Acts 2:1
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
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(1) When the day of Pentecost was fully come.—It is natural to assume a purpose in the divine choice of the day on which the disciples were thus to receive the promise of the Father. That choice may have been determined, if one may so speak, either in view of the circumstances of the feast, or of its history and symbolic fitness.

(1) Of all the feasts of the Jewish year, it was that which attracted the largest number of pilgrims from distant lands. The dangers of travel by sea or land in the early spring or late autumn (comp. Acts 27:9) prevented their coming in any large numbers to the Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles. At no other feast would there have been representatives of so many nations. So, it may be noted, it was the Feast of Pentecost that St. Paul went up to keep once and again, during his mission-work in Greece and Asia. (See Notes on Acts 18:21; Acts 20:16.) So far, then, there was no time on which the gift of the Spirit was likely to produce such direct and immediate results.



Acts 2:1 - Acts 2:13

Only ten days elapsed between the Ascension and Pentecost. The attitude of the Church during that time should be carefully noted. They obeyed implicitly Christ’s command to wait for the ‘power from on high.’ The only act recorded is the election of Matthias to fill Judas’s place, and it is at least questionable whether that was not a mistake, and shown to be such by Christ’s subsequent choice of Paul as an Apostle. But, with the exception of that one flash of doubtful activity, prayer, supplication, patient waiting, and clinging together in harmonious expectancy, characterised the hundred and twenty brethren.

They must have been wrought to an intense pitch of anticipation, for they knew that their waiting was to be short, and they knew, at least partially, what they were to receive, namely, ‘power from on high,’ or ‘the promise of the Father.’ Probably, too, the great Feast, so near at hand, would appear to them a likely time for the fulfilment of the promise.

So, very early on that day of Pentecost, they betook themselves to their usual place of assembling, probably the ‘large upper room,’ already hallowed to their memories; and in each heart the eager question would spring, ‘Will it be to-day?’ It is as true now as it was then, that the spirits into whom the Holy Spirit breathes His power must keep themselves still, expectant, prayerful. Perpetual occupation may be more loss of time than devout waiting, with hands folded, because the heart is wide open to receive the power which will fit the hands for better work.

It was but ‘the third hour of the day’ when Peter stood up to speak; it must have been little after dawn when the brethren came together. How long they had been assembled we do not know, but we cannot doubt how they had been occupied. Many a prayer had gone up through the morning air, and, no doubt, some voice was breathing the united desires, when a deep, strange sound was heard at a distance, and rapidly gained volume, and was heard to draw near. Like the roaring of a tempest hurrying towards them, it hushed human voices, and each man would feel, ‘Surely now the Gift comes!’ Nearer and nearer it approached, and at last burst into the chamber where they sat silent and unmoving.

But if we look carefully at Luke’s words, we see that what filled the house was not agitated air, or wind, but ‘a sound as of wind.’ The language implies that there was no rush of atmosphere that lifted a hair on any cheek, or blew on any face, but only such a sound as is made by tempest. It suggested wind, but it was not wind. By that first symbolic preparation for the communication of the promised gift, the old symbolism which lies in the very word ‘Spirit,’ and had been brought anew to the disciples’ remembrance by Christ’s words to Nicodemus, and by His breathing on them when He gave them an anticipatory and partial bestowment of the Spirit, is brought to view, with its associations of life-giving power and liberty. ‘Thou hearest the sound thereof,’ could scarcely fail to be remembered by some in that chamber.

But it is not to be supposed that the audible symbol continued when the second preparatory one, addressed to the eye, appeared. As the former had been not wind, but like it, the latter was not fire, but ‘as of fire.’ The language does not answer the question whether what was seen was a mass from which the tongues detached themselves, or whether only the separate tongues were visible as they moved overhead. But the final result was that ‘it sat on each.’ The verb has no expressed subject, and ‘fire’ cannot be the subject, for it is only introduced as a comparison. Probably, therefore, we are to understand ‘a tongue’ as the unexpressed subject of the verb.

Clearly, the point of the symbol is the same as that presented in the Baptist’s promise of a baptism ‘with the Holy Ghost and fire.’ The Spirit was to be in them as a Spirit of burning, thawing natural coldness and melting hearts with a genial warmth, which should beget flaming enthusiasm, fervent love, burning zeal, and should work transformation into its own fiery substance. The rejoicing power, the quick energy, the consuming force, the assimilating action of fire, are all included in the symbol, and should all be possessed by Christ’s disciples.

But were the tongue-like shapes of the flames significant too? It is doubtful, for, natural as is the supposition that they were, it is to be remembered that ‘tongues of fire’ is a usual expression, and may mean nothing more than the flickering shoots of flame into which a fire necessarily parts.

But these two symbols are only symbols. The true fulfilment of the great promise follows. Mark the brief simplicity of the quiet words in which the greatest bestowment ever made on humanity, the beginning of an altogether new era, the equipment of the Church for her age-long conflict, is told. There was an actual impartation to men of a divine life, to dwell in them and actuate them; to bring all good to victory in them; to illuminate, sustain, direct, and elevate; to cleanse and quicken. The gift was complete. They were ‘filled.’ No doubt they had much more to receive, and they received it, as their natures became, by faithful obedience to the indwelling Spirit, capable of more. But up to the measure of their then capacities they were filled; and, since their spirits were expansible, and the gift was infinite, they were in a position to grow steadily in possession of it, till they were ‘filled with all the fulness of God.’

Further, ‘they were all filled,’-not the Apostles only, but the whole hundred and twenty. Peter’s quotation from Joel distinctly implies the universality of the gift, which the ‘servants and handmaidens,’ the brethren and the women, now received. Herein is the true democracy of Christianity. There are still diversities of operations and degrees of possession, but all Christians have the Spirit. All ‘they that believe on Him,’ and only they, have received it. Of old the light shone only on the highest peaks,-prophets, and kings, and psalmists; now the lowest depths of the valleys are flooded with it. Would that Christians generally believed more fully in, and set more store by, that great gift!

As symbols preceded, tokens followed. The essential fact of Pentecost is neither the sound and fire, nor the speaking with other tongues, but the communication of the Holy Spirit. The sign and result of that was the gift of utterance in various languages, not their own, nor learned by ordinary ways. No twisting of the narrative can weaken the plain meaning of it, that these unlearned Galileans spake in tongues which their users recognised to be their own. The significance of the fact will appear presently, but first note the attestation of it by the multitude.

Of course, the foreign-born Jews, who, from motives of piety, however mistaken, had come to dwell in Jerusalem, are said to have been ‘from every nation under heaven,’ by an obvious and ordinary license. It is enough that, as the subsequent catalogue shows, they came from all corners of the then known world, though the extremes of territory mentioned cover but a small space on a terrestrial globe.

The ‘sound’ of the rushing wind had been heard hurtling through the city in the early morning hours, and had served as guide to the spot. A curious crowd came hurrying to ascertain what this noise of tempest in a calm meant, and they were met by something more extraordinary still. Try to imagine the spectacle. As would appear from Acts 2:33, the tongues of fire remained lambently glowing on each head {‘which ye see’}, and the whole hundred and twenty, thus strangely crowned, were pouring out rapturous praises, each in some strange tongue. When the astonished ears had become accustomed to the apparent tumult, every man in the crowd heard some one or more speaking in his own tongue, language, or dialect, and all were declaring the mighty works of God; that is, probably, the story of the crucified, ascended Jesus.

We need not dwell on subordinate questions, as to the number of languages represented there, or as to the catalogue in Acts 2:9 - Acts 2:10. But we would emphasise two thoughts. First, the natural result of being filled with God’s Spirit is utterance of the great truths of Christ’s Gospel. As surely as light radiates, as surely as any deep emotion demands expression, so certainly will a soul filled with the Spirit be forced to break into speech. If professing Christians have never known the impulse to tell of the Christ whom they have found, their religion must be very shallow and imperfect. If their spirits are full, they will overflow in speech.

Second, Pentecost is a prophecy of the universal proclamation of the Gospel, and of the universal praise which shall one day rise to Him that was slain. ‘This company of brethren praising God in the tongues of the whole world represented the whole world which shall one day praise God in its various tongues’ {Bengel}. Pentecost reversed Babel, not by bringing about a featureless monopoly, but by consecrating diversity, and showing that each language could be hallowed, and that each lent some new strain of music to the chorus.

It prophesied of the time when ‘men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation’ should lift up their voices to Him who has purchased them unto God with His blood. It began a communication of the Spirit to all believers which is never to cease while the world stands. The mighty rushing sound has died into silence, the fiery tongues rest on no heads now, the miraculous results of the gifts of the Spirit have passed away also, but the gift remains, and the Spirit of God abides for ever with the Church of Christ.

Acts 2:1. When the day of pentecost was fully come — Of this feast, which had its name from πεντηκοστη, pentecostee, (which signifies the fiftieth day,) because it was celebrated fifty days after the passover, see notes on Leviticus 23:15-16. As our Lord was crucified at one of the great Jewish feasts, it was fit that he should be glorified at another. And this of pentecost was chosen with peculiar propriety, as next succeeding that of the passover, at which he suffered; and also as it was celebrated in commemoration of the giving of the law from mount Sinai, and as the first- fruits were then offered and anointed, Exodus 19:1; Exodus 19:11; Leviticus 23:17. To these answered the fuller discovery of the gospel on this occasion, and the anointing of the first-fruits of the Christian Church by the effusion of the Spirit. At the pentecost of Sinai, in the Old Testament, and the pentecost of Jerusalem, in the New, were the two grand manifestations of God, the legal and the evangelical; the one from the mountain, and the other from heaven; the terrible, and the merciful one. And as the Jewish Church was constituted at the former of these periods, it was fit that the incorporation of the Christian Church should be dated from the latter. As further reasons why it was peculiarly proper that this time should be chosen for effecting this wonderful miracle, it may be observed, 1st, That as great multitudes of people were wont to assemble at Jerusalem at all the Jewish feasts, so it is probable that the peculiar solemnity of this feast, the general expectation of the Messiah that now prevailed among them, and the length of the days, as it was about the middle of summer, would bring greater numbers thither on this occasion than usually attended at the festivals. This would make the miracle the more public, and cause the fame of it to be spread the sooner and farther, which would contribute much to the propagation of the gospel among all nations, and make way for greater regard to the apostles, when they came to the countries where the people lived who had been spectators of this great event, and upon returning home, reported it to their friends and neighbours. 2d, As this feast of pentecost happened on the first day of the week, by the effusion of the Holy Spirit on this day, added to the resurrection of Christ taking place on it, still greater honour was put on the day, and it was more manifestly confirmed to be the Christian sabbath, the day which the Lord had appointed to be a standing memorial in his church of those two wonderful events. This not only justifies us in observing that day, under the title of the Lord’s day, but directs us, in observing it, to give God praise, particularly for those two great blessings. They were all with one accord in one place — In what place we are not told, whether in the temple, where they attended at public times, (Luke 24:53,) or whether in their own upper room, where they met at other times; but it was at Jerusalem, because it had been the place which God had chosen to put his name there, and the prophets had foretold that from thence the word of the Lord should go forth to all nations; (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2;) and it was now the place of the general rendezvous of all devout people, where God had promised to meet and bless them; and here, therefore, he meets them with this blessing of blessings. It is probable that the ALL here mentioned, included the whole one hundred and twenty who were together when Matthias was chosen. The word ομοθυμαδον, rendered with one accord, implies that they were united in their views, intentions, and affections, and that there was no discord or strife among them, as there sometimes had been while their Master was with them. Doubtless, they were also united in their desire and expectation of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the power from on high, which Christ had promised them; and in praying earnestly and importunately for it whenever they met together, which it appears they were in the habit of doing daily.

2:1-4 We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with them there were strifes among the disciples which should be the greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had prayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit poured out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And notwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests, as there were among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came with great force. This was to signify the powerful influences and working of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and thereby upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for his comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, prepare the soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearance of something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them, according to John Baptist's saying concerning Christ; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on the altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his sanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of the gospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance.And when the day of Pentecost - The word "Pentecost" is a Greek word signifying the 50th part of a thing, or the 50th in order. Among the Jews it was a applied to one of their three great feasts which began on the 50th day after the Passover. This feast was reckoned from the 16th day of the month Abib, or April, or the second day of the Passover. The paschal lamb was slain on the 14th of the month at evening, Leviticus 23:5; on the 15th day of the month was a holy convocation - the proper beginning of the feast; on the 16th day was the offering of the firstfruits of harvest, and from that day they were to reckon seven weeks, that is, 49 days, to the feast called the Feast of Pentecost, so that it occurred 50 days after the first day of the Feast of the Passover. This feast was also called the Feast of Weeks, from the circumstance that it followed a succession of weeks, Exodus 34:22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:10. It was also a harvest festival, and was accordingly called the Feast of Harvest; and it was for this reason that two loaves made of new meal were offered on this occasion as first-fruits, Leviticus 23:17, Leviticus 23:20; Numbers 28:27-31.

Was fully come - When the day had arrived. The word used here means literally "to be completed," and as employed here refers, not to the day itself, but to the completion of the interval which was to pass before its arrival (Olshausen). See Luke 9:51. Compare Mark 1:15; Luke 1:57. This fact is mentioned, that the time of the Pentecost had come, or fully arrived, to account for what is related afterward, that there were so many strangers and foreigners present. The promised influences of the Spirit were withheld until the greatest possible number of Jews should be present at Jerusalem at the same time, and thus an opportunity be afforded of preaching the gospel to vast multitudes in the very place where the Lord Jesus was crucified, and also an opportunity be afforded of sending the gospel by them into distant parts of the earth.

They were all - Probably not only the apostles, but also the 120 people mentioned in Acts 1:15.

With one accord - See Acts 1:14. It is probable that they had continued together until this time, and given themselves entirely to the business of devotion.

In one place - Where this was cannot be known. Commentators have been much divided in their conjectures about it. Some have supposed that it was in the upper room mentioned in Acts 1:13; others that it was a room in the temple; others that it was in a synagogue; others that it was among the promiscuous multitude that assembled for devotion in the courts of the temple. See Acts 2:2. It has been supposed by many that this took place on the first day of the week; that is, on the Christian Sabbath. But there is a difficulty in establishing this. There was probably a difference among the Jews themselves as to the time of observing this festival: The Law said that they should reckon seven sabbaths; that is seven weeks, "from the morrow after the sabbath," Leviticus 23:15. By this Sabbath the Pharisees understood the second day of the Passover, on whatever day of the week it occurred, which was kept as a day of holy convocation, and which might be called a Sabbath. But the Karaite Jews, or those who insisted on a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, maintained that by the Sabbath here was meant the usual Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. Consequently, with them, the day of Pentecost always occurred on the first day of the week; and if the apostles fell in with their views, the day was fully come on what is now the Christian Sunday. But if the views of the Pharisees were followed, and the Lord Jesus had with them kept the Passover on Thursday, as many have supposed, then the day of Pentecost would have occurred on the Jewish Sabbath, that is, on Saturday (Kuinoel; Lightfoot). It is impossible to determine the truth on this subject. Nor is it of much importance. According to the later Jews, the day of Pentecost was kept also as a festival to commemorate the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai; but no trace of this custom is to be found in the Old Testament.


Ac 2:1-13. Descent of the Spirit—The Disciples Speak with Tongues—Amazement of the Multitude.

1-4. when the day of Pentecost was fully come—The fiftieth from the morrow after the first Passover sabbath (Le 23:15, 16).

with one accord—the solemnity of the day, perhaps, unconsciously raising their expectations.Acts 2:1-13 The descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles on the

day of Pentecost: they speak divers languages, to the

general amazement, but some deride them.

Acts 2:14-36 Peter shows that the inspiration spoken of by Joel was

now fulfilled; that Jesus, whom they had crucified,

was now risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven,

according to David’s predictions, and had shed forth

the promise of the Holy Spirit in full proof of his

being the Messias.

Acts 2:37-40 A great number are converted by Peter’s preaching,

Acts 2:41-47 who, being baptized, converse devoutly and charitably

together, the apostles working many miracles, and God

daily increasing the church.

Pentecost; this feast was fifty days after the feast of unleavened bread, or passover, as Leviticus 23:16, whence it had its name, and was called the feast of weeks, Exodus 34:22, because it was to be observed seven weeks after the feast of unleavened bread, Deu 16:9. It was the feast of the first fruit of wheat harvest, Exodus 34:22; and on this day (to answer the type) the Spirit was poured out in such a plentiful manner, as the first fruits of Christ’s ascending into heaven: besides, the law was given on this day, Exodus 19:1,11, and it was expedient that the gospel (Christ’s law) should be published on the same day: and it being on the first day of the week, it did recommend and honour the Lord’s day, as our Saviour had before by his resurrection on that day.

With one accord; as if they had but one mind, as sent in so many bodies.

In one place; probably that mentioned Acts 1:13.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come,.... Or "was come", was begun and entered upon; for it was not over, or ended, it being but the third hour of the day, or nine of the clock in the morning, when Peter began his sermon; see Acts 2:15. The Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read, "when the days of Pentecost were fulfilled"; not that there were more days than one, kept at this festival; for though the feasts of passover and tabernacles were observed each of them seven days, according to the law, and eight days according to the Scribes, yet the feast of Pentecost was kept but one day; and hence it is often said by the Jews, that Atzereth, which is one of the names they call this feast by, is but one day (l); in the captivity they kept two days (m), as they did for the beginning of the year, because of the uncertainty of calculations; but the sense is, when the whole fifty days from the passover to this time were fully come, or fulfilled, when the fiftieth day from thence, which was properly the day of Pentecost, was come: on the second day of the passover, on the sixteenth of Nisan, the sheaf of the first fruits was offered up; after which, and not before, it was lawful to reap the corn, Leviticus 23:10 from this time the Jews reckoned their feast of weeks, or seven weeks, or fifty days; see Exodus 34:22 which measured out the time of their harvest. Now the last of these fifty days was the day of Pentecost, on which day was offered the two wave loaves, as a thanksgiving that their harvest was ended. Josephus calls (n) this feast by the same name that Luke here does; and says (o), the Jews so call it, from the number of the days, that is fifty; and so R. Sol Jarchi (p) calls this day, , "the fiftieth day": on this day, the Jews say (q), the law was given; and observe (r), that "from the day that Israel went out of Egypt, unto the day that the law was given, were fifty days.

And on this day, and which was the first day of the week, the Spirit was poured forth upon the disciples; the Gospel began to be preached to all nations, and a harvest of souls was gathered in:

they were all with one accord in one place; in two ancient copies of Beza's, and in some others it is read, "all the apostles"; Matthias, and the eleven, with whom he was numbered, who are last spoken of, in Acts 1:26. Though this need not be restrained to the twelve apostles, but may be understood of the hundred and twenty, on whom, as well as on the apostles, the Holy Ghost might be poured forth, that so they might speak with tongues; since among these were many ministers of the Gospel, as the seventy disciples, and it may be more; and that his extraordinary gifts should be bestowed on others, is but what was afterwards done; see Acts 8:17 and though there were so many of them together, they were very unanimous and peaceable; there were no jars nor contentions among them; they were of the same mind and judgment in faith and practice, and of one heart and soul, and had a cordial affection for one another; and were all in one place, which seems to be the temple; see Acts 2:46. And indeed, no other place or house could hold so many as came to hear them, of which number three thousand were converted,

(l) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 65. 1. Gloss. in. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 17. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 100. fol. 88. 2.((m) T. Bab. Erachin, fol. 10. 1.((n) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 10. sect. 6. (o) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 3. sect. 1.((p) In Leviticus 23.15. (q) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 68. 2.((r) Zohar in Exod. fol. 34. 4. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 9. 4.

And {1} when the day of Pentecost was {a} fully come, they were {b} all with one accord in one place.

(1) The Apostles being gathered together on a most solemn feast day in one place, that it might evidently appear to all the world that they all had one office, one Spirit, and one faith, are by a double sign from heaven authorised, and anointed with all the most excellent gifts of the Holy Spirit, and especially with an extraordinary and necessary gift of tongues.

(a) Literally, was fulfilled: that is, was begun, as in Lu 2:21. For the Hebrews say that a day or a year is fulfilled or ended when the former days or years are ended, and the other has begun; Jer 25:12: And it will come to pass that when seventy years are fulfilled, I will visit, etc. For the Lord did not bring his people home after the seventieth year was ended, but in the seventieth year: Now the day of Pentecost was the fiftieth day after the feast of the Passover.

(b) The twelve apostles, who were to be the patriarchs as it were of the Church.

Acts 2:1.[109] When the day of Pentecost became full, i.e. when the day of Pentecost had come, on the day of Pentecost. The day is, according to the Hebrew mode (see Gesen. Thes. s.v. מלא), conceived as a measure to be filled up (comp. also Acts 9:23; Luke 2:6; Luke 22:9; Luke 22:51, and many similar passages in the N. T. and in the Apocrypha); so long as the day had not yet arrived, but still belonged to the future, the measure was not yet filled, but empty. But as soon as it appeared, the fulfilment, the making the day full, the ΣΥΜΠΛΉΡΩΣΙς (comp. 3 Esdr. 1:58; Daniel 9:2) therewith occurred; by which, without figure, is meant the realization of the day which had not hitherto become a reality. The expression itself, which concerns the definite individual day, is at variance with the view of Olshausen and Baumgarten, who would have the time from Easter to be regarded as becoming full. Quite without warrant, Hitzig (Ostern und Pfingst, p. 39 f.) would place the occurrence not at Pentecost at all. See, in opposition to this, Schneckenb. p. 198 f.

ἡ πεντηκοστή] is indeed originally to be referred to the ἡμέρα understood; but this supplementary noun had entirely fallen into disuse, and the word had become quite an independent substantive (comp. 2Ma 12:32). πεντηκοστή also occurs in Tob 2:1, quite apart from its numeral signification, and ἐν τῇ πεντηκοστῇ ἑορτῇ is there: on the Pentecost-feast. See Fritzsche in loc. The feast of Pentecost, חַג שָּׁבֻעוֹת, Deuteronomy 16:9-10 (ἁγία ἑπτὰ ἑβδομάδων, Tob. I.c.), was one of the three great festivals, appointed as the feast of the grain-harvest (Exodus 23:16; Numbers 28:26), and subsequently, although we find no mention of this in Philo and Josephus (comp. Bauer in the Stud. u. Krit. 1843, p. 680), regarded also as the celebration of the giving of the law from Sinai, falling (Exodus 19:1) in the third month (Danz in Meuschen, N. T. ex Talm. ill. p. 741; Buxt. Synag. p. 438). It was restricted to one day, and celebrated on the fiftieth day after the first day of the Passover (Leviticus 23:15-16); so that the second paschal day, i.e. the 16th of Nisan, the day of the sheaf offering, is to be reckoned as the first of these fifty days. See Lightfoot and Wetstein in loc.; Ewald, Alterth. p. 476 f.; Keil, Archäol. § 83. Now, as in that year the Passover occurred on the evening of Friday (see on John 18:28), and consequently this Friday, the day of the death of Jesus, was the 14th of Nisan, Saturday the 15th, and Sunday the 16th, the tradition of the ancient church has very correctly placed the first Christian Pentecost on the Sunday.[110] Therefore the custom—which, besides, cannot be shown to have existed at the time of Jesus—of the Karaites, who explained שבת in Leviticus 23:15 not of the first day of the Passover, but of the Sabbath occurring in the paschal week, and thus held Pentecost always on a Sunday (Ideler, II. p. 613; Wieseler, Synop. p. 349), is to be left entirely out of consideration (in opposition to Hitzig); and it is not to be assumed that the disciples might have celebrated with the Karaites both Passover and Pentecost.[111] But still the question arises: Whether Luke himself conceived of that first Christian Pentecost as a Saturday or a Sunday? As he, following with Matthew and Mark the Galilean tradition, makes the Passover occur already on Thursday evening and be partaken of by Jesus Himself, and accordingly makes the Friday of the crucifixion the 15th of Nisan; so he must necessarily—but just as erroneously—have conceived of this first πεντηκοστή as a Saturday (Wieseler, Chronol. d. apost. Zeitalt. p. 19), unless we should assume that he may have had no other conception of the day of Pentecost than that which was in conformity with the Christian custom of the Sunday celebration of Pentecost; which, indeed, does not correspond with his account of the day of Jesus’ death as the 15th Nisan, but shows the correctness of the Johannine tradition.

ἦσαν πάντες ὁμοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό] Concerning the text, see the critical remarks; concerning ἘΠῚ ΤῸ ΑὐΤΌ, see on Acts 1:15. These ΠΆΝΤΕς, all, were not merely the apostles, but all the followers of Jesus then in Jerusalem, partly natives and partly strangers, including the apostles. For, first of all, it may certainly be presumed that on the day of Pentecost, and, moreover, at the hour of prayer (Acts 2:15), not the apostles alone, but with them also the other μαθηταί—among whom there were, without doubt, many foreign pilgrims to the feast—were assembled. Moreover, in Acts 2:14 the apostles are distinguished from the rest. Further, the ΠΆΝΤΕς, designedly added, by no means corresponds to the small number of the apostles (Acts 1:26), especially as in the narrative immediately preceding mention was made of a much greater assembly (Acts 1:15); it is, on the contrary, designed—because otherwise it would have been superfluous—to indicate a still greater completeness of the assembly, and therefore it may not be limited even to the 120 persons alone. Lastly, it is clear also from the prophetic saying of Joel, adduced in Acts 2:16 ff., that the effusion of the Spirit was not on the apostles merely, but on all the new people of God, so that ἅπαντες (Acts 2:1) must be understood of all the followers of Jesus (of course, according to the latitude of the popular manner of expression).

[109] Concerning the Pentecostal occurrence, see van Hengel, de gave der talen, Pinksterstudie, Leid. 1864.

[110] In opposition to the view of Hupfeld, de primitiva et vera festorum ap. Hebr. ratione, Hal. 1852, who will have the fifty days reckoned from the last paschal day; see Ewald, Jahrb. IV. p. 134 f.

[111] 1 See also Vaihinger in Herzog’s Encykl. XI. p. 476 f.

Acts 2:1. ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι, lit[114], “when the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled” (filled up). R.V. renders “was now come,” and a question arises as to whether the words mean this, or that the day was only being filled up, and not fully come. Blass interprets the expression to mean a short time before the day of Pentecost, not the day itself. Weiss and others suppose that the expression refers to the completing of the interval of time between the Paschal Feast and Pentecost. Vulgate (cf. Syriac) reads “cum complerentur dies Pentecostes,” and so all English versions have “days” except A. and R.V. The verb is only used by St. Luke in the N.T., twice in his Gospel, Luke 8:23, and in the same sense as here, Luke 9:51, and once more in the passage before us. We have the noun συμπλήρωσις in the same sense in LXX 2 Chronicles 36:21, Dan. (Theod.) Acts 9:2, 1Es 1:58; see Friedrich, ubi supra, p. 44. The mode of expression is Hebraistic, as we see also from Exodus 7:25, Jeremiah 36:10 (LXX). St. Luke may be using the expression of a day which had begun, according to Jewish reckoning, at the previous sunset, and which thus in the early morning could not be said to be either fulfilled or past, but which was in the process of being fulfilled (Hilgenfeld, Zeitschrift für wissenschaft. Theol., p. 90, 1895; Knabenbauer, in loco). The parallel passage in Luke 9:51 cannot be quoted to support the view that the reference here is to a period preceding the day of Pentecost, since in that passage we have ἡμέρας, not ἡμέραν as here, and, although the interpretation of the word as referring to the approach of the Feast is possible, yet the circumstances and the view evidently taken by the narrator point decisively to the very day of the Feast (see Schmid, Biblische Theol., p. 283). On the construction ἐν τῷ with the infinitive, see Blass, Grammatik des N. G., pp. 232, 234, and Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, p. 27. It is quite in the style of St. Luke, who frequently employs it; cf. the Hebrew use of בְּ, Friedrich, p. 13, ubi supra, Lekebusch, Apostelgeschichte, p. 75). On Spitta’s forced interpretation of the word, see p. 100.—τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς: no occasion to add ἡμέρα, as the word was used as a proper name (although as an adjective ἡμέρα would of course be understood with it); cf. 2Ma 12:32 (Tob 2:1), μετὰ δὲ τὴν λεγομ. Πεντηκοστήν.—ἅπαντες, i.e., the hundred-and-twenty as well as the Apostles (Chrysostom, Jerome), and the expression may also have included other disciples who were present in Jerusalem at the Feast (so Hilgenfeld, Wendt, Holtzmann). This interpretation appears to be more in accordance with the wide range of the prophecy, Acts 2:16-21.—ὁμοθυμαδὸν, see above on Acts 2:14. ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό may simply = “together,” so that of the two expressions ὁμοῦ, R.V., and this phrase “alterum abundat” (Blass, Weiss); but the reference may be to the room in which they were previously assembled; cf. Acts 1:15.

[114] literal, literally.

Acts 2:1-13. The Holy Ghost given at Pentecost. Effect first produced thereby on the dwellers at Jerusalem

1. the day of Pentecost] The second of the three great Jewish feasts, the Passover being the first, and the third, the feast of Tabernacles. Pentecost is the Greek name of the feast, derived from Pentecostos = fiftieth; because it was kept on the fiftieth day after the Passover-Sabbath. In the Law it is called “the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours” (Exodus 23:16), and also, from being seven weeks after the Passover, it is named “the feast of weeks” (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:9-10). The offering in this festival was the two first loaves made from the first portion of the wheat-harvest of the year, as a thank-offering.

This day was perhaps chosen for the outpouring of the Spirit upon the Apostles, that there might be a greater multitude present in Jerusalem, and so the tidings of this gift might at once be spread abroad. It is perhaps for this reason that the very word employed is one which indicates that the day was fully come, and so all that were intending to be present at the feast were there. We find in Acts 9:2 that there were Christians at Damascus before we read of any one of the Apostolic band visiting that city. It may well be that among those who saw the gifts now bestowed, and whose hearts were pierced by Peter’s sermon, there were some who went forth to this and other cities, bearing the fame and teaching of the new society along with them. In like manner, we cannot doubt that it was in order that more might hear His words, that our Lord so frequently went to Jerusalem at the feasts. (John 4:45; John 5:1; John 7:10; John 10:22, &c.)

they were all with one accord in one place] The best MSS. have they were all together in one place. Doubtless in the upper room where the Apostles abode, and where the disciples had met for the election of Matthias.

Acts 2:1. Ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι, whilst the day of Pentecost was being completed [“When the day of Pentecost was fully come”]) Many fulfilments of predictions met together at one and the same time.—τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς, of Pentecost) This term is not found in the LXX. transl., but it does occur in Tob 2:1; 2Ma 12:32. The Sinaitic Pentecost in the Old Testament, and the Jerusalem Pentecost of the New Testament, have connected with them the two clearest manifestations of God, exceeding all others by far, and raised above every objection of atheists, viz. that of the law and that of the Gospel, Psalm 68:8; Psalm 68:10; that from the mount and that from heaven (Hebrews 12:18-25); that one which was accompanied with terrors, and that which is full of mercy.—ἅπαντες ὁμοθύμαδον ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, all with one accord in the same place) There was a oneness (a conjunction) in respect of fellowship (association), minds, and place. As to who were the persons, and what they did (were engaged about), see ch. Acts 1:14-15. Not only were there the apostles, but also the others.

Verse 1. - Was now come for was fully come, A.V.; all together for with one accord, A.V. and T.R. When the day of Pentecost was now come; literally, when the day of Pentecost - i.e., of the fiftieth day - was in the course of being completed. The fiftieth day (reckoned from the end of the 16th of Nisan, on which Jesus was crucified) was actually come, but was not ended (comp. Luke 9:11). All together; ὁμοῦ for ὁμοθυμαδόν: but ὁμοθυμαδόν - a favorite word in the Acts (Acts 4:24, note) - seems preferable to ὁμοῦ, which occurs only in St. John. In one place (see Acts 1:15, note). The purpose, doubtless, of their coming together was for prayer, as in Acts 1:14; and the third hour (9 a.m., ver. 15), the hour of offering the morning sacrifice, was close at hand (comp. Acts 3:1 and Luke 1:10). Acts 2:1Was fully come (συμπληροῦσθαι)

Used by Luke only. See on Luke 9:51. Lit., as Rev., margin, was being fulfilled. The day, according to the Hebrew mode, is conceived as a measure to be filled up. So long as the day had not yet arrived, the measure was not full. The words denote in process of fulfilment.


Meaning fiftieth; because occurring on the fiftieth day, calculated from the second day of unleavened bread. In the Old Testament it is called the feast of weeks, and the feast of harvest. Its primary object was to thank God for the blessings of harvest. See Deuteronomy 16:10, Deuteronomy 16:11.

With one accord (ὁμοθυμαδὸν)

The best texts substitute ὁμοῦ, together. So Rev.

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