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2: Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews appeared
against Paul - In so long a time their rage was not cooled. So
much louder a call had Paul to the Gentiles.
4: But Festus answered - So Festus's care to preserve the imperial
privileges was the means of preserving Paul's life. By what
invisible springs does God govern the world! With what silence,
and yet with what wisdom and energy!
5: Let those of you who are able - Who are best able to undertake
the journey, and to manage the cause. If there be any wickedness
in him - So he does not pass sentence before he hears the cause.
6: Not more than ten days - A short space for a new governor
to stay at such a city as Jerusalem. He could not with any
convenience have heard and decided the cause of Paul within
7: Bringing many accusations - When many accusations are heaped
together, frequently not one of them is true.
8: While he answered - To a general charge a general answer was
9: Art thou willing to go up to Jerusalem - Festus could have
ordered this without asking Paul. But God secretly overruled
the whole, that he might have an occasion of appealing to Rome.
10: I am standing at Cesar's judgment seat - For all the courts
of the Roman governors were held in the name of the emperor, and
by commission from him. No man can give me up - He expresses it
modestly: the meaning is, Thou canst not. I appeal to Cesar
- Which any Roman citizen might do before sentence was passed.
12: The council - It was customary for a considerable number of
persons of distinction to attend the Roman governors. These
constituted a kind of council, with whom they frequently advised.
13: Agrippa - The son of Herod Agrippa,(Ac 12:1);
and Bernice - His sister, with whom he lived in a scandalous
familiarity. This was the person whom Titus Vespasian so
passionately loved, that he would have made her empress, had
not the clamours of the Romans prevented it.
15: Desiring judgment against him - As upon a previous conviction,
which they falsely pretended.
16: It is not the custom of the Romans - How excellent a rule, to
condemn no one unheard! A rule, which as it is common to all
nations, (courts of inquisition only excepted,) so it ought to
direct our proceedings in all affairs, not only in public, but
18: Such things as I supposed - From their passion and vehemence.
19: But had certain questions - How coldly does he mention the
things of the last importance! And about one Jesus - Thus does
Festus speak of Him, to whom every knee shall bow! Whom Paul
affirmed to be alive - And was this a doubtful question? But why,
O Festus, didst thou doubt concerning it? Only because thou
didst not search into the evidence of it. Otherwise that
evidence might have opened to thee, till it had grown up into
full conviction; and thy illustrious prisoner have led thee into
the glorious liberty of the children of God.
23: With the tribunes and principal men of the city - The chief
officers, both military and civil.