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Verse 18

And Paul - tarried there yet a good while - The persecuting Jews plainly saw, from the manner in which the proconsul had conducted this business, that they could have no hope of raising a state persecution against the apostles; and the laws provided so amply for the personal safety of every Roman citizen that then were afraid to proceed any farther in their violence. It would not be unknown that Paul was possessed of the right of Roman citizenship; and therefore his person was sacred as long as he did nothing contrary to the laws.

It is probable that at this time Paul stayed, on the whole, as Corinth, about two years.

Having shorn his head in Cenchrea - But who was it that shore his head? Paul or Aquila? Some think the latter, who had bound himself by the Nazarite vow, probably before he became a Christian; and, being under that vow, his conscience would not permit him to disregard it. There is nothing in the text that absolutely obliges us to understand this action as belonging to St. Paul. It seems to have been the act of Aquila alone; and therefore both Paul and Priscilla are mentioned before Aquila; and it is natural to refer the vow to the latter. Yet there are certainly some weighty reasons why the vow should be referred to St. Paul, and not to Aquila; and interpreters are greatly divided on the subject. Chrysostom, Isidore of Seville, Grotius, Hammond, Zegerus, Erasmus, Baronius, Pearce, Wesley, and others, refer the vow to Aquila. - Jerome, Augustin, Bede, Calmet, Dodd, Rosenmuller, and others, refer it to St. Paul. Each party has its strong reasons - the matter is doubtful - the bare letter of the text determines nothing: yet I cannot help leaning to the latter opinion. Perhaps it was from feeling the difficulty of deciding which was under the vow that the Ethiopic and two Latin versions, instead of κειραμενος , having shaved, in the singular, appear to have read κειραμενοι , they shaved; and thus put both Paul and Aquila under the vow.

Cenchrea. This was a port on the east side of the isthmus of Corinth, opposite to the Lecheum, which was the other port on the west. And it is likely that it was at Cenchrea that St. Paul took shipping for Syria, as it would be more convenient her him, and a shorter passage to embark at Cenchrea, in order to go by the Aegean Sea to Syria, than to embark at the Lecheum, and sail down into the Mediterranean. This isthmus is generally described now as dividing the Gulf of Lepanto, on the west, from the Gulf of Engia, or Eginaon, on the east.

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