Acts 25:22
Then Agrippa said to Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, you shall hear him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) I would also hear the man myself.—Better, I also was myself wishing; the phrase implying that the wish was not now formed for the first time.

Acts 25:22. Then Agrippa said, I would also hear the man myself — That I may learn from his own mouth what it is that he maintains, and on what principles he proceeds. This demand the king made because he was well acquainted with the religious tenets, disputes, and expectations of the Jews, and because many wonderful things had been reported to him concerning Jesus and his disciples, and he had heard of Paul, and knew of what vast concern this question was which Festus made so light of; namely, whether Jesus was alive or not. Many great men think it below them to take cognizance of the matters of religion, except they can hear of them while they sit in judgment with authority, and act in character, like themselves. Agrippa would not, on any account, have gone to a synagogue, or religious meeting, to hear Paul preach, no more than Herod to hear Jesus; and yet they were both glad to have these persons brought before them, but only to satisfy their curiosity. To-morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him — There was a gracious providence in this for the encouragement of Paul, who seemed buried alive in his imprisonment, and deprived of almost all opportunities of doing good. We know not that any of his epistles were written during his confinement at Cesarea. What opportunity he had of doing good to his friends that visited him, or perhaps to a little congregation of them, that might assemble to hear him every Lord’s day, was but a low and narrow sphere of usefulness: so that he seemed to be thrown by as a broken vessel, in which there was no pleasure; but he has now an opportunity of preaching Christ to a great congregation, and that of great ones. Felix heard him in private concerning the faith in Christ; but Agrippa and Festus agree that he shall be heard in public. And we have reason to think that his sermon, contained in the next chapter, though it might not be so instrumental as some other of his sermons for the conversion of individual persons, yet redounded as much to the honour of Christ and Christianity as any sermon he ever preached. 25:13-27 Agrippa had the government of Galilee. How many unjust and hasty judgments the Roman maxim, ver. 16, condemn! This heathen, guided only by the light of nature, followed law and custom exactly, yet how many Christians will not follow the rules of truth, justice, and charity, in judging their brethren! The questions about God's worship, the way of salvation, and the truths of the gospel, may appear doubtful and without interest, to worldly men and mere politicians. See how slightly this Roman speaks of Christ, and of the great controversy between the Jews and the Christians. But the day is at hand when Festus and the whole world will see, that all the concerns of the Roman empire were but trifles and of no consequence, compared with this question of Christ's resurrection. Those who have had means of instruction, and have despised them, will be awfully convinced of their sin and folly. Here was a noble assembly brought together to hear the truths of the gospel, though they only meant to gratify their curiosity by attending to the defence of a prisoner. Many, even now, attend at the places of hearing the word of God with great pomp, and too often with no better motive than curiosity. And though ministers do not now stand as prisoners to make a defence for their lives, yet numbers affect to sit in judgment upon them, desirous to make them offenders for a word, rather than to learn from them the truth and will of God, for the salvation of their souls But the pomp of this appearance was outshone by the real glory of the poor prisoner at the bar. What was the honour of their fine appearance, compared with that of Paul's wisdom, and grace, and holiness; his courage and constancy in suffering for Christ! It is no small mercy to have God clear up our righteousness as the light, and our just dealing as the noon-day; to have nothing certain laid to our charge. And God makes even the enemies of his people to do them right.Then Agrippa said ... - Agrippa doubtless had heard much of the fame of Jesus, and of the new sect of Christians, and probably he was induced by mere curiosity to hear what Paul could say in explanation and defense of Christianity. This wish of Agrippa gave occasion to the noblest defense which was ever made before any tribunal, and to as splendid eloquence as can be found in any language. See Acts 26:23. 22-27. I would also hear—"should like to hear."

the man myself—No doubt Paul was fight when he said, "The king knoweth of these things … for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner" (Ac 26:26). Hence his curiosity to see and hear the man who had raised such commotion and was remodelling to such an extent the whole Jewish life.

Agrippa being well acquainted with the Jewish religion, if not a Jew, could not but have heard of our Saviour, his doctrine, death, and resurrection; and yet makes this desire but out of curiosity; as Herod desired to hear John Baptist, Mark 6:20, and to see our Saviour, Luke 23:8. Then Agrippa said to Festus,.... After he had given him the above account:

I would also hear the man myself; Agrippa being a Jew by profession, and knowing more of these things than Festus did, and very likely had heard much concerning Jesus Christ; and if not of the apostle, yet however of the Christian religion; and therefore he was very desirous, not only out of curiosity to see the man, but to hear him; and get some further information and knowledge about the things in dispute, between the Jews and Christians, in which Festus was very ready to gratify him:

tomorrow, said he, thou shall hear him: and sooner things could not well be prepared for an affair of this kind, and for so grand a meeting.

{6} Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.

(6) That is fulfilled in Paul which the Lord had told to Ananias about him; see Ac 9:15.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 25:22. The narrative of Festus has excited the Jewish interest of the king, so that he also, on his part (κ. αὐτός), wishes to hear the prisoner.

ἐβουλόμην] quite like our: I wished [Germ.: ich wollte], namely, if it admitted of being done. Comp. Romans 9:3; Galatians 4:20. See Winer, p. 265 f. [E. T. 353]. Calvin erroneously infers from the imperfect that Agrippa had previously cherished a wish to hear Paul, but had hitherto refrained from expressing it, in order not to appear as if he had come for any other reason than to salute Festus.

αὔριον ἀκούσῃαὐτοῦ] The wish of the king is very welcome to the procurator. Why? see Acts 25:26.Acts 25:22. ἐβουλόμην καὶ αὐτὸς: “I also was wishing to hear the man myself,” R.V., margin, imperfect, as of a wish entertained for some time; it was probable from Agrippa’s position, and his official relationship to Judaism, that he would have been already interested in Paul. Bethge takes it as if it meant that a strong desire had been already awakened by the governor’s statement to hear Paul, see also Winer-Moulton, xli. a, 2; but it is most usual to explain the imperfect here (without ἄν) rather than the direct present as used out of politeness, softening the request, “I should like,” Burton, p. 16, Page, in loco; Lightfoot, On a Fresh Revision, etc., p. 16. Calvin strangely takes the imperfect to mean that Agrippa had long cherished the wish to hear Paul, but had checked it hitherto, lest he should seem to have come with any other motive than to see Festus.—αὔριον: emphatic (and emphasised by φησίν), indicating the immediate compliance with Agrippa’s wish.22. I would also hear the man myself] Rev. Ver. “I also could wish [marg. was wishing] to hear, &c.” The marginal rendering here given is the most literal and appears to bring out the meaning best. What Agrippa means to say is that he had for some time been wishing to see and hear St Paul.Acts 25:22. Ἐβουλόμην) for βούλομαι· a courteous enallage [change of tense.—Append.]—καὶ αὐτὸς I myself) A prudent wish. If thou knowest for thyself, thou wilt see and hear more than others tell thee. [The world truly is full of lies: but nowhere is it the custom to lie more absurdly, or wantonly than when a question arises concerning either holy persons or holy things.—V. g.]—αὔριον) The same day by Festus is termed αὔριον, to-morrow; by Luke, ἐπαύριον, on the following day, Acts 25:23.Verse 22. - And for then, A.V.; I also could wish to hear for I would also hear, A.V.; saith for said, A.V. I also could wish (ἐβουλόμην); but the A.V. "I would" quite sufficiently expresses the imperfect tense (ich wollte) and the indirect wish intended. Meyer well compares ηὐχόμην (Romans 9:3) and ἤθελον (Galatians 4:20).
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