Acts 23:26
Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix sends greeting.
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(26) Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix.—The letter may have been sent unsealed, or a copy of it may have been given to St. Paul or St. Luke after his arrival. What we have obviously purports to be a verbal reproduction of it. We note (1) that the epithet “most excellent” is that which St. Luke uses of Theophilus, to whom he dedicates both the Gospel and the Acts (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1), and (2) that the formal salutation, “greeting,” is the same as that used in the letter of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:23) and in the Epistle of St. James (James 1:1).

23:25-35 God has instruments for every work. The natural abilities and moral virtues of the heathens often have been employed to protect his persecuted servants. Even the men of the world can discern between the conscientious conduct of upright believers, and the zeal of false professors, though they disregard or understand not their doctrinal principles. All hearts are in God's hand, and those are blessed who put their trust in him, and commit their ways unto him.Unto the most excellent governor Felix - The most honored, etc. This was a mere title of office.

Greeting - A term of salutation in an epistle wishing health, joy, and prosperity.

26-30. Claudius—the Roman name he would take on purchasing his citizenship.

Lysias—his Greek family name.

the most excellent governor—an honorary title of office.

Most excellent; a title given to persons of great eminency, as, Luke 1:3, it is given to Theophilus, unto whom also this book of the Acts is inscribed, Acts 1:1.

This Felix was brother to one Pallas, who together with Narcissus (the other of the emperor Claudius’s favourites) managed all public affairs, and are by the historians branded for all the mischiefs of that calamitous time. This Felix and his brother Pallas were born slaves, and manumitted by Claudius, and were such as are exalted; as often Providence will show the power it hath in pulling down and setting up whom it pleaseth. Claudius Lysias, unto the most excellent Governor Felix,.... This is the inscription of the letter, and by it we learn the name of the chief captain, so often spoken of in this and the two preceding chapters, which was Claudius Lysias; the first of these names is a Roman one, and which he might take from the Emperor Claudius, for he was not a Roman born; and the latter seems to be a Greek name, and was his proper name, and, he himself very likely was a Greek, since he purchased his freedom with money; one of this name was Archon of Athens (p); and another is reckoned by Cicero (q), among the famous orators of Greece, and is often cited by Harpocratian (r); one of Antiochus's noblemen, and who was of the blood royal, and acted as a general against the Jews, was of this name (s).

"So he left Lysias, a nobleman, and one of the blood royal, to oversee the affairs of the king from the river Euphrates unto the borders of Egypt:'' (1 Maccabees 3:32)

The chief captain calls Felix the governor

the most excellent, which was a title of honour that belonged to him as a governor; the same is given to Theophilus, Luke 1:3 sendeth greeting; or wishes all health and prosperity.

(p) Fabrieii Bibliograph. Antiqu. p. 213. (q) De Claris Orator. vel Brutus, c. 32. (r) Lex Decem Orator. (s) 1 Maccab. iii. 32.

{13} Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.

(13) Lysias is suddenly made by the Lord to be Paul's protector.

Acts 23:26. κρατίστῳ, see note on Acts 1:1.—χαίρειν (λεγει or κελεύει), cf. Acts 15:23.26–30. Letter of Claudius Lysias to Felix

26. the most excellent governor] The title “most excellent” is that which is given by St Luke at the beginning of his Gospel to the Theophilus for whom he wrote it. Hence it is probable that Theophilus held some official position, it may be under the Romans in Macedonia, where St Luke remained for some time and where he may probably have written his gospel.

sendeth greeting] The Rev. Ver. omits the first word. The original has only the infinitive “to rejoice” which is of course governed by some word indicating a wish, i.e. = “biddeth to rejoice,” “wisheth joy.”Verse 26. - Greeting for sendeth greeting, A.V. Governor; ἡγεμών, as ver. 24; propraetor of an imperial province, as distinguished from the ἀνθύπατος, or proconsul, who governed the provinces which were in the patronage of the senate. Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:7, 8) was a proconsul, and so was Gallio (Acts 18:10); Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:2) and Felix were procurators, ἡγεμόνες, only in a looser sense, as the more exact name of their office was ἐπίτροπος procurator. Only, as they were appointed by the emperor, and often exercised the full functions of a legatus Caesaris, they were called ἡγεμόνες as well as proprietors. Felix, called by Tacitus, Antonius Felix ('Hist.,' 5:9), was the brother of Pallas, the freedman and favorite of Claudius. He as well as his brother Felix had originally been the slave of Antonia the mother of the Emperor Claudius; and hence the name Antonins Felix, or, as he was sometimes otherwise celled, Claudius Felix. Tacitus, after mentioning that Claudius appointed as governors of Judaea sometimes knights and sometimes freedmen, adds that among the last Autenius Felix ruled this province with boundless cruelty and in the most arbitrary manner, showing by his abuse of power his servile origin. He adds that he married Drusilla, the granddaughter of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, so that he was Mark Antony's grandson-in-law, while Claudius was Antony's grandson. But see Acts 24:24, note. In the 'Annals' (12. 5) Tacitus further speaks of the incompetence of Felix to govern, stirring up rebellions by the means he took to repress them, and of the utter lawlessness and confusion to which the province was reduced by the maladministration of Felix and his colleague, Ventidius Cumanus ("cut pars provinciae habebatur"). He adds that civil war would have broken out if Quadratus, the Governor of Syria, had not interposed, and secured the punishment of Cumanus, while Felix, his equal in guilt, was continued in his government. This was owing, no doubt, to the influence of Pallas. The same influence secured the continued government to Felix upon Nero's accession, Pallas being all-powerful with Agrippina. Such was "the most excellent governor Felix." For further accounts of him, see Josephus ('Bell. Jud.,' 2. 12:8; 13.), who ignores his share in the government as the partner of Cumauus, and dates his appointment subsequently to the con-detonation of Cumanus at Rome, and is also there silent as to his misdeeds. (For further accounts of Felix, see 'Ant. Jud.,' 20. 7:1, 2; 8:5-7, which relate his adulterous marriage with Drusilla, and some of his murders and cruelties.) To the most excellent (τῷ κρατίστῳ)

"His excellency:" an official title. Compare Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25.

Greeting (χαίρειν)

See on Acts 15:23.

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