Acts 25:7
And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Many and grievous complaints.—These were, we may well believe, of the same nature as those on which Tertullus had harangued. The line of St. Paul’s defence indicates the three counts of the indictment. He had broken, it was alleged, the law of Israel, which Rome recognised as the religion of the province, and was therefore subject to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin; he had profaned the Temple; he was a disturber of the peace of the empire, and taught that there was another king than Nero.

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.Grievous complaints - Heavy accusations. Doubtless the same with which they had charged him before Felix, Acts 24:5-6. Compare Acts 25:19.

Which they could not prove - Acts 24:13, Acts 24:19.

7. the Jews … from Jerusalem—clamorously, as at Jerusalem; see Ac 25:24.

many and grievous complaints against Paul—From his reply, and Festus' statement of the case before Agrippa, these charges seem to have been a jumble of political and religious matter which they were unable to substantiate, and vociferous cries that he was unfit to live. Paul's reply, not given in full, was probably little more than a challenge to prove any of their charges, whether political or religious.

When he was come; the judge sat, and the prisoner brought.

The Jews which came down from Jerusalem; his accusers, which were many, and came with a full cry against him,

stood round about him, or about the judgment seat.

Many and grievous complaints; what these accusations were, appears in the next verse by Paul’s answer; but they could not demonstrate them, or make them evident; and if it were sufficient to accuse, no man could be innocent. And when he was come,.... Into court:

the Jews which came down from Jerusalem; along with Festus, perhaps the high priest with the elders, and Tertullus the orator, as before:

stood round about; either the Apostle Paul, or the judgment seat; the witnesses and accusers were to stand, as well as the person accused; See Gill on Mark 14:57.

And laid many and grievous complaints against Paul; which they could not prove; for his moral conversation, both before and after conversion, was very strict and conformable to the laws of God and man; and yet as pure and inoffensive as he was, he was not exempt from the calumnies of men; and these many and very grievous; but it was his happiness, and to his honour through the grace of God, that his enemies could not make good anyone thing against him.

And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which {a} they could not prove.

(a) They could not prove them certainly and without undoubted reasons.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 25:7. περιέστησαν: if we add αὐτόν, see critical note, “stood round about him,” i.e., Paul, R.V., “periculum intentantes,” Bengel. (Cf. John 11:42, Jdt 5:22, omit 1.)—πολλὰ καὶ βαρέα: “many and (indeed) heavy,” etc., Winer-Moulton, lix., 3, perhaps as in Matthew 23:23, weighty, of great moment.—αἰτιάματα φέρ., see critical note. ἀιτίαμ. in Æschylus and Thucydides. For καταφέροντες, Acts 26:10, cf. Deuteronomy 22:14.7. the Jews which came, &c.] Better, with Rev. Ver., “which had come, &c.”

stood round about] The best authorities give “round about him.” They were eager to set upon him, and so compassed him on every side.

and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul] The best MSS. have nothing for the last two words. Read, with Rev. Ver., following a slightly different text, “bringing against him many and grievous charges.” In the two years lapse of time they had gathered up every rumour which they could collect, and these they brought forward, even though they could not support them by evidence.Acts 25:7. Περείστησαν, stood round about) threatening danger.—πολλὰ, many) Where many charges are alleged, often not even one is true.—καὶ βαρέα, and grievous) What these were is intimated in the following verse—φέροντες, bringing) with clamour: Acts 25:24.Verse 7. - Had come down for came down, A.V.; about him for about, A.V.; bringing against him for and laid... against Paul, A.V.; charges for complaints, A.V. Charges; αἰτιάματα, only here in the New Testament, and rare in classical Greek. The A.V. "complaints" means in older English exactly the same as "charges" or "accusations" (comp. "plaintiff").
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