“The high priest Ananias
Those who stood by Paul
To strike him
On his mouth.”
ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς Ἀνανίας ἐπέταξεν τοῖς παρεστῶσιν αὐτῷ τύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ στόμα.
The author of Acts indicated that the high priest (ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς) Ananias (Ἀνανίας) ordered (ἐπέταξεν) those who stood (τοῖς παρεστῶσιν) by Paul (αὐτῷ) to strike (τύπτειν) him on his mouth (αὐτοῦ τὸ στόμα). This high priest named Ananias was the high priest from 47-59 CE. He was not the high priest named Annas who officially ruled from 6-15 CE, but who unofficially ruled through his five sons and his son-in-law Caiaphas. He had a major role in the gospel stories and probably died around 40 CE. There were two other people named Ananias in Acts. Ananias and Sapphira were killed for lying about their gifts in chapter 5:1-11. Then there was the devout man Ananias from Damascus who helped Paul get his sight and become a Christian in chapter 9:10-19. This high priest Ananias was the son of Nebedeus who presided or officiated as the high priest during the trial of the apostle Paul at Jerusalem. He may have been a violent, haughty, gluttonous, and rapacious man, but the Jews kept him in office. This Ananias was sent to Rome for trial in 52 CE, but was acquitted by the emperor Claudius. Being a friend of the Romans, Ananias was murdered by the people at the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War. Here he ordered the men who were close to Paul to strike him on his mouth. Have you ever had other people hit someone you did not like?