|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:32-37 The disciples loved one another. This was the blessed fruit of Christ's dying precept to his disciples, and his dying prayer for them. Thus it was then, and it will be so again, when the Spirit shall be poured upon us from on high. The doctrine preached was the resurrection of Christ; a matter of fact, which being duly explained, was a summary of all the duties, privileges, and comforts of Christians. There were evident fruits of Christ's grace in all they said and did. They were dead to this world. This was a great evidence of the grace of God in them. They did not take away others' property, but they were indifferent to it. They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ, and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to him. No marvel that they were of one heart and soul, when they sat so loose to the wealth of this world. In effect, they had all things common; for there was not any among them who lacked, care was taken for their supply. The money was laid at the apostles' feet. Great care ought to be taken in the distribution of public charity, that it be given to such as have need, such as are not able to procure a maintenance for themselves; those who are reduced to want for well-doing, and for the testimony of a good conscience, ought to be provided for. Here is one in particular mentioned, remarkable for this generous charity; it was Barnabas. As one designed to be a preacher of the gospel, he disentangled himself from the affairs of this life. When such dispositions prevail, and are exercised according to the circumstances of the times, the testimony will have very great power upon others.
Verse 37. - A field for land, A.V.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Having land, sold it,.... Whether this was in Cyprus, or in Judea, is not certain; nor how he came by it, whether he had bought it, as the priests and Levites might, and as Jeremiah, who was of the priests, bought a field at Anathoth, Jeremiah 32:9 or, whether it was his wife's dowry; for the Levites had nothing by inheritance: they had forty two cities, and the six cities of refuge to dwell in, and the field of the suburbs of these cities; which field or land was never to be sold, but to be a perpetual possession, Leviticus 25:34 but now the ceremonial law was abolished, and this precept was not attended to, if the land was of this sort. Moreover, the Jewish doctors interpret the above law otherwise; and understand it only of changing, and not of selling, which they allow of; one of their canons runs thus (y),
"the priests and Levites, "sell" always, and redeem always, as it is said, Leviticus 25:32, "the Levites may redeem at any time".''
Upon which canon, one of their commentators (z) says,
"they sell always; and not as an Israelite, who cannot sell less than two years before the jubilee;--but these "sell" even near the jubilee; "and they redeem always": if they sell houses in walled towns, they are not confirmed at the end of the year, as the houses in the walled towns of Israelites; and if "they sell fields", it is not necessary that they should remain in the hands of the buyer two years, but they may redeem them immediately, if they will.''
And another of them (a) has this observation,
"all agree that the Levites may not change a city, or suburb, or field, which are theirs, because it is said, Leviticus 25:34 "but the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold"; and the wise men of blessed memory say, the meaning of it is, it shall not be changed, for they do not change anything from what it was before.''
And agreeably to this is what Maimonides (b) elsewhere says,
"they do not make in the cities of the Levites a city a suburb, or a suburb a city, or a suburb a field, or a field a suburb, as it is said, Leviticus 25:34 "but the field of the suburbs of their cities shall not be sold"; from report (or tradition) we learn, that that is said, "shall not be sold", means, shall not be changed; but the field, suburbs, and city, everyone of these three shall be as they are for ever. Priests and Levites who "sell" a field, of the fields of their cities, or an house of any of the houses of their walled towns, do not redeem according to this order (i.e. as the other Israelites), but "they sell fields"; and even near to the jubilee, and redeem them immediately.''
So that if this land of Barnabas lay in Judea, as is most likely, it might be sold, and much more, if in Cyprus. But, be it what and where it will, he sold it:
and brought the money; from Cyprus or Judea, or that part of the land of Canaan where it lay, and where he had sold it:
and laid it at the apostles' feet; perhaps he might be the first person that did so, and set an example which was universally followed; however, he is particularly mentioned, being a man of note among the apostles, and of great usefulness in after times, and of whom frequent mention is made in other places.
(y) Misn. Eracin, c. 9. sect. 8. (z) Bartenora in Misn. Eracin. (a) Mainton. in ib. (b) Hilchot Shemitta Veyobel, c. 13. sect. 4, 5, 7.
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