Acts 26:6
And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
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(6) For the hope of the promise made of God. The words include the whole expectation of a divine kingdom of which the Christ was to be the head, as well as the specific belief in a resurrection of the dead.

Unto our fathers.—Some of the better MSS. have simply, “to the fathers.” The Received text is, perhaps, more in harmony with St. Paul’s usual manner of identifying himself with those to whom he speaks. He will claim even Agrippa as of the stock of Abraham. (Comp. in this connection the anecdote as to Agrippa I. given in Note on Acts 12:21.)

26:1-11 Christianity teaches us to give a reason of the hope that is in us, and also to give honour to whom honour is due, without flattery or fear of man. Agrippa was well versed in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, therefore could the better judge as to the controversy about Jesus being the Messiah. Surely ministers may expect, when they preach the faith of Christ, to be heard patiently. Paul professes that he still kept to all the good in which he was first educated and trained up. See here what his religion was. He was a moralist, a man of virtue, and had not learned the arts of the crafty, covetous Pharisees; he was not chargeable with any open vice and profaneness. He was sound in the faith. He always had a holy regard for the ancient promise made of God unto the fathers, and built his hope upon it. The apostle knew very well that all this would not justify him before God, yet he knew it was for his reputation among the Jews, and an argument that he was not such a man as they represented him to be. Though he counted this but loss, that he might win Christ, yet he mentioned it when it might serve to honour Christ. See here what Paul's religion is; he has not such zeal for the ceremonial law as he had in his youth; the sacrifices and offerings appointed by that, are done away by the great Sacrifice which they typified. Of the ceremonial cleansings he makes no conscience, and thinks the Levitical priesthood is done away in the priesthood of Christ; but, as to the main principles of his religion, he is as zealous as ever. Christ and heaven, are the two great doctrines of the gospel; that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. These are the matter of the promise made unto the fathers. The temple service, or continual course of religious duties, day and night, was kept up as the profession of faith in the promise of eternal life, and in expectation of it. The prospect of eternal life should engage us to be diligent and stedfast in all religious exercises. Yet the Sadducees hated Paul for preaching the resurrection; and the other Jews joined them, because he testified that Jesus was risen, and was the promised Redeemer of Israel. Many things are thought to be beyond belief, only because the infinite nature and perfections of Him that has revealed, performed, or promised them, are overlooked. Paul acknowledged, that while he continued a Pharisee, he was a bitter enemy to Christianity. This was his character and manner of life in the beginning of his time; and there was every thing to hinder his being a Christian. Those who have been most strict in their conduct before conversion, will afterwards see abundant reason for humbling themselves, even on account of things which they then thought ought to have been done.And now I stand - I stand before the tribunal. I am arraigned.

And am judged - Am tried with reference to being judged. I am undergoing a trial on the point in which all my nation are agreed.

For the hope - On account of the hope; or because, in common with my countrymen, I had entertained this hope, and now believe in its fulfillment.

Of the promise ... - See the references in the margin. It is not quite certain whether Paul refers here to the promise of the Messiah or to the hope of the resurrection of the dead. When he stood before the Jewish Sanhedrin Acts 23:6, he said that he was called in question on account of holding the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. But it may be observed that in his view the two things were closely united. He hoped that the Messiah would come, and he hoped therefore for the resurrection of the dead. He believed that he had come, and had risen, and therefore he believed that the dead would rise. He argued the one from the other. And as he believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and that he had risen from the dead, and that he had thus furnished a demonstration that the dead would rise, it was evident that the subject of controversy between him and the Jews involved everything that was vital to their opinions and their hopes. See Acts 26:8.

Made of God - Made by God. See the marginal references. The promises had been made to the fathers of a Messiah to come, and that embraced the promise of a future state, or of the resurrection of the dead. It will help us to understand the stress which Paul and the other apostles laid on the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead to remember that it involved the whole doctrine of the separate existence of the soul and of a future state. The Sadducees denied all this; and when the Pharisees, the Saviour, and the apostles opposed them, they did it by showing that there would be a future state of rewards and punishments. See the argument of the Saviour with the Sadducees explained in the notes on Matthew 22:23-32.

Unto our fathers - Our ancestors, the patriarchs, etc.

6, 7. I … am judged for the hope of the promise made … to our fathers—"for believing that the promise of Messiah, the Hope of the Church (Ac 13:32; 28:20) has been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth risen from the dead." I stand; the posture of such as are held for guilty.

The hope of the promise; St. Paul brings in the discourse of the resurrection, which, as hath been observed, is the foundation of all religion, 1 Corinthians 15:14 Acts 23:6 24:15; and now it is called

the hope of the promise, because God’s promise did raise them up to this hope: for God having promised to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, gave them rather less than others in this world; neither had they any propriety in all the Promised Land, but only to a burying place; whence they might certainly infer, that there was another life to be expected, in which God would make this his word good. Paul was also

judged for the hope of the promise, taking this hope for the salvation which Christ did purchase, and Paul preach, which was also promised unto the fathers, though mostly under types and obscure representations. The sum is, Paul was judged for one of those two articles of our faith, viz. the resurrection of the body, or a life everlasting.

And now I stand, and am judged,.... Before the Roman governor, and in the presence of Agrippa:

for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; either for the hope of righteousness, life, and salvation, by the Messiah; who was promised to the Jewish fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and others; see Genesis 22:18 or for the hope of the resurrection of the dead, and eternal life; of which there are various testimonies in the writings of the Old Testament, committed to the people of the Jews. Job 19:26 and others; and both these senses may be very well joined together, for it was for asserting that the promised Messiah was come, and that Jesus of Nazareth was he; that he was risen from the dead, and that all the dead will be raised by him; and that life and righteousness, salvation, and everlasting glory and happiness, are only by him; for asserting these things, I say, the apostle was now a prisoner, and stood at the bar of a Roman judge, being accused by the Jews.

{3} And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

(3) There are three chief and principal witnesses of true doctrine: God, the true fathers, and the consent of the true Church of God.

Acts 26:6-7. As I was known from of old by every one as a disciple of the strictest orthodoxy, so it is also now far from being anything heterodox, on account of which I stand accused (ἕστηκα κρινόμενος),—it is the universal, ardently-cherished, national hope, directed to the promise issued by God to our fathers.

ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι] on account of hope toward the promise, etc. That Paul means the hope of the Messianic kingdom to be erected, the hope of the whole eternal κληρονομία (Hebrews 9:15), not merely the special hope of the resurrection of the dead (Grotius), the following more precise description proves, in which the universal and unanimous solicitude of the nation is depicted. He had preached of this hope, that the risen Jesus would realize it (comp. Acts 13:32 f.), and this was the reason of his persecution. See also Acts 28:20.

εἰς τοὺς κατέρας ἡμῶν] issued to our fathers. On the order of the words, the participle after the substantive, see Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. v. 3. 4.

εἰς ἥν refers to the ἐπαγγελία.

τὸ δωδεκάφυλον ἡμῶν] our twelve-tribe-stock (a theocratically honourable designation of the nation as a whole, comp. Jam 1:1). The word is also found in the Protevang. Jacobi, 1 (see Thilo in loc., p. 166 f.); Clem. 1 Cor. 55, comp. chap. 31, p. 76: τὸ δωδεκάσκηπτρον τοῦ Ἰσραήλ. Quite analogous is δεκάφυλος, Herod. v. 66 (comp. τετράφυλος in the same place). To understand the expression historically, it need only be remarked, that even after the exile the collective body of the people actually consisted of the twelve tribes; in which view the circumstance, that ten tribes did not return from the exile, did not alter anything in the objective relation, and could not destroy the consciousness, deeply interwoven and vividly bound up by history and prophecy with the whole national character, that every Jew (wherever he was) belonged to the great unity of the δωδεκάφυλον,—to say nothing of the fact that all the members of the ten tribes did not go into exile, and of the exiled all did not jointly and severally remain in exile. The question, therefore, as to the later fate of the ten tribes (see especially, Baumgarten) does not belong to this place.

ἐν ἐκτενείᾳ κ.τ.λ.] with constancy attending to the worship of God, as well by the תָּמִיד (sacrificium juge; see Ewald, Alterth. p. 171) as by prayer and every kind of adoration. Comp. on Luke 2:37, where also, in order at once to give prominence to the earnestness of the constant worship, νύκτα precedes.—ͅκαταντῆσαι] to arrive, as if at a goal, which is the contents of the promise. Comp. on Php 3:7. The conception λαμβάνειν τὴν ἐπαγγελ., Acts 2:23, Galatians 3:14, Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 11:13, is analogous. The realization of the Messianic promise is also here represented as attaching itself to the pious preparation of the nation. Comp. Acts 3:20 f.

ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων] by Jews! placed at the end, brings into emphatic prominence the contrast. The absurdity and wickedness of being impeached by Jews concerning the hope of the Messianic kingdom were to be made thoroughly palpable.

Acts 26:6. καὶ νῦν: the expression does not indicate any contrast with Acts 26:4 : this hope for which he stands to be judged is in full accord with his whole past life.—ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι: phrase only found elsewhere in St. Paul’s Epistles, where it is frequent; Romans 8:20, 1 Corinthians 9:10, Titus 1:2. A hope not merely of the resurrection of the dead, but of the Messiah’s kingdom with which the resurrection was connected, as the context points to the national hope of Israel; cf. Schürer, Jewish People, div. ii., vol. ii., p. 175, E.T., see also pp. 137, 148, 149, and Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah, i., pp. 75, 79, on the strong bond of the common hope of Israel.—πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας, see critical note. With either preposition we have a Pauline expression; on the force of εἰς see Alford and Weiss, in loco. If we read ἡμῶν after πατ. perhaps including Agrippa with himself as a Jew.

6. And now I stand and am judged] Rev. Ver. “And now I stand here to be judged.” The idea is “I am on my trial.”

for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers] i.e. because I entertain the hope that the promise which God made to the patriarchs and to David shall be fulfilled to us. The “promise” must be of the Messiah and of His coming into the world as King. For this is what the ten tribes were looking for. But this in St Paul’s view embraced the doctrine of the resurrection, because that was God’s assurance to the world (Acts 17:31) that He who was so raised up was to be the judge of quick and dead.

Acts 26:6. Καὶ, and) These things which are contained in Acts 26:6-8, are spoken as it were in a parenthesis: that Paul may show that he has not thrown aside that very tenet, which the Pharisees rightly maintain, viz. concerning the resurrection of the dead, but that he really asserts and vindicates it. As to the connection of Acts 26:5; Acts 26:9, to which the words μὲν οὖν are subservient, comp. ch. Acts 22:3-4, “Zealous toward God, as ye all are this day: And I persecuted this way unto the death.” In fact it was Pharisaism that had prompted Paul to persecution.—νῦν) even still [though no longer a Pharisee in other respects].—ἐλπίδι, for the hope) There is force contained in the repetition: hope (ἐλοίζει); for which hope’s sake (περὶ ἧς ἐλπίδος), Acts 26:7.—ἐπαγγελίας, of the promise) The hope therefore is firmly established.—ἔστηκα, I stand) on this day.—κρινόμενος, being put on my trial) at this time.

Verse 6. - Here to be judged for and am judged, A.V. To be judged (ἕστηκα κρινόμενος); rather, I stand on my trial. The A.V. seems to give the sense well. The hope of the promise. The hope of the kingdom of Christ, which necessarily implies the resurrection of the dead. This hope, which rested upon God's promise to the fathers, Paul clung to; this hope his Sadducean persecutors denied. He, then, was the true Jew; he was faithful to Moses and the prophets; he claimed the sympathy and support of all true Israelites, and specially of King Agrippa. Acts 26:6For the hope ( ἐπ' ἐλπίδι)

Lit., "on the ground of the hope."

Made of God

The article clearly defines what promise, "the one, namely, made of God."

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