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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Acts 13

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 13

Acts 13:1. ἦσαν δέ] So Lachm. Tisch. Born. But Elz. and Scholz add τινές, against A B D א, min. vss. Vig. A hasty addition, from the supposition that all the teachers and prophets of the church of Antioch could not be named.

Acts 13:4. οὗτοι] Lachm. Tisch. read αὐτοί, after A B א, min. Vulg. Syr. utr. Ambr. Vig.; Born. has οἱ only, after D, Ath. As the reading of C is not clear, the preponderance of witnesses, which alone can here decide, remains in favour of the reading of Lachm.

Acts 13:6. ὅλην] is wanting in Elz., but is supported by decisive testimony. How easily would transcribers, to whom the situation of Paphos was not precisely known, find a contradiction in ὅλην and ἄχρι πάφου!

ἄνδρα τινά] So Lachm. Tisch. Born., after A B C D א, min. Chrys. Theophyl. Lucif. and several vss. After τινά, E, 36, Vulg. Sahid. Slav. Lucif. have ἄνδρα. But Elz. and Scholz omit ἄνδρα, which, however, is decisively attested by those witnesses, and was easily passed over as quite superfluous.

Acts 13:9. The usual καί before ἀτενίσας is deleted, according to decisive evidence, by Lachm. Tisch. Born.

Acts 13:14. τῆς πισιδίας] Lachm. and Tisch. read τὴν πισιδίαν, after A B C א. But it lacks any attestation from the vss. and Fathers. Therefore it is the more to be regarded as an old alteration (it was taken as an adjective like πισιδικός).

Acts 13:15. After εἰ Lachm. Born. Tisch. have τις, which has preponderant attestation, and from its apparent superfluousness, as well as from its position between two words beginning with E, might very easily be omitted.

Acts 13:17. After τούτου Lachm. reads, with Elz., ἰσραήλ, which also Born. has defended, following A B C D א, vss. Its being self-evident gave occasion to its being passed over, as was in other witnesses τούτου, and in others λαοῦ τούτου.

Acts 13:18. ἐτροφοφ.] So (after Mill, Grabe, and others) Griesb. Matthaei, Lachm. Scholz, Tisch., following A C* E, min. vss. But Elz. Tisch. and Born. have ἐτροποφ. (mores eorum sustinuit, Vulg.). An old insertion of the word which came more readily to hand in writing, and was also regarded as more appropriate. See the exegetical remarks.

Acts 13:19. κατεκληρονόμησεν] Elz. reads κατεκληροδότησεν, against decisive witnesses. An interpretation on account of the active sense.

Acts 13:20. καὶ μετάἔδωκε] Lachm. reads ὡς ἔτεσι τετρακοσίοις καὶ πεντήκοντα, καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἔδωκεν, which Griesb. has recommended and Born. adopted, after A B C א, min. Vulg. An alteration, in order to remove somehow the chronological difficulty.

Acts 13:23. ἤγαγε] Elz. and Born. read ἤγειρε, in opposition to A B E G H א, min. and several vss. and Fathers. An interpretation, in accordance with Acts 13:22.

Acts 13:27. ἀπεστάλη] Lachm. Tisch. Born. read ἐξαπεστάλη, which is so decidedly attested by A B C D א, min. Chrys. that the Recepta can only be regarded as having arisen from neglect of the double compound.

Acts 13:31. νῦν] is wanting in Elz., but is, according to important attestation, to be recognised as genuine, and was omitted because those who are mentioned were already long ago witnesses of Jesus. Hence others have ἄχρι νῦν (D, Syr. p. Vulg. Cant.; so Born.); and others still, καὶ νῦν (Arm.).

Acts 13:32. αὐτῶν ἡμῖν] Sahid. Ar. Ambr. ms. Bed. gr. have only αὐτῶν. A B C* D א, Aeth. Vulg. Hil. Ambr. Bed. have only ἡμῶν (so Lachm. and Born., who, however, conjectures ἡμῖν ἡμῶν: “nostro tempore.”">(1)), for which Tol. read ὑμῶν. Sheer alterations from want of acquaintance with such juxtaposition of the genitive and dative.

Acts 13:33. τῷ πρώτῳ] Elz. and Scholz read τῷ δευτέρῳ (after ψαλμῷ). But τῷ πρώτῳ, which (following Erasm. and Mill) Griesb. Lachm. (who places it after γέγραπται, where A B C א, loti. 40 have their τῷ δευτέρῳ) Tisch. Born, have adopted, is, in accordance with D, Or. and several other Fathers, to be considered as the original, which was supplanted by τῷ δευτέρῳ according to the usual numbering of the Psalms. The bare ψαλμῷ, which Hesych. presb. and some more recent codd. have, without any numeral, is, although defended by Bengel and others, to be considered as another mode of obviating the difficulty erroneously assumed.

Acts 13:41. ] Elz. reads , which, as the LXX. at Habakkuk 1:5 has , would have to be preferred, were not the quite decisive external attestation in favour of .

The second ἔργον is wanting in D E G, min. Chrys. Cosm. Theophyl. Oec. and several vss.; but it was easily omitted, as it was regarded as unnecessary and was not found in the LXX. l.c.

Acts 13:42. αὐτῶν] Elz. reads ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς τῶν ἰουδαίων. Other variations are αὐτῶν ἐκ τ. συναγ. τ. ἰουδ. or τῶν ἀποστόλων ἐκ τ. συναγ. τ. ἰουδ. Sheer interpolations, because Acts 13:42 begins a church-lesson. The simple αὐτῶν has decisive attestation.

After παρεκάλουν Elz. has τὰ ἔθνη, which, although retained by Matthaei, is spurious, according to just as decisive testimony. It was inserted, because it was considered that the request contained here must not, according to Acts 13:45, be ascribed to the Jews, but rather to the Gentiles, according to Acts 13:48.

Acts 13:43. After προσλαλ. A B (?) C D א, vss. Chrys. have αὐτοῖς (so Lachm. and Born.). A familiar addition.

προσ΄ένειν] Elz. reads ἐπι΄ένειν, against decisive evidence.

Acts 13:44. ἐχο΄ένῳ] Elz. reads ἐρχο΄ένῳ, against A C** E*, min. An alteration, from want of acquaintance with this use of the word, as in Luke 13:33; Acts 20:15; Acts 21:26.

Acts 13:45. ἀντιλέγοντες καί] is wanting in A B C G א, min. and several vss. (erased by Lachm.). E has ἐναντιού΄ενοι καί. Both are hasty emendations of style.

Acts 13:50. τὰς εὐσχ.] Elz. reads καὶ τὰς εὐσχ., against decisive testimony. καί, if it has not arisen simply from the repetition in writing of the preceding syllable, is a wrongly inserted connective.

With chap. 13 commences the second part of the book, which treats chiefly of the missionary labours and fortunes of Paul. First of all, the special choice and consecration of Barnabas and Paul as missionaries, which took place at Antioch, are related (Acts 13:1-3); and then the narrative of their first missionary journey is annexed (Acts 13:4 to Acts 14:28). These two chapters show, by the very fact of their independent commencement entirely detached from the immediately preceding narrative concerning Barnabas and Saul(2) (comp. Schleiermacher, Einl. p. 353 f.), by the detailed nature of their contents, and by the conclusion rounding them off, which covers a considerable interval without further historical data, that they have been derived from a special documentary source, which has, nevertheless, been subjected to revision as regards diction by Luke. See also Bleek in the Stud. u. Krit. 1836, p. 1043. This documentary source, however, is not to be determined more precisely, although it may be conjectured that it originated in the church of Antioch itself, and that the oral communications mentioned at Acts 14:27 as made to that church formed the foundation of it from Acts 13:4 onward. The assumption of a written report made by the two missionaries (Olshausen) obtains no support from the living apostolic mode of working, and is, on account of Acts 14:27, neither necessary nor warranted. Schwanbeck considers the two chapters as a portion of a biography of Barnabas, to which also Acts 4:36 f., Acts 9:1-30, Acts 11:19-30, Acts 12:25 belonged; and Baur (I. p. 104 ff.) refers the entire section to the apologetic purpose and literary freedom of the author.


Verse 1

Acts 13:1. This mention and naming of the prophets and teachers is intended to indicate how rich Antioch was in prominent resources for the sending forth messengers of the gospel, which was now to take place. Thus the mother-church of Gentile Christianity had become the seminary of the mission to the Gentiles. The order of the persons named is, without doubt, such as it stood in the original document: hence Barnabas and Saul are separated; indeed, Barnabas is placed first (the arrangement appears to have been made according to seniority) and Saul last; it was only by his missionary labours now commencing that the latter acquired in point of fact his superiority.

κατὰ τὴν οὖσαν ἐκκλησίαν] with the existing church. ἐκεῖ is not to be supplied. Comp. Romans 13:1. This οὖσαν is retained from the original document; in connection with what has been already narrated, it is superfluous.

κατά, with, according to the conception of (here official) direction. Bernhardy, p. 240; Winer, p. 374 [E. T. 500].

προφῆται κ. διδάσκαλοι] as prophets (see on Acts 11:27) and teachers (who did not speak in the state of apocalyptic inspiration, but communicated instruction in a regular and rational unfolding of doctrine, 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11).

The five named are not to be regarded only as a part, but as the whole body of the prophets and teachers at Antioch, in keeping with the idea of the selection which the Spirit designed. To what individuals the predicates “prophet” or “teacher” respectively belong, is not, indeed, expressly said; but if, as is probable in itself and in accordance with Acts 4:36, the prophets are mentioned first and then the teachers, the three first named are to be considered as prophets, and the other two as teachers. This division is indicated by the position of the particles: (1) τέκαίκαί; (2) τέκαί. Comp. Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 3. 19; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 219 f.

That the prophets of the passage before us, particularly Symeon and Lucius, were included among those mentioned in Acts 11:27, is improbable, inasmuch as Agabus is not here named again. Those prophets, doubtless, soon returned to Jerusalem.

Concerning Simeon with the Roman name Niger (Sueton. Aug. 11, al.), and Lucius of Cyrene (Romans 16:21?), who is not identical with the evangelist Luke, nothing further is known. The same is also the case with Menahem ( מְנַחֵם), who had been σύντροφος of the tetrarch Herod, i.e. of Antipas; see Walch, de Menachemo συντρόφῳ Herodis, Jen. 1758. But whether σύντροφος is, with the Vulgate, Cornelius a Lapide, Walch, Heumann, Kuinoel, Olshausen, and others, to be understood as foster-brother (conlactaneus, comp. Xen. Eph. ii. 3), so that Menahem’s mother was Herod’s nurse; or, with Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Grotius, Raphel, Wolf, Heinrichs, Baumgarten, Ewald, and others, brought up with, contubernalis,—cannot be determined, as either may be expressed by the word (see Wetstein and Kuinoel). The latter meaning, however (comp. 1 Maccabees 1:6; 2 Maccabees 9:29; and see, in general, Jacobs, ad Anthol. XI. p. 38), makes the later Christian position of Menahem the more remarkable, in that he appears to have been brought up at the court of Herod the Great. At all events he was already an old man, and had become a Christian earlier than Saul, who is placed after him.


Verse 2

Acts 13:2. λειτουργούντωντῷ κυρίῳ] λειτουργεῖν, the usual word for the temple-service of the priests (LXX. Exodus 28:31; Numbers 4:38; Exodus 40:38; Judith 4:14; Hebrews 10:11; comp. on Romans 15:27), is here transferred to the church ( αὐτῶν) engaged in Christian worship,(3) in accordance with the holy character of the church, which had the ἁγιότης, the χρῖσ΄α of the Spirit (1 John 2:20), and indeed was a ἱεράτευ΄α ἅγιον (1 Peter 2:5). Hence: while they performed, holy service to the Lord (Christ) and (at the same time) fasted. Any more specific meaning is too narrow, such as, that it is to be understood of prayer (Grotius, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Olshausen, and many others,—on account of Acts 13:3, but see on that passage) or of preaching (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and others in Wolf). Both without doubt are included, not, however, the mass (as Catholics hold); but certainly the spiritual songs (see on Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).

εἶπε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον] the Holy Spirit said (comp. on Acts 20:28), namely, by one or some of these λειτουργοῦντες, probably by one of the prophets, who announced to the church the utterance of the Spirit revealed to him.

δή] with the imperative makes the summons more decided and more urgent; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 104 f. Comp. on Luke 2:15.

μοι] to me, for my service.

προσκέκλημαι αὐτούς] for which (description of the design) I have called them to me (Acts 16:10), namely, to be my organs, interpreters, instruments in the propagation of the gospel. The utterance of the Spirit consequently refers to an internal call of the Spirit already made to both, and that indeed before the church, “ut hi quoque scirent vocationem illorum eique subscriberent,” Bengel. The preposition is not repeated before (= εἰς ), because it stands already before τὸ ἔργον, according to general Greek usage. See Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 32; Stallb. ad Phaed. p. 76 D Winer, p. 393 [E. T. 524 f.].


Verse 3

Acts 13:3. The translation must be: Afterwards, after having fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them (as the consecration communicating the gift of the Spirit for the new and special holy office, comp. on Acts 6:6), they sent them away. For there is here meant a solemnity specially appointed by the church on occasion of that address of the Spirit, different from the preceding (Acts 13:2); and not the termination thereof (Kuinoel and many others: “jejunio et precibus peractis”). This is evident from the words of Luke himself, who describes this act differently ( νηστεύσ. κ. προσευξ.) from the preceding ( λειτουργ. κ. νηστ.), and by τότε separates it as something later; and also because νηστεύσαντες, in the sense of “when they had finished fasting” does not even give here any conceivable sense.

ἀπέλυσαν] What the Spirit had meant by εἰς ἔργον, προσκέκλ. αὐτούς, might, when they heard that address, come directly home to their consciousness, especially as they might be acquainted in particular with the destination of Saul at Acts 9:15; or might be explained by the receiver and interpreter of the Spirit’s utterance.

That, moreover, the imposition of hands was not by the whole church, but by its representatives the presbyters,(4) was obvious of itself to the reader.


Verse 4-5

Acts 13:4-5. αὐτοί (see the critical remarks): such was the course taken with them; they themselves, therefore, ipsi igitur.

ἐκπεμφθ. ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύμ.] for “vocatio prorsus divina erat; tantum manu Dei oblatos amplexa erat ecclesia,” Calvin.

They turned themselves at first to the quarter where they might hope most easily to form connections—it was, in fact, the first attempt of their new ministry—to Cyprus, the native country of Barnabas (Acts 4:36), to which the direct route from Antioch by way of the neighbouring Seleucia (in Syria, also called Pieria, and situated at the mouth of the Orontes), led. Having there embarked, they landed at the city of Salamis, on the eastern coast of the island of Cyprus.

γενομ. ἐν] arrived at. Often so in classical authors since Homer.(5)

ἰωάννην] See on Acts 12:12.

ὑπηρέτην] as servant, who assisted the official work of the apostles by performing external services, errands, missions, etc., probably also acts of baptism (Acts 10:48; 1 Corinthians 1:14). “Barnabas et Paulus divinitus nominati, atque his liberum fuit alios adsciscere,” Bengel.

As to their practice of preaching in the synagogues, see on Acts 13:14.


Verse 6-7

Acts 13:6-7. ὅλην τὴν νῆσον] For Paphos, i.e. New Paphos, the capital and the residence of the proconsul, sixty stadia to the north of the old city celebrated for the worship of Venus, lay quite on the opposite western side of the island. See Forbiger, Geogr. I. p. 469 f.

μάγον] see on Acts 8:9. Whether he was precisely a representative of the cabalistic tendency (Baumgarten), cannot be determined. But perhaps, from the Arabic name Elymas, which he adopted, he was an Arabian Jew. μάγον, although a substantive, is to be connected with ἄνδρα (Acts 3:14).

βαριησοῦς] i.e. בַּר יֵשׁוּע, filius Jesu (Josuae). The different forms of this name in the Fathers and versions, Barjeu, Barsuma, Barjesuban, βαριησουσάν, have their origin in the reverence and awe felt for the name of Jesus.

ἀνθυπάτῳ] Cyprus, which Augustus had restored to the senate, was, it is true, at that time a propraetorian province (Dio Cass. liv. 4); but all provincial rulers were, by the command of Augustus, called proconsules, Dio Cass. liii. 13.

συνετῷ] although the contrary might be suspected from his connection with the sorcerer. But his intelligence is attested partly by the fact that he was not satisfied with heathenism, and therefore had at that time the Jewish sorcerer with him in the effort to acquire more satisfactory views; and partly by the fact that he does not feel satisfied even with him, but asks for the publishers of the new doctrine. In general, sorcerers found at that time welcome reception with Gentiles otherwise very intelligent. Lucian. Alex. 30, Wetstein in loc.

τὸν λόγ. τοῦ θεοῦ] Description of the new doctrine from the standpoint of Luke. See, moreover, on Acts 8:25.


Verse 8

Acts 13:8. ἐλύμας] The Arabic name ( عَليمٌ sapiens, κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν: magus; comp. Hyde, de relig. vet. Pers. p. 372 f.) by which Barjesus chose to be designated, and which he probably adopted with a view to glorify himself as the channel of Arabian wisdom by the corresponding Arabic name.

μάγος] Interpretation of ἐλύμας, added in order to call attention to the significance of the name. Comp. Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. lviii.

διαστρέψαι ἀπό] a well-known pregnant construction, which Valckenaer destroys arbitrarily, and in such a way as to weaken the sense, by the conjecture ἀποστρέψαι: to pervert (and turn aside) from the faith. Comp. LXX. Exodus 5:4.


Verse 9

Acts 13:9. σαῦλος δὲ, καὶ παῦλος] sc. λεγόμενος. Schaefer, ad Bos Ell. p. 213.

As Saul ( שָׁאוּל, the longed for) is here for the first time and always henceforth (comp. the name Abraham from Genesis 17:5 onwards) mentioned under his Roman name Paul, but before this, equally without exception, only under his Hebrew name, we must assume a set historical purpose in the remark καὶ παῦλος introduced at this particular point, according to which the reader is to be reminded of the relation—otherwise presupposed as well known—of this name to the historical connection before us. It is therefore the most probable opinion, because the most exempt from arbitrariness, that the name Paul was given to the apostle as a memorial of the conversion of Sergius Paulus effected by him.(6) “A primo ecclesiae spolio, proconsule Sergio Paulo, victoriae suae trophaea retulit, erexitque vexillum, ut Paulus diceretur e Saulo,” Jerome, in ep. ad Philem.; comp. de vir. ill. 5. The same view is adopted by Valla, Bengel, Olshausen, Baumgarten, Ewald; also by Baur, I. p. 106, ed. 2, according to whom, however, legend alone has wished to connect the change of name somehow adopted by the apostle—which contains a parallel with Peter, Matthew 16:16—with an important act of his apostolic life; comp. Zeller, p. 213. Either the apostle himself now adopted this name, possibly at the request of the proconsul (Ewald), or—which at least excludes entirely the objection often made to this view, that it is at variance with the modesty of the apostle—the Christians, perhaps first of all his companions at the time, so named him in honourable remembrance of that memorable conversion effected on his first missionary journey. Kuinoel, indeed, thinks that the servants of the proconsul may have called the apostle, whose name Saul was unfamiliar (?) to them, Paul; and that he thenceforth was glad to retain this name as a Roman citizen, and on account of his intercourse with the Gentiles. But such a purely Gentile origin of the name is hardly reconcilable with its universal recognition on the part of the Christian body. Since the time of Calvin, Grotius, and others, the opinion has become prevalent, that it was only for the sake of intercourse with those without, as the ambassador of the faith among the Gentiles, that the apostle bore, according to the custom of the time, the Roman name; comp. also Laurent, neut. Stud. p. 147. Certainly it is to be assumed that he for this reason willingly assented to the new name given to him, and willingly left his old name to be forgotten; but the origin of the new name, occurring just here for the first time, is, by this view, not in the least explained from the connection of the narrative before us.

Heinrichs oddly desires to explain this connection by suggesting that on this occasion, when Luke had just mentioned Sergius Paulus, it had occurred to him that Saul also was called Paul. Such an accident is wholly unnatural, as, when Luke wrote, the name Saul was long out of use, and that of Paul was universal. The opinion also of Witsius and Hackspan, following Augustine, is to be rejected: that the apostle in humility, to indicate his spiritual transformation, assigned to himself the name (Paulus = exiguus); as is also that of Schrader, d. Ap. Paul. II. p. 14 (after Drusius and Lightfoot), that he received at his circumcision the double name; comp. also Wieseler, p. 222 f.

πλησθεὶς πνεύμ. ἁγ.] “actu praesente adversus magum acrem,” Bengel. Comp. Acts 4:8; Acts 4:31, Acts 7:55, Acts 13:52.


Verse 10

Acts 13:10. ῥᾳδιουργίας] knavery, roguery. Polyb. xii. 10. 5, iv. 29. 4; Plut. Cat. m. 16. Comp. ῥᾳδιούργημα, Acts 18:14.

υἱὲ διαβόλου] i.e. a man whose condition of mind proceeds from the influence of the devil (the arch-enemy of the kingdom of the Messiah). Comp. on John 8:44. An indignant contrast to the name Barjesus. διαβόλου is treated as a proper name, therefore without the article; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:2.

πάσης δικαιοσύνης] of all, that is right, Acts 10:35.

διαστρέφων τὰς ὁδοὺς κυρ. τ. εὐθείας] Wilt thou not cease to pervert the straight (leading directly to the goal) ways of the Lord (to give them a perverted direction)? i.e. applying this general reproach to the present case: Wilt thou, by thy opposition to us, and by thy endeavour to turn the proconsul from the faith (Acts 13:8), persist in so working that God’s measures (Romans 11:33; Revelation 15:3), instead of attaining their aim according to the divine intention, may be frustrated? The straight way of God aimed here at the winning of Sergius for the salvation in Christ, by means of Barnabas and Paul; but Elymas set himself in opposition to this, and was engaged in diverting from its mark this straight way which God had entered on, so that the divinely-desired conversion of Sergius was to remain unrealized. De Wette takes it incorrectly: to set forth erroneously the ways in which men should walk before God. On διαστρέφων, comp. in fact, Proverbs 10:10; Isaiah 59:8; Micah 3:9; and notice that the διαστρέφειν κ. τ. λ. was really that which the sorcerer strove to do, although without attaining the desired success. Observe, also, the thrice repeated emphatic παντόςπάσηςπάσης, and that κυρίου is not to be referred to Christ, but to God (whom the son of the devil resists), as is proved from Acts 13:11.


Verse 11

Acts 13:11. χεὶρ κυρίου] a designation, borrowed according to constant usage from the O.T. (LXX. Judges 2:15; Job 19:21; 2 Maccabees 6:26; Sirach 33:2), of “God’s hand,” Luke 1:66, Acts 11:21, and here, indeed, of the punitive hand of God, Hebrews 10:31.

ἐπὶ σέ] sc. ἐστι, is directed against thee.

ἔσῃ] The future is not imperative, but decided prediction; comp. Acts 5:9.

μὴ βλέπων τ. ἥλιον] self-evident, but “auget manifestam sententiam,” Quinctil. ix. 3. 45. To the blind the sun is φῶς ἀφεγγές, Soph. O. C. 1546.

ἄχρι καιροῦ] for a season. Comp. Luke 4:13. His blindness was not to be permanent; the date of its termination is not given, but it must have been in so far known by Paul, seeing that this penal consequence would cease with the cause, namely, with the withstanding, Acts 13:8. Comp. on Acts 13:12. With the announcement of the divine punishment is combined, by ἄχρι καιροῦ, the hint of future possible forgiveness. Chrysostom well remarks: τὸ ἄχρι καιροῦ δὲ οὐ κολάζοντος ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα, ἀλλʼ ἐπιστρέφοντος· εἰ γὰρ κολάζοντος ἦν, διαπαντὸς ἂν αὐτὸν ἐποίησε τυφλόν. Comp. Oecumenius.

παραχρῆμα δὲ ἐπέπεσεν κ. τ. λ] We are as little to inquire what kind of blindness occurred, as to suppose (with Heinrichs) that with the sorcerer there was already a tendency to blindness, and that this blindness actually now set in through fright. The text represents the blindness as a punishment of God without any other cause, announced by Paul as directly cognizant of its occurrence.

ἀχλὺς καὶ σκότος] dimness and darkness, in the form of a climax. See on ἀχλύς (only here in the N.T.), Duncan, Lex. Hom., ed. Rost, p. 193.

The text assigns no reason why the sorcerer was punished with blindness (as, for instance, that he might be humbled under the consciousness of his spiritual blindness; comp. Baumgarten). We must abstain from any such assertion all the more, that this punishment did not befall the similar sorcerer Simon. Romans 11:34.


Verse 12

Acts 13:12. ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ τ. κυρίου] For he rightly saw, both in that announcement of punishment by Paul, and in the fate of his sorcerer, something which had a connection with the doctrine of the Lord (that is, with the doctrine which Christ caused to be proclaimed by His apostles; see on Acts 8:25). Its announcer had shown such a marvellous familiarity with the counsel of God, and its opponent had suddenly experienced such a severe punishment, that he was astonished at the doctrine, with which so evident a divine judgment was connected. Comp. on the connection of the judgment concerning the doctrine with the miracle beheld, Mark 1:27. The ἐπίστευσεν obviously supposes the reception of baptism; comp. Acts 4:4, Acts 11:21, Acts 19:18.

Whether the sorcerer afterwards became a believer the text does not, indeed, inform us; but the presumption of a future conversion is contained in ἄχρι καιροῦ, Acts 13:11, and therefore the question is to be answered in the affirmative; for Paul spoke that ἄχρι καιροῦ: ὅριον τῇ γνώμῃ διδούς, Oecumenius. The Tübingen criticism has indeed condemned the miraculous element in this story, and the story itself as an invented and exaggerated counterpart of the encounter of Peter with Simon Magus, chap. 8—a judgment in which the denial of miracles in general, and the assumption of dogmatic motives on the part of the author, are the controlling presuppositions (see Baur and Zeller; comp. also Schneckenburger, p. 53).


Verses 13-15

Acts 13:13-15. Having put to (the open) sea again from Paphos ( ἀναχθέντες, as Acts 16:11, and frequently; also with Greek writers, comp. Luke 8:22), they came in a northerly direction to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia with its famous temple of Diana (on the ruins, see Fellows’ Travels in Asia Minor, p. 142 ff.), where John Mark parted from them(7) and returned to Jerusalem (for what reason, is not certain,—apparently from want of courage and boldness, see Acts 15:38). But they, without their former companion ( αὐτοί), journeyed inland to the north until they came to Antioch in Pisidia (built by Seleucus Nicanor, and made by Augustus a Roman colony; on its ruins, see Hamilton’s Travels in Asia Minor, I. p. 431 ff.), where they visited the synagogue on the Sabbath (comp. Acts 13:5). Their apostleship to the Gentiles had not cancelled their obligation, wherever there were Jews, to turn first to these; and to Paul, especially, it could not appear as cancelled in the light of the divine order: ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ ἕλληνι, Romans 1:16, clearly known to him, of his ardent love to his people, Romans 9:1 ff., of his assurance that God had not cast them off (Romans 11), as well as of his insight into the blessing which would arise to the Gentile world even from the rejection of the gospel by the Jews (Romans 11:11 ff.). Hence, although apostle of the Gentiles, he never excludes the Jews from his mission (comp. on the contrary, ἐφʼ ὅσον, Romans 11:13), but expressly includes them (1 Corinthians 9:20), and is wont to begin his labours with them. This we remark against the opinion, which is maintained especially by Baur and Zeller, that in the Book of Acts the representation of Paul’s missionary procedure is unhistorically modified in the interest of Judaism. See, in opposition to it also, Kling in the Stud. u. Krit. 1837, p. 302 ff.; Lekebusch, p. 322 ff.

οἱ περὶ τὸν παῦλον] denotes the person and his companions,—the company of Paul. See on John 11:19, and Valckenaer, p. 499 f. Now Paul, and no longer Barnabas, appears as the principal person. The conspicuous agency of the Gentile apostle at once in the conversion of Sergius, and in the humiliation of the sorcerer, has decided his superiority.

τῆς πισιδ.] chorographic genitive; Krüger, § 47. 5. 5. For other designations of this situation of the city, see Bornemann.

ἐκάθισαν] on the seats of the Rabbins, as Wolf, Wetstein, Kuinoel, think. Possibly; but it is possible also, that they had already, before the commencement of the Sabbath, immediately on their arrival, announced themselves as teachers, and that this occasioned the request of the president to the strange Rabbins.

τοῦ νόμου κ. τ. προφ.] namely, in the Parasha and Haphthara for that Sabbath. See on Luke 4:17. That, as Bengel thinks and Kuinoel and Baumgarten approve (comp. also Trip, Paulus, p. 194), the Parasha, Deuteronomy 1 (because Paul, in Acts 13:18, hints at Deuteronomy 1:31), and the corresponding Haphthara, Isaiah 1, were in the order of the reading, is uncertain, even apart from the fact that the modern Parshioth and Haphtharoth were fixed only at a later period (Zunz, gottesdienstl. Vortr. d. Juden. p. 6; comp. Hupfeld in the Stud. u. Krit. 1837, p. 843 f.).

οἱ ἀρχισυνάγ.] i.e. the college of rulers, consisting of the ἀρχισυνάγωγος κατʼ ἐξοχήν ( רֹאשׁ הַכְּנֶסֶת), and the elders associated with him.

ἐν ὑμῖν] in animis vestris.

λόγος παρακλ.] a discourse of exhortation, whose contents are an encouragement to the observance and application of the law and the prophets. For: “opus fuit expositoribus, qui corda eorum afficerent.” Gloss, in Babyl. Schabb. f. 30, 2. Comp. Zunz, p. 332 f.

λέγετε] On λόγον λέγειν, see Lobeck, Paral. p. 504.


Verse 16

Acts 13:16. κατασ. τῇ χειρί] See on Acts 12:17.

οἱ φοβούμ. τ. θεόν] is here, as the distinction from ἰσραηλῖται requires, the formal designation of the proselytes of the gate, who, without becoming actual ἰσραηλῖται by circumcision, were yet worshippers of Jehovah, and attenders at the synagogues (where they had their particular seats). Comp. Acts 13:43; Acts 13:49; Acts 17:4; Acts 17:17; Acts 16:14; Acts 18:7. Against the unfavourable judgment, which the following speech has met with from Schneckenburger, Baur, and Zeller,—namely, that it is only an echo of the speeches of Peter and Stephen, a free production of the narrator,—we may urge as a circumstance particularly to be observed, that this speech is directed to those who were still non-believers (not, like the Epistles of the apostle, to Christians), and accordingly does not find in the Epistles any exactly corresponding standard with which to compare it; that, further, nothing un-Pauline occurs either in its contents or form,—on the contrary, the Pauline fundamental dogma of justification (Acts 13:38 ff. do not contain a mere “timid allusion” to it, as Zeller thinks, p. 327) forms its important concluding main point;(8) and the Pauline delicacy, prudence, and wisdom of teaching are displayed in its entire plan and execution; that, in particular, the historical introduction, although it may not have originated without some influence from Stephen’s speech, and the latter may have, by the editing, been rendered still more similar, yet presents nothing which could not have been spoken by Paul, as the speech of Stephen was known to the apostle and must have made an indelible impression on him; and that the use of Psalms 16 (comp. Acts 2:25 ff.), as a witness for the resurrection of Jesus, was as natural to Paul as it was to Peter, as, indeed, to Paul also Christ rose κατὰ τὰς γραφάς (1 Corinthians 15:4). The reasons, therefore, adduced against its originality in the main are not sufficient, although, especially amidst our ignorance of the document from which the speech thus edited is taken, a more complete assertion of an originality, which is at all events only indirect, cannot be made good.(9)


Verse 17

Acts 13:17. τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου ἰσρ. (see the critical remarks) refers with τούτου to the address ἄνδρες ἰσρ., and with the venerated name ἰσραήλ the theocratic national feeling is appealed to. Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:22.

ἐξελέξατο] He chose for Himself, namely, from the mass of mankind, to be His peculiar property. On τοὺς πατέρ. ἡμ., the patriarchs, comp. Romans 9:5; Romans 11:1; Romans 11:16. In them the people saw the channels and sureties of the divine grace.

ὕψωσεν] During the sojourn in Egypt, God exalted the people, making them great in number and strength, and especially distinguishing and glorifying them in the period directly before the Exodus by miraculous arrangements (of Moses). The history, which Paul supposes as known, requires this interpretation (comp. already Chrysostom, who in ὕψωσεν finds the two points: εἰς πλῆθος ἐπέδοσαν and τὰ θαύματα διʼ αὐτοὺς γέγονε). Others, among whom are Kuinoel, Olshausen, and de Wette, arbitrarily limit ὕψωσεν merely to the increase of number, appealing even to Genesis 48:19, Sirach 44:21; Sirach 50:22, where, however, ὑψοῦν, as always (comp. particularly Isaiah 1:2), signifies nothing else than to exalt. The special nature of the exaltation is derived purely from the context. Calvin, Elsner, and Heinrichs suppose that the deliverance from Egypt is meant. But the exaltation, according to the text, occurred ἐν τῇ παροικίᾳ ἐν γῇ αἰγύπτῳ (Acts 7:6; Acts 7:29; Wisdom of Solomon 19:10), during their sojourn as strangers in Egypt. Beza and Grotius think that it is the ὕψωσις of the people by and under Joseph that is meant. Erroneously, as ὕψωσεν stands in historical connection with the following ἐξήγαγεν.

μετὰ βραχίονος ὑψηλοῦ] i.e. without figure: ἐν τῇ ἰσχύϊ αὐτοῦ τῇ μεγάλῃ. LXX. Deuteronomy 4:37. Jehovah is conceived as a leader who advances with uplifted arm, at the head of His people, for their defence against all their enemies. Comp. Exodus 6:1; Exodus 6:6; Baruch 2:11.


Verses 17-22

Acts 13:17-22. An introduction very wisely prefixed to prepare the minds of the Jews, giving the historical basis of the subsequent announcement that the Messiah has appeared, and carried down to David, the royal Messianic ancestor and type; the leading thought of which is not the free grace of God, but generally the divine Messianic guidance of the people before the final appearance of the Messiah Himself.


Verse 18-19

Acts 13:18-19. ὡς] might be the as of the protasis, so that καί, Acts 13:19, would then be the also of the apodosis (so Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 311 [E. T. p. 362]). But the common rendering circiter is simpler and more suitable to the non-periodic style of the entire context, as well as corresponding to the ὡς of Acts 13:20.

On the accentuation of τεσσαρακονταέτη (so Lachmann and Tischendorf), see Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 405 f.

ἐτροφοφόρ.] He bore them as their nourisher (as it were in his arms), i.e. he nourished and cherished them. There is here a reminiscence of the LXX. Deuteronomy 1:31, according to which passage God bore ( נָשָׂא) the Israelites in the wilderness as a man ( אִישׁ) beareth his son. The LXX. has rendered this נשׂא by ἐτροφοφ., whence it is evident, as the image is borrowed from a man, that it is based on the derivation from τροφός and not from τροφός. So also Cyril, in Oseam, p. 182, in Deut. p. 415. In the few other passages where the word is still preserved, women are spoken of—namely, 2 Maccabees 7:27, and Macar. Hom. 46. 3 (where of a mother it is said: ἀναλαμβάνει καὶ περιθάλπει καὶ τροφοφορεῖ ἐν πολλῇ στοργῇ). But as in this place and in Deuteronomy 1:31 the notion of a male τροφός is quite as definitely presented (comp. Plat. Polit. p. 268 A B, Eur. Herc. f. 45, El. 409; usually τροφεύς, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 316), it follows that the two references, the male and the female, are linguistically justified in an equal degree; therefore Hesychius explains ἐτροφοφόρησεν, entirely apart from sex, by ἔθρεψεν. From misapprehension of this, the word ἐτροποφ. was at an early period (among the Fathers, Origen already has it) introduced in Deut. l.c.; he bore their manners (Cic. ad Att. xiii. 29, Constitutt. ap. vii. 36, Schol. Arist. Ran. 1432), because the comparison of God to a nourishing mother or nurse, τροφός, was regarded as unsuitable,(10) and following this reading in Deut. l.c., ἐτροποφ. was also adopted in our passage for the same reason.

ἔθνη ἑπτά] see Deuteronomy 7:1. He destroyed them, i.e. καθελών; see Thuc. i. 4, and Krüger in loc.

κατεκληρον.] He distributed to them for an inheritance. LXX. Judges 11:24; 1 Kings 2:8; Isaiah 14:2-3; Isaiah 3 Esdr. Acts 8:35. This compound is foreign to other Greek writers, but common in the LXX. in an active and neuter signification. The later Greeks have κατακληρουχεῖν.


Verse 20

Acts 13:20. And afterwards—after this division of the land among the Israelites

He gave them, during about 450 years, judges ( שֹׁפְטִים, theocratic dictators, national heroes administering law and justice; see Nägelsbach in Herzog’s Encykl. XIII. p. 23 ff.; Bertheau, Komment.), until Samuel. The dative ἔτεσι τετρακ. is dative of the time, during which something happens (comp. Acts 8:11). Comp. Joseph. Antt. i. 3. 5 : τὸ ὕδωρ ἡμέραις τεσσαράκοντα ὅλαις κατεφέρετο. John 2:20; Romans 14:2-5; Winer, p. 205 [E. T. 274]. As Paul here makes the judges to follow after the division of the land, it is evident that he overleaps the time which Joshua yet lived after the division of the land, or rather includes it in the μετὰ ταῦτα, which in so summary a statement is the less strange, as Joshua was actually occupied until his death with the consolidation of the new arrangement of the land, Joshua 24:1-28. But the 450 years are in contradiction with 1 Kings 6:1, where the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, the year of the building of the temple, is placed 480 (LXX.: 440) years after the Exodus from Egypt, which leaves only about 300 years for the period of the judges. But, on the other hand, the chronology of Josephus, who in Antt. viii. 3. 1, comp. x. 8. 5, reckons 592 years from the Exodus out of Egypt to the building of the temple, agrees with Paul in our passage.(11) If, namely, we reckon: (1) 40 years as the period of sojourn in the desert; (2) 25 years as the period of Joshua’s rule (Joseph. Antt. v. 1. 29); (3) 450 years as the duration of the judges, to Samuel inclusive (according to our passage); (4) 40 years as the reign of Saul (see on Acts 13:21); (5) 40 years as the reign of David (1 Kings 2:11); (6) the first four years of Solomon’s reign,—there results from the Exodus out of Egypt to the building of the temple 599 years, with which there remains a difference between Paul and Josephus, which is fully covered by ὡς in the text. Accordingly, it appears as the correct view that Paul here follows the chronology entirely different from 1 Kings 6:1, which is also followed by Josephus.(12) This chronology arises from summing up all the numbers mentioned in the Book of Judges (Judges 3:8; Judges 3:11; Judges 3:14; Judges 3:30, Judges 4:3, Judges 5:31, Judges 6:1, Judges 8:28, Judges 9:22, Judges 10:2-3; Acts 10:8, Acts 12:7; Acts 12:9-10; Acts 12:14, Acts 13:1, Acts 15:20,—410 years), and adding 40 years for Eli; by which, however, a total much too high results, as synchronistic statements are included in the reckoning. All attempts at reconciling our passage with 1 Kings 6:1 bear the impress of arbitrariness and violence—namely: (1) that of Perizonius (Orig. Aeg. p. 321) and others, that in 1 Kings 6:1 the years are not reckoned, in which the Israelites in the time of the judges were oppressed by heathen nations, with which view Wolf agrees; comp. also Keil in the Dörpt. Beitr. II. p. 311. (2) Cornelius a Lapide, Calovius, Mill, and others supply γενόμενα after πεντήκοντα, post haec, quae spatio 450 annorum gesta sunt, so that the terminus a quo is the birth of Isaac, in whom God chose the fathers; from thence to the birth of Jacob are 60 years, from the birth of Jacob to the entrance into Egypt are 130 years, after which the residence in Egypt lasted 210 years, and then from the Exodus to the division of Canaan 47 years elapsed, making in all 447 years,—accordingly, about 450 years. With the reading of Lachmann, also, we must count in accordance with this computation. Comp. Beza. (3) Others have had recourse to critical violence. They suppose either (Luther and Beza) that in this passage τριακοσίοις is to be read ( τʼ for υʼ), or (Vitringa and Heinrichs) that ὡς ἔτεσι τετρ. κ. πεντήκ. is an addition of a marginal annotator, who (Heinrichs) reckoned thus from the birth of Isaac; or, at least (Voss, Michaelis, Kuinoel), that 1 Kings 6:1 is corrupt; in which case, however, Kuinoel grants that Paul follows a Jewish chronology of his time.

ἓως σαμουήλ] i.e. until the end of the series of judges, which had commenced with Othniel and closed with Samuel, after which Saul’s reign began. See Acts 13:21.


Verse 21

Acts 13:21. κἀκεῖθεν] and from thence. ἐκεῖ has only here in the N.T., as also in later Greek, a temporal reference, yet so that the time is conceived as something in space stretching itself out. So, too, in the passages in Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. 90 f., but not in Luke 13:28.

ἔτη τεσσαράκ.] ʼεβασίλευσε σαοὺλ, σαμουήλου ζῶντος, ἔτη ὀκτὼ πρὸς τοῖς δέκα· τελευτήσαντος δὲ δύο καὶ εἴκοσι, Joseph. Antt. vi. 14. 9 (according to the usual text, in which, however, καὶ εἴκοσι is spurious; see Bertheau on Judges, p. xx.). In the O.T. there is no express definition of the duration of Saul’s reign. However, the explanation (Erasmus, Beza, Calovius, Wolf, Morus, Rosenmüller, Heinrichs) that ἔτη τεσσαράκ. (which, in fact, contains the duration of ἔδωκενσαούλ) embraces the time of Samuel and Saul together, is to be rejected as contrary to the text; and instead of it, there is to be assumed a tradition—although improbable in its contents, yet determined by the customary number 40—which Paul followed.


Verse 22

Acts 13:22. ΄εταστ. αὐτόν] cannot be explained of the death of Saul (Grotius, de Wette, also my former interpretation), because there is no ἐκ τοῦ ζῆν (3 Maccabees 6:12; Polyb. xxxii. 21. 3) or the like added, or at least directly suggested, from the context. The word is rather to be considered as selected and exactly corresponding to the known history of Saul, expressing the divine rejection recorded in 1 Samuel 15:16 ff., and deposition of this king from his office, according to the current usus loquendi; see Daniel 2:21; 1 Maccabees 8:13; Luke 16:4; also in Greek writers.

καὶ εἶπε μαρτυρήσας] for whom He also bearing witness has said. is governed by μαρτυρ.; and on εἶπε μαρτυρ, comp. Acts 1:24 : προσευξάμενοι εἶπον.

εὗρον δαυΐδ κ. τ. λ.] Psalms 89:21 is here quite freely blended with 1 Samuel 13:14 in the inexact recollection of the moment, and formed into one saying of God, as indeed in Psalms 89:21 God is the speaker, but not in Sam. Acts 13:14.

εὗρον] God had sought for the kingdom of His people a (so rare) man like David.

κατὰ τὴν καρδίαν μου] i.e. as my heart desires him. This and the following ὅςμου is to be left without any more precise limitation (Eckermann, after the older commentators, supposes that it applies to the government of the people; Heinrichs: to the establishment of the theocracy), as the text does not furnish such a limitation, and πάντα τὰ θελ. forbids it. On these last words Bengel correctly remarks: “voluntates, multas, pro negotiorum varietate.” Comp. Ephesians 6:6; Psalms 102:7; 2 Maccabees 1:3.


Verses 23-25

Acts 13:23-25. Paul now proceeds to his main point, the announcement of the Messiah, the Son of David, as having appeared in Jesus (Acts 13:23), whom John already preached before His coming (Acts 13:24-25).

τούτου] with great emphasis, placed first and standing apart.

κατʼ ἐπαγγελίαν] according to promise, an essential element for the awakening of faith. Comp. Acts 13:32.

ἤγαγε τῷ ἰσραὴλἰσραήλ] He brought (Zechariah 3:8) to the Israelites Jesus as deliverer (Messiah), John having previously preached before His coming a baptism of repentance (baptism obliging to change of mind) to all the people of Israel.

πρὸ προσώπου] לִפְנֵי, i.e. ante, and that in a temporal sense (Gesenius, Thes. II. p. 1111). With τῆς εἰσόδου, according to the context, is meant the official (Messianic) emergence among the people. The Fathers strangely and erroneously refer it to the incarnation. See Suicer, Thes. I. p. 1042.

ὡς δὲ ἐπλήρου ἰωάνν. τ. δρόμον] but when John fulfilled, was in the act of fulfilling (imperfect; see Bernhardy, p. 373), the course (without figure: the official work incumbent on him; comp. Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7; Galatians 2:2). Paul considers John’s definite pointing to the ἐρχόμενος as that with which the course of the Baptist approached its termination; the δρόμος of the forerunner was actually concluded as regards its idea and purpose, when Jesus Himself publicly appeared.

τίνα με ὑπον. εἶναι;] is, with Erasmus, Castalio, Calvin, Beza, and many others, to be taken as a question; not, with Luther, Grotius, Kuinoel, Lachmann, Buttmann, as a relative clause: “quem me esse putatis, non sum,” which, indeed, is linguistically justifiable (Matthew 10:19, al.; Winer, p. 159 [E. T. 210]; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 216 [E. T. 251], but detracts from the liveliness of the speech. Comp. James 3:15.

οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγώ] namely, the Messiah (John 1:20), as self-evidently the expected Person, who was vividly before the mind of John and of his hearers. Comp. Mark 13:6; Luke 21:8; John 13:19.

On Acts 13:25 generally, comp. Luke 3:15 f.


Verse 26

Acts 13:26. In affectionate address ( ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί) earnestly appealing to the theocratic consciousness ( υἱοὶ γεν. ἀβρ.), Paul now brings home the announcement of this salvation (procured through Jesus, λόγος τῆς σωτ. ταύτης, comp. on Acts 5:20) to the especial interest of the hearers. Comp. Acts 2:29, Acts 3:25 f.

ἐξαπεστάλη] namely, forth from God, Acts 13:23; Acts 10:36, not from Jerusalem (Bengel). But this ὑμῖνἐξαπεστ actually took place by the very arrival of Paul and his companions.


Verse 27

Acts 13:27. γάρ] Chrysostom leads to the correct interpretation: δίδωσιν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν ἀποσχισθῆναι τῶν τὸν φόνον τετολμηκότων. In accordance with the contrast: ὑμῖν and οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐν ἱερουσ., the logical sequence is: “To you was the doctrine of salvation sent; for in Jerusalem the Saviour has been rejected;” therefore the preaching must be brought to those outside in the διασπορά, such as you are. It does not conflict with this view, that at all events the preaching would come to them as Jews (objection of de Wette); since the fundamental idea rather is, that, because Jerusalem has despised Christ, now in place of the inhabitants of Jerusalem the outside Jews primarily are destined for the reception of salvation. They are to step into the place of those as regards this reception of salvation; and the announcement of salvation, which was sent to them, was withdrawn from those and their rulers, the members of the Sanhedrim, on account of the rejection of the Saviour. Thus there is in γάρ the idea of divine retribution, exercised against the seat of the theocracy, and resulting in good to those outside at a distance (comp. τοῖς εἰς μακράν, Acts 2:39); the idea of a Nemesis, by which those afar off are preferred to the nearest children of the kingdom. Comp. Matthew 21:43. Most of the older commentators are silent on γάρ here. According to Erasmus, it is admonitory, according to Calvin, exhortatory to yet greater compliance; but in this case the special point must first be read between the lines. Contrary to the contrast of ὑμῖν and οἱ κατοικ. ἱερουσ., γάρ, according to de Wette, is designed to introduce the exposition of the idea of σωτηρία; according to Baumgarten, to convey the hint that the informal (?) way, outwardly considered, in which the λόγος had reached Antioch, had its reason in the fact that the centre of the theocracy had resisted Jesus.

τοῦτον ἀγνοήσαντες κ. τ. λ.] not having known Him (i.e. Jesus, as the self-evident subject), they have also ( καί, the also of the corresponding relation) fulfilled by their sentence (by the condemnation of Jesus) the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath day. This fulfilment they effected involuntarily in their folly. But the prophecies had to be fulfilled, Luke 24:35 f.; 1 Corinthians 15:3.

ἀγνοήσαντες] a mild judgment, entirely in the spirit of Jesus (Luke 23:34). Comp. on Acts 3:17; see also 1 Corinthians 2:8. Therefore not too lenient for Paul (Schneckenburger). Luther, Calvin, Grotius, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel, Hackett, and others refer ἀγνοήσ. not only to τοῦτον, but also to καὶ τὰς φ. τ. προφ.: “qui hunc non norant, nec prophetarum oracula … intelligebant, eo condemnando effecerunt, ut haec eventu comprobarentur.” Unnecessarily harsh, as κρίναντες and ἐπλήρ. require different supplements.

τὰς κ. π. σάββ. ἀναγινωσκ.] a mournful addition; what infatuation!

κρίναντες] judging, namely, Jesus. Following Homberg, others have referred it to the φωνὰς τ. πρ.: “and although judging, correctly valuing the voices of the prophets, they nevertheless fulfilled them.” Incorrect, because at variance with history, and because the resolution of the participle by although is not suggested by the context, but rather ( τοῦτον ἀγνοήσαντες) forbidden.


Verse 28-29

Acts 13:28-29. καί] and, without having found, they desired. On ἀναιρεθῆναι, comp. Acts 2:23, Acts 10:39.

καθελόντεςἔθηκαν εἰς μνημ.] The subject is the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their rulers, as in the preceding. Joseph and Nicodemus (John 19:28 f.) were, in fact, both; therefore Paul, although those were favourably inclined to Jesus, could in this summary narrative continue with the same subject, because an exact historical discrimination was not here of moment, and the taking down from the cross and the placing in the grave were simply the adjuncts of the crucifixion and the premisses of the corporeal resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:4). On καθελόντες ἀπὸ τ. ξύλου, comp. Joshua 8:29; Mark 15:46.


Verse 30

Acts 13:30. But God, after such extreme and unrighteous rejection of Jesus on the part of those men, what a glorious deed has He done! Thus Paul paves the way to announce the highest Messianic σημεῖον of Jesus (comp. Romans 1:4), the resurrection from the dead; and that according to its certainty as matter of experience (Acts 13:31), as well as a fulfilment of the prophetic promise (Acts 13:32-37).


Verses 31-33

Acts 13:31-33. ἐπὶ ἡμέρ. πλείους] for several days, as in Luke 4:25; Nägelsbach on the Iliad, p. 284, ed. 3. Instead of the argumentative ὅς, ὅσγε would be still more significant.

τοῖς συναναβᾶσιν κ. τ. λ.] Thus Paul according to this narrative, like Luke in the Gospel, follows the tradition which knows only Jewish appearances of the Risen One (see on Matthew 28:10). Comp. Acts 1:4.

οἵτινες] quippe qui.

καὶ ἡμεῖς κ. τ. λ.] we also, on our part, engaged in the same work of preaching as those eye-witnesses, announce unto you the promise made to the fathers, that (namely) God has completely fulfilled this, etc.

ὃτι ταύτην κ. τ. λ.] contains the particular part of the ἐπαγγελία (the promise of the Messiah generally) which is announced. Entirely arbitrarily, Heumann, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and others hold that it should be connected: εὐαγγελιζόμεθα, ὅτι τὴν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας γενομ. ἐπαγγ. θεὸς ἐκπεπλ., and that ταύτην is without significance. This very repetition of ταύτην has rhetorical emphasis; comp. Acts 9:20; see Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 225; Bernhardy, p. 283.

ἐκπεπλήρωκε] stronger than the simple verb, Acts 13:27; comp. the passages from Xenoph. in Sturz, Herod, v. 35: τὴν ὑπόσχεσιν ἐκπληρῶσαι, Plat. Legg. p. 958 B: ἐκπληρώσῃ τὸ χρέος ἅπαν, Polyb. i. 67. 1 : τὰς ἐλπίδας κ. τὰς ἐπαγγελίας ἐκπληροῦν, 3 Maccabees 1:2; 3 Maccabees 1:22. Elsewhere not in the N.T., but comp. ἐκπλήρωσις, Acts 21:26.

τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτ. ἡμῖν] for the benefit of their children (descendants), us. The prefixing of τ. τέκν. αὐτ. has a peculiar emphasis.

ἀναστήσας ἰησοῦν] by this, that He raised up Jesus (from the dead). This interpretation (Erasmus, Luther, Hammond, Clericus, Heumann, Morus, de Wette, Baumgarten, Lange, and others) is necessarily required by the connection, which is as follows: (1) The Jews have put to death Jesus, though innocent, and buried Him (Acts 13:28-29). (2) But God has raised Him from the dead, as is certain from His appearance among His followers and their testimony (Acts 13:30-31). (3) By this resurrection of Jesus, God has completely fulfilled to us the promise, etc. (Acts 13:32-33). (4) But the Raised One will, according to God’s assurance, never again die (Acts 13:34-38). This, the only explanation accordant with the context, is confirmed by the purposely chosen ἐκπεπλήρωκε, as, indeed, the fulfilment of the promise begun from the very appearance of Jesus has, although secured already essentially (as Hofmann interprets the compound verb), only become complete by His resurrection. It has been objected that ἐκ νεκρῶν would have to be added to ἀναστήσας, as in Acts 13:34; but incorrectly, as the context makes this addition very superfluous, which yet is purposely added in Acts 13:34, in order that the contrast of μηκέτι μέλλοντα ὑποστρέφειν εἰς διαφθοράν might more strongly appear. The textual necessity of our interpretation excludes, accordingly, of itself the other explanation (Castalio, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Olshausen, Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erf. II. p. 173, Schriftbew. I. p. 123, and others), according to which ἀναστήσας is rendered like הֵקִים, prodire jubens, exhibens (Acts 3:22, Acts 7:37). This rendering would hardly have been adopted and defended, had it not been thought necessary to understand Psalms 2:7 of the appearance of Jesus upon earth.

ὡςγέγραπται] denotes the ἀναστήσας ἰησοῦν as the event which took place according to (besides other scriptural passages) the saying in Psalms 2:7.

τῷ πρώτῳ] Formerly (see Wetstein)—though not universally, yet frequently—the first Psalm was wont not to be separately numbered, but, as an introduction to the Psalter and certainly composed for this object, to be written along with the second Psalm, as it is even now found in MSS. As, however, such a local citation of a passage is found neither in Paul’s writings nor elsewhere in the N.T., it must be assumed that Paul did not himself utter the πρώτῳ, and that it was not even added by Luke; but that he took it over from his documentary source—into which it had doubtless come, because it was esteemed particularly noteworthy that this prophecy should be found written on the very front of the Psalter.

υἱός μου εἶ σὺ κ. τ. λ.] in the historical sense of the Psalm composed by Solomon on his anointing: My son (as the theocratic king) thou art; I (no other) have this day begotten thee (made thee by thine anointing and installation to be this my son). But, according to the Messianic fulfilment of this divine saying, so far as it has been historically fulfilled (it is otherwise in Hebrews 1:5) especially by the resurrection of the Messiah: My Son (as the Messiah) thou art; I am He who has this day (on the day of the resurrection) begotten Thee, installed Thee into this divine Sonship by the resurrection (Romans 1:4),—inasmuch, namely, as the resurrection was the actual guarantee, excluding all doubt, of that Sonship of Christ. Thus has God by the resurrection, after His humiliation, although He was from eternity God’s Son, constituted Him the Son of God (He has begotten Him). Comp. Acts 2:36. The expression is not to be illustrated from πρωτότοκος ἐκ. τ. νεκρῶν, Colossians 1:18 (against Baumgarten); because for denoting the installation into the divine Sonship the figure begotten suits admirably; but, as a new beginner of life (as Baumgarten explains it), Christ would by the resurrection not be begotten, but born. Comp. also Romans 8:29. The σήμερον, moreover, which to those interpreters, who explain the ἀναστήσας generally of the bringing forward Jesus, must appear without significance and included in the quotation only for the sake of completeness (as is, however, not the case even in Hebrews 1:5), forms an essential element of the prophecy in its relation to the connection.


Verse 34

Acts 13:34. But that God raised Him from the dead as one who is no more to return to corruption, He has thus said. The μηκέτι μέλλονταδιαφθορ. is the main element whereby the speech advances. Comp. Romans 6:9.

εἰς διαφθοράν] into corruption, is not, with Kuinoel (after Beza and Piscator), to be explained: in locum corruptionis, i.e. in sepulcrum, for which there is no reason at all, as μηκέτι by no means requires the inference that Christ must already have been once in the condition of corruption; for μηκέτι refers logically to the general idea of dying present in the mind of Paul, which he, already thinking on Psalms 16:10, expresses by ὑποστρ. εἰς διαφθ. Comp. Winer, p. 574 [E. T. 772]. Bengel aptly says: “non amplius ibit in mortem, quam alias solet subsequi διαφθορά.” The appeal to the LXX., which renders שַׁחַת by διαφθορά, is equally inadmissible, for the translators actually so understood שַׁחַת, and thus connected with their διαφθορά no other idea than corruptio (comp. on Acts 2:27).

δώσω ὑμῖν τ. ὅσ. δ. τ. πιστά] a free quotation of the LXX. Isaiah 55:3, in which Paul, instead of διαθήσομσι ὑμῖν διαθήκην αἰώνιον, gives δώσω ὑμῖν, certainly not designedly, because the text of the LXX. represents the appearance of the Messiah as something future, as Olshausen thinks; for the words of the LXX., particularly the αἰώνιον, would have been very suitable as probative of our passage; nor yet by a mistake of memory, as the passage about the eternal covenant certainly was very accurately known to the apostle; but because he saw the probative force in τὰ ὅσια δ. τὰ πιστά, and therefore, in introducing those words on which his argument hinged, with his freedom otherwise in quotation he regarded it as sufficient only to prefix to them that verb, the idea of which is really contained in διαθήσομαι ὑμῖν διαθήκην αἰών. I shall give unto you the holy things of David, the sure; i.e. the holy blessings conferred by me on David, the possession of which will be (federally) sure and certain. By this is meant the whole Messianic salvation as eternally enduring, which (in an ideal sense, for future realization by the Son of David, the Messiah) belonged as a holy property to David, the Messianic ancestor, and was to come to believers through Christ as a sacred inheritance. The LXX. translates חַסְדֵי דָוִיד inexactly by τὰ ὅσια δαυΐδ; but on this very account the literal meaning beneficia is not (against Kuinoel and others) to be assumed for ὅσια. It denotes veneranda, pie observanda. Comp. Bremi, ad Lys. p. 269, Goth.

The historical meaning of the passage in Isaiah contains a promise of the Messianic times alluring the exiles to the appropriation of the theocratic salvation; but in this very Messianic nature of the promise Paul had reason and right to recognise the condition of its fulfilment in the eternal remaining-alive of the risen Christ, and accordingly to understand the passage as a prophetic promise of this eternal remaining-alive; because through a Messiah liable again to death, and accordingly to corruption, those holy possessions of David, seeing they are to be πιστά, could not be conferred; for that purpose His life and His government, as the fulfiller of the promises (2 Corinthians 1:10), must be eternal. Comp. Calvin and Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erf. II. p. 173 f. As surely as God, according to this prophetic assurance, must bestow the ὅσια δαυῒδ τὰ πιστά, so surely Christ, through whom they are bestowed, cannot again die. Less accurately Hengstenberg, Christol. II. p. 384.


Verse 35

Acts 13:35. διό] therefore, namely, because the Messiah, according to Acts 13:34, after His resurrection will not again die, but live for ever.

ἐν ἑτέρῳ] sc. ψαλμῷ, which is still present to the mind of the speaker from the quotation in Acts 13:33.

λέγει] the subject is necessarily that of εἴρηκεν, Acts 13:34, and so neither David (Bengel, Heinrichs, and others) nor the Scripture (Heumann), but God, although Psalms 16:10 contains David’s words addressed to God. But David is considered as interpreter of God, who has put the prayer into his mouth. Comp. on Matthew 19:5. As to the passage quoted, see on Acts 2:25-27. Calvin correctly says: “Quod ejus corpus in sepulcro fuit conditum, nihil propterea juris habuit in ipsum corruptio, quum illic integrum non secus atque in lecto jacuerit usque ad diem resurrectionis.”


Verse 36-37

give the explanation and demonstration ( γάρ), that in Christ raised by God from, the dead this language of the Psalm has received its fulfilment

Acts 13:36-37 give the explanation and demonstration ( γάρ), that in Christ raised by God from, the dead this language of the Psalm has received its fulfilment. Comp. Acts 2:29-31.

ἰδίᾳ γενεᾷ] Dativus commodi: for his own contemporaries. Others understand it as the dative of time: sua aetate (Kuinoel and the older interpreters) or tempore vitae suae (Olshausen). Very tame and superfluous, and the latter contrary to the usus loquendi. ἰδίᾳ γενεᾷ is added in foresight of the future Messianic γενεά (Acts 8:33), for which the Son of David serves the counsel of God. “Davidis partes non extendunt se ultra modulum aetatis vulgaris,” Bengel.

τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ βουλῇ] may either be connected with ἐκοιμήθη (Erasmus, Castalio, Calvin, Vatablus, and others) or with ὑπηρετήσας (Vulgate, Beza, Luther, Wolf, Bengel, Kuinoel, Olshausen, Baumgarten, and others): after he for his generation had served the counsel of God. The latter meaning is more in keeping with the theocratic standpoint of David and Acts 13:22.

προσετέθη πρὸς τοῦς πατέρας αὐτοῦ] was added to his fathers, namely, as regards his soul in Sheol, whither his fathers had preceded him. A well-known Hebrew expression, Judges 2:10; Genesis 15:15; Genesis 25:8, and Knobel thereon.


Verse 38-39

Acts 13:38-39. διὰ τούτου] through this one, i.e. through His being announced to you.

καὶ ἀπὸ πάντωνδικαιοῦται] and that from all things, from which ( ὧν = ἀφʼ ὧν, see on Acts 13:2) ye were unable to be justified in the law of Moses, every one who believes in this One is justified.

ἀπὸ πάντων] is pregnant: justified and accordingly freed (in respect of the bond of guilt) from all things. Romans 6:7; Sirach 26:29; Test. XII. patr. p. 540.

ἐν τῷ νόμῳ and the emphatic ἐν τούτῳ represent the δικαιωθῆναι as causally grounded, not in the law, but in Christ. But the proposition that one becomes justified in Christ by means of faith from all things (i.e. from all sins; comp. before ἄφεσις ἁμαρτιῶν), from which one cannot obtain justification in the law, is not meant to affirm that already in the law there is given a partial attainment of justification and the remainder is attained in Christ (Schwegler, nachapost. Zeitalt. II. p. 96 f.; admitted also by Zeller, p. 299), which would be un-Pauline and contrary to the whole of the N.T. On the contrary, Paul, when laying down that proposition in itself entirely correct, leaves the circumstance, that man finds in the law justification from no kind of sins, still entirely out of account, with great prudence not adopting at once an antinomistic attitude, but reserving the particulars of the doctrine of justification in its relation to the law for eventually further Christian instruction. The proposition is of a general, theoretic nature; it is only the major proposition of the doctrine of justification (from all things from which a man is not justified in the law, he is justified in Christ by faith); the minor proposition (but in the law a man can be justified from nothing) and the conclusion (therefore only in Christ can all justification be obtained) are still kept back and reserved for further development. Therefore the shift of Neander, I. p. 145, is entirely unnecessary, who (comp. also Schneckenburger, p. 131, and Lekebusch, p. 334) very arbitrarily assumes that πάντων is designed to denote only the completeness of the removal of guilt, and that, properly speaking, Paul has had it in view to refer the relative to the whole idea of δικαιωθῆναι, but by a kind of logical attraction has referred it to πάντων.

We may add that the view (Wolf and others, following the Vulgate), according to which καὶδικαιοῦται is taken as an independent proposition (as it is also by Lachmann, who has erased καί, after A C* א), is also admissible, although less in keeping with the flow of the discourse, which connects the negative element ( ἄφεσις ἁμαρτ.) and the positive correlative to it ( δικαιοῦται) with one another; therefore καί is the simple and, not: and indeed. But it is contrary to the construction to attach καὶ ἀπὸδικαιωθῆναι to the preceding; so Luther, also Bornemann, who, however, with D, inserts μετάνοια after καί. Lastly, that neither, with Luther, is ἐν τούτῳ to be connected with πιστεύων, nor, with Morus, is ἐν τούτῳ πᾶς πιστ. δικαιοῦται to be taken as a proposition by itself, is evident from the close reciprocal relation of ἐν τῷ νόμῳ and ἐν τούτῳ.

On the idea of δικαιοῦσθαι, the essence of which here already, by πᾶς πιστεύων, most definitely emerges as the Pauline justitia fidei, see on Romans 1:17.


Verses 38-41

Acts 13:38-41. From the previously proved resurrection of Jesus, there follows ( οὖν), what is now solemnly announced ( γνωστὸν κ. τ. λ.) and does not appear as a mere “passing hint” (Baur) of the Pauline doctrine of justification—that precisely through Him, who was thus so uniquely attested by God to be the promised Messiah, the Messianic forgiveness and justification are offered (Acts 13:38-39); and from this again follows ( οὖν, Acts 13:40) with equal naturalness, as the earnest conclusion of the speech, the warning against despising this benefit.

Observe that Paul does not enter on the point, that the causa meritoria of forgiveness and justification lay in the death on the cross, or how it was so; this belonged to a further instruction afterwards; at this time, on the first intimation which he made to those who were still unbelievers, it might have been offensive and prejudicial. But with his wisdom and prudence, according to the connection in which the resurrection of the Lord stands with His atoning death (Romans 4:25), he has neither prejudiced the truth nor (against Schneckenburger and Baur) exhibited an un-Pauline (an alleged Petrine) reference of justification to the resurrection of Jesus.


Verse 40-41

Acts 13:40-41. ἐν τοῖς προφήταις] in volumine prophetarum, Luke 24:44; John 6:45.

Habakkuk 1:5 is here quoted, according to the LXX. (which, instead of בַּגּוֹיִם, probably read בֹּגְדִים), from memory with an unimportant deviation. In the announcement of the penal judgments to be executed by means of the Chaldaeans, which are in Hab. l.c. threatened against the degenerate Jewish nation, the apostle sees a divine threatening, the execution of which, in the Messianic sense, would ensue at the impending last judgment by the punishment befalling the unbelieving Israelites. The divine threatening preserves its power and validity even to the end, and has then its last and highest fulfilment. This last Messianic judgment of God—not the ruin of the Jewish war (Wetstein and others)—is here the ἔργον.

ἀφανίσθητε] vanish, come to nought. Comp. Philostr. Imag. i. 26 : οὐχ ὡς ἀπόλοιντο, ἀλλʼ ὡς ἀφανισθεῖεν. James 4:14. So very often in classical writers. See Toup, Em. in Suid. I. p. 92. The coming to nought through terror is meant.

ἐργάζομαι] The present denotes what God was just on the point of doing. The ἐγώ annexed (I, whom you despise) has the emphasis of divine authority.

ἔργον] A rhetorically weighty anaphora, and hence without δέ. Comp. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 341 [E. T. 398]. Krüger, § lix. 1. 3 f.

ἐκδιηγῆται] tells it quite to the end. Comp. Acts 15:3; Job 7:3; Sirach 39:12; Sirach 43:31; Sirach 44:8; Joseph. Antt. v. 8. 3; Bell. v. 13. 7.


Verse 42-43

Acts 13:42-43. After this speech Paul and Barnabas depart, and on their going out of the synagogue are requested by those present (the subject of παρεκάλ.) to set forth these doctrines again next Sabbath. But after the assembly was dismissed ( λυθείσης), many even follow them (to their lodging), etc.

ἐξιόντων δὲ αὐτῶν] They consequently departed, as is indisputably evident from Acts 13:43, before the formal dismissal of the synagogue. Olshausen, indeed, thinks that the ἐξιόντ. αὐτ. did not historically precede the λυθείσης τῆς συναγωγ., but is only anticipated as the chief point of the narrative, giving rise to the request to appear again. But this is nothing but an arbitrary device, which would impute to Luke the greatest clumsiness in his representation.

εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ σάββατον] on the next following Sabbath. Instead of μεταξύ, D has what is correct as a gloss: ἑξῇς. In the N.T. this meaning is without further example, for Romans 2:15 is not a case in point. From the apostolic Fathers: Barnabas 13; Clemens, ad Cor. I. 44. For the few, but quite certain examples from the other later Greek (Plut. Inst. Lac. 42, de discr. amici et adul. 22; Joseph. c. Ap. i. 21; Bell. v. 4. 2,—but not Bell. ii. 11. 4), see Krebs, Obss. p. 220; Kypke, II. p. 67 f.; Wyttenb. ad Plut. Mor. p. 177 C. Comp. Otto, ad Theoph. Ant. i. 8, p. 26 ff. Others (Camerarius, Calvin, Beza, Erasmus Schmid, Rosenmüller, Sepp, and others) render: “diebus sabbatha intercedentibus,” by which, following the Recepta (see the critical remarks), those making the request are regarded as Gentiles, who would have desired a week-day. Comp. Luther: “between Sabbaths.” We should then have to explain σάββατον as week (Mark 16:9; Luke 18:12; 1 Corinthians 16:2), that is: on the intervening week, so that it would require no conjectural emendation (Grotius: σαββάτων). But the evident connection in which Acts 13:42 stands with Acts 13:44 gives the necessary and authentic explanation: τῷ ἐχομένῳ σαββάτῳ.

τ. σεβομ. προσηλ.] the (God) worshipping proselytes. This designation of the proselytes occurs only here; elsewhere, merely προσήλυτοι (Acts 2:10, Acts 6:5; Matthew 13:21), or merely σεβόμενοι with (Acts 16:14, Acts 18:6) and without (Acts 13:50, Acts 17:4; Acts 17:17) θεόν. Yet there is here no pleonasm; but σεβομ. is added, because they were just coming from the worship, as constant partakers in which they were worshipping proselytes.

οἵτινες] applies to Paul and Barnabas, who (quippe qui) made moving representations ( ἔπειθον) to those following them to continue in the grace of God (which by this first preaching of the gospel had been imparted to them), because the apostles by the very following of the people (and certainly also by their expressions) might be convinced that the χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ had found an entrance into their souls.

προσλαλοῦντες] speaking to them; Acts 28:20. Lucian. Nigr. 7. 11, 18; Theophr. Char. 19; Wisdom of Solomon 13:17.


Verse 44-45

Acts 13:44-45. τῷ δὲ ἐχομένῳ σαββ]. but on the following Sabbath. Comp. Acts 20:15, Acts 21:26; Luke 13:33; often also in classical writers. It is in itself, moreover, highly probable that the two apostles were not idle during the week, but continued their labours in private circles.

συνήχθη] As it was Sabbath (see also Acts 13:42), this assembly, at which also the Gentiles of the city were present ( σχεδὸν πᾶσα πόλις, and see Acts 13:48), took place certainly in and near the synagogue, not, as Heinrichs supposes, “ante diversorium apostolorum.” The whole city = πάντες οἱ πολῖται; see Valckenaer, ad Phoen. 932.

τοὺς ὄχλους] which consisted in great part of Gentiles, whose admission to the preaching of the Messiah now stirred up the angry zeal ( ζῆλος) of Israelitish pride (observe that here the ἰουδαῖοι alone without the proselytes are named).

ἀντιλέγοντες is neither superfluous nor a Hebraism (Ewald, Lehrb. § 280b), but joined with καὶ βλασφημ., it specifies emphatically the mode of ἀντέλεγον, namely, its hostile and spiteful form: they contradicted, contradicting and at the same time blaspheming (the apostle and his doctrine). See Lobeck, Paralip. p. 532 f. Comp. Judges 4:24.


Verse 46-47

Acts 13:46-47. ἦν ἀναγκαῖον] namely, according to the counsel of God (see on Acts 13:14) and our apostolic duty.

οὐκ ἀξίους κρίνετε κ. τ. λ.] This judgment of their unworthiness they, in point of fact, pronounced upon themselves by their zealous contradicting and blaspheming.

ἰδού] “ingens articulus temporis magna revolutio,” Bengel. As to the singular, comp. on Matthew 10:16.

οὕτω γὰρ ἐντέταλται κ. τ. λ.] a proof that the στρεφόμεθα εἰς τὰ ἔθνη occurred not arbitrarily, but in the service of the divine counsel. Isaiah 49:6 (according to the LXX., with slight deviation), referring to the servant of God, is by Paul and Barnabas, according to the Messianic fulfilment which this divine word was to receive, recognised and asserted as ἐντολή for the apostolic office; for by means of this office it was to be brought about that the Messiah ( σε) would actually become the light of the Gentiles (Luke 2:32), etc., for which, according to this oracle, God has destined Him.

τοῦ εἶναί σε κ. τ. λ.] the final purpose: in order that thou mayest be, etc.


Verse 48-49

Acts 13:48-49. τὸν λόγον τ. κυρίου] see on Acts 8:25.

ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον] as many of them as were ordained to eternal (Messianic) life. Luke regards, in accordance with the Pauline conception (Romans 9; Ephesians 1:4-5; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, al.), the believing of those Gentiles as ensuing in conformity to their destination, ordered by God already (namely, from of old), to partake of eternal life. Not all in general became believers, but all those who were divinely destined to this ζωή; and not the rest. Chrysostom correctly remarks: ἀφωρισμένοι τῷ θεῷ. The τάξις of God in regard to those who became believers was in accordance with His πρόγνωσις, by means of which He foreknew them as credituros; but the divine τάξις was realized by the divine κλῆσις effectual for faith (Romans 8:28-30)—of which Paul, with his preaching, was here the instrument. It was dogmatic arbitrariness which converted our passage into a proof of the decretum absolutum;(13) see Beza and Calvin in loc., and Canon. Dordrac. p. 205, ed. Augusti. For Luke leaves entirely out of account the relation of “being ordained” to free self-determination; the object of his remark is not to teach a doctrine, but to indicate a historical sequence. Indeed, the evident relation, in which this notice stands to the apostle’s own words, ἐπειδὴζωῆς (Acts 13:46), rather testifies against the conception of the absolute decree, and for the idea, according to which the destination of God does not exclude (comp. Acts 2:41) individual freedom ( ὡς οὐ κατʼ ἀνάγκην, Chrysostom); although, if the matter is contemplated only from one of those two sides which it necessarily has, the other point of view, owing to the imperfection of man’s mode of looking at it, cannot receive proportionally its due, but appears to be logically nullified. See, more particularly, the remark subjoined to Romans 9:33. Accordingly, it is not to be explained of the actus paedagogicos (Calovius), of the praesentem gratiae operationem per evangelium (Bengel), of the drawing of the Father, John 6:44; John 6:37, etc., with the Lutheran dogmatic writers; but the literal meaning is to be adhered to, namely, the divine destination to eternal salvation: ἔθετο αὐτοὺς θεὸς εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας, 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Morus, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel, and others, with rationalizing arbitrariness, import the sense: “quibus, dum fidem doctrinae habebant, certa erat vita beata et aeterna,” by which the meaning of the word τεταγμένοι is entirely explained away. Others take ἦσαν τεταγμ. in the middle sense (quotquot se ordinaverant ad vitam aeternam), as Grotius, Krebs, Loesner, and others,(14) in which case τεταγμ. is often understood in its military sense (qui ordines servant; see Maji Obss. III. p. 81 ff.): “qui de agmine et classe erant sperantium vel contendentium ad vitam aeternam” (Mede in Wolf). But it is against the middle rendering of τεταγμ. (comp. on Acts 20:13), that it is just seized on in order to evade an unpleasant meaning; and for the sensus militaris of τεταγμ. no ground at all is afforded by the context, which, on the contrary, suggests nothing else than the simple signification “ordained” for τεταγμ., and the sense of the aim for εἰς ζωὴν αἰών. Others join εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον to ἐπίστευσαν, so that they understand τεταγμ. either in the usual and correct sense destinati (so Heinrichs), or quotquot tempus constituerant (Markland), or congregati (Knatchbull), in spite of the simple order of the words and of the expression πιστεύειν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον being without example; for in 1 Timothy 1:16 εἰς defines the aim. Among the Rabbins, also, the idea and expression “ordinati ( מוכנים) ad vitam futuri saeculi” (as well as the opposite: “ordinati ad Gehennam”) are very common. See the many passages in Wetstein. But Wetstein himself interprets in an entirely erroneous manner: that they were on account of their faith ordained to eternal life. The faith, foreseen by God, is subsequent, not previous to the ordination; by the faith of those concerned their divine τάξις becomes manifest and recognised. See Romans 8:30; Romans 10:14; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 1:13, al.


Verse 50

Acts 13:50. παρώτρυναν τ. σεβ. γυν. τ. εὐσχ.] they stirred up (Pind. Ol. iii. 38; Lucian, Tox. 35) the female proselytes, of genteel rank (see Acts 17:12, and on Mark 15:43). Heinrichs interprets σεβ. otherwise: “religiosas zeloque servandorum rituum ethnicorum ferventes.” Against this may be urged the stated use of σεβ. in this narrative (Acts 13:16; Acts 13:43), as well as the greater suitableness of the thing itself, that the crafty Jews should choose as the instruments of their hatred the female proselytes, who were sufficiently zealous for the honour of their adopted religion to bring about, by influencing their Gentile husbands, the intended expulsion of the apostles.


Verse 51

Acts 13:51. ἐκτιναξ. τ. κονιορτ.] as a sign of the greatest contempt. Comp. Acts 18:6, and see on Matthew 10:14.

ἐπʼ αὐτούς] against them, is to be understood either as denoting the direction of the movement of the feet in shaking off the dust, or, more significantly, in the sense of the direction, frame of mind, in which the action took place. Comp. Luke 9:5.

ἰκόνιον] belonging at an earlier period to Phrygia (Xen. Anab. i. 2. 19), but at this time the capital of Lycaonia (Strabo, xii. p. 568; Cic. ad Div. xv. 4; Plin. N. H. v. 25), and even yet (Konieh or Koniyah, see Ainsworth’s Travels in the track of the Ten Thousand Greeks) an important city. Ammian. Marc. xiv. 2, reckons it to belong to (the neighbouring) Pisidia, in opposition to the above witnesses,—an error easily committed. In Iconium the legend makes Thecla be converted by Paul.

From the Pisidian Antioch they did not move farther forward, but turned south-eastward, in order (Acts 14:26) at a later period to return by ship to the Syrian Antioch.


Verse 52

Acts 13:52. What a simple and significant contrast of the effect produced by the gospel, in spite of the expulsion of its preachers, in the minds of those newly converted! They were filled with joy (in the consciousness of their Christian happiness), and with the Holy Spirit! πάθος γὰρ διδασκάλου παῤῥησίαν οὐκ ἐγκόπτει, ἀλλὰ προθυμότερον ποιεῖ τὸν μαθητήν, as Chrysostom here says.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Acts 13:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/acts-13.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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