Acts 2:12
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What means this?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) They were all amazed, and were in doubt.—The last word is somewhat stronger in the Greek: “were much perplexed,” as in Luke 24:4. No New Testament writer uses it except St. Luke.

What meaneth this?—Better, What may this mean? The same phrase occurs in Acts 17:18.

2:5-13 The difference in languages which arose at Babel, has much hindered the spread of knowledge and religion. The instruments whom the Lord first employed in spreading the Christian religion, could have made no progress without this gift, which proved that their authority was from God.Were in doubt - This expression, διηπόρουν diēporoun, denotes "a state of hesitancy or anxiety about an event." It is applied to those who are traveling, and are ignorant of the way, or who hesitate about the road. They were all astonished at this; they did not know how to understand it or explain it, until some of them supposed that it was merely the effect of new wine. 9-11. Parthians, &c.—Beginning with the farthest east, the Parthians, the enumeration proceeds farther and farther westward till it comes to Judea; next come the western countries, from Cappadocia to Pamphylia; then the southern, from Egypt to Cyrene; finally, apart from all geographical consideration, Cretes and Arabians are placed together. This enumeration is evidently designed to convey an impression of universality [Baumgarten]. They were all amazed; so Acts 2:7; existanto, they were as in an ecstasy, (the object was too strong for the faculty), they could not fathom the cause or reason of these wonderful things; and therefore they desire one of another to be resolved concerning them. And they were all amazed,.... That is, all these devout men, Jews and proselytes, which came from other nations before mentioned:

and were in doubt; not whether the apostles spoke in various languages, nor about the sense of their words; for they not only heard them with their ears, and were assured of the facts, but they seem also to understand what was said, since they call the things delivered, the great or wonderful things of God; but they were at a loss in their minds what should be the cause of this, or the reason of such a dispensation,

saying, one to another, what meaneth this? from whence is it? what is the design of it? or what the end to be answered by it? or what will follow upon it? surely something considerable.

{2} And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

(2) God's word pierces some in such a way that it drives them to seek out the truth, and it so chokes others that it forces them to be witnesses of their own impudency.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 2:12-13. Διηπόρ.] see on Luke 9:7.

τί ἂν θέλοι τοῦτο εἶναι;] The optative with ἄν, in order to denote the hypothetically conceived possibility: What might this possibly wish to be? i.e. What might—if this speaking in our native languages, this strange phenomenon, is designed to have any meaning—be to be thought of as that meaning? Comp. Acts 17:18; Herm. ad Viger. p. 729; Bernhardy, p. 410 f. On the distinction of the sense without ἂν, see Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. v. 7. 33. Comp. also Maetzner, ad Antiph. p. 130. On θέλειν of impersonal things, see Wetstein and Stallbaum, ad Plat. Rep. p. 370 B.

ἕτεροι] another class of judges, consequently none of the impartial, of whom there was mention in Acts 2:7-12, but hostile persons (in part, doubtless, of the hierarchical party) who drew from the well-known freer mode of life of Jesus and His disciples a judgment similar to Luke 7:34, and decided against the disciples.

διαχλευάζοντες] mocking; a stronger expression than the simple verb, Dem. 1221. 26; Plat. Ax. p. 364 B; Polyb. xvii. 4. 4, xxxix. 2. 13; used absolutely also, Polyb. xxx. 13. 12. The scoffers explain the enthusiasm of the speakers, which struck them as eccentric, and the use of foreign languages instead of the Galilean, as the effect of drunken excitement. Without disturbing themselves whence this foreign speaking (according to the historical position of the matter: this speaking with tongues) had come and become possible to the Galileans, they are arrested only by the strangeness of the phenomenon as it struck the senses, and, in accordance with their own vulgarity, impute it to the having taken too much wine. Comp. 1 Corinthians 14:23. The contents of the speaking (van Hengel) would not, apart from that form of utterance as if drunk with the Spirit, have given ground for so frivolous an opinion, but would rather have checked it. The judgment of Festus concerning Paul (Acts 26:24) is based on an essentially different situation.

γλεύκους] γλεῦκος τὸ ἀπόσταγμα τῆς σταφυλῆς πρὶν πατηθῇ, Hesychius. Job 32:19; Lucian. Ep. Sat. 22, Philops. 39. 65; Nic. Al. 184. 299. Comp. γλευκοπότης, Leon. Tar. 18; Apollonid. 10.Acts 2:12. διηπόρουν: not found in LXX (only in Psalm 76:5, and Daniel 2:3, Symmachus), and peculiar to St. Luke in the N.T., once in his Gospel, Luke 9:7 (Luke 24:4 ἀπορεῖσθαι, W.H[122] and R.V.), and three times in Acts, cf. Acts 5:24; Acts 10:17. διηποροῦντο in R.V. “were perplexed”; A. V. “were in doubt,” although in Luke 24:4 this or a similar word is rendered as in R.V., “were (much) perplexed”. The Greek conveys the thought of utter uncertainty what to think, rather than doubt as to which opinion of several is right (Humphry). The word no doubt is frequently found in classical writers, and is found also in Philo (not in Josephus), but it may be worth noting that ἀπορία, εὐπορία, διαπορεῖν, εὐπορεῖν are all peculiar to St. Luke, and were terms constantly employed by medical writers (Hobart, Medical Language, etc., p. 163). τί ἂν θέλοι τοῦτο εἶναιθέλω was constantly used in this sense in classical writers, see instances in Wetstein. On the popular use of θέλω instead of βούλομαι in later Greek, cf. Blass, Acta Apostolorum, p. 15. Blass points out that St. Luke’s employment of βούλομαι is characteristic of his culture, although it must be remembered that the Evangelist uses θέλω (as here) very frequently.

[122] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.12. they were all amazed, and were in doubt] Rather, and were perplexed. The original means they did not know what to make of what they saw and heard. They had no doubt of the facts, for their ears bore testimony that in their own various mother-tongues the great works of God were being published, and they had just said so.Acts 2:12. Πάντες, all) viz. the “devout men,” Acts 2:5; as opposed to the ‘mockers’ in the following verse.Verse 12. - Perplexed for in doubt, A.V. and T.R. Were in doubt (διηπόρουν)

Used by Luke only. See on Luke 9:7. Better, as Rev., perplexed.

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