12:20 Now Herod 1 was having an angry quarrel 2 with the people of Tyre 3 and Sidon. 4 So they joined together 5 and presented themselves before him. And after convincing 6 Blastus, the king’s personal assistant, 7 to help them, 8 they asked for peace, 9 because their country’s food supply was provided by the king’s country.
1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Herod) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
sn Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great).
2 tn Or “was extremely angry.” L&N 33.453 gives the meaning “be angry and quarrel, quarrel angrily” here. However, in L&N 88.180 the alternative “to be violently angry, to be furious” is given. The term is used only once in the NT (BDAG 461 s.v. θυμομαχέω).
3 sn Tyre was a city and seaport on the coast of Phoenicia.
4 sn Sidon was an ancient Phoenician royal city on the coast between Berytus (Beirut) and Tyre (BDAG 923 s.v. Σιδών).
5 tn Or “with one accord.”
6 tn Or “persuading.”
7 tn On the term translated “personal assistant” BDAG 554 s.v. κοιτῶν states, “used as part of a title: ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ κοιτῶνος the one in charge of the bed-chamber, the chamberlain.” This individual was not just a domestic servant or butler, but a highly respected person who had considerable responsibility for the king’s living quarters and personal affairs. The English word “chamberlain” corresponds very closely to this meaning but is not in common use today. The term “personal assistant,” while it might convey more business associations than management of personal affairs, nevertheless communicates the concept well in contemporary English.
8 tn The words “to help them” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
9 tn Or “for a reconciliation.” There were grave political risks in having Herod angry at them. The detail shows the ruler’s power.