Acts 6:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

New Living Translation
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.

English Standard Version
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

Berean Study Bible
In those days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Grecian Jews began to grumble against the Hebraic Jews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

Berean Literal Bible
Now in these days when the disciples are multiplying, there arose a grumbling of the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution.

New American Standard Bible
Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.

King James Bible
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In those days, as the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution.

International Standard Version
In those days, as the number of the disciples was growing larger and larger, a complaint was made by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food.

NET Bible
Now in those days, when the disciples were growing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews against the native Hebraic Jews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

New Heart English Bible
Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, a complaint arose from the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily service.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And in those days when the disciples had multiplied, the Hellenist disciples complained against the Hebrews, that their widows were disregarded in the daily ministry.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At that time, as the number of disciples grew, Greek-speaking Jews complained about the Hebrew-speaking Jews. The Greek-speaking Jews claimed that the widows among them were neglected every day when food and other assistance was distributed.

New American Standard 1977
Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, that their widows were neglected in the daily ministry.

King James 2000 Bible
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.

American King James Version
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

American Standard Version
Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Douay-Rheims Bible
AND in those days, the number of the disciples increasing, there arose a murmuring of the Greeks against the Hebrews, for that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Darby Bible Translation
But in those days, the disciples multiplying in number, there arose a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews because their widows were overlooked in the daily ministration.

English Revised Version
Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Webster's Bible Translation
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Weymouth New Testament
About this time, as the number of disciples was increasing, complaints were made by the Greek-speaking Jews against the Hebrews because their widows were habitually overlooked in the daily ministration.

World English Bible
Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, a complaint arose from the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily service.

Young's Literal Translation
And in these days, the disciples multiplying, there came a murmuring of the Hellenists at the Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily ministration,
Study Bible
The Choosing of the Seven
1In those days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Grecian Jews began to grumble against the Hebraic Jews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve summoned all the disciples and said, “It is unacceptable for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.…
Cross References
Acts 2:47
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 4:35
and lay them at the apostles' feet for distribution to anyone as he had need.

Acts 6:2
So the Twelve summoned all the disciples and said, "It is unacceptable for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.

Acts 6:7
So the word of God continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem grew rapidly, and a great number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 9:29
He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him.

Acts 9:39
So Peter got up and went with them. On his arrival, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood around him, weeping and showing him the tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

Acts 9:41
Peter took her by the hand and helped her up. Then he called the saints and widows and presented her to them alive.

Acts 11:20
But some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus.

Acts 11:26
and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. So for a full year they met together with the church and taught large numbers of people. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.

Acts 11:29
So the disciples, each according to his ability, decided to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.
Treasury of Scripture

And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

when.

Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied …

Acts 2:41,47 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same …

Acts 4:4 However, many of them which heard the word believed; and the number …

Acts 5:14,28 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of …

Psalm 72:16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth on the top of the …

Psalm 110:3 Your people shall be willing in the day of your power, in the beauties …

Isaiah 27:6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall …

Jeremiah 30:19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them …

there.

1 Corinthians 10:10 Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed …

Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.

James 4:5 Do you think that the scripture said in vain, The spirit that dwells …

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brothers, lest you be condemned: …

Grecians.

Acts 9:29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against …

Acts 11:20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they …

Hebrews.

2 Corinthians 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they …

Philippians 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe …

their.

Acts 9:39,41 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought …

Deuteronomy 24:19-21 When you cut down your harvest in your field, and have forgot a sheaf …

Deuteronomy 26:12 When you have made an end of tithing all the tithes of your increase …

Job 29:13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came on me: and I caused …

Job 31:16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the …

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the …

Ezekiel 22:7 In you have they set light by father and mother: in the middle of …

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness …

Matthew 23:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' …

1 Timothy 5:4,5,9 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to …

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To …

the daily.

Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, …

Acts 4:35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made …

VI.

(1) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied.--Better, were being multiplied, as by an almost daily increase. The length of the interval between this and the previous chapter is left uncertain. The death of Stephen is fixed by most writers in A.D. 38.

The Grecians.--The English version always carefully uses this word, and not Greeks, for the Hellenist or Greek-speaking Jews. These were known also as "the dispersion among the Gentiles" (John 7:35), or generally as "the dispersion," the "sojourners of the dispersion," those that were "scattered abroad" (James 1:1; 1Peter 1:1). Many of the converts of the Day of Pentecost must have belonged to this body; so, probably, did Barnabas and the others named in the Note on Acts 4:37. Now they were becoming a prominent section of the Church, perhaps more numerous than the Hebrews, or Jews of Palestine. They, as their name implies, spoke Greek habitually, and as a rule did not read the older Hebrew or speak the current Aramaic. They read the Septuagint (LXX.) version of the Old Testament. They were commonly more zealous, with the zeal of pilgrims, for the sanctity of the holy places than the Jews of Jerusalem itself, who had been familiar with them from infancy (Acts 21:27).

Because their widows were neglected.--The words imply something like an organised administration of the common fund: widows and their children being the chief objects of relief. The rules of 1Timothy 5:3-16, were probably the growth of a more mature experience; and here we have to think of a clamorous crowd of applicants besieging the house at which the Apostles held their meeting at the times appointed for giving relief in money, or, as seems more probable, in kind. The Twelve--singly, or in groups--sat at the table, and gave as they were able. It was like the dole of alms at the gate of a convent. Under such circumstances, jealousies and complaints were all but in- evitable. The Twelve were all of them Galileans, and were suspected of favouring the widows of Palestine rather than those of the Dispersion. It was the first sign that the new society was outgrowing its primitive organisation.

Verse 1. - Now in these for and in those, A.V. (it is not ἐκείναις, answering to בַּיָמַים הָהֵם, but ταύταις); multiplying for multiplied, A.V.; Grecian Jews for Grecians, A.V. The Grecian Jews; the Hellenists, for this is the appellation of them in the Greek; it means properly those who spoke Greek or otherwise followed Greek usages, applied to foreigners, here of course to Jews. Of a similar form and meaning is the word "to Judaize," translated "to live as do the Jews" (A.V., Galatians 2:14), and the forms "to Demosthenize," "to Platonize," "to Atticize," etc. The Hellenists were those Jews of the dispersion who lived in countries where Greek was spoken, and who themselves spoke Greek. It was for the sake of such that the Alexandrine Version of the Scriptures, commonly called the LXX., was made. Hebrews; Palestinian and other Jews, who spoke Aramean (2 Corinthians 11:21; Philippians 3:5; Acts 21:40), as opposed to the Hellenists. Their widows. We learn incidentally by this phrase that one of the earliest Christian institutions was an order of widows, who were maintained at the common cost. We find them in the Church of Joppa (Acts 9:41), and in the Church of Ephesus (1 Timothy 5:3, 9, 10, 11, 16). They gave themselves to prayer and to works of mercy. Daily; καθημερινός only occurs here in the New Testament, and rarely in Greek writers; ἐφημερινός, of a daily fever, is used by Hippocrates, and may possibly have suggested the use of this rare word to Luke the physician. And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied,.... From an hundred and twenty to three thousand more, from thence to five thousand more, and after that a multitude of men and women were added, and still they were increasing; see Acts 1:15 Acts 2:41. This increase of the disciples agrees with what Maimonides says (z), before observed, that

"in the days of Gamaliel, , "the heretics were multiplied in Israel".''

The word "disciples" was a common name to all Christians, to all that believed in Christ, and was the name they went by, before they were called Christians, Acts 11:26

there arose a murmuring of the Grecians, or Hellenists, against the Hebrews; by the Hebrews are meant the Jews that dwelt in Judea, and were the inhabitants of that country, and chiefly of Jerusalem, who spoke the Hebrew, or rather the Syriac language; and by the Grecians, or Hellenists, are meant, not the Greeks that were proselyted to the Jewish religion, though there might be some few among them; but Jews who were born, and had dwelt, in some parts of Greece, and spoke the Greek language, and used the Septuagint version of the Bible; between these two a murmuring arose, a complaint was made by one against the other: so that, as it appears from the instance of Ananias and Sapphira, that this first and pure Gospel church was not free from hypocrites; it is also manifest, that though they were at first so united and harmonious in their affections and judgments, yet they were not always clear of feuds, animosities, and contentions; Satan bestirred himself, and got footing among them, as he commonly does where the Gospel is preached, and there is an increase of it: the reason of this uneasiness was,

because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration; that is, they had not that distributed which was necessary for them, nor so much as the Hebrew widows; they complained of partiality, as if because the Hebrew widows were the natives of the country, and might be nearly related to many of the community, that therefore they were more regarded and better supplied every day, than their widows were, whose husbands had dwelt in foreign lands, and were not so well known, and had fewer acquaintance and relations; for it seems the ministration or distribution was made every day: and such a practice obtained among the Jews in common, who used to collect every day for the poor, and give it daily to them. Maimonides (a) speaks of it in this manner;

"they appoint collectors, who receive "every day", from every court, a piece of bread, or any sort of food, or fruit, or money, from whomsoever that offers freely for the time; and they divide that which is collected, "in the evening", among the poor, and they give to every poor person of it "his daily sustenance"; and this is called "Tamchui", or "the alms dish".''

And from hence the apostles might take up this custom, and follow it. The Ethiopic version renders it, "because they saw their widows minister", or "employed daily"; as if the complaint was, that their widows were too much made use of, and obliged to more frequent and to harder service in taking care of the poor, the sick, and helpless, than the other widows were, who had not their share of labour with them, but lived more at ease. Though others rather think the murmur was, because the Grecian widows were not taken into the number, and employed in taking care of the poor, as the Hebrew widows were; but the sense first given, of not having so good a share in the distribution, seems to be the best.

(z) Hilchot Tephilla, c. 2. sect. 1.((a) Hilchot Mattanot Annayim, c. 9. sect. 2.CHAPTER 6

Ac 6:1-7. First Election of Deacons.

1. the Grecians—the Greek-speaking Jews, mostly born in the provinces.

the Hebrews—those Jews born in Palestine who used their native tongue, and were wont to look down on the "Grecians" as an inferior class.

were neglected—"overlooked" by those whom the apostles employed, and who were probably of the Hebrew class, as being the most numerous. The complaint was in all likelihood well founded, though we cannot suspect the distributors of intentional partiality. "It was really just an emulation of love, each party wishing to have their own poor taken care of in the best manner" [Olshausen].

the daily ministration—the daily distribution of alms or of food, probably the latter.6:1-7 Hitherto the disciples had been of one accord; this often had been noticed to their honour; but now they were multiplied, they began to murmur. The word of God was enough to take up all the thoughts, cares, and time of the apostles. The persons chosen to serve tables must be duly qualified. They must be filled with gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, necessary to rightly managing this trust; men of truth, and hating covetousness. All who are employed in the service of the church, ought to be commended to the Divine grace by the prayers of the church. They blessed them in the name of the Lord. The word and grace of God are greatly magnified, when those are wrought upon by it, who were least likely.
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