|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:22-31 Here we have a sermon to heathens, who worshipped false gods, and were without the true God in the world; and to them the scope of the discourse was different from what the apostle preached to the Jews. In the latter case, his business was to lead his hearers by prophecies and miracles to the knowledge of the Redeemer, and faith in him; in the former, it was to lead them, by the common works of providence, to know the Creator, and worship Him. The apostle spoke of an altar he had seen, with the inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. This fact is stated by many writers. After multiplying their idols to the utmost, some at Athens thought there was another god of whom they had no knowledge. And are there not many now called Christians, who are zealous in their devotions, yet the great object of their worship is to them an unknown God? Observe what glorious things Paul here says of that God whom he served, and would have them to serve. The Lord had long borne with idolatry, but the times of this ignorance were now ending, and by his servants he now commanded all men every where to repent of their idolatry. Each sect of the learned men would feel themselves powerfully affected by the apostle's discourse, which tended to show the emptiness or falsity of their doctrines.
Verse 25. - Is he served by for is worshipped with, A.V.; he himself for he, A.V. Served by men's hands. Θεραπεύεται, is "waited upon," as a man is waited upon by his servant, who ministers to his wants; θεράπων and θεραπευτής are "an attendant." So in Hebrew: עָבַד, to serve God; עָבֵד, a servant of God; עְבודָה service as of the Levites in the temple, etc. Anything; or as some take it, as if he needed anybody's help or service. The argument, as Chrysostom suggests, is similar to that in Psalm 50:8-12.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Neither is worshipped with men's hands,.... Or "served" with them; or "ministered unto" by them, as the Syriac version renders it: and the sense is, that men by worshipping God do not give anything to him, that can be of any use or service to him; he, being God all sufficient, stands in need of nothing; for external worship is not here intended by worshipping with men's hands, in distinction from, and opposition to, internal worship, or to the worship of God with the heart; but that whether it be with the one or with the other, or both, nothing is given to God, as adding any thing to his essential glory and happiness:
as though he needed anything; for he does not, he is "El Shaddai", God all sufficient; nor can anything be given to him, he has not; or otherwise all perfection would not be in him: but that he cannot be indigent of anything, appears from hence,
seeing he giveth to all life and breath; or "the breath of life", as the Ethiopic version renders it; this God breathed into man at first, and he became a living soul; and every animate creature, everyone that has life and breath, have them from God; he gives them to them, and continues them:
and all things; that are enjoyed by them, and are necessary for their subsistence, and for the comfort of life, and for both their use and profit, and for their delight and pleasure; wherefore he that gives them all things, cannot want anything himself, nor receive anything at their hands. This clause is left out in the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. Neither is worshipped with—ministered unto, served by
men's hands, as though he needed anything—No less familiar as this thought also is to us, even from the earliest times of the Old Testament (Job 35:6, 8; Ps 16:2, 3; 50:12-14; Isa 40:14-18), it would pour a flood of light upon any candid heathen mind that heard it.
seeing he—He Himself.
giveth to all life, and breath, and all things—The Giver of all cannot surely be dependent for aught upon the receivers of all (1Ch 29:14). This is the culminating point of a pure Theism.
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