Acts 13:16

Paul stood up (anasta Paulo). The Jewish custom was to sit while speaking ( Luke 4:20 ), but the Greek and Roman was to stand ( Acts 17:22 ). It is possible as Lewin (Life of St. Paul, Vol. 1, p. 141) suggests that here Paul stepped upon the platform and then took his seat as he began to speak or he may have followed the Greek and Roman custom. Paul is the leader now and the more gifted speaker ( Acts 14:12 ), so that he responds to the courteous invitation of the rulers. Beckoning (kataseisa). First aorist active participle of kataseiw, old verb to shake down, a dramatic gesture for quiet and order like Peter in Acts 12:17 and Paul on the steps of the tower of Antonia ( Acts 21:40 ). And ye that fear God (kai oi poboumenoi ton qeon). Evidently large numbers of these Gentiles like Cornelius in Caesarea were present. They offered Paul a great opportunity for reaching the purely pagan Gentiles. This (verses Acts 16-41 ) is the first full report of a sermon of Paul's that Luke has preserved for us. He is now a practised preacher of the gospel that he began proclaiming at Damascus, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah of promise and the Saviour of the whole world both Jew and Gentile if they will only believe on him and be saved. It is possible that Paul here based his sermon on the passages of the law and the prophets that had just been read. He uses two words from the LXX, one in verse Acts 19 from Deuteronomy 1:31 etropoporhsen (as a nursing-father bare he them), the reading of many old MSS. and the one preferred by the American Committee, the other in verse Deuteronomy 17 from Isaiah 1:2 upswsen (exalted). At any rate it is clear that Paul spoke in Greek so that all could understand his sermon. He may have written out notes of this sermon afterwards for Luke. The keynotes of Paul's theology as found in his Epistles appear in this sermon. It is interesting to observe the steady growth of Paul's Christology as he faced the great problems of his day. Here we see Paul's gospel for the Jews and the God-fearers (Gentiles friendly to the Jews).