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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Acts 13

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Acts 13:1. τὴν οὖσαν) which already was, and in a flourishing condition: ch. Acts 11:20-27 : and from which, therefore, teachers might be sent to the rest. Comp. ch. Acts 15:35, “Paul also, and Barnabas, continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.”— προφῆται, prophets) eminent for their power in the Divine word, and who had a solid knowledge of Divine things, with the power of setting it forth.— λούκοις, Lucius) The same name occurs, Romans 16:21.— ΄αναὴν, Manaen) freed from the temptation of a court.— σαῦλος, Saul) He had now for several years borne the apostleship: but among the veterans at Antioch, with remarkable modesty, he was content with the lowest place, as David even after his anointing fed sheep. Afterwards he was attached to Barnabas, and subsequently became superior to him: Acts 13:9; Acts 13:13. For some time, now the one, now the other is put first of the two: and Barnabas indeed is so in the public letter, ch. Acts 15:25.


Verse 2

Acts 13:2. λειτουργούντων, as they ministered) by the exercise of the word and prayer, and by fasting: Acts 13:3.— ἀφορίσατε, separate) They did so: the foll. verse. It was on this very word that Paul relied, Romans 1:1, “Separated ( ἀφωρισμένος) unto the Gospel of God.” “All things tend to prove this truth, that no one should teach in any place, to which lie is not called by GOD.”—Justus Jonas.— δὴ, therefore) viz. since ye otter yourselves.— καὶ τὸν) The article puts Saul on a level with Barnabas, as contrasted with (as superior to) others, who in Acts 13:1 are joined to him without the article.(68)εἰς τὸ ἔργον, for the work) It was not the custom of the apostles to remain very long in one place: ch. Acts 11:26.— ) The accusative depends on the preposition in προσκέκλ΄ηαι.— προσκέκλη΄αι, whereunto I have called) Therefore some internal call had come to Barnabas, and Saul himself; which now is reiterated by the mouth of others (comp. note on Luke 24:34, “Appearances of Jesus took place on both sides, whereby they mutually confirmed one another”), in order that these latter also might know the call of the former, and might subscribe their assent to (might confirm) it. The correlatives are προσκέκλημαι and ἀφορίσατε, I have called, Separate. Often things which appertained to Paul himself, were intimated to him through others. The same verb occurs, Exodus 5:3, θεὸς τῶν ἑβραίων προσκέκληται ἡμᾶς, the God of the Hebrews hath called us.


Verse 3

Acts 13:3. νηστεύσαντες, when they had fasted) afresh: with which comp. Acts 13:2. So they did, ch. 14, 23, when ordaining elders in every church. [By many, fastings are held in less account than is proper.—V. g.]— ἐπιθέντες, having laid their hands on them) Paul had hands laid on him the second time (comp. ch. Acts 9:17).


Verse 4

Acts 13:4. ἐκπεμφθέντες) having been sent forth, whithersoever they should have to go.—[ ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος ἁγίου, by the Holy Spirit) Acts 13:2; Acts 13:9.—V. g.]— κύπρον, Cyprus) the country of Barnabas: ch. Acts 4:36.


Verse 5

Acts 13:5. ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς, in the synagogues) As occasions presented themselves, so they availed themselves of them: Acts 13:7; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:42. They were by decrees led on to the Gentiles themselves more openly: ch. Acts 14:14; Acts 14:21.— ὑπηρέτην, minister) Faith does not set aside various decrees of ministerial functions. Barnabas and Paul were divinely nominated: and it was free to them to join to themselves others. In some things there is left a greater option, in others a less.


Verse 6

Acts 13:6. πάφου) Paphos was a city in the west: Salamis, in the east.— μάγον ψευδοπροφήτην, a sorcerer, a false prophet) Two predicates very closely joined together.— βαριηοὺ) Bar-Jehu was in itself a name, equally as Jehu, applicable to a man, but one very convenient to a sorcerer, a false prophet, for arrogating the claim of divinity. Jehu and Jehovah are kindred names (Collactanea); which also seems to be the reason why the Syriac version has translated Barjehu as Bar Schumo. In Barschumo and in Elymas the Syria Græca of Hermann von der Hardt, pp. 110, 114, states that there is contained the notion of blindness: but even from the fact, that Barschumo is a most frequent name among the Syrians, as is evident from the Bibliotheca, or. T. 2, c. i., of Assemann, a more pleasing notion is to be looked for in it. Ludovicus de Dieu interprets it, the son of ulcers, a physician healing ulcers; as Elymas, in his view, is חלומא, healer. Paul calls that Barjehu, Son of the devil, rebutting thus by a parody the impostor’s arrogant assumption of a name expressive of divinity.(69)


Verse 7

Acts 13:7. ἦν σὺν τῷ ἀνθυπάτῳ, was with the proconsul [deputy]) ἀνθύπατος, proconsul, was the expression commonly used for proprætor, or proquæstore, among the Cyprians. Elymas was with Sergius Paulus, or was wont to be frequently with him. The latter had either admitted the former of his own will, or had borne with him by a kind of necessity. Yet it was an act of prudence, not to be held fast by his impositions, but to seek the truth. The prudence, which acts with sobriety, watchfulness, and moderation, is a memorable virtue in the case of those, who might esteem power in their magistracy as if it were reason.— οὗτος, he) as being a prudent man. Prudence did not make Sergius positively disposed to faith, but less indisposed towards it.


Verse 8

Acts 13:8. ὄνομα, name) Barjehu and Elymas [akin to Elohim, as Jehu to Jehovah?] are in some way synonymous. See L. de Dieu, Hiller. et al.— διαστρέψαι, to turn away) The same verb occurs, Acts 13:10.


Verse 9

Acts 13:9. καὶ παῦλος, who also Paul) Paul having laid aside his old name, which he had borne from the time of his circumcision, receives a new name, equivalent to the surname קטון [= little: the Latin paulus, Paulus], which it seems implied by the particle καὶ that he bore in entering upon his apostleship; and this new name was given him in consequence of his first gospel victory towards the west among the Greeks, the single letter being changed (S into (70)), not by an error of the Greeks of Cyprus, but by the Divine counsel, appropriately and seasonably. The cause is either external or internal. Externally, he seems to have adopted the name of the proconsul, because lie had showed himself the friend of Paul, perhaps in confirming his right as a Roman citizen; for this was wont to be a reason for assuming a name. See Cic. l. 13, fam. ep. 35 and 36. The inner cause is, that Sergius Paulus himself, the first-fruits of this expedition, had formed a spiritual tie of connection with the apostle. This name besides was one familiar to the Gentiles, of whom he was presently after the apostle, and agreeable to them, rather than the Hebrew name, Saul; it answered also to his stature, 2 Corinthians 10:10 (“His bodily presence is weak:” Paulus = little), and to his feeling as respects himself, Ephesians 3:8, with which comp. Psalms 68:27.— πλησθεὶς, filled) by a present active operation, against this energetic sorcerer. Therefore Barnabas gives place to him from this point: Acts 13:13.— πνεύματος ἁγίου, with the Holy Ghost) John 20:22-23.


Verse 10

Acts 13:10. ) The interjection, O, properly coheres with the substantives, Son (Child) and enemy: but as these signify the severest rebuke, the Ætiology (reason assigned) is prefixed, full, etc.— δόλου, of subtilty) Hereby he is stigmatised as a false prophet.— ῥᾳδιουργίας, craft [versutia]) Hereby he is stigmatised as a sorcerer.— υἱὲ διαβόλου, son of the devil) This too is applicable to a sorcerer, and such a man as is not only himself bad, but also forbids others from becoming better.— ἐχθρὲ πάσης δικαιοσύνης, enemy of all righteousness) This also applies to a false prophet: a true prophet teaches righteousness, and that in Christ.— οὐ παύσῃ, thou wilt not cease, or wilt thou not cease) Now at least it had been time to have ceased from the wickedness which he had even heretofore practised. Not to cease is devilish. Many read this with an interrogation.— τὰς εὐθείας, the right ways) Rectitude and simplicity are characteristic of Divine doctrine.


Verse 11

Acts 13:11. τὸν ἥλιον) the sun, and light. It is probable, that the sorcery of Elymas was much directed to observations of the sun.— ἄχρι καιροῦ, for a season) There was no need that the time should be definitely indicated by Luke. A double miracle: blindness was inflicted, and there was a limiting of its duration (of the time).— ἀχλὺς, a mist) internally.— σκότος, darkness) externally.— ἐζήτει, he was seeking) A criterion of blindness.


Verse 12

Acts 13:12. τὸ γεγονὸς, what had happened) Often the obstacles which have stood in the way of the truth, when overcome, are subservient to it.— διδαχῇ, the doctrine) By the miracle his attention was sharpened in relation to the doctrine.(71)


Verse 13

Acts 13:13. οἱ περὶ τὸν παῦλον, Paul and those who were with him) Already more regard is had to Paul than to Barnabas [Paul has the chief prominence given to him].— πέργην τῆς παμφυλίας, Perga in Pamphylia) The name of the region is added, because Perga was less known of itself.— ἀποχωρήσας, having departed) either because he could not bear the fatigues of the journey, or because he hesitated to go and have to do with Gentiles. He lost a glorious opportunity.


Verse 14

Acts 13:14. ἀντιοχείαν τῆς πισιδίας, Antioch in Pisidia) a different one from that, concerning which Acts 13:1 speaks.— ἐκάθισαν, they sat) which was the usual posture of hearers. The antithesis is ἀναστὰς, having stood up, Acts 13:16.


Verse 15

Acts 13:15. τὴν ἀνάγνωσιν, the reading) the customary reading, whereby Moses’ writings used to be read through on the Sabbaths in the course of the year; and readings (lessons) in the earlier and latter prophets, consonant with the Mosaic lessons, used to be subjoined. “Elias in Thisbi, upon the word פטה [from which the lessons are called Haphtara], shows that the reading of the prophets arose after the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, and not earlier, when the reading of the law was openly and severely forbidden; but that it was retained subsequently.”—L. de Dieu.— οι ἀρχισυνάγωγοι, the rulers of the synagogue) who kept themselves (had their place) in a different part of the synagogue. The several synagogues had a ruler for each: therefore the term in this place is taken in a wider sense, as ἀρχιερεῖς in the plural. See Rhenferd. op. philol. p. 430.— εἰ ἔστι, if there be, if ye have any) It is not all who are the fit persons to speak, nor at all times. [And it is in no small degree truly conducive to edification, when the province of discussing a subject is always committed to those, to whom it is most seasonable (fit) to commit it, and that too with the understanding, that these very persons are not to proceed further than so long as their speech flows freely. When the condition of the Church at the time is poor (when there are few, if any, possessing the word of edification), it is right that God should be implored in prayer, that He would deign to come to the relief of man’s need.—V. g.] This pair of men never wanted words to speak.— ἐν ὑμῖν, among you) It may have been already made evident, by various indications, that they were fit persons to speak.— παρακλήσεως, of exhortation) from which the name Barnabas is derived [= Son of paraclesis, consolation, or exhortation, ch. Acts 4:36].


Verse 16

Acts 13:16. κατασείσας, having made a motion with his hand) lest even his first words should not be heard.— ἄνδρες, men) The appellation recurs in Acts 13:26; Acts 13:38.— καἰ οἱ φοβούμενοι τὸν θεὸν, ye who fear God) These were proselytes, not to the exclusion of the Gentiles: comp. Acts 13:17; Acts 13:26; Acts 13:43; Acts 14:1.


Verse 17

Acts 13:17. θεὸς, God) By such a mention of Him their minds were conciliated, when they saw that Paul agrees with the books of the Old Testament. They were proved by Paul to lie under a peculiar obligation towards the supremely good and great God, and were invited to have faith in His promise and its fulfilment. In the six verses, 17–22, the whole recapitulation of the Old Testament is clearly set forth (is completed): the rest of his address treats of the New Testament.— τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου, of this people) Paul especially addresses those whom he calls persons fearing GOD and he speaks of (not to) Israel, Acts 13:23; until in Acts 13:26 he more directly addresses the Israelites also.— ἐξελέξατο, chose out) It was the Divine election that exalted the people; not the merit of the people, or any worthiness in them: Ezekiel 20:5.— πατέρας, fathers) Abraham and his posterity.


Verse 18-19

Acts 13:18-19. καὶἐτροφοφόρησεν, and—bore like a nurse [ τροφὸς]) The beginning of this discourse, Acts 13:17-19, has three Greek verbs, which are partly rare, partly altogether peculiar to the sacred writings, ὕψεσεν, ἐτροποφόρησεν, and κατεκληρονόμησεν; of which the first occurs in Isaiah 1:2, the second and third in Deuteronomy 1:31; Deuteronomy 1:38. And moreover these two chapters, Deuteronomy 1 and Isaiah 1, are to the present day read on the one Sabbath: whence it is established with sufficient certainty that both were read on that very Sabbath, and that too in Greek, and that Paul referred especially to that reading of Moses and of the prophets spoken of in Acts 13:15. For even the mention of the Judges, Acts 13:20, accords with the Haphtara, or lesson read, Isaiah 1:26, “I will restore thy judges as at the first:” and it is customary with the Jews to take their discourses, or the beginnings of them, from the Sabbath lesson read in the synagogue. [It was also at that time the same part of the year in which the temple, along with the city, both had been formerly desolated by the Chaldeans, and was subsequently to be desolated by the Romans.—V. g.] Now, as relates to the verb ἐτροποφόρησεν, instead of which valuable MSS. have ἐτροφοφόρησεν, it is already put beyond dispute that the passage referred to in it is Deuteronomy 1:31, ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ταύτῃ ἐτροφοφόρησέ σε κύριος θεός σου, ὡς εἴ τις τροφοφορήσαι ἄνθρωπος τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ. The Hebrew נשא, bore, expresses the simple notion: how did he bear with them? In endurance (tolerance) or in beneficence (kindness)? Answer: God bore, not merely led, the people of Israel in the wilderness, in a way most beneficent and altogether peculiar, such as would properly suit (apply to) that tender age, in which the people did not bear its own self as an adult man, but God bore it as a little child not yet able to help itself, so as that they were exempted from all anxiety concerning food, concerning raiment, and concerning their goings forth. Accordingly Scripture, in speaking of the people in the wilderness, distinguishes this peculiar way of their being borne from everything else of the kind. See Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 8:5; Deuteronomy 8:15; Deuteronomy 32:10, etc.; Isaiah 63:9, at the end; Hosea 11:1, etc.; Amos 2:10; Nehem. Acts 9:21, in which passage the conjugate διέθρεψας also comp. Numbers 11:12, ὡσεὶ ἄραι τιθηνὸς τὸν θηλάζοντα. And it is to this that the passage also in Deuteronomy 1 has reference, and Paul here: whence Laud. 3, along with Æth. Arab. and Syr.(72) versions, has rendered the word nourished. For God bore with the manners ( ἐτροποφόρησε) of the people even previously, Ezekiel 20:9, when bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt; and afterwards, Psalms 106:43-44, “Many times did He deliver them, but they provoked Him with their counsel.” Wherefore if τροποφορεῖν always had a different meaning from τροφοφορεῖν, ἐτροφοφόρησε should be by all means read; a verb which occurs also in 2 Maccabees 7:27, and in Macar. homil. 46, § 3. But ἐτροποφόρησεν is used in the same sense. For this verb has a double force, according as it is derived from τρόπος or τροφὸς (not from τροφὴ): for φ before φ passes into π, as in writing the forms used are, not ἁφὴ, θαφὴ, ἐχεχειρία, ὀχεθηγία, φέφυκα, χιθὼν, ἕχω, ἀ΄φέχω (from which however come ἕξε, ἀ΄φέξω), but ἀφὴ, ταφὴ, ἐκεχειρία, ὀχετηγία, πέφυκα, κιθὼν or χιτὼν, ἔχω, ἀ΄πέχω, from a wish to avoid aspirates, a feeling which goes so far that the transcribers wrote everywhere, οἱ φαρισαῖοι, αἱ ἡ΄έραι, εἶς , κ. τ. λ. The Scholiast on Aristophanes employs it in the sense derived from τρόπος: commenting on the verses,—

οὐ χρὴ λέοντος σκύμνον ἐκ πόλει τρέφειν,

΄άλιστα μὲν λέοντα μὴ ʼν πόλει τρέφειν.

ἤν δʼ ἐκτραφῇ τίς, τοῖς τρόποις ὑπηρετεῖν

Ranæ, Acts 5, Scene 4, 185 f.—

he renders the last phrase by the verb τροποφορεῖν. Also Tully, l. 13, ad Att. Epist. 29, τὸν τύφον μου τροποφόρησον. But in Scripture, even those who write τροποφορεῖν, nevertheless mean τροφοφορεῖν. The Cod. Cantabrigiensis has in the Greek ἐτροποφόρησεν, and yet in the Latin, “ac si nutrix aluit.” The Apost. Constit. have ἐτροποφόρησεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παντοίοις ἀγαθοῖς, I. vii. c. 36. And so clearly Ephraim Syrus, ὥσπερ νήπιον,— οὕτω καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ αἱ χάριτος θείας μέτοχοι γενόμεναι, τροποφοροῦνται ἐν τῇ γλυκύτητι καὶ ἀναπαύσει τοῦ πνεύματος, κ. τ. λ., fol. υκς. ed. Oxon. On the contrary, τροποφορεῖν from τρόπος, at least in the testimonies just quoted, implies some degree of consent (approval): but God by no means approved of the manners of the people in the wilderness. He says προσώχθισα, I was grieved, Hebrews 3:10; with which comp. Exodus 23:21, “Provoke Him not, for He will not pardon your transgressions;” Exodus 32:10; Psalms 106:23; Isaiah 63:10; Ezekiel 20:13. Then, even though it may be understood of an unobjectionable toleration of bad manners, yet in this passage, as Mill says, “perhaps it is not even true. For how can it be said that God bore their manners for forty years in the wilderness, seeing that He destroyed them all, excepting one and a second (Joshua and Caleb), in the wilderness?” Nor would that notion accord with the design of the apostle: for he would thus, by implication, be accusing the Israelites; which it is not probable that he wished to do immediately at the beginning of his address, especially as that beginning was so mild a one. Procopius Gazæus joins τρέπω and τρέφω in the derivation of this verb, explaining that ἐτροποφόρησεν, Deuteronomy 1, σύμμαχος ἐβάστασε, φησί. κυρίως δὲ σημαίνει τὸ τοὺς παῖδας δυσκολαίνοντας τρέπειν καὶ μεταφέρειν διὰ συμψελλισμῶν καὶ συγκαταβάσεως. See Hoeschel on Orig. c. Cels., p. 480. At all events, whatever of good the notion has in it from the term τρόπος, still remains: for evidently a τροφὸς, nurse, also performs as well the other offices of kindness, as also especially tolerates patiently the manners (temper and ways) of a peevish little child: and God tolerated the manners of the Israelites, but He also, in many other ways, ἐτροφοφορησε: see the whole of Psalms 78. Comp. App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage.(73) We must say something also of the κατεκληρονο΄ησεν. It denotes not merely, to take an inheritance, but also to give an inheritance; Judges 11:24, “That which Chemosh shall give thee to possess,” κληρονομήσει, and κληρονο΄ήσο΄εν, “we will possess as an inheritance.” And in this passage of Luke it rests on the best MSS. A very few have κατεκληροδότησεν.(74) The same variety of reading is found in Deuteronomy 1:38, LXX.— ὡς τεσσαρακονταετῆ χρόνον, about the space of four hundred years) Paul, in recounting the benefits of GOD towards the people in chronological method, at the same time furnishes to his hearers occasion (handle) for thinking about the length of the ages from the Exodus down to Christ, and invites his hearers on that account the rather to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ. Comp. Matthew 1:17, note (as to the three periods of fourteen generations from Abraham to Christ).


Verse 19

Acts 13:19. ἔθνη ἑπτὰ, seven nations) Deuteronomy 7:1. [There were ten in all, Genesis 15:19-21 (where the Rephaims stand instead of the Hivites, and the Kenites, Kenizzites, and Kadmonites are added to the seven); but seven were destroyed by Joshua.—V. g.]


Verse 19-20

Acts 13:19-20. ὡς ἔτεσι, κ. τ. λ.) This passage requires a fuller consideration.

I. The ancient reading ought to be retained

Very many MSS., though less ancient, have it thus: θεὸςτὴν γῆν αὐτῶν. καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ὡς ἔτεσι, κ. τ. λ. Authorities fewer in number, but yet more ancient and trustworthy, have it thus: θεὸςτὴν γῆν αὐτῶν, ὡς ἔτεσι τετρακοσίσις καὶ πεντήκοντα. καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἔδωκε κοιτὰς, κ. τ. λ. Therefore the mention of about four hundred and fifty years is connected with the distribution of the land among them, not with the giving of judges. The short clause as to the period of about 450 years was readily passed over by less ancient transcribers, and was supplied in the subsequent period.(75)

II. The distribution of the land is not the beginning of the period of about 450 years, but its goal

In marking time, the Dative case or the Accusative is sometimes employed indiscriminately; but here purposely between the Accusative, which goes before in Acts 13:18, and that which follows in Acts 13:21, the Dative in this one instance is put. The Accusative answers simply to the question, how long? But by the Dative there is implied how great a period of years intervened from the beginning of an event until the event itself came to pass. Comp. John 2:20, τεσσαράκοντα καὶ ἕξ ἔτεσιν ᾠκοδομήθη ναός, “The temple was forty-six years from its commencement to its completion.” If Paul were to say, ἔτη, years, the language would lead to the inference, that the land was distributed to the Israelites, to be possessed for about 450 years, namely, down to the promise given to David concerning the Messiah: for otherwise the whole time of the possession was much longer in continuance. Grotius counts almost 450 years from the Exodus to that time, in which David ejected from the citadel Zion the Jebusites, who had been long before ejected from the city of Jerusalem. So long a space of time, saith he, was spent in settling the Hebrew nation in those seats (possessions). Nay, but the whole nation was settled in those seats by Joshua, Joshua 11:23; Joshua 14:15; Joshua 19:51; Joshua 21:43; Joshua 21:45; although they were rather slothful in occupying the whole land that was given to them: Judges 18:1. Wherefore the occupation of the land is no more included in the words, about 450 years, than the possession of the land when occupied. But when Paul says ἔτεσιν, years, he means, that from the time when God chose out their fathers, having given them a promise, and from the time that the fathers were sojourners down to the time of the distribution of the land, there were about 450 years. The following Table shows these about 450 years.

a. m. 2046. Isaac is born.

2485. Sihon and Og are subdued.

2486. Jordan is crossed over.

2491. Caleb especially receives his portion.

The land is distributed, to be subsequently possessed.

2492. The root of the sabbatical years [Joshua 14:15].

2493. The beginning of the cultivation of the land.

See Ord. Temp. pp. 3, 4, 66 [Ed. ii. p. 56], which represents the date of the beginning of the agriculture less appropriately, pp. 424, 85 [Ed. ii. pp. 364, 74, 75]; wherefore in this passage I have rendered it more perspicuous. The year 2492 would be the very sabbatical year, if at that time already sabbatical years had been counted: otherwise there would have been seven years of cultivating the land, not six; whereas there ought only to be six. The beginning of the cultivation of the land is removed from the birth of Isaac by 447 years, which are “about 450;” especially since afterwards, also, there was land which was being occupied (which should be occupied). The more common Greek reading is itself bent into much the same sense by Mill.

III. The more modern Greek reading does not cause us a difficulty

The years of the Judges, from Othniel to the death of Eli, are 339, and the years of their servitudes, taken separately, are 111; the sum total is 450. Thus they seem to have calculated the number, who changed the reading. But in actual fact the whole period of the Judges is much shorter, from the distribution of the land to the very death of king Saul. For from the Exodus to the foundation of the temple there are only 480 years. We who embrace the old reading have no necessity to waste our time and labour in accommodating the period of about 450 years to the time of the Judges, or to have recourse to conjecture on the subject, so as to read 350 instead of 450, as Luther, perseveringly and confidently, and many others, as mentioned in Jac. Dorncrellius, have done.


Verse 20

Acts 13:20. ΄ετὰ ταῦτα, after these things) these things mentioned Acts 13:17-19.— ἔδωκε, He gave) It was an act of kindness to them.— κριτὰς, Judges) The times of the Judges were especially glorious (prosperous), nor did their servitudes occupy a great part of those times: therefore Paul draws his mention of the Judges from that Haphtara (Lesson read on that Sabbath): Isaiah 1:26, “I will restore thy judges as at the first.”— τοῦ προφήτου, the prophet) Before Samuel, prophets were rare; afterwards, very numerous.


Verse 21

Acts 13:21. σαοὺλβενιαμὶν, Saul—Benjamin) Paul had been of the same name and tribe.— ἔτη τεσσαράκοντα, forty years) Here the years of Samuel the prophet and Saul the king are brought together into one sum: for between the anointing of king Saul and his death there were not twenty, much less forty years: 1 Samuel 7:2, “While the ark abode in Kirjath Jearim—twenty years” (a considerable part of Samuel’s ministry before the reign of Saul).


Verse 22

Acts 13:22. ΄εταστήσας, when He had removed him) This is said appropriately (seasonably): for from this it might be understood that the economy of GOD admits of variation.— αὐτὸν, him) The kingdom (dynasty) of Saul presently after expired in the person of his son.— ἤγειρεν, hath raised up) This denotes more than gave; for it signifies firmness.— , to whom) Construed with μαρτυρήσας, having testified.— μαρτυρήσας, having testified) as of a thing hidden deeply in the breast.— εὗρον δαυὶὀ, I have found David) So the LXX., Psalms 89:20 : εὗρον, I have found, as something rare, and not forced.— τὸν τοῦ ἰεσσαὶ, the son of Jesse) 1 Samuel 16— ἄνδρα κατὰ τὴν καρδίαν μου, ὃς ποιήσει πάντα τὰ θελήματά μου) 1 Samuel 13:14, in LXX., ζητήσει κύριος ἐαυτῷ ἄνθρωπον κατὰ τὴν καρδίαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐντελεῖται κύριος αὐτῷ, κ. τ. λ.— κατὰ τὴν καρδίαν μου) according to Mine own heart) Dost thou wish to know what is right, and who is right? Examine the question according to the heart of GOD. We ought to refer all things for decision to the heart of GOD, but the heart of GOD we ought not to judge according to our heart.— ὅς, who) A type therein of Christ.— θελήματα) wishes, which are many, according to the variety of the matters in hand.


Verse 23

Acts 13:23. κατʼ ἐπαγγελίαν, according to His promise) 2 Samuel 7:12, “When thy days be fulfilled—I will set up thy seed after thee—and I will establish his kingdom.” The mention of the promise gives a handle for faith in relation to these hearers.— ἤγαγε, hath brought) So the best MSS.(76) Many have ἤγειρε, which evidently comes from Acts 13:22. But הביא is rendered by the LXX. ἄγειν, in Isaiah 48:15, “I have brought Him, and He shall make His way prosperous;” Daniel 9:24, “To bring in everlasting righteousness.” Especially let the passage, Zechariah 3:8, be well weighed, “Behold I bring forth, ἄγω (I bring to you), My servant the Day-spring” (or else the Branch).— σωτῆρα, a Saviour) So σωτηρίας, of salvation, Acts 13:26. He alludes to the signification of the name Jesus, which is expressed also in Acts 13:32.


Verse 24

Acts 13:24. πρὸ προσώπου τῆς εἰσόδου αὐτοῦ, before the presence [face] of His entry [His coming among us]) L. de Dieu observes the remarkable emphasis expressed on account of the nearness of the Messiah, already then present. With this comp. Numbers 19:4, ἀπέναντι τοῦ προσώπου τῆς σκηνῆς τοῦ μαρτυρίου, before the presence of the tabernacle of witness.


Verse 25

Acts 13:25. τὸν δρόμον, his course) The functions of many of the most excellent of the servants of GOD have been speedily fulfilled and ended: therefore the term course is used (implying speed).— τίνα με ὑπονοεῖτε εἶναι; οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ) I am not he whom ye think that I am is the rendering of the Latin Vulgate. From which Luther has, Ich bin nicht der, dafür ihr mich haltet. For in the time of Luther the copies of the Latin Vulgate, which he sometimes followed in the Acts (ch. Acts 4:9, Acts 5:6, Acts 9:31), generally were without the mark of interrogation. But in this passage the language is very energetic, (and therefore should be written) with the interrogation, which was afterwards added here also in the Latin editions. Whether τίνα can be used in this place for ὄντινα, or cannot, we do not inquire. Raphelius says it can, Wolf says it cannot.


Verse 26

Acts 13:26. ὑμῖν, to you) The application. The word ὑμῖν belongs to the whole audience, and at the same time forms an antithesis to the people of Jerusalem: comp. in the fol. verse γὰρ, for: although the γὰρ, for, also is subservient to the connection between ἐπλήρωσαν, have fulfilled, and ἐξαπεστάλη, has been sent: Luke 24:46-47, “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer—and that repentance, etc., should be preached in His name—beginning at Jerusalem.” Paul ascribes to the people of Jerusalem, not to the whole nation, the slaying of the Messiah.— ἐξαπεστάλη) An elegant double compound: “The word which God sent,” Acts 10:36, was sent forth from Jerusalem into remote localities.


Verse 27-28

Acts 13:27-28. καὶ τὰςκαὶ μηδεμίαν) καὶ, καὶ, as well, as also: φωνὰς depends on ἐπλήρωσαν, not on ἀγνοήσαντες.— τὰς φωνὰς, the voices) clear, harmonious, numerous.— ἀναγινωσκομένας, which are read) The hearers are hereby admonished. With this comp. Acts 13:15, “If ye have any word of exhortation.”— κρίναντες) in having condemned Him in judgment.— ἐπλήρωσαν) The compound follows, ἐκπεπλήρωκε, Acts 13:33 (32 in Bengal’s text), with Epitasis (the emphatic addition of the ἐκ).


Verse 28

Acts 13:28. ΄ηδεμίαν αἰτίαν, no cause) The innocence of Christ.— εὐρόντες, when they found) although they sought it.


Verse 29

Acts 13:29. γεγραμμένα, all that was written) They could do no more (nothing beyond what was written). In Jesus all things that were written were fulfilled.


Verse 31

Acts 13:31. τοῖς συναναβᾶσιν, by them that came up with Him) That last journey both presupposes all the rest, and is in itself the most momentous one.— οἴτινες νο͂ ν εἰσι, who now are) Paul mentions nothing as to his own vision of Him; for there was no need to descend into this detail in the beginning: nor does he say anything of himself as distinguished from Barnabas: wherefore, in Acts 13:32, he speaks more generally.— αὐτοῦ, His) Christ’s: ch. Acts 5:32; comp. note, ch. Acts 2:32, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whose (God’s) witnesses we all are;” ch. Acts 10:41; 1 Corinthians 15:15.— λαὸν, the people) Answering to ὑμᾶς in the following ver.


Verse 32

Acts 13:32. τὴν) The sense is, εὐαγγελιζόμεθα, ὄτι τὴν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἐπαγγελίαν θεὸς ἐκπεπλήρωκε. Comp. ὄτι, ch. Acts 16:3, “They all knew his father, that ( ὄτι) he was a Greek,” for, “they all knew that his father was a Greek.”— ἐκπεπλήρωκε) A rare verb, nowhere else employed either in the Old or New Testament of a promise having been fulfilled,— ἀναστήσας ἰησοῦν) in that He hath raised up Jesus, and has exhibited Him present before us. From this “raising up,” used absolutely (as in ch. Acts 3:22), we are to distinguish the “raising up from the dead,” Acts 13:34.(77) Both raisings are confirmed by the Old Testament.—[ ἠμῖν, to us) in order that we may be able to be the first in our age to enjoy the fulfilment: ch. Acts 3:26, “Unto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you.”—V. g.]

But Engl. Vers. here understands it, raised up again.—E. and T.


Verse 33

Acts 13:33. ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ, in the Psalm) Kimichi thinks that this Psalm was written by David about the beginning of his reign. However, that it was written at Jerusalem, may be inferred from the words in Acts 4:27, in this city.(78) For Sion is mentioned in Psalms 2:6. Luke mentioned the Psalm without the numeral epithet(79) (see Appar. Crit. p. 622; Ed. ii. pp. 294, 295. Add Hesychius the Presbyter, in the Anecdota Græca of Wolf, T. iii. p. 175): otherwise the word first would not have been written by some, and second by others afterwards; nay, the doubt whether it was the first or second Psalm would have never arisen among the ancients. Why should not Luke have also specifically said, at least (if he specified the Psalm in the former case) at Acts 13:35, which makes reference to this Acts 13:33, the 15th or 16th Psalm? [Whereas he only says, “In another Psalm.”]— υἱός μου εἶ σύ· ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε) So the LXX., Psalms 2:7.— υἱός μου, My Son) This is the sentiment, Thou, Jesus, art My Son, and therefore the true Messiah. Comp. note on Hebrews 5:5, “Christ glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest, but He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son” (not meaning that the priesthood was conferred on Him at the time when the Father said, Thou art My Son, for the Sonship is prior to the Priesthood; but that the Son, who alone was capable of that Priesthood, as such received it from the Father).(80)σὺ) Thou, alone, the Messiah. Paul refers, whilst he quotes the chief point, to the whole Psalm, which was well known to his hearers, and especially the second verse, where there is express mention of the Messiah, “The Lord and His Anointed.” The pronouns, σὺ, ἐγὼ, thou, I, are put together in succession with marvellous force.— σήμερον, this day) The Son of God is indeed from everlasting: but His everlasting nature is never signified by the expression, this day. Wherefore the words, This day have I begotten Thee, are used in this sense: This day I have definitely declared, that Thou art My Son. The generation, properly so called, is presupposed. The Lord said, Thou art My Son, at the time when the psalm was sung: comp. Hebrews 4:7-9, note: and also at the time when Christ was born as the Son of David. Moreover, a thing is often said to be done then, when it is vividly presented to the eyes as one or about to done: 2 Chronicles 9:6, The Queen of Sheba to Solomon, “I believed not—until—mine eyes had seen: and the one half—was not told me; for thou hast added to, προσέθηκας (i.e. I see there is additional greatness in thee besides), the fame that I heard:” Joshua 22:31, ἐῤῥύσασθε, ye have delivered (ye have shown yourselves as delivering: Phinehas to the children of Reuben): and so Hebrews 1:6, “When He bringeth the first-begotten into the world;” Acts 1:18, note, where Judas is said to have purchased the field, because he was the occasion of its being purchased, and had himself designed to purchase it: a condensed mode of expression. Glassius has collected more examples out of the sacred writings, l. 3, tr. 3, can. 15; and Linacer, l. 2, at the end, some out of profane authors. The expression this day, which occurs, Luke 2:11, “Unto you is born this day,” may be compared. Comp. ibid. ch. Luke 1:32-33; Luke 1:35. Often the particle to-day expresses present time, as Deuteronomy 31:2, “I am an hundred and twenty years old this day:” Joshua 14:11, so Caleb, this day. It is therefore an abbreviated expression, as John 8:58, Before that Abraham was made, I (was, and to-day) am. So I have begotten Thee; and that fact is this day visible, that I have begotten Thee. Comp. Hebrews 10:8-9, note (the authority of the Psalms is shown, in that the declaration of the Son of God was made at the time that the second Psalm was composed, as the oath of Jehovah as to His Priesthood was made when the 110th Psalm was composed).

Lachm. reads ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ γέγραπται τῷ πρώτῳ, following (1) the order of the words in ABC, and (2) the numeral which Origen expressly mentions as being the reading of the passage, 2,538a; also Dd Hilar. 27,42, though not in the same order. Tisch. has ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ ψαλμῷ γέγραπται, following D and Hilar, as above. Rec. Text has τῷ δευτέρῳ, with Ee Vulg.; but Jerome supports πρώτῳ. The reading of Rec. Text no doubt was a correction to suit the present order and division of the Psalms.—E. and T.


Verse 34

Acts 13:34. ὄτι that) Paul does not prove the everlasting life of Christ by, as it were, presupposing the resurrection; otherwise, in Acts 13:37, he would say in the future, He shall not see corruption; but proves the resurrection itself (comp. following ver.), and mentions additionally, that His everlasting life is conjoined with it. The question was concerning the resurrection itself of Christ, not, presupposing it, concerning His everlasting life.— μηκέτι, no more hereafter) Not even once did Christ see corruption. Therefore resolve μηκέτι, thus: μηκέτι, He shall no more go to death, which in ordinary cases is wont to be followed by διαφθορὰ, corruption. Comp. Romans 6:9, οὐκέτι, “Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more.”— ὄτι δώσω ὑμῖν τὰ ὄσια δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά) Isaiah 55:3, in the LXX., διαθήσομαι ὑμῖν διαθήκην αἰώνιον, τὰ ὅσια δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά.— τὰ ὅσια δαυὶδ, the holy things of David) חסדי דויד, the graces of (the acts of grace promised to) David. Christ is called ὄσιος, the Holy One, חסיד, in Acts 13:35; τὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ, that which is the peculiar attribute of Christ, is expressed by חסדים, an abstract term. And it is in the plural in Isaiah 63:7, loving-kindnesses; in John 1:16, grace for grace (i.e. grace accumulated upon grace); and in Acts 13:17, ibid., “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” They are those Divine graces promised in Christ to David, and eagerly looked for by David: comp. Acts 13:23.— τὰ πιστὰ) הנאמנים, sure, firm, solid, which altogether uphold and answer to their name (Romans 11:6, “If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace”), and which mutually sustain one another; of which some precede others, some follow others by necessary consequence, and on which we ought altogether to lean, and which will stand fast for ever. Comp. אמן, amen, 2 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 1:20; מבות נאמנות, νόσους πιστὰς, sure plagues, Deuteronomy 28:59. Comp. ibid. Deuteronomy 32:20, where, by comparing with it the following ver., such sons in whom there is no faith ( אֵמֻן, LXX., πίστις), are no sons (comp. Acts 13:19, His sons). Isaiah has from the parallel put before this phrase, “an everlasting covenant.” Hence necessarily follows the resurrection of Christ, Hebrews 13:20; for without it the promised benefits of the Messiah could not have been enjoyed by the people of God. אמונה, πίστις, faith, is a conjugate and correlative to these ( ὅσια) πιστά


Verse 35

Acts 13:35. ἐν ἑτέρῳ) in another, viz. Psalm, or rather, passage; for in the preceding ver. Isaiah is quoted.— λέγει, saith) David, in the name (character) of the Messiah.— οὐ δώσεις, Thou shalt not give) See note on ch. Acts 2:27.


Verse 36

Acts 13:36. δαυὶδ, David) Hereby the objection is met, that the Psalm is treating of David; and this Paul refutes by the event: comp. ch. Acts 2:29-30 : and at the same time he shows, that the ὅσια δαυὶδ are so called, not because David was about to give them, but because they were looked for by David.— ἰδίᾳ γενεᾷ) The ablative, to be construed with ὑπηρετήσας, after that in his own generation he had served the will of God [Not as Engl. Vers., “After he had served his own generation by the will of God”]. The part that David acted does not extend beyond the limit of an ordinary age: 2 Samuel 7:12. To this brief space of time the everlastingness of the Messiah is opposed, ch. Acts 8:33. [“To every man a fixed period of life is vouchsafed: and according as one uses it, especially the part of it verging towards its termination, so in a future world he fares either well or ill; just the same as if he had behaved himself well or ill from the first day of the foundation of the world down to the last day. There are not wanting persons, who think, with an opinion often not altogether false, that either others or themselves are necessary to the world, and therefore lament concerning the approaching death of those persons or of themselves. But indeed every man has enough to do in serving the will of God in his own days. The same GOD who heretofore has governed the world, will also hereafter govern it. He commands from time to time a new crop of good men to spring up to maturity.—V. g.]— ὑπηρετήσας, having served) Say, why art thou here? a man, in the world. David most admirably spent his time: Acts 13:22.— βουλῇ, the will) which especially had regard to the Messiah. Construe with ὑπηρετήσας, having been subservient to: Comp. Wisdom of Solomon 19:6.— ἐκοιμήθη) שכב, fell asleep.— προσετέθη, was laid unto) This verb is to be referred to the body also, no doubt, as the German beysezen, but at the same time to the soul; and it presupposes the immortality of the soul.


Verse 37

Acts 13:37. ἤγειρε, raised up) Here there is not denoted the resurrection from the dead [as Engl. Vers. has it]: inasmuch as it is this very point which is evinced in the conclusion: but He whom God raised up, is the Holy One of GOD, Acts 13:35; so that this description of the subject may contain the reason (Ætiology: see Append. Because He was the One whom God hath raised up, i.e. given us as a Saviour, therefore He saw not corruption [the Conclusion]).


Verse 38

Acts 13:38. διὰ, through) Construed with ἄφεσις, forgiveness.— καταγγέλλεται, is announced) by our instrumentality. The correlative is belief, in the foil. ver.


Verse 39

Acts 13:39. ὧι) ἀπὸ is to be repeated from what immediately goes before.— οὐκ ἠδυνήθητε, ye could not) Not merely, ye cannot, but ye never could, although ye tried it.— νόμῳ) by the law, which ye so revere: ver.15. We ought not to suppose that the division of the law into the moral and ceremonial was as familiar to the Jews as it is to us in the present day, since at that time both flourished together. Wherefore this passage treats of the whole law. Moses is Moses, whether he enjoins concerning rites or concerning morals: and on the other hand, Christ is Christ.— ἐν τούτῳ, in Him) In antithesis to the law of Moses.— πᾶς, every one) whether having, or not having the law: whether Jew or Gentile; for some of the latter were present: Acts 13:42.


Verse 40

Acts 13:40. βλέπετε, beware) An admonition, as yet unaccompanied with censure, but yet one of a serious kind.— ἐν τοῖς προφηταῖς) in the Twelve prophets; namely, in Habakkuk 1:5.


Verse 41

Acts 13:41. ἴδετε οἱ καταφρονηταὶ) So the LXX. for the Hebrew ראו בגוים, Behold ye among the heathen. There may seem to have been read בגדים, ye violent or perfidious, as also by the Syr(81) translator, who has transgressors. They derive it from the Arabic בגא, he bore himself in an elated manner, inflicting injury. See Gebhard, on the Twelve Lesser Prophets, p. 1017, from Pocock.— καταφρονηταὶ despisers) The sum and source of destruction is slothfulness [which leads men to despise Christ].— καὶ θαυμάσατε) LXX. have καὶ ἐπιβλέψατε, καὶ θαυμάσατε θαυμάσια.— ἀφανίσθητε, lose your colour) the colour of your countenance; through excess of wonder, which in the Hebrew והתמהו תמהו is signified either by the verb or by the doubled termination of the verb. The imperative has this force, that the despisers should be left to their own astounded surprise.— ὅτι) The LXX. διότι.— ἔργον) The LXX. have only .— , which) There is hereby expressed in general terms the judgment on the Jews: then in Acts 13:46 it is most openly indicated.— οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε, ye shall in no wise believe) “Habakkuk 1 was written in opposition to the incredulity of those, who did not credit the word which promised deliverance out of the power of the Chaldeans. Those words of the prophet were undoubtedly then used among the pious as a general proverb against all unbelievers, whoever they might be.”—Justus Jonas.— ὑ΄ῖν) The LXX. have not this word.


Verse 42

Acts 13:42. ἐξιόντων) Many Jews who refused to hear Paul went out before the time: see the foll. verse. Comp. ch. Acts 28:25; Acts 28:29.— παρεκάλυν0 besought, in contrast with what the Jews did.— εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ σάββατον, on the following Sabbath) μεταξὺ is an adverbial denoting the Sabbath that intervened between the rest of the days which Paul and Barnabas were about to spend at Antioch; and that was the seasonable time for discussing the same matters (“these words”). The proper notion of the Sabbath [as distinguished from its use to express a week] is to be retained, as long as the case admits of it.


Verse 43

Acts 13:43. σεβομένων) worshipping God. As to these, see on ch. Acts 17:4.— προσλαλοῦντες, addressing) with somewhat of familiarity.— ἔπειθον, persuaded) Temptation was likely to assail them.— τῇ χάριτι τοῦ θεοῦ) in the grace of GOD, which they had received from the Gospel.


Verse 44

Acts 13:44. ἐρχομένῳ, the following) the next. No other Sabbath had intervened between these two.


Verse 45

Acts 13:45. τοὺς ὄχλους, the multitudes) even of Gentiles.— ἀντέλεγον, they spake against) Presently after their contradiction increased: for there follows the word βλασφημοῦντες, or as others read, ἀντιλέγοντες καὶ βλασφημοῦντες, contradicting and blaspheming. If this fuller reading be preferred, it is an instance of the repetition of the verb, another being superseded, as in Judges 4:24 (Hebr.); 1 Kings 20:37; Isaiah 19:22; Jeremiah 12:17.(82) Such men are left to themselves: ch. Acts 18:6, Acts 19:9, Acts 28:24; Acts 28:28.

D and later Syr. support the full reading; and so Tisch. But ABC Vulg. the shorter reading. Ee have ἐναντιόμενοι και βλασφ.—E. and T.


Verse 46

Acts 13:46. παρρησιασάμενοι, having waxed bold [using freedom of speech]) They who impede others ought especially to be reproved in public.— ἀναγκαῖον, necessary) although ye were not worthy. He shows that he had not preached with the confident assurance of their obedience.— ἀπωθεῖσθε, ye repel it) The antithetical words are, to repel the word of GOD, and, to glorify the word of the Lord, Acts 13:48.— οὐκ ἀξίους, not worthy) The Divine consideration [lit. “deeming worthy”] towards you is great; but ye are not worthy; Matthew 22:8 : and although ye think us unworthy of being heard, and esteem yourselves alone worthy of eternal life, yet ye yourselves of your own accord rush into this judgment, that ye are unworthy, and it is all the same as if you were to say, “We are unworthy;” There is therefore a Metonymy of the antecedent for the consequent. The antithesis is, they (the Gentiles) were glad, Acts 13:48.— τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς, of everlasting life) ibid. “ordained to eternal life.”— ἰδοὺ, lo) This points out a thing present. A grand point of time; a great revolution.


Verse 47

Acts 13:47. ἐντέταλται, hath enjoined) by sending us forth, Acts 13:4, and by offering us the opportunity of fulfilling His will and prediction.— ἡμῖν, us) It often happens, that one and the same prophetical saying urges some rather than others to the fulfilment of itself. So it was that this saying urged Paul, as also that which he quotes in Romans 15:21. Another instance occurs in 2 Kings 9:13; 2 Kings 9:25 (The anointing of Jehu by the prophet is the occasion of Jehu’s companions putting him on the throne; and again, Elijah’s prophecy urges him to cast Jehoram’s corpse into the ground of Naboth).— τέθεικά σε εἰςγῆς) Isaiah 49:6, ἰδοὺ δέδωκά σε εἰς διαθήκην γένους, εἰς φῶςγῆς.— σε, Thee) the Messiah.


Verse 48

Acts 13:48. ἀκούοντα) hearing this, that light is vouchsafed to them, and that this was foretold long before.— ἔχαιρον, were glad) with most grateful piety. [A mark of the best disposition.—V. g.]— ὄσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, as many as were ordained to eternal life) To the Jews, who were judging themselves unworthy of eternal life, there are openly put in antithesis those of the Gentiles, who having been ordained to the same life, take up (receive) faith: for so a man’s own destruction is wont to be ascribed by Scripture to himself; but his salvation, to GOD: Romans 9:22, note. Therefore GOD is meant, who ordained the Gentiles to everlasting life. For a man cannot ordain himself (if we may be allowed so to speak) to everlasting life, except by believing. But here the ordination is mentioned prior to faith; therefore the ordination is the act of God. However Luke is not speaking of eternal predestination: for truly, no doubt, whom God hath foreknown, them He also predestinated; and whom He predestinated, them He also called: and therefore faith follows the Divine foreknowledge, and it is from the former that the latter is known: Romans 8:29-30; 1 Thessalonians 1:4. But Luke simply says here, As many as were ordained, although the Vulgate has prærdinatos, “preordained:” and being an inspired writer no doubt, but at the same time also an historian, in assigning the causes of events connected with men’s salvation, he is wont nowhere to mention the election made from eternity, but the present operation of grace by the Gospel (which operation no doubt flows from election). Therefore the correlatives are these, Salvation is offered; the word is received: ch. Acts 2:40-41, “Save yourselves,—they—received his word.” The Lord adds many who believe, Acts 2:47 to Acts 5:14, “Believers were added to the Lord.” The hand of the Lord is with them that preach; many believe: ch. Acts 11:21. The Lord appoints Paul His minister; Paul obeys: ch. Acts 26:16; Acts 26:19. “God sends; the Gentiles hear:” ch. Acts 28:28 : comp. Matthew 21:43; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:13; Philippians 2:12, etc. Therefore Luke describes such an ordaining, as took place at the very time of hearing; and, as Aretius observes, in this assembly they believed who were τεταγμένοι, that is, they on whom the gift of God was bestowed at that hour, enabling them to believe. It is all the same as if Luke said, They believed whomsoever the Father drew at that time and gave to the Son: John 6:44; John 6:37. Those WHOSE HEART the LORD hath touched and OPENED: as Luke expresses himself in a passage altogether similar, describing the same τάξιν, ordaining, Acts 16:14-15. With this comp. 1 Samuel 10:26 : upon whom the Lord bestowed faith, Philippians 1:29. Comp. the full and striking note of Raphelius in ‘Herodotea.’ The verb, τάττω, I ordain, itself is nowhere used of eternal predestination, which is otherwise expressed by such a variety of phrases; but it is very often said (for the Hebr. שות and שום) concerning those things which GOD ordains in time: τάξω σε εἰς τέκνα, Jeremiah 3:19; τάξω αὐτὴν ὠς γῆν ἄνυδρον, Hosea 2:5; τἁξει αὐτοὺς (Luther renders und wird sie zurichten) ὡς ἵππον εὐπρεπῆ, Zechariah 10:3 : Add Ezekiel 16:14, “The beauty which I, ἔταξα, appointed,” or “put upon thee;” Habakkuk 1:12, “Thou hast ordained it ( τέταχας αὐτὸ) for judgment;” ch. Acts 3:19, τάξει τοὺς πόδας μου; Malachi 1:3, ἔταξα τὰ ὄρια εἰς ἀφανισμον, “I appointed his mountains to be laid waste;” Job 14:13. Nor is the Preterite in this passage opposed to this view, ἦσαν τεταγμένοι: for this form of speaking does not always look far backwards: John 13:5, “The towel wherewith He, ἦν διεζωσμένος, was (not had been) girded.” They were ordained, not had been: nor was the ordaining itself completed in one single moment: comp. Acts 13:44; Acts 13:43; Acts 13:42, and John 4:39; John 4:35; John 4:30. Moreover the ὅσοι, as many, admirably expresses the power of the Divine ordaining, and the readiness and multitude of the hearers answering to it. All these, and these alone, believed, who were ordained: GOD was not unwilling that the rest should believe: 1 Timothy 2:4. For it is not GOD that judges bad men, but it is bad men themselves who judge themselves unworthy of eternal life: nor were those persons who believed absolutely forced to entertain faith; but grace afforded itself at that time in especial abundance; and hence the hearers afforded (lent) themselves obediently, so as not to repel it (with this comp. Acts 13:46), but to receive it gladly (with this comp. ch. Acts 17:11), and that too in such large numbers, that the apostles, when they subsequently returned, had none in that town to make disciples of, but had only to ‘confirm’ those already made: ch. Acts 14:21-22. For this reason it was that this passage especially demanded a magnificent and peculiar mode of expression to suit this particular point of time, wherein the Gentiles, as contrasted with the contumacious Jews, were being brought to the faith: and this was the beginning and a specimen of their further conversion. For Scripture is wont with peculiar emphasis to ascribe great successes, such as lie beyond the hope and ability of men, even of those who are saints, to Divine grace: Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Revelation 13:8. But such success is here denoted by Luke. This ordaining to eternal life includes two things: 1) The gate of faith being opened, so that a much richer opportunity of entering, than before, might be given to all; as also a ripeness of souls towards entertaining faith, of the kind that is described, John 4:35. It is in this way that in Zosimus those who have any injunction laid on them, or business given them, are called οἱ εἰς τοῦτο τεταγμένοι. 2) A most really present (immediate) and effectual operation of Divine grace, which conferred faith on the hearers. The former flowed from the antecedent will (of God): the latter, from the consequent will. If regard is had to the former, the antithesis is to the Jews, in this manner: The Jews had been ordained to eternal life: Matthew 22:8; but they did not believe, but repelled the word of GOD, and judged themselves not worthy of eternal life: then the Gentiles were ordained, and these believed. If regard is had to the latter, the antithesis is to the same Jews, who were not ordained. That both is expressed by the verb τεταγμένοι, ordained, is to be inferred from the ὅσοι, as many. If regard were had only to the former, the ὅσοι, as many, seems to be comprehensive [for it would include the Jews who, though ordained, did not believe]: if regard were had only to the latter, the ὄσοι, as many, appears too narrow; for [it would include the believing Gentiles alone, whereas] by this very expression a multitude is meant, not in a restricted, but in a comprehensive sense. τεταγμένοι, ordained, is construed with the preposition εἰς, to: for this participle is not to be taken absolutely. Let all cease to obscure by a gloomy and suspicious interpretation the joyous and florid Epiphonema (subjoined exclamation. See Append.) of Luke.


Verse 50

Acts 13:50. γυναῖκας) Through women many obstructions, or else furtherances, are often caused to the kingdom of GOD.


Verse 52

Acts 13:52. ΄αθηται, disciples) when they saw Paul and Barnabas, concerning whom Acts 13:51 treats, full of joy and the Holy Ghost: for these two are not here called disciples. See note on Matthew 10:1. [After the advent of the Paraclete, the apostles are never called disciples: that term is thenceforth applied to the learners with, or from, the apostles: after ch. Acts 21:16, the term does not occur in the New Testament, but brethren, Christians, believers, saints.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Acts 13:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/acts-13.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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