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Acts 12:21

    Acts 12:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne, and made an oration to them.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And upon a set day Herod arrayed himself in royal apparel, and sat on the throne, and made an oration unto them.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And on the day which had been fixed, Herod, dressed in his robes and seated in his place, made a public statement to them.

    Webster's Revision

    And upon a set day Herod arrayed himself in royal apparel, and sat on the throne, and made an oration unto them.

    World English Bible

    On an appointed day, Herod dressed himself in royal clothing, sat on the throne, and gave a speech to them.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And upon a set day Herod arrayed himself in royal apparel, and sat on the throne, and made an oration unto them.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 12:21

    Upon a set day, etc. - A day on which games, etc., were exhibited in honor of the Roman emperor. What this refers to, we learn from Josephus. "Herod, having reigned three years over All Judea, (he had reigned over the tetrarchy of his brother Philip four years before this), went down to Caesarea, and there exhibited shows and games in honor of Claudius, and made vows for his health. On the second day of these shows, he put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a contexture most truly wonderful, and came into the theater early in the morning; at which time the silver of his garment, being illuminated by the first reflection of the sun's rays, shone out after a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a horror over those who looked intently upon him; and presently his flatterers cried out, one from one place, and another from another, 'He is a god:' and they added, 'Be thou merciful to us, for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature.' Nor did the king rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery. But, looking up, he saw an owl on a certain rope over his head, and immediately conceived that this bird was to him a messenger of ill tidings; and he fell into the deepest sorrow; a severe pain also arose in his bowels, and he died after five days' severe illness." This is the sum of the account given by Josephus, Ant. lib. xix. cap. 8, sect. 2.((See Whiston's edition.) Notwithstanding the embellishments of the Jewish historian, it agrees in the main surprisingly with the account given here by St. Luke. Josephus, it is true, suppresses some circumstances which would have been dishonorable to this impious king; and, according to his manner, puts a speech in Herod's mouth, when he found himself struck with death, expressive of much humility and contrition. But this speech is of no authority. When Josephus takes up and pursues the thread of mere historical narration, he may be safely trusted; but whenever he begins to embellish, or put speeches in the mouths of his actors, he is no longer to be credited. He even here transforms an angel of the Lord into an owl, and introduces it most improbably into his narration; as if an owl, a bird of all others that can least bear the light, should come and perch on the pavilion of the king, when the sun was shining with the most resplendent rays!

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 12:21

    And upon a set day - An appointed, public day. This was the second day of the sports and games which Herod celebrated in Caesarea in honor of Claudius Caesar. Josephus has given an account of this occurrence, which coincides remarkably with the narrative here. The account is contained in his "Antiquities of the Jews," book 19, chapter 8, section 2, and is as follows: "Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he came to the city Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato's Tower; and there he exhibited shows in honor of Caesar, upon his being informed that there was a certain festival celebrated to make vows for his safety. At which festival a great multitude was gotten together of the principal persons, and such as were of dignity throughout his province. On the second day of which shows he put on a garment made wholly of silver," etc.

    Arrayed in royal apparel - In the apparel of a king. Josephus thus describes the dress which Herod wore on that occasion. "He put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of wonderful contexture, and early in the morning came into the theater place of the shows and games, at which time the silver of his garment, being illuminated by the first reflection of the sun's rays upon it, shone after a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a horror over those that looked intently on him."

    Sat upon his throne - This does not denote a throne in the usual sense of that word, but "a high seat" in the theater, where he sat, and from whence he could have a full view of the games and sports. From this place he made his speech.

    Made an oration - Addressed the people.' What was the subject of this speech is not intimated by Luke or Josephus.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 12:21

    12:21 And on a set day - Which was solemnized yearly, in honour of Claudius Cesar; Herod, arrayed in royal apparel - In a garment so wrought with silver, that the rays of the rising sun striking upon, and being reflected from it, dazzled the eyes of the beholders. The people shouted, It is the voice of a god - Such profane flattery they frequently paid to princes. But the commonness of a wicked custom rather increases than lessens the guilt of it.