Acts 12:17
But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren.—The James, or Jacob, thus spoken of may have been either James the son of Alphæus or James the brother of the Lord. Many writers have maintained the identity of the person described under these two names; but reasons have been given in the Notes on Matthew 10:3; Matthew 12:47; Matthew 13:55, for believing that they were two distinct persons, and that the brother of the Lord was therefore not an Apostle. It is obvious that about this time, probably in consequence of the death of his namesake, the son of Zebedee, James the brother of the Lord comes into a fresh prominence. He is named as receiving St. Paul in Galatians 1:19, and as being, with Peter and John, one of the pillars of the Church (Galatians 2:9). Probably about this time (but see Introduction to the Epistle of St. James) he addressed the letter that bears his name to the Twelve Tribes that were scattered abroad. He presides at the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15:13, and acted as bishop of the Church at Jerusalem. According to the statement of Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian writer of the second century, preserved by Eusebius (Hist. ii. 23). he led the life of a Nazarite in all its rigour, was regarded by the Jews as having a priestly character, wore the linen ephod, and the golden petalon or plate, fitting on the brow of the priests, and as such was admitted to the Holy Place in the Temple. In A.D. 62 or 63 he was tempted by the priestly rulers, especially by the high-priest Ananias, to declare that the Christ was a deceiver, and on proclaiming his faith in Him was thrown from the pinnacle of the Temple, and as he lay on the ground, received a coup de grace from a fuller’s club. The way in which St. Peter here speaks of him implies that he was, in some way, the head and representative of the Christian community at Jerusalem.

He departed, and went into another place.—The act was in accordance with the precept which had been given to the Twelve in Matthew 10:23. What the “other place” was we can only conjecture. Some Romish writers have hazarded the wild guess that he went to Rome, and having founded the Church there, returned to Jerusalem in time for the council in Acts 15. Others have assumed Antioch, which is, perhaps, less improbable; but there are no traces of his presence there till after the council (Galatians 2:12). Some nearer city, such as Lydda or Joppa, might, however, have been sufficient as a place of refuge, and the absence of the name of the place suggests the inference that it was comparatively unimportant, and that Peter had carried on no conspicuous work there.

Acts

PETER AFTER HIS ESCAPE

Acts 12:17
.

When the angel ‘departed from him,’ Peter had to fall back on his own wits, and they served him well. He ‘considered the thing,’ and resolved to make for the house of Mary. He does not seem to have intended to remain there, so dangerously near Herod, but merely to have told its inmates of his deliverance, and then to have hidden himself somewhere, till the heat of the hunt after him was abated. Apparently he did not go into the house at all, but talked to the brethren, when they came trooping after Rhoda to open the gate. The signs of haste in the latter part of the story, where Peter has to think and act for himself, contrast strikingly with the majestic leisureliness of the action of the angel, who gave his successive commands to him to dress completely, as if careless of the sleeping legionaries who might wake at any moment. There was need for haste, for the night was wearing thin, and the streets of Jerusalem were no safe promenade for a condemned prisoner, escaped from his guards.

We do not deal here with the scene in Mary’s house and at the gate. We only note, in a word, the touch of nature in Rhoda’s forgetting to open ‘for gladness,’ and so leaving Peter in peril, if a detachment of his guards had already been told off to chase him. Equally true to nature, alas, is the incredulity of the praying ‘many,’ when the answer to their prayers was sent to them. They had rather believe that the poor girl was ‘mad’ or that, for all their praying, Peter was dead, and this was his ‘angel,’ than that their intense prayer had been so swiftly and completely answered. Is their behaviour not a mirror in which we may see our own?

Very like Peter, as well as very intelligible in the circumstances, is it that he ‘continued knocking,’ Well he might, and evidently his energetic fusillade of blows was heard even above the clatter of eager tongues, discussing Rhoda’s astonishing assertions. Some one, at last, seems to have kept his head sufficiently to suggest that perhaps, instead of disputing whether these were true or not, it might be well to go to the door and see. So they all went in a body, Rhoda being possibly afraid to go alone, and others afraid to stay behind, and there they saw his veritable self. But we notice that there is no sign of his being taken in and refreshed or cared for. He waved an imperative hand, to quiet the buzz of talk, spoke two or three brief words, and departed.

I. Note Peter’s account of his deliverance.

We have often had occasion to remark that the very keynote of this Book of Acts is the working of Christ from heaven, which to its writer is as real and efficient as was His work on earth. Peter here traces his deliverance to ‘the Lord.’ He does not stay to mention the angel. His thoughts went beyond the instrument to the hand which wielded it. Nor does he seem to have been at all astonished at his deliverance. His moment of bewilderment, when he did not know whether he was dreaming or awake, soon passed, and as soon as ‘the sober certainty of his waking bliss’ settled on his mind, his deliverance seemed to him perfectly natural. What else was it to be expected that ‘the Lord’ would do? Was it not just like Him? There was nothing to be astonished at, there was everything to be thankful for. That is how Christian hearts should receive the deliverances which the Lord is still working for them.

II. Note Peter’s message to the brethren.

James, the Lord’s brother, was not an Apostle. That he should have been named to receive the message indicates that already he held some conspicuous position, perhaps some office, in the Church. It may also imply that there were no Apostles in Jerusalem then. We note also that the ‘many’ who were gathered in Mary’s house can have been only a small part of the whole. We here get a little glimpse into the conditions of the life of a persecuted Church, which a sympathetic imagination can dwell on till it is luminous. Such gatherings as would attract notice had to be avoided, and what meetings were held had to be in private houses and with shut doors, through which entrance was not easy. Mary’s ‘door’ had a ‘gate’ in it, and only that smaller postern, which admitted but one at a time, was opened to visitors, and that after scrutiny. But though assemblies were restricted, communications were kept up, and by underground ways information of events important to the community spread through its members. The consciousness of brotherhood was all the stronger because of the common danger, the universal peril had not made the brethren selfish, but sympathetic. We may note, too, how great a change had come since the time when the Christians were in favour with all the people, and may reflect how fickle are the world’s smiles for Christ’s servants.

III. Note Peter’s disappearance.

All that is said of it is that he ‘went into another place.’ Probably Luke did not know where he went. It would be prudent at the time to conceal it, and the habit of concealment may have survived the need for it. But two points suggest themselves in regard to the Apostle’s flight. There may be a better use for an Apostle than to kill him, and Christ’s boldest witnesses are sometimes bound to save themselves by fleeing into another city. To hide oneself ‘till the calamity be overpast’ may be rank cowardice or commendable prudence. All depends on the circumstances of each case. Prudence is an element in courage, and courage without it is fool-hardiness. There are outward dangers from which it is Christian duty to run, and there are outward dangers which it is Christian duty to face. There are inward temptations which it is best to avoid, as there are others which have to be fought to the death. Peter was as brave and braver when he went and hid himself, than when he boasted, ‘Though all should forsake Thee, yet will not I!’ A morbid eagerness for martyrdom wrought much harm in the Church at a later time. The primitive Church was free from it.

But we must not omit to note that here Peter is dropped out of the history, and is scarcely heard of any more. We have a glimpse of him in Acts 15:1 - Acts 15:41, at the Council in Jerusalem, but, with that exception, this is the last mention of him in Acts. How little this Book cares for its heroes! Or rather how it has only one Hero, and one Name which it celebrates, the name of that Lord to whom Peter ascribed his deliverance, and of whom he himself declared that ‘there is none other Name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.’

END OF VOL. I.

12:12-19 God's providence leaves room for the use of our prudence, though he has undertaken to perform and perfect what he has begun. These Christians continued in prayer for Peter, for they were truly in earnest. Thus men ought always to pray, and not to faint. As long as we are kept waiting for a mercy, we must continue praying for it. But sometimes that which we most earnestly wish for, we are most backward to believe. The Christian law of self-denial and of suffering for Christ, has not done away the natural law of caring for our own safety by lawful means. In times of public danger, all believers have God for their hiding-place; which is so secret, that the world cannot find them. Also, the instruments of persecution are themselves exposed to danger; the wrath of God hangs over all that engage in this hateful work. And the range of persecutors often vents itself on all in its way.But he, beckoning ... - To prevent the noise, and tumult, and transport which was likely to be produced. His wish was, not that there should be clamorous joy, but that they should listen in silence to what God had done. It was sufficient to awe the soul, and produce deep, grateful feeling. A noise might excite the neighboring Jews, and produce danger. Religion is calm and peaceful; and its great scenes and surprising deliverances are rather suited to awe the soul to produce calm, sober, and grateful contemplation, than the noise of rejoicing, and the shoutings of exultation. The consciousness of the presence of God, and of his mighty power, does not produce rapturous disorder and tumult, but holy, solemn, calm, grateful emotion.

Go, show these things ... - Acquaint them that their prayer is heard, and that they may rejoice also at the mercy of God.

Unto James - James, the son of Alpheus, commonly called the Less. See Acts 12:2 note; Acts 1:13 note; Matthew 10:2 note.

And to the brethren - Particularly to the other apostles.

And went into another place - Probably a place of greater safety. Where he went is not known. The papists pretend that he went to Rome. But of this there is no evidence. He is mentioned as in Jerusalem again in Acts 15. The meaning is evidently that he went into some place of retirement until the danger was past.

17. But he, beckoning … with his hand to hold their peace—a lively touch this. In the hubbub of joyful and wondering interrogatories there might mingle reflections, thrown out by one against another, for holding out so long against the testimony of Rhoda; while the emotion of the apostle's own spirit would be too deep and solemn to take part in such demonstrations or utter a word till, with his hand, he had signified his wish for perfect silence.

Go show these things unto James and to the brethren—Whether James the son of Alpheus, one of the Twelve, usually known as "James the Less," and "James the Lord's brother" (Ga 1:19), were the same person; and if not, whether the James here referred to was the former or the latter, critics are singularly divided, and the whole question is one of the most difficult. To us, it appears that there are strong reasons for thinking that they were not the same person, and that the one here meant, and throughout the Acts, is the apostle James. (But on this more hereafter). James is singled out, because he had probably begun to take the oversight of the Church in Jerusalem, which we afterwards find him exercising (Ac 15:1-29).

And he departed, and went into another place—according to his Lord's express command (Mt 10:23). When told, on a former miraculous liberation from prison, to go and speak unto the people (Ac 5:20), he did it; but in this case to present himself in public would have been to tempt God by rushing upon certain destruction.

Beckoning; it was usual by the motion of the hand both to desire silence and to crave audience.

How the Lord had brought him out; Peter gives God the glory, though an angel had been the means of his delivery.

James; this James was the son of Alpheus, Matthew 10:3 Mark 3:18, and succeeded the other James, (the brother of John, of whom, Acts 12:2), in governing the church at Jerusalem.

Went into another place; Peter could not but know he should be sought after, and therefore durst not abide in one place, lest he should ruin himself, and endanger his friends that should harbour him. Thus the great apostle, as David formerly, was hunted, as one hunteth a partridge in the mountains, 1 Samuel 26:20.

But he beckoning unto them with the hand,.... This is what the Jews call "an hint" (m), which is a beckoning, or making signs, either with the head or hand: and this was now made, to hold their peace; to be silent, and not clamorous in their expressions of joy and wonder, lest it should alarm the neighbourhood, and the consequence be bad both to him and them; as also that he might have an opportunity of relating the whole affair to them; which he did, after he had entered into the house; which though not expressed is understood, and is added in Beza's ancient copy, and in the Syriac version:

and he went in; that is, into the house: and declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of prison: how he had sent his angel to him in prison, what a light shone about him, how his chains fell from his hands, and how the angel conducted him through the several wards, till they came to the iron gate, which opened of itself; and how when he had brought him into the public streets, he left him; he ascribes this wonderful deliverance not to the angel, but to the Lord himself:

and he said, go show these things to James; the son of Alphaeus, sometimes called the brother of our Lord; for James the son of Zebedee, the brother of John, Herod had lately killed with the sword, Acts 12:2 and this other James very likely succeeded him as pastor of the church at Jerusalem, or at least had the superintendency of affairs there:

and to the brethren; the rest of the apostles, and even all the members; whom he would have acquainted with these things, which he knew would be matter of joy unto them, and a means of strengthening them in the ways of the Lord:

and he departed, and went into another place; to Rome, say the Papists, but without any foundation; if he went out of the city, and to any distant place for more safety, very likely he went to Antioch; but the words do not necessarily oblige us to conclude, that he went out of the city at that time, only that he went from Mary's house; "and went", as the Ethiopic version reads, "to another house": where another company of saints might be assembled, and where he might be more private and secure.

(m) Bartenora in Misn. Gittin, c. 5. sect. 7.

{7} But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

(7) We may sometimes give place to the rage of the wicked, but yet only in such a way that our diligence which ought to be used in God's business does not slacken in the least.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 12:17. Κατασείειν τῇ χειρί] to make a shaking motion with the hand generally, and in particular, as here (comp. Acts 13:16, Acts 19:33, Acts 21:40), to indicate that there is a wish to bring forward something, for which one bespeaks the silence and attention of those present. See Polyb. i. 78. 3; Heliod. x. 7; Krebs and Wetstein in loc. The infinitive σιγᾶν, as also often with νεύειν and the like, by which a desire is made known. Comp. Joseph. Antt. xvii. 10. 2.

The three clauses of the whole verse describe vividly the haste with which Peter hurried the proceedings, in order to betake himself as soon as possible into safe concealment. Baumgarten invents as a reason: because he saw that the bond between Jerusalem and the apostles must be dissolved. As if it would have required for that purpose such haste, even in the same night! His regard to personal safety does not cast on him the appearance of cowardly anxiety; but by the opposite course he would have tempted God. How often did Paul and Jesus Himself withdraw from their enemies into concealment!

καὶ τοῖς ἀδελφ.] who were not along with them in the assembly.

εἰς ἕτερον τόπον] is wholly indefinite. Even whether a place in or out of Palestine (Ewald, p. 607) is meant, must remain undetermined. Luke, probably, did not himself know the immediate place of abode, which Peter chose after his departure. To fix without reason on Caesarea, or, on account of Galatians 2:11, with Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and others, on Antioch (but see on Acts 12:25), or indeed, after Eusebius, Jerome, and many Catholics,[274] on Rome (so also Thiersch, K. im apost. Zeit. p. 96 ff., comp. Ewald), is all the more arbitrary, as from the words it is not even distinctly apparent that the ἕτερος τόπος is to be placed outside of Jerusalem (although this is probable in itself); for the common explanation of ἐξελθών, relicta urbe, is entirely at variance with the context (Acts 12:16), which requires the meaning, relicta domo (into which he was admitted).

The James mentioned in this passage is not the son of Alphaeus,—a traditional opinion, which has for its dogmatic presupposition the perpetual virginity of Mary (see Hengstenberg on John 2:12; Th. Schott, d. zweite Br. Petr. und d. Br. Judä, p. 193 ff.), but the real brother of the Lord,[275] ἀδελφὸς κατὰ σάρκα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, Constit. ap. 8.35.[276] It is the same also at Acts 15:13, Acts 21:18. See on 1 Corinthians 9:4-5; Galatians 1:19. Peter specially names him, because he was head of the church in Jerusalem. The fact that Peter does not name the apostles also, suggests the inference that none of the twelve was present in Jerusalem. The Clementines and Hegesippus make James the chief bishop of the whole church. See Ritschl, altkathol. Kirche, p. 415 ff. This amplification of the tradition as to his high position goes (in opposition to Thiersch) beyond the statements of the N. T. (Galatians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Acts 15; Acts 21:18; Epistle of James).

[274] Even in the present day the reference to Rome is, on the part of the Catholics (see Gams, d. Jahr. d. Märtyrertodes der Ap. Petr. u. Paul., Regensb. 1867), very welcome, because a terminus a quo is thereby thought to be gained for the duration, lasting about twenty-five years, of the episcopal functions of Peter at Rome. Gams, indeed, places this Roman journey of Peter as early as 41, and his martyrdom in the year 65.

[275] Lange (apost. Zeitalt. I. p. 193 ff., and in Herzog’s Encykl. VI. p. 407 ff.) has declared himself very decidedly on the opposite side of the question, and that primarily on the basis of the passages from Hegesippus in Eusebius ii. 23 and iv. 22; but erroneously. Credner, Einl. II. p. 574 f., has already strikingly exhibited the correct explanation of these passages, according to which Jesus and James appear certainly as brothers in the proper sense. Comp. Huther on James, Introd. p. 5 ff.; Bleek, Einl. p. 543 ff. James the Just is identical with this brother of the Lord; see, especially, Euseb. H. E. ii. 1, where the opinion of Clem. Al., that James the Just was the Song of Solomon of Alphaeus, is rejected by Eusebius (against Wieseler on Gal. p. 81 f.), although it was afterwards adopted by Jerome. See, generally, also Ewald, p. 221 ff. Böttger, d. Zeug. des Joseph. von Joh. d. T., etc., 1863. Plitt in the Zeitschr. f. Luth. Theol. 1864, I. p. 28 ff.; Laurent, neut. Stud. p. 184 ff.—According to Mark 6:3, James was probably the eldest of the four brethren of Jesus.

[276] The Constit. ap. throughout distinguish very definitely James of Alphaeus, as one of the twelve, from the brother of the Lord, whom they characterize as ὁ ἐπίσκοπος. See ii. 55. 2, vi. 12. 1, 5, 6, vi. 14. 1, viii. 4. 1, viii. 23 f., viii. 10. 2, viii. 35, viii. 46. 7, v. 8, vii. 46. 1.

Acts 12:17. κατασείσαςσιγᾶν: only in Acts 13:16; Acts 19:33; Acts 21:40, prop. to shake down (as fruit from trees), thus to shake up and down (the hand), to beckon with the hand for silence, used with accusative, and later with dat[253] instrument. χειρί: so in classical Greek and Josephus, cf. Ovid, Met., i., 206; Æneid, xii., 692, and instances in Wetstein; not in LXX as parallel to this; on the phrase, and also on σιγᾶν, as characteristic of Luke, see further Friedrich, pp. 26, 79.—διηγήσατο, Acts 9:27, only in Luke and Mark (except Hebrews 11:32).—Ἀπαγγείλατε: “tell,” R.V., characteristic of Luke, eleven times in his Gospel, thirteen or fourteen in Acts.—Ἰακώβῳ: “the Lord’s brother,” Galatians 1:19; Galatians 2:9, 1 Corinthians 15:7 (from Mark 6:3 it has been inferred that he was the eldest of those so called). This James may have become more prominent still since the murder of James the son of Zebedee. On his position in the Church at Jerusalem see below on Acts 15:13, and also on Acts 11:30. For arguments in favour of the identification of this James with James the son of Alphæus, see B.D., 12, p. 1512; Felten, Apostelgeschichte, p. 239; and, on the other hand, Mayor, Introd. to Epistle of St. James; Zahn, Didache 1 N. T., i., 72; Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 252 ff. and 364; Hort, Ecclesia, pp. 76, 77. In this mention of James, Feine points out that a knowledge as to who he was is evidently presupposed, and that therefore we have another indication that the “Jerusalem tradition” is the source of St. Luke’s information here.—εἰς ἕτερον τόπον: all conjectures as to the place, whether it was Antioch, Rome, Cæsarea, are rendered more arbitrary by the fact that it is not even said that the place was outside Jerusalem (however probable this may have been); ἐξελθών need not mean that he went out of the city, but out of the house in which he had taken refuge, cf. Acts 12:9. For all that can be said in support of the view that he went to Rome, see Felten, u. s., pp. 240–244, Knabenbauer, p. 214. Harnack, Chronol., i., p. 243, apparently is prepared to regard the visit to Rome in the reign of Claudius, A.D. 42, as not impossible, although unprovable. But see the whole question treated from the opposite side by Zöckler, Apostelgeschichte, pp. 233, 234 (second edition). The notice is so indefinite that we cannot build anything upon it, and we can scarcely go beyond Wendt’s view that if Peter left Jerusalem at all, he may have undertaken some missionary journey, cf. 1 Corinthians 9:5.

[253] dative case.

17. the Lord had brought him out of the prison] Which had been his exclamation when he came to himself, “The Lord hath sent his angel.”

Go shew] There is only one verb in the Greek, which signifies “to bear word.” This the A.V. has attempted to render fully by the two verbs.

unto James] This is no doubt the James who is afterwards (Acts 15:13) described as presiding over the council at Jerusalem concerning circumcision, and giving his sentence on that question. Thus he seems to have been at the head of the Church at Jerusalem, and to him it was natural for Peter to send the first news of his deliverance.

This James must have been either the son of Alphæus or the James who is one of the Lord’s brethren, but it is not easy to decide whether the persons called by these names were one and the same. It seems however safest not to identify the Apostle, James the son of Alphæus, with the Lord’s brother, for these brethren of Jesus did not believe in Him till a very late period of His ministerial life, long after the twelve were chosen. But the James in our narrative is probably the Lord’s brother, because St Paul gives to the James who was one of the pillars of the Church at Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9) when St Paul visited that city, the express title of “the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19). This James, bishop of Jerusalem, was, as we learn from a tradition preserved by Eusebius (H. E. ii. 23), cast down from the pinnacle of the Temple, whither the Jews had brought him, in the expectation that he would disown Christ. When, on the contrary, he still held to his belief, he was thrown down, and not being killed by the fall, was slain by a blow from the club of a fuller.

and to the brethren] Though it was in the middle of the night when his deliverance took place, Peter sends to the various centres where, as in the house of Mary, prayer was also being offered to God for his deliverance.

went into another place] The peril of death was so imminent, if he had been seized, that he takes refuge by hiding where he cannot be found. The times are altered since the day when after his former deliverance he could dare to go and speak in the day-dawn to the people in the Temple. Then the populace were a protection to the Church, and saved them from violence of the authorities, now the Jewish people are in expectation of a second execution.

Acts 12:17. Κατασείους, having made a motion to them with his hand) modestly: that a cry might not be raised. They were speaking much, through astonishment.—Ἰακώβῳ, unto James) the surviving apostle of that name.—ταῦτα, these things) that they may know, what has taken place.—ἐπορεύθη, he departed) In persecution, often one person in particular is aimed at by the persecutors; and it is allowable for him to escape, rather than the rest: ch. Acts 17:14. Peter afterwards returned: ch. Acts 15:7.—εἰς ἕτερον τόπον, into another place) not very distant.

Verse 17. - Brought him forth for brought him, A.V.; tell for go show, A.V.; to for into, A.V. Beckoning, etc.; κατασείσασ τῇ χειρὶ (see Acts 13:16; Acts 19:33; Acts 21:40). It is the action of one having something to say and bespeaking silence while he says it. Unto James. This, of course, is the same James as is mentioned in Galatians 1:19 as "the Lord's brother," and who, in Galatians 2:9, 12, and Acts 15:12 and Acts 21:18, as well as here, appears as occupying a peculiar place in the Church at Jerusalem, viz. as all antiquity testifies, as Bishop of Jerusalem. So Hegesippus, quoted by Eusebius ('Eccl. Hist.,' 2:23), "James the Lord's brother, called by universal consent the Just, received the government of the Church together with the apostles;" and in Acts 2:1 he quotes Clement of Alexandria as saying that, after the Ascension, Peter, James, and John selected James the Just, the Lord's brother, to be the first Bishop of Jerusalem. And Eusebius gives it as the general testimony of antiquity that James the Just, the Lord's brother, was the first who sat on the episcopal throne of Jerusalem. But who he was exactly is a point much controverted. The three hypotheses are:

1. That he was the son of Alphaeus or Clopas and Mary, sister to the blessed Virgin, and therefore our Lord's cousin german, and called his brother by a common Hebrew idiom. According to this theory he was one of the twelve (Luke 6:15), as he appears to be in Galatians 1:19, though this is not certain (see Bishop Lightfoot, in loc.).

2. That he was the son of Joseph by his first wife, and so stepbrother to the Lord, which is Eusebius's explanation ('Eccl. Hist.,' 2:1).

3. That he was in the full sense the Lord's brother, being the son of Joseph and Mary. This is the opinion of Alford (in lee.), fully argued in the 'Proleg. to the Epistle of James,' and of Meyer, Credner, and many German commentators. According to these two last hypotheses, he was not one of the twelve. "The apostolic constitutions distinguish between James the son of Alphaeus, the apostle, and James the brother of the Lord, ὁ ἐπίσκοπος (Meyer). It may be added that Acts 1:14 separates the brethren of the Lord from the apostles, who are enumerated in the preceding verses. The hypothesis which identifies James the Lord's brother with James the son of Alphaeus or Clopas and Mary is well argued in Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible,' art. "James" (see also the able Introduction to the Epistle of James in the 'Speaker's Commentary'). It seems impossible to come to a certain conclusion. The weakest point in the hypothesis which identifies James the Lord's brother with the son of Alphaeus is that it fails to account for the distinction clearly made between the Lord's brothers and the apostles in such passages as John 2:12; John 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:13; Matthew 12:46, 49; 1 Corinthians 9:5. For the effect of these passages is scarcely neutralized by Galatians 1:19. But then, on the other hand, the hypothesis that the Lord's brethren, including James and Joses, were the children of Joseph and Mary, seems to be flatly contradicted by the mention of Mary the wife of Clopas as being "the mother of James and Jests" (Mark 15:40; John 19:25). He went to another place. Whether Luke was not informed what the place was, or whether there was some reason why he did not mention it, we cannot tell. The Venerable Bode ('Prolog. in Expos. in Act. Apost.'), Baronius, and other authorities of the Church of Rome, say he went to Rome, and commenced his episcopate of Rome at this time Dr Lightfoot thinks it more probable that he went to Antioch (Comm. on Acts, in vol. 8. pp. 273, 289). Some guess Caesarea; but there is no clue really. Acts 12:17Beckoning (κατασείσας)

Lit., having shaken downward with his hand, in order to bespeak silence and attention. It was a familiar gesture of Paul. See Acts 21:40; Acts 26:1.

Links
Acts 12:17 Interlinear
Acts 12:17 Parallel Texts


Acts 12:17 NIV
Acts 12:17 NLT
Acts 12:17 ESV
Acts 12:17 NASB
Acts 12:17 KJV

Acts 12:17 Bible Apps
Acts 12:17 Parallel
Acts 12:17 Biblia Paralela
Acts 12:17 Chinese Bible
Acts 12:17 French Bible
Acts 12:17 German Bible

Bible Hub






Acts 12:16
Top of Page
Top of Page