|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:34-42 The Lord still has all hearts in his hands, and sometimes directs the prudence of the worldly wise, so as to restrain the persecutors. Common sense tells us to be cautious, while experience and observation show that the success of frauds in matters of religion has been very short. Reproach for Christ is true preferment, as it makes us conformable to his pattern, and serviceable to his interest. They rejoiced in it. If we suffer ill for doing well, provided we suffer it well, and as we should, we ought to rejoice in that grace which enabled us so to do. The apostles did not preach themselves, but Christ. This was the preaching that most offended the priests. But it ought to be the constant business of gospel ministers to preach Christ: Christ, and him crucified; Christ, and him glorified; nothing beside this, but what has reference to it. And whatever is our station or rank in life, we should seek to make Him known, and to glorify his name.
Verse 35. - He said for said, A.V.; as touching these men transposed from the order of the A.V.; are about to do for intend to do, A.V.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And said unto them, ye men of Israel,.... This he said after the apostles were put out, when the council was by themselves; and he addressed them as "men of Israel"; not as distinct from the priests and Levites in the council, but because they were all of the stock of Israel; for this council did not consist of Israelites only, as distinct from priests and Levites, as appears from Acts 5:21. A sanhedrim commonly consisted of each of these; though if only of Israelites it was a lawful one. Maimonides says (c),
"they did not use to appoint any in the sanhedrim, but priests, Levites, and Israelites, that were genealogized and fit to be married into the priesthood---and that it was a command, that in the great sanhedrim there should be priests and Levites; as it is said, "thou shalt go to the priests and Levites"; but if they are not found, if they are all Israelites, lo, this is lawful,''
or a proper sanhedrim. His speech to them follows,
take heed to yourselves; consider well, do not act a rash and precipitant part; do not give way to passion and wrath, and hastily lay hands on these men, and destroy them; lest ye bring yourselves into disgrace and danger, and bring upon yourselves the ill-will and resentment of men, and the wrath of God: take time to consider of the matter, and deliberately consult
what ye intend to do as touching these men; what punishment to inflict upon them, whether imprisonment, scourging, or death; do nothing rashly.
(c) Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 1. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35-39. Theudas—not the same with a deceiver of that name whom Josephus mentions as heading an insurrection some twelve years after this [Antiquities, 20.5.1], but some other of whom he makes no mention. Such insurrections were frequent.
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