I think myself happy - As if he had said, This is a peculiarly fortunate circumstance in my favor, that I am called to make my defense before a judge so intelligent, and so well acquainted with the laws and customs of our country. It may be necessary just to observe that this Agrippa was king of Trachonitis, a region which lay on the north of Palestine, on the east side of Jordan, and south of Damascus. For his possessions, see on Acts 25:13; (note).
I think myself happy - I esteem it a favor and a privilege to be permitted to make my defense before one acquainted with Jewish customs and opinions. His defense, on former occasions, had been before Roman magistrates, who had little acquaintance with the opinions and customs of the Jews; who were not disposed to listen to the discussion of the points of difference between him and them, and who looked upon all their controversies with contempt. See Acts 24:25. They were, therefore, little qualified to decide a question which was closely connected with the Jewish customs and doctrines; and Paul now rejoiced to know that he was before one who, from his acquaintance with the Jewish customs and belief, would be able to appreciate his arguments. Paul was not now on his trial, but he was to defend himself, or state his cause, so that Agrippa might be able to aid Festus in transmitting a true account of the case to the Roman emperor. It was his interest and duty, therefore, to defend himself as well as possible, and to put him in possession of all the facts in the case. His defense is, consequently, made up chiefly of a most eloquent statement of the facts just as they had occurred.
I shall answer - I shall be permitted to make a statement, or to defend myself.
Touching - Respecting.
Whereof I am accused of the Jews - By the Jews. The matters of the accusation were his being a mover of sedition, a ringleader of the Christians, and a profaner of the temple, Acts 24:5-6.
If we have a sense of the long-suffering of God toward us, we shall not be found judging or accusing others. When Christ was living on the earth, how surprised His associates would have been, if, after becoming acquainted with Him, they had heard Him speak one word of accusation, of fault-finding, or of impatience. Let us never forget that those who love Him are to represent Him in character. MH 489.1
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 3:9. MH 489.2
The Lord Jesus demands our acknowledgment of the rights of every man. Men's social rights, and their rights as Christians, are to be taken into consideration. All are to be treated with refinement and delicacy, as the sons and daughters of God. MH 489.3Read in context »
The Lord Jesus demands our acknowledgment of the rights of every man. Men's social rights, and their rights as Christians, are to be taken into consideration. All are to be treated with refinement and delicacy, as the sons and daughters of God. GW 123.1
Christianity will make a man a gentleman. Christ was courteous, even to His persecutors; and His true followers will manifest the same spirit. Look at Paul when brought before rulers. His speech before Agrippa is an illustration of true courtesy as well as persuasive eloquence. The gospel does not encourage the formal politeness current with the world, but the courtesy that springs from real kindness of heart. GW 123.2Read in context »
Paul had appealed to Caesar, and Festus could not do otherwise than send him to Rome. But some time passed before a suitable ship could be found; and as other prisoners were to be sent with Paul, the consideration of their cases also occasioned delay. This gave Paul opportunity to present the reasons of his faith before the principal men of Caesarea, and also before King Agrippa II, the last of the Herods. AA 433.1Read in context »
Christianity will make a man a gentleman. We are the purchase of Christ's blood, and we are to represent Him, to pattern after Him. And He was courteous, even to His persecutors. The true follower of Jesus manifests the same mild, self-sacrificing spirit that marked the life of his Master. Look at Paul when brought before rulers. His speech before Agrippa is a model of dignified courtesy as well as persuasive eloquence. I would not encourage the formal politeness current with the world, which is destitute of the true spirit of courtesy, but the politeness that springs from real kindness of feeling. HP 296.5Read in context »