Acts 9:29
And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
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(29) Disputed against the Grecians.—It will be remembered that it was as the leader of the Hellenistic-Jews of the synagogue named in Acts 6:9 that Saul had first appeared in the history of the Church. Now, it would seem, he sought to undo the evil that he had then wrought, by preaching to them the faith which he had then opposed, and presenting, we may well believe, the very aspects of the truth that had been most prominent in Stephen’s teaching, and which, therefore, now, as then, roused them to a passionate frenzy. Twice, within a few weeks, the Apostle’s life was in danger.

9:23-31 When we enter into the way of God, we must look for trials; but the Lord knows how to deliver the godly, and will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape. Though Saul's conversion was and is a proof of the truth of Christianity, yet it could not, of itself, convert one soul at enmity with the truth; for nothing can produce true faith, but that power which new-creates the heart. Believers are apt to be too suspicious of those against whom they have prejudices. The world is full of deceit, and it is necessary to be cautious, but we must exercise charity, 1Co 13:5. The Lord will clear up the characters of true believers; and he will bring them to his people, and often gives them opportunities of bearing testimony to his truth, before those who once witnessed their hatred to it. Christ now appeared to Saul, and ordered him to go quickly out of Jerusalem, for he must be sent to the Gentiles: see ch. 22:21. Christ's witnesses cannot be slain till they have finished their testimony. The persecutions were stayed. The professors of the gospel walked uprightly, and enjoyed much comfort from the Holy Ghost, in the hope and peace of the gospel, and others were won over to them. They lived upon the comfort of the Holy Ghost, not only in the days of trouble and affliction, but in days of rest and prosperity. Those are most likely to walk cheerfully, who walk circumspectly.And spake boldly - He openly defended the doctrine that Jesus was the Messiah.

In the name ... - By the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Against the Grecians - See the word "Grecians" explained in the notes on Acts 6:1. It means that he not only maintained that Jesus was the Christ in the presence of those Jews who resided at Jerusalem, and who spoke the Hebrew language, but also before those foreign Jews who spoke the Greek language, and who had come up to Jerusalem. They would be as much opposed to the doctrine that Jesus was the Christ as those who resided in Jerusalem.

They went about - They sought to slay him; or they formed a purpose to put him to death as an apostate. See Acts 9:23.

29. disputed against the Grecians—(See on [1975]Ac 6:1); addressing himself specially to them, perhaps, as being of his own class, and that against which he had in the days of his ignorance been the fiercest.

they went about to slay him—Thus was he made to feel, throughout his whole course, what he himself had made others so cruelly to feel, the cost of discipleship.

Disputed against the Grecians; Hellenists, of which Acts 6:1, such as were born in foreign parts, but of Jewish parents; these Paul chose rather to dispute with, because these had raised the persecution against Stephen, and Paul had furthered them in it; and he was very desirous to unweave that web, and give them an antidote unto whom he had formerly given poison; being especially concerned for their souls, whom he had helped to destroy.

And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus,.... He spoke the Gospel of Christ boldly, as it ought to be spoken; he spoke it openly, publicly, freely, and faithfully, not fearing the faces or revilings of any: the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions add, "to the Gentiles"; but this is not in any of the Greek copies: and disputed against the Grecians; or Hellenists, that is, the Hellenistical Jews; by whom are meant, not Greeks proselyted to the Jewish religion, but Jews who had been born and brought up in Greece, or at least had learned the Greek language, and used the Greek Bible; and so the Syriac version renders it, "he disputed with the Jews that knew Greek"; perhaps the same persons, of the synagogue of the Libertines, Alexandrians, Cyrenians, and of Cilicia and Asia, who disputed with Stephen, with whom he had before joined, Acts 6:9

but they went about to slay him; he being an over match for them; and they not being able to resist him, but being confuted, and confounded, and put to silence, they were filled with indignation; and since they could not conquer him by arguments, they were for slaying him with the sword.

And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the {m} Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

(m) See Ac 6:1.

Acts 9:29. συνεζήτει, cf. Acts 6:9.—πρὸς τοὺς Ἑλλην., of whom Saul himself was one; see critical notes. Saul’s visit was a short one (Galatians 1:18), and although we must not limit his opportunities of disputation to the two Sabbaths with Blass (note the two imperfects), yet it is evident that the Hellenists were at once enraged against the deserter from their ranks. There is no contradiction with Acts 22:17, as Zeller and Overbeck maintained—it is rather a mark of truth that Luke gives the outward impulse, and Paul the inner ground (Hackett, Lightfoot, Lumby); but see on the other hand Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 62, against the identification of Acts 22:17 with Paul’s first visit; according to Ramsay, Acts 22:17-18 refer to the close of the Apostle’s second visit. Wendt (1899) still identifies Acts 22:18 with the passage before us, Acts 9:29; in seventh edition he speaks more fully of the fulfilment of the negative prophecy in Acts 22:18, by the positive fact here narrated.—ἐπεχείρουν: only used by St. Luke; St. Luke 1:1, Acts 19:13; it is used in same sense in classical Greek; and it also occurs in Esther 9:25, 1Es 1:28, 2Ma 2:29; 2Ma 7:19; 2Ma 9:2, etc., and 3Ma 7:5, where it occurs as here with ἀνελεῖν (see also below), and for other instances cf. Hatch and Redpath. The word was frequently employed in medical language, sometimes in its literal sense “to apply the hand to,” but generally as in N.T. Both Hippocrates and Galen use the verb as St. Luke does, with γράφεινἐπειχείρησαν γράφειν. Hobart, pp. 87 and 210, points out that Galen also employs the verb with ἀνελεῖν, as here. It is true that the word is also used in the same sense by Josephus, c. Apion, ii., with συγγράφειν, but the medical use of the term is so striking in Hippocrates that its use here is noted by J. Weiss, Evangelium des Lukas, p. i., as a probable reminiscence by the writer, and still more positively so by Zahn, Einleitung in das N. T., ii., p. 384 (1899).

29. And he spake boldly, &c.] The conjunction is left out in the best MSS. Read, “speaking boldly, &c.”

in the name of the Lord Jesus] The last word is omitted in the oldest MSS.

and disputed against the Grecians] The Greek text says “and he spake and disputed, &c.” These Grecians were the Greek-Jews at whose instigation Stephen had been put to death. Now Saul, who had consented unto that martyrdom, is exposed to the like persecution. The very same word “disputed” is here used which was employed to describe the controversies with the protomartyr (Acts 6:9), and it is found nowhere else in this book. But it is worth notice that the attack is now reversed. The Grecians disputed with Stephen, now Saul disputes with them.

but they went about [sought] to slay him] As the Jews in Damascus had done.

Verse 29. - Preaching boldly, etc, the and of the T.R. is omitted, and this clause connected with the preceding one; the Lord for the Lord Jesus, A.V. and T.R.; he spake for he spake boldly, A.V. (The παῥῤησιαζόμενος (translated preaching boldly) ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Κυρίου, is in the R.T. separated from ἐλάλει); the Grecian Jews for the Grecians, A.V., as in Acts 6:1; to kill for to slay, A.V. The Grecian Jews; or, Hellenists (margin). St. Stephen was a Hellenist, and it was among the Hellenists that his evangelical labors elderly lay and from whose enmity he met his death. Saul showed his dauntless spirit, and perhaps his deep compunction at the part he had taken in Stephen's death, by thus encountering their bitter and unrelenting enmity. Acts 9:29Grecians

Rev., correctly, Grecian Jews. See on Acts 6:1.

Went about (ἐπεχείρουν)

Better, attempted : lit., took in hand.

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