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1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Ver. 1. And when the day of Pentecost ] This feast was instituted in remembrance of the law delivered to Moses in the mount, fifty days after their departure out of Egypt. Answerably whereunto the Holy Ghost (and God’s love thereby, Rom 5:5 ) is sent out and shed abroad the 50th day after that Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us,1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 5:7 .
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Ver. 2. As of a rushing mighty wind ] Nescit tarda molimina gratia Spirltus Sancti, saith Ambrose. "The Spirit of God is a spirit of power,"2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Timothy 1:7 .
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Ver. 3. Cloven tongues ] Teaching them both ορθοτομειν , to divide the word aright, and also ορθοποδειν , as some will have it; their tongues being cloven, as their feet were into toes, teaching them too to foot it aright. Diodorus Siculus tells us of a certain island beyond Arabia, the inhabitants whereof have cloven tongues, so that therewith they can alter their speech at their pleasure, imitate the tunes of various birds, and (which is more strange) they can perfectly speak to two persons and to two purposes at once; to one with one part of their tongue and to another with the other part; Sed fides sit penes Authorem, believe it who will.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Ver. 4. As the Spirit gave them utterance ] αποφθεγγεσθαι , to utter divine apothegms, grave and gracious sentences, or rather oracles; those Magnalia Dei, great things of God, Acts 2:11 ; Mirabilia legis, Great things of the law, Psalms 119:18 . 2Pe 1:21 Cedro digna et Cerite cera. Horat.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost ] And so gifted for their offices and employments in the Church. The heathens tell us that Hesiod, being filled with a sudden inspiration by the Muses, became of a sordid neatherd a most skilful poet. And Cicero saith, no man ever grew famous sine aliquo afflatu divino, without some inbreathing from on high.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Ver. 5. And there were dwelling, &c. ] Even in Jerusalem (for their ancient idolatries and latter unthankfulness) there be not to be found at this time a hundred households of the Jews. (Breerwood’s Inquiries.)
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Ver. 6. Were confounded ] Or troubled, transported, amazed, and amused, συνεχυθη , as Acts 2:7 .
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
Ver. 7. Galileans ]- crassoque sub aere nati. (Martial.)
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Ver. 8. Every man in our our tongue ] Cleopatra was so skilful in the Eastern tongues that she could readily answer the Ethiopian, Hebrew, Arabian, Syrian, Median, Parthian ambassadors that came unto her; turning and tuning her tongue with ease (as an instrument of many strings, a saith Plutarch) to what dialect soever she listed.
a ωσπερ οργανον τι πολυχορδον
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Ver. 9. Parthians and Medes, &c. ] Those strangers of the dispersion,1 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1 .
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Ver. 10. Proselytes ] Jethro was the first proselyte to the Jewish Church that we read of in Scripture.
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Ver. 12. The wonderful works ] The magnifical, majestical things of God; they praised him according to his excellent greatness, Psalms 150:2 .
What meaneth this? ] Gr. "What will this be, or come to?" a And here began their conversion. Let none "despise the day of small things," Zechariah 4:10 : God put little thoughts into Ahasuerus’s head, but for great purposes,Ezra 6:1; Ezra 6:1 . The word falls often upon men’s ears, "as the sound of many waters" at first, working wonder only. Next "as the voice of thunder," working fear also, as it did on these here, Acts 2:37 . Lastly, as the harmony of harpers, filling the heart with peace and joy through believing, as one observeth from Rev 14:1-5
a τι αν θελοι τουτο ειναι
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Ver. 13. Others mocking, said, These men, &c. ] χλευαζοντες , contumeliously cavilling, as those epicures at Athens did, Acts 17:32 . And that mocker, Doctor Morgan, who being set to examine Mr Philpot, martyr, asked him, How know you that you have the Spirit of God? Philpot answered, By the faith of Christ which is in me. Ah, by faith, do you so? (quoth Morgan). I think it is the spirit of the buttery, which your fellows have had that have been burned before you, who were drunk before they went to their death, and I think went drunk unto it. Philpot replied: It appeareth by your communication that you are better acquainted with the spirit of buttery than with the Spirit of God. Thou hast the spirit of illusion and sophistry, which is not able to countervail the Spirit of truth. And God, I tell thee, shall rain fire and brimstone upon such scorners of his word and blasphemers of his people as thou art, &c.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Ver. 14. But Peter standing up ] ( σταθεις , consistens. ) Buckling close to them, and not suffering them to carry it away so; Constantem et praesentem Petri animum declarat. Beza.
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Ver. 15. Seeing it is but the third hour ] This was then an argument more than probable. Now men are grown such husbands, as that by that time they will return their stocks, and have their brains crowing before day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Ver. 16. But this is that ] Thus the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New.
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Ver. 17. In the last days ] God keeps his best till last. Not so the devil.
I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh ] The best thing upon the basest. Oh, wonderful goodness!
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Ver. 18. And on mine handmaids ] Souls have no sexes, Galatians 3:28 .
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Ver. 19. Wonders in heaven ] See Joel 3:15 ; Matthew 24:29 ; Mark 13:24 ; Luke 21:25 .
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Ver. 20. The sun shall be turned ] He seems to set forth the great troubles of the world under the gospel.
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Ver. 21. Shall be saved ] Therefore to be able to pray is better than to be able to prophesy, Matthew 7:22 .
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Ver. 22. A man ] From Adam, but not by Adam.
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Ver. 23. And by wicked hands, &c. ] Facinus vincire civem Romanum, It is a crime to bind a Roman citizen, saith the orator. It was much (may we say) for the Son of God to be bound, more to be beaten, most of all to be slain. Quid dicam in crucem tolli? Let me say what is destroyed in the cross. (Cicero in Ver.)
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Ver. 24. It was not possible ] For he was life essential, and therefore "swallowed up death in victory,"1 Corinthians 15:54; 1 Corinthians 15:54 .
Him being delivered by the determinate counsel of God ] Quod dum devitatur impletur, saith Gregory. The wicked’s intense rage carries on God’s decree against their wills; for while they sit backward to his command, they row forward to his decree; dum sun cuique Deus fit dira libido.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
Ver. 25. Be moved ] Tossed as a ship by tempest.
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
Ver. 26. My tongue ] Heb. "my glory." With the tongue bless we God, James 3:9 , which is the best way of ennobling it.
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Ver. 27. My soul in hell ] That is, my body in the grave. So Revelation 20:13 . Death and hell, i.e. the grave, are cast into the burning lake. To the three degrees of our Saviour’s humiliation, are answerable the three degrees of his exaltation: to his death, his resurrection; to his burial, his ascension; to his abode a while in the grave, his sitting at the right hand of his heavenly Father.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Ver. 28. Thou hast made known ] i.e. Thou givest me experience, or thou hast made me partaker of.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
Ver. 29. His sepulchre is with us ] Repaired, likely, when the city was rebuilt. See Matthew 23:29 .
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Ver. 30. Out of the fruit of his loins ] That is, out of the Virgin Mary; the son of whose womb Christ was, being hewn without hands out of that mountain, Daniel 2:45 .
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Ver. 31. Neither his flesh ] It was a pious error in those good women that embalmed his body to preserve it from corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Ver. 32. Hath God raised up ] Adam died, and we hear no more of him; but the second Adam rose and reigneth for ever.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Ver. 33. Exalted ] See Trapp on " Act 2:27 "
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Ver. 34. Is not ascended ] viz. Bodily, and to sit at God’s right hand as King of the Church: that is Christ’s royalty.
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Ver. 35. Thy footstool ] They that will not bend shall break; Christ will fetch in his rebels, and set his feet of fine brass on the necks of them,Revelation 1:15; Revelation 1:15 .
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Ver. 36. Lord and Christ ] Messiah the Prince, Daniel 9:25 .
37 Now when they heard this , they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Ver. 37. They were pricked ] Punctually pricked and pierced ( κατενυγησαν ). They felt the nails wherewith they had crucified Christ sticking fast in their own hearts, as so many sharp daggers or stings of scorpions, 2 Corinthians 12:7 . Sin is set forth by a word that signifieth the head of a bearded arrow sticking in the flesh ( σκολοψ ). After Socrates was put to death at Athens, Aristophanes rehearsed a tragedy of his concerning Palamedes, who had been executed by the Grecians long before, at the siege of Troy. In this tragedy were these verses, a
"Ye have slain, ye have slain of Greeks the very best,
(All me) that never any did infest."
The people at the hearing of these lines were so moved that they presently fell upon the authors of Socrates’ death, and drew them forth to punishment. Oh, that we could be as nimble to apprehend and be avenged upon our sins, the cause of Christ’s death.
a Εκτανετε, εκτανετε αριστον των ‘ Ελληνων, τον ανδιαν μηδενα βλαψαντα
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Ver. 38. Peter said unto them, Repent ] μετανοησατε . Hence then they had not yet repented, for all they were pricked at heart. Nay, Peter prescribes it for a remedy, which taxeth their folly that take the disease for the remedy, and are overly forward to minister comfort or ever men have sorrowed after God, and to a transmentation. The English are not sick soon enough, saith one, and they are well again too soon. It is true of their minds, as well as of their bodies, Currat ergo poenitentia, ne praecurrat sententia; and let our fasts be according to an old canon, which defines their continuance usque dum stellae in, caelo appareant, till stars be seen in the sky. It is not for men to scarf up their wounds till they are thoroughly searched, not to get out of the furnace of mortification till their hearts melt, as Josiah’s did, and fall asunder in their bosoms, like drops of water. Penitence and pain are words of one derivation, and very near of kin. Never was any wound cured without sensible pain: never any sin healed without soaking sorrow. Let none dream of a delicacy in the ways of God; nor hope for sound comfort, till they have thoroughly repented. The Hebrews, as they express sin and punishment by the same word, so do they repentance and comfort, נחם .
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Ver. 39. Even as many ] The devil sweeps all (of maturity) that are not called, as out of the covenant.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Ver. 40. With many words did he testify ] διεμαρτυρετο , in God’s name, for his sake, and by his authority, as Paul charged Timothy, 2 Timothy 2:14 , and as Bradford spoke to his friend: I beseech you, I pray you, I desire you, I crave at your hands with all my very heart. I ask of you with hand, pen, tongue, and mind; in Christ, through Christ, for Christ; for his name, blood, mercy, power, and truth’s sake, that you admit no doubting of God’s final mercies toward you, howsoever you feel yourself.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Ver. 41. Were baptized ] They gave up their names to Christ, and took his mark upon them.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Ver. 42. Doctrine and fellowship ] So the Philippians,Philippians 1:5; Philippians 1:5 . See Trapp on " Php 1:5 "
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Ver. 43. Fear came upon ] The enemies were overawed, and dared not moot or attempt against the Church.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Ver. 44. Were together ] There is a special tie to constancy in the communion of saints and community of supplies.
And had all things common ] This was voluntary, not necessary. Non fuit praeceptum, sed susceptum, saith Piscator.
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men , as every man had need.
Ver. 45. And sold ] So Tyre when once converted, Isaiah 23:17-18 .
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Ver. 46. Breaking bread ] Friendly feeding together, and (after their love feasts) celebrating the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s day at least: whence it was anciently called Panis Hebdomadarius. a That of George Tankerfield, a martyr in Queen Mary’s days, was singular and extraordinary. For when the hour drew on that he should suffer, he called for a pint of Malmsey and a loaf, that he might eat and drink that in remembrance of Christ’s death and passion, because he could not have it ministered unto him by others, in such manner as Christ commanded. And then he kneeled down, making his confession to the Lord, with all which were in the chamber with him. And after that he had prayed to the Lord, and had read the institution of the holy Supper by the Lord Jesus, out of the evangelists, and out of St Paul, he said: O Lord, thou knowest I do not this to derogate authority from any man, or in contempt of those which are thy ministers; but only because I cannot have it ministered according to thy word. And when he had so spoken, he received it with thanksgiving.
a Moris, erat convesci et convivari et celebrare caenam Dom. Tertul.
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Ver. 47. Such as should be saved ] Heirs of the kingdom, James 2:5 . Heads destinated to the diadem, saith Tertullian.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Acts 2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29