v1: “After these things… ” after what? After Paul had spoken at the Areopagus. Although Paul’s goal had been to wait in Athens for Silas and Timothy (17:15-16) he left after his meeting at the Areopagus without waiting for them to arrive. Why? 🤔 Many times in Acts when people responded to the gospel Paul would remain in that place to disciple them. Just to leave is very unusual here.
v2: Claudius was the Emperor of Rome.
- The same word that describes the way Paul left Athens (separated from it) is the same word used to describe how Aquila and Priscilla left Rome (they were also separated – forcefully- from it)
v3: They did not make tents that people live in. This word is an idiom (a colloquial term) for the prayer shawl – in the synagogue, everyday, men wrap this shawl – like a tent-around themselves when they pray. It relates to worship and intimacy with G-d. It was a reminder of the commandments (Numbers 15:37-41) and an encouragement to people to obey G-d’s Word.
v4: Paul reasoned with them – looked at issues from all angles, without avoiding anything.
v5: When Silas and Timothy came to Corinth they added to Paul in the sense that Paul was then able to devote himself to preaching.
- Paul not only shared with them that Yeshua was the Messiah but also defined how He met the qualifications to be Messiah/Christ.
v6: Paul’s approach to sharing the gospel here in Corinth was different to the method used in Athens – testifying thoroughly about Yeshua. The opposition was a lot greater with this approach to the gospel.
- Shook out his garments – see Neh 5:13 and Mk 6:11
- Although the intent of Paul was to go exclusively from then on to the Gentiles we are going to see that that was NOT the will of G-d.
v7: Justus was a Gentile who believed in the G-d of Israel but he had not gone through a full conversion (been circumcised and become Jewish)
v8: Ironically Paul is trying to get away from the synagogue, he stays with someone next door to the synagogue who probably knew Crispus (the leader of that synagogue). They were seemingly introduced to each other and Crispus and his household were made whole before G-d. The Jews got saved and the Gentiles were impacted!
v9: This verse foreshadows a greater opposition to come.
v10: This does not mean that Paul is not going to suffer in this city – but any suffering he was to endure would have a G-dly outcome to it.
- “Many people in this city” could mean there were many believers in Corinth, or it could mean that there was going to be a great harvest of people who were going to come to the L-rd in Corinth.
v11: The Bible in Judaism is read in a yearly cycle – in one and a half years Paul would have instructed the people through the entire Bible (OT) – at the forefront of which is the law and the prophets.
v12: Whenever the Word of G-d is proclaimed opposition follows it.
v13: There was, and is, an unscriptural belief in Judaism that the Torah (Law) is not for the Gentiles but is reserved exclusively for Jewish people. The Jews received the Word of G-d first(Rom 3:1-2) but G-d did this so that they could be a light to the Gentiles (Is 49:6) These Jewish leaders could have been upset that Paul was teaching the Gentiles about the law and how they could walk in obedience to G-d.
v14: Paul wanted to respond to this accusation but he was not given the chance to.
v15: Gallio did not want to get involved in religious issues.
v17: Gallio was not about justice or doing the right thing. He allowed the Jewish leader to be beaten without helping him. This shows us how far removed the Roman Empire was from the Word of G-d. Paul’s mandate was to share the good news of the Kingdom so that kingdom character could be brought into a person’s life, home, community and to see the world ultimately changed – such a contrast from the worlds empires. Rome folded, but Christianity is still alive today