But the Jews which believed not
The Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions leave out the words, "which believed not"; but whether this character is expressed or not, it is certain that the unbelieving Jews are here intended:
moved with envy;
at the success of the apostles, many of their own people and of their proselytes, and some of the better sort being converted by them: or "with zeal"; for what they called the glory of God, but it was not according to knowledge; it was a blind and ignorant zeal, a zeal for the rites and ceremonies of the law of Moses, and for the traditions of the elders:
took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort;
or of the market folks, who sat and sold things in the market, and were generally of the meaner and vulgar sort, as the word may signify; or who stood idle in the market place, squandering away their time in an idle manner, not caring to work, and so were fit persons, and who could easily be gathered together, for such service as the unbelieving Jews employed them in; or they were a sort of officers and servants, that attended courts of judicature, and cited persons thither, and assisted in the business done there, and who were commonly men of profligate and abandoned lives:
and gathered a company, and set all the city in an uproar;
they raised a mob, and made a clamour, which brought people out of their houses to inquire what was the matter, and so gave great disturbance and uneasiness to the inhabitants:
and assaulted the house of Jason:
who by what follows appears to have been a disciple of Christ, a believer in him, and the host of the apostle and his companions, who being an inhabitant of Thessalonica, at least having a dwelling house there, received them into it. This Jason is said to be one of the seventy disciples, and afterwards bishop of Tarsus, but this is not certain; nor whether he was a Jew or a Greek, very probably the former: we read of Jason the brother of Onias the high priest, a Jew,
``But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, called Epiphanes, took the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias laboured underhand to be high priest,'' (2 Maccabees 4:7)
whose name was Jesus, the same with Joshua, but as Josephus F9 says, he called himself Jason; and so this man's Hebrew name might be Jesus or Joshua, and his Greek name Jason; and very likely he was a believer in Christ before the apostle came to Thessalonica, and it may be is the same who is spoken of in ( Romans 16:21 ) . (See Gill on Romans 16:21). Some of the ancients F11 make mention of a disputation between Jason, a Christian Hebrew, and Papiscus, an Alexandrian Jew, but there is no reason to believe that he is the Jason here spoken of:
and sought to bring them out to the people;
they expected to have found Paul and Silas in Jason's house, where they lodged, and their intention was to have dragged them out and exposed them to popular fury, to be beaten or stoned by the people; and so the Arabic version reads, "requiring those two apostles, that they might set them before the people"; or put them into the hands of the mob, which they had gathered, to do as they would with them.
F9 Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5. sect. 1.
F11 Origen. contr. celsum, 1. 4. p. 199. Cyprian. opera, p. 562. & Hieron. Quaest. in Gen. fol. 65. E. Tom. III.