Acts 23:12

Banded together (poihsante sustrophn). See on Mark 19:40 (riot), but here conspiracy, secret combination, binding together like twisted cords. Bound themselves under a curse (aneqematisan eautou). First aorist active indicative of anaqematizw, a late word, said by Cremer and Thayer to be wholly Biblical or ecclesiastical. But Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, p. 95) quotes several examples of the verb in an Attic cursing tablet from Megara of the first or second century A.D. This proof shows that the word, as well as anaqema (substantive) from which the verb is derived, was employed by pagans as well as by Jews. Deissmann suggests that Greek Jews like the seven sons of Sceva may have been the first to coin it. It occurs in the LXX as well as Mark 14:71 (which see and Luke 21:5 ); Acts 23:12 Acts 23:14 Acts 23:21 . They placed themselves under an anathema or curse, devoted themselves to God (cf. Leviticus 27:28 ; 1 Corinthians 16:22 ). Drink (pein=piein). Second aorist active infinitive of pinw. For this shortened form see Robertson, Grammar, p. 343. Till they had killed (ew ou apokteinwsin). First aorist active subjunctive of apokteinw, common verb. No reason to translate "had killed," simply "till they should kill," the aorist merely punctiliar action, the subjunctive retained instead of the optative for vividness as usual in the Koin (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 974-6). Same construction in verse 1 Corinthians 14 . King Saul took an "anathema" that imperilled Jonathan ( 1 Samuel 14:24 ). Perhaps the forty felt that the rabbis could find some way to absolve the curse if they failed. See this verse repeated in verse 1 Samuel 21 .