Acts 2:7
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
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(7) They were all amazed and marvelled.—It will be noted that this is precisely in accordance with what St. Paul describes as the effect of the gift of tongues. They were a “sign” to them that believed not, filling them with wonder, but the work of convincing and converting was left for the gift of prophecy (1Corinthians 14:22).

Are not all these which speak Galilæans?—This was, of course, antecedently probable, but it is singular that this is the first assertion of the fact as regards the whole company. The traitor had been apparently the only exception (see Note on Matthew 10:4), and he had gone to his own place.

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.Galileans - Inhabitants of Galilee. It was remarkable that they should speak in this manner, because:

(1) They were ignorant, rude, and uncivilized, John 1:46. Hence, the term Galilean was used as an expression of the deepest reproach and contempt, Mark 14:70; John 7:52.

(2) Their dialect was proverbially barbarous and corrupt, Mark 14:70; Matthew 26:73. They were regarded as an outlandish people, unacquainted with other nations and languages, and hence, the amazement that they could address them in the refined language of other people. Their native ignorance was the occasion of making the miracle more striking. The native weakness of Christian ministers makes the grace and glory of God more remarkable in the success of the gospel. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us," 2 Corinthians 4:7. The success which God often grants to those who are of slender endowments and of little learning, though blessed with an humble and pious heart, is often amazing to the people of the world. God has "chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise," 1 Corinthians 1:27. This should teach us that no talent or attainment is too humble to be employed for mighty purposes, in its proper sphere, in the kingdom of Christ; and that pious effort may accomplish much, and then burn in heaven with increasing luster for ever, while pride, and learning, and talent may blaze uselessly among people, and then be extinguished in eternal night.

5-11. there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation—not, it would seem, permanently settled there (see Ac 2:9), though the language seems to imply more than a temporary visit to keep this one feast. Without literature, or good education, they being worse thought of on that account than the ordinary sort of that nation were; besides, they thought no prophet was to be expected from Galilee, John 1:46.

And they were all amazed, and marvelled,.... They were struck with surprise, they were as it were out of themselves, like persons in an ecstasy, not knowing what could be the cause or meaning of this:

saying one to another; the phrase "one to another", is left out in the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, and so it is in the Alexandrian copy:

behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? rude, unpolished, and unlearned men; who had never been brought up in any school of learning, and had never learned any language but their mother tongue; and that they pronounced with an ill grace, and in a very odd manner; and which made the thing the more astonishing to them. The apostles were inhabitants of Galilee, and so very likely were the greatest part of those that were with them: hence the Christians afterwards, by way of contempt, were called Galilaeans; as they are by Julian (x) the apostate, and others (y),

(x) Opera, par. 1. Fragment. p. 557. & par. 2. Ep. 49. p. 203, 204. (y) Arrian. Epictet. l. 4. c. 7.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
Acts 2:7-8. Ἐξίσταντο denotes the astonishment now setting in after the first perplexity, Acts 2:6; ἐθαύμαζον is the continuing wonder resulting from it. Comp. Mark 6:51.

ἰδού] to be enclosed within two commas.

πάντες οὗτοι κ.τ.λ.] pointing out: all the speakers present. It does not distinguish two kinds of persons, those who spoke and those who did not speak (van Hengel); but see Acts 2:4. The dislocation occasioned by the interposition of εἰσίν brings the πάντες οὗτοι into more emphatic prominence.

Γαλιλαῖοι] They wondered to hear men, who were pure Galileans, speak Parthian, Median, etc. This view, which takes Γαλ. in the sense of nationality, is required by Acts 2:8; Acts 2:11, and by the contrast of the nations afterwards named. It is therefore foreign to the matter, with Herder, Heinrichs, Olshausen, Schulz, Rossteuscher, van Hengel, and older commentators, to bring into prominence the accessory idea of want of culture (uncultivated Galileans); and erroneous, with Stolz, Eichhorn, Kuinoel, and others, to consider Γαλ. as a designation of the Christian sect—a designation, evidence of which, moreover, can only be adduced from a later period. Augusti, Denkwürd. IV: pp. 49, 55. It is erroneous, also, to find the cause of wonder in the circumstance that the Galileans should have used profane languages for so holy an object (Kuinoel). So, in opposition to this, Ch. F. Fritzsche, nova opusc. p. 310.

καὶ πῶς] καί, as a simple and, annexes the sequence of the sense; and (as they are all Galileans) how happens it that, etc.

ἡμεῖς ἀκούομεν ἕκαστος κ.τ.λ.] we on our part (in contrast to the speaking Galileans) hear each one, etc. That, accordingly, ἐγεννήθ. is to be understood distributively, is self-evident from the connection (comp. ταῖς ἡμετ. γλώσσαις, Acts 2:11); therefore van Hengel[124] wrongly objects to the view of different languages, that the words would require to run: πῶς ἡμ. ἀκ. τ. ἰδ. διαλ., ἐν ᾗ ἕκαστος ἐγεννήθη.

ἐν ᾗ ἐγεννήθ. designation of the mother-tongue, with which one is, in the popular way of expressing the matter, born furnished.

[124] l.c. p. 24 f.: “How comes it that we, no one excepted, hear them speak in the mother-tongue of our own people?” Thus, in his view, we are to explain the passage as the words stand in the text, and thus there is designated only the one mother-tongue—the Aramaic.

Acts 2:7. ἐξίσταντο: frequent in St. Luke, three times in his Gospel, eight in the Acts, elsewhere once in St. Paul, once in St. Matthew, four times in St. Mark. The word is often found in the LXX in various senses; cf. for its meaning here Genesis 43:33, Jdt 13:17; Jdt 15:1, 1Ma 15:32; 1Ma 16:22. πάντεςΓαλιλαῖοι: there is no need to suppose with Schöttgen (so Grotius, Olshausen) that the term implies any reference to the want of culture among the Galileans, as if in this way to emphasise the surprise of the questioners, or to explain the introduction of the term because the Galileans were “magis ad arma quam ad litteras et linguas idonei” (Corn. à Lapide). But if there is a reference to the peculiar dialect of the Galileans this might help to explain the introduction of Ἰουδαίαν in Acts 2:9 (Wetstein followed by Weiss, but see below). Weiss sees here, it is true, the hand of a reviser who thinks only of the Apostles and not of the hundred-and-twenty who could not be supposed to come under the term Γαλιλαῖοι. But whilst no doubt Γαλ. might be considered a fitting description of the Apostolic band (except Judas), Hilgenfeld well asks why the hundred-and-twenty should not have been also Galileans, if they had followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem.

7. Galileans] No doubt the twelve came more prominently forward than the rest, and in Jerusalem they had been known as Galilæans before the Crucifixion (Matthew 26:69-73).

Acts 2:7. Ἐξίσταντο, they were amazed [astounded]) Acts 2:12.—Γαλιλαῖοι, Galileans) and therefore speaking one dialect. That they were Galileans, they knew from the fact that they were the disciples of JESUS.

Verse 7. - Saying for saying one to another, A.V. and T.R. Amazed (ἐξίσταντο; see Acts 8:9, note). Galilaeans; describing merely their nationality. The Galilaean accent was peculiar and well known (see Mark 14:70; Luke 22:59 Matt, 26:73). Acts 2:7Amazed and marvelled (ἐξίσταντο καὶ ἐθαύμαζον)

The former word denotes the first overwhelming surprise. The verb is literally to put out of place; hence, out of one's senses. Compare Mark 3:21 : "He is beside himself." The latter word, marvelled, denotes the continuing wonder; meaning to regard with amazement, and with a suggestion of beginning to speculate on the matter.


Not regarded as a sect, for the name was not given to Christians until afterward; but with reference to their nationality. They used a peculiar dialect, which distinguished them from the inhabitants of Judaea. Compare Mark 14:70. They were blamed for neglecting the study of their language, and charged with errors in grammar and ridiculous mispronunciations.

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