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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Acts 3

Verse 1

Were going up (ανεβαινον). Descriptive imperfect active. They were ascending the terraces to the temple courts.

The ninth (την ενατην). Our three o'clock in the afternoon, the time of the evening sacrifice. Peter and John like Paul later kept up the Jewish worship, but not as a means of sacramental redemption. There were three hours of prayer (third, sixth, ninth).

Verse 2

Was carried (εβασταζετο). Imperfect passive, picturing the process as in verse Acts 3:1.

Laid daily (ετιθουν καθ' ημεραν). Imperfect again describing their custom with this man.

Beautiful (Hωραιαν). This gate is not so called elsewhere. It may have been the Gate of Nicanor on the east side looking towards Kidron described by Josephus (Ant. XV. 11, 3; War V. 5, 3) as composed chiefly of Corinthian brass and very magnificent.

Verse 3

Asked (ηρωτα). Began to ask, inchoative imperfect. It was his chance.

Verse 4

Fastening his eyes (ατενισας). First aorist (ingressive) active participle of ατενιζω. For this verb see on Luke 4:20; Acts 1:10. Peter fixed his eyes on the beggar and invited him to look (βλεψον) on them.

Verse 5

Gave heed unto them (επειχεν αυτοις). Imperfect active of επεχω, to hold to. For the idiom with τον νουν understood see Acts 7:14; 1 Timothy 4:16. He held his eyes right on Peter and John with great eagerness "expecting to receive something" (προσδοκων τ λαβειν). He took Peter's invitation as a promise of a large gift.

Verse 6

In the name (εν τω ονοματ). The healing power is in that name (Page) and Peter says so. Cf. Luke 9:49; Luke 10:17; Acts 4:7; Acts 4:10; Acts 19:27; Acts 16:18.

Walk (περιπατε). Present imperative, inchoative idea, begin to walk and then go on walking. But the beggar does not budge. He knows that he cannot walk.

Verse 7

Took him by the right hand (πιασας αυτον της δεξιας χειρος). Doric form πιαζω for πιεζω. Genitive of the part affected. Peter had to pull him up on his feet before he would try to walk.

Verse 8

Leaping up (εξαλλομενος). Present middle participle, leaping out repeatedly after Peter pulled him up. Only here in the N.T.

He stood (εστη). Second aorist active.

Walked (περιεπατε). Went on walking, imperfect active. He came into the temple repeating these new exercises (walking, leaping, praising God).

Verse 10

They took knowledge of him (επεγινωσκον). Imperfect active, inchoative, began to perceive.

Were filled (επλησθησαν). Effective first aorist passive.

At that which had happened (τω συμβεβηκοτ). Perfect active participle of συμβαινω.

Verse 11

The Codex Bezae adds "as Peter and John went out."

As he held (κρατουντος αυτου). Genitive absolute of κρατεω, to hold fast, with accusative rather than genitive to get hold of (Acts 27:13). Old and common verb from κρατος (strength, force). Perhaps out of gratitude and partly from fear (Luke 8:38).

In the porch that is called Solomon's (επ τη στοα τη καλουμενη Σολομωντος). The adjective Stoic (στοικος) is from this word στοα (porch). It was on the east side of the court of the Gentiles (Josephus, Ant. XX. 9, 7) and was so called because it was built on a remnant of the foundations of the ancient temple. Jesus had once taught here (John 10:23).

Greatly wondering (εκθαμβο). Wondering out of (εκ) measure, already filled with wonder (θαμβους, verse Acts 3:10). Late adjective. Construction according to sense (plural, though λαος singular) as in Acts 5:16; Acts 6:7; Acts 11:1, etc.

Verse 12

Answered (απεκρινατο). First aorist middle indicative. The people looked their amazement and Peter answered that.

Ye men of Israel (Ανδρες Ισραηλειτα). Covenant name and so conciliatory, the stock of Israel (Philippians 3:5).

At this man (επ τουτω). Probably so, though it could be "at this thing."

Fasten you your eyes (ατενιζετε). The very verb used about Peter in verse Acts 3:4.

On us (ημιν). Dative case, emphatic proleptical position before τ ατενιζετε.

On us why do ye fasten your eyes? As though (ως). Hως with the participle gives the alleged reason, not always the true one.

Power (δυναμε). Instrumental case, causa effectiva.

Godliness (ευσεβεια). Causa meritoria.

Had made (πεποιηκοσιν). Perfect active participle of ποιεω.

To walk (του περιπατειν). Articular infinitive in the genitive case of result, purpose easily shading off into result (ecbatic infinitive) as here as is true also of ινα.

Verse 13

His servant Jesus (τον παιδα Ιησουν). This phrase occurs in Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 52:13 about the Messiah except the name "Jesus" which Peter adds, the first part of the quotation is from Exodus 3:6; Exodus 5:30. The LXX translated the Hebrew ebhedh by παις, the servant of Jehovah being a Messianic designation. But the phrase "servant of God" (παις θεου) is applied also to Israel (Luke 1:54) and to David (Luke 1:69; Acts 4:25). Paul terms himself δουλος θεου (Titus 1:1). Παις is just child (boy or girl), and it was also used of a slave (Matthew 8:6; Matthew 8:8; Matthew 8:13). But it is not here υιος (son) that Peter uses, but παις. Luke quotes Peter as using it again in this Messianic sense in Acts 3:26; Acts 4:27; Acts 4:30.

Whom ye delivered up (ον υμεις μεν παρεδωκατε). Note emphatic use of υμεις (ye). No δε to correspond to μεν. First aorist active (κ aorist) plural indicative of παραδιδωμ (usual form παρεδοτε, second aorist).

When he (εκεινου). Emphatic pronoun, that one, in contrast with "ye" (υμεις), genitive absolute with κριναντος, here the nearest word (Pilate), the latter.

Verse 14

But ye (υμεις δε). In contrast with Pilate (εκεινου).

Murderer (ανδρα φονεα). A man a murderer. In contrast with "the Holy and Righteous One."

To be granted (χαρισθηνα). As a favour (χαρις). First aorist passive infinitive of χαριζομα; So also Acts 25:11; Acts 27:24.

Verse 15

But the Prince of life ye killed (τον δε αρχηγον της ζωης απεκτεινατε). "The magnificent antithesis" (Bengel) Peter here draws between their asking for a murderer and killing the Prince (or Author) of life. Peter pictures Jesus as the source of all life as is done in John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:14-20; Hebrews 1:2. Αρχηγος (αρχη, beginning, αγω, to lead) is an adjective "furnishing the first cause or occasion" in Euripides, Plato. Thence substantive, the originator, the leader, the pioneer as of Jesus both Beginner and Finisher (Hebrews 12:2). See also Hebrews 2:10; Acts 5:31 where it is applied to Jesus as "Prince and Saviour." But God raised him from the dead in contrast to what they had done.

Whereof we are witnesses (ου ημεις μαρτυρες εσμεν). Of which fact (the resurrection) or of whom as risen, ου having the same form in the genitive singular for masculine or neuter. Peter had boldly claimed that all the 120 have seen the Risen Christ. There is no denial of that claim.

Verse 16

By faith in his name (τη πιστε του ονοματος αυτου). Instrumental case of πιστε (Aleph and B do not have επ) and objective genitive of ονοματος.

His name (το ονομα αυτου). Repeats the word name to make the point clear. Cf. verse Acts 3:6 where Peter uses "the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth" when he healed the man.

Made strong (εστερεωσεν). Same verb used in verse Acts 3:7 (and Acts 16:5). Nowhere else in the N.T. Old verb from στερεος, firm, solid.

Through him (δι' αυτου). Through Jesus, the object of faith and the source of it.

Perfect soundness (ολοκληριαν). Perfect in all its parts, complete, whole (from ολος, whole, κληρος, allotment). Late word (Plutarch) once in LXX (Isaiah 1:6) and here alone in the N.T., but adjective ολοκληρος, old and common (James 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Verse 17

And now (κα νυν). Luke is fond of these particles of transition (Acts 7:34; Acts 10:5; Acts 20:25; Acts 22:16) and also κα τα νυν (Acts 4:29; Acts 5:38; Acts 22:32; Acts 27:22), and even κα νυν ιδου (Acts 13:11; Acts 20:22).

I wot (οιδα). Old English for "I know."

In ignorance (κατα αγνοιαν). This use of κατα occurs in the Koine. See also Philemon 1:14. One may see Luke 23:34 for the words of the Saviour on the Cross. "They had sinned, but their sin was not of so deep a dye that it could not have been still more heinous" (Hackett). If they had known what they were doing, they would not knowingly have crucified the Messiah (1 Corinthians 2:8).

Verse 18

Foreshewed (προκατηγγειλεν). First aorist active indicative of προκαταγγελλω, late compound to announce fully beforehand. Only twice in the N.T. in the critical text (Acts 3:18; Acts 7:52).

That his Christ should suffer (παθειν τον Χριστον αυτου). Accusative of general reference with the aorist active infinitive (παθειν of πασχω) in indirect discourse (predictive purpose of God). Their crime, though real, was carrying out God's purpose (Acts 2:23; John 3:16). See the same idea in Acts 17:3; Acts 26:23. This "immense paradox" (Page) was a stumbling block to these Jews as it is yet (1 Corinthians 1:23). Peter discusses the sufferings of Christ in 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:1.

Verse 19

Repent therefore (μετανοησατε ουν). Peter repeats to this new crowd the command made in Acts 2:38 which see. God's purpose and patience call for instant change of attitude on their part. Their guilt does not shut them out if they will turn.

And turn again (κα επιστρεψατε). Definitely turn to God in conduct as well as in mind.

That your sins may be blotted out (προς το εξαλιφθηνα υμων τας αμαρτιας). Articular infinitive (first aorist passive of εξαλειφω, to wipe out, rub off, erase, smear out, old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Colossians 2:14) with the accusative of general reference and with προς and the accusative to express purpose.

That so (οπως αν). Final particle with αν and the aorist active subjunctive ελθωσιν (come) and not "when" as the Authorized Version has it. Some editors put this clause in verse Acts 3:20 (Westcott and Hort, for instance).

Seasons of refreshing (καιρο αναψυξεως). The word αναψυξις (from αναψυχω, to cool again or refresh, 2 Timothy 1:16) is a late word (LXX) and occurs here alone in the N.T. Surely repentance will bring "seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord."

Verse 20

And that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus (κα αποστειλη τον προκεχειρισμενον υμιν Χριστον Ιησουν). First aorist active subjunctive with οπως αν as in Acts 15:17 and Luke 2:35. There is little real difference in idea between οπως αν and ινα αν. There is a conditional element in all purpose clauses. The reference is naturally to the second coming of Christ as verse Acts 3:21 shows. Knowling admits "that there is a spiritual presence of the enthroned Jesus which believers enjoy as a foretaste of the visible and glorious Presence of the Παρουσια." Jesus did promise to be with the disciples all the days (Matthew 28:20), and certainly repentance with accompanying seasons of refreshing help get the world ready for the coming of the King. The word προκεχειρισμενον (perfect passive participle of προχειριζω, from προχειρος, at hand, to take into one's hands, to choose) is the correct text here, not προκεκηρυγμενον. In the N.T. only here and Acts 22:14; Acts 26:16. It is not "Jesus Christ" here nor "Christ Jesus," but "the Messiah, Jesus," identifying Jesus with the Messiah. See the Second Epiphany of Jesus foretold also in 1 Timothy 6:15 and the First Epiphany described in 1 Peter 1:20.

Verse 21

Restoration (αποκαταστασεως). Double compound (απο, κατα, ιστημ), here only in the N.T., though common in late writers. In papyri and inscriptions for repairs to temples and this phrase occurs in Jewish apocalyptic writings, something like the new heaven and the new earth of Revelation 21:1. Paul has a mystical allusion also to the agony of nature in Romans 8:20-22. The verb αποκαθιστημ is used by Jesus of the spiritual and moral restoration wrought by the Baptist as Elijah (Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12) and by the disciples to Jesus in Acts 1:6. Josephus uses the word of the return from captivity and Philo of the restitution of inheritances in the year of jubilee. As a technical medical term it means complete restoration to health. See a like idea in παλινγενεσια (renewal, new birth) in Matthew 19:28; Titus 3:5. This universalism of Peter will be clearer to him after Joppa and Caesarea.

Verse 22

Like unto me (ως εμε). As me, literally; Moses (Deuteronomy 18:14-18) claims that God raised him up as a prophet and that another and greater one will come, the Messiah. The Jews understood Moses to be a type of Christ (John 1:21). God spoke to Moses face to face (Exodus 33:11) and he was the greatest of the prophets (Deuteronomy 34:10).

Verse 23

That prophet (του προφητου εκεινου). Emphasizes the future prophet as on "him" (αυτου) before "hearken." They had refused to "hearken" to Moses and now, alas, many had refused to "hearken" to Christ.

Shall be utterly destroyed (εξολεθρευθησετα). First future passive of εξολε- (ο) θρευω, a late verb, to destroy utterly (εξ), only here in the N.T., common in the LXX.

Verse 24

From Samuel (απο Σαμουηλ). Schools of prophets arose in his time, few before him (1 Samuel 3:1).

Verse 25

Ye (Hυμεις). Emphatic position.

The covenant which God made (της διαθηκης ης ο θεος διεθετο). Literally, "the covenant which God covenanted." Διαθηκη and διεθετο (second aorist middle indicative of διαθημ) are the same root. See on Matthew 26:28. The covenant (agreement between two, δια, τιθημ) was with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) and repeated at various times (Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4, etc.). In Hebrews 9:15-18 the word is used both for covenant and will. The genitive relative ης attracted to case of the antecedent.

Verse 26

Unto you first (Hυμιν πρωτον). The Jews were first in privilege and it was through the Jews that the Messiah was to come for "all the families of the earth."

His servant (τον παιδα αυτου). As in verse Acts 3:13, the Messiah as God's Servant.

To bless you (ευλογουντα υμας). Present active participle to express purpose, blessing you (Robertson, Grammar, p. 991). In turning away (εν τω αποστρεφειν). Articular infinitive in the locative case, almost preserved in the English.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/acts-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.