When there arose a great dissension (pollēs tēs ginomenēs staseōs). Present middle participle (genitive absolute). Literally, “dissension becoming much.”
Lest Paul should be torn in pieces by them (mē diaspasthēi ho Paulos). First aorist passive subjunctive of diaspaō, to draw in two, to tear in pieces, old verb, in the N.T. only here and Mar 5:4 of tearing chains in two. The subjunctive with mē is the common construction after a verb of fearing (Robertson, Grammar, p. 995).
The soldiers (to strateuma). The army, the band of soldiers and so in Act 23:27.
To go down (kataban). Second aorist active participle of katabainō, having gone down.
Take him by force (harpasai). To seize. The soldiers were to seize and save Paul from the midst of (ek mesou) the rabbis or preachers (in their rage to get at each other). Paul was more of a puzzle to Lysias now than ever.