Acts 22:24
The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
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(24) Bade that he should be examined by scourging.—The matter-of-course way in which this is narrated illustrates the ordinary process of Roman provincial administration. The chiliarch had probably only partially understood St. Paul’s Aramaic speech, and his first impulse was to have him scourged, so as to elicit from his own lips that which he could not gather from the confused and contradictory clamours of the crowd.

22:22-30 The Jews listened to Paul's account of his conversion, but the mention of his being sent to the Gentiles, was so contrary to all their national prejudices, that they would hear no more. Their frantic conduct astonished the Roman officer, who supposed that Paul must have committed some great crime. Paul pleaded his privilege as a Roman citizen, by which he was exempted from all trials and punishments which might force him to confess himself guilty. The manner of his speaking plainly shows what holy security and serenity of mind he enjoyed. As Paul was a Jew, in low circumstances, the Roman officer questioned how he obtained so valuable a distinction; but the apostle told him he was free born. Let us value that freedom to which all the children of God are born; which no sum of money, however large, can purchase for those who remain unregenerate. This at once put a stop to his trouble. Thus many are kept from evil practices by the fear of man, who would not be held back from them by the fear of God. The apostle asks, simply, Is it lawful? He knew that the God whom he served would support him under all sufferings for his name's sake. But if it were not lawful, the apostle's religion directed him, if possible, to avoid it. He never shrunk from a cross which his Divine Master laid upon his onward road; and he never stept aside out of that road to take one up.The castle - The castle of Antonia. He would be there removed entirely from the wrath of the Jews.

Should be examined - ἀνετάζεσθαι anetazesthai." The word "examine" with us commonly means "to inquire, to question, to search for, to look carefully into a subject." The word used here is commonly applied to metals whose nature is tested, or examined by fire; and then it mean to subject to torture or torments, in order to extort a confession where persons were accused of crime. It was often resorted to among the ancients. A common mode has been by the rack, but various kinds of torments have been invented in order to extort confessions of guilt from those who were accused. The whole practice has been one of the most flagrant violations of justice, and one of the foulest blots on human nature. In this case, the tribune saw that Paul was accused violently by the Jews; he was probably ignorant of the Hebrew language, and had not understood the address of Paul; he supposed from the extraordinary excitement that Paul must have been guilty of some flagrant offence, and he therefore resolved to subject him to torture to extort from him a confession.

By scourging - By the scourge or whip. Compare Hebrews 11:36. This was one mode of torture, in order to extort a secret from those who were accused.

24-26. examined by scourging—according to the Roman practice.

that he might know wherefore they cried so—Paul's speech being to him in an unknown tongue, he concluded from the horror which it kindled in the vast audience that he must have been guilty of some crime.

The chief captain; of whom, Acts 21:31.

The castle, or fort, called Antonia, as in Acts 21:34.

By scourging; or torturing, (being put to the question, as the French expression is, agreeable to the Greek word here used), which went no further than by scourging; which was for this purpose used upon the blessed body of our Saviour, Matthew 27:26. The chief captain took it for granted that he was some notorious malefactor whom all cried out against injuriously, accounting vox populi to be vox Dei; and because in that confusion he could not know the certainty from his accusers, he would wrest a confession out of St. Paul, whom they accused.

The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle,.... Into the inside of it; for till now he was upon the top of the stairs, or steps, which led up to it; which might be done in order to save him from the rage of the people, and that he might privately examine him, and get the true state of his case, though he took a very wrong and unjustifiable method to do it in, as follows:

and bade that he should be examined by scourging; he gave a centurion, with some soldiers, orders to scourge and whip him, and to lay on stripes more and harder, until he should tell the whole truth of the matter, and confess the crime or crimes he was guilty of, which had so enraged the populace:

that he might know wherefore they cried so against him; for though he had rescued him out of their hands, when they would in all likelihood have beat him to death; and though he took him within the castle to secure him from their violence; yet he concluded he must be a bad man, and must have done something criminal; and therefore he takes this method to extort from him a confession of his crime, for which the people exclaimed against him with so much virulence.

{3} The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

(3) The wisdom of the flesh does not consider what is just, but what is profitable, and in addition takes into account the profit that can be gained, according as it presently appears.

Acts 22:24. It is unnecessarily assumed by Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and de Wette that the tribune did not understand the Hebrew address. But the tumult, only renewed and increased by it, appeared to him to presuppose some secret crime. He therefore orders the prisoner to be brought into the barracks, with the command εἶπας (see Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 236 f. [E. T. 275]), to examine him by the application of scourging (ἀνετάζεσθαι, Susannah 14, Jdg 6:29, not preserved in Greek writers, who have ἐξετάζεσθαι), in order to know on account of what offence (Acts 13:28, Acts 23:28, Acts 25:18, Acts 28:18) they so shouted to him (to Paul, comp. Acts 23:18).

αὐτῷ] for the crying and shouting were a hostile reply to him, Acts 22:22-23. On ἐπιφ. τινι, comp. Plut. Pomp. 4. Bengel well remarks: “acclamare dicuntur auditores verba facienti.” Comp. Acts 12:22; Luke 23:21; 3Ma 7:13.

Moreover, it was contrary to the Roman criminal law for the tribune to begin the investigation with a view to bring out a confession by way of torture (L. 1, D. 48. 18), not to mention that here it was not a slave who was to be questioned (L. 8, ibid.). As in the case of Jesus (John 19:1), it was perhaps here also the contentment of the people that was intended. Comp. Chrysostom: ἁπλῶς τῇ ἐξονσίᾳ χρᾶται (the tribune), καὶ ἐκείνοις πρὸς χάριν ποιεῖὅπως παύσειε τὸν ἐκείνων θυμὸν ἄδικον ὄντα.

Acts 22:24. ὁ χιλ., see Acts 21:31.—παρεμ., Acts 21:34.—εἰπὼν: whether the chiliarch understood Paul’s words or not, he evidently saw from the outcries of the mob that the Apostle was regarded as a dangerous person, and he probably thought to obtain some definite information from the prisoner himself by torture.—μάστιξιν, cf. 2Ma 7:1, 4Ma 6:3; 4Ma 9:12, etc., and 1 Kings 12:11, Proverbs 26:3, and in N.T., Hebrews 11:36; the Roman scourging was a terrible punishment; for its description cf., e.g., Keim, Geschichte Jesu, iii., p. 390 (for Jewish scougings see Farrar, St. Paul, ii., Excurs., xi.).—ἀνετάζεσθαι: not found in classical Greek, but ἐξετάζεσθαι used specially of examination by torture. It is found in the active voice in Jdg 6:29 A, and Susannah, ver 14.—ἐπεφ.: “shouted against him,” R.V., see on Acts 21:34, and 3Ma 7:13—only here with dative.

24. the chief captain, &c.] Probably the chief captain knew nothing of what St Paul had been saying, and would be surprised at the outbreak of rage on the part of the people, and conclude from it that there was some serious charge laid against him which he might best ascertain by subjecting his prisoner to torture till he should confess.

wherefore they cried so against him] The Rev. Ver. has “for what cause they so shouted against him,” and the verb is rendered “gave a shout” (Acts 12:22), but there it is the voice of the applauding crowd that is spoken of. In this verse and Luke 23:21 (the only other passage in which the word is found in N. T.) “cry” seems to express better in English the utterance of an infuriated mob. It is true that a different verb is rendered by “cry” in Acts 22:23, but that proves that the Greeks had two verbs which they could use for the noise of a mob, while in English we appear not to be so rich. In the A. V. “shout” seems always used of triumph and exultation.

Acts 22:24. Ἄγεσθαι, to be led) from the stairs, on which he had been standing.—μάστιξιν ἀνετάζεσθαι, that he should be examined by scourging) in order that he might as speedily as possible confess.—ἐπεφώνουν, they were so crying against him) Hearers are said to cry in acclamation of [or in anger at] one making a speech: ch. Acts 12:22.

Verse 24. - Bidding for and bade, A.V.; for what cause for wherefore, A.V.; so shouted for cried so, A.V. The chief captain (see Acts 21:31, note). The castle (see Acts 21:34, note). Examined; ἀνετάζεσθαι, only here and in ver. 29. In Judges 6:29 (Codex Alexandrinus) and in the Hist. of Susanna 14 the verb has the simple sense of "inquiring." The classical word for "examining" and especially by torture, is ἐξετάζειν. By scourging (μάστιξιν). The μάστιξ was in Latin the flagellum, the m st severe implement of flogging, though even with the lighter virga, the rod of the lictor, slaves and others were beaten to death (usque ad necem). It was not lawful to beat a Roman citizen even with the virga (ῤάβδος); Acts 16:22, 35, 37, notes. The μάστιξ, or scourge, was that with which our Lord was scourged at the bidding of Pilate (Matthew 27:26, where φραγελλώσας is from the Latin flagellum; Mark 10:34; Luke 18:33; John 19:1). Doubtless Lysias had not understood Paul's Hebrew speech, and so had not known what it was which provoked so fierce an uproar among the people. Acts 22:24Examined (ἀνετάζεσθαι)

Only here and Acts 22:29. Not found in classical Greek. Apocrypha, Susanna, ver. 14.

By scourging (μάστιξιν)

Lit., with scourges.

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