Select Page
Read Introduction to Acts

 

37 Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, “May I speak to you?” He replied, “Can you speak Greek? 38 Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?” 39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people.” 40 So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying, 

 

Having arrested Paul, the Roman commander allowed Paul to address the Jewish mob speaking in Aramaic. His defense runs from Acts 21:37-23:10.  

21:37 

Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, “May I speak to you?” He replied, “Can you speak Greek? 

Paul asked the Roman commander whether he could speak to him. The commander asked him if he could speak Greek. Paul then spoke to him in Greek, indicating he was educated and a man of culture.  

21:38 

Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?” 

The commander asked Paul whether he was the Egyptian who had led 4,000 assassins against Rome. This renegade claimed to be a prophet who announced from the Mount of Olives that he could defeat the Romans and that the wall of Jerusalem would collapse at his command. The Roman government defeated his troops, but he escaped from their capture. The Commander Claudius Lysias assumed Paul was this person.  

21:39 

But Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people.” 

Paul responded to the Roman commander that he was a Jew from the important city of Tarsus in Cilicia. Tarsus was known for its learning and culture. It was a city highly favored by the Roman government and was one of the three learning centers of the Roman Empire.  

The apostle again asked the Roman commander whether he could speak to the Jews.  

21:40 

So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying, 

The commander permitted Paul to speak to the crowd standing on the stairs of the Fortress of Antonio. The apostle asked for silence and then began to speak in Aramaic, the common language of Palestine. A great silence came over the crowd.  

PRINCIPLE: 

In God’s economy, Christians change their adverse situation to a positive.  

APPLICATION: 

Paul accepted God’s sovereign action of allowing adversity into his life and turned it into an opportunity to share Christ (Acts 20:24; 1 Peter 2:19). 

Share