Acts 15:32
And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(32) Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves.—See Note on Acts 15:22.

Exhorted.—The verb is that from which the Greek for “consolation” was formed, and includes that meaning here. This was the chief end to which the gift of prophecy was directed. The two teachers thus showed that they had not come only as formal representatives of the Church in Jerusalem, but took a personal interest in the work. Their work was the very reverse of those who had previously come from Judæa “subverting the souls of the disciples” (Acts 15:24).

15:22-35 Being warranted to declare themselves directed by the immediate influence of the Holy Ghost, the apostles and disciples were assured that it seemed good unto God the Holy Spirit, as well as to them, to lay upon the converts no other burden than the things before mentioned, which were necessary, either on their own account, or from present circumstances. It was a comfort to hear that carnal ordinances were no longer imposed on them, which perplexed the conscience, but could not purify or pacify it; and that those who troubled their minds were silenced, so that the peace of the church was restored, and that which threatened division was removed. All this was consolation for which they blessed God. Many others were at Antioch. Where many labour in the word and doctrine, yet there may be opportunity for us: the zeal and usefulness of others should stir us up, not lay us asleep.Being prophets - See the notes on Acts 11:27. This evidently implies that they had been preachers before they went to Antioch. What was the precise nature of the office of a prophet in the Christian church it is not easy to ascertain. Possibly it may imply that they were teachers of unusual or remark able ability. Compare the notes on Romans 12:6.

Confirmed them - Strengthened them; that is, by their instructions and exhortations. See the notes on Acts 14:22.

32. Judas and Silas, being prophets themselves—that is, inspired teachers.

exhorted the brethren with many words—"much discourse."

and confirmed them—opening up, no doubt, the great principle involved in the controversy now settled, of gratuitous salvation, or the purification of the heart by faith alone (as expressed by Peter, Ac 15:9, 11), and dwelling on the necessity of harmony in principle and affection between the Gentile disciples and their Jewish brethren.

Prophets; not properly so called, from any gift of foretelling things to come, but as doctors and teachers in the church, Ephesians 4:11, expounding Moses and the prophets, and showing how and what they speak concerning Christ; proving out of them, that he was the Messiah, as Philip had done, Acts 8:35.

Confirmed them: see Acts 14:22 18:23.

And Judas and Silas being also prophets themselves,.... As well as Paul and Barnabas, and others, that were at Antioch; see Acts 13:1 and by prophets are meant, not only such who had the gift of foretelling things to come; though such there were, and these might have that gift; but such who were able to explain the prophecies of the Old Testament, give the true sense of the Scriptures, and open them to the edification of others; wherefore having such gifts, they made use of them; Beza's ancient copy adds, "full of the Holy Ghost":

and exhorted the brethren with many words; which does not so much design the prolixity of their discourses, and the frequency of their ministrations, though they might preach both long and often; as the richness of the matter of them, as the Syriac version suggests, rendering it, "with a rich word"; with copiousness, fulness, and abundance of Gospel truths, with which they comforted the brethren, giving them many useful instructions and exhortations:

and confirmed them; in the doctrines of the Gospel, and particularly in their Christian liberty, and freedom from the law of Moses, in which the false teachers had endeavoured to stagger them.

And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 15:32. καὶ αὐτοὶ προφ. ὄντες: Wendt, so Meyer, takes καὶ αὐτοί not with προφ. ὄντες (these words in commas), but with the words which follow, indicating that Judas and Silas gave encouragement to the brethren personally (cf. Acts 15:27), as the letter had verbally; but punctuation of T.R. in R.V., W.H[290], Weiss, etc. On καὶ αὐτοί and its frequency in St. Luke, Friedrich, p. 37; Hawkins, Horæ Synopticæ (1899), p. 33.—παρἐκάλεσαν: A. and R.V. “exhorted”; R.V. margin, “comforted,” Ramsay, “encouraged” (so Hort; or “exhorted”). Possibly the word may include something of all these meanings (see also Alford’s note).—ἐπεστήριξαν, cf. Acts 14:22.

[290] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

32. being prophets also themselves] “Prophet” is here used in the earlier and less special sense; not as one who foretells the future, but who, being filled with the Spirit, speaks with His authority in explanation of the will of God. Judas and Silas being thus endowed were well fitted to exhort and confirm the disciples. The exhortations would be most necessary for the Gentiles who were to consent to more strict living than in times past, while the confirmation would uphold the Jews who otherwise might feel unwilling to allow the non-observance of a part of their law. The prophetic character of the speakers would give to their words the force of revelation. Such confirmation or strengthening of the brethren is the special charge laid on St Peter (Luke 22:32) who was to be the first preacher of Christ to the Gentiles, and had first received the lesson that what God had cleansed was not to be called common.

Acts 15:32. Καὶ αὐτοὶ, also themselves) Just as both the letter was written in the prophetic spirit, and Barnabas and Paul were endued with it.—προφῆται, prophets) ch. Acts 13:1, note. It is the function of a prophet παρακαλεῖν καὶ ἐπιστηρίζειν, to console and confirm. Comp. 1 Corinthians 14:3.

Verse 32. - Being themselves also prophets for being prophets also themselves, A.V. Being themselves also prophets, exhorted, etc. Observe the connection of exhortation with prophecy, and compare the explanation of the name of Barnabas in Acts 4:36, note. Confirmed them; ἐπεστήριξαν, as ver. 41 and Acts 14:22; Acts 18:23. Nothing is so unsettling as controversy; but the preaching of these "chief men" brought back men's minds to the solid faith and hope of the gospel. How rich the Church of Antioch was at this time, with Paul and Barnabas, Judas and Silas, and probably Titus, and some, if not all, of those mentioned in Acts 13:1, for their teachers. Acts 15:32Many words

Or, lit., much discourse; adding the spoken to the written consolation.

Exhorted

Or comforted. See on Acts 15:31. The latter agrees better with consolation there.

Confirmed

See on Acts 14:22.

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