The Meaning of Acts 24:25 Explained

Acts 24:25

KJV: And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

YLT: and he reasoning concerning righteousness, and temperance, and the judgment that is about to be, Felix, having become afraid, answered, 'For the present be going, and having got time, I will call for thee;'

Darby: And as he reasoned concerning righteousness, and temperance, and the judgment about to come, Felix, being filled with fear, answered, Go for the present, and when I get an opportunity I will send for thee;

ASV: And as he reasoned of righteousness, and self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, and answered, Go thy way for this time; and when I have a convenient season, I will call thee unto me.

Discover Acts 24:25

What does Acts 24:25 Mean?

Study Notes

righteousness (See Scofield " Romans 10:10 ") .
trembled becoming afraid; (Greek - ἔμφοβος , "afraid").

Verse Meaning

Paul"s emphases in his interview with Felix and Drusilla were those things Jesus Christ had promised the Holy Spirit would convict people of to bring them to faith. These things were sin, righteousness, and judgment ( John 16:8-11). Felix and Drusilla were notoriously deficient in all three of these areas. It is not surprising that Felix became uneasy. He apparently was willing to discuss theology but not personal morality and responsibility. These subjects terrified him (Gr. emphobos).
Felix"s decision to postpone making a decision about his relationship to God is a common one. Often people put off this most important decision until they cannot make it. This is probably why most people who make decisions for Christ do so when they are young. Older people normally get harder to the gospel. [1] We do not know if Felix ever did trust Christ; there is no evidence that he did.

Context Summary

Acts 24:17-27 - A Trembling But Venal Judge
The case had broken down. Paul's statement of faith and the absence of confirmatory evidence directly contradicted the only charge against him. Felix dared not hand over Paul as guilty, and he was equally unwilling to offend the high priest's party; so he postponed his decision. In the meantime Paul's custody was not to be severe. His friends might freely see him, and the long hours were doubtless lightened by visits from Luke and Aristarchus, Philip the evangelist, and other members of the local Christian community.
At first the governor was prepossessed in Paul's favor. He had some intimate knowledge concerning the tenets of the early Church, Acts 24:22. He had studied it as an intellectual system, and was interested to have opportunity for conversation with its foremost exponent. But his illicit union with Drusilla, whose husband was living, and his hope to receive a bribe from Paul's friends, made him obtuse and dead to the claims of Christ. Paul, on the other hand, seemed oblivious to any thought of himself or of his dependence on the governor's whim, and used his one opportunity in seeking the salvation of this weak and sordid soul. It was in vain. Felix was anchored to a mudbank and would not avail himself of the rising tides of life about him. [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 24

1  Paul being accused by Tertullus the orator,
10  answers for his life and doctrine
24  He preaches Christ to the governor and his wife
26  The governor hopes for a bribe, but in vain
27  Felix, succeeded by Festus, leaves Paul in prison

Greek Commentary for Acts 24:25

Was terrified [εμποβος γενομενος]
Ingressive aorist middle of γινομαι — ginomai “becoming terrified.” Εμποβος — Emphobos (εν — en and ποβος — phobos) old word, in the N.T. only Luke 24:5; Acts 10:5; Acts 24:25; Revelation 11:13. Paul turned the tables completely around and expounded “the faith in Christ Jesus” as it applied to Felix and Drusilla and discoursed (διαλεγομενου αυτου — dialegomenou autou genitive absolute) concerning “righteousness” (δικαιοσυνης — dikaiosunēs) which they did not possess, “self-control” or temperance (εγκρατειας — egkrateias) which they did not exhibit, and “the judgment to come” (του κριματος του μελλοντος — tou krimatos tou mellontos) which was certain to overtake them. Felix was brought under conviction, but apparently not Drusilla. Like another Herodias her resentment was to be feared (Knowling). [source]
Go thy way for this time [το νυν εχον πορευου]
The ancient Greek has this use of το νυν εχον — to nun echon (Tobit 7:11) in the accusative of time, “as for the present or holding the now.” When I have a convenient season (καιρον μεταλαβων — kairon metalabōn). Second aorist active participle of the old verb μεταλαμβανω — metalambanō to find a share in, to obtain. It was his “excuse” for dodging the personal turn that Paul had given. [source]
When I have a convenient season [καιρον μεταλαβων]
Second aorist active participle of the old verb μεταλαμβανω — metalambanō to find a share in, to obtain. It was his “excuse” for dodging the personal turn that Paul had given. [source]
Righteousness, temperance, the judgment to come []
Three topics which bore directly upon the character of Felix. Tacitus says of him that he “exercised the authority of a king with the spirit of a slave;” and that, by reason of the powerful influence at his command, “he supposed he might perpetrate with impunity every kind of villany.” He had persuaded his wife Drusilla to forsake her husband and marry him. He had employed assassins to murder the high-priest Jonathan, and might well tremble at the preaching of the judgment to come. Temperance ( ἐγκράτεια ) is, properly, self-control; holding the passions in hand. [source]
Trembled [ἔμφοβος γενόμενος]
Lit., having become in fear. Rev., better, was terrified. [source]
For this time [τὸ νῦν ἔχον]
Or, for the present. Very literally, as to what has itself now. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 24:25 mean?

Reasoning then he concerning righteousness and self-control the judgment - coming frightened having become - Felix answered For the present being go away opportunity having found I will call for you
διαλεγομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ἐγκρατείας τοῦ κρίματος τοῦ μέλλοντος ἔμφοβος γενόμενος Φῆλιξ ἀπεκρίθη Τὸ νῦν ἔχον πορεύου καιρὸν μεταλαβὼν μετακαλέσομαί σε

διαλεγομένου  Reasoning 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Middle or Passive, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: διαλέγομαι  
Sense: to think different things with one’s self, mingle thought with thought.
περὶ  concerning 
Parse: Preposition
Root: περί 
Sense: about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, near.
δικαιοσύνης  righteousness 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: δικαιοσύνη  
Sense: in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God.
ἐγκρατείας  self-control 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ἐγκράτεια  
Sense: self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp.
κρίματος  judgment 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: κρίμα  
Sense: a decree, judgments.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
μέλλοντος  coming 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: μέλλω  
Sense: to be about.
ἔμφοβος  frightened 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἔμφοβος  
Sense: thrown into fear, terrified, affrighted.
γενόμενος  having  become 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Middle, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: γίνομαι  
Sense: to become, i.
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Φῆλιξ  Felix 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Φῆλιξ  
Sense: a Roman procurator of Judea appointed by the emperor Claudius in A.
ἀπεκρίθη  answered 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀποκρίνομαι  
Sense: to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer.
Τὸ  For  the 
Parse: Article, Accusative Neuter Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
νῦν  present 
Parse: Adverb
Root: νῦν  
Sense: at this time, the present, now.
ἔχον  being 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: ἔχω  
Sense: to have, i.e. to hold.
πορεύου  go  away 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Middle or Passive, 2nd Person Singular
Root: πορεύομαι  
Sense: to lead over, carry over, transfer.
καιρὸν  opportunity 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: καιρός  
Sense: due measure.
μεταλαβὼν  having  found 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: μεταλαμβάνω  
Sense: to be or to be made a partner.
μετακαλέσομαί  I  will  call  for 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Middle, 1st Person Singular
Root: μετακαλέω  
Sense: to call from one place to another, to summon.

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