Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Acts 28:4


When the local people 1  saw the creature hanging from Paul’s 2  hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer! Although he has escaped from the sea, Justice herself 3  has not allowed him to live!” 4 


Ge 3:1; Ge 4:8-11; Ge 9:5,6; Ge 42:21,22; Nu 35:31-34; Pr 28:17; Isa 13:21,22; Isa 26:21; Isa 43:20; Zep 2:15; Mt 23:35; Mt 27:25; Lu 13:2,4; Joh 7:24; Joh 9:1,2; Ac 28:2; Ac 28:5; Re 21:8

NET © Notes

tn Although this is literally βάρβαροι (barbaroi; “foreigners, barbarians”) used for non-Greek or non-Romans, as BDAG 166 s.v. βάρβαρος 2.b notes, “Of the inhabitants of Malta, who apparently spoke in their native language Ac 28:2, 4 (here β. certainly without derogatory tone…).”

tn Grk “his”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

tn That is, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live. BDAG 250 s.v. δίκη 2 states, “Justice personified as a deity Ac 28:4”; L&N 12.27, “a goddess who personifies justice in seeking out and punishing the guilty – ‘the goddess Justice.’ ἡ δίκη ζῆν οὐκ εἴασεν ‘the goddess Justice would not let him live’ Ac 28:4.” Although a number of modern English translations have rendered δίκη (dikh) “justice,” preferring to use an abstraction, in the original setting it is almost certainly a reference to a pagan deity. In the translation, the noun “justice” was capitalized and the reflexive pronoun “herself” was supplied to make the personification clear. This was considered preferable to supplying a word like ‘goddess’ in connection with δίκη.

sn The entire scene is played out initially as a kind of oracle from the gods resulting in the judgment of a guilty person (Justice herself has not allowed him to live). Paul’s survival of this incident without ill effects thus spoke volumes about his innocence.

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