New American Standard Bible
Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
King James Bible
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Darby Bible Translation
From the Jews five times have I received forty stripes, save one.
World English Bible
Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one.
Young's Literal Translation
from Jews five times forty stripes save one I did receive;
2 Corinthians 11:24 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Of the Jews ... - On this verse and the following verse it is of importance to make a few remarks preliminary to the explanation of the phrases:
(1) It is admitted that the particulars here referred to cannot be extracted out of the Acts of the Apostles. A few can be identified, but there are many more trials referred to here than are specified there.
(2) this proves that this Epistle was not framed from the history, but that they are written independently of one another - Paley.
(3) yet they are not inconsistent one with the other. For there is no article in the enumeration here which is contradicted by the history, and the history, though silent with respect to many of these transactions, has left space enough to suppose that they may have occurred.
(a) There is no contradiction between the accounts. Where it is said by Paul that he was thrice beaten with rods, though in the Acts but one beating is mentioned, yet there is no contradiction. It is only the omission to record all that occurred to Paul. But had the history, says Paley, contained an account of four beatings with rods, while Paul mentions here but three, there would have been a contradiction. And so of the other particulars.
(b) Though the Acts of the Apostles be silent concerning many of the instances referred to, yet that silence may be accounted for on the plan and design of the history. The date of the Epistle synchronizes with the beginning of Acts 20. The part, therefore, which precedes the twentieth chapter is the only place in which can be found any notice of the transactions to which Paul here refers. And it is evident from the Acts that the author of that history was not with Paul until his departure from Troas, as related in 1 Corinthians 16:10; see the note on that place. From that time Luke attended Paul in his travels. From that period to the time when this Epistle was written occupies but four chapters of the history, and it is here if anywhere that we are to look for the minute account of the life of Paul. But here much may have occurred to Paul before Luke joined him. And as it was the design of Luke to give an account of Paul mainly after he had joined him, it is not to be wondered at that many things may have been omitted of his previous life.
(c) The period of time after the conversion of Paul to the time when Luke joined him at Troas is very succinctly given. That period embraced 16 years, and is comprised in a few chapters. Yet in that time Paul was constantly traveling. He went to Arabia, returned to Damascus, went to Jerusalem, and then to Tarsus, and from Tarsus to Antioch, and thence to Cyprus, and then through Asia Minor, etc. In this time he must have made many voyages, and been exposed to many perils. Yet all this is comprised in a few chapters, and a considerable portion of them is occupied with an account of public discourses. In that period of sixteen years, therefore, there was ample opportunity for all the occurrences which are here referred to by Paul; see Paley's Horse Paulinae on 2 Corinthians, No. 9:
(d) I may add, that from the account which follows the time when Luke joined him at Troas (from Acts 16:10), it is altogether probable that he had endured much before. After that time there is mention of just such transactions of scourging, stoning, etc., as are here specified, and it is altogether probable that he had been called to suffer them before. When Paul says "of the Jews," etc., he refers to this because this was a Jewish mode of punishment. It was usual with them to inflict but 39 blows. The Gentiles were not limited by law in the number which they inflicted.
Five times - This was doubtless in their synagogues and before their courts of justice. They had not the power of capital punishment, but they had the power of inflicting minor punishments. And though the instances are not specified by Luke in the Acts , yet the statement here by Paul has every degree of probability. We know that he often preached in their synagogues Acts 9:20; Acts 13:5, Acts 13:14-15; Acts 14:1; Acts 17:17; Acts 18:4; and nothing is more probable than that they would be enraged against him, and would vent their malice in every way possible. They regarded him as an apostate, and a ringleader of the Nazarenes, and they would not fail to inflict on him the severest punishment which they were permitted to inflict.
Forty stripes save one - The word "stripes" does not occur in the original, but is necessarily understood. The Law of Moses Deuteronomy 25:3 expressly limited the number of stripes that might be inflicted to 40. In no case might this number be exceeded. This was a humane provision, and one that was not found among the pagan, who inflicted any number of blows at discretion. Unhappily it is not observed among professedly Christian nations where the practice of whipping prevails, and particularly in slave countries, where the master inflicts any number of blows at his pleasure. In practice among the Hebrews, the number of blows inflicted was in fact limited to 39, lest by any accident in counting, the criminal should receive more than the number prescribed in the Law. There was another reason still for limiting it to 39. They usually made use of a scourge with three thongs, and this was struck 13 times. That it was usual to inflict but 39 lashes is apparent from Josephus, Ant. 4. viii, section 21.
LibraryLetter ii (A. D. 1126) to the Monk Adam
To the Monk Adam  1. If you remain yet in that spirit of charity which I either knew or believed to be with you formerly, you would certainly feel the condemnation with which charity must regard the scandal which you have given to the weak. For charity would not offend charity, nor scorn when it feels itself offended. For it cannot deny itself, nor be divided against itself. Its function is rather to draw together things divided; and it is far from dividing those that are joined. Now, if that …
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux
Of this Weakness of His, He Saith in Another Place...
That the Ruler Should be a Near Neighbour to Every one in Compassion, and Exalted Above all in Contemplation.
Laboring under Difficulties
"He may beat him forty times but no more, so that he does not beat him with many more stripes than these and your brother is not degraded in your eyes.
"And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes,
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