Acts 23:10

When there arose a great dissension (pollh th ginomenh stasew). Present middle participle (genitive absolute). Literally, "dissension becoming much." Lest Paul should be torn in pieces by them (mh diaspasqh o Paulo). First aorist passive subjunctive of diaspaw, to draw in two, to tear in pieces, old verb, in the N.T. only here and Mark 5:4 of tearing chains in two. The subjunctive with mh is the common construction after a verb of fearing (Robertson, Grammar, p. 995). The soldiers (to strateuma). The army, the band of soldiers and so in verse Mark 27 . To go down (kataban). Second aorist active participle of katabainw, having gone down. Take him by force (arpasai). To seize. The soldiers were to seize and save Paul from the midst of (ek mesou) the rabbis or preachers (in their rage to get at each other). Paul was more of a puzzle to Lysias now than ever.