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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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 Verse 36
Chapter 20
Verse 38
Chapter 22

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Acts 21:37

May I say something unto thee? (Ei exestin moi eipein ti prov se?).
On this use of ei in a direct question see on 1:6. The calm self-control of Paul in the presence of this mob is amazing. His courteous request to Lysias was in Greek to the chiliarch's amazement.

Dost thou know Greek? (Hellhnisti ginwskeis?).
Old Greek adverb in -i from Hellhnizw, meaning "in Greek." "Do you know it in Greek?" In the N.T. only here and John 19:20.

Art thou not then the Egyptian? (Ouk ara su ei o Aiguptios?).
Expects the answer Yes and ara argues the matter (therefore). The well-known (o) Egyptian who had given the Romans so much trouble.

Stirred up to sedition (anastatwsav).
First aorist active participle of anastatow, a late verb from anastatov, outcast, and so to unsettle, to stir up, to excite, once known only in LXX and Acts 17:6 (which see); 21:38; Galatians 5:12, but now found in several papyri examples with precisely this sense to upset.

Of the Assassins (twn sikariwn).
Latin word sicarius, one who carried a short sword sixa under his cloak, a cutthroat. Josephus uses this very word for bands of robbers under this Egyptian (War II. 17,6 and 13,5; Ant. XX. 8,10). Josephus says that there were 30,000 who gathered on the Mount of Olives to see the walls of Jerusalem fall down and not merely 4,000 as Lysias does here. But Lysias may refer to the group that were armed thus (banditti) the core of the mob of 30,000. Lysias at once saw by Paul's knowledge of Greek that he was not the famous Egyptian who led the Assassins and escaped himself when Felix attacked and slew the most of them.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 21:37". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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