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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Acts 28



Verse 1

Then we knew (τοτε επεγνωμενtote epegnōmen). Second aorist (ingressive) active indicative of επιγινωσκωepiginōskō Then we recognized. See note on Acts 27:39.

Was called (καλειταιkaleitai). Present passive indicative retained in indirect discourse.

Melita (ΜελιτηMelitē). Not ΜιλετενηMiletenē as only B reads, a clerical error, but retained in the text of Westcott and Hort because of B. Page notes that the island was Malta as is shown from the name, the location, the presence of a ship from Alexandria bound for Rome wintering there (Acts 28:11), and the mention of Syracuse as the next stop after leaving (Acts 28:12).

Verse 2

The barbarians (οι βαρβαροιhoi barbaroi). The Greeks called all men “barbarians” who did not speak Greek (Romans 1:14), not “barbarians” in our sense of rude and uncivilized, but simply “foreign folk.” Diodorus Siculus (Acts 28:12) says that it was a colony of the Phoenicians and so their language was Punic (Page). The word originally meant an uncouth repetition (βαρβαρbarbar) not understood by others (1 Corinthians 14:11). In Colossians 3:11 Paul couples it with Scythian as certainly not Christian. These are (with Acts 28:4 below) the only N.T. instances.

Showed us (παρειχανpareichan). Imperfect active of παρεχωparechō with αν̇an instead of ον̇on as ειχανeichan in Mark 8:7 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 339). It was their habit on this occasion, Luke means, they kept on showing.

No common kindness (ου την τυχουσαν πιλαντρωπιανou tēn tuchousan philanthrōpian). The old word πιλαντρωπιαphilanthrōpia (πιλοςphilos αντρωποςanthrōpos), love of mankind, occurs in the N.T. only here and Titus 3:4 (adverb in Acts 27:3). See note on Acts 19:11 for this use of ου την τυχουσανou tēn tuchousan “not the kindness that happens every day.” They were not “wreckers” to take advantage of the calamity.

They kindled a fire (απσαντες πυρανhapsantes puran). The only N.T. example and Acts 28:3 of the old word πυραpura (from πυρpur fire), a pile of burning fuel (sticks). First aorist active participle of απτωhaptō to set fire to, to kindle. Cf. αναπτωanaptō in Luke 12:49.

Received us all (προσελαβοντο παντας ημαςproselabonto pantas hēmās). Second aorist middle (indirect indicative of προσλαμβανωproslambanō They took us all to themselves (cf. Acts 18:26).

The present (τον επεστωταton ephestōta). Second perfect active participle (intransitive) of επιστημιephistēmi “the rain that stood upon them” (the pouring rain). Only in Luke and Paul in N.T.

Verse 3

When Paul had gathered (συστρεπσαντος του Παυλουsustrepsantos tou Paulou). Genitive absolute with first aorist active participle of συστρεπωsustrephō old verb to twist or turn together or roll into a bundle. In N.T. only here and Matthew 17:22.

A bundle of sticks (πρυγανων τι πλητοςphruganōn tōi plēthos). “Some multitude (or pile) of dry twigs” (πρυγανωνphruganōn from πρυγωphrugō or πρυσσωphrussō to dry. Only here in N.T.).

Laid (επιτεντοςepithentos). So genitive absolute again with second aorist active participle of επιτιτημιepitithēmi to place upon. Few things show Paul to better advantage than this incident.

By reason of the heat (απο της τερμηςapo tēs thermēs). Old word, only here in N.T. Ablative case with αποapo (from the heat). The viper was in a state of torpor in the bundle of sticks. The heat wakened him.

A viper (εχιδναechidna). The old word used by the Baptist of the Pharisees (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7) and by Jesus also (Matthew 12:34; Matthew 23:33). It is objected that there is little wood in the island today and no vipers, though Lewin as late as 1853 believes that he saw a viper near St. Paul‘s Bay. But the island now has 1, 200 people to the square mile and snakes of any kind have a poor chance. The viper has also disappeared from Arran as the island became more frequented (Knowling). Ramsay thinks that the small constrictor (Coronella Austriaca) which still exists in the island may be the “viper,” though it has no poison fangs, but clings and bites. The natives thought that it was a poisonous viper.

Fastened on his hand (κατηπσε της χειρος αυτουkathēpse tēs cheiros autou). First aorist active indicative of καταπτωkathaptō to fasten down on with the genitive case. Old verb, here only in N.T. Cf. Mark 16:18.

Verse 4

The beast (το τηριονto thērion). Diminutive of τηρthēr and so little beast. See note on Mark 1:13. Aristotle and the medical writers apply the word to venomous serpents, the viper in particular (Knowling), as Luke does here. Vincent calls attention to the curious history of our word “treacle ” for molasses (Latin theriaca) from thēriakē an antidote made from the flesh of vipers. Coverdale translates Jeremiah 8:22: “There is no more treacle in Gilead.” Jeremy Taylor: “We kill the viper and make treacle of him.”

Hanging from his hand (kremamenon ek tēs cheiros autou). Vivid picture of the snake dangling from Paul‘s hand. Present middle participle of τηριακηkremamai late form for κρεμαμενον εκ της χειρος αυτουkremannumi to hang up, to suspend (cf. Galatians 3:13).

No doubt (κρεμαμαιpantōs). Literally, By all means, old adverb. Cf. Acts 21:22; Luke 4:23; 1 Corinthians 9:22. Only by Luke and Paul in the N.T. “They knew that he was a prisoner being taken to Rome on some grave charge, and inferred that the charge was murder” (Page).

Though he hath escaped (κρεμαννυμιdiasōthenta). First aorist passive participle of παντωςdiasōzō (same verb used in Acts 27:43, Acts 27:44; Acts 28:1), so-called concessive use of the participle (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1129).

Yet Justice (διασωτενταdikē). An abstraction personified like the Latin διασωζωJustitia (Page). The natives speak of δικη@Dikēn as a goddess, but we know nothing of such actual worship in Malta, though the Greeks worshipped abstractions as in Athens.

Hath not suffered (Δικηnouk eiasenn). Did not suffer. They look on Paul as a doomed man as good as dead. These people thought that calamity was proof of guilt, poor philosophy and worse theology.

Verse 5

Shook off (αποτιναχαςapotinaxas). First aorist active participle of αποτινασσωapotinassō to shake off. Rare word (Euripides, Galen, lxx). In N.T. only here and Luke 9:5.

Verse 6

But they expected (οι δε προσεδοκωνhoi de prosedokōn). Imperfect active, were expecting, continued to expect.

That he would have swollen (αυτον μελλειν πιμπρασταιauton mellein pimprasthai). More exactly, “Expecting him to be about (or that he was about) to swell up.” Πιμπρασται Pimprasthai is present middle infinitive from πιμπρημιpimprēmi to blow, to burn, to inflame, to cause to swell. ΠρητωPrēthō to swell, seems connected and both use the επρησαaorist eprēsa Our word “inflammation” likewise means a burning and a swelling. This verb is a common medical term used as Luke has it. It occurs here only in N.T.

Or fallen down dead η καταπιπτειν απνω νεκρονsuddenly (επι πολυ δε αυτων προσδοκωντωνē katapiptein aphnō nekron). Rather, “or was about to fall down dead suddenly.” The two common results of a bite by a viper or other poisonous snake, both medical terms used by Luke.

But when they were long in expectation (μηδεν ατοπον εις αυτον γινομενονepi polu de autōn prosdokōntōn). Genitive absolute. “But while they were expecting for much time.”

Nothing amiss come to him (Μηδενmēden atopon eis auton ginomenon). “Nothing out of place coming to him” (present middle participle). τεωρουντωνMēden the usual negative of the participle and the accusative case the object of μεταβαλομενοιtheōrountōn (genitive absolute).

Changed their minds (μεταβαλλωmetabalomenoi). Aorist middle (direct) participle of αυτον ειναι τεονmetaballō old verb to turn about or around, turning themselves about, changing their minds. Plato uses this very verb in middle voice for changing the mind.

That he was a god (auton einai theon). Accusative and infinitive in indirect discourse. At Lystra Paul was first received as a god (Mercury) and then they stoned him to kill him (Acts 14:11, Acts 14:19). So fickle is popular favour.

Verse 7

To the chief man of the island (τωι πρωτωι της νησουtōi prōtōi tēs nēsou). An official title correct in Malta (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 343). An inscription in Malta calls Prudens “Primate of the Maltese” (πρωτος Μελιταιωνprōtos Melitaiōn). Here it is plainly a title and not the common use seen in Acts 13:50; Acts 25:2; Acts 28:17.

Publius (ΠοπλιωιPopliōi). This Greek name (πραενομενpraenomen) can be derived either from ΠοπιλιυςPopilius or ΠυβλιυςPublius (cf. πυβλιχυςpublicus for ποπυλιχυςpopulicus from ποπυλυςpopulus). Entertained us (εχενισεν ημαςexenisen hēmēs). Paul and his companions (Luke and Aristarchus). Was Julius included? On χενιζωxenizō see note on Acts 10:23.

Courteously (πιλοπρονωςphilophronōs). This old adverb from πιλοπρωνphilophrōn (πιλοσ πρενphilos phren friendly mind) occurs here alone in the N.T. In a kindly or friendly manner, all the more so because of the original suspicion of Paul as a criminal.

Verse 8

Lay (κατακεισταιkatakeisthai). Common verb for the sick (Mark 1:30; John 5:6).

Sick (συνεχομενονsunechomenon). “Held together.” Common verb again for the sick as in Luke 4:38.

Of fever (πυρετοιςpuretois). Instrumental case, and plural “fevers,” medical term for intermittent attacks of fever (Demosthenes, Lucian, medical writers).

Dysentery (δυσεντεριωιdusenteriōi). Instrumental case also. Late form of the older ndusenterian and only here in N.T. Our very word dysentery. Another medical term of which Luke uses so many. Hippocrates often mentions these two diseases together.

Laying his hands on him healed him (δυσεντεριαepitheis tas cheiras autōi iasato auton). Either like the laying on of hands in James 5:14, the gift of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9.), or the tender interest of Jesus when he took hold of the hand of Peter‘s mother-in-law (Mark 1:31). Ramsay argues that επιτεις τας χειρας αυτωι ιασατο αυτονiaomai is employed here of the miraculous healing by Paul while ιαομαιtherapeuō is used of the cures by Luke the physician (Acts 28:9). This is a general distinction and it is probably observed here, but in Luke 6:18 (which see) both verbs are employed of the healings by Jesus.

Came and were healed (τεραπευωprose4rchonto kai etherapeuonto). Imperfect middle and imperfect passive. A regular stream of patients came during these months. Luke had his share in the honours, “us” (προσηρχοντο και ετεραπευοντοhēmēs), and no doubt his share in the cures.

With many honours (ημαςpollais timais). Instrumental case. The word was often applied to payment for professional services as we today speak of an honorarium.

They put on board (πολλαις τιμαιςepethento). Second aorist middle indicative of επετεντοepitithēmi to put on. The idea of “on board” is merely suggested by επιτιτημιanagomenois (when we sailed) “the things for our needs” (αναγομενοιςta pros tas chreias).

Verse 11

Which had wintered (παρακεχειμακοτιparakecheimakoti). Perfect active participle of παραχειμαζωparacheimazō to pass the winter. Old verb, in N.T. only Acts 27:12; Acts 28:11; 1 Corinthians 16:6; Titus 3:12. The locative case agreeing with πλοιωιploiōi Navigation in the Mediterranean usually opened up in February (always by March), spring beginning on Feb. 9 (Page).

Whose sign was the Twin Brothers (παρασημωι Διοσκουροιςparasēmōi Dioskourois). The word παρασημωιparasēmōi can be either a substantive (as Revised Version has it) or an adjective “marked by the sign,” examples of both uses common in ancient Greek. ΔιοσκουροιςDioskourois is in apposition with παρασημωιparasēmōi The word means the twin sons (κουροςkouros or κοροςkoros) of Zeus (ΔιοςDios genitive of ευςZeus) and Leda, viz., Castor and Pollux. The Attic used the dual, τω Διοσκορωtō Dioskorō Castor and Pollux were the tutelary deities of sailors whose figures were painted one on each side of the prow of the ship. This sign was the name of the ship. So they start in another grain ship of Alexandria bound for Rome.

Verse 12

Touching (καταχτεντεςkatachthentes). First aorist passive participle of καταγωkatagō to go down to land, just the opposite of ανηχτημενanēchthēmen in Acts 28:11 from αναγωanagō go up to sea.

At Syracuse (εις Συρακουσαςeis Surakousas). The chief city of Sicily and eighty miles from Malta. Perhaps open weather and a southerly wind helped them across. Here it was that Alcibiades wrecked the power and glory of Athens. Why the ship spent three days we do not know.

Verse 13

We made a circuit (περιελτοντεςperielthontes). Second aorist active of περιερχομαιperierchomai to go around, old verb, already in Acts 19:13. See also Hebrews 11:37; 1 Timothy 5:13. But Westcott and Hort read περιελοντεςperielontes after Aleph B (from περιαιρεωperiaireō) as in Acts 27:40, though here it could only mean casting loose, for which no other authority exists. At any rate the ship had to tack to reach Rhegium and was not able to make a straight course (εντυδρομεωenthudromeō Acts 16:11).

Rhegium (ηγιονRhēgion) is from ρηγνυμιrhēgnumi to break off, the place where the land breaks off, the southern entrance to the straits of Messina.

A south wind sprang up (επιγενομενου νοτουepigenomenou notou). Genitive absolute again, and for all the world like that fatal south wind in Acts 27:13, but with no bad results this time, though the weather was plainly treacherous at this early season.

On the second day (δευτεραιοιdeuteraioi). This is the classical use of the predicate adjective, “We second day men” as in Luke 24:22; John 11:39; Philemon 3:5 instead of the adverb (Robertson, Grammar, p. 657).

To Puteoli (εις Ποτιολουςeis Potiolous). It was 182 miles from Rhegium and would require 26 hours (Page). It was eight miles northwest from Neapolis (Naples) and the chief port of Rome, the regular harbour for the Alexandrian ships from Rome. Portions of the great mole are said to be still visible.

Verse 14

Where we found brethren (ου ευροντες αδελπουςhou heurontes adelphous). Possibly from Alexandria, but, as Blass observes, it is no more strange to find “brethren” in Christ in Puteoli when Paul arrives than in Rome. There was a large Jewish quarter.

Seven days (ημερας επταhēmeras hepta). Accusative of extent of time. Paul and his party remained so long at the urgent request of the brethren. He was still a prisoner, but clearly Julius was only too glad to show another courtesy to Paul to whom they all owed their lives. It was 130 miles by land from Puteoli to Rome over one of the great Roman roads.

And so we came to Rome (και ουτως εις την ομην ηλταμενkai houtōs eis tēn Romēn ēlthamen). So at last. Luke is exultant as Page observes: Paulus Romae captivus: triumphus unicus. It is the climax of the book of Acts (Acts 19:21; Acts 23:11), but not the close of Paul‘s career. Page rightly remarks that a new paragraph should begin with Acts 28:15, for brethren came from Rome and this part of the journey is touched with the flavour of that incident. The great event is that Paul reached Rome, but not as he had once hoped (Romans 15:22-29).

Verse 15

When they heard of us (ακουσαντες τα περι ημωνakousantes ta peri hēmōn). How “they heard the things concerning us” we do not know. Good news had its way of travel even before the days of telegraph, telephone, daily papers. Possibly Julius had to send on special couriers with news of his arrival after the shipwreck. Possibly some of the brethren in Puteoli at once (beginning of the week) sent on news to the brethren in Rome. The church in Rome had long ago received Paul‘s letter from Corinth at the hands of Phoebe.

To meet us (εις απαντησιν ημινeis apantōsin hēmin). Idiomatic phrase, “for meeting with us” (associative instrumental case). Koiné{[28928]}š word απαντησιςapantōsis from verb απανταωapantaō to meet, in N.T. only here; Matthew 25:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Use after neisn rather than infinitive like a translation Hebraism (Robertson, Grammar, p. 91).

As far as the Market of Appius (ειςachri Appiou Phorou). The Forum of Appius, 90 miles from Puteoli, 40 from Rome, on the great Appian Way. The Censor Appius Claudius had constructed this part of the road, b.c. 312. Paul probably struck the Appian Way at Capua. Portions of this great stone highway are still in use. If one wishes to tread where Paul trod, he can do it here. Appii Forum had a bad reputation, the haunt of thieves, thugs, and swindlers. What would this motley crowd think of Paul chained to a soldier?

Three Taverns (αχρι Αππιου ΠορουTriōn Tabernōn). Genitive case after Τριων Ταβερνωνachri like αχριAppiou Phorou About 30 miles from Rome. Tres Tabernae.

Whom (Αππιου Πορουhous). Two groups of the disciples came (one Gentile, one Jewish, Rackham thinks), one to Appii Forum, the other to Three Taverns. It was a joyous time and Julius would not interfere.

Took courage (ουςelabe tharsos). The old substantive ελαβε ταρσοςtharsos is here alone in the N.T. Jesus himself had exhorted Paul to be of good courage (ταρσοςtharsei Acts 23:11) as he had done the disciples (John 16:33). Paul had passed through enough to cause depression, whether he was depressed or not, but he deeply appreciated this kindly sympathy.

Verse 16

Paul was suffered to abide by himself (επετραπη τωι Παυλωι μενειν κατ εαυτονepetrapē tōi Paulōi menein kath̀ heauton). Second aorist passive of επιτρεποepitrepo to permit or allow. Literally, “It was permitted to Paul to abide by himself.” Some late documents (Textus Receptus) here add: “The centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard” (or the στρατοπεδαρχstratopedarch). This officer used to be considered Burrus who was Prefect of the Praetorian Guard a.d. 51-62. But it is by no means certain that Julius turned the prisoners over to this officer. It seems more likely that Julius would report to the captain of the Peregrini. If so, we may be sure that Julius would give a good report of Paul to this officer who would be kindly disposed and would allow Paul comparative freedom (living by himself, in his lodging, Acts 28:23, his own hired house Acts 28:30, though still chained to a soldier).

With the soldier that guarded him (συν τωι πυλασσοντι αυτον στρατιωτηιsun tōi phulassonti auton stratiōtēi). Probably a new soldier every day or night, but always with this soldier chained to his right hand day and night. Now that Paul is in Rome what can he do for Christ while he awaits the outcome of his own appeal to Nero?

Verse 17

Those that were the chief of the Jews (τους οντας των Ιουδαιων πρωτουςtous ontas tōn Ioudaiōn prōtous). This use of πρωτοςprōtos for the leading men of a city or among the Jews we have already had in Acts 13:50; Acts 25:2; Luke 19:47. Literally, “Those that were first among the Jews.” The position of the participle ονταςontas between the article and the adjective πρωτουςprōtous is regular (Robertson, Grammar, p. 777).

When they were come together (συνελτοντων αυτωνsunelthontōn autōn). Genitive absolute again. Paul could not go to the synagogue, as his custom was, being a bound prisoner. So he invited the Jewish leaders to come to his lodging and hear his explanation of his presence in Rome as a prisoner with an appeal to Caesar. He is anxious that they may understand that this appeal was forced upon him by Festus following Felix and lot because he has come to make an attack on the Jewish people. He was sure that false reports had come to Rome. These non-Christian Jews accepted Paul‘s invitation.

Nothing against (ουδεν εναντιονouden enantion). Adjective here as in Acts 26:9, not preposition as in Acts 7:10; Acts 8:32. From ενen and αντιοςantios (αντιanti), face to face. Concessive participle ποιησαςpoiēsas as in Acts 28:4 (διασωτενταdiasōthenta) which see.

Yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans (δεσμιος εχ Ιεροσολυμων παρεδοτην εις τας χειρας των ομαιωνdesmios ex Ierosolumōn paredothēn eis tas cheiras tōn Romaiōn). This condensed statement does not explain how he “was delivered,” for in fact the Jews were trying to kill him when Lysias rescued him from the mob (Acts 22:27 -36). The Jews were responsible for his being in the hands of the Romans, though they had hoped to kill him first.

Verse 18

When they had examined me (ανακριναντες μεanakrinantes me). First aorist active participle of ανακρινωanakrinō the same verb used already in Acts 24:8; Acts 25:6, Acts 25:26 of the judicial examinations by Felix and Festus.

Desired (εβουλοντοeboulonto). Imperfect middle of attempted action or picture of their real attitude. This is a correct statement as the words of both Felix and Festus show.

Because there was (δια τουπαρχεινdia tȯ̇huparchein). Accusative case with διαdia (causal use) with the articular infinitive, “Because of the being no cause of death in me” (εν εμοιen emoi in my case, naitian, usual word for crime or charge of crime).

Verse 19

When the Jews spake against it (αντιλεγοντων των Ιουδαιωνantilegontōn tōn Ioudaiōn). Genitive absolute again, αντιλεγοντωνantilegontōn (αντιλεγωantilegō) common verb for speaking against as in Acts 13:45. Clementer dicit (Bengel). “The word is a mild one to describe the bitter enmity of the Jews” (Knowling).

I was constrained (ηναγκαστηνēnagkasthēn). “I was compelled,” first aorist passive indicative of αναγκαζωanagkazō the very word used of Paul‘s efforts to get the Christians to blaspheme (Acts 26:11) which see. Paul was compelled to appeal to Caesar (See note on Acts 25:11, and note on Acts 25:12 for this phrase), unless Paul was willing to be the victim of Jewish hate when he had done no wrong.

Not that I had aught to accuse my nation of (ουχ ως του ετνους μου εχων τι κατηγορεινouch hōs tou ethnous mou echōn ti katēgorein). This use of ωςhōs with a participle (εχωνechōn) is common in Greek for the alleged reason. The genitive case with the infinitive κατηγορεινkatēgorein is regular. Paul says ετνοςethnos instead of λαοςlaos as in Acts 24:17; Acts 26:4.

Verse 20

Did I intreat (παρεκαλεσαparekalesa Did I invite you.

Because of the hope of Israel (εινεκεν της ελπιδος του Ισραελheineken tēs elpidos tou Israel). Genitive with preposition εινεκενheineken The hope of the Messiah is his point as in Acts 26:6.

I am bound with this chain (την αλυσιν ταυτην περικειμαιtēn halusin tautēn perikeimai). This old verb means to lie around as in Luke 17:2; Hebrews 12:1. But it is also used as the passive of περιτιτημιperitithēmi to place around with the accusative of περιτιτημιperitithēmi retained. It is a transitive passive. Paul does not lie around the chain, but the chain lies around him, a curious reversal of the imagery (Robertson, Grammar, p. 815).

Verse 21

Letters (γραμματαgrammata). Official documents from the Sanhedrin about the charges against Paul.

Any harm of thee (τι περι σου πονηρονti peri sou ponēron).

Evil (πονηρονponēron). The three aorists (εδεχαμετα απηγγειλεν ελαλησενedexamethaapēggeileelalēsen) cover the past. These Jews do not mean to say that they had never heard of Paul. It is hardly likely that they had heard of his appeal to Caesar, “for how could the news have reached Rome before Paul?” (Page).

Verse 22

But we desire (αχιουμεν δεaxioumen de). Old verb αχιοωaxioō to deem worthy, to think right or proper as in Acts 15:38 which see. They think it only fair to hear Paul‘s side of his case.

Concerning this sect (περι της αιρεσεως ταυτηςperi tēs haireseōs tautēs). Paul had identified Christianity with Judaism (Acts 28:20) in its Messianic hope. The language seems to imply that the number of Christians in Rome was comparatively small and mainly Gentile. If the edict of Claudius for the expulsion of the Jews from Rome (Acts 18:2) was due to disturbance over Christ (ΧρηστυςChrēstus), then even in Rome the Jews had special reason for hostility towards Christians.

Everywhere spoken against (npantachou antilegetain). Cf. Acts 28:19. The line of cleavage between Jew and Christian was now sharply drawn everywhere.

Verse 23

Appointed (ταχαμενοιtaxamenoi). First aorist middle participle of τασσωtassō Formal arrangement as in Matthew 28:16 when Jesus appointed the mountain for his meeting in Galilee.

In great number (πλειονεςpleiones). Comparative of πολυςpolus “more than a few.”

Expounded (εχετιτετοexetitheto). Imperfect middle of εκτιτημιektithēmi to set forth, as in Acts 11:4; Acts 18:26. He did it with detail and care and spent all day at it, “from morning till evening” (απο πρωι εως εσπεραςapo prōi heōs hesperas). In N.T. only here, Acts 4:3 and Luke 24:29, though common word.

Persuading them concerning Jesus (πειτων αυτους περι του Ιησουpeithōn autous peri tou Iēsou). Conative present active participle, trying to persuade. It was only about Jesus that he could make good his claim concerning the hope of Israel (Acts 28:20). It was Paul‘s great opportunity. So he appealed both to Moses and to the prophets for proof as it was his custom to do.

Verse 24

Some believed (οι μεν επειτοντοhoi men epeithonto). Imperfect passive indicative of πειτωpeithō More exactly, “some began to be persuaded” (οι δε ηπιστουνinchoative).

Some disbelieved (απιστεωhoi de ēpistoun). Imperfect active of apisteō to disbelieve, continued to disbelieve. It is usually so.

Verse 25

When they agreed not (ασυμπωνοι οντεςasumphōnoi ontes). Old adjective, only here in N.T., double compound (αan privativeσυμ πωνηsumαπελυοντοphōnē), without symphony, out of harmony, dissonant, discordant. It was a triumph to gain adherents at all in such an audience.

They departed (ειποντος του Παυλου ρημα ενapeluonto). Imperfect middle (direct) indicative, “They loosed themselves from Paul.” Graphic close.

After that Paul had spoken one word (καλωςeipontos tou Paulou rhēma hen). Genitive absolute. One last word (like a preacher) after the all day exposition.

Well (προς τους πατερας υμωνkalōs). Cf. Matthew 14:7; Mark 7:6, Mark 7:9 (irony). Here strong indignation in the very position of the word (Page).

To your fathers (ημωνpros tous pateras humōn). So Aleph A B instead of hēmōn (our) like Stephen in Acts 7:52 whose words Paul had heard. By mentioning the Holy Spirit Paul shows (Knowling) that they are resisting God (Acts 7:52).

Verse 26

Say (ειπονeipon). Second aorist active imperative instead of the old form ειπεeipe The quotation is from Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 6:10. This very passage is quoted by Jesus (Matthew 13:14, Matthew 13:15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10) in explanation of his use of parables and in John 12:40 the very point made by Paul here, “the disbelief of the Jews in Jesus” (Page). See note on Matthew 13:14 for discussion of the language used. Here the first time (“go to this people and say”) does not occur in Matthew. It is a solemn dirge of the doom of the Jews for their rejection of the Messiah foreseen so long ago by Isaiah.

Verse 28

This salvation (τουτο το σωτηριονtouto to sōtērion). Adjective from σωτηρsōtēr (Saviour), saving, bringing salvation. Common in the old Greek. The neuter as here often in lxx (as Ps 67:2) as substantive like σωτηριαsōtēria (cf. Luke 3:6).

They will also hear (αυτοι και ακουσονταιautoi kai akousontai). ΑυτοιAutoi as opposed to the rejection by the Jews, “vivid and antithetical” (Page).

Verse 30

Two whole years (διετιαν οληνdietian holēn). Only here in N.T. and Acts 24:27 which see. During these busy years in Rome Paul wrote Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Epistles that would immortalize any man, unless, forsooth, one or more of them was written from Ephesus or Caesarea, which has not yet been proven.

In his own hired dwelling (εν ιδιωι μιστωματιen idiōi misthōmati). Old word, here only in N.T., that which is hired for a price (from μιστοωmisthoō and that from μιστοςmisthos hire).

Received (απεδεχετοapedecheto). Imperfect middle of αποδεχομαιapodechomai received from time to time as they came, all that came (εισπορευομενουςeisporeuomenous) from time to time.

Preaching (κερυσσωνkerussōn), teaching (διδασκωνdidaskōn), the two things that concerned Paul most, doing both as if his right hand was not in chains, to the amazement of those in Rome and in Philippi (Philemon 1:12-14).

None forbidding him (ακωλυτωςakōlutōs). Old adverb from nan privative and the verbal adjective αkōlutos (from κωλυτοςkōluō to hinder), here only in the N.T. Page comments on “the rhythmic cadence of the concluding words.” Page rejects the notion that the book is an unfinished work. It closes with the style of a concluded work. I agree with Harnack that Luke wrote the Acts during this period of two years in Rome and carried events no further because they had gone no further. Paul was still a prisoner in Rome when Luke completed the book. But he had carried Paul to “Rome, the capital of the world, Urbi et Orbi ” (Page). The gospel of Christ has reached Rome. For the fate of Paul we must turn elsewhere. But Luke had the presence of Paul while he carried the Acts to its triumphant conclusion. Ramsay can give a good deal in proof of his claim that Luke is the greatest of all historians. Beyond a doubt his rank is high and the world can never repay its debt to this cultured physician who wrote the Gospel and the Acts.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 28:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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