Acts 24
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
Acts 24:1. Πέντε, fire) They make all haste. A Sabbath seems to have intervened.—Ἀνανίας, Ananias) who was hostile to Paul.—ῥήτορος, orator) This is the only passage in the whole of Scripture in which an orator, and the term orator, present themselves.—Τερτύλλου, Tertullus) He seems to have been an Italian.—ἐνεφάνισαν) Intransitive: ch. Acts 25:2; Acts 25:15, Acts 23:15, ἐμφανίσατε: 2Ma 3:1; 2Ma 11:29.

And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
Acts 24:2. Κληθέντος, when he was called forth) courteously. He was not brought (in the manner of a prisoner, as Paul was commanded ἀχθῆναι), ch. Acts 25:6.

We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
Acts 24:3. Πολλῆς, great quietness) A speech utterly unlike that of Paul, which was true, modest, and solid, without any varnish. Felix was a man of flagitious character, and hateful to the Jews.—εἰρήνης) Peace, a blessing most of all to be desired in a state.—κατορθωμάτων) A word grand in itself; which Tertullus borrowed from the philosophers: and for this reason there is no epithet added. There follow others in the same clause.—προνοίας, thy providence) This term they often attributed to the gods.

Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
Acts 24:4. Δὲ, but) He implies that more might have been said in praise of Felix. Understand μὲν, indeed, in Acts 24:3, to answer to δὲ here.

For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
Acts 24:5. Εὑρόντες) for εὕρομεν.—ἄνδρα λοιμὸν) So 1Ma 15:3, ἄνδρες λοιμοί.—στάσεις) So the best MSS.[136] Others read ΣΤΆΣΙΝ. Sedition was an invidious term among the Romans and Jews.—πρωτοστάτην) a ringleader.—Ναζωραίων, of the Nazarenes) A name (nickname) of Christians, taken from the surname applied to our Lord, which Paul does not refuse: Acts 24:14.

[136] Therefore in this passage both the margin of Ed. 2 withdraws from the larger Ed., and the Germ. Vers. agrees with the more recent decision.—E. B.

Στάσεις is the reading of ABEe Vulg. Memph. None of the oldest authorities, except both Syr. Versions and Theb., support the στάσιν of Rec. Text and Tisck.—E. and T.

Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
Acts 24:6. Ἐπείρασε, attempted) This verb may be understood of a mere attempt, or else of an effectual effort: therefore it was a term suited for creating odium.

But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
Acts 24:8. Παρʼ οὗ, from whom) i.e. from Paul.

And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
Acts 24:9. Συνεπέθεντο) An apposite verb: τὰ ἔθνη τὰ συνεπιτιθέμενασυνεπέθεντο εἰς κακά Zechariah 1:15. And so elsewhere. A few read here συνέθεντο.[137]—ΦΆΣΚΟΝΤΕς) saying, with feigned gravity.

[137] Rec. Text has συνέθεντο, with no old authority. ABE support συνεπέθεντο.—E. and T.

Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
Acts 24:10. [Ὁ Παῦλος, Paul) By a simple narrative Paul overthrows the exaggerated accusation.—V. g.]—νεύσαντος, having beckoned to him) A gesture becoming the gravity of a judge.—ἐκ πολλῶν ἐτῶν, for many years) Six or seven. Experience on the part of a judge is desired by one who has a good cause: ch. Acts 26:3.—κριτὴν, a judge) Paul does not flatter (by adding any complimentary epithet).—εὀθύμως) So the old MSS.[138] Afterwards more recent MSS. have εὐθυμότερον.

[138] Thence the reading εὐθύμως, formerly marked with the sign δ, has been elevated in the margin of Ed. 2 to the sign β, with the consent of the Germ. Vers.—E. B.

ABE Vulg. read εὐθύμας; but Rec. Text, εὐθυμότερον, without the oldest authorities’ sanction.—E. and T.

Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
Acts 24:11. Δεκαδύο, twelve) Deducting the five days, of which Acts 24:1 speaks, there were seven days: and concerning these seven see ch. Acts 21:17-18; Acts 21:26-27 (the seven days of purification were nearly ended ἔμελλον συντελεῖσθαι, when he was made prisoner), wherein the verb ἔμελλον should be attended to; and the sense is, When these things were being done, which Paul had taken in hand, Acts 24:26 : furthermore see ch. Acts 22:30, Acts 23:11-12; Acts 23:32.—ἀνέβην I went up) from Cesarea. Felix might have understood or known (δυναμένου σου ἐπινιῶναι) the fact from the Cesareans.

And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
Acts 24:12. Ἱερῷ, in the temple) He hereby refutes Tertullus, Acts 24:6. Add Acts 24:18.—ἐπισύστασιν) A double compound. The people were in crowds in the temple: Paul did not congregate together the crowd [ποιεῖν ἐπισύστασιν, to excite a concourse of people].—συναγωγαῖς, in the synagogues) of Jerusalem, ch. Acts 26:11.—κατὰ τὴν πόλιν, in the city) Jerusalem, Acts 24:11 : κατὰ, when followed by the article, has not the distributive force (city by city).

Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
Acts 24:13. Νῦν) now, for the first time.

But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
Acts 24:14. Ὁμολογῶ, I confess) A forensic word, and one also used in sacred things, and appropriately employed here. A confession ingenuous, voluntary, full; having respect to faith in this verse; to hope, in the following verse; to love, in Acts 24:17. They who assent to this confession are accused of being a sect (heresy), with the same injustice as Paul was.—ὁδὸν, way) He confesses that he is one of those whom Tertullus had termed “Nazarenes.”—λέγουσιν αἴρεσιν, they call a sect, heresy) This appellation (Acts 24:5) Paul corrects, not that it was at the time an odious term (as sect or heresy is now), but because it is not a sufficiently worthy one. Αἵρεσις, a sect, is a thing of human caprice (humour): the way (ὁδὸς) is a thing divinely ordained. He had said all that was required for his defence; but now, skilfully making a handle of the opportunity, he adds a confession of faith.—πατρῷῳ) Paul confutes the prejudice as to the newness of Christianity.—νόμον, in the law) Again he refutes Tertullus, Acts 24:6.—γεγραμμένοις, written) concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Acts 24:5.

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Acts 24:15. Ἔχων, having) [in actual possession]. This is more than προσδέχονται, expect look for [but Engl. Vers. allow].—δικαίων τε καὶ ἀδίκων, of the just as well as also the unjust) An appropriate division: for he was speaking in a court of justice.

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
Acts 24:16. Ἐν τούτῳ, herein) whilst I have this hope.—αὐτὸς, I myself) whatever others do.—ἀσκῶ, I exercise myself, I aim) This verb forms an allegory, with the word αἴρεσις, sect. Both words occur in the history of philosophical sects.—πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, toward God and men) What follows accord with this, viz. alms and offerings.

Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
Acts 24:17. Πλειόνων, many) He, who was long away, could not have been planning revolution; but ought to have been received with kindness, especially as he was about to present an offering of alms.

Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
Acts 24:18. Ἐν, οἷς, in which) viz. occupations, aims.—ὄχλουθορύβου) Ὄχλος, a crowd of men; θόρυβος, a crowd or confusion of things: ὄχλος is something more fortuitous; θόρυβος, a crowd, denotes something more violent, and attempted with more deliberate purpose.—τίνες δὲ) Δὲ is genuine, being established by very many MSS.[139] Understand ΕἾΔΟΝ, saw me.

[139] AB (according to Lachm.) CEe Vulg. Meraph. Theb. later Syr. have the δέ; but Elzevir Rec. Text omits it, with B (Judging from the silence of collators), according to Tisch.—E. and T.

Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.
Acts 24:19. Οὓς, whom) Never does the world commit greater solecisms (blunders) in violation even of its own laws, than in persecuting the faith.

Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
Acts 24:20. Στάντος μου) whilst I stood. That standing is mentioned, ch. Acts 22:30, ἔστησεν, made him stand.

Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
Acts 24:21. Περὶ) Never is there an occasion when Paul omits to make mention concerning the resurrection of the dead.

And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
Acts 24:22. Ἀνεβάλετο, he deferred them) Dilatory measures are the safe ones for the world in the case of Divine things.—ἀκριβέστερον, more accurately) Through these governors accurate knowledge of Christianity was carried to Rome.

And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
Acts 24:23. Τηρεῖσθαι, that he should be kept) be secured in safety.—ἄνεσιν, rest) Thus he was able to propagate the Gospel. The Jews were annoyed at this, but could not prevent it.

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
Acts 24:24. Παραγενόμενος, having arrived) in the judgment-hall (governor’s residence) of Herod, where Paul was being detained captive; with this comp. Acts 23:35. But Felix does not seem to have been in the same place, but to have had a particular residence of his own.—τῇ γυναικί, the woman, partner) Accurate language. She was not the legitimate wife of Felix, but having left her former husband, had married Felix.—Ἰουδαίᾳ, a Jewess) of the family of Herod. See Joseph. l. 20, Ant. c. 5.

And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Acts 24:25. Διαλεγομένου, as he reasoned) Paul had no desire to insinuate himself into their good-will by subtle disquisitions. Along with his discourse concerning faith in Christ, he also conjoined what needed to be spoken to the judge Felix, and to the same Felix and Drusilla in their private capacity. [Drusilla was not even the lawful wife of Felix.—V. g.]—τοῦ, the judgment) The article not being added to the first and second head of those particulars which are here enumerated, forms an Epitasis [Emphatic addition.—Append.]—ἔμφοβος γενόμενος, being struck with fear, trembling) Truth makes Felix to fear even a prisoner in bonds. [Who should not be struck with fear?—But he who is so struck should suffer himself to be urged forward to repentance and faith, so that fear may give place to love.—V. g.]—τὸ νῦν ἔχον, for the present time) Such a present time having been neglected in this life, shall hereafter cause gnawing remorse to each of the damned. Procrastination is dangerous.—καιρὸν δὲ λαβὼν) Instead of λαβὼν, most copies have μεταλαβὼν, owing to alliteration with μετακαλέσομαι.[140] LXX., Psalms 55 (54):3, ὍΤΑΝ ΛΆΒΩ ΚΑΙΡΌΝ. [This very time should have been the convenient season.—V. g.]

[140] Hence the more recent margin of Bengel prefers λαβὼν, which the older had reckoned among the less established readings.—E. B.

Μεταλαβὼν is the reading of BC: παραλαβὼν of A. No very old authority favours λαβὼν, except Chrysostom be considered such.—E. and T.

He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
Acts 24:26. Ἐλπίζων, hoping) A bad hope: an evil eye.—χρήματα, money) which so many Christians would have contributed through love of Paul. Comp. Acts 24:17; Acts 24:23. Thus the wretched Felix neglected to secure the treasure of the Gospel.

But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
Acts 24:27. Διετίας, after two years) during which the imprisonment continued. The time of the government of Felix began a year before Paul’s imprisonment; although it was by successive steps that he attained to the government of Judea: whence Paul, in Acts 24:10, could with correctness say, that he was for many years a judge of this people. Comp. Ord. Temp., p. 285.—ἔλαβε, received) against his will, as may be inferred from Acts 24:10; Acts 24:24.—χάριτας καταθέσθαι, to gratify, to show a pleasure to) in order that the favour of the Jews might follow him in leaving the government. So χάριν καταθέσθαι, ch. Acts 25:9 : φιλίαν καταθέσθαι 1Ma 10:23. Worldly men, in order to gratify one another, stretch out their hands against those things which are GOD’S: ch. Acts 25:9.

Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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