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1: And when we were torn away from the in - Not without
doing violence both to ourselves and them.
3: We landed at Tyre - That there should be Christians there was
foretold, (Ps 87:4). What we read in that psalm of the Philistines
and Ethiopians also may be compared with (Ac 8:40,27:4).
4: And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days - ln order
to spend a Sabbath with them. Who told Paul by the Spirit - That
afflictions awaited him at Jerusalem. This was properly what
they said by the Spirit. They themselves advised him not to go
up. The disciples seemed to understand their prophetic impulse
to be an intimation from the Spirit, that Paul, if he were so
minded, might avoid the danger, by not going to Jerusalem.
7: Having finished our voyage - From Macedonia,(Ac 20:6),
we came to Ptolemais - A celebrated city on the sea coast,
anciently called Accos. It is now, like many other once
noble cities, only a heap of ruins.
8: We came to Cesarea - So called from a stately temple which
Herod the Great dedicated there to Augustus Cesar. It was the
place where the Roman governor of Judea generally resided and
kept his court. The evangelist, who was one of the seven
deacons - An evangelist is a preacher of the Gospel to those who
had never heard it, as Philip had done to the Samaritans, to the
Ethiopian eunuch, and to all the towns from Azotus to Cesarea,(Ac 8:5,26,40). It is not unlikely he spent the following
years preaching in Tyre and Sidon, and the other heathen cities
in the neighbourhood of Galilee, his house being at Cesarea, a
convenient situation for that purpose. We abode with him - We
lodged at his house during our stay at Cesarea.
10: A certain prophet came - The nearer the event was, the more
express were the predictions which prepared Paul for it.
11: Binding his own feet and hands - In the manner that
malefactors were wont to be bound when apprehended. So shall
the Jews bind the man whose girdle this is - St. Paul's bonds
were first particularly foretold at Cesarea, to which he
afterward came in bonds, (Ac 23:33).
12: Both we, (his fellow travellers,) and they of the place,
besought him not to go up to Jerusalem - St. Paul knew that this
prediction had the force of a command. They did not know this.
13: Breaking my heart - For the apostles themselves were not void
of human affections. I am ready not only to be bound, but to
die - And to him that is ready for it, the burden is light.
14: And when he would not be persuaded - This was not obstinacy,
but true Christian resolution. We should never be persuaded,
either to do evil, or to omit doing any good which is in our
power; saying, the will of the Lord be done - Which they were
satisfied Paul knew.
15: We took up our carriages - Our baggage; which probably went
by sea before. What they took with them now in particular was
the alms they were carrying to Jerusalem, (Ac 24:17).
16: The disciples brought us to one Mnason, a Cyprian, an old
disciple - He was a native of Cyprus, but an inhabitant of
Jerusalem, and probably one of the first converts there.
18: Paul went in with us - That it might appear we are all of
one mind, to James - Commonly called the Lord's brother; the
only apostle then presiding over the Churches in Judea.
20: They are all zealous for the law - For the whole Mosaic
dispensation. How astonishing is this! Did none of the
apostles, beside St. Paul, know that this dispensation was
now abolished? And if they did both know and testify this,
how came their hearers not to believe them?
21: They have been informed concerning thee, that thou teachest
the Jews - not to circumcise their children, nor to walk after the
customs - Of the Mosaic law. And so undoubtedly he did. And so he
wrote to all the Churches in Galatia, among whom were many Jews.
Yea, and James himself had long before assented to Peter,
affirming before all the apostles and all the brethren,(Ac 15:10), That this very law was a yoke which (said he)
neither our fathers nor we were able to bear - Amazing! that they
did not know this! Or, that if they did, they did not openly
testify it at all hazards, to every Jewish convert in Jerusalem!
22: What is it therefore - What is to be done? The multitude must
needs come together - They will certainly gather together in a
tumultuous manner, unless they be some way pacified.
23: Therefore - To obviate their prejudice against thee: do this
that we say to thee - Doubtless they meant this advice well: but
could Paul follow it in godly sincerity? Was not the yielding
so far to the judgment of others too great a deference to be paid
to any mere men?
24: And all will know - that thou thyself walkest orderly, keeping
the law - Ought he not, without any reverence to man, where the
truth of God was so deeply concerned, to have answered plainly,
I do not keep the Mosaic law; neither need any of you. Yea,
Peter doth not keep the law. And God himself expressly commanded
him not to keep it; ordering him to go in to men uncircumcised,
and to eat with them,(Ac 11:3), which the law utterly forbids.
26: Then Paul took the men - Yielding his own judgment to their
advice, which seemed to flow not out of spiritual but carnal
wisdom; seeming to be what he really was not: making as if he
believed the law still in force. Declaring - Giving notice to
the priests in waiting, that he designed to accomplish the days
of purification, till all the sacrifice should be offered, as the
Mosaic law required, (Nu 6:13).
27: And when the seven days were about to be accomplished - When
after giving notice to the priests, they were entering upon the
accomplishment of those days. It was toward the beginning of
them that Paul was seized. The Jews that were from Asia - Some
of those Jews who came from Asia to the feast.
28: Against the people - The Jewish nation; and the law - Of Moses;
and this place - The temple. Yea, and hath even brought Greeks
into the temple - They might come into the outer court. But they
imagined Paul had brought then into the inner temple, and had
thereby polluted it.
30: And immediately the gates were shut - Both to prevent any
farther violation of the temple; and to prevent Paul's taking
sanctuary at the horns of the altar.
31: And as they went about to kill him - It was a rule among the
Jews, that any uncircumcised person who came into the inner
temple, might be stoned without farther process. And they
seemed to think Paul, who brought such in thither, deserved
no better treatment. Word came to the tribune - A cohort or
detachment of soldiers, belonging to the Roman legion, which
lodged in the adjacent castle of Antonia, were stationed on
feast days near the temple, to prevent disorders. It is evident,
Lysias himself was not present, when the tumult began. Probably
he was the oldest Roman tribune (or colonel) then at Jerusalem.
And as such he was the commanding officer of the legion
quartered at the castle.
33: Then the tribune - Having made his way through the multitude,
came near and took him - And how many great ends of providence
were answered by this imprisonment? This was not only a means
of preserving his life, (after he had suffered severely for
worldly prudence,) but gave him an opportunity of preaching the
Gospel safely, in spite of all tumult, (Ac 22:22), yea, and
that in those places to which otherwise he could have had no
access, (Ac 21:40).
And commanded him to be bound with two chains - Taking it for
granted he was some notorious offender. And thus the prophecy of
Agabus was fulfilled, though by the hands of a Roman.
35: When he came upon the stairs - The castle of Antonia was
situate on a rock fifty cubits high, at that corner of the
outward temple, where the western and northern porticos joined,
to each of which there were stairs descending from it.
37: As Paul was about to be brought into the castle - The wisdom
of God taught to make use of that very time and place.
38: Art not thou that Egyptian - Who came into Judea when Felix
had been some years governor there! Calling himself a prophet,
he drew much people after him; and having brought them through
the wilderness, led them to Mount Olivet, promising that the
walls of the city should fall down before them. But Felix
marching out of Jerusalem against him, his followers quickly
dispersed, many of whom were taken or slain; but he himself
made his escape.
40: In the Hebrew tongue - That dialect of it, which was then
commonly spoken at Jerusalem.