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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 1 - Verse 7

Verse 7. It is not for you to know. The question of the apostles respected the time of the restoration; it was not whether he would do it. Accordingly, his answer meets precisely their inquiry; and he tells them in general that the time of the great events of God's kingdom was not to be understood by them. A similar question they had asked in Mt 24:3, "Tell us when shall these things be?"

Jesus answered them then by showing them certain signs which should precede his coming, and by saying, (Mt 24:36) "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." God has uniformly reproved a vain curiosity on such points, 1 Th 5:1,2; 2 Pe 3:10; Lu 12:39,40.


The times or the seasons. The difference between these words is, that the former denotes any time or period indefinite, or uncertain; the latter denotes a fixed, definite, or appropriate time. They seem to be used here to denote the periods of all classes of future events.

The Father hath put, etc. So much had the Father reserved the knowledge of these, that it is said, that even the Son did not know them. See Mr 13:32. See Barnes "Mr 13:32".


In his own power. That is, he has fixed them by his own authority; he will bring them about in his own time and way; and therefore it is not proper for men anxiously to inquire into them. All prophecy is remarkably obscure in regard to the time of its fulfillment. The reasons are,

(1.) to excite men to watch for the events that are to come, as the time is uncertain, and they will come "like a thief in the night."

(2.) As they are to be brought about by human agency, they are so arranged as to call forth that agency. If men knew just when an event was to come to pass, they might be remiss, and feel that their effort was not needed.

(3.) The knowledge of future scenes—of the exact time, might alarm men, and absorb their thoughts entirely, and prevent attendance to the present duties of life. Duty is ours now; God will provide for future scenes.

(4.) Promises sufficiently clear and full are therefore given us to encourage us; but not full enough to excite a vain and idle curiosity. All this is eminently true of our own death—one of the most important future scenes through which we are to pass. It is certainly before us; it is near; it cannot be long avoided; it may come at any moment. God has fixed the time, but will not inform us when it shall be. He does not gratify a vain curiosity, or terrify us, by announcing to us the day or the hour when we are to die, as we do a man that is to be executed. This would be to make our lives like that of a criminal sentenced to die, and we should through all our life, through fear of death, be subject to bondage, Heb 2:15. He has made enough known to excite us to prepare, and to be always ready, having our loins girt about, and our lamps trimmed and burning, Lu 12:35.

{g} "It is not for" Mt 24:36; 1 Th 5:1,2

{*} "power", or "disposal"

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