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Acts 23:23-24

23:23 Then 1  he summoned 2  two of the centurions 3  and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 4  along with seventy horsemen 5  and two hundred spearmen 6  by 7  nine o’clock tonight, 8  23:24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 9  so that he may be brought safely to Felix 10  the governor.” 11 

1 tn Grk “And.” Since this represents a response to the reported ambush, καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the logical sequence.

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

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

4 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1. This was a journey of about 65 mi (just over 100 km).

map For location see Map2 C1; Map4 B3; Map5 F2; Map7 A1; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

5 tn Or “cavalrymen.”

6 tn A military technical term of uncertain meaning. BDAG 217 s.v. δεξιολάβος states, “a word of uncertain mng., military t.t., acc. to Joannes Lydus…and Theophyl. Sim., Hist. 4, 1 a light-armed soldier, perh. bowman, slinger; acc. to a scholion in CMatthaei p. 342 body-guard….Spearman Goodspd., NRSV; ‘security officer’, GDKilpatrick, JTS 14, ’63, 393f.”

sn Two hundred soldiers…along with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen. The resulting force assembled to guard Paul was almost a full cohort. The Roman commander was taking no chances, but was sending the issue up the chain of command to the procurator to decide.

7 tn Grk “from.”

8 tn Grk “from the third hour of the night.”

9 tn Grk “provide mounts to put Paul on.”

sn Mounts for Paul to ride. The fact they were riding horses indicates they wanted everyone to move as quickly as possible.

10 sn Felix the governor was Antonius Felix, a freedman of Antonia, mother of the Emperor Claudius. He was the brother of Pallas and became procurator of Palestine in a.d. 52/53. His administration was notorious for its corruption, cynicism, and cruelty. According to the historian Tacitus (History 5.9) Felix “reveled in cruelty and lust, and wielded the power of a king with the mind of a slave.”

11 tn Grk “Felix the procurator.” The official Roman title has been translated as “governor” (BDAG 433 s.v. ἡγεμών 2).

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