TEMPLES, ROBBERS OF
(hierosuloi; the King James Version "robbers of churches," Acts 19:37):
To explain this as "sacrilegious persons" is irreconcilable with the contrast in Romans 2:22. In Deuteronomy 7:25, the Jews were commanded entirely to destroy the gold and silver idols, ornaments of the heathen temples. The sin reproved is that of making that a matter of gain which, without regard to its value, they should have destroyed. "Dost thou, who regardest the mere touch of an idol as a horrible defilement, presume to rob their temples?" There is abundant evidence to show that this crime was not unusual. When the town-clerk of Ephesus declares the companions of Paul innocent of such charge, his words imply that the fact that they were Jews rendered them liable to such suspicion. So Josephus goes out of his way (Ant., IV, viii, 10) to deny that Jews ever committed the crime.
H. E. Jacobs
These files are public domain.