Acts 24:20
Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
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(20) If they have found any evil doing in me . . .—The better MSS. give, “what evil thing” (or, what wrong act) “they found in me.” This, from St. Paul’s point of view, was the one instance in which any words of his had been even the occasion of an uproar, and in them he had but proclaimed a belief which he held in common with their best and wisest teachers. So far as the proceedings before the Council were concerned, he had not even entered on the question of the Messiahship or the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

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.Or else - Since they are not here to witness against me in regard to what occurred in the temple, let these here present bear witness against me, if they can, in regard to any other part of my conduct. This was a bold appeal, and it showed his full consciousness of innocence.

Let these same here say - The Jews who are here present.

Any evil doing - Any improper conduct, or any violation of the Law.

While I stood before the council - The Sanhedrin, Acts 23:1-10. As they were present there, Paul admits that they were competent to bear witness to his conduct on that occasion, and calls upon them to testify, if they could, to any impropriety in his conduct.

20. Or else let these … here say—"Or, passing from all that preceded my trial, let those of the Sanhedrim here present say if I was guilty of aught there." No doubt his hasty speech to the high priest might occur to them, but the provocation to it on his own part was more than they would be willing to recall. St. Paul is willing to allow the present Jews’ testimony about such things as they could know, having themselves heard and seen them; which was what passed in the council when Paul was brought before it, Acts 23:1,9. The sense of a Deity was more quick upon men; and they might then be trusted under the security of an oath. Or else let these same here say,.... They that are present, the high priest and the elders, who were come down to accuse him:

if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council; or "Jewish sanhedrim"; when he was brought before them by the chief captain, Acts 22:30 meaning, if any evil was then done by him, or any iniquity proved upon him, let it be declared; for as for his imprecation, or prophecy, that God would smite the high priest, he excused himself on that head, as not knowing it was the high priest.

Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the {m} council,

(m) Where the tribune brought me.

Acts 24:20-21. Or else (as certainly those absent can make no statement, comp. Baeumlein, Partik. p. 126 f.) let these there (pointing to the Sanhedrists present) say what wrong they found in me, while I stood before the Sanhedrim, unless in respect to this one exclamation, which I made, etc.

στάντος μου κ.τ.λ. forbids us to refer οὗτοι to the Asiatic Jews, Acts 24:18 (Ewald). Comp. Acts 24:15.

ἢ περὶ μιᾶς ταύτης φωνῆς] The comparative after τί without ἄλλο is found also in the classics, Alciphr. Ep. iii. 21; Plat. Crit. p. 53 E; Kühner, § 747, A. 1. Comp. on John 13:10. The article is not placed before φωνῆς, because the sense is: περὶ ταύτης μιᾶς οὔσης φωνῆς (Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. iv. 7. 5). Comp. Stallb. ad Plat. Apol. 18 A, Gorg. p. 510 D. The exclamation, Acts 23:6, was really the only one which Paul had made in the Sanhedrim. περί refers back to ἀδίκημα. In respect of this exclamation I must have offended, if they have found an ἀδίκημα in me! In this one exclamation must lie the crime discovered in me! A holy irony.

ἧς instead of ἥν, attracted by φωνῆς, Buttmann, neut. Gr. 247 [E. T. 287].Acts 24:20. ἢ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι: “quando-quidem absunt illi, hi dicant,” Blass; as the Jews from Asia are not present as accusers, he appeals to those Jews who are—he cannot demand speech from the absent, but he claims it from the present (Weiss): “or else let these men themselves say,” R.V., since they are the only accusers present. Kuinoel refers the words to the Sadducees, and thinks this proved from the next verse, but the context does not require this reference, nor can the words be referred with Ewald to the Asiatic Jews, since στάντος μου ἐπὶ τοῦ συν. is against such an interpretation.—τι, see critical note.20. Or else let these same here (R. V. these men themselves) say] i.e. the Sadducees with Ananias. The assailants of St Paul were of two classes, first the Asiatic Jews, who were furious against him because of his preaching among the Gentiles in their cities, then those in Jerusalem who hated him for preaching the resurrection. He challenges them both, and when the former do not appear, he turns to the other.

if they have found any evil doing in me] The oldest MSS. have “what wrong doing they found,” omitting “in me.”

while (Better, when) I stood before the council] Up to the moment, when in the presence of the council he had spoken of the resurrection and so produced a division in the assembly, there was no act of St Paul which had to do with any disturbance. The tumult in the temple and while he was speaking from the Tower-stairs was all caused by the Jewish mob.Acts 24:20. Στάντος μου) whilst I stood. That standing is mentioned, ch. Acts 22:30, ἔστησεν, made him stand.Verse 20. - Men themselves for same here, A.V.; what wrong-doing they found for if they have found any evil doing in me, A.V. and T.R.; when for while, A.V. Let these men themselves. Since the Asiatic Jews are not here to bear witness, let these men who are here speak for themselves as to what they witnessed in the Sanhedrim.
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