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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 30

Verse 30. Therefore. As David was dead and buried, it was clear that he could not have referred to himself it. this remarkable declaration. It followed that he must have had reference to some other one.

Being a prophet. One who foretold future events. That David was inspired, is clear, 2 Sa 23:2. Many of the prophecies relating to the Messiah are found in the Psalms of David. Ps 22:1, comp. Mt 27:46; Lu 24:44; Ps 22:18, comp. Mt 27:35; Ps 69:21, comp. Mt 27:34,48; Ps 69:26, comp. Ac 1:20.

And knowing. Knowing by what God had said to him respecting his posterity.

Had sworn with an oath. The places which speak of God as having sworn to David are found in Ps 89:3,4, "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish," etc. And Ps 132:11, "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne." Ps 89:35,36. The promise to which reference is made in all these places is in 2 Sa 7:11-16.

Of the fruit of his loins. Of his descendants. See 2 Sa 7:12; Ge 35:11; 46:26; 1 Ki 8:19, etc.

According to the flesh. That is, so far as the human nature of the Messiah was concerned, he would be descended from David. Expressions like these are very remarkable. If the Messiah was only a man, they would be unmeaning. They are never used in relation to a mere man; and they imply that the speaker or writer supposed that there pertained to the Messiah a nature which was not according to the flesh. See Ro 1:3,4.

He would raise up Christ. That is, the Messiah. To raise up seed, or descendants, is to give them to him. The promises made to David in all these places had immediate reference to Solomon, and to his descendants. But it is clear that the New Testament writers understood them as referring to the Messiah. And it is no less clear that the Jews understood that the Messiah was to be descended from David, Mt 12:23; 21:9; 22:42,45; Mr 11:10; Joh 7:42, etc. In what way these promises that were made to David were understood as applying to the Messiah, it may not be easy to determine. The fact, however, is clear. The following remarks may throw some light on the subject. The kingdom which was promised to David was to have no end; it was to be established for ever. Yet his descendants died, and all other kingdoms changed. The promise likewise stood by itself; it was not made to any other of the Jewish kings; nor were similar declarations made of surrounding kingdoms and nations. It came, therefore, gradually to be applied to that future King and kingdom which was the hope of the nation; and their eyes were anxiously fixed on the long-expected Messiah. At the time that he came, it had become the settled doctrine of the Jews that he was to descend from David, and that his kingdom was to be perpetual. On this belief of the prophecy the apostles argued; and the opinions of the Jews furnished a strong point by which they could convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. Peter affirms that David was aware of this, and that he so understood the promise as referring not only to Solomon, but in a far more important sense to the Messiah. Happily, we have a commentary of David himself, also, as expressing his own views of that promise. That comment is found particularly in Psalms 2, 22, 69, and 16. In these Psalms there can be no doubt that David looked forward to the coming of the Messiah; and there can be as little that he regarded the promise made to him as extending to his coming and his reign.

It may be remarked, that there are some important variations in the manuscripts in regard to this verse. The expression "according to the flesh" is omitted in many MSS., and is now left out by Griesbach in his New Testament. It is omitted also by the ancient Syriac and Ethiopic versions, and by the Latin Vulgate.

To sit on his throne. To be his successor in his kingdom. Saul was the first of the kings of Israel. The kingdom was taken away from him and his posterity, and conferred on David and his descendants. It was determined that it should be continued in the family of David, and no more go out of his family, as it had from the family of Saul. The peculiar characteristic of David as king, or that which distinguished him from the other kings of the earth, was, that he reigned over the people of God. Israel was his chosen people; and the kingdom was over that nation. Hence he that should reign over the people of God, though in a manner somewhat different from David, would be regarded as occupying his throne, and as being his successor. The form of the administration might be varied, but it would still retain its prime characteristic, as being a reign over the people of God. In this sense the Messiah sits on the throne of David. He is his descendant and successor. He has an empire over all the friends of the Most High. And as that kingdom is destined to fill the earth, and to be eternal in the heavens, so it may be said that it is a kingdom which shall have no end. It is spiritual, but not the less real; defended not with carnal weapons, but not the less really defended; advanced not by the sword and the din of arms, but not the less really advanced against principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places; not under a visible head and earthly monarch, but not less really under the Captain of salvation, and the King of kings.

{a} "being a prophet" 2 Sa 23:2 {b} "sworn with an oath" 2 Sa 7:12,13; Ps 132:11

{c} "oath to him" Heb 6:17

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