And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Which they themselves also allow . . .—We have the same tact, perhaps also the same sympathy, as in Acts 23:6. He identifies himself, on this point, not only with the Pharisees but with the great bulk of the Jewish people.
Which they themselves ... - That is, the Pharisees. Perhaps he designated in this remark the Pharisees who were present. He held nothing in this great cardinal point which they did not also hold. For the reasons why he introduced this point so prominently, and the success of thus introducing it, see the notes on Acts 23:1-9.Which they themselves also allow; the wiser sort amongst them, the Pharisees, (though bad was the best), and yet they were not for this opinion persecuted by the Sadducees.
A resurrection of the dead; the resurrection of the dead is again owned as the chief matter Paul preached upon, and in which all his other doctrines and opinions did centre, it being indeed the foundation of that faith and manners, 1 Corinthians 15:13, of that belief and holy life, which St. Paul preached upon.
Both of the first and unjust; that both sorts, even that all such, rise again at the last day, we have assurance given, Matthew 25:32,33Jo 5:28,29; which was also foretold expressly unto the Jews, Daniel 12:2, though it hath found so many since amongst them that have denied it.
which they themselves also allow; that is, some of the Jews, not the Sadducees, for they denied what is afterwards asserted; but the Pharisees, who believed the immortality of the soul, and its existence in a future state:
and that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust; agreeably to the doctrine of Christ in John 5:28. In this article the Pharisees of those times were sounder than the modern Jews; for though the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is one of their thirteen articles of faith, and is a fundamental one, which he that does not believe, cannot be said to be of the Jewish religion; yet they limit it entirely to the righteous (s), and will not allow that the wicked shall rise again: and this notion obtained also very early; for in their Talmud (t) it is reported, as the saying of R. Abhu, that
"the day of rain is greater than the resurrection of the dead; the resurrection of the dead is for the righteous, but the rain is both for the righteous, and the wicked.''
Though Abarbinel (u) says, that the sense of this expression is not, that they that are not just shall have no part in the resurrection, but that hereby is declared the benefit and reward to be enjoyed at the resurrection; that that is not like rain, from whence both just and unjust equally receive advantage; whereas only the reward is for the righteous, but not for the ungodly: moreover, he observes, that this saying was not received and approved of by all the wise men, particularly that R. Joseph dissented, and others agreed with him; and as for himself, he openly declares, that that assertion, that the just among the Israelites only shall rise again, is foreign from truth, since the Scripture affirms, Daniel 12:2 "that many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake"; but if there should be no other than the righteous in the resurrection, they would without doubt be very few; besides it is said, "some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt"; and Isaiah says, Isaiah 66:24 "and they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me"; which shows, that the ungodly shall rise again, to receive their due punishment: and Manasseh ben Israel (w), in the last century, argued for the resurrection of both the godly and ungodly, from the same passages of Scripture; and yet he was not of opinion, that the resurrection would be general and common to all men, only that some of all sorts, good, and bad, and middling, would rise again, and which he supposed was the sense of the ancients. It is certain the Jews are divided in their sentiments about this matter; some of them utterly deny that any other shall rise but the just; yea, they affirm (x), that only the just among the Israelites, and not any of the nations of the world shall rise; others say that all shall rise at the resurrection of the dead, excepting the generation of the flood (y); and others (z) think, that only they that have been very bad, or very good, shall rise, but not those that are between both; but certain it is, as the apostle affirms, that all shall rise, both just and unjust: the just are they who are made so by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and who being created anew unto righteousness and true holiness, live soberly, righteously, and godly; the unjust are they who are destitute of righteousness, and are filled with all unrighteousness; and these latter, as well as the former, will rise again from the dead; which is clear, not only from the words of Christ, and the writings of the apostles, but from the Scriptures of the Old Testament, particularly Daniel 12:2 and also from the justice of God, which requires that they who have sinned in the body, should be punished in the body; wherefore it is necessary on this account, that the bodies of the wicked should be raised, that they with their souls may receive the full and just recompense of reward; and likewise from the general judgment, which will include the righteous and the wicked, and who must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to receive for the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil; in order to which there must be a resurrection of them; to which add, the account the Scripture gives of the punishment of the wicked in hell, which supposes the resurrection of the body, and in which the body and soul will be both destroyed. Indeed there will be a difference between the resurrection of the just and of the unjust, both in the time of their rising, the dead in Christ will rise first at the beginning of the thousand years, the wicked not until they are ended; and in the means and manner of their rising; they will be both raised by Christ, but the one by virtue of union to him, the other merely by his power; the just will rise in bodies not only immortal, and incorruptible, but powerful, spiritual, and glorious, even like to the glorious body of Christ; the wicked will rise with bodies immortal, but not free from sin, nor glorious: yea, their resurrection will differ in the end of it; the one will rise to everlasting life and glory, the other to everlasting shame and damnation.
(s) Maimon. in Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 11. sect. 1. Kimchi in Isaiah 26 19. Aben Ezra & Saadiah Gaon in Daniel 12.2.((t) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 7. 1.((u) Prefat. in Isa. fol. 3. 1. (w) De Resurrectione Mortuorum, l. 2. c. 8. (x) Vid. Pocock, Not. Miscel. in port. Mosis, p. 183. (y) Pirke Eliezer, c. 34. (z) Vid. Menassah ben Israel, ut supra.And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 24:15. ἐλπίδα ἔχων, cf. Acts 23:6 : St. Paul speaks of the hope as a present possession, “habens id plus quam προσδ. expectant,” Bengel; in LXX very frequent with ἐπί, but for εἰς cf. Isaiah 51:5, Ps. 118:114, so here, a hope supporting itself upon God.—καὶ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι: the Apostle makes no distinction between Sadducees and Pharisees, but regards the Jews who were present as representing the nation.—προσδ., Acts 23:21, cf. St. Paul’s words in Titus 2:13, Galatians 5:5.—μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι, see above on Acts 11:28, and cf. Acts 27:10, future infinitive with μέλλειν only in this one phrase in N.T.—ἀνάστασιν … δικ. τε καὶ ἀδίκων: the belief was firmly held in all circles where the teaching of the Pharisees prevailed. But was this belief a belief in the resurrection of Israelites only? Was it a belief in the resurrection of the righteous only? The book of Daniel plainly implies a resurrection of the just and the unjust, Acts 12:2, but we cannot say that this became the prevailing belief, e.g., in Psalms of Solomon, although Acts 3:16 may probably be based upon the passage in Daniel, yet in Acts 24:13 there is no thought of the resurrection of the sinner (cf. 2Ma 7:14, σοὶ μὲν γὰρ ἀνάστασις εἰς ζωήυ οὐκ ἔσται, addressed to Antiochus Epiphanes). So Josephus, in giving an account of the ordinary Pharisaic doctrine, speaks only of the virtuous reviving and living again, Ant., xviii., 1, 3. So too in the Talmudic literature the resurrection of the dead is a privilege of Israel, and of righteous Israelites only—there is no resurrection of the heathen. On the other hand there are passages in the Book of Enoch where a resurrection of all Israelites is spoken of, cf. 22, with the exception of one class of sinners, i–xxxvi, xxxvii–lxx, lxxxiii–xc, Apocalypse of Baruch l–li. 6, but in Enoch xli–liv. we have a resurrection of the righteous Israelites only, cf. Apoc. of Baruch xxx. 1 (cf. with this verse in Acts). See further Charles, Book of Enoch, pp. 139, 262, and Apocalypse of Baruch, l.c., Psalms of Solomon, Ryle and James, Introd., li., pp. 37, 38, Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. ii., p. 179. Weber, Jüdische Theol., p. 390 ff. (1897). Enoch xci–civ is placed by Charles at 104–95 B.C., and Baruch xxx is ascribed to 2, written after the destruction of Jerusalem.15. and have (R. V. having) hope … which they themselves also allow] (R. V. look for). Here the Apostle is of course alluding only to the Pharisees among his own people, but he puts them as representatives of the larger part of the nation. The Rev. Ver. renders “which these also themselves look for.” If the Apostle employed the words in that sense he would be turning towards the body of Jews in the court rather than to the Sadducees and their spokesman.
that there shall be a resurrection of the dead] The best MSS. give nothing for the last three words. St Paul adheres to the point which had before provoked the anger of Ananias and his party, and they must have been the more irritated because the words of the Apostle declare their opponents, the Pharisees, to be holding the true faith, and imply that such is the general belief of the Jewish people.
both of the just and unjust] Speaking in the presence of Felix, the Apostle seems to have chosen words to touch the conscience of the Procurator.Acts 24:15. Ἔχων, having) [in actual possession]. This is more than προσδέχονται, expect look for [but Engl. Vers. allow].—δικαίων τε καὶ ἀδίκων, of the just as well as also the unjust) An appropriate division: for he was speaking in a court of justice.Verse 15. - Having for and have, A.V.; these also themselves look for for they themselves also allow, A.V.; resurrection for resurrection of the dead, A.V. and T.R. Which these also themselves look for (see Acts 23:6). Both of the just, etc. This is distinctly taught in Daniel 12:2 (comp. Matthew 25:46; John 5:29).
Or, as Rev., look for. The word admits of either sense.
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