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FROM-THE- LIBRARY OF 
TR1NITYCOILEGETORONTO 



I 



, 

; ,X 




NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY 

FOB 

ENGLISH READERS 

BY VARIOUS WRITERS 

I 

EDITED BY 

CHARLES JOHN ELLICOTT, D.D. 

LORD BISHOP OF GLOUCESTI.K 

VOL. IT. 



"KVEKY SCKIHK WHICH is INSTUCCTED UNTO THE KINGDOM OK HKAVKN is IIKK INTO A MAX THAT is AN HOUSEHOLD**, 

WHICH BRINGETH FORTH OUT OF HIS TKKA.M UK THINGS NKW AND OLD" 



C ASS ELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED 

L .\ I: ON t PA II I S A- .17 /, /. /! <> / /- .\ / 
1897 



ALL Illi. II 1* Kl -s 







JUN 1 2 1974 



of tf)f 



BY 

THE LATE VERY REV. E. A. PLUMPTRE, D.D. 



(Epistle to tf)e Romans. 

BY 

THE REV. W. SANDAT, M.A., D.D. 



f)f Jfirst Ofrpiertlr to tfte Conntbian*. 

BY 

THE REV. T. TEIGNMOUTH SHORE. M.A. : 

Canon of Worcester and Cfiaptain-in-Ordinary to the Q>/-n. 



to tf)e Corint!)!an6. 



BY 

THE LATE VERY REV. E. H. PLUMPTRE, D.D. 



Or (Epistle to tfje <alatians. 

BY 

THE RKV. W. SANDAY. M.A.. D.D. 



CONTENTS, 



PASS. 

INTRODUCTION TO THK AcTs vji 

Tin: ACTS OF THK APO>T:.I:S .... 1 

Kx< i uses TO THE ACTS ... . 18.3 

INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO Tin: ROMANS . ... ... 195 

THE EPISTLE TO THE KOMANS . 202 

K\( UHSV- TO THE KlM-TLK . .... ..... L 7o 

INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EPISTLE TO T.IK CORINTHIANS 2& > 

Till FlKST El I~TI.K TO THE CORINTHIANS ... 288 

INTKODUITION TO THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS ..... 359 

THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS <<>- 

l.VTKODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS .... . 421 

Tin: EPISTLE TO THE (JALATIANS .... - .... 426 

Ex< URM-S TO THE EPISTLE . . "^ 



THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 



20 



INTRODUCTION 

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 



I. The Author. The opening words of the Arts. 

addressed, like tin- dispel of St. Luke, to Theophilus, 
;unl referring to a former hook, as containing a history 
of tin- lit .- mid teaching of the Lord Jesus, such as we 
tintl in that dispel, are. at least, i>riui<i f,-l<- evidence 

of identity <>f authorship. The internal evidem f 

stvle.* yet more, perhaps, that of character and ten 
dency as shown in the contents of the hook, confirm 
this conclusion. A tradition. going hack to the second 
century, falls in with what has thus heen inferred from 
the hook itself. The words of Stephen. " Lay not this 
-MII to their charge." are quoted in the Epistle of the 
Churches of Lyons and Vienne to those of Asia and 
Phrygia (A.D. 177 \ given hy Eusebius (Hist. v. 2). 
[renffidfi and Clement of Alexandria quote from it. the 
latter citing St. Paul s speech at Athens uS7;-/. v. -J ; 
Mftlao does Tertullian i !)< Jcjuu. c. 10). The Mnra- 
torian Fragment see Vol. I., p. xiii.) dwells on its 
lieiiiLT largely the work of an eve-witness, as seen in its 
omission of t he martyrdom of St. Peter, and St. Paul s 
journey to Spain. BnsebilU i ///.-/. iii. (- ascrihc-s both 
liooks "to him. in the same terms; and .Ferome (De Fir. 
Illnxt. c. viii.) almost repeats the words of the Frag 
ment : "Luke wrote his dispel from what lie had 
heard, hut the Acts of the Apostles from what he 
-aw." It will be enough, therefore, as far as the 
ttuthorship of this book is concerned, to refer for all 
that is known or conjectured as to the writer to the 
IntnuliK-tinn to St. Luke. There also will be found all 
that it is necessary to say as to Theophilus as repre 
senting the first readers of the Acts. 

II. The Title. It does not follow that the present 

title wa , prefixed to the hook hy the writer himself. 
For hi n. probably, it would only present itself as the 
"aeoi .id treatise." or "book," which came as a natural 
sequel to the first. It was not strange, however, espe 
cially when the hooks of the Xcw Testament came to 
he collected together in a volume, and the "former 
treatise" took its place side by side with the other 
d.spels. and was thus parted from its companion, that 
a distinct title should lie given to it. In the title itself 
the(ireek MSS. present considerable variations-- " Acts 

of the Apostles." " Arts of all tile Apostles." " Acts nf 

the Holy Apostles." sometimes with the addition of the 
author s name. " Written by Luke the Evangelist." 
" Written hy the Holy and Illustrious Luke. Apostle 
and Evangelist." Th ,. \ v ,, n l "Acts" seems to have 
been in common use in the first and second centuries 
after Christ for what we should call "Memoirs" or 
" Biographies. "and appears conspicuously in the apocry 
phal literature of the New Testament, as in the Acts 

Not fewer than llfty word-* are common to the two hooks, 
and are not found el>c\\h<-re in the New Testament. Many of 
are noticed in the V 



of Pilate, the Acts of Peter and Paul, of Philip, of 
Matthew, of Bartholomew. 

III. The Scope of the Book. It is obvious 
that the title, whether by the author or by a tran 
scriber, does but imperfectly describe its real nature. 
It is in no sense a history of the Apostles as a body. 
The names of the Eleven Meet us hut once (chap. i. I:! 
They are mentioned collectively in chaps, ii. :>7. ki. 
13; IT. :::: 87i r. J. U. Is. 29; ii 6; xiii. 1. H. \B; 
ix. -27: xi. 1 ; xv. J. 1. !. _ , lM. :{:!. St. .John appears 
only in chap. iii. 1; iv. ! ?; viii. 11. Nothing is told 
us of the individual work of any other. Looking 
to the contents of the hook, it would be better de 
scribed, if we were to retain the present form at all, 
as the "Acts of peter and of Paul." the former 
Apostle occupying a prominent place in chaps, i. v., 
x. xii.. xv., tlie latter being the central figure in chaps. 
vii. 58, ix., xi. 25 30, xiii. xxvii. From another 
point of view a yet more appropriate title would 
lie i using the term in its familiar literary sense that 
of the Oriijinf* AVr/,W,r the history of the u .owth 
and development of the Church of Christ, and of the 
mission work of that Church among the (ientiles. Tim 
starting-point and the close of the book are in this 
respect significant. It begins at Jerusalem ; it nds 
at Rome. When it o]>ons. circumcision is required. 
as well as baptism, of every disciple; the Church 
of Christ is outwardly but a .Jewish sect of some 
hundred and twenty JHTSOIIS (chap. i. \~> . When it 
cuds, every barrier between Jew and d-ntile has been 
broken down, and the Church has become catholic and 
all-embracing. To trace the stag s of that expansion 
both locally and as affecting the teaching of the Church 
is the dominant purpose of the l>o(>k. The "acts" of 
those who were not concerned in it at all. or played hut 
a subordinate part in it, are. we may venture to say. 
deliberately passed over. Some principle of selection 
is clearly involved in the structure of such a book as 
that now before us, and even without goim: beyond the 
four corners of the hook itself. \\e ma\ safely affirm 
that the main purpose of the writer was to inform a 
Gentile convert of Rome how the gospel had been 
brought to him. and how it had gained the width and 
freedom with which it was actually presented. 

I V Its Relation to the Gospel of St. Luke. 

The view thus taken is streiigthe 1 hy the fact that 

it presents the Acts ,,f the Apostles as the natural 

sequel to the dispel which We have seen sufficient 

reason to assign to the same writer. For there . 
it has Ix en shown Vol. I., p. -J U . we trace the -.une 
principle of selection. It is more than any of the 
other three a (Jospel for the d-ntiles. bringing out the 
universality of the kingdom of God, recordim parables 



THE ACTS. 



and incidents which others had uot recorded, because 
they bore witness tliat tile love til <iod tlnweil out 
lievond the limits of the chosen people on robbers and 
harlots, on Samaritans and (Jentiles. It remained for 
one who had led his cateelinmen convert to think thus 
of the Christ during His ministry on earth, to show 
"lint the unseen guidance given by the Christ in 
Heaven, through the working of the Holy Spirit, was 
leading it on in the same direction, that, though there 
had been expansion and development, there had boon 
no interruption of continuity. I have ventured to say 
(Vol. 1.. p. 242 i that the Gospel of St. Luke might bo 
de>erihed as emphatically " the Gospol of the Saintly 
Life." The natural sequel to such a Gospel was a 
record of the work of the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier. 
Looking to the prominence given to the work of the 
Spirit, from the Day of Pentecost onwards, as guiding 
both the Church collectively and its individual members, 
it would hardly be over-bold to say that the book might 
well be called "the Gospel of the Holy Spirit." At 
every stage His action is emphatically recognised. 
Jesus, after His resurrection, had, " through the Holy 
Ghost, given commandment to the Apostles whom He 
had chosen " (chap. i. 2). They are to be " baptised with 
the Holy Ghost" (chap. i. 5), are to "receive power after 
the Holy Ghost is come upon them" (chap. i. 8). The 
Holy Ghost had spoken through the mouth of David 
(chap. i. 16). Then comes the great wonder of the Day 
of Pentecost, when all the disciples were "filled with the 
Holy Ghost" (chap. ii. 1). and spake with tongues, and 
the prophecy, "I will pour out My Spirit upon all 
flesh" (chap. ii. 17), is quoted as on the verge of fulfil 
ment. Jesus has " received from the Father the pro 
mise of the Holy Ghost " (chap. ii. 33). Once again all 
were " filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake the word 
with boldness" (chap. iv. 31). The sin of Ananias is a 
" lie unto the Holy Ghost " (chap. v. 3). He and his 
wife have "tempted the Spirit of the Lord (chap. v. 9). 
The " Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that 
obey Him, is a witness that the Christ is exalted at the 
rigl it hand of God (chap. v. 32). The seven who are 
chosen in chap. vi. are full of the Holy Ghost, and of 
wisdom " (chap. vi. 3). Stephen is pre-eminently " full 
of faith and of the Holy Ghost" (chap. vi. 5i. His 
leading charge against priests and scribes is that they 
" do always resist the Holy Ghost " (chap. vii. 51). 
His vision of the Son of Man standing at the right 
hand of God is closely connected with his being at the 
moment " filled with the Holy Ghost " chap. vii. 55). 
Peter and John go down to Samaria that those who 
had been baptised by Philip " might receive the Holy 
Ghost" (chap. viii. 15 17): and the sin of Simon the 
sorcerer is that he thinks that that gift of God can 
be purchased with money (chap. viii. 18 20). It is 
the Spirit that impels Philip to join himself to the 
Ethiopian eunuch i.chap. viii. 39), and carries him away 
after his baptism (chap. viii. 39). Ananias is to lay his 
hands on Saul of Tarsus, that he "may bo filled with 
the Holy Ghost " (chap. ix. 17). The churches of 
Juila-a and Galilee and Samaria in their interval of rest 
talking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort 
of the Holy Ghost" (chap. ix. 31). The admission of 
the (Jentiles is attested when "the gift of the Holy 
(ihost" is poured out on Cornelius and his friends 
(chap. x. 14 17), and Peter dwells on that attestation 
in lii> address to the Church of Jerusalem chaps. \i. 
1517; xv. 8). Barnabas, when he is sent to carry on 
that work amonir the (Jentiles at Antioch. is described. 
n> Stephen had been, as "full of the Holv < Jliost and 
of taith" (chap. xi. 24). It is the Holy Ghost who 



viii 



"separates Barnabas and Saul for the work of the 
ministry." and they are sent forth by Him (chap. xiii. 
2 il. Saul, roused to indignation by the Mibtloty of 
Hlymas, is "tilled with the Holy Ghosl " ichap. xiii. 1M. 
It is He who guides the decision of the council assem 
bled at Jerusalem (chap. xv. 28), and directs the foot 
steps of Paul and his companions in their mission 
journey (chap. xvi. 6, 7). The twelve disciples at 
kphesus, baptised before with the baptism of John. 
" receive the Holy Ghost * when Paul lays his hands 
on them (chap. xix. 6). He it was who witnessed in 
every city that bonds and imprisonment awaited tin- 
Apostle in Jerusalem (chaps, xx. 23 ; xxi. 11). It was- 
the Holy Ghost who had made the elders of Ephesua 
overseers of the Church of God (chap. xx. 28). Well- 
nigh the last words of the book are those which " the 
Holy Ghost had spoken by Esaias," and which St. 
Paul, in the power of the same Spirit, applies to the 
Jews of his own time (chap, xxviii. 25). 

Y. Its Relation to the Controversies of the 
Time. I have thought it right to go through this 
somewhat full induction because it presents an aspect of 
the book which has hardly been adequately recognised 
in the critical inquiries to which it has been subjected. 
But subject to this, as the dominant idea of the Acts of 
the Apostles, I see nothing to hinder us from recog 
nising other tendencies and motives, partly as inferred 
from the book itself, partly as in themselves probable, 
looking to the circumstances under which it must have 
been written. An educated convert like Theophilus 
could hardly have been ignorant of the controversy 
between St. Paul and the Judaisers, which is so pro 
minent in the Epistle to the Galatians and the Second 
Epistle to the Corinthians. He would know that the 
Judaising teachers in the Galatian Church had spoken 
of the Apostle as a time-server seeking to please men 
( Gal. i. 10) ; as having no authority but that which he 
derived from the Church of Jerusalem (Gal. i. 1. 12. 
17, 22) ; that they used the name of James in support 
of their exaggerated rigour, and worked upon the niiud 
even of Peter, so as to lead him to, at least, a tem 
porary inconsistency (Gal. ii. 11 13) ; that others of 
the same school had appeared at Corinth, boasting of 
their "letters of commendation" (2 Cor. iii. 1); taunt 
ing the Apostle with his "bodily presence weak, and 
speech contemptible" (2 Cor. x. 10); speaking of him 
as a "fool" and madman (2 Cor. xi. 16); arrogating to 
themselves something like an ultra-apostolic authority 
(2 Cor. xi. 4) ; boasting that they were Hebrews anil 
ministers of Christ (2 Cor. xi. 22). The language of 
Rom. xiv. shows that disputes analogous in their nature 
had sprung up at Rome even before St. Paul s arrival : 
differences as to days and meats (Bom. xiv. 2 0) : con 
nected with the very question of eating " things 
sacrificed to idols," which had -riven occasion to one of 
the canons of the Council of Jerusalem (chap. xv. 2<L 
29) proposed by James, the bishop of that Church, and 
which had been discussed fully in the Epistle which St. 
Paul addressed to the Church of Corinth, at a time/ 
when its numbers were largely made up of Roman 
Christians (1 Cor. viii. x.). These facts wore patent 
to any one who had any knowledge of St. Paul s work. 
If Theophilus were, as is probable, an Italian, probably 
even a Roman, convert (see Introduction t<> St. L/ /.v .-- 
Gospel, Vol. I., p. 2Hi, they would ho forced upon his 
notice. 

There are, however, other materials for estimating 
the attitude of the Judaising party towards St. Paul. 
and the language they habitually used in reference to 



TIM: .v 



him. I do nut tin- I seudo.< l.-iiii-iitiin- 

mil /-. ///>//..< arc ! mi earlier 

dale tlian tin second century, but it is a legitimate in 
ference that the\ represent the t raditions of tin- party 
from \vhicli th.-\ emanated, and they help us to (ill up 
the outline which ha- licen already sketched. In them, 
accordingly, we find .lame-, the bishoji of .Jerusalem, 
a- the 4-ciitrc of all church authority, the "lord and 
liishop of the holy Church" (Emti. f / .//. c. i. ,. 
t he archbishop " liifn/n. c. i. 7-1. Peter complains 
that "sonic among the Gentiles have rejected liis 
preaching, which i- according to the Law. and ha\e 
followed the lawless and inxine preaching of the man 
who is his enemy" - /,- ,/. e. _ . Comp. Gal. iv. hi. 
He complains that he has been misrc]iri sented as 
agreeing with that enemy" (ibid.). .lame- declare, 
that circumcision i- an essential condition of disciple- 
ship (ili nl. e. 1-L 1 nder cover of the legendary dis 
putes between Peter and Simon the Sorcerer, the 
personal diseiplcshij) of the former is contrasted with 
that of one who has only heard the doctrine of Je-ns 
through a vision or a dream (Horn. Clem, xvii., c. I I. 

Comp. chaps, ix. 3, 17 ; xviii.: ; xxii. ls : \\iii.ll; iM or. 

\ii. 1 . and it is surest ed that one who trusts in those 
vision- and re\elations may have been deceived by a 
demon (ilt nl. xvii.. c. li . Barnabas is named with 
prai-e ihlil. i.. c. !* . Init the name of Paul is syste 
matically ignored. The opposition to Peter at Antioch, 
of which we read in Gal. ii 11 14, is represented as 
the work of the sorcerer (Recogn. x., c. 54). Almost 
the only direct reference to the Apostle of the Gen 
tiles is an allusion to tho " euemy " who had re 
ceived a commission from Caiaphas to go to Damascus 
.-ind make havoc of the faithful (Recogn. i., c. 711, and 
the fact that the "enemy" afterwards preached the 
faith which he had once destroyed is kept out of sight. 
With the strange confusion of chronology characteristic 
of this apocryphal literature, the enemy" is repre 
sented as entering the Temple, disputing with James, 
attacking him with violence and throwing him down 
the Temple stairs, so that lie lay there as dead (Recogn. 
i., c. 70). 

Representations such as these might bo met in two 
different ways. St. Paul, in the manly indignation of 
iiis spirit against such misrepresentat ions, met them, 
as in the Kpistle to the Galatians. by asserting his 
entire independence of tho Church at Jerusalem (Gal. 
i. 1 l-i. liy showing that tliev had learnt from him, 
not he from them, the fulness and freedom of the 
gospel which lie preached (Gal. ii. li); that the chief 
leaders of that Church had given to him and Barnabas 
the right hand of fellowship in their work among tho 
Gentiles (Gal. ii. 9); that he had not given way by 
subjection, no. not for an hour, to the Juda ising 
Pharisee section of the Church ( ial. ii.4,5); that he had 
not shrunk from rebuking, with the general approval of 
the Church at Antioch. the inconsistency of 1 eter and 
of Barnabas (Gal. ii. 1114). He meet s them also, as 
in li Cor. xi. 1:5 ~J7. by challenging a comparison be 
tween his own life and that of his antagonists. St. 
Luke thought it wise, in writing to a ( Jentile convert, 
to lay stress on the fact that the history of the Church 
of Jerusalem, truly stated, was airainst the policy and 
the claims of the Judauera, that the Apostle > the 
Gentiles in his turn had shown eycrv disposition to 
conciliate the feelings of (lie Jews. With this view, 
lie records the fact that charges like those which were 

brought against St. Paul had 1 n brought also against 

the martyr Stephen icliap. u. 11 : that the Apo-tle 
had Ix-cji admitted into the Church of Christ ny a 



evout accordinir to the Law 
iiat lie had been rccej\ .-d, after t he tir-t i 
.suspicion had been removed by the testimony . ; 
naba-.bythe Apostles at .Jerusalem ehaji.ix.li7 ; that 
it had been ^i\en to Pet--r to be. jierhajis. the I. 
act on the es-eiitial princijile ,. and 

to throw ojx-n the doors of the Church to the uncir- 

Climcised < o-ntiles chaps. X; \i. 1 \ .\ ; t llt lie and t lie 

Church of Jerusalem had sent Harnaba- to carry on 
that work at Antioch chap. xi. JJ ; that St. J aul had 
always addressed himself to the Jews whenever there 
wre any to listen to his preaching tchaji-. xiii .">. 11; 
\i\. I ; \\ii. _ . 17. \\iii. 1 ; DX. 8); that lie had lost no 



opportunity of renewing his friendly intercourse with 
the Church of Jerusalem chap-. x\. 1 x\iii. J J ; xxi. 
l. i ; and that .lame-, the bi-hop of that Church, had 
throughout receive. 1 him a- a beloved brother chajp. 
\\ . L - >. lit!) ; that he had shown his willingness t,, con 
ciliate the Jewish section of the ( liiirch by circumcising 
Timotheus chap. x\i. :! . and by his taking on himself 
the vow of a N a/a rite chajis. xviii. 1>: xxi. -> : and. 
lastly, that the Council of Jerusalem had solemnly 
formulated a <-<nn-<n-<litt by which the freedom of tin- 
Gentiles was secured (chap. xv. -J:; "JIM. 

A principle of selection such as this is naturally 
open to the charge that has been pressed by unfriendly 
critics, that it tends to lead the writer to exaggerate 
the ha-mony between the two parties whom it seeks ;,. 
reconcile; ami stress has been laid on the omission of 
the dispute between Paul and Peter at Antioch (Gal. 
ii. 1 r, as showing that with this view he slurred over 
what was an important fad in the history which he 
undertakes to write. It may fairly be urged, how 
ever. on the other side, that there is absolutely no 
evidence that he was acquainted with that fact. As 
far as we can gather from his narrative, lie was not 
at Antioch at the time. It was an incident on which 
St. Paul would naturally be reticent, unless forced to 
allude to it. as in writing to the Galatians. in vindi 
cating his own independence. And even if he did know 
it. was this passing, momentary difference of sufficient 
imjM rtance to find a place in a brief compendium 
of the history of St. Paul s work:- Would the writer of 
a school history of England during the last fifty years 
feel bound, in tracing the action oi the Conservative or 
Liberal party as a whole, to notice a single passage at 
arms, in which sharp words were spoken, in debate in 
cabinet or Parliament, between two of its leaders:- 
Would a writer of English Church History during tin- 
same period think it an indispensable duty to record such 

a difference as that which showed itself between Bishop 
Thirlwall and Bishop S-lwyn in the Pan-Anglican 
Conference of 18t>7 r That" lie did not shrink from 
r ...... rding a personal dismite when important conse- 

(piences were involved is shown by his treatment of the 
quarrel between Paul and Barnabas u-hap. xv. :57 R} 

VI. Its Evidential Value. - ! 1 -> /" 

/...-/-r/.v. Had the Acts of the Aj.o-tles presented 

itself as 

to the main acts o te Gos 

have been of the highest value. It assumes tho-. 

throughout as well known. The main work of the 

Apostles is to bear witness of the resurrection .chap. 

i. :I J . Jesus of Na/areth had been " aj.proved of < i,>d 

by miracles, and wonders, and sii:ns " chap 

Airainst Him "Herod and Pontius Pilate had been 

leathered together" M-hap. iv. l27 . God had "anointed 

Him with the Holy Ghost and with power;" and He 

" went about doing good, and healing all that 



an entirely independent book, its evidence as 
ain facts of the Gospel history would obviously 



TIIK ACTS. 



oppressed of the devil, beginning from Galilei-, after 
tin- baptism which John preached" chap, x. :!7, 1!^ . 
It i- nl)\i(iiis. however, that it does not present itself as 
independent. It looks back to a former liuok. and that 
former hook is tin- Gospel according to St. Luke. "It 
was natural." it lias been said. " that the writer should 
thus take for granted what he had thus himself 
recorded. Von cannot, in such a case, cite the second 
volume to bear witness to the veracity of the first." 
Admitting this, however -as iii all fairness it must be 
admitted the Acts present evidence, as has been 
already pointed out (Vol. I., p. xxxi.), of another kind. 
If they are shown, by the numerous coincidences 
which they present with the writings of St. Paul (see 
infra), by their occasional use of the first personal 
pronoun chaps, xvi. 10 15; xx. 5; xxi. 17; xxvii. 1; 
xxviii. 1C), by their stopping at St. Paul s imprison 
ment at Borne, instead of going on to the close of his 
work and life, to be, on any fair estimate of circum 
stantial evidence, the work of a contemporary, and 
to have been written before St. Paul s death, in 
A.D. 65 or 66, then it follows that the Gospel from 
the pen of the same author must have been of even 
earlier date. The reference to the many " who 
had " taken in hand " to set forth a narrative of the 
gospel (Luke i. 1) connects itself with the quotation 
from " the words of the Lord Jesus" in chap. xx. 35, as 
showing that there was not only a widely diffused oral 
tradition of the facts of the Gospel history (such as .hat 
implied in 1 Cor. xi. 23 25; xv. 3 7), but that there 
was also a fairly copious Gospel literature, presenting 
materials for future editors and compilers. But we may 
go yet further. It has often been urged, as against the 
early date of the Gospels in their present form, that 
they have left so few traces of themselves in the early 
history and the early writings of the Church. It has 
been already shown (Vol. I., pp. xxvii. xxxi.) that, as 
far as the Epistles of the New Testament are con 
cerned, those traces are far from fe\r; but it may be 
admitted that they do not refer, as we might, perhaps, 
have expected them to refer, to any individual miracles, 
or parables, or discourses of our Lord. The same 
holds good of the Apostolic fathers; and it is not till 
we come to Justin Martyr that we get any such fre 
quency of citation as to make it certain tliat he had 
one of our first three Gospels, or another resembling 
them, in his hands. (See Vol. I., p. xxvii.) Well, 



be it so ; but Here we have a work with the same 
absence of citation, the same vague generalisation in it- 
reference to the outlines only of the Gospel historv ; 
and of this book, whatever view may be taken of it> 
date, it is absolutely certain that the writer knew that 
historv in all its fulness. Had the Acts come down to 
us without the Gospel of St. Luke, its retici-nce, and 
vagueness also, might have been urged as against the 
credibility of the narratives of the Gospels that hear 
the names of St. Matthew and St. Mark. As itr is, 
it shows that that reticence and vagueness may be com 
patible with a full and intimate knowledge of the facts 
so narrated. 

(2) In relation to the Epistles of St. Paul. Here. M 
Paley has well put the argument in the opening of his 
Hone Pniiliiui , the case is different. We have a book 
purporting to be by a contemporary of St. Paul s. Ww 
have thirteen or fourteen documents purporting to bo 
Epistles from him. There is not the shadow of a trace 
in the Epistles that the writer had read the Acts, or 
even knew of the existence of the book. There is not 
the shadow of a trace in the Acts of the Apostles that 
the writer had read the Epistles, or even knew of their 
existence. He not only does not compile from them 
nor allude to them, but he does not even record, as 
might have been expected, the fact that they had been 
written. He omits facts which we find in them, and 
which would have been important as materials for his 
history. Whatever coincidences the two may present 
are conspicuously undesigned. So far as they do 
agree and throw light upon eacli other, they supply a 
reciprocal testimony each to the trustworthiness of the 
other. 

The coincidences which thus present themselves are. 
dealt with in the Notes in this Commentary on the 
Acts and the Epistles, and to state them with any 
fulness here would be to re-write the Hor Pnul/mi- 
with numerous additions. It will, however, it is 
believed, be of some advantage to the student to have 
at least the more important of these coincidences 
brought under his notice in such a form as to admit of 
examination without turning to other hooks, and the 
following table has accordingly been drawn up with 
that view. It has been thought expedient to present 
them as they occur in the Epistles of St. Paul, and to 
take those Epistles in their chronological order. 



iv. 1719 . 

xvi. 10.11 . 

i. 12; iii. 6 

iv. 11. 12 . 

ix. 2u . 



xvi . 1 . 

v. 7, 8 

xvi. CJ . 



St. Paul s sufferings at Philippi .... Acts xvi. 22. 2: .. 

,, ,, .. Thessalonica xvii. 5. 

St. Paul left at Athens alone . xvii. 16. 

Sufferings of the Thessalouians from their own 

countrymen ...... xvii. 5. 

Thessalonian converts turning from idols . . ., xvii. 4. 
St. Paul s precept and practice in working . . , xviii.: I. 

Sc. Paul s two visits to Corinth , xviii. 1 ; xx. :*. 

Fighting with wild beasts at Ephesus ..... xix. 2! . : >< . 
" Aquila and Priscilla salute you much hi the Lord" .. xviii. 18. 2<i. 

.. xix. 20, 26. 
.. xix. !. 2*. 

Timotheus sent to Corinth from Ephesus 
St. Paul s doubt as to arrival of Timotheus . 
Work of Apollos at Corinth 
St. Paul s working for his bread at Ephesus 

becoming to Jews as a .lew 

Baptism of Crispns and Gains .... 
Collection for the saints in Galatia 

Allusion to the Passover . . . . .] 
"Tarrying at Kphesus till Pentecost" . . .J 



1 Thess. ii. 2 ; iii. 4 
., iii. 4 

., ii. 18 ; iii. 1, 6, 7 
ii. 14 . 

.. i. 9 . . 
., ii. 9, 10; iv. 11 

1 Cor. ii. 1 ; iv. 19 ; xvi. 5 . Sc. Paul s two 
xv. 32 . 
xvi. 19 . 

xvi. 9 .... The "effectual door" opened at Ephesus 
The many adversaries 



xix. 21. 22. 
xix. 22. 
xviii. 27. 28. 
\v ::i. 
xvi. :: : xviii. 18; x:;u 

xviii. 8. 
xviii. 2:> . 

xix. 22; xx. J. 



TIM-: A<TS 



LI- . 

.. rrl ; . 

., x\i. :> . 

2 Cor. i. Iti; ii. 13 

M. ;;2. ; . 
L 8 . 

xi. ! . 
i. !!. 



xi. 125 

.. iii. 1 . 

.. x. 11-16 . 

(!:il. i. 17,18 

, ii. 1 

.. ii. 1:5 . 
,. v. 11 . 

i. 18 

., ii. l . 
Rom. xv. 2"). 2b . 
xvi. 2123 . 
xvi. :> . 
xvi. 27. 

i. l:t; xv. 23 . 
xv. l! 
xv. 30 

Phil. ii. 11) . 
.. i. 2!. :;<>; ii. i. 2. 
iv. 2. 3 . 
Eph. vi. -21 . 

.. vi. I .i. 2< . 
Cul. iv. 1" . 



Sosth, .nes with St. Paul \.-ts X vi,;. 12 17. 

St. Paul s wintering at Corinth xx 

journey through Macedonia xx. 1. 

* .. ., ., . . . ., x\ . I . 

escape from Damascus ..... ix J 

The trouble that came on him in Asia ..... xix. Z 
Supplies from tin- brethren from Macedonia. . . x\iii. \..~>. 

Silvanus and Timotheus as St. Paul s fellov.-. 

workers at Corinth ..... ,, xviii. .">. 

" Once was 1 stoned" ...... .. xiv. ]! . 

Letters ,,f commendation ..... ,, xviii. 27. 

Corinth as then t lie limit of St. Paul s lain. urs . .. xviii. 18. 

His visit to St. Peterand Jamesthe Lord s brother. 

after his conversion ..... ix. 28. 

The journey with Barnalias to Jerusalem . . ., xv. 2. 

Barnabas with St. Paul at Antioch 
Persecutions from the Jews 



1 Tim. v. 9 . 
1. 1316 



i. :. 7; 
Titus iii. 13 . 
2 Tim. i. 16 . 

.. iv. 20 . 
i. 4, 5 

.. iii. 15 . 

iii. 10, 11 

.. iv. 11 . 

. is. II. 



iv. 14 



The shortness of the first visit to Jerusalem 
The authority of James, the brother of the Lord 
St. Paul s journey to Jerusalem .... 

Salutations from Sosipater, Timotheus, and (iaiu- 
A<|iiila and Priseilla at Corinth and Rome . 
Phoebe of CeuchreaB ...... 

St. Paul s desire to visit Rome .... 

The gospel preached iu Illyricuni .... 

A |>|iivhensiou of coming danger . 

Timothens known to the Philippians 

St. Paul s sufferings at Philippi .... 

Kuodia, S\ ut yche.and the other women at Philippi 

Tyehicns as known to the Ephesians . 

St. Pan! as an ambassador in a chain . 

Mark as sister s sou (bettor, cousin) to Barnalias . 

A ri starch us. St. Paul s fellow-prisoner . 

Provision for the maintenance of widows 

The persecutor converted ..... 

State of the Church at Ephesus . . . . 

A polios in Crete ....... 

< hiesiphorus and St. Paul s chain .... 

Trophinius left at Miletus 

The mother of Timotheus 

His education in the Holy Scriptures . 
Persecutions at Autioch. Iconium. Lystra 
Mark profitable in ministering .... 
Alexander the coppersmith ..... 



,. xiii.4!l; xiv.l 1!: x\ii. 

4 1:<; xviii. 12. 
.. xxii. 18. 
.. xii.17: rv. l:!:xxi.l& 

xx. Ii ; xxiv. 17. 
.. xx. 1. 
.. x\iii. -2. 
.. xviii. 18. 
.. xix. ill. 

.. XX L . 

.. xx. 22. 2::. 

., xvi. 4; xvii. 14. 

.. xvi. 22. 

.. xvi. 13. 

.. xx. 4. 

..xxviii. It; 2>. 

xv. :7 l: xii. 1-2. 

xix. l!i> ; xxvii. L . 
. vi. 1. 

. Tfii.3; ix. 110. 
. xx. -2!i. : .". 
. xviii. -21. 
.xxviii. -20. 
. xx. 4. 
. xvi. 1. 
. xvi. 2. 
. xiii.. xiv. 
. xiii. ">. 
. xix. 33. 



It ought to be stated tliat the comparison of the 
Acts and the Pauline Epistles brings to light also some 
real or apparent difficulties. Of these the most con 
spicuous are : 

1 The omission in chap. ix. 19 23 of the journey 
to Arabia mentioned iu (ial. i. 17. 

(2) The omission in Gal. ii. 1 10 of any noti< f 

the journey to Jerusalem in chap. xi. 30, or of 
the decrees of the council of Apostles and 
elders in chap. xv. 

(3) The omission in the Acts ,,f anv record of the 

dispute between St. Peter and St. Paul at 
Antioch < !al. ii. I I . 

These are examined in detail in the Notes on the 
several passages connected with them. 

This method of inquiry may be extended, with similar 
results, to the Epistle to the Hebrews, and to the 
two Kpistles of St. Peter. It is in the account of 



1 Apollos, in chap, xviii. 24 2S. that we ^. i what many 
critics since Luther s time have looked upon as the only 
satisfactory explanation of the phenomena piv-eiited 
by the first of these Epistles. Assuming the author 
ship of Apollos as at least a probable h\ pot ln-si>. the 
spiritual condition described in Heb. v. 1L \i. 2. as that 

i of some of those who had been under the teaching of 
the writer, may be compared with that of the t\\el\e 
disciples at Ephesus who knew only the bapM-m of 

1 John (chap. xix. 1 7\ In the reference to the "saints 

> of Italy" in Heb. xiii. 24 apparently as distinct from 
Roman Christians \\e may. perhaps, -ee a reference 
to the Church of Pnteoli. the only Italian town, liesidcs 
Rome, mentioned in the Acts as containing " brethren " 
chap, xxviii. 14. 
1 note, further, a few coincidences of -ome Inl 

between the Acts of t lie Apostles aild tile Kpi- 

St Peter: 



1 Pet. i. II 



The tone in which prophecv is spoken of. as com 
pared with .... . Acts ii. ],;. 17.30,31. 

( iud no respecter of persons ....... \ : .. 

Purity by faith and obedience . . ... 

The stone which the builders rejected iv. 11. 

xi 



TIIK A( T> 



1 IVt. iv. 16 . 
r. 12 . 



Tin- imino of Christian ...... Actsxi. 2*>; xxvi. 28. 

Mention of Silv.-iuus as accounting for St. Peter s 

knowledge of StPaul fl Epistles <-J Pet.iii. 15) ., xv. 32, 40. 

" Marcus my sou ". ,, xii. 12. 



(3) /// relation tn /, .///,;;-// ///Wo;-;/.- It is obvious 
that the Acts of the Apostles take a wider range, both 
in space and time, than any other narrative I took of the 
Now Testament. They cover a period of more than 
thirty years The scene is shifted from Jerusalem to 
Samaria. C;esarea. Damascus. Antioch. Cyprus, Asia 
Minor, ({recce, and finally ends in Italy. The writer is 
constantly brought across some of the events of con 
temporary history, and the scenes which earlier or later 
travellers have described. Does he show himself in 
these respects an accurate observer, faithful in his 
reports, correct in his language ? Does lie fill into the 
blunders which would be natural in a man writing a 
fictitious narrative a century or so after the events 
which he professes to relate ! For a full answer to 
these questions the reader is referred to the Notes that 
follow; but it may be well to indicate briefly some of 
the more important of these points of contact with the 
contemporary history of the outer world. 
Act* v. :?7. " Judas of Galilee. 
Acts vi. 9. The synagogue of the Libertines. 
Acts viii. 9. Simon the sorcerer. 
Acts viii. 27. Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. 
Acts ix. 36. Dorcas. 

Acts x. 1. The centurion of the Italian band. 
Acts xi. 26. The name of Christian at Autioch. 
Acts xi. 28. The famine under Claudius. 
Acts xii. 23. Death of Herod Agrippa 1. 
Acts xiii. 7. Sergius Paulus of Cyprus. 
Acts xiv. 11. Paul and Barnabas taken for Zeus 

and Hermes. 

Acts xvi. 12. Philippi a colon in. 
Acts xvi. 14. The purple-seller of Thyatira. 
Acts xvi. 16. The damsel with a Python spirit. 
Acts xvi. 22. The strategi of Philippi. 
Acts xvi. 37. St. Paul s Roman citizenship. 
Acts xvii. 6. The politarchs of Thessalonica. 
Acts xvii. 19. The court of the Areopagus. 
Acts xvii. 21. Character of the Athenians. 
Acts xvii. 28. Quotation from Aratus. 
Acts xviii. 2. Jews banished from Rome by 

Claudius. 
Acts xviii. 12. Gallic pro-consul of Achaia. 

Acts xix. 9. The school of Tyrannus. 
Acts. xix. 24. The silver shrines of Artemis. 
Acts xix. 2729. The temple and theatre at Ephesus. 
Acts xix. 31 35. The Asiarchs and town-clerk of 

Ephesus. 
Acts xix. 38, 39. The pro-consuls and the lawful 

assembly. 

Acts xxi. 38. The Egyptian rebel. 
Acts xxii. 28. St. Paul s Roman citizenship. 
Acts xxiii. 2. The high priest Ananias. 
Acts xxiii. 24. Felix the governor. 
Acts xxiv. 24. Drusilla. 
Acts xxiv. 27. Porcius Festus. 
Act.-, xxv. 13. Agrippa and Bernice. 
Acts xxv. 11. Appeal to Ct-sar. 

Acts xxvii. Tle details of the narrative 

throughout. 

Acts xxviii. 7. The "chief man" of Melita. 
Acts xxviii. 15. Appii Forum and the Three 

Taverns. 

Under this head also it is right to notice that which 
appears to make against, rather than for, the credibility 



of the narrative, and I accordingly name the chrono 
logical difficulty connected with the name of Theudas 
in Gamaliel s speech ichap. v. 36). 

Internal Evidence of Credibility. -The internal 
consistency of any book is not necessarily evidence 
of more than the skill of the writer. Every writer 
of fiction aims mitre or less at producing the im 
pression of verisimilitude by touches that have the 
effect of coincidences between one part of the 
narrative and another; and the art that conceals 
art will produce, according to the skill of the 
author, the impression that the coincidences are un 
designed. On the other hand, we feel, as we read some 
stories, that they contain, in the naturalness of their 
style, the absence of any sensational dove-tailing of 
incidents, primd facie testimony to their own veracity. 
And it is submitted to the reader whether instance^ 
such as the following may not fairly claim considera 
tion, as coining under the latter category rather than 
the former. 

(1) Hostility of the high priests, as Sadducees. to 

the preaching of the resurrection (chaps, iv. 1, 
2; v. 17). 

(2) Barnabas of Cyprus going twice to his own 

country (chaps, iv. 36 ; xiii. 4; xv. 39). 

(3) The complaints of the Hellenists (Grecian- . 

leading to the election of seven men with Greek 
names (chap. vi. 1 5). 

(4) The Cilicians disputing with Stephen fchap. vi. 

9). The young man named Saul (chap. vii. 58); 
afterwards described as of Tarsus (chap. ix. 11). 

(5) Philip s arrival at Csesarea (cliap. viii. 40). No 

further mention of him till we find him again 
at Csesarea (chap. xxi. 8). 

(6) Mark s return to Jerusalem (chap. xiii. 13) ex- 

Ylained by his mother s being there (chap. xii. 
2) and the pressure of the famine (chap. xi. 2 s 

(7) Agabus prophesying the famine (chap. xi. .> . 

again appearing in the character of a prophet 
sixteen years later (chap. xxi. 10). 

(8) The speech of Lycaonia as accounting for the 

surprise of Paul and Barnabas at the prepara 
tions for sacrifice (chap. xiv. 11 14). 

(9) Conversion of Samaritans (chap. viii. 14). Inci 

dental mention of the brethren in Samaria 
(chap. xv. 3). 

(10) Men of Cyprus and Cyrene found the Church at 

Antioch (chap. xi. 20). Barnabas of Cyprus 
sent to carry on the work (chap. xi. 22). Lucius 
of Cyrene among the prophets of the Church 
(chap. xiii. 1). 

(11) Philippi a colonia (chap. xvi. 12). Philippians 

speak of themselves as Romans (chap. xvi. Jl . 

(12) Trophimus the Ephesian (chap. xxi. -J!) recog 

nised by Jews of Asia, i.e., from Ephesus and 

its neighbourhood. 

The list might, it is believed, be easily enlarged, but 
these will be sufficient to put the student on the track 
of a method which lie can apply almost indefinitely in 
other instances for himself.* 



xii 



It lies on (hi- surface tliat I am largely indebted in thu- 
part of mv work to I alcj s H,tr,i PcaUWUe, 1 WTBll also to 
acknowledge mj obligation to Mr. Birks s liorce Apostolicu,. 



TIN-: ACTS 



VII. Sources of tho History. It will l a* 

unm.-d here that the u-e of the first per-on in parts of 
the hi-tory implies that tin- writer was then the coin- 

I.anioii of the Apostle whose labours he record-. We 
iave seen, in the Ititroihu-lion /.< SI. l.ul;i\ how far the 
r act- that are thus implied brought the writer into 
contact with JMTSOIIS who could give him trustworthy 
information as to what he relates in his Gospel; it 
remains to be seen how far they point to the probable 

sources of his knowledge as to the events recorded ill 

Jlic Acts 

Ac-ts i. v. Philip the Evangelist ichap. xxi. 8 
Id.or Mnason of Cv prus chap. xxi. }> < . or 
others and. in part icular. t lie women" of 
Luke viii. 2 -at .Jerusalem. 

Aets vi.. vii. Philip or St. Paul. 

Act- viii. Philip. 

Acts ix St. Paul. 

Ata x. xi. is. Phiiip. 

.\.-ts xi lit ;;i). St. Paul. or. probably, personal 

knowledge gained at Antioeh. 
Acts xii. 1 19. John surnamed Mark (Col. iv. 

10- 1 I . 
Acts xiii. 1 13. St. Paul, or Mark, or Mnason of 

Cyprus. 

Act- xiii. II- -82; xiy. St. Paul; or, possibly, 
knowledge gained by Luke in person on 
IP-; journev to Troas. or afterwards from 
Timotheus. 

- xv., xvi. 1 7. St. Paul, or, probably, per 
sonal knowledge, as staying at Antioeh. and. 
possibly, go in if up to Jerusalem. 
Vet- xv . S !<>. Personal knowledge. 
Acts xvii.. xviii. Probable communications from 
the brethren who came, from Philippi to 
Thcssalonica Phil. iv. Itii. and again to 
Corinth ( 2 Cor. xi. 9i. General intercourse 
between the Romans of Philippi and the 
Koman .Jews at ( orinth. 
Acts xix. St. Paul ; or possibly Aristarchus and 

G-iius of Macedonia, or Tyrannu-. 
Leta xx. xxviii. Personal knowledge. 
Looking to the manner in which the Gospel begins 
with what has the character of a distinct document, so 
-trongly marked by Hebraisms that it could scarcely 
irive been written by a Greek writer, it is probable 
that the tirsi five chapters of the Acts may. in like 
manner, have been incorporated from an earlier docu 
ment, recording, like the later history of Hegesippus. 
the history of the Church of .Jerusalem with a special 
fulness. j| will, at any rate, lie clear that at every step 
in the narrative we are aide, in the Acts, as in the 
Gospel of the same writer, to point with a very high 
degree of probability to those who here also were 
" eve-wit nesses and ministers of the Word" Luke i. _! . 

VIII. Its Bearing on the Mission - work, 
Organisation, and Worship of the Church. 

1 Motion - lOOrk. It will not. it is believed, lie 
unprofitable to look at the records of the Act- of the 
Apostle- as presenting the type and pattern for all 
future labours in the work of evangelising the world. 
It is obvious that the preaching of the Apostles is 
son, ething very different from that of those who offer 
tn men s acceptance simply a lofty ideal of virtue or high- 
toiied ethical precepts. The central fact of all their 
teaching is the resurrection of Christ chaps, ii. ;>-J. :i: , : 
iv. ln ; x. I". (I ; xiii 32- 37; xvii. 31; xxvi. 23). 
I "pon that proclamation of a fact in the past they build 
their assniv.n.-e that He will come again as the .Indue 
of the living and th dead chaps, iii. -Jl ; x !_ : xvii. 

20* 



iiat in the r calls im-n to ivp, 

believe in Him diap- 

xiv L5j XMI : d that tlm 

may receive remission of their sins and th. 

of "the Holy <;i,ost chaps, ii. :;-. \n; |:,. 

xix. I!;.- They are naturally brought into eont. 
they preach this gospel, with men of very d 
habits of thought, varying in their training, their 
knowledge, and their culture; and they adapt them 
selves, a.- far as lies in their power, to all these varia 
tions in their hearers. With tin- .Jews of .Jerusalem. 
Antioeh in Pisidia. ( orinth. and Home, they draw 
their ari. r unients almost exclusively from the correspon 
dence between the act- and death and resurrection (,f 
.lesiis with what had been written in the Lav. and 
Prophets as pointing to the coming Christ chaps, ii. 
1 I 36; iii. I! lii: vii. - ---,:;; xiii. 17 II ; xxviii. 
j:! . With pea-ants, such as tho e at Lv-tra. they lay 
their foundation on what we should call the broad lines 
of a simple natural theology, and appeal to the irood 
n. -ss of (iod as manifested in the order of nature, 
in rain from heaven and fruitful sea-mis chap. xiv. 
15 17). With the Stoics and Epicureans of Athen-. 
St. Paul i he alone, it may be. of the glorious company 
of the Apostles was fitted for that work rises to the 
level of the occasion, and meets the thinkers on their 
own grounds, appeals to the witness of their own poets, 
and sets before them what we have ventured to call the 
outlines of a philosophy at once of worship and of 
human history n-hap. xvii. J :il . 

And it may be noted how carefully in all the-, 
the preachers abstain from the weapons of terror and 
of ridicule which men have sometimes used in dealing 
with the heathen whom they were seeking to convert. 
There are no statements that the world outside tlw 
range of the gospel was sentenced to hopeless condem 
nation that the forefathers of those to whom tiny 
preached were for ever in the dark prison of (lehenna. 
They recognised, on the contrary, that in every nation 
lie that feareth (rod and wor keth rigliteousn 
accepted with Him. See Xote on chap. x. :!" . They 
speak of the times of ignorance which ( iod " winked at " 
(hap. xvii. :>d. They are no " blasphemers " even of 
the worship which they are seeking to supplant .chap, 
xix. :!7 . They present the gospel to men s minds as 
realising at once the conscious prophecies of Israel and 
the unconscious prophecies of heathenism. They come, 
it is true, with some weapons in which modern mi ioii- 
aries are wanting. They claim to work sign- and 
wonders as attestations of their divine mission .chaps, 
iii. (i. 7: v. !. ; vi. s : viii. 1;! : ix. : ,l I"; xiv. lo ; xix. 
\~2; xxviii. a Si; but they lay far less -tiv on these 
than on the " demonstration of the Spirit" the pro 
phecy that reveals the secrets of the heart, the conscious 

experience of the power of that Spirit to give anew 

peace and a new purity to souls that had been alienated 
from the life of (iod through the ignorance that was in 
them .chaps, ii. : ,s. :5 ,i; xi. 17. Iv Rom. viii. J.: 
1 Cor. ii. I . 

ill) On/mi million iiinl \\ <>r*li>)>. And.it may In- noted 
further, they do not rest satisfied with the conversion of 
individuals as Mich, nor with leaving with each believer 

a book or a rule of life for his own personal <_ iiidar 

Everywhere they seek to organi-e a society: the 
brethren." the "dis.-ii.le-." th.- saints." are formed 
into a church / .<.. an </ .</,,. or congregation; and 
that society receive- a distinct and definite coii-titu- 
tion. Elders, otherwise known as bishops chap. xx. 
js : l>hi|. i. 1 : Tit. i. .">. 7 . are appointed in every eity 
elnp-. xi. : : xiv. _ : : xx. ! 7 . t o t.-.-n-li. and pn side iu 
i 



TIIK ACTS. 



worship, and administer the discipline :ind laws of the 
Congregation. There are ministers or deacons under 
them, who assist in baptising, in the subordinate olliccs 
of worship, in the relief of the sick and poor. and. if 
they have special gifts, in preaching the gospel to Jews 
and" heathen, and teaching converts also (chap. vi. 
3 f! : Phil. i. 1; 1 Tim. iii. X. The Apostles appoint 
Itoth elders and deacons, with the consent and there 
fore the implied right of veto of the congregation, and 
exercise o\er them an aut hority analogous to that of 

tln later bishops (chaps, xiv. .23; x\. 17. Then- is an 
organisation of the charity of the Church on the ba>is 
of systematic almsgiving; and the Apostles, and. in 
their absence, the bishop-elders of the ( linrdi. act. 
where necessary, with the help of others as representing 
the laity of the Church, as treasurers and almoners 
.chaps. i\. :>7 : v. 2). The disciples meet to break 
bread, as their Lord had commanded, on the evening 
of every day: afterwards, as the Church included men 
of various classes and employments, on that of the first 
day of the week probably, i.e., on Saturday evening 
(chaps, ii. 46; xx. 7); and the history of the institution 
of what came to be known as the Supper of the Lord 
formed the centre of the celebration of that feast 
(1 Cor. xi. 23 26). The feast itself was preceded by 
a solemn blessing, and closed with a solemn thanks 
giving. Psalms, hymns, and unpremeditated bursts of 
praise, chanted in the power of the Spirit, such as 
those of the gift of tongues, were the chief elements of 
the service chap. iv. 2430; Eph. v. 19; Col. iii. 16). 
The right of utterance was not denied to any man 
(women even seem at first t () have been admitted to the 
same right ; chap. xxi. !>; ; Cor. xi. 5) who possessed 
th;- necessary gifts (1 Cor. xiv. 26 33) and was ready 
to submit them to the control of the presiding elder or 
Apostle. There were in the unwritten traditions of the 
Church; in its oral teaching as to our Lord s life and 
teaching 1 1 Cor. xi. 23; xv. 1 8); as in its rules of 
discipline and worship (2 Thess. ii. 15; iii. 6); in the 
faithful sayings" which were received as axioms of 
its faith il Tim. i. 15; iv. 9; 2 Tim. ii. 11; Tit. iii. 8), 
the germs at once of the creeds, the canons, the liturgies, 
the systematic theology of the future. It is. lastly, 

instructive and suggestive to note that throughout the 
history there is no record of any effort to set apart a 
separate place of worship for the members of the new 
society. They meet in private houses (chaps, ii. 46; 
xx. 8; Rom. xvi. 5, 15, 23; 1 Cor. xvi. 19), or in a 
hired class-room (chap. xix. 9), as opportunities present 
themselves. There would apparently have been no 
difficulty in their claiming the privilege which Roman 
rulers conceded freely to other Jews and proselyte--, of 
erecting a synagogue of their own; hut they left this 
to come iii due course afterwards. Their own work 



was of a different and higher kind. They were anxioue 
rather to found and edify the society which, as built of 
" living stone-, was to be the temple of the living God, 
than, in the modern sense of the term, to be the builders 
of churches. 
IX. Its Bearing on the Church History of the 

Future. Nor is the record winch we owe to St. Luke 
less instructive considered as the first volume of the. 
history of Christendom. Fairly considered, while it 
brings before us the picture of primitive Christ ianitv a^ 
a pattern to be followed in its essential featnres.it is as 
far as possible from presenting it as a golden ago of 
unalloyed and unapproachable perfection. It tells u- 
of men who were of like passions with ourselves, not 
free from the bitterness of personal quarrels chap. xv. 
39), or from controversies in which party was arrayed 
against party on a question on which each held that it 
was contending for a vital truth (chap. xv. 1 5). It 
records, as if with an unconscious prevision of future 
controversies, how that dispute ended in an amicable 
compromise, each party making concessions, within 
certain well-defined limits, to its opponents, neither 
insisting on what an inexorable logic might have 
looked on as the necessary conclusion from its premi-se-. 
(chap. xv. 2330). The writer tends, pa.-tly by his 
natural iustincts, partly of deliberate purpose, to dwell 
on the points of agreement between men rather than 
on their points of difference; to bring out the good 
which was to be found in men of different degrees of 
culture and very varied training. Peter, James, Apollos, 
Paul, are not for him what they were for so many others 
leaders of parties, rivals for allegiance. He is able 
to recognise in each and all men who are ministers of 
Christ, fitted for the work of that ministry by the gift 
of the Holy Ghost. And in striking contrast to the 
martyrologists and other annalists of the Church who 
followed him, he avoids what we may call the sensa 
tional element of history; does not dwell (with the one 
marked exception of St. Stephen on the deaths and 
sufferings of the disciples; understates the work, the 
hardships, and the perils of the Apostle who is the 
chief figure in his history; aims rather at presenting 
the results of the actual contest between the new and 
the old societies, now favourable and now quite other 
wise, than at representing the two as in irrecon 
cilable enmity. There is. so to speak, a hopefulness 
and healthiness of tone, which contrasts favourably 
with that of later writers after the sword of syste 
matic persecution had been unsheathed, or even 
in some measure with that of the later writing- of 
the New Testament, such as the Epistles of St. 
Peter and the Apocalypse, and which may fairly he- 
allowed some weight as evidence for the early date 
of its composition. 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF APOSTOLIC HISTORY. 

It will, it is believed, lie helpful to the reader to have before him something like a general survey of tho 
history of the Apostolic Age. indicating, at least approximately, the probable siicce^-inn of events, and the 
relation which they bore to what then occupied the minds of men as the prominent facts in the history of 
the world in which they lived; and with this view the following Table has been compiled. Where the dates 
are uncertain, and have therefore been variouslv placed, the doubt is indicated by a note of interrogation : . 



80 


Kvi l.l:..!;-. 


11 ! lll-[ol:v. 


ClVlI. Ill LEKS. 


Hn;ii I 1 


\.l 


T i ticrius. 
from A. n. 
14. 


The Day of Pentecost. May i.-i. 

K )t]n-r ilatrs, varying from \. i>. 
."0 ;;. !, have ht.-i.-ii assigned for 

tins., 


Pontius 1 ilat,-. I l-o 
curator of .hid;.-a 
from A.n. I ll. 


Caiajilias from 
A. n. _ .". son-in- 
law of Annas, 
orAnamiB. 


29 

|ao 



TNI; ACTS 



\ 1. 


1 




CIMI 1: 


lln. ii 1 

























The growth of the < hiireh a- de 














ii fei n-d tothi-pei lod. lint t ln-i > 






:..lte. 








-oing further 










33 










Drusiis. 


















i 






Vitelhus. IW.-i-t ;( 




Phi.nix n -jM.it. -d to 

leenii 

\ it. llius in \l- 




w 


Call,,,].,. 


Maityidom of Stepli- 
.iii.l John in Samaria. 


Hemd A_;iipp.v I. 


Jonathan, -on 


Philo at Alexandria. 




37 






< oii\ i-isioii of Saul. 




of An. mils. 










< on\. i-ion of I orn. lius. Saul 




Th i op h i 1 ii -. 


Philo s ,,,, ion to K<.|l.e. 








at 1 >amascus. 




-on of Ananii-. 






.! .( 




Saul at 1 >ama8CU8. 






Helod A ! 


39 












1- o.ililsli.-d to l.aul. I .llth of 














I.ucali. 




II 




Paul at Jerusalem and Tarsus. 


Pefroiiills. i 




< aligula -. 


40 








- J riu. 




set up in the Temple of .I, IU - 














salem. P! 




11 


Claudius. 


P.aniahas -<>nt to Antioch. See of 




Simon Can 


I .irthof Titn-. 


41 






Kome founded l.y St. Peter ( . I. 




thelas. 






a 




Paul at Antioch. Disciples called 
( hlistians. 




Matthias, son 
of Alialllls. 


H.-iod Agripjia mad- King of 
.luda-a t>y ( l.-.ndiu-. 


42 


13 




Paul ami Ilarnahas go to J.-ru 




Kliona us. son 


Claudius oonquen llritain. 


43 






salem. The Gospel accord- 




(.f Cantlia- 










ing to St. Matthew ?? . 




ra8. 






It 




Death of James the .son of /el,,- 
dee. Peter imprisoned. 


CuspiusFadus,I ro- 
curatoi of Judaa. 




Death of H.-1...1 \_ 
saiea. Plalltius ill 1. 


14 


15 




Paul and liarnalias in Cyprus. 




Joseph, SOU Of 


Apolloni.i India and 


45 






Epistle of St. James <?>. 




Canis. 






IB 




Paul ami P.arnahasin Pisidiu and 


Tiherilis Alexander, 






46 






l.yeaoiiia. 


Procurator of 














Juda-a. 








17 




Paul and Parnahas return to An 


Ventidius Cuma 


Ananias, son 


Lii li fit fiiliii-in at Koii;.-. Plau- 


17 






tioch. 


mis. Procuratorof 


of Nehedius. 


tius returns from Ilritain. 










Judaa. 








;-, 










Death of M.-salina. Claudius 


H 












under the intlueiio- 














.-us and Pallas. 




19 




Paul s dispute with Peter (??). 


Herod A-rippa II., 
King of ( hal.-is. 




Herod Agripj.a II. lua 
( halcis. Selleca a]i|Hiiiit.-il a.s 


49 












itor. J. u- tialii-he.l 














from Kome. 








Council at Jerusalem. Paul and 






( ar.icta. 01 KOIIH-. 


V> 






F.arnahas return with Silas to 






l- olllidatioli of ( 








Antioch. 






A_-iippina. 




5] 




Paul and Silas start on another 


I .-li\. Procuritc: of 




P.lllius made I :. 








mission. Paul - dispute with 


Judaea, 




torian Cuards. \ 








Peter ( . I. 






e\p.-lled from Italy. 




- 




Paul at Philippi, Thessahmica. 
P.er.ea, Athens. Corinth. 


H.-rod A-rippa IF.. 
King of P.atana-a 
and Tr.ichonitis. 




\-iipj.a II. rnadi 








Paul at Corinth. First and 






u 








Second Epistles to the 














Thcssalonians. 










M 


Nero. 


Paul s journey to Kphe-i 






Narcissus put to death l.y N. TO. 








sati-a, Jerusalem. Antioch. 














Apollos at Kpln-sus. Dispute 














with P- 










55 




Aj.ollos at Corinth. Paul in Asia. 










56 




Tumult at Kphesusi.Mayi. First 






Tumult in Jud:t a. he:: !- 








Epistle to the Corinthians. 






- 








Paul in Macedonia. Epistle 






J .irth of Trajan. 








to the Galatians. Second 














Epistle to the Corinthians. 










,7 




Paul at Corinth. Epistle to the 






Trial of 1 








Romans. Journey to ,1,-ru-a 














lemi April. Mayi. Trial hefore 














Felix. 










."..s 




Paul at ( .-esar.-a. 










99 




Paul at ( ..-area. 




Nhtiia.-l. son 


Aurijipii. 












of Phahi. 


death. 




GO 




Paul Appeal to 
1 taly. 
Paul at .Mel i< 


Poiviu- I- .-sf 
curatoi of .luda-:i. 


Jo-i-ph ( alii. 


Keyolt in P.ritain. 1111. - 


GO 






1 April!. I.ivis in hi.-own >. 




















1, mills, i Hymiiic 






















Paul at Kom.-. Epistle to the 


All.inu-. Procurator 


Alialius. 


P.unus . H. 








Philippians. 






Tio-llii 



















TIIK ACTS 



A.D 


i 


: n Hl>Toit\. 


Civil 1, 


UK. ii 1 


; MI-OI: \i;\ K\ i A. 1 1. 


83 




Paul at Kome. Epistles to tho 




Jams, 


Earthquakes in Asia Minor. 








Ephcsians, Colossians. Phi 




J amii.i us. 










lemon. Release. First Epis 












tie of St. Peter. 












Paul in Spain (?), Asia C. l. Niro 


IJe.-vMils Klonis. Pro 




it Rome. Persecution 


M 






polis (?). First and Second 


curator of Juda-a. 




of ( hristiMi .. 








Epistles to Timothy. The 














Gospel according to St. 














Luke and Acts of the Apos 














xles i?i. Epistle to Titus. 














Second Epistle of St. Peter, 














Jude. 










65 




1 eath ,,f Paul and Peter (?) at 






Seneca and Lucan put to death 




M 




Kome. I.innsP.ishopofRomejlP). 
; Epistle to the Hebrews <?). 
The Gospel according to 






by Nero. Death of Poppas. 
Nero in (Ireece. Aiwllonius of 
Tyana ordered tolea\e Rome. 


66 






St. Matthew (?). 






Martial at Rome. 


<>7 




Death of Peter and Paul (?). 
The Gospel according to 
St. Mark. Epistle of St. 






Josephus gains favour with Ves 
pasian after the capture of 
Jotapata. 


17 






James <??>. 










68 


(. all.;.. 


St. John in 1 atmos (?). The 






Vespasian takes Jericho. 


68 






Apocalypse (?). 










1 Otho. 
( . .I* Vitellius. 
Vespasian 


^Death of James, the Bishop of 

l Jerusalem (?, . 








69 


70 ( 




Simeon Bishop of Jerusalem; 
Ignatius of Antioch (?). 






The ( apitol rebuilt by Vespasian 
Jerusalem taken by Titus (Aug. 
31). Josephus released. 


70 


71 










Temple of Janus closed. Destrue 71 












tion of the Onias Temple in 














Egypt. Triumph of Titus and 














Vespasian. 




72 












72 


73 










7:; 


74 










Berenice at Rome with Vespasian 


71 












and Titus. Philosophers ba 














nished from Rome. 




75 










Temple of Peace at Rome dedi 


75 












cated by Vespasian. 




76 










Coliseum begun. Birth of Hadrian. 


7<; 


77 












77 


78 




Cletus Bishop of Rome (?:. 






Britain conquered by Agricola. 


78 


71* J itus. 








Pompeii and Herculaiieum de 7 J 












stroyed. Death of Pliny the 














Elder. 




80 




Epistle of Clement of Rome to 






Coliseum finished. Pestilent. 


HO 






the Corinthians (??). 






and tire at Rome. Baths of 














Titus built. 




^1 1 oinitiiin. 










^1 


K*^ 












32 


83 










Domitian banishes all philo 


83 


84 










sophers from Rome. 
Agricola in Caledonia. 


M 


s:, 
























Antoninuu Pius born. 


86 


K7 














88 

S .l 










(^uintilian at Rome from A.!>. US 


89 


90 
91 




< lenient Bishop of Rome. 






Philosophers again banished from 
Rome, Epictetus among them. 


!N 


*"_ 












!2 


9 i 




St. John thrown into boiling oil 
before the Latin date (??). 







Death of Agricola and Josephus. 


93 


94 










Juvenal banished. 


.14 


95 




Epistle of Clement (?). The 






( irandsons of the brethren of the 








Apocalypse (??). Flavins 
( lemeii- put to death. Domi 






Lord brought before Domitian. 








tilla banished. 












Xei va. 


The three Epistles of St. 








96 






Johni?i. 










97 




The Gospel according to St. 






Death of Apollonius of Tyana. 


. 7 






John i?i. 










M 


Trajan. 


Cerdon P.ishop of Alexandria: 
Ignatius of Antioch ; Simon 






Pliny and 1 lutaivh in favour 
with Trajan. 








of Jerusalem. 










99 




Death of St. John (?). 








90 


100 




Death of St. John ( . ). 




i 


Pliny s Panegyric on Trajan. 
Martial retires to Spain. 


00 



THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 



< I I.YPTER I. W The former treatise A -L_ a whom also he shewed himself aliv 



have I made, O Theophilus, of all that 

.Jesus be^an both to do and teach, 
<- until tin- day in which In- was taken 
up, after that he through the Holy 
(Jliost had given commandments unto 
the apostles whom he had chosen : &) to 



his passion hv many infallible proofs, 
bring seen of them forty days, and 
speaking of the things pertainii.: 
tlie kingdom of God: (l) and. beii.^ 
assembled together with /A.///, 1 com 
manded them that they should not 



The Acts of the Apostles. See Introduction as 
to tin- title thus given to the Book. 

(!) The former treatise. Literally, word, or 
i// .-r.Mm. ,- but the English of the text is, perhaps, a 
happier equivalent than cither. The Greek term hud 
bri n used liy Xcnophon (Anab. ii. 1 ; Cyrop. viii. 1. L! 
as St. Luke uses it, of what we should call the several 
" Books" or portions of his Histories. The adjective 
is strictly " first " rather than "former," and the tense 
of the verli, " I made," rather than " I have made." 

O Theophilus. See Note on Luke i. 3. It 
lias Ix cu thought that the absence of the words 
" most excellent " implies that the writer s friendship 
wjth Theophilus was now of a more intimate and 
familiar nature. It is possible, just its a like change 
of relation has lieeu traced in Shakespeare s dedication 
of his two poems to the Earl of Southampton, but 
the inference is, in each case, somewhat precarious. 

That Jesus began both to do and teach. 
The verb "begin" is specially characteristic of St. 
Luke s Gospel, in which it occurs not less than thirty- 
one times. Its occurrence at the beginning of the 
Acts is, accordingly, as far as it goes, an indication of 
identity of authorship. He sought his materials from 
those who had been from the beginning" eye- wit 
nesses and ministers of the word (LtUBB i. -). 

- Until the day in which he was taken up. 

We notice, as a matter of stvle. the same periodic 
structure that we found in the opening of the . ospel. 
made more conspicuous in the (ireek by an arrange 
ment of the words which places " he was taken up" at 
the close of the sentence. On the word " taken up," 
see Note on Luke ix. 51. 

That he through the Holy Ghost had given 

Commandments. The words admit of two possible 
meanings -(1) that the work of " commanding " was 
left to the Holy Spirit, guiding the spirits of the 
disciples into all the truth ; (2) that in His human 
nature the Lord Jesus, after, as before. His passion, 
spoke as one who was " filled with the Holy Ghost 
) L uke iv. 1 , to whom the Father had given the 
Spirit not by measure i.Iohn iii. IU>. As the Apostles 
were still waiting for the promised gift, the latter 
ispect of the words is. we can scarcely doubt, that 
which was intended by the writer. 

After his passion. Literally. //</ !{, Jind 

*"[i i-i-c<l. The English somewhat anticipates the later 
.special sense of "passion." 

By many infallible proofs. There is no adjec- 



I tive in the Greek answering to "infallible." but tin- 
noun is one wh di was used by writers on rhetoric 

( (e.g., Aristotle, lilnf. i. 2 for proofs that carried 
certainty of conviction with them, as contrasted with 
those that were only probable or circumstantial. No 
other New Testament writer uses it. 

Being seen of them forty days. - St. Luke uses 
a peculiar and unusual word (it occur- twice in the 
LXX. : 1 Kings viii. S. and Tob. xii. ll: for "being 
seen," perhaps with the wish to imply that the |. 
was not continuous, and that our Lord was seen only 
at intervals. This may be noted as the only passage 

. which gives the time between the Resurrection and the 
Ascension. It had its counterpart in the forty days 
of the Temptation in the wilderness Luke iv. 2). as 
that had had in the earlier histories of Moses (Ex. 
xxiv. 18; Dcut, ix. 9, 18) and Elijah (1 King- 
There was a certain symbolic fitness in the time of 
triumph on earth coinciding with that of special con 
flict. If we ask what was the character, if one may 
so speak, of our Lord s risen life between His mani 
festation to the disciples, the history of the earlier 
fortv days in part suggests the answer. Then, a- 
beforc, the life was. we may Ix-lieve. one of solitude 
and communion with His Father, no longer tried and 
tempted, as it had then been, by contact with the power 
of evil a, life of intercession, sncli as that which uttered 
itself in the great prayer of .John xvii. Where the 

| days and nights were spent we can only reverently 
conjecture. Analoirv suggests the desert places and 

j mountain heights of Galilee (Luke iv. 4 J. vi. 1 J). The 
mention of Bethany in Luke xxiv. ."><>. and of the 

i Mount of Olives in" verse I J. makes it probable that 
Gethsemane. may have 1 n om of the scene- that 

i witnessed the joy of the victory, as it had witnessed 
l>efore the agony of the conflict. 

The things pertaining to the kingdom of 
God. -This implies, it is obvious, much unrecorded 
teaching. What is recorded points :1 to the true 
interpretation of the prophecies ,,f the Messiah (Luke 

I xxiv. 27. -14. I d; - to the extension of the mission of 
the disciples to the whole Gentile world, and their 
admission to the Kingdom by baptism . Matt, xxviii l! , 
: . to the promises of supernatural powers and divine 
protection (Mark xvi. l- i 1*): l U to that of Hi* own 
jM-rpetual- presence with Hi- Church Ma t xx\iii J 

(*) And, being assembled together with them. 

; The MSS. present two forms of the participle : one 
\\ith the meaning given in the English \ersion, the 



T)i Promise of the Father. 



THE ACTS. I. 



The Extent of the A ;><>*(?* 



depart from Jerusalem, but wait for 
the promise of the Father, which.- xnith " l -" kr - 
he, ye have heard of me. W For John ), " ;/, ,7" 
truly bap ti/ed with water;* but ye shall /, M!"U"!:"I I" ( 
he hapti/.ed with the Holy Ghost not 
many days hence. W \\"hen they there- 
tore \vere come together, they asked of 
him, saving, Lord, wilt thou at this time 
restore again the kingdom to Israel y 
< 7 > And he said unto them, It is not for 



d Luke 24. 51. 



YOU to know the times or the seasons, 
which the Father hath put in his own 
power, w But ye shall receive power, 1 
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon 
you : c and ye shall be witnesses unto 
me both in Jerusalem, and in all Jud;i-a, 
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost 
part of the earth. (9J And when he had 
spoken these things/ while they be he 1,1, 
he was taken up ; and a cloud received 



other, but inferior reading, with the sense of " dwelling 
together with" the disciples. The Vulgate, con- 
vescens, "eating with," probably rests on a mistaken 
etymolo.iry of tiie Greek term. The whole verse is in 
substance a repetition of Luke xxiv. 49, where see 

Xotes. 

( 5 ) John truly baptized with water. See 
Note on Matt. iii. 11. Tho words threw the dis- 
eiples back upon their recollection of their first admis 
sion to the Kingdom. Some of them, at least, must 
have remembered also tho teaching which had told 
them of the new birth of water and of the Spirit (John 
iii. ;j 5). Now they were told that their spirits were to 
be as fully baptised, i.e., plunged, into the power of the 
Divine Spirit, as their bodies had then been plunged in 
the waters of the Jordan. And this was to be " not many 
days hence." The time was left undefined, as a disci 
pline to their faith and patience. They were told that 
it would not be long, lest faith and patience should 
fail. 

(6) Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again 
the kingdom ? More literally, art Thou restoring 
. . . Before the Passion the disciples had thought that 
"the kingdom of God should immediately appear" 
(Luke xix. 11). Then had come the seeming failure of 
those hopes (Luke xxiv. 21). Now they were revived by 
the Resurrection, but were still predominantly national. 
Even the Twelve were thinking, not of a kingdom of 
God. embracing all mankind, but of a sovereignty 
restored to Israel. 

(") It is not for you to know the times or 
the seasons. The combination of the two words is 
.-haracteristic of St. Luke and St. Paul (1 Thess. v. 1). 
The answer to the eager question touches the season 
rather than the nature of the fulfilment of their hopes. 
They are left to the teaching of the Spirit and of Time 
to re-mould and purify their expectations of the restora 
tion of Israel. What was needed now was the patience 
that waits for and accepts that teaching. 

Which the Father hath put in his own 
power. Better, as free from the ambiguity which 
attaches to the present version, which the Father 

il]>/inint,-il It// Hi* iili ii tnifliofitl/. 

(8) But ye shall receive power. The use of 
the same English noun for two different Greek words 
is misleading, but if " authority " be used in verse 7 
then "power" is an adequate rendering here. The 
consciousness of a new faculty of thought and speech 
would be to them a proof that the promise of the 
Kingdom had not failed. 

Ye shall be witnesses unto me. -The words, 
which are apparently identical with those of Luke 
xxiv. 1>\ strike the kev-note of the whole book. Those 
which follow correspond to the great divisions of the 
Acts Jerusalem, chaps, i. and vii. ; Judaea, ix. - 52. xii. 
19; Samaria, viii. ; and the rest of the book as opening 
the wider record of the witness borne to the uttermost 



parts of the earth." And this witness was two-fold : 
(1) of the works, the teachings, and. above all. of the 
Resurrection of Jesus; (2i of the purpose of the 
Father as revealed in the Son. The witness was to be, 
in language which, though technical, is yet the truest 
expression of the fact, at once historical and dogmatic. 
W He was taken up; and a cloud received 
him . . . It is remarkable how little stress is laid 
in the Gospels on the fact which has always been so 
prominent in the creeds of Christendom. Neither St. 
John nor St. Matthew record it. It is barely mentioned 
with utmost brevity in the verses which close tic- 
Gospel of St. Mark, and in which many critics see, 
indeed, a fragment o( apostolic teaching, but not part 
of the original Gospel. The reasons of this silence 
are, however, not far to seek. It was because the 
Ascension was from the first part of the creed of 
Christendom that the Evangelists said so little. The 
fact had been taught to every catechumen. They 
would not embellish it as. for example, the Assumption 
of the Virgin was embellished in later legends by 
fantastic details. That it was so received is clear. It 
is implied in our Lord s language, as recorded by St. 
John, " What and if ye shall see the Son of Man as 
cend up where He was before ! J " (John vi. 62), and such 
words would hardly have been brought before believers 
at the close of the apostolic age if they had received 
no fulfilment. It is assumed in the earliest form of tin- 
Church s creed, "He was received up into 5, lory." tin- 
verb being identical with that which St. Luke employs 
in St. Peter s speeches (Acts ii. 33; iii. 21 ), and in 
St. Paul s epistles (Eph. i. 20 ; 1 Tim. iii. 16). We may 
add that there was something like a moral necessity. 
assuming the Resurrection as a fact, for such a conclu 
sion to our Lord s work on earth. Two other alterna 
tives may, perhaps, be just imagined as possible : He 
might, like Lazarus, have lived out His restored life to its 
appointed term, and then died the common death of all 
men ; but in that case where would have been the victory 
over death, and the witness that He was the Son of 
Man? He might have lived on an endless life on earth ; 
but in this case, being such as He was, conflict, per 
secution, and suffering would have come again and 
again at every stage, and in each instance a miracle 
would have been needed to save the suffering from 
passing on to death, or many deaths must have l>ecn 
followed by many resurrections. When we seek, how 
ever, to realise the process of the Ascension, we find 
ourselves in a region of thought in which it is not 
easy to move freelv. With our thoughts of the rela 
tions of the earth to space and the surrounding orbs, 
we find it hard to follow that upward motion, and 
to ask what was its direction and where it terminated. 
We cannot get beyond the cloud; but, that cloud was 
the token of the glory of the Eternal Presence, as tho 
Shechinah that of old tilled the Temple i I. Kin-rs viii. 
K>, 11 ; Isa. vi. 1 i), and it is enough for us to know 



A 



Tin-: A< TS. i. 77,. /, 



him cut nf their siirlit. "" And while 

tlie\ looked stedfasth toward heaven as 
in- went ti]-, I .-hold, 1 \\o men st ..... 1 lv 
t hem in white apparel ; " which ;il>> 
said, Ye IIHMI it (ialile.-, why stand ye 
u | ) into In -a \eiir 1 t his same .! -!!>, 



which is taken up from you into heaven, 
shall so eonie in like manner as ye have 
B66XI him ir<> into heaven. - Then re- 
tnrned thev unto Jerusalem from the 
Jiiount railed ( Mivet, which is from Jeru- 



i a >al>l>at 1. da\ > joumej. : And 
wh -n tli -y wen- com,- in, tli,-v \\ent up 
into an upper room, when- almde hoth 

Peter,and James, and John, and Andrew, 

I hilip, and Thom;t-. liart holomew . ;ui<l 
Matt he w, .lames fli- fOfl of A lph;rti>. and 
Simon /elot.-s, and .hulas t/i> I, ,<>!/ 
.lames. (ltj These all continued \\ith 
one accord in prayer and supplication, 
with the women, and Marv the mother 
ot .Ious, and with his brethren. 



tliat where (inil is there also Is ( lirist, in tin- glory of 
tin- Father, retaining still, though under new conditions 
and laws, tin- human nature which made Him like unto 
His brethren, 
u ", TWO men stood by them in white apparel. 

Better. < xtinnlhnj, the appearance being siulilen. 
and their approach unnoticed. The forms were such 
8 those MOM lii-en seen at tlie portals of the empty 
sepulchre. bright and fair to look upon, and clad in 
white garments, like the young priest. s in the Temple. 
iSee Note on Luke i. U. 

1 ! Shall so come in like manner as ye have 
seen him go into heaven. So our Lord, following 

the great prophecy of Dau. vii. 1. 5. had spoken of 
Himself as "coming in the clouds of heaven" see 
Note on Matt. xxvi. o J. . in visible majesty and ^lory. 
Hen-, attain, men have asked questions whioli they 
cannot answer; not only, when shall the end he. hut 
where shall the Judge thus appear? what place shall 
l>e the chosen >eene of His .second Advent i- So far as 
Me dare to localise what is left undefined, the words of 
the angels >uirire^t the >ame scene, as well as the same 
manner. Those who do not shrink from taking the 
words of prophecy in their most literal sense, have seen 
in Zech. xiv. !. an" intimation that the Valley of Jeho- 
sophat - .Jehovah judges the "valley of decision 
shall witness the trreat Assi/.e. and that the feet of 
the Judge sliall stand upon the Mount of Olives, from 
which He had ascended into heaven. This was the 
current medieval view, and seems, if we are to localise 
at all, to he more prohahle than any other. 

< 12 > Prom the mount called Olivet. A- to 
the name, gee Note on Luke xix. J!. The mention of 
the distance, and the measure of distant mploved are. 

both of them, remarkable, and surest the thought that 
St. Luke s reckoning was a different one from that 
which Christendom has commonly received, ami that 
the "forty days" expired hefore the last renewal of 
our Lord s intercourse with His disciples, and that 
this ended on the following salibath !.r.. eight days 
icfore the day of Pentecost. (n this supposition we 
get a reason, otherwise wanting, for this manner of 
stating the distance. Symbolically, too. there seems 
a fitness in our Lord s entering into His rest, on tin- 
great day of rest, which is wanting in our common 
way of reckoning. <>n the other hand, it may he noted 
that it is lifter St. Luke s manner as in tin- case of 
Kmniaiis Luke xxiv. 1: . ) to give distances. The 
Salthath day s journey" was reckoned at J.uiMt paces. 
or about six furlongs. 

They went up into an upper room, where 

abode ... - Better, into tin 1 ////>/ r<nn. ( /// //;// 

iliiilinif. The (ireek noun has the article. The 

room may have been the same as that in which the 

Paschal Slipper had been eaten (Mark xiv. 15). On 



the other hand, that room seems to have been diiTen-nt 
from that in which the disciples had lodged during the 
Paschal week, and to have been chosen specially for 
the occasion Luke xxii. 8). Tin- word used is also 
different in form. So far AS we an- able to distinguish 

between t lie t Wo Words, tile TOO 111 of tile Pa-cllal Slipper 

\\as on the first floor, the gne.st -chamber, used for 
meals; that in which tin- disciples now met, on the 
second floor, or loft, which was used for retirement and 
prayer. It would seem from Luke xxiv. .VI. that they 
speiit the L lvater part of each day in the Temple, anil 
met together in the evening. T)IC better M.sS. give 
"prayer" only, without ".supplication." The jiray.-i 
thus offered may he thought of a^ -peciallv directed" to 
the " promise of the Father." Whether it was .p,,K- n 
or silent, unpremeditated or in some set form of word-, 
like the Lord s Prayer, we have no ifntu to determine. 
Peter, and James. On the lists of the Tw.-K- 

Apostles see Notes tin Matt. X. 2 1. The points t,, b, 

noticed are 1 that Andrew stands la>t in the group 
of the first four, divided from his brother, thus agree 
ing with the list in St. Mark liii. 17i ; I that I hilip 
is in like manner divided from Bartholomew, an I 
Thomas from Matthew; (^ithat /dotes appears here, 
as in Luke vi. \~>. instead of the Canaiui-an. 

(i*) With the women. Looking to what we have 
seen in the dlospels. it is a natural inference that here, 
too. the " devout women " of Luke viii. J. . !. were ainmu 
St. Luke s chief informants. This may. perhaps, account 
for the variations in the list just notlOecL 1 he women 
were less likely than the disciples to lay stress r.n what 
we may call the accurate coupling of th.- Twelve. 
The mention of "the women" as a definite body is 
characteristic of St. Luke as the only Evangelist who 
names them See Notes on Luke viii. 1- :!; xxiii. I . . 
We may reasonably think of the company as including 
Mary Magdalene. Salome. Susanna. Joanna. Mary and 
Martha of Bethany, possibly also the woman that hail 
been a sinner, of Luke vii. :>7. Hen- we Ins.- sight 
of them, and all that follows is conjectural. It is 
probable that they continued to share the work and 
tin- suffering of the growing Church at .lerusalcn: 
living together, perhaps at Bethany, in a kind of sister 
hood. The persecution headed by Saul was likely to 
disperse them for a time, and some may well have been 
amonir the " women " who .suffered in it chap. viii. :5 ; 
but they may have returned when it ceased. St. Luke, 
v.hen he came t.) Palestine, vmild seem to have met 
with one or more of them. 

Mary the mother of Jesus.- Brief as tin- record 

is. it has the interest of givinir the last known fact, as 
distinct from legend or tradition, in the life of the 
mother of our Lord. St. John, we know, had taken 
her to his own home, probably to a private dwelling in 
Jerusalem (see Note on John xix. J7 . and she had now 



The -^i 



TIIK A.CTS, r. 



f on toll! 



< 15) And in those days Peter stood up 
in the midst of the disciples, ami said, 
(the immlxT itf Mumes together were 
about an hundred and twenty,) (16 > Men 
inn! brethren, this scripture must needs 
have been fulfilled, which the Holy 
Ghost by the mouth of David spake 
before concerning Judas, 1 which was 
guide to them that took Jesus. (17) For 
he was numbered with us, and had ob 
tained {.art of this ministry. (18) Now 



this man purchased a field with ih<- 
reward of iniquity; and falling head 
long, he burst asunder in the midst, 
and all his bowels gushed out. (ly> And 
it was known unto all the dwellers at 
Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is 
called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, 
that is to say, The field of blood. 
<ao) For it is written in the book of 
Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, 
and let no man dwell therein : and his 



\vitli him to tin- first meeting of the 
Here also \\v trace t lie influence of the women ;is St. 
Luke s informants. They could not have left unnoticed 
the presence of her who was the centre of their group. 
The legends of some apocryphal books represent her 
as staying at Jerusalem with St. John till her death, 
twenty-two years after the Ascension; while others 
represent her as going with him to Ephesus and 
dying there ; the Apostles gather around her dea*h- 
lied : she is buried, and the next day the grave is found 
emptied, and sweet flowers have grown arouud it; 
Mary also had been taken up into heaven. The 
festival of the Assumption, which owes its origin to 
this legend, dates from the sixtli or seventh century. 

With his brethren. The last mention of the 
" brethren " had shown them as still unbelieving (John 
vii. 5). Various explanations of their change may be 
given. (1) They may have been drawn to believe 
before the Crucifixion by the great inii-acle of the 
resurrection of La/arus. (2; The risen Lord had 
appeared to .Tamos as well as to the Apostles (1 Cor. 
xv. 7), and that may have fixed him and the other 
brothers in steadfast faith. (3) If the mother of Jesus 
was with .John, the brethren also were likely to come, 
in irreater or less measure, under the influence of their 
cousin. It may be noted that the brethren are here 
emphaticallv distinguished from the Apostles, and 
therefore that James the son of Alphieus cannot 
rightly be identified with James the Lord s brother. 
(See Xote on Matt, xii. 46.) 

(is) The number of names together were 
about an hundred and twenty. The number 
probably included the Seventy of Luke x. 1. perhaps 
also Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, and some of 
the "live hundred" who had seen their risen Lord in 
Galilee or elsewhere 1 (1 Cor. xv. 6). The use of 
"names" may be merely as a synonym for " persons." 
but It suggests the idea of there having been a list 
from which St. Luke extracted those that seemed most 
conspicuous. 

(16) Men and brethren. Better, brethren only, 
tiie word being used as in the LXX. of Gen. xiii. 8. 
The tone of St. Peter s speech is that of one who felt 
(hat his offence had been fully forgiven, and that he 
\va> now restored by the charge given him. as in John 
xxi. I" -17. to his former position as guide and leader 
>. the other disciples. To do that work faithfully was 
a worthier fruit <.f repentance than any public confes 
sion of his guilt would have been. This, of course. 
loes n,,t exclude -what is in itself probable that In- 
had previously confessed his fault, either to his special 
friend St. John, or to the whole company of Apostle-, 
and other disciples. 

Which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of 
David spake . . . . We have here, obviously, the 



firstfruits of the new method of interpretation in 
which the Apostles had Ix-cn instructed (Luke x\iv. 
27,45). They had already been taught that the Holy 
Spirit which their Lord had promised to them had 
before spoken by the prophets. The recurrence of the 
same- mode of speech in the "holy men of God who* 
spake as they were moved literally, burnt- ulony) by 
the Holy Ghost." in 2 Pet i. 21, is. as far a- it goes r 
evidence in favour of the genuineness of that Epistle. 

Which was guide to them that took Jesus. 
The actual word " guide " is not found in the Gospel 
narrative, but it appears as a fact in all four, notably 
in that of St. John (xviii. 2, 3). 

(i?) For he was numbered with us. Literally, 
he had been numbered. 

Had obtained part of this ministry. Better. 
the portion, or inheritance. The Greek has the article, 
and the noun (cleros) is one which afterwards acquired 
a special half-technical sense in the words. <7< ,//.<. 
clericus, "clerk," clergy. In 1 Pet. v. :!. as being 
" lords over the heritage," we find it in a transition 
sense. (See Note on verse 2~>.) 

(18,19) NOW this man purchased a field. 
Better, acquired, got possession of, a field, the Greek 

i not necessarily including the idea of buying. On 

! the difficulties presented by a comparison of this 
account with that in Matt, xxvii. -"> s. see Note 
on that passage. Here the Held bought with .Juda^V 
money is spoken of as that which he gained as the- 
reward of his treachery. The details that follow 

| are additions to the briefer statement of St. Matthew, 
but are obviously not incompatible with it. Nor is 
then- any necessity for assuming, as some have done. 
that there were two fields known as Aceldama, one 
that which the priests had bought, and the other 
that which was the scene of .Judas s death. The 
whole passage must lie regarded as a note of the 

i historian, not as part of the speech of St. Peter. 

I It was not likely that lie. speaking to disciples, all of 
whom knew the Aramaic, or popular Hebrew of 

Palestine, should stop to explain that Aceldama 

! meant " in their proper tongue. The field of blood." 

(1 9 ) In their proper tongue. -Literally, in ////// 
j own dialect. The word is used frequently in the 
I Acts (ii. 6, 8; xxi. 40), but not elsewhere in the New 

Testament. 

(20) For it is written in the book of Psalms. 

St. Peter s speech is continued after the parenthetical 

note. His purpose in making the quotation is to show 
that the disciples should not be staggered by the trea 
chery of Judas, and the seeming failure of their hopes. 
The Psalms had represented the righteoii- sufferer 
as the victim of tre.icherv. They had also spoken 
of the traitor as receiving a righteous punishment such 

i as had now fallen upon Judas. No strange thing had 

4 



!> i <//, ,1. 



Til K AC I S. I. Th, I m,,.,- 1,, it,, S( 



let am.thertake. -i Wli.-iv- 

1 ,.1-e c& these men which have companied 

u it h MS all t he 1 ime that t he Lord .! 
went in ami nut aiinniu: MS, - - he- 
^innin^ from the haptisni ol .luhn, untu 
that same day that he \\a> taken up 
fnnii us, must one he ordained ti. 1..- a 
,\itue>s with MS of his resurrect ion. 
\nd they a|.|M.inted t w. ,. Joseph 



ralle.1 llarsahas, \\h. mu -nniaine.) 
.Justus, ami Matthia>. - 1 An-l tl,.-y 
prayeil, am! >ail, I lmii, L.nl, which 
knuwrst 111.- hearts . ,f all men, shew 
whet her nf these t \\ < t h.ii hast ch 

.at he ma\ take part ..t this minis 
try and ajmstleship. from \\hirh .Jmlas 

by transgression fell, that lie nii-_rht L r, 

fco his own plaee. - Ami th.-\ . 



li:i]i]irnril. Wh:it had 1 n of old was i v])i-:il ut what 

they had heard r known. \Ve n 1 nut in this place 

discuss cither the historical occasions ot tin- Psalms 
cited, or tin- ethical dilliculties presented I. v their im 
precations ot evil. Neither conies, so to speak, within 
the horizon of St. Peter s thoughts. It wa~ enough 
1 or him to note the striking parallelism which t ; n-v 
presented to wliat was fresh in his memory, and to 
DeHeve that it was not accidental. 

His bishoprick let another take.- Better, as 
in 1 s. cix. s. /,/ unnflirr f<il;r hi* (*//iVr. The Greek word 
is rjii.-n-iiji , . wliich. as meaning an office like that of the 
. ".-. is. of course, in one sense, rightly translated 
l.y " hishoprick." The latter term is. however, so sur 
rounded l.y associations foreign to the apostolic age 
that it is Letter to use the more general, and. then-fore, 
neutral, term of the English version of the Psalm. 
The use uf liislioprick " may l.e noted as an instance 
of the tendency of the revisers of It! II to maintain tin- 
use of " bishop" and the like where the office seemed 
to l.e placed on a high level (as here and in 1 Pet. 
ii. iTii. while they use "overseer" and "oversight" as 
in Acts xx. 28, and 1 Pet. T. 2) where it is identified 
with the functions of the elders or presbyters of the 
Church. "Bishoprick" had. however, been used in 
all previous versions except the <!ene\a. which gives 
" charge." 

(21, Wherefore of these men which have com- 
panied with us. From the retrospective glance at 
the guilt and punishment of the traitor. Peter passes, a ~ 
with a practical sagacity, to the one thing that was now 
needful for the work of the infant Church. They, 
the Apostles, must present themselves to the people ill 
their symbolic completeness, as sent to the twelve tribes 

of Israel, and the gap left b\ the traitor must be tilled by 
one qualified, as they were, to bear witness of what had 
been said or done by their Lord during His ministry, 
and. above all. of Mis resurrection from the dead. That 
would seem, even in St. Paul s estimate, to have been 
a condition of aposilesliip (1 Cor. ix. 1). 

Went in and out . . . - -The phrase was a familiar 
Hebrew [ih rase for the whole of a man s life and 
conduct. Contp. chap. ix. 28.) 

They appointed. It is uncertain whether this 
was the act of the Apostles, presenting the two men to 
the choice of the whole body of disciples, or of the 
community choosing them for ultimate decision by lot. 

Joseph called Barsabas, who was * sur- 
named Justus. Some MSS. give the various. 

reading of " .loses." which was. perhaps, only another 
form of i lie same name. Nothing further is known of 
him. The condit : ons of the case make it certain that 
he must have been a disciple almost from the beginninir 
of our Lord s ministry, and that he must have liecome 
more or less prominent, and probable therefore, as Mated 

by Eusebiiis //;.,/. i. 1-J .that he was one of the Seventy. 

The name Barsabas ^,, n (1 f the oath, or of wisdom 

may have been a patronymic, like Barjona. or may have 



been given, like Barnabas, as denoting characi. 
appears an ain in .Judas liars.-d.a~ of chap \\ JJ. and 
on the former assumption, the two disciples m;.\ 

been brothers. The epithet .Justus, the just one. "is sig- 

nificant. as possibly indicating, as in tin- et 
the .Just, a specially hiirh standard of ascetic holiness. 
Another with the same surname .Ie~u~ siirnamed 
Justus meets ils as being with St. Paul at Home as 
one of "the circumcision" Col. iv. II . and another, 
or possibly the same, at Corinth chap. :.\iii. 7 In 
both eases the use of the Latin instead of the (Jn-ek 
word is noticeable, as indical ing some point of contact 
with the Humans in .ludji-a or elsewhere. 

Matthias. Here. too. pn.habh. the same -oiidi- 
tions were fulfilled. The name, like Matthew ~ee Noti 
on Matt. ix. ! . signified "given l>\ .Jeho\ah." and hail 
become, in various forms, popular, from the fame of 
Mattathias. the great head of the Maccabean family. 

<- 4 ) Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of 
all men. Lit. rally, hmrf-l-nnn; ,- ,,/ nil ,,<>. The 

compound word is not found in -iny(Ji k \ersion of 

the Old Testament. Imt meets us again in chap. \\ ^. 
Tho question meets us whether the prayer is addn-s-ed 

t,. the Lord .Jesus, as with a r .llection of His insight 

into the hearts of men r.Iohu ii. Jt: \i. til- . or to the 
Father. The ]. raver of Stephen .chap. \ii. .".! . ;<i, shows, 
on the one Iftind. that direct jiraver to the Son wa~ not 
foreign to the minds of the disciples; and in .John 
vi. 7 (| . H<- claims the act of .- loosing as His own. On 
the other hand, the analogy of chap. i\ . JM. where tin- 
Father is entreated to work sign,, and wonders " through 
his holy servant .Jesiis." is in favour of the latter \ii-w 

" Whether." as used in the sense of " which of two. 1 
may be noted as one of the archaisms of the English 
version. 

(-*) That he may take part of this ministry. 

Better. ///< jmrflmi. or /// Inf. so as t.. gi\e tin- 
word i /,;()>. as in verse 17 the same prominence in 

English as it lias in the Creek. 

From which Judas by transgression fell. 

The last three words an- as a paraphrase of the ono 
(ireek verb. Better. /r// nii-iiif. 

That he might go to his own place. Literally. 

as the verb is ii: the infinitive. /./ <j<> to liis own place. 
The construction is not free from ambiguity, and some 
interpreter! have referred the words to the disciple- 
about io be chosen, "to go to his own place " in tin- 
company of the Twelve. If we connect them, as 
seems most natural, with .Judas, we lind in them tin- 
kind of reserve natural in one that could neither brinsr 
himself to cherish hope nor venture to pronounce t he- 
condemnation which belonged to the Searcher of 

All that had 1 n re\,-aled to him was. that 

been good for that man if he had not been born " 
i.Mark \iv. -1\ . 

And they gave forth their lots. As inter 
preted by the prayer of verse -J J. and by the w..nl 
fell" here, then- can be no doub- that the passage 



Election 



THE ACTS, II. 



The Day of Pentecost. 



forth tln. ir lots; and the lot fell upon 
Matthias; and he was numbered with 

the fli-vcii apostles. 



CHAPTER II. a) And wh.-n tin- 
day of Pentecost \vas fully coinr. tli-\ 
urn- all with one accord in one lan". 



.spraks .t " lots " and not " vol. -,." Tin- two men were 
chosen by the disciples as standing, as far as they 
could see. on the same level. It was left for t he 
Sean-her of heart^ to show, ly the exclusion of human 
will, which of the two He had chosen. The most usual 
way of casting lots in such cases was to write each 
iiai ne on a tablet, place them in an urn, and then 
shake tin- urn till came out. A like custom pre 
vailed among tin- <i reeks, as in the well-known story 
of the stratagem of Cresphontes in the division 
of territory after the Dorian invasion (Sophocles, 
Ai ix. 1285; comp. Prov. xvi. 33). The practice was 
recognised, it may bo noted, in the Law (Lev. 
xvi. 8). 

He was numbered with the eleven apostles. 
The Greek word is not the same as in verse 17. 
and implies that Matthias was " voted in," the suffrage 
of the Church unanimously confirming the indica 
tion of the divine will which had been given by 
the lot. It may he that tin 1 new Apostle took the 
place which Judas had left vacant, and was the last 
of the Twelve. 

II. 

(!) When the day of Pentecost was fully 
come. It is natural to assume a purpose in the 
divine choice of the day on which the disciples were 
thus to receive the promise of the Father. That choice 
may have been determined, if one may so speak, either 
in view of the circumstances of the feast, or of its 
history and symbolic fitness. 

(1) Of all the feasts of the Jewish year, it was that 
>vhich attracted the largest number of pilgrims from 
distant lands. The dangers of travel by sea or land in 
the early spring or late autumn (comp. chap, xxvii. 9) 
prevented their coining in any large numbers to the 
Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles. At no other 
feast would there have been representatives of so many 
nations. So, it may be noted, it was the Feast of Pen 
tecost that St. Paul went up to keep once and again, 
during his mission-work in Greece and Asia. (See 
Notes on chaps, xviii. 21; xx. 16.) So far, then, there 
was no time on which the gift of the Spirit was likely 
1o produce such direct and immediate results. 

(2) Each aspect of the old Feast of Weeks, now 
known as Pentecost, or the "Fiftieth-day" Feast, pre 
sented a symbolic meaning which made it, in greater 
or less measure, typical of the work now about to be 
accomplished. It was the " feast of harvest, the feast 
of the firstfruits;" and so it was meet that it should 
witness the first great gathering of the fields that were 
white to harvest (Ex. xxiii. 16). It was one on which. 
more than on any other, the Israelite was to remember 
that he had been a bondsman in the land of Egypt, and 
had been led forth to freedom (Deut. xvi. 12 i. and on 
it. accordingly, they were to do no servile work Lev. 
xxiii. 31 1 ; and it was. therefore, a fit time for the gift 
of the Spirit, of whom it was emphatically true that 
-where the Spirit of the Lord is, there fs liberty " 
(2 Cor. iii. 17). and who was to guide the Church into 
the truth which should make men free indeed (John 
viii. 32 . It was a day on which sacrifices of every 
kind were offered burnt offerings, and sin offer 
ings, and meat offerings, and peace offerings ami 
so represented the consecration of body, soul, and 



spirit as a spiritual sacrifice (Lev. xxiii. 17 201. As 
on the 1 assover the first ripe sheaf of corn was waved 
before Jehovah as th" type of the .sacrifice of Christ, of 
the corn of wheat which is not quickened except it 
die (Lev. xxiii. 10; John xii. 21 , so on Pentecost two 
wave-loaves of fine flour were to bn offered, the type, 
it may be, under the li<_rht now thrown on them, 
of the Jewish and the Gentile Churches Lev. xxiii. 17). 
And these loaves were to he leavened, as a witness that 
the process of the coniact of mind with mind, which 
as the prohibition of leaven in the Passover ritual 
l)o re witness is naturally so fruitful in evil, might vet, 
under a higher influence, become one of unspeakable 
good : the new life working through the three measures 
of meal until the whole was leavened. (See Note on 
Matt. xiii. 33. 

(3) Lastly, the Feast of Pentecost had traditionally, 
at least also a commemorative character. On that 
day so it was computed by the later Rabbis, though 
the Book of Exodus (xix. 1 seems to leave the matter 
in some uncertainty the Israelites had encamped 
round Sinai, and there had been thunders and dark 
ness and voices, and the great Laws had been pro 
claimed. It was, that is. an epoch-making day in the 
religious history of Israel. It was fit that it should 
be chosen for another great epoch-making day, which, 
seeming at first to be meant for Israel only, was in 
tended ultimately for mankind. 

Was fully come. Literally, was being accom 
plished. The word seems chosen to express the fact 
that the meeting of the disciples was either on the vigil 
of the Feast-day, or in the early dawn. Assuming the 
Passover to have occurred on the night of the Last 
Supper, the Day of Pentecost would fall on the first 
day of the week, beginning, of course, at the sun- 
i set of the Sabbath. So the Churches of East and 
West have commemorated the day as on the eighth 
Sunday after Easter. In the Latin nations the name 
of Pentecost remains scarcely altered. The Pjingst 
of the Germans shows it still surviving in a very 
contracted form. Some eminent scholars have thought 
that our WTvUttm-faj represents it after a still more 
altered form, and that this is a more probable ety 
mology of the word than those which connect it 
with the white garments worn on that day by newly- 
baptised converts, or with the gift of " wit, or 
wisdom." 

With one accord in one place. Probably in 
the same large upper room as in chap. i. 13. We may 
reasonably think of the same persons as being present. 
The hour, we may infer from verse l.">, was early in 
the morning, and" probably followed on a night of 
prayer. It is said, indeed, that devout Jews used to 
solemnise the vigil of Pentecost by a spcrial thanks 
giving to God for giving His Law to Israel; and thi> 
may well have been the occasion that brought the 
disciples together (Schottgen, H<n: Hi ln-. i it .!</* ii. 1 . 
It was, in the mystic language of the Rabbis, the night 
on which the Law. as the Hnde. was espoused to Israel, 
as the Bridegroom. The frequent occurrence of the 
Creek word for "with one accord" chaps, i. 11; ii. 
Hi; iv. 21-; v. 12i is significant as showing the impres 
sion made on the writer by the exceptional unity of tin- 
new society. Outside the Acts it is found only in 
Rom. xv. 16. 



-// / Mijht;/ M /W. 



TIIK ACTS. II 



. 



1 smltli-iily tin-;.- t-aiiif a sttiiml 
1 iMiii ln-a\fti as nf a rushing mi^ itv 
ami it tilli-d all t In- him-.- \vln-iv 

Ami there 



WIMV sit t iiiLT. 



a]>- 



]"-an-il unto tilt-in rlnvi ii ti mj-u- s lil 
t tin-, ami it sat ii|,.>n ,. : ,,-li ,,f th.-ni 
1 Ami tli. V wt-r- all fillnl with th, 
Hi.lv <;in>st, ami |M- U MM tn .s|M-;ik \\itl. 



And suddenly there came a sound from 
heaven . . . . Tin- (It-script ion reminds us of the 
"sound of !i trumpet " i K\. \i\. l!> ; U.-l>. \ii. \\< <n\ 
Sinai, of tin- "great .-inil strong wind" tli.-it rent the 
mountains on Hori-l) I Kin^s xix. 11 . Such a wind 
was now t cli and heard. r\ en a- 1 1n- wind, tin- lircath. 
tin- S|>irit of < Jod. had moved upon tin- face of tin- 
waters, qoiokeninp them into life i<Jen. i. J . 
A rushing mighty wind. Better <,,;,/liti/l,n,itli 

li<>i-iii- iiinr,iril.<. so a> to connect the Knglish. as the 
<Jreek is eonnected, with St. Peter s words tlmt. "holy 
men of old spake as they were moved literallv. Im,-,!,- 
On] l.y the Holy (illost" 2 Pet. i. li 1 . The (Jreek 
word for "wind " is not that commonly so translated 
<> . but one from the same root as the (Jrcek for 
"Spirit" I m,- and I miium both from Pneu, "I 
l)ivathe"\ and rendered "breath" in chap. xvii. _!">. 
It is ohvioiisly chosen here as being better fitted than 
the more common word for the supernatural inbreath 
ing of which they were conscious, and which to many 
must have recalled the moment when their Lord had 
lin-iitln il on them, and said. Receive ye the Holy 
<ihost " (John xx. liiil. Now. once more, they felt 
that light yet awful breathing which wrought every 
;-rve to ecstasy; and it tilled "the whole house," 
as if in token of the wide range over which the new 
spiritual power was to extend its working, even unto 
the whole Church, which is the House of God (1 Tim. 
iii. I-")), and to the uttermost parts of the earth. 

There appeared unto them cloven tongues 
like as of fi.ro. Better, <///// fuiiym:* n* nf ji,-< Mwn 
*t-i n In/ tlii in, jiiirf il iiii/in/i/ tlii in. The word translated 
cloven" cannot possibly liave that meaning. It is not 
uncommon ./.. \erse l-~> ; Matt, xxvii. 35 ; Luke xxii. 
17; and John xix. 24), and is alwavs used in tile sense of 
dividing or distributing. What the disciples saw would, 
perhaps, lie best descrilx d in modern phrase as a 
-ho\\er of fierv tongues, coming they knew not 
whence, lighting for a moment on each liead. and 
then vanishing. The verb "it ><-.. a tongue of lire 
sat upon" is in the tense- which expresses momentary, 
not continuous, action. 

*> And they were all filled with the Holy 
Ghost. The outward portent was hut the sign of 
ft greater spiritual wonder. AS vet. though they had 
lieen taught to pi-ay for the -rift of the Holv Spirit 
Luke \i. ]: , . and. we must believe, had found the 
jinswer to their prayer in secret and sacred influences 
,-md LTi adual growth in wisdom, they had never been 
<-on-cious of its power as filling" them pervading 
the inner depths of personality, stimulating every 
faculty and feeling to a new in tensity of life. Now 
they felt, in St. IVter s \vords, as "home onward" 
V- I et. i. -\ . thinking thouglits and speaking words 
which were not their own. and which they could hardly 
;-ven control. Thry had passed into a state which was 
Due of rapturous ecstasy and joy. We must not think 
9f the trift as confined to the Apostles. The context 

shows that the writer speaks of all who were assembled, 
not excepting the women, as sharers in it. (Comp. 
verses 17. is. 
And began to speak with other tongues. 

Two facts have to lie rememli.-red as we enter upon the 
of a question which is, beyond all doubt, 



difficult and my-d-rious. 1 If we n ive Mark xvi. 

. J" as a true re.-onl of our Lo--d\ woriU. tin- 
di-cip o had.;: few day- r \\e.-k- before the | 
I eiiteco-t. heard the promise that they that b.-lii-ved 
should " -peak with new tongue-," -,,- Note on Mark 
x\i 17 . ... with new powers of utterance -J Wh.-n 
St. Luke wrote his a. -count of the Day of IVnt.-co-t. he 
mu-t have had partly through his companionship with 
St. Paul, partly from personal observation a wide 
knowledge of the phenomena ili-M-ribed a- connected 
with the " tongues " in I ( or. xiv. He use- the term 
in the sense in which St. Paul had used it \\".- ha\e 
to read the narrative of the Acts in the li^ht thrown 
upon it by the treatment in that chapter of the pheno 
mena described by tile self- -,-inie Word- a- tl,.- IVntero-t 

wonder. \Vhat. t hen. are those phenomena: Doe- t! 
narrative of this chapter brin-r before us any in addi 
tion:- 1- The utterance of the "tongue i- presented 
to us as entirelv unconnected with the work of teaching. 
It i- not a means of instruction. It doe- not edify any 
beyond the man who speaks (I C or. ::iv. 1. It is. in 
this respect, the very antithesis of "prophecy." Men do 
not, as a rule, understand it. though <4od doe- I ( of. 
xiv. li). Here and there, some mind with a special 
gift of insight may lie able to interpret with clear articu 
late speech what had been mysterious and dark 1 ( or. 
Xiv. 13\ St. Paul desires to sllbject the exercise of the 
gift to the condition of the presence of >uch an intt-:- 
preter (1 Cor. xiv. .".. -J7). ilii The free u-- of the yift 
makes him who uses it almost as a barbarian or foreigner 
to those who listen to him. He may utter prayer-, or 
praises, or benedictions, but what he -peaks i- as the 
sound of a trumpet blown uncertainly, of flute or lyre 
play*-:! with unskilled hand, almost, we mitrht say. in the 
words of our own poet, "like sweet bells jangled, out of 
tune and harsh" il Cor. xiv. 7 !> . > > Those \\ln- 
speak with tongues do well, for the n.o-t part, to confine 
their utterance to the solitude of their own chamber, or 
to the presence of friends who can share their r.-.pture 
When they make a more public display of it. it pro 
duces results that stand in singular contra.-t with each 
other. It is a " siiru to them that believe not." i .> .. it 
startles them, attracts their notice, impre es them 
with the thought that they stand face to face with 

a superhuman power. ( n the other hand, tl ut- 

side world of listeners, common men. or unbelievers, 
are likely to look on it as indicating madiie-s 1 ( or. 
xiv. -J:i . " If it was not ritrht or expedient to check the 
utterance of the tongues altogether. St. Paul at least 
thought it necessary to prescribe rules for its exercise 
which naturally tended to throw it into the background 
a- compared with prophecy ( 1 Cor. xiv. -J7. js . Th 
conclusion from the whole chapter is. accordingly, that 
the " tongues" were not the power of speaking in a l.-ui- 
guaire which had not IH-CU learnt by the common wa\ s 
of learning, but the ecstatic utterance of rapturous 
devotion. A- regards the terms which are used to 
descrilw the irift. tin English reader must be reminded 
that the word " unknown " is an interpolation which 
appears for the first time in the version of 1*11. 
Wielif. Tyndale. ( ranmer. and the Kh.-mi-h iri\e no 
adjective, "and ihelJeneva inserts "strange." It mav 
IM> noted further that the (Jreek word for t.neue 
had come to be u-ed by Jreek writers on Rhetoric 



The Gift of Tongues. 



THE ACTS, II. 



7 /i> Multitude present <it (// Feast. 



other tongues, as the Spirit gave them 
utterance. (5) And there were dwelling 



at Jerusalem .lews, devout im-i;. out of 
every nation under heaven. " Now when 



for boltl, poetic, unusual terms. such ;is belonged to 
epic poetry (Aristot. lilu f. iii. :!i. not for those which 
lit -longed to a foreign language. If they were. as 
Aristotle c;ills them, unknown." it w:is because they 
were used in a .startlingly ligurative sense. so that men 
were sometimes ptUEUeu by them (Aristot. Rhti. iii. 
10). Wo have this sense of the old word if//</>.-r 
surviving i:i our <//< ...-<////. a collection of .such terms. 
Tt is clear (1) that such an use of the word would In- 
natural in writers trained as St. Paul and St. Luke 
had lieen in the language of Greek schools; and 
(2) that it exactly falls in with the conclusion to 
which the phenomena of the case leads us, apart from 
the word. 

\\"e turn to the history that follows in this chapter. 
and we tind almost identical phenomena. (1) The work 
of teaching is not done by the gift of tongues, but by 
the .^peech of Peter, and that was delivered either in 
the Aramaic of Palestine, or. more probably, in the 
Greek, which was the common medium of intercourse 
for all the Eastern subjects of the Roman empire. In 
that speech we find the exercise of the higher gift of 
prophecy, with precisely the same results as those 
described by St. Paul as following on the use of that 
gift. iComp. verse 37 with 1 Cor. xiv. 24.25.) (2) The 
utterances of the disciples are described in words 
which convey the idea of rapturous praise. They 
speak the " mighty works," or better, as in Luke i. 49, 
the great things of God. Doxologies, benedictions. 
adoration, in forms that transcended the common level 
of speech, and rose, like the Magnificat, into the region 
of poetry: this is what the word suggests to us. In 
the wild, half dithyrambic hymn of Clement of 
Alexandria the earliest extant Christian hymn out- 
side the New Testament in part, perhaps, in that of 
chap. iv. 2130. and the Apocalyptic hymns (l!ev. iv. 
8,11; v. 13; vii. 10), we have the nearest approach 
to what then came, in the fiery glow of its first utter 
ance, as with the tongues " of men and of angels." 
from the lips of the disciples. (3) We cannot fail 
to be struck with the parallelism between the cry of 
the scoffers here. "These men are full of new wine" 
(verse 13), and the words, "Will they not sav th.-it ye 
are mad ? " which St. Paul puts into the mouth of those 
who heard the "tongues" (1 Cor. xiv. 23). In both 
cases there is an intensity of stimulated life, which 
finds relief in the forms of poetry and in the tones of 
song, and which to those who listened was as the poet s 
frenzy. It is not without significance that St. Paul else 
where contrasts the "being drunk with wine" with 
" being filled with the Spirit," and immediately passes 
on. as though that were the natural result, to add 
speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and 
spiritual songs" (Eph. v. 18, 19). If we* find the old 
Jewish psalms in the first of these three words. ;md 
hymns known and remembered in the second, the 
natural explanation of the adjective specially alluded 
to in the third is that the " songs " or " odes " are such 
as wen- not merely "spiritual in the later sense of 
the word, but were the immediate outflow of the Spirit s 
working. Every analogy, it will be noticed, by which 
St. Paul illustrates his meaning in 1 Cor. xiii. 1, xiv. 
.*. implies musical intonation. We have the sounding 



brass and the tinkling (01 rliim/iiK/ , cymbal, the pipe. 
the harp, the trumpet giving an uncertain sound. It 
falls in with this view that onr Lord Himself compares 
the new energy of spiritual life which He was about 



to impart to new wine (Matt. ix. IT. 1 , and that the same 
comparison meets ns in the Old Testament in the words 
in which Elihu describes his inspiration (.lob xxxii. I .i. 
The accounts of prophecy in its wider .sense, as includ 
ing soiuc and praise, as well as a direct message to the 
minds and hearts of men, in the life of Saul, present 
phenomena that are obviously analogous | 1 Sam. x. 
I<>. 11 ; xix. 2<>. 2l-i. The brief accounts in chap. \. It,, 
"speaking with tongues and magnifying <Jod." and 
chap. xix. ti, where tongues are distinguished from 
prophecy, present nothing that is not in harmony with 
this explanation. 

In the present case, however, there are exceptional 
phenomena. We cannot honest ly interpret St. Luke s 
record without assuming either that the disciples spoke 
in the languages which are named in verses 9 11, or 
that, speaking in their own Galilean tongue, their words 
came to the ears of those who listened as spoken in the 
language with which each was familiar. The first is at 
once the more natural interpretation of the language 
used by the historian, and, if we may use such a word 
of what is in itself supernatural and mysterious, the 
more conceivable of the two. And it is clear that then- 
was an end to be attained by such an extension of the 
gift in this case which could not be attained otherwise. 
The disciples had been present in Jerusalem at many 
feasts before, at which they had found themselves, as 
now, surrounded bv pilgrims from many distant lands. 
Then they had worshipped apart by themselves, with 
no outward means of fellowship with these strangers. 
and had poured out their praises and blessings in their 
own Galilean speech, as each group of those pilgrims 
had done in theirs. Now they found themselves able 
to burst through the bounds that had thus divided them, 
and to claim a fellowship with all true worshippers from 
whatever lands they came. But there is no evidence 
that that power was permanent. It came and went 
with the special outpouring of the Spirit, and lasted 
only while that lasted in its full intensity. (V.mp 
Notes > on chaps, x. 46, xix. 0.) There are no traces 
of its exercise in any narrative of the work of 
apostles and evangelists. They did their work in 
countries where Greek was spoken, even where it 
was not the native speech of the inhabitants, and 
so would not need that special knowledge. In the 
history of chap. xiv. 11, it is at least implied that 
Paul and Barnabas did not understand the speech of 
Lycaonia. 

(5) There were dwelling at Jerusalem. The 
phrase is one of frequent occurrence in St. LukeV, 
writings (Luke xiii. 4 ,- Acts i. 19 ; iv. 16). As a word, 
it implied a more settled residt nee than the "sojourn 
ing" of Luke xxiv. IS i see Note), Hel). xi. 9. but was 
probably sufficiently wide in its range t-> include the 
worshippers who had come up to keep the feast. 

Devout men. For the meaning of the wo; 
Note on Luke ii. 25. The primary meaning was one of 
cautions reverence, the temper that handles sacred 
things devoutly. As such, it was probably used to 
include prosely tes as well as Jews by birth. The words 
that are added, "from every nation under heaven." re 
duce the probability to a certainty. It appears airain 
in chap. viii. ~1. 

When this was noised abroad . . . .Better. 
\\ h> n flx-rt- Ini l !><< n //".- voice, or utterance. The 
word for " voice " is never used for rumour or report 
in the New Testament; always of some utterance 



I 



r l 1 1 K A< TS, 1 1 ./. 



tin- \\;is noised abroad, 1 tin- Ililll- 
titu.l.- cam.- together, iiml wen- e.,n- 

follllded, lieeallse that eYerj mail heard 

tin-ill speak in his own language. : Ami 

they wen- all ama/ed and mancllcd, 

Sa\l!IL, r one to another, liclmld, an- 
nol all lli. si- which speak ( lalihraiis y 
id ho\v hear \\ every man in <>ur 
own tcn^u. -, wherein we were horn? 
Parthians, and Medes. and Klamites, 


and the dweller- in M.-, .;.< .tain i 
in .Iml;i-:i. and < appad- .ri;i, in l .ntii>. 
and Asm, " I hryu ia, and I amj.hylia . 
in Kirypt, :ml in the j,;iri 
al>oiit C\ fen,-, ;un! str.Hic/er.s ,,\ K .ijne, 

Jews ana proeelytea, " CreteaandAifc- 

liians, we dn hear them speak in our 
toii-nics -he wonderful works of <iod. 
n -> And the\ were all ama/.ed. and were 
in doiil)t. saying one to another. What 



human ,M:ilt. iii. 3j < !al. iv. 20), aiitfrlic 1 Tin . 
iv. Iti; Kev. v. 11), or divine (Matt, iii. 17; xvii. 5). 
In .John iii. 7 B66 Not.- tlirivi we tind it used, in t h- 
sain.- connection as in this verse, for the "TOiee" or 
" utterance " of the Spirit. 
Were confounded. The won! is peculiar t<> th 

. \.L t- J; xix. : :! It we were to draw a distinction 

Itet \veell two Words of connate meaning with each 

otlieraiid with the (Ireek. i-niifiifii il woidd, perhaps, be 
a better rendering than eonfounded. 

Every man heard them speak. The verb is in 
the imperfect. They went on listening in their ama/.e- 
nient as oao after another heard the accents of his own 
language. 

In his own language. Another word peculiar 
to the Acts. See Note on chap. i. 15>.) It stands a- 
an equivalent for t lie "tongue" in verse 11. but was 
used for a <lilf<-t. in the modern sense of the term, 
.is well as for a distinct lan^uajr.e. 

(?) They were all amazed and marvelled. 

It will In- noted that this is precisely in accordance with 
what St. Paul describes as the effect of the irjft of 
tongue-. They were a " si^n " to them that believed 
not. filliiiir them with wonder, but the work of con 
vincing and converting was left for the irift of prophecy 
i i or. .iv. -J-J . 
Are not all these which speak Galileeans ? 

This was. of course, antecedently probable, but it is 
singular that this is the tirst assertion of the fact as 
regards the whole company. The traitor had been 
apparently the only exception (see Note on Matt. x. l>. 
and he had jjnne to liis own place. 

And how hear we every man in our 

OWn tongue?- We have here, it is obvious, a coin- 
utterance, in which the writer embodies the 
manifold expressions which came from those who 
represented the several nationalities that an- 
wards enumerated. 

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites 

. . . . The list that follows is characteristic of the 
trained historian trained, it may he. as in the school 
of Stralio see I ulrml in-finn In > /. /,"/;) who had 
carefully inquired what nations were represented at that 
irreat Pentecost, who had himself been present, at least, 
at one later Pentecost i chap. xxi. \ < . and knew tin- 
kind of crowd that irathered to it. There is a kind of 
order, as of one taking a mental bird s-eye view of the 
Roman empire, be^innin^ with the LTivat Parthian king 
dom, which was Mill, as it had been in the days of 
< ras-iis. the most formidable of its foes: then the old 
territory of the Medes which had once been so dnscly 
connect ed with the history of their fathers : then, the 
name of the Persians having been thrown into the back 
ground, the kindred people of Klam i commonly rendered 
Persia in tin- lA X. whom Strabo speaks of as driven 
to the mountains \i. ]:{. ti); then the ^reat cities ,,f 
the Tigris aud Euphrates, where the " pri: 



captivity " still ruled over a lartr--.Jewi-.li population; 
then passing southward and westward to Jnd;i a ; then 
t-i ( appadocia. in the interior of Asia Minor; then to 
Ponttis. on the nurt hern shore washed bv the Enxim-; 
then westward to the Proconsular Province of A-ia. ->t 
which Kphestis was the capital, l- rom Kphesiis the 
eye travels eastward to the neighbouring pro\ince nt 
Phryiria; thencesoiithward to Painphvlia; them- 
the Mediterranean to Kjrvpt ; westward to ( \n-ne ; 
northward, re-crossing the Mediterranean, to th- 
capital of the empire; tlien. as by an after-thought, to 
the two regions of Crete and Arabia that had been pre 
viously omitted. The absence of some countries that we 
should have expected to tind in the list Syria. Cilicia. 
( yprus. Hithynia. Macedonia. Achaia. Spain- is not eas\ 
to explain, but it is. at any rate, an indication that what 
we have is not an artificial list made up at a later date, 
but an actual record of those whose pn-^-nce at th<- Fi-aM 
had been ascertained by the historian. Possibly they 
may have been omitted because .lews and converts 
coining from them would naturally speak (iivck. and 
there would be no marvel to them in hearing Ga ,. leans 
speaking in that lantrua^e. The jiresem-e of .ludaa in 
the list is almost as unexpected as the absence of the 
others. That, we think, ini^rht have been taken for 
granted. Some critics have aceordinrly conjectured 
that "India" must Ix- the true reading, but without 
any .MS. authority. Possibly, the men of .lud. 
named as sharing in the wonder that the (ialileaus 
were no lonp-r distinguished by their ju-ovincial 
C omp. Note on Matt. xxvi. 73.1 

< 10 ) Strangers of Rome . . . -Better, tin l; 
?///, wen xoji in-iiiinj tltiTf /.r.. at .Jerusalem. The 
verb 1^ peculiar to St. Luke in the New Testament, and 
is used by him. as in chap. xvii. Is. of the stra Hirers 
and visitors of a city. 

Jews and proselytes. The words may possibly 

be applicable to the whole precedinr list ; but they 
read more like a note specially emphasising the promi 
nence of the Roman proselUiVs in that mixed multitude 
of worshippers. It lies in the nature of the case, that 
they were proselytes in the full sense of the term, cir 
cumcised and keepinir the Law. Looking to St. Luke s 
use of another word "they that worship (Jod." as in 
chaps, xvi. H: xvii. k 17 for those whom the Kabbis 
lapsed as proselyte- of the irate." it is probable that In 
Used the term in its strictest sense for those who had 

1 n received into the covenant of Israel, and who were 

known in the Rabbinic classification as the "pro 
of righteousness." 

11 The wonderful works of God. Better. 
/// -/> " ////)/>. or ///.- majesty, of Qod. The w 
the same as in Luke i. l!. The word jMiints. 

1 n said abo\e. distinctly to words of praise and not 

of teachinu . 

They wore all amazed, and were in 
doubt. The last word is somewhat stronger 



The Speech of St. Peter. 



THE ACTS, II. 



The Pro} ilc i/ of Joel, 



meaneth this ? (13> Others mocking 
said. These men are full of new wim>. 

|U) But Peter, standing up with the 
eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto 
them, Ye men of Juda-a, and all ye that 
dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto 
you, and hearken to my words : (15) for 
these are not drunken, as ye suppose, 
set-ing it is but the third hour of the 
day. ^ 16) But this is that which was , 
spoken by the prophet Joel ; < 17 > and it I 



shall come to pass in the last days," 
saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit 
upon all flesh : and your sons and your 
daughters shall prophesy, and your 
yung men shall see visions, and your 
old men shall dream dreams: (18) and 
en my servants and on my handmaidens 
I will pour out in those days of my 
Spirit ; and they shall prophesy : 
(19) and I will shew wonders in heaven 
above, and signs in the earth beneath ; 



Greek : " were much perplexed," as in Luke xxiv. 4. 
No New Testament writer uses it except St. Luke. 

What meaneth this ? Better, What may this 
iiu itn ! The same phrase occurs in chap. xvii. 18. 

(13) These men are full of new wine. Literally, 
<>f xict ft drink the word " wine " not being used 
stronger and more intoxicating than the lighter and 
thinner wines that were ordinarilv drunk. The Greek 
word was sometimes used, like the Latin mitstiim, for the 
nnfermented grape- juice. Here, however, the context 
shows that wine, in the strict sense of the word, was in 
tended, and the use of the same word in the LXX. of 
Job xxxii. 19 confirms this meaning. The word for " new 
wine " in Matt. ix. 17. Mark ii. 22, is different, but there 
also (see Notes) fermentation is implied. The words, as 
has been said above (Note on verse 4), point to a certain 
appearance of excitement in tone, manner, and words. 

< u > But Peter, standing up with the eleven, 
. . . We are struck at once with the marvellous change 
that has come over the character of the Apostle. 
Timidity has become boldness ; for the few hasty words 
recorded in the Gospels we have elaborate discourses. 
There is a method and insight in the way he deals with 
the prophecies of the Christ altogether unlike anything 
that we have seen in him before. If we were reading a 
fictitious history, we should rightly criticise the author 
for the want of consistency in his portraiture of the same 
character in the first and second volumes of his work. 
As it is, the inconsistency becomes almost an evidence 
of the truth of the narratives that contain it. The 
writer of a made-up-history, bent only upon reconciling 
the followers of Peter and of Paul, would have made 
the former more prominent in the Gospels or less 
prominent in the Acts. And the facts which St. Luke 
narrates are an adequate explanation of the phenomena. 
In the interval that had passed. Peter s mind had been 
opened by his Lord s teaching to understand the 
Scriptures (Luke xxiv. 45), and then he had been 
endued, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, with power from 
on high. That which lie now speaks is the first utterance 
of the new gift of prophecy, and followed rightly on 
tli;- pin-tent of the " tongues " to bring about the work of 
conversion which they had no power to accomplish. The 

si h which follows was spoken either in the Aramaic 

of Palestine, or. more probably, in the Greek, which 
was common in (Jalilee, and which would be intelligible 
to all. or nearly all. of the p lgrims from distant 
Countries. 

And said unto them. The ve-b is not the word 
commonly so rendered, but that which is translated 
"utterance." or "to utter." in verse 4. The unusual 
w.n-d was probably repeated here to indicate that what 
follows was just as much an "utterance" of the Holy 
Spirit, working on and through the spiritual powers of 
man. as the marvel of the " tongues " had b. en. 



Hearken to my words. Literally, qive ear to. 
The verb is an unusual one, and is found here only 
in the New Testament. It is used not uni requently in 
the LXX.. as, e.g., in Gen. iv. 22 ; Job xxiii. 1>. 

(is) Seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 
The appeal is made to the common standard of right 
feeling. Drunkenness belonged to the night (1 Thess. 
v. 7). It was a mark of extremest baseness for men to 
" rise up early in the morning that t hey may follow strong 
drink" (Isa. v. 11; comp. also Kccles. x. 1<I . \Vere tL- 
disciples likely to be drunk at ! a.m., and that on the 
morning of the Day of Pentecost, after a night spent in 
devotion, and when all decent Jews were fasting ? 

U?) It shall come to pass in the last days. 
The prophecy of Joel takes its place, with the excep 
tion, perhaps, of Hosea, as the oldest of the prophet it- 
books of the Old Testament. The people were suffer 
ing from one of the locust-plagues of the East and its 
consequent famine. The prophet calls them to repen 
tance, and promises this gift of the Spirit as the great 
blessing of a far-off future. He had been taught that 
no true knowledge of God comes . but through that 
Spirit. So Elisha prayed that a double portion (i.e. r 
the eldest son s inheritance) of the Spirit which God 
had given to Elijah might rest upon him 2 Kings ii. ! . 

Your sons and your daughters shall pro 
phesy. The Old Testament use of the word, in 
its wider generic sense, as. e,g., in the case of Saul, 
1 Sam. x. 10, xix. 20 24, covered phenomena analo 
gous to the gift of tongues as well as that of prophecy 
in the New Testament sense. The words imply that 
women as well as men had been filled witli the Spirit. 
and had spoken with the " tangoes." 

Your young men shall see visions. Th 
"visions," implying the full activity of spiritual 
power, are thought of as belonging to the younger 
prophets. In the calmer state of more advanced age, 
wisdom came, as in the speech of Elihu, " in a dream. 
in visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon 
men " (Job xxxiii. 15). 

< 18 > And on my servants and on my hand 
maidens . . . This was the culminatii!- point of 
the joyous prediction. Not on priests oniy. cr those wh< 
had been trained in the schools of the prophets, but on 
sl.-ivcs. male and female, should that gift be poured by 
Him who was no respecter of persons. The life of A HIM-,. 
the herdsman of Tekoa. the "gatherer of sycomore- 
fruit" i Amos i. 1: \ii. II . was. perhaps, the earliest 
example of the gift so bestowed. Tin- apostolic au 
must have witnessed many. The fisherman of (Jalilee. 
who was now speaking, was the forerunner of thou 
sands in whom the teaching of the Spirit has superseded 
the traininu; of the schools. 

" And I will shew wonders in heaven 
above. St. Peter quotes the words of terror that 



Th- / /. /// 



TIM; ACTS, ii. 






I, :uid fin-, and vapour of snmk.- : 

-" the sun shall he turned into dark- 

,llld the Mioon itlto l.|. .oil, before .iJoel7.31. 

that 1:1-1 -at ami notable da\ of t In- 

come : J: and it shall eome to 

thnl \\hosoe\er shall call .M the name 

of the Lord shall be saved/ <> Ye men & HOB. ic. a. 

of l.-rael, hear these words; .Jesus of 

Na/areth, a man a|>|u-o\ed of ( ;,.<! 

anioni: yon hy iuira<-les and wonders 

and signs, which God did by him in the P*.W.. 



midst of you 

know: - ; him, b.-im: deliver,-,! l.y lli. 
determinate e.>mi.-el and fo|-ekiio\\ ledu"- 
of God, ye have taken, and l.y \\i.-kel 
hands have enieitied and -lain: 
lioin <i..d hath raised H|>. having 
loose<l the |,;iin- of death: beran.-e it 
was not |.od.|e that he >h.. u ld i.e 
holdenofit. -" For havid >i.i-;ik-th con 
cerning him, I foresaw the Lord alwavs 
before my face/ for he is <.n my rii/ht 



follow. a])]ian-iitly. for the sake of tin- pn.mi-e with 
which they end in \erseJl. But as it was in.t i_n\.-ii 
to him as yet to know tin- times anil the season- 
i. 7 . it may well have l.een that he looked for the "great 
ami notalile day" as al.oiit to eoine in liis own time. 
Tlie imagery i- drawn as from one of the great thunder 
storm^ of Palestine. There is the lurid blood-red hue 
of clouds and sky: there are the fiery flashes, the 
columns or ]iillars of smoke-like clouds boiling from 
the abyss. These, in their turn, were probal.lv thought 
of as symbols of l.loodshed. and fire and smoke, such 
as are involved in the capture and destruction of a 
city like .Jerusalem. 

W) The sun shall be turned into darkness. 

Both clauses bring l.efore u> the phenomena of an 
eclipse: the total darkness of the sun. the dusky copper 
hue of the moon. Signs, of which these were but 
faint images, had l.een predicted by our Lord, echoing, 
as it \\en-. tlie words .if .Joel, as among the preludes of 
Hi- Advent i Matt. xxiv. 29). 

That great and notable day. St. Luke follows 
the JjXX. version. The Hebrew Drives, as in our 
version, "the threat and terrible day." As seen by 
the prophet, the day was terrible to the enemies of 
<Jod: a day of blessing to "the remnant whom the 
Lord should call" .Joel ii. : _ ). The (Jreek word for 
" notable " \fjiij, IKII, : .< i lent itself readily to the thought 
of the great Epiphany or manifestation of Christ as 
the .Judge of all. 

<-! Whosoever shall call on the name of the 
Lord . . . Singularly enough, the precise phrase, to 
"call upon" Cod. common as it is in the Old Testa 
ment, does not occur in the (Josp.-ls. With St. Luke 
and St. I aid it is. as it were, a favourite word i chaps. 
vii. :>!; ix. II: K,,m. x. li! : 1 Cor. i. 2). Its (Jreek 
associations gave to the "invoking" which it expressed 
almost the force of an appeal from a lower to a higher 
tribunal. iCoinp. chap. xxv. 11,21,25. Sere the 
thought is that that Name of the Kternal. invoked by 
the prayer of faith, was the one sufficient condition of 
deliverance in the midst of all the terrors of the coming 
day of the Lord. 

JOSUS of Nazareth. We hardly estimate, as 

we read them, the boldness implied in tin utterai .f 

that Name. Barely seven weeks had passi-d since He 
who IM> re it had died the death of a slave and of a 
The speaker himself had denied all knowledge 
.if Him of whom he now spoke. 

A man approved of God. The verb is used in 

its older Knu-lUh sense, a- pn.vd. <>r //"/ ,,/,,/ ,mf, not 
as we now use the v.-ord. as meeting with the approval 

of God. 
Miracles and wonders and signs. Better. 

mil/lit /I workt . . The word- are ihrec svnonvm-. 
expressing different aspe.-t- of the - ;i nie facts, rather 



than a clas-ification of j.henomena. The leading 
thought, in the first word, is the power di-play-d in 
t!ie act: in the second, the marvel of it a- a portent; 
in the third, its character as a token or not.- of some 
thing beyond itself. 

W) By the determinate counsel and fore 
knowledge of God. The adjective n ts us again 

in St. Peter s speech in chap. X. 1J; the Word for 

" foreknowledge" in his Kpi-tle I I .-t. i. J . and there 
only in the New Testament. The coincidence i- not 
without its force as bearintr on the ijvnuiiieiic-- both of 
the speech and of the letter. It ha- now become tin- 
habit of the Apostle s mind to trace the working of a 
divine purpose, which men. even when th.-v are most 
bent on thwarting it. are unconsciously fulfilling. In 
chap. i. lli. lie had seen that purpose in the trea.- 
Judas; he sees it now in the malignant injti-tice of 
priests and people. 
Ye have taken . . . .-Better. ?/< /.//.-. ,,,! h> f 

litirlt xx tuniih crni-lji,-<i nuil >/-//. Sire-- is laid on the 
priests having u-.-d the hands of one who wa- " without 
law" (1 Cor. ix. 1\ I. a heathen ruler, to inflict the 
doom which they dared not inflict themselves. 

Whom God hath raised up. It is probable- 
enough that some rumours of the Hesurrectii.ii had 
found their way among the people, and had been met 
by the counter-statement of which we read in Matt. 
xxviii. 11 15: but this was the first public witness, 
borne by one who was ready to seal hi- testimony with 
his blood, to the stupendous fact. 

Having loosed the pains of death.- The word 
for "pains" is the same as that for "sorrow-" in 
Matt. xxiv. 8: literally, travaii-pongt. The phrase ua-. 
not uncommon in the LXX. version, but wa- apparently n 
mistranslation of the Hebrew for "cords." or " band-, 
of death. If we take the (Jreek word in it- full 
m.-aiiinir. the Resurrection is thought of a- a new birth 
as from the womb of the grave. 

Because it was not possible . . . .The moral 

impossibility \va-. we may say. two-fold. The work of 
the Son of Man could not ha\e ended in a failure and 
death which would have given the lie to all that He 
had asserted of Himself. Its issue could not run 
counter to the prophecies which had implied with mon- 
or less clearness a \ ictory over death. The latter, as the 
Sequel shows. \\as the thought prominent in St. 1 
mind. 

For David speaketh concerning him. 

More accurately, in re/0renci /" Him ->.. in words 
which extended to Him. Headiiiir 1 -. x>i. without this 
interpretation, it seems a- if it -poke only of the con 
fidence of the writer that he would be him self d. 
from the >rrave and death. Some interpreter- con 
fine that confidence to a temporal deliverance. 
extend it to the thought of immortality, or even of a 



Tb IkwrrectfaSoretold by Demid. THE ACTS. II. 



Tic X, jiul<-Iiri" nt Jtili i I. 



hand, that I should not be moved: 
therefore <li<l my heart rejoice, and 
my tongue was ^lad ; moreover also my 
Mi-sli shall rest in ho]><>: W) because 
thoii wilt not Iravr my soul in hell, 
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One 
to see corruption. <*> Thou hast made 



known to me the ways of life; thou 
>halt makr UK- full of joy with thyconn- 
trnanrr. ( -" Mm and brethren, let mo 
ttv.-ly speak unto you of the patriarch 
David," that he is both dead and buried, 
and his sepulchre is with us unto this 
day. t 30 Therefore being a prophet, 



resurrection. But Peter had been taught, both by his 
Lord Mini liy the Spirit, that all such hopes extend 
beyond themselves that the ideal of victory after suf 
fering, no less tliMii that of the righteous sufferer, was 
realised in Christ. The fact of the Kesurreetion had 
given a new meaning to prophecies which would not, [ 
of themselves, have surest ed it, but which were in 
complete without it. 

He is on my right hand. The Psalmist thought 
of the Eternal as the warrior thinks of him who. in the 
conflict of battle, extends his shield over the comrade 
who is on the left hand, and so guards him from 
attack. When the Sou of Man is said to sit on the right 
hand of God (Ps. ex. 1 ; Matt. xxvi. 64) the imagery is i 
different, and brings before us the picture of a king 
seated on his throne with his heir sitting in the place I 
of honour by his side. 

(20) My tongue was glad. -The Hebrew gives 
" my glory," a term which was applied to the inind of \ 
man, perhaps also to his faculty of speech ( Pss. Ivii. 8 ; 
Ixii. 7). as that by which he excelled all other creatures 
of God s hand. The LXX. had paraphrased the word 
by " tongue." and St. Peter, or St. Luke reporting his | 
speech, follows that version. 

Also my flesh shall rest in hope. Literally, j 
shall tabernacle, or, dwell as in a tabernacle. We I 
may, perhaps, trace an echo of the thought in J 
2 Pet, i. 13. 14. 

(27) Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell. 
Literally, in Hades. (See Note on Matt. xi. 23.) As 
interpreted by St. Peter s words in his Epistle il Pet. 
iii. 1IM. the words conveyed to his mind the thought 
which has been embodied" in the article of the "Descent 
into Hell." or Hades, in the Apostle s Creed. The 
death of Christ was an actual death, and while t Ill- 
body was laid in the grave, the soul passed into 
the world of the dead, the tikeol of the Hebrews, the 
Hades of the Greeks, to carry on there the redemptive 
work which had been begun on earth. (Comp. chap, 
xiii. 3437, and Eph. iv. 9.) Here again we have an 
interest ing coincidence with St. Peter s ]an<ruar<- 
(1 Pet. iii. ll i. as to the work of Christ in preaching 
to the " spirits in prison." 

Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to 
see corruption. The word for "holy" is different 
from that commonly so rendered, and conveys the idea 
of personal piety and godliness rather than consecra 
tion. As the Psalmist used the words, we may think 
of them as expressing the confidence that he himself. 
as loving, and beloved of, God, would be delivered from 
dest ruction, both now and hereafter. St. Peter had 
learnt to interpret the words a-s having received a 
higher fulfilment. Christ was. in this sense, as well 
us in that expressed bv the other word, "the Holv 
One" of God ..Mark i". 24; Luke iv. 34). In Ibb. 
vii. 26; Rev. xv. I ; x -i. T>. this very word is applied to 
Christ. The Hebrew text of Ps. xvi. 10 presents the 
various -reading of "the holy ones." as if referring to 
the "saints that are upon t he earth." of verse 3. The 
L.XX., which St. Peter follows, gives the singular. 



which is indeed essential to his argument, and this is 
also the reading of the Mason-tic text. The Greek word 
for "corruption " ranges in its meaning from " decav " 
to " destruction." The Hebrew to which it answers 
is primarily the " pit " of the grave, and not " corrnp 
tion," or " wasting away." 

<- S| Thou hast made known to me the ways 
Of life. The Apostle does not interpret these words. 
but we can hardly err in thinking that he would have 
looked on them also as fulfilled in Christ s humanitv. 
To Him also the ways of life had been made known 
and so even in Hades He was filled with joy (better, 
perhaps. </ln<lnrsx, as in Acts xiv. 17 . as being in the 
Paradise of God (Luke xxiii. 43). 

( *>> Let me freely speak. Better, it is Um-f.il 
for me to speak with freedom. Those to whom the , 
Apostle spoke could not for a moment dream of 
asserting that the words quoted had been literally and 
completely fulfilled in him, and it was therefore natural 
to look for their fulfilment elsewhere. 

Of the patriarch David. The word is used in its 
primary sense, as meaning the founder of a family or 
dynasty. In the New Testament it is applied also to 
Abraham (Heb. vii. 4) and the twelve sons of Jacob 
(Acts vii. 8). In the Greek version of the Old Tes 
tament it is used only of the comparatively subordinate 
"chief of the fathers" in 1 Chron. ix. 9; xxiv. :1. 
et al. 

His sepulchre is with us unto this day. 
The king was buried in the city which bore his name 
(1 Kings ii. 10). Joseph us relates that vast treasures 
were buried with him (Ant. vii. 15, 4), and that John 
Hyrcanus opened one of the chambers of the tomb, 
and took out three thousand talents to pay the tribute 
demanded by Antiochus the Pious (Ant. xiii. v . 
Herod the Great also opened it and found no money, 
but gold and silver vessels in abundance. The tra 
dition was that he sought to penetrate into the inner 
vault, in which the bodies of David and Solomon \\en- 
resting, and was deterred by a flame that issiird from 
the recess (Ant. xvi. 7. 1 ). It is difficult to under 
stand how such a treasure could have escaped the plun 
derer in all the sieges and sacks to which Jerusalem 
had been exposed; but it is possible that its fame as 
a holy place may have made it. like the temples ;i t 
Delphi and Ephesus. a kind of bank of deposit, in 
which large treasures in coin or plate were left for 
safety, and many of these, in the common course of 
things, were never claimed, and gradually accumulated. 
The monuments now known as the "tombs of the kiln:- " 
on the north side of the city, though identified by l> 
Sanley with the sepulchres of the house of David, are 
of the Roman period, and are outside the walls. Da\ i 1 
and his successors were probably buried in a vault 01: 
the eastern hill, in the city of David (1 Kind s ii. IH.. 
within the range of the enclosure now known ;i 
Hi i i-n ni Area. 

i:; "> Therefore being a prophet. The words 

according to the flesh. He would raise up Christ. 
are wanting in many of the best MSS. Without iheia 



Of til Ho/I/ (l /IUSt. 



TIIK ACTS i! 



Jesita as Lord ,,. 



iiitl knowing that < lod li;nl swnni with 
:m oath to him. tli;it of tin- IVuit ot his 1*1*. 
l..itis, according to tin- llesh. In- would 
raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 

6 seeing this hcfoiv s|i;ikc of the 

resurrect ion of Christ, th;;i his soul w;is 
not left in hell, neither his II. ->h did see 
t-orrii|it ion. - This Jesus hath (Jod 
raised up. u hereof we all arc u it n- 

Therefore heinof hy the ri^ lit hand 
of (Jod exalt. (!, and having received of 
tin- Father tlie promise of the Holy 
l.ho.st. he hatli shed forth this, which 
ye now see a ud heai-. ;1 For David is 



not ascended into the IMMV.-MS: hut he 

saitli himself. The LOKI. said unto iu\ 

Lord. Sit thoii on niv ri- ht hand, 

;ntil I make thv fi>.-s thv footstool 

(38) Therefore |,-f ;,ll the hollse of | >r: ,,.| 

know assiiredK, that (Jod hath made 
that same .If-us, \\hoin ve ha\e cru<-i- 
tied, both Lord and Christ. 

|:{7 Now when they heard //,/>. tliey 
were jiricked in their heart, and said 
unto Peter and to the rest o| - the 
apostles, Men <///</ hrethivn, what sliall 
we doP W Then Peter said unto them, 
Bepent, and he baptized every one ol 



the sentence, though somewhat incomplete, would run 
thus: "That (iod li;nl sworn with an outh that Jrm 
lii* li ii/n in xltmil l nit ii/mii Itix tlimui-." The 
wnnls claim for the Psalmist a prophetic foresight of 
some kind, without defining its measure or clearness 
His thoughts went Iteyond himself to the realisation 
of liis hopes in a near or far-off future. As with 
most other prophets, the piveise time, even the "manner 
of time." was hidden from him (1 Pet. i. 11). 

Ho would raise up Christ. -Tin- (I reek, by using 
the verb from whieli comes the word "resurrection." 
gives to the verh the definite sense of "raising from 
the dead." 

( ;!1 ) He seeing this before . . . .In the vision 
:>t the future which St. Peter thus ascribes to David, 
the king had been led, as he interprets the words, not 
only or chiefly to speak out his own hopes, hut to utter 
that which received its fulfilment in the fact of the 
resurrection. What was conspicuously not true of the 
historical David was found to be true of the Sou of i 
David according to the flesh. 

< :t -> This Jesus hath God raised up . . .From 

the first the Apostles take up the position which their 
Lord had assigned them. They are witnesses, and before 
and above all else, witnesses of the Kesurrectiou. 

Therefore being by the right hand of 
God. The (ireek has the dative case without a pre 
position. The English version takes it. and probably 
is right in taking it. as the dative of the instrument, 
the image that underlies ihe phrase being that the 
Kternal King stretches forth His hand to raise Him 
who was in form His Servant to a place beside Him on 
His right hand ; and. on the whole, this seems the best 
rendering. Not a few scholars, however, render the ; 
words "exalted to the ri<jht hand of God." 

Having received of the Father. -The words of 
St. IVtcr. obviously independent as they are of the 
Gospel of St. .lolm. present a striking agreement \\ith 
our Lord s laniruaire as recordei by liini .lohn xiv. Jli ; 
\\. J i . The promise thn.ws us back upon tln-se 
chapters, and also ujion cha]>. i. 4. 

Hath shed forth this. Better. Imtli pmn-r.l ,,{. 

The verb had not been used in the ( iospels of the 
promise of the Spirit, but is identical with that which 
was found in the Creek version of .loci s prophecy, as 
cited in verse 17. " 1 will jinnr out of M v Spirit." 

The Lord said .... There i-. when we 

remember what had passed but seven weeks before, 
something very striking in the reproduction by St. 
[Vter of the verv words by which our Lord had 
brought the -crilies to cnnfe-s their ignorance of the 
ation of the Psalmist vstcrious words 

13 



IV .A. 1 . Bee Note on Matt. xxii. 44.) Those who 
were then silenced are now taught how it was that 
David s Sou was also ] >avid s Lord. 

(3) That same Jesus . . . .Better. ////> ./, 

Both Lord and Christ. Some MSS. omit " both." 
The word "Lord" is used with special reference to the 
prophetic utterance of the Psalm thus cited. There i* 
a rhetorical force in the very order of the words which 
the English can scarcely give: "that both Lord and 
Christ hath ( Jod made this .Jesus whom ye crucified." 
The pronoun of the last verb is emphatic-, as pointing 
the contrast between the way in which the Jews of 
Jerusalem had dealt with Jesus and the recognition 
which he had received from the Father. The utteranc. 
of the word "crucified " at the close, pressing home the 
guilt of the people on their consciences, may be thought 
of as. in a special manner, workiug the result described 
in the next ver-e 

C7) They were pricked in their heart. 
The verb occurs here only in the New Testament, and 
expresses the sharp, painful emotion which is indicated 
in " compunction," a word of kindred meaning. A 
noun derived from it. or possibly from another root, is 
used in Rom. xi. K in the sense of "slumber." 
apparently as indicating either the unconsciousness 
that follows upon extreme pain, or simple drowsiness. 
In "attrition" and "contrition" we have analogous 
instances of words primarily physical used for spiritual 
emotions. 

(38j Repent, and be baptized every one of 
you in the name of Jesus Christ. The work 
of the Apostles is. in one sense, a continuation, in 
another a development, of that of the Baptist. There 
i- the same indispensable condition of " repentance " 
i.e. a change of heart and will the same outward rite 
as the symbol of purification, the same promise of 
forgiveness which that change involves. But the bap 
tism is now, as it had not l>een before, in the name of 
Jesus Christ, and it is connected more directly with tin- 
gift of the Holy Spirit. The question presents itself. 
Why is the baptism here, and elsewhere in the Acts 
x l"s : xix ">>. " in the name of .lesiis Christ." while iu 
Matt, xxviii. l!. the Apostles an- commanded to ba]>ti/. 
in the name of the Father, the Son. and the Holy 
Spirit r Various explanations have been given. It ha- 
lieen said that bapti-m in the Xame of any one of the 
Per-on- of the Trinity, involves the Xame of (lie other 
Two. It has even IM CII assumed that St. Luke meant 
the fuller formula when he used the shorter one. But 
a more satisfactory solution is. perhaps, found in seeing 
in the words of .Matt, xxviii. l! (see Note the--, 
formula for the baptism of those who. : 



to nil t/i if are afar of. THE ACTS, II. Three ThouMmd converted a 



you in tho name of Jesus Christ for the 
remission of sins, and ye shall receive 
fche -in of the Holy (Jhost. < : " For 
the promise is unto you, and to your 
children, and to all that are afar off, 
even as many as the Lord our God shall 
call. < 40 > And with many oilier words 
did he testify arid exhort, saying, Save 



yourselves from this untoward genera* 
tion. 

< 41 > Then they that gladly received his 
word were baptized : and the same day 
there were added unto them about three 
thousand souls. (42) And they con 
tinued steadfastly in the apostles doc 
trine and fellowship, and in breaking 



had been "without God iii the world, not knowing 
the Father ; " while for converts from Judaism, or 
those who had In-fore been proselytes to Judaism, it 
was enough that there should be the distinctive pro 
fession of their faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son 
of God. added on to their previous belief in the Father 
and the Holy Spirit. In proportion as the main work 
of the Church of Christ lay among the Gentiles, it was 
natural that the fuller form should become dominant, 
and finally be used exclusively. It is interesting here, 
also, to compare the speech of St. Peter with the stress 
laid on baptism in his Epistle (1 Pet. iii. 21). 

Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
Tlit word for "gift" (<1 < < <() is generic, and differs 
from the more specific "gift" (charisma] of 1 Cor. 
xii. 4, 9, 28. The Apostle does not necessarily promise 
startling and marvellous powers, but in some way they 
should all feel that a new Spirit was working in them, 
and that that Spirit was from God. 

(39) The promise is unto you, and to your 
Children. The tendency of sects lias always been to 
claim spiritual gifts and powers as an exclusive privi 
lege limited to a few. It is the essence of St. Peter s 
appeal that all to whom he speaks can claim the promise 
as fully as himself. The phrase " those that are afar off," 
*vas probably wide enough to cover both the Jews of 
the Dispersion, to whom the Apostle afterwards wrote 
(1 Pet. i. 1, 2). and the heathen nations among whom 
they lived. The use of the phrase in Eph. ii. 13, 17, 
inclines rather to the latter meaning. 

Even as many as the Lord our God shall 
call.- -There seems, at first sight, a limitation on the 
universality of the previous words. And in some sense 
there is ; but it is not more than is involved in the fact 
that spiritual knowledge and culture are not bestowed 
on all nations and ages alike. Wherever there is a dif 
ference, some possessing a higher knowledge and greater 
power than others, the Apostle could only see, not 
chance, or evolution, but the working of a divine pur 
pose, calling some to special privileges, and yet dealing 
equitaMy with all. 

<* With many other words. The report 
breaks off, as if St. Luke s informant had followed 
closely up to this point and then lost count of the 
sequence of thought and words. 

Did he testify i.e., continued to testify. 

Save yourselves. Literally, in the passive, Be ye 
saved. They wen; invited to submit to God s way of 
salvation, to accept Jesus as their Saviour. 

From this untoward generation. Literally, 
from this crooked generation, as the word is rendered 
in Luke iii. 5 : Phil. ii. 15. 

() They that gladly received his word were 
baptized. This was, we must remember, no new- 
emotion. Not four years had passed since there had 
been a like eagerness to rush to the baptism of .John. 
(See Xotes on Matt. iii. .", ; xi. 12.) 

Three thousand souls.- The largeness of the 
number has been urged as rendering it probable that 



the baptism was by affusion, not immersion. On the 
other hand, (1) immersion had clearly been practised 
by John, and was involved in the original meaning of 
the word, and it is not likely that the rite should 
have been curtailed of its full proportions at the very 
outlet. (2) The symbolic meaning of the act required 
immersion in order that it might be dearly manifested. 
and Bom. vi. 4, and 1 Pet. iii. 21. seem almost of 
necessity to imply the more complete mode. The 
swimming-baths of Bethesda and Siloam (see Notes 
on John v. 7; ix. 7), or the so-called Fountain of 
the Virgin, near the Temple enclosure, or the bathing- 
places within the Tower of Antony (Jos. Wars, v. 5, 
8), may well have helped to make the process easy. 
The sequel shows (1) tliat many converts were made 
from the Hellenistic Jews who were present at the 
I-Vast (chap. vi. 1); and (2) that few. if any, of the 
converts were of the ruling class I chap. iv. I . It is 
obvious that some of these converts may have gone 
back to the cities whence they cam.-, and may have been 
the unknown founders of the Church at Damascus, or 
Alexandria, or Rome itself. 

(42) And they continued steadfastly. The one 
Greek word is expressed by the English verb and 
adverb. As applied to persons, the New Testament 
use of the word is characteristic of St. Luke (chaps, 
ii. 46; vi. 4; viii. 13; x. 7), and peculiar to him and 
St. Paul (Rom. xii. 12; xiii. 6; Col. iv. 2). 

The apostles doctrine. Four elements of the 
life of the new society are dwelt on. (1) They 
grew in knowledge of the truth by attending to the 
friirlihig of the Apostles. This, and not the thought 
of a formulated doctrine to which they gave their con 
sent, is clearly the meaning of the word. (See Note on 
Matt, vii. 28.) (2) They joined in outward acts of 
fellowship with each other, acts of common worship, 
acts of mutual kindness and benevolence. The one 
Greek word diverges afterwards into the sense of what 
we technically call " communion," as in 1 Cor. x. 16, 
and that of a " collection " or contribution for the> 
poor (Rom. xv. 26; 2 Cor. ix. 1:5 . 

And in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 

(3) St. Luke uses the phrase, we must remember, in 
the sense which, when he wrote, it had acquired in St. 
Paul s hands. It can ha\e no meaning less solemn 
than the commemorative " breaking of bread, 7 of 1 Cor. 
X. 16. From the very first what was afterwards known 
as the Lord s Supper (866 Note on 1 Cor. xi. _!<> took its 
place with baptism as a permanent universal dement in 
the Church s life. At first, it would seem, the evening 
meal of everv day was such a supper. Afterwards the 
two elements that had then been united were developed 
-i-paratelv. the social into the At/n/m-. or Feasts of Love 
lJude. verse 12, and though here there is a various- 
reading 2 Pet. ii. 13). the other into the Communion, 
or Eucliaristic Sacrifice. (4) Prayer, in like manner, 
included private as well as public devotions. These 
may have been the outpouring of the heart - desires; 
but" they may also have been what the disciples had 



All 



n <-nnnn. 



TIIK ACTS, II. 



The Lit / tin / n lix fff V. 



of liread. ;lll(l ill pHIVtTS. "" A ! H 1 f M I 1 

came ii|>"ii e\er\ s. Mil: anl many won 
ders ana signs were done b) t In- a post l-s. 

\ IK! all t hat believed \\ere to^et her, 
ami had all things common; ^ and 
sold their possessions and ^oods, and 
part I d them to all men, as every man 
had need. W And they, continuing 



daily with one accord in the temple, 
and lireakin^ l>n-ad I mm IH.IIX- t. 
house, 1 did cat their meat v. ith glad 
ness and singleness <.f heart, !7 j.rai>- 
IIIM; (Ind. and haying favour with all 
the people. And the Lord added to 
the church daily such as should be 
saved. 



IHM-M taught to pray, as in Matt. vi. !, Luke xi. 1, as 
tin- disciples of John had been taught. The use of 
the plural seems in indicate recurring times of prayer 
at fixed hours. 

t*!) Fear came upon every soul. The Greek 
text shows a careful distinction of tenses. Fear 
/..-.. reverential awe came specially at that season; 
the "signs and wonders" were wrought continually. 
(See Note on verso 19.) 

("> All that believed were together . . . . 

The writer dwells with a manifest delight on this picture 
of what scorned to him the true ideal of a human 
society. Here there was a literal fulfilment of his 
Lord s words (Luke xii. 33), a society founded, not on 
the law of self-interest and competition, hut on sym 
pathy and self-denial. They had all things in common, 
not by a compulsory abolition of the rights of pro 
perty 96C chap. v. -l\ but by the spontaneous energy of 
love. The gift of the Spirit showed its power, uot 
only in tongues and prophecy, but in the more ex 
cellent way of charity. It. was well that that inimit 
able glow of love should manifest itself for a time to 
lie a beacon-light to after ages, even if experience 
.aught the Church in course of time that this generous 
and general distribution was not the wisest method of 
accomplishing permanent good, and that here also a dis 
criminate economy, such as St. i aul taughi (iJThess. iii. 
1" : 1 Tim. iii. 8), was necessary rfs a safe-guard against 
abuse. It was, we may perhaps believe, partly in con 
sequent f the rapid exhaustion of its resources thus 

lirought about, that the Church at Jerusalem became 
dependent for many years upon the bounty of the 
churches of the Gentiles. See Note on chap. xi. 29.) 

(tf) And sold their possessions and goods. 
The verbs throughout this description are in the im 
perfect tense, as expressing the constant recurrence of 
the act. The (Jreek words for "possessions" ami 
"goods" both mean "property." the former as a thing 
acquired, the latter as that which belongs to a man for 
the time being. Custom, however, had introduced a 
technical distinction, and "possessions" stands for 
real property. " goods " for personal. So in chap. V. 
1. >. *. the former word is used interchangeably with 
that which is translated "field: and in the LXX. of 
Prov. xxiii. 1<>. xxxi. lj, is used both for "field" 
and " vineyard." 

As every man had need. The wards imply at 
least the endeavour to discriminate. The money was not 
given literally to every one who applied for it, and so 
the way was prepared for more fixed and definite rules. 

(<) Continuing daily with one accord in the 
temple. At tirst it would have seemed natural that 
the followers of a Teacher whom the priests had 
condemned to death, who had once nearly been 
stoned, and once all hut sei/.ed in the very courts 
of the Temple (John viii. .V.I ; x. 31; vii. 4.V. should 
keep aloef from the .sanctuary that had thus been dese 
crated. But they remembered that He had claimed it 
as His Father s house, that His zeal for that house had 



been as a consuming passion John ii. 1H. 17). and 
therefore they had attended it~ worship daily before 
the Day of IVnteeost ( Luke xxiv. >: > ; and it "was not 
less, but infinitely more, precious to them now. a.s tin- 
place where they could meet with God. than it had 
been in the days of ignorance, before they had known 
the Christ, and through Him had learnt to know the 
Father. The apparent sti-ani/en.^* of their Iwing 
allowed to meet in the Temple is explained partly 
by the fact that its courts were open to all Israelites. 
who did not disturb its peace, partly by the existence 
of a moderate half-believing party in the Sanhedriu 
itself, including Nieodemus, Joseph of Arimatluea. and 
Gamaliel ichap. v. :!.">): and by the popularity gained 
for a time by the holiness and liberal almsgiving of the. 
new community. 

Breaking "bread from house to house. 
Better, with the margin. <it Jtome i.e., in their own 
house. The (Jreek phrase may have a (list ribut ive force. 
but Rom. xvi. 5, 1 Cor. xvi. 19, Col. iv. 14. where the 
same formula is used, seem to show that that is not the 
meaning here. They met in the Temple, they met 
also in what, in the modern sense of the word, would be 
the "church" of the new society, for the act of worship, 
above all. for the highest act of worship and of fellow 
ship, for which the Temple was, of course, unsuitable. 

Did eat their meat . . .We have again t In 
tense which implies a customary act. The words imply 
that as yet the solemn breaking of bread was closely 
connected with their daily life. Anticipating the 
language of a few years later, the Agape, or Love- 
feast, was united with the Eucharistic ( ommunion. 
The higher sanctified the lower. It was not till 
love and faith were colder that men were forced to 
separate them, lest as in 1 Cor. xi. 20, ;M..i the lower 
should desecrate the higher. 

Gladness and singleness of heart. This 
" gladness " is significant. The word was the same as 
that which had been used by the angel to Zacharias 
Luke i. 44) in announcing the birth of the Forerunner. 
The verb from which the noun was derived had been 
employed by our Lord when He bade His disciples 
rejoice and be glad i.Matt. v. 1 Jl. The literal meaning 
of the word translated "singleness." which does not 
occur elsewhere in the New Testament, was the 
smoothness of a soil without stones. Thence it came 
to be used for evenness and simplicity, unity of 
character; thence for that unity showing itself in 
love; thence, by a further transition, for unalloyed 
benevolence, showing itself in act. 

(*"> Having favour with all the people. The 
new life of the Apostles, in part probably their liberal 
almsgi\ing. had revived the early popularity of their 
.Master with the common people. The Sadduceaii 
priests were, probably, the only section that looked on 
them with a malignant fear. 

The Lord added to the church daily such as 
should be saved.- Many of the better MS< omit 
the words -to the Church." and connect " together, * 



Peter 



in f/i>~ T> /, >/>/ . 



THE ACTS, III. 



The Cripple at the Beautiful G*te. 



CHAPTEE III. i 1 ) Now Peter :md 
John went up together into the temple 
at the hour of prayer, being the ninth 
hour. (2) And a cert ;i in man. lame from 
his mother s womb was carried, whom 
they l;iLl daily at the gate of the temple 


A.D. 33. 


which is called Beautiful, to ask ;iims 
of them that entered into the temple; 
li<> seeing Peter and John about 
to go into the temple asked ;m alms. 
w And Peter, fastening his eyes uj>o> 
him with John, said, Look on us. 



which in the Greek is the first word iu chap. iii. 1, with 
tins verse The Lord added tm/fflifr . . . The verb 
"added " is in the tense which, like the adverb " daily," 
implies ;i continually recurring act. "The Lord" is pro 
bably used here, as in verse 39, in its generic Old 
Testament sense, rather than as definitely applied to 
Christ. For "such as should be saved" a meaning 
which the present participle passive cannot possibly 
have read, those that were in the way of salvation; 
literally, tliose that were being saved, as in 1 Cor. i. 18; 
"2 Cor. ii. 15. The verse takes its place among the few 
passages in which the translators have, perhaps, been 
influenced liy a Calvinistie bias; Hob. x. 38, "if mnj 
unni drawback," instead of "if he draw back," being 
another. It should, however, be stated in fairness that 
all the versions from Tyndale onward, including the 
Rhemish, give the same rendering. Wiclif alone gives 
nearly the true meaning. " them that were made saaf." 

III. 

(D Now Peter and John went up. Better, were 
going up. The union of the two brings the narratives of 
the Gospels into an interesting couuection""with the Acts. 
They were probably about the same age (the idea that 
Peter was some years older than John rests mainly on 
the pictures which artists have drawn from their 
imagination, and has no evidence in Scripture), and 
had been friends from their youth upward. They 
had been partners as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee 
(Luke v. 10). They had been sharers in looking for 
the consolation of Israel, and had together received 
the baptism of John (John i. 41). John and Andrew 
had striven which should be the first to tell Peter 
that they had found the Christ (John i. 41). The two 
had been sent together to prepare for the Passover 
(Luke xxii. 8). Jolin takes Peter into the palace of the 
high priest (John xviii. 16), and though he must have 
witnessed his denials is not estranged from him. It 
is to John that Peter turns for comfort after his fall, 
and with him he comes to the sepulchre on the morn 
ing of the Resurrection (John xx. 6). The eager 
affection which, now more strongly than ever, bound the 
two together is seen in Peter s question, " Lord, and 
what shall this man do ?" (John xxi. 21) ; and now they 
are again sharers in action and in heart, in teaching 
and in worship. Passing rivalries there may have 
been, disputes which was the greatest, prayers for places 
on the right hand and the left (Matt, xx. 20; Mark x. 
35) ; but the idea maintained by Renan ( Vie de Jesus, 
Introduction), that St. John wrote his Gospel to exalt 
himself at tin- expense of Peter, must take its place 
among the delirantium somnia, the morbid imagina 
tions, of inventive interpretation. They appear in 
company again in the mission to Samaria (chap. viii. 
14), and in recognising the work that had been done 
bv Pan! and Barnabas among the Gentiles (Gal. ii. 9). 
When it was that they parted never to meet again, we 
have no record. No recount is ^iven as to the interval 



that had passed since the Day of Pentecost. Presumably 
the brief notice at tl ..... nd of chap. ii. was meant to 
summarise si gradual progress, marked by no striking 
incidents, which may have gone on for several months. 



The absence of chronological data in tin Acts, as a book 
written by one who in the Gospel appears tn lav -tress 
on such matters (Luke iii. 1; vi. :J(, i.s somewhat re 
markable. The most natural explanation is that he 
found the informants who supplied him with his facts 
somewhat uncertain on these points, and that, as a 
truthful historian, lie would not invent dates. 

At the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour 
sc., 3 P.M., the hour of the evening sacrifice (Jos. 
Ant. xiv. 4. 3). The traditions of later .Judaism had 
fixed the third, the sixth, and the ninth hours of each 
day as times for private prayer. Daniel s practice of 
praying three times a day seems to imply a ride of the 
same kind, and Ps. Iv. 17 ("evening and morning and 
at noon will I pray ") carries the practice up to the 
time of David. "Seven times a day" was, perhaps, 
the rule of those who aimed at a life of higher de 
votion ( Ps. cxix. 164). Both practices passed into tin- 
usage of the Christian Church certainly as early as the 
second century, and probably therefore in the first. 
The three hours were observed bv many at Alexandria 
in the time of Clement (Strom, vii. p. 722). The seven 
became the " canonical hours " of Western Christendom, 
the term first appearing in the Eule of St. Benedict 
(ob. A.D. 542) and being used by Bede (A.D. 701). 

(2) A certain man lame from his mother s 
womb. The careful record of the duration of his 
suffering is mo7-e or less characteristic of St. Luke 
(chaps, ix. 33; xiv. 8). The minuteness in this narra 
tive suggests the thbught that St. Luke s informant 
may have been the cripple himself. 

Was carried. Better, ivas being carried. 

The gate of the temple which is called Beau 
tiful. Literally, door, though " gate " is used in 
verse 10. No gate of this name is mentioned by other 
writers, but it was probably identical either (1) with 
the gate of Nicanor (so called, according to one tradition, 
because the hand of the great enemy of Judah had 
been nailed to it as a trophy), which was the main 
eastern entrance of the inner court (Stanley s Jrc- /.-// 
Church, iii. p. 323) ; or (2) the Susa gate, also on the 
eastern side, and named in memory of the old historical 
connection between Judah and Persia, leading into the 
outer court of the women. The latter was of fine 
Corinthian brass, so massive that twenty men were 
required to open or shut it (Jos. Wars. v. 5, 3). 

To ask alms of them that entered into the 
temple. The approaches of the Temple, like those of 
modern mosques, were commonly thronged with the 
blind, lame, and other mendicants. (Comp. John 
The practice was common at Constantinople in the time 
of Chrysostom, and has prevailed largely thron/l "i;t 
Christendom. 

W Peter, fastening his eyes upon him . . .-- 
Sec Notes on Luke iv. _ >. Acts i. ]o. where the siune cha- 
racteristic word is used. The ga/e was one which read 
character in the expression of the man s face, and dis 
cerned that he had faith to be healed verse It! . And 
lie. in his turn, was to look on them that lie might read 
in their pitying looks, not only the wish to he.-d. but 
the consciousness of power to carry the wish into 
effect. 



16 



Tit- l. ini M<in fi !"l. Ill 

\il lit- g;i\i heed mitr tin-in. 
jii t-t IIIL: t< reeeive something of tin-in. 
. in-ii Peter said. Silver and u r "ld 
havr 1 none; hut surh as I h;m- -j;\\>- 1 
thrt-: In th name oi .Jesus Christ of 
Na/.are h i-isi- up and walk. (7) Ami he 
I im liv tin- right hand, and lift.-d 
it intuit: and immediately his feet and 
anrlt- bones received strength. |K) And 
he l.-apin^ up stood, and walked, and 
entered with tin in into the temple, 
walking and leaping, and praising God. 
M Ami all the people saw him walking 
and praising God : < 10 > and they knew 
that it was he which sat for alms at 
the Beautiful gate of the temple : and 


3 ACTS, 


III. 27, "nil,,. 

1 he\ were filled with W .nd.-r and aina/.- 
inent at that whieh had ha].p.-ned uut,, 
him. " And as the lame ,,,;,, , \\hieh 
was healed held I .-ter and .John, all 
the people ran together unto them in 
the porch that is railed Solomon s, 
LTreatly wondering. 
- And when Peter saw it, he an 
swered unto the people. Ye Ulell of 

Israel, why marvel \e at this? ..r wh\ 
look ye so earnestly on us, us though 
by our own power or holiness w>- had 
made this man to walk ? (13 ^ The God 
of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, 
the God of our fathers, hath glorified 
his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, 



(6) Silver and gold have I none. The narrative 
of chap. ii. -15 shows that the Apostles were treasurers 
anil stewards of the sums committed to their charge by 
the generous self-denial of the community. Either, 

therefore, we must assume that the words meant that 
they had no silver or gold with them at the time, or 
that, as almoners, they thought themselves bound to 
distribute what was thus given them in trust, for the 
benefit of members of the society of which they were 
officers and for them only. They, obeying their Lord s 
commands iMatl. x. 9), had no money that they could 
call their own to give to those that asked them. But 
they could give more than money. 

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth .... 
The full trust with which the words were spoken 
was in part a simple act of faith in their Master s 
promise (Mark xvi. 18), in part the result of a past 
experience in the exercise of like powers iMark vi. Itf). 
And the Name in which they spoke could hardly have 
been a new name to the cripple. Among the beggars 
at the Temple-gate there had once been the blind man 
who received his sight at the pool of Siloam (John 
ix. 7, Si. The healing of the cripple at Bethesda (.John 
v. -. 14) could scarcely have been unknown to the 
sufferer from a like infirmity. What made the call 
to rise and walk a test of faith was that, but a few 
weeks before, that Name had been seen on the super 
scription over the cross on which He who bore it had 
been condemned to die as one that deceived the people 
(.John vii. 1:?). 

< 7) His feet. Better, his soles. The precision with 
which the process is described is characteristic of the 
medical historian. Both this term and the "ankle 
bones" employed are more or less technical, as is also 
the word rendered received strength." literally, teen 
1 tntxuliilnti-tl. the flaccid tissue-, and muscles being 
rendered firm and vigorous. 

|S And he leaping up stood. The verb is a 

Compound form of that in the lA X ..r-ionof Isa. 
xx\\. <; "The lame shall leap as a hart." First then- 
was the upward leap in the new consciousness of power ; 
then the successful effort to stand for the first time in 
his life; then he " began to walk." and went on step by 
step; then the two-fold mode of motion, what to others 
was the normal act of walking, alternating with tin- 
leaps of an exuberant joy. And so "he entered with 
them into the Temple." ";.,.. into the Court of Women, 
upon which the Beautiful Gate opened. At this hour. 
the hour of the evening sacrifice, it would be naturally 
filled with worshippers. 



(10) They knew. Better, they rccognisul / / tlmf 
it was he. 

(11) In the porch that is called Solomon s. 
The porch or better, portico or cloi*f< f was outside 
the Temple, on the eastern side. It consisted, in the 
Herodian Temple, of a doul)le row of Corinthian 
columns, about thirty-seven feet high, and received 
its name as having been in part constructed, when 
the Temple was rebuilt by /erubbahel. with the frag 
ments of the older edifice. The people tried to persuade 
Herod Agrippa the First to pull it down and rebuild it. 
but he shrank from the risk and cost of such an under 
taking (Jos. Ant. xx. 9, 7 i. It was. like the porticos 
in all Greek cities, a favourite place of resort, especially 
as facing the morning sun in winter. See Note on 
John x. 23.) The memory of what had then been the 
result of their Master s teaching must have been fresh 
iu the minds of the two disciples. Then the people 
had complained of being kept in suspense as to 
whether .Jesus claimed to lie the Christ, and. when 
He spoke of being One with the Father, had taken 
ii]) stones to stone Him (.John x. :!1--:!:!). Now they 
\\ere to hear His name as Holy and Just, as tin- 
Servant of .Jehovah." a- the very Christ \erse-, 1:, 

14,18). 

"- Why look ye so earnestly on us ? The 
verb is the same as that in verse 1. The pronoun 
stands emphatically at the beginning of the verse 
Why ( N it on MX tlmt i/i gaze f 

As though by our own .... holiness .... 
Better, i>nri(ij. or ilcrnt imi. The words refer to what 
may lie called the popular theory of miracles, that if 
a man were devout. / ... "a worshipper of (Jod."Gocl 
would hear him (.John ix. :H . That theory might lx> 
true in itself generally, but the Apostle disclaim^ it 
in this special instance. No purity of his own would 
have availed, but for the Name. /... the power, of 
.Jesus of Xa/.areth. 

(15) The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and 
Of Jacob. Here again we ha\e an echo of our Lord s 
teaching. That Name had been uttered in the precinct- 
of the Temple, not improbably in the self-same portico. 
as part, of our Lord s oonstruetiTfl proof of the resur 
rection of the dead (Matt. xxii. - . Now it wa- heard 
a<:aiu iu connection with the witne-- borne by the 
Apostles that He Himself had ri.-en. See aN- Note 
on chap. vii. : _ 

Hath glorified his Son Jesus. Better, > 

The word is that used tlirou-rliout the later chapter-t 
of Isaiah for "the servant of Jehovah" I-u. xlii. J. ; 



Peter s Discourse. 



THE ACTS, III. 



He preaches Repent<tnce. 



and denied him in the presence of 
Pilate, when he was determined to 
let him go. < U) But ye denied the 
Holy One and the Just," and desired 
a murderer to be granted unto you; 
<15) and killed the Prince 1 of life, whom 
God hath raised from the dead ; whereof 
we are witnesses. (16 > And his name 
through faith in his name hath made 
this man strong, whom ye see and 
know: yea, the faith which is by him 



hath given him this perfect soundness 
in the presence of you all. ( 17 > And 
now, brethren, I wot that through 
ignorance ye did it, as did also v mi- 
rulers. (18 ^ But those things, which 
God before nad shewed by the mouth 
of all his prophets, that Christ should 
suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 

(19) Repent ye therefore, and be con 
verted, that your sins may be blotted 
out, when the times of refreshing shall 



xlviii. 20; Hi. 13; liii. 11). It meets us again in verso 
26 ; iv. 27, 30, and as applied to Christ, is peculiar to 
the Acts, with the exception of the citation from Isaiah 
in Matt. xii. 18. It is, therefore, more distinctive than 
" Son " would have been, and implies the general 
Messianic interpretation of the prophetic language in 
which it is so prominent. 

When he was determined. Better, when he~Iiad 
decided ; the word implying, not a purpose only, but 
a formal act, as in Luke xxiii. 16. 

(") Ye denied the Holy One and the Just. 
The language, though startlingly new to the hearers, 
had been partially anticipated. It had been used of 
the Christ by the demoniacs (Mark i. 24). The best 
MSS. give St. Peter s confession in John vi. 69 in the 
form, " Thou art the Holy One of God." Pilate s wife, 
and Pilate himself, had borne their witness to Jesus as 
emphatically "Just " (Matt, xxvii. 19, 24). It is interest 
ing to note the recurrence of the word as applied to 
Christ in the writings of each of the Apostles who were 
now proclaiming it (1 Pet. iii. 18 ; 1 John ii. 1), yet 
more so to think of this as the result of their three 
years converse with their Master. To them He was 
emphatically, above all the sons of men that they had 
known, the Holy and the Righteous One. 

Desired a murderer to be granted unto 
you. The fact that Barabbas was a murderer as 
well as a robber is stated by St. Mark (xv. 7) and St. 
Luke (xxiii. 12) only. 

(15) And killed the Prince of life. The word 
translated " Prince " is applied to Christ here and in 
chap. v. 31. In Heb. ii. 10 we meet with it in " the 
Captain of their salvation;" in Heb. xii. 2, in " tho Author 
and Finisher of our faith." Its primary meaning, like 
that of prince (princeps}, is one who takes the lead 
who is the originator of that to which the title is 
attached. The "Prince of life," the "Captain of sal 
vation," is accordingly He who is the source from which 
life and salvation flow. In the LXX. of the Old Tes 
tament it is used for the "chieftains" or "princes" of 
Moab and the like (Xuin. xiii. 3 ; xxiv. 17). 

Whereof we are witnesses. St. Peter falls 
bark, as in chap. ii. 32 (where see Note), on this 
attestation to the one central fact. 

(16) His name through faith in his name. 
We have, in technical language, the efficient cause dis 
tinguished from the indispensable condition of its 
action. The Name did not work as a formula of in- > 
cantation; it required, on the part both of the worker 
and the r iver. faitli in that which the Name repre 
sented, the manifestation of the Father through the Son. 

Hath made this man strong. The verb is the 

same as that which had beeu used in verse 7 of the 
" feet and ankle-bones." It was Jesus who had given 
>hem that new firmness. 



The faith which is by him. The causation of 
the miracle is carried yet another step backward. The 
faith which was alike in the healer and in the man 
healed was itself wrought in each by the power of 
Christ. The man was first a willing recipient of that 
faith spiritually, and then was in a state that made 
him worthy to be a recipient also of the bodily 
restoration. 

This perfect soundness. Literally, this com 
pleteness. This is the only passage in the New Te>ta- 
inent in which the word occurs. The cognate adjective 
is found in the " whole " of 1 Thess. v. 23 ; the " com 
plete " of Jas i. 4. 

(i?) I wot that through ignorance ye did it. 
The Rhemish is the only version which substitutes 
"I know" for the now obsolete " I wot." St. Peter s 
i treatment of the relation of " ignorance " to " guilt " 
| is in exact agreement with St. Paul s, both in his judg- 
| ment of his own past offences (1 Tim. vi. 13) and in 
that which he passed on the Gentile world (chap. xvii. 
( 30). Men were ignorant where they might have known, 
if they had not allowed prejudice and passion to over- 
! power the witness borne by reason and conscience. 
Their ignorance was not invincible, and therefore they 
i needed to repent of what they had done in the times of 
I that ignorance. But because it was ignorance, repent 
ance was not impossible. Even the people and rulers 
of Israel, though their sin was greater, came within the 
range of the prayer, offered in the first instance for the 
Roman soldiers : " Father, forgive them, for they know 
not what they do." (See Note on Luke xxiii. 34.) 

(is) Those things, which God before had 
shewed. As in chaps, i. 16. ii. ~ -\ we have again an 
; echo of the method of prophetic interpretation which 
i the Apostles had learnt from their Lord. 

(19) Repent ye therefore, and be converted. 
The latter word, though occurring both in the Gospels 
and Epistles, is yet pre-eminently characteristic of the 
( Acts, in which it occurs eleven times, and, with one 
i exception, always in its higher spiritual sense. The 

use of the middle voice for " b< nverted," gives the 

word the same force as in the " turn yourselves " of the 
older prophets (E/ek. xiv. (i; xviii. 30, 32). 

That your sins may be blotted out. This is 
the only passage in which the verb is directly con 
nected with sins. The image that underlies the words 
(as in Col. ii. 1 f- is that of an indictment which cata 
logues the sins of the penitent, and which the par 
doning love of tlii- Father cancels. The word and the 
thought are found in Ps. Ii. 10; Isa. xliii. _ .".. 

When the times of refreshing shall come. 
Better, "that so the times of refreshing may come." 

The Greek conjunction never has the t on f " when." 

The thought is that airain expressed both l>v St. Peter 
(2 Pot. iii. 12 and by St. Pawl (Rom. xi. 2527) : that 



, II J of < /t fill 



Till-: ACTS; III. tl,.l- >l lnl, l MntofMo8e Pr. 



.(.in.- from tin- presence df ill.- Lonl ; 
iinl h.- -hull SI-IK! .li-siis ( lu-ist. 
which In Ion- \\as preached unto you : 
- whom the ln-;i\i-ii must recei\e until 
the tiiiK-s of restitution <>f all things, 
which (loil hath spoken by tin- mouth 
of all his holy prophets since the world 
In-^aii. ( ~ ) For Mos.es truly said unto 
the lathers, A prophet shall the Lord 
your <;.,,! raise up unto you of your 
hn-t hreii,- like unto me; him shall ye 
hear in all things whatsoever he shall 


.1 Dent. IR. 15; ch. 
7. 37. 
1: Urn. I . . 3. 


say unto you. J; And it .shall er me to 
MUM, flint every soul, wliieli will not 
Bear that prophet, shall he d.-stroycd 
from unions the pe.,p|e. - V.-a, and 
all the prophets from Samuel ami tln.se 
that follow after, as many aw have 
spoken, have likewise foretold of these 
days. < a ) Ye are tin- children of the 
prophets, and of the covenant which 
God made with our fathers, saying unto 
Abraham, And in thy seed shall all 
the kindreds of the earth be blessed.* 



tlu> conversion of sinners, especially the conversion of 
Israel, will him- a jMiwer to accelerate tin- fulfilment of 
(Jod s purposes, and, therefore, the coming of His king 
dom in its completeness. The word for " refreshing " 
is nut found elsewhere in the New Testament, lint the 
connate verli meets ns in li Tim. i. li. In the (ireek 
\ersion of Ex. viii. 1"). it stands where we have "re 
spite." Tlie "times of refreshing" are distinguished 
from the restitution of all tilings of verse lil. and 
would seem to he. as it were, the gracious preludes of 
that great consummation. The souls of the weary 
would l)e quickened as by the fresh hree/.e of morning; 
the lire of persecution assuaged as hy "a moist whistling 
wind " iSong of the Three ( hildren, verse Jli. Israel, 
as a nation, did not repent, and therefore hatred and 
strife went on to the hitter end without refreshment. 
For every church, or nation, or family, those "times of 
refreshing" come as the sequel of a true conversion, 
and prepare the way for a more complete restoration. 
(20) And he shall send Jesus Christ. Better, as 

before, IIIK! tlmf 11 </<"// > <//</. 

Which before was preached unto you. The 
better MSS. have, u-hi -li VMU.fore-appcintfd^ or fore- 

<!<!, i iiK il./nf i/, in. 

(21 \ Whom the heaven must receive. The 

words have a pregnant force: must receive and keep." 

Until the times of restitution of all things. 

The "times" seem distinguished from the "seasons 
as more permanent. This is the only passage iu which 
the word translated "restitution" is found in the \,-w 
Testanient : nor is it found in the LXX. version of the 
Old. Htymologically.it coin eys the thought of restora 
tion to an earlier and better state, rather than that of 
simple consummation or completion, which the imme 
diate context seems, in some measure, to suggest. It 
finds an interesting parallel in the " new heavens and 
new earth " --involving, as tln-v do. a restoration of all 
tilings to their true order of ~2 Pet. iii. lo. It does not 
necessarily involve, as some have thought, the final sal 
vation of all men. but it does express the idea of a 
state in which "righteousness," and not "sin," shall 
have dominion over a redeemed and new - created 
world; and that idea suggests a wider hope a> t the 
possibilit ies of growth in wisdom and holiness, or even 
of repentance and conversion, in the unseen world than 
that with which Christendom has too often been con 
tent. The corresponding verb is found in the words. 
" Elias truly shall come first, and tetton all thing s" 
(866 Note on Matt. xvii. 11); and St. Peter s words 
may well lie looked on as an echo of that teaching, and 
MI as an undesigned coincidence testifving to the 

truth of St. .Matthew s i ,rd. 

Which God hath spoken by the mouth of all 
his holy prophets. The relative, if we take the 



meaning given above, must be referred to the " times." 
not to things." The words, compared with % J Pet. 
i. Jl. are, as it were, the utterance of a profound 
dogmatic truth. The prophets spake as " they wen- 
moved by the Holy (i host "; but He who spake by them 
was nothing less than God. 

Since the world began. Literally, from /// 
age i.e., from its earliest point. The words take in 
the promises to Adam (Gen. iii. 15) and Abraham 
(Gen. xxii. 18). See Note on Luke i. 7o. of which St. 
Peter s words are as an echo. 

(JS) For Moses truly said unto the fathers. 
Better, For Moses indeed said, the word being one of 
the common conjunctions, and not the adverb which 
means " truthfully." The appeal is made to Moses 
in his two-fold character as lawgiver and prophet. 
As the words stand, taken with their context, they 
seem to point to the appearance of a succession 
of true prophets as contrasted with the diviners of 
Dent, xviii. 14; and, even with St. Peter s inter 
pretation before us, we may well admit those prophets 
as primary and partial fulfilments of them. But 
the words had naturally fixed tin- minds of men 
on the coming of some one great prophet who 
should excel all others, and we find traces of that 
expectation in the question put to the Baptist. "Art 
thou the prophet r " (.John i. Jl. - t.) None that came 
between Moses and Jesus had been "like unto the 
former." as marking a new epoch, the channel of a 
new revelation, the giver of a new law. 

In all things whatsoever he shall say unto 
you. The words are inserted by St. Peter as a paren 
thesis in the actual ((notation, and suggest the thought 
of a quotation from memorv. 

(23) Shall be destroyed from among the 
people. The original has it, " I will require it of 
him" , Dent, xviii. l!D. The words which St. Peicr 
substitutes are as an echo of a familiar phrase which 
occurs in Ex. xii. l"i. lit; Lev. xvii. 1. !. ,-t nl. This, 
again, looks like a citation freely made. 

All the prophets from Samuel. Samuel is 

named, both as being the founder of the school of the 
prophets, and so the representative of the "goodlv 
fellowship." and as having uttered one of the earliest 
of what were regarded as the distinctively .MVssianic 
predictions <- Sam. vii. 1:5. 1 I- ; Heb. i. 5). 

(25) And of the covenant . . . .It is a signiti 
cant indication of the unity of apostolic teaching, 
which it was St. Luke s aim to hrin^ before his 
readers, that St. Peter thus refers chietlv to tin 
covenant made with Abraham (Jen. xii. :! . with as 
full an emphasis as St. Paul does when he had lean;: 
to see that it implicitly involved the (ailing of the 
(ientiles into the kingdom of Christ (Jal. iii 8.). 



Opposition of t/u 



THE ACTS, IV. The X, ,,, ,,-,-, ., / ,/;. ,-,.. ;,,rreaaed. 



< 26 > Unto you first God, having raised 
up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, 
in turning away every one of you from 
his iniquities. 

CHAPTEE IV. W And as they spake 
unto the people, the priests, and the 
captain 1 of the temple, and the Sad- 
ducees, came upon them, < 2 > being 
grieved that they taught the people, 


A.D. 33. 

1 Or, ruler. 


and pivarhrd through J,-sus tin- resur 
rection from the dCau. And llu-y 
laid hands on them, and put t/i>-m in 
hold unto the next day : tor it was non- 
eventide. <*> Howhrit many of th. in 
which ht-anl the word believi-d : and 
the number of the im-n was about liv 
thousand. 
< 5 > And it came to pass on the morrow, 
that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 



i- 11 1 Unto you first . . . .Hero again wo note, 
even in the very turn of the phrase as well as of the 
thought, an agreement with St. Paul s formula of 
the purpose of God being manifested "to the Jew 
first, and also to the Gentile" (chap. xiii. 46; Rom i. 16; 
ii. 9, 10). St. Peter does not as yet know the con 
ditions under which the gospel will be preached to 
the heathen ; but his words imply a distinct perception 
that there was a call to preach to them. 

His Son Jesus. Better, as before, Servant. (See 
Note on verse 13.) 

Sent him to bless you. The Greek structure 
gives the present participle where the English has the 
infinitive, sent Him as in the act of blessing. The verb 
which strictly and commonly expresses a spoken bene 
diction is here used in a secondary sense, as conveying 
the reality of blessedness. And the blessing is found, 
not in mere exemption from punishment, not even in 
pardon and reconciliation, but in a change of heart, in 
" turning each man from his wickednesses." The plural 
of the abstract noun implies, as in Mark vii. 22, all the 
many concrete forms in which man s wickedness could 
show itself. 

IV. 

0) The priests, and the captain of the temple. 

For the first time in this book, we come across the 
chief agents in the condemnation passed on our Lord 
by the Sanhedrin. A few weeks or months had gone 
by, and they were congratulating themselves on having 
followed the advice of Caiaphas (John xi. 48). They 
knew that the body of Jesus had disappeared from the 
sepulchre, and they industriously circulated the report 
that the disciples had stolen it (Matt, xxviii. 13 15). 
They must have heard something of the Day of Pen 
tecost though there is no evidence of their having 
been present as spectators or listeners and of the 
growth of the new society. Now the two chief 
members of the company of those disciples were 
teaching publicly in the very portico of the Temple. 
What were t hey "to do ? The " captain of the Temple " 
(see Note on Luke xxii. 4) was the head of the band 
of Levite sentinels whose function it was to keep 
guard over the sacred precincts. He. as an inspector, 
made liis round by night, visited all the gates, and 
roii-ed the s lumberers. His presence implied that 
the <n"iiet order of the Temple was supposed to be 
endangered. In 2 Mace. iii. 4. however, we have a 
" caplaiu." or "governor of the Temple " of the tril>e 
of Benjamin. 

The Sadducees. The higher members of the 
priesthood, Annas and Caiaphas, were themselves of 
hi- sect (chap. v. 17). They had already l>een fore 
most iii urging the condemnation of Christ in the 
meetings ,,! the Sanhedrin. The shame of having been 
put to silence by Him (Matt. xxii. 34) added vindic- 



tiveness to the counsels of a calculating policy. Now 
they found His disciples preaching the truth which 
they denied, and proclaiming it as attested by 
the resurrection of Jesus. Throughout the Acts 
the Sadducees are foremost as persecutors. The 
Pharisees temporise, like Gamaliel, or profess them 
selves believers. (Comp. chaps, v. :U ; xv. ."> ; 
xxiii. 7.) 

( -) Being grieved. The verb is one which ex 
presses something like an intensity of trouble and 
I vexation. (Comp. chap. xvi. 18.) 

Preached through Jesus the resurrection 

, from the dead. Literally, -jn-furln;! !,/ .l,-*n.* i.e., 

j in this as the crucial instance in which the resurrection 

I of the dead had been made manifest. (Comp. the close 

union of "Jesus and the resurrection " in chap. xvii. 1 s . 1 

( 3 ) It was now eventide. The narrative started. 

it will be remembered, from 3 P.M. (chap. iii. 1). The 

| " eventide; " began at 6 P.M. 

Put them in hold. Literally, in cusiodij. I n chap. 
V. 18, the word is translated " prison." The old noun 
survives in our modern word " strong-///</." 

(*) The number of the men was about five 
thousand. Better, became, or cv/s mmli- /> t<>. nhunt 
five thousand. It seems probable, though not certain, 
that St. Luke meant this as a statement of the aggre 
gate number of disciples, not of those who were con 
verted on that day. As in the narrative of the feeding 
of the five thousand (Matt. xiv. 21). women and children 
were not included. The number was probably ascer 
tained, as on that occasion, by grouping those who 
came to baptism and to the breaking of bread by 
hundreds and by fifties (Mark vi. 40). The connection 
in which the number is given makes it probable that 
it represents those who, under the influence of the 
impression made by the healing of the cripple and 
by St. Peter s speech, attended the meetings of the 
Church that evening. The coincidence of the numbers 
in the two narratives could scarcely fail to lead the 
disciples to connect the one with the other, and to t eel. 
as they broke the bread and blessed it. that they were 
also giving men the true bread from heaven. 

( 5 ) And it came to pass on the morrow . . . 
Better. ///"/ ///or cv/v i/nflnn /l tnijiflnr // /"//*. 
elders, and scribes in Jerusalem. The two last words 
are misplaced in the English version by beinir trans 
ferred to the end of the next verse. The later M SS. 
give, however, intt<> Jerusalem. The meeting was 
obviously summoned, like that of Matt. xxvi. .". to 
consider what course was necessary in face of the new- 
facts that had presented themselves, and was probably 

the first formal meeting of the Sanhedrin that had 1 n 

held since the trial of our Lord. On its constitution, 
Bee Notes on Matt. v. 22 : xxvi. ."7 : xxvii. i. This 
meeting would, of cour.se, include the 1 liarisee -ertii :: 
of the scribes as well as the Sadducees. 



20 



t />. /;//-,- 



TIN-; ACTS TV. 



tli- I: 



\ ; !M- hiirli priest, an.! 

aph;is. ;ind J,.lm, and Alexander, and B - 
nianv as \\,--e of the kind red of t he hiu h 

Jirie.st. \\.". Leathered together at Jel-ll- 

salnn. And \\hen the\ h.,d sel them 

in th.- midst, they asked, Bj v.hat power, 

-.I- l.y \\hat name, have \e don.- thisV 

) Then I .-ter. tilled w itll the Holy 

<ilu--;. said r.iitii them. Ve rulers of the 



le, ;ind elder* oi I-IM.-I. 

this day he examim-d of tin- -_ .., .,j d I 

done to the impotent man. l>\ 

m--ans he is made whole ; 

known unto \.>u all, and to ai; 

people ,if Israel, that I y tin- nan 

-I.-siis Christ of Na/ar.-th. whom \. 

. iti.-d, whom ( lo.l raised from tin- dead. 

even by him doth this man stand her.- 



And Annas the high priest . . . Thes. are 

mentioned li\ themselves as representing the section that 

liad probably convened the meeting, and came in as it to 
dominate its proceedings. Tin- order of the first two 
names is the same as in Luke iii. 2. and as that implied 
in John xviii. 1:5. ill. Annas, or Ananus. had been 
made high priest by (.Juirinus. the Governor of Syria. 

filled tlleotlice A.H. ." I-",, and li\ed to see five of his 

sons occupy it after him. At this time. .Joseph < aiaphas 
was the actual high priest (see Note on John xi. ll> . 
having been appointed in A.I). 17. He was deposed 
V.D. :!7. He had married the daughter of Annas; and 
the latter seens to have exercised a dominant influence, 
perhaps, as the X~*i, the Prince, or President, of the 
Sanhedrin. during the remainder of his life. If he 
presided on this occasion, it may explain St. Luke s 
calling him "the high priest." 

John. This may have beeu the Johanan beu 
Zaccai, who is reported by Jewish writers to have been 
it the height of his fame forty years before the destruc 
tion of the Temple, and to have been President of the 
<Jreat Synatro<;iie after its removal to Jamiiia. The 
identification is. at the best, uncertain ; but the story told 
of his death-lied, in itself full of pathos, becomes, on 
this assumption, singularly interesting. His disciples 

asked him why lie wept: "O light of Israel 

whence these tears?" And he replied: "If I wen- 
going to appear before a king of flesh and blood, 
he is one who to-day is and to-morrow is in the 
irrav.-: if he wen- wroth with me. his wrath is not 
eternal; if he were to cast me into chains, those 
chains are not for over; if he slay me. that death 
is not eternal; I might soothe him with words or 
appease him with a gift. But tlu-v are about to bring 
me In-fore the King of kings, the Lord, the Holy 
and IM.-ssed (>ne. who liveth and abideth for ever. 
And if He is wroth with me, His wrath is eternal; and 
it H<- bind. His bonds are eternal; if He slay, it is 
eternal death ; and Him I cannot soothe with words or 
appease with --ifts. And besides all this, there are 
li -t ore me two paths, one to Paradise and the other to 
Gehenna, and I know not iu which they are about to 
lead me. How can I do aught else but weepy" Huli- 
/> ,/.-,,//,. fol. L S. iii Light foot : r, /. O<r<)</c..cliap. xv. 

Alexander. This name has been identified by 
many scholars with Alexander, the brother of Philo. 
the Alabarch, or magistrate of Alexandria (Jos. Ant. 
xviii. s. ^ 1 x;x ;,_ ^ \\ There is. however, not the 
shadow of anv evidence for the identification. 

AB many "as were of the kindred of the high 

priest. -The same phrase is used by .Tosephns \A)it. 
V". :;. ;j 1 . .mil may m.-an either those who were per 
sonally related by ties of blood with the hiirh priest for the 
time bciui;, or the heads of the t onr-and-t wenty courses 

of priests. See Xot.-son Matt.ii. I: Luke i. 5.) AUtheee 

had probably taken part in our Lord s condemnation. 

And when they had set them in the 
midst. The Sauhedriu sat in a semi-circle, : the 

21 2 



president be i ni, ill tin middle of the arc. tin- a 
standing in tin- centre. 

They asked. Literally, wen </>7.-/i/./. They put 
the question n-peatedlv. in many varvini; forms. 

By what power," or by what" name, have ye 

done this ? Literally. />// ,/,,/ /::/ 
ir/i it him! nf iiiiuii apparently in a tone of contempt. 
They admit tin- fact that the lame man had been 
made to walk, as too patent to be denied. ( .imp. 
verse 16.) The question implied a suspicion that 
it was the effect of magic, or. as in the case of our 
Lord s easting out devils, by the power of Heel/.ebub 
Luke xi. 1">; .John viii. |s . There is a touch of scorn 
in the way in which they speak of the thing itself. 
They will not as yet call it a "sign," or " wonder," but 
" have ye done //</* ." 

(8) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost. 

The tense implies an immediate sudden inspiration, 
giving the wisdom and courage and words \, hi,- 
needed at the time. The promises of Matt, x. l! . -J" : . 
Luke xxi. 14. 15, were abundantly fulfilled. Tli.- 
coincidence of names in the juxtaposition of the r.-pr.-- 
seutatives of the new and the older Israel i- strikinir 
On each side there was a John: on each a ( .-pin-. 
or Caiaphas. the two names possibly coining from fh" 
same root, or, at any rate, closely alike in sound 
A few weeks back Peter had quailed before th 
soldiers ami servants in the high priest s palace. \,.w 
he stands before the Sanhedrin and speaks, in th. 
language of respect, it is true, but also in that of un 
flinching boldness. We may, perhaps, trace a 
deference in the language of the (Jalil.-an fisherman. 
"Ye rulers of the people." than in the "Men and 
brethren" of St. Paul (chap, xxiii. 1, o . who was m.ir 
familiar with the menilM-rs of the court, and stood hi 
less awe of them. 

( 9 ) If we this day be examined. The word i> 
employed in its technical sense of a judicial inter 
rogation, as in Luke xxiii. 14. It is used 1>\ St. Luko 
and St. Paul ichap. xii. l!>; xxiv. S : 1 Cor." ii. ! , 

iv. :!. 1 . and by them only, in the New Testament. 

Of the good deed. BtotcQj,theactofben*} 
There is a manifest emphasis on the word as contrasted 
with the contemptuous " this thing" of the question. 
It meets us airain in 1 Tim. vi. -. 

By what means he is made whole. Better. 
(hit* /nun. The pronoun assumes the presence of the 
man who had been made able t walk. Coinp. John 
i\. I"i. The verb, as in our Lord s words. "Thy faith 
hath made the.- whole" (Mark \. ~> 2 : Luke vii. ."(. h;\s 
a pregnant, underlying meaning, suggesting the thought 
of a spiritual as well as bodilv restoration. 

t1 " 1 By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, 
Whom ye crucified. The boldness of the declara 
tion was startling. He does not shrink now from 
coiit essinu- the \a/.arene as the Messiah. lb- | 
home the fact that, though Pilate had iriven the formal 
sentence, it was they who had crucified their King. 



Peter s I 



TIIK ACTS, IV. 



/v ////. 



Lei . >re you wli.ii.-. This is the stone 
which was set at nought of yc.ii l>nill.-r~. 
which is Lee-nine tin- head of t he ci >r:i;-r. 
0-^ \eith,-- :- there salvation in any 
other: tor there is none other name 
mi ler lieaven ^iven amoii ^ men, where 
by we must lie saveil. 
Now wlieu they saw the LoldlieSS 
of I eter ami John, and perceived that 
they were unlearned and ignorant men, 
they marvelled: and they took know- 
ledge of them, thai fchej had been with 




a. (Ml And beholding the man which 

was ln aled stamliii^ with th-m. they 
could say nothing a^ain- l>ut 
when they had omniiinded Th-in to ".-<> 
aside <>ut of the council, they conferred. 
amoiiL;- themselves, ( " ;) savin- . What 

shall we do men? for that 
indeed a noial>l<- miracle liatli leeii 
done )>y them /s ina!:ile<t to all thejn 
that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannui 
deny if. i171 Hut that it spread no 
farther among the people, let us Mr.iitly 



He proclaims thai He has been raised from the dead, 
aud is still ;is a Power working to heal :is when on 
earth. 

i > This is the stone which was set at nought 

of you builders. Better, of you, the bi<il<l<T*. 
The members of the Council to whom Peter spoke had 
heard those words > Ps. cxviii. 2-) quoted and inter 
preted before, i See Xotes on Matt. xxi. 4 2 ll-.l Then 
they had thought, in their blindness, that they could 
defy the warnin<r. They, by their calling, the builders 
of the Church of Israel, d id reject the stone wliich 
God had chosen to be the chief corner-stone the stone 
oji which the two walls of Jew and Gentile met and 
were bonded together Eph. ii. 20). Here again the 
Epistles of St. Peter reproduce one of the dominant 
thoughts of his speeches il Pet. ii. <> S . and give it a 
wider application. Thirty years after he thus spoke. 
Christ was still to him as "the head of the corner." 

Set at nought. St. Peter does not ([note the 
Psalm, but alludes to it with a free variation of lan 
guage. The word for " set at nought " is characteristic 
of St. Luke (Luke xviii. !; xxiii. 11) and St. Paul 
(Rom. xiv. :!. 1<>. ,-t l. . 

< 12 > Neither is there salvation in any other. 
Here the pregnant force of hath been made whole." 
in verse It. comes out ; and St. Peter rises to its highest 
meaning, and proclaims a salvation, not from disease 
and infirmity of body, but from the gr-at disease of 
sin. The Greek has the article before "salvation." 
That of which Peter -poke was tlit- salvation which the 
rulers professed to be looking for. 

Given among men. Better, that h<t* b<"-n <ji <<. 
The words mu-r lie taken in the sense which Peter had 
learnt to attach to the thought of the Xame as the 
symbol of personality and power. To those to whom it 
had been made known, and who had taken in all that it 
embodied, the Name of Jesus Christ of Xa/.areth was 
the one true source of deliverance and salvation. 
Speaking for himself and the rulers, Peter rightly 
says that it is the Xame "whereby !<< must be saved." 
Where it is not so known, it rises to its higher signifi 
cance as the symbol of a divine energy: and 90 we may 
rightly say that the heathen who obtain salvation are 
saved b\- the Xame of the Lord of whom thev have 
never heard. ( omp. 1 Tim. iv. IS.} 

When they saw the boldness of Peter 

and John. -John, so far as we read, had not spoken. 

but look and bearing, and. perhaps, unrecorded words. 

>ho\ved that he too shared Peter * courage. That 

"boldness of speech" had been characteristic of his 

.,,; I s teaching Mark viii. .}~2 : .John \ii. ] >. It was 

cow to be the (list ii id iv f- -.it lire of that of the disciples : 

i I eter: in chap, xxviii. 31. 2 Cor. iii. 1J, vii. 4. 

Pan ; in 1 John iv. 17, v. U, of the beluved 



disciple. It is. perhaps, characteristic that the la-t named 
uses it not of boldness of -peedi 1o\\ards men. but of 
confidence in approaching Cod. The Greek word for 
"when they saw" implies "considering" us well as 
beholding ; that for "pen-rued" would be better 
expressed b\- linrimj hni iif. or having ascertained. The 
<!i-eek verb implies, not direct perception, but the grasp 
with which the mind lays hold of a fact after inquiry. 
Ill Acts xxv. 5, it is rightly translated " when 1 found." 
Unlearned and ignorant. The first of the two 
words means, literaliv. << nl< Hi / < </.. Looking to the special 
meaning of the "letters" or "Scripture- of the 
Jews, from wliich the scribes took their name \ijr<nn- 

d here 



i*. from i/i-tiiiiiiiiif i . it would convey. :! ~ n>ed 
the sense of " not liavillg been educated ;i^ a scrilie. 
not having studied the Law and other sacred writings." 
It does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. Tin 
second word means literally, n /,, . one 

without special olHce or calling, or tl ..... ulture which 
they imply: what in English might be called a com 
mon man." It appears again in I Cor. xiv. !<!. J:l. i!l. 
with the same meaning. It-- lahv history i* curious 
enough to be worth noting. The Vulgate, instead of 
translating the Greek word, rep/oduced it, with sea reel \ 
an alteration, as iiliutn. It thus p:<ssrd into jiiodern 
European languages with the id< a of ignorance and 
incapacity closely attached 4 n if. and MI acquired it> 
later sense of - idiot." 

They took knowledge of them, that they had 
been with Jesus. Better. Iht-y hci/mi / recognite. 
The tense is in the imperfect, implying tliaT one after 
another of the rulers began to remember the person* 
of the two Apostles as they had seen them with their 
Master in the Temple. These two, and ihesr two 
alone, may have been seen !.\ m;iny of the Council on 
: that early dawn of the day of the (Vuelh xion in the 
court -yard of the high prie*t - palace .John xxiii. \ < . 

W They could say nothing against it. 

Literally. tlt<-y hud tiofliimi ! .-mi/ m/n 

" What shall we do to these men?-Th.- 

(juestion now debated w;.s iearly one that never onijhf 

i to have lieen even asked. They were sitting as a Court 

! of Justice, and should have given their verdict for or 

against the accused according to the evidence. They 

abandon that office, and begin di^-nssing wiiat policy 

was Tiiost exjiedient. It was. \ve Miay -idd. characteristic 

of Caiaphas to do so .inlin \i. |H. .")()). 

A notable miracle. Literally. ./<///. 

We cannot deny it. The very form t the sen 

tence betrays the will. o; ;il ; lU || there i- nut the p<>\\er. 

" Let us straitly threaten then:. The Creek 
gives literally./ -/ us threaten // ! The 

phrase gives the Hebrew idiom for e\|n --._ int"n>ity 
by reiln]>licalion. as in " blessing I wil 



Tin- .1 f. TI 11^ .\( 1 S. I \ . 






tllivatrll til. Mil. that tlirys|irak hrfirr- 

fort !i t" n> mail in t his naiur. Anl 
thry rallrd tin-in, ami roimiiaiidrd ill. -in 
f.-it to s]>r;ik at all imr tra.-h in tin- 
nainr dt .Irsus. " Kut IVtrr ami John 
aiiswrrr.l ;1 n<l sail nut. > thfin, \Vhrtln-r 
it lir ri^-ht in t hr .- Lrhl of < iod t.> hrarkm 
unf i you m. i-r i han unto ( id, jinl- 

; or \v canmit hut sprak tin- things 
which \vr ha\r srru ami In-ard. - S. . 
whrn tlu-v hiiil further thrratnir.l tin-in, 
thry Irt tin-in LT. finding nothing how 
thry illicit punish tln-m. hrrausr f t hr 



projilr : for all /// , 

that which \va> .|"i: "ian 

.im\r fort \ yean old, "ii 
mirarlr of heading \\a- sM.-urd. 

Ami l>rili _r let _"". f ll -\ ,\rnt to 

tln-ir own company, ami rrportnl all 
that tin- chid j. rirst- ami rld.-rs ha<l 
>aid unto ihriii. Jl Ami wh-n thu\ 
hrar.l that, thry lifted up t h.-jr roice GO 
<i"d with our a.-cor.l. ami said. Lord, 
thoii <i, -I <lo<l. which hast madr hravni, 
j litl i-;irtli. and th 868, and all unit in 
t In-ill i- : - " \\ ho ly tin- mouth of thy 






\\ii. 17 ," dying thonshalt die" (Gen. ii. 17, // */. . 

ami. as far as it goes, indicates that St. Luke translated 
from a report of tin- speech which Caiaphas liad de- 
livrr. il in Aramaic. It is a perfectly possible alternative 
that tin- High Priest, speaking in Creek. Reproduced, 
as the LXX. ut ti-n .lues, tin- <>iil Hebrew furinula. 

Not to speak at all. The Greek is even mm-.- 
forcible : uliftnliit !ij imt /> iifti i- . . . The very name nf 
.Jesus was imt t<i pa-s their lips. 

Whether it be right in the sight of 

God . . . The w.inls assert the right of conscience, 

r ionising a divine authority. In resist a human aiithn- 

ritv which .ippuses it. In theory, as the appeal "judge 
ve" showed even then, the right sn claimed is of tin- 
nature of an axiom. In practice, the difficulty rises in 
the question. Is there the divine authority which is 
laimed !* And the only practical answer is to be found 
in tin- rule, that men WOO believe they have the autho 
rity are bound lo act as if they had it. If the Lord 
(Jo.l hath spoken to them, they can but prophesy A m.. > 
iii. s<. In cases sncli as this, where the question is 
one of witness to facts, they must not tamper with the 
truth, if they believe themselves commissioned by (iod 
to declare the facts, for fear of offending men. When 
they pass from f ids to doctrines inferred from facts, 
from doctrines in opinions, from opinions to conjectures, 
the duty of not saying that which they do not believe 
remains (lie saine. but there is not the same obligation 
to proclaim what they thus hold in various .stages of 
aen?. There may be case- in which reticence is right 
as well as politic. And even in regard to facts, the 
publication as law recognises in relation to libels - 
must not be gratuitous. There must be an adequate 
authority, or an adequate reason for disobedience to 
the human authority, which is binding until it is super 
seded by that whidi is higher than itself. And the 
"/("- /irnliiiiiil rests mi the man who asserts the higher 
authority. Intensity of conviction may be enough for 
himself, but it cannot be expected that it will be so for 
others. In the absence of signs and wonders the ques 
tion must lie discussed on the wide ground of Reason 
and of Conscience, and the man who refuses to enter 
into debate on that ground b-caiise he is certain he is 
right is / yixn fiii-to con\ it-led of an almost insane egotism. 
The words have clearly no bearing on the " froward re 
tention" of ;- custom which (Iod has not enjoined and 
a lawful authority lias forbidden. 

We cannot but speak . . .-The pronoun is 
emphatic: "we. for our part "... The question nt 
issue was one of bearing witness, and that witness they 
had received a special command to bear .chap, i s 

All men glorified God . . . The tense im 
plies continued action. It is specially characteristic of 



St. Luke thus to note the impression made upon the 
people by signs and wonders Luke ii. J<) ; iv. lo : and 

in seven other pa age- . 

<--> The man was above forty years old. 

This precision in noting the duration f disease or in- 
lirmity is again characteristic of the writer. Coinp. tin- 
case of the woman witli an issue of blood i Luke viii. bi ; 
of ^Enea.s chap. ix. , , ; of tin- cripple at Lystra 
chap. riv. 8). 

- : They went to their own company. Lit. 
rally, tlit-ir uini /n ii/,1, . The statement implies a recog 
nised place iif meeting, when- the inemberti of the new 
society met at fixed times. 

All that the chief priests. The word is .,,h a - 
bly used in its more extended meaning, as including, not 
i only Annas and ( aiaphas. but the heads of the four- 
ami-twenty courses see Note oil Mat*, ii. 1. and 
others who were members of the Sanhedrin. 

i-*) They lifted up their voice to God with 
one accord. The phrase seems to inpl\ an intona 
tion, or chant, different from that of .-0111111011 speech 

chap. xiv. 11; xxii. i J . The joint uttcran lescribed 

may be conceived as the result either 1 i of a direct 
inspiration, suggesting the same words to all who were 

present; (2) of the people following St. Peter, clall-e 

by clause; 10) of the hymn being already familiar to 
the disciples. On the whole. i J- seems the inos* probable, 
the special fitness of the hymn for the occasion being 
against (tf), and 1 involving a miracle of so start ling a 
nature that we can hardly take it for granted without 
a more definite statement The recurrence of St. 
Luke s favourite phrase see Note on chap. i. 1 I 
should not In- pa ed over. 

Lord. The Creek word is not the .-1,111111011 one for 
Lord ( Kiji-liifi}. but MX//"/-.--, the absolute Master of the 
I niverse. It is a coincidence worth noting that, though 
but seldom used of ( io,[ in the New Testament, it occur- 
air. iin. as used by the two Apostles who take part in it. as 
in - Pet. ii. 1. and IJ.-y. \ i. l >. (See Not- on Luke ii. J!. ) 
In the Creek version of the Old Testament it is found 
applied to the Angel of Jehovah in .lo-h v. 11. and to 
Jehovah Himself in Prov \\i\ . J.Y T!,- hymn lias th.- 
special interest of lieing the earliest recorded utterance 
of the praises of the Christian Church. As such, it is 
significant that it begins, as so many of the Psalm* 
lie-in, with settiiiir forth the gl.-ry -if (iod as the 
Creator, and rises from that to the higher redemptive 
work. More stri.-t. "//<- heaven, fl esn-th. ami the 
-ea." ea h region of creation being contemplated in its 
distinctness. 

Who by the mouth of thy servant Im\ id 

. . . .-The ol der MSS. present many v.-iriation- of thi 
ll probably stood 






i //, / of // .1, 



THE ACTS, IV 



Tin ;/ tin- filh- l wt f/i t/tf //<>/// (;hnxt. 



servant. David hast said. Why did tin- 
heathen rage/ and tin- people imagim- 

vain things? |J; The kings of the earth 

stood n|>. and tin- rulers were ga.thered 
together against the Lord, and against 
his ( "urist . - 7l For of a truth against 
thy holy eliild Jesus, \\hoiu thou hast 
.inointed, both Herod, and Pontius 
Pilate, with the (ientiles, and the 
]><. >ple of Israel, were gathered together, 
(28) f or ^ o <j o whatsoever thy hand and 
thy counsel determined before to be 
done. ( - 9) And now, Lord, behold their 
threatening : and grant unto thy ser 



vants, that with all boldness they may 
.-peak thy word, i;; " by stretching forth 
thine hand to heal; and that >ign> and 
wonders may be done by thr name of 
thy holy child Jesus. 

And when they had prayed., ihe 
place was shaken where they were as 
sembled together; and they were all 
filled with the Holy Ghost, and they 
spake the word of God with boldness. 
(!J| And the multitude of them that be 
lieved were of one heart and of one soul : 
neither said any of them that ought of 
the things which he possessed was his 



form : " Who through the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of 
David our father, thy servant," and was simplified by 
later copyists. In tin- citation from Ps. ii. we have 
another lesson from the Apostles school of prophetic 
interpretation. The Psalm is not cited in the Gospels. 
Here what seems to us the most .striking verse (verse 7 1 
of it is passed over, and it does not appear as referred 
to Christ till we find it in Heb. i. 5 ; v. 5. 

Why did the heathen rage, and the people 
imagine . . . ? Xeither noun has the article in the 
Greek or in the Hebrew. Why did nations rage <ni<I 
peoples i ni "</!> i . . . f The word for "rage" is 
primarily applied to animal ferocity, especially to that 
of untamed horse:-. 

(26) And against his Christ. The question 
whether the word Christ " should be used as a 
proper name, or translated, is commonly answered 
by accepting the. former alternative. Here, perhaps, 
to maintain the connection with the Psalm and with 
the verb in the next verse, it would be better to say. 
"against His Anointed." The "Lord" stands, of 
course, for the Supreme Deity of the Father. 

<27) Of a truth . . . .Many of the better MSS. 
add the words " in this city." 

Against thy holy child Jesus. Better, as 
before, Servant. (See Notes on chap. iii. 13, 36.) The 
word is the same a,s that used of David in verse 25. 

Both Herod, and Pontius Pilate. The narrative 
of Hero:l s share in the proceedings connected with tin- 
Passion is, it will be remembered, found only in Luke 
xxiii. 8 12. So far as the hymn here recorded may be 
considered as an independent evidence, the two present 
an undesigned Coincidence. 

With the Gentiles, and the people of Israel. 

Even here the nouns are. in the Greek, without an 
article. The "peoples" the (Jreek noun is plural) ; 
are rightly defined, looking to the use of the Hebrew- 
word, as those <>f Israel. 

(28) To do whatsoever thy hand . . . .The 
great problem .if the relation of the divine purpose 
to man s free . v _. ncy is stated (as before in chaps, i. 
16; ii. 23), without any attempt at a philosophical 
solution. No . ;ich soluti.ni is indeed possible. If we 
admit a Divine Will at all. manifesting itself in ( 
the government of the world, in the education of man- 
kiiid. in the salvation of individual souls, we must 
follow the example of the Apostle, and hold both j 
the facts of which consciousness and experience bear 
their witness, without seeking for a logical formula of i 
reconciliation. In every fact of history, no less than in 
the great fact of which St. Peter spi-aks. the will of 

24 



each agen is free, and he stands or falls by the part he 
has taken m it; and yet the outcome of the whole 
works out some law of evolution, some "increasing 
purpose." which we recognise as we look i;ack on 
the course of the events, the actors in which were 
impelled by their own base or noble aims, their self- 
interest or their self-devotion. As each man look- 
back on his own life he traces a sequence visiting 
him with a righteous retribution, and leading him. 
whether he obeyed the call, or resisted it, to a higher 
life, an education no less than a probation. " Alan 
proposes, God disposes." "God works in us. there 
fore we must work." Aphorisms such as these are the 
nearest, approximation we can make to a practical 
though not a theoretical, solution of the great mystery. 

(29) And now, Lord, behold their threaten- 
ings. The context shows that the praver of the 
Church is addressed to the Father. The Apostle,, 
who had shown "boldness of speech" i verse 13 . pray, 
as conscious of their natural weakness, for a yet t urth -r 
bestowal of that gift, as being now more than ever 
needed, both for themselves and the whole community. 

(30) By stretching forth thine hand to heal." 
There seems something like an intentional assonance 
in the Greek Avords which St. Luke uses ms/x (heal 
ing) and Jesus (pronounced L sus] as though he would 
indicate that the very name of Jesus witnessed to His 
being the great Healer. A like instance or the nomen 
et omen idea is found in the identification by Tertullian 
( Apol. c. 3) of Christos and Chrestos (good, or gracious . 
of which we have, perhaps, a foreshadowing in 1 Pet. 
ii. 3. (Comp. also chap. ix. 34.) 

Thy holy child Jesus. Better, as before. SY, ,-,//. 
(See Note on chap. iii. 13.) 

(31) The place was shaken . . . .The impres 
sion on the senses was so far a renewal of the wonder 
of the Day of Pentecost, hut in this instance without 
the sign of the tongues of fire, which were the symbols 
of a gift imparted once for all. and. perhaps also. 
without the special marvel of the utterance of the 
tongues. The disciples felt the power of the Spirit, 
the evidence of sense confirming that of inward, spiri 
tual consciousness, and it came in the form for which 
they had made a special supplication, the power to 
speak with boldness the word which they were com- 
inUsione.l to speak. 

( And the multitude of them that be 
lieved. Literally. Ami ///< //mr/ <nnl tin- .--mil ,<f tl/r 
miMittute of ihoee that believed wen one. of the two 
words used to describe the unity of the Church, 
"heart" represented, as in Hebrew usage, rather the 



ni n nit i/ iii 



Till-: ACTS, IV 






own : luit they li:nl nil tiling 

And with ".T>-at power ^:i\- Ihe 

apostles \\itlless ..( till- ]VslllTertiol| (if 

(he Ldio Jesus : mid urn-at "Tare was 
Hpcii them all. :| Ni-it hfi- \va.- there 
anv aiming them that larked: for as 
manv as wen- possessors <f lands OT 
sold them, and brought tin- 
.f thr things that wen- sold. 



ill laid l/i m i"wn at th- aj>" 
and distribution wa.~ made unto 

aver} man ai-rorditiL: U ! had i d. 

bid Jo -. wlid I iv the .ipost I. 
surnamed iJanialias. \\hi--h i-. lieino; 
interpreted. The s.,n ( .f ,-, msdla t ion. a 

Levite, ,i,i,l df the r< ill I i t ;. of ( \pnis, 

i\in-- land, Sdld //. and hroii^ht t he 
iiidiiev, and laid / / al the apostles; feet. 



intellectual side of character ( Mark ii. J. s : xi. -j: 1 , ; Luke 

il. : .:>; iii. l. i; \i. d. .-/. n/. . ;ui<l - soul." til.- emotional 
i Luke ii. :>-">; xii. -2-2: .lulin \ii. 27. ,-t nl.. A^ with 
most like words, however, tlii-v often overlap -a-li 
ntlu-r. ami arc used toycther t.i express the totality of 
character without minute analvsis. Tin- ilcscrijitiuii 
stands parallel with tliat of chap, ii. 12 17. a- though 
the historian delighted to dwell on the continiianr.-. a- 
lony as it lasted, .if that ideal of a common life of 
ec|iiality and fraternity after which philosophers had 
yearned, in which the rights of property, though not 
abolished, were, liy the spontaneous action of its 
owners, made subservient to the law of love, and 
benevolence was free and full, without the "nicely 
calculated less or more" of a later and less happy 
time. The very form of expression implies that the 
community of yoods was not compulsorv. The yoods 
still helonyed to men. hut they did not speak of tnem 
as their own. They had learned, as from our Lord s 
teaching i Luke xvi. 10 -M-i. to think of themselves, 
not as possessors. Imt as stewards. 
W 



ith great power gave the apostles 
witness. The (iivck verb im]ilies the idea of payiny 
or rendering; what was due. as in Matt. xxii. 11. f Ley 
Were doiny that which they were 1)01111(1 to do. 

Great grace was upon them. The words may 
stand parallel with Luke ii. ID as meaniny that thi> 
./-vie of ( Jod was bestowed upon the disciples in full 
measure, or with chap. ii. 47 as stating that lhe/</r<"o- 
of the people owards them still continued. There an 
no sufficient ,lntii for deciding the question, and it 
must lie left open. The English versions aP ylv.- 
" yrace." as it accepting the hiyhest meanin<r, as do 

most urncntators. 

11 Neither was there any among them that 

lacked. -Better, perhaps, nn/f <>i" in ii iil. 

Sold them, and brought the prices. Both words 
imply continuous and repeated action. It is possible that 
besides the strong impulse of love, they were impressed, 
by their Lord s warainys of wars and coming troubles, 
with the instability of earthlv possessions. Landed 
property in Palestine was likely to be a source of 
anxiety rather than profit. As Jeremiah had shown 
his faith in tin- future restoration of his people by pur- 
rhasiiiLT the Held at Anathoth i.Jer. xxxii. : 1-". . BO 
there was. in this sale of their estates, a proof of faith 
in the future desolation which their Master had fore 
told i Matt. \\i\. Ill 21). 

11 And laid them down at the apostles 
feet. TliH words are a vivid picture of one phase of 
Last . i-ii life. When yit ts or offeriiiLTs are made to a 
kiny. or priest, or teacher, they are not placed in his 
hands. Imt at his feet. The Apostlea -at. it would 
seem, in conclave, on their twelve seats, as in the figu 
rative promise of Matt. xi\. -js. and tin- vision oj 
iv. 1. 

And Joses, who by the apostles was sur- 
named Barnabas.- The better MSS. }?ivf the naiiu- 



as Joseph. It is possible, as Rabbinic writers often 
pve ./.<,-, for Joseph, that both were but different 
forms, like Simon and Simeon, of the - ; .me name. Tin- 
later friendship between the L.-xite of ( vpnis and St. 
Paul makes it probable that there hail been <oinc 
previous companionship tee .Votes on chaps. i\. 27. 
\i. - > . and it may well have been that he was -<-i\\ 
from ( yprus to receive his education in the famous 
schools of Tarsus, or practised with Saul in early life 
the craft of tent-making , for which Tarsus was famous. 
and in which they were afterwards fellow-labourers 
(1 Cor. ix. (i). As a Levite he had probably taken his 
place in the ministries of the Temple, and may. there 
fore, have been aiming our Lord s actual hearers. His 
relation Mary, the mother of Joha surnamed M 
was, we know, living at Jerusalem, i See .Note on chap, 
xii. 12; Col. iv. 10. i A tradition, as early as Clement 
of Alexandria i.SV/v,//. ii. ^ 1 It! . makes him one of 
the Seventy, and this agrees with the prophetic 
character which we have seen reason to think of 
as attaching to that body. S.- .Vote -,n Luke x. 1 
The new name which the Apostles yav- him, literally, 
if we look to its Hebrew etymology. / //, SOM of 
]ii-i>]ilu;-ii. or. taking St. Luke s translation. Tin .(/ "t 



counsel, implies the possession of a special yift of 
persuasive utterance, in which the Apostles recou-nisi-d 
the work of tht> Spirit. The Paraclete had endowed 



him with the gift of /fivr/Ws. in the sense in which 
that word included counsel, comfort, admonition, appli 
cation of divine truth to the spiritual necessities of 
men. (Sec A rr// ;>.- <i.n ,S7. ./-//(/( s f .Wy/r/. i In chap. 
xi. 2:5, we find him t\i-ln>i-tiu,j the Gentufl converts at 
Antioch. the verb beiny that from which yi</r<f/- 
derived. He was. i ., .. consjiicuoiis for the _ r it t of 
pro]ihecy as that <rift is described in 1 Cor. xiv. . {. 
The several stays in his life come before us later. 
An Epistle beariiiir his name, and recognised as his 
bv ( lenient of Alexandria and ( >ri;eii. is still extant. 
but its authenticity is. to say the least. (|uestionahlc. 
It consists mainly of allegorical interpretations of Old 
Testament narratives. Some critics have assigned the 
Hpisth- to the Hebrews to his authorship, as the 
expounder of St. Paul s thoutrhts. It should lie noted 
that a little further on his kinswoman Mary s house is 

the chief n tiny-place of the Church of Jerusalem 

chap. xii. 12). and that her son John, surnamed Mark. 
is mentioned bv St. I eter i" Marcus ny SDH." 1 Pet. 
v. 13) in words which make it almost c>-rtain that lie 
was converted liy that Ajiostle. 

Having land, sold it. Better. pcrh..ps. / 
a farm. Bee Note* on Mark v. 14; vi. 86, 56.) iii 

the original jioiity of Israel the Levites liad cities and 
land in common, but im private property - Num. xviii. 

Jo. 21 : Dent. \. s ... ,/ ai . j,, h ] depended tor th.-i 

sll|i])ort ll|Hin the tithes paid b\ the peo])le. The cas t 
of Jeremiah, however Jer. xxxii. 7 12 . shows thai 
there was nothiny to hinder prievt or Levite fn 
ci.i. iiny tin- possessor of land by piuviias-- or inhei r 



/ anieu 



Till-] ACTS, V. 



ami X 



CHAPTER V. < But a certain mini 
named Anania-. \\itli Sapphini liis wife, 
sold a possession. - and kept haek /mrl 
of the price, hi.s wile also Ix-ino- privv l<> 
it. and hroii^ht a en-tain part, and laid 
// at t!i" apostles 1 left. i:; Hut Peter 
said. Ananias, why hath Satan h lled 




thine heart to lie to 1 the Holy <;ht, 
and to keep hark /</// <f tin- price . .f 
the land? \\ liiles it remained, was 
it not thine own V and after it was sold, 
was it not in thine own power V why 
hast thon conceived this thin^ in thine 
heart? thou hast not lied nnt i men, but 



Tin- position of Barnahas s sister Mary shows that she. 
aKo. was wealthy, and. t hough she did not sell her house. 
sin-, too. did not call it her own. hut gave it up for the 
public use of the community. The self-chosen poverty 
of Barnabas led him afterwards to act as St. Paul did 
in working for his livelihood (1 Cor. ix. 6). It will not 
be out of place on this first mention of the name of a 
new disciple to note a few others whose membership of 
the Church dated probably from this period; Mnason. 
the "old disciple" of chap. xxi. 16. of Cyprus, and 
probably, therefore, a friend of Barnabas ; Andronicus 
and Juuia (or, more probably. Juniu*. as a man s 
name . in some sense kinsmen of St. Paul, who 
were "in Christ " before him > Rom. xvi. 7), and whom 
we Hi id afterwards at Home; the seven who in chap, 
vi. 5 are prominent enough to be chosen as repre 
sentatives of the Hellenistic members of the Church; 
Agabus (chap. xi. -JSi. Judas, and Silas (chap. xv. : - . 
The last three, however, as being "prophets." may 
have been among the number of the Seventy; and, 
pnssiUv. if we follow a fairly early tradition, Stephen 
and IMiilip among the Seven. (See Note on Luke x. I. 1 
We au aiu note the absence of any measure of the 
interval between the events of this chapter and the 
historv that follows. The picture of the peaceful ex 
pansion of the Church s life implies, probably, as in 
hap. ii. 41 i7. one of several months. 

V. 

(i, -) A certain man named Ananias. The name 
meets us again as belonging to the high priest in chap. 
xxiii. and was the Greek form of the Hebrew 
Hananiah. It had the same significance as John, or 
Johanan. " The Lord be gracious." " Sapphira," is either 
connected with the " sapphire." as a precious stone, or 
from a Hebrew word signifying beautiful" or 
pleasant." The whole history must be read in con 
nect ion with the act of Barnabas. He, it seemed, had 
gained praise and power by his self-sacrifice. Ananias 
thought that he could get at the same result more 
cheaply. The act shows a strange mingling of dis 
cordant elements. Zeal and faith of some sort had led 
him to profess himself a believer. Ambition was strong 
enough to win a partial victory over avarice; avarice 
wiis strong enough to triumph over truth. The impulse 
to sell came from the Spirit of God; it was counteracted 
by the spirit of evil, and the resulting sin was therefore 
worse than that of one who lived altogether in the lower, 
commoner forms of covetousncss. It was an attempt 
to serve God and mammon; to gain the reputation of 
a saint, without the reality of holiness. The sin 
if Ananias is, in some aspects, like that of Gehazi 
2 King- v. lid -J7). but it was against greater light 
and Intensified by a more profound hypocrisy, and it 
was therefore visited by a more terrible chastisement. 
We may well trace in the earnestness witli which St. 
.lames warns men against the peril of the "double 
mind" -/.< . th.- heart divided between the world and 
God Ja-. i. 8j i\. * the impression made on him 
by such a historv as this. 



And kept back part of the price. The 

mere act of keeping back would not in itself have 1 n 

sinful. The money was his own. to give the whole or 
part i verse 1 1. But the formal act. apparently repro 
ducing that of Barnabas, was an acted lie. The part was 
offered as if it were the whole. The word for " kept 
back" is rendered" purloining " in Titus ii. Id, and 
always carried with it the idea of stealthy and dishonest 
appropriation. It is used in the LXX. of Josh. vii. 1, 
as describing the sin of Achan. 

Why hath Satan filled thine heart ? The 
narrative is obviously intended to leave the, impression 
that St. Peter s knowledge of the fact came from a 



supernatural insight. He had that prophetic gift which 
gave him insight into the hearts of men. and through 
this outward show of generous devotion he read the 
baseness and the lie. And that evil he traced to its 
fountain-head. Like the sin of .Judas (John xiii. ii. -J7 , 
it had in it a malignant subtlety of evil, which implied 

j the perversion of conscience and will just at the 
moment when they seemed to be. and. it maybe, actually 

were, on the point of attaining a higher perfection than 
before. The question "why" implies that resistance 
to the temptation had been possible. Had he resisted 
the Tempter, he would have tied from him .las. i\. 7 . 
To lie to the Holy Ghost. The words 
admit of two tenable interpretations. Ananias may be 
said to " have lied unto the Holy Ghost," either (1) as 
lying against Him who dwelt in the Apostles whom 

! he was seeking to deceive; or < 2) as against Mini 
who was the Searcher of the secrets of all hearts. 
his own included, and who was "grieved Kph. 
iv. 31) by this resistance in one who Bad been called 
to a higher life. The apparent parallelism of the 
clause in verse 4 is in favour of (I); but there i- in 

i the Greek a distinction, obviously made deliberately, 
between the structure of the verb in the two sentences. 
Here it is used with the accusative of the direct object. 
so that the meaning is "to cheat or deceive the Holy 
Spirit;" there with the dative, "to sjwak a lie. not to 
men. but to God;" and this gives a sense which is at 
least compatible with cJi. The special intensity of 
the sin consisted in its being against the light and 
knowledge with which the human spirit had been illu 
mined by the divine. The circumstance that it was 
also an attempt to deceive those in whom that Spirit 
dwelt in the fulness of its power comes in afterwards 
as a secondary aggravation. 
(*) Whiles it remained . . .Fresh circumstances 

are pressed home, as depriving the act of every possible 
BXCnse. Ananias had not been bound by any rule of 
: the Church to such a gift. At every stage he was five 
to act as he thought best ; and had he brought part as 
part, or even brought nothing, lie would have been free 
from any special blame. .\> it was. the attempt to 
obtain the reputation of saint Mness without the reality 
of sacrifice, involved him in the guilt at once of sacri 
lege, though there had been no formal consecration, 
and of perjury, though there had been no formulated 
oath. 






Tin; ACTS, v. 







until God. \ Ananias hi-ariii"; 

tht-sf \\.-rd~ li-ll dowi . ;i il 4 avr up tin- 
I4 li..st : :ML! ^T<-;t fear : .\i\>- <>n nil ih.-ni 
that h.-ard these ti An. I tin- 

voting HP . Uinl him up, and 

arrird l<>i,i out, and lmri-d him. 

\ aboul ; Le spun- \ 
hours al t.-r. \\lirn hi< \\itt-, mt k 
\vlia: uas il.uif, canii- in. ~ An 1 
answivd untu her, JV11 nu- wh.-th.-r y.- 
sold tin- land for s<> mtu-hy And sin- 
said. Yt-a. t oi- so inn.-;,. " Thru IVt-T 



said untu h.-r. H-.\v i- it tha 1 
iiLfr -i-d tn^.-t ht-r t.. tt-inpt tin- Spirit of 
the L .r.iy iM-hi.ld, tin- f.-.-t of tin-in 
which ha\i- Iniri.-d thy liu>liainl are at 
tin- d....r. and shall carry th-- i.iit. 

i IM-U f i-11 six- du\vn st rai^ht WB 
his f -i-t. and yii-ldi-d up tin- ^Imst : and 
tin- yi MI n^ iin-ii canif in, and i mmd IMT 
dead, and, i-;m-yiii _i /"/ forth, iMirit-d 
l / li\ hrr husliand. " And uT.-at fr;ir 
ranir upon all tin- diun-h, and upon as 
many as heard th -.-- thi: 



Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto 
God. Tin- parallelism between this and " lying to the 
Hol\ (ihost" in verse :! 1 i- . t tt-n been used, and per 
fectly legitimately, as ;: proof that wliil.- tin- Apostles 
thought "f ;! .: Spirit as sent liy tl> Father, and tht-rc- 
.stinct in ma personality, they yet did nut shrink 
froni speaking of 1 1 nu a- (in I. and so identifying Him 
with tli.- Divine Kssential Heing. 

(*) Ananias hearing these words fell down. 
It is tii In- noted that St. [Vt.-r s words, while th. v )>n-ss 
lionit- tin- intensity of th<- <ruilt, do not contain any 
forma! scntcucr. In Mich a r;is.- we may rightly tra.-e 
that union of natural i-aii^tion anddivine jiurpose which 
we <-\]in-ss in tlie familial- jdinisi 1 that speaks of tin- 
visitation of <iod" as a rails.- of death. The sluillle 
and a^ony of detection, tlie horror of conscience not 
yet dead, were enough to paralyse tin- powers of life. 
Retribution is not less a divine act Ix-canse it comes, 
through tli:- working of divine laws, as the natural 
consequent-.- ot the sin which, draws it down. It 
was ncces^ars. we may reverently say. that this 
special form of evil, this worst corruption of the 
liest. should lx> manifestly condemned on its first ap 
pearance by a divine judgment. And we must remem 
ber that there is a silence which we may not dare to 
break as to all but tlie visible judgment. The domi 
nant apostolic idea of such punishments was that men 
were delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, 
that tin- spirit mi<rht be saved in tlie day of the Lord 
Jesus I ( or. v. 6). St. IVter himself speaks of those 
who are judged according to men in the flesh." who 
vet live accordinir to ( Jod in tin- spirit" (1 Pet. iv. J>. 

" And the young men arose. Literally, tin- 
younger men, implying the existence of a distinct body 
.is CMiitrastcd with the elders" of the Church. So 
in Luke xx ^(i we find the same word answering 
in tlie jurallel clause to "him that serveth." and 
opposed to " I lders." when- the latter word seems 
used in a half-oHicial sen.se rather than of age only. 
\Ve find here, accordingly, rather than in chap. vi.. the 
irerm of the later diaconate as n body of men set apart for 
the suliordinate service., of the community. The special 
work her.- done by them was afterwards assigned to 
i In- /- ./xsi/,-// , tin- sextons, or grave-diggers of the ( hnreh. 

Wound him up. The word in this -,, Mse is found 
Here only in the NYw Testament. It implies Un 
hurried wrapping in a winding-sheet. It -was followed 
by the immediate interment outside the walls of the 
vity. ( iistom. resting partly on the necessities of 
climate, partly on the idea of ceremonial defilement. 
as caused by eoiitact with a corpse Num. xix. 11- 16), 
required burial to follow quickly on death, unless there 
was a more ui less elaborate embalmment. In tin- act 
tselt _ li; v ,> a compassionate respect. 



There is a reverence for humanity, as such, perhaps for 
the body th; t had once been tin" t -mplc of the Spirit 
(1 Cor. vi. I .t , that will not permit men to do as the 
heathen did. and to inflict dishonour on tin- lifeless 
corpse. The narrative implies that tin- new society 
had already a burial-place to which they had five right 
of access." Was it in the 1 otter s "Field that had 
been bought to bury strangers in H i.Matt. xx\ii. 7.J 
Did the body of Ananias rest in the same cemetery 
with that of Judas:- See Xote on Matt, xxvii. s. 

<") And it was about the space of throe hours 
after. Literally. Ami tlfn- WCU OH in>< mi! f about 



(8) And Peter answered unto her. The word 
oes not necessarily imply a previous questioning, but 

it is probable enough that she came to inquire why her 
husband had not returned home; perhaps. i-xp -i-;in 
to find him high in honour. The question asked by 
1 eter gave her an opening for repentance. It had 
been in her power to save her husband by a word of 
warning protest. It was now in her power io clear her 
own conscience by confession. Sin- misses the one 

opportunity as she had misused tl ther. Tin- lie 

which they had agreed upon comes glibly from her lips, 
and the irrevocable word is spoken. 

(9) To tempt the Spirit of the Lord- !.<:. to try, 
or f< .-7. whether the Spirit that dwelt in the Apostles 
was really a discerner of tin- secrets of men s hearts. 
The " SpiVit of the Lord " is probably used in its Old 
Testament sense, as the Spirit of Jehovah. Tin- com 
bination is rare in the New Testament, occurring only 
in J Cor. iii. 17, but is common in the Old. a-< in 
U-i. Ixi. 1 quoted in Luke iv. 18); 1 Kings xxii. :U ; 
J Kings ii. 16. 

Behold, the feet of them . . . .In this instance 
the coming judgment is foretold, and the announce 
ment tended to work out its own completion. Here, to 
all the shame and agony that had fallen on Ananias, 
there was now added the bitter thought of her husband s 
death as in some sense caused by her. inasmuch as 
sin- miirht ha\e prevented the crime that led to it. 
The prophetic insight given to St. Peter taught him 
that the messengers, whose footsteps lie already heard, 
had another task of a like nature before them. 

111 And great fear came upon all the church. 
With the exception of the doubtful reading in chap, 
ii. 17. this is the first occurrence of the word 
since the two instances in which our Lord bad used 
it. as it Were, by anticipation. (See Notes on Matt. 
\\i. |s ; xviii. 17. Its frequent use in the l.XX. 
\.-rsion for the "assembly." or congregation." of 
Nrael (Dent. x\iii. li ; xxiii. 1; I s. x\\i. IL ; Ixviii. 
_!; . its associations with the political life of lin-ece 
as applied to the UMml \\hieh 



and 



THE ACTS V. 



! ,i 






bid l>v the hands of the apostles 

\vere many si^ns and wonders wrought 

iMinMi^- (he people; (and they were nil 

with one accord in Solomon s pon-h. 

And of the rest durst no man join 

himself to them: but the people magni 
fied them. (14) And believers were the 
more added to the Lord, multitudes 
both of men and women.) < 16) Inso 
much that they brought forth the sick 
into the streets, 1 and laid them on beds 






and couches, that at the least the shadow 
of Peter passing by mi^ht overshadow 
some of them. (1(il There came also a 
multitude out of the cities round about 
unto Jerusalem, bri i i^i 1154 sick folks, and 
them which were vexed with unclean 
spirits: and ! h- -y \.vre hailed e\er\ 
one. 

(i?) Then the high priest rose up, and 
all they that wen- with him. (which is 
the sect of the Saddue.-es. and were 



was ;i full eiti/.en. made it a natural and fitting word 
for the new society; and the use by our Lord either 
of tlie actual Greek word or of the corresponding 
Aramaic term stamped it with His sanction. Its 
occurrence here is. perhaps, an indication oi the ill- 
crease of the Hellenistic element among the disciples. 
The sudden startling death of Ananias and his wife 
naturally tended to give a new prominence to the I 
society, the rulers of which were seen to be clothed | 
with supernatural powers; and the fear that fell \ipon 
all who heard of these things led them in part to draw 
near with reverence, in port to shrink back in awe. 

i 1 - ! Many signs and wonders . . . .See Note I 
on chap. ii. - 2. 

They were all with one accord in Solomon s 
porch. See Notes on chap. iii. l2 ; John x. :23. It was. 
we have seen, at all times a favourite place of resort 
for teachers. The chronology of this period of the 
history is still, as before, left somewhat indefinite; but 
assuming some months to have passed since the Day 
of Pentecost, what is now related would be in the 
winter, when, as in John x. . ). that portico, as facing 
the east and catching the morning sunlight, was more 
than usually frequented. On " with one accord," see 
Note on chap. iv. lil. 

d 3 ) Of the rest. We are left to conjecture who 
these were who are contrasted with the Apostles on the 
one side and with the people on the other. Does it 
mean that the Apostles stood aloof in an isolated 
majesty, and so that none of the other disciples dared 
associate himself with them ! J or is this St. Luke s 
way of speaking of the Pharisees and other teachers. 
who also resorted to the portico, but. as in the days of 
our Lord s ministry (John vii. 4S ; xii. 42 1. had not the 
coiiraLTe to attach themselves to those with whom they 
really sympathised? The latter view seems every way 
the more probable, and so the passage stands parallel 
with those which tell us how the people heard our Lord 
gladly and " came early to hear him" (Luke xxi. 38). 

(1*) Added to the Lord. Here, probably, the 
word is used in its definite New Testament sense for 
the Lord Jesus. 

Both of men and women. The mention of the 
latter forms an introduction to the dissensions con 
nected with the "widows" in chap, vi., and is itself 
characteristic of St. Luke as a writer who had seen 
and known the effect of the new Religion in raising 
women to a higher life, and whose knowledge of its 
history was in great measure derived from them. Bee 
Introduction to St. Luk<* Gospel.} So in chap. viii. : . 
women are named as prominent among the sufferers in 
liie first general persecution. 

Insomuch that they brought forth the 
sick . . .The tense implies habitual action. For some 
days or weeks the sick were laid all along the street- 



the broad open streets, as distinct from the lanes and 
alley-, isee Note on Matt. vi. 5) by which the Apostle 
went to and fro between his home and the Temple. 

That at the least the shadow of Peter .... 
It is implied in the next verse that the hope was not 
disappointed. Assuming that miracles are possible. 
and that the narratives of the Gospels indicate 
generally the laws that govern them, there is nothing 
in the present narrative that is not in harmony with 
those laws. Christ healed sometimes directly by a 
word, without contact of any kind (Matt. viii. 13: John 
iv. .V_! ; sometimes through material inxl m the fringe 
of His garment (Matt. ix. :!<> ,. or tin- clay smeared over 
the blind man s eyes (John ix. 5) becoming channels 
through which the healing virtue passed. All that wa- 
wanted was the expectation of an intense faith, as the 
subjective condition on the one side, the presence of an 
objective supernatural power on the other, and any 
medium upon which the imagination might happen to 
fix itself as a help to faith. So afterwards the " hand 
kerchiefs and aprons" from St. Paul s skin do what 
the shadow of St. Peter does here (chap. xix. 1 J . h 
the use of oil, as in Mark vi. 13, Jas. v. 11. we find a 
medium employed which had in itself a healing power. 
with which the" prayer of faith was to co-operate. 

On the "beds and couches." see Note on Mark ii. 4. 
The couches were the more portable pallets or mat 
tresses of the poor. 

(is) There came also a multitude. Here a U< 
the tense points to a continual and daily concourse. 
The work of expansion is beginning. "The "cine- 
round about may have included Hebron. Bethlehem. 
Eminaus. and Jericho ; perhaps also Lydda and 
Joppa. (See, however, Notes on chap. ix. >-. : ;.. It 
is obvious here also that we have the summary of 
what must have occupied, at least, several months. 

Vexed with unclean spirits. In this work th>- 
Apostles and the Seventy had already ex]>erienced 
the power of the Name of the Lord Jesu> Luke x. 17 . 
Now that they were working in the full power of tin- 
Spirit, it was natural that they should do yet greater 
things (John xiv. 1J . 

(i?) Then the high priest rose up . . . . 
Probably, as before, Annas or (. aiaphas. 

Which is the sect of the Sadducees. The fact. 
of which this is the only distinct record, is of immense 
importance as throwing light on the course of action 
taken by the upper class of priests, both during^ 0111 
Lord s ministry and in ;he history of this book. From 
the time of the teaching of John" v. - - -. they must 
have felt that His doctrine was diametrically oppose,! to 
theirs. They made one attempt to turn that doctrine, 
on which, and almost on which alone. He and the 
Pharisees were i;> accord, into ridicule, and were haH .ed 

Matt.xxii. 2333). The racing of Lazarus mingled 



Tin A 



Till- ACTS. V. 



xjl, 



tilled with indignation, 1 (1 " 1 ami laid 

their hands t.n tin- apostles, and put 
tin-in in tin- Million prison. ; Hut 
th- an^i-1 of tin- Lord l>v ni^ht opened 
tin- prison doors, and lirmi^ht tln-ni 
t urth. and said, -" (Jo, Maud and speak 
in tin- temple to tin- people all llr- 
words of this life. Jl And wln-n they 
heard ////, they entered into tin- tempi-- 
early in the morning, and taught. But 
tin- hi^h priest came, and they that 
wen- with him, and called the council 
together, and all tin- senate of tin- 
children of Israel, and sent to tin- 
prison to have them brought. -"- But j 
when the otlicers came, and found them 
not in tin- prison, they returned, and 
told, (2{) saying, The prison truly found 



we shut with all <afel_\, and the k* 

standing without before the doors : hut 

when we had openrd, w- found m- man 
within. tJ Now when tin- hi^h i 
and tin- captain of the tempi-- a-id the 
chief priests heard tin s.- things, th.-y 
doiihted of them whereunto this would 
e;ro\\. -" Then came on.- and told them, 
saving. Behold, the men whom y put 
in prison are standing, in tin- temple, 
and teaching the people. - Then 
went the captain with tin- officers, and 
brought them without violence: for 

they feared the people. lest theysllOuld 
hav hi en stoned. < L>7 > And when th.-y 
had brought them, they set them before 
the council: and the high priest asked 
j them, (>) saying, Did not we straitly 



-t dogmatic antagonism with the counsels of political 

expediency , John xi. !! I .">). Tin- jiroiiiini iu t the 

Resurrection of Jesus in tht- teaching of tin- Apostles 
now made the Sadiluci-au high priests their most deter 
mined <i]ioiiciits. Tin- Pharisees, on the other hand, 
less exposed now t hau tliev had boon before to the con- 
leiiination passed by our Lord on their unreality and 
perverted casuistry, were drawing off from those with 
whom they had for a time coalesced, into a position at 
first of declared neutrality; then of secret sympathy: 
(hen. in many cases, of professed adherence (chap. xv. . >>. 

Pilled with indignation. The word is that ,!- 
where rendered "/cal." or "envy." Both meanings of 



the word were probably applicable here. There was 
/.e;il " against the d 
if the Apostles. 



doctrine, "envy of the popularity 



<> Put them in the common prison.- The 
word is the same as the " ward " of chap. iv. $. The 
addition of the word " common " or " public " perhaps 
indicates a greater severity of treatment. They were 
not merely kept in custody, but dealt with as common 
criminals, compelled to herd with ruffians and robbers 
nnd murderers. 

<i9> But the angel of the Lord. Better. ,i,, 
iii</f l. The fact is obviously recorded by St. Luke 
H supernatural. Those who do not accept that view 
of it, and yet wish to maintain the general historical 
i-haracter of the narrative, are driven to the hypothesis 
that the "angel " was some jealous and courageous dis 
ciple: and tliat the Apostle, in tin- darkness of the 
night and the excitement of his liln-ration. ascrilx-d his 
rescue to the intervent ion of an angel. Acts xii. 7 
may In- noted as another instance of a like inter 
position. It has sometimes been urged, with somet hing 
of a sneer, what was the use of such a deliverance as 
this, when the Apostles were again arrested on the very 
next day The answer to such a question is not far to 
seek. (1) The marvellous deliverance was a -i^n. not 
without its influence ,, n the subsequent decision of the 
< ouncil, a i 1 on the courage of the two Apostles. 

- It \\as no small boon for them to be delivered even 

for a few hours from the vile companionship to which 
they had been condemned. 

All the words of this life. The use ,,f the 
demonstrative pronoun is significant. The "life in 
Christ " which the Apostles preach is that eternal life 

21* 



which consists in knowing God (John xvii. 1), and ill 
which the angels are- sharers. 

(2i) Early in the morning. Probably at day 
break, when the worshippers would be going up to the 
Temple for their early devotions, or. though less pro 
bable, at the third hour, the time of the morning s.-n-ritice. 

They that were with him. Probably tho>e 
named in chap. iv. >, who seem to have acted as a kind 
of cabinet or committee. 

All the senate . . . .Literally the word means, 
like senate, the assembly of old men. or elders. They 
are here distinguished from the Sanhcdrin. which itself 
included elders, in the official sense of the word, and 
wei-e probably a body of assessors how chosen we do 
not know specially qualified by age and experience, 
called in on special occasions. They may have been 
identical with the "whole estate of tln> elders" of 
chap. xxii. 5. 

(3*) The high priest. The Received text gives 
" the priest." but the use of that word as meaning the 
high priest has no parallel in the New Testament, and 
the word is omitted by many of the best MBS. 

The captain of the temple. The commander 
of the Levite sentinels. ;Seo Notes on chap. iv. 1 ; 
Luke xxii. 52.) 

Whereunto this would grow. Lit. rally, irh,tt 
it in njht lx cinni\ or. possibly, /<;/// if mlijlif lit . They 
do not seem to have recognised at once the super 
natural character of what had taken place, and may- 
have conjectured that the Apostles had b\ some liiimau 
help effected their escape. 

l-ti) Without Violence . . The scene recalls that 
of John vii. !-">. Hero, however, the Apostles set the 

example of unresisting acquiescence, even though the 
tide of feeling in their favour was so strong that they 
might have easily raised a tumult in their favour. The 

signs that had been r ntly wrought, perhaps also the 

lavish distribution of alms, the ideal communism of the 
disciples, were all likely, till counteracted by .trmiger 
influences, to secure popular favour. 

Did not we straitly command you . . . ? 

The (ireek presents the same Hebrew idiom as i:: chap. 
i\ 17. and suggests again that it is ;-. translation 1 the 
Aramaic actually spoken. 

Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doc 
trine. Better, in / /i your tni -ltim/, both to keep up 
28 



THE ACTS, V. 



before the Council. 



you that ye should not teaeh 
in this name? and, behold, ve hav 
tilled Jerusalem with your doctrine, 
and intend to bring this man s blood 
upon us. 

< 29 > Then Peter and tin- other apostles 
answered and said, We ou^ht to obey 
God rather than men. (:i " ) The God of 
our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye 
slew and handed on a tree. (31) Him 
hath (iod exalted with his right hand 



to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to 
repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of 
sins. (:! -> And we are his witnesse> of 
these things; and so /x also the Holy 
(ihost, whom God hath given to them 
that obey him. 

When they heard thai, they w ere 
cut to the heart, and took counsel to 
slay them. (:U) Then stood there up 
one in the council, a Pharisee, named 
Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in 



the connection with the previous clause, and because 
tin* word i- taken. ;is in Mutt. vii. 28, in its wider 
-ense. and not in the modern sense which attaches to 
doctrine" a> meaning a forinulated opinion. 

To bring this man s blood upon us. There 
seems a touch, partly of scoru, partly, it may he, of 
fear, in the careful avoidance (as before, in " thi> 
name") of tlie name of Jesus. The words that Peter 
had uttered, in chaps, ii. 36 , iii. 13, 14, iv. 10, gave 
some colour to the conscience-stricken priests for this 
charge ; hut it was a strange complaint to come from 
those who had at least stirred up the people to cry, 
" His blood be on us aud ou our children " (Matt, 
xxvii. 25). 

(29) Then Peter and the other apostles. The 
whole company of the Twelve, it must be remembered, 
were now the objects of attack* and they ajl accept 
Peter as their spokesman. 

We ought to obey God rather than men. 
The words are an assertion of the same general law of 
duty as that of chap. iv. 19. 20. bur the command of the 
angel in v.M-se 2D had given them a new significance. 

(30) Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 
This synonym for crucifying comes from the LXX. 
version of Deut. xxi. 23. where it is used in a wider 
sense, including analogous forms of punishment, such 
as hanging "r impaling. It meets us again in Peter s 
speech to Cornelius (chap. x. 39. Comp. Gal. iii. 13). 

(3D Him hath God exalted. It is significant that 
St. Peter should uso a word which, while it does not 
occur as applied to our Lord in the first three Gospels, 
meets us as so applied in St. John i iii. 14; xii. 32: 

lifted up " in the English version). It had also I n 

used of the righteous sufferer in the LXX. version 
of Isa. Iii. 13, and was afterwards used of the ascended 
and glorified Christ by St. Paul in Phil. ii. 9. 

A Prince. See Koto on chap. iii. IV 

To give repentance. We note, as in chap. ii. :K 
the essential unity of the teaching of the Apostles with 
that of the Baptist (Matt. iii. 2i. The beginning and 
the end were the same in each ; what was characteristic 
of the new teaching was a fuller revelation ill of the 
Avay in which forgiveness had been obtained; i- "f 
the spiritual gifts that followed on forgiveness; and 
:! the existence of the society which wa> to bear 
its witness of both. 

And so is also the Holy Ghost. The signs 
and wonders, the tongues and the prophecies, the new 
power and tlio new love, were all thought of by the 
Apostles ; :is coming from their Lord; and therefore as 
an evidence that He had triumphed over death and 
had ascended into heaven. (Comp. chap. ii. 33.) 

They were cut to the heart. The strict 
meaning of the verb describes ihe action of a saw. a^ in 
Heb. xi. 37. Used tigurat vly, it seems to imply a 



more lacerating pain than the "pricked to the heart " 
of chap. ii. 37, leading not to repentance but to hatred. 
The persons spoken of are principally the high priest 
and his Sadducean followers i verse 17). 

<**) A Pharisee, named Gamaliel. We are 

brought into contact here with one of the heroes of 
Rabbinic history. The part he now played in the 
opening of the great drama, and not less his position 
as the instructor of St. Paul, demand attention. We 
have to think of him as the grandson of the great 
Hillel the representative of the best school of Phari 
saism, the tolerant and large-hearted rival of the narrow 
and fanatic Shammai. whose precepts such, iv/.. as 
Do nothing to another which thou wouldest not that, 
lie should do to thee remind us of the Sermon on the 
Mount. The fame of Hillel won for him the highest 
honour of Judaism: the title of Rabban (the Fulihinn 

i of Mark x. 51 ; John xx. 16), and the office of Presi 
dent of the Council. For the first time, there seemed 
likely to be a dynasty of scribes, and the office of chief 
of the Jewish schools what we might almost call their 
Professorship of Theology, was transmitted through 

1 four generations. Hillel" was succeeded by his son 
Simeon, whom some have identified with the Simeon 
of Luke ii. 25 (see Note there), and he by Gamaliel. 
He, too, was known as the Rabban. and In- rose now, 
with all the weight of years and authority, to counsel 
moderation. Various motives may have influenced him. 

I He was old enough to remember the wisdom and grace 
of the child Jesus when, twenty-eight years before. He 
had sat in the midst of the doctors (Luke ii. 4b ). He 
may have welcomed, during our Lord s ministry, the 
teaching with so much of which Hillel would have 
sympathised, and been as the scribe who was not far 
from the kingdom of God (Mark xii. 32 31 . rejoicing 

i in the new proof that had been brought forward of 
the doctrine of the Resurrection. As Iwing himself 
of the house and lineage of David, he may have sym 
pathised with the claims of One who was welcomed as 
the Son of David. One who was so prominent as a 
teacher could not fail to be acquainted with a brother- 
teacher like Nicodemus. and may well have hem 
influenced by the example of his gradual conversion 
and the counsels of caution which he had given John 
vii. 5(>, -M ). The tone in which he speaks now miirht 
almost lead us to class him with the "many" of ;!; 
chief rulers who secretly believed in Christ, hut shrai.x 
from confessing Him (John xii. 42. 1-3 1. It seems pro 
bable that he. like .Joseph of Arimathn-a. had " n. .: 
consented to 1 lie counsel and deed" of the Sanliedrii; 
which Caiaphas had hastily convened for our Lord 
trial, and had contented himself with a policy of 
absence and expectation. If, as seems probable. Saul 
of Tar-us was at this time one of his disciples tchap. 
xxii. 3 1, the words i:f warning 1 , though addressed 
M 



( ../ Ill 



T1IK ACTS, V 



// ( - 



ivpntati"!. .inning ,i!i tli.- p.-opl.-. ami 
(oiiimaml -.l in put tl:.- ;i post It-s furl h 
;i little spa.-i- ; ; " iml >ai l unt<. t IM-III. 
YI- iin-M oi l-r.i* K tak.- lirril t.t \our- 
-.-l\ QB u bal jre int.-ml t.. .!< as touching 
t lii-sr in- -ii. ; " h or li.-f..r.- t h.-.s. da\ > 
fOee up Tht-mlas, U.a.st ini; liimsi-lf \ 
!>.- -Mim-ln-h ; to \vh..in a number <>f 
iiii-ii, al ..ii- f.mr h<.:.-lr.-.l. join.-.! t liem- 


l . ir . iflitved. 


861768 : Who WU slain : :ni l a. 
maiiv U ol.. -\.-.l him. \\ } .-.-at t.-i-i-<l, 
ami brought t.. nought . : Aft.-r t hi.-, 
ma 11 r< >st- up .) m la.- .f < ialili-i- in 
tin- <la\s nf tin- taxing, ami iln-w 
assay mm-li pi-opli- aft.-r him : In- ;il.-n 
pi-rislii-.l ; ami all. manv as 
obeyed him, \vrn- <li-p.-i - -.1. - Ami 
now I say unto you, I;. -train from I 



generallv to the i ouncil. inav well luivi- I n inti-inl. il 

sjM cially tn restrain his fi-r\ ami impetuous /.ral. 

Commanded to put the apostles forth a little 
Space. Tin- practice i.f thus delil>eratin<r in the 
absence nl the accused seems tn have been common. 

(Comp. cliap. iv. !">. ) The report of tin- sp -h that 

follow* may have come to St. Luke from some memlx-i- 
of the ( .iiineil. or, probably enough, from St. Paul 
himself. The occasional coincidences of language with 
the writ ilia s of that A|io>tle tend to eontirm the ante 
cedent likelihood of the conjecture. 

Ye men of InfteL We note the more fami 
liar addiv of a man in hitrli anthoritv as eompared 
with SI. Peter s - Rule,-- ..f the people." and elders of 
Israel " (ehap. iv. 8). 

Take heed to yourselves. Compare our Lord s 
us.- ..f the same formula Matt. vi. 1 ; vii. 15; x. 17), 
and St. Paul s ii Tim i. |. ; iv. 1:!; Tit. i. 14). 

Before these days rose up Theudas. 

An insurrection, headed by a leader of this name, is 
mentioned by Josephlls ( .-{!. \\. ?>. $ \ |. He. however, 
places it, not before tin- taxing-" -/.-.. circ. A. n. <> 
lint in the n-i^n of Claudin-. and under the procurator- 
ship of Cu-pius Fadns, A.D. -14. ten or twelve y,-ars 
after this speech of Gamaliel s. The Theudas of whom 
lie sp.-aks claimed to be a prophet, and promised to 
lead hi- followers across the Jordan. Fadns sent a 
troop i.f hone atr.ain.st him. and he was taken and 
lieli.-aded. It has accordingly been inferred by some 
critics that we have here a blunder so portentous 
as to pro\e that the -p.-ech was made up long 
year- after its alleged date by a writer ignorant of 
"history, that the whole narrative of this part of the 
Ad- i- accordingly untrustworthy, and that the book 
require- to be sifted throughout, with a suspicious 
caution. On the other- side.it is urged 1 that the 
circumstances of the two cases are not the same. 
Josephus speaking of a " \.-ry i^reat multitude" as 
following his Thi-uda- while ( iamaliel distinctly fixes 
the numlH-r of adherent.- at "about four hundred " ; 
-| that the name Theudas. whether considered as a 
form .it the Ar.imai. n.inie / //.(./. /" ".> .see Note on 
Matt. \ .1 or the (,re.-k 77/f)/..,-//x. was common 

en.im.rh to make it proliable that there had I n more 

than .me reln-l of that name; : that -los.-phus men 
tions no less than tlin-c insurrecti..iis of tlii- tvp-- M 
occurriiiir shortly after the death of Ib-rod th.- fii-.-at 
Ue Ih-aded by .hula- a name which 
ap|M-a.-- : I i.;ike vi. lii. to ha\e Iweninter- 

chan.reabl,- with Thadd.eiis or Thendas.. tin- head of a 
band of robbers who neized upon the fort re of S.-p- 
|)hori-. ,,, by Simon, previously a slave of Herod s, 
who proclaimed himself kimrand burnt Herod s ]>alace> 
at .J.-richo and elsewhere. >.ue b\ Athronires and four 
brothers. e,u li .it whom ruled over a liaml. more or 
less numerous, of Ins own and add- further, that 
besid.-- these there were numerous pretenders to the 
"am. , :d -red and n.l>l>. d at lar-re. 



ami that 01 f these may well have been identical 

with the Theudas of wl i Gamaliel speaks : 1 that 

it is hardly conceivable that a writer of St. Luke s 
culture and general accuracy, writing in the reign of 
Nero, could have been guilty of such inaccuracv as 
that imputed to him, still less that such a mistake 
should have been made by any author writing after 
.losephiis s history was in the hands of men. A 
writer in the r.- ign of Henry VIII. would hardly 
have inverted the order of Wat Tvler and Jack 

i Cade. The description given by Gamaliel. 

! that in ii-fis xo////< n, ,i i.f., some great personage 
atrrees with the sufficiently vagii" account given by 
Josephiis of the leaders of the revolts on tin- d.-atli 

I of Herod, especially, ix-rhaps. with that of Simon 
(who may have taken the name of Theudas a- an 
iilinx to conceal his servile origin of whom lie -a \ s 
that "he thought himself more worthy than any 
other " of kingly power. 

(:;7 > Judas of Galilee. In on.- pa --air.- J..--phus 
.!/</. xviii. I calls him a Gaulonite .... of the country 
east of Galilee. Had this stood alone, St. Luke might 
have been charged here also with inaccuracy; but in 
other passages (Ant. xx. 5. - ; JlW.--.ii. s. ^ 1 he is 
described as a Galilean. On the taxing, in the modern 
sense of the term, which followed on the census that 
synchronised with our Lord s nativity, both beintr con 
ducted under the supervision of (.^uirinu-. aee Notes 
on Luke ii. 1. -. The insurrection of Judas wa- by 
far the most important of the attempts to throw off the 
yoke of Rome. He was assisted by a Pharisee, named 
Sadduk, and the absolute independence of Israel was the 
watchword of his followers. It was unlawful, in any 
form, to pay tribute to Ca-sar. It was lawful to use aiiv 
weapons in defence of freedom. The war th.-y waged 
was a religious war : and Josephus, writing long after 
the movement had collapsed, but giving, olivimisly. the 
impressions of his own early manhood, enumerates 
them a* being with the Pharisees. Sadducees. and 
Ks-enes. with the first of whom they were very closely 
allied one of the four great religious -e.-ts of Judaism. 
Roman procurators ami princes, like Archelaiis and 
Antipas. were naturally united atrain>t him. and he and 
his followers came to the end of which Gamaliel speak-. 
His influence over the excitable population of Galileo 
was. however, at the time irreat. ami in part survived. 
One of tl-.e Apostle- probably derived his name of 
/ /./.-.--. or Ciiiiiinit - (aee Notes on Matt. x. -!-. from 
having been among the follower- of Juda-. who were 
known by that name. His sons. Jacob and Simon, 
continued" to be looked on a.- leader- after his death, 
ami wen- crucified under Tiberius Alexander, the sue- 

oeaaox of Fa.lus in the procnratorship Jo-. Ant. \\ ~>. 

(38) Refrain from these men. The advice implies 
something like a -upprc ed conviction not bold enough 
to utter itself. Gamaliel takes his place in the das-, 
at all time- numerous, of waiters upon Providence, 



T/tt Aj stl"* am beatt // 



TIIK ACTS, VI. 



and dU 



men, and let tin-in al>ii.-: f.>r if this 
counsel or this work be of men. it will 
coine to nought : (:5il) but if it be of God, 
ye cannot overthrow it ; lest haply ye 
be found even to fight against God. | 

< 4 ) Ainl tu him they ;i^r 1: ;ind when 

they had called the apostles, and beaten 
them, they commanded that they should 
not speak in the name of Jesus, and let 
them go. 



(41 > And they departed from the pre 
sence of the council, rejoicing that they 
were counted worthy to suiter shame 
for his name. (4 - And daily in the 
t < -MI pie, and in every house, they ceased 
nut to te;ieh and }>rea<-h Jesus Christ. 

CHAPTER VI. 1 .) And in those 
<lays. when the number of the disciples 
was multiplied, there arose a murmuring 



who are neutral till a cause is successful, and then 
come forward with a tardy sympathy, Imt who, above 
all, shrink from committing themselves while tin-re 
seems any possibility of failure. lu 1 Thess. ii. 13, i 
St. Paul seems almost to contrast the readiness of his 
disciples in receiving his gospel, not as "of man." lull 
as "of God." with the timid caution of his Master. 
As a prudential dilemma, the argument was forcible 
enough. Resistance was either needless or it was 
hopeless. If needless, it was a waste of energy; if 
hopeless, it involved a fatal risk besides that of mere 
failure. We may legitimately think of the fiery dis 
ciple as listening impatiently to this temporising counsel, 
and as stirred by it to greater vehemence. 

It will come to nought. Better, it will be over 
thrown, so as to preserve the emphasis of the repetition 
of the same; verb in the next clause of the dilemma. 

(39) Fighters against God. It is interesting- to 
not tho recurrence of the same phrase in the reason 
ing of the Pharisees who took St. Paul s part in 
chap, xxiii. i. 

(* And to him they agreed. The Sadducees, 
after their manner, would probably have preferred a 
more violent course, but the Pharisees were strong in 
the Sauhedrin, and the via media recommended by ; 
Gamaliel was, under such circumstances, likely to 
command a majority, and was, therefore, apparently 
accepted without a division. 

And beaten them. Here we trace the action of 
Caiaphas and the priests. They were not content with 
out some punishment being inflicted, and the party of 
Gamaliel apparently acquiesced in this as a compromise 
in the hope of averting more violent measures. And 
this is accordingly to be noted as the first actual ex 
perience of persecution falling on the whole company 
of the Twelve, and not on Peter and John only. They __ 
were probably convicted of the minor offence of causing 
a disturbance in the Temple, though dismissed, as with 
a verdict of " not proven, on the graver charge of 
heresy. The punishment in such a case would pro 
bably be the "forty stripes save one." of Dent, xxv. 3 
and 2 Cor. xi. ~24. 

() Rejoicing that they were counted 
worthy. The emotion is probably, in one sense, 
natural to all who have an intense conviction of the 
Truth for which they suffer. But in this case there 
was something more. The Twelve could not fail to 
remember their Lord s beatitudes; and now, for the 
first time, felt that they could " rejoice and be exceed 
ing glad " because they were sufferinir as the prophets 
had "suffered before them (Matt, v. 11, 12). And 
they were sutt eriiiL r for His Name, or rather, with 
the best MSS.. "for the Name "for that of the | 
Master who had loved them and whom they had learnt 
to love. We may note. too. in the whole history, the 
fulfilment of the prediction and the promise of i 
Matt. x. 17-20. 

32 



(42) And daily in the temple.--Probablv, as 

More, iii the Portico of Silomon: the captain of tin- 
Temple now acting on the resolution just taken, and 
letting the movement take its course without interrup 
tion. 

And in every house. Better, as in chap. ii. 46, 
at home : in their place, or, it may be, places, of 
meeting. 

To teach and preach Jesus Christ. Better. 
to teach and to declare the good tidings of Jesus Cli n xt. 
The word for "preach" is literally to " evangelise." a-. 
in chap. viii. 4, 12, 25; Rom. x. 15, and elsewhere. 

As the chief members of the Sanhedrin disappear 
from the scene at this stage, it may IK- well to note tin- 
later fortunes of those who have been prominent up 
to this point in the history. (1) Annas lived to see 
five of his sons fill the office of high priest (Jos. Ant. 
xx. 9, 1); but his old age was overclouded by the 
tumults raised by the Zealots under John of Gischala. 
in the reign of Vespasian, and before he died the 
sanctuary was occupied by them, and became in very 
deed a "den of robbers " (Jos. Wars. iv. 3, 7). 

(2) Joseph, surnamed Caiaphas. his son-in-law, who 
owed his appointment to GratusfJos. A, it. xviii. ~1 

was deposed by the Proconsul Vitellius. A.D. 36 (Jos. 
Ant. xviii. 4, 3 ). and disappears from history. 

(3) On John and Alexander, see Notes on chap. iv. >. 

(4) Gamaliel, who is Jiot mentioned by .losephus. con 
tinued to preside over the Sanhedrin under Caligula 
and Claudius, and is said to have died eighteen year- 
before the destruction of Jerusalem, and to have sanc 
tioned the Anathema, or "Prayer against heretics." 
drawn up by Samuel the Little Lightfoot. Cent. 
Chorograph, c. 15). Christian traditions, however, re 
present him as having been secretly a disciple of 
Christ (Pseudo- Clement, Recogn. i. 65). and to have 
been baptised by Peter and Paul, with Nicodemns. 
who is represented as his nephew, and his son Abibas 
(Photius Cod. 171, p. 199). In a legendary story, pur 
porting to come from a priest of Syria, named Lucian. 
accepted by Augustine, lie appears as having buried 
Stephen and other Christians, and to have been 
buried himself in the same sepulchre with the Proto- 
martyr and Nicodemus at Caphar-algaina August. <! 
Civ. Dei xvii. 8, Scrm. 318). Later Kabbis looked on 
him as the last of the great Teachers or Rabbans. and 
noted that till his time men had taught the Law stand 
ing, while afterwards they sat. The glory of the Law. 
they said, hail departed with (iamaliel. 

VI. 

U> And in those days, when the number of 
the disciples was multiplied. Better, were >;,/ 

multiplied, as by an almost daily increase. The length 
of the interval "between this and tin- previ.,u> chapter 
is left uncertain. The death of Stephen is fixed by 
most writers in A.D : >-. 






TIIK ACTS. VI. 






of tin- (Jtvriaiis against tin- llt-lu 
li.-ransr th -ir \v ; -lo\\> \\.-iv in-i, r li-ct il in 

jli- lail\ M. ttistration. - Th.-n tin- 

T\v-lvt- .-all.-.! tin- limit- n<l.- of th<-<lis- 
.ipl.-s nnfn th, in, and s;ii<l, It is mt 
reason that \v- slumM It-avt- tin- \\onl 

of <;,!, ami serve tall->. \Vli !- 



for.-. l>ivt lii-fii. look y- out ainojiL you 
s.-v.-n ni.-n of hom-st r.-|H.rt, full of th.- 
Holy (Jho.st ami wisdom. \\h.. MI \vi- 
ma\ appoint <>\.-r this l>n-in--.-. ll But 

\\r will nriv,- ourselves imtinualK to 

pray.T, ami to tin- ministry of th .- 

word. 



The Grecians. The English version alwa\~ 
fully use* this \viinl. and not ( i reeks, for tin- Hell.-nistsor 
Greek-speaking .lews. These were known also as "the 
dispersidi: aiming tin- lientiles" .lohn vii. -\ t . nr gene- 
rallv as " t he dispersion." the " sojoiiriiers of the dis- 
pei-sioii." thdse thai were si-altered alu-dad" .las. i. 1 ; 
I Pet. i. 1 . .Many nt the converts df the Day of 
Peiit.M-iist must have belonged tdthis body; so. probably, 
lid Barnabas and tin- dtliers named in the Note mi 
chap. iv. :!7. Xd\v they were becoming a prominent 
-.tidii df the ( liurch. perhaps nidiv iniineroiis than the 
Hebrews, in- .lew-, .if Palestine. They, as their name 
implies, spoke Greet habitually, and as a rule did not 
read the older Hebrew or speak the current Aramaic. 
They read the Septuagint LXX. version of the Old 
Testament. Tli.-v w.-n- commonly more /.ealous. with 
the /.eal of pilgrims. 1 or the sanctity of the holy places 
than the .lews nf .Jerusalem itself, who had been 
familiar with them from infancy chap. xxi. J7 . 

Because their widows were neglected. The 
\vords imjily something like an organised administration 
<if the common fund : widows and their children being 
the chief objects of relief. Tile rules of 1 Tim. V. 3 16 . 
were probably the growth of a more mature expe 
rience ; and here we have to think of a clamorous crowd 
of applicants besieging the house at which tin- Apostles 
held their meeting at the times appointed for giving 
relief in money, or. as seems more pnihable. in kind. 
The Twelve- singly, or in groups sat at the table. 
and gave as they wen- able. It was like the dole of 
alms at the gate of a convent. ruder such circum 
stances, jealdiisies and complaints were all but in 
evitable. The Twelve were all df tin-in < Jalileans. and 
were suspected of favouring the widows of Palestine 
rath.-r than those of the Dispersion. It was the first 
sign that the new society was outgrowing its primitive 
i iru-anisat ion. 

^ Then the twelve called the multitude of 

the diSCiplOS. The Apostles meet the crisis with 
singular tact and modi-ration. Theydon.it resent the 
suspicion; they an- not careful to vindicate them 
selves against it. They remembered, it may lie. the 

precedent p resented by" the life of Mdses Kx. Xviii. 

id they act. as he had acted, by delegating part 
of their authority t<, others. The collective action of 
the multitude is strikingly in harmony with the Creek 
ideas attached to the word AV, /,>/,/. a s the assembly in 
Which every citizen might take his share. Representa 
tive government might come as a necessity of later 
times; as yet. 6V6TJ member ot the coiiirregation. 
.-very citi/.cn of the liew polity, was invited. ;l s bavin-? 
a right to vote. 
It is not reason. Lit. -rally. // /.- ,,/ ptaumg, 

as iii chap. xii. : .. The word implies that they had 
undertaken a burdensome duty, not for their own 
pleasure, because they liked it. but for the i. ddd of the 
community. 
And serve tables. The word was used for the 

- tabl.-s " ,,f money-chani."-rs. as in Matt. xxi. U. 
John ii. ]:>. and was, ther.-f.ir.-. equally appropriate 



whether we think of the relief as Ix-in^r L iven in money 
or in kind. 

Seven men of honest report. The number 
may have had its origin in the in-neral reverence for 
the number S.-v.-n among the .Jews. Possibly, how 
ever, the sULTir.-stidn may ha\e conic from the // / ,-/i /it. 
or Hellenists of liome. where there was .-i distinct 
guild, or C "// 1 ;/ " "- known as the ,SV/,// mri.-i l , t 
or Seven Stewards ( Lncaii. i. !uj ,. whose business it 
was to arrange for the banquets held in honour of tho 
which were more or less analogous to the ( hristian 
, on certain set days. See Smith s Itii-t. nf 
ami linniuii Aiiii-/" ii" *. Art. " Kpuldii.-~." It 
is an interestini: coincidence that they. \<>. had been 
appointed to relieve the. Pontifice.s from a duty which 
they found too heavy. This view falls in with tin- 
inference as in the Bonn origin of Stephen which 
will be found in the \otes on re 
Full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom. The 

Apostles, it is clear, did not limit their thoughts 
of the Spirit s working to prophecy and the gilt of 
tongues. Wherever wisdom, and charity, and kind 
ness were requisite, then- was i d of a supernatural 

grace, raising men above prejudice and passion. Of 
these qualities, no less than of the good report, the 
whole body of believers were to IM-. in the first instance, 
the judges, the Apostles reserving to themselves tin- 
right of tinal appointment, and therefore, if nece--ary. 
of a veto. It is significant that the word "wisdom" 
only appears in the Acts in connection with Stephen 
here and in verse In. and in the report of his speech 
chap. vii. 1>. J-J . \\ e may. perhaps, think of .lames, 
the brother of tin- Lord, as led by what lie now saw 
and heard to that prayerful seeking after wisdom 
which is so prominent iu his Epistle .las. i. .", . iii. 
13-17 . 

1 We will give ourselves continually to 
prayer, and to the ministry of the word. -Lite 
rally. \\ > n-lll i v.-v/- /v /// . . . These funned the true 
work of the Apostles, as afterwards of the bishops or 
elders of the Church. "Prayer" includes the public 
worship of the Church in all its various developments, 
i as well as private prayer and intercession ; the minis 
try of the word." all furms of teaching. 

it is to be noted that the men t bus appointed are never 
called "deacons in the X.-w Testament . When they 
are referred to again it is as "the S.-\ en " chap. xxi. 8), 
as though they wen- a distinct and peculiar Ixxly. Their 

functions Were, of course, iu sdine degree, anal dgdlls to 

those of the deacons" of the Pastoral Epistles and 
the later organisation of the Church; but these, as we 
have see~n. had their prototypes in the young men." 
as contrasted with "elders. " in chap. v. :. 1<>; and tho 
Seven wen- probably appointed, so to .speak, as ,t,-< It- 
,/,, i, ,,,!<, to superintend and guide them. In s.um> 
churches, as at K..me. the number of deacons was fixed 
at seven, in conformitv with this precedent 
at the Council of Meo-GCMMM, ( on. 1 I. A. !>. :!1 H. and 
they w.-re considered, when the bishop came to be dis 
tinguished from the elders, as acting more immediately 
33 



Ef,;-fi ,,j nf f/te Seven. 



THE ACTS. VI 



* S&vet 



" Ami tin- siiyinp; pleased the whole 
multitude: nnd t!i-v rhose Stephen, a 
full of i aith ;nul of the Holy 



Ghost, and Philip, and Proclu-rus. ;nnl 
Nicanor, and Timon, and I linm-nas. 
and Nicolas a proselyte <>j Antio.-h: 



the direction nf the former, helping him in the 
details of his office. 

( 5 > And they chose Stephen. Tin- seven win. 
were chosen all hear Greek names, and it is a natural, 
though not a neeessary. inference, that they were all of 
the Hellenistic section of the Church, either because 
that section had a majority, or because the Hebrews 
generously voted for giving them social representa 
tives of their own. The order of names may represent 
the actual order of election, Stephen obtaining tin- 
largest number of votes, and so on. The position 



occupied bv the new teacher is so prominent that 

we should welcome ai 

previous training. Unhappily we cannot advance 



should welcome anything that threw light on his 
nous training. Uuhappil, 

beyond the region of uncertain tradition, or, at best, 
of probable inference. The coincidences, however, 
which suggest that inference are not without interest. 
(1) The name of Stephanus was not a common one, and 
appears in few inscriptions. Like so many of the 
names in Rom. xvi.. however, it is found in those of 
the Columbarium, or burial-place, of the household of 
the Empress Livia. The man bearing it is described 
as a goldsmith \Aur!fnln r\. and as hiiinintix i.e., 
exempted from the religious obligations of his trade- 
guild. He is a freed-man or libertinus. Circumstances. 
such as the bequest by Herod the Great of his gold 
plate to Livia Jos. Ant. xvi. 5, 1 ; xvii. 8, 1), 
indicate an intimate connection between him and the 
Imperial Court, and make it probable that the goldsmith 
Stephanus was a Jew. The business was one in which 
then, as in later ages. Jews conspicuously excelled, and 
the exemption just mentioned may well have been, as 
it were, of the nature of a "conscience-clause" in his 
favour. The name is found also on a tablet in the 
museum of the Colleyio Romano. (2) It is obvious 
that the "strangers of Rome" the Jews from the 
capital of the empire were likely to he among the most 
prominent of the Hellenists at Jerusalem. It was ante 
cedently probable that the name of one of that body 
should "stand first on the list. (3) When Stephen be 
comes conspicuous as a teacher, the synagogue which is 
tli" most prominent scene of his activity is that of the 
Libertines, who can be none other than the freed-men or 
emancipated Jews from Rome. (See Note on verse 9.) 
(4) Jews from llome were, we have seen, present on 
the Day of Pentecost, and some conspicuous converts 
from among them had been made before Stephen 
ippears on the scene. (See Note on chap. iv. 37.) 
.5) The very appointment of the Seven has, as we 

i.ive seen, its origin in the customs of the trade- 
guilds of Rome, such as that to which the goldsmith 
Stephanus had Ix-longed. Taking all these facts 
together, there seems sufficient ground to believe 
I hat in the proto-martyr of the Church, whose teaching 
and whose pravcrs exercised so marvellous an influence 
in the history of the Church of Christ, we have one of 
the earliest representatives (if Roman Christianity. A 
tradition accepted by Epiphanius in the fourth century 
leads to am.ther conclusion. Stephen and Philip were 
both, it wa> >aid. of the number of the Seventy who were 
M-nt shortly after th.- last Feast of Tabernacles in our 
Lo.-d s ministry into everv city and village where He 

Himsi M would come. That mission, as has I n said 

in the Note on Luke x. 1. was in its very form, symbolic 
of the admis ; "u of the Gentile nations to the kingdom 



of God: and it would seem iVom Luk- UL .-. xvii. 11. 
as if. at that time. Samaria had been the chief scene of 
our Lord s ministry, and therefore of that of the 
Seventy. In a mission of such a nature, it was not 
unlikely that Hellenistic Jew- should lie more or less 
prominent, and the assumption of some previous con 
nection with Samaria gives an adequate explanation 
both of Philip s choice of that region as the scene 
of his work as an Evangelist (Chap. viii. 5) and of 
the general tendency of St. Stephen s speech; ]H-rhaps 
also of one of the real or apparent inaccuracies which 
criticism has noted as a proof of ignorance either in 
the speaker or the writer. See Xote on chap. vii. lu .) 
Admitting the comparative lateness ,,t the tradition 
mentioned by Epiphanius. it was still antecedently pro 
bable that men. who had been brought into prominence 
by their Lord s special choice, would not be passed 
over in such an election as that now before us; and if, 
as suggested in the Xote on Luke x. 1. the Seventy 
were the represent at i Ves of the Prophets of the Xew 
Testament. then it was natural that men should turn 
to them when they wanted to find men " full of the 
Holy Ghost and of wisdom." 

Philip. The coincidence of name with that of the 
Apostle and with two of Herod s sons indicates that 

\ the name was as common as that of Stephen was ran-. 
Of his previous history we know nothing, except the 
tradition that he also had belonged to the Seventy. 
His long-continued residence at Ciesaiva just suggests 
the probability of an earlier connection with that city. 

i The fact that he had four grown-up daughters when 
St. Paul came to C;esarea makes it probable that he 
was married at the time of his appointment. 

Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and 
Parmenas. Of these four nothing is known, nor are 
there any materials even for probable conjecture. The- 
name of Nicanor was memorable as that of the great 

! enemy of Judah. who died in battle fighting against 
Judas Maecabasns. It appears, later on. as borne bv a 
Jewish friend of Titus and Josephus , ,-*, v. . " Ji. 
That of Timon had been made conspicuous by the philo 
sopher of Phlius and the misanthrope of Athens. 

Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch. X xt to the 
first two names on the list, he last is that to which 
greatest interest attache-. < i It is the first apfw-aranee 
in the history of the Christian Church of the city which 
was afterwards to be the mother-church of the ( Jentiles. 
(On Antioch and its position, see Note on chap. xi. l!>.) 
Here it will he enough to note that there was a large 
Jewish population then-, and lhat Herod had gained 
the favour of the city by building a splendid colonnade 
along the whole length of its chief street. , J) The 
name had been made memorable by Xicolaus nf 
Damascus, who wrote a long and elalnirate history 
of his own times, and pleaded for the Jews before 
Augustus and Agrippa Jos. Ant. xii. : .. * -: xvi. 
sj 3; Ji. 4i. Hi- appeared at Rome airaiii as counsel 
for Archelaus. and was for many years 7 he confidential 
friend and adviser of Herod the C.vai Jus. A>,f. 
xvii. r. $ (i; 11. ^ 3 . Finding, as we do. an adopted 
s:in of Herod s at Antioch .chap, vii 1 . and a 
proselyte of that city bearing the name <,f his cho-.-n 
c unpanion. there seems some ground f >r assuming 
a link connecting the three togetlu, :! In any 
ca-e Nicolas is memorable as the not of 



3d 



Grotrth / (If 



THE ACTS. VI 



n> ir, 



bom tli.-\ eel i ! TI- tin- apostles : 

iMiil \\hrli tln-v had pl ,1 \ !, t hry l;iil 
//nii- hands mi thriii. Ami tin- word 
df (iod iiH-lvasrd ; ;iiyl the number of 
tli.- ilis.-i|il-s inullijilird in .I.Tiisal. in 
jfival 1\ ; ami a i^ival rompa n\ <>f tin- 



faitii. 



priests \\cn- olx-dimt t.. tin- 
Lnd Stephen, fall of faith and 

did ^n-at \\oiid-rs and i:iirai-l.-- 
thf pi-opl.-. 

i: Thru then- an>-- nTtaii: i.| 

synagogue, \\hi.-h is<-allMi 



the rai f Abraham named as admitted to full 

membership in the Church. He may have sacrificed 
In Apollo, oi- taken part in the licentious festivals 
of the grove of Daphne. The word "proselyte" is 

taken in its full sense, as including the a< ptanee of 

circumcision and the ceremonial law. He was. in 
technical language , a proselvte of Righteousness, not 

of the Cate. Had it I n otherwise, his conversion 

would have anticipated the lesson taught afterwards 
by that of Cornelius. ,4 The name of Nicolas has 
been identified by an early tradition as the founder 
of the sect of t lie Xicolaitanes condemned in Rev. 
ii. Ii. He. it was said, taught men "to misuse the 

tlesh" Clem. AleX. N/;-,,,/,. iii. I. p. 1*7; Kllseb. ///.,-/. 

iii. :!! . Some contended that he meant by this that 
it was to be subdued by a rigorous asceticism: others, 
that he held it to be a proof of spiritual progress to 
yield to sensuous impulses and yet remain pure. The 
traditions are not of much valu.-. .mil another inter 
pretation of the name of the sect is now very generally 
adopted (see |(e\. ii. Ii ; but t he fall of one of t he Seven 
into the error of overstrained rigour, or a reaction from 
it, is not in itself inconceivable. In the New Testa 
ment we never come across his name again. 

When they had prayed, they laid their 
hands on them. This is the first mention of the act 
in the New Testament. It had had an analogous 
meaning in the ritual of Israel (Num. xxvii. I. .", in BCta 
of blessing lien, xlviii. l;5. 14 and the transmission of 
functions. Its primarv symbolism would seem to be 
that of the concentration for the moment of all the 
spiritual energv of prayer upon him on whom men lay 
their hands; and so of the bestowal of any office for 
which spiritual gifts are required. It had been used in 
tin- Jewish schools on the admission of a scribe to his 
office as a teacher. It s<,mi became the customary out 
ward and visible sign of such bestowal i Acts xiii. 3). 
Instruct ion as to what it thus meant entered into the 
p.-iman teaching of all converts Heb. vi. 2 . It was 
connected with other acts that pre-supposed the commu 
nication of a spiritual gift 1 Tim. v J^>. Through 
well-nigh all changes of polity and dogma and ritual, 
it has kept its place with Baptism and the Supper of 
the Lord, among the unchanging witnesses of the 
( hurch s universality and permanence, witnessing, as 
in Confirmation. t<> the diversity of spiritual gifts, and. 
as in Ordination, to their connection with every special 
office and administration in the Church of Cod. 

<"> The word of God increased. The tense in 
dicates gradual and continuous growth. The fact stated 
implies more than the increase of numbers specified in 
the next clause. The "word of Cod" is here the 
whole doctrine of Christ as preached by the Apostles, 
and. we- must now add. by the Seven who are commonly 
known as Deacons, and there was. as the sequel shows, 
at this stage, what we ha learnt to call an expansion 
and development of doctrine. 

A great company of the priests were obe 
dient to the faith.- The fact is e\ cry way significant. 
NO priest is named as a follower of our Lord s. None. 
up to this time, had been converted bv the A post 1, 



new fact may fairly be connected with the new teaching 
of Stephen. And the main feature of that teaching 
was. as we shall see. an anticipation of wh. 
wards proclaimed more clearly by St. Paul and if we 
assign the Kpistle to the Hebrews to its probable author 
liyApolIos: that the time for sacrifices had pa-s..|| 
away, and thai the Law. as a whole, and t he ritual of the 
Temple in particular, were decaying and \\axiug old, 
and ready to vanish away > Heb" viii. I . ,. We might 
have thought this likely to repel the priests and to 
rouse them to a fanat ic fren/.v. We find that it 
attracts them as nothing else had attracted. To 
them, it may well have l>een. that dailv round of a 
nd clouds of i 



ritual of slaughtered victims an 
the cutting-lip of the carcases and the carriage of 
the offal, had become unspeakably wearisome. They 
felt how profitless it was to their own spiritual life, 
how little power there was in the blood of bull- and 
goats to take away sin i Heb. x. 4). Their profes 
sion of the new faith did not necessarily involve 
the immediate abandonment of their official function; 
but they were drifting to it as to a not far-off result. 
and were prepared to nice! it without misgiving, per 
haps with thankfulness, when it became inevitable. 
~ Stephen, full of faith and power. The 

better MSS. give. " full of <jrti<-<- and power." 

Did great wonders and miracles. -Better, as 

preserving the familiar combination, {/<>//</> // 
riant. 

(9) Certain of the synagogue, which is called 
the synagogue of the Libertines.- The structure 

of the sentence makes it probable that \}\,- Libel-tines. 
the Cyrenians. and the Alexandrians attended one 
synagogue, those of Cilicia and Asia another. Each of 
the names has a special interest of its own. i 1 i The 
Lilx 1-tin!. These were freed-inen. emancipated Roman 
Jews, with probably some proselytes, descendants of 
those whom 1 jieius had led captive, and who wen- 
settled in the trans-Tiberine district of Rone in large 
numbers, with oratories and synagogues of their ovvi;. 
When Tacit ii-; \.\mt. ii. S. r > i describes the expulsion of 
the Jews under Claudius, he speaks of " four thousand 
of the freed-men. or l/il-,-tim- class. as banished to 
Sardinia. From this class, we have -e, -n reason to 
believe. Stephen himself had sprung. Andronicus 
and Juuias were probably memlicrs of this synagogue. 
See Note on Rom. XV i. 7". 

Cyrenians. At Gyrene, also, on the north coast of 
Africa, lying between Kgyp! and Carthage, there wa~ 
a large Jewish population. Strabo. quoted by J.,- - 
phus, describes them as a fourth of the wVole Jo-. 
.1,. \iv. 7. - . They wen conspicuous for the 
offerings they sent to the Temple, and had appealed to 
Augustus for protection against the irregular tax 
which the prov incial governors sought t : Intercept their 
gifts Jos. .(,//. xvi. ii. i 5). In Simon of Cyrem- 
we have had a conspicuous member, probal iy a con 
spicuous convert, of this eommuni -. te on 
.Matt xxvii : ,-J. Later on. clearly as the suit (.f 
Stephen s teaching, tlu-v are prominent in preaching 
the gospel to the Gentiles of Antinch. We maj think 



ini l /// <! / in,/ ,/f f/v.-. 



TIIK ACTS, VI. 



of the Lilirrtinos, and ryivniuns, ;nnl 
iidriaiis, and of them of Cilicia 
;iinl of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 
< 10) And they were not able to resist the ! 
wisdom and the spirit by which he 
spake. " Then they suborned men, ; 
which said, \Ve have heard him speak 
blasphemous words against Moses, and 
against God. ( l -> And they stirred up 



the people, and the elders, and the 
scribes, and came upon /,/,//, and caught 
him, and brought him to the council, 
1; and set up false witnesses, which 
said, This man ceaseth not to speak 
blasphemous words against this holy 
place, and the law : < U) for we have 
li-anl him say, that this Jesus of 
Nazareth shall destroy this place, and 



of Simon himself, and liis two sons Alexander and 
Ruftus (Mark xv. ~2\\ as probably members of this 

societ v. 

Alexandrians. Next to Jerusalem and Rome, 
there was. perhaps, no city in which the Jewish popu 
lation was so numerous and influential as at Alexandria. 
Here. too. they had their own quarter, assigned to 
them by Ptolemy Philadelphus. and were governed, as 
I f they were a free republic, by an ethnarch of their 
own (Jos. Ant. xiv. 7. 2). They were recognised 
as citizens by their Roman rulers (Ibid. xiv. 10, j 
1). From Alexandria had come the Greek version of the j 
Old Testament, known from the legend of the seventy ; 
Translators who had all been led to a supernatural 
agreement, as that of the Septuagint, or LXX.. which 
was then in use among all the Hellenistic Jews through 
out the empire, and largely read even in Palestine itself. 
There, at this time, living in fame and honour, was the 
great teacher Philo, the probable master of Apollos, 
training him. all unconsciously, to be the preacher of a I 
wisdom higher than his own. The knowledge, or want ( 
of knowledge, with which Apollos appears on the scene, I 
knowing only the baptism of John, forbids the assump 
tion that he had been at Jerusalem after the Day of j 
Pentecost (chap, xviii. 25), but echoes of the teach 
ing of Stephen are found in that of the Epistle to j 
the Hebrews, and it is not improbable that thoughts 
had been carried back to Alexandria by those who had 
thus been brought under his influence. 

Of them of Cilicia. Here wo feel at once the j 
interest of the name. The young Jew of Tarsus, the i 
disciple of ( Gamaliel, could not fail to be among the 
leading members of this .section of the second syna 
gogue, exercising, in the fiery energy of his zeal, a 
dominant influence even over the others. 

And of Asia. The word is taken, as throughout 
the New Testament, in its later and more restricted 
sen-e. as denoting the pro-consular province so called, 
including the oi.-! Lydia and Ionia, and having Ephesus ! 
as its capital. Later on in the history, we find Jews , 
of Asia prominent in their xeal for the sacredness of t 
the Temple chap, xxi. 27). 

Disputing with Stephen. The nature of the 
dispute is not far to seek. The tendency of distance 
from ^acred places which are connected with men s 
religion, is either to make n .sit loose to their associa 
tion--, and NO rise to higher and wider thoughts, or to j 
intensify their reverence. Where pilgrimages are cus 
tomary, the latter i-s almost invariably the result. Men i 

measure the sacredness of what they have ( ic to see 

by the labour ;md cost which they have borne to see it. 
and th"\- re,ent anything that suggests that they have 
wasted their labour, a- tendingto sacrilege and impiety. 
The teaching of Stephen, representing as it did the 
former alternative, guided and perfected by the teaching 
of the Spirit. was probably accepted by a few in each 
community. Th" others, moved by their pilgrim /.eal. 

3G 



were more intolerant of it than the dwellers in Jeru 
salem, to whom the ritual of the Temple was a part of 
their every-day life. Those who were most familiar 
with it, the priests who ministered in its courts, were, 
as we have seen (verse 7). among the first to welcome 
the new and wider teaching. 

(W) They were not able. Better. I/ml >> 
xfri H <jtli : the verb being somewhat more forcible than 
that commonly translated "to be able." 

To resist* the wisdom and the spirit with 
Which he spake. It is remarkable that Stephen is 
the first Christian teacher of whom "wisdom " is thus 
specially predicted. In the Gospels it is ascribed to 
our Lord (Matt. xiii. 54 ; Luke ii. 40, 52); and we read 
of "the wisdom of Salomon" (Matt. xii. 42). In a 
writer like St. Luke, it implies something higher even 
than the " consolation " or " prophecy " from which 
Barnabas took his name wider thoughts, a clearer 

vision of the truth, the development of what had 1 n 

before latent in hints and parables and dark sayings. 
The speech that follows in the next chapter, may be 
accepted as an example, as far as circumstances allowed, 
of the method and power of his general teaching. 

(H) Blasphemous words against Moses, and 
against God. The words indicate with sufficient 
clearness the nature of Stephen s teaching. The charge 
was a false one, but its falsehood was a distortion of 
the truth, as that against our Lord had been. He was 
accused of blasphemy in calling Himself the Son of 
God; making Himself equal with God (Matt. xxvi. 
(53 ; John v. 18) ; threatening to destroy the Temple 
(Matt. xxvi. 61) each of the counts in the indictment 
resting on words that He had actually spoken. And 
Stephen, in like manner, was charged with offences 
for which there must have seemed colourable ground. 
He had taught, we must believe, that the days of 
the Temple were nnml>crcd ; that with its fall tin- 
form of worship of which it was the representative 
would pass away; that the Law given by Moses \\a< to 
make way for the higher revelation in Christ, and the 
privileges of I he elect nation lobe merged in the blessings 
of the universal Church. In this case, accordingly, the 
antagonism comes, not only or chiefly, as in the pre 
vious chapters, from the Sadducean high priest .s and 
their followers, but from the whole body of scribes 
and people. Pharisees and Sadducees. Hebrews and 
Hellenists, are once more brought into coalition ayain^t, 
the new truth. 

(is) Against this holy place. The new feature 
of Stephen s preachinir comes into neater prominence. 

i" This Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy 

this place.- The accusation rested in part on the 
words of John ii. l!. partly on the prediction of Matt. 
\\iv. -1. which Stephen must have known, and may well 
have reproduced. It would seem to the accu- 
natural inference that He who had uttered the pre 
diction should be the chief agent in its fulfilment. 



.1 



TIIK ACTS VII. 






shall change til 1 CllStOmB- 1 which ,M- - 
delivered as, \n.l ;il! that s;it ill 

tli.- council, looking >tedt "<st !\ on him. 
saw his fare as it liin! liecM the tar,- of 
an an^cl. 

CHAPTER VII. <) The,, said thr A.DJ 
lii^-li priest. An- these tiling so V Ml And 
he sai<l. Bleu, lirethren. and fathers, 



heark-n ; i li.- < iod of L r| ( ,,-\ 
unt.. ..in- father Abraham, when he 
was in Mesopotamia, liefon- t dwelt in 
Chan-an, ; and said unto "iiii;. 

tl out of thv country, and from thy 

kindred, and come into the land \vhieii 
I shall shew thee. W Then came he 
out of the land < f the ( |iali;i-an>. and 
dwelt iii Charraii : and from thence, 



And shall change the customs. The words 
seem to have been used in a half-technical sense as 
including the whole complex system of the Mosaic law. 
its ritual, its s\mholism. its laws and rules of life, 
circumcision, the Sabbath, the distinction of clean 
and unclean meats (chaps. x\. 1; xxi. 21; xxvi. 3; 
xxviii. 17). 

Looking stedfastly on him. St Lukes 
characteristic word, i See Note on chap. i. ](. i 

Saw his face as it had been the face of an 
angel. We can scarcely be wrong in tracing this 
description to the impression made at the time on 
St. Paul, and reported by him to St. Luke. It must 
lie interpreted by the account given of angels as 
appearing in the form of young men" i Mark xvi. "> , 
and so throws some light upon St. Stephen s age, as 
being, probably, about the same standing as St. Paul, 
and implies that his face was lighted up as by the 
radiance of a divine brightness. The phrase seems to 
have been more or less proverbial. In the expanded ver 
sion of the Hook of Esther, which appears in the LXX., 
she says to the King, as in reverential awe. " I saw thee. 
O my lord, as an angel of God" Esth. v. 2K In 2 Sain. 
\iv. 17. the words refer to the wisdom of David rather 
than to anything visible and outward. Here the im 
pression left by St. Luke s narrative is that the face of 
St. Stephen was illumined at once with the glow of an 
ardent /.eal and the serenity of a higher wisdom. 

VII. 

0) Then said the high priest, Are these 
things SO? The question was analogous to that put 
to our Lord. The accused was called on to plead 
guilty or not guilty, and had then an opportunity for 
his defence. On that defence we now enter. 

(-> Men, brethren, and fathers. The discourse 

which follows presents many aspects, each of special 
interest. (1 It is clearly an unfinished fragment, in 
terrupted by the clamours of the by-standers verse ~>! 
the titran. as it were, of a great ii/in/m////. Its very 
incompleteness, the difficulty of tracing the argument 
as far as it goes, because we do not see how far it was 
meant to go. are indirect proofs that we have a true, 
though not ii"eessarily a verbatim, report. A later 
writer, composing a speech after the manner of Hero 
dotus and Thucydides. would have made it ;l much 
more direct answer to the changes in the indictment. 
And this, in its turn, supplies a reasonable presump 
tion in favour of other speeches reported by the same 
author. -! Looking to the relations between St. i 
Luke and St. Paul, and to the prominence of the latter 
among the accuser.- of Stephen, there is a strong pro 
bability that the report was derived from him. This is 
confirmed by some instances of remarkable parallelism 
between the s| eh and his later teaching. (Comp. verse 

- .: .. Gal. iii. I 1 .*; verse I s . A--ts x\ii. -Jl. -, .\) The 

speech is the first great survey of the history of 

3 



Israel as a process ,,f divine education tie- first 
development from the lips of a human teacher <it 
principles that had before been latent. A- such, it 
contains the germs which were, in their turn, to IN* 
afterwards developed, on the one hand, by St. Paul in the 
Epistles known to be hi-, on the other hand by Apollos, 
or whoe\ T was the author of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews. I The speech is also remarkable as bringing 
together within a comparat ively small compass a con 
siderable number of real or seeming inaccuracies in 
the details of the history which is commented on. 
Whether they are real or apparent will be discussed &s 
we deal with each of them. It is obvious that .tin- 
results thus arrived at will form something like a crucial 
test of theories which men have formed as to the nature 
ami limits of inspiration. i."> As Stephen was a 
Hellenistic or Greek-speaking Jew. it is proliable that 
the speech was delivered in ( ireek.and so far it confirms 
the inference which has been drawn from the Aramaic 
words specially recorded in our Lord s teaching 
" Ephphatha." "Talitha cumi." and the cry upon the 
cross that He habitually used the former language. 
and that this was the medium of intercourse between 
the priests and Pilate. Bee Notee on Mark \. II: 
vii. 34.) 

The God of glory. The opening words are an 
implied answer to the charge of blaspheming God. 
The name contained an allusive reference to the 
Shechinah. or cloud of glory, which was the symbol of 
the Presence of .lehovah. That wa.-. the " glory of tin- 
Lord." He. in like manner, was the "Lord of glory." 
(Comp. Jas. ii. 1.1 

Before he dwelt in Charran. We come, at the 
very outset, on one of the difficulties almve referred to. 
Here the call of Abraham is spoken of as ln-furi- In- 
sojourned in Ha ran. or Charran. west of the Euphrates. 
In Gen. \ii. 1 it is first mentioned nt t> r Abraham s 
removal thither. On the other hand. Gen. xv. 7 speaks 
of God as bringing him " from I":- of the Chald> 
/. .. from Mesopotamia, Or the east of the Euphrates; 
and this is confirmed by .Josh. \\iv. <. Xeh. ix. 7. 
The language of writers" contemporary with Stephen 
(Philo. DC Alii itli.; .Jos. Aiil. i. 7. >j 1) lays gH 
as lie does, on the first call as well as the second. 
Here, accordingly, it cannot lie said that tin- statement 
is at variance with the Old Testament narrative. The 
word Mi s<iji<>f,in,ni was used by the LXX.. ami has 
thence parsed into later versions, for the Hebrc\\ : 
\ thiir<iini. " Svria of the two rivers . !en. \\i\. !<: 
Dent, xxiii. I: .ludg. iii. 8), and. les accurately, for 
Padan-Arain in Gen. \\\. -_i ; xxviii. - J. ~>. ii. where 
our version retains the Hebrew name. 

( From thence, when his father was dead. 

In < on \i. -J(i. iL .Tcrah. the father of Abraham, i- said to 
have died at the age of _! < > years. and after he had reached 
the age of seventy to have begotten A brain. Xahor. and 
Haran; while Abraham in Gen. xii. I is -aid to ha\ - 



///>/<>/// n/ Ah film in. 



THE ACTS, VII. 



Isaac, and Jacob. 



when his lather was (load, lie removed 
him into this land, wherein ye now 
dwell. "" And he <_;-:ive him none in- 
heritanee in it. no, not .-< nnn-li <i* to set 
his foot on : \ -t lie promised that he 
would <rive it to him for a possession. 
and to his seed after him, when ax yet 
he had no ehild. (li| And God spake on \ 
this wist , That his seed should sojourn 
in a stra:i"v land : and that they should 
them into bondage, and entreat 



.11 four hundred years. (: Ami 
tlif nation t. whom they shall be in 
bondage will I jndtje, said God: and 
after that shall they come forth, and 
serve me in this place. <8 > And he --av.- 
him the covenant of chvumcisioii : ;md 
so Abraham begat Isaac, 4 and circum 
cised him the eighth day: and Isaac 
/>,,/,</ Jacob ; f and Jacob begat the twelve 
patriarchs. " And the patriarchs/ 
moved with envy, sold Joseph into 



been seventy-five years old when he departed out of 
Haran. This, pnmdfeHte, suggests the conclusion that 
he lived for sixtv vears after his son s departure. The 
explanations sometimes given (I I that .Abraham may 
have been the youngest, not the eldest sou of Terah. 
placed first in order of honour, not of time, as Shem is 
among the* sons of Noah (Gen. v. 32; vi. 10), though 
Japheth was the elder iGen. x. 21); and (2) that the 
marriage of Abraham s son with the granddaughter of 
Xahor by the youngest of his eight sons, Bethuel (Gen. | 
xxii. 22 1 , suggests some such difference of age,aud that ! 
he may therefore have been born when Terah was 130, i 
and so have remained in Haran till his father s death 
though probable as an hypothesis, would hardly 
appear so natural an explanation as that the memory of 
St. Stepheri or of his reporter dwelt upon the broad 
outlines of the history, and was indifferent to chrono- 
logifal details. It is remarkable that like difficulties 
present themselves in St. Paul s own survey of the his 
tory of Israel. (See Notes on chap. xiii. 20: Gal. iii. 17.) 
A man speaking for his life, and pleading for the truth 
with a passionate eagerness, does not commonly carry 
with him a ini mnrin technica of chronological minnti<r. 
This seems, on the whole, a more satisfactory expla 
nation than the assumption that the Apostle, having a 
clear recollection of the facts as we find them, brought 
them before his hearers in a form which presented at 
least the appearance of inaccuracy. 

He removed him. The change of subject may 
be noted as more natural in a speaker than a writer, 
and as so far confirming the inference that we have 
probably a iv/ /o/// /// report. 

(5) And he gave him none inheritance. The 
apparent exception of the field and cave of Machpelah 
(Gen.xxiii.il 17 was not a real one. That was pur- 
chafed for a special purpose, not given as an inheritance. 

< 6 ) And that they should bring them into 
bondage . . . Here again there is another apparent 
discrepancy of detail. Taking the common computa 
tion, the interval between the covenant with Abraham 
and that with Moses was Cio years (Gal. iii. 17 . of 
which only 21." are reckoned as spent in Egypt. The 
Israelites were indeed sojourn, >rs in a strange land for 
tile whole |:><> years, hut the history shows that they 
were not in bondage nor evil entreated till the Pharaoh 
arose who knew not Joseph. The chronological diffi 
culty, however, lies in reconciling St. Paul s statement 
in Cal. iii. 17 with the language of Cen. xv. |:!. which 
gives 4OM years as the sojourning in Ktrypt . and Ex. xii. 
40. which gives l:;o. and with which St. Stephen is in 
substantial agreement. St. Paul appears to have fol 
lowed the l.XX reading of Kx. xii. 40. which inserts 
,11 the land of Canaan." and in some MSS. "they 
and their father-." mid with this th" Samaritan Pen- 
tciiei;:-h agrees. Josejihu- varies, in some 



(Ant. ii. 15, 2), giving iM") year-: in others i.l/. ii. 
! . 5$ 1; UW.s, v. !. s< 4). 4MI. All that can be Slid is. 
as before, that chronological accuracy did not affect 
the argument in either ease. It was enough for St. 
Stephen, as for St. Paul, to accept this or that system 
of dates, as they had been taught, without inquiring 
into the grounds on which it rested. Such inquiries 
were foreign to the Jewish character generally, and 
above all to that character when jxissessed by the sense 
of new and divine realities. Hound numbers were 
enough for them to mark the successive stages of 
Cod s dealings with His people. 

(") And after that shall they come forth. The 
verse combines the promise to Abraham in (Jen. xv. 17 
with a free rendering of the sign given to Moses i Ex. 
iii. 1:2 1. which referred not to Canaan but to Horeb. 
What St. Stephen does is to substitute with the natural 
freedom of a narrative given from memory the words 
"they shall serve me" for the simpler phrase. "they 
shall come hither again." of Genesis. The whole 
context is at variance with the assumption that St. 
Stephen meant the last words of the verse to be taken 
as applying to the mount of God. 

(> A ndhegave him the covenant . . . H-iv 
we trace an indirect reference to the charge that he 
had spoken "against the customs." He does -not denv 
the specific charge that he had said that Jesus ot 
Na/areth should change them. He probably had 
taught that the change was about to come. H e does 
assert (1) that the covenant of circumcision followed on 
the promise to Abraham, and therefore was not the 
ground of his election, and so lays the foundation for 
St. Paul s argument in Gal. iii. 17: <-< that, though 
part of a provisional, not of a permanent, system, it 
came from God s appointment, and therefore was to be 
spoken of with all reverence, and so he clears himself 
from the charge of blasphemy. 

The twelve patriarchs. On the meaning of the 
word see Xote on chap. ii. _ !>. Here it is applied to 
the sons of Jacob, as beinir. each of them, the founder 
of & pat ri.n, or family. 

(9) The patriarchs, moved with envy. This, 
interpreted by what follows, is the first step in the 

lonir induction which is to show that tl lect of Cod 

had always been opposed and rejected by those who 
were for the time the representatives of the nation. 
Euvv had actuated the patriarchs when thev sold 
Joseph: envy had led their descendants to deliver up 
Jesii- (Matt, xxvii. !* . But man s evil will had not 
frustrated Cod s gracious purpose. Joseph was made 
ruler over a kingdom. A greater glory might therefore 
be in store for Him who had now been rejected liy them. 

Sold Joseph into Egypt. The objection that 

Joseph s brethren M Id him not into Kgypt. hut to the 
Midiaiiites and Islnmr-H "- Cm. \x\vii. !>. J^;. may 



Tit.- Story ,./ ./, > 



Tin; ACTS vii. 






M^Npt : 1 iit <;.-d was witli liiui. "" ;uil 
delivered ...i out of all his afllict j, m-. 
and ,MVI- hi:-, ! .i\ our and wisdom in the 
.-iLrht of I haraoh kin- of r<vp1 : and 
In- made him ^<>\ .-nior ( .\ ,-r Bgypl ami 
all his house. (1 " Mow there cam.- a 
dearth over all the land of K-\].t and 
Chanaan. ai:d ^reat affliction : ami our 
fathers found no sustenance llj llut 
wht-ii ,Iacol heard that there was corn 
. In- sent out Olir ialin-rs first. 



\ ml at tin- leoond J 

made knoun to hi- I. ret hr.-p : and 
Josepll l kindred ua> m.ide kno\\. : unto 
Pharaoh. " Th- 3 *epl , and 

called his father Jac..li to him. and all 
his kindred, 1 1, -. ails. 

3o Jacol> went d..\\n in 
and died, lie, and OWf father.-. and 
were carried o\er into Svchem. ,i: d laid 
in the sepulchre that A lira ham ! ou<_r),f 
for a sum of moiiev of the -..us of 



well he dismiss ed a- frivolous. They knew tin- trad 
which tlio Midianite slave-dealers carried on. and when- 
their brother would In- taken. So Joseph himself -a\ - 
of them " ye sold me hither" i. ( Jen. xlv. 5). 
(ii 14) Now there came a dearth . . .So far a- 

we can trace the sequence iif thought, there seems the 
suggested inference that as those who. in the history of 
Joseph, hail jiersecnteil him. came afterwards to he 
ile|ieii(|ent on his bounty, so it might prove to he. in 
tin- last parallel which the history of Israel presented. 
In tin- coming famine, not of bread, lint of sustenanc 
: nr their spiritual life, they would have to turn t:> Him 
of whom they had been." in purpose and in act. tin- 
l>etra\ers and murderers. 

1 ""Threescore and fifteen souls. Seventy is 

Driven as TMI- number, including .lacol). .losepli. and his 
-ons. in (Jen. xlvi. -_!7 : Kx. i. " ; Dent. \. _*. Here, 
however. Stejihen had the authority of the LXX. of 
Jen. xlvi. lI7. which Drives tin- nnmlier at seventy-iive. 
and makes it up hy inserting 1 the son and grandson of 
Manasseh. two sons ;md a grandson of Ephraim. 
With them it was probably an editorial correction 
based upon Num. \\vi. _!> i!7. Stejihen. as a Hel 
lenistic .lew. naturally accepted, without caring to 
investigate, the nnmlier which he found in the Greek 
version. 

And were carried over into Sychem. The 
words appear to include .lacol). who was buried not at 
Sychem. but Machpelah (Jen. 1. 1:1). If \ve limit the 
verb to the patriarchs, which is in itself a tenab!-- 
limitation, we an- met by the fresh diih cnlty that tin 
Old Testament contains no record of the burial of any 
of the Twelve Patriarchs, with the exception of Joseph, 
whose hones were laid, on the occupation of Canaan, in 
Shechem .losh. \\!v. : ._ ; and .losephns states (Anf. 
iv. S. ^J thai they were buried at Hebron. This, 
however. onl\ represents. ;it the best, a local tradition. 
In the time of .len.nie /;/,. s; tin- tombs of th- Twelve 
Pati-iarchs were shown at Shechem. and this in its turn 
witnesses to a Samaritan tradition which continue- to 
tile present day / ///<>7//e j Exploration L >/i n t. Dec.. 
I -"77 . and which Stephen, it may be. followed in pre 
ference to that of Jud;ea. Looking to the probabilities 
of th" ease, it was likely that the example set by Joseph 
would be followed by the other tribes, and that as 
Shechem was far more prominent than Hebron, as the 
centre of the civil and religions life of I-rael in the 

time of Jo-hua. that should have 1 n chosen as tin- 

burial-place of his brethren rather than Machpelah. 
Looking. ai. r ain. to the fact that one of Stephen s com 
panions, immediately after his death, goes to Samaria 
;i a preacher, and thai there are good grounds f >r 
believing that both had been previously connected with 
it (see Note on chap vi. "i . we may probably trace to 
this influence his adoption of the Samaritan ver-ion ,.{ 



the history. The hated Sychar K.-elus. 1. -J; : \,,t,. 

on John iv. -V had. from Steph.-n s point of \ 
claim on the reverence of all true Israelite- md hi- 
a ertinii of that claim may well have been on.- of the 
causes of the bitterness with which his hearer- ! ; -t. n.-d 
to him. 
That Abraham bought for a sum of money. 

Here we seem to come across a direct contradi -tion Ii. 
the narrative of (Jenesis. The only recorded transaction 
in which Abraham appears as a huver. was his purchase 

of the rave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittit.- (Jei... 
xxiii. 16). The onlv recorded transaction in which the 
-nil- of Emmor. or Hamor. ajiji -ar as seller-, was in 
Jacob s jinrchase of the field at Shechem i(Jen. xxxiii. 
19; Jt)sh. xxiv. :?:! . What we !;.nve seen aliuve. how 
ever, prepares us for there having bem a Samaritan tra 
dition carrying thea Delations of Shechem to ;. remoter 
past. And, assuming Mich a tradition, there ar> -ig- 

iiifieaut facts in the patriarchal history of which i> 
furnishes an explanation. (1, Jacob gives as a special 
inheritance to Joseph, "one portion" iin the Hebrew, 
"(me Shirhfin ;" in the LXX. S;A-///c/; ai.-.ve lii- 
brethren, which he had taken "out of the ban. I- of the 
Amorites with his sword and his bow." Of that c.m- 
i|iiest as it is cleai that the wor.i- cannot refer to the 
mas-aere connected with the -lory of Dinah, which 
Jacob had severely condemned (Jen. xxxiv. :J" the 
history contains no record, and to interpret the \\ord- 
as prophet i- of future conquest- i- > strain tliem ton 
non-natural interpretation which they will hardly bear. 
Jacob did not come a- an invader, nor had the time for 
thus taking jtossession of the whole land as yet arrived. 
The fact- of -the case suggest a special right claimed 
and asserted in regard to (hi- one possession, and that 
right presupposes a previous purchase by sonn ancestor 
of Jacob s ,.,.. by Abraham. This being done and 
the right asserted, to make the portion larger, and 
perhaps as a measure of conciliation, there followed the 
subsequent purchase of (Jen. x\xii. I .i. - Shechem 
was the earliest settlement of Abraham on his entrance 
into Canaan, and there he built an altar (Jen. I 
But the feeling of reverence for holy places, alway- 
strong in the Hebrew race, as Men, -.;/.. in the .-as, 
of Da\id and Araiinah. would hardly pcrm-T a man 
of Abraham s wealth and princely nobleness to offei 
burnt-offering- to the Lord of M;at which had cost hiir. 
nothing J Sam. xxiv. :H ; nor would a devout wor 
shipper be content to see the alta ; -cd i)t 
the posses-ion of another, ami -o .-\posfd to .!<--ecra- 
tion. The building of an altar involved. a!i 

liecessitv. a- in the ea-e jll-t cited, the Jilirclia- of the 

ground "on which i stood. : The S.i; 

an immemorial tradition ado; ,! by l>ean Stanley. 

Kfoidkes. < ,ro\e. and others thai the sacrifice 

nv uiitain <-t Moriah [Gen \xii. -. 



Cr>" / </ (>/ f /t irao/i. 



THE ACTS, VII. 



Tlv Hi rt I, of 



Knnnor //M father of Syrhem. < 17 > But 
when the time <>f tin 1 promise drew 
nigh, whieh (Jod hud sworn to Al>niham, 
the people grew and multiplied in 
Egypt, (18) till another king arose, 
which knew not Joseph. (1 " The same 
dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil 
entreated our fathers, so that they cast 
out their young children, to the end 



they might not live. (20) In which time 
.Moses was born," and was exceeding 
fail-. 1 and nourished up in his father s 
house three months:* <21) and when 
he was cast out, Pharaoh s daughter 
took him up, and nourished him for her 
own son. -- 1 And Moses was learned 
in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and 
was mighty in words and in deeds. 



or Geri/.im. which commands the plain of Moreh (Gen. 
xii. M. or Shechem ; and. without now discussing the 
evidence for or against the tradition, it almost involved 
of necessity the assumption that Abraham had already 
an altar there, and with it a consecrated field which he 
ould call his own. (4) Another Samaritan tradition, 
it may be noted, connected Shechem with the sacrifice j 
offered by Melchizedek. This is enough to show the 
extent of tin- claims which were made by the Samaritans 
on behalf of their sacred places, and. taken together with 
the statement referred to in the previous Note as to the 
7 iimbs of the Patriarchs, leads us to the conclusion that 
Stephen, more or less influenced by his recent asso 
ciations with them, adopted their traditions. This seems, 
at any rate, the most probable solution of the difficulty 
which the statement at first sight presents. To do this 
in Jerusalem, before the very Sanhedrin, the members of 
which had reviled our Lord as a Samaritan (John viii. 
1> . required a martyr s boldness, and, claiming as it 
did. a brotherhood for the hated Samaritans, the here 
ditary foes of Judah, had, we may believe, much to do 
with causing the fury that ended in his actual martyr 
dom. It may be added (1 i that the manifest familiarity 
of St. Luke with Samaria and the Samaritans would j 
dispose him to accept such a tradition without correc 
tion (see Introduction- to St. Luke s Gospel) ; (2) that 
the Twelve, some of whom had sojourned for three days 
at Sychar (John iv. 43), were likely to have become ! 
acquainted with it, and to have been ignorant of the j 
Hebron traditions; (3) that the well-known substitution 
of Gerizim for Ebal in Dent, xxvii. 4. in the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, not less than their addition of a command 
ment to build an altar on Gerizim to the ten great laws j 
of Ex. xx., shows a tendency to deal freely with the j 
text and the facts of the Pentateuch, so as to support 
their own traditions as to their sacred places. 

Of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. 
The insertion of the word " father " instead of "son. 
which would be (as in Matt. x. 3; Luke iii. 23) the 
natural rendering of the Greek construction, must be 
looked on as bet raying a wish on the part of the trans 
lators to meet the difficulty presented by the statement 
in lien. x\xiv. 2. that Shechem was the .son of Hamor 
the Hivite. It may be noted that it is the only Eng- 
ii-h version that thus tampers with the text Tvndale 
giving "at Sychem;" Wiclif. Cranmer, Geneva, and the 
llhemish giving " of Sychem." A possible explana 
tion of the apparent discrepancy may be found in tin- 
very probable assumption that Shechem may have been 
a quasi-hereditary name appearing in alternate genera 
tions. In tliis instance, however, textual criticism 
comes in to cut tin- knot. Many of the better MSS.. 
including the Vatican ;:nd the Sin aitie. yh e the reading 
"in Sychem." and so make the name apply to the place 
and not to a person. 

With the exception of verse 13. we have now come 
to the last of the difficulties, chronological, historical. 



or numerical, presented by St. Stephen s speech. They 
have been approached by writers of different schools 
of thought in ways singularly, sometimes almost pain 
fully, characteristic. On the one hand, there -has been 
something like the eagerness of a partisan mustering 
all objections and anxious to secure an adverse verdict; 
on the other, there has Ix-en an almost hysterical alarm 
and indignation that such questions should be ever 
raised. Here the effort has, at least, been made to 
deal with each on its own merits, and not to force farts 
this way or that to meet a foregone conclusion. Should 
there be errors of transcription, of report, or even of 

memory in the record of St. Stephen s speech, they n 1 

not shake the faith of those who have learnt to take 
a higher view of inspiration than that which dejM-nds 
upon the registers of genealogies or chronological tables. 
But it may be well also not to assume too hastily 
that men of average culture and information would be 
altogether ignorant of the facts which they narrate, 
and the sacred writings which have been the object of 
their continual study. And it may be urged that the 
appearance of seeming inaccuracies, which a moment s 
reference to the Book of < Jem-sis would have enabled 
the writer to correct, is, at any rate, evidence of faithful 
ness in his report of the speech which he thus reproduces. 

(17) Which God had sworn to Abraham. The 
better MSS. irive. ichicli God promised. 

(is) Which knew not Joseph. The idiom was 
originally a Hebrew one, for "not remembering, not 
caring for ; " but as the words are quoted from the 
LXX. they do not affect the question as to the lan 
guage in which the speech was delivered. 

(19) So that they cast out their young chil 
dren. Literally, to make their childn-n cast out so 
that they should notbe broiujht forth (tin;-. The latter 
verb is used in the LXX. narrative (Ex. i. 17). 

(20) Exceeding fair. Literally, as in the margin, 
fair to Ood. The adjective is found in the LXX. of 
Ex. ii. 2. as applied to Moses. The special idiom for 
expressing pre-eminent excellence is itself essentially 
Hebrew, the highest goodness being thought of as that 
which approves itself as yood to (Jod : but this also 
had become familiar to Hellenistic Jews through tin 
LXX. version, as. ,.</., in Jonah iii. 3, a city M great to 
God" = an exceeding great city. St. Paul s " mighty 
to God" (2 Cor. x. 4) is probably an example of the 
same idiom. Josephus, following probably some old 
tradition (Ant. i. 9. H), describes the beauty of tin 
infant .Muses as such that those who met him turned 
to ga/.e in admiration. 

- Moses was learned in all the wisdom of 
the Egyptians.- Better. / ,/.- //-// /;,/. or ///../,//,</. 
There is no direct statement to this effect in the hi-tory 
of the Pentateuch, hut it was implied in Moses being 
brought up as the son of Pharaoh s daughter, and wa 
in harmony with later paraphrases and expansions of 
tin- earlier history. Tin- narrative of Josephus l^as 



Moses r>j"-t><i Iii/ liis Hr,tl,r>it. 



TIM; ACTS. vn. 



Tin .1 IK/-! "/ //,. I. 



\ id \\hen In- \\;is t llll forty Veal s 
old. it came into his heart 1.. visit hi< 
l.rethren th. .-liililrfii of Israel. <-" And 
seeing one <>/ UK- in sufU-r wnm^. 1 he 
defended him. iiinl avent:.-.! him that was 
i.|i|ire>sed. and smote the Egyptian: 
r In- sti|]>osed his bn-t Invn would 
have understood how that (iod ly his 
hand would deliver them: but they 
understood not. &> And the next day 
he shewed himself unto them as tli. \ 
strove. and won 1.1 have set them at one 
;ii;;mi, saving. Sirs, ye are brethren ; 
why do ye wrong one to another? 
(27 > But he that did his neighbotir 



wroni: thrust him awa . Win. 

made thee a ruler and a jud-e o\ ( -r Us y 

Wilt thou kill me, u thoa didd.->t 

the K^yc ian \e-terda\ ? Then fi,-d 
ICosesal hi- -a\ inland was a -tranter 
in the land of Madian, when- he I 
two s>n-. And when forty \ 

wen- expired, here appeared ! him in 

the wilderi: of mount Sina an ani," ! 

of the Lord in a flame of lire in a Im-h. 
1 :;1 When Moses saw it, he wondered at 
the si^ht : and as he drew near to 
behold //, the voice of the Lord came 
unto him. - >i//i,<,i. I ,//// the (Jod of 
thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and 



abo\e and the references in the New Testament 
to .l.mnes and Jambres as the magicians who with 
stood Moses r- Tim. iii. 8), and to the dispute of i 
Michael and Satan as to his body (Judo, verse 9), 
indicate the wide acceptance of some such half- 
legendary history. The passage is instructive, (1) as ! 
an indirect plea on the part of Stephen, like that after 
wards made by Clement of Alexandria (Strom, i. 5, 
S 28; vi. 5, 4:!) and Justin (Dial. c. Tryph. c. 1 ti. 
for the recognition of heathen wisdom as an element in 
the divine education of mankind; ( !) as having con 
tributed to ti\ the attention of the more cultivated and 
scholarly of the early Christian critics, such as t host- 
named, "and Origen, and Jerome, and Augustine, on 
the teaching of Greek poets and philosophers, and 
having furnished them with a sanction for such studies. 

Mighty in words and in deeds. Josephu- 
(Ant. ii. hii. still following the same traditional history. 
relates that Moses commanded the Egyptian forces in 
a campaign against the Ethiopians, and protected them 
against the serpents that infected the country, by 
transporting large numbers of the ibis that feeds on 
ser|H-nts. The romance was completed by the mar 
riage of Moses with the daughter of the Ethiopian 
king who had fallen passionately in love with him. 
This was possibly a development of the brief state 
ment in Num. xii. 1. The language of Moses (Ex. 
iv. liii. in which he speaksof himself as " not eloquent " 
and " slow of speech," seems at tirst inconsistent with 
" mighty in words," but may fairly be regarded as 
simply the utterance of a true humility shrinking from 
the burden of a mighty task. 

<- { ) It came into his heart. The distinct purpose 
in going out to look after his brethren is stated some 
what more emphatically than in Ex. ii. 11. 

And avenged him. The Greek phrase i- 
noticeable as identical with that used by St. Luke 
(xviii. 7 1 in reporting the lesson drawn by our Lord 
from the parable of the Tnjust .Judiro. 

i 25 ) For he supposed his brethren would have 

understood . . .Better, mi, I Ii, *><j>/>osed. The 
Greek conjunction never has the meaning of "for." 
and the insertion of that word gives to the act of 
slaying the Kgyptian a deliberate character which, 
in the narrative of Kx. ii. 11, U. does not belong to ir. 

Would deliver them. Literally. i/-</.- <// >/,/,/ tl,, > 

milrnt inn. or il,r,i; ,;i i),-i- ; the act b.-ing it-elf one of 
championship and the tir-t step to deliverance. 

Would have set them at one again. 
Literally, hrumjht tin ,,i /.> poo& The better MSS. 
give was bringing them." 

41 



Sirs. Literally. Y> ,-, h,-, //(,-,,/. without any word 
of address. The phrase is tin- sann- a-> " we be brethren " 
in Gen, xii i. 8. 

<- ") Who made thee a ruler and a judge ? The 
-tress laid on this afterwards, in verse :\:>. sh,,ws that it 
took its place in the induction which was to show that 
the whole history of Israel had Ix-en marked by tin- 
reject u in of thn>e who were, at each succes-h,- 
l iod s ministers and messengers for its guild, and that 
the rejection of Jesus was therefore a presumptive 
proof that He, too, was sent from (iod 

() Then fled Moses at this saying. The rapid 
survey of the history passes over the intermediate link 
of Pharaoh s knowledge of the murder of tin- Kgyptian. 
and his search for Moses. 

(30) There appeared to him in the wilder 
ness. With the exception of the substitution of Sina, 
or Sinai, for the less familiar Hon-b, the fact is stated 
in nearly the same words as in Ex. iii. 2. The re 
ference to this revelation, besides the bearing it had on 
the main argument of the speech, was indirectly an 
answer to the charge that he had spoken " blasphemous 
words against Moses." Both in the Hebrew and the 
LXX. the word "angel" is, as here, without the 
article. 

In a bush. The Hebrew word $ iirlt i- used fora 
species of thorny acacia, which still grows in the wilder 
ness of Sinai. The Creek word, in the LXX and here, 
was used commonly for the bramble, or any prickly 
shrub. 

(31) The voice of the Lord came unto him. 
The speech agrees with Ex. iii. 4 in ascribing the 
voice to the Lord, the Eternal, while the \isjble mani 
festation was that of the aiiiM of the Lord. It hardly 
helonirs to the interpretation of the speech to diseiis- 
the relation between the two statements. Speaking 
generally, it may In- -aid that all, or nearly all. theo- 
phanies. or divine manifestations, in the ( >ld" Testament 
addressed to the 86086 of sight resolve themselves into 
aniri lophanies. all manifestations addressed exclusively 
to the sense of hearing into revelations by the Son. a- 
the Lonos. or eternal WO&D. 

The God of Abraham. It is probable, on 
the assumption that Stephen had been one if the Seventy 
disciples of Luke x. 1. that he knew that these words 
had been cited by the Lord .le-u- Matt \\ii :!J H 

witnessing; again-! t he unbelief of the Saddm B. Ill 

any case, the fa.-t could hardly ha\e been forgotten 
by" the priestly and therefore Sadducean members of 
the Council, to whom Stephen addiv-sed h ; - d- : 
They hail theji liein urged as a new proof of immortality. 



- 



THI-: ACTS, vii 



The 0/ti i-c/i iii tin- \\",l i 



ihe < -i I ft Isaac, and the <T< 
Th ;i Moses f ivii MiMl, and durst not 
behold. (*> Then said tin- Lord to him. 
Put off thy shoes, t p iii thy feet : for the 
place where thou staiiilcst is holv ground. 
* :U) I have s-. tMi, ! have seen the afflic 
tion of my people which is in K^vpt. 
and L have heard their ".Trailing, and 
am come down to deliver them. And 
now come, I will >end thee into Egypt. 
(35) This Moses whom they refused, say 
ing, \Ylio made thee a, ruler and a 
judge J the s.nne lid (Jod send to ! a 
ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the 
angel which appeared to him in the 
bush. < 36) He brought them out, after \ 



that he had shewed wonders and signs 
in the land of Egypt," and in the Red 
sea. and in the wilderness forty years.* 

(37) T;his is that Moses, which said 
unto the children of Israel, A prophet 
shall the Lord your God raise up imt> 
you of your brethren/ like unto me: 1 
1 him shall ye hear. |: > S) This is he, that 
was in the church in the wildern. 
with the angel which spake to him in 
the mount Sina/ and <//// our fath -rs : 
who received the lively oracles to give 
unto us : (39) to whom our fathers would 
not obey, but thrust him from them, and 
in their hearts turned back again into 
Egypt, ^ saying unto Aaron, Make us 



and therefore of the resurrection. They arc now con 
nected with the proclamation that He who then spake 
had himself lieen raised from the (lead and exalted to 
tho right hand of God. 

(33, :uj Then said the Lord to him . . . . The 
words HIV almost a verbal reproduction of Ex. iii. 
5, 7. S. The citation was in part an implied answer to 
the charge of disregarding tlie sanctity of places in 
which man stands a*, in lie presence of God. partly an 
implied protest against the narrowing thoughts which 
limited that sanctity to the Temple of Jerusalem. 

(35) The same did God send to be a ruler and 
a deliverer. laterally, " ruler and redeemer. The 
word is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, 
luit is formed from the noun for "ransom" in Matt. 
xx. 2-S, Mark x. !."(, and appears to have been chosen to 
emphasise the parallelism which the speecli indicates 
ln>t \\-eii Mose-, and the Christ. In a yet higher sense 
than Moses, the latter also had been made a ruler aud 
a redeemer." 

(36) After that he had shewed wonders and 
Signs. The two nouns are joined together, as in Dent, 
vi. till. Matt. xxiv. 2f. The words express different 
relations, it may be, of the same phenomena, rather 
than phenomena specifically different; the first 
emphasising the wonder which the miracle produces. 
*n<l therefore answering more strictly to that word; 
the latter, th fact, that the miracle is a token or 
evidence of something beyond itself. (See also chaps. 
ii. 2-2; vi. 8.) 

In the Red sea. It may be worth while noting 
that the familiar name comes to us. not from the 
Hebrew word, wind, means, literally, the Wml 
Sea, but from the LXX. version, which Stephen, as 
a Hellenistic Jew, used, and which gave the word 
Erythraean, or red, which had lx>en used by Greek 
travellers from Herodotus onward. Why the name 
was given .s an unsolved problem. Some have re- 
it t : )|M i-oloiir of the coast: some to that of 
the sea-w.-ed ; seme ID an attempt to u ive an etymo 
logical translation of its name as the Sea of Edom 
Kil.. , lie, iiing red," as in (Jen. xxv. 2"> ; xxxvi. 1); 
some to a supposed connection with an early settlement 
of Phoenicians, whose name had. with the (Jreeks. the 
same signiHcan -c. 

( :{ 7) A prophet shall the Lord your God raise 

up. The parallelism previously suggested is now dis 
tinctly proclaimed, and .shown to IN- a fulfilment of the 
prediction of Dent, xviii. IH. The prediction itself is 



cited freely, as before. (See Note on chap. iii. 22. 
The definite application of the words by St. Peter 
determined their bearing here. At this point we may 
reasonably think of the members of the Sanhedrin as 
catching the drift of his discourse, aud showing si-_ iis of 
excitement, the effect of which is, perhaps, traceable in 
the greater compression of the narrative that follows. 

(38) That was in the church in the wilder 
ness. The word ecclcsia is used, as it had been in 
the LXX. (Dent, xviii. 16; xxiii. .1 ; Ps. xxvi. 12 . W 
the "congregation" of Israel. Of the earlier version*. 
Tyndale, Cranmer. and the Genevan, had given " con 
gregation." Even the Rhemish contented itself with 
"assembly." The translators of 1611, acting on the 
instructions which were drawn up for their direction. 

j did not see any reason for making this an exception 
to the rule, and so gave " church." Assuming that 

! ecclesia was so rendered elsewhere, it was. it may be 
admitted, right, as a matter of consistency, that it should 
bo used here, as presenting the thought, which was 
emphasised in Stephen s speech, that the society of 
believers in Christ was like, in character and in its 
relation to God, to that of Israel. The new eci-h >/ < 
was the development of the old. (See Note on Matt. 
xvi. 18.) 

The lively oracles. The noun was used by the 
Greeks for the solemn utterances of the Pythian 
oracles, and thus came to be used by the LXX. in con 
nection with the Urim and Thummini of the high 
priest (Ex. xxviii. 30), and so for any answer from 
God (Num. xxiv. 4). In the New Testament it appears 
again in Rom. iii. 2; Heb. v. 12; 1 Pet. iv. 11. 

(39) To whom our fathers would not obey. 
The historical parallelism is continued. The people 
rejected Moses then (the same word is used as in 
verse 27 1 as they were rejecting Christ now. even 
after He had shown Himself to be their redeemer from 
a worse than Egyptian bondage. 

In their hearts turned back again into 

Egypt. -The sin was one often repeated, but tin 
history referred to is prohahlv that in Ex. xvi. o*. 
Fora later example see N um. \i. .">. 

(* Make us gods. The speech follows the 
LXX. and the English version of Ex. xxxii. 1 in 
ijivinir the plural, but it is probable that the Hebrew. 
Klnliim. was used in its ordinary sense as singular in 
meaning, though plural in form, and that the sin <: 
the Golden ( alt was thus a transgression of the Second, 
and not of the First Commandment. 
42 






Till-; ACTS, VII 



Worslrip t 






""!- bo go " >re as:* t .>r <i* // this 

j, \\liii-li liroii^In us ..lit of the 
land of I^VJit, \\.- v.ot licit \vli;it is 
lieeome ct him. i: And they in;ide ;i 

.;ilf ill those d;i\s, ;ili<l offered s;icl i- 
liee uiitc In- id<>|. and n-juu-fd in t he 
works of their own hand-. - Then 
1 1 od turned, and _ r a\e them \i\> to worship 
tin- host of he;i\en ; a> it is written in 
th.- look of til,- |ir..|.h. !s, ye house of 
l-r.iel. have \ e ottered to me slain Leasts 
and .sacrifices /_</ Ih,- *IHI,-, ,,/ forty years 
in the \\ilderne-- y Y.-;i, \e took up 


c E- 


the talx-niacle of Mo|o.-h. and th- 
of \oitr "rod K -iiii liiiii, li^ures whiHi ye 
made to worship them : and I will 
\"ii awav le\iind Babylon. Our 

"fathers had the tal>ernacle of u [\ 
in the wilderness. a> In- had appointed, 
.speaking unto M..M-. that he should 
make it according to the fashion tha: 
he had - Which al>. 
fathers that <-am- nfter lnniu r lit j,, 
with Jesus into the iosses>ion of tin- 
(Jeiitiles, whom (Jod drave out l-f.iv 
the face of our fathers, unto tin- days 


OD They made a Calf. Tin- fact i> stated in a Egyptian name. There is n.. a.l.-(|ii;it.- proof, how- 
compound word which is not found in the LXX. ever, that tin- planet wa- >n known, and the Hebrew 



version, and which St. Stephen apparently coined for 
tlie purpose. 
Rejoiced in the works of their own hands. 

The verb expresses specially the joy of a feast, as in 
Luke xv. 1^5, lU. ; xvi. I .i; and is therefore specially 
appropriate for what is related in Ex. xxxii. ">. ii. The 
tense were rejoicing" expresses the frequency or con- ; 

tinuaiice of the sin 

*- The host of heaven. The word includes the 
host or army of the firmament, sun. moon, and stars, as 
in -J rhron. \\xiii :!. -", ; .Jer. viii. 2. The sin of Israel 
was that it worshipped the created host, instead of 
Jehovah Sahaoth, the " Lord of hosts." 

In the book of the prophets. -The term is 
used in conformity with the Rabbinic usage which 
treated the Twelve Minor Prophets as making up a 
single book. 

Have ye offered to me ... ? Better, did ye 
"/ r . . . ! The words are, with one exception, from 
We LXX. of Amos v. -~>. ->>. The narrative of the 
Pentateuch is inconsistent with the statement that 
no sacrifices were offered to .Jehovah during the fortv 
years wandering, but the question emphasises the | 
thought which Amos desired to press upon the men 
of his generation, that Jehovah rejected the divided 
worship offered to them by a people who were all 
along hankering after, and frequently openly returning 
to. the worship of Egypt or Chahliea. Moloch, and 
not the true ( !od of Abraham, had been their chosen 
deity 

w > Ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch. 

The verb implies the up-lifting of the tabernacle of 
Moloch, in the same manner as the ark was borne 
Kx. x\v. 1 1 ; I Kings ii. Jti . as a -acred en-ign in the 
march of the Israelites. The Hebrew word for "taber 
nacle" N. -/ Hi i- a: unusual one. and mav have I n 

Used as a proper name; the word rendered " Moloch," 

being descriptive, ) hint/. The prohibition 

of til.- distinctive tit of Moloch worship in Lev. x\iii. 
21. xx. is, p.-1-hap-. in fa\our of the common render 
ing. In spite of this prohibition, however, it re 
appeared continually under the king-, both of Judah 
!_ King- xvi. : .. \xiii. 1<>. Jer v ii. ; ,1. \ xx ii. ;;;, and 
I-rael -J King- xvii. 17: E/.-k. xxiii .57 

And the star of your god Remphan. 

Remphan appears to have been understood b\- the 
LXX translators a- an equivalent for the Helirew 
( liiiin, which is siippo-ed by many -cholars to be 
identified with the planet Saturn, of which " luephan 
(.the LXX. form of the uauiei was the (. optic or 

43 



mav bear the meaning of //<> j /..,/<// ,,f //,.// . 
As to " star," however, there i- no question, ami this 
was enough for Stephen s purpose, as proving the 
worship of the host of heaven. 

I will carry you away beyond Babylon. 
Both the Hebrew and the LXX. give" Damascus"; and 
we are left to choose between an intentional variation, 
to eiupha-ise the actual fulfilment of the words a- sur 
passing what the prophet had foretold, or an inaccuracy 
naturally incident to a quotation from memory. One 
section of the speech, that which accumulate- proof 
that Israel, had been all along a rebellious people, 
seems to end here. The next deals with the charge 
that Stephen had spoken blasphemous word- agaii:-t 
the Temple. 

() The tabernacle of witness. The word wa- 
applied bv the LXX. to the Tabernacle, a^ in Num. 
ix. 1">. xvii. 7. as containing the Two Tallies of Stone, 
which were emphatically the testimony of what was 
God s will as the rule of man s conduct i Ex \\\. 
M. -Jl; xxxi. is . It should be noted that the LXX. 
gives the .-ame rendering for the words which the 
English version translate- a- the "tabernacle of the 
congregation," ./.. in Ex. xxix. 1<> : xxxiii. 7 ; Num. xvi. 
18, 19. 

As he had appointed, speaking unto Moses. 
The answer to the charge lay in these words. Stephen 
admitted and asserted the divine sanction that had 
been given to Tab. made and Temple. What he denied 
was that that sanction involved perpetuity. It is not 
without interest to note in the thought thus implied 
the "vrm of Hooker s great argument in the Third 
Book of his />,/, s/,,s/,V,,/ Polity c. \i. . 

W Brought in with Jesus. This is. of coins,.. 
as in Hel). iv. 8. the "Joshua" of the Old Testament. 
It would, perhaps, have been better, a- a general rule, 
to have reproduced the Helirew rather than the (I reck 
form of Old Testament nam--s in the English version 
of the New. On the other hand, there is. in this in 
stance, something gained in our a; tent ion being called 
to the identity of the two name-. It is noticeable that 
though Stephen was on his trial as a disciple of Jc-u> 
of N a/.areth. that name doe- not pass his lips as lie 
speaks in his defence, exec) t in tin- reference to the 
great captain of Israel. It is po-sil)lc that under this 
reticence, there mav have been a half-veiled ret. 
to Him who. also bearing the name that marked Him 
out as a Saviour, had come, after another fa-hi"ii. " into 
the possession of the Centiles." The word for 
session" i- found iii verse ">. but not el-e where in the 



Tin- T.m/>f> null Its TichnJ. 



Till] ACTS, VII. 



Tin 



of David : f 46 ) who found favour before 
(Jed. and desired to find a tabernacle 
for the God of Jacob. (4 ~> But Solomon 
built him an. house." (48) Hovvbeit 
the most High dwelleth not in temples 
ma.lc \\ith hands; 6 as saith the prophet . 
(49) Heaven is my throne, and earth /* 
my footstool : what house will ye build 
me? saith the Lord: or what j .s th<- 
I .hi re of my rest? W Hath not my 
band made all these things? 



(51) Ye stiffnecked and un<-iivunici>c<l 
in heart and ears, yd<> al\v;;x- resist the 
Holy Ghost: as your fathers <// /, so do 
ye. - Which of the prophets have 
not your fathers persecuted? and they 
have slain them which shewed l>rt<.n- 
of the coming of the Just One ; of 
whom ye have been now the betravcn 
and murderers : (M) who have received 
the law by the disposition of angels, 
and have not kept it. 



New Testament. In the LXX. it is common enough, 
as in Gen. xlvii. 11 ; Lev. xxv. 24; Deut, xxxii. 51. 

(46) Who found favour before God. Again we 
trace, though still in the form of a narrative, an indirect 
answer to the accusation brought against Stephen . He j 
was ready to acknowledge without reserve that the | 
Temple was planned by the man after God s own* 
heart, and built by the wisest of the sons of men. But j 
the question still remained whether it was therefore 
the symbol of a final and perfect worship, whether it , 
did not bear witness to its own incompleteness. 

w Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in 
temples. The sequel shows the impression which 
these words made on the hearers. Stephen had risen 
to the truth which, though it had been proclaimed 
l>el ore. had been practically dormant. It broke down 
the thought of any exclusive holiness in the Temple, 
and therefore placed its downfall among the chances 
and changes which might be involved in God s chastise 
ment of the people, and His education of mankind. 
The inference which we have seen reason to draw as to 
the probability of some connection, direct or indirect, be 
tween Stephen and the Samaritans (see Notes on verse 
16 and chap. vi. 5), suggests the thought that we may 
trace here something like an echo of the teaching of 
our Lord in His dialogue with the woman of Samaria 
(John iv. 21 23). It is a fact of singular interest to 
note how one who now listened to the words as applied 
to the Temple of the God of Israel, afterwards em 
braced them in all their fulness, and used them as his 
text in assert inir the truth they embodied as against 
the Temples of Zeus and Athene (Acts xvii. 24). 

As saith the prophet. The truth which Stephen 
asserted had been uttered in the very dedication prayer 
of the Temple (1 Kings viii. 27". The builder of the 
Temple had himself felt that it was the witness not of 
a localised but a universal Presence. But he turns to 
what might seem to his hearers a yet higher authority 
to the great prophet (Isa. Ixvi. 1. 2). who was pre 
eminently the preacher of glad tidings, and wlio had 
closed his mission with the utterance of the truth that, 
whatever irlory and greatness might attach to the 
Temple in Jerusalem, the prayer of him that, was 
"poor and of a contrite spirit" was equally acceptable 
wherever it might be offered. The words were. full of 
deep meaning ill themselves. They were yet more 
significant as showing that the thoughts of Stephen 
had been turned to that great close of a great work, 
and that he must thus have been led to that wider 
vision of the future when all nations and tongues 
should be gathered to see the glory of the Eternal; 
and the work of Israel. e>peciallv of those who. like him 
self, bclunired to the Dispersion, should lie to declare 
His glory to the (Jentiles. and when they, too. should 
be accepted a* priests and Le\ite^ in the true Temple 

41 



(Isa. Ixvi. 21). Here also we may tlmik of him as anti 
cipating the widest and highest teaching of St. Paul. 

(51) Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised . . . 
The sudden change of tone from calm argument to 
vehement indignation cannot be thought of as spon 
taneous. The excitement of the Sanhedrin. perhaps of 
the listening crowd also, at this point, would seem to 
have become uncontrollable. The accused seemed to 
them to be repeating his offence with defiant boldnes*. 
and loud clamours took the place of whispered mur 
murs. Both the adjectives had been applied to the 
sins of the older Israel ; stiffnecked " in Ex. xxxiii. 
3, 5 ; xxxiv. 9 ; " uncircumcised " in Jer. vi. 10. The 
actual phrase " uucircumcised in heart " had been used 
by Ezekiel (xliv. 7) of " strangers." It was now 
applied to those who boasted of their exclusive privi 
leges as Israelites, and it is scarcely possible for us to 
estimate the sharp incisiveness with which it, or its 
Aramaic equivalent, must have fallen on the ears of 
the Sanhedrin. It was to them all, and more than all. 
that "heretic" and "infidel" have been in the con 
troversies of Christians. Here again, in St. Paul s 
" circumcision of the heart " (Rom. ii. 29), we have 
another echo from St. Stephen s speech. 

(52) Which of the prophets have not your 
fathers persecuted ? St. Stephen echoes, as it 
were, our Lord s own words (Matt. v. 12; Luke xiii. 
34). Every witness for the truth had in his day had to 
suffer. The prophet was not only " without honour." 
but was exposed to shame, treated as an enemy, con 
demned to death. 1 Thess. ii. l~>. perhaps, repnxluces 
the same fact, but more probably refers to the suffer 
ings of the prophets of the Christian Church who were 
treated as their predecessors had been. 

The coming of the Just One. The name doe* 
not appear to have been one of the received titles of 
the expected Messiah, but may have been suggested by 
Isa. xi. 4, 5. It seems to have IM-CU accepted by the 
Church of Jerusalem, and in 1 John ii. 1. and. perhaps, 
in Jas. v. b , we find examples of its application. The 
recent use of it by Pilate s wife (Matt, xxvii. 19) may 
have helped to give prominence to it. He who had 
been condemned as a malefactor was emphatically, above 
all the sons of men. the " righteous." the " Just One." 

The betrayers and murderers. The two words 
emphasise, the first the act of the Sanliedrin and the 
people, and secondly, the persistence with which they 
linked on Pilate the sentence of death, and which made 
them not merely accessories, but principals in the deed 

of blood. 

(53) who have received . . .More accurately. 

li liu I i i-i ! ri il. 

By the disposition of angels. Reti. 
ordained of //r/7.< . or. more literal! 1 . 

. The Greek pivpn.-ition cannot po-sibly have 



; f/n- (, /< />/ 



TIIK ACTS. VII. 






they lu-anl tin-si- things, 
tli,-v were rut t" tin- In-art, and tln-y 
^na.sh( (l mi hilll with /// / / tcrt h. 

Hut be, being full of the H-d\ 

(Jh.ist, l.. ( .k t -.l u]> strdl astly into lu-avcii. 
and >a\v tin- irlory of (io.l, and .Irsits 

lini: "ii tin- riirlit hand of (jl d. 

.id siid, ll. hold, 1 srr the hcav-iis 



opened, and the Son .f ina!! -landing 
..ii the ri-ht liand of God. : Tli.-n 
they cried out with a loud voice, 
stopped th -ir .-ars, and ran upon him 
with die aCCOld. " :ind <-a-l / /,/ out 
of tin- <-itv. and stoned I, ,,,,: and tin 
witness,.... laid down their clothe. 

man s feet, wboto n.ini.- was 



the meaning of " V." Til. phrase expressed the 

current Jewish hvlief that angels wen- tin- intermediate 

agents through whom Israel received the Law; tlial it 
was their \oicc that was hoard on Sinai. Hen- also 
Si. Paul, in speaking of the Law a-- " orda .ned by 

angels " <ial. iii. 19), reproduced St. Stephen. Ci.mp. 
also Helt. ii. -2 and ,lo>. Ant. \\ . 1. j <. for like state 
ments. The idea rested mainly on the LXX. version 
of Dent, \\xiii. -. "on His right hand were angels with 
Him" and "the thousands nf angels" as connected 
with Sinai in PS. Kviii. 17. 

They were cut to the heart. Literally, 

town through od through. -Sec \<ite on chap. 

The word describes a keener pant, than the 

"pricked" of chap. ii. :>7. producing, not repentance. 

hut the t ren/y of furious anger. 

They gnashed on him with their teeth. The 

passage is worth noting as the only example nf the 
literal u-e nf a phrase with which we are MI familiar 
in its figurative application (Matt. viii. l~2 : xiii. ki. 
r/ ,il. . Here it clearly expresses brute passion rather 
than despair. At this point rage and fury the fury 
caused liv the consciousness that the stern words are 
true had l>ecome altogether beyond control. They 
had passed heyond articulate speech into the inarticu 
late utterances of animal ferocity. 

Being full of the Holy Ghost. There is 

something suggestive in the fact that tliis description 
comes at the close, as at the beginning, of the record of 
St. Stephen s work ichap. vi. S). From first to last he 
had been conspicuous as manifesting the power of the 
higher life which had. as it were, illumined and trans 
figured his whole being. The 1 1 reek "being full" 
implies, not a sudden inspiration, but a permanent state. 
And saw the glory of God. Stephen had begun 
with speaking of "the God of glory" TOEM -). He 
ends with the vision of that glory as belonging to the 
Sou of Man. The fact was inferred partly, we may 
believe, from the rapt, fixed expression of the martyr s 
face, partly from the words that t oHi .ved. interpreting 
ihat upward ga/.e. On the word for " looked up stead 
fastly." see Note on chap. iii. 1. 

Behold, I see the heavens opened. It is 

manifest that the vision was given to the inward 
spiritual eye. and not to that of WDM. N priest 
or scribe saw the glory of the opened heavens, and. 
therefore, the words which declared that Stephen saw 
them seemed to them lint an aggravation of guilt that 
was already deep. See Xote on Matt. iii. li. 

And the Son of man. The words call for notice 

as the only certain instance outside the (Jospels of tin- 
use of the name which they record to have 1,,-en con 
stantly used by our Lord in speaking of Himself. 

Note (in .Matt. \iii. J . AS the sp : h of Stephen 

was delivered at least some years before any (iospei 
was written, and ,-is the whole character of the speech 
reported, even in its apparent inconsequence and in 
accuracy, is airainst the theory that it was put by the 

ian into the martyr s lips, its occurrence here is 



evidence in favour of the Uospel narrat ne. .-,- sl,,,\\i,,._. 
that the title, which a few years afterwards, for soim 
reason or other, the disciples ceased to u-e. was at that 
earlier date familiar. As uttered by Stephen U-fore 
tlie Sanhedrin. it had the special emphasis of remindiiiir 
them of the word- which had been spoken by the Son 
of Man Himself Matt. xxvi. i>l . It \\as from their 
point of view a repetition of what they had then con 
demned as blasphemy. In Key. i. 1 ^ we have possibly 
another instance. 
Standing on the right hand of God. Our 

Lord s own language Malt. \x\i.r,| , and that of the 
Church following it (<.;/.. Kph. i. -2"; Hel>. \iii. 1 . has 
commonly spoken of Him as ../////</ at the right hand 
! of God. It was not, we may believe, without signifi 
cance that He was manifested to Stephen s <rj ize as 
standing in the attitude of one who rises to help and 
welcome a follower who had shown himself faithful 
even unto death. 

( 5 ") Ran upon him with one accord. The 

violence reported presents a singular contrast to the 
general observance of the forms of a fair trial in our 
Lord s condemnation. Then, however, we must re 
member, the Roman procurator was present in .Jeru 
salem. Now all restraint was removed, and fanaticism 



had full play. That neither office nor age was 
to guard, under such conditions, against shameful out 
rage has been seen even in the history of Christian 
assemblies, as. ,.</.. in that of the Robber Synod of 
i Ephesus in A.D. 44!. The caution in 1 Tini. iii. ;{. 
that a bishop should not be a striker, slmws how near 
the danger was even in the apostolic age. The facts in 
this case seem to imply thai the accuser-,, and perhaps 
also the excited crowd whom they represented, were 
present as listening to the speech, as well as the 
members of the Sanhedrin. 

(58) And stoned him. Literally, < re .-/(.;<;,/// II m. 

The verb is repeated in verse .V.t. as if to show that the 
shower of stones went on even during the n 
prayers. 
The witnesses laid down their clothes. 

The Law required, as if to impress on witnesses their 
, solemn responsibility, that they should be the first, if 
the accused were condemned to death, to take part in 
his execution (Dent. xvii. 7 . Our Lord, it will be 
remembered, had applied the rule in the case of the 
woman taken in adultery (.lohn viii. 7 . The loose. 
flowing cloak, which was worn as an outer garment. 
would have impeded the free action of their arms, and 
had therefore to be laid on one side. 

A young man s feet, whose name was 

i Saul. As defined by Philo. on the aiitlm- 

medical writers, the t erm thus n-ed extended from 
twenty-one to twciity-eiirht years of :w. Looking to 
the prominent position taken by Saul in this matter. 
and to his description of himaell as " Paul the 
A. I., til- Philem. verse : . it will In- safe to a-urne that 
he had nearly attained the later limit. It will be con 
venient on this his iir-t appearance to put together the 



S/i ji/i--,< * I t.-it Pri(i/i r. lliX. 

Haul. W And ihi-y .stoned Stephen, 
railing upon <ln<l, ;iiid saying. Lord 
resus, reeeive ji:y .spirit. < tj0) And lie 
kneeled down, ami cried with a loud 
. Lord, lay not this sin to their 
har^v. And when In- had said this, 

!li- fell asleep. 


ACTS, 

A. II. M. 


vIII. The <,i- i / J l-i-x i-ntiun.. 

CHAPTER VIII. 1 And Saul was 

consenting unto hi,, death. And al 
that time then was a ^reat p-rseeii 
tion against the eliureh whieli was at 
Jerusalem; and they were all si-al 
tered abroad throughout the nylons 
of Jiidtua and Samaria, except the 



chief facts of his life up to this period. He was of 
the tribe of Benjamin (Phil. iii. .">). and had been named 
after its great hero-king. His father had obtained, 
perhaps as a f reed-man, alter a time of slavery at 
Koine, the privilege of Hi inan eiti/.enship chap, xxii. 
He hail settled at Tarsus. The absence of any 
reference to him or to the Apostle s mother makes it 
probable that they were both dead lie fore he appears 
on the scene. The son of a married sister is found, 
apparently residing in . Jerusalem, in chap, xxiii. 16. 
At Tarsus the boy would probably receive a two 
fold education, instructed at home in the Holy Scrip 
tures daily, and in Greek literature and philosophy 
in the schools for which the city was famous. Traces 
of the knowledge thus acquired are found in his 
quotations from rhe Cilician poet Aratus (see Note 
on chap. xvii. 2H), Mcuander (see 1 Cor. xv. 33), Epi- 
menides (see Tit. i. 1:2), and the Festival Hymn quoted 
by him at Lystra (see Note on chap. xiv. 17). At twelve 
lie would become a child of the Law (see Note on 
Luke ii. 42); and showing great devotion to the studies 
which thus opeu- fl on him, was probably dedicated by 
his parents to the calling of a scribe. This, however, 
did not involve the abandonment of secular occu 
pation : and afier some years spent in Jerusalem, 
studying under Gamaliel we may say, with almost 
absolute certainty, before the commencement of our 
Lord s ministry i. he returned to his native city, and 
became a "tent-maker" (chap, xviii. 3) a manufac 
turer, i.e., of the coarse goats 1 hair sail-cloth, for 
which Cilicia was famous. There seems reason to 
believe that somewhere about this time he became 
acquainted with Barnabas (see Note on chap. iv. 36), and 
possibly also with St. Luke (see Note on chaps, xiii. 1, 
and xvi ID. and Introduction to St. Luke s Gospel). In 
the int T\al bet ween the Ascension and the appointment 
of the Seven Deacons, he came up to Jerusalem. He 
finds a new sect, as it would seem, added to the three 
the Pharisees, Saddncees. Essenes whom he had known 
before. In some respects their teaching is such 
as Hillel, the grandfather of Gamaliel, would have 
approved. They pray and fast, and give alms. They 
proclaim a resurrection and a judgment after death. 
They connect that proclamation with the belief that a 
teacher of Nazareth, who had died a malefactor s death, 
w,-is the long-expected Messiah. What is he to think 
of these startling claims ? What were others think 
ing Gamaliel, his master, counselled caution and a 
policy of expectation (chap. v. 35 39); Barnabas, 
his early friend, had joined the new society (chap. iv. 
:!ti) ; Androniciis anil Junias. his kinsmen, had fol 
lowed the example (Rom. xvi. 7i. Bnt Said had a 
y.eal which was more iicry than theirs. He was a 
Pharisee after the straites t sect, and the teaching of 
Stephen, more conspicuously, it would seem, than that 
of Peter, was a protest against Pharisaism, and told of 
its c.iiiiiny downfall. He. therefore, could make no 
truce with that teaching, and burst impatiently from 
the cautions of his mast-T. For good or for evil, he 
was a ! least "thorough," and had the courage of his 



convictions. Kven the face as of an angel ami tin- 
words of ecsialic joy did but kindle in him the tire 
of a burning indignation. 

(59) Lord Josus, receive my spirit. The words 
are memorable as an instance of direct praver addres- ed. 
to use the words of Pliny in reporting what lie had 
learned of the worship of Christians, "to Christ as 
(iod " i /-> */. x. !7>. Stephen could not think of Him 
whom he saw at the right hand of God, but as of One 
sharing the glory of the Father, hearing and answering 
prayer. And in the prayer itself we trace an echo of 
words of which Stephen may well have heard. The 
Son commended His Spirit to the Father i Luke xxiii. 
46); the disciple, in his turn, commends his spirit to 
the Son. The word "God," in the sentence "calling 
upon God," it should be noted, is. as the italics show, 
an insertion to complete the sense. 

(60) Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. 
Here again we cannot help finding proof, not only that 
the mind of Stephen was after the mind of Christ, but 
that the narrative of the Crucifixion, as recorded by St. 
Luke, was, in some measure, known to him. The re 
semblance to the prayer of Christ. " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do" (Luke xxiii. 
34), could hardly have been accidental. We may well 
think of the prayer as having for its chief object him 
who was the foremost of the accusers. The old words 
of Augustine (Serm. 314 318 , that we owe the con 
version of Saul to the prayers of Stephen, may be 
accepted as the expression of a great spiritual fact. 
This prajer, like that which preceded it. was addressed. 
it will be noted, to the Lord Jesus. 

He fell asleep. The thought and the phrase 
were not altogether new. (Comp. John xi. 11, and 
Note.) Even a heathen poet had said of one who died 
the death of the righteous 

" When good men die, it is not death, but sleep." 

-Calliiniu-hus. Spiff. 10. 

VIII. 

(D And Saul was consenting unto his death. 
The word seems carefully chosen to convey the fact 
that he did not himself take part in stoning, but con 
tented himself with guiding and directing the murder. 
He "kept the garments" of the \\itnesses who Hung 
the stones (chap. xxii. 20). The statement came, we 
can scarcely doubt, from St. Paul s own lips, and in his 
use of the same word in the pas>age just referred to. 
and in Rom. i. .V2. we may see an indication that he had 
learnt to see that his guilt in so doing was greater, and 
not less, than that of the actual murderers. 

There was a great persecution against the 
church. It is clear that this involved much suffering. 
imprisonment, as in verse :>. perhaps the spoiling ot 
men s t, oi.d>. the heinir made "a ^a/im,-- stock li\ re- 
proachea and afflictions" Heb. x. :;:!. :!h. In St. 
James s description of the sufferings of the brethren 
i.Jas. ii. ;. 7>. we may see at once the measure of the 
violence of the persecution, and the prominence in it 
though Said, the Pharisee, was for the time the chief 






TIN-: ACTS. vm. -,/ ,,,,,/,/,, :M , 



:lp.- Mnl (IrM.Ut Mii-M rari ir.l 

Strjilii ii /" /</.- Intri il. ami mali- u r i :i 
iaiiifiitat i.-i over him. As \\>r Saul, 
In- mail.- havuck >i tin- rluin-li, rnt.T- 



iii 4 inl" fMTV IKMIS.-, ami halin-_r 
ami w.iiii.-ii iniiiitti-il tli.-H, 
1 Tli Tff .nv th.-\ tliat \\.-r- 

\\.-nt MTV \vli.-n- pp-in-liii:. 



leader >! I In- priesthood and tli.- rich Sadduceaii 

aristocracy. 
Throughout the regions of Judsea and 

Samaria. .Jerusalem was naturally tin- chief 1061X6 
of the persecution, and the neighbouring towns. Hebron. 
and (ia/.a. and L\dda. and .loppa. became places nt 
refuse. I as probably lo this influx nt be|ie\ ei-s in 
< hrist that we ma\ trace tin- existence ut ( liristinn com 
munities in the two latter cities. (See Notes on chap. 
rx. :!J. :;;. The choice of Samaria was. perhaps, sug 

gested liy tile hatred nt that penj.le In llie .lews. Tlliise 

who were fleeing fnun a persecution set on foot liy the 
priests and rul.- -s of .Jerusalem were almost tyxu j ni-tu 
-lire of a welcome iii \eapolis and other cities. But 
the choice of this as a place of refuge indicated that 
the liarriers of the old antipathy were already in part 
liroken down. "What seemed the pressure oV circum 
stances was leading indirectly to the t liltilinent of our 
Lord s commands, that the disciple, h,.uld lie witnesses 
in Samaria as well as in .lud;i-:i chap. i. 8 l. It se.-nis 
probable. as already suggested <s,.e Note on chap. 
vii. Iti . that tliere was some point of contact lietween 
the Seven, of whom Stephen was the chief, and that 
region. 

Except the apostles. The sequel of the history 
.-Mi^irests t\\ u reasons for their remaining. (1) The 
Twelve had learnt the lesson which their Master had 
taught them, "that the hireling fleet h because he is ail 
hireling" (John x. !." . and would not desert their 
post. A tradition is recorded by Clement of Alexandria 
Strom, \i. :.. ? i:i and Buscbfua Hist. v. 1:5). that the 
Lord hail commanded tho Apostles to remain for 
twelve years in .Jerusii lein lest any sliould say "We 
have not heard." and after that date to go forth into 
the world. J The persecution which was now 



seems to lia\e lieen directe<l sj)ecial!y against tliose who 
taught with Stephen, that the " ciistoins " on which 
the Pharisees laid so much stress .should pass away. 
The Apostles h,,d not as yet proclaimed that trutli; 
had, perhaps, not as yet been led to it. They were 
< onspiciions as worshippers in the Temple, kept them 
selves from all that was common and unclean idiap. x. 
14), held aloof from fellowship with the Gentiles 
i chap. x. _> . They may well have been protected by 
the favour and reverence with which the ^reat body of 
the people still looked on them, and so have I ..... n less 
exposed than the Seven had been to the yiolence of the 
storm. It was probable, in the nature of the case, that 
the Hellenistic disciples, who had been represented by 
Stephen, should suH er more than others. It was from 
hem that the next i^reat step in the expansion of the 
Church in dn ..... >nr-e came. 
- And devout men carried Stephen to his 

burial. It hits sometimes been asserted, as <.(/. by 
Kenan I.-* .l/K./i-. .-. p. 1 !."> .that t lies, . were proselytes. 
St. Luke, however, always uses a different word to de 
scribe ll.at class comp. chap. xiii. I:!. <>: xvi 1 I- : xvii. 
k 17). and the word used here is applied by him to 
Simeon Luke ii. -2~>i to the nitiltitudc of Jews present 
on the day of Pentecost chap. ii. " . to Ananias as 
devout according to the Law rliap. xxii. 1J . This 
notion must accordingly be rejected as against e\ idence. 
On the oilier hand, had they been members of the 
Church they would naturally, though perhaps not 



.I 



ha\e been described as hretlircn " or 

disciples." \Ve are left therefore to the conclusion 

that they were .lews who had been kindled into admira 
tion and half-conviction by the calm heroism ot the 
martyr, and who. without committing thenisel 
more than that admiration, acted in his case a> Xic... 
demiis and .Joseph of Arimathiea had acted after the 
Crucifixion. They would show honour to the memory 
of the dead, though they had not had the courage to 
defend the preacher of the truth while lie was yet with 
them. In the legend or tradition as to the death of 
Stephen, reported and accepted by Auirustin.- / 

/ ./ . xxii. 8; 80rm. :;K ::!!: Tract. < Joann., 1J<. 

(iamaliel and Xicodemiis are named as actually lakiiiL r 
]iart in the cntonilinient. and as afterwards laid in the 
same sepulchre, on which his name appeared in Aramaic 
characters a> ( Imlii-l garlaml . the eipiivalent in 

that language of the ( ircek Wi iilnm"*. The translation 
ot the martyr s relics to Ancona. Minorca, and to 
I. /alis. and other towns in Africa, made a deep im- 
pressioii on Augustine, and ga\e occasion to some ot 

his most eloquent sermons. Oratories wre dedicated 

to his memory, and miraculous cures effected by 
prayers addressed to him. iS.ce Butler s Jj/r .s uf (!(> 
Sniiit.1. Aug. 3rd.) 

And made great lamentation over him.- 
The act was every way significant. Commonly. on. 
who had been stoned to death on the charge of blas 
phemy would have had no funereal honours. He 
would have been Imried " with the burial of an IM" 
(Jer. xxii. l!i . The public lamentation on the part 
of men conspicuous for their de\oiit y.eal for the Law. 
was therefore of the nature of a protest, probably <>n 
the part of the more moderate section of the Pharisees, 
such as .Joseph. Xicodemiis. and Gamaliel, against 
what would seem to them the unnatural coalition 
between the Sadducean priesthood and the tilt n< -zealot 
section of their own party. 

< 3 ) As for Saul, tie made havock of the 
Church.- Tlie tense in the Greek implies continuous 
action, and so indicates the severity of the persecution. 
Further details are given liy St Paul himself. H-- 
persecuted this way unto the death" .-hap. xxii. I 
It does not follow, however, that this points to more 
than the death of Stephen Both men and women 
were imprisoned iliiil >. The fact that the latter class 
were included among the sufferers, implies that they 
had Ix-en more or less prominent in the activity of 
the new society. Such may have been the devout 
women of Luke viii. J. :5. The victims were punished 
in every syii ML ro U ue. most probably with the forty stripes 
sav" one ~2 Cor xi. i! 1 \\hich was the common penalty 
for minor offences, against religious order. The\ were 
compelled to blaspheme the worthy name" of the 
Master whom they owned as the Christ chap. xxvi. 11 ; 
.las. ii. 7 . They were subject to wanton outrages in 
addition to judicial seM-rity I Tim. i. 13). There was. 
as the persecutor himself aft. T\\ ards confessed chap. 
xx\i. Hi, a kind of insane ferocity in his \iolence. 
Even the very word " haling" implic.sa brutality which 
miirht well have been spared. 

They that were scattered abroad. 

as lias been said above, would in all probab;. 
Stephen s Hellenistic fellow-workers and followers. Aa 



THE ACTS, VIII. 



S <iii<>> 



word. (5) Then Philip went <lo\vn to 
the eitv of Samaria, and prcaclu-d Christ 
unto them. ^> And the people with 
one accord gave heed unto those things 
.vliicli Philip spake, hearing and seeing 
the miracles which he did. (7 > For un 
clean spirits, crying with loud voice, came 



o.ut of many that were possessed / //// 
them: and many taken with palsies, and 
that were lame, were heakd. (6) And 
there was -Teat joy in that city. i; " But 
there was a certain man, called Simon, 
which beforetime in the same city used 
sorcery, and bewitched the people of 



:, -cepteil shows that in spite of the adverse influence 

which hail come into play sii 

there, the work then done had not been in vain. 



since our Lord had taught 



Hearing and seeing the miracles which he 

did. Better, tin s/i/i/.--. as being closer, here as else 
where. to the force of the (I reek. It is remarkable that 
lii"y had believed in the first instance without any 
other sign than the person and the teaching of the 
Lord Jesus. .Miracles came not as the foundation, but 
f .: the strengthening of their faith : perhaps aKo a- a 
corrective to tin- adverse influence of which we are SO 
.soon to hear. 



in later ages. the axiom that "the blood of martyr- is 
the seed of the Church, held true from the beginning. 
The attempt to stamp out the 7ie\v faith did Imt give il 
a wider seopo of actiou, and urged it on to pass the 
limits within which it might otherwise have been con 
fined for a much longer period. 
Preaching the word. Better, preaching the glad 

fil/illi/x at till inir/i. 

<">> Then Philip went down to the city of 
Samaria. More accurately, " a city." The sequence 
of events implies that it was not the Apostle, but 
his namesake who had been chosen as one of the 
Seven. As having been conspicuous in the work of 
" preaching the glad tidings of Christ," he was after 
wards known as Philip the Evangelist (chap. xxi. 8). 
It was natural enough that the identity of name 
should lead writers who were imperfectly informed j 
to confuse the two, as Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus, | 
seems to have done in the passage quoted by Eusebius ] 
(Hixt. iii. 31). The city of Samaria" is described j 
in precisely the same terms as in John iv. 5. where I 
it is identified with Sychar, the Sichem of the Old 
Testament. (See Note on John iv. 5.) "Samaria," 
throughout the New Testament (as, e.g., in chap. ix. 31 ; 
Luke xvii. 11; John iv. 4, 5), is used for the pro 
vince, and not for the city to which it had been 
attached in earlier tint s. This had been new-named 
S f In inte (the Greek equivalent of Augusta) by Herod 
the Great in honour of the Emperor, and this had 
more or less superseded the old name (Jos. Ant. 
xv. 8, 5). Assuming the identity with Sychar, the 
narrative of John iv. suggests at once the reason that 
probably determined Philip s choice. The seed had 
already been sown, and the fields were white for 
harvest (John iv. 35). Possibly, as suggested above 
Xote on chap. vii. 16), there may have been some pre 
vious connection with the district. Some of that city 
had already accepted Jesus as the Christ. 

Preached Christ. The verb is not the same as in 
verse 4. and is the word used for "preaching" or "pro 
claiming." The tense implies continued action, extend 
ing. it may be. over weeks or months. We find in 
John iv. 25 that the expectation of the Messiah was as 
strong among the Samaritans as among the Jews, and 
Philip s work therefore was to proclaim that the long- 
expected One had come, and that the Resurrection was 
the crowning proof that He was the Christ the Sou of 
<iod. The readiness with which the proclamation was 



(") For unclean spirits, crying with loud 
voice. The MSS. present several variations in the 
structure of the sentence, but they do not affect its 
meaning. The character of the "signs" agrees with 
those that are recorded in the Gospels. The " great 
cry," partly, it may be, of agony, partly of exultation 
at deliverance, agrees with lurk i iM ; Luke iv. :!:;. 

(8) There was great joy in that city .This and 
the whole narrative may well have been learnt by St. 
Luke from the lips of Philip himself, when St. Paul 
and his companions visited the Evangelist at ( ;e-area, 
on his way to Jerusalem (chap. xxi. 8), or during the 
Apostle s two years imprisonment in that city .chap. 
xxiv. 27), or, we may add. from St. Paul s report of 
what he had heard when he travelled through .Samaria 
(chap. xv. 3). 

(9) But there was a certain man, called 
Simon. The man who is thus brought before us in a 
brief episode, occupies a prominent place in the history 
and the legends of the Apostolic Church. For the 
present it will be convenient to deal only with the 
materials which St. Luke gives us. reserving a fuller 
account for the close of the narrative. Nothing is told 
us here as to his earlier history, prior to his arrival in 
Samaria. The name indicates Jewish or Samaritan 
origin. He appears as the type of a class but too 
common at the time, that of Jews trading on the 
mysterious prestige of their race and the credulity of 
the heathen, claiming supernatural power exercised 
through charms and incantations. Such afterwards 
was Elymas at Cyprus (chap. xiii. 6); such were the 
vagabond Jews exorcists at Ephesus (chap. xix. 1:1 ; 
such was a namesake, Simon of Cyprus unless, indeed. 
we have a re-appearance of the same man), who also 
claimed to be a magician, and who pandered to the 
vices of Felix, the Procurator of Jud;ea. by persuading 
Drusilla (Jos. Ant. xx. 7. v$2. see Note on chap. \\i\. -i 
to leave her first huslwmd and to marry him. The life 
of such a man, like that of the Cagliostro fraternity in 
all ages, was a series of strange adventures, and start 
ling as the statements as to his previous life may seem 

866 Xote on verse 24). they are not in themselves 
incredible. Apollonius of Tyana is. perhaps, the supreme 
representative of the charlatanism of the period. 

Used sorcery. Literally. UMIJ p,;n-t :.<;,!</ ,,ni</;<-. 
On the history of the Greek word IIHH/I>X and our " magic. 
as derived from it. see Note on Matt, ii. 1. Our 
"sorcerer" comes, through the French .--<>/v/o-. from 
the Latin *t:)-f!ta,-. a caster of lots ;.s/7r.< for the 
purposes of divination. Later legends enter fully into 
the various forms of sorcery of which Simon made 
Use. (See below. I 

Bewitched the people of Samaria. -Literally. 

fln i ! tin-in ilttn till fditi- i t li iiiii-i iir fi-stii.--// : .->/ lln Hi 
Ix xidi- fln iiint lri x. or <tf <>f fln ir n-if*. The structure 
of the sentence shows that the "city" i- not identical 
with Samaria, and that the latter name is used, as else 
where, for the region. 

Giving out that himself was some great 
one. The next verse defines the nature of the claim- 



TIII: ACTS vin. 






-mil- out that himself was 
some . I -at : : 1" whom they ;ill 

:_ra v- , tV>in the least to the greatest, 

.4-, ihis 111:111 is 111-- ;_;Teat power of 
< iod. " Ami to him they had regard, 
liecause that of loii^ time In- h:nl he- 

w itched them with sorceries. - But 

\vh.-n the\ li.-lieyi d l hili|i preaching 
tin- tiling- coiici-niiii"; tin- kingdom of 

< iod, ami the name of Jeens Christ, they 



l.apt i/i-.l. In. th in. -ii ami WOIIM-II. 

I lien Siim.ii himself h.-li. -\i-il 

ami when In- was hapt i/.-il. h.- 

tinned with Philip, ami wondered, !..- 

holdim_: tin- miracle.-, an<l .-iu r n> which 

wen- done. n Now when tin- aptl.-s 

which w-i-r at Jerusalem hranl that 

Samaria had received tin- svord of<i,.d. 

they sent unto them iVt.-r ami John : 

ho, when they were conn- down. 



more clearly. The cry of the [ pic tli.-it lie was " the 

great power of <iod." was. WC may Well believe, till 
ed f his own boast. He claimed to he, in some 

undefined wav. an 1 neaniat ion of Divine Power. The 
very name had appeared in our Lord s teaching when 
He spoke of Himself as sitting on the right hand of 
"the Power of Qod,"aa an equivalent for the Father 

Luke \\ii 69 . 

(ioi To whom they all gave heed, from the 
least to the greatest. The readv acceptance of 
the claims of the pretender, may. in part, lie traced to 
tin- impression made by the presence of " the Christ, 
the Saviour of the world" ,. John i\. k^. If One had 
come among them in whom they felt that there was a 
more than human greatness, why might there not bo 
another manifestation of a like nature: The sorcerer 

appears as the earliest ty] f those who were to co 

with lyini; signs and wonders so as to deceive, if it were 
possible, even the elect Matt. Xxiv. J4 ; ~1 Thess. ii. 9). 

This man is the great power of God. 

I he better MSS. five. "This is the Power of God that 
is called great." The word " Powers" was used by the 
Samaritans of the angels or hosts of (iod, and they 
probably recognised Simon as oue of these and as of 
special lire-eminence. 

(> And to him they had regard. The Greek 

word is the same as in the "gave heed" of the previous 
verse. The " long time " during which the evil fascina 
tion had been exercised, reckoning backwards from tin- 
date which we have now reached .v.li. :>h, illicit carry 
ns to a period prior to our Lord s visit to Sychar. in 
A.I>. :!<>. It is scarcely probable, however, that it was 
in active op-ration at that time. And it is likely enough 
that, finding the people still influenced by the impivs 
sions which that visit had left, he wrought on their 
excited feelings for his own purpose. 

But when they believed Philip . . . . The 

word for preaching is, a_s in verse 1, fin-iii-Ii iinj tin 
(//. </ tltlhi* of the kingdom of ( iod." The sequel 
shows that this included baptism as the outward con 
dition of admission to the kingdom. \Ve may infer from 
the other narrative of Philip s mission-work i verses 
31 3T that it also included an outline-history of the 
passion and death and resurrection of the Prophet 
whom they had seen among them as fulfilling the great 
-Messianic prophecies. 

They were baptized, both men and women. 
The tense points, not to one ^reat act. but to the con 
tinual succession of converts who were thus admitted. 
We think of the woman of Samaria, of John iv. 7, and 
wonder whether she was one of them. 

1; Then Simon himself believed also. 

Endless ipestioiis have been raised as to the nature of 
such a faith, and the effect of such a baptism. It is 
probable enough that he was impress,. d by the si^ns 
that Philip wrought; that he felt himself in the pre- 



sem f a Power above his own: that he accepted 

Philip s statements as to the death and resurrection 
of the Christ. It was such a faith as that of which St. 
.lames speaks .la-, ii. II. l! . If we are to use the 
definite lan^uat: of theological science, it would be trie- 
to sav that he had the ji,l,-* / /i/..,-,,// *. faith not pre 
ceded bv repentance and not perfected by love. And 
baptism, in such a case, the expressed or implied con 
ditions being absent, brought with it no new birth to 
a higher life. He remained still " in the fall of bitter 
ness ,-uid the bond of iniquity " (yeiB6 - > . Hut v--n 
for him it bore its witness of the readiness of (iod 
to forgive and to regenerate. The subsequent fulfil 
ment of the conditions which were then absent would 
have quickened the potential into an actual grace, and 
no second baptism would have been needed to sup 
plement the shortcomings of the first. Peter calls on 
him Averse J to repent and pray for forgh eii -s*. 
He does not tell him that he must l>e baptised again. 

And wondered. The verb is the same as that 
rendered bewitched" in verses M and 11. The table- 
were turned. The magician yielded to a spell mightier 
than his own. and was. in his turn, as one boide him 
self with ama/.ement. The difference between Simon 
and tin- believing Samaritans is, in this matter, sug 
gestive. His faith rested on outward miracles. With 
i hem the miracles did but serve to confirm a faith 
which rested on the "prophetic word" as spoken by 
the Son of Man (John iv. 42). 

11 When the apostles which were at Jeru 
salem .... The tidings came to the Twelve as a 
proof that the limitation which had at first excluded 
Samaria from the range of their work as preachers of the 
kingdom had now passed away Matt. x. .".i, and that the 
time had now come when they were to be " witm 
to Christ in Samaria as well as in Judaea tchap 
Old antipathies of race and worship disappeared, and 
without hesitation they sent the two who were, in many 
respects, the chief of the Apostles to sanction the ad"- 
mission of the new converts. The Apostle who in his 
/.eal had once sought to call down the tire of the wrath of 
God on the village of the Samaritans Luke i\. .". t . was 
now to bring to them that baptism of the Holy C, host 
and of lire Matt. iii. 11 which spoke not of wrath but 
of love. That his companion should l>e Pet. 
natural, both from the position which the latter occu 
pied as the leader of the apostolic company and from 
the friendship by which the two had been "throughout 
their life united. 

The word of God is characteristically used 
Luke, as in his ( iospel. for the whole sum and sub 
stance of the gospel of Christ. Comp. Luke v. 1. 
viii. 11.21. 

ii.M Prayed for them, that they might receive 
the Holy Ghost. The prayer clearly pointed to such .1 
/ift of the power of the Spirit as had been bestowed ou 



(- / CM 



TIII-: ACTS, viii. 



"-i 



prayed fur them, that they mi^ht re- 
; li<- I inly < Jhost : " ; il nr as yet 
he was fallen upon nniu- nf thrni : only, 
were bapti/ed in tlie name of the ! 
L Td Jesus.) (17) Then laid thev Ui--ir 
hands nn them, and they received the 
Holy Ghost. (18) And when Simon saw 
that through laying on of the apostles 
hands the Holy Ghost was y-iveii, he 
of} . Ted them money, tl! " saying. Give j 



me also tliis [power, that on whomso 
ever I lay hands, he may receive tin- 
Holy Ghost. -" I .ni Peter said unto 
him, Thy money perish with tliee, be 
cause thoii iia.st thought that th- >/\ft. 
ot <Jod may l.e pnivhased with niomy. 
21) Thou hast neither part nor lot in 
this matter: tor thy heart is not ri-_rhi 
in the sight of God. (-- !>Vpent there 
fore of this thy wickedness, and pray 



the Day of Pentecost. It assumed that such gifts had 
been received by the disciples generally at Jerusalem, 
and that they were distinct from the new birth of water 
and the Spirit (John iii. 5) which was given through 
baptism. The Apostles looked on the Samaritans as 
qualified for that higher gift as well as for admission 
into the kingdom, and it was given to them, and not To 
Philip in his subordinate position as an evangelist, to 
lie the channels of communicating it. 

< 16 ) As yet he was fallen upon none of them. 
The -aiiie verb is used of the gift of the Spirit in chaps. 
x. 44, xi. 15. and of Peter s trance in chap. x. In. It is 
manifestly used to express an unlooked-for change in a 
man s normal state of consciousness, the sudden advent 
of new [lowers and feelings. 

(i~ Then laid they their hands on them. 
The act hail already appeared as at once the symbol and 
the channel of the communication of spiritual gifts and 
offices in the appointment of the Seven. (See Note on 
chap. vi. o .i Historically, the act here recorded has the 
interest of being the starting-point of what afterwards 
developed into the rite known as Confirmation. Taking 
the narrative of the Acts by itself, a question might be 
raised how far what we read of was normal or exceptional, 
connected, for a time only, with the bestowal of new 
and marvellous powers, or powerful, through the 
whole hi-tory of the Church, as a means of grace 
strengthening the spiritual life after those powers had 
been withdrawn. In any case it was probable that 
no hard and fast line marked the disappearance of the 
special and marvellous forms of spiritual power which 
were at first manifested in connection with the layiug- 
on of hands, and so the practice had time to become 
part of the fixed order of the Church. When they 
ceased altogether we can understand the reluctance of 
men to give np a rite that had come down from the 
days of the Apostles. They would feel that the prayer 
of faith was still mighty to prevail; that the Spirit 
would still be given in answer to prayer joined with 
the symbolic act. though no longer in the same form. 
and would confirm and strengthen the work which had 
been begun in baptism, and s the primitive laying-on 
of hands passed into Confirmation, and was accom 
panied by other symbolic acts, such as anointing. The 
Thought that it is so called because in it adults eon- 
he promises made for them when baptised as 
infants, is entirely modern, and cannot be traced 
further back than the sixteenth century. 

is, i! i When Simon saw that through laying 
on of the apostles hands . . . .The words imply 
that the result was something visible and conspicuous. 
A change was wnmirh 4 : and men spoke with ton-rues 
and prophesied. To the sorcerer, acciistunied to 
charms and incantations, the men ,vho were In p ( , -ses 
sion of this power would seem to be enchanters with 
a higher knowledge than his own, and he who had pur- 



chased many such secrets, after the manner of the time 
icomp. chap. xix. l!>). from previous masters in the 
magic art. thought that this might lie obtained in Ihe 
same way. The act thus recorded has given its name 
In a large class of offences in ecclesiastical .juris 
prudence, and the sin of Simony in all its forms, tlie 
act of purchasing spiritual [towers and functions, per 
petuates the infamy of the magician of Samaria. 

(.">) Thy money perish with thee. Literally. 
Thy money be toyvthfi- irlfli ///, . /.</ /,< ilitimt. The 
same word is used as in the "son of perdition" in 
John xvii. 12 and in Heb. x. :!!!. The prominence of 
the word in 2 Pet. ii. 1. J. >. iii. 7. l<i, i> interesting in 
connection with the question as to the authorship of 
that Epistle. Another coincidence presents it-elf in 
the "gold that perisheth " of 1 Pet. i. 7. 

Because thou hast thought . . . .Better. 
because thou thottgktett. The speaker looks at the 
thought historically, as at the moment when it rose 
up in the sorcerer s mind. The Greek verb has a 
transitive not a passive sense, tlnm //*< /////<>/ f 
<injnir<- tin gift <if <!<! Inj itimn ij. Not -o. Peter must 
have remembered, had he acquired that gift. The very 
word which he uses is that which our Lord had spoken 
to him and his brother Apostles. " Freely " (i.e., as a 
gift) " ye have received " i Matt. x. 8). 

- Neither part nor lot. -A like, though not an 
identical, combination of the two words meets us in 
Col. i. 12. On the latter, see Notes on chap. i. 17. 25. 
It is, perhaps, used here in its secondary M-nse. Simon 
had no inheritance in the spiritual gifts nor in the 
spiritual offices of the Church. The power attached 
to the apostleship was not a thing for traffic. 

Thy heart is not right in the sight of God.- 
" Straight" or "right " is used, as in Matt. iii. :i. Mark 
i. )?. for "straightforward." not in tlie secondary sen-e . >f 
"being as it ought to be." The word is not of frequent 
occurrence in the New Testament, but. like so many of 
the spoken words of St. Peter, meets us .iirain a> coming 
from his pen (2 Pet. ii. l." . 

- - Repent therefore of this thy wicked 
ness. The stern words of condemnation are. we -ee. 
meant to heal, not to slay. Rightly understood, the 
call to repent in such a case as this, opens tlie door 
of hope as wide as the history of the penitent thief. 
Repentance, and with repentance, forgiveness, were 
possible, even for the charlatan adventurer who had 
traded on the credulous superstition of the people, and 
claimed something like adoration for himself and his 
mistress. 

Pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine 
heart . . . .The better BISS. give "Lord "instead of 
" Cod." either in the Old T f the 

word or with special reference to the Lord Jesus. T ic 
"if perhaps." in the (ireek. as in the English, implies 
):! doubt. Diil the thought come across tho 



Tl I K ACTS, VIII. Return 



<;..!. it : te tiiMiiu lit <>f 

In-art ma v !> t i>ru iv M I In-.-, 
p.-ivi-ivi- Unit tlioii ;irl in tlic :rall " 
bitterness, ;iiid /,/ the l><>inl ! iniquity. 
Tlit-n aiixwi iv.l Siiumi, and Bold, 



Pray y to the Lord i .r me, thai u<>n- 

<>f t In--.- t liinir- -. lii -h yi- h.i 

roilir Upon !ii !I.-M 

tliry liaii i. --titled and preached th.- 
ui.nl ,,r tin- I,i. rl. !-,-tuni,.il to Jerusalem, 



mind iif tin- A (instil- that flic sin of Sinuni cairn- 
very near that --. in against the Holy (Ihost which 

hath aever forgiveness Man. rH. 31)P Tin- use of 
such \vnnls li\ tin- chief of tli" A post !e-. at tei- the 
a|>]i:irent conce ion of a plenary power in John x\. 
J.">. are terribly -ngge-t i\ .-. He iicifhcr forgives nor 
condemns, lint bid- the ntt cinler turn to tin- Searcher 
of he-arts and pray fo,- forgiveness. Hail lie seen iv- 
])entancr. he might have said, "Thy sins arc forgiven 
tliec." Hail lie -ecu a cmi-cience utterly ile;;<l. he 
might lia\e cluseil the (Iniir iif hope. As it i-. he 

-tands niidxyay between hope anil fear. and. keeping 
silence, leayes judgment to the Judge. 

In the gall of bitterness, and in the bond 
Of iniquity. On "gall," in its literal sense, see \,,tc 
on .Malt, \\vii. Ml. This is the only pas.- at," in the Xew 
Testament in which it is useil h gurat ivcly. " Hitt -r- 
nes- " meet- n-. jis cxpres-ing extreme moral depravity, 
in Rom. iii. II, Eph. iv. 31, Heh. xii. l.V The latter 
phrase implies that the iniquity of Simon hound him as 
with the iron chains of a habit from which he could nut 
free himself. 

Pray ye to the Lord for me. There is 
something eminently characteristic in the sorcerer s 

wonh. 1 His conscience reads " bet ween the lines " 
of St. Peter s addtv what was not actually found 
there. That "if perhaps" is to him as the knell of 



doom. i Ji He prays not for deliverance from " the 
of iniquity." but only from the vague terror of a 



bond 

future penalty. <> He turns, not. as Peter had bidden 
him, to the Lord who was ready to forgive, hut to a 
human mediator. Peter must pray for him who has 
not faith to pray for himself. 

At this point Simon disappears from the history of 
tin- Act-, and thi- seems accordingly the right place for 
stating briefly tin- later traditions as to his history. 
In those trad itions he occupies a far more prominent 
position than in St. Luke s narrative, and become-, a-. 
it has been said, the " hero of the romance of heresy." 
as Driven in the Hmnilies ami Rt rii</nitinn< of the 
Pseudo-Clement. Born at (Jittom. in Samaria Justin. 
liti , he received his education at Alexandria, 
and picked up the language of a mystic < Jnosiicism 
from Dositheiis .Hum. ii. c. iJ-J ; (\m.-H. .\i><>.<1. vi. s 
He had fora short time Ix-en a disciple of the Baptist 
llnm. e. i!M . Hi- murdered a boy that the soul of his 

victim might hi me his familiar spirit, and give him 

insight into the future //,,,. ii. c. -Ji; ; /,W,,,/,,. ii. ! . 
He carried about with him a woman of great beauty, 
of tin- name of Luna or Helena, whom he represented 
>/md of incarnation of the Wisdom or Thought 
of I Jod Justin. A/ml. i. t; ; //.(,/(. ii. c. ~2~> : Kuseb 
ii. ! *> . He identified him-i-lf with the promised Para- 
cl.-te and the Christ, and took the name of " //, /,., 
>7.i(/. /.-." as indicating divine power /. <,.,/,,. ii. 7 . He 
boasted that In- could turn himself and others into the 
form of brute beast-; that he ,-ould cau-e statues t,, 
speak (Horn. iv. c. !; /> /-...///. ii. !, iii 6). His lit ,. 

was 01 f o-tentatious luxury. He wa- accompanied 

hy the two son- of the Svm-Plio-nician woman of 

H 26 // ... i. !! \\fter tl pi-ode related 

ill the Acts, he went down to C;i-sarca. and Peter wa- 



then .-.ent thither In Hi-hop of .Jeru- 

t confront and hold a di-pu aiion with him on \ 
point- of doctrine. From < j sarea he made hj, 
Tyre and Tripoli-, and thence in Kmne. and wa- ther- 
wor-hipjied hy his follower-, -o that an al: 
there by Justin with an inscription. "Si 
BAHCTO" -I/ "/, i. -j i . Peter followed him, and in 
the reign of Claudius the two met. once n 
face, in tin- imperial city. According to one legend, 
he offered to prove his divinity by Hying in the air. 
tru-ting that the demons whom he employed would 
support him; but, through the power of the pra\ 
Peter, he fell down, and had his bones broken, and 
then committed suicide Conttt. .i/.-7. ii. M; \i. . 
Another represent- him a- buried alive at hi- own 
request, in order that lie might show hi- power by 
rising on the third day from the dead, and so meet ing 
his death lren;eiis. .I,/ ,-. // ., ,-. vi. I" . 

Ill the midst of all this chaos of fantastic fahi. 
have, perhaps, one grain of fact in Ju-tiif- assertin-. 
that lie had seen the altar aim e referred to. An altar 
was discovered at Koine in !:.7I, on the i-iand in the 
Tiber, with the inscription " SKMOM > 
FlDIO." Arehii-ologi-t-. however, agree i u thinking 
that this was dedicated < the Sahine Hercules, who 
was known as Si:\!<> SANCCS. and it has been 
thought by many writers that Ju-tin may have -een 

this or some like altar, and. in his ignorant f Italian 

mythology, have imagined thai it wa- c.m-eeratcd to 
the Sorcerer of Samaria. Hi- statement is repeated hy 
Tertullian .!/>.</. c. l:i. and Irena-us i. Ju . Of tlh- 
three names in the inscription. Senio proiiably con 
nected with tfi iin n as thefJod of Harve-i 
limn"* appears by it-elf in the Hvnin of the Fratre- 
Arvales. and in connection with Saiicu- and Fidins, 
iprobalily connected with / /.-/,>, and so t h:p!oyed in 
tlie formula of asseveration. ,//n////s ji,l!>/* in 
/ .is/, vi. -_M:>; Livy. viii. J" : x\\ii. 1. 

- And they /when they had testified . . . 
The statement involve- a stay of some duration, long 
enough to found and organise a community of disciples. 
And this was followed, not by an immediate return to 
Jerusalem, hut. as the < Jivek tense show-, by one with 
many halts, at each of which the glad tidiiiu- of " tin- 
word of the Lord" were proclaimed, and a Church 
founded. Did the Apostle- enter on this journey inti 
the village on which one of them had -ou^ht 
down tire from heaven Luke ix. ,"i I r Now. at lea-t. 
he had learnt to know what manner of Spirit claimed 
him as his own. 

The curtain fall- a lie close of this drama on t!ie 
Chri-tians of Samaria, and we know but little nf 
their after history. The one glimpse of them which 
we get is. however, of \ery special intere-t. When 
Paul and Barnabas after their tir-t mi imiarv journey 
went up to Jeru-alem. they pa-sed "thnniirh Pin-nice 
and Samaria" ichap. xv. 3). St. Paul also had eon- 
qticred tjie aiitagoni-ni that divided Tin Jew. and. 
above all. the PhaK-e. from the Samaritan. Tin 
Samaritans heard with joy of that con\e 
(ientiles which show.-d that uld barrii.- and \\ 
partition were broken d-i\vn. Mai , lieye. 



/ ///</ .1 tin, -IK >/. 



THE ACTS, VIII 



The Chamberlain of d 



and preached the gospel in many vil 
lages ot llif Samaritans. (Jli) And the 
anjjrel >f the Lord spake unto Philip, 
saving. Arise, and u i > toward the south 
unto the way that goeth down from 



.Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 
\nd he anise and went : and. In -hold, 
a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of u lvat 
authority under Candace queen of the 
Ethiopians, who had the charge "f all 



would elect ti> take tlirir stand on tho ground of the 

fi doin of the gospel rather than on any claim to 

Jewish descent or the observance of the .Jewish Law. 
Others, however, we know, adhered to that Law with a 
vigorous tenacity, and left their creed and ritual, their 
(ieri/.im worship and their sacred Books, as an in 
heritance to or handed down from century to century. 
veil to the present day. The whole nation suffered 
severely in the wars with Rome under Vespasian, and 
Sychom was taken aud destroyed, a new city being 
built by the emperor on the ruins a Roman city with 
Temples dedicated to Roman gods to which, as per 
petuating the name of his house and lineage, he gave 
the name of Flm-iti Neapolis ( = New Town), which sur 
vives in the modern Nubians. In the early history of 
the Church there attaches to that city the interest of 
having been the birthplace of the martyr Justin, and 
of tho heretic Dositheus. In one of the Simon legends. 
as stated above, the latter appears as tho instructor of 
the sorcerer, but this is probably a distortion of his 
real history. 

(26) And the angel of the Lord . . .Better, 
an angel. The tense of the verbs in the preceding 
verse, in the better MSS., implies that the events 
that follow synchronised with the journey of Peter 
and John through Samaria. The journey which 
Philip was commanded to take led him by a quicker 
route across country into the main road from Jeru 
salem to Gaza. The history of the city so named 
(appearing at times in the English version Deut. 
ii. 23; 1 Kings iv. 24; Jer. xxv. 20 as Azxahl goes 
even as far back as that of Damascus, in the early 
records of Israel. It was the southernmost or border- 
city of the early Canaanites (Gen. x. 19), and was 
occupied first by the Avim, and then by the Caphtorim 
(Deut. ii. 23). Joshua was unable to conquer it (Josh. 
x. 41 ; xi. 22). The tribe of Judah held it for a short 
time (Judg. i. 18), but it soon fell into the hands of the 
Philistines (Judg. iii. 3, xiii. 1), aud though attacked by 
Samson, was held by them during the times of Samuel, 
Saul, and David (1 Sam. vi. 17; xiv. 52; 2 Sam. xxi. 
15). Solomon (1 Kings iv. 24), and later on Hezokiah 
(2 Kings xviii. 8), attacked it. It resisted Alexander 
the Great during a siege of five months, and was an 
important military position, the very key of the country, 
during the struggles between the Ptolemies and the 
Seleucida-. and in the wars of the Maccabees (1 Mace. 
xi.61 >. Its name, it may be noted, meant the "strong/ 1 

Which is desert. Literally, as in a separate sen 
tence. Tli!* ior If i /.- ilfKcrt. There is nothing to show 
whether this was intended to appear as part of the 
angel s bidding, or as a parenthetical note added by St. 
Luke, nor whether the pronoun refers to the "way" or 
to the " city. If we assume the latter, we may think 
of it a> written after the city had been laid waste 
during the Jewish war (A.D. 65). On the former 
hypothesis, it points to a less frequented route than 
that from Jerusalem through Ramlch to <ia/,a. which 
led through Hebron and then through the Southern or 
Negeb country. On the whole, the latter seems most 
to commend itself, and on this view we may see in it 
part of the instruction which Philip reported as coming. 
whether in dream or vision or voice we are not told. 



from the angel of the Lord. He was to go in faith to 
tin- less frec|uented, less promising route from Jeru 
salem to <;.-i/,a. apparently without pa^siny himself 
through the Holy City, and "so to intercept the traveller 
whose history was to become so memorable. 

- A. man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great 
authority. Literally, n etmudt, <> pnt^ntnt, . The 
Ethiopia from which the traveller came was the region 
so named by the geographers of St. Luke s time in the 
upper valley of the Nile. Its connection with the 
Jewish people presents many points of interest. There 
seems reason to believe that in the time of Manasseh, 
who (according to the statement in the narrative of 
Aristeas as to the LXX. translation formed an alliance 
with Psammetichus king of Egypt, a considerable body 
of Jews were sent off to protect the outposts of his 
kingdom, and it is in reference, probably, to these that 
Xephaniah speaks of the suppliants of "the daughter of 
my dispersed beyond the rivers of Ethiopia" (Zeph. iii. 
10). Jewish innuences had accordingly been at work 
(here for some centuries. They may probably be traced 
in the piety of the Ethiopian eunuch, Ebed-melech, in the 
time of Jeremiah (xxxviii. 7 13, xxxix. lb 18). Even 
at an earlier period the hopes of Israel had look"d 
forward to, perhaps had actually seen, the admission of 
Ethiopians among the citizens of Zion iP>. Ixxxvii. 4), 
Ethiopia stretching forth her hands unto God (Ps. 
Ixviii. 31). The fact that the traveller had come as 
a pilgrim or a proselyte, shows (if, as the narrative 
implies, the latter) that he was a circumcised " prose 
lyte of righteousness." His baptism was not, like 
that of Cornelius, the admission of a Gentile as such. 
The word " eunuch " has been taken by some com 
mentators as meaning only " chamberlain," which is, 
indeed, the strict etymological sense of the word. Its 
use in Matt. xix. 12, and indeed in later Greek writers 
generally, is. however, in favour of the literal sense of 
the word. The strict letter of Deut. xxiii. 1, for 
bidding the admission of such persons into the con 
gregation of the Lord, had been already modified 
(probably on the assumption that the state was not 
one which they had brought about by their own act) 
in favour of the sons of the stranger, the eunuchs "who 
keep my Sabbaths," by Isaiah (Ivi. 4) ; and we may well 
think of St. Luke, as glad to record a proof that the 
discipline of the Church of Christ was as liberal on this 
point as the teaching of the Evangelical prophet. It is 
interesting to note that the first act of the first 
(Ecumenical Council was to formulate a like rule in 
dealing with such cases of the kind as then presented 
themselves (Cone. NIC. C<m. 1 I, admitting those who 
were not self-mutilated even into the ranks of the 
clergy. 

Under Candace queen of the Ethiopians. 
The quantity of the second syllable is uncertain, hut 
the analogy of Canace is in favour of its being short. 
The knowledge of the student of Strabo (Strabo. xvii. 
p. *Jn may, perhaps, be traced in the description. He 
mentions a Queen of Moroe. in Ethiopia, bearing tin- 
name of Candace. The occurrence of the same name 
in Plin. iv. 35, Dion.-Cass. liv. ">. indicates that it was, 
like Pharaoh, a dynastic name or title. Ensehius // /. 
ii. 1) states that in his time (circ. A.D. 430) the region 






TIN-; .\< TS. YIII ./.. 



her treasure, ami li:nl ci.nic <<> Jerusa 
lem for id \\..r>hiji. * \\as ivtimim-4, 
iinl .sittiiiLT in is <-li:irii>t read Ksaias 

the prophet, -"" Th. MI tin- Spirit said 

I hillp, ( Jo near, ;in,l join t ll V.eli 

t< tills chariot . And Philip run 
thither t In HI, ami heard him ivad the 
propht ! Ksaias, ami said, 1" mlersta mle>? 
thou what tliou n-adest y < 31 J Ami he 


a Isri 


>;ii l. ll.w can I, e\c,.pt BOmfi ma! 
shuiild -uide nie J Ami h.-dcsin d Philip 
thin In- would Mm- up and >jt with 
him. m Tin- plac.- .,f il,,. script mv 
which he read \\;,s this, !! was [I 
a sheep f.i the slaughter;" ; 1!: d )ik,. ;l 
lanili ilunili l)efi>re his shearer. .-. ..jM-in-il 
he not his ;-n,iit h : ; in his humilia- 
timi liis judgment was taken away: ami 



was still under the rule of ;i queen, according to the 
custom ul the cnuiitrv. 
Who had the charge of all her treasure. The 

(ireek word fur treasure is < <::. a \\n-il of Persian 

origin, which about this time had come into use both 
among (Jn-ek and Latin writers .Cicero, <! < hi , ii. -J^i. 
The LXX. translators employ it in K/.ra v. 17; vi. 1 : 
vii. -Jl ; Isa. xxxix. Aristotle <Hi^f. J lmit. viii. Ill 
is tin- first (ireek writer in whom we find it naturalised. 

It is lint found elsewhere in the New Testament, but a 

Compound form appears us denoting tin- treasury of 

the Temple in Luke xxi. 1. The coincidence between 
this t;,i~,i and the name- of the town is at least sug 
gestive of the thought that St. Luke saw in it a 
a, in, n if omen. The man came from one <!nz i. and 
was ijoin-r to another; and he. like the man in the 
parable of Matt. xiii. -1-J-. found a /mfsinv which he 
had not looked for. hut which came to him as thi 
n-ward of his diligently seeking. 

Had come to Jerusalem for to worship. The 
act it -elf. even prior to the eunuch s conversion by 
Philip. was a fultilment of the hope of the prophet 
Zephaniah cited aliove. Whether of Jewish ori-rin 
or incorporated as a "prosehte of righteousness." he 
belonged to "tlie dan<jrhter of the dispersed." and so 
hm^ a journey by a man in so lii^h a jiosition was 
in it>elf a notable e\ent. He came seeking, we must 
believe, for lij^lit and wisdom, and they were given 
him beyond his expectations. 

Sitting in his chariot read Esaias the 
prophet. After the manner of most Eastern nations, 
to whom silent reading is almost unknown, the eunuch 
was reading aloud. 1 hilip heard him, and so trained 
an opening for conversation. Was the roll of Isaiah a 
new-found treasurer Had he bought the MS. in 
Jerusalem, and was he reading the wonderful utter 
ance- for the first time ! J The whole narrative implies 
that lie was reading the LXX. version. 

Join thyself to this chariot. Tin- act 
implied is that of laying hold and. as it were, attaching 
himself to the chariot in which the eunuch rode. 

1:1 Understandest thou what thou readest? 
The (ircek play upon the word for understand 
and read .-I /f<iy. ; //.W.v/ /i cannot well be 
produced in Knrlish. hut is worth notinjr as parallel 
to a like play in the well-known saving of th" Kmperor 
Julia;; egnon ; kategndn " I read ; I under 

stood ; I condemned." 

How can I, except some man should 
guide me? The words of the inquirer imply, as 

has 1 ii said above, that the propheey was new to 

him. It is as though, in tunfmir over, or perhaps 
Unrolling, the MS., this was the passage which, in its 
stran^". touching portraiture of the Man of Sorrows, 
had riveted his attention, and on which he was cons 
<|iiently dwelling with the prayer that some authorised 
interpreter would unfold its meaning. The word for 

22 



coi >tfl its.-lf with the title of "a L-uide ( ,f 

the blind." which the Kahhis were fond of claiming 
.Malt. KT. 1 1 : KOHL ii. ! . , 

The place of the scripture which ho 

read. The word for " plaee " is apparent 1 v Used as 
an equivalent for the Hebrew l iirn*ii<ili.nr Ji<ij,ltf irnli, 
which were technically used for the sections of the 
Law and Prophets n-peetively appointed for 
lessons in the synagoirue services. It was in common 
use among the (Ireek writers, and was adopted by 
Cicero l-: r . ,nl At/, xiii. J.", . 

He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. 
We may venture, taking as our guide the statement 
in verse :!.") tliat Philip " preached unto him Je.Mis." to 
represent to ourselves the method of interpretation 
which would be given of each clause. In 1 Pet. ii. 2:! 
we find the outlines of such a method. The story of 
the Passion wotdd be. told; the silent patience of "the 
Sufferer; His previous life and work; the proofs 
which both had given that He was none other than 
that which He claimed to b the Christ, the Son of 

Qod. 

W) In his humiliation his judgment was 
taken away. The Hebrew runs, as in the English 
version of Isa. liii. S, which fairly represents its natural 
construction. "He was taken from prison ,or i,j,j>,; .-- 
x/u// i and from judgment," i.<-., was delivered from His 
sufferings jn-t when they seemed to cnlminai 
different meaning has. however, been irivcn to the 
Hebrew preposition by many scholars, who render the 
words, " Tin-mi <jh oppression and .unjust] judgment 
H" was taken away / ... He was the victim of a 
judicial murder. The LXX.. which is hen- followed, 
seems to have adopted a different construction, "By 
His humiliation, by His low estate. His judgment /.-., 
the righteous judgment which was His due was taken 
away." Here also, however, the word "judgment" 
lias been taken in a different sense, and the word- 
have been interpreted as meaning. " His condem 
nation was taken away, or cancelled " .-.. because 
He humbled Himself He was afterwards exalted. 
.\s>iiming Philip to have explained the words as they 
stand in the LXX.. the first of these two latter inter 
pretations has most to commend itself. The story of 
the Passion, the unrighteous sentence pas-ed on the 
Lord Jesus because He stood before the Council and 
the ( Jovernor as poor and friendless, would be dwelt 
on as tilling in the outlines of the prophetic picture. 

Who shall declare his generation ? Tho 
Hebrew noun mav mean, as in i s. xiv. ?>. the men 
of a -riven period, or those, sliarin-r a common character. 
The words lu ve. however, been \ e -y variously taken: 

1 " Who shall declare the number of those v. In. 
His life, and are. as it were, sprung from Him" i.e., 
Who can count His faithful disciples ;- -J Who shall 
declare the wickedness of the crooked and p> 
generation in which He lived!-" ( .\ " Who. as far as 



PJtUi/i tut* i-i,r<> x In ili. 



THE ACTS, VIII. 



Baptism of the Eunuch. 



who shall <lr<-l;nv his generation V !<>r 
his lit < istakt-n t niin ih<- earth. (::i1 And 
the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I 
pray t her, <>f whom spenketh the prophet 
this : J of himself, or of some other man ? 
(35) Then Philip opened his mouth, and 
began a t the same scripture, and preached 
unto him .Jesus. (36) And as they went 
on ///<// way, they caine unto a certain 
water: and the eunuch said, See, here is 
water : what doth hinder me to be bap 



tized? W And Philip said, If thou 
believest with all thine heart, thou 
mavest. And he answered ;md said, i 
believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of 
God. (:{S) And he commanded the chariot 
to stand still : and they went down both 
into the water, both Philip and the 
eunuch ; and he baptized him. < :iy) And 
when they were come up out of the 
.vat cr, the Spirit of the Lord caught 
away Philip, that the eunuch saw him 



His generation went, were wise enough to consider ? " 
A-suming. as before, that it was the LXX. that Philip 
explained. t!i second of these seems preferable, as 
Corresponding with the frequent use of the word 
generation with condemnatory epithets attached to 
it both by our Lord Himself (Matt. xii. 39 42; xvi. 
4: xvii. 17) and His Apostles (.chap. ii. 40; Phil. ii. 15). 
The sense which some commentators have affixed to it. 
Wh shall declare His duration?" "Who shall set 
limits to the life of Him who is One with the Eternal ?" 
or. as others. " Who shall declare the mystery of His 
mode of birth?" i.e., of the Incarnation are, it is 
believed, untenable as regards the Hebrew, and yet 
more so as regards the Greek. 

For his life is taken from the earth. The 
Hebrew admits of no other meaning than that the 
Sufferer was hurried to a violent death. The fact that 
iu being thus taken from the earth the Sufferer was 
exalted to heaven, though true in itself, cannot be 
found in the words. 

We are not concerned here with a detailed explana 
tion, either of the words that precede, or those that 
follow, the passage ([noted in Isa. liii., but it is difficult 
to think of Philip as not taking in context as well as 
text, and unfolding in full, not only the fact of the 
Passion, but its atoning and redeeming power, as set 
forth in the prophet s marvellous prediction. 

(3*) pf himself, or of some other man ? 
Later interpreters, some of them ascribing the whole 
of the second half of Isaiah s prophecies (chaps, xl. 
Ixvi.i to a great unknown writer living towards the 
dose of the Babylonian Exile, have given very 
different answers to the question which the eunuch 
asked. They have seen in the righteous sufferer 
of Isa. liii. either the delineation of the character of 
Jeremiah as the greatest sufferer of all the prophets, or 
of the righteous few who were sharers in his sufferings. 
This is not the place to discuss either the authenticity 
of this part of the writings that hear Isaiah s name, or 
the primary historical application of this passage. It is 
rnonuHi to remember that here, as with well nigh every 
other Messianic prophecy cited in the New Testament, 
there may well have been " springing and germinant 
COOmplishmenta," and that a primary reference to per 
sons or facts in nearly contemporary history does 
not exclude ;v more complete fulfilment in Him who 
gathered up in Himself all that belonged to the ideal 
sufferer, as. well as to the ideal King, of whom the 
pTOphetfl had spoken, with special reference, we may 
Delieve. to the atoning power of His sufferings i Isa. 
liii. 4-U), and to liis >ilent patience under them 
Isa. liii. 7. Coin].. 1 Pet. ii. 22 2.">. I 

Philip opened his mouth. -The phrase, 
wherever it occurs in the Xew Testament, implies 
I0!oething like a *<_ discourse. (Comp. chaps, x. 31; 



xviii., 14; Matt. v. 2; xiii. 35 ; 2 Cor. vi. 11). It 
always means something more than the mere act of 

speaking. 

And preached unto him Jesus. The sequel 
shows that the teaching must have included, not only 
an interpretation of the prophecy as fulfilled in Christ, 
but instruction as to the outward condition of admis 
sion to the society of the disciples. The eunuch hears 
enough to make him eager for the baptism which was 
to bring with it so great a blessing. 

(36) They came unto a certain water. Men 
have naturally endeavoured to identify the locality. In 
the time of Jerome, probably in that of Eusebins 
(de loc.), it was fixed at Bethsura, the Beth/.ur of 
2 Chron. xi. 7), about twenty miles from Jerusalem, 
and two from Hebron. A fountain, now known as A - , - 
Edh-Dhirweh rises near the town, which retains the 
old name iu the slightly altered form of ]! it-8ur. 
On the other hand, Robinson is inclined to find the 
spring in the Wady-el-Hasey, between Eleutheropolis 
and Gaza, not far from the old sites of Lachish and 
Egln. This agrees better with the mention ot (ia/.a 
and with the epithet "desert" as attached to the 
" way." 

(37) And Philip said . . . .The verse is a 
striking illustration of the tendency which showed 
itself at a very early .period to improve the text of 
Scripture with a view to greater edification. It existed 
in the time of Irenseus, who quotes it (iii. 12 . but is 
wanting in all the best MSS., including the Sinaitic. 
and many versions. The motive for the interpolation 
lies on the surface. The abruptness of the unanswered 
question, and the absence of the confession of faith 
which was required in the Church s practice on the 
baptism of every convert, seemed likely to be stumb 
ling-blocks, and the narrative was completed accord 
ing to the received type of the prevailing order for 
baptism. Even with the insertion, the shortness of the 
confession points to a very early stage of liturgical 
development, as also does the reference to it in lreii;i-us. 

(w) They went down both into the water. 

The Greek preposition might mean simply " unf<> the 
water." but the universality of ilnmersion hi the prac 
tice of the early Church supports the English version. 
The eunuch would lay aside his garments, descend 
che.-t-deep into the water, and be plunged under it "in 
the name of the Lord Jesus; " the only formula recog 
nised in the Acts. (See Xote on chap. ii. " s . So it, 
was. in the half-playful laniruage in which many of 
the Fathers delighted, that "the Ethiopian changed 
his skin " i.Ier. xiii. 2ol. 

< ;; > The Spirit of the Lord caught away 
Philip. Human feeling would have naturally led th 
teacher to continue his work, and to accompany the con- 
vert with a view to further instruction; but an impulse 






Tin-: ACTS, ix. 






MM nmiv: and he went mi his way 
ivjoii-iiiir. <* > But Philip was found 
at A/0 tns: and passing through lie 
preached in all the cities, till lie came 

area. 



CirAPTER IX. (^ And Sai:!. 
breathing OUl thfeat. nitiLTs and slaiiu r li- 
t>T against the diseij,l,-> .,( the l,.,rd, 
went unto the lii^h jirie>l, -- and de- 
siivd id him letters to Damascus t.. t he 



so M ron t: and irresistible that it was felt to he from the 
Spirit of tli.- Lord led Philip to an abrupt and imme 
diate deparlure. He was literally snatched away from 
his companion. So understood, the history presents a 
striking parallel to the Spirit hindering St. Paul from 
going in this or that din- tior. in .- lap. xvi. ti. 7. Many 
comnentators have, however, taken the words in a yet 
more iitei-il and material sense, as stating that I hilip 
was caught np into the air and carried out of sight, 
and compare the eUM of Klijali 1 Kings xviii. VI; 
1 King>ii. 11 . K/.ekiel -iii. I J. ll.and St. Paul J Cor. 
xii. -. I . In the last two cases, however, the language of 
the writer implies a spiritual rather than a bodily trans 
port, and the case of Elijah, in 1 Kings xviii. 12, admits 
of an explanation like that which has now l.een offered in 
the case of Philip. The use of the same verlt in 2 Cor. 
xii. -. k suggests the thought that here also there was a 
suspension of the normal activity of consciousness. 
As St. Bernard walked liy the" Lake of Ceneva. 
and knew not that he was near it. so Philip rushed 
uwav. as drawn on he knew not whither, as in a state 
. ! ecstasy : and so. in informing St. Luke of what 
passed it is obvious that the report must, in the first 
instance, have come from him), could give no other 
account of his journeying than that he was " found" 
at A/.otus. 

Went on his way rejoicing. A remarkable 
various-reading runs: "The Holy Spirit fell on the 
eunuch, and an angel of the Lord caught away Philip: " 
lint it does not appear to he more than a conjectural 
emendation. ,loy at the new-found truth prevailed, we 
must lielieve. over any sorrow at the disappearance of 
the preacher. Eusebius \H/.-<f. ii. 1; speaks of him as 
retuniin.tr to his native country, and there preaching 
"the knowledge of the Cod of the universe and the 
life-giving aliode of the Saviour with men." and so 
fulfilling the words that " Ethiopia should stretch forth 
her hands unto Cod (Ps. Ixviii. :?1 i ; hut it does not 
appear that he was acquainted with any historical facts. 
It is. perhaps, not without significance in connection 
with this history, that the Ethiopian Church has been 
throughout its history the most stnmtrlv Jewish in its 
worship and ton,- of thought (if all Christian coin- 
luunities i Stanley, /v/.--/v Uku/rch, p. Ill . 

" Philip was found at Azotus. The city so 
named, the A-hdnd of the Old Testament, was." like 
Ca/a. one of the cities of the Philistines, about three 
miles from the sea. ; am 1 half-way between Ca/.a and 
.Joppa. Like Ca/.a its history was chiefly marked by 
suceessive sieges: by Tartan, the Assyrian Ceneral 
li.c. 71: Isa. \x. f : I iy Psammetichns. n.r. HIJu, 

Herod, ii. i:,7 : the Bfaceabees 1 Mac.-, r. 68; i 

It was restored by the Roman general ( iabinins in 
li.c. -Vi. In remoter times it had been one of the head- 
qnartera of the worship of Da.u on (1 Sam. v. ." . The 
(Id ua.iie lin-rers in the modern E*<lml. but thecitv has 
sunk into a decayed viliair 1 . The narrative suir^esis 
the thought that here also Philip continued his work 
c\aii"vli>t. Philistia was. as of old. to be 
; oined with Ethiopia in furni-hiiiLr the city of God 
with converts who should be written amon<r the people 
(Ps. Ixxxvii. 4;. 



He preached in all the cities. The route which 



Philip would naturally take on this journey led 
Lydda and .loppa. ami we may probably trace the etl ect 
of his laliours in the appearance in chap. ix. . > !. . <i\. of 
organised and appare&tfyfloarishmg (. hristian M < 
in both these to\\n>. 

Till he came to Caesarea. The historical Import 
ance of the city, lyin.tr on the line of the ^reat road 
from Tyre to H.trypt. dates, as it- name shows, from the 
Konian period. As described by Stralio. it was known 
only as Strain s Tower, with a landin<r jilace for ships. 
It roee to magnificence, howerer, under Me rod th.-Creat. 
who built theatres, amphitheatres, and temples, and con 
structed a harbour as lare;e as the Pineiis al Athens. 
In honour of his imperial patron he named it Ca 

N. liii.-tti! the latter word iiieaiiintr A>i<ju*f,t\ .Io-. Ant. 
\\i. "). SI). It became, after the deposition of Aivhe- 
laiis. the oflieial residence of the Roman Procurator, 
and is. as the sequel shows, prominent in the early 
history of the Church. Tacitus J{!*t. ii. 7 . speaks of 
it as the chief city the <-<i)>nt of Juda-a. It ajijiears 
from chap. xxi. s that Philiii took up his abode there 
and made it the head-quarters of his work as an evan 
gelist. In ecclesiastical history it became famous an 
the scene for a time of the labours of the great 
Origen, and as the home of the historian - bishop 
Eusebius. 



(!) Yet breathing out threatenings. Tlio 

"yet" implies a considerable interval since the death 
of Stephen, probably coinciding with the time occupied 
by the mission-work of Philip in the previous chapter. 
Daring this interval the persecution had probably been 






continuing. The Creek participle, literally. n-fnttiKj- 
in. is somewhat more emphatic than the English. He 
lived, as it were, in an atmosphere of threats and 
slaughter. It was the \ery air he breathed. Patristic 
writers and their followers have not unnaturally seen a 
half-prophetic parallelism between the language of 
.Jacob. " Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morn 
ing he shall devour the prey, and at night lie shall 
divide the spoil" (Jen. xlix. - J7). and this description 
of one who gloried in Iwing of that triln- (Phil. iii. 5), 
and bore the name of its great hero-king. 

Went unto the high priest.- It will be remem 
bered that the high priest whether we suppose Annas 
or Caiaphas to be meant was a Sadducee. and that 
Saul gloried in being a Pharisee of the straitest sect 
A. -I- \X\ i. .". . The temper of the persecutor, however, 
does not shrink from strange companionship, and the 
coalition which had been formed against our Lord 
i. Matt. xxvi. ! was renewed against Mis followers. 
It , as is probable, the admission of the Samaritans to 
the new community had become known at .Jerusalem, 
it would naturally tend to intensify their hatred. It 
would seem to them as if the accursed people were now 
allied with the Calileans against the Holy Place, and 
tho-e who wen- /ealous for its honour. 

- And desired of him letters to Damascus. 
We learn from -J Cor. xi. : ._ . ">. that Damascus 
was at this time under the government of Arota-, the 



T/te 



THE ACTS, IX 



^tnifft Jiitii-iii-t/ In 



synagogues, that if he found any of this 
wav, whether they \\viv men or women, 
he might bring them bound unto Jeru 



salem. ( 3 ) And as h.- journeyed, he 
ranir near Damascus: and Bnddenlj 

then- shined round about him a lijrht 



king of Arabia Petnea. How it came to In- so. having 
been previously under Vitellins. tin- Roman president 
of Syria i.Ios. Ant. xiv. 4. ^o.. is not clear. It is 
probable, however, tliat in the war which A ret as had 
declared against Herod Antipas, in consequence of the 
Tetrarch s divorcing his daughter in order that he 
might marry Hcrodias I see Notes ou Matt. xiv. 3; 
Luke iii. 14), he had been led, after defeating the 
Tetrarch (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5, 1), to push his victories 
further; and. taking advantage of the al)sence of 
Vitellins. who had hastened to Rome on hearing of the 
death of Tiberius (A.D. 37) had seized on Damascus. 
In this abeyance of the control of the Roman power, 
Aretas may have desired to conciliate the priestly 
party at Jerusalem by giving facilities to their action 
against the sect which they would naturally repre 
sent as identified with the Galileans against whom he 
had been waging war. The Jewish population at 
Damascus was, at this time, very numerous. Josephus 
relates that not less than 10,000 were slain in a tumult 
under Xero ( Win:*, ii. -">), and the narrative of the Acts 
(verse 14) implies that there were many " disciples of 
the Lord" among them. Many of these were probably 
refuirees from Jerusalem, and" the local synagogues 
were called upon to enforce the decrees of the San- 
hedrin of the Holy City against them. On the position 
and history of Damascus, see Note on next verse. 

If he found any of this way. Literally, of the 
ti mj. We have here the first occurrence of a term 
which seems to have been used familiarly as a synonym 
for the disciples of Christ (chaps, xix. 9. 23; xxii. 4 ; 
xxiv. 14, 22). It may have originated in the words in 
which Christ had claimed to be Himself the " Way," 
as well as the " Truth " and tin* " Life " (John xiv. 6) ; 
or in His language as to the "strait way" that led 
to eternal life (M&tt. vii. 13,; or, perhaps, again, 
in the prophecy of Isaiah (xl. 3) cited by the Baptist 
(Matt. iii. 3; Mark i. 3). as to preparing "the way 
of the Lord." Prior to the general acceptance of the 
term "Christian" (chap. xi. 2>) it served as a con 
venient, neutral designation by which the disciples 
could describe themselves, and which might be used by 
others who wished to speak respectfully, or, at least, 
neutrally, instead of the opprobrious epithet of the 
"Na/arenes " (chap. xxiv. 5). The history of the term 
" Methodists," those that follow a distinct " method " or 
" way " of life, offers a partial but interesting analogue. 

Whether they were men or women. The 
mention of the latter has a special interest. They too 
were prominent enough to be objects of the persecu 
tion. It is probable that those who were most exposed 
to it would have fled from Jerusalem, and among these 
we may think of those who had been foremost in their 
ministry during our Lord s life on earth (Luke viii. 2). 
and who were with the Apostles at their first meeting 
after His Ascension ichap. i. 14 1. 

Might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 
The mission implied that the offence, as being against 
the Holy Place and the Law. as involving what 
would be called, in modern language, sacrilege and 
heresy, was bevond .he jurisdiction of the subordinate 
tribunals, and mu>t be reserved for that of the Council. 
\..t,.s on Matt. v. 22: x. 1 7. 

1 "" And as he journeyed. The route by which the 
persecutor and his companion^ travelled was probably 



that taken by the Roman mid. which extended from 

.leru^alem to Xeapolis , Sychar. or Shechem . thence to 
Scytiiopolis. and s;> by the shores of the Sea of Galilee 
and Ca-sarea I hilippi. and thence under the slopes cf 
Hermon, to Damascus. On this .supposition Saul would 
traverse the chief scenes of our Lord s ministry, ami 
be stirred to madness by the progress which the new 
sect had made in the cities of Samaria. It is. how 
ever, possible that he may have taken the road bv tin- 
Jordan valley by which Galilean pilgrims sometime* 
travelled in "order to avoid Samaria ; but the former 
was beyond all question the most direct and be-,t 
frequented road. 

He came near Damascus. The city has the 
interest of being one of the oldest in the world. It 
appears in the history of Abraham (Gen. xiv. L"> ; x\. 
2.. and was. traditionally, the scene of the murder of 
Abel. David placed his garrisons there ;2 Sam. viii. ti ; 
1 Chron. xviii. 6), and, under Rezou, it resisted the 
power of Solomon (1 Kings xi. 24). Its fair streams, 
Abana and Pharpar, were, in the eyes of the Syrian 
1 per, better than all the waters of Israel (2 Kings v. 
12). It was the centre of the Syrian kingdom in it- 
alliances and wars with those of Israel and Judah 
(2 Kings xiv. 28 ; xvi. 9, 10; Amos i. 3, 5). Its trade 
with Tyre in wares, and wine of Helbon, and white- 
wool is noted by Ezekiel (chap, xxvii. 16, 18). It had 
been taken by Parmenion for Alexander the Great, ami 
again by Pompeius. It was the birth-place of Xicolao-> 
of Damascus, t lie historian and rhetorician who is con 
spicuous as the counsellor of Herod the Great .Jo- 
Ant. xii. 3, $2; xvi. 2, 2). At a later period it 
was the residence of the Ommiyad caliphs, and the 
centre of the world of Islam. The beauty of its site. 
the river which the Greeks knew as ( hrysorrhoas. the 
"Golden Stream," its abounding fertility, the gardens 
of roses, made it, as Lamartiue has said, a "predestined 
capital." Such was the scene which met the bodily 
eye of the fanatic persecutor. The historian does not 
care to dwell ou its description, and hastens to that 
which met his inward ga/.e. Assuming the journey 
to have been continuous, the approach to Damascus 
would come on the seventh or eighth day after leaving 
Jerusalem. 

There shined round about Lim a light from 
heaven. As in chap. xxvi. 13. "above the brightness 
of the sun." Three accounts of the event that thus 
turned the current of the life of Saul of Tarsus meet 
us in the Acts. (1) This, which gives the writer s 
report of what he could hardly have heard from any 
lips but St. Paul s : 2 St. 1 a id s narrative before the 
Sanhedrin (chap. xxii. <> 11) ; (3) that which he gives 
before Agrij^ia .chap. xxvi. 13--18V They present, as 
will be seen, considerable variations, such as were 
natural in the records of a manifestation which was 
partial to some, and complete to on- only. Those 
that were with him heard a voice but did not uis- 
tintruish words chap, xxii. !i>. They saw. as stated 
here verse 7 . the litrht. but did not perceive t In 
form of Him who spoke. The phenomena, in this 
respect, stand parallel to those of the voice from 
heaven, in which some heard the uords. ascribing 
them to an aiiL-vl. while others, hearing only the sound, 
said it thundered see Note on .John xii. 2!>i. It 
is not possible in such a history to draw a hard and 






Till-: ACTS. IX. 






from hcavm : ami h<- f.-ll d> (in- 
arth, and hrarl H voii-f >;ivin^ unto 
dim, Saul, Saul, why iM-r> i-iiti->t thoii 



MM- ? Ami In- s;iil. Who art . 
Lonl ? Aii l tli-- L"pl -a ill. I am .1 
whom tin >n l-i-si-i-iiti-st : // /> harl for 



line between tin- objective ami tin- subjective. 
Tin 1 mail himself cannot say whether In- is in tin- body 
or out of tin- both .I ( or. \ii J. . . ll is enough for 
him that In- sees what otlicrsilo not see, and hears what 
they do not hear, while they too hear and see enough 
to prove both to themselves and to him that soniet hing 

.nirred lieyond the range of ordinary phenomena. 
Nothing in the narrative suggests the thought of a 
Midden thunderstorm, which ha> seemed to >onie writers 
a probable explanation of the faets. Jnthat ease, the 
ga.hering gloom, the dark rolling clouds, would have 

prepared toe traveller for the lightniitg-ilash. If this 

hypothesis be at all entertained and as it does nut 
necessarily exclude the supernatural element, and pre- 
.st-nts analogies to the divine manifestations on Sinai 
K\. \i\. Iti and lloivb 1 Kings xix. 11. 1 J . it may he 
entertained legitimately -we must think of the storm, 
if we take such a view, a-, coming with an almost 
instantaneous ( |iiiekness. the first Hash and crash 
striking all with terror, while the full revelation of 
the Christ was made to the consciousness and con- 
.seiruce of the future Apostle. 

(V Saul, Saul, why persecutes! thou me? 

It is remarkable that here only, in the original Creek, 
and in verse 17. as in the reproduction of the words 
in chaps. \\ii. -J7. xxvi. 11. do we find the Hebrew 
1 oriii of the Benjamite name. It is as though lie, 
who gloried in being aliove all tiling a Hebrew of 
ihe Hebrews, heard himself claimed as such by Him 
who spoke from heaven, called as Samuel had been 
called of old il Sam. iii. I 8), and having to decide 
whether he would resist to the end. or yield, saying 
with Samuel, "Speak. Lord, for Thy servant hearetli." 
The narrative implies that the persecutor saw the form 
/if the Son of Man as well as heard His voice, and to 
that visible presence the Apostle afterward-^ refers as a 
witness to him of the Resurrection 1 Tor. ix. 1 : xv. v i 
If we ask as to the manner of the appearance, it is 
natural to think of it as being such as hail met the 
ga/.e of Stephen. The martyr s woriU. "I see the 
heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the 
right hand of ( lod " chap. vii. .">t! . had then seemed to 
the fiery /.eal of the Pharisee as those of a blasphemer. 
Now lie too saw the Son of Man in the glory of the 
Father stretching forth His hand, not now. as He then 
had done, to receive the servant who was faithful even 
Jinto death, but. in answer to that servant s dying 
prayer, to transform the persecutor into the likeness 
of his victim. 

Who art thou, Lord ? The word "Lord" 

could not as yet have been used in all the fulness ,,| 
its meaning. AS in many case-, in t he ( iospels. it was 
the natural utterance of res] t and awe (John v. 7 ; 

; x\. T> . such as would be roiis,-d by what the 
jie,-si-,-utor saw and heard. 

I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. Some of 

ille best MSS. give - .leslis of Xa/nret ll " ; or better. 
perhaps, ./(>,> ///. \ It is probable, however, 

that this was inserted from chap. xxii. Is. where it 
occir.-s in St. Paul s own narrative. Assuming the 
\\ords to have been those which he actually heard, they 
reproduced the very Name which he himself, as the 
of Stephen, had ].robal)ly uttered in the 

tone of sc,u-n and hatred chap. vi. 1 1 the very Name 

tvliich he had been compelling men and women t 



blaspheme. .Now it \\.-is revealed to him. or 

his own surest i\ i- mud.- nf sj h, ; him 

i. Ill . that the ( rucitied ( >ne was in very deed, as the 
words of Stephen had attested, at the riefht hand of 
(iod. sharing in the ^lory of the Father. The 
pronouns are both emphatic. " /. in my LO-, e and 
Jli^ ht and (Ilory. I am the .lesiis whom ///../. now 
prostrate and full of dread, hast been bold enon _ h to 
persecute. |t \v as not the disciples and brethren 
alone whom Saul was pcrsecutim;. What \\as d<>ne to 
them the Lord counted as done unto -Himself .Matt, 
x. In . 

It is hard for thee to kick against the 
pricks.- There is a deeishe preponderance of .MS. 
authority airainst the apjiearam-e of these words here, 
and the conclusion of nearly all critics is that they havu 
been inserted in the later MSS. from chap. xxvi. 14. As 
they occur in the English text, however, and bdoiiy to 
this crisis in St. Paul s life, it will be well to deal with 
them now. In their outward form they were among 
the oldest and most familiar of ( ireek proverbs. The 
Jew who had been educated in the schools of Tarsus 

illicit have read them in (Jreek ] ts i.K.schvlus, 

J ; / /// ( . lu 33; Pindar. I yth. ii. 173; Eurip. BoocA, 
T . l . or heard them (juoted in familiar speech, ur 
written them in his boyhood. They do nut occur in 
any collection of Hebrew proverbs." but the analogy 
which they presented was so ob\ ions that the plough- 
men of Israel could hardly ha\e failed to draw tin- 
same lesson as those of Greece, What they taught was, 
of course, that to resist a power altogether superior to 
our own is a profitless and perilous experiment. The 
goad did but prick more sharply the more the ox 
struggled against it. Two of the passages cited apply 
the \\ords directly ti) the suffering which man is sure 
to encounter when he resists Cod. M <:<j. 

" With Cod we -nay not strive: 

Hm to bow do .vu tin- willing nock, 

And bear tin- yoke, is \\i-e : 
Ti. kick avaiiist the pricks will prove 

-V perilous emprise." 

1 ind. 1 i/th.ii. 173. 

We ask what lesson the words brought to the mind of 
Saul. What were the " pricks " against which he had 
been " kicking " ! The answer is found in what wo 
know of the facts of his life. There had been prompt 
ings, misgivings, warnings, which he hail resisted ami 
detied. Among the causes of these. We may Well 
reckon the conversion of the friend and companion 
of his youth see Note on chap. iv. : >ii . and the 
warning counsel of Camali.-l (chap. v. :H- 3ji . and the 
angel-fact- of Stephen chap. vi. \~> . and the martyr s 
thing prayer chap. vii. o n. and the daily spectacle 
of those who were ready to L I> to prison and to death 
rather than to renounce the name of .lesus. In the fivn/.y 
of his /eal he had tried to crush these misu: 
and the effort to do so had Id-ought with it discomfort 
and disquietude which made him more exceedingly 
mad" against the disciples of the Lord. Now he 
learnt that he had all along, as his master had 
warned him. been " fiirhting against Cod." ami that his 
only safety lay in tin- surrender of his own passionate 
resohe to the gracious and loving Will that wa- - 
ing to win him for itself. In his later retrospect of 
this stage of his life he was able, as by a subtle p 



The Conver^ m, t of SduL 



THE ACTS, IX. 



J ittntnix of Damascus. 



thee to kick against 1h<> pricks. And 
he tivnililinu- and astonished said. Lord, 
what wilt tliou have me to do? And tin- 
Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into 
the city, and it shall be told thee what 
thou must do. (7) And the men Avhich 
journeyed with him stood speechless, 
hearing 1 a voice, but seeing no man. 
W And Saul arose from the earth ; and 



win -u Ins eyes were opened, he saw no 
man: but they led him by the hand, 
and brought him into Damascus. 
< 9 >And he was three days without si^ht. 
and neit hei- did eat nor drink. 

( 10) And there was a eel-tain disciple- 
at Damascus, named Ananias ; and to 
him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. 
And he said, JVhold, -I am here, Lord. 



of self-analysis, to distinguish between the element of 
ignorance, which in.-idc forgiveness possible. and tli.-it 
of a wilful resistance to light and knowledge which 
made that forgiveness an act of free and undeserved 
compassion il Tim. i. 12, 13). 

< G ) And he trembling and astonished . . . 
The words stand, as far as textual authority is con- 
cerned. (in the same footing as the foregoing, but, fj>r 
the same reason, will be dealt with here. We note 
i 1 i the use of the word "Lord." now, we must believe, 
with a new meaning, as applied to the Nazarene whom 
he had before despised. (2) The entire surrender of his 
own will to that of Him whom lie thus recognised as 
commanding his allegiance. At that moment Christ 
was formed in him (Gal. i. 16); the new man came 
to life. He lived in Christ, and Christ in him. " Not 
I, but Christ that liveth in me " (Gal. ii. 20) was hence 
forward the axiom of his life. 

Arise, and go into the city. In the narrative 
of chap. xxvi. 16 there appears a fuller manifestation 
of the divine purpose as made at this time; but there 
St. Paul, in his rapid survey, is obviously combining, 
in one brief summary, the whole sum and substance 
of the teaching that was associated with that great 
turning-point of his life. We may trace in the com 
mand actually given a stage in the divine discipline 
appointed for his spirit. Silence and submission, and 
acquiescence in ignorance of the future, and patient ex- 
pectation. and prayer for light -these were needed 
before he could be ready for the great work which 
was to be committed to his charge. 

< ) Hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 
We are told by St. Paul himself (chap. xxii. 9) that 
they " did not hear the voice." What is meant is 
clearly that they did not hear the words could attach 
no meaning to the sounds which for Saul himself had 
so profound a significance. So, in like manner, they 
saw the light, but did not see the form. In chap, 
xxvi. 11, they also are said to have fallen on the ground 
in terror. 

W He saw no man. The blindness was that of 
one who has been dazzled with excess of light (eomp. 
chap. xxii. 11). the natural result of the vision of the 
supernatural glory, a witness to the man himself that 
the vision was not a mere play of imagination. Traces 
of its permanent effect on his powers of sight have 
been found in his habit of dictating rather than writing 
letter-^ (see Xote on -J Thess. iii. 17). in the large cha 
racter-, traced by him when he did write (see Note 
on Gal. vi. 11), in his not recognising the high 
prieM who commanded him to lie si ruck. (See Notes on 
Acts \\iii. i! 5.) I )f the manv theories as to the 
mysterious "thorn in the tlesh " ( see Note on _! Cor. 
xii. 7 . there seems most reason for accepting that 
which connects it with some affection of the eyes, in 
volving, perhaps, attacks of agonising pain. On this 
assumption, the eager wish of the (Jalatians. if it had 
been possible, to have plucked out their own eyes and 



68 



given them to him. receives a special and interest 
ing significance. ( See Note on Gal. iv. 15.) For Saul 
himself, the blindness may well have Lad a spiritual 
significance. He had looked on himself as a " guide 
of the blind." boasting that he saw clearly iRoin. ii. 
19). Now. for a time, till inward and outward light 
should shine in on him, he had to accept his blindness. 
The new-born soul had to be as 

" An infant crying for the light. 
And with m> luiiL, U;i -cr but a cry." 

They led him by the hand, and brought him 
into Damascus. -The mission on which Sail! had 

come was already known at Damascus, and his arrival 
expected with alarm. Xow he came, and the illusion 
fell to the ground. The letters to the synagogues were 
not delivered. 

(9) He was three days without sight. It is 
natural to think of this period of seclusion from the 
visible world as one of spiritual communion with the 
invisible, and we can hardly be wrong in referring the 
visions and revelations of the Lord, the soaring as to 
the third heaven, and the Paradise of God. of which 
lie speaks fourteen or fifteen years later, to this period. 
(See Notes on 2 Cor. xii. 1 1. ) The conditions of out 
ward life were suspended, and he lived as one fallen 
into a trance in the ecstacy of an apocalyptic rapture. 
(Comp. the analogous phenomena in Ezek. viii. 1 4.) 

(W) A certain disciple at Damascus, named 
Ananias. In chap. xxii. Iii St. Paul speaks of him as 
a " devout man " (the same word as in chaps! ii. < : viii. - i 
"according to the law." well reported of by all the Jews 
v.ho dwelt at Damascus. The name was so common 
that any identification must be in some measure un 
certain, but the .".:-"unt which Josephus gives (Ant. 
xx. -1, 4) of the conversion of I/.ates, King of 
Adiabene, to the faith of Israel by a Jewish 
merchant who bore the name of Ananias, and who 
taught that it was enough for men to -worship the 
God of Israel without being circumcised, suggests, as 
probable, the thought that lie too was a preacher of the 
rospcl rf Christ as St. Paul preached it. The arrival 
of another teacher. Eleazar of Galilee, who worked on 
the young king s fears and compelled him to be cir 
cumcised, presents a striking parallel to the manner in 
which the Judaisers followed on the track of St. Paul 
in Galatia and elsewhere i G:d. ii. 1 ; iv. 17). The narra 
tive here leaves it uncertain whether this Ananias had 
been a disciple during our Lord s ministry or had b.-ej; 
converted since the Day of Pentecost. In relation to 
St. Paul the name had a two-fold significance. He had 
come from one Annas, or Ananias, the Sadducean high 
priest, lie was to lie received by another. The meaning 
of the name identical with tliat of Jochanasi. Joanne*. 
John, "the Lord is gracious" was itself ; m omen 
and prophecy of pardon. , 

To him said the Lord in a vision. It is dear 

from verse Iii that the writer i- speaking of the Lord 
Jesus. The ready acceptance of the command seems 



.! 



TIN-: ACTS, ix. 







< n Ami the Lord xm it r.iiti. liim, Aris,-. 
anil - into tin- strict \\hi.-h is called 
Straight, and rii<|iiiiv in tin- lions,. .-I 
.Indus for 01U railed Saul, of Tarsus: 
t ..r. L-lioM, In- pray-th, (IJ| and hath 
s.-rii in a \ision a man named Ananias 
coming in, and putting ///* hand on 
him, that in- mi^ht ivrrivc his >i-_rht. 



Tin MI Anania.s answered, Lord. I 

liuvi- heard liy many t tlii> man, how 
Miiicli \il lit- hath done to thy .saints at 
.Irriisalrin : l " and In-iv h- hath an- 
thoritv tVom tin- rlii.-f j.rii-ts to Kind 
all that call on thy naim-. " Hut the 
Lord said unto him, ( ,>, thy way : for 
In- is a chosen vessel unto me, to l>-ar 



to imply cither personal discipleship or previous \isious 
tit t lie same n:it lire. 

Tho street which is called Straight. A 

street answering to tliis description still runs i roiii the 
Kastern (late to the palace of the I acha, and is known 
locally as the "Street of Ha/.aars." Somewhat curi 
ously! the house shown by guides as that of Judas is 
not in it. A piece nf ground surrounded hy trees, and 
u>ed as a Christian liurial-|>lace. is pointed out as the i 
scene of the Conversion; but this is oil the east side 
of the citv. and St. Paul must have approached from 

tile south or south-west. 

Saul, Of Tarsus. The passage is memorable as the 
first mention of the Apostle s birth-place. For an 
account of the city, see Notes on chap. vii. 5S and verse 
88. 

Behold, he prayeth. Th<> thoughts which the 

words surest belong to the preacher rather than the 
commentator. We can hut think of the contrast be 
tween the present and the recent past between the 
threatening and slaughter which the persecutor breathed 
out as lie drew near to Damascus, and the prayer of 
humble penitence in which he was now living. Esti 
mating that prayer by that which came as the answer 
to it. we may think of it as including pardon for the 
past, light and wisdom for the future, strength to do 
the work to which he was now called, intercession for 
those whom he had before persecuted unto the death. 

U- And hath seen in a vision a man named 
Ananias. The coincidence of the two visions has 
seemed to some critics, as afterwards in the history of 
Cornelius, to betray something like the skill of "the 
artistic historian. To those who reject the supernatural 
altogether, this may. of course, seem a short and eas\- 
explanation. To those who have not brought them 
selves to that point of denial, it will not seem st range- 
that there should lie in the work of the highest De 
signer the same unity of purpose and convergence 
of varied means which rouse our admiration in works 
of human skill. For Ananias what he was now told 
was an implied command that he should fulfil the 
vision thus reported to him. 

Lord, I have heard by many of this man. 
- The words are of interest as showing both the dura 
tion and the character of the persecution in which Saul 

had 1 n the leader. The report of it had spread far 

and wide. The refugees at Damascus told of the 
sufferings of the brethren at .Jerusalem. 

Thy saints at Jerusalem. This is noticeable as 

the tirst application of the term "saints- to the dis 
ciple-. The primary idea of the word was that of men 
who cons.-crated thi-msehes. anil led. in the strictest 
SCUM- ,,f the word, a devout life. A term of like import 
had been taken by the mojv religious .Jews in the time 
of the Maccaheans. The Clmxi,! /,/. or Saints ithe \vord 
occurs in Ps. xvi. :\ . were those who banded themselves 
together to resist the inroads of heathenism under 
Aniiochus Kpiphanes. They appear in the books of 
Maccabees under the title of Assiaeana 1 Mace. ii. |^ ; 



vii. 1:5; I Mace. \iv. C . The more distinctive name of 
Pharisees X. /.m-uti*/* . which came to lie attached 
to the more /ealoiis Chasidim. practically superseded 
this; and either by the disciples t hejusel\ es. or by 
friendly outsiders, the (ircek equivalent of the old 
Hebrew word and probably, therefore, in Pah-stin... 
the. Aramaic form of the word itself was re\i\ed to 

describe the devout members of the new society. The 

fact that their Master had been conspicuously " the 
Holv ( >ne of ( Jod " i the s-inie adjecthe is usi d of Him 
in the ([notations from P.s. xvi. In. in chaps, ii. \1~, 
xiii. 35), made it natural that the term should 
In- extended to His followers, JIM as He had been 
spoken of as the ".Just One" i chaps, iii. H; vii. 
5 J) ; and yet that name was applied, in its (Jiv.-k form, 
to James the brother of the Lord. and. in its Latin 
form of Justus, to the three- so named in chaps, i. ii:J; 
xriii. 7; Col. iv. 11. It is significant that its first 
appearance in the Xew Testament should be as used 
by the man who was sent to be St. Paul s instructor. 
and that it should afterwards have been employed so 
frequentlv bv the Apostle himself i Horn. i. 7: x\ 25; 
1 Cor. i. 2; vi. 1. -J ; - Cor. i. 1 ; Eph. i. 1 ; Phil. i. 1. 
<f nl.\. The "devout man according to the Law." 
may well have been among the ( li<ixi<lini even prior to 
his conversion to the faith of Christ. The term ap 
in inscriptions from the Catacombs in the Museum of 
the ( nil,,,;,, /, ,,/ ,-//.. at Konit "X. or M. restcth here 
with the Saints"; but proliahly in the later sense, as 
attached to martyrs and others of distinguished holi 
ness. 

i u > All that call on thy name.- Here again we 
have to trace the growth of a new terminology. The 
description of the disciples of ti.e Lord .lesiis as those 
who called upon or invoked His name, had its origin 
in the words of .loel cited by St. Peter chap. ii. "Jl . 
and afterwards by St. Paul ( Horn. x. I: .). It is used 
ai^ain in verse 21, and afterwards in 1 Cor. i. J; L 1 Tim. 
ii. - 2. It may be noted further 1 i that the same word 
is used (.f calling upon the Father 1 IV:. i. J7 . and of 
calling on Christ i here and chap. vii. > .*>. and \1> that 
this also, like the term " saints" discussed in the fore 
going Note, passed from Ananias to St. Paul. 

( 15 ) He is a chosen vessel unto me. Literally. 
a vewl f cfaefioft. The term has nothing directly 
analogous to it in the Old Testament, but it is Hebr--w 
in its form ; the second noun being Used as a genitive 
of the characteristic attribute, and so equivalent to an 
intensified adjective. So in K-I xxii. 7. we have in 
the LXX. "valleys of election " for the "choicest 
valleys " of the English version. The term "Teasel* 1 
is us ed in the Old Testament of amis Ceii. xx\ii. : . 
of garments Dent. xxii. " .of household e-,,,,ds (Jen. 
\\\i. .".ii . In the \ew Testament its range of meaning 
i- yet wider, as in Matt. riL2; Luke \ iii. lii ; J..lm xix. 
i": Rom. ix. 1 : A Cor. iv. 7. Here our word "instru 
ment " or " implement " comes, perhaps, nearest to its 
meaning. The persecutor had been chosen b\ the Lord 
as the "tool" with which He would work uiit His 



a ii l 



THE ACTS, IX. 






my rmme before the Gentiles, and 

and tlir rliiMivn of Isnirl : < 16 > for I will 
sh.-w liim how great things he must 
suiVrr for my immr s sake. (17) And 
Aiiniiias went his way. and entered into 
tin 1 house; and putting his hands on 
him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even 
Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the 



way as thou earnest, hath sent me, that 
thon mi^htest r-rrivr thv si^ht, and br 

filled \\itl, the ll. ly Ghost. il ~ An.l 

imiiii-dia-tfly tin-re fell from his eyes as 
it had been scales: and he received 
sight forthwith, and arose, and was bap- 
ti/ed. (1: " And when he had received 
meat, he was strengthened. Then 



gracious will fur him and for the Gentiles. In this 
:-ense it \v.is used by classical writers of useful and 
trusty slaves, just as we speak of one man being the 
"tool " of another. Possibly, however, the words may 
he Interpreted as containing tlie germ of the parable of 
ihe potter s vessel on which St. Paul dwells in Rom. 
ix. -1 - >, and implied that the convert was not only 
chosen, but moulded, for his future Avork. The word 
* election," which occurs here for the first time in the 
New Testament, and is afterwards so prominent in 1he 
teaching of St. Paul (Rom. ix. 11; xi. 5, 7, 8; 1 Thess. 
i. 4). affords vet another instance of the influence exer 
cised on tin 1 Apostle by the thoughts and language of 
the instructor through whom alone he could have learnt 
what is here recorded. 

To bear my name before the Gentiles. The 
mission of the Apostle was thus revealed to Ananias in 
the first instance. Ho is one who welcomes that ex 
pansion of the kingdom on which even the chief of the 
Apostles would have entered, but for the voice from 
heaven, with doubt and hesitation (chap. x. 13, 28). Ho 
is taught to see in the mail of whom he had only heard 
as the persecutor, one who had been trained and chosen 
as fitter than all others for the work of that expansion. 
And kings. The words find their fulfilment in the 
speech before Agrippa -chap. xxvi. 12); possibly in one 
before Xero (2 Tim. i. Ib l 

For I will shew him how great things he 
must suffer . . . The words are spoken as by One 
who knows " what is in man (John ii. 25), their secret 
motives, and springs of action. With characters of a 
lower type, the prospect of what they will have to 
suffer in any enterprise tends to deter them from em 
barking on it. With such a one as Saul of Tarsus, 
now repenting of the sufferings lie had inflicted on 
others, that prospect would be welcome as enabling him. 
so far as tliat was possible, if not to atone for the past, 
at least to manifest fruits worthy of his repentance. 

< 17 > Putting his hands on him said, Brother 
Saul. The correspondence of the act with the vision 
spoken of in verse 12. would bo the first step in the 
identification of the visitor. The words would tend to 
remove all doubt and misgiving. The man who came 
as tin- representative of the, disciples of Jesus wel 
comed the persecutor as a "brother." It ma}- be noted 
that he uses the same Hebrew form of the name as 
St. Paid had heard in the heavenly vision. 

That thou mightest receive thy sight . . . . 
Better, ri i/nin llnj xli/lit. The narrative clearly implies 
that here, as in chap. viii. 17. the being "tilled with 
the Holy Ghost " was connected with the laying on of 
hands as a condition, and it is so far a proof that that 
gift was not. one which attached exclusively to the 
Apostles. It was. we may well believe, manifested in 
this instance as in others, by the ecstatic utterance of 
"the tongue-" icomp. chap. xix. 6; 1 Cor. xiv. Iv. 
and bv the gift of prophetic insight. 

(ify There fell from his eyes as it had been 
scales. The description suggests the thought that 



the blindness was caused by an incrustation, caused by 
acute inflammation, covering the pupil of the eye. or 
closing up tin eve-lids, analogous to the " whitenes-,." 
that peeled or xriilri! off from t he eyes of Tobit Toll. xi. 
13). Like phenomena are mentioned by Hippocrates, 
and the care with which St. Luke records the fact in 
this instance, may be noted, with chaps, iii. 7, xxviii. s. 
as one of tlie examples of the technical precision of 
his calling as a physician. 

Arose, and was baptised. It is dear that both 
Saul and Ananias looked on this as the indispensable 
condition for admission into the visible society of the 
kingdom of God. No visions and revelations of the 
Lord, no intensity of personal conversion, exempted 
him from it. For him. too, that was the " washing of 
regeneration" (Tit. iii. .">;. the moment of the new 
birth, of being buried with Christ (Kom. vi. :!. 1 
It may be inferred almost as a matter of certainty that 
it was at the hands of Ananias that he received bap 
tism. The baptism woidd probably be administered 
in one or other of the rivers which the history of 
Naaman had made famous, and so the waters of " Abana 
and Pharpar. rivers of Damascus " (2 Kings v. 12 , were 
now sanctified no less than those of Jordan for the 
" mystical washing away of sin." 

(*>> And when he had received meat. Better. 
as elsewhere, food. The three days fast had obviously 
brought about a state of extreme prostration, hi St. 
Paul s account of his conversion in Gal. i. 17. he states 
that when it pleased God to reveal His Son in him. 
immediately he " conferred not with flesh, and blood." 
but went into Arabia and returned again to Damascus. 
Wehave.it is obvious.no certain duta for fixing 1 1n- 
time, nor the extent of that journey. St. Luke does 
not mention it, and his "straightway" balances the 
"immediately" of St. Paul s account. On the whole. 
it seems most probable that it was the first stej taken 

by him after he had regained his sight and I n 

baptised. Physically, rest and seclusion would be 
necessary during the period of convalescence after the 
great crisis of his conversion. Spiritually, that solitude 
was needed, we may believe, to prepare him for the 
continuous labour of the three years that followed. I 
place the journey to Arabia accordingly, with hardly 
any hesitation, after the "certain days ] of fellowship 
with the disciples, and his reception at their solemn meet 
ing to break bread in the Supper of the Lord, and before 
the " preaching ( hrist " in the synagogues. How fai the 
journey extended we cannot say. " Arabia " was used 
somewhat vaguely as a geographical term ; but tin- 
fact that Damascus was at this time occupied by the 
troops of Aretas. the king of Arabia Petr.ea. makes it 
probable that he \\ent to that region. In St. Paul .s 

Sronomastie reference to Hagar as a synonym for 
mint Sinai in Arabia i Hagar and Sinai both admitting 
of an etymology which gives "rock " as the meaning of 
each i. we may, perhaps, trace a local knowledge -rained 
durinir this journey, and draw the inference that In- 
had Bought communion \vith God where Muses ami 



.iinj nt l>a. 



TIII-: ACTS, ix. 






Saul certain days with the lisrijil.-s 
which wen- at I >ainas,-iis. - " And 
straightway lit- preached Christ in the 
syna^oirues, that In- is the S..M of <Ji.il. 
<-" But all that heard him \\viv ama/ed, 
an<l said ; Is not this In- that destroyed 
them which called on this name in 
Jerusalem, ami came hither for that 
intent, that he might bring them bound 
unto the chief priests > >- But Saul 



increased the more in >ti-i-n^ih, and 
confounded tlx- .Jews which du.lt .it 
Damascus, proving that this is \.-ry 
( hri>t . 

And after that many days 
fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill 
him : -" but their laying await wa- 
known of Saul." And they watched the 
Lfates day and niirht to kill him. 
(j: " Then the disciples took him by 



Elijah had found it. on the heights of Sinai and Hoivh. 
p (ial. iv. % J">.) He learnt, it may be, the true 
meaning and piirj>oso of the Law, as arousing the fear 
of judgment, amid the terrors of the very rocks from 
wliich that Law had tirst I n proclaimed to Israel. 

(- "> And straightway he preached Christ in 
the synagogues. The " straightway " as interpreted 
by the inference drawn in the previous Xote, must be 
taken to refer to the Apostle s first public appearance 
in the synagogues of Damascus after his return from 
Arabia. The tense of the verb implies that the work 
was continued for some length of time. What he had 
to proclaim was. first, that the Christ was actually 
and verily the Sou of (Jod no less than the Son of 
David; and, secondly, that Jesus of Na/areth had 
been shown to be t he "Christ . The better MSS.. how 
ever, give the reading, preached Jeftits. The line of 
reasoning we may assume to have been identical 
with that of chap. xiii. Iti 11. It is not without 
interest to remember here also that the Samaritans had 
a synagogue of their own at Damascus, and that he 
may thus have preached to them, so following in the 
footprints of Philip and taking his first step in the 
great work of breaking down the barriers that divided 
Israel from the world. 

(- 1 That destroyed them which called on this 

name.- -Better, ,n<nlr linroi-k of tin ui. It is notice 
able that St. Paul uses the same verb as descriptive of 
tiis own conduct in (ial. i. J:>. where the English version 
has "wasted." On them which called on this name." 
see X ote on verse It!. 

And came hither. More accurately, had come 
liithfi: as implying that the purpose of his coming had 

been abandoned. 
-- But Saul increased the more in strength. 

The tense implies a continuous growth in power, 
obviously in the spiritual power which enabled the 
Apostle to carry on his work. A comparison of dates 
suggests the connection of this growth with the special 
vision of 2 ( or. \ii. X. \vhen in answer to his prayer that 
the infirmity which he describes as "a thorn" in his 
ttesh. the minister of Satan to buffet him." he received 
the comforting assurance from the Lord whom he 
served -"My strength is made perfect in weakness." 
It is not without interest that in after years St. I aul 
once and again uses the same verb of himself " I can 
do all things in Christ that .-//< ,/<///M //. ./ me " Phil, 
iv. 1:! . It was Christ who "oHOMed him." or. /,//</,- 
him ffi-onif. for his ministry 1 Tim. i. \2>; who 
;////<, </. him" in the ("losing trials of his life 
2 Tim. iv. 17 . ! y some commentators the words un 
connected with the journey to Arabia as following on 
his first appearance as a preacher in the synagogues; 

bill see Xote (111 tile pre\ lolls \erse 

After that many days were fulfilled. 

We .earn from the more definite statement in (.ial. i. lx 

22* 



that these few words cover a period of otherwise un 
recorded work, extending over a period of three 
That period must have witnessed the growth of a 
Christian society at Damascus, with an order of dis 
cipline and worship based on the outlines of that at 
Jerusalem. It follows, however, from the subsequent 
historv that, as yet. < ientile converts were not admitted 
to the Church as such. The special mission to them 
came later on (coinp. chap. xxii. 2\ . and it was natural 
that one, with the intense affection for his brethren 
according to the flesh which characterised St. Paul 
Horn, x. 1). should, till that mission came, have given 
himself mainly, or even exclusively, to the work of 
labouring for their conversion. It is probable, however, 
from the bitter antagonism of the Jews, that his teach 
ing had already pointed to the breaking down of "the 
middle wall of partition " Eph. ii. 14). and the passing 
away of all on which they had prided themselves as 
being their exclusive privileges. From the tirst it 
might almost seem as if Stephen hail risen from tin- 
dead, and was living again in the spirit and power of 
his persecutor. 

(24) They watched the gates day and night 
to kill him. A somewhat fuller account of this 
episode in the Apostle s life is given by him in :! ( or. 
xi. ;> There we read that the governor- literally. 
fliiim-ch of the city, under A ret as. King of Arabia 
Petnea. with Petra as his capital, the father of the wife 
whom Herod Antipas divorced, in order that he iniirht 
marry Herodias, took an active part in the plot against 
Paul. On the manner in which Aretas had gained 
possession of a city which was properly attached to 
the Roman province of Syria, see Xote on verse -J. It 
is noticeable that there are coins of Damascus bearing 
the names of Augustus and Tiberius, and again of 
Xero and his successors, but none of those of Caligula 
and Claudius, who succeeded Tilx-rius. Caligula, on 
his accession, reversed the policv of Tiberius, who had 
been a friend and supporter of Antipas against Aretas. 
and it is probable that, as in other instances, he created 
a new principality, or cthnarchy. in favour of Aretas, 
to whose predecessors Damascus had helonge.i 

The ethnareh apparently wished to 

court the favour of the large .Jewish population, and, 
looking on St. Paul as a disturber of the public peace, 
took measures for his arrest and condemnation. Troop-, 
we e stationed at each e- a te of the city in order to pre 
vent his escape. 

Let him down by the wall in a basket. 

The basket is the nwrit of Matt. \\. : .7. wh- 
Xote. Iii -2 Cor. \i. :;: . St. Paul describes it l.y another 
word >"/;/>//( . i, which i_ i\es t lie idea rf a wicker or rope- 
work hamper. It seems to follow, from the tone in 
which the Apostle there speaks of this adventure, that 
it had been made matter of ridicule. It is connected 
in his thoughts \\ u\ L the " infirmities " p:vhably with 



Arrh iil nt J> // .- ,/ .- 



THE ACTS, JX. 



SauTs Escape to Ccesanct, 



, andVt him down i>y the wall in 
a basket. ( - ;) And when Saul was come 
to Jerusalem, In- ass;i\cd to join liilliself 
to the disciples: but they were all 
afraid of him, and believed not that he 
was a disciple. (27) But Barnabas took 
him, and brought him to the apostles, 
and declared unto them how he had 
seen the Lord in the wav, and that he 
had spoken to him, and how he had 
preached boldly at Damascus in the 



name of Jesus. ^ And he was with 
them coining in and going out at 
Jerusalem. > And he spake boldly 
in the name of the Lord Jesus, and 
disputed against the Grecians: but they 
went about to slay him. ; " Which 
when the brethren knew, they brought 
him down to Caesarea, and sent him 
forth to Tarsus. < 31 > Then had the 
churches rest throughout all Judii a and 
j (Jalilee and Samaria, and were edified; 



his smallness of stature) of which lit- \v.-is content to 
boast. Tlr- escape was effected, like that of the spies 
from the house of Rahab (Josh. ii. 15) and of David 
from his own house (1 Sam. xix. 11), through an opening 
or " window " in the town wall. Such a window is still 
shown iu the wall of Damascus as the traditional scene 
of tin- escape. 

(- ") And when Saul was come to Jerusalem. 

His journey probably took him, as before, through 
Samaria (see Note on verse 3), and so laid the founda 
tion of the interest in the Samaritan Church, which 
shows itself later on in the history in chap. xv. 3, when 
he and Barnabas journeyed " through Phoanice and 
Samaria." 

He assayed to join himself to the disciples. 
The reader may note the use of the word -x assay," 
which has since been confined to a purely technical 
meaning, in the wider sense of trying or attempting. 
The verb for "join" is that which is always used of 
close and intimate fellowship, such as that of husband 
and wife, of brothers, and of friends. (Coiup. chap. x. 28 ; 
Matt. xix. 5 ; Luke xv. 15 ; 1 Cor. vi. 16.) He was seek 
ing, in the language of a later time, full communion with 
the disciples. It was not strange that his motives 
should be at first suspected. Might he not be coming 
to " spy out " their weak places, and in time appear 
again as a persecutor? The difficulty which at first 
presents itself in understanding how the Church at 
Jerusalem could have remained ignorant of what Saul 
had done at Damascus as a preacher of the faith, is 
adequately explained by the political incidents to which 
attention has been already drawn. The occupation of 
the city by Aretas. and his enmity against the Herod ian 
house, may well have stopped the usual intercourse 
between it and Jerusalem, then under the rule of 
Agrippa, and so the reports that reached the Apostles 
would come in uncertain and fluctuating forms, which 
were not sufficient to lead the disciples to trust in the 
conversion of the persecutor. 

(- "> But Barnabas took him. What, we ask. 
made Barnabas more ready than others, not only to 
receive the convert himself, but to vouch for his 
sincerity: The answer is found in the inference that 
I he Levitc of Cyprus and the tent-maker had been 
friend^ in earlier years. The culture of which Tarsus 
was the seat, would naturally attract a student from the 
neighbouring island, and the eagerness of Barnabas to 
secure Saul - en-operation at a later stage of his work 
(chap. \i. J-V may fairly lie looked on as furnishing a 
confirmation of the view now suggested. He knew 
enough of his frienn to believe every syllable of what 
he told him as to the incidents of his conversion. 

Brought him to the apostles.- In the more 
definite account in Cal.i. 1*. l!>, we find that hisprimary 
- was to exchange thoughts \l<nopr\<rai to 



62 



inquire, the word from which we get our "history"; 
with Peter, and that the only other leading teacher that 
he saw (we need not now inquire whether lie speaks 
of him as an Apostle or not) was James, the Lord s 
brother." It may, perhaps, be inferred from this. 
either (1) that the other Apostles were absent from 
Jerusalem at the time, or ( I , that the new convert did 
not attend any public meeting of the Church. 

(28) Coming in and going out. The words, 
like the kindred phrase in chap. i. 21. are used to 
imply a certain undefined frequency of intercourse. 
From Gal i. 18 we learn that the whole duration of 
the visit was not more than fifteen days. 

(29) Disputed against the Grecians. It will bo 
remembered that it was as the leader of the Hellenistic 
Jews of the svnagogue named in chap. vi. i> that. San! 
had first appeared in the history of the Church. \o\v. 
it would seem, he sought to undo the evil that he h id 
then wrought, by preaching to them the faith which he. 
had then opposed, and presenting, we may well believe. 
the very aspects of the truth that had been most pro 
minent in Stephen s teaching, and which, then-fore. 
now, as then, roused them to a passionate fren/y. 
Twice, within a few weeks, the Apostle s life was in 
danger. 

(30) They brought him down to Csesarea. 
The fact that the brethren at Jerusalem took the-e 
measures for the Apostle s safety may be noted as a 
proof of their friendship. At Caesarea he would pro 
bably, as afterwards hi chap. xxi. 8. find Philip, and 
the friend and the accuser of the proto-martyr met 
face to face as brethren. In returning to his home at 
Tarsus, from which he had been absent at the least for 
four years, and possibly for a much longer ]>eriod. it 
would be natural for him to resume his old employ 
ment as a tent-maker. (See Xote on chap, xviii. :!. 
Thence, as from a centre, he did his work as an 
Evangelist in the regions of Cilicia (Gal. i. -1), whew, 
in chap. xv. 11. we find churches already organised. 
which had not been founded in what we call the first 
mission journey of Paul and Barnabas, and must there 
fore have I n planted by the former at an earlier 

period. Here, for the present, we lose sight, of him. 
It need hardly be said that the Ciesarea here spoken of 
is that on the sea-coast. ( ;es;uva I hilippi is always 
distinguished by its special epithet. 

(3D Then had the churches rest.- Tin- better 
MSS. have "the Church" in the singular. The trau- 
quility described may have been due. partly to the 
absence of any leading men jimong the opponents of 
the new society; partly, perhaps, to public excitement 
beinir diverted to the insane attempt of Caligula to set 
np his statue in the Temple at Jerusalem an attempt 
from which lie was only dissuaded by the earnest 
entreaties of Herod Agrip pa. whom he had raised to the 



TIIK ACTS, IX. 



/ ././ at 



and walking in lli 1 f . iir "! li " L"rd, 
ami in 1h.- i-iiiiitirt <>f tli.- H"lv (iliosi, 

W.Ti limltij.li.-d. 

Ami it came to pass, as IVt.-r 


A.D. M. 


1 throughout ;ill quarter*, h-- .-am 

down al-<i I., tin- s:iin1s whirh dwelt 
at Lvdda. ;: And th -n- In- found a 
.-.rtain man nani.-<l .Kn-as, wlii.-h had 



lit Kin:: "* .Judiea. but who happened at the 
tu lie at HiiiiK 1 . :ui l i I ri tnmins. tin- I xrueaof 
Svri:i. Tin- latter was influenced by great showers of 
rain falling from a clear sky. after a Ion*, drought, in 
answer to the prayers of I>ra<-l .los. .!///. \\iii. - 
Such prayers, mail. at a i-risis in which believing ami 
unbelieving .lews felt an equal interest, may. probably, 
have suggested St . .laines s allusion to the old historical 
parallel ( ,f KHjah .las. v. 17). 

Throughout all Judsea and Galilee and 
Samaria. Brief as the notice is. it is every way 
significant. It is the tirst intimation since the opening 
of the apostolic history of the existence, not of disciples 
only, such as had gathered round our Lord during His 
personal ministry, hut of onjnniocd rt lujiini* OOm- 
iitiinlflt x. in the towns and villages of (ialilee. We 
may think of such -hiircln s as formed in Capernaum 
ami Tiberias, in ( hora/.in and the two Bethsaidas. 
perhaps even in Na/.arctli. The history is silent as 
to the agency liv which these churches had been 
founded; but looking to the close relations between 
St. Luke and St. Philip, and to the probability that 
thi- latter made C;e-~area his head quarters for tin- 
work of an Evangelist, we may legitimately think of 
him as having worked then- as he had worked in 
Samaria. It is not improbable, however, that here 
also, as in that region, he may have been followed, 
after he had done his work as an Evangelist, by 
the Apostles to whom it belonged to confirm and 
organise. . S-e Note on chap. viii. 11.; The mention 
of Samaria in like manner indicates the extent and 
permanence of the result of Philip s work there, fol 
lowed up as it had been by the preaching of Peter and 
John. 

Were edified; and walking . . . .The more 
accurate construction of the sentence gives. The 
Clii i- -li .... Ini l /nil ; , Ihinij nlijinl inn! n-iillc- 

illlj ill til, fi iir nl till L-n-il, Uilil H-il* III lilt ijilit il III/ 

the C&WtUtl of the Holy Qkott. The passage is notice 
able for the appearance of the word " edified." or "built 
up." in the s.-nse in which St. Paul had used it (1 Cor. 
viii. 1 ; \iv. ! . as describing orderly and continuous 
growth, tli. supers: met ure raised wisely upon the right 
foundation. 
Walking in the fear of the Lord. The phrase. 

so common in the Old Testament, is comparatively rare 
in the Xew. heing used only by St. Luke here, and ill 
J Cor. v. 11, where it is wrongly translated /// tcrmr 
of the Lord." What it describes, as interpreted by its 

old Testament use (Job xxriii. 28 ; Ps.cn.10; Pr..\. 
i. 7. it nl. . is the temper of reverential awe; the 
scrupulous obedience to the commandments of God, 
which had bin-n described of old as "the beginning" 
-if wisdom. 

The comfort of the Holy Ghost. It was 
natural that the gift of the Spirit who had IM-CII pro 
mised as the Paraclete, or Advocati- see 
on the < Jospel of St. John . should be described by 
the kindred word of yni/vjr/cs/s. and eijuallv natural 
that this eonnection should re-ajipear in the two 
English words of "comfort "and "Comforter." "Com 
fort " is, however, somewhat too narrow; the Greek 
won! including see Xoti- on chap. iv. .\( < counsel and 
exhortation, - > a- to be very nearly equivalent to 



What is meant here is that the words 
of counsel which came from the Holy ( Jho-t. speaking 
through the prophets of the Church, were, tl 
alwa\s. far more than si^ns and wonder*, or liumai, 
skill of speech, the chief agents in its expansion. 

i :! -> Aa Peter passed throughout all quarters. 

The plan of the writer, arranginir his materials, leadn 
him from this point of chap. .xii. I s to dwell entirely on 
the personal work of Peter. So far this section of the 
book maybe described as the Acts of Peter. On the 
other hand, it is obvious that lie only gives those nets 
as part of his general plan, not caring to follow the 
Apostle s course, a- in a biography, but confining him 
self to tracing the steps by which he had been led to tin- 
part he played in tin-great work of the conversion of the 
(ientiles. The "all quarters" may well have included 

Galilee. 

He came down also to the saints which 
dwelt at Lydda. On the term "saints" Me Not.- 
ou verse 1:{. Lydda. the Liul of tin- Old Testament 
(1 Chron. viii. 1 J ; Ezra ii. ) >: Neh. vii. : >7: xi. > >. 
was a town in the rich plain of Sharon, one day s 
journey from .Jerusalem, founded originally by settlers 
from the tribe of Benjamin, and retaining to the present 
day its old name as Lil<l. It is mentioned by .losephtis 
( ll i/cx. iii. :5. ij "i as transferred by DemUrins Sot.-r. at 
the request of Judas Maccabeus, to the estate of the 
Temple at Jerusalem (I Maco. x. : .o. :!*: xi. : .! . 
Under the grasping rule of Cassiu-. the inhabitants 
were sold us slaves (.Jos. Ant. xiv. 11. 5; li . It hail, 
however, recovered its former prosperity, and appears 
at this time to have Iteen the seat of a flourishing 
Christian community. In the wars that preceded the 
destruction of Jerusalem, it was partially Jmrned by 
Cestius Gallus A.D. tit! i.Jos. }\ ,,,-s. ii. li . ij 1 . all but 
fifty of the inhal>itants having gone uji to tin- Feast 
of Taliernacles at .Jerusalem, and was again occupied 
liy Vespasian A.l>. CS (Jo*. \\ ,i,:<. ii. s. Jj li. When it 
was rebuilt, probably under Hadrian, when .Ternsilem 
received the new name of yKlia Ca]iitolina. it also was 
renamed as Dio-poli-, v city of /eus . and as such 
was the seat of one of the chief bishoprics of the 
Syrian Church. It was. at the time when Peter came 
to it. the seal of a Rabbinic school, scarcely inferior to 
that of .Jabneh. and retained its fame after the scribes 
of the latter city had migrated to Tiberias ( iamaliel. 
son of the great Rabbi who was St. Paul s master, and 
himself honoured with the title of Rabban. pn-idcd 
over it. and was succeeded by the great Tarphon 
i Liirhtfoot. Cf-nf. ( ///"<//. c. xvi.. The question 
which we naturally ask. who had planted the faith 
of Christ there, carries u-> once more on the track 
of Philip the Kyanirdi-t. LyiiiLT as it did on the 
road from A/.otus to C;es-\rea. it would lie in his 
way on the journey recorded in chap. viii. 4<>. as he 
pas sed " through all the cities;" and we may believe, 
without much risk of error, that here also he wa- St. 
Luke s informant as to what had passed in the Church 
with which he was so closely connected. 

A certain man named JEneas. The Greek 

name .we note the shortened \owel .Kllea. of the later 
form of the word . perhaps, implies that he belong d to 
the Hellenistic section of the Church. Had ;ln- fame 
of Virgil s poem made the name of the Trojan hero 



Healing of ^ 



THE ACTS, IX. 



Peter at Joppa. 



kept his bed eight years, and was sick 
of the palsy. (34) And Peter said unto 
him, ^Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh ihcc 
whole : arise, and make thy bed. And 
he arose immediately. (35) And all that 
dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and 
turned to the Lord. 

(36) NOW there was at Joppa a certain 
disciple named Tabitha, which by inter 
pretation is called Dorcas : this woman 
was full of good works and almsdeeds 
which she did. W And it came to pass 
in those days, that she was sick, and 



Or, be grieved. 



died : whom when they had washed, they 
laid her in an upper chaiiilx-r. ^ And 
forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, 
and thr disciples had heard that Peter 
was there, they sent unto him two UI.MI. 
desiring him that he would not dcla\ 
to come to them. (*) Then I 
arose and went with them. When 
he was come, they brought him 
into the upper chamber : and all 
the widows stood by him weeping, and 
shewing the coats and garments which 
Dorcas made, while she was with them. 



known even in the plains of Palestine? In the care 
with which St. Luko records the circumstances of tin- 
case, the eight years of bedridden paralysis, we note a 
trace of professional exactness, as in chaps, iii. 7 ; ix. 
18; xxviii. 8. The word of "bed," used commonly of 
the couches o. e the lower class (see Note on Matt. ii. i). 
suggests the thought that -poverty also was added 
to his sufferings. 

(3*) Jesus Christ maketh thee whole. Better, 
Jesus th.3 Christ. We note the same anxiety to dis 
claim any personal power or holiness as the cause 
that wrought the supernatural healing as in chaps, 
iii. 12; iv. 9, 10. In the assonance of the Greek 
words (LJsus iatai se] we may, perhaps, trace a desire 
to impress the thought that the very name of Jesus 
testified that He was the great Healer. Such a 
paronomasia has its parallel in the later play upon 
Christiani and Chrestiani = the good or gracious 
people (Tertull. Apol. c. 3), perhaps also in St. Peter s 
own language that the Lord is not Christos only, but 
Chrestos = gracious (1 Pet. ii. 3). The command seems 
to imply a reminiscence of the manner in which our 
Lord had wrought His Work of healing in like cases 
(Matt. ix. 6 ; John v. 8). 

Make thy bed. More accurately, make, or, arrange 
for thyself. He was to do at once for himself what 
for so many years others had done for him. 

(35) All that dwelt at Lydda and Saron. 
The latter name indicates a district rather than a town. 
The presence of the article with it, and its absence from 
Lydda. indicates that men spoke of " the Saron" the 
plain the woodlands (so it is rendered by the LXX. : 
1 Chron. v. 16 ; xxvii. 29 Cant. ii. 1 ; Isa. xxxv. 2 1 
as we speak of " the weald." It lay between the central 
mountains of Palestine and the Mediterranean, and 
was proverbial for its beauty and fertility (Isa. xxxiii. 
9; Ixv. 1" . 

(36) There was at Joppa . . . . The Hehn-w 
form of the name, J<n>lio (pronounced Yaphn), appears 
in Josh. xix. 4l>, but the English version more commonly 
gives the hetter-kn<i\vn .loppa. as in 2 Chron. ii. li : 
Ezra iii. 7 ; Jonah i. 3). It was famous in Greek legends 
as the spot where Andromeda had been bound when 
she was delivered by Perseus (Strabo. xvi.. p. 7"! ) : 
Jos. War*. \. ;, 2). The town stood on a hill so 
high that it was --aid .though this is not in conformity 
with the fact i that Jerusalem could lie seen from its 
summit. It was the nearest port to that city, and 
though the harbour was difficult and dangerous of 
eeeas, was n-ed for tin- timber that, first under 
.Solomon, and afterwards under Zernbbabel, was 
brought from Lebanon for the construction of tlie 
Temple (1 Kings v. 9 ; 2 Chrou. ii. 16 ; Ezra iii. 7 . 



In the history of Jonah it appears as a port fron. 
which ships sail to Tarshish and Spain (Jonah i. :! 
Under the Maccabean rulers the harbour and fortifica 
tions were restored (1 Mace. iv. 5, 34). By Augnstu^ 
it was given to Herod the Great, and afterwards to 
Archelaus (Jos. Ant. xv. 7, 3; xvii. 11, 4), and on 
his deposition, became part of the Roman province of 
Syria. It was at this time and later on notorious as a 
nest of pirates. Here also we may, as in the case of 
Lydda (see Note on verse 32., see the work of Philip 
as the probable founder of the Church. 

Tabitha, which by interpretation is called 
Dorcas. Both the Hebrew and Greek names mean 
Antelope or Gazelle. The fact that she bore both 
implies some points of connection both with the 
Hebrew and Hellenistic sections of the Church. The 
Greek form occurs, in the curious combination of Juno 
Dorcas, on one of the inscriptions in the Columbarium 
of Livia, now in the Capitoline Museum at Rome, as 
belonging to an Ornatrix of the Empress. Was the 
disciple of Joppa in any way connected with the slave. 
whose very function implied skill in needlework > If, 
as is probable, the Church at Joppa owed its founda 
tion to Philip (see Note on chap. viii. 40), we may trace 
in the position which she occupied, in relation to the 
"widows" of the Church, something of the same pru 
dential wisdom as had been shown in the appointment 
of the Seven, of whom he had been one. 

Full of good works. The form of the expression 
may be noticed as characteristic of St. Luke, ami his 
favourite formula for conveying the thought of a 
quality being possessed in the highest degree j>o>-ible. 
So we have full of leprosy in Luke v. 12. "full of 
grace" and "full of faith" in Acts vi. 5, 8. (Comp. 
also chaps, xiii. 10; xix. 2 S.I 

; ") They laid "her in an upper chamber. 
This implies some little delay in the usual rapidity of 
Eastern funerals. As Lydda was only nine miles 
from Joppa. the report o f ./Eneas s recovery might 
well have travelled from the one city to the other, and 
led to the hope that the power which St. Peter had 
thus put forth might extend even to the farther work 
of raisins; from the dead. 

(38) Desiring him that he would not delay. 
The better MSS. give the message somewhat more 
dramatically. -/ /"// /-/." and "tit- not rrlnrdnit t> 
come." It" was. of course, necessary that he should 
come at once. ;i> interment would have coin* 
matter of course. <,n the following day. 

All the widows stood by him weeping. 

We have apparently the same organisation of charity 

as that whic i prevailed in the Church at Jerusalem. 

The vrido\\>" of die Church were the object of ft 



r> >/. /w/ f l} /.it . . 



TIM-: ACTS \ 







Bui IVter put tli iii all t ..rfli. 
kneeled down, ami ]>rayed ; ami 
//// tn tin- l>ody said, Tal itha, Arise. 
Ami she opened her eyes: ami when 
sin- saw 1 eter, she sat up. a " Ami he 
gare h T Iti* haml, ami lifted her uj>, 
and when he hal railed the saints ami 
widows, presented her alive. IJ| Ami it 
was known throughout all Joppa ; ami 
many believed in the Lord. (**> And 



it cairn- i,i pass, that lie tai-ri.-d many 
da\s in Joppa with one Simon a. 
tanner, 

rKAPTER X. "> There w,, 
eel-tain man in C;i-sarea called Cor- 
nelius, a centurion <>f the l.aml called 
the Italian bam I, - de\ ( >Mt //////*, and 
one that feared God with all his house, 
which ^ave ninch alms to the people, 



six-rial provision. ( See Note oil chap. vi. l.i Tin- "coat-." 
were the close-fitting tunics worn next tin- l>o<ly. the 
garments " the looser outer cloaks that were worii 
over them. -See Note on Matt. v. In. These were 
now exliiliited by tliose who were mourning o\er the 
loss of their benefactress. It is probable that the 
garments were for the use of men and hoys, as well 
a> women, and that the "widows" had been fellow- 
workers with her in making them. She was. as it were, 
at the head of a Sisterhood of Mercy. 
Which Dorcas made. More accurately, used to 

innl;, . 

."" Peter put them all forth. We may. 

perhaps, trace in Peter s action his recollection of 
what our Lord had done in the rase of the daughter 
of .lairns see Xotes on Matt. ix. 23. 24), at which lie 
had lieen present. The work was one not to be accom- 

filished by the mere utterance of a name, nor as by 
lis "own power or holiness" (chap. iii. 12), but by the 
jiower of the prayer of faith, and this called for the 
silence and solitude of communion with God. Even 
the very words which were uttered, if lie spoke in 
Aramaic, must ha\e been, with the change of a single 
letter, the same as the Tulitlm nnni of Mark v. 41. 
The utterance of the words implied the internal assur 
ance that the prayer had been answered. 

<> And when he had caUed the saints. See- 
Xote on verse 13. 

Many believed in the Lord. Here the 
word is obviously used definitely for the Lord Jesus as 
the specific object of their faith. 

(" Many days in Joppa with one Simon a 
tanner. Either as bringing with it. through contact 
with the carcases and hides of dead beasts, the risks 
of ceremonial defilement, or being general] v a repulsive 
and noisome business, the occupation was one from 
which the stricter .lews generally shrunk. The Rabbis 
held that if a tanner about to marry concealed his occu 
pation from his intended wife, the concealment was of 
the nature of a fraud that invalidated the contract 
: Sch.ittgen. // //-. // / ., in loc.}. In taking up his abode 
with one of this calling, Peter must accordingly have 
been taking one step in advance towards greater free 
dom. He had learnt, partially at least, the lesson 
which his Master had taught as to that which alone 
can bring with it real defilement Mark vii. 17 23), 
and was thus being trained for a fuller Illumination. 
We have no ,lnt,i for determining the length of time 
implied in the "many day-." In verse 23. as we have 
seen, the words covered a period of nearh three JTWUTS, 

X. 

n > There was a certain man in Csesarea. 

We enter on a new Ma ire of expansion in the Church s 
growth, the full details of which St. Luke may have 
learnt either from Philip the Evangelist during his 



I,:, 



stay at Caisarea (cliaps. xxi. 8; xxiv. 27) or, possibly, 
from Cornelius himself. His admission into the 
Church, even if it were not the first instance of the 
reception of a (Jentile convert as such, became, through 
it-- supernatural accompaniments and in the strict 
sense of that word) its prerogative " character, the 
ruling case on the .subject. Whether it were earlier 
or later than the admission of the Gentiles recorded 
in chap. xi. 2<>. we have no adequate ilutu for deter 
mining, i See Xote on that passage. 

Caesarea was at this time the usual residence of the 
Roman Procurator of Jiuhua, and was consequently 
garrisoned by Roman troops. Greeks. Jews, and 
Romans, probably also Pho-nicians and other traders, 
were mingled freely in its popnlation. 

Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the 
Italian band. The office was a comparatively sub 
ordinate one, the centurion commanding the sixth part 
of a cohort, the sixtieth part of a legion. The Creek 
implies that he belonged to the cohort, not that he 
commanded it. The name Cornelius may indicate a 
connection with the great Cornelian gens which had 
been made famous by the Gracchi and by Sylla. The 
bands, or cohorts, stationed at Ciesarea consisted chiefly 
of auxiliaries levied from the province (Jos. War*, ii. 
13, 6), who were not always to be relied on in times 
of popular excitement, and this cohort was accordingly 
distinguished from the others as Italian. i.<\, as being 
at least commanded by Roman officers. A first Italian 

legion is repeatedly mentioned by Tacitus (Hist. i. 59, 

>4; ii. 1<M>; iii. 22). but this is sa id by Dion (Iv. 24) to 
have been first raised by Nero; and the term which St. 
Luke uses for band (spmi was. strictly speaking, not 
used of the legions, the latter term being applied ex 
clusively to Roman troops. In chap, xxvii. 1 we meet 
with another of these cohorts, also at Caesarea, known 
as the Augustan. 

(2) A devout man, and one that feared God 
With all his house. The word for "devout " is not 
the same as that used in chaps, ii. 5, viii. 2, and Luko 
ii. 2"). and appears to be used by St. Luke, as again 
in verse 7. for the special type of devotion that belonged 
to (ientile converts to Judaism. The phrase "those 
that feared Cod" is employed distinctly for this class 
in verses 22 and 35, and again iti chap. xiii. l<i. 2ti. 
There is a special significance in the addition " with all 
his house." The centurion was not satisfied with 
ha\in-r found a hiirher truth for himself, but sought 
to impart it to the soldiers and slaves, possibly to those 
nearer and dearer to him. who came under his influence. 
(Coinp. verse 7. 

Which gave much alms to the people 
/ .(.. to the Jews of C;esaiva as distinct from the 
({entiles. , Coinp. chaps. xx\ i. 1 7. -!."> ; xx\iii. 17. 

And prayed to God alway.- As the vision that 
follows may rightly lx- regarded as an answer to the 



Cornelius x<r,s an Amjil. 



THE ACTS, X. 



Peter * / nn/.f- <i( .//>/"?. 



;n id ]>r;m>d to God alway. (3) He saw 
in a vision evidently about the ninth 
hour of the day an angel of God 
citmiiiLT in to him, and saying unto 
him, Cornelius. (4) And when he 
looked on him, he was afraid, and 
said. What is it, Lord? And he said 
unto him. Thy prayers and thine alms 
arc conii- iij for a memorial before God. 
< 5) And now send men to Joppa, and 
call for one Simon, whose surname is 
Peter : (6) he lodgeth with one Simon a 
tanner, whose house is by the sea side : 
he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to 
do. (7) And when the angel which 



spake unto Cornelius was departed, he 
called two of his household servants, 
and a devout soldier of them that waited 
on him continually; W and when In- 
had declared all these things unto them, 
he sent them to Joppa. 

J) Gii the morrow, as they went on 
! their journey, and drew nigh unto the 
city, Peter went up upon the housetop 
to pray about the sixth hour: < 10 > and 
he became very hungry, and would have 
eaten : but while they made ready, he 
fell into a trance, (11) and saw heaven 
opened, and a certain vessel descending 
unto him, as it had been a great sheet 



pravers thus offered, it is natural to infer that Cornelius 
was seeking for guidance as to the new faith which 
Philip had brought to Cacsarea, and of which he could 
scarcely fail to have heard. Was it really a new 
revelation from God to man ? Could he be admitted 
to the fellowship of the society which confessed Jesus 
as the Christ without accepting the yoke of circum 
cision and the ceremonial law from which, as a 
"proselyte of the gate," he had hitherto kept back ! J 

< :J ) In a vision evidently. The adverb seems 
added to distinguish the manifestation from that of a 
dream like Joseph s in Matt. i. 20, ii. 13, or of a trance 
like St. Peters (verse 10) or St. Paul s (chap. xxii. 17). 

About the ninth hour of the day. This was, 
as in chap. iii. 1, one of the three hours of prayer, the 
hour when the evening sacrifice was offered in the 
Temple. Cornelius had therefore so far accepted the 
Jewish rules of devotion, and for him also the Law 
was a schoolmaster" bringing him to Christ. 

W Are come up for a memorial before God. 
The word so used was emphatically sacrificial and 
liturgical, as, e.g., in Lev. ii. 2, 9, 16; v. 12; vi. 15; 
Ecclus. xlv. 16: and elsewhere. The words implied, 
therefore, that the " prayers and alms " were accepted 
as a true sacrifice, more acceptable than the blood of 
bulls and goats. If we ask. in the technical language 
of a later theology, how they could be accepted when 
they were offered prior to a clear faith in Christ, and 
therefore before justification, the answer is that the 
good works were wrought by the power of God s grace 
already working in him. He was believing in the 
Light that lighteth every man, though as yet he did 
not identify that Light with its manifestation in Jesus 
as the Christ ; John i. !.. He had the faith which from 
the beginning of the world has justified the belief 
that God is. and that He is a rewarder of them that 
diligently seek Him (Heb. xi. 6). 

(5. 6) Call for one Simon, whose surname is 
Peter. The circumstances of the communication pre 
sent, it is obvious, a striking parallelism witli those 
attendant on the revelation to Ananias in chap. ix. 
10 17. To those who regard both narratives as fic 
titious, the resemblance will appear as characteristic 
of St. Luke s style as a writer. Admitting, however, 
the possibility oV :i di\ine guidance being given by a 
Supernatural nie-s;i^e. it will not seem stranire to us. 
as has been >aid already, that it should in each case 
take the form which made it most effectual, giving 
directions as to names and places, and yet leaving 
something open as a test of faith. 



(7) A devout soldier. The word implies that the 
man was, like his superior officer, a convert to the 
faith of Israel, though not. in the full sense of tin- 
word, a proselyte. It is natural to infer the same of 
the two slaves to whom their master imparted the 
vision, which to those who were living as heathens 
would have seemed strange and unintelligible. It is 
obvious that all such facts are interesting as throwing 
light on the character of Cornelius, and showing that, 
to the extent of his power, ho sought to lead those over 
whom he had any influence to the Truth which he had 
found precious as leading him to a higher life. 

i" As they went on their journey . . .The 
distance from Cyesarca to Joppa was about, thirty 
Roman miles. 

To pray about the sixth hour. As in chap, 
iii. 1, we again find St. Peter observing the J- vi-h 
hours of prayer. The "hunger" mentioned in the 
next verse infplies that up to that time lie had partaken 
of no food, and makes it probable that it was one of the 
days, the second and h ftli in the week, which the Phari 
sees and other devout Jews observed as fasts. The Hat 
housetop of an Eastern house was commonly used for 
prayer and meditation (comp. Matt. x. 27; xxiv. 17- 
Luke xvii. 31), and in a city like Joppa. and a lions.- 
like that of the tanner, was probably the only place- 
accessible for such a purpose. 

d) He fell into a trance. St. Luke characteristi 
cally uses, as in chaps, xi. .">. xxii. 17. the technical term 
ekstasis i whence our English vcxtaity) for the state 
which thus supervened. It is obvious that it might in 
part lie the natural consequence of the protracted fast. 
and the intense prayer, possibly also of exposure under 
such conditions to the noontide sun. The state was- 
one in which the normal action of the >en-,es was siis- 
pended. like that of Balaam in Xum. xxiv. I. or that 
which St. Paul describes in J Cor. xii. :. "whether in 
the body or out of the body " he cannot tell. and. as 
such, it was. in this instance, made the channel for 
a revelation of the Divine Will conveyed in symbols 
which were adapted to the conditions out of which it 
rose. 

<") A certain vessel descending . . .Tin- form 

of the vision corresponded. as has just been said, with 
the bodily condition of the Apostle. Its inward meaning 
may fairlv he thought of as corresponding to his prayer. 
One who looked out from Joppa upon the waters of the 
Great Sea towards the far-off Isles of the Gentiles. 
might well seek to know bv what process and under 
what conditions those who dwelt in thorn would he 



// itf 



THI-: .UTS. x. 



M 



knit at the four OOmerg, and l.-t down 
to the fill-ill : IJ \\ hen-iii were all 
manner of tout-footed I M -sists of the 
.-artli, ami wild beasts, and rn-rpiii^ 
tilings, and fowls of Hie aii-. l; And 
then- came a \oi<-.- to him, i ise. lVt.-r;i 
kill, and rat. u*) But Peter said, Not 
so, Lord : tor I have never eaten -,ny 
thiiiLT that is common or unclean. 
And tin- voice >/"//,- unto him a- ain 
tin- second time. What liod hath 
cleansed, t/mf call not thou common. 
< l ; This was done thrice: and the ves 
sel was received ii| a^ain into heaven. 
< 17 > Now while IVter doubted in himself 
what this vision which he ha.d seen 
should mean, behold, the men which 



wen- s.-nt from < . n-m-liiis had 
enquiry for Simo.i s hou~-. ;iml 
b.-!ore the -j-at--, "" and called, and 
a>ked whether Simon, which \va- 

named Pete] , Were Indeed then-. 

(19J "While Peter thought on the vi.-ioli, 

the Spirit .-aid unto him. Hehold, t uree 

lliell Seek thee. Arise therefore, 

and iret thee down, and -_ o with them, 
doubting nothing: for I have sent 
them. - Ml Then Peter went down to 
the men which were sent unto him from 
Cornelius; and said. Behold. I am he 
whom ye seek : what /x the cause where 
fore ye are come? - - And they MI id. 
Cornelius the centurion, a just man, 
and one that feareth < Jod, and of good 



brought within the fold of which ho was one of the 
chief appointed shepherds. The place, wo may add, 
could not fail to recall the memory of the great prophet 
who hail taken ship from thence, and who was con 
spicuous alike as a preacher of a gospel of repentance 
to the Gentiles, and. i . our Lord s own teaching, as 
a type of the Resurrection , Matt. xii. 111. 11). The 
Apostle was to lie taught, a.s the prophet hail been of 
old. that the thoughts of God were not as his thoughts 
Jon. iv. M. 11). 
A great sheet knit at the four corners. 

Better, linuiiil lj Juiir < mis- -/.<.. tliose of tlie ropes by 
which it seemed to Peter s ga/.e to be let down from 
the opened firmament. The Greek word literally 
{><;!. uiiinj*. is used as we use " ends." 

(12) All manner of four-footed beasts . . . 
The classification semis to imply the sheep, the oxen, 
or the swine that were used as food liy the Gentiles, as j 
coininir under this head, the deer and goats, and conies 
and hares under that of " wild beasts." Stress in each 
case is laid upon theiv bing "all manner" of each class, | 
those that were allowed, and those also that were 
forbidden by the -Jewish law. 

M ;i Rise," Peter; kill, and eat. In the symbolism 
of the vision the natural promptings of appetite were 
confirmed by the divine voice. That which resisted 
both was the scruple of a hesitating conscience, not yet 
emancipated from its bondage to a ceremonial and 
therefore transitory law. It is natural to infer that the 
spiritual yearnings" of Peter s soul were, in like manner, 
(range ting and thirsting after a wider fellowship which 
should embrace "all manner "of the races that make 
up mankind, while, on the other hand, lie was as yei 
waiting to lie taught that the distinction between Jew 
and Gentile \\-as d me away in Christ. 

( u > Not SO, Lord . . .The emphatic resistance 
even to a voice from heaven is strikingly in harmony 
with the features of St. Peter s character, as portrayed 
in Ih" Gospels, with tlie Be it far from thee. Lord," 
when he heard of the coming Passion Luke xvi. :52 . 
with Thou shall never wash my feet." in .John xiii. >v 
He had IH en taught that that which "goeth into the 
mouth cannot detile the man ( Mark vii. l.V. but he 
had not taken in that truth in its fulness, either in its 
literal or symbolic meaning. 

Any thing that is common or unclean. 
" Common " is u>ed. a- in Mark vii. -, in the seii>e 

67 



of "defiled" or "impure," that which excludes the 
idea of consecration to a special service. 

ii.-.i What God hath cleansed, that call not 
thou common. lu the framework of the vision, tho 
clean and the unclean beasts stood on the >ame footing, 
were let down from heaven in tho same sheet. That 
hail purified them from whate\er taint had adhered to 
them under the precepts of the Law. In the interpre 
tation of the vision, all tha! belongs to humanity had 
been taken up into heaven; first, when man s nature 
was assumed by the Eternal Word in the Incarnation 
(.John i. 14 , and, secondly, when that nature had been 
raised in the Ascension to the heaven of hca\ens. 
sitting on the right hand of God (chap. vii. 56; Mark 
xvi. ID). 

(16) This was done thrice.- The three-fold repeti 
tion was at once general and personal in its significance. 
It was mystically the token of a complete ratification 
of the truth proclaimed. It reminded him of the three 
fold command, " Feed My sheep," and taught him to 
take a wider range of work in obeying it (Johu xxi. 
15-17). 

d"> While Peter doubted in himself . . . . 
A doubt might well arise whether the teaching of the 
vision went bevond its immediate M-ope. The Apo>tle 
might have admitted that it abrogated the old distinc 
tion between clean and unclean meats, and yet might 
hesitate to answer the ijucstion, " Did it do more than 
this? 

a*) The Spirit said unto him, . . . .The words 

seem to imply a state of consciousness intermediate 
between the " trance" that had passed away and the 
normal state of every-day life. The " voice " no longer 

seemed t ne from lu-aven t.. tlie outward ear. but 

was heard as not less divine in the >ecr, ; 
his soul. 
<- "> Go with them, doubting nothing. The 

command was specially addre ed to the perplexed 
(juestioninirs of the disciple. For a time he was to 
walk, as it were, blindfold, but trusting in the full 
assurance of faith in the Hand that wa- guiding him. 
AJ once before .lohn xiii. 7 . h.- knew not yet what his 
Lo,-d was doinir, but was to know hereafter. He and 
the messengers from Cornelius were alike acting on 
the promptings of the Divine Spirit. 

Cornelius the centurion. -The description 
seems to imply that the name of the soldier-Convert 



Peter goes to Ccesarea. 



THE ACTS, X. 



Jfeetiny of Peter and Cornelius^ 



report among all the nation of the Jews, 
wa.s warned from <!ol by an holy ang l 
to send for thee into his house, and to 
hear words of thee. J; Then called lie 
them in, and lodged them. And on the 
morrow Peter went away with them, 
and certain brethren from Joppa accom 
panied him. (2 ^ And tin- morrow after 
they entered into Ciesarea. And Cor 
nelius waited for them, and had culled 
together his kinsmen and near friends. 
f 25 And as Peter was coming in, Corne 
lius met him, and fell down at his feet, 



and worshipped him. (2(J) But Peter 
took him up, saying, Stand up ; I my 
self also am a man. ( - 7) And as he- 
talked with him, he went in, and found 
many that were come together. (28) And 
he said unto them, Ye know how that it 
is an unlawful thing for a man that is a 
Jew to keep company, or come unto one 
of another nation ; but God hath shewed 
me that I should not call any man 
common or unclean. I 29 ) Therefore came 
I unto you without gainsaying, as soon 
as I was sent for : I ask therefore for 



was not altogether unknown at Joppa. It could not 
fail to remind Peter of that other centurion whose name 
is not recorded, who was stationed at Capernaum, and 
had built the synagogue (Luke vii. 5). and with that 
recollection there would come back to his memory the 
words which his Master had spoken in connection with 
the faith which was greater than he had found in 
Israel, and which proclaimed that " many should come 
from east and west and north and south, and sit down 
with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of 
God" (Matt. viii. 11). 

One that feareth God. The word -was almost 
a technical one as describing the Gentile converts who 
stood in the position of " proselytes of the gate." 
(Comp. verses 2, 35; chap. xiii. 10.) 

Of good report among all the nation of the 
Jews. St. Luke s policy of conciliation, if one may so 
speak, is traceable in the stress laid on this- fact. As 
in the case of the reception of the Apostle of the 
Gentiles by Ananias (chap. ix. 10), so in that of 
Cornelius, all occasion of offence was, as far as 
possible, guarded against by the attestation given by 
those who were themselves Jews to the character of 
those concerned. 

(23) Then caUed he them in. As it was about 
noon when Peter went up to the house-top to pray, the 
arrival of the messengers, allowing an adequate interval 
for the trance and the vision, may be placed at some 
time in the afternoon. 

Certain brethren from Joppa. We learn from 
chap. xi. 12, that they were six in number. They were 
obviously taken that " in the mouth of two or three 
witnesses every word might bo established " (Deut. 
xvii. 6; xix. 15), that they might report to the Church 
at Joppa what had been done by the Apostle whcm 
they had learnt to reverence. 

( 24 ) His kinsmen and near friends. These, we 
may well believe, were, like tin- soldiers and slaves under 
his command, more or less in sympathy with Cornelius. 
He, at all events, was seeking to bring thorn also within 
the range of the new illumination which lie was expect 
ing to receive. 

(25) Fell down at his feet, and worshipped 
him. The attitude was the extreinest form of Eastern 
In image. So Jairus had bowed down before Jesus 
(Matt. ix. 18), so St. John bowed before the angel 
(Rev. xxii. 8). Peter s answer, in strong contract 
with the words and acts, the very ceremonial, of those 
who claim to be his -successors, shows that he looked 
on it as expressing a homage such as God alone could 
rightly claim. For man to require or receive it from 
man was on inversion of the true order. The language 



of the angel in Rev. xxii. 9 See thou do it not : for 
I am thy fellow-servant . . . worship God" implies 
the same truth. Both bear their witness, all the more 
important because not controversial, against any cullus 
of saints or angels that tends to efface the distinction 
between man and God. We must not pass over t he- 
parallelism between St. Peter s words and those of St. 
Paul at Lystra, " We also are men of like passions with 
yourselves " (chap. xiv. 15). 

(27) And as he talked with him. The word im 
plies a conversation of some length ; possibly, as the 
sequel seems to show, leading to the resolve that each 
should state separately how they, who had previously 
been strangers to each other, had thus been brought 
together. 

(28) Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing. 
St. Peter speaks from the standpoint of traditional 
Pharisaism rather than from that of the Law itself ; 
but the feeling was widely diffused, and showed itself 
in forms more or less rigorous wherever Jews and 
heathens came in contact witli each other. The strict 
Jew would not enter a Gentile s house, nor sit on the 
same couch, nor eat or drink out of the same vessel. 
(Comp. Note on Mark vii. 3, 4.) The very dust of 
a heathen city was defiling. The Hindoo feeling 
of caste, shrinking from contact with those of & 
lower grade, driven to madness and mutiny by 
"greased cartridges," presents the nearest modern- 
analogue. 

God hath shewed me that I should not call 
any man common or unclean. The Apostle had. 
we find, at last learnt the lesson which the vision had 
taught him, in all the fulness of its meaning. Humanity 
as such had been redeemed by the Incarnation and 
Ascension, and was no longer common or unclean, even 
in the most outcast heathen. God was willing to m-ei\i> 
all men. Sin alone was that which separated men from 
Him. Impurity was thought of as a moral, not a physical 
taint, and men were taught to see even in the sinner 
the potentialities of a higher life. He. too. had been 
redeemed, and might be justified and sanctified, and to 
him therefore honour and reverence were due as to. 
one in whom the image of (iod was not utterly effaced. 
and might be restored to brightness. It is interesting. 
in this connection, to note the "Honour all men " of 
1 Pet. ii. 17. It is obvious that the pride of cla^s 
resting on mere differences of culture, and showing 
itself in acts and words of contempt, is, from one point 
of view, even less excusable than that which at least 
imagined that it rested on a religious basis, while from 
another, it is less inveterate, and therefore more easily 
curable. 






TIIK ACTS. X. 






what inti-iit ye h;i\e s.-nt f..r me? 
\iil Ciu-iielius said, F<nir days :i^,, ] 
\v;is lasting until this Imur; and at the 
ninth Imur 1 jr:i\e,l in my house, and, 
beh.ild, a man st" ( .d liet i-re me in lu-i^hl 
cl<.thiiiL r , ;: :iiil said. Cornelius, thy 
pr;iver is heard, and thine alms an- had 
in rememhnmre in the si^ht oMJod. 
-ml therefore to Jc>i>i>a, and call 
hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; 
lie is lodged in the house of one Simon 
a tanner by the sea side: who, when he 


a IViit in. 17; 
H.-MI : 11 ; 
1 IVt. 1. 17. 


eoniet h, shall .-|ealv iintu th.-e. : ii n . 
mediately then-tore I sent to the,-; and 
tliMii haM well done that tln.ii art COme. 
Now therefore are we all here present 
before God, to liear all things tin- 
commanded thee of ( iod. 
Then ivter open.-d A/xiiHuith, and 
said, Of a truth I p-iv.-ive that <;! i> 
no respecter of persons : " ( - r " but in 
every nation he that fean-th him, ami 
worketh righteousness, is accepted with 
him. <:! ; The word which tl<l sent 



I was fasting until this hour.- The hour is 
not stated, hut tlif farts of the case imply that it could 
not have been much before noon, and may have been 
later. Assuming that Cornelius in his fasts observed 
the usage of devout Jews, we may think of his vision 
as having been on the second day of the week, and 
IVter s on tlie tit tli. It is probable, accordingly, that 
tlie meeting in the house of Cornelius took place 
on the Sabbath. Allowing some hours for the con 
ference, of which wo have probably but a condensed 
report, the outpouring of the Spirit, the subsequent 
baptism, and the meal which must have followed on 
it, may have coincided with the beginning of the first 
day of the week. 

In bright clothing. The phrase is the same as 
that used by St. James (chap. ii. 2, 3). The same 
adjective is employed by St. John to describe the 
raiment of the angels (Rev. xv. 6), and of the bride of 
the Lamb (Rev. xix. 8). 

(3i) Thy prayer is heard. The singular number 
gives a greater defiuiteuess to the object of the prayer 
than in verse 4. Lt must have been, in the nature of 
the case, a prayer for fuller light and knowledge of the 
Truth. One who had heard, through Philip s work at 
Caesarea. or, it may be, through the brother-officer 
who had been stationed at Capernaum (Luke vii. til, 
of the teaching and the life of .Jesus, and of the new 
society that acknowledged Him as its Head, may well 
have sought for guidance as to the special conditions 
of admission to that society. Philip was not as yet 
authorised to admit one who had not taken on himself 
die sign of the covenant of Israel. Was that an indis 
pensable condition ! J 

Thou hast well done. The peculiar turn of 
the phrase, in social usage, made it the expression, not 
of mere approval, but of heartfelt gratitude. (Comp. 
St. Paul s use of i^ in Phil. iv. 11.) 

Now therefore are we all here present. The 
words imply that the circle that had gathered round 
Cornelius were sharers in his solicitude, ready to 
comply with whatever might come to them as the 
command of God, and yet anxiously hoping that it 
might not impose upon them a burden too heavy to lx- 
borne. 

: ) Of a truth I perceive that God is no re 
specter Of persons. In regard to all distinct ions of 
social rank, or wealth, or knowledge. Peter had seen in 
his Master that absence of * respect of persons " which 
even His enemies acknowledged (Matt. xxii. 1 .; ; Luke 
\\. -\ . St. .lames lays stress on that element of 
character, within the same limits, ; ,s essential to all 
who s"ek to lie true disciples of the Christ .las. ii. 

1 7). Both, however, n led to lie taught that the 

same law of .an impartial equity had a yet wider appli 



cation, that the privileges and prerogatives (l f Israel, 
whatever blessings they might confer, were not to In 
set up as a barrier against the admission of other race-, 
to an equal fellowship in Christ. God had accepted 
the centurion. It remained for His servants to accept 
him also. It is instructive to note that St. Paul re 
produces the same thought in nearly the same phrase 

Rom. ii. 11). 

(35) In every nation he that feareth him. Tlie 
great truth which Peter thus proclaimed is obviously 
far-reaching in its range. It applies, not to those mil , 
who know the name of Christ and believe on Him 
when He is preached to them, but to all who in a! 
and countries " fear God " according to the measure ol 
their knowledge, and "work righteousness" according 
to their belief and Opportunities. The good works in 
such a case, are, in their measure and degree, as "fruits 
of faith, and follow after justification " Article XII.. 
justification having been, in such ea-es. objectively 
bestowed for the merits of Christ, and subjectively 
appropriated by the faith which, in the Providence of 
God, was possible under the conditions of the case. 
They do not come under the head of " works done hei ori 
the grace of Christ and the inspiration of His Spirit" 
(Article XIII.), for Christ is " the true Light that 
lighteth every man that comet h into the world" (John i. 
!>. and the Spirit is to every man " the Lord, and giver 
of life," and the works are done " as God hath willed 
and commanded them to he done." What such men 
gain by conversion is a fuller knowledge of the Truth, 
and therefore a clearer faith, a fuller justification, and a 
higher blessedness, but as this history distinctly teaches, 
they are already accepted with God. They are saved. 
"not by the law or sect which they profess " Article 
XVIII J, ! ut. even though they know not the Name 
wh reby they must be sa\ed chap. iv. 1 L . bv hrist. 
who is the Saviour of all. The truth which St. 
Peter thus set forth proclaims at once the equity 
and the love of the Father, and sweeps away the 
nan-owing dreams which confine the hope ->f salvation 
to the circumcised, as did the theology of the Rabbis; 
or to those who have received the outward ordinance 
of baptism, as did the theology of Augustine and the 

Medieval Church; or. as do some forms of Protestant 
dogmatism, to those who have heard -ind believed tit- 
story of the Cross of Christ. The language 
Paid in Rom. x. 1 M- should, however, be compared 
with this, as showing that the higher knowledge brim:- 
with it an incomparably higher blessedness, and that 
the man first tastes the full meaning of salvation" 
when he consciously calls on the Lord by whom he lias 
been saved. 

The word which God sent . . . The 

structure of the sentence, beginning with the object. 



Peter s Summary of t/ic Life of Jesus. THE ACTS, X. Peter* ]\ i f- ,<> of tJw Resurrection. 



unto the children of Israel, preaching 
peace by Jesus Christ : (he is Lord of 
all :) (:i7 that word, [ so,//, ye know, 
which was published throughout all 
Judeea, and began from Galilee, after 
the baptism which John preached ; 
(38) j low (^ 0( i anointed Jesus of Nazareth 
with the Holy Ghost and with power : 
who went about doing good, and healing 
all that were oppressed of the devil; 
for God was with him. w And we are 
witnesses of all things which he did 



both in the land of the Jews, and in 
Jerusalem; whom they slew and imi^.-d 
on r, tree: (!< " him God raised up th-- 
third <l;iv, and shewed him openly; 
< 41 > not to all the people, but unto wit 
nesses chosen before of God, even to us, \ 
who did eat and driuk with him after 
he rose from the dead. W And h. 
| commanded us to preach unto the 
people, and to testify that it is he which 
was ordained of God to be the Judge of 
quick and dead. W To him give all 



ami carried on though a series of clauses, is both iu the 
Greek and English somewhat complicated, but it is 
characteristically like that of St. Peter s speech iu 
<"hap. ii. 22 24, whether the actual form in which both 
now appear is due to the speaker or the reporter. It is 
possible, though the construction is less natural, that 
"the word which (rod sent " may look backward to the 
verb "I perceive" and not to the "ye know" of 
verse 37. 

Preaching peace. Better, as reproducing with 
the Greek the thought and language of Isa. lii. 7. 
pi-i tH-li imj ijlml tiilinij* <>f peace. 

He is Lord of all. The parenthesis is significant 
as guarding against the thought which Cornelius might 
havo entertained, that the Jesus of whom lie heard as 
the Christ was only a Prophet and a Teacher. Peter, 
still holding the truth which had been revealed to 
him, not by flesh and blood, but by his Father in 
heaven (Matt. xvi. 17), proclaims that He was none 
other than the " Lord of all," of^all men, aud of all 
things. 

(37) That word, I say, ye know. The Greek 
for " word " differs from that in verse 36, as including 
more distinctly the subject-matter of the message. In 
the words " ye know " we may trace the result of the 
conversation held before the more formal conference. 
The main facts of the life and ministry of the Christ 
were already known, either through that conversation, 
or through the previous opportunities which it had 
disclosed. The question at issue was the relation in 
which they stood to those who were now listening. 

(38) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth. 
In the Greek structure the name stands in apposition 
with the "word" in the two previous verses "Jesus 
of Nazareth, how God anointed him." The word 
" anointed " is used with distinct reference to the 
name of Christ in verse 35, and assumes a knowledge 
of the facts connected with His baptism, as in Matt, iii. 
16, Mark i. 10, Luke iii. 21, 22, as the divine witness 
that that Name belonged of right to Him and to no 
other. 

Healing all that were oppressed of the 
devil.- The words seem to us to refer specially to 
the works of he.-.ling peri onued on demoniacs, but 
were probably uttered wiVh a wider range of meaning, 
all disease being thought of as ihe work directly or 
indirectly of the great enemy. So Satan had bound 



ihe woman with a spirit of infirmity (Luke xiii. 11). 
So St. Paul s " thorn in the flesh " was ;i messenger of 
Satan to buffet him -J Cor. xii. 7 . 



(39) And we are witnesses of all things.-- 

The Apostle still keeps before him the main idea of 
his mis-ion ;l s laid down in the command given by his 
Lord i chap. i. 8). 

70 



Both in the land of the Jews. Speaking as St. 
Peter did at Csesarea. and as a Galilee;, we must pro 
bably take the word in its narrower sense as meaning 
the inhabitants of Judsea. So taken, the words have 
the interest of implying the ministry in Jinkea, of 
which the first three Gospels record so little, but which 
comes out into full prominence in the fourth. (See 
Introduction to St. John s Gospel.) 

Whom they slew and hanged on a tree. 
As iu chap. ii. 23, Peter represents the Crucifixion as 
virtually the act of the rulers and people of Jerusalem, 
and not of the Roman governor. The modi of death 
is described as in the Greek of Deut. xxviii. 2 i and in 
Gal. iii. 10, rather than in the more technical language 
of the Gospels. 

(>> And shewed him openly. Literally, gave 
him to be manifest. 

( 41 ) Unto witnesse chosen before. Better. 
appointed. The precise word which St. Luke uses 
occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, but is 
connected with the word rendered "ordained" in 
chap. xiv. 23. 

Who did eat and drink with him. The three 
recorded instances of this are found in Luke xxiv. 30, 
42 ; John xxi. 13. This was, of course, the crucial test 
which showed that the Form on which the disciples had 
looked was no phantom of the imagination. 

(* *) And he commanded us to preach unto 
the people. No such command is found in terms 
in the Gospel narratives of ilic words of the risen Lord, 
but it is partly implied in Matt, xxviii. 1820, and is 
covered by the general teaching as to the things of the 
kingdom of God in chap. i. 3. It is interesting to note 
that St. Peter and St. Paul agree in thur. connecting 
the Resurrection with the assurance that He who had 
risen was to be the future Judge of all men. (Comp. 
chap. xvii. 31.) 

Which was ordained. More accurately, u-hich 
has been orda/i <l. 

() To him give all the prophets witness. 
As in St. Peter s earlier speeches in chap. ii. and iii. 
.so here. . -,. ti-ace the result of our Lord s teaching 
given in the interval between the Resurrection and 
Ascension as to the method of prophetic interpretation 
which discerns, below all temporary and historical 
references, the under-current of testimony to the king 
dom of which Christ was the Head. 

That through his name . . . . We can without 
difficult v represent to ourselves the impression which 
these wlirds must have made on the anxious listeners. 
This was the answer to their doubts aud perplexitie-. 
Not by submitting themselves to the bondage of the 
Law, not by circumcision and all that it implied, tall by 
the simple act of faith in Christ, and in the power of 



///.> Fr i-ii i 



TIIK ACTS, XI. 






the prophets witness. lh;it through liis 

llllllie \\lmsoevel- helic\eth ill llilll shall 
receive remiioii ( ,| sins. 
" \Vhile Peter \ et Spake these Words, 
the Holy (Jhost fell mi ;ill them which 
heard t he \\ord. Ami thev ..( the 
circiiiiicisioii which helieved were as- 
tonislied, ;is many ;is came with Peter, 
herause tliat on the (Jentiles also was 
poured out the --it t of the Holy Ghost. 
For they heard them speak with 
tongues, and magnify <!od. Then ;in- 
s \\er.-d Peter, ii: Can any man forbid 


a JIT. :n . 
A.D. . 


water, that these should not he hapti/rd, 
which ha\e ree.-ived th.- II. .|\ <Jh 
well as we? Ami he command--"! 
them to be baptized in the name of 
ihe Lord. Then prayed they him t,, 
tarry certain da_\ >. 

CHAPTER XI.") And the apostles 

and hn-thn-n th: t W&K in .Jud;ea heard 
that the (Jentiles had also received the 
\\oi-d of (Jod. -) And when Peter was 
come up to Jerusalem, they that \\.-iv 
of the circumcision e.,:itend,-d with him, 



His Name, i.e., of all tin- attributes .-mil ener-ries "f 
which the Name was the symbol, they. Centi!--, as 
tliry were, might receive that remission of sins \vhicli 
conscience, now ruiisfd to its full activity, taught them 
was the bldispeiMaUe condition of acceptance and of 
peace. The intensity of that emotion, the satisfaction 
of all tlieir previous yearnings, placed them subjec 
tively in a spiritual condition which prepared the way 
for the wonder which the next verse narrates. 

The Holy Ghost fell on all them which 
heard the word. The words imply a sudden thrill 
of spiritual joy and elevation which showed itself, as it 
had done on the Day of JVnteeost isee Note on chap. 
ii. 1 . in a burst of unpremeditated praise. Xow, as 
then, the tongues " manifested themselves, not as 
instruments of teaching, but in "magnifying God." 
As there is no mention here of the utterance of praise 
being in any other language than those with which the 
speakers were familiar, there is no ground for assuming 1 
that this feature of the Pentecostal !_rift was repro 
duced, and the jubilant ecstatic praise which was the 
essence of that yift must he thought of as correspond 
ing to the phenomena described in 1 ( or. xiv. 7 9. 

i 45 ) And they of the circumcision which be 
lieved . . .St. Luke obviously dwells on this as 
a testimony, beyond suspicion, to the reality of the 
gift. Those who came with Peter were apparently not 
sharers at the time in the exultant joy which they 
were yet compelled to recognise as the Spirit s work. 
They listened with ama/ement as they heard the 
rapturous chant burst from the lips of the as yet un- 
baptised heathens. Here, accordingly, was one definite 
fulfilment of Peter s vision. Those who so spake had 
been, as it were, carried up into heaven, as the four- 
footed beasts and creeping things had been, and so a 
proof was given that no man might henceforth call 
them common or unclean. Peter himself had indeed 
learnt that les-oii so fully (vene J v as not to need this 
special attestation, but for those who came with him 
this evidence was needed and was siiilicient. 

Can any man forbid water . . . The 

question was an appeal to the voice of reason. Could 
the outward sign lie refused, when thus the inward and 
spiritual grace had been so manifestly bestowed;* 
Ordinarily, as in the case of the Samaritans chap. viii. 
l~> 17i. the gift of spiritual powers followed, by the 
subsequent act of laying on of hands, on the grace 
^iven in baptism. \o\v even that irift had been 
anticipated, and all that remained was the outward act 
of incorporation with the society which owned Christ 
as its Head. While the history thus bore its witness 
ihat the gifts of (iod may l!o\v through other channels 



than the outward forms which Christ had appointed, it 
testified no less clearly that no spiritual Drifts, however 

marvellous, superseded the necessity of obedi- Me.- to 

the law of Christ which had appointed those outward 
forms. The exceptional gift was bestowed, in this 
instance, to remove the scruples which "those of the 
circumcision might otherwise have felt as 1<, admittinir 
(Jentiles, as such, to baptism; and having served that 
purpose, as a crucial instance, was never afterwards, so 
tar as we know, repeated under like conditions. 
(&) And he commanded them . . . It would 

seem from this that St. Peter acted on the same general 
principle as St. Paul (1 Cor. i. II -17 .and left the 
actual administration of baptism to other hands than 
his own. Who administered it in this instance we are 
not told. Possibly .here may have been an ,-/><</ 
already organised at C;esarea, as the result of Philip s 
work, and its elders or deacons, or Philip himself, may 
have acted under Peter s orders. If those who came 
with him from Joppa had so acted, it would probabh . 
we may believe, have been .-fated. 

Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. 
The days so spent must have included at least ono 
"first dav of the week." and both in the solemn break 
ing of bread, and in the social intercourse of the other 
days. Peter must have mingled freely with the new 
converts, eating and drinking with them ichap. \i. J . 
without any fear of being thereby defiled. That visit 
to Ca-sarea. St. Luke dwells on as one of the great 
turning-points in the Apostle s life, attesting his 
essential agreement with St. Pr.ul. We cin well un 
derstand how he shrank from marring the effect of that 
attestation bv recording the melancholy inconsistency 
of his subsequent conduct at Antioch (ial. ii. 11. J J . 



w And the apostles and brethren that were 

in Judsea . . .The context implies that the 
tidings travelled, while Peter remained at Ca s.-nva. 
first probably to .Joppa and Lydda. and afterwards to 

Jerusalem. 

(-) They that were of the circumcision con 
tended with him. The conversion of the (Jentiles 
at C;esarea had given a new si^niticance to the name of 
"those of the circumcision." From this time forth 
they are a distinct section, often a distinct party, in the 
Church, and here we have the first symptom of tin- 
line whicli they were about to take. They contended 
with Peter the tense implies continuous "or repeated 
discussion, because lie hail eaten with those \\lio were 
uneirciimcised. and therefor--, fmin tin- Jewish point of 
view, unclean. 



:i 



TkoM of tfa Circumcision at Jerusalem. 1 rlE ACTS, 



Peter s Narrt>r>>, 



1 ;i saving, Thou wi iitrst in to men un- 




( U) And, behold, immediately there were 


circuniciscd, and <li<lst t>at with thfin. 




three men already come unto the house 


< 4) But Peter rehearsed the matter from 




where I was, sent from Csesarea unto 


the beginning, and expounded it by 




me. (12) And the spirit bade me go with 


order unto tlinn, saying. * 51 I was in tli> 




them, nothing doubting. Moreover these 


city of ,Jo]>i>a praying: ttnd in a trance 




six brethren accompanied me, and \\e 


I sa\v a vision, A certain vessel de 




entered into the man s house: (1: " and 


scend, as it had lin-n a great sheet, let 




he shewed us how he had seen an angel 


down from In -a veil by four corners; and 




in his house, which stood and said 


it canif even to me: (6) upon the which 




unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call 


when 1 hud fastened mine eyes, I con 




for Simon, whose surname is Peter ; 


sidered, and saw fourfooted beasts of 




(U) who shall tell thee words, whereby 


the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping 




thou and all thy house shall be saved. 


things, and fowls of the air. < 7 > And I 




( 15 > And as I began to speak, the Holy 


heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, 




Ghost fell on them, as on us at the 


Peter ; slay and eat. < 8 > But I said, Not 


Ch. 2. 4. 


beginning." < 16) Then remembered I the 


so, Lord: for nothing common or uii- 




word of the Lord, how that he said,. 


clean hath at any time entered into my 


b John 1. 26. 


John indeed baptized with water ; * but 


mouth. W But the voice answered me 




ye shall be baptized with the Holy 


again from heaven, What God hath 




Ghost. < 17) Forasmuch then as God 


cleansed, that call not thou common. 




gave them the like gift as he did unto- 


< 10 > And this Avas done three times : and 




us, who believed on the Lord Jesus 


all were drawn up again into heaven. 




Christ ; what was I, that I could with- 



(3) Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised. 
The words cannot well be translated otherwise, but the 
Greek (literally, men with a foreskin) is somewhat more 
expressive of seorn than the merely negative form of 
the English. The same word is eoiniuonly used by St. 
Paul where he discusses the relation between circum 
cision and imcireumeision (Roin. ii. 25,26; iv. 9. 10; 
1 Cor. vii. 18, 19, et al). 

<*) But Peter rehearsed the matter from the 
beginning. Better, perhaps, the word " rehearse " 
having grown into a different shade of meaning, began 
and set forth the matter. The translators seem to have 
paraphrased the participle " having begun " somewhat 
more fully than its actual meaning admits. The 
almost verbal repetition of the same narrative as that 
of chap. x. seems, at first sight, inconsistent with our 
common standard of skill in composition. The pro 
bable explanation of it is that St. Luke obtained the 
first narrative from the disciples whom he met at 
Csesarea, and the second from those of Jerusalem, and 
that the close agreement of the two seemed to him, as 
indeed it was. a confirmation of the truth of each. 

(*) It came even to me. The variations in the 
narrative are few and of little importance. There is. 
perhaps, a touch of the vividness of personal recollection 
in the description of the sheet as coining "even to me." 
as compared with its being let down " to the earth " in 
ciap. x. 11. 

< 6 > Upon the which when I had fastened 
mine eyes, I considered. Here again we trace 
the same kind of vividness as in the previous verse. 
The Apostle recalls the intense eager ga/.e with which 
he had looked on the strange vision. 

( l ) All were drawn up again into heaven. 
Once more there is a slight increase of vividness 
in the word which expresses ;> rapid upward movement, 
as compared with " the ve-s.-l \va, received up int*> 
heaven." in chap. x. 1H. 

(1 -> The spirit bade me go with them, no 
thing doubting. The Greek verb lias a special force 



as being the same as that for " contended " in verse 2. 
Peter, guided by the Spirit, raised no debate such as 
they were raising. 

(!*) Whereby thou and all thy house shall 
be saved. The words are not found in the report of 
the angel s speech in cliap. x. 4 6, but may legitimately 
be thought of as implied in it. The prayer of Cornelius 
had been for salvation, and when he was told, in answer 
to that prayer, to send for one who should speak to- 
him, it must have been clear to him that he was to hear 
of that way of salvation which he had been seeking. 

(15) And as I began to speak . . . It is. 
perhaps, a trait of individual character that the Apostle- 
speaks of what is recorded in chap. x. 34 13 as the mere 
beginning of what he had meant to say. 

As on us at the beginning. The words are- 
spoken, it will lie remembered, to apostles and disciples 
who had been sharers in the Pentecostal gift. St. Peter 
bears his witness that what he witnessed at Caesarea 
was not less manifestly the Spirit s work than what 
they "had then experienced. 

(M) Then remembered I the word of the 
Lord. The special promise referred to was that 
recorded in chap. i. 5. Then it had seemed to refer 
only to the disciples, and the Day of Pentecost had 
appeared to bring a complete fulfilment of it. X<>w 
Peter had learnt to see that it had a wider range, that 
the gift might bo bestowed on those whit were not of 
Israel, and who were not called to come outwardly 
within the covenant of Israel. If the baptism of the 
Holy Ghost had been thus given to them it implied, as 
the greater includes the less, that they were admissible 
to the baptism of water. 

(17) Forasmuch then . . .More accurately. If 

tlll lt. 

Unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus 

Christ. The Greek construction gives a somewhat 
different meaning: If then G<1 .</" /" tl-n^<ui 
i;inn! i/ iff it* tn /<>. 11/nn/ fltfir hi liiriiiif . . . That 
condition was sufficient in their case for the greater 



72 



.t/ of f/if C 



THE ACTS. XI. /- yprufandi 



staml (J...1-J "" \Vl,.-n tli.-y li.-anl than 
hint s, thry li-ld tli.-ir JM-MI-I-, ami 
U r l i-iticd (J.nl, savin--. Tlii-M lialh <J<1 
also to tli.- < !. -ntili-s --i-ant. .l n jM-iitaii. . 
ante lit .-. 

W \M\V tlii-y which \\.-rr scattered 
abroad upon the persecution that arose 



Strph.-ir 1 trav.-ll.-.l g 

ami Cyprus, ami An iodi, 
tin- wi.nl tn none I Mt unto 
tin- .L Ws mily. - " And si.nif i d tlifiii 
were nifii i.f Cyprus ami Cyr.-ni . \\hii-li, 
\\li.-n tli.-y \\.-n- n.iiM t.. Aiili..<-li, s|iak.- 
unto the Grecians, preaching tin- Lord 



gifts, iinil tlu-ir admissihility to li;i]t i-.ni and t.. general 
fellowship followed naturallv as a thing of course. 
What was I, that I could withstand God ? 

Tin- (ireek gives a c(iiii]>lr\ (|iii stii)ii. H7 im* If 

Al li t" iritltxtilinl (Intl /... Ho\V Was I, being SUrll 

a one as I inn. able to withstand ? 

They held their peace, and glorified God. 

The difference of tenses in th> two (Jreek verlis ini- 
plies that tln-y first hold their peace, and then began a 
continuous utterance of praise. The fact was obviously 
one of immense importance in its hearing on tlie ques- 
tion at issue between St. Paul and the Jndaisers. of 
which St. I. like had seen so much and which he sought. 
by his narrative, to settle. Xot only had the first 
step in the free admission of the (Jennies been taken 
by the chief of the Apostles, and under direct guidance 
from above, hut it had received the formal approval of 
the Apostles and other members of the Church of the 
Circumcision at Jerusalem. The Judaisers. in opposing 
St. Paul, were acting against the Church from which 
they pretended to derive their authority. 

i " 1 " Now they which were scattered abroad. 
A new and important section begins with these 
words. We are carried hack to the date of the 
persecution of which Stephen was the chief victim. 

The persecution that arose about Stephen. 
The MSS. vary in their reading, some giving the 
case which would be rendered by the persecution in 
flu tiiim of Stephen;" some, that which answers to the 
persecution IIJI-IH or <HJ inni or nftcr Stephen. The death 
of the martyr was followed, as chap. viii. 1 1 shows. 
by a general outburst of fanaticism against the dis 
ciples, aiid this led to a comparatively general flight. 
It was probable, in the nature of the case, that the 
Hellenistic or ( ireek-speaking .lews who had been 
associated with Stephen would be the chief sufferers. 
Philip we have traced in Samaria and C;esarea ; others 
went to Pho-nice. i.,-.. to the cities of Tyre and Sidou 
;ind I tolemais. and were probably the founders of the 
churches which we tind there in chaps, xxi. 4 7. 
xxvii. :!. In Cyprus see Note on chap. xiii. 1. for an 
account of the island) they prepared the way for the 
work of Barnabas and Paul". 

And Antioch. -We have her.- the first direct point 
of contact between the Church of Clir ; s a*:r tlio great 
Syrian capital which was for so many years one of its 
chief centres. \\Y may. perhaps, think of the proselyte 

of Antioch (chap. vi. "i who had I u one of Stephen s 

col leagues as one of those who brought the new faith to 
his nati\e city. It was. as the sequel shows, a moment 
of immense importance. Situated on the Orontes. 
about fifteen miles from the port of Seleiicia, the city, 
founded by Seleucits Xieator. and named after his 
father Antiocluis. had grown in wealth and magnifi 
cence till it was one of the "eyes" of Asia. Its men 
of letters and rhetoricians among them the poet 

Archias. in whose behalf Cicero made 01 f his must 

memorable oration- had carried its fame to Koine 
itself, and the Ixmiiaii Satirist complained that the Syrian 
Orontes had polluted his native Tiber with the tainted 



stream of luxury and vice i Juvenal. .SV//. iii. > <- 
It had a large colony of Jews. and Herod tin- (ireat had 
courted the fa\our of its inhabitants by building a 
marble colonnade which ran the whole leugth of the city. 
It became tin- head-quarters of the Prefect or President 
>f Syria, .ind the new faith was thus brought into mon- 
direct contact with the higher forms of Roman life than 
it had been at Jerusalem or Ciesarea. riiere also it 
came into more direct conflict with heathenism in its 
most tempting and most debasing forms. The proves 
of Daphne, in the outskirts of the city, were famous for 
a worship which in its main features resembled that of 
Aphrodite at Corinth. An annual festival was held, 
known as the Mnii ntn. at which the harlot-prie--. 
stripped of clothing, disported themselves in the 
of a lake. The city was stained with the vices of a 
reckless and shameless sensuality. It was as one of 
.he strongholds of Satan: ami we have to trace, a- it 
were, the stag s of the victory which transformed it 
into the mother-church of the (Jentiles. 

Preaching the word to none but unto the 
Jews only. -Better, as a.iswering to he singular 
number in the (.-Jreek. t<> m> i>m-. T lis was. of course. 

to 1 xpectcd in the work of those who had left 

Jerusalem before the conversion of Cornelius had 
ruled "he case otherwise. The fact is stated, appa 
rently, in contrast both with the narrative thai precede- 
and the statement that immediately follows. 

(2) And some of them were men of Cyprus 
and Gyrene. BeMer. Ji/tt tome. These -.vcre i r:m 
the nature of the ease. Hellenistic or Greek-speaking 
J ws. Who they -.vere wo can only conjecture. Pos 
sibly Lucius of Gyrene, -vim appears in the list of 
prophets in chap. viii. 1; possibly Simon of Cyn-ne. ..f 
A hoin we have -, e- reason ti think as a disciple of 
Christ. , See Notes on -Matt, xxvii. : .:_ : Mark xv. : l 
The founders of the Church of Antioch. like th. 
the Church of Rome, must remain unknown. 

Spake unto the Grecians. The XGS. present 
the two readings -H<//< ///>/> . Greek-speaking 
and Hellenes, Greek . or (Jentiles by descen.. AS far as 
their authority is concerned, the two stand nearly on 
the same level", th, hahm.v inclining slightly in fa\oiir 
of ][, Uenute, winch is found in MSS. B ami D. while A 
gives //-//</<.<. The Sinaitic has the almost incompre 
hensible reading, " they spake unto the Evangelimce* 
which is obvi iiislv w:-mg. but which, -o far as i- 
must he thrown into the scale in favour of 11,11- 
as the word which the transcriber had before him. and 
which he misread or misheard. If we receive that 
reading, then wi- must suppose St. Luke to !a\ 
upon the fact that the preachers of whom he speaks, 
instead of speaking to the Jews at large, many of 
whom, being Svrians. would speak Aramaic, addn-s.-d 

themselves specially to the Greek-speaking Jews and 
proselytes, and were thus following in St. Stephen s 
footsteps, and indirectly preparing the way for St. Paul 

the Hellenist;! being, a- a l.o, 1\ the "link between 
the Jews as : r ice and till Hellenes. On the whole. 

however, inl to turn the s-.-alo 



Baniabiis sent 



THE ACTS, XL 



Saul brouijlit by Barnabiu, 



Jesus. (21) And th<- hand of the Lord 
was with 1li. -in: and a "Teat number 
Itrli.-vcd, and turned unto the Lord. 

hen lit liii^s of these things came 
unto the ears of the chmvh which 
was in Jerusalem: and 1h.-v sent forth 
Barnabas, thai he should go as far as 
Antioch. ( - :!) Who, when he came, and | 
had seen the grace of God, was glad, I 



and exhorted them all, that with pur 
pose of heart they would cleave unto 
the Lord. <- 4) For he was a good man, 
and full of the Holy < iliost ami of faith: 
and much people was added unto the 
Lord. ( *> Then departed Barnabas to 
Tarsus, for to seek Saul: -"> and when 
he had found him, he brought him unto- 
Antioch. And it came to pass, that a 



in favour of tin other reading. (1) As the Hellenists 
were "Jews." though not "Hebrews." they would 
naturally be included in the statement of verse 19, and 
so there would 1)0 110 contrast, no new advance, indi 
cated iu verse 1^0 in the statement that the word was 
spoken to them. (~2) The contract between .lews and 
Hellenes is, on the other hand, as in chaps, xiv. 1, 
xviii. 1, a perfectly natural and familiar one, and 
assuming this to be the true reading, wo get a note of 
progress which otherwise we should miss, there being 
no record elsewhere of the admission of the Gentiles at 
Antioch. (3) It does not necessarily follow, however, 
that the Hellenes who are spoken of had been heathen 
idolaters up to the time of their conversion. Probably, 
as in chap, xviii. 4, they were more or less on the same 
level as Cornelius, proselytes of the gate, attending the 
services of the synagogue. (4) The question whether 
this preceded or followed the conversion of Cornelius is 
one which we have not sufficient data for deciding. On 
the one hand, the brief narrative of verse 19 suggests 
the thought of an interval as long as that between the 
death of Stephen and St. Peter s visit to Caesarea, and 
it may have been part of the working of God s pro 
vidence that there should be simultaneous and parallel 
advances. On the other, the language of those of the 
circumcision to Peter in verse 3, implies that they had 
not. heard of such a case before ; and that of the Apostle 
himself, in chap. xv. 7, distinctly claims the honour of 
having been the first (possibly, however, only the tirst 
among the disciples at Jerusalem) from whose lips the 
Gentiles, as such, had heard the word of the gospel. 
On the whole, therefore, it seems probable that the work 
went on at Antioch for many months among the Hel 
lenistic and other Jews, ana that the men of Cvprus 
and Gyrene arrived after the case of Cornelius had 
ivi:oved the scruples which had hitherto restrained 
them from giving full scope to the longings of their 
heart. We must not forget, however, that there was one 
to whom the Gospel of the Uncircumcision, the Gospel 
of Humanity, had been already revealed in its fulness 
, chap. x\. :!! ; Gal. i. 11. \-\. and we can hardly think 
of him as waiting, after that revelation, for any de 
cision of the Church of Jerusalem. His action, at any 
rate, must have been parallel and independent, and 
may have been known to, and followed bv. other mis 
sionaries. 

Preaching the Lord Jesus. As before, preacli- 
In<i tin i/lnil 1!i1!it</ of the Lord Jesus. 

<-- They sent forth Barnabas. The chow* WM 

probably determined, we may believe, by the known 
sympathies of the Son of Consolation for the work 
which was going on ai Amioch. The friend of Paul, 
who hid been with him when he was at Jerusalem 
(chap. ix. 27), musi have known his hopes and convic 
tions on this matter, and must have welcomed the 
opening which was thus given him for working in the 
same direction. The fact that lie was himself of the 
tame country would also qualify him for eo-operatinir 



with the men of Cyprus, who were carrying on that 
work in Antioch. 

(23) And exhorted them all. The tense implies 
continuous action; and the verb in the Greek is that 
from which Barnabas took his name as the Son of 
Comfort" or " Counsel." (See Note on chap. iv. 36.) 

With purpose Of heart. The preacher had seen 
the grace of God. and had rejoiced at it ; but he knew, 
as ail true teachers know, that it is possible for man s 
will to frustrate that grace, and that its co-operation. as 
manifested in deliberate and firm resolve, was necessary 
to carry on the good work to its completion. The word 
for "purpose " meets us again in chap, xxvii. 13. 

They would cleave unto the Lord. Th 
noun is probably used in its dominant New Testa 
ment sense, as pointing to the Lord Jesus as the new 
object of the faith and love of those who had turned 
to Him. 

W) For he was a good man. Words of praiso 
of this kind are comparatively rare in this history, and 
we may. perhaps, think of them here as expressing St. 
Luke s personal estimate of the character of the 
preacher, which he was all the more anxious to place on 
record because lie had to narrate before long the sad 
contention which separated him from his friend and 
fellow-worker (chap. xv. 39). The word " good " is 
probably to be taken as presenting the more winning 
and persuasive form of holiness, as contrasted with the 
severer forms of simple justice. (Comp. Rom. v. 7.) 

Pull of the Holy Ghost. This was implied in 
his very name as "the Son of Prophecy" (.see Note on 
chap. iv. 31) ; but it is interesting to note that the words 
are identical with those in which the historian had 
previously described Stephen (chap. vi. 5). Barnabas 
appeared to him to reproduce the mind and character 
of the martyr. 

Much p eople. Literally, a great mnltit>i<l> . im 
plying a large increase upon the work related in 
verse 21. 

(25) Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus. The 
act is every way significant. It indicates the assurance 
that Saul would approve of the work which had been 
goinir on at Antioch. and the confident belief that lie 
was the right person to direct and organise it. It pro 
bably implies also SOUK- intercourse with the Apo>tle. 
by letter or message, since his departure from Jeru 
salem. Tn the absence of any direct record, we can 
only infer that Saul had remained at Tarsus, carrying 
on his occupation as a tent-maker (chap, xviii. > . and 
preaching the gospel there and in the neighbouring 

cities of ( ilieia see Nod on chap. XV. 41) " to the Jew 

first and also to the Gentiie." It is clear that he must 
have heard of the grace of God that had been mani 
fested at Antioch with great joy. and accepted the invi 
tation to join in the work there with a ready ^ladnes,. 
The disciples were called Christians 

first in Antioch. The term for "were called" is 
not the word usually so rendered. Better, perhaps 
71 



Til K ACTS. XI. 0reo* 



M //, 



whole year they ; ssembled them- 
with t he church,- ;.nd taught much 

people. And the disciples \\cn- railed 

Christians tirst in Ant iorh. 
And in t lies,- da \ g ratm- prophet s 

from Jerusalem unto Antioeh. -" And 

there sto,,d up one ot them named 
Au ahiis. and signified by the spirit that 


church. 


t hei-e should be ^rcat dearth throiiu r h- 
out all the world : wliich came to 
in the days ,f Claudius ( Then 
the disci p|, >, e\rr\ man according to hi.-, 
ability, det. rmined to send i-.-liet Unto the 
brethren which dwelt in hid;! a : which 
al>o t hey did, and sent it to tin- ciders 
by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. 



</,./ /// mini- <>t ( ltrititni*. Tin Kmperor .Julian 
./.. ]i :!ll imtrs tlic tendency t" invent nick- 
nanit s. a-- a form of satire, as characteristic nf the 
population of Antioeh in his time, and ihe same tone of 
f>,-i-.-:ijl,i,j,- seems to l-.ave prevailed on the tirst appear- 
anee of the new faith. Tin- origin of a name which was 
afterwards to lie so mighty in the history of the world 
is a subject full of interest. In its form it was essen 
tially L-itin. after the pattern of the r,<,,i t ,, nnii. N/- 
/ /,.. and other party-names; and so far it would seem 
to have grown out of the contact of the new society 
with the llomans stationed at Antiocli. who. learning 
that its members acknowledged the ( ////>/.-. as their 
head, gave them the name of Cln-i^tinui. In the (Jos- 
pels, it is true, however .Matt. \xii. In . i t nl. . we find the 
analogous term of H^roilinni. Imt there, also, we may 
legitimately trace the intliience of Roman associations. 
AS used in the New Testament, we note i 1 1 that the 
disciples never \i~-e it of themselves. They keep to 
such terms as the brethren" .chap. \v. I . and the 
"saints" ichap. ix. l \), and "those of the way" (chap. 
i\. 2). - That the hostile .Jews use the more 
scornful term of " Na/arenes" ichap. xxiv. 5). (3) That 
the term Clii-ixtliiitii* is used as a neutral and suffi 
ciently respectful word by Agrippa in chaji. xxvi. l . 5. and 
at a somewhat later date, when it had obviously gained 
a wider currency, as that which brought witli it the 
danger of suffering and persecution (1 Pet. iv. 10). It 
was natural that a name tirst given by outsiders sliould 
soon be accepted by believers as a title in which to 
glory. Tradition ascribes its origin to Euodins. the 
tir>t Mishop of Antiocli i Hin^ham. Ant. II. i. -I- . and 
Ignatius, his successor, uses it frequently, and forms 
from it the hardly les> important word of Cltrixtitniix- 
///".-. as opposed to Jii(lii!.tni(if< i Philaddph, c. . and as 
<>xpres>inv: the whole system of faith and life which we 
know as ( hristianitv." It niav lie worth while to note 
that another ecclesiastical term, hardly less important 
in the history Hi Christendom, seems also to have 
originated at Antiocli. and that we may trace to it the 
name of ( W//..//V as well as ( //// >//<((/ i l^natiujj. Snnjni. 
C. 8). We learn from Tertulliaii ,.!;.. /. c. T{) that tlie 
name was often wrongly jironounced as I ///- sfimii. and 
its meaning not understood Kventhe name of (VM-/</M>- 

was jir iiinced and exjtlaineil as (. //, s/.i.v i = trood). 

The Christians, on their, side, accepted the mistake 
a^ a H", ,11 H il omen, an unconscious witness on the 
part of the heathen that they were <;ood and worthy 
MI their lives, that their Lord was " yood and Lri . icioiis " 
( i I d. ii. : . . 

Came prophets from Jerusalem. The 

mission thus described was obviously a further -.auction 

oy the Church at .Jerus.-ileiii to the work that 

Saul and Barnabas we re i-arrvinu on at Antiocli. If 

We adojlt the view Stl^LTestcd ill the Note nil I. like \. |. 

that the Seventy were the reprocntat i ves of the ]>ro- 
})hetic order, and were symbolically significant of the 
conversion of the (Jentiles.it will seem prolxiblc that 
who now came to Autiooh lu lou^cd to that budv. 



and rejoiced in what they found there as fulfilling tin- 
idea of their own commissiun. 

There stood up one of them named 

AgabuS. The same prophet appears :i!_ r ain in chap. 
\\i. ! ias eomin.tr down from .leru-alem to ( . 
Nothing more is known of him. The prophecy nf tho 
dearth or " famine " was in part an echo of Malt, 
xxiv. 7. 

Throughout all the world. Literally. ///. i/i- 
linliiti il i-iirfli. used, as in Luke ii. 1. iv. ~>. and else 
where in the New Testament, for the Roman empire. 

Which came to pass in the days of Claudius 
Caesar. The reign ox Oalignla lasted from \.\>.:\7 41. 
that of Claudius from JUD. 41 54 The whole rei-rn of 
the latter emperor was memoraltle for frei|iient 
Suetonius. Cltnnl. 2* ; Tacitus. A nn. \ii. C! . .Ii - 
>Anf. \\. 5] speaks of one as specially atVectin^r Judjea 
and Syria, under the procuratorship of Cuspius Fadus. 
A.D. 45. The jKijiulation of ,Jcnisa | em were reduced to 
Unreal distress, and were chiefly relieved by the bounty 
of Helena. Queen of Adiabene. who sent in lartr sup. 
plies of corn, fig s, and other articles of fond. She wa-. 
herself a proselyte to Judaism, and was the mother of 
I/.ate>. whose probable (-Diversion tn the faith of ( hrist 
by Ananias of Damascus is mentioned in the \nte nn 
chap. ix. 10. The title of "C;esar" is omitted in the 
better MSS. 

i- ! Then the disciples, every man according 
to his ability. Literal!. -. /> mrl/ ,//,/// y//-..^, ,-.</. 
It is ohyiously implied that the collection was made at 
once, as a provision against the famine, in consequence 
of the prophecy, lief ore the famine itself came. We 
may well believe that Saul and Barnabas were active in 
stirring up the (-Jeutiles to this work of charity. It wa-. 
the beginning of that collection for the "poor saints at 
Jerusalem " which was afterwards so prominent in the 
Apostle s labours (chap. xxiv. 17; Kom. xv. -~>. Jii; 

1 Cor. xvi. 1; 2 Cor. ix. 1 15; Gal. ii. 1U>. and which he 
regarded as a bond of union between the Jewish and 
Gentile sections of the Church. It is probable that the 
generous devotion and liberality of the con\ert> of 
Jerusalem in the glow of their tirst love had left 
them more exposed than most others to the pressure 
of poverty, and that when the famine came it fmind 
them to a great extent dependent on the help of other 
churches. 

Determined to send relief. The (Jivek gives 

the more specific / xi inl /.-. <> ninti*ti-nlin. the half- 
technical word which St. Paul n>es in Horn. x\. : d . 

2 Cor. ix. 1. 

i:w And sent it to the elders by the hands 
of Barnabas and Saul. The elders of the Church 
are here named for the first time, and appear henceforth 
as a permanent element of its organisation, which in 
this respect followed the arrangements of the Syna 
gogue. Officers tilling like functions were known ii> 
the (Jentile churches as Kpiscnpi Hishops. ,,r Super 
intendents, and where Jew> and ( Jeiitiles were jningled. 

the two names were Interchangeable, as in chap. :ji. 



James, tfuBro&er of Jok*, put to Death. THE ACTS, XII. 



/ < t. r ii 



CHAPTER XII. <D Now about that 
1 in ic Herod the king stretched forth 
hi* hands 1 to vex certain of the church. 
( -> And he killed James the brother of 



A.n_n. J h n w ith the sword. < And because 
he saw it pleased the Jews, he pro- 

)r - "*"" c-ccded furt li.-r to take Peter also. 
(Then were the days of unleavened 



17, 18; Titus i. 5, 7. See also Notes on Phil. i. 1; 
1 Pot. v. 1. 2. In St. James s Epistle (v. 1 10. written 
probably about this time, the "riders" are mentioned 
as visit ing the sick, aiid anointing them with oil as a 
means of healing. 

It may lie noted that this visit to Jerusalem has been 
identified by some writers with that of which the 
Apostle speaks in Gal. ii. 1. It will be shown, how 
ever, in the Xotes on chap. xv. that it is far more likely 
that he speaks of the journey there narrated. St. Luko 
would hardly have passed over the facts to which St. 
Paul refers, had they occurred on this occasion ; nor 
are there any signs that the Pharisaic party had at ihis 
time felt strong enough to insist on the circumcision 
of the Gentile convc/ts. It is probable that the journey 
would be timed so as to coincide with one of the Jewish 
festivals, and judging by the analogy of St. Paul s 
other visits, we may think of this as coinciding with 
that of Pentecost. (See Notes on chaps, xviii. 21; 
xx. 16.) 

XII. 

(D Herod, the king. The previous life of this 
prince had been full of strange vicissitudes. The son 
of Aristobulus and Bemice, grandson of Herod the 
Great, brother of the Herodias who appears in tin- 
Gospel history, named after the statesman who was 
the chief minister of Augustus, he had been sent, 
after his father had fallen a victim (B.C. 6) to his 
grandfather s suspicions, to Rome, partly, perhaps, as 
a hostage, partly to be out of the way of Palestine 
intrigues. There he had grown up on terms of in 
timacy with the prince afterwards known as Caligula. 
On the marriage of Herod Ant i pas with his sister. 
he was made the ruler of Tiberias, but soon quarrelled 
with the Tetrarch and went to Rome, and falling under 
the displeasure of Tiberius, as having rashly given 
utterance to a wish for the succession of Caligula, 
was imprisoned by him and remained in confinement 
till the deatli of that emperor. When Caligula came to 
the throne, he loaded his friend with honours, gave him 
the tetrarchies first of Philip, and then that of Lysanias 
(Luke iii. 1), and conferred on him the title of King. 
Antipas, prompted by Herodias, came to Rome to claim 
i like honour for himself, but fell under the emperor s 
displeasure, and was banished to Lugdumim in Gaul, 
whither his wife accompanied him. His telrarchy also 
was conferred on Agrippa. Coins are extant, minted 
it C;isa"ea, and bearing inscriptions in which he is 
stvled the Great King, with the epithets sometimes of 
Philo-Gaasar, sometimes of Philo-Claudioa. At the time 
when Caligula s insanitv took the form of a resolve to 
place his statue in the Temple at Jerusalem. Agrippa 
rendered an essential service to his people, by using 
all his influence to deter the emperor from carrying 
his purpose into execution, and, backed as he was 
by Petronius. the Governor of Syria, was at last 
successful. On the death of Caligula. Claudius, whose 
claims to the empire he had supported, confirmed 
him in his kingdom. When he came to Jud;e;>. 
he presented himself to the people in the character 
of a devout worshipper, and gained their favour bv 
.ittaching himself to the companies of Xa/arii> 



we find St. Paul doing in chap. xxi. Jtii when the\ 
came to the Temple to offer sacrifices on the com 
pletion of their vows Jos. Ant. xix. 7. . {;. It 
would seem that he found a strong popular excite 
ment against the believers in Christ, caused probably 
by the new step which had recently been taken in the 
admission of the Gentiles, and fomented by the Sad- 
ducean priesthood, and it seemed to him politic to gain 
the favour of both priests and people, by making himself 
the instrument of their jealousy. 

( - ) He killed James the brother of John 

With the SWOl d. Had the Apostle 1 n tried by 

the Sanhedrin on a charge of blasphemy and here>\ . 
the sentence would have been death by stoning. De 
capitation showed, as in the case of John the .Baptist, 
that the sentence was pronounced by a civil ruler, 
adopting Roman modes of punishment, and striking 
terror by them in proportion as they were hateful to the 
Jews. The death of James reminds us of his Lord s 
prediction that he, too, should drink of His cup, and In- 
baptised with His baptism (Matt. xx. L ( :3). The fulfil 
ment of that prophecy was found for one brother in his 
being the proto-martyr of the apostolic company, as it 
was found for the other in his being the last survivor 
of it. What led to his being selected as the first victim 
we can only conjecture; but the prominent position 
which he occupies in the Gospels, in company with 
Peter and John, probably continued, and the natural 
vehemence indicated in the name of Son of Thunder 
may have marked him out as aiuong the foremost 
teachers of the Church. The brevity of St. Luke s 
record presents a marked contrast to the fulness of later 
martyrologies. A tradition preserved by Eusebins 
(Hist. ii. 9) as coming from Clement of Alexandria, 
records that his accuser was converted by beholding 
his faith and patience, confessed his new faith, and 
was led to execution in company with the Apostle-, who 
bestowed on him the parting benediction of "Peace be 
with thee." 

W Because he saw it pleased the Jews. 
This was throughout the ruling policy of the Herodian 
house. The persecution did not spring from any fanatic 
/eal against the new faith, but comply from motives of 
political expediency. A somewhat touching incident is 
recorded, illustrating the king s sensitiveness to popular 
praise or blame. It was at the Feast of Tabernacles. 
and the Law was read, and he heard the words of 
Dent. xvii. 15: "Thou shalt not set a stranger over 
thee," and he burst into tears at the thought of his 
own Iduniican descent. The people saw him weeping, 
ami cried out: "Trouble not thyself. Agrippa: thou 
also art our brother," and the king s heart was com 
forted .lost. Qetck. Jr.v JiKifiifhn,,!*. I., p. k2(h. 

Then were the days of unleavened bread. 
The crowds of Hellenistic and other Jews who were 
gathered to keep the feast at Jerusalem naturally made 
this a favourable opportunity for courting the favour 
of the people. A, tradition recorded by St. Jerome 
states that St. James was beheaded on the l. .tli of 
\i-an. i.e., on the same day as that of the Crucifixion. 
Peter was arrested probably at the same time : but the 
trial and execution were deft rred till the seven days of 
3\ were over. 



rom 



THI-: ACTS, x 



I .t. r ,:t I,. //,,,,.. ,,, M, ,,-,/. 



. i And when In- had appre 
hended him, lie ]uit In in in prison, and 
delivered ///( to 1 , .in- ipiuteniion.s of 
soldiers to keep liim ; int i-ndin^ after 

r to 1 triii .: him forth to the people. 

er then-fore \\as kept in prison : 

l)iit prayer \\a> made without n-a-iiiL: 

of the ehiireh unto (iod for him. 

;d \\ hen I len.d would have hrou^ht 
him forth, the same ui^ht Peter mu 
sleeping between t\\o soldiers, hound 
with t\\o chains: and the keepers lie- 
fore the door kept the prison. ~ And. 
heho|,i, the aiiLrel <>t the Lord came 
uj)on //////, and a li^ht shiued in the 
prison : and he smote I .-ter on the side, 
and raised him up, saying. Arise up 
quickly. And his chains tell oil from 
hi* hands. |S| And the aii^el said unto 
him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy 
sandals. And so he did. And he saith 



unto him. < a>t t hy ^ariiieut ahoiit thee, 
and follow me. : And he went out, 
and followed him; and \vi>t not that it 
was true whieh was done hy the an^ -l : 
hut thought he saw a vision. ! " \Vln-n 
they were past the tir>t and the s.-eond 
ward, they came unto the iron --ate 
that leadeth unto the eity; which open- 
ed to t hem of his own aeeord : and 
they went out. and passed on through 
one street ; and forthwith the an-jel de 
parted from him. "" And when Peter 
was come to himself, he said, Now I 
know of a surety, that the Lord hath 
sent his aiiLrel. and hath delivered me 
out of the hand of Iferod, and ////// all 

the expectation of the people of the 

.lews. "- 1 And when he had considered 
//// thing, he came to the house of Mary 
the mother of John, whose surname was 
Mark; where many wen- 



v Delivered him to four quaternions of 
soldiers. Agrippa apparently followed tin- Ic.ssons of 
Roman practice which he had learnt ly his own expe 
rience. The four quaternions relieved each other at 
.set times, and the prisoner was chained to two of tilt- 
soldiers of each company, while the others were sta 
tioned as sentinels at the door of the dungeon. ( omp. 
JSt. Paul s chains in chap, xxviii. i!<> ; Eph. vi. 20.) 

Intending after Easter. Better. ////*/ ///, / ,^- 
OVffT, a-- elsewhere. In this solitarv instance the trans 
lators have introduced, with a singular infelicity, the 
term which was definitely appropriate onlv to the 
Christian festival which took the place of the Passover. 

"" Prayor was made without ceasing. The 
adjective is rendered l.y - fervent " in 1 Pet. iv. S. and 
implies, as in the marginal reading, intensity as well as 
continuity. The words imply that the members of the 
Church continued, in spite of the persecution, to meet as 
usual, probably, as in verse ]~2. in the house of .Marv. 
(lie mother of Mark. 

" ; > Peter was sleeping between two soldiers. 

The picture of the calm repose of the Apostle as of 
one to whom (iod had given the sleep of His beloved 
T-. cxxvii. -2 . undisturlied ly the fear of coining suf 
fering and death, will be felt hy most readers to h.- 
one of singular interest. 

<! The angel of the Lord came upon him. 

The phrase is identical with that of Luke ii. !. The 



absence of the article in the (Jreek leaves it 



open to 
mi. . 



render it either as "the anird " or "atl anp-l." Til 

" litrlit " in this instance eorresponds totlie " u lorv of 
the Lord " in that. 

In the prison. Literally, in //<> i//r,7// ; /. or 
<-h,i,iil>rr. The term appears to be n-e 1 as an euphem 
ism for prison." 

Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. 

In lyin down to sleep the Apostle had naturally laid 
aside Ins "cloak." loosened the irirdle that bound his 
tunic, and put on" his v;mdals. As re<rards the latter 
we note his continued oUerv.-m, f the rule of M.ark 

vi. 9. 

" And wist not that it was true . . . 

The kind of introsj. ective analysis of the Apo-tle - 



consciousness suggests the thought that he was himself, 
possibly through some intermediate channel. St. Luke s 
informant. As in the activity of somnambulism, the 
will directed the actions of tin"- body, and yet was only 
half-conscious of what it did. It may be noted that hi s 
experience of the trance and vision narrated in chap. x. 
would tend to suggest the impression that he was pas- 
ing through phenomena of a like kind. 

(io) when they were past the first and the 
second ward. It would seem from this that I 1 , lei- 
had been placed in the innermost dungeon, and had to 
pass the two court -yards. Lightfoot supposes tin- 
prison to have been between the inner and outer walls 
of the city, the direction of Peter s movements being 
from the outer to the inner. 

The iron gate. The touch of topographical pre 
cision may lie noticed as characteristic of St. Luke. 

Passed on through one street. The word im 
plies one of the narrow streets or /<(/<.> of the citv. 

See Note on Matt. vi. 2.) 

1111 When Peter was come to himself. \\ --<- 

a train we find the tone of a personal reminiscence. HI- 
finds himself at night, free, in the open street. It was 
no dream. As before chap. v. l! . his Master had sent 
His antrel to deliver him. 

Mary the mother of John, whose sur 
name was Mark. On the probable identity of this 
Mark with the evangelist of that name, see In/i-mlnrfi,,,, 
t<> Sf. M <i,-l; . < &MpZ. Here we may note ! that as 
beintr mentioned by St. Peter as his u son " 1 Pet. v. 1:1 
he was probably converted by him ; i 2 i that he was 
cousin to Barnabas, probably throntrh his r.\ 
and was therefore at least connected with the 
of I.e\i .chap. iv. :5il . and pos-iH\ beloniring to it; 
\ .\ that the fact that Mary s house was the meeting- 
place of the Churclj indicates comparative wealth, as 

did Barnahas s sale of his e-tate : I- > that the absei 

of any mention of Mark s father makes it probable 
that -he was a wid-.w; 5 that the Latin n: : 
- niie point of contact with K 
OT li i inan .lew-. 

Many were gathered together praying. 

The facts of the case show tint the meeting was held 



treter knocking <it 



TIIK ACTS. XII 



1 1 1- i-inl Ai/riji/in I. 



j.r;iyiiig. (1; And as IVt.-r 
knocked at the door of the gate, a 
damsel r;im<-to lir-.irkni, 1 named IJhoda. 
< u ) And when she knew Peter s voice, 
she opened not the gate for gladness, 
but ran in, and i<ld how Peter stood 
l)i> tore the gate. (16) And they said unto 
her, Thou art mad. But she constantly 
atlirm.-d that it was even so. Then 
said t hey. It is his angel. (16) But Peter 
continued knocking: and when they 
had opened tin 1 , door, and saw him, they 
\\ere astonished. < 17) But he, beckoning 
unto them with the hand to hold their 
peace, declared unto them how the Lord 
had brought him out of the prison. 



iir, to ntk who 



2 Or, barr ,111 li,,.-.- 

tilr (/,/, n,tl,,:l 



A:.I he said, Go shew these things unto 
James, and to the brethren. And he 
departed, and went into another place. 
(is; Now as soon as it was day. there 
was 110 small stir among the solo 
what was become of Peter. (l > And 
win -11 Herod had sought for him, and 
found him not, he examined the keepers, 
and commanded that they should be 
put to death. And he went down from 
Jiuhea io Ca. sarea, and there abode. 

(20) j^ n d Herod was highly displeased 2 
with them of Tyre and Sidoii . but 
they came with one accord to him, 
and, having made Blastus the king s 
chamberlain 3 their friend, desired peace; 



at night, possibly to avoid persecution, or. it may be. as 
the sequel of the evening gathering to "break bread." 

( 13 > A damsel came to hearken, named 
Rhoda. The mention of the name of the slave indi 
cates St. Luke s care in ascertaining details, a-s far as 
his opportunities allowed. The office of opening tin- 
door to strangers was commonly assigned, as in the 
case even of the high priest s palace (Matt. xxvi. 69, 
71 i, ID a female slave. The name, which means "a 
rose," is of the same class as Tamar = a palm tree; 
Deborah = a bee ; Margarita = a pearl ; Dorcas = an au- 
telope. 

(i*) She opened not the gate for gladness. 
The slave, it would seem, had shared the anxiety and 
borne her par! in the prayers of the Church; and the 
eager desire to tell the good news that their prayers 
had been answered overpowers her presence of mind. 
There is something characteristic of the writer in this 
analysis of a state of consciousness. (See Note on verse 
!. and Luke xxiv. 14.) 

(15) It is his angel. The language expresses the 
common belief of the Jews, that every true Israelite 
had a guardian angel specially assigned to him, who. 
when lie appeared in human form, assumed the likeness 
of the man whom he protected. It is obvious that the 
record of the casual utterance of such a belief cannot 
be taken as an authoritative sanction of it. 

(!~) Go shew these things unto James, and 
tc the brethren. The James, or Jacob, thus spoken 
of may have been either James the sou of Alpha iis or 
James the brother of the Lord. Many writers have 
maintained the identity of the person described under 
these two names; but reasons have been given in the 
Notes on Matt. x. :?, xii. 47, xiii. 55, for believing that 
they were two distinct persons. ;md that the brother of 
the Lord was therefore not an Apostle. It is obvious 
that about this time, probably in consequence of the death 
of his namesake, the sou of Zebedee. James the brother 
of the Lord conies into a fresh prominence. He is 
nani"d as receiving St. Paul in Gal. i. 19, and as beinir. 
with 1 eterand John, one of the pillars of the Church 
(Gal. ii. 9). Probably about this time (but see ///// 
ilin-Hnii /! the Epistle of St. .//</<> he addressed the 
letter that b.-ars his name to the Twelve Tribes that 
were scattered abroad. He presides at the Council of 
Jerusalem in chap. xv. 1:5. and acted as bishop of the 
( liurchat Jerusalem. According to the statement of 
Heu-. Mppus. a Jewish Christian writer of the second 
century, preserved !.y Euselnus (Hiit. ii. 23), he led tin- 



life of a Na/arite in all its rigour, was regarded bv tin- 
Jews as having a priest Iv character, wove tin- linen 
ephod, and the golden petalou or plate, fitting on the 
brow of the priests, and as such was admitted to 
the Holy Place in the Temple. In A.D. 5-J or ;:! lie 
was tempted by the priestly rulers, especially by the 
high-priest Ananias, to declare that the Christ was 
a deceiver, and on proclaiming his faith in Him was 
thrown from the pinnacle of the Temple, and a-^ he lay 
on the ground, received a rnvp de grace from a fuller * 
club. The way in which St. Peter here speaks of him 
implies that he was, in some way. ihe head and repre 
sentative of the Christian community at Jerusalem. 

He departed, and went into another place. 
The act was in accordance with the precept which 
had been given to the Twelve in Matt. x. -j:5. What 
the " other place " was we can only conjecture. Some 
Romish writers have ha/.arded the wild guess that 
he went to Rome, and having founded (lie Church 
there, returned to Jerusalem in time for the council in 
chap. xv. Others have assumed Antioch, which is. 
perhaps, less improbable; but there are no traces of 
his presence there till after the council (Gal. ii. 12). 
Some nearer city, such as Lydda or Joppa. might, how 
ever, have been sufficient as a place of refuge, and the 
absence of the name of the place >i L ,- sts tin- int eivu..- 
that it was comparatively unimportant, and that Peter 
had carried on no conspicuous work theiv. 

(19) Commanded that they should be put to 
death. Literally, flint tli-y *li<tl<l \><> /< ,/ OU "</ !.>:. to 
execution. The phrase was half -teclmical. half-euphe 
mistic. Capital punishment was. according to Roman 
usage, the almost inevitable penalty for allowing a 
prisoner to escape. So at Philippi. the gaoler, when he 
thought the prisoners had escaped, was on the point of 
anticipating the sentence by suicide (chap. x\ i. ^ . See 
Note on chap, xxvii. VI. 

(20) Herod was highly displeased with them 
of Tyre and Sidon. Literally, as in the margin. 
was in a hottile ftate of mind ; was. in modern phrase, 
"contemplating hostilities." The two Plnenician cities 
were not subject tc Agrippa. but were under , he control 
of Home with a nominal independence. 

Desired peace. Literally, were seeking 
They apparently feared that Hero<! would show his dis 
pleasure by prohibiting the export i d ri:. and oil. anit 
wine, on which the Plnenician cities, witi: their large 
population and narrow -.trip- of territory, were dependent 
for subsistence. Comp. 1 Kings v. 11. and 



/ /" . 



1 I I K A.CXS, X I i I . 



Sun! n f ./ / 



th. ir rolintrN was Ji ilU-i>liril / liy 
111.- kind s -""////// Jl! And upon a -t 
da\ ll Tod. array. -d in royal appaivl, sat 

vpdii his t Ill-one, and mad.- a at ion 

unto tin-in. - - And tin- | |.|.- u r a\<- a 

>hoiit, x.M////;/, // is ill. V<iic.- of a 14 od, 

ami not of ;i man. |J; And iniim-diatd v 
ill.- aiiLT 1 ! of tin- Lord smote him, be 
cause In- u avc mi (i..d th.- i_;-|or\ : and 
In- was eaten of worms, and -av 14. tin- 

jghoet. 

But the word of (io(l o-ivw and 



iniiltijili.-d. - : And liarnalias and Saul 
returned from Jerusalem, whci- th.-\ 
had fulfill. -d II,, w minium, and 
with tin-in John, whosr surname 

Mark, 

CHAPr;:;; XUI - Y,w then- 

were in tlif church that \va> at 

Alltioch certain jiroj.ln-t.> and t-a-l 

as Barnalias, and Simeon that \\a> 

called \i--.-r, and Lu.-iu- ..f Gyrene, 
and Manaen, which had been brought 



xxvii. 17. a- showing tin- identity of tin- commercial 
relations of the two countries a< long intervals in their 
history. 

And upon a set day . . . Josephus (Ant. 

\\\. "\ xj 1 u ives an account of tlit- incident lliat follows 
substantially agreeing with that lien- recorded. The 
scene was the theatre at C;csarea. wliicli had Itecn built 
by llennlthe (ireat. Agrippa was celehrat inu- games in 
liuiiiiiii- (if tlie Kmperor Claudius, who had succeeded 
Caligula in A.D. 11. possibly in honour of his return 
from Hritaiu in A.D. I k He was arrayed in a mix- of 
.silver tissue, such as Caligula had been wo:;t to wear at 
ban.|iiets and games in Rome, which glittered with a 
i la /./.ling brightness under the rays of the morning sun. 
His courtiers, taking up the Roman fashion of showing 
honour to kings and emperors, hailed him as a god. 
and praved him. as such, to be propitious to them. 
The king did not repress the Halt cry, which fell on 
the ears of all .Jewish by-slanders as a fearful blas 
phemy. He accepted for himself the divine honours 
which he had dissuaded Caligula from claiming. Ho 
looked up. aiid saw an owl perched on a rope behind 
him. and recognised in it an omen of evil, fulfilling a 
prediction which had been made t i him by a fellow- 
prisoner during his confinement at Rom" ..Jos. Ant. 
\\iii. 8). Sharp pain fell on him, and in live days In- 
died. 

Comparing St. Luke s narrative with this, it seems 
probable that the delegates from Tyre and Sidon were 
among those who raised the cry. " He thon propitious to 
us." and that their friend Hlastus. knowing tin- weak 
point in Herod s character, had instructed them that 
this was the way to obtain his favour. We fed. as we 
read the narrative, the contrast between St. IVt.-r s 
refusal even of Cornelius s attitude of homage, and 

Agrippa" s acccptam f the profane apotheosis of the 

multitude. 

The angel of the Lord smote him. The 

intervention of the angel is obviously regarded by 
St. I, uke as the only adequate explanation at once of 
the death of the persecutor and of the escape of his 
victim, and in the former lie recognised not only what 
lias been called the irony of history, or an instance of 
the law of Nemesis, bringing down" the haiiirhty in the 
very hour of their triumph, but a direct chastisement 
for an act of impiety. 

Because he gave not God the glory. Tin- 
words probably mean something more than that he 
did not ascribe to ( MM! the praise which was due to Him. 
and Him only. T.. " ire C.o.l the glory" was a phrase 
always connected with the confession { sin and weak 
ness, as in Josh. vii. l!. See Note on .John i\. 24.) 

He was eaten of worms. -The specific form ..f 
the disease is nut named by Joscphns. and St. Luke s 



precision in describing it may fairly be regarded as 
characteristic of his ealiinu r . The form of tin- i: 
probably of the nature of ///<///< !r!n*;.<. or the , 
pedieOM/rit, from its exceptionally loathsome character, 
had always been regarded as of the nature of a di\ine 
chastisement. The more memorable instance- oi it 
recorded in history are those of Pheretime of < 
; H.-rod. iv. Jn."i . Sylla. Antiochus the (Jreat ~2 .\Iace. 
i\. -. Herod the (Ireat i.Jos. Ant. xvii. S). and 
.Maximinus. among the persecutors of the Church 
i Kuseli. viii. L6; ix.10, 11 j Lactant. /) ,,t"H. Pendent. 
c. 33). The death of Agrippa took place A.D. 41. in 
tho seventh year of his reign, and at the age of fifty- 
three. 

(-H But the word of God grew and multiplied. 
The words describe a continuous expansion. The 
death of the chief persecutor left free scope for the 
activity of the preachers of the gospel, of which they 
were not slow to avail themselves. 

(25) When they had fulfilled their ministry. 
The same noun is used as that translated " relief " in 
chap. xi. Ji). We may. perhaps, a-sign the vision related 
ill chap. xxii. 17- -I. to this visit : but see Note there. 

Took with them John, whose surname was 
Mark.- The choice is. of course, partly explained by 
his relationship to Harnabas. but it shows also that In- 
entered heartily into the work of the conversion of the 
(ientiles; and owing, as he did. his own conversion to 
IVter. it would naturally be regarded as a proof of that 
Apostle s interest ill it. 

XIII. 

W Now there were in the church that was 
at Antioch. The fulness of detail in this narrative 
suggests the inference that the writer was himself at 
Antioch at this period. 

Certain prophets and teachers. The two wer- 
not necessarily identical, though the higher gift of pro 
phecy commonly included the lower gift of teaching 
The former implies a more direct message from (iod. 
coming from the Holy (Ihost : the latter a more syste 
matic instruction, in which reason and reflect ion bore 
t heir part . 

Simeon that was called Niger. The name 

se. iiis to indicate the swarth-coinplexion of Africa; 
but nothing more is known of him. The epithet \\a- 
given to him. probably, to distinguish him from the 
many others of the same name, possibly, in paiticular. 
from Simon of Cyn-ue. (See Note on chap. xi. _" 

LuCiUS Of Gyrene. IVobahly one of the compan} 
of "men of Cyprus and Cyren.- " ch:>p. xi. J" who 
had J>een amonu the first evangelists of Antioch. ( >n 
the ground that Cyrene was famous for it- Scl 
Medicine, some writers have identified him with tho 



].!<ii-itf><ix ti/iJ Xiinl separated for 



THE ACTS, XIII. 



the work of the Gospel. 



,ij) with Hi Tod tin- trinuvh, 1 and Saul. 
\s they ministered to the Lord, ;!iid 
lasted, the Holy Ghost said, Seusiratr 
me Haniabas and Saul for the work 
\\lierennto I ha\e called them. < 3 ) And 



when they had fasted aaid prayed, and 
laid ///// hands on them, they sent 
them away. 

t hcy, being sent forth by the 
Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; 



author of the Acts, hut the two names 1 ,111-111-. Mini 
Lucas are radically distinct, the latU-r being contracted 
for Lucanus. 

Manaen, which had been brought up with 
Herod the tetrarch. Literally, fin- j u*t<r-ln-<iUi< r 

of II rniJ. Here \ve eniei on a name that has his 
torical associations of some interest. In t lie early youth 
of Herod the Great, his future greatness had lieen fore 
told l)y an Ess(>ne prophet of the name of Meiiahem or 
M-inaen Jos. Ant. xv. ID. sj 5). When the prediction 
was fulfilled, he sought to show honour to the prophet. 
The identity of name makes it probable that the man who 
now meets us was the sou. or grandson, of the Essene. 
and that Herod had had him brought up with Antipas 
,;s a mark of his favour. Both Antipas and Archelaiis 
were educated at Rome, and Manaen may therefore 
have accompanied them thither. By what steps he was 
led to believe in Jesus as the Christ, we can only con 
jecture; but it seems probable that the austere type of 
life, so closely resembling that of the Ess -nes. which 
was presented by the Baptist, may have impressed him. 
as he was living in the court of his early companion, and 
that, through him. he may have been led on to the 
higher truth, and. in due time, after the Day of 
I entecost, have become a sharer in the prophetic gift. 
The fact that Herod the Great had adorned the city 
of Antioch with a long and stately colonnade may. 
perhaps, have given him a certain degree of influence 
there. 

And Saul. The position of Saul s name at the end 
of th. list s.-ems to indicate that it was copied from one 
which ha 1 b >en made before he had become the most 
prominent of the whole company of the prophets. 

<- As they ministered to" the Lord. The verb 
so translated (Jeitn nryc ni is commonly used, both in the 
LXX. and in the X w Testament, of the ministry of the. 
priests and Levites in the Temple (Luke i. 23 ; Heb. viii. 
<) ; ix. ~1\ I. In Heb. i. 14. the corresponding adjective is 
used to distinguish the ministry of worship from that of 
service to man. When St. Paul uses it figuratively of 
himself i Rom. xv. lo \ it is in connection with the idea of 
a sacrifice or oblation. In later ecclesiastical lauguair . 
it was connected specially with the celebration of the 
Supper of the Lord, and the order for that service was, 
strictly speaking, the "Liturgy" of the Church. It 
would, perhaps, be too much to say that the word ne 
cessarily conveys that meaning here; but it is. at least, 
probable that a solemn meeting, such ns is here de 
scribed, would end in the " breaking of bread." and 
that, up to that point, those who were so engaged 
would iiiiturally be fasting. 

The Holy "Ghost said. The mode of communi 
cation we may believe to have IP, : n. as in chap. xx. - .}. 
through the lips of the prophets, speaking as by a 
-.iidden burs! of simultaneous inspiration. Comp. 1 Tim. 

L l 3. 
Separate me Barnabas and Saul. In the 

Greek a particle follows the imperative, which has no 
vxact equivalent iii Kntrlish .the illative then " being, 
perhaps, the nearest), but which seems to indicate that 
the command iriveu was in answer to a prayer, and that 
it was to In- acted on at once. The verb implies that 



they were to he set apart fora new work, rp to this 
time they had been among the prophets and teachers 
of the ( lurch. Xow they Were to receive a solemn 
visible mission, following OH the inspired utterances, 
as those had followed on personal intimations, con 
secrating them to the work of the Apostleship to the 
Gentiles. 

( 3 ) And when they had fasted and prayed. 
The repetition of the words that had been used in 
verse ~2 seems to imply that the fast was prolonged till 
the laying-on of hands had been completed. The new 
command called for that intensity of spiritual life of 
which fasting was more or less the normal condition. 

And laid their hands on them. See Note on 
chap. vi. b . This was. as before, the formal act by 
which the Church attested its acceptance of the divine 
mission of those on whom hands were laid, and implored 
for them the divine blessing. 

") Being sent forth by the Holy Ghost. 
The words may be only a summing up of the result of 
the previous facts, but looking to chap. xvi. (i. 7. it 
seems more probable that they refer to a fresh revela 
tion, following on what we should call the " ordination " 
or "consecration" of the Apostles, and guiding them 
as to the direction of their journey. 

Departed unto Seleucia. The town was situated 
at the mouth of the Orontes. about sixteen miles from 
Autioch. and served as the port for that city. It had 
been buil* by. and named after, Seleucus Xicator. 

Thence they sailed to Cyprus. The popula 
tion of the island was largely Greek, and the name of 
the chief town at the east end recalled the history or 
the legend of a colony under Teucer. the son of Telamon, 
from the Salamis of "the Saronic gulf. It owned Aphro 
dite, or Venus, as its tutelary goddess, Paphos being 
the chief centre of her worship, which there, as else 
where, was conspicuous for the licentiousness of the 
harlot-priestesses of her temple. The copper-mines 
i the metal Cuprum took its name from the island . and 
its nearness to Syria, had probably attracted a con- 
siderab.e Jewish population, among whom the gospel 
had been preached by the Evangelists of chap. xi. l!. 
An interesting inscription the date of which is. how 
ever, uncertain, and may be of the second or third 
century after Christ -given in M. . le (Vsnola s < ;ll ,,-itf 
p. -I--2 .. as found at Golgoi in that island, shows a 
yearnintr after something higher than the polytheism of 
Greece: 

THOU. THE ONE GOD. 

THE GREATEST, THE MOST GLORIOUS 

NAME, 
HELP US ALL. WE BESEECH THEE. 

At the foot of the inscription there is the irime 
HELIOS, the Sun. and we may probably see in it a 
trace of that adoption of the worship of Mithras, or the 
BUn, as the visible symbol of Deity, which, firs! be 
coming known to the Romans in the time of Poinpeius. 
led to the general reception of the /> ,> N.J//S -Sunday l 
as the first day of the Roman week, and which, even 
in the case of" Constantine, mingled with the earlier 



r,,i,-n tl>iix in I 



Till-: /LOTS XIII. 






and IV.. in fli, !!, thrv sailed to Cyprus. 
\ml wh. ii ihry TOW :it Salami-, 
t hry [>ivarhrd the word of (iod in the 
s\ naLro^iirs of tin- ,lr\vs : aul tliry had 
also .Itilin ti> Hi- ir iiiinistrr. And 
\\hfii thry had _<. in- through tin- isle 
Unto I aphos, ihry found a i-<-rtaiu SOF- 
rrr.-r, a t als.- jii ophrt. a .Jrw. wh.r 



nainr nv/x Bai-- ; with 

the deputy of the country, Sergiua 1 mil us, 

a |>nidrnt man : who call-d } . ,j- Harnahas 
and Saul, and il.-sin-.l t< h.-ar thr \v..nl 
. < Jod. w But Elynias tin- BOI 

10 is his namr ly intfi-pn-t at i..i, 
\vitlist(Mid thnii, s.-rkiiiLT to turn awav 
thrdrpnty fn.m thr faith. - Tli.-:i Saul, 



of his progress toward-, tin- t aitli of Christ. 

Note ,.11 chap. \\ii. 23.) Til.- narrative lliat fol 
lows implies lliat the prudem r discernment which 

distinguished tin- proconsul may well have shown it -elf 
in Mich a recognition of the nnitv of the < Jodhead ; and 
it is worthy of note That M. <le ( onola // " ! -" 
discovered at Soli, iii the same island, another inscrip 
tion, bearing the name I>T I aulus the I roconsul. who 
may. perhaps, lx i identified with the Sergius I aulus 
of this narrative. 

When they were at Salamis. The city was. 
as stated ahove, at the east end of ( \ prus. The men 
tion of " synagogues " implies a considerable .Jewish 
population, ami to these the Apostles, following the 
general rule ani:ouiiced in verse 111. naturally, in the 
first instance, turned. 

They had also John to their minister. The 
noun so rendered is not that commonly if<ed for the 
" deacons " or " ministers " of the ( hurcli. l>nt implies 
rather the attendance of personal service. It is pro 
bable, however, that he was employed in baptising con 
verts, and. where a church was founded, in preparing 
for the Supper of the Lord. Looking to tin- after- 
work of Mark, it would hardly, perhaps, he too much 
to say that he was. more than any other disciple, the 
courier of the Apostolic Church. 

When they had gone through the isle. 
The better MSS. give, thromjh flu- v-lml- itland. 
I aphos lay at its western extremity, and appears to 
have been the head-quarters of the Roman governor. 

A local tradition, reported by M. de Cesnola (Cgpnu, 

Sp. :!!. -- > . ]oints out a marble column to which 
t. Paul was hound and scourged by the citi/ens of 
Paplios. who are represented as having becu amoiiLr 
tlie -.nost wickeil of mankind. 

They found a certain sorcerer. The word so 
rendered, .l/.f /...<. is t he same as that used for the "wise 
men" of Matt. ii. 1 (where see Xote). but it is obviously 
used here in the had sen^e which had be^un to attach 
to it even in the days of Sophocles, who makes (Kdipns 
revile Tires ia^ under this name, as practising /,,.//< 
art- <lll. !;. 387), and which we have found in 
the case of Simon the sorcerer. (See Note on chap, 
viii. !>. i The man bore two names, one. Bar jesii-. 
in its form a patronymic, the other Klymas an Aramaic 
word, proliably connected with the Arabic 1 1,-nKi. or 
saire .a title deeeribinff hi* ehimfl to wisdom and super 
natural powers. \Vehavealreadymet with a character 
of this type in the Sorcerer of Samaria. See Xote on 
chap. viii. !>.) The lower class of .Irw- here, as in 
chap. \i\. 11. mem to hare been specially addicted to 
such practices. They t raded on the religious prestige 
of their race, and boa-led, in addition to their 
books, of spells and charms that had come down to 
them from Solomon. 

Which was with the deputy of the 
country, Sergius Pauliv.s, The translators c,,n- 



it wa- applied, under Eli/abeth and .lames, to the 
governor, known in more rec-nt time- as the Vii-eroy. 
or l,oi-(l-Lieiiteiiant of Ireland, and was ther. 
very close approximation to the meaning of the Latin. 
The provinces of the Roman umpire, under the or 
ganisation of Augustus, were divided n.c. ^7 into two 
classes. Those that were looked on as needing direct 
military control were placed under the emperor ;i - com 
mander of the legions, and were governed liy jiro- 
pnetors. or generals; the other-, were left to the 
Senate, and were under the rule of proconsuls. Strah.. 
(xiv. ml fin. \ describes Cyprus a- a military or pm- 
|ir;i-torian province, and this has led some to ijiu--- 
tion St. Luke s accuracy. It a])]ears. how(>ver. that 
Augustus, in A.D. iL*. re-assitrned it to the Senate 
(Dio. Cass. iv. p. 523). Coins of Cyprus are extant. 
bearing the date of ( laudius. and the name of C ominius 
Proclus as proconsul Akerman. Xinn !.~nt<i(i<- /"//;/.-- 
fr<tfnni*, pp. :5! 1-^). and as stated above iXote on 
verse | . one has recently been discovered in Cypru- 
itself. in which that title appears as borne by one ot 
the namo of Paulns. Under Hadrian, it appears to 
have been under a proprietor ; under Seyerus. it was 
a^ain under a proconsul. Of the proconsul himself 
we know nothing certain more than is recorded here. 
The name probably implied a connection with the old 
./Emilian </ "" aiming whom, as in the case of the 
trreat coninieror of Macedonia, it was a favourite cog 
nomen. Dr. Light foot has, however, pointed out 



stently use the word "deputy" as represent in^ the 
Greek for - proconsul." It " :11 be rememhcre 



that Pliny, writing cur. A.D. . ". nam;-, 
Paulus as his chief authority for the facts in 
Books ii. and xviii. of his aatunH H<*tnj. and 
lliat amonir these are two specially connected with 
Cyprus; and that Galen, writing circ. A.D. 1"". 
sjieaks of one bearing the same name, also a pro 
consul. as a contemporary of his own. and as dis 
tinguished for his love of wisdom. Here, of course. 
identity is out of the question, lint relationship i-. a* 
least, probable. 

A prudent man. The adjective d>-erib.- what 
we should call general intelligence and discernment, a-^ 
in Matt. xi. -2:>: Luke x. Jl ; 1 Cor. i. .! . It was 
shown in this instance in his at once recognising tin- 
higher type of character presented by the Apo-tle-v and 
desiring to know more of the " word"" which they >pake 
to him as a message from ( iod. 

I But Elymas the sorcerer. See Note on 
verse ti. The charlatan feared the loss of the influence 
which he had previously exercised over the mind of 
the proconsul. His victim was emancipating himself 
from his bondage and was passing from credulity tr 
faith, and that progress Bar-je-us sought to check." 

9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul). 
impossible not to connect the mention, and probably the 
assumption, of the new name with the conversion of tin- 
proconsul. It presented many advantage-, i 1 It wa- 
siitHciently like his own name in sound to fall within 
the general practice which turned .Jesus into .Ja-on. 
Hillel into Pollio, Silas into Sihanus. rJ) It was a 



Eli/nuta #t /</< ir///i Blindness. 



THE ACTS. mi. 



Murk returns to Jerusalem. 



(who also is mil,-,] Paul,) filled with 
tin- llolv (Jliost, set liis eyes on him, 
< ln| and said, O full of all subtilty 
ami all mischief, tlum child of the 
drvil. limn runny <>f all righteousness, 
wilt thou not cease to pervert the 
ritfht ways of the Lord? |U) And now, 
behold, the hand of the Lord is upon 
thiM-, and thou shalt be blind, not 
seeing the sun for a season. And 
immediately there fell on him a mist 



and a darkness ; and he went about 
seeking some to lead him liy the hand. 
1J| Then tin- deputy, win n lie sa w what 
was done, believed, being astonished at 
the doctrine of the Lord. < 1: ^>,*ow when 
Paul and his company loosed from 
Paphos, they came to Perga in Pam- 
jihylia: and John departing from them 
returned to Jerusalem. 

(U> But when they departed from 
Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, 



Roman, not a Greek, name, and as such fell in with the 
ultimate work of the Apostle, already, it may be, con 
templated in thought icomp. Rom. xv. 23). of bearing 
his witness to Christ in the imperial city. (3) It formed 
a link bet \\-een him and the illustrious convert whom he 
had just made. He xvas. as it were, claiming a brother 
hood xvith him. From this point of viexv. it is interest 
ing to compare the name of Lucas or Lucanus, as borne 
both by the evangelist and the poet. (Comp. Introduc 
tion to St. Luke, Vol. I., p. 237.) Other reasons that 
have been assigned, as (li that the Greek word 8<inl<>x 
had an opprobrious meaning, as c= wanton, or (2) that 
the meaning of Paulus, as ^little, commended itself to 
the Apostle s humility, may be dismissed as more or less 
fantastic. 

Filled with the Holy Ghost. The tense of the 
Greek participle implies a sudden access of spiritual 
power, showing itself at once in insight into character, 
righteous indignation, and prevision of the divine 
chastisement. 

Set his eyes on him. The word is that already 
so often noted, as in chap. i. 10, and elsewhere. As 
applied to St. Paul it may possibly connect itself with 
the defect of vision which remained as the after-con 
sequence of the brightness seen on the way to Damas 
cus. The Greek word, however, it is right to add, 
may just as well express the fixed gaze of men of 
strong powers of sight, as that of those who suffer 
from some infirmity. (See chaps, i. 10; iii. 4; Luke 
iv. 20; xxii. 56.) 

(10) Full of all subtilty and all mischief. The 
Greek of the second noun is found here only in the 
New Testament. Jts primary meaning expresses 
simply "ease in working;" but this passed through 
the several stages of "versatility," "shiftiness," and 
" trickery." A kindred word is translated in chap, 
xviii. 1 1 as " lexvdness." 

Thou child of the devil. There is. perhaps, an 
intentional contrast between the meaning of the name 
liiir-ji Kii* i son of the Lord who sax - es) and the cha- 
acter of the man, xvhich led him to oppose righteous- 
tMS in every form, and to turn "the xtrnii/lif paths of 
Uod s making "into the crooked ones of man s subtlety. 
There is a manifest reference to the xvords in which 
Isaiah describes the true preparation of the way of tin- 
Lord as consisting in making the crooked straight 
lisa. xl. i . 

(11) The hand of the Lord is xipon thee. 

Tho anthromorphic phrase would convex- to everv ,Iew 
tli" thought of a chastisement w:-icli was the direct 
result of the will oi (Ji.d. i Comp. 1 Kings xviii. J-C : 
E/^ k. i. .}; viii. 1. 

Thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for 
a season. Th" form of the punishment may have 
been, in part, determined by the Apostle s choice as 



manifested in prayer. If so, it suggests the thought 
that he had looked back on his own blindness, the 
exclusion of the outxvard light, as being that which 
had been to him the process by which lie was led to 
the Sun of Righteousness and the Light that lighteth 
overy man. and hoped that it might be so now. (See 
Note on chap. ix. 8, 9.) In any case, there was a moral 
fitness in blindness as the penalty of the sin the very 
essence of which was that the man was fighting against 
light. That the blindness xvas to he "for a season" 
only implies that it \\-as designed to be remedial and 
not simply retributive. 

There fell on him a mist and a darkness . . . 
Here, as in the " scales" of chap. ix. 13, xve seem to 
trace something of the precision of the trained physician. 
The first effect of the loss of the power to see was. as 
in the case of St. Paul, that Elymas. who had selfishly 
used his knowledge to guide others to his own adx an- 
tage, now had to seek for others to guide his own 
steps. The tense of the Greek verb (he ivas seeking) 
seems to imply that he sought and did not find. He 
had no friends to help him, and was left, to his fate 
unpitied. 

(12) Being astonished at the doctrine of the 
Lord. The genitive is. probably, that of the object, 
the teaching which had the Lord, i.e., the Lord Jesus. 
as its main theme. 

(13) Paul and his company. Literally, those about 
Paul. The new description is obviously chosen as indi 
cating the new position which from this time t he A post It- 
began to occupy as the leader of the mission. 

Perga. The city was at this time the capital of 
Pamphylia. situated on the river Cestrus. about seven 
miles from its mouth. The absence of any record of 
evangelising work there is probably due to the fact 
that then- were no synagogues, and "that the Apostles 
in this mission adhered to the plan of preaching in the 
first instance to the .lews, and making the -_v nagogue. 
as it were, their base of operations. 

John departing from them returned to 

Jerusalem. We are left to conjecture the motives 
of this departure. He may have shrunk from the perils 
and hardships of the journey into the interior of the 
country. He may have been drawn by affection for his 
mother, who lived at Jerusalem. It is clear, in any 
ease, from St. Paul s subsequent conduct .chap. xv. 38), 
that he looked on the reason as insufficient, while 
JJarnabas saw. at least, enough to admit the plea of e\- 
tenuating ci -ciimstances. The pressure of the famine 
at Jerusalem may have seemed to him to excuse the 
desire of the sou to minister to the mother s wants. 

(lt > They came to Antioch in Pisidia. The 

toxvn xvas one of the many cities built i>y Seleucus 
Nicator, and named after his father. Antioch us. It lay 
on tiie slopes of .Mount Taurus, which the travellers 



I ll/ / Hlfl III 1 1 II III HIS 



THK ACTS. \i::. 



,,, 



jin.l w.-nt int.- th<> syn;ii:"u Uf -n tin- 
sabbath l:iv, ;ni<l sat down. Ainl 
;ift.-r tin- ivailiiiLT of tin- l;i\v ;in<l th<- 
prophrts tin- rulers i.t tin- syii:iu r "Lru. 
sent unto tin -in, saying, ) ni -n n<l 
luvt hivn. it \.- have :my word of 
xhortat it ll for tin 1 1 ]!<, s;iy oil. 
Thru Paul stood up. and beckoning 
with hi a hand said, Men of !srar!, 
iiu.l vi- that I .-ar (nl, ^ivr aiidifin-.-. 
< 17 > Thf l.Jo<l of this people of Isra.-l 


1.1. 

1:1. 14. 16. 

I i.i- -trintaphoft 
rbapffor 
itriiplun 

, /..///..Hi, 

Hi, or. 

1. . !! ; - M:>. . : 

inlliitr in 
uieLXX,andM 
UttTMMtom. 

< J<H>h. 11. 1. 


rliMsr our fath -rs, and .-\alt.-d th.- 
|M-ojilr wh.-ii th -y dw.-lt as Btrai 
in tin- land of K-\j>t. and with an 
liiLfh arm brought In- tln-ni out of it. 4 
And about tin- tiun- of forty \--ar-; 

sutr.-ivd in- th.-ir mannrrs in the wilder 
ness. : And \\ lii-n In- had d.-st ro\.-d 
st-vfii nations in tin- land of ( haiiaan, 
In- divided th.-ir land to them bv lot. 
\ Mil aft--r lluit lit- ^ r avf nnl<> ////// 
judges about the space of four hundivd 



must have cro-sed. ll;|il . ll it aim d til. ".Ills 1 1 II HcillM " 

a moditied form of Unman citizenship uud.-r Augustus, 
and had attracted, as tin- sequel shows, a considerable 
.Jewish population, who had made many proselytes 

amoiiL r the (Jelll lles verse I "J . It lay oil t he e\t reine 

limit of Pisidia. with Phry^ia on thew-t ami Lyciionia 

oil the east. 

Went into the synagogue on the sabbath 
day, and. sat down. The act implied that they 
were not listeners only. Imt teachers. See Xotes on 
Matt. V. 1 : Lukeiv. J V They sat ;is in the seat of tllO 
Rabbi, and iheir doin<r so was an indication, as the 
sequel shows, that they asked for permission to 
address the congregation. Jt will he rememliered that 
the organisation of the syna;o<rue excluded the sacer 
dotal element alto^et her, and that lay-preaching, assum 
ing a sulHcient training, was an established practice. It 
need hardly he said that neither elders nor scrilies were 
nee -ssariry of the trihe of Levi. 

After the reading of the law and the 

prophets. The order of the Sabbath lessons was 
fixed as hy a kind of calendar, the Law i.e.. the, 
Pentateuch" -l>ein divided into fifty-three or fifty- 
four jim-oxrlilolli. or sections. These, prolialtly. came 
into use soon after the return from Babylon. To 
these were afterwards added special lessons, known 
technically as the H<ifilitnr<itli, from the prophets. We 
<-ire enabled, hy two curious coincidences, to fix, with 
very little uncertainty, th" preci-e Sabbath on which 
the mission-work at Antiorh opened. The opening 
words of St. Paul refer to Dent. i. : d B66 Note on 
mw 1 ;> > . and this was the lesson for the forty-fourth 
Sabbath in the year, which fell in July or August ; the 
.-oi-re-,pondii;ir second lesson from the ]irophets bein^ 
KM. i. 1 27. from which he also .(ii ites. He starts. 
:is was na iiral. from what the people had just been 
listening to. as the text of his discourse. 

The rulers of the synagogue sent unto 
them . . . The elders apparently saw strangers 
taking the position of teachers, probably in the yarli of 
Rabbis, and it belonged to their otlice to offer such 
persons an opportunity of addressing the people. 

Beckoning with his hand. The ^esmre was 

rather that of one who in/r.-s his hand to command 

>ilence and attention than what we commonly describe 

. konintr. iComp. chap. xii. 17. i The graphic touch 

of description would seem to indicate, as does the full 
rejMir; of the speech, that ttn-ycamein the tir^t instance 
from one who liad been present. A like touch is found 
a^ain in connection with St. Paul in chap. \\i. I". It 
was. probably, like the " fixing of the eye." in \er>e . .just 
one of the personal characteristics on which the painter- 
historian loved to dwell. We may assume, a- alino-t 
certain, that tlirou-rhoiit thisjoiirne\ St. Paul u-ed ( , reek 
as the common medium of intercoiir-M-. The verbal coin 



cidences in verses 17 and 1*. already referred to in the 
Note on vi-rse 1"). make it. in this instance, alisolutely 
certain. 
Men of Israel, and ye that fear God. The 

latter phrase denote-, as in chap. x. JJ. those who. 
thouirh in the syna-jrotrne. wen- of heathen oritrin. and 
had not become proselytes in the full sen-e of the term, 
but were known as the so-called "proselytes nf the 

gate." 

Give audience. Literally. //< // ye. The English 
l>hrase may lie noted as an example of the use of tin- 
word " audience," which has since been applied to the 
persons who hear, in the old abstract sense of the act of 
hearing 

U") The God of this people of Israel. It will 
be observed that St. Paul, as far as the plan of his 
discourse is concerned, follows in the footsteps of St. 
Stephen, and begins by a recapitulation of the main 
facts (,f the history of Israel. It was a theme which 
Israelites were never tired of listening to. It showed 
that the Apostles recognised it as the history of (Jo.l s 
chosen people. 

And exalted the people when they dwelt 

&B Strangers. Literally, in tl/>n- snjmn-uunj in tin 
I titil nf E<jij[it. The word for "exalt " is found in the 
(Jre.-k of Isa. i. _!. where our version has, "1 have 
nourished and lifoinjlit HJI children." and may fairly l>e 
considered as an echo from the lesson that had just 
been read. It may lie noted that it was only in this 
sense, as increasing rapidly in population, that I-r.-c-l 
could be spoken of as "exalted" in the hou-e of 

bondage. 

(i) ^Suffered he their manners.- The <; reek- 
word so rendered d iVers bv a single letter only from 
one which signifies " to nurse, to c,;rry. as a father 
carries his child." Many of the better MSS. versions 
and early writers irive the latter reading, and it ob 
viously falls in far better with the conciliatory drift 
of St. Paul s teaching than one which implied reproach. 
The word is found in the (ireek of Dent. i. :;i - bare 
thee. as a man </</// /,/,- his son", where also some 
! MSS. irive the other word, and snirirests the inference, 
already mentioned, that this chapter, as well as I-a. i.. 
had been read as one of the lessons for the day. 

1 " He divided their land to them by lot. 

Acceptinir this reading, the reference is to tin m- 

mantl sjfiven in Num. xxvi. ."">. >>. and recorded a 
carried into effect in Josh. xiv. -xix. The hetp 
however, ijive a kindred word, which signifies " 
as an inheritance." 

After that he gave unto them judges . . . 

i The statement in tin- t -xt. assi^niu-- |.",u yean t:> the 
jieriod of the judges, and a]ii>arently reckoning thai 
period from the distribution of the conquered territory, 
is at variance \\ith that in 1 Kind s vi. 1, \vliic 



PcmPs Discourse 



THE ACTS, XIII. 



at A t/tiix-li in. 



;iinl tif ty y. ars." until SumiU l the pro- 

lh.-i. * -" And afterward ili.-y drsir.-d 
a king:* and God i^m- unto them Saul 
the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of 
Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 
And when he had removed him, he 
raised up unto them David to be their 
kiiiLT ; c to whom also he gave testimony, 
and said, I have found David the son of 
Jesse, a man after mine own heart, 
which shall fulfil all my will/ <* Of 
this man s seed hath (loci according to 
// /x promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, 
Jesus : (24) when John had first preached/ 
before his coming the baptism of re 
pentance to all the people of Israel. 



\inl as John fulfilled his i-ours.-, he 
said. Whom think ye that l am ? 1 am 
not he. 9 But, behold, there comet h one 
after me, whose shoes of hi.< feet 1 
am not worthy to loose. (2(i) Men and 
brethren, children of the stock of Abra 
ham, and whosoever among you fear-th 
i God, to you is the word of this salva 
tion sent. ( - 7) For they that dwell at 
Jerusalem, and their rulers, because 
i they knew him not, nor yet the voices 
j of the prophets which are read every 
sabbath day, they have fulfilled ////// in 
condemning him. (28) And though they 
i found no cause of death in him,* yet 
I desired they Pilate that he should be 



480 years as the period intervening between the Exodus 

and the building of the temple. The better MSS., 
however, give a different reading " He gave their laud 
to them as an inheritance, about l~><> years, and after 
these things he gave unto them judges," the 450 years 
in this case being referred to the interval between the 
choice of " our fathers," which may be reckoned from 
the birth of Isaac (B.C. 1897 according to the received 
chronology) to the distribution of the conquered country 
in B.C. 1444. So far as any great discrepancy is con 
cerned, this is a sufficient explanation, but what has 
been said before as to the general tendency in a dis 
course of this kind to rest in round numbers, has also 
to be remembered. (See Note on chap. vii. 6.) Josephus 
(Ant. viii. 3, 1) gives 592 years from the Exodus to 
the building of Solomon s "Temple. Of this period 
sixty-live years were occupied by the wanderings in the 
wilderness and the conquest under Joshua, eighty-four 
by the reigns of Saul and David and the first four years 
of Solomon, leaving 443 years for the period of the 
Judges. This agrees, it will be seen, sufficiently with 
the Received text in this passage, but leaves the dis 
crepancy with 1 Kings vi. 1 unexplained. There would 
of course, be nothing strange in St. Paul s following 
the same traditional chronology as Josephus, even where 
it differed from that of the present Hebrew text of the 
Old Testament. 

( 21 ) Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of 
Benjamin. It is natural to think of the Apostle as 
dwelling on the memory of the hero-king of the tribe 
to which he himself belonged. ( oinp. Phil. iii. 5.) 
The very fact that he had so recently renounced the 
name, would bring the associations connected with it 
more vividly to his recollection. 

Forty years. The duration of Saul s reign is not 
given in the Old Test amen t.hut I sh-liosheth.his youngest 
-on 1 Chron. viii. 33), was forty years old at the time 
of Saul s death :2 Sam. ii. 1<. and Saul himself was a 
" young man " when chosen as king (1 Sam. ix. 2). A 
more definite corroboration of St. Paul s statement is 
given by Josephus (Ant. vi. 11. ^ . . who states that lie 
reigned eighteen years before Samuel s death and 
twenty-two after it". 

-- "I have found David the son of Jesse. 

The words that follow are a composite quotation, after 
the manner of the Rabbis, made up of PB. Ixxxix. 20, 

and 1 Sam. xiii. 14. The obvious purpose of this 
opening was. as in the case of St. Stephen s speech, 
to gain attention by showing that the speaker reeog- 

M 



nised all the traditional glories of the people. It is 
possible that we have, as it were, but the ^r< r/ s of a fuller 
statement. 

(- :J ) Raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus. 
It is, of eonne, probable that the names of Jesus and of 
John were not utterly unknown, even in those remote 
regions of Pisidia. No Jew could have gone up to keep 
a feast at Jerusalem for some years past without having 
heard something of the one or of the other. St. Paul s 
tone is clearly that of one who assumes that their story 
is already vaguely known, and who comes to offer know 
ledge of greater clearness. 

(2-*) The baptism of repentance. See Notes ,,i; 
Matt. iii. 112. 

(25) And as John fulfilled his course. Better 
teas fulfilling, the tense implying continuous action. 

Whom think ye that I am? The precise 
question is not found in the Gospel records of St. John s 
ministry, but the substance of the answer is implied in 
Matt, iii. 11 ; John i. 20, 21. 

(26) Children of the stock of Abraham, and 
whosoever among you feareth God. The two 
classes are, as before (see Note on verse Ib l, again 
pointedly contrasted with each other. 

To you is the word of this salvation sent. 
The demonstrative pronoun implies that the salvation 
which St. Paul proclaimed rested on the work of Jesus 
the Saviour (verse 23). and was found in union with 
Him. (Comp. " this life " in chap. v. 2". 

-" For they that dwell at Jerusalem. The 
implied reason of the mission to the Gentiles and more 
distant Jews is that the offer of salvation had been 
rejected by those who would naturally have been its 
first recipients, and who. had they received it. would 
have been, in their turn, witnesses to those that were 
"far off," in both the local and spiritual sense of those 
words. 

The voices of the prophets which are read 
every sabbath day.- -See \,,te on verse !.">. The 

Apostle appeals to the synagogue ritual from which the 
discour.-e ,-tarted. as in itself bearing witness, not to the 
popular notions of a conquering Messiah, but to the 
true ideal of the chief of Mitfcrers, which had been 
realised in Jesus. 

() And though they found no cause of death 
in him. Technically, the Sauhedrin had condemned 
our Lord on the charge of blasphemy Matt. \\\i. 86), 
but they had been unable to prove the charge by 
any adequate evidence .Matt. xxvi. 60), and finally 






TIIK ACTS. XIII 



,,t AntiocA in I lndia. 



slain. - Ami when they had fulfill. -d 
all that w;is written of him. tln-\ tM.l< 
/i iin down from Hi,- i !. mid laid /// /// 
in a sepulchre, lint < Jod raised him 

from the d- ad : ! ami In- was seen 
many da\s of them which came M\> with 

him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are 

Jiis witnesses unto the people. Ami 
we declare nut.. \oii --lad tidings, how 
that the pr is., which was made untn 

tli.- fethers, God hath fulfilled the 

same nnti us their children, in that he 






i .. i<>. 
- /,. /,./ 



hath raised up JeBUt a.j-.iin : as it is also 
written in the >,.,-., ml psalm. Thou art 

my Son, this day have I he--,. Men tl 

1 And as conceniim_ r that he raised 
him up from the dead, now no more to 
return to corruption, he said on this 

of David. B Wherefore IK- saith al.-o 
in another />.- ///, Thou .shalt not suffer 
thine Holy <)ne to see corruption. 
( (36) For David. att.T he had served his 
own ^em-rat ion 1,\ the will of <Jod. ; fell 



condemned liiiii liy extorting \\ords { nun His own lips. 
Wlini they Cftme before Pilate they shrank at first 
t ruiii urging tliat accusation, and cimti iitrd t licinsclvcs 
with stating in L cneral terms tliat they had condemned 
Him as a malefactor .John \\iii. :\(> though aft.T- 
ivards. as it seeking " terrify tin- wavering governor. 
they added that by their law He oujrlit tn die lieranse 

He made Himself the Sun of Cod i.Iolin xi\. 7 1. and 
tliat liy makiiiu Himself u king He spake against the 
"iiuieror (.John \i\. 1 J . 

When they had fulfilled all that was 
written of him. The w<>rd> are sui^yvstivi of much 
that lies In-low ihe snrfa,-e. St. Paul. aU,,. l, a ,l studied 
in the same school of prophetic interpretation as the 
writers of the (Jospels. ami saw as they did. in all the 
details of the Crucifixion, the fulfilment of that which 
had Ixvn written beforehand, it illicit lie. of other suf 
ferers, but which was to find its highest fulfilment in 
the Christ. 

They took him down from the tree. In the 
brief summj.ry which St. Paul gives, it was apparently 
deemed unnecessary to >tate the fact that our Lord was 
taken down from the cross and laid in the sepulchre by 
those who were secretly disciples, like Joseph and 
Xicodeimis. It was enough that they too were amoiiir 
the rulers of the ,]ews. and that they. in what they did. 
were acting without any expectation of the Kesurree- 
tion. On the use of the word " tree " for the <-ross. see 
Note on chap. V. . i i. 

111 And he was seen many days. The lan 
guage is that of one who had con \erscd with the wit- 
neeses, and had convinced himself ,,f the truth of their 
testimony. We Hud what the Apostle had in his 
thoughts in a more expanded form in 1 Cor. xv. 3 8. 
Who are his witnesses. More accurately, / //< 

m-i- nun- l,i.< /<//,,, gg ,. 

Unto the people. The woi-d is use.l in its dis 
tinctive sens,- as a), plied to those who were Ihf people 
<>f < iod. ( o m)i. chap. xxvi. 17. i!o. 

God hath fulftlled the same unto us their 
Children. The better MSS. gi\.-. with hardly an 
exccjition. "lit" "Hi- !,;/, 1,-i n. and the Received text 
must be n-irarded as having been made to obtain what 
seemed a more natural meaning. St. Paul s language, 
however, is but an echo of St. Peter s "to us and to 
our children." in chap. ii. : .!. 

A.B it is also written in the second psalm. 
The various-reading, "in the ///>/ } <alm." Driven bv some 
MSS. is interesting, as showing that in some copies of 
the Old Testament, what is now the first Psalm was 
treated ;i s a kind of prelude to the whole book, the 
numeration be^inninir with what is now ti.. second. 

Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten 
Ihee.--Historically, Psalm ii. appears as a triumph- 

23 > 



song, written to celebrate the \ictory of a king of Israel 
or .Indali David, or Solomon, or another over lii.s 
enemies. The king had been shown by that day of 
victory to have been the chosen son of God the day 
itself was a n--w begetting, manifesting; the sonship. 
So. in the higher fulfilment which St. Paul finds in 
Christ, he refers the words, not primarily to the Kt.-nial 
Generation of the Son of God. "begotten before all 
worlds." nor to the Incarnation, but to the day of victory 
over rulers and priests, over principalities and powers, 
over death and Hades. The Rcsiir.vction manifested 
in the antitype, as the victory had done in the type, a 
pre-existing sonship; but it was to those who witnessed 
it. or heard of it. as the ground on which their faith in 
that sonship rested. Christ was to them the "firstborn 
of every creature." because He was also "the firstborn 
from the dead." (See Notes on Col. i. i:.. K 

(**) Now no more to return to corruption. 
We note from the turn of the phrase that St. Paul 
already has the words of IV. xvi. lU in his mind, though 
he has not as yet referred to it. 

I will give you the sure mercies of David. 

The words do not seem in themselves to have the nature 
of a Messianic prediction. To those, however, whose 
minds were full to overflowing with the writings of tho 
prophets they would lie pregnant with meaning. What 
were the " sure mercies of Da\id" Isa.lv.i! but the 
"everlasting covenant" of mercy which was to find 
its fulfilment in One who should be "a leader and 
commander to the people:*" We may well believe 
that the few words .pioted recalled to St. Paul and to 
his hearers the whole of that wonderful chapter which 
opens with " Ho. every one that thirstcth, come ve t, 
the waters." The Greek word for mercies" is the 
same adjective as that translated " holy " in the next 
verse. " holiness " being identified with " mercy." and so 
forms a connect in:: link with the prophecy cited in tho 
next verse. 

(35) Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to 

See Corruption. See Xotes on the prophecy so cited 
in chap. ii. _!."> M. 

After he had served his own generation. 

Literally. ////;< /s/c/vi/ tn /// > ,iir,i i/i-in /,(//,,//. Then- 
is, perhaps, a suggested contrast between the limits 
within which the work of service to mankind done by 
any mere man. however great and powerful, is neces 
sarily confined, and the wide, far-reaching, cmlh-s^ 
ministry to the whole human family which belongs i,> 
the Son of Man. 

By the will Of God.- The words are. perhaps, 

better connected with the \erb that follows. It was bv 

the will literally, counsel of God that David fell 
asleep when his life s work was accomplished. 

Fell on Sleep. It is not without interest to uoto 



Paul s Discourse. 



TIM-; ACTS, xnr. 



//.,- ;//; <( on HK> ricarers. 



on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, 
and saw corruption: (:;7) but he, whom 

<i;>d raised ai;aiu. saw no corruption. 

( w) Be it known unto you therefore, 
men muf lirethren. that through tliis 
ir.an is preached unto you the forgive 
ness of sins: "and DJ him all that 
helieve are justified from all things, 
from which ye could not be justified 
bv the law of Moses. (40) Beware there 
fore, lost that come upon you, which is 
spoken of in the prophets; 1 (41) Behold, 
ye despisers, and wonder, and perish : 



i," 



fcr I work a work in your days, a work 
which ye shall in no wise believe,, 
though a man declare it unto you. 
\nd when the Jews were .^uiie out 
of the syna^oLrue. 1 lie ( ientiles beSOUght 
that these words mi^-lit br preached to 
them the next sabbath. 1 i; Now when 
the congregation was broken up, many 
of the Jews and religious proselytes 
followed Paul and Barnabas: who. 
speaking to them, persuaded them to 
continue in the grace of (Jod. 

(44) And the next sabbath day came 



that St. Paul uses the same word for death as had been 
used by tlic historian in the case of Stephen (chap, 
vii. 3l!i. It agreed with tlie then current language of 
mankind that death was as a sleep. It differed from 
it in thinking of that sleep not as "eternal" (the 
frequently recurring epithet in Greek and Roman 
epitaphs), but as the prelude to an awakening. 

( &) Men and brethren. Better, brethren, simply. 

Is preached. . . . The force of the Greek tense 
emphasises the fact that the forgiveness was, at that 
very moment, in the act of being proclaimed or 
preacht d. 

Forgiveness of sins. This forms the key-note of 
St. Paul s preaching (here and in chap. xxvi. 18), as it 
had dune of St. Peter s (chaps, ii. 38; v. 31; x. 43), as 
it had done before of that of the Baptist (Mark i. 4 ; 
Luke iii. :! . and of our Lord Himself (Matt. ix. L*. li ; 
Luke vii. 17; xxiv. 17). It was the ever-recurring 
Imrden of the glad tidings which were preached alike 
by all. 

( yj ) And by him. Literally, in Him, as the sphere 
in which forgiveness was found, rather than as the in 
strument through whom it came. 

All that believe are justified. Literally, with 
a more individualising touch. iTcry one that believeth is 
justified. The latter verb is not found elsewhere in the 
Acts. It is interesting to note in this, the first recorded 
example of St. Paul s teaching, the occurrence of the 
word which, as time passed on. came to be almost 
identified with him and with his work. It is clearly 
used, as interpreted by the "forgiveness of sins in the 
context, in its forensic s. -use. as meaning "acquitted," 
"declared not guilty." i Comp. Note on Matt. xii. 37.) 

From which ye could not be justified by the 
law of Moses. The words are full of meaning, as 
the germ of all that was most characteristic in St. 
Paul s later teaching. The Law, with its high standard 
of righteousness :Rom. vii. Ui. its demand of entire 
obedience, its sacrifices which bore witness to the bur- 
deu of sin, yet had no power to liberate conscience from 
its thraldom (Heb. viii. 13). had taught him that its 
function in the spiritual life of man was to work out 
the knowledge of sin (Rom. vii. 7), not to emancipate 
men from it. The sense of freedom from guilt, and 
therefore of a true life, was to be found, as lie had 
learnt by his own experience, through faith in ( lirist. 
"The just bv faith shall live" (Hab. ii. 1; Rom. i. 17; 
Gal. iii. LI). 

(i4i) Which is spoken of in the prophets. This 
formula of citation seems to have I teen common, as in 
rhap. vii. 1 in the case of quotations from the Minor 
Prophets, which were regarded, as it were, as a single 
Volume with this title. 



(H) Behold, ye despisers. The quotation is from 
the LXX. version, the Hebrew giving " Behold, ve 
among the heathen." So. in the next clause. " wonder, 
and perish " takes the place of " wonder marvellously." 
The fact that St. Paul quotes from the prophet (Hal), 
i. 5) whose teaching (Halt. ii. 1) that " the just by faith 
shall live " becomes henceforth the axiom of his life. i- 
uot without a special interest. The " work of which 
the prophet spoke was defined in the following ver-.e as 
the raising up the Chaldeans, "that bitter and hasty 
nation," to execute God s judgment . St. Paul may have 
had in his thoughts the like judgment about to be 
executed by the Romans, and already known as fore 
told by Christ (Matt. xxiv. ~2 --iS;, or may have thus 
dimly indicated that which was so closely connected with 
it the rejection of Israel, because they, as a nation, had 
rejected Christ. The sharp tone of warning, as in St. 
Stephen s speech (see Xote on chap. vii. .">! . suggests 
the thought that signs of anger and impatience had 
already begun to show themselves. 

(42) And when the Jews were gone out of the 
synagogue. -The; better MSS. give simply, a* (!-,>( 
were going out. the Received text being apparently an 
explanatory interpretation. The reading. " the Gentiles 
besought." is an addition of the same character, the 
better MSS. giving simply, they besought, or were be 
seeching. What follows shows, indeed, that some at 
least of the Jews were led to inquire further. The- 
participle implies that they stopped as they pas.-ed 
out, to request the Apostle to resume his teaching on 
the following Sabbat.h. This, and not the mar 
ginal reading "in the week between." is the true 
meaning of the words, though they admit, literally, of 
the other rendering. 

(43) When the congregation was broken up. 

Better, as keeping to the usual rendering. // s//mf- 
gogue. The two preachers withdrew to their inn or 
lodging, and were followed by many of both da-- 
their hearers not. as the Received text of verse 1:2 im- 

!)lies, by one only. It is probable, looking to St. Paul s 
angtiage in 1 Cor. ix. l> which can only refer to their 
joint life at the Syrian Antioch. or on this journey. that 
during the week that followed thev worked for their 
maintenance as tent-makers. See Note on chap, 
xviii. 3.) Manufactures of this kind were so common 
in all the towns lying on or near the Taurus range of 
mountains, thai it would not be .difficult for any dolled 
workman, such as St. Paul, to obtain casual employment 
Persuaded them. The tense implies that they 
went on throughout the week probably after their 
day s labour was over -with this work of persuasion. 

" u The next sabbath day came almost the 
Whole City together. It is clear that the Jewish 







ICTS XIII. 







6 wliol.- cii v together in hear 

til.- Word of Ci.d. Ulll Whrn til - 

.l.-us saw the mult it udi-s, lli \ wrn- 
tilled with envy, ami >|i;ik i- ;PJ 
tho>.> tiling- which ui-ri- spoken Ly 

Tan!, rout radirt MILT and blaspheming. 

Then Paul am! JJarnalias wavd 
IK. Id, and said. It was necessary llial 
fche WOrd Of God should lir.-t ha\- l>een 
spoken to you : hut seeing ye jut it 
from you. an 1 judo-e \oiirselves un 
worthy of everlastint, r life. In. wr turn 



ic tin- Gentil< , 
Lord commanded u-. saying, 
1 hee to In- ;< liifht of fche G . t hut. 

thou should.- ion unto 

tin- ends of Ih.- earth. And v.hcn 
tin- (lentiles heard this, th-y were -hid 
ami ^loritied th- word of 1 he Lord: and 
as many a> wen- ordained to eternal 
life believed. " And the word of 1 he 
Lord sva> jiiililished t hrou-j-hoiil all the 
region. "" Hut the .Jews stirred up the 
de\oiit and honourable worn. n. and the 



- ^ue could not have held siidi a crowd, ami we 
.ire Idl accordingly to the conclusion cither I hat they 
thronged round jMirtals and windows while the Apostles 
spoke within, or that the crowd gathered in some open 
-pace or pia//a in which the syna^otjiie was situated, and 
were addressed from its entrance. We are left to infer 
the nature of St. Paul s discourse from what had pre 
ceded, and to assume that it was not recorded, either 
because St. Luke had notes of one discourse and not of 
the oilier, or because it went more or less over the 

sa ground, and therefore did not seem to him to 

require record niif. 

They were filled with envy. --They heard 

tlie Apostles speaking to the multitudes, not in the 
condescending, supercilious tone of those who could 
just tolerate a wealthy proselvte of the <-ate. that could 
purchase their favour. Imt as finding in every one of 
. liei-i a In-other standing on the same level a-s them- 
sd\e-. as redeemed by Christ, and this practical repu 
diation of all the exclusive privileges on which they 
prided themselves was more than they could licar. 

Contradicting and blaspheming. The latter 
word implies reviling words with which the Apostles 
were as-ailed, as well as lilaspheiny in the common 
meaning if the word. 

" It Was neCOSSary. The preachers r. ^nisi-d 

the necessity <>f folio winir wliat they looked on as 
the divine plan in the education of mankind, and so 
they iireached "to the .lew first . and also to (he Ccntile" 
(Rom. ii. !. 10:. The former were offered, as the fulfil 
ment of the promise made to Aliraham. the hijrli privilege 
of liein^r ihe channel throuirh which " all families of the 
eartii should lie lilesxed " liy the knowledire of Christ 
.(Jen. xxii. I s . When they rejected that offer, it was 
made, without their intervention, to the (ientiles. 

Judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting 
life. -There is a touch of righteous indi^nal i<m. perh:t]is 
something like irony, in the word-. The preacher had 
thouirht them worthy " of the hiirhest of all lili -.-iiiLTs. 
the life eternal which was in Chri-t .Ic-us. l.ut the\. 
in their boastful and envious pride, took win! \\as 
really a lower estimate of themselves, and showed that 
they were unworthy." They passed sentence. / //M/ 
f<n-t,i. on themseUe- 

Lo, we turn to the Gentiles. We have to re 
member i I that the word- were as an echo of tho-e 
which the Apostle had heard in his trance in the 
Temple at .Jerusalem chap. xxii. Jl : L! that they 
wimld l>e heard, on the one hand, liy the (Jcntiles with 
a joy hitherto unknown, and. on the other, liy the .lew- 
a> a new can-e of irritation. 

I have set theo to be a light to the 
Gentiles. The context of the quotation has to he 
remembered as showing that St. Paul identified the 



Servant of the Lord" in Isa. xlix. with the per-on 
of the Christ. See \,,te ,,n chap \\ . ~27 The citation 
is interest in<r a- the iirt example of the train of 

thought which led the Apostle to >ee in the lailLTHa^e 

of the prophets, where others had found <m>. 
exaltation of Israel, the divine purpose of |o\e towards 
the whole heathen world. Il i- the jjerm of the argu 
ment afterwards more fully developed in Kom. 
x. 1 J. 

<^8) They were glad, and glorified the word 
Of the Lord. Both verbs are in the tense 1,1 ,-,,n 
tinned action. The joy was not an evanescent burst of 
emotion. The * word of the Lord " here is the teachinu 
which had the Lord .le-us as its subject. 

AH many as were ordained to eternal life 
believed. Better. <>.< ninny n were ili-:)>n*ni _/"/-. 
The words seem to the Kn^li-h reader to support 
the Calvinistie do<rma of divine decrees a- deter 
mining the belief or unbelief of men. and it is not 
improbable, looking to the general drift of the theology 
of the Kntrli-h Church in the early part of the seven 
teenth century, that the word " ordained " was chosen 
as expressing that do^ma. It runs, with hardi\ an 
variation, through all the chief Kn^li-h version-, t In- 
Ivhi mish jjfivin^ the stronger form " pre-ordinate " 
The (ireek word, however, does not imply more than 
that, they fell in with the divine order which ihe .levv- 
i-ejccted. They were a- soldier- who take ;hc place 
assigned to them in (lod s rreat army. The /"us/ 
middle force of the pa ive form of the verb 
in the (ireek of chap. xx. 1:5. where a compound form 
of it is rightly rendered " for so he had appointed." and 
iinirht. have been tran-lated /; .-< / wot il .-/",.<, <l. 
it lies in the nature of the ca-e that belief wa- followed 
by a imblic profession of faith, but the word " believeil " 
does not. as some have -aid. involve -uch a profes-iun. 

(i!>i Throughout all the region. Thi- dearly 
involves a consideralile period of active working. It was 
not in Antioch only, but in the "region" round about. 
the border district of the three province- of I hrv^ia. 
Lvcaonia. and (Jalatia. that the new faith was planted. 
Kadi town and village in that region presented the 
spectacle of at least some few men and women who no 
lonu er sacrificed to their country s L r od-. who were no 
longer content e\en to vvorshiji in the syna!_ r oru 
relRgio liritu of the .lew-, bin met in small companies 
In re and tin-re, a- the di-ciples of a new Master. 

The Jews stirred up the devout and 
honourable women. The fact stated In-inirs before 

us another feature of tin- relations between .lew- a, id 

(Jentiles at this period. They " ipa cd - a^ and 

land to make on.- pro-elvte" iMatt. xxiii. ! 

found it easier to make pro-dyies of women. Such 

conversions had thei-- ^ood and their bad sides. In 



17 



Barnabas 



THE ACTS, XIV. 



from A it fin,-/, ,,, 1 , sn/la. 



i-liit l mrn <>f tin- city. ;iud raised per 
secution against Paul and Barnal>a>. 
and i-xprlltul them out of their coasts. 
< 51 > But they shook off tlie dust of 
their feet against them," and cairn- unto 
Iconiuni. i:> - And the disciples \\-<-iv 
filled with joy, and with the Holy 
Ghost. 



CHAPTER XIV. < l > And it came to .*... 
pass in Iconiuni, that they went both 



together into the synagogue of tin- 
Jews, and so spake, that a -T-at multi 
tude both of tli.- .Jews and also of tin- 
Greeks believed. < 2 > But the unbeliev 
ing .Jews stirred up the Gentiles, ami 
made their minds evil affected against 
the brethren. (:!) Long time therefore 
abode they sj>"akiii j boldly in the 
Lord, which gave testimony unto tin- 
word of his grace, and granted si^ns and 
wonders to be done by their hands. 



many oases there \v;is a real longing for a higher ami 
purer life than was found in the infinite debasement 
of Greek and Roman society, which found its >ati-- 
t action in the life and faith of Israel. (See Notes on 
hap. xvii. 4, 12.) But with many, sneh as Juvenal 
speaks of when lie describes (Sat. vi. rk>) the Jewish 
teacher who gains influence over women 

" Arcanam .lutln-a tremeiis mcnilicat in aurcm 

[nterprea le^um Soiymarum " 

[" The trembliiiLC Jewess whispers in her ear, 
Anil tells her of the laws of Solyinae,"] * 

the change brought with it n^w elements of superstition 
and weakness, and alisolnte submission of conscience to 
its new directors, and thus the Rabbis were often to the 
wealthier women of Greek and Roman cities what 
Jesuit confessors were in France! and Italy in the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Here we get 
the darker side of the picture. The Jews stir up the 
women of the upper class, and they stir up their 
husbands. The latter wen; content apparently to 
acquiesce in their wives accepting the Judaism "with 
which they had become familiar, but resented the in 
trusion of a new and, in one sense, more exacting 
doctrine. 

Raised persecution against Paul and Bar 
nabas. It lies in the nature of the case that they were 
not the only sufferers. From the first the Christians 
of Antiocli in Pisidia had to learn the lesson that they 
must " through much tribulation enter into the kingdom 
of God" (chap. xiv. 2). The memory of these suf 
ferings came back upon St. Paul s mind, even in the 
last months of his life, as something never to be for 
gotten (2 Tim. iii. 11). 

(5i) They shook off the dust of their feet 
against them. The act was one of literal obedience 
to our Lord s commands see Note on Matt. x. 14). and 
may fairly be regarded as evidence that that command 
bad come to the knowledge of Paul and Barnabas 
as well as of the Twelve. It was in itself, however, the 
language of a natural svmbolism which every Jew would 
understand, a declaration that not the heathen, but 
the unbelieving and malignant Jews, were those who 
made the very dust on which they trod common and 
unclean. 

And came unto Iconium. The journey to 
Iconiuni is passed over rapidly, and we may infer that it 
presented no opportunities for mission work. That city 
lay on the road between Antioch and Derbe at a distance 
Of ninety miles south-east from the former city, and forty 
north-west from the latter. When the travellers arrived 
there they found what they probably had not met 
with on their route a synagogue, which indicated the 
of a Jewish population, on whom they could 



.syl) nue, of course, stuuds for Jerusalem. 



begin to work. The city, which from its si/.e and 
stateliness has been called the Damascus of Lycaonia. 
was famous in the early Apocryphal Christian writings 
as the scene of the intercourse between St. Paul and 
his convert Thekla. In the middle ayes it rose to 
importance as the capital of the Seljukian sultans, and. 
under the slightly altered name of Konieh. is still a 
flourishing city. By some ancient writers it was as 
signed to Phrygia, by others to Lveaonia. 

(52) And the disciples were filled with joy 

and with the Holy Ghost. The tense is again 

that which expresses the continuance of the state. The 

"joy " expresses what is almost the normal sequence of 

conversion in the history of the Acts. (See Notes on 

chap. viii. 8, 39.) The addition of "the Holy Ghost " 

may imply special gifts like those of tongues and 

prophecy, but certainly involves a new intensity ot 

spiritual life, of which joy was the natural outcome. 

As being conspicuous among the Gentile converts, we 

; trace the impression which it then made, in words which 

i St. Paul wrote long years afterwards, " The kingdom of 

I God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and 

peace, andjmj in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. xiv. 17). 

XIV. 

(D Both of the Jews and also of the Greeks. 
The latter term is used in its wider sense, as in Mark 
vii. 26 and elsewhere, as equivalent to Gentile, but it 
implies that those who were so described spoke ami 
understood Greek. In the former instance these would 
probably be the "proselytes of the gate" who heard 
the Apostles in the synagogue. 

(2) The unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gen 
tiles . . . It is the distinguishing feature of nearly 
all the persecutions in the Acts that they originated 
in the hostility of the Jews. The case of Demetrius 
furnishes almost the only exception tchap. \i\. ~2\ . and 
even there the Jews apparently fomented the enmity 
of the Greek craftsmen. So at a considerably later 
: date (A.D. 169) we find them prominent in bringing 
about the persecution which ended in the death of 
Polycarp at Smyrna (Mnrt. Plii<: 0. I-"- . 

< 3 > Long time therefore abode they. This can 
hardly be understood as involving a stay of less than 
several months, during which. Paul and Barnabas, as 
before, were working for their livelihood. 

Speaking boldly. The -boldness" consisted, as 
the context shows, in a full declaration of the r,,spel of 
the grace of C,<>d as contracted with the narrowing 
Judaism with which the (Jreek proselytes had pre 
viously been familiar. 

Granted signs and wonders to be done by 

their hands. It will be noted that here also, as so 
often elsewhere, the miracles that were wrought came 
as the confirmation of faith, not as its foundation. 



. 







TIM-: ACTS. XIV. 



Tin < , / 



. 



<" lint the multitude of tin- cit\ 
divided: ;i:i<l part held with 1 lie .Ii-u -. 
and part with tin- apostles. And 
when there was an assault made both 
<>t tin- (ientiles, and also of the Jews 
with their rulers, to use ///<// despite- 
fully, and to stone tin-in. " they wen- 
wan- of it, and fled unto Lystra ami 
Derbi 1 , cities of Lycaonia, and unto the 
region that lieth round about : ~ J and 
there they j. reached the gospel. 



And there -;it a certain man at. 
Lystra, inniotent in his feet, heii,._r ;L 
rij.j.le tVoin hi.s mother s uomb, wl.o 
never had walked: the same heard 
Paul >pe;ik : who -tedfastly beholding 
him, and perceiving that he had faith 

to he healed. -. id with Jl ]ol|d Voje,-, 

Stand upright on thy feet. And he 
leuped and walked. <*" And when the 
people saw what Paul had don,-, they 
lifted up their roices, saying in t he 



The multitude of the city was divided. 

The context shows that St. Luke writes of tin- bulk of 
the heathen population. Xo numbers arc j;iven. but 
we may fairly assume that the converts were in a 
minority, and that they belonged, as a nile, to the lower 
.-lasses "i 1 Cor. i. "J<;. 1/7 . and that the chief men and 
women of the city, as at the Pisidian Antioch chap. 

riiL 50), were against tin-in. The -rulers" who are 

named would seem, from the form of punishment 
selected, to have been those of the Jewish svna^o^lie. 
and the crime of which tin- preachers were accused, as 
in the case of Stephen, to have liecn blasphemy. (See 
.Notes on chap. vii. ~s ; John x. 31.) 

< 5 ) To use them despitefully. The verl> ex 
presses wanton insult and outrage. St. Paul uses the 
noun derived from it to express the character of his 
own conduct as a persecutor i 1 Tim. i. 13 . and must 
have felt, as afterwards in the actual stoning of verse 
l! . that he was receiving the just reward of his own 

deeds. 

() And fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of 

Lycaonia. Here a^ ain. as in cliap. xiii. ~>\, we can 
scarcely fail to trace a literal obedience to our Lord s 
commands. Set- Note on Matt. x. -. >. The direction 
of the Apostles journey now took them into a wilder 
and less civilised region. The ranjrc of the Taurus cut 
it off from the more cultivated country of Cilicia and 
Pisidia. It is described a- a dreary plain, bare of tree:-, 
destitute of fresh water, and with several salt lakes. 
So Ovid <M<t<n>li. viii. (i JL speaks of it. as the result of 
personal observation : 

" \Vliere men once dwelt a marshy lake is seen. 
Ami enoi.-, and liim-nis haunt the utters green." 

The very name Lycaonia. interpreted traditionally as 
l\ il/-liti<il (the local legend derived it from Lyeaon. 
whip had been transformed into a wolf . represented but 
too faithfully the character of the inhabitants. The 
travellers were also losing the protection which a 
Roman citi/.en mirht claim in a Roman province. 
Lycaonia. which had been annexed in A.D. 17 f o the 
Roman province of (lalatia. having been as-i^iied by 
CaliLTuIa to Antioclius. Kim; of Comniairene. So wild 
i country was hardly likely to attract Jewish settlers; 
ind there is no trace in St. Luke s narrative of the 

\isteih f a syna;T"irne i" either of the two cities. 

For the first time, so far as we know. St. Paul had 
to be^in his work by preaehinr to the heathen. Kven 
the child of a devout Jewish mother had UTOWU 
up to manhood uncireinncised (see Note on chap, 
xvi. : , . ( )f the two towns named. Lvstra was about 
forty miles to the south-east of Iconium. Derbe about 
twenty miles further to the ea>t. The former, which 
lies to the north of a lofty conical mountain, th" /\ "/M- 
- IJlack Mountain is now known as lUn-li!,-- 



Kllixxi-li. i.i .. " the thousand and one churches. from the 
ruins that abound there. The addition of " the iv^inn 
that lieth round about " sn^f-ts (he thought that th.- 

cities Were not larjTe enough to supply a slltHeielit 

field of action. The work in the country villages must 
obviously even more than in tin- cities have been 
entirely amonir the (ientilis. Anionir the converts of 
this region, and jiroliably of this time, we may note 
the names of Timotheiis of Lystra see N nte mi chap. 
\\i. 1 1, and Gains, or Cains, of I). !!* . chaji. \\. 1 . 
() Being a cripple from his mother s womb. 

We note, as in chaps, iii. J. i\. :!:!. the characteristic 
care to record the duration of the infirmity which was 
snpernatnrally cured. 

Who s tedfastly beholding him. \V, note 
once more the recurrence of the characteristic word 
and look, i See Note on chap. xiii. i j 

Perceiving that he had faith to be healed. 
Here, as so often, as if it were the general, thoiiirh 
not the universal, law of miraculous wnrkiiiir (see 
Notes on Mark \. 23), faith is pre-siippo-cd a s tin- 
condition. It follows from this, no le-s than from 
tin- tense of tile Verb. "U8ed " li.ffin to Paul as lie 
spoke." that lie had for some days been amon^ St. 
Paul s hearers, had heard the gospel of the death and 
resurrection of Jesus, and had found that such a 
Saviour met his every need. All this the Apostle read, 
with that earnest ja/.o of his. in the man s upward 
look. 

i"> Stand upright on thy feet. What may le 

called the ii,<xlit. i>/ ruiiili of the miracle reminds us of 
that of the paralytic in Matt, ix ti. and the cripple at 
Bethesda in John v. 11. and the lame man in chap. iii. >. 
The command, which would have seemed a mockery 
to one who did not rise beyond the limits of experience, 
is obeyed by the will that had been inspired by the 
new power of faith. The natural inference from the 

special fact recorded in verse 11. is that th mmaiid 

was Driven in (ircck. and therefore that St. Paul had 
taught in that language. 
And he leaped and walked. The two verbs 

differ in their tense: he leaped, as with a single bound, 
and then continued walking ( oinp. Note on chap. iii. S 

(U| Saying in the speech of Lycaonia. Tin- 
fact is clearly recorded with a deti-ite purpose, and no 
explanation seems so natural a~ t .-it which assumes it 
to lie iriveu as accounting for he passive attitude of the 
Apostles till what was then said had borne its fruit in 
acts. It will be admitted by all who are not under the 
influence of a theory that this serves almost as a crucial 
instance, showing that the " irift of tongues." which 
St. Paul possessed so largely 1 Cor. xi\. l^.did not 
consist in a supernatural Knowledge of every provincial 
with which he came in contact. See Xote 
on chap. ii. ! r : - clear that lie in irht ea-ily 



THH ACTS, XIV. 



iiinl . 



of Lycaonia, The gods are come 

down to iis in Hit- likeness of mm. 

< - And the\- called Barnabas, Jupiter ; 
and Paul, Mercurius, because lie was 

the chief .si>e;iker. " ; Then the ])i-ie,s| 
>f , Jupiter, which was before their city, 
brought oxen and garlands unto the 
^ates, and would have done sacrifice 
\vi!!i the people. < Ul II A//-// when the 



a|o.>iles, IJarnabas and Paul, heard o/, 
they renl their clothes, ami fan in 
anionn tli 1 people, crying out, (15) and 
saving, Sirs, wliy do ye these things V> 
We also are men of like passions wit h 
you, and ji m a.ch unto you that ye should 
turn from these vanities unto the living 
God, which made heaven, and earth, 
and the sea, and all things that are 



have learnt afterwards, from those who knew both 
languages, tin; meaning of what at the time was 
unintelligible. To suppose, as some liavo done, th;it 
tli.- Apostles, understanding what wa> said, acquiesced 
in the preparations for sacrifice in order that they 
might afterwards make their protest as with a 
greater dramatic effect, is at variance with the natural 
iiiil>ressioH made liy the narrative, and, it need scarcely 
be said, with any worthy conception of St. Paul s 
character. The CUglottic character of the people, here 
and in other Asiatic provinces of the empire, would 
make it perfectly natural that they should speak to one 
another in their own dialect, while ({reek served for 
their intercourse with strangers. The "speech of 
Lycaonia" is said to have had affinities with Assyrian. 
The gods are come down to us in the like 
ness of men. Literally, the gods, made like unto 
ntrii. are come <l<>ii-n f<> / .<. The belief which the words 
expressed was characteristic of the rudo simplicity of 
the Lyeaonians. Xo such cry would have been possi 
ble in the great cities where the confluence of a debased 
polytheism and philosophical speculation had ended in 
utter scepticism. And the form which tho belief took 
was in accordance with the old legends of the district. 
There, according to the Myth which Ovid had recently 
revived and adorned \Mi-tn, n. viii. 625 724), /ens 
and Hermes .Jupiter and .Mercury i had come in human 
guise, and been receiver by Baucis and Philemon (St. 
Paul s Epistle to Philemon shows that the name lin 
gered in that region i. and left tokens of their favour. 
We lii id from the poem just referred to that the place 
where they had dwelt was looked on as a shrine to 
which devout worshippers made their pilgrimages, and 
where they left their votive offerings. 

< !-) They called Barnabas, Jupiter ; and Paul, 
Mercurius. St. Luke gives, as was natural, the 
(Ireek forms Zens and Hermes. The main reason 
for the assignment of the two names was that the 
listeners recognised in St. Paul the gift of eloquence, 
which was the special attribute of Hermes. Possibly, 
also, unlike as were the weak bodily presence and 
the many infirmities of the Apostle to the sculptured 
grace with which we are familiar as belonging to the 
sandalled messenger of the in>ds young, and beautiful, 
and agile -there may have been something in the taller 
stature and more stately presence of Barnabas which 
impressed them with the sense of a dignity like that of 
.Jupiter. In any case. we must remember that the master- 

iii > of ({reek art were not likely to have found their 

.rav to a Lycaonian village, and that the Hermes of 
i may have borne the same relation to that of 
Athens and Corinth as the grotesone Madonna of some 
Italian wayside shrine doe-, to the masterpieces nf 
Raphael. Real idolatry cares little about the ;esthetic 
lieanty of the objects of it- worship; and the Lyca mians 
were genuine idolaters. 

The chief speaker. Literally. //" ruler </ 
taking th" chief part in it. 



d ;{ ) The priest of Jupiter, which was before 
their City. The latter clause probably describes 
the position of the Temple of Zeus, standing at the 
entrance of the -ity. as the shrine of its protecting 
deity. The identical phrase used by St. Luk" is found 
in (ireek inscriptions at Ephesus. 

Brought oxen and garlands unto the gates. 
The garlands were the well-known r///-/. so familiar 
to us in ancient sculptures, commonly made of white 
wool, sometimes interwoven with leaves and flowers. 
The priests, attendants, doors, and altars were often de 
corated in the same way. The "gates" (the form of 
the Greek implying that they were the folding-doors 
of a large entrance! were probably those which led 
into the atrium, or court -yard, of the house where the 
Apostles were dwelling. The whole action is well 
represented in Raphael s well-known cartoon. Oxen 
were, in (ireek ritual, the right victims for both Zeus 
and Hermes. 

Would have done sacrifice with the people. 
This would have involved cutting the throats of the 
oxen, catching the. blood in a imti-rn, or deep dish, 
and pouring it upon an altar. There may have been 
such an altar in the nfr/nm, or one may have been im 
provised for the occasion. 

( 14 > Which when the apostles, Barnabas and 
Paul, heard of. They were, we may believe, in th 
house, within the court-yard, and therefore did not see 
the sacrificial procession ; but they heard the noise of 
the multitude, perhaps also of some sacrificial hymn, 
and asked what i meant. 

They rent their clothes. The act is obvion-h 
recorded as that of men who are startled and sur 
prised, and is altogether incompatible with the theory 
that they knew that they had be -n taken for deities 
and were expecting such honours. On the act of rend 
ing the clothes, see Xote on Matt. xxvi. (>">. It was tho 
extremes! expression of horror, hardly ever used except 
in deprecation of spoken or acted blasphemy. How far 
it would be fully understood by the heathen popula 
tion of Lystra may be a nuestion, but its very --trance . 
ness would startle" and arrest them. 

< 1;>I Sirs, why do ye these things? It is natural 
to suppose, that the words were spoken in the (ireek 
in which St. Luke records them, and therefore that 
St. Paul s previous teaching had been in the same 
language. The metrical structure of the close of the 
speech see Note on verse 17) leaves hardly a shadow 
of doubt on this point. 

We also are men of like passions with you. 
The word, which expresses participation in all th< 
pa i\e conditions of human life, as well as in what 
are commonly known as "passions." occurs again in 
.Jas. v. 17. There is. it will be noted, a striking 
parallelism between St. Paul s language here, and 
that of Peter to Cornelius (chap. x. -Jii . 

Ye should turn from these vanities. Tho 
demonstrative pronoun implies a corresponding gesture- 






TIM: ACTS, xiv. 






therein : \\h. in tlm.-s past sutl .T.-d 

all nations to walk in ilu-ir own wax 9, 
K17> N v.-rtli.-l.->s h.- I. -ft not hiiu si-lf 
without \\ilin-. in that In- did ^oud, 
and LTIIVI- us i-aiti tVoiu ln im-n, ami 
fruitful seasons, liiliuu- our hearts with 
food and gladness. " And uith tln-x- 
BCaroe n-straiinMl tiny the 



1 pi* , that tli--v hal Mot d..n,- 

inn-- t IK-MI. 

Ami th -i.- caiur thilh 
Jews froMi Aiitiorh and I<-OM:IIMI. who 

pi-rsuad -d Idie people, and, haying stoned 

Paul, dn-w lii in out of lh- -ity. >up- 

posing he had been dead. - " llouln-it, 
as tli.- dis<-ipl.-> stnoil found iilin it him. 



Tin- Apostle point- In ;ill tin- |Mini|i ;nnl pageantry of 
tlii- inti-inlnl sacrifice. Tin- words " vanity " ami "vain " 
were alninst tlir invariable ti-rnis used by .lews to 
describe tlif emptiness and worthlessness of lii-athcn 
worship Kph. i\. 17: I IVt. i. ls ; and. in tii<- <H<i 
Testament. 1 Sam. xii. L.M I. In contrast with tin-si- dead 
ind dumb tlfm<r>. tin- Apostle calls on them to turn to 
God. who truly lives and acts, and is the source of all 
life and power, the .Maker of heaven and earth, the 
GlYer of all good gifts, the .lud^e of all evil deeds. In 
contrast, alike, with the popular jc-lytheisiu which as 
signed heaven, and earth, and sea to different deities, 
audio the speculat m- 1 aut lieism which excluded will 
UK! purpose from its conception of the Godhead, he 
proclaims the One ( iod as having every attribute of 
personal Life and Beinj*. 

(iij) Who in times past suffered all nations. 
Belter. (/// ///. hr.iflif,, : the term used heinjr that which 
is always employed of tin- nations outside the covenant 
of Israel. We have here the first <rerm of what uiav 
be fairly described as St. Paul s philosophy of history. 
The times of ignorance had been permitted by (iod. 
and those who had lived in them would be equitably 
dealt with, and judged according to their knowledge. 
The same thought meets us atrain in the speech at 
Athens chap. xvii. M H. In Rom. i.. ii.. xi.. we meet 
with it. in an expanded form, as a more complete vin 
dication of the righteousness of God. The ignorance 
.and the sins of the Gentile world had been allowed 
to run their course, as the Law had been allowed to 
<lo its partial and imperfect work aiming the .lew-. 
:is parts, if one may so speak, of a trreat divine drama, 
leading both to feel the need of redemption, and pre 
paring both for its reception. All were included in 
unbelief that God mitrht have mercy upoii all (Rom. : 
M. 32 . 

( " He left not himself without witness. 
Here a<jain we have the outline of what is afterwards 

expanded K i. l!. _!<. In speaking to peasants 

like those at L\stra. St. Paul naturally dwells most i 
on the witness triven throiitrh the divine jroodness a- 
manifested in nature. In addressing philosophers at 
Athens and at Home, he points to the yet fuller witiie-s 
-of consciousness and eon>cieiiee i chap. "xvii. -JS ; Rom. ii. 
II. 15 . 

In that he did good. Better, as expressing the 
continuous manifestation of the divine will. " n-nrhiiiif 

j: 1. giving rain. jiUi,i>i our hearts . ." The MSS. 

vary, >m< irivinir " US " and " our." and sonic " you " 
and "your." The former is m.re characteristic of the 
sympathy which led Si. Paul to identify himself with 
Gentile ;< s well as .lew. The joy of harvest" Ka. 
DC. 3) v. as 1 1n- common inheritance of each. The latter 
words in the Greek, from " irivimr us rain from 
." an- so distinctly rhythmical that they sin: 
^eM ihe thought that St. Paul .pmtes from some 
hymn ..i praise which he had heard IH a harvest 
or vintage festival, and which, as with the altar to 
the Tiikjiown God :it Athens, he claims as due to 

91 



Him whom men i^norantly worshipped. S.-.- Note on 
chap. \\ii. 2 .\. 

< ls With these sayings scarce restrained they 

the people. On some of those who were thus re 
strained the effect may well huve been that they \\ere 
roused to a higher life and did turn from " vanities " 
to the livinir God. \V, must, at any rate, think of 
St. Paul s work at Lystra as lasting lony enough to 
allow time for the foundation of a church there. 
Amon<; the more conspicuous converts were the devout 
Jewesses, Lois and he- i.mirhter Kunire i ac 
curately. Kmt ii-i- . and theyoun.tr Timotheiis -J Tim. i. .". . 
Xo mention is made of his father, and Kunice mav 
have been a widow; but the i ac! that the boy had jrrown 
up uncircumeised ratln-r siiL r ir sts " iutluencc of a 
liviiifT father. Se* X-ite on -ha]. xvi. ^!. 

!: There came thither certain Jews from 
Antioch. --Tin- context shows that the Pisidian 
Antioch is meant. The sti-en^th of ti;e hostility is 
shown by the fad^. 1 that tin .lews <:f the two cities 
were actinir in concert, and , !} that those of the former 
had travelled not less ihan one hundred and thirty 
miles to hinder the Apostle s work. 

Who persuaded the people. The sudden change 
of feelinjr is almost as start lintr <".* that which trans 
formed the hosannas of the n.ultitudes at .Jerusalem 
into the cry of " Crucify Him : " Matt. \xi. ! : xxvii. -1-1 . 
It is not ilitticult. however, to understand these vicis 
situdes of feel int.- iii a barbarous ami superstitious 
people. We linil a like sudden change in an oppo>it" 
direction in the people of Melita chaji. xxviii. fii. If 
the strantrers who were endowed with such mysterious 
powers were not " jrods in the likeness of men." they 
mitrht be sorcerers, or even demons, in the evil -en>e 
of that word. The .lews, ever ready to iinputi- 
and wonders to Beelzebub, the chief of the demons 

KG Xotes on Matt. x. :!l. \ii. ~1\ . would readily 
work on this feelin-r. and terrify the people into the 
cruel ferocity of panic. 

Having Stoned Paul. The mode of punishment, 
as elsewhere, shows that it was planned and executed 
by .Jews. They, apparently, were . a^c^r to satisfy them- 
.-el\es that they were inflicting punishment on a bias- 
phemer : stonintr him to death, and casting him out to 
06 buried with the burial of a:i a<s. And so. in one 
sense, as from man s way of look niy on such thintrs. 
the martyr expiated the (null of the persecutor. The 
blinding, stunning blows fell on him as they had fallen 
on Stephen. It \\.-is the one instance in St. Paul s life 
of this form of sutt erinir - < or. xi. J". . The siitYeriiiL s 
endured at Lystra stand out. at the close of his life, in 
the vista of past years with a marxellous distinctn as 

2 Tim. iii. 11 . 

Howbeit, as the disciples stood round 

abOUt him. They, it i> obvious, had been powerless 
to preMMit the attack : but they stole out. when all was 
Over, it may he, with the purpose of ^nii ir at lea-t 
a decent interment. We may fairly think of Lois, and 
Kiinici-, and Timothi us. a> present in that crowd, 



l ami 



r> lnrn to Li/xfra, THE ACTS, XIV. 



/<-i>, </"///. "ic> A - 



m 1 is ufia* 



he rose up, and came into the city : 
and the next d;iy li- departed with 
Barnabas to Derbe. ( - l> And when they 
h:id preached the gospel to that city, 
and hal taught many, they returned 
again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and 
Antioch, (22 ^ confirming the souls of the 
disciples, and exhorting them to con 



tinue in the faith, and that we must 
through much tribulation enter into 
the kingdom of God. - :i And when 
they had ordained them elders in evrr\ 
church, and had prayed with fasting y 
they commended them to the Lord, on. 
whom they believed. (24) And after t hex- 
had passed throughout Pisidia, they 



first for sorrow, and then for exceeding joy, 
to find that the teacher whom they loved was stunned 
only, and not dead. 

He departed with Barnabas to Derbe. The 
journey was one that must have occupied several hours, 
and wo do well to remember that after the suffering of 
the previous day, it must have been one of peculiar 
hardship and fatigue. The city of Derbe was, as has 
been said, twenty miles to the east of Lystra. It 
was just within the Cappadocian boundary of Isauria. 
The exact site has not been identified, but the ruins 
of an Acropolis have been found not far from the lake 
Ak-Gliieul, which have been supposed to be the remains 
of Derbe. The whole region was infamous for its 
brigandage, and there may lie a reference to this in 
the " perils of robbers " of 2 Cor. xi. 26. 

(-D And had taught many. Better, made many 
disciples. The word is the same as in Matt, xxviii. 19. 
Among these we may note Gains, or Cains, afterwards 
conspicuous as one of St. Paul s companions (chap. 
xx. 4). The work done implies a stay of, it may be, 
some months duration. During this time the violence 
of the hostility of the Jews at Antioch and Iconium 
had probably subsided, and the Apostles could revisit 
those cities, as they retraced their steps, without any 
great danger. 

(22) Confirming the souls of the disciples. 
Better, perhaps, strengthening, so as to avoid the more 
definite associations connected with the other term. 
In chap, xviii. 23, the word is so rendered. It is not 
the same as that used by later writers for the eccle 
siastical rite of Confirmation. 

Exhorting them to continue in the faith. 
The question meets us whether " faith " is used in its 
subjective sense, the " feeling of trust." or objectively, as 
including the main substance of what was believed and 
taught "a belief or creed." That the latter meaning 
had become established a few years after St. Luke 
wrote, we see in 1 Tim. v. 8; Jude verses 3, 20; and 
on the whole it seems probable that it is so used here. 

And that we must through much tribula 
tion. More accurately, through many tril>i<lutiii*. 
The use of the first personal pronoun is suggestive. 
Is St. Luke generalising what he heard from those who 
had listened to St. Paul, and giving it in their very 
words!- Was he himself one of those listeners ? 
The two had clearly met before we find them both at 
Troas; and on the supposition suggested in the last 
question, the apparently casual use of the pronoun 
would lie analogous lo what we find afterwards. (See 
Xote on chap. xvi. 10.) In St. Paul s latest Epistle 
to the chosen disciple of Lystra we have a touching 
reproduction of this teaching. He speaks of the atllic- 
tions which came OM him at Antioch. at Iconium. at 
Lystra, and adds the general truth that " all that will 
live godlv in Chri-t Jesus shall suffer persecutions" 
(2 Tim. in. 12). 

The kingdom of God. "We may pi use to note 
the occurrence of the familiar phrase and thought of 



the Gospels in the earliest recorded teaching of St. 
Paul. In his Epistles it recurs frequently (Rom. xiv. 
17; 1 Cor. iv. 2<>; v i. ); Col. iv. 11; 2 Thess. i. 5). 
For him, too, that which was proclaimed was not a 
theory or an opinion, but an actual kingdom, of which 
Jesus the Christ was king. 

(-3) And when they had ordained them 
elders. The word for " ordained " occurs in the Xew 
Testament here and in 2 Cor. viii. 19, where it is trans 
lated "chosen," and certainly seems to imply popular 
election (election by show of hands), which is, indeed, tin- 
natural meaning of the word. In chap. x. 41 a com 
pound form of the verb is translated " chosen of God," 
and clearly excludes any action but that of the divine will . 
Used, as it is here, of the act of the two Apostles, not of 
the Church, the latter meaning seems most in harmony 
with the context. There may have been, as in chap, 
vi. 3, a previous election; or the names of those who 
were to be appointed may have been -ubmitted to tin- 
approval of the Church ; but the word cannot in itself 
be held to imply either. On the institution of elders. 
see Note on chap. xi. 30. It is interesting here to note 
(1) that Paid and Barnabas, by virtue of the authority 
which as Apostles they had received, primarily from 
Christ (Gal. i. 1) and mediately from the Church of 
Antioch (chap. xiii. 3), exercised the right of appointing. 
or, in later phrase, ordaining elders. (2) They plant 
among the Churches of the Gentiles the organisation 
which we have found in that of Jerusalem, and which 
was itself based on that of the Synagogue, not on that 
of the Temple. (3) As this appears as the first appoint 
ment, it would seem to follow that the disciples had in 
the meantime met, and taught, and baptised, and broken 
bread without them. Organisation of this kind was. 
i.e., important for the permanence of the life of flu- 
Church as such, but not essential to its being, or to t he- 
spiritual growth of individual members. i4i It will lie 
remembered that the "elders" so appointed were i In- 
same as those who. in the Apostolic Church, were known 
as "bishops" or "overseers" (episcopi . what wo call 
distinctive episcopal functions being reserved for the 
Apostles, or for their personal representatives (I Tim. 
iv. 16 ; Titus i. 5; see Note on chap. x\ > . 

Had prayed with fasting. See Notes on chap, 
xiii. 2, 3. It is a legitimate inference, from this recur- 
rence of the act. that Paul and Barnabas recognised 
it as an established rule or canon of the Church that 
these two acts should jointly serve a> a preparation for 



the solemn work of appointing men to spiritual functions, 
ch an appointment was a mockery, 
and fasting served to intensify prayer. 



Without prayer such an appointment was a mockery, 
id fastinir served to intensify prayer. 
They commended them. The word is the .-aim 



as in chap. xx. )>2 : Luke xxiii. -4-it. It implies the con 
fiding tru-- of one who commits what is very precious 
to him to the keeping of another. So in 2 Tim. ii. 2 it 
is used of the <l< /m.- it H ,,/ litlii. the treasure i,f truth 
which Timothy was to commit to faithful men. Here 
it implies an absolute trust in <iod as ordering all 
thin s for His Church and those who love Him. 



92 



Tin ;t fit urn to 



i-in .\n>in,-Jt. 



1 Q_E A ( IS. \ \ . 77,. < ,ni/,;.i-i / .-// nl,,,,il 



eame to I amphvlia. -" Ami when th-v 
had preached the W ird in I er^a, they 
went down into At t;ili;i : - " ami t In-nee 
sailed to Antio.-li. from whence they 
had L-eti recommended to the j^ra.-.- of 
<">d tor the work which they fulfilled. 
^ And when thev wen- eome, and 
had gathered the eliui-ell together, they 

rehearsed all that (iod had done with 
them, and how he had opened the door 
of faith unto the Gentiles. m And 



there they ahode !onu tiim- with the 

disciples. 

< If AFTER XV. 1 And eertain ,,,,.,1 
which came down from .1 uda-a taught 
the brethren, ,/ .--//,/, Kxcept \- L- 
eireiimeised after tin- manner of ,M< 
\ - cannot lesa\e.l. - \\ ln-n t ln-r.-fori- 
I aul and liarnahas had no small di- 
sion and disputation with them, tip-; 
determined that Paul and Harnahas. 



<- > And when they had preached the word 
in Perga. The travellers retrace (heir steps. Then- 
is a coincidence more in- less striking in tin- report of 
what they did at JWga. In chap. xiii. 1:5 there is 
IK. mention of their having preached in that city. We 
an- simply told that Mark left them there, and that 
they then went on to Antioch. On their return, ac 
cordingly, they did what they had then left undone. 

They went down into Attalia. On their first 
journey they had gone straight from Paphos to IVrga up 
llie Cestrns. Now they made a il<tinir which led them 
tn the port at the mouth of the Catarrhactes, named 
after Attains Philadelphia. King of Per^am us. There 
is no record of any work done there, and they probably 
only went to it as the port where they were most likely 
to find a sailing-vessel that would take them to Antioch. 
Their ship would naturally pas-, between Cilicia and 
Cyprus, enter the ( (routes at Seleucia, ami sail up to 
Autioch. 

Whence they had been recommended. 
Better, perhape, commanded, the compound form having 
slightly changed its meaning. The words seem to 
imply a mental snryey on the part of the travellers of all 
that had passed since they had started on their journey. 
The "grace of God." to which they had then been 
Commended, had not failed them. 

- And when they were come. Two years 
or thereabouts .\.i. \~> 4*i had passed since their 
mission. During th;:t interyal little probably had lieen 
heard of them, and we can picture to ourselves the 
eagerness with which the Clii-ixtimti of Antioch would 
pit her to listen to their report. 

How he had opened the door of faith unto 

the Gentiles. This is noticeable as the first occur 
rence, as far as the chronological order of the books of 
the New Testament is concerned, of a very characteristic 
phrase. It would seem to ha\e been a favourite meta 
phor of St. Paul s eomp. 1 ( or. \\ i. !;_ ( or. ii. lii : Col. 
iv. : . . and comes in liere. probably, as a frairinent from 
his speech. From this point of view it is interestinir to 
note the recurrence of the phrase in Hey. iii. S. both 
St. Paul and St . .John, represent imr as they did different 
sections of the ( hiirch Gal. ii. . . agreeing in the 
thought that the door of the Father s house was now 
opened wider than it had ever been before, and that no 
man might shut it. 

-- There they abode long time. The words 
probably coyer an interval of more than a year, durintr 
which it is reasonable to siijipose that the preaching 
of the two Apostles drew together a lar^e number of 
Gentile converts. 



< n And certain men which came down from 
Judaea. We enter on the hi-torv of tin- iir-t 

23* 



i-ontroyei-sy in the records of the Christian Church. It 
have seemed as if the conversion of < orm-liu- had 



been accepted as deciding the i|uestion which we now timl 
raised again [chap. xi. 18). Jt would seem, however. 
that those who had raised objections to Peter s con 
duct in that ease were not content to accept the con 
clusion which he drew from it. and it is not diffi 
cult to represent to ourselves the train of thought 
which led them to take a different view. To them it 
may have seemed the exception that proved the rule. 
Where signs and wonders came in. the\ may have 
been content to accept an uncirciimcised convert as a 
member of the Church, simply on the Around that < iod 
had dispensed in such cases with His own law; or 
they may have urged that though, in such cases. 
they did not require circnmci-ioii as a condition of 
admission, the continuance in the uncircumcised st ;l te 
after baptism was a wilful transgression, which shut 
men out from the " salvation " which they were seeking. 
Circumcision, hey may have said, had been given 
as an "everlasting covenant" (Gen. xvii. liv. and 
had never been formally abrogated. Who were tin- 
new teachers, that they should chantre what God 
had thus established;" It is clear that they came. 
claiming to speak in the name of .James, the Bishop 
of Jerusalem, and though he distinctly repudiates 
having authorised them verse :_ ! . \et if we suppose. 
as is probable, that his Kpistle was written shortly 
before tlie Council, we can easily understand that 
they might rest their case on the words which he had 
used in it. that whosoever shall keep the whole Law. 
and yet offend in one point. ;s guilty of all" .las. 
ii. !< . Here, they might say. is a point confessedly 
in the Law. and even prior to it : and they were not 

1 in-pared to draw the distinctions which we havi- 
earned to draw between the positive and the moral. 
the transient and the permanent, obligations of "hat 
Law. And it is to be noted that thev did not merely 
make circumcision a condition of church communion; 
they carried their principles to their logical conclu 
sion as mediieval dogmatism did in the cast- of bap 
tism and excluded the uncireumeised from all hope <,( 
saUation. > Comp. the account of Ananias and 1/ates 
!_ r i\ -n in the Note on chap. ix. 10.) 
i 2 ) When therefore Paul and Barnabas. 

The two Apostles must obviously ha\e agreed ill feeling 
that the teaching of the .Judaisers it will lx- convenient 
to use that term henceforth involved a direct con 
demnation of all the work in which they saw the triumph 
of < iod s u race. They had proclaimed salvation through 
faith in Christ. Their converts were now told that they 
had been teaching a sOol-destroying falsehood. 

No small dissension and disputation. Th. 

first of the two words was that which had been 

--ical writers, like Thucydides iii. ^J and 



Puitl ami Ititrinilxi* pom 



THE ACTS, XV. 



to 



and certain other of them, should ^> 
up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and 
elders ahoiit this question. (3) Aud 
being brought on their way by the 
church, they passed through Phenice 
and Samaria, declaring the conversion 



of tin- (ientiles: and they caused great 
joy unto all the brethren. * And when 
they were come to Jerusalem, they were 
n-rrivfd of the church, and of the 
iijMistles ;md elders, and they declared 
all things that God had done with them. 



Aristotle- i / .>/;/. v. 2), to express the greatest evil of all 
political societies the spirit of party and of faction. 
In .Mark xv. 7; Luke xxiii. l!, it is used of the" insur 
rection " in which Barabbas had been the ringleader. 
That element of evil was now beginning to show itself 
in the Christian Church. 
They determined that Pa,ul and Barnabas.- - 

These were naturally chosen as the representatives of 
the cause of which they had been the chief advocates. 
The certain others" are not named, but the prophets 
of chap. xiii. 1, and the men of Cyprus and Gyrene of 
chap. xi. 20, were likely enough to have been chosen, 
and Titus was apparently taken up as an example of 
the fruits of St. Paul s labours (Gal. i. 3). Looking 
to the Roman name which this disciple bore, it is not 
unlikely that he may have been among the first to 
whom the term Christian was applied. (See Note 
tin chap. xi. 2t>.) The fulness with which the history 
of the Council is given, suggests tho possibility that 
St. Luke himself may have been present at it. If not, 
he must have based his report on materials supplied 
by St. Paul or one of the other delegates from Antioch, 
possibly Manaen (chap. xiii. 1). 

Should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles 
and elders. -The circumstances of the journey 
make it, all but certain that we may identify it with 
that of which St. Paul speaks in Gal. ii. 1. The only 
other visits that can dispute its claim are those of 
chaps, xi. 30 and xviii. 22 ; but though the latter view 
has been taken by some able writers (e.y., Lewiu s 
St. Paul, i., p. 302), there are, it is believed, decisive 
grounds for rejecting both. Against the first there 
are. the facts. (1) that it is not easy to place fourteen 
year.-, between the visit of chap. ix. 27, and that of chap, 
xi. 30; (2; the visit of chap. xi. 30 appears in the 
history as confined to the single object of carrying 
relief to the suffering poor of the Church at Jerusalem ; 
(3) the question as to enforcing circumcision had not 
then been raised, after its apparent settlement in the 
case of Cornelius; (4) had the agreement referred to 
in dial. ii. i> preceded the Council, it would assuredly 
have been appealed to in the course of the debate at 
the Council. Against tho second there are the facts 
1 i that tin- interval would, in that case, have been more 
than fourteen years : and (2) that it was not likely that 
the question should have been raised again after the deci 
sion of the ( ouucil. The only arguments of any weight 
:m the other side are. (1 ) that the narrative of Acts xv. 
makes no mention of Titus; and (2) that that of 
Gal. ii. makes no mention of the Council; but these 
arguments from omission tell equally against both 
the other visits. These points will be d ealt with as we 
proceed, and are. in any case, not sufficient to outweigh 
the evidence in the other scale. The reference of the 
question to the " Apostles and elders" is in many ways 
i liportan?. 1 As against the dogmatic system of the 
Church of Rome. On her theory, in its latest forms, 
the reference should have been to Peter, and to Peter 
alone, as the unerring guide of the Church into all 
truth. (2) As a recognition of the authority of the 
mother-Church of Jerusalem by the daughter-Church 



of Antioch ; and as a precedent for referring local dis 
putes to the decision of a central authority. (3) As 
showing the confidence which Paul and Barnabas felt 
that the decision would bo in their favour. They 
could not believe that St. Peter would TJC false to the 
lesson which the history of Cornelius had taught him, 
nor that St. James would recall the definition which he 
had so recently given of " pure and undefiled religion " 
(Jas. i. 27). (4) We note that St. Paul ascribes the 
journey to a "revelation" (Gal. ii. 1). The thought 
came into his mind as by an inspiration that this, and 
not prolonged wrangliugs at Antioch, was the right 
solution of the problem. 

( :J ) They passed through Phenice and Samaria. 
The route lay from Seleucia, at the mouth of the 
Orontes, along the coast of Sidon, Tyre. and. probably, 
Cassarea, and then through Samaria. They might have 
gone to Joppa, and so have avoided the old Canaanite 
cities and the region of the hated Samaritans. The 
very journey was, therefore, an assertion of the prin 
ciples for which they were contending. We note, too, 
that the facts imply that they found " brethren." ,., 
established Christian societies, in both regions. " Tyre 
and Sidon" had repented and believed, though Choraziu 
aiid Bethsaida had hardened themselves in unbelief 
(Luke xi. 13). The woman of Canaan." of Mark vii. 
26, may, by this time, have eaten not of the " crumbs," 
but of the "Bread" of Life. Everything points to 
I Philip as the probable Evangelist of this region as well 
j as of Samaria. Paul and Barnabas would accordingly. 
as they travelled, be setting their seal to his work, 
claiming fellowship with Canaanites and Samaritans; 
and wherever they went they were received with joy. 
Here, at least, they were certain of support: and. on 
mere grounds of policy, they were strengthening their 
cause by appearing at Jerusalem as the representatives 
of such important communities, having the courage of 
their convictions, and determined, though they might 
make concessions in things indifferent, not to sacrifice 
a single principle. 

They caused great joy. The tense implies con 
tinued action. Wherever they went the tidings of the 
conversion of the Gentiles were received by the dis 
ciples at large with a gladness which presented the 
strongest possible contrast to the narrowness and bitter 
ness of the Pharisee section of the Church of Jerusalem. 

W They were received of the church, and 
of the apostles and elders. The words imply a 
general gathering of the Church, members of different 
synagogues coming together, with the elders who pre 
sided over them. The position of the Apostles, though 
in some degree analogous in their relation to the elders 
to the later office of bishops, was yet in many ways 
uni(|ue. They had no local diocese, but remained at 
Jerusalem, guiding the progTMBof the Church at large, 
as a kind of central council, calling in the "elders." or 
"presbyters." to consult with them, and submitting the 
result of their deliberations to the Church at large. 
The three bodies stood to each other as the Huul* . or 
council, the <}>-ri(*in, or senate, and the Ecclesia, or 
assembly, in a Greek republic. 






MII-; ACTS. \v. 






; il tln-n- !>> ii]> en-tain of fin- 
of lh- Pharisees which l>.-ln-\. d. 
.savin-:. That it \v;is ii It nl t< circum 
cise tin-in, ;ml to ooinmand them to 

k-t |t tin- l;i\v of .Mos.-s. 

1 tin- apostles :in.l l.l.-rs came 

together tor 1" consider of this m:itt.-r. 

\iid when tin-re had been iiiiii-li dis 



1 et T rose up. and >aid unto 
tin-in, M.-II !// l.r.-t lii-.-n. ve know ho\v 
that a ^oo.l while a^T" < iod mad.- choir,- 
ani-.iiu- 08, that th.- < J.-ut il.-> 1,\ niv 
mouth should hear tin- word of tin- 
L r o>|>.-|, and believe. " And (iod, which 
knowi-tli th.- hi-art>. lan- them \\\\ 
tin-in tin- Holy (ilmst, e\> 



They declared all things that God had done 

With them. This obviously implied a narrative of 
considerable length: tin history of ;n-ts and siif 
ferin^s. of si._Mis and wonders, of tin- fruits of the 
Spirit as seen in tin- ])urity. and truth, and love ni the 
(Jentile converts. This took place apparent ly at a 
preliminary meeting. 

(*> Certain of the sect of the Pharisees which 
believed. This is the first distinct mention of the 
conversion of any of the Pharisaic party, but then had 
been a drift iii that direction goiiiL: on for sonic time. 
beginning during OUT laird s ministry John xii. I- J). and 
showing itself in t lie modei-ate coi niseis of Gamaliel 1 chap. 
^ . . K > .* . Tin- position which they occupied was that of 
.accepting Jesus as a teacher sent from God. ])roved by 
the Kesurreetion to he the ( hrist. and as >ucli the Head 
of a kingdom which was to present to mankind a 
restored and glorified Judaism, the Law kept in its 
Completeness, tin- Temple ritual still maintained. Gen 
tile, admitted only on their confessing their inferiority 
and accepting the .sign of incorporation with the 
superior race. It appears, from Gal. ii. 1. that here, as 
in so many later controversies, the general issue was 
deliateil on an individual case. Was Titus a Greek. 
i.e., a Gentile, whom St. Paul had brought up with him 
to be circumcised, or not r Was he to lie admitted to 
communion with the Church, or treated as a heathen: 
Here, probably, there was no official rank as in tin- 
case of Cornelius, no previous transition stair 1 in 
passing 1 through the synagogue as a proselyte of the 
gate. He was a Gentile pure and simple, and as such 
his ease was a crucial one. Circumcision, however, did 
not Maud alone. It carried with it every jot and tittle 
of the Law. the Sabbaths and tin- feasts, the distinction 
between clean and unclean meats. It may be noted 
that the position which Titus occupied in this con 
troversy gave him a .special fitness for the work after 
wards assigned to him. of contending against the party 
of the circumcision, with their "Jewish fables " anil 
false standards of purity (Tit. i. 10, 14, 15). 

t ; i And the apostles and elders came to 
gether. The meeting rightly takes its place as the 
lirst in the long Aeries of councils, or synods, which 
mark the course of the Church s history. It bore its 
witness that the government of the Christian societ v 
was not to rest in the autocracy of a single will, hut in 
the deliberative decision of those who, dircctlv or in 
directly, having been appointed by the choice. "or with 

the approval, of tin- | pie. represented the whole 

community. Piv-byters had an equal voice with the 
Apostles, whose position was analogous to that of the 
later bishops. Those whom we should call the laity 
were present at t he deliberation*, and. though we have 
no absolute proof that they took part in them, gave 
their vote. Com].. .Vote on rera&23.) Strictly >peakiiiLr. 
it was. in the later ecclesiastical laniruau * . a provincial 
;ind not an lecuinenical synod, called to decide what 
seemed a question of discipline rather than of doctrine; 
but the ground on which the question had been argued 



made it om- of world-wide dogmatic importance. If 
circumcision was m-ce.,,ary. then faith in Christ was 
insufficient. St. Paul saw and felt this in all its 
fulness, and therefore would not "give way by sub 
jection, no. not for an hour" iGal. ii. 5). We have 
no diifn for estimating the number of the presbyters 
who were present. Probably they included ill. 
the neighbouring towns and \iilages of Judii-a as well 
as of -Jerusalem, and if so. we may fairly think of 
some number between fiftv and a hundred. 

<"> When there had been much disputing. 
This implies a full discussion, in which the Judaising 
teachers, probably, though not certainly, pre-hyti-rs. on 

the one side, and tin- advocates of fr loin, on the 

other, took part. Light is thrown on the character of 
the debate by St. Paul s account of the matter in Cal. 
ii. 2 -!<>. He did 7iot even then bring out what he held 
and taught, in its fulness. He .shrank from startling and 
offending the prejudices of his countrymen, and was 
content to argue that circumcision and the Law were 
not binding upon the (ientiles. to press the precedent 
of the case of Cornelius and the analogy of the proselytes 
of the gate. Privately, in interviews with Peter. James, 
and John, he had gone further, and had declared his 
eon\ ictions that for Jew and (ientile alike circumcision 
and the Law were hindrances, and not help*, to tin- 
spiritual life, and that faith working by love w.-is 
evervthing. And they, as the historv of the Council 
and yet more their Epistles show, accepted hi.> 
teaching. ( )f all doctrines as to the development of 
the Christian Church that which sees in Peter. Janus. 
and John the leaders of a Judaising anti-Pauline party 
is. perhaps, the most baseless and fantastic. The fact 
that their names were unscrupulously used by that 
party, both in their lifetime and. as the Pseudo- 
Clementine // ////<//<> and li i-i ni/intiims show, after 
their death, cannot outweigh their own deliberate 
words and acts. 

Peter rose up, and said unto them. The 
position of t!ie Apostle is one of authority, but not 
of primacy. He does not preside, nor even propose, as 
we should say. a detinite canon or resolution. His 
authority is that of personal and moral influence, that of 
a rir fiiffnfi iji-in-in. but nothing more. 

Men and brethren. Better, as before. J>Y< ////<, 
only, and so again in verse ]:!. 

Ye know how that a good while ago . . . 

Literally. </ tOtfint /">/.-. Ten or twelve years had 
passed Miice the conversion of Cornelius. Where 
had been in the meantime, and what he had dc.ne. we 
have no record. We can hardly believe, as the Rt.tnish 
theory implies, that he came from the imperial city to 
attend the Council. It will be noted, as has been said 
before see Vote on chap. xi. -< i , that tin 
speaks of thi 

the Gentile*. 



speaks of this as having 



ip. XI, 

beelj 



tin- tirst admission <! 



God which knoweth the hearts, v. 

the recurrence of the epithet as characteristic of $t f 
Peter. Set Xoto mi chap. i. _ l. 
M 



i 1 



it the Council. 



THE ACTS, XV. 



Tf<>> s/,,;;-h ofJameg. 



In- // / uiilo us: " iinil put no difference 
lu twrrn us ;i ml till-in, (luril viii^- their 
hearts ly 1 iiith. (lll) Now therefore 
why tempt yt- ( idd, to put a yoke upon 
tin- in -de of tin- disciples, which neither 
our fathers nor we were able to Ix-arV 
Ml But we believe that through the 
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall 
be saved, even MS 1hey. 

< 12 > Then all the multitude kept si 
lence, and gave audience to Barnabas 



and Paul, declaring what miracles and 
wonders God had wrought ainon- the 
< ienliles by them. 

1; And after they had held their 
peace, James answered , saving. Men <m<l 
brethren, hearken unto me : < u > Simeon 
hath declared how God at the first did 
visit the Gentiles, to take out of them 
a people for his name. < 15 > And to this. 
agree the words of the prophets ; as it 
is written, < 16 ) After this I will return,. 



( 9 ) And put no difference between us and 
them. It is obvious that this implies the most entire 
acceptance of the teaching which St. Paul had privately 
communicated to the three who were as the pillars of 
the Church (Gal. ii. ! . In Rom. x. 12 we have almost 
liie very words of St. Peter reproduced. 

Purifying their hearts by faith. The additi< m of 
these words is verv surest ive. It was not only in the 
"Drifts "of the Spirit, th" tongues and prophecy, thai 
the Apostle saw the witness which God had borne 
to the acceptance of the Gentiles, hut even more than 
this, in the new purity growing out of a new faith 
in God and a new hope. Underlying the words we 
trace the assertion of a higher ideal of purity than that 
on which the Pharisees were insisting. They looked 
on the Gentiles as impure because they did not observe 
the ceremonial law and the traditions of the elders as 
to purity. He had learnt to call no man common or 
unclean (chap. x. 2S. and to see that it was in the heart, 
and not in the flesh, that the work of purifying was to 
be accomplished. Comp. in connection with the thought 
suggested iii the Xote on verse 5, the teaching as to 
purity in Tit. i. 15. 

(if)* Why tempt ye God. To tempt God was 
to make the experiment whether His will, manifested 
in the acceptance of the Gentiles, or man s will, re 
senting and resisting it, was the stronger of the two. 
Nothing but defeat and condemnation could be the 
issue of Mich a trial. 

To put a yoke upon the neck of the dis 
ciples. No words of St. Paul s, in relation to the 
Law, could be stronger or clearer than these. They 
reproduced our Lord s own language as to the " heavy 
burdens" of the Pharisaic traditions i Matt, xxiii. -i) 
and His own "easy yoke" (Matt. xi. 30). They wen- 
echoed by St. Paul when he warned the Galatiaus not 
to be entangled again in the yoke of bondage (Gal. v. 1). 
The words that follow, on the one hand, speak out the 
experience of the Apostle himself in terms that are 
hardly less striking than those of St. Paul in Rom. vii. 
7, 8, though they deal with the Law in its positive 
rather than its moral aspects, and contain an implied 
appeal to the experience of his hearers. Was it worth 
while to tempt God" by resisting His teaching 
in history in order to bring the Gentiles down to 
the level from which they themselves. Jews as they 
were, were thankful to have risen ! J 

() We believe that through the grace . . . 
This comes, in what we may well regard as a summary 
of St. Peter s speech, as the closing argument. The 
Pharisee might regard the Law as binding, but even lie. 
if he believed i n Christ, was compelled to confess that 
his hope of salvation was found in the work of Christ 
as the Saviour: and if v>. then, as regards that hope. 
Jew and Gentile were on the same level, and th" judg 



ment that men could not be saved without the Law \\.i- 
bnt the inconsistency of an intolerant dogmatism, in 
sisting on imposing that which was acknowledged to In 
profitless. It may be noted that this is the la-t appear 
ance of St. Peter in the Acts, which from this period 
turns exclusively upon the work of St. Paul. Et>r the 
subsequent, history of the former, see Inffulnrfion to- 
the Epistles of St. Peter. 

( 12 ) And gave audience to Barnabas and Paul. 
The leaders of tlu> Church had clearly reserved their 
part in the debate to the last, and the two Apostles <,f 
the Gentiles were now called on to repeat more pub 
licly what they had already narrated to the Apostles. 
and elders (verse 4). It was. perhaps, with a special 
view to the character of their hearers that they laid 
stress on the " signs and wonders" which had attested 
God s acceptance of their work (Matt. xii. 38; xvi. 1; 
1 Cor. i. 22). Miracles had been wrought among tin- 
Gentiles as freely as among the Jews, and those who. 
wrought them, unless they were casting out devils by 
Beelzebub (and the Judaisers appear to have shrank 
from that charge), must have been sent by God (John 
iii. 2; ix. 31 33). 

( 13 ) James answered. The position which Jame< 
the brother of the Lord (see Notes on chap. xii. 17 : and 
Matt. xii. 4b ; xii. 55) occupies in the Council is clearly 
that of pre-eminence, justifying the title of Bishop of 

Jerusalem, which later writers give him. X H 

speaks after him; he sums up the whole debate: In 
proposes the decree which is to be submitted to the 
Council for approval. 

(") Simeon hath declared . . .The Greek form 
is Symeon, as in 2 Pet.i. 1. The use of the old Hebrew 
form of the Apostle s name, instead of the more fami 
liar Simon, was natural in the Galilean speaker, and is 
presumptive evidence in favour of our having a report 
from notes made at the time. 

Did visit the gentiles, to take out of them a 

people. The two words present an emphatic contrast. 
The Jews claimed for themselves the exclusive right to 
the latter term. They alone were the " people." the 
rest of mankind were the nations" the heathen." 
St. James proclaims that out of those heathen nations a. 
people had been taken who were as truly God s people 
as Israel had ever been. He. too. recognises the change 
as fully as St. Paul does, when in Rom. ix. 2: he 
quotes the memorable prophecy of Hosea 5. 10. St. 
.lames as well as St. Peter had. it is clear, profited 
by the private teaching referred to in Gal. ii. 2. 

(15) TO this agree the words of the prophets. 
On the mode of <, noting without naming the prophet. 

see Xote on chap. xiii. 1-0. 

" ;i After this I will return. It is a fact not 
without interest that the prophet from whom these words 
are taken Amos ix. 11. 1 Ji had been already quoted hv 



li- / . .1/110.1. 



Tin-: ACTS, xv. 



St. .In, 



ilinl \\ill luiild ;iur:iiii tin- t;il rnarl. of 

David, which is &Uen down ; and 1 will 

luiilil a-jain Hi ruins thereof. ;md 1 
will set it iiji : 17 that tin- residm- "t 
iin-ii nii- li seek a ft IT tlit- Lord, and all 
tin- ( lent ili-s. upon \\ liuiii inv name i- 
railed, saith tin- Lord, win. .l..,-th all 



t In-.-. tlii);. E ;o\\ ii nut.. < i"d are 

all his \\orks from tin- he^inniiiL: "t tin- 
world. r U lnTet on- ni\ Benteu 
that we troiilil.- not fchem, which from 
among the Gentiles art- t urn-d to < ;,,d : 

M that we wiiti- unto tin-in, that 
iln-v ;ii.s!;Mn t r. .in pollutions of idols, 



Stephen chap. \ii. li!. Those who then listened to him 

li;nl. \vr in.-iv belie\c. lii i ii li-tl tu turn to tin- writings 
nf Amos. ;iinl tn tiinl in tin-in meanings which had 
liitlirrto bi-i ii l:iti-iit. Tin- fart that tin- inference 
drawn from tin- passage mainly turns tin a clause 
in whirl) tin LXX. \er-ioii. which St. Jainrs (piote-. 
<lifl i r> from the Hebrew, shows, beyond tin- shadow 
of a doubt, that tin- discussion must havr been con 
ducted in (Jrcek. and nut in Hebrew. At first this 
inav appe.-;" strange in a runnril held at Jerusalem. 
Init tin trial ut Stephen presents a precedent 
Nnti- mi i-haji. vii. 1 : and it is obvious that in a debate 
which chictlv affected tin- interest-, nf < i reeks, and at 
which many of them, and of the Hellenistic .lews, wen- 
likely to be present, the use of that lantruage. both ill 
the debate and the decree iii which it resulted, was 
almost a matter of necessity. Both languages wen- 
probably equally familiar to the inhabitants of .Jeru 
salem. See Note on chap. xxii. ~2.) The quotation 
-ts. perhaps implies, a fuller interpretation than 
is given in the .summary of St. .James s speech. It 
assumes that the "tabernacle of David," which to 
human eves had been lying as in ruins, was Ix-ing re 
built by (" hrist. the Son of David, that He was doinir t he 
work which, in the prophecy. Jehovah claimed as His. 

" That the residue of men . . . The Hebrew 
irives. as in our version. " That they may possess the 
remnant of Edom and of all the heathen which are 
called by my name." The LXX. translators either 
paraphrased tin- passaur. so as to give a wider and 
more general view of its teaching, or followed a readin.ir 
in which the Hebrew for " man " .!</"//< took the place 
of Edom. It will lie seen that the argument of St. 
lames turns upon the ( Jreek rendering. The name of 
God " was to be called " upon by those who wen- " the 
residue of men." , .-.. all that were outside the pale of 
Israel. So understood, the words became, of course, a 
prediction of the conversion of the (ientiles. and to the 
uncritical habits of the time, accustomed to Targums or 
Para ]ih rases of many parts of Scripture, the LXX. was 
for all but the stricter and more bigoted Hebraists, as 
.authoritative as the original. 

(W) Known unto God are all his works. The 
feetter MSS. jrive " all His work " i.i-.. the (, reat work 
of the ^overnmeiit and education of mankind. The 
words are an implicit answer to the chartre of innovation. 
If the work wen- of < nid. it could not lie so called, for His 
mercies are everlasting, and the work which He carries 
on now must lie tlioii^ht of as contemplated and purposed 
from eteruity. The principle has clearlv a wider ran>re 
than that within which St. .James applies it. \\Y 
do well to remember, whenever we are tempted to offer 
:vn obstinate resistance to what seem- to u> a no\elty. 
jind which we therefore are ready to condemn, that we 
oiiirht first to impure whether the si^ns of the times" 
do not indicate that it is part of the divine plan, 
working through the a ire*, that the old order should 
vhantre and yfive ])lace to the new. 

Wherefore my sentence is. Literally. 
The tone is that of one who speaks 

- 



with authority, but what follows i- not ^ivi-i 
decree, but a^ a resolution which wa- submitted to 
the judgment of the Aim-ties and t-ld-rs. ( oinp. 
chap. x\i. I. 
That we trouble not them.- Th.- verb i- nut 

folllld elsewhere in the XeW Testament, and i\|. 

the idea of worryin.tr" or " hara--in-j " 

Are turned to God. -More accnr.-.tcly. tare turn 
ing, u acknowledging that the work \\a- going on at 
that very moment. 

But that we write unto them. The 
grounds on which the measure ihu- defined wa- pro 
posed an- not far to seek, i I It \\a- of the nature of 
a coinju-omise. The ( ientiles could 710! complain that 
the burden imposed on them wa-anyihintr ver\ grievous. 
The Pliarisee section nf the ( hurch could not n-fnsi- 
admission to those who fulfilled these conditions, when 
they had admitted the proselytes of the ;_r a t,. on like 
conditions to their synagogaes^and had so treated them 
as no longer unclean. > - The rule- on which 
was now laid found a place among the seven precepts 
traditionally ascribed to Xoah. and based upon the com 
mands recorded in ( leu. i\. .">. These Were held to be 

binding upon all mankind; while the Law. a- such, was 
liindintr on Nrael only. These, therefore, had JM-CII 

thought sufficient for the proselytes i if the ^ate before. 

and were urged now as sufficient for the (ientile con 
verts by the teacher who represented the most rigid 
type of Judaism. < S"e. once more, the history of 
Ananias and l/.ates in the Xote on chap. i\. 1<>. > 
Special reasons attached, a- will lie seen, to each 

precept 

From pollutions of idols. Tin- (in-.-k of the 
first noun is found only in the LXX. and the New 
Te-tament: and perhaps its primarv idea is that of 
" wallowintr " in bl laud mire, and so incurring pollu 
tion. As distinguished from the acts that follow, it 
indicates any participation, publicly or privately, in 
idolatrous rites. One who acted on the rule would have 
to reft tin from entering a temple, and to dislodge lnisfs 
or statues of the gods from his house and gardens. The 

presence of such tilings, when they presented them 
selves on entering a house, was a irreat stumbling-block 
to devout .Jews, and the <M-ntile convert who. left to 
himself, mitrht have been disposed to keep them, though 
no longer as objects of worship, but as work- of art. 
was required to renounce them. The statin -of /.-i;- and 
Artemis and Hermes were to lie to him henceforth as 
aliomiiiations. In the decree itself, however, we find 
" thintrs sacrificed to idols " instead of the more general 
term, and we may accordingly deal here \\ith that 
(|tiestion also. So interpreted, the rule bring- before 
us a new phase of the life ,,( the early Christian 
converts. I mler the relitrion of (I recce and Home, 
sacrifices were so common that it might fairly be 
taken for granted that the tlesh at any festi\e meal 
had been s,, offered. Hut a small portion of the 
tlesh was burnt upon the altar, and the rest \\.MS ccok"d 
for the household meal, or sent to the market for sale. 
Sucl ;i-at was, in the eyes of th-- strict .Jew-, polluted, 



o fresh I! <k needed 



TIIK ACTS, XV. 



fi<r ././/.-/>/> Convert*. 



:iinl from fornication. and from tilings 
il, and j r<>i,( llpo.l. - " For 



Moses of old time hath in every city 
them that preach him, lx>iii read in 



and tli<> history of Daniel :m<l his companions i Dan. i. 
s was regarded as a precedent to avoiding it. Partly 
on this ground, partly on that referred to in the next 
Note hut one. the .lew never bought meat in the market, 
nor of other than a Jewish butcher. He travelled with 
his <-<ij>li!itti.<. or liasket. on his bark, and carried his 
provisions with him. So Juvenal i ,SW. Hi. Mi speaks 
of 

Mwln K quorum cophinus foenumque supellex." 
[" Basket, and wisp of straw to serve as pillow, 

That a the .leu s luggage."] 

Here, therefore, was a new stumbling-block, anil the 
Gentilo was required to avoid this also. It involved 
many sacrifices, and what would seem privations. 
The convert had to refuse invitations to birthday, and 
marriage, and funeral feasts ; or, if present, to refuse 
to eat at them. A man with a sensitive conscience 
would refuse to partake of what was set before 
him in a private house ov offered for sale in the 
iKarket, unless lie had satisfied himself -that it had 
not so been offered. It was natural that this re 
striction, which did not rest directly on a moral 
ground, should give rise to some resistance, and 
the controversy connected with it assumed many dif 
ferent phases. At Corinth men claimed the right to 
eat what they chose, and St. Paul conceded the right in 
the abstract, but urged abstinence on the ground of 
charity (1 Cor. viii. x.). At Pergamos and Thyatira. 
somewhat later in the apostolic age (Rev. ii. 11, 20), 
the lawfulness of eating things sacrificed to idols was 
openly maintained in contravention alike of the teach 
ing of St. Paul and of the apostolic decree, and was 
joined witli a like claim to be exempted from the law 
which forbade illicit sexual intercourse. At Corinth, 
it would seem from 1 Cor. viii. 10, the assertion of 
freedom had led men so far as not only to eat of the 
flesh that had been sacrificed, but actually to sit down 
to a feast in the idol s temple. (Comp. Horn. ii. 22, as 
expressing the Jewish feeling.) 

And from fornication. We are surprised at first 
to find, what seems to us. a moral law placed in juxta 
position with two rules which, like those that follow, 
seem purely positive and ceremonial. We have to re 
member, however, 1 that the first command was moral 
also, and that we may fairly recognise something like a 
practical, though not a formal distinction, by thinking 
of the first two precepts as grouped together ; (2) that 
the sin named, involving, as it did, the absence of any 
true sense of self-respecting purity or reverence for 
womanhood, was the wide-spread evil of the ancient 
world, against which Israel had from the first been 
called to bear its witness (Gen. xxxiv. ol ; Lev. xix. 2i: 
Dent, xxiii. 17 ; Prov. vii. 6 27). The increasing laxity 
of morals throughout the Roman empire, showing 
itself in tiie well-known lino of Terence 

" N ihil peccati cst artolescentulum scortari," 

had led men to think of it as natural and per 
missible, bringing with it no sense of wrong or 
shame (comp. Horace. Hat. i. 2. 1 MM, and it might 
well be that the ethical standard of the Gentile 
converts was not all at once raised to a true ideal 
of purity. The old license may have seemed venial. 
and the disciples may have thought, as Christians 
have too often thought since, that it did not call for 



any deep repentance, or exclude them frwn. fellowship 
with Christ. And yet it wa-, clear that to tli- Jewish 
( hristian. trained from his childhood to cimdenm the 
sin severely, this. too. would legitimately IK- a vry 
grave stumbling-block in the admission of Gentile con 
verts. How could lie feel any assurance tliat they 
might not have come from the embraces of a harlot 
to the Feast of Charity or to the very Supper of 
the Lord ! J (Comp. 1 Cor. vi. 15; Rev. ii. 11. Such a 
state of things required to be dealt with by a special 
enactment. The moral command had to In- re-enacted, 
and lirought into a new prominence. The Church had 
to take its first step in purifying the morals of mankind, 
not only by its general teaching, but by canons and 
rules of discipline. Stress has often been laid on the 
fact that in many cases, as in those of the Heta-rn . or 
harlot -priestesses, of Aphrodite at Corinth and Paphos, 
prostitution was in closest alliance with idolatry, a* 
a reason for the prohibition, and it is, of course, true 
that in such cases the sin assumed, in the eyes of 
Jews, an aggravated character. The man identified 
himself, by his sinful indulgence, with the cnltua of 
the woman who was its avowed devotee. We can. 
scarcely think, however, that the sin was forbidden, 
not on account of its own intrinsic evil, but only,, 
or chiefly, with a view to this ulterior and incidental 
consequence. 

Things strangled. Literally, of that ivhick /m.s- 
been strangled. The prohibition rested on Gen. ix. 1, 
and was connected with the symbolic meaning of the 
blood as representing life, and therefore consecrated to 
Jehovah. It was repeated in the Law Lev. iii. 17; 
vii. 26; Deut. xii. 16; 1 Sam. xiv. &K and has been 
maintained with a wonderful tenacity. For this reason, 
long after sacrifices have ceased, the Jew will still, if 
possible, only eat what has been killed by a butcher of 
his own persuasion. Meat so killed, which may be 
eaten without defilement, is known technically as 
Kosher. Here the moral element falls entirely into 
the background, and the prohibition has simply the 
character of a concordat to avoid offence. St. Paul 
and St. Peter were alike persuaded that "there is 
nothing unclean of itself" chap. x. 15: Rom. xiv. 11). 
Practically, the effect of the rule would have been to- 
compel Christians to buy their meat, poultry. \c.. 
from a Jewish butcher or a Christian who followed 
the Jewish mode of killing, and in some places this 
must have entailed considerable inconvenience. 

From blood. As distinguished from the preceding 
rule, this forbade the separate use of Mood, as \\ith 
flour and vegetables, or in t he black-paddings of modern 
cookery, as an article of food. Dishes so prepared 
were common in the <!*< in- both of Greeks and 
Romans, and here also, therefore, the restriction would 
have involved a frequent withdrawal from social life, or 
a conspicuous singularity. On the history of the 
observance, see Note on verse 2*. 

(21) For Moses Of Old time. Literally. nfn,n-n -,it 
generations. The conjunction gives the reason few- 
writing to the ({entiles, and giving them these injunc 
tions. The Jews, who heard the Law in their syna 
gogues every Sabbath, did not need instruction. It 
mi^ht be taken for granted that they would adhere to 
the rule s now specified. So. in verse 2:>. the encyclical 
letter is addressed exclusively to " the brethren t if the. 
Gentiles." 



/,. .1 /*/;,//. Til K ACTS, X V. 






tin- s\ -lui^i iiru- s everv sahliaih lav. 

he? |dease,i it tin- apostlea ;n:.l 

riders, with tin- whole church, tu si-mi 
dins, if tlifir u\vii c<>iii|ian\ t" 

A.itioch with Paul ami l!:inial>:is ; 
//.////. 1 1/, .! mlas surname,! llarsahas, ami 
Silas, chief men aiming tin- lu-.-t hivn : 
.:nl they wrote lifffi-fi hy Ihi in after 



this manner: The g 

ami hrethren *>-il ^ i iL r unt" 

hrethren whieh are of the (i.-nl:!- 

Ant i M-h ami S\ ria ami < i!i ;ia 

asnin.-h as u.- have heanl, that .ertain 

which went mil tVnn us have 1 ],,-. 

vo u with wi.nls, idbrerting your 

saving, }> iiinxf l>e circiiM-ciscd. ami 



Tho apostles and elders, with the whole 
church. Tin latter words are important, as showing 

the jMisitimi occupied liy tin- laity. It they concurred 
in tlir letter. it must have been submitted to their 
approval. ami (In- right to approve involves tin- power 
to reject and. probably. to modify. It is probable 
enough. as in tin- analogous constitution 01 (Jreek 
republics ahoM- referred to H e Note on verse 4), 
tlia tlir Keclesia. or popular assemlily. did not 




the ]io\ver ol initiating measures; hut their right 
to \ote appears, from this instance, to have lieen in- 
disputable. See. ho\vever. Note on the next verse.) 
It does 7iot follow, of eoiir.se, that what was thus tin- 
polity of the apostolic age was necessarily adapted 
for the Cliiirch of all subsequent ages; lint the ex 
clusion of the laity from all share in Church synods. 
though it may lie defended as a safeguard against the 
violence of a liarliarons or faithless age, must, a! an\ 
rate, lie admitted to he at variance with primitive and 
apostolic practice. 

To send chosen men. Literally, the participle 
beiiiLT active in meaning, tu rlimmi and send men. This 
was ohyioiisly necessary, to guard against suspicion. 
Had 1 aul and Harnahas alone I ..... n the bearers of 
such a letter, it might have been said that they had 
forced it. 

Judas surnamed Barsabas. The same patro 

nymic meets us. it will be remembered, in chap. i. j:5. 
as belonging to "Joseph, called Barsabas. who was 
surnamed Justus." It is a natural inference that the 
two were Id-others, and t lien-fore that the disciple now 
mentioned had been amon^ those who were personally 
followers of our Lord. This would natnrallv clothe 
him with a hiirh authority. The fact that he i- spoken 
of in verse :!J a^ a prophet, makes it probable that 
he was (if the number of the Seventy. See Xute mi 
Lukex. 1 

Silas. This may have been either a contracted form 
of Silvann-. a-> . \nti]ias was of A ntipat ros. or an 
Aramaic name, for which Silvanns was adopted as the 
nearest (iivek e(|iii va lent . It is probable that he. too. 
fulfilled the same conditions as his companion. He 
also was a prophet verse :\~2 . His later history will be 
noticed as it comes before us. As the name is con 
nected with the Hebrew for " three." he has by some 
Ix-en identified with the Tertius ,,f Rom. xvi. 1; bu-t 
it is hardly probable that one who had been known at 
Corinth as Silvanus i! Cor. i. l!M. should afterwards 
have chanp d his name. 

Chief men among the brethren. The title thus 
Driven is the same as those that bear ride over you." 
in Heb. xiii. 17. and implies that they had a po-ition of 
i:reater authority than the other elders, as at least 
jii-liiii /-//-, pore*. This also falls in with the view 
that they had been disciples of Christ, who. as the 
number of witnesses diminished, came more and more 
into prominence. 

And they wrote letters by them. Literal! \ . 
10-MiV /W/<rx Inj their /<//.-. What follows. un!c<s we 



assume a deliberate fraud, i.-, cl. ; , ly : !,e transcript of 
a document -the first in the lon^ li-t i.f dec:.. 
canons and encyclical letters which mark the Church s 
history. 

The apostles and elders and brethren. The 
.MSS. present a sin4"ilar variation of readinir*. some 
of the earliest omitting the conjunction and article 
before the last noun, and Driving "the v 
elders, brethren." Such a mode of speech. IIOWCMT. is 
foreign to the usage of the New Testament, and it is 
probable that this reading originated in a d> 
bring the text into harmony with the later practice of 
the Church, which excluded the laitv from all part- -i- 
pation in its synods. See .Vote on \er- 

Send greeting. Literally. ici*l< j,j. The formula 
was common in (Jreek epistles, but is not used j M tin- 
New Testament, except here and in .las. i. J 
is reasonable to suppose tlhit t!ii-> letter was written or 
dictated by him. its occurrence is / . - idence 

of the authorship of tin- Epistle that bears Ir 
ani! which, on the view taken in th- s,- Notes, kid been 
already written to the Church of the Circumcision. 

Unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles. 

The letter was therefore addressed to th-m exclusively 
see Note on verse iln . as the Kpis le of St. .lames had 
probably been previously addressed to the .Jews of the 
" dispersion." and not to the ( Icntiles. 

In Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. Tin- men 
tion of the latter country is important a^ showing the 
extent of St. Paul s work there prior ti his joining 
Harnabas at Antioch ichap. xi. I t . There also he 
had founded churches in which (Jentile conve,-t- 
admitted as such to full communion. 

<-*) Certain which went out from us. The 

reference is obviously to the teachers , their names 
are wisely and charitably suppressed who had appeared 
at Antioch. as inverse I. St. John, who was present 
at the Council ((Jal.ii.ii. and who. though he took 
no part in the debate, may ,vell have had I share in 
drawing up the letter, uses a like mode of speech. 
"They went out from us, but they were not 
( 1 John ii. l!M. 

Subverting your souls. The (h-eek verb, liter 
ally. tiifitiiK/ iifi.tiil - </"/ -,/. implies throwing into 
of excitement and agitation. The < I- miles had been 
" unsettled " by the leaching of the Judaisei-s. 

And keep the law. Assuming the KpMle 
James to have been a I read v written, there is 



almost like a touch of irony in his repeating the 
of .las. ii. 10. The teachers who bade the (Jennies 
keep the Law were reminded in that Kpistle that they. 
in their servile respect of person-., wen- breaking tin- 
Law delilK-rately in one point, and were therefore 
iruiltv of all. I uttimr the two pa-s.-i^es roe-ether, they 
bring St. James befoie u- MS speaking in ti 
accents of St. Paul, " Thoo, therefore, which 
another, teaehest thoa not thyself P " Uom ii _ 

To whom we gave no such commandment. 

The word " such" is a needles, interpolation. What 



Letter of tin- ( I, n ,)< 



T1IK ACTS, XV. 



qf Jerusalem <> that " 



keep the law : to whom we u ave no 
commandment : -"" it seemed good unto 
us, bfiiiLr assembled \\ith one accord, to 
send chosen men unto you with our 
beloved Barnabas au<l Paul, (Jlil nit ii 
that hav<- ha/arded their lives for the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ( - 7) We 
have sen! therefore Judas and Silas, 



win. shall also tell ijnn the same 
1>\ mouth. - H) For it seemed good 1>> 
the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon 
you no greater burden than these neces 
sary things; (29 > that ye abstain from 
meats offered to idols, and from blood, 
and from things strangled, and from 
fornication : from which if ye keep your- 



St. James declares is that the teaehers had had no com 
mission dt any kind from him. The passage is impor 
tant as throwing light on the nature of a later claim 
.set up liy I lie same party (Gal. ii. 12). 

Being assembled with one accord. 

Literally, ln iin/ t <>m n/i ml. limit/ i iiiinixl //. 

To send chosen men unto you. Literally, to 
choose men and send tJiem unto you. The men, are. of 

<our.se. Barsalias and Silas. 

With our beloved Barnabas and Paul. The 

order in which the names stand is. perhaps, character 
istic of the Church of Jerusalem, to whom Barnabas 
was still the more conspicuous teacher of the two. The 
way in which the two are named may he taken as illus 
trating St. Paul s statement that t he " pillars " of the 
Church of .Jerusalem i^ave to him and Barnabas the 
" ri-rht hand of fellowship " (Gal. ii. 9). 

- Men that have hazarded their lives. It is 
clear from this that the narrative of the hairbreadth 
escapes at the Pisidian Autioch (chap. xiii. 50 1 and 
Lystra ichap. xiv. ID must have been laid before the 
Church. Prominence is given to the fact as likely 
to secure reverence for those whom many had hitherto 
regarded with distrust. 

It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and 
to US . . . The measure was. the Apostles were 
persuaded, one of wisdom and charity, and they could 
not ascribe those gifts to any other source than the 
Spirit who gives a right judgment in all things. The 
words have since become almost a formula for the 
decrees of councils and synods, often used most 
recklessly when those decrees bore most clearly the 
marks of human policy and passion. Here we may well 
admit that the claim was founded on a real inspiration. 
remembering, however, as we do so, that an inspired 
commandment docs not necessarily involve a permanent 
obligation. (See Note on next verse.) 

To lay upon you no greater burden than 
these necessary things.- The words throw light 
upon the message addressed to the Church of Thva- 
tira, "I will put upon you no other burden" (Rev. 
ii. iM-i. Looking to the prominence in the Epistles to 
the Seven Churches of the two points of fornication and 
eating things sacrificed to idols, there can scarcely be 





Fare ye well. The closing -alutati.m was. like the 
opening, a Greek and not a Hebrew one. It meet> us 
again in chap, xxiii. 30. Botli were naturally used 
in a letter addressed to Greeks, and intended to be 
read by them and by Hellenistic Jews. It does not 
occur, however, in any of the Kpistles of the New 
Testament. 

It is natural t:> ask, at the close of the great ency 
clical letter, in what relation it really stood to the lif- 
of the Apostolic Church. As a concordat between the 
contending parties it was framed, as has been said, with 
a sagacity that may well be looked on as inspired. Buc 
obviously it was not, and from the nature of the case 
could not be, more than that. The time had not come 
for proclaiming to the Church of Jerusalem the full 
width of St. Paul s teaching (Gal. ii. :i i. and accordingly. 
though something may be read between the lines, tin: 
decree seems to treat the precepts of Noah as perpetually 
binding, places moral and positive obligations on the 
same footing, and leaves the ground on which they are 
necessary" an open question. St. Paul, who had 
accepted it as a satisfactory settlement of the matter in 
debate, never refers to it. even when lie is discussing the 
chief point with which the decree dealt 1 Cor. viii. x.). 
In his narrative of what passed on this occasion ( ial. ii. 1 
10) there is no mention of it. The private conference 
with the three great "pillars "of the Church was for 
him more than the decree of the synod, and he felt 
himself able to discuss the whole question again on dif 
ferent grounds, and with a more distinct reference to 
spiritual and ethical principles. It was wrong to eat 
tilings sacrificed to idols, not because the act of so 
eating in itself brought defilement, but because it might 
involve a participation in the sin of idolatry in the 
consciousness of the eater, or wound the conscience of 
the weaker brother who saw him eat. It was natural that 
those who lacked his largeness of view should become 
slaves to the letter of the rules long after the grounds 
on which they rested had ceased to exist, and so we 
find that the prohibition of blood was re-enforced in the 
so-called Apostolic Canons ic. >:!>, and in the fourth 
century by the Council of Gangralc. 2), and in the seventh 
by that at Constantinople, known as /// Trull:) c. d7 . 



and continues to lie the 



pe, n 
bindin 



g rule of the Greek Church 



the shadow of a doubt that we have in those words a dis- still. In Africa and in Europe, however, truer views 



tinct reference to the decree of the Council of .Jerusalem. 
The letter does not say why these things were neces 
sary, and the term was probably chosen as covering alike 
the views of those who held, like the Pharisee ( hri-t ians, 
that they were binding on the Church for ever, and 
those who, like St. Paul, held that tliev were necessarv 
only for the time, and as a measure of wise expediency. 

(&) prom meats offered to idols. The specific 

term takes the place uf the more general word which 
St. James had used. The change, if the two words were 
not used, as is po^-ible. .-i> ,-i lionet her ei|uivalent. may be 
thought of as favouring the (Jentiles by narrowing the 
prohibition to a single point. 



prevailed i August, rout. Fmixt. xxxii. l;Ji. and not even 
the most devout believer in the inspiration of the 
ApoMles, or in the authority of primitive antiquity, 
would venture to urge that the two las! precepts of the 
four here enjoined were in any degree i.inding. Hooker 
H<- -l. I nl. i\.. xi.. if 5) rightly refers to this decree as 
a crucial instance proving tl.-U commands might be 
divine and yet yiven only for . season, binding as limy 
as the conditions to which they applied continued, lint 
no longer. It would almost seem, indeed, as if St. Paul 
fell that the terms of the decree had the effect of placing 
the sin of impurity on the same level with that of eating 
tilings sacrificed to idols, and things strangled, ami 
190 



> / /,(> ,(/ ,| llft lK /l. 



INK A.CTS, X\. Contention between 



/; 



selves, ye shall 1 well. l- an- \.- well. 

- \\ hen t hey were di-missed, they 
-ame to Ant ioeh : ;i!id \\ hen t hey had 
_:at heivd tin- mult it nde i< _.-, -1 her, they 
deli\ered tin- epistle; ;l / /,/,// when 
they had read, they ivjoieed for the 
Consolation. 1 ; - And .Indus and Silas. 
IMMM^- prophets also t hemselves, ex 
horted tin- 1 ivthren with many words, 
and confirmed Hum, ;; And aft i- t hey 
liad tarried ///,,-, a spar,-, they wen- li-t 

ijo in peare tVoin the brethren urtto the 

apostles. :| Not \\ it hst a iidin^ it pleased 
Silas to al.lde there still. " Paul also 
;iiid Uanialtas eontinued in AntiM-!i, 


A.D. S3 

1 )r, rshortatiatt. 


teaching Mild preaehin-; tin- \\.-rd of ill- 
Lord, wit h many .t li.-r> a !.-. 
And BOme da\s .itt--r I .ini 
unto liarnalias. Let n- _TO :iu r "ii! :ind 
visit our lu-.-t hren in even <-ity \\li.-n- 
\\e hav- pn-aehed the w..rd of the Lord, 
and 66 DOW they do. i;: And llariiala> 
determined to take with them John, 
whose surname was Mark. (38) But 
I anl thought not ^ool to take him with 
them, \\lio departed IVoin them from 
I amphylia, ami went mt with them to 
the work. ;i And the <oiiteiiti.ui was 
SO sharp between them, that they de 
parted asunder one from the other : and 



blood, and so tended to keep men from seeing it in its 
true hatefulness. Those who claimed a rijht. which 
in the ahstract St. Paul could not deny, to eat of 
things strangled or off. -red t i idols, thought themselves 
free to fall hack into the old lie;-!ise of the heathen 
world, and he needed far stronger motives than the 
anoiisof the council to restrain them il Cor. v. 9, 10; 
vi. !."> _!<>. and found those motives in the truths that 
the_\ had heen bought with a pric -. that the will of 
God was their santitication. and that their bodies were 
His temple. 

When they were dismissed, they came to 
Antioch. It i- natural, in the ahsence of anything 
to the contrary, to infer that they returned, as they had 
come, tlii-iu.ufli Samaria and Plm-nicia. and gladdened 
the hearts of the disciples there hy telling them of the 
triumph which had heen won at Jerusalem for the cause 
of freedom. 

They delivered the epistle. We can picture 

. 4 ;i ourselves the ea^er excitement of that nn.ment, the 
listening crowds, the letter, which as a formal missive 
would lie sealed and tied round with thread, solemnly 
opened and read out aloud, mortiticat ion and murmurs 
on the one side, ehunorous applause on the other, as each 
sentence repudiated the claims of the Judaisers and con 
firmed the principles and the work of St. Paul and 
Barnahas. To the (ientile converts it was. indeed 

von. as it had 1 n. after a hard hattle as the j^n-at 

charter of th ir freedom. 

<" They rejoiced for the consolation. We 
outfit not toforir.-t that the letter was prohahly read out 
hy one who was himself emphatically "the son of con 
solation" chap. i\. :;> in all the manifold aspects ,,f 
that word, and who now proved himself worthy of the 

name. 

; - Judas and Silas, being prophets also 

themselves. See Note on verse -22. 

Exhorted. Tin- verh is that from which the <;, v ,-k 
t or "consolation " was for d. and includes that mean 
ing here. This was the chief end to which the U ifi 
of prophecy was directed. The two teachers thus 
showed that they had not come only as formal repre 
sentatives of the Church in Jerusalem, hut took a 
personal interest in the work. Their work was the 
\ery reverse of tln.se \\ho had previously come from 

.lud;ea subverting the souls of the disciple ." , verse -ji 

Unto the apostles.- The Letter MSS. have 
simply, "to those that had sent them." and omit rene 
:U. which was prol.al.lv added hy a later copyist to 
explain the fact mentioned in rei 



Preaching the word of the Lord.- Her.-. 

as often elsewhere, jn ru-l/ /(./ //// <// "/ // </,;/ .;/ tie 
in >,<!. 

With many others. Aiming these we may fairly 
reckon the prophets of chap. xiii. 1. L .okinj: to tin- 
later history of the Church of Antioch. it is not im- 
prohahle that we may think also of the martyr Ignatius, 
and Kuodius. afterwards Bishop of Antioch. as aiming 
those who were thus active, though they were not 
prominent enough, when St. Luke wrote, to he specially 
named. Ignatius was said to have heen. together with 
Polvcarp. a disci]. le of St. John Mart. /<///. c. : . . 
while another tradition represents him as a folh.\\i-r of 

Peter. It is possihle that the dispute hetween St. let T 

and St. Paid, referred to in (Jal. ii. 11 - 1:>. occurred 
during this period, hut the evidence on the whole tends 
to connect it with St. Paul s visit to Antioch in chap. 

Xviii. 2 2. Avllere see Note. 

; And some days after Paul said unto 
Barnabas. The commonly received chronology of 
the Acts makes the interval hetween tin- Council of 
Jerusalem and St. Paul s second missionary journey 
somewhat more than a year. 

Let US go again." The proposal was charac 
teristic of one whose heart was ever full of " the care of 
all the churches" (-J Cor. \i. :> . ever making men 
tion of them in his prayers nitrht and day Komi. . : 
Eph. i. lti ; Phil. i. 3). We may well believe that it 
was a desire to know, not only the ireneral condition of 
the churches, hut the spiritual growth of each indi 
vidual member. 

17 Barnabas determined. The (in-ek verh is 
hardly so strong, hetter. ( </. //, / // /</. The t 
relationship led the uncle, or cousin, to wish to make 
another trial of his kinsman s fitness d.|. i\. 1",. He- 
saw extenuating circumstances which St. Paul could 
not recognise, and which half-excused his t!;rnintr hack 
when he had set his hand to the plough. See Not.- 
on chap, xiii 1:5. To St. Paul one who had s , acted, 
seemed, in our Lord s words. " not tit for the kingdom 
of <iod."and needing :>t least the discipline of reject im- 
for a time, from the higher work f.>r which he had 
shown himself unworthy. 

And the contention was so sharp between 
them, that . ..Literally, fl<> n Man, 

or jitirn.i I/.-IH . .< that . . . The warmth of previous 
affection. of a friendship he .run prohahly in boyhood, 
and cemented hy new hopes, and a irreat work in which 
hith wen- sharers, made the breach lietween the two 
more painful At this st.iire. hoth Barnahas and 



101 



if and N/Aix /,/ S ;/l -;<, and ift ia, THE ACTS, 



7 inKtf/i us 



so liarnakis took Mark, and sailed unto 
Vjirus; - v ;| and Paul eliose Silas. and 
dejiarted, lieino- recommended liy the 
liretliren unto tlie i^race of ( Jod. " > And 
lie went through Syria and Cilicia, con 
firming the el lurches. 

CHAPTEE XVI. f 1 ) Then came he 
to Derbe and Lystra : and, behold, a 



certain disciple was there, named Timo- 
tlieus," the son of a certain -woman., 

which Was a Jewess, and leliev:-d; but 

iiis father K-<I* a (Jreek: - vhidi was 
well reported of by the bretl::en that 
were at Lystra and Iconium. ^> Him 
would Paul have to go forth with him; 
and took and circumcised him because 
of the Jews which were in those quarters : 



disappear from the history of the Acts, but it will be 
worth while to note the chief facts in the after-history 
of each. (1) Probably Barnabas and Paul met again in 
the visit of chap, \\iii. 22. unless, indeed, we refer the 
incidents of Gal. ii. 11 13 to an earlier period, and then 
there was a yet further cause of division in his yielding 
to the dissimulation of the Jndaising teachers. (2,i In 
writing to the Corinthians (1 Cor. ix. til the Apostle 
names Barnabas as setting the same noble example as 
i.imself in labouring with his own hands and accept ing 
nothing from the churches. (3) On the later life of 
Mark see the Introduction to St. Mark s Gospel. Here 
it will be sufficient to note that the discipline did its 
work. After labouring with his cousin in Cyprus, he 
appears to have returned to St. Peter, as his first father 
in the faith, and to have been with him at Babylon 
(1 Pet. v. 13). He and St. Paul met during the hitter s 
first imprisonment at Rome (Col. iv. 10; Philem. 
verse 24 1. and the Apostle learnt to recognise in him 
one who was "profitable to him for the ministry" 
i 2 Tim. iv. 11), and whom he wished to have with him 
at the last. 

(40) Paul chose Silas. It is clear from this, even 
if we reject verse 34 as an interpolation, that Silas had 
remained when the other delegates from the Church of 
Jerusalem went back. This in itself was a proof of his 
interest in the mission-work among the Gentiles, and 
no one, perhaps, could be found so well fitted to fill the 
place of Barnabas. He too had the gift of prophetic 
utterance, and. as we have seen (Note on verse 22 . was 
probably able to speak as one who had followed the 
Lord Jesus, and could bear witness of the Resurrection. 

Being recommended by the brethren. See 
Xote on chap. xiv. 2(>. This obviously implied a full 
gathering of the Church and a special service of prayer 
on the departure of the two Apostles. Silas, as thus 
sent forth by the Church, might now claim that title no 
less than Barnabas. 

( u ) He went through Syria and Cilicia, con 
firming the Churches. Cilicia, it will he remem 
bered, had not been visited on St. Paul s first journey 
with Barnabas, and the churches must accordingly 
have been founded at some earlier period, probably 
during St. Paul s residence at Tarsus lief ore he came 
to Antioch i chaps, ix. :!<>; xi. 25). 

Confirming is. it need hardly be said, used in 
the general sense of "strengthening.-" but as the be- 
jtowal of spiritual gifts by the laying-on of hands was 
a -hiei part of the work so done. it. at least, approxi 
mates to the idea of "confirming" in the later and more 
technical sense of the term. 

XVI. 

(!) A certain disciple was there, named 
Timotheus. We read with a special interest the 
first mention of the name oi one who was afterwards 
so dear to the Apostle, his "true son in the faith" 
(1 Tim. i. 2). On his probable conversion on St. 1 anl s 



firs! mission in Lystra. see Xotes on eh:, p. xiv. <i. lit. 
We have to think of him as still young: probably, as his 
youth is spoken of some iwelve years later in 1 Tim. iv. 
12. not more than eighteen or twenty; but in the six 
years that had passed since St. Paul s departure In- had 
been conspicuous for his devotion and "unfeigned 
faith." He had been trained to know the sacred Book-- 
of Israel from his childhood (2 Tim. iii. I M: and tin 
fact that he had obtained a good report from the 
brethren at Iconium as well as Lystra shows that 
he had been already employed in carrying on in 
tercourse between the two churches. The way in 
which St. Paul writes to him. and of him. implies a 
constitution naturally not strong, and, in after life. 
weakened by a rigorous asceticism (1 Tim. v. 2: > . 
emotional even to tears < 2 Tim. i. 4), naturally shrinking 
from hardships and responsibilities, yet facing them in. 
the strength of Christ (1 Cor. xvi. 10). The name 
Timotheus was not uncommon. It is found in 2 Mace. 
xii. 21 24, as belonging to a general defeated by Judas 
Maccabeus, and appears in early Christian inscriptions 
in the Vatican Museum. Its meaning ("one who 
honours God") made it a suitable name for the child 
of a proselyte. 

The son of a certain woman. Literally. </ <> 
certain woman, a faithful (or belief im/ Ji /n >>-. Tin 
adjective is the same as that used by Lydia of herself 
in verse 15. 2 Tim. i. 4. tells us that her name was 
Euuike, and her mother s Lois. They were both 
devout, and had trained the child in the Law (2 Tim. 
iii. lo); and this makes it probable that the father 
was a proselyte of the gate. He naturally thought 
it sufficient that his child should grow up under the 
same religious conditions as himself, and they had 
either thought so. or had yielded to his will. 

His father was a Greek. Literally, of a Greek 
father. The adjective is used, as in the New Testa 
ment generally, to express the fact that he was a 
heathen. (See Notes on chap. xi. 20; Mark vii. 2 !.i 
It seems, on the -whole, probable that he was still living. 

(3) And took and circumcised him. The act 
seems at first inconsistent with St. Paul s conduct 
as to Titus (Gal. ii. 3), and with his general teaching 
as to circumcision Gal. v. 2 6). The circumstances 
of the two cases were, however, different, and there 
were adequate reasons here for the course which In- 
adopted, ill The act was spontaneous, and men 
may rightly concede a> a favour, or as ;; matter of 
expediency." what they would be justified in resisting 
when demanded as A matter of necessity. 2 Titus 
was a Greek, pure and simple i(ial. ii. :> : but 
the mixed parentage of Timotlieiis, according to the 
received canons of ,lewi>h law. made him inherit from 
the nobler side, and he was therefore by birth in t lie- 
same position as an Israelite. (3) By not urging cir 
cumcision prior to baptism, or to his admission to that 
breaking of bread" which was then, as afterwards, 
the witness of a full communion with Christ, the 



102 



nrcumeuM Tlin(l,< us. 



"HE A IS. X \ I ./...*, ,,. ,./ - - 



for they knew all that his father v, 
<lreek. " And as they went through 
tlir cities, they deli\erel them the 

decrees for to keep, that Were ol dailled 

of tin- apostles and elders which wen- 
at .Jerusalem. And so were tin 
t-hurdles established in the faith, and 


a rl,. 15. 28. ; 


iin-1-eas.-tl in nuinlier dail\. Now 
when t he;, ha<l M n.n _ r liotlt 
I lir\L r i:i :inl the region of (lalutisu 
and were f.irhidden of the Holy (ilmst 
to preach tin- word in Asia. after 

they were collie to Mv-i;i. tli- . 

saved to go into J >ithynia : hut tin- 



Apostle had shown that he did not look on it as 
essential to admission into the Christian Church, or 
continued fellowship with it. and in what he now 
did he was simply acting on his avowed principle 

of hecoinillLT to the Jews as a .lew i see Notes on 

chap, \viii. I s !; 1 < or. ix. L!<> . and guardin.t: against the 
difficulties which he would have encountered from those 
whom he sought to win to Christ, had they seen, as one 
of the travelling company, an Israelite who was 
ashamed of the seal of the covenant of Abraham. The 
acceptance of that seal by one who had grown up to 
manhood without it may be noted as showing that 
the disciple had imbibed the spirit of his Master. It 
seems probable, from the youth of Timotheiis. that at 
this period he took the place which had been before 
filled l>v Mark, and acted chiefly as an attendant, the 
"work of an evangelist " coming later (l! Tim. iv. ~> . 

ll) They delivered them the decrees. The 
numlwr of copies which the process implies is in itself 
a sufficient guarantee that that which St. Luke gives 
is a faithful transcript. The decrees were clearly still 
regarded by the ( ientilv converts as being the charter 
on which they might take their stand in any dispute 
with the . I udaisers. and doubtless helped to determine 
ii.auy who had previously hesitated, to seek admission 
into the Church. 

When they had gone throughout Phrygia 
and the region of Galatia. In the previous journey 
St. Paul, when he was at Autioch in Pisidia. was just 
on the border of the two provinces, but had not 
travelled through them. Phrygia lying to the west, and 
(lalatia to the north-east. The former name was used 
with an ethnm irical rather than a political significance, 
and did not. at this period, designate a Roman pro 
vince. It docs not possess any -pecial points of interest 
in connection with St. Paul s work, except as including 
the churches of the valley of the Lyciis. Colo-s;e. 
Laodirea. and Thyatira. hut the latter was the scene of 
some of his most important labours. The province, 
named after the Calatie. or (Jauls. who had poured over 
C.reeceand Asia Minor in the 1 hird century u.c.. -is they 
had done over Italy in the fourth, and to whom it had 
been assigned by Attains I., King of IVr^amus. had been 
conquered by the Romans under Manlins the name 
appearing a second time in connection with a victory 
over the (Jallic race- in u.c. lSi : and under Augustus 
it had been constituted as a Roman province. The 
inhabitants spoke a Keltic dialect, like that which tin- 
people of the same race spoke in the fourth century 
after Christ, on th,- banks of the Moselle, and retained 
ill the distinctive quickness of emotion and liability to 
sudden change which characterised the Keltic tem 
perament. They had adopted the religion of the 
Phrygians, who had previously inhabited the region, 
and that reli._rion consisted m.-iinly in a wild orgiastic 
worship of the yi-eat Karth-troddess Cyhelc, in whose 
temples were found the Kuiiiich-priests. who thus 
consecrated themselves to her service. See Note 

m <;.-i!. y. 1 The chief seat of this worship 
wa- at IVssimis. The incidental reference to this 



journey in Cal. iv. 1:1 1".. eiiabl.-^ u- to till up St 

l.likes" outline. St. 1 alll seems to ha\e been detained 

in (ialatia liv severe illness, probalily by one of tin- 
attacks of acute pain in the ner\e-, of the eye in which 
many writers have seen an explanation of the niysterioii- 
" thorn in the flesh" of -J Cor. xii. 7, which led to liis 

fivin^u louder time to his missionary work there than he 
ad at first intended. In thi- illness the (Jalafiaiis had 
shown themselves singularly de\oted to him. They had 
received him "as an anirel of < !od. even a- ( hrist .fe-u~.." 
They had not shrunk from what would seem to ha\e 
been repulsive in the malady from which he suffered ; 
they would have -plucked ("nit their own eyes," had it 
been possible, and ffiveii them to replace those which 
were to him the cau-e <if so much sufferin;r. Tln-n 
they thought it their highest " blessedne . " to have 
had sucli a one ainon^them. If the memory of that 
reception made his sorrow all the more hitter when. in. 
after years, they fell away from their first love, it must 

at the time have I n amonu; the most cheering season- 

of the Apostle s life. 

Were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach 
the word in Asia. It i- olaiousiy imjilied in this 
that their own plans would have led them to turn their 
steps to the region from which they were thus turned. 
The pro-consular province of Asia, with its feeminjr 
cities, like Kphesii-. Smyrna, and Sardis. its large> 
Jewish population, it- irreat centres of idolatrous wor- 
sliij). was naturally attracthe to one who was seeking 
with all his enerjry a rapid expansion of the kingdom of 
his Lonl. But in ways which we are not told, by inner 
promptings, or by visions of the nijjht. or by the in 
spired utterances of those amoiiLT her- converts wln> 
had received the </ift of prophecy, as afterwards in 
chap. xxi. 1. they were led on. step by step, towards the 
north-western coast, not seeing their way clearly as 
yt to the next sta:re of their labours. Their roiite- 
throngh the " (Jalatian region " the ]lirase. perhaps, in 
dicates a wider ra litre of (Tiuntry than the Roman pro 
vince of that name 1 must have taken them through 
Pessinus, the great centre of the worship of ( ybele, 
and Ancyra. famous for its goafs-hair manufactures, 
and for the great historical marble tablet- which 
Augustus had erected there. 

~ They assayed to go into Bithynia. The 
verse describes very vividly the uncertainty produced 
day by day by this conflict between human plans and 
divine direction. liithynin. lying to the north, had. 
like Pontus. a considerable .Jewish population scattered 
along its shores, and the\ were inclined to take that a- 
their next field of labour . They were led on. however. 
,- s before, westward and not northward. There is no 
record of any considerable halt in thi- -tarre of their 
journey, and they probably found few favourable open 
ings in a district which, for trivat part of the way, 
presented only unimportant villages. The n-e of the- 
archaic form "assayed for" aved."or "attempted." 
calls for a word of notice. Coinp. chap. ix. :! i. 

The Spirit suffered them not. The better 
MSS. and ver-ion- give the reading, "the Spirit of 



103 



"f 



TIII-: ACTS. XVI. 



Tin- V <>!/ >.! !<-> 



Spirit suffered them not. M And they 
passim: I V M\sia eame down to Troas. 
< 9 > And a isioii appeared to Paul in t In 
flight ; Then- stood a man of Macedonia, 
and prayed him, saying, Come over into 
Macedonia, and help us. (10) And after 
lie had seen the vision, immediately we j 



endeavoured to LJO into 
as-iiredly u at herin^ that the Lord had 
railed us tor to preach the gospel unto 
them. { - n> Therefore loo>in^ from Troas, 
we came with a straight course to 
Samothracia, and the next //"// to 
Neapolis ; (12) and from thence to 



.Jesu-,." which is nf snme dogmatic importance, as con- 
HrmiiiLr the doctrine that the Spirit stands in the saint- 
relation to the Son as to the Father, and may then-fore 
In- >|iokcn of either as the Spirit of God, or of Christ 
(Rom. viii. !i. or of .Jesus. 

Came down to Troas. Their travels had at 
last led them to the coast, and they looked out upon 
the waters of the JOgean. The town of Alexandria 
Troas at this time reckoned as a Roman colony and 
free ritv. recalls tn our memories, without entering 
into vexed questions as to its identity with the site of 
the older Tmy. the great poem which tells us the tale of 
Ilium. To St. Paul that poem was probably unknown, 
and had it been ntln-rwise. the associations connected | 
with it would have had no charms for him. The ques 
tion which must have occupied all his thoughts was, 
where he was next to proclaim the glad tidings of the , 
Christ, and of forgiveness and peace through Him. 
That question, we may well believe, expressed itself 
in prayer, and to that prayer the vision of the next , 
verse was an answer. 

(9) There stood a man of Macedonia. The j 
term is probably used in its later sense as applied to the 
Roman province, which included Macedonia, properly so I 
called. Illyricum. Epirus. and Thessaly. the province of I 
Achaia including, in like manner, the whole of Southern 
< J recce. The vision which St. Paul looked on explained 
to him all the varied promptings and drawings-back of 
his journey. This was the door that was to be opened 
to him. The faith of Christ was to pass from Asia to 
Europe, and the cry. " Come over and help us," was to 
him as a call from the whole western world. In view 
of this, he did not now tarry to preacli at Troas. 
Probably, indeed, as the next verse implies, that work 
nad been already done. 

( I0 > Immediately we endeavoured . . .The 
natural inference from the sudden appearance of the 
first person in a narrative previously in the third, is that 
the author became at this point an actor in the c\ cut > 
which he records. iSee Introduction to St. Luke s 
1. 1 The other hypothesis, that he incorporates a 



done by St. Paul; but the language in 2 Cor. ii. 1 2, 
and, yet more, the facts nf Acts \x. i. imply the ex 
istence of a Christian community. We may Junk, ac 
cordingly, on St. Luke as the founder of the Church of 
Troas. and place t his aiming t he " labours in t he gn>pel " 
to which St. Paul refers in ~1 Cor. viii. Is. Tin- "we en- 
deavoured" i literally, we sought implies an immediate 

inquiry as to what ship was sailing, bo 1 for any port 

of Macedonia. Such a call as that which had been 
given in the vision admitted of no delay. It came from 
the Lord Jesus, as the sequel of that given in the 
vision in the Temple (chap. xxii. 17 21), and was, 
therefore, to be obeyed at once. 

i 11 ) We came with a straight course to Samo 
thracia. Their course lay to the north-wot, and. 
probably, after the manner of the navigation of tin- 
time, they put into harbour each night ; and the 
historian, with his characteristic love of geographical 
detail (see Introduction to St. Luke s Qoapel), notes 
the main facts of the voyage. The "straight cour>e " 
implies that they had the wind in their favour. The 
current, which sets to the south after leaving the 
Hellespont, and to the east between Samothrace and 
the mainland, would, of course, be against them. In 
chap. xx. >. the voyage from Philippi to Troas takes 
five days. The name of Samothrace points, probably, 
to its having been a colony from Samos. In early 
Greek history it had been one of the chief seats of tin- 
worship of the Pelasgic face, and. besides the mysteries 
of Demeter and Persephone, which it had in common 
with the rest of Greece, was celebrated for the local 
i-iilf/i* of the Cabiri. a name of uncertain origin, and 
applied to the twelve great gods. 

The next day to Neapolis. -The name (= new 
town- was naturally common wherever Greek was 
spoken. It survives in two conspicuous instances in 
Naples, and iiiNabloiis&x the modern name of Sycliem. 
The town now before us was in Thrace, about twelve 
miles from Philippi. which was the frontier town of 
Macedonia. It has been identified, (inadequate grounds. 
with the modern Km-nUn. where a Unman aqueduct, 



tive written by Silas or Timotheus. is not probable columns, and Greek and Latin inscriptions remain to 



in itself, and would naturally have involved an earlier 
change in the form of the narrative. Accepting the 
received view, it seems to follow, as tin-re is no mention 
of the conversion of the Evangelist, that St. Paul and 
St. Luke mn^t have been already known to eac! other, 
probably either at Tar.Mi- or Antioch. the fulness with 
which the histnryof the latter Church is given pointing 
to it as tin- M-. iteof their previous intimacy. On this as 
sumption, the narrator must have left Antioch after tin- 
Council of Jerusalem. prnbably after the dispute between 
Paul and Barnaba^. and travelled through the interior 
of A>ia Minor, in part, perhaps, in the track of St. 
Paul s earlier journey : and so gathered materials for his 
history till he raiae to Troas. and there carried on his 
work as an evaii^.-list. The manner in which St. Luke 
introduces himself the Lord had called "-" implies 
it may be noted, that he too was a prea-.-he:- of tin- 
gospel. There is no record here of any mission-work 



atte~t the former importance of the city. Ten or 
twelve miles in the west are the traces nf another 
harbour at AW.-/ Kurnlln. which was probably the 
Palaeopolis ( = old town) that had been superseded by 

the new port. 

< 1 - 1 The chief city of that part of Mace 
donia. More accurately. cliii-f ior /// .</ rif// <>f flu- 
l><ii-<li ,--i imnfr>i "f Macedonia. The description is not 
without difficulty , and has been noted by adverse critics 
as an instance of St. Luke s inaccuracy. The city 
of Philippi, rebuilt by the father of Alexander the 
(I real, ami hearing his name in lieu of Krenid. > 
( = the fountains i, was situated mi the < : Jangitr-v , 
trilmtarv nf the Strvmnn: but it wa- ; the chief 
city of" any one nf the four suh-divisiniis of tin- 
Roman province of Macedonia, that rank beinu r a- 
signed tti Am)hipn!is. Tln-ssalonica. Pella. and Pd:i- 
ironia. As there is no definite article in the Greek, it 



104 



/ //> 



//_// t/,- 



TIII-: ACTS xvi. 



/.////,/. //,- > .//./ Oj 



Philip))!, which is tin- chief 1 city >f that 
part ( Mac.-donia, ,i,,,l a colony : and 
\\e were in tliat <-itv abiding certain 
days. |; And on the sallalh we went 
"lit of tin- city 1>\ a river side, when- 
pra\er was wont to In- made; ;ind we 



sat down, and spake unto the 
which re-opted ///////. /-. 

\ .d a d-rtain woman named 
Lydia. a .seller of purple, of the city of 

Tnyatira, which worshipped <;,.!. ln -anl 

/.- : who-e heart the Lord opened, that 



is po ible that St. Luke -imply meant to say it was a 
chief town of the district, the epithei /Y-/V = first) 

beiliLT often found oil the coins of cities which Were not 

capitals. The more probable explanation. howe\er. is 
that he OSes the Greet word translated "part." in the 
-en-e of "border-land," as in the LXX. of H/.ek. 
x\\\. 7. Ruth iii. 7. and that it was the tii-xf city of 
that frontier district, either as the most important or as 
being the first to which they came in the route by 
which they travelled. This was precisely the position 
of Philippi. which, together with IVlla and other 
towns, had been garrisoned by the Romans as outposts 
against the neighbouring tribes of Thrace. It had 
been established as a colony by Augustus after the 
defeat of Brutus and ( assius. ami its full title, as seen 
on the coins of the city, was Colonia Augusta Julia 
Philippensis. 

A colony. The English reader needs to he re 
minded that a Roman < l,>ni<i differed from the modern 
in Ix-ing essentially a military position. Portions ..f 
the conquered territory were commonly assigned to 
veteran soldiers, and the settlement thus formed was 
considered politically as an integral part of Rome, all 
decrees of the emperor or senate being as binding there 
a- in the capital itself. The colonies thus formed 
were as the "propugnacula imperil" (Cic. </- I,-,/. 
A /I-II,-. c. 27), " populi Roniani quasi effigies parv;e 
simiilaeraque" (Aul. Gell. xvi. 13). Here. then, in the 
lirst European city to which St. Paul came, there was 
something like an earnest of his future victories. 
Him-elf a Roman citi/.en. he was brought into direct 
contact with Romans, i See Note on verse -Jl. ) 

i 1:i) By a river side, where prayer was wont to 
be made. Better. ////</ /// rnt< tj (/.<-., a place of 
prayer tOtU < ../.(////.-/<. <,/. The word. which was the 
C.reek equivalent for the Hebrew house of prayer" 
Matt. xxi. 1:5). is used in this sense by Josephus 
(Vit. ]>. ">t. BOB Note on Luke vi. 1-J . and was 
current among the Jews al Rome. Where they 
had no synagogue, and in a military station like 
Philippi the,-- was not likely to be one. the Jews fre 
quented the river-banks, which made ablutions easy. 
and often succeeded in getting a piece of ground 
as-i^ned for that purpose outside the walls of the city. 
Jii\enal N"/. iii. 11 -l:?i notes this as one of the 
instances of the decay of the old faith of Rome : 

"Thctfrnvcs and stream* which once were sacred ground 
Arc MOW let out to .lews." 

The local meaninir i- seen in another line from the 
same writer . > ./. iii. -J:M; 

" Kile, uhi consi.-tas. in i|iia tc MiiiiTo. nrosciicha . " 

lien- tl Iv. ellVl, and in what place of pnncr 

I am to seek Ihee ; "] 

The oratories, or oroseaekos, tliu- formeil. were com 
monly circular, and without a roof. The practice con 
tinued in the time of Tertullian. who speaks ,,f the 
"orationes litora .es" of the Jews ,(/ \,,f. i. 1:5 . The 
river, in this instance, was the (Jangit.-. Finding m. 
synairoirue in the city, and hearing of the oratory, 
the company of preacher- went out to it to take the ir 



part in the Sabbath service-. ; ,,,d ,,, p r ,-ach Christ to 
anv .lews they might find there. 

Wo sat down, and spake unto the women. 

The fact that there were only women shows the almost 
entire absence of a .Jewish population. PossihU. too. 
the decree of Claudius, expelling the .lews from Roun 
d-hap, xviii. J . was enforced, a- stated above, in flu- 
riil<>ni,(, which was as a part of Rome, and a- .lewi--M-> 
Would not be likely to ha\e --ttled there without their 
husbands or brothers, it is probable that the woim-n 
whom St. Paul found assembled were, like Lydia. 

Eroselytes who desired to remain faithful to their" new 
tith. even in the absence of any settled provision foi- 

their instruction. Women thus pla 1 would naturally 

welcome the presence of strangers who. probably, won- 
the garb of a Rabbi, and who showed when they -at 
down (see Note on chap. xiii. 1 I that they wen- a bout 
to preach. We note that here also the narrator -peaks 
of himself as teaching. See Note on \ei-e IH 

(U) Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of 
Thyatira. The city -o named, now known as Al;- 
hixxiir, was in the Roman province of Asia, but came 
within the boundaries of the older kingdom of Lydia. 
and it is probable that, like so many slaves and women 
of the lihrrtiiKi- das.-, she took her name from her 
country. Afra. Gnrca. Syra. are familiar examples of 
like names. " Lydia " occurs, it will be remembered, 
once and again, in Horace <>,}, i. 11 ; jjj. ;t . Thyatira. 
one of the cities in the valley of the I, yen-. w; : s. like 
many other towns of Asia Minor, famous fm- its. 
dyeing works, especially for purple, or crim-oii. which 
rivalled the fame of Tyre or Miletus Strabo. xiii. 4. 
14). Inscriptions found on the -p,,t bear witness- 
to the existence of a guild, or corporation, of purple- 
sellers, with which Lydia doubtless was connected- 
Ill Rev. i. 11. ii. is. it appears as one of the seven 
churches to which special epistles were td lie sent from 
their divine Head. It had been founded as a colony, 
in the modern sense of the te.-in. from Macedonia, as 
the sequel of the conquest of the Persian monarchy 
by Alexander the (ireat.and this may in part explain 
Ly dia s presence at Philippi. The fact that -he. and 
not her husband, is named as the purple-seller, i- ar 
least presumptive evidence that -he was carrying oa 
the business by herself. 

Which worshipped God. She wa-. i.e., a pro 
selyte see Note oil chap. xiii. 1<" . and. a- the sequel 
shows, one of the better type, drawn to Judaism, 
not by superstitious fear, or weak credulity, but by 
the higher ethical and spiritual Teaching which it 
presented. 

Heard. For "heard " read n-n* lift 

Whose heart the Lord opened. The scene is- 
one which might well call for the master touches of a 
great painter. The river (lowing calmly by. t he- 
preacher sitting and talking familiarly, but earnestly, 
to the groups of women, one. at least. anioiiLT them 
listening with looks and tears that told of deep 
emotions, and the consciousness of a new life. 

That she attended. Better, to Jta 
.i-s in chap. viii. (!. and elsewhere. 



10. i 



T)ie Damsel wi(/t a 



THE ACTS, XVI. 



<>f Divination. 



she attended unto tin* limits which 
Avere spoken of Paul. (15) And Avlirii 
she was bapti/rd, and her household, 
.she besought "x, saying, If ye havi- 
judged me to be faithful to the Lord, 
come into my house, and abide //<ov. 
And she constrained us. 
< 16 > And it canie to pass, as we went 


1 Or, of Python. 


to prayer, a certain damsel possessed 
Avith a spirit of divination 1 met us, 
which brought her masters much gain 
by soothsaying : (17) the same followed 
Paul and us, and cried, saying, Tli. s.- 
men are the servants of the most lii^li 
God, which shew unto us the way of 
salvation. <18) And this did she many 



(is) And when she was baptized, and her 
household. It dors not follow from St. Luke s con 
densed narrative that all this took place on the same 
dav. The statement that "her household" were bap 
tised lias often been urged as evidence that infant 
baptism was the practice of the apostolic age. It 
must he admitted, however, that this is to- read a 
gnat deal between the lines, mid the utmost that can 
be said is that the language of the writer does not 
exclude infants. The practice it-self rests ou firmer 
grounds than a precarious induction from a few am 
biguous passages. (See Notes on Matt. xix. 13 15.) 
In this instance, moreover, there is no evidence that 
she had children, or even that she was married. 
The " household " may well have consisted of female 
slaves and froed-women whom she employed, and 
who made up her familia. It follows, almost as a 
necessary inference, that many of these also Avere 
previously proselytes. For such as these, Judaism 
liad been a "schoolmaster." leading them to Christ. 
<See Gal. ii. 24.) We may think of Euodias and 
Syntyche, and the other women who " laboured in the. 
gospel" i Phil. iv. 2, 3), as having been, probably, 
among thorn. The names of the first two occur 
frequently in the inscriptions of the Columbaria of 
this period, now in the Vatican and Lateran Museums, 
the Borghese Gardens, and elsewhere, as belonging to 
women of the slave or libertina; class. 

She besought us. Up to this time the teachers, 
four in number, had been, we must believe, living 
in a lodging and maintaining themselves, as usual, 
by labour St. Paul as atontmaker. St. Luke, probably, 
as a physician. Now the large-hearted hospitality of 
Lydia (the offer implies a certain measure of wealth, 
as. indeed, did her occupation, which required a con- 
siderable capital) led her to receive them as her guests. 
They did not readily abandon the independent position 
which their former practice secured them, and only yield 
to the kind " constraint " to which they were exposed. 

If ye have judged. The words contain a modest, 
almost a pathetic, appeal to the fact that the preachers 
had recognised her faith by admitting her to baptism. 
If she was fit for that, was she unfit to be their hostess ? 

" (i < As we went to prayer. Better, perhaps, to 
>lx 1,,-atory, or place of prayer. (See Note on verso 13.) 
It should l>e stated, however, that the Greek noun 
is used without the article, and that this is so far in 
favour of the Received rendering. On the other hand, 
AVO find the noun ecclesia, or church, used without the 
article in 1 C.r. xiv. 4, 19, 35; 3 John 6. and it is. 
therefore, probable that pros<>>-lnt might be used in 
the same way. just as we speak of " going to church, 
or to chanel, without the article. This was probably 
on the following Sabbath, or possibly after a longer 
interval, when the mission of the Apostles had become 
known, and had caused Mime excitement. 

A certain damsel possessed with a spirit of 
divination. Literally, as in the margin. " spirit <;/" 
Python, or, as some MSS. give it, a Python tpvrii. 



The Python was the serpent worshipped at Delphi, as 
the symbol of wisdom, from whom the Pythian 
priestesses took their name, and from whom Apollo. 
as succeeding to the oracular power of the serpent, took 
the same adjective. The fact that St. Luke, who in 

his Gospel descrilx s like phenomena as coming from 
dcemonia, "evil spirits," "unclean spirits," should hero 
use this exceptional description, seems to imply either that 
this was the way in which the people of Philippi spoke 
of the maiden, or else that he recognised in her pheno 
mena identical with those of the priestesses of Delphi, 
the wild distortions, the shrill cries, the madness of an 
evil inspiration. After the manner of sibyls, and sor 
ceresses, and clairvoyautes of other times, the girl, 
whom Augustine describes as &fcemina ventrilmpia the 
phrase probably expressing the peculiar tones charac 
teristic of hysteria was looked on as haA ing power to 
divine and predict ( soothsaying." as distinct from 
" prophesying," exactly expresses the force of the Greek 
verb), and her wild cries were caught up and received 
as oracles. Plutarch (de Defect. Orac., p. 737) speaks 
of the name Python as being applied commonly, in his 
time, to " ventriloquists " of this type. As she was a 
slave, her masters traded on her supposed inspiration, 
and made the girl, whom prayer and quiet might have 
restored to sanity, give answers to those who sought 
for oracular guidance in the perplexities of their lives. 

(17) The same followed Paul and us, and cried, 
saying. Better, kept on crying. Assuming that the 
case now before us presented phenomena analogous to 
those of the cases of demoniac possession, we may refer 
to what has been said in the Excursus on that subject 
appended to St. Matthew s Gospel for general views of 
the question. Here it will be enough to note the same 
symptom of a divided consciousness. We lose much 
of the human interest of the narrative if we meivly 
think of a demon bearing, as in mockery, his witness to 
the work of Christ, in order that lie might thwart that 
work. That continual cry spoke, we may well believe. 
of the girl s mind as longing for deliverance, and peace. 
and calm. She sees in the preachers those whom she 
recognises as able to deliver her, as unlike as possible 
to the masters who traded on her maddened misery. 
And yet the thraldom in which she found herself led 
her to cries that simply impeded their work. We note, 
as characteristic, the recurrence of the name of the 
Most High God, which meets us from the lips of the 
demoniac in the Gospels. (See Note on Mark v. 7. t 
As the name which was often in the mouths of exorcists. 

j it became familiar to those who were v^.mh.d as 
subjects for their treatment. As she seems day by day 
to have gone to the river-side oratory, it is probable 
that she also had some points of contact with the faith 
of those who worshipped there, and had listened there 
to the preaching of the Apostles. Might not she 
claim a share in "the way of salvation" which was 
proclaimed to them : 

But Paul, being grieved . .It is obvious t hat 
the constant repetition of these clamorous cries must 
106 



1 



Till- ACTS XVI 



KI-I, ii, ;( f Hi / tin I 



days. But Paul, liriiiir u r rieve,K turned 

and >aid 1" tin- spirit. 1 command tl 

in tin- n;i 11 if of .It-siis ( lii is t t<> coi IK out 

>f her. And he came out the same bottr, 

|] " An<l when her masters saw that 
tin- hop.- of thi-ir "fains uas ^mic. tln-v 
caught Paul ami Silas, ami drew them 
int.. ill.- marketplace unto the rulers, 
:,.! brought them to the magis 
trates, saying, These men, heini;- -lews, 

1.. exceedingly tn>ul>le "in- city, < 21) and 



te:idi customs, which an- not lawful for 
UN t. receive, neither to ol.-rve, l>.-iu^ 

Kolll.i \llil the multitude 

un together against them: ;unl the 
mau is; rules i- -ut otV their clothe.-, and 
commanded to heat tlkem." -- And 
when th-v had laid many stripes upon 
them, they cast tltern into prison, 
char^im, the jailor to keep them safely : 
Jl y\ln>, haying received such a charge, 
thrust them into the inner prison. 



li;i\.- 1 11 ;i hindrance to tin- A (Mode s work, disturbing 

liini as In- talked to tin- other women at the jii-nfn-ni-lin. 
Was it imt ritrht for him to .lo as his Master hail done 
with the demoniacs of (Jadara see Notes on Mutt. viii. 
-js :;i . and to restore the woman to her true self. by 
leachinir lier to distinguish between her longing for de 
liverance and the wild passions that hindered her from 
attaining it r And so he spoke, and the evil spirit " came 
out tin- same hour." Here the history ends, as far as the 
damsel was coneerned : Imt we can hardly think that 
-die was left to drift back into ignorance and unbelief. 
Would not such a one find shelter and comfort at the 
hands of the women who " lal)oured " with the Apostle ? 
(Phil. iv. -.) May we not think of her gratitude as 
showing itself in the gifts that were sent to the Apostle. 
upon whom she had unwillingly brought so much suf 
fering r < Phil. iv. 1">.) 

That the hope of their gains was gone. 
Better.-^ flu-ir <>rri<jiiitinn. The word for " gains " 
is tin- same as that translated "train" and "craft " in 
<-hap. xix. J-k l2">. There is something like a prophet ic 
significance in the use. at this stair 1 . "f the word whicli 
was the key to nearly all the persecutions to which 
the early believers were exposed. Men could tolerate 
varieties of worship or the speculations of philosophers: 
they wen- roused to madness by that which threatened 
their business. The use in the (iiv.-k of the same verb 
for "was troue." as had been used in the previous 
verse for come out." "rive- an emphasis which Un- 
English does not reproduce. Their business and the 
.spirit of divination " passed away " together. 

Paul and Silas. Luke and Timotheus escaped, 
probablv, as less conspicuous. 

Drew them into the marketplace. The market 
place, or AI/III-H. was. in all (Jn-ek cities, the centre of 
social life. In Philippi. as a i-ohinin. reproducing the 
arrangements () f Rome, it would answer to the Forum, 
where the ma gist rates habitually sat. What had taken 
place would naturally cause excitement and attract a 

crowd. 

The magistrates. The Ci k word used 

\Sti-nl> -ifi. literally. /;/. -,v//x the name survived in 1 7-">" 
in the Italian Sfr>nlii/n. u-ed of the prefect of Messina 
is used with St. Luke s nsual accuracy, for the jirn-tors. 
or duumviri, who formed the executive of the Roman 

fliluii it . 

These men, being Jews. We must remember 

that the decree of Claudius see Note on chap, xviii. ~2 . 
banishing the .lews from Rome on account of their dis 
turbing that city, would be known, aiid probably 
acted on. at Philipjii 986 Notes on verse6 ]-J. 1:!. Mini 

would <ri\e ;; s|i,M-ial foi to tlie accusation. Here. 

aUo. there is something specially characteristic of tin- 
nature of many of the earlv persecutions. Christians 
\\.-n- exposed, on the om- hand, to the relentless enmity 



of the .lews. and. on the other, they wen- identified by 
heathen rulers and mobs with the. lews, and so came in, 
where tin- latter wen- the object-, of popular antipathy, 
for a two-fold measure of sulVt ring. 

- 1 And taach customs. Tin- word is M 
including ritual as well as social habits, and seem- to 
have been specially used of the whole system of .Jewish 
life. (See \oies on chaps. vi. 1 1- ; xv. 1 ; xxi. ill. 

Being Romans.- The people of Philippi, as a 
coloniu. had a right to claim the title of Ronmn 
citi/.ens, which could not have been claimed by those 
who were merely inhabitants of a (Jreek city. -\n-l\ a* 
Thessaloniea or Corinth. < See Note on rOTM 12. 

-- Commanded to beat them. Tlie (Jr.-.-k 
verb gives thesiH-eial Roman form of punishment, that 
of being beaten with the rod- of the lictors. This, 
therefore, takes its place as one of the three instances 
to which St. Paul refers in -J Cor. \i. J">. The question 
naturally occurs, why he did not. on these occasions. 
claim, as he did afterwards at Jerusalem . eh.-fcp. xxii. _ "> . 
the privileges of a Roman eiti/.en. Some have supposed 
that the violence of the mob rendered it impossible for 
his claim to lx> heard. Others have even questioned the 
truthfulness of his claim. A more natural supposition 
is that lie would not assert in this instance a right 
which would only have secured exemption for himself, 
and left his companion to suffer the ignominious penalty 
of the law. and that by putting the *trntf<ii in the 
wrong, lie sought to secure for his disciples afterwards 
a more tolerant tr- atment. AS far as the first part of this 
hypothesis is concerned, it may. ]n>rhaps. be accepted 
see. however, Xote on verse :57 1 ; but such of the 
Philippian disciples as belonged to the rnlunin. wj-re 
already protected from outrages of this kind as Roman 
citi/.ens. Others, however, of the freed-men class, were 
still liable to them. 

And when they had laid many stripes 

, upon them. --The words imply a punishment of more 
than usual severity, such as would leave their backs 
lacerated and bleeding. So in 1 Thess. ii. L. St. Paul 
speaks of having been "shamefully entreated" at 

! Philippi. 

Thrust them into the inner prison. 
Those -who have seen anything of the prisons of th. 
Roman empire, as. ,.,/.." the Mamertine dungeon at 
Rome itself, can picture to themselves the darknes- and 
foulness of tlio den into which Paul and his friend were 
now thrust : the dark cavern-like cell. In-low the ground, 
the damp and reekintr walls, th. companionship of the 
vilest outcasts. And, as if this were not enough, they 

were fastened in the "stocks." St. Lllke Use- the 

< Jreek term . -iilnn. the same as is used sometimes for the 
haps. v ,: ."; dii.29). The technical Latin word 
OTVUt. Like the English stocks, it was a wooden 

frame with five holes, into which head and feet and 



107 



The Enrthijiiiik <tt 



THE ACTS, XVI. Conversion of the Keeper of tke Prison. 



and made their feet fast in the 
stocks. 

(25) And at midnight Paul and Silas 
prayed, and sang praises unto God : and 
tlu- prisoners heard them. (26 ^ And 
suddenly there was a great earthquake, 
so that the foundations of the prison 
were shaken : and immediately all the 
doors were opened, and every one s 
bands were loosed. C 27 ^ And the keeper 
of the prison awaking out of his sleep, 
and seeing the prison doors open, he 



drew out his sword, and would have 
killed himself, supposing that the pri 
soners had been fled. <* But Paul 
cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thy 
self no harm: for we are all here. 
() Then he called for a light, and 
sprang in, and came trembling, and fell 
down before Paul and Silas. :; "> and 
brought them out, and said, Sirs, what 
must I do to be saved ? (:il > And they 
said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 



arms were thrust, and the prisoner left in an attitude 

of "little-ease." Here, however, it Would seem, the 
feet only were fastened, the rest of the body being left 
lying on the ground. If the Received version of Job 
xiii. -J7. xxxiii. 11. which follows the LXX. and the 
Vulgate, be correct, the punishment was common at a 
very early period in the East. iComp. Jer. xxix. 26.) 

o) And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, 
and sang praises. Better, prayiny, tht-if were *iij- 
IIKJ hymn*, the Greek expressing one act rather than 
two. The act was, we may believe, habitual, and they 
would not intermit it even in the dungeon, and fastened 
as they were, so that they could not kneel. The hymn 
may have been one of the prayer-psalms of David, or pos 
sibly one of (hose, of which Pliny speaks in his letters, 
and which may well have been in use half a century 
earlier, in which men offered adoration to Christ as 
God (Epist. x. 96). The words of Tertullian to the 
martyrs of his time may well be quoted : Nihil enu 
sentit in nervo quum animus in ccelo est ; Etsi corpus 
detinetur, omnia spiritui patent "The leg feels not the 
stocks when the mind is in heaven. Though the body is 
held fast, all things lie open in the spirit " (ad Mart. c. 2). 

And the prisoners heard them. Better, were 
Uftening rmjt i-bj. the kind of listening which men give 
to a musical performance. Never before, we may be 
sure, had those outcasts and criminals heard such sounds 
in such a place. For the most part those vaults echoed 
only with wild curses and foul jests. 

(26) And suddenly there was a great earth 
quake. Both the region and the time were, it will 
be remembered, conspicuous for convulsions of this 
kind. Cities in Asia, such as Sardis, Apamea and 
Laodicea, and in Campania, suffered severely under 
Tiberius. (See Xote on Matt. xxiv. 7.) St. Luke 
apparently reads the fact not as in itself miraculous, 
but as leading to a display of supernatural calmness 
and courage on the part of the Apostles, and so to the 
conversion of the gaoler. 

Every one s bands were loosed. This seems. 
at first, beyond the range of the usual effects of an 
earthquake, but the chains of the prisoners were fastened, 
we must remember, to rings or staples in the wall, and 
the effect of a great shock Would lie to loosen (lie stones 

and so make it easy to escape. The fact t hat t he " foun 
dations of the prison were shaken " agrees with what has 
been said above Xote on verse -21 . a> to the dungeon 
into which the prisoners had been thrust. 

( -~< He drew out his sword, and would have 
killed himself. AW have seen in chap. xii. 1!> what 
was to be expected by a gaoler who, under any circum 
stance-, allowed a pri-oner to escape. See also X oti 

oji chap, xxvii. J-J. i Here the man sought to anticipntt 



his fate. Suicide wa.s a natural resource under such 
conditions everywhere, but here there was a local pre 
disposing influence. Philippi. after the great battle in 
which Brutus and Cassius had been defeated by 
Antonius, had been conspicuous for the number of 
those who had thus preferred death to the abandon 
ment of the Republic and the loss of freedom. This 
act had been looked on as heroic (Plutarch, lirtitws, c. 
O-), and was naturally enough contagious. 

(28) DO thyself no harm. Few and simple a^ the 
words are. they are eminently characteristic of the love 
and sympathy which burnt in St. Paul s heart. For him 
the suicide which others would have admired, or. at 
least, have thought of without horror, would have been 
the most terrible of all forms of death. He could not 
bear the thought that even the gaoler who had thrust 
him into the dungeon, should so perish in his despair. 

(29) Then he called for a light. More accurately. 
for lights. As St. Luke does not use. as in chap. 
xx. 8, the word for "lamps," it is probable that the 
lights were torches, and that the gaoler, with one in 
his hand, leapt into the darkness of the subterranean 
dungeon. 

< "" Sirs, what must I do to be saved ? The 
use of Sirs " differs from that of chap. vii. -Ji> in 
having a Greek word, expressive of respect that used 
in John xx. 15), corresponding to it. AA e ask what 
the gaoler meant by the question. Was he thinking 
of temporal safety from the earthquake, or from punish 
ment ; or had there come upon him. in that suicidal 
agony, the sense of an inward misery and shame. 
a "horror of great darkness" from which he sought 
deliverance? The latter seems every way most probable. 
It must be remembered that 1he very circumstances 
which had brought St. Paul to the prison had pointed 
him out as " proclaiming the way of salvation " i verse 
17). The witness of the demoniac girl was thus not 
altogether fruitless. 

1 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ. The plural pronoun is not without significance. 
St. Paul was not the only teacher. Silvanus also 
took part in the work of conversion. The words have 
naturally become, as it were, the crucial instance stand 
ing nearly on the same level as that of the penitent 
robber on the cross of the conditions of salvation. To 
believe in Christ, with all that this faith involved, was 
to obtain salvation. / .<.. deliverance from sin, and not 
j only from the penalty of sin. in ihis world and in the 
world to come. The <! reek presents a contrast which 
is lost in the English. He had called them by the 
usual title of respect. A //( / - Sirs, or Lords ; they 
answer that there is one tfyfioa, the Lord J.>MIS Christ, 
who alone can .-ave. 



IDS 



A--," - " "" Pri*m baptved. Til K A( TS, XVI. 






\ IK! 1 h<-\ spak.- uiit<> him tin- word 
of tin- Ltinl. and ti> all t li;it wt-r.- in hi> 
house. ; . \nl In- to. k t IK-MI tin- same 
hour of tin- ni^-lit, ;uid washed ///// 
stripes; and \vas liapt i/.-d, h.- and all 

bis, straightway. ; And when he had 

I roiiLrM tin-in into his hoiis.-, he s,-t 
iiii-at li -fori- th iii, and rejnieed, be- 
li.-viu^ in (Jod with all his IKUIS.-. 
t 35 And when it was da\, tin- ina- i.-- 
tratcs s.-nt tin- s.-rji-ants, saving. Let 



tin -si- in. -n _ . And t!u- k.-. i 
tin- prison fill tin- savin- t.. I aiil, Tin- 
magistrates have ---lit t . l.-t vou -jo : 
now tli Tefun- depart, and L r " in p-a.-i-. 
7 lint Paul said unt.. th.-in, Th.-\ have 
lii-ati-n Us openly DnOOndenined, lii-in^ 
Romans, and hav.- <-a-t IM into prison ; 
and now do tln-y thru>t u> . lit privily? 

nay v.-rily; l>ut li-t them come theinael res 

and fi-ti-h us out. (> And tin- Serjeants 
told tin > \\onls unto th-- mau istr.. 



And they spake unto him the word of 

the Lord. -It is clear that belief in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, unless it w.-re to be a men- formula, repeated as 
a charm, required an explanation. The very title of 
Christ; the acts and words that showed that .l.-sus was 
the Christ: His life, and death, and resurrection: tin- 
truths of forgiveness of sins and communion with Him. 
and the outward signs which He had appointed as wit 
nesses of those trulhs ; all this must have been included 
in " the word of the Lord." which was preached to that 
congregation so strangely assembled. l>etween the hours 
of midnight and of dawn. Even the Philippian gaoler 
had to he a catechumen before he was baptised. 

( ") He . . . washed their stripes; and was 
baptized . . . The two-fold washings, that which 
testified of the repentance of the gaoler and his kindly 
reverence for his prisoners, and that which they 
administered to him as the washing of regeneration, 
an- placed in suggestive juxtaposition. He, too. 
was cleansed from wounds which were worse than 
those inflicted by the rods of the Roman lictors. No 
certain answer can be given to the question whether 
the baptism was by immersion or affusion. A public 
prison was likely enough to contain a bath or pool 
of some kind, where the former would he feasible. 

What has been said above (gee Not i verse l.V 

as to the bearing of these narrali\es on the ques 
tion of infant baptism applies here also, with the 
additional fact that those who an- said to have been 
baptised an- obviously identical with those whcm St. 
Paul addressed the word " all " is used in each case), 
and must, then-fore, have been of an age to receive 
instruction together with the gaoler himself. 

He set meat before them, and rejoiced. 
Literally. .-< f n /.(//. //./.-re them. Th.- two sufferers 
may well have needed food. If the tumult had begun. 
as is probable, as they were going to the j>r<>>u-li<i for 
morning prayer, at the third hour of the day !> A.M. . 
they had probably been fasting for nearly twenty- 
four hours. They were n.-t likely to have made a 
meal when they were thrust into the dungeon. T ie 
"joy" of the meal reminds us of that noted as a 
chief feature of the social life of the disciples .it 
.Jerusalem in chap. ii. Hi. The new hope, succeeding 
to the blank despair, brought with it what we may 
well describe as a new "joy in the Holy (Jhost" 
(Rom. xiv. 17 1. The absence of the specific term of 
" breaking bread" excludes the idea of its having been, 
in the later sen-e of the term, an eucharistic feast ; 
and St. Paul would probably have hesitated to admit 
the new convert to the Supper of the Lord without 
further instruction, such as we find in 1 Cor. x. 15 17. 
xi. -jn : .} ; hut the m.-al at which the teachers and 
the disciples. M , strangely brought together, now sat 
down may. at any rate. be thought of as an mj-ij - 



or "feast of charity." (See Not i 

120 

() The magistrates sent the Serjeants. 

Literally. //</ /"</-//<</ /*. or lidort. They would pro 
bably be the very officers who had inflicted the stripes. 
We are not told what led t-. this sudden change of 
action. Possibly, as has been suggested. th>- earthquake- 
had alarmed the vfrufn/i : mor>- probably they felt that 
I they had acted hastily in ordering the accused to JM- 
punished with no regular trial, and without even any 
inquiry as to their antecedents. They had an uneasy 
sense of having done wrong, and they wanted to wash 
their hands of the business as quietly as possible. 

OW) Go in peace. The few honn which the gaoler 
had spent with his new teacher had pmbalilv taught 
him to use the phrase in the fulness of its meann 
Xot.-s on Luke vii. ."><>; yjii. }s . ainl not as a men- 
conventional formula. He naturally looks on the offer 
securing, as it did. safety for his new friend as one 
that should be accepted. 

""> They have beaten us openly uncon- 
demned, being Romans. By the Lex P.m-ia i . 
-!I7 . Roman citi/.en- were exempted from di-trrading- 
punishment, such as that of scourging. It was tin- 
heaviest of all the charges brought by Cicero against 
Venvs. the (Jovernor of Sicily, that he had broken 
this law: " Fni iii n a i v* riin ii i fn tin Ji minii n nl. si-ilii* 
n rln mr/ " i( ie. /,/ 1 ,/v. \. .",7. The word- 
Itnuiiiinis vii in acted almost like ;t charm in stopping 
the violence of provincial magistrate-. St. Paul was 
a citi/.en by birth ; see Nte on Act- xxii. ils i. his father 
having probably been wealthy enough to buy the jus 
I ii-iftitis. which brought with it commercial as well as 
personal privileges. It did not necessarily invol\ ( - 
residence at Rome, hut makes it probable that there 
wen- some points of contact with the imperial city. 

There is something like a tone of irony in the " being 
Romans." echoing, as it did. the very words of his 
accusers verse iM . He. too. could stand on his rights 
as a citi/.en. The judges had not called on the 
prisoners for their defence, had not ven questioned 
th.-ni. Kven if they had not been citi/.en- the trial 
was a flagrant breach of justice, and St. Paul wished 
to make the ..-//< (/<// feel that it was so. Hen- we note 
that he seems to couple Silas with himself. It is 
posM h!. . as the Latin form of his name. Silvanus 
_ Cor. i. l!; 1 The-s. i. 1 suggests, that he al-> 
was a citi/.en of Rome, hut St. Paul s mode of -p.-ech 
\\.-is natural enough, even on the assumption that he 
only could claim the privilege. We could hardly ex- 

Iiect him to say with minute accuracy : " They have 
.eaten iis uncondeinned. and I. for my part, am it 
Roman citi/.en." 

They feared, when they heard that they 
were Romans. It is d.-ar that the >/, -/:.;/< did m.* 
L09 



I n.ii! /< 



Till-: ACTS. KVI1 



I d ill inn/ A ////* i/t 



and they feared, when they heard that 
they were Romans. " ;:P And they caiut 
and l>esoii!_rht tin-Hi, and Id ou^ht them 
Out, and desired tli -m lodeoart out of the 
city. a " And they went "Hi < ,f t he prison, 
ami entered into fin 1 litnixe of Lydia : " 
and \vln-n they had seen the brethren, 
they comforted them, and departed. 

CHAPTER XVII. d) Now when they 
had passed through Amphipolis and 


<i nt. ii. 

A.D. 53. 


AjH>ll<>nia, they came to Thessalonica, 
where was a synagogue of th;- Jews : 
- and Paul, as his manner was, went 
in unto them, and three sabbath davs 
reasoned with them out of the scrip 
tures, :!) opening and alleging, that 
Christ must needs have suffered, and 
risen ai/ain from the dead : and that 
this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, 
is Christ. (/t) And some of them be 
lieved, and consorted with Paul and 



Consider their ignorance of St. Paul s citizenship a suffi 
cient defence. They had acted illegally, and the conse 
quence, of that illegality went further than they counted 
on; but they could not. then-fore, shako off their respon 
sibility. They were liable to a prosecution, such as that 
which Cicero, for like offences, instituted against Vcrres. 
The tables were turned ; the accused had become a 
possible art-user, and they, instead of hushing the 
matter up. were compelled to make something like 
a formal apology. We may well believe that St. Paul s 
motive in insisting on this, was less the satisfaction of 
liis own honour, than a desire to impress upon the 
.it>-<itr</! that they were not to over-ride or strain the 
law tn gratify the passions of a mob. 

(>) They comforted them, and departed. 
Lydia s house appears !;> have been the meeting-place 
of the brethren, as well as the lodging of the Apostle 
and his party. As the third person is now resumed. 
we may infer that St. Luke remained at Philippi, 
Timothy accompanying the other two. It would seem 
from chap. xx. - that the Evangelist made Philippi the 
centre of his evangelising work for many years. Under 
the care of the beloved physician, the good work went on, 
and we may probably trace to his influence, and to Lydia s 
kindness, the generous help which was sent to St. Paul 
once and again when lie was at Thessalouica (Phil. 
iv. 15, 16), and, probably, at Corinth also (2 Cor. 
xi. 9). Long years afterwards he cherished a grateful 
memory of the meu and women who had laboured with 
him at Philippi. Among these wo may think of the 
Clement, of whom he thus speaks, possibly identical 
with the Flavins Clemens, who occupies a prominent 
position among the apostolic fathers, and was tradi 
tionally the third Bishop of Rome. (See, however, 
Note on Phil. iv. 3.) 

XVII. 

W Now when they had passed through Am 
phipolis and Apollonia. The two cities were both 
on the great Roman roads known as the Via E</iittt!n. 
Amphipolis, formerly known as Ennea Hodoi. or the 
Nine Ways, was famous in the Peloponnesian War as 
the scene of the death of Brasidas, and had been made. 
under the liomans, the capital of M(icc<lfii prima. 
Jt was thirty-three Roman miles from Philippi and 
thirty from Apollonia, the latter being thirty-seven 
from Thessalonica. The site of Apollonia is uncertain. 
but the name is. perhaps, traceable in the modern 
village of / /, ,,. between the Strymonic and Thermaie 
Cults. A mor- famous city of the same name, also 
ou the } i i Egnatia,Wa situated near Dvrrhacium. It 
seems clear that the names indicated the stages at 
which the traveller^ rested. ;md that thirty miles ; day 
ne\\ hat toilsome journey for those who had so 
).,. scourged, was, as with most meu of 



ordinary strength, their average- rate of travelling. It 
would seem that there was no .Jewish population to 
present an opening for the gospel at either of these 
cities, and that St. Paul, therefore, passed on t> Thes 
salonica. 

Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the 
Jews. The city, which had previously borne the 
names of Emathia, Halia. and Th>>rma. had been 
enlarged by Philip of Macedon. and named after his 
daughter. It was situated ou the Thermaic Gulf, and 
had grown into a commercial port of considerable 
importance. As such, it had attracted Jews in 
large numbers. The MSS. differ as to the presence 
or absence of the Creek article before "synagogue." 
but, on the whole, it is probable that we should read, 
" the synagogue," that which served for the Jews of 
the neighbouring cities, who were not numerous enough 
to have one of their own. The old name survives in the 
modern Sahmiki, and there is still a large Jewish 
population there. 

(*) Paul, as his manner was . . .What we read of 
as occurring in the Pisidian Antioch (chap. xiii. 11. ]"> . 
was. we may believe, now reproduced. That he was 
allowed to preach for three Sabbaths in succession, shows 
the respect commanded by his character as a Rabbi, and, 
it may be, by his earnest eloquence. Though lie came 
with the marks of the scourge upon him, he was a-, 
fearless as ever, speaking the gospel of Cod " with 
much contention," "not in word only, but also in power, 
and in the Holy Ghost, and in" much assurance" 
(1 Thess. i. 5). And with this boldness there was nls,, 
a winning gentleness. " even as a nurse cherisheth 
her children " (1 Thess. ii. 7). And not a few Centilcs 
"turned from idols to serve the living and true* God" 
( 1 Thess. i. 9). 

(3) Opening and alleging. The latter word is 
used in the sense of bringing forward proofs, and the 
two words imply an argument from the prophecies of 
the Messiah, like in kind to that at the Pisidian Antioch. 
In the intervals between the Sabbaths, the Apostle 
worked, as usual, for his livelihood, probably, of course, 
as a tent -maker i J Thess. iii. X). 

That Christ must needs have suffered. Bet ter. 
flint flu 1 C///-/>7. as pointing to the expected Messiah, 
the Anointed of the Lord, whom all Jews were expect 
ing, but whom they were unwilling to recognise in the 
crucified Jesus. The ariT iment was. therefore, to show 
that prophecy pointed to a suffering as well as a glori 
fied otesaiah, and t!;at both conditions were fulfilled in 
Jesus. 

(l) And some of them . . . Obviously but a 
few i;i comparison with the " -Treat multitude " of tin- 
Creek proselytes of the gate. The Thessaloiliail 
Church was predominantly ( lentil -, some, apparently, 
won from idolatry without passing through Jiidaisii. 



110 



7 /f Tumult " T 



TIM-: ACTS. XVII 



a 



Silas; and of the devout <Jreek.-a 

multitude. ;i!i l of tli-- (-hirl women not 
a fe\\. 

Hut tiif .lew.- which believed not. 

Moved with envy, took unto them cer 
tain It Wtl felloU* ! tllf kiser soft, ;|!I<1 

-at herod ;i company, and set all th- citv 

on nil il]n>:i P, and assaulted t lit- house 
of .las.Mi, ;i!;il sought to brill"; tlit in out 

to the people. " And when they found 

fht in not, they ilrt-w .lasoii ami ct-rtain 
brethren unto tin- rulers oi the city, 
crying The-,, that have turnel the 



upside down are come hither also ; 

7 whom .!a-on hath received -. ami 

these ;il| ,],, ,-,,||t IMl V to I ]|.- deep < 

Caesar, -ayim.;- that there i, another 

king, one Jesus. ~ Ami the\ ti--.nl. ],-! 

the jM ople ami the rulers of tlie.-itv. 
when they h -anl these things. And 
wlien they had taken security of .1 
ami of the other, they let them ^o. 

< 10 > And the hrethren innm-diaL-lv 
sent away Paul ami Silas by ni-_ r ht unto 
JJei-ea : win. coming ///////./ went into 

the Syna _fO _r|le of file .Jews. " These 



; 1 Tin--.-, i. . . Some irood .MSS.. indeed, express this, 
I)V reading. <lrn>nf pertons in l <!>> /.----. 

Of the chief women not a few. -These, like the 

women in tin 1 I isiili.-in Aiitinrli chap, xiii. ">< . li;nl 
prohahly come previously under Je \\ish iiilhii iirc. Hen-. 
however, tln-v \vt-n- attracted \>\ the higher teaching "f 

Hie Apostles. 

" The Jews which believed not. -Tin- latter 
words an wanting in many MSS.. ;.s " filled with 
i. iivv " an- in others. 

Certain lewd fellows of the baser sort. The 

word "lewd" is u--d in its older sense. as meaninjjf 
vile. \\orlhles-. At a Mill earlier sta^e of its history. 
a.s in < haueer and the Vision of Piers Plowman. 

|" I |n\\ t li"U lei-nest Ilie |HMi)ile. 

Theleredand tin- i.-w.-,i.-|- 1.2109. 

it meant -imply the layman, or untaught person, as 
distinct from tin- scholar. The " liascr sort " answers 
to a (-reek word describing the loungers in the mjnrn. 
or market-ilaee. ever ready for the excitement of a 
tumult -tin- tub-rostremi or fnrlm /<n-o< .>.<.* of Latin 
writers. .Men t)f suel-i a elass. retaining its old habits, 
are found even amoii^ tin- ( liri-tian converts in ~2 The--. 
iii. 11. "working not ;:i all, hut luisylodies." 

Assaulted the house of Jason. Tli- irround of 
the attack was that lie had received the preachers a-> hi- 
u uests. Tlie name wa- locally conspicuous as having 
Belonged to the old hero of the Aryonautic expedition, 
and to the tvrant nf Pher;! . It i-, prohalile. however, 
that St. Paul would, in the first instance, take up his 
nhode with a .lew. and that Jason. a> in the case of the 
.-ipo-tate lii;, ii ju-ie-t of - .Mace. iv. 7. was the (Jivek 
v(|uivalent for Joshua or Jesus. 

To bring them out to the people. Thessalonica 

was a free (Jreek city, and the Jews accordingly in the 
first instance intended to brinir the matter Ix-forc the 

popular ri-r/. s/r; or a-se||ll>ly. 

M Unto the rulers of the city.- The (inck 
1erm here, j>ulitiirrli<> . is a verv peculiar one. and 
iccurs nowhere el-e in the Xew Testament, nor. indeed. 
in any clas-ical writer. Aristotle, whose /W///r.v well- 
:iii, r h exhau-ts the ii-t of all known official titles in 
(ireek cities. dne> not mention it, although he irj V es an 
analogous title i / i-// /, /,!/ >iliil;i:< as found at Lari a 
and elsewhere ./ ../. v. 6). An inscri]itioii on an arch 
that still span- or did so till tpiite lately one of 

the sti I- of the modern city > "/<////./ . SHOWS it to 

liave oei ii a special otlicial title of that citv. and St. 
Luk.-\ H-.- of it may. therefor.-, he noted as an instance 
of his accuracy in -udi matters. The inscription is 
prohalily of tl: date nt \"e-pa-ian. l>ut it contains -nine 
names that ave identical with tho-e of the convert- in 
the apo-tolic history. So-ipater Soj.ater, --hap. NX | . 



(iaiu- .chap. xix. ii! . and S.-cun In- dia|.. \\ I . It 
would seem from the inscription that, as with the 
Archons of Athens, there wen- s-ven magistrates who 
Lore the title. 

(~> These all dp contrary to the decrees of 
Caesar. Thessalonica. though a free citv. wa- vet 
under the imperial ^-ovi i-nment. and the Jrw- th.-Ve- 
foro appeal to the emperor s ( |, ,!,.,. prolmlily to the 
edict of Claudius chaji. x\iii. I), as at iea-l -howin^ 

the drift of tl mperor s policy, even though it wa- 

not strictly l)indin^ except in Home and the ,-,,! ,, m. 
This, however, mi^ ht pro\e an insutHcient weajion of 
attack, and therefore they add another charge, to wliich 
no magistrate throughout the empire could ] in 
different. See Note- on Luke xxiii. J; John xix. U. 
The preacher- w-iv not only liriniriiiir in ;i r<-Ui,j ,,, 
iUn- it,,, hut were guilty of treason airainst the maje-ty 
of tin- empire; they said there was another Ki)i;_ r ." ft 
is dear from the Epistle to the The alonians that the 
Kingdom of Christ, and speciallv His second coniinp 
as King, had heeu verv prominent in the Apo-tie - 
teaoLing I The--. i\. l"l : \. -1\\ . -1 Tin . 
ii. 1 1- . and this may have furnished materials for 
tin- accusation. 

(: " And when they had taken security of 
Jason. The t Jreek noun, prohaltly used as an cqu - 
valent for the Latin .-.;//> m-i-lji, /. . in common use 
in leir.,1 laiiL ua^e. i- ;1 technical one literally, tin- 
*nj)irii iit xnui for the hail which Jason wa- required 
to jrive for the trood conduct of his guests, and for 
their readiness to meet any charue that mi^ht he 
lirou^ lit against them. It i- dear from 1 Thess. j ti. 
ii. 1 k that St. I aul and Silas were not the only suf 
ferers. The (Jentile converts were exposed alike to the 
violence of their own countrymen and <o the malice of 
the Jew-. How anxious he was to visit and comfort 
them is seen from the fact that he made two attempt- 
to return, lief ore or durinr his stay at Corinth 1 The--, 
ii. 1* . 

11 Sent away Paul and Silas by night unto 
! Berea. Tunoihe Qsapparentlyrein&iiied behind, put) v 
to help the Thessalonian converts under their present 
trials, partly to he alile to lirinir word to St. Paul u 
to their condition. At Her.ea Paul and Silas were 
a one. The city lay to the south of Thessalonica. not 
far from Pdla. on the hanks of the A-tneu-. and stiil 
retains it- name in the modern K-n- F> r i. or I 
It ha- now a population of L!<MMMI. Hen- al<o tin-re 
wa- a Jewi-h population, lint the city wa- a far le-s 
important place commercially than The aloniea. 

11 These were more noble than those in 
Thessalonica. The v.m-d for "noble" literally. 
TV//-/,,,,-,,, as in 1 Cor. i. -<i had. like most 9 



Tli> XoUi iirx* n! tin I n I d In*. 



THE ACTS, XVII. 



Paul alone at 



were more noble than those in Thes- 
salo.iira, in that they received tin word 

with all readiness of mind, ;uul searched 
the scriptures daily, whether those 
things were so. (1J Therefore many of 

them believed; also of honourable 
women which were Greeks, and of men. 
not a few. < 1:J) But when the Jews of 
rhessali.niea. had knowledge that the 
word of God was preached of Paul at ! i or, f,ai of idou. 
Berea,they came thither also, and stirred 
up the people. |U) And then imme 
diately the brethren sent away Paul to 
go as it were to the sea: but Silas ami 



, Timotheus abode there still. < 15) And 
th.-y that conducted Paul brought him 
unto Athens: and receiving a com 
mandment unto Silas and Timotheus 
for to come to him with all speed, they 
departed. 

(16) Now while Paul waited for them 
at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, 
when he saw the city wholly given to 
idolatry. 1 (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. 
(is) Then certain philosophers of the 



of like origin isurli. f.tj.. as the Latin in</< ttun.-s i, a wide 
latitude of meaning. Hen- it stands for the generous. 
loyal temper which was ideally supposed to charac 
terise those of noble origin. This was the quality which 
the Apostle and the historian admired in the Berceans. 
They were not the slaves of prejudice. They were ready 
to believe in the gospel which St. Paul preached as 
meeting their spiritual wants; and so they came to the 
study of the proofs, which the preacher " opened and 
alleged," with a temper predisposed to faith. On the 
other hand, they did not accept their own wishes, or the 
Apostle s assertions, as in themselves sufficient grounds 
of faith. With a quick and clear intelligence they 
searched the Scriptures daily to see whether "they really 
did speak of a Christ who should suffer and rise again. 
The Bercean converts have naturally been regarded, 
especially among those who urge the duty, or claim the 
right, of private judgment, as a representative instance 
of the right relations of Reason and Faith, occupying 
a middle position between credulity and scepticism, to 
be reproduced, mutatis mutandis, according to the 
different aspects which each presents in successive 
ages. 

<i-> Therefore many of them believed. The 
narrator dwells with satisfaction on the fact that at 
Bercea there were many Jewish as well as Gentile 
converts. Among the latter there were, as at Thcssa- 
ionica. women of the upper class. 

(i:;> They came thither also, and stirred up 
the people. -To tin- unbelieving Jews of Thessalonica 
the con versions at IVnea were simply a cause of offence. 
It is apparently with reference to" this that St. Paul 
Mya of them that " they please not God and are con 
trary to all men. forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles " 
(1 Thess. ii. 15). 

< Ul To go as it were to the sea. The English 
version conveys the impression that the movement was 
a feint in order to baffle the pursuers. Many of the 
better MSS.. however, give "as far as the sea." and this 
is probably the meaning even of the reading followed 
by the Authorised version. The absence of any men 
tion of places between Benea and Athens, (as. <.!/.. 
Ampliipolis ;,i d Apollonia are mentioned in verse 1 |, 
is presumptive evidence that St. Paul actually travelled 
by -ea. am! roundiny the promontory of Simium. 
entered Athens by the Pinnis. He had be,-n ac 
companied so f ;ir by some of those who had escorted 
him from Beroca. but when they too went back, 
he was. we must remember, for the first time since 
the commencement of his missionary labours, abso 
lutely alone. His yearning for companionship and 

11 



counsel is shown in the urgent message sent to Silas 
and Timotheus to come "with all speed" (literally. <t* 

?uickly as possible . As far as we can gather from 
Thess. iii. 1 3. Timotheus came by himself to Athens. 
probably after the scene at the Areopagus, and was 
sent back at once with words of counsel and comfort to 
those whom he reported as suffering much tribulation. 

(1 6 ) His spirit was stirred in him. The 
verb is the root of the noun from which we get our 
"paroxysm," and which is translated by "sharp con 
tention" in chap. xv. 39. Athens, glorying now. as ir 
had done in the d;iys of Sophocles (CEdip. Col. 1008). 
in its devotion to the gods, presented to him. even after 
seeing Tarsus and Antioch.a new aspect. The city was 
full of idols; " Hermes-busts at every corner, statues 
and altars in the atrium or court-yard of every house. 
temples and porticos and colonnades, all present in<r what 
was to him the same repulsive spectacle. He looked on. 
the Theseus and the Ilissns. and the friezes of the 
Centaurs and Lapitlue on the Parthenon, as we look on 
them in our museums, but any sense of art-beauty which 
lie may have had (and it was probably, in any case, but 
weak) was over-powered by his horror that men should 
bow down and worship what their own hands had made. 
The beauty of form which we admire in the Apollo or 
the Aphrodite, the Mercury or the Fanu. would be to 
him, in its unveiled nakedness, a thing to shudder at. 
He knew too well to what that love of sensuous 
beauty had led in Greek and Roman life (Rom. i. 
24 27). when it had thrown aside what, to a Jew. 
were not only the natural instincts of purity, but the 
sanctions of a divine command i ("Jen. i\. -JJ . 

(17) And in the market daily. To teach in the 
synagogue, and to gather the devout persons. ,>.. the 
proselytes to whom the Law had been a schoolmaster. 
leading them to Christ, was after the usual pattern of 
St. Paul s work. The third mode of action, disputing 
in the market-place, the "</ </ /. which in every (Jreek 
city was the centre of its life, was a new experiment. 
He s,-i\v. we may believe, others so disputing; teachers 
of this or that school of philosophy, with listeners round 
them, debating gliblv of the highest good." and the 
"chief end" of life. a?id man s relation to the One and 
the All. Why should not he take part in the discussion, 
and lead those who were apparently in earnest in their 
inquiries to the truth which they were vainly seeking 

(ls > Certain philosophers of the Epicureans, 

and of the Stoicks. The two schools were at this 
time the great representatives of < Irerk thought. The 
former took its name from its founder. Epicurus, 
who lived a long and tranquil life at Athens, from 



Thf 



Til K ACTS. XVII. W!,,,f if,,- Athenian* tatd rfSt, 



{]|>i.-mv;ms, :inil ! tli-- St.. i.-ks. en- will this babbitt * My ? other tome, He 

romitrn-il him. Ami S..IM.- >;iil, \Vliat s,-i-iM.-t Ii ! ! ;i scttt-r t rt li d si 



i; i :UJ to JT 11 AS holding their meetings in a 
garden, which he had left by hi- will in trust a- a 

tlacc of study for his disciples, they were sometimes 
nown as the School of the (iarden. and as such 
were distinguished from those nf the Porch i Diog. 
Laert. /. /> < c. In His speculations embraced at once 
a physical and an ethical solution of the problems nf 
the universe. ({eject ing. as all thinking men did. Un 
popular Polytheism, which yet they did not dare openly 
to renounce, he taught that the gods, in their eternal 
trani|iiillity. were too far off from man o trouble 
themselves about his sorrows or his sins. They 
needed no sacrifices and answered no prayers. The 
superstition which enslaved the minds of most men 
was the great evil of the world, the source of its 
crimes and miseries. The last enemy to be de 
stroyed was with him. as in our own time with 
Strauss, the belief in at: immortality of retribution. 
A man s first step towards happiness and wisdom 
was to emancipate himself from its thraldom; the 
next was to recognise that happiness consisted in 
the greate-t air^reirate of pleasurable emotions. Ex 
perience taught that what are called pleasures are 
often more than counterbalanced by the pains that 
follow, and sensual excesses were therefore to be 
avoided. T^picurus s owji life seems to have been 
distinguished by generosity, self-control, and general 
kindliness, and even by piety and patriotism (Diog 1 . 
Laert. /;/./>. c. ." . Hut as" 710 law was recognised 
as written in the heart, and human laws were looked 
n as mere conventional arrangements, each man 
was left to form his own estimate of what would 
give him most pleasure, and most men decided 
for a life of ease and self -indulgence ; sometimes 
balanced by prudential calculations, sometime- sinking 
into mere voluptuousness. The poetry of Horace 
presents, perhaps, the most attractive phase of popular 
Kpicureaiiism ; the sense which has come to be attached 
to the modern word " Epicure." a- applied to one whose 

life is devoted to the indulge!! if the sense of taste. 

-hows to what a depth of degradation it might 
sink. 

In the world of physics. Epicurus has been claimed as 
anticipating some of the results of modern science. The 

ideas nf creation and control were alike excluded. Mattel- 
had existed from eternity, and the infinite atoms of which 
it was composed had. under the action of attractive and 
repelling force- as yet unknown, entered into manifold 
combinations, out of which had issued, as the last -ta^e 
of the ev.ilution, the world of nature as it now lies before 
us. The poem of Lucretius. / , /, ,//,// \<ifnr,i. m:i\ 
be regarded as the grandest nCerance of this negative 
and practically atheistic system, but its real nobleness 
ties chiefly in its indignant protest airainst the super 
stition which had ca-t its veil of thick darkness over 
all the nation-. 

It may be well to give one or two characteristic 

examples of each of these phase,. (Dn the one aide we 

have the ever-re.-iirrinir ."dvice of the popular poet of 
-oeiety to remember that life is short, and to make the 
most of it : 

"(Juid sit fiiiunim Cnt, t u -. ! iiua-rere : et. 
Quern For.- dienim cminue daliit. luero 

Appone." 
I " Strive not the morrow ., chance to kiio\\ . 

Bat COUnl \\h.lte er the F.l e, lie-iow 

A& given tliec tor th\ train."] Hor. Oil. i. 9. 



tii i li|ilfs. et spatiu IP 

. i-aiii reseoes. hum HH|iuiiiiir, I nif.-rit in\nia 
( :ii-|n- diem. i|n.iiii niiiiiiiiuin rrnlnla po-trru." 
[ He \vi-e. ami let your uin.-s Mow I lriir. 
Anil a- \nii u i i-el eai-li BhOlt-liyed yi-iir. 
CuTD ln>i- ~ ildu.-ivc j.liiy : 

pur life ^ llile- li\ ; 
Klljov the liioliK-iit- a- tln-y tlv, 

N li:- tru-t the l ar-.iir.l.i\ . ) 0,1. i. 11. 

The .student of Scripture will r. c,,gnis,- an Kpieurean 
element of this kind in one .,f the two voice- that 

alternate in the Hook of Kccle-iastes. It i- trnnd and 

comelv for one t l eat and to drink, and to enjoy the 
U ood of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all 
the dav, of hi- life" Kccle-. y. Is. Comp. al-o Kccle-. 
iii. ! .; viii. I .; ix. ~ <. It appear- a- the avowed prin 
ciple of the evil-doers in the Aocrhal Book of 



Wisdom which, a- probably the work of a contemporary 
writer, represents the impression made by the dominant 
Horatian phase of Epicureanism on a devout and 
thoughtful Jew. 

"(lur time is a very shadow that passoth away . . . Come 
(in. therefore, let \i- enjoy the tfoixl things that are pre-eiit . . . 

Let II- cl dWll olir-ehes with ru^e-lunl- lit -fore tie 

withereil . . . Let noiie of us i<o without his part of our 
vuluptiiim-ne--." M /.M- 1 . ii. 59. 

There is a nobler ring, it must be owned, in the bold 
language in which Lucretiu- siu^- the praises of 
Epicurus : 

" When this our life lay crushed before men - eye- 
Keneath the yoke of Faith, who from on hi^h 
With horrid aspect frightened mortal hearts. 
It \\a- a Creek, himself a mortal too. 
Who lir-t had coiiraifo to lift up h:- 
And to her faei- withstand her. Tale- of -oils. 
And thunderbolts from HeaviMi. with all their threats, 
Wen- impotent to stay him .... 

.... So at la-t 

Faith in its turn lies trampled under foot. 
And we through him have triumphed over Hea\eii." 

Her, \t. i. I.7--SO. 

We can understand how St. Paul would assert. a< 
against thi- school of thought, the personality of the 
liviiiL r <iod. as Creator. Ruler. Father; the binding 
force uf the law written in the heart; intuitive morality 
a- against inero utilitarianism ; the nobleness of a hero- 
soul raised above pleasure, and living, not for itself. 
but for others and for ( Jod. And in so teaching them 
he. in this respect differing from the mere professor of 
a higher philosophy, would point to the Resurrection 
and the Judgment as that which should confound the 
pleasure-seeker by giving him tribulation and anguish. 
and should a--i _ru glory and immortality to the patient 
worker of righteousness. .Comp. Rom. ii. 7 9.) 

The Stoics who took their name, not from their 
founder 7eno. of Citium in Cyprus i. but from the 
Sf i,, i>,ikil. the painted porch, at Athens, adorned 
with frescoes of the battle of Marathon, where /.eim 
used to teach presented a higher phase of thought. 
Josephus ] ;t. ,.. ill compares them with the 1 hari-e, -. 
and their relation to the moral life of heathenism 
at this time presented many feature- analogous t, 
tlio-e which we find in the influence of that sect in 
1 ale-rine. They tantrht that true wisdom con-isted in 
beinu the master, and not the slave, of circum -tances. 
The things which are not in our power are not things 
to seek after, nor shrink from, but to lw accepted with 
a calm equanimity. The seeker after wisdom learnt. 
then-fore, to be indifferent alike fo pleasure or pain. 
and aimed at an absolute apathy. The theology of 
the Stoics was ;l iso of a nobler kind than that ot 



The Srtf rfort/t of Strange 



TI I K ACTS, XVII. 



he preached unto lln-m 
Jesus, and the resurrection. < 1! " And 



w:i- tin- iliylirst 
murt iiiA:l,.-M-. 



they took liiin, jinl brought him unto 
Areopagus, 1 saying. M;iy we know \\hat 



Epicurus. They spoke of a divine Mind pervading 
the universe, and ordering all things by its Providence. 
Th"V recognise ! its government in the lives of nations 
and individual men, and probably reconciled, a- the 
Pharisees did. their acceptance of its decrees with a 
practical belief : ;; the freedom of the individual will. 
In the Mintnul <;/ /<, /// /Vs. by Kpietetus. under Nero, and 
the M. ilitiifioii* of Marcus Aurelius. we see how t he- 
slave and the emperor stood on common ground. In 
Seneca, we see now often the Stoics spoke in the 
accents of Christian ethics. Many of the Stoics were 
sought after as tutors for the sons of noble families, 
and occupied a position of influence not unlike that 
of Jesuit confessors and directors in France in the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The main draw 
backs were 1 that in aiming at apathy for themselves 
they shut out sympathy with others as disturbing their 
tranquillity; i J that in striving after an ethical per 
fection in the strength of their own will the}" anti 
cipated the position of the Pelagians in the history of 
the Christian Church ; and u>) that, as with the Phari 
sees, the high ideal was often but a mask for selfish 
and corrupt lives. They, also, were too often "hypo 
crites," acting a part before the world to which t heir 
true character did not correspond. In the lan.guatre 
of the satirist 

"Qni Curios simulant et Bacchanalia vivunt." 

[" They pose a.s heroes, and as drunkards live."|- 

Juvenal, S(it. ii. 3. 

It is evident that there would be many points of 
sympathy between the better representatives of this 
school and St. Paul, but for them also the message 
that spoke of Jesus and the Eesurrection of God 
sending His Sou into the world to lie first crucified 
and then raised from the dead would seem an idle 
dream, and they would shrink from the thought that 
they needed pardon and redemption, and could do 
nothing true and good in their own strength without 
the grace of God. 

What will this babbler say? Better, \Vlmt 
ntii/lif (hi* hiibblfi- inrini ? The Greek noun, literally 
.<* < il-/,/r!c< ,-. was primarily applied to a small bird of the 
finch tribi-. The idle gossips of the aynra picking up 
news. and. eager to retail it, the chattering parasites of 
feasts, were likened by the quick wit of Athenian 
humourists to such a bird as it hopped and chirped. So 
Zeno himself called one of his disciples, who had more 
words than wisdom, by the same contemptuous name 
(Diog. Laert. Zeno, c. 19j. The philosophers, in their 
scorn of the stranger who was so ready to discuss great 
questions with any whom he met, applied the derisive 
epithet to him. 

He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange 

gods.- This was. it will lie remembered, the precise 
cln.rge on which Socrates had been condemned 
(Xenoph. Mutnor. i. 1, 1). In his case it rested on 
his constant reference to the iln-muii. the divine monitor 
who check"d and guided him. in whose voice he heard 
something like the voice of God; but the secret of his 
condemnation by his count ryim-n was to tie found less 
in what he actually taught than in the questions with 
which lie vexed their inmost soul, and made them 
conscious of ignorance or baseness. The questions of 
St. Paul, as he reasoned "of righteousness, temperance, 
and judgment to come." were equally disturbing. 



Because he preached unto them Jesus, and 



the resurrection. Th 



action. This was the ever-recurring them- of his dis 
courses. It is possible that with the strong tendencv of 
the Greek mind to personify all attributes and abstract 
thoughts, St. Paul s hearers saw in the word Aitnxl<ixi.- 
( = Resurrect ion i the name of a new goddess, represent 
ing the idea of immortality, to be worshipped in con 
junction with Jesus, and therefore they used the plural 
and spoke of his bringing in "strange irods." So 
temples and altars had been dedicated to Concord, and 
the history of Athens told how Epimenides had hidden 
them erect two altars to Insolence and Outrage Cicero. 
De Ley. ii. 11), as the two demon-, by whom their 
city was being brought to ruin. What startled them 
in the Apostle was that he taught not only the im 
mortality of the soul that had entered into the 
popular mythical belief, and had been enforced with 
philosophical arguments by Socrates and Plato but 
the resurrection of the body. In 1 Cor. xv. :T w.- BM 
the character of the objections raised to this doctrine, 
and the manner in which St. Paul answered them. 

(19) They took him, and brought him unto 
.Areopagus. The name may stand either for the 
Hill of Mars, simply as a locality, or for the Court 
which sat there, and was known as the Court of the 
Areopagus, and which, as the oldest and most revered 
tribunal in Athens, owing its origin to Athena, and con 
nected with th" story of Orestes and the worship of the 
propitiated Erinnyes (the Avengers) as the /. //,//, /</</<>, 
(the Gentle Ones), still continued to exercise jurisdiction 
in all matters connected with the religion of the state, 
and numbered among its members men of the highest 
official rank. It had originally consisted only of those 
who had filled the office of Archon and were over sixty 
years of age. Its supreme authority had been in some 
measure limited by Pericles, and it was as the organ of 
the party who opposed the ideas of freedom Jiiid progress 
of which he was the representative, that yEschylus 
wrote the tragedy of the Ei ni -ni<l>:.<. in which the divine 
authority of the Court was impressed upon men s 
minds. Here, however, the narrative that follows 
presents no trace of a formal trial, and hence it lias 
been questioned whether the Apostle was brought 
before the Court of the Areopagus. Tnless, however, 
there had been some intention of a trial, there seem-. 
no reason for their taking him to the Areopagus rather 
than to the Pnyx or elsewhere; and the mention of 
a member of the Court as converted hr St. Paul s 
preaching, makes it probable that the Court was 
actually sitting at the time. The most natural expla 
nation of the apparent difficulty is. that as the charge 
of bringing in "strange deities" was one which came 
under the jurisdiction of the Areopagus Court, the 
crowd who seized on St. Paul hurried him there, not 
presenting a formal indictment, but calling for a pre 
liminary inquiry, that his -peech ac ..rdi ugly, though 
of the nature of an apologia, Wta not an answer to a 
distinct accusation, and that having heard it. the Court 
looked on the matter as calling for no special action, 
and passed to the order nf the day. 

May we know . . . ? -The form of the quest i.,n. 
cnurteous in semblance, but with a slight touch of 
s.-.rcasm. is eminentlv characteristic in itself, and shows 
a, M> that there was no forma! accusation, though the 
vvnrds that followed suggested the thought that there 



l. i 



Jlmrtl- rime. I I IK ACTS. XVII. 

this new <lM-t fin. . where..! thou speak- 



/ // A lor I,, 



- Then hml stood in the mJ 



est, U . - ! ) t lion 



tliiii-js to oiif ears : u would 
kno\v therefore wha.1 these things mean. 

r all tin- At heniaiis and st fairj. 
which wen- there spent their time in 
nothing else, lmt either to tell, ,.r t., 
hear .some new t liin<M 



M - hill, and >aid. V> men of At hen.-. 



I pereeiv t hat in all t hiiiL r - ye a 

superstitious. J; l- iii- a- I passed l>\, 

and beheld your devot ioiis. I r..und ai 
altar with this inscription. To TIIK 

r.NKNuNVN col). \Vh<,m therefore 

ye JLTiionmtlv worship, him <le<-lai-.- I 



possibly inielit In materials for one. What had been 
said was - strange " enough to require :ill explanation. 

Thou bringest certain strange things. 

The adjective stands for a Creek participle. //// /,//> that 
ftnr/l . nr I,, in ,ni . m///Vs.s-/ ;/ ,if .V//VM, -; 

t- 1 For all the Athenians and strangers. 

The restless inquisitiveness of the Athenian charac- 
ter had been all along proverbial. In words which St. 

Lllke almost reproduces, Demosthelii s (J ltil ifiji. i.. 

p. 43) liad reproaehcd tliein with idling their time away 
in the iii/nrn, asking what news ihere was of Philip s 
movements, or the action of their own envoys, when 
they ought to have Keen preparing i or strenuous action. 
The strangers" who were pro., nt were probably a 
motley group --- voting Romans sent to finish their 
education, artists, ami sight-seers, and philosophers. 
from every province in the empire. 

Some new thing. Literally, MHIM IH-WT thin</ , 
as we slioultl say. tiie " very latent news." Tlieojihrastus 
i c. s uses t he self-same word in describing the quest ions 
of the loquacious prattlers of society. " Is 1 lie re any- 

thingnewP . . . Is there anything yet newer ?" 
-- < Paul stood in the midst of Mars hill. 
, Areopagus, as liefore. The Court sat ill the 



open air on benches forming three sides of a quad 
A short flight of sixteen steps, cut in the rock, led from 
the ni/orn to the plateau where the C.mrt held its sit 
tings. If it was actually sitting at the time, the temptation 
to have recourse to it. if only to cause a sensation and 
terrify the strange disputant, may well have been irre 
sistible. As the ApoMle stood there, he looked from 
the slight elevation on the temple of the Klimellides 
In-low him. that of Theseus to the east, and facing him 
on the Acropolis, the Parthenon. On the height of thai 
hiil stood the colossal hron/.e statue of Athena as the 
tutelary goddess of her beloved Athens, below and all 
around him were statues and altars. The city was 
very full of idols." 

I perceive that in all things ye are too 
superstitious.-- -Better. / observe //" .- /-.//// / // nil 

thingi ///",-, y /;// <;/ ///c //n//x tlnn: nflti-r.- . It is 
not easy to express the exact force of the (ireek adjec 
tive. " Siijterstilioiis " is, perhaps, too strong on the 
side of blame; devout." on the side of praise. The 
word which the Athenians loved to us,, of themselves 
(///rus,/vs. a worshipper of Cod exact k answers to the 
latter term. This St. Paul will not use of idolators. 
and reser\es it for those who worship the one living 
and true Cod. and he uses a word which, like our 
devotee." though not offensive, was neutral with a 
slight touch of disparagement. The <li-ixi<ltiiiii< ni is 
described at some length in the Cli<ir<n-f<-,^- of Theo- 
nhrastus. the La Hruyereof classical literature <-. xvii. . 
a- one who consults soothsayers, and is a believer in 

omens, who will gi\e up a journey if lie sees ;i weasel 

on the road, and goes \ v ith his wife and children to 
lie initiated into the Orphic mysteries. Xikias. the 
Athenian general, ever oppressed" with the sense of the 
jealousy of ihe gods, arid counter-ordering important 



strategic ]!!oVi llie||t-> li. cail-e there wa- an eclip-,- of 

the moon Tliueyd. vii. r>H . i> ;i coii-pi<-nons instanc,- 
of the <! isiduininn in hiirh place>. 1 he Stoic Km- 

}teror. Marcus Aurelius \Mi><lift. i. 1<I. congratulates 
limself on not bein^- >ueh a </> /.-, ,/,/ ////.",//. while he ^i\e> 
thanks that lie has inherited his mother s devotion 
(tteoteta i. 2). The opening words would gain, and 

were perhap- meant to L ain. the ear.-- of the philo 
sophers. Here, they would say. is one who. at least. 
rises, as we do. above the religion of the multitude. 
As I passed by, and beheld your devotions. 

lletter. OM I ifn.<xnl liif.ilinl If * nf -iiifil ltiiii/ til 

object* <>/ ijnni- i -:,, .filial. The English word a p] tears to 
have been UMM| in its old s. n-e. a-- meaning what the 
(Ireek word means the object, and not the -,\,-\. of 
devotion. So \\iclif ^ives your mawmetis" if., 
"your idols. Tyndale, Cranmer. and the (ieni-vn 
version j_ ive "the manner how ye worship your pids." 
The Rhemish follows Wiclif, and j;ive^ "your idols." 

I found an altar with this inscription, TO 
THE UNKNOWN GOD.- The Oreek of the in 
scription has noartide.and might, therefore, lie rendered 
TO AX r.N KNOWN (r()l). as tliou-rli it had been 
consecrated as a votive offering for benelits which the. 
receiver was unable to assign to the true donor amOM 
the "gods many and lords many "whom he worshipped. 
So interpreted, it did not hear it-, witness directly ti 
any deeper thoughts than those of the popular poly 
theism, and stands on the same footing a- the altars 
TO UNKNOWN CODS, uhich arc mentioned by 
1 ausanias (i. 14) as set up in the harbour and street- of 
Athens, or to-th,- description which Theophrastn- 
ias above i of the /, /W//,/////. ,// asa^kinir the soothsayer^, 
after he has hud a disquieting dream, to what e;od 
or f, odde.-s he otiofht to pray, (ireek usiire. however, 
did not require the use of the article in in-eriptions 
of this nature, and the English translation is quite a- 
legitimate as the other, and clearly gives the vm-e 
in which St. Paul understood it. Taking his -en-e. 
there come the questions. What thought did the 
inscription express P To what period did it belong r 
A story connected with Kpimenides of Crete, who. a> a 
prophe t of r,-eaT fame. wa> invited to Athens at a tim-- 
when the city was suffering from pestilence. i> -ome- 
times referred to as atl ording a probable explanation of 
its oriyin. I)iogene> Laertiiis ,/. /;//,/< . c. :! relates thai 
he turned -lieep loose into the city, and then had them 
sacrificed, where they stopped, to the god thus pointed 

out. / .,-.. to til ic wiiose linage or altar wa-~ nearest to 

the spot, and that "altars without a name " were thus 

to be seen in many parts of Athens: and it has 1 n 

supposed that this" nnyha\e been one of these altars, 
erected when- there was no image near enough to war 
rant a sacrifice to any known deity and as Kpimenidcs 

is stated to have offered sacrifices on the Ai pairus. 

that such an altar may have been standing within \ie\v 
Paul spoke. Against this view, h., \ve\er, aiv 
the facts 1 that the narrative of Lacrtiiis nan- 
such inscription as that of which St. Paul speftb, ftnj 



God (/ 



]\ urld. 



Till-: A.GTS, XVII. 



not in. Tt i)i<>*. 



unfo you. < 21 God that made the 
world and all things therein," seeing 



that he is Lord of heaven and earth, 
dwelleth not in temples made with. 



rather implies that every victim found the god to whom 
it of right belonged, or else that the altar was left 
without any inscription; i2i that St. Paul s language 
implies that lie had seen the inscription as he walked 
through the city, and not that he looked on it as he 
spoke; and (3) that it is hardly conceivable that such 
an altar, standing in so conspicuous a place from the 
time of Epimenides. would have remained unnoticed liy 
a thinker like Socrates. Jerome um Tit. i. 12 I cuts the 
knot of the difficultv by stating that the inscription 
actually ran, To tho Gods of Asia and Europe and 
Africa, to unknown and strange Gods." It is possible 
that he may have seen an altar with such words upon 
it, and that he rushed to the conclusion that it was 
what St. Paul referred to; but it is not likely that the 
Apostle would have ventured on altering the inscrip 
tion to suit his argument in the presence of those who 
could have confuted him on the spot, and his words 
must bo received as indicating what he had actually 
seen. 

A passage in tho dialogue of Philopatris, ascribed 
to Lucian, where one of the speakers swears " by the 
Unknown God of Athens," is interesting : but, as 
written in the third century after Christ, may be only a 
reference, not without a sneer, to St. Paul s speech. 
and cannot be adduced as evidence either as to the 
existence of such an altar or its meaning. An inde 
pendent inquiry based upon data hitherto not referred 
to. will, perhaps, lead to more satisfactory conclusions. 
(1) The verbal adjective means something more than 
" Unknown." It adds the fact that the Unknown is 
also the Unknowable. It is the ultimate confession, 
.such as we have heard of late from the lips of some 
.students of science, of man s impotence to solve the 
problems of the universe. It does not affirm Atheism, 
but it knows not what the Power is, which yet it feels 
must be. (2) As such it presents a striking parallel 
to the inscription which Plutarch (de Isid. et 0,-sir.) 
records as found on the veil of Isis at Sais : " I am 
all that has been, and all that is, and all that shall 
be; and no mortal hath lifted my veil." Whether 
that inscription expressed the older thoughts of Egypt 
may. perhaps, be questioned. Plutarch gives it in Greek, 
;tnd this probably indicates a date after the foundation of 
the monarchy of the Ptolemies (B.C. 367), possibly con 
temporary with Plutarch (A.D. 46140). (3) Still 
more striking, if possible, is the parallelism presented 
by an altar found at Ostia. and now in the Vatican 
Museum. It represents what is known as a Mithraic 
sacrificial group, connected, i.e., with the worship of 
Mithras, the Sun-god of later Persian mythology, a 
winded figure sacrificing a bull, with various symbolic 
emblems, such as a serpent and a scorpion. Underneath 
appears the inscription (Orelli. Iiit-a: <!el. ii. 5,000) 

SIGNUM INDEPREHENSIBILIS DEI. 

[THE SYMBOL OF THE UNDISCOVERABLE 

GOD.] 

It will be admitted that this expresses the same 
thought as the inscription which St. Paul quotes; that 
it is the nearest equivalent that Latin can supply for 
the " Unknown and Unknowable " God. The frequent 
recurrence of Mithraic groups in nearly all museums, 
generally without any note of time, but, in the judg 
ment of experts, ranging from the time of Pompeius to 
ihat of Diocletian, shows the prevalence of this Sun- 



worship throughout the Roman world during the early 
period of the empire. "We have found an interesting 
trace of it in Cyprus. ( See Xote on chap. xiii. 1 1. \\ , 
may see its surviving influence in the reverence shown by 
Constantine to the Die .SW/s in the general observance 
of that day throughout the empire. Other inscriptions. 
also in the Vatican Museum, such as SOLI I)K<) 
INVICTO (Orelli, i., 1JKM 111. show its pr.-valen.-e. 
Our own Sunday (Dies 8*/;.> . little as we dream of it, 
is probably a survival of the Mithraic cultnx, which at 
one time seemed not unlikely, as seen from a merely 
human standpoint, to present a formidable rivalry to 
the claims of the Church of Christ. It is. at least, 
a remarkable coincidence that the Twenty-fifth of 
December was kept as the festival of Mithras long 
before it was chosen by the Western Church for the 
Feast of the Nativity. It is true that De Rossi, the 
great Roman archaeologist, in a note to the present 
writer, gives the probable date of the inscription in 
question as belonging to the second or third century 
after Christ ; but the Mithraic worship is known to 
have prevailed widely from a much earlier period, and 
tho church of San Clemeute, at Rome, where below 
the two basilicas have been found the remains of a 
Christian oratory turned into a Mithraic chapel, presents 
a memorable instance of the rivalry of the two systems. 
On the whole, therefore, it seems probable that the 
altar which St. Paul saw was an earlier example 
of tho feeling represented by the Ostian inscription, 
and may well have found its expi-essiou, with a like 
characteristic formula, among the many forms of the 
confluent polytheism of Athens. Plutarch (Poin^finx\ 
speaks of the worship of Mithras as having been 
brought into Europe by the Cilician pirates whom Poin- 
peius defeated, and as continuing in his own time. 

Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship. 
Better, as expressing the connection with the inscrip 
tion, What therefore ye icorship not k-Hoiriiiy, that 
declare I unto you. The better MSS. give the relative 
pronoun in the neuter. It was, perhaps, deliberately 
used, as St. Paul uses the neuter form for " Godhead 

I in verse 29, and a cognate abstract noun in Rom. 

j i. 20, to express the fact that the Athenians were as 
yet ignorant of the personality of the living God. 
That any human teacher should have power and 
authority to proclaim that " Unknown God." as making 
Himself known to men. was what neither Epicureans 
nor Stoics had dreamt of. The verb declare" is 
closely connected with the term " setter forth." of 
A r erse 18. He does not disclaim that element in the 
charge against him. 

(2-*) God that made the world . . . The mas 
culine form of the pronoun and participles throughout 
t he sentence presents an emphatic contrast to the neuter 
pronoun of the previous verse. 
Seeing that he is Lord. Better. H<: ////;/ Lord. 
Dwelleth not in temples made with hands. 
We note with special interest the reproduction of the 
thought which the then persecutor had heard from the 
lips of the martyr Stephen. See Note on chap. vii. is.) 
As asserted of the Temple at Jerusalem, it had at that 
time, even though it was quoted from a Jewish prophet, 
driven the Pharisee Saul into the fren/.y of fanaticism. 

i Now. having learnt the lesson as regards that Temple. 
he proclaims the truth as applicable <) im-tiori to all 
temples raised by human hands. It is obvious thai 



110 



Worship. 



TIII-: ACTS, xvii. 






(JM nt ithtT is worshipped with 

inrii .s h;iinls. ;is tlxoi^h hr li. i il- .i :IM\ 
tiling, serins In- ^iv. th t<i ;ill lift 1 , :unl 

breath, and all tiunarBj ( - " nii.l h;.tl. 

inailc of ..i!. hlniiil all niiti.ins .it Mii-li 



tr T> <h\" ll on ;|H fl|. f-|i-,- .,} 

nth deten 

apjiMi 

Iialita1i i. | tli.-y sin.iiM 

tli. L-nl, if h: 1 ; 



this triitli places tin- sai-redness of Christian chnn -In- 
..M ;i ground entirely differ-nt from that which in 
fluenced (In- minds ui .lew nr (iivek in regard to their 
respecti\e temples. Churches an- holy, not kx 
(iod dwells in thrill. Imt because they arc set apart for 
the highest acts of tin- collective lit - ul tin- congre 
gation of His people. In those acts men huM commu- 
nion with (iod, and so (lie Church is for them all. and 
more than all. that the Tabernacle of Meeting th! . as 
meaning tlie ]>lace where man met (iod. rather than 
Tal)ernacle of the ( on;_Tegat ion. lirin^ the true iviider- 
in^T of the Helirew term; com)). Kx. \\i\. t J was to 
the Israelites of old. Romish theory and practice, in 
presenting the consecrated wafer in pyx or monstrance. 
or carry ini: it in |irocrssi(n, as an obj,-ct of adora- 
tion. rovhes the old Pagan view which St. Paul dis 
claims. 

Neither is worshipped with men s hands, 
as though he needed any thing. Literally. <* 

! nil ij/li i in/ in nililif int. J he previous words 
had struck at a false theory of temples, this strikes at 
a fal-e theory of worship. Men have To think of (iod 
as The supreme (liver, not as requiring anything at 
their hands Imt justice, mercy, and truth. Both Jewish 
and heathen writers had borne their witness of The 
same truth : havid had said. "Thou desiresT not -aeri- 
lice: else would 1 give it " i Ps. li. Id. and the Latin 
Epicurean p.i.-t had written of The Divine nature, tiiat 
il was 

i <uis jiiillcns opibus. niliil indiira i 
Nee beiic promeriua capitin-, ni c tangitar ira." 

[ sir, mi, in itself, it nceilcth noiiu lit of ours. 
1~ in-iilicr won liy t, ift.<. nor ino\cil liy wrat n.") 

Lucret. ii. G19--50. 

Tlie passage is found also in some editions in i. (il. tij. 
Life and breath. If wo can draw a di-tinetion 
between The two words, the first may be held to mean The 
higher element of man s life, the htter that which he 
shares, by virtue of his organisation, withoTher animals. 
Stoic-, and Epicureans would, probably, both of Them, 
so far. accept a leaching which echoed much that was 
tanirht in their own schools. 

And hath made of one blood all nations 
Of men. Literally. <riT>i notion. The previous 
Venea had ^iven what we may venture To call St. Paul s 
Philosophy ,,f lleliirion. Tliis g\\, s his Philosophy of 
History. And the position was one which no (Jn-ek, 
above all. no Athenian, was likely to accept. For him 
The distinction b.-tween The (ireek and the barbarian 
was radical and essential. The one was by nature 
meant to be the slave of tlie other. Aristo t. / </. i. 
-. . ) In ri-iiiLT a oove his own prejudices of fancied 
superiority of race, the Apostle felt that he could atta. k. 
as from a vantage-ground, the preiinlic-s of others 
He naturally accepted the Truth as it wa- 
him in Tlie .Mosaic history of the Creation; but the 
truth itself, stated in its fullest form, would remain. 

even if we were to accept other th ies of h. 

of species and t .ie history of man. Th.-. 

if pli\-i< al structure, of conditions and modes of life. 



assume for it -.. :: that it !s !: cr--.ini and tlo- 
humanity. 

Hath determined the times before cip- 
pointed. The 1,,-tt.r MSS. ^\\>- simply, "tl 
pointed .season .." ] . v U.I.M-. even Ul St. i anl s 
teaching, are more pregnant with -iirniiiean.-.-. They 
justify all that the v, ie of l,..i,-t \\.\\.- said M 
manifold wisdom of ( ,od." as s. cn in hisTo 
in tin- education of mankind. The -p. 

character of each race Hebrew thought ot i 

BenM of beauty. lioman MOU6 <>f law. Teutonic truthful- 
nes-. Kellic impulsive! docility have nil 

Their work To do. All local circuir- I and 

climate that influence character come under the i. 
the " hi uuils of men s habitation. " Ail c.uidit 
time the period at which each i.-.ce La- een called to 
play its part in the drama t.t the world s hi-tory come 
under the head of the appointed seasons." 

- Should seek the Lord, if haply they 
might feel after him, and find him. The word 

for "feel after " expresses strictly M . >pi]lL. r 

ill the dark. From the A M of view, antici- 

paTinjj,- in part the iriva* ] !,< ,/;/.-,/,/ :he vindication 
of tin was s.f ( iod in tin- nisile to the Komaiis. the 



And with mi 

i. Jn . 



e or actual development, which forbids any .me 
rac" or nation. Hebrew. Hellenic. Latin, or Teutonic to 

24 



. 

whole order of the world s history was planned, a- part 
of ;he education of mankind, waking lonirii ^ \ -iiieh it 
could not satisfy, leading m< 11 at once t.. 
ness of the holiness of (iod and of their own sin; 
The religions of tin- world weie t ( , Jp;;, , 
UlellTs of one will) climbs 

" 1 IP.MI Ilic LTM-a! V 
Tlia; Slope throiitfli darkn. 

who can on!;. 

" I sir. t -h lame hands of faith, aii 
Ami rather dust, and chafl 

To what I feel i- Lord o! all. 
And faintly trust tlie larger liojie." 

Their ritual in all its manifold variety u 
inarticnhiTe wailing of childhood 

" An infant crying for tin 
Tcim. 

The " if haply " expresses the exact 
particles, which imply a doubt whether The rii l ii. 
attained in its complete]!"-- ;. Th" altar to the Tn- 
known and Unknowable was a witl - J iiad 

not been found. "The world by wisdom k:, 
God" ! Cor. i. _!l . I; i:ad UOl Lfot. in The lai - 
of another po.-t of our own. beyond 

" Tho~e olistinatc 
Of sense and outward tl 
Falling- frum Us. \ani-;.. 1 

which ;ire as the 
" Hla; 

Wordsworih. (i- ; " ////. 

Though he be not far from every one of us. 

Better./ , 

he does in Rom. ii. K>. to tl;. 

Islie^s an.l . There, jn \\\t- I ; 

ot in teni]i! - 

nd i ohl comnni!::. 



ft o<l not far from " 



THE ACTS, XVII. 



We are f<l*o Hi* offi 



him, ami Inn! liini. th<m<rh he be not i 
l:ir from every one of us : -" tor in him 
we live, :in<l nmvr. ami have our lieinu ; 
as certain als. . of your own poets have 



said. For \ve are also his 
-" Koriisimirh then as we are the otV- 
s]rine; of ( iod, we oii^-hl IMI to think 
that ihc (io.lliead is like unto gold/ or 



was natural, in spoking to tin- peasants of Lystra. 1o 
point to tlii- witness (if the rain from heaven and fruit 
ful seasons." Sec Note on chap. xiv. 17.) It was as 
natural, in speaking to men of high culture and intro 
spective analysis, to appeal to that \\ hi -h was within 
them rather than to that which was without. But it 
will lie noted that lie does not confine that witness 1o 
the >eekers after wisdom. God is not far from every 
one of us." St. Paul accepts the truth which St. John 
afterwards proclaimed, that Christ is the " true Light 
that liu litetli every man that cometh into the world." 
(See Notes on John i. 0.) The writer of the Book of 
Deuteronomy ichap. xxx. 11 14) hiid asserted u like 
truth when he taught Israel that "the word was not 
in heaven, or beyond the sea." but "in thy mouth and 
in thine heart, that thou mayest do it." At this point 
the Stoics, we may believe, would recognise the affinities 
which St. Paul s thoughts presented to their own 
teaching. The Epicureans would he more and more 
repelled by this attack on the central position of their 
system. 

(23) For in him we live, and move, and have 
our being. Better. !<<_ live, mul are mor> ,l. nn<l are, 
Each of the verbs used has a definite philosophical 
significance. The first points to our animal life ; the 
second from which is derived the Greek word used by 
ethical writers for passions, such as fear, love, hate, 
and the like not, as the English verb suggests, to 
man s power of bodily motion in space, but to our 
emotional nature: the third, to that which constitutes 
our true essential being, the intellect and will of 
man. What the words express is not merely the 
Omnipresence of the Deity; they tell us that the 
power for every act and sensation and thought comes 
from Him. They set forth what we may venture to 
call the true element of Pantheism, the sense of a 
" presence interposed." as in nature, " in the light of 
setting suns. so yet more in maa. As a Latin poet 
had sung, whose works may have been known to the 
speaker, the hearers, and the historian : 

" Tk iiin namquc ire per omnes 
Terras que tractus<|ue maris. ccelumqne profundum, 
Hinc pecudes. armenta. vims, .yvnus omne f era rum, 

(,uem<|ue r-iln icmi -s na~e, : ni rin areesserc vitas, 
:pcilici.;t him- reii.ii delude ac ivsoluta rcferri, 
Omnia : nee nun-!! ease iucimi sed viva volare 
Sideris in nmncMim atqtif ;. io succcdcre cielo." 
[" God permeates all lands, all tracts of sea. 

And the vast liea\ en. From Him all flocks* and herds, 
And men, and creatures wild. draw, each apart. 
Their subtle life. T,, Him they all return, 
\Vlirn once au-ain sd i ree. No place is found 
For death, but all mount up once more on high 
To join the stars in their l.iirh firmament."] 

-Virg. Georv. iv. 221-225. 

In the teaching of St. Paid, however, the personality of 
God is not merged, as in that of the Pantheist, in the 
thought of the great Soul cf the World, but standsforth 
with awful distinctness in the character of King and 
Judge. Traces of like thoughts are found in the 
prophetic vision of a time when (Jod shall lie all in 
all" il Cor. xv. l^ >. tlie di.M-ords of the world s history 
harmonised in the eternal peace. 

As certain also of 7/our own poets have 
said. The quotation has a special interest as bcinir 
taken from a poet nrho craa a countryman of St. Paul s. 



Aralus. probably of Tarsus V, /v. i>,.e. ~27 2 . had written 
a didactic poeni under the title of Phenomena, eom- 
pris mir the main facts of astronomical and meteoro 
logical science as then known. It opens with ah 
invocation to Zeus, which contains the words that St. 
Paul quotes. Like words are found in a hymn to Zeus 
by Cleanth.es . n.r. :;<Mh. Both passages are worth 
quoting : 

(1) " From Zeus be<_cin : never let us leave 

l\i- name unloved. With Him. with Xeu*. arc filled 
All paths we tread, and all the marts oi men : 
Killed, too. the sea, and every creek and hay ; 
And all in all things need we help of XL-US. 
For we too in; /tin <>tj xi>rin<i." 

Aratus. Phcenom, 1-5. 

(21 " Most glorious of immortals, many-named, 
Almis-fluy and for ever, thee, O Zeus, 

.-ovr.-ni o er Nature. guiding with thy hand 

All things that are. we greet with praises. Thee 

"I is meet that mortals cull with one accord, 

/or ire thine, off.^jirinij are. and \\ < 

Of all that live and move upon this earth, 

lieceive the gift of imitative speech." 

Clcanlhc-, f/>/>n>> to Zeus. 

The fact of the quotation would at once quicken the 
attention of the hearers. They would feel that they 
had not to deal with an illiterate Jew, like the traders 
and exorcists who were so common in Greek cities. 1m; 
with a man of culture like their own. acquainted with 
the thoughts of some at least of their great pnet-. 

We are also his offspring. We too often think 
of the quotation only as happily introduced at the time: 
but the fact that "it was quoted shows that it had 
impressed itself, it may be, long years before, on St. 
Paul s memory. As a student at Tarsus it had, 
we may well believe, helped to teach him the 
meaning of the words of his own Scriptures: "I 
have nourished and brought up children" (Isa. i. -). 
The method of St. Paul s teaching is one from 
which modern preachers might well learn a lesson. 
He does uot begin by telling men thai they have 
thought too highly of themselves, that they are vile 
worms, creatures of the dust, children of the devil. 
The fault which he finds in them is that they have 
takeu too low an estimate of their position. They too 
had forgotten that they were God s offspring, and had 
counted themselves, even as the unbelieving .lews had 
done i chap. xiii. -iii; " unworthy of eternal life." 

- Forasmuch then as we are the offspring 
of God. One consequence from the thought of son- 
ship is pressed home at once. If we are < lod > offspring 
our conception of Him should mount upward from 
what is highest in ourselves, from our moral and 
spiritual nature instead of passing downward to 
that which, being the creature of our hands, is below 
us. Substantially asserting the same truth, the tone 
of St. Paul in speak inu 1 of idolatry is very different 
from that which we find in the older prophets 1 
xviii. -11; Ps. cxxxv. 15 1S ; Isa. xiiv. 9- L " . H<- has, 
as it -were, si tidied the t/nit .-tis of idolatry, and instead 
of the burning language of scorn, and hatred, and 
derision, can speak of it. though not with tolerance, 
yet with pity, to those who are its victims. 

The Godhead. The Greek term is neuter, and 
corresponds to the half-abstract, half -concrete forms 
of the "Divine Being." the " Deity." 






THE ACTS, XVI! 







-ilv.T, <! -t"!l . LTnVi M V Vart Ulul mail s 

devio Lnd tin- linn^ of (his 

ignorance rod \\inkni at ; hut m\v 

(.immand -th all ini ii fVi-ry wln-iv tu 

:vp,-i> , use in- hath appointed a 

hiv. ill tin- \\lii.-h In- will jiul^- tin- 
world in ri-li l>y ///.// man 
\\lio; IK- ha:h -nlaim-d ; / /,,-, >/ In- 
liath irivn ii-suraiu-f nut-, all men, in 
Hiat h- hath rni-rd him t nmi tin- dead. 




And \\hi-n -.li.-v li.-ard ! tin.- 
iv>urr<Tt i..n (.: . some MI- > 
iind others said, We will hear 

a<_raiii <>! tlii> math r. 9 I aul 
drpart.-d tV. iii alining tin-Mi. Hw- 
L-it r.Ttain iiH-n <-l;i- him, 
and lii li.-vrd : ani -n-- tin- whi-!, 
I)i..nv>i;i> tin- Areopagite, and a \\din:in 
iiann d D,!!i:::i i>, and >th- 

thetn. 



Gold, or silver, or stone. Tin- first word 
reminds :i> of iln- Ia\i-h u-e of i^old in tin- < 
i-tatue i if /i-u- liy Phidias. Silver was less commonly 
used, lint tin- shrines of Artemi- at Kphesiis (see Not - 
.111 chap. xix. -I >u l l . v ali instance of it. "Stone" 

ffasthe term commonly applied to the marble of IVn- 

telicus. which wa- >n lavishly cinploycd in the sculpture 
nul aivhitc-cturc of Atlu iis. 

And the times of this ignorance God 
winked at. Better, pi-rhap-. overlooked, the English 
phrase, tliouyh vixi l. liein^ 1 soine\vluit too familial , anil 
-.u^uv.Miiiir: strict !v taken, not merely tolcraiu-e, but 
connivance ami emu urrence. The though! is one in 
ivhich St. Paul inanifestly found comfort. Ho sees in 
that ignorance a mitigation of the guilt, and therefore 
>f the puiii^hm. iit dm- to the heathen world. The 
;ast history of the world had shn\vn a pretermission of 
:h. sins, for \vhicli.nn the condition of repentance, men 
now offered a full remission. : See Xoto oil Roui. 
iii. J"). i In th;i- teaching: he wa- reproducing what our 
,onl liad taught as to the servant who " knew not his 
;,nrd s will." and .-hoiilii therefore he Ijeateu, but with 
few strijies." See Note on Luke xii. H. 

And now commandeth all men every where 
to repent. At ihi^ jmint the feelings of both Stoics 
and Kpieurean- would almost inevitably undergo a 
change. Tlie latt.-r mi:lit regret the "mistakes h.- 
had mad" in hi> M-arch after the maximum of enjoy 
ment, but a change such as the= ({reek for " re- 
p -ntance " implied new aims ami purposes, loathing 
of the pa-t and efforts for the futur" was altogether 
alien to his thoughts. From the Stoics, as measured 
liv Kpictetus and Marcu> Aurelius. better things 

nii^ht perhaps ha\e 1 n expected. Imt the doctrine 

..f Nece-sity. which entered larp-ly into popular 
Stoicism, blunted their sense of responsibility. They 
accepted the con^eijuence> of their actions with a 
serene apathy: tor the most part, they ^ave thanks, as 
the philosophic Kin[)erdr <lid. that they were not as 
other men. and that the events of their life had led 
them to an ethical completeness; but the id 
ilihorriiiir themselves, and repentiiiLT in dust and ashes, 
had not M \< nawned on the Stoic s thoughts. 

. i. l !;. 
Because he hath appointed a day. Her,- 

the speakel would -eelll. to lioth set-- of hearers, to be 
allinir back hit" popular superstition. .Minn-- and 
Ethadamanthus, and Tartarus and the Kly-ian Fields. 
these they had learnt to dismiss, as belonging to t he 
childhood of the individual and of mankind. 

K (i liquid 31 nesel -ubt.-rraiiea rcgna 
\"i\ pueri credunt. . . . . 

1" Talk M" ..in- soula an.! n-alms beyond the irravo. 
Mm rave. l 

. ii. 119. 

The Epicurean r.-j. cted the id. -a of a divine - 



ment altogether. For t .jiiote a lii:>- from 

Schiller, 

"Die V lt-K<Ti-lit." 

["Ami the WO -men! <luy."] 

and lie expected in. oth.-r. The thought of a day rf 
judgment as the consummation of that hi-tory. wliich 
was so prominent in St. I anl - t.achinir. Tafl a .. -ether 
strange to them. 

By that man whom he hath ordained. 
Literally. /<;/ " HUM. Who tin- man was. and what 
proof there was that he had been rai.-e.l from the .lead, 
we :-o (jiie>tions either re-er\. d for a !at-r sta^.- of 
tea.-liinu -. or interrujited by the derision of the 1,. 
I p to t his point they had listened attentively, but that 
the dead should be" raised aj, ain seemed to them as 
to the Sadducean. to the < lately 

incredible ichai>. xxvi. x : 1 Tor. XT. 

( -> Some mocked : and others said, Wo will 
hear thee again. The word " mocked " imjilies look 
and gesture, as well a- words, of derision. See Note 
on chap. ii. lo.i We may venture to assume that the 
mockers were found chieiiy ;,mon<r the E]iieiireaiis. and 
that the inquirers, perhaps putting oV the impiiry to a 
" more convenient season," Were Stoics, who wished to 
hear more from a teacher with whom they found them 
selves in svmpathy on so many points of contac* 
with their own system. Whether they carried on tlu-ir 
inquiry we are not told. The words that follow imply 
a certain indignation on the part of the Apostle. He 
would not stay to rxpo>e the name or the work of his 
Lord to the jests of scoffer-. 

t ; i Certain men clave unto him. The word 

implies practically both companionship and conversion. 
There was an attractive power hi the Apostle , character 
that drew men unto him. 

Dionysius the Areopagite. As the constitution 
of the Court of the Areopagus required it^ members 
to have tilled a hi^h magisterial function. >uch a> that 
iion. and to be above sixty, the convert must 
have been a man of ->oine note. According " tradi 
tion, a-cribed by Ku^ebius ijfi+f. iii. 4. iv. J:! to 
Dionysius. Bishop . f Corinth, he became Bishop of 
Athens. An elab W on the Hierarchy of 

H -aven. Cherubim. Seraphim. Thrones. Dominations, 
and tlu> like, is extant under his name, but is obvioii<!y 
of much later date, probably oi the fo-.irth or iifth 

century. The legend of the Sevel; Champ!-: 

Christendom has tran-formed him into t! - 

of France. A church dedicated to him stands on the 

Areopagus of modern Athen-. 

Dumaris. ( hr\ -"-tmn says that she was the wif.> 
of D lonysius. but tlii^ is olivionsly oniy a conjecture. 

And others with them. -The eonl 
this and tl;e " <jreat iMiiltitr.de." the " inan> 

; is the all-dice oi an] - SU 



>> Areopagite. 



THE ACTS, XVIII. 



( orinth. 



CHAPTER XVIII. w After these 

tilings Paul departed from Athens, and 
came in Corinth: - and found a certain 



Jew named Aquila," born in Pont us, 
lately come from Italy, with his wife 
Priscilla; (bec;iu>e That Claudius luid 



Paul s Epistles. Of all the cities which in- visited, it 
w;is that with which lie had least sympathy. All that 



can lie -.aii I i ; iliat he may have included them among 
"the saints which are in all Achaia " 2 Cor. i. 1) in 
his prayers and hopes. It would almost seem as if he 
felt tha t little was gained by entering into a discussion 
on the threat questions of natural theology; and there 
fore h" came to Corinth, determined to know nothing 
"but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified " (I Cor. ii. 2). 

XVIII. 

(1) And came to Corinth. The journey may have 
been either by land along the Isthmus of Corinth, or by 
sea from the Pineus ip Cenchrese. The position of 
Corinth on the Isthmus, with a harbour on either shore, 
( em-lire; 1 on the east, Lechaeum on the west, had 
naturally made it a place of commercial importance at 
a very early sta<re of Greek history. With commerce 
had come luxury and vice, and the verb Corinthiazein = 
to live as tiie Corinthians, had become proverbial, as early 
as the time of Aristophanes (Frag. 133), for a course 
of profligacy. The harlot priestesses of the Temple 
of Aphrodite gave a kind of consecration to the deep- 
1 dyed impurity of Greek social life, of which we find 
traces in 1 Cor. v. 1; vi. 9 19. The Isthmian games, 
which were celebrated every fourth year, drew crowds 
of competitors and spectators from all parts of Greece, 
and obviously furnished the Apostle with the agonistic 
imagery of 1 Cor. ix. 2427. Less distinguished for 
higher culture than Athens, it was yet able (standing to 
Athens in much the same relation as Venice did to 
Florence from the 13th to the 16th century) to boast 
of its artists in stone and metal (Corinthian bronze was 
proverbial for its excellence), of its rhetoricians and 
philosophers. On its conquest by the Roman general 
Mummius (B.C. 146), many of its buildings had been 
destroyed, and its finest statues had been carried off 
to Rome; and it was a Roman jest that the general 
had bound the captains of the ships that carried 
them, to replace them in case of loss. A century 
later, Julius CiBsar determined to restore it to its 
former splendour, and thousands of freed-men were 
employed in the work of reconstruction. Such was 
tin 1 scene of the Apostle s new labours, less promising. 
at first sight, than Athens, but, ultimately, far more 
fruitful in results. 

-) And found a certain Jew named Aquila, 
born in Pontus. The name presents some interest - 
in;, associations. Strictly speaking, the Greek form is 
Akylc.-:. but. this is undoubtedly the transliterated form 
of the Latin Aquila (= Eagle). The name appears in 
a yet more altered form in Onlcclos, the traditional writer 
of one of tin- Targums. or Paraphrases of the Law. 
then current among the Jews. In Aquila. one of the 
later translator?; <..! the Old Testament into Greek, 
himself also born in Pontus. and possibly i but see Mr. 
Deutsch s Remains, p. -W\ identical with Onkelos, 
we get the Greek form again. In the well-known 
chief Rabbi of the syna^o^ues oi the Jews of London. 
Dr. Adler. we have it reappearing in a German 
form [Aill i---- Eaglet. The tendency of Jews to 
take nan e . derivi d from animals when sojourning 
in heathen countries, may be noted as not uncom 
mon. Ursulus. Leo. Leopardus. Dorcas, which appear 
in the early Christian inscriptions in the Vatican and 

12 



Laleran -Museums, prr-rii* analogous instance?. \\ ,< 
birth ill Pontus indicates that he belonged to the 
dispersion of the Jews ,f that province (1 1M. 
i. 1) which, as the north-eastern region of Ana 
Minor, lay between Bithynia and Armenia. Some 
from that" province had been present at Jerusalem on 
the Day of Pentecost chap. ii. ih. As the Jews at 
Rome consisted largely of freed-men. the lib, rtin",,, 
(jcnus of Latin writers see Note on the Lll,, 
in chap. vi. 9), it is probable that Aquila beloitL 
that class. 

With his wife Priscilla. The name appear> i; 
some MSS., both here and elsewhere, in the form of 
Prisca, of which it is the diminutive. So we lum 
Lucilla from Lucia. Domitillafrom Domitia, Atticilla ii; 
an inscription in the Museum of Perugia) from Attic,-. 
The name Prisca probably indicates a connection with 
the gens of the Prisci, who appear in the earliest 
stages of Roman history, and supplied a long 
of praetors and consuls. The marriage was probably, 
therefore, an example of the influence gained by 
educated Jews over the higher class of won*. 
Rome. It was. perhaps, a natural consequeii 
her higher social position that her name is some 
times placed before Aquila s (verse 18; Rom. xvi. :} : 
2 Tim. iv. 19). The fact that she took part in the 
instruction of Apollos (see Note on verse 26), indicates 
that she was a woman of more than ordinary culture, 
a student and interpreter of the Old Testament 
Scriptures. 

The question naturally suggests itself, whether the- 
husband and wife, who were afterwards so prominent 
in the Apostolic Church, were, at this stage of their 
career, converted by St. Paul to the faith in Christ. 
The answer to that question must, it is believed, be I 
distinct and decisive negative. (1) There is no mention, 
of their listening to St. Paul, and believing, as. e.g.. 
in the case of Lydia (chap. xvi. 14); and it is hardly 
conceivable that St. Luke, who relates that ca-e s 
fully, would have omitted a fact of such importance. 
(2 1 He joins himself to them, as able to share- 
his thoughts and hopes, even before he 1 
preaching in the synagogue, as in verse 4. { . 
unbelieving Jew was not likely to have admitted 
St. Paul into a partnership in his business. Tin 
question how and by whom the Church of Christ had 
been first brought to Rome will be discussed in the 
next Xote. 

Because that Claudius had commanded all 
Jews to depart from Rome. The account of the 
expulsion is given by Suetonius (Claudius, e. -~> i.. 
words which are in many ways suggestive (. /", 
JinJ<ff>f<. ini2ii.torc CVur.-.7n. ( /.<>-/v //r tumuUuantes, 
expulit" ( Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome 
on account of their continual tumults, instigated bv 
Chrestus"i. The Jews, at this period, were settled 
mainly in the Transtiberi:ie region of Rome, at th 
of the Janiculum. oppo-ih il; present (-iluifn. or. I 
of the city. They exercised considerable influenc. 
over the upper classes, had -yn;iLr"irues and nratorn^ 
(proscvi-lin . see Xotes on chap. xvi. 1:!; Luke vi. 
their own. were tolerati-d -T a i-ilHgii- 

had their own cemet.-ri.-s on the Appian "Way. 
denlv then 1 is a change in their relations *o the 
power, and the nai is is connected with it. 






TIIK ACTS. XVIII. 






:ill -i.-ws to -I -part 
:) :unl raiin uni" lli -m. " And 
tin- Minn- rnil i. In- 

:il),.<li> \\ith iliriiu ami \vr.u^lit : t r 1( v 
tht-ir niviipation t! miii:ikT>. 



\ :<1 In- n-asiiiii-d in tin- 
rvT\ sallialli, ami ]..-rsiia<lril th.- . 
ami 1 In- < rre< h I, \ . Silafi ami 

Tiii ntm -us \viTt- come from M:.< .<mn, 

l a:il was pr- s^l i:; th" >i 



)f tli,. 111:111 whom he MI mentions. Suetonius tells iis 
nothing further. l>ut we know that the sounds of the 
tjr.- k i " :iud <"" were liaril y distinguishable. 

Ter ullian Apol C. says that the name of ( /n /.-///.- 

wa> almost invariably pronounced Ghresfau, ami. as 

that won signifies "^rood." " ii-rt ul." " lionest." founds 

i kimi of argvmewhtm ml hominem on the prevalent 

mistake. So in Jewish inscriptions in tho Lateran 

Museum. Alfii f appears a-- the equivalent for the 

x form Altitun*. The probable explanation of 

Lius e decree, accordingly, is that men had come 

to Home after t lie Day of Pentecost proclaiming Jesus 

as the Christ, that tills hail been followed l>y tumults 
like those of whieh we read in the Pisidian Antioch 
diap. xiii. " !. and Lystra chap, xiv. l!> . and Thes- 
s-ilonica chap. xvii. 5), and I -.-r-.-a chap. xvii. 1:? , 
and that asihe name of C hri-tu- was much in the mouths 
iioth of those wh<i received and those who rejected 
ITs claim to lie the Messiah, rhe Roman magistrate-,, 
like (.!a!lio. careless as to questions aliout names and 
words iver-e ].". .naturally inferred that he was the leader 
of one of tlie ]>artics. probably assuming, as at Thessa- 
ionica chap, xvii. 7,. that lie claimed t lie title of kiny 

he manner of the pretender* to an earthly throne. 
If we ask who were th" first preachers of the new faith. 
h" answer, though we may lie unable to identify indi 
viduals, is not far to seek. 1> It was scarcely likely 
. hat twenty-three years should have passed since the 
Day of Pentecost, without brinsrm.ir to the oars of the 
Jews of Koine Mime tidings of what was ^oinjjf on in 
Palestine. -J In the list of those who were present at 
. he Pentecostal wonder are strangers of Rome, .lews and 
proselytes chap. ii. 1" . o Amonir tlie Hellenistic Jews 
vln> disputed with Stephen were liin i-liiti. or freed-meu 

me, and Ste-ihen himself, we saw reason to lielieve. 

belonged to the same class. See Notes ,,n chap. vi. 

\- Androuicus and .lunias , contracted from 

.Tuuianus. as Lucas from Lncanus . who are amone; 

ih ise to whom St. Paul sends messages of affection 

me. were "in Christ " In-fore him (Rom. xvi. 7). 
To these, then, and not to St. Peter, we may pro- 
Italily look as amonu: ihe real founders of the Church of 
H pine. The t.i,-ts all indicate that the theology of the 
diM-iples of Unme was likely to lie liased upon the 
same yroat principles as tiiat of Stephen, and this 
explains the readiness with whieh A,jiiila and Priscilla 

received the U r "-|> 3 - III ]ireaclied it. It is 

obvious that mai y more of thos,. \\ ho had been 

expell.-il from Koine were likely to have accompanied 

them from Rome to Corinth, and the loiij; list of 

names in Rom. xvi. :! l."i probablj COnsistfl for the most 

who had thus (-me within the ran ire of 

bt. I ani s personal acquaintance, and had returned to 

in the interval. The names in that list are many 

<:f them identical with ilio<e in ti. . or 

burial-place, on the Ap]>ian Way. which, contains the 

- if the men and women of the fnvd-man clasa 

who lielonired to the household of the Emjires^ Livia. 

and make it almost c.-riaiii that they were ,:f the -aine 

and tha when St. Paul speaks Phi!, iv. I l ,.f 

id " h" i- refevi-in^r to 

rank. 



( See Notes on Rom. xvi. The name ,,f IVi-ni- . 
it may be added, in a Christian inscription of uncertain 
date in the ( olle^io Romano. \V,- need not \vond,,- 
that (Jreek should be the medium of intcrconr-e even 
with these K.unaii Jews. The inscriptions in the re- 

oently difloorered Jewish cemetery in the l /;/.-/" /, ./.,</. 

niiii. at Rome, show a strange i>lendin^ of the two 
lan^uaircs, (Jreek words appeal-in;: sometimes in Latin 
characters, and Latin words in (ireek. Helirew docs 
not appear, but the symbol of the s-ven-branchcd 
candlestick of the Temple recurs frequently. 

; Because he was of the same craft. 
The eallu .v; was one which St. Paul had probably 
learnt and practised in his native city, which was 
noted then, as now. for the roii<_ r h {. o.-.t s-hair : 

known to the Romans, from the nai f the p- ovince. 

as Cilicium < = sack-cloth). The material was one used 
for the sails of ships and for tents, and on the whole, 
though some have supposed that leather was used for 
the latter, it seems more probable that this was the 
material which St. Paul worked at. It may be added 
that Pontus. from which Aqnila came, was also famous 
for the same manufacture, the material in each ease 
bein<r furnished by the ^oats which fed upon the sl,,],,.s 
of tin Taurus, and the mountain ranges of that pro 
vince-. The fact that St. Paul had learnt this trade is 
not inconsistent with the comparative oj.idence -\\^. 
lasted by his education both in boyhood at Tarsus and 
at the feet of Gamaliel in Jerusalem. The Rabbinic 
proverb, that " He who does not teach his son a trade, 
teaches him to hi- a thief." made such instruction almost 
universal. So the <rreat Hillel was a carpenter. Here 
it is clear, lie took the course of working for his liveli 
hood, as he had done at The.s-; t ], ,],;,,. that he mijrlit 
keep himself from the suspicion of self-interest in his 
work as a teacher <1 Cor. ix. l. i T. : -J Cor. xi. 713). 
Such was the beirinninir of his labours at Corinth. A 
new artisan was working for wajjfes. or as a partner, pro 
bably the latter, as afterwards with Philemon Philein. 
verse 17 . in the workshop of the Jew. not as yet known 
to tin 1 outer world as more than a .lew. wh-i had 

n ntly arrived in Corinth from Home. 

( 4 > He persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 
It is necessary to remind the reader that the 
latter word does not mean Greek-*peakiii!r Jews. , 
proselytes in the full sense of the word, bt 
elsewhere i see Note on chap. xi. l!:2). is u-ed for those 
who were Gentiles by birth, ar.d who. though wor 
shipping in the sy:;a-oL, r ue. had not accepted circum 
cision. 

And when Silas and Timotheus were 
come from Macedonia. We learn from 1 Thes>. 
ii. N. that the latter had come to St. Paul at Athens, 
but had been almost immediately sen: bae 
hmica to brinir fr.rtli.-r news aliout the convert 
whose trials the Apostle felt so much syinpaiiiy and 
anxiety. They brought a <_ r oo<l report of their faith and 
love 1 Tlless. iii. : . po^sihly aUo fres], p 

i 1 regard, and that of the Philippians. i. 
iorm of e/ifts il Cor. xi. ! . This may. however, ivfe;- 
to a later occasion. The Fii st Kpistl - t . the ! 
lonians was proliably sent l>ack by the brethren w t.j 



The Jwz of Corinth. 



\ III ] ACTS, XVIII. Criap r of fa ^/ 



testified to the Jews Hint Jesus Wd8 
Christ. (t;) And when they opposed 
themselves, ;illd l>l;ispliemed, lie shook 
hi* raiment. ;i-id s;iid unto them. Your 
lloo 1 /(, i jMi;i your own liei-ils:" I am 
dean: from henceforth I will yo unto 
the Gentiles. 


la it 

ti 1 for. 1.14. 


(7) And lie <l"pa: i trd thence, and en 
tered into a certuiii man s bo ise, DI 
Justus, o/te thut worsliipprd God, whose 
house johied hard to tli.- -;yiui -rogue. 
(8) And Crispus, the chief ruler of the 
synagogue, believed on the Lord with 
all his house ; and many of the Corin- 



li.-nl accompanied Silas and Timotheua on their journey 
to Corinth. Tin- reader will note tin- parallelism (1) 
between the passage in 1 The< . iv. U>. 17. which treats 
of the Second Advent, with the teaching of 1 Cor. xv. 
51, ^ 2. and rJ between the f<>v, words as to spiritual 
gifts, in 1 Thess. v. lit 21. with the fuller treatment 
of tlie sanie subject in 1 Cor. xii. xiv. 

Paul was pressed in the spirit. The better 
MSS. give. hi- was constrained by the Word." 1 The 
words describe something of the sap;; 1 .-.trong emotion 
as the "paroxysm" 1 of chap. xvii. 16. The Word was 
within him as a constraining power, compelling him to 
give utterance to it. His " heart was hot within him, 
and while he was musing the fire kindled" (Ps. xxxix. 
4). Whether there was any connection between the 
arrival of .Silas and Timothensaiid this strong feeling is 
a question which there are no sufficient data for 
answering. It is hardly satisfactory to say. as has 
been suggested, that they probably brought pecuniary 
supplies from Macedonia (2 Cor. xi. 9), and that he was 
therefor^ relieved from die obligation of working for his 
livelihood, and able to give himself more entirely to the 
work of preaching. There is no indication of his giving 
up tent. making, and 1 Cor. ix. 1 is decidedly against it. 
probable explanation may be found in the strong 
di lire -of which lie says, in Rom. xv. 23, that he had 
:ed it for many years to see Rome and preach 
tli.- .-pel there. Now lie found himself brought into 
contact with those who had come from Rome, who 
fo; n. -d. in fact, part of its population, and the old 
feeling was stirred to a new intensity. 

( r; And when they opposed themselves, and 
blasphemed. The latter word includes the reviling 
of which the Apostle himself was the object, as well 
as blaspheming against God. Assuming what has been 
sag-- -i -d in the Xote on verse -2. we may think of 
the-- disturbances as reproducing what had already 
taken place at Rome. We may. perhaps, trace an echo 
of such blasphemies in the word s " Anathema be Jesus." 
of w lich St. Paul speaks in 1 Cor. xii. 3 as having 
b("-n ntered as with the vehemence of a simulated 
inspiration, again-t which men needed to be warned. 

He shook his raiment. On the symbolic signi 
ficance of the a . t, sec Xote on Matt.X. 11. AS done 

by a Jew to Jews no words and no act could so well 
expivs, the Apostle s indignant protest. It was the 
las resource of one who found appeals to reason and 
con-, -ience powerless, and was met by brute violence 
and clamour. 
You;- blood be upon your own heads. The 

p~:ira-e and thought Were both e-sentially Hebrew. 
fot nn Matt, xxvii. 2~> . i We can hardly think of 
tin Ap-istle as using them without a distinct reco I 
ll of the language which defined the responsibility 
of a prophet of the truth in E/.ek. iii. 1 s *. l! . 

From henceforth I will go unto the 

Gentiles. The words are almost identical with tho-e 

m ch;:p. xiii. -It!, and are explained by them. It is 

. in each cas- that the words have a limited and 

local application. !< did not renounce al 



future work among the Jews, but gave up preaching to 
those at Corinth. 

(?) And entered into a certain man s house, 
named Justus. On the name, see Note on chap. i. 2:}. 
It may lie added here that it occurs also in earlv Christian 
inscriptions in the Vatican Museum, in one case at 
the bottom of a glass cup, in the MK.^SO Chrixtiitin: 
in conjunction with the name of Timotheus. In 
of the better MSS. the nain- Titu> i, prefixed to Ju-tu i, 
and it will be noted that both in chap i. :J3. and (, ol. i\ 
11, the latter is used as an epithet after the name> 
of Joseph and of Jesus. It is found by itself in the 
Jewish cemetery above referred to. iSee Xote 01: 
verse 1.) It would be rash to infer from this the 
identity of this Titus Justus with the Titus of Gal. ii. 3, 
as the disciple left in Crete. The name Titus was. like 
Caius or Gains, one of the common. -st Roman names, and. 
if the reading be genuine, we may think of the epithet 
as added to distinguish the Titus of Corinth from his 
namesake. On the other hand, to state the evidence ou 
both sides fairly, the Titus who appears in 2 Cor. ii. \2. 
vii. 14, viii. 16,23, was obviously very closely connected 
with the Church of Corinth, and was not unlikely to h.- 
sent to Crete to exercise a mission analogous to thai 
which he had been entrusted with at Corinth, and the 
combination of the names Timotheus and Justus. 
above referred to, as equally entitled to reverence, 
is more intelligible if we assume that the latter 
name belonged to Titus, and that both stood there 
fore in the same relation to St. Paul as disciples and 
friends. In any case the Justus who is here named was, 
like Titus, an uucircumciscd Gentile, attending the 
synagogue as a proselyte of the gate. Up to this time 
apparently, St. Paul had been lodging in the house of 
a Jew, in some region of Corinth analogous to the Ghetto 
of modern Rome, in the hope of conciliating his brethren 
according to the flesh. Xow. in sight of the wild 
frenzied fanatics, he goes into a hou-e which they would 
have shrunk from entering, even though it was ney. 
door to the synagogue, and though the man who lived in 
it was a devout worshipper. 

(*) And Crispus, the chief ruler of the syna 
gogue, believed on the Lord The article does 
not necessarily show that there was only one ruler 
commonly, as at the Pisidian Antioch u-hap. xiii. 
15 1, there were more but that this Cri-pus was thus 
distinguished from others of the same name. The 
office was one which gave its holder an honourable 
position, and. as in inscriptions from the Jewi.-h 
catacombs now in the Lateral! Museum, was recorded 
on tombstones (All m* Ai-<-lii*ijn,j:>-<- a< a personal 
distinction of which the family of th- deceased were 

Sroud. In favour of so conspicuous a convert. St. Paul 
eviated from his usual practice, and baptised ( rispu- 
witli his own hands 1 ( or. i. 111. 

Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, 
and were baptized. The ten-e of .he two verb- 
implies a process M-uin^- on daily for an undefined 
period. Among the converts we may note (Jains. 
or ( aitis. probably :: man of higher social position il.a-i 
122 






TIII-: ACTS. xvni. 






in-li.-vi il, ami 

ti/,-,1. Th. -n .s[,ak.- th.- Lord to Paul 

in tin- niu lit l>v a \i-i.m. li.- imt at rai<l, 
Imt s|.rak, ami 1ml. I imt t hv ]> I 

I am \\ itli thcc. ami n> man shall 

i bhee t.- hurt tln-c: l<ir i hav 

inurh iM-ni.l.- in tliis c-itv. < 11 And In- 



iuili il fit, ,; ;i year ami si . Mii.nths, 
t.-ai-hiiiLT h 1 wonl ! <;..<1 aimniLr lh-m. 
t 1 - AIM! when < rallio \v;i tin- .l.-pr.tv 
of Achaia. tin 1 J.-\vs ;na<l.- in.-nn. 

With 01M- ..< ul d 

brought him t<> th- jml^i: 

- \\ i ii_;-. This _/ .//.,/ )..-r>uail. th m.-i 



others, who made hi- house the meeling-place of the 
Clmreh. and at St. i aul s second \isit received him 

. ne-t i Koin. xvi. J:; . and the household ; 
phanas. who. as " the lirst -fruits of Achaia." must have 
been amonir the earliest converts i 1 Cor. xvi. !" . The-e 
ai-o St. Paul baptised himself 1 for. i. Ik I- , . For- 
tnnatus and A-haicus. and f hloe, a prominent female 
convert il for. i. ! 1 . with Quart us. and Erastns the 
chamberlain of the city iRum. xvi. - >. and EpffinettlS, 
also among the " lirst -fruits of Achaia " Rom. xvi. ~> . 
may also be counted among the di-ciples made now 
or soon afterwards. 

0) Then spake the Lord to Paul. We note 
the recurrence of these visions at each irn-at crisis of the 
Apo-tle s life. He had seen the Lord at his conversion 
icha]i. ix. 4 tii. he had heard the same v.,ice and seen 
the same form in his trance in the Temple at Jerusalem 
chap. xxii. 1 7 . Xow he saw and heard them once more. 
" In visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth up. m 
men." he pas-ed from t lie strife of tongues into the pre 
sence of i he Divine Friend. The words " Be not afraid " 
imply that he too was subject to fear and depression, 
and f.-lt keenly the trial of seeming failure and com 
parative isolation. His converts came chieily from tin- 
slave or fr 1-maii class, and those of a culture like his 

own. whether (Jr.-eks or Jews, were slow to accept his 
preaching i 1 for. i. :M. - J7). And then, too. he carried, 
as it were, his life in his hands. The reviling of the 
.lews might any hour burst into furious violence or 
deliberate plots of assassination. Xo wonder that he 
needed the gracious words. "Be not afraid." The 
temptation of such a moment of human weakness was 
to fall back, when words seem fruitless, into the safety 
of silence, and therefore the command followed. "Speak, 
and hold not thv peace." We are reminded of th" like 
passing mood of discouragement in one great crisis of 
Elijah s life il Kings xix. I -! 1 . y.-t more, perhaps, 
of it- frequent recurrence iii Jeremiah (Jer. i. b 8 ; 
xv. i:, _!! . 

For I am with thee. The command was fol- 
i we I by a promise which met the special trial of 
the time. Men might be against him. but Chri-t was 
with him. The general promi-e given to the Church 
at large. Lo ! I am with you alway-" (Matt, xxviii. 
J" . received a personal application. " 1 am with //..-" 
and though called to a life of suffering, then- wa- for 
the time an assurance that the wrath of men should be 
restrained, and that his work should not be hindered. 

I have much people in this city. The words 
remind us once more of those which Elijah had heard at 
a moment of like weakness. " Vet !iav I left me even 
thousand men in 1-rael" 1 Kings xix. L8). Even in 
the sinful street- of Corinth, among thai 
deepe-t into its -in 1 Cor. v. 1<. 11 . tin-re w&TG *< ;il- 
yeai-ning for deliverance, in whom conscience u. 
dead, and \\.-is waiting only for the call t > repentance. 

<" And he continued there a year and six 
months.- -This obviously gave time not on.-. 
founding and organising a Church at Corinth it- 

for w.irk in th. neighbouring districts, such a- tl. 



of ( enchreie. where we lind in tv"m. xvi. 1 a church duly 
furnished not only with presbyter- ,-md deacon-, but 

with a si-.terliood of d< a n SM -. The supcrscrijitinn 

of -2 Cor. i. 1, "to the Clmrcli that is in Corinth an. 1 , /, 
nil tin uniitf* Hint iti-i- in nil A !, " i. clearly indie,; 
exteii-iou ,,f evangelising work beyond the limits of the 
city. The unimpeded pro-Te-- ,,[ thi> period e.uiie 
to him as an abundant fulrlment of the Lord s 
jiromise, and prepared him for the next persecution 
when it came. 

-And when Gallic was the deputy of 
Achaia. " Deputy " stands, as before (see Note on 
chap. xiii. 7). for " proconsul." Here. also. St. Luke 
shows his characteristic acciiracv in ll.e u-e of oMicial 
titles. Achaia. which included the whole of (live.-,- 
south of the province of Macedonia, had been an im 
perial province under Tiberiu- Tacitus. Ann. \. 7<i .and 
had been governed by a pr;.-o:-. but had been recently. 
iu the same year a- the ex|>;,i-ion of the Jews from 
Rome, restored to the senate by Claudius, a- n.i 
longer needing direct military control (Suetonius, 
Claud, c. 25>. Gullio. or to give his full name, 
M. Aiuui iis Xovattis. who had .aken the n<j, 
of Gallio on his ado[ !ion by the rhetorician of that 
name, was the brother of L. Auiueus Seneca, tin- 
tutor of Xero. The philosopher dedicated to him 
two treati-e- on Anger and the Blessed Life: and 
the kindliness of his nature made him a general fa 
vourite. He was even-body s dulcis (Jallio." wa- 
p raised by his brother for his disinterestedness 
calmness of temper, as one " who was loved much. 
e\en by those \\lio had but little capacity for 1< 
(Seneca. Ay/, civ. . On the whole, therefore, we may 
see iii him ; very favourable example of what philo 
sophic culture was able to do for a Roman state- 
man. On the probable connection of the writer of the. 
Acts with his family, see Inti\nlitctiun fu flu Cvgpel of 
St. Luke. 
Made insurrection . . . against Paul. 

lietter, perhaps, i-iifi, iif) ti</<i!n.--f. or rn*hr,l upon, our 
word insurrection" having acquired th:- ,-pecial 
meaninu of a revolt of subjects against ruler-. 

And brought him to the judgment seat. 
The habit of the Roman governors of provinces was 
connmi .ly to hold their court .:i the </(;/./. or market 
place on certain fixed days (see Xote n chap. xi> 
so that anv one miijfht ajip -al to have his grievance 
heard. ( Jallio was now so sitting, and the .Jew-, having 
jirobably jircc mcerted their plans. -,i,ok a l\an;. 
the opportunity. 

|1; This fellow persuadeth men to worship 
God contrary, to the law. It is olivious that in 

this appeal to the proconsul the .lews must have nn-ajit. 
not the law of Mo-e-. but that of Rome. Their 

contention was that though Jew- had 1 n bani.-hed 

from Home as a mea-ure of policy. Judaism a- -udi 
vraa -till a rettigio licita, tolerated and recognis -.1 by 

tin- State. Their charge against the A : 
tiiat In- was preaching new n-liirion. which wa- not 
The\\i.. .- "this fell,,w." though the 



TIIK AITS, XVIII. 



Paul ,L r rt* for 



to WO I contrary to the law. 

. id when Pan! was now about to 
open his mouth, (ialiio said unt<> tin.- 
.)Vus, If it \\vn- o matter of wrong or 
wick.-d Icwdnrss. (J . /< Jews, reason 
would Ilial I .-Micsiid bear with you: 
11 but it it be a question of words and 
names, and of your law, !..k \c !,> it ; 
}br 1 will be no judge of such mutt,-,-*. 

And he drave them from the judg- 



m<-nt seat. < 17 ^ Then all the Greeks 
tii<k Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the 
synuu dn-ne, and beat him before the 
judgment seat. And Gallio cared for 
none of those things. 

< 18 > And Paul itftrr ////* tarried there 
yet a good while, and then took his 
leave of the brethren, and sailed thence 
into Svria, and Avith him Priscilla and 
Aquila; having shorn ///.s head in 



substantive is .-in interpolation, fairly expresses the 
contempt implied in tin- use of tin- Greek pronoun. 

41 When Paul was now about to open his 
mouth. Tlu- phrase always implies. ;ts lias been 
iioliccil (see Xotc on chap. viii. oo), the beginning of 
a set discourse. St. Panl was about to begin a formal 
njK l / ". This. however, proved to l)e unnecessary. 

Gallic said unto the Jews. The proconsul 
could hardly have resided in Achaia for eighteen 
months without hearing of the new movement. He 
kne\v the Jews. He probably knew something of St. 
Paul. On the assumption already referred to , see Note 
on verse !_! the knowledge may have been fuller than 
appears on the surface. In any ease, from his staud- 
point. as philosopher and statesman, it was not a matter 
for his tribunal. He was not anxious to draw a hard 
and fast line as (n the / recognised by 

tile Slate. 

A matter of wrong or wicked lewdness. 
Better, n muftrr ,,f crime or i i-ml. "Lewdness." 
wliicli to us suggests a special class of crimes, is used 
as " lewd " had been in chap. xvii. .">. The Greek word is 
very eioseiy conneelcil with that translated " subtlety " 
in cliap. xiii. "!<>. Both words were probably used in a 
sM-ietly forensic senst the first for act s of open 
wrong, .-uch :\?- robbery or assault : the second for those 
in which a fraudulent cunning was the chief element. 

Reason would that I should bear with you. 
The very turn of the phrase expresses an intense im 
patience. Even in the case supposed, his tolerance 
wo. i id have required an effort. As it wa-. these Jews 
W altogether intolerable. 

li: " But if it be a question of words and 
names, and of your law. The second noun is in 
the singular number in the Greek. St. Paul was known 
as a speaker, one who preached the < -o/v/ of (rod. and 
with that, as distinct from acts, Gallio had nothing to 
do. The names" were those which he had prohably 
heard of at Komc. even before he came to Corinth. 
Vote mi verse J.) Was a teacher whom both 
partie> spoke oi as .!e-,i-. the Xa/arene entitled also 
to bear the name of Christosr In the emphasis laid on 
"your law" : literally, tin- /-// /, ;,/, nri i <}.< ij,,n\. the 
jud^e intimates that h-- sees through their appeal to 
law. It i> Jewish, and nol Roman law. which they are 
-ekiiiLT to vindicate. an<l lie will not make himself, as 
Pilat.-. . urotest i.Ii. lin \vi: ; . 3), bad done 

Gallio in, iv well have known the history, the execu 
tioner of an alien c^de. Vv ith a strong emphasis on 
the pronoun, be ends with. " 1. for my pa-t. have no 

wi>il to i,.- a ji.d;. . of tliese tllilitTs." 

He dravo them from the judgment seat. 

The wo;-ii- imply a magisterial act. The order was 

given to ti;r lictors to clear the court, and the .b\\-. 

:id not immediately retreat v. ere exposed <u the 

ignominy of blows from their i 



124 



d7) Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the 
chief ruler of the synagogue. The better MSB. 
omit the word "Greeks," which was probably inserted 
as an explanatory interpolation by some one who 
thought it more likely that a ruler of the synagogue 
should have been assaulted by the <ireek bystanders 
than by those of his own race. Taking the better read 
ing, and assuming the natural construction of the sen 
tence to be " all of them (sc., the Jewsi took Sosthenes 
and beat him," we have to ask for an explanation of 
conduct which seems so strange. This is probably 
found in the appearance of the same name in 1 Cor. i. 1, 
as associated with St. Panl in the Epistle to the Church 
of Corinth. It is a natural inference that Sosthenes. like 
his predecessor or partner in office (it does not necessarily 
follow that he succeeded him became a convert to the 
new faith. If so. it is probable that he was already sus 
pected of tendencies in that direction, and when tin- 
Jews at Corinth found their plans frustrated, it was 
natural that they should impute their failure to the 
lukewarmness or treachery of the man who ought to have 
carried them to a successful issue. They did not shrink 
from giving vent to their rage even before the tribunal 
of the proconsul. 

And Gallio cared for none of those things. 
More accurately. A, id Gullio crc<l imflinii/ fur these 
fJtlni/s. The words have become almost proverbial for 
the indifference of mere politicians and men of tin- 
world to religious truth. We speak of one who is 
tolerant because lie is sceptical, as a Gallio. It may 
be ijtiestioned. however, whether this was the thought 

} prominent in St. Luke s mind as he thus wrote. What 
10 apparently meant was that the proconsul was clear 
sighted enough to pay no regard to the clamours of St. 
Paul s accusers. If they chose, after failing in their 
attack on Paul, to quarrel among themselves, what was 
that to him /^f/ xxr- fni,-i\ A / x.-r;; ////" might 
well be his motto in dealing with such a people. The 
general impression, however, as to his character is not 
without its truth. The easy-going gentleness of his 
character ill fitted him to resist the temptations of 
Xero s court, and after retiring from Achaia in con 
sequence of an attack of fever (Sen. E{i. civ. . he re 
turned to Rome. and. to the distress of Burrhus and 
his own brother. Seneca, he took part in ministering 
to the emperor s vices i Dio. Ixi. 2<>i. He finally fell 
under the tyrant s displeasure, and. according to one 
tradition, was put to death by him. Another represents 
him as anticipating his fate by suicide : Tacitus, how 
ever Aim. xv. 7:! . only speaks of him as terrified by 
his brother s death, and supplicating Xero for his own 
life. 

And Paul after this tarried there yet a 
good while. Literally, ttirriril >n f nmnii liny*, the 
phrase probably covering a period of some months. The 
fact is nnled as following on (iallio s repression of ll;j 






ichrea. 



THE ACTS, XVIlI. 



i 



: t ..r h.> h;nl a v.\v. " ;i) Ami lu 
te Kplii sus, and li-t t tin-in t ln-n- : 
luit In- liinis.-lf i-nti-n-il iiitu tin- syna 



gogue, a >1 \\ith tin- 

Wli.-n tln-v il.-.-Miv.l /,;, to iaiT\ 
tiiiH.- with tin-in, LI- 



enmity i.l tin- Jews. Tin- Apostle could stay :nnl work 
on without molestation. Tin- time of his \o\age was 
pvobahly. as ill the second journey from ( orinth to 

Icrusa Irin. at ti-r the Passover, ami ln fon- Pentecost. 

Not.- on chap. ii. l.i It was tin- nio-t fa\ oiirahlo 
tiiin- of the- \ear for travelling, and it brought the 
Apostle into eontaet wiih a larger nrmher hoth of 
Hellenistie .lews and Hebrews than were found at other 
times. We can only infer, more or less conjecturally. 
1 h" motives of his journey. I As afterwards, in chap. 
I. he may have wished, in carrying out the 
eniis of i lie conipad with the Church of .lenisalem 
<ial. ii. l< . to he the hearer of alms collected fi>;- 
Jhe disci])les there. Bv some writers, however, this 
rial is identified with" that of which St. Paul there 
speaks. _! Tin- vow which he had taken see Note 
In-low t ivi|uired a visit to the Temple for its com 
pletion. (.! There in ight he a natural wish to report, 
.is in chap. xv. 4. the results of his ministry among the 
Jeiitiles. in what, from the stand-point of Jerusalem. 
>voi\ld seem the remoter regions of Macedonia and 
Achaia. 
Priscilla and Aquila. On tlio priority given 

to the name of tlie wife, see Xote on verse _ . 

Having shorn his head, in Cenchrea : for he 
had a VOW. -The grammatical structure of tlie Greek 

- - itciice makes it possible to refer the words to A<[iii!a 
,:s well as St. Paul, but then- is hardly the shadow of a 
douht that the latter is meant. (1) If Aquila had taken 

. he too would have to i, r o to Jerusalem instead of 

maining at Kphcsus. :! The language of St. .lames 

H chap. xxi. -2-t, I!!-, implies a conviction, as resting mi 

\perience, that St. Paul would willingly connect 

f with those who had such a vow. It remains to 

inquire 1 as to the nature and conditions of the vow ; 

J a-- to St. Paul s motives in Taking it. 

I i There can lie no doubt that the" vow " was that of 
nporary Xa/.arite. as described in Xum. vi. 1 21. 
It implied a separat ion From the world and common life 
this was the meaning; of the word " Xa/.arite " . and 
while under the vow the man who had taken it WM lo 
drink no wine or strong drink, and to let no ra/.or | a-s 
over his head or face. When the term was completed, 
he was to shave his head at the door of the Tabernacle, 
and burn the hair in the tire of the altar. It will be 
noted that the Xa/arites in chap. xxi. ill-, who are com 
pleting their vow. x/cnv their heads. Here a different 
wonl i "shorn" i is used, which is contrasted with 
" shaving" in 1 Cor. xi. i. Il was lawful for a man to 
have his hair cut or cropped durin<r tin- continuance 
of tile vow. and this apparently was what St. Paul now 
did. Hut in this case also t he hai - so cut ofT was to 
be taken to the Temple and burnt there, and this ex 
plains the Apostle s eagerness "by all means" 
io cp the coming feast at Jerusalem. 
A e cannot exclude from the prohah!-. motives the 
feeling ,,f thankfulness for deliverance from 
danger, following upon fear which, as in nearly nil 
- of the religious life, has been the chief impulse OUl 
of which vows have <_Town. We have seen the fear, 
and the promise, ami the deliverance, in ihc :vcord of 
:d s work at Corinth, and the vow of self-con-e- 
1 season, to a life of special devotion was 
the natural result. St. Paul had not learnt t.. d. -pi-e 
:.demn such expres-ions of devout feeling. 

24* l 



3 We may add to this motive tin- principle on which 
St. Paul acted of being "all things to all men." and. 
therefore, as a Jew to Jew- I ( or. i\. _ " 
Xa/.arite \ow would testify to all his brethren by blood 
that he did not despise the Law himself ;ior teach other 

Jews to despise it. See Xotcsonchap 

Such a vow. involving, as it did. for a time .-. irn-atrr 
asceticism than that of common life, furni-he- a link in 
the succession of thoughts in I ( or. ix. ^J - >. i 
tin- Apostle s being made "all things to all men " and 
his " keeping under his body, and briiiLring it into sub 
jection." 

> ifar we have found reasons for the vow. But 
taken by itself, the vow would seem to ha\e involved 
a continuous growth of hair rather than cropping it. 
How was that act connected with the vow r A probable 
answer to the question is found in the Apostle - lan- 

fuage as to social customs in matter- of this kind, in 
Cor. xi. 14. He condemns long hair as effeminate. 
But the Xa/.arite vow led to long hair as it- natural 
consequence, and there was. therefore, the risk that 
while practising a rigorous austerity, he might seem to 
outside observers to be adopting an unmanly refine 
ment. At Corinth men would, perhaps, know what 
his act meant, but in the regions to which he was now 
going it was wise to guard against the suspicion by a 
modification of the vow, such as Jewish law allowed. 

Cent-lire;!- was. as has been said, the eastern harbour 
of (. orinth on the Saronic (iulf. Kom. xvi. 1 indicate- 
the existence of an organised Church there. The warm 
language of gratitude in which St. Paul speaks of 
Pho he. the deacone of the Church there, i- be-t 
explained by supposing thai she had ministered to 
him as such when he was suffering from bodily pain 
or infirmity, and this, in its turn, may afford another 
probable explanation of the vow. 

He came to Ephesus, and left them there. 
The better MSS. give. "They came to E\<\> 
What follows seems to imply that he no !on<_rer con 
tinued to work with them, as at Corinth, but leaving 
them to establish themselves in their craft, beiran. under 
the pressure of his eagerness to reach Jerusalem, an 
independent course of teaching in the synagogues. 

The first mention of Kphe-u- calls for a short account 
of its history. It had been one of the early Creek 
colonies on the western coast of Asia .Minor." It fell 
under the power of Alyaite-. Kin^ of Lvdia. and his 
successor. Cru-siis. It had from the first been celebrated 
for tin- worship of Artemis see Xote on chap. xix. 1 1 ; 
and her Temple, with its sacred image, and stately 
courts, and its hundreds of priests and prieste--.es of 
various grades, was visited by pilgrims of all nati. n- 
It was one of the cities in which Kast aini 
into dose contact with each other, and the religion n 
<J recce assumed there a more Oriental character, and 
was fruitful in magic, and my-teries. and charm-;. The 
Jewish population was sutliciently numerous to have 
a -\ nau ogue. and Si. Paul. ;.- ,;-ual, appeared in it as a 
teacher. 

When they desired him to tarry longer 
time with them. This wa-, ohvnm-ly. a hopeful 
sitrn. the earnest of the fruitful labours that followed. 
Nowhere, among the churches that he founded. 
St. Paul seem to luxe found so great a f-cep-ivity for 
spiritual truth. While he looked ou the Coiiuthiaua 



SL PanCii Journey to Jri-n .-,,/,,, ,-,/ THE ACTS, XVIII. 



. Solatia, "/?./ r?tr>/yia. 



not ; (21) but bade them farewell, saying, 
I must by all means keep this feast that 
cometh in Jerusalem : but I will return 
au ain unto you, it God will." Ami lie 
>.aile,l from Kphesus. ( - 2) And when he 
had landed at Csesarea, and gone up, 
luul saluted the church, he went down 



1 to Antioch. (^ And after he had spent 
some lime tlti-,-1-. lie departed, and went 
over nil the country of (Jalatia and 
riii-ygia in order, strengthening all the 
disciples. 

< 24 > And a certain Jew*named Apollos/ 
born at Alexandria, an eloquent man. 



.>:, being children requiring to be fed with milk \1 Cor. 
.<]. 2 . he saw in the Ephesians those to whom he 
did not shun to declare "the whole counsel of God" 
(chap. xx. 27 . to whom he could, at a later date, appeal 
as able to measure his knowledge of the mystery of 
the gospel Kph. iii. 4). 

<-" I must by all means keep this feast that 
Cometh. Lit erally, the coming, or, the next feast. This 
was, probably, as has been said , the Feast of Pentecost. 
(See Note on verse 18.) If he missed that, there would 
be no other feast till that of Tabernacles; and then, in 
October, travelling, whether by sea or land, became 
dangerous and difficult. ( See Note on chap, xxvii. 9.) 

If God will. In this resting in the thought of 
the will of the Father as ordering all things well ever 
in their use of almost the same formula, to them much 
more than such a formula as the Deo volentc has often 
become in the lips of Christians we find another 
point of agreement between St. Paul and St. James 
(Jas. iv. 1"> . 

(22) And when he had landed at Csesarea. 
It is obvious that a great deal is covered by the short 
record of this verse. In the absence of any dt<i in 
the Acts for settling the question, we may possibly refer 
to some casualty in this voyage, one of the three ship 
wrecks of 2 Cor. xi. 2-">. At Caisarea. we may believe, he 
would probably renew his intercourse with Philip the 
Evangelist. At Jerusalem there would be the usual 
gathering of the Church, the completion of his Nazarite 
vow in the Temple, a friendly welcome on the part of 
St. James and the elders of the Church. Peter was 
probably at Antioch (Gal. ii. 11), or possibly at Babylon 
(1 Pet. v. 13 1. To this visit to Antioch we may probably 
refer the scone which St. Paul narrates in Gal. ii. 
1114. His long absence from Antioch had left the 
Jndaising party time to gather strength and organise a 
new attack on the freedom of the Gentiles, and they 
brought a fresh pressure to bear upon the element of 
instability which still lingered in St. Peter s character, 
ami he had not been able to resist it. It is, however, 
possible that the incident may have occurred before 
Paul and Silas had left Antioch. (See Note on chap. 

xv. :;;. ! r >. 

(; Went over all the country of Galatia 
and Phrygia in order. It is clear from the Epistle 
to the (ialatians that on this visit lie found few traces. 
or none at all. of the work of the Judaisers. The 
change came afterwards. Some falling away from 
heir first love. >ome relapse into old national vices, he 
may June noticed already which called for earnest 
warning iGal. v. 21). As he passed through the 
chnrein-s he hail founded <>n his previous journey, he 
gave the directions for the weekly appropriation of 
what men could spare from their earnings it he term, a 
weekly " offertory." Though often employed of it. does 
-not represent the fact> if the case . to which he refers 
in 1 Cor. xvi. 2. What churches in Phrygia wen- ! 
visited we ore unable to say. A possible conM ruc 
tion of Col. ii. 1 might lead us to think of tho-c ,,t ; 
the valley of the Lycus, Colossa-, Hierapolis, Laodicea. 



as having been founded by him. but the more probable 
interpretation of that passage is. that he included them 
in the list of those who had not seen his face in tin 
tlesh. 

(-*) And a certain Jew named Apollos, born 
at Alexandria. The name was probably a contrac 
tion of Apollonius or Apollodorus. The facts in the, 
New Testament connected with him show that lie occu 
pied a prominent position in the hisc >ry of the Apostolic 
Church. Conjectures, more or less probable, indicate a 
yet more representative character and a wider rang 
of influence. Luther, looking to the obviously Alex 
andrian character of the Epistle to the Hebrews and to 
the mystery which shrouds its authorship, and which 
led Origen to the conclusion that God alone knew wh 
wrote it. hazarded the thought that Apollos was the 
writer. Later critics have adopted the hypothesis, and 
have brought it to a closer approximation to certainty 
by an induction from numerous parallelisms in thought 
and language between the Epistle and the writings ol 
Philo, who lived between B.C. 20 and A.D. 40 or o< >. The 
present writer has carried the inquiry one step further. 
Among the ethical books of the LXX. there is one. 
the Wisdom of Solomon, the authorship of which is 
also an unsolved problem. It is not named or quoted 
by any pre-Christian writer. Clement of Rome beini: 
the first writer who shows traces of its influence, jn-t 
as lie is the first who reproduces the thoughts of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews. It has been ascribed to 
Philo partly on the external evidence of a doubtful 
passage in the Muratorian Canon, partly on the internal 
evidence of numerous coincidences with his writings 
A careful comparison of the two books shows sod..-, 
an agreement in style and language between the 
Wisdom of Solomon and the Epistle to the Hebrews 
that it is scarcely possible to resist the inference that 
they nmst have come from the same pen. and that the; 
represent, therefore, different stages in the spiritual 
growth of the same man. Those who wish to cany tli. 
inquiry further will find the subject discussed at length 
in two papers, "On the Writings of Apollos," in Vol. 1. 
of the Expositor. Without assuming more than the 
probability of this inference, it is \et oh .ious that a 
.lew coming from Alexandria ?.t this limo could hardly 
fail to have come under Philo s influence, and that his 
mode of interpreting the Scrip , ures would naturally pre 
sent many analogies to that of the Alexandrian thinker. 
To him accordingly may be assigned, without much 
risk of error, tic: first introduction of the characteristic- 
idea of Philo that the Unseen dodhead manifests it>;-h 
in the Lof/o.-; the Divine }\ n,-<l. or / ///"///. a> seen in 
the visible .-reiuioii, and in the spirit and heart of man 
(Wisd. iv. 1. -2, 4: xvi. 12; xviii. i:, ; H.-b. iv. 12). It 
will biHvinem .ieivd that Jews of Alexandria were among 
those wi.o disputed with Stephen chap. vi. ! . Soni-> 
of these may have been more or less persuaded by his 
preaching, and have carried back to their native ciy 
some knowledge, more or less complete, of the new fa ! r! 

An eloquent man. The Greek adjective impHos 
learning as well as eloquence. It was applied piv- 



126 



/ n> Kphetut, 



Y\ 1 !] A< "I S. X \ 1 1 I. M \nttructed /,>/ 



,/./ / 



mighty in the script ;nvs, ,-ame 1<> 
|J " Tlii*. mm! was instrneted 
in the way >t the I,i>rd; mid 
fervent in tin- spirit. In- spake 

taught diligently the things ol tin- 

knowing only tin- Kaptism i.f John. 
And In- In-o-an t<> .speak linldiv in the 



>.yna _ r <>LTMi : \vlnun \\ln-n Aipiila and 
I ri.seilla had ln-ard. th.-v took him unto 
/// // . and expounded unto him the wav 
Of God more perfectly. j: And \vln-n 
lie uas disposed tn pas> into Adiaia, 
the Invthren wmt". exh irtiiiLT tin- dis- 
eiples ti. receive him : \\liu. wli.-u In- WBM 



cm!"ently tn those who wrote ! i-Inrv with fulness and 
insight ! L; H. ; . ~~. ill - treatment of the 

history tif 1-raei i.th in Wisd. x.. xi.. xviii.. ami Hi-li. 
xi. might w-ll IK- described by it. 

This man was instructed in the way of 

the Lord. Better. Itml /,,< ;/,>/,,/,,/. The verh is 
tin- same as that used in Luke i. 1 where sec Note . 
and was afterwards used technically in the form of 
( ,if, ,-lm,iti-ii tn deserilie the status of a < HI vert preparing 
for l)ai>tism. Tlie "way of the Lord " is used in a 
half-technical sense, as in the phrase "those of the 
\vav" -ee Note on chap, ix. ->. as equivalent to what, 
in modern speech, we should describe as the " religion" 
Of Christ. 

And being fervent in the spirit. The noun is 
obviously used, as in the identical phrase in Rom. xii. 11, 
for the spirit of the man. not for the Holy Spirit 

Of <TOll. 

He spake and taught diligently. Better, he 

,1 iiliinj "in! fi in-l,/ii(/ <ti-i:iii-<it>-lij. Both verbs 
are in the tense which implies continuous action. 

The things of the Lord. The better MSS. -rive. 
"the things com .-riling Jesus." We ask in what the 
teaching, wliicli is tlius described as accurate, was yet 
defective. The position of Apollos at this stage was. it 
would seem, that <>f one who knew the facts of our Lord s 
life, and death, and resurrection, and had learnt, com 
paring these with Messianic prophecies, to accept Him 
as the Christ. But his teacher had been one who had 
not gone beyond the standpoint of the followers of the 
Baptist, who accepted Je-u- as the Christ during His 
ministry on earth. The Christ was for him the head 
of a glorified Judaism, retaining all its distinctive 
features. lie had not as yet learnt that " circum- 
< ision was nothing" (1 Cor. vii. l! : (Jal. v. ( . and 
that tin- Temple and all its ordinance-, were " (It-caving 
and waxing old. and readv to vanish away" (Heb. 
viii. 1:5.. 

Knowing only the baptism of John. The. 
words are full of interest, as showing a wider extent in 
the work of the Baptist, as the forerunner of the 
Christ, than i:. indicated in the < iospels. Even at 
Alexandria, probably aimine; the ascetic communities of 
the Therapeut;e, whose life was fashioned, upon the 
same model, then- were those who had come under his 
influence. 

Whom when Aquila and Priscilla had 
heard . . .Many of the best MSS. put Priseilla s 
name first, as in Terse 1 s . The fact mentioned ia 
int.-restimr as showing T< that Apulia and his wife 
continued to attend the services of fche -ynau oirue. and 
~2 that Apollos appeared there, as St. Paul had done, 
in the character of a Rabbi who had a message to 
deliver, and was therefore allowed, or. it may In-, iv- 
ijiiested a- in chap. xiii. ] < . to addiv-s the people. 

And expounded unto him the way of God 

more perfectly. Better, as maintaining the right 

relation of the comparative to :lr- positive adverb of 

\ioii> ver^e. ,,/,,-. accurately. The prominence 

cilia i i this in ; ruction implies that >li.- 



127 



was a woman of mor-- than ordinary culture. :i student 
of the older Scriptures, able, with a prophetic iiis : j_r],t. 
to help even the disciple ,f Pliilo to understand them 

better than lie had (lone before. !t follows of necessity 

that "the way of (Jod" which they "expounded" to 
him was the gospel as they had learnt it from St. Paid. 
perhaps as they had learnt it. at an earlier -tair--. iV"ii. 
the lips of Stephen or his followers. S.-.- .Note on 
verse -2.: It would include, to put the matter somewhat 
technically, the doctrines of salvation by grace, an-. 
justification by faith, and the gift of the Spirit, and 
union with Christ through baptism and the Supper of 
the Lord. It would seem to follow almost necessarilv. 
as in the case of the twelve disciples in the next chapter 
chap. xix. 1 <>. that Apollos. who had before known 
only the baptism of John, was now baptised into " the 
name of the Lord JpsO8." 

i- 7 * And when he was disposed to pass into 
Achaia. In the absence of the name of any city 
in the province. Corinth naturally siiL irests itself as 
the place to which lie went. Chap. xix. 1. and tl.e 
mention oi. Apollos in 1 Cor. i. li . turns this into a 
certainty. He felt, we may believe, that his training in 
the philosophical thought of Alexandria qualified him 
to carry on there the work which St. Paul had beirnn 
both there and at Athens. One wim had written, or 
even read, the noble utterances of Wisd. i., ii., wa~ 
well qualified to carry an airu ressive warfare into tin- 
camp of the Kpiciireans. while thoughts Hke tip 
Wisd. \ii.. \iii.. especially viii. 7. with its recognition 
of the four cardinal virtues of (ireek ethics, "tem 
perance and prudence, justice and fortitude." would 
attract the sympathy of the nobler followers ,,f Xcno. 

The brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples 
to receive him. This is the first instance of what 
were afterwards known technically a> " letters of com 
mendation " see Note on _ < or. iii. 1 .written by oin 
church to another in favour of the bearer. The fact 
that they were given by the Christian community at 
Kphesus shows how favourable an impression Apollos 
had made there. It is probable that St. Paul alludes 
indirectly to these letters in the passage just referred to. 
The partisans of Apollos had referred to tiieni a- mie 
of the points in which he excelled St. Paul. He had 
come with letters of commendation. He had received 
them when he left Corinth. The Apostle answers 
the disparaging taunt in the language of a noble indig 
nation. He needed llo such epistle. The cllUirll 
which he had planted was itself an epistle. " known 
and read of all men " 2 Cor. iii. :!>. 

Helped them much which had believe- 
through grace. The two last words admit, in the 
(Jreek as in the Kn^lish. of beine; taken either with 
"helped" or "believed." The tormer construction 
seetrs preferable. It was through the ^raci of (lod.co- 
operating with the gift of wisdom, that A polios wasablc 
to lead men to a higher stage of thought. It will be 
noted that this exactly corresponds with th-- account 
which St. Paul gives of his relation to the teacher whom 
somes,.; up against him a-;: rival: "I have piai-ted; 



Apollos at Co i- milt. 



THE ACTS, XIX. 



at 



come, helped Ihom much which h;nl 
believed through LTI-HCO: (28) for he 
mightily convinced the Jews, and tlmi 
publickly, shewing by the scriptures 

that Jesus \vas Christ. 

CHAPTER XIX.* 1 ) And it came to 
pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, 
Paul having 1 passed through the upper 


A.D. 58. 


coasts came to Ephesus : mid finding 
certain disciples, w h- said unto them. 
Have ye received the Holy Gln.st sim-.- 
ye believed? And they said unto him, 
We have not so much as heard whether 
there be any Holy Ghost. < 3 > And In- 
said unto them, Unto what then were 
Je baptized? And they said, Unto 
ohn s baptism. < 4 Then said Paul, 



Apollos watered." I have laid the foundation and 
another buildeth thereon" (1 Cor. iii. 6, 10). 

i- s He mightily convinced the Jews. The 
conclusion to which he led the Jews was the same as 
that which St. Paid urged on them. The process was. 
perhaps, somewhat different, as the line of argument in 
the Epistle to the Hebrews differs from that in the 
Epistle to the Galatians. To lead men on, after the 
manner of Philo, into the deeper meanings that lay 
beneath the letter of Scripture, to deal with them as 
those who were pressing forwards to the perfection of 
maturity in spiritual growth (Heb. v. 11 14), instead 
of treating them as children who must be fed with milk 
and not with strong meat" (i.e., solid food), as St. Paul 
had done (1 Cor. i. 2) it was nalnral that this should 
attract followers to the new preacher, and give him a 
larger measure of real or apparent success in dealing 
with the Jews than had attended the labours of St. Paul. 
As Apollos does not appear again in the Acts, it may 
be well to bring together what is known as to his after- 
history. At Corinth, as lias been said, his name was used 
as the watchword of a party, probably that of the philo 
sophising Jews and proselytes, as distinguished from 
the narrower party of the circumcision that rallied round 
the name of Cephas (1 Cor. i. 12). Not a word escapes 
from St. Paul that indicates any doctrinal difference 
between himself and Apollos. and as the latter had been 
instructed by St. Paul s friends. Aquila and Priscilla, 
this was, indeed, hardly probable. It would appear 
from 1 Cor. xvi. 12, that" he returned to Ephesus, pro 
bably with letters of commendation from the Church of 
Corinth (2 Cor. iii. 1). St. Paul s confidence in him is 
shown by his desire that he should return once more to 
Corinth with Stephanas and Fortuuatus and Achaicus. 
His own reluctance to be the occasion even of the sem- j 
blance of schism explains his unwillingness to go (1 Cor. ! 
xvi. 12). After this we lose sight of him for some 
years. These, we may well believe, were well filled up 
by evangelising labours after the pattern of those which 
we have seen at Ephesus and Corinth. Towards the 
close of St. PaulV !!.iiiistry !A.D. 65) we get our last 
glimpse of him. in Tit. iii. 1:5. He is in company with 
/enas. the lawyer ;>ee Xote on Matt. xxii. .fo), one, i.e., \ 
who, like himself, had a special reputation for the pro- 
founder knowledge, of the Law of Moses. St. Paul s i 
feeling towards him is >till. as of old. one of affectionate 
interest, and he desire- that Titus will help him in 
all tilings. He isas been labouring at Crete, and there 
al-o has gathered round him a distinct company of 
disciples, whom St. Paul distinguishes from his own ; 
"Let owr a ai.-o learn to maintain irood works (Tit. 
iii. 1 !). After this, probably after St. Paul s death, he 



himself, in the school of Philo. with whom lie had 
formerly been associated at Alexandria. The mention 
of disciples of. or from. Italy in Heb. xiii. 2-4 suggests 
a connection with some other Italian Christians than 
those of Rome, probably with those of Puteoli. (See 
\ote on chap, xxviii. 14.) 

XIX. 

(1) Paul having passed through the upper 
coasts. This implies a route passing from ( ialatiaand 
Phrygia through the interior, and coming thence to 
Ephesus. The "coast." in the modern sense of the 
term, St. Paul did not even approach. 

(2) Have ye received the Holy Ghost since 
ye believed? Better, as connecting the two facts 
in the English as in the Greek, Did ye receive the Holy 
Ghost when ye believed / i.e., on your conversion and 
baptism. We are left to conjecture what prompted the 
question. The most natural explanation is that St. 
Paul noticed in them, as they attended the meetings 
of the Church, a want of spiritual gifts, perhaps, also. ,-, 
want of the peace and joy and brightness that showed 
itself in others. They presented the features of a 
rigorous asceticism like that of the Therapeuta; the 
outward signs of repentance and mortification but 
something was manifestly lacking for their spiritual 
completeness. 

We have not so much as heard whether 
there be any Holy Ghost. The standpoint of the 
disciples so exactly corresponds to that of Apollos 
when he arrived at Ephesus, that we may reason 
ably think of them as having been converted by his 
preaching. They must, of course, have known the 
Holy Spirit as a name meeting them in the Sacred 
Books, as given to the olden prophets, but they did not, 
think of that Spirit as a living and pervading presence. 
in which they themselves might claim a .-hare. They 
had been baptised with the baptism of repentance, and 
were leading a life of fasting, and prayers, and alms, but 
they had not passed on to " righteousness, and peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. xiv. 17 . It lies 
on the surface that they were Jewish, not Gentile, 
disciples. 

(3) Unto what then were ye baptized ? The 
answer of the disciples had shown i 1 i an imperfect 
instruction, falling short of that which catechumens 
ordinarily received before they were admitted to the 
new birt h by water and the Spirit; (2i an imperfect 
spiritual experience. Could those who made it have 
been admitted into the Church of Christ by baptism in 
His name, y The answer to that question showed tlieiv 
precise position. They were practically di-ciples of the 



.vrote --if we accept Lrther s conjecture the Epistle to liapti-t, believing in Jesus as the Christ, and thinking 
the I lebrews. addressed. , -i- some have thought, to the that this constituted a sufficient qualification for coin- 
Jewish Christians of Pale-tine, and specially of Cjesarea. mnnion with the Church of Christ, 
but. more probably, ,-is 1 have been led to believe, to the < * John verily baptized with the baptism of 
Christian ascetics, known as Therapeuta 1 . trained like repentance. The words may fairly be regarded as 

123 



/VV.-M ffoly Ghoft, THE A("IS. XIX. 






.John verily hapti/.cd with tin- kiptism 

of repentance/ saying unto tin- people. 

that they should iieli.-\i- mi him which 
.should <-.in after him, that is, mi 
Christ JesOS, When they heard 

///>-, they were i>apti/.-d in tin- name of , 
tin- Li. ril Jesus. " Ami when Paul had 
laid ///* hands upon them, tin- Holy 
<ihos,t came on till-in; and they spake 
with tongues, and ]>rojhesied. l7 And 
all the in. -ii WOW al oiit tuelve. < 8 > And ! 



he went into : 

holdly tor the ipaoe Of three nionth>. 
disputing and persuading th.- tiling 
concerning the kingdom of ( ;<id. 

when divers wen- hardened, and believed 

not, but spake evil of that \\ a y I 

the multitude, he departed from th.-m, 

and s -;>a rated the dis<-ip|.-s, <lisp 
daily in the >cho.,| ,,f one Tvrannus. 
h 10 > And this continued l.y the >pa<-e of 
two years; so that all tln-y which dweit 



^ivin.L the summary of what was actually a fuller teach 
ing. The distinctive point in it was that the baptism of 
.John was. liy his own declaration, simply provisional 
and preparatory. He taught his disciples to believe in 

.leslls, and belief implied obedience, and obedience 

baptism in His name. It is not wit limit significance 
that the list of elementary doctrines in Hcb. vi. 1 4, 
addressed, we may believe, by A polios to those who had 
once been his disciples, includes what those who are 
now before us might have learnt from him in their 
spiritual childhood, and that he then passes on to 
describe the higher state of those who had been 
" illumined," and had "tasted of the heavenly irift." 
and Ix-en made "partakers of the Holy Ghost lleb. 
\i. I -6). 

They were baptized in the name of the 
Lord Jesus. On the use of this formula in con 
nection with the baptism of .Jewish converts, see Notes 
on chap. ii. ;>S : Matt, xxviii. 19. 

They spake with tongues, and prophe 
sied. Better, tin i/ )/v/v s/ < /./;/</ ////// tnin/iifn ninl 
jn-ojtlicnijiiiti. the verbs implying continuous action. As 
to the nature and relation of the two irifts. see Notes on 
chaps, ii. 1 ; x. Mi. Here all the facts of the case con 
firm the view which has there been stated. The men- 
power of speaking foreign lanjjuajes without learning 
them, as other men learn, seems a much less adequate 
result of the new irift than that which we find in the 
new enthusiasm and intensity of spiritual joy. of which 
the ";ift of tongues was the natural expression. It is 
not without interest to remember that the discussion of 
the two y-ifts in 1 Cor. xiv.. in which the connection of 
the " tongues " with jubilant and ecstatic praise is un 
mistakable 1 Cor. xiv. Ii It! , was written not very 
loii- after this incident, and while the facts must yet 
have been fresh in St. Paul s memory. On the " laying 
on of hands." which was the "outward and visible 
siu r n " of the " inward and spiritual irrace." see Xotes 
on chap. viii. Ii- -1*. where the layin^-on of hands is 
followed by a i^ift of the Holy Ghost. 

<" And all the men were about twelve. 
Better. Themes wen n, nil about twilee. The whole 
narrative seems to imply that they were not individua! 
"ccurriiiLr he- and there from time to time, hut 
were living together as a kind of ascetic community. 
attending tb* meetings of tin- chur-h. yt not sharing 

the fulness of its life. 

Spake boldly for the space of thrco 
months.- We pan-- for a moment to think of the 
amount of work of aU kinds implied in this short record. 
The daily labour as a tent-maker wen; on ,-;s before 



(hap. \\. ::t . probably still in partnership with 

Aqnila and IVisci.Ia. The Sabb; tl;s saw him eveninir 
and morniiiLT in the syn:iL r " _ ne preachinir. as he had 
dune elsewhere, th: t ,ie-,:is \\ as the ("..ri-!. ami setting 



forth the nature of His work and ihe laws of His 

kingdom. 

When divers were hardened and be 
lieved not. Better the verb implying continuous 
action.. irhen some v, ,-, growing ! 
ditdbedit nt. 

Spake evil of that way before the mul 
titude.- Better, as before, of th- way. (See \..ti- on 
chap. ix. 2.i Tin- unbelieving Jews acted at Kphesu- 

as at Thessalonica. and tiv-d to wreak their hatred 
against St. Paul by stirriiiLT up suspicion anionir the 
(o-ntiles. especially, as before, aiiioii^ those of tin- 
lower class, who were always ready for a.tumult. 

Disputing daily in the school of one Ty 
rannus. The Greek word for " school " had a some 
what interesting history. Originally meaninir " lei-ure." 
it was applied to leisure as bestow.-d on study, then, a- 
here, to t! <- place in which study was pursued: lastly, 
as in our phrase, " the school of Zeno or Kpicnrns." a- 
a collect i ye term for the followers of a conspicuous 
teacher. In this case, it was probably a lecture-room 
which, as the private property of the owner. wa> lent 
or let to the Apostle. 

Of the Tyrannus here mentioned nothing more is 
known with certainty, but the name is connected with 
j one or two interesting coincidences that are more or 
less suir^est ive. Like its Latin e<jui\ale]n . 
it was not uncommon amonir the class ot -laves or 
freed-men. It is found in the ( // ,// .(/// /// of the 
I of Livia on the Appian Way. and as be- 
to one who is described as a M> ./ <.- or 
jihysician. Both names and professions in this class 
were very commonly hereditary. ;.nd the hypothesis 
that this Tyrannus was also a physician, and that, 
as such, he may have known St. Luke. or. possibly. 

may have I n amon^ the .lews whom the decree of 

Claudius (chap, xviii. L I had driven from Koine, and 
so shared the faith of Aquila and Priscilla. fits in 

willi and explains the facts r >rd.-d. An unconverted 

teacher of philosophy or rhetoric was not likely to have 
lent his class-room to a preacher of the new faith. 
See also Note nil verse 1 J.) 

(10) So that all they which dwelt in Asia heard 
i the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and 

1 Greeks. Here also there i- a iran wliich can only be 
partially filled up by inferenc Kohesus, 

probably, came to lie the centre "f >!. Paul s activity. 
from which journeys were made to neighbouring cities; 
and hence we may legitimately think of the other six 
churches of Key. ii. and iii. as owinjr their origin to him. 
The U r n ,wth of the new community amonir both sections 
of the population became a conspicuous fact, and be^an 
to tell upon the number of pilgrims v. ho brought their 
MI^TS to the shrine of Artemis, r ,-arried away 
memorials from it. 
129 



.!// /< let " 



THE ACTS, XIX. 



s> ven I "// /// 



in Asi.a heard the word of iln- I,.>rd 

. holli .lews and ( i reeks. W And 
(J.id \\ Ton^ lit special miracles by the 
hands of Pan! : - so that from his hodv 
were bronchi unto the si.-k handker 
chiefs or aprons, and the diseases de 
parted from them, and the evil spirits 
went out of them. 

"" Then certain of the vagabond 
Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call 1 
over them which had evil spirits the j 



name of the Lord Jesus, savin-- We 

adjure yon by Jesus whom I an I pre;i--heth. 

nd there were seven sons of 

Sceva, a .lew, <nnl cliief of the priest- 
wliicii did so. (15) And the evil spirit 
answered and said, Jesus I know, and 
Paul I know; but who are ye? (16) And 
the man in whom the evil spirit was 
leaped on them, and overcame them, 
and prevailed against t hem, so that they 
I fled out of that house naked and wounded. 



11 And God wrought special miracles by 
the hands of Paul. The Greek pin-as.- is negative : 
i n common / "//..- f //mnr not sm-h as one might 
mod with any day. . S.-r Not.- on chap. \\viii. _ . 
win-re the same phrase recurs. ) The noun is that which 
was technically used hy physicians for the healing 
"power? " or "vii-tnes" of this or that remedy, and 
is so far. thouirh used freely by other writers, charac 
teristic of St. Dlike. 

( 12 > So that from his body were brought unto 
the sick handkerchiefs or aprons. Both words 
are. in the original, transliterated from the Latin, the 
former heing^ .<"///". used to wipe oft sweat from 
brow or face: the latter xi inicincta, the short aprons 
worn by artisans as they worked. We ask how St. 
Luke, passing over two years of labour in a few words, 
came to dwell so fully" on these special facts. The 
answer may be found (1) in St. Luke s own habit of 
mind as a physician, which would lead him to dwell on 
the various phenomena presented by the supernatural 
gift of healing: - J a further explanation may be found 
in the inference suggested in the Note on verse 9. 
Such a report of special and extraordinary phenomena 
was likely enough o be made by a physician like 
Tyrannus to one of the same calling, and probably of 
the same faith. The picture suggested is that of 
devout persons coming to the Apostle as he laboured 
at his craft, ami carrying away with them the very 
handkerchiefs and aprons that he had used, as precious 
relics that conveyed the supernatural gift of healing 
which he exercised. The efficacy of such medii stands 
obviously on the .same footing as that of the hem of 
our Lord s garment (see Xote on Matt. ix. 20, 21), and 
the .shadow of Peter (see Xote on chap. v. lo). and, we 
may add. of the clay in the healing of the blind (see 
Xote on John ix. 6). The two conditions of the super 
natural work of healing were a Divine Power on the 
one hand, and Faith on the other, and any external 
medium might serve to strengthen the latter and bring 
it into contact with the former. Cures more or less 
analogous, ascribed to the relics of saints, admit, in 
some measure, of a like explanation. Without pre 
tending to draw a sharp line of demarcation between 
the natural and supernatural in such eases, it is clear 
that a strong belief in the possibility of a healing 
work as likely, or certain, to be accompanied by any 
-peei-,1 agent." does much 1-. stimulate the activity of 
he //.< iiH-iliruti-i.i Xiifni-tf which before was passive 
and inert. !t i- not unreasonable to see in the works 
of healing so wrought a special adaptation to the ante- 
eod -nt habits of mind of a population like that of 
Kp!: -Mis. It was something for them to learn that the 
prayer of faith and the handkerchief that had touched 
the Apostlo .s skin had a greater power to heal than 
the charms in which they had previously trusted. 



! 1:J ) Certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists. 

The men belonged to a lower sect inn of the class uf 
which we have already seen representatives in Simon of 
Samaria or Elymas of Cyprus, i See Xotes on chaps, viii. 
9; xiii. b .) They practised exorcisms as a profession. 
and went from city to city, pretending with charms 
and spells to cure those who were looked on as pos 
sessed with demons. Many of these were said to 
have come down from Solomon. In Lavard s Xi> * /< 
n,i,l liulnjloii (c. xxii. there is an interesting account oi 
s \eral bron/.e bowls containing such formuUe. To them 
"the name of the Lord Jesus/ which was so often 
in St. Paul s lips. Avas just another formula, mightier 
than the name of the Most High God. or that of 
the archangels Raphael or Michael, which were used 
by others. 

( u ) Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief 
of the priests. Better. / Ji-n-;*/, chief priest. The 
word might mean that he was at the head of one of th" 
twenty-four courses into which the priests of the Temple 
were divided. (See Xotes on Matt. x\i. \~> -. Luke iii. 2.) 
It is hardly probable, however, that one in that position 
would have taken to this disreputable calling, and it 
seems more likely that the title itself was part <J the 
imposture. He called himself a chief priest, an 1 as 
such St. Luke, or Tyrannus. described him. The seen.- 
is brought vividly before us. The seven exon-is s. 
reiving partly, we may believe, in the mystical virtue 
of "their number, stand face to face with" a demoniac, 
fren/ied and strong like the Gadareue of Matt. -iii. 
28; Mark v. :!. 1, 

( 15 > Jesus I know, and Paul I know . . . 
Better, ,/rx^x I nrkut>irleflge. The two v.-rbs are dif 
ferent in the Greek, the one implying recognition of 
authority, the latter, as colloquially us -d. though origi 
nally it had a stronger meaning, a more familiar ac 
quaintance. The possessed man. id-ntifyiiiir himself. 
as the Gadr.rone did. with the demon, stood in awe of 
the Name of Jesus, when uttered by a man like St. 
Paul; but who were these seven pretenders, that they 
should usurp authority over him ? 

< 16 ) And the man in whom the evil spirit was 
leaped on them. The demoniacal possession hrouirhr 
with it. as in the case of the ( Jadarene. the preternatural 
strength of fren/.y. and the seven impostors men of 
that class being commonly more or less cowards tied 
in dismay before the violent paroxysms of the man s 
passionate rage. 

Naked and wounded. -The first word does not 
necessarily imply more than that the outer garment, or 
cloak, was torn off from them, and that they were left 
with nothinir hut the short tunic, i See Xotes on Matt. 
f. I": .lohn x\i. 7. l! may I to noted, as an indie 
of truthfulness, that the narrative stops hero. A writer 
i:ive:iting miracles would no doubt Irive crowned the 



130 



Tketfanuqftk I. TIM . A< TS. X I \ 



,.1 t hi- \v;is known t> all tin- .l.-ws 
.nid (ii-t !!<< ;il>o dwelling at Hp!i<-si!~ ; 
,,inl frar (Ml on tin-in all, ami the naim- 

-I tin- Loni .IK-US was magnified. " Ami 
inaiiv that lidi. \.-.l came, and confessed, 

.ii.l sh. u.-.l tli.-ir deeds, li; Many of 

tin-in also \vlii.-h used curious arts A J 



ln-oii_ !it tln-ir !> ther, ami 

lunn-rl tin-in lM-1 on- all men: amltln-v 
roiint. .l tlii- jirici- of tin-in, ami t oiiml // 

tifty thoiis;m.l piaeei ,,f >il\-.-r. 

miu!itilv ofivvv tin- word of <;.! ami 

prevailed. 

Aft. r these things ded, 



story by representing the man who hatlh-d tic- impostors 

:is healed by tin- ]>.>\vrr of tin- Apostle. 

Fcai- foil on thorn all, and tho name of 
the Lord Jesus was magnified. Th.- tact thus 

narrated liai shown that the sanvd Name -to >d mi 
[iiite a ditr.-n-nt level t nnr that uf tin- other names 
which exorcists liad employed. It was a ]>i-rilnus tiling 
t .n- men to use it ra- ilv. \vitlmut inward faith in all 
.hat the Kame implied. Men thought more of it tlian 
hey had dime before, because thev saw tlii- punishment 
hat t i-11 on thi.-c who li.-ul profaned it. 

And many that believed. More accurately, 

////;/ of tlniftf flint Ion! hi lii i-i il. Th word is probably 
ised. as iii verse -J. fur tin whole process of conversion, 
ncludiiiir li:i]itisiii. confession in this iiisiam-c following 
n that rid-, in-trad of pn-cedinj; it. The words do 

not detillitely -tale whether the c mfessioll Was made 

privately to St. Paul and the other tea. -hers, or publicly 
in the presence oi the congregation ; but the latter is, 
is iii the confession made to the Bapti-t. niucli the 
more probable. See Note on .Malt. iii. :. The fee Iii i ir 

>f a vairii- a\ve at this contact with the rnsecn in 
.ome. the special belief in Christ as the .Judtre of all 
men in others, roused conscience into intense activity ; 

lie sins of their past lives came hack upon their 
memories, and it was a relief to throw oft the burden 
liy confessing tliem. 

Many of them also which used curious 
arts . . .The (ireek word expresses the idea of 
.superstitious arts. i. ///</(>// with the supposed secrets 
of the invisilile world. These arts were almo-t. SO to 
speak, the xjH t-inlHi of Kphesus. Magicians and astro 
logers swarmed in her streets romp, the reference to 
them as analogous to the magicians at the court of 
Pharaoh in li Tim. iii. s . and there was a l>risk trade 
in the charms, incantations, hooks of divination, rules 
for interpreting dreams, and the like, such as ha\--at 
:ill times made up the structure of superstition. The 

-o-called " Klille-iail S]iell>" i ,/><! Hiuinf i Knlli tin were 

;mall slijis of parchment in silk lia^-s. on which were 
written .- tran ire ca ialistical words, of little or of lost 
n enninir. The words themselves are _nven liy Clement 
of Alexandria (Strom. \.. c. 4t!). and lie interprets them, 
though they are ^o oliseiire as to liatlle the conjectures 

of philology, as meaning Darkness and I/iirht. tin- Karth 

and the Year, the Sun and Truth. They were prnhahly 
i survival of the old Pliryirian fulfil* of the jiowers of 
Xature which had exist... 1 prior to the introduction of 
the Creek name of Artemis. 
And burned them before all men. -This. then. 

was the re-ult of the two sets of facts recorded in 
Verses I- and lo. 1 he deep-ingrained superstition .if 
the people was treated. a> it were, honncopat hit-ally. 
Cliarms ami names were allowed to I.e channels of 
renovation, hut were shown t,. he so \>\- no virtue of 
their own, hut only as lirin^ /.,//,/ hrtween the Divine 
powe- on i he one jian.l and the faith of the receiver on 
the other: and so the diseas,- was cured. The student 
of the history of Florence cannoi help recalling the 
analo-Mu.s s,- r u.. \ n t] i:l ; r ity, when men and w.nnen. 



artists and musicians, brought the things in which they 
most delighted picture-, ornaments, costly dp 
and liurnt them in the Pia/./.a of St. Mark at the bid 
ding of Savonarola. The tense ,,f the \erb implies that 
the "burning" was continuous, but leaves it uncertain 
whether it was an oft-repeated act or one that lasted 

for some hours. In this complete renunciation of the 

old evil past we may probably see the secret of tin- 
rapacity fora higher knowledge which St. Paul r.-coir- 
niscs as be]onLrinu r i" Kphe-us more than to most other 
churches. See Note on chap. xx. J7 

Fifty thousand pieces of silver. The coin re 
ferred to was the Attic i/i iir/nioi. n-ual!y estimated at 
about >vd. of Kntrlish money, and the total amount 
answers, accordingly, to Cl.77" 17s. <id., as tin- equi 
valent in coin. In its purchasing power, as determined 
liv th" prevalent rate of wa^vs a denarttU or /<</,,;( 
for a day s work . it was probably equivalent to a much 
larger sum. Such books fetched what miyfht be called 
fancy" prices, according to their supposed rareness, 
or tin- secrets to which they professed to introduce. 
Oft. ii. it ma\ be. a liook was sold as ab-olutely uni(pie. 

So mightily grew the word of God and 
prevailed. The verbs imply a continuous growth. 
The better MSS. <rive. "the word of Ho Li.nl." 

t- 1 ) Paul purposed in the spirit. Better. per 
haps. !n gpirit. The (Jreek word, however, implies a 
reference to something more than human volition. 
The spirit which formed tin- purpose was in commu 
nion with the Divine Spirit. (See Notes on chap. xvii. 
It! : xviii. ~>. < 

We learn from the First Epistle to tin- Corinthians 
what were the chief antecedents of this purpose. Then- 
had been intercourse, we may believe, more or less fre 
quent, with the churches of both Macedonia and Achaia. 
durinr the two \e;us which St. Paul had spent at 
Kphesiis; and then- was much to cause anxiety. It 
had been necessary for him to send a letter, not extant, 
to warn the Corinthians against their besetting impurity 

I Cor. v. . . The slaves or fr 1-men of Chloe had 

brought tidintrs of schisms, and incestuous adulteries, 
and rra\e disorders in ritual and discipline. See lufrn- 
ilio /imi f> tin / //>/ Epistle to the Connthiai fhes,. 
things .-ailed for the Apo-th- s presence. With th. 
joined another purjios,.. He wished to revisit Jerusalem, 
and to appear there as tin- bearer of a munificent contri 
bution from the ( ientile churches to the suffering church 
of the Hebrews. See Notes to 1 ( or. \\ i. 1 : J Cor. viii. 1.) 

After I have been there, I must also see 

Rome. This is the lirst ivcnrded expression of a 
desire which we learn from IJoin. i. 1:>. xv. :J:5. had 
been cherished for many years, possibly from the time 
when he was first told that In- was to he sent far 
off unto the Ccntile- chap. xxii. :M . It was doubtless 
st relict heneil bv jier-onal contact with the numerous 
disciples from that city whom he met at Corinth, some 
of them dating their conversion from a time anterior 
to his ,,wn KOIII. \\i. 7 . and by the report which ho 
heard from them of the faith and ron-ta . -v of their 

brethren , Kom. i. ^ . Hi n 

131 



Pl(iii.-if;>r fi\ future. 



THE ACTS, XIX. 



* and Erai 



Paul purposed in Hie spirit, when he 
li;nl passed through Dkfaoedonia and 

Aeliaia. to ^, > t<> .Ji Til salt -in, saying, After 

J have ! i-fii there, I must also see lioine. 

- . lie sent into Macedonia two of 

them that ministered unto him, Timo- 



thens and Erastus ; but. lie himself 
stayed in Asia lor a season. - : And 
tin- Mime time there arose no small stir 
about that way. -* Fora certain 
named Demetrius, a silv.-r> nith. which, 
made silver shrines lor Diana, brought 



him complete until he had borne his witness in the 
great capital of the empire. 
(--> Timotheus and Erastus. Light is thrown 

on tin- mission (if tin- former by I Cur. iv. 1". Ur was 
sent on in advance t:i warn and exhort, and so to save 
the Apostle from tli" ueee-sity of using severity when 
lie himself arrived. St. Paul exhorts the Corinthians 
(1 Cor. xvi. 10) tt> receive him with respect, so that 
he mi^ht not feel that his vonth detracted from his 
authority. He was to return to St. Paul, nnd was 
Accordingly with him when he wrote the Second 
Epistle to the Corinthians ii> Cor. i. 1). Erastus may 
fairly b:> identified with the chamberlain or steward of 
Corinth :>f Horn. xvi. 23. and was chosen probablv as 
the companion of Timotheus because his office would 
carry weight with it. Sosthenes. who was with St. Paul 
v.-hen lie wrote the First Kpistle to the Corinthians 
(1 Cor. i. 1 1. had probably been staying some time at 
Ephesiis. and as having been ruler of the synagogue, 
was naturally coupled by the Apostle with himself, as 
a mark of respect and confidence. 

(23) About that way. Better, as before, the way. 
(See Note on chap. ix. ) 

-n Demetrius, a silversmith, which made 
silver shrines for Diana. The worship of Artemis 
(to give the Greek name of the goddess whom the 
Romans identified with their Diana) had from a very 
early period b"en connected with the city of Ephesus. 
The first temple owed much of its magnificence to 
Crcesus. This was burnt down, in B.C. 335, by Hero- 
stratus, who was impelled by an insane desire thus 
to secure an immortality of renown. Under Alexander 
the Great, it was rebuilt with more stateliness than 
ever, and was, looked upon as one of the seven wonders 
of the world. Its porticos were adorned with paintings 
and sculptures by the great masters of Greek art. 
Phidias and Polycletus. Calliphron and Apelles. It 
had an establishment of priests, attendants, and boys, 
which reminds us of t he organisation of a great cathedral 
or abbey in M"di;eval Kurope. Provision was made 
for the education of the children employed in the 
temple services, and retiring pensions given to priests 
and priestesses reminding us. in the latter instance. 
of the nile of 1 Tim. v. ! . which it may indeed have 
suggested after the age of sixty. Among the former 
were ime class known as Tlti-olngi, interpreters of the 
my>t.-ries oi j he goddess ; a name which apparently 
suggested tip- application of that title (the Divine. 
the 77/r;,/ij////.--i to St. John in his character as an 
apocalyptic seer, as seen in the superscription of the 
it ii. Large gifts and bequests were made for 
the maintenance of its fabric and ritual, and the city 
conferred its highest honours upon those who thus 
enrolled themselves aimm-- its illustrious benefactors. 
Pilgrims came from all pails of the world to worship 
or to gaze, and carried away with them memorials in 
silver or bron/.e, generally models of the xnri lhiui. or 
sanctuary, in which the ima<re oi the goddess stood. 
and of the image itself. That image, however, was 
very unlike the sculptured h.-aiity with which Greek 
and Roman ari ! ived to represent the form of Artemis. 



and would seem to have been the survival of an older 
rit If >ix of the powers of nature, like the Pin 
worship of Cybele. modified and renamed by the (ireek 
settlers who took the place of the original inhabitants. 
A four-fold many-breasted female figure, ending. l* lo\v 
the breasts, in a square column, with mysterious sym 
bolic ornamentation, in which bees, and ears of corn, 
and flowers were strangely mingled, carved in wood, 
black with age. and with no form or beauty, this \va- 
the centre of the adoration of that never-ceasing stream 
of worshippers. As we look to the more elaborate 
reproductions of that type in marble, of which one may 
be seen in the Vatican Museum, we seem to be ga/ing 
on a Hindoo idol rather than on a Greek statue. Its 
ugliness was. perhaps, the secret of its power. When 
art clothes idolatry with beauty, man feels at liberty 
to criticise the artist and his work, anil the feeling 1 of 
reverence becomes gradually weaker. The savage bow> 
before his fetiche with a blinder homage than that 
which Pericles gave to the Jupiter of Phidias. Tin- 
first real blow to the worship which had lasted for 
so many ages was given by the two years of St. Paul s 
work oi which we read here. As by the strange irony 
of history, the next stroke aimed at its magnificence 
came from the hand of Nero, who robbed it. as hi 
robbed the temples of Delphi, and Pergamus, and 
Athens, not sparing even villages, of many of its art- 
treasures for the adornment of his Golden House at 
Rome (Tacit. Ann. xv. 45). Trajan sent its richly- 
sculptured gates as an offering to a temple at By/.an- 
tium. As the Church of Christ advanced, its worship. 
of course, declined. Priests and priestesses ministered, 
in deserted shrines. When the empire became Christ ian 
the temple of Ephesus. in common with that of Delphi, 
supplied materials for the church, erected by Justinian, 
in honour of the Divine Wisdom, which is now the 
Mosque of St. Sophia. When the Goths devastated 
Asia Minor, in the reign of Gallienus (A.D. :2o :> . they 
plundered it with a reckless baud, and the work which 
they began was completed centuries later by the Turks. 

j The whole city, bearing the name of Aiotilouk in 
which some have traced the words Hixjjus Tlicologos, 
as applied to St. John as the patron saint- -has fallen 
into such decay that the very site of the temple was 
till within the last few years a matter of dispute among 

1 archaeologists. Mr. George Wood, however, in 1 stilt, 
commenced a series of excavations which have led to 
the discoveries of strata corresponding to the founda 
tions of the three temples which bad been erected on 
the same site, enabled him to trace out the ground-] ian, 
and brought to light many inscriptions connected \vitii 
the tempie, one in particular, the trust-deed, so t. 
of a lai-^e sum given for its support, from which wt 
learn more than was known before as to its i 
hood and their organisation. (See Wood s P., 

pp.4 45.) 

The word for shrine" is that which, though b 
latcd temple" in John ii. !! i where siy NOT. 
elsewhere, is always applied to the inner sanctuary, i,, 
which the Divine Presence was supposed to dwell, and 
therefore, here, to th- chapel or shrine in \\i. 



/ 



TIIK ACTS, XIX. 






i" small -.fain unto (lit- eniftsinen ; 
bom he r;ill.-il together \\illi the 
:ien nt like oceii|.;it inn, ;nil said. 

Sirs. \e know that 1>\ this craft we ha\- 

( ,ur \\ealth. Moreover ye > an.l 

hear, that not alone at K|>!M <M>, Imt 
almost throughout all Asia, this I aul 
hath persuaded and turned away much 
{>eo|i|e, saying that they !" no ^U. 
which are mad.- with hands: lj: so that 
not only this our craft is in danger to 



be set at naught : Imt :iN.. tha* 

temple of the greal iroddess I >i.ma should 

In- despised, ;md her ni;i^ni tir.-nc.- .-hoiild 
le destroyed, whom nil A>ia and the 

World Worshi).]iet h. * Alld When they 

heard //,,>, laying*, they wei-e full ..l 
wrath, ami cried out, -ayiii _ r . Gr< 
Diana of the Kph.-ian- ! tin- 

whole city irafl tilled \\ith confusion: 
and having caught (Jains and. Ari 
tatvhus, men of .Maced. .nia. hud s com- 



statne nf the goddess stood, It was to tin- rest of the 

building what the C "/(/t>-.s/(/// and the Ti Unnn arc in 
Italian churches. 

The workmen of like occupation. The 

" craft-nidi " of the previous verse represent the higher 
das- of what we call skilled labour. Here we have the 
unskilled labourers whom they employed. The former 
were, in a sense, artists, these were artisans. 

Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have 
Our wealth. Literally. M> ii. the word used liein^ 
different from that in chap. xvi. :>(>. The word for 
" craft " is the same as that translated " , ain " in chap. 
Xv i. 1 . . where sec Note. Tile n| idling words of Deme 
trius lirin^ liefore us. with an almost intiri- simplicity, 
the element of vested interests which has at all times 
plavcd so prominent a part in the resistance to religious 
ami political reforms, and entered largely into the per 
secutions against which tho early preachers of the 
gospel had to contend. Every city liad its temples and 
priests, its tlamens. its oracles or sanctuaries. Sacri- 
iices and feasts created a market for industry which 
would otherwise have been wanting. In its later deve 
lopment, the Christian Church, employing the services 
of art. enepnng^ing pilgrimages, oriranisin<r conventual 
and collegiate institutions, created a market of another 
kind, and thus pive rise to new vested interests, 
which in their turn were obstacles to the work of refor 
mation. At lirst, however, the absence of the jesthetic 
element in tlie aims and life of the Church seemed to 
tin-eaten those who were occupied in such arts with an 
entire loss of livelihood, and roused them to a tierce 
antagonism. 

- " Not alone at Ephesus, but almost 
throughout all Acia.-- The language of Demetrius, 
though, perhaps, betraying the exaggeration of alarm, 
confirms the statement of verse In as to thee\t"nt of 
St. Paul s labours. Pliny, in his .Epistle to Trajan 
i / / / x. ! i! . u-es lanr.ua<re. half a century later, which 
is hardly less stronir. speakinir of deserted temples," 
"worship neglected." "hardly a single purchaser" 
(raritfimtU mptor) found for sacriticial victims. 

Saying that they be no gods, which are 
made With hands. The wrath of the mob-leader 
makes hir: virtually commit himself 10 the opposite 
statement that the idol is the tjod. Philosophers miirht 
speak of symbolism and ideal representations, but this 
was. and always has been, and will he. the conclusion of 
popular idolatry. 

Not only this our craft. The English word 

conveys, perhaps, too much the idea of art. 1)t>,- 
I>K*I 111 . ..-. or niir interests, w >uld be a somewhat better 

c(|ui\alent. The Ci ; < \vird is not the same as that 

bo translated in verse _;.">. 

The temple of the great goddess Diana. 

The adjective was one specially appropriated to the 



I Artemis of Kphesus. and appears on many of the coin- 
ami medals of the city. 

Should be despised. Literally. *h<il<l > 

an exposure i.e., should !( ie a laughing-atoek and 

a by-word. Panic is .sometimes elear-ghted i 

]>re\ isions. and tiie coppersmith of Kphe-iis In m-- 

an unconscious prophet of the future. 

And her magnificence should bo destroyed. 
The connection between the substantive and tin- re 
ceived epithet is closer in the ( i reek than in the English. 
The i/ri-iif goddess was in danger of beinj; rob! 
her attribute of i/ivd/j/r.--.--. 

Whom all Asia and the world worship- 
peth. Asia is. of course, the proconsular province, 
and the " world " is used conventionally, as in Luk. 
ii. 1, for tl .e Roman empire. Apuleius uses laiiLMia^ 
almost identical with that of Demetrius. " Diana Ephe-ia 
cujus nomeii unicum . . totus veneratur orbis." 

They were full of wrath, and cried out. 
Better, tlu ij n; ( on <Tijni-j "//. t he tense implyinif 
continued action. 

Great is Diana of the Ephesians. -Th 
was probably the usual chorus of the festivals of Ar 
temis. Stress was now laid on the distinctive adjective. 
(ireal she was. whoever iniL ht attack her greatness." 
The whole city was filled with con 
fusion. The loud shouts from the quarter in which 
Demetrius and his workmen met would, of course, 
attract attention. A rumour would spread through tin- 
city that the company of stra Hirers, who had been 
objects of curiosity and suspicion, were entraired in a 
conspiracy against the worship which was the pride 
and ^lory of their city. It was natural, in such cir 
cumstances, that they should Hock together to the* 
largest place of public concourse. MIK! drair thither any 
of that company on whom they miirht chance to lijrhT. 

!\Ve may compare, as an iiiterestinir historical parallel, 
the excitement which was caused at Athens by the 
mutilation of the Hcrm;e-bu--ts at the time of tin- 
Sicilian Expedition under Alcibjades Time. vi. J7 . 

Gaius and Aristarchus. The former name reim - 
sent s the Roman " ( aius." It was one ot the communes; 
of Latin names. and appears as belonirimr to four p 
in the New Testament : . 1 the .Macedonian mentioned 
here: i L* (Jains of Deybe , but Bee Note on chap 
3 liaius of Corinth, the host of St. Pa-d. whom In 
baptised with his own hands i Rom. xvi. j:!; 1 ( -H-. i 
ll : I Cains to whom St. .John addressed his third 
Epistle: "> and 1. however, may probably be t!;.- 

same. .See I nfrml Hi-fif,, tn tlir Tilt I ll I .i 

of John,} Of Aristarchus we learn, from cha; 
that lie was of Thessaloiiica. As such he had probably 
had some previous experience ,,f >ueh violence, and had. 
we may Jwlieve. shown coiiraire in i-e^istinir it il The-- 
ii. 11 . He ai pears as one .,f St. 1 aul s .-.unpa:. 
133 



Tll> Til:., I ll "t I .. 



THE AC I S, X I X. Alexander />nt /,irn;<,-<l l> ; / t!<> ./, ,/,?. 



]ianions in 1r:i\i-l. they rushed with OHO 

accord into the theatre, W Ami \\ln-n 
Paul Avould have entered in unto the 
people, the disciples suffered him not. 
\ id certain of tin- chief of Asia, 
which \veiv his i rieiids, sent unto him, 
desiring / / / tluii he \vouldnotadventure 
himself into the theatre. ^ 2) Some 



therefore cried one tiling, an<l 
another : for the assembly was confued ; 
and ill- more part knew not \\ herefm-e 
they were "onie together. : And 

they drew Alexander out of the multi 
tude, the ,je\vs putting him forward. 
And Alexander beckoned with the hand, 
and would have made his defence unto 



tin- journey t<> Jeru-alem chap. xx. 4), probably as a 
delegate t ruiii tin 1 Macedonian churches. He appears. 
from Col. iv. In. to have been a .Jewish convert, and to 
have shared the Apostle s imprisonment at Rome, 
cither as himself under arrest, or. more probably, as 
voluntarily accepting confinement in the Apostle s hired 
house chap. XXviii. 30), thai lie might minister to his 
-Mies. The description given of them, as " Paul s 

oiti^anion- in travel " is not without significance as 
implying a missionary activity beyond the walls of 

Kphe.Mis, in which they had lieen sharers. 

They rushed with one accord into the theatre. 

The theatre of Kphesus was. next to the Temple of 
Artemis, its chief glory. Mr. Wood, the most recent 
"Xplorer. describes it as capable of holding twenty-five 
Thousand people /, ////>. p. US. It was constructed 
hiefly for gladiatorial combats with wild beasts and 
the like, but was a lso used for dramatic entertainments. 
The theatre of a (ireek city, with its wide open area, 
was a favourite spot for public meetings of all kinds, 
just as Hyde Park is with us. or as the Champ do 
.Mars was in the French Revolution. So Vespasian 
addressed the people in the theatre of Antiocli (Tacit. 
///>/. ii. SO; comp. also Apuleius. Metamorph., bk. iii). 
(30) When Paul would have entered in ... 
We almost see the impetuous zeal which urged the 
Apostle not to leave his companions to bear the brunt 
of the attack alone, and the anxious fear which made 
his friends eager to prevent a step which would pro 
bably endanger his own life without helping his friends. 
He refers probably to this when he speaks of having, 
as far as man was concerned, "fought with beasts 
atEphesus" il Cor. xv. 32); not that there was any 
actual danger of martyrdom in that form, but that the 
multitude in their fanatic rage presented as formidable 
an ordeal. .So Ignatius (E/i. ad Rom. c. 3) speaks of 
himself as " fighting with wild beasts" (using the same 
word a^ St. Paul , and describes the soldiers who kept 
guard over him in his journey from Antioch to Rome 
as the "ten leopards" who were his companions. 

< :il1 And certain of the chiefs of Asia, which 
were his friends. Better. Axiarclm. The title was 
in official one. applied to th presidents of the games, 
who were selected from the chief cities of the province. 
The office was an annual one. They were ten in 
number, and the proconsul nominated one of them as 
president. Their duties led them now to one citv. now 
to another, according as games or festivals were held. 
now at Kphesiis. now at Colophon, or Smyrna. As 
connected both with the theatre and with the worship of 
Artemis, they were probably officially informed of the 
iccasion of the tumult. If, as seems probable from 
1 Cor. v. (I s. that Epistle was written at. or about. 
1 he time of til- Passover, we may place the tumult 
.".t some period in the spring, when the people were 
keeping or expecting the great festival in honour of 
Artemis, in the month, named after the goddess. Arte- 
inision. spreading i.ver parts of April and Mav 

(.Boeckh. Corp. 1 -\*.~>\ . and were there- 



134 



fore more than usually open to excited appeals like 
that of Demetrius. This would aUo account for the 
presence of 1 he A siarchs at Ephesiis. 

There is something significant in the fact that the 
Asiarchs were St. Paul s friends. The manliness, tact, 
and courtesy which tempered his /.eal and boldness, 
seem always to ha ve gained for him the respect of men 
in authority: Sergius Paulns U-hap. xiii. 7 . (Jallio 
(chap, xviii. 14 17), Festus and Agrippa (chaps. 
\\v. ;. xxvi. -JS. :!i!i. the centurion Julius chap, xxvii. 
3, 43). The Asiarchs, too, from different motives, took 
the same course as the disciples. They knew that 
his appearance would only excite the passion- of the 
crowd, be perilous to himself, and increase the dis 
turbance in the city. 

: - Some therefore cried one thing, and 
some another. Better. Avy*/ n i-njiiuj. The graphic 
character of the whole narrative makes it almost certain 
that it must have come from an eye-witness, or possibly 
from more than one. Aristarchus or Gains, who 
travelled to Jerusalem with St. Luke (chap. xx. 4 . and 
were with him also at Rome, may have told him tin- 
whole tale of the scene in which they had borne so 
t>rominent a part. Possibly, also, following ;;p the 
lint thrown out in the Note on verse PJ. we may think 
of Tyrannus as having written a report of the tumult 
to St. Luke. The two conjunctions translated " there 
fore" (better, tlti ii) .seem to carry the narrative back to 
what was passing in the theatre, after the parenthetical 
account of what had been going on bet we. n the Apostle, 
the disciples, and the Asiarchs outside it. 

For the assembly was confused. It is not 
without interest to note that the Greek word for 
assembly is the eccZemo, with which we are so familiar 
as applied to the Church of Christ. Strictly speaking, 
as the town-clerk is careful to point out (Terse :>! . 
this mob gathering was not an ecclesia. but the word had 
come to lie used vaguely. 

( I And they drew Alexander out of the 
multitude . . . The fact that he was put forward 
by the Jews indicates, probably, that they were anxious 
to guard against the suspicion that they were at all 
identified with St. Paul or his companions. If we 
identify this Alexander with the " coppersmith " of 
2 Tim. iv. 14. who wrought so much evil against the 
Apostle on his third and last visit to Epliesiis. we may 
assume some trade-connection with J >enietriiis which 
would give him influence with the crowd of arti-ans. 
His njiuliii/lii, or defence, was obviously made by him 
as the representative of the Jews. The whole seen.- is 
airain painted vividly the vain attempt to gain a 
hearing by siirns and gestures, the fury of the people 
on recognising his Jewish features and dress, their 
ready a umpiion that all Jew- were alike in abhorring 
idols . Perhaps, also, they may have known or BOB- 

iieeted that that abhorrence was sometimes accompanied 
iy a readiness to traffic in what had been stolen from 
the idol s temple. St. Paul s words in Rom. ii. 2 J may 
have had a personal application. The language of the 



Till] ACTS xix. 






til. p.- iplf. lillt \\ll.-ll they kllt W 

, !i:it !n- \\;is ;: .!r\\ . ;ill with oil.- M.jrr 
;il)dilt tin- spar.- of tu<> hours cri. .l out. 
it in l>i;ili;i of 1 In- Kph.-siaiis. " Ami 
\\hcii the towiirl.-rk h:nl :i|i|M-;isi-<l the 
;..-.. pic. In- sai.l. V- men ! Kphesiis. 
\\h;it 111:111 is then- that kiioweth iKt 
lm\v tint tin- cit \ of the Kphe>:-,iis i> 
a worshipper of 
Diana, ;i in I i. i tin- 



tin- i^n- 

which i.-ll down 



from .lupiler? - inir th.-n that, 

tin-.-.- things cannot In- spoken against. 

y iL lit IM In- ijiii.-t, ami to (1 nothing 

rashly. :: for J6 have brought hither 
tli. -si- in. )!. \vlii.-h an- neither n.1,1,. 
churches, in .r \.-t Itla.spheniers i.f \oiir 

LTo.l.lesv. Wherefore it Demetrius, 

an.l tin- craftsmen which are \\ilh him, 
have a iiiatt.-r against any man. the law 
is open, ami then- an- deputi-- : lei 



town-clerk in verse : .7 siijriri sts tin- same thought. Me 
could point In Arist,ircli>-s and (Jains, and say emphati 
cally. " 7V/-.-.-. men an- not robbers <>i temples, whatever 
others may lie." 

When they knew that he was a Jew. 

Metier. H-in-H tit- if reeoyn 

;: " And when the townclerk had appeased 
the people . . .Tin- Greek word is tin- same as the 
serilie" ut lit. (Jospels. an.l tlic familiar English 
expresses liis function with adequate currectness. He 
w;is I lie keeper of the ree.mls and archives of the city. 
The title appears in many of the inscriptions in Mr. 
U ood s volume, often in (Miijmictioii with those of 
the Asiarchs and the proconsul. If. as is probable, 
his ollice was a permanent one. lie was likely to 
have more weight with the people than the Asiarchs. 
who were elected only for a year, and who were 
not all of Kphesus. The laiifjuajje of the public oflicer 
is as characteristic in its ^-rave caution as that of 
Demetrius had been in it- l.rutal frankness. He, like 
the Asiarehs. olivi(.uslv looks on St. Paul and his com 
panions with respect, lie ha- :io feeling of fanaticism, 
and would not willingly lie a persecutor. He dares not 
oppose the multitude, l.nt he will try and soothe them 
with the loud profession of his attachment to the 
religion of his country. He was. if we may so >peak. 
the (Jamaliel of E]ihe.sns. not without parallels among 
the princes and statesmen and prelates who have lived 
in the critical times of political and religious change-,. 
and liav endeavoured to hold the balance between con- 
tendinir ]>artie>. 

A worshipper of the great goddess Diana. 
The substantive as well as the adjective belonged to 
the local vocabulary. Its literal meaiiine; is " temple- 
>weeper." or " >acri-tan " -one consecrated to the 
-"r\ice of tile goddess. The (Jreek Word I ni-"!;i>r<>* I 
is found on coins ,-ind inscriptions of Kpliesiis as 
applied to the inhabitants, sometimes in relation to the 
Emperor, sometimes to the 



Jinperor, sonietiin-s to tin- ir.nldess. They looked to 
her as their guardian and protector. One inscription 
claims for the city the honour of beine; the "nurse" of 

the ir. real goddess M kh. li .l.">l. nt an ^r,t \. She was. 

as it were, to borrow a phraseology which presents only 
too painful an analogy, "(.u:- Lady of Kphesus." It is 
a curious fact that t he same month was consecrated to 
Flora in Home, and is now the Mois de Marie" in 
France an.l Italy. The omission of the word "iroddess " 
in nearly all the best MSS. is significant. She was. 
wiihout that word, emphatically "Artemis the 
Great." In some of the inscriptions of Kphesus she is 
described as the greatest." the " most Miirh." 

The image which fell down from Jupiter. 

The name was often Driven to old pre-historic images 
as. ,.,/.. to that of Atheii."- Polias at Athens. It may 
have been merely a legendary way of statinir that no 
one knew what artist had sculptured the inia-v. or 



135 



when it had been first worshipped. I o ibly. however, 
the word may have had a more literal ineanintr as 
applied to a meteoric stone which had been nnp loved 
by the sculptor, or was worshipped in its original form. 
The inany-lireasted imaire <:f Artemis described in the 

Xo e oil rene l!l !-, however, reported to have been 

made of olive-wood. The word iinni/r is not in the 
(Jreek. and one familiar word (diopHet was suHicient to 
exjiress what re.jiiires seven in the English jiaraphrase. 

(W Seeing then that these things cannot bo 
spoken against . . .-The lan^ruaev of the town- 
clerk has the rinir of an official acceptance of the estab 
lished ciilfii* rather than of any strong personal de 
votion. Such lanirua^e has often been heard from the 
defenders of institutions which were almost on the 
\ <!</. of ruin. 

Ye OUght to be quiet. The verb is the same as 
that of the transitive "appeased " in verse :;.".. In the 
exhortation "to do nothing rashly " we hear the voice 
of a worldly jirndence. rcinindin^ us partly, as has been 
said, of Gamaliel, partly of the well-known maxim of 
Talleyrand. Sni-fmif, /><// /,/ ,!, z~ !<. 

( > These men, which are neither robbers of 

Churches. Better. m/,l,,r.< f temple*. It was not 

unusual for the writers of the Elizabethan a ire to apply 
the term, which we confine to Christian buildings, to 
heathen temples. They would speak, e.g., of the 
" church " of Diana, or the " chapel " of Ajiollo. The 
corresponding noun for robbing temples, or " sacri 
lege," is found in inscriptions discovered by Mr. Wood 
ivi. 1. j>. li) ainontr the ruins of the Tenqile. as de 
noting a crime to which the severest penaltie- 
attaciied. The testimony to the general character of St. 
Paul and his comjiaiii.uis. as shown both in word and 
deed, indicates the quietness and calmness with which 
they had preached the truth. They persuaded, but they 
did not ridicule or revile. This was. probably, more 
than could be said for Alexander and the .Jews who 
put him forward. See Note on vene 

The law is open. Literally. ///- <//. or 
fin-iini, (/ (//.> an </"!/![/ "i,. The words may either indicate 
that thejiroconsul was then actually sittinir to hold trials 
in the mjnrti or forum, or may be taken as a colloquial 
idiom for " there are court days coininir ." 
There are deputies. The (Jre.-k word is as in 

chajis. xiii. 7. xviii. hi the equivalent for in-n - -naiil. 
Strictly speakinir. there was only one jiroconMil in each 
province, and we must therefore assume either that 
here a!s:> the expression is colloquial, or that the a-se-,. 
soi-s eonmUort i of the proconsul wen- popularly so 
described, or that some peculiar combination of cir 
cumstances had led to there being two persons al this 
time at Ephesiis clothed with proconsular authority. 
There are some irronnd-- for adopting tl,. 
alternative. .Tunius Silanus. who was Proconsul of 
when St. Paul arrived in Eph.-Mis .\.;>. :, ! . bad 



The Assembly <//>- 



THE ACTS, XX. 



-SV. I unl : /,>. < t,, .Macedonia. 



them iiiipl.-ssil one nnother. (^ But if 
ve enquire ;iny tiling ronccniiiiLT other 
matters, it shall be determine.! in a 
lawful 1 asseniMv. "" For we arc in 
(hinder t.. It.- called in question for 
this Jay s uproar, there being no 
Cause \vi;erel.v we may irive an ac- 

(41) 



.omit of this concourse. 



And when 



he had thus spoken, he dismissed the 
assembly. 

CHAPTEE XX. 1 ) And after the 

uproar was ceased, pjnil call.-;l unto////// 
the disciples, and embraced t/n-m, and 
departed for to go into .Macedonia. 
( 2) And -when he had Lf. me over those 



poisoned by Celer ;ui(l llelius. tin- two procurators. ;it 
tin- instigation of Agrippina; and it serins probable 
tliat they for a time held a joint proconsular authority. 
Let them implead one another. Tin- English 
word exactly expresses tin- technical force of the Greek. 
Demetrius and his followers were to lodge a formal 
statement of the charge they brought against the 
accused. They in their turn were to put in a rejoinder, 
and so joining i>sne, each side would produce its wit- 
nesses. 

(39) It shall be determined in a lawful as 
sembly. Better, in the lawful assembly. The argu 
ment is that, should the alleged grievance be one that 
called for legislative rather than judicial action, the 
matter would have to be referred to the regular meeting 
of the ecc1< *!. which the town-clerk had probably the 
right to summon. There they could present their 
(jrnni ini H . and petition for redress. Here also the in 
scriptions discovered by Mr. Wood (vi. 6, p. 50) give 
an interesting illustration of the official phraseology. 
An image of Athena is to bo placed "above the bench 
where the boys sit," at " every lawful (or regular) 
ecclesia." 

(40) We are in danger to be called in ques 
tion. The we " was used to include the rioters. 
The "called in question" is the same verb as that ren 
dered - implead" in verse 38. There was a risk of 
which Demetrius and his pivrty had to be- reminded, 
that they might find themselves defendants, and not 
plaintiffs, in a suit. A riotous " concourse " (the town- 
clerk uses the most contemptuous word he can find, 
" this mob meeting ") taking the law into its own 
hands was not an offence which the proconsuls were 
likely to pass over lightly. It would hardly be thought 
a legitimate excuse that they had got hold of two Jews 
and wanted to " lynch " them. 

An interesting inscription of the date of Trajan, 
from an aqueduct at Ephesus, gives nearly all the 
technical terms that occur in the town-clerk s speech, 
and so far confirms the accuracy of St. Luke s report : 
"This has been dedicated by the loyal and devoted 
Council of the Ephesians. and the people that serve the 
temple i AV. //.-n,-us . I educ;eus Priscinus being pro- 

OOnsul, by the deer f Tiberius Claudius Italicus, 

the / . n-,1.,-1, rl: of $!:. people." 

XX. 

(!) Paul called unto him the disciples, and 
embraced them . . . The latter verb implies a 
farewll salutation. 

Departed for to go into Macedonia. We are 

able from ihe Kpistlcs to the Corinthians to till up tin- 
gap left iii the narrative of the Acts Having sent 
Yimotheus and Era-tus to see after the discipline of 
the Church of Corin.h (chap. xix. 17). the Apostle was 
cheered 1 iv t he coming of Stephanas and his two com 
panions il Cor. xvi. 17 . and apparently wrote by them 
what is now the Kir-it Kpi-tle to the Corinthians. A 
previous Epistle had been sent, probably by Timothy, 



to which lie refers in 1 Cor. iv. 17. When lie wrol 
that Epistle he intended to press on quicklv and com 
plete in person the work which it was to bec/in \{ Cor. 
iv. 18, 19). Ho was led. however, to change his purpose, 
and to take the land journey through Macedonia in 
stead of going by sea to Corinth ( 2 Cor. i. IK, 17 . 
and so from Corinth to Macedonia, as he had at first 
intended. He was anxious to know the effect of his 
letter before he took any further action, and Titus, who 
probably accompanied the bearers of that letter, was 
charged to hasten back to Troas with his report. On 
coining to Troas, however, he did not find him, and 
after waiting for some time in vain rj Cor. ii. 12 , the 
anxiety told upon his health. He despaired of life and 
felt as if the sentence of death was passed on him 
( 2 Cor. i. 8; iv. 10, 11). The mysterious thorn in the 
flesh "buffeted" him with more severity than ever 
(2 Cor. xii. 7). He pressed on, however, to Macedonia 
(2 Cor ii. 13), probably to Philippi. as being the first of 
the churches he had planted, where he would find 
loving friends and the "beloved physician." whose 
services he now needed more than ever. There, or 
elsewhere in Macedonia, Titus joined him. and brought 
tidings that partly cheered him. partly roused his in 
dignation. There had been repentance and reforma 
tion where he most wished to see them, on tin- 
one hand (2 Cor. vi. 6 12); on the other, his 
enemies said bitter things of him, sneered at his 
bodily infirmities (2 Cor. x. 10), and compared, to 
his disparagement, the credentials which Apollos had 
presented (2 Cor. iii. 1) with his lack of them. The 

j result was that Titus was sent hack with the Second 

i Epistle to the Corinthians, accompanied by some 
other disciple (probably St. Luke, but see Notes on 
2 Cor. viii. 18, 19), the Apostle resolving to wait till 
they had brought matters into better order and had 
collected what had been laid up in store for the Church 
of Jerusalem, so that it might he ready for him on his 

arrival (2 Cor. ix. 5). At or about this time also. 

to judge from the numerous parallelisms of thought 
and language between it and the Kpistles to the 

1 Corinthians on the one hand, and that to the Roman^ 

; on the other, wo must place the date of the Epistle 
to the Galatians. (Gee Introduction to that Epistle. 
Probably after Titus and Luke had left, and before 

: Timotheus had returned -when lie was alone, with no 
one to share the labour of writ in-.;, or to give help and 
counsel tidings came that the Judaising teachers had 

1 n there also, and had been only too successful. How 

the tidinirs reached him we do not know, but if the 
purple-seller of Thyatira was still at Philippi. she 
might naturally b*- in receipt of communications from 
that citv. and it was near enough to Calatia to know 
what was passing there. 

<-) And when he had gone over those parts. 

Here also we can fill up the outline of the narrative 
from the Kpistles. We may take for granted that 
St. Paul would revisit the churches >\ liieh he had him 
self founded at Tiiess;,lonica and IV".. a. as well as at 






Tin-; ACTS, xx. 






. and hud - m-n tli.-m niu<-h 

taiion. in- came into Greece, ; :md 

aliodr thn-i- months. All<l V.llfll 

Jewfl lai<l wait tor liiin. as In- ffOfi 
.-ilinut to sail int.) Syria, In- i>urj>os.-d to 



return tliroiiLrh Marrdonia. " Ami 
tlit-n- arroiiipaiiird liiin into A-ia So- 
|>;i1-r:.f li.-iva ; and of t h-- Th.-.-sa Ionia us, 
Ari-taivlius and Sr.-undu-: and (iaius 
of Derhr, and Tiin>t h.-u.- ; and of A-i:i, 



P!iili]>].i. Tin- names in ver-o 1 indicate that dele- 
-ates were chos, n. p n)l.. -i lily liy his direction. I .ir the 

_f!vat jonniev I" Jerusalem. \vllicll lie HOW began to 

contemplate. Horn, xv. l!> indicates n yrt wider range 
.it activity. Hi had taken the great Hoinaii road 
Macedonia, Hiid going westward to tin- sliorrs 
nt tin- Adriatic, had preached the gospel in I llyricuiit. 
when- as vet it had not lieen heard. 

He came into Greece. -The word K. lias, or 
1 .recce, seems used as synonymous -with Achaia. the 
southern province. This may have led to an Unrecorded 
\isit to Athens. It certainly brought him to Corinth 
and Cenchreie. There, we may hope, he found all his 
hopes fulfilled. <i;un- was there to receive him as a 
iniest. and Erastus \.as still a faithful friend. Then-, 
it not liet iire. he found Tiimitheus. and he had with him 
.lax. n of Thessalonii-a and Sosipater of BerOJJi ( Kom. 
xvi. 121 2:5). lu one respect, however, he found a 
_Teat change, and missed many friends. The decree of 
Claudius had either lieen revoked or was no longer 
acted on. Aijiiila and Pri-cilla had gone straight from 
Kphesiis to Koine on hearing thai they could do so with 
>;ifetv. and with them the many friends, male and 
female, most of them of the liht-rtini class, whom In- 
had known in Corinth, and whose names till so large a 
-pace in Rom. xvi. The desire which lie had felt before 
1 chap. xix. ~2\ i to see Rome was naturally strengthened 
by their absence. His work in Greece was done, and 
he felt an impulse, not merely human, drawing him to 
the further west. A rapid journey to Jerusalem, a 
-hort visit there, to -how how generous were the ",-ift.s 
\\iiieh the < untile Churches sent to the Churches of 
the Circumcision, and then the desire of his life might 
lie gratified. To in-each the gospel in Rome, to pass 
-in from Rome to the Jews at Cordova and other cities 
in Spain (Rom. xv. ill 28)~ l:it w;ls UMil t " now 
proposed to himself. How different a path was actually 
marked out for him the sequel of the story shows. 

When the Jews laid wait for him . . . 
In sailing for Syria. Ceiichre;e would naturally lie the 
jiort of embarkation, and St. Paul s presence there may 
reasonably lie connected with the mention of Phiebe. 
the deaconess (1 f that church, in Rom. xvi. 1. His 
intention was. however, frustrated. The malignant 
.lews of Corinth watched their opportunity. At 
Ceiichre;e. amid the stir and hustle of a port, they 
might do what they had tailed to do before. Here 
There was no Gallio to curb their fury, and throw the 
.egis of his tolerant equity over their victim. Their 
plans were laid, and their victim was to be sei/.ed and 
made away with as he was on the point of embarking, 
(hi hearing of the plot, the Apostle had to change his 
plans. and started with his companions for Macedonia, 
either travelling by land or taking a ship bound for one 
of its ports, instead of the one bound for C:e-area. or 
Tyre, or Joppa. It is clear t hat the latter course would 
iave baffled Iris murderers quite as much as the former. 
1 ll And there accompanied him into Asia . . . 
The occurrence of the two names. Timotheus and 
^o-ipatey another form of Sopater in Rom. xvi. :21 
make- it probable t]|..,( ;I H ,,f those here named were 
with St. Paul at Corinth. As they were to go with 



him \ > Jerusalem, it was indeed natural they should 
have trout- to tin- city from which he intended i,, 
embark. It is not difficult to discover the iva-on of 
their accompanying him. }! was carry in-. up a large 
sum in trust for the churches of Jinhfa. and In- sought 
to avoid even the suspicion of tin- malversations which 
the tongue of slanderers wa- so readv to impute to him 
i Cor. viii. "Jo. ill . Ilepn-si-ntatire- were accordingly 
chosen from the leading churches, who acting, as it 
were, as auditors of his account-, would be witnesses that 
all was right. As regard- the individual names, we note 
as follows : (It The name of Sopater, orSisi pater, occurs 
in the inscription on the arch named in th-- Note on 



chap. xvii. S as belonging to one of the jHilllm-rlix of 
Thessalonica. i L Aristan-hus had been a fellow- 
worker with St. Paul at. Kphesus. and had been a suf 
ferer in the tumult raised by Demetrius ichap. \ 
(3) Of Secundus nothing is known, but the name may 
he compared with Tertius in Rom. xvi. i. and Cjnartu s 
in Rom. xvi. :!:!. as sug^e-tini: the probability that 
all tliroe wore sons of a disciple who had adopted this 
plan of naming his children. The corresponding name 
of Primus occurs in an inscription from the Catacombs 
now in the Lateran .Museum, as belonging to an exor 
cist, and miirht seem, at tir-t. to supply tin- missing 
link; but the inscription is probably of later date. In 
any case, it is a probable inference that the three lie- 
longed to the freed-man or slave class, who had no 
family names; and the Latin form of their names 
suggests that they hail been originally Roman Jews. 
an inference continued by the fact that both Tertius 
and Quartus send salutations to their brethren in the 
imperial city lloin. xvi. LL*. J:I . The names Primi- 
tivus and Pninitiva. which occur both in Christian 
and Jewish inscriptions in the same Museum, are more 
or less analogous, ft Gains of Derbe. The Creek- 
sentence admits of the description hein^ attached to 
the nar.ie of Timotheus which follows; and the fact 
that a Cains has already appeared in close connection 
with Aristarchus makes this construction preferable. 
On this assumption he. too. came from Thessalonica. 
See Note on chap. xix. 29.) ( > Timotheus. See Note 
on chap. xvi. 1. ii Tychiciis. The name, which means 
-fortunate." the Greek equivalent for Felix, was very 
common among slave- and freed-men. It is found in 
an inscription in the Lateran Museum from ihe Ceme 
tery of Priscilla ; and in a non-Chri-tiiiii inscription. 
givintr the names of the household of the Emperor 
Claudius, in the Vatican Museum, as belonging to an 
architect. TheTychicus of the Acts would seem to have 
been a disciple from Kphe-ns, when- men of that calling 
would naturally find an opening . Such vocations tended 
naturally, as has been said in tin- Note on chap. xix. !*. 
to become lien-ditarv. (7) Tmphimus i - nursling." 
or " foster-child " \\as. again, a name of the sane 
almost as common as ( )ne-imus "profitable";. In 
a very cursory survey of inscriptions from the Culi m- 
l>iii-i<i and Catacombs of Koine. I have noted the recur 
rence of the former four, and of the latter ti\e 
Trophimus appear- airain in "hap. xxi. J! . and i- de 
scribed more definitely a- an Ephesian. We find him 
i" rontact with St. Paul towards tin- close of tho 



187 



Voyage front PhiUppi to Trotu. THE ACTS, XX. 



Mr<-fl,i<j at Disciples 



Tyehieus and Tropliimus. (5) These 
going before tarried for us at Troas. 
< 6) And we sailed a\\ay from Philippi 
after the days of unleavened bread, and 
came unto them to Troas in five days ; 
where we abode seven days. (7) And 


a ch. 2. 40. 


upon the first day of the week, when 
tin- disciples came together to break 
bread," Paul preached unto them, ready 
to depart on the morrow ; and continued 
his speech until midnight. (8) And 
there were many lights in the upper 



Apostle s life, in 2 Tim. iv. 20. That they were seven 
in iiuinbrr suggests the idea of a reproduction either 
of the idea of the Seven, who arc commonly called 
Deacons in chap. vi.. or of the Roman institution upon 
which that was probably based. It may be noted here, 
in addition to what has there been said on the subject, 
that the well-known pyramidal monument, of Cains 
(Ystius. of the time of Augustus, near the Porta 
Latina at Rome, records that he was one of the Sep- 
temviri Epulonum there referred to. 

We must not forget what the sudden change to the 
first person plural in the nexj; verse reminds iis of. that 
the name of Luke has to be added to the list of St. 
Paul s companions. We may, perhaps, assume that he 
went less as an official delegate from the Church 
of Philippi than as a friend, and probably, St. Paul s 
health needing his services, as physician. 

< 5 ) These going before tarried for us at 
Troas. Two motives may be assigned for this ar 
rangement (1) It enabled St. Paul to keep the Pass 
over with the church at Philippi, starting "after the 
days of unleavened bread, and that feast was already 
assuming a new character as the festival of the Resur 
rection, bringing with it also the commemoration that 
"Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 
v. 7, 8) ; (2) The disciples who went on in advance 
would announce St. Paul s coming to the church of 
Troas, and so there would be a full gathering to receive 
him and listen to him on his arrival. 

( 6 ) And came unto them to Troas in five days. 
The voyage from Troas to Philippi (see Notes on chap. 
xvi. 11, 12) had taken only three days, but the ship had 
now to contend against the south-west current that set 
in from the Dardanelles, and probably also against the 
Etesian winds blowing from the north-east that prevail 
in the Archipelago in the spring. 

Where we abode seven days. It lies on the 
surface that the motive for this stay was to keep the 
Lord s day (the name was probably already current; see 
Rev. i. 10), and to partake with the Church of what, 
even before the date of this journey, St. Paul had 
already spoken of as the Lord s Supper (1 Cor. xi. 20). 

(<) Upon the first day of the week . . . 
This and the counsel given in 1 Cor. xvi. 2, are distinct 
proofs that the Church had already begun to observe 
the weekly festival of the Resurrection in place of, or, 
where the disciples were Jews, in addition to. the weekly 
Sabbath. It lies in the nature of the case that those who 
were slaves, or frecd-men still in service, under heathen 
masters could not transfer to it the rigid abstinence 
from labour which characterised the Jewish Sabbath. 
And on this day they met together, obviously in the 
evening after sunset, to "break bread." On the half- 
technical significance of that phrase, as applied specially 
to the Lord s Supper, the Communion of the Body and 
Blood of Christ, see Notes on chap. ii. 4(5. and 1 Cor. 
x It!. Two further questions, however, present them 
selves (1) On what evening was the meeting held? 
(2) How far was a meal such as was known as t he A /njf . 
or Feast of Charity, united with the Lord s Supper- In 
ii-i-wer to (1), it seems probable that in churches which 



were so largely organised on the framework of the 
Jewish synagogue, and contained so many .lews and 
proselytes who had been familiar with its usages. tin- 
Jewish mode of reckoning would still lie kept, and that, 
as the Sabbat li ended at sunset, the first day of the 
week would begin at sunset on what was then or soon 
afterwards known as Saturday. In this case, the 
meeting of which we read would be held on what 
we shock! call the Saturday evening, and the feast 
would present some analogies to the prevalent Jewish 
custom of eating bread and drinking wine at that 
time in honour of the departed Sabbath (Jost, Gesch. 
Judenthums, i. 180). (2) Looking to St. Paul s direc 
tions in 1 Cor. xi. 33, 34. it is probable that the hour 
of the " breaking bread " became gradually later, so as 
to allow those who would otherwise have been hungry 
to take their evening meal at home before they came. 
The natural result of this arrangement was. as in the 
instance now before us, to throw the Eucharistic vite 
forward to midnight, or even later; and, as this was 
obviously likely to cause both inconvenience and scan 
dal, the next step was to separate it entirely from the 
A<j<(pc. and to celebrate the purely symbolic feast very 
early in the morning of the first day of the week, while 
the actual meal came later in the evening of the same 
day. That this was so in the regions of Troas and 
Asia w r e see from Pliny s letter to Trajan (Epp. x. !H! . 
in which he describes the Christians as meeting on " a 
fixed day," for what he calls a sacramentum at break 
of day, and again in the evening to partake of a simple 
and innocent repast. At Troas we have the connecting- 
link between the evening communion of the Church of 
Corinth, and the morning celebration which has been 
for many centuries the universal practice of the Church. 
Paul preached unto them. The fact has a 
liturgical interest as showing that then, as in the 

I more developed services of the second and third 
centuries, the sermon, and the lessons from Scripture 
which it implied, preceded what we now know as the 
Celebration. 

Ready to depart on the morrow. It may 
perhaps seem to some strange, taking the view main 
tained in the previous Note, that the Apostle and his 
companions should thus purpose to travel on a day t.. 
which we have transferred so many of the restrictions 
of the Jewish Sabbath.. But it must be remembered 

| (1) that there is no evidence that St. Paul thought of 
them as so transferred, hut lather the contrary i Gal. 
iv. 10; Col. ii. Hi); and (2) that the ship in which his 
friends had taken their passage was not likely to alter 
its day of starting to meet their scruples, even had 
those scruples existed. 

(8) And there were many lights in the upper 
Chamber. We learn from verse !> that it was on the 
third floor of the house In the high narrow streets ..1 
Eastern towns the upper storey is often chosen for 
social or devotional purpose-;, partly as more removed 
from the noise of the street, partly as giving aCOOSfl 
to the roof of the house. Such a room in a good- 
sized house miu ht well hold two or three hundred 
people. It is a fair inference also that the vividness and 

tag 



Ell t /I ll H * tn 



THI-: ACTS, xx. 



A l ii/ /> o I /i fa. 



chamber, where they Were leathered 

together. W Anil there. -at in ;i window 
a eei-tain younir mail named Kut vims, 
heintr fallen into a deep sleep: and as 
I aul was lontr pveaehintr, lie sunk down 
with sleep, and tell down from the third 
loft, and was taken up dead. ilcii And 
I aul went down, and tell on him, and 
embracing him said. Trouble not your- 



; for his life is iii him. n When 
he therefore wa.- OOme up a train, and 
had hroken bread, and eaten, and talked 
a lon<^ while, even till break of da 
hedepaited. "- 1 And th -y brought the 
3 r oung man alive, and were not a littl. 
comforted. 

And we went before to ship, and 
sailed unto Assos, there intend!; 



minuteness of tin- account indi.-at.- tliat \v.- h:iv(! the 
narrative of an eye-witness. 1 ln- /<niij>.< or torches (see 
Xoles on .Matt. v. !."; xxv. :!; .John v. ::."n an- pro 
bably mentioned, partly as accounting for tin- sleep of j 
Kut \ elms liy the hea t and doeenOM of the room, 
partly , perhaps, as an indirect answer to tin- calumny 
loudfy asserted afterwards iTertull. A^xil. c. s . and 
prohablv even then whispered, that at tlio meetings 
of the Christians the lamps \ven- extinguished and 
free scope given for deeds of shameless licence. There 
is no ground for assuming that the lamps at this 
early period had any distinctive ritual or symbolic 
character, though it would lie a natural expression of 
respect that two or more should lie placed in front of 
the A pintle, or other presiding elder, at such a meeting. 
on either side of the loaf which was to he broken, and 
the cup which was to be blest. The position of the 
celebrant (to us.- a later, but convenient term) may 
have been, as in the original institution of the .Supper, 
recumbent on tin- ti- u li nin m , or couch, which was at 
this time used by both (1 reeks and Komans. It is 
ihvions. however, thai this would lie an inconvenient 
posture for distribution to a lartre assembly, and the 
special mention of "the Lord s table" in 1 Cor x. 21, 
leads to the conclusion that there was a separate high 
table to borrow the familiar languages! a college or 
Inn of Court) at which the celebrant and other 
ministers sat. their backs to the wall, their faces to the 
people, and that from that table they distributed the 
bread and wine, either by taking them, or sending them 
by the deacons 01- other ministers, to those who sat in 
the body of the room, or by Diving it to the congrega 
tion as" th.-y came up to the table in detachments. 

The later practii f the Church, and the absence of 

any indication in patristic writings that there was an 
abrupt change, makes the latter the more probable 
alternative. The table, so placed, served as a transition 
stage between the i rirl i H i ni and the altar of the later 
basilica. The primitive arrangement in which the 
priest faces the congregation and stands behind the 
altar, it may be noted, was at first retained in most 
of the basilicas, and survives to the present day in 
some of the churches of that type in Rome as, for 
example, in that of S. Clemente. This, therefore, and 
not any eastward or southward position, may claim to 
be. as has been well said, "at once the most primitive, 
the most Catholic, the most Protestant" of Eucharistic 

Usages. 

W There sat in a window a certain young 
man named Eutychus . . . The name, like 
those of kindred meaning, such as Felix. Felicia. Feli- 
cissimus. Syntyche. Kpaphroditus. Fortunatus. Faust us. 
Felicitas. was sufficiently common, especially among 
the t reed-man cla-s. In one instance, in an inscription 

in the Cnlh i/in fiomano, the two names of Kutychusand 
Felicia appear as belonging to husband and wife. 

And was taken up dead. What follow- i- 
obviously related as a miraculous resus.-itatiou ; but it 

139 



may lie questioned, looking to St. Paul - word-. his 

life is iu him." whether more than apparent death is 
meant. He was to all appearance dead would have 
died but for the prayer of t he Apost .e ; but there had 
beeii no fracture of limb or skull, and th-- cause of death. 
or of the state that looked like death, was the shock 
given to the brain and nerves bv the violence of the 
fall. 

( 10 ) Paul went down, and fell on him, and 
embracing him . . .The act reminds us of 
those of Elijah (1 Kings xvii. -I 1, and Klisha - J King 
ly. 34). The close contact, the clasp of warm affection. 
gave a new intensity to the prayer of faith, and. as a 
current of vitality passed, as it were, from the one body t 
the other, enabled the Apostle to feel that tin- heart had 
not ceased to beat, and to give the calming assurance. 
"his life is in him." Th.- whole scene is painted. MS 
before, vividly, as by an eye-witness. We have to think 
of the cries of alarm, the rush of men down the stair 
case from the third floor with lamps and torches in 
their hands, the wail of sorrow on finding what looked 
like death, the undisturbed calmness of the Apostle. 
sure that his prayer was answered, and returning 
quietly, leaving the motionless body in the cool night 
air, to finish the interrupted discourse. 

< u ) And had broken bread, and eaten. 
Better, broken the brr,i<l <ni<l fn.<f>-<l. In the early usage 
of the Lord s Supper the bread was not made, as in tin 
Latin Church, in the form of circular wafers, nor cut up 
into small cubes, as in most Reformed Churches. The 
loaf, probably a long roll, was placed In-fore the cele 
brant, and each piece was broken off as it was given 
to the communicant. Stress is laid on this practice in 
1 Cor. x. 1(), and indeed in the very term of " breaking 
of bread "as a synonym for thr Lord s Supper. 
Note on chap. ii. -it!.) Whether the next act of " eating" 
refers to the actual communion i we are obliged to use 
technical terms for the sake of deiinitene . ;. or to a 
repast, or Agape, we have no adequate <l<it i for de 
ciding. The us 1 of the same verb, however, in "ta 
of tin- heavenly gift." in Heb. vi. k suggests the former. 
and it is probable that the portion of bread and wine 
thus taken, in the primitive celebration, would be enough 
to constitute a real refreshment, and to enable the 
Apostle to continue his discourse. 

Even till break of day.- The whole s.-ivi.-.- 
must have lasted some seven or eight hours, sunr 
this time of the year, shortly after the Pa--o\vr. being 
between ?> and t! A.M. The inconvenience of such r. 
protracted service led. as has been stated i see Note on 
verse 7 i, to the transfer of the Lord - Supper from the 
evening of Saturday to the early morninir of Suii 
position which, with some moderate \ariation<. it has 
retained ever since, till the introduction in recent times 
of the yet more primitive practice of an evening . .!- 
brat ion. 

And sailed unto Assos. The port ..f Assoa 
lay about twenty-four miles to the south of Troas. 



The Voyriy? to Miletus. 



THE ACTS, XX. 



Address to the Elders of 



take in Paul : for so had he appointed, 
minding himself to ir<> afoot. < 14 > And 
nlini he met \vitli us ;ii Assos, we took 
him in, and cauif to Mityleiie. (15) And 
YVI- sailed tliriicc, and came the next 
<l i;i over against Chios; and the next 
In ij \vr ari-ivcd at Sanios, and tarried at 
Trogyllium ; and the next day \ve came 
to Miletus. < 16 > For Paul had deter 
mined to sail by Ephesus, because he 
would not spend the time in Asia : for 




he hasted, if it were possible for him, to 
b, af .Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. 
(17 > And from Miletus he sent to 
Ephesus, and called the elders of the 
ehmvli. ( 18 ^ And when they were come 
to him, he said unto them, Ye know, 
from the first day that I came into Asia, 
after what manner I have been with 
you at all seasons, (19) serving the Lord 
with all humility of mind, and with 
many tears, and temptations, which 



We can oiilv conjecture St. Paul s motives for going 
thither himself by l;uid while his companions went by 
sea. In chap. xvi. 8 we find that he had avoided Mysia 
to press on to Troas ; but he may well have extended 
his labours thither during his two years sojourn in 
Asia, and have wished, before he started for Jerusalem, 
in the full belief that he was never to return to those 
regions (verse -Jo), to say a few words of parting 
counsel. Possibly, also, after the exciting scene at 
Troas. he may have been glad to have even a couple of 
days of comparative solitude for meditation and prayer 
as to the great work that lay before him, before em 
barking on the ship, with all its motley crew of passen 
gers and sailors. 

d 4 ) We took him in, and came to Mitylene. 
This was the capital of Lesbos, and furnished the 
island with its modern name of Mitili