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Acts 23:12-15

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 

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.



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