Acts 23:25
And he wrote a letter after this manner:
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23:25-35 God has instruments for every work. The natural abilities and moral virtues of the heathens often have been employed to protect his persecuted servants. Even the men of the world can discern between the conscientious conduct of upright believers, and the zeal of false professors, though they disregard or understand not their doctrinal principles. All hearts are in God's hand, and those are blessed who put their trust in him, and commit their ways unto him.And provide them beasts - One for Paul, and one for each of his attendants. The word translated "beasts" κτήνη ktēnē is of a general character, and may be applied either to horses, camels, or donkeys. The latter were most commonly employed in Judea.

Unto Felix the governor - The governor of Judea. His place of residence was Caesarea, about 60 miles from Jerusalem. See the notes on Acts 8:40. His name was Antonius Felix. He was a freedman of Antonia, the mother of the Emperor Claudius. He was high in the favor of Claudius, and was made by him governor of Judea. Josephus calls him Claudius Felix. He had married three wives in succession that were of royal families, one of whom was Drusilla, afterward mentioned in Acts 24:24, who was sister to King Agrippa. Tacitus (History, v. 9) says that he governed with all the authority of a king, and the baseness and insolence of a slave. "He was an unrighteous governor, a base, mercenary, and bad man" (Clarke). See his character further described in the notes on Acts 24:25.

24. beasts … set Paul on—as relays, and to carry baggage.

unto Felix, the governor—the procurator. See on [2103]Ac 24:24, 25.

It is not certain whether the following words were the letter itself, or only the sum or contents of the letter.

And he wrote a letter after this manner. The chief captain wrote a letter to Felix the governor, the form and sum of which were as follow; this letter he sent by one of the centurions to him. And he wrote a letter after this manner:
Acts 23:25-26. Γράψας] adds to εἶπεν, Acts 23:23, a contemporaneous accompanying action. Such passports, given with transported prisoners, were called at a later period (in the Cod. Theodos.) elogia.

περιέχ. τ. τύπον τοῦτ.] which contained the following form; τύπος (3Ma 3:30), the same as τρόπος elsewhere (Kypke, II. p. 119; Grimm, on 1Ma 11:29), corresponds entirely to the Latin exemplum, the literal form, the verbal contents of a letter. Cic. ad Div. x. 5 : literae binae eodem exemplo.”

The lie in Acts 23:27 (see in loc.) is a proof that in what follows the literal expression is authentically contained; therefore there is no reason, with Olshausen, to regard the letter as a literary production of Luke. A documentary source, it is true, from which the verbal form came to him, cannot be specified, although possibilities of this nature may well be imagined.

τῷ κρατίστῳ] see on Luke, Introd. § 3. Comp. Acts 24:3, Acts 26:25.

Acts 23:25. περιέχουσαν, see critical note above.—τύπον: “form,” R.V., a précis or summary of the contents of a letter, 3Ma 3:30. Such a letter would be called elogium, Alford, in loco, Renan, Saint Paul, p. 532. It is quite true that τύπος does not demand that the letter should have been given verbally, and in an oft-quoted passage, Plato, Polit., 3, p. 414, ἐν τύπῳ is contrasted with διʼ ἀκριβείας, but the letter bears the marks of genuineness, e.g., the part which Lysias claims to have played, and the expression “questions of their law” (see below). Moreover St. Luke might have easily learnt its contents, as there is reason for supposing that the letter would have been read in open court before Felix, as containing the preliminary inquiry, and that a copy may have been given to Paul after his appeal, see Bethge, Die Paulinischen Reden Apostelgeschichte, p. 226.

25. a letter after this manner] [Rev. Ver. form]. As both the writer and receiver of the letter were Romans, it is most likely that Latin would be the language of the original, and that St Luke has given us a representation of the substance of the document rather than its very words.

Acts 23:25. Ἐπιστολὴν περιέχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον) 1Ma 15:2, ἦσαν (ἐπιστολαί̔) περιέχουσαι τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον.—τύπον) mould, form, purport. This, which was without doubt written in Latin, and preserved in the Roman archives, afterwards convinced the Romans, when they read it, of the truth of the apostolic history.

Verse 25. - Form for manner, A.V. After this form. Luke does not profess to give the letter verbatim, but merely its general tenor, which Lysias might have communicated to Paul, or which Paul might have learnt at Caesarea. Acts 23:25After this manner (περιέχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον)

Lit., containing this form or type. See on it is contained, 1 Peter 2:6.

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