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Acts 25:21-27

Context
25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 1  I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 2  25:22 Agrippa 3  said to Festus, 4  “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 5  “you will hear him.”

Paul Before King Agrippa and Bernice

25:23 So the next day Agrippa 6  and Bernice came with great pomp 7  and entered the audience hall, 8  along with the senior military officers 9  and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 10  gave the order, 11  Paul was brought in. 25:24 Then Festus 12  said, “King Agrippa, 13  and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 14  petitioned 15  me both in Jerusalem 16  and here, 17  shouting loudly 18  that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 19  and when he appealed 20  to His Majesty the Emperor, 21  I decided to send him. 22  25:26 But I have nothing definite 23  to write to my lord 24  about him. 25  Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 26  so that after this preliminary hearing 27  I may have something to write. 25:27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 28  the charges against him.”

1 tn A designation of the Roman emperor (in this case, Nero). BDAG 917 s.v. σεβαστός states, “ὁ Σεβαστός His Majesty the Emperor Ac 25:21, 25 (of Nero).” It was a translation into Greek of the Latin “Augustus.”

2 tn Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).

3 sn See the note on King Agrippa in 25:13.

4 sn See the note on Porcius Festus in 24:27.

5 tn Grk “said.”

6 sn See the note on King Agrippa in 25:13.

7 tn Or “great pageantry” (BDAG 1049 s.v. φαντασία; the term is a NT hapax legomenon).

sn Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp. The “royals” were getting their look at Paul. Everyone who was anyone would have been there.

8 tn Or “auditorium.” “Auditorium” may suggest to the modern English reader a theater where performances are held. Here it is the large hall where a king or governor would hold audiences. Paul once spoke of himself as a “spectacle” to the world (1 Cor 4:8-13).

9 tn Grk “the chiliarchs” (officers in command of a thousand soldiers). In Greek the term χιλίαρχος (ciliarco") literally described the “commander of a thousand,” but it was used as the standard translation for the Latin tribunus militum or tribunus militare, the military tribune who commanded a cohort of 600 men.

10 sn See the note on Porcius Festus in 24:27.

11 tn Grk “and Festus ordering, Paul was brought in.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was begun in the translation, and καί (kai) has not been translated. The participle κελεύσαντος (keleusanto") has been taken temporally.

12 sn See the note on Porcius Festus in 24:27.

13 sn See the note on King Agrippa in 25:13.

14 tn Probably best understood as rhetorical hyperbole. BDAG 825 s.v. πλῆθος 2.b.γ states, “people, populace, populationτὸ πλῆθος the populaceἅπαν τὸ πλ. τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων Ac 25:24.” However, the actions of the leadership are seen by Luke as representing the actions of the entire nation, so the remark is not inaccurate.

15 tn Or “appealed to” (BDAG 341 s.v. ἐντυγχάνω 1.a).

16 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

17 sn Here means “here in Caesarea.”

18 tn Or “screaming.”

19 sn He had done nothing that deserved death. Festus’ opinion of Paul’s guilt is like Pilate’s of Jesus (Luke 23:4, 14, 22).

20 tn The participle ἐπικαλεσαμένου (epikalesamenou) has been taken temporally. It could also be translated as causal: “and because he appealed…”

21 tn A designation of the Roman emperor (in this case, Nero). BDAG 917 s.v. σεβαστός states, “ὁ Σεβαστός His Majesty the Emperor Ac 25:21, 25 (of Nero).”

22 tn The word “him” 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.

23 sn There is irony here. How can Festus write anything definite about Paul, if he is guilty of nothing.

24 sn To my lord means “to His Majesty the Emperor.”

25 tn Grk “about whom I have nothing definite…” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) was replaced with a personal pronoun (“him”) and a new sentence begun in the translation at the beginning of v. 26.

26 sn See the note on King Agrippa in 25:13.

27 tn Or “investigation.” BDAG 66 s.v. ἀνάκρισις has “a judicial hearing, investigation, hearing, esp. preliminary hearingτῆς ἀ. γενομένης Ac 25:26.” This is technical legal language.

28 tn L&N 33.153 s.v. σημαίνω, “to cause something to be both specific and clear – ‘to indicate clearly, to make clear’… ‘for it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating the charges against him’ Ac 25:27.”

sn Without clearly indicating the charges against him. Again the point is made by Festus himself that there is difficulty even in articulating a charge against Paul.



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