Acts 2:22
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
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(22) Jesus of Nazareth.—We hardly estimate, as we read them, the boldness implied in the utterance of that Name. Barely seven weeks had passed since He who bore it had died the death of a slave and of a robber. The speaker himself had denied all knowledge of Him of whom he now spoke.

A man approved of God.—The verb is used in its older English sense, as proved, or pointed out, not as we now use the word, as meeting with the approval of God.

Miracles and wonders and signs.—Better, mighty works . . . The words are three synonyms, expressing different aspects of the same facts, rather than a classification of phenomena. The leading thought, in the first word, is the power displayed in the act; in the second, the marvel of it as a portent: in the third, its character as a token or note of something beyond itself.

Acts 2:22. Ye men of Israel, hear these words — Let me charge it upon you, as a most important duty, to pay attention to these remarkable words of the prophet, which I have now repeated in your hearing; and a part of which is this day evidently fulfilled, and the rest shall be fulfilled in their season. Jesus of Nazareth — So I call him, because he was generally known among you by that name, though he was not born there, nor, properly speaking, was a Nazarene; a man approved of God among you — Censured, indeed, and condemned by men, but approved of God, who testified his approbation of his life, doctrine, and of the whole of his proceedings, by the miraculous powers he gave him; a man, marked out by God, as Dr. Hammond translates απο του θεου αποδεδειγμενον, signalized and made remarkable among you that now hear me; for you yourselves are witnesses how remarkable he was rendered by the miracles, wonders, and signs, works above the power of nature, out of its ordinary course, and contrary to it, which God did by him — That is, which he did by that divine power with which he was clothed, and in which God plainly co-operated with him; for no man could do such works, unless God were with him. Observe, reader, the amazing stress Peter lays upon Christ’s miracles: 1st, The matter of fact was not to be denied; they were done, says he, in the midst of you — In the midst of your country, your city, your solemn assemblies; as ye yourselves also know — You have been eye- witnesses of his miracles, and I appeal to yourselves whether you have any thing to object against them, or can offer any thing to disprove them. 2d, The inference from them cannot be disputed; the reasoning is as strong as the evidence; if he did those miracles, certainly God approved of him, showed him to be what he declared himself to be, the Son of God and the Saviour of the world: for the God of truth would never set his seal to a lie.

2:22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a few weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and of wonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must be satisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christ himself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which could not be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an act of awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away the reproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christ was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in the work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, not to him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life for evermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and the apostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon this alone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous gifts and Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects. Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we are encouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour for evermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is the Lord, and the anointed Saviour.Ye men of Israel - Descendants of Israel or Jacob, that is, Jews. Peter proceeds now to the third part of his argument, to show that Jesus Christ had been raised up; that the scene which had occurred was in accordance with his promise, was proof of his resurrection, and of his exaltation to be the Messiah; and that, therefore, they should repent for their great sin in having put their own Messiah to death.

A man approved of God - A man who was shown or demonstrated to have the approbation of God, or to have been sent by him.

By miracles, and wonders, and signs - The first of these words properly means the displays of power which Jesus made; the second, the unusual or remarkable events which attended him, as suited to excite wonder or amazement; the third, the sights or proofs that he was from God. Together, they denote the array or series of remarkable works - raising the dead, healing the sick, etc., which showed that Jesus was sent from God. The proof which they furnished that he was from God was this, that He would not confer such power on an impostor, and that therefore Jesus was what he pretended to be.

Which God did, by him - The Lord Jesus himself often traced his power to do these things to his commission from the Father, but he did it in such a way as to show that he was closely united to him, John 5:19, John 5:30. Peter here says that God did these works by Jesus Christ, to show that Jesus was truly sent by him, and that therefore he had the seal and attestation of God. The same thing Jesus himself said, John 5:36, "The work which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me." The great works which God has made in creation, as well as in redemption, he is represented as having done by his Son, Hebrews 1:2, "By whom also he made the worlds," John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-19.

In the midst of you - In your own land. It is also probable that many of the persons present had been witnesses of his miracles.

As ye yourselves also know - They knew it either by having witnessed them, or by the evidence which everywhere abounded of the truth that he had performed them. The Jews, even in the time of Christ, did not dare to call his miracles in question, John 15:24. While they admitted the miracle, they attempted to trace it to the influence of Beelzebub, Matthew 9:34; Mark 3:22. So decided and numerous were the miracles of Jesus, that Peter here appeals to them as having been known by the Jews themselves to have been performed, and with a confidence that even riley could not deny it. On this he proceeds to rear his argument for the truth of his Messiahship.

22-28. a man approved of God—rather, "authenticated," "proved," or "demonstrated to be from God."

by miracles … which God did by him—This is not a low view of our Lord's miracles, as has been alleged, nor inconsistent with Joh 2:11, but is in strict accordance with His progress from humiliation to glory, and with His own words in Joh 5:19. This view of Christ is here dwelt on to exhibit to the Jews the whole course of Jesus of Nazareth as the ordinance and doing of the God of Israel [Alford].

Jesus of Nazareth; for so Pilate had called our Saviour through contempt, in his superscription on the cross: and that they might certainly know of whom he spake, and that he was not now (as formerly) ashamed to own him, he mentions our Saviour under that name here.

Approved; demonstrated, and beyond any contradiction proved, to be the Messiah: for this was that great truth St. Peter preached upon, that Christ, whom Pilate had condemned, and called Jesus of Nazareth, was indeed the Son of God, and the true Messiah.

Miracles and wonders and signs; the critical difference is not so material; it was ordinary to add many words to show the greatness of the matter spoken of; indeed all sorts of wonderful works Christ did, and so many, and so great, as no variety of words can express.

As ye yourselves also know; those that are not convinced are self-condemned.

Ye men of Israel hear these words,.... The Arabic version prefaces this passage with these words, "in those days Peter stood and said unto the people"; as if it was not on the same day, and the following oration was a new one, and not a continued discourse with the former; whereas it was delivered at the same time, and is in connection with what goes before. Only the apostle having finished the vindication of his brethren, and the whole society, and set that matter in a clear light; and being willing to take this opportunity of preaching Christ to the Jews, addresses them under another character in a new form of words, though to the same sense as in Acts 2:14 in order to soften their minds, and raise their attention, and proceeds to describe the person, the subject of his following discourse:

Jesus of Nazareth; first by his name Jesus, which the angel gave him before his birth; and that for this reason, because he is the Saviour of his people from their sins, and which his name signifies; and next by the place, not where he was born, for that was Bethlehem, but where he was educated and brought up, and where he lived the greatest part of his life, Nazareth, a city in Galilee; whence he was so called, generally by way of contempt, and not so much to distinguish him from any of the same name:

a man approved of God; he was truly and really a man, who in his incarnation assumed a true body, and a reasonable soul; but he was not a mere man, and much less a common and ordinary man: he was the famous son of man the Scriptures speak of; the man of God's right hand, the man his fellow, a great, mighty, and wonderful man: "approved by God"; or shown, declared, and demonstrated by him, to be sent by him in human nature, to be the true Messiah and Saviour of the world, who was the chosen of God, loved and honoured by him, whom he sealed, and bore a testimony to; and that not privately, but openly and publicly:

among you; in the face of all the people in Jerusalem, and in the temple, and at the time of public feasts:

by miracles, and wonders, and signs; by dispossessing devils, cleansing lepers, restoring sight to the blind, causing the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk, and by raising the dead:

which God did by him in the midst of you; not but that he did the miracles himself, as and the Son of God; but as he was man, God did them, by his human nature, as the instrument: the meaning is, that his miracles were wrought by a divine power, and not by a diabolical influence, by Beelzebub the prince of devils, as the Pharisees blasphemously said of him; and these were done, not in a corner, but in the midst of them:

as ye yourselves also know; for they must be sensible and convicted in their own consciences, not only that these things were done by him, but that they could not be done by him, unless God was with him, or he was from God; and so were testimonies both of the divine approbation of him, and of his deity and Messiahship.

{5} Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man {o} approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

(5) Christ, being innocent, was by God's providence crucified by wicked men.

(o) Who is by those works which God did by him so manifestly approved and admitted of, that no man can deny him.

Acts 2:22. Τούτους] like τούτο, Acts 2:14, the words which follow. See Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 2. 3, ad Anab. ii. 5. 10.

τὸν Ναζωραῖον is, in the mouth of the apostle, only the current more precise designation of the Lord (comp. Acts 3:6, Acts 4:10), not used in the sense of contempt (comp. Acts 6:14, Acts 24:5) for the sake of contrast to what follows, and possibly as a reminiscence of the superscription of the cross (Beza and others), of which there is no indication in the text (such as perhaps: ἄνδρα δέ).

ἄνδρα ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀποδεδειγμ.] a man on the part of God approved, namely, in his peculiar character, as Messiah, ἀπό stands neither here nor elsewhere for ὑπό, but denotes the going forth of the legitimation from God (divinitus), Joseph. Antt. vii. 14. 5; Poppo, ad Thuc. i. 17. 1; Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 280 [E. T. 326].

εἰς ὑμᾶς] in reference to you, in order that He might appear to you as such, for you.

δυνάμ. κ. τέρασι κ. σημείοις] a rhetorical accumulation in order to the full exhaustion of the idea (Bornem. Schol. in Luc. p. xxx.), as regards the nature of the miracles, their appearance, and their destination. Comp. Acts 2:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:4.

ἐν μέσῳ ὑμῶν] in the midst of you, so that it was beheld jointly by you all.

Acts 2:22. Ἰσραηλῖται: the tone of St. Peter throughout is that of a man who would win and not repulse his hearers, cf. Acts 5:29, and so he commences the second part of his speech, in proof that Jesus was both Lord and Christ, with a title full of honour, reminding his hearers of their covenant relation with God, and preparing them for the declaration that the covenant was not broken but confirmed in the person of Jesus.—. τὸν Ναζ., “the Nazarene,” the same word (not Ναζαρηνός) formed part of the inscription on the Cross, and it is difficult to believe with Wendt that there is no reference to this in St. Peter’s words (cf. προσπήξαντες, Acts 2:23; Acts 2:36), although no doubt the title was often used as a description of Jesus in popular speech, Acts 4:10, Acts 26:9. No contrast could be greater than between Ἰησοῦς the despised Nazarene (ὁ Ν. οὗτος, Acts 6:14) dying a felon’s death, and Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Acts 5:38, ὑψωθείς, Acts 5:33, no longer upon the Cross, but at a seat on the right hand of the Father (cf. John 12:12); again the marvellous change which had passed over St. Peter is apparent: “If Christ had not risen,” argues St. Chrysostom, “how account for the fact that those who fled whilst He was alive, now dared a thousand perils for Him when dead? St. Peter, who is struck with fear by a servant-maid, comes boldly forward” (so too Theophylact).—ἄνδρα ἀποδεδειγ. ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰς ὑμᾶς, “a man approved of God unto you,” R.V. The word, only used by St. Luke and St. Paul in the N.T. (cf. Acts 25:7, 1 Corinthians 4:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:4) = demonstrated, and “approved” in its old meaning would be a good equivalent; so in classical Greek, in Plato and Aristotle, shown by argument, proved, cf. Acts 25:7. The sense of the word is given by the gloss in δεδοκιμασμένον. It occurs in Esther 2:9, AB, and Acts 3:13 (LXX), and several times in the Books of the Maccabees (see Hatch and Redpath, sub v.).—ἄνδρα: Erasmus commends the wisdom of Peter, “qui apud rudem multitudinem Christum magnifice laudat, sed virum tantum nominat, ut ex factis paullatim agnoscant Divinitatem”.—ἀπό: probably here not simply for ὑπό (as Blass, and Felten, and others). The phrase means “a man demonstrated to have come unto you from God by mighty works,” etc. If the words may not be pressed to mean our Lord’s divine origin, they at least declare His divine mission (John 3:2), divinitus (Wendt in loco).—δυνάμεσι καὶ τέρασι καὶ σημείοις: cf. 2 Corinthians 12:12, Hebrews 2:4, and 2 Thessalonians 2:9; cf. Romans 15:19.—σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα: no less than eight times in Acts.—δυνάμεις is often rendered in a way which rather obscures its true form and meaning. Lit[126] = “powers,” and so here in R.V. margin, where in the text we have “mighty works,” so in Hebrews 2:4. St. Luke is fond of using δύναμις of the power inherent in Christ, and so the plural might well be used of the outward manifestations of this power in Christ, or through Him in His disciples. The word therefore seems in itself to point to the new forces at work in the world (Trench, N. T. Synonyms, ii., p. 177 ff.).—τέρατα: the word is never used in the N. T. alone as applied to our Lord’s works or those of His disciples, and this observation made by Origen is very importaut, since the one word which might seem to suggest the prodigies and portents of the heathen world is never used unless in combination with some other word, which at once raises the N.T. miracles to a higher level. And so whilst the ethical purpose of these miracles is least apparent in the word τέρατα, it is brought distinctly into view by the word with which τέρατα is so often joined—σημεῖα, a term which points in its very meaning to something beyond itself. Blass therefore is not justified in speaking of σημεῖα and τέρατα as synonymous terms. The true distinction between them lies in remembering that in the N.T. all three words mentioned in this passage have the same denotation but a different connotation—they are all used for miracles, but miracles regarded from different points of view (see Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. 406).—οἷς ἐποίησενὁ Θεὸς. The words, as Alford points out against De Wette, do not express a low view of our Lord’s miracles. The favourite word used by St. John for the miracles of Christ, ἔργα, exactly corresponds to the phrase of St. Peter, since these ἔργα were the works of the Father Whom the Son revealed in them (cf. St. John 5:19; John 14:10).—καθὼς καὶ αὐτοὶ οἴδατε: Weiss rightly draws attention to the emphatic pronoun. The fact of the miracles was not denied, although their source was so terribly misrepresented; cf. “Jesus Christ in the Talmud,” Laible, E.T. (Streane), pp. 45–50 (1893).

[126] literal, literally.

22–36. Recital of God’s witness by the Resurrection to the Messiahship of Jesus

22. men of Israel] As the prophecies which St Peter is about to put forward were given before the nation was rent into two parts, he calls them by a name which points to their union and common descent from Jacob.

Jesus of Nazareth, a man, &c.] He begins with the manhood of Jesus as that which they would all confess.

approved] i.e. publicly demonstrated or set forth. Cp. the words of Nicodemus (John 3:2), “No man can do these miracles that thou doest except God be with him.”

among you] Better, unto you; for the testimony had been given not only among them, but presented unto them, cf. John 12:37, “Though he had done so many miracles before them yet they believed not on him.”

by miracles and wonders and signs] These distinct names are given to Christ’s marvellous works according to the light in which they are viewed. The first name, miracles, lit. powers, is applied to them because they proclaimed the might of Him who wrought them; they are named wonders, because they called forth that feeling when they were wrought; and signs because they point out their author as Divine.

God did] St Peter does not yet advance to the declaration of Christ as God, only as God’s agent, in works which their own eyes had seen.

Acts 2:22. Ἰησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον, Jesus of Nazareth) Whom ye know. It is He Himself who furnishes the sum and substance of all the apostolic discourses: ch. Acts 3:13, etc. They preached Him without variation: and always they won souls.—ἀποδεδειγμένον, demonstrated, approved) most evidently.—τέρασι, by prodigies) which are the preludes of those spoken of in Acts 2:19.

Verse 22. - Unto you for among you, A.V.; mighty works for miracles, A.V. ; even as ye yourselves know for as ye yourselves also know, A.V. Ye men of Israel. This title includes both the Jews of Judaea and all those of the dispersion, to whatever tribe they belonged. Approved of God. Observe the distinct reference to the miracles of Christ, as the proofs that he came from God, the authenticating evidences of his Divine mission. So St. Peter again, in his address to Cornelius, declares how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him (Acts 10:38). The miracles of the gospel are, and were intended to be, a demonstration of the truth of Christianity, and it is at their peril that Christians allow themselves to give up this argument at the bidding of the skeptic. Mighty works and wonders and signs. Δυναμεῖς are powers, acts of healing and such like, done by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (see the above reference to Acts 10:38); τέρατα are wonders or portents, such as are spoken of by the Prophet Joel, "wonders in heaven above," the darkening of the sun, the discoloration or the moon, or any ether wonder considered only with reference to its portentous character; σημεῖα are signs, not necessarily miraculous, but things which are proofs, either by their miraculous character or from the time or mode of their occurrence, of the truth of the things spoken. "Miracles, wonders, and signs" occur together in 2 Corinthians 12:12. The three seem to include every kind of miracle, or, as Meyer says, miracles viewed

(1) according to their nature,

(2) according to their appearance,

(3) according to their destination or proposed end. Which God did by him. So we read Hebrews 1:2, "Through [or 'by'] whom also he made the worlds." And so our Lord said of himself, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work;" and "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do" (John 5:17, 19; comp. Matthew 28:18). On the other hand, our Lord often speaks of his own power, as John 2:19; John 10:18 (comp. John 2:11). As Mediator, Christ did all things by his Father's appointment, and for his Father's glory, Even as ye yours, elves know. Mark the confidence with which Peter appeals to their personal knowledge of the miracles of Christ. This was a fitting preparation for the announcement of that mighty power, wonder, and sign which he was now about to proclaim to them - the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead. Acts 2:22Approved (ἀποδεδειγμένον)

The verb means to point out or shew forth. Shewn to be that which he claimed to be.

Miracles (δυνάμεσι)

Better, Rev., mighty works. Lit., powers. See on Matthew 11:20.

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