Unto the magistrates (tois stratēgois). Greek term (stratos, agō) for leader of an army or general. But in civic life a governor. The technical name for the magistrates in a Roman colony was duumviri or duumvirs, answering to consuls in Rome. Stratēgoi here is the Greek rendering of the Latin praetores (praetors), a term which they preferred out of pride to the term duumviri. Since they represented consuls, the praetors or duumvirs were accompanied by lictors bearing rods (Act 16:35).
These men (houtoi hoi anthrōpoi). Contemptuous use.
Being Jews (Ioudaioi huparchontes). The people of Philippi, unlike those in Antioch (Act 11:26), did not recognize any distinction between Jews and Christians. These four men were Jews. This appeal to race prejudice would be especially pertinent then because of the recent decree of Claudius expelling Jews from Rome (Act 18:2). It was about a.d. 49 or 50 that Paul is in Philippi. The hatred of the Jews by the Romans is known otherwise (Cicero, Pro Flacco, XXVIII; Juvenal, XIV. 96-106).
Do exceedingly trouble (ektarassousin). Late compound (effective use of ek in composition) and only here in the N.T.