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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 4)

4:1 {The captain of the temple} (\ho stratēgos tou hierou\).
Twenty-four bands of Levites guarded the temple, one guard at a
time. They watched the gates. The commander of each band was
called captain (\stratēgos\). Josephus names this captain of the
temple police next to the high priest (_War_. VI. 5, 3). {The
(\hoi Saddoukaioi\). Most of the priests were
Sadducees now and all the chief priests since John Hyrcanus I
deserted the Pharisees (Josephus, _Ant_. XVII. 10, 6; XVIII. 1,
4; XX. 9, 1)
. The Sadducees were slow to line up with the
Pharisees against Jesus, but they now take the lead against Peter
and John. {Came upon them} (\epestēsan autois\). Second aorist
active indicative (intransitive). Burst upon them suddenly or
stood by them in a hostile attitude here (Lu 20:1; 24:4; Ac
6:12; 17:5; 22:20; 23:11)

4:2 {Being sore troubled} (\diaponoumenoi\). Present passive
participle of old verb \diaponeō\ (perfective use of \dia\) to be
worked up, indignant. In the N.T. only here and 16:8. {Because}
(\dia to\). The articular infinitive with two accusatives, one
the object (the people), the other ("they") of general reference.
{In Jesus} (\en Iēsou\). In the case of Jesus, an actual instance
of resurrection which the Sadducees denied (Mt 22:23). This
same use of \en\ appears in 1Co 4:6 (in us). The Sadducees were
also aristocrats and political ecclesiastics who disliked popular
disturbances. In particular, they resented the claim about Jesus
whom they had helped crucify.

4:3 {In ward} (\eis tērēsin\). Probably in one of the chambers of
the temple. In safe keeping (from \tēreō\, to guard). Old word,
in the N.T. only here and Ac 5:18; 1Co 7:19. So in papyri. {Now
(\hespera ēdē\). Hence no trial could take place before
the next day, a regulation violated in the case of Jesus.

4:4 {Men} (\andrōn\). Strictly, men and not women, for
\anthrōpos\ is the term for both men and women. But in Lu 11:31
\andres\ seems to include both men and women and that is possible
here, though by no means certain, for see Mt 14:21 where the
women and children are expressly excepted.

4:5 {Rulers and elders and scribes} (\tous archontas kai tous
presbuterous kai tous grammateis\)
. The three classes composing
the Sanhedrin (rulers=chief priests who were Sadducees, the
scribes usually Pharisees, the elders not in either class: 24
priests, 24 elders, 22 scribes)
. {Were gathered together}
(\sunachthēnai\). First aorist passive infinitive of \sunagō\
with accusative of general reference and the subject of

4:6 {Annas} (\Hannas\). One of the rulers or chief priests,
ex-high priest (A.D. 7-14) and father-in-law of {Caiaphas}
(\Kaiaphas\) who was actual high priest at that time, though the
title clung to Annas as here (both so called in Lu 3:2),
Caiaphas so by Roman law, Annas so in the opinion of the Jews.
They with John and Alexander are the leaders among the Sadducees
in pressing the case against Peter and John.

4:7 {In the midst} (\en tōi mesōi\). The Sanhedrin sat in a
semicircle. {They inquired} (\epunthanonto\). Imperfect middle,
began to inquire. {Or in what name} (\ē en poiōi onomati\). As if
by some magical formula such as exorcists practised (Ac 19:13)
as if to catch them by (De 13:1). {Have ye done this}
(\epoiēsate touto humeis\). Note emphatic use of \humeis\ (ye).

4:8 {Filled with the Holy Spirit} (\plēstheis pneumatos hagiou\).
For this occasion and so above all fear as in verse 31 and as
in 2:4.

4:9 {Concerning a good deed done to an impotent man} (\epi
euergesiāi anthrōpou asthenous\)
. Objective genitive. Note
\euergesia\ (old word, in the N.T. only here and 1Ti 6:2), as a
benefactor, not a malefactor. Skilful turn made by Peter. {Is
made whole}
(\sesōstai\). Perfect passive indicative of \sōzō\,
stands whole.

4:10 {Be it known} (\gnōston estō\). Imperative present active
third singular of \eimi\, to be, and the verbal adjective
\gnōston\. {Whom ye crucified} (\hon humeis estaurōsate\). Too
good a chance to miss, and so Peter boldly charges the Sanhedrin
with responsibility for the death of Jesus. Note \humeis\ (ye)
again. {Whom God raised from the dead} (\hon ho theos ēgeiren ek
. Note repetition of \hon\ (whom). This is God's answer
to their act of crucifixion. {In him doth this man stand} (\en
toutōi houtos parestēken\)
. Rather (note play on \houtos\), "In
this one (\hon, hon\) this one stands (present perfect active
indicative, intransitive)
." In Jesus this man stands before you
whole (\hugiēs\). It was a centre shot.

4:11 {Of you the builders} (\huph' humōn tōn oikodomōn\). The
experts, the architects, had rejected Jesus for their building
(Ps 118:22) as Jesus himself had pointed out (Mt 21:42; Lu
. This very Rejected Stone God had made the head of the
corner (either the highest corner stone right under the roof or
the corner stone under the building, Isa 28:16)
as Jesus
showed, as Peter here declares and repeats later (1Pe 2:6f.).

4:12 {Salvation} (\hē sōtēria\). The Messianic salvation as in
5:31; 17:11 and as Jesus meant in Joh 4:22. It is amazing to
see Peter speaking thus to the Sanhedrin and proclaiming the
necessity of salvation (\dei sōthēnai\) in the name of Jesus
Christ and in no other. If this was true then, it is true today.
There is no second (\heteron\) name to go beside that of Jesus in
India, China, Japan, or America.

4:13 {The boldness} (\tēn parrēsian\). Telling it all (\pan,
. See also verses 29,31. Actually Peter had turned the
table on the Sanhedrin and had arraigned them before the bar of
God. {Had perceived} (\katalabomenoi\). Second aorist middle
participle of \katalambanō\, common verb to grasp strongly
(\kata\), literally or with the mind (especially middle voice),
to comprehend. The rulers recalled Peter and John from having
seen them often with Jesus, probably during the temple teaching,
etc. {They were unlearned} (\agrammatoi eisin\). Present
indicative retained in indirect discourse. Unlettered men without
technical training in the professional rabbinical schools of
Hillel or Shammai. Jesus himself was so regarded (Joh 7:15,
"not having learned letters")
. {And ignorant} (\kai idiōtai\).
Old word, only here in the N.T. and 1Co 14:24; 2Co 11:6. It
does not mean "ignorant," but a layman, a man not in office (a
private person)
, a common soldier and not an officer, a man not
skilled in the schools, very much like \agrammatos\. It is from
\idios\ (one's own) and our "idiosyncracy" is one with an excess
of such a trait, while "idiot" (this very word) is one who has
nothing but his idiosyncracy. Peter and John were men of ability
and of courage, but they did not belong to the set of the rabbis.
{They marvelled} (\ethaumazon\). Imperfect (inchoative) active,
began to wonder and kept it up. {Took knowledge of them}
(\epeginōskon autous\). Imperfect (inchoative) active again, they
began to recognize them as men that they had seen with Jesus.

4:14 {They could say nothing against it} (\ouden eichon
. Imperfect again, they kept on having nothing to say
against it. The lame man was standing there before their eyes in
proof of what Peter had said.

4:15 {They conferred among themselves} (\suneballon pros
. Imperfect active again. With Peter and John and the
lame man outside, they began to compare (\sun, ballō\) notes and
take stock of their predicament.

4:16 {What shall we do?} (\Ti poiēsōmen\). Deliberative aorist
active subjunctive (ingressive and urgent aorist). {Notable
(\gnōston sēmeion\). Or sign. It was useless to deny it
with the man there. {We cannot deny it} (\ou dunametha
. That is, it will do no good.

4:17 {That it spread no further} (\hina mē epi pleion
. First aorist passive subjunctive of \dianemō\, to
distribute with \hina mē\, negative purpose. {Let us threaten
(\apeilēsōmetha autois\). Hortatory aorist middle
subjunctive of \apeileō\, old verb (note middle voice). In the
N.T. only here and 1Pe 2:23. {That they speak henceforth to no
man in this name}
(\mēketi lalein epi tōi onomati toutōi mēdeni
. Indirect command with the infinitive and double
negative (\mēketi, mēdeni\). They will not say "Jesus," but make
a slur at "this name," contemptuous use of \houtos\, though they
apparently do mention the name "Jesus" in verse 18.

4:18 {Not to speak at all} (\katholou mē phtheggesthai\). Same
construction as above, infinitive in indirect command with
negative \mē\ (and \mēde\).

4:20 {For we cannot but speak} (\ou dunametha gar hēmeis--mē
. Both negatives hold here, "For we (note emphatic
are not able not to speak" (what we saw and heard).
This is defiance of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities that
was justified, for the temple authorities stepped in between the
conscience and God. Peter and John were willing to pay the price
of this defiance with their lives. This is the courage of martyrs
through all the ages.

4:21 {When they had further threatened them}
(\prosapeilēsamenoi\). The "further" is in "pros" (in addition),
{Finding nothing how they might punish them} (\mēden heuriskontes
to pōs kolasōntai autous\)
. Note the article "to" before \pōs\
(how), "the how." Aorist middle deliberative subjunctive
\kolasōntai\ in indirect question after \pōs\ from \kolazō\, to
lop (\kolos\, lopped), to curb, to prune, to correct, to punish.
Old verb, in the N.T. only here and 2Pe 2:9. {Glorified God}
(\edoxazon ton theon\). Imperfect active, kept on glorifying God
while the Sanhedrin were threatening Peter and John. It was to
laugh at the helplessness of the Sanhedrin.

4:22 {Was wrought} (\gegonei\). Second past perfect active
without augment from \ginomai\.

4:23 {To their own company} (\pros tous idious\). Their own
people as in Joh 1:11; 13:1; Ac 24:23; 1Ti 5:8; Tit 3:14, not
merely the apostles (all the disciples). In spite of Peter's
courageous defiance he and John told the brotherhood all that had
been said by the Sanhedrin. They had real apprehension of the

4:24 {With one accord} (\homothumadon\). A concert of voices as
already seen by the word in 1:14; 2:46 and later in 5:12;
7:57; 15:25. {O Lord} (\Despota\). Our word despot. Old word for
relation of master to slaves or household servants (1Ti 6:1; 2Ti
2:21; Tit 2:9; 1Pe 2:18)
. Simeon thus addressed God (Lu 2:29).
So in 2Pe 2:1; Jude 1:4; Re 6:10. See "slaves" in verse 29.

4:25 {By the mouth of our father David} (\tou patros hēmōn dia
pneumatos hagiou stomatos Daueid\)
. From Ps 2:1f. here ascribed
to David. Baumgarten suggests that the whole company sang the
second Psalm and then Peter applied it to this emergency. The
Greek MSS. do not have \dia\ (by) here before \stomatos\, but
only \dia\ before \pneumatos hagiou\ (the Holy Spirit). Hort
calls this a "primitive error" perhaps due to an early scribe who
omitted this second \dia\ so close to the first \dia\ (Robertson,
_Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the N.T._, p. 238)
. A
small list of such primitive errors is there given as suggested
by Dr. Hort. {Why} (\hina ti\). This Greek idiom calls for
\genētai\ (second aorist middle subjunctive), {That what may
. {The Gentiles} (\ethnē\). So always in LXX, while \laoi\
(peoples) can include Jews. {Did rage} (\ephruaxan\). First
aorist active indicative of \phruassō\, late word, to neigh like
a horse, to prance or stamp the ground, to put on lofty airs.
Only here in the N.T. in this quotation from Ps 2:1. {Imagine}
(\emeletēsan\). First aorist active indicative of \meletaō\. Old
verb from \meletē\ (care), to practise, to caution, as orators
and rhetoricians. Only here in the N.T. in this quotation.

4:26 {Set themselves in array} (\parestēsan\). Literally, stood
by. {Against his Anointed} (\kata tou Christou autou\). Against
his Messiah, his Christ.

4:27 {Both Herod and Pontios Pilate} (\Hērōidēs te kai Pontius
. Luke alone (Lu 23:12) tells of the reconciliation
between Herod and Pilate at the trial of Jesus. So Peter and the
rest interpret this prophecy as directly fulfilled in their
conduct towards Jesus Christ. {Whom thou didst anoint} (\hon
. As in verse 26 (cf. Lu 4:18; Isa 61:1).
Inaugurated as King Messiah.

4:28 {Foreordained} (\proōrisen\). First aorist active indicative
of \proorizō\, "They rise above sight and seem to see the Hand
which 'shapes men's ends, rough hew them how they will'"

4:29 {And now} (\kai ta nun\). "And as to (accusative of general
the now things (the present situation)." Only in the
Acts in the N.T. (5:38; 17:30; 20:32; 27:22). {Grant} (\dos\).
Second aorist active imperative of \didōmi\, urgency of the
aorist, Do it now. {To speak thy word with all boldness} (\meta
parrēsias pasēs lalein ton logon sou\)
. Literally, "with all
boldness to go on speaking (present active infinitive) thy word."
Peter and John had defied the Sanhedrin in verse 20, but all
the same and all the more they pray for courage in deed to live
up to their brave words. A wholesome lesson.

4:30 {While thou stretchest forth thy hand} (\en tōi tēn cheira
ekteinein se\)
. Luke's favourite idiom, "In the stretching out
(articular present active infinitive) the hand as to thee"
(accusative of general reference), the second allusion to God's
"hand" in this prayer (verse 28). {To heal} (\eis iasin\). For
healing. See verse 22. {And that signs and wonders may be done}
(\kai sēmeia kai terata ginesthai\). Either to be taken as in the
same construction as \ekteinein\ with \en tōi\ as Revised Version
has it here or to be treated as subordinate purpose to \en tōi
ekteinein\ (as Knowling, Page, Wendt, Hackett). The latter most
likely true. They ask for a visible sign or proof that God has
heard this prayer for courage to be faithful even unto death.

4:31 {The place was shaken} (\esaleuthē ho topos\). By an
earthquake most likely as in 16:26, but none the less a token
of God's presence and power (Ps 114:7; Isa 2:19,21; Heb
. {Were gathered together} (\ēsan sunēgmenoi\).
Periphrastic past perfect passive of \sunagō\. {They spake}
(\elaloun\). Imperfect active indicative, began to speak, after
being filled (\eplēsthēsan\, aorist passive indicative) with the
Holy Spirit. Luke uses the very words of the prayer in verse 29
to describe their conduct.

4:32 {Of one heart and soul} (\kardia kai psuchē mia\). It is not
possible to make sharp distinction between heart and soul here
(see Mr 12:30), only that there was harmony in thought and
affection. But the English translation is curiously unlike the
Greek original. "There was one heart and soul (nominative case,
not genitive as the English has it)
in the multitude (\tou
plēthous\, subjective genitive)
of those who believed." {Not one
of them}
(\oude heis\). More emphatic than \oudeis\, "not even
one." {Common} (\koina\). In the use of their property, not in
the possession as Luke proceeds to explain. The word \koinos\ is
kin to \sun\ (together with)=\xun\ (Epic) and so \xunos=koinos\.
See this word already in 2:44. The idea of unclean (Ac 10:15)
is a later development from the original notion of common to all.

4:33 {Gave their witness} (\apedidoun to marturion\). Imperfect
active of \apodidōmi\, old verb to give back, to pay back a debt
(Lu 7:42), but a late omega form instead of the usual
\apedidosan\. They kept on giving their witness with power after
the answer to their prayer (verse 31). {Of the resurrection}
(\tēs anastaseōs\). It was on this issue that the Sadducees had
arrested them (4:1-3).

4:34 {That lacked} (\endeēs\). Literally, in need, old adjective,
here only in the N.T. {Were} (\hupērchon\). Imperfect active of
\huparchō\, to exist. {Sold them and brought} (\pōlountes
. Present active participle and imperfect active
indicative. Selling they brought from time to time, as there was
occasion by reason of need. Hence the wants were kept supplied.
{Laid them} (\etithoun\). Imperfect active again, _repetition_,
of \tithēmi\, late omega form for the usual \etithesan\.

4:35 {Distribution was made} (\diedideto\). Imperfect passive of
\diadidōmi\, late omega form for \diedidoto\ (the stem vowel \o\
displaced by \e\)
. Impersonal use of the verb here. {According as
any one had need}
(\kathoti an tis chreian eichen\). Imperfect
active of \echō\ with \kathoti\ and \an\ with the notion of
customary repetition in a comparative clause (Robertson,
_Grammar_, p. 967)

4:36 {Barnabas} (\Barnabas\). His name was Joseph (correct text,
and not Jesus)
and he is mentioned as one illustration of those
in verse 34 who selling brought the money. The apostles gave
him the nickname Barnabas by which later he was known because of
this noble deed. This fact argues that all did not actually sell,
but were ready to do so if needed. Possibly Joseph had a larger
estate than some others also. The meaning of the nickname is
given by Luke as "son of consolation or exhortation" (\huios
. Doubtless his gifts as a preacher lay along this
same line. Rackham thinks that the apostles gave him this name
when he was recognized as a prophet. In Ac 11:23 the very word
\parekalei\ (exhorted) is used of Barnabas up at Antioch. He is
the type of preacher described by Paul in 1Co 14:3.
Encouragement is the chief idea in \paraklēsis\ though
exhortation, comfort, consolation are used to render it (Ac
9:31; 13:15; 15:31)
. See also 16:9; 20:12. It is not necessary
to think that the apostles coined the name Barnabas for Joseph
which originally may have come from \Barnebous\ (Deissmann,
_Bible Studies_, pp. 308-10)
, son of Nebo, or even the Hebrew
_Bar Nebi_ (son of a prophet). But, whatever the origin, the
popular use is given by Luke. He was even called apostle along
with Paul (Ac 14:14) in the broad sense of that word.

4:37 {Having a held} (\huparchontos autōi agrou\). Genitive
absolute with present active participle of \huparchō\ and dative
of possession. {Sold it and brought} (\pōlēsas ēnegken\). Aorist
active participle of \pōleō\ and second aorist active indicative
of \pherō\ because a single definite instance. So also with
\ethēken\ (laid), first aorist active.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 4)