Acts 25:12
Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Have you appealed to Caesar? to Caesar shall you go.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Hast thou appealed unto Cæsar? unto Cæsar shalt thou go.—There is obviously something like a sneer in the procurator’s acceptance of St. Paul’s decision. He knew, it may be, better than the Apostle to what kind of judge the latter was appealing, what long delays there would be before the cause was heard, how little chance there was of a righteous judgment at last.

25:1-12 See how restless malice is. Persecutors deem it a peculiar favour to have their malice gratified. Preaching Christ, the end of the law, was no offence against the law. In suffering times the prudence of the Lord's people is tried, as well as their patience; they need wisdom. It becomes those who are innocent, to insist upon their innocence. Paul was willing to abide by the rules of the law, and to let that take its course. If he deserved death, he would accept the punishment. But if none of the things whereof they accused him were true, no man could deliver him unto them, with justice. Paul is neither released nor condemned. It is an instance of the slow steps which Providence takes; by which we are often made ashamed, both of our hopes and of our fears, and are kept waiting on God.When he had conferred with the council - With his associate judges, or with those who were his counselors in the administration of justice. They were made up of the chief persons, probably military as well as civil, who were about him, and who were his assistants in the administration of the affairs of the province.

Unto Caesar shalt thou go - He was willing in this way to rid himself of the trial, and of the vexation attending it. He did not dare to deliver him to the Jews in violation of the Roman laws, and he was not willing to do justice to Paul, and thus make himself unpopular with the Jews. He was, therefore, probably rejoiced at the opportunity of thus freeing himself from all the trouble in the case in a manner against which none could object.

12. Festus—little expecting such an appeal, but bound to respect it.

having conferred with the council—his assessors in judgment, as to the admissibility of the appeal.

said, Hast thou—for "thou hast."

to Cæsar shalt thou go—as if he would add perhaps "and see if thou fare better."

Conferred with the council; either of the Jews, and those of the sanhedrim, that he might inform them of the law or custom of the Romans, and how that he could not but admit of St. Paul’s appeal; or with his own council; it being usual with the Roman presidents to do nothing of moment without the advice of their council, or assistants.

Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? Or without an interrogation: Thou hast appealed unto Caesar; which Festus was glad of, that without danger on the one hand, or ill will on the other, he might get rid of that difficult business. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council,.... Not with the Jewish sanhedrim, or any part of it that came down on this occasion; but with Roman counsellors, which he had to assist him in judgment, when any difficult matters were before him; the Syriac and Ethiopic versions render it, "with his counsellors"; and the Arabic reads in the singular number, "with his counsellor"; with these he advised, whether it was proper to admit of Paul's appeal, or not; and having had their opinion,

he answered, hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go: the question is put, partly for the more certain knowledge of the thing, that there might be no mistake in it; and partly on account of the Jews, that they might see that though he was disposed to do them a favour, it was not in his power, because of this appeal; and it may be with some resentment in himself, since it carried in it a sort of reflection upon him, as if he was incapable of issuing this affair, or would not be just and faithful in it.

Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 25:12. The conference of Festus with the council acting as his advisers, as may be inferred from the answer afterwards given, referred to the question whether the ἐπίκλησις of the Emperor was to be granted without more ado. For in cases of peculiar danger, or of manifest groundlessness of the appeal, it might be refused. See Geib, l.c. p. 684 f. The consiliarii (Suet. Tib. 33) of the provincial rulers were called also πάρεδροι, assessores (Suet. Galba, 19). See generally, Perizonius, de Praetorio, p. 718; Ewald, p. 326.

After ἐπικέκλ., the elsewhere usual note of interrogation (which simply spoils the solemnity and force of the answer) is already condemned by Grotius.

Baumgarten thinks that, from the appeal to Caesar (which in his view will not have been pernicious to Paul), and from Acts 27:24, it may be inferred that the Acts of the Apostles is decidedly favourable to the supposition of a liberation of Paul from the Roman imprisonment. Too rash a conclusion. Neither the appeal nor Acts 27:24 points beyond Rome. To Rome he wished to go (appeal), and was to go (Acts 27:24).Acts 25:12. μετὰ τοῦ συμβ., i.e., his assessors, assessores consiliarii, with whom the procurators were wont to consult in the administration of the law. They were probably composed, in part at all events, of the higher officials of the court, cf. Suet., Tiber., 33, Lamprid., Vita Alex. Sev., 46, Jos., Ant., xiv., 10, 2, Schürer, Jewish People, div. i., vol. ii., p. 60, E.T.; and see further on the word Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien, p. 65, and references in Grimm-Thayer, sub v. It would seem that the procurator could only reject such an appeal at his peril, unless in cases where delay might be followed by danger, or when there was manifestly no room for an appeal, Dig., xlix., 5, and see Bethge, Die Paulinischen Reden, p. 252, and Blass, in loco.Κ. ἐπικ.: no question, W.H[393], R.V., Weiss (as in A.V.); “asynd. rhetoricum cum anaphora,” Blass, cf. 1 Corinthians 7:18; 1 Corinthians 7:21; 1 Corinthians 7:27. The decision of the procurator that the appeal must be allowed, and the words in which it was announced were not meant to frighten Paul, as Bengel supposed, but at the same time they may have been uttered, if not with a sneer, yet with the implication “thou little knowest what an appeal to Cæsar means”. Moreover, Festus must have seen that the appeal was based upon the prisoner’s mistrust of his character, for only if the accused could not trust the impartiality of the governor had he any interest in claiming the transference of his trial to Rome.

[393] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.12. when he had conferred with the council] Having taken the opinion of those who sat as assessors with him. Such persons would be specially needed for a new governor, and the governors of Judæa were changed frequently. Of the existence of such assessors in the provinces, see Suetonius Tib. 33; Galba 19.Acts 25:12. Συμβουλίου, with the council) This consisted of the persons who were with the governor.—πορεύσῃ, thou shalt go) Festus seems to have said this by way of terrifying Paul.Verse 12. - Thou hast for hast thou? A.V. and, as far as punctuation is concerned, T.R. The council. Not the members of the Sanhedrim who were present, but his own consiliarii, or assessores, as they were called, in Greek πάρεδροι, with whom the Roman governor advised before giving judgment. Unto Caesar shalt thou go. In like manner, Pliny (quoted by Kuinoel) says of certain Christians who had appealed to Caesar, that, "because they were Roman citizens, he had thought it right to send them to Rome for trial" ('Epist.,' 10:97). Festus, though, maybe, rather startled by Paul's appeal, was perhaps not sorry to be thus rid of a difficult case, and at the same time to leave the Jews under the impression that he himself was willing to send the prisoner for trial to Jerusalem, had it been possible. The council

A body of men chosen by the governor himself from the principal Romans of the province. These were called assessors, sometimes friends, sometimes captains. Though a Roman citizen had the right of appeal to the emperor, a certain discretion was allowed the governors of provinces as to admitting the appeal. It might be disallowed if the affair did not admit of delay, or if the appellant were a known robber or pirate. In doubtful cases the governor was bound to consult with his council, and his failure to do so exposed him to censure. Cicero, in his impeachment of Verres, the brutal governor of Sicily, says: "Will you deny that you dismissed your council, the men of rank with whom your predecessor and yourself had been wont to consult, and decided the case yourself?" (ii., 33). That Festus exercised this discretion in Paul's case is shown by his conferring with the council.

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