Acts 15:15
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
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(15) To this agree the words of the prophets.—On the mode of quoting without naming the prophet, see Note on Acts 13:40.

15:7-21 We see from the words purifying their hearts by faith, and the address of St. Peter, that justification by faith, and sanctification by the Holy Ghost, cannot be separated; and that both are the gift of God. We have great cause to bless God that we have heard the gospel. May we have that faith which the great Searcher of hearts approves, and attests by the seal of the Holy Spirit. Then our hearts and consciences will be purified from the guilt of sin, and we shall be freed from the burdens some try to lay upon the disciples of Christ. Paul and Barnabas showed by plain matters of fact, that God owned the preaching of the pure gospel to the Gentiles without the law of Moses; therefore to press that law upon them, was to undo what God had done. The opinion of James was, that the Gentile converts ought not to be troubled about Jewish rites, but that they should abstain from meats offered to idols, so that they might show their hatred of idolatry. Also, that they should be cautioned against fornication, which was not abhorred by the Gentiles as it should be, and even formed a part of some of their rites. They were counselled to abstain from things strangled, and from eating blood; this was forbidden by the law of Moses, and also here, from reverence to the blood of the sacrifices, which being then still offered, it would needlessly grieve the Jewish converts, and further prejudice the unconverted Jews. But as the reason has long ceased, we are left free in this, as in the like matters. Let converts be warned to avoid all appearances of the evils which they formerly practised, or are likely to be tempted to; and caution them to use Christian liberty with moderation and prudence.The words of the prophets - Amos 9:11-12. It was a very material point with them, as Jews, to inquire whether this was in accordance with the predictions of the Scriptures. The most powerful revivals of religion, and the most striking demonstrations of the divine presence, will be in accordance with the Bible, and should be tested by them. This habit was always manifested by the apostles and early Christians, and should be followed by Christians at all times. Unless a supposed work of grace accords with the Bible, and can be defended by it, it must be false, and should be opposed. Compare Isaiah 8:20. 15. to this agree the words of the prophets—generally; but those of Amos (Am 9:11) are specified (nearly as in the Septuagint version). The point of the passage lies in the predicted purpose of God, under the new economy, that "the heathen" or "Gentiles" should be "called by His name," or have "His name called upon them." By the "building again of the fallen tabernacle of David," or restoring its decayed splendor, is meant that only and glorious recovery which it was to experience under David's "son and Lord." The prophets; in the plural number, though only one cited: it is an ordinary enallage; but it also shows the harmony amongst the prophets, they all speaking by one Spirit; what one said is as if all had said it.

And to this agree the words of the prophets,.... In several of the prophecies of the Old Testament, which plainly speak of the calling of the Gentiles; though James thought it sufficient to produce only one instead of many:

as it is written; in Amos 9:11 and this is agreeably to the Jewish way of citing Scriptures, as Surenhusius observes; so it is said (q), in twenty four places the priests are called Levites, and this is one of them, Ezekiel 44:15 where only one place is mentioned, instead of the twenty four.

(q) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 86, 2. & Beracot, fol. 4. 1, 2.

And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
Acts 15:15. καὶ τούῳ, “and to this agree,” A. and R.V., i.e., to the fact just stated (so Wendt, Weiss, Blass, Ramsay); if the pronoun referred to St. Peter, as some take it, we should have had οἱ προφῆται, not as in text, οἱ λ. τῶν π. The quotation Amos 9:11-12, is freely cited from the LXX, and indeed the chief point made by St. James depends upon that version.—τῶν προφ., plural, as including those prophets whose words of prophecy had been of similar import.

15. And to this agree] i.e. with this action on God’s part the statements of His prophets are in harmony. They had foretold that it should be so. Only one prophet is here quoted, viz. Amos (Acts 9:11-12), but the audience would recall other like passages, as St Paul does Romans 15:9-12, quoting from the books of Moses, David and Isaiah.

Acts 15:15. Τούτῳ) to this fact.—συμφωνοῦσιν, agree, [harmonise with this]) Peter brought forward the argument of experience, and that, too, what had been vouchsafed to himself, which was trustworthy in itself (αὐτόπιστον) and valid, no less than, for instance, in the time of Abraham. James superadds the prophetic Scripture. Beautiful harmony!—οἱ λόγοι, the words) many; one of which, viz. Amos, is forthwith explicitly quoted.

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