Acts Chapter Twenty-four
I. Content of the Chapter
Paul’s Witness before Felix the Governor
I. The high priest hired an orator to accuse Paul:
high priest and others came to
B. The mean adulation (v.3-4).
C. The malicious groundless accusation (v.5-9).
1. Paul disturbed the public order everywhere.
2. Paul was a ringleader of the illegal organization “the sect of the Nazarenes”.
3. Paul profaned the temple.
II. Paul answered for himself:
A. He indicated that the things which they now accused him cannot be proved (v.10-13).
B. He confessed that he served God according to the “Way” (v.14-16).
C. He did not break the law when he was seized in the temple (v.17-20).
D. He was judged concerning the resurrection of the dead (v.21).
III. How Felix dealt with it:
A. He did not make a decision immediately and he commanded the centurion to let Paul have liberty (v.22-23).
B. He heard Paul preach the word and was afraid (v.24-25).
C. He hoped to take bribes and left Paul bound two years because he wanted to do the Jews a favor (v.26-27).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
Acts. 24:1 “Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.”
YLT: “And after five days came down the chief priest Ananias, with the elders, and a certain orator -- Tertullus, and they made manifest to the governor [the things] against Paul;”
Meaning of Words: “orator”: mouthpiece, speaker, the one who is good at speaking; “Ananias”: whom Jehovah protected, the Lord is gracious; “Tertullus”: the third.
Literal Meaning: “Now after five days” “Five days” is counted from the day when
Paul was delivered to
“Came down with…and
a certain orator named Tertullus”
The “orator” was the lawyer who was good at speaking and he was hired by the
Jews to represent them to accuse Paul. “Tertullus” might be a
Acts. 24:2 “And when he was called upon, Tertullus began his accusation, saying: ‘Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight,”
YLT: “and he having been called, Tertullus began to accuse [him], saying, `Much peace enjoying through thee, and worthy deeds being done to this nation through thy forethought,”
Meaning of Words: “peace”: rest, quietness; “foresight”: forethought, providence; “prosperity”: excellent measures.
Meaning: “Seeing that through you we
enjoy great peace” It was said that
Felix used high-handed ways to rule the
“And prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight” in the original means “for your foresight reform is being brought in this nation”.
Actually he did not bring in any innovation or reform according to the historical records.
Enlightenment in the Word: this verse fully shows the appearance of sweet words and ingratiating manners of the worldly orators: 1) they used means to gain the good impression of the judge; 2) they reversed the right and wrong; 3) they were full of flattering words, acted obsequiously and ignored the sufferings of the world.
Acts. 24:3 “we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.”
YLT: “always, also, and everywhere we receive it, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness;”
Meaning of Words: “Felix”: happy.
Enlightenment in the Word: It is not true that Christians never praise men (See Acts. 16:2). However, the praise of Christians is based on the facts and it is not the exaggerating false words. And their motives are not to please others.
Acts. 24:4 “Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us.”
YLT: “and that I may not be further tedious to thee, I pray thee to hear us concisely in thy gentleness;”
Literal Meaning: “not to be tedious to you any further” It means “do not speak idly and come back to the subject”.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Too many polite remarks will contrarily be tedious to men.
2) In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise (Prov. 10:19).
3) A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver (Prov. 25:11).
Acts. 24:5 “For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.”
YLT: “for having found this man a pestilence, and moving a dissension to all the Jews through the world -- a ringleader also of the sect of the Nazarenes --”
Meaning of Words: “creator”: stir; “throughout the world”: the whole habitable earth; “Nazarene”: forest, separate; branch, maintain.
Literal Meaning: “a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world” To the Roman government, they usually did not ask about the Jews if they argued over faith. However, if the rebellion was involved, it was a serious crime.
“And a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” Being a ringleader of a sect that was not approved by the Roman authorities indeed conflicts with the law. “The sect of the Nazarenes” refers to the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Previously Jesus of Nazareth was put to death by Pontius Pilate the Governor for the accusation of “the king of the Jews” (Matt. 27:37) and therefore His henchmen were easily to be regarded as rebels.
“The sect of the Nazarenes” This appellation also means being despised. Some Bible exegetes translated it into “those who follow the rules” according to the original meaning. It means that the behaviors and performances of Christians are praised by others.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The religion always utilizes the earthly power to hinder the spreading of Christ’s gospel.
2) The Lord’s witness was regarded as “a plague”. Yes, if we preach the gospel for the Lord faithfully, great influence will be brought to the society, the infectiousness of the influence is great and the extension is fast. And it is indeed as the plague in the sight of those who are hostile to the gospel.
3) The coming of the gospel is to establish a new relationship and order in our hearts, the family and the society. It is indeed an earth shaking change. And therefore from this aspect, believers should play a role of “a creator of dissension throughout the world”.
Acts. 24:6 “He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law.”
YLT: “who also the temple did try to profane, whom also we took, and according to our law did wish to judge,”
Meaning of Words: “profane”: desecrate, blaspheme.
Literal Meaning: “He even tried to profane the temple” The Roman Government allowed the Jews to have the decision-making power over the temple in order to appease the Jews. If somebody brings the Gentiles to rush into the inner court of the temple presumptuously and profane the temple, the Jews are specially allowed to put them to death according to the Jewish law (See the background in Acts. 21:28).
“Tried” shows that their accusation had come down to the stage of the planning of scheme from the actual profanity of the temple (Acts. 21:28).
Acts. 24:7 “But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands,”
YLT: “and Lysias the chief captain having come near, with much violence, out of our hands did take away,”
Literal Meaning: “with great violence” means walking rudely and unreasonably.
Acts. 24:8 “commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him."”
YLT: “having commanded his accusers to come to thee, from whom thou mayest be able, thyself having examined, to know concerning all these things of which we accuse him;'”
Meaning of Words: “examine”: question carefully, see through.
Literal Meaning: “By examining him yourself you may ascertain” It shows that they were confident of Felix’s judgment.
Acts. 24:9 “And the Jews also assented, maintaining that these things were so.”
YLT: “and the Jews also agreed, professing these things to be so.”
Literal Meaning: this verse shows that the multitudes who were present all supported Tertullus’ accusation to Paul.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The religion always cooperates with the world and they do not hesitate to bear false witness in order to achieve their aim.
2) A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies (Prov. 14:5).
Acts. 24:10 “Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: ‘Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself,”
YLT: “And Paul answered -- the governor having beckoned to him to speak -- `Knowing [that] for many years thou hast been a judge to this nation, the more cheerfully the things concerning myself I do answer;”
Meaning of Words: “judge”: decide, settle a lawsuit; “answer for”: defend.
Literal Meaning: “answered” the following words was Paul’s second defense that was recorded in this book.
“Inasmuch as I know that you have been
for many years a judge of this nation”
Paul’s words mean that since Felix had ruled the
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christians are not suitable to use flattering words (1Thess. 2:5) or flatter people to gain advantage (Jude. 17).
2) It is not true that Christians never defend for themselves, however, the motive for our defense is not to justify or exalt ourselves but to testify the Lord’s grace and guidance upon us (See Acts. 23:11).
Acts. 24:11 “because you may ascertain
that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to
YLT: “thou being able to know that it is not more than twelve days to me since I went up to worship in Jerusalem,”
Meaning of Words: “no more than”: not more than, at most.
Literal Meaning: “since I went up to Jerusalem to worship” It shows that the aim that he went up to Jerusalem was to “worship” instead of “creating dissension” (See v.5).
“It is no more than twelve days” “Twelve days” included seven days in
“Twelve days” was also an
important guidance of time. According to it we could figure out that Paul was
arrested during the last two days of the “seven days” (Acts. 21:27) because he
went up to the temple the third day he arrived at
Enlightenment in the Word: The fact speaks louder than eloquence. The best defense that we could make for ourselves is to state the fact.
Acts. 24:12 “And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city.”
YLT: “and neither in the temple did they find me reasoning with any one, or making a dissension of the multitude, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city;”
Meaning of Words: “disputing”: reason; “inciting” (there are two words in the original): concourse, pressing, collusion (the first word); making, doing (the second word).
Literal Meaning: “disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd” “Disputing” was towards the opposers and “inciting” was towards the crowd. They are the two common ways to create the dissension.
Acts. 24:13 “Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me.”
YLT: “nor are they able to prove against me the things concerning which they now accuse me.”
Literal Meaning: “Nor can they prove the things” It means that they cannot provide the proof of their accusation.
Acts. 24:14 “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
YLT: “`And I confess this to thee, that, according to the way that they call a sect, so serve I the God of the fathers, believing all things that in the law and the prophets have been written,”
Meaning of Words: “sect”: heresy, a party; “worship”: worship as priests.
Literal Meaning: “that according to the Way which they call a sect” The Jews regarded the faith of Christ as “heresy”, i.e. the faith that is against Judaism.
“According to the Way…so I worship the God of my fathers” The early Christians called their movement “the Way” (Acts. 8:39; 9:2; 13:10; 16:17; 18:25-26; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22; 1Cor. 12:31) because they held that the movement was the fulfillment of the faith of Israel and the only way to achieve the salvation.
“The God of my fathers” shows that the God that they worshipped is the same true God that those who accused them worshipped.
“Believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets” It means that his faith continued the Jewish orthodox classics.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “But this I confess to you” It is a must that Christians confess their faith. It is the confession of glory and witness.
2) Many believers are afraid of confessing their faith, and they merely want to be Christians secretly. Those who hold such attitude will never be good Christians.
3) Christians walk according to the teachings of the Bible and therefore their walkings are in accord with the Bible.
Acts. 24:15 “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.”
YLT: “having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, [that] there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous;”
Meaning of Words: “hope”: faith; “accept”: except, look for.
Literal Meaning: “that there will be a
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” is the hope of “the general resurrection”.
Men do not perish and they shall resurrect after death and face the judgment
(Heb. 9:27). Men shall be rewarded according to their works during their
lifetime (Matt. 16:27;
“Which they themselves also accept” “They” refers to the majority of the Jews, especially the Pharisees.
Controversial Clarification: though the dead shall all resurrect, there are two batches of resurrection: 1) the first resurrection is before the kingdom of a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6). When Christ comes for a second time, the resurrection merely happens upon the dead in Christ (1Cor. 15:23; 1Thess. 4:16). This resurrection is for life and reward (John. 5:28-29; Luke. 14:14) and therefore it is also called “the outstanding resurrection” (Pill. 3:11). 2) The second resurrection is after the kingdom of a thousand years and it happens upon the others (Rev. 20:5). This resurrection is for judgment and they shall be condemned and perish forever (John. 5:29b; Rev. 20:12-15).
Please note that concerning what the Lord Jesus had mentioned in Matt. 25 that the Son of man shall gather all the nations for judgment when He comes (Matt. 25:31-46), the objects are all the nations who are alive when the Lord comes for a second time. It is different from the matter that the dead shall resurrect and be judged. Please see my book------the notes of the Gospel of Matthew, concerning the meaning of the scriptures.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If Christians do not have the hope of resurrection and in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1Cor. 15:19; 1Thess. 4:13).
2) If the dead does not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’ (1Cor. 15) Since men end after death, what’s the meaning of our walking in this life?
3) The resurrection of believers is different from that of the world. The ending of the world after resurrection is judgment and perdition, however, the ending of believers after resurrection is the hope of glory.
4) Christians should live with the aim of gaining the Lord’s reward after resurrection in future (Pill. 3:11-14).
5) “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day” (2Tim. 4:7-8). It is also the faith and hope that every Christian should have.
Acts. 24:16 “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”
YLT: “and in this I do exercise myself, to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always.”
Meaning of Words: “strive to”: make effort, endeavor; “without offense”: do not offend, without iniquities.
Literal Meaning: “This being so, I myself always strive to” “This being so” shows the principle of walking which Paul boasted of in this verse is according to the faith in the previous verse.
“Have a conscience without offense” “Have” in the original is “exercising myself”.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “This being so” in the beginning of this verse shows that after we have got the spiritual vision, we have to put it into practice in our earthly life. If our witness of life is unworthy of our spiritual vision, it is in vain no matter how excellent the vision that we have seen is.
2) The vision must control the real witness of life. Only when what we have seen is in accord with what we have lived out will we not humiliate the name of the Lord and be worthy to be called the Lord’s strong witnesses.
3) The faith of Christians should influence others’ way of life. If we do not conduct ourselves worthily of the glad tidings of Christ (See Pill. 1:27), it shows that our faith has been disconnected from reality.
4) Christians must keep the balance between “God” and “men” in their life. If we are merely concerned about God and do not take care of men, it is easy for us to be unbalanced and we may become “the spiritual strangers”. However, if we are merely concerned about men and ignore God, it is easy for us to be false and affected and we may be the hypocritical.
5) We believers should make a habit that the moment we find out our faults, we deal with them immediately so that we do not have the sense of offense and condemnation in our conscience.
6) Whenever our conscience is not good, we cannot have confidence towards God because “if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1John. 3:21).
7) Once we do not have confidence towards God, our fellowship with God has estrangement immediately. The moment the conscience is not good, the fellowship will not be good. God has communion with us according to our conscience.
8) The offense of conscience is easy to hinder our fellowship with God in the consciousness because “if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart” (1John. 3: 20). God shall condemn what our conscience condemns.
9) Only those who have “a pure heart” are able to “serve God” (2Tim. 1:3).
10) Conscience is the organ of faith. Good conscience is closely related to great faith. Once one’s conscience is not good, his faith shall be weakened immediately. “Love is out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1Tim. 1:5); “hold faith and a good conscience” (1Tim. 1:19).
11) The sense of our conscience grows with the degree of our spiritual life. As long as it is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the more would be the better. Conscience is God’s brake. It makes us fell that something is wrong and we’d better amend it and then continue our work. If we are willing to listen to the conscience, we shall prevent more works from being destroyed later.
12) When the spiritual life of believers achieves a degree, the witness that the conscience bears is almost the same with the witness that the Holy Spirit bears. Because when one’s conscience is fully controlled by the Holy Spirit, the sense of conscience becomes shaper and sharper day by day. And the Holy Spirit speaks to believers through the conscience------“my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 9:1).
13) If we want to have a conscience without offense towards men, we have to do that towards God first because once we have a conscience with offense towards God, we have a conscience with offense towards men. And therefore all believers who want to live a spiritual life should pursue a good conscience towards God (1Pet. 3:21).
14) We should have a good conscience towards both God and men. We could do many things before God but we cannot do them before men. When we have a good conscience towards men, we are able to have good witness before men.
15) One’s good behaviors are useless if his conscience is not good. When one’s conscience is good, it does not matter even if he is misunderstood or slandered by others. Because “having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” (1Pet. 3:16).
Acts. 24:17 “‘Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation,”
YLT: “`And after many years I came, about to do kind acts to my nation, and offerings,”
Meaning of Words: “alms”: charity, almsgiving; “offerings”: sacrifice, gifts.
Literal Meaning: “bring alms…to my nation”
It is the only verse in which that Paul went to
“And offerings” might be the offerings that those who wanted to accomplish their vows offered in the days of purification and Paul helped them (Acts. 21:27-29).
Acts. 24:18 “in the midst of which
some Jews from
YLT: “in which certain
Literal Meaning: “in the midst of which some
Acts. 24:19 “They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me.”
YLT: “whom it behoveth to be present before thee, and to accuse, if they had anything against me,”
Literal Meaning: “They ought to have been
here before you” It shows that the
Jews who came to
Acts. 24:20 “Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council,”
YLT: “or let these same say if they found any unrighteousness in me in my standing before the sanhedrim,”
Meaning of Words: “wrongdoing”: iniquity, matter of wrong, evil doing.
Literal Meaning: “if they found…in me while I stood before the council” “They” refers to the Jews who accused Paul before the governor.
In this verse Paul challenged the present Jews to explain that which sin he had committed before them.
Acts. 24:21 “unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’”
YLT: “except concerning this one voice, in which I cried, standing among them -- Concerning a rising again of the dead I am judged to-day by you.'”
Meaning of Words: “statement”: voice, note; “cried out”: cry.
Literal Meaning: “unless it is for this one statement which I cried out” This sentence that Paul cried out was recorded in Acts. 23:6.
Acts. 24:22 “But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, ‘When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.’”
YLT: “And having heard these things, Felix delayed them -- having known more exactly of the things concerning the way -- saying, `When Lysias the chief captain may come down, I will know fully the things concerning you;'”
Meaning of Words: “accurate”: correctly, completely, comprehensively.
Literal Meaning: “having more accurate knowledge of the Way” “More accurate knowledge” is the formal term. It indicates that Felix knew the doctrines of Christianity more than common ones. His knowledge of the faith of Christianity may be from his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish (See the note in v.24).
“He adjourned the proceedings and said” “Adjourning the proceedings” means “do not speak”, i.e. not declaring his conclusion on the spot. Obviously Felix knew that Paul did not commit any sin which conflicted with the Roman law. However, if he declared that Paul was guiltless, he would offend the Jewish leaders. And therefore he used the expedient way and put off the trial for the sake of the politics and would unfold the answer in the appropriate condition.
“When Lysias the commander comes down” Actually it was the device of delay.
Whether the commander went to
Acts. 24:23 “So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.”
YLT: “having given also a direction to the centurion to keep Paul, to let [him] also have liberty, and to forbid none of his own friends to minister or to come near to him.”
Meaning of Words: “let him have liberty”: have ease, comfortable.
Literal Meaning: “to let him have liberty” means giving him a kind of freedom. Since
Paul was a Roman citizen and was not condemned for any accusation, he was
treated differently from the common prisoners and he was put under house
arrest. It was like the condition under which he waited to be tried in
Acts. 24:24 “And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.”
YLT: “And after certain days, Felix having come with Drusilla his wife, being a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith toward Christ,”
Meaning of Words: “Drusilla”: watered by dew, women decrease; “concerning”: about.
Literal Meaning: “Drusilla, who was Jewish” “Drusilla” was the youngest daughter of Herod Antipas I. She was married to Emesa first and then was remarried to Felix and became his third wife.
Acts. 24:25 “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’”
YLT: “and he reasoning concerning righteousness, and temperance, and the judgment that is about to be, Felix, having become afraid, answered, `For the present be going, and having got time, I will call for thee;'”
Meaning of Words: “righteousness”: justice, equity, justification; “self-control”: temperance; “was afraid”: in fear, alarmed; “have a convenient time”: have got time, have the appropriate opportunity.
Literal Meaning: “as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come” “Reasoned” in the original means reasoning, discussing and debating completely. “Righteousness” means walking righteously: dealing with government affairs justly, treating others without partiality and so on. “Self-control” means controlling the fleshly lust and not giving themselves to it.
“The judgment to come” refers to God’s judgment to men in the last day.
“Felix was afraid” Surely his behaviors did not tally with the qualifications of righteousness and self-control and facing the coming judgment, he was unavoidably uneasy and afraid.
“When I have a convenient time I will call for you” “When I have a convenient time” means that “though my heart is willing, I was held up by the circumstances. And therefore I cannot determine to receive the gospel and probably the circumstances change in future and then I will receive the gospel willingly”. It is the quibble that the world evades the gospel. Probably the desire, pride, covetousness, ambition and others made Felix feel that he couldn’t immediately change his way of life.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) We should pray to the Lord to help us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Tit. 2:12).
2) Watchman Nee wrote a poem that, “I’m daily gazing at the light out of His judgment seat, that all my livings and works may stand the test of fire”.
3) “When I have a convenient time” Many people are moved after they have heard the gospel, and unfortunately they have not declared their ambition to repent and receive the gospel and make an excuse to flee and they perish finally.
4) When preaching the gospel, if we find the friend who has heard the gospel is moved, we should try our best to seize the chance to let him declare his ambition, lest the regret be brought about.
5) The key of Felix’s “convenient time” and “inconvenience” does not lie in time but his evil intention (See v.26). If one lacks the will of repentance, it is impossible for him to be saved.
Acts. 24:26 “Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.”
YLT: “and at the same time also hoping that money shall be given to him by Paul, that he may release him, therefore, also sending for him the oftener, he was conversing with him;”
Meaning of Words: “hope”: in hope of; “converse”: commune, talk.
Literal Meaning: “Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul” Probably Paul mentioned that he brought alarms and offerings to Jerusalem in his previous explanation (See v.17) and the Gentile churches always helped him when he was in prison (See Pill. 2:5) and therefore the covetous officer misunderstood that he would have money from Paul.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Felix hoped for money wholeheartedly and ignored the judgment to come (See v.25). Satan always makes men think only of the present and ignore the eternity.
2) “The greed for money” always makes men overcome “fear” (See v.25) and do things that they should not do.
3) Hoping to gain money by talking about the word is another kind of “holding gain to be piety” (1Tim. 6:5). Today, many people make use of believing in the Lord Jesus and actually want to gain the earthly and material benefits.
4) Satan torments the children of God “more often” and wastes their “time” continually. Paul, the apostle with great power and gifts, was invited by Felix to converse with him and after two years (See v.27), Felix was still not saved. It is Satan that utilized Felix to torment Paul. At that time Paul was not free, however, today we should find out the deceit of Satan and reject the things without effect.
Acts. 24:27 “But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.”
YLT: “and two years having been fulfilled, Felix received a successor, Porcius Festus; Felix also willing to lay a favour on the Jews, left Paul bound.”
Meaning of Words: “do…a favor”: show favor for reward.
Literal Meaning: “after two years” According to the Roman law at that time, one who was not condemned could not be taken in more than two years, showing that Paul was ill-treated by Felix.
“Porcius Festus succeeded Felix” “Porcius Festus”
succeeded Felix and became the Jewish governor A.D.60. He tried his best to
recover the order of the
Felix was removed from office and recalled by the
Roman government because he dealt with the disorder of the race of
“And Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound” Felix was accused of misconducting himself in office and had to face the Jews in the Roman court. And therefore he did not want to stir up more Jews because of Paul, lest it be unfavorable to him.
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
The Appearance of the World
I. They are eloquent, flatter those who are with power and influence in order to achieve their aim (v.2-4).
II. They fabricate various excuses and condemn others in order to uproot those who hold views different from them (v.5-8).
III. They gang up, echo with each other and bear the false witness (v.9).
IV. They seek for the truth outwardly but actually love sin inwardly (v.24-25).
V. They care only about raking in money and walk with the purpose of gains (v.26).
VI. They disregard righteousness in order to keep themselves and sacrifice others in order to do the multitudes a favor (v.27).
The Four Accusations which the Lord’s Witness Was Faced with
II. “A creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world” (v.5b)------attempt to disturb and change the present social order.
III. “A ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (v.5c)------be subordinate to the heretical sect that is not approved by the present reins of government.
IV. “He even tried to profane the temple” (v.6)------do not respect others’ religious belief.
II. The only thing that believers confess------believe in the true God (v.14-16).
III. The only motive for believers’ walking------help others (v.17-20).
IV. The only thing for which believers are condemned by the world------preach the truth (v.21).
The Example of Paul’s Defense
I. Honor the law and discipline and he was neither haughty nor humble (v.10-13).
II. It was fair and reasonable and it was the fact (v.10-13).
III. He clearly expressed that what he believed and preached was according to the Bible (v.14).
IV. He clearly knew the center and key of his faith (v.15).
V. He had a conscience without offense toward God and men and he walked frankly and righteously (v.16).
VI. He was willing to benefit his brothers and help those who were in need. He did not show off what he did, however, he was well-known by others (v.17).
VII. He expressed the fact in a simple direct way and was confident in his behaviors (18-19).
VIII. He was responsible for his words and did not lie (v.20-21).
The Illustration of Procrastination
II. “When I have a convenient time” (v.25)------he was moved in his heart, however, he was unwilling to receive Jesus as his Savior.
III. “More often…after two years” (v.26-27)------he delayed again and again and finally lost the chance.
The Reason for the Perdition of the World
I. He had “more accurate knowledge” but “adjourned the proceedings” (v.22).
II. He heard “the faith” but was unwilling to “believe the way” (v.24-25).
III. He only considered “the present reality” (v.26) but ignored “the judgment to come” (v.25).
IV. He sacrificed others for his personal gain (v.27).
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren