Acts 14:2
But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
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(2) The unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles . . .—It is the distinguishing feature of nearly all the persecutions in the Acts that they originated in the hostility of the Jews. The case of Demetrius furnishes almost the only exception (Acts 19:24), and even there the Jews apparently fomented the enmity of the Greek craftsmen. So at a considerably later date (A.D. 169) we find them prominent in bringing about the persecution which ended in the death of Polycarp at Smyrna (Mart. Polyc. c. 13).

Acts 14:2-4. But the unbelieving Jews — Who were greatly provoked at the growing success of the gospel, and studied all they could to put a stop to its progress; stirred up the Gentiles — The idolatrous Gentiles, the heathen inhabitants of the place; and made their minds evil affected — Greek, εκακωσαν τας ψυχας, irritated; or, exasperated their souls against the brethren — Against the disciples of Christ, and especially against those celebrated teachers of a religion against which they had imbibed strong prejudices. Long time, therefore, abode they — Namely, Paul and Barnabas; speaking boldly in the Lord — Because the minds of the Gentiles were so filled with prejudice and malignity against them, one would have thought, that therefore they should have withdrawn and hastened out of the way; or, if they had preached, should have preached cautiously, for fear of giving further provocation to those who were already sufficiently enraged: no, but the contrary; therefore they abode there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord: the more they perceived the spirit and rancour of the town against the new converts, the more they were animated to go on in their work, and the more needful they saw it to continue among them, to confirm them in the faith, and to comfort them. Who gave testimony unto the word of his grace — Which they delivered, working with them according to his promise, Lo, I am with you always: and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands — Which were of great use to confirm the faith of the new converts, and to prevail with many others to receive the gospel, and which might have convinced all the inhabitants, if they had exercised a becoming candour. But the multitude of the city was divided — Into two parties, and both very active and vigorous: among the rulers and persons of rank, and among the common people, there were some that held with the unbelieving Jews, and others that held with the apostles. It seems this business of the preaching of the gospel was so universally taken notice of with concern, that almost every adult person, even of the multitude of the city, was either for it or against it; none stood neuter: all were either for them or their enemies; for God or Baal; for Christ or Beelzebub.

14:1-7 The apostles spake so plainly, with such evidence and proof of the Spirit, and with such power; so warmly, and with such concern for the souls of men; that those who heard them could not but say, God was with them of a truth. Yet the success was not to be reckoned to the manner of their preaching, but to the Spirit of God who used that means. Perseverance in doing good, amidst dangers and hardships, is a blessed evidence of grace. Wherever God's servants are driven, they should seek to declare the truth. When they went on in Christ's name and strength, he failed not to give testimony to the word of his grace. He has assured us it is the word of God, and that we may venture our souls upon it. The Gentiles and Jews were at enmity with one another, yet united against Christians. If the church's enemies join to destroy it, shall not its friends unite for its preservation? God has a shelter for his people in a storm; he is, and will be their Hiding-place. In times of persecution, believers may see cause to quit a spot, though they do not quit their Master's work.But the unbelieving Jews ... - See the notes on Acts 13:50.

And made their minds evil-affected - Irritated, or exasperated them.

Against the brethren - One of the common appellations by which Christians were known.


Ac 14:1-7. Meeting with Similar Success and Similar Opposition at Iconium, Paul and Barnabas Flee for Their Lives to Lystra and Derbe, and Preach There.

"After this detailed account of Paul's labors at Pisidian Antioch, Luke subjoins only brief notices of his further labors, partly because from the nature of the case his discourses must have embraced nearly the same topics, and partly because the consequences that resulted assumed quite a similar shape" [Olshausen].

1. they went both together into the synagogue—Though Paul was now the prominent speaker and actor, yet in everything Barnabas went along with him.

a … multitude … of the Greeks believed—meaning probably the religious proselytes, as opposed to "the Gentiles" mentioned Ac 14:2.

The unbelieving, or disobedient, Jews, who did not believe the truths or obey the precepts of the gospel,

stirred up the Gentiles; urging, persuading, and pressing of them, who of themselves (though as yet ignorant of Christ, and his word) would not have been so cruel.

The brethren; the apostles themselves, and others that were converted by them, whose common father God through Christ was, and were accordingly endeared one to another.

But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles,.... That part of the Jews, which continued in unbelief, and rejected the doctrine of the apostles, concerning Jesus of Nazareth being the Messiah; these stirred up the Gentiles, who had no knowledge of, nor faith in this matter:

and made their minds evil affected against the brethren; either in general against all those that embraced the Gospel of Christ; who being of the same faith and family, having the same God to be their Father, and equally related to, and interested in Christ Jesus, are called brethren; or in particular against the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, by representing them as seditious persons, and of bad designs.

But the {b} unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

(b) Who did not obey the doctrine.

Acts 14:2. ἀπειθοῦντες, see critical notes. If we read ἀπειθήσαντες, “that were disobedient,” R.V., but cf. John 3:36, and Page’s note in loco. Lumby quotes Bar 1:19, and regards the expression here as stronger than “unbelieving,” rather unbelief breaking forth into rebellion, as in the case of these Jews at Iconium and elsewhere. Ramsay renders “the disaffected”.—ἐκάκωσαν: “exasperated,” Ramsay; only here in N.T. in this sense, five times in Acts, once in quotation; only once elsewhere in N.T., 1 Peter 3:13, cf. for its use here Jos., Ant., xvi., 1, 2; vii., 3; viii., 6. It is used several times in LXX, but not in this sense, the nearest approach to it is Psalms 105 :(LXX)32. The same phrase occurs twice, Numbers 29:7; Numbers 30:14, but with a different meaning or reading in D. See critical notes.

2. But the unbelieving Jews] Better, “But the Jews that were disobedient.” The verb is the same which is found John 3:36, where the rendering should be “He that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life.” The word is stronger than “unbelieving,” it expresses unbelief breaking forth into rebellion, and so exactly describes the character of these Jews who were persecuting Paul and Barnabas.

made their minds evil affected] The verb is an unusual one in this sense. It is that by which the “harm” done to the Church by Herod Agrippa is described (Acts 12:1). It implies not only an ill disposition aroused towards the brethren, but injury also done to the minds in which the feeling was stirred up.

Verse 2. - The Jews that were disobedient for the unbelieving Jews, A.V. and T.R.; stirred up the souls of the Gentiles, and made them, etc., for stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds, etc., A.V. The Jews that were disobedient. The R.T. (ἀπειθήσαντες) may equally and even better be rendered, the Jews that were unbelieving (comp. John 3:36, where πιστεύων and ἀπειθῶν αρε opposed to each other, and Romans 11:30-32, where the idea of belief is far more appropriate than that of obedience). Stirred up the souls, etc. St. Paul speaks with much warmth of the constant opposition of the Jews, "forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved" (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16). Acts 14:2
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