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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Acts 3

Verse 1

Went up ( ἀνέβαινον )

The imperfect: were going up. So Rev., ascending the terraces, on the highest of which the temple stood.

Ninth hour

The time of the evening sacrifice; or, as the words of prayer indicate, half an hour later, for the prayer which accompanied the offering of incense.

Verse 2

That was ( ὑπάρχων )

Lit., being. See on James 2:15.

Was carried ( ἐβαστάζετο )

Imperfect: “was being carried as they were going up (Acts 3:1).

They laid ( ἐτίθουν )

Imperfect: “they were wont to lay.”

Verse 4

Fastening his eyes ( ἀτενἵσας )

See on Luke 4:20; and compare Acts 1:10.

Look ( βλέψον )

Attentively. See on Matthew 7:3.

Verse 6

Silver and gold ( ἀργύριον καὶ χρυσίον )

Properly, silver and gold money. See on 1 Peter 1:18.

Verse 7

He took ( πιάσας )

The verb means originally to press or squeeze; and hence implies taking hold with a firm grasp.

Feet ( βάσεις )

A peculiar, technical word, used by Luke only, and described by Galen as the part of the foot lying beneath the leg, upon which the leg directly rests, as distinguished from the ταρσὸς ,the flat of the foot between the toes and heel, and πεδίον , the part next the toes.

Ankle-bones ( σφυρά )

Only here in New Testament. Also technical. Some of the best texts read σφυδρά , but the meaning is the same.

Received strength ( ἐστερεώθησαν )

Used by Luke only. Compare “the churches were established (Acts 16:5), and the kindred noun στερέωμα , steadfastness (Colossians 2:5). In medical language applied to the bones in particular.

Verse 8

Leaping up ( ἐξαλλόμενος )

Strictly, leaping forth. Only here in New Testament. Used in medical language of the sudden starting of a bone from the socket, of starting from sleep, or of the sudden bound of the pulse.

Walked ( περιεπάτει )

The imperfect. Correctly, as Rev., began to walk; or, perhaps, continued walking about, testing his newly acquired power.

The medical notes of the case are, that the disease was congenital, had lasted over forty years (Acts 4:22), and the progressive steps of the recovery - leaped up, stood, walked.

Verse 10

They knew ( ἐπεγίνωσκον )

Or recognized. Rev., took knowledge.

Wonder ( θάμβους )

Used by Luke only. See on Luke 4:36.

Amazement ( ἐκστάσεως )

See on Mark 5:42; and compare Luke 5:26.

Verse 11

The lame man which was healed

The best texts omit. Render as he held.

Held ( κρατοῦντος )

Held themfirmly, tookfast hold. The verb from κράτος , strength.

Greatly wondering ( ἔκθαμβοι )

Wondering out of measure ( ἐκ ). Compare wonder (Acts 3:10).

Verse 12

He answered

The question expressed in the people's explanations of surprise.

Men of Israel

Lit., men, Israelites. An honorable and conciliatory form of address. The term Israelite gradually gave place to that of Jew; but Israel was the sacred name for the Jews, as the nation of the theocracy, the people under God's covenant, and hence was for the Jew his especial badge and title of honor. “To be descendants of Abraham, this honor they must share with the Ishmaelites; of Abraham and Isaac, with the Edomites; but none except themselves were the seed of Jacob, such as in this name of Israelite they were declared to be. Nor was this all, but more gloriously still, their descent was herein traced up to him, not as he was Jacob, but as he was Israel, who, as a prince, had power with God and with men, and had prevailed” (Trench, “Synonyms”). So Paul, in enumerating to the Philippians his claims to have confidence in the flesh, says he was “of the stock of Israel. It is said that the modern Jews in the East still delight in this title.

Our own ( ἰδίᾳ )

See on Acts 1:7.

Verse 13

His son ( παῖδα )

Rightly, servant, as Rev. See on Luke 1:54. The A. V. renders, in Matthew 12:18, servant, quoting from Isaiah 42:1; but elsewhere, where applied to Jesus, son or child, which Rev. in every case has changed to servant. The word is continually used, like the Latin puer, in the sense of servant, and in the Septuagint as the servant of God. See 2 Samuel 7:5, 2 Samuel 7:8, 2 Samuel 7:19, 2 Samuel 7:20, 2 Samuel 7:21, 2 Samuel 7:25, 2 Samuel 7:26. Compare Luke 1:69. The term servant of Jehovah, or servant of the Lord, is applied in the Old Testament (1) to a worshipper of God, Nehemiah 1:10; Daniel 6:21; so to Abraham, Psalm 105:6, Psalm 105:42; to Joshua, Joshua 24:29; to Job, Job 1:8. (2) To a minister or ambassador of God called to any service, Isaiah 49:6; of Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 27:6; of the prophets, Amos 3:7; of Moses, Deuteronomy 34:5. (3) Peculiarly of the Messiah, Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 52:13; as God's chosen servant for accomplishing the work of redemption. “Unless we render servant in the passages where the phrase παῖς Θεοῦ occurs in the New Testament, there will be no allusion throughout it all to that group of prophecies which designate the Messiah as the servant of Jehovah, who learned obedience by the things which he suffered” (Trench, “On the Authorized Version of the New Testament”).

When he

He is ἐκείνου , the pronoun of more definite and emphatic reference, the latter, Pilate, “in order to make the contrast felt between what Pilate judged and what they did.” This is further emphasized in the next verse.

Verse 14

Desired ( ᾐτήσασθε )

Or demanded. See on Luke 11:9.

A murderer ( ἄνδρα φονέα )

Lit., a man who was a murderer.

To be granted ( χαρισθῆναι )

By way of favor ( χάρις )i1.

Verse 15

The Prince of life ( ἀρχηγὸν τῆς ζωῆς )

The Greek brings out by the position of these words what Bengel calls “the magnificent antithesis” between a murderer and the Prince of life. “Ye demanded a murderer, but the Prince of life ye killed.” This is the only place where the phrase occurs. Ἀρχηγός , though sometimes rendered prince, means, primarily, beginning, and thence originator, author. Better here as Rev., in margin, author, and so by Rev. at Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 12:2.

Verse 16

Through faith ( ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει )

Note the article: the faith which we had; not the cripple's faith, which was not demanded as a condition of his cure. Through faith ( ἐπί ) is rather on account of, or on the basis of. Rev., by. Compare Acts 2:38; and see on Matthew 28:19.

Made strong ( ἐστερέωσε )

See on Acts 3:7.

Ye see ( θεωρεῖτε )

See on Luke 10:18.

Perfect soundness ( ὁλοκληρίαν )

Only here in New Testament. From ὅλος , entire, and κλῆρος , a lot. Denoting, therefore, the condition of one who has his entire allotment.

Verse 19

Be converted ( ἐπιστρέψατε )

Not a good rendering, because the verb is in the active voice. Better as Rev., turn again. See on Luke 22:32.

Blotted out ( ἐξαλειφθῆναι )

Forgiveness of sins under the figure of the erasure of hand-writing. The word is used thus in Psalm 51:1. (Sept. 50), Psalm 51:1; Isaiah 43:25. Also at Colossians 2:14. In classical Greek the verb is opposed to ἐγγράφειν , to enter a name. So Aristophanes: “They do things not to be borne, entering ( ἐγγράφοντες ) some of us, and others, erasing ( ἐξαλείφοντες ) up and down, twice or thrice” (“Peace,” 1180). More especially with reference to an item in an account.

When ( ὅπως ἄν )

Wrong. Render in order that, or that (so there may come), as Rev.

Times ( καιροὶ )

Better, seasons. See on Acts 1:7.

Of refreshing ( ἀναψύξως )

Only here in New Testament. The word means cooling, or reviving with fresh air. Compare the kindred verb, to wax cold, Matthew 24:12, and see note.

Presence ( προσώπου )

Lit., the face.

Verse 20

Which before was preached ( τὸν προκεκηρυγμένον )

But the best texts read προκεχειρισμένον , appointed. Compare Acts 22:14. Used by Luke only, Acts 22:14; Acts 26:16. The verb originally means to take in hand.

Verse 21

Of restitution ( ἀποκαταστάσεως )

Only here in New Testament. The kindred verb, to restore, occurs Matthew 17:11; Acts 1:6, etc. As a technical medical term, it denotes complete restoration of health; the restoring to its place of a dislocated joint, etc.

Since the world began ( ἀπ ' αἰῶνος )

The American Revisers insist on from of old.

Verse 23

Shall be destroyed ( ἐξολοθρευθήσεται )

Only here in New Testament. Rev., “utterly destroyed,” giving the force of ἐξ , out.

Verse 25

Covenant ( διαθήκης )

See on Matthew 26:28.

Made ( διέθετο )

The Rev. gives covenanted in margin. The noun covenant is derived from the verb διατίθημι , originally to distribute or arrange. Hence to arrange or settle mutually; to make a covenant with.

Verse 26

His Son Jesus

The best texts omit Jesus. Render servant for son, and see on Acts 3:13.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Acts 3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.