But do not you yield to them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Do not thou yield unto them; this the young man desires out of his care for his uncle’s (Paul’s) preservation, as also touched with the horror of the fact if it should have been executed; and howsoever, by this means he delivers his own soul, having done his utmost to hinder it.
Now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee; the match is laid, the hand is as it were lifted up, nothing is wanting to Paul’s destruction but the chief captain’s consent, which the Jews assuredly expected, it being but a small courtesy to grant them, to examine a prisoner, especially such a one as upon their complaint was committed in a case cognizable by them: but, Deus e machina, Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us, Isaiah 8:10.
for there lie in wait for him more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; See Gill on Acts 23:12. See Gill on Acts 23:13.
and now are they ready; to execute their designs, being met together, and lying in ambush in some place, between the castle and the place where the sanhedrim met:
looking for a promise from thee; that when the sanhedrim should apply to him, he would promise them to bring Paul down according to their request; and for the making and performing of this promise, these men were waiting.But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 23:21-22. And now (καὶ νῦν, see Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 135) they are in readiness to put into execution the ἀνελεῖν αὐτόν (comp. Acts 23:15), expecting that on thy part the promise (to have Paul brought on the morrow to the Sanhedrim) will take place.
ἐπαγγ. is neither jussum (Münthe, Rosenmüller) nor nuntius (Beza, Camerarius, Grotius, Alberti, Wolf; Henry Stephanus even conjectured ἀπαγγ.), but, according to its constant meaning in the N.T., promissio.
ἐκλαλ.] he commanded to tell it, to divulge it, to no one. Comp. Dem. 354. 23; Jdt 7:9; not elsewhere in N.T.
ἐνεφ. πρός με] Oratio variata. See on Acts 1:4.Acts 23:21. ἐνεδρ.: only in Luke in N.T., Luke 11:54, with the accusative also in classical Greek, and several times in LXX, 1Ma 5:4, Jos., Ant., v., 2, 12.—καὶ νῦν, see on Acts 20:22.—προσδεχ.: only once elsewhere in Acts, Acts 24:15, probably in same sense as here, so R.V. text. In the Gospels, the word is found once in Mark 15:43 (= Luke 23:51), and five times in Luke, four times translated in R.V. as here; Luke 2:25; Luke 2:38; Luke 12:36; Luke 23:51, cf. also Titus 2:13, Judges 1:21, and Wis 18:7, 2Ma 8:11. In classical Greek two meanings as in N.T.: (1) to accept, receive favourably, (2) to wish for or expect a thing.—ἐπαγγελίαν: only here in N.T. of a human promise, see above on Acts 1:4, cf. 1Es 1:7, Esther 4:7, 1Ma 10:15.21. But do not thou yield unto them] More literally, “Do not thou therefore yield, &c.” (with Rev. Ver.).
which have bound themselves with an oath] The Greek is the same as in Acts 23:12. It is better therefore to render as there “bound themselves under a curse.” Beside which, the invocation implied in the original is much stronger than is indicated by our English “oath.” And to vary the English rendering gives an idea of variation in the Greek, which in one continuous narrative should be avoided.
looking for a promise] Rev. Ver. “the promise” i.e. the one which they are coming to ask you to make.Acts 23:21. Μὴ πεισθῇς) do not comply with their request.—ἕτοιμοι, ready) to kill him.Verse 21. - Do not thou therefore for but do not thou, A.V.; under a curse for with an oath, A.V.; neither to eat nor to drink for that they will neither eat nor drink, A.V.; slain for killed, A.V.; the for a (promise), A.V. Do not... yield (μὴ πεισθῇς); be not persuaded by them; do not assent unto them (see Luke 16:6; Acts 5:40; Acts 17:4, etc.). The promise, etc.; τὴν ἀπὸ σοῦ ἐπαγγελίαν. The word occurs above fifty times in the New Testament, and is always rendered "promise" in the A.V., except in 1 John 1:5, where it is rendered both in the A.V. and the R.V. "message," which is the literal meaning of the word. In Polybius it means "a summons." Either of these meanings suits this passage better than "promise."
"If we should wonder how, so early in the morning, after the long discussion in the Sanhedrim, which must have occupied a considerable part of the day, more than forty men should have been found banded together, under an anathema, neither to eat nor to drink till they had killed Paul; and, still more, how such a conspiracy, or, rather, conjuration, which, in the nature of it, would be kept a profound secret, should have become known to Paul's sister's son - the circumstances of the case furnish a sufficient explanation. The Pharisees were avowedly a fraternity or guild; and they, or some of their kindred fraternities, would furnish the ready material for such a band, to whom this additional vow would be nothing new or strange, and, murderous though it sounded, only seem a further carrying out of the principles of their order. Again, since the wife and all the children of a member were ipso facto members of the guild, and Paul's father had been a Pharisee (Acts 23:6), Paul's sister also would, by virtue of her birth, belong to the fraternity, even irrespective of the probability that, in accordance with the principles of the party, she would have married into a Pharisaical family" (Edersheim, "Jewish Social Life").
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