Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 3. Critics are divided in their opinions about the nature of St. Paul’s employment: but it is generally supposed to be making tents of skins, such as were formerly used by travellers and soldiers. (Tirinus) — Hence the expression, esse sub pellibus. The apostle submitted to this labour, that he might be no burden to those to whom he preached the gospel. (St. Augustine, tract. in Joan.) — The Jews, with their characteristic good sense, in matters of this kind, made it the first duty of parents, to teach their children some trade, by which they might gain their livelihood. To neglect this was supposed to be equivalent to teaching them to steal. Hence their learned men were likewise practitioners in some laborious trade. They were ignorant of the distinction between low, and honourable professions, which refinement and vanity have introduced among us. Every employment was honourable, which was conducive to the good of their neighbour, and compatible with virtue and modesty; and the more so, in proportion as the wants of mankind made it more necessary. See Fleury’s Manners of the Israelites. (Passim.)
Ver. 4. Introducing the name of the Lord Jesus. These words are found in few Greek copies, and so are omitted in the Protestant translation. (Witham)
Ver. 5. No further mention is made of Silas in these Acts. Some martyrologists think he died in Macedonia by martyrdom. He is honoured in the Church as a saint, and sometimes, as well as St. Barnabas, obtains the title of apostle. (Calmet) See annotations, chap. xvi. ver. 37.
Ver. 6. Shaking his garments. See Matthew x. 14. Your blood be upon your own heads: that is, you are guilty of your own perdition: we have discharged our duty by preaching to you. (Witham)
Ver. 12. This Gallio was brother to the great Seneca, Nero’s preceptor, as that author himself assures us. (Præf. lib. v. Quæs. Natur.) He was called Annæus Novatus, but took the name of Gallio by adoption, and was made proconsul by his brother’s interest, whose honours and disgraces he equally participated. Being condemned to death by Nero, he laid violent hands upon himself. It is probable St. Paul became acquainted with Seneca. St. Jerome and St. Augustine say, many letters passed between them, which are not now extant. (Tirinus) See also Eusebius. An. Christi 66. [The year A.D. 66.]
Ver 17. Beat him. It is uncertain whether the Jews themselves beat Sosthenes, being vexed at him, for not managing well the cause; or whether he was struck by the attendants of the proconsul, to force him away, when he would not desist, nor retire. See the Analysis, dissert. xxxv. (Witham)
Ver. 18. Shorn, &c. It was customary among the Jews to make vows of abstaining from all inebriating liquor, not to cut their hair for a limited time, &c. This was the vow of the Nazarites, mentioned in Numbers vi. 18; Acts xxii. 24.[xxi. 24.?] St. Paul had probably taken upon himself some obligation of this kind; perhaps in condescension to the Jews, who were yet weak in faith. The time being now expired, he cut his hair as before. It was lawful for converts to observe these legal ceremonies, till the gospel was perfectly established, provided they did not place their hopes of salvation in them, or believe that the faith and grace of Christ were ineffectual without them. (Denis the Carthusian) — For he had a vow, that is, Paul, not Aquila. This seems to have been such a vow, as those called Nazarenes, used to make, of abstaining from wine for a time, of not cutting their hair, and of making some offerings in the temple at Jerusalem. (Witham)
Ver. 22. He went up. To Jerusalem is most probably understood, that being the chief object of St. Paul’s journey. It seems rather extraordinary that St. Luke should have omitted the express mention of the city. But having told us his object was to be at Jerusalem, he perhaps thought it was enough to say, he went up. (Calmet) — In Palestine, the expression, to go up, was sometimes taken for going up to Jerusalem. (John vii. 8. 10; John xii. 20; Acts xxiv. 11) And reciprocally in Acts chap. xxiv. 1. to go down, is taken for going down from Jerusalem to Cæsarea. (Bible de Vence) — He went up. In the Scripture, when Antioch and Cæsarea are simply mentioned, Antioch, in Syria, and Cæsarea, in Palestine, are uniformly designated. — To Cæsarea, not in Cappadocia, but in Palestine, from whence he went up to Jerusalem, and then down to Antioch, in Syria. (Witham)
Ver. 24. Apollo…one mighty in the Scriptures. Literally, powerful in the Scriptures, yet knew no baptism, but that of John. (Witham) — When we consider the great harvest, and few labourers, and the small time that the apostles could give to any one place for instructions, we shall not be so much surprised, that this zealous convert should not yet be perfectly instructed in every doctrine of Christianity. This happened about twenty years after our Lord’s ascension. He is the same person as is mentioned 1 Corinthians iii. 7.[4.?] (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Paul founds the church of Corinth: and preaches at Ephesus, &c. Apollo goes to Corinth.
1 After *these things, departing from Athens, he came to Corinth.
2 And finding a certain Jew, named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had lately come from Italy, with Priscilla, his wife, (because Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome) he came to them.
3 And because he was of the same trade, he remained with them, and wrought: (now they were tentmakers by trade.)
4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, introducing the name of the Lord Jesus, and he persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
5 And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was earnest in preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.
6 But they contradicting and blaspheming, shaking his garments, he said to them: Your blood be upon your own heads: I am clean: from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles.
7 And departing thence, he entered into the house of a certain man, named Titus Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined to the synagogue.
8 And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house: and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized.
9 And the Lord said to Paul in the night, by a vision; Fear not, but speak; and hold not thy peace:
10 Because I am with thee: and no man shall set upon thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
11 And he stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul, and brought him to the judgment-seat,
13 Saying: That this man persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
14 And when Paul was beginning to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews: If it were some matter of injustice, or a heinous deed, ye Jews, I should with reason bear with you.
15 But if they be questions of a word, and of names, and of your law, look you to it: I will not be judge of such matters.
16 And he drove them from the judgment-seat.
17 And all laying hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, beat him before the judgment-seat: and Gallio cared for none of those things.
18 But Paul, when he had stayed yet many days, taking leave of the brethren, he sailed from thence into *Syria, (and with him Priscilla and Aquila,) **having shorn his head in Cenchra: for he had a vow.
19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there. But he himself entering into the synagogue, reasoned with the Jews.
20 And when they intreated him to make a longer stay, he consented not,
21 But taking his leave, and saying: I will return to you again, God willing, he departed from Ephesus.
22 And going down to Cæsarea, he went up, and saluted the church, and so came down to Antioch.
23 And after he had spent some time there, he departed, passing in order through the country of Galatia and Phrygia, confirming all the disciples.
24 Now, a certain Jew, named Apollo, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus, one mighty in the Scriptures.
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord: and being fervent in spirit, spoke, and taught diligently the things that are of Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John.
26 This man, therefore, began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Whom when Priscilla and Aquila had heard, they took him to them, and expounded more perfectly to him the way of the Lord.
27 And whereas he was desirous to go to Achaia, the brethren exhorting, wrote to the disciples to receive him. Who, when he was come, helped them much, who had believed.
28 For he with might convinced the Jews in public, shewing, by the Scriptures, Jesus to be the Christ.
1: about the year A.D. 52.
18: about the year A.D. 54. — ** Numbers vi. 18.; Acts xxi. 24.