Acts 13:33
God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children.—The better MSS. give, with hardly an exception, unto our children, and the Received text must be regarded as having been made to obtain what seemed a more natural meaning. St. Paul’s language, however, is but an echo of St. Peter’s “to us and to our children,” in Acts 2:39.

As it is also written in the second psalm.—The various-reading, “in the first Psalm,” given by some MSS. is interesting, as showing that in some copies of the Old Testament, what is now the first Psalm was treated as a kind of prelude to the whole book, the numeration beginning with what is now the second.

Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.—Historically, Psalms 2 appears as a triumph-song, written to celebrate the victory of a king of Israel or Judah—David, or Solomon, or another—over his enemies. The king had been shown by that day of victory to have been the chosen son of God—the day itself was a new begetting, manifesting the sonship. So, in the higher fulfilment which St. Paul finds in Christ, he refers the words, not primarily to the Eternal Generation of the Son of God, “begotten before all worlds,” nor to the Incarnation, but to the day of victory over rulers and priests, over principalities and powers, over death and Hades. The Resurrection manifested in the antitype, as the victory had done in the type, a pre-existing sonship; but it was to those who witnessed it, or heard of it, as the ground on which their faith in that sonship rested. Christ was to them the “firstborn of every creature,” because He was also “the firstborn from the dead.” (See Notes on Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:18.)

13:32-37 The resurrection of Christ was the great proof of his being the Son of God. It was not possible he should be held by death, because he was the Son of God, and therefore had life in himself, which he could not lay down but with a design to take it again. The sure mercies of David are that everlasting life, of which the resurrection was a sure pledge; and the blessings of redemption in Christ are a certain earnest, even in this world. David was a great blessing to the age wherein he lived. We were not born for ourselves, but there are those living around us, to whom we must study to be serviceable. Yet here is the difference; Christ was to serve all generations. May we look to Him who is declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead, that by faith in him we may walk with God, and serve our generation according to his will; and when death comes, may we fall asleep in him, with a joyful hope of a blessed resurrection.God hath fulfilled - God has completed or carried into effect by the resurrection of Jesus. He does not say that every part of the promise had reference to his resurrection; but his being raised up completed or perfected the fulfillment of the promises which had been made respecting him.

In the second psalm - Acts 13:7.

Thou art my Son - This psalm has been usually understood as referring to the Messiah. See the notes on Acts 4:25.

This day have I begotten thee - It is evident that Paul uses the expression here as implying that the Lord Jesus is called the Son of God because he raised him up from the dead, and that he means to imply that it was for this reason that he is so called. This interpretation of an inspired apostle fixes the meaning of this passage in the psalm, and proves that it is not there used with reference to the doctrine of eternal generation, or to his incarnation, but that he is called his Son because he was raised from the dead. And this interpretation accords with the scope of the psalm. In Acts 13:1-3 the psalmist records the combination of the rulers of the earth against the Messiah, and their efforts to cast off his reign. This was done, and the Messiah was rejected. All this pertains, not to his previous existence, but to the Messiah on the earth. In Acts 13:4-5, the psalmist shows that their efforts would not be successful; that God would laugh at their designs; that is, that their plans should not succeed.

In Acts 13:6-7, he shows that the Messiah would be established as a king; that this was the fixed decree, and that he had been begotten for this. All this is represented as subsequent to the raging of the pagan, and to the counsel of the kings against him, and must, therefore, refer, not to his eternal generation or his incarnation, but to something succeeding his death; that is, to his resurrection, and his establishment as King at the right hand of God. This interpretation by the apostle Paul proves, therefore, that this passage is not to be used to establish the doctrine of the eternal generation of Christ. Christ is called the Son of God for various reasons. In Luke 1:35, because he was begotten by the Holy Spirit. In this place, on account of his resurrection. In Romans 1:4 it is also said that he was declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. See the notes on that place. The resurrection from the dead is represented as in some sense the beginning of life, and it is with reference to this that the terms "Son," and "begotten from the dead," are used, as the birth of a child is the beginning of life. Thus, Christ is said, Colossians 1:18, to be "the first-born from the dead"; and thus, in Revelation 1:5; he is called "the firsthegotten of the dead"; and with reference to this renewal or beginning of life he is called a Son. In whatever other senses he is called a Son in the New Testament, yet it is here proved:

(1) That he is called a Son from his resurrection; and,

(2) That this is the sense in which the expression in the psalm is to be used.

This day - The words "this day" would naturally, in the connection in which they are found, refer to the time when the "decree" was made. The purpose was formed before Christ came into the world; it was executed or carried into effect by the resurrection from the dead. See the notes on Psalm 2:7.

Have I begotten thee - This evidently cannot be understood in a literal sense. It literally refers to the relation of an earthly father to his children; but in no such sense can it be applied to the relation of God the Father to the Son. It must, therefore, be figurative. The word sometimes figuratively means "to produce, to cause to exist in any way"; 2 Timothy 2:23, "Unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender (beget) strifes." It refers also to the labors of the apostles in securing the conversion of sinners to the gospel: 1 Corinthians 4:15, "In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel"; Plm 1:10, Whom (Onesimus) I have begotten in my bonds. It is applied to Christians: John 1:13, "Which were born (begotten), not of blood, etc., but of God"; John 3:3, Except a man be born (begotten) again," etc. In all these places it is used in a figurative sense to denote "the commencement of spiritual life by the power of God; so raising up stoners from the death of sin, or so producing spiritual life that they should sustain to him the relation of sons." Thus, he raised up Christ from the dead, and imparted life to his body; and hence, he is said figuratively to have begotten him from the dead, and thus sustains toward the risen Saviour the relation of father. Compare Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5; Hebrews 1:5.

33. God hath fulfilled the same—"hath completely fulfilled."

in that he hath raised up Jesus again—literally, "raised up"; but the meaning is (notwithstanding the contrary opinion of many excellent interpreters) "from the dead"; as the context plainly shows.

as it is written in the second psalm—in many manuscripts "the first Psalm"; what we call the first being regarded by the ancient Jews as only an introduction to the Psalter, which was considered to begin with the second.

this day have I begotten thee—As the apostle in Ro 1:4 regards the resurrection of Christ merely as the manifestation of a prior Sonship, which he afterwards (Ac 8:32) represents as essential, it is plain that this is his meaning here. (Such declarative meaning of the verb "to be" is familiar to every reader of the Bible). See Joh 15:8, "So shall ye be," that is, be seen to be "My disciples." It is against the whole sense of the New Testament to ascribe the origin of Christ's Sonship to His resurrection.

Raised up Jesus again; some refer these words to the incarnation, others to the resurrection, of our Saviour: our translators lay the stress upon the preposition, with which the verb is compounded, and by adding again, intend it to be understood of the resurrection; and there is ground for it in the context; for the resurrection of Christ is that which in Acts 13:30 is propounded by St. Paul as his theme or argument to preach upon.

Thou art my Son; these words quoted, though they do not seem to be a proof of Christ’s resurrection at the first view, yet if we weigh them well, they answer St. Paul’s purpose:

Thou art my Son, Psalm 2:7, is ushered in with, I have made thee king, Acts 13:6, and followed with, I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance; which was in an especial manner to be fulfilled after the resurrection, as our Saviour manifests, Matthew 28:18,19.

This day have I begotten thee; not as if Christ at his resurrection began to be the Son of God; but then he was manifested to be so, Romans 1:4; which before, whilst he was in a suffering condition was not so apparent. Some of the ancients have understood these words, of the eternal generation of the Son of God; eternity being an everlasting point, and one and the same day for ever.

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children,.... The natural descendants of them, as Paul and Barnabas, and the Jews in the synagogue, were:

in that he hath raised up Jesus again; which may not be understood of his resurrection from the dead, since the promise made, and now fulfilled, has not a single respect to that; but of his being raised up, and sent forth into the world, to be a Saviour and Redeemer, and to sit upon the throne of David, as in Acts 2:30 of which raising of him up to regal dignity, mention is made in Psalm 2:1, Psalm 6:1 which is produced as a testimony of it; and the rather this seems to be the sense, since the article of the resurrection of the dead is spoken of in the next verse, as distinct from this; and other passages of Scripture are produced, as speaking of it; though admitting that Christ's resurrection from the dead is here intended, as the Alexandrian copy reads, what follows is very applicable to it, without any detriment to the doctrine of Christ's eternal generation and sonship, as will be hereafter made to appear:

as it is written in the second psalm: Beza's most ancient copy, and other very ancient copies, read, "in the first psalm"; for the first and second psalms seem to have been reckoned by the ancient Jews but one psalm, or one section; for so they say (d).

""blessed is the man", &c. and "why do the Heathen rage", &c. , are one "parasha", or section: and they further observe (e), that "every section that was dear to David, he began it with "blessed", and ended it with "blessed"; he began with "blessed", as it is written, Psalm 1:1 "blessed is the man", &c. and he ended it with "blessed", as it is written, Psalm 2:12 "blessed are all they that put their "trust in him":'' though it is elsewhere said (f), "blessed is the man", &c. Psalm 1:1 "and why do the heathen rage", &c. Psalm 2:1 are two sections; and "to the chief musician on Muth Labben", Psalm 9:1) and "why standest thou afar off", &c. (Psalm 10:1-18) are two sections.''

And Kimchi calls (g) this psalm, as the generality of copies here do, saying,

"this psalm is , "the second psalm."''

And that this psalm belongs to the Messiah, is evident from the mention made of him in Psalm 2:2 from the mad counsel, and vain attempts of the kings of the earth against him, Psalm 2:1. God's decree and resolution to make and declare him King of Zion, notwithstanding all their efforts upon him, Psalm 2:4 from his asking and having the Gentiles, and uttermost parts of the earth for his inheritance, which is true of no other, Psalm 2:8 and especially from that reverence, worship, and adoration, which are to be given to him, and that trust and confidence to be placed in him, Psalm 2:10 which can by no means agree with David, nor with any mere creature whatever; and as for Psalm 2:7 which is here cited, what is said in that is inapplicable even to angels, Hebrews 1:5 and much more to David, or any mere man. The whole psalm was, by the ancient Jews, interpreted of the Messiah, as is confessed by some of their later doctors. R. David Kimchi says (h),

"there are that interpret it of Gog and Magog, and the Messiah, he is the King Messiah; and so the Rabbins of blessed memory interpret it.''

And Jarchi confesses the same, and is somewhat more open in giving his reason for interpreting it otherwise.

"Our Rabbins (says he) expound this affair concerning the King Messiah; but according to its literal sense, and for an answer to the heretics (or Christians), it is right to explain it concerning David himself.''

he clause, "and for an answer to the heretics", is left out in later editions, but was in the more ancient ones; it being so open and barefaced, that the Jews did not choose to let it stand. Aben Ezra is in a doubt whether to interpret the psalm of David, or of the Messiah; though he thinks the former is best; and particularly this seventh verse is, by several of their ancient writers, applied to the Messiah; in one of their writings, esteemed very ancient, are these words (i);

"from thence shall come forth, in that day, the Messiah of David; and this is the mystery of, "I will declare the decree, the Lord said unto me, thou art my Son", &c.''

And this is the sense of R. Ame (k), a famous ancient doctor of theirs: upon mention of those words in Jeremiah 31:22 "the Lord hath created a new thing", &c.

"says R. Hone, in the name of R. Ame, this is the King Messiah, as it is said, Psalm 2:7 "this day have I begotten thee".''

continued...

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he {o} hath raised up Jesus again; {13} as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

(o) For then he appeared plainly and manifestly as the only Son of God, when he left behind his weakness and came out of the grave, having conquered death.

(13) If Christ had remained dead, he would not have been the true Son of God, neither would the covenant which was made with David have been certain.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 13:33. ἐκπεπλήρωκε: “hath fulfilled to the utmost,” cf. 3Ma 1:2; 3Ma 1:22, Polyb., i., 67, 1, τὰς ἐπαγγελίας ἐκπ.—τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτῶν ἡμῖν, see critical notes.—ἀναστήσας: “in that he raised up Jesus,” R.V.; “in that he hath raised up Jesus again,” A.V. The former rendering is quite compatible with the view that the reference of the word here is not to the resurrection of Jesus, but to the raising up of Jesus as the Messiah, cf. Acts 3:22, Acts 7:37, Deuteronomy 18:15. The first prophecy, Acts 13:33, would be fulfilled in this way, whilst in Acts 13:34-35 the prophecy would be fulfilled by the resurrection from the dead, ἀνασ. ἐκ νεκρῶν (see Knabenbauer in loco, p. 233 ff.). Wendt argues that Hebrews 1:5, where the same prophecy is quoted as in Acts 13:33, also refers to the raising up as the Messiah, but see on the other hand Westcott, Hebrews, in loco.

33. God hath fulfilled the same] Better, “how that God hath,” &c. The “glad tidings” are concerning the promise, and the precise message which is the cause for gladness is contained in the announcement that the promise has been fulfilled.

hath fulfilled] The verb in the original is a strengthened form and indicates “complete fulfilment.”

unto us their children] The Greek order of the words is emphatic, “unto their children, even us.’ There are some good MSS. which read “unto our children,” but this weakens the language greatly, for what the audience whom St Paul addressed would desire was a fulfilment for themselves. Their children would inherit what they received, but a promise to be fulfilled to their children would not move them so much as one of which they were to be sharers themselves.

in that he hath raised up Jesus again] i.e. from the dead. This is necessary to the Apostle’s argument, which is on the resurrection of Jesus as a proof that He was the Messiah. The quotation which follows need not refer alone to the birth of Jesus into this world. He was also the first-begotten from the dead, the firstfruits of them that slept.

as it is also written in the second psalm] The reading of many good MSS. is “in the first psalm.” What we now call the first psalm was formerly regarded as an introduction to the whole and not counted in the numbering. The quotation which follows is, according to the present order of the Psalms, taken from Psalm 2:7.

Acts 13:33. Ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ, in the Psalm) Kimichi thinks that this Psalm was written by David about the beginning of his reign. However, that it was written at Jerusalem, may be inferred from the words in Acts 4:27, in this city.[78] For Sion is mentioned in Psalm 2:6. Luke mentioned the Psalm without the numeral epithet[79] (see Appar. Crit. p. 622; Ed. ii. pp. 294, 295. Add Hesychius the Presbyter, in the Anecdota Græca of Wolf, T. iii. p. 175): otherwise the word first would not have been written by some, and second by others afterwards; nay, the doubt whether it was the first or second Psalm would have never arisen among the ancients. Why should not Luke have also specifically said, at least (if he specified the Psalm in the former case) at Acts 13:35, which makes reference to this Acts 13:33, the 15th or 16th Psalm? [Whereas he only says, “In another Psalm.”]—Υἱός μου εἶ σύ· ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε) So the LXX., Psalm 2:7.—Υἱός μου, My Son) This is the sentiment, Thou, Jesus, art My Son, and therefore the true Messiah. Comp. note on Hebrews 5:5, “Christ glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest, but He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son” (not meaning that the priesthood was conferred on Him at the time when the Father said, Thou art My Son, for the Sonship is prior to the Priesthood; but that the Son, who alone was capable of that Priesthood, as such received it from the Father).[80]—σὺ) Thou, alone, the Messiah. Paul refers, whilst he quotes the chief point, to the whole Psalm, which was well known to his hearers, and especially the second verse, where there is express mention of the Messiah, “The Lord and His Anointed.” The pronouns, σὺ, ἐγὼ, thou, I, are put together in succession with marvellous force.—σήμερον, this day) The Son of God is indeed from everlasting: but His everlasting nature is never signified by the expression, this day. Wherefore the words, This day have I begotten Thee, are used in this sense: This day I have definitely declared, that Thou art My Son. The generation, properly so called, is presupposed. The Lord said, Thou art My Son, at the time when the psalm was sung: comp. Hebrews 4:7-9, note: and also at the time when Christ was born as the Son of David. Moreover, a thing is often said to be done then, when it is vividly presented to the eyes as one or about to done: 2 Chronicles 9:6, The Queen of Sheba to Solomon, “I believed not—until—mine eyes had seen: and the one half—was not told me; for thou hast added to, προσέθηκας (i.e. I see there is additional greatness in thee besides), the fame that I heard:” Joshua 22:31, ἐῤῥύσασθε, ye have delivered (ye have shown yourselves as delivering: Phinehas to the children of Reuben): and so Hebrews 1:6, “When He bringeth the first-begotten into the world;” Acts 1:18, note, where Judas is said to have purchased the field, because he was the occasion of its being purchased, and had himself designed to purchase it: a condensed mode of expression. Glassius has collected more examples out of the sacred writings, l. 3, tr. 3, can. 15; and Linacer, l. 2, at the end, some out of profane authors. The expression this day, which occurs, Luke 2:11, “Unto you is born this day,” may be compared. Comp. ibid. ch. Luke 1:32-33; Luke 1:35. Often the particle to-day expresses present time, as Deuteronomy 31:2, “I am an hundred and twenty years old this day:” Joshua 14:11, so Caleb, this day. It is therefore an abbreviated expression, as John 8:58, Before that Abraham was made, I (was, and to-day) am. So I have begotten Thee; and that fact is this day visible, that I have begotten Thee. Comp. Hebrews 10:8-9, note (the authority of the Psalms is shown, in that the declaration of the Son of God was made at the time that the second Psalm was composed, as the oath of Jehovah as to His Priesthood was made when the 110th Psalm was composed).

[78] Rec. Text in Acts 4:27 omits the words ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ. But ABDEde Vulg. Hilar. Iren. and Lucif., the weightiest authorities, support them.—E. and T.

[79] Which is more openly shown by the margin of Ed. 2, than by the margin of the larger Ed.—E. B.

[80] I think the connection of the Sonship with the Resurrection of Jesus (for so I take ἀναστήσας), according to the apostle’s reasoning, is, that the latter was the manifestation of the former to all. So Romans 1:4 : Declared to be the Son of God with power—by the resurrection from the dead. The same connection exists between the believer’s sonship (heretofore hidden) and his future resurrection, which shall manifest it; Luke 20:36; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:5; 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:23.—E. and T.

Lachm. reads ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ γέγραπται τῷ πρώτῳ, following (1) the order of the words in ABC, and (2) the numeral which Origen expressly mentions as being the reading of the passage, 2,538a; also Dd Hilar. 27,42, though not in the same order. Tisch. has ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ ψαλμῷ γέγραπται, following D and Hilar, as above. Rec. Text has τῷ δευτέρῳ, with Ee Vulg.; but Jerome supports πρώτῳ. The reading of Rec. Text no doubt was a correction to suit the present order and division of the Psalms.—E. and T.

Verse 33. - How that God for God, A.V. ("how that" being in ver. 32); our children for us their children, A.V. and T.R.; raised up for hath raised up... again, A.V.; as also it is for as it is also, A.V. Our children. The reading of the R.T. is not adopted by Meyer or Alford, and is scarcely an improvement upon the T.R. There can be no reasonable doubt that ἀναστήσας, raised up, means here, as in ver. 44, raised from the dead. Observe with what skill the apostle speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of God's promise to their fathers, which it was to be presumed they were anxiously expecting. The second psalm. Many manuscripts and editions have, "the first," because the first psalm was often reckoned not numerically but as an introduction to the whole book, so that the second psalm was numbered as the first. This is probably the reason why the eighteen psalms as reckoned by the Jews include Psalm 19, though Joshua ben Levi explains it by the rejection of the second psalm, on account, no doubt, of its testimony to Messiah as God's begotten Son. But the rabbins generally acknowledge the application of this psalm to Messiah (Lightfoot, 'Exercit. on the Acts'). Thou art my Son, etc. This application of the second psalm to the Resurrection is best explained by Romans 1:4. The reference in both passages to David is remarkable (vers. 22, 23). Christ, who was begotten of the Father before all worlds, was declared before men and angels to be the Son of God, when he was raised from the dead in the power of an endless life. Acts 13:33Hath fulfilled (ἐκπεπλήρωκε)

Completely fulfilled; force of ἐκ, out and out.

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