Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and sought him,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews . . .—Some of the best MSS. give the plural, “the chief priests.” It is clear that they hoped to take advantage of the newness of Festus to his office. He was likely enough, they thought, to accept their statements and to yield to the pressure of those who had shown themselves powerful enough to bring about his predecessor’s recall. And they have not forgotten their old tactics. Once again priests and scribes are ready to avail themselves of the weapon of the assassin. Possibly Festus had heard from Felix or Lysias, or others, of the former plot, and took care to be on his guard against this, and so the conspirators were again baffled.Acts 23:2. Some mss. read "high priests" here in the plural number, and this reading is approved by Mill and Griesbach. There is, however, no improbability in supposing that the high priest Ismael might have been also as much enraged against Paul as the others.
Informed him against Paul - Informed him of the accusation against him, and doubtless endeavored to prejudice the mind of Festus against him. They thus showed their unrelenting disposition. It might have been supposed that after two years this unjust prosecution would be abandoned and forgotten. But malice does not thus forget its object, and the spirit of persecution is not thus satisfied. It is evident that there was here every probability that injustice would be done to Paul, and that the mind of Festus would be biased against him. He was a stranger to Paul, and to the embittered feelings of the Jewish character. He would wish to conciliate their favor upon entering into the duties of his office. A strong representation, therefore, made by the chief men of the nation, would be likely to prejudice him violently against Paul, and to unfit him for the exercise of impartial justice.
and the chief of the Jews—and "the whole multitude of the Jews" (Ac 25:24) clamorously.
informed him against Paul …The chief of the Jews; the same who are called the elders, in Acts 24:1.
Informed him against Paul; continued their accusation and prosecution of Paul. So restless is the rage and enmity, the adversaries of truth have against the professors of it. Acts 23:2 the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin version, and all the Oriental versions, read, "the chief priests", the whole college of the priests:
and the chief of the Jews; their rulers and elders, the members of the Jewish sanhedrim;
informed him against Paul; they took the first opportunity of waiting upon him, when he was come to Jerusalem; hoping it might be a favourable one to them, since he was just entering upon his government, and might be willing to gratify the chief of the nation, and gain their affection and esteem, and since as yet he was not acquainted with their wicked dispositions and artifices; and brought a bill of information against Paul, and gave a large account of him, what a wicked man he was, and what evils he had committed; they laid many things to his charge, and very heavily accused him, and endeavoured to prepossess the governor, and prejudice him against him:Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 25:2-3. Ἐνεφάνισαν κ.τ.λ.] See on Acts 24:1.
οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς] see the critical remarks, as in Acts 22:30; consequently not merely the acting high priest (as in Acts 24:1), who at that time was Ishmael, son of Phabi, and successor of Ananias. See Joseph. Antt. xx. 8. 8, 11.
καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τῶν Ἰουδαίων] thus not merely the πρεσβύτεροι, Acts 24:1. The opposition now came forward in a larger spiritual and secular representation of the nation against the enemy of the national religion. It is true that most of these πρῶτοι were without doubt Sanhedrists, and therefore also Festus, Acts 25:15, names them directly a potiori πρεσβύτεροι, Acts 25:15; but this does not justify the assertion of Grotius, that Luke here uses πρῶτοι as equivalent to πρεσβ. So also de Wette and Ewald. Acts 25:5 is opposed to this view.
αἰτούμενοι χάριν κ.τ.λ.] desiring for themselves favour against him. Comp. Acts 25:15.
ὅπως κ.τ.λ.] The design of παρεκάλ. αὐτ.
ἐνέδραν ποιοῦντες κ.τ.λ.] an accompanying definition to παρεκάλουν … Ἱερουσαλήμ, giving a significant explanation of the peculiar nature of this proceeding: inasmuch as they (thereby) formed a snare, in order to put him to death (through assassins), by the way.Acts 25:2. ἐνεφάνισαν, cf. Acts 23:15, Acts 24:1 : here the context evidently implies that legal and formal information was laid against Paul.—If we read οἱ ἀρχ., cf. Acts 4:5. οἱ πρῶτοι: sometimes taken as = πρεσβ. in Acts 25:15, cf. Acts 23:14, Acts 24:1, but in Luke 19:47 we have οἱ ἀρχ. καὶ οἱ γράμμ. καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ. The difference of designation seems to indicate that they were not identical with the πρεσβ., although perhaps including them, or possibly as their chief representatives: see also Plummer on Luke, l. c. Blass seems to identify πρῶτοι with ἀρχιερεῖς, cf. Acts 4:5, ἄρχοντες.—παρέκαλουν: the word and the tense mark their importunity.2. Then the high priest] R. V. “And the chief priests.” For the best MSS. give the plural. No doubt Ananias, as before, was the leader of the accusation, but he got others of his own class to support him in Jerusalem. He was their representative when the hearing was in Cæsarea.
and the chief of the Jews] This might mean “the chief part;” therefore it is better, with R. V., to read “the principal men of the Jews.” The wealthiest men of the nation belonged to the Sadducees.
informed him against Paul] The verb indicates that the proceedings here assumed a legal form. It was no mere mention in any irregular way, but a definite charge was made, no doubt in the same terms which Tertullus had used before.Acts 25:2. Ἐνεφάνισαν [informed him against], appeared against [understanding ἐαυτοὺς]) After so long intervals of time Jewish zeal [bigotry] does not abate: Acts 25:24. So with the greater justice Paul embraced the Gentiles.—παρεκάλουν, besought) On this depends ὅπως, that, Acts 25:3.Verse 2. - And for then, A.V.; chief priests for high priest, A.V. and T.R.; principal men for chief, A.V.; and they besought for and besought, A.V. Chief priests; as in ver. 15 and Acts 22:30. But the reading of the T.R., "the high priest," is more in accordance with Acts 24:1, and is approved by Alford. The high priest at this time was no longer Ananias, but Ismael the son of Phabi, who was appointed by King Agrippa towards the close of Felix's government (Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 20. 8:8). He went to Rome to appeal to Nero about the wall which the Jews had built to screen the temple from being overlooked, and which Agrippa had ordered to be pulled down; and being detained at Rome as a hostage, he was succeeded in the high priesthood by Joseph Cabi the son of Simon. We may feel sure that on this occasion he was present before Festus, for he had not yet gone to Rome. Informed him (ἐνεφάνισαν); see Acts 24:1, note. The principal men of the Jews (οἱ πρῶτοι). In ver. 15 Festus speaks of them as οἱ πρεσβύτεροι. The question arises as to whether the two phrases are identical in their meaning. Meyer thinks that the πρῶτοι includes leading men who were not elders, i.e. not Sanhedrists. Josephus calls the leading Jews of Caesarea οἱ πρωτεύοντες τῶν Ἰουδαίων ('Ant. Jud.,' 20. 8:9).
The imperfect denotes their persistence: kept beseeching.
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