Acts 28:23
And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
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(23) There came many to him into his lodging.—The Greek for “many” is a comparative form, implying a larger attendance than might have been looked for. The “lodging” was probably the “hired house,” or apartment, of Acts 28:30. (Comp. Philemon 1:22.) The discourse, or, more properly, the discussion, which followed could obviously only be given in outline. The address at Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:16-42), and the arguments of the Epistles to the Galatians and the Romans enable us to form a general estimate of its probable contents.

Acts 28:23. And when they had appointed him a day — Which might best suit the convenience of most of them that were present; they came to him at his lodging — For though they were much prejudiced against the Christian religion, as being everywhere maligned, yet they were willing to be accurately informed concerning it, which the Jews at Jerusalem were not. And though Paul appeared among them, with every disadvantage, having been sent to Rome a prisoner, and being at this very time bound with a chain; yet they were willing to give him a patient hearing, judging it unjust to condemn a man, a party, or cause, unheard. So far, it seems, had they imbibed the fair and equitable principles of the imperial city wherein they resided. To whom he expounded — Various passages of their own Scriptures, as well as the chief principles of the Christian faith; and testified the kingdom of God — That is, bore testimony to the erection and establishment of God’s kingdom, under the Messiah; or set forth the nature of the Messiah’s kingdom, showing that it was a spiritual, not a temporal kingdom; persuading them concerning Jesus — Namely, that Jesus of Nazareth, in whose name he preached, was the very person foretold as the Lord of that kingdom; both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets — That is, he showed that the birth, doctrine, miracles, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, had all happened exactly according to the predictions concerning the Messiah contained in the law and the prophets, and from that agreement he argued and proved that Jesus was their long-expected Messiah. On this head, he had as much need to persuade as to convince, their will making as strong a resistance as their understanding. And in such an important light did he view this subject, and so much was his heart set upon it, that he continued his discourse from morning till evening — Probably eight or ten hours, urging it upon his hearers with all his might; for he knew not when he should have such another opportunity, and therefore was willing to make the most of this.28:23-31 Paul persuaded the Jews concerning Jesus. Some were wrought upon by the word, and others hardened; some received the light, and others shut their eyes against it. And the same has always been the effect of the gospel. Paul parted with them, observing that the Holy Ghost had well described their state. Let all that hear the gospel, and do not heed it, tremble at their doom; for who shall heal them, if God does not? The Jews had afterwards much reasoning among themselves. Many have great reasoning, who do not reason aright. They find fault with one another's opinions, yet will not yield to truth. Nor will men's reasoning among themselves convince them, without the grace of God to open their understandings. While we mourn on account of such despisers, we should rejoice that the salvation of God is sent to others, who will receive it; and if we are of that number, we should be thankful to Him who hath made us to differ. The apostle kept to his principle, to know and preach nothing but Christ and him crucified. Christians, when tempted from their main business, should bring themselves back with this question, What does this concern the Lord Jesus? What tendency has it to bring us to him, and to keep us walking in him? The apostle preached not himself, but Christ, and he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Though Paul was placed in a very narrow opportunity for being useful, he was not disturbed in it. Though it was not a wide door that was opened to him, yet no man was suffered to shut it; and to many it was an effectual door, so that there were saints even in Nero's household, Php 4:22. We learn also from Php 1:13, how God overruled Paul's imprisonment for the furtherance of the gospel. And not the residents at Rome only, but all the church of Christ, to the present day, and in the most remote corner of the globe, have abundant reason to bless God, that during the most mature period of his Christian life and experience, he was detained a prisoner. It was from his prison, probably chained hand to hand to the soldier who kept him, that the apostle wrote the epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Hebrews; epistles showing, perhaps more than any others, the Christian love with which his heart overflowed, and the Christian experience with which his soul was filled. The believer of the present time may have less of triumph, and less of heavenly joy, than the apostle, but every follower of the same Saviour, is equally sure of safety and peace at the last. Let us seek to live more and more in the love of the Saviour; to labour to glorify Him by every action of our lives; and we shall assuredly, by his strength, be among the number of those who now overcome our enemies; and by his free grace and mercy, be hereafter among the blessed company who shall sit with Him upon his throne, even as He also has overcome, and is sitting on his Father's throne, at God's right hand for evermore.Appointed him a day - A day when they would hear him.

Into his lodging - To the house where he resided, Acts 28:30.

He expounded - He explained or declared the principles of the Christian religion.

And testified the kingdom of God - Bore witness to, or declared the principles and doctrines of the reign of the Messiah. See the notes on Matthew 3:2.

Persuading them concerning Jesus - Endeavoring to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah.

Both out of the law of Moses - Endeavoring to convince them that he corresponded with the predictions respecting the Messiah in the books of Moses, and with the types which Moses had instituted to prefigure the Messiah.

And out of the prophets - Showing that he corresponded with the predictions of the prophets. See the notes on Acts 17:3.

From morning till evening - An instance of Paul's indefatigable toil in endeavoring to induce his countrymen to believe in Jesus as the Messiah.

23, 24. there came many—"considerable numbers"

into his lodging—The word denotes one's place of stay as a guest (Phm 22), not "his own hired house," mentioned in Ac 28:30. Some Christian friends—possibly Aquila and Priscilla, who had returned to Rome (Ro 16:3), would be glad to receive him, though he would soon find himself more at liberty in a house of his own.

to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God—opening up the great spiritual principles of that kingdom in opposition to the contracted and secular views of it entertained by the Jews.

persuading them concerning Jesus—as the ordained and predicted Head of that kingdom.

out of the law … and the prophets—drawing his materials and arguments from a source mutually acknowledged.

from morning till evening—"Who would not wish to have been present?" exclaims Bengel; but virtually we are present while listening to those Epistles which he dictated from his prison at Rome, and to his other epistolary expositions of Christian truth against the Jews.

His lodging; the house which he had hired, as Acts 28:16, and Acts 28:30.

He expounded and testified the kingdom of God; Paul expounded the Scriptures, and by them proved our Saviour to be the Messiah; and that the kingdom of the Messiah, which God had promised, and Moses and the prophets had foretold, was now come.

Persuading them concerning Jesus; using such proofs and arguments as were cogent enough to prove what he asserted; and which also did thoroughly persuade or prevail with several of them.

From morning till evening; thus Paul laboured more abundantly, 1 Corinthians 15:10. And when they had appointed him a day,.... When they should meet together, and when both sides might be better prepared to enter into a conversation on the subject of Christianity; and when there might be an opportunity for a more numerous assembly to hear:

there came many to him into his lodging; the same very likely with his own hired house, Acts 28:30; hither a large number came at the time appointed, more than those whom Paul first sent for:

to whom he expounded; the Scriptures, the writings of Moses, and the prophets; and particularly such parts of them as concerned the Messiah; so our Lord expounded to his disciples in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself, Luke 24:27.

And testified the kingdom of God; or the kingdom of the Messiah, which oftentimes signifies the Gospel, and the Gospel dispensation: he produced full and sufficient proofs and testimonies from prophecies, miracles, and facts, that the kingdom of the Messiah was come; which consisted not in outward pompous things, in temporal riches and honours, as they expected; but in the ministration of the Gospel, and in the administration of its ordinances; and in righteousness and holiness, which give the one a right unto, and the other a meetness for, the kingdom of heaven: and of this he testified, that it is the kingdom of God, of his preparing and of his giving, and is what he calls his people unto, and makes them meet for; and in which they shall reign with him, and enjoy him for ever: and the apostle could testify and make it evident, that there was such a kingdom, and such a future glorious state; from the promise of God, to which the twelve tribes of Israel hoped to come; from the prophecies of the Old Testament, which speak of everlasting life, and of the resurrection of the dead unto it; from the expectations of the saints of the former dispensation, who all died in the faith of it; and from the coming of the Messiah, his sufferings and death, and ascension to heaven, whereby he had brought life and immortality to the clearest light:

persuading them concerning Jesus; endeavouring to persuade them, that Jesus was the true Messiah; that he was truly God, and the Son of God, as well as man; that he was born of a virgin, and wrought miracles, and yielded perfect obedience to the law; that he laid down his life as a sacrifice for sin, and to make reconciliation and atonement for it; that he brought in an everlasting righteousness; that he rose again from the dead for justification; that he was ascended up to heaven, and was set down at the right hand of God, where he ever lives to make intercession, and will come again a second time to judge both quick and dead: these are some of "the things concerning Jesus", as the words may be rendered, which the apostle endeavoured to persuade the Jews into a belief of; as also the blessings of grace which come by him, such as peace and pardon through his blood, reconciliation and atonement by his sacrifice, justification by his righteousness, and complete salvation in him: concerning these he persuaded the Jews, setting things in a clear light, using strong arguments to convince them, and giving full proof, as the nature of them would admit of; and which is no other than moral persuasion, and is of itself ineffectual; efficacious persuasion is only of God; it is he that opens the heart to attend to these things, and gives faith to receive and embrace them: however, it is the duty of Gospel ministers to make use of arguments, and by them to endeavour to persuade men of their need of Christ, and of salvation by him, as the apostle did; see 2 Corinthians 5:11.

Both out off the law of Moses: not the law of the ten commandments, given on Mount Sinai to Moses, who delivered it to the children of Israel, and is opposed to the doctrine of grace and truth, which came by Jesus Christ, John 1:17; that accuses and convinces of sin, and pronounces guilty, and curses for it; but does not reveal Jesus Christ as a Saviour from it; no proof can be taken from thence of the things concerning Jesus; but the five books of Moses are here meant, in which he wrote of Christ, as our Lord himself says, John 5:46 as he did particularly in Genesis 3:15; also the types and sacrifices, recorded in his writings, might be made use of in proof of Jesus, and the things of him:

and out of the prophets: such as Psalm 22:15 Isaiah 7:14; with many others: and in this work he continued,

from morning till evening; not that we are to suppose, that he carried on one continued discourse upon these subjects, without any intermission; but that he was all the day employed, either in expounding: the Scriptures, proving that the kingdom of the Messiah was come, and using strong and persuasive arguments, to show that Jesus was he; or in answering the cavils and objections of the Jews, to what he said.

{12} And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and {g} testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

(12) The Law and the Gospel agree well together.

(g) With good reasons, and proved that the kingdom of God foretold to them by the Prophets had come.

Acts 28:23. Εἰς τὴν ξενίαν] to the lodging, i.e. the dwelling which, after his arrival at Rome (Acts 28:16), he was allowed to occupy with a friendly host (Philemon 1:22). At a later period he obtained a hired house of his own (Acts 28:30). Whether the ξενία was the house of Aquila (Olshausen), cannot be determined.

πλείονες] a greater number than were with him on the former occasion.

πείθων κ.τ.λ.] and persuading them of what concerns Jesus. πείθων is neither to be taken as docens with Kuinoel (comp. on Acts 19:8), nor de conatu with Grotius. Paul really did on his part, subjectively, the πείθειν, persuadere; that this did not produce its objective effect in all his hearers, does not alter the significance of the word. Comp. on Acts 7:26; Romans 2:4.

ἀπὸτοῦ νόμου κ.τ.λ.] starting from it, linking his πείθειν to its utterances. Comp. on Acts 17:2.

The opinion of Böttger, Beitr. II. p. 32 ff., that Paul was liberated between vers. 22 and 23 is refuted by Acts 28:30, compared with Acts 28:16, as well as by Php 1:13 ff., since the Philippian Epistle was not written in Caesarea, as Böttger judges. See also Wieseler, p. 411 ff.Acts 28:23. ταξάμενοι: cf. Matthew 28:16, and Polyb., xviii., 36, 1, for a similar phrase; a mutual arrangement between the two parties; only here in the middle voice in Acts.—τὴν ξενίαν: may = τὸ μίσθωμα, Acts 28:30 (Weiss, Holtzmann), or it may refer to entertainment in the house of a friend, cf. Acts 21:16, and Philem., Acts 28:22. Lewin urges that although we can well understand that Paul’s friends would wish to entertain him, we have no evidence that the strictness of the military guard was thus far relaxed, and he also presses the fact that Suidas and Hesychius explain ξενία = κατάλυμα, καταγώγιον, as if it meant a place of sojourn for hire; see especially for the whole question Lewin, St. Paul, ii. 238; but see on the other hand Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 9, who lays stress on N.T. passages quoted above, and Grimm-Thayer, sub v.πλείονες: more than at the first time; Blass takes it as = plurimi, cf. Acts 2:40, Acts 13:31.—ἐξετίθετο, cf. Acts 11:4, Acts 18:26, and in Acts 7:21 in a different sense, nowhere else in N.T. J. Weiss and Vogel both lay stress upon the recurrence of the word in the medical writer Dioscorides; for other references, Grimm-Thayer, sub v. It is possible that the middle here, as in Acts 11:4, gives it a reflexive force, the Apostle vindicates his own conduct (Rendall).—Μωσέως: from the law of Moses, whose enemy he was represented to be, no less than from the Prophets.—πείθων suavissime, Bengel; on the conative present participle see Burton, p. 59, but here the word is used not simply de conatu; it refers here to the persuasive power of St. Paul’s words, although it does not say that his words resulted in conviction.—ἀπὸ πρωῒ ἕως ἑσπέρας, cf. for similar expressions Exodus 18:13-14 A, Job 4:20 [435]S, and other passages where πρωΐθεν is similarly used (H. and R.).

[435] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).23. many] The original is the comparative degree, and implies that the first visitors had been only a small deputation, but that on the set day they and their fellows appeared “in greater numbers.”

into his lodging] From this it would seem that for the first portion of the time that Paul was in Rome, he was allowed to accept the hospitality of the Christian body, and though chained to his guard, yet to be resident in a house which his friends had provided for him, and where he was, as far as he could be under the circumstances, treated as their guest.

to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God] [R. V. “expounded the matter, testifying the, &c.”] i.e. bearing witness that the Messianic hope, which the Jews all spake of as the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven, had now been revealed.

from morning till evening] It is clear from what follows that as in Jerusalem so here, there were some to whom the Apostle’s words were not all unwelcome. This accounts for their staying to hear him the whole day through.Acts 28:23. Πείθων, persuading) most sweetly.—ἀπὸ πρωῒ ἕως ἑσπέρας, from morning even till evening) Who would not wish to have been present?Verse 23. - They came to him into his lodging in great number for there came many to him into his lodging, A.V.; expounded the matter for expounded, A.V.; testifying for and testified, A.V.; and persuading for persuading, A.V.; from for out of (twice), A.V. His lodging; ξενία, elsewhere only in Philemon 1:22. It may well be the same as the "hired dwelling" in ver. 30. Expounded (ἐξετίθετο). The verb governs the accusative τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, as in Acts 18:26, and is not intransitive, as in Acts 11:4. Testifying; διαμαρτυράμενος, a favorite word of St. Luke's, most commonly intransitive, and so to be taken here. It qualifies the verb (see Luke 16:28; Acts 2:40; Acts 8:25; Acts 10:42; Acts 20:23; Acts 23:11). It is transitive in Acts 20:21, 24; doubtful in Acts 18:5. The kingdom of God. The great subject-matter of the gospel in all its parts - grace, righteousness, glory, through Jesus Christ (see ver. 31 and Acts 20:25). From the Law of Moses and from the prophets (see Luke 24:27, 44). From morning till evening. So do the Jews frequent the houses of the missionaries to this day, and listen with great interest and apparent earnestness to their teaching.
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