corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.07.20
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
Acts 3

 

 

Verse 1

1.] ἀνέβαινον, were going up.

τὴν ἐνάτην] See ch. Acts 10:3; Acts 10:30.

τὴν ὥραν τῆς πρ. generic;— τὴν ἐν., specific. There were three hours of prayer; those of the morning and evening sacrifice, i.e. the third and ninth hours, and noon. See Lightfoot and Wetst. in loc.


Verses 1-10

1–10] HEALING OF A LAME MAN BY PETER AT THE GATE OF THE TEMPLE.


Verse 2

2.] ἐβαστ., was being carried. They took him at the hours of prayer, and carried him back between times.

τὴν θύραν τ. λ. ὡραίαν] The arrangement of the gates of the Temple is, from the notices which we now possess, very uncertain. Three entrances have been fixed on for the θύρα ὡραία: (1) The gate mentioned Jos. B. J. v. 5. 3: τῶν δὲ πυλῶν αἱ μὲν ἐννέα χρυσῷ καὶ ἀργύρῳ κεκαλυμμέναι πανταχόθεν ἦσαν, ὁμοίως τε παραστάδες καὶ τὰ ὑπέρθυρα. μία δὲ ἡ ἔξωθεν τοῦ νεὼ κορινθίου χαλκοῦ, πολὺ τῇ τιμῇ τὰς καταργύρους καὶ τὰς περιχρύσους ὑπεράγουσα. This gate was also called Nicanor’s gate (see the Rabbinical citations in Wetstein),—and lay on the eastern side of the Temple, towards the valley of Kedron. Jos. mentions it again, as ἡ ἀνατολικὴ πύλη τοῦ ἐνδοτέρου, χαλκῆ οὖσα, and gives a remarkable account of its size and weight: adding, that when, before the siege, it was discovered supernaturally opened in the night, τοῦτο τοῖς ἰδιώταις κάλλιστον ἐδόκει τέρας· ἀνοῖξαι γὰρ τὸν θεὸν αὐτοῖς τὴν τῶν ἀγαθῶν πύλην. But some find a difficulty in this. The lame man, they say, would not be likely to have been admitted so far into the Temple (but see Wetst. as above, where it appears that lepers used to stand at Nicanor’s gate): and besides, he would have taken up his station naturally at an outer gate, where he might ask alms of all who entered. These conditions suit better (2) the gate Susan; as does also the circumstance mentioned Acts 3:11, that the people ran together to Solomon’s porch; for this gate was on the east side of the court of the Gentiles, and close to Solomon’s porch. Only the name ὡραία cannot be derived from the town Susan (from which the gate was named, having a picture of the town over it), that word signifying ‘a lily;’ the town being named, it is true, διὰ τὴν ὡραιότητα τοῦ τόπου (Athen(35) xii. 1, p. 573): but the derivation being too far-fetched to be at all probable. Another suitable circumstance was, that by this gate the market was held for sheep and cattle and other offerings, and therefore a greater crowd would be attracted. (3) Others again (Lightf. favours this) attempt to derive ὡραία from חֶלֶד, ‘tempus,’ and refer the epithet to two gates opening towards the city on the western side. But it is very unlikely that Luke should have used ὡρ. in so unusual a meaning:—not to say (see Lightf. Descr. Templi) that the meaning of חוּלְדָה itself is very doubtful. So that the matter must remain in uncertainty.


Verse 3

3.] ἠρώτα λαβεῖν,—so Soph. Aj. 836, αἰτήσομαι δέ σʼ οὐ μακρὸν γέρας λαβεῖν, and Aristoph. Plut. 240, αἰτῶν λαβεῖν τιμικρὸν ἀργυρίδιον.

ἐλεημ, as in ref. Matt.

The Jewish forms of asking alms are given in Vajicra Rabb. f. 20. 3.4 (cited by Meyer),—‘Merere in me:’ ‘In me benefac tibi,’ and the like.


Verse 4

4. βλέψον εἰς ἡμᾶς] Calvin’s note is important: ‘Non ita loquitur Petrus quin de consilio Dei certus sit: et certe his verbis singulare aliquod et insolitum beneficium sperare jubet. Quæri tamen potest, an facultatem habuerint edendi miracula quoties liberet. Respondeo, sic ministros fuisse divinæ virtutis, ut nihil suo arbitrio vel proprio motu tentarint, sed Dominus per ipsos egerit quum ita expedire noverat. Hinc factum est ut unum sanarint, non autem promiscue omnes. Ergo, quemadmodum in aliis rebus ducem et directorem habebant Dei Spiritum, ita etiam in hac parte. Ideo priusquam claudum surgere jubeat Petrus, conjecit in eum et defixit oculos. Talis intuitus non carebat peculiari Spiritus motu. Hinc fit ut tam secure de miraculo pronuntiet. Porro, excitare hoc verbo claudum voluit ad recipiendam Dei gratiam: ille tamen nihil quam eleemosynam exspectat.’


Verse 5

5. ἐπεῖχεν] not τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς (as Bos and Kuinoel), which is implied:—but (see reff.) τὸν νοῦν, fixed his attention on them.


Verse 6

6.] ‘Non dubium est, quin etiam iis qui non erant de communitate fidelium, datæ fuerint eleemosynæ: sed Petrus tum vel nil habebat secum, in via ad templum, vel non tantum dare poterat quantum ad sublevandum pauperem opus esset. Vide abstinentiam Apostoli in tanta administratione, cf. ii. 45, coll. iv. 35.’ Bengel. But perhaps it is more simple to conclude that Peter spoke here of his own station and means in life—‘I am no rich man, nor have I silver or gold to give thee.’

ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ.] There is no ellipsis (as Heinr. and Kuinoel) of λέγω σοι, which weakens the force of the sentence: the name of Jesus is that in which, by the power of which, the “rise up and walk” is to be accomplished.


Verse 7

7. πιάσας ἤγειρεν] οὕτω καὶ ὁ χριστὸς ἐποίησε· πολλάκις λόγῳ ἐθεράπευσε, πολλάκις ἔργῳ, πολλάκις καὶ τὴν χεῖρα προήγαγεν, ὅπου ἦσαν ἀσθενέστεροι κατὰ τὴν πίστιν· ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ ἀπὸ ταυτομάτου γενέσθαι. Chrys. in Act. Hom. viii. p. 63. See Mark 9:27.

βάσεις are the soles of the feet,— σφυρά, the ankles. Luke, the physician, had made himself acquainted with the peculiar kind of weakness, and described it accordingly.


Verse 8

8.] ἐξαλλ. describes his first joyous liberation from his weakness: as soon as he felt himself strengthened, he leapt up, for joy. No suppositions need be made, such as πειράζων ἴσως ἑαυτόν (Chrys.): or that it was from ignorance how to walk (Bloomf.). His joy is quite sufficient to explain the gesture, and it is better to leave the narrative in its simplicity. If καί before αἰνῶν is omitted (see digest), the present participle has its ratiocinative force, alleging the cause of the walking and leaping: and would best be rendered in English, in his praising of God.


Verse 11

11. κρατοῦντος] holding, physically: not spoken of mental adhesion, but of actual holding by the hand or arm, that he might not be separated from them in the crowd, but might testify to all, who his benefactors were.

στοᾷ τῇ κ. σολομ.] See John 10:23, note.


Verses 11-26

11–26.] THE DISCOURSE OF PETER THEREUPON.


Verse 12

12. ἀπεκρίνατο] viz. to their expressions of astonishment implied in ἔκθαμβοι. See Matthew 11:25. ἀπεκρίνατο never signifies ‘made an address,’ as Bloomf.; but always ‘answered:’ cf. ch. Acts 5:8, note. This second discourse of Peter may be thus divided: This is no work of ours, but of God, for the glorifying of Jesus, Acts 3:12-13 :—whom ye denied and killed, but God hath raised up, Acts 3:13-15 :—through whose name this man is made whole, Acts 3:16 :—ye did it in ignorance, but God thereby fulfilled His counsel, Acts 3:17-18. Exhortation to repent, that ye may be forgiven, and saved by this Jesus Christ at His coming, Acts 3:19-21; whose times have been the subject of prophecy from the first, Acts 3:21. Citations to prove this, Acts 3:22-24; its immediate application to the hearers, as Jews, Acts 3:25-26. There the discourse seems to be broken off, as ch. Acts 4:1 relates.

ἐπὶ τούτῳ] not, at this (event): but at this man, compare αὐτόν below, which would not be used at the first mention of one then present.

Their error was not the wonder itself,—though even that would shew ignorance and weakness of faith, for it was truly no wonderful thing that had happened, viewed by a believer in Jesus,—but their wondering at the Apostles, as if they had done it by their own power. ‘Ergo,’ says Calvin, ‘hoc est perperam obstupescere, quum in hominibus mentes nostræ subsistunt.’

δυνάμει, power,—such as magical craft, or any other supposed means of working miracles: εὐσεβείᾳ meritorious efficacy with God, so as to have obtained this from Him on our own account. The distinction is important:—‘holiness,’ of the E. V., is not expressive of εὐσεβ., which bears in it the idea of operative, cultive piety, rather than of inherent character.


Verse 13

13. ὁ θ. ἀβρ. κ. τ. λ.] ‘Appellatio frequens in Actis, præ cæteris libris N. T., et illi periodo temporum conveniens.’ Bengel. ὅρα πῶς αὐτὸν ( τὸν θεὸν) εἰσωθεῖ συνεχῶς εἰς τοὺς προγόνους· ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ καινόν τι εἰσάγειν δόγμα· καὶ ἐκεῖ (ch. 2) τοῦ πατριάρχου δαβὶδ ἐμνημόνευσε, καὶ ἐνταῦθα τῶν περὶ τοῦ ἀβραὰμ … (Chrys.).

ἐδόξασεν] not, as E. V., ‘hath glorified,’ implying, by thus honouring His Name: it is the historic aor., glorified, viz. by His exaltation through death—see John 12:23; John 17:10.

παῖδα] not ‘Son,’ but Servant: servant, however, in that distinct and Messianic sense which the same expression bears in Isaiah 40-66 in the LXX.

υἱός is the word always used to desiguate Jesus as the SON of God. The above meaning is adopted by all the best modern Commentators, Pisc., Bengel, Olsh., Meyer, De W., Stier, some of whom refer to a paper of Nitzsch’s in the Stud. u. Krit. for 1828, Heft 2, p. 331 ff. Olsh. says, ‘After N.’s remarks on the subject, no one hereafter can suppose this expression equivalent to υἱὸς τ. θ.’ “In the next age,” says Wordsw., “the term παῖς θεοῦ was applied to Christ as a Son. See Polycarp, Mart(36) § 14, p. 1040 (Migne); and S. Hippolyt. Philosoph. x. 33 (in Migne’s Origen, tom. vi. p. 540), and contra Noëtum, § 5, 7, 11, pp. 809 ff. (Migne), and the note of Fabricius, ii. p. 10.”

κατὰ πρόσωπον π. as E. V., ‘in the presence of P.,’ or better perhaps, to the face of Pilate. The expression is no Hebraism. Polybius often uses it. κατὰ πρόσωπον λεγομένων τῶν λόγων, Acts 25:5. 2: κ. πρ. ἀπαντᾷν τοῖς πολεμίοις, Acts 17:3. 3, &c. See Schweigh., Lexicon Polybianum.

κρίναντος ἐκ. ἀπολ., see Luke 23:20; John 19:4; John 19:12.


Verse 14

14. ἅγιον κ. δίκαιον] not only in the higher and divine sense present to Peter’s mind, but also by Pilate’s own verdict, and the testimony of the Jews’ consciences. The sentence is full of antitheses; ἅγιον κ. δίκ. contrasts with the moral impurity of ἄνδρα φονέα,— ἀρχηγ. τ. ζωῆς with the destruction of life implied in φονέα,—while ἀπεκτείνατε again stands in remarkable opposition to ἀρχ. τ. ζ.

This last title given to our Lord implies (as Vulg.) ‘Auctorem vitæ:’ see reff.; so ἀρχηγὸν κ. καθηγεμόνα τῆς ὅλης ἐπιβολῆς ἄρατον, Polyb. ii. 40. 2: ὅπερ (scil. want of occupation in mercenary soldiers) σχεδόν, ὡς εἰπεῖν, ἀρχηγὸν κ. μόνον αἴτιον γίνεται στάσεως, i. 66. 10 al.

It is possible, that the words ἀρχ. τ. ζ. may contain an allusion to the great miracle which was the immediate cause of the enmity of their rulers to Jesus. But of course Peter had a higher view in the title than merely this.


Verse 16

16.] ἐπὶ τ. πίστει …—The E. V. is right; through, or better, on account of faith in His name. The meaning, for the sake of (i.e. of awakening, in you, and in the lame man himself) faith in his name (Rosenm., Heinrichs, Olsh., Stier), though grammatically justified, seems against the connexion with the μάρτυρές ἐσμεν just before. It is evident to my mind that the πίστις τοῦ ὀν. αὐτ. is the faith of these μάρτυρες. His name (the efficient cause), by means of, or on account of (our) faith in His name (the medium operandi), &c.

ἐστερ. and ἔδωκ. again are historic aorists,—confirmed and gave; better than ‘hath confirmed’ and ‘hath given.’

κ. ἡ πίστις ἡ διʼ αὐτοῦand that faith which is wrought by Him—not ‘faith in Him;’ which is an inadmissible rendering. Peter’s own words (ref. 1 Pet.) are remarkably parallel with, and the best interpreters of, this expression: ὑμᾶς τοὺς διʼ αὐτοῦ πιστοὺς εἰς θεόν, τὸν ἐγείραντα αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν καὶ δόξαν αὐτῷ δόντα, ὥστε τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν καὶ ἐλπίδα εἶναι εἰς θεόν. Some of the Commentators are anxious to bring in the faith of the lame man himself in this verse. Certainly it is according to analogy to suppose that he had such faith, from and after the words of Peter:—but, as certainly, there is no allusion to it in this verse, and the thread of Peter’s discourse would be broken by any such. It is the firm belief in His name on the part of us His witnesses, of which he is here speaking, as the medium whereby His name (= the Power of the great dignity to which He has been exalted, the ἀρχηγία τῆς ζωῆς) had in this case worked.


Verse 17

17.] νῦν introducing a new consideration: see 2 Thessalonians 2:6. Here it softens the severer charge of Acts 3:14; sometimes it intensifies, as ch. Acts 22:16; 1 John 2:28; especially with ἰδού, ch. Acts 13:11; Acts 20:22. No meaning such as ‘now that the real Messiahship of Him whom ye have slain is come to light’ (Meyer) is admissible.

ἀδελφοί, still softening his tone, and reminding them of their oneness of blood and covenant with the speaker.

κατὰ ἄγνοιαν] There need be no difficulty in the application of the ἄγνοια to even the rulers of the Jews. It admits of all degrees—from the unlearned, who were implicitly led by others, and hated Him because others did,—up to the most learned of the scribes, who knew and rightly interpreted the Messianic prophecies, but from moral blindness, or perverted expectations, did not recognize them in our Lord. Even Caiaphas himself, of whom apparently this could least be said, may be brought under it in some measure: even he could hardly have delivered over Jesus to Pilate with the full consciousness that He was the Messiah, and that he himself was accomplishing prophecy by so doing. Some degree of ἄγνοια there must have been in them all.

The interpretation (Wolf) ‘ye did, as your rulers (did),’ is of course inadmissible, being contrary to the usage of the words: πράσσειν ὥσπερ καί can never mean to imitate, but ἐπράξατε must refer to a definite act (understood), and ὥσπερ καί must take up another subject of ἐπράξατε.


Verse 18

18.] πάντων, see Luke 24:27 and note. There is no hyperbole (Kuinoel) nor adaptation (Meyer) to Jewish exegetical views. ‘Omnes prophetæ in universum non prophetarunt nisi de diebus Messiæ’ (Sanhedr. 99. 1), was not merely a Jewish view, but the real truth.

The prophets are here regarded as one body, actuated by one Spirit; and the sum of God’s purpose, shewn by their testimony, is, that HIS CHRIST should suffer.

Notice the inf. aor. παθεῖν, as in ch. Acts 1:3, of a definite single act.


Verse 19

19.] οὖν, quæcum ita sint.

εἰς τὸ ἐξαλ.] The faith implied in ἐπιστρέψατε has for its aim, is necessarily (by God’s covenant, see John 3:15; John 3:18) accompanied by, the wiping out of sin.

ὅπως ἂν ἔλθ. κ. τ. λ.] This passage has been variously rendered and explained. To deal first with the rendering:— ὅπως ἄν cannot mean ‘when,’ as in E. V.— ὅπως never occurs in that sense in the N. T., nor indeed with an indic. at all;—and if it did, the addition of ἄν, and the use of a subjunctive, would preclude it here. It can have but one sense,—in order that. This being so, what are καιροὶ ἀναψύξεως? From the omission of the article, some have insisted (e.g. Stier, R. d. Apost. i. 89) on rendering it ‘times, seasons, of ἀναψ.’ But this cannot be maintained. καιρός and καιροί are occasionally anarthrous when they manifestly must have the article in English. Cf. especially Luke 21:24, καιροὶ ἐθνῶν, where none would think of rendering, ‘seasons of (the) Gentiles.’ See for καιρός, Matthew 8:29; Mark 11:13; 1 Peter 1:5. And, since philologically we have to choose between ‘seasons’ and ‘the seasons,’ ἔλθωσιν must I think determine in favour of the latter. For by that word we must understand a definite arrival, one and the same for all, not a mere occurrence, as the other sense of καιροί would render necessary. This is also implied by the aorist, used, in a conditional sentence, of a single fact, whereas a recurrence or enduring of a state is expressed by the present. In order that the times of ἀνάψυξις may come. What is ἀνάψ.? Clearly, from the above rendering, some refreshment, future, and which their conversion was to bring about. But hardly, from what has been said, refreshment in their own hearts, arising from their conversion: besides the above objections, the following words, ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ κυρίου, are not likely to have been used in that case. No other meaning, it seems to me, will suit the words, but that of the times of refreshment, the great season of joy and rest, which it was understood the coming of the Messiah in His glory was to bring with it. That this should be connected by the Apostle with the conversion of the Jewish people, was not only according to the plain inference from prophecy, but doubtless was one of those things concerning the kingdom of God which he had been taught by his risen Master. The same connexion holds even now. If it be objected to this, that thus we have the conversion of the Jews regarded as bringing about the great times of refreshment, and those times consequently as delayed by their non-conversion (‘neque enim est Mutate vos in melius, ut Deus mittat Christum: non esse potest: hoc non pendet a nostra μετανοίᾳ.’ Morus in Stier R. A. i. 91), I answer, that, however true this may be in fact, the other is fully borne out by the manner of speaking in Scripture: the same objection might lie against the efficacy of prayer. See Genesis 19:22; Genesis 32:26; Mark 6:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Peter 3:12.

ἀπὸ προσώπ. τ. κυρ.] From the presence of God (the Father), who has reserved these καιροί in His own power. When they arrive, it is by His decree, which goes forth from His presence. Cf. ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ καίς. αὐγ., Luke 2:1.


Verse 20

20.] ἀποστείλῃ (see above), literally,—not figuratively, by the Spirit:—even if the word send be no where else applied to the second coming of the Lord, there is no reason why it should not be here: the whole ground and standing-point of these two orations of Peter are peculiar, and the very mention of the ‘times of refreshment’ proceeding forth from the presence of the Father would naturally lead to the position here assigned to the Son, as one sent by the Father. See below, on Acts 3:26. Besides which, the aor. will not allow of the figurative interpretation, confining, as it does, the ‘sending’ to one definite event.

προκεχειρισμένον] before appointed, as apparently in the first ref.: or perhaps προ- merely gives the idea of forth, before the rest, as in the two others, and perhaps even in the first also. ὑμῖν, to you,—as your Messiah. According to the right reading, χριστ. ἰησοῦν, χριστόν may be connected with τὸν προκεχ. ὑμ., Him who was predestined your Messiah, namely, Jesus.


Verse 21

21. ὃν δεῖ οὐρ. μ. δέξασθαι] These words admit of a double rendering: (1) ‘Whom the heaven must receive.’ (2) ‘Who must possess (capessere) the heaven.’ Of these the former is in my view decidedly preferable, both as best suiting the sense, and as being the natural rendering, whereas the other is forced. Only two or three instances of δέχομαι used in this sense are produced, and in these it gets the meaning by signifying ‘to take to one’s self,’ as property or inheritance: which would surely never be said of οὐρανόν, thus barely expressed. Besides, the emphatic position of οὐρανόν, with μέν attached to it, is almost decisive against this rendering. I apprehend that this particle in a sentence of the present form is always found appended to the subject, never to the object; and that, if οὐρ. had been the object, the form of the sentence would necessarily have been ὃν μὲν δεῖ κ. τ. λ.

The reason given by Bengel for rejecting the right rendering, ‘Cœlo capi, i.e. cohiberi, concludi, violenta est interpretatio, quasi cœlum Christo majus sit; et inimica celsitudini Christi super omnes cœlos,’ is best answered by himself ‘Non tamen nullo sensu dici potuit, cœlum suscipit Christum: admittit scil. ut thronus Regem legitimum;’ only I would rather understand it locally, and recognize a parallel expression with that in ch. i., also local, νεφέλη ὑπέλαβεν αὐτόν. And so far from seeing in it any derogation from the Majesty of Christ, it seems to me admirably to set it forth: it behoves the heaven (which is his, obeying his will) to receive Him till the time appointed. The omission of the article cannot be adduced either way here: for οὐρανός ‘the heaven,’ is frequently anarthrous, as ἥλιος and other similar nouns: see (besides very numerous instances of οὐρ. after a preposition, which are hardly to the point) 2 Peter 3:12, and τὰν πρὸς ἕσπερον κέλευθον οὐρανοῦ, Eur. Orest. 1003. ζεύς ἐστιν αἰθήρ, ζεὺς δὲ γῆ, ζεὺς δʼ οὐρανός, Æsch. Frag. i. 96. The tragedians never prefix the article to οὐρανός, γῆ (meaning ‘the earth’), αἰθήρ, or ἥλιος, except when qualified by an adjective, as ὦ τὸν αἰπὺν οὐρ. διφρηλατῶν, Soph. Aj. 832, and even then very seldom. Middleton has but very slightly noticed this, ch. iii. 1, § 5, note.

ἄχρι] Not during, as the advocates of the present spiritual sense of the passage wish to render it, but until; see below.

χρόνων ἀποκαταστ. πάντων κ. τ. λ.] The key both to the construction and meaning here, is our Lord’s saying, Matthew 17:11, ἡλίας μὲν ἔρχεται καὶ ἀποκαταστήσει πάντα. From this we see that ἀποκατ. πάντων stands alone, as the ἀποκατ. of all things: and that ὧν does not belong to πάντων. Next, what is ἀποκατάστασις? We must be guided by the Usage of the kindred verb ἀποκαθίστημι (or - άνω). Certainly, to restore is its usual import, and most strikingly so, accompanied however with the notion of a glorious and complete restoration, in ch. Acts 1:6. To render our word fulfilment, and apply it to πάντων ὧν ἐλάλ. κ. τ. λ., is against all precedent.

And, in the sense of restoration, I cannot see how it can be applied to the work of the Spirit, as proceeding, during this the interim-state, in the hearts of men. This would be contrary to all Scripture analogy. I understand it then of the glorious restoration of all things, the παλιγγενεσία [Matthew 19:28], which as Peter here says, is the theme of all the prophets from the beginning.

No objection can be raised to this from the meaning of χρόνοι: see ch. Acts 7:17, and Peter’s own language, 1 Peter 1:20, ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου τῶν χρόνων. If the distinction be true between χρόνοι and καιροί, as denoting a longer and a shorter period respectively, which I much doubt,—it does not affect this passage: for, either way, the χρόνοι ἀποκατ. will imply the time or period of the ἀποκατ., not the moment only when it begins or is completed, as καιρός (not καιροί) ἀποκατ. might. De Wette is hardly right in saying that the unexpressed δέ to answer to μέν is contained in the sense of ἀποκατάστασις: it is rather contained in the previous clause, καὶ ἀποστείλη, κ. τ. λ. In order to fill up the ellipsis, this clause would have to be repeated after προφητῶντότε δὲ αὐτὸν ἀποστελεῖ.

ὧν, i.e. οὕς, agreeing with χρόνους, or perhaps περὶ ὧν, i.e. χρόνων. It does not refer to πάντων,—see above.

On the testimony of the prophets, see Acts 3:18, note.


Verse 22

22.] This citation is a free but faithful paraphrase of the text in Deut. See LXX.

That the words, as spoken by Moses, seem to point to the whole line of prophets sent by God, is not any objection to their being applied to Christ, but rather necessitates, and entirely harmonizes with, that application. See the parable Matthew 21:33-41. And none of the whole prophetic body entirely answered to the ὡς ἐμέ, but Christ. The Jews therefore rightly understood it (though not always consistent in this, compare John 1:21 with Acts 6:14) of the Messiah.


Verse 23

23. ἐξολεθρ.] LXX ἐγὼ ἐκδικήσω ἐξ αὐτοῦ. This word, only known to later Greek, is often found in the LXX. See besides reff., Genesis 17:14; Deuteronomy 9:3; Ps. 17:40; 72:27. In most places where it occurs, the readings vary between - ολοθρ- and - ολεθρ-; see var. readd.


Verse 24

24.] See Acts 3:18, note.

The construction of the Vulg., defended by Casaubon and adopted by Valcknaer and Kuinoel, τῶν καθεξῆς ὅσοι ἐλάλ., ‘et omnes prophetæ a Samuel, et deinceps qui locuti sunt,’ is not so good as the ordinary one in E. V. Cf. ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ ΄ωυσέως καὶ ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν προφ., Luke 24:27. Still less admissible is the rendering given in Dr. Burton’s note, as perhaps the literal one, ‘And to the same effect spoke) all the prophets from S. downwards, as many as spoke and predicted these days.’ To what effect? And would not the sentence thus amount to little more than saying, ‘As many prophets as predicted these days, predicted these days?’ Peter’s aim is to shew the unanimity of all the prophets in speaking of these times.

Samuel is named, more as being the first great prophet after Moses, than as bearing any part in this testimony. The prophetic period of which David was the chief prophet, began in Samuel (Stier).

τὰς ἡμ. ταύτ.] These days, now present, not the times of restoration, as De Wette and others understand: which would require ἐκείνας. ‘These days’ are, in fact, connected with the times of restoration, as belonging to the same dispensation and leading on to them; and thus the Apostle identifies the then time with this preparation for ( ὅπως ἂν ἔλθ.) and expectation of ( ἄχρι) those glories: but to make τὰς ἡμ. ταύτ. identical with the καιροὶ ἀναψ. and the χρόν. ἀποκατ., is to make him contradict himself.


Verse 25

25.] He applies this to them, as being inheritors of the promises. They were descendants, according to the flesh, and fellow-partakers, according to the spirit.

For a full comment on this promise made to Abraham, see Galatians 3:16.

This is cited freely from the LXX, which for οἱ πατριαί has τὰ ἔθνη.


Verse 26

26.] πρῶτον, first; implying the offer to the Gentiles (but as yet, in Peter’s mind, only by embracing Judaism) afterwards: see ch. Acts 13:46; Romans 1:16.

It is strange how Olshausen can suppose that the Spirit in Peter overleapt the bounds of his subsequent prejudice with regard to the admission of the Gentiles:—he never had any such prejudice, but only against their admission uncircumcised, and as Gentiles.

It is still stranger how a scholar like Dr. Burton can propose the ungrammatical and unmeaning rendering, “ πρῶτον is perhaps used with reference to Christ’s first coming, as opposed to his second.” This would require τὸ πρῶτον,—and would certainly imply in the mind of the speaker an absolute exclusion of all but Jews till the second coming.

ἀναστήσας, not ‘from the dead:’ but as in Acts 3:22.

παῖδα, His Servant: see note, Acts 3:13.

ἀπέστειλεν, indefinite, of the sending in the flesh; sent, not ‘hath sent;’ it does not apply to the present time, but to God’s procedure in raising up His Servant Jesus, and His mission and ministry: and is distinct from the ἀποστείλῃ of Acts 3:20. This is also shewn by the pres. part. εὐλογοῦντα, ingeniously, but not quite accurately rendered in E. V. ‘to bless you.’ He came blessing you (his coming was an act of blessing—it consisted in the εὐλογεῖν: an anarthrous present participle in such a connexion carries necessarily a slightly ratiocinative sense), in (as the conditional element of the blessing) turning every one from your iniquities: thus conferring on you the best of blessings. εὐλογ., in allusion to ἐνευλογ., Acts 3:25. ἐν τῷ in this sense, see Luke 8:5. The application to the present time is made by inference:—‘as that was His object then, so now:’—but (see below) the discourse is unfinished.

The intransitive sense of ἀποστρέφειν,—‘which blessing is to be gained by (in) every one of you turning from your iniquities,’—given in the Vulg., ‘ut convertat se unusquisque,’ and maintained by Theophyl., Œc(37), Beza, Kuinoel, Meyer, &c., on the strength of Acts 3:19, is inadmissible,—as ἀποστρέφω is not found thus used in the N. T., and we have the precedent of ref. Luke and Romans 11:26 for the transitive sense. The argument from Acts 3:19 tells just as well for it: ‘Repent and be converted, … for this was the object of Jesus being raised up, to confer on you this very blessing, the turning away each of you from your iniquities.’

This discourse does not come to a final conclusion as in ch. Acts 2:36, because it was interrupted by the apprehension of the Apostles.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Acts 3:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/acts-3.html. 1863-1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology