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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 2

Verse 2. And suddenly. It burst upon them at once. Though they were waiting for the descent of the Spirit, yet it is not probable that they expected it in this manner. As this was an important event, and one on which the welfare of the church depended, it was proper that the gift of the Holy Spirit should take place in some striking and sensible manner, so as to convince their own minds that the promise was fulfilled, and so as deeply to impress others with the greatness and importance of the event.

There came a sound. hcov. This word is applied to any noise or report. Heb 12:19, "The sound of a trumpet." Lu 4:37, "The fame of him," etc. Comp. Mr 1:28.

From heaven. Appearing to rush down from the sky. It was fitted, therefore, to attract their attention no less from the direction from which it came, than on account of its suddenness and violence. Tempests blow, commonly, horizontally. This appeared to come from above; and this is all that is meant by the expression, "from heaven."

As of a rushing mighty wind. Literally, "as of a violent wind or gale," borne along—feromenhv—, sweeping along like a tempest. Such a wind is sometimes borne along so violently, and with such a noise, as to make it difficult even to hear the thunder in the gale. Such appears to have been the sound of this remarkable phenomenon. It does not appear that there was any wind; all might have been still; but the sudden sound was like such a sweeping tempest. It may be remarked, however, that the wind in the sacred Scriptures is often put as an emblem of a Divine influence. It is invisible, yet mighty; and thus represents the agency of the Holy Spirit. The same word in Hebrew, (

Hebrew, ) and in Greek, pneuma is used to denote both. The mighty power of God may be denoted also by the violence of a mighty tempest, 1 Ki 19:11; Ps 29; 104:3; 18:10.

And thus Jesus by his breath indicated to the apostles the conferring of the Holy Ghost, Joh 20:22. In this place the sound as of a gale was emblematic of the mighty power of the Spirit, and of the great effects which his coming would accomplish among men.

And it filled. Not the wind filled, but the sound. This is evident,

(1.) because there is no affirmation that there was any wind.

(2.) The grammatical structure of the sentence will admit no other construction. The word "filled" has no nominative case but "the sound." And suddenly there was a sound as of a wind, and (the sound) filled the house. In the Greek, the word "wind" is in the genitive or possessive case. It may be remarked here, that this miracle was really far more striking than the common supposition makes it to have been. A tempest might have been terrific. A mighty wind might have alarmed them. But there would have been nothing unusual or remarkable in it. Such things often occurred; and the thoughts would have been directed of course to the storm as an ordinary, though perhaps alarming occurrence. But when all was still—when there was no storm, no wind, no rain, no thunder, such a rushing sound must have arrested their attention; and directed all minds to so unusual and unaccountable an occurrence.

All the house. Some have supposed that this was a room in or near the temple. But as the temple is not expressly mentioned, this is improbable. it was probably the private dwelling mentioned in Ac 1:12. If it be said that such a dwelling could not contain so large a multitude as soon assembled, it may be replied that their houses had large central courts, See Barnes "Mt 9:2, and that it is not affirmed that the transaction recorded in this chapter occurred in the room which they occupied. It is probable that it took place in the court and around the house.

{c} "it filled all the house" Ac 4:31

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