Acts 24:3
We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
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24:1-9 See here the unhappiness of great men, and a great unhappiness it is, to have their services praised beyond measure, and never to be faithfully told of their faults; hereby they are hardened and encouraged in evil, like Felix. God's prophets were charged with being troublers of the land, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that he perverted the nation; the very same charges were brought against Paul. The selfish and evil passions of men urge them forward, and the graces and power of speech, too often have been used to mislead and prejudice men against the truth. How different will the characters of Paul and Felix appear at the day of judgement, from what they are represented in the speech of Tertullus! Let not Christians value the applause, or be troubled at the revilings of ungodly men, who represent the vilest of the human race almost as gods, and the excellent of the earth as pestilences and movers of sedition.We accept it always - We admit that it is owing to your vigilance, and we accept your interposition to promote peace with gratitude.

Always, and in all places - Not merely in your presence, but we always acknowledge that it is owing to your vigilance that the land is secure. "What we now do in your presence, we do also in your absence; we do not commend you merely when you are present" (Wetstein).

Most noble Felix - This was the title of office.

With all thankfulness - In this there was probably sincerity, for there was no doubt that the peace of Judea was owing to Felix. But at the same time that he was an energetic and vigilant governor, it was also true that he was proud, avaricious, and cruel. Josephus charges him with injustice and cruelty in the case of Jonathan, the high priest (Antiq., book 20, chapter 8, section 5), and Tacitus (History, book 5, chapter 9) and Suetonius (Life of Claudius, chapter 28) concur in the charge.

2-4. Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, &c.—In this fulsome flattery there was a semblance of truth: nothing more. Felix acted with a degree of vigor and success in suppressing lawless violence [Josephus, Antiquities, 20.8.4; confirmed by Tacitus, Annals, 12.54].

by thy providence—a phrase applied to the administration of the emperors.

We accept it; we commend and admire it. It is most certain, that inferiors enjoy many benefits by the means of their governors, who bear the burden for the people, watching and caring for them; and that a bad government is better than none; and therefore not only Tertullus, (who may well be thought to speak out of flattery), but St. Paul himself, Acts 24:10, speaks with great respect unto Felix.

We accept it always, and in all places,.... The sense is, that the Jews observed with pleasure the provident care the governor took of their nation, and at all times spoke well of him; and wherever they came commended his conduct, and owned the favours they received from him, and the blessings they enjoyed under his government: and then giving him his title of honour,

most noble Felix; Tertullus adds, that this the Jews did

with all thankfulness; as sensible of the obligations they were under to him; but this was all a farce, mere artifice, and wretched flattery.

We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
Acts 24:3. πολλῆς εἰρ. τυγχ.: the governors specially prided themselves on keeping peace in their provinces (Wetstein). On the phrase see 2Ma 4:6; 2Ma 14:10.—κατορθωμάτων: “very worthy deeds,” A.V., the word might mean “successes,” cf. Polyb., i., 19, 12, or it might mean recte facta, cf. Cic., De Fin., iii., 14 (see also in Wetstein; the word is found in 3Ma 3:23, R); but διορθώματα, see critical note, in Arist., Plut. = corrections, reforms (cf. R.V.), so διόρθωσις in Polyb., Vulgate, multa corrigantur. In LXX διορθοῦν is used of amending, Jeremiah 7:3; Jeremiah 7:5προνοίας: foresight, cf. Romans 13:14, nowhere else in N.T.; cf. for a close parallel to its use here 2Ma 4:6, referred to above (Lumby). It is possible that the word may be a further proof of the sycophancy of the orator; twice the Latin providentia, A. and R.V. “providence,” was used of the emperors on coins, and also of the gods (Humphry on R.V.), “hoc vocabulum sæpe diis tribuerunt,” Bengel, in loco.—πάντη τε καὶ πανταχοῦ ἀποδεχ., so A. and R.V., “non in os solum laudamus” (Wetstein); but Meyer joins πάν. τε κ. παντ. with what precedes (Lach.), and in this he is followed by Weiss, Wendt, Page and Blass. For similar phrases in Plato, Artistotle, Philo, Josephus, see Wetstein. πάντῃ: only here in N.T., but cf. Sir 50:22, 3Ma 4:1, cf. Friedrich, p. 5, on Luke’s fondness for ᾶς and kindred words.—τῷ ἔθνει τούτῳ, see above on Acts 24:1 and also Acts 24:10. If he had been a Jew Wetstein thinks that he would have said τῷ ἔθνει τῷ ἡμετέρῳ, but see Blass, in loco, on ἔθνος “in sermone elegantiore et coram alienigenis”.—ἀποδ.: only in Luke and Acts; for its meaning here cf. Acts 2:41, 1Ma 9:71 ( al[377]), so in classical Greek.—εὐχ.: except Revelation 4:9; Revelation 7:12, elsewhere in N.T. only in St. Paul’s Epistles (frequent); the word is also found in Esth. (LXX) Acts 8:13, Sir 37:11, Wis 16:28, 2Ma 2:27, and for other references see Kennedy, Sources of N.T. Greek, p. 73, and Grimm-Thayer, sub v.—There was very little, if anything, to praise in the administration of Felix, but Tertullus fastened on the fact of his suppression of the bands of robbers who had infested the country, Jos., B.J., ii., 13, 2, Ant., xx., 8, 5, “ipse tamen his omnibus erat nocentior” (Wetstein). His severity and cruelty was so great that he only added fuel to the flame of outrage and sedition, Jos., Ant., xx., 8, 6, B.J., ii., 13, 6, whilst he did not hesitate to employ the Sicarii to get rid of Jonathan the high priest who urged him to be more worthy of his office. In the rule of Felix Schürer sees the turning-point in the drama which opened with the death of Herod and terminated with the bloody conflict of A.D. 70. The uprisings of the people under his predecessors had been isolated and occasional; under him rebellion became permanent. And no wonder when we consider the picture of the public and private life of the man drawn by the hand of the Roman historian, and the fact trading upon the influence of his infamous brother Pallas he allowed himself a free hand to indulge in every licence and excess, Tac., Hist., Acts 24:9, and Ann., xii., 54, Schürer, Jewish People, div. i., vol. ii., p. 177–181, E.T.

[377] Alford’s Greek Testament.

3. we accept it always [Better, in all ways] and in all places] The word rendered “in all ways” is only found here in N. T. and does not mean “always.” Some would join “in all ways and in all places” with the former part of the sentence thus: “evils are corrected for this nation in all ways and in all places.” “We accept it” means “we acknowledge and are glad of it.”

most noble [R. V. excellent] Felix] The adjective is the same title which was given to Felix in the letter from Claudius Lysias, and which is afterwards given to Festus by St Paul (Acts 26:25).

Acts 24:3. Πολλῆς, great quietness) A speech utterly unlike that of Paul, which was true, modest, and solid, without any varnish. Felix was a man of flagitious character, and hateful to the Jews.—εἰρήνης) Peace, a blessing most of all to be desired in a state.—κατορθωμάτων) A word grand in itself; which Tertullus borrowed from the philosophers: and for this reason there is no epithet added. There follow others in the same clause.—προνοίας, thy providence) This term they often attributed to the gods.

Verse 3. - In all ways for always, A.V.; excellent for noble, A.V. Meyer connects in all ways and in all places with the preceding διορθωμάτων γινομένων: "reforms and improvements that have taken place on all sides and in all places." Πάντῃ or πάντη, found only here in the New Testament, means "on all sides," " in every direction." Acts 24:3Very worthy deeds (κατορθωμάτων)

From κατορθόω, to set upright. Hence, a success consequent on right judgment ; a right action. The best texts, however, read διορθωμάτων, settings right; amendments. Thus the sentence reads, literally, obtaining much peace through thee, and amendments taking place for this nation through thy providence, we accept, etc.

Providence (προνοίας)

Forethought. Providentia Augusti (the providence of the emperor) was a common title on the coins of the emperors.

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