Acts 11:22
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) They sent forth Barnabas.—The choice was probably determined, we may believe, by the known sympathies of the Son of Consolation for the work which was going on at Antioch. The friend of Paul, who had been with him when he was at Jerusalem (Acts 9:27), must have known his hopes and convictions on this matter, and must have welcomed the opening which was thus given him for working in the same direction. The fact that he was himself of the same country would also qualify him for co-operating with the men of Cyprus, who were carrying on that work in Antioch.

Acts 11:22-24. Then tidings of these things came to the church at Jerusalem — And, as they had lately seen a way opened for the conversion of the Gentiles, they received information of this further progress of the gospel with peculiar pleasure; and sent forth Barnabas to Antioch — That he might confirm the new converts in the faith into which they had been initiated: who, when he came — To the city, and had seen — Evident proofs of the grace of God conferred upon them; was glad — Rejoiced in the good work wrought among them; and exhorted them all that — Whatever circumstances of difficulty and suffering might arise; they would, with purpose of heart — With full determination and constancy; cleave unto the Lord — Adhere to his truth, cause, and people. For he was a good man — A man eminently pious and benevolent; and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith — Largely endowed with the sanctifying graces and extraordinary gifts of the Divine Spirit; and much people — Through his instrumentality; were added unto the Lord — Were converted unto God, and received into the church by baptism.

11:19-24 The first preachers of the gospel at Antioch, were dispersed from Jerusalem by persecution; thus what was meant to hurt the church, was made to work for its good. The wrath of man is made to praise God. What should the ministers of Christ preach, but Christ? Christ, and him crucified? Christ, and him glorified? And their preaching was accompanied with the Divine power. The hand of the Lord was with them, to bring that home to the hearts and consciences of men, which they could but speak to the outward ear. They believed; they were convinced of the truth of the gospel. They turned from a careless, carnal way of living, to live a holy, heavenly, spiritual life. They turned from worshipping God in show and ceremony, to worship him in the Spirit and in truth. They turned to the Lord Jesus, and he became all in all with them. This was the work of conversion wrought upon them, and it must be wrought upon every one of us. It was the fruit of their faith; all who sincerely believe, will turn to the Lord, When the Lord Jesus is preached in simplicity, and according to the Scriptures, he will give success; and when sinners are thus brought to the Lord, really good men, who are full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, will admire and rejoice in the grace of God bestowed on them. Barnabas was full of faith; full of the grace of faith, and full of the fruits of the faith that works by love.Then tidings ... - The church at Jerusalem heard of this. It was natural that so remarkable an occurrence as the conversion of the Gentiles, and the extraordinary success of the gospel in a splendid and mighty city, should be reported at Jerusalem, and excite deep interest there.

And they sent forth - To aid the disciples there, and to give them their sanction. They had done a similar thing in the revival which occurred in Samaria. See the notes on Acts 8:14.

Barnabas - See Acts 4:36-37. He was a native of Cyprus, and was probably well acquainted with Antioch. He was, therefore, especially qualified for the work on which they sent him.

22. sent … Barnabas … as far as Antioch—implying that even on the way to Antioch he found churches to visit [Olshausen]. It was in the first instance, no doubt, a mission of inquiry; and no one could be more suitable to inquire into the proceedings of those Cyprians and Cyrenians than one who was himself a "Grecian" of Cyprus (Ac 4:36), and "a son of consolation." Came unto the ears of the church; this pleonasm seems emphatical, to show with what readiness and delight the church heard the news of the conversion of so many to Christ.

Of Barnabas we read, Acts 4:36, who had given such an earnest of love to God, and true faith in Christ, for whose sake he sold what he had.

Then tidings of these things,.... Of the spread of the Gospel in several parts, and the success of it in the conversion of sinners, especially at Antioch:

came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem; these tidings were brought to the apostles and brethren there, by messengers which the ministers of the word sent unto them to let them know what success they met with; notwithstanding the persecution raised against the church of Jerusalem at the death of Stephen, and the havoc that was made of the members of it, and the dispersion of others, yet it still continued a church, and so it did for ages after: there are reckoned fifteen bishops of it unto the times of Trajan, and the destruction of the city by him, when the Jews were no longer suffered to live in it; and they are these, James the brother of our Lord, Simeon, Justus, Zacchaeus, Tobias, Benjamin, John, Matthias, Philip, Seneca, Justus, Levi, Ephres, Joseph, and Judas; and these are said (h) to be all originally Hebrews: but after the destruction of the city by Trajan, and the Jews were forbid inhabiting it, the church consisted of Gentiles only; and of them bishops were constituted over it, and were as follow: Marcus, Cassianus, Publius, Maximus, Julianus, Gaianus, Symmachus, Caius, another Julianus, Capito, another Maximus, Antoninus, Valens, Dolychianus, Narcissus, Aelius, Germanio, Gordius, and another Narcissus; all these governed this church in the "second" century: and in the "third" century, the bishops of this church were Alexander, Mazabanes, Labdas, and Hermon, who was the last before the Dioclesian persecution: in the "fourth" century, Macarins, Maximus, and Cyril, presided over it; and these were succeeded in the "fifth" century by Joannes Nepos, Prayllius, Juvenalis, Anastasius, and Martyrius; in this age also Lucian and Hesychius were presbyters of this church. In the "sixth" century, the names of the bishops of this church were Salustius, Helias, Johannes, Petrus, Macarius, Eustochius, Johannes, Neamus, and Isicius: in the "seventh" century were Thomas, Johannes, Neannus, Isaac, Zacharias, and Sophronius, who was the last bishop of Jerusalem before the utter and last devastation of it by the Saracens (i); since which time the city has underwent various fates, being sometimes in the hands of the Christians, and at other times possessed by the Turks, in whose power it now is.

And they sent forth Barnabas; who was himself an Hellenist, and of the country of Cyprus, and so very fit to be sent to the Grecians or Hellenists at Antioch, who had received the Gospel to confirm them in it: for his orders were,

that he should go as far as Antioch which is said to be about fifteen or sixteen days journey from Jerusalem: the phrase, "that he should go", is not in the Alexandrian copy, nor in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions.

(h) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 5. (i) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 2. c. 2. p. 2. & c. 9. p. 126. cent. 3. c. 10. p. 146. 148. cent. 4. c. 10. p. 503. c. 5. cent. 10. p. 540. cent. 6. c. 10. p. 335. cent. 7. c. 10. p. 251.

{5} Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

(5) The apostles do not rashly condemn an extraordinary calling, but instead they judge it by the effects.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 11:22. τῆς ἐκκ. τῆς ἐν Ἱ.: in contrast here to Antioch, in which the existence of an Ecclesia was not yet formally recognised; but cf. Acts 11:26, Hort, Ecclesia, pp. 59–61.—περὶ αὐτῶν: “concerning them” R.V., i.e., the persons who had believed and turned to the Lord. Meyer takes it of the preachers, Felten of both preachers and converts.

22. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem] Better more literally, “And the report concerning them, &c.,” i.e. concerning these Gentile converts. These events took place, and were known to the Church in Jerusalem, before they heard of the visit of Peter to Cornelius. But what had happened at Antioch caused the Church no disturbance, because we read of no such breaking through the restrictions of the ceremonial Law as was made in Cæsarea when Peter took up his abode with Cornelius. The Jewish preachers mingled no further with the Gentiles to whom they preached at Antioch than the intercourse of everyday life forced them to do constantly.

and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch] The oldest MSS. omit “that he should go.” He was sent forth, as Peter and John before had been sent into Samaria (Acts 8:14), to confirm and give the sanction and direction of the mother Church to the work which had begun at a new centre. Barnabas being a native of Cyprus would most likely be well known to the Cyprians who were preaching at Antioch, and so he was a most fit person to be selected for this errand.

Verse 22. - And the report concerning them for then tidings of these things, A.V.; to for unto, A.V.; as far as for that he should go as far as, A.V. and T.R. The news of this accession of Gentiles to the Church was quickly carried to Jerusalem, with the same motive, probably, that brought thither the account of the baptism of Cornelius and his household, as we read in vers. 1-3 of this chapter. The conduct of the Church in sending so excellent and temperate a person. as Barnabas (as we read in the next verse), the friend of Saul (Acts 9:27) and a favorer of preaching the gospel to Gentiles (Acts 13:1, 2) to inspect the work at Antioch, is an indication that they had already heard the account of the conversion of Cornelius from the mouth of Peter, and were already led to the conclusion, "Then to the Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto life!" There is no clue whatever to the length of time that elapsed between the flight from persecution and the arrival at Antioch, except that Saul had had time to sojourn three years in Arabia, to come to Jerusalem, and from thence to go and settle at Tarsus, where Barnabas found him; thus leaving abundant time for Peter's operations in Judaea and Caesarea. Acts 11:22
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