Acts 15:40
And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) Paul chose Silas.—It is clear from this, even if we reject Acts 15:34 as an interpolation, that Silas had remained when the other delegates from the Church of Jerusalem went back. This in itself was a proof of his interest in the mission-work among the Gentiles, and no one, perhaps, could be found so well fitted to fill the place of Barnabas. He too had the gift of prophetic utterance, and, as we have seen (Note on Acts 15:22), was probably able to speak as one who had followed the Lord Jesus, and could bear witness of the Resurrection.

Being recommended by the brethren.—See Note on Acts 14:26. This obviously implied a full gathering of the Church and a special service of prayer on the departure of the two Apostles. Silas, as thus sent forth by the Church, might now claim that title no less than Barnabas.

15:36-41 Here we have a private quarrel between two ministers, no less than Paul and Barnabas, yet made to end well. Barnabas wished his nephew John Mark to go with them. We should suspect ourselves of being partial, and guard against this in putting our relations forward. Paul did not think him worthy of the honour, nor fit for the service, who had departed from them without their knowledge, or without their consent: see ch.Being recommended - Being commended by prayer to God. See notes on Acts 14:26. 40. and departed, being recommended … to the grace of God—(No doubt by some solemn service; see Ac 13:3), as in Ac 14:26. It does not follow from the historian's silence that Barnabas was not so recommended, too; for this is the last mention of Barnabas in the history, whose sole object now is to relate the proceedings of Paul. Nor does it seem quite fair (with De Wette, Meyer, Howson, Alford, Hacket, Webster and Wilkinson, &c.) to conclude from this that the Church at Antioch took that marked way of showing their sympathy with Paul in opposition to Barnabas. The favour of God, as Acts 14:26, which the wisest and holiest men stand in need of in all their undertakings; as also his gracious conduct and assistance.

And Paul chose Silas,.... To be his companion and assistant; this being the design of the Holy Ghost in influencing his, mind to stay longer at Antioch, after he, with Judas, was dismissed by the church to go to Jerusalem, Acts 15:33.

and departed; that is, from Antioch:

being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God;

See Gill on Acts 13:26. The apostle having such a recommendation by the brethren of the church at Antioch, when he departed from them, and nothing of this kind being said with respect to Barnabas, have induced some to think, that the church took the part of the apostle against Barnabas, in the dispute between them; since the one went away saluted by them, and the other not.

And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 15:40-41. Ἐπιλεξάμενος Σίλαν] after he had chosen Silas as his apostolic companion. It is accordingly to be assumed that Silas (Acts 15:27), after he had returned to Jerusalem (Acts 15:33), and had along with Judas given an account of the result of their mission, had in the meantime returned to Antioch. But the interpolation, Acts 15:34 (see the critical remarks), is incorrect, as the return of Silas to Jerusalem was a necessary exigency of the commission which he had received. ἐπιλέγεσθαι, in the sense sibi eligere, only here in the N.T.; often in Greek writers, the LXX., and Apocr.

παραδοθ. τῇ χάρ. τ. Κυρίου] committed to the grace of Christ (see the critical remarks). Comp. Acts 15:11. Not different in substance from Acts 14:26, but here expressed according to a more specifically Christian form. Moreover, the notice, compared with Acts 15:39, leads us to infer, with great probability, that the church of Antioch in the dispute before us was on the side of Paul.

τὴν Συρ. κ. Κιλικ.] as Barnabas (Acts 15:39), so Paul also betook himself to his native country; from their native countries the two began their new, and henceforth for ever separated, missionary labours. Barnabas is unjustly reproached (by Baumgarten) with repairing to his own country, instead of to the wide fields of heathenism; in point of fact, we know not the further course which he adopted for his labours.

Acts 15:40. Π. δὲ ἐπιλεξ. Σ.: not in the place of Mark, but in the place of Barnabas, Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 171; having chosen, i.e., for himself: sibi eligere; only in N.T. in this sense, but in classical Greek and in LXX, 1 Samuel 2:28 A, 2 Samuel 10:9 R, Sir 6:18, 1Es 9:16, 1Ma 1:63 R, Acts 5:17, etc.; “elegit ut socium, non ut ministrum” (Blass). If Silas had not returned to Jerusalem, but had remained in Antioch (see above on Acts 15:35), he had doubtless recommended himself to Paul by some special proof of fitness for dealing sympathetically with the relations of the Jewish Christians and the Gentile converts. This sympathy on the part of Silas would be the more marked and significant as he was himself almost certainly a Hebrew; otherwise we cannot account for his high position in the Jerusalem Church, Acts 15:22, although his Roman citizenship is implied in Acts 16:37; perhaps this latter fact may account for his freedom from narrow Jewish prejudices. If we may identify, as we reasonably may, the Silas of Acts with the Silas (Silvanus) of the Epistles, 2 Corinthians 1:19, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 1 Peter 5:12, the last mention of him by St. Peter becomes very suggestive. For St. Peter’s First Epistle contains the names of the two men, Mark and Silvanus, who had originally been members of the Jerusalem Church, Acts 12:12; Acts 15:22, and moreover the two oldest of St. Paul’s associates, whose brotherly Christian concord had been broken for the time (when Paul chose the latter in the place of Barnabas, and rejected Mark’s services altogether), but who are now both found at St. Peter’s side in Rome (assuming that Babylon is Rome), evidently at one with him and with each other; the one the bearer of a letter, the other the sender of greetings, to Pauline Churches. If St. Paul had passed to his rest, and the leader had thus changed, the teaching was the same, as the names of Silvanus and Mark assure us, and St. Peter takes up and carries on the work of the Apostle of the Gentiles, see Dr. Swete, u. s., pp. 87, 88.—ἐξῆλθε, cf. Luke 9:6, 3 John, Acts 15:7, where the word is used of going forth for missionary work.—παραδοθεὶς, cf. Acts 14:26. Possibly we may infer that the Church took Paul’s view of the point at issue between himself and Barnabas, but on the other hand we cannot prove this, because the writer’s thoughts are so specially fixed upon Paul as the great and chief worker in the organisation and unification of the Church.

40. being recommended] The more usual word in this sense in modern English is commended. (R. V.)

unto the grace of God] The best MSS. have “grace of the Lord.”

Acts 15:40. Σίλαν, Silas) instead of Barnabas: and soon after Timothy instead of Mark.—παραδοθεὶς, being recommended) The best provision for the way; one which even an inferior can impart to a superior.

Verse 40. - But for and, A.V.; went forth or departed, A.V.; commended for recommended, A.V.; to for unto, A.V.; the Lord for God, A.V. and T.R. Chose Silas. If ver. 34 of the T.R. is a true reading, it accounts for the presence of Silas at Antioch. Otherwise there is no difficulty in supposing that Silas, attracted by the holy zeal of St. Paul and by desire to work among the Gentiles, had come back to Antioch after giving account to the apostles at Jerusalem of the success of his mission with Judas to the Churches at Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Acts 15:40Recommended

Which was not the case with Barnabas, leading to the inference that the church at Antioch took Paul's side in the dispute.

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