Paul wanted to speak to them in Hebrew (Acts 21:40)

“When the Roman commander

Had given him


Paul stood

On the steps.

He motioned

To the people

With his hand.

When there was a great silence,

He addressed them

In the Hebrew language.”

ἐπιτρέψαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ὁ Παῦλος ἑστὼς ἐπὶ τῶν ἀναβαθμῶν κατέσεισεν τῇ χειρὶ τῷ λαῷ· πολλῆς δὲ σιγῆς γενομένης προσεφώνησεν τῇ Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ

The author of Acts indicated that when the Roman commander or tribune had given him permission (ἐπιτρέψαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ), Paul (ὁ Παῦλος) stood (ἑστὼς) on the steps (ἐπὶ τῶν ἀναβαθμῶν).  He motioned (κατέσεισεν) with his hand (τῇ χειρὶ) to the people (τῷ λαῷ).  When there was a great silence (πολλῆς δὲ σιγῆς γενομένης), he addressed (προσεφώνησεν) them in the Hebrew language (τῇ Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used these words ἀναβαθμῶν, that means a step or a flight of steps, and κατέσεισεν, that means to shake the hand up and down.  The Roman commander accepted Paul’s case.  He gave Paul an opportunity to speak to the Jews on the steps of the Temple facilities adjoined to the Antonia fortress.  Paul stood on the same steps that he had just been carried up.  He spoke in Hebrew, or to be more precise the Hebrew dialect of Aramaic, the common language of the Jews after the exile spoken at the time of Jesus.  Have you ever spoken to a large crowd?

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