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Acts 16:35

16:35 At daybreak 1  the magistrates 2  sent their police officers, 3  saying, “Release those men.”

Acts 16:38

16:38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas 4  were Roman citizens 5 

1 tn The translation “day is breaking” for ἡμέρα γίνεται (Jhmera ginetai) in this verse is given by BDAG 436 s.v. ἡμέρα 1.a.

2 tn On the term translated “magistrates,” see BDAG 947-48 s.v. στρατηγός 1. These city leaders were properly called duoviri, but were popularly known as praetors (στρατηγοί, strathgoi). They were the chief officials of Philippi. The text leaves the impression that they came to the decision to release Paul and Silas independently. God was at work everywhere.

3 tn On the term ῥαβδοῦχος (rJabdouco") see BDAG 902 s.v. The term was used of the Roman lictor and roughly corresponds to contemporary English “constable, policeman.”

4 tn Grk “heard they”; the referents (Paul and Silas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 sn Roman citizens. This fact was disturbing to the officials because due process was a right for a Roman citizen, well established in Roman law. To flog a Roman citizen was considered an abomination. Such punishment was reserved for noncitizens.

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