Acts 24:11
Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
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(11) I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.—This was, by implication, St. Paul’s answer to the charge of the attempted profanation. One who had come to worship was not likely to be guilty of the crime alleged against him.

24:10-21 Paul gives a just account of himself, which clears him from crime, and likewise shows the true reason of the violence against him. Let us never be driven from any good way by its having an ill name. It is very comfortable, in worshipping God, to look to him as the God of our fathers, and to set up no other rule of faith or practice but the Scriptures. This shows there will be a resurrection to a final judgment. Prophets and their doctrines were to be tried by their fruits. Paul's aim was to have a conscience void of offence. His care and endeavour was to abstain from many things, and to abound in the exercises of religion at all times; both towards God. and towards man. If blamed for being more earnest in the things of God than our neighbours, what is our reply? Do we shrink from the accusation? How many in the world would rather be accused of any weakness, nay, even of wickedness, than of an earnest, fervent feeling of love to the Lord Jesus Christ, and of devotedness to his service! Can such think that He will confess them when he comes in his glory, and before the angels of God? If there is any sight pleasing to the God of our salvation, and a sight at which the angels rejoice, it is, to behold a devoted follower of the Lord, here upon earth, acknowledging that he is guilty, if it be a crime, of loving the Lord who died for him, with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. And that he will not in silence see God's word despised, or hear his name profaned; he will rather risk the ridicule and the hatred of the world, than one frown from that gracious Being whose love is better than life.Because that thou mayest understand - Greek: "Thou being able to know." That is, he could understand or know by taking the proper evidence. Paul does not mean to say that Felix could understand the case because he had been many years a judge of that nation. That fact would qualify him to judge correctly, or to understand the customs of the Jews. But the fact that he himself had been but twelve days in Jerusalem, and had been orderly and peaceable there, Felix could ascertain only by the proper testimony. The first part of Paul's defense Acts 24:11-13 consists in an express denial of what they alleged against him.

Are yet but twelve days - Beza reckons these twelve days in this manner: The first was that on which he came to Jerusalem, Acts 21:15. The second he spent with James and the apostles, Acts 21:18. Six days were spent in fulfilling his vow, Acts 21:21, Acts 21:26. On the ninth day the tumult arose, being the seventh day of his vow, and on this day he was rescued by Lysias, Acts 21:27; Acts 22:29. The tenth day he was before the Sanhedrin, Acts 22:30; Acts 23:10. On the eleventh the plot was laid to take his life, and on the same day, at evening, he was removed to Caesarea. The days on which he was confined at Caesarea are not enumerated, since his design in mentioning the number of days was to show the improbability that in that time he had been engaged in producing a tumult; and it would not be pretended that he had been so engaged while confined in a prison at Caesarea. The defense of Paul here is, that but twelve days elapsed from the time that he went to Jerusalem until he was put under the custody of Felix; and that during so short a time it was wholly improbable that he would have been able to excite sedition.

For to worship - This further shows that the design of Paul was not to produce sedition. He had gone up for the peaceful purpose of devotion, and not to produce riot and disorder. That this was his design in going to Jerusalem, or at least a part of his purpose, is indicated by the passage in Acts 20:16. It should be observed, however, that our translation conveys an idea which is not necessarily in the Greek that this was the design of his going to Jerusalem. The original is, "Since I went up to Jerusalem worshipping" προσκυνήσων proskunēsōn; that is, he was actually engaged in devotion when the tumult arose. But his main design in going to Jerusalem was to convey to his suffering countrymen there the benefactions of the Gentile churches. See Acts 24:17; Romans 15:25-26.

11. thou mayest understand—canst easily learn.

that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem—namely, 1. The day of his arrival in Jerusalem (Ac 21:15-17); 2. The interview with James (Ac 21:18-26); 3. The assumption of the vow (Ac 21:26); 4, 5, 6. Continuance of the vow, interrupted by the arrest (Ac 21:27, &c.); 7. Arrest of Paul (Ac 21:27); 8. Paul before the Sanhedrim (Ac 22:30; 23:1-10); 9. Conspiracy of the Jews and defeat of it (Ac 23:12-24), and despatch of Paul from Jerusalem on the evening of the same day (Ac 23:23, 31); 10, 11, 12, 13. The remaining period referred to (Ac 24:1) [Meyer]. This short period is mentioned to show how unlikely it was that he should have had time to do what was charged against him.

for to worship—a very different purpose from that imputed to him.

That thou mayest understand, either by what thou hast heard already, or by what the witnesses, when examined, will declare.

There are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem; there were but twelve days since Paul’s coming to Jerusalem; seven of them he had spent there, until the time of his purification was accomplished; and the other five days he had been in custody, and at Caesarea: by which St. Paul proves how unlikely it was, that in so short a time he, being a stranger in those parts, should raise any tumults.

For to worship; he being so far from designing any mischief, that he only intended to worship God.

Because that thou mayest understand,.... By what Paul now asserted, and by the witnesses which he could produce to certify the truth of it:

that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship; that is, from the time that he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, to the present time, in which he stood before Felix, pleading his own cause; which may be reckoned, thus, he came in one day from Caesarea to Jerusalem, Acts 21:16 the next day he visited James and the elders, Acts 21:18 on the third day he purified himself in the temple, Acts 21:26 where he was taken and used ill by the Jews; on the fourth day, he was brought before the sanhedrim, and defended himself, Acts 22:30 on the fifth day forty Jews conspire to take away his life, Acts 23:11, on the sixth day he came to Caesarea, being sent there by Lysias, Acts 23:32 and five days after this, which make eleven, Ananias, and the elders, with Tertullus, came down to accuse him; and this day was the twelfth, on which his trial came on. And of these twelve days he was a prisoner nine, and therefore could not have done so much mischief, and stirred up so much sedition as was insinuated; and in opposition to the charge of profaning the temple, he observes that he came up to Jerusalem to "worship"; namely, at the feast of Pentecost.

Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
Acts 24:11. Paul adds a more special reason subordinate to the general one (Acts 24:10), for his εὐθυμότερονἀπολογοῦμαι. Since he had returned from abroad only twelve days ago, and accordingly the ground of facts on which they wished him condemned (τὸ ἱερὸν ἐπείρασε βεβηλῶσαι, comp. Acts 21:28) was still quite new, the procurator, with his long judicial experience among the Jewish people, could the less avoid the most thorough examination of the matter.

οὐ πλείουςἡμέραι δεκαδύο] without , which Elz. has as a gloss. See on Acts 4:22.

ἀφʼ ἧς ἀνέβην] from the day on which (ἀΦʼ ἧς, sc. ἡμέρας, comp. on Acts 1:2; Acts 1:22) I had come up. This is the day of the accomplished ἀναβαίνειν, the day of the arrival, not of the departure from Caesarea (Wieseler). Comp. Acts 11:2; Kühner, § 444; Winer, p. 258 [E. T. 343]. As to the reckoning of the twelve days, it is to be observed: (1) That by the present εἰσι the inclusion of the days already spent at Caesarea is imperatively required. Hence the assumption of Heinrichs, Hildebrand, and others is to be rejected as decidedly erroneous: “Dies, quibus P. jam Caesareae fuerat, non numerantur; ibi enim (!!) in custodia tumultum movere non poterat” (Kuinoel). (2) That οὐ πλείους εἰσι permits us to regard as the current day on which the discussion occurred, either the twelfth or the (not yet elapsed) thirteenth; as, however, Paul wished to express as short a period as possible, the latter view is to be preferred. There accordingly results the following calculation:—


Day of arrival in Jerusalem, Acts 21:15-17.


Meeting with James, Acts 21:18 ff.


Undertaking of the Nazarite vow and offerings, Acts 21:26.



The seven days’ time of offering broken off by the arrest, Acts 21:27.



Arrest of the apostle, Acts 21:27 ff.


Paul before the Sanhedrim, Acts 22:30, Acts 23:1-10.


Jewish conspiracy and its disclosure, Acts 23:12 ff. On the same day Paul, before midnight, is brought away from Jerusalem, Acts 23:23; Acts 23:31.


Μετὰ δὲ πέντε ἡμέρας κ.τ.λ., Acts 24:1.




The current day.

It further serves to justify this calculation: (1) that it sufficiently agrees with the vague statement in Acts 21:27 : ὡς δὲ ἔμελλον αἱ ἑπτὰ ἡμέραι συντελεῖσθαι, to place the arrest on the fifth day of that week; (2) that, as terminus a quo for μετὰ πέντε ἡμέρας, Acts 24:1, the ninth day may not only be assumed generally (because the immediately preceding section of the narrative, Acts 23:31 ff., commences with the departure of Paul from Jerusalem), but is also specially indicated by the connection, inasmuch as this μετὰ πέντε ἡμέρ. so corresponds to the τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, Acts 23:32, that there is presented for both statements of time one and the same point of commencement, namely, the day on which the convoy (after nine in the evening) left Jerusalem. Anger (de temp. rat. p. 110) deviates from this reckoning in the two points, that he places as the first of the five days, Acts 24:1, the day of the arrival at Caesarea; and he does not include at all in the reckoning the day on which Paul came to Jerusalem (because Paul reached it, perhaps, only after sunset). But the former is unnecessary (see above), and the latter would not only be at variance with Paul’s own words, ἀφʼ ἧς ἀνέβην προσκυνήσ. ἐν Ἱερουσ., Acts 24:11 (by which the day of arrival is included), but also would bring the reckoning of the apostle into contradiction with Acts 21:17-18 (τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ). Wieseler, p. 103 f., and on Gal. p. 588, has reckoned the days in an entirely different manner—but in connection with his opinion (not to be approved) that the ἑπτὰ ἡμέπαι in Acts 21:27 are to be understood of the Pentecostal week—namely: two days for the journey to Jerusalem; the third day, interview with James; the fourth, his arrest in the temple (Pentecost); the fifth, the sitting of the Sanhedrim; the sixth, his removal to Caesarea; the seventh, his arrival there; the twelfth, the departure of Ananias from Jerusalem, Acts 24:1; the thirteenth, the hearing before Felix.

προσκυνήσων] thus with quite an innocent and legally religious design.

εἰς Ἱερουσ.] (see the critical remarks), belongs to ἀνέβην.

Acts 24:11. δυν. σοῦ γνῶναι: “seeing that thou canst take knowledge” (ἐπιγ.), R.V., the shortness of the time would enable Felix to gain accurate knowledge of the events which had transpired, and the Apostle may also imply that the time was too short for exciting a multitude to sedition.—οὐ πλείους εἰσί μοι ἡμ. ἢ δεκαδύο: on οὐ πλείους see Acts 24:1 and critical note.—The number is evidently not a mere round number, as Overbeck thinks, but indicates that Paul laid stress upon the shortness of the period, and would not have included incomplete days in his reckoning. It is not necessary therefore to include the day of the arrival in Jerusalem (ἀφʼ ἧς points to the day as something past, Bethge), or the day of the present trial; probably the arrival in Jerusalem was in the evening, as it is not until the next day that Paul seeks out James (Wendt). The first day of the twelve would therefore be the entry in to James, the second the commencement of the Nazirite vow, the sixth that of the apprehension of Paul towards the close of the seven days, Acts 21:27; the seventh the day before the Sanhedrim, the eighth the information of the plot and (in the evening) Paul’s start for Cæsarea, the ninth the arrival in Cæsarea; and, reckoning from the ninth five days inclusively, the day of the speech of Tertullus before Felix would be the thirteenth day, i.e., twelve full days; cf. Acts 20:6, where in the seven days are reckoned the day of arrival and the day of departure (Wendt, in loco). Meyer on the other hand reckons the day of St. Paul’s arrival in Jerusalem as the first day, and the five days of Acts 24:1 from his departure from Jerusalem for Cæsarea. For other modes of reckoning see Wendt’s note, Farrar, St. Paul, ii., 338, Alford, Rendall, and Lumby, in loco. Weiss points out that it is simplest to add the seven days of Acts 21:27 and the five days of Acts 24:1, but we cannot by any means be sure that Acts 21:27 implies a space of full seven days: “varie numerum computant; sed simplicissimum est sine dubio, e septem diebus, Acts 21:27, et quinque, Acts 24:1, eum colligere,” so Blass, but see his note on the passage.—προσκυνήσων, cf. Acts 20:16, the purpose was in itself an answer to each accusation—reverence not insurrection, conformity not heresy, worship not profanity. “To worship I came, so far was I from raising sedition,” Chrys. There were other reasons no doubt for St. Paul’s journey, as he himself states, Acts 24:17, cf. Romans 15:25, but he naturally places first the reason which would be a defence in the procurator’s eyes. Overbeck and Wendt contend that the statement is not genuine, and that it is placed by the author of Acts in St. Paul’s mouth, but see on the other hand Weiss, in loco. It seems quite captious to demand that Paul should explain to the procurator all the reasons for his journey, or that the fact that he came to worship should exclude the fact that he also came to offer alms.

11. because that thou mayest understand] Rev. Ver. taking a slightly different reading, “Seeing that thou canst take knowledge.” The Apostle means that it was easy to find evidence about all that had happened in such a short space of time. Beside which Felix’s knowledge of Jewish customs would tell him that this was just the time at which foreign Jews came to Jerusalem.

that there are yet but twelve days] The Rev. Ver. has the more modern English, which is also closer to the Greek, “that it is not more than twelve days.” The time may be accounted for thus: the day of St Paul’s arrival, the interview with James on the second day, five days may be given to the separate life in the temple during the vow, then the hearing before the council, next day the conspiracy, the tenth day St Paul reached Cæsarea, and on the thirteenth day (which leaves five days (Acts 24:1), as Jews would reckon from the conspiracy to the hearing in Cæsarea) St Paul is before Felix. See Farrar’s St Paul, ii. 338 (note).

since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship] The Rev. Ver. gets rid of the antiquated English by rendering, “since I went up to worship at Jerusalem.” But the A. V. gives more of the emphasis which St Paul intended to lay on the object of his visit. He went on purpose to worship. Was it likely that he would try to profane the temple? And the verb which he uses expresses all the lowly adoration common among Orientals. The Apostle probably chose it for this reason. He would have Felix know that it was in a most reverent frame of mind that he came to the feast.

Acts 24:11. Δεκαδύο, twelve) Deducting the five days, of which Acts 24:1 speaks, there were seven days: and concerning these seven see ch. Acts 21:17-18; Acts 21:26-27 (the seven days of purification were nearly ended ἔμελλον συντελεῖσθαι, when he was made prisoner), wherein the verb ἔμελλον should be attended to; and the sense is, When these things were being done, which Paul had taken in hand, Acts 24:26 : furthermore see ch. Acts 22:30, Acts 23:11-12; Acts 23:32.—ἀνέβην I went up) from Cesarea. Felix might have understood or known (δυναμένου σου ἐπινιῶναι) the fact from the Cesareans.

Verse 11. - Seeing that thou canst take knowledge for because that thou mayest understand, A.V. and T.R.; it is act more than for there are yet but, A.V.; I went up to worship at Jerusalem for I went up to Jerusalem for to worship, A.V. Twelve days. These days may be thus reckoned:

(1) arrival at Jerusalem (Acts 21:15);

(2) Visit to James and the ciders (Acts 21:18);

(3) first day of purification (Acts 21:26);

(4) second day of purification;

(5) the third day;

(6) the fourth day;

(7) the fifth day, when the tumult took place (Acts 21:27);

(8) Paul brought before the Sanhedrim;

(9) the conspiracy of the forty Jews, Paul leaves Jerusalem for Caesarea - the first of the five days mentioned in Acts 24:1;

(10) arrival of St. Paul" next day" at Caesarea, and lodged in the pretorium - second of the five days (Acts 23:32, 35);

(11) Paul in Herod's judgment hall - third of the five days;

(12) ditto - fourth of the five days;

(13) the current day, being also the fifth day of those mentioned in Acts 24:1. The mention of the brief time of twelve days shows the narrow limits of time within which the crime must have been committed, while the adroit mention of the purpose of his visit, to worship, would show how unlikely it was that he should have gone with any evil intent. Acts 24:11
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