Acts 25
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
Acts 25:1. Τρεῖς ἡμέρας after three days: quickly enough.

Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
Acts 25:2. Ἐνεφάνισαν [informed him against], appeared against [understanding ἐαυτοὺς]) After so long intervals of time Jewish zeal [bigotry] does not abate: Acts 25:24. So with the greater justice Paul embraced the Gentiles.—παρεκάλουν, besought) On this depends ὅπως, that, Acts 25:3.

And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
Acts 25:3. Εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ, to Jerusalem) where Festus already was.

But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither.
Acts 25:4. Ἀπεκρίθη, answered) The zeal of Festus in defending the Imperial rights proves advantageous to Paul. Luke skilfully portrays the mind of the procurator, a novice, and therefore haughty.—ἐν τάχει, speedily) See Acts 25:6.—μέλλειν ἐκπορεύεσθαι) that he is about to go forth, to give sentence in the case.

Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
Acts 25:5. Δυνατοὶ) Those who are able, viz. to perform the journey [not, able to prove guilt in Paul]. The urbane (witty) ἦθος of Festus is hereby expressed, as he thus answers the Jews, who made their pretext (for wishing Paul to be brought from Cesarea to Jerusalem) the troublesomeness of the journey.—συγκαταβάντες, going down together) with me. The Court-house (Forum) does not follow the pleader (plaintiff).—εἴ τι, if aught) He does not simply and implicitly believe the Jews: Acts 25:10, at the end.—ἐν τῷ ἀνο͂ρι) in the man. So the Latin Vulg. with the best MSS. More recent authorities add τούτῳ.[141]

[141] Memph. and both Syr. Versions are the only very old authorities for τούτῳ: which Tisch. reads. But ABCEe Vulg. Lucifer omit τούτῳ, and add ἄτοπον: and so Lachm.—E. and T.

And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
Acts 25:6. Οὐ πλείους ὀκτὼ ἢ δέκα) not more than eight or ten, is the reading of the Latin Vulg. And this reading is supported by old Greek MSS., along with the Coptic (Memphitic) Version. An excellent reading.[142] So Οὐ ΠΛΕΊΟΥς ἩΜΈΡΑΙ ΔΕΚΑΔΎΟ, Κ.Τ.Λ., ch. Acts 24:11, Acts 4:22, Acts 23:13. Others omit Οὐ, or also ὈΚΤΏ, or Οὐ ΠΛΕΊΟΥς. Eight or ten days are a sufficiently short time (Acts 25:4) for the stay of the new governor in the city of Jerusalem. Within that time he could not conveniently have discussed Paul’s case.

[142] Which is rated more highly in the margin of Ed. 2 and the Germ. Vers. than in the larger Ed.—E. B.

ABC Vulg. Memph. read οὐ πλείους ὀκτώ, except that B has πλείονας. Rec. Text omits οὐ and ὀκτώ. Ee omit οὐ, but retain ὀκτώ. Lucifer retains both. Chrysostom in his commentary omits πλείους ἢ, but in the text retaius the words.—E. and T.

And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
Acts 25:7. Περείστησαν, stood round about) threatening danger.—πολλὰ, many) Where many charges are alleged, often not even one is true.—καὶ βαρέα, and grievous) What these were is intimated in the following verse—φέροντες, bringing) with clamour: Acts 25:24.

While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?
Acts 25:9. Θέλεις; wilt thou?) Festus could have given the decree without asking Paul; but conscience kept him back, and the matter was divinely so ordered, that Paul should be given cause for making an appeal.—ἐπʼ ἐμοῦ, before me) This Festus adds plausibly. Paul answers presently, ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος, κ.τ.λ., before the tribunal, etc.

Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
Acts 25:10. Ἑστώς εἰμι, I stand) viz. here at Cesarea.—κάλλιον) better than others [not as Engl. Vers. very well].—ἐπιγινώσκεις, thou knowest) He touches the conscience of Festus.

For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
Acts 25:11. Ἀδικῶ) The present absolute (as in Colossians 3:25, ὁ ἀδικῶν), in which the preterite is involved, as in Chrys. de Sacerd. sect. 55, at the end, οὐχ ἀδικῶ. Comp. ch. Acts 26:31, πράσσει.—τὸ ἀποθανεῖν) That this was the issue at stake, is denoted by the article.—οὐδεὶς, no man) Modestly expressed; i.e. thou canst not.—ἐπικαλοῦμαι, I appeal) Sometimes we may employ legal remedies in the cause of GOD. Paul lays hold of a help towards his going to Rome, according to what was the will of God expressed in the vision, ch. Acts 23:11.

Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
Acts 25:12. Συμβουλίου, with the council) This consisted of the persons who were with the governor.—πορεύσῃ, thou shalt go) Festus seems to have said this by way of terrifying Paul.

And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
Acts 25:13. Βερνίκη, Bernice) Sister of Agrippa—τὸν Φῆστον, Festus) the new governor.

And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
Acts 25:14. Πλείους, more) Festus handles the matter concerning Paul negligently.—ἀνὴρ, a man) The whole language of Festus savours of the new governor.

About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
Acts 25:16. Ῥωμαίοις, Romans) Would that none of those things, which the Romans were not wont to do, were done among Christians!

Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.
Acts 25:17. Ἀναβολὴν μηδεμίαν, no delay) This in itself was not bad.

Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:
Acts 25:18. Ὑπενόουν, I supposed, or suspected) from their very great vehemence.—ἐγὼ, I) as yet a stranger.

But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
Acts 25:19. [Ζητήματα, questions) There is a great variety in questions. The most unimportant are often accounted as the most important, and the most important as the most unimportant. See that from your heart you estimate as of the highest importance questions concerning Jesus.—V. g.]—ἰδίας)—Truly the Jews seemed to the Gentiles to have something peculiar about them. Agrippa was not a Jew: otherwise Festus would not thus express himself to him. He was of the family of the Herods, an Idumean, a Proselyte; but, as usually happens in the case of great men, without any great zeal for religion. Festus therefore might have held Agrippa as a Gentile. Compare also ch. Acts 26:27.—δεισιδαιμονίας, superstition religion) A word middle between a good and bad sense; it is sometimes employed in the former, but oftener in the latter sense.—περί τινος, concerning a certain Jesus) Thus the wretched Felix speaks concerning Him, to whom even knee shall bow. [If ye refuse to believe, ye mockers and despisers! who is that Certain One ye shall see with wailing and lamentation?—V. g.]—τεθνηκότος, dead) Festus either did not know or did not trouble himself about the cross (crucifixion of Jesus).—ζῇν, to be alive) He does truly live. This is no doubt true: not a fiction.—V. g.]

And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
Acts 25:20. Ἀπορούμενος, being in doubt) Thou oughtest to have inquired, Festus. An elegant construction, ἀπορούμενος ζήτησιν. Scapula has examples.—ζήτησιν) Ζητήματα are tne things which are the subjects of inquiry, Acts 25:19 : ζήτησις, the act of inquiry or question. The ζήτημα is the object (or subject) of inquiry, ζήτησις.—[εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ, to Jerusalem) Here Festus is silent as to his dangerous purpose (counsel), which he had taken up through desire to favour the Jews against Paul.—V. g.]

But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
Acts 25:21. Τηρήθηναι, to be kept) By this verb Festus betrays that he had wished to have given up Paul to the will of the Jews.—Σεβαστοῦ) Augustus.

Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
Acts 25:22. Ἐβουλόμην) for βούλομαι· a courteous enallage [change of tense.—Append.]—καὶ αὐτὸς I myself) A prudent wish. If thou knowest for thyself, thou wilt see and hear more than others tell thee. [The world truly is full of lies: but nowhere is it the custom to lie more absurdly, or wantonly than when a question arises concerning either holy persons or holy things.—V. g.]—αὔριον) The same day by Festus is termed αὔριον, to-morrow; by Luke, ἐπαύριον, on the following day, Acts 25:23.

And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.
Acts 25:23. Φαντασίας, pomp) a crowd of attendants, ornament, and ceremony. [A great number of officers of higher and lower grade were present in attendance.—V. g.]—ἀκροατήριον the place of hearing) which was capacious, being the residence of the governor.—χιλιάρχοις, tribunes [chief captains]) viz. military tribunes.—ἄνδρασιπόλεως, principal men—of the city) These were the civil magistrates.—ὁ Παῦλος, Paul) To him so noble an occasion was a matter of joy.

And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.
Acts 25:24. Ἡμῖν, with us) with me and Agrippa.—ἄνδρες, men) Festus spares (does not mention) Bernice, in order not to (seem to) present the prisoner before a woman.—θεωρεῖτε) Indicative: ye see. With this comp. ch. Acts 3:16, “This man whom ye see;” Acts 19:26, Acts 21:20.

But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.
Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.
Acts 25:26. Τῷ κυρίῳ, to my lord) Cæsar. Lately this, appellation, Lord, had arisen.

For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.
Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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