Acts 2:34
For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,
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(34) The Lord said. . . .—There is, when we remember what had passed but seven weeks before, something very striking in the reproduction by St. Peter of the very words by which our Lord had brought the scribes to confess their ignorance of the true interpretation of the Psalmist’s mysterious words (Psalm 110:1). (See Note on Matthew 22:44.) Those who were then silenced are now taught how it was that David’s Son was also David’s Lord.

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.For David is not ascended into the heavens - That is, David has not risen from the dead and ascended to heaven. This further shows that Psalm 16:1-11 could not refer to David, but must refer to the Messiah. Great as they esteemed David, and much as they were accustomed to apply these expressions of the Scripture to him, yet they could not be applicable to him. They must refer to some other being; and especially that passage which Peter now proceeds to quote. It was of great importance to show that these expressions could not apply to David, and also that David bore testimony to the exalted character and dignity of the Messiah. Hence, Peter here adduces David himself as affirming that the Messiah was to be exalted to a dignity far above his own. This does not affirm that David was not saved, or that his spirit had not ascended to heaven, but that he had not been exalted in the heavens in the sense in which Peter was speaking of the Messiah.

But he saith himself - Psalm 110:1.

The Lord - The small capitals used in translating the word "Lord" in the Bible denote that the original word is יהוה Yahweh. The Hebrews regarded this as the unique name of God, a name incommunicable to any other being. It is not applied to any being but God in the Scriptures. The Jews had such a reverence for it that they never pronounced it; but when it occurred in the Scriptures they pronounced another name, אדני ̀Adonaay. Here it means, "Yahweh said," etc.

My Lord - This is a different word in the Hebrew - it is אדני ̀Adonaay. It properly is applied by a servant to his master, or a subject to his sovereign, or is used as a title of respect by an inferior to a superior. It means here, "Yahweh said to him whom I, David, acknowledge to be my superior and sovereign." Thus, though he regarded him as his descendant according to the flesh, yet he regarded him also as his superior and Lord. By reference to this passage our Saviour confounded the Pharisees, Matthew 22:42-46. That the passage in this Psalm refers to the Messiah is clear. Our Saviour, in Matthew 22:42, expressly applied it thus, and in such a manner as to show that this was the well-understood doctrine of the Jews. See the notes on Matthew 22:42, etc.

29-36. David … is … dead and buried, &c.—Peter, full of the Holy Ghost, sees in this sixteenth Psalm, one Holy Man, whose life of high devotedness and lofty spirituality is crowned with the assurance, that though He taste of death, He shall rise again without seeing corruption, and be admitted to the bliss of God's immediate presence. Now as this was palpably untrue of David, it could be meant only of One other, even of Him whom David was taught to expect as the final Occupant of the throne of Israel. (Those, therefore, and they are many, who take David himself to be the subject of this Psalm, and the words quoted to refer to Christ only in a more eminent sense, nullify the whole argument of the apostle). The Psalm is then affirmed to have had its only proper fulfilment in Jesus, of whose resurrection and ascension they were witnesses, while the glorious effusion of the Spirit by the hand of the ascended One, setting an infallible seal upon all, was even then witnessed by the thousands who stood listening to Him. A further illustration of Messiah's ascension and session at God's right hand is drawn from Ps 110:1, in which David cannot be thought to speak of himself, seeing he is still in his grave. For David is not ascended into the heavens; hence St. Peter here proves, that these words, spoken by David, were not principally to be understood concerning himself, but concerning Christ the Messiah; for David, as to his body, was in the sepulchre, which on that account was kept amongst them.

The Lord said unto my Lord; the eternal Father unto his eternal Son, who was now made flesh—hence our Saviour proves his Divinity, Matthew 22:45. The words here referred to are Psalm 110:1. For David is not ascended into the heavens,.... In his body, that being still in the grave, in his sepulchre, which remained to that day, though in his soul he was ascended to heaven; his Spirit had returned to God that gave it, and was among the spirits of just men made perfect: but he saith himself, in Psalm 110:1 "the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand"; see Gill on Matthew 22:44. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Acts 2:34-35. Γάρ] The fundamental fact of the previous statement, namely, the τῇ δεξιᾷ Θεοῦ ὑψωθείς, has still to be proved, and Peter proves this also from a saying of David, which has not received its fulfilment in David itself.

λέγει δὲ αὐτός] but he himself says, but it is his own declaration; and then follows Psalm 110:1, where David distinguishes from himself Him who is to sit at the right hand of God, as His Lord (τῷ κυρίῳ μου). This King, designated by τῷ κυρίῳ μου of the Psalm, although it does not proceed from David (see on Matthew 22:43), is, according to the Messianic destination and fulfilment of this Psalm,[134] Christ, who is Lord of David and of all the saints of the O. T.; and His occupying the throne (sit Thou at my right hand) denotes the exaltation of Christ to the glory and dominion of the Father, whose σύνθρονος He has become; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 1:21 f.

[134] Which is not to be identified with its historical meaning. See Hupfeld in loc., and Diestel in the Jahrb. f. d. Th. p. 562 f.Acts 2:34. St. Peter does not demand belief upon his own assertion, but he again appeals to the Scriptures, and to words which could not have received a fulfilment in the case of David. In this appeal he reproduces the very words in which, some seven weeks before, our Lord Himself had convicted the scribes of error in their interpretation of this same Psalm (Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:35, Luke 20:41), and, “unlearned” in the eyes of the scribes, had answered the question which they could not answer, how David’s Son was also David’s Lord. No passage of Scripture is so constantly referred to in the N.T. as this 110th Psalm, cf. references above, and also 1 Corinthians 15:25, Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 7:17; Hebrews 7:21; Hebrews 10:13. The Psalm was always regarded as Messianic by the Jews (Weber, Jüdische Theologie, p. 357 (1897); Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah, ii., 720 (Appendix); Cheyne, Origin of the Psalter, p. 35; Driver, Introduction to O. T., pp. 362, 363; and if it had not been so in the time of our Lord, it is obvious that His argument would have missed its point if those to whom He addressed His question “What think ye of the Christ?” could have answered that David was not speaking of the coming Messiah. For earlier interpretations of the Psalm, and the patristic testimony to its Messianic character, see Speaker’s Commentary, iv., 427, and on the authorship see Gifford, Authorship of the 110th. Psalm, with Appendix, 1895 (SPCK), and Delitzsch, Psalms, iii., pp. 163–176, E.T.—κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου: κάθου contracted for κάθησο (cf. also Mark 12:36, Hebrews 1:13); this “popular” form, which is also found in the Fragments of the comic writers, is the present imperative of κάθημαι in modern Greek, Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek, p. 162. In the LXX it is frequently used (see Hatch and Redpath, sub. v.).—ἕως: the word does not imply that Christ shall cease to reign subsequently: the word here, as elsewhere, does not imply that what is expressed will only have place up to a certain time (cf. Genesis 33:15, Deuteronomy 7:4, 2 Chronicles 6:23; cf. 1 Timothy 4:13), rather is it true to say that Christ will only then rightly rule, when He has subjugated all His enemies.—ἄν with ἕως as here, where it is left doubtful when that will take place to which it is said a thing will continue (Grimm-Thayer, and instances sub ἕως, i., 1 b).—ὑποπόδιον, cf. Joshua 10:24, referring to the custom of conquering kings placing their feet upon the necks of their conquered enemies (so Blass, in loco, amongst recent commentators).34. For David is not ascended] Better ascended not. He went down to the grave, and “slept with his fathers.”

but he saith himself] in Psalm 110:1. Speaking as a prophet, and of the same person, whom, though he was to be born of the fruit of his loins, he yet in the Spirit called his Lord. The words of this Psalm the Jews in the discourse with our Lord (Matthew 22:44-45) admit to be spoken of the Christ.

The Lord [Jehovah] said unto [him whom I must even now call] my Lord] as by prophetic insight I foresee how great he shall be.

Sit thou on my right hand] i.e. be thou a sharer of my throne and power. This is a common Eastern expression. Cp. the request of the mother of James and John when she desired places of influence for her sons in what she supposed would be a temporal kingdom (Matthew 20:21).Acts 2:34. Οὐ γὰρ Δαυὶδ, for David has not) The dilemma is this: The Prophet speaks either of himself or of the Messiah. Comp. ch. Acts 8:34. He does not speak concerning himself, as is shown in Acts 2:29; therefore it must be concerning the Messiah. See note on Matthew 22:44 [“My Lord,” saith David; therefore He was Lord of David, before He spoke to him].—δὲ, but) Therefore it is another, and that other the Messiah, who ascended.—αὐτὸς) himselfκάθου, sit) This sitting necessarily infers the ascension. For they differ, as the act and the state: and the act itself (the ascension) is sometimes denoted by the sitting.Verse 34. - Ascended not for is not ascended, A.V. For David, etc. The ascension of Christ is inferred from the previous prophecy, "Thou wilt show me the path of life," etc.; and is there distinctly proved from Psalm 110:1, which Peter (remembering, probably, our Lord's application of it as recorded in Matthew 22:42-45, which he had doubtless heard) shows could not apply to David himself, but only to David's Lord. Is not ascended (οὐ ἀνέβη)

Aorist, did not ascend.

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