Acts 26:17
Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you,
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(17) From the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee.—The distinct mission to the Gentiles seems, in Acts 22:21, to be connected with the trance in the Temple, three years after the conversion. Galatians 1:15-16, however, agrees with what we find hero in connecting it with the very time when the Son of God was first “revealed in him.” The distinction between “the people,” i.e., Israel, as emphatically entitled to that name, and “nations,” the “Gentiles,” should be noted. (Comp. Note on Acts 4:25.) The relative “whom” probably refers to the latter of the two nouns rather than to both. In the Greek word for “send” (apostello), we find the warrant for St. Paul’s claim to be considered an Apostle “not of men, neither by man,” but by the direct personal call of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 1:1). The word that had been used of the Twelve (Matthew 10:16) was used also of him; and the pronoun “I” is specially emphasised.

26:12-23 Paul was made a Christian by Divine power; by a revelation of Christ both to him and in him; when in the full career of his sin. He was made a minister by Divine authority: the same Jesus who appeared to him in that glorious light, ordered him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. A world that sits in darkness must be enlightened; those must be brought to know the things that belong to their everlasting peace, who are yet ignorant of them. A world that lies in wickedness must be sanctified and reformed; it is not enough for them to have their eyes opened, they must have their hearts renewed; not enough to be turned from darkness to light, but they must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. All who are turned from sin to God, are not only pardoned, but have a grant of a rich inheritance. The forgiveness of sins makes way for this. None can be happy who are not holy; and to be saints in heaven we must be first saints on earth. We are made holy, and saved by faith in Christ; by which we rely upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, and give up ourselves to him as the Lord our Ruler; by this we receive the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. The cross of Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews, and they were in a rage at Paul's preaching the fulfilling of the Old Testament predictions. Christ should be the first that should rise from the dead; the Head or principal One. Also, it was foretold by the prophets, that the Gentiles should be brought to the knowledge of God by the Messiah; and what in this could the Jews justly be displeased at? Thus the true convert can give a reason of his hope, and a good account of the change manifest in him. Yet for going about and calling on men thus to repent and to be converted, vast numbers have been blamed and persecuted.Delivering thee from the people - From the Jewish people. This implied that he would be persecuted by them, and that the Lord Jesus would interpose to rescue him.

And from the Gentiles - This also implied that he would be persecuted and opposed by them - a prospect which was verified by the whole course of his ministry. Yet in all he experienced, according to the promise, the support and the protection of the Lord Jesus. This was expressed in a summary manner in Luke 9:16.

Unto whom now I send thee - Acts 22:21. As the opposition of the Jews arose mainly from the fact that he had gone among the Gentiles, it was important to bring this part of his commission into full view before Agrippa, and to show that the same Saviour who had miraculously converted him had commanded him to go and preach to them.

17. Delivering thee from the people—the Jews.

and from the Gentiles—He was all along the object of Jewish malignity, and was at that moment in the hands of the Gentiles; yet he calmly reposes on his Master's assurances of deliverance from both, at the same time taking all precautions for safety and vindicating all his legal rights.

unto whom now I send thee—The emphatic "I" here denotes the authority of the Sender [Bengel].

From the people; from this people of the Jews, so in some copies it is expressed; howsoever, by the antithesis,

and from the Gentiles, it is plainly to be understood: and God undertakes no less hereby, than to deliver Paul, and all his faithful servants, from all evils and enemies. But how is this performed? And where is the promise? St. Paul was sorely persecuted by the Jews, and at last put to death by the Gentiles. But so long as it would be a mercy, and a true deliverance to Paul, God wrought many such for him; and that, rather than fail, miraculously too; no chains, no iron gates could detain him. When he had finished his course, and done the work he was sent for, it would not have been a deliverance, to have been kept longer from his reward, and the prize he had ran for. Delivering thee from the people,.... That is, the people of the Jews, as they are distinguished from the Gentiles; and so the Syriac version, and two of Beza's copies, and two of Stephens's, read; for the Lord knew, that as soon as ever Saul was converted and professed his name, and preached his Gospel, the people of the Jews would immediately become his implacable enemies, and seek to destroy him; wherefore he promises him before hand deliverance, and security from them:

and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee; to both Jews and Gentiles; to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles; which method the apostle observed, and which course he steered, until the Jews put away the Gospel from them; and then he turned to the Gentiles, to whom he chiefly preached, as their apostle, and was saved from many dangers among them, as is here promised.

Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Acts 26:17. ἐξαιρούμενός σε: “delivering,” A. and R.V. Vulgate, eripiens, and so the word is elsewhere rendered in N.T., cf. Acts 7:10; Acts 7:34, Acts 12:11, Acts 23:27, Galatians 1:4, and below, Acts 26:22; so very frequently in LXX (although twice in the sense below, Job 36:21, Isaiah 48:10). It may be called a Lucan-Pauline word (only twice elsewhere in N.T.; in St.Matthew 5:29; Matthew 18:9, but in an entirely different signification). Blass renders it as above, and points out that there is no reason for rendering it “choosing” in this one passage, a sense which is not at all fitted to the context; for the language cf. 1 Chronicles 16:35, Jeremiah 1:8, so Wendt (1899, but in the sense below previously), Weiss, Felten, Hackett, Bethge, Knabenbauer. It is no objection to say that Paul was not delivered, but was persecuted all his life long, for he was delivered in the sense of deliverance to proclaim the message for which he was sent as an Apostle. On the other hand Overbeck, Rendall, Page, so C. and H. take it in the sense of “choosing,” cf. Acts 9:15, σκεῦος ἐκλογῆς. Grimm-Thayer is doubtful. Rendall urges that the word cannot mean “delivering” without some phrase such as ἐκ χειρός, as common in the LXX, but cf. on the other hand LXX, Jdg 10:15; Jdg 18:28 A, Psalm 30:2; Psalm 49:15, Hosea 5:14, etc. But how could Paul be said to be chosen ἐξ ἐθνῶν? The phrase would certainly sound strange to him as a description of his own position. Rendall also objects that in 1 Chronicles 16:35 the word means to gather the scattered exiles from among the heathen as the context shows, but the Hebrew verb נָצַל means to deliver, and is so rendered, l. c., in A. and R. V. It is also urged that λαός is always the name of honour, and that elsewhere the enemies of the Apostle were named Ἰουδαῖοι; but not only is the collocation “the people and the Gentiles” a common one, cf. Acts 26:23, Romans 15:10, but λαός is used of the unbelieving Jews in describing hostility to the Gospel, cf. Acts 4:27, Acts 12:4. Agrippa would understand the distinction between λαός and ἔθνη. ἐγὼ “denotat auctoritatem mittentis,” Bengel.—ἀποστέλλω: Paul receives his Apostolic commission direct from Christ as much as the Twelve; Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:16-17, Romans 1:5 (Matthew 10:16, John 20:21-23); cf. Acts 1:25.17. delivering thee] i.e. though they may and will seize upon thee and persecute thee, yet I am with thee and will save thee from their hands. From the first the Apostle knew that in every city persecution was to be his lot.

the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee] The best authorities (with Rev. Ver.) omit “now.” The verb “send” Is that from which the word “Apostle” comes, and its force is “I make thee my Apostle.” In the oldest texts the I is emphatically expressed. “Thou art, as well as the rest, an Apostle chosen by me the Lord Jesus.” The mission to the Gentiles seems to have been made clear to Saul from the very first. Compare his own language Galatians 1:16. And in Acts 9:29 his preaching appears to have been rather directed to the Greek-Jews than to the members of the Church in Jerusalem.Acts 26:17. Ἐξαιρούμενος, rescuing thee) The Lord truly rescued Paul out of many dangers. The same verb occurs, ch. Acts 12:11, and elsewhere, in the same sense. Paul intimates that this liberty, wherein he now rejoices in the midst of his very bonds, had been promised to him along with his going forth to the Gentiles.—οὓς) whom. The word is to be referred both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles: Acts 26:20.—νῦν ἐγὼ) νῦν without the ἐγὼ is the reading in a very few MSS.: more read ἐγω, without the νῦν. The transcribers might readily omit one or other of the two words amidst a number of very short words. The Latin Vulg. retains the two, nunc ego.[146] I denotes the authority of Him who sends Paul: the now denotes the present time.—ἀποστέλλω, I send) The epoch of the apostleship of Paul begins with this very point, when he was converted: ch. Acts 9:15, “He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles,” etc.; 20, 27, Barnabas declared how Saul had seen the Lord in the way (a badge of apostleship); Galatians 1:12; Galatians 1:15-16, “I neither received it of man—but by the revelation of Jesus Christ—It pleased God to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen.”

[146] The margin of Ed. 2 is more favourable to this reading than the larger Ed. And so the later decision is followed also by the Germ. Vers.—E. B.

Ἐγὼ is the reading of ABCEe: Νῦν, of the Rec. Text without very old authority. Nunc ego, Vulg.—E. and T.Verse 17. - Unto whom for unto whom note, A.V. Unto [the Gentiles]. These seem to be the words heard in the trance reported in Acts 22:21, the sequel to which, as contained in ver. 18, the apostle would then have recited, had he not been cut short by the furious cries of the Jews. The people

The Jews.

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