Acts 24:26
He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: why he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
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(26) He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul.—The Greek gives “hoping also,” as continuing the previous verse, and so places the fact in more immediate connection with the procurator’s conduct. This greed of gain in the very act of administering justice was the root-evil of the weak and wicked character. He had caught at the word “alms” in Acts 24:17. St. Paul, then, was not without resources. He had money himself, or he had wealthy friends; could not something be got out of one or both for the freedom which the prisoner would naturally desire?

He sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.—It is not difficult to represent to ourselves the character of these interviews, the suggestive hints—half-promises and half-threats—of the procurator, the steadfast refusal of the prisoner to purchase the freedom which he claimed as a right, his fruitless attempts to bring about a change for the better in his judge’s character.

Acts 24:26-27. He hoped also — A vain and evil hope! So, when he heard, his eye was not single; no marvel then that he profited nothing by all Paul’s discourses; that money would be given him by Paul — Or by the Christians, for the liberty of so able a minister: and, waiting for this, unhappy Felix fell short of the treasure of the gospel. But after two years — After Paul had been two years a prisoner at Cesarea; Porcius Festus came into Felix’s room — Succeeded him in the government of that province; and Felix — Knowing that he had, by his oppressive administration, furnished the Jews with abundant matter of accusation against him; to show them a pleasure — That is, to ingratiate himself with them, and prevent them from pursuing him with their complaints; left Paul bound — Though he was, in his own conscience, not only persuaded of his innocence, but of the worth of his character. Thus the men of the world, to gratify one another, stretch forth their hands to the things of God! Yet the wisdom of Felix did not profit him, did not satisfy the Jews at all. Their accusations followed him to Rome, and would have utterly ruined him, had not the interest of his brother Pallas prevailed to have obtained his pardon from Nero. “How much more effectually would he have consulted the peace of his own mind, and, on the whole, his temporal interest, if he had reformed his life on Paul’s admonition, and cultivated those serious impressions which were once so strongly made upon his conscience. It was during the two years of Paul’s imprisonment here, that those contentions arose between the Jews and Gentiles, as to their respective rites in Cesarea, which, after many tumults and slaughters of the Jews, were inflamed rather than appeased by the hearing at Rome, and did a great deal toward exasperating the Jewish nation to that war which ended in its utter ruin.” — Doddridge. 24:22-27 The apostle reasoned concerning the nature and obligations of righteousness, temperance, and of a judgment to come; thus showing the oppressive judge and his profligate mistress, their need of repentance, forgiveness, and of the grace of the gospel. Justice respects our conduct in life, particularly in reference to others; temperance, the state and government of our souls, in reference to God. He who does not exercise himself in these, has neither the form nor the power of godliness, and must be overwhelmed with the Divine wrath in the day of God's appearing. A prospect of the judgment to come, is enough to make the stoutest heart to tremble. Felix trembled, but that was all. Many are startled by the word of God, who are not changed by it. Many fear the consequences of sin, yet continue in the love and practice of sin. In the affairs of our souls, delays are dangerous. Felix put off this matter to a more convenient season, but we do not find that the more convenient season ever came. Behold now is the accepted time; hear the voice of the Lord to-day. He was in haste to turn from hearing the truth. Was any business more urgent than for him to reform his conduct, or more important than the salvation of his soul! Sinners often start up like a man roused from his sleep by a loud noise, but soon sink again into their usual drowsiness. Be not deceived by occasional appearances of religion in ourselves or in others. Above all, let us not trifle with the word of God. Do we expect that as we advance in life our hearts will grow softer, or that the influence of the world will decline? Are we not at this moment in danger of being lost for ever? Now is the day of salvation; tomorrow may be too late.He hoped also - He thought that by giving him access to his friends, and by often meeting him himself, and showing kindness, Paul might be induced to attempt to purchase his freedom with a bribe.

That money should have been given him of Paul - That Paul would give him money to procure a release. This shows the character of Felix. He was desirous of procuring a bribe. Paul had proved his innocence, and should have been at once discharged. But Felix was influenced by avarice, and he therefore detained Paul in custody with the hope that, wearied with confinement, he would seek his release by a bribe. But Paul offered no bribe. He knew what was justice, and he would not be guilty, therefore, of attempting to purchase what was his due, or of gratifying a man who prostituted his high office for the purposes of gain. The Roman governors in the provinces were commonly rapacious and avaricious, like Felix. They usually took the office for its pecuniary advantage, and they consequently usually disregarded justice, and made the procuring of money their leading object.

He sent for him the oftener - It may seem remarkable that he did not fear that he would again become alarmed. But the hope of money overcame all this. Having once resisted the reasoning of Paul, and the strivings of the Spirit of God, he seems to have had no further alarm or anxiety. He could again hear the same man, and the same truth, unaffected. When sinners have once grieved God's Spirit, they often sit with unconcern under the same truth which once alarmed them, and become entirely hardened and unconcerned.

And communed with him - And conversed with him.

26. He hoped … that money should have been given him … wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him—Bribery in a judge was punishable by the Roman law, but the spirit of a slave (to use the words of Tacitus) was in all his acts, and his communing with Paul"—as if he cared for either him or his message—simply added hypocrisy to meanness. The position in life of Paul's Christian visitors might beget the hope of extracting something from them for the release of their champion; but the apostle would rather lie in prison than stoop to this! This speaks the charge to be true that the historians give of Felix concerning his covetousness; for taking hold of that part of Paul’s accusation, Acts 24:5, that he was the ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, he supposed that, there being so many thousands of them, they would give large sums for the life and liberty of this their supposed captain. This did speak Felix (according to his birth) to be of a servile and base spirit, that for money could transgress the laws of God, and the Roman laws too. He hoped also that money would have been given him of Paul,.... For he observed from his own defence, that he came up to Jerusalem to bring alms and offerings; and he perceived by Tertullus's indictment, that he was at the head of a large body of men; that he was some considerable person, at least who was in great esteem among some sort of people, and whose life and liberty were valuable: and he might hope if Paul had not money of his own, yet his friends would supply him with a sufficiency to obtain his freedom; and it may be that it was with this view that he ordered that they should have free access to him and minister to him, that so he might have to give to him:

that he might loose him; from all confinement, and set him at entire liberty:

wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him; but not about religious matters, but about his civil affairs; suggesting he would release him for a sum of money, which the apostle did not listen to, being unwilling to encourage such evil practices, or to make use of unlawful means to free himself.

He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
Acts 24:26. ἅμα δὲ καὶ ἐλπ.: connected by some with ἀπεκ. (cf. Acts 23:25), so Weiss, Wendt, Hackett; others punctuate as W.H[386], R.V., and render it as a finite verb.—ὅτι: on the construction with ἐλπίζειν see Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 121, and Blass, in loco: Luke 24:31, 2 Corinthians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 13:6, Philemon 1:22 (not in Attic Greek).—On ἅμα cf. Blass, Gram., p. 247, Colossians 4:3, Philemon 1:22, 1 Timothy 5:13. ἅμα καί: only in Luke and Paul; on its use by them see further Viteau, Le Grec du N.T., p. 187 (1893).—χρήματα: the mention of “alms,” Acts 24:17, had perhaps suggested the thought that Paul was in a position to purchase his freedom with money, and it was also evident to Felix that the prisoner was not without personal friends, Acts 24:23. Spitta, Apostelgeschichte, p. 280, points to Acts 24:17, and to the fact that Felix could not be unaware that Paul was a man of wide influence and supported by many friends, as a sufficient answer to the supposed improbability urged by Pfleiderer that Felix could hope for money from a poor tent—maker and missionary. Spitta thinks that Philippians may have been written from Cæsarea, and that therefore (Php 4:10) Felix had double cause to suppose that the poor missionary had command of money; but without endorsing this view as to the place of writing of Philippians, it may be suggested that St. Paul’s friends at Philippi might have helped to provide financial help for the expenses of his trial: Lydia, e.g., was not only ready with large-hearted hospitality, but her trade in itself required a considerable capital: see on the other hand the view of Ramsay. St. Paul, p. 312. It is urged, moreover, that a poor man would never have received such attention or aroused such interest. But St. Luke himself has told us how Herod desired to see the Son of Man, Who had not where to lay His head, and the same feeling which prompted Herod, the feeling of curiosity, the hope perhaps of seeing some new thing, may have prompted the desire of an Agrippa or a Drusilla to see and to hear Paul.—ἐλπιζ.… δοθ.: “sic thesaurum evangelii omisit infelix Felix,” Bengel. When Overbeck expresses surprise that Felix did not deliver Paul to the Jews for money, he forgets that Paul’s Roman citizenship would make such an action much more dangerous than his detention.—διὸ καὶ: characteristic of Luke and Paul, and common to Luke’s Gospel and Acts, cf. Luke 1:35, Acts 10:29, Romans 4:22; Romans 15:22, 2 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 5:9, Php 2:9, only twice elsewhere in N.T., Hebrews 11:12; Hebrews 13:12; “ut illiceret eum ad se pecunia temptandum,” Blass, Knabenbauer.—πυκνότερον, cf. Luke 5:33, 1 Timothy 5:23; and LXX, Esther 8:13, 2Ma 8:8, 3Ma 4:12. The comparative here is “verus comparativus”: quo sæpius, Blass. Nothing could more plainly show the corruption of the Roman government than the conduct of Felix in face of the law: “Lex Julia de repetundis præcepit, ne quis ob hominem in vincula publice conjiciendum, vinciendum, vincirive jubendum, exve vinculis dimittendum; neve quis ob hominem condemnandum, absolvenduum … aliquid acceperit,” Digest., xl., 11, 3 (Wetstein); see further on Acts 24:3.—ὡμίλει: only in Luke, see above Acts 20:11; imperfect denoting frequent occurrence.

[386] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.26. He hoped also (Rev. Ver. withal) that money should have been (R. V. would be) given him of Paul] He had heard the Apostle speak of the contributions which he had gathered for the Jews in Jerusalem. His thought would naturally be that if he could raise money for the needs of others, he could do so for his own release.

that he might loose him] These words are unrepresented in the oldest MSS., and read exactly like a marginal explanation which in time made its way into the text.

wherefore (R. V. wherefore also) he sent … communed with him] The original gives two reasons why Felix sent for Paul. First he desired to hear about the faith in Christ, and secondly to give the Apostle a chance of offering him a bribe. The verb “communed” implies that he brought about somewhat of a friendly intercourse with his prisoner. In this way the proposal for any terms of release would have been made easy.Acts 24:26. Ἐλπίζων, hoping) A bad hope: an evil eye.—χρήματα, money) which so many Christians would have contributed through love of Paul. Comp. Acts 24:17; Acts 24:23. Thus the wretched Felix neglected to secure the treasure of the Gospel.Verse 26. - Withal for also, A.V.; would be for should have been, A.V.; that he might loose him is omitted in the R.T. and R.V.; wherefore also for wherefore, A.V. Sent for him the oftener. The mixture of conviction with covetousness in the mind of Felix as the motive for seeing Paul is observable. As in other cases of double-mindedness, the convictions were doubtless stifled by the corrupt avarice, and so came to nothing. He hoped also (ἅμα δὲ καὶ ἐλπίζων)

A comma should be placed after thee (Acts 24:25), and the participle ἐλπίζων, hoping, joined with answered: "Felix answered, 'Go thy way, etc.,' hoping withal that money would be given him."

Communed (ὡμίλει)

See on talked, Acts 20:11.

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