And as they spake unto the people
For though only mention is made of Peter's preaching in the preceding chapter, yet doubtless John preached as well as he; either in turn, or to a part of the people at some distance: and this shows their diligence, faithfulness, and integrity, in the ministration of the word; and it is recorded to their honour, that whilst they were about their master's business, and discharging the duty of their office,
the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came
by agreement, with great violence, and at unawares: the "priests" might be those who kept the watch in the temple; for
``in three places the priests kept watch, in the house of the sanctuary; in the house of Abtines, in the house of Nitsots, and in the house of Moked, and the Levites in one and twenty places F16.''And it now being eventide, they might be about to take their stands; "and the captain of the temple" might be he, whom they call, (tyb rh vya) , "the man of the mountain of the house"; who was (rv) , a ruler, or governor, and (hnwmm) , a president over all the wards F17; he is sometimes called (rmvm var) , "the head of the ward" F18; and of him it is said F19,
``the man of the mountain of the house goes his round through every ward, with burning torches before him; and every ward that does not stand (is not on his feet), the man of the mountain of the house, says to him, peace be to thee; and if he observes that he is asleep, he strikes him with his staff, and he has power to burn his garments.''The Vulgate Latin and the Oriental versions read in the plural number, as in (See Gill on Luke 22:4), (See Gill on Luke 22:52). The Sadducees were a sect among the Jews, that denied the resurrection of the dead; of their rise, name, and tenets, (See Gill on Matthew 3:7).
F16 Misn. Middot, c. 1. sect. 1.
F17 Bartenora & Yom Tob in ib. sect. 2.
F18 Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 6. fol. 186. 3.
F19 Misn. Middot, c. 1. sect. 2.