Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away 1 from him, and the commanding officer 2 was frightened when he realized that Paul 3 was 4 a Roman citizen 5 and that he had had him tied up. 6
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1 tn BDAG 158 s.v. ἀφίστημι 2.b has “keep away…ἀπό τινος… Lk 4:13; Ac 5:38; 2 Cor 12:8…cp. Ac 22:29.” In context, the point would seem to be not that the interrogators departed or withdrew, but that they held back from continuing the flogging.
2 tn Grk “the chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). See note on the term “commanding officer” in v. 24.
3 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
4 tn This is a present tense (ἐστιν, estin) retained in indirect discourse. It must be translated as a past tense in contemporary English.
5 tn The word “citizen” is supplied here for emphasis and clarity.
6 sn Had him tied up. Perhaps a reference to the chains in Acts 21:33, or the preparations for the lashing in Acts 22:25. A trial would now be needed to resolve the matter. The Roman authorities’ hesitation to render a judgment in the case occurs repeatedly: Acts 22:30; 23:28-29; 24:22; 25:20, 26-27. The legal process begun here would take the rest of Acts and will be unresolved at the end. The process itself took four years of Paul’s life.