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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
Acts 2



Other Authors
Verse 1

The day of Pentecost; the fiftieth day; that is, the day after the expiration of seven weeks from the Passover. It was celebrated by the Jews as the anniversary of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. It would seem (comp. Acts 1:3) that there was an interval of eight or ten days between the ascension of Christ and this occasion, as he continued to appear to his disciples for forty days, and the day of Pentecost was the fiftieth.

Verse 2

House; apartment or hall.

Verse 5

Out of every nation under heaven; that is, from a great many of the neighboring nations, to which the Jews had emigrated.

Verse 15

Third hour; about nine o'clock in the morning.

Verse 16

Joel; Joel 2:28-32.

Acts 2:17,18. Prophesy,--see visions,--dream dreams. These are metaphorical expressions, denoting, in a general manner, all special communications from the Spirit of God.

Acts 2:19,20. These, also, are figurative expressions, referring to the portentous events which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem.

Verse 23

This bold assertion of the precedent and entire control which God exercises even over the events accomplished by the greatest human wickedness, strikingly accords with the declaration of Christ on a similar occasion. (Luke 22:22.) The human mind will probably ever continue to speculate in vain upon this subject. No one has yet resolved the theoretical difficulties in which it is involved,--although, practically, no difficulty arises from it whatever.

Verse 25

The quotation here made is from Psalms 16:8-11.

Verse 27

In hell. The word hell is used here, as in many other passages, to mean simply death, or the grave.

Verse 29

He, is both dead and buried, &c., and of course the above language cannot apply to him.

Verse 30

Of the fruit of his loins; of his descendants.

Verse 31

His soul; that is, Christ's soul.

Verse 33

Shed forth this; the spiritual influence which had awakened their wonder.

Verse 34

Is not ascended, &c.; has not risen from the grave.

Verse 36

Peter, in the foregoing speech, as he is addressing a Jewish audience, builds his argument on the predictions of the Old Testament Scriptures, in which they believed.

Verse 40

Untoward; perverse, wicked.

Verse 44

Had all things common; as explained below.

Verse 45

And parted them to all men, &c. that is, they sold their goods for the purpose of distributing to the poor, so far as there was need; and they did this so freely that they might be said to have all things common. The idea which has been sometimes entertained, that the early Christians adopted the principle of a community of goods, as the basis of their system of social polity is clearly erroneous. All the allusions to the subject of property which occur hereafter in this book, and in the Epistles, show that the title to property continued to be held personally, by individuals, and was not vested in the church. Hence the rich and the poor are constantly spoken of, and contributions are taken up in the churches when required.

Verse 47

Having favor with all the people. A truly good man will ordinarily be respected and beloved by the community. His firm principle will command respect, and his kindness and sympathy secure affection. It is a mistake to suppose that a Christian who is faithful must necessarily and always be the object of popular dislike.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Acts 2:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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