Acts 28:2 (Acts 16:16). The verb is used only in Matthew 26:10, and parallel, Mark 14:6, except in Luke and Paul, Luke 6:29; Luke 7:4; Luke 11:7; Luke 18:5, Acts 16:16; Acts 17:31, and as above, and five times in St. Paul’s Epistles.2. And … Hebrew tongue] The beckoning with the hand (Acts 21:40) had procured silence enough for the Apostle’s first words to be heard, and now they caught the sound of their own dialect.
they kept the more silence] The noun in the original refers not only to peace from cries and shouts, but to general quietness, such as would be produced by refraining from all movements. It expresses a very high degree of quietness. Rev. Ver. has “they were the more quiet.”Acts 22:2. Τῇ Ἑβραΐδι, in the Hebrew tongue) Many seem to have been previously ignorant, that the person about whom the commotion was raised, even knew Hebrew.Verse 2. - Unto them in the Hebrew language for in the Hebrew tongue to them, A.V.; were the more quiet for kept the more silence, A.V. When they heard, etc. This trait is wonderfully true to nature, and exhibits also St. Paul's admirable tact and self-possession. It was strikingly in harmony with his addressing them as "brethren" that he should speak to them in their own mother tongue. There is a living reality in such touches which seems at once to refute Renan's suspicion that St. Luke invented this and other of St. Paul's speeches in the later chapters of the Acts. The full report of these later speeches is abundantly accounted for by the fact that through this time St. Luke was with St. Paul, and heard the speeches.
Lit., gave quiet.
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