Acts 28:27
For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
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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)! Though God did forsake this people, (being first forsaken of them), and withdraw his gratuitous assistance from them, yet it is all justly charged upon them, they having by their sins said unto God, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways, Job 21:14.

Their eyes have they closed; they winked, as those that were loth to see, though they could not but see, the truths Paul preached concerning the Messiah; prejudicate opinions and self-conceit hindering them from coming unto the acknowledgment of them.

I should heal them, or pardon them; for by guilt the soul is wounded. For the heart of this people is waxed gross,.... Or fat; stupefied with notions of carnal and temporal things, and become hardened against, and unsusceptible of, divine and spiritual things:

and their ears are dull of hearing; the Gospel, and its joyful sound; to which they stop their cars, as the deaf adder to the voice of the charmer:

and their eyes have they closed; and wilfully shut, against all evidence from facts, miracles, prophecies, and preaching:

lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,

and understand with their heart, and should be converted; that is, see the evidence of miracles, take in the truth of doctrine, understand the meaning of prophecy, and so be turned from darkness, ignorance, and unbelief, to light, knowledge, and faith:

and I should heal them; or "have mercy on them", as the Ethiopic version renders it; that is, forgive their sins: hearing the Gospel preached, is the ordinary means of understanding spiritual things; and the understanding being enlightened through the ministry of the word, by the Spirit of God, whereby the sinner sees his lost state by nature, his impurity and impotency, the danger he is in, and the destruction that is imminent on him, and he is liable to, and also his need of Christ, and salvation by him; this issues in conversion, in the turning of a man from the evil of his ways, to believe in Christ, walk on in him, and worthy of him; when he is healed of the diseases of his soul, which are many, are natural, and hereditary, mortal and incurable, but by Christ the great physician; by whose stripes, wounds, and blood, there is healing, that is, pardon; for healing diseases, and pardoning iniquities, are one and the same; see Psalm 103:3; and at conversion, when a soul is enlightened, and made sensible of the evil of sin, and that there is no cure of this disease, by anything that he or any creature can do, or prescribe for him, but only by the blood of Christ; a discovery of pardoning grace is made unto him; and he is made whole, and cured of every disease that attended him; from whence spring joy, peace, and comfort to him:, but when through hearing the word, the understanding is not enlightened, and conversion does not follow upon it, there is no healing of the disease of sin, no pardon applied; and consequently such must be in a most deplorable and miserable condition, as all ignorant hearers and despisers of the Gospel are; See Gill on

For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they {h} closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

(h) They made as though they did not see that which they saw against their desires: yea, they did see, but they would not see.

Acts 28:27. ἰάσωμαι, see critical note; the indicative future as in R.V. adds to the force and vigour of the passage; after μή it represents the action of the verb as more vividly realised as possible and probable than is the case when the subjunctive is used (Page), see also Winer-Moulton, lvi., 2a; Bethge, p. 331; cf. Luke 12:58, Acts 21:24 (Blass). It is significant that Luke the physician should thus cite as almost the last words of his record a prophecy ending with ἰάσομαι (Plummer, St. Luke, Introd., p. lxvi.).27. and should be converted] [R. V. “and should turn again”] The new rendering is to be preferred on account of the restricted meaning which in modern speech has become attached to the word “convert.” In the older language it signified “to turn round and go back again.”Acts 28:27. Καὶ ἰάσομαι, and I shall [should] heal them) The indicative after the subjunctive; concerning which com? the note on Mark 3:27, ἐὰν μὴδήσῃ, καὶ τότε διαρπάσει. And the former (the indicative) is the better established here, because in Isaiah the Hebrew accent makes the fullest stop of the hemistich after ἐπιστρέψωσι, should be converted [and so ἰάσομαι becomes distinguished from the contingent relation of the previous verbs, and is made a positive assertion].Verse 27. - This people's heart for the heart of this people, A.V.; they have for have they, A.V.; lest haply they should perceive for lest they should see, A.V.; turn again for be con-vetted, A.V. This people's heart, etc. So the LXX. But the Hebrew has the imperative form, "make fat.," "make heavy.... shut," in the prophetical style (comp. Jeremiah 1:10). They have closed (ἐκάμμυσαν). The verb καμμύω, contracted from καταμύω (μύω, to close, from the action of the lips in pronouncing the sound μυ), means "to shut" or "close" the eyes. It is found repeatedly in the LXX., and, in the form καταμύω, in classical writers. The word "mystery" is etymologically connected with it. The word here expresses the willfulness of their unbelief: "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." Waxed gross

See on Matthew 13:15.

Their ears are dull of hearing

Lit., with their ears they heard heavily.


See on Matthew 13:15.

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