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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 24

Verse 24. Whom God hath raised up. This was the main point, in this part of his argument, which Peter wished to establish. He could not but admit that the Messiah had been in an ignominious manner put to death. But he now shows them that God had also raised him up; had thus given his attestation to his doctrine; and had sent down his Spirit according to the promise which the Lord Jesus made before his death.

Having loosed the pains of death. The word loosed, lusav, is opposed to bind, and is properly applied to a cord, or to anything which is bound. See Mt 21:2; Mr 1:7. Hence it means to free, or to liberate, Luke 13:16; 1 Co 7:27. It is used in this sense here; though the idea of untying or loosing a band is retained, because the word translated pains often means a cord or band.

The pains of death. wdinav tou yanatou. The word translated pains denotes, properly, the extreme sufferings of parturition, and then any severe or excruciating pangs. Hence it is applied also to death, as being a state of extreme suffering. A very frequent meaning of the Hebrew word, of which this is the translation, is cord, or band. This perhaps was the original idea of the word; and the Hebrews expressed any extreme agony under the idea of bands or cords closely drawn, binding and constricting the limbs, and producing severe pain. Thus death was represented under this image of a band that confined men; that pressed closely on them; that prevented escape; and produced severe suffering. For this use of the word

HEBREW, see Ps 119:61; Isa 66:7; Jer 22:23; Hos 13:13.

It is applied to death, (Ps 18:5,) "The snares of death prevented me;" answering to the word sorrows in the previous part of the verse. Ps 116:3, "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell (hades or sheol, the cords or pains that were binding me down to the grave) gat hold upon me." We are not to infer from this that our Lord suffered anything after death. It means simply that he could not be held by the grave, but that God loosed the bonds which had held him there; and that he now set him free who had been encompassed by these pains or bonds, until they had brought him down to the grave. Pain, mighty pain, will encompass us all like the constrictions and bindings of a cord which we cannot loose, and will fasten our limbs and bodies in the grave. Those bands begin to be thrown around us in early life, and they are drawn closer and closer, until we lie panting under the stricture on a bed of pain, and then are still and immovable in the grave; subdued in a manner not a little resembling the mortal agonies of the tiger in the convolutions of the boa constrictor; or like Laocoon and his sons in the folds of the serpents from the island of Tenedos.

It was not possible. This does not refer to any natural impossibility, or to any inherent efficacy or power in the body of Jesus itself; but simply means that, in the circumstances of the case, such an event could not be. Why it could not be, he proceeds at once to show. It could not be consistently with the promises of the Scriptures. Jesus was the Prince of life, (Ac 3:15,) and had life in himself, (Joh 1:4; 5:26) and had power to lay down his life, and to take it again, (Joh 10:18;) and it was indispensable that he should rise. He came, also, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, (Heb 2:14;) and as it was his purpose to gain this victory, he could not be defeated in it by being confined to the grave.

{a} "Whom God" Lu 24:1; Ac 13:30,34; 1 Co 6:14; Eph 1:20; Col 2:12


1 Th 1:10; Heb 13:10; 1 Pe 1:21

{*} "pains" "Bands" {b} "not possible that" Joh 10:18

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