Acts 24:10
(10) Forasmuch as I know . . .--We note at once the difference between St. Paul's frank manliness and the servile flattery of the advocate. He is content to appeal to the experience of the "many years" (really about six, but this was more than the average duration of a procuratorship, and the words might, therefore, be used without exaggeration) during which he had held office. Such a man was not likely to attach too much weight to the statements of Tertullus and Ananias. Felix, after having ruled for a short time with a divided authority (see Note on Acts 24:2), had superseded Cumanus in A.D. 52 or 53.

I do the more cheerfully answer for myself.--The verb for "answer" is connected with our English "apology" in its older sense of "vindication" or "defence."

Verse 10. - And when the governor, etc., Paul answered for then Paul, after that the governor, etc., answered, A.V.; cheerfully for the more cheerfully, A.V. and T.R.; make my defense for answer for myself, A.V. Forasmuch as I know, etc. St. Paul, with inimitable skill, pitched upon the one favorable side of his judge's person, viz. his long experience in Jewish affairs, and made it the subject of his opening reference - a courteous and conciliatory reference, in striking contrast with the false, fulsome flattery of Tertullus. Of many years. If Paul was speaking in the year A.D. , and Felix had been governor only since A.D. , "many years" was rather an hyperbole. But Tacitus expressly states that Felix was joint procurator with Cumanus; and therefore he had been a judge to the Jewish nation long before the banishment of Cumanus. Tacitus's authority is infinitely superior to that of Josephus, and this passage strongly supports the statement of Tacitus ('Annal.,' 12:54). Make my defense (τὰ περὶ ἐμαυτοῦ ἀπολογοῦμαι). For the word ἀπολογοῦμαι, and for the situation of St. Paul, and for the gracious promise provided for such situation, see Luke 12:12; Luke 21:15; see too Acts 19:33; Acts 25:8; Acts 26. l, 2; and for the use of ἀπολογία, see Acts 22:1, note.

24:10-21 Paul gives a just account of himself, which clears him from crime, and likewise shows the true reason of the violence against him. Let us never be driven from any good way by its having an ill name. It is very comfortable, in worshipping God, to look to him as the God of our fathers, and to set up no other rule of faith or practice but the Scriptures. This shows there will be a resurrection to a final judgment. Prophets and their doctrines were to be tried by their fruits. Paul's aim was to have a conscience void of offence. His care and endeavour was to abstain from many things, and to abound in the exercises of religion at all times; both towards God. and towards man. If blamed for being more earnest in the things of God than our neighbours, what is our reply? Do we shrink from the accusation? How many in the world would rather be accused of any weakness, nay, even of wickedness, than of an earnest, fervent feeling of love to the Lord Jesus Christ, and of devotedness to his service! Can such think that He will confess them when he comes in his glory, and before the angels of God? If there is any sight pleasing to the God of our salvation, and a sight at which the angels rejoice, it is, to behold a devoted follower of the Lord, here upon earth, acknowledging that he is guilty, if it be a crime, of loving the Lord who died for him, with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. And that he will not in silence see God's word despised, or hear his name profaned; he will rather risk the ridicule and the hatred of the world, than one frown from that gracious Being whose love is better than life.Then Paul, after the governor had beckoned unto him to speak,.... Tertullus having finished his account, Paul was silent to his charge and calumnies, until the governor beckoned with his hand or head, or made some sign to him to speak for himself; which he might not do, until leave was given him; and then he

answered as follows:

forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation; some say he was in the thirteenth, others in the tenth year of his government; some copies read a "just judge"; but this does not so well agree with the character of Felix; See Gill on Acts 24:27.

I do the more cheerfully answer for myself; since if he had been such a mover of sedition everywhere, he must in this course of years have known or heard something of it; and seeing also he could be no stranger to the temper of the Jews, that they were given to envy, revenge, lying, and perjury, and therefore would not easily believe all they said, or rashly take their part, but rather would pity the apostle, who had fallen into such hands, and do him justice.

Acts 24:9
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