Acts 13:40
Beware therefore, lest that come on you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) Which is spoken of in the prophets.—This formula of citation seems to have been common, as in Acts 7:42, in the case of quotations from the Minor Prophets, which were regarded, as it were, as a single volume with this title.

Acts 13:40-41. Beware, therefore — A weighty and reasonable admonition with which the apostle enforces the very important doctrine which he had just delivered. No reproof is, as yet, added to it: lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the prophets — The apostle refers to Habakkuk 1:5, where the destruction of the Jewish nation by the Chaldeans is foretold, as an incredible and unparalleled destruction; and that prophecy is here, with the greatest propriety and correctness, applied to the destruction which was coming on that nation by the Romans, for rejecting the gospel of Christ. The apostle follows the Septuagint translation, which, reading, it seems, בגרים, despisers, instead of בגוים, among the nations, renders the clause, Ιδετε οι καταφρονηται, και επιβλεψατε, και θαυμασατε θαυμασια, και αφανισθητε, See, ye despisers, and behold, and wonder with astonishment, and disappear, or perish; words exactly the same with those used here by the apostle, according to Luke, save that the apostle omits και επιβλεψατε, and θαυμασια. It is as if the apostle had said, “See that the same thing do not happen to you which formerly happened to your ancestors, when the city and temple were destroyed, and they themselves were carried into captivity for despising God’s blessings.” So Grotius. Or, as Dr. Hammond paraphrases the passage, “You are therefore nearly concerned to take heed and beware, that by your obstinately resisting and rejecting this way of salvation now preached, you do not bring destruction upon yourselves, and cause the gospel to be removed to the Gentiles, (Acts 13:46,) which is a thing that will come to pass suddenly, though so incredible to you, that you will not believe it when the news of it shall come unto you by them that see it done.” The work here spoken of, which the apostle says they would not believe, though credibly attested to them, may be either, 1st, God’s great work of redeeming the world by Christ, a work which the Jews would in no wise believe, according to Isaiah 53:1, Who hath believed our report? or, 2d, The work of their destruction as a nation; the dissolving of their polity; the taking of the kingdom of God from them, and giving it to the Gentiles; the destruction of their temple and city, and the dispersion of their people: an awful work of God this, which one would not have believed should ever have been wrought, considering how much they had been the favourites of Heaven. What was said (Lamentations 4:12) of the calamities which befell them by the Chaldeans, was more especially true of their last destruction: all the inhabitants of the world would not have believed that the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem, and have made such destruction, burning the city and temple, slaying upward of a million of people, and either carrying or selling the rest into captivity: so that no prophecy could be more properly applied, the former destruction being a lively emblem of the latter.13:38-41 Let all that hear the gospel of Christ, know these two things: 1. That through this Man, who died and rose again, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. Your sins, though many and great, may be forgiven, and they may be so without any injury to God's honour. 2. It is by Christ only that those who believe in him, and none else, are justified from all things; from all the guilt and stain of sin, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. The great concern of convinced sinners is, to be justified, to be acquitted from all their guilt, and accepted as righteous in God's sight, for if any is left charged upon the sinner, he is undone. By Jesus Christ we obtain a complete justification; for by him a complete atonement was made for sin. We are justified, not only by him as our Judge but by him as the Lord our Righteousness. What the law could not do for us, in that it was weak, the gospel of Christ does. This is the most needful blessing, bringing in every other. The threatenings are warnings; what we are told will come upon impenitent sinners, is designed to awaken us to beware lest it come upon us. It ruins many, that they despise religion. Those that will not wonder and be saved, shall wonder and perish.Beware, therefore - Avoid what is threatened. It will come on some; and Paul exhorted his hearers to beware lest it should come on them. It was the more important to caution them against this danger, as the Jews held that they were safe.

Lest that come - That calamity; that threatened punishment.

In the prophets - In that part of the Scriptures called "the Prophets." The Jews divided the Old Testament into three parts, of which "the Book of the Prophets" was one. See the notes on Luke 24:44. The place where this is recorded is Habakkuk 1:5. It is not taken from the Hebrew, but substantially from the Septuagint. The original design of the threatening was to announce the destruction that would come upon the nation by the Chaldeans. The original threatening was fulfilled. But it was as applicable to the Jews in the time of Paul as in the time of Habakkuk. The principle of the passage is, that if they held in contempt the doings of God, they would perish. The work which God was to do by means of the Chaldeans was so fearful, so unusual, and so remarkable, that they would not believe it in time to avoid the calamity. In the same way, the manner in which God gave the Messiah was so little in accordance with their expectation, that they might see it, yet disbelieve it; that they might have the fullest proof, and yet despise it; that they might wonder, and be amazed and astonished, and yet refuse to believe it, and be destroyed.

40. Beware, therefore, &c.—By this awful warning of the Old Testament the apostle would fain "shut them up unto the faith." Habakkuk 1:5. He cautions these Jews, lest the same thing threatened by the prophet to their fathers come also upon them; for sin is as odious unto God as ever, and God is as jealous of his honour, which sin robs him of, as ever he was. Beware therefore,.... Of rejecting the Gospel, and those excellent truths of it; since forgiveness of sin and a justifying righteousness are said to be had in no other way, but in and through Christ; take heed therefore,

lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the Prophets: some think that the apostle refers to two places in the Prophets, which he puts together, and therefore uses the plural number; the one in Isaiah 28:14 from whence the character of the persons is taken, "ye despisers", or scornful men, who are addressed; and the other in Habakkuk 1:5 where is to be found what is said to them; but rather the latter place is what is only referred to, and is said to be, "in the Prophets", that is, in one of the prophets; See Gill on John 6:45 or in the book of the Prophets, the lesser prophets, which were together in one book, among which Habakkuk stands; the Ethiopic version reads in the singular number, "lest should come upon you the word of the prophet, saying", as follows.

{16} Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;

(16) The benefits of God turn to the utter undoing of those that condemn them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 13:40-41. Ἐν τοῖς προφήταις] in volumine prophetarum, Luke 24:44; John 6:45.

Habakkuk 1:5 is here quoted, according to the LXX. (which, instead of בַּגּוֹיִם, probably read בֹּגְדִים), from memory with an unimportant deviation. In the announcement of the penal judgments to be executed by means of the Chaldaeans, which are in Hab. l.c. threatened against the degenerate Jewish nation, the apostle sees a divine threatening, the execution of which, in the Messianic sense, would ensue at the impending last judgment by the punishment befalling the unbelieving Israelites. The divine threatening preserves its power and validity even to the end, and has then its last and highest fulfilment. This last Messianic judgment of God—not the ruin of the Jewish war (Wetstein and others)—is here the ἔργον.

ἀφανίσθητε] vanish, come to nought. Comp. Philostr. Imag. i. 26 : οὐχ ὡς ἀπόλοιντο, ἀλλʼ ὡς ἀφανισθεῖεν. Jam 4:14. So very often in classical writers. See Toup, Em. in Suid. I. p. 92. The coming to nought through terror is meant.

ἐργάζομαι] The present denotes what God was just on the point of doing. The ἐγώ annexed (I, whom you despise) has the emphasis of divine authority.

ἔργον] A rhetorically weighty anaphora, and hence without δέ. Comp. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 341 [E. T. 398]. Krüger, § lix. 1. 3 f.

ἐκδιηγῆται] tells it quite to the end. Comp. Acts 15:3; Job 7:3; Sir 39:12; Sir 43:31; Sir 44:8; Joseph. Antt. v. 8. 3; Bell. v. 13. 7.Acts 13:40. ἐν τοῖς προφ., cf. Luke 24:44, and Acts 24:14; John 6:45.—ἐπέλθῃ: quite Lucan in this sense, cf. Acts 8:24, Luke 11:22; Luke 21:26 (Jam 5:1).40. lest that come upon you] viz. a moral and spiritual overthrow as great as the destruction which the Chaldæans and Nebuchadnezzar wrought upon the land and people at the time of the Babylonish captivity to which the prophecy (Habakkuk 1:5) quoted in the next verse refers.Acts 13:40. Βλέπετε, beware) An admonition, as yet unaccompanied with censure, but yet one of a serious kind.—ἐν τοῖς προφηταῖς) in the Twelve prophets; namely, in Habakkuk 1:5.Verse 40. - Spoken for spoken of, A.V.
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