And he said to me, Depart: for I will send you far hence to the Gentiles.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will send thee . . .—It may be noted, in connection with the question discussed in the Note on Acts 22:17, that the words convey the promise of a mission rather than the actual mission itself. The work immediately before him was to depart and wait till the way should be opened to him, and the inward call be confirmed, as in Acts 13:2, by an outward and express command.
Far hence unto the Gentiles.—The crowd had listened, impatiently, we may believe, up to this point, as the speaker had once listened to St. Stephen. This, that the Christ should be represented as sending His messenger to the Gentiles, and not to Jews, was more than they could bear.
Far hence - Paul traveled far in the pagan nations. A large part of his ministry was spent in remote countries, and in the most distant regions then known. See Romans 15:19.
I will send thee far hence; this was verified; God sent Paul, and he went very far, as appears, Acts 9:15 Romans 15:19 Galatians 1:17 2:8.
for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles; to the nations afar off, even as far as Illyricum, Pannonia, or Hungary, where the apostle went and preached, Romans 15:19 and so by a divine mission and commission he became the apostle of the Gentiles, and preached the Gospel among them with great success, to the conversion of many thousands of them, and to the planting of many churches in the midst of them.And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 22:21. εἰς ἔθνη: the mere mention of the Gentiles roused their fury, and they saw in it a justification of the charge in Acts 21:28; the scene closely resembled the tumultuous outburst which led to the murder of St. Stephen.21. I will send thee far hence, &c.] Rev. Ver. “will send thee forth far hence, &c.” We need not understand the command as implying that the Apostle’s missionary labours were to begin from that moment, but that God’s work for him was now appointed, and would begin in His own time, but would be not among Jews or Greeks at Jerusalem, but among the Gentiles in distant places.
unto the Gentiles] St Paul had kept back the word which he was sure would rouse their anger as long as ever he could, and we may well suppose from the conciliatory tone of much of his speech that the attention of the crowd had been enlisted, for the speaker was a man of culture and spake their own tongue. But when the Gentiles are spoken of as recipients of God’s message they break forth into all the excitement of an Oriental mob.Acts 22:21. Εἰς ἔθνη, unto the Gentiles) He implies, though not directly, that the tidings as to Jesus Christ would reach even to the Romans.Verse 21. - Send thee forth for send thee, A.V. The natural understanding of the preceding dialogue is that Saul, when bid depart quickly out of Jerusalem because the Jews would not receive his testimony, was unwilling to obey, and pleaded that surely the Jews must listen to him and be convinced, since they were well aware how hot and zealous a partisan of the Jews he had been, and must see that nothing but a great miracle could have converted him. It was the argument of a young and impetuous man, with little experience of the headstrong obstinacy of bigoted men. The Lord cut him short with a peremptory "Depart!" but with the gracious addition, "I will send thee unto the Gentiles" - a commission which is more fully given in Acts 26:17, 18, and which was carried out in his whole life.
"The fatal word, which hitherto he had carefully avoided, but which it was impossible for him to avoid any longer, was enough....The word 'Gentiles,' confirming all their worst suspicions, fell like a spark on the inflammable mass of their fanaticism" (Farrar, "Life and Work of Paul").
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