Acts 23:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 23:19, NIV: "The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, 'What is it you want to tell me?'"

Acts 23:19, ESV: "The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?”"

Acts 23:19, KJV: "Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?"

Acts 23:19, NASB: "The commander took him by the hand, and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, 'What is it that you have to report to me?'"

Acts 23:19, NLT: "The commander took his hand, led him aside, and asked, 'What is it you want to tell me?'"

Acts 23:19, CSB: "The commander took him by the hand, led him aside, and inquired privately, "What is it you have to report to me? ""

What does Acts 23:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The term "tribune" is a title for different offices. The Tribuni militum oversaw administration and logistics in a military unit and could be called to lead troops in battle. When stationed in a city, his responsibility was to protect the underclass from exploitation by the magistrates. This tribune is stationed at the barracks at the Antonia Fortress on the northern edge of the temple mount in Jerusalem. The position of tribune was a one-year career-broadening assignment, often for young senators.

For the past several days, this tribune has been trying to figure out why a mob of Jews grabbed a man, dragged him out of the temple, and nearly killed him (Acts 21:30–34). His latest attempt was to ask the Jewish ruling council—the Sanhedrin—but they tried to kill his prisoner, as well (Acts 23:1–10). Now a centurion brings a teenage boy into his office with a private message (Acts 23:17–18).

The tribune's prisoner is Paul, and the young man is his nephew. The Jews at the temple tried to kill Paul because they thought he'd brought a Gentile into the temple (Acts 21:27–31). The Sanhedrin tried to dismember him because he set the Pharisees against the Sadducees (Acts 23:1–10). Paul's nephew is there because he overheard a plot between forty Jews and the Sanhedrin to kill Paul (Acts 23:12–16).

The tribune still doesn't understand the nuances of why everyone is angry with Paul, but he knows he's in over his head. He sends Paul to the governor's capital on the coast with a large military escort, his compliments, and a request that the governor take over the case (Acts 23:23–30).