Acts 14:3
Long time therefore stayed they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony to the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Long time therefore abode they.—This can hardly be understood as involving a stay of less than several months, during which, Paul and Barnabas, as before, were working for their livelihood.

Speaking boldly.—The “boldness” consisted, as the context shows, in a full declaration of the gospel of the grace of God as contrasted with the narrowing Judaism with which the Greek proselytes had previously been familiar.

Granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.—It will be noted that here also, as so often elsewhere, the miracles that were wrought came as the confirmation of faith, not as its foundation.

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.Long time therefore - It seems probable that there were here no forcible or public measures to expel them, as there had been at Antioch Acts 13:50, and they therefore regarded it as their duty to remain. God granted them here also great success, which was the main reason for their continuing a long time. Persecution and opposition may be attended often with signal success to the gospel.

Spake boldly in the Lord - In the cause of the Lord Jesus, or in his name and by his authority. Perhaps, also, the expression includes the idea of their trusting in the Lord.

Which gave testimony - Bore witness to the truth of their message by working miracles, etc. Compare Mark 16:20. This was evidently the Lord Jesus to whom reference is here made, and it shows that he was still, though bodily absent from them, clothed with power, and still displayed that power in the advancement of his cause. The conversion of sinners accomplished by him is always a testimony as decided as it is cheering to the labors and messages of his servants.

Unto the word of his grace - His gracious word, or message.

And granted signs ... - Miracles. See the notes on Acts 2:22.

3. Long time therefore abode they—because in spite of opposition they were meeting with so much success.

speaking boldly in the Lord—rather, "in dependence on the Lord," that is, on their glorified Head.

who gave testimony to the word of his grace—a notable definition of the Gospel, whose whole burden is GRACE.

and granted—"granting," that is, who confirmed the Gospel by granting miraculous attestation to it. (The "and" is wanting in the best manuscripts).

Long time therefore abode they, to strengthen the new converts against the opposition they met with in the way of Christ, willingly partaking with them in their afflictions for Christ’s sake.

Speaking boldly; with great courage, and humble confidence, as knowing in whom they had believed.

In the Lord;

1. In the Lord’s cause, a business which he had sent them about. Secondly, And in the Lord’s strength, who enabled them in it. The word of his grace; the gospel: first, Wherein the grace of God is manifested.

2. Whereby it is offered.

3. Wherewith, to such as receive, it is conveyed.

4. And out of grace disputed and allowed to some, hidden and withdrawn from others.

Granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands; God, by his miraculous confirming the doctrine of the apostles, showed that it was from him. Long time therefore abode they,.... At Iconium, undaunted and not discouraged, at the treatment they met with: but continued,

speaking boldly in the Lord; using great freedom of speech, and showing great courage and intrepidity of mind; speaking out, without fear, the doctrines of the Gospel, in the name of the Lord, and depending upon strength, assistance, and support, from him:

which gave testimony unto the word of his grace; the Gospel, so called, because it is a publication of the grace and favour of God to the sons of men; in the choice of some of them to everlasting life, in the mission of his Son to redeem them, in the justification of them by his righteousness, and in the forgiveness of them through his blood, in the regeneration of them by his Spirit, in adopting them into his family, and making them heirs of eternal life; and because it is a means of implanting his grace in their souls; to this he bore witness, by giving it success, notwithstanding the opposition made against it, and by miracles wrought in confirmation of it, as follows:

and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands; such as healing the sick, curing the lame, casting out devils; and the like, whereby a testimony was given to the truth of the doctrine they preached: and it may be observed, that these miraculous works were not wrought by the power of the apostles, but by the power of God; they were only instruments by whom they were done; it was owing to a grant from the Lord, and to his power, that they were performed.

{2} Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

(2) We should not leave our places and give in to threatenings, or to open rage, but only when there is no other remedy, and that not for our own peace and quiet, but only so that the Gospel may be spread further abroad.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 14:3-4. Οὖν represents Acts 14:3-4 as a consequence of Acts 14:1-2. “In consequence of that approval (Acts 14:1) and this hostility (Acts 14:2), they spent indeed (μέν) a considerable time in free-spoken preaching (Acts 14:3), but (δέ) there arose a division among the multitude” (Acts 14:4).

ἐπὶ τῷ Κυρίῳ] states on what their bold teaching rested—had its stay and support. See Bernhardy, p. 250. Hence as regards sense: freti Domino. Elsewhere in the N.T. with ἐν. Κύριος may as well be Jesus (Heinrichs, Olshausen) as God (Grotius, Morus, Kuinoel); the mode of conception of the apostolic church admits both the former (Mark 16:20) and the latter. The latter, however, is preponderantly supported partly by Acts 20:32, where τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ is to be referred to God, and partly by Acts 4:29-30, where διδόντι σημεῖα κ.τ.λ likewise points to God. Comp. Hebrews 2:4.

τῷ μαρτυροῦντιαὐτῶν] who gave (practically confirmatory) testimony (comp. Acts 10:43, Acts 13:22, Acts 15:8) to the word of His grace (to the gospel, Acts 20:24), in granting that signs and wonders should be done by their hands. The second participle διδόντι, added without copula, denotes the form, in which the μαρτυρεῖν was presented.

ἐσχίσθη] comp. John 7:43. “Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus.” Virg. Aen. ii. 39. Examples in Wetstein.

καί] and indeed.Acts 14:3. ἱκανὸν μὲν οὖν χ. οὖν: as a result from the two previous verses, the accession to their numbers and the disaffection. Blass sees in the aorists ἐπήγ. and ἐκάκ. a proof that the disaffected Jews succeeded in their attempts, and he asks if this was so, how were the Apostles able to remain? The answer is to be found, he thinks, in , see above, so Hilgenfeld, who holds that this reading makes it conceivable how Paul and Barnabas could continue their work. On ἱκανός with χρόνος, peculiar to St. Luke, see p. 215. Ramsay sees the same force in the aorists, and therefore Acts 14:3 seems so disconnected that he can only regard it as an early gloss similar to many which have crept into the Bezan text. He thus inclines to adopt here Spitta’s hypothesis, and to regard Acts 14:1-2; Acts 14:4-7 as a primitive document. The Bezan text is to him simply an attempt to remedy the discrepancy which was felt to exist between Acts 14:2-3, and it presupposes two tumults: one in Acts 14:2, and the other in Acts 14:4-5. But there seems nothing unnatural in taking οὖν as marking a result from the events of the two previous verses, not from the second alone, or in the extended stay of the Apostles in the divided city. (Wendt (1899) supposes that in the original source Acts 14:3 preceded Acts 14:2, which makes the sequence quite easy. Clemen is much more drastic in his methods, and refers Acts 14:2 and Acts 14:4-6 a to his Redactor Antijudaicus.)—παῤῥησ.: speaking boldly in spite of the opposition of the Jews, see above on the verb, p. 242.—ἐπὶ, cf. Acts 4:17-18 (elsewhere with ἐν), the Lord being the ground and support of their preaching; Calvin notes that the words may mean that they spoke boldly in the cause of the Lord, or that relying on His grace they took courage, but that both meanings really run into each other.—τῷ Κυρίῳ: difficult to decide whether the reference is to Jesus; Nösgen takes it so, not only on account of St. Luke’s usual way of giving Him this title, but also because the Acts speak expressly of the miracles of the Apostles as works of Christ, Acts 3:16, cf. Acts 4:30. On the other hand Meyer-Wendt appeals to Acts 4:29. Acts 20:24; Acts 20:32 (but for last passage see var. lect.), Hebrews 2:4.3. Long time therefore abode they] There are two results described in this and the following verse as the consequences of the Jewish opposition. First, a long stay was necessary that by the words of the Apostles and by the mighty deeds following wherewith God confirmed them, the faith of the new converts might be fully established before the Apostles departed. Secondly, there came about a division among the people, the Christians and non-Christians became distinctly marked parties.

speaking boldly] The original word expresses that “freedom of speech” for which the Apostles prayed (Acts 4:29), and it is to be noted that as in their prayer so in God’s working, the freedom of speech is in close connection with the stretching forth of God’s hand to heal, and with the signs and wonders that were done in the name of Jesus.

the word of his grace] i.e. the word of the truth of the Gospel, which is glad tidings, a word of grace. It is to be remarked that the signs mentioned here, as elsewhere, follow after the faith and do not precede it.Acts 14:3. [Ἱκανὸν χρόνον, for no short time) not thinking that they ought to give way to violence.—V. g.]—ἐπὶ, concerning [super]) The object.[83]—μαρτυροῦντι, who gave testimony) The Lord by the testimony of miracles confirmed the word of grace.—λόγῳ τῆς χάριτος, unto the word of His grace) A noble definition of the Gospel.

[83] Engl. Vers. “in the Lord,” i.e. ἐπὶ implying that their bold confidence rested upon the Lord.—E. and T.Verse 3. - They tarried there for abode they, A.V.; bare witness for gave testimony, A.V.; granting for and granted, A.V. For the phrase long time (ἱκανὸν χρόνον), comp. Acts 27:9, "much time," and "many days" (ἡμέραι ἱκαναί), Acts 9:23. So also Luke 8:27, "long time," or "for a long time" (ἐκ χρόνων ἱκανῶν). Speaking boldly (παρρησιαζόμενοι) in the Lord (ἐπὶ τῷ Κυρίῳ); i.e. having the Lord for their support. It was the special prayer of the Church that God would "grant to his servants that they might speak the Word with all boldness (μετὰπαρρησίας πάσης)," and in answer to that prayer they were enabled to speak "the Word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:29 , 31; comp. Acts 9:29; Acts 18:26; Acts 19:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:2, etc.). It was no small evidence of the power of the Holy Ghost that the apostles were able to speak with such uncompromising fidelity in the face of such bitter opposition. Signs and wonders, etc. See Mark 16:17-20; comp. too Acts 4:30, which also indicates that we ought, perhaps, to understand here τῷ Κυρρίῳ of God the Father rather than of "his holy Servant Jesus." Long (ἱκανὸν)

See on Luke 7:6.

Abode

See on Acts 12:19.

In the Lord

Lit., upon (ἐπί) the Lord: in reliance on him.

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