|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:8-18 Paul had express warning of his troubles, that when they came, they might be no surprise or terror to him. The general notice given us, that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God, should be of the same use to us. Their weeping began to weaken and slacken his resolution Has not our Master told us to take up our cross? It was a trouble to him, that they should so earnestly press him to do that in which he could not gratify them without wronging his conscience. When we see trouble coming, it becomes us to say, not only, The will of the Lord must be done, and there is no remedy; but, Let the will of the Lord be done; for his will is his wisdom, and he doeth all according to the counsel of it. When a trouble is come, this must allay our griefs, that the will of the Lord is done; when we see it coming, this must silence our fears, that the will of the Lord shall be done; and we ought to say, Amen, let it be done. It is honourable to be an old disciple of Jesus Christ, to have been enabled by the grace of God to continue long in a course of duty, stedfast in the faith, growing more and more experienced, to a good old age. And with these old disciples one would choose to lodge; for the multitude of their years shall teach wisdom. Many brethren at Jerusalem received Paul gladly. We think, perhaps, that if we had him among us, we should gladly receive him; but we should not, if, having his doctrine, we do not gladly receive that.
Verse 9. - Now this man for and the same man, A.V. Virgins. This certainly conveys the impression that they had dedicated their lives to the service of God (1 Corinthians 7:34-38). Which did prophesy. The question arises - Did they exercise their gift of prophecy in the Church or in private? The passage 1 Corinthians 11:5 seems to indicate that in the Church of Corinth women did pray and prophesy in the congregation, while, on the other hand, 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 seems peremptorily to forbid women to speak or teach in Church, as does 1 Timothy 2:11, 12. How, then, is this apparent contradiction to be reconciled? It must be either by supposing
(1) that the gift of prophecy spoken of here and in 1 Corinthians 11:5 was exercised in private only; or
(2) that the prohibition did not apply to the extraordinary operation of the Holy Spirit speaking by prophet or prophetesses as the case might be. The latter seems the most probable (see Acts 13:1, note). On the office of prophets in the early Church, see Acts 11:27; Acts 13:1; Acts 15:32; Acts 19:6; Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 29; 1 Corinthians 13:2, 8; 1 Corinthians 14:6, 29, etc.; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:20 (see Alford, on Acts 11:27). As regards these daughters of Philip, there are conflicting statements in early Church writers. Eusebius ('Eccl. Hist.,' 3:30) quotes Clement of Alexandria as saying that both Peter and Philip among the apostles were married and had children, and that Philip moreover gave his daughters in marriage to husbands. But in the next chapter
(3) he quotes Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus at the end of the second century, as saying that Philip the apostle and his two daughters, who had grown old in their virginity, were buried at Hierapolis; and that another daughter of his, "who had her conversation in the Holy Spirit," was buried at Ephesus. Eusebius himself thinks that these daughters of Philip the evangelist were meant. If they were, it does not necessarily follow that those who, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, were married were of the four mentioned here. They might be sisters. Polycrates seems to speak of three sisters who lived a religious life (in the technical sense); the fourth may have died young. But it is quite possible that Clemens may really be speaking of Philip the apostle, and Polycrates also; the more so as Philip the apostle, according to the tradition recorded by Nicephorns, suffered martyrdom at Hierapolis. However, the confusion between the two Philips is quite certain in the Menaeum (or Calendar) of the Greek Church, where we read, "On the 4th of September is the commemoration of Saint Hermione, one of the four daughters of the Apostle Philip, who baptized the eunuch of Candace. She and her sister Eutychis came into Asia after the death of the Apostle John. She was buried at Ephesus." A fragment of Caius (in Eusebius, 'Eccl. Hist.,' 3:31) increases the confusion by speaking of" the four daughters of Philip, prophetesses, who were buried in Hierapolis" (see Routh's 'Reliq. Sac.,' vol. 1. pp. 378-380).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the same man had four daughters,.... So that he was a married man, which may be observed against the Papists, who forbid marriage to ecclesiastics: and they were,
virgins: not under any vow of virginity, but they had not as yet changed their state of life, and were pure and incorrupt:
which did prophesy; not explain and interpret Scripture, or preach in public assemblies; for these were not allowed women, neither in the Jewish synagogues, nor in Christian assemblies; but they were endowed with a gift of foretelling future events, as was promised such should have in Gospel times, Joel 2:28.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. the same man had four daughters … which did prophesy—fulfilling Joe 2:28 (see Ac 2:18). This is mentioned, it would seem, merely as a high distinction divinely conferred on so devoted a servant of the Lord Jesus, and probably indicates the high tone of religion in his family.
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