Robertson Word Pictures - Acts 21:39 - 21:39

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Robertson Word Pictures - Acts 21:39 - 21:39


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

I am (Egō men eimi). In contrast with the wild guess of Lysias Paul uses men and de. He tells briefly who he is:

a Jew (Ioudaios) by race,

of Tarsus in Cilicia (Tarseus tēs Kilikias) by country, belonging to Tarsus (this adjective Tarseus only here and Act 9:11), and proud of it, one of the great cities of the empire with a great university.

A citizen of no mean city (ouk asēmou poleōs politēs). Litotes again, “no mean” (asēmos, old adjective, unmarked, a privative and sēma, mark, insignificant, here only in the N.T.). This same litotes used by Euripides of Athens (Ion 8). But Paul calls himself a citizen (politēs) of Tarsus. Note the “effective assonance” (Page) in poleōs politēs. Paul now (de) makes his request (deomai) of Lysias.

Give me leave (epitrepson moi). First aorist active imperative of epitrepō, old and common verb to turn to, to permit, to allow. It was a strange request and a daring one, to wish to speak to this mob howling for Paul’s blood.