You are not an Egyptian! (Acts 21:38)

“Then you are not the Egyptian,

Who recently stirred up a revolt.

He had led four thousand assassins

Out into the wilderness.”

οὐκ ἄρα σὺ εἶ ὁ Αἰγύπτιος ὁ πρὸ τούτων τῶν ἡμερῶν ἀναστατώσας καὶ ἐξαγαγὼν εἰς τὴν ἔρημον τοὺς τετρακισχιλίους ἄνδρας τῶν σικαρίων;

The author of Acts indicated that the Roman commander or tribune realized that Paul was not the Egyptian (οὐκ ἄρα σὺ εἶ ὁ Αἰγύπτιος), who recently stirred up a revolt (ὁ πρὸ τούτων τῶν ἡμερῶν ἀναστατώσας).  He had led (καὶ ἐξαγαγὼν) four thousand (τοὺς τετρακισχιλίους ἄνδρας) assassins (τῶν σικαρίων) out into the wilderness (εἰς τὴν ἔρημον).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word σικαρίων, that means an assassin, a murderer, or a bandit.  This Roman commander, Claudius Lysias, was aware of the various Jewish anarchist movements.  Paul, as a controversial Greek-speaking Hebrew, evidently met some of the criterion for Lysias to conclude he was a Jewish revolutionary.  Consequently, Lysias suspected him of being “the Egyptian” who had stirred up a revolt and led four thousand assassins out into the wilderness.  This Egyptian operated around 53 CE.  His revolution had four thousand men that positioned themselves upon the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem.  He thought that the walls of Jerusalem would collapse at his command.  The Romans attacked this band of men, as this Egyptian lost six hundred men and then fled into the wilderness where he was awaiting further revelations.  Thus, he was still wanted by the Roman military.  This Roman commander was going to see if Paul was this anarchist.  Josephus wrote about this Egyptian revolutionary, but he said that he had a following of 30,000 men between 52-58 CE.  Do you know anyone who is a revolutionary anarchist?

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