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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - ACTS 25

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    CHAPTER XXV

    1. Was come into the province (epibav th eparcia). Lit., having entered upon the province..

    2. Besought. The imperfect denotes their persistence: kept beseeching.

    3. Laying wait (enedran poiountev). Lit., making or arranging an ambush.

    4. Should be kept (threisqai). This puts it as a peremptory denial of the Jews' request by Festus; whereas it is only his statement of a fact. Render, as Rev., that Paul was kept in charge. Festus' reply is conciliatory, and is put on the ground of convenience.

    6. Judgment-seat. See on ch. vii. 5.

    8. Have I offended (hmarton). See on the kindred noun aJmartia, sin, Matt. i. 21.

    9. Do a pleasure. See on ch. xxiv. 27. Rev., better, to gain favor.

    Before me (ep emou). Not with him as judge, but by the Sanhedrim in his presence.

    10. Very well (kallion). The force of the comparative should be preserved: "thou knowest better than thy question implies."

    11. Deliver (carisasqai). With an underlying sense of giving him up as a favor to the Jews.

    I appeal (epikaloumai). The technical phrase for lodging an appeal. The Greek rendering of the Latin formula appello.

    12. The council. A body of men chosen by the governor himself from the principal Romans of the province. These were called assessors, sometime friends, sometimes captains. Though a Roman citizen had the right of appeal to the emperor, a certain discretion was allowed the governors of provinces as to admitting the appeal. It might be disallowed if the affair did not admit of delay, or if the appellant were a known robber or pirate. In doubtful cases the governor was bound to consult with his council, and his failure to do so exposed him to censure. Cicero, in his impeachment of Verres, the brutal governor of Sicily, says; "Will you deny that you dismissed your council, the men of rank with whom your predecessor and yourself had been wont to consult, and decided the case yourself?" (ii., 33). That Festus exercised this discretion in Paul's case is shown by his conferring with the council.

    13. Agrippa the king. Herod Agrippa II., son of the Herod whose death is recorded in Acts xii. 20-23.

    Bernice. Sister of Drusilla, the wife of Felix. She is said to have lived in incestuous relations with her brother. Juvenal, in his sixth satire, alludes to this: "A most notable diamond, made more precious by having been worn on the finger of Bernice. This a barbarian king once gave to his incestuous love. This Agrippa gave to his sister."

    16. Opportunity (topon). Lit., place. An unclassical use of the word.

    18. Stood up (staqentev). See on Luke xviii. 11; xix. 8.

    19. Superstition (deisidaimoniav). See on ch. xvii. 22. Better, religion, as Rev. As Agrippa was a Jew by religion, Festus would not have insulted him by applying the word superstition to his faith. Note, however, that he speaks of it as their own religion, not identifying Agrippa with them. It was a non-committal expression, since the word meant either religion or superstition according to circumstances. He left Agrippa "to take the word in a good sense, but reserved his own view, which was certainly the Roman one" (Meyer). There is, indeed, a similar tact in Paul's use of the word to the Athenians. He selected "a word which almost imperceptibly shaded off from praise to blame" (Trench). 27 Affirmed (efasken). The imperfect implies something habitual. "Paul kept asserting."

    21. Of the Emperor (tou Sebastou). Lit., the august one; hence a translation of Augustus, which was not a proper name, but a title of the Roman emperors.

    26. Lord (kuriw). An instance of Luke's accuracy. The title "Lord" was refused by the first two emperors, Augustus and Tiberius. The emperors who followed accepted it. In the time of Domitian it was a recognized title. Antoninus Pius was the first who put it on his coins.

    27. Crimes (aitiav). Rev., more correctly, charges.

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