New American Standard Bible
Then Paul said to him, "God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?"
King James Bible
Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
Darby Bible Translation
Then Paul said to him, God will smite thee, whited wall. And thou, dost thou sit judging me according to the law, and breaking the law commandest me to be smitten?
World English Bible
Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to judge me according to the law, and command me to be struck contrary to the law?"
Young's Literal Translation
then Paul said unto him, 'God is about to smite thee, thou whitewashed wall, and thou -- thou dost sit judging me according to the law, and, violating law, dost order me to be smitten!'
Acts 23:3 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
God shall smite thee - God shall punish thee. God is just; and he will not suffer such a manifest violation of all the laws of a fair trial to pass unavenged. This was a remarkably bold and fearless declaration. Paul was surrounded by enemies. They were seeking his life. He must have known that such declarations would only excite their wrath and make them more thirsty for his blood. That he could thus address the president of the council was not only strongly characteristic of the man, but was also a strong proof that he was conscious of innocence, and that justice was on his side. This expression of Paul, "God shall smite thee," is not to be regarded in the light of an imprecatio, or as an expression of angry feeling, but of a prediction, or of a strong conviction on the mind of Paul that a man so hypocritical and unjust as Ananias was could not escape the vengeance of God. Ananias was slain, with Hezekiah his brother, during the agitation that occurred in Jerusalem when the robbers, or Sicarii, under their leader, Manahem, had taken possession of the city. He attempted to conceal himself in an aqueduct, but was drawn forth and killed. See Josephus, Jewish Wars, book 2, chapter 17, section 8. Thus, Paul's prediction was fulfilled.
Thou whited wall - This is evidently a proverbial expression, meaning thou hypocrite. His hypocrisy consisted in the fact that while he pretended to sit there to do justice, he commanded the accused to be smitten in direct violation of the Law, thus showing that his character was not what he professed it to be, but that of one determined to carry the purposes of his party and of his own feelings. Our Saviour used a similar expression to describe the hypocritical character of the Pharisees Matthew 23:27, when he compares them to whited sepulchres. A whited wall is a wall or enclosure that is covered with lime or gypsum, and that thus appears to be different from what it is, and thus aptly describes the hypocrite. Seneca (De Providentia, chapter 6) uses a similar figure to describe hypocrites: "They are sordid, base, and like their walls adorned only externally." See also Seneca, Epis. 115.
For sittest thou ... - The Law required that justice should be done, and in order to that, it gave every man an opportunity of defending himself. See the note, John 7:51. Compare Proverbs 18:13; Leviticus 19:15-16; Exodus 23:1-2; Deuteronomy 19:15, Deuteronomy 19:18.
To judge me after the law - As a judge, to hear and decide the case according to the rules of the Law of Moses.
Contrary to the law - In violation of the Law of Moses Leviticus 19:35, "Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment."
LibraryThe Witness of Our Own Spirit
"This is our rejoicing, the testimony of out conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world." 2 Cor. 1:12 1. Such is the voice of every true believer in Christ, so long as he abides in faith and love. "He that followeth me," saith our Lord, "walketh not in darkness:" And while he hath the light, he rejoiceth therein. As he hath "received the Lord Jesus Christ," so he walketh in him; and while he walketh …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
Whether Discord is a Sin?
The Life and Death of Mr. Badman,
How Sowers of Strifes and Peacemakers are to be Admonished.
'You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.
then it shall be if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall then make him lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of stripes according to his guilt.
1 Kings 22:24
Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, "How did the Spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?"
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
"Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?"
But the bystanders said, "Do you revile God's high priest?"
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