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Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, [1886], at

Acts Chapter 25

Acts 25:1

act 25:1

Was come into the province (ἑπιβὰς τῇ ἐπαρχίᾳ)

Lit., having entered upon the province.

Acts 25:2

act 25:2


The imperfect denotes their persistence: kept beseeching.

Acts 25:3

act 25:3

Laying wait (ἐνέδραν ποιοῦντες)

Lit., making or arranging an ambush.

Acts 25:4

act 25:4

Should be kept (τηρεῖσθαι)

This puts it as a peremptory denial of the Jews' request by Festus; whereas it is only his statement of a fact. Render, as Rev., that Paul was kept in charge. Festus' reply is conciliatory, and is put on the ground of convenience.

Acts 25:6

act 25:6


See on Act 7:5.

Acts 25:8

act 25:8

Have I offended (ἥμαρτον)

See on the kindred noun ἁμαρτία, sin, Mat 1:21.

Acts 25:9

act 25:9

Do a pleasure

See on Act 24:27. Rev., better, to gain favor.

Before me ( ἐπ' ἐμοῦ)

Not with him as judge, but by the Sanhedrim in his presence.

Acts 25:10

act 25:10

Very well (κάλλιον)

The force of the comparative should be preserved: "thou knowest better than thy question implies."

Acts 25:11

act 25:11

Deliver (χαρίσασθαι)

With an underlying sense of giving him up as a favor to the Jews.

I appeal (ἐπικαλοῦμαι)

The technical phrase for lodging an appeal. The Greek rendering of the Latin formula appello.

Acts 25:12

act 25:12

The council

A body of men chosen by the governor himself from the principal Romans of the province. These were called assessors, sometimes friends, sometimes captains. Though a Roman citizen had the right of appeal to the emperor, a certain discretion was allowed the governors of provinces as to admitting the appeal. It might be disallowed if the affair did not admit of delay, or if the appellant were a known robber or pirate. In doubtful cases the governor was bound to consult with his council, and his failure to do so exposed him to censure. Cicero, in his impeachment of Verres, the brutal governor of Sicily, says: "Will you deny that you dismissed your council, the men of rank with whom your predecessor and yourself had been wont to consult, and decided the case yourself?" (ii., 33). That Festus exercised this discretion in Paul's case is shown by his conferring with the council.

Acts 25:13

act 25:13

Agrippa the king

Herod Agrippa II., son o the Herod whose death is recorded in Act 12:20-23.


Sister of Drusilla, the wife of Felix. She is said to have lived in incestuous relations with her brother. Juvenal, in his sixth satire, alludes to this: "A most notable diamond, made more precious by having been worn on the finger of Bernice. This a barbarian king once gave to his incestuous love. This Agrippa gave to his sister."

Acts 25:16

act 25:16

Opportunity (τόπον)

Lit., place. An unclassical use of the word.

Acts 25:18

act 25:18

Stood up (σταθέντες)

See on Luk 18:11; and Luk 19:8.

Acts 25:19

act 25:19

Superstition (δεισιδαιμονίας)

See on Act 17:22. Better, religion, as Rev. As Agrippa was a Jew by religion, Festus would not have insulted him by applying the word superstition to his faith. Note, however, that he speaks of it as their own religion, not identifying Agrippa with them. It was a non-committal expression, since the word meant either religion or superstition according to circumstances. He left Agrippa "to take the word in a good sense, but reserved his own view, which was certainly the Roman one" (Meyer). There is, indeed, a similar tact in Paul's use of the word to the Athenians. He selected "a word which almost imperceptibly shaded off from praise to blame" (Trench).

Affirmed (ἔφασκεν)

The imperfect implies something habitual. "Paul kept asserting."

Acts 25:21

act 25:21

Of the Emperor (τοῦ Σεβαστοῦ)

Lit., the august one; hence a translation of Augustus, which was not a proper name, but a title of the Roman emperors.

Acts 25:26

act 25:26

Lord (κυρίῳ)

An instance of Luke's accuracy. The title "lord" was refused by the first two emperors, Augustus and Tiberius. The emperors who followed accepted it. In the time of Domitian it was a recognized title. Antoninus Pius was the first who put it on his coins.

Acts 25:27

act 25:27

Crimes (αἰτίας)

Rev., more correctly, charges.

Next: Acts Chapter 26