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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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Acts 21:40

When he had given him leave (epitrepsantov autou).
Genitive absolute of aorist active participle of the same verb epitrepw.

Standing on the stairs (estwv epi twn anabatmwn).
Second perfect active participle of isthmi, to place, but intransitive to stand. Dramatic scene. Paul had faced many audiences and crowds, but never one quite like this. Most men would have feared to speak, but not so Paul. He will speak about himself only as it gives him a chance to put Christ before this angry Jewish mob who look on Paul as a renegade Jew, a turncoat, a deserter, who went back on Gamaliel and all the traditions of his people, who not only turned from Judaism to Christianity, but who went after Gentiles and treated Gentiles as if they were on a par with Jews. Paul knows only too well what this mob thinks of him.

Beckoned with the hand (kateseise thi xeiri).
He shook down to the multitude with the hand (instrumental case xeiri), while Alexander, Luke says (19:33), "shook down the hand" (accusative with the same verb, which see). In 26:1 Paul reached out the hand (ekteinav thn xeira).

When there was made a great silence (pollhv sighv genomenhv).
Genitive absolute again with second aorist middle participle of ginomai, "much silence having come." Paul waited till silence had come.

In the Hebrew language (thi Ebraidi dialektwi).
The Aramaean which the people in Jerusalem knew better than the Greek. Paul could use either tongue at will. His enemies had said in Corinth that "his bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible" (2 Corinthians 10:10). But surely even they would have to admit that Paul's stature and words reach heroic proportions on this occasion. Self-possessed with majestic poise Paul faces the outraged mob beneath the stairs.

 


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 21:40". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=ac&chapter=021&verse=040>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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