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Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
The Lame Man Healed (3:1-8)
How long after Pentecost the following incident occurred it is impossible to say, but probably not long.
Now Peter and John. These two are found first associated together by their Master, along with James, as a sacred triumvirate (Mark 5:37; Mark 9:2; Mark 14:33); then by themselves (Luke 22:8, and see John 13:23-24; John 21:20-21). Now we find them constantly together; but John, as being yet young, only as a silent actor, though unflinching witness for his Master, by the side of Peter (see the note at Acts 4:13).
At the hour of prayer, [being] the ninth hour. The hours of public prayer at the Jewish temple were 9
A.M.; 12 noon; and 3 P.M. This last was "the ninth hour," reckoning, as the Jews did, from six in the morning; and it was the hour of "the evening sacrifice," when a large number were wont to congregate at the temple (Luke 1:10).
And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
And a certain man lame from his mother's womb - and now "above forty years old" (Acts 4:22). As the Lord Jesus had signalized His power by opening the eyes of a man born blind (John 9:1-41), so the "virtue" that had now "gone out of Him" as the glorified Redeemer, and that now rested upon His apostolic witnesses endued with the Spirit, displays itself in this first recorded miracle by the healing of a man lame from his birth.
Was carried, [ ebastazeto (G941)] - either 'was wont to be carried,' or 'was in the act of being carried' just at that time: the latter sense is probably meant here.
Whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful. Thus would his lameness be familiar to all the frequenters of the temple. The gate alluded to was probably a two-leaved gate described by Josephus, though not under that name, as the most massive and gorgeous of all the gates, made largely of Corinthian brass, and plated over with gold and silver, fifty cubits high by forty broad (Jewish Wars 5: 5, 3; and Antiquities 15: 11, 3).
To ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us - that through the eye faith might be aided in its birth. "On us," says Peter, assuming no superiority to himself over his silent and younger companion in the apostleship.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
No JFB commentary on this verse.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Then (or 'But') Peter said, Silver and gold have I none. Though all the proceeds of the houses and lands sold by the disciples were 'laid at the apostles' feet,' they touched none of it for themselves, and were personally as poor as before.
But such as I have give I thee - "as poor, yet making many rich; as having noticing, and yet possessing all things" (2 Corinthians 6:10).
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth - `by the virtue that resides in that blessed One whom I invoke,'
Rise up and walk - that the immediateness and thoroughness of this cure might be seen by all. What a lofty superiority breathes in these words! Uttered with supernatural power, they doubtless begat in this poor man the faith which sent healing virtue through his diseased members.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. Such actions of the apostle were so strikingly like those of his Lord in the performance of several of his miracles (Matthew 8:15; Matthew 9:27; Matthew 14:31; Matthew 20:34; Mark 8:25; Luke 7:14) that he would seem to have been conscious that his now glorified Lord was now only repeating through him His wonderful works upon earth.
And immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. This specification of the soles [ baseis (G939)] and ankles [ sfudra (G4973a)] comes fitly from "the beloved physician," and is one of several internal confirmations of his being the author of this History.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. Every word here is emphatic, expressing both the perfectness and the instantaneousness of the cure.
The Gathering Multitude Filled with Wonder (3:9-11)
And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
And all the people saw him - as they assembled in the temple courts at the hour of prayer,
Walking and praising God - so that the miracle had the utmost publicity, while the man's grateful thanksgivings in the temple would call attention to the divine source of the cure, and to the Christian instrument of it.
And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple - and so could both identify the man and have ocular demonstration for themselves of the cure; "and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him."
And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John. (The true reading here is evidently the more simple one, 'And as he held Peter and John.' If this was the commencement of a church lession, it is easy to see how the additional words would be introduced for connection's sake.) How exquisitely natural is this! And what a touching proclamation of the instrumental source of the cure would this clinging of the healed man to his benefactors be!
All the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's (see the note at John 10:23 ) greatly wondering. How vividly do these graphic details bring the whole scene before us! And thus was Peter again furnished with a vast audience, whose wonder at the spectacle of the healed beggar clinging to his benefactor prepared them to hearken to his words.
Peter Addresses the Astonished Multitude Again (3:12-26)
And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Miracles are marvels only in relation to the limited powers of man and the laws by which nature is habitually governed. In relation to the power and will of Him who made nature and its laws what they are-should He change them, either less or more, in order to proclaim to men His immediate presence, and summon their attention to a message from Himself-they are no marvel at all.
As though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? - q.d., 'Neither the might nor the merit of this cure are due to us, who are but the agents of Him we now preach unto you.'
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus -
q.d., 'Think not that we bring you any new religion when we preach to you Jesus of Nazareth; His claims are in no wise hostile to the God of our fathers; nay, it is just the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that hath glorified Him whom ye despised and rejected; the new covenant lay all along in the bosom of the old, and Jesus of Nazareth is the life of both; in Him all the revelations of God from the beginning have their object and end.' The word here rendered "Son" [ pais (G3816)] signifies any youth, whether son or servant. In the sense of 'servant' it is used of Israel (Luke 1:54), of David (Luke 1:69), and even of Christ (Matthew 12:18) by our translators themselves. That "Son" is the real sense here is not at all likely-both because the usual and proper word for that [ huios (G5207)] is not that here used, and also because the apostle seems studiously to avoid the use of that word, keeping himself strictly to the Jewish point of view and the familiar phraseology of the Old Testament.
Now, in the latter half of Isaiah's prophecies, containing the sublimest Messianic strains, the name by which the Messiah is most frequently held forth is 'THE SERVANT OF THE LORD' [ `ebed (H5650) Yahweh (H3068)], who should fulfill all His pleasure; and this word "Servant" the Septuagint, in every case but one, render by the word here used [ pais (G3816)]. Thus, in Isaiah 42:1, "Behold my servant [ `abdiy (H5650), ho (G3588) pais (G3816) mou (G3450)], whom I uphold; mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth," etc.-quoted of Jesus in Matthew 12:18; Isaiah 49:6, "It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant [ liy (H3807) `ebed (H5650), paida (G3816) mou (G3450)], to raise up the tribes of Jacob ... I will also give thee for a Light to the Gentiles that thou shouldest be my Salvation unto the ends of the earth;" Isaiah 52:13, "Behold, my servant [ `abdiy (H5650), ho (G3588) pais (G3816) mou (G3450)] shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high;" Isaiah 53:11, "By His knowledge shall my righteous servant [ tsadiyq (H6662) `abdiy (H5650), to which the Septuagint does not correspond] justify many." Compare Zechariah 3:8, "Behold, I will bring forth my servant" [ `abdiy (H5650), in this one case rendered by the Septuagint: ton (G3588) doulon (G1400) mou (G3450)]; and Philippians 2:7-8, "Took upon Him the form of a servant ... and became obedient (as a servant) unto death;" John 17:4, "I have glorified thee on the earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. In this high sense of the term, then, the word [ pais (G3816)] should here, without doubt, be rendered, 'hath glorified His servant Jesus'-with reference to His mediatorial work, while "Son" [ huios (G5207)] is used with reference to His Personal relation to the Father; and so all the best critics now view the former phrase.
Whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate. The denial here referred to seems to be that scandalous answer which they gave to Pilate's question - "Shall I crucify your King?" - "We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15); thus repudiating all that constituted the hope and glory of the chosen nation. This conduct of theirs toward Jesus was the more aggravated, says the apostle, as it was displayed before Pilate,
But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
Denied the Holy One and the Just, [ ton (G3588) hagion (G40) kai (G2532) dikaion (G1342)] - rather, 'the Holy and Just One.' The language emphatically holds up One Person, to whom those two epithets exclusively apply; at the same time, it implies that the audience themselves either were or should be familiar with it, as characteristic of the predicted Messiah (Psalms 16:10; Isaiah 53:9; Isaiah 53:11; Luke 4:34: cf. John 8:46; John 10:36).
And desired a murderer to be granted unto you - demanding not only the sacrifice of the pre-eminently innocent, but the acquittal of the atrociously guilty.
And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
And killed the Prince of life. With what heroic course does Peter here charge his audience with the heaviest of all conceivable crimes, and with what terrific strength of language, rising into a climax of astonishing power, are these charges clothed! The word which in this verse, and in Acts 5:31, is rendered "Prince" [ archeegos (G747)] is in Hebrews 2:10 rendered "Captain," and Hebrews 12:2, "Author." This last is evidently the sense here, but with the idea of 'Leader,' as having, by His resurrection, not only brought in life from the dead to His believing people, but Himself become 'the first that should rise from the dead.' There is a manifest control between them as the destroyers and Him as the Giver of life. But that this Giver of life to men should Himself be capable of dying, and be slain by men-this is the wonder of wonders. Glorious, yet awful paradox truly this is-Ye "killed the Prince of life"!
And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
And his name through (or, 'on account of') faith, [ epi (G1909 ) tee (G3588 ) pistei (G4102 ): cf. Acts 4:21 ] in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all, With what skill does the apostle use the miracle both to glorify his ascended Lord and to bring the guilt of His blood more resistlessly home to his audience! Three things (as Alexander remarks) are here brought prominently forward to enhance the proof of divine agency in this cure: first, the notoriousness of the man's previous condition - "whom ye see and know;" next, the completeness of his restoration - "this perfect soundness;" third, its publicity - "in the presence of you all." But, it should be added, the emphatic and reiterated connection between faith in the name of Jesus and this instantaneous and perfect cure (not the lame man's, but Peter's own faith) was designed to show that this was no mere interposition of divine power, but an act of the slain, risen, and glorified Nazarene through him, His apostolic witness. But our preacher, like his Master, "will not break the bruised reed." His heaviest charges are prompted by love, which now hastens to assuage the wounds it was necessary to inflict.
And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
And now, brethren, I wot (or 'know') that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. (See Luke 23:34; John 16:3; Acts 13:27; 1 Corinthians 2:8; 1 Timothy 1:13).
But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ, [ ton (G3588) Christon (G5547)] - rather, 'the Christ;' but the true reading evidently is, 'that His Christ' [adding autou (G846)]
Should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. The doctrine of a SUFFERING MESSIAH was totally at variance with the current views of the Jewish Church, and hard to digest even by the Twelve, up to the day of their Lord's resurrection. Our preacher himself revolted at it and protested against it, when first nakedly announced, for which he received a terrible rebuke. Here he affirms it to be the fundamental truth of ancient prophecy, realized unwittingly by the Jews themselves, yet this by a glorious divine ordination. How great a change had the Pentecostal illumination worked upon his views!
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, [ epistrepsate (G1994)] - or, 'turn ye,'
That your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, [ hopoos (G3704) an (G302) elthoosin (G2064) kairoi (G2540) anapsuxeoos (G403)]. It should be 'in order that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;' as nearly every good interpreter admits, and as our translators themselves render this very phrase in Luke 2:35. The rendering "when" has been borrowed from the Vulgate ('ut cum') and Beza ('post-quam'); but Beza's examples and those of Scholefield (who alone now defends it) are not in point; and that rendering is certainly inaccurate. The 'seasons of refreshing' here meant are, as we think, that definite and, to the Jewish mind, familiar period of lengthened repose, prosperity, and joy, which all the prophets hold forth to the distracted Church and a miserable world, as eventually to come, and which is here, as it is in all the prophets, made to turn upon the national conversion of Israel.
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Which before was preached unto you, [ ton (G3588) prokekeerugmenon (G4296) humin (G5213) Ieesoun Christon]. This reading has hardly any support, (only a few cursive manuscripts.) The true reading, as all the best and most ancient manuscripts ('Aleph (') A B C D E and a host of others, with Chrysostom, though the Vulgate and Origen have the received reading), and all critical editors agree, is, 'He shall send you the foreordained' or 'predestined Messiah, Jesus' [ton pokecheirismenon humin Christon Ieesoun].
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Whom [the] heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, [ achri (G891) chronoon (G5550) apokatastaseoos (G605) pantoon (G3956)]. This far-reaching expression is probably meant to comprehend the rectification of all the disorders of the fall, and the interval " until" that consummation embraces (as Bengel remarks) the whole period between the Ascension of Christ and His Second Coming in glory which [ hoon (G3739), by attr. for hous (G3739), sc. chronous (G5550)]
God hath spoken by the mouth of [all] his holy prophets since the world began - a loose expression for a chain of harmonious prophetic testimony from the earliest period (as in Luke 1:70). The word "all," enclosed in brackets, is evidently an addition to the genuine text. Here arises a question of some importance: Does the apostle intend thus to intimate that both those two events-the 'seasons of refreshing' to come upon the Jewish nation on its 'repentance and conversions,' and the 'sending of Jesus Christ when "the times of restitution of all things" shall arrive-are to be contemporaneous? or are they to be regarded as marking two successive periods? Undoubtedly both are here presented at one view, and both are alike suspended upon the nation's repentance and conversion, with the view of shutting them up to that saving change as the one hope of national recovery and the proper preparative for both events. But as that will hold equally true whether those events are to be contemporaneous or successive, it seems clear that the question cannot be decided out of this passage; and interpreters will probably incline to the one view of it or the other, according to their views of the predicted events themselves, and their general conception of the future of Christ's kingdom. To us it appears that the apostle's design in referring here to these 'seasons' and "times" at all was to meet the difficulty which his Jewish hearers would have in understanding why Jesus, if He was indeed the promised Messiah, should, instead of staying on earth to set up His kingdom, have gone away into heaven. His absence, the apostle tells them, is a necessary part of the divine purpose; but that fully accomplished, He will as certainly come again from heaven as He has gone to it - "Heaven must receive Him;" but only "until the times of restitution of all things," etc.
For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
[For] Moses truly said (Deuteronomy 18:15) - here quoted almost verbatim --
[Unto the fathers]. The bracketed words [ gar (G1063) and pros (G4314) tous (G3588) pateras (G3962)] are clearly not genuine, being attested only by a few cursive manuscripts; but they are an ancient addition.
A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me (i:e., Moses) - particularly in 'intimacy of commumcation with God,' and 'as the mediatorial Head of a new order of things.' (See. Hebrews 3:2-6.) The apostle takes it for granted that, in the light of all he had just said, it would be seen at once that One only had any claim to be that Prophet.
Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. This part of the prediction is emphatically added, in order to shut up the audience to the obedience of faith, on pain of being finally 'cut off' from the congregation of the righteous (Psalms 1:5).
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold, [ prokateengeilan (G4293), but the simple kateengeilan (G2605) is perhaps the better supported reading]
Of these days - the days of Messiah; all of them pointing, with more or less distinctness, to "the time of reformation" (Hebrews 9:10).
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant - and so the natural heirs of all its provisions and blessings,
Which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham (Genesis 12:3 ; Genesis 22:15 ), and in thy seed (see the note at Galatians 3:16 ) shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
Unto you first God, having raised up - not (as we think) 'raised up from the dead,' but 'provided, prepared, and gifted,'
His Son [Jesus], [ ton (G3588) paida (G3816) autou (G846) Ieesoun (G2424)] - rather, 'His servant [Jesus]' (see the note at Acts 3:13). Lachmann and Tischendorf exclude from their text the bracketed word "Jesus" - perhaps with reason; though the evidence for it is considerable (A B and some other manuscripts, as against C D E and most versions as well as fathers).
Sent him to bless you, [ eulogounta (G2127)] - literally, 'sent Him blessing you;' as it were laden with that blessing of blessings, the forgiveness of sins, as the apostle immediately adds,
In turning away every one of you from his iniquities - q.d., 'Hitherto we have been looking too much for a Messiah who should shed outward blessings upon the nation generally, and through it upon the world. But we have learned other things, and now announce to you that the great blessing with which Messiah has come laden is 'the turning away of every one of you from his iniquities.'
(1) The fact that the first Christians, under apostolic direction, observed the Jewish hours of prayer at the temple as well as their own hours of social worship, from the day of Pentecost onwards, is worthy of special notice. They probably were unaware for some time of the precise relation in which these stood to each other, and would at first be apt to suppose that both services were to go on harmoniously, Christianity being regarded as but a fully developed Judaism. 'Christianity immediately and originally (says Baumgarten justly) was nothing else than the fulfillment and completion of Judaism.' Those who believed in Jesus, so far from ceasing to be Jews, only then began to he called and to be Jews in the true and proper sense of the term (see Revelation 2:9; Philippians 3:3). Consequently, it was both natural and necessary that the apostles anal first Christians should simply follow all the rules of life which prevailed among their countrymen.
The temple of Israel is also their sanctuary (see Acts 2:4; Acts 2:6; Acts 5:12). The hours of prayer for Israel are also their hours of prayer (Acts 2:42; Acts 3:1), etc. But even though the apostles had seen clearly from the first that the one mode of divine worship was intended to give place to the other, it is not at all certain that they would have ventured of their own accord to discontinue the old services; and it is very certain that if they had, they would have arrested the progress of the Gospel among the timid multitude, and precipitated upon themselves the violence of the ecclesiastics. By degrees only would the waning character of Judaism, after the glory bad departed from it, dawn upon their minds; and the more enlightened would be ready to say, even while joining in the temple services, "That which decaveth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away" (Hebrews 8:13). Thus the two services seem to have gone on sweetly together until the question was practically settled by the fall of the temple and the entire dissolution of the Jewish state. And, if we mistake not, analogous cases will be found in the history of the Christian Church, in which the reward of patience and caution has been similarly reaped. When Luther, in 1522, was shut up in the castle of Wartburg, Carlstadt was endangering all that had been gained by insisting, at Wittemberg, on the laity partaking of the cup in the Eucharist before yet they had light as to their warrant to do so. Hearing of this, the reformer stole away from his retreat, and, re-appearing at Wittemberg, at the risk of his life, allowed the people to receive the sacrament in the form most edifying to themselves. This restored the broken peace, and soon the half-instructed people themselves demanded and received the cup. In the following year Zwingli, at Zurich, acted upon the same principle, when, though he had opened the eyes of the Council and the more intelligent classes to the unscriptural character of certain popish usages, he yet would not give his consent to the public abolition of them until the people generally should be prepared to go along with them; and he was soon rewarded by a popular demand for what, had it been done before, would have had to be forced upon them. Let the wise consider this.
(2) The intelligent reader will again observe how exclusively the apostle confines himself to the Jewish point of view in preaching the Gospel-insisting that it was the God of their fathers who had sent Jesus, and who, when they slew Him, raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory; that all this was but the fulfillment of the prophetic testimony from the beginning; and therefore, that while in now receiving Jesus they would only be repairing the error which in ignorance they had already committed, and would thus experience the blessings promised to their nation, they would, by rejecting Him, consummate their guilt and seal their national doom. This was the one view of Christ's claims which the Jewish mind was then capable of taking in, and probably all that then occupied the mind even of the apostle himself; and as it brings out the true relation between the old and the new economies, and the harmony of Scripture, it is never to be lost sight of, even under the more comprehensive views of Christianity and the Church which the accession of the Gentiles has introduced. (See the notes at Acts 2:14-47, Remark 1, at the close of that Section.)
(3) When the apostle says that "heaven must receive" the ascended Saviour "until the times of restitution of all things" (whatever that may definitely mean), it seems impossible to doubt that he meant to announce a protracted absence-an absence of uncertain length, no doubt, but yet of extended duration. When, therefore, we find our Lord enjoining watchfulness in the prospect of His coming, and preparedness for an unexpected return, and His apostles, in the same strain, telling us that He will come as a thief in the night, and so forth, we must take care that we frame no theories of His Second Coming that will not admit of both views of it; and, tried by this test, some theories, now engrossing the attention of many warm-hearted Christians, will, as we think, be found lacking.
(4) With what skill and power does the apostle, seeing himself surrounded and gazed on by a wondering multitude, seize his opportunity, and, founding on resistless facts, drive home to the conscience of his auditors their guilt in crucifying the Lord of Glory; then soothe their awakened minds by assurances of forgiveness on turning to the Lord, and a glorious future as soon as this shall come pass-to terminate with the Personal Return of Christ from the heavens where He has ascended-ending all with warnings, from their own Scriptures, to submit to Him if they would not perish, and with calls to receive from Him the blessings of salvation.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Acts 3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany