Acts 28:25
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
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(25) After that Paul had spoken one word.—The tone of vehement indignation implies a patience almost exhausted by the long contest with prejudice and unbelief. He cannot refrain from reproducing the conviction which he had already expressed in the Epistle to the Romans, that “blindness in part had happened unto Israel,” that a remnant only were faithful, and that “the rest were hardened” (Romans 11:7-25).

28:23-31 Paul persuaded the Jews concerning Jesus. Some were wrought upon by the word, and others hardened; some received the light, and others shut their eyes against it. And the same has always been the effect of the gospel. Paul parted with them, observing that the Holy Ghost had well described their state. Let all that hear the gospel, and do not heed it, tremble at their doom; for who shall heal them, if God does not? The Jews had afterwards much reasoning among themselves. Many have great reasoning, who do not reason aright. They find fault with one another's opinions, yet will not yield to truth. Nor will men's reasoning among themselves convince them, without the grace of God to open their understandings. While we mourn on account of such despisers, we should rejoice that the salvation of God is sent to others, who will receive it; and if we are of that number, we should be thankful to Him who hath made us to differ. The apostle kept to his principle, to know and preach nothing but Christ and him crucified. Christians, when tempted from their main business, should bring themselves back with this question, What does this concern the Lord Jesus? What tendency has it to bring us to him, and to keep us walking in him? The apostle preached not himself, but Christ, and he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Though Paul was placed in a very narrow opportunity for being useful, he was not disturbed in it. Though it was not a wide door that was opened to him, yet no man was suffered to shut it; and to many it was an effectual door, so that there were saints even in Nero's household, Php 4:22. We learn also from Php 1:13, how God overruled Paul's imprisonment for the furtherance of the gospel. And not the residents at Rome only, but all the church of Christ, to the present day, and in the most remote corner of the globe, have abundant reason to bless God, that during the most mature period of his Christian life and experience, he was detained a prisoner. It was from his prison, probably chained hand to hand to the soldier who kept him, that the apostle wrote the epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Hebrews; epistles showing, perhaps more than any others, the Christian love with which his heart overflowed, and the Christian experience with which his soul was filled. The believer of the present time may have less of triumph, and less of heavenly joy, than the apostle, but every follower of the same Saviour, is equally sure of safety and peace at the last. Let us seek to live more and more in the love of the Saviour; to labour to glorify Him by every action of our lives; and we shall assuredly, by his strength, be among the number of those who now overcome our enemies; and by his free grace and mercy, be hereafter among the blessed company who shall sit with Him upon his throne, even as He also has overcome, and is sitting on his Father's throne, at God's right hand for evermore.Had spoken one word - One solemn declaration, reminding them that it was the characteristic of the nation to reject the testimony of God, and that it was to be expected. It was the last warning which we know Paul to have delivered to his countrymen the Jews.

Well spake - Or he spoke the truth; he justly described the character of the Jewish people. The passage here quoted was as applicable in the time of Paul as of Isaiah.

The Holy Ghost - A full proof of the inspiration of Isaiah.

By Esaias - By Isaiah, Isaiah 6:9-10.

25-29. when they—the Jews.

agreed not among themselves—the discussion having passed into one between the two parties into which the visitors were now divided, respecting the arguments and conclusions of the apostle.

they departed—the material of discussion being felt by both parties to be exhausted.

after Paul had spoken one word—one solemn parting testimony, from those Scriptures regarded by both alike as "the Holy Ghost speaking" to Israel.

They agreed not among themselves; thus Christ came to send fire on the earth, Luke 12:49: not that the gospel does this in itself; for it is the gospel of peace, Ephesians 6:15, not only betwixt God and man, but betwixt man and man; and if its precepts were observed, love, meekness, and goodness would banish all hatred, pride, and contention out of the hearts and lives of men; but this arises out of the corruption that is in man, and from the evil one that sows his tares amongst us.

After that Paul had spoken one word; Paul spake this eminent and remarkable word, or sentence, that they might (if possible) be pricked in their hearts at the hearing of God’s judgments denounced against them.

And when they agreed not among themselves,.... One part believing what was said, and the other disbelieving; and such a division is the usual effect of the Gospel ministry; see Luke 12:51. Or this may be understood of the unbelieving party, who though they agreed in the main that Jesus was not the Messiah, yet might have different sentiments of the apostle; of the manner of his reasoning, and the nature of his proofs and arguments; and of some things which he delivered, which some might assent to, and others deny; as the Pharisees and Sadducees in the sanhedrim at Jerusalem disagreed about the doctrine of the resurrection: and the rather this may be thought to be the sense, because they not only departed, when very likely those that believed might stay longer, but because at their departure the apostle says something very cutting and stinging, and which he would not say in common of them all, of the believers; and besides, they are afterwards said to reason among themselves, Acts 28:29.

They departed; from the apostle's lodging to their own houses, or to some other place, where they could call over, and debate among themselves, the things they had heard:

after that Paul had spoken one word; a very remarkable one, and full to the purpose, and which he gave them just at parting with them:

well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers; the passage referred to is in Isaiah 6:9, which the prophet Isaiah delivered under the influence and by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, being moved by him, as all the holy men of God were; and which was very appropriate, not only to the Jewish fathers in the times of Isaiah, but to their posterity in succeeding ages, in the times of Christ and his apostles; see Matthew 13:10; and were exceeding applicable to the present unbelieving Jews, who had been disputing with the apostle, and were now departing from him, in unbelief: and from hence it appears, that since it was the Holy Ghost that spake by Isaiah the prophet, and he that spoke to him and by him, was the Adon, Jehovah, and Lord of hosts, as is clear from Isaiah 6:1; it follows, that the Holy Ghost is a divine person, truly God, and equal with the Father and the Son.

And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Acts 28:25-27. Ἀπελύοντο] they departed (Polyb. ii. 34. 12, v. 98. 6, and frequently), they withdrew. The imperfect is graphic.

εἰπόντος τ. Π. ῥῆμα ἕν] after that (not when, see Acts 28:29) Paul (immediately before their departure) had made one utterance. ἕν: one dictum, instead of any further discourse: it makes palpable the importance of this concluding saying. Then follows this ῥῆμα ἕν in the oratio directa (with ὅτι) as far as Acts 28:28.

καλῶς] because completely justified as appropriate by the latest result before them. Comp. Matthew 15:7.

τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον] “Quod Spiritum sanctum loquentem inducit potius quam prophetam, ad fidem oraculi valet,” Calvin; 2 Peter 1:21.

πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν] to our fathers;[182] for the divine command imparted to Isaiah, πορεύθητι κ.τ.λ., was as such made known to the fathers.

Isaiah 6:9-10 (almost exactly according to the LXX.) has its Messianic fulfilment in the obduracy of the Jews against the gospel (Matthew 13:14 f.; John 12:40),—a fulfilment which Paul here announces to the obdurate, so that he recognises himself as the subject addressed by πορεύθητι. With hearing (auribus) ye shall hear, and certainly not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and certainly not perceive. For the heart (the spiritual vitality) of this people has become fat (obdurate and sluggish, see on Matt. l.c.), and with their ears they have become dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed, in order that they may not (see on Matt. l.c.) perceive with the eyes, or hear with the ears, or understand with the heart, or turn themselves (to me), and I (i.e. God) should heal them (of their spiritual malady, by forgiveness and sanctification). On the expression, comp. Dem. 797. 3 : ὁρῶντας μὴ ὁρᾶν καὶ ἀκούοντας μὴ ἀκούειν, Aesch. Prom. 448: κλύοντες οὐκ ἤκουον, Jacobs, Del. epigr. vii. 1. 4 f.; Soph. O. R. 371: τυφλὸς τὰ τʼ ὦτα τόν τε νοῦν τὰ τʼ ὄμματʼ εἶ.

εἰπόν (Elz. εἰπέ) is oxytonon. See Goettling, Lehre vom Accent, p. 53; Winer, p. 50 [E. T. 58]; Bornemann in loc.

[182] By ἡμῶν Paul as little includes himself (thinking possibly of his conversion) in the hardening, as with ἡμῶν in 1 Corinthians 10:1 (in opposition to Baumgarten). It is the simple expression of Israelitish fellowship. Comp. Romans 4:1.

Acts 28:25. ἀσύμφωνοι, cf. Wis 18:19 and Dan., LXX, Bel., Acts 28:15; cf. for the phrase Diod. Sic., iv., 1, the word is found in Josephus, but also in classical Greek.—δέ: the best attested reading marks sharply and emphatically the turn of affairs; there may have been Pharisees among the well-disposed Jews, and to these Paul may have made an appeal when the hope of Israel, now as formerly, was in question, cf. Acts 23:6; but if so, they would not decide to rank themselves amongst “the Pharisees that believed” however imperfectly, and of them as well of the unbelievers the writer can only say ἀπελύοντο, cf. for middle Exodus 33:11, and so Polyb., iii., 34, 12.—εἰπόντος τοῦ Π.: the words do not mean that they departed because Paul so spoke, but almost = ἀπολυομένων εἶπεν (so Blass, Nösgen). It may be that Paul’s words of censure were partly directed against the spirit which prompted the Jews to depart all together; in other words to suppress the differences which had evidently arisen amongst them, for the sake of an outward show of fellowship, lest they should again be charged as tumultuantes (Nösgen); but beyond all this, in their absence of brotherly love for one who still claimed them as his ἀδελφοί, in the unbelief of some, in the want of the courage of their convictions in others, St. Paul saw a fulfilment of that hardness and dulness of heart of which the prophet had spoken.—ῥῆμα ἕν: “one word,” emphatically drawing attention to the prophetical utterance which followed; it was evening, the night was drawing on, and (Acts 28:23) so too for the disbelieving nation: the day was far spent, the night was at hand (Bethge).—καλῶς, cf. Matthew 15:7, Mark 7:6; Mark 7:9 (as in these two passages placed first with strong indignation, Page), Mark 12:28, Luke 20:39, the word often occurs in St. Paul’s Epistles. It is remarkable that the same prophetic quotation with which the Christ had opened His teaching by parables, which is cited in all four of the Evangelists, should thus form the solemn close of the historical books of the N.T. See above on Matthew 13:14, Mark 4:12, Luke 8:10, and John 12:40, where the same words are quoted by St. John to explain the rejection of Christ’s own teaching, just as here by St. Paul to explain the rejection of the teaching about Christ. “Est hoc extremum dictum Pauli in Actis, neque fortuito esse videtur; totius enim fere libri summam continet ad gentis evangelium a Judæis jam translatum esse, quippe spretum ab eis” (Blass), cf. the course of events in Antioch, Corinth, Ephesus, Acts 13:42, Acts 18:6, Acts 19:9.—τὸ Π. τὸ Ἅ.: the solemnity of the words is intensified by thus introducing the Holy Ghost, rather than merely the human agent, as Himself speaking (see also critical note); and not only so, but by thus intimating that they were resisting not man but God, cf. Acts 7:51.—ἡμῶν: if we read ὑμῶν the word indicates that St. Paul would not identify himself with the unbelieving Jews, cf. Acts 7:52, the indignant words of St. Stephen, which the speaker had himself heard.

25. agreed not among themselves] This may have been the real cause of their inaction in the matter of the Apostle’s trial. He would not have been without a party of supporters among their own body.

unto our [R. V. your] fathers] The change of pronoun has the support of the oldest MSS., and is more in accord with the spirit in which St Paul is speaking. He would wish to distinguish these obstinate Jews from himself and others who received the words of the Old Testament as fulfilled in Jesus.

Acts 28:25. Ὄντες, when they were not agreeing) viz. the Jews.—πρὸς ἀλλήλους) among themselves.—ἀπελύοντο, they departed) The middle voice.—εἰποντος, Paul having spoken) in reference to them, as they were going away.—ἕν) one word, which was in the highest degree appropriate and serious. [Often from one word or deed one lays hold of occasion for starting back from what is good: nay, indeed, this very thing happens to all, who, though they hear the word, are not saved. Most lamentable turning-points in the history of such persons!—V. g.]

Verse 25. - Isaiah for Esaias, A.V.; your for our, A.V. and T.R. When they agreed not; ἀσύμφωνοι ὄντες, only here in the New Testament; but συμφωνέω to agree, occurs repeatedly (Luke 5:36; Acts 5:9; Acts 15:15; and Matthew, pass.); also σύμφωνος and συμφώνησις (1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 6:15). Ἀσύμφωνος occurs in Wisd. 18:10 and in classical writers. Probably the disagreement led to some altercation, and to the exhibition of the usual bigotry and prejudice and bitter opposition on the part of the unbelieving Jews. They departed; ἀπελύοντο, the proper word for the breaking up of an assembly (Matthew 14:15, 22, 23; Matthew 15:32, 39; Acts 15:30; Acts 19:41, etc.). Well spake the Holy Ghost. Note the distinct assertion of the inspiration of Isaiah. Compare the words of the Creed, "Who spake by the prophets;" and for similar statements, see Mark 12:36; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 10:15, etc. Note also how resolutely St. Paul maintains his own standpoint as the faithful and consistent Israelite in accord with Moses and the prophets, while his adversaries, with their boasted zeal for the Law, were really its antagonists. The attitude of the true Catholics, in protesting against the corruptions and perversions of the Church of Rome, and showing that they are the faithful followers of Scripture and of apostolic tradition, and the true up holders of the primitive discipline and doctrine of the Church, is very similar. Acts 28:25Agreed not

See on agreed together, Acts 5:9.

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