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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 4 - Verse 26

Verse 26. The kings of the earth. The Psalmist specifies more particularly that kings and rulers would be opposed to the Messiah. This had occurred already by the opposition made to the Messiah by the rulers of the Jewish people; and it would be still more evinced by princes and kings, as the gospel should spread among the nations.

Stood up. The word here used paristhmi commonly means, to present one's self, or to stand forth, for the purpose of aiding, counselling, etc. But here it means that they rose, or presented themselves, to evince their opposition. They stood opposed to the Messiah, and offered resistance to him.

The rulers. This is another instance of the Hebrew parallelism. The word does not denote another class of men from kings, but expresses the same idea in another form, or in a more general manner, meaning that all classes of persons in authority would be opposed to the gospel.

Were gathered together. Hebrew, consulted together; were united in a consultation. The Greek implies that they were assembled for the purpose of consultation.

Against the Lord. In the Hebrew, "against Jehovah." This is the peculiar name which is given in the Scriptures to God. They rose against his plan of appointing a Messiah, and against the Messiah whom he had chosen.

Against his Christ. Hebrew, against his Messiah, or his Anointed.

See Barnes "Mt 1;1".

This is one of the places where the word Messiah is used in the Old Testament. The word occurs in about forty places, and is commonly translated his anointed, and is applied to kings. The direct reference of the word to the Messiah in the Old Testament is not frequent. This passage implies that opposition to the Messiah is opposition to Jehovah. And this is uniformly supposed in the sacred Scriptures. He that is opposed to Christ is opposed to God. He that neglects him neglects God. He that despises him despises God, Mt 10:40; 18:5; Joh 12:44,45; Lu 10:16, "He that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me." The reasons of this are,

(1.) that the Messiah is "the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his" subsistence, Heb 1:3.

(2.) He is equal with the Father, possessing the same attributes, and the same power, Joh 1:1; Php 2:6, etc. To despise him, therefore, is to despise God.

(3.) He is appointed by God to this great work of saving men. To despise him, or to oppose him, is to despise and oppose him who appointed him to this work, to contemn his counsels, and to set him at nought.

(4.) His work is dear to God. It has engaged his thoughts. It has been approved by him. His mission has been confirmed by the miraculous power of the Father, and by every possible manifestation of his approbation and love. To oppose the Messiah is, therefore, to oppose that which is dear to the heart of God, and which has long been the object of his tender solicitude. It follows from this, that they who neglect the Christian religion are exposing themselves to the sore displeasure of God, and endangering their everlasting interests. No man is safe who opposes God; and no man can have evidence that God will approve him, who does not embrace the Messiah whom he has appointed to redeem the world.

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