Homilies of Chrysostom
And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:
And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.
Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.
And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.
And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.
There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.
And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
"And the day following Paul went in with us unto James: and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry."
This was the Bishop of Jerusalem; and to him (Paul) is sent on an earlier occasion. This (James) was brother of the Lord; a great and admirable man. (To him, it says,) "Paul entered in with us." Mark the (Bishop's) unassuming behavior: "and the elders" (were present). Again Paul relates to them the things relating to the Gentiles, not indulging in vainglory, God forbid, but wishing to show forth the mercy of God, and to fill them with great joy. (ch. xv.) See accordingly: "when they heard it," it says, "they glorified God,"--not praised nor admired Paul: for in such wise had he narrated, as referring all to Him--"and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believed." Observe with what modest deference they too speak: "they said to him:" not (James) as Bishop discourses authoritatively, but they take Paul as partner with them in their view; "Thou seest, brother:" as though immediately and at the outset apologizing for themselves, and saying, "We did not wish this. Seest thou the necessity of the thing? how many thousands,' say they, of Jews there are which' have come together." And they say not, "how many thousands we have made catechumens," but, "there are. And these," say they, "are all zealous for the law." (v. 20.) Two reasons--the number of them, and their views. For neither had they been few, would it have been right to despise them: nor, if they were many and did not all cling to the law, would there have been need to make much account of them. Then also a third cause is given: "And they all," it says, "have been informed of thee"--they say not,"have heard," but katechethesan, that is, so they have believed, and have been taught, "that thou teachest apostasy from Moses to all the Jews which are among the Gentiles, by telling them not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs." (v. 21.) "What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee" (v. 22, 23): they say these things as advising, not as commanding. "We have four men which have a vow on them; them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them." Make thy defence in act, not in word--"that they may shave themselves," it says, "and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law" (v. 23, 24): they say not, "teachest," but, of superabundance, "that thou thyself also keepest the law." For of course not this was the matter of chief interest, whether he did not teach others, but, that he did himself observe the law. "What then" (he might say), "if the Gentiles should learn it? I shall injure them." How so? say they, seeing that even we, the teachers of the Jews, have sent unto them. "As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication." (v. 25.) Here with a kind of remonstrance (entreptikhos), As "we," say they, commanded them, although we are preachers to the Jews, so do thou, although a preacher to the Gentiles, cooperate with us. Observe Paul: he does not say, "Well, but I can bring forward Timothy, whom I:circumcised: well, but I can satisfy them by what I have to say (of myself):" but he complied, and did all: for in fact thus was it expedient (to do).  For it was one thing to take (effectual) measures for clearing himself, and another to have done these things without the knowledge of any (of the parties). It was a step open to no suspicion, the fact of his even bearing the expenses. "Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, signifying the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them." (v. 26.) "Signifying," diangellon, i. e. katangellon, publicly notifying: so that it was he who made himself conspicuous. "And when the seven days were about to be completed, the Jews from Asia"--for (his arrival) most keeps times with theirs  --"when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place." (v. 27, 28.) Mark their habitual conduct, how turbulent we everywhere find it, how men who with or without reason make a clamor in the midst.  "For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple. And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple and forthwith the doors were shut." (v. 29, 30.) "Men of Israel," it says, "help: this is the man that (teaches) against the people, and the law, and this place."--the things which most trouble them, the Temple and the Law. And Paul does not tax the Apostles with being the cause of these things to him. "And they drew him," it says, "out of the Temple: and the doors were shut." For they wished to kill him; and therefore were dragging him out, to do this with greater security. "And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the tribune of the cohort, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul. Then the tribune came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude." (v. 31-34.) But the tribune having come down delivered him, and "commanded him to be bound with two chains:" (hereby) appeasing the anger of the people. "And when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him!" (v. 34-36.) What means, "Away with him?" that is, what they say with us according to the Roman custom, To the standards with him!  "And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the tribune, May I speak unto thee?" (v. 37.) In the act of being borne along up the stairs, he requests to say something to the tribune: and observe how quietly he does it. "May I speak unto thee?" he says. "Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? Art thou not then that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?" (v. 38.) For (this Egyptian) was a revolutionary and seditious person. With regard to this then Paul clears himself, and * * 
(Recapitulation.) "Do therefore this that we say unto thee," etc. (v. 23, 24.) He shows that it was not necessary to do this upon principle (proegoumenos)--whence also they obtain his compliance--but that it was economy and condescension.  "As touching the Gentiles," etc. (v. 25.) Why, then, this was no hindrance to the preaching, seeing they themselves legislated for them to this effect. Why, then,  in his taking Peter to task he does not absolutely (haplhos) charge him with doing wrong: for precisely what he does on this occasion himself, the same does Peter on that occasion, (merely) holding his peace, and establishing his doctrine. (Galatians 2:11.) And he says not, For why? it is not right to teach those among the Gentiles. "It is not enough to have not (so) preached there, but there was need also to do something more, that those may be persuaded that thou observest the law. The affair is one of condescension, be not alarmed." They do not advise him (to this course) sooner, until they have first spoken of the economy and the gain. "And besides, the doing this in Jerusalem, is a thing to be borne. Do thou this thing therefore' here, that it may be in thy power abroad to do the other." (b) "The next day," it says, "he took them" (v. 26): he deferred it not; for when there is economy in the case, this is the way of it. (a) "Jews from Asia having seen him," for it was natural that they were spending some days there, "in the Temple." (v. 27.) (c) Mark the economy (of Providence) that appeared (in this). (p. 279, note 1) After the (believing) Jews had been persuaded (concerning him), then it is that those (Jews of Asia) set upon him in order that those (believing Jews) may not also set upon him. Help, say they, "ye men of Israel!" as though it were some (monster) difficult to be caught, and hard to be overcome, that has fallen into their hands. "All men," they say, "everywhere, he ceaseth not to teach;" not here only. And then the accusation (is) more aggravated by the present circumstances. "And yet more," say they, "he has polluted the temple, having brought into it men who are Greeks." (v. 28.) And yet in Christ's time there "came up (Greeks) to worship" (John 12:20): true, but here it speaks of Greeks who had no mind to worship. "And they seized Paul," etc. (v. 30-35.) They no longer wanted laws nor courts of justice: they also beat him. But he forbore to make his defence then; he made it afterward: with reason; for they would not even have heard him then. Pray, why did they cry, "Away with him?" (v. 36.) They feared he might escape them. Observe how submissively Paul speaks to the tribune. "May I speak unto thee? Then art not thou that Egyptian?" (v. 37, 38.) This Egyptian, namely, was a cheat and impostor, and the devil expected to cast a cloud over (the Gospel) through him, and implicate both Christ and His Apostles in the charges pertaining to those (imposters): but he prevailed nothing, nay the truth became even more brilliant, being nothing defeated by the machinations of the devil, nay rather shining forth all the more. Since if there had not been impostors, and then these (Christ and His Apostles) had prevailed, perhaps some one might have laid hold upon this: but when those impostors did actually appear, this is the wonder. "In order," says (the Apostle), "that they which are approved may be made manifest." (1 Corinthians 11:19.) And Gamaliel says, "Before these days stood up Theudas."  Then let us not grieve that heresies exist, seeing that false Christs wished to attack even Christ both before this and after; with a view to throw Him into the shade, but on every occasion we find the truth shining out transparent. So it was with the Prophets: there were false prophets, and by contrast with these they shone the more: just as disease enhances health, and darkness light, and tempest calm. There is no room left for the Greeks to say that (our teachers) were impostors and mountebanks: for those (that were such) were exposed. It was the same in the case of Moses: God suffered the magicians, on purpose that Moses might not be suspected to be a magician: He let them teach all men to what length magic can go in making a fantastic show: beyond this point they deceived not, but themselves confessed their defeat. Impostors do us no harm, rather do us good, if we will apply our mind to the matter. What then, you will say, if we are partners with them in common estimation? The estimation is not among us, but with those who have no judgment. Let not us greatly care for the estimation of the many, nor mind it more than needs. To God we live, not to men: in heaven we have our conversation, not on earth: there lie the awards and the prizes of our labors, thence we look for our praises, thence for our crowns. Thus far let us trouble ourselves about men--that we do not give and afford them a handle against us. But if, though we afford none, those choose to accuse us thoughtlessly and without discrimination, let us laugh, not  weep. "Provide" thou "things honest before the Lord and before men" (2 Corinthians 8:21): if, though thou provide things honest, that man derides, give thyself no more concern (for that). Thou hast thy patterns in the Scriptures. For, saith he, "do I now persuade men or God?" (Galatians 1:10) and again, "We persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God." (2 Corinthians 5:11.) And Christ (spoke) thus of them that take offence: "Let them alone, they be blind guides of the blind" (Matthew 15:14); and again, "Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you" (Luke 6:26): and again, "Let your works shine, that men may see, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16.) And, "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6.)
These sayings are not contrary, nay, they are exceedingly in accord. For when the offence is with us, then woe unto us, but when not with us, not so. And again, Woe to (that man) through whom "the name of God is blasphemed." (Romans 2:24.) How then if I do what is right in anything, but another blasphemes? That is nothing to me, but only to him: for through him (God) was blasphemed. "And how is it possible to do what is right in anything, and yet give a handle to the rest?" Whence will ye that I bring examples--from present, or from old times? Not to be easily scared (psophodeheis), shall we speak to the very point now in hand? Paul judaized in Jerusalem, but in Antioch not so: he judaized, and they were offended (p. 282, note 3), but those had no right to be offended. He is said to have saluted both Nero's cupbearer and his concubine:  what, think ye, must they have said against him because of this? But they had no right to do so. Since, if he drew them to him for  loose living or any wicked acts, one might well be offended: but if in order to right living, what is there to be offended at? Let me mention something that happened to one of my acquaintance. The wrath of God once fell upon (a city), and he being very young (was) in the order of deacon. The bishop was absent at the time, and of the presbyters none took thought for the matter, but indiscriminately they caused in one night immense numbers  of people to be baptized all at once, and they did indiscriminately receive baptism, all of them ignorant of everything: these he took apart by a hundred or two hundred together, and discoursed to them, not upon any other subject, but only on the sacraments, so that the unbaptized also were not allowed to be present. Many thought he did this because he coveted rule. But he cared not for that: neither however did he continue the thing for a (longer) time, but immediately desisted. When then? Was he the cause of the scandal? I think not. For if indeed he had done this without cause, they might with reason have ascribed it to him: and so again, if he had continued to do so. For when aught of what is pleasing to God is hindered by another's taking offence, it is right to take no notice: but then is the time to mind it, when we are not forced because of him to offend God. For, say, if, while we are discoursing and putting drunkards to shame (skoptonton), any one take offence--am I to give over speaking? Hear Christ say, "Will ye also go away?" (John 6:67.) So then, the right thing is, neither to take no notice, nor to take too much, of the weakness of the many. Do we not see the physicians acting thus: how, when it may be done, they humor the whims of their patients, but when the gratification does harm, then they will not spare? Always it is good to know the right mean. Many reviled, because a certain beautiful virgin stayed, and they railed upon those who catechised (her). What then? Was it their duty to desist for that? By no means. For let us not look to this only, whether some be offended, but whether they are justly offended, and  so that it is no hurt to ourselves (to give way). "If meat," saith (Paul), "offend my brother, I will eat no meat as long as the world lasts." (1 Corinthians 8:13.) With reason: for the not eating did (him) no harm. If however it offend him, that I wish to renounce (apotaxasthai) (the world), it is not right to mind him. And whom, you will ask, does this offend? Many, to my knowledge. When therefore the hindrance is a thing indifferent, let (the thing) be done  . Else, if we were to look only to this, many are the things we have to desist from: just as, on the other hand, if we should despise (all objections), we have to destroy many (brethren). As in fact Paul also took thought beforehand concerning offence: "Lest," he says, "in this liberality which is administered by us:" for it was attended with no loss (to him) to obviate an ill surmise. But when we fall into such a necessity as that great evils should ensue through the other's taking offence  let us pay no heed to that person. He has to thank himself for it, and we are not now accountable, for it was not possible to spare him without hurt (to ourselves). Some were offended, because certain believers sat down to meat in (heathen) temples. It was not right to sit down: for no harm came of this (their not doing it). They were offended, because Peter ate with the Gentiles. But he indeed spared them, but (Paul)  not so. On all occasions it behooves us in following the laws of God to take great pains that we give no matter of offence; that both ourselves may not have to answer for it, and may have mercy vouchsafed us from God, by the grace and loving-kindness of His only-begotten Son, with Whom to the Father and Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
 It has been much disputed whether the charge: "Thou teachest apostacy from Moses," etc., was true or not. There certainly was truth in the charge. Paul maintained that the Mosaic law, as such, was not binding upon Christians. But it was against those who made it a yoke of bondage upon believers, that he waged a polemic. Where there was no imposition of the law as necessary to salvation, Paul in no way antagonized it, but rather trusted to the free working of the principles of the gospel to gradually accomplish the abolition of its rites and forms. The truth seems to be that Paul was tolerant of Judaism where it did not impose burdens upon believers or threaten the completeness and sufficiency of the gospel; he even accommodated himself to Jewish requirements, as in shaving his head at Cenchrea and circumcising Timothy. He never unnecessarily opposed the law of Moses, but taught that it had been fulfilled in Christ. So far as he accommodated himself to its ceremonies, it was only that he might remove prejudice and so win the Jews to Christ.--G.B.S.
 Old text: malista gar ekeinois sunchronizei, as the comment on hoi apo tes 'Asias 'Ioudaioi, meaning apparently that his arrival at Jerusalem would naturally fall at the same time with that of the Jews who, like himself, came from the same parts. Mod. text transfers the comment to the first clause of the verse, "And as the days were about to be fulfilled: hora pos malista de autois enchronizei," it is not easy to see with what meaning.
 hora to ethos auton pantachou tarachodes, kai haplos boonton en to meso. Meaning perhaps that the conduct of these Ephesian Jews was of a piece with that of their heathen countrymen, ch. xix. 28.
 en tois signois auton embale. Ammonius in the Catena, "It was a custom of the Jews to utter this cry against the just as they did against the Lord, Aire auton! i. e. away with Him from among the living." Hence OEcumen. combining this with the explanation in the text, "It was the custom of the Jews, etc. But some say, That is, what they say with us," etc. And so mod. text, "It was a custom of the Jews to say this against those whom they would condemn, as also in the case of Christ they appear doing this, and saying, Aron auton! that is, Make him to disappear from among the living. "But some," what among us they say according to the Roman custom, 'En tois signois auton embale, the same is the Aire auton.
 Mod. text supplies the evident lacuna with, "And by what he says, takes him off from his suspicion. "But let us look again at what has been read. "There are," they say, "with us seven men," etc.
 This vow appears to have been the Nazarite vow described in Numbers 6:1-21, taken by the apostle as an accommodation to Jewish prejudices and to allay the suspicions of the legal party in Jerusalem. This was done upon the recommendation of James, the "Bishop" of the church, and his associates. The significance of Paul's paying the expenses, is, perhaps, that the period during which the others vow had run was on this condition reckoned to his account also. It is noticeable that the party of James distinctly admits that adherence to the legal ceremonies is not required of the Gentile Christians; it is equally important to notice that Paul yielded to the advice to take this view, as a concession in a matter of indifference, since he was living for the time as a Jew among Jews, that he might give no needless offence and might win the more. It was not a compromise, but an expedient concession to convictions and prejudices which it was not wise or necessary to oppose or increase.--G.B.S.
 Mod. text, "Using this economy then, he himself at a later time (?) accuses Peter, and he does not do this hapls" St. Chrysostom's view of St. Peter's dissimulation at Antioch as an "economy," is most fully given in his exposition of the passage, Chomment. in Gal. chRevelation 2.?. 4, 5.
 Mod. text adds, "But as for the sicarii, some say they were a kind of robbers, so called from the swords they bore, which by the Romans are called sic?: others, that they were of the first sect among the Hebrews. For there are among them three sects, generally considered (haireseis hai genikai): Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes who are also called hosioi, for that is the meaning of the name Essenes,' on account of their reverend manner of life: but the same (?) are also called sicarii, because of their being zealots." For a further illustration of the way in which the modern text was formed, especially in respect of its use of the Catena (see p. 279, note 3), compare the latter with OEcumenius on this passage. The Catena, namely, cites from Origen: "Among the Jews are treis haireseis genikai; Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes: these (last) exercise a more reverend manner of life, being lovers one of another and temperate: whence also they are called Essenes, i. e. hosioi: but others called them (?) sicarii, i. e. zealots." (OEcumen. using the Catena, makes a continuous exposition from Chrys., Origen, and Josephus. Mod. text from the same materials, interpolates the text of Chrys. as above.
 B. alone of our mss. gives the negative which the sense requires; restored to the text by Ed. Par. Ben. 2.
 The cupbearer may be Narcissus (Romans 16:11): the name of the concubine is not mentioned. In one of his earliest works, Adv. Oppugn. Vit? Monast. i. ? 3. t. i. p. 59. D. St. Chrys. relates that Nero cast St. Paul into prison, and in the end beheaded him, in his rage at the loss of a favorite concubine, converted by him to the faith.
 Ben. espasato, which is the reading of D. only: all the rest epespasato.
 In the original, muriadas pollas. The deacon is probably Chrys. himself; the bishop, Flavian.
 kai me meta tes hemeteras blabes. Mod. text and Edd. kai ei me, which is ambiguous. "The thing to be considered is, whether they are offended dikaios kai me meta t. he. b. justly, and not with concomitant hurt to ourselves should we give way." As in the case afterwards mentioned, the sitting at meat in an idol's temple; the "weak brothers" were offended dikaios, and to abstain from such conduct was not attended with any moral hurt or loss to the men of "knowledge."
 hotan toinun adiaphoron e to koluma, ginestho. Ben, quando igitur indifferens est, abstineatur. But the koluma (which is overlooked in this rendering) seems to mean, the hindrance to the apotaxasthai, which latter will be the subject to ginestho. For instance, if the impediment urged by others against a person's taking the monastic vows be a thing indifferent, let him take them. Else, if we were to look to this only--viz. that this or that man is offended--pollon echomen apostenai--many are the right undertakings we should have to forego or desist from: as on the other hand were we to make it a rule to despise all considerations of offence, we should have to be the ruin of many a brother.
 Namely, in a matter where the duty of persisting in our course is plain--viz. where the other is offended ou dikaios, and to give way would be meta tes hemeteras blabes--then, even though great evils to him or others result from our not giving way, we must take no notice of the offence, must allow it no weight.
 autos de ouk eti. Here, as above, p. 118, it seems to be assumed that St. Paul's judaizing at Jerusalem gave offence to the Gentile brethren in his company.
And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
(For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.
And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.
And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people.
For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.
And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.
"But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. And when he had given him license, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying."
Observe how, when he discourses to those that are without, he does not decline availing himself of the aids afforded by the laws. Here he awes the tribune by the name of his city. And again, elsewhere he said, "Openly, uncondemned, Romans as we are, they have cast us into prison." (ch. xix. 37.) For since the tribune said, "Art thou that Egyptian?" he immediately drew him off from that surmise: then, that he may not be thought to deny his nation, he says at once, "I am a Jew:" he means his religion.  (b) What then? he did not deny (that he was a Christian): God forbid: for he was both a Jew and a Christian, observing what things he ought: since indeed he, most of all men, did obey the law: (a) as in fact he elsewhere calls himself, "Under the law to Christ." (1 Corinthians 9:21.) What is this, I pray? (c) The man  that believes in Christ. And when discoursing with Peter, he says: "We, Jews by nature.--But I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people." (Galatians 2:15.) And this is a proof, that he does not speak lies, seeing he takes all as his witnesses. Observe again how mildly he speaks. This again is a very strong argument that he is chargeable with no crime, his being so ready to make his defence, and his wishing to come to discourse with the people of the Jews. See a man well-prepared (tetagmenon andra)!--Mark the providential ordering of the thing: unless the tribune had come, unless he had bound him, he would not have desired to speak for his defence, he would not have obtained the silence he did. "Standing on the stairs." Then there was the additional facility afforded by the locality, that he should have a high place to harangue them from--in chains too! What spectacle could be equal to this, to see Paul, bound with two chains, and haranguing the people! (To see him,) how he was not a whit perturbed, not a whit confused; how, seeing as he did so great a multitude all hostility against him, the ruler standing by, he first of all made them desist from their anger: then, how prudently (he does this). Just what he does in his Epistle to the Hebrews, the same he does here: first he attracts them by the sound of their common mother tongue: then by his mildness itself. "He spake unto them," it says, "in the Hebrew tongue, saying, Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you." (ch. xxii. 1.) Mark his address, at once so free from all flattery, and so expressive of meekness. For he says not, "Masters," nor "Lords," but, "Brethren," just the word they most liked: "I am no alien from. you," he says, nor "against you." "Men," he says, "brethren, and fathers:" this, a term of honor, that of kindred. "Hear ye," says he, "my"--he says not, "teaching," nor "harangue," but, "my defence which I now make unto you." He puts himself in the posture of a suppliant. "And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence." (v. 2.) Do you observe how the using the same tongue subdued them? In fact, they had a sort of awe for that language. Observe also how he prepares the way for his discourse, beginning thus: "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day." (v. 3.) "I am a man," he says, "which am a Jew:" which thing they liked most of all to hear; "born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia." That they may not again think him to be of another nation, he adds his religion: "but brought up in this city." (p. 282, note 4.) He shows how great was his zeal for the worship, inasmuch as having left his native city, which was so great and so remote too, he chose to be brought up here for the Law's sake. See how from the beginning he attached himself to the law.  But this he says, not only to defend himself to them, but to show that not by human intent was he led to the preaching of the Gospel, but by a Divine power: else, having been so educated, he would not have suddenly changed. For if indeed he had been one of the common order of men, it might have been reasonable to suspect this: but if he was of the number of those who were most of all bound by the law, it was not likely that he should change lightly, and without strong necessity. But perhaps some one may say: "To have been brought up here proves nothing: for what if thou camest here for the purpose of trading, or for some other cause?" Therefore he says, "at the feet of Gamaliel:" and not simply, "by Gamaliel," but "at his feet," showing his perseverance, his assiduity, his zeal for the hearing, and his great reverence for the man. "Taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers." Not simply, "the law," but "the law of the fathers;" showing that he was such from the beginning, and not merely one that knew the Law. All this seems indeed to be spoken on their side, but in fact it told against them, since he, knowing the law, forsook it. "Yes: but what if thou didst indeed know the law accurately, but dost not vindicate it, no, nor love it?" "Being a zealot," he adds: not simply (one that knew it). Then, since it was a high encomium he had passed upon himself, he makes it theirs as well as his, adding, "As ye all are this day." For he shows that they act not from any human object, but from zeal for God; gratifying them, and preoccupying their minds, and getting a hold upon them in a way that did no harm. Then he brings forward proofs also, saying, "and I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders" (v. 4, 5): "How does this appear." As witnesses he brings forward the high-priest himself and the elders. He says indeed, "Being a zealot, as ye" (Hom. xix. p. 123): but he shows by his actions, that he went beyond them. "For I did not wait for an opportunity of seizing them: I both stirred up the priests, and undertook journeys: I did not confine my attacks, as ye did, to men, I extended them to women also: "both binding, and casting into prisons both men and women."
This testimony is incontrovertible; the (unbelief) of the Jews (is left) without excuse. See how many witnesses he brings forward, the elders, the high-priest, and those in the city. Observe his defence, how it is not of cowardly fear (for himself, that he pleads), no, but for teaching and indoctrination. For had not the hearers been stones, they would have felt the force of what he was saying. For up to this point he had themselves as witnesses: the rest, however, was without witnesses: "From whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And I answered, Who are Thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom thou persecutest." (v. 6, 7, 8.) Why then, these very things ought to have been held worthy of credit, from those that went before: otherwise he would not have undergone such a revolution. How if he is only making a fine story of it, say you? Answer me, Why did he suddenly fling away all this zeal? Because he looked for honor? And yet he got just the contrary. But an easy life, perhaps? No, nor that either. Well but something else? Why it is not in the power of thought to invent any other object. So then, leaving it to themselves to draw the inference, he narrates the facts. "As I came nigh," he says, "unto Damascus, about noonday." See how great was the excess of the light. What if he is only making a fine story, say you? Those who were with him are witnesses, who led him by the hand, who saw the light. "And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of Him that spake to me." (v. 9.) But in another place he says, "Hearing the voice, but seeing no man." (Acts 9:7.) It is not at variance: no, there were two voices, that of Paul and the Lord's voice: in that place, the writer means Paul's voice (Hom. xix. p. 124, note 2); as in fact (Paul) here adds, "The voice of Him that spake unto me. Seeing no man:" he does not say, that they did not see the light: but, "no man," that is, "none speaking." And good reason that it should be so, since it behooved him alone to have that voice vouchsafed unto him. For if indeed they also had heard it, (the miracle) would not have been so great. Since persons of grosser minds are persuaded more by sight, those saw the light, and were afraid. In fact, neither did the light take so much effect on them, as it did on him: for it even blinded his eyes: by that which befel him, (God) gave them also an opportunity of recovering their sight, if they had the mind. It seems to me at least, that their not believing was providentially ordered, that they might be unexceptionable witnesses. "And he said unto me" it says, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom thou persecutest." (comp. ch. ix. 5.) Well is the name of the city (Nazareth) also added, that they might recognize (the Person): moreover, the Apostles also spoke thus. (ch. ii. 22; iv. 10; x. 38.) And Himself bore witness, that they were persecuting Him. "And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid, but they heard not the voice of Him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. Enter into the city," it says, "and there it shall be spoken to thee of all that is appointed for thee to do." (v. 10-13.) Lo! again another witness. And see how unexceptionable he makes him also. "And one Ananias," he says, "a devout man according to the law,"--so far is it from being anything alien!--"having a good report of all the Jews that dwelt" (there). "And I in the same hour received sight." Then follows the testimony borne by the facts. Observe how it is interwoven, of persons and facts; and the persons, both of their own and of aliens: the priests, the elders, and his fellow-travellers: the facts, what he did and what was done to him: and facts bear witness to facts, not persons only. Then Ananias, an alien;  then the fact itself, the recovery of sight; then a great prophecy. "And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see That Just One." (v. 14.) It is well said, "Of the fathers," to show that they were not Jews, but aliens from the law, and that it was not from zeal (for the law) that they were acting. "That thou shouldest know His will." Why then His will is this. See how in the form of narrative it is teaching. "And see That Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And see," he says, "that Just One." (v. 15.) For the present he says no more than this: if He is Just, they are guilty. "And hear the voice of His mouth." See how high he raises the fact! "For thou shalt be His witness--for this, because thou wilt not betray the sight and hearing (i. e. "prove false to")--"both of what thou hast seen, and of what thou hast heard:" by means of both the senses he claims his faith, fulness--"to all men. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on His name." (v. 16.) Here it is a great thing he has uttered. For he said not, "Be baptized in His name:" but, "calling on the name of Christ." It shows that He is God: since it is not lawful to "call upon" any other, save God. Then he shows also, that he himself was not compelled: for, "I said," says he, "What must I do?" Nothing is (left) without witness: no; he brings forward the witness of a whole city, seeing they had beheld him led by the hand. But see the prophecy fulfilled. "To all men," it is said. For he did become a witness to Him, and a witness as it ought to be; by what he suffered, by what he did, and by what he said. Such witnesses ought we also to be, and not to betray the things we have been entrusted withal: I speak not only of doctrines, but also of the manner of life.
For observe: because he had seen, because he had heard, he bears witness to all men, and nothing hindered him. We too bear witness (Mod. text "have heard") that there is a Resurrection and numberless good things: we are bound to bear witness of this to all men. "Yes, and we do bear witness," you will say, "and do believe." How; when ye act the contrary? Say now: if any one should call himself a Christian, and then having apostatized should hold with the Jews, would this testimony suffice? By no means: for men would desire the testimony which is borne by the actions. Just so, if we say that there is a Resurrection and numberless good things, and then despise those things and prefer the things here, who will believe us? Not what we say, but what we do, is what all men look to. "Thou shalt be a witness," it says, "unto all men:" not only to the friendly, but also to the unbelievers: for this is what witnesses are for; not to persuade those who know, but those who know not. Let us be trustworthy witnesses. But how shall we be trustworthy? By the life we lead. The Jews assaulted him: our passions assault us, bidding us abjure our testimony. But let us not obey them: we are witnesses from God. (Christ) is judged that He is not God:  He has sent us to bear witness to Him. Let us bear witness and persuade those who have to decide the point: if we do not bear witness, we have to answer for their error also. But if in a court of justice, where worldly matters come in question, nobody would receive a witness full of numberless vices, much less here, where such (and so great) are the matters to be considered. We say, that we have heard Christ, and that we believe the things which He has promised: Show it, say they, by your works: for your life bears witness of the contrary--that ye do not believe. Say, shall we look at the money-getting people, the rapacious, the covetous? the people that mourn and wail, that build and busy themselves in all sorts of things, as though they were never to die? "Ye do not believe that ye shall die, a thing so plain and evident: and how shall we believe you when ye bear witness?" For there are, there are many men, whose state of mind is just as if they were not to die. For when in a lengthened old age they set about building and planting, when will they take death into their calculations? It will be no small punishment to us that we were called to bear witness, but were not able to bear witness of the things that we have seen. We have seen Angels with our eyes, yea, more clearly than those who have (visibly) beheld them. We shall be (Mod. text "Then let us be") witnesses to Christ: for not those only are "martyrs," (or witnesses, whom we so call), but ourselves also. This is why they are called martyrs, because when bidden to abjure (the faith), they endure all things, that they may speak the truth: and we, when we are bidden by our passions to abjure, let us not be overcome. Gold saith: Say that Christ is not Christ. Then listen not to it as to God, but despise its biddings. The evil lusts  "profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him." (Titus 1:16.) For this is not to witness, but the contrary. And indeed that others should deny (Him) is nothing wonderful: but that we who have been called to bear witness should deny Him, is a grievous and a heinous thing: this of all things does the greatest hurt to our cause. "It shall be to (your)selves for a testimony." (Luke 21:13), He saith: but (this is) when we ourselves stand to it firmly. If we would all bear witness to Christ, we should quickly persuade the greater number of the heathen. It is a great thing, my beloved, the life (one leads). Let a man be savage as a beast, let him openly condemn thee on account of thy doctrine,  yet he secretly approves, yet he will praise, yet he will admire. For say, whence can an excellent life proceed? From no source, except from a Divine Power working in us. "What if there be heathen also of such a character?" If anywhere any of them be such, it is partly from nature, partly from vainglory. Wilt thou learn what a brilliancy there is in a good life, what a force of persuasion it has? Many of the heretics have thus prevailed, and while their doctrines are corrupt, yet the greater part of men out of reverence for their (virtuous) life did not go on to examine their doctrine: and many even condemning them on account of their doctrine, reverence them on account of their life: not rightly indeed, but still so it is, that they do thus feel (towards them). This has brought slanders on the awful articles of our creed, this has turned everything upside down, that no one takes any account of good living: this is a mischief to the faith. We say that Christ is God; numberless other arguments we bring forward, and this one among the rest, that He has persuaded all men to live rightly: but this is the case with few. The badness of the life is a mischief to the doctrine of the Resurrection, to that of the immortality of the soul, to that of the Judgment: many other (false doctrines) too it draws on with itself, fate, necessity, denial of a Providence. For the soul being immersed in numberless vices, by way of consolations to itself tries to devise these, that it may not be pained in having to reflect that there is a Judgment, and that virtue and vice lie in our own power. (Such a) life works numberless evils, it makes men beasts, and more irrational than beasts: for what things are in each several nature of the beasts, these it has often collected together in one man, and turned everything upside down. This is why the devil has brought in the doctrine of Fate: this is why he has said that the world is without a Providence (Hom. ii. p. 15): this is why he advances his hypothesis of good natures, and evil natures, and his hypothesis of evil (uncreated and) without beginning, and material (in its essence): and, in short, all the rest of it, that he may ruin our life. For it is not possible for a man who is of such a life either to recover himself from corrupt doctrines, or to remain in a sound faith: but of inevitable necessity he must receive all this. For I do not think, for my part, that of those who do not live aright, there could be easily found any who do not hold numberless satanical devices--as, that there is a nativity (or birth-fate) (genesis), that things happen at random, that all is hap-hazard and chance-medley. Wherefore I beseech you let us have a care for good living, that we may not receive evil doctrines. Cain received for punishment that he should be (ever) groaning and trembling. (Genesis 4:14.) Such are the wicked, and being conscious within themselves of numberless bad things, often they start out of their sleep, their thoughts are full of tumult, their eyes full of perturbation; everything is fraught for them with misgivings, everything alarms them, their soul is replete with grievous expectation and cowardly apprehension, contracted with impotent fear and trembling. Nothing can be more effeminate than such a soul, nothing more inane.  Like madmen, it has no self-possession. For it were well for it that in the enjoyment of calm and quiet it were enabled to take knowledge of its proper nobility. But when all things terrify and throw it into perturbation, dreams, and words, and gestures, and forebodings, indiscriminately, when will it be able to look into itself, being thus troubled and amazed? Let us therefore do away with its fear, let us break asunder its bonds. For were there no other punishment, what punishment could exceed this--to be living always in fear, never to have confidence, never to be at ease? Therefore knowing these things assuredly, let us keep ourselves in a state of calm and be careful to practise virtue, that maintaining both sound doctrines and an upright life, we may without offence pass through this life present, and be enabled to attain unto the good things which God hath promised to them that love Him, through the grace and mercy of His only-begotten Son, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
 Eita hina me nomisthe to ethnos 'Ioudaios, legei ten threskeian; kai gar kai allachou ennomon heauton Christou kalei. Ti (A. B. C. add oun, Cat. de) touto estin; (Mod. text adds, Paulos pseudetai; Apage) Ti oun; ouk ernesato; k. t. l. The sense is confused by omission and transposition. It seems to be this: He gives the tribune to understand that he is a Roman: but because he would not have the Jews to suppose that he was not a Jew, therefore he declares his religion, that he is a Jew. And herein was no denial of his Christianity, etc. See below on v. 3, hina me palin nomisosi to ethnos allo, ten threskeian epegagen. Hence we restore the sense as in the text.--OEcumen. gives it, "He immediately drew him off from this surmise, kai to ethnos kai ten threskeian eipon, as in fact he elsewhere calls himself, Under the law to Christ."
 Mod. text omits the article. O to Christo pisteuon, as we take it, is the answer to the question, ti de touto estin; In the next sentence (which Edd. separate from this only by a comma) he says: in the same sense he calls himself and Peter, phusei 'Ioudaioi, "born Jews (not proselytes,) and Jews still." But Ammonius in the Catena: "I am a man which am a Jew: for we Christians are phusei 'Ioudaioi, as confessing the true faith: which is what the name Judah signifies."
 The whole purpose of Paul's defence here is to appease the prejudice against him as an apostate from Moses. He addresses the people of Jerusalem in their own tongue and as "brethren." He shows them that although born in a Greek city, he had received his education in Jerusalem, under one of their most famous Rabbis. He sketches his history as a zealous adherent of Judaism. After his conversion he did not desert the religion of his fathers. It was while praying in the temple that the call of God came to him which summoned him to go as an apostle to the Gentiles. From this apology, it would be seen how far Paul was from despising the Mosaic law and also, how manifestly providential had been the call by which he had been set apart to a distinct work among the Gentiles. It is a guarded defence which neither antagonizes the law, nor admits its binding force over the apostle or his converts.
 Perhaps it should be, "And he too, not an alien:" viz. being a "devout man according to the Law:" as above, he says of Ananias, houtos ouden allotrion esti.
 Krinetai par anthropois (tisin ho Theos add. mod. text) hoti ouk esti Theos. The subject, not expressed, is Christ. He is brought before the bar of men's judgment for trial whether He be God: so below tous dikazontas.
 Mod. text adds: "say the same: but be not thou seduced, but stand nobly that it may not be said of us also, They profess," etc.
 Kan phaneros ou kataginoske (B. C. -ei) dia to dogma, all' apodechetai k. t. l. Ben. retains this, in the sense, saltem aperte non damnabit propter dogma: taking kan in different senses in this and the former clause. Ed. Par. Ben. 2, Legendum videtur phaneros oun katag. Licet sit quispiam valde efferus, licet aperte ob dogma condemnet, at clam etc. Erasm. Etiam si per dogma non condemnetur. The emendation is sure and easy: kan phaneros SOU kataginoske. So below, Polloi de kai kataginoskontes auton dia to dogma, aidountai dia ton bion.
 Old text exechoteron: a word unknown to the Lexicons, and of doubtful meaning. If we could suppose a comparative of the perfect participle in kos (analogous to the comparison of erromenos and asmenos), exestekoteron would suit the sense very well: but such a form seems to be quite unexampled.--Mod. text anoetoteron. Then: "Even as madmen have no self-possession, so this has no self-possession. When therefore is this to come to consciousness of itself, having such a dizziness; which it were well," etc.
And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,