|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:19-21 The absolute necessity of repentance is to be solemnly charged upon the consciences of all who desire that their sins may be blotted out, and that they may share in the refreshment which nothing but a sense of Christ's pardoning love can afford. Blessed are those who have felt this. It was not needful for the Holy Spirit to make known the times and seasons of these dispensations. These subjects are still left obscure. But when sinners are convinced of their sins, they will cry to the Lord for pardon; and to the penitent, converted, and believing, times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. In a state of trial and probation, the glorified Redeemer will be out of sight, because we must live by faith in him.
Verse 21. - Restoration for restitution, A.V.; whereof for which, A.V.; spake for hath spoken, A.V.; his for all his, A.V. and T.R. Whom the heaven must receive. This is clearly right, not as some render it, who must occupy heaven. The aorist δέξασθαι seems to point to the moment when, at the Ascension, he was carried up into heaven (Luke 24:51). The restoration of all things (ἀποκαταστάσεως πάντων). This must be the same operation as our Lord speaks of in Matthew 17:11: "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things (ἀποκαταστήσει πάντα) ;" and from the words of Malachi (Malachi 4:5, 6) it would seem to be a moral or spiritual restoration preparatory to the coming of the Lord. If so, the time of restoration is not exactly synchronous with the times of refreshing, but preparatory to them; preparatory, too, to that restoration of the kingdom to Israel of which the apostles spake to the Lord (Acts 1:6). Probably, however, St. Peter includes in his view the immediately following times of" the presence of the Lord," just as in St. Mark (Mark 1:1) the preparatory mission of John the Baptist is included in the phrase, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ." Whereof God spake. The antecedent to "whereof" is "the times" (ver. 24).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whom the heaven must receive,.... Hold and retain in his human nature; and which does not at all hinder or confront his mission, and coming to his people, in the mean while, in a spiritual way and manner, to their joy and comfort: or, "who must receive heaven"; the kingdom, and glory, and reign there:
until the times of the restitution of all things: not of all created beings to their original estate, which there is no reason to believe ever will be; or of the churches of Christ to purity of doctrine, discipline, and conversation, which is to be hoped for, and will be in the spiritual reign of Christ; but of the accomplishment of all promises and prophecies concerning the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the Jews, and so the gathering in all the elect of God; and concerning all the glorious things spoken of the church of Christ in the latter day; which sense is confirmed by what follows:
which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began: ever since the world was, God has had more or less holy men, set apart and sanctified by him, and on whom he bestowed the spirit of prophecy; and by the mouth of everyone of these he has spoken one thing or another concerning his church and people, and the filling up of the number of them, or the gathering of them all in; and till this is done, Christ will remain in heaven and reign there: and this sense is further confirmed by the Syriac and Arabic versions, the former rendering the words, "until the filling or fulfilling of the times of all things"; and the latter, "until the times which will confirm the perfection of all the words which God hath spoken", &c. and from the sense of the word used, which some lexicographers explain by "perfection" or "fulfilling".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. until the times—embracing the whole period between the ascension and the second advent of Christ.
restitution of all things—comprehending, probably, the rectification of all the disorders of the fall.
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