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Bible Commentaries
Acts 13

The Expositor's Greek TestamentExpositor's Greek Testament

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First Missionary Journey of St. Paul. On the unity of 13 and 14 with the rest of the book see additional note at end of chap. 14.

Verse 1

Acts 13:1 . κατὰ τὴν οὖσας ἐκκ .: the word οὖσαν may well be used here, as the participle of εἰμί is often used in Acts to introduce some technical phrase, or some term marked out as having a technical force, cf. Acts 5:17 , Acts 14:13 , Acts 28:17 , so that a new stage in the history of the Christians at Antioch is marked no longer a mere congregation, but “the Church that was there” (Ramsay, Church in the R. E. , p. 52). So also Weiss, in loco ; οὖσαν stands in contrast to Acts 11:21-26 : there was no longer a mere company of believers at Antioch, but a Church. ἐν Ἀ .: Blass maintains that the order of words as compared with the mention of the Church in Jerusalem, Acts 11:22 , emphasises the fact that Antioch is the starting-point of the succeeding missionary enterprise, and is named first, and so distinctively set before men’s eyes. προφῆται καὶ διδάσκαλοι , see above on Acts 11:27 . From 1 Corinthians 12:28 it would seem that in Corinth at all events not all teachers were prophets, although in a sense all prophets were teachers, in so far as they edified the Church. The two gifts might be united in the same person as in Paul himself, Gal 2:2 , 2 Corinthians 12:1 (Zöckler). In Ephesians 4:11 , as in 1 Corinthians 12:28 , Apostles stand first in the Church, Prophets next, and after them Teachers. But whilst it is quite possible to regard the account of the gift of προφητεία in 1 Corinthians 12-14 as expressing “inspiration” rather than “official character,” this does not detract from the pre-eminent honour and importance assigned to the prophets and teachers at Antioch. Their position is such and their powers are such in the description before us that they might fairly be described as “presbyters,” whose official position was enhanced by the possession of a special gift, “the prophecy” of the New Testament, “presbyters” who like those in 1 Timothy 5:17 might also be described as κοπιῶντες ἐν διδασκαλίᾳ , Moberly, Ministerial Priesthood , pp. 159, 160, 166, 208. See further on the relation of the prophets and teachers in the Didaché “Church,” Hastings’ B.D., i. 436, Bigg, Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles , p. 27; and on the relation of prophecy and teaching in the N.T., McGiffert, Apostolic Age , p. 528, Zöckler, in loco . τε … καὶ : a difficulty arises as to the force of these particles. It is urged that two groups are thus represented, the first three names forming one group (prophets), and the last two another group (teachers), so Ramsay (p. 65), Weiss, Holtzmann, Zöckler, Harnack, Knabenbauer, and amongst older commentators Meyer and Alford; but on the other hand Wendt, so Nösgen, Felten, Hilgenfeld think that there is no such separation intended, as Paul himself later claims the prophetic gift (1 Corinthians 14:6 ), to which Zöckler would reply that at this time Paul might well be described as a teacher, his prophetic gift being more developed at a later date. Amongst recent English writers both Hort and Gore regard the term “prophets and teachers” as applying to all the five (so Page). Συμεὼν : nothing is known of him. Spitta would identify him with Simon of Cyrene, Matthew 27:32 , but the epithet Niger may have been given to distinguish him from others of the same name, and possibly from the Simon to whom Spitta refers. Λούκιος ὁ Κ .: Zöckler describes as “quite absurd” the attempt to identify him with Luke of the Acts. The names are quite different, and the identification has been supported on the ground that Cyrene was a famous school of medicine. This Lucius may have been one of the men of Cyrene, Acts 11:20 , who first preached the Gospel at Antioch. Others have proposed to identify him with the Lucius of Romans 16:21 . Μαναήν : of the three names, as distinct from Barnabas and Paul, Blass says ignoti reliqui , and we cannot say more than this. For although Mark is described as σύντροφος of Herod the Tetrarch (Antipas), the description is still very indefinite. A.V. “brought up with,” R.V. “foster-brother,” collactaneus , Vulgate. For an ingenious study on the name and the man see Plumptre, in loco, cf. also Wetstein and Zöckler. The name occurs in Malachi 1:6; Malachi 1:6 , but the reading must apparently give place to συνέκτροφοι . It is also found in 2Ma 9:29 , and once in the N.T. in the present passage. Deissmann, from the evidence of the inscriptions, regards it as a court title, and quotes amongst other places an inscription in Delos of the first half of the second century B.C., where Heliodorus is described as σύντροφος τοῦ βασιλέως Σελεύκου φιλοπάτορος . So Manaen also might be described as a confidential friend of Herod Antipas, Bibelstudien , pp. 173, 178 181. Σαῦλος , placed last probably because the others were older members of the Church. The position certainly does not mark the list as unhistorical; if the account came from the Apostle himself, the lowest place was eminently characteristic of him.

Verse 2

Acts 13:2 . λειτουργούντων : “as they ministered to the Lord,” A. and R. V., ministrantibus Domino , Vulgate. It would be difficult to find a more appropriate rendering. On the one hand the word is habitually used in the LXX of the service of the priests and Levites ( cf. Hebrews 8:2 ; Hebrews 10:11 ), although it has a wider meaning as, e.g. , when used to describe the service of Samuel to God, 1Sa 2:18 ; 1 Samuel 3:1 , or of service to man, 1 Kings 1:4 ; 1Ki 1:15 , 2 Chronicles 17:19 , Sir 10:25 . So too in the N.T. it is used in the widest sense of those who aid others in their poverty, Romans 15:27 ( cf. 2 Corinthians 9:12 ), Philippians 2:25 ; Philippians 2:27 , and also λειτουργία τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν , Philippians 2:17 , of the whole life of the Christian Society. But here the context, see on Acts 13:3 ( cf. Acts 14:23 ), seems to point to some special public religious service (Hort, Ecclesia , p. 63, but see also Ramsay’s rendering of the words, and Zöckler, in loco ). In this early period λειτουργία could of course not be applied to the Eucharist alone, and the Romanist commentator Felten only goes so far as to say that a reference to it cannot be excluded in the passage before us, and in this we may agree with him. At all events it seems somewhat arbitrary to explain Didaché , xv. 1, where we have a parallel phrase, of the service of public worship, whilst in the passage before us the words are explained of serving Christ whether by prayer or by instructing others concerning the way of salvation; so Grimm-Thayer. In each passage the verb should certainly be taken as referring to the ministry of public worship. In the N.T. the whole group of words, λειτουργέω , λειτουργία , λειτουργός , λειτουργικός , is found only in St. Luke, St. Paul, and Hebrews. See further on the classical and Biblical usage Westcott, Hebrews , additional note on Acts 8:2 . Deissmann, Bibelstudien , p. 137, from pre-Christian papyri points out that λειτουργία and λειτουργέω were used by the Egyptians of the sacred service of the priests, and sometimes of a wider religious service. αὐτῶν : not the whole Ecclesia, but the prophets and teachers: “prophetarum doctorumque qui quasi arctius sunt concilium,” Blass. νηστευόντων , cf. Acts 10:30 , Acts 14:23 , Acts 27:9 , and in O.T. 1 Samuel 7:5-6 , Daniel 9:3 , on the union of fasting and prayer. In Didaché , viii. 1, while the fasts of the “hypocrites” are condemned, fasting is enjoined on the fourth day of the week, and on Friday, i.e. , the day of the Betrayal and the Crucifixion. But Didaché , vii., 4, lays it down that before baptism the baptiser and the candidate should fast. The conduct therefore of the prophets and teachers at Antioch before the solemn mission of Barnabas and Saul to their work is exactly what might have been expected, cf. Edersheim, Temple and its Services , p. 66. εἶπε τὸ Π .: we may reasonably infer by one of the prophets; it may have been at a solemn meeting of the whole Ecclesia held expressly with reference to a project for carrying the Gospel to the heathen (Hort, Felten, Hackett). Felten sees in δή an indication of an answer to a special prayer. But it does not follow that the “liturgical” functions should be assigned to the whole Ecclesia. Ἀφορίσατε , cf. the same word used by St. Paul of himself, Romans 1:1 , Galatians 1:15 , LXX, Leviticus 20:26 , Numbers 8:11 . μοι . Such words and acts indicate the personality of the Holy Ghost, cf. δή emphatic, signifying the urgency of the command ( cf. use of the word in classical Greek). A. and R.V. omit altogether in translation. In Luke 2:15 both render it “now,” in Matthew 13:23 , R.V. “verily,” Acts 15:36 , “now,” 1 Corinthians 6:20 , A. and R.V. “therefore,” to emphasise a demand as here. With this force the word is thus peculiar to Luke and Paul (in other passages, reading contested). The translation of the word may have been omitted here, since the rendering “now” would have been taken in a temporal sense which δή need not suggest. ὃ for εἰς ὃ , cf. Acts 1:21 , Luke 1:25 ; Luke 12:46 . Grimm-Thayer, Winer-Moulton, l., 7 b , so in Greek writers generally. προσκέκλημαι , cf. Acts 2:39 , Acts 16:10 . Grimm-Thayer, sub v. b. Winer-Moulton, xxxix. 3.

Verse 3

Acts 13:3 . τότε probably indicating a new and special act of fasting and prayer. But is the subject of the sentence the whole Ecclesia , or only the prophets and teachers mentioned before? Ramsay maintains that it cannot be the officials just mentioned, because they cannot be said to lay hands on two of themselves, so that he considers some awkward change of subject takes place, and that the simplest interpretation is that the Church as a whole held a meeting for this solemn purpose ( cf. πάντες in ). But if the whole Church was present, it does not follow that they took part in every detail of the service, just as they may have been present in the public service of worship in Acts 13:2 (see above) without λειτουργ . τῷ Κ . equally with the prophets and teachers ( cf. Felten and also Wendt). There is therefore no reason to assume that the laying on of hands was performed by the whole Church, or that St. Luke could have been ignorant that this function was one which belonged specifically to the officers of the Church. The change of subject is not more awkward than in Acts 6:6 . Dr. Hort is evidently conscious of the difficulty, see especially Ecclesia , p. 64. No doubt, on the return of the two missionaries, they report their doings to the whole Church, Acts 14:27 , but this is no proof that the laying on of hands for their consecration to their mission was the act of the whole Church. That prophets and teachers should thus perform what is represented in Acts as an Apostolic function need not surprise us, see Gore, u. s. , pp. 241, 260, 261. A further question arises as to whether this passage conflicts with the fact that St. Paul was already an Apostle, and that his Apostleship was based not upon his appointment by man, or upon human teaching, but upon a revelation from God, and upon the fact that he had seen the Lord. It is certainly remarkable that both Barnabas and Saul are called Apostles by St. Luke in connection with this first missionary journey, and that under no other circumstance does he apply the term to either, Acts 14:4 ; Acts 14:14 , and it is possible that the title may have been given here in a limited sense with reference to their special mission; see Hort, Ecclesia , pp. 28, 64, 65. But at the same time we must remember that in the N.T. the term ἀπόστολος is never applied to any one who may not very well have satisfied the primary qualification of Apostleship, viz. , to have seen the Lord, and to bear witness to His Resurrection, see Lightfoot, Galatians , p. 95 ff. (as against the recent statements of McGiffert, Apostolic Age , p. 653): “We have no reason to suppose that this condition was ever waived, unless we throw forward the Teaching into the second century,” Gwatkin, “Apostle,” Hastings’ B.D.: see further, Lightfoot, Philippians , p. 350, additional note on the Didaché . This we may accept, except in so far as it bears upon the Didaché , in which the Apostles (only mentioned in one passage, Acts 11:3-6 ) may be contrasted rather than compared with the Apostles of the N.T., inasmuch as they are represented as wandering missionaries, itinerating from place to place, in days of corruption and gross imposture, and inasmuch as the picture which the Didaché reveals is apparently characteristic of a corner of Church life rather than of the whole of it; Moberly, Ministerial Priesthood , p. 176; Bright, Some Aspects of Primitive Church Life , p. 34, and the strictures of Bigg, Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles , pp. 27, 40 ff. It may of course be urged that we know nothing of Barnabas and of the others, to whom Lightfoot and Gwatkin refer as to their special call from Christ, whilst in the case of St. Paul we have his own positive assertion. But even in his case the laying on of hands recognised, if it did not bestow, his Apostolic commission, and “the ceremony of Ordination when it was not the channel of the grace was its recognition,” Gore, u. s. , pp. 257 267, 383, 395, etc., and see especially the striking passage in Moberly, Ministerial Priesthood , pp. 107, 108.

Verse 4

Acts 13:4 . μὲν οὖν answered by δέ in Acts 13:5 , so Weiss and Rendall, Appendix on μὲν οὖν , p. 161. Page takes διελ . δέ in Acts 13:6 as the antithesis, see his note on Acts 2:41 . ἐκπεμφ ., cf. Acts 13:2 ; only in N.T. in Act 17:10 , cf. 2 Samuel 19:31 , where it denotes personal conduct. Mr. Rendall’s note takes the verb here also of the personal presence of the Holy Spirit conducting the Apostles on their way. κατῆλθον : “went down,” R.V., of a journey from the interior to the coast, cf. Acts 15:30 ; Vulgate, abierunt , and so A.V. “departed,” which fails to give the full force of the word. Σελεύκειαν : the port of Antioch, built by the first Seleucus, about sixteen miles from the city on the Orontes; Seleucia ad mare and ἡ ἐν Πιερίᾳ to distinguish it from other places bearing the same name, see Wetstein for references to it. On its mention here and St. Luke’s custom see Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 70. Κύπρον , cf. Acts 4:36 . Although not expressly stated, we may well believe that the place was divinely intimated. But it was natural for more reasons than one that the missionaries should make for Cyprus. Barnabas was a Cypriote, and the nearness of Cyprus to Syria and its productive copper mines had attracted a large settlement of Jews, cf. also Acts 11:19-20 , and the Church at Antioch moreover owed its birth in part to the Cypriotes, Acts 11:20 (Acts 21:16 ).

Verse 5

Acts 13:5 . Σαλαμῖνι : the nearest place to Seleucia on the eastern coast of Cyprus. A few hours’ sail in favourable weather would bring the traveller to a harbour convenient and capacious. The Jewish colony must have been considerable since mention is made of synagogues. κατήγγελλον : “they began to proclaim” … ἐν ταῖς συν ., it was St. Paul’s habitual custom to go to the synagogues first, cf. Acts 9:20 , Acts 14:1 , etc. Ἰωάννην : the marked silence about him previously seems to emphasise the fact that he was not selected by the Holy Ghost in the same solemn way as Barnabas and Saul. ὑπηρέτην , cf. Luke 4:20 , and many writers give it here a kind of official sense (although the word may be used of any kind of service), “velut ad baptizandum,” cf. Acts 10:48 (1 Corinthians 1:14 ), Blass; so Alford, Felten, Overbeck, Weiss. But the word may express the fact that John Mark was able to set the Apostles more free for their work of evangelising.

Verse 6

Acts 13:6 . διελθόντες δὲ ( ὅλην ) τὴν ν .: “and they made a missionary progress through the whole island,” Ramsay, St. Paul , pp. 72 and 384, and “Words demoting Missionary Travel in Acts,” Expositor , May, 1896; on ὅλην , see critical notes. Ramsay gives nine examples in Acts of this use of διέρχεσθαι or διελθεῖν with the accusative of the region traversed, the only other instance in the N.T. being 1 Corinthians 16:5 . In each of these ten cases the verb implies the process of going over a country as a missionary, and it is remarkable that in 1 12 this construction of διέρχομαι never occurs, though there are cases in which the idea of a missionary tour requires expression. Ramsay therefore sees in the use of the word in the second part of the book a quasi technical term which the writer had caught from St. Paul himself, by whom alone it is also employed. Πάφου : Nea Paphos the chief town and the place of residence of the Roman governor some little distance from the old Paphos ( Παλαίπαφος , Strabo) celebrated for its Venus temple. The place still bears the name of Baffa , Renan, St. Paul , p. 14; O. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte , p. 101; C. and H., smaller edition, p. 125. μάγον , cf. Acts 8:9 ; “sorcerer,” A. and R.V. margin, cf. Matthew 2:1 , but word used here as among the Greeks and Romans in a bad sense. Wycl. has “witch,” and this in its masculine form “wizard” has been suggested as an appropriate rendering here. On the absurd attempt to show that the whole narrative is merely introduced as a parallel to St. Peter’s encounter with Simon, chap. 8, see Nösgen, p. 427; Zöckler, in loco , and Salmon, Introduction , p. 310. The parallel really amounts to this, that both Peter and Paul encountered a person described under the same title, a magician an encounter surely not improbable in the social circumstances of the time (see below)! For other views see Holtzmann, who still holds that the narrative is influenced by Acts 8:14 ff. The word is entirely omitted by Jüngst, p. 120, without any authority whatever. Elymas, according to the narrative, says Jüngst, was either a magician or a false prophet. But the proconsul is styled ἀνὴρ συνετός , and this could not have been consistent with his relation with a magician: Elymas was therefore a kind of Jewish confessor. But neither supposition does much to establish the wisdom of Sergius Paulus. ψευδοπροφήτην like ψευδόμαντις in classical writers, here only in Acts; and Luke 6:26 , by St. Luke. But frequently used elsewhere in N.T., and in the LXX, and several times in Didaché , xi. On the “Triple beat,” Magian, false prophet, Jew, see Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 415. Βαρϊησοῦς , on the name see critical notes.

Verse 7

Acts 13:7 . ὃς ἦν σὺν τῷ ἀ ., cf. Acts 4:13 . Nothing was more in accordance with what we know of the personnel of the strange groups which often followed the Roman governors as comites , and it is quite possible that Sergius Paulus may have been keenly interested in the powers or assumed powers of the Magian, and in gaining a knowledge of the strange religions which dominated the East. If the Roman had been completely under the influence of the false prophet, it is difficult to believe that St. Luke would have described him as συνετός (a title in which Zöckler sees a distinction between Sergius Paulus and another Roman, Felix, over whom a Jewish Magian gained such influence, Jos., Ant. , xx., 7, 2), although magicians of all kinds found a welcome in unexpected quarters in Roman society, even at the hands of otherwise discerning and clear-sighted personages, as the pages of Roman writers from Horace to Lucian testify. It was not the first time in the world’s history that credulity and scepticism had gone hand in hand: Wetstein, in loco; Farrar, St. Paul , i., pp. 351, 352; Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 74 ff. ἐπεζήτησεν ; perhaps means, as in classical Greek, “put questions to them”. The typical Roman is again marked by the fact that he was thus desirous to hear what the travellers would say, and it is also indicated that he was not inclined to submit himself entirely to the Magian. τῷ ἀνθυπάτῳ : “the proconsul,” R.V., “deputy,” A.V. In the reign of James I. the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was called “the deputy” ( cf. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure , i., 2, 161). Under Augustus, B.C. 27, the Roman provinces had been divided into two classes: (1) imperial and (2) senatorial, the former being governed by proprætors or generals, and the latter by proconsuls. But as the first kind of government would often be required when a province was unruly, it frequently happened that the same province might be at one time classed under (1) and at another time under (2). Cyprus had been originally an imperial province, Strabo, xiv., but in 22 B.C. it had been transferred by Augustus to the Senate, and was accordingly, as Luke describes it, under a proconsul, Dio Cassius, liii., 12, liv., 4. Under Hadrian it appears to have been under a proprætor; under Severus it was again under a proconsul. At Soloi, a town on the north coast of Cyprus, an inscription was discovered by General Cesnola, Cyprus , 1877, p. 425 ( cf. Hogarth, Devia Cypria , 1889, p. 114), dated ἐπὶ Παύλου ( ἀνθ ) υπάτου , and the probable identification with Sergius Paulus is accepted by Lightfoot, Zöckler, Ramsay, Knabenbauer, etc.; see especially amongst recent writers Zahn, Einleitung , ii., Excurs. ii., p. 632, for a similar view, and also for information as to date, and as to another and more recent inscription (1887), bearing upon the connnection of the Gens Sergia with Cyprus; see also McGiffert, Apostolic Age , p. 175, note, and Wendt, edition 1899. συνετῷ : R.V., “a man of understanding,” cf. Matthew 11:25 . A.V. and other E.V [255] translate “prudent,” Vulgate, prudens , but see Genevan Version on Matt., u. s. ; frequent in LXX in various significations: σύνεσις , practical discernment, intelligence, so συνετός , one who can “put things together” ( συνιέναι ): σοφία , the wisdom of culture (Grimm-Thayer); on “prudent,” see Humphry, Commentary on R.V., p. 28.

[255] English Version.

Verse 8

Acts 13:8 . ἀνθίστατο : because he saw that his hope of gain was gone, cf. Acts 16:19 , Acts 19:27 , and the hope of retaining influence with the proconsul; see reading in , cf. 2 Timothy 3:8 , where St. Paul uses the same verb of the magicians withstanding Moses. Ἐλύμας , see critical notes in answer to Klostermann, who finds in Ἐ . a translation of Bar-Jesus; Wendt points out (1899) that in this case οὔτω γὰρ μεθ . would follow immediately after Ἐ ., but as οὕτω κ . τ . λ . follows immediately upon ὁ μάγος , Ἐ . can only be a translation of that word; see also MS. authority, so Blass in [256] , where he adds to βαρϊησοῦς the words ὃ μεθ . Ἑτοιμᾶς . In Ἐλύμας we have the Greek form either of Aramaic Alîmâ , strong, or more probably of an Arab word ‘ alim , wise; we cannot arrive at any derivation closer than this, cf. “Bar Jesus,” Hastings’ B.D., and for a similar explanation Zöckler, in loco; and Wendt (1899), Grimm-Thayer, sub v. , Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 74, and so Blass, in loco , read Ἑτοιμᾶς , and render “Son of the Ready”. διαστρέψαι , Exodus 5:4 , same construction with ἀπό ; 1 Kings 18:17-18 , Matthew 17:17 , Luke 9:41 , Philippians 2:15 ; see also critical notes.

[256] R(omana), in Blass, a first rough copy of St. Luke.

Verse 9

Acts 13:9 . Σαῦλος δέ , ὁ καὶ Παῦλος : since the days of St. Jerome ( De Vir. Ill. , chap. 6, cf. Aug [257] , Confess. , viii., 4, etc., cf. amongst moderns Bengel, Olshausen, Ewald, Meyer) it has been thought that there is some connection here emphasised by the writer between the name Sergius Paulus and the assumption of the name Paul by the Apostle at this juncture. (Wendt (1899) inclines to the view that the name Paul was first used in Acts 13:1 . See in loco and critical notes.) So too Baur, Zeller, Hausrath, Overbeck, Hilgenfeld are of opinion that Luke intended some reference to the name of the proconsul, although they regard the narrative of his conversion as unhistorical. But Wendt rightly maintains (1899) that the simple ὁ καὶ without the addition of ἀπὸ τότε would not denote the accomplishment of a change of name at this juncture, and that if the change or rather addition of name had been now effected, the mention of it would naturally have followed after the mention of the conversion of the proconsul in Acts 13:13 . The connection seemed so strained and artificial to many that they abandoned it, and regarded the collocation of the two names as a mere chance incident, whilst Zöckler (whose note should be consulted, Apostelgeschichte, in loco , second edition), who cannot thus get rid of the striking similarity in the names of the two men, thinks that the narrative of St. Luke is too condensed to enable us fully to solve the connection. But since it was customary for many Jews to bear two names, a Hebrew and a Gentile name, cf. Acts 1:23 ; Acts 12:25 ; Acts 13:1 , Colossians 4:11 , Jos., Ant. , xii., 9, 7, and frequent instances in Deissmann, Bibelstudien , pp. 182, 183, cf. Winer-Schmiedel, p. 149 note, it may well be that Luke wished to intimate that if not at this moment, yet during his first missionary journey, when the Apostle definitely entered upon his Gentile missionary labours, he employed not his Jewish but his Gentile name to mark his Apostleship to the Gentile world (“Seit 13. 1. ist der jüdische Jünger Σαῦλος Weltapostel,” Deissmann); by a marvellous stroke of historic brevity the author sets before us the past and the present in the formula ὁ καὶ Π . a simple change in the order of a recurring pair of names: see Ramsay’s striking remarks, St. Paul , p. 83 ff., with which however, mutatis mutandis , his more recent remarks, Was Christ born at Bethlehem? p. 54, should be carefully compared. See also Deissmann, u. s. , Nösgen, Wendt, Hackett, Felten, and Zöckler, in loco , and McGiffert, Apostolic Age , p. 176. This preference by St. Luke of the Gentile for the Hebrew name has its analogy in St. Paul’s own use in his Epistles (and in his preference for Roman provincial names in his geographical references, cf. 1 Corinthians 16:1 , 2Co 8:1 ; 2 Corinthians 9:2 , Romans 15:26 , Philippians 4:15 ).

[257] Augustine.

Verse 10

Acts 13:10 . πλήρης : for an interesting parallel in Plato cf. Wetstein, in loco , Plato, Legg. , 908 D. ῥᾳδιουργίας : only here in N.T., cf. Acts 18:14 , hellenistic, R.V. “villainy,” A.V. “mischief” (so Genevan), but other E. V. “deceit”; the idea of deceit, however, is more properly contained in δόλου R.V., “guile”. ῥᾳδ ., lit [258] , ease in doing, so easiness, laziness, and hence fraud, wickedness, cf. πανουργία , frequently used, although not necessarily so, in a bad sense. υἱὲ διαβόλου , John 8:44 , the expression may be used in marked and indignant contrast to the name “Son of Jesus,” cf. Acts 3:25 , Acts 4:36 . But without any reference to Acts 13:6 the expression would describe him as the natural enemy of the messengers of God. On the phrase and its use here see Deissmann, Bibelstudien , p. 163. Note the thrice παντὸς πάσης πάσης , “ter repetitur emphatice” Wetstein. διαστρέφων , cf. LXX, Proverbs 10:9 , and Isaiah 59:8 , Micah 3:9 . τὰς ὁδοὺς … τὰς εὐθείας : similar expressions frequent in LXX, so of the ways of the Lord in contrast to the ways of men, Ezekiel 33:17 , Sir 39:24 , Song of the Three Children, Acts 13:3 .

[258] literal, literally.

Verse 11

Acts 13:11 . καὶ νῦν ἰδοὺ , cf. Hort, Ecclesia , p. 179. μὴ βλέπων τὸν ἥλιον : emphasising the punishment, as it would imply that he should be stone-blind (Weiss). ἄχρι καιροῦ : “until a season,” R.V. margin, “until the time” (Rendall), i.e. , the duly appointed time when it should please God to restore his sight, cf. Luke 4:13 ; Luke 21:24 (Acts 24:25 ). The exact expression is only found here and in Luke 4:13 . Wendt (1899) asks if the ceasing of the punishment is conceived of as ceasing with the opposition in Acts 13:8 . See his earlier edition, 1888, and the comment of Chrys., so Oecumenius: οῦκ ἄρα τιμωρία ἦν ἀλλʼ ἴασις : so too Theophylact. παραχρῆμα , see above on p. 106. ἐπέπεσεν , see critical notes. If we retain T.R. with Weiss, the word may be called characteristic of St. Luke, see above on p. 216 its use as denoting an attack of disease is quite medical, Hobart, p. 44. ἀχλὺς : only here in N.T., not in LXX. Galen in describing diseases of the eye mentions ἀχλύς amongst them. So Dioscorides uses the word of a cataract, and Hippocrates also employs it, Hobart, p. 44. The word is no doubt frequent in Homer, sometimes of one deprived of sight by divine power, and it also occurs in Polyb. and Josephus. But here it is used in conjunction with other words which may also be classed as medical, παραχ ., σκότος , to say nothing of ( ἐπ ) έπεσεν . σκότος : marks the final stage of blindness the word is no doubt a common one, but it is used, as also some of its derivatives, by medical writers in a technical sense, and Dioscorides in one place connects σκοτώματα and ἀχλύς together. περιάγων : only absolutely here in N.T., so sometimes in classical Greek, and sometimes with acc [259] loci, as also in N.T. ( cf. Matthew 4:23 ; Matthew 9:35 , etc.). ἐζήτει , imperf., he sought but did not find. χειραγωγούς : only here in N.T., not in LXX, cf. the verb in Acts 9:8 , Acts 22:11 , and in LXX, Judges 16:26 A, Tob 11:16 (but not A, ); used by Plutarch, etc.

[259] accusative case.

Verse 12

Acts 13:12 . ἐπίστευσεν : “the blindness of Elymas opened the eyes of the proconsul” (Felten). If the verb is understood in its full sense, viz. , that Sergius Paulus became a convert to the faith, Acts 13:48 , Acts 2:44 , Acts 4:4 , Acts 11:21 , baptism would be implied, Acts 8:12 . ἐκπλησσ ., Matthew 7:28 , Mark 1:22 ; Mark 11:18 , Luke 4:32 ; Luke 9:43 , etc., so in classical Greek with ἐπί . The verb is also found in Ecclesiastes 7:17 (16), Wis 13:4 , 2Ma 7:12 , 4Ma 8:4 ; 4Ma 17:16 . Bengel’s comment is suggestive, “miraculo acuebatur attentio ad doctrinam”: the conversion is not represented as the result of the miracle alone. The conversion of a Roman proconsul is regarded as absolutely incredible by Renan (so more recent critics). But if the narrative had been a mere fiction to magnify Paul’s powers in converting such an important personage in his first encounter with the powers of heathenism, the forger would not have contented himself with the brief Σαῦλος ὁ καὶ Π . of Acts 13:9 ; see Zöckler’s Apostelgeschichte , p. 245, second edition, on this and other objections against the narrative. See Introd. for the favourable light in which St. Luke describes the relations between the Roman government and Christianity.

Verse 13

Acts 13:13 . Ἀναχθέντες , “set sail,” R.V. So in classical use, here in its technical nautical sense so too, in opposite sense, κατάγεσθαι . In this sense thirteen times in Acts, and once in Luke’s Gospel, Acts 8:22 , but not in the other Gospels at all; it is only used once, in another sense, by St. Matthew among the Evangelists, cf. Acts 4:1 . ἄγειν and its compounds with ἀνά , κατά , εἰς , are characteristic of Luke’s writings, Friedrich, p. 7. οἱ περὶ τὸν Π .: Paul now taking the first place as the leader of the company, see Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 84, the order henceforth is Paul and Barnabas, with two significant exceptions, Acts 15:12 ; Acts 15:25 , and Acts 14:12 , see in loco. Ἰ . δὲ … ὑπέστρεψεν : Ramsay refers St. Mark’s withdrawal to the above circumstances, inasmuch as he disapproved of St. Paul’s change of place, which he regarded as an abandonment of the work. But the withdrawal on the part of Mark is still more difficult to understand, if we are to suppose that he withdrew because Paul and Barnabas made, as it were, a trip to Antioch for the recovery of the former; and Acts 15:38 seems to imply something different from this. Various reasons may have contributed to the desertion of Mark, perhaps the fact that his cousin Barnabas was no longer the leader, or Paul’s preaching to the Gentiles may have been too liberal for him, or lack of courage to face the dangers of the mountain passes and missionary work inland, or affection for his home at Jerusalem and anxiety for the coming famine (he withdrew, says Holtzmann, “zu seinem Mutter”). See Deissmann’s striking note, Bibelstudien , p. 185, on the fact that here, where John Mark leaves Paul for Jerusalem, he is simply “John,” his Jewish name; in Acts 15:39 he goes with Barnabas to Cyprus, and on that occasion only he is described by his Gentile name “Mark” alone. On the “perils of rivers, and perils of robbers,” see Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire , p. 23, and in connection with the above, pp. 62, 65, also C. and H. (smaller edition), p. 129, Hausrath, Neutest. Zeitgeschichte , iii., 133.

Verse 14

Acts 13:14 . διελθόντες : in this journey northwards to Antioch the Apostles would probably follow the one definite route of commerce between Perga and that city; the natural and easy course would lead them to Adada, now Kara Bavlo , and the dedication there of a church to St. Paul may point to the belief that he had visited the place on his way to Antioch (Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire , p. 21, and Zöckler, in loco , who agrees here with Ramsay’s view). Although disagreeing with C. and H. in bringing the Apostles to Adada, Ramsay fully agrees with them in emphasising the dangers of the journey across the Pisidian highlands, and in referring to his travels from Perga across Taurus to Antioch and back his perils of rivers, and perils of robbers, 2 Corinthians 11:26 (see too Wendt, in loco (1899), in agreement with Ramsay, whose instances of the dangers of the way, from the notices of the inscriptions, should be consulted, u. s. ). Ἀντιόχειαν τῆς Πισιδίας , see critical notes. If we adopt with R.V., etc., Ἀ . τὴν Πισιδίαν = an adjective, τὴν Πισιδικήν , “Pisidian Antioch,” or, as it was also called, Antioch towards Pisidia, or on the side of Pisidia, to distinguish it from Antioch on the Maeander, or Carian Antioch. At this period Antioch did not belong to Pisidia at all (trabo, pp. 557, 569, 577), but later the term Pisidia was widened, and so the expression “Antioch of Pisidia” came into vogue. Ptolemy, v., 4, 11, employs it and so some MSS. in the passage before us; see critical notes, and Ramsay, “Antioch in Pisidia,” in Hastings’ B.D., Church in the Roman Empire , p. 25, and Wendt (1899), in loco; see further on Acts 16:6 . On the death of Amyntas, B.C. 25, Antioch became part of the Roman province Galatia, and a little later, some time before 6 B.C., it was made a colonia by Augustus, with Latin rights, and as such it became an administrative and military centre in the protection of the province against the Pisidian robbers in their mountain fortresses, Ramsay, u. s. There can be no doubt that Paul would also find there a considerable Jewish population, as the Jews were trusty supporters of the Seleucid kings, and found a home in many of the cities which they founded. ἀπὸ τῆς Πέργης : Ramsay supposes that the travellers hurried on from Perga (chief town of Pamphylia on the Cestrus, and an important place of commerce) to Antioch, without any evangelisation on their way, because in Perga the Apostle had been smitten with an attack of malarial fever, which obliged him to seek the higher ground of Antioch. In Galatians 4:13 Ramsay finds a corroboration of this view, a passage in which Paul himself states that an illness occasioned his first preaching to the Churches of Galatia, i.e. , of the Roman province Galatia. The suggestion has much to recommend it, see St. Paul , p. 92. McGiffert’s remarks, however, should be consulted in support of the view that the illness overtook the Apostle at Antioch rather than at Perga, Apostolic Age , p. 177, and Weizsäcker, Apostolic Age , i. 275, E.T. εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν , “to the Jew first,” was Paul’s primary rule, and here amongst those φοβ . τὸν Θεόν he would find, perhaps, the best soil for his labours, cf. Acts 16:14 , and also Acts 13:5 , Acts 14:1 , Acts 16:13 , Acts 17:2 ; Acts 17:10 ; Acts 17:17 , Acts 18:4 , Acts 19:8 . Against the doubts raised by the Tübingen School as to the historical character of the notice, see especially Wendt, 1888 and 1899 editions. It is inconceivable, as he says, that Paul, who could express himself as in Romans 1:16 ; Romans 9:32 ; Romans 10:16 ; Romans 11:30 , should entirely disregard the Jews in his missionary efforts. The notice in Acts 16:13 , from a “We-source,” of St. Paul’s first. Sabbath at Philippi enables us to form a correct judgment as to his probable course in other places. τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαβ .; not necessarily the first Sabbath after their arrival; some time may have been spent previously in mission work before a critical event took place, Ramsay, St. Paul , pp. 99, 100. ἐκάθισαν : the word may mean that they sat down in the seat of the Rabbis, so J. Lightfoot, in loco , as intimating that they expected to be called upon to preach, or we may infer, Acts 13:15 , that they were called upon on the present occasion because they were well known in the city as men who claimed to have a message to deliver, and the rulers of the synagogue could invite whom they would, Edersheim, Jewish Social Life , p. 281; Lumby, p. 252, “on the Jewish Manner of reading the Scriptures ”.

Verse 15

Acts 13:15 . τὴν ἀνάγ . τοῦ ν . καὶ τῶν π .: the first and second lesson, Edersheim, u. s. , p. 278, History of the Jewish Nation , p. 443; Schürer, Jewish People , div. ii., vol. ii., p. 79 ff., E.T., the first from the Pentateuch, and the second a paragraph from the Prophets, including the older historical books. As there is no evidence that the lectionary of the Prophets existed in the time of our Lord, it is precarious to attempt to fix the particular Sabbath for St. Paul’s address. It is however significant that he uses two remarkable words from the LXX, Deuteronomy 1:31 : ἐτροφ . (see critical notes), in Acts 13:18 , and from Isaiah 1:2 : ὕψωσεν in Acts 13:17 , and that in the present table of Jewish lessons that from the Law for the forty-fourth Sabbath in the year is Deuteronomy 1:1 to Deuteronomy 3:22 , while the corresponding lesson from the Prophets is Isaiah 1:1-22 ; see Bengel on Acts 13:18 , and Farrar, St. Paul , i., pp. 368, 369; Plumptre, in loco. But we cannot safely go beyond the view of Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 100, who points out that the present list of Jewish lessons is of decidedly later origin, but adds that “probably it was often determined by older custom and traditional ideas of suitable accompaniment”. ἀπέστειλαν : the words seem hardly consistent with Lumby’s view that St. Paul was himself the Haphtarist. οἱ ἀρχισυνάγωγοι ; generally only one, Luke 13:14 , but cf. Mark 5:22 (Weiss, in loco ), and the passage before us; the office was specially concerned with the care of public worship, and the name was given to those who conducted the assemblies for that purpose. They had to guard against anything unfitting taking place in the synagogue (Luke 13:14 ), and to appoint readers and preachers, Schürer, Jewish People , div. ii., vol. ii., p. 65, E.T.; Edersheim, Jewish Social Life , p. 281, and on the present passage, Jesus the Messiah , i. 434, and for the title in inscriptions, Grimm-Thayer, sub v. ; see also below on Acts 14:2 . ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί : courteous address, Acts 2:37 , “Gentlemen, brethren” (Ramsay).

Verse 16

Acts 13:16 . κατασείσας , see above on Acts 12:17 , and cf. Acts 19:33 , Acts 21:40 (Acts 26:1 ), “made a gesture with his hand,” a gesture common to orators, “nam hoc gestu olim verba facturi pro contione silentium exigebant,” and here a graphic touch quite characteristic of Acts. The speech which follows may well have remained in the memory, or possibly may have found a place in the manuscript diary of one of Paul’s hearers (Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 100), or St. Paul may himself have furnished St. Luke with an outline of it, for the main sections, as Ewald suggested, may have formed part of the Apostle’s regular mode of addressing similar audiences; and if not St. Paul himself, yet one of those who are described as οἱ περὶ Παῦλον , Acts 13:13 (Zöckler), may have supplied the information. On the other hand it is maintained that the speech in its present form is a free composition of the author of Acts, since it is so similar to the early addresses of St. Peter, or to the defence made by St. Stephen, and that St. Luke wished to illustrate St. Paul’s method of proclaiming the Messianic salvation to Jews. But considering the audience and the occasion, it is difficult to see how St. Paul could have avoided touching upon points similar to those which had claimed the attention of a St. Peter or a St. Stephen: “non poterat multum differre vel a Petri orationibus, vel a defensione Stephani … hæc igitur non magis in Paulum cadunt quam in quemvis novae salutis praeconem” (Blass), while at the same time it is quite possible to press this similarity too far and to ignore the points which are confessedly characteristic of St. Paul, cf., e.g. , Acts 13:38-39 (Bethge, Die Paulinischen Reden der Apostelgeschichte , pp. 19 22; Zöckler, Apostelgeschichte , pp. 244, 245; Lechler, Das Apostolische Zeitalter , p. 272; Hilgenfeld, Zeitschrift für wissenschaft. Theol. , i., p. 46 (1896)); see further, Farrar, St. Paul , i., p. 369, note, and Alford references for the several Pauline expressions, and the remarkable list of parallels drawn out recently by Ramsay between the speech at Pisidian Antioch and the thoughts and phrases of the Epistle to the Galatians, Expositor , December, 1898 (see below on pp. 295, 297); also Nösgen’s list of Pauline expressions, Apostelgeschichte , p. 53, in this and in other speeches in Acts. ἄνδρες Ἰ ., cf. Acts 2:22 , Acts 3:12 , Acts 5:35 , a mode of address fitly chosen as in harmony with the references to the history of Israel which were to follow. οἱ φ . Θεόν , cf. Acts 10:2 , Acts 13:43 ; Acts 13:50 , Acts 16:14 , etc.

Verse 17

Acts 13:17 . τούτου : this points back to Ἰσρ .: an appeal to ‘the national pride of the people in their theocratic privileges and names, cf. 2 Corinthians 11:22 , Romans 9:6 . ἐξελ . so often in LXX of God’s choice of Israel. ὕψωσεν : “exalted,” A. and R.V. Weiss and Wendt, with Bethge and Blass, restrict its meaning to increase in numbers, Genesis 48:19 , Acts 7:17 , so also Overbeck; whilst others refer it to the miraculous events connected with their sojourn as well as to their increase in numbers (so St. Chrysostom), others take it of the exaltation of the people under Joseph. But the word may certainly mean something more than numerical increase, and include increase in strength and power (so Hackett, Page). It is used once by St. Paul elsewhere, 2 Corinthians 11:7 , in contrast with ταπεινόω , cf. its similar use in Luke 1:52 . Rendall refers its use here to 2 Kings 25:27 , “lifted up,” i.e. , at the end of a miserable state of bondage, a passage where the verb is closely joined with ἐξήγαγεν . In Isaiah 1:2 ; Isaiah 23:4 it is used of bringing up children. παροικίᾳ , cf. Acts 7:6 , and for the noun as here, LXX, 2Es 8:35 , Wis 19:10 . Prologue of Ecclus., Acts 13:26 , Psalms 120:5 . μετὰ βραχίονος ὑψ ., cf. Exodus 6:1 ; Exodus 6:6 , Deuteronomy 5:15 , etc., Psalms 136:12 , Bar 2:11 , etc. Hebraistic, cf. Luke 1:51 , where we have ἐν as in Hebrew, but in LXX μετά as of the accompanying the arm of God, and not merely of his power as bringing the people out.

Verse 18

Acts 13:18 . ἐτροποφόρησεν , see critical notes. ἐτροπ ., “suffered he their manners,” so A. and R.V. ἐτροφ ., “bare he them as a nursing father,” R.V. margin. This latter rendering is supported by Bengel, Alford, Bethge, Nösgen, Hackett, Page, Farrar, Plumptre, etc., as more agreeable to the conciliatory drift of the Apostle’s words, but see above, cf. 2Ma 7:27 .

Verse 19

Acts 13:19 . καθελὼν , cf. Deuteronomy 7:1 . In LXX the stronger verb ἐξαίρειν is used, but καθαιρεῖν in LXX often means to destroy, Jeremiah 24:6 , Psalms 27:5 , and so in classical Greek. Weiss prefers the force of the verb as in Luke 1:52 , to cast down, i.e. , from their sovereignty. - κατεκληροδότησεν , see critical notes. If we adopt reading of R.V. W.H [260] : “he gave them their land for an inheritance”.

[260] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

Verse 20

Acts 13:20 . If we follow the best attested reading, see critical notes, we may connect the dative of time ἔτεσι , cf. Acts 8:11 , closely with the preceding words as signifying the period within which an event is accomplished. The κληρονομία was already assured to the fathers as God’s chosen, Acts 7:5 , and the four hundred years of the people’s sojourn in a strange land, Acts 7:6 , Genesis 15:13 , forty years in the wilderness, and some ten years for the actual conquest of the land made up the four hundred and fifty years (so Weiss, Felten, see Wendt, in loco ). If reading in T.R. is accepted (strongly defended by Farrar, St. Paul , i., p. 370), although it is at variance with 1 Kings 6:1 , according to which Solomon began his Temple in the 480th (LXX 440th) year after the Exodus, we have merely to suppose that the Apostle followed the popular chronology adopted by Josephus, Ant. , viii., 3, 1; x., 8, 5, especially when we remember that speaking in round numbers ( ὡς ) that chronology tallies very fairly with that of the Book of Judges. See Meyer-Wendt, Alford, and cf. also the almost similar reckoning in Wetstein, and Bethge, Die Paulinischen Reden , pp. 30, 31. Another explanation is given by Rendall, in loco , where ἔτεσι is taken as marking not duration of time (which would require the accusative), but the limit of time within which, etc.

Verse 21

Acts 13:21 . κἀκεῖθεν : only here of time in N.T. as in later Greek. Weiss even here interprets the expression to mean that they asked for a king from him, i.e. , Samuel, in his character as prophet. ἔτη τεσσαράκοντα : not mentioned in O.T., but cf. Jos., Ant. , vi., 14, 9. The period does not seem much too long for Saul’s reign when we remember that Ishbosheth was forty years old at his father’s death, when he was placed on the throne by Abner, 2 Samuel 2:10 . Σαοὺλ κ . τ . λ ., cf. Paul’s description of himself in Philippians 3:5 .

Verse 22

Acts 13:22 . μεταστήσας , Luke 16:4 : refers here to Saul’s deposition from the throne, 1 Samuel 15:16 , cf. Daniel 2:21 , 1Ma 8:13 , not as Bethge thinks to his removal from the presence of God, cf. 2 Kings 17:23 , nor to his death, Malachi 3:1; Malachi 3:1 ; 3Ma 6:12 . Saul therefore could not have been the bringer of the promised salvation. εὗρον κ . τ . λ .: a combination of two passages, Psalms 89:20 and 1 Samuel 13:14 , and freely referred to as a saying pronounced by God Himself, but the latter part was pronounced by Samuel in God’s name. τὸν τοῦ Ἰεσσαί , but in LXX τὸν δοῦλόν μου . ἄνδρα to mark the dignity (Bethge). κατὰ τὴν καρδίαν , cf. Jeremiah 3:15 . ὃς ποιήσει , cf. Isaiah 44:28 , Psalms 40:8 . The fact that these quotations are thus left in their present shape with no attempt to correct them justifies the belief that we have here St. Paul’s own words. With the first part of the quotation cf. Clem. Rom., Cor [261] , xviii. 1, a striking agreement; see on the one hand as against its dependence on Acts, Wendt, p. 41 (1899), and on the other hand, Bethge, in loco , and Introd. , p. 37.

[261] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verse 23

Acts 13:23 . κατʼ ἐπαγγελίαν : phrase only found in Galatians 3:29 , 2 Timothy 1:1 : the Messianic promises generally, or more specifically 2 Samuel 7:12 , Psalms 132:11 , Isaiah 11:1 ; Isaiah 11:10 , Jeremiah 23:5-6 , Zechariah 3:8 . In the last prophecy the LXX read the verb ἄγω which is found in the verse before us, see critical notes. Ἰησοῦν : emphatic at the end of the clause, as τούτου at the beginning of the verse.

Verse 24

Acts 13:24 . προκηρύξ . not in LXX or Apocrypha, but in classical Greek, cf. also Josephus, Ant. , x., 5, 1, and also in Plut., Polyb. πρὸ προσώπου τῆς εἰσόδου : “before the face of his entering in,” R.V. margin, cf. Luke 1:76 ; here used temporally, really a Hebraistic pleonasm, cf. Malachi 3:1 , an expression used as still under the influence of that passage, Simcox, Language of the N. T. , p. 154, and also Dalman, Die Worte Jesu , p. 23. εἰσόδου : the entry of Jesus upon His public Messianic ministry, a word which may also have been suggested by Malachi 3:2 , LXX.

Verse 25

Acts 13:25 . ἐπλήρου : “ i.e. , non multo ante finem vitæ,” Blass, cf. Acts 7:23 . δρόμον : “Paulum sapit,” cf. Acts 20:24 , 2 Timothy 4:7 , Galatians 2:2 . ὑπονοεῖτε : three times in Acts, cf. Acts 25:18 ; Acts 27:27 ; nowhere else in N.T., but see Jdt 14:14 , Tob 8:16 , Sir 23:21 . Note this free reproduction of the words of the Evangelists essentially the same but verbally different. οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ , I am not he, i.e. , the Messiah; best to punctuate as in A. and R.V., so Wendt; but see on the other hand Bethge and Weiss, and the reading they adopt: τί ἐμὲ ὑπον . εἶναι , οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγώ ; the gloss ὁ XC. after ἐγώ , old enough to have crept into the text, shows that the punctuation in A.V. was a natural one, Simcox, u. s. , p. 70.

Verse 26

Acts 13:26 . ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί : the address of Acts 13:16 is here renewed in more affectionate tones, and here as in Acts 13:16 both Jews and proselytes are two classes, here both regarded by Paul as ἀδελφοί . ὑμῖν , see critical notes. Some take it as marking a sharp antithesis between the Jews of Antioch and those of Jerusalem (an antithesis not removed by ἡμῖν ), as if the Jews at Antioch and of the Dispersion were contrasted with the Jews of the capital. But γὰρ need not mark a contrast, it may rather confirm the implication in σωτ . ταύτης that Jesus was the Saviour, for He had suffered and died, and so had fulfilled the predictions relating to the Messiah. Nor indeed was it true that those who crucified the Saviour had excluded themselves from the offer of the Gospel: ὁ λόγος τῆς σ ., cf. Ephesians 1:13 , Philippians 2:16 , 1 Thessalonians 2:13 , etc. ἀπεστάλη : if we read the compound ἐξαπ ., critical notes, R.V. “is sent forth,” i.e. , from God, cf. Acts 10:36 . Weiss takes the verb as simply referring to the sending forth of the word from the place where it was first announced. But cf. on the other hand Galatians 4:4 ; Galatians 4:6 , and Acts 13:23 above, where God is spoken of as the agent in the Messianic salvation, and on the possible force of ὁ λόγος τῆς σωτ . and ἐξαπεστάλη here see Ramsay, Expositor , December, 1898.

Verse 27

Acts 13:27 . Both A. and R.V. take ἀγνοήσαντες as governing τοῦτον and τὰς φωνάς . But καί may be not copulative but intensive not only did they not recognise the Christ, but even condemned Him to death; so Rendall. Meyer rendered καί = “also,” and makes τὰς φωνάς the direct object of ἐπλήρ . Wendt renders as A. and R.V., see critical notes. ἀγνοήσαντες , cf. Acts 3:14 , it is very doubtful how far we can see in the expression an excuse in the former passage, and guiltiness here. Paul speaks of himself as acting ἀγνοῶν and yet obtaining mercy, 1 Timothy 1:13 , cf. also for the use of the word by Paul Acts 17:23 , and frequently in his Epistles.

Verse 29

Acts 13:29 . ὡς δὲ ἐτέλεσαν ἅπαντα : St. Paul was evidently acquainted with the details of the Passion as well as with the main facts of the death and burial, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23 ; and for the verb used here Luke 18:31 ; Luke 22:37 , John 19:28 ; John 19:30 ; only here in Acts, Weiss regards the subject of ἐτέλ ., καθέλ ., ἔθηκαν as presupposed as known in accordance with the Gospel history, but St. Paul may have been speaking in general terms of the action of the Jews, although not the enemies of Christ but His friends actually took Him down and buried Him. Taken literally, St. Paul’s statement agrees with the Gospel of Peter , 21 24, as Hilgenfeld noted. But Joseph of Arimathæa and Nicodemus were both Jews and members of the Council. τοῦ ξύλου , cf. Acts 5:30 , Acts 10:39 . Jüngst, without any ground, as Hilgenfeld remarks, refers Acts 13:29 partly on account of this expression to a reviser, and so 34 37. On ξύλον , significant here and in Galatians 3:13 , see Ramsay, Expositor , December, 1898. εἰς μν ., cf. 1 Corinthians 15:4 , the death followed by the burial, and so the reality of the death, “ ἐκ νεκρῶν ,” was vouched for.

Verse 31

Acts 13:31 . ὤφθη , see Milligan’s note on the word, Resurrection of our Lord , p. 265; Witness of the Epistles (1892), pp. 369, 377, 386; and Beyschlag, Leben Jesu , i., p. 434 (second edition), cf. Luke 24:34 , 1 Corinthians 15:5 ff. ἐπὶ : with accusative of duration of time, cf. Acts 16:18 , Acts 18:20 , Acts 19:8 ; Acts 19:10 ; Acts 19:34 , Acts 27:20 , cf. Luke 4:25 ; Luke 18:4 ; in classical writers, but only in St. Luke in N.T., except Hebrews 11:30 , Vindiciæ Lucanæ , p. 53. οἵτινες : if we add νῦν , see critical notes, the word intimates that this announcement of Jesus as the Messiah was not first made by Paul, as some new thing, but that His Apostles were still bearing the same witness to the Jews ( λαόν ) as a living message in the same city in which Jesus had been crucified.

Verse 32

Acts 13:32 . καὶ ἡμεῖς , cf. 1 Corinthians 15:11 , “whether it were I or they,” etc., “ut illi illis, sic nos vobis”. εὐαγγελ ., see above on p. 210, and Simcox, u. s. , pp. 78, 79. τὴν πρὸς τοὺς π . ἐπαγγελίαν γεν ., cf. Romans 15:8 , Acts 26:6 .

Verse 33

Acts 13:33 . ἐκπεπλήρωκε : “hath fulfilled to the utmost,” cf. Malachi 1:2; Malachi 1:2 ; 3Ma 1:22 , Polyb., i., 67, 1, τὰς ἐπαγγελίας ἐκπ . τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτῶν ἡμῖν , see critical notes. ἀναστήσας : “in that he raised up Jesus,” R.V.; “in that he hath raised up Jesus again,” A.V. The former rendering is quite compatible with the view that the reference of the word here is not to the resurrection of Jesus, but to the raising up of Jesus as the Messiah, cf. Acts 3:22 , Acts 7:37 , Deuteronomy 18:15 . The first prophecy, Acts 13:33 , would be fulfilled in this way, whilst in Acts 13:34-35 the prophecy would be fulfilled by the resurrection from the dead, ἀνασ . ἐκ νεκρῶν (see Knabenbauer in loco , p. 233 ff.). Wendt argues that Hebrews 1:5 , where the same prophecy is quoted as in Acts 13:33 , also refers to the raising up as the Messiah, but see on the other hand Westcott, Hebrews, in loco .

Verse 34

Acts 13:34 . μηκέτι μ . ὑποσ . εἰς διαφθ ., cf. Romans 6:9 , “no more to return to corruption,” does not of course mean that Christ had already seen corruption, so that there is no need to understand διαφθ . of the place of corruption, sepulchrum , with Beza, Kuinoel. Hilgenfeld refuses to follow Jüngst, Sorof, Clemen in referring Acts 13:34-37 to a reviser, for he justly remarks that the speech which was intended to move the Israelites to a recognition of Jesus as the promised Saviour of the seed of David, would have been imperfect, unless it had set forth His sufferings and after-resurrection. Δώσω κ . τ . λ .: “I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David”. This rendering makes the connection with the next verse more evident, cf. Isaiah 55:3 , καὶ διαθήσομαι ὑμῖν διαθήκην αἰώνιον τὰ ὅσια Δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά . “By David was understood the Messiah, which yet the Rabbis themselves have well observed:” J. Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. (so Schöttgen), in loco. “The everlasting covenant,” what was it but the holy and sure blessings promised to David? But these blessings, ὅσια , sancta promissa Davidi data , are connected with the resurrection of Christ because (“ διότι not διό , T.R., see critical notes, stating the cause, not the consequence”) only in the triumph of God’s Holy One ( τὸν ὅσιον ) are these blessings ratified and assured. Just as Peter (Acts 2:47 ), so here Paul applies the passage in Psalms 16:0 . directly to Christ, Briggs, Messianic Prophecy , p. 151.

Verse 36

Acts 13:36 . γὰρ : David is contrasted with Christ by St. Paul as by St. Peter, Acts 2:29 . ἰδίᾳ γενεᾷ ὑπηρ .: “after he had in his own generation served the counsel of God, fell on sleep,” R.V., but in margin the rendering of A.V. is practically retained. It seems best to take ἰδίᾳ γενεᾷ as a dative of time, cf. Acts 13:20 , Ephesians 3:5 (so Blass, Wendt, Zöckler, Felten), and not as dat [262] commodi. St. Paul’s point seems to be (1) the contrast between the service of David which extended only for a generation, and the service of Christ which lasted through all ages permanently. But this contrast would be also marked if we adopt R.V. margin rendering and govern ἰδίᾳ γεν . by ὑπηρ . (see Weiss). (2) The second point of contrast is between the corruption which David saw, and the incorruption of the Holy One of God. Weiss still connects τῇ Θεοῦ βουλῇ with ἐκοιμήθη ; see margin (2) in R.V.; but this does not seem so significant as the contrast drawn between David serving the counsel or purpose of God for one, or during one generation, whilst in Christ the eternal purpose of God was realised. προσετέθη πρὸς τοὺς π . αὐτοῦ : Hebraistic expression, lit [263] , “was added,” i.e. , in Sheol, cf. Genesis 26:8 , Judges 2:10 , 1Ma 2:69 .

[262] dative case.

[263] literal, literally.

Verse 37

Acts 13:37 . ἤγειρεν : more than resurrection from the dead, “hic non notatur resuscitatio ex mortuis; quippe quæ ipsa in conclusione evincitur: sed quem Deus suscitavit est Sanctus Dei , Acts 13:35 , ut hæc Subjecti descriptio contineat ætiologiam,” Bengel.

Verse 38

Acts 13:38 . γνωστὸν οὖν : “incipit adhortatio quæ orationem claudit,” Blass. ἄφεσις ἁμαρ .: the keynote of St. Paul’s preaching, cf. Acts 26:18 , as it had been of St. Peter’s, Acts 2:38 , Acts 5:31 , Acts 10:43 ; and as it had been of the preaching of the Baptist, and of our Lord Himself. διὰ τούτου , i.e. , Christ through Him Who died, and was risen again the phrase is characteristically Pauline, cf. Acts 10:43 .

Verse 39

Acts 13:39 . So far the words represent the entire harmony between the preaching of St. Peter and St. Paul, and there is no reason to attribute this verse, as also Acts 10:43 , with Jüngst, to any reviser; δικαιοῦσθαι ἀπό only elsewhere in Romans 6:7 . But if St. Paul’s next words seem to imply that within certain limits, i.e. , so far as it was obeyed, the law of Moses brought justification, they affirm at the same time the utter inefficacy of all legal obedience, since one thing was certain, that the law exacted much more than Israel could obey; complete justification must be found, if anywhere, elsewhere. Can we doubt that St. Paul is here giving us what was really his own experience? (See Briggs, Messiah of the Apostles , p. 76.) In spite of all his efforts to fulfil the law, there was still the feeling that these efforts were hopelessly deficient; there was an area of transgression in which the law, so far from justifying, condemned. But in the Messiah, the Holy One of God, he saw a realisation of that perfect holiness to which in the weakness of the flesh he could not attain, and in Him, Who died, and rose again, for us that Righteous One, Whom he saw, not only on the road to Damascus, but ever on his right hand by the eye of faith he found complete and full justification. That this forgiveness of sins is not connected specially with the Death of Christ, but with His Resurrection, or rather with His whole Messianic character, to which the Resurrection put the final seal, is certainly not to be regarded as an indication of a non-Pauline view, cf. Romans 4:25 ; Romans 8:34 , 2 Corinthians 5:15 . Moreover, if we consider the connection of the whole address, the Resurrection is not regarded apart from the Death of Christ: Acts 13:26-29 show us that the Message of Salvation starts from the Death of Christ, and is based upon that, cf. Bethge, Die Paulinischen Reden , p. 54. It is unreasonable to complain that St. Paul’s conception of justification in this address falls below his characteristic and controlling idea of it (McGiffert, p. 186). We could not justly expect that the Apostle’s utterances, thus summarised by St. Luke, would contain as full and complete a doctrinal exposition as his Galatian and Roman Epistles. To the former Epistle McGiffert points as giving us what Paul actually taught in Galatia; but there is no contradiction between the teaching given us in St. Luke’s account of the address in Pisidian Antioch and St. Paul’s account of his teaching to his converts in his letter “the coincidences between the two are so striking as to make each the best commentary on the other … and there is no such close resemblance between the Epistle and any other of Paul’s addresses reported in Acts,” Ramsay, Expositor , December, 1898. “Historical Commentary on Gal.” see below, and also Lightfoot, on Galatians 3:11 . St. Paul’s teaching is essentially the same in the synagogue at Antioch as when he is writing to his Galatian converts: only in Christ is justification, and in the law as such there is no forgiveness of sins. He does not say in so many words that there was no sin from which men could be freed under the law of Moses, but it is evident that the most solemn warning with which the Apostle follows up his declaration could only be justified on the ground that some essential principle was involved in the acceptance or rejection of the work of Christ. On δικαιόω in classical literature, in LXX, and in N.T., see Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek , pp. 104, 105, and Sanday and Headlam, Romans , pp. 30, 31.

Verse 40

Acts 13:40 . ἐν τοῖς προφ ., cf. Luke 24:44 , and Acts 24:14 ; John 6:45 . ἐπέλθῃ : quite Lucan in this sense, cf. Acts 8:24 , Luke 11:22 ; Luke 21:26 (James 5:1 ).

Verse 41

Acts 13:41 .Habakkuk 1:5 , but here slightly different from the Hebrew “behold, ye among the nations,” in LXX through the possible mistake of reading the Hebrew noun as if = deceitful ones (with the idea perhaps of impudence, shamelessness). On βλέπ . μὴ ἐπέλ . see Burton, pp. 85, 89; Viteau, p. 83 (1893). ἀφανίσθητε : added by LXX to the “wonder marvellously” of Heb. and LXX: “perish,” “vanish away,” R.V. margin, an idea involved in Heb. though not expressed: verb frequent in LXX, in N.T. three times, in Matthew 6:0 , and nowhere else except James 4:14 , see Mayor’s note, in loco. The Apostle here transfers the prophecies of the temporal judgments following on the Chaldean invasion to the judgment of the nation by the Romans, or to the punishment which would fall upon the Jews by the election of the Gentiles into their place. Perhaps the latter is more probable before his present audience. The πᾶς ὁ πιστ . naturally leads him to the warning for those who disbelieved ( ἔργον ᾧ οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε ). It is tempting to regard the words with Ramsay ( Expositor , December, 1898), as insisting upon the marvellous and mysterious nature of God’s action in the sending forth of His Son, but the context ( cf. ἐπέλθῃ ) here, and the O.T. prophecy, both point to the imminence of judgment and penalty. ἐργάζομαι : the present (so in LXX), because the result was so certain that it was regarded as actually in process. With true rhetorical force St. Paul concludes his speech, as at Athens, by an appeal to awaken all consciences, cf. St. Peter’s closing words, Acts 2:36 , Acts 3:26 possibly, as at the close perhaps of St. Stephen’s speech, signs of impatience had begun to manifest themselves in his audience (Plumptre).

Verse 42

Acts 13:42 . ἐξιόντων : “and as they went out,” i.e. , the Apostles, before the synagogue broke up the congregation of Jews and proselytes besought them not “when they had gone out,” which would introduce a confusion of time; see critical notes. Wendt refers to Acts 13:15 , and takes ἀρχισυ . as the subject of παρεκάλουν . εἰς τὸ μ . Σ .: “the next Sabbath,” A. and R.V., cf. for εἰς Acts 4:3 . μετ . here an adverb, later Greek, cf. Barn., Epist. , xiii., 5; Clem. Rom., Cor [264] i. 44, and so in Josephus; Acts 13:44 apparently decides for the rendering above. Others take it of the days during the intervening week, between the Sabbaths, cf. J. Lightfoot, in loco , and Schöttgen.

[264] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Verse 43

Acts 13:43 . λυθ . δὲ : Paul and Barnabas had gone out before the synagogue was formally broken up; δέ marks the contrast in the case of those who followed them to hear more. τῶν δεβ . προσ .: only here. σεβ . τὸν Θεόν or φοβ . τὸν Θεόν : used elsewhere of the uncircumcised Gentiles who joined the Jewish synagogue, whilst προσήλυτοι means those who became circumcised and were full proselytes: “devout,” R.V., referring rather to the outward worship, “religious,” A.V., rather to inward feelings (but in Acts 13:50 , “devout,” A.V.). οἵτινες (Acts 9:35 , Acts 11:28 ) refers to the Apostles, but see on the other hand Rendall’s note, pp. 92, 165, referring it to the people (so apparently Calvin). The Apostles thought by the eager following of the people that the grace of God had found an entrance into their souls, see critical notes for . προσλαλοῦντες : in N.T. only elsewhere in Acts 28:20 , cf. Wis 13:17 (Exodus 4:16 , A 2 ).

Verse 44

Acts 13:44 . ἐρχ ., see critical notes. σχεδὸν , cf. Acts 19:26 , Hebrews 9:22 , each time before πᾶς , and in 2Ma 5:2 , 3Ma 5:14 ; 3Ma 5:45 . In classical use as in text, often with πᾶς . συνήχθη , i.e. , in the synagogue, not, as some have thought, before the lodging of the Apostles.

Verse 45

Acts 13:45 . οἱ Ἰ .: not the proselytes with them (Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 101). τοὺς ὄχλους , cf. Acts 13:48 , τὰ ἔθνη . ἀντιλ . καὶ , see critical notes; if retained, participle emphasises finite verb: “not only contradicting but blaspheming”; see Simcox, Language of the N. T. , p. 130. βλασ .: nomen Christi, xviii. 6, xxvi. 11.

Verse 46

Acts 13:46 . παῤῥησιασάμενοι , see on Acts 9:27 . ἦν ἀναγκαῖον , cf. on Acts 13:14 . ἐπειδὴ δὲ , see critical notes. δέ marks the contrast, but its omission emphasises it even more vividly and sternly. ἀπωθεῖσθε : “ye thrust it from you,” R.V.; repellitis , Vulgate; only in Luke and Paul, cf. 1 Timothy 1:19 , Romans 11:1 , Acts 7:27 ; Acts 7:39 ; frequent in LXX, cf., e.g. , Ps. 93:14, Ezekiel 43:9 , and 3Ma 3:22 ; 3Ma 6:32 , Malachi 2:16; Malachi 2:16 . οὐκ ἀξίους , cf. Matthew 22:8 .

Verse 47

Acts 13:47 . γὰρ : this action of the Apostles in turning to the Gentiles was not arbitrary. Τέθεικα , cf. Isaiah 49:6 (Luke 2:32 ). In LXX [265] reads δέδωκα instead of Τέθ ., and inserts after it εἰς διαθήκην γένους ; not in Hebrew. σε really refers to the Servant of the Lord, the Messiah; cf. Delitzsch, Das Buch Jesaia , p. 486, fourth edition; but the Apostles speak of an ἐντολή given to them, because through them the Messiah is proclaimed to the Gentiles; see note on Acts 1:8 .

[265] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

Verse 48

Acts 13:48 . ἐδόξ . τὸν λ . τοῦ Κ .: δοξ . τὸν Θ .; frequent in Luke and Paul, cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:1 for the nearest approach to the exact phrase here. ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγ .: there is no countenance here for the absolutum decretum of the Calvinists, since Acts 13:46 had already shown that the Jews had acted through their own choice. The words are really nothing more than a corollary of St. Paul’s ἀναγκαῖον : the Jews as a nation had been ordained to eternal life they had rejected this election but those who believed amongst the Gentiles were equally ordained by God to eternal life, and it was in accordance with His divine appointment that the Apostles had turned to them. Some take the word as if middle, not passive: “as many as had set themselves unto eternal life,” and in support of this Rendall refers to 1 Corinthians 16:15 , ἔταξαν ἑαυτοὺς (see also Blass, in loco ). The rendering here given by Rendall may be adopted without pressing the military metaphor in the verb, as has sometimes been done; see Wendt’s note, p. 308 (1888). St. Chrysostom takes the expression (rightly as Wendt thinks): ἀφωρισμένοι τῷ Θεῷ . Mr. Page’s note, in loco , should be consulted.

Verse 49

Acts 13:49 . διεφέρετο ; divulgabatur , “was spread abroad,” R.V.; not only by the preaching of the Apostles themselves, but by small knots of Christians in other towns, see Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 105, and so Blass, in loco ; only here in N.T. in this sense, so in ( Wis 18:10 ) Plut.; Lucian; imperfect, a certain lapse of time is implied, see Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 105. ὅλης τῆς χώρας : the phrase, “the whole Region ,” indicates that Antioch was the centre of a Region , a notice which introduces us to an important fact of Roman imperial administration. Antioch, as a Roman colony, would be the natural military and administrative centre of a certain Regio , and there is evidence that in Southern Galatia there were also other distinct Regiones , χῶραι , Ramsay, St. Paul , pp. 102 104, 109, 110 112.

Verse 50

Acts 13:50 . παρώτρυναν : “urged on,” R.V.; only here in N.T., not in LXX or Apocrypha; so in Pind., Lucian, and so too in Josephus, Ant. , vii., 6, 1, and also in Hippocrates and Aretaeus. ἐπήγειραν , cf. Acts 14:2 ; nowhere else in N.T., several times in LXX, and also frequently in Hippocrates and Galen, Hobart, pp. 225, 226. On the addition in Codex [266] see critical notes, and Ramsay, St. Paul , pp. 105, 106. τὰς εὐσχ .: “of honourable estate,” R.V.; not of character, but of position, cf. Mark 15:43 . This influence assigned to women at Antioch, and exerted by them, is quite in accordance with the manners of the country, and we find evidence of it in all periods and under most varying conditions. Thus women were appointed under the empire as magistrates, as presidents of the games, and even the Jews elected a woman as an Archisynagogos, at least in one instance, at Smyrna, Ramsay, St. Paul , p. 102; Church in the Roman Empire , p. 67; C. and H., p. 144; “Antioch,” Hastings’ B.D.; Loening, Die Gemeindeverfassung des Urchristenthums , p. 15. τοὺς πρώτους : perhaps approaching them through their wives. On the addiction of women to the Jewish religion cf. Jos., B. J. , ii., 20, 2; Strabo, vii., 2; Juvenal, vi., 542; see Blass, Felten, Plumptre, in loco , and instances in Wetstein. ἐξέβαλον αὐτοὺς , see Acts 14:21 .

[266] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

Verse 51

Acts 13:51 . ἐκτιναξάμενοι , cf. Matthew 10:14 , Luke 10:11 , Mark 6:11 . The symbolic act would be understood by the Jews as an intimation that all further intercourse was at an end. There is no reason to see in the words a late addition by the author of Acts to the source; the disciples mentioned in Acts 13:52 need not have been Jews at all, but Gentiles, and in Acts 14:21 nothing is said of any intercourse except with those who were already disciples. Ἰκόνιον , see on Acts 14:1 .

Verse 52

Acts 13:52 . χαρᾶς , cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:6 , Romans 14:17 , 2 Timothy 1:4 .

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Acts 13". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/egt/acts-13.html. 1897-1910.
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