Acts 13:43
Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
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(43) When the congregation was broken up.—Better, as keeping to the usual rendering, the synagogue. The two preachers withdrew to their inn or lodging, and were followed by many of both classes of their hearers—not, as the Received text of Acts 13:42 implies, by one only. It is probable, looking to St. Paul’s language in 1Corinthians 9:6—which can only refer to their joint life at the Syrian Antioch, or on this journey,—that during the week that followed they worked for their maintenance as tent-makers. (See Note on Acts 18:3.) Manufactures of this kind were so common in all the towns lying on or near the Taurus range of mountains, that it would not be difficult for any skilled workman, such as St. Paul, to obtain casual employment.

Persuaded them.—The tense implies that they went on throughout the week—probably after their day’s labour was over—with this work of persuasion.

13:42-52 The Jews opposed the doctrine the apostles preached; and when they could find no objection, they blasphemed Christ and his gospel. Commonly those who begin with contradicting, end with blaspheming. But when adversaries of Christ's cause are daring, its advocates should be the bolder. And while many judge themselves unworthy of eternal life, others, who appear less likely, desire to hear more of the glad tidings of salvation. This is according to what was foretold in the Old Testament. What light, what power, what a treasure does this gospel bring with it! How excellent are its truths, its precepts, its promises! Those came to Christ whom the Father drew, and to whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual, Ro 8:30. As many as were disposed to eternal life, as many as had concern about their eternal state, and aimed to make sure of eternal life, believed in Christ, in whom God has treasured up that life, and who is the only Way to it; and it was the grace of God that wrought it in them. It is good to see honourable women devout; the less they have to do in the world, the more they should do for their own souls, and the souls of others: but it is sad, when, under colour of devotion to God, they try to show hatred to Christ. And the more we relish the comforts and encouragements we meet with in the power of godliness, and the fuller our hearts are of them, the better prepared we are to face difficulties in the profession of godliness.When the congregation - Greek: when the synagogue was dissolved.

Broken up - Dismissed. It does not mean that it was broken up by violence or disorder. It was dismissed in the usual way.

Many of the Jews - Probably the majority of them rejected the message. See Acts 13:45. Still a deep impression was made on many of them.

And religious proselytes - See Acts 13:16. Compare the notes on Matthew 23:15. Greek: proselytes worshipping.

Persuaded them to continue ... - It would appear from this that they professedly received the truth and embraced the Lord Jesus. This success was remarkable, and shows the power of the gospel when it is preached faithfully to people.

In the grace of God - In his favor - in the faith, and prayer, and obedience which would be connected with his favor. The "gospel" is called the grace (favor) of God and they were exhorted to persevere in their attachment to it.

43. who, speaking to them—following up the discourse in the synagogue by some further words of encouragement.

persuaded them to continue in the grace of God—which they had experienced through the Gospel. (Compare Ac 11:23).

The congregation was broken up; the congregation was dissolved, by the offence the Jews generally had taken at the doctrine of the apostles.

Religious proselytes; these proselytes were so called, from their coming over from paganism to own the true God: see Acts 2:10.

In the grace of God; this grace of God the apostles so earnestly exhorted them to continue in, was,

1. Their present state of being firmly resolved to serve God, whatsoever opposition or temptation they should meet with to the contrary, which was wrought in them by the grace of God.

2. The doctrine of justification by the grace of God, which St. Paul had preached unto them, Acts 13:39. Or:

3. The whole gospel, and doctrine therein contained, which is called the grace of God, Hebrews 12:15, and the true grace wherein we stand, 1 Peter 5:12. Now when the congregation was broken up,.... Or "the synagogue"; not the place, but the people that met in it; when they were "dismissed", as the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions render it; either in a disorderly manner, through the offence the Jews took at Paul's preaching; or if in an orderly way, this was done by "the interpreter"; so it is said (w), that

"R. Hotzpith the interpreter dismissed the people.''

Many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who were converted by this sermon, and believed in Christ, and cordially embraced the doctrines of the Gospel, that had been preached. Piscator thinks that the word "religious" does not belong to the text, but some way or other crept into it, since it supposes some proselytes not to be religious; whereas, though all religious persons were not proselytes, at least proselytes of righteousness, yet all proselytes were religious persons; but it is retained in all copies and versions:

who speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God; meaning, not that the Jews and proselytes spoke to Paul and Barnabas, and entreated and persuaded them to persevere in preaching the doctrine of the grace of God, notwithstanding the offence some might take at it, and the ill usage they might meet with on account of it; but that Paul and Barnabas took notice of them, and by their following them, and by the conversation they had with them, found that the word had reached their hearts, and that they had embraced the doctrine of the Gospel; wherefore they spoke a word of exhortation to them, beseeching them to continue in it, it springing from the grace of God, and being a declaration of it; and particularly in those special doctrines of grace, which had been insisted on, namely, remission of sins, and free justification by the blood of Christ; for it is more likely, and was more necessary, that these should be exhorted by the apostles, and not the apostles by them.

(w) T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 67. 4.

Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and {r} religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

(r) Who had forsaken their heathen religion, and embraced the religion set forth by Moses.

Acts 13:43. λυθ. δὲ: Paul and Barnabas had gone out before the synagogue was formally broken up; δέ marks the contrast in the case of those who followed them to hear more.—τῶν δεβ. προσ.: only here. σεβ. τὸν Θεόν or φοβ. τὸν Θεόν: used elsewhere of the uncircumcised Gentiles who joined the Jewish synagogue, whilst προσήλυτοι means those who became circumcised and were full proselytes: “devout,” R.V., referring rather to the outward worship, “religious,” A.V., rather to inward feelings (but in Acts 13:50, “devout,” A.V.).—οἵτινες (Acts 9:35, Acts 11:28) refers to the Apostles, but see on the other hand Rendall’s note, pp. 92, 165, referring it to the people (so apparently Calvin). The Apostles thought by the eager following of the people that the grace of God had found an entrance into their souls, see critical notes for .—προσλαλοῦντες: in N.T. only elsewhere in Acts 28:20, cf. Wis 13:17 (Exodus 4:16, A 2).43. religious (devout) proselytes] Perhaps applied to the proselytes of righteousness as distinguished from the proselytes of the gate.

persuaded them to continue in the grace of God] as Barnabas in like circumstances had urged on the converts at Antioch in Syria (Acts 11:23). Here, though we have no mention of actual converts, the Apostles must have had regard to the “purpose of their hearts” when they spake to these enquirers as though they were already “in the grace of God.”Acts 13:43. Σεβομένων) worshipping God. As to these, see on ch. Acts 17:4.—προσλαλοῦντες, addressing) with somewhat of familiarity.—ἔπειθον, persuaded) Temptation was likely to assail them.—τῇ χάριτι τοῦ Θεοῦ) in the grace of GOD, which they had received from the Gospel.Verse 43. - The synagogue broke up for the congregation was broken up, A.V.; the devout for religious, A.V.; urged for persuaded, A.V. This verse manifestly describes something subsequent to the event recorded in the preceding. The congregation had asked Paul and Barnabas, perhaps through the ruler of the synagogue, to return next sabbath. But when the congregation broke up, many Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas to their own house and received further instructions and exhortation to continue in the grace of God. No doubt Barnabas had his full share in this more private ministry of exhortation (Acts 4:36, note, and Acts 11:23). (For the meaning of "to continue in the grace of God," see Galatians 5:4.) Religious (σεβομένων)

Lit., worshipping. Compare Acts 13:50 and Acts 16:14.

Proselytes (προσηλύτων)

Originally, one who arrives at a place; a stranger; thence of one who comes over to another faith.

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