The Meaning of Acts 9:25 Explained

Acts 9:25

KJV: Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

YLT: and the disciples having taken him, by night did let him down by the wall, letting down in a basket.

Darby: but the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.

ASV: but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.

What does Acts 9:25 Mean?

Context Summary

Acts 9:23-31 - Welcomed As A Brother
He who feeds on Scripture must wax strong. The new convert started at once to testify of the Savior. We have no right to keep to ourselves the great treasures that we have discovered, but must copy the lepers of 2 Kings 7:9. He probably showed from a comparison between the predictions of the Old Testament and the facts of our Lord's life, that the key exactly fitted the wards of the ancient lock, and so proved its genuineness.
Those many days in Acts 9:23 probably include the three years spent in Arabia, Galatians 1:17. It was as though Paul wanted time and solitude for quiet thought. We may suppose that he went to Sinai, and there amid the silences of the school where Moses had studied before him, he received of the Lord Jesus that which also he was commissioned to pass on to the Church. From Arabia, he returned to Damascus; then happened Acts 9:24-25. Finally he came to Jerusalem, where he had the opportunity of comparing his teaching with that of the Apostles, Galatians 1:18-24. A vision led him to leave Jerusalem, Acts 22:17-21. While at Tarsus, he probably founded the churches in Cilicia, Acts 15:23; Acts 15:41. [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 9

1  Saul, going toward Damascus, is stricken down to the earth,
8  and led blind to Damascus;
10  is called to the apostleship;
18  and is baptized by Ananias
20  He preaches Christ boldly
23  The Jews lay wait to kill him;
29  so do the Grecians, but he escapes both
31  The church having rest, Peter heals Aeneas;
36  and restores Tabitha to life

Greek Commentary for Acts 9:25

Through the wall [δια του τειχους]
Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:33 explains δια του τειχους — dia tou teichous as being δια τυριδος — dia thuridos (through a window) which opened into the house on the inside of the wall as is true today in Damascus as Hackett saw there. See Joshua 2:15. (cf. 1 Samuel 19:12) for the way that Rahab let out the spies “by a cord through the window.” [source]
Lowering him [αυτον χαλασαντες]
First aorist active participle of χαλαω — chalaō old and common verb in a nautical sense (Acts 27:17, Acts 27:30) as well as otherwise as here. Same verb used by Paul of this experience (2 Corinthians 11:33). In a basket (εν σπυριδι — en sphuridi). The word used when the four thousand were fed (Mark 8:8; Matthew 15:37). A large basket plaited of reeds and distinguished in Mark 8:19. (Matthew 16:9.) from the smaller κοπινος — kophinos Paul uses σαργανη — sarganē a basket made of ropes. This escape by night by the help of the men whom he had come to destroy was a shameful memory to Paul (2 Corinthians 11:33). Wendt thinks that the coincidences in language here prove that Luke had read II Corinthians. That, of course, is quite possible. [source]
In a basket [εν σπυριδι]
The word used when the four thousand were fed (Mark 8:8; Matthew 15:37). A large basket plaited of reeds and distinguished in Mark 8:19. (Matthew 16:9.) from the smaller κοπινος — kophinos Paul uses σαργανη — sarganē a basket made of ropes. This escape by night by the help of the men whom he had come to destroy was a shameful memory to Paul (2 Corinthians 11:33). Wendt thinks that the coincidences in language here prove that Luke had read II Corinthians. That, of course, is quite possible. [source]
By the wall [διὰ τοῦ τείχους]
Rev., more accurately, through the wall, as is explained by 2 Corinthians 11:33. Either through the window of a house overhanging the wall, or through a window in the wall itself opening to houses on its inner side. Hackett says that he observed such windows in the wall at Damascus. On the mode of escape, compare Joshua 2:15; 1 Samuel 19:12. [source]
Basket [σπυρίδι]
See on Matthew 14:20. In Paul's account of this adventure he uses σαργάνη , a plaited or braided basket of wicker-work; or, as some think, of ropes. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Acts 9:25

Matthew 14:20 Baskets [κοφίνους]
Wyc., coffins, a transcription of the Greek word. Juvenal, the Roman satirist, describes the grove of Numa, near the Capenian gate of Rome, as being “let out to the Jews, whose furniture is a basket (cophinus ) and some hay” (for a bed )“Sat. ” iii., 14. These were small hand-baskets, specially provided for the Jews to carry levitically clean food while travelling in Samaria or other heathen districts. The word for basket used in relating the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew 15:37) is σπυρίς , a large provision-basket or hamper, of the kind used for letting Paul down over the wall at Damascus (Acts 9:25). In Matthew 16:9, Matthew 16:10, Christ, in alluding to the two miracles, observes the distinctive term in each narrative; using κοφίνους in the case of the five thousand, and σπυρίδας in the other. Burgon (“Letters from Rome”) gives a drawing of a wicker basket used by the masons in the cathedral at Sorrento, and called cóffano. He adds, “Who can doubt that the basket of the gospel narrative was of the shape here represented, and that the denomination of this basket exclusively has lingered in a Greek colony, where the Jews (who once carried the cophinus as a personal equipment) formerly lived in great numbers?” [source]
Luke 5:4 Let down [χαλάσατε]
The plural, addressed to the whole of the boat's crew. Originally, to slacken or loosen, as a bowstring or the reins of horses; hence to let sink as a net. Also of unbarring a door. Metaphorically, to be indulgent, to pardon. The word occurs in the New Testament seven times, and five of these in Luke. He uses it of letting down Paul in a basket at Damascus (Acts 9:25); of striking a ship's sails, and of letting down a boat into the sea (Acts 27:17, Acts 27:30). Matthew, Mark, and John use βάλλω , or ἀμφιβάλλω , for casting a net (Matthew 4:18; Matthew 13:47; Mark 1:16; John 21:6), which appears also in the compound noun for a casting-net ( ἀμφίβληστρον , see on Matthew 4:18). The word used by Luke was in common use in medical writings, to denote relaxation of the limbs; loosening of bandages; abatement of sickness; letting herbs down into a vessel to be steeped. [source]
Luke 5:4 Put out into the deep [επαναγαγε εις το βατος]
The same double compound verb as in Luke 5:3, only here second aorist active imperative second person singular.Let down (χαλασατε — chalasate). Peter was master of the craft and so he was addressed first. First aorist active imperative second person plural. Here the whole crew are addressed. The verb is the regular nautical term for lowering cargo or boats (Acts 27:17, Acts 27:30). But it was used for lowering anything from a higher place (Mark 2:4; Acts 9:25; 2 Corinthians 11:33). For a catch (εις αγραν — eis agran). This purpose was the startling thing that stirred up Simon. [source]
Luke 5:4 Let down [χαλασατε]
Peter was master of the craft and so he was addressed first. First aorist active imperative second person plural. Here the whole crew are addressed. The verb is the regular nautical term for lowering cargo or boats (Acts 27:17, Acts 27:30). But it was used for lowering anything from a higher place (Mark 2:4; Acts 9:25; 2 Corinthians 11:33). For a catch This purpose was the startling thing that stirred up Simon. [source]
Acts 20:9 The window []
See on Acts 9:25. The windows of an Eastern house are closed with lattice-work, and usually reach down to the floor, resembling a door rather than a window. They open, for the most part, to the court, and not to the street, and are usually kept open on account of the heat. [source]
Acts 10:11 Opened [aneōigmenon perfect passive participle with double reduplication, state of completion)]
Descending (katabainon). Present active participle describing the process. Sheet Old word for linen cloth and only here in the N.T. Accusative case in apposition with skeuos (vessel). Let down (Kathiemenon). Present passive participle of Kathiēmi Old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Luke 5:19; Acts 9:25. Linear action here picturing the process, “being let down.” By four corners Instrumental case of archē beginning. We say “end” or extremity for this use of the word. The picture is the sheet held up by four cords to which the sheet is fastened. Isaiah 11:12 had said that Israel would be gathered from the four corners of the earth. Knowling follows Hobart in taking the four corners of the sheet to be a medical phrase for bandage (the end of a bandage). [source]
Acts 10:11 Sheet [othonēn)]
Old word for linen cloth and only here in the N.T. Accusative case in apposition with skeuos (vessel). Let down (Kathiemenon). Present passive participle of Kathiēmi Old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Luke 5:19; Acts 9:25. Linear action here picturing the process, “being let down.” By four corners Instrumental case of archē beginning. We say “end” or extremity for this use of the word. The picture is the sheet held up by four cords to which the sheet is fastened. Isaiah 11:12 had said that Israel would be gathered from the four corners of the earth. Knowling follows Hobart in taking the four corners of the sheet to be a medical phrase for bandage (the end of a bandage). [source]
Acts 10:11 Let down [Kathiemenon)]
Present passive participle of Kathiēmi Old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Luke 5:19; Acts 9:25. Linear action here picturing the process, “being let down.” [source]
Acts 19:31 Not to adventure himself []
” It was a hazard, a rash adventure “to give himself” (second aorist active infinitive of διδωμι — didōmi). Just this sense of “adventure” with the idiom occurs only here in the N.T., though in Polybius V., 14, 9. But the phrase itself Paul uses of Jesus who gave himself for our sins (Galatians 1:4; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14). It is not the first time that friends had rescued Paul from peril (Acts 9:25, Acts 9:30; Acts 17:10, Acts 17:14). The theatre was no place for Paul. It meant certain death. [source]
Acts 19:31 Being his friends [οντες αυτωι πιλοι]
Evidently the Asiarchs had a high opinion of Paul and were unwilling for him to expose his life to a wild mob during the festival of Artemis. They were at least tolerant toward Paul and his preaching. “It was an Asiarch who at Smyrna resisted the cry of the populace to throw Polycarp to the lions” (Furneaux). Besought him (παρεκαλουν αυτον — parekaloun auton). Imperfect active, showing that the messengers sent had to insist over Paul‘s protest. “Not to adventure himself” It was a hazard, a rash adventure “to give himself” (second aorist active infinitive of διδωμι — didōmi). Just this sense of “adventure” with the idiom occurs only here in the N.T., though in Polybius V., 14, 9. But the phrase itself Paul uses of Jesus who gave himself for our sins (Galatians 1:4; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14). It is not the first time that friends had rescued Paul from peril (Acts 9:25, Acts 9:30; Acts 17:10, Acts 17:14). The theatre was no place for Paul. It meant certain death. [source]
2 Corinthians 11:33 Was I let down [εχαλαστην]
First aorist passive of χαλαω — chalaō the very word used by Luke in Acts 9:25. In a basket (εν σαργανηι — en sarganēi). Old word for rope basket whereas Luke (Acts 9:25) has εν σπυριδι — en sphuridi (the word for the feeding of the 4,000 while κοπινος — kophinos is the one for the 5,000). This was a humiliating experience for Paul in this oldest city of the world whither he had started as a conqueror over the despised Christians. [source]
2 Corinthians 11:33 In a basket [εν σαργανηι]
Old word for rope basket whereas Luke (Acts 9:25) has εν σπυριδι — en sphuridi (the word for the feeding of the 4,000 while κοπινος — kophinos is the one for the 5,000). This was a humiliating experience for Paul in this oldest city of the world whither he had started as a conqueror over the despised Christians. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 9:25 mean?

having taken [him] however the disciples of him by night through the wall they let down him having lowered [him] in a basket
λαβόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ νυκτὸς διὰ τοῦ τείχους καθῆκαν αὐτὸν χαλάσαντες ἐν σπυρίδι

λαβόντες  having  taken  [him] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: λαμβάνω  
Sense: to take.
δὲ  however 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
μαθηταὶ  disciples 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: μαθητής  
Sense: a learner, pupil, disciple.
αὐτοῦ  of  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
νυκτὸς  by  night 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: νύξ  
Sense: night.
διὰ  through 
Parse: Preposition
Root: διά  
Sense: through.
τείχους  wall 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: τεῖχος  
Sense: the wall around a city, town wall.
καθῆκαν  they  let  down 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: καθίημι  
Sense: to send down, to let down.
χαλάσαντες  having  lowered  [him] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: χαλάω  
Sense: to loosen, slacken, relax.
σπυρίδι  a  basket 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: σπυρίς  
Sense: a reed basket, (a plaited basket, a lunch basket, hamper).

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