Acts 21:40

When he had given him leave (epitrepsanto autou). Genitive absolute of aorist active participle of the same verb epitrepw. Standing on the stairs (estw epi twn anabaqmwn). Second perfect active participle of isthmi, to place, but intransitive to stand. Dramatic scene. Paul had faced many audiences and crowds, but never one quite like this. Most men would have feared to speak, but not so Paul. He will speak about himself only as it gives him a chance to put Christ before this angry Jewish mob who look on Paul as a renegade Jew, a turncoat, a deserter, who went back on Gamaliel and all the traditions of his people, who not only turned from Judaism to Christianity, but who went after Gentiles and treated Gentiles as if they were on a par with Jews. Paul knows only too well what this mob thinks of him. Beckoned with the hand (kateseise th ceiri). He shook down to the multitude with the hand (instrumental case ceiri), while Alexander, Luke says ( Acts 19:33 ), "shook down the hand" (accusative with the same verb, which see). In Acts 26:1 Paul reached out the hand (ekteina thn ceira). When there was made a great silence (pollh sigh genomenh). Genitive absolute again with second aorist middle participle of ginomai, "much silence having come." Paul waited till silence had come. In the Hebrew language (th Ebraidi dialektwi). The Aramaean which the people in Jerusalem knew better than the Greek. Paul could use either tongue at will. His enemies had said in Corinth that "his bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible" ( 2 Corinthians 10:10 ). But surely even they would have to admit that Paul's stature and words reach heroic proportions on this occasion. Self-possessed with majestic poise Paul faces the outraged mob beneath the stairs.