|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:5-13 The difference in languages which arose at Babel, has much hindered the spread of knowledge and religion. The instruments whom the Lord first employed in spreading the Christian religion, could have made no progress without this gift, which proved that their authority was from God.
Verse 11. - Cretans for Cretes, A.V. ; speaking for speak, A.V.; mighty for wonderful, A.V. (τὰ μεγαλεῖα).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Cretes and Arabians,.... The former are either the same with the Cretians, Titus 1:12 the inhabitants of the island of Crete, Acts 27:7 now called Candia or Candy, which has on the north the Aegean sea, on the south the Libyan or African sea, on the west the Adriatic sea, and on the east the Carpathian sea. In it were an hundred cities; the most famous of which were, Gnosos, Cortyna, Lyctos, Lycastos, Holopixos, Phaestos, Cydon, Manethusa, Dyctynna (e), and others; these spoke the Greek language; yet not the Attic, for the Cretian and Attic speech are distinguished (f): or else, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, these were the same with the Cherethim or Cherethites, in Ezekiel 25:16 whom the Septuagint interpreters call Cretes, as here; since these are mentioned with the Philistines, to whose land Arabia joined; the inhabitants of which are next mentioned here. There were three Arabias; Arabia Petraea, which had on the west part of Egypt, and on the north Judea, and part of Syria, on the south the Red sea, and on the east Arabia Felix. The second was called Arabia Deserta, and had on the north part of Mesopotamia, and on the east Babylonia, on the south Arabia Felix, and on the west, part of Syria and Arabia Petraea. The third was called Arabia Felix, and had on the north the south sides of Petraea and Arabia Deserta, and the more southern part of the Persian gulf, on the west the gulf of Arabia, and on the south the Red sea, and on the east, part of the Persian gulf (g); and here dwelt Jews who spoke the Arabic language. Now these Jews, of different nations, declared concerning the apostles, saying,
we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God; not the works of creation and providence, though these are great and wonderful; but of redemption, pardon, atonement, justification, and salvation, by the Messiah, by his obedience, sufferings, and death, and also of his resurrection from the dead; things which struck them with amazement, and the more, that such illiterate persons should have such knowledge of them, and should be able to speak of them in such a clear, distinct, and powerful manner; and still the more, that they should speak of them in their several tongues in which they were born, and to which they were used, and which the apostles had never learned: and this they heard with their own ears, and were fully satisfied that they did speak divers languages,
(e) Mela, l. 2. c. 14. Vid. Solin. c. 16. & Plin. l. 4. c. 12. (f) Laert. in. vit. Epimenidis. (g) Ptolom. Geograph. l. 5. c. 17, & 19. & l. 6. c. 7.
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