Acts 19:33

And they brought Alexander out of the crowd (ek de tou oclou sunebibasan Alexandron). The correct text (Aleph A B) has this verb sunebibasan (from sunbibazw, to put together) instead of proebibasan (from probibazw, to put forward). It is a graphic word, causal of bainw, to go, and occurs in Acts 16:10 ; Colossians 2:19 ; Ephesians 4:16 . Evidently some of the Jews grew afraid that the mob would turn on the Jews as well as on the Christians. Paul was a Jew and so was Aristarchus, one of the prisoners. The Jews were as strongly opposed to idolatry as were the Christians. The Jews putting him forward (probalontwn auton twn Ioudaiwn). Genitive absolute of the second aorist active participle of proballw, old verb to push forward as leaves in the spring ( Luke 21:30 ). In the N.T. only in these two passages. Alexandria had already disgraceful scenes of Jew-baiting and there was real peril now in Ephesus with this wild mob. So Alexander was pushed forward as the champion to defend the Jews to the excited mob. He may be the same Alexander the coppersmith who did Paul much evil ( 2 Timothy 4:14 ), against whom Paul will warn Timothy then in Ephesus. "The Jews were likely to deal in the copper and silver required for the shrines, so he may have had some trade connexion with the craftsmen which would give him influence" (Furneaux). Beckoned with the hand (kataseisa thn ceira). Old verb kataseiw, to shake down, here the hand, rapidly waving the hand up and down to get a hearing. In the N.T. elsewhere only in Acts 12:17 ; Acts 13:16 ; Acts 21:40 where "with the hand" (th ceiri, instrumental case) is used instead of thn ceira (the accusative). Would have made a defence unto the people (hqelen apologeisqai twi dhmwi). Imperfect active, wanted to make a defence, tried to, started to, but apparently never got out a word. Apologeisqai (present middle infinitive, direct middle, to defend oneself), regular word for formal apology, but in N.T. only by Luke and Paul (twice in Gospel, six times in Acts, and in Romans 2:15 ; 2 Corinthians 12:19 ).