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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT



ACTS 18



CHAPTER XVIII.



Ver. 3. Critics are divided in their opinions about the nature of S. Paul's employment: but it is generally supposed to be making tents of skins, such as were formerly used by travellers and soldiers. Tirinus. — Hence the expression, esse sub pellibus. The apostle submitted to this labour, that he might be no burden to those to whom he preached the gospel. S. Aug. tract. in Joan. — The Jews, with their characteristic good sense, in matters of this kind, made it the first duty of parents, to teach their children some trade, by which they might gain their livelihood. To neglect this was supposed to be equivalent to teaching them to steal. Hence their learned men were likewise practitioners in some laborious trade. They were ignorant of the distinction between low, and honourable professions, which refinement and vanity have introduced among us. Every employment was honourable, which was conducive to the good of their neighbour, and compatible with virtue and modesty; and the more so, in proportion as the wants of mankind made it more necessary. See Fleury's Manners of the Israelites. Passim.



Ver. 4. Introducing the name of the Lord Jesus. These words are found in few Greek copies, and so are omitted in the Protestant translation. Wi.



Ver. 5. No further mention is made of Silas in these Acts. Some martyrologists think he died in Macedonia by martyrdom. He is honoured in the Church as a saint, and sometimes, as well as S. Barnabas, obtains the title of apostle. Calmet. See annotations, c. xvi. v. 37.



Ver. 6. Shaking his garments. See Matt. x. 14. Your blood be upon your own heads: that is, you are guilty of your own perdition: we have discharged our duty by preaching to you. Wi.



Ver. 12. This Gallio was brother to the great Seneca, Nero's preceptor, as that author himself assures us. Præf. lib. v. Quæs. Natur. He was called Annæus Novatus, but took the name of Gallio by adoption, and was made proconsul by his brother's interest, whose honours and disgraces he equally participated. Being condemned to death by Nero, he laid violent hands upon himself. It is probable S. Paul became acquainted with Seneca. S. Jerom and S. Augustin say, many letters passed between them, which are not now extant. Tirinus. See also Eusebius. An. Christi 66.



Ver 17. Beat him. It is uncertain whether the Jews themselves beat Sosthenes, being vexed at him, for not managing well the cause; or whether he was struck by the attendants of the proconsul, to force him away, when he would not desist, nor retire. See the Analysis, dissert. xxxv. Wi.



Ver. 18. Shorn, &c. It was customary among the Jews to make vows of abstaining from all inebriating liquor, not to cut their hair for a limited time, &c. This was the vow of the Nazarites, mentioned Num. vi. 18. Acts xxii. 24. S. Paul had probably taken upon himself some obligation of this kind; perhaps in condescension to the Jews, who were yet weak in faith. The time being now expired, he cut his hair as before. It was lawful for converts to observe these legal ceremonies, till the gospel was perfectly established, provided they did not place their hopes of salvation in them, or believe that the faith and grace of Christ were ineffectual without them. D. Carthus. — For he had a vow, that is, Paul, not Aquila. This seems to have been such a vow, as those called Nazarenes, used to make, of abstaining from wine for a time, of not cutting their hair, and of making some offerings in the temple at Jerusalem. Wi.



Ver. 22. He went up. To Jerusalem is most probably understood, that being the chief object of S. Paul's journey. It seems rather extraordinary that S. Luke should have omitted the express mention of the city. But having told us his object was to be at Jerusalem, he perhaps thought it was enough to say, he went up. Calmet. — In Palestine, the expression, to go up, was sometimes taken for going up to Jerusalem. John vii. 8. 10. xii. 20. Acts xxiv. 11. And reciprocally in c. xxiv. 1. to go down, is taken for going down from Jerusalem to Cæsarea. V. — Ibid. In the Scripture, when Antioch and Cæsarea are simply mentioned, Antioch, in Syria, and Cæsarea, in Palestine, are uniformly designated. — To Cæsarea, not in Cappadocia, but in Palestine, from whence he went up to Jerusalem, and then down to Antioch, in Syria. Wi.



Ver. 24. Apollo . . . one mighty in the Scriptures. Lit. powerful in the Scriptures, yet knew no baptism, but that of John. Wi. — When we consider the great harvest, and few labourers, and the small time that the apostles could give to any one place for instructions, we shall not be so much surprised, that this zealous convert should not yet be perfectly instructed in every doctrine of Christianity. This happened about twenty years after our Lord's ascension. He is the same person as is mentioned 1 Cor. iii. 7. A.



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