Acts 1:14
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) With the women.—Looking to what we have seen in the Gospels, it is a natural inference that here, too, the “devout women” of Luke 8:2-3, were among St. Luke’s chief informants. This may, perhaps, account for the variations in the list just noticed. The women were less likely than the disciples to lay stress on what we may call the accurate coupling of the Twelve. The mention of “the women” as a definite body is characteristic of St. Luke as the only Evangelist who names them. (See Notes on Luke 8:1-3; Luke 23:49.) We may reasonably think of the company as including Mary Magdalene, Salome, Susanna, Joanna, Mary and Martha of Bethany, possibly also the woman that had been a sinner, of Luke 7:37. Here we lose sight of them, and all that follows is conjectural. It is probable that they continued to share the work and the sufferings of the growing Church at Jerusalem, living together, perhaps at Bethany, in a kind of sisterhood. The persecution headed by Saul was likely to disperse them for a time, and some may well have been among the “women” who suffered in it (Acts 8:3); but they may have returned when it ceased. St. Luke, when he came to Palestine, would seem to have met with one or more of them.

Mary the mother of Jesus.—Brief as the record is, it has the interest of giving the last known fact, as distinct from legend or tradition, in the life of the mother of our Lord. St. John, we know, had taken her to his own home, probably to a private dwelling in Jerusalem (see Note on John 19:27), and she had now come with him to the first meeting of the Ecclesia. Here also we trace the influence of the women as St. Luke’s informants. They could not have left unnoticed the presence of her who was the centre of their group. The legends of some apocryphal books represent her as staying at Jerusalem with St. John till her death, twenty-two years after the Ascension; while others represent her as going with him to Ephesus and dying there; the Apostles gather around her death-bed; she is buried, and the next day the grave is found emptied, and sweet flowers have grown around it; Mary also had been taken up into heaven. The festival of the Assumption, which owes its origin to this legend, dates from the sixth or seventh century.

With his brethren.—The last mention of the “brethren” had shown them as still unbelieving (John 7:5). Various explanations of their change may be given. (1) They may have been drawn to believe before the Crucifixion by the great miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus. (2) The risen Lord had appeared to James as well as to the Apostles (1Corinthians 15:7), and that may have fixed him and the other brothers in steadfast faith. (3) If the mother of Jesus was with John, the brethren also were likely to come, in greater or less measure, under the influence of their cousin. It may be noted that the brethren are here emphatically distinguished from the Apostles, and therefore that James the son of Aiphæus cannot rightly be identified with James the Lord’s brother. (See Note on Matthew 12:46.)

1:12-14 God can find hiding-places for his people. They made supplication. All God's people are praying people. It was now a time of trouble and danger with the disciples of Christ; but if any is afflicted, let him pray; that will silence cares and fears. They had now a great work to do, and before they entered upon it, they were earnest in prayer to God for his presence. They were waiting for the descent of the Spirit, and abounded in prayer. Those are in the best frame to receive spiritual blessings, who are in a praying frame. Christ had promised shortly to send the Holy Ghost; that promise was not to do away prayer, but to quicken and encourage it. A little company united in love, exemplary in their conduct, fervent in prayer, and wisely zealous to promote the cause of Christ, are likely to increase rapidly.These all continued ... - The word "continued" denotes "persevering and constant attention." The main business was devotion. Acts 6:4, "we will give ourselves continually to the ministry of the word." Romans 12:12, "continuing instant in prayer"; Romans 13:6, "Attending continually upon this very thing." It is their main and constant employment. Compare Colossians 4:2.

With one accord - Greek: ὁμοθυμαδόν homothumadon - "with one mind." The word denotes the entire harmony of their views and feelings. There were no schisms, no divided interests, no discordant purposes. This is a beautiful picture of devotion, and a specimen of what social worship ought now to be, and a beautiful illustration of Psalm 133:1-3. The apostles felt that they had one great object; and their deep grief at the loss of their master, and their doubts and perplexities, led them, as all afflictions ought to lead us, to the throne of grace.

In prayer and supplication - These words are nearly synonymous, and are often interchanged. They express here petitions to God for blessings, and prayer to avert impending evils.

With the women - The women that had followed the Lord Jesus from Galilee, Luke 8:2-3, Luke 8:23, Luke 8:49, Luke 8:55; Luke 24:10; Matthew 27:55. The women particularly mentioned are Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, the mother of Zebedee's children, Joanna the wife of Chuza, and Susanna. Besides these, there were others whose names are not mentioned. Most of them were relatives of the apostles or of the Saviour; and it is not improbable that some of them were wives of the apostles. Peter is known to have been married Matthew 8:14, and had his wife in attendance with him in his travels 1 Corinthians 9:5; and the same was doubtless true of some of the other apostles, 1 Corinthians 9:5.- Mary, the mother of Jesus, is here particularly mentioned, showing that she now cast in her lot with the apostles. She had, besides, been specially entrusted to the care of John Joh 19:26-27, and had no other home. This is the last time that she is mentioned in the New Testament.

And with his brethren - See the notes on Matthew 12:46. At first they had been unbelieving about the claims of Jesus John 7:5; but it seems that they had been subsequently converted.

14. continued with one accord—knit by a bond stronger than death.

in prayer and supplication—for the promised baptism, the need of which in their orphan state would be increasingly felt.

and Mary the mother of Jesus—distinguished from the other "women," but "so as to exclude the idea of her having any pre-eminence over the disciples. We find her with the rest in prayer to her glorified Son" [Webster and Wilkinson]. This is the last mention of her in the New Testament. The fable of the Assumption of the Virgin has no foundation even in tradition [Alford].

with his brethren—(See on [1935]Joh 7:3).

These all continued with one accord, with great resolution, notwithstanding all opposition and contradiction they met with,

in prayer and supplication, for mercies they wanted, or preventing of the evils they feared.

The women; their wives, or such women especially as we read of Matthew 27:55,56.

His brethren; that is, his relations and kinsmen, which frequently in Scripture are called brethren. These all continued, with one accord, in prayer and supplication,.... For the promise of the Spirit Christ had given them reason to expect; and that they might be preserved from their enemies, and kept faithful to their Lord; and be abundantly qualified for the preaching of the Gospel, and succeeded in it; and that their hearts might be comforted, and knit together in love: and they were unanimous in their requests, and so were under the promise of being heard; and in this work they were constant, and assiduous, and followed it with importunity. The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions leave out the last clause, "and supplication"; and so likewise the Alexandrian copy: "with the women"; that followed Christ from Galilee, and were at his cross, and at his grave; among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Salome the wife of Zebedee. Some render the words, "with their wives"; the wives of the apostles; and as many as had wives, no doubt but they were with them; and it was necessary they should be, that they might be strengthened and confirmed in the faith of Christ. Beza's most ancient copy adds, "and children",

and Mary the mother of Jesus. This is the last we hear of her; how long she lived after this, is not certain: her continuance with the apostles of Christ shows her religion and piety, and was both for the increase of her faith, and spiritual comfort:

and with his brethren; See Gill on Matthew 13:55.

These all {k} continued with {l} one accord in {m} prayer and supplication, with the {n} women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his {o} brethren.

(k) The Greek word signifies an invincible constancy and steadfastness.

(l) It is to good purpose that this agreement is mentioned: for those prayers are most acceptable to God which are made with agreeing minds and wills.

(m) The disciples prayed for the sending of the Holy Spirit, and also to be delivered from present dangers, of which there were many that they were experiencing.

(n) For it was appropriate to have the wives strengthened and encouraged who would afterwards be partakers of the dangers with their husbands.

(o) With his relatives.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 1:14. καὶ ἦσαν προσκαρτεροῦντες: on the construction see Acts 1:10. In N.T. found only in St. Luke and St. Paul (except once in St. Mark 3:9); most frequently with the dative of the thing, of continuing steadfast in prayer; cf. Acts 6:4, Romans 12:12, Colossians 4:2, and cf. also Acts 2:42 or Acts 2:46 of continuing all the time in (ἐν) a place; in Acts 8:13; Acts 10:7, it is used with the dative of the person, and in Romans 13:6 with εἴς τι. It is found in Josephus with the dative of the thing, Ant., v., 2, 6, and in Polybius, who also uses it with the dative of the person. In LXX it is found in Numbers 13:21 and in Susannah ver. 6, Theod., also in Tob 5:8, .—ὁμοθυμαδὸν, a favourite word of St. Luke: Lucæ in Actis in deliciis est (Blass)—used ten or eleven times in Acts, only once elsewhere in N.T., Romans 15:6, where it has the same meaning, Vulgate unanimiter. In the LXX it is oftener found as the equivalent of Hebrew words meaning simply “together,” and Hatch, Essays in B. G., p. 63, would limit it to this meaning in the N.T., but the word cannot be confined to mere outward assembling together; cf. Dem., Phil., iv., 147, ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐκ μιᾶς γνώμης (Meyer-Wendt); so Luther einmüthig. It was very natural that St. Luke should lay stress upon the absolute unanimity of the early believers, and the word is used with reference to the Twelve, to the hundred-and-twenty, to the whole number of believers; truly the Holy Ghost was “amator concordiæ” (Corn. à Lapide).—τῇ προσευχῇ καὶ τῇ δεήσει: the latter noun cannot be supported by MS. authority; the two words mark the difference between general and specific prayer; cf. Bengel on 1 Timothy 2:1, and cf. Luke, Luke 5:33. It is very doubtful whether we can confine προσευχή here to the Temple prayers; rather the article, cf. Acts 6:4 and Acts 2:42, seems to point to a definite custom of common prayer as a bond of Christian fellowship (Hort, Ecclesia, p. 43, so Speaker’s Commentary, in loco). As in his Gospel, so here and elsewhere in Acts, St. Luke lays stress upon frequency in prayer, and that too in all parts of the book (Friedrich, pp. 55–60).—σὺν γυναιξὶ: it is natural to include the women already mentioned in St. Luke’s Gospel, cf., e.g., Luke 8:2-3, Luke 23:55, “with the women,” R.V., or the expression may be quite indefinite as in margin R.V. In this mention of the presence of women, as in the stress laid upon prayer, there is another point of unity between the book and the third Gospel, “The Gospel of Womanhood” (see also Ramsay, Was Christ born at Bethlehem? p. 50). (The mention of women would certainly indicate a private house rather than the Temple.) Erasmus and Calvin both interpret the words cum uxoribus, probably not without desire to make a point against celibacy. J. Lightfoot allows that this meaning may be correct, since the Apostles and disciples who had wives took them with them, “but,” he adds, “it is too strait”.—Μαριάμ (for Μαρίᾳ), so always according to W.H[104] of the Blessed Virgin, nominative, vocative, accusative, dative, except twice in a few of the best MSS. (Matthew 1:20, and Luke 2:19). Cf. Appendix, p. 163. See also Simcox, Language of the N. T., p. 28, and Winer-Schmiedel, p. 91, note. The καί may be taken either to comprehend her under the other women, or as distinguishing her from them. This is the last mention of her in the N.T., and the Scripture leaves her “in prayer”.—σὺν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς αὐτοῦ: they are previously mentioned as unbelieving (John 7:5, and compare Mark 6:4), but not only the Resurrection of the Lord but also that of Lazarus may well have overcome their unbelief. St. Chrysostom (so too Œcumenius) conjectures that Joseph was dead, for it is not to be supposed, he says, that when the brethren had become believers Joseph believed not. As the brethren are here distinguished from the Eleven, it would seem that they could not have been included in the latter (see, however, “Brethren,” B.D.2 pp. 13, 14). But whatever meaning we give to the word “brethren” here or in the Gospels, nothing could be more significant than the fact that they had now left their settled homes in Galilee to take part in the lot of the disciples of Jesus, and to await with them the promise of the Father (Felten). It may have been that, James, “the Lord’s brother,” was converted by the Resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:5, and that his example constrained the other “brethren” to follow him.

[104] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.14. These all continued, &c.] Prayer was the fittest preparation for the gift which they were expecting. The words rendered and supplication are omitted in the best MSS.

with the women] Better, with certain women. Literally, with women. Probably some of those who during the life of Jesus had ministered to Him of their substance and had been at the cross and at His grave (Luke 8:3; Luke 24:22; Matthew 27:55). The frequent mention of these and other women in the course of Christ’s ministry is a noteworthy feature of the Gospel story, and bespeaks more consideration shewn by Him for women than was usual among His nation or with other great teachers.

Mary the mother of Jesus] who would naturally remain with St John, to whose care she had been confided by Jesus at the Crucifixion (John 19:27). This is the last mention of the Blessed Virgin, and thus Scripture leaves her on her knees. She is mentioned apart from the other women as having a more deep interest in all that concerned Jesus than the rest had.

and with his brethren] These, called (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3) James, Joseph (or Joses), Simon and Judas, are here clearly distinguished from the Apostles, which shews us that James, the son of Alphæus, and James, the Lord’s brother, were different persons.Acts 1:14. Ὁμοθυμαδὸν, with one accord) This particle is often employed in the Acts, suitably to the subject of the book: outside of the Acts it does not occur, save once, in the New Testament, viz. Romans 15:6.—τῇ προσευχῇ καὶ τῇ δεήσει) As to the difference between these words, see 1 Timothy 2:1, note [δέησις, from δεῖ, is an imploring of the Divine grace in some special need: προσευχὴ, prayer, is any presenting of our wishes and desires before God].—σὺν γυναιξὶ, with the women) Luke 24:10, at the sepulchre, “Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women;” 1 Corinthians 9:5, “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord?”—Μαρίᾳ, Mary) of whom the last mention in the New Testament is made here. She being held in high esteem among the saints, on account of both her holiness and her age, furnished testimony as to all things which had taken place all along from the time of the Annunciation.—ἀδελφοῖς, with His brethren) His cousins. These two were gained over, though in the beginning they had not believed. [John 7:5.]Verse 14. - With one accord continued steadfastly for continued with one accord, A.V.; prayer for prayer and supplication, A.V. and T.R. The women. St. Luke, in his Gospel, makes frequent mention of the women who followed our Lord, and generally of things that happened to women (see Luke 23:27, 49, 55; Luke 24:10, 22, etc. See also Luke 7:37, etc.; Luke 8:23; 10:38, 42; etc.). We notice the same tendency in the Acts, here, and in Acts 2:17, 18; Acts 5:14; Acts 9:36; Acts 12:13; Acts 16:14, 16; Acts 17:4, 34; Acts 18:26; Acts 21:9; Acts 24:24; Acts 25:23; etc. Mary the mother of Jesus appears here not as an object of worship, but as humbly joining in the prayers of the Church. And with his brethren. The Lord's brethren are spoken of by name in Matthew 13:55 as "James, and Joses ['Joseph,' R.V.], and Simon, and Judas." So also Mark 6:3 (see too Acts 4:31-35). "James the Lord's brother" is mentioned by St. Paul (Galatians 1:19); "the brethren of the Lord "are mentioned 1 Corinthians 9:5; and again in John 7:3, 5, 10, "the brethren of Jesus" are spoken cf. This is not the place to enter upon the difficult question of their parentage. But it may suffice to say that if James and Judas are the two apostles of that name (which Alford, however, thinks they certainly were not, referring- to John 7:5, compared with John 6:67), then the brethren here spoken of as distinct from the apostles would be Joses and Simon. Continued (ἦσαν προσκαρτεροῦντες)

Participle and finite verb, as above. The verb is from καρτερὸς strong, stanch, and means originally to persist obstinately in. In this sense here, and in Romans 12:12; Romans 13:6. Hence to adhere firmly to. So in Mark 3:9, "that a small ship should wait on him;" i.e., keep near at hand. The idea of steady persistence is supplied by the Rev., steadfastly.

With one accord (ὁμοθυμαδὸν)

See on agree, Matthew 18:19.

In prayer

The best texts omit and supplication.

Mary

Mentioned here for the last time in the New Testament.

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