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1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Ver. 1. Of all that Jesus began, &c. ] If Hen. Stephanus could say of Laertius, that he wrote the lives of the philosophers aureo libello illo in that golden book of his; and (as another hath it) opere utilissimo, et auro contra non charo; a how much better may the same be said of the holy evangelists setting forth the oracles and miracles of Christ and his apostles! If Julius Scaliger thought twelve verses in Lucan better than the whole German empire, what high thoughts ought we to have of these divine records! In the monastery at Ratisbon is a New Testament written all in letters of gold, saith Melancthon, who saw it. (Joh. Manl. loc. com.) Gold was not good enough for such a purpose.
a Vos. de Hist. Graec. ii. 13.
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
Ver. 2. Had given commandments ] As the Church’s Lawgiver, Isaiah 33:22 ; 1 Corinthians 11:23 .
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Ver. 3. Speaking of the things ] Those that are leaving the world should leave wholesome counsel to those that survive them.
4 And, being assembled together with them , commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he , ye have heard of me.
Ver. 4. Wait for the promise ] And put it in suit by their daily prayers, Luke 11:13 .
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Ver. 5. Shall be baptized ] SeeMatthew 3:11; Matthew 3:11 .
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Ver. 6. Restore again ] They dreamt of a distribation of honours and offices here on earth as in the days of David and Solomon.
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Ver. 7. It is not for you ] This key God carries under his own girdle.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Ver. 8. After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ] Montanus the heresiarch wickedly affirmed that, next unto the apostles, this Scripture was fulfilled upon him and his courtesan Philumena. (Beza in loc.) Prodigious blasphemy! And eiusdem farinae, a loaf of the same leaven it is, that the Turks believe that when Christ said that "although he departed, he would send the Comforter," it was added in the text, "And that shall be Mahomet;" but that the Christians in malice toward them have razed it out. (Abbot’s Geog.)
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Ver. 9. And a cloud ] Look not therefore for revelations from heaven (saith Aretius), but search the Scriptures, for those are they that testify of Christ.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Ver. 10. Looked stedfastly ] Or intently, ατενιζοντες : wistly, as taken with that sweet sight. See Trapp on " Mat 28:7 "
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Ver. 11. Shall so come ] De tempore ne quire, not a word of the time when, in answer to that overly curious question, Acts 1:6 . Solomon’s temple was finished in the year of the world 3000; whether Christ’s shall be consummated in 3000 more, I have not to say.
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
Ver. 12. From the mount ] Near unto which he had been apprehended, viz. at Bethany, and from whence he had thus triumphantly ascended up on high, leading captivity captive, &c., Ephesians 4:8 , and making an open show of his conquered enemies as a public spectacle of scorn and derision, εδειγματισεν , Colossians 2:15 . In which respect, how well might this mount Olivet have received that name of Nicatorium, a which Alexander the Great gave to a certain Mountain not far from Arbela, as a constant trophy of that famous victory that he there got over Darius, with whom he fought for the empire of the world.
a Νικατωριον προς . Strabo.
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
Ver. 13. They went into an upper room ] a As most remote from company, and so fittest for God’s service. In Madrid it is a custom, that except some composition be made, all the upper rooms of their dwellings belong to the king. (Heyl. Geog.) Let the spirits of our minds be reserved for God.
a υπερωον superior pars domus Spartanorum lingua. Eustath.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Ver. 14. With the women ] Who might make masculine prayers, having eyes like the pools in Heshbon, Song of Solomon 7:4 .
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
Ver. 15. The number of names ] Nominum, id est, hominum, or of the chieftains that were fit to act in the election.
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Ver. 16. Brethren ] Not underlings, as Popish bishops, who must say Placet It is pleasing, to that which in the pope’s name is proposed to them.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
Ver. 18. And all his bowels gushed out ] Because he had no bowels of compassion toward his Master, he burst in the midst with a huge crack (as the word ελακησε signifieth), by a singular judgment of God. So Foxford, chancellor to the bishop of London, a cruel persecutor in Henry VIII’s time, died suddenly in his chair; his belly being burst and his guts falling out before him. So Arius voiding out his bowels, sent his soul as a harbinger to the devil to provide room for his body. Papias (that ancient millenary, scholar to St John) tells us ( In Traditionibus quas vocant Apostolicis ), that Judas having hanged himself, the rope broke, and he lived some time after, and was crushed to death by the fall of a cart that was to pass by him; but this is a mere fiction of his, and it gives us cause to credit Eusebius, who saith that this Papias, though much reverenced for opinion of his holiness and learning, yet was homo ingenii pertenuis, a slender-witted man.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
Ver. 19. In their proper tongue ] i.e. In the Syriac tongue; for the Jews in the Babylonish captivity lost their language.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
Ver. 20. In the book of Psalms ] That common magazine of wholesome lessons, as Basil hath it. a
a κοινον ταμειον αγαθων διδαγματων
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Ver. 21. Wherefore of these ] To make up the breach again; like as the crowned saints fill up the room in heaven of the apostate angels.
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Ver. 22. Must one be ordained ] To answer the ancient types.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
Ver. 23. Joseph called Barsabas ] The centurists think that this Joseph Barsabas was the same with that Joses called Barnabas afterwards by the apostles, Acts 4:36 . This Joseph, seeing it was God’s mind not to make choice of him now to succeed Judas in the apostleship, was content with a lower condition; therefore afterwards God called him to that high and honourable office of an apostle.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men , shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
Ver. 24. Which knowest the hearts ] Thales Milesius, qui sapientissimus inter septem fuisse creditur, interrogatus num lateret Deos iniuste agens? respondit, Ne cogitans quidem. Thales being asked whether evil deeds are hidden from God? answered, No, nor evil thoughts either.
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Ver. 25. Go to his own place ] A place of his own providing; and that he had purchased with that wages of wickedness, Acts 1:18 . Bellarmine tells us of a desperate advocate in the court of Rome, who being exhorted on his death bed to make his peace with God, made this speech to him; Lord, I have a word to say to thee, not for myself, but for my wife and children, Ego enim propero ad inferos, neque est ut aliquid pro me agas; for I am hasting to hell, neither is there anything that I would beg of thee in my own behalf. And this he spake, saith Bellarmine (who was by the while), as boldly and without fear, as if he had been but to take his journey only to some near neighbouring village.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Ver. 26. They gave forth their lot ] Either into the bosom, Proverbs 16:23 , or lap, or pot, or some other vessel in use for that purpose.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Acts 1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29