Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Let them . . . which among you are able.—The adjective is probably used, as in 1Corinthians 1:26, Revelation 6:15, in the sense of “powerful,” “chief,” rather than as specifically referring to their being able to accuse the man of whom they had complained. What Festus demanded was that the charges against St. Paul should be supported by the leaders and representatives of the people, and not by a hired rhetorician like Tertullus.
If there be any wickedness in him.—The better MSS. give simply, “if there be anything,” practically, i.e., anything worth inquiring into.Which among you are able; fit to prosecute Paul in your behalf; as Tertullus was, whom the Jews had carried with them formerly, Acts 24:1.
Go down with me; because Jerusalem was in a mountainous part of the country, and much of it built upon a hill.
Wickedness; the word properly signifies a foolish thing; but it is also taken for a wicked thing; all sin being folly, and grace wisdom; as they are frequently called in Scripture, though the world hath another opinion of them, many abhorring to be accounted fools, and yet are not though they appear most wicked.
go down with me; from Jerusalem to Caesarea: and accuse this man: in proper form, according to the rules of law, of what he is guilty, and can be proved upon him:
if there is any wickedness in him; or committed by him, anything that is absurd and unreasonable, notoriously flagitious and criminal; that is, contrary to the rules of reason, the common sense of mankind, and the laws of God and men; and especially of the Roman empire, or that is blasphemous or seditious.Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 25:5. The decidedly attested order of the words is: οἱ οὖν ἐν ὑμῖν φησιν δύνατοι (Lachmann, Tischendorf, Bornemann). See on similar intervening insertions of φησι, Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. iii. 5. 13; Bornemann, ad loc.; Stallb. ad Plat. Rep. p. 472 D. οἱ δυνατοὶ ἐν ὑμ. are: the holders of power among you, i.e. those who are invested with the requisite official power (for making a public complaint in the name of the Jewish nation). Thus the usual literal meaning of δυνατός is to be retained, and it is neither to be explained, with Erasmus, as idonei; nor, with Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Homberg: quibus commodum est; nor, with Bengel: those who are strong for the journey; nor, with Er. Schmid and Wolf (comp. Castalio, de Dieu, and others): quibus in promptu sunt accusandi capita. Certainly if οἱ πρῶτοι, Acts 25:2, were the same as οἱ πρεσβύτεροι, then οἱ δυνατοὶ ἐν ὑμῖν would be unsuitable, as those persons in power were just the Sanhedrists; wherefore οἱ πρῶτοι must include also other prominent persons.
συγκαταβ.] having gone down with me. Thuc. vi. 30. 2; Diod. xii. 30; Wis 10:13; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 398.
εἴ τι ἐστίν] namely, an object of accusation.Acts 25:5. φησί: change to the oratio recta, cf. Acts 1:4. For other instances of the insertion of the single words ἔφη or φησίν, rare in N. T., see Simcox, Language of the New Testament, p. 200; cf. Acts 23:35, Acts 26:25, 1 Corinthians 6:16, 2 Corinthians 10:10, Hebrews 8:5.—οἱ … δυνατοί: “Let them therefore, saith he, which are of power among you,” R.V.; not simply “which are able,” A.V., “qui in vobis potentes sunt,” Vulgate. The word may be used by Festus, because he was not acquainted with the Jewish official terms, or it may be used in a general way as in 1 Corinthians 1:26. In Jos., B.J., i., 12, 5, we have the expression, ἧκον Ἰουδαίων οἱ δυνατοί, cf. Thuc. i. 89, Polyb., ix., 23, 4; but in addition to this general use of the word Jos. frequently conjoins the ἀρχιερεῖς with the δυνατοί as members of the Sanhedrim, Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. i., p. 178, E.T. This interpretation of the word is more natural than that adopted by Bengel: “qui valent ad iter faciendum: ἧθος urbanum Festi respondents Judæis molestiam viae causantibus;” for other explanations see Wendt-Meyer, in loco.—συγκαταβάντες: “go down with me,” R.V., mecum; only here in N. T., in LXX, Ps. 48:17, Wis 10:13, Dan. 3:49 (Theod. 3:49) = Song of the Three Children, Acts 25:26.—ἄτοπον, see critical note, and further on Acts 28:6.5. Let them therefore … which among you are able] R. V. “which are of power among you.” The words of Festus do not refer to whether some of them could go to Cæsarea or not, but to the character of those who should go down, that they should be men of influence and character, such as would fitly represent the powerful body who appealed to him.
go down with me] For they were evidently wealthy persons, whose companionship on the journey might be no discredit to the governor. Festus was no doubt willing to conciliate the influential people in the nation, though he had refused to break through a regulation of his predecessor at their request.
and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him] A large number of MSS., with the Text. Rec., give no word for “wickedness.” But in some of the oldest Texts there is a word which signifies “out of the way.” The Rev. Ver. therefore gives “and if there is anything amiss in the man, let them accuse him.” The adjective is the same that is so rendered, Luke 23:41, “This man hath done nothing amiss.”Acts 25:5. Δυνατοὶ) Those who are able, viz. to perform the journey [not, able to prove guilt in Paul]. The urbane (witty) ἦθος of Festus is hereby expressed, as he thus answers the Jews, who made their pretext (for wishing Paul to be brought from Cesarea to Jerusalem) the troublesomeness of the journey.—συγκαταβάντες, going down together) with me. The Court-house (Forum) does not follow the pleader (plaintiff).—εἴ τι, if aught) He does not simply and implicitly believe the Jews: Acts 25:10, at the end.—ἐν τῷ ἀνο͂ρι) in the man. So the Latin Vulg. with the best MSS. More recent authorities add τούτῳ.
 Memph. and both Syr. Versions are the only very old authorities for τούτῳ: which Tisch. reads. But ABCEe Vulg. Lucifer omit τούτῳ, and add ἄτοπον: and so Lachm.—E. and T.Verse 5. - Saith for said, A.V.; which are of power among you for which among you are able, A.V.; if there is anything amiss in the man, let them accuse him for accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him, A.V. Which are of power among you; i.e. your chief men, or, as we should say, your best men, which would include ability to conduct the accusation as well as mere station. Josephus frequently uses δυνατοί in the sense of "men of rank and power and influence," Ἰουδαίων οἱ δυνατώτατοι ('Ant. Jud.,' 14. 13:1); ἤκον Ἰουδαίων οἱ δυνατοί ('Bell. Jud.,' 1. 12:4), etc. (see 1 Corinthians 1:26; Revelation 6:15; and the passages from Thucydides, Xenophon, and Philo, quoted by Kuinoel). The rendering of the A.V., though defensible, is less natural and less in accordance with the genius of the language. Amiss; ἄτοπον, but many manuscripts omit ἄτοπον, leaving the sense, however, the same.
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