Acts 21:39 – 22:2 :
But Paul said, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.”
When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
“Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you.”
When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet.
It was a serious thing to arrest a Roman citizen without trial and Paul made sure that they realized what they were doing. Paul didn’t just let the government violate his rights as a citizen. He did try to abide by the law and do things in the most lawful way, however.
It probably took the commanding officer by surprise to find out that this man that they had just arrested was a Roman. He didn’t hesitate to allow Paul to speak and the amazing thing is that Paul “beckoned with his hand to the people” and “there was a great silence.” The accusers couldn’t bring peace, the Romans soldiers couldn’t bring peace, but the accused Christian who carried the truth of God simply made a hand motion and it was peaceful. Christianity is a peaceful worldview. People don’t really want peace. They would rather not have a God tell them to stop making war. The God of Christianity brings peace on earth through faith in Jesus but to those who don’t receive Him, the war continues inside of them.
The Bible says that “they were even more quiet” when Paul started speaking in Hebrew. Paul loved the Jews and he was still longing to be close to them even when they were showing him such contempt.