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Acts 16:22-26

Context

16:22 The crowd joined the attack 1  against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes 2  off Paul and Silas 3  and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 4  16:23 After they had beaten them severely, 5  they threw them into prison and commanded 6  the jailer to guard them securely. 16:24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell 7  and fastened their feet in the stocks. 8 

16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying 9  and singing hymns to God, 10  and the rest of 11  the prisoners were listening to them. 16:26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds 12  of all the prisoners came loose.

1 tn L&N 39.50 has “the crowd joined the attack against them” for συνεπέστη (sunepesth) in this verse.

2 tn Grk “tearing the clothes off them, the magistrates ordered.” The participle περιρήξαντες (perirhxante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. Although it may be possible to understand the aorist active participle περιρήξαντες in a causative sense (“the magistrates caused the clothes to be torn off Paul and Silas”) in the mob scene that was taking place, it is also possible that the magistrates themselves actively participated. This act was done to prepare them for a public flogging (2 Cor 11:25; 1 Thess 2:2).

3 tn Grk “off them”; the referents (Paul and Silas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn The infinitive ῥαβδίζειν (rJabdizein) means “to beat with rods or sticks” (as opposed to fists or clubs, BDAG 902 s.v. ῥαβδίζω).

5 tn Grk “Having inflicted many blows on them.” The participle ἐπιθέντες (epiqente") has been taken temporally. BDAG 384 s.v. ἐπιτίθημι 1.a.β has “inflict blows upon someone” for this expression, but in this context it is simpler to translate in English as “they had beaten them severely.”

6 tn Grk “commanding.” The participle παραγγείλαντες (parangeilante") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

7 tn Or “prison.”

8 tn L&N 6.21 has “stocks” for εἰς τὸ ξύλον (ei" to xulon) here, as does BDAG 685 s.v. ξύλον 2.b. However, it is also possible (as mentioned in L&N 18.12) that this does not mean “stocks” but a block of wood (a log or wooden column) in the prison to which prisoners’ feet were chained or tied. Such a possibility is suggested by v. 26, where the “bonds” (“chains”?) of the prisoners loosened.

9 tn Grk “praying, were singing.” The participle προσευχόμενοι (proseucomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

10 sn Praying and singing hymns to God. Tertullian said, “The legs feel nothing in the stocks when the heart is in heaven” (To the Martyrs 2; cf. Rom 5:3; Jas 1:2; 1 Pet 5:6). The presence of God means the potential to be free (cf. v. 26).

11 tn The words “the rest of” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

12 tn Or perhaps, “chains.” The translation of τὰ δεσμά (ta desma) is to some extent affected by the understanding of ξύλον (xulon, “stocks”) in v. 24. It is possible (as mentioned in L&N 18.12) that this does not mean “stocks” but a block of wood (a log or wooden column) in the prison to which prisoners’ feet were chained or tied.



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