ACTS 21-28

Chapter 21: Paul At Jerusalem


       1. The Trip To Jerusalem V. 1-16

V. 1

1. "After we were gotten from them" = indicates they literally had to tear themselves away from the crowd of Ephesian elders who pressed around them to the last.

2. "Launched" = set sail.

3. "Coos" = Cos; an island about 40 miles south of Miletus. (See Map 1)

4. "Rhodes" = the name of an island and also a city on the island; called the island of roses because roses were produced in large quantities due to the weather there. (See Map 1)

5. "Patara" = a seaport on the southwest coast of Lycia, a small province on the south coast of Asia Minor.


V. 2

1. "Finding a ship" = refers to them finding a ship scheduled to sail directly across the Mediterranean to Phenicia; also refers to a large vessel that could sail across the open sea without anchoring each night as they had on the smaller ship they had been on; Paul was still approximately 500 miles from Jerusalem.

2. "Sailing over" = to cross entirely.

3. "Phenicia" = Phoenicia; a province of Syria; a narrow strip of country lying on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, including the territories of Tyre & Sidon. (See Map 1)

4. "Set forth" = to sail away.


V. 3

1. "Discovered" = to come in sight of.

2. "Cyprus" = a large island in the Mediterranean about 1/2 way between Lycia and Phenicia. (See Map 1)

3. "We left it on the left hand" = means they kept Cyprus on the left side of the ship and continued sailing into Syria.

4. "Tyre" = seaport of Phenicia where they landed.

5. "To unlade" = to unload.

6. "Burden" = cargo.


Map 1 is currently unavailable, please contact us for a copy


V. 4

1. "Finding" = to seek for; to find by searching; Paul had passed through Phenicia (Phenice) before therefore he knew there were Christians there so he looked them up. (Acts 15:3)

2. "Tarried" = remained.

3. "Through" = by means of; the disciples speaking by prophecy given them by the Holy Spirit warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem; the tense of the verb "said" indicates that they kept on saying, repeatedly, over and over again.


V. 5

1. "Had accomplished" = finished the exact number of days (7) mentioned in verse 4; Paul was able to give them further instruction and encouragement.

2. "Departed and went our way" = began their journey again to Jerusalem.

3. "They all brought us on our way" = refers to all the church young and old who went with Paul until they were outside the city; there they had a prayer meeting.

4. "Kneeled" = to bend the knees; one can pray in any position but to kneel is a good position because it reveals a humbleness of self and reverence of God.


V. 6

1. "Taken our leave" = to enfold in the arms; probably accompanied by a holy kiss and some tears.

2. "Took ship" = boarded the ship again, while the disciples went back to their homes in Tyre.


V. 7

1. "Ptolemais" = a city on the Mediterranean about 25 miles south of Tyre. (See Map 1)

2. "Saluted" = same word as "taken our leave" in verse 6; means they greeted them with an embrace and gave them expressions of affection and regard.

3. "Abode" = stayed.


V. 8

1. "Paul's company" = refers to those who had traveled with Paul from Troas, part of their names are listed in Acts 20:4; this word indicates those they had met at Ptolemais stayed behind.

2. "Caesarea" = the seaport of Jerusalem; the political capital of Judea under the Romans where the governor lived.

3. "Philip" = called here "the evangelist" = a preacher of the gospel; also one of the seven referring to those appointed by the church in Acts 6:5 to be servants to the church; also the one the Lord chose to leave a revival in progress and go to the one (eunuch) in a desert. (Acts 8)

4. "Abode" = stayed.


V. 9

1. "Virgins" = one who is chaste; one who has not had sexual relations with the opposite sex; indicates that these four daughters had given themselves for the service of the Lord; this also tells us something about Philip; ordinarily the father had the responsibility to make arrangements for his daughters to be married but the fact that he didn't shows he was more concerned that his daughters follow the Lord than that they follow the social customs of the day.

2. "Prophesy" = to speak for another, to foretell and also to forth-tell; a gift given by God fulfilling the prophecy of Joel 2:28 spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost (Act 2:17); a gift that Paul said he desired all to have (I Cor. 14:1; 24); this could apply to the forth-telling (testifying) of what the Lord had done for them in saving them which would edify, exhort, encourage, and comfort others (I Cor. 14:3); it does not mean that a woman is to teach and usurp authority over the man and violate the scripture of I Tim. 2:12; in fact when the Lord had something to tell Paul he did not use these four daughters but Agabus (verse 10); the Greek construction indicates that these four were regularly used by the Holy Spirit in this ministry of prophesying.


V. 10

1. "Tarried" = to stay over.

2. "Many days" = more days than expected.

3. "Came down" = geographically.

4. "Prophet" = one who speaks for another.

5. "Agabus" = not much is known about him expect what he prophesied here and in Acts 11:28.


V. 11

1. "Girdle" = a belt or sash that bound the loose, flowing robes, or outer garments which were wore in Eastern countries.

2. "Bound" = to fasten or tie.

3. It was common for the prophets to perform actions which were object lessons of the events which they predicted.

4. "So shall the Jews bind" = be the cause of the binding.

5. "Gentiles" = the Romans; they had jurisdiction over Judea; Paul was to be handed over to the Romans by the Jews to be tried.


V. 12

1. "We" = the company with Paul including Luke the human instrument God used to write Acts.

2. "They of that place" = refers to the Christian of Caesarea.

3. "Besought" = to beg; to urge; the tense indicates they kept on doing so.


V. 13

1. "Mean" = do.

2. "Weep" = sob.

3. "Break" = crush to pieces; these are vivid and expressive words which reveals how emotionally distraught these people were; they loved Paul and respected him so much that they could not bear to think of anything happening to him.

4. Though he had no hope of escaping chains and imprisonment, he did not let his friends hinder him from doing what he believed was the will of God.

5. "In the name of" = for the cause of.


V. 14

1. "Persuaded" = to convince; to influence by persuasion.

2. "Ceased" = to be quiet or silent.

3. "Will" = that which the Lord purposed; this phrase may indicate that it was the Lord's will for Paul to go to Jerusalem and that the disciples including Luke (we) didn't want Paul to face the suffering the Holy Spirit had revealed he would face.

4. Through the prophecies the Holy Spirit bore witness to Paul and the gospel he preached.  If Paul had gone to Jerusalem without these prophecies the Judaizers would have been quick to take Paul's arrest as a judgement of God and then say that Paul's preaching was wrong and theirs right.


V. 15

1. "After those days" = refers to the days spent in the house of Philip in Caesarea.

2. "Took up our carriage" = one word in the Greek; means to pack up one's baggage and prepare for the journey; the word "carriage" does not mean a vehicle as our modern English does.

3. "Went up" = tense indicate they started to go up (geographically).


V. 16

1. Some of the disciples from Caesarea went with Paul and his company.

2. "Mnason" = the M is not pronounced; a man from Cyprus but lived in some village on the way to Jerusalem; the Greek text seems to indicate that he was visiting in Caesarea and went with Paul to his home where they lodged (stayed) the night due to the distance to Jerusalem being too far for a day's journey.

3. "Old" = original; does not mean he was necessarily old in age but one of the original 120 disciples in Acts 1.

4. "Cyprus" = a very fertile island of the Mediterranean west of Syria. (See Map 1)


       2. The Bargain With The Jews V. 17-26

V. 17

1. "Received" = to welcome;

2. "Gladly" = with joy and pleasure.


V. 18

1. "James" = half brother of Jesus, now the chief elder of the church in Jerusalem.

2. "Elders" = title of the pastors, plural because the early churches had more than one pastor.

3. The meeting was probably in James' house.  The whole church was not called together probably because of the known prejudice against Paul created by the Judaizers.


V. 19

1. "Saluted" = to enfold in the arms; greet.

2. "Declared particularly" = to recount; to give a detailed account of what God had done (wrought) among the Gentiles through his ministry; a step by step rehearsal of his second and third missionary journeys, giving God all the glory.


V. 20

1. "Glorified" = to ascribe glory to; to praise; to extol; to magnify.

2. "Many thousands" = literally tens of thousands; thirty years before there had been 3000 (Acts 2:41) and 5000 (Acts 4:4) who had believed and the early church was still growing by leaps and bounds; this number may have included those who came to Jerusalem to observe the feast of Pentecost.

3. "Believe" = refers to those Jews who had faith in Christ as the Messiah opposed to those who rejected Him.

4. "Zealous" = to burn with zeal; to boil; they observed the law of Moses; their newfound faith stirred them up to serve God with new zeal, so they  applied this to obeying the law as they had been taught all their lives.


V. 21

1. "Informed" = to resound; to teach orally; this was passed from mouth to mouth over all Jerusalem; this no doubt was done by the Judaizers who had failed in their attacks against Paul in the Gentile Provinces, so now they try to undermine him at home.

2. "Among the Gentiles" = those who live in heathen countries.

3. "Forsake Moses" = refers to the law and authority given by the hand of Moses.

4. "Saying" = tense reveals a continuous action.

5. "Circumcise" = to cut around; sign of the covenant given to Abraham in Gen. 17: Paul taught the very opposite (I Cor. 7:18) and had Timothy circumcised, (Acts 16:3) because he was half Jew and half Greek.

6. "To walk" = conduct their lives.

7. "Customs" = a usage prescribed by habit or law; refers to the offering of sacrifices, incense, the oblations, anointings, feasts, and etc. which the law of Moses prescribed.

8. Those who said such were false teachers, evil men among the Jews (mixed multitude), who came up to Jerusalem from different places where Paul had been.


V. 22

1. "What is it therefore?" = what needs to be done?; there was no way to conceal Paul's arrival nor was it wise to do so.

2. "Multitude" = the multitude of believing Jews; they must meet so the truth of the matter could be presented.

3. It is clear from this verse that James and the elders did not believe these misrepresentations of Paul's teaching even though many did.


V. 23

1. The elders had a suggestion.

2. "Have a vow on them" = means they have made a vow; refers to the vow of the Nazarite and that the time of their vow was about to expire; their suggestion was that Paul could join them to show that he did not undervalue the laws of Moses when those laws were mere ceremonial observances. (I Cor.  9:19‑23)


V. 24

1. "Them take" = take with you.

2. "Purify" = to make clean; the advice is for Paul to join with the four men in observing the forms of purification prescribed by the law of Moses in the observance of the vow of the Nazarites.

3. "Be at charges" = to bear expense; share with them the expense of the offerings required when the vow is completed.

4. "Shave their heads" = removal of all the hair on their heads which had been allowed to grow during the continuance of the Nazarite vow.

5. "All may know" = to know by experience; to know by the fact of Paul's observance of one of the rites of the Jews religion that it was not his purpose or practice to undervalue the authority of Moses.

6. "Were informed" = were told about.

7. "Nothing" = untrue, or without any foundation.

8. "Walkest orderly" = to walk in a line or by rule, which was keeping (observing) the law.

9. These who gave this counsel were Christians and they did not want him to do anything which would imply that he was not a Christian.


V. 25

1. "Touching" = concerning.

2. Such a request (verse 24) would never be asked a Gentile, because they had already come to a conclusion in Acts 15:19‑20 and wrote it down.

3. "Observe" = give heed to; practice.

4. James stands by that agreement and repeats the main items.

5. "Things" = in italics therefore not in the original, but the Greek construction refers to things sacrificed to idols.

6. "Keep" = to watch; to guard; to keep in safety.

7. "From blood" = they were not to eat blood.

8. "From strangled" = refers to animals deprived of life without shedding its blood.

9. "From fornication" = illicit sex acts in general; the various heterosexual and homosexual immoralities habitually practiced by so many Gentile heathen.


V. 26

1. "Signify the accomplishment" = to announce thoroughly the completion of; means he announced to the priest his intentions to observe all the days and all the rites of purification required in the law.

2. "Offering" = refers to the sacrifices required of all those who had observed the vow.

3. Paul yields to the request of the Jerusalem elders because neither Gentile liberty nor any of the Jewish principles were at stake.  He set an example for all believers when they are faced with questions that are a matter of doing or not doing some nonessential thing.


       3. The Arrest In The Temple V. 27-40

V. 27

1. "Stirred up" = to throw into disorder; this was done by the Jews from Asia who had come to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Pentecost; these may have been those who had persecuted Paul on his previous missionary journeys.

2. "Laid" = to attack; they attacked and seized Paul before the charge was made.


V. 28

1. "Crying out" = to croak or scream.

2. "Help" = to run at a cry as if an outrage had been committed like murder or assault.

3. Their accusation against Paul was fourfold.  He was accused of teaching men against the people, against the law, and against the temple (the same accusation was brought against Stephen in Acts 6:11‑13 where Paul was  present) and of bringing into the temple Greek speaking Gentiles.

4. "Hath polluted" = to defile; to make common; the tense (perfect) indicates that the defilement lasts on and on.


V. 29

1. "For" = gives the reason for the charges made against Paul.

2. "Trophimus" = he had accompanied Paul from Asia to Jerusalem. (Acts 20:4)

3. "Supposed" = to think; it was a fact that the Asian Jews, who knew Trophimus as well as they knew Paul, saw them together in the city; therefore, they jumped to the conclusion that Paul had brought him into the temple.

4. Many an innocent man has been rushed to his death by the fury of a lynching mob who "supposed" something instead of knowing facts.


V. 30

1. "Moved" = stirred; agitated; thrown into commotion; word for violent motion and emotion.

2. "Ran together" = the cry spread like wildfire over the city and there was a rush of the people to get to the place of disturbance.

3. "Drew out" = to drag; the tense vividly pictures the act as going on; their intent was to kill Paul.

4. "Forthwith" = immediately; at once.

5. "Doors" = the doors between the inner court and the court of the Gentiles; they did not wish to defile the holy place with the blood of Paul.


V. 31

1. "Went about" = to seek; desiring.

2. "Kill" = to kill outright.

3. "Tidings" = news or rumor; old word for the work of informers and then the exposure of secret crime; the uproar caught the attention of someone who took the news up the steps to the Roman tribune.

4. "Chief captain" = one in command of a band (1000 soldiers) of soldiers stationed in the Tower overlooking the temple area.

5. "Uproar" = to throw into disorder; a state of confusion.


V. 32

1 "Centurions" = captain of 100 men; these were Romans.

2. "Left" = stopped.

3. "Beating" = to thump with a stick; the Jews were hitting Paul with whatever they could, but upon seeing the force of soldiers they stopped because they knew these soldiers meant business.

4. They had not forgotten the Galileans (Jews) whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. (Luke 13:1)


V. 33

1. "Took" = seized.

2. "Bound with two chains" = probably between two soldiers due to their thinking that Paul must be a violent and seditious person, probably leader of a band of assassins (verse 38).

3. "Demanded" = questioned; refers to the multitude.


V. 34

1. "Cried" = shouted; their answer to the question did not agree with each other; they broke out in contradictory statements.

2. "Tumult" = a disturbance.

3. "Carried" = to lead without violence; Paul did not resist those who had rule over him. (Romans 13:1‑7)

4. "Castle" = tower where the guard was kept.


V. 35

1. "Stairs" = stairs that led from the temple to the tower (castle).

2. "Certainly" = reason.

3. "Borne" = to lift up; to take up literally with the hands; probably due to the disturbance being so great and the crowd so violent they had to bear Paul along to rescue him from their violence.

4. "Violence" = to use force; refers to the crowd pressing on with force.

5. Paul was learning what it was to share the sufferings of Christ. (Acts  9:16)


V. 36

1. "Followed after" = means they were following close at hand.

2. "Crying" = to croak or scream; the tense reveals a continuous action.

3. "Away with" = to remove by death; cheated of their purpose to lynch Paul, they were determined to have his blood.


V. 37

1. Paul, calm and in self‑control of his thoughts in the midst of the mob, asked in the Greek language if he may speak unto him.

2. The chief captain was amazed that he could speak Greek, which was the language of trade, education, and government com-munication all over the Roman Empire.


V. 38

1. The chief captain had jumped to the conclusion that Paul was the Egyptian who had come to Jerusalem about six years before leading 4000 fanatical Jews in a political revolution causing the Romans much trouble.

2. The Roman governor Felix sent soldiers who killed 400 and captured another 200, but the Egyptian leader with the others escaped into the desert (wilderness).

3. "Murderers" = word for dagger men or assassins.

4. Paul's knowledge of the Greek let the chief captain know that Paul was not the famous Egyptian.


V. 39

1. "I am" = Paul briefly tells the captain who he is in contrast to his wild guess.

2. "A Jew" = by race.

3. "Of Tarsus in Cilicia" = by country; one of the great cities of the empire with a great university.

4. "Mean" = insignificant.

5. "Beseech" = to beg; to petition; Paul now makes his request. 6. "Suffer" = allow.


V. 40

1. "Licence" = permission; liberty.

2. "Beckoned" = to gesture for quiet and order.

3. "Great silence" = there was complete silence.

4. "Hebrew tongue" = the language spoken by the Jews at this particular time.

5. Paul knowing that the mob thinks of him as a renegade Jew, a turncoat, a deserter, who went back on Gamaliel and all the traditions of his people, stands and speaks of Christ and His purpose to them.


Chapter 22: Paul's Defense & The Nation's Response


       1. Paul's Defense V. 1-21

               1) Paul's Early Conduct V. 1-5

V. 1

1. "Men" = word for male only, thus only men were present.

2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; used here in the sense of being a fellow Jew from the loins of Abraham.

3. "Fathers" = a respectful title for the older men among them; Stephen used the same address to the multitude in Acts 7:2 when Paul was present.

4. "Defence" = legal pleas against the charges brought against him; this is the first of five defenses he was permitted to make.


V. 2

1. "Kept the more silence" = a vivid picture of the sudden hush that swept over the vast mob under the spell of the Hebrew language.

2. "Saith" = to make known one's thoughts.


V. 3

1. "Verily" = truly; indeed.

2. "Brought up" = to nurse up; to nourish up; implies that Paul was sent to Jerusalem while still young.

3. "At the feet" = expressive of the condition of a disciple or a learner.

4. "Gamaliel" = Paul's teacher; one of the seven Rabbis to whom the Jews gave the highest title.

5. "Taught" = to train up a child; educate.

6. "Perfect manner" = by strict diligence or exact care; in the utmost rigour and severity of that instruction; no pains were spared to make him understand and practice the law of Moses; he had every opportunity to become fully acquainted with the nature of the law.

7. "Zealous" = to burn with zeal; expressed not only by strict adherence to God's law but by persecuting all who opposed it; Paul let them know he understood how they felt, for he in his former zeal would have done the same thing as they were doing at this present time.


V. 4

1. "Persecuted" = to pursue.

2. "This way" = term used for Christianity; Paul avoids any irritating name for the Christians by using this Jewish terminology; really the way of life that follows the teachings of Jesus and the gospel.

3. "Unto the death" = actual death; he actually pursued the believers up to the point of causing their death; he probably did not put any to death himself, but he bound them and put them in prison and gave his voice against them, (Acts 26:10) both men and women.


V. 5

1. "High priest" = president of the Sanhedrin; the one who signed the letters in the name and by the authority of the Sanhedrin, giving Paul the authority to put the saints in prison; the Greek construction indicates that the high priest of Saul's day in Acts 9 is still living at this present time although not ministering in that office due to the fact Paul did not recognize him in Acts 23:2‑5.

2. "Bear witness" = to give a firsthand detailed account of what one has seen and heard and knows.

3. "Estate of the elders" = the order of the elders; refers to the whole body of the Sanhedrin.

4. "Unto the brethren" = the Jewish brethren in Damascus.

5. "Went" = journeyed; he was going towards Damascus.

6. "Damascus" = a city some 150 miles northwest of Jerusalem, a place where the Jews were strong in number and where some of the believers had found refuge from Saul's persecutions in Judea.

7. "To be punished" = to take vengeance on one.


               2) Paul's Amazing Conversion V. 6-16

V. 6

1. "Made my journey" = on my way.

2. "Come nigh" = drawing near; approaching.

3. "About noon" = midday.

4. "Suddenly" = unexpectedly.

5. "Shone" = to flash all around; a light greater than the noon day sun. (Acts 26:13)

6. Paul makes mention of midday to show that he was not deluded by any meteoric or natural appearances, which usually can only be seen at night.


V. 7

1. "Fell unto the ground" = fell to the earth (9:4); the men that were with him fell also (26:14); the effect was such it over-powered his body.

2. "Heard a voice" = the others with him heard a voice as a sound (9:7) but did not hear the specific words spoken (verse 9); the voice spoke distinctly to Saul and it was in Hebrew. (26:14)

3. "Saul, Saul" = an emphatic address; the repetition of the name would capture his attention.

4. "Why" = for what reason; Jesus had not injured him.

5. "Persecutest" = to harass, trouble, or molest one; to pursue; to vex or oppress one because of his religion.

6. "Thou me" = Jesus; Saul was persecuting Christ's disciples (His church) and in so doing Saul persecuted Him. (Mat. 25:40)

7. These piercing words stuck in Paul's mind.


V. 8

1. "Lord" = a respectful title; could be translated "Sir" as the woman at the well did in John 4:11,19 (same Greek word).

2. "I am Jesus of Nazareth" = not another "Jesus"; this statement makes it clear that this was a personal appearance of the resurrected Lord as Paul so stated in I Cor. 15:8, thus qualifying him for the office of an apostle. (Acts 1:21‑22)

3. "Persecutest" = to pursue; the tense is continuous action; to persecute Christians is to persecute Christ.


V. 9

1. "Indeed" = truly.

2. "Afraid" = alarmed.

3. Those with him did not hear the specific words spoken, but they heard a sound. (See notes on verse 7)


V. 10

1. "Lord" = a title of respect; Paul is not saved at this point as his own testimony bears out in verse 16, but he steps in what light he has and desires more light (truth) by asking, "What shall I do, Lord?"

2. The Lord told him distinctly what to do.

3. "Arise" = to stand up; at this point, Saul and the others were on the ground and they stood up.

4. "Are appointed" = to arrange in an orderly manner; determined; the tense is perfect which means the things Paul would be told had already been determined in advance and were being ordered for him; God is Sovereign, and He had a great plan for Paul's life.


V. 11

1. "Could not see" = temporary blindness which could have been caused by excessive light.

2. "Glory" = the splendour; the intense brilliance of the light.

3. "Led by the hand of them with me" = Paul was the only one of the group who had temporary blindness; he was the one the vision was directed toward, and he was the one who experienced the full effect of it.


V. 12

1. "Ananias" = a saved Jew whom the Lord hand picked for the mission at hand; a human instrumentality God used in Paul's life. (Rom. 10:13‑15; Acts 8:31)

2. "Devout" = godly; reverent.

3. "Good report" = to bear witness to; all the Jews who dwelt (to house permanently) there spoke well of Ananias.

4. Paul used the words "devout according to the law" to show that he was introduced to Christianity by a devout Jew and not a law‑breaker.


V. 13

1. "Came" = Ananias came to Paul because the Lord told him to do so. (Acts 9:10‑11)

2. "Brother" = from the same womb, used here as a fellow Jew not as a brother in Christ, because Saul was not yet saved; both were descendants of Abraham.

3. "Receive thy sight" = Paul recovered his sight and was able to see the man the Lord had sent to him.


V. 14

1. "The God of our fathers" = the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

2. "Hath chosen" = to take into one's hands beforehand; to plan, purpose, or determine.

3. God purposed three things for Paul:

A. To know His will = to experience what His will is, first to believe (included repentance) and then to follow Him. (I John 2:17; John 6:29)

B. To see that Just One = to have a positive knowledge that Jesus is the Just One, the Righteous One, the Righteous Servant of God, the Messiah; referring to Jesus as the Just One is connecting Him with OT prophecies of the Messiah.

C. To hear the voice of His mouth = not just from a distance but face to face.

4. Paul saw Him and heard Him on the road to Damascus and he is about to learn His will from the mouth of God's human instrumentality.


V. 15

1. "Witness" = one who gives a first hand detailed account of what he has seen or heard.

2. "All men" = all mankind; general word for men and women; his commission was the same as the Great Commission. (Acts 1:8)


V. 16

1. "Tarriest" = delay; wait.

2. "Baptized" = to make fully wet.

3. "Wash away" = to wash fully; denotes the purifying of the soul from the polluted influence of sin; this is done by the Spirit of God (I Cor. 6:11) when one calls on the name of the Lord from the heart with saving faith. (Rom. 10:13, I Cor. 12:3b)

4. Paul does not give the details but he called, got saved, and was baptized to show forth outwardly that inwardly his sins had been washed away.

5. Some religions will only quote part of this verse putting a period after sins, thus they are teaching baptismal regeneration which is false teaching.


               3) Paul's Special Commission V. 17-21

V. 17

1.  Paul skipped over the experience he had in Damascus and Arabia and told how he returned to Jerusalem after three years. (Gal. 1:17‑18)

2. Paul was in the very same temple where he had just been seized and arrested.

3. "Trance" = ecstasy; a throwing of the mind out of the normal state; not a trance in the modern or heathen sense but a state in which he felt an overwhelming astonishment; after all he was in the very presence of Christ who spoke to him.


V. 18

1. "Make haste" = hurry up.

2. "Quickly" = a brief space of time.

3. "For" = reason Paul needs to hurry and leave Jerusalem.

4. "They" = the Jews of Jerusalem.

5. "Testimony" = evidence given.

6. "Concerning" = about.


V. 19

1. "Imprisoned" = had them put in prison.

2. "Beat" = to scourge; to punish with a whip and afflict severely.

3. "Synagogue" = the place where the Jews met on the Sabbath day; it was customary for those who were converted to Christianity still to meet with the Jews in their synagogues and to join with them in their worship.

4. "Them that believed on thee" = refers to the saved.


V. 20

1. "Martyr" = one who witnesses by his death; those who prove their strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death for the cause of Christ.

2. "Was shed" = to pour forth; the tense refers to his blood as being shed; Paul spoke of the shedding of his blood to emphasize the violence of his death.

3. "Standing by" = was present.

4. "Consenting" = to be pleased together with; to approve together.

5. "Kept" = guarded.

6. "Raiment" = clothing; the outer garments removed by those who stoned Stephen so they would not get blood on them.

7. Paul is giving reasons to Jesus for not leaving Jerusalem so quickly.  He did not like the idea of running away to save his own life right where he had helped slay Stephen.  He is getting on dangerous ground.  The Lord knows what is best.


V. 21

1. "Depart" = leave at once; Jesus knew Paul's reasoning was wrong.

2. "Send thee far hence" = send you away from this place to the Gentiles.

3. "Gentiles" = the nations outside of Israel.

4. The emphasis here is not on Paul leaving Jerusalem, but on the fact that Jesus was sending him out with a commission to reach the Gentiles with the gospel.


       2. The Nation's Response V. 22-30

V. 22

1. "Gave him audience" = listening with respectful attention.

2. "Unto this word" = refers to the word "Gentiles"; they listened until he spoke that he was to go to the Gentiles; Roman (Gentile) oppression had blinded the minds of these Jews till they thought of all Gentiles as dogs and scavengers as well as the enemies of God.

3. "Lifted up their voices" = cried out.

4. "Away" = to remove by death.

5. "Such a fellow" = a word expressing their feeling that he was not worthy (fit) to live.


V. 23

1. "Cast off" = to fling; refers to their outer garments which might suggest two things:

       A. Their uncontrollable anger.

       B. Their getting ready to stone him.

2. "Threw dust into the air" = an expression of their hatred and indignation; an exhibition of rage and malice.

3. Tradition and prejudice continued to dominate them and kept them from searching the Scriptures to see if Paul's message was true as the noble Bereans had done. (Acts 17:11)


V. 24

1. "Castle" = tower where the Roman guard was stationed overlooking the temple area.

2. "Bade" = to speak or say.

3. "Should be examined" = to examine judicially; to investigate; to question.

4. "Scourging" = whipping; torturing with a whip made of leather thongs with pieces of bone and metal sewn in them; may have been a cat‑of‑nine‑tails.

5. "Wherefore" = for what reason; the Romans must not have understood Paul's Hebrew address and due to the excitement of the crowd, they thought Paul must have been guilty of some serious offense, thus thinking that he would not confess, they set about to get his confession by using the scourging method.


V. 25

1. "Bound" = to stretch forward and tied in that position.

2. "Thongs" = leather straps; Paul was bent forward and tied by the thongs to a post in front of him to better expose his back to the scourge.

3. "Lawful" = right; Paul knew that what they were doing was illegal because he was a Roman and his case had not even been brought to trial.

4. "Uncondemned" = without legal trial.


V. 26

1. "Take heed" = beware; be careful what you are about to do; a sharp warning.

2. The Roman law provided that no judge or officer had the right to bind, scourge, or kill a Roman citizen without a proper trial.  The chief captain and the centurion knew the penalties that would fall on them if they disregarded the rights of a Roman citizen.  Paul's claim to be a Roman was enough to stop the scourging.


V. 27

1. "Tell me, art thou a Roman?" = the Greek expresses that the chief captain could not believe this to be true; he wanted to know for sure before he stopped the scourging.

2. Paul immediately answered, "Yes."  He was willing to suffer for the gospel's sake, but he never sought suffering when it could be avoided.


V. 28

1. "Freedom" = citizenship; the chief captain had to purchase his Roman citizenship.

2. "Free born" = born a Roman citizen.

3. The privilege of being a Roman citizen was limited to the country of Italy but was bestowed upon other individuals who had rendered some outstanding service to the Roman Empire.  Perhaps Paul's father or grandfather was in this category, thus Paul would have been born a Roman citizen.


V. 29

1. Straightway" = immediately.

2. "Examined" = tortured; examine by scourging.

3. "Was afraid" = became afraid; he had reason to be, because he had bound Paul, a Roman, which gave Paul a right to bring charges against him for even putting him in chains.


V. 30

1. "On the morrow" = he could not release Paul simply because he was a Roman citizen, thus he kept Paul in custody until the next day.

2. Because he wanted to know for sure why the Jews were accusing Paul, he brought him out and ordered the chief priests and the Sanhedrin (council) to assemble, and made Paul stand up (set) before them.

3. The Romans had delegated authority to the Sanhedrin to settle religious matters among themselves, but it was the Romans responsibility to keep peace therefore the council assembled in the presence of the Roman chief captain.  If Paul had been allowed to go free among the Jews, his life would have been in danger.


Chapter 23: Paul Sent To Caesarea


       1. Paul And The Council V. 1-11

V. 1

1. "Earnestly beholding" = looking intently; he fixed his eyes on the council (Sanhedrin).

2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to the Jews as being a descendant of Abraham as well as himself; Paul felt a kinship with the Jews, kinsmen in the flesh. (Rom. 9:1‑3)

3. "Have lived" = to behave as a citizen; refers to his being a citizen of heaven.

4. "Good conscience" = free from guilt; he had done what he believed to be right, when he persecuted the Christians and even now following Christ.

5. "Before God" = God knows and He is the one who really counts.


V. 2

1. "Ananias" = the high priest at this time appointed nine years earlier through political influence; he was unknown to Paul; he was well‑known as an unscrupulous, grasping politician.

2. "Smite him on the mouth" = to stop Paul from speaking; to express his anger at what Paul had said; probably a rebuke for blasphemy, for Ananias, being the terrible individual he was, could not believe anyone could live with a clear conscience before God.


V. 3

1. "Whited wall" = whitewashed wall; whitewash was used to cover over dirt and filth; this was a strong rebuke; refers to the high priest living clean on the outside but still filthy on the inside; this is similar to what Jesus said in Mat. 23:27; this phrase refers to Ananias as a hypocrite, true, but not very tactful for a prisoner to do so to his judge.

2. Paul makes a strong statement, "You are suppose to judge me according to the law which treats a man as innocent until he was proven guilty, but you have issued a command that is contrary (opposed) to the law." 


V. 4

1. "Revilest" = to speak reproachfully; to insult.

2. "God's high priest" = the high priest of God.

3. "Of God" = as God's representative in spite of his bad character; the office called for respect.


V. 5

1. "Wist" = knew; to have absolute, positive knowledge.

2. "Is written" = completed in past time as it was put on a parchment and it stands on record today. (Exo. 22:28)


V. 6

1. "Perceived" = to know by experience; Paul had been a Pharisee; therefore, he already knew but now comes to realize that part of the council was Pharisees and the other part Sadducees.

2. "Sadducees" = a key Jewish sect in NT times; made up mostly of powerful priest by families who were aristocrats; has been influenced by Greek culture and philosophy; put emphasis on the written laws of the Pentateuch and ignored the rest of the OT; rejected the traditions of the Pharisees; denied the resurrection, the afterlife, and any future rewards or punishments.

3. "Pharisees" = a minority party which arose during the Second century BC; by their traditions they often modified the law; opposed the Sadducees on the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.

4. Paul took advantage of the situation with courage to follow the motto "divide and conquer."  It was an opportunity to witness to the truth of the resurrection and to the fact of the resurrection of Jesus.

5. "Hope" = desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it.

6. "I am called into question" = I am judged: that is, I am persecuted or brought to trial.


V. 7

1. "When he so said" = while he was saying this.

2. "Dissension" = a dispute or difference; strife.

3. "Was divided" = to split or sever.


V. 8

1. "Say" = Luke states what the Sadducees believed and taught.

2. "No resurrection" = of the dead.

3. "Neither angel" = they deny the existence of good or bad angels.

4. "Nor spirit" = refers to their belief that there is no after‑life.

5. "Confess" = acknowledge, even to the point of teaching it to others.

6. "Both" = refers to two or more, in this instance refers to three things they acknowledge: 1) resurrection, 2) angels, 3) spirit.


V. 9

1. "Great cry" = uproar and tumult.

2. "Strove" = to fight fiercely; it was a lively scrap as the Pharisees take sides with Paul; the tense reveals continuous action.

3. "Evil" = wrong; refers to nothing contrary to the law of Moses.

4. "Fight against God" = to resist deity; the Pharisees held to the belief of spirits and angels, and to the doctrine that the will of God was often delivered to men by their agency.

5. Paul had stated that it was the Lord, referring to the Lord Jesus, who gave him a command to go to the Gentiles (Acts 22:17‑21) not an angel or a spirit. But the Pharisee scribes perverted the statement of Paul in order to oppose the Sadducees.  They were so inflamed with hatred against the Sadducees that they were willing to make use of any argument against their doctrine.


V. 10

1. "Dissension" = strife; controversy; the mention of angel and spirit must have stirred up the Sadducees.

2. "Fearing" = to act cautiously.

3. "Pulled in pieces" = the chief captain thought they were going to pull off his arms and legs.

4. "Go down" = descend the steps to the tower (castle), over looking the temple area, where the soldiers were stationed.

5. "Take by force" = to seize; to snatch; the soldiers were ordered to literally take Paul out of the Sadducees' hands.

6. Once again God's providence saw to it that the Romans rescued Paul from death.


V. 11

1. "Be of good cheer" = to have courage; don't be afraid; these words must have comforted Paul a great deal.

2. "Thou hast testified" = "you did fully testify" = declared fully the truth of the Lord Jesus.

3. "Must" = it is necessary.

4. "Bear witness" = to give a first hand detailed account of what he had seen, heard, and experienced concerning the Lord Jesus.


       2. Paul And The Conspirators V. 12-22

V. 12

1. "Certain" = some; about 40. (verse 13)

2. "Banded together" = binding together like twisted cords; a conspiracy; they made an agreement to kill him.

3. "Bound under a curse" = to declare one's self liable to the severest divine penalties; they made a strong vow; they invoked a curse on themselves, or devoted themselves to destruction, if they did not do it.

4. They believed Paul was enticing people to turn away from the way in which the Lord their God had commanded them to walk thus worthy to die as a false prophet as stated in Deut 13:5.  Deuteronomy is dealing with false prophets who turn the people to the worship of false gods, but the Sadducees included it to mean turning from Jewish traditions.


V. 13

1. "Conspiracy" = a swearing together; "banded together" of verse 12.

2. Religion that rejects Christ makes men murderers.


V. 14

1. "Slain" = to kill outright; to put to death.

2. By invoking such a curse upon themselves, they were trying to put God in a position where He would have to do their will.  No one can force God to do their will.


V. 15

1. "Signify" = to exhibit in person or disclose by words; means to send a messenger with a message.

2. "Enquire more perfectly" = to know accurately; this request appeared so reasonable that they did not doubt that the chief captain would grant it to the council.

3. "Or ever he come near" = before he comes near to the Sanhedrin (council).

4. "Kill" =  slay; to put out of the way.

5. Their plan was well laid but God was and is still in control.


V. 16

1. "Paul's sister's son" = this is all we know of the family of Paul.

2. "Lying in wait" = ambush.

3. Since Paul was a Roman citizen and no real charge had been laid against him, it is probable that he was not very closely confined, and that his friends and relative might have free access to him.

4. Paul was not aware of the danger, but God knew it and provided for it (the providence of God at work).  One of the thrills of eternity will be to learn of the dangers believers did not see but which God saw and kept them from.


V. 17

1. "Bring" = take.

2. "Young man" = a youth up to forty years.

3. This young man had no way of knowing how the chief captain would react but he was willing to take a risk in order to save Paul.


V. 18

1. "Prisoner" = under protective custody.

2. "Prayed" = asked.


V. 19

1. "Took him by the hand" = an expression of kindness.

2. Paul had wisely not told the centurion about the plot because only the chief captain was able to do anything about it.  The fewer who knew about it, the better off, thus the chief captain hears of the plot in private.


V. 20

1. "The Jews have agreed" = as if the whole nation was in conspiracy.

2. "To desire" = to ask.

3. "Enquire more perfectly" = to question further; different word in verse 15.


V. 21

1. "Yield" = to be persuaded by; to listen to; to obey.

2. "Lie in wait" = lurking in secret; to prepare a trap for.

3. "Bound with an oath" = "bound under a curse" in verse 12; means to declare one's self liable to the severest divine penalties; devoted themselves to destruction.

4. "Now they are ready" = prepared to kill him.

5. "Looking for a promise from thee" = waiting for your consent to bring him down to them; the request granted was all they needed to put the scheme through.


V. 22

1. "Let depart" = dismissed; to send away.

2. "Charged" = commanded.

3. "Shewed" = reported.


       3. Paul And The Captain V. 23-35

V. 23

1. "Make ready" = to prepare.

2. "Soldiers" = heavily armed soldiers.

3. "Horseman" = Cavalry commonly attached to foot‑soldiers.

4. "Spearmen" = light‑armed supplementary troops who carried a lance in the right hand.

5. "Third hour of the night" = 9:00 p.m.; done at this time in order that it might be done with secrecy to elude the band of Jews who had resolved to murder Paul.


V. 24

1. "Beasts" = domestic animals; donkeys or horses; plural so as to carry Paul's baggage or give him a change of horses during the 60 mile trip to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Palestine.

2. "Bring safe" = to save through to a finish; the chief captain knew he would be held accountable for Paul as a Roman citizen in his custody if he were assassinated, thus the large number of soldiers was used.

3. "Governor" = leader; applied to leaders of all sorts.

4. "Felix" = governor of Judea at this time; said to have been one of the most depraved men of his time, exercising the power of a king with the spirit of a slave.


V. 25

1. "Letter" = a written message; the law required that a subordinate officer in reporting a case to his superior should send a written statement of the case.

2. "After this manner" = after this type or copy; possibly means that what follows is an actual copy of the letter; Luke was with Paul and may have heard it read in open court before Felix.


V. 26

1. "Claudius Lysias" = the chief captain's name; Claudius being his Roman name while Lysias was his Greek name.

2. "Most excellent" = very honorable; usual in addressing men of rank; like our "Your Excellency."

3. "Greeting" = a term of salutation in an epistle (letter) wishing health, joy, and prosperity.


V. 27

1. The chief captain explained how Paul was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed violently by them.  Then, because he had learned Paul was a Roman citizen, he came and rescued Paul.

2. The letter puts things in a favorable light for the chief captain and makes no mention of his order to scourge Paul.  And at the same time places Paul in the best light possible giving the impression that he had been unjustly seized and attacked by the Jews.

3. "Army" = band of soldiers.


V. 28

1. "Would have known" = desired to know fully the reason (cause) why (wherefore) they accused him.

2. "Council" = Sanhedrin.


V. 29

1. "Perceived" = thought.

2. "Questions of their law" = refers to the controversies of the Jewish law not the Roman law.

3. "Laid to his charge" = an accusation; offense alleged.

4. "Worthy of death" = deserving death by the Roman law; the chief captain is stating that Paul is not guilty of any crime against the Roman people.

5. "Or of bonds" = of chains, or of confinement.


V. 30

1. "Straightway" = instantly.

2. "Gave commandment" = to transmit a message; he probably sent an order to the Jews as soon as the soldiers left.

3. "Say" = speak.

4. "Before thee" = in the presence of.

5. "Farewell" = have health; goodbye; a way of closing a letter in those days.

6. What happened to the 40 conspirators we have no way of knowing, but there may have been over 40 extra sacrifices brought to the temple that day as an offering to atone for the failure to keep a vow.


V. 31

1. "Antipatris" = a city and a Roman colony about half way between Jerusalem and Caesarea.

2. Being a Roman colony, it was a convenient and safe place for the Roman soldiers to stop and spend the night.


V. 32

1. The 400 foot soldiers returned to the castle (tower overlooking the temple area) in Jerusalem.  On the way back they no doubt kept watch to be sure none of the Jews were trying to follow Paul.

2. The 70 horsemen (Cavalry) would be enough to protect Paul for the remainder of the journey.


V. 33

1. "Delivered" = to hand over.

2. "Epistle" = letter.

3. After giving the governor the letter, they presented Paul to him also.

4. The believers in Caesarea saw quickly the fulfillment of Agabus' prophecy in Acts 21:10‑13.  It had been just seven days since he left. (Act 24:1,11)


V. 34

1. "Had read" = to know well by reading; he understood the reasons for sending Paul to him, as well as the reasons for the extra soldiers.

2. "Province" = district of country which was entrusted to a certain governor; Felix asked this to know if Paul belonged in his jurisdiction.

3. "What" = what sort of or what kind of.

4. "Cilicia" = province where Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul, was located; an important province therefore he could not ignore Paul nor the complaints of the Jewish leaders at Jerusalem.


V. 35

1. "Hear" = patiently listen; to hear fully.

2. "Kept" = to guard; to watch; also to preserve from danger or harm.

3. "Judgment hall" = governors courtroom with places of security attached to it; probably built by Herod the Great as his palace or as a place for administering justice thus called, "Herod's judgment hall."


Chapter 24: Paul Before Felix


       1. A False Accusation V. 1-9

V. 1

1. "Five days" = may have been five days since his being seized by the Jews in the temple or may have been five days since he first met with Felix in Acts 23:34‑35; either way it had only been 12 days since he had left Caesarea. (verse 11)

2. "Descended" = to go to a lower elevation geographically; Jerusalem is a higher elevation than Caesarea.

3. "Elders" = some but not all of the members of the Sanhedrin.

4. "Orator" = a speaker; an advocate; similar to a lawyer.

5. "Tertullus" = a Roman name and he may have been a Roman; employed by the Jews and necessary for them since they were not familiar with Roman legal procedure and it was the custom in the provinces.

6. "Informed" = to report or declare a thing against a person; to manage the Jews' cause before the governor and brought accusations against Paul; somewhat like our modern "indictment."


V. 2

1. "He" = refers to Paul being called forth from prison.

2. Tertullus begins by trying to flatter the judge (by thee).

3. "Quietness" = peace; it sounded well to praise Felix for keeping peace in his province since Tertullus was going to accuse Paul of being a disturber of the peace.

4. "Very worthy deeds" = something made fully upright; acts that helped to promote the peace and security of the people.

5. "Providence" = forethought; foresight; skill, wisdom.

6. "We" = speaking for the Jews; also probably a resident of his province.


V. 3

1. "Accept" = welcome; approve; to take fully.

2. "Always, and in all places" = not merely in your presence but we always acknowledge that it is due to your providence that the land is secure; words of flattery, actually the Jews were always complaining about Felix who instigated riots to further his cause.

3. "Most noble" = most excellent in Acts 23:26; traditional title of honor given to officials.

4. "Thankfulness" = gratitude.


V. 4

1. "Tedious" = to cut into; impede; hinder; by taking up your time with an introduction and with commendation.

2. "Pray" = beseech; beg; invite.

3. "Of thy clemency" = in fairness, gentleness, mildness.

4. "Few words" = briefly.


V. 5

1. "Found" = to discover by examination.

2. By a mixture of lies and cleverly twisted half‑truths, Tertullus began to accuse Paul falsely on four points. (3 in this verse and 1 in verse 6)

A. He is a pestilent fellow.

1) "Pestilent fellow" = word commonly applied to a plague or pestilence and then to a man who corrupts the morals of others.

2) He referred to Paul as the very pestilence itself, as being the cause of extensive disturbances everywhere among the Jews.

B. He is a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world.

1) "Mover" = to stir.

2) "Sedition" = uprising; insurrection; revolution; riot; this was an offense against Roman law if it could be proven.

3) "Throughout the world" = Roman inhabited earth.

C. He is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

1) "Ringleader" = a front‑rank man; a chief; a champion; a military word denoting one who stands first in an army, a standard‑bearer, a leader, a commander.

2) "Sect" = a party or form of religious worship.

3) "Nazarenes" = a name usually given to Christians by way of contempt; refers to those who followed the teachings of the Man of Nazareth.


V. 6

1. Fourth accusation: he has gone about to profane the temple.

       A. "Gone about" = attempted; endeavored.

       B. "Profane" = to desecrate; a flat‑out untruth.

2. "Took" = seized; Tertullus identifies himself with his clients (we).

3. "Would" = desired; determined.

4. "Judged" = condemned and punished.


V. 7

1. "Violence" = force.

2. Tertullus made a mistake trying to put Lysias in bad light, because Felix had a letter from Lysias and he knew that Lysias had a responsibility to keep order in Jerusalem.  He had done only his duty in rescuing Paul from the mob so he would not be murdered.


V. 8

1. "Commanding his accusers" = refers to the Jews, Paul's accusers, being commanded to speak before Felix. (Acts 23:30)

2. "Examining" = to interrogate, referring to Paul.

3. "Take knowledge" = recognize; to know by experience.


V. 9

1. "Assented" = joined in the charge; agreed with what Tertullus had said.

2. "Saying" = declaring; tense indicated continuous action, thus declaring again and again that these things were so.


       2. A Faithful Answer V. 10-21

V. 10

1. "Beckoned" = to signal; to give a nod.

2. "More cheerfully" = in good spirit.

3. "Answer" = to give an account of oneself; to make defense; Paul did not need a lawyer.

4. Since Felix had been a judge of the Jews for seven (many) years, Paul had great confidence in the justice of his cause, because he believed Felix understood Jewish customs and laws.  Also his wife, Drusilla was a Jewess. (verse 24)

5. Paul did not depend on flattery but quietly and honestly gave his story.


V. 11

1. "Mayest understand" = might be able to know the truth by listening to the evidence.

2. Paul answers the accusation of being a mover of sedition first since it was the only one that was an offense against the Roman law.  He did not have difficulty in showing how foolish this charge was for it had only been 12 days since he left Caesarea for Jerusalem, and he had already been back in Caesarea 5 days (verse 1) thus not enough time to start a riot.

3. Also his reason for going to Jerusalem was to worship, not cause a riot.


V. 12

1. "Disputing" = arguing.

2. "Raising up" = a hostile banding together; making a mob or conspiracy.

3. Paul states that during his stay in Jerusalem his conduct had been entirely peaceable, and they had no right to suppose that it had been otherwise anywhere.


V. 13

1. "Can" = to be able or possible.

2. "Prove" = to stand beside; they cannot back up their charges with proof or evidence.

3. He boldly challenges investigation to the charges that involves the Roman law.


V. 14

1. "Confess" = to agree to; to speak the same thing; Paul admits he is guilty of being the ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

2. "After the way" = refers to Christianity.

3. "Heresy" = same word as "sect" in verse 5; we normally use this word to mean error of doctrine, but Paul was not ashamed to be called a follower of that sect or party among the Jewish people.

4. "Worship" = implies to serve and worship but not out of compulsion; tense reveals that he continues to worship "the God of my father" = my father's God, Jehovah; the God whom my Jewish ancestors adored.

5. "Believing" = to put trust in; implies personal confidence and faithfulness.

6. "Are written" = perfect tense; means written down complete in past time and still on record today.

7. "In the law and in the prophets" = refers to the OT: all that is commanded in the Law of Moses and foretold by the prophets.

8. Paul shows that Christianity is not a deviation from Judaism, but the fulfillment of it.


V. 15

1. "Hope" = desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it; refers to the resurrection of all the dead.

2. "Allow" = to expect; await; Paul refers to the Jews (themselves), more especially the Pharisees, having this same hope.

3. "Just" = righteous; refers to those who were saved.

4. "Unjust" = unrighteous; wicked; refers to the lost.

5. Jesus taught this in John 5:28‑29, but neither He nor Paul believed in a general resurrection.  Rev. 20:1‑15 gives the interval of time as 1000 years which separates the two resurrections.  The first is at the rapture (not a Bible term, but a Bible principle) found in I Thess. 4:16‑17, and the second, 1000 years later to stand before the great white throne of judgment to be cast in the lake of fire forever. (Rev. 20:11‑15)


V. 16

1. "Herein" = in this; for this purpose; speaking of the resurrection of the just.

2. "Exercise" = to take pains; labor; strive; Paul claims to be equal to his accusers in efforts to please God.

3. "Always" = through all time.

4. "Conscience" = moral consciousness; means to do that which is right so that his conscience would never reproach him; to be free from guilt; a bold claim for a consistent aim in life.

5. "Void of offense" = that which does not cause one to stumble or fall.

6. "Toward God" = in an honest endeavor to discharge the duties of public and private worship, and to do constantly what He requires; believing all that He has spoken; doing all that He requires; and offering to Him the service which He approves.

7. "Toward men" = endeavoring to meet all the demands of justice and mercy; to advance their knowledge, happiness, and salvation; living so that I may look back on my life with the reflection that I have done all that I ought to have done, and all that I could do to promote the welfare of the whole human race; this he was able to do. (II Tim. 4:6-8)

8. No doubt the high priest's, Ananias, blood boils with anger when he heard Paul repeat almost the same words which caused him to order Paul to be smitten on the mouth in Acts 23:1‑2.


V. 17

1. "After many years" = it had been at least four or maybe five years since Paul had last visited Jerusalem in Acts 18:22.

2. "Alms" = charities; gifts for the poor saints of Jerusalem who were Jews = "to my nation."

3. "Offerings" = sacrifices; offerings made to God in the temple. 4. Paul states that his purpose in coming to Jerusalem was to bring his countrymen needed aid in a time of distress.  There had been a wide spread famine in the area at that time and the saints were in desperate need.


V. 18

1. "Purified" = to make clean; sanctify; the Jews from Asia had found Paul offering sacrifices, thus honoring the law and the temple; this was exactly opposite of their charge of defiling the temple.

2. "Neither with multitude" = he was not found with a crowd.

3. "Nor with tumult" = nor making a disturbance.


V. 19

1. "Who" = refers to the Jews from Asia; the real accusers not the council present.

2. "Ought" = first word speaks of necessity; those Jews from Asia should have been there to make their accusation if they really had anything against Paul.

3. "Object" = to be a plaintiff; makes their accusation.

4. "Ought" = second word means "anything."

5. Paul was taking advantage of the Jewish law's demand for witnesses to make the accusation which was Roman law as well. (Deut. 19:15‑18)


V. 20

1. "These same" = refers to the high priest and elders present to speak up if they had found Paul to be guilty when he had stood before the council (Sanhedrin) in Jerusalem.

2. "Evil doing" = a wrong done; misdeed.


V. 21

1. "Cried" = to speak with a loud voice; Paul was willing to plead guilty to the fact that he spoke of the resurrection of the dead, a doctrine that the Sadducees (which the majority of those present may have been) did not believe.

2. "Touching" = concerning.

3. "Called in question" = set in judgement on.

4. Paul always got to the main issue of truth and that is the gospel of Christ which is in simple form is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (I Cor. 14:1-4)


       3. A Foolish Attitude V. 22-27

V. 22

1. "More perfect" = more accurately than the Sanhedrin supposed he had.

2. "Knowledge" = absolute positive knowledge of the facts.

3. "That way" = the way; refers to Christianity; some of his insight may have come from his wife, Drusilla, who was a Jewess. (verse 24)

4. "Deferred" = to put off; to delay; to adjourn; Felix delayed the case using an excuse that the presence of Lysias was required.

5. "I will know the uttermost of your matter" = I shall be fully informed, and prepared to decide the case.

6. Felix could have and should have let Paul go free, because Tertullus had completely failed to make a case against him.  He did not free Paul for two possible reasons:

A. For fear of offending the Jews since he was their ruler.  This same thing happened to Pilate concerning Jesus. (John 19:12)

B. He might have hoped that Paul might offer him bribes for his liberty since he spoke of alms in verse 17. (verse 26)


V. 23

1. "Commanded" = to arrange thoroughly.

2. "Keep" = to watch over.

3. "Liberty" = relaxation; relief from his chains; today we would refer to this as "house arrest."

4. "Forbid none" = do not prevent or hinder.

5. "Acquaintance" = refers to friends, many of whom were present with him at his trial.

6. "Minister" = to render service.


V. 24

1. "Drusilla" = a member of the Herodian family; daughter of Herod Agrippa I who murdered James (Acts 12:1‑2); her great‑uncle Herod Antipas slew John the Baptist; her great grandfather, Herod the Great, killed the babies of Bethlehem; she had left her first husband for Felix, his third wife; she was a "Jewess" = belonging to Judah; her grandmother was a Jew; her curiosity to hear Paul may have been the reason for this meeting.

2. "Concerning the faith in Christ" = refers to the gospel and all that relates to it; refers to the whole body of God's revealed truth.


V. 25

1. "Reasoned" = to discuss; to make a discourse; refers to preaching which is necessary for one to be saved. (I Cor. 1:21; 3:5)

2. "Righteousness" = the sum total of the requirements of God; not man's righteousness but God's (really Jesus) required to enter heaven. (Mat. 5:20; I Cor. 1:30; I John 5:12)

3. "Temperance" = self‑control by aid of the Holy Spirit; the word here denotes a restraint of all passions and evil inclinations and may be applied to chastity which was lacking in Felix and Drusilla's lives for they were living in adultery; Paul could have preached a flattering message so Felix would set him free, but he never missed an opportunity to preach the gospel and tell the truth; this same message got John the Baptist's head cut off. (Mat. 14:3‑8)

4. "Judgement" = punishment which was certain to come and would overtake them if they remained in their sin. (Rom. 6:23a)

5. "Trembled" = alarmed and terrified; the Holy Spirit fulfilled His purpose of coming by reproving (convicting) of sin, righteousness, and judgment. (Heb. 4:12; John 16:8‑11)

6. "Go thy way" = take a course and depart from me.

7. "Convenient season" = opportunity; refers to spare time.

8. "I will call for thee" = to hear further on this subject.

9. All the exact words of Paul are not given.  This is history, therefore, only a summary is given.


V. 26

1. "Hoped" = to expect with desire.

2. "Money" = bribe

3. "Wherefore" = in view of the fact that he desired a bribe, he sent for him frequent (oftener) to talk (communed) with him.

4. It seems that Felix resisted conviction in verse 25 and was never dealt with to that degree again even though Paul, no doubt, preached the same message again and again over a two year period of time. (verse 27)


V. 27

1. "Come into room" = a successor in office; means Festus took Felix's place as governor; history reveals that the reason for this was due to Felix killing many Jews in an open fight between the Gentiles and Jews in the market‑place in Caesarea; the Jews made a formal complaint to the Emperor which resulted in Festus being sent to fill Felix's place.

2. "Willing" = desiring.

3. "Pleasure" = favor.

4. Felix's desire to gain favor with the Jews was the reason for his action of leaving Paul bound or under "house arrest."


Chapter 25: Paul Before Festus


       1. Paul Appeals To Caesar V. 1-12

V. 1

1. "Province" = district of country which was entrusted to a certain governor; Judea, under Roman jurisdiction.

2. "Ascended" = to go up; speaking geographically.

3. "Caesarea" = Roman capital of the province but Jerusalem was still the center as far as the Jews were concerned.

4. Festus, having assumed the duties of his office soon went to Jerusalem to make himself acquainted with the affairs of the nation.  His motive may have been to try and please the Jews who did not care for Felix.


V. 2

1. "Chief of the Jews" = the leading men of the city.

2. "Inform him against Paul" = inform him of the accusation against Paul no doubt trying to prejudice the mind of Festus against Paul.

3. "Besought" = beseech; beg; tense indicate they kept on beseeching to do a special favor for the Jews.


V. 3

1. "Desired" = asked.

2. They did not want justice from Festus but a favor so they could accomplish their wicked purpose while Paul was on his way to Jerusalem.  They wanted to ambush (laying wait) him and kill him.

3. This renewal of the charges after two years, on the very first opportunity reveals the Jews hatred for Paul and also their fear of his influence among the Jews.


V. 4

1. "Kept" = to guard; to watch.

2. "Shortly" = a brief space of time.

3. Had Paul been brought to Jerusalem at that time he would have been killed.  But the Lord had promised that Paul would be a witness at Rome; therefore, He caused Festus, even though he did not know it, to refuse their request. (Pro. 21:1)


V. 5

1. "Able" = powerful, refers to the men with power and authority.

2. "Wickedness" = out of place; Festus was courteous to the Jews but did not commit himself (if); this was a fair proposal.


V. 6

1. "Tarried" = remained; the 10 days was more than enough time to have Paul brought to Jerusalem; this may have been more than the brief space of time (shortly) Festus was planning to stay in Jerusalem.

2. "Judgment seat" = his official judge's throne; a raised platform giving the judge the prominent place and to give the appearance of power and authority; located in the palace built by Herod the Great.

3. "Commanded Paul to be brought" = to be brought up out of prison for trial.

4. Festus wasted no time after coming back to Caesarea probably due to the chief men of the Jews coming down with him from Jerusalem.


V. 7

1. "Came down" = they had come down on purpose at the invitation of Festus in verse 5 and were now ready.

2. "Stood round about" = took their stand around him; they have no lawyer this time, but they massed their forces to impress Festus.

3. "Laid many and grievous complaints" = brought numerous weighty charges against Paul; probably same as before Felix. (Acts 24:5-6)

4. "Could not prove" = did not have strength or power; they could not produce evidence that the charges were true.


V. 8

1. Luke summarized Paul's defense making it clear that Paul had no trouble defending himself.  His answer to the same accusations are more at length in Acts 24:10‑21.

2. "Offended" = sinned; erred; neither against Jewish law, the temple, nor "Caesar" = refers to the whole Roman government.

3. Later as Festus spoke to Agrippa concerning Paul, he speaks of him bearing witness to Christs' death and resurrection. (verse 19)  Paul never let the opportunity to witness go by.


V. 9

1. "Willing" = desiring.

2. "Pleasure" = favor.

3. "Before me" = Festus added these words as if to insure Paul of justice.

4. This proposal of Festus may have also been influenced by his recognition that Paul's case did not belong in the jurisdiction of a Roman judge but in the Sanhedrin because it pertained to the custom and questions among the Jews.


V. 10

1. "Ought" = necessary; Paul was a Roman and should be tried before a Roman court (Caesar's judgment seat) instead of the Jews court (Sanhedrin).

2. "Done no wrong" = have not acted unjustly; Paul had not injured the Jew's persons, property, character, or religion.

3. "Knowest" = to understand; to know by experience; to have additional knowledge; this is evidenced in verse 18; Paul makes a bold claim: "You  know that I have done no wrong to the Jews at all, yet you are trying to turn me over to the wrath of the Jews in Jerusalem."


V. 11

1. "Offender" = to act unjustly; to do wrong; to commit a crime.

2. "Committed" = to practice; perform repeatedly or habitually.

3. "Worthy" = deserving.

4. "Refuse" = to beg off; Paul is saying if he had done anything which deserved death, he would not object to the death penalty; Paul believed in the death penalty.

5. "Deliver" = give up to; Paul is a Roman citizen and not even Festus can make a free gift of Paul to the Sanhedrin; he could make this bold declaration, because he knew what the law required, and he knew that Festus would not dare to deliver him up contrary to the law.

6. "Appeal" = to call upon, for one's self, as a helper.

7. "Caesar" = title of the Roman Emperor; Nero was the emperor at the present time.

8. Every Roman citizen had the right of this appeal and when it was made, the accused was sent to Rome for trial.  In Acts 28:19, Paul states that he was constrained to appeal unto Caesar.  Paul had been warned before he went to Jerusalem about what he would face (Acts 21:4, 10‑11), but he went anyway.  Now it seems Paul had learned his lesson; therefore, he chose to go to Rome in chains instead of going to Jerusalem to face death, not that he was afraid of death, but he desired to preach the gospel at Rome and it mattered now what method took him there to do so. (Acts 19:21; Rom. 1:15)


V. 12

1. "Conferred" = to talk together.

2. "Council" = an assembly of counsellors in the administration of justice; Festus' assistants in the administration of the affairs of the province.

3. "Hast thou appealed unto Caesar?" = there is no question asked in the Greek; Festus makes a statement, "Thou hast appealed unto Caesar, unto Caesar thou shalt go."


       2. Paul Perplexes Festus V. 13-22

V. 13

1. "King Agrippa" = Herod Agrippa II; son of Herod Agrippa I of Acts 12:20‑23; king of Chalcis between the Lebanon and Anti‑Lebanon mountain, also king of the tetrarchies Philip, east of the Sea of Galilee, and of Lysanius, west and northwest of Damascus; king means a sovereign, a leader, or a ruler.

2. "Bernice" = a member of the Herodian family; the sister of Drusilla, Felix's wife (Acts 24:24); also the sister of Agrippa; she was married to her uncle, Herod of Chalcis, and after his death married Polemon, king of Cilicia, but deserted him and came to live with her brother; history states they lived in incest; she is recorded in history to have lived a very immoral life and later was the mistress of the emperor Vespasian and then of the emperor Titus, who was the general in charge of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.


V. 14

1. "Declared Paul's cause" = set forth Paul's case.

2. "Left in bonds" = a prisoner in custody of a soldier.


V. 15

1. "Informed" = brought charges against Paul.

2. "Desiring" = asking.

3. "To have judgment against him" = to have him condemned.


V. 16

1. "Manner" = a usage prescribed by habit or law; refers to Roman law.

2. "Deliver" = to give up as a favor.

3. "To die" = refers to the death penalty.

4. "Face to face" = presence.

5. "Licence" = liberty; refers to having liberty to defend himself of the accusation (crime laid) made.


V. 17

1. Festus had not delayed or postponed the matter.

2. He states that he had done his duty as a Roman governor as he put Paul on trial.


V. 18

1. "Stood up" = took their stand.

2. "None" = not even one.

3. "Supposed" = to think privately.


V. 19

1. "Certain questions" = certain points of dispute in which they differed.

2. "Superstition" = religion; means fear of or reverence for a divine being.

3. "Was dead" = was put to death.

4. "Affirmed to be alive" = claimed to be alive.


V. 20

1. "Doubted" = to be at a loss mentally; to be perplexed; Festus did not mock or make fun of the idea of the resurrection neither did he understand nor believe Paul's claim.

2. "Whether he would go" = if he would be willing to go.


V. 21

1. "Appeal" = a request for his case to be transferred to a higher court for rehearing.

2. "Reserved" = to be kept; not to be tried at Jerusalem.

3. "Hearing" = magisterial examination.

4. "Augustus" = a title of the Roman Emperor as well as "Caesar"; properly denotes that which is worthy of honor and reverence which was due to the rank of Emperor; Nero was the reigning Emperor at this time.

5. "Kept" = guarded; watched.


V. 22

1. "Would" = was desiring; Agrippa no doubt had heard of Paul and of Jesus and had been wishing (desiring) for an opportunity to hear Paul.

2. His request was polite enough to leave the decision with Festus and, if inconvenient for any reason, his request did not have to be granted.

3. Festus granted his request.


       3. Paul Faces Royalty V. 23-27

V. 23

1. "Pomp" = a vain show; described as "great" = much show, parade, and splendour; it was an occasion on which he could exhibit much of the splendor of royalty, and he chose to do it.

2. "Place of hearing" = court‑room; the place where the judges heard and tried cases.

3. "Chief captains" = commanders of a thousand men; means that the military officers were assembled.

4. "Principal men" = the civil officers or the men of reputation and influence.


V. 24

1. "Here present with" = to be at hand together.

2. "Dealt with me" = have appeared before me to try him and urged me to condemn him; this happened in Jerusalem as well as Caesarea.

3. "Crying" = to exclaim against; yelling and demanding with loud voices.

4. "Ought" = it is necessary; placed with "not" makes this a double negative thus intensifying the demand.


V. 25

1. "Found" = to lay hold of; to grasp; to comprehend; could be stated, "As for me, I have found (and fully understand) that he has done (and still has done) nothing worthy of death."

2. "Worthy" = deserving.

3. "Augustus" = Caesar.

4. "Determined" = decided.

5. Festus repeats verse 21, perhaps for the benefit of the assembled dignitaries.


V. 26

1. "No certain thing" = nothing definite or reliable; he had a problem when it came to making arrangements to send Paul to Rome‑‑he had no charge against him.

2. "Lord" = a title of respect for Caesar; note: not capitalized; the Christians claimed this word (capitalized) for Christ and it became the test in the Roman persecutions as when Polycarp steadily refused to say "Lord Caesar" and insisted on saying "Lord Jesus" when it meant his certain death. (I Cor. 12:3)

3. "Wherefore" = on which account; Festus thought Agrippa after hearing Paul would be able to formulate a charge.

4. "Before you" = the whole multitude; this is not a new trial, but an examination in the presence of these prominent men to secure information and to furnish entertainment and pleasure to Agrippa.

5. "Specially" = especially; most of all.

6. "Examination" = a judicial investigation.


V. 27

1. "Unreasonable" = irrational; contrary to reason; Festus felt he was in an embarrassing situation; it was customary to send a letter pointing out the charges against Paul, just as Lysias had sent a letter to Felix. (Acts 23:25)

2. "Withal" = also; at the same time.

3. "Signify" = to indicate; to specify, or make them known.

4. "Crimes" = charges.


Chapter 26: Paul Before Agrippa


       1. Paul's Personal Explanation V. 1-23

V. 1

1. "Speak for thyself" = to speak in his own behalf.

2. "Stretched forth the hand" = dramatic oratorical gesture; a sermon in itself since the chain was upon his hand linking him to the guard (verse 29).

3. "Answered for himself" = to give an account of oneself; began to make his defense.

4. Paul was polite in the manner he addressed the king.  Even though he could not respect the man, he did respect his office.


V. 2

1. "Happy" = supremely blest; spiritually prosperous; indwelt with the Holy Spirit and as a result fully satisfied. (II Tim. 1:12)

2. "Touching" = concerning.


V. 3

1. "Because I know" = in italics therefore not in the original.

2. "Especially" = most; modifies expert.

3. "Expert" = a knower; to be skilled or well acquainted.

4. "Customs" = a usage prescribed by habit or law; refers to rites and everything pertaining to the Mosaic ritual.

5. "Questions" = subjects of debate and various opinions.

6. Agrippa was a Jew and had care of the temple, the appointments of the high priest, and the care of the sacred vestments.  He also knew how the customs varied among the different sects of the Jewish religion.

7. "Wherefore" = on this account; because you are acquainted with those customs.

8. "Beseech" = petition.

9. "Patiently" = with long endurance; Paul takes his time because Agrippa needed to know the facts not only of Paul's life, but of Paul's message, the gospel.


               1) I Lived A Pharisee V. 4-11

V. 4

1. "Manner of life" = one word in Greek; means his opinions, principles, and conduct; his early life was an open book to all the Jews.

2. "From my youth" = at an early period Paul had been sent to Jerusalem for the purpose of education in the school of Gamaliel. (Acts 22:3)

3. "Which was at the first" = the time when the opinions and habits are formed.


V. 5

1. "Knew me from the beginning" = refers to the beginning of his public education in Jerusalem.

2. "Testify" = bear witness to what they know.

3. "Straitest" = strict; rigid; not only in regard to the written law of God, but to the traditions of the elders.

4. "Sect" = division or party.

5. "Lived a Pharisee" = to live in accordance with the rules and doctrines of the Pharisees.


V. 6

1. "I stand" = before the Roman court.

2. "Am judged" = called in question.

3. "Hope" = desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it.

4. "Promise" = announcement; a divine assurance of good; refers to the resurrection and promised Messiah.

5. "Made of God" = made by God.

6. "Fathers" = ancestors; the patriarchs; refers to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

7. Paul proves in various scripture that the children of faith are the real seed of Abraham. (Rom. 4:13; 2:28‑29)


V. 7

1. "Unto which promise" = to the fulfillment of which promise they had hoped to come; they had hope and believed that the promise would be fulfilled and that they would partake of its benefits.

2. "Instantly" = intentness; earnestly.

3. "Serving" = under religious homage; to serve and worship but not out of compulsion.

4. "Day and night" = indicates that they kept up the worship of God with constant and untiring zeal and devotion.

5. "Hope" = to expect with desire; refers to the twelve tribes (Israel) who expected with desire the promise God made to their forefathers, which is the same thing (same hope he had) he was accused (charged) of by the Jews.

6. Their accusations against Paul did not refer to any crime but really concerned this hope of their fathers.


V. 8

1. "Incredible" = unbelievable; refers to a doctrine which cannot be credited or believed; refers to the doctrine of God raising the dead.

2. "With you" = plural; therefore Paul is not just addressing Agrippa only but the crowd that was gathered.


V. 9

1. "Ought" = it is necessary; necessity and a sense of duty drove Paul on in the great sin of persecuting the Lord Jesus.

2. "Contrary" = opposite.

3. "The name" = refers to the character, nature, and authority of the Son of God.

4. Jesus was known to the Jews by the name of "Jesus of Nazareth"; therefore, Paul used this name so Agrippa would have no question about which person he was referring to.


V. 10

1. Paul now list some of the "many things" mentioned in verse 9.

2. "Authority" = license; the right to act; putting saints in prison was not by his authority but by the authority of the chief priests.

3. "Saints" = Christians; means dedicated or set apart for the worship and service of God.

4. "Voice" = vote; does not mean he voted but he approved putting those Christians to death; he consented to it.

5. "Them" = plural; we have Stephen mentioned by name and the rest we know not who nor how Paul was involved in their murder.


V. 11

1. "Punished" = involved beating as mentioned in Acts 22:19.

2. "Oft" = many times.

3. "Synagogue" = an assembly of Jews formally gathered together to offer prayer and listen to the reading and exposition of the Scriptures; the early Christian continued the practice of attending.

4. "Compelled" = to necessitate, or constrain, whether by force, threats, or other means; the Greek construction indicated he repeatedly "compelled" them but was not able to make them do it.

5. "Blaspheme" = to speak vile and abusively of; he tried to get them to deny that Jesus was the Messiah or to admit that He was an imposter. (Mat. 24:24; 10:33)

6. "Exceedingly mad against" = he raged like a madman and with the fury of a maniac he tried to exterminate Christians from the face of the earth; he laid aside all appearance of reason because he was controlled by the prince of the power of the air. (Eph. 2:2)

7. "Persecuted" = to pursue; to follow through and after; this word is a vivid picture that Paul paints of his success in hunting big game = Christians.

8. "Strange cities" = cities outside of Judea; we know he went to Damascus but evidently he had already gone to other cities outside of Judea.


               2) I Saw A Light V. 12-13

V. 12

1. "Whereupon" = in which things referring to the affairs of persecution.

2. "Authority" = license; right to act.

3. "Commission" = permission; again Paul makes it clear that he acted upon the authority and permission of the chief priests (Sanhedrin).


V. 13

1. "Midday" = about noon. (Acts 22:6)

2. "In the way" = on the road to Damascus.

3. "From heaven" = from above; from the sky.

4. "Above the brightness of the sun" = a light greater than the noon day sun.

5. Paul makes mention of midday to show that he was not deluded by any meteoric or natural appearances, which usually can only be seen at night.

6. To King Agrippa, who knew the Old Testament, this would speak of a divine manifestation like the glory Moses saw. (Exo. 24:15‑17)


               3) I Heard A Voice V. 14-18

V. 14

1. "Fallen" = to fall down; the effect was such it overpowered his body.

2. "I heard a voice" = the others with him heard a voice as a sound (Acts 9:7) but did not hear the specific words spoken (Acts 22:9); the voice spoke distinctly to Saul and was in the Hebrew tongue (language peculiar to the Jews).

3. "Saul, Saul" = an emphatic address; the repetition of the name would capture his attention; Saul was his Hebrew name and Paul his Greek name.

4. "Why" = for what reason; Jesus had not injured him.

5. "Persecutest" = to harass, trouble, or molest one; to pursue; to vex or oppress one on account of his religion.

6. "Thou me" = Jesus; Saul was persecuting Christians (His church) and in so doing Saul persecuted Jesus. (Mat. 25:40)

7. "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks" = a proverbial expression of that day.

8. "Pricks" = any sharp point which would pierce or perforate; commonly means an ox‑goad, a sharp piece of iron stuck into the end of a stick, with which the ox is urged on.

9. This proverbial expression is derived from the action of a stubborn and unyielding ox kicking against the goad.  It denotes rebellion against unlawful authority.  Just as an ox injures no one but itself when it kicks against the goad, so any individual who kicks against authority injures no one but himself.  Saul is kicking against Holy Ghost conviction.


V. 15

1. "Lord" = a respectable title; could be translated "Sir" as the woman at the well called Jesus in John 4:11,19 (same Greek word);  Paul recognized the vision as being from a higher power but at this point he did not know who Jesus was nor recognize Him as his Lord.

2. "I am Jesus" = Acts 22:8 states Him to be "Jesus of Nazareth" not another "Jesus"; this statement makes it clear that this was a personal appearance of the resurrected Lord as Paul so stated in I Cor. 15:8, thus qualifying him for the office of an apostle. (Acts 1:21‑22)

3. "Persecutest" = to pursue; the tense is continuous action; to persecute Christians is to persecute Christ.


V. 16

1. "Rise" = to stand up; this command was given after Paul had said, "Lord what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6; 22:10); At this time Paul only addressed Jesus with a title of respect, "Lord"; he was not saved at this point but three days later as his own testimony bears out in Acts 22:16; by asking this question he desires more light (truth) than what he already had.

2. "To make" = to appoint; used of a choice before made by God.

3. "Minister" = anyone who aids another in any work; refers to Paul being a preacher of the gospel.

4. "Witness" = one who testifies or speaks from what he had seen or heard; refers to the revelation he received on the road to Damascus and to the future revelations he was going to receive from Christ.


V. 17

1. "Delivering" = to choose out for one's self; to rescue; both meanings could be applied here since Paul had been chosen by the Lord from the people and nations (Gentiles) (Acts 9:15); also Paul had to be rescued by the Lord from the people and nations to whom He was sending him.

2. "The people" = refers to Jews; Agrippa would understand this meaning.

3. "Gentiles" = nations.


V. 18

1. "Open their eyes" = to enlighten or instruct; ignorance is represented by the eyes being closed, and the understanding of the gospel by the opening of the eyes.

2. "Turn" = to change; converted; indicates repentance.

3. "Darkness" = emblem of ignorance, sin, and heathenism.

4. "Light" = emblem of truth.

5. "Power of Satan" = dominion and authority of Satan who is "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), "god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4), and "ruler of darkness of this world." (Eph. 6:12)

6. "Unto God" = to the obedience of the one living and true God. 7. "Forgiveness" = deliverance from sins; dismissal of sins.

8. "Inheritance" = lot; portion; heirship.

9. "Sanctified" = treated as holy; set apart to God as His people to do His will.

10. "Faith" = belief; requirement to be saved (Acts 16:30‑31) along with repentance (turn). (Luke 13:3,5)

11. "In me" = in Christ Jesus as Lord; Jesus spoke these words to Paul.

12. This is the third time Luke records the experience Paul had on the road to Damascus and this time more of what the Lord said is recorded.  This gave Paul much to think for three days before the human instrument, Ananias, come by and instructed Paul to "call on the name of the Lord" on the street called Straight where Paul got saved. (Acts 22:16)


               4) I Was Not Disobedient V. 19-21

V. 19

1. "Was not disobedient" = he yielded himself to the command and obeyed when he got saved.

2. "Vision" = something gazed at; not a dream‑type vision but an actual appearance where Jesus spoke to him audible words.


V. 20

1. This verse contains a summary of his labors in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus.

2. "Shewed" = declared; to announce; public proclamation of the great news; Paul did not use this declaration of obedience to honor himself but to clarify the meaning of the gospel and to show what it means to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour.

3. "Coast" = space of territory with defined borders.

4. "Judaea" = a region of Palestine.

5. "Repent" = a change of mind, attitude, heart, and direction; man is enabled to do so by godly sorrow working repentance. (II Cor. 7:10)

6. "Turn" = to turn about; involves turning from sin to God.

7. "Do" = to practice; perform repeatedly or habitually.

8. "Works" = acts in which a man proves his genuineness and his faith. (James 2:20; Eph. 2:10)

9. "Meet" = suitable; corresponding.

10. "Repentance" = noun form of the verb "repent"; God's part in Salvation which is necessary before man can repent.


V. 21

1. "Causes" = on account of; the reason for; Paul is saying that the reason the Jews wanted to kill him was because of the message he declared.

2. "Caught" = seized.

3. "Went about to kill" = lay violent hands upon him in an attempt to kill him; Paul emphasized this so Agrippa would know that the Jewish leaders were not orderly, nor had they given him a fair trial as they had claimed.

4. Paul was faithful in obeying God even though it brought the wrath of man down on him.


               5) I Continue Unto This Day V. 22-23

V. 22

1. "Having therefore obtained help of God" = even though God used human instruments along the way to help Paul escape the plans laid by men the devil used to try to kill him, Paul traces his safety entirely to the help of God.

2. "Help" = assistance.

3. "Continue" = stand firm.

4. "Witnessing" = to give a first hand detailed account of what he had experienced, heard, and saw.

5. "Small" = refers to those of little importance in the eyes of the world.

6. "Great" = refers to those who had a high ranking position and power in the world.

7. "None other things" = nothing else.

8. "Prophets and Moses" = refers to the OT Scriptures; his total message was based on the OT: Jesus was revealed in the OT plain and clear, yet the Pharisees missed Him. (John 5:39‑40)


V. 23

1. This verse is just a part of what the OT said would come to pass.

2. "Christ" = the Messiah, God's anointed Prophet, Priest, and King.

3. "Suffer" = liable to experience pain; the word does not say he "must suffer" (even though He came to suffer) but "can suffer" which most Rabbis believed could never happen to the Messiah; refers to Christ's painful life and cruel death on the cross. (Isa. 53:3-5,10)

4. "From" = out from among; Jesus was the first out from among the dead. (Psa. 16:10‑11; I Cor. 15:20)

5. "Shew light" = proclaim truth.

6. "The people" = refers to the Jews; the message of Christ was the same for Jew and Gentile alike. (Isa. 42:6)


       2. Paul's Passionate Exhortation V. 24-32

V. 24

1. Festus interrupted Paul as he was speaking for himself and giving his defense.  This was powerful preaching and Festus felt its conviction.

2. "Beside thyself" = to rave as a maniac; deranged; insane.

3. "Much learning" = many writings; he is referring to the OT about which Paul was speaking; he meant it was Paul's (and the Jews') Bible that was turning Paul into a raving maniac right before his eyes; Festus, acquainted in some way with the fact that Paul was well‑educated, supposed that his brain had been turned, and that the effect of it was seen by devotion to a fanatical form of religion.

4. "Doth make" = to turn around; implied that Paul's education impelled, drives, or excites him to madness (craziness) right before them all.


V. 25

1. "Mad" = deranged same word as "beside" in verse 24.

2. "Most noble" = usual title for the Roman governor; means very honorable; Paul was not ruffled by the rude interruption but replied in a very courteous manner.

3. "Speak forth" = word for dignified and elevated discourse; same word is translated "utterance" in Acts 2:4; the word used here expresses the idea that Paul was speaking directly under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

4. "Truth" = freedom from error; means in accordance with the predictions of Moses and the prophets, and the facts which occurred in the death and resurrection of the Messiah.

5. "Soberness" = soundness of mind; stands opposed to madness or derangement.


V. 26

1. "Knoweth" = King Agrippa had been many years in that region, and the fame of Jesus and of Paul's conversion were probably well known to him.

2. "Before whom" = king Agrippa.

3. "Freely" = to be frank in utterance; to speak boldly, fully, confident, and openly without constraint.

4. "Persuaded" = convinced.

5. "None of these things are hidden" = non had escaped his notice.

6. "For this thing" = the fact of Christ's death and resurrection; the events of the gospel.

7. "Was not done in a corner" = not done in secret but publicly and was well known.


V. 27

1. Paul asked Agrippa a very pointed question to which he did not answer quickly; therefore, Paul stated that he knew he believed.

2. For him to answer "yes" would mean that he approved Paul's message and believed the gospel.  If he said "no," it would mean that he as a Jew did not believe the prophets.

3. "Know" = absolute, positive knowledge of a fact; Paul had already stated in verse 3 that Agrippa was especially expert (knower, skilled, and well acquainted) about the customs and questions among the Jews; Agrippa was a Jew and had care of the temple, the appointment of the high priest, and the care of the sacred vestments.

4. He believed the prophets from the Jewish standpoint, but he did not understand them.


V. 28

1. "Almost" = puny; small; brief; little; Greek word does not mean "almost" in today's language; it is not clear exactly what it means; may mean "in a very short time," "in brief," or "in a few words."

2. "Persuadest" = to convince.

3. "Christian" = a follower of Christ.

4. Agrippa's reply may have been one of four:

A. "In brief, you are seeking to persuade me to become a Christian" = an expression of surprise.

B. "In so short a time do you really think you can persuade me to become a Christian (act and live like a Christian)?" = a question of irony.

C. "In brief, you are trying to persuade me to act (play the part of) a Christian" = a statement of sharp rejection.

D. "It will take more than this to make a Jew like me into one of those hated Christians!" = also a statement of rejection.

5. Whatever the translation, it is clear Agrippa was rejecting Paul's efforts to convert him and closed his heart and mind to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, ever how much there may have been.  He pushes it aside with a shrug of the shoulders.


V. 29

1. "Would" = to pray; to wish; to have or express a deep concern.

2. "I would to God" = a polite and courteous wish; the Greek construction reveals a condition undetermined with less likelihood.

3. "Almost" = brief; easily.

4. "Altogether" = in a greater degree; at length; with difficulty.

5. "Such as I am" = a Christian like me; Paul prayed to God that whether in a brief time or at length, easily or with difficulty, whichever it took, all who listened to him would become a Christian.

6. "Bonds" = chains; refers to the persecutions, the unjust trials, and the imprisonments which he had to suffer; Paul did not desire them to endure such.

7. The King's intellect was instructed, his emotions touched, but his will was unyielding.


V. 30

1. "Rose up" = to stand up.

2. Paul was putting Agrippa on trial, and he did not like that.  He had heard enough, so he stood up indicating the hearing was over.  The others joined him in standing.


V. 31

1. "Gone aside" = went out.

2. "They talked between themselves" = the Greek construction describes the eager conversation of the dignitaries about the things Paul had said.

3. "Worthy" = deserving; nothing in Roman law could hold him guilty.

4. This unanimous conclusion of all the dignitaries leaves Festus in a predicament.  Why had he not set Paul free before this?


V. 32

1. "Might" = to be able or possible; he could have and should have been set free; Agrippa implies that the emperor would recognize Paul's innocence too and would have to set him free; at this time it was not a crime, under Roman  law, to be a Christian.

2. "Set at liberty" = to free fully.

3. "Had he not appealed to Caesar" = from this it seems that the appeal to Caesar had already been signed and sealed, or at least officially registered, so it was necessary to go through with it.


Chapter 27: Paul Sent To Rome


       1 The Voyage To Fair Havens V. 1-8

V. 1

1. "Was determined" = decided; means when the time was come when it was convenient to send him.

2. "We" = refers to Luke as being with Paul on this journey; therefore, he was an eyewitness to all that he described here.

3. "Italy" = country of which Rome was the capitol.

4. "Delivered" = to hand over.

5. "Other" = Greek word indicates others of a different kind.

6. "Prisoners" = captivates; probably condemned prisoners unlike Paul.

7. "Centurion" = a commander of a hundred men; named Julius.

8. "Band" = a division in the Roman army consisting of from 400 to 600 men.

9. "Augustus'" = title of the Roman emperor; this band of soldiers was named such in honour of the Roman emperor.


Map 2 is currently unavailable, please contact us for a copy.


V. 2

1. "Adramyttium" = a seacoast town of Mysia, in Asia. (See Map 2).

2. "Ship of" = refers to a ship which had been built there or which sailed from that port; probably a small vessel on its way home for the winter, stopping a various places along the sea coast; this ship was not expected to sail to Italy (verse 6 bears out) being too small for the open sea and long distance.

3. "Launched" = to sail away.

4. "Meaning" = to intend; Julius expected to catch a ship at one of the seaports along the coast of Asia, headed for Italy.

5. "Aristarchus" = Paul's companion in travel (Acts 19:29); traveled to Asia and on to Jerusalem with him perhaps to minister to him (Acts 20:4); may have been a prisoner along with Paul (Col. 4:10); he was from the city of Thessalonica in the country of Macedonia.


V. 3

1. "Sidon" = seaport city 67 miles North of Caesarea. (See Map 2).

2. "Touched" = docked; stopped for trade.

3. "Courteously entreated" = treated him kindly by giving him liberty (allowing) to go see his friends in the city; Julius was kind to him throughout the voyage which may have been due to his being present when Paul testified in Acts 26 before Agrippa and his knowing that Paul should have been set free. (Pro. 16:7)

4. "Friends" = Christians some of which may have been Paul's converts and moved to Sidon, since there is no record of Paul visiting the city previously.

5. "Refresh" = to enjoy the benefit of their care; they may have furnished him with supplies which were needful for his long and perilous voyage; this no doubt also refers to the fellowship they enjoyed together.



V. 4

1. "Thence" = there; Sidon.

2. "Cyprus" = a very fertile island in the Mediterranean about 100 miles west of the coast of Syria (See Map 2).

3. "Sailed under" = to sail under the protection of; they sailed northward around Cyprus so the force of the west or south‑west wind was broken by the island.

4. "Contrary" = opposite; adverse; the winds were blowing so strong from the westerly direction that the ship was unable to sail a straight course to Myra by going south of Cyprus (See Map 2).


V. 5

1. "Sailed over" = sailed through the sea which lies off the coast of Cilica (Paul's native province) and Pamphylia (both Roman provinces).

2. "Myra" = a city of the Roman province Lycia (See Map 2).


V. 6

1. "Found" = to find by searching, not by accident.

2. "Alexandria" = a city in Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea; the usual way to go to Rome from Caesarea was to go to Alexandria and from there to Rome, but no such ship was found at Caesarea.

3. "Ship of" = refers to a ship belonging to Alexandria headed for Italy probably blown off course by the wind; grain ship laden with wheat (verse 38) and usually carried passengers as well.

4. "Put" = to cause to enter; both prisoners and soldiers were put on board.


V. 7

1. "Had sailed slowly" = sailing slowly; due to the contrary westerly wind.

2. "Scarce" = with difficulty.

3. "Over against" = along side.

4. "Cnidus" = a city on the southwest point of Asia; about 130 miles west of Myra (see Map 2).

5. "Not suffering" = not allowing further progress west, then they sailed Southward.

6. "Sailed under" = to sail under the protection of.

7. "Crete" = a 160 mile long island southeast of Greece; a chain of mountains on the island gave protection from the wind (See Map 2).

8. "Over against Salmone" = near Cape Salmone, a peak of high land that juts out over the water on the east of the island.


V. 8

1. "Hardly" = with difficulty; same as "scarce" in verse 7.

2. "The fair havens" = good harbors; a bay near the island of Crete's most southerly point nigh (near) the city of Lasea (See Map 2).


       2 Paul's Warning Of Danger V. 9-14

V. 9

1. "Much time was spent" = refers to the time they were in the harbor.

2. "Sailing" = navigation.

3. "The fast" = refers to the great day of the atonement of the Jews which was the 10th day of the seventh month (Jewish) which corresponds to October; the months were determined by the moon, thus different from our calendar; this day occurred on October 5 in 59 A.D. (according to history).

4. "Admonished" = exhorted; entreated; he tried to persuade them not to set sail because sailing on the Mediterranean Sea after September 14th was considered dangerous; the tense reveals continuous action.

5. Paul had won the respect of the centurion and the officers and also felt it to be his duty to give warning without being asked.


V. 10

1. "Sirs" = men; word means males.

2. "Perceive" = to know by seeing or experiencing; Paul had plenty of experience on the sea as he had already been in three shipwrecks (II Cor. 11:25, II Cor. was written before this event occurred); also he no doubt sensed the Spirit's leading as well.

3. "With hurt" = with injury or hazard; their lives would be in jeopardy.

4. "Damage" = loss.

5. "Lading" = freight of the ship.

6. Paul evidently, by this, intended to suggest that it would be fitting to remain where they were until the time of dangerous navigation was past.


V. 11

1. "Believed" = to influence by persuasion.

2. "Master" = steersman; pilot.

3. "Owner" = captain; had general command of the ship as his own property even though this may have been a government ship.

4. As a military officer, the centurion was responsible for the soldiers, the prisoners, and the cargo of wheat; therefore, the pilot and captain had to persuade the centurion to set sail.


V. 12

1. "Haven" = harbor.

2. "Not commodious to winter in" = not safe or convenient to remain there over winter.

3. "The more part" = the greater part of the crew.

4. "Advised" = to give advise and counsel.

5. "By any means" = somehow.

6. "Attain" = arrive at.

7. "Phenice" = Phoenix; town or the southern coast of Crete only 40 miles from Fair Havens (See Map 2), a port and a haven (harbor).

8. "Lieth toward" = looking toward; means it was open in that direction; the entrance into the harbor was first from the south-westward direction and then the harbor curved toward the right at about 90 degrees causing the entrance to be from the north-westward direction; the harbor was curved giving ships safety from the winds and high seas throughout the winter.


V. 13

1. "When the south wind blew softly (gently)" = a marked contrast to the violent westerly wind they had faced for so long.

2. "Supposing" = thinking.

3. "Had obtained their purpose" = the object of their desire which was to sail safely along the coast of Crete; had only 40 miles to go, less than 24 hours if all went well.

4. "Loosing thence" = setting sail from the fair havens.

5. "Close by Crete" = near the shore.


V. 14

1. "Arose" = beat violently.

2. "Against it" = against the vessel; the Greek literally says, "seizing her, and whirling her around."

3. "Tempestuous" = turbulent; violent; strong.

4. "Euroclydon" = a storm from the east which agitates and excites the waves; it answers to the usual effects of a hurricane; refers to a wind rapidly changing its points of compass.


       3. The Storm V. 15-26

V. 15

1. "Caught" = to seize by force and carry away; graphic picture as if the ship was seized by a great monster.

2. "Could not" = was not able.

3. "Bear up into the wind" = face the wind; the pilot was not able to guide or manage the ship.

4. "Let her drive" = allowed the ship to be carried along by the wind without attempting to control it; they now were driven away from the coast of Crete.


V. 16

1. "Running under" = came under the protection of; the island of Clauda broke the violence of the wind.

2. "Clauda" = a small island about 20 miles south of Phoenix. (See Map 2)

3. "Much" = with difficulty.

4. "Work" = force.

5. "Come by the boat" = to gain control of a small boat that was attached to the side of the vessel used to travel to shore where there was no harbor (may have been a life boat); the boat may have been water‑logged thus hard to get abroad the ship.


V. 17

1. "Taken up" = to lift up and place on board the ship.

2. "Helps" = aids; ropes, chains, or cables used under the ship (undergirding) and attached securely on both sides of the deck to try to keep the timbers from straining too much or giving way because of the violence of the wind and waves.

3. "Fearing" = to be afraid; frightened.

4. "Quicksands" = off the coast of Africa there were two well‑known quicksands, vast beds of sand driven up by the sea, and constantly shifting their position; the sailors not knowing where they were, were afraid that they would be driven on one of those banks of sand and be lost.

5. "Strake sail" = lowered the mast which held the sail leaving only enough to steady the ship; they were at the mercy of the wind and waves, and their only hope was by taking down their sails.

6. "Were driven" = allowed the ship to be driven before the wind. 


V. 18

1. "Tossed with a tempest" = to toss about upon the waves; described as "exceedingly" = very much.

2. "Lightened" = to cast out; they lightened the ship by throwing overboard only part (verse 38) of the cargo  so the ship would ride higher and not be swamped by the large waves.

3. "They" = refers to the crew who were busy trying to save the ship.


V. 19

1. "Cast out" = to fling.

2. "With our own hands" = a vivid and graphic touch by Luke who helped.

3. "Tackling" = the anchors, sails, cables, baggage, furniture, and etc; everything that was not indispensable to its preservation for it seems still that they retained some of their anchors on board. (verse 29)


V. 20

1. "Appeared" = to shine upon; it had been many days and nights (may have been up to 14; verse 27) since they had seen the sun or stars due to the storm; therefore, they had no way of knowing where they were for they had no other means of navigation.

2. "Tempest" = storm, described as "no small," thus a large storm.

3. "Lay on" = to rest upon; the storm seemed to hover over them and did not move away.

4. "Hope" = desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it; in this case there was none left; they had hope for a few days that the storm would end, but as the storm continued to buffet them and press upon them, all hope was stripped away.

5. "Saved" = delivered from the storm.

6. This is a picture of a lost soul, driven in the storm of disobedience and sin, without God, without hope. (Isa. 57:20-21; Psa. 107:23‑31)


V. 21

1. "Abstinence" = fasting, going without food for a long period of time; may have been due to their being occupied trying to save the ship and their lives, they did not have time to eat or may have been due to being seasick thus losing their appetite; whatever the reason there was still food on board. (verse 36, 38)

2. "Stood forth" = pictorial word that sets forth the vividness and solemnness of the scene.

3. "Sirs" = men.

4. "Ye should have hearkened unto me" = this was not of the "I told you so" nature but a reference to the wisdom of his former counsel (verse 10) so that they would be persuaded to accept his present advice.

5. "Gained this harm and loss" = Paul means that if they had taken his advice they would have escaped this injury and loss.

6. It seems to be bad English to speak of "gaining a loss," but it is a correct translation of the Greek, which expresses the idea of acquiring, whether good or evil.

7. Paul did not share the despair like the rest on board the ship.  He later revealed why in II Tim. 1:7.


V. 22

1. "Exhort" = advise; admonish; entreat.

2. "To be of good cheer" = refers to having courage and a good spirit about the situation at hand.

3. He had foretold such a loss was likely (verse 10), but now states very strongly there would be no loss of lives.  The reason for such a change is given in the next verse.


V. 23

1. "Stood by me" = appeared beside me.

2. "Angel" = messenger; in this case a supernatural angel with a message from God.

3. "God" = the Greek has the definite article meaning "The God," thus referring to the only God, the one true God to whom Paul belonged (whose I am) and served (worship); he did not serve the angel but "The God" who sent the angel with a message from Him.


V. 24

1. "Fear not" = do not be alarmed with the danger of the loss of life.

2. "Must" = it is necessary.

3. "Be brought before" = to stand before.

4. "Lo" = a word bidding the hearer to listen to what is said when a thing is specified which seems impossible and yet occurs.

5. "Given" = a gift; grace; to grant as a favor; by the grace of God the angel gave assurance that for Paul's sake (thee), all those on board, helpless and unworthy as they were, would be saved (from the storm; not referring to salvation spiritually); the wicked often receive important benefits from being connected with Christians.


V. 25

1. "Wherefore" = on account of what had just been said.

2. "Sirs" = men.

3. "Be of good cheer" = keep up your spirits; be courageous; God had spoken and that was enough for Paul.

4. "Believe" = to commit to one's trust; faith in God.

5. The situation had not changed.  The storm was still raging, but now they had grounds for courage, hope, and expectation.  They had heard from God through His man and his faith showed as he spoke.  They must get their eyes off the storm and discouraging circumstances and fix their eyes on God.


V. 26

1. "Howbeit" = nevertheless.

2. "Must" = it is necessary.

3. "Cast" = to be driven into.

4. "Certain island" = Paul was not told which island; the crew and passengers did not know where they were, but God knew where they were and where they were going.


       4. The Shipwreck V. 27-44

V. 27

1. "Fourteenth night" = from the time they had loosed from the fair havens and the storm began.

2. "Driven up and down" = to bear different ways; this way and that; to and fro.

3. "In Adria" = "in the sea of Adria" = part of the Mediterranean between Italy and Greece. (See Map 2).

4. "Deemed" = to think privately; judged; began to suspect; probably by the appearance of the sea.

5. "Country" = a space of territory; the sailors may have heard the sound of breakers and grew uneasy.


V. 28

1. "Sounded" = to make use of a line or rope weighted with lead to determine the depth of the sea; when the weight hit bottom it sent a certain vibration the sailors could feel.

2. "Found" = to find by searching, not by accident.

3. "Fathoms" = about six feet each; the distance from the end of the middle finger on one hand to the end of the middle finger on the other hand when the arms are extended; thus the depth was about 120 feet.

4. By finding the water not as deep the second time they measured, they knew they were coming close to land of some sort.


V. 29

1. "Fearing" = to be alarmed; frightened, that the ship would run aground (fallen) on the rocks and break up before they could escape.

2. "Cast" = tossed out; fling.

3. "Anchors" = made of iron or lead and each had two or three pointed blades that would hang on rocks in the bottom of the sea.

4. "Stern" = the rear end of the ship.

5. The usual practice to anchor a ship was and is by the bow or front end of the ship, but they cast out of the rear hoping to stop the ship from going any further toward the rocks.

6. "Wished" = to have a longing for; translated "pray" in James 5:16; no doubt they were praying for day to come, because it was pitch dark since it was just past midnight (verse 27) and probably due to the excitement no one could sleep, so they prayed for day to come so they could more accurately discern their situation and danger.


V. 30

1. "Shipmen" = sailors.

2. "Under colour" = under pretence; they pretended that it was necessary to get into the boat and carry the anchors ahead of the ship so as to make it secure, but their real intention was to head for shore.

3. "Cast" = to extend or stretch out.

4. "Foreship" = the forward part of the ship's hull.

5. This pretended action was to make the fore part of the ship secure.


V. 31

1. The centurion had the general direction of the ship.

2. "Except these" = these sailors trying to leave the ship.

3. "Abide in the ship" = to stay on board.

4. "Ye cannot be saved" = cannot be delivered from death.

5. Without the sailors the ship could not be properly beached.  Though Paul had the promise of God that all those on board would be saved, God was not going to send visible angels to man the ship and carry them to safety.  They were going to have to do their part.  God is sovereign, yet He sometimes uses even the ungodly to help accomplish His will.


V. 32

1. "Fall off" = drop away.

2. The soldiers had common sense enough to know he was right, so they cut the ropes holding the small boat and let it fall into the sea rather than let it be the means of the escape of the sailors who were needed.


V. 33

1. "While the day was coming on" =  before they had sufficient light to discern what to do.

2. "Besought" = to urge, entreat; tense indicates continuous action; they had not eaten for 14 days which may have been due to their being seasick; therefore, they needed encouragement to eat.

3. "Meat" = food.

4. "Fasting" = without taking food.

5. "Taken nothing" = text indicates they ate nothing during those 14 days, while many writers believe it refers to regular meals; whatever the case may be, the men were no doubt weary and weak; Paul wanted them to be ready for action when the time came.


V. 34

1. "Pray" = ask; beg; same word as "besought" in verse 33.

2. "Health" = safety; welfare; referring to their deliverance.

3. "Not a hair fall from the head" = a proverbial expression, denoting that they would be preserved safe.


V. 35

1. Paul did more than urge the people on the ship to eat.  He set the example by taking a loaf of bread.

2. "Gave thanks" = to express gratitude toward; Paul was among those who were not Christians, but he was not ashamed of the proper acknowledgement of God, nor afraid to reveal his dependence on Him, or to express his gratitude for His mercy.


V. 36

1. "Of good cheer" = to cheer up; because of Paul's words and conduct.

2. Paul's faith, love, and example inspired them with new hope for the first time since the storm began.


V. 37

1. "Souls" = living persons.

2. The Bible draws attention to the fact that there were 276 people on board the ship.  Paul had preached to much larger groups before but this is probably the first time an entire crowd had followed his advice.


V. 38

1. "Had eaten enough" = had eaten their fill and were satisfied with food.

2. "Lightened" = to unload; refers to the rest of the cargo of wheat not thrown overboard in verse 18.

3. Paul had said the ship would be lost (verse 22); therefore, there was no longer any point in trying to save the wheat.  By throwing the wheat overboard, it would allow the ship to ride higher and help get them closer to shore before running aground, thus giving them a better chance of reaching the land safely.


V. 39

1. "Knew not" = did not recognize the land; they had no idea where they were, because they had been unable to navigate due to the absence of the sun and stars; it seems no one on board had ever stopped by this island.

2. "Discovered" = to observe fully; to gradually perceive after some effort; this beach seemed their only hope.

3. "Creek with a shore" = a bay.

4. "Were minded" = were resolved; to have a purpose.

5. "If it were possible" = if they would be able.

6. "To thrust" = to drive.


V. 40

1. "Taken up" = having taken away from around; the Greek means they cut them free and let the anchors and the ropes fall into the sea.

2. "Committed" = left; permitted; refers to the anchors not the people or ship; "themselves" is in the italics and not in the original.

3. "Rudder" = the blade of an oar; that by which a ship is steered; the Greek is plural so there had to be more than one rudder; it is not known exactly in Paul's day what the rudders looked like or how they were secured to the ship.

4. "Bands" = the cords or fastenings by which the rudder was secured to the side of the ship during the storm.

5. "Hoised up" = hoisted up.

6. "Mainsail" = foresail; which was set on the bow of the ship; actually it was a small sail used for a temporary purpose.

7. "Made toward shore" = headed for the beach; they began to hold the ship steadily for the beach allowing the wind to press the ship farther on upon the land, thus enabling them to get to shore more easily (this was their intent).


V. 41

1. "Falling" = to happen upon a place.

2. "Where two seas met" = a place of a double sea; refers to a sand‑bar stretching out from the mainland which was washed on both sides by the waves.

3. "Ran aground" = stuck the ship in the sand‑bar.

4. "Violence" = force.


V. 42

1. "Counsel" = advice.

2. Roman military discipline was very strict, and if the prisoners escaped the soldiers would be charged that it had been done by their negligence and unfaithfulness.  They knew the government would hold them responsible and their lives would be at stake.


V. 43

1. "Save" = to keep from perishing physically; implies the soldiers were preceding to carry out their purpose; they may have already gathered the prisoners together and the centurion had to actually rescue Paul and the other prisoners from them.

2. "Kept" = to prevent; to restrain; for the sake of one righteous man, the lives of all were spared.

3. "Commanded" = to order; probably they were released from their chains.


V. 44

1. "The rest" = remaining ones; those who could not swim.

2. The breaking up of the ship provided boards and broken pieces that floated which enabled those who could not swim to get to the shore.

3. "Escaped safe" = to keep from perishing physically; according to the promise which was made to Paul in verse 22.


Chapter 28: Paul Arrives At Rome


       1. The Ministry At Melita V. 1-10

V. 1

1. "Were escaped" = to save thoroughly.

2. "Knew" = they learned from the inhabitants.

3. "Melita" = an island in the Mediterranean about 174 miles from Italy; about 17 miles long and 9 miles wide; call Malta today. (See Map 2)


V. 2

1. "Barbarous" = a foreigner; the Greeks called all men "barbarians" who did not speak Greek; it does not denote people of savage, uncultivated, and cruel habits as our language today would indicate; simply those whose speech was unintelligible.

2. "Kindness" = love of mankind; benevolence; described as "no little" = that beyond the ordinary; the people did not take advantage of the calamity; the tense reveals it was their habit, they kept on showing kindness.

3. "Kindled a fire" = a pile of burning sticks.

4. "Received" = to take to oneself.

5. "Present rain" = pouring rain; the continuance of the storm.

6. "The cold" = the exposure to the water in getting to the shore and probably the coldness of the weather since it was the latter part of October.


V. 3

1. "Gathered" = to twist or turn together or roll up in a bundle; Paul helped, taking the place of a servant.

2. "Bundle" = quantity.

3. "Sticks' = dry twigs; where dry twigs were found while it was raining we know not.

4. "Viper" = a poisonous snake.

5. "Came out of the heat" = came out because of the heat or by reason of the heat.

6. "Fastened on" = to seize upon; to adhere to; probably sunk its fangs in his hand.


V. 4

1. "Beast" = word applied to animals of any kind, and was especially applied by Greek writers to serpents.

2. "Venomous" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators to describe the viper as being poisonous as the context brings out.

3. "Hang" = the viper's fangs were sunk into Paul's flesh.

4. "Murderer" = why they thought he was a murderer rather than guilty of some other crime is not known; it could have been they called him such because murder was considered the highest crime, and they thought him guilty of some extremely evil crime.

5. "Vengeance" = justice; refers to a goddess, the daughter of Jupiter, whose office it was to take vengeance, or to inflict punishment for crimes.

6. "Suffereth" = allow; permit; they looked on Paul as a doomed man, as good as dead; supposing the effect of the bite of the viper would be certain death that they could speak of him as already in effect dead.


V. 5

1. "Shook off" = to brush off; this is a fulfillment of Mark 16:18; Paul was not excited nor worried; notice he did not pick up the snake deliberately, nor did he make an attempt to show his faith.

2. "Felt no harm" = he may have felt pain from the fangs as they entered his flesh, but no harm was experienced from the viper's poisonous bite.


V. 6

1. "Looked" = anticipated; expected; the local people had no doubt seen others bitten by the same kind of viper; therefore, they expected Paul to swell up or drop dead quickly.

2. "Swollen" = inflammation; a medical term meaning a burning and a swelling.

3. "Suddenly" = unawares; unexpectedly.

4. "Changed their minds" = to turn around in opinion; based on outward circumstances, their opinion thus shifted from one extreme to the other; they thought he was being punished by their god and now they think he is a god.


V. 7

1. "In the same quarters" = in that place, or that part of the island.

2. "Possessions" = property; his place of residence.

3. "Chief man" = foremost; the chief Roman official on the island, thus responsible for any Roman soldiers and their prisoners who might come there.

4. "Publius" = a Roman name.

5. "Received" = to entertain as a guest.

6. "Lodged" = to receive as guest.

7. "Courteously" = in a kindly and friendly manner.


V. 8

1. "Lay" = common verb for sick.

2. "Sick" = suffering from.

3. "Fever" = plural in the Greek; medical term for intermittent attacks of "fever" = inflamed.

4. "Bloody flux" = dysentery; a medical term used by Luke the physician.

5. "Healed" = word refers to miraculous healing; Paul was just the human instrument God used to exercise faith in praying, but the Lord is the One who healed; Paul's laying hands on him was an act of identification and may have been according to James 5:14‑15.

6. God allowed Paul to perform this miracle to win the confidence of the people who later assisted Paul and his party when they left for Rome three months later. (verse 10)


V. 9

1. When news of the miracle of verse 8 spread over the island, the remaining (others) ones with diseases came and were healed.

2. "Diseases" = all types of feebleness of body and mind.

3. "Healed" = to cure; restore to health; this is a different Greek word then the one used in verse 8; seems to imply Luke the physician was involved with these folks (the use of "us" in verse 10); therefore, he may have used medicines to restore these folk back to health; either with medicines or without, only God can heal; the tense indicates a regular stream of patients came during these months.


V. 10

1. "Honoured" = gifts; marks of favor; the word was often applied to payment for professional services as we today speak of an honorarium.

2. "Departed" = setting sail; fixing to leave the island.

3. "Laded" = put on board.

4. "As were necessary" = as were needed for the journey; they had lost everything in the shipwreck.


       2. The Trip To Rome V. 11-16

V. 11

1. "Departed" = sailed away.

2. "Ship of Alexandria" = a ship belonging to Alexandria headed for Italy which had wintered (docked throughout the winter months) in the island (isle).

3. "Sign" = side marked; labeled; it was common to paint or carve figures one on each side of the forward part of the ship's hull.

4. "Castor and Pollux" = one word in the Greek meaning the twin sons of the Greek chief god, Zeus; considered patrons of sailors and their protectors when in distress.


V. 12

1. "Syracuse" = capital city of Sicily on the eastern coast 80 miles NNE of Malta. (See Map 2.)

2. The ship had to travel this way in order to go between Sicily and the toe of Italy's boot.


V. 13

1. "Thence" = Syracuse.

2. "Fetched a compass" = to go around; to make a circuit; means they had to constantly change the direction of the ship in a zig‑zagging pattern; due to the unfavorable wind, they were unable to sail a straight course; this word does not mean an instrument to show them direction.

3. "Rhegium" = a city in the toe of Italy's boot opposite Messana in Sicily. (See Map 2.)

4. "The south wind blew" = a wind favorable for their voyage.

5. "Puteoli" = the chief seaport of Rome due to the coast nearer Rome not having good harbors; 180 miles from Rhegium. (See Map 2.)


V. 14

1. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to Christians who are all from the "womb" of God; where these had made contact with the gospel is not known; they may have heard from Paul on one of his missionary journeys or from those who were saved when Paul preached on those missionary journeys.

2. "Desired" = to urge; beg; beseech; entreat.

3. "Tarry" = to stay over; remain.

4. Paul was still a prisoner, but Julius the centurion was more than glad to allow Paul to stay seven days, because he and the rest of the soldiers owed their lives to Paul, the human instrument God used to deliver His promise.

5. "Rome" = 130 miles by land from Puteoli over one of the great Roman roads that led to Rome. (See Map 2.)


V. 15

1. "From thence" = from Puteoli.

2. "Brethren heard of us" = the Christians at Rome; how they heard we know not, but news has a way of traveling.

3. "Appii forum" = the marketplace of Appius, a city about 40 miles south of Rome; had a bad reputation because it was the haunt of thieves, thugs, and swindlers. (See Map 2.)

4. "The three taverns" = village about 30 miles from Rome; no doubt received its name because it was distinguished as a place of refreshment on the Appian Way, one of the roads that led to Rome.

5. "Thanked" = to express gratitude toward.

6. "Took courage" = the Lord Himself had exhorted Paul to be of good courage in Acts 23:11; Paul had passed through enough to be discouraged, whether he was or not we know not, but when he saw the brethren come to meet him, he was encouraged and strengthened; it was a joyous time and again Julius shows him kindness and did not interfere.


V. 16

1. "Delivered" = to hand over.

2. "Captain of the guard" = one word in the Greek; commander in charge.

3. "Was suffered" = was allowed.

4. "To dwell" = to stay.

5. "Kept" = guard; watch.

6. Julius must have given a good report concerning Paul and had influence with the commander, because he allowed Paul more freedom than the other prisoners.  He was allowed to live by himself, in his lodging (verse 23), his own hired house (verse 30), though still chained to a soldier.


       3. The Introduction To The Roman Jews V. 17-22

V. 17

1. "Called" = sent out an invitation.

2. "Chief of the Jews" = leading men of the city among the Jews.

3. "Come together" = assembled; Paul's hired house was large enough to accommodate several people.

4. Paul's object in calling the Jews together seems to be two‑fold.   

A. To vindicate himself from the suspicion of crime, or to convince them that the charges against him were false.

B. To explain to them the gospel of Christ.

5. Paul could not go to the synagogue, as his custom was, since he was a prisoner.  So he invited the Jewish leaders to come to his lodging.

6. "Men" = male; word for men only.

7. "Brethren" = from the same womb; used here in the sense of being a fellow Jew from the loins of Abraham.

8. "Nothing" = not even one thing.

9. "Against the people" = against or opposite the Jews.

10. "Customs" = a usage prescribed by habit or law; the ceremonial rites and observances of sacrifices, festivals, and etc. as appointed by Moses; the religious rites of the nation.

11. "Delivered prisoner from Jerusalem" = the Jews were responsible for his being in the hands of the Romans, even though they wanted to kill him and would have had they had their way, but God intervened.


V. 18

1. "Who" = Romans.

2. "Examined" = to scrutinize; investigate; interrogate; refers to the judicial examinations by Felix and Festus.

3. "Would" = desired.

4. "Let go" = to free fully.

5. "No cause of death" = no crime worthy of death.


V. 19

1. "Spoke against it" = against Paul's being set at liberty.

2. "Constrained" = to necessitate; this was due to the fact that Festus was willing to send Paul to Jerusalem to be judged by the Sanhedrin which would have resulted in his death. (Acts 25:9)

3. "Appeal" = to call upon for one's self as a helper.

4. "Caesar" = title of the Roman Emperor; Nero was the Emperor at the present time.

5. "Not that I had ought to accuse my nation of" = I did it for my own preservation and safety, not that I wished to accuse my countrymen (Jews); Paul had been unjustly accused by the Jews, yet he held no ill‑will or animosity toward them.


V. 20

1. "Cause" = reason; motive; purpose.

2. "Called" = invited.

3. "Because of the hope of Israel" = on account of the hope which the Jews cherished concerning the coming of the Messiah and the resurrection. (Acts 26:6)

4. "Hope" = desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it.

5. "Bound" = to be surrounded with; first time this word is used in Acts; the chain was probably around his waist and attached to a soldier, thus giving Paul freedom to write, eat, fellowship with those who come to see him, and take care of his physical needs. 


V. 21

1. "Letters" = official documents from the Sanhedrin about the charges against Paul.

2. "Shewed" = reported.

3. "Harm" = evil.

4. None of the brethren (Jews) which came from Judea had mentioned Paul's case in any way.  If they had, the Jews denied it to Paul.  There is historical evidence that Roman law punished unsuccessful prosecutors of Roman citizens.  So it is possible that the Jewish leaders, whether in Jerusalem or in Rome, simply decided it would be better not to oppose Paul in Rome.


V. 22

1. "Desire" = to deem worthy; to think right or proper.

2. "What thou thinkest" = what your belief is; what are the doctrines of Christians concerning the Messiah.

3. "Sect" = a party or form of religious worship.

4. "Know" = well known by experience.

5. "Spoken against" = disputed; refused; the line of separation between Jews and Christians was now sharply drawn everywhere.


       4. The Jews Reject The Gospel V. 23-31

V. 23

1. "Appointed him a day" = a day when they would hear him.

2. "Lodging" = the house where he resided as a prisoner.

3. "Expounded" = explained; declared; he did it with detail and care and spent all day at it (from morning till evening).

4. "Testified" = to confirm by testimony.

5. "Kingdom" = rule; power; authority.

6. "Persuading" = trying to persuade or convince.

7. "Out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets" = refers to the entire Old Testament.

8. His message included God's rule manifested through Jesus and through the Holy Spirit as well as the coming Kingdom when Jesus will return to earth, take the throne of David, and make it eternal.


V. 24

1. "Believed" = convinced; word indicates they obeyed Paul's message; they were saved, thus having saving faith.

2. "Things which were spoken" = that Jesus the Messiah, Lord, and Saviour was raised from the dead; that His death was effective for the redemption of body as well as the soul and spirit.

3. "Believed not" = disbelieved; tense indicates they continued to do so; they chose to reject the truth (light) Paul preached in spite of his testimony and in spite of the proofs he brought from OT Scriptures.


V. 25

1. "Agreed not" = out of harmony; in discord; the truth, as it always does, brought disagreement and a line of separation.  (Luke 12:51)

2. "Word" = utterance; one last word (like a preacher) after the all day exposition.

3. "Esaias" = Isaiah; he quotes Isa. 6:9‑10 in verses 26‑27.

4. "Well" = rightly; he justly described the character of the Jewish people.

5. "Spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias" = a full proof of the inspiration of Isaiah (II Peter 1:21) by mentioning that they are resisting the Holy Ghost and God. (Acts 7:51)

6. "Prophet" = one who speaks for another.

7. "Fathers" = the forefathers of the Jewish people of Paul's day; refers to those alive at the time of Isaiah's writing.


V. 26

1. "This people" = Israelites.

2. "Hearing ye shall hear" = refers to the organ of hearing, the ear.

3. "Understand" = to put together; comprehend; negated by "not".

4. "Seeing ye shall see" = refers to the organ of seeing, the eye. 5. "Perceive" = absolute, positive knowledge of a fact once for all; negated by "not".


V. 27

1. "Heart" = the center and seat of spiritual life.

2. "This people" = Israelites.

3. "Waxed gross" = to thicken; to make fat; indicates such a thick layer of unbelief had grown around their hearts and minds that the truth had a hard time penetrating.

4. "Dull" = heavily; with difficulty.

5. "Converted" = to revert; to turn; refers to their repenting.

6. "Heal" = refers to salvation, spiritual healing. (Isa. 53:5)

7. They were deliberately unreceptive with an arrogance that willfully disregarded God, His Word.  The problem was that the unbelieving Jews were trying to dictate to God what the way of salvation should be.


V. 28

1. "Known" = well known.

2. "The Salvation" = "this salvation" = refers to God's method of saving men.

3. "Sent" = since you have rejected it, it will be offered to the Gentiles.

4. "Gentiles" = nations; all who are not Jews.

5. "Hear" = listen to; to hearken; text indicates they will obey and embrace the message of this salvation of God.


V. 29

1. "Reasoning" = mutual questioning; great discussion or debates.

2. No doubt those who believed and obeyed were trying to persuade their friends to receive the truth of the gospel Paul had proclaimed and demonstrated to them from the Scriptures.


V. 30

1. "Dwelt" = stayed; lived; to stay in a given place.

2. "Hired house" = a rented building paid for by either Paul or some of his friends; he was chained to a soldier during the entire two years.

3. "Received" = to take fully; to welcome; tense indicates he received from time to time all that came throughout the two years period of time.


V. 31

1. "Preaching" = proclaiming; heralding forth.

2. "Kingdom" = rule; power; authority.

3. "Teaching" = to shape the will of the one taught by the communication of the knowledge.

4. "Which concern" = concerning; refers to the gospel of Christ and all it involves.

5. "Confidence" = freedom of frankness in speaking; he was able to preach and teach openly (before the guards even though under arrest) and boldly.

6. "Forbidding" = in an unhindered manner.

7.  During Paul's two year stay in prison, he wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.  Also some of Caesar's household were saved. (Phil. 4:22)

8. Here closes the inspired account of the propagation of Christianity, of the organization of the Christian churches, and of the toils and persecutions of the apostle Paul.  Why Luke closed his history here is not known.  It may have been that he was not afterward the companion of Paul, or that he might have been himself removed by death.  But both these theories seem to be wrong due to II Tim. 4:11 which was written about 3 years later.

9. Some believe that Paul was released after those two years when he was called before the Emperor, and the Jerusalem Jews had sent no accusation and no lawyer to represent them.  Others believe there was no trial and the case was  automatically dismissed at the end of two years because no charges were presented.  Roman law gave the prosecution a limited time to present it's case, depending on the distance they had to come.  Philemon 22 shows Paul did expect to be released.

10. Whatever the reason, it seems Paul was released from prison toward the end of 62 AD or in the spring of 63 AD (there are many variations concerning dates).  Paul states in II Tim. 4:20 that he left Trophimus at Miletum (Miletus) sick, which could not have occurred on Paul's third missionary journey (Acts 20:4; 21:29) nor on the journey to Rome to appear before Caesar, because he did not land at Miletus on that trip.  Therefore, to make this incident possible he had to be released from his first imprisonment and have an interval of ministry and travel.

11. During the next two or three years he travelled over to Italy and is believed to have gone to Spain (Rom 15:24,28) for he at least intended to when he wrote Romans about 58 AD and possibly did after his first release.  Also during this time (after release from his first imprisonment) he wrote I Timothy, Hebrews, and Titus.

12. In 64 AD, a dreadful fire happened at Rome which continued six or seven days.  It was believed the city had been set on fire by order of the Emperor Nero and in order to divert the attention of the people from this charge against him, he accused the Christians of having been the ones who set the fire.  This brought a furious and bloody persecution against the Christians, thus becoming a crime to be a Christian in the Roman Empire.

13. This was followed in 65 AD by Paul's second imprisonment and death.  II Tim. 4:13 indicates he left his cloak at Troas, possibly because of a sudden arrest.  This time he was not able to be in a hired house, but in a dungeon (tradition shows this to be where he was kept in prison).  Yet he was able to write II Tim. while there waiting martyrdom.  II Tim. 4:21 indicates the cold damp condition of his place of abode as he pleads with Timothy to do his best to make it before winter.

14. Some believe Luke suffered martyrdom along with Paul since he was the only Christian with him at this time. (II Tim. 4:11).

15. Whatever happened to Luke, we know not for certain, but we do know that the Book of Acts had no formal ending.  It is still going on today.


Chapter 29:  The Most Exciting Chapter In Acts


1. This is the chapter that records your acts as a disciple of our Lord.  It is the most exciting, because you are the one experiencing firsthand what the Lord is doing in your life and ministry.  Mal. 3:16 states there is a book (chapter) written of your life and those things will be judged at the Judgement Seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10; I Cor. 3:12‑15)

2. May we submit to our Lord's will and enjoy the ministry He had given us and the place He has placed us and live this chapter of our lives to the fullest.



New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
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Pastor - 270-559-7135
The Persuader