Acts 21:34

Acts 21:34

And some cried one thing, and some another, among the
For though they agreed to beat him, and even to kill him, yet some of them knew not for what; being led by a blind zeal for Moses, the law and temple, or rather by fury and madness:

and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult;
could not come at the truth of the matter, or any certain knowledge of it, not anything that could be depended upon, because of the noise of the people, and the different notes they were in:

he commanded him to be carried into the castle;
of Antonio, formerly called Baris, of which Josephus F5 gives this account;

``on the north side (of the wall) was built a four square tower, well fortified and strong; this the kings and priests of the Asmonaean race, who were before Herod, built, and called it Baris; that there the priestly robe might be laid up by them, which the high priest only wore, when he was concerned in divine service:''

this tower King Herod made more strong, for the security and preservation of the temple; and called it Antonia, for the sake of Antony his friend, and the general of the Romans: the description of it, as given by Dr. Lightfoot F6, which is collected by him out of Josephus and other writers, is this;

``upon the north side, and joining up to the western angle (but on the outside of the wall), stood the tower of Antonia, once the place where the high priests used to lay up their holy garments; but in after times a garrison of Roman soldiers, for the a wing of the temple: when it served for the former use, it was called Baris (it may be from (rb) , "ad extra", because it was an outer building), but when for the latter, it bare the name of Antonia; Herod the great having sumptuously repaired and called it after the name of the Roman prince Antony: it stood upon the north west point of Moriah, and was a very strong and a very large pile; so spacious a building with all its appurtenances, that it took up to two furlongs' compass; the rock it stood upon was fifty cubits high, and steep, and the building itself was forty cubits above it; it was four square, encompassed with a wall of three cubits high, which enclosed its courts, and had a turret at every corner, like the white tower at London; but that it was more spacious, and that the turrets were not all of an height; for those at the north east and north west corners were fifty cubits high, but those on the south east and south west were seventy cubits high, that they might fully overlook the temple: it had cloisters or walks about it, and baths and lodgings, and large rooms in it; so that it was at once like a castle, and like a palace. There was a passage out of it, into the north and west cloisters of the mountain of the house, and by that the Roman garrison soldiers went down at every festival of the Jews, to take care against tumults and seditions, in those great concourses of the people.''

And it was by this passage that the chief captain, with the centurions and soldiers, came down so quickly and suddenly upon the Jews, while they were beating Paul in the temple; and this castle being on such an eminence as described, hence he with the soldiers is said to run down, ( Acts 21:32 ) And it was in this way that the apostle was led up to the castle.


F5 Antiqu. l. 15. c. 11. sect. 4. Vid. ib. l. 18. c. 5. sect. 3. & de Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 3. sect. 3. c. 5. sect. 4. & c. 21. sect. 1.
F6 The Temple described, c. 7. p. 1060.