Acts 22:27
Then the chief captain came, and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman? He said, Yes.
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(27) Art thou a Roman?—The pronoun is emphatic: “Thou, the Jew speaking both Greek and Hebrew, art thou a citizen of Rome?” The combination of so many more or less discordant elements was so exceptional as to be almost incredible.

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.Bound him with thongs - With cords, preparatory to scourging.

Is it lawful ... - It was directly contrary to the Roman law to bind and scourge a Roman citizen. See the notes on Acts 16:36-37.

27-29. art thou a Roman?—showing that this being of Tarsus, which he had told him before (Ac 21:39) did not necessarily imply that he was a Roman citizen. It is very reasonable that a good man should make use of such lawful privileges as the place in which he lives doth afford, and in his condition may be allowed. And it is part of that wisdom our Saviour does recommend, if it does not destroy the innocence of the dove, Matthew 10:16. Then the chief captain came, and said unto him,.... To Paul:

tell me, art thou a Roman? he had told him before that he was a Jew of Tarsus, and which was true, and had said nothing of his being a Roman; wherefore the chief captain desires that he would tell him the whole truth of the matter, whether he was a Roman or not:

he said yea; that he was one.

Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.

Acts 22:26
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