17:1-9 The drift and scope of Paul's preaching and arguing, was to prove that Jesus is the Christ. He must needs suffer for us, because he could not otherwise purchase our redemption for us; and he must needs have risen again, because he could not otherwise apply the redemption to us. We are to preach concerning Jesus that he is Christ; therefore we may hope to be saved by him, and are bound to be ruled by him. The unbelieving Jews were angry, because the apostles preached to the Gentiles, that they might be saved. How strange it is, that men should grudge others the privileges they will not themselves accept! Neither rulers nor people need be troubled at the increase of real Christians, even though turbulent spirits should make religion the pretext for evil designs. Of such let us beware, from such let us withdraw, that we may show a desire to act aright in society, while we claim our right to worship God according to our consciences.
5-9. the Jews … moved with envy—seeing their influence undermined by this stranger.
lewd fellows of the baser sort—better, perhaps, "worthless market people," that is, idle loungers about the market-place, of indifferent character.
gathered a company—rather, "having raised a mob."
assaulted the house of Jason—with whom Paul and Silas abode (Ac 17:7), one of Paul's kinsmen, apparently (Ro 16:21), and from his name, which was sometimes used as a Greek form of the word Joshua [Grotius], probably a Hellenistic Jew.
sought to bring them—Jason's lodgers.