1 And it came to pass, that after we (Luke is with the party) were gotten from them, and had launched (left the Elders from Ephesus), we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara (located on the West Coast of Lucia and Pamphylia):
2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth (they changed ships at Patara).
3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand (means they did not stop at this Island), and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
4 And finding Disciples (followers of Christ), we tarried there seven days (during this time, his teaching was invaluable to them): who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem (would have been better translated, “who said to Paul in consequence of the Spirit”; the idea is that due to what the Spirit of God was portraying to these Believers concerning the coming problems in Jerusalem, the individuals themselves were voicing their own feelings that he should not go; it was not the Holy Spirit saying, “don’t go”; the Spirit was actually constraining him to go [Acts 20:22]).
5 And when we had accomplished those days (the past seven days), we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city (shows the love and affection Paul continued to gain in these last few days, even from the children): and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed (I think the strength of Paul’s prayer life is now obvious).
6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again (these Believers at Tyre returned to their homes, but with a full heart and an exercised soul).
7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais (about thirty miles from Tyre; proclaims the end of Paul’s voyage by ship), and saluted the Brethren, and abode with them one day.
8 And the next day we who were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea (approximately sixty miles; they evidently walked this distance; the “company” could have been as many as nine): and we entered into the house of Philip the Evangelist (presents the same Philip of Acts 8:40), which was one of the seven (Acts 6:5); and abode with him (his house was evidently quite large).
9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins (insinuates they had given themselves over to perpetual virginity, meaning they would not marry, but would give their lives totally in serving the Lord), which did Prophesy (the idea is that they were Evangelists exactly as their father, which strikes down the idea that women cannot preach).
10 And as we tarried there many days (waiting for the Day of Pentecost), there came down from Judaea a certain Prophet (the same Brother mentioned in Acts 11:28), named Agabus.
11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle (a sash worn around the waist like a belt), and bound his own hands and feet (presents that which the Holy Spirit told him to do as an object lesson), and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles (this was designed by the Holy Spirit to test Paul’s resolution to obey the inward voice which bound him to go, even as Elijah tested Elisha).
12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem (but Paul must listen to the Holy Spirit, not men).
13 Then Paul answered, What mean you to weep and to break mine heart? (They kept trying to persuade him, becoming emotionally distraught with some of them weeping.) for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus (proclaims the consecration already settled in Paul’s heart and mind respecting these coming events).
14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The Will of the Lord be done (means that all had now come to the place where they realized what Paul was doing and the direction he was going were indeed the Will of God; Paul was a chosen vessel to offer the Kingdom to Israel, as well as to proclaim it among the Gentiles; the final offer he would shortly give to Israel was a Divine necessity; but as we shall see, they rejected that offer and went to their doom).
15 And after those days we took up our carriages (referred to their baggage, whatever that may have been), and went up to Jerusalem (it was approximately sixty miles, and they probably walked).
16 There went with us also certain of the Disciples of Caesarea (meant that the party is now quite large, possibly numbering fifteen to twenty people, or even more), and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus (he was originally from Cyprus, but now lived in Jerusalem, or nearby), an old Disciple (does not necessarily mean old in age, but thought by some to have been one of the original group Baptized with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost), with whom we should lodge (Mnason had invited Paul and his party to stay at his home while in Jerusalem).
17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the Brethren received us gladly (indicates some of the Saints in Jerusalem, but not necessarily the leaders of the Church at this particular time; that would come the next day).
18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James (refers to James, the Lord’s Brother, who was the Senior Pastor of the Church in Jerusalem); and all the Elders were present (refers to the many Pastors who served with James concerning the Church in Jerusalem; the Church was quite large, perhaps numbering as many as thirty thousand members or more).
19 And when he (Paul) had saluted them (greeted them), he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his Ministry (gave an account of his second and third Missionary Journeys with the planting of many Churches).
20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord (praised the Lord for what had been done), and said unto him, you see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe (probably spoken by James, and referring to the Church in Jerusalem, made up almost exclusively of Jews); and they are all zealous of the Law (meaning their new-found Faith in Christ stirred them up to serve the Lord with a new zeal, which they channeled in the direction of attempting to obey the Law of Moses to an even greater degree than ever):
21 And they are informed of you (concerned itself with charges against Paul relative to what he was teaching concerning the Law/Grace issue), that you teach all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses (was not correct, at least in the manner in which it was being said; in fact, Paul preached almost exclusively from the Old Testament, holding up all that it stated as pointing to Christ), saying that they ought not to Circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs (once again, this was not exactly what Paul was saying; he taught that Circumcision did not save the soul, and that no flesh shall be justified by the deeds of the Law [Rom. 3:24-31; 4:21; Gal. 3:19-25]).
22 What is it therefore? (I think this illustrates that James himself was not settled on the matter, respecting Paul.) the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that you are come (we aren’t told anything about this particular meeting of which James spoke).
23 Do therefore this that we say to you (proclaims a plan James, it seems, thought might defuse the situation): We have four men which have a vow on them (pertained to the Nazarite Vow [Num. 6:14-20]);
24 Them take, and purify yourself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads (proclaims the fact that Paul was to pay for all of these sacrifices out of his own pocket, which in 2003 money amounted to several thousands of dollars): and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning you, are nothing (the thought here is that if Paul was as opposed to the Law as it was claimed, he certainly would not be in the Temple carrying out a Nazarite Vow, which was a part of the Mosaic Law); but that you yourself also walk orderly, and keep the Law (no answer from Paul is recorded; we know that Paul didn’t keep the Law as it regarded all of its rituals and ceremonies; in fact, all of that was fulfilled in Christ; the only answer we can give concerning Paul’s action in doing what James said is that he was trying to prevent a split in the Church; it is my opinion that James didn’t understand the Message of Grace as he should, and was still trying to hold to the Law; about ten years later, the Lord made it impossible for the Law to be kept anymore, in that the Temple was totally destroyed by the Roman Army).
25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing (releases Gentiles from obligation to the Mosaic Law; it is obvious here, however, that James didn’t include the Jews in this freedom, which presented a dichotomy and caused great problems in the Early Church), save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication (this was right; but as stated, James didn’t include the Jews, which made that part wrong).
26 Then Paul took the men (the four men of Verse 23), and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the Temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification (presents something which Paul had, no doubt, done at times in the past), until that an offering should be offered for every one of them (speaks of the Sacrifices to be offered at the conclusion of the seven days).
27 And when the seven days were almost ended (seven days of purification), the Jews which were of Asia (Jews came from all over the Roman Empire to keep the various Feasts; Ephesus was in Asia, so these Jews knew Paul and were not happy with him at all), when they saw him in the Temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him (they bodily seized him),
28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help (Paul was in the innermost Court with other men): This is the man, who teaches all men every where against the people, and the Law, and this place (once again portrays one of Satan’s favorite tactics of twisting what has actually been said to make it mean something else entirely): and further brought Greeks also into the Temple, and has polluted this Holy Place (was an entirely false accusation; the four men with Paul were Jews).
29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the Temple.) (They jumped to conclusions!)
30 And all the city was moved (the claim that Paul had brought a Gentile into the Innermost Court spread like wildfire), and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the Temple (actually means they dragged him out, beating him as they went; he was dragged into the Court of the Gentiles, which was the Outer Court): and forthwith the doors were shut (referred to the doors of the Court of the Gentiles, and the Court of Women).
31 And as they went about to kill him (such is religion!), tidings came unto the Chief Captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar (pertained to the Roman Tribune who commanded a cohort of approximately a thousand soldiers).
32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them (probably represented about two hundred men): and when they saw the Chief Captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul (which, no doubt, saved Paul’s life).
33 Then the Chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains (refers to him being bound to a soldier on each side); and demanded who he was, and what he had done (speaking to the Jews).
34 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude (generally proclaims the conduct of a mob, for this is what the crowd now was!): and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle (he gave instructions for Paul to be taken into the Fortress, or Tower of Antonia).
35 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people (in order to protect him the soldiers were forced to lift him up, possibly even above their heads).
36 For the multitude of the people (the Jews) followed after, crying, Away with him (presents the cry of those who had also thirsted for the Blood of Jesus Christ [Lk. 23:18]).
37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the Chief Captain, May I speak unto you? (This presents Paul speaking to the Captain in the Greek language, which was actually the major language of the Roman Empire.) Who said, Can you speak Greek? (The next Verse explains the reason for this question.)
38 Are not you that Egyptian, which before these days made an uproar, and led out into the wilderness four thousand men who were murderers? (This question portrays how this Captain was mistaken about Paul’s identity.)
39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city (presents an entirely different scenario to this Roman Captain, inasmuch as Tarsus was famous for philosophy and learning): and, I beseech you, suffer me to speak unto the people (Paul was, no doubt, impressed by the Holy Spirit to do this).
40 And when he (the Roman Captain) had given him licence (told him he could address the crowd), Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people (presents the last time the Holy Spirit will appeal to Israel as a Nation, at least as far as is recorded). And when there was made a great silence, he spoke unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying (it is possible that Paul was speaking in the ancient Biblical Hebrew, which was read every week in the Synagogues; as stated, it was the last appeal by the Spirit),
1 Men, Brethren, and Fathers (presents the beginning of Paul’s final address to Israel, at least which is recorded, which will culminate the next day with the Sanhedrin), hear you my defence which I make now unto you (presents some of the greatest words they will ever hear; Paul was the instrument, but the Holy Spirit was the Speaker).
2 (And when they heard that he spoke in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he said,)
3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel (automatically gave Paul credibility), and taught according to the perfect manner of the Law of the Fathers, and was zealous toward God, as you all are this day (all of this means Paul was a Scholar in the Mosaic Law).
4 And I persecuted this Way (the Way of the Lord Jesus Christ) unto the death (his persecution of Believers had resulted in the death of some), binding and delivering into prisons both men and women (proclaims that he showed no mercy).
5 As also the High Priest does bear me witness, and all the estate of the Elders (even though this happened some twenty-five years before, there, no doubt, were some Jewish Leaders present who knew what he was talking about): from whom also I received letters unto the Brethren (Acts 9:1-2), and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there (followers of Christ) bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come near unto Damascus about noon (a day Paul would never forget), suddenly there shone from Heaven a great light round about me (would later be described by him as brighter than the noonday Sun [Acts 26:13]).
7 And I fell unto the ground (knocked down by the Power of God), and heard a Voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? (When we oppose those who truly belong to the Lord, and I speak of opposing their Righteousness, we are at the same time opposing God.)
8 And I answered, Who are You, Lord? (Paul knew that it was Deity to Whom he was speaking.) And He said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom you persecute (describes the Lord using the very Name so hated by Paul).
9 And they who were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid (tells us that all of Paul’s Testimony could be confirmed by witnesses); but they heard not the Voice of Him Who spoke to me (should have been translated, “they did not hear what the Voice said, they only heard the sound”).
10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? (At this moment, Paul accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour.) And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told you of all things which are appointed for you to do (proclaims the Plan of God for Paul’s life and Ministry).
11 And when I could not see for the Glory of that Light (the Light shining from Christ was so bright that it blinded Paul), being led by the hand of them who were with me, I came into Damascus (presents Paul coming into the city in an entirely different posture than he had heretofore reckoned).
12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there (he was a follower of Christ, but still was loved and respected by the Jews who were not friendly to Christ),
13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul (referred to him in this manner because Paul was already saved), receive your sight (he was healed immediately, and it seems at that moment Baptized with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking with other Tongues [Acts 9:17]). And the same hour I looked up upon him (Acts 9:18 says, “there fell from his eyes as it had been scales”).
14 And he said, The God of our Fathers has chosen you (Paul was chosen by the Lord for a particular task), that you should know His Will (what the Lord wanted, not what Paul wanted), and see that Just One (Jesus Christ was to be the focal point of all things), and should hear the Voice of His Mouth (this made Paul a witness to His Resurrection on the same level as those who saw Him alive before His Ascension).
15 For you shall be His witness unto all men of what you have seen and heard (this speaks of his Great Commission to take the Gospel to the world of that day).
16 And now why do you tarry? (In essence, this presents Ananias telling Paul that it is time to begin.) arise, and be Baptized, and wash away your sins (refers to a present action being done because of a past action; he was being Baptized in water because his sins had already been washed away by the Blood of Jesus), calling on the Name of the Lord (your sins were washed when you called on the Name of the Lord).
17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem (pertains to Acts 9:26), even while I prayed in the Temple, I was in a trance (speaks of his high regard for the Temple, and at the same time refutes the accusation by some of the Jews that he would pollute the Temple);
18 And saw Him (Jesus) saying unto Me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem (presents the Lord once more indicting this city, His city, but now in total rebellion against Him): for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me (they not only have rejected the Message of Christ, but would kill Paul as well, if given the opportunity).
19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every Synagogue them who believed on You:
20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed (presents this event which undoubtedly had a lasting effect on Paul), I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them who killed him (this made Paul a party to the death of this man).
21 And he (Jesus) said unto me, Depart: for I will send you far hence unto the Gentiles (this was the particular calling of Paul, even as he had been told by Ananias at the time of his conversion [Acts 9:15]).
22 And they gave him audience unto this word (speaks of the word “Gentiles”), and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live (presents these people claiming they are Scriptural in their demand for Paul’s life).
23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air (portrayed their anger),
24 The Chief Captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging (a most terrible form of torture); that he might know wherefore they cried so against him (considering that Paul was speaking in Hebrew, the Roman Captain little knew what was taking place).
A ROMAN CITIZEN
25 And as they bound him with thongs (getting him ready for the beating that would now be inflicted), Paul said unto the centurion who stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned? (Paul did not shrink from torture when it was directly connected with the Name of Jesus, but he quietly and with much dignity avoided it when ordered by official ignorance.)
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the Chief Captain, saying, Take heed what you do: for this man is a Roman (the rights of Roman citizens were guarded as something sacred by Rome).
27 Then the Chief Captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, are you a Roman? He said, Yes (in fact, the Chief Captain had broken the Law even by binding Paul).
28 And the Chief Captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom (proclaims one of the ways Roman citizenship could be gained). And Paul said, But I was free born (Paul was born a Roman citizen, either through some service performed for Rome by his family, or else because of living in the city of Tarsus).
29 Then straightway (immediately) they departed from him which should have examined him (refers to those who were going to scourge Paul quickly retiring): and the Chief Captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands (he was no longer restricted, but at the same time held in custody that the Captain may hopefully gain some information), and commanded the Chief Priests and all their Council to appear (the Jewish Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish Council, and ruling Civil and Religious body), and brought Paul down, and set him before them.
1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the Council (evidently speaks of all seventy-one members of the Sanhedrin, with the High Priest Ananias serving as its President), said, Men and Brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day (means that whatever he had been doing, he had thought it right at the time, whether true or not).
2 And the High Priest Ananias commanded them who stood by him to smite him on the mouth (this man would have hated Paul; history records he was appointed about nine years before this through political influence; he ruled like a tyrant in Jerusalem, and was a glutton according to the Jewish Talmud; Zealots assassinated him in A.D. 66 for his pro-Roman sympathies).
3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite you, you whited wall (in effect, says, “you whitewashed wall,” meaning that the whitewash covered a black heart): for you sit to judge me after the Law, and command me to be smitten contrary to the Law? (This presents Paul knowing the Law of Moses to a far greater degree than any of these members of the Sanhedrin.)
4 And they who stood by said, Do you revile God’s High Priest? (Paul did not know this man was the High Priest.)
5 Then said Paul, I did not know, Brethren, that he was the High Priest (it was very difficult at that time for a visitor to Jerusalem, as Paul was, to know who was High Priest; the Romans made and unmade them at their pleasure, in addition to those made and unmade by the Sanhedrin; in other words, the High Priest was no longer a son of Aaron, as Scripturally they should have been): for it is written, You shall not speak evil of the Ruler of your people (Ex. 22:28).
6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees (we aren’t told how he came about this information), he cried out in the Council, Men and Brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee (expresses the party with which Paul had been associated before his conversion, and his Father having been the same): of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question (the whole Christian Faith is built around Christ, His Death on the Cross, and His Bodily Resurrection; without Faith in both, men are lost).
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided (speaks of the Sanhedrin itself, but typifies the majority of the Church world presently).
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no Resurrection, neither Angel, nor spirit (they were the modernists of that present time): but the Pharisees confess both (they were the fundamentalists of that time, which means to profess belief in all the Bible).
9 And there arose a great cry: and the Scribes who were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man (proclaims the situation being decided on the basis of Doctrine, and not on Paul personally): but if a spirit or an Angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
10 And when there arose a great dissension, the Chief Captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle (portrays the fact that the situation had gotten completely out of hand).
11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said (presents another appearance by Jesus Christ to Paul [Acts 22:8, 14, 18; I Cor. 9:1; 15:8; II Cor. 12:1-4]), Be of good cheer, Paul (evidently, Paul was greatly discouraged at this time, hence the needed admonition given by Christ): for as you have testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must you bear witness also at Rome (this meant that despite the hatred and great efforts of his enemies, the Jews in Jerusalem would not be able to take his life, which they didn’t).
12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse (their “curse” was a religious curse, which sought to put God in a position where He would have to do their will; their thinking was ridiculous!), saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul (such is religion!).
13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.
14 And they came to the Chief Priests and Elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul (they now seek to make their efforts official).
15 Now therefore you with the Council signify to the Chief Captain that he bring him down unto you tomorrow, as though you would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him (proclaims the depth of infamy to which the religion of the carnal heart can sink cultured and religious people).
THE PLOT DISCOVERED
16 And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait (presents Paul’s Nephew and all we know of his family other than references in Rom. 16:7, 11, 21), he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul (we aren’t told how he came by this knowledge).
17 Then Paul called one of the Centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the Chief Captain: for he has a certain thing to tell him.
18 So he (the Centurion) took him (Paul’s Nephew), and brought him to the Chief Captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto you, who has something to say unto you.
19 Then the Chief Captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that you have to tell me? (This portrays an honest effort on the Chief Captain’s part to obtain the Truth in all these matters.)
20 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire you that you would bring down Paul tomorrow into the Council, as though they would enquire something of him more perfectly.
21 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from you (a plot to which the Tribune would probably have innocently agreed had the young man not warned him; in fact, what the Jews were doing was totally against Roman Law).
22 So the Chief Captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See you tell no man that you have showed these things to me (it is believed, although not stated, that the young man went and related to Paul his ready acceptance by the Tribune, which no doubt encouraged Paul greatly).
23 And he called unto him two Centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten (seventy), and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night (9 p.m.);
24 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on (probably placed the Apostle next to one of the Centurions in the very midst of the force), and bring him safe unto Felix the Governor (not exactly a man of kind disposition to whom Paul must answer).
25 And he wrote a letter after this manner:
26 Claudius Lysias (the Roman Tribune) unto the most Excellent Governor Felix sends greeting.
27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their Council (Sanhedrin):
29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their Law (Law of Moses), but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway (immediately) to you, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before you what they had against him. Farewell.
31 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris (about forty miles from Jerusalem, with about twenty miles left to Caesarea; the soldiers must have marched without stopping for about fifteen hours).
32 On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him (the infantry of about four hundred Soldiers returned to Jerusalem, while the Cavalry, consisting of some seventy horsemen, took Paul the balance of the way to Caesarea), and returned to the castle:
33 Who, when they came to Caesarea, and delivered the epistle to the Governor (the letter written by the Roman Tribune), presented Paul also before him.
34 And when the Governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was (the home of Paul). And when he understood that he was of Cilicia (this automatically gave the Governor jurisdiction; the fact that Paul was a Roman citizen from this important Province, meant that Felix could not ignore him);
35 I will hear you (he speaks to Paul), said he, when your accusers are also come (pertained to members or representatives of the Sanhedrin). And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s Judgment Hall (a part of the lavish Palace built by Herod the Great; it served as the Capitol Building as well as the official residence of the Roman Governors; it evidently had some prison cells within its confines).
PAUL BEFORE FELIX
1 And after five days Ananias the High Priest descended with the Elders (represented members of the Sanhedrin who were Sadducees), and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the Governor against Paul (he served as the prosecutor for the Jews).
2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by you (Felix) we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by your providence (Josephus said that even though Felix did suppress some of the robbers and murderers in Judaea, he was himself “more hurtful than them all”),
3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto you, I pray you that you would hear us of your clemency a few words (Felix was not a man of clemency).
5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes (presents the name for followers of Christ coined by the Jews):
6 Who also has gone about to profane the Temple (Paul didn’t profane the Temple in any manner): whom we took, and would have judged according to our Law (presents another outright lie; they had no intention of giving him a trial as the word “judge” implies, but rather were attempting to beat him to death before he was rescued by the Tribune).
7 But the Chief Captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands (is meant to throw the Roman Tribune in a bad light; it was a bad mistake on the part of Tertullus; no doubt, the Holy Spirit had him go in this direction),
8 Commanding his accusers to come unto you: by examining of whom yourself may take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him (refers to the fact that the situation is now in the Court of the Governor, even though the Jews do not think it should be here; for all their plotting, they have not helped their cause).
9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so (refers to the High Priest and those with him who joined Tertullus with their voices of approval respecting their hired prosecutor’s statements; as stated, it was a mistake on their part).
10 Then Paul, after that the Governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered (presents that which the Holy Spirit had said that Paul would do, “to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the Children of Israel” [Acts 9:15]), Forasmuch as I know that you have been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself (there was no one in the world at that time who knew Mosaic Law any better than Paul; as well, being a Roman citizen, he was also quite knowledgeable of Roman Law):
11 Because that you may understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship (in essence, Paul is stating that what they were accusing him of was impossible, considering the short period of time).
12 And they neither found me in the Temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the Synagogues, nor in the city (refers to the fact that absolutely nothing had been done that could be misconstrued in any way, referring to these charges):
13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me (they couldn’t prove their charge because they never happened).
14 But this I confess unto you, that after the way which they call heresy (following Christ), so worship I the God of my Fathers (places Christianity as the fulfillment of the great Promises and Predictions given to the “Fathers,” i.e., all the Old Testament Worthies), believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets (the entirety of the Old Testament):
15 And have hope toward God (in essence, states that the Law and the Prophets were not complete within themselves, only pointing to the One Who was to come), which they themselves also allow (even his enemies among the Jews believed in the coming Messiah, but not that He was Jesus), that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (proclaims, as is obvious, two Resurrections).
16 And herein do I exercise myself (diligence constantly practiced by Paul so that his life and conduct please the Lord in all things), to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men (Mat. 22:37-40).
17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings (probably refers to the six or seven years Paul had been away from Jerusalem).
18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the Temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult (refers to the fact that absolutely nothing was going on at that time which could have given any type of credence to these accusations).
19 Who ought to have been here before you, and object, if they had ought against me (the ones who accused him were not present here; the High Priest and the members of the Sanhedrin who were present had not witnessed any of these so-called infractions).
20 Or else let these same here say (now puts the High Priest and those with him on the spot), if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the Council (shifts the attention away from those not present to those who are),
21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day (this had to do with Jewish Law, which interested the Romans not at all).
22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way (Felix had greater knowledge of Christianity than Tertullus, and the Jews present at that trial were willing to give him credit), he deferred them, and said (means simply that he refused to give a verdict at this time), When Lysias the Chief Captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter (he was trying to delay the matter, hoping it would defuse the situation; moreover, there is no record he ever sent for Lysias).
23 And he commanded a Centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty (tells us that Felix considered Paul someone above the ordinary; he was under house arrest, but basically had the run of the place), and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him (he could have as many visitors as he liked, with no restraint on such activity).
24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess (his wife was the young daughter of Herod Agrippa I, the Herod who killed James [the Brother of John] with a sword [Acts 12:1-2]), he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the Faith in Christ (it seems to imply that his interest was sincere).
25 And as he (Paul) reasoned of Righteousness (Righteousness can only come through Christ), temperance (the bondages and vices which affect humanity), and judgment to come (all must one day stand before God), Felix trembled, and answered (proclaims tremendous Holy Spirit conviction), Go your way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for you (presents the sinner’s excuse when under conviction and refusing to surrender).
26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him (the love of money was probably one of the reasons he would not give his heart to the Lord): wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him (there is no record that he ever came to Christ; so close, but so far off!).
27 But after two years (gives us no hint as to what took place during this particular time) Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room (means that Festus now replaced Felix as Governor): and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound (presents a terrible travesty of Justice).
PAUL BEFORE FESTUS
1 Now when Festus was come into the Province (refers to him taking the position of Governor at Caesarea), after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem (according to topography, he ascended; but according to geography, he descended; Jerusalem is about 2,500 feet above sea level, while Caesarea, situated on the coast, is just a few feet above the level of measurement).
2 Then the High Priest and the Chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him (they began to besiege Festus with repeated accusations against Paul),
3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him (proclaims the idea, as thought by some, that this was to be done by the same forty men who had originally made the vow to kill Paul [Acts 23:16]).
4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither (seems to imply that the Governor had about had his fill of the hatred and hypocrisy of these Jews).
5 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him (in effect, he is saying Paul is a Roman citizen and must be treated as such).
6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought (this meant the Governor was calling for a new official trial; Festus could do this because Felix had never officially handed down a decision).
7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about (evidently some Jews from Jerusalem had immediately come to Caesarea in order to testify against Paul), and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove (undoubtedly proclaims the same complaints they had registered some two years before; they charged that Paul had indeed violated Roman Law in some manner at which in the next Verse hints, but which Luke did not specify).
8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the Law of the Jews, neither against the Temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all (it seems they were claiming that Paul had instigated a new religion, which, if true, would have been against Roman Law).
9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said (Festus feared these Jewish leaders, knowing that if they were willing to bring these types of false charges against Paul, they would not hesitate to do the same against him to Rome), Will you go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? (This presents the compromise of the Governor.)
10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged (proclaims the Apostle seeing through this ploy, knowing that if he went to Jerusalem the Jews would find some way to kill him): to the Jews have I done no wrong, as you very well know (proclaims that which is true, and which Paul hammers home, and rightly so!).
11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die (in effect, Paul is attempting not so much to save his life, but rather to declare his innocence): but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar (means it is the Will of God for him to stand before Caesar, not the Jews).
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the Council, answered (refers to the legal advisory Council of the Governor, which evidently advised Festus that he acquiesce to Paul because of Roman Law), Have you appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shall you go.
AGRIPPA AND FESTUS
13 And after certain days king Agrippa (pertains to the second son of Herod Agrippa who is mentioned in Acts 12:1) and Bernice (she was Agrippa’s sister) came unto Caesarea to salute Festus (to pay their respects to the new Governor).
14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying (Festus thought Herod had a better understanding of Jewish Law than he did, which was true), There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix (speaks of Paul):
15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the Chief Priests and the Elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him (means that the Jews did not really want another trial for Paul, but rather that Festus accept their accusations at face value and pronounce the death sentence on Paul without any further trial or investigation).
16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face (presents this heathen as having a better sense of justice than the Religious Jews who, of all people, should have known better), and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him (portrays the justice of the heathen Government of Rome, with Israel, who was supposed to be God’s chosen, having no justice whatsoever).
17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat (proclaims, as is obvious, the recounting of this episode to King Agrippa by Festus), and commanded the man to be brought forth.
18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed (he really didn’t understand their accusations):
19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition (he was actually saying, “against him of their own religion”), and of One Jesus (shows that Paul, in his defense, readily preached Jesus to the Governor and these Jewish Leaders; in this account as given by Luke, we only have a capsule sketch), which was dead, Whom Paul affirmed to be alive (proclaims the Resurrection which, in its manner, was the most astounding Miracle the world had ever known; Jesus had been Crucified; the Roman records could show this, and Festus could check if he so desired; as well, Roman soldiers made the Tomb secure; all of this, as stated, was a matter of record).
20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions (he was at a loss as to how to decide such questions), I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus (Nero), I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he (Festus), you shall hear him.
23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the Chief Captains, and principal men of the city (the King and his sister took this opportunity to let the city of Caesarea see their glory), at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth (it is suggested that Luke was in attendance this particular day as well, and was a witness of all the proceedings).
24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.
25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself has appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.
26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord (once again refers to Nero; the Governor is complaining that he is going to send a man to Caesar for a trial, but he has no idea what to tell the Emperor he has done). Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and especially before you, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write (he hopes the King, being a Jew, might be able to define the charges a little better).
27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him (the Roman world found no fault in Paul, even as Pilate found no fault in Jesus; but the world of religion did, as the world of religion always does!).
1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before you touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
3 Especially because I know you to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews (this was not offered as flattery; in fact, Agrippa’s Father, King Agrippa I, was zealous for the Jewish Law up to almost the end of his life): wherefore I beseech you to hear me patiently.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews (concerns Paul being immersed in Jewish Ritual and Law from the time he was old enough to begin his advanced studies, which was probably about twelve years of age);
5 Which knew me from the beginning (means simply that what he is saying can be easily proven), if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee (pertains to this group being the most strict in Doctrines and moral practices).
6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our Fathers (this “hope” was the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ Whom the Jews rejected):
7 Unto which promise our Twelve Tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews (many of the Jews were looking forward to the fulfillment of the Prophecies regarding the coming Messiah; the great dissension was over Jesus).
8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? (Israel’s history was one of Miracles, so the dead being raised, as extraordinary as it is, should not come as a surprise.)
9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth (presents Paul taking himself back to his dreadful time of unbelief).
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the Chief Priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them (we know of Stephen; however, there may have been more).
11 And I punished them oft in every Synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme (should have been translated, “and attempted to compel them to blaspheme,” because the Greek Text implies that he was not successful in this effort); and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities (indicates that Damascus was not the only city, other than Jerusalem, where Paul was practicing his deadly wares).
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the Chief Priests (intending to continue his persecution in that city),
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a Light from Heaven (proclaims one of, if not, the most dramatic conversions the world has ever known), above the brightness of the Sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me (this was the Glory of Jesus Christ).
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth (the Power of God was so strong that Paul and all his associates with him fell to the ground), I heard a Voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue (actually speaks of all hearing the Voice, but only Paul knowing what was said [Acts 9:7]), Saul, Saul (his Hebrew name), why do you persecute Me? (This proclaims the fact that when we persecute those who belong to the Lord we, in fact, persecute the Lord.) it is hard for you to kick against the pricks (proclaims a common idiom of that day and even now; in other words, you will only succeed in hurting yourself; you will not stop the Plan of God).
15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? (This proclaims the fact that Paul knew he was speaking to Deity.) And He said, I am Jesus Whom you persecute (proclaims the Lord using the Name Paul hated the most — Jesus).
16 But rise, and stand upon your feet (very similar to what the Lord had said to Job many years before [Job 38:3]): for I have appeared unto you for this purpose (specifies that the Lord has a very important work for Paul to do), to make you a Minister and a witness both of these things which you have seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto you (in fact, it would be to Paul that the Lord would give the meaning of the New Covenant, which, in effect, was the meaning of the Cross [II Cor. 12:1-12]);
17 Delivering you from the people (refers to the Jews), and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send you (the Lord would not allow the death of the Apostle until he had finished his Mission; his primary Mission was to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, which he did),
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are Sanctified by Faith that is in Me (the Apostle pointed out that man is blind, enslaved, impure, immoral, poverty-stricken, and unholy, but he can receive sight, liberty, forgiveness, true wealth and holiness upon the Principle of Faith in Christ and what Christ has done at the Cross).
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the Heavenly Vision (Paul had faithfully carried out that which the Lord had called him to do):
20 But showed first unto them of Damascus (he preached Christ in Damascus immediately after being saved), and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea (pertains to Paul going to Jerusalem immediately after Damascus, and then later to other areas of Judaea), and then to the Gentiles (speaks of the far greater majority of his Ministry, even up to this particular time), that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance (turn from the heathen idols to God).
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the Temple, and went about to kill me (Paul is saying that the Jews do not hate him because of their stated reasons, but rather because of his preaching Jesus).
22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great (proclaims the fact that God has sustained him through some very difficult times), saying none other things than those which the Prophets and Moses did say should come (Paul claims total Scripturality for his Message, which it certainly was):
23 That Christ (the Messiah) should suffer (means that he would die; in other words that was the reason He came [Isa., Chpt. 53]), and that he should be the first who should rise from the dead (Jesus is the “Firstfruits” of the Resurrection and, therefore, the guarantee of the Resurrection of all Believers [I Cor. 15:1-23; Rev. 1:5]), and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles (refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as being the only “Light,” and for all people).
24 And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are beside yourself; much learning does make you mad (as a heathen, Festus could not understand as Agrippa could the great argument that the Atoning Death and Resurrection of the Messiah fulfilled the predictions of the Prophets, and were necessary in order to effect the Salvation of sinful men).
25 But he said, I am not mad (insane), most noble Festus; but speak forth the Words of Truth and soberness (presents the only “Truth” the Governor and others present had ever heard).
26 For the King (Agrippa) knows of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner (King Agrippa most certainly knew of Jesus; it would have been impossible for him not to have known).
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? (This presents an Altar Call being given to this King and his Sister, which drilled straight to the heart of this profligate Jew.) I know that you believe (presents the Apostle answering for the King, which saved him from embarrassment).
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian (the Greek Text does not give any more indication of what the King actually said; it is not known if he was really moved and then said sincerely, “you almost persuade me to be a Christian!” or “do you think you can easily make me a Christian?!”).
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only you, but also all who hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am (the Apostle, through and by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaims the position of the Believer in Christ as being above any other office or position in the world), except these bonds (this must have been a dramatic moment when, coupled with the majesty of his words, Paul lifts up his manacled hands forming a picture of arresting grandeur).
30 And when he had thus spoken, the King rose up, and the Governor, and Bernice, and they who sat with them (they did not want to hear anymore, so they rose and thus closed the audience, and their opportunity for Eternal Life):
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds (they had been brought face-to-face with themselves, and above all with God; as such, they would never be the same again, even though they had rejected the appeal and the plea).
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar (implies that the appeal had already been registered, and now must be carried out; behind it all, the Lord wanted the Apostle to go to Rome).
PAUL SAILS FOR ROME
1 And when it was determined that we (Luke is still with Paul) should sail into Italy (the time has now arrived when Paul will now go to Rome), they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band (this was an elite “band” directly responsible to the Emperor).
2 And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us (proclaims another of Paul’s converts being with him along with Luke; consequently, Festus allowed Paul two traveling associates [Acts 20:4]).
3 And the next day we touched at Sidon (a port about seventy miles north of Caesarea). And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself (Paul and his associates were allowed to stay with these people in Sidon until the ship sailed; this shows how much trust the Centurion placed in Paul).
4 And when we had launched from thence (from Sidon), we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.
6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein (they changed ships).
7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone (the winds were not favorable, so they were not making good time);
8 And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; near whereunto was the city of Lasea (there was no town at Fair Havens for them to replenish their stores, with Lasea being about five miles distant).
9 Now when much time was spent (spoke of several days with still no favorable winds), and when sailing was now dangerous (pertained to any time after September 14th), because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them (pertained to the Great Day of Atonement, and was actually a one day fast which Paul and his two associates no doubt kept),
10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading (cargo) and ship, but also of our lives (presents that which the Lord had evidently already related to Paul).
11 Nevertheless the Centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul (they would find to their chagrin that they had chosen wrong).
12 And because the haven (Fair Havens) was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lies toward the southwest and northwest (pertains to a harbor which, in fact, was commodious, and where some imperial grain ships actually did tie up for the winter; it was about fifty miles west of Fair Havens).
13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete (pertains to a wind direction for which they had been waiting).
14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon (this was a hurricane).
15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive (means that the helmsman simply could not hold the wheel for the force of the wind; so he could do nothing but let the ship drive toward whatever the direction the wind wanted it to go).
16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat (the “boat” of which Luke speaks was a little skiff they were pulling, which was the custom then and remained so for many centuries; due to the storm, they had great difficulty getting this small boat on-board):
17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship (these were large ropes which were pulled under the ship and made sure, helping to hold the vessel together in the storm); and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven (this way they would be driven by the wind, but with few or no sails stretched at all; hopefully the wind would change before they were driven onto the rocks).
18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship (they had to throw certain things overboard);
19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship (pertains to the third day after leaving Clauda; they now threw overboard ship equipment, even that which was desperately needed).
20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away (now all on-board knew that they should have listened to Paul).
21 But after long abstinence (does not refer to a “fast” as some claim, but rather that they hadn’t had a prepared meal for some days) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, you should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss (is not really meant as a reprimand by the Apostle, but rather to give foundation to what he is about to say).
22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship (plainly tells us that the ship will be lost with its cargo of wheat, but not a person will lose their life).
23 For there stood by me this night the Angel of God, Whose I am, and Whom I serve (the statements “Whose I am,” “Whom I serve,” and “I believe God” [Vs. 25] form a noble confession of Faith),
24 Saying, Fear not, Paul (said in this manner because there had been fear in Paul’s heart, as well as everyone else on-board); you must be brought before Caesar (not because of Paul’s appeal to Caesar, or because of the charges brought against him by the Jews, but rather because of the Divine Plan): and, lo, God has given you all them who sail with you (every Saint had better know as to what Preacher he is “with”).
25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me (insinuates that possibly some did not believe what Paul was saying).
26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island (the Angel evidently did not tell Paul what Island!).
27 But when the fourteenth night was come (pertained to the length of time after leaving Fair Havens; so the storm had lasted now for about two weeks), as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country (they could hear waves breaking on the beach, or rocks, at some distance);
28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms (a depth of about 120 feet): and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms.
29 Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day (were anxious for the night to be over, so they could see where they were).
30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea (portrays some, if not all, of the ship’s crew about to take the only small boat they had and attempt to escape to shore, in effect, deserting the ship), under cover as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship (presents their deception, but Paul was watching),
31 Paul said to the Centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, you cannot be saved (to obtain God’s Promises, we must abide by His Conditions).
32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off (the Centurion now believes Paul).
33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that you have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing (“nothing!” the Greek word used here means they had eaten no regular meal).
34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health (they should attempt to force at least some food down, irrespective of their seasickness, which, no doubt, some of them still had): for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you (that is, if you will do what I say).
35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all (which every Believer should do at every meal, as well): and when he had broken it, he began to eat.
36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat (some food).
37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls (276 people on-board, which meant the ship was quite large).
38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea (what was left of the cargo still on-board).
39 And when it was day, they knew not the land (they did not know where they were): but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship (they wanted to take the ship as close to the shore as possible).
40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore (once again, trying to get as close as possible!).
41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves (they had not gotten in as close as they desired).
42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape (the reason for this is that Roman Law condemned guards to death if prisoners escaped under their watch).
43 But the Centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose (presents this man now knowing Paul was not just another prisoner); and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:
44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land (fulfilled exactly that which the Angel had conveyed to Paul).
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita (it is now called Malta, and is about fifty miles south of Sicily in the Mediterranean).
2 And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness (is not meant by Luke to be an insult; it just referred to people who were not influenced by Greek culture): for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand (presents Satan, having been unsuccessful in killing Paul with a storm, now trying another tactic).
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffers not to live (they knew that the poison of this particular type of viper would kill any man).
5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm (doesn’t mean that he did not feel the pain of the bite, but rather did not begin to swell, as instantly was the case normally!).
6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly (they had personally seen the snake bite Paul, even hanging on his hand; so, they knew the reptile had bitten full force): but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god (probably referred to Hercules; he was one of the gods of the Phoenicians and was worshiped on Malta under the title of “dispeller of evil”).
7 In the same quarters were possessions of the Chief man of the island, whose name was Publius (this man had a Roman name, so it probably means he was the Roman official on this Island); who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.
8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux (presents a medical term which Luke would have used, being a Physician; the man had a reoccurring fever and dysentery): to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him (the Lord is still the Healer).
9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
10 Who also honoured us with many honours (evidently indicates material things such as clothing, food, and even gifts of money, etc.); and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary (no doubt, refers to the entirety of the 276 people who had been shipwrecked).
11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux (evidently portrayed another grain ship from the same city where the wrecked ship had been based [Acts 27:6]; the two signs mentioned here were the favorite divinities of Mediterranean seamen at that time; it was the custom to have their images, whatever they were, on the head and stern of their ships).
12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days (Syracuse was the capitol of Sicily, about eighty miles north of Malta).
13 And from thence we fetched a compass (took a heading), and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli (Puteoli was the chief port on the Bay of Naples):
14 Where we found Brethren (those who were followers of Christ), and were desired to tarry with them seven days (the Centurion allowed Paul to remain with these Brethren and, no doubt, preach the Gospel to them for this length of time): and so we went toward Rome (finds them finishing this perilous journey on foot).
15 And from thence, when the Brethren (from Rome) heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The Three Taverns (a runner evidently went to the Capitol informing the Brethren that Paul was coming; consequently, it seems a group went to meet Paul): whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage (refers to the fellowship the Apostle and those with him greatly enjoyed).
16 And when we came to Rome, the Centurion delivered the prisoners to the Captain of the Guard (pertained to the Commander of Nero’s Praetorian Guard): but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier who kept him (obviously means Paul was treated differently from the other prisoners; he was evidently granted special favors).
17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the Chief of the Jews together (not only refers to the main Jewish Leader in Rome, but the other leaders as well): and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and Brethren (the following account seems to indicate that the Brethren of Verse 15 had no connection with these Jewish Leaders), though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our Fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans (proclaims the Apostle relating the situation exactly as it had happened).
18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me (pertained to the Romans, not the Jews, as the next Verse explains).
19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar (proclaims the Apostle having done this in order to save his life); not that I had ought to accuse my nation of (he was in no way in Rome to bring charges against the Jews or to cause them problems in any manner).
20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain (in effect, he is saying that all of this is because of his proclamation of Christ as the Messiah of Israel, and the Saviour of the world).
21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning you, neither any of the Brethren who came showed or spoke any harm of you (probably pertained to the fact that Roman Law punished unsuccessful prosecutors of Roman citizens; it is difficult to comprehend that these Jewish Leaders in Rome had never heard of Paul, but it seems somewhat that this was the case, or else their knowledge of him was scant).
22 But we desire to hear of you what you think (proclaims a great opportunity now presented to Paul): for as concerning this sect (Christianity), we know that everywhere it is spoken against (true Bible Christianity continues to be “everywhere spoken against”).
23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging (it is believed that he was allowed to rent a house, and there abide during his stay in Rome); to whom he expounded and testified the Kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses, and out of the Prophets, from morning till evening (they heard the “Word” as they had never heard the “Word” before; above all, they heard about Jesus, to Whom the Word pointed).
24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not (some embraced Christ as Lord, Messiah, and Saviour, and some did not).
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spoke the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the Prophet unto our Fathers (proclaims the instrument as Isaiah, but the Speaker as the Holy Spirit),
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and not perceive (Isa. 6:9-10; presents the sixth of seven times this is recorded by the Holy Spirit [Isa. 6:9; Mat. 13:14; Mk. 4:12; Lk. 8:10; Jn. 12:40; Acts 28:26; Rom. 11:8]):
27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (this is a willful rejection of Truth, which brings about a willful judgment of the hardening of the heart).
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the Salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it (presents Paul’s last statement to the Jewish leadership of Rome that day; in effect, he says that the “Salvation of God” is found only in Jesus).
29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves (discussing greatly what he had said).
30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house (rented house), and received all who came in unto him (no doubt, strengthened the Church mightily in Rome),
31 Preaching the Kingdom of God (refers to the Rule of God in the human heart and life), and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him (it is said that even some from Caesar’s household were converted [Phil. 4:22]).