Acts 23:27
This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
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(27) Then came I with an army.—Better, with my troops. The chief captain ingeniously colours his statement so as to claim credit for having rescued a Roman citizen, though, as a matter of fact, he did not discover that he was a citizen until he was on the point of scourging him without a trial. That fact, of course, is passed over without a word.

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.Should have been killed of them - Was about to be killed by them. The life of Paul had been twice endangered in this manner, Acts 21:30; Acts 23:10.

With an army - With a band of soldiers, Acts 23:10.

27. came I with an army—rather, "with the military." He represents Paul’s case fairly and indifferently, God overruling his heart and pen; but withal, he conceals his binding of him, and instead thereof magnifies his care of him, being a Roman; and probably being touched with a sense of his fault, he represents Paul’s case the better.

This man was taken by the Jews,.... Meaning Paul, who was presented by the centurions to the governor, and was in his presence when the letter was opened and read, and who was taken by the Jews in the temple, and from thence dragged out and beaten by them:

and should have been killed of them; and would have been killed, had it not been for the chief captain; he was very near being killed by them, he was nigh unto death:

then came I with an army and rescued him; he came with the Roman band, which he had the command of, perhaps a thousand soldiers; for such a number he should have under him by his title; with these he came upon the Jews on a sudden, as they were beating Paul, and took him out of their hands, and saved him:

having understood that he was a Roman; but this he did not know till afterwards, after he had bound him with two chains, and after he had ordered him to be bound with thongs, and examined by scourging; all which he covers and hides from the governor, and suggests that it was his great concern for the Roman name, and for a Roman citizen, which put him upon this enterprise.

This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
Acts 23:27-30. See Acts 21:30-34, Acts 22:26-27; Acts 22:30, Acts 23:1 ff., Acts 23:19 ff.

συλληφθ.] without the article: after he had been seized. Observe, that Lysias uses not τὸν ἄνθρωπον, but with a certain respect, and that not only for the Roman citizen, but also for the person of his prisoner, τ. ἄνδρα.

ἐξειλόμην αὐτὸν, μαθὼν ὅτι Ῥωμ. ἐστι] contains a cunning falsification of the state of the facts, Acts 21:31-34 and Acts 22:25 ff.; for Acts 23:28 comp. with Acts 22:30 proves that the tribune did not mean the second rescue of the apostle, Acts 23:10. Therefore the remark of Grotius is entirely mistaken, that μαθών denotes “nullum certum tempus” but merely καὶ ἔμαθον generally;[152] and so is Beza’s proposal to put a stop after ΑὐΤΌΝ, and then to read: ΜΑΘῺΝ ΔῈ ὍΤΙ Κ.Τ.Λ.

] Compare on this resumption after a long intervening sentence, Plat. Rep. p. 398 A; and see, moreover, Matthiae, § 472; Winer, p. 139 f. [E. T. 184].

Acts 23:30. μηνυθείσηςἔσεσθαι] The hurried letter-writer has mixed up two constructions: (1) ΜΗΝΥΘΕΊΣΗς ΔΈ ΜΟΙ ἘΠΙΒΟΥΛῆς Τῆς ΜΕΛΛΟΎΣΗς ἜΣΕΣΘΑΙ, and (2) ΜΗΝΥΘΈΝΤΟς (comp. Polyaen. ii. 14. 1) ΔΈ ΜΟΙ ἘΠΙΒΟΥΛῊΝ ΜΈΛΛΕΙΝ ἜΣΕΣΘΑΙ. See Grotius in loc.; Fritzsche, Conjectur. I. p. 39 f.; Winer, p. 528 [E. T. 710]. Similar blendings are also found in the classics; Bornemann, ad Xen. Anab. iv. 4. 18. As to the import of μηνύειν, see on Luke 20:37.

[152] Nor does it mean, as Otto suggests: “on which occasion (in consequence of which) I learned.” The Vulgate, Erasmus, and Calvin correctly render: cognito, comp. Php 2:19. Beza also correctly renders by edoctus, with the remark: “Dissimulat ergo tribunis id, de quo reprehendi jure potuisset.” Castalio anticipated the misinterpretation of Grotius and Otto: “eripui ac Romanum esse didici.” And so also Luther. The μαθὼν ὅτι κ.τ.λ. is nothing else than ἐπιγνοὺς ἵτι Ῥωμαῖός ἐστι, Acts 22:29. Comp. Acts 16:38.

Acts 23:27. ἄνδρα, not ἄνθρωπον: Bengel and Wendt take the word to indicate a certain degree of respect.—συλλ.: used in various senses, but in all four Gospels of the capture of Jesus, and in Luke, where the word is frequent, often of the capture of prisoners, Acts 1:16; Acts 12:3; Acts 26:21, Luke 22:54 (Plummer) so in LXX.—μέλλοντα ἀναι.: “was about to be killed,” R.V.—ἐπιστὰς: the word seems to intimate that he was ready at the right moment to rescue the prisoner.—τῷ στρατ.: “with the soldiers,” R.V., those under his command.—ἐξειλόμην, Acts 7:10.—μαθὼν ὅτι Ῥ.: “qua ratione id compererit, tacere satius erat,” Blass. The chiliarch wishes to put the best interpretation on his own conduct after his hastiness in Acts 21:33, Acts 22:24, see reading in [375] text. Overbeck and Wendt (and even Zöckler) defend the chiliarch from a crafty misrepresentation, and compare the condensed explanation of the letter and the facts given in the narrative to the different accounts of Saul’s conversion, but the chiliarch had a motive for dissembling his real part in the transaction, viz., fear of punishment.

[375] R(omana), in Blass, a first rough copy of St. Luke.

27. This man was taken of the Jews] The verb implies a seizure or arrest. It is used (Matthew 26:55; Mark 14:48) of the party of men who came to seize our Lord, and (Acts 12:3) of Herod Agrippa’s arrest of St Peter.

It is to be noted that the chief captain employs the word for man, which in the original implies respect, no doubt because he was presently about to mention that he was a Roman citizen. The same distinction exists in Latin as in Greek, so that the original may have been in either language. There can be little doubt that Roman officers at this time were familiar enough with Greek to write in it, if need were.

and should have been killed of them] The Rev. Ver. modifies the obsolescent English, and reads “was about to be slain of them.” The chief captain does not give a very exact report of what had happened. He says nothing about the strife between the two religious parties; perhaps he did not understand its nature and cause.

then came I with an army, and rescued him] Rev. Ver.when I came upon them with the soldiers, and, &c.” This must refer rather to the first rescue from the mob in the Temple-precincts (Acts 21:32). There is no word said of what happened afterwards, the binding with two chains, and the intention of scourging the prisoner.

having understood [R. V. learned] that he was a Roman] The chief captain put this in such wise as to claim credit for interference on behalf of a Roman citizen, and in so doing omits to state that it was only when Paul was about to be scourged and protested against it, that he was discovered to be a citizen of Rome by birth.

Acts 23:27. Τὸν ἄνδρα, the person, the man) So he calls him by way of honour, and again in Acts 23:30.—ἐξειλόμην, I rescued) Lysias is silent as to the scourging: ch. Acts 22:24. Festus employs the same artifice: ch. Acts 25:20; Acts 25:25.—μαθὼν, having learnt or understood) He did not learn it previously (to his coming with his army and laying hold on Paul), but subsequently.

Verse 27. - Seized by for taken of, A.V.; was about to be slain for should have been killed, A.V.; when I came for then came I, A.V.; upon them with the soldiers for with an army, A.V.; learned for understood, A.V. The soldiers (τὸστράτευμα, as ver. 10). The army of the A.V. is out of place. Having learned, etc. Lysias departs here from strict truth, wishing, no doubt, to set off his zeal in defense of a Roman citizen, and also to anticipate any unfavorable report that Paul might give as to his threatened scourging.) Acts 23:27Rescued

Bengel says, "a lie." Lysias wishes to make the impression that Paul's citizenship was the cause of his rescuing him; whereas he did not know of this until afterward. He says nothing about the proposed scourging.

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