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Was now come
(εν τω συνπληρουσθα). Luke's favourite idiom of εν with the articular present infinitive passive and the accusative of general
reference, "in the being fulfilled completely (perfective use of συν-) as to the day of Pentecost." Common verb, but only
in Luke in N.T. In literal sense of filling a boat in Lu 8:23
, about days in Lu 9:51
as here. Whether the disciples expected the coming of the Holy Spirit on this day we do not know. Blass holds that the present
tense shows that the day had not yet come. It is a Hebrew idiom (Ex 7:25
) and Luke may mean that the day of Pentecost was not yet over, was still going on, though Hackett takes it for the interval
(fifty days) between Passover and Pentecost. Apparently this day of Pentecost fell on the Jewish Sabbath (our Saturday). It
was the feast of first fruits.
(αφνω). Old adverb, but in the N.T. only in Acts (2:2; 16:26; 28:6
). Kin to εξαιφνης (Ac 22:61
(διαμεριζομενα). Present middle (or passive) participle of διαμεριζω, old verb, to cleave asunder, to cut in pieces as a
butcher does meat (aorist passive in Lu 11:17f.
). So middle here would mean, parting themselves asunder or distributing themselves. The passive voice would be "being distributed."
The middle is probably correct and means that "the fire-like appearance presented itself at first, as it were, in a single
body, and then suddenly parted in this direction and that; so that a portion of it rested on each of those present" (Hackett).
The idea is not that each tongue was cloven, but each separate tongue looked like fire, not real fire, but looking like (ωσε,
as if) fire. The audible sign is followed by a visible one (Knowling). "Fire had always been, with the Jews, the symbol of
the Divine presence (cf. Ex 3:2; De 5:4
). No symbol could be more fitting to express the Spirit's purifying energy and refining energy" (Furneaux). The Baptist had
predicted a baptizing by the Messiah in the Holy Spirit and in fire (Mt 3:11
With other tongues
(ετεραις γλωσσαις). Other than their native tongues. Each one began to speak in a language that he had not acquired and yet
it was a real language and understood by those from various lands familiar with them. It was not jargon, but intelligible
language. Jesus had said that the gospel was to go to all the nations and here the various tongues of earth were spoken. One
might conclude that this was the way in which the message was to be carried to the nations, but future developments disprove
it. This is a third miracle (the sound, the tongues like fire, the untaught languages). There is no blinking the fact that
Luke so pictures them. One need not be surprised if this occasion marks the fulfilment of the Promise of the Father. But one
is not to confound these miraculous signs with the Holy Spirit. They are merely proof that he has come to carry on the work
of his dispensation. The gift of tongues came also on the house of Cornelius at Caesarea (Ac 10:44-47; 11:15-17
), the disciples of John at Ephesus (Ac 19:6
), the disciples at Corinth (1Co 14:1-33
). It is possible that the gift appeared also at Samaria (Ac 8:18
). But it was not a general or a permanent gift. Paul explains in 1Co 14:22
that "tongues" were a sign to unbelievers and were not to be exercised unless one was present who understood them and could
translate them. This restriction disposes at once of the modern so-called tongues which are nothing but jargon and hysteria.
It so happened that here on this occasion at Pentecost there were Jews from all parts of the world, so that some one would
understand one tongue and some another without an interpreter such as was needed at Corinth. The experience is identical in
all four instances and they are not for edification or instruction, but for adoration and wonder and worship.
(ησαν κατοικουντες). Periphrastic imperfect active indicative. Usually κατοικεω means residence in a place (4:16; 7:24; 9:22,32
) as in verse
14 (Luke 13:4
). Perhaps some had come to Jerusalem to live while others were here only temporarily, for the same word occurs in verse
9 of those who dwell in Mesopotamia, etc.
When this sound was heard
(γενομενης της φωνης ταυτης). Genitive absolute with aorist middle participle. Note φωνη this time, not ηχο as in verse
1. Φωνη originally meant sound as of the wind (Joh 3:8
) or an instrument (1Co 14:7,8,10
), then voice of men. The meaning seems to be that the excited "other tongues" of verse
4 were so loud that the noise drew the crowd together. The house where the 120 were may have been (Hackett) on one of the
avenues leading to the temple.
(εξισταντο). Imperfect middle of εξιστημ, to stand out of themselves, wide-open astonishment.
Cretes and Arabians
. These two groups "seem to have been added to the list as an afterthought" (Knowling). Crete is an island to itself and Arabia
was separate also though near Judea and full of Jews. The point is not that each one of these groups of Jews spoke a different
language, but that wherever there was a local tongue they heard men speaking in it.
(διηπορουντο). Imperfect middle of διαπορεω (δια, α privative, πορος) to be wholly at a loss. Old verb, but in N.T. only
in Luke and Acts. They continued amazed (εξισταντο) and puzzled.
(διαχλευαζοντες). Old verb, but only here in the N.T., though the simple verb (without δια) in
17:32. Χλευη means a joke.
Standing up with the eleven
(σταθεις συν τοις ενδεκα). Took his stand with the eleven including Matthias, who also rose up with them, and spoke as their
spokesman, a formal and impressive beginning. The Codex Bezae has "ten apostles." Luke is fond of this pictorial use of σταθεις
(first aorist passive participle of ιστημ) as seen nowhere else in the N.T. (Lu 18:11,40; 19:8; Ac 5:20; 17:22; 27:21
As ye suppose
(ως υμεις υπολαμβανετε). Note use of υμεις (ye) for decided emphasis.
This is that which hath been spoken by the prophet Joel
(τουτο εστιν το ειρημενον δια του προφητου Ιωηλ). Positive interpretation of the supernatural phenomena in the light of the
Messianic prophecy of Joe 2:28-32
. Peter's mind is now opened by the Holy Spirit to understand the Messianic prophecy and the fulfilment right before their
eyes. Peter now has spiritual insight and moral courage. The
In the last days
(εν ταις εσχαταις ημεραις). Joel does not have precisely these words, but he defines "those days" as being "the day of the
Lord" (cf. Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1
(τερατα). Apparently akin to the verb τηρεω, to watch like a wonder in the sky,
Shall be turned
(μεταστραφησετα). Second future passive of μεταστρεφω, common verb, but only three times in the N.T. (Ac 2:20
from Joel; Jas 4:9; Ga 1:7
). These are the "wonders" or portents of verse
19. It is worth noting that Peter interprets these "portents" as fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, though no such change
of the sun into darkness or of the moon into blood is recorded. Clearly Peter does not interpret the symbolism of Joel in
literal terms. This method of Peter may be of some service in the Book of Revelation where so many apocalyptic symbols occur
as well as in the great Eschatological Discourse of Jesus in Mt 24,25
. In Mt 24:6,29
Jesus had spoken of wars on earth and wonders in heaven.
31823182 Shall call on (επικαλεσητα). First aorist middle subjunctive of επικαλεω, common verb, to call to, middle voice for oneself in need. Indefinite relative clause with εαν and so subjunctive, punctiliar idea, in any single case, and so aorist.
Hear these words
(ακουσατε τους λογους τουτους). Do it now (aorist tense). With unerring aim Peter has found the solution for the phenomena.
He has found the key to God's work on this day in his words through Joel.
(τουτον). "This one," resumptive and emphatic object of "did crucify and slay."
God raised up
(ο θεος ανεστησεν). Est hoc summum orationis (Blass). Apparently this is the first public proclamation to others than believers of the fact of the Resurrection of Jesus.
"At a time it was still possible to test the statement, to examine witnesses, to expose fraud, the Apostle openly proclaimed
the Resurrection as a fact, needing no evidence, but known to his hearers" (Furneaux).
(εις αυτον). Peter interprets Ps 16:8-11
as written by David and with reference to the Messiah. There is but one speaker in this Psalm and both Peter here and Paul
in Ac 13:36
make it the Messiah. David is giving his own experience which is typical of the Messiah (Knowling).
(ηυφρανθη). First aorist (timeless here like the Hebrew perfect) passive indicative of ευφραινω (cf. Lu 15:32
). Timeless also is "rejoiced" (ηγαλλιασατο).
(εις Hαιδην). Hades is the unseen world, Hebrew Sheol, but here it is viewed as death itself "considered as a rapacious destroyer"
(Hackett). It does not mean the place of punishment, though both heaven and the place of torment are in Hades (Lu 16:23
). "Death and Hades are strictly parallel terms: he who is dead is in Hades" (Page). The use of εις here=εν is common enough.
The Textus Receptus here reads εις Hαιδου (genitive case) like the Attic idiom with δομον (abode) understood. "Hades" in English
is not translation, but transliteration. The phrase in the Apostles' Creed, "descended into hell" is from this passage in
Acts (Hades, not Gehenna). The English word "hell" is Anglo-Saxon from ελαν, to hide, and was used in the Authorized Version
to translate both Hades as here and Gehenna as in Mt 5:22
I may say
(εξον ειπειν). Supply εστιν before εξον, periphrastic present indicative of εξειμ, to allow, permit. The Authorized Version
has "Let me speak," supplying εστο present imperative.
(προιδων). Second aorist active participle. Did it as a prophet.
(τουτον τον Ιησουν). Many of the name "Jesus," but he means the one already called "the Nazarene" (verse
22) and foretold as the Messiah in Ps 16
and raised from the dead by God in proof that he is the Messiah (2:24,32
), "this Jesus whom ye crucified" (verse
36). Other terms used of him in the Acts are the Messiah, verse
31, the one whom God "anointed" (Ac 10:38
), as in Joh 1:41
, Jesus Christ (9:34). In
2:36 God made this Jesus Messiah, in
3:20 the Messiah Jesus, in
17:3 Jesus is the Messiah, in
18:5 the Messiah is Jesus, in
24:24 Christ Jesus.
By the right hand of God
(τη δεξια του θεου). This translation makes it the instrumental case. The margin has it "at" instead of "by," that is the
locative case. And it will make sense in the true dative case, "to the right hand of God." These three cases came to have
the same form in Greek. Ro 8:24
furnishes another illustration of like ambiguity (τη ελπιδ), saved by hope, in hope, or for hope. Usually it is quite easy
to tell the case when the form is identical.
(ου--ανεβη). It is more emphatic than that: For not David ascended into the heavens. Peter quotes Ps 110:1
as proof. No passage in the O.T. is so constantly quoted as Messianic as this. "St. Peter does not demand belief upon his
own assertion, but he again appeals to the Scriptures, and to words which could not have received a fulfilment in the case
of David" (Knowling).
Till I make
(εως αν θω). Second aorist active subjunctive of τιθημ with αν after εως for the future, a common Greek idiom. This dominion
of Christ as Mediator will last till the plan of the kingdom is carried out (1Co 15:23-28
). Complete subjugation will come, perhaps referring to the custom of victorious kings placing their feet upon the necks of
their enemies (Jos 10:24
They were pricked in their heart
(κατενυγησαν την καρδιαν). Second aorist indicative of κατανυσσω, a rare verb (LXX) to pierce, to sting sharply, to stun,
to smite. Homer used it of horses dinting the earth with their hoofs. The substantive κατανυξις occurs in Ro 11:8
. Here only in the N.T. It is followed here by the accusative of the part affected, the heart.
(μετανοησατε). First aorist (ingressive) active imperative. Change your mind and your life. Turn right about and do it now.
You crucified this Jesus. Now crown him in your hearts as Lord and Christ. This first.
(η επαγγελια). The promise made by Jesus (1:4) and foretold by Joel (verse
With many other words
(ετεροις λογοις πλειοσιν). Instrumental case. Not necessarily "different" (ετεροις), but "further," showing that Luke does
not pretend to give all that Peter said. This idea is also brought out clearly by πλειοσιν ("more," not "many"), more than
these given by Luke.
(Hο μεν ουν). A common phrase in Acts either without antithesis as in 1:6; 5:41; 8:4,25; 9:31; 11:19; 16:5
; or with it as here, 8:25; 13:4; 14:3; 17:17; 23:31; 25:4
. Ουν connects with what precedes as the result of Peter's sermon while μεν points forward to what is to follow.
They continued steadfastly
(ησαν προσκαρτυρουντες). Periphrastic active imperfect of προσκαρτυρεω as in Ac 1:14
(same participle in verse
(εγινετο). Imperfect middle, kept on coming.
(ησαν επ το αυτο). Some MSS. ησαν κα (were and). But they were together in the same place as in
(επιπρασκον). Imperfect active, a habit or custom from time to time. Old and common verb, πιπρασκω.
With one accord in the temple
(ομοθυμαδον εν τω ιερω). See on
1:14 for ομοθυμαδον. They were still worshipping in the temple for no breach had yet come between Christians and Jews. Daily
they were here and daily breaking bread at home (κατ' οικον) which looks like the regular meal.
(εχοντες χαριν). Cf. Lu 2:52
of the Boy Jesus.
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