Acts 23:35
I will hear you, said he, when your accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(35) I will hear thee.—The Greek verb expresses the idea of a thorough hearing.

He commanded him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall.—The Greek word is prætorium, a word somewhat elastic in its application, and ranging from a palace to a barrack. “Judgment hall” hardly gives the meaning here. The building had probably been intended by Herod for use as a royal residence, and was now used by the Roman procurator for himself and his troops. The Apostle had there a second experience of the life of a prætorium. At Rome he does not appear to have been in the prætorium, though the circumstances of his imprisonment brought him into contact with the soldiers who were quartered there. (Comp. Notes on Matthew 27:27; Philippians 1:13.)

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.In Herod's judgment hall - Greek: in the praetorium of Herod. The word used here denoted formerly "the tent of the Roman praetor"; and since that was the place where justice was administered, it came to be applied to "halls (courts) of justice." This had been raised probably by Herod the Great as his palace, or as a place for administering justice. It is probable, also, that prisons, or places of security, would be attached to such places. 35. I will hear thee—The word means, "give thee a full hearing."

to be kept in Herod's judgment hall—"prætorium," the palace built at Cæsarea by Herod, and now occupied by the Roman procurators; in one of the buildings attached to which Paul was ordered to be kept.

I will hear thee thoroughly, the whole matter, as the preposition dia, here used, does import; and as it is commanded unto all judges, Deu 1:16.

When thine accusers are also come; for this the dictate of nature did teach the very heathen, that both parties ought to be heard before anything were determined: Qui aliquid statuerit parte inaudita altera: That whosoever pronounced any sentence before both sides were fully heard, were the sentence never so just, yet the judge was unjust.

Herod’s judgment-hall; a palace where the governors were lodged, built by Herod the Great, when, in honour, or flattery, of Augustus, after he had fortified the city, he caused it to be called Cesarea. I will hear thee, said he,.... The Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, "we will hear", which is a grand courtly way of speaking:

when thine accusers are come; which Lysias, in his letter, informed him that he had ordered them to come; which shows the governor to have some sense of justice and integrity, being desirous to hear both sides before he judged of the affair, though there was so much said in the chief captain's letter in favour of Paul's innocence, and against his enemies.

And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall; or palace: this was a place built by Herod the great at Caesarea, of whose magnificent buildings here Josephus gives a large account. For besides the famous haven or port which he made here, he adorned the place with splendid palaces, he built a theatre, and an amphitheatre, and a "forum" (h), which was either a market place, or a court of judicature; and if the latter, perhaps the same that is here meant, in a part of which, or in a place adjoining to it, the apostle was put. Here he was kept by a guard of soldiers, but not in close confinement; he had much liberty, and his friends and acquaintance had leave to come to him; see Acts 24:23. We read (i) of , which some interpret "the chamber of the judges of Caesarea"; or the place where they sat in judgment, and may be the same that is here meant; though others interpret it a prison; and so it seems was this judgment hall of Herod's.

(h) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 21. sect. 5, 8. (i) Megillat Esther, fol. 85. 1.

I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 23:35. Διακούσομαι] denotes the full and exact hearing (Xen. Oec. 11. 1, Cyrop. iv. 4. 1; Polyb. iii. 15. 4; Dorvill. ad Char. p. 670), in contrast to what was now held as merely preliminary.

τὸ πραιτώριον τοῦ Ἡρ.] was the name given to the palace which Herod the Great had formerly built for himself, and which now served as the residence of the procurators. From our passage it follows that the place, in which Paul was temporarily kept in custody, was no common prison (Acts 5:18), but was within the praetorium. The determination of the manner of the custodia reorum depended on the procurator (L. 1, D. xlviii. 3), and the favourable elogium might have its influence in this respect.Acts 23:35. διακούσομαί σου: “I will hear thy cause,” R.V., the word implies a judicial hearing (cf. LXX, Deuteronomy 1:16 (Job 9:33)), and so in classical Greek of hearing thoroughly. The word is used of a judicial hearing, Dio Cassius, xxxvi., 53 (36), and Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien, p. 57, gives examples of similar usages on Egyptian papyri, 2nd to 3rd century A.D.—πραιτωρίῳ: “palace,” R.V., Herod’s palace at Cæsarea, where the procurator resided; it was not only a palace but also a fortress, and would contain a guard-room in which Paul would be confined. The word “palace” might well express its meaning in all the passages in which it occurs in the Gospels and Acts (but on Php 1:13 see Lightfoot, in loco). The Romans thus appropriated palaces already existing, and formerly dwelt in by kings or princes, cf. Cicero, Verr., ii., 5, 12, 30, Grimm-Thayer, sub v., and Lightfoot, On a Fresh Revision of N.T., p. 49. It seems from the context that the place could not have been far from the quarters occupied by Felix, since Paul could be easily sent for.—φυλάσσεσθαι: the kind of custodia depended on the procurator, and no doubt the elogium had its effect; custodia satis levis (Blass).35. I will hear thee] The verb implies a complete and thorough hearing of a case. “I will give thee a full hearing.” The Rev. Ver. renders “I will hear thy cause.”

when thine accusers are also come] Assuming that they would appear, since they had been bidden to do so by the chief captain, as he had explained in his letter. Of course Lysias had not said a word of this to the Jews when his letter was written, but intended to do so when Paul was safely on the road to Cæsarea.

to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall] The word rendered “judgment hall” is “prætorium,” and may signify either the palace of a prince, the tent of a general, or the barracks of the soldiery. Here it is probably the name of the palace which Herod had erected for himself, and which now was used as the governor’s residence. It seems (from Acts 24:24-26) that it was close to the quarters of Felix himself, and that Paul could speedily be sent for. Render “Herod’s palace” (with Rev. Ver.). The verb employed in the sentence only implies that Paul was to be taken care of; he was not kept in close imprisonment. “A Roman and uncondemned” would not be subject to needless indignities, when his accusers were Jews who could make no such claim for consideration. Cf. Acts 24:23.Acts 23:35. Διακούσομαι, I will hear) It would have been better to have heard the case as soon as possible.—φυλάσσεσθαι, to be kept) So a time was afforded to Paul in which he could pray and meditate in quiet.Verse 35. - Thy cause for thee, A.V.; also are for are also, A.V.; palace for judgment hall, A.V. I will hear thy cause; διακούσομαί σου, found only here in the New Testament; but used in the same sense as here for "hearing a cause," in Deuteronomy 1:16, Διακούσατε... καὶ κρίνετε, "Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously," A.V. See also Job 9:33, Διακούων ἀναμέσον ἀμφοτέρων, "That might lay his hand upon us both," A.V., i.e. judge between us. Palace (ἐν τῷ πραιτωρίῳ). The praetorium - for it is a Latin word - was originally the proctor's tent in a Roman camp. Thence it came to signify the abode of the chief magistrate in a province, or a king's palace. Herod's palace seems to have been a palace originally built by King Herod, and now used, either as the residence of the procurator or, as the mode of speaking rather indicates, for some public office. (For the use of the word πραιτώριον, see Matthew 27:27; John 18:28, 33; John 19:9; Philippians 1:13.)



I will hear thee (διακούσομαι)

Better, as Rev., will hear thy cause; the word meaning "to hear fully (διά) in a judicial sense." The present questioning was merely preliminary.

Herod's palace

Built by Herod the Great. Judaea being now a Roman province, the palace of its former kings had become the governor's official residence. It thus appears that Paul was leniently dealt with, and not cast into the common prison.

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