Acts 17:27
New International Version
God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

New Living Translation
"His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him--though he is not far from any one of us.

English Standard Version
that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

Berean Study Bible
God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

Berean Literal Bible
to seek God, if perhaps indeed they might palpate for Him, and might find Him. And indeed, He is not far from each one of us.

New American Standard Bible
that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

King James Bible
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

Christian Standard Bible
He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

Contemporary English Version
God has done all this, so that we will look for him and reach out and find him. He isn't far from any of us,

Good News Translation
He did this so that they would look for him, and perhaps find him as they felt around for him. Yet God is actually not far from any one of us;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

International Standard Version
so that they might look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. Of course, he is never far from any one of us.

NET Bible
so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

New Heart English Bible
that they should seek God, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“So that they would be seeking and inquiring after God; and they may find him by his creation, because also he is not far from everyone of us.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He has done this so that they would look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. In fact, he is never far from any one of us.

New American Standard 1977
that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

Jubilee Bible 2000
that they should seek the Lord, if in any manner they might reach out to touch him and find him though he is not far from each one of us;

King James 2000 Bible
That they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

American King James Version
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

American Standard Version
that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:

Douay-Rheims Bible
That they should seek God, if happily they may feel after him or find him, although he be not far from every one of us:

Darby Bible Translation
that they may seek God; if indeed they might feel after him and find him, although he is not far from each one of us:

English Revised Version
that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:

Webster's Bible Translation
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us:

Weymouth New Testament
that they might seek God, if perhaps they could grope for Him and find Him. Yes, though He is not far from any one of us.

World English Bible
that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

Young's Literal Translation
to seek the Lord, if perhaps they did feel after Him and find, -- though, indeed, He is not far from each one of us,
Study Bible
Paul Before the Areopagus
26From one man He made every nation of men, to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:7
For what nation is so great as to have a god as near to them as the LORD our God is to us whenever we call on Him?

Jeremiah 23:23
"Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away?"

Acts 14:17
Yet He has not left Himself without testimony to His goodness: He gives you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness."

Treasury of Scripture

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

they.

Acts 15:17
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

Psalm 19:1-6
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork…

Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

he be.

Acts 14:17
Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

1 Kings 8:27
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Psalm 139:1-13
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me







Lexicon
[ God intended that ] they would seek
ζητεῖν (zētein)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 2212: To seek, search for, desire, require, demand. Of uncertain affinity; to seek; specially, to worship, or to plot.

[Him]
Θεὸν (Theon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

[and] perhaps
ἄρα (ara)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 687: A form of ara, denoting an interrogation to which a negative answer is presumed.

reach out for
ψηλαφήσειαν (psēlaphēseian)
Verb - Aorist Optative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 5584: From the base of psallo; to manipulate, i.e. Verify by contact; figuratively, to search for.

Him
αὐτὸν (auton)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

find [Him],
εὕροιεν (heuroien)
Verb - Aorist Optative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2147: A prolonged form of a primary heuro, which heureo is used for it in all the tenses except the present and imperfect to find.

though
καί (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

He is
ὑπάρχοντα (hyparchonta)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5225: To begin, am, exist, be in possession. From hupo and archomai; to begin under, i.e. Come into existence; expletively, to exist (verb).

not
οὐ (ou)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

far
μακρὰν (makran)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3112: At a distance, far away, remote, alien. Feminine accusative case singular of makros; at a distance.

from
ἀπὸ (apo)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 575: From, away from. A primary particle; 'off, ' i.e. Away, in various senses.

each
ἑκάστου (hekastou)
Adjective - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1538: Each (of more than two), every one. As if a superlative of hekas; each or every.

one
ἑνὸς (henos)
Adjective - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1520: One. (including the neuter Hen); a primary numeral; one.

of us.
ἡμῶν (hēmōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
(27) Should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him.--The word for "feel after" expresses strictly the act of groping in the dark. From the Apostle's point of view, anticipating in part the great Theodikaea--the vindication of the ways of God--in the Epistle to the Romans, the whole order of the world's history was planned, as part of the education of mankind, waking longings which it could not satisfy, leading men at once to a consciousness of the holiness of God and of their own sinfulness. The religions of the world were to him as the movements of one who climbs

"Upon the great world's altar stairs,

That slope through darkness up to God;"

who can only say--

"I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,

And gather dust, and chaff, and call

To what I feel is Lord of all,

And faintly trust the larger hope."

Their ritual in all its manifold variety was but as the inarticulate wailing of childhood--

"An infant crying for the light,

And with no language but a cry."

--Tennyson, In Memoriam, liv.

The "if haply" expresses the exact force of the Greek particles, which imply a doubt whether the end had been attained in its completeness. The altar to the Unknown and Unknowable was a witness that they had not been found. "The world by wisdom knew not God" (1Corinthians 1:21). It had not got, in the language of another poet of our own, beyond

"Those obstinate questionings

Of sense and outward things,

Fallings from us, vanishings;"

which are as the

"Blank misgivings of a creature

Moving about in worlds not realised."

--Wordsworth, Ode on Immortality.

Though he be not far from every one of us.--Better, and yet He is not far. The speaker appeals, as he does in Romans 2:15, to the witness borne by man's consciousness and conscience. There, in the depths of each man's being, not in temples made with hands, men might find God and hold communion with him. It was natural, in speaking to the peasants of Lystra, to point to the witness of "the rain from heaven and fruitful seasons." (See Note on Acts 14:17.) It was as natural, in speaking to men of high culture and introspective analysis, to appeal to that which was within them rather than to that which was without. But it will be noted that he does not confine that witness to the seekers after wisdom. God is not far from every one of us." St. Paul accepts the truth which St. John afterwards proclaimed, that Christ is the "true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (See Notes on John 1:9.) The writer of the Book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 30:11-14) had asserted a like truth when he taught Israel that "the word was not in heaven, or beyond the sea," but "in thy mouth and in thine heart, that thou mayest do it." At this point the Stoics, we may believe, would recognise the affinities which St. Paul's thoughts presented to their own teaching. The Epicureans would be more and more repelled by this attack on the central position of their system.

Verse 27. - God for the Lord, A.V. and T.R. (Meyer does not accept this reading); is for be, A.V.; each for every, A.V. If haply they might feel after him. Ψηλαφάω is "to touch, feel, or handle," as Luke 24:39; Hebrews 12:18; 1 John 1:1. But it is especially used of the action of the blind groping or feeling their way by their hands in default of sight. So Homer describes Polyphemus as χερσὶ ψηλαφόων, feeling his way to the mouth of the cave with his hands after he was blinded by Ulysses ('Odyssey,' 9:416). And in the LXX. of Deuteronomy 28:29 we read, Ἔση ψηλαφῶν μεσημβρίας ὠς εἴ τις ψηλαφήσαι τυφλὸς ἐν τῷ σκότει, "Thou shall grope at noonday as the blind gropeth in darkness." The teaching, therefore, of the passage is that, though God was very near to every man, and had not left himself without abundant witness in his manifold gifts, yet, through the blindness of the heathen, they had to feel their way uncertainly toward God. In this fact lies the need of a revelation, as it follows ver. 30, etc. And hence part at least of the significance of such passages as, "Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8); "Who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9 ); "God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6), and many more like passages. 17:22-31 Here we have a sermon to heathens, who worshipped false gods, and were without the true God in the world; and to them the scope of the discourse was different from what the apostle preached to the Jews. In the latter case, his business was to lead his hearers by prophecies and miracles to the knowledge of the Redeemer, and faith in him; in the former, it was to lead them, by the common works of providence, to know the Creator, and worship Him. The apostle spoke of an altar he had seen, with the inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. This fact is stated by many writers. After multiplying their idols to the utmost, some at Athens thought there was another god of whom they had no knowledge. And are there not many now called Christians, who are zealous in their devotions, yet the great object of their worship is to them an unknown God? Observe what glorious things Paul here says of that God whom he served, and would have them to serve. The Lord had long borne with idolatry, but the times of this ignorance were now ending, and by his servants he now commanded all men every where to repent of their idolatry. Each sect of the learned men would feel themselves powerfully affected by the apostle's discourse, which tended to show the emptiness or falsity of their doctrines.
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NT Apostles: Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord if (Acts of the Apostles Ac) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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