Acts 24:12
And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
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(12) They neither found me in the temple . . .—The answer traverses all parts of the indictment. He had not even entered into a discussion in the Temple. He had not even gathered a crowd around him in any part of the city. He challenges the accusers to bring any adequate evidence—i.e., that of two or three witnesses, independent and agreeing—in proof of their charges.

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.And they neither found me ... - The first charge of Tertullus against Paul was Acts 24:5 that he was "a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition." The charge of his being a Test was so general that Paul did not think it necessary to attempt to refute it. To the specification that he was a mover of sedition, he replies by a firm denial, and by a solemn declaration that they had not found him in any synagogue, or in the city, or in the temple, either disputing or exciting a tumult. Pits conduct there had been entirely peaceable, and they had no right to suppose that it had been otherwise anywhere. 12, 13. they neither found me … Neither can they prove the things, &c.—After specifying several particulars, he challenges proof of any one of the charges brought against him. So much for the charge of sedition. Disputing, or discoursing. Although it seems not to have been unlawful, after the sacrifices were offered, to discourse about the meaning of any place in the law or the prophets; for thus our Saviour is said to have heard and asked questions of the doctors in the temple, Luke 2:46; yet St. Paul would hereby show how far he was from doing aught that was unlawful, in that he had forborne to go to the utmost of what might have been lawful.

And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man,.... Either about civil or religious affairs: not that it was criminal to dispute in the temple; it was a common thing for the doctors to dispute about matters of religion, in the porches, and courts, and chambers of the temple, as it may be observed they often did with Christ; but the apostle mentions this to show, that he was so far from moving sedition among the people of the Jews, that he never so much as entered into any conversation with them, upon any subject whatever: true indeed, he was in the temple, and was found there, but not disputing with any, but purifying himself according to the law of Moses:

neither raising up the people; stirring them up to sedition, and tumult, to rebel against the Roman government:

neither in the synagogues; where there were the greatest concourse of people, and the best opportunity of sowing seditious principles, and of which there were many in the city of Jerusalem. The Jews say (p) there were four hundred and sixty synagogues in Jerusalem; some say (q) four hundred and eighty:

nor in the city; of Jerusalem, in any of the public streets or markets, where there were any number of people collected together; the apostle mentions the most noted and public places, where any thing of this kind might most reasonably be thought to be done.

(p) T. Hieros. Cetubot, fol. 35. 3.((q) Ib. Megilla, fol. 73. 4.

And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
Acts 24:12-13. Ἐπισύστασιν] uproar. LXX. Numbers 26:9; Numbers 17:5; Joseph. c. Ap. i. 20.

Both after οὔτε ἐν ταῖς συναγ. and after οὔτε κατὰ τὴν πόλιν (throughout the city) εὗρόν με πρός τινα διαλεγόμενον, ἢ ἐπισύστασιν ποιοῦντα ὂχλου is mentally to be supplied.

See examples of παραοτῆσαι, to present, i.e. to make good, to prove, in Kypke, II. p. 121 f.; Morus, ad Longin. p. 43; and from Philo in Loesner, p. 230 f.

Acts 24:12-21. In the following speech Paul first disclaims the accusations of his opponents generally and on the whole as groundless (Acts 24:12-13); then gives a justifying explanation of the expression πρωτοστάτην τῆς τῶν Ναζωρ. αἱρέσ., by which they had maliciously wished to bring him into suspicion (Acts 24:14-16); and lastly refutes the special accusation καὶ τὸ ἱερὸν ἐπείρ. βεβηλῶσαι (Acts 24:17-21).

Acts 24:12. οὔτε ἐν τῷ ἱερῷοὔτεοὔτε: step by step he refutes the charge.—οὔτε εὗρον, cf. Acts 24:5, εὑρόντες, a flat denial to the allegation of Tertullus; R.V. reads more plainly: both acts, the disputing and the exciting a tumult, are denied with reference to the Temple, the synagogue, the city. In διαλ. there would have been nothing censurable, but even from this the Apostle had refrained.—ἢ ἐπισύστασιν ποι. ὄχ.: R.V. reads ἐπίστασιν; the Apostle had been accused as κινοῦντα στάσεις, Acts 24:5; here is his answer to the charge, they had not found him “stirring up a crowd,” R.V. This rendering however seems to make ἐπίστασις almost = ἐπισύστασις, a stronger word, cf. Numbers 26:9, 1Es 5:73, conjuratio. In 2Ma 6:3 we have ἐπίστασις τῆς κακίας, incursio malorum, Vulgate, but its meaning here would seem to be rather concursus, in the sense of a concourse, an assembly, not an onset or attack; and the phrase expresses that the Apostle had not been guilty of even the least disturbance; not even of causing the assembling of a crowd (see Wendt and Weiss, in loco), “aut concursum facientem turbæ,” Vulgate.—In 2 Corinthians 11:28 it is possible that ἐπισύστασις may be used of the presence of a multitude, almost like ἐπίστασις, see Grimm-Thayer.—συναγωγαῖς: plural, because so many in Jerusalem, cf. Acts 6:9.—κατὰ τὴν πόλιν: Alford renders “up and down the streets,” cf. Luke 8:39; Luke 15:14.

12. And they neither found me, &c.] The Apostle gives a flat denial to the charge of insurrection, and challenges them to prove any single point of it. He had not even entered into discussion with any man.

raising up the people] Rev. Ver. “stirring up a crowd.” For the crowd was gathered by the Jews.

Acts 24:12. Ἱερῷ, in the temple) He hereby refutes Tertullus, Acts 24:6. Add Acts 24:18.—ἐπισύστασιν) A double compound. The people were in crowds in the temple: Paul did not congregate together the crowd [ποιεῖν ἐπισύστασιν, to excite a concourse of people].—συναγωγαῖς, in the synagogues) of Jerusalem, ch. Acts 26:11.—κατὰ τὴν πόλιν, in the city) Jerusalem, Acts 24:11 : κατὰ, when followed by the article, has not the distributive force (city by city).

Verse 12. - Neither in the temple did they find me for they neither found me in the temple, A.V.; or stirring up a crowd for neither raising up the people, A.V.; nor... nor for neither... nor, A.V. Stirring up a crowd. The reading of the R.T. is ἐπίστασιν ποιοῦντα ὄχλου, which must mean "a stoppage of the crowd," in which sense it is a medical term. But Meyer thinks it is a mere clerical error for the reading of the T.R. ἐπισύστασιν, which is used in the LXX for "a tumultuous assembly" (Numbers 26:9; 3Esdr. 25:9), and in Josephus, 'Contr. Apion.,' 1:20, of a conspiracy or revolt. In the LXX. also the verb ἐπισυνίσταμαι means "to rise in revolt against" (Numbers 14:25; Numbers 16:19; Numbers 26:9). Acts 24:12
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