Acts 26:22
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
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(22) Having therefore obtained help of God.—The Greek noun for “help” is not used elsewhere in the New Testament. It implies the kind of assistance which one friend or ally gives to another of inferior power. It is found in the Greek of Wisdom Of Solomon 13:18. Here the word seems used as being more intelligible to those who are outside the kingdom of God than the more spiritual, more theological, “grace” of which the Apostle habitually spoke.

Witnessing both to small and great.—The English version gives the right rendering of the best supported reading. Some MSS., however, have “witnessed to by small and great;” but this, besides the want of authority, and its involving an unusual construction, is at variance with the context. It was true that St. Paul’s life was spent in bearing witness that Jesus was Christ. It was not true that he had a good report of all men. The words “small and great” were significant as spoken when he was standing before two men like Festus and Agrippa. The phrase may be noted as occurring in Acts 8:10, and again in Revelation 11:18; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5; Revelation 19:18; Revelation 20:12.

The prophets and Moses.—The more natural order of “Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:29; Luke 16:31), and the order of the words in the Greek, which the prophets said should come, and Moses, suggests the thought that the sentence would have stopped naturally at “come,” and that the name of Moses was added by an instantaneous after-thought to meet the case of those among the hearers who, like the Sadducees, placed the Pentateuch on a higher level of authority than the Prophets.

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.Having therefore obtained help of God - Paul had seen and felt his danger. He had known the determined malice of the Jews, and their efforts to take his life. He had been rescued by Lysias, and had made every effort himself to avoid the danger and to save his life; and at the end of all; he traced his safety entirely to the help of God. It was not by any power of his own that he had been preserved; it was because God had interposed and rescued him. Those who have been delivered from danger, if they have just views, will delight to trace it all to God. They will recognize his hand, and will feel that whatever wisdom they may have had, or whatever may have been the kindness of their friends to them, yet that all this also is to be traced to the superintending providence of God.

Witnessing - Bearing testimony to what he had seen, according to the command of Christ, Acts 26:16.

To small - To those in humble life; to the poor, the ignorant, and the obscure. Like his Master, he did not despise them, but regarded it as his duty and privilege to preach the gospel to them.

And great - The rich and noble; to kings, princes, and governors. He had thus stood on Mars' Hill at Athens; he had declared the same gospel before Felix, Festus, and now before Agrippa. He offered salvation to all. He passed by none because they were poor; and he was not deterred by the fear of the rich and the great from making known their sins and calling them to repeatance. What an admirable illustration of the proper duties of a minister of the gospel!

Saying none other things ... - Delivering no new doctrine, but maintaining only that the prophecies had been fulfilled. As he had done this only, there was no reason for the opposition and persecution of the Jews.

Should come - Should come to pass, or should take place. Paul here evidently means to say that the doctrine of the atonement, and of the resurrection of Christ, is taught in the Old Testament.

22, 23. having obtained help—"succor."

from God—"that [which cometh] from God."

I continue—"stand," "hold my ground."

unto this day, witnessing, &c.—that is, This life of mine, so marvellously preserved, in spite of all the plots against it, is upheld for the Gospel's sake; therefore I "witnessed," &c.

I continue unto this day: that Paul, continued till then alive, notwithstanding all the fraud and force of his enemies, is acknowledged by him to be from God; from whence he infers towards his justification, that what he had done was but in a becoming gratitude towards that God who had maintained him in life unto that very day.

Witnessing both to small and great; witnessing to all sorts, princes or people; implying, that the truths of the gospel, and the things of God, concerned Agrippa as well as the meanest of his auditors; and indeed with God there is no respect of persons, and that we are all one in Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:28.

The prophets and Moses; Moses was himself also a prophet, but he is here made especial mention of, because of his excellency above the other prophets, (unto whom God spoke face to face), as also because he was the lawgiver to the Jews, and to whom, upon all occasions, they pretended to yield obedience.

Having therefore obtained help of God,.... Both to preach the Gospel, and escape danger; for he had delivered him many a time both from Jews and Gentiles, according to his promise, Acts 26:17 and particularly from the Asiatic Jews, when they were about to kill him, by the means of Lysias the chief captain, who rescued him out of their hands; and also from the lying in wait of the Jews to take away his life, and the various methods they used both with Felix and Festus to get him into their power: but the Lord appeared for him, and saved him from all their pernicious designs against him; and therefore he could say as follows,

I continue unto this day: in the land of the living, though in bonds:

witnessing both to small and great; to kings and subjects, as now to Agrippa, Festus, the chief captains and principal inhabitants of Caesarea, and to the common people assembled; to high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old; to persons of every state, age, and sex:

saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come. This he mentions in opposition to the charge against him, as that he spoke against the law of Moses, as well as against the temple, and the people of the Jews; whereas his doctrine was perfectly agreeable to the writings of Moses, and the prophets, concerning the Messiah, they speak of in many places, and the Jews expected. There is an entire harmony and agreement between the writings of Moses, and the prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New, in all the doctrines of the Gospel revelation; in the doctrine of a trinity of persons in the unity of the divine essence, and of the proper deity of each person; in the doctrines respecting the person, offices, and work of Christ; that he is the Son of God, God and man in one person, and the only Mediator between God and man; and that he is prophet, priest, and King; and that the great work he was appointed to, undertook, and came about, and has fulfilled, is the redemption of his people; and in the several doctrines of grace concerning the choice of men to salvation, the covenant made with Christ on account of them, their redemption, justification, and pardon, their repentance and good works, the resurrection of the dead, and a future state: the particular things instanced in, the apostle preached, and Moses and the prophets said should be, and in which they agreed, are as follow.

{7} Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to {f} small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

(7) Christ is the end of the Law and the Prophets.

(f) To everyone.

Acts 26:22. ἐπικουρίαςτῆς παρὰ (ἀπὸ) Θεοῦ: “the help that is from God,” R.V., i.e., the help which cometh from God only; only here in N.T., cf. Wis 13:18 (ἐμπειρίας, 2), for the use of the same phrase cf. instances in Wetstein from Polybius; the word is found in Josephus, but also frequently in classical Greek, of succour against foes.—τυχὼν: no idea of chance, cf. 2 Timothy 2:10; the aid was divine, not human.—οὖν, see Wendt, and references, Blass, Gram., p. 267, Winer-Moulton, liii., 10, 4.—ἕστηκα: sto salvus, Bengel, after these repeated dangers. The A.V. hardly gives the force of the word; it is a Pauline expression, cf. Ephesians 6:13-14, Colossians 4:12, so Knabenbauer, subsisto incolumis.—μαρτυρούμενος: “testifying,” A.V., yet μαρτυρόμενος, see critical note, would rather signify “testifying,” so R.V., see on Acts 6:3. Grimm-Thayer, if the reading in T.R. is retained, evidently considers that it should be rendered as passive, “testified to both by small and great”. But μαρτυρόμενος marks most appropriately the office of bearing testimony to which Paul was appointed.—μικρῷ τε καὶ μεγάλῳ: if taken to mean “both small and great,” the words would have a special force in thus being spoken before Festus and Agrippa, but if = young and old, i.e., before all men, cf. Acts 8:10, Hebrews 8:11; cf. Genesis 19:4; Genesis 19:11, etc., but in Revelation 11:18; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, reference is made rather to rank than to age, and the latter meaning may well be included here; cf. Deuteronomy 1:17, Job 3:19, Wis 6:7.—οὐδὲν ἐκτὸς λ. ὧν τε οἱ πρ.… μελλόντων = οὐδὲν ἐκτὸς τούτων ἅἐλάλησαν μέλλοντᾳ, cf. Revelation 17:8 Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 135. μελλ. γίγ., cf. Luke 21:36; ἐκτὸς, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:27; the word is only used by St. Paul elsewhere in N.T. (except Matthew 23:26), cf. 1 Kings 10:13, 2 Chronicles 9:12; 2 Chronicles 17:19.—οἱ προφ.… καὶ Μ.: more naturally Moses and the prophets, Luke 16:29; Luke 16:31, and cf. Acts 28:23, but Moses may have been mentioned to influence the Sadducean element in the audience: the historical Christ was always the subject of St. Paul’s preaching “Jesus is the Christ,” and the historical Christ was also the ideal Christ; cf. Acts 3:13, 1 Corinthians 15:3. See on this verse critical note, and Wendt (1899), p. 397, note.

22. Having therefore obtained help of God [R. V. the help that is from God.] The “therefore” implies that against such attempts the help which alone could deliver him was divine. The word for “help” means the succour of an ally, and recalls God’s promise “Surely I will be with thee.”

I continue [R.V. stand] unto this day] The Apostle has in mind the many attempts to cast him down which had been made by Jews, and Gentiles too, during his missionary journeys. He has been rescued in many ways, and is still there standing safe and sound through the help which God hath sent him. He does not forget human agency, but this, whatever it was, was all sent of God.

witnessing [R. V. testifying] both to small and great] He was now before two who would be named great, and he knew that God had declared that he should testify “before kings” (Acts 9:15).

the prophets and Moses] i.e. the whole Old Testament Scriptures. The form of the phrase is usually “Moses and the prophets” according to the order of the O.T. books. Sometimes we have “the Law and the prophets,” and once (Luke 24:44) “the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.”

Acts 26:22. Ἐπικουρίας, help) Ammonius observes; βοηθεῖ is said of the assistance given by one who is with another; ἐπικουρεῖ, of that of one who comes from without to the help of another. When all the Jews were either attacking, or else not defending Paul, God suddenly sent Romans to his help from the camp. Thus the promise which Jesus had given in Acts 26:17 was fulfilled.—τυχὼν) In relation to us, not in relation to GOD, such things are fortuitous [τυγχάνω properly implies chance].—ἕσητκα, I have stood, I stand [continue]) safe and uninjured.—μεγάλῳ, to great) as in the present instance.—μελλόντων) The Genitive depends on ὧν.—καὶ) and, in particular, Moses, an extraordinary prophet.—εἰ) whether. Elegantly used. The fact was clear: the Jews had called it in question; Acts 26:3, “questions among the Jews.”—παθητὸς, is liable to—capable of—suffering) The Jews had denied that Messiah can suffer.—πρῶτος, the first) 1 Corinthians 15:23.—φῶς, a light) Acts 26:13; Acts 26:18.—μέλλει καταγγέλλειν, is about to show) by the Gospel, as was foretold.

Verse 22. - The help that is from God for help of God, A.V.; stand for continue, A.V.; testifying for witnessing, A.V.; nothing but what for none other things than those which, A.V. Help, etc.; ἐπικουρία, here only and in Wisd. 13:18, still of Divine help; in medical writers frequently, of aid from medicine and physicians; common also in classical writers, of auxiliary forces. It is properly spoken of help and allies from without (Bengel). I stand; i.e. I continue unmoved, steadfast, and, by God's help, not crushed by my enemies. Testifying. The natural rendering of the R.T. μαρτυρόμενος. The T.R. μαρτυρούμενος, followed by ὑπὸ, would mean "borne witness to," "approved," as in Acts 6:3; Acts 10:22, etc., and so Meyer understands it here. But μαρτυρύμενος makes much better sense, and is much better supported by manuscript authority. It is in close agreement with Acts 9:15 and Acts 22:15, that St Paul should thus "testify" to small and great. Acts 26:22Help of God (ἐπικουρίας τῆς παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ)

Lit., "help that is from God." The article defines the nature of the help more sharply than A. V. The word for help originally meant alliance.

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