|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:15-26 The great thing the apostles were to attest to the world, was, Christ's resurrection; for that was the great proof of his being the Messiah, and the foundation of our hope in him. The apostles were ordained, not to wordly dignity and dominion, but to preach Christ, and the power of his resurrection. An appeal was made to God; Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, which we do not; and better than they know their own. It is fit that God should choose his own servants; and so far as he, by the disposals of his providence, or the gifts of his Spirit, shows whom he was chosen, or what he has chosen for us, we ought to fall in with his will. Let us own his hand in the determining everything which befalls us, especially in those by which any trust may be committed to us.
Verse 15. - These for those, A.V.; brethren for disciples, A.V. and T.R.; and there was a multitude of persons gathered together for the number of names together were, A.V.; a for an, A.V. Peter justifies his primacy by taking the lead in the first onward movement of the Church. Names is a common Hebraism for "persons" (see Revelation 3:4; Numbers 1:2). Gathered together; i.e. to one place and at one time (see the same phrase, Acts 2:1, 44). Wordsworth quotes Ignat., 'Ad Magnes' 7, and Clem. Romans 1:4, where the same phrase, ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, indicative of Church unity occurs.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And in those days Peter stood up,.... That is, in one of the days after Christ's ascension, and before the day of Pentecost, whilst the disciples were waiting for the promise of the Spirit. The Ethiopic version reads, "on that day"; as if it was the same day they came first into Jerusalem, and went into the upper room; and which is likely enough; for no time was to be lost in choosing one in the room of Judas; when Peter, not only as a forward person, and who had been used to be the first mover and actor in any affair; but as willing to show his zeal for Christ, whom he had so lately denied, and as being the senior man in company, as well as the minister of the circumcision, rises, and stands up, as persons used to do, when about to make an oration, and in respect and reverence to the persons addressed:
in the midst of the disciples; not only the other ten, but the whole hundred and twenty. The Alexandrian copy, and some others, read, "in the midst of the brethren", and so reads the Vulgate Latin version; and the Ethiopic version, "in the midst of his own brethren",
and he said what is expressed in the following verses, which before the historian relates, he inserts in a parenthesis this clause,
the number of the names; that is, of persons; see Revelation 11:13. Some copies read, "of the men", and so the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions; who
together, all put together in one sum, or as meeting together in one and the same place, or as agreeing in the same faith and judgment, so the Arabic version, "and there was there a company whose names and wills agreed in this same opinion"; they were all in one place, and of the same mind; and the sum of them
were about an hundred and twenty; among whom were the eleven apostles, and seventy disciples, which made eighty one; so that there were thirty nine persons more in this company: not that it is to be thought that these were all that were in Jerusalem that believed in Christ; but these were the number of the persons that met and embodied together in a church state, and who not only gave themselves to the Lord, but to one another, by the will of God; and their names being taken and registered, the historian calls the account of them, the number of the names, and not persons; though he means persons. This was a number pretty famous among the Jews; the sanhedrim of Ezra, called the men of the great synagogue, consisted of an "hundred and twenty elders"; the last of which was Simeon the just, and he comprehended the hundred and twenty (h). And such a number was requisite for a sanhedrim in any place; it is asked,
"how many must there be in a city, that it may be fit for a sanhedrim? "an hundred and twenty"; R. Nehemiah says two hundred and thirty (i):
but the decision is according to the former: hence they say (k), that "they fix in every city in Israel, where there is an "hundred and twenty", or more, a lesser sanhedrim.---A city in which there is not an hundred and twenty, they place three judges, for there is no sanhedrim less than three.
(h) Juchasin, fol. 13. 2. Bartenora in Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 1. Elias Levit. prefat. 3. ad Sepher Masoret. (i) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 1. sect. 6. Vid. Maimon. & Bartenora in. ib. & T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 17. 2.((k) Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 1. sect. 3, 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15-26. in those days—of expectant prayer, and probably towards the close of them, when the nature of their future work began more clearly to dawn upon them, and the Holy Ghost, already "breathed" on the Eleven (Joh 20:22), was stirring in Peter, who was to be the leading spirit of the infant community (Mt 16:19).
the number … about an hundred and twenty—Many, therefore, of the "five hundred brethren" who saw their risen Lord "at once" (1Co 15:6), must have remained in Galilee.
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