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The Book of ACTS
THEME: Paul's defense before the mob at Jerusalem
This chapter gives Paul's message before the mob. He tells of his encounter with Christ and his subsequent experience which brought him to Jerusalem. Then Paul appeals to his Roman citizenship to deliver himself from the awful whipping of a prisoner. A tremendous message of the apostle Paul.
Paul's Defense Before The Mob (Acts 22:1-24)
Acts 22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. (KJV)
Men, brethren, and fathers . . . a common form of address used by the Jews (Acts 7:2), but that Paul should start his speech to these people in this manner, after they had treated him so horribly, dragging him out of the temple, and beating him so unmercifully, is remarkable. They really did not even deserve being called "men"; yet he also calls them "brethren", for they are his countrymen and kinsmen according to the flesh, and fathers. There were some who might be men in years, and even members of the sanhedrin, and elders of the people, that were now got among the crowd. This shows how ready the apostle was to forgive injuries done him by them.
Hear ye my defence, which I make now unto you . . . in opposition to the charges brought against him: speaking ill of the Jews, the law of Moses and of the temple, he would try to clear himself of the charges and justify his character and conduct.
"Men?" Yes. "Brethren?" Yes, they belong to the same race. Yet these brethren want to kill him. Is he being sarcastic? No, because then he shows respect for the older men, "and fathers."
Acts 22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) (KJV)
And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue . . . like in Acts 21:40.
They kept the more silence . . . when they heard Paul speak in the Hebrew tongue, it calmed their minds to him, or at least they gave their attention to what he was about to say.
And he saith . . . the minute he begins to speak in Hebrew, they quieted down, like a raging wind suddenly stopping, like waves of the seas calming after a storm. They listen to a man who is one of them. He begins with his personal history.
Acts 22:3 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. (KJV)
I am verily a man which am a Jew . . . Paul was by birth, a genuine Jew; a Hebrew of the Hebrews, both by father and mother side, both Paul's parents were Jews, a true descendant from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia (Acts 21:39).
Yet brought up in this city . . . the city of Jerusalem; though Tarsus was the place of his birth, his education was at Jerusalem. At the feet of Gamaliel . . . a doctor of the Law (Acts 5:34). It was the custom of scholars among the Jews, to sit at the feet of their masters, when instructed by them (Deut.33:3).
And taught according to the perfect law of the fathers . . . not the law which the Jewish fathers received from Moses, though Paul was instructed in this, but in the oral law, or traditions of the elders, in which he greatly profited, and exceeded others (Gal.1:14).
And was zealous towards God . . . Paul was "a zealot of God"; one of those who in their great zeal for the glory of God, took away the lives of men, when they found them guilty of what they judged a capital crime (John 16:2).
As ye all are this day . . . having a zeal for God, and the law, but not according to knowledge.
Paul is being persecuted by the Jewish leaders, by the religious leaders of that day. Paul shows them that he had been one of them . . . he had been a Pharisee. One of the reasons he has so much sympathy for them and is so loving toward them is that he knows exactly how they feel. He is giving them his background because he wants to win them for Christ.
Acts 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. (KJV)
And I persecuted this way unto the death . . . "this way" meaning Christianity, and all who the professed it. Paul had threatened and slaughtered those who professed Christ. he dragged them out of their houses (Acts 8:3), and put them in prison (Acts 9:2); consented to their death, as he did to Stephen's (Acts 7:58-59). Whenever it was put to the vote, whether "Christians" should die or not, Paul said yes. He was a most bitter enemy, and a relentless and cruel persecutor of Christians, which shows how very opposed he was to "this way", and just how prejudiced he was against it. . . . His complete turn-around therefore could only be a work of divine power, for only God could cause him to embrace and profess it.
What Paul is saying to them is: "Listen, I have the same background you have. I persecuted 'this way.' I know how you feel, for I did the same thing."
Acts 22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: 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. (KJV)
As also the high priest doth bear me witness . . . it seems that either Annas or Caiaphas, who was at that time high priest, might still be living.
And all the estate of the elders . . . meaning the Jewish sanhedrin, not men in years, but men in office, and such who were members of the high court in Jerusalem.
From whom also I received letters unto the brethren . . . or "against the brethren", meaning Christians. These letters were to recommend Paul to them, and to empower him to persecute the Christians, and to demand and require their assistance in it. These "letters of power" were received from the whole sanhedrin, as well as from the high priest, and were signed by both. Paul had really been an enemy of Christ!
And went to Damascus to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished . . . with stripes (beaten) or with death, as they should be judged (Acts 9:2).
Acts 22:6 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass, that as I made my journey . . . his journey was almost done, as Paul was come nigh unto Damascus . . . some say just about a mile from it. About noon . . . this part is omitted in the account in (Acts 9:3), and is mentioned here, not so much to say what time of day it was that Saul came to Damascus, but to observe how brilliant that light must have been which then appeared.
Suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me . . . and not only around Saul, but also those that were with him (Acts 26:13). This had to be a great light indeed, to distinguish it from the sun at noon, to be above the brightness of the sun, and to have such an effect upon Saul and his company.
Acts 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (KJV)
And I fell unto the ground . . . so did all those that were with Saul (Acts 26:14). And heard a voice, saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (Acts 9:4). Paul is telling them what happened to him.
Acts 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. (KJV)
And I answered, who art thou, Lord? . . . I am Jesus of Nazareth; that wonderful Name is held in contempt by billions of people today! That Name is none other than Christ Jesus, the prophesied Messiah, from Heaven. Oh! How I pray that you are NOT one of these foolish people who look down on Jesus of Nazareth! I pray that you are not like "Saul" but instead "Paul"! See: . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_messianic_prophecies.htm
For more on this, see: Acts 9:3-7.
Acts 22:9 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. (KJV)
And they that were with me saw indeed the light . . . the stunning brilliance of the light shone about them all. They ALL saw it!
And were afraid . . . the suddenness, greatness and strangeness of the light surprised them, for it was a divine miracle. But they heard not the voice of him that spake to me . . . the others saw the light, but did NOT understand the Voice. Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (KJV) . . . They saw the confusion, they heard the sound, but they did NOT understand what the voice said nor did they know whose voice it was. There was NO one present. They simply heard a voice.
Acts 22:10 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. (KJV)
And I said, What shall I do, Lord? . . . Saul KNEW Who was speaking to him! Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
Acts 22:11 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. (KJV)
And when I could not see for the glory of that light . . . far brighter than the sun. It blinded him. He could not see his way into the city, someone took him by the hand, and led him. (Mat.17:2; Mark 9:2-3; Luke 9:29; Rev.1:16; 21:23).
Being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came unto Damascus . . . Saul's whole lifestyle changed that day. He started out to persecute the saints there; but now he enters Damascus blind and helpless, to be informed by one of the ones that he was going to persecute. This man would tell him what he must do for Christ, Whom he had so severely persecuted.
Acts 22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, (KJV)
And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law . . . one whose walk and lifestyle were agreeable to the law of Moses, both moral and ceremonial: he not only lived a holy life according to the moral law, but he religiously and devoutly attended to the rituals of the ceremonial law. For although he was a disciple (Acts 9:10), a believer in Christ, yet as many of the believing Jews did, he strictly observed the rituals of the law.
Having a good report of all the Jews that dwelt there . . . at Damascus. For although Ananias was a Christian, a man of an unblemished lifestyle, he was zealous and devout in the observance of the ceremonial law.
Acts 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. (KJV)
Came unto me . . . Saul was at the house of Judas, in that street of Damascus called Straight, (Acts 9:11) and stood; at the side of him, or by him, putting his hands on him: . . . and said unto me, brother Saul; receive thy sight . . . (Acts 9:17).
And the same hour I looked up upon him . . .meaning immediately, for the phrase, "that same hour", is often used by the Jews. For instance: the words in (Num.16:21) "that I may consume them in a moment", are understood to mean "that I may consume them in an hour". An hour is often used for a moment with them.
Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. (KJV)
And he said, the God of our fathers hath chosen thee . . . or "he hath taken thee into his hand" to fit and qualify you for His service. That thou shouldest know his will . . . God's revealed will, concerning the salvation of men by Jesus Christ, which there is no other than the Gospel (2 Cor.11:4), of which Saul had been completely ignorant.
Even though Saul knew the will of God, as revealed in the law . . . spiritually he was a stranger to God's will, God's Way, and God's method of saving sinners by Christ Jesus . . . as are multitudes today! Saul knew nothing of justifying anyone by Jesus' righteousness, and of pardoning their sins through His Blood, and of giving them eternal life in Heaven by Him (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). The knowledge of this came by the spirit of wisdom and revelation, resulting of Saul's being chosen and called.
And see that just One . . . Christ Jesus the Righteous, Who is both God and Man. He is also our Mediator (1 Tim.2:5), and our Advocate (1 John 2:1), and our one and only Way to Heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
And shouldest hear the voice of his mouth . . . both His human voice when he spoke to him in the Hebrew tongue, as in (Acts 22:7), and the voice of His Gospel (Mat.25:46; John 3:15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; Acts 2:21; 10:43; Rom.10:13; 1 Jn.5:1,10-13; Rev.20:15).
Christ appeared to Saul that day to make him a minister; a voice of love, grace and mercy, of peace, pardon, righteousness and salvation.
Acts 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. (KJV)
For thou shalt be his witness unto all men . . . to Gentiles as well as Jews.
Of what thou hast seen and heard . . .
that Saul SAW Christ personally and alive, so he could witness to the Truth of His resurrection. For He had been seen by all the apostles,
Paul was the last of the apostles to see Christ. Paul saw Him, heard Him and received from Him the Gospel, and a task and commission to preach it.
What Paul preached, he did not receive of man, nor was he taught it by any man, but he had it by revelation from Christ Jesus. I think that the Lord talked with Paul and taught him when he spent time out on that Arabian desert.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (KJV)
And now why tarriest thou? . . . tarrying is often the case of many, to procrastinate and delay obedience to the commands of Christ.
Arise, and be baptized . . . this shows that Ananias was a Christian. He directs Saul to an ordinance of Christ. It seems that Ananias administered the baptism, as concluded from (Acts 9:18).
The baptism was not administered by sprinkling, since Saul might have sat still, and have had some water brought to him, and sprinkled on him; but by immersion, he is called upon to arise, and go to some place proper and convenient for the administration of it, according to the usage of John, and the apostles of Christ.
Calling on the name of the Lord . . . the Name of the Lord is not only to be used by the administrator of baptism in the performance of it; but it should be called upon by the person who submits to it, both before and at the administration of it, for the Presence of Christ in it; and this invocation of the Name of the Lord in baptism, signifies an exercise of faith in Christ at this time, a profession of Him, and obedience to Him.
Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; (KJV)
And it came to pass, that when I was come again to Jerusalem . . . this was three years after Paul's conversion. He did not immediately return to Jerusalem, but went into Arabia; and when he returned to Damascus, which was three years after he came to Jerusalem; see (Gal.1:17-18). I think that the Lord talked with Paul and taught him when he spent time out on that Arabian desert.
Even while I prayed in the temple . . . the temple was a house of prayer; where persons went for that purpose. As Paul had always done this, he continued this custom, and during the time of prayer he fell into a daze or trance.
I was in a trance . . . Paul did not know not whether he was in the body or out of the body. Was this the time he refers to in (2 Cor.12:2)? I don't think it is the same. But, if not, it was a similar experience.
Acts 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. (KJV)
And I saw him saying unto me . . . meaning the Lord Jesus Christ, that Just One, Whom he had seen on his way to Damascus, and whose Voice he had heard, and whose Name he had called upon at his baptism.
Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem . . . not because his life was in danger, but because Christ had work for him to do elsewhere, which required haste (get moving). Paul's staying would ben useless and unprofitable in God's work. WHY? Let's go on!
For they will not receive thy testimony concerning me . . . because Christ the omniscient God, and the Searcher of the hearts, knew the hardness and unbelief of the Jews there; and that they would continue in unbelief. They would not take any testimony of Paul seriously.
Acts 22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: (KJV)
And I said, Lord, they know, that I imprisoned . . . any men and women that made a profession of the Christian religion (Acts 8:3), Saul put in prison or had killed.
And beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee . . . in Jerusalem there were many synagogues, and in these scourging and beating of offenders were used (Mat.10:17).
After Paul's conversion, I am sure that he had bitter memories of what he had done to Christians. I often think of the following verse. Phil. 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (KJV)
Paul could not change the past, and neither can you or I. We must, like Paul, forget those things which are behind, and reach for those things which are out in front of us. Paul had to forget the past, which was NOT easy to do! Us too.
Acts 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. (KJV)
And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed . . . Stephen was a martyr for Christ, both by confession with his mouth, and by the effusion of his blood; he was "the first martyr" that suffered for Christ. His blood was shed by stoning.
I also was standing by . . . watching the inhuman, animal-like action done that day. Paul was not just an idle and indifferent spectator.
And consenting unto his death . . . Saul was pleased and delighted with it, and rejoicing at it (Acts 8:1).
And kept the raiment . . . Saul held the clothes of them that slew him; the accusers of him, and witnesses against him, those who had cast the first stones at him, and continued to stone him, until they killed him. These monsters laid their garments at the feet of Saul, who looked after them, so that nobody stole them, while they were killing Stephen. This really shows how willing and agreeable Saul was to that fact, and how much he approved of it.
These things he mentions to suggest that surely the Jews would receive his testimony, since they knew what a bitter enemy he had been to this way: and therefore might think that he must have some very good reasons, which had prevailed upon him to embrace this religion against all his prejudices, and so they might be willing to hear them. It also shows what an affection Paul had for the Jews, and how much he wanted to see them accept Christ. Paul never forgot that he had been present at the stoning of Stephen and actually had had charge over it.
Acts 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. (KJV)
And he said unto me, depart . . . Jesus told Paul to get out of Jerusalem, and out of the land of Judea.
For I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles . . . to the nations afar off, as far as Illyricum, Pannonia, or Hungary, where the apostle went and preached (Rom.15:19). By God's divine commission Paul became the apostle of the Gentiles, and preached the Gospel among them with great success, to the conversion of many thousands of them, and to the planting of many churches in the midst of them.
Acts 22:22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. (KJV)
And they gave him audience unto this word . . . they listened to Paul's message! They listened patiently, did not molest him and nor hinder his speaking. BUT, to pretend to a divine mission to Gentiles, this the Jews could not bear; for nothing was more offensive, irritating, and provoking to them, than to hear of the calling of the Gentiles. The Jews were for depriving Gentiles of all blessings, for they wanted them all for themselves.
And then lift up their voices . . . in a very loud and riotous manner, all in agreement. Remember where Paul is when he is speaking. He is in chains on the top of the palace (Acts 21:34-35). He is speaking to the Jews who had attacked him. The listened for a while, but now they go crazy again!
And said, away with such a fellow from the earth . . . they want Paul killed!
For it is not fit that he should live . . . the Jews say Paul does not deserve to live, he is unworthy of life; it is not agreeable to the rules of justice that he should be spared; it may result in something bad should he be allowed to live. He might do great harm, and poison the minds of the people with bad notions, and therefore it is not fit that he should live.
When Paul mentions the Gentiles, it is just like lighting a fuse on a stick of dynamite. They will listen to him NO more.
Acts 22:23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, (KJV)
And as they cried out . . . in a furious manner. And cast off their clothes . . . like madmen, that knew not what they did, or in order to stone him (Acts 7:57-58).
And threw dust into the air . . . either with their hands, or by striking the earth, and scraping it with their feet, through indignation and wrath, like people gone mad.
Acts 22:24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. (KJV)
The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle . . . brought inside. Until now Paul was out on the top of the stairs, which led up to it; probably done in order to save him from the people's rage, and that he might privately examine him, and get the true state of his case, though he took a very wrong and unjustifiable method to do it in, as follows:
And bade that he should be examined by scourging . . . the captain gave a centurion orders to whip him, and to lay on stripes more and harder, until he should tell the whole truth of the matter, and confess the crime or crimes he was guilty of, which had so enraged the people.
That he might know wherefore they cried so against him . . . even though the captain had rescued him out of their hands, when they would have beat him to death; and although he took Paul inside the castle to secure him from their violence . . . he still thought that Paul must be a really bad man, and must have done something very bad, so he takes this method to force a confession from Paul of his crime, for which the people had rioted against him with so much hatred and violence.
When Paul spoke in the Hebrew tongue to the mob, the captain did not understand what he was saying. The captain simply did not know what was happening nor did he understand the problem. All he could do when the mob broke into this rage was to take Paul inside the castle. He thought that since Paul was a prisoner, he would find out the truth about the whole matter by beating him.
Paul Appeals To His Roman Citizenship (Acts 22:25-30)
Acts 22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? (KJV)
And as they bound him with thongs . . . tied Paul to a pillar or post, so he could be scourged, according to the Roman manner. The post to which he was bound was fixed in the ground, and high enough for a man to lean on.
Paul said unto the centurion that stood by . . .the centurion was to see the soldiers execute the orders received from the chief captain.
Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? . . . though Paul puts this by way of question, he knew full well what the Roman laws were in such cases; he did not put this through ignorance, or for information, but to let them know who he was, and to put them in mind of these laws, and of their duty; for, according to the Porcian law, Roman citizens were NOT to be beaten. It was a terrible sin to bind a Roman citizen, it was worse to beat him.
And, according to the Valerian law, it was not lawful for magistrates to condemn a Roman without hearing the cause, and pleading in it; and such condemned persons might appeal to the populace.
Acts 22:26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. (KJV)
When the centurion heard that . . . the question put by Paul, strongly stated that he was a Roman.
He went and told the chief captain . . . what Paul had said . . . saying, take heed what thou dost . . . be careful of what you do, or some bad consequences may follow; lest he should affront the Roman people and senate, and lose his place, if not incur some corporeal punishment.
For this man is a Roman . . . what will you say if you bind and beat a Roman?
Acts 22:27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. (KJV)
Then the chief captain came, and said unto him . . . to Paul. . . . Tell me, art thou a Roman? . . . Paul had told the captain before that he was a Jew of Tarsus, which was true, but he had said nothing of his being a Roman. Now the chief captain wants the whole truth of the matter, whether he was a Roman or not.
He said yea . . . Paul said yes, he was a Roman.
Acts 22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. (KJV)
And the chief captain answered, with a great sum obtained I this freedom . . . the officer states that he had bought his citizenship. He was not of Roman birth, but by a great sum of money, had obtained Roman rights. This was not uncommon in the corrupt period of Roman government that had come.
And Paul said, But I was free born . . . though Paul was born of Hebrew parents, yet he was born at Tarsus, to the natives of which town Augustus had given this privilege, for the assistance that the citizens afforded him in his wars with Brutus and Cassius; or, as some say, for favoring of Julius Caesar, this privilege was granted unto that place by him.
Paul is misunderstood all the way around. The Jews thought he had brought Trophimus into the temple, he did not. The captain thought he was an Egyptian who was a riot leader, he was not that man. Who is he? He is a Hebrew who can speak fluent Greek and he is a Roman citizen. He now appeals to that citizenship to escape the beating before him.
The captain was an ex-slave. He had saved his money or gotten the money some how to buy his freedom. He has advanced in the Roman army so that now he is a captain. He is amazed that he has a prisoner who is a Roman citizen who was born free.
Acts 22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. (KJV)
Then straightway they departed from him, which should have examined him . . . straightway means right away (Mat.3:16; 4:20; Acts 5:10; 9:20). They . . . meaning the soldiers who were going to scourge him, to force him to reveal his crime, which was the cause of all this disturbance. But hearing that he was a Roman, they quit binding him, and went their way.
And the chief captain also was afraid after he knew that he was a Roman . . . he was afraid that he would be called to an account for his conduct, and his commission should be taken from him, mainly: because he had bound him . . . not only had commanded him to be bound with thongs to a pillar, in order to be scourged, but he had bound him with two chains, when first seized him (Acts 22:25). It was a terrible crime to bind a Roman.
Acts 22:30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them. (KJV)
On the morrow . . . the next day. Paul was kept in the castle all night. Confused concerning the hostility of his countrymen to Paul, and anxious to know whether he was a criminal, the captain ordered a meeting of the Sanhedrin that it might investigate the charges against him.
He loosed him from his bands . . . not from his being bound with thongs to the pillar, that he had been loosed from before, but loosed from the two chains with which he was bound, and held by two soldiers (Acts 21:33,35).
And commanded the chief priests, and all the council to appear . . . the whole Jewish sanhedrin, which was now very much under the direction and influence of the Romans. This he did, because though he could not be sure of the charge and accusation, he perceived it was a matter of religion, and so belonged to them to examine and judge of.
And brought Paul down . . . from the Castle of Antonia, into the temple, and to the place where the sanhedrin sat, which formerly was in the chamber Gazith, but of late years it had removed from place to place, and indeed from Jerusalem itself, and was now at Jabneh; only this was the time of Pentecost, and so the chief priests and sanhedrin were at Jerusalem on that account.
And set him before them . . . "among them" or in the midst of them, to answer to what charges should be brought against him.
The captain sees now that he does not have an ordinary man on his hands. Paul is a well educated man who speaks Greek. He is not a common crook by any means. He is a Jew. . . BUT he is also a Roman citizen. The captain says, "I am not going to treat Paul like a common criminal. We will have a hearing to find out what the charges are against him." So the captain arranged a hearing before the chief priests and all their council.
Paul had many assets which made him suitable to be the missionary to the Gentile Roman Empire. He had a world view. Greek training had prepared him as the world-wide Christian. He was highly trained in the Mosaic system, which prepared him to interpret it in the light of the Coming of Christ and His redemptive death and resurrection. Not the least of his assets was his Roman citizenship which finally opened the door for him to visit Rome.
Book of Acts
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