Acts 24:1
And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
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(1) After five days.—The interval may have just allowed time for messengers to go from Cæsarea to Jerusalem, and for the priests to make their arrangements and engage their advocate. Possibly, however, the five days may start from St. Paul’s departure from Jerusalem and this agrees, on the whole, better with the reckoning of the twelve days from the Apostle’s arrival there, in Acts 24:11.

Descended.—Better, came down, in accordance with the usage of modern English.

A certain orator named Tertullus.—Men of this class were to be found in most of the provincial towns of the Roman empire, ready to hold a brief for plaintiff or defendant, and bringing to bear the power of their glib eloquence, as well as their knowledge of Roman laws, on the mind of the judge. There is not the slightest ground for supposing, as some have done, that the proceedings were conducted in Latin, and that while the chief priests were obliged to employ an advocate to speak in that language, St. Paul, who had never learnt it, was able to speak at once by a special inspiration. Proceedings before a procurator of Judæa and the provincials under him were almost of necessity, as in the case of our Lord and Pilate, in Greek. Had St. Paul spoken in Latin, St. Luke, who records when he spoke in Hebrew (Acts 21:40), and when in Greek (Acts 21:37), was not likely to have passed the fact over; nor is there any evidence, even on that improbable assumption, that St. Paul himself, who was, we know, a Roman citizen, had no previous knowledge of the language. The strained hypothesis breaks down at every point. The name of the orator may be noted as standing half-way between Tertius and Tertullianus.

Who informed the governor against Paul.—The word is a technical one, and implies something of the nature of a formal indictment.

Acts 24:1. After five days, Ananias — Who would spare no trouble on the occasion; descended — To Cesarea, seventy miles from Jerusalem; with several of the elders — Members of the sanhedrim. It seems the commander of the horsemen, who brought Paul to Cesarea, was ordered, on his return, to inform the high-priest and elders at Jerusalem of the day which the governor should fix for hearing their accusation, and for trying the prisoner. With a certain orator named Tertullus — Whose business it was to open the cause, and to harangue the governor in the most agreeable manner that he could; who — That is, all who, as the word οιτινες implies, not referring to Tertullus only, but to the high-priest and elders also; informed the governor against Paul — Advanced a general accusation against him, on which they desired to be more particularly heard.

24:1-9 See here the unhappiness of great men, and a great unhappiness it is, to have their services praised beyond measure, and never to be faithfully told of their faults; hereby they are hardened and encouraged in evil, like Felix. God's prophets were charged with being troublers of the land, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that he perverted the nation; the very same charges were brought against Paul. The selfish and evil passions of men urge them forward, and the graces and power of speech, too often have been used to mislead and prejudice men against the truth. How different will the characters of Paul and Felix appear at the day of judgement, from what they are represented in the speech of Tertullus! Let not Christians value the applause, or be troubled at the revilings of ungodly men, who represent the vilest of the human race almost as gods, and the excellent of the earth as pestilences and movers of sedition.And after five days - This time was occupied, doubtless, in their receiving the command to go to Caesarea, and in making the necessary arrangements. This was the twelfth day after Paul's arrival at Jerusalem. See Acts 24:11.

Ananias, the high priest - See the notes on Acts 23:2.

Descended - Came down from Jerusalem. This was the usual language when a departure from Jerusalem was spoken of. See the notes on Acts 15:1.

With a certain orator named Tertullus - Appointed to accuse Paul. This is a Roman name, and this man was doubtless a Roman. As the Jews were, to a great extent, ignorant of the Roman laws, and of their mode of administering justice, it is not improbable that they were in the habit of employing Roman lawyers to plead their causes.

Who informed the governor against Paul - Who acted as the accuser, or who managed their cause before the governor.


Ac 24:1-27. Paul, Accused by a Professional Pleader before Felix, Makes His Defense, and Is Remanded for a Further Hearing. At a Private Interview Felix Trembles under Paul's Preaching, but Keeps Him Prisoner for Two Years, When He Was Succeeded by Festus.

1. after five days—or, on the fifth day from their departure from Jerusalem.

Ananias … with the elders—a deputation of the Sanhedrim.

a certain orator—one of those Roman advocates who trained themselves for the higher practice of the metropolis by practicing in the provinces, where the Latin language, employed in the courts, was but imperfectly understood and Roman forms were not familiar.

informed … against Paul—"laid information," that is, put in the charges.Acts 24:1-9 Paul is accused before Felix by Tertullus in the name

of the Jews.

Acts 24:10-21 He answereth in defence of his life and doctrine.

Acts 24:22,23 The hearing is deferred.

Acts 24:24,25 Paul preaching freely before the governor and his

wife; Felix trembleth.

Acts 24:26,27 Felix hopeth for a bribe to release Paul, but in

vain; and going out of his office leaveth him bound.

After five days, from the time that Paul was come to Caesarea: the malice and fury of the persecutors was very great, they stick not at any travail and pains to do mischief; and surely we ought to be as earnest in doing good, or their zeal will condemn us.

A certain orator; a lawyer to form the indictment against Paul, or to aggravate his fault, and to desire judgment upon him. Such advocates usually were the chiefest orators, as Demosthenes in Greece, and Cicero at Rome; and Tertullus seems to have been a crafts master, whom the Jews hired to draw up an accusation against Paul.

And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders,.... From Jerusalem to Caesarea: these five days are to be reckoned not from the seizing of Paul in the temple, but from his coming to Caesarea; the Alexandrian copy reads, "after some days", leaving it undetermined how many: the high priest, with the elders, the members of the sanhedrim, with "some" of them, as the same copy and the Vulgate Latin version read, came down hither; not merely as accusers, by the order of the chief captain, but willingly, and of their own accord, to vindicate themselves and their people, lest they should fall under the displeasure of the Roman governor, for encouraging tumults and riots: the high priest must be conscious to himself that he had acted in an illegal manner, in ordering Paul to be smitten on the mouth, in the midst of the council, in the presence of the chief captain; and if it had not been for the soldiers, Paul had been pulled to pieces in the council: and the elders knew what a hand they had in the conspiracy against his life; and they were sensible that this plot was discovered, and Paul was secretly conveyed away; and what the captain had wrote to the governor, they could not tell, and therefore made the more haste down to him, to set themselves right, and get Paul condemned:

and with a certain orator named Tertullus: this man, by his name, seems to have been a Roman; and because he might know the Roman, or the Greek language, or both, which the Jews did not so well understand, and was very well acquainted with all the forms in the Roman courts of judicature, as well as was an eloquent orator; therefore they pitched upon him, and took him down with them to open and plead their cause. The name Tertullus is a diminutive from Tertius, as Marullus from Marius, Lucullus from Lucius, and Catullus from Catius. The father of the wife of Titus, before he was emperor, was of this name (k); and some say her name was Tertulla; and the grandmother of Vespasian, by his father's side, was of this name, under whom he was brought up (l). This man's title, in the Greek text, is "Rhetor", a rhetorician; but though with the Latins an "orator" and a "rhetorician" are distinguished, an orator being one that pleads causes in courts, and a rhetorician a professor of rhetoric; yet, with the Greeks, the "Rhetor" is an orator; so Demosthenes was called; and so Cicero calls himself (m).

Who informed the governor against Paul; brought in a bill of information against him, setting forth his crimes, and declaring themselves his accusers; they appeared in open court against him, and accused him; for this is not to be restrained to Tertullus, but is said of the high priest, and elders with him; for, the word is in the plural number, though the Syriac version reads in the singular, and seems to refer it to the high priest.

(k) Sueton. in Vita Titi, l. 11. c. 4. (l) Ib. Vita Vespasian. c. 2.((m) De Oratore, l. 3. p. 225.

And {1} after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

(1) Hypocrites, when they can not do what they want to do by force and deceit, at length they go about to accomplish it by a show of law.

Acts 24:1. Μετὰ δὲ πέντε ἡμέρ.] The point of commencement is not to be reckoned, with Cajetanus, Basnage, Michaelis, Stolz, Rosenmüller, Morus, Hildebrand, as the arrest of Paul in Jerusalem,—an opinion which has arisen from an erroneous computation of the twelve days in Acts 24:11,—nor yet with Calovius, Wetstein, and others, as the arrival of Paul at Caesarea, but as (see on Acts 24:11) his departure for Caesarea. We may add that the popular mode of expression does not necessarily denote that the fifth day had already elapsed, but may just as well denote on the fifth day (comp. Matthew 27:63, and see on Matthew 12:40). That the latter view is to be assumed here, see on Acts 24:11.

μετὰ τῶν πρεσβ.] of course, not the whole Sanhedrists, but deputies who represented the council. It is obvious, withal, that the two parties in the Sanhedrim, after the variance temporarily aroused between them (Acts 23:6 ff.), had in the interval bethought themselves of the matter, and united against the common enemy, in order to avert his eventual acquittal by the Roman authority.

Tertullus (a common Roman name, see Wetstein) was an orator forensis (see Barth, ad Claudian. p. 76), a public causidicus. Such speakers, who were very numerous in Rome and in the provinces, bore the classical name of the public orators: ῥήτορες (see Photius, p. 488, 12; Thomas Mag., Suidas), in the older Greek συνήγοροι (Dem. 1137. 5, 1349. pen.; Lucian. Tox. 26; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 142, 14),the advocates of the accusers.

ἐνεφ. τῷ ἡγ. κατὰ τοῦ Π.] they laid information before the procurator against Paul. That this took place in writing, by a libel of accusation (Camerarius, Grotius), is not affirmed by the text, which, by κατέβη and the κληθέντος δὲ αὐτοῦ immediately following, does not point to more than oral accusation. Comp. Acts 23:15, Acts 25:2; Acts 25:15. The reciprocal rendering, comparuerunt (Beza, Luther, Castalio, Wolf, and others, following the Vulgate), is an unnecessary deviation from the usage in the N.T., Acts 23:15; Acts 23:22, Acts 25:2; Acts 25:15; John 14:21 f.; Hebrews 11:14, and elsewhere also not capable of being made good. Comp. Borne-mann in Rosenmüller, Repert. II. p. 271; Krebs, p. 252 f.

Acts 24:1. πέντε ἡμέρας: most probably to be reckoned from the arrival of St. Paul at Cæsarea, not from his apprehension in Jerusalem, or from his start from Jerusalem on the way to Cæsarea. This latter view is that of Mr. Page, who takes οἱ μὲν οὖν, Acts 23:31, as answered by the δέ in this verse. But δέ, Acts 23:32, seems quite sufficiently to answer to μέν in the previous verse. Wendt reckons the days from the arrival of Paul at Cæsarea, and regards the day of the arrival of the high priest as the fifth day, cf. Mark 8:31. μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας = Matthew 16:21, Luke 9:22, τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμ., see below, Acts 24:11. On the truthfulness of the narrative see also on same verse.—κατέβη: “came down,” R.V., i.e., from the capital.—Ἀνανίας, see on Acts 23:2. If we read πρεσ. τινῶν, see critical note, “with certain elders,” R.V., i.e., a deputation of the Sanhedrim.—ῥήτορος Τ. τινὸς: “an orator, one Tertullus,” R.V., ῥη. here = causidicus, a barrister; here the prosecuting counsel συνήγορος (as opposed to σύνδικος the defendant’s advocate), see note, Blass, in loco. Τερτ.: a common name, diminutive of Tertius; but it does not follow from the name that he was a Roman, as both Greeks and Jews often bore Roman names. Blass speaks of him as a Jew “erat Judæus et ipse” (so Ewald, Bethge), whilst Wendt (1899) inclines against this view, although if the words in Acts 24:6, κατὰ τὸν ἡμετερον νόμον, are retained, he admits that it would be correct; in addition to this the expression ἔθνος τοῦτο, Acts 24:3, seems in Wendt’s view to indicate that the speaker was not a Jew (so too Wetstein). Tertullus was apparently one of the class of hired pleaders, often employed in the provinces by those who were themselves ignorant of Roman law. The trial may have been conducted in Greek, Lewin, St. Paul, ii. 684, Felten, in loco.—ἐνεφάνισαν, cf. Acts 25:2; Acts 25:15, the verb appears to be used in these passages as a kind of technical term to indicate laying formal information before a judge, cf. Jos., Ant., xiv., 10, 8, in LXX, Esther, Esther 2:22. Blass takes it here = χάρτην ἔδωκαν, see also Wetstein.

Acts 24:1-9. Arrival of the Accusers. Speech of Tertullus, their advocate

1. And after five days] Most naturally this means after St Paul’s arrival in Cæsarea, and the events narrated at the end of chap. 23 But it may mean five days after the departure of the Apostle from Jerusalem. The chief captain would give notice to the high priest of what he had done as soon as it was safe to do so. After learning that they must go to Cæsarea with their accusation, the enemies of St Paul would spend some little time in preparing their charge for the hearing of Felix, and in providing themselves with an advocate. And as they would not probably travel with as much haste as St Paul’s convoy did, five days is not a long interval to elapse before they arrived in Cæsarea.

Ananias the high priest] He would be sure to be hot against the Apostle after that speech about the “whited wall.”

descended] Rev. Ver. [came down], i.e. from the capital to the sea-coast city of Cæsarea.

with the elders] The best MSS. have “with certain elders.” It is not likely that all the elders came. There would be some, who belonged to the Pharisees, who would rather have spoken in favour of St Paul. Those who came would be Sadducees, and so only a portion of the Council.

and with a certain orator named Tertullus] Rev. Ver. “and with an orator, one Tertullus.” This man, as we may judge from his name, which is a modification of the Latin Tertius, was a Roman, and would be chosen because of his knowledge of Roman law, and his ability to place the case before Felix in such a light as to make it seem that Paul was dangerous to the Roman power, and not merely a turbulent and renegade Jew. We see below that he endeavoured to do this.

who informed, &c.] Better with Rev. Ver. “And they informed.” Thus it is shewn that the relative in the original refers not merely to Tertullus but to the whole deputation. The verb is one which St Luke uses in other places (Acts 25:2; Acts 25:15) of the laying a formal information before a judge. It is also used, Esther 2:22, of Esther laying the information of the plot of the two chamberlains before king Ahasuerus.

Acts 24:1. Πέντε, fire) They make all haste. A Sabbath seems to have intervened.—Ἀνανίας, Ananias) who was hostile to Paul.—ῥήτορος, orator) This is the only passage in the whole of Scripture in which an orator, and the term orator, present themselves.—Τερτύλλου, Tertullus) He seems to have been an Italian.—ἐνεφάνισαν) Intransitive: ch. Acts 25:2; Acts 25:15, Acts 23:15, ἐμφανίσατε: 2Ma 3:1; 2Ma 11:29.

Verse 1. - The high priest Ananias came down for Ananias the high priest descended, A.V.; certain elders for the elders, A.V. and T.R.; an orator, one Tertullus for a certain orator named Tertullus, A.V.; and they for who, A.V. After five days. Of which the first was the day on which St. Paul left Jerusalem, and the fifth that on which Ananias and his companions appeared before Felix (see ver. 11, note). Tertullus. A Latin name, formed from Tertius, as Lucullus from Lucius, Catullus from Catius, etc. Informed; ἐμφανίζω, in the sense of "laying an information" before a magistrate, only occurs elsewhere in Acts 25:2, 15 (see above, Acts 23:15, note). Acts 24:1An orator (ῥήτορος)

An advocate. The Jews, being little acquainted with Roman forms and laws, had to employ Roman advocates.

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