Acts 22:29
Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
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(29) Which should have examined him.—The verb had acquired the secondary sense (just as “putting to the question” did in mediæval administration of justice) of examining by torture.

Because he had bound him.—The words seem to refer to the second act of binding (Acts 22:25) rather than the first (Acts 21:33). The chains fastened to the arms were thought of, as we see afterwards, when St. Paul’s citizenship was an acknowledged fact (Acts 26:29; Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 4:1), as not incompatible with the respect due to a Roman citizen. The binding, as slaves were bound, with leathern thongs, was quite another matter.

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.Then straightway - Immediately. They saw that by scourging him they would have Violated the Roman law, and exposed themselves to its penalty.

Which should have examined him - Who were about to torture him by scourging him, Acts 22:24.

Because he had bound him - Preparatory to scourging him. The act of binding a Roman citizen with such an intent, untried and uncondemned, was unlawful. Prisoners Who were to be scourged were usually bound by the Romans to a pillar or post; and a Similar custom prevailed among the Jews. That it was unlawful to bind a man with this intent, who was uncondemned, appears from an express declaration in Cicero (against Verres): "It is a heinous sin to bind a Roman citizen; it is wickedness to beat him; it is next to parricide to kill him, and what Shall I say to crucify him?"

29. chief captain also was afraid, &c.—See on [2098]Ac 16:38. They departed from him, who had bound him, and would have scourged him.

The chief captain also was afraid; the crime of breaking the privileges of the Roman citizens being accounted no less than treason, and a sin, as they called it, against the majesty of that people; as afterwards it was as great an offence against their emperors.

Then straightway they departed from him, which should have examined him,.... By scourging; namely, the soldiers, who under the inspection of the centurion, and by the order of the chief captain, were binding him with thongs to scourge him, and thereby extort from him his crime, which was the cause of all this disturbance; but hearing that he was a Roman, either of their own accord, or rather at the order of their officers, either the centurion or chief captain, or both, left binding him, and went their way:

and the chief captain also was afraid after he knew that he was a Roman; lest he should be called to an account for his conduct, and his commission should be taken from him: chiefly,

and because he had bound him; not only had commanded him to be bound with thongs to a pillar, in order to be scourged, but he had bound him with two chains, when first seized him; and, as before observed; see Gill on Acts 22:25; it was a heinous crime to bind a Roman.

Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was {d} a Roman, and because he had bound him.

(d) Not by nation, but by the law of his city of birth.

Acts 22:29. καὶδὲ, cf. Acts 3:24, Luke 2:35, Matthew 10:18; Matthew 16:18, John 6:51; John 15:27, Romans 11:23, 2 Timothy 3:12, and other instances, Grimm-Thayer, sub v., δέ, 9.—ἐφοβήθη, cf. Acts 16:38, and the magistrates of Philippi. He seems to have broken two laws, the Lex Porcia and the law mentioned above, Acts 22:26.—ἐπιγ. ὅτι Ῥωμαῖός ἐστι: the punishment for pretending to be a Roman citizen was death, and therefore St. Paul’s own avowal would have been sufficient, Suet., Claudius, 25.—ὅτι ἦν αὐτὸν δεδεκώς: on the construction usual in Luke see Acts 1:10. The words may be best referred to the binding in Acts 22:25 like a slave; this is more natural than to refer them to Acts 21:33. If this latter view is correct, it seems strange that Paul should have remained bound until the next day, Acts 22:30. No doubt it is quite possible that the Apostle’s bonds were less severe after the chiliarch was aware of his Roman citizenship, and that the later notices, Acts 23:18, Acts 24:27, Acts 26:29, Acts 27:42, may contrast favourably with Acts 21:33.

29. which should have examined him] This is old English for “which were about to examine him” which the Rev. Ver. gives. The verb is euphemistically employed for the scourging which it was proposed to administer to obtain information from St Paul.

because he had bound him] i.e. bound him for the purpose of scourging. To be bound with a chain as a prisoner was not prohibited in the case of Romans. Hence we find St Paul speaking often in the Epistles, written during his imprisonment at Rome, of the bonds and the “chain” with which he was afflicted. Cp. Php 1:7; Php 1:13-14; Php 1:16; Colossians 4:18; Philemon 1:10; Philemon 1:13. Also Acts 28:20, while the next verse in this chapter shews that though the Apostle was unloosed from the whipping-post, he was still kept in bands.

Acts 22:29. [Εὐθέως, straightway) If thou dost purpose aught against any of the sons of GOD, immediately, when thou hast discovered that it is such a one, give over.—V. g.]—ἐφοβήθη, was afraid) on account of the great penalty thereby incurred.—καὶ ὅτι) This depends not on ἐπιγνοὺς, but On ἐφοβήθη.

Verse 29. - They then which were about to examine him straightway departed from him for then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him, A.V.; when for after, A.V. Had bound him (ῆν αὐτὸν δεδεκώς), as related in Acts 21:33. Ἐκέλευσε δεθῆναι: "Facinus est vinciri civem Remanum," Cicero, in 'Verrem,' 5:66 (quoted by Meyer). Acts 22:29
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