And they drew Alexander out of the multitude
Or "some of the multitude brought forth Alexander"; into the theatre, in order to kill him, by casting him to the wild beasts. Some think this is the same with Alexander the coppersmith, who apostatized upon this danger he was exposed to, and became a blasphemer, and a great enemy of the apostle, and did him much evil, ( 1 Timothy 1:20 ) ( 2 Timothy 4:14 ) . This man, though his name was a Greek name, yet was a Jew, as is expressed in ( Acts 19:34 ) and from the times of Alexander the great, who was at Jerusalem, this name became common among the Jews; (See Gill on Acts 4:6).
The Jews putting him forward;
being equally enemies to him, as being under a profession of Christianity, as the Heathens were; or as the Syriac version reads, "the people of the Jews", that were there, out of themselves, pitched upon him as a proper person to still the uproar; and they brought him out of the multitude, to a convenient place, where he might be heard; and they the rather were forward to this, that he might lay all the blame of this confusion and uproar upon Paul and his companions, whom the Jews had an aversion to, as well as the Gentiles:
and Alexander beckoned with the hand;
for silence, that he might be heard:
and would have made his defence unto the people;
which looks as if he was a Christian, or at least was charged with being one, and was in danger of his life on that account; and therefore was desirous of being heard, that he might make an apology for the Christians, or remove such an imputation from himself, if he was not.