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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Acts 2

Verse 1

Acts 2:1 . Ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι , whilst the day of Pentecost was being completed [“When the day of Pentecost was fully come”]) Many fulfilments of predictions met together at one and the same time. τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς , of Pentecost ) This term is not found in the LXX. transl., but it does occur in Tob 2:1 ; 2Ma 12:32 . The Sinaitic Pentecost in the Old Testament, and the Jerusalem Pentecost of the New Testament, have connected with them the two clearest manifestations of God, exceeding all others by far, and raised above every objection of atheists, viz. that of the law and that of the Gospel, Psalms 68:8 ; Psalms 68:10 ; that from the mount and that from heaven ( Heb 12:18-25 ); that one which was accompanied with terrors, and that which is full of mercy. ἅπαντες ὁμοθύμαδον ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ , all with one accord in the same place ) There was a oneness (a conjunction) in respect of fellowship (association), minds, and place. As to who were the persons, and what they did (were engaged about), see ch. Acts 1:14-15 . Not only were there the apostles, but also the others.

Verse 2

Acts 2:2 . Ἄφνω , suddenly ) So also shall Christ be revealed when coming to judgment [viz. suddenly]. φερομένης ) An appropriate verb (word) πνοῆς , of a blast , or gust of wind ) This depends on ἦχος , a sound . οἶκον , house ) Often οἶκος denotes a part of a house, as the Latin æcus . “The house” was the temple (for according to Luke 24:53 , “they were continually in the temple ”), which was to be resorted to by all on that festival day, and in that part of the day: the æcus was part of the temple: the ὑπερῷον , ch. Acts 1:13 , was part of the whole œcus . καθήμενοι , sitting ) quietly, in the morning: Acts 2:15 .

Verse 3

Acts 2:3 . Αὐτοῖς , to them ) Construe this with ὤφθησαν , there appeared , but in such a way as that the force of the pronoun may extend also to being shared , or parted [among them], διαμεριζόμεναι . And this is tantamount to distributed , but in the present: with which comp. Acts 2:45 , διεμέριζον αὐτὰ πᾶσιν , “they parted them to all men.” The expression used is not σχιζόμεναι , as if the tongues in their mouths were cloven or split ; nor διαιρούμεναι , divided , as if it was only a different kind of fiery eloquence or utterance that was given to different persons. An intermediate verb is used, viz. διαμεριζόμεναι . γλῶσσαι , tongues ) The word is taken here in a metaphorical sense, as לשון everywhere, and לְשׁוֹן אֵשׁ , Isaiah 5:24 , the tongue of fire, that there may be denoted, as it were fiery tongues. Yet a considerable part of the literal (unfigurative) meaning remains, because speaking is the subject in hand. There were little tongue-like flames resting on the heads of the disciples individually, not coming forth out of their mouths; for there follows, and sat, viz. the Holy Spirit (see foll. ver.), which “came upon” them, ch. Acts 1:8 , under the appearance of the tongues. There is not added the article αἱ , which would denote the natural tongues in the apostles’ mouths, which were now miraculously affected. ἐκάθισέ τε , and sat) viz. ὁ καθίζων , the sitter. Comp. ἐκάθισαν , “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them,” Revelation 20:4 . An appropriate ellipsis: for not immediately, but only after a little time, it was evident that the Sitter was the Holy Spirit. ἐφʼ ἓνα ἓκαστον , upon each one) Comp. by all means ἐπὶ , upon, John 1:32-33 , “The Spirit abode remaining upon Him.” [This was the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire. V. g.]

Verse 4

Acts 2:4 . Καὶ , and ) The internal operations are here described, along with their effect, as in Act 2:3 the external symbol is described. ἅπαντες , they all ) all those of whom Acts 2:1 ; Acts 2:14-15 , ch. Acts 1:14 , etc. treat, of various age, sex, and condition; see below, Acts 2:17-18 . ἤρξαντο , they began ) This was a thing which never before had occurred. λαλεῖν , to speak ) without difficulty, with readiness. γλώσσαις , with tongues ) The miraculous variety was not in the ears of the hearers, but in the mouth of the speakers: ch. Acts 10:46 , Acts 19:6 ; Mark 16:17 ; 1 Corinthians 12:10 . This family, which was thus celebrating the praises of God in the tongues of the whole world, was an equivalent representative of the whole world, which is about to praise God with the tongues of its inhabitants. καθὼς , even as ) 1 Corinthians 12:11 , “All these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” ἐδίδου ) was giving, gave , so as that they might speak without difficulty, and yet freely. [8] ἀποφθέγγεσθαι ) the power to speak forth , with soberness, and at the same time power; Acts 2:14 , “Peter lifted up his voice;” ch. Acts 26:25 , Paul, “I am not mad, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.” Justus Jonas observes, “Moses, who is the typical representative of the law, had a ‘tongue slow of speech’ ( Exo 4:10 ): but the Gospel speaks with a tongue set on fire and flaming with ardour”.

[8] i.e . Though they were dependent on the Spirit, they were not divested of their individual freedom. E. and T.

Verse 5

Acts 2:5 . Κατοικοῦντες , dwelling ) These had not come merely to Pentecost [but were regular residents ], although the word, dwelling , is limited in Acts 2:9-10 . [9] [They had come to Jerusalem to dwell there, for this reason, as it seems, because the time for the advent of the Messiah was completed; for which reason they were desirous to be present on the spot. V. g.] Ἰουδαῖοι , Jews ) For no one of those present was of the Gentiles, but all were Jews of various nations. τῶν ) Understand lands . Luke 17:24 , note.

[9] For they were originally Jews of the dispersion, Parthians, etc. E. and T.

Verse 6

Acts 2:6 . Φωνῆς , voice ) concerning which Acts 2:4 , and also Act 2:2 treat. Comp קל , φωνὴ , Exodus 4:8 , “the voice [intimation] of the first sign;” Psalms 19:3 , “There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” τὸ πλῆθος , the multitude) of which Act 2:5 speaks. συνεχύθη , was confounded) There was a variety of men, and a variety of feelings produced in their minds.

Verse 7

Acts 2:7 . Ἐξίσταντο , they were amazed [astounded]) Acts 2:12 . Γαλιλαῖοι , Galileans ) and therefore speaking one dialect. That they were Galileans, they knew from the fact that they were the disciples of JESUS.

Verse 8

Acts 2:8 . Καὶ πῶς , and yet how ) The period is concluded at Acts 2:11 . For the words, “How do we hear, each of us in our own tongue in which we were born,” which sound abrupt by themselves (with which comp. Act 2:6 ), are, after the long parenthesis, whereby the sense of the sentence is elegantly kept in suspense, resumed in these words, “We do hear them speak,” etc. The language is eminently suited to express wonder. Comp. what we have observed on such parentheses in our comment on Gregorii Thaum . Paneg. § 94. The apostles were representatives of a variety both of dialects, for instance, Pontic and Asiatic Greek, and of tongues.

Verse 9

Acts 2:9 . Πάρθοι , Parthians ) There is no doubt but that these Jews of all nations, who moreover were dwelling at Jerusalem, knew Hebrew; wherefore this variety of tongues [addressed to them instead of the usual Hebrew , which they no doubt would have understood], a thing unheard of in the Old Testament, indicates that the Gospel was about to come (extend) to all nations in their own tongues. Furthermore, the series in which the peoples are enumerated, seems to denote the order partly of the geographic position, partly of the conversion, of these nations. First in order are placed the posterity of Shem, next those of Japhet, also those of Ham; those from Asia, Africa, Europe, and again Asia. The nation of the Parthians , at that time eminent in power, is placed first. οἱ κατοικοῦντες ) we who dwell or who were dwelling . By the employment of this participle the naming of the nations which follow becomes more convenient. Ἰουδαίαν , Judea ) The dialect of which differed from that of Galilee, Acts 2:7 . Thus also a miracle was being given to the native Jews. Augustine reads Armenia : and it lies between Mesopotamia and Cappadocia : but we may suppose, that the ancient tongue of the Armenians is probably included under that of some other nation here mentioned. [10] ΤῊΝ ἈΣΊΑΝ , Asia) Asia strictly so called. The article [which does not occur before Ἰουδαίαν , ΠΌΝΤΟΝ ] forms an Epitasis [See Append.], so as that there may be denoted the region the most remote towards the west.

[10] Jerome reads Syriam . But his Vulgate and the oldest authorities read Ιουδαίαν . E. and T.

Verse 10

Acts 2:10 . Αἴγυπτον , Egypt ) This region especially abounded in Jews. τὰ μέρη , the parts ) more than one. Κυρήνην , Cyrene ) a city of Libya towards the west, and therefore in a part of Libya even more remote. οἱ ἐπιδημοῦντες Ῥωμαῖοι , strangers of Rome ) Born at Rome, but now having their residence at Jerusalem. These seem to have come to Jerusalem after the rest previously enumerated. The Romans alone of the Europeans are now mentioned.

Verse 11

Acts 2:11 . Ἰουδαῖοί τε καὶ προσήλυτοι , both Jews and proselytes ) That there were many proselytes in those times from among the Romans and their freedmen, and that they had been banished, is well known from Tacitus, l. 2, Annal. ch. 85. However it is not proselytes of the Romans only, but also of the other nations, as opposed to the Jews, that are meant in this place. Κρῆτες , Cretans ) The island Crete is the representative of islands in this enumeration. The prophets had predicted many things as to the conversion of “the islands” איים : and several of these towards the west occur in the history of the Acts. λαλούντων , speaking) viz. in the Psalms of David, which were usually employed for that purpose at that time, or even in fresh and new language (modes of expression). τὰ μεγαλεῖα , the wonderful works) the mighty exhibitions of power, the mighty operations.

Verse 12

Acts 2:12 . Πάντες , all ) viz. the “devout men,” Acts 2:5 ; as opposed to the ‘mockers’ in the following verse.

Verse 13

Acts 2:13 . Χλευάζοντες , mocking ) The world begins with ridicule ; then afterwards it proceeds to questioning , ch. Acts 4:7 ; to threats , Acts 2:17 ; to imprisoning , ch. Acts 5:18 ; to inflicting stripes , Acts 2:40 ; to murder , ch. Acts 7:58 . γλεύχους ) filled with must or sweet wine, of the past or present year, or with any other strong drink. μεμεστωμένοι , filled ) Natural men are wont to attribute supernatural effects to natural causes, betraying thereby their ignorance and shamelessness. Comp. ch. Acts 26:24 , Festus to Paul, “Thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.”

Verse 14

Acts 2:14 . Σταθεἰς , standing up ) All the gestures, all the words of Peter indicate the utmost soberness . δὲ , but ) availing himself of the occasion. The apostles always found an opportunity, and never lost one. [They were not tied down to a particular place, or a fixed time, etc. They used the freest, and therefore so much the more effective, mode of setting forth the truth. V. g.] ἐπῇρε , lifted up ) with boldness of speech. ἀπεφθέγξατο ) [ spake forth ]. This verb is judiciously employed here, instead of εἶπε , said [This point is lost in the Engl. Vers.]: inasmuch as this speech is most solemn and ardent, and yet at the same time sober. Comp. Acts 26:25 , “I speak forth ( ἀποφθέγγομαι ) the words of truth and soberness.” ἄνδρες , Ye men ) In these ancient simple modes of address there is much more of inherent gravity (weight), than in ours of the present day, wherein so many epithets of Nobility and Dignity , etc., are accumulated in titles. Moreover, this speech has three parts, each of which begins with this appellation, at Acts 2:22 , and also 29: but as the familiarity of his language to them increases, in Acts 2:29 , he adds, Brethren , the beginning of their conversion having been already in the meantime made. Ἰουδαῖοι , Jews ) born in Judea. ἅπαντες , all ) Peter was speaking in the Hebrew language, which was the only one that ‘all’ understood. τοῦτο , this ) A drunken man would not use such an exordium. Peter appropriately warns and beseeches them.

Verse 15

Acts 2:15 . Ὑπολαμβάνετε , ye suppose ) He does not say, As some of you mockingly say . He speaks gently. οὗτοι , these ) He speaks in the third person, not excluding himself and the rest of the apostles. Even his speech was a sufficient defence of himself, the very act of standing was a defence to the rest of the apostles with him: and they, whom he is instructing, had used this expression, οὗτοι , these , Acts 2:7 . τρίτη , third ) A drunken man generally does not know the hour: nor is any one readily intoxicated in the morning, especially in a place where he is at home: 1 Thessalonians 5:7 , “They that be drunken are drunken in the night.” It was the feast-day of Pentecost; and on feast-days the Jews used to abstain from eating up to mid-day. See var. lect. of Petitus, ch. 15. [The third hour of the Jews is what nine o’clock in the forenoon is with us. V. g.]

Verse 16

Acts 2:16 . Ἀλλὰ , but ) These are not drunken, saith he, but filled with the Spirit. τοῦτο , this ) These things are wisely spoken before those things which are mentioned in Acts 2:22 . The mention of the most glorious advent to judgment renders all things which are stated concerning Jesus Christ the more illustrious and effective.

Verses 17-18

Acts 2:17-18 . Καὶ ἔσται , κ . τ . λ .) Joel 3:1-5 [in Engl. Vers. Act 2:28 ], LXX., καὶ ἔσται μετὰ ταῦτα καὶ ἐκχεῶ καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς δούλους μου καὶ δώσουσι τέρατα ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ , καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς αἷμα πρὶν ἐλθεῖν σωθήσεται . ἐσχάταις , the last ) All the days of the New Testament are last days: and these last days have now advanced far forward. πνεύματος , of My Spirit ) A sweet antithesis; of My Spirit , and, upon all flesh . [11] ΠᾶΣΑΝ , all ) The promise does not appertain to that Pentecost alone: see Acts 2:39 . In Joel the expression is My Spirit ; Peter’s expression is, “ of My Spirit,” having special respect to that particular Pentecost. καὶ , and ) Men are described of every sex, age, and rank. προφητεύσουσιν , shall prophesy ) Prophecy is an extraordinary spiritual gift, an especial proof of God’s working in men. ὁράσεις , Κ . Τ . Λ . , visions , etc.) waking and sleeping. Among the young especially the external senses are in the fullest vigour, and are thus suited to visions: in the case of the old, the internal senses are most vigorous, and are therefore adapted to dreams. The apostles were young men : and Peter therefore appropriately places the young men first; whereas Joel places the old men first. A vision was vouchsafed to Peter, ch. Acts 10:17 : also to Paul, and that too in the night, ch. Acts 16:9 . However young men are not excluded from dreams, nor old men from visions. ἐνυπνίοις ) So most MSS., and so Alex. also in Joel. Others read ἘΝΎΠΝΙΑ , and no doubt very often the LXX. have ἘΝΎΠΝΙΟΝ ἘΝΥΠΝΙΆΖΕΣΘΑΙ : but in this passage, with equal appropriateness, or even with a larger (grander) signification, the expression used is, ἘΝΥΠΝΊΟΙς ἙΝΥΠΝΙΑΣΘΉΣΟΝΤΑΙ . A similar phrase occurs in Acts 2:30 , ὍΡΚῼ ὬΜΟΣΕΝ . [12] καί γε ) and truly . δούλους μου , My servants ) Servants according to the flesh are meant, as distinguished from the children in Acts 2:17 ; but at the same time, these, servants of GOD.

[11] Flesh is frequently opposed to Spirit : and the partitive ἀπὸ with Gen. is opposed to the universal ἐπὶ πᾶσαν . E. and T.

[12] Therefore the Gnomon, abandoning the judgment pronounced by the larger Ed., follows the margin of the 2d Ed., which awards the preference to the reading ἐνυπνίοις . E. B.

Ἐνύπνια is the reading of E and Rec. Text: so de , Vulg. ‘somnia.’ Ἐννπνίοις is that of must of the oldest authorities, ABC, and D corrected. E. and T.

Verse 19

Acts 2:19 . Τέρατα , prodigies [‘wonders’]) Judgments on the wicked accompany great revelations of grace: Numbers 14:20 , etc. [Caleb and the unbelieving Israelites]; Jude Acts 2:5 , “The Lord having saved the people out of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not:” and the sure and immediate recompense of the wicked admonishes men to receive the proffered grace. [There is a continued effusion of the Holy Spirit, though it be accomplished in different ways. V. g.] ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ , in the heaven ) Concerning the prodigies in heaven, see Acts 2:20 . ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς , upon the earth ) Concerning the prodigies on the earth, there follows immediately the account in this verse, by Chiasmus. Such signs were exhibited before the passion of Christ, which are mentioned in Acts 2:22 : but they are so described as that there are included with them those signs which were shown at the actual time of His passion and resurrection, as also at the destruction of Jerusalem; but especially those signs which shall precede the last day: Matthew 24:29 , “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,” etc. Prophecy, however remote from the last times, comprises all things summarily and in one comprehensive glance. So altogether (evidently) the clause of Malachi (with which comp. Matthew 11:13-14 , note; Acts 17:11-12 , note) looks directly to the coming of John the Baptist, and the mention of the terrible day of the Lord, the last day, is incidentally subjoined and connected with that clause. αἷμα , blood ) slaughter and wars. πῦρ , fire ) Conflagrations. ἀτμίδα καπνοῦ , vapour of smoke ) Thick smoke ends in a subtle vapour.

Verse 20

Acts 2:20 . Ὁ ἥλιος , the sun ) These words must be taken literally. See note, Matthew 24:29 . [The darkening of the sun must be literal, as distinguished from the calamities which precede, described in the previous verses.] αἷμα , blood ) A bloody colour, somewhat black. Comp. Genesis 49:11 , “Washing His clothes in the blood of grapes.” τὴν ἡμέραν Κυρίου , the day of the Lord ) the day of the last judgment, not excluding the other revelations of the Divine glory which precede it. ἐπιφανῆ ) נורא , bright shining, notable, is translated by the LXX., ἐπιφανὴς , more than once.

Verse 21

Acts 2:21 . [ Πᾶς , every one ) All men of this kind, and they alone. V. g.] ἐπικαλέσηται , shall invoke, shall call upon ) All kinds (species) of prayers are included in this word. Melancthon especially delighted in the term invocation . [Such an invocation is meant as is made in spirit . V. g.] σωθήσεται , shall be saved, shall be made safe ) shall escape all penalties; shall attain to blessedness. [Even in the very end , which shall be so terrible to the whole creation. V. g.] Luke 21:36 .

Verse 22

Acts 2:22 . Ἰησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον , Jesus of Nazareth ) Whom ye know. It is He Himself who furnishes the sum and substance of all the apostolic discourses: ch. Acts 3:13 , etc. They preached Him without variation: and always they won souls. ἀποδεδειγμένον , demonstrated, approved ) most evidently. τέρασι , by prodigies ) which are the preludes of those spoken of in Acts 2:19 .

Verse 23

Acts 2:23 . Ὡρισμένῃ , determinate, defined ) An anticipation of the objection, why the Jews were permitted to act so toward so great a man: and also a preparatory consolation to the perpetrators: ch. Acts 3:17-18 ; with which comp. Genesis 45:5 , Joseph to his brethren, “Be not grieved, nor be angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life.” βουλῇ καὶ προγνώσει , by the counsel and foreknowledge or providence ) The counsel (concerning which comp. ch. Acts 4:28 , “Thy hand and Thy counsel determined:” His hand is felt before His counsel is perceived; therefore hand is put before counsel ) is here put before the providence or foresight of God. Therefore ‘providence’ expresses very much. Prediction also followed it: ch. Acts 3:18 . ἔκδοτον ) delivered up . ἀνόμων , unjust, iniquitous ) Iniquitous, i.e. void of law ( νόμος ), were Pilate and his Gentile associates, through whom the Jews perpetrated the deed.

Verse 24

Acts 2:24 . Λύσας , having loosed ) This verb accords with the term חבלים , which is denoted by the Latin Vulg. funes, “the cords” or ‘bands;’ but it is also used of the pains of one in parturition. τὰς ὠδῖνας , the pains) out of which new life arose. Jesus experienced the pains of death whilst He died. In death, τετέλεσται , He was consummated, all was finished; and therefore after death there were no more pains: a little after, in His resurrection there was made a loosing, not of pains, but of the bonds or bands, which had brought with them the pain, whilst He was in the act of dying. ᾅδου ) Ὠδῖνες θανάτου and ὠδῖνες ᾅδου are expressions used in Psalms 18:0 (17):5, 6, “The sorrows (in margin, cords) of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me.” In Luke most have written θανάτου , perhaps with a view to soften the mode of expression; but the old reading, ᾅδου , is more in accordance with Acts 2:27 ; Acts 2:31 . [13] ΟὐΚ ἮΝ ΔΎΝΑΤΟΝ , it was not possible ) on account of the predictions mentioned in Acts 2:25 , and the reasons mentioned in those predictions. To this the must ( δεῖ ) in ch. Act 3:21 corresponds. Hence we find so often the expression, once, once for all , so often used as to the death of Christ: Romans 6:10 , note: “In that He died, He died unto sin once ” ( ἐφάπαξ , not merely ἍΠΑΞ ). ὙΠʼ ΑὐΤΟῦ , by it ) by Hades or Hell , although a powerful enemy.

[13] The larger Ed. had preferred the reading θανάτου ; but the 2d Ed. prefers ᾅδου , with the Gnomon and Vers. Germ. E. B.

ABCE Theb. read θανάτου . D e Vulg. Memph. Syr. read ᾅδου : Iren. 193, ‘inferorum.’ E. and T.

Verse 25

Acts 2:25 . Εἰς αὐτὸν , in reference to Him ) viz. to Christ. προωρώμην εἰς ᾅδου ἐγνώρισάς μοι , κ . τ . λ .) Psalms 16:8-11 , where the LXX. have, προωρώμην εἰς ᾅδην ἐγνώρισάς μοι , κ . τ . λ . προωρώμην , I foresaw, or I saw the Lord before me) This very sentiment is expressed a little before in the same psalm, Acts 2:2 , thus, My goodness in comparison of, or beside Thee , [implying a continual seeing of the Lord as present before him] is nothing (has no existence). ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἐστὶν , He is on my right hand ) to protect me.

Verse 26

Acts 2:26 . Ἡ γλῶσσά μου , my tongue ) So the LXX. have translated כבוד in Hebrew poetry; the signification of which may be gathered from Ps. 30:13, “My glory (i.e. my tongue or my soul) may sing praise,” with which comp. Acts 2:9 , where the words in antithesis are, dust and glory; just as in Psalms 7:5 , “Lay mine honour in the dust;” also, from Psalms 57:7-8 , “My heart is fixed,” etc. “Awake up, my glory; awake up, psaltery and harp” wherein glory stands midway between the heart and the instruments; also, from this very saying, Psalms 16:9 , wherein the glory is put midway between the heart and the flesh. Therefore it denotes the very flower of nature, which even especially puts itself forth through the tongue, the voice, or singing; for glory is to the flesh the same that the flower is to the grass or herb; 1 Peter 1:24 , “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass:” or the beauty of its look, James 1:11 , “The sun withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace (or beauty) of the fashion (or look) of it ( ἡ εὐπρέπεια τοῦ προσώπου ) perisheth.” ἔτι δὲ , moreover indeed) also, so therefore. Epitasis [an emphatic addition to a previous enunciation. Append.].

Verse 27

Acts 2:27 . Τὴν ψυχήν μου , My soul ) i.e . Myself, as regards the soul . The subsequent sentence refers to the body . εἰς ᾄδου ) viz. τόπον : ᾅδης is as it were the sepulchre of souls. לשאול LXX. translate εἰς ᾅδην : עזב with ל occurs in Leviticus 19:10 , Psalms 49:11 , Job 39:14 . He was in Hades: he was not left in Hades. τὸν ὃσιόν σου , Thy Holy One) The Hebrew has, Thy Gracious One. Christ is the One in whom all the Father’s good pleasure rests.

Verse 28

Acts 2:28 . Ἐγνώρισάς μοι , Thou hast made known to Me ) See note, Hebrews 9:12 . [The path of life leading to the Father, was an arduous one, even to Christ, Hebrews 5:7 ; no one had trodden it before. Therefore it is said, “He entered once into the holy place, having found ( εὐράμενος ) eternal redemption for us:” John 3:13 .] ὁδοὺς ζωῆς , the ways of life ) whereby the goal is reached, and one can walk in life. The LXX. give ὁδοὺς ; as the rendering of the Hebr. ארח in the singular. μετὰ τοῦ προσώπου , with Thy countenance) when I am (shall be) with Thee. Hebrews 9:24 , “Now to appear in the presence of God for us” ( ἐμφανισθῆναι τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ Θεοῦ ).

Verse 29

Acts 2:29 . Ἐξὸν ) viz. ἔστω , let it be allowed to me . The neuter is frequently without a verb. The ellipsis in this place is expressive of ἦθος . [14] μετὰ παῤῥησίας , freely ) The Jews held David in high estimation: and it was of him that he had to say something not altogether favourable, in order that thereby the glory of Christ might be the more enhanced. There is therefore in this passage a πσοθεραπεία [see Append.], or previous mitigation of what he is about to say. ΠΑΤΡΙΆΡΧΟΥ , the patriarch ) This name is one of greater dignity than the name, ‘king.’ This, too, produces the effect of προθεραπεία . τὸ μνῆμα αὐτοῦ , his sepulchre ) and that sepulchre containing the very body of David, which saw corruption. He speaks gently. ἐν ἡμῖν , among us ) The monuments, places, institutions, manners, families, and adages of the Israelites, marvellously accorded with the Scripture of the Old Testament. So too the New Testament books accord with the state of events which followed subsequently.

[14] See Append. on “Moratus Sermo.” Here, the feeling of modesty and courtesy . E. and T.

Verse 30

Acts 2:30 . Προφήτης , a prophet ) “Whence it follows that the 16th Psalm is prophetical . εἰδὼς , knowing ) by the prophecy of Nathan ( 2Sa 7:12-13 ). Therefore it was after this prophecy that David composed and sang the 16th Psalm. ὅτι ὃρκῳ ὤμοσεν , with an oath He swore ) Psalms 132:11 , with which comp. Acts 2:2 . καρποῦ τῆς ὀσφύος , of the fruit of his loins ) Scripture speaks of propagation with wonderful correctness and delicacy. A periphrasis for, of his seed . καθίσαι ) to set, to cause to sit . αὐτοῦ , his ) David’s.

Verse 31

Acts 2:31 . Προΐδων , seeing before ) in prophetical vision. ἐλάλησε , he spake ) in that 16th Psalm. τοῦ Χριστοῦ , of Christ ) Peter thus reasons: David did not speak of himself, as the fact shows; therefore he must have spoken of Christ, as being about to rise again from the dead. But how is the resurrection inferred from the promise concerning the kingdom? Answer Because Christ had not heretofore entered upon the kingdom, and because the future kingdom was an eternal one. Therefore David recognised the inner nature (character) of the kingdom of Messiah. ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ , His soul ) The Latin Vulg. omits this. For it has “neque derelictus est in inferno;” where the masculine derelictus shows that the translator has purposely written it so (and not by an oversight). Other very ancient authorities accord with this. More modern authorities have supplied it from Acts 2:27 . [15]

[15] Thence both, in this passage, the margin of Exodus 2:0 , to which the Gnomon along with the Vers. Germ. corresponds, has advanced the briefer reading, which in the larger Ed. is rated at a lower estimate, to the mark β . E. B.

E e support ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ , with the Rec. Text. But ABC corrected, D Vulg. Memph. Theb. Syr. and Iren. omit the words. E. and T.

Verse 32

Acts 2:32 . Τοῦτον τὸν Ἰησοῦν , this Jesus ) Acts 2:23 ; Acts 2:36 , τοῦτον , Him, this same Jesus. ἀνέστησεν , hath raised up ) from the dead. οὗ , of Whom [but Engl. Vers. whereof ]) namely, of GOD, who effected it: ch. Acts 5:32 , “We are His witnesses of these things;” Acts 10:41 , “ God showed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God , even unto us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead:” 1 Corinthians 15:15 .

Verse 33

Acts 2:33 . Τῇ δεξιᾷ ) So also in ch. Acts 5:31 , “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour.” The Hebrew לימין is rendered by the LXX. usually ἐκ δεξιῶν ; and so also in Psalms 110:1 , the passage to which Peter refers, and yet uses the expression τῇ δεξιᾷ , which is found once in the LXX., Isaiah 63:12 . Christ was exalted by the right hand of GOD to the right hand of God. οὖν , therefore) The resurrection of Christ having been established, His ascension cannot be called in question. For this reason it is first asserted by itself, and next is also established from the 110th Psalm. ὑψωθεὶς , having been exalted) The exaltation strictly took place at His ascension. ἐξέχεε , He poured out) See Acts 2:17 . τοῦτονῦν ) The more recent MSS. of the Latin Vulg. have “hunc, quem,” instead of “hoc quod nunc.” They understand πνεῦμα (Neut.), “spiritum” (Masc). The neuter gender in Greek is expressed by the masculine in Latin. Moreover the phrase is absolute, this ( τοῦτο ), elegantly denoting the newness (the unprecedented character) of this unspeakable gift. [16] Irenæu [17] has νῦν , now , which has been omitted by some. [18] ΒΛΈΠΕΤΕ ΚΑῚ ἉΚΌΥΕΤΕ , ye see and hear ) Ye have testimonies to the facts which are not to be ‘mocked’ at ( Act 2:13 ).

[16] Τοῦτο ὃ is the reading of ABC and D corrected. But good MSS. of Vulg. “hoc donum quod:” so also e : and E, τοῦτο τὸ δῶρον : also Iren. and Cypr. The oldest MS. of Vulg. (Amiat.) has “hunc quem.” E. and T.

[17] renæus (of Lyons, in Gaul: born about 130 A.D., and died about the end of the second century). The Editio Renati Massueti, Parisinæ, a. 1710.

[18] So also E e and Rec. Text have νῦν . But ABC and D, corrected, omit it. E. and T.

Verse 34

Acts 2:34 . Οὐ γὰρ Δαυὶδ , for David has not ) The dilemma is this: The Prophet speaks either of himself or of the Messiah. Comp. ch. Acts 8:34 . He does not speak concerning himself, as is shown in Acts 2:29 ; therefore it must be concerning the Messiah. See note on Matthew 22:44 [“ My Lord,” saith David; therefore He was Lord of David, before He spoke to him]. δὲ , but ) Therefore it is another, and that other the Messiah, who ascended. αὐτὸς ) himself κάθου , sit ) This sitting necessarily infers the ascension. For they differ, as the act and the state: and the act itself (the ascension) is sometimes denoted by the sitting .

Verse 36

Acts 2:36 . Ἀσφαλῶς , assuredly ) Peter proclaimed this aloud with great force. Comp. ch. Acts 4:10 , Acts 13:38 . Γνωστὸν , known . καὶ Κύριον [19] καὶ Χριστόν , both Lord and Christ ) Peter had quoted the promise given to David concerning the Christ , and the Psalm, in which David had called Him Lord . Now therefore he infers the title, Lord , from Acts 2:34 , and from Psalms 110:0 , and repeats the title, Christ , from Acts 2:30 , and from the promise given to David, conjoining both strong points (sinews) of his argument in this recapitulation. The particle καὶ , both , though omitted by some in the former place, makes the language very vivid. [20] Henceforward continually, in the New Testament, Jesus in His exaltation is meant by the appellation, Lord ; Acts 2:47 , etc.; except where there is reference to the Hebrew יהוה , which requires to be explained according to the sense of the passages in the Old Testament. αὐτὸν , Him ) viz. this Jesus. It is altogether demonstrative. ἐποίησε , hath made ) and that too in such away, as that JESUS [21] was even previously Lord and Christ: Acts 2:34 . ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε , ye have crucified ) The sting of his speech is put at the end.

[19] καὶ Κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ Χριστὸν is pronounced the better reading by the margin of Exodus 2:0 . E. B.

[20] And this has been in some measure expressed in the Vers. Germ . by the repetition of the words Zu einem . E. B.

[21] As the name JESUS means God-Saviour . E. and T.

ABCDE de Vulg. have καὶ before Κύριον . But the Elzevir Rec. Text (not Stephens’) omit it. E. and T.

So ABC Vulg. Iren.; but Ee and Rec. Text, καὶ Χριστὸν αὐτον . D corrected d omits αὐτόν . E. and T.

Verse 37

Acts 2:37 . Κατενύγησαν , they were stung with compunction ) So the LXX. render ויתעצבו κατενύγησαν , the men were stung with grief. εἶπον , they said) The apostles used not to make an end of speaking before that their hearers had shown how they were affected. If the hearers in our day were to signify on the spot what were their feelings at heart, the edification of all would be much more sure and abundant. τοὺς λοιποὺς , the rest) They perceived that the cause of the apostles was one joint and common cause. [ τί ποιήσωμεν ; what shall we do?) The beginning of true conversion is made, when men have come to this question. V. g.] ἄνδρες ἀδελφοὶ , men brethren) They had not so spoken before.

Verse 38

Acts 2:38 . Μετανοήσατε ) repent , viz. towards GOD. Thus in this verse there is contained by implication the Holy Trinity [comp. ch. Acts 3:19-20 , where the same truth is implied]. βαπτισθήτω , let each of you be baptized ) He speaks as of a thing already known to all: for both John and Christ [by His disciples] had administered baptism . ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ [22] in name of Jesus ) See note on Matthew 28:19 . [The confession of the Holy Trinity and their offices was the preliminary of baptism. The creeds are but an expansion of this baptismal confession. The Jews, as being already in covenant with God (the Father) by circumcision, were to be baptized in the name ( ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι ) of Christ , and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit : the Gentiles, as being wholly aliens from God, were, according to Matthew 28:19 , to be baptized into the name ( εἰς τὸ ὄνομα ) of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost .] ἁμαρτιῶν , of sins ) viz. of that sin which you committed in having crucified Christ (for it was on account of that sin especially that they were suffering such distress of conscience), and of all your other sins. λήψεσθε ) ye shall receive ) alike as we. We are a living proof to you of the fact.

[22] The fuller reading, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ , is preferred in the margin of Exodus 2:0 , which is followed hy the Vers. Germ. E. B.

Iren. omits Χριστοῦ ; but the other oldest authorities have it: and DE de Vulg. Amiat. Cypr. and Lucifer prefix τοῦ Κυρίου , which ABC and Rec. Text omit. E. and T.

Verse 39

Acts 2:39 . Ὑμῖν , unto you ) This denotes more than if he had said, “The promise is yours .” Comp. Luke 2:11 , “ Unto you is born, etc., a Saviour.” ἔστιν , is) stands forth fulfilled: ch. Acts 3:25-26 , Acts 13:32-33 . ἡ ἐπαγγελία , the promise ) of this gift. πᾶσι , to all ) and therefore not to the apostles alone. τοῖς εἰς μακρὰν , who are afar off ) The LXX. Isaiah 57:19 , εἰρήνην ἐπʼ εἰρήντοῖς μακρὰν καὶ τοῖς ἐγγὺς οὖσι . The apostles sometimes touched slightly upon mysteries, the fuller declaration of which was afterwards about to go forth to the world through themselves: and in the meanwhile touched upon them in such words as marvellously corresponded both to the language of the Old Testament and to their own present feeling or sense, which was a true sense, but not as yet the full one, and to the Divine intention, which was about to declare itself further through them. In this passage the Holy Spirit spake through Peter such things as to the admission of the Gentiles speedily, in a large number, and without circumcision (with which comp. Eph 2:13 ), as Peter himself afterwards in ch. 10 did not at once perceive (apprehend): and yet his words were in accordance with Isaiah; and even these words here are suited to that sense which he afterwards understood. All the words of Scripture are most skilfully chosen. As to the fact signified, weigh well the word first in ch. Acts 3:26 , “Unto you, in the first instance , God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him.” Romans 2:10 , “Of the Jew first , and also of the Gentile:” Acts 15:10 , “Rejoice ye Gentiles with His people:” Ephesians 2:19 , “You who were afar off are fellow-citizens with the saints” (the Jew-Christians), Acts 3:6 , “That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs .” At the same time there is a Euphemism in the fact, that the name, Gentiles (so offensive to Jewish ears), is not introduced. ὅσους ἂν , κ . τ . λ ., whomsoever , etc.) The LXX. have εὐαγγελιζόμενοι οὓςΚύριος προσκέκληται in Joel, ch. quoted in Acts 2:17 [ Joe 2:32 ]. προσκαλέσηται ) shall call to Himself . This is the force of the verb in the middle. Κύριος ) יהוה the Lord. ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν , our God) the God of us all.

Verse 40

Acts 2:40 . Πλείοσι , with many more ) The truth must be pressed on men, until the desired result is effected. διεμαρτύρατο , he testified ) This refers to what goes before. παρεκάλει , he exhorted ) This refers to what follows. σώθητε , be saved ) depart in a state of salvation , without, delay. This is deduced from Acts 2:21 , “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved ,” and is repeated in Acts 2:47 , “Such as should be saved .” These words are conjugates to the name Jesus [=God-Saviour]. The beginning of salvation is in conversion, and does not merely take place first at death. Ephesians 2:5 . τῆς σκολιᾶς ταύτης ) this crooked, untoward generation; as to which see Acts 2:13 . An apt epithet to apply to the Jews: some of whom were persevering in ‘mocking.’

Verse 41

Acts 2:41 . Οἱ ) That is, they who did not stop short with mere compunction, but willingly ( gladly ), and in very deed, were obedient to the exhortation. This was the characteristic feature of the New Testament Pentecost. ἀποδεξάμενοι ) The subject, not a part of the predicate. They receiving the ‘saying,’ or word, “worthy of all acceptation:” 1 Timothy 1:15 . ἐβαπτίσθησαν , were baptized ) Understand, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit , Acts 2:38 . καὶ , and ) And so. προσετέθησαν , there were added ) Previously there had been only one hundred and twenty names: and yd the souls about three thousand are said to have been added [to the 120, though so much smaller a number], because the former (the 120), few as they were, nevertheless constituted the original head and body of believers. So in Acts 2:47 , “The Lord added to the Church.” ὡσεὶ τρισχίλιαι , about three thousand ) How marvellous was the efficacy of the Gospel!

Verse 42

Acts 2:42 . Προσκαρτεροῦντες , continuing stedfast, persevering ) having forsaken all things else. κοινωνίᾳ , in fellowship ) of all their internal and external goods, actions, and plans. Comp. as to their resources, Romans 15:26 . τῇ κλάσει τοῦ ἄρτου , in breaking of bread ) that is, in frugal diet, partaken of jointly one with the other. Comp., however, note, Acts 2:46 . [The Lord’s Supper is included in this expression.] The Christianity of all, and each individually, is to be estimated, not merely from Divine worship, but also from the daily mode of life.

Verse 43

Acts 2:43 . Φόβος , fear ) For they had GOD present with them. This fear prevented the persecutors from breaking out in acts of violence against the novice Christians, before that the fitting time was come. διὰ τῶν ἀποστόλων , by the apostles ) therefore not by all the other disciples.

Verse 44

[44. Παντες , all ) though sprung from entirely different nations. At what a wide distance, alas! we are removed from that unity in the present day. V. g.]

Verse 45

Acts 2:45 . Κτήματα , possessions ) lands and houses: ch. Acts 5:1 ; Acts 5:8 . ὑπάρξεις , their goods, effects ) viz. of a moveable kind. ἐπίπρασκον , they sold ) The direction of the Lord, Luke 12:33 , “Sell that ye have, and give alms,” spoken a short while before to the disciples, and applying to all times, was especially applicable to the time then being. [So afterwards, at the destruction of Jerusalem, they had nothing to lose: and their all was in the meantime laid out to the best account. The impending calamities of the time move the more prudent, not to parsimony, but to liberality. Ecclesiastes 11:2 , “Give a portion to seven and also to eight, for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.” James 5:3 . V. g.] διεμέριζον , they parted or distributed them) The Passive, διεδίδοτο , division was made , ch. Acts 4:35 . The multitude was from time to time increasing. [23] The dividers of their goods were believers themselves; the apostles; the seven deacons. αὐτὰ , them ) all things in common, even the money from the goods which were sold. καθότι , according as ) not as in the societies of the world, where each receives from the common fund according to the magnitude of the share that he has contributed, not according to his need.

[23] Therefore, whilst at first they shared their goods ( διεμέριζον ) with all, subsequently, when the numbers of believers were large, a division was made on a more systematic plan. E. and T.

Verse 46

Acts 2:46 . Προσκαρτεροῦντες , κ . τ . λ .) There are four important points here; continuing stedfastly (persevering) in the temple, breaking bread, they partook of , and praising : The fourth of these properly coheres with the first; the third with the second. ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ , in the temple ) in public; as κατʼ οἶκον , at home , in private [Engl. Vers., from house to house ]. κλῶντες , breaking ) Heb. שבר , to break, or to give fragments. Their daily partaking of food is signified, with which often was conjoined the administration of the Eucharist: ch. Acts 20:7 , note; 1 Corinthians 11:20-21 : for it is not probable that in this book of Acts no mention at all should occur of the Holy Supper, whereas there is so frequent mention of baptism; but mention of it is made in a guarded (covert) manner, as was usual at that time, 1 Corinthians 10:15 (where Paul is speaking of the Lord’s Supper), and less frequently. Scripture most wisely holds the middle course between those things which are well known, and those which are proper to be concealed. τροφῆς , food) Christianity loves exemption from earthly cares, as also simplicity, and shrinks from a variety of arts and professions. Such a life is commended throughout the whole book of Ecclesiastes. ἀγαλλιάσει , with [‘gladness’] exultation) This is the fruit of faith, and a characteristic mark of truth. ἀφελότητι , simplicity or singleness) Without anxiety for the future, and without envy, as far as those richer than themselves were concerned, without unreasonable (perverse) shame, as far as those poorer than themselves were concerned.

Verse 47

Acts 2:47 . Χάριν , grace , i.e. favour ) They find this who praise God. ὁ δὲ Κύριος , moreover the Lord ) Jesus. τοὺς ) An emphatic article: There was no day without such being added who were being saved. τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ) This, as it seems, is a gloss of Chrysostom , which has been propagated by the Syriac version and others. The words are not in the older authorities. [24] [The company of believers receives a variety of appellations, until, having obtained its own regular constitution, it at last receives the name of the Church (an argument against the genuineness of τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ here). Not. Crit. ]

[24] Hence also in this passage the decision of the larger Ed., which had judged the omission of the words τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ not to be approved of, is corrected. The margin of Exodus 2:0 has left the decision to the reader: but the Germ. Vers. follows this after-decision of the Gnomon. E. B.

The words are omitted in ABC Vulg. Memph. and Theb.: and so Lachm. But E e and Rec. Text insert them: so also D d and Syr. ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ : so Tisch. E. and T.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Acts 2". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.