Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as you very well know.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I stand at Cæsar’s judgment seat.—The Greek verb is given in a peculiar form, which carries with it the meaning of, I am standing, and have stood all along . . . He, as a Roman citizen, claimed the right to be tried by a Roman court, and finding that the procurator had shown a bias which left little hope of a fair trial, exercised the right which attached to his citizenship, and appealed to the highest court of all, that of the emperor himself. This interpretation seems every way more rational than that which paraphrases St. Paul’s words thus: “I stand already in mind and purpose before the emperor’s court, for God has shown me by a special revelation that I am to preach the gospel at Rome, and my trial there is accordingly part of the divinely ordered course of things which cannot be altered.” Whatever influence the promise of Acts 23:11 may have had on the Apostle’s conduct, it is scarcely probable that he would have referred to it in this way in giving his reason for appealing to Cæsar.
As thou very well knowest.—We have, as in Acts 24:22, the comparative of the adverb. Festus knew this too well to need any further proof. He had heard the random charges, and had seen the worthlessness of the evidence.
I stand at Caesar's judgment seat - The Roman emperors after Julius Caesar were all called "Caesar"; thus, Augustus Caesar, Claudius Caesar, etc., as all the kings of Egypt were called "Pharaoh," though they each had his proper name, as Pharaoh Necho, etc. The emperor at this time (60 a.d.) was Nero, one of the most cruel and impious men that ever sat on a throne. It was under him that Paul was afterward beheaded. When Paul says, "I stand at Caesar's judgment seat," he means to say that he regarded the tribunal before which he then stood, and on which Festus sat, as really the judgment seat of Caesar. The procurator, or governor, held his commission from the Roman emperor, and it was, in fact, his tribunal. The reason why Paul made this declaration may be thus expressed: "I am a Roman citizen. I have a right to justice. I am under no obligation to put myself again in the hands of the Jews. I have a right to a fair and impartial trial; and I claim the protection and privileges which all Roman citizens have before their tribunals - the right of a fair and just trial." It was, therefore, a severe rebuke of Festus for proposing to depart from the known justice of the Roman laws, and, for the sake of popularity, proposing to him to put himself in the hands of his enemies.
Where I ought to be judged - Where I have a right to demand and expect justice. I have a right to be tried where courts are usually held, and according to all the forms of equity which are usually observed.
Have I done no wrong - I have not injured their persons, property, character, or religion. This was a bold appeal, which his consciousness of innocence and the whole course of proceedings enabled him to make without the possibility of their gainsaying it.
As thou very well knowest - Festus knew, probably, that Paul had been tried by Felix, and that nothing was proved against him. He had now seen the spirit of the Jews, and the cause why they arraigned him. He had given Paul a trial, and had called on the Jews to adduce their "able" men to accuse him, and after all nothing had been proved against him. Festus knew, therefore, that he was innocent. This abundantly appears also from his own confession, Acts 25:18-19. As he knew this, and as Festus was proposing to depart from the regular course of justice for the sake of popularity, it was proper for Paul to use the strong language of rebuke, and to claim what he knew Festus did not dare to deny him, the protection of the Roman laws. Conscious innocence may be bold; and Christians have a right to insist on impartial justice and the protection of the laws. Alas! how many magistrates there have been like Festus, who, when Christians have been arraigned before them, have been fully satisfied of their innocence, but who, for the sake of popularity, have departed from all the rules of law and all the claims of justice.
to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou knowest very well—literally, "better," that is, (perhaps), better than to press such a proposal.
if there be none of these things … no man may deliver me unto them—The word signifies to "surrender in order to gratify" another.
I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat; he was now before Caesar’s tribunal, whose vicegerent Festus was; and he only ought to judge a Roman citizen.
As thou very well knowest; Festus might know that Paul had done the Jews no wrong, from the relation Felix had made unto him, as also from such as were with Felix when Paul’s case was heard.
where I ought to be judged: being a Roman citizen, and not at Jerusalem by the sanhedrim of the Jews, who had nothing to do with him:
to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest; it may be by his predecessor Felix, who had informed him of this case; or by Lysias's letter, which might come to his hands; or by the apostle's answer and vindication of himself, which he now made.
have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest; it may be by his predecessor Felix, who had informed him of this case; or by Lysias's letter, which might come to his hands; or by the apostle's answer and vindication of himself, which he now made.Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 25:10. Paul gives a frank and firm refusal to that request, both positively (ἐπὶ τοῦ βήμ. Καίσ. κ.τ.λ.) and negatively (Ἰουδαίους οὐδὲν κ.τ.λ., to the Jews I have committed no offence).
ἐπὶ τ. βήμ. Καίσαρος] for “quae acta gestaque sunt a procuratore Caesaris, sic ab eo comprobantur, atque si a Caesare ipso gesta sint,” Ulpian. L. I. D. de offic. procuratoris.
κάλλιον] namely, than appears to follow from your question. Paul makes his judge feel that he ought not to have proposed that θέλεις κ.τ.λ. to him at all, as it could not but conflict with his own better conviction.Acts 25:10. ἑστώς εἰμι: “I am standing,” used rhetorically, Blass, Gram., p. 198; on the position of ἑστ. see critical note.—Καίσαρος: because the procurator was the representative of Cæsar: “quæ acta gestaque sunt a procuratore Cæsaris sic ab eo comprobantur, atque si a Cæsare ipso gesta sint,” Ulpian, Digest., i., 19, 1.—δεῖ: because a Roman citizen, no need to suppose that the word has reference here to any divine intimation.—Ἰουδ.…: “to Jews have I done no wrong,” the omission of the article in translation makes Paul’s denial more forcible and comprehensive; for ἀδικεῖν with οὐδέν and the double accusative cf. Luke 10:19.—ὡς καὶ σὺ κάλλιον ἐπιγ.: “as thou also art getting to know better,” Rendall (see also Page and Weiss): this rendering, it is said, saves us from the ungracious and unjust retort which A. and R.V. ascribe to Paul. But Acts 25:18 seems to show us by the confession of Festus himself that the Apostle might fairly have imputed to him a keeping back of his better and fairer judgment, whilst in the expression χαρίσαθαι, Acts 25:11, there seems to be an intimation that the Apostle felt that Festus might make him a victim. Zöckler sees in the comparative “a gentle reproach,” as if St. Paul would intimate to Festus that he really knew better than his question (Acts 25:9) would imply.10. I stand at Cesar’s judgment seat] Better (with Rev. Ver.) “I am standing before Cæsar’s judgment seat.” This represents more nearly the sense of the original, which implies, “I have been and am standing.” The Roman authorities had taken charge of him and had kept him in custody for two years. Of this he reminds the governor, and refuses to be turned over to another tribunal, where he would have for judges, if he ever were allowed to live till his trial, those persons who had been cognizant of the plot to murder him.
where I ought to be judged] Because I am a Roman citizen.
as thou very well knowest] Rev. Ver. “as thou also, &c.” St Paul does not mean to say that Festus is to be blamed for his proposal. Probably he saw that the governor was acting with a view to conciliate the Jews. But he intends to say that after all that the governor has heard, any man would say at once that there was no case against the prisoner.Acts 25:10. Ἑστώς εἰμι, I stand) viz. here at Cesarea.—κάλλιον) better than others [not as Engl. Vers. very well].—ἐπιγινώσκεις, thou knowest) He touches the conscience of Festus.Verse 10. - But Paul said for then said Paul, A.V.; I am standing for I stand, A.V.; before for at, A.V.; thou also for thou, A.V. I am standing before Caesar's judgment-seat (ἑστώς εἰμι). The judgment-seat of the procurator, who ministered judgment in Caesar's name and by his authority, was rightly called "Caesar's judgment-seat." As a Roman citizen, Paul had a right to be tried there, and not before the Sanhedrim. The pretence that he had offended against the Jewish Law, and therefore ought to be tried by the Jewish court, was a false one, as Festus well knew; for he had the record of the preceding trial before him.
The force of the comparative should be preserved: "thou knowest better than thy question implies."
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