And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he was seen many days.—The language is that of one who had conversed with the witnesses, and had convinced himself of the truth of their testimony. We find what the Apostle had in his thoughts in a more expanded form in 1Corinthians 15:3-8.
Who are his witnesses.—More accurately, who are now his witnesses.
Many days - Forty days, Acts 1:3.
Of them which came up - By the apostles particularly. He was seen by others; but they are especially mentioned as having been chosen for this object, to bear witness to him, and as having been particularly qualified for it.Seen many days; forty days between his resurrection and ascension, Acts 1:3. Christ was seen, not only by the apostles, but of the Galilean women which came up with him unto Jerusalem, Matthew 28:1, and by above five hundred at once, 1 Corinthians 15:6; so plentifully would God have this great article of our faith and object of our hope to be confirmed unto us.
of them which came up with him from Galilee; which though true of several women who followed him from Galilee, and to whom he appeared after his resurrection, as Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome the mother of Zebedee's children, and others; yet is chiefly to be understood of the apostles of Christ, who were Galilaeans, and came with Christ from that country to Jerusalem, when he came thither to suffer and die:And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 13:31-33. Ἐπὶ ἡμέρ. πλείους] for several days, as in Luke 4:25; Nägelsbach on the Iliad, p. 284, ed. 3. Instead of the argumentative ὅς, ὅσγε would be still more significant.
τοῖς συναναβᾶσιν κ.τ.λ.] Thus Paul according to this narrative, like Luke in the Gospel, follows the tradition which knows only Jewish appearances of the Risen One (see on Matthew 28:10). Comp. Acts 1:4.
οἵτινες] quippe qui.
καὶ ἡμεῖς κ.τ.λ.] we also, on our part, engaged in the same work of preaching as those eye-witnesses, announce unto you the promise made to the fathers, that (namely) God has completely fulfilled this, etc.
ὃτι ταύτην κ.τ.λ.] contains the particular part of the ἐπαγγελία (the promise of the Messiah generally) which is announced. Entirely arbitrarily, Heumann, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and others hold that it should be connected: εὐαγγελιζόμεθα, ὅτι τὴν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας γενομ. ἐπαγγ. ὁ Θεὸς ἐκπεπλ., and that ταύτην is without significance. This very repetition of ταύτην has rhetorical emphasis; comp. Acts 9:20; see Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 225; Bernhardy, p. 283.
ἐκπεπλήρωκε] stronger than the simple verb, Acts 13:27; comp. the passages from Xenoph. in Sturz, Herod, v. 35: τὴν ὑπόσχεσιν ἐκπληρῶσαι, Plat. Legg. p. 958 B: ἐκπληρώσῃ τὸ χρέος ἅπαν, Polyb. i. 67. 1 : τὰς ἐλπίδας κ. τὰς ἐπαγγελίας ἐκπληροῦν, 3Ma 1:2; 3Ma 1:22. Elsewhere not in the N.T., but comp. ἐκπλήρωσις, Acts 21:26.
τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτ. ἡμῖν] for the benefit of their children (descendants), us. The prefixing of τ. τέκν. αὐτ. has a peculiar emphasis.
ἀναστήσας Ἰησοῦν] by this, that He raised up Jesus (from the dead). This interpretation (Erasmus, Luther, Hammond, Clericus, Heumann, Morus, de Wette, Baumgarten, Lange, and others) is necessarily required by the connection, which is as follows: (1) The Jews have put to death Jesus, though innocent, and buried Him (Acts 13:28-29). (2) But God has raised Him from the dead, as is certain from His appearance among His followers and their testimony (Acts 13:30-31). (3) By this resurrection of Jesus, God has completely fulfilled to us the promise, etc. (Acts 13:32-33). (4) But the Raised One will, according to God’s assurance, never again die (Acts 13:34-38). This, the only explanation accordant with the context, is confirmed by the purposely chosen ἐκπεπλήρωκε, as, indeed, the fulfilment of the promise begun from the very appearance of Jesus has, although secured already essentially (as Hofmann interprets the compound verb), only become complete by His resurrection. It has been objected that ἐκ νεκρῶν would have to be added to ἀναστήσας, as in Acts 13:34; but incorrectly, as the context makes this addition very superfluous, which yet is purposely added in Acts 13:34, in order that the contrast of μηκέτι μέλλοντα ὑποστρέφειν εἰς διαφθοράν might more strongly appear. The textual necessity of our interpretation excludes, accordingly, of itself the other explanation (Castalio, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Olshausen, Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erf. II. p. 173, Schriftbew. I. p. 123, and others), according to which ἀναστήσας is rendered like הֵקִים, prodire jubens, exhibens (Acts 3:22, Acts 7:37). This rendering would hardly have been adopted and defended, had it not been thought necessary to understand Psalm 2:7 of the appearance of Jesus upon earth.
ὡς … γέγραπται] denotes the ἀναστήσας Ἰησοῦν as the event which took place according to (besides other scriptural passages) the saying in Psalm 2:7.
τῷ πρώτῳ] Formerly (see Wetstein)—though not universally, yet frequently—the first Psalm was wont not to be separately numbered, but, as an introduction to the Psalter and certainly composed for this object, to be written along with the second Psalm, as it is even now found in MSS. As, however, such a local citation of a passage is found neither in Paul’s writings nor elsewhere in the N.T., it must be assumed that Paul did not himself utter the πρώτῳ, and that it was not even added by Luke; but that he took it over from his documentary source—into which it had doubtless come, because it was esteemed particularly noteworthy that this prophecy should be found written on the very front of the Psalter.
υἱός μου εἶ σὺ κ.τ.λ.] in the historical sense of the Psalm composed by Solomon on his anointing: My son (as the theocratic king) thou art; I (no other) have this day begotten thee (made thee by thine anointing and installation to be this my son). But, according to the Messianic fulfilment of this divine saying, so far as it has been historically fulfilled (it is otherwise in Hebrews 1:5) especially by the resurrection of the Messiah: My Son (as the Messiah) thou art; I am He who has this day (on the day of the resurrection) begotten Thee, installed Thee into this divine Sonship by the resurrection (Romans 1:4),—inasmuch, namely, as the resurrection was the actual guarantee, excluding all doubt, of that Sonship of Christ. Thus has God by the resurrection, after His humiliation, although He was from eternity God’s Son, constituted Him the Son of God (He has begotten Him). Comp. Acts 2:36. The expression is not to be illustrated from πρωτότοκος ἐκ. τ. νεκρῶν, Colossians 1:18 (against Baumgarten); because for denoting the installation into the divine Sonship the figure begotten suits admirably; but, as a new beginner of life (as Baumgarten explains it), Christ would by the resurrection not be begotten, but born. Comp. also Romans 8:29. The σήμερον, moreover, which to those interpreters, who explain the ἀναστήσας generally of the bringing forward Jesus, must appear without significance and included in the quotation only for the sake of completeness (as is, however, not the case even in Hebrews 1:5), forms an essential element of the prophecy in its relation to the connection.Acts 13:31. ὤφθη, see Milligan’s note on the word, Resurrection of our Lord, p. 265; Witness of the Epistles (1892), pp. 369, 377, 386; and Beyschlag, Leben Jesu, i., p. 434 (second edition), cf. Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5 ff.—ἐπὶ: with accusative of duration of time, cf. Acts 16:18, Acts 18:20, Acts 19:8; Acts 19:10; Acts 19:34, Acts 27:20, cf. Luke 4:25; Luke 18:4; in classical writers, but only in St. Luke in N.T., except Hebrews 11:30, Vindiciæ Lucanæ, p. 53.—οἵτινες: if we add νῦν, see critical notes, the word intimates that this announcement of Jesus as the Messiah was not first made by Paul, as some new thing, but that His Apostles were still bearing the same witness to the Jews (λαόν) as a living message in the same city in which Jesus had been crucified.31. them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem] The Apostles, and the body of Christ’s followers, were drawn from Galilee, insomuch that, before the Crucifixion, Galilæans was a name by which they were known (Mark 14:70).
who are his witnesses unto the people] The oldest MSS. read “who now are, &c.” St Paul has not mentioned the ascension of Jesus, but the addition of this word implies that He was no longer on earth that men might see Him. The Apostle also thus marks out what was the especial work of those who had been with Christ during His life.Acts 13:31. Τοῖς συναναβᾶσιν, by them that came up with Him) That last journey both presupposes all the rest, and is in itself the most momentous one.—οἴτινες νο͂ν εἰσι, who now are) Paul mentions nothing as to his own vision of Him; for there was no need to descend into this detail in the beginning: nor does he say anything of himself as distinguished from Barnabas: wherefore, in Acts 13:32, he speaks more generally.—αὐτοῦ, His) Christ’s: ch. Acts 5:32; comp. note, ch. Acts 2:32, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whose (God’s) witnesses we all are;” ch. Acts 10:41; 1 Corinthians 15:15.—λαὸν, the people) Answering to ὑμᾶς in the following ver.Verse 31. - For many days for many days, A.V.; that for which, A.V.; who are now for who are, A.V. and T.R. St. Paul thus confirms the statement in Acts 1:3 (see note to Acts 1:11). From Galilee to Jerusalem. Who are meant? and what ascent from Galilee to Jerusalem is here intended? The answer to the first question is, the eleven apostles, whose special office it was to bear witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:22, note). The answer to the second is, that the ascent from Galilee, where most of our Lord's appearances took place, to Jerusalem, shortly before the Ascension, is here intended, and that this passage is a distinct recognition by St. Luke of the Galilaean appearances. There is, as is well known, great obscurity, and apparent discrepancies in the accounts of our Lord's appearances after the Resurrection. St. Matthew seems to place them exclusively in Galilee (Matthew 28:7, 10, 16). St. Mark likewise (16: 7); but in the section 9-20 he mentions the appearance to Mary Magdalene and to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, but gives no clue as to where the appearance to the eleven took place. St. Luke seems to place them exclusively in Judaea, but very curiously puts a mention of Galilee in the angel's mouth in the very place where, according to St. Matthew, he announced the Lord's appearance in Galilee. St. John, again places the three first appearances in Jerusalem (John 20.), but describes at length a third as having taken place in Galilee (John 21:2, 14). St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:6) speaks of an appearance to five hundred brethren at once, which in all probability took place in Galilee, as only a hundred and twenty names were numbered at Jerusalem (Acts 1:15). It is, therefore, satisfactory to have this confirmation of the residence of the apostles in Galilee between the Resurrection and the Ascension in St. Luke's report of St. Paul's speech. Observe that St. Paul distinctly separates himself from these witnesses by the emphatic ἡμεῖς in ver. 32.
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