The Meaning of Acts 23:15 Explained

Acts 23:15

KJV: Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would inquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.

YLT: now, therefore, ye, signify ye to the chief captain, with the sanhedrim, that to-morrow he may bring him down unto you, as being about to know more exactly the things concerning him; and we, before his coming nigh, are ready to put him to death.'

Darby: Now therefore do ye with the council make a representation to the chiliarch so that he may bring him down to you, as about to determine more precisely what concerns him, and we, before he draws near, are ready to kill him.

ASV: Now therefore do ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you, as though ye would judge of his case more exactly: and we, before he comes near, are ready to slay him.

What does Acts 23:15 Mean?

Context Summary

Acts 23:12-24 - Would-Be Murderers Baffled
The Lord had told His servant that he was needed in Rome, but the conspirators said that he should not leave Jerusalem. There is only one conclusion when such a collision occurs-God's word must stand to the discomfiture of those who have sworn that they will neither eat nor drink till they have perpetrated their plan to the contrary.
These high ecclesiastics fell in with an infamous plot. What will not unscrupulous men do under cover of religion! It is a pleasing trait that the Roman officer took Paul's nephew by the hand and led him aside for a private audience. How proudly would the boy recount the whole story to his mother, when he emerged from those grim walls. At nine o'clock that night there was a clattering of horses' hoofs as seventy horsemen and two hundred soldiers went through the stone-paved streets on their way to Caesarea. Already Paul had begun his journey to Rome. Often afterward, when it seemed as though his life would be forfeited, he must have stayed on the Master's words, So must thou bear witness also at Rome. What a life-buoy that promise was! And if God had saved him from the mob at Jerusalem and given him the friendship of Lysias, what could God not do for him in the future! [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 23

1  As Paul pleads his cause,
2  Ananias commands them to strike him
7  Dissension among his accusers
11  God encourages him
14  The Jews' vow to kill Paul,
20  is declared unto the chief captain
27  He sends him to Felix the governor

Greek Commentary for Acts 23:15

Ye [υμεις]
Emphatic. [source]
Signify [εμπανισατε]
First aorist active imperative of εμπανιζω — emphanizō Make plain from εμπανης — emphanēs chiefly in Acts. Repeated in Acts 23:22. The authority is with the chiliarch not with the Sanhedrin, but he had appealed to the Sanhedrin for advice. As though ye would judge of his case more exactly (ως μελλοντας διαγινωσκειν ακριβεστερον τα περι αυτου — hōs mellontas diaginōskein akribesteron ta peri autou). ως — Hōs with the participle gives the alleged reason as here. So also in Acts 23:20. Διαγνοσκω — Diagnoskō old verb to distinguish accurately, only here in N.T. and Acts 24:22. Or ever come near “Before the coming near as to him.” Προ — Pro and the genitive of the articular infinitive of εγγιζω — eggizō with accusative of general reference. We are ready to slay him (ετοιμοι εσμεν του ανελειν αυτον — hetoimoi esōmen tou anelein auton). Genitive of purpose of the articular infinitive after the adjective ετοιμοι — hetoimoi (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1061). Ανελειν — Anelein second aorist active of αναιρεω — anaireō f0). [source]
As though ye would judge of his case more exactly [ως μελλοντας διαγινωσκειν ακριβεστερον τα περι αυτου]
ως — Hōs with the participle gives the alleged reason as here. So also in Acts 23:20. Διαγνοσκω — Diagnoskō old verb to distinguish accurately, only here in N.T. and Acts 24:22. [source]
Or ever come near [προ του εγγισαι αυτον]
“Before the coming near as to him.” Προ — Pro and the genitive of the articular infinitive of εγγιζω — eggizō with accusative of general reference. We are ready to slay him (ετοιμοι εσμεν του ανελειν αυτον — hetoimoi esōmen tou anelein auton). Genitive of purpose of the articular infinitive after the adjective ετοιμοι — hetoimoi (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1061). Ανελειν — Anelein second aorist active of αναιρεω — anaireō f0). [source]
We are ready to slay him [ετοιμοι εσμεν του ανελειν αυτον]
Genitive of purpose of the articular infinitive after the adjective ετοιμοι — hetoimoi (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1061). Ανελειν — Anelein second aorist active of αναιρεω — anaireō f0). [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Acts 23:15

Acts 24:22 I will know the uttermost [διαγνώσομαι]
Better, as Rev., I will determine. See on Acts 23:15. [source]
Acts 23:20 Have agreed [συνετεντο]
Second aorist middle indicative of συντιτημι — suntithēmi old verb to join together, to agree. Already this form in Luke 22:5 which see. See also John 9:22; Acts 24:9. To bring down (οπως καταγαγηις — hopōs katagagēis). Very words of the conspirators in Acts 23:15 as if the young man overheard. Second aorist active subjunctive of καταγω — katagō with οπως — hopōs in final clause, still used, but nothing like so common as ινα — hina though again in Acts 23:23 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 985). As though thou wouldest inquire Just as in Acts 23:15 except that here μελλων — mellōn refers to Lysias instead of to the conspirators as in Acts 23:15. The singular is used by the youth out of deference to the authority of Lysias and so modifies a bit the scheming of the conspirators, not “absurd” as Page holds. [source]
Acts 23:20 To bring down [οπως καταγαγηις]
Very words of the conspirators in Acts 23:15 as if the young man overheard. Second aorist active subjunctive of καταγω — katagō with οπως — hopōs in final clause, still used, but nothing like so common as ινα — hina though again in Acts 23:23 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 985). [source]
Acts 23:20 As though thou wouldest inquire [ως μελλων πυντανεσται]
Just as in Acts 23:15 except that here μελλων — mellōn refers to Lysias instead of to the conspirators as in Acts 23:15. The singular is used by the youth out of deference to the authority of Lysias and so modifies a bit the scheming of the conspirators, not “absurd” as Page holds. [source]
Acts 23:22 Tell no man [μηδενι εκλαλησαι]
Indirect command (oratio obliqua) after παραγγειλας — paraggeilas (charging) with first aorist active infinitive of εκλαλεω — ekaleō (in ancient Greek, but here only in N.T.), but construction changed to direct in rest of the sentence (oratio recta) as in Acts 1:4, “that thou hast signified these things to me” Same verb here as in Acts 23:15. This change is common in the N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1047). [source]
Acts 24:1 Informed [ενεπανισαν]
Same verb as in Acts 23:15, Acts 23:22, somewhat like our modern “indictment,” certainly accusations “against Paul” They were down on Paul and the hired barrister was prosecuting attorney. For the legal form see Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Vol. II., p. 162, line 19. [source]
Acts 24:22 Deferred them [ανεβαλετο αυτους]
Second aorist middle indicative of αναβαλλω — anaballō old verb (only here in N.T.) to throw or toss up, to put back or off, in middle to put off from one, to delay, to adjourn. Felix adjourned the case without a decision under a plausible pretext, that he required the presence of Lysias in person, which was not the case. Lysias had already said that Paul was innocent and was never summoned to Caesarea, so far as we know. Since Paul was a Roman citizen, Lysias could have thrown some light on the riot, if he had any. Shall come down (καταβηι — katabēi). Second aorist active subjunctive of καταβαινω — katabainō I will determine your matter Future middle of διαγινωσκω — diaginōskō old and common verb to know accurately or thoroughly In the N.T. only here (legal sense) and Acts 23:15. “The things according to you” (plural, the matters between Paul and the Sanhedrin). [source]
Acts 24:22 I will determine your matter [διαγνωσομαι τα κατ υμας]
Future middle of διαγινωσκω — diaginōskō old and common verb to know accurately or thoroughly In the N.T. only here (legal sense) and Acts 23:15. “The things according to you” (plural, the matters between Paul and the Sanhedrin). [source]
Acts 25:15 Informed [ενεπανισαν]
Same word as in Acts 23:15, Acts 23:22; Acts 25:2 which see. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 23:15 mean?

Now therefore you make a report to the commander along with the Council so that he might bring down him to you as being about to examine more earnestly the things about him we then before - drawing near his ready are to kill him
νῦν οὖν ὑμεῖς ἐμφανίσατε τῷ χιλιάρχῳ σὺν τῷ συνεδρίῳ ὅπως καταγάγῃ αὐτὸν εἰς ὑμᾶς ὡς μέλλοντας διαγινώσκειν ἀκριβέστερον τὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς δὲ πρὸ τοῦ ἐγγίσαι αὐτὸν ἕτοιμοί ἐσμεν ἀνελεῖν αὐτόν

νῦν  Now 
Parse: Adverb
Root: νῦν  
Sense: at this time, the present, now.
ἐμφανίσατε  make  a  report 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: ἐμφανίζω  
Sense: to manifest, exhibit to view.
τῷ  to  the 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
χιλιάρχῳ  commander 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: χιλίαρχος  
Sense: a chiliarch, the commander of a thousand soldiers.
σὺν  along  with 
Parse: Preposition
Root: σύν 
Sense: with.
συνεδρίῳ  Council 
Parse: Noun, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: συνέδριον  
Sense: any assembly (esp.
ὅπως  so  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅπως  
Sense: how, that.
καταγάγῃ  he  might  bring  down 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: κατάγω  
Sense: to lead down, bring down.
μέλλοντας  being  about 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: μέλλω  
Sense: to be about.
διαγινώσκειν  to  examine 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Active
Root: διαγινώσκω  
Sense: to distinguish, i.
ἀκριβέστερον  more  earnestly 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Singular, Comparative
Root: ἀκριβῶς  
Sense: exactly, accurately, diligently.
τὰ  the  things 
Parse: Article, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
περὶ  about 
Parse: Preposition
Root: περί 
Sense: about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, near.
πρὸ  before 
Parse: Preposition
Root: πρό  
Sense: before.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐγγίσαι  drawing  near 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: ἐγγίζω  
Sense: to bring near, to join one thing to another.
αὐτὸν  his 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἕτοιμοί  ready 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἕτοιμος  
Sense: prepare ready.
ἀνελεῖν  to  kill 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: ἀναιρέω  
Sense: to take up, to lift up (from the ground).