Acts 28:26
Saying, Go to this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and not perceive:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Go unto this people, and say . . .—On the passage thus quoted see Notes on Matthew 13:14-15. Here we are chiefly concerned with the fact that the words had been cited by our Lord as describing the spiritual state of the Jews of Palestine, and that the record of their citation is found in the first three Gospels (Matthew 13:13; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10), while St. John (John 12:40) reproduces them as embodying the solution of the apparent failure of our Lord’s personal ministry. Looking to the fact that this implies a wide currency given to the prophecy in all reports, oral or written, of our Lord’s teaching, and that St. Paul was clearly well acquainted with one collection of our Lord’s discourses (Acts 20:35), we can hardly resist the inference that he now applied them as following in the track of his Master’s teaching. What was true of the Jews of Jerusalem was true also of those of Rome. In both there was a wilful blindness and deafness to that which ought to have produced conviction and conversion. (Comp. the language which the Apostle had previously used in Romans 11:25.)

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.Saying ... - See this passage explained in the Matthew 13:14 note, and John 12:39-40 notes. 26. Hearing, ye shall hear, &c.—(See on [2146]Mt 13:13-15 and [2147]Joh 12:38-40). With what pain would this stern saying be wrung from him whose "heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel was that they might be saved," and who "had great heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart" on their account (Ro 10:1; 9:2)! As their fathers did hear the many prophecies concerning the miseries and calamities which for their sins were to come upon them, as also concerning the Messiah which was to come, but did not believe them or entertain them as they ought; so these their children (through the righteous judgment of God) inherited their fathers’ sins, and should be heirs also of their punishments. Thus we see, that Scriptura prophetica saepius impletur; and what was spoken and fillfilled in that generation so long before, was also in this so many hundred years after. Saying, go unto this people, and say,.... A message sent in wrath and judgment to the people of Israel, rejected from being the people of God, a "lo ammi" being written upon them; and therefore God does not call them "his", but "this" people: and this message was sent by an evangelical prophet, who foretold, in the clearest manner, the Messiah's incarnation, and birth of a virgin, the work he was to do, the sufferings he should undergo, and the glory that should follow; and that after he had seen in a vision the glory of the King Messiah, the perfections of deity filling the temple of his human nature, him exalted on a throne, and attended and worshipped by angels; after he had had such a view of his beauty and excellency, that laid him low in his own sight, and humbled him under a sense of his own impurity and unworthiness; and after he had had a comfortable discovery and application of pardoning grace; and after he had expressed such a readiness and willingness to go on the Lord's errand: which one might have thought would have been of a different nature; and that he would have been sent, and have been made useful, to set forth the glories and excellencies of Christ's person, office, and grace, he had had such a view of; and to preach the comfortable doctrine of pardoning grace to men, which he had just now such a gracious experience of; but on the contrary, he is bid to say,

hearing ye shall hear; with bodily ears, the Gospel preached by the Messiah and his apostles:

and shall not understand, spiritually and experimentally, what they heard: to have an opportunity of hearing the Gospel, is a great blessing; seeing it is good news, glad tidings of good things, a joyful sound, and the voice of Christ himself; it is a distinguishing favour, and what all men at all times have not; when it is attended with a divine energy, the Spirit of God is received through it, regeneration, quickening and sanctifying grace are by it; faith comes by hearing it, and Christ is found under the ministration of it; and, generally speaking, the understanding and knowledge of divine things, are by means of it: men are naturally without the understanding of spiritual things, and where the Gospel is not, they remain so; the ministers of the Gospel, and the word preached by them, are the means of leading men into a spiritual understanding of things, though only as, and when attended with the Spirit of God, who is a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Christ: and a special mercy it is when persons, whilst hearing the word, understand what they hear, and can distinguish truth from error; and approve of the truth, receive the love of it, feel the power, and taste the sweetness of it; find it and eat it, believe, embrace, and profess it, and bring forth fruits worthy of it: but on the contrary, when it is heard and not understood, it is an awful dispensation; for hence either they content themselves with bare hearing, and depend upon it for salvation; or they despise and speak evil of what they do not understand; and so their hearing, instead of being a blessing, is an aggravation of their condemnation:

and seeing ye shall see: miracles wrought:

and not perceive; them to be proofs of the things, for which they are wrought: so Jarchi expounds those words,

"ye shall see the wonders, or miracles I have done for you, and shall not set your hearts to know me''

from whence it appears that the Gospel preached in the clearest and most powerful manner, and even miracles wrought in confirmation of it, are insufficient for conversion; and nothing will effect it, but efficacious grace.

{14} Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

(14) The unbelievers willingly resist the truth, and yet not by chance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 28:26. πορεύθητιεἰπέ: the quotation is accurately taken from the LXX, Isaiah 6:9-10, and the first line is additional to the words otherwise given in full by St. Matthew; as the speaker is the messenger to the Jews who condemns this hardness of heart, he applies to himself the word πορ.26. saying, &c.] The passage which the Apostle quotes is from Isaiah 6:9, and had already been quoted by our Lord himself against the Jews (Matthew 13:14; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; see also John 12:40) when He was explaining why all His teaching was given in parables. He spake in this wise first because had He said openly all that He wished to teach He would have had far less chance of acceptance than when His message was veiled under a parable; and next He so spake that those only who cared to manifest a desire to know the deeper meaning of His words might be able to do so. His words were for those who had ears to hear. But most of those to whom He spake had not.

Hearing [R. V. “By hearing”] i.e. with the outward organs ye shall catch what is said, but since ye have no heart for the message, ye shall not understand.Acts 28:26. Πορεύθητι, go) This verb Paul might apply to himself: for he had just come to Rome.Verse 26. - Go thou for go, A.V.; by hearing for hearing, A.V.; in no wise for not, A.V.; shall in no wise for not, A.V. Go thou, etc. The quotation is all but verbatim from the LXX. of Isaiah 6:9, 10. This particular chapter was evidently deemed one of great importance, since our Lord quotes from it (Matthew 13:14, 15), and St. John (John 12:37-41), as well as St. Paul in the passage before us. By hearing (ἀκοῇ). Why the LXX. translated שָׁמועַ by the substantive (ἀκοῇ) instead of by the participle (ἀκούοντες), as in the precisely similar phrase which follows - βλέποντες βλέψατε - does not appear. The Hebrew reads, as it is rendered in the A.V.," Hear ye,... and see ye," etc., in the imperative mood, not differing much in sense (in prophetical language) from the future. It is impossible to give the force in English exactly of the repetition of the verb in the infinitive mood שְׁמְעוּ שָׁמועַ, and רְאוּ רָאו by a very common Hebrew idiom. It is done imperfectly by the word "indeed." Rosenmuller quotes from Demosthenes ('Contr. Aristogit.,' 1.) the proverbial saying, Ὁρώντας μὴ ὁρᾳν καὶ ἀκούονσας μὴ ἀκούειν
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