And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard…
With the masterliness of inspired history, exceeding brevity itself in the passage before us seems to reveal rather than conceal. A few powerful strokes of the pen portray and very strikingly a hero, and one at the same time as real and unusual as ever lived. Great, indeed, must have been the length and the fullness of detail given, if the method of detail had been the one chosen, in order to attain the result of leaving with us an equally correct and complete apprehension of the position of Paul now, the manner of man he was, and the scope of Divine providence. The intense interest for Paul of reaching Rome is lost, lost indeed without a moment's mention of it on the part of the history, in the intenser interest that gathered round, and which he helped to make gather round, the object of his coming there. Of the one the history says nothing, but it says all of the other. And no sooner are we told the bare fact that Paul had reached Rome, than these following facts find prominent mention. We are told -
I. THAT THE PRISONER IS NOT PUT INTO THE PRISON.
1. No one there wanted to put him in. He had found favor too certainly already.
2. There was no need to put him in. His word could be trusted, and "one soldier" was considered enough to save appearances.
3. Prisons and "jailors" and authorities had already had too much of haying him and others of the same sort in prison (Acts 5:19; Acts 12:8; Acts 16:26), in Judaea; and perhaps, for the present at all events, the Romans and even the Jews in Rome were wiser for their own interest.
II. THAT FOR THE ACCUSED THERE ARE FOUND NO ACCUSERS AT ALL.
III. THAT THE MAN WHO IS TO BE TRIED IS DRIVEN TO ENDEAVOR TO FIND ANOTHER SORT OF JURY, AND ONE OF THE MORE UNMERCIFUL KIND, FOR HIMSELF.
IV. THAT THE SAME MAN IS NOT ONLY SPEEDILY RELIEVED FROM ANY IMPUTATION OF FAULT, BUT IS COURTEOUSLY ASKED FOR HIS GOSPEL, BY THIS LARGE AND INFLUENTIAL JURY. "A great door and effectual" was now at once opened for the apostle. His Lord's promises and his own heart's deepest wishes begin to be fulfilled (Acts 23:11). With abounding zeal Paul uses his opportunity; he draws from all "the Scriptures;" he testifies "from morning till evening;" he interests his hearers, is the means of the conversion of some, and the awakener of much inquiry and "great reasonings" among others. Nor withholds the faithful and searching rebuke. It is again "the whole counsel of God" which he does not shun to declare. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.