Acts 22:25

Acts 22:25

And as they bound him with thongs
To a pillar, in order to be scourged, according to the Roman manner F4. Nor was the Jewish form of scourging much unlike, and perhaps might be now used, which was this; when they scourge anyone they bind both his hands to a pillar, here and there --and they do not strike him standing nor sitting, but inclining F5; for the pillar to which he was bound was fixed in the ground, and so high as for a man to lean upon F6; and some say it was two cubits, and others a cubit and a half high {g}: and the word here used signifies an extension, or distension; perhaps the stretching out of the arms to the pillar, and a bending forward of the whole body, which fitly expresses the stooping inclining posture of the person scourged, and was a very proper one for such a punishment: now as they were thus fastening him with thongs to the pillar, and putting him in this position,

Paul said unto the centurion that stood by;
to see the soldiers execute the orders received from the chief captain:

is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and
Though the apostle puts this by way of question, yet he knew full well what the Roman laws were in such cases; he did not put this through ignorance, or for information, but to let them know who he was, and to put them in mind of these laws, and of their duty; for, according to the Porcian law, Roman citizens were not to be beaten F8. Hence, says F9 Cicero,

``it is a heinous sin to bind a Roman citizen, it is wickedness to beat him, it is next to parricide to kill him, and what shall I say to crucify him?''

And, according to the Valerian law, it was not lawful for magistrates to condemn a Roman without hearing the cause, and pleading in it; and such condemned persons might appeal to the populace F11.


F4 Lipsius de Cruce, l. 2. c. 4.
F5 Misna Maccot, c. 3. sect. 12, 13.
F6 Bartenora in ib.
F7 Yom Tob in ib.
F8 Cicero pro Rabirio Orat. 18.
F9 In Verrem Orat. 10.
F11 Pompon. Laetus de Legibus, p. 157.
California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice