Acts 23:34
And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
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(34) He asked of what province he was.—The question was a natural one for a procurator of Judæa to ask as to any prisoner brought before him. (Comp. Pilate’s question in Luke 23:6.) It does not appear why Felix was ready to take cognisance of a matter which apparently, to judge by the precedent set by Pilate, belonged to the jurisdiction of another. Perhaps he had no motive for conciliating the favour of the governor of Cilicia, or thought that the nature of the accusation over-ruled the nationality of the accused.

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.Of what province he was - Greek: of what heparchy ἐπαρχίας eparchias he was. He knew from the letter of Lysias that he was a Roman, but he was not informed of what place or province he was. This he doubtless did in order to ascertain whether he properly belonged to his jurisdiction. Roman provinces were districts of country which were entrusted to the jurisdiction of procurators. How far the jurisdiction of Felix extended is not certainly known. It appears, however, that it included Cilicia.

Was of Cilicia - Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul, was in this province, Acts 21:39.

34, 35. asked of what province he was—the letter describing him as a Roman citizen. He asked of what province he was; Palestine and the countries thereabouts being divided into several heptarchies or jurisdictions, the governors were very loth to infringe the limits of one another.

Of Cilicia; a country in Asia Minor, in which was Tarsus where Paul was born, and from his birth place he is reckoned to belong to that province.

And when the governor, had read the letter,.... Which he doubtless opened and read as soon as he had received it, not knowing what important business might be contained in it, or of what dangerous consequence a neglect of reading it might be; this showed care and diligence in him:

he asked of what province he was; since he perceived by the letter he was a Roman, and that he might know whether he was under his jurisdiction, and whether the hearing of his case belonged to him; and it should seem that it rather belonged to the governor of Syria; but that the crimes he was charged with were committed in Judea, particularly that of profaning the temple.

And when he understood that he was of Cilicia; which was a Roman province, in which Tarsus was, where Paul was born free; Acts 21:39.

And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
Acts 23:34. ἀναγνοὺς, see reading in [376] text. ποίας: of what kind of province, imperial or senatorial, as the governor desired to complete the report, cf. Acts 23:27. Blass takes it as simply = τίνος, as in Acts 4:7.—It appears that during the first century, although perhaps with variations from time to time, Cilicia formed part of the great Roman province Syria-Cilicia-Phœnice, cf. “Cilicia” (Ramsay), Hastings’ B.D. A procurator of Judæa like Felix was only subordinate to the governor of Syria inasmuch as the latter could bring his supreme power to bear in cases of necessity. The military command and the independent jurisdiction of the procurator gave him practically sole power in all ordinary transactions, but the governor could take the superior command if he had reason to fear revolutionary or other serious difficulties. Schürer, Jewish People, div. i., vol. ii., p. 44 ff., E.T.—ἐπαρχίας: the word is used to describe either a larger province, or an appendage to a larger province, as Judæa was to that of Syria, see Schürer, u. s., and Grimm-Thayer, sub v.

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

34. And when the governor had read the letter] The oldest MSS. have nothing either for “the governor” or “the letter.” Read (with Rev. Ver.) “And when he had read it.”

of what province he was] Cilicia had been at one time, and perhaps still was, attached to the province of Syria. It was so in the time of Quirinus. This will explain why at once Felix without question decided that, at the proper time, he would hear the cause.

Acts 23:34. Ἐκ ποίας, from what province) Paul was a Roman citizen: on this account Felix asks him as to the province which he came from.

Verse 34. - He for the governor, A.V. and T.R.; it for the fetter, A.V. Province; ἐπαρχία, only here and in Acts 25:1. A general word for a government, most properly applied to an imperial province. Acts 23:34Of what province (ἐκ ποίας ἐπαρχίας)

Rather, "from what kind of a province;" whether senatorial or imperial. See Introduction to Luke. Cilicia was an imperial province.

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