Acts 13:48
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(48) They were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord.—Both verbs are in the tense of continued action. The joy was not an evanescent burst of emotion. The “word of the Lord” here is the teaching which had the Lord Jesus as its subject.

As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.—Better, as many as were disposed for. The words seem to the English reader to support the Calvinistic dogma of divine decrees as determining the belief or unbelief of men, and it is not improbable, looking to the general drift of the theology of the English Church in the early part of the seventeenth century, that the word “ordained” was chosen as expressing that dogma. It runs, with hardly any variation, through all the chief English versions, the Rhemish giving the stronger form “pre-ordinate.” The Greek word, however, does not imply more than that they fell in with the divine order which the Jews rejected. They were as soldiers who take the place assigned to them in God’s great army. The quasi-middle force of the passive form of the verb is seen in the Greek of Acts 20:13, where a compound form of it is rightly rendered “for so he had appointed,” and might have been translated for so he was disposed. It lies in the nature of the case that belief was followed by a public profession of faith, but the word “believed” does not, as some have said, involve such a profession.

Acts 13:48. And when the Gentiles heard this — That such things had been prophesied concerning them many ages ago, and that the way was now open for their admission into covenant with the true God, and that the Lord Jesus had commanded his apostles to receive them into his church, and to admit them to all the benefits of the Messiah’s kingdom, without subjecting them to the law of Moses; they were glad — And well they might be so, for they had now the door of faith set wide open to them; and glorified the word of the Lord — Which had invited them to share in all the blessings of his grace, and brought to them the knowledge of salvation. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed — From this expression some infer, that God’s ordination, or decree, is the sole or principal cause of men’s faith, and that he hath thereby fixed the number of those that shall believe, and whom he will finally save. But if so, consequently the want, or absence, of such ordination or decree, in behalf of others, is the sole or principal reason of their unbelief; and by God withholding it, he has fixed the number of those that shall not believe, and so shall finally perish. For if the reason why these persons believed was only, or chiefly this, that they were ordained to believe, and obtain eternal life, then the reason why the rest believed not must be only, or chiefly this, that they were not so ordained by God. And, if so, what necessity could there be, that the word of God should first be preached to them, Acts 13:46. Was it only that their damnation might be greater? This seems to charge that lover of souls, whose tender mercies are over all his works, with the greatest cruelty, as it makes him determine from all eternity, not only that so many souls, as capable of salvation as any others, shall perish everlastingly, but also that the dispensations of his providence shall be such toward them, as shall necessarily tend to the aggravation of their condemnation. And what could even their most malicious enemy do more? What is it that Satan himself aims at by all his temptations, but the aggravation of the future punishment of sinners? Therefore, to assert that God had determined his word should be spoken to these Jews for this very end, (which assertion must follow from such an interpretation of the text,) is to make God more instrumental to their ruin than even the devil himself; and is certainly wholly irreconcilable with his declarations, that he is not willing any should perish, but would have all men to be saved. Further, the apostle gives this reason, why he turned from the Jews to the Gentiles, that the Jews had thrust the word of God from them, and judged themselves unworthy of eternal life, Acts 13:46; whereas, according to this doctrine, this could be no sufficient reason of his turning from them to the Gentiles; for it was only they among the Jews whom God had not ordained to eternal life, who thus refused to believe, and obey the word of God. And as many among the Gentiles as were not thus ordained must necessarily do the same; and so there could be no sufficient reason why he should turn to the Gentiles on that account. Once more, “If as many as [in that assembly] were ordained to eternal life, believed under that sermon of Paul, [when almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God,] it follows, that all who believed not then were eternally shut up in unbelief: and that all the elect believed at once; that they who do not believe at one time, shall not believe at another; and that when Paul returned to Antioch, few souls, if any, could be converted by his ministry; God having at once taken as many as were ordained to eternal life, and left all the rest to Satan.” — Fletcher. We are therefore obliged to look out for another sense of the word τεταγμενοι, and that is easily found. It is a passive participle of the verb τασσω, which, although it has various significations, is never used to express eternal predestination of any kind. It is rendered ordained here, and Romans 13:1; (where the margin certainly more properly renders it ordered;) elsewhere, as chap. Acts 15:2, to determine; 1 Corinthians 16:15, to addict one’s self; and frequently to dispose, place, or appoint. In the Greek classics, in its passive form, it is generally used of men, who, having been appointed for some military expedition, (and set in their proper offices, as it is rendered, Luke 7:8,) were drawn up in battle array for that purpose. So that it expresses, or refers, at once to the action of their commander, marshalling them, and to their own presenting themselves in their proper places, to be led on to the intended expedition. So Dr. Doddridge, who adds, “This I take to be precisely its sense here, and have therefore chosen the word determined, as having an ambiguity something like that in the original. The meaning of the sacred penman seems to be, that all who were deeply and seriously concerned about their eternal happiness, (whether that concern began now, or were of longer date,) openly embraced the gospel: for surely none could be said to believe who did not make an open profession of Christianity.” In a similar sense, the clause is understood by Dr. Hammond, who renders it, As many as were disposed for eternal life believed: and by Dr. Heylin, whose translation and gloss upon it is, As many as were in a fit disposition for eternal life believed. Dr. Waterland also, and many of the most learned expositors, interpret it in the same manner, namely, as describing those who were, at this time, in a disposition to comply with the terms on which God, by his apostle, now offered them eternal life; that is, to repent, believe, and obey the gospel. In other words, “As many as were brought to a resolution of courageously facing all opposition in the way to it, believed, and openly embraced the Christian religion, as the best means to prepare them for an endless life of the greatest virtue and purity, as well as of the greatest glory and most perfect happiness.” The Syriac, likewise, one of the most ancient versions of the New Testament, has rendered the passage in the same sense, which is of great moment, as that translation was made before the meaning of this place was disputed by the different sects and parties of Christians. The sum is: All those, and only those, now believed, who yielded to, instead of resisting the convictions produced in their minds by the preaching of the truth, and the influence of the grace of God, which truth was preached with equal clearness to others, and which grace, in a similar way, visited and strove with others: for God had not reprobated the rest. It was his will that they also should have been saved, but by yielding to inclinations, affections, and passions, which they themselves knew to be sinful, and to which they were under no necessity of yielding, they rejected the counsel of God against themselves, and thrust salvation from them. For they who then repented and believed were not constrained so to do, but grace and mercy were then freely and copiously offered to them, and pressed upon them, and they did not put it away, but yielded to its influence. So that a great multitude, even of such as, it seems, had been idolatrous Gentiles, were converted. Those who wish for further satisfaction on this verse, may find it in Hammond, Whitby, and Dodd, upon it: in Sellon’s Arguments against General Redemption considered. Works, vol. 2. p. 128: and in Fletcher’s Checks to Antinomianism. Works, Am. ed., vol. 2. pp. 77, 78.

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 Gentiles heard this - Heard that the gospel was to be preached to them. The doctrine of the Jews had been that salvation was confined to themselves. The Gentiles rejoiced that from the mouths of Jews themselves they now heard a different doctrine.

They glorified the word of the Lord - They honored it as a message from God; they recognized and received it as the Word of God. The expression conveys the idea of praise on account of it, and of reverence for the message as the Word of God.

And as many as were ordained - ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι hosoi ēsan tetagmenoi. Syriac, "Who were destined," or constituted. Vulgate, "As many as were foreordained (quotquot erant praeordinati) to eternal life believed." There has been much difference of opinion in regard to this expression. One class of commentators has supposed that it refers to the doctrine of election - to God's ordaining people to eternal life, and another class to their being disposed themselves to embrace the gospel - to those among them who did not reject and despise the gospel, but who were disposed and inclined to embrace it. The main inquiry is, what is the meaning of the word rendered "ordained"? The word is used only eight times in the New Testament: Matthew 28:16, "Into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them"; that is, previously appointed - before his death; Luke 7:8, "For I also am a man set under authority"; appointed, or designated as a soldier, to be under the authority of another; Acts 15:2, "They determined that Paul and Barnabas, etc., should go to Jerusalem"; Acts 22:10, "It shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do"; Acts 23:23, "And when they appointed him a day," etc.: Romans 13:1, "the powers that be are ordained of God; 1 Corinthians 16:15, They have addicted themselves to the ministry of saints." The word τάσσω tassō, properly means "to place" - that is, to place in a certain rank or order. Its meaning is derived from arranging or disposing a body of soldiers in regular military order. In the places which have been mentioned above, the word is used to denote the following things:

(1) To command, or to designate, Matthew 28:16; Acts 22:10; Acts 28:23.

(2) to institute, constitute, or appoint, Romans 13:1; compare 2 Samuel 8:11; 1 Samuel 22:7.

(3) to determine, to take counsel, to resolve, Acts 15:2.

(4) to subject to the authority of another, Luke 7:8.

(5) to addict to; to devote to, 1 Corinthians 16:15. The meaning may be thus expressed:

(1) The word is never used to denote an internal disposition or inclination arising from one's own self. It does not mean that they disposed themselves to embrace eternal life.

(2) it has uniformly the notion of an ordering, disposing, or arranging from without; that is, from some other source than the individual himself; as of a soldier, who is arranged or classified according to the will of the proper officer. In relation to these persons it means, therefore, that they were disposed or inclined to this from some other source than themselves.

(3) it does not properly refer to an eternal decree, or directly to the doctrine of election - though that may be inferred from it; but it refers to their being then in fact disposed to embrace eternal life. They were then inclined by an influence from without themselves, or so disposed as to embrace eternal life. That this was done by the influence of the Holy Spirit is clear from all parts of the New Testament, Titus 3:5-6; John 1:13. It was not a disposition or arrangement originating with themselves, but with God.

(4) this implies the doctrine of election. It was, in fact, that doctrine expressed in an act. It was nothing but God's disposing them to embrace eternal life. And that he does this according to a plan in his own mind a plan which is unchangeable as he himself is unchangeable is clear from the Scriptures. Compare Acts 18:10; Romans 8:28-30; Romans 9:15-16, Romans 9:21, Romans 9:23; Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 1:11. The meaning may be expressed in few words - who were then disposed, and in good earnest determined, to embrace eternal life, by the operation of the grace of God upon their hearts.

Eternal life - Salvation. See the notes on John 3:36.

48. when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad—to perceive that their accession to Christ was a matter of divine arrangement as well as apostolic effort.

and glorified the word of the Lord—by a cordial reception of it.

and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed—a very remarkable statement, which cannot, without force, be interpreted of anything lower than this, that a divine ordination to eternal life is the cause, not the effect, of any man's believing.

When the Gentiles heard this they were glad; there can be no true rest or peace in any to whom Christ is not manifested; the apostle telling us, that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1; and the kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Glorified the word of the Lord; they magnified the goodness of God, which appeared in the gospel unto them.

As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed; God, who ordered the end, ordereth the means, and gives them opportunities to hear the word, and by it graciously worketh faith in them whom he hath appointed to eternal life; without which faith, purging the heart, there is no hope of life eternal.

And when the Gentiles heard this,.... That it was the will of God, and the command of Christ, that the Gospel should be preached to them; by whom are to be understood the Pisidians, the inhabitants of Antioch, who had never been proselytes to the Jewish religion:

they were glad; not that the Jews were likely to have the Gospel taken away from them, and be utterly deprived of it, but that it was to be preached to them:

and glorified the word of the Lord; not the Lord Jesus Christ, the essential word of the Lord, whom they might not as yet have such a distinct knowledge of; but rather God himself, for his word, particularly his word of command, Acts 13:47 as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions read; or the sense is, they spake well of the Gospel, and gave glory to God, or the Lord, who had sent it among them: Beza's most ancient copy reads, they "received the word of the Lord", which seems to be a more agreeable reading; to glorify the word of the Lord, is an unusual phrase:

and as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed; faith is not the cause, or condition of the decree of eternal life, but a means fixed in it, and is a fruit and effect of it, and what certainly follows upon it, as in these persons: some would have the words rendered, "as many as were disposed unto eternal life believed"; which is not countenanced by the ancient versions. The Arabic renders it as we do, and the Syriac thus, "as many as were put, or appointed unto eternal life"; and the Vulgate Latin version, "as many as were pre-ordained". Moreover, the phrase of being "disposed unto", or "for eternal life", is a very unusual, if not a very improper, and an inaccurate one; men are said to be disposed to an habit, or to an act, as to vice or virtue, but not to reward or punishment, as to heaven or hell; nor does it appear that these Gentiles had any good dispositions to eternal life, antecedent to their believing; for though they are said, Acts 13:42 to entreat the apostles to preach the same things to them the next sabbath, yet the words as there observed, according to their natural order, may be rendered "they", i.e. the apostles, "besought the Gentiles"; and in some copies and versions, the "Gentiles" are not mentioned at all: and as for their being "glad", and "glorifying the word of the Lord", it is not evident that this was before their believing; and if it was, such things have been found in persons, who have had no true, real, and inward dispositions to spiritual things, as in many of our Lord's hearers; besides, admitting that there are, in some, good dispositions to eternal life, previous to faith, and that desiring eternal life, and seeking after it, be accounted such, yet these may be where faith does not follow; as in the young rich ruler, that came to Christ with such an inquiry, and went away sorrowful: as many therefore as are so disposed, do not always believe, faith does not always follow such dispositions; and after all, one would have thought that the Jews themselves, who were externally religious, and were looking for the Messiah, and especially the devout and able women, were more disposed unto eternal life, than the ignorant and idolatrous Gentiles; and yet the latter believed, and the former did not: it follows then, that their faith did not arise from previous dispositions to eternal life, but was the fruit and effect of divine ordination unto it; and the word here used, in various places in this book, signifies determination and appointment, and not disposition of mind; see Acts 15:2 The phrase is the same with that used by the Jews, , "who are ordained to eternal life" (y); and , "everyone that is written to eternal life"; (z) i.e. in the book of life; and designs no other than predestination or election, which is God's act, and is an eternal one; is sovereign, irrespective, and unconditional; relates to particular persons, and is sure and certain in its effect: it is an ordination, not to an office, nor to the means of grace, but to grace and glory itself; to a life of grace which is eternal, and to a life of glory which is for ever; and which is a pure gift of God, is in the hands of Christ, and to which his righteousness gives a title: and ordination to it shows it to be a blessing of an early date; and the great love of God to the persons ordained to it; and the certainty of enjoying it.

(y) Zohar in Exod. fol. 43. 4. (z) Targum in Isa. iv. 3. Vid Abkath Rocel, p. 5.

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were {t} ordained to eternal life believed.

(t) Therefore either all were not appointed to everlasting life, or either all believed, but because all did not believe, it follows that certain ones were ordained: and therefore God did not only foreknow, but also foreordained, that neither faith nor the effects of faith should be the cause of his ordaining, or appointment, but his ordaining the cause of faith.

Acts 13:48-49. Τὸν λόγον τ. Κυρίου] see on Acts 8:25.

ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον] as many of them as were ordained to eternal (Messianic) life. Luke regards, in accordance with the Pauline conception (Romans 9; Ephesians 1:4-5; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, al.), the believing of those Gentiles as ensuing in conformity to their destination, ordered by God already (namely, from of old), to partake of eternal life. Not all in general became believers, but all those who were divinely destined to this ζωή; and not the rest. Chrysostom correctly remarks: ἀφωρισμένοι τῷ Θεῷ. The τάξις of God in regard to those who became believers was in accordance with His πρόγνωσις, by means of which He foreknew them as credituros; but the divine τάξις was realized by the divine κλῆσις effectual for faith (Romans 8:28-30)—of which Paul, with his preaching, was here the instrument. It was dogmatic arbitrariness which converted our passage into a proof of the decretum absolutum;[13] see Beza and Calvin in loc., and Canon. Dordrac. p. 205, ed. Augusti. For Luke leaves entirely out of account the relation of “being ordained” to free self-determination; the object of his remark is not to teach a doctrine, but to indicate a historical sequence. Indeed, the evident relation, in which this notice stands to the apostle’s own words, ἐπειδὴζωῆς (Acts 13:46), rather testifies against the conception of the absolute decree, and for the idea, according to which the destination of God does not exclude (comp. Acts 2:41) individual freedom (ὡς οὐ κατʼ ἀνάγκην, Chrysostom); although, if the matter is contemplated only from one of those two sides which it necessarily has, the other point of view, owing to the imperfection of man’s mode of looking at it, cannot receive proportionally its due, but appears to be logically nullified. See, more particularly, the remark subjoined to Romans 9:33. Accordingly, it is not to be explained of the actus paedagogicos (Calovius), of the praesentem gratiae operationem per evangelium (Bengel), of the drawing of the Father, John 6:44; John 6:37, etc., with the Lutheran dogmatic writers; but the literal meaning is to be adhered to, namely, the divine destination to eternal salvation: ἔθετο αὐτοὺς ὁ Θεὸς εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας, 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Morus, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel, and others, with rationalizing arbitrariness, import the sense: “quibus, dum fidem doctrinae habebant, certa erat vita beata et aeterna,” by which the meaning of the word τεταγμένοι is entirely explained away. Others take ἦσαν τεταγμ. in the middle sense (quotquot se ordinaverant ad vitam aeternam), as Grotius, Krebs, Loesner, and others,[14] in which case τεταγμ. is often understood in its military sense (qui ordines servant; see Maji Obss. III. p. 81 ff.): “qui de agmine et classe erant sperantium vel contendentium ad vitam aeternam” (Mede in Wolf). But it is against the middle rendering of τεταγμ. (comp. on Acts 20:13), that it is just seized on in order to evade an unpleasant meaning; and for the sensus militaris of τεταγμ. no ground at all is afforded by the context, which, on the contrary, suggests nothing else than the simple signification “ordained” for τεταγμ., and the sense of the aim for εἰς ζωὴν αἰών. Others join εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον to ἐπίστευσαν, so that they understand τεταγμ. either in the usual and correct sense destinati (so Heinrichs), or quotquot tempus constituerant (Markland), or congregati (Knatchbull), in spite of the simple order of the words and of the expression πιστεύειν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον being without example; for in 1 Timothy 1:16 εἰς defines the aim. Among the Rabbins, also, the idea and expression “ordinati (מוכנים) ad vitam futuri saeculi” (as well as the opposite: “ordinati ad Gehennam”) are very common. See the many passages in Wetstein. But Wetstein himself interprets in an entirely erroneous manner: that they were on account of their faith ordained to eternal life. The faith, foreseen by God, is subsequent, not previous to the ordination; by the faith of those concerned their divine τάξις becomes manifest and recognised. See Romans 8:30; Romans 10:14; Ephesians 1:11; Ephesians 1:13, al.

[13] In which case Beza, for example, proceeds with logical self-deception: “Ergo vel non omnes erant vitae aeternae destinati, vel omnes crediderunt.” Rather it is to be said: “Omnes erant vitae aeternae destinati, sed credituri.” This excludes from the divine τάξις of salvation those who reject the faith through their own fault.

[14] Hofmann’s view, Schriftbew. I. p. 238, amounts to the same thing: “who, directed unto eternal life, were in a disposition of mind corresponding to the offer of it.” The comparison of 1 Corinthians 16:15 does not suit. Lange, II. p. 173, in a similar manner evades the meaning of the words: “those who under God’s ordination were at that time ripe for faith.” Comp. already Bretschneider, “dispositi,”—that is to say, “apti facti oratione Pauli.”

Acts 13:48. ἐδόξ. τὸν λ. τοῦ Κ.: δοξ. τὸν Θ.; frequent in Luke and Paul, cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:1 for the nearest approach to the exact phrase here.—ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγ.: there is no countenance here for the absolutum decretum of the Calvinists, since Acts 13:46 had already shown that the Jews had acted through their own choice. The words are really nothing more than a corollary of St. Paul’s ἀναγκαῖον: the Jews as a nation had been ordained to eternal life—they had rejected this election—but those who believed amongst the Gentiles were equally ordained by God to eternal life, and it was in accordance with His divine appointment that the Apostles had turned to them. Some take the word as if middle, not passive: “as many as had set themselves unto eternal life,” and in support of this Rendall refers to 1 Corinthians 16:15, ἔταξαν ἑαυτοὺς (see also Blass, in loco). The rendering here given by Rendall may be adopted without pressing the military metaphor in the verb, as has sometimes been done; see Wendt’s note, p. 308 (1888). St. Chrysostom takes the expression (rightly as Wendt thinks): ἀφωρισμένοι τῷ Θεῷ. Mr. Page’s note, in loco, should be consulted.

48. and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed] In the controversies on predestination and election this sentence has constantly been brought forward. But it is manifestly unfair to take a sentence out of its context, and interpret it as if it stood alone. In Acts 13:46 we are told that the Jews had judged themselves unworthy of eternal life, and all that is meant by the words in this verse is the opposite of that expression. The Jews were acting so as to proclaim themselves unworthy; the Gentiles were making manifest their desire to be deemed worthy. The two sections were like opposing troops, ranged by themselves, and to some degree, though not unalterably, looked upon as so arranged by God on different sides. Thus the Gentiles were ordering themselves, and were ordered, unto eternal life. The text says no word to warrant us in thinking that none could henceforth change sides.

Acts 13:48. Ἀκούοντα) hearing this, that light is vouchsafed to them, and that this was foretold long before.—ἔχαιρον, were glad) with most grateful piety. [A mark of the best disposition.—V. g.]—ὄσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, as many as were ordained to eternal life) To the Jews, who were judging themselves unworthy of eternal life, there are openly put in antithesis those of the Gentiles, who having been ordained to the same life, take up (receive) faith: for so a man’s own destruction is wont to be ascribed by Scripture to himself; but his salvation, to GOD: Romans 9:22, note. Therefore GOD is meant, who ordained the Gentiles to everlasting life. For a man cannot ordain himself (if we may be allowed so to speak) to everlasting life, except by believing. But here the ordination is mentioned prior to faith; therefore the ordination is the act of God. However Luke is not speaking of eternal predestination: for truly, no doubt, whom God hath foreknown, them He also predestinated; and whom He predestinated, them He also called: and therefore faith follows the Divine foreknowledge, and it is from the former that the latter is known: Romans 8:29-30; 1 Thessalonians 1:4. But Luke simply says here, As many as were ordained, although the Vulgate has prærdinatos, “preordained:” and being an inspired writer no doubt, but at the same time also an historian, in assigning the causes of events connected with men’s salvation, he is wont nowhere to mention the election made from eternity, but the present operation of grace by the Gospel (which operation no doubt flows from election). Therefore the correlatives are these, Salvation is offered; the word is received: ch. Acts 2:40-41, “Save yourselves,—they—received his word.” The Lord adds many who believe, Acts 2:47 to Acts 5:14, “Believers were added to the Lord.” The hand of the Lord is with them that preach; many believe: ch. Acts 11:21. The Lord appoints Paul His minister; Paul obeys: ch. Acts 26:16; Acts 26:19. “God sends; the Gentiles hear:” ch. Acts 28:28 : comp. Matthew 21:43; Ephesians 2:8; Php 2:13; Php 2:12, etc. Therefore Luke describes such an ordaining, as took place at the very time of hearing; and, as Aretius observes, in this assembly they believed who were τεταγμένοι, that is, they on whom the gift of God was bestowed at that hour, enabling them to believe. It is all the same as if Luke said, They believed whomsoever the Father drew at that time and gave to the Son: John 6:44; John 6:37. Those WHOSE HEART the LORD hath touched and OPENED: as Luke expresses himself in a passage altogether similar, describing the same τάξιν, ordaining, Acts 16:14-15. With this comp. 1 Samuel 10:26 : upon whom the Lord bestowed faith, Php 1:29. Comp. the full and striking note of Raphelius in ‘Herodotea.’ The verb, τάττω, I ordain, itself is nowhere used of eternal predestination, which is otherwise expressed by such a variety of phrases; but it is very often said (for the Hebr. שות and שום) concerning those things which GOD ordains in time:τάξω σε εἰς τέκνα, Jeremiah 3:19; τάξω αὐτὴν ὠς γῆν ἄνυδρον, Hosea 2:5; τἁξει αὐτοὺς (Luther renders und wird sie zurichten) ὡς ἵππον εὐπρεπῆ Zechariah 10:3 : Add Ezekiel 16:14, “The beauty which I, ἔταξα, appointed,” or “put upon thee;” Habakkuk 1:12, “Thou hast ordained it (τέταχας αὐτὸ) for judgment;” ch. Acts 3:19, τάξει τοὺς πόδας μου; Malachi 1:3, ἔταξα τὰ ὄρια εἰς ἀφανισμον, “I appointed his mountains to be laid waste;” Job 14:13. Nor is the Preterite in this passage opposed to this view, ἦσαν τεταγμένοι: for this form of speaking does not always look far backwards: John 13:5, “The towel wherewith He, ἦν διεζωσμένος, was (not had been) girded.” They were ordained, not had been: nor was the ordaining itself completed in one single moment: comp. Acts 13:44; Acts 13:43; Acts 13:42, and John 4:39; John 4:35; John 4:30. Moreover the ὅσοι, as many, admirably expresses the power of the Divine ordaining, and the readiness and multitude of the hearers answering to it. All these, and these alone, believed, who were ordained: GOD was not unwilling that the rest should believe: 1 Timothy 2:4. For it is not GOD that judges bad men, but it is bad men themselves who judge themselves unworthy of eternal life: nor were those persons who believed absolutely forced to entertain faith; but grace afforded itself at that time in especial abundance; and hence the hearers afforded (lent) themselves obediently, so as not to repel it (with this comp. Acts 13:46), but to receive it gladly (with this comp. ch. Acts 17:11), and that too in such large numbers, that the apostles, when they subsequently returned, had none in that town to make disciples of, but had only to ‘confirm’ those already made: ch. Acts 14:21-22. For this reason it was that this passage especially demanded a magnificent and peculiar mode of expression to suit this particular point of time, wherein the Gentiles, as contrasted with the contumacious Jews, were being brought to the faith: and this was the beginning and a specimen of their further conversion. For Scripture is wont with peculiar emphasis to ascribe great successes, such as lie beyond the hope and ability of men, even of those who are saints, to Divine grace: Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Revelation 13:8. But such success is here denoted by Luke. This ordaining to eternal life includes two things: 1) The gate of faith being opened, so that a much richer opportunity of entering, than before, might be given to all; as also a ripeness of souls towards entertaining faith, of the kind that is described, John 4:35. It is in this way that in Zosimus those who have any injunction laid on them, or business given them, are called οἱ εἰς τοῦτο τεταγμένοι. 2) A most really present (immediate) and effectual operation of Divine grace, which conferred faith on the hearers. The former flowed from the antecedent will (of God): the latter, from the consequent will. If regard is had to the former, the antithesis is to the Jews, in this manner: The Jews had been ordained to eternal life: Matthew 22:8; but they did not believe, but repelled the word of GOD, and judged themselves not worthy of eternal life: then the Gentiles were ordained, and these believed. If regard is had to the latter, the antithesis is to the same Jews, who were not ordained. That both is expressed by the verb τεταγμένοι, ordained, is to be inferred from the ὅσοι, as many. If regard were had only to the former, the ὅσοι, as many, seems to be comprehensive [for it would include the Jews who, though ordained, did not believe]: if regard were had only to the latter, the ὄσοι, as many, appears too narrow; for [it would include the believing Gentiles alone, whereas] by this very expression a multitude is meant, not in a restricted, but in a comprehensive sense. Τεταγμένοι, ordained, is construed with the preposition εἰς, to: for this participle is not to be taken absolutely. Let all cease to obscure by a gloomy and suspicious interpretation the joyous and florid Epiphonema (subjoined exclamation. See Append.) of Luke.

Verse 48. - As for when, A.V.; God for the Lord, A.V. and T.R. As many as were ordained to eternal life believed. This can only refer to the predestination or election of God, viewed as the moving cause of their faith (comp. Ephesians 1:4, 5, 11, 12; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 1:2. See the Seventeenth Article of Religion). Acts 13:48
Acts 13:48 Interlinear
Acts 13:48 Parallel Texts

Acts 13:48 NIV
Acts 13:48 NLT
Acts 13:48 ESV
Acts 13:48 NASB
Acts 13:48 KJV

Acts 13:48 Bible Apps
Acts 13:48 Parallel
Acts 13:48 Biblia Paralela
Acts 13:48 Chinese Bible
Acts 13:48 French Bible
Acts 13:48 German Bible

Bible Hub

Acts 13:47
Top of Page
Top of Page