The Meaning of Acts 22:24 Explained

Acts 22:24

KJV: The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

YLT: the chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, saying, 'By scourges let him be examined;' that he might know for what cause they were crying so against him.

Darby: the chiliarch commanded him to be brought into the fortress, saying that he should be examined by scourging, that he might ascertain for what cause they cried thus against him.

ASV: the chief captain commanded him be brought into the castle, bidding that he should be examined by scourging, that he might know for what cause they so shouted against him.

What does Acts 22:24 Mean?

Context Summary

Acts 22:17-30 - Saved For Further Service
To the story of his conversion, as given in Acts 9:1-43, the Apostle here adds a detailed account of that memorable interview in the Temple, when he questioned the advisability of the Lord's command that he should leave Jerusalem, and received his final and irrevocable commission to go to the Gentiles. It is a great privilege to be permitted to overhear this dialogue! How close and intimate is the disciple's relationship with his Lord! God allowed Abraham, Moses, and Jeremiah to reason with Him. He does not crush down our intelligence. It is His own word, "Come, let us reason together." But there is a point beyond which we may not go, when we must accept without question the final instructions of our Captain.
A free-born Roman was Paul. More than once he had asserted his rights as a Roman citizen, as at Philippi. There are various social and political advantages which we can turn to account in our service of the gospel, but they cannot carry us very far, and ultimately we are better off if we step out upon the unwonted waters, simply because Jesus says, Come! [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 22

1  Paul declares how he was converted to the faith,
17  and called to his apostleship
22  At the very mentioning of the Gentiles the people exclaim on him
24  He would have been scourged;
25  but claiming the privilege of a Roman, he escapes

Greek Commentary for Acts 22:24

That he be examined by scourging [μαστιχιν ανεταζεσται αυτον]
The present passive infinitive of ανεταζω — anetazō in indirect command after ειπας — eipas (bidding). This verb does not occur in the old Greek (which used εχεταζω — exetazō as in Matthew 2:8), first in the lxx, in the N.T. only here and Acts 22:29, but Milligan and Moulton‘s Vocabulary quotes an Oxyrhynchus papyrus of a.d. 127 which has a prefect using the word directing government clerks to “examine” The word was evidently in use for such purposes. It was a kind of “third degree” applied to Paul by the use of scourges (μαστιχιν — mastixin), instrumental plural of μαστιχ — mastix old word for whip, as in Hebrews 11:36. But this way of beginning an inquiry by torture (inquisition) was contrary to Roman law (Page): Non esse a tormentis incipiendum, Divus Augustus statuit. [source]
That he might know [ινα επιγνωι]
Final clause with ινα — hina and second aorist active subjunctive of επιγνωσκω — epignōskō (full knowledge). Lysias was as much in the dark as ever, for Paul‘s speech had been in Aramaic and this second explosion was a mystery to him like the first. They so shouted (ουτος επεπωνουν — houtos epephōnoun). Imperfect active progressive imperfect had been so shouting. [source]
They so shouted [ουτος επεπωνουν]
Imperfect active progressive imperfect had been so shouting. [source]
Examined [ἀνετάζεσθαι]
Only here and Acts 22:29. Not found in classical Greek. Apocrypha, Susanna, ver. 14. [source]
By scourging [μάστιξιν]
Lit., with scourges. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Acts 22:24

Mark 3:10 Plagues [μάστιγας]
Lit., scourges. Compare Acts 22:24; Hebrews 11:36. Our word plague is from πληγή , Latin plaga, meaning a blow. Pestilence or disease is thus regarded as a stroke from a divine hand. Πληγή is used in classical Greek in this metaphorical sense. Thus Sophocles, “Ajax,” 270: “I fear that a calamity ( πληγή ) is really come from heaven ( θεοῦ , god )So of war. Aeschylus, “Persae,” 251: “O Persian land, how hath the abundant prosperity been destroyed by a single blow ( ἐν μιᾷ πληγῇ ). The word here, scourges, carries the same idea. [source]
Luke 23:21 Shouted [ἐπεφώνουν]
Imperfect. Kept shouting. Used by Luke only. Compare Acts 12:22; Acts 22:24. [source]
John 19:18 They crucified [εσταυρωσαν]
The soldiers just as in Acts 22:24.; the scourging of Paul was to be done by the soldiers. And Jesus in the midst Predicate adjective μεσον — meson A robber (ληιστης — lēistēs not a thief, κλεπτης — kleptēs) was on each side of Jesus (Mark 15:27; Matthew 27:38) like Barabbas (John 18:40) and probably members of his band, malefactors (κακουργοι — kakourgoi) Luke terms them (Luke 23:32). [source]
Hebrews 11:36 Of mockings and scourgings [εμπαιγμων και μαστιγων]
Εμπαιγμος — Empaigmos is from εμπαιζω — empaizō (Matthew 20:19), late word, in lxx, here alone in N.T. Μαστιγων — Mastigōn (μαστιχ — mastix a whip, a scourge) is old and common enough (Acts 22:24). [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 22:24 mean?

Ordered the commander to be brought him into the barracks having directed by flogging to be examined so that he might know for what cause like this they were crying out against him
ἐκέλευσεν χιλίαρχος εἰσάγεσθαι αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν παρεμβολήν εἴπας μάστιξιν ἀνετάζεσθαι ἵνα ἐπιγνῷ δι’ ἣν αἰτίαν οὕτως ἐπεφώνουν αὐτῷ

ἐκέλευσεν  Ordered 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: κελεύω  
Sense: to command, to order.
χιλίαρχος  commander 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: χιλίαρχος  
Sense: a chiliarch, the commander of a thousand soldiers.
εἰσάγεσθαι  to  be  brought 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Middle or Passive
Root: εἰσάγω  
Sense: to lead in.
εἰς  into 
Parse: Preposition
Root: εἰς  
Sense: into, unto, to, towards, for, among.
παρεμβολήν  barracks 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: παρεμβολή  
Sense: an encampment.
εἴπας  having  directed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
μάστιξιν  by  flogging 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Plural
Root: μάστιξ  
Sense: a whip, scourge.
ἀνετάζεσθαι  to  be  examined 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Middle or Passive
Root: ἀνετάζω  
Sense: to investigate, to examine.
ἵνα  so  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
ἐπιγνῷ  he  might  know 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐπιγινώσκω  
Sense: to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly.
αἰτίαν  cause 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: αἰτία  
Sense: cause, reason.
οὕτως  like  this 
Parse: Adverb
Root: οὕτως  
Sense: in this manner, thus, so.
ἐπεφώνουν  they  were  crying  out 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἐπιφωνέω 
Sense: to call out to, shout.
αὐτῷ  against  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.