They were afraid of Roman citizens (Acts 16:38)

“The police reported

These words

To the magistrates.

They were afraid

When they heard

That they were

Roman citizens.”

ἀπήγγειλαν δὲ τοῖς στρατηγοῖς οἱ ῥαβδοῦχοι τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα. ἐφοβήθησαν δὲ ἀκούσαντες ὅτι Ῥωμαῖοί εἰσιν,

The author of Acts indicated that these officers (οἱ ῥαβδοῦχοι) reported (ἀπήγγειλαν) these words (τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα) to the magistrates (δὲ τοῖς στρατηγοῖς).  They were afraid (ἐφοβήθησαν) when they heard (δὲ ἀκούσαντες) that they were Roman citizens (ὅτι Ῥωμαῖοί εἰσιν).  The magistrates were upset and afraid when the officers reported back to them what Paul had said.  They were especially concerned when they found out that they were Roman citizens.  As a Roman colony, they had to handle Roman citizens carefully.  I wonder how they could prove their Roman citizenship one way or the other.  Also, it seems that Paul was insinuating that others in his party, perhaps Silas, were Roman citizens also.  Have you ever claimed your right as a citizen?

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