Acts 23:11
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
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(11) Be of good cheer, Paul.—The day had been one of strange excitement, and most have roused many anxieties. Personal fear as to suffering or death he was, more than most men, free from; but was his work to be cut short? Was he to fall a victim to the malice of the Jews? Was the desire, which he had cherished for many years, to preach the gospel in the great capital of the empire (Romans 1:13; Romans 15:23) to be frustrated? These questions pressed upon him in the wakeful night that followed the exhausting day; and, with a nature like St. Paul’s, such anxieties could not but find expression in his prayers. To those prayers the “vision and apocalypse of the Lord” of which we now read was manifestly the answer. To him, tossed on these waves and billows of the soul, as once before to the Twelve tossing on the troubled waters of the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:27), there came the words, full of comfort and of hope, “Be of good cheer.” There might be delay and suffering, and a long trial of patience, but the end was certain; he was to reach the goal of Rome.



Acts 23:11

It had long been Paul’s ambition to ‘preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also.’ His settled policy, as shown by this Book of the Acts, was to fly at the head, to attack the great centres of population. We trace him from Antioch to Philippi, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus; and of course Rome was the goal, where a blow struck at the heart might reverberate through the empire. So he had planned for it, and prayed about it, and thought about it, and spoken about it. But his wish was accomplished, as our prayers and purposes so often are, in a manner very strange to him. A popular riot in Jerusalem, a half-friendly arrest by the contemptuous impartiality of a Roman officer, a final rejection by the Sanhedrim, a prison in Caesarea, an appeal to Caesar, a weary voyage, a shipwreck: this was the chain of circumstances which fulfilled his desire, and brought him to the imperial city.

My text comes at the crisis of his fate. He has just been rejected by his people, and for the moment is in safety in the castle under the charge of the Roman garrison. One can fancy how, as he lay there in the barrack that night, he felt that he had come to a turning-point; and the thoughts were busy in his mind, ‘Is this for life or for death? Am I to do any more work for Christ, or am I silenced for ever?’-’And the Lord stood by him and said, Be of good cheer, Paul!’ The divine message assured him that he should live; it testified of Christ’s approbation of his past, and promised him that, in recompense for that past, he should have wider work to do. So he passed to the unknown future quietly; and went on his way with the Master by his side.

Now, dear friends, it seems to me that in these great words there lie lessons applying to all Christian people as truly, though in different fashion, as they did to the Apostle, and having an especial bearing on that great enterprise of Christian missions, with which I would connect them in this sermon. I desire, then, to draw out the lessons which seem to me to lie under the surface of this great promise.

I. To live ought to be, for a Christian, to witness.

The promise in form is a promise of continued testimony-bearing; in its substance, one might say, it is a promise of continued life. Paul is cheered, not by being told that the wrath of the enemy will launch itself at his head in vain, and that he will bear a charmed life through it all, but by being told that there is work for him to do yet. That is the shape in which the promise of life is held out to him. So it always ought to be; a Christian man’s life ought to be one continuous witnessing for that Lord Christ who stood by the Apostle in the castle at Jerusalem.

Let me just urge this upon you for a few moments. It seems to me that to raise up witnesses for Himself is, in one aspect, the very purpose of all Christ’s work. You and I, dear brethren, if we have any living hold of that Lord, have received Him into our hearts, not only in order that for ourselves we may rejoice in Him, but in order that, for ourselves rejoicing in Him, we may ‘show forth the virtues of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.’ There is no creature so great as that he is not regarded as a means to a further end; and there is no creature so small but that he has the right to claim happiness and blessing from the Hand that made him. Jesus Christ has drawn us to Himself, that we may know the sweetness of His presence, the cleansing of His blood, the stirring and impulse of His indwelling life in us for our own joy and our own completion, but also that we may be His witnesses and weapons, according to that great word: ‘This people have I formed for Myself. They shall shew forth My praise.’

God has ‘shined into our hearts in order that we may give,’ reflecting the beams that fall upon them, ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.’ Brother and sister, if you have the Christian life in your souls, one purpose of your possessing it is that you may bear witness for Him.

Again, such witness-bearing is the result of all true, deep, Christian life. All life longs to manifest itself in action. Every conviction that a man has seeks for utterance; especially so do the beliefs that go deepest and touch the moral and spiritual nature and relationships of a man. He that perceives them is thereby impelled to desire to utter them. There can be no real, deep possession of that great truth of the Gospel which we profess to be the foundation of our personal lives, unless we have felt the impulse to spread the name and to declare the sweetness of the Lord. The very same impulse that makes the loving heart carve the beloved name on the smooth rind of the tree makes it sweet to one who is in real touch and living fellowship with Jesus Christ to speak about Him. O brother! there is a very sharp test for us. I know that there are hundreds of professing Christians-decent, respectable sort of people, with a tepid, average amount of Christian faith and principle in them-who never felt that overmastering desire, ‘I must let this thing out through my lips.’ Why? Why do they not feel it? Because their own possession of Christ is so superficial and partial. Jeremiah’s experience will be repeated where there is vigorous Christian life: ‘Thy word shut up in my bones was like a fire’-that burned itself through all the mass that was laid upon it, and ate its way victoriously into the light-’and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.’ Christian men and women, do you know anything of that o’er-mastering impulse? If you do not, look to the depth and reality of your Christian profession.

Again, this witnessing is the condition of all strong life. If you keep nipping the buds off a plant you will kill it. If you never say a word to a human soul about your Christianity, your Christianity will tend to evaporate. Action confirms and strengthens convictions; speech deepens conviction; and although it is possible for any one- and some of us ministers are in great danger of making the possibility a reality-to talk away his religion, for one of us who loses it by speaking too much about it, there are twenty that damage it by speaking too little. Shut it up, and it will be like some wild creature put into a cellar, fast locked and unventilated; when you open the door it will be dead. Shut it up, as so many of our average Christian professors and members of our congregations and churches do, and when you come to take it out, it will be like some volatile perfume that has been put into a vial and locked away in a drawer and forgotten; there will be nothing left but an empty bottle, and a rotten cork. Speak your faith if you would have your faith strengthened. Muzzle it, and you go a long way to kill it. You are witnesses, and you cannot blink the obligation nor shirk the duties without damaging that in yourselves to which you are to witness.

Further, this task of witnessing for Christ can be done by all kinds of life. I do not need to dwell upon the distinction between the two great methods which open themselves out before every one of us. They do so; for direct work in speaking the name of Jesus Christ is possible for every Christian, whoever he or she is, however weak, ignorant, uninfluential, with howsoever narrow a circle. There is always somebody that God means to be the audience of His servant whenever that servant speaks of Christ. Do you not know that there are people in this world, as wives, children, parents, friends of different sorts, who would listen to you more readily than they would listen to any one else speaking about Jesus Christ? Friend, have you utilised these relationships in the interests of that great Name, and in the highest interests of the persons that sustain them to you, and of yourselves who sustain these to them?

And then there is indirect work that we can all do in various ways, I do not mean only by giving money, though of course that is important, but I mean all the manifold ways in which Christian people can show their sympathy with, and their interest in, the various forms in which adventurous, chivalrous, enterprising Christian benevolence expresses itself. It was an old law in Israel that ‘as his part was that went down into the battle, so should his part be that tarried by the stuff.’ When victory was won and the spoil came to be shared, the men who had stopped behind and looked after the base of operations and kept open the communications received the same portion as the man that, in the front rank of the battle, had rushed upon the spears of the Amalekites. Why? Because from the same motive they had been co-operant to the same great end. The Master has taken up that very thought, and has applied it in relation to the indirect work of His people, when He says, ‘He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.’ The motive is the same; therefore the essential character of the act is the same; therefore the recompense is identical. You can witness for Christ directly, if you can say-and you can all say if you like-’We have found the Messias,’ and you can witness for Christ by casting yourselves earnestly into sympathy with and, so far as possible, help to the work that your brethren are doing. Dear friends, I beseech you to remember that we are all of us, if we are His followers, bound in our humble measure and degree, and with a reverent apprehension of the gulf between us and Him, still to take up His words and say, ‘To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I might bear witness to the truth.’

II. There is a second thought that I would suggest from these words, and that is that secular events are ordered with a view to this witnessing.

Take the case before us. Here are two independent and hostile powers; on the one hand the bigoted Jewish Sanhedrim, hating the Roman yoke; and on the other hand the haughty and cruel pressure of that yoke on a recalcitrant and reluctant people: and these two internecine enemies are working on their own lines, each very willing to thwart the other, Mechanicians talk of the ‘composition of forces,’ by which two pressures acting at right angles to each other on a given object, impart to it a diagonal motion. The Sanhedrim on the one side, representing Judaism, and the captain of the castle on the other, representing the Roman power, work into each other’s hands, although neither of them knows it; and work out the fulfilment of a purpose that is hidden from them both.

No doubt it would be a miserably inadequate account of things to say that the Roman Empire came into existence for the sake of propagating Christianity. No doubt it is always dangerous to account for any phenomenon by the ends which, to our apprehension, it serves. But at the same time the study of the purposes which a given thing, being in existence, serves, and the study of the forces which brought it into existence, ought to be combined, and when combined, they present a double reason for adoring that great Providence which ‘makes the wrath of men to praise’ it, and uses for moral and spiritual ends the creatures that exist, the events that emerge, and even the godless doings of godless men.

So here we have a standing example of the way in which, like silk-worms that are spinning threads for a web that they have no notion of, the deeds of men that think not so are yet grasped and twined together by Jesus Christ, the Lord of providence, so as to bring about the realisation of His great purposes. And that is always so, more or less clearly.

For instance, if we wish to understand our own lives, do not let us dwell upon the superficialities of joy or sorrow, gain or loss, but let us get down to the depth, and see that all these externals have two great purposes in view-first, that we may be made like our Lord, as the Scripture itself says, ‘That we may be partakers of His holiness,’ and then that we may bear our testimony to His grace and love. Oh, if we would only look at life from that point of view, we should be brought to a stand less often at what we choose to call the mysteries of providence! Not enjoyment, not sorrow, but our perfecting in godliness and of the increase of our power and opportunities to bear witness to Him, are the intention of all that befalls us.

I need not speak about how this same principle must be applied, by every man who believes in a divine providence, to the wider events of the world’s history, I need not dwell upon that, nor will your time allow me to do it, but one word I should like to say, and that is that surely the two facts that we, as Christians, possess, as we believe, the pure faith, and that we, as Englishmen, are members of a community whose influence is world-wide, do not come together for nothing, or only that some of you might make fortunes out of the East Indian and China trade, but in order that all we English Christians might feel that, our speaking as we do the language which is destined, as it would appear, to run round the whole world, and our having, as we have, the faith which we believe brings salvation to every man of every race and tongue who accepts it, and our having this responsible necessary contact with the heathen races, lay upon us English Christians obligations the pressure and solemnity of which we have yet failed to appreciate.

Paul was immortal till his work was done. ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; thou must bear witness at Rome.’ And so, for ourselves and for the Gospel that we profess, the same divine Providence which orders events so that His servants may have the opportunities of witnessing to it, will take care that it shall not perish-notwithstanding all the premature jubilation of anti-Christian literature and thought in this day-until it has done its work. We need have no fear for ourselves, for though our blind eyes often fail to see, and our bleeding hearts often fail to accept, the conviction that there are no unfinished lives for His servants, yet we may be sure that He will watch over each of His children till they have finished the work that He gives them to do. And we may be sure, in regard to His great Gospel, that nothing can sink the ship that carries Christ and His fortunes. ‘Be of good cheer . . . thou hast borne witness . . . thou must bear witness.’

III. Lastly, we have here another principle-namely that faithful witnessing is rewarded by further witnessing.

‘Thou hast . . . in Jerusalem,’ the little city perched upon its crag; ‘Thou must . . . in Rome,’ the great capital seated on its seven hills. The reward for work is more work. Jesus Christ did not say to the Apostle, though he was ‘wearied with that which came upon him daily, the care of all the churches,’ ‘Thou hast borne witness, and now come apart and rest’; but He said to him, ‘Thou hast filled the smaller sphere; for recompense I put thee into a larger.’

That is the law for life and everywhere, the tools to the hand that can use them. The man that can do a thing gets it to do in too large a measure, as he sometimes thinks; but he gets it, and it is all right that he should. ‘To him that hath shall be given.’ And it is the law for heaven. ‘Thou hast borne witness down on the little dark earth; come up higher and witness for Me here, amid the blaze.’

It is the law for this Christian work of ours. If you have shone faithfully in your ‘little corner,’ as the child’s hymn says, you will be taken out and set upon the lamp-stand, that you ‘may give light to all that are in the house.’ And it is the law for this great enterprise of Christian missions, as we all know. We are overwhelmed with our success. Doors are opening around us on every side. There is no limit to the work that English Churches can do, except their inclination to do it. But the opportunities open to us require a far deeper consecration and a far closer dwelling beside our Master than we have ever realised. We are half asleep yet; we do not know our resources in men, in money, in activity, in prayer.

Surely there can be no sadder sign of decadence and no surer precursor of extinction than to fall beneath the demands of our day; to have doors opening at which we are too lazy or selfish to go in; to be so sound asleep that we never hear the man of Macedonia when he stands by us and cries, ‘Come over and help us!’ We are members of a Church that God has appointed to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. We are citizens of a nation whose influence is ubiquitous and felt in every land. By both characters, God summons us to tasks which will tax all our resources worthily to do. We inherit a work from our fathers which God has shown that He owns by giving us these golden opportunities. He summons us: ‘Lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes. Come out of Jerusalem; come into Rome.’ Shall we respond? God give us grace to fill the sphere in which He has set us, till He lifts us to the wider one, where the faithfulness of the steward is exchanged for the authority of the ruler, and the toil of the servant for the joy of the Lord!

23:6-11 The Pharisees were correct in the faith of the Jewish church. The Sadducees were no friends to the Scripture or Divine revelation; they denied a future state; they had neither hope of eternal happiness, nor dread of eternal misery. When called in question for his being a Christian, Paul might truly say he was called in question for the hope of the resurrection of the dead. It was justifiable in him, by this profession of his opinion on that disputed point, to draw off the Pharisees from persecuting him, and to lead them to protect him from this unlawful violence. How easily can God defend his own cause! Though the Jews seemed to be perfectly agreed in their conspiracy against religion, yet they were influenced by very different motives. There is no true friendship among the wicked, and in a moment, and with the utmost ease, God can turn their union into open enmity. Divine consolations stood Paul in the most stead; the chief captain rescued him out of the hands of cruel men, but the event he could not tell. Whoever is against us, we need not fear, if the Lord stand by us. It is the will of Christ, that his servants who are faithful, should be always cheerful. He might think he should never see Rome; but God tells him, even in that he should be gratified, since he desired to go there only for the honour of Christ, and to do good.The Lord stood by him - Evidently the Lord Jesus. See the notes on Acts 1:24. Compare Acts 22:18. The appearance of the Lord in this case was a proof that he approved the course which Paul had taken before the Sanhedrin.

Be of good cheer - It would not be remarkable if Paul, by these constant persecutions, should be dejected in mind. The issue of the whole matter was as yet doubtful. In these circumstances, it must have been especially consoling to him to hear these words of encouragement from the Lord Jesus, and this assurance that the object of his desires would be granted, and that he would be permitted to bear the same witness of him in Rome. Nothing else can comfort and sustain the soul in trials and persecutions but evidence of the approbation of God, and the promises of his gracious aid.

Bear witness also at Rome - This had been the object of his earnest wish Romans 1:10; Romans 15:23-24, and this promise of the Lord Jesus was fulfilled, Acts 28:30-31. The promise which was here made to Paul was not directly one of deliverance from the present persecution, but it implied that, and made it certain.

Ac 23:11-35. In the Fortress Paul Is Cheered by a Night Vision—An Infamous Conspiracy to Assassinate Him Is Providentially Defeated, and He Is Despatched by Night with a Letter from the Commandant to Felix at Cæsarea, by Whom Arrangements Are Made for a Hearing of His Cause.

11. the night following—his heart perhaps sinking, in the solitude of his barrack ward, and thinking perhaps that all the predictions of danger at Jerusalem were now to be fulfilled in his death there.

the Lord—that is, Jesus.

stood by him … Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou … also at Rome—that is, "Thy work in Jerusalem is done, faithfully and well done; but thou art not to die here; thy purpose next to 'see Rome' (Ac 19:21) shall not be disappointed, and there also must thou bear witness of Me." As this vision was not unneeded now, so we shall find it cheering and upholding him throughout all that befell him up to his arrival there.

The Lord stood by him; in a revelation appearing inwardly to his mind; which is the rather thought to have been so, because it is here said to have been in the night; but whether by vision or revelation, it is all one as to this purpose, and neither were unfrequent unto Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:1.

Be of good cheer: so true it is what our Saviour had promised and foretold, John 16:33, In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace.

And the night following,.... The day in which Paul was brought before the sanhedrim, and pleaded his own cause before them, and had thrown them into confusion and division:

the Lord stood by him; the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in a vision to him, and stood very near him, by the side of him, by the bed or couch on which he might lie: and said,

be of good cheer, Paul; though he was now a prisoner in the castle; and though the high priest, and the Sadducees especially, were enraged against him; and though a plot was about to be formed to take away his life; for this exhortation seems to be designed to prepare him for further trials, and to prevent discouragement under them; which shows the great care of Christ over him, his concern for him, and love to him: the word Paul is not in the Alexandrian copy, nor in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions; but the calling him by name seems to express not only singular knowledge of him, but greater familiarity and affection; it is in the Arabic version, and in other Greek copies:

for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem; not only in the Christian church, and before the Apostle James, and the elders, but in the Jewish sanhedrim, and before the high priest, Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, where and before whom, though not particularly recorded, he bore a testimony for Jesus, that he was the true Messiah; and that though he died, he was risen from the dead, and was at the right hand of God, and was the only Saviour of men:

so must thou bear witness also at Rome; as he had bore a public and faithful witness to the person, office, and grace of Christ at Jerusalem, the metropolis of Judea; so it was necessary, by the decree of God, and for the glory of Christ, that he should bear a like testimony at Rome, the chief city in the whole world; hereby signifying, that he should not die at Jerusalem, and giving him a hint that he should appeal to Caesar, which he afterwards did.

And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Acts 23:11-14. Whether the appearance of Christ encouraging Paul to further stedfastness was a vision in a dream, or a vision in a waking state, perhaps in an ecstasy, cannot be determined (in opposition to Olshausen, who holds the latter as decided, see on Acts 16:9).

εἰς Ἱερουσ. and εἰς Ῥώμ.] The preacher coming from without preaches into the city; comp. Mark 14:9. See on Mark 1:39, also on Acts 9:28, Acts 26:20. Observe also, that Jerusalem and Rome are the capitals of the world, of the East and West. But a further advance, into Spain, were it otherwise demonstrable, would not be excluded by the intimation in this passage, since it fixes no terminus ad quem (in opposition to Otto, Pastoralbr. p. 171).

Acts 23:12. συστροφήν] a combination (Acts 19:40; 1Ma 14:44; Polyb. iv. 34. 6), afterwards still more precisely described by συνωμοσίαν, a conspiracy. That the conspirators were zealots and sicarii, perhaps instigated by Ananias himself (concerning whom, however, it is not demonstrable that he was himself a Sadducee), as Kuinoel thinks, is not to be maintained. Certainly those Asiatics in Acts 21:27 were concerned in it.

οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι] the Jews, as the opposition. This general statement is afterwards more precisely limited, Acts 23:13.

ἀνεθεμ. ἑαυτούς] they cursed themselves, pronounced on themselves (in the event of transgression) the הֶדֶם, the curse of divine wrath and divine rejection, declaring that they would neither eat nor drink (γεύσασθαι, Acts 23:14, expresses both) until, etc. See on similar self-imprecations (which, in the event of the matter being frustrated without the person’s own fault, could be removed by the Rabbins, Lightfoot in loc.), Selden, de Synedr. p. 108 f.

ἔως] with the subjunctive, because the matter is contemplated directly, and without ἄν; Fritzsche, ad Matth. p. 499; Winer, p. 279 [E. T. 371].

Acts 23:14. τοῖς ἀρχ. κ. τ. πρεσβ.] That they applied to the Sadducean Sanhedrists, is evident of itself from what goes before.

ἀναθέμ. ἀναθεματίσ.] Winer, p. 434 [E. T. 584].

Acts 23:11. τῇ ἐπι. νυκτί., see Knabenbauer’s note, p. 385, on Hilgenfeld’s strictures; and below on the need and fitness of the appearance of the Lord on this night.—ἐπιστὰς, cf. Acts 12:7, and Acts 18:9.—ὁ κ., evidently Jesus, as the context implies.—θάρσει: only in the imperative in N.T. (seven times); the word on the lips of Christ had brought cheer to the sick and diseased, Matthew 9:2; Matthew 9:22, Mark 10:49; to the disciples sailing on the sea, Matthew 14:27, Mark 6:50; to the same disciples in an hour of deeper need, John 16:33, cf. its use in LXX as a message of encouragement (elsewhere we have the verb θαρρεῖν, so in Paul and Heb., but cf. Apoc. of Peter, v., Blass, Gram., p. 24). The Apostle might well stand in need of an assurance after the events of the day that his labours would not be cut short before his great desire was fulfilled. The words of the Lord as given to us by St. Luke intimate that the Evangelist regarded Paul’s visit to Rome as apex Evangelii, so far as his present work was concerned.—διεμαρτύρω: the word seems to imply the thoroughness of the Apostle’s testimony, and to show that his method of bearing it was approved by his Lord, see on Acts 2:40.

11–25. Paul is cheered by a Vision. The Jews conspire to kill him

11. And the night following] The Apostle was now, though not rightly a prisoner, yet kept, that he might be out of harm’s way, under the charge of the Roman soldiers. The hearing of his case having been interrupted, another time was to be appointed when the examination should be completed.

the Lord stood by him] Appearing in a vision as before at Corinth, cp. Acts 18:9.

Be of good cheer] The Apostle could hardly be otherwise than downcast with the events of the previous day. He had entered the Temple and undertaken the Nazarite vow with a view of conciliating the Jews and he had only been saved from being torn in pieces of them through the interference of the Roman commander.

so must thou bear witness also at Rome] He had already written to the Roman church of his “longing to see them,” and that “oftentimes he had purposed to come unto them (Romans 1:11-13),” and St Luke (Acts 19:21) records the intention in the history of St Paul’s stay at Ephesus. The way to compass such a visit had not yet been found, but now it is pointed out by the Lord Himself.

Acts 23:11. Τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ νυκτὶ, but on the following night) When dangers have come to their height, then especially does the Lord disclose Himself with His consolation. The Divine promises were given, as to the people in the Old Testament, so to the saints individually, at that time especially when all things might seem to them desperate: comp. Acts 23:16, ch. Acts 27:23; 2 Timothy 4:17.—ὁ Κύριος) the Lord, Jesus. What Paul in the spirit had proposed to himself, ch. Acts 19:21, the Lord establishes (confirm), now when it was the mature (ripe) time. A third declaration is added by the angel of GOD: ch. Acts 27:23-24. Accordingly from this chapter 23, the main subject of this book is the apostolical testimony accomplished by Paul at Rome: 2 Timothy 4:17. But if the defenders of Peter’s supremacy had found either the whole or only the half of this ascribed to Peter, how they would urge it!—διεμαρτύρω, thou hast testified) especially during the immediately preceding days.—Ἱερουσαλὴμ, Ῥώμην, in Jerusalem, at Rome) The two metropolitan cities of the world.—δεῖ, thou must) Danger in the eyes of God is a mere nothing. The very hindrances prove advantages.—καὶ, also) To him who hath it shall be given.—εἰς Ῥώμην, at Rome) The promise, reaching to a distance, embraced all the nearer and intermediate times. Paul shall bear witness at Rome: therefore he shall come to Rome: therefore he shall escape the plots of the Jews, and the dangers of the sea, and injury from the viper.

Verse 11. - The R.T. omits Paul, in the T.R. and A.V.; concerning for of, A.V.; at for in, A.V. The Lord stood by him. The jaded, harassed, and overwrought spirit needed some unusual support. The Lord whom Paul loved, and for whom he was suffering so much, knew it, and in his tender care for his servant stood by him and spake a word of gracious encouragement to him. Paul felt that he was not forgotten or forsaken. There was more work for him to do, in spite of all the hatred of his countrymen. The capital of heathendom must hear his testimony as well the metropolis of the circumcision. Acts 23:11
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