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Acts 13:8-12

Context
13:8 But the magician Elymas 1  (for that is the way his name is translated) 2  opposed them, trying to turn the proconsul 3  away from the faith. 13:9 But Saul (also known as Paul), 4  filled with the Holy Spirit, 5  stared straight 6  at him 13:10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and all wrongdoing, 7  you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness – will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 8  13:11 Now 9  look, the hand of the Lord is against 10  you, and you will be blind, unable to see the sun for a time!” Immediately mistiness 11  and darkness came over 12  him, and he went around seeking people 13  to lead him by the hand. 13:12 Then when the proconsul 14  saw what had happened, he believed, 15  because he was greatly astounded 16  at the teaching about 17  the Lord.

1 tn On the debate over what the name “Elymas” means, see BDAG 320 s.v. ᾿Ελύμας. The magician’s behavior is more directly opposed to the faith than Simon Magus’ was.

2 sn A parenthetical note by the author.

3 sn The proconsul was the Roman official who ruled over a province traditionally under the control of the Roman senate.

4 sn A parenthetical note by the author.

5 sn This qualifying clause in the narrative indicates who represented God in the dispute.

6 tn Or “gazed intently.”

7 tn Or “unscrupulousness.”

8 sn “You who…paths of the Lord?” This rebuke is like ones from the OT prophets: Jer 5:27; Gen 32:11; Prov 10:7; Hos 14:9. Five separate remarks indicate the magician’s failings. The closing rhetorical question of v. 10 (“will you not stop…?”) shows how opposed he is to the way of God.

9 tn Grk “And now.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

10 tn Grk “upon,” but in a negative sense.

11 sn The term translated mistiness here appears in the writings of the physician Galen as a medical technical description of a person who is blind. The picture of judgment to darkness is symbolic as well. Whatever power Elymas had, it represented darkness. Magic will again be an issue in Acts 19:18-19. This judgment is like that of Ananias and his wife in Acts 5:1-11.

12 tn Grk “fell on.”

13 tn The noun χειραγωγός (ceiragwgo") is plural, so “people” is used rather than singular “someone.”

14 sn See the note on proconsul in v. 8.

15 sn He believed. The faith of the proconsul in the face of Jewish opposition is a theme of the rest of Acts. Paul has indeed become “a light to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:47).

16 tn The translation “greatly astounded” for ἐκπλησσόμενος (ekplhssomeno") is given by L&N 25.219.

17 tn Grk “of,” but this could give the impression the Lord himself had done the teaching (a subjective genitive) when actually the Lord was the object of the teaching (an objective genitive).



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