Acts 13:45
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
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(45) They were filled with envy.—They heard the Apostles speaking to the multitudes, not in the condescending, supercilious tone of those who could just tolerate a wealthy proselyte of the gate, that could purchase their favour, but as finding in every one of them a brother standing on the same level as themselves, as redeemed by Christ, and this practical repudiation of all the exclusive privileges on which they prided themselves was more than they could bear.

Contradicting and blaspheming.—The latter word implies reviling words with which the Apostles were assailed, as well as blasphemy in the common meaning of the word.

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.They were filled with envy - Greek: "zeal." The word here denotes "wrath in dignation," that such multitudes should be disposed to hear a message which they rejected, and which threatened to overthrow their religion.

Spake against - Opposed the doctrine that Jesus was the Messiah; that the Messiah would be humble, lowly, despised, and put to death.

Contradicting - Contradicting the apostles. This was evidently done in their presence, Acts 13:46, and would cause great tumult and disorder.

And blaspheming - See the notes on Matthew 9:3. The sense evidently is, that they reproached and vilified Jesus of Nazareth; they spake of him with contempt and scorn. To speak thus of him is denominated blasphemy, Luke 22:65. When people are enraged, they have little regard for the words which they utter, and care little how they may be regarded by God. When people attached themselves to a sect or a party, in religion or politics, and they have no good arguments to employ, they attempt to overwhelm their adversaries by bitter and reproachful words. People in the heat of strife, and in professed zeal for special doctrines, more frequently utter blasphemy than they are aware. Precious and pure doctrines are often thus vilified fled because we do not believe them; and the heart of the Saviour is pierced anew, and his cause bleeds, by the wrath and wickedness of his professed friends. Compare Acts 18:6.

45. But when the Jews—those zealots of exclusive Judaism.

saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy—rather, "indignation," and broke out in their usual manner.

contradicting and blaspheming—There is nothing more awful than Jewish fury and execration of the name of Jesus of Nazareth, when thoroughly roused.

The Jews could not endure that the Gentiles should be equalled to them, being as much concerned against the Gentiles being exalted, as against their own being depressed.

Envy, as a vicious humour, made them disrelish the wholesomest and most saving truths.

Contradicting and blaspheming; contradicting the doctrine of the gospel, and blaspheming the preaching of it; or going from one degree of opposition unto another, until they came to the highest enmity against both. But when the Jews saw the multitudes,.... The vast number of people, the inhabitants of the city, the Gentiles, that were assembled together to hear the word. This must be understood of the unbelieving Jews, who came with no good design:

they were filled with envy; at the Gentiles, that they should have the word equally preached to them, as to themselves, to whom the oracles of God were committed; or at the popularity of the apostles, that such numbers should follow them; and they might fear many converts might be made by them, from among them:

and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul; concerning Jesus of Nazareth being the Messiah, which they denied; and concerning free justification by his righteousness, which they affirmed to be by the works of the law: and they went on

contradicting and blaspheming; publicly opposing him, and speaking evil of him, and of his doctrines; and not only so, but belching out their blasphemies against the Lord Jesus Christ. The Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, leave out the word "contradicting", as redundant, it having been before said, that "they spoke against", or "contradicted" what Paul delivered; though it may not be superfluous, but express their continuance in their contradiction and opposition; and which was attended with, and issued in blasphemy: such a spirit of reproach and blasphemy is with the Jews a sign of the Messiah's coming;

"says R. Jannai (x), when you see generation after generation reproaching and blaspheming, look for the feet of the Messiah, according to Psalm 89:51.''

This they have been doing one age after another, even for many ages; and therefore, according to one of their own signs, the Messiah must be come.

(x) Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 11. 4.

{18} But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

(18) The favour on the very same Gospel is to the reprobate and unbelievers death, and to the elect and those who believe it is life.

Acts 13:45. οἱ Ἰ.: not the proselytes with them (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 101).—τοὺς ὄχλους, cf. Acts 13:48, τὰ ἔθνη.—ἀντιλ. καὶ, see critical notes; if retained, participle emphasises finite verb: “not only contradicting but blaspheming”; see Simcox, Language of the N. T., p. 130.—βλασ.: nomen Christi, xviii. 6, xxvi. 11.45. they were filled with envy (jealousy)] The exclusive spirit, which was so engrafted in the Jewish race, asserted itself as soon as they saw the Gentiles gathered to hear the Apostles. The teaching of men who would admit all mankind to the same privileges, was abhorrent to them. For themselves and for proselytes they could accept a message as God-sent, and tolerate some modifications in their teaching and practice, but they could not endure that the Gentiles should be made equal with God’s ancient people.

contradicting and blaspheming] The first two words are omitted in the oldest texts. See for similar conduct of the Jews at Corinth under like circumstances, Acts 18:6.Acts 13:45. Τοὺς ὄχλους, the multitudes) even of Gentiles.—ἀντέλεγον, they spake against) Presently after their contradiction increased: for there follows the word βλασφημοῦντες, or as others read, ἀντιλέγοντες καὶ βλασφημοῦντες, contradicting and blaspheming. If this fuller reading be preferred, it is an instance of the repetition of the verb, another being superseded, as in Jdg 4:24 (Hebr.); 1 Kings 20:37; Isaiah 19:22; Jeremiah 12:17.[82] Such men are left to themselves: ch. Acts 18:6, Acts 19:9, Acts 28:24; Acts 28:28.

[82] The margin of Ed. 2 and Germ. Vers. are less favourable to the fuller reading than the larger Ed.—E. B.

D and later Syr. support the full reading; and so Tisch. But ABC Vulg. the shorter reading. Ee have ἐναντιόμενοι και βλασφ.—E. and T.Verse 45. - Jealousy for envy, A.V.; contra-dieted the things for spake against those things, A.V.; and blasphemed for contradicting and blaspheming, A.V. and T.R. Jealousy. Neither word exactly expresses the ζῆλος. The indignation of ver. 17, A.V. (where see note), is nearer the sense; though jealousy of the influence of the two strangers may have entered into the fierce passion which was stirred up in the Jewish mind, as well as jealousy for their own religion, which they saw was being superseded by the doctrine of Paul. Envy (ζήλου)

Rev., jealousy. See on James 3:14.

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