Acts 26:21
For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) For these causes . . .—Better, perhaps, on account of these things. With this brief touch, avoiding any elaborate vindication of his own character, St. Paul indicates the real cause of the hostility of the Jews. The one unpardonable sin, in their eyes, was that he taught the Gentiles that they might claim every gift and grace which had once been looked on as the privilege and prerogative of Israel. The historical precedence of the Jew remained (see Notes on Acts 13:46; Romans 3:1-2), but in all essential points they were placed on a footing of equality.

Acts 26:21-23. For these causes — And for no other; the Jews — Who have the same inveteracy against the gospel of Jesus that I once had; caught (seized) me in the temple, and went about (attempted) to kill me Διαχειρισασθαι, to kill me with their own hands. So the word properly signifies; but, having obtained help of God — By the protection and care of his watchful providence; I continue unto this day — Am still preserved and upheld, and employ my spared life to the purposes for which it is prolonged; witnessing both to small and great — What is really a matter of infinite concern, both to the meanest and most exalted of mankind, the gospel of Christ, and the way of salvation for lost sinners through him; saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say — Advancing no new doctrine whatever; that Christ should suffer — Not only be a man, and therefore should be capable of suffering, but that, as Messiah, he should be appointed to suffer; and that his sufferings and ignominious death should not only be consistent with, but pursuant of, his undertaking. The cross of Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews, and Paul’s preaching it was one great thing that exasperated them; but Paul adheres to that doctrine, and insists that, in preaching it, he preached the fulfilling of the Old Testament predictions; and that therefore they ought not only not to be offended at what he preached, but to believe, and embrace it with all their hearts. And that he should be the first that should rise from the dead — Namely, to an immortal life; the first that should rise to die no more, opening, as it were, the womb of the grave to all the pious dead who should rise after him, and none of whom could have risen, if he had not risen first. Accordingly, to show that the resurrection of all believers is in virtue of his resurrection, just when he rose, many dead bodies of the saints arose, and went into the holy city, Matthew 27:53. And should show light unto the people — The Jews in the first place, for he was to be the glory of his people Israel: to them he showed light by himself, and then to the Gentiles by the ministry of his apostles; for he was to be a light to lighten them who sat in darkness. In this Paul refers to his commission, Acts 26:18. He rose from the dead on purpose that he might show light to Jews and Gentiles; that he might give a convincing proof of the truth of his doctrine, and might send it with so much the greater power among both descriptions of persons. All this was foretold by the Old Testament prophets; and what was there in it that the Jews could justly be displeased at?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.Caught me in the temple - Acts 21:30.

And went about ... - Endeavored to put me to death.

20. showed … to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem—omitting Arabia; because, beginning with the Jews, his object was to mention first the places where his former hatred of the name of Christ was best known: the mention of the Gentiles, so unpalatable to his audience, is reserved to the last.

repent and return to God, and do works meet for repentance—a brief description of conversion and its proper fruits, suggested, probably, by the Baptist's teaching (Lu 3:7, 8).

By violent hands and indirect means, as we see, Acts 21:31, and as they had done unto our Saviour, Acts 5:30, where the same word is used. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple,.... He means the Asiatic Jews, who finding him in the temple, laid hold on him, and dragged him out of it: and, as he says, went about to kill me; for no other reason, but for preaching to the Gentiles, and for preaching the above doctrines to them: what he refers to is in Acts 21:27. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 26:21-22. Ἕνεκα τούτων] because I have preached this μετανοεῖν and ἐπιστρέφειν among Jews and Gentiles.

διαχειρ.] Beza correctly explains: “manibus suis interficere” (see on Acts 5:30). Comp. Acts 21:30-31.

ἐπικουρίας οὖνΘεοῦ] This οὖν infers from the preceding ἐπειρ. διαχειρ. that the ἕστηκα ἄχρι τῆς ἡμέρ. ταύτης is effected through help of God (without which no deliverance from such extreme danger to life could come). Observe withal the triumphant ἕστηκα, I stand, keep my ground!

μαρτυρούμενος μικρῷ τε καὶ μεγάλῳ] as one witnessed to by small and great, i.e. who has a good testimony from young and old (Acts 8:10). Accordingly, μαρτυρούμενος is to be taken quite regularly as passive, and that in its very current sense, as in Acts 6:3, Acts 10:22 al.; while μικρῷ and μεγάλῳ are the datives usual with the passive construction (see on Matthew 5:21), instead of which ὑπό is used in Acts 10:22, Acts 16:2, Acts 22:12. The usual rendering, following the Vulgate: witnessing to small and great,[163] i.e. “instituens omnis generis homines” (Kuinoel), arbitrarily assumes a deviation from linguistic usage, as μαρτυρεῖσθαι is always used passively (on which account, in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, the reading ΜΑΡΤΥΡΌΜΕΝΟΙ is necessarily to be defended; see Lünemann in loc.). See Rinck, Lucubr. crit. p. 91, who, however (as also de Wette, Baumgarten, Ewald), declares for the reading μαρτυρόμ.; this, although strongly attested (see the critical remarks), is an old, hasty emendation, which was regarded as necessary to suit the dative. But in what a significant contrast to that deadly hatred of his enemies appears the statement (Acts 26:21): “By help of God I stand till this day, well attested by small and great! The following words then give the reason of this μαρτυρούμευος: because I set forth nothing else than what (ὧν = τούτων ἅ) the prophets, etc.

μελλόντων] On the attraction, see Lobeck, ad Aj. 1006; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 261 [E. T. 305]; and on the expression τὰ μέλλοντα γίνεσθαι, Jacobs, ad Philostr. p. 630.

[163] Erasmus, Castalio, Calvin, Bengel, and others take μικρ. τ. κ. μεγαλ. in the sense of rank: to persons of low and of high degree. This is historically unsuitable to the correct view of μαρτυρούμ., as Paul was despised and persecuted by the great of this world. The wisdom, which he preached, was not at all theirs, 1 Corinthians 2:6 ff.Acts 26:21.—ἔνεκα τούτων: because I preached to Jews and Gentiles alike, proclaiming one Gospel to both, and placing both on an equality before God (not for profaning the Temple), cf. Acts 21:28. On ἕνεκα see Blass, Gram., p. 21. This Attic form of the word is read here by all authorities, and Blass notes it as characteristic of the literary style of this address before Agrippa, see above on Acts 26:4.—συλλαβόμενοι, Acts 1:16, Acts 12:3. So also in each of the Gospels in the active voice, of a violent arrest; in passive see above, Acts 23:27, and frequent in same sense in LXX, and 1 and 2 Macc.—ἐπειρῶντο: here only in N.T. in middle, but see critical note on Acts 9:26. Cf. 1Ma 12:10, 2Ma 10:12, 3Ma 1:25; 3Ma 2:32, 4Ma 12:3. Imperfect because the attempt was not actually made.—διαχειρ., see on Acts 5:30. The whole description ranks as a summary without giving all the details of the events which led up to the Apostle’s imprisonment.21. For these causes] Lit. “on account of these things” which the R. V. better represents by “for this cause.”

the Jews caught me [R. V. seized me] The word implies an arrest with violence.

and went about [R. V. assayed] to kill me] St Paul combines the riot in the Temple with the subsequent plot before he was sent to Cæsarea. Or he may be alluding only to the violence by which he was nearly torn in pieces before the chief captain came to his rescue. The verb rendered “kill” indicates the laying violent hands on any one, and so favours the latter view.Acts 26:21. Ἕνεκα τούτων, for these causes) Now Paul brings together all that went before, for the purpose of his defence.Verse 21. - This cause for these causes, A.V.; seized for caught, A.V.; essayed for went about, A.V. For this cause. Here again is a most telling statement. "I have spent my life in trying to persuade men to repent and turn to God, and for doing so the Jews seek to kill me. Can this be right? Will not you, O King Agrippa, protect me from such an unjust requital?" To kill me; διαχειρίσασθαι, here and in Acts 5:30 only in the New Testament; not in the LXX., but in Polybius, and in Hippocrates and Galen, of surgical operations.
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