Acts 28:16

16 And when we came into Rome, 1Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier that guarded him.

Acts 28:16 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 28:16

And when we came to Rome
To the city itself:

the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard;
or general of the army; or, as some think, the governor of the "praetorian" band of soldiers, who attended the emperor as his guards: his name is thought to have been Burrhus Afranius; to him Julius the centurion delivered all the prisoners he brought from Caesarea, excepting Paul, to be disposed of by him, in the several prisons, or jails, to whom it belonged to take care of such persons: this clause is wanting in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions:

but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept
this was owing, either to the letter which Festus sent to Rome concerning him, and his case; by which it appeared, that he was no malefactor, and therefore to be used in a different manner from the rest of the prisoners; or rather to the intercession of the centurion, who had all along used him in a very civil and courteous manner; who requesting this favour had it granted, that Paul should not be put into the common prison with the rest, but should dwell in an apartment by himself; or, as the Ethiopic version renders it, "at his own will"; where he himself pleased, for he dwelt in his own hired house, ( Acts 28:30 ) ; only he was under the care and custody of a soldier, who constantly attended him wherever he went; and which could not be otherwise, seeing he was chained, as in ( Acts 28:20 ) and his chain was put on his right hand, and fastened to the left hand of the soldier, that had him under his keeping; so that wherever he was or went, the soldier must be likewise: hence that passage in Seneca F24,

``as the same chain joins together the prisoner and the soldier, so those things which are unlike go together; fear follows hope.''


F24 Epist. 5.

Acts 28:16 In-Context

14 There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome.
15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.
16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier that guarded him.
17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, "Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
18 When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case.

Cross References 1

  • 1. [Acts 24:23; Acts 27:3]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.