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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
Acts 12

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

1. κατ' ἐκεῖνον δὲ τὸν καιρόν, now about that time. The events narrated in this chapter must have occurred very shortly before Herod’s death. The date will therefore be about A.D. 43.

Ἡρώδης ὁ βασιλεύς. This was Herod Agrippa I. He was the son of Aristobulus, and grandson of Herod the Great. See Table of the Herods in Archdeacon Farrar’s St Luke (Cambridge Gk. Test. for Schools), Introduction, p. li.

ἐπέβαλεντὰς χεῖρας κακῶσαι, stretched forth his hands to injure. Agrippa according to Josephus (XIX. 7. 3) was anxious to be esteemed a devout Jew: ‘He loved to live continually at Jerusalem, and was exactly careful in the observance of the laws of his country. He therefore kept himself entirely pure, nor did any day pass over his head without its appointed sacrifice.’ Such a man might easily be roused, by the Jews whom he was so anxious to please, to the perpetration of cruelties upon the Christians.

On the seizure of St James, Chrysostom says, Τοῦτό ἐστιν ὃ ἔλεγεν ὁ Χριστός. τὸ μὲν ποτήριον ὃ μέλλω πίνειν πίεσθε, καὶ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθήσεσθε.


Verses 1-12

Acts 12:1-12. HEROD’S PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH. PETER’S MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE FROM PRISON


Verse 2

2. Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰουδαίοις, James, the brother of John. This was one of the two sons of Zebedee, who had been among the three specially favoured disciples of Jesus. It is therefore likely that he would take a leading part in the labours of the Church. Thus Agrippa’s attention would be drawn to him as a proper person to be first struck down. All the accusations which had been laid against Stephen, that the Christian leader spake against the Temple and the Law, would be used with effect to such a zealous observer of Mosaic ritual as Herod Agrippa was.

μαχαίρῃ, with the sword. This was the third in order of the modes of execution appointed among the Jews. These modes were [1] stoning, [2] burning, [3] the sword, and [4] strangulation. In connexion with the execution of James the words of the Mishna are interesting: ‘The ordinance for putting to death by the sword is as follows: the man’s head is cut off with the sword as is wont to be done by royal command.’ See Surenhusius on Sanhedrin, p. 248, where there is a discussion about the position of the prisoner, whether he should stand erect or have his head on a block.


Verse 3

3. ἰδὼν δὲ ὅτι ἀρεστόν ἐστιν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις, and because he saw it pleased the Jews, which with him was so great an object. Josephus, in contrasting Agrippa with the Herod who ruled before him, says the latter was ‘more friendly to the Greeks than to the Jews,’ but in this respect Agrippa ‘was not at all like him.’

προσέθετο συλλαβεῖν καὶ Πέτρον, he proceeded further to take Peter also. Literally, ‘he added to take &c.’ This is the literal rendering of a common Hebrew form. Cf. LXX. Genesis 4:2, καὶ προσέθετο τεκεῖν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, ‘and she bare again his brother,’ and Genesis 37:8, καὶ προσέθεντο ἔτι μισεῖν αὐτὸν ἕνεκεν τῶν ἐνυπνίων αὐτοῦ, ‘and they hated him yet the more for his dreams.’ Peter was the other most conspicuous figure among the Twelve, for John, as in his Gospel he keeps himself from view under the designation ‘that other disciple’ (John 20:2-3; John 21:20; John 21:23), so in the work of the early Church is but little noticed after the first persecution at Jerusalem.

ἦσαν δὲ ἡμέραι τῶν ἀζύμων, and those were the days of unleavened bread. The phrase refers to the whole Passover feast, as may be seen from Luke 22:1 ἡ ἑορτὴ τῶν ἀζύμων ἡ λεγομένη πάσχα.


Verse 4

4. ἔθετο εἰς φυλακήν, he put him in prison, to be kept a prisoner till the termination of the feast, when he might be brought to trial.

παραδοὺς τέσσαρσιν τετραδίοις κ.τ.λ., having delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him. A quaternion was a set of four men, which was the number at one time occupied in the work of the guard, two soldiers being chained to the prisoner, and two keeping guard outside. These latter are called (Acts 12:10) ‘the first and second ward.’ There were four such sets appointed to have charge of Peter, one company for each of the four watches by day and by night.

A similar arrangement for keeping guard, though not over a prisoner, is mentioned Philo in Flaccum 13, where an officer is sent to arrest Flaccus, and it is said στρατιώτην δέ τινα τῶν ἐν τοῖς τετραδίοις φυλακῶν καθ' ὁδὸν εὑρὼν κελεύει δεικνύναι τὴν οἰκίαν στρατάρχου.

βουλόμενος μετὰ τὸ πάσχα, intending after the Passover. The A.V. renders πάσχα by ‘Easter,’ meaning thereby to shew that the whole feast, and not the day of the sacrifice only, is spoken of. That this meaning, and not the single day of the Paschal feast is intended by the Greek, seems clear from the elaborate preparation made, as for a longer imprisonment than was the rule among the Jews. Peter was arrested at the commencement of the Passover feast (14th of Nisan), and the king’s intention was to proceed to sentence and punish him when the feast was at an end on the 21st of Nisan.

ἀναγαγεῖν αὐτὸν τῷ λαῷ, to bring him forth to the people. That they might see his zeal for Judaism by the sentence which he should pass upon Peter. The same verb is used (Luke 22:66) of bringing Jesus before the council, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ συνέδριον.


Verse 5

5. ἐτηρεῖτο ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ, was kept [guarded] in the prison. Another indication of the intended longer duration of the imprisonment, and that he was not arrested on the day of the Paschal sacrifice with the purpose of being brought forth on the morning of the 15th of Nisan, as some have maintained.

προσευχὴ δὲ ἦν ἐκτενῶς γινομένη κ.τ.λ., but prayer was earnestly made by the Church unto God for him. The adverb ἐκτενῶς is thus used in LXX. of earnest crying unto God. Joel 1:14; Jonah 3:8. So Judith 4:12 καὶ ἐβόησαν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν Ἰσραὴλ ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐκτενῶς τοῦ μὴ δοῦναι εἰς διαρπαγὴν τὰ νήπια αὐτῶν. The prayers of the Church were offered by assemblies of Christians meeting in various private houses (see Acts 12:12), for the persecution would now render public Christian services dangerous, as we know was often the case in the early days of Christianity.


Verse 6

6. ὅτε δὲ ἤμελλεν προαγαγεῖν αὐτὸν ὁ Ἡρώδης, and when Herod was about to bring him forth. This is an additional note of the lapse of some space between the arrest and the intended punishment of the Apostle.

φύλακές τε πρὸ τῆς θύρας, and guards before the door, i.e. those two soldiers of the quaternion who were not chained to the prisoner. See above on Acts 12:4.


Verse 7

7. καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη, and behold an angel of the Lord came upon him. The phrase is word for word the same as in Luke 2:9, and the words which follow there καὶ δόξα κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτοὺς have much resemblance to the further description here.

καὶἐν τῷ οἰκήματι, and a light shined in the cell. οἴκημα, though applicable to any dwelling-place, is used in classical Greek for such places as a tavern, a cage for birds, a store-room, and for a prison (as here) in Thuc. IV. 47, παραλαβόντες δὲ αὐτοὺς οἱ Κερκυραῖοι ἐς οἴκημα μέγα καθεῖρξαν. The light in the cell was due to the presence of the angel who came in the glory of the Lord.

ἤγειρεν αὐτόν, he roused him up. The verb indicates that the angel woke Peter from his sleep, not that he helped him to arise, as might be supposed from the A.V.


Verse 8

8. ζῶσαι, gird thyself. To gird up the loose Oriental robe was a necessity before undertaking any expeditious movement. So to Gehazi, (LXX.) 2 Kings 4:29, Elisha says Ζῶσαι τὴν ὀσφύν σου, and uses the same phrase (2 Kings 9:1) to that one of the sons of the prophets whom he is about to send to Ramoth-Gilead.

περιβαλοῦ τὸ ἱμάτιόν σου, cast thy garment about thee. The ἱμάτιον was the outer garment as distinguished from the under one, which is χιτών. The ἱμάτια were stripped off by those who stoned Stephen (Acts 7:58), and in the LXX. the constant phrase for rending the loose robe as a sign of horror is διέῤῥηξαν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτῶν, while the dress made for Adam and Eve is described as χιτῶνες δερμάτινοι (Genesis 3:21), and it was the χιτών which Ahab (1 Kings 21:27) rent, that he might put sackcloth upon his flesh. Cf. also ‘Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,’ chap. i. ἐὰν ἄρῃ τις τὸ ἱμάτιόν σου, δὸς αὐτῷ καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα.


Verse 9

9. αὐτῷ omitted with אABD. Vulg. represents it.


Verse 10

10. διελθόντες δὲ πρώτην φυλακὴν καὶ δευτέραν, and when they were past the first and second ward, i.e. the warders, who were stationed one nearer to the inner door of the prison and another at some further distance away.

ἦλθαν ἐπὶ τὴν πύλην κ.τ.λ., they came unto the iron gate that leadeth into the city. This description, with the words which immediately follow about the street into which they came, make it probable that the prison in which Peter was kept was in the midst of the city.

αὐτομάτη, of its own accord, i.e. without any human agency. Cf. the description of the fire which appeared to the Egyptians when they were oppressing the holy nation (Wisdom of Solomon 17:6), διεφαίνετο δ' αὐτοῖς μόνον αὐτομάτη πυρὰ φόβου πλήρης.

ἀπέστη ὁ ἄγγελος ἀπ' αὐτοῦ, the angel departed from him, giving no more aid now that the Apostle could make his way without supernatural assistance. Cf. Chrysostom’s words, τὰ μέν τοι ἔνδον γενόμενα θαυμασιώτερα ἦν, τοῦτο δὲ λοιπὸν ἀνθρωπινώτερον. ὅτε οὐδὲν κώλυμα ἦν τότε ἀπέστη ὁ ἄγγελος.


Verse 11

11. καὶ ὁ Πέτρος ἐν ἑαυτῷ γενόμενος, and when Peter was come to himself. This and the other subjective features of the narrative shew that the account must have been derived from St Peter himself. No one else could describe the astonishment and the after realization that all was truly enacted and no vision.

In Luke 15:17 the phrase is εἰς ἑαυτὸν γενόμενος where it is a moral and spiritual, not a physical, awakening and resipiscence that is spoken of.

καὶ πάσης τῆς προσδοκίας τοῦ λαοῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. Their gratification had been great at the death of James, and now they hoped to see another of the Apostles condemned and executed.


Verse 12

12. συνιδών τε, and when he comprehended the matter, i.e. had taken in all the circumstances and decided what was best to be done. The same word is used (Acts 14:6) of the disciples getting news of an intended attack, and making up their minds to flee before it took place.

΄αρίας τῆς μητρὸς Ἰωάννου κ.τ.λ., Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark. This Mary was the sister to Barnabas as we learn in Colossians 4:10, where Mark is called sister’s son to Barnabas. This relationship accounts for the way in which the uncle clung to his nephew, even when St Paul declined to have Mark as a companion on their second proposed missionary journey. We do not read of the father of Mark anywhere, so it is probable that Mary was a widow, and, like her brother, was possessed of means which enabled her to put a house, or a part thereof, at the service of the Church, as a meeting-place for prayer.

συνηθροισμένοι καὶ προσευχόμενοι, gathered together and praying. Probably Mary’s house was a regular place for Christian assemblies. At one time they would meet for one purpose, at another for another, but just when Peter was delivered their object in meeting had been to make supplication for his deliverance.


Verse 13

13. τὴν θύραν τοῦ πυλῶνος, the door of the gate. θύρα is the wicket which was opened for any one’s admission, while πυλών is the porch into which admission was obtained through the θύρα. ἡ θύρα τοῦ πυλῶνος occurs in the LXX. Ezekiel 40:11; also in Judges 18:16-17, in which latter place the expression applies to the gate of a city, which had also its wicket.

ὑπακοῦσαι, to hearken. Perhaps we have here a trace of the danger which at this time surrounded the disciples from this zeal for Judaism on the part of Herod. Saul had entered into every house and carried off men and women to prison (Acts 8:3), and there was a prospect of a like persecution. So Rhoda was not minded to open till she knew who was seeking for admission.


Verses 13-19

13–19. SURPRISE OF THE BRETHREN AND ANGER OF HEROD


Verse 14

14. καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ Πέτρου, and when she knew Peter’s voice. We know that there was something easily recognized in it, and he was known by his speech on a former occasion (Matthew 26:73).

ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς οὐκ ἤνοιξεν τὸν πυλῶνα, she opened not the gate for gladness. Cf. with this action the description of the disciples, Luke 24:41; when they recognized Jesus ‘they believed not for joy.’

On this Chrysostom remarks: καλῶς καὶ τοῦτο γέγονε· ἵνα μὴ καὶ ἐκεῖνοι ἐκπλαγῶσιν εὐθέως ἰδόντες καὶ ἀπιστήσωσιν, ἀλλ' ἐγγυμνασθῇ ἡ διάνοια, καὶ ὅπερ ἔθος ἡμῖν ποιεῖν, εὑρεθῇ πράττουσα καὶ αὐτή.


Verse 15

15. ἡ δὲ διϊσχυρίζετο, but she confidently affirmed. In the time of the A.V. constantly had the meaning of confidently, which it has now lost. διϊσχυρίζομαι is in N.T. only here and in St Luke 22:59. It occurs in Acta Petri et Pauli Apocryph. §§ 34 and 39, οἱ δὲ τῷ Σίμωνι κολληθέντες τὸν Πέτρον διϊσχυρίζοντο μάγον. The word is often found in classical Greek.

ὁ ἄγγελός ἐστιν αὐτοῦ, it is his angel. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews expresses (Acts 1:14) in part the opinion of the Jews concerning angels when he asks, ‘Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to do service to them who shall be heirs of salvation?’ The Jewish belief was that each man had a guardian angel assigned to him. Cf. Midrash Rabbah on Ecclesiastes 4:4, where it is said that ‘six hundred thousand of the angels of the presence came down on Sinai at the giving of the Law, and each one bore a crown to crown Israel, one for each Israelite.’ Cf. also our Lord’s language (Matthew 18:10).


Verse 17

17. πῶς, how. See on Acts 9:27 note.

ὁ κύριος αὐτὸν ἐξήγαγεν ἐκ τῆς φυλακῆς, the Lord had brought him out of the prison. Cf. his exclamation in Acts 12:11.

ἀπαγγείλατε, carry word. The A.V. has endeavoured to give the full sense by ‘Go, shew,’ but this seems as though it represented two verbs instead of one.

Ἰακώβῳ, unto James. This is no doubt the James who is afterwards (Acts 15:13) described as presiding over the council at Jerusalem concerning circumcision, and giving his sentence on that question. Thus he seems to have been at the head of the Church at Jerusalem, and to him it was natural for Peter to send the first news of his deliverance.

This James must have been either the son of Alphæus or else the James who is called one of the Lord’s brethren, but it is not easy to decide whether the persons called by these names were one and the same. It seems however safest not to identify the Apostle, James the son of Alphæus, with the Lord’s brother, for these brethren of Jesus did not believe in Him till a very late period of His ministerial life, long after the Twelve were chosen. But the James in St Luke’s narrative here is probably the Lord’s brother, because St Paul gives to the James who was one of the pillars of the Church at Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9) when St Paul visited that city, the express title of ‘the Lord’s brother’ (Galatians 1:19). This James, bishop of Jerusalem, was, as we learn from a tradition preserved by Eusebius (H. E. II. 23), cast down from the pinnacle of the Temple, whither the Jews had brought him, in the expectation that he would disown Christ. When, on the contrary, he still held to his belief, he was thrown down, and not being killed by the fall, was slain by a blow from the club of a fuller.

καὶ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς, and to the brethren, i.e. to the rest of the Christian congregation. Though it was in the middle of the night when his deliverance took place, Peter sends to the various centres where, as in the house of Mary, prayer was also being offered to God for his deliverance.

ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἕτερον τόπον, he went into another place. The peril of death was so imminent if he had been seized that he takes refuge by hiding where he cannot be found. The times are altered since the day when, after his former deliverance, he could dare to go and speak in the day-dawn to the people in the Temple. Then the populace were a protection to the Church and saved them from violence of the authorities, now the Jewish people are in expectation of a second execution.


Verse 18

18. τάραχος οὐκ ὀλίγος ἐν τοῖς στρατιώταις, no small stir among the soldiers. For the guards who had been chained to the prisoner would discover as soon as they awoke that he had escaped from between them, and they would know that their life would probably answer for the life of Peter.


Verse 19

19. μὴ εὑρών. It is difficult to imagine any more literal statement than these words, and there can be no distinction in such a sentence between μὴ and οὐ.

ἐκέλευσεν ἀπαχθῆναι, commanded that they should be put to death. This is the A.V., and gives the sense better than the literal rendering ‘commanded that they should be led forth.’ This ‘leading forth’ was the prelude to execution. The verb ἀπάγειν is frequent in the accounts of the trial and Crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospels.

κατελθὼνεἰς Καισάρειαν διέτριβεν. The preposition goes with κατελθών; he came down to Cæsarea and abode there. By Caligula there had been conferred on Herod Agrippa the tetrarchies of Herod Philip and Lysanias mentioned Luke 3:1. He afterwards received the tetrarchy of Antipas, and was honoured with the title of king. He therefore, and not a Roman governor, was in power at Cæsarea at this date, for Josephus tells us (Ant. XX. 8. 2) that he had received from Claudius, Judæa and Samaria in addition to the districts over which he had ruled under Caligula.


Verse 20

20. ἦν δὲ θυμομαχῶν, now he was highly displeased. The word is of very rare occurrence, being found once in Polybius and once in Diodorus Siculus, and nowhere else. It implies a very deep seated feeling of anger.

Τυρίοις καὶ Σιδωνίοις, with them of Tyre and Sidon. These cities were still seats of maritime industry, and perhaps Herod’s regard for the people of Berytus (Beyrout), another Phoenician seaport a little north of Sidon, may have been connected as cause or effect with his anger at the people of the two older cities. Josephus (XIX. 7. 5) gives an account of splendid buildings which this king provided for Berytus. It is clear that the way in which the royal anger had made itself felt was one which interfered with the commercial prosperity of Tyre and Sidon.

ὁμοθυμαδὸν δὲ παρῆσαν πρὸς αὐτόν, but they came with one accord to him, i.e. they joined in a common embassy and sent persons from both towns to make representations and to use their influence to appease Herod’s anger.

Βλάστον τὸν ἐπὶ τοῦ κοιτῶνος τοῦ βασιλέως, Blastus the king’s chamberlain. The name Blastus is Roman, and the man had probably taken office under this eastern king because he was high in the favour of the Roman emperor.

ᾐτοῦντο εἰρήνην, they asked for peace. We are not to understand from these words that Agrippa was making war on Tyre and Sidon, but only that he was on unfriendly terms with them and was impeding their trade.

διὰ τὸ τρέφεσθαι αὐτῶν τὴν χώραν ἀπὸ τῆς βασιλικῆς, because their country was nourished by the king’s country. The extent of Herod’s rule was very great, and if he encouraged another port, and made regulations by which traffic was diverted from the towns of Tyre and Sidon, it was in his power to take away from them at least one-half of the commerce which was their support.


Verses 20-25

20–25. DEATH OF HEROD AGRIPPA I. GROWTH OF THE CHURCH


Verse 21

21. τακτῇ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ, and upon a set day. The day was one appointed (as Josephus tells us) for holding a festival on which to make vows for the safety of the Roman emperor.

ὁ Ἡρώδης ἐνδυσάμενος ἐσθῆτα βασιλικήν, Herod having arrayed himself in royal apparel. See the extract from Josephus given below.


Verse 23

23. παραχρῆμα δὲ ἐπάταξεν αὐτὸν ἄγγελος κυρίου κ.τ.λ., and immediately an angel of the Lord smote himand he was eaten of worms. Cf. the fate of Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Maccabees 9:9), and Herod the Great’s death (Josephus, Ant. XVII. 6. 5). The passage in which Josephus describes these events is so important in its bearing on the N. Test. narrative that it deserves to be read in its entirety. He writes (Ant. XIX. 8. 2), “Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judæa he came to the city Cæsarea, which was formerly called Strato’s Tower, and there he exhibited shows in honour of Cæsar, 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 and of a contexture truly wonderful, and came into the theatre early in the morning, at which time the silver of his garment being illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun’s rays upon it, shone out after a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a dread and shuddering over those that looked intently upon it, and presently his flatterers cried out, one from one place and another from another (though not for his good), that he was 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.’ Upon this the King did neither rebuke them nor reject their impious flattery. But as he presently afterwards looked up he saw an owl sitting upon a certain rope over his head, and immediately understood that this bird was the messenger of ill tidings, as it had once been the messenger of good tidings to him, and fell into the deepest sorrow. A violent pain also arose in his belly, having begun with great severity. He therefore looked upon his friends and said, ‘I whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life, while Providence thus reproves the lying words you just now said to me; and I who was called by you immortal, am immediately to be hurried away by death. But I am bound to accept what Providence allots as it pleases God, for we have by no means lived ill, but in a splendid and happy manner.’ When he had said this his pain became violent. Accordingly he was carried into the palace, and the rumour went abroad everywhere that he would certainly die in a little time.… And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his bowels for five days he departed this life.”

We can see from this extract that among the throng who flattered Herod, there were some who were suing for mercy to be shewn to them; that the day was a set day, that Herod was clad in royal robes, that the flattery consisted in calling him a god, that he did not rebuke them; that he was stricken immediately so that he had to be carried to his palace, that he acknowledged that the stroke came from God as a rebuke for accepting such flattery, and everybody expected him to die at once.

With reference to the latter portion in which Josephus speaks of a violent pain increasing in vehemence very rapidly, and the N. Test, says he was eaten of worms, it is noticeable that, in the account of the death of Antiochus, already alluded to, we have these two features of the same disease mentioned and that they are described separately. First, 2 Maccabees 9:5, ‘The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, smote him with an incurable and invisible plague, for as soon as he had spoken these words a pain of the bowels that was remediless came upon him and sore torments of the inner parts.’ Then after a verse or two describing the pride of Antiochus we read, ‘So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man.’

Josephus (by whom Herod, as one who favoured Jews, was regarded as of no bad character, and was moreover looked upon with an eye of admiration as having been raised to the highest pitch of power through Roman influence, to which Josephus himself was very ready to pay court) has merely described the form in which the malady made itself apparent at first, and has left out the more loathsome details from the death story of one who in his eyes was a great king: while Holy Writ has given the fuller account, because the object of the writer of the Acts was to emphasize in all its enormity the sin for which Josephus tells us that Herod himself felt that he was stricken. The points of accord in the two accounts are so many, and the difference so slight and so easy to be accounted for, that this extract from Josephus must always be regarded as a most weighty testimony to the historic accuracy and faithfulness of St Luke’s narrative. For other instances of death by this loathsome malady, see Herodotus IV. 205; Eusebius VIII. 16; Tertullian ad Scapul. III. A similar account is given of the death of Philip II. of Spain.


Verse 24

24. ὁ δὲ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐπληθύνετο, but the word of God grew and multiplied, Cf. Acts 6:7 and Acts 19:20. ‘The seed is the word,’ said Christ, and so the Christian historian tells us that the word was as seed,—when it was cast forth diligently it waxed and brought forth fruit.


Verse 25

25. ὑπέστρεψαν ἐξ Ἱερουσαλήμ, returned from Jerusalem, i.e. to their labours among the Gentile converts in Antioch.

πληρώσαντες τὴν διακονίαν, when they had fulfilled their ministration, ἡ διακονία here means the giving into the care of the Church the contributions of the disciples in Antioch for the support of their brethren in Judæa during the famine which Agabus had foretold (Acts 11:28).

Ἰωάννην, John. See above on Acts 12:12.

 


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Acts 12:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/acts-12.html. 1896.

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