23:1-5 See here the character of an honest man. He sets God before him, and lives as in his sight. He makes conscience of what he says and does, and, according to the best of his knowledge, he keeps from whatever is evil, and cleaves to what is good. He is conscientious in all his words and conduct. Those who thus live before God, may, like Paul, have confidence both toward God and man. Though the answer of Paul contained a just rebuke and prediction, he seems to have been too angry at the treatment he received in uttering them. Great men may be told of their faults, and public complaints may be made in a proper manner; but the law of God requires respect for those in authority.
3, 4. God shall smite thee—as indeed He did; for he was killed by an assassin during the Jewish war [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 2.17.9].
thou whited wall—that is, hypocrite (Mt 23:27). This epithet, however correctly describing the man, must not be defended as addressed to a judge, though the remonstrance which follows—"for sittest thou," &c.—ought to have put him to shame.