And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are beside yourself; much learning does make you mad.…
This paragraph has its value, and that a great value, in the grouping of its contents. And the three members that make the group are worthy each of individual consideration as well. But here we notice only certain great though general facts.
I. THE ENERGY OF TRUTH. It will not let Festus remain silent in the court. Immediately afterwards it shows that Agrippa cannot persuade himself to hold his peace before the pilsner and the court. And lastly, it finds them something to say "between themselves," in private, and that something was certainly a witness to the right.
II. THE SUCCESS OF THE ENERGY OF TRUTH IN VERY VARIOUS CHARACTERS. Festus and Agrippa were as different in race, religion, character, as perhaps could be. But while the force of truth makes them both find an utterance when it had been wiser for them bad they kept silence, yet how amazingly different those utterances were! Festus taxes Paul with madness. Agrippa, whether utterly serious or not, bears testimony to the influence he feels from what Paul says, in its persuasiveness. Neither of them refuse, even though the case is involved in all possible publicity, to leave the last word with Paul. He does, as it were, hold the field, and in a very real sense finds himself left, not only in his own heart, but in the "pomp" of that open court, master of the field.
III. THE REVENGE THAT THE ENERGY OF TRUTH TAKES. When open honor is not done spontaneously to it, its victory not proclaimed, and its rights smothered, how superficially soever, it secures its own in a yet more emphatic way. It secures a place indelible for itself, and on a page that shall endure to all time; and it owes nothing to human favor, no thanks to human patronage, no atom of indebtedness to any lifting hand of the great, the wise, the mighty, the proud. Never mind all the suppression of these, it transpires, and it gets all it needs from the very rehearsal of how they suppressed (vers. 30-32). - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.