Acts 2:33
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) Therefore being by the right hand of God.—The Greek has the dative case without a preposition. The English version takes it, and probably is right in taking it, as the dative of the instrument, the image that underlies the phrase being that the Eternal King stretches forth His hand to raise Him who was in form His Servant to a place beside Him on His right hand; and, on the whole, this seems the best rendering. Not a few scholars, however, render the words “exalted to the right hand of God.”

Having received of the Father.—The words of St. Peter, obviously independent as they are of the Gospel of St. John, present a striking agreement with our Lord’s language as recorded by him (John 14:26; John 15:26). The promise throws us back upon these chapters, and also upon Acts 1:4.

Hath shed forth this.—Better, hath poured out. The verb had not been used in the Gospels of the promise of the Spirit, but is identical with that which was found in the Greek version of Joel’s prophecy, as cited in Acts 2:17, “I will pour out of My Spirit.”

2:22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a few weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and of wonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must be satisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christ himself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which could not be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an act of awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away the reproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christ was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in the work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, not to him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life for evermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and the apostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon this alone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous gifts and Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects. Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we are encouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour for evermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is the Lord, and the anointed Saviour.Therefore, being by the right hand - The right hand among the Hebrews was often used to denote "power"; and the expression here means, not that he was exalted to the right hand of God. but by his power. He was raised from the dead by his power, and borne to heaven, triumphant over all his enemies. The use of the word "right hand" to denote "power" is common in the Scriptures: Job 40:14, "Thine own right hand can save thee"; Psalm 17:7, "Thou savest by thy right hand them that trust in thee"; Psalm 18:35; Psalm 20:6; Psalm 21:8; Psalm 44:3; Psalm 60:5, etc.

Exalted - Constituted King and Messiah in heaven. Raised up from his condition of humiliation to the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, John 17:5.

And having received ... - The Holy Spirit was promised to the disciples before his death, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:13-15. It was expressly declared:

(1) That the Holy Spirit would not be given except the Lord Jesus should return to heaven John 16:7; and,

(2) That this gift was in the power of the Father, and that he would send him, John 14:26; John 15:26. This promise was now fulfilled, and those who witnessed the extraordinary scene before them could not doubt that it was the effect of divine power.

Hath shed forth this ... - This power of speaking different languages and declaring the truth of the gospel. In this way Peter accounts for the remarkable events before them. What had occurred could not be produced by new wine, Acts 2:15. It was expressly foretold, Acts 2:16-21. It was predicted that Jesus would rise, Acts 2:22-31. The apostles were witnesses that he had risen, and that he had promised that the Holy Spirit would descend; and the fulfillment of this promise was a rational way of accounting for the scene before them. It was unanswerable; and the effect on those who witnessed it was such as might be expected.

29-36. David … is … dead and buried, &c.—Peter, full of the Holy Ghost, sees in this sixteenth Psalm, one Holy Man, whose life of high devotedness and lofty spirituality is crowned with the assurance, that though He taste of death, He shall rise again without seeing corruption, and be admitted to the bliss of God's immediate presence. Now as this was palpably untrue of David, it could be meant only of One other, even of Him whom David was taught to expect as the final Occupant of the throne of Israel. (Those, therefore, and they are many, who take David himself to be the subject of this Psalm, and the words quoted to refer to Christ only in a more eminent sense, nullify the whole argument of the apostle). The Psalm is then affirmed to have had its only proper fulfilment in Jesus, of whose resurrection and ascension they were witnesses, while the glorious effusion of the Spirit by the hand of the ascended One, setting an infallible seal upon all, was even then witnessed by the thousands who stood listening to Him. A further illustration of Messiah's ascension and session at God's right hand is drawn from Ps 110:1, in which David cannot be thought to speak of himself, seeing he is still in his grave. By the right hand of God, that is, by the power of God spoken after the manner of men, the right hand being that we commonly do any thing with. Some read at the right hand of God; and then the apostle preaches Christ’s ascension too, and his being justified by God, though he had been condemned by men.

Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost: Psalm 68:18Which ye now see, in the fiery cloven tongues; and hear, in the divers languages which are spoken. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted,.... After his resurrection he ascended to heaven, and was exalted in human nature; "to the right hand of God", as the Ethiopic version; and the Arabic version used by De Dieu read; an honour that never was conferred on any creature, angels or men, besides: or he was exalted and raised to the high honour and dignity of a Prince and Saviour, of Lord, Head, and King, so as to have a name, dominion, and authority over all, by the mighty power of God, which is sometimes called his right hand; see Psalm 118:15.

and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost; which the Father had promised to pour forth in the last days, Isaiah 44:3 and which Christ had promised to send from the Father, John 14:16 and which, upon his ascension and exaltation, he received as Mediator from him; see Psalm 68:18 compared with Ephesians 4:8.

he hath shed forth this; this Holy Spirit, or promised Spirit, these gifts of his; and so the Syriac version renders it, "he hath shed forth this gift"; which expresses both the plenty and abundance of the gifts bestowed, and the liberality of Christ in the donation of them: it is added,

which ye now see and hear; meaning the cloven tongues, as of fire, which they saw sitting on the disciples, and the various languages which they heard them speak. The Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, leave out the word "now": and the Syriac, in the room of it, reads, "behold".

Therefore being by the {y} right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

(y) Might and power of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 2:33. Οὖν] namely, in consequence of the resurrection, with which the exaltation is necessarily connected.

τῇ δεξιᾷ τοῦ Θεοῦ] by the right hand, i.e. by the power of God, v. 31; Isaiah 63:12. Comp. Vulgate, Luther, Castalio, Beza, Bengel, also Zeller, p. 502, and others. The rendering: to the right hand of God, however much it might be recommended as regards sense by Acts 2:34, is to be rejected, seeing that the construction of simple verbs of motion with the dative of the goal aimed at, instead of with πρός or εἰς, belongs in classical Greek only to the poets (see the passages from Homer in Nägelsb. p. 12, ed. 3, and, besides, Erfurdt, ad Antig. 234; Bernhardy, p. 95; Fritzsche, Conject. I. p. 42, the latter seeking to defend the use as legitimate), and occurs, indeed, in late writers[132] (see Winer, p. 201 f.[E. T. 268 f.]), but is without any certain example in the N. T., often as there would have been occasion for it; for Acts 21:16 admits of another explanation, and Revelation 2:16 is not at all a case in point. In the passage of the LXX. Jdg 11:18, deemed certain by Fritzsche, τῇ γῇ Μωάβ (if the reading is correct) is to be connected, not with ἦλθεν, but as appropriating dative with ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν ἡλίου. Concerning Κύρῳ ἰέναι, Xen. Anab. i. 2. 26, see Bornemann, ed. Lips. The objection, that by the right hand of God is here inappropriate (de Wette and others), is not tenable. There is something triumphant in the element emphatically prefixed, which is correlative to ἀνέστησεν ὁ Θεός (Acts 2:32); God’s work of power was, as the resurrection, so also the exaltation. Comp. Php 2:9. A Hebraism, or an incorrect translation of לְמִינִי (Bleek in the Stud. u. Krit. 1832, p. 1038; de Wette; Weiss, Petr. Lehrbegr. p. 205), has been unnecessarily and arbitrarily assumed.

τήν τε ἐπαγγ. τ. ἁγ. πν. λαβ. παρὰ τ. πατρ.] contains that which followed upon the ὙΨΩΘΕΊς, and hence is not to be explained with Kuinoel and others: “after He had received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father;” but: “after He had received the (in the O. T.) promised (Acts 1:4) Holy Spirit from His Father. See on Luke 24:49.

τοῦτο is either, with Vulgate, Erasmus, Beza, Kuinoel, and others, to be referred to the πνεῦμα ἅγιον, so that the corresponds to the explanatory id quod (Kühner, § 802. 2), or—which, on account of the annexed to ΤΟῦΤΟ, is more natural and more suitable to the miraculous character—it is, with Luther, Calvin, and others, to be taken as an independent neuter: He poured forth (just now) this, what ye (in effectu) see and hear (in the conduct and speech of those assembled). Accordingly, Peter leaves it to his hearers, after what had previously been remarked (τήν τε ἐπαγγ.… πατρός), themselves to infer that what was poured out was nothing else than just the πνεῦμα ἅγιον.[133]

The idea that the exalted Jesus in heaven receives from His Father and pours forth the Holy Spirit, is founded on such instructions of Christ as John 15:26; John 16:7. Comp. on Acts 1:4.

[132] The dative of interest (e.g. ἔρχομαί σοι, I come for thee) has often been confounded with it. Comp. Krüger, § 48. 9. 1.

[133] It cannot, however, be said that “the first congregation of disciples receives this gift without baptism” (Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 150). Those persons possessed by the Spirit were, in fact, all confessors of Christ, and it must in their case be supposed that they had already received baptism in the lifetime of our Lord, to which conclusion vv. 38, 41 point.Acts 2:33. οὖν: the Ascension is a necessary sequel to the Resurrection, cf. Weiss, Leben Jesu, iii., 409 ff. and in loco. Or the word may mark the result of the assured and manifold testimony to the Resurrection, to which the Apostle had just appealed: “Confirmata resurrectione Christi, ascensio non potest in dubium vocari,” Bengel.—τῇ δεξιᾷ τοῦ Θεοῦ: best to take the words as an instrumental dative, so in Acts 5:31, with the majority of recent commentators. On grammatical grounds it would be difficult to justify the rendering “to the right hand” (although taken in connection with Acts 5:34 it would give very good sense), since such a combination of the dative alone is found only in the poets, and never in prose in classical Greek. The only other instances adduced, Acts 21:16 and Revelation 2:16, can be otherwise explained, cf. Winer-Moulton, xxxi., p. 268. On Jdg 11:18 (LXX) quoted in support of the local rendering by Fritzsch, see Wendt’s full note in loco. The instrumental meaning follows naturally upon Acts 2:32—the Ascension, as the Resurrection, was the mighty deed of God, Php 2:9. There is therefore no occasion to regard the expression with De Wette as a Hebraism, see Wetstein, in loco.—ὑψωθείς, cf. especially John 12:32, and Westcott’s note on John 3:14. The word is frequently found in LXX. As Lightfoot points out, in our Lord Himself the divine law which He Himself had enunciated was fulfilled, ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται (Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14).—τήν τε ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος κ.τ.λ., see above on Acts 1:4 (Galatians 3:14). The language of St. Peter is in agreement with, but yet independent of, that in St. John, whilst it calmly certifies the fulfilment of our Lord’s promise.—ἐξέχεε: “hath poured forth,” R.V. All previous English versions except Rhem. = A.V. The verb is used in the LXX in the prophecy cited above, Joel 2:28-29 (cf. also Zechariah 12:10), although it is not used in the Gospels of the outpouring of the Spirit.—τοῦτο: either the Holy Ghost, as the Vulgate takes it, or an independent neuter “this which ye see and hear,” i.e., in the bearing and speech of the assembled Apostles. St. Peter thus leads his hearers to infer that that which is poured out is by its effects nothing else than the Holy Ghost. It is noteworthy that just as Joel speaks of God, the Lord Jehovah, pouring out of His Spirit, so the same divine energy is here attributed by St. Peter to Jesus. See above on Acts 2:17.33. Therefore being by [or at] the right hand of God exalted] i.e. into heaven. For not only are the Apostles and disciples witnesses of the Resurrection but also of the Ascension.

the promise of the Holy Ghost] called the promise of the Father in Acts 1:4. Christ had told His disciples that the Father would send this gift upon them in answer to His prayer. “I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter … he shall teach you all things” (John 14:16; John 14:26).

he hath shed forth] Better, he hath poured forth. Thus the fulfilment of the prophecy is, as in the original, described by the same word which is put into the mouth of the prophet in Acts 2:17.

see and hear] It would seem from this that the appearance, like as of fire, which rested upon each of them, remained visible for some time, thus making it apparent how different this was from any meteoric flashes into which some have endeavoured to explain away the miracle which St Luke describes.Acts 2:33. Τῇ δεξιᾷ) So also in ch. Acts 5:31, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour.” The Hebrew לימין is rendered by the LXX. usually ἐκ δεξιῶν; and so also in Psalm 110:1, the passage to which Peter refers, and yet uses the expression τῇ δεξιᾷ, which is found once in the LXX., Isaiah 63:12. Christ was exalted by the right hand of GOD to the right hand of God.—οὖν, therefore) The resurrection of Christ having been established, His ascension cannot be called in question. For this reason it is first asserted by itself, and next is also established from the 110th Psalm.—ὑψωθεὶς, having been exalted) The exaltation strictly took place at His ascension.—ἐξέχεε, He poured out) See Acts 2:17.—τοῦτο ὅ νῦν) The more recent MSS. of the Latin Vulg. have “hunc, quem,” instead of “hoc quod nunc.” They understand πνεῦμα (Neut.), “spiritum” (Masc). The neuter gender in Greek is expressed by the masculine in Latin. Moreover the phrase is absolute, this (τοῦτο), elegantly denoting the newness (the unprecedented character) of this unspeakable gift.[16] Irenæu[17] has νῦν, now, which has been omitted by some.[18]—ΒΛΈΠΕΤΕ ΚΑῚ ἉΚΌΥΕΤΕ, ye see and hear) Ye have testimonies to the facts which are not to be ‘mocked’ at (Acts 2:13).

[16] Τοῦτο ὃ is the reading of ABC and D corrected. But good MSS. of Vulg. “hoc donum quod:” so also e: and E, τοῦτο τὸ δῶρον: also Iren. and Cypr. The oldest MS. of Vulg. (Amiat.) has “hunc quem.”—E. and T.

[17] renæus (of Lyons, in Gaul: born about 130 A.D., and died about the end of the second century). The Editio Renati Massueti, Parisinæ, a. 1710.

[18] So also Ee and Rec. Text have νῦν. But ABC and D, corrected, omit it.—E. and T.Verse 33. - Being therefore for therefore being, A.V.; poured for shed, A.V.; see for now see, A.V. By the right hand, etc. Some render it," Being exalted to the right hand," etc.; or, "Being at the right hand of God exalted." It is very questionable whether the Greek will bear the first rendering; and it would have been more natural to express the second by εἰς τὴν δεξιάν. It is best, therefore, to take it as the A.V. and the R.V. do. Tile phrase is equivalent to that in Psalm 98:1, "His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory," and numerous other passages. The promise of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 1:4, note).
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