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Acts 23:12-22

Context
The Plot to Kill Paul

23:12 When morning came, 1  the Jews formed 2  a conspiracy 3  and bound themselves with an oath 4  not to eat or drink anything 5  until they had killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 6  23:14 They 7  went 8  to the chief priests 9  and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 10  not to partake 11  of anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council 12  request the commanding officer 13  to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 14  his case 15  by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 16  We are ready to kill him 17  before he comes near this place.” 18 

23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 19  he came and entered 20  the barracks 21  and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called 22  one of the centurions 23  and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 24  for he has something to report to him.” 23:18 So the centurion 25  took him and brought him to the commanding officer 26  and said, “The prisoner Paul called 27  me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 23:19 The commanding officer 28  took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 29  to report to me?” 23:20 He replied, 30  “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 31  tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 32  because more than forty of them 33  are lying in ambush 34  for him. They 35  have bound themselves with an oath 36  not to eat or drink anything 37  until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 38  23:22 Then the commanding officer 39  sent the young man away, directing him, 40  “Tell no one that you have reported 41  these things to me.”

1 tn Grk “when it was day.”

2 tn Grk “forming a conspiracy, bound.” The participle ποιήσαντες (poihsantes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

3 tn L&N 30.72 has ‘some Jews formed a conspiracy’ Ac 23:12”; BDAG 979 s.v. συστροφή 1 has “Judeans came together in a mob 23:12. But in the last pass. the word may also mean – 2. the product of a clandestine gathering, plot, conspiracy” (see also Amos 7:10; Ps 63:3).

4 tn Or “bound themselves under a curse.” BDAG 63 s.v. ἀναθεματίζω 1 has “trans. put under a curse τινά someone…pleonastically ἀναθέματι ἀ. ἑαυτόν Ac 23:14. ἑαυτόν vss. 12, 21, 13 v.l.” On such oaths see m. Shevi’it 3:1-5. The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in English and has not been translated.

5 tn The word “anything” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

6 tn L&N 30.73 defines συνωμοσία (sunwmosia) as “a plan for taking secret action someone or some institution, with the implication of an oath binding the conspirators – ‘conspiracy, plot.’ …‘there were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy’ Ac 23:13.”

7 tn Grk “who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) was translated by the third person plural pronoun (“them”) and a new sentence begun in the translation.

8 tn Grk “going.” The participle προσελθόντες (proselqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

9 sn They went to the chief priests. The fact that the high priest knew of this plot and did nothing shows the Jewish leadership would even become accomplices to murder to stop Paul. They would not allow Roman justice to take its course. Paul’s charge in v. 3 of superficially following the law is thus shown to be true.

10 tn Or “bound ourselves under a curse.” BDAG 63 s.v. ἀναθεματίζω 1 has “trans. put under a curse τινά someone…pleonastically ἀναθέματι ἀ. ἑαυτόν Ac 23:14. ἑαυτόν vss. 12, 21, 13 v.l.” The pleonastic use ἀναθέματι ἀνεθεματίσαμεν (literally “we have cursed ourselves with a curse”) probably serves as an intensifier following Semitic usage, and is represented in the translation by the word “solemn.” On such oaths see m. Nedarim 3:1, 3.

11 tn This included both food and drink (γεύομαι [geuomai] is used of water turned to wine in John 2:9).

12 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).

13 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 10.

14 tn Or “decide.” BDAG 227 s.v. διαγινώσκω has “ἀκριβέστερον τὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ to make a more thorough examination of his case Ac 23:15.”

15 tn Grk “determine the things about him.”

16 tn The expression “more thorough inquiry” reflects the comparative form of ἀκριβέστερον (akribesteron).

17 sn “We are ready to kill him.” Now those Jews involved in the conspiracy, along with the leaders as accomplices, are going to break one of the ten commandments.

18 tn The words “this place” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

19 tn Or “plot” (BDAG 334 s.v. ἐνέδρα).

20 tn Grk “coming and entering…, he told.” The participles παραγενόμενος (paragenomeno") and εἰσελθών (eiselqwn) have been translated as finite verbs due to requirements of contemporary English style.

21 tn Or “the headquarters.” BDAG 775 s.v. παρεμβολή 2 has “barracks/headquarters of the Roman troops in Jerusalem Ac 21:34, 37; 22:24; 23:10, 16, 32.”

22 tn Grk “calling…Paul said.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

23 sn See the note on the word centurion in 10:1.

24 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 10.

25 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the centurion) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

26 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 10.

27 tn Grk “calling.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

28 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 10.

29 tn Grk “you have,” but the expression “have to report” in English could be understood to mean “must report” rather than “possess to report.” For this reason the nearly equivalent expression “want to report,” which is not subject to misunderstanding, was used in the translation.

30 tn Grk “He said.”

31 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).

32 tn Grk “do not be persuaded by them.” The passive construction μὴ πεισθῇς αὐτοῖς (mh peisqh" autoi") has been converted to an active construction in the translation, and the phrase “to do this” supplied to indicate more clearly the object of their persuasion.

33 tn Grk “forty men of them.” In the expression ἐξ αὐτῶν ἄνδρες (ex autwn andre") “men” is somewhat redundant and has not been included in the English translation.

34 tn Grk “are lying in wait for him” (BDAG 334 s.v. ἐνεδρεύω); see also v. 16.

35 tn Grk “for him, who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“who”) was translated by the third person plural pronoun (“they”) and a new sentence begun in the translation.

36 tn Or “bound themselves under a curse.” BDAG 63 s.v. ἀναθεματίζω 1 has “trans. put under a curse τινά someone. ἑαυτόν vss. 12, 21, 13 v.l.”

37 tn The word “anything” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

38 tn Grk “waiting for your approval,” “waiting for your agreement.” Since it would be possible to misunderstand the literal translation “waiting for your approval” to mean that the Jews were waiting for the commander’s approval to carry out their plot or to kill Paul (as if he were to be an accomplice to their plot), the object of the commander’s approval (their request to bring Paul to the council) has been specified in the translation as “their request.”

39 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 10.

40 tn BDAG 760 s.v. παραγγέλλω has “to make an announcement about someth. that must be done, give orders, command, instruct, direct of all kinds of persons in authority, worldly rulers, Jesus, the apostles…παραγγέλλειν w. an inf. and μή comes to mean forbid to do someth.: π. τινί w. aor. inf. Lk 5:14; 8:56; without the dat., which is easily supplied fr. the context Ac 23:22.” However, if the direct discourse which follows is to be retained in the translation, a different translation must be used since it is awkward to introduce direct discourse with the verb to forbid. Thus the alternative to direct was used.

41 tn On this verb, see BDAG 325-26 s.v. ἐμφανίζω 2. The term was frequently used of an official report to authorities. In modern terms, this was a police tip.



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