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17He motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and described for them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he added, “Tell this to James and to the believers.” Then he left and went to another place.


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17. Tell James and the brethren: By brethren I understand not every one that was of the Church but the apostles and elders. For though it were requisite that the miracle should be made known to all, yet will Peter worthily for honor’s sake, have his fellows in office to be certified thereof. Ecclesiastical writers after Eusebius report that this James was one of the disciples; but forasmuch as Paul reckoneth him in the number of the three pillars of the Church, (Galatians 2:9,) I do not think that a disciple was advanced to that dignity, and the apostles set aside. Wherefore, I do rather conjecture, that this was James the son of Alpheus, whose holiness was such, that it caused the Jews to wonder at it. And there be two reasons for which Peter would have this joyful message brought unto the brethren; to wit, that he might rid them of that care which did vex them; secondly, that they might be encouraged with such an example of God’s goodness to be the more bold. Whereas he passeth into another place, I think it was done for this cause, because, forasmuch as the house was well known and famous, because many of the brethren resorted thither, he might lie hid elsewhere with less danger. Therefore, he sought a place which was not so much suspected of the enemy, and that he might not only save himself, but also his hostess and others.




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