Acts 26:30
And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up . . .—The act indicated, as far as it went, that the Apostle’s words had made a favourable impression. This, they felt, was no common criminal, no fomenter of sedition. The question how he was to be dealt with was one that called for serious consideration; but the result showed that he was treated from this time forward with more respect and courtesy than before.

Acts 26:30-32. And when he had thus spoken — That the impression Paul began to make upon the court might reach no further; the king rose up — Thus neglecting to yield to conviction, and losing, perhaps for ever, an unspeakably precious moment. Whether the good impressions made were ever afterward laid to heart and improved, we shall see in the day of final accounts. And the governor, and Bernice, &c. — On none of whom, it seems, Paul’s discourse had much, if any, effect. They ought, in justice, to have asked the prisoner whether he had any more to say for himself; but, it seems, they thought he had said enough to make his case clear, and with that they contented themselves. And when they were gone aside — Had withdrawn, to consult and know one another’s minds on the matter, they spoke one with another, all to the same purpose; saying, This man — As is evident by his discourse, which has all imaginable marks of candour and sincerity; doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds — They appear to speak of his whole life, and not of what happened at Jerusalem only. And could ye learn nothing more than this from his discourse? A favourable judgment of such a preacher is not all that God requires. Then Agrippa — Not in the least offended with Paul for having spoken to him so freely; said to Festus — In the hearing of the whole assembly; This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Cesar — Paul’s appeal, however, was perfectly proper at the time he made it, seeing Festus had shown an inclination to gratify the Jews by proposing to judge him in Jerusalem. And now, although Agrippa, with the consent of Festus, had declared that Paul might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed to Cesar, Paul very prudently did not withdraw his appeal, because he fore- saw that, by the solicitations and threatenings of the chief priests and elders, Festus might be constrained, contrary to his inclination, to put him to death, even as Pilate formerly had been constrained, contrary to his conscience, to put Jesus to death. He might probably foresee, too, that his visiting Rome under the character of a prisoner, would be overruled by Providence to answer some important purposes, as is evident from Php 1:12-20, it was. We may add further here, though this declaration of Agrippa could not obtain Paul’s deliverance, yet it might do him some service, that a testimony to his innocence was pronounced by so learned and honourable a person of the Jewish nation and religion. Festus would probably entertain a better opinion of him on this account, and would give directions to the officer who attended him to treat him with so much the greater regard. “Thus it appears that, besides the defence which Paul made from the top of the stairs to the multitude in Jerusalem, he at four different times, before the highest courts of judicature in Judea, defended the gospel, and his own conduct in preaching it, in the most public manner; namely, 1st, Before the Jewish council, consisting of the high-priests, the chief priests, the whole estate of the elders, and the scribes; who all sat as his accusers. 2d, Before Felix the Roman governor, at whose tribunal the high-priest Ananias, and the elders from Jerusalem, were likewise his accusers, and employed a Roman orator to plead against him. 3d, Before Festus, the governor, on which occasion the Jews from Jerusalem stood forth, a third time, as his accusers. 4th, Before King Agrippa, Bernice, the tribunes, and the principal persons of Cesarea, with many others, in whose presence Paul boldly asserted his own innocence, with such strength of evidence that both Agrippa and Festus declared he might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed to the emperor.” — Macknight. 26:24-32 It becomes us, on all occasions, to speak the words of truth and soberness, and then we need not be troubled at the unjust censures of men. Active and laborious followers of the gospel often have been despised as dreamers or madmen, for believing such doctrines and such wonderful facts; and for attesting that the same faith and diligence, and an experience like their own, are necessary to all men, whatever their rank, in order to their salvation. But apostles and prophets, and the Son of God himself, were exposed to this charge; and none need be moved thereby, when Divine grace has made them wise unto salvation. Agrippa saw a great deal of reason for Christianity. His understanding and judgment were for the time convinced, but his heart was not changed. And his conduct and temper were widely different from the humility and spirituality of the gospel. Many are almost persuaded to be religious, who are not quite persuaded; they are under strong convictions of their duty, and of the excellence of the ways of God, yet do not pursue their convictions. Paul urged that it was the concern of every one to become a true Christian; that there is grace enough in Christ for all. He expressed his full conviction of the truth of the gospel, the absolute necessity of faith in Christ in order to salvation. Such salvation from such bondage, the gospel of Christ offers to the Gentiles; to a lost world. Yet it is with much difficulty that any person can be persuaded he needs a work of grace on his heart, like that which was needful for the conversion of the Gentiles. Let us beware of fatal hesitation in our own conduct; and recollect how far the being almost persuaded to be a Christian, is from being altogether such a one as every true believer is.I would to God - I pray to God; I earnestly desire it of God. This shows:

(1) Paul's intense desire that Agrippa, and all who heard him, might be saved.

(2) his steady and constant belief that none but God could incline people to become altogether Christians. Paul knew well that there was nothing that would overcome the reluctance of the human heart to be an entire Christian but the grace and mercy of God. He had addressed to his hearers the convincing arguments of religion, and he now breathed forth his earnest prayer to God that those arguments might be effectual. So prays every faithful minister of the cross.

All that hear me - Festus, and the military and civil officers who had been assembled to hear his defense, Acts 25:23.

Were both almost, and altogether ... - Paul had no higher wish for them than that they might have the faith and consolations which he himself enjoyed. He had so firm a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and had experienced so much of its supports amidst his persecutions and trials, that his highest desire for them was that they might experience the same inexpressibly pure and holy consolations. He well knew that there was neither happiness nor safety in being almost a Christian; and he desired, therefore, that they would give themselves, as he had done, entirely and altogether to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Except these bonds - These chains. This is an exceedingly happy and touching appeal. Probably Paul, when he said this, lifted up his arm with the chain attached to it. His wish was that in all respects they might partake of the effects of the gospel, except those chains. Those he did not wish them to bear. The persecutions, the unjust trials, and the imprisonments which he had been called to suffer in the cause, he did not desire them to endure. True Christians wish others to partake of the full blessings of religion. The trials which they themselves experienced from without in unjust persecutions, ridicule, and slander, they do not wish them to endure. The trials which they themselves experience from an evil heart, from corrupt passions, and from temptations, they do not wish others to experience. But even with these, religion confers infinitely more pure joy than the world can give; and even though others should be called to experience severe trials for their religion, still Christians wish that all should partake of the pure consolations which Christianity alone can furnish in this world and the world to come. Compare Mark 10:30.

30-32. when he had thus spoken, the king rose—not over-easy, we may be sure. Agrippa, Festus, and the queen, together with the governor’s council, although they had heard this excellent discourse from, the most learned apostle, like the blackamoor or leopard, they cannot change their spots, or skin, Jeremiah 13:23: having sinned against former manifestations of God’s will, this, for aught we read, became ineffectual unto them. And when he had thus spoken,.... These words are omitted in the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions:

the king rose up; from the judgment seat; that is, King Agrippa:

and the governor; the Roman governor, Festus:

and Bernice: the sister of King Agrippa:

and they that sat with them; either in council, or to hear; the chief captains, and principal inhabitants of Caesarea.

{10} And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:

(10) Paul is solemnly acquitted, and yet not dismissed.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 26:30-32. Perhaps this bold, grand utterance of the singular man had made an impression on the king’s heart, the concealment of which might have occasioned embarrassment to him, had he listened any longer: Agrippa arose and thereby brought the discussion at once to a close. With him arose, in the order of rank, first the procurator, then Bernice, then all who sat there with them (οἱ συγκαθήμενοι αὐτοῖς). After they had retired from the audience chamber (ἀναχωρήσαντες), they communicated to each other their unanimous opinion, which certainly amounted only to the superficial political negative: this man (certainly by the most regarded as a harmless enthusiast) practises nothing which merits death or bonds. But Agrippa delivered specially to Festus his opinion to this effect: this man might (already) have been set at liberty,[165] if he had not appealed unto Caesar (by which the sending him to Rome was rendered irreversible, see Grotius).

πράσσει] practises. Grotius rightly remarks: “agit de vitae institute:” hence in the present. Comp. John 3:20; Romans 1:32, al.; John 7:51.

The “recognition of the innocence of the apostle in all judicatures” (Zeller, comp. Baur) is intelligible enough from the truth of his character, and from the power of his appearance and address; and, in particular, the closing utterance of Agrippa finds its ground so vividly and with such internal truth in the course of the proceedings, that the imputation of a set purpose on the author’s part (“in order that, with the Gentile testimonies, Acts 25:18; Acts 25:25, a Jewish one might not be wanting,” Zeller) can only appear as a frivolously dogmatic opinion, proceeding from personal prepossessions tending in a particular direction. The apostle might at any rate be credited, even in his situation at that time, with an ἀπόδειξις πνείματος κ. δυνάμεως (1 Corinthians 2:4).

[165] Not: “dimitti poterat,” Vulg. Luther, and others. See in opposition to this, and on the expression without ἄν, Buttmann, neut. Gr. pp. 187, 195 [E. T. 216, 226]. Comp. also Nägelsb. on the Iliad, p. 430, ed. 3.Acts 26:30. καὶ ταῦτα εἰπόντος αὐτοῦ: of these words are not retained, see critical note, their omission seems to make the rising up more abrupt (subito consurgit, Blass), and probably this is the meaning of the passage, although the order of rank is maintained in leaving the chamber. For the vividness of the whole narrative see Zöckler and Wendt, and cf. McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 355.—ἀνέστη, Lucan, see on ἀναχωρ. Suet., Nero, 15; cf. Acts 23:19, and note on Acts 25:12.30. And when he had thus spoken] The oldest MSS. omit these words.

they that sat with them] i.e. the chief captains and the principal men of Cæsarea. (See Acts 25:23.) The authorities withdrew to consult upon what they had heard.Acts 26:30. Ἀνέστη, rose up) They therefore had sat. A most precious moment (season) for Agrippa; which whether he used or not, we shall hereafter see.Verse 30. - And the king rose up for and when he had thus spoken, the king, etc., A.V. and T.R. They that sat with them. The chief captains and principal men and the royal attendants of Acts 25:23. The king, the governor, Bernice

Mentioned in the order of their rank.

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