Acts 13:26
Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God.—The two classes are, as before (see Note on Acts 13:16), again pointedly contrasted with each other.

To you is the word of this salvation sent.—The demonstrative pronoun implies that the salvation which St. Paul proclaimed rested on the work of Jesus the Saviour (Acts 13:23), and was found in union with Him. (Comp. “this life” in Acts 5:20.)

Acts

THE FIRST PREACHING IN ASIA MINOR

Acts 13:26 - Acts 13:39
.

The extended report of Paul’s sermon in the synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia marks it, in accordance with Luke’s method, as the first of a series. It was so because, though the composition of the audience was identical with that of those in the synagogues of Cyprus, this was the beginning of the special work of the tour, the preaching in the cities of Asia Minor. The part of the address contained in the passage falls into three sections,-the condensed narrative of the Gospel facts {Acts 13:26 - Acts 13:31}, the proof that the resurrection was prophesied {Acts 13:32 - Acts 13:37}, and the pungent personal application {Acts 13:38 - Acts 13:52}.

I. The substance of the narrative coincides, as it could not but do, with Peter’s sermons, but yet with differences, partly due to the different audience, partly to Paul’s idiosyncrasy.

After the preceding historical resume, he girds himself to his proper work of proclaiming the Gospel, and he marks the transition in Acts 13:26 by reiterating his introductory words.

His audience comprised the two familiar classes of Jews and Gentile proselytes, and he seeks to win the ears of both. His heart goes out in his address to them all as ‘brethren,’ and in his classing himself and Barnabas among them as receivers of the message which he has to proclaim. What skill, if it were not something much more sacred, even humility and warm love, lies in that ‘to us is the word of this salvation sent’! He will not stand above them as if he had any other possession of his message than they might have. He, too, has received it, and what he is about to say is not his word, but God’s message to them and him. That is the way to preach.

Notice, too, how skilfully he introduces the narrative of the rejection of Jesus as the reason why the message has now come to them his hearers away in Antioch. It is ‘sent forth’ ‘to us,’ Asiatic Jews, for the people in the sacred city would not have it. Paul does not prick his hearers’ consciences, as Peter did, by charging home the guilt of the rejection of Jesus on them. They had no share in that initial crime. There is a faint purpose of dissociating himself and his hearers from the people of Jerusalem, to whom the Dispersion were accustomed to look up, in the designation, ‘they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers.’ Thus far the Antioch Jews had had hands clean from that crime; they had now to choose whether they would mix themselves up with it.

We may further note that Paul says nothing about Christ’s life of gentle goodness, His miracles or teaching, but concentrates attention on His death and resurrection. From the beginning of his ministry these were the main elements of his ‘Gospel’ {1 Corinthians 15:3 - 1 Corinthians 15:4}. The full significance of that death is not declared here. Probably it was reserved for subsequent instruction. But it and the Resurrection, which interpreted it, are set in the forefront, as they should always be. The main point insisted on is that the men of Jerusalem were fulfilling prophecy in slaying Jesus. With tragic deafness, they knew not the voices of the prophets, clear and unanimous as they were, though they heard them every Sabbath of their lives, and yet they fulfilled them. A prophet’s words had just been read in the synagogue; Paul’s words might set some hearer asking whether a veil had been over his heart while his ears had heard the sound of the word.

The Resurrection is established by the only evidence for a historical fact, the testimony of competent eyewitnesses. Their competence is established by their familiar companionship with Jesus during His whole career; their opportunities for testing the reality of the fact, by the ‘many days’ of His appearances.

Paul does not put forward his own testimony to the Resurrection, though we know, from 1 Corinthians 15:8, that he regarded Christ’s appearance to him as being equally valid evidence with that afforded by the other appearances; but he distinguishes between the work of the Apostles, as ‘witnesses unto the people’-that is, the Jews of Palestine-and that of Barnabas and himself. They had to bear the message to the regions beyond. The Apostles and he had the same work, but different spheres.

II. The second part turns with more personal address to his hearers.

Its purport is not so much to preach the Resurrection, which could only be proved by testimony, as to establish the fact that it was the fulfilment of the promises to the fathers. Note how the idea of fulfilled prophecy runs in Paul’s head. The Jews had fulfilled it by their crime; God fulfilled it by the Resurrection. This reiteration of a key-word is a mark of Paul’s style in his Epistles, and its appearance here attests the accuracy of the report of his speech.

The second Psalm, from which Paul’s first quotation is made, is prophetic of Christ, inasmuch as it represents in vivid lyrical language the vain rebellion of earthly rulers against Messiah, and Jehovah’s establishing Him and His kingdom by a steadfast decree. Peter quoted its picture of the rebels, as fulfilled in the coalition of Herod, Pilate, and the Jewish rulers against Christ. The Messianic reference of the Psalm, then, was already seen; and we may not be going too far if we assume that Jesus Himself had included it among things written in the Psalms ‘concerning Himself,’ which He had explained to the disciples after the Resurrection. It depicts Jehovah speaking to Messiah, after the futile attempts of the rebels: ‘This day have I begotten Thee.’ That day is a definite point in time. The Resurrection was a birth from the dead; so Paul, in Colossians 1:18, calls Jesus ‘the first begotten from the dead.’ Romans 1:4,’declared to be the Son of God . . . by the resurrection from the dead,’ is the best commentary on Paul’s words here.

The second and third quotations must apparently be combined, for the second does not specifically refer to resurrection, but it promises to ‘you,’ that is to those who obey the call to partake in the Messianic blessings, a share in the ‘sure’ and enduring ‘mercies of David’; and the third quotation shows that not ‘to see corruption’ was one of these ‘mercies.’ That implies that the speaker in the Psalm was, in Paul’s view, David, and that his words were his believing answer to a divine promise. But David was dead. Had the ‘sure mercy’ proved, then, a broken reed? Not so: for Jesus, who is Messiah, and is God’s ‘Holy One’ in a deeper sense than David was, has not seen corruption. The Psalmist’s hopes are fulfilled in Him, and through Him, in all who will ‘eat’ that their ‘souls may live,’

III. But Paul’s yearning for his brethren’s salvation is not content with proclaiming the fact of Christ’s resurrection, nor with pointing to it as fulfilling prophecy; he gathers all up into a loving, urgent offer of salvation for every believing soul, and solemn warning to despisers.

Here the whole man flames out. Here the characteristic evangelical teaching, which is sometimes ticketed as ‘Pauline’ by way of stigma, is heard. Already had he grasped the great antithesis between Law and Gospel. Already his great word ‘justified’ has taken its place in his terminology. The essence of the Epistles to Romans and Galatians is here. Justification is the being pronounced and treated as not guilty. Law cannot justify. ‘In Him’ we are justified. Observe that this is an advance on the previous statement that ‘through Him’ we receive remission of sins.

‘In Him’ points, thought but incidentally and slightly, to the great truth of incorporation with Jesus, of which Paul had afterwards so much to write. The justifying in Christ is complete and absolute. And the sole sufficient condition of receiving it is faith. But the greater the glory of the light the darker the shadow which it casts. The broad offer of complete salvation has ever to be accompanied with the plain warning of the dread issue of rejecting it. Just because it is so free and full, and to be had on such terms, the warning has to be rung into deaf ears, ‘Beware therefore!’ Hope and fear are legitimately appealed to by the Christian evangelist. They are like the two wings which may lift the soul to soar to its safe shelter in the Rock of Ages.

Acts 13:26-31. Men and brethren — Even all you who are children of the stock of Abraham — Whether ye are my equals in years, or of more advanced age — And whosoever among you feareth God — Of whatever family or nation you may be; unto you is the word of this salvation sent — A great and important salvation, which I am commissioned to preach and offer to mankind. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, &c. — He here anticipates a strong objection, “Why did not the people at Jerusalem, and especially their rulers, believe?” They knew him not — Though God bore a most convincing testimony to him by the wonderful miracles which he performed; nor yet the voices of the prophets — They did not believe in him, because they understood not those very prophets whose writings they read or heard continually. Their very condemning him, innocent as he was, proves that they understood not the prophecies concerning him. And when they had — Inadvertently, without intending any thing of the kind; fulfilled all that was written of him — In such a circumstantial detail of particulars as is truly astonishing; they took him down from the tree — On which he had expired in the midst of ignominy and torture; and laid him in a sepulchre — Permitted his friends to bury him. But God raised him from the dead — According to the prediction of the prophets, and also his own prediction, frequently repeated, which they had heard from him before; but the accomplishment of which they were unable to hinder. And he was seen many days — After he was risen from the dead; of them which came up with him from Galilee — A little before his death. This last journey both presupposes all the rest, and was the most important of all. Who are his witnesses to the people — Of the Jews, among whom they still reside.

13:14-31 When we come together to worship God, we must do it, not only by prayer and praise, but by the reading and hearing of the word of God. The bare reading of the Scriptures in public assemblies is not enough; they should be expounded, and the people exhorted out of them. This is helping people in doing that which is necessary to make the word profitable, to apply it to themselves. Every thing is touched upon in this sermon, which might best prevail with Jews to receive and embrace Christ as the promised Messiah. And every view, however short or faint, of the Lord's dealings with his church, reminds us of his mercy and long-suffering, and of man's ingratitude and perverseness. Paul passes from David to the Son of David, and shows that this Jesus is his promised Seed; a Saviour to do that for them, which the judges of old could not do, to save them from their sins, their worst enemies. When the apostles preached Christ as the Saviour, they were so far from concealing his death, that they always preached Christ crucified. Our complete separation from sin, is represented by our being buried with Christ. But he rose again from the dead, and saw no corruption: this was the great truth to be preached.Men and brethren - Paul now exhorts them to embrace the Lord Jesus as the Messiah. He uses, therefore, the most respectful and fraternal language.

Children of the stock of Abraham - Descendants of Abraham; you who regard Abraham as your ancestor. He means here to address particularly the native-born Jews; and this appellation is used because they valued themselves highly on account of their descent from Abraham (see the notes on Matthew 3:9); and because the promise of the Messiah had been specially given to him.

And whosoever ... - Proselytes. See the notes on Acts 13:16.

Is the word of this salvation sent - This message of salvation. It was sent particularly to the Jewish people. The Saviour was sent to that nation Matthew 15:24; and the design was to offer to them first the message of life. See the notes on Acts 13:46.

26-31. children … of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God—Gentile proselytes.

to you is the word of this salvation sent—both being regarded as one class, as "the Jew first," to whom the Gospel was to be addressed in the first instance.

Men and brethren; he speaks to the Jews according as the manner was amongst them; to the Jews he became as a Jew.

Whosoever among you feareth God; some think the devout Pisidians, or men of that country, are here meant; but rather it may insinuate the apostle’s hope concerning these Jews, that they were such as feared God, which hope they ought the rather to have carefully answered.

The word of this salvation:

1. Christ, who is the incarnate Word, or the Word made flesh, John 1:14; or the Gospel, which is glad tidings of salvation; as if the apostle had minded them, that it was not any business which belonged unto others alone, which he was speaking about: but of such things as pertained unto their salvation; and such a salvation (this salvation) as never greater was or ever will be published, this is certain, that we are concerned in it for ourselves, if we accept or neglect this salvation, it is for ourselves. Oh that in this respect self-interest were more prevalent with us!

Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham,.... This address is made to them in the synagogue, who were Jews by birth, and in a form very grateful and pleasing; he calls them "men", perhaps not only from the common nature of mankind in them, but because they took this name peculiarly to themselves, and denied it to the nations of the world; and which they gather from Ezekiel 34:31 and he styles them "brethren", because they were his countrymen; and "children of the stock of Abraham", with respect to their lineage and descent, and of which they gloried:

and whosoever among you feareth God; these were the proselytes among them; See Gill on Acts 13:16.

to you is the word of this salvation sent; meaning either the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the essential and eternal "Logos", or word of God, and whom the Syriac and Ethiopic versions here style, "the word of life", as in 1 John 1:1 who is the author of salvation, and who was in the first place sent unto the Jews; or rather the Gospel, which gives an account of the author of spiritual and eternal salvation, of his person, and of his manner of obtaining it, and of the nature of salvation, and who the persons are to whom it belongs. The Gospel is not a proposal of terms, by complying with which men may be saved, as faith, repentance, and good works, which are not terms of salvation, but either blessings, parts or fruits of it; but it is a declaration of salvation itself, as being a thing done by Christ; it declares him to be the alone able, willing, and all sufficient Saviour, and the salvation he has wrought out to be a great one, complete, spiritual, and everlasting; and that those that believe in him shall be saved with it. It is the word preaching salvation by him, showing, that he has wrought out an everlasting righteousness for the justification of his people; hence it is sometimes called the word of righteousness; and that he has made peace and reconciliation by the blood of his cross, for which reason it is styled the word of reconciliation; and that eternal life is in him, and by him, and therefore it is called the word of life: for the salvation it publishes includes all the blessings of grace, and everlasting glory, and happiness; it is the means of applying the salvation it declares; the Spirit of God comes by it, who, whilst it is preaching, falls upon, and conveys himself into the hearts of men: regeneration is ascribed to the word of truth; faith comes by hearing; and sanctification is promoted and increased by it, as an instrument; and after men believe in it, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise; all which shows what a wonderful blessing the Gospel is: and this was now sent not to the Jews only, though to them in the first place, but to the Gentiles also; the Alexandrian copy, in the two last clauses, instead of "you", reads "us".

{10} Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

(10) Christ was promised and sent appropriately to the Jews.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 13:26. In affectionate address (ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί) earnestly appealing to the theocratic consciousness (υἱοὶ γεν. Ἀβρ.), Paul now brings home the announcement of this salvation (procured through Jesus, ὁ λόγος τῆς σωτ. ταύτης, comp. on Acts 5:20) to the especial interest of the hearers. Comp. Acts 2:29, Acts 3:25 f.

ἐξαπεστάλη] namely, forth from God, Acts 13:23; Acts 10:36, not from Jerusalem (Bengel). But this ὑμῖνἐξαπεστ actually took place by the very arrival of Paul and his companions.

Acts 13:26. ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί: the address of Acts 13:16 is here renewed in more affectionate tones, and here as in Acts 13:16 both Jews and proselytes are two classes, here both regarded by Paul as ἀδελφοί.—ὑμῖν, see critical notes. Some take it as marking a sharp antithesis between the Jews of Antioch and those of Jerusalem (an antithesis not removed by ἡμῖν), as if the Jews at Antioch and of the Dispersion were contrasted with the Jews of the capital. But γὰρ need not mark a contrast, it may rather confirm the implication in σωτ. ταύτης that Jesus was the Saviour, for He had suffered and died, and so had fulfilled the predictions relating to the Messiah. Nor indeed was it true that those who crucified the Saviour had excluded themselves from the offer of the Gospel: ὁ λόγος τῆς σ., cf. Ephesians 1:13, Php 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, etc.—ἀπεστάλη: if we read the compound ἐξαπ., critical notes, R.V. “is sent forth,” i.e., from God, cf. Acts 10:36. Weiss takes the verb as simply referring to the sending forth of the word from the place where it was first announced. But cf. on the other hand Galatians 4:4; Galatians 4:6, and Acts 13:23 above, where God is spoken of as the agent in the Messianic salvation, and on the possible force of ὁ λόγος τῆς σωτ. and ἐξαπεστάλη here see Ramsay, Expositor, December, 1898.

26. Men and brethren] Read “Brethren,” see Acts 1:16, note.

to you is the word of this salvation sent [forth] The oldest MSS. read “to us, &c.,” and this is quite in accord with the language of Acts 13:17, “God chose our fathers.” The Apostle through the whole address avoids, as far as may be, wounding any Jewish prejudice and so classes himself with his hearers where the subject allows him to do so.

Acts 13:26. Ὑμῖν, to you) The application. The word ὑμῖν belongs to the whole audience, and at the same time forms an antithesis to the people of Jerusalem: comp. in the fol. verse γὰρ, for: although the γὰρ, for, also is subservient to the connection between ἐπλήρωσαν, have fulfilled, and ἐξαπεστάλη, has been sent: Luke 24:46-47, “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer—and that repentance, etc., should be preached in His name—beginning at Jerusalem.” Paul ascribes to the people of Jerusalem, not to the whole nation, the slaying of the Messiah.—ἐξαπεστάλη) An elegant double compound: “The word which God sent,” Acts 10:36, was sent forth from Jerusalem into remote localities.

Verse 26. - Brethren for men and brethren, A.V., as ver. 15; those among you that fear for whosoever among you feareth, A.V.; to us for to you, A.V. and T.R.; sent forth for sent, A.V. and T.R. The same address in substance as that in ver. 16, comprising the Jews and the devout heathen. To us; see ver. 33; but on the other hand (ver. 38), "to you," seems preferable. This salvation proceeding from the Savior, mentioned in ver. 23 (comp. Acts 10:36, "The word which God sent"). Acts 13:26To you

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