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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 3 - Verse 2

Verse 2. Lame, etc. The mention of this shows that there was no deception in the case. The man had been always lame; he was obliged to be carried; and he was well known to the Jews.

Whom they laid daily. That is, his friends laid him there daily. He would therefore be well known to those who were in the habit of entering the temple. Among the ancients there were no hospitals for the afflicted; and no alms-houses for the poor. The poor were dependent, therefore, on the charity of those who were in better circumstances. It became an important matter for them to be placed where they would see many people. Hence it was customary to place them at the gates of rich men, (Lu 16:20;) and they also sat by the side of the highway to beg where many persons would pass, Mr 10:46; Lu 18:35; Joh 9:1-8.

The entrance to the temple would be a favourable place for begging; for,

(1.) great multitudes were accustomed to enter there; and,

(2.) when going up for the purposes of religion, they would be more inclined to give alms than at other times; and especially was this true of the Pharisees, who were particularly desirous of publicity in bestowing charity. It is recorded by Martial, (i. 112,) that this custom prevailed among the Romans, of placing the poor by the gates of the temples; and the custom was also observed a long time in the Christian churches.

At the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful. In regard to this gate there have been two opinions; one of which supposes that this was the gate commonly called Nicanor, which led from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women, See Barnes "Mt 21:12"; and the other, that it was the gate at the eastern entrance of the temple, commonly called Suzan. It is not easy to determine which is intended; though from the fact that it occurred near Solomon's porch, (Ac 3:11); comp. plan of the temple, Mt 21:12, it seems probable that the latter was intended. This gate was large and splendid. It was made of Corinthian brass, a most valuable metal, and made a magnificent appearance.—Josephus, Jewish War, b. v., chap. v., & 3.

To ask alms. Charity.

{d} "gate of the temple" Joh 9:8

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