Acts 14:4
But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) The multitude of the city was divided.—The context shows that St. Luke writes of the bulk of the heathen population. No numbers are given, but we may fairly assume that the converts were in a minority, and that they belonged, as a rule, to the lower classes (1Corinthians 1:26-27), and that the chief men and women of the city, as at the Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:50), were against them. The “rulers” who are named would seem, from the form of punishment selected, to have been those of the Jewish synagogue, and the crime of which the preachers were accused, as in the case of Stephen, to have been blasphemy. (See Notes on Acts 7:58; John 10:31.)

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.Was divided - Into parties. Greek: there was a schism - Ἐσχίσθη Eschisthē.

And part held with the Jews - Held to the doctrines of the Jews, in opposition to the apostles. A revival of religion often produces excitement by the bad passions of opposers. The enemies of the truth form parties, and organize opposition. It is no uncommon thing even now for such parties to be formed; but the fault is not in Christianity. It lies with those who form a party against religion, and who confederate themselves, as was done here, to oppose it.

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).

Was divided; as it was about our Saviour and his doctrine, John 7:43.

The apostles; Paul and Barnabas, who were called to be apostles, 1 Corinthians 9:5,6. But the multitude of the city was divided,.... In their sentiments, about the apostles, their doctrines, and miracles; some approving them, others condemning their doctrines as false, and their miracles as delusions:

and part held with the Jews; that did not believe, but rejected the apostles, despised their doctrines, and disparaged their miracles:

and part with the apostles; these were the Jews and Greeks, that believed; which divisions in families, towns, and cities, though the common consequence of the preaching of the Gospel, are not owing to any fault in that, but to the depravity and corruption of human nature; and are what our Lord declared was, and foretold would be the case, Luke 12:51.

But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 14:4. ἐσχίσθη δὲ, better “and the multitude” (see Page’s note on Acts 14:3), cf. Acts 23:7, John 7:43. There is no such marked success in Acts 14:3 as in Ramsay’s view. In Thessalonica, Acts 17:4-5, a similar division, cf. Luke 12:51.—ἀποστόλοις: the note of Weiss here takes the word, not in its technical sense at all, but only as missionaries; but see above on Acts 13:1.4. part held with the Jews, &c.] For a similar division see the history of the preaching at Thessalonica, Acts 17:4-5. That His word should cause such division had been foretold by Jesus (Luke 12:51).Acts 14:4. Ἐσχίσθη, was divided) The great difference of religion and philosophy is apparent even from the divisions which there have been, and which in the case of the faith are of weighty moment, but in the case of philosophy almost ludicrous.Verse 4. - Was divided (ἐσχίσθη); hence σχίσμα a schism (see John 7:43; John 9:16; John 10:19; 1 Corinthians 1:10).
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