|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:32-35 Christians are saints, or holy people; not only the eminent ones, as Saint Peter and Saint Paul, but every sincere professor of the faith of Christ. Christ chose patients whose diseases were incurable in the course of nature, to show how desperate was the case of fallen mankind. When we were wholly without strength, as this poor man, he sent his word to heal us. Peter does not pretend to heal by any power of his own, but directs Eneas to look up to Christ for help. Let none say, that because it is Christ, who, by the power of his grace, works all our works in us, therefore we have no work, no duty to do; for though Jesus Christ makes thee whole, yet thou must arise, and use the power he gives thee.
Verse 32. - Went for passed, A.V.; all parts (διὰ πάντων) for all quarters, A.V. All parts. Afford, following Meyer, understands "through all the saints," which is scarcely so well. The current of St. Luke's narrative is here temporarily diverted from St. Paul, in order to trace that portion of St. Peter's apostolic work, which led immediately to that opening of the door of faith to the Gentiles in which Peter was to have the priority in point of time (Matthew 16:18, 19), but Paul the chief burden of labour and danger (Galatians 2:7-9; Romans 11:13), and which was also the main subject of St. Luke's history. He came down; Lydda (afterwards called Diospolis, now Ludd), being more than half-way between Jerusalem and the sea-coast at Joppa.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, as Peter passed through all quarters,.... The Arabic version reads, "all the foresaid places", as Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; through which he took a tour, in order to visit the new churches here planted, fix pastors over them, and confirm the Gospel by miracles, which they had received:
he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda: a city which lay on the west of Jerusalem, and is said (u) to be a day's Journey from it; and a day's journey were ten parsas, or forty miles (w): it was but thirty two miles from Jerusalem, and was a place famous for Jewish doctors; for which reason it is frequently mentioned in the Talmudic writings, under the name of Lod or Lud. Mention is made of R. Simlai, who was of Lydda (x), and of the chambers of Beth Nithzah, and of Arum in Lydda (y) where the doctors disputed; there was a school here, of which R. Akiba was president (z) here also the sanhedrim sometimes sat, since we are told that Ben Sutda was tried and stoned at Lud or Lydda (a); and here likewise they intercalated the year (b), it being in Judea: this place was situated in a plain; so says Jerom (c),
"they that dwell in Sephela, that is, in the plain, Lydda and Emmaus, which design Diospolls and Nicopolis, shall possess the Philistines.''
And with this agrees the account the Talmudists (d) give of it,
"the country of Judea was divided into three parts, the hill country, the plain, and the valley; from Bethhoron to Emmaus was the hill country; from Emmaus to Lydda was the plain or champaign country; and from Lydda to the sea, the valley.''
Hence also we read (e) of , "the plain of Lydda": and now Peter coming from Jerusalem, and the hill country of Judea, into this plain and champaign country, is properly said to come down to the saints there. So Quadratus in Josephus (f) is said to come up from Lydda to Jerusalem. This place was near the Mediterranean sea; and was in Jerom's time called Diospolis (g), and in the time of R. Benjamin (h) Seguras; it is the same with Lod in Ezra 2:33 The builder of it was Shamed the son of Elpaal, 1 Chronicles 8:12. It was in the times of Josephus (i) a village, yet not inferior to a city for greatness. It is now called S. Georgia. And here it seems some saints or Christians dwelt, whom Peter, among the rest, visited; and which is mentioned for the sake of the miracle he there wrought, next related. And these saints at Lydda very likely were converted under Philip's ministry, as he passed from Azotus to Caesarea, Acts 8:40 and, it may be, were in a church state, or, however, were afterwards. Zenas the lawyer, the Apostle Paul speaks of in Titus 3:13 is said to be bishop of Diospolis, or Lydda; in the beginning of the fourth century Aetius was bishop of this place, who assisted in the council of Nice; and in the same century, anno 331, Dionysius, another bishop of this place, was present at a council at Constantinople; and in the fifth century Photinus wrote himself bishop of Lydda, in the Chalcedon council, anno 451 (k).
(u) Misn. Maasersheni, c. 5. sect. 2. T. Bab. Betza, fol. 5. 1. & Roshhashana, fol. 31. 2. & Juchasin, fol. 37. 1.((w) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 93. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (x) Juchasin, fol. 105. 1.((y) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 40. 2. T. Hieros. Pesachim, fol. 30. 2.((z) Misn. Roshhashana, c. 1. sect. 6. (a) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 25. 4. (b) Ib. fol. 18. 3.((c) In Obadiah 1. 19. (d) T. Hicros. Sheviith, fol. 38. 4. (e) Misn. Sheviith, c. 9. sect. 2.((f) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 8. (g) Epitaph. Paulae, fol. 59. A. (h) ltinerar. p. 52. (i) Antiqu. l. 20. c. 5. sect. 2.((k) Reland. Palestina Illustrata, 1. 3. p. 878, 879. Vid. Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 2. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ac 9:32-43. Peter Heals Eneas at Lydda and Raises Tabitha to Life at Joppa.
The historian now returns to Peter, in order to introduce the all-important narrative of Cornelius (Ac 10:1-48). The occurrences here related probably took place during Saul's sojourn in Arabia.
32-35. as Peter passed throughout all quarters—not now fleeing from persecution, but peacefully visiting the churches.
to the saints which dwelt at Lydda—about five miles east of Joppa.
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