|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:23-31 Christ's followers do best in company, provided it is their own company. It encourages God's servants, both in doing work, and suffering work, that they serve the God who made all things, and therefore has the disposal of all events; and the Scriptures must be fulfilled. Jesus was anointed to be a Saviour, therefore it was determined he should be a sacrifice, to make atonement for sin. But sin is not the less evil for God's bringing good out of it. In threatening times, our care should not be so much that troubles may be prevented, as that we may go on with cheerfulness and courage in our work and duty. They do not pray, Lord let us go away from our work, now that it is become dangerous, but, Lord, give us thy grace to go on stedfastly in our work, and not to fear the face of man. Those who desire Divine aid and encouragement, may depend upon having them, and they ought to go forth, and go on, in the strength of the Lord God. God gave a sign of acceptance of their prayers. The place was shaken, that their faith might be established and unshaken. God gave them greater degrees of his Spirit; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than ever; by which they were not only encouraged, but enabled to speak the word of God with boldness. When they find the Lord God help them by his Spirit, they know they shall not be confounded, Isa 1.7.
Verse 28. - To do for for to do, A.V.; foreordained to come to pass for determined before to be done, A.V. To do (for the sentiment, comp. Acts 2:23; Acts 3:18). They were gathered together for the purpose of executing, their own will, as they thought, but really to fulfil the purpose of God (see also Isaiah 10:5-15; Isaiah 37:26, 27). See here the comfort to the Church of looking upon God as the δεσπότης of the whole earth.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For to do whatsoever thy hand,.... It was not the end of their gathering together against Christ, or it was not their intention and design, to fulfil the purposes and decrees of God, but to fulfil their own lusts, and satiate their rage and malice against him; but it was so in the event, according to the wise disposal of providence, that by their gathering together, by their consultations and conspiracies, they brought about what God in his everlasting council had decreed. By "the hand" of the Lord here is not meant, the grace and favour of God; or the power and providence of God; or his word of precept, his revealed will; but his secret will, the counsel of his will, the hidden purpose of his heart, the wise consultation of his mind, which is formed according to his infinite wisdom: so in 2 Samuel 14:19 it is said, "is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this?" that is, the head of Joab, the wise counsel of Joab; and so the Jewish writers interpret it, "his counsel" (o): and so the word is explained here immediately; for it follows,
and thy counsel determined before to be done: God's decrees are from eternity; there is nothing comes to pass in time but what he has beforetime determined should be done, either by effecting it himself, or doing it by others, or suffering it to be done, as in the case here. Whatever was done to Christ, either by Jews or Gentiles, by Herod or Pontius Pilate, was according to the secret will of God, the covenant he made with Christ, and the council of peace that was between them both: what they wickedly did, God designed for good, and hereby brought about the redemption and salvation of his people: this neither makes God the author of sin, nor excuses the sinful actions of men, or infringes the liberty of their wills in acting.
(o) Kimchi in loc. & R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 36. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. thy hand and thy counsel determined … to be done—that is, "Thy counsel" determined to be done by "Thy hand."
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