Acts 14:14
Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
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(14) Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of.—They were, we may believe, in the house, within the court-yard, and therefore did not see the sacrificial procession; but they heard the noise of the multitude, perhaps also of some sacrificial hymn, and asked what it meant.

They rent their clothes.—The act is obviously recorded as that of men who are startled and surprised, and is altogether incompatible with the theory that they knew that they had been taken for deities and were expecting such honours. On the act of rending the clothes, see Note on Matthew 26:65. It was the extremest expression of horror, hardly ever used except in deprecation of spoken or acted blasphemy. How far it would be fully understood by the heathen population of Lystra may be a question, but its very strangeness would startle and arrest them.

14:8-18 All things are possible to those that believe. When we have faith, that most precious gift of God, we shall be delivered from the spiritual helplessness in which we were born, and from the dominion of sinful habits since formed; we shall be made able to stand upright and walk cheerfully in the ways of the Lord. When Christ, the Son of God, appeared in the likeness of men, and did many miracles, men were so far from doing sacrifice to him, that they made him a sacrifice to their pride and malice; but Paul and Barnabas, upon their working one miracle, were treated as gods. The same power of the god of this world, which closes the carnal mind against truth, makes errors and mistakes find easy admission. We do not learn that they rent their clothes when the people spake of stoning them; but when they spake of worshipping them; they could not bear it, being more concerned for God's honour than their own. God's truth needs not the services of man's falsehood. The servants of God might easily obtain undue honours if they would wink at men's errors and vices; but they must dread and detest such respect more than any reproach. When the apostles preached to the Jews, who hated idolatry, they had only to preach the grace of God in Christ; but when they had to do with the Gentiles, they must set right their mistakes in natural religion. Compare their conduct and declaration with the false opinions of those who think the worship of a God, under any name, or in any manner, is equally acceptable to the Lord Almighty. The most powerful arguments, the most earnest and affectionate addresses, even with miracles, are scarcely enough to keep men from absurdities and abominations; much less can they, without special grace, turn the hearts of sinners to God and to holiness.Which, when the apostles - Barnabas is called an apostle because he was sent forth by the church on a particular message (Acts 13:3; compare Acts 14:26), not because he had been chosen to the special work of the apostleship - to Dear witness to the life and resurrection of Christ. See the notes on Acts 1:22.

They rent their clothes - As an expression of their abhorrence of what the people were doing, and of their deep grief that they should thus debase themselves by offering worship to human beings. See the notes on Matthew 26:65.

14-18. when … Barnabas and Paul heard—Barnabas is put first here, apparently as having been styled the "Jupiter" of the company.

they rent their clothes and ran in—rather (according to the true reading), "ran forth."

among the people, crying out … Sirs, why do ye these things?—This was something more than that abhorrence of idolatry which took possession of the Jews as a nation from the time of the Babylonish captivity: it was that delicate sensibility to everything which affects the honor of God which Christianity, giving us in God a reconciled Father, alone can produce; making the Christian instinctively feel himself to be wounded in all dishonor done to God, and filling him with mingled horror and grief when such gross insults as this are offered to him.

They rent their clothes; which was a sign of their greatest detestation of, and sorrow for, such abominations.

And ran in among the people, crying out; expressing their greatest zeal for the glory of God, and earnestness to hinder the idolatry of this people.

Which when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of,.... As they quickly did, such a multitude being about the doors of the house, where they were: it may be observed, that Barnabas is here called an apostle, as in Acts 14:4 and is placed before Paul, not as being greater than he, but because of the opinion these Heathens had of him: they rent their clothes; as the Jews did, and were obliged to do, when they heard any blasphemy; See Gill on Matthew 26:65.

And ran in among the people; in great haste, showing great concern of mind, and much indignation and resentment, at what they were about to do:

crying out; aloud, and with great vehemence, that all might hear, and to express the greater dislike of the action.

Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
Acts 14:14-15. Ἀκούσαντες] Perhaps an inhabitant already gained by them for Christ brought intelligence of the design.

διαῤῥήξ. τ. ἱμάτ. αὐτ.] from pain and sorrow. See on Matthew 27:65. Not: as doing penance for the blinded people, as Lange imagines.

ἐξεπήδησαν] they sprang out (from the gate, to which they had hastened from their lodging) among the multitude. The simple representation depicts their haste and eagerness.

τί ταῦτα ποιεῖτε] see on Luke 16:2.

καὶ ἡμεῖς κ.τ.λ.] εὐθέως ἐκ προοιμίων ἀνέτρεψαν τὸ κακόν, Chrysostom.

ὁμοιοπαθεῖς] of like nature and constitution. Comp. Plat. Tim. p. 45 C, Pol. p. 409 B, comp. p. 464 D; Jam 5:17.

εὐαγγελιζόμενοιζῶντα] contains what is characteristic of the otherwise ὁμοιοπαθεῖς ὑμῖν: we who bring to you the message of salvation, to turn you from these vain, i.e. devoid of divine reality (gods), to the living (true) God. εὐαγγελιζ. does not thus mean cohortantes (Heinrichs and Kuinoel), but retains its proper import; and the epexegetical infinitive ἐπιστρέφειν states the contents of the joyful news. It may be cleared up by supplying δεῖν, but this conception is implied in the relation of the infinitive to the governing verb. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 753 f.; Kühner, II. § 647, ad Xen. Anab. v. 7. 34.

τούτων τῶν ματαίων] masculine (not neuter), referring to the gods, present in the conception of the hearers, such as Zeus and Hermes, who yet are no real gods (1 Corinthians 8:4 ff.).

ὃς ἐποίησε] significant epexegesis of the ζῶντα, whereby the ματαιότης of the polytheistic deification of the individual powers of nature is made very palpable. Comp. with the whole discourse the speech to the Athenians (“sublimiora audire postulantes,” Bengel), chap. 17.

Acts 14:14. ἀκούσ.: how, we are not told; whether, as Blass supposes, they had returned to their lodgings, and hurried forth to the city gates when they heard what was going on, or whether, later in the day, they hurried from the city to the temple when they heard of the approaching sacrifice, we do not know, and a better knowledge of the localities would no doubt make many points clearer. The crowd who had seen the miracle, Acts 14:11, would naturally be eager to follow the priest to the sacrifice, σὺν τοῖς ὄχλοις, Acts 14:13.—διαῤῥήξαντες: in token of distress and horror, cf. Genesis 37:29; Genesis 37:34; Joshua 7:6; Matthew 26:65; frequently in LXX, and several times in 1 Macc.—εἰσεπήδησαν: Acts 16:29, see critical notes.

14. Which when the apostles … heard of] As they did first from the clamour and excitement of the would-be worshippers.

ran in among the people (multitude)] The best MSS. read “sprang forth among the multitude,” and this is no doubt the correct reading. They were horror-stricken at what was contemplated, and with garments rent to shew, by signs as well as by words, their repudiation of such worship, they sprang forth from the house, through the vestibule, and into the midst of the crowd, that they might put an end to the delusion of the people. Cp. 2 Kings 18:37; 2 Kings 19:1.

Acts 14:14. Διαῤῥήξαντες, having rent asunder) By this very action, not graceful in itself, but done gracefully [becomingly, i.e. for a good end, to avert idolatry], they showed that they were not gods; for God does not deny Himself: whereas they deny that they are gods. Also, they spring in among the people, and cry as one would do in case of a conflagration, or other sudden and great danger.

Verse 14. - But... heard of it for which ... heard of, A.V.; garments for clothes, A.V.; sprang forth for ran in, A.V.; multitudes for people, A.V., as before. The conduct of Barnabas and Paul, in abhorring the honors offered to them, has been well contrasted with the profane vanity of Herod in accepting Divine honors (Acts 12:23). Acts 14:14Ran in (εἰσεπήδησαν)

A feeble translation, even if this reading is retained. The verb means to leap or spring. The best texts read ἐξεπήδησαν, sprang forth, probably from the gate of their house, or from the city gate, if the sacrifice was prepared in front of it.

Crying out (κράζοντες)

Inarticulate shouts to attract attention.

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