Acts 1:4
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
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(4) And, being assembled together with them.—The MSS. present two forms of the participle: one with the meaning given in the English version, the other, but inferior reading, with the sense of “dwelling together with” the disciples. The Vulgate, convescens, “eating with,” probably rests on a mistaken etymology of the Greek term. The whole verse is in substance a repetition of Luke 24:49, where see Notes.



Acts 1:1 - Acts 1:14

The Ascension is twice narrated by Luke. The life begun by the supernatural birth ends with the supernatural Ascension, which sets the seal of Heaven on Christ’s claims and work. Therefore the Gospel ends with it. But it is also the starting-point of the Christ’s heavenly activity, of which the growth of His Church, as recorded in the Acts, is the issue. Therefore the Book of the Acts of the Apostles begins with it.

The keynote of the ‘treatise’ lies in the first words, which describe the Gospel as the record of what ‘Jesus began to do and teach,’ Luke would have gone on to say that this second book of his contained the story of what Jesus went on to do and teach after He was ‘taken up,’ if he had been strictly accurate, or had carried out his first intention, as shown by the mould of his introductory sentence; but he is swept on into the full stream of his narrative, and we have to infer the contrast between his two volumes from his statement of the contents of his first.

The book, then, is misnamed Acts of the Apostles, both because the greater number of the Apostles do nothing in it, and because, in accordance with the hint of the first verse, Christ Himself is the doer of all, as comes out distinctly in many places where the critical events of the Church’s progress and extension are attributed to ‘the Lord.’ In one aspect, Christ’s work on earth was finished on the Cross; in another, that finished work is but the beginning both of His doing and teaching. Therefore we are not to regard His teaching while on earth as the completion of Christian revelation. To set aside the Epistles on the plea that the Gospels contain Christ’s own teaching, while the Epistles are only Paul’s or John’s, is to misconceive the relation between the earthly and the heavenly activity of Jesus.

The statement of the theme of the book is followed by a brief summary of the events between the Resurrection and Ascension. Luke had spoken of these in the end of his Gospel, but given no note of time, and run together the events of the day of the Resurrection and of the following weeks, so that it might appear, as has been actually contended that he meant, that the Ascension took place on the very day of Resurrection. The fact that in this place he gives more detailed statements, and tells how long elapsed between the Resurrection Sunday and the Ascension, might have taught hasty critics that an author need not be ignorant of what he does not mention, and that a detailed account does not contradict a summary one,-truths which do not seem very recondite, but have often been forgotten by very learned commentators.

Three points are signalised as occupying the forty days: commandments were given, Christ’s actual living presence was demonstrated {by sight, touch, hearing, etc.}, and instructions concerning the kingdom were imparted. The old blessed closeness and continuity of companionship had ceased. Our Lord’s appearances were now occasional. He came to the disciples, they knew not whence; He withdrew from them, they knew not whither. Apparently a sacred awe restrained them from seeking to detain Him or to follow Him. Their hearts would be full of strangely mingled feelings, and they were being taught by gentle degrees to do without Him. Not only a divine decorum, but a most gracious tenderness, dictated the alternation of presence and absence during these days.

The instructions then given are again referred to in Luke’s Gospel, and are there represented as principally directed to opening their minds ‘that they might understand the Scriptures.’ The main thing about the kingdom which they had then to learn, was that it was founded on the death of Christ, who had fulfilled all the Old Testament predictions. Much remained untaught, which after years were to bring to clear knowledge; but from the illumination shed during these fruitful days flowed the remarkable vigour and confidence of the Apostolic appeal to the prophets, in the first conflicts of the Church with the rulers. Christ is the King of the kingdom, and His Cross is His throne,-these truths being grasped revolutionised the Apostles’ conceptions. They are as needful for us.

From Acts 1:4 onwards the last interview seems to be narrated. Probably it began in the city, and ended on the slopes of Olivet. There was a solemn summoning together of the Eleven, which is twice referred to {Acts 1:4, Acts 1:6}. What awe of expectancy would rest on the group as they gathered round Him, perhaps half suspecting that it was for the last time! His words would change the suspicion into certainty, for He proceeded to tell them what they were not to do and to do, when left alone. The tone of leave-taking is unmistakable.

The prohibition against leaving Jerusalem implies that they would have done so if left to themselves; and it would have been small wonder if they had been eager to hurry back to quiet Galilee, their home, and to shake from their feet the dust of the city where their Lord had been slain. Truly they would feel like sheep in the midst of wolves when He had gone, and Pharisees and priests and Roman officers ringed them round. No wonder if, like a shepherdless flock, they had broken and scattered! But the theocratic importance of Jerusalem, and the fact that nowhere else could the Apostles secure such an audience for their witness, made their ‘beginning at Jerusalem’ necessary. So they were to crush their natural longing to get back to Galilee, and to stay in their dangerous position. We have all to ask, not where we should be most at ease, but where we shall be most efficient as witnesses for Christ, and to remember that very often the presence of adversaries makes the door ‘great and effectual.’

These eleven poor men were not left by their Master with a hard task and no help. He bade them ‘wait’ for the promised Holy Spirit, the coming of whom they had heard from Him when in the upper room He spoke to them of ‘the Comforter.’ They were too feeble to act alone, and silence and retirement were all that He enjoined till they had been plunged into the fiery baptism which should quicken, strengthen, and transform them.

The order in which promise and command occur here shows how graciously Jesus considered the Apostles’ weakness. Not a word does He say of their task of witnessing, till He has filled their hearts with the promise of the Spirit. He shows them the armour of power in which they are to be clothed, before He points them to the battlefield. Waiting times are not wasted times. Over-eagerness to rush into work, especially into conspicuous and perilous work, is sure to end in defeat. Till we feel the power coming into us, we had better be still.

The promise of this great gift, the nature of which they but dimly knew, set the Apostles’ expectations on tiptoe, and they seem to have thought that their reception of it was in some way the herald of the establishment of the Messianic kingdom. So it was, but in a very different fashion from their dream. They had not learned so much from the forty days’ instructions concerning the kingdom as to be free from their old Jewish notions, which colour their question, ‘Wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ They believed that Jesus could establish His kingdom when He would. They were right, and also wrong,-right, for He is King; wrong, for its establishment is not to be effected by a single act of power, but by the slow process of preaching the gospel.

Our Lord does not deal with their misconceptions which could only be cured by time and events; but He lays down great principles, which we need as much as the Eleven did. The ‘times and seasons,’ the long stretches of days, and the critical epoch-making moments, are known to God only; our business is, not to speculate curiously about these, but to do the plain duty which is incumbent on the Church at all times. The perpetual office of Christ’s people to be His witnesses, their equipment for that function {namely, the power of the Holy Spirit coming on them}, and the sphere of their work {namely, in ever-widening circles, Jerusalem, Samaria, and the whole world}, are laid down, not for the first hearers only, but for all ages and for each individual, in these last words of the Lord as He stood on Olivet, ready to depart.

The calm simplicity of the account of the Ascension is remarkable. So great an event told in such few, unimpassioned words! Luke’s Gospel gives the further detail that it was in the act of blessing with uplifted hands that our Lord was parted from the Eleven. Two expressions are here used to describe the Ascension, one of which {‘was taken up’} implies that He was passive, the other of which {‘He went’} implies that He was active. Both are true. As in the accounts of the Resurrection He is sometimes said to have been raised, and sometimes to have risen, so here. The Father took the Son back to the glory, the Son left the world and went to the Father. No chariot of fire, no whirlwind, was needed to lift Him to the throne. Elijah was carried by such agency into a sphere new to him; Jesus ascended up where He was before.

No other mode of departure from earth would have corresponded to His voluntary, supernatural birth. He carried manhood up to the throne of God. The cloud which received Him while yet He was well within sight of the gazers was probably that same bright cloud, the symbol of the Divine Presence, which of old dwelt between the cherubim. His entrance into it visibly symbolised the permanent participation, then begun, of His glorified manhood in the divine glory.

Most true to human nature is that continued gaze upwards after He had passed into the hiding brightness of the glory-cloud. How many of us know what it is to look long at the spot on the horizon where the last glint of sunshine struck the sails of the ship that bore dear ones away from us! It was fitting that angels, who had heralded His birth and watched His grave, should proclaim His Second Coming to earth.

It was gracious that, in the moment of keenest sense of desolation and loss, the great hope of reunion should be poured into the hearts of the Apostles. Nothing can be more distinct and assured than the terms of that angel message. It gives for the faith and hope of all ages the assurance that He will come; that He who comes will be the very Jesus who went; that His coming will be, like His departure, visible, corporeal, local. He will bring again all His tenderness, all His brother’s heart, all His divine power, and will gather His servants to Himself.

No wonder that, with such hopes flowing over the top of their sorrow, like oil on troubled waters, the little group went back to the upper room, hallowed by memories of the Last Supper, and there waited in prayer and supplication during the ten days which elapsed till Pentecost. So should we use the interval between any promise and its fulfilment. Patient expectation, believing prayer, harmonious association with our brethren, will prepare us for receiving the gift of the Spirit, and will help to equip us as witnesses for Jesus.

Acts 1:4-5. Being assembled together with them — Namely, at Jerusalem, to which place they had gone to prepare themselves for the feast of pentecost, or rather, in obedience to Christ’s command, who, after he had met them in Galilee, had appointed them to meet him there, that he might spend his last days on earth in that once holy city, doing this last honour to the place where God had chosen to dwell, and where the most solemn ordinances of his worship had been administered. He commanded that they should wait for the promise of the Father — That is, for the accomplishment of the promise made by the Father, to send his Holy Spirit upon the disciples of the Messiah. See note on Luke 24:49. Which, saith he, ye have heard of me — Often and lately. See John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7. For John baptized with water only, when he was sent to call men to repentance; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost — There is a nobler baptism prepared for you, and which you shall receive from me, to furnish you for the great work to which I have commissioned you, of preaching repentance and remission of sins in my name; and which baptism you shall receive not many days hence — He does not tell them how many, because he would have them to keep themselves every day in a state of mind fit to receive it, a disposition of humility, desire, and expectation of the blessing. It was a great honour which Christ did John now, in not only quoting his words, but making this great blessing of the Spirit, soon to be given, to be the accomplishment of them. Thus he confirmed the word of his servants, Isaiah 44:26 : but Christ can do more than any of his ministers. It is an honour to them to be employed in dispensing the means of grace, but it is his prerogative to give the Spirit of grace. Now this gift of the Holy Ghost, thus promised, thus prophesied of, thus waited for, is that which the apostles received ten days after, namely, at the approaching pentecost, as is recorded in the next chapter. Several other scriptures speak of the gift of the Holy Ghost to ordinary believers; this speaks of that particular power which, by the Holy Ghost, the first preachers of the gospel, and planters of the church, were endowed with, enabling them infallibly to relate to that age, and record to posterity, the doctrine of Christ, and the proofs of it: so that by virtue of this promise, and the performance of it, we receive the New Testament as of divine inspiration, and venture our souls upon it.

1:1-5 Our Lord told the disciples the work they were to do. The apostles met together at Jerusalem; Christ having ordered them not to depart thence, but to wait for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. This would be a baptism by the Holy Ghost, giving them power to work miracles, and enlightening and sanctifying their souls. This confirms the Divine promise, and encourages us to depend upon it, that we have heard it from Christ; for in Him all the promises of God are yea and amen.And being assembled together - Margin, "or, eating together." This sense is given to this place in the Latin Vulgate, the Ethiopic, and the Syriac versions. But the Greek word has not properly this signification. It has the meaning of "congregating, or assembling." It should have been, however, translated in the active sense, "and having assembled them together." The apostles were scattered after his death. But this passage denotes that he had assembled them together by his authority, for the purpose of giving them a charge respecting their conduct when he should have left them. When this occurred does not appear from the narrative; but it is probable that it was not long before his ascension; and it is clear that the place where they were assembled was Jerusalem.

But wait for the promise of the Father - For the fulfillment of the promise respecting the descent of the Holy Spirit made by the Father.

Which ye have heard of me - Which I have made to you. See John 14:16, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7-13.

4. should not depart from Jerusalem—because the Spirit was to glorify the existing economy, by descending on the disciples at its metropolitan seat, and at the next of its great festivals after the ascension of the Church's Head; in order that "out of Zion might go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa 2:3; and compare Lu 24:49). And being assembled together with them; by his order, or conversing frequently with them, as those that table together.

Commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem: otherwise the apostles would have abhorred Jerusalem, as reeking afresh in the blood of our Lord. And there Christ chose to pour out his Spirit, that he might show forth his glory in the same place where he suffered ignominy: there Christ would have his apostles to abide, that they might be closer to Mount Olivet, from whence he was to ascend; as also that both his ascension, and the coming of the Holy Ghost, might more publicly be manifest; and that that prophecy, Isaiah 2:3, might be fulfilled.

The promise of the Father; of my Father, Luke 24:49; that is, the Holy Spirit, promised by our Saviour in his Father’s name, John 14:26; and may well be called the promise, without which all other promises would be of no value unto us.

And being assembled together with them,.... At their last meeting at Bethany, or Mount Olivet, which was by appointment: some render the words, as the Vulgate Latin, "and eating with them"; which was one of the proofs he gave of his being alive; and so the Syriac version renders it, "and when he had ate bread with them", and the Ethiopic version, "and dining with them", which he might do more than once; see John 21:12 this was the last time, when he

commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem; which does not necessarily infer, that they were then at Jerusalem; for they might be, and they seem rather to be at Bethany, or on the Mount of Olives, from whence they afterwards returned to Jerusalem; and from thence they had orders not to depart, where the blood of Christ had been shed, and where were his greatest enemies, and where the disciples might have no inclination to have gone, and much less to abide, but so it must be, partly for the glorifying of Christ by the effusion of his Spirit on the apostles in the place where he had suffered the most reproach; and partly because the Gospel, the word of the Lord, was to go out of this place, according to the prophecy in Isaiah 2:3 as also because a Gospel church was to be fixed there, and a very large number of souls to be converted, and added to it: wherefore they were bid to go thither, and not stir from thence,

but wait for the promise of the Father; that is, the pouring forth of the Spirit, which God the Father of Christ; and of his people, had promised should be in the last days, Joel 2:28 and which Christ had promised his disciples from the Father, John 14:16.

which, saith he, ye have heard of me; or "by", or "out of my mouth", as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, and Beza's most ancient copy read; referring to the above passages, or to what follows: and which he the rather mentions, to assure them of its accomplishment, since it was both a promise of the Father, all whose promises are yea and amen; and he had also told them of it, neither of whose words could possibly fall to the ground.

And, being {c} assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

(c) They were dispersed here and there, but he gathers them together so that all of them might together be witnesses of his resurrection.

Acts 1:4. To the general description of the forty days’ intercourse is now added (by the simple καί, and), in particular, the description of the two last interviews, Acts 1:4 f. and Acts 1:6 ff., after which the ἀνελήφθη took place, Acts 1:9.

συναλιζόμ. παρήγγ. αὐτοῖς] while He ate with them, He commanded them. συναλιζόμ. is thus correctly understood by the VSS. (Vulg.: convescens), Chrysostom (τραπέζης κοινωνῶν), Theophylact, Oecumenius, Jerome, Beda, and others, including Casaubon.

συναλίζεσθαι (properly, to eat salt with one) in the sense of eating together, is found in a Greek translator of Psalm 141:4, where συναλισθῶ (LXX.: συνδυάσω) corresponds to the Hebrew אֶלְחַם, also in Clem. Hom. 6, and Maneth. v. 339. As to the thing itself, comp. on Acts 10:41. Usually the word is derived from συναλίζειν, to assemble (Herod. v. 15. 102; Xen. Anab. vii. 3. 48; Lucian, Luct. 7). It would then have to be rendered: when He assembled with them.[97] But against this it is decisive that the sense: when He had assembled with them, would be logically necessary, so that Luke must have written συναλισθείς. The conjecture of Hemsterhuis: συναλιζομένοις, is completely unnecessary, although approved by Valckenaer.

τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πατρός] see on Luke 24:49. Jesus means the promise κατʼ ἐξοχήν, given by God through the prophets of the O. T. (comp. Acts 2:16), which (i.e. the realization of which) they were to wait for (περιμένειν only here in the N. T., but often in the classics); it referred to the complete effusion of the Holy Spirit, which was to follow only after His exaltation. Comp. John 7:39; John 15:26; John 14:16. Already during their earthly intercourse the πνεῦμα ἃγ. was communicated by Jesus to the disciples partially and provisionally. Luke 9:55; John 20:21-22.

ἣν ἠκούσατέ μου] The oblique form of speech is changed, as frequently also in the classics (Stallb. ad Protag. pp. 322 C, 338 B, Kühner, § 850), with the increase of animation into the direct form, Luke 5:39, and elsewhere, particularly with Luke. See Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 330 [E. T. 385]. Bengel, moreover, aptly says: “Atque hic parallelismus ad arctissimum nexum pertinet utriusque libri Lucae,”—but not in so far as ἣν ἠκούσ. μου points back to Luke 24:49 as to an earlier utterance (the usual opinion), but in so far as Jesus here, shortly before His ascension, gives the same intimation which was also given by Him on the ascension day (Luke 24:49), directly before the ascent; although according to the Gospel the day of the resurrection coincides with that of the ascension. Therefore ἣν ἠκούσ. μου is to be considered as a reference to a former promise of the Spirit, not recorded by Luke (comp. John 14:16 f., Acts 15:26).

On ἀκούειν τί τινος, see Winer, p. 187 [E. T. 249].

[97] Not as Luther (when He had assembled them), Grotius (“in unum recolligens qui dispersi fuerunt”), and most interpreters, including even Kuinoel and Olshausen (not Beza and de Wette), explain it, as if Luke had employed the active. This is grammatically incorrect; it must then have been συναλίζων, or, with logical accuracy (as Luther felt), συναλίσας.

Acts 1:4. συναλίζομενος: a strong array of modern commentators renders “eating with them,” following the Vulgate convescens illis (so both A. and R.V. in margin, and Wycl. and Rhem.). It is thus rendered by Overbeck (as against De Wette), Wendt, Holtzmann, Felten, Weiss, Matthias, Knabenbauer, and Blass, who adopts the reading ὡς συναλ., and regards the particle as showing that the recapitulation is continued of the events already mentioned in Luke 24:42 ff. It is evidently taken in the same sense by Spitta, Feine, Jüngst. If we so translate it, we must derive it from ἅλς (salt), so Schol. κοινωνῶν ἁλῶν, τραπέζης, in the sense given to the expression by Chrys., Theophyl., Œcum. In Psalm 140:4 LXX, to which Wendt refers, μὴ συνδυάσω (although the reading is somewhat doubtful—the word is used by Symmachus, 1 Samuel 26:19) is also rendered συναλισθῶ (Alius) as an equivalent of the Hebrew אֶלְחַם, μὴ συμφάγοιμι, Symmachus. Blass gives no classical references, but points out that the word undoubtedly exists in the sense referred to in Clem. Hom., xiii., 4 (but see Grimm-Thayer, sub v.). Hilgenfeld (Zeitschrift für wissenschaft. Theol., p. 74 (1894)) contends that the use of the word in the psalm quoted and in the passage from the Clementines refers not to the use of salt at an ordinary meal, but rather to the sacrificial and symbolical use of salt in the Old and New Testaments. Thus in the passage Clem. Hom., xiii., 4, τότε αὐτοῖς συναλιζόμεθα, τότε means “after the Baptism”; cf. also Ignatius, ad Magnes., x., ἁλίσθητε εν αὐτῷ, “be ye salted in him”. Wendt takes the word quite generally as meaning that the sharing in a common meal with His disciples, as on the evening of the Resurrection, was the habitual practice of the Lord during the Forty Days; cf. Acts 10:41 and Luke 24:36 ff. Feine similarly holds that the word presupposes some such incidents as those mentioned in Luke 24, and that Luke had derived his information from a source which described the final instructions to the disciples as given at a common meal. On the other hand it must be borne in mind that in classical Greek, as in Herodotus and Xenophon (Wetstein) (as also in Josephus, B. J., iii., 9, 4), συναλίζω = to assemble, cf. Hesychius, συναλιζ. = συναλισθείς, συναχθείς, συναθροισθείς, and it is possible that the preceding present participles in the immediate context may help to account for the use of the same participle instead of the aorist συναλισθείς. The verb is then derived from σύν and ἁλής (), meaning lit[99], close, crowded together. Mr. Rendall (Acts of the Apostles, p. 32) would derive it from Ἁλίη (-α), a common term for a popular assembly amongst Ionian and Dorian Greeks, and he supposes that the verb here implies a general gathering of believers not limited to the Twelve; but the context apparently points back to Luke 24:49 to a command which was certainly given only to the Twelve.—παρήγγειλεν, “he charged them,” R.V., which not only distinguishes it from other verbs rendered “to command,” but also gives the emphatic meaning which St. Luke often attaches to the word. It is characteristic of his writings, occurring four times in his Gospel and ten or eleven times in Acts, and it is very frequent in St. Paul’s Epistles (Friedrich, Lekebusch).—Ἱεροσολύμων: a neuter plural (but cf. Matthew 2:3 and Grimm sub v.). St. Luke most frequently uses the Jewish form Ἱερουσαλήμ—twenty-seven times in his Gospel, about forty in Acts—as against the use of Ἱεροσόλυμα four times in his Gospel and over twenty in Acts (Friedrich, Lekebusch). Blass retains the aspirate for the Greek form but not for the Jewish, cf. in loco and Grammatik des N. G., pp. 17, 31, but it is very doubtful whether either should have the aspirate; W.H[100], ii., 313; Plummer’s St. Luke, p. 64; Winer-Schmiedel, p. 93. Grimm points out that the Hebrew form is used in the N.T.: “ubi in ipso nomine tanquam sancta vis quædam reponitur ut, Galatians 4:25; ita in compellationibus, Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34;” see further sub v. Ἱεροσόλυμα.—μὴ χωρίζ.: it was fitting that they should not depart from Jerusalem, not only that the new law as the old should go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, Isaiah 2:3 (Felten), but that the Apostles’ testimony should be delivered not to men unacquainted with the facts, but to the inhabitants of the city where Jesus had been crucified and buried. Εἰ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐχωρίσθησαν Ἱεροσολύμων, καὶ τούτων οὐδὲν ἐπηκολούθησεν, ὕποπτος ἄν ἡ ἀνάστασις ὑπῆρξεν, Œcumenius, in loco; see also Theophyl.—περιμένειν: not elsewhere in N.T. (but see Acts 10:24, ), but used in classical Greek of awaiting a thing’s happening (Dem.). The passage in LXX in which it occurs is suggestive: τὴν σωτηρίαν περιμένων κυρίου, Genesis 49:18 (cf. Wis 8:12). On the tradition that the Apostles remained in Jerusalem for twelve years in obedience to a command of the Lord, and the evidence for it, see Harnack, Chronologie, i., p. 243 ff. Harnack speaks of the tradition as very old and well attested, and maintains that it is quite in accordance with Acts, as the earlier journeys of the Apostles are there described as missionary excursions from which they always returned to Jerusalem.—τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν: Bengel notes the distinction between ὑπισχνέομαι and ἐπαγγέλλομαι, the former being used of promises in response to petitions, the latter of voluntary offers (Ammonius): “quæ verbi Græci proprietas, ubi de divinis promissionibus agitur, exquisite observanda est”. It is therefore remarkable that in the Gospels the word ἐπαγγελία is never used in this technical sense of the divine promise made by God until Luke 24:49, where it is used of the promise of the Holy Spirit, as here. But in Acts and in St. Paul’s Epistles and in the Hebrews the word is frequent, and always of the promises made by God (except Acts 23:21). See Sanday and Headlam on Romans 1:2, and Lightfoot on Galatians 3:14, and Psalms of Solomon, Acts 12:7 (cf. Acts 7:9, and Acts 17:6), ed. Ryle and James, p. 106. “The promise of the Father,” cf. Luke 24:49, is fulfilled in the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and although no doubt earlier promises of the gift of the Spirit may be included, cf. Luke 12:11, as also the promise of the Spirit’s outpouring in Messianic times (cf. Joel 2:28, Isaiah 44:3, Ezekiel 36:26), yet the phraseology may be fairly said to present an undesigned coincidence with the more recent language of the Lord to the Twelve, John 14:16; John 15:26; John 16:14. On the many points of connection between the opening verses of Acts and the closing verses of St. Luke’s Gospel see below.

[99] literal, literally.

[100] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

4. not depart from Jerusalem] This injunction is only mentioned by St Luke (Luke 24:49). The importance of their keeping together until the Holy Ghost was given is clear. It would thus be made more manifest that, though hereafter scattered abroad, their inspiration was supplied from one common source. To the Jews, to whom the Apostles were first to speak, this would appeal, because their own prophet (Isaiah 2:3) had said “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

ye have heard of me] This promise is alluded to (Luke 24:49) and found in St John (John 14:16; John 14:26; John 15:26), “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, shall teach you all things,” &c. “He shall testify of me.” Thus were they to be prepared as witnesses for Christ.

Acts 1:4. Συναλιζόμενος, having a meeting with them[1]) This is not said of all His appearances, Acts 1:3, but of the last, and that, a meeting attended by a large number, and one of the greatest moment. This reading, which has been assailed by some, and the notion of this verb, are proved by Hesychius, who explains συναλιζόμενος, συναλισθεὶς, by συναχθεὶς, συναθροισθείς.—μὴ χωρίζεσθαι, that they should not depart) They would otherwise have readily (naturally been inclined to have) left Jerusalem, where the Lord had been crucified.—τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν, the promise) Ammonius says that ὑπισχνεῖται is said of one who has undertaken or engaged to give to one who has asked; but ἐπαγγέλλεται of one, who of himself has undertaken or volunteered a promise to give. Which propriety of usage in the Greek verb, when the Divine promises are the subject in hand, is accurately to be observed.—ἠκούσατε, ye have heard) He had used the very expression in Luke 24:49, “Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you.” And this parallelism serves to form the closest bond of connection between both books of Luke. The style passes from the narrative to the recitative, as in ch. Acts 23:22; also as coming alter the verb παρήγγειλεν, He enjoined them.

[1] ABCE and Rec. Text read συναλιζόμενος; but Dd, συναλισκόμενος; Vulg. ‘convescens.’ “Cum conversaretur vescens cum illis” in e.—E. and T

Verse 4. - He charged them not to deport for commanded them that they should not depart, A.V.; to wait for wait, A.V.; said he for saith he, A.V.; from me for of me, A.V. Being assembled, etc. (R.T. on, its μετ'αὐτῶν); more exactly, as he was assembling with them (Field, in 'Otium Norvicense'). Not to depart from Jerusalem. (See Luke 24:49.) It was necessary, according to the prophecy, Micah 4:2; Isaiah 2:3, that the gospel should go forth from Jerusalem. Wait for the promise. (See Luke 24:49.) The promise of the Father formed the subject of our Lord's discourse to the apostles on the last night of his earthly life, as recorded in John 14:16, 17, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7-14. He doubtless here refers to that conversation, though not, of course, to the record of it in the Gospel of St. John. Acts 1:4Being assembled together (συναλιζόμενος)

From σύν, together, and ἁλής, thronged or crowded. Both the A. V. and Rev. give eating together in margin, following the derivation from σύν, together, and ἅλς, salt: eating salt together, and hence generally of association at table.

Commanded (παρήγγειλεν)

Originally to pass on or transmit; hence, as a military term, of passing a watchword or command; and so generally to command.

To wait for (περιμένειν)

Only here in New Testament.

The promise (ἐπαγγελίαν)

Signifying a free promise, given without solicitation. This is the invariable sense of the word throughout the New Testament, and this and its kindred and compound words are the only words for promise in the New Testament. Ὑπισχνέομαι, meaning to promise in response to a request, does not occur; and ὁμολογέω, Matthew 14:7, of Herod promising Salome, really means to acknowledge his obligation for her lascivious performance. See note there.

Not many days hence (οὐ μετὰ πολλὰς ταύτας ἡμέρας)

Lit., not after many of these days. Not after many, but after a few.

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