And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Throughout all the region.—This clearly involves a considerable period of active working. It was not in Antioch only, but in the “region” round about, the border district of the three provinces of Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Galatia, that the new faith was planted. Each town and village in that region presented the spectacle of at least some few men and women who no longer sacrificed to their country’s gods, who were no longer content even to worship in the synagogue of the relligio licita of the Jews, but met in small companies here and there, as the disciples of a new Master.Acts 13:49-52. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all that region — Paul and Barnabas, it seems, during their stay at Antioch, made excursions into the neighbouring country, for the sake of preaching to the idolatrous Gentiles; or the people who came from the country to Antioch, and believed the doctrine preached by Paul and Barnabas, carried the glad tidings of salvation home with them. From this time forth it appears in all the Gentile countries. Paul, after preaching to the Jews, constantly offered salvation to the Gentiles, and by so doing fulfilled the commission which he had received from Christ, when he made him his apostle to the Gentiles. But the Jews stirred up the devout, &c. — The unbelieving Jews in Antioch, greatly enraged at the success with which Paul and Barnabas preached to the Gentiles, stirred up some women of considerable rank, who, having been proselyted to their religion, were peculiarly zealous for it; and the chief men of the city — Also, who probably were the husbands of these proselyted women; raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas — Representing them, doubtless, as exciters of sedition, and innovators in religion, who might occasion danger to the state; and expelled them out of their coasts — Out of the territory belonging to Antioch. But they shook off the dust of their feet — For a testimony against them; as Christ had commanded his apostles to do, in token of the certain ruin which should befall such despisers of his gospel. See on Matthew 10:14. And came unto Iconium — Where they renewed the proclamation of those glad tidings, which many of the inhabitants of Antioch had so ungratefully rejected. This place lay on the western border of Lycaonia, and on the confines of Pisidia, Galatia, and Phrygia; to the latter of which it seems once to have belonged. See Raphelius. And the disciples — Who remained at Antioch; were filled with joy — That so blessed a message as that which Paul and Barnabas had brought them, had reached their ears, and been received by them; and with the Holy Ghost — With his enlightening, sanctifying, and comforting influences, and probably also with, at least, some of his extraordinary gifts; confirming them in the faith which they had newly embraced; and likewise qualifying them for carrying on the cause of Christ in that place, when the first planters of their church could no longer continue to cultivate and water it.
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:
(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.The word of the Lord, concerning salvation to be found only by Christ, and the Gentiles to be admitted to partake of that salvation.
Was published throughout all the region; like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened, Matthew 13:33. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 13:49. διεφέρετο; divulgabatur, “was spread abroad,” R.V.; not only by the preaching of the Apostles themselves, but by small knots of Christians in other towns, see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 105, and so Blass, in loco; only here in N.T. in this sense, so in (Wis 18:10) Plut.; Lucian; imperfect, a certain lapse of time is implied, see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 105.—ὅλης τῆς χώρας: the phrase, “the whole Region,” indicates that Antioch was the centre of a Region, a notice which introduces us to an important fact of Roman imperial administration. Antioch, as a Roman colony, would be the natural military and administrative centre of a certain Regio, and there is evidence that in Southern Galatia there were also other distinct Regiones, χῶραι, Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 102–104, 109, 110–112.Verse 49. - Spread abroad for published, A.V. As the persecution after the death of Stephen led to the preaching of the Word in Judaea and Samaria and beyond, so here the contradiction and opposition of the Jews led to the free preaching of the gospel for the first time among the heathen population of Pisidia.
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