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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
Acts 3

 

 

Verse 1

1. ἀνέβαινον, were going up. The verb is in the imperfect tense and to render it exactly adds much to the vividness of the narrative. On the close attachment always seen between Peter and John, Chrysostom observes, παντάχου φαίνονται οὗτοι πολλὴν ἔχοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὁμόνοιαν. τούτῳ νεύει ὁ Πέτρος. ὁμοῦ εἰς τὸν τάφον ἔρχονται οὗτοι. περὶ αὐτοῦ φησὶν τῷ Χριστῷ, οὗτος δὲ τί;

The Temple stood above the city on Mt Moriah.

τὸ ἱερόν. While earnestly labouring for the spread of Christ’s teaching, they did not cast off their regard for that schoolmaster which had been appointed to bring men to Christ.

ἐπί. The preposition indicates the period of time towards which their movement tended, and may be well rendered for the hour, &c. They were on their way, and would get there at the time appointed for prayer. This is not the most common use of ἐπὶ with the accusative of time. It more frequently denotes that space of time over which any action is extended. Cf. Acts 13:31 ἐπὶ ἡμέρας πλείους = during many days. See Winer-Moulton, pp. 508, 509.

We read in Scripture of three specified hours of prayer in accordance with which the Psalmist speaks of his own custom (Psalms 55:17), ‘Evening, and morning, and at noon will I pray.’ And in like manner Daniel prayed ‘three times a day’ (Daniel 6:10). Cf. also ‘The Teaching of the twelve Apostles,’ chap. 8, τρὶς τῆς ἡμέρας οὕτω προσεύχεσθε. The hour of morning prayer was the third hour, and Peter went up to the housetop to pray (Acts 10:9) about the sixth hour, which was noon, and the evening prayer was this to which Peter and John were going up.

ἐνάτην. This orthography has the support of much authority. See Tischendorf’s Prolegomena, p. 49, ed. 7.

At the Equinox the ninth hour would be three o’clock in the afternoon, but when the daylight was longer it would be later, so that if there were 18 hours’ day and 6 hours of darkness, each hour of the day would be an hour and a half long, and the hours of the night only half an hour each. At such time the ninth hour would be at half-past four. See Acts 2:15 note.


Verses 1-10

Acts 3:1-10. HEALING OF THE LAME MAN AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE OF THE TEMPLE


Verse 2

2. ἐκ. Just as when this preposition is used with words directly indicative of time, the idea here contained in it is of a starting-point since which a certain state has been continuous. Cf. Acts 24:10, ἐκ πολλῶν ἐτῶν ὄντα κριτήν. Render, a certain man who was lame, otherwise ὑπάρχων is not represented.

ἐβαστάζετοἐτίθουν. The imperfect tenses imply that this was done regularly every day, and the position in which he had been daily set for the greater part of his forty years’ life (see Acts 4:22) made it certain that he would be widely and well known. In the same fashion Bartimaeus sat by the wayside to beg (Mark 10:46).

πρὸς τὴν θύρανὡραίαν. The gateways of the Temple gave admission to the inner court from the court of the Gentiles and the court of the women. There were three on the north and the same number on the south, but the Beautiful Gate meant in this verse was probably the gate on the east which led from the court of the women. The other gates, Josephus says (B. J. Acts 3:5; Acts 3:3), were overlaid with gold and silver, but this one was ‘made of Corinthian bronze, and much surpassed in worth those enriched with silver and gold.’

τοῦ αἰτεῖν, to ask. This form of construction of the infinitive with τοῦ to indicate purpose is abundantly common in N.T. and LXX. Cf. Genesis 4:15, καὶ ἔθετο κύριος ὁ θεὸς σημεῖον τῷ Κάϊν τοῦ μὴ ἀνελεῖν αὐτὸν πάντα τὸν εὑρίσκοντα αὐτόν.

ἐλεημοσύνην. Not a classical word, but very common in the LXX., first, for the feeling of mercy which dictates the giving of alms, and then, for the gift itself, as here. For the latter sense see Tobit 12:8, ἀγαθὸν προσευχὴ μετὰ νηστείας καὶ ἐλεημοσύνηςκαλὸν ποιῆσαι ἐλεημοσύνην ἢ θησαυρίσαι χρυσίον. Also Sirach 3:14; Sirach 3:30; Sirach 35:2.

From this word comes the English alms, formerly spelt almesse, or awmous, and in German it has become almosen.


Verse 3

3. λαβεῖν. This infinitive is redundant. A similar pleonasm is found Mark 1:17.


Verse 4

4. ἀτενίσας δέ. So of St Paul in a similar case (Acts 14:9). And doubtless too here Peter ‘perceived that the man had faith to be healed.’ For his first act after his cure—‘he entered into the temple’—bespeaks a devout frame of mind, and we may judge that though his infirmity had kept him at the gate for forty years, he had felt earnestly a longing to enter.


Verse 5

5. ἐπεῖχεν, gave heed. The verb requires τὸν νοῦν, or something similar, to be supplied with it. The sense is ‘turned (his attention).’ Cf. Sirach 34:2, ὁ ἐπέχων ἐνυπνίοις, ‘he that pays attention to dreams’; and Acts 3:18 of the same chapter, τίνι ἐπέχει; ‘To what does he pay attention?’


Verse 6

6. οὐχ ὑπάρχει μοι. The Apostles, we may see from this, made no claim for themselves upon the contributions of the richer converts. There seems to be a difference intended in the kind of possession, ὑπάρχω being used of the worldly belongings, ἔχω of the spiritual gifts, as being the best, and the most surely held.

Render the second clause, ‘What I have that give I thee.’ We are nowhere told how much time had passed since the day of Pentecost, but it is probable that this was not the first miracle which Peter wrought (see Acts 2:43). For he speaks as not without experience of what works God will enable him to do. His language is that of firm assurance, ‘what I have,’ though in a moment he adds ‘in the name of Jesus Christ.’

Ναζωραίου. According to St John’s account, the name Nazareth was included in the title on Christ’s cross (John 19:19), and we can see that the place was despised in the eyes of the Jews (John 1:46) from Nathanael’s question to Philip. This despised origin, as well as the shameful death, of Jesus, was a stumblingblock to the Jews.

ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει. There is some variation in the MSS. here, some having only the last verb. As it stands, the text is exactly the same as the words which Christ used (Luke 5:23) at the cure of the paralytic. Hence objectors have alleged that St Luke in the Acts has based his history here on those recorded words of Jesus. But what is more natural than that St Peter at such a time when speaking and acting in Christ’s name should employ Christ’s very words?


Verse 7

7. αἱ βάσεις αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ σφυρά. These words are found nowhere else in the N.T. They are of a technical character, and their use, together with the other features of exact description of the cripple’s case, indicate that we have before us the language of the physician (Colossians 4:14). And it is hardly possible to dwell too strongly on indications of this kind, which indirectly mark in the history something which is likewise noted in the Epistles. Those who would assign the second century as the date of the composition of the Acts, must assume for their supposed writer the keenest appreciation of every slight allusion in the letters of St Paul, and at the same time an ability to let his knowledge peep out only in hints like that which we find in this verse. Such persons, while rejecting all that is miraculous in the story as we have it, ask us to believe in such a writer as would himself be almost a miracle, for his powers of observation and the skill with which he has employed them.

βάσις in the LXX. is generally used of some basement or foundation on which a thing may rest, but it occurs with the meaning of this verse in Wisdom of Solomon 13:18, where, in speaking of an idolater, it is said he makes petitions περὶ ὁδοιποιρίας [ἱκετεύει] τὸ μηδὲ βάσει χρῆσθαι δυνάμενον, ‘for a good journey unto that which cannot set a foot forward.’


Verse 8

8. ἐξαλλόμενος, leaping up. Thus manifesting his faith by his instant obedience, though his limbs must have shrivelled with forty years’ want of use.

περιεπάτει. Every word seems to express the man’s joy. He kept walking is the sense of this imperfect.

εἰσῆλθεν, he went in. As we see afterwards, he did not want to leave his benefactors. Beside this, it was the best use he could make of his new powers, to go to the Temple with the other worshippers. Of this conduct Chrysostom says, διὰ τοῦ μετὰ τὸ ἅλλεσθαι αἰνεῖς τὸν θεόν, οὐκ ἐκείνους θαυμάζων ἀλλὰ τὸν θεὸν τὸν δι' ἐκείνων ἐνεργήσαντα οὕτως εὐχάριστος ἦν ὁ ἀνήρ.

ἁλλόμενος. He cannot put his strength sufficiently to exercise by the calm pace of those who have been walking all their lives. His exultant ‘leaping’ was a part of his ‘praising God.’

We can hardly fail to see, if we compare the narrative of this miracle with that of the similar one wrought at Lystra by St Paul [14], to which we have already referred, that St Luke has used faithfully the materials with which he was furnished by ‘eye-witnesses,’ and has given the accounts as he received them without any colouring of his own. In this chapter we have a description such as a painter would desire; the scene is brought vividly before us, and all the characters are in lively action. It is just such an account as we find in St Mark’s Gospel of the cure of the demoniac child (Mark 9:14-27), and both are quite in accord with all that we know of St Peter’s mode of speaking, and from St Peter it is most probable that the narrative in this chapter (like the substance of the Second Gospel) is derived. On the contrary, the story of the cure wrought at Lystra by St Paul is told in the fewest possible words and with no touch of the graphic power of which this description is so full. The difference bespeaks the faithfulness of the writer of the Acts, and shews us that he has left the narratives as they came to his hand, without any attempt to stamp on them an individuality of his own.


Verse 9

9. πᾶς ὁ λαός, all the people. There was no lack of testimony to the reality of the cure. Many of the witnesses must have known the cripple for years. The Jewish authorities (Acts 4:16) admit the unimpeachable character of the evidence.


Verse 10

10. ἐπεγίνωσκον. This verb is rendered they took knowledge in Acts 4:13, and that is the better sense here. It can hardly be intended to say that the whole of the people present knew the man. For the construction which brings from the predicate-sentence its subject and makes it the object in the antecedent clause, cf. below, Acts 9:20, ἐκήρυσσεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ.

πρός with an accusative of the aim or purpose. Cf. Acts 27:12, πρὸς παραχειμασίαν, ‘for the purpose of wintering in.’


Verse 11

11. Σολομῶντος. As the name of Solomon was so intimately connected with the Jewish temple, it is natural enough that one of its porches (or cloisters) should be called after him. There is no account of any such porch in Solomon’s own temple, but Josephus tells us (Ant. xx. 9. 7) that there was an eastern porch in Herod’s temple called by this name. The mention of this feature in the building is a sign that the writer, from whom St Luke drew, was one acquainted with the localities about which he speaks, and that the account was written before the fall of Jerusalem, or he would not have said ‘is called,’ or if he had done so would have been convicted of inconsistency of language by those to whom his work was first presented.

ἔκθαμβοι is in the plural, because the notion of λαὸς is a plural one.


Verses 11-26

11–26. ST PETER’S DISCOURSE TO THE CROWD


Verse 12

12. ἰδὼν δέ. Seeing, viz. their astonishment, as we may gather from his opening words, τί θαυμάζετε.

ἀπεκπίνατο, gave answer, i.e. to their looks, for there had been no words. This word, like the Hebr. ענה, is frequently used for the first utterance of a speaker, unevoked by any question. Cf. (LXX. and Hebrew) Deuteronomy 21:7; Deuteronomy 26:5; Deuteronomy 27:14. So too Acts 5:8, where Peter is said to have answered Sapphira, though she had said nothing, as far as we are told, and where the Apostle’s words are a question.

ἐπὶ τούτῳ, ‘at this man,’ as is evidenced by the pronoun being αὐτόν at the end of the verse.

ἰδίᾳ δυνάμει. As he had said to the crippled man, so now he makes it clear to the crowd, that the name of Jesus is the power to which the cure is due.

εὐσεβείᾳ. That extreme devotion to God was sometimes conceived to obtain miraculous power for its reward may be gathered from such narratives as the raising of the widow’s son by Elijah (1 Kings 17:24). The mother seeing her son restored to her says, ‘Now by this I know that thou art a man of God.’ Cf. also Nicodemus’ statement, John 3:2.

πεποιηκόσιν τοῦ περιπατεῖν αὐτόν, having made him to walk. This genitive of the infinitive is such a harsh construction after a verb with which a direct infinitive would be expected, that it is worth while to give a few illustrations of it, mainly from the LXX. 1 Chronicles 17:6 οἷς ἐνετειλάμην τοῦ ποιμαίνειν τὸν λαόν μου, compared with 1 Kings 17:4 καὶ τοῖς κόραξιν ἐντελοῦμαι διατρέφειν σε ἐκεῖ. So too Isaiah 5:6 ταῖς νεφέλαις ἐντελοῦμαι τοῦ μὴ βρέξαι εἰς αὐτὸν ὑετόν. The construction is also found Genesis 37:18 ἐπονηρεύοντο τοῦ ἀποκτεῖναι, Exodus 2:18 διὰ τί ἐταχύνατε τοῦ παραγενέσθαι σήμερον; ‘How is it that ye are come so soon to-day?’ (A.V.). Cf. also Acta Andr. Apocryph. 14 ἄλλοι οὖν καὶ ἄλλοι ἐπετήδευον τοῦ λῦσαι αὐτόν, and Acta Petri et Pauli, 5, ᾐτήσαντο Καίσαρα τοῦ ἀποστεῖλαι ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐπαρχίαις αὐτοῦ.


Verse 13

13. ὁ θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ κ.τ.λ. The crowd of listening Jews must have been sorely troubled to be told that they had been guilty of such rebellion against the God of their fathers.

παῖδα αὐτοῦ, His servant. The use of this word would carry the minds of the hearers back, as St Peter no doubt intended, to Isaiah 42:1, ‘Behold my servant whom I uphold,’ a passage which St Matthew (Matthew 12:18) applies to Jesus.

ἠρνήσασθε. When to Pilate’s question (John 19:15), ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ they had answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ Dodo

κατὰ πρόσωπον. This is a rendering of a Hebrew form לפני, and is common m the LXX. Cf. 1 Samuel 14:13; 1 Samuel 16:8; 1 Kings 1:23.

κρίναντος. Render, when he had given sentence to release Him. For Pilate had pronounced Jesus innocent (John 19:4).


Verse 14

14. τὸν ἅγιον. Whom even the demoniac (Mark 1:24) had confessed to be ‘the Holy One of God.’

φονέα, i.e. Barabbas, who had committed murder (Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19). Ἄνδρα seems here joined with φονέα, as ἄνθρωπος so often is with nouns that signify some occupation which is discreditable (γόης, συκοφάντης), to increase the odiousness of the term. So we have ἀνὴρ γεωργός for a tributary servant, LXX. Genesis 49:15, a sort of adscriptus glebæ.


Verse 15

15. ἀρχηγὸν τῆς ζωῆς, the prince of life. The same word applied to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) is rendered ‘author and finisher of our faith,’ and in the same epistle (Acts 2:10) ‘the captain of their salvation.’ It is probably in the latter sense that St Peter, whose thoughts are on the resurrection, uses the word here, thinking of Christ as the firstfruits of them that slept (1 Corinthians 15:20), but the other sense, that ‘in Him was life’ (John 1:4), is also embraced in the word.

ἤγειρεν, raised, i.e. once for all.

οὗ. This pronoun takes up the preceding ὅν, and refers to Jesus, ‘whose witnesses we are.’ Not merely of the Resurrection did the Apostles bear witness, but of all Christ’s teaching and deeds. Cf. Acts 1:22, where Matthias was chosen to be such a witness.


Verse 16

16. καὶ ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει κ.τ.λ., and on the ground of faith in His name, His name hath made strong this man whom ye see and know. This use of name = power, and even as an absolute equivalent for God, is very Jewish; cf. Acts 4:12. The usage grew out of such passages as Psalms 106:8, ‘He saved them for His name’s sake.’ In the literature of the Jews great power was attributed to the name of God even when only inscribed, e.g. as it was said in tradition to have been on the rod of Moses. By this power he is reported to have wrought the miracles in Egypt and in the wilderness. But St Peter’s language here explains that it is no such power of which he is now speaking, for the name of Jesus does not work the miracle per se, but only because of the faith of the believer.

For ἐπί = on account of, cf. Luke 5:5, ἐπὶ τῷ ῥήματί σου χαλάσω τὸ δίκτυον = on account of thy bidding. See Winer-Moulton, p. 491, who explains it as = ‘induced by.’

ἡ πίστις ἡ δι' αὐτοῦ. Cf. the same Apostle’s words (1 Peter 1:21), τοὺς δι' αὐτοῦ πιστοὺς, ‘you who through Him are believers.’ Christ is ‘the author and finisher of our faith.’

ὁλοκληρίαν, complete soundness. The word occurs in the LXX. Isaiah 1:6, οὐκ ἕστιν ἐν αὐτῷ ὁλοκληρία. Also in later Greek writers, as Plutarch.


Verse 17

17. κατὰ ἄγνοιαν, through ignorance. Ignorance has many degrees and may arise from many causes. The Jewish multitude were ignorant from want of teaching, their rulers from mental perverseness in looking only on one part of the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Yet of both of these it may be said that through ignorance (i.e. want of knowledge, however caused) they crucified Jesus. Compare the words of Chrysostom, ἀλλ' δμως δίδωσιν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν ἀρνήσασθαι καὶ μεταγνῶναι ἐπὶ τοῖς γεγεννημένοις· μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἀπολογίαν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν συντίθησιν εὐπρόσωπον, καὶ λέγει· ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἀθῷον ἀνηρεῖτε, ᾔδειτε· ὅτι δὲ τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς ζωῆς, ἵσως ἠγνοεῖτε. καὶ ἐντεῦθεν οὐκ αὐτοὺς μόνους ἀφίησιν ἐγκλημάτων, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς τῶν κακῶν ἀρχιτέκτονας.


Verse 18

18. τὸν Χριστὸν αὐτοῦ. Render, by the mouth of all the prophets that His Christ should suffer. The purpose of the whole of the Scripture is to set forth the redemption of men through the suffering of Christ. So that from the first mention of the bruising of the heel of the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), there had been a constant chain of testimony that the Christ should suffer. The ignorance of the Jews was manifested in this, that they would only see what spake of the sovereignty of the Messiah, and so rejected Him who came to give His life as a ransom for men.

οὕτως. Emphatic. By turning your evil deed to a purpose of salvation. So Chrysostom, ὅρα πόση τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ σοφία, ὅτ' ἂγ ταῖς ἑτέρων πονηρίαις εἰς τὸ δέον ᾖ κατακεχρημένη.


Verse 19

19. μετανοήσατε, repent; seeing how great your offence is, but yet that sin done in ignorance may be pardoned.

ἐπιστρέψατε. Literally, turn again, i.e. from the evil of your ways. So (Acts 11:21) ‘a great number believed and turned unto the Lord.’ The phrase ‘be converted’ of the A.V. has received much augmentation of meaning since 1611.

ἐξαλειφθῆναι. A very common word in the LXX. for the blotting-out of offences. The idea is, they are written down, but may be erased. Cf. Jeremiah 18:23, τὰς ἁμαρτίς αὐτῶν μὴ ἐξαλείψῃς. So Psalms 50 [51]:1, 11, 108 [109]:14; 2 Maccabees 12:42.

ὅπως ἄν. These particles cannot be translated ‘when the times … shall come,’ but ‘that the times … may come.’ They indicate a purpose, the accomplishment of which still lies in doubt. So the Apostle’s argument is, Repent, that your sins may be blotted out, that in this way (i.e. by your penitence) the times of refreshing may come. ὅπως ἄν is rendered in this sense (Acts 15:17), ‘That the residue of men might [better may] seek after the Lord.’ See also Luke 2:35.

καιροὶ ἀναψύξεως. Literally, ‘appointed times of refreshing.’ These God hath appointed and keeps in His own power, but the penitence of men can hasten them. They are called ‘times of refreshing,’ i.e. peace and blessedness, for the Apostle describes them afterwards as the coming of the Christ. But by the prophecies which he quotes he shews that the refreshing is for those only who repent (Acts 3:23) and hear the prophet whom God sends. The anticipation of a speedy return of Christ from heaven was common among the first believers. St Peter here does not directly state this opinion, but we can see how current it was from St Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, where he finds it necessary to warn the Christians of that Church against the disquiet which the immediate expectation of the second Advent was causing among them.

ἀνάψυξις is used in LXX. Exodus 8:15 of the relief which Pharaoh felt when the plague of frogs was removed.


Verse 20

20. καὶ ἀποστείλῃ. The construction is continued from ὅπως ἄν in the previous verse. Render, and that He may send.

προκεχειρισμένον, the Christ which was appointed for you, even Jesus. This reading and sense agree with the proof which St Peter presently cites (Acts 3:25), ‘Ye are the children of the covenant which God made with our fathers.’ The Christ, the Messiah had been appointed and promised unto the Jewish nation, and now the promise of the covenant is fulfilled in Jesus.


Verse 21

21. δέξασθαι. And Peter and the rest could bear witness that He was gone into heaven, His work on earth being finished.

ἀποκαταστάσεως πάντων, restoration of all things, i.e. at Christ’s second coming. But this phrase, ‘the restoration of all things,’ is used in two senses in N.T. For it is said (Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12) that Elias must ‘first come and restore all things.’ There the beginning of Christ’s Kingdom is meant. As Christ’s death was for all men’s redemption, the restoration of all things may be said to have begun then. In the present verse the words have reference to the time when the course of that restoration shall be completed.

ὦν ἐλάλησεν. For the attraction of the relative, see note on Acts 1:1. Render, of which [times] God hath spoken.


Verse 22

22. ΄ωϋσῆς μέν, Moses indeed said. Here the Apostle cites the prophecies to which he has been alluding. First from Deuteronomy 18:15 (though not quoting the LXX. quite exactly) he points out that the prophet who had been promised was to be of their brethren, as Moses had been. This was a comparison which the Jews themselves were fond of making, and they often identified the prophet of whom Moses spake with the Messiah. Thus the Midrash Rabbah on Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, ‘Rabbi Berakhiah in the name of Rabbi Yizkhak [Isaac] says: “As was the former redeemer so shall the latter redeemer be.” While of the former redeemer it is said (Exodus 4:20), “And Moses took his wife and his sons and set them upon an ass,” so of the latter: for it says (Zechariah 9:9), “He is lowly and riding upon an ass.” And while the former redeemer brought down manna, as it says (Exodus 16:4), “Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you,” so the latter redeemer will bring down manna. For it says (Psalms 72:16), “There shall be abundance of corn in the earth.” And as the former redeemer caused the well to spring up (see Numbers 21:17), so the latter redeemer shall also cause the waters to spring up. For it says (Joel 3:18), “A fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.”’

ὡς ἐμέ, like unto me. This is a rendering of the Hebrew כּ, and is very common in the LXX. Cf. Judges 8:18 καὶ εἶπαν Ὡς σὺ ὤς αὐτοὶ, εἰς ὁμοίωμα υἱοῦ βασιλέως.

ἀκούσεσθε, i.e. those who have ‘ears to hear’ when the prophet comes and speaks. The next verse shews that all the nation were not included in the ‘ye.’


Verse 24

24. καὶ πάντες δὲ οἱ προφῆται. To other prophecies St Peter only makes a general reference. We learn (Midrash Shemuel, c. 24) that Samuel was called by the Jews the Rabban, the chief and teacher, of the prophets and there are several reasons why he is put in this foremost place. [1] We never read of a school of the prophets before his time. [2] His mother Hannah is the first person in Holy Writ who speaks of the Messiah (1 Samuel 2:10), ‘God’s anointed.’ [3] Jewish tradition says that the man of God who came to Eli (1 Samuel 2:27) was Elkanah. The Targum on 1 Samuel 10:12, ‘But who is their father?’ explains father by Rabbi, and refers the word to Samuel, so that the question in that verse would imply, ‘Why do you wonder at Saul among the prophets? Who is it that instructs the prophets? Is it not Samuel? And has not Saul been with him just now and been anointed by him?’ All this could be said without the speaker having any knowledge that Saul was to be king. For the use of father as = teacher or Rabbi cf. Elisha’s cry to Elijah (2 Kings 2:12), ‘My father, my father.’

ὅσοι ἐλάλησαν καὶ κατήγγειλαν. Render, as many as spake they also told of these days. The προ which is prefixed to the latter verb in the Text. recept. seems to have been introduced with the notion that the words of a prophet must of necessity be predictive. Whereas the prophet was one who spake for God, gave a message in His name, but was not necessarily a foreteller of the future.


Verse 25

25. υἱοὶ τῶν προφητῶν. Render, sons of the prophets, i.e. of the same race as they, and hence what they spake is meant for you. For you is the prophet raised up whom Moses foretold.

καὶ τῆς διαθήκης, and [sons] of the covenant, i.e. heirs to its promises and obligations. So (2 Kings 14:14) hostages are called literally sons of the pledgings or compacts. LXX. οἱ νἱοὶ τῶν συμμίξεων. So the two anointed ones are called LXX. Zechariah 4:14 υἱοὶ τῆς πιότητος.

λέγων. The quotation is from Genesis 22:18, but the LXX. instead of πᾶσαι αἱ πατριαὶ has πάντα τὰ ἔθνη.


Verse 26

26. ὑμῖν πρῶτον. That the house of Israel might first receive the blessing, and be God’s instruments in spreading it abroad.

ἀναστήσας. The word is used here not of the resurrection of Jesus, but recalling the promise of Moses, cited in Acts 5:22 that a prophet should be raised up (ἀναστήσει κύριος) and sent unto the people.

τὸν παῖδα αὐτοῦ, His servant. See note on Acts 3:13.

εὐλογοῦντα, to bless you (literally, blessing you), i.e. by the appointed times of refreshing alluded to in Acts 3:19. The way and means to this blessing is to be by the repentance and turning again to which the Apostle has been exhorting them. And to effect this they must turn away from their iniquities, but for doing this he assures them they will find present help in Christ.

Such a construction as this of a present participle after an aorist tense has sometimes been explained as though it were equal to a future. It is better to regard the action expressed by the participle as having begun from the point of time indicated by the verb. So here, the blessing was ready for the faithful as soon as ever Christ was sent. Cf. Winer-Moulton, p. 429.

ἐν τῷ ἀποστρέφειν, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. This word is very common in the LXX. in this sense. See Ezekiel 18:27, ἐν τῷ ἀποστρέψαι ἄνομον ἀπὸ τῆς ἀνομίας αὐτοῦ. Also Ezekiel 3:19; Ezekiel 33:14 and Jonah 3:10, ἀπέστρεψαν ἀπὸ τῶν ὁδῶν αὐτῶν τῶν πονηρῶν.

 


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Acts 3:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/acts-3.html. 1896.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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