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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Acts 17

 

 

Introduction
1Paul preaches at Thessalonica, where some believe,
5and others persecute him.
10He is sent to Berea, and preaches there.
13Being persecuted by Jews from Thessalonica,
16he comes to Athens, and disputes and preaches the living God, to them unknown;
32whereby, though some mock, many are converted unto Christ.

Verse 1
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
Thessalonica
20:4; 27:2; Philippians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Timothy 4:10
where
14:1; 15:21; 16:13

Verse 2
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
as
Luke 4:16; John 18:20
went
10,17; 9:20; 13:5; 14:1; 18:4; 19:8
reasoned
24:25; 28:23; 1 Samuel 12:7; Isaiah 1:18; Hebrews 7:1-10

Verse 3
Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
Opening
2:16-36; 3:22-26; 13:26-39
Christ
Luke 24:26,27,32,44,46; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5,6
this
2:36; 9:22; 18:28; Galatians 3:1
whom I preach
1:4

Verse 4
And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
some
34; 2:41,42,44; 4:23; 5:12-14; 14:1,4; 28:24; Proverbs 9:6; 13:20; Song of Solomon 1:7,8; Song of Solomon 6:1; Zechariah 2:11; 8:20-23; 2 Corinthians 6:17,18
consorted
2 Corinthians 8:5
Silas
15:22,27,32,40
the devout
17; 13:43; 16:3; 18:4; 19:10; 21:28
and of the chief
12; 13:50

Verse 5
But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
moved
13; 7:9; 13:45; 14:2,19; 18:12; Proverbs 14:30; Isaiah 26:11; Matthew 27:18; 1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:21,26; James 4:5
took
Judges 9:4; Job 30:1-10; Psalms 35:15; 69:12
and set
19:24-34,40
Jason
7; Romans 16:21

Verse 6
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
they drew
6:12,13; 16:19,20; 18:12,13
These
21:28-31; 22:22,23; 24:5; 28:22; 1 Kings 18:17,18; Exodus 3:8,9; Jeremiah 38:2-4; Amos 7:10; Luke 23:5

Verse 7
Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
and these
16:21; 25:8-11; Ezra 4:12-15; Daniel 3:12; 6:13; Luke 23:2; John 19:12; 1 Peter 2:15

Verse 8
And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
Matthew 2:3; John 11:48

Verse 10
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
the brethren
14; 9:25; 23:23,24; Joshua 2:15,16; 1 Samuel 19:12-17; 20:42
Berea
13; 20:4
went
2; 14:6,7; 1 Thessalonians 2:2

Verse 11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
more
Proverbs 1:5; 9:9; Jeremiah 2:21; John 1:45-49
they received
2:41; 10:33; 11:1; Job 23:12; Proverbs 2:1-5; 8:10; Matthew 13:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:10; James 1:21; 1 Peter 2:2
and searched
Psalms 1:2,3; 119:97,100,148; Isaiah 8:20; 34:16; Luke 16:29; 24:44; John 3:21; John 5:39; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 John 4:5,6

Verse 12
Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
many
2-4; 13:46; 14:1; Psalms 25:8,9; John 1:45-49; 7:17; Ephesians 5:14; James 1:21
honourable
13:50; 1 Corinthians 1:26; James 1:10

Verse 13
But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
the Jews
5; Matthew 23:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16
stirred
6:12; 14:2; 21:27; 1 Kings 21:25; Proverbs 15:18; 28:25; Luke 12:51

Verse 14
And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.
then
10; 9:25,30; Matthew 10:23
as it
20:3; Joshua 2:16
but
19:22; 1 Timothy 1:3; Titus 1:5

Verse 15
And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.
Athens
18:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:1
receiving
18:5; 2 Timothy 4:10,11,20,21; Titus 3:12

Verse 16
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
Cir
A.M. 4058. A.D. 54. his spirit.
Exodus 32:19,20; Numbers 25:6-11; 1 Kings 19:10,14; Job 32:2,3,18-20; Psalms 69:9; Psalms 119:136,158; Jeremiah 20:9; Micah 3:8; Mark 3:5; John 2:13; 2 Peter 2:7
wholly given to idolatry
or, full of idols.
23; *marg:

Verse 17
Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
disputed
2-4; 14:1-4
devout
8:2; 10:2; 13:16
daily
Proverbs 1:20-22; 8:1-4,34; Jeremiah 6:11; Matthew 5:1,2; Mark 16:15; Luke 12:3; 2 Timothy 3:2,5

Verse 18
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
philosophers
Romans 1:22; 1 Corinthians 1:20,21; Colossians 2:8
encountered
6:9; Mark 9:14; Luke 11:53
babbler
or, base fellow.
Proverbs 23:9; 26:12; 1 Corinthians 3:18
Jesus
31; 26:23; Romans 14:9,10; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4

Verse 19
And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?
Areopagus
or, Mars'-hill.
22; "It was the highest court in Athens."
May
20; 24:24; 25:22; 26:1; Matthew 10:18
new
Mark 1:27; John 13:34; 1 John 2:7,8

Verse 20
For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.
strange
Hosea 8:12; Matthew 19:23-25; Mark 10:24-26; John 6:60; 7:35,36; 1 Corinthians 1:18,23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Hebrews 5:11; 1 Peter 4:4
what
2:12; 10:17; Mark 9:10

Verse 21
(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
spent
Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:11,12; 1 Timothy 5:13; 2 Timothy 2:16,17

Verse 22
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Mars'-hill
or, the court of the Areopagites.
I perceive
16; 19:35; 25:19; Jeremiah 10:2,3; 50:38

Verse 23
For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
devotions
or, gods that ye worship.
Romans 1:23-25; 1 Corinthians 8:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:4
TO
Psalms 147:20; John 17:3,25; Romans 1:20-22,28; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Galatians 4:8,9; Ephesians 2:12; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 John 5:20
ignorantly
30; Psalms 50:21; Matthew 15:9; John 4:22; 8:54

Verse 24
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
that made
26-28; 4:24; 14:15; Psalms 146:5; Isaiah 40:12,28; 45:18; Jeremiah 10:11; 32:17; Zechariah 12:1; John 1:1; Hebrews 1:2; 3:4
seeing
Genesis 14:19,22; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalms 24:1; 115:16; 148:13; Jeremiah 23:24; Daniel 4:35; Matthew 5:34; 11:25; Luke 10:21; Revelation 20:11
dwelleth
7:48; 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 2:6; 6:18; Isaiah 66:1; John 4:22,23

Verse 25
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
is
Job 22:2; 35:6,7; Psalms 16:2; 50:8-13; Jeremiah 7:20-23; Amos 5:21-23; Matthew 9:13
seeing
28; 14:17; Genesis 2:7; Numbers 16:22; 27:16; Job 12:10; 27:3; 33:4; 34:14; Psalms 104:27-30; Isaiah 42:5; 57:16; Zechariah 12:1; Matthew 5:45; Romans 11:35; 1 Timothy 6:17

Verse 26
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
hath made
Genesis 3:20; 9:19; Malachi 2:10; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22,47
hath determined
15:18; Deuteronomy 32:7,8; Job 14:5; Psalms 31:15; Isaiah 14:31; 45:21; Daniel 11:27,35; Hebrews 2:3

Verse 27
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
they
15:17; Psalms 19:1-6; Romans 1:20; 2:4
he be
14:17; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 139:1-13; Jeremiah 23:23,24

Verse 28
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
in him
1 Samuel 25:29; Job 12:10; Psalms 36:9; 66:9; Luke 20:38; John 5:26; 11:25; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3
as
Titus 1:12
we are
Luke 3:38; Hebrews 12:9

Verse 29
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
we ought
Psalms 94:7-9; 106:20; 115:4-8; Isaiah 40:12-18; 44:9-20; Habakkuk 2:19,20; Romans 1:20-23
graven
Exodus 20:4; 32:4; Isaiah 46:5,6; Jeremiah 10:4-10

Verse 30
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
the times
14:16; Psalms 50:21; Romans 1:28; 3:23,25
but
3:19; 11:18; 20:21; 26:17-20; Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 6:12; Luke 13:5; 15:10; Luke 24:47; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 4:17-32; 5:6-8; Titus 2:11,12; 1 Peter 1:14,15; 4:3

Verse 31
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
he hath appointed
10:42; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:22,23; Romans 2:5,16; 14:9,10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Peter 3:7; Jude 1:14,15
given assurance
or, offered faith. in that.
18; 2:23,24,32; 3:15,16; 4:10; 5:30-32; 10:39-41; 13:30,31; Luke 24:46-48; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Verse 32
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
some
18; 2:13; 13:41; 25:19; 26:8,24,25; Genesis 19:14; 2 Chronicles 30:9-11; 36:16; Luke 22:63; 23:11,36; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 4:10; Hebrews 11:36; 13:13
We will
24:25; Luke 14:18; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:7,8

Verse 34
Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
certain
4; 13:48; Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 20:16; Romans 11:5,6
the Areopagite
19; John 7:48-52; 19:38-42; Philippians 4:22

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Acts 17:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/acts-17.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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