Acts 3:1
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
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(1) Now Peter and John went up.—Better, were going up. The union of the two brings the narratives of the Gospels into an interesting connection with the Acts. They were probably about the same age (the idea that Peter was some years older than John rests mainly on the pictures which artists have drawn from their imagination, and has no evidence in Scripture), and had been friends from their youth upward. They had been partners as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 5:10). They had been sharers in looking for the consolation of Israel, and had together received the baptism of John (John 1:41). John and Andrew had striven which should be the first to tell Peter that they had found the Christ (John 1:41). The two had been sent together to prepare for the Passover (Luke 22:8). John takes Peter into the palace of the high priest (John 18:16), and though he must have witnessed his denials is not estranged from him. It is to John that Peter turns for comfort after his fall, and with him he comes to the sepulchre on the morning of the Resurrection (John 20:6). The eager affection which, now more strongly than ever, bound the two together is seen in Peter’s question, “Lord, and what shall this man do?” (John 21:21); and now they are again sharers in action and in heart, in teaching and in worship. Passing rivalries there may have been, disputes which was the greatest, prayers for places on the right hand and the left (Matthew 20:20; Mark 10:35); but the idea maintained by Renan (Vie de Jésus, Introduction), that St. John wrote his Gospel to exalt himself at the expense of Peter, must take its place among the delirantium somnia, the morbid imaginations, of inventive interpretation. They appear in company again in the mission to Samaria (Acts 8:14), and in recognising the work that had been done by Paul and Barnabas among the Gentiles (Galatians 2:9). When it was that they parted never to meet again, we have no record. No account is given as to the interval that had passed since the Day of Pentecost. Presumably the brief notice at the end of Acts 2 was meant to summarise a gradual progress, marked by no striking incidents, which may have gone on for several months. The absence of chronological data in the Acts, as a book written by one who in the Gospel appears to lay stress on such matters (Luke 3:1; Luke 6:2), is somewhat remarkable. The most natural explanation is that he found the informants who supplied him with his facts somewhat uncertain on these points, and that, as a truthful historian, he would not invent dates.

At the hour of prayer, being the ninth hoursc., 3 P.M., the hour of the evening sacrifice (Jos. Ant. xiv. 4, § 3). The traditions of later Judaism had fixed the third, the sixth, and the ninth hours of each day as times for private prayer. Daniel’s practice of praying three times a day seems to imply a rule of the same kind, and Psalm 55:17 (“evening and morning and at noon will I pray”) carries the practice up to the time of David. “Seven times a day” was, perhaps, the rule of those who aimed at a life of higher devotion (Psalm 119:164). Both practices passed into the usage of the Christian Church certainly as early as the second century, and probably therefore in the first. The three hours were observed by many at Alexandria in the time of Clement (Strom, vii. p. 722). The seven became the “canonical hours” of Western Christendom, the term first appearing in the Rule of St. Benedict (ob. A.D. 542) and being used by Bede (A.D. 701).



Acts 3:1 - Acts 3:16

‘Many wonders and signs were done by the Apostles’ {Acts 2:43}, but this one is recorded in detail, both because it was conspicuous as wrought in the Temple, and because it led to weighty consequences. The narrative is so vivid and full of minute particulars that it suggests an eye-witness. Was Peter Luke’s informant? The style of the story is so like that of Mark’s Gospel that we might reasonably presume so.

The scene and the persons are first set before us. It was natural that a close alliance should be cemented between Peter and John, both because they were the principal members of the quartet which stood first among the Apostles, and because they were so unlike each other, and therefore completed each other. Peter’s practical force and eye for externals, and John’s more contemplative nature and eye for the unseen, needed one another. So we find them together in the judgment hall, at the sepulchre, and here.

They ‘went up to the Temple,’ or, to translate more exactly and more picturesquely, ‘were going up,’ when the incident to be recorded stayed them. They had passed through the court, and came to a gate leading into the inner court, which was called ‘Beautiful.’ from its artistic excellence, when they were arrested by the sight of a lame beggar, who had been carried there every day for many years to appeal, by the display of his helplessness, to the entering worshippers. Precisely similar sights may be seen to-day at the doors of many a famous European church and many a mosque. He mechanically wailed out his formula, apparently scarcely looking at the two strangers, nor expecting a response. Long habit and many rebuffs had not made him hopeful, but it was his business to ask, and so he asked.

Some quick touch of pity shot through the two friends’ hearts, which did not need to be spoken in order that each might feel it to be shared by the other. So they paused, and, as was in keeping with their characters, Peter took speech in hand, while John stood by assenting. Purposed devotion is well delayed when postponed in order to lighten misery.

There must have been something magnetic in Peter’s voice and steady gaze as he said, ‘Look on us!’ It was a strange preface, if only some small coin was to follow. It kindled some flicker of hope of he knew not what in the beggar. He expected to receive ‘something’ from them, and, no doubt, was asking himself what. Expectation and receptivity were being stirred in him, though he could not divine what was coming. We have no right to assume that his state of mind was operative in fitting him to be cured, nor to call his attitude ‘faith,’ but still he was lifted from his usual dreary hopelessness, and some strange anticipation was creeping into his heart.

Then comes the grand word of power. Again Peter is spokesman, but John takes part, though silently. With a fixed gaze, which told of concentrated purpose, and went to the lame man’s heart, Peter triumphantly avows what most men are ashamed of, and try to hide: ‘Silver and gold have I none.’ He had ‘left all and followed Christ’; he had not made demands on the common stock. Empty pockets may go along with true wealth.

There is a fine flash of exultant confidence in Peter’s next words, which is rather spoiled by the Authorised Version. He did not say ‘such as I have,’ as it it was inferior to money, which he had not, but he said ‘what I have’ {Rev. Ver.},-a very different tone. The expression eloquently magnifies the power which he possessed as far more precious than wealth, and it speaks of his assurance that he did possess it-an assurance which rested, not only on his faith in his Lord’s promise and gift, but on his experience in working former miracles.

How deep his words go into the obligations of possession! ‘What I have I give’ should be the law for all Christians in regard to all that they have, and especially in regard to spiritual riches. God gives us these, not only in order that we may enjoy them ourselves, but in order that we may impart, and so in our measure enter into the joy of our Lord and know the greater blessedness of giving than of receiving. How often it has been true that a poor church has been a miracle-working church, and that, when it could not say ‘Silver and gold have I none’ it has also lost the power of saying, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’!

The actual miracle is most graphically narrated. With magnificent boldness Peter rolls out his Master’s name, there, in the court of the Temple, careless who may hear. He takes the very name that had been used in scorn, and waves it like a banner of victory. His confidence in his possession of power was not confidence in himself, but in his Lord. When we can peal forth the Name with as much assurance of its miracle-working power as Peter did, we too shall be able to make the lame walk. A faltering voice is unworthy to speak such words, and will speak them in vain.

The process of cure is minutely described. Peter put out his hand to help the lame man up, and, while he was doing so, power came into the shrunken muscles and weak ankles, so that the cripple felt that he could raise himself, and, though all passed in a moment, the last part of his rising was his own doing, and what began with his being ‘lifted up’ ended in his ‘leaping up.’ Then came an instant of standing still, to steady himself and make sure of his new strength, and then he began to walk.

The interrupted purpose of devotion could now be pursued, but with a gladsome addition to the company. How natural is that ‘walking and leaping and praising God’! The new power seemed so delightful, so wonderful, that sober walking did not serve. It was a strange way of going into the Temple, but people who are borne along by the sudden joy of new gifts beyond hope need not be expected to go quietly, and sticklers for propriety who blamed the man’s extravagance, and would have had him pace along with sober gait and downcast eyes, like a Pharisee, did not know what made him thus obstreperous, even in his devout thankfulness. ‘Leaping and praising God’ do make a singular combination, but before we blame, let us be sure that we understand.

One of the old manuscripts inserts a clause which brings out more clearly that there was a pause, during which the three remained in the Temple in prayer. It reads, ‘And when Peter and John came out, he came out with them, holding them, and they [the people] being astonished, stood in the porch,’ etc. So we have to think of the buzzing crowd, waiting in the court for their emergence from the sanctuary. Solomon’s porch was, like the Beautiful gate, on the east side of the Temple enclosure, and may probably have been a usual place of rendezvous for the brethren, as it had been a resort of their Lord.

It was a great moment, and Peter, the unlearned Galilean, the former cowardly renegade, rose at once to the occasion. Truly it was given him in that hour what to speak. His sermon is distinguished by its undaunted charging home the guilt of Christ’s death on the nation, its pitying recognition of the ignorance which had done the deed, and its urgent entreaty. We here deal with its beginning only. ‘Why marvel ye at this?’-it would have been a marvel if they had not marvelled. The thing was no marvel to the Apostle, because he believed that Jesus was the Christ and reigned in Heaven. Miracles fall into their place and become supremely ‘natural’ when we have accepted that great truth.

The fervent disavowal of their ‘own power or holiness’ as concerned in the healing is more than a modest disclaimer. It leads on to the declaration of who is the true Worker of all that is wrought for men by the hands of Christians. That disavowal has to be constantly repeated by us, not so much to turn away men’s admiration or astonishment from us, as to guard our own foolish hearts from taking credit for what it may please Jesus to do by us as His tools.

The declaration of Christ as the supreme Worker is postponed till after the solemn indictment of the nation. But the true way to regard the miracle is set forth at once, as being God’s glorifying of Jesus. Peter employs a designation of our Lord which is peculiar to these early chapters of Acts. He calls Him God’s ‘Servant,’ which is a quotation of the Messianic title in the latter part of Isaiah, ‘the Servant of the Lord.’

The fiery speaker swiftly passes to contrast God’s glorifying with Israel’s rejection. The two points on which he seizes are noteworthy. ‘Ye delivered Him up’; that is, to the Roman power. That was the deepest depth of Israel’s degradation. To hand over their Messiah to the heathen,-what could be completer faithlessness to all Israel’s calling and dignity? But that was not all: ‘ye denied Him.’ Did Peter remember some one else than the Jews who had done the same, and did a sudden throb of conscious fellowship even in that sin make his voice tremble for a moment? Israel’s denial was aggravated because it was ‘in the presence of Pilate,’ and had overborne his determination to release his prisoner. The Gentile judge would rise in the judgment to condemn them, for he had at least seen that Jesus was innocent, and they had hounded him on to an illegal killing, which was murder as laid to his account, but national apostasy as laid to theirs.

These were daring words to speak in the Temple to that crowd. But the humble fisherman had been filled with the Spirit, who is the Strengthener, and the fear of man was dead in him. If we had never heard of Pentecost, we should need to invent something of the sort to make intelligible the transformation of these timid folk, the first disciples, into heroes. A dead Christ, lying in an unknown grave, could never have inspired His crushed followers with such courage, insight, and elastic confidence and gladness in the face of a frowning world.

Acts 3:1. Now Peter and John, &c. — We are not informed when the fact here recorded took place; but it is probable it was during the days of the feast of pentecost, and while the city was still full of people; went up to the temple — Probably to seek an opportunity of preaching to the people, as well as to offer up their prayers and supplications there before God; at the ninth hour — One of the solemn hours of prayer. The Jews divided the time, from sunrise to sunset, into twelve hours; which were consequently of unequal length at different times of the year, as the days were longer or shorter. The third hour, therefore, was nine in the morning; the ninth three in the afternoon, but not exactly. For the third was the middle space between sunrise and noon; which, if the sun rose at five, (the earliest hour of its rising in that climate,) was half an hour after eight; if at seven, (the latest hour of its rising there,) was half an hour after nine. The chief hours of prayer were the third and ninth; at which seasons the morning and evening sacrifices were offered, and incense (a kind of emblem representing prayer) burnt on the golden altar.

3:1-11 The apostles and the first believers attended the temple worship at the hours of prayer. Peter and John seem to have been led by a Divine direction, to work a miracle on a man above forty years old, who had been a cripple from his birth. Peter, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, bade him rise up and walk. Thus, if we would attempt to good purpose the healing of men's souls, we must go forth in the name and power of Jesus Christ, calling on helpless sinners to arise and walk in the way of holiness, by faith in Him. How sweet the thought to our souls, that in respect to all the crippled faculties of our fallen nature, the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth can make us whole! With what holy joy and rapture shall we tread the holy courts, when God the Spirit causes us to enter therein by his strength!Peter and John went up ... - In Luke 24:53, it is said that the apostles were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. From Acts 2:46, it is clear that all the disciples were accustomed daily to resort to the temple for devotion. Whether they joined in the sacrifices of the temple-service is not said; but the thing is not improbable. This was the place and the manner in which they and their fathers had worshipped. They came slowly to the conclusion that they were to leave the temple, and they would naturally resort there with their countrymen to worship the God of their fathers. In the previous chapter Acts 2:43 we are told in general that many wonders and signs were done by the hands of the apostles. From the many miracles which were performed, Luke selects one of which he gives a more full account, and especially as it gives him occasion to record another of the addresses of Peter to the Jews. An impostor would have been satisfied with the general statement that many miracles were performed. The sacred writers descend to particulars, and tell us where, and in relation to whom, they were performed. This is a proof that they were honest people, and did not intend to deceive.

Into the temple - Not into the edifice properly called the temple, but into the court of the temple, where prayer was accustomed to be made. See the notes on Matthew 21:12.

At the hour of prayer ... - The Jewish day was divided into twelve equal parts; of course, the ninth hour would be about three o'clock p. m. This was the hour of evening prayer. Morning prayer was offered at nine o'clock. Compare Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10.


Ac 3:1-26. Peter Heals a Lame Man at the Temple Gate—Hs Address to the Wondering Multitude.

1-11. Peter and John—already associated by their Master, first with James (Mr 1:29; 5:37; 9:2), then by themselves (Lu 22:8; and see Joh 13:23, 24). Now we find them constantly together, but John (yet young) only as a silent actor.

went up—were going up, were on their way.Acts 3:1-11 The lame man healed by Peter and John.

Acts 3:12-26 Peter declares to the people that this cure was not

wrought by any power or holiness in himself or John,

but by the power of God through faith in the name of

Jesus, whom they had ignorantly crucified, but whom

God had raised from the dead according to the

Scripture; exhorts them by faith to seek remission of

sins and salvation in Jesus, whose coming had been

spoken of by Moses and all the prophets.

Went up together into the temple; not to communicate with the Jews in their worship, which was now antiquated, but that they might have a larger field to sow the seed of the gospel into; and therefore it was most probably upon some sabbath or festival day, and not unlikely in the evening of that great day of Pentecost (of which in the former chapter).

At the hour of prayer: that God must be worshipped, and daily prayed unto, the law of nature and positive law of God requires; but, says Maimonides, there is no obligation by virtue of any command of God, unto any number of prayers, nor to any certain prayers, nor to any definite time of prayer. Howsoever, they did usually pray thrice a day, and thought each of those three times recommended unto them by one of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Howsoever, the time of offering up the morning and evening sacrifice was recommended or commanded by God, as a time of prayer; a sacrifice being an actual prayer, as the other is real or verbal.

The ninth hour; about three o’clock in the afternoon, the time of the evening sacrifice.

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple,.... These two disciples were intimate companions, and great lovers of each other; they were often together: they are thought, by some, to have been together in the high priest's palace at the trial of Christ; and they ran together to his sepulchre, John 18:15 and they now went together to the temple, not to attend the daily sacrifice, which was now abolished by the sacrifice of Christ, but to attend to the duty of prayer, which was still in force, and that they might have an opportunity of preaching Christ, where there was a number of people together:

at the hour of prayer; being the ninth hour, or three o'clock in the afternoon. This was one of their hours of prayer; it was customary with the Jews to pray three times a day, Daniel 6:10 which, according to the Psalmist in Psalm 55:17 were evening, morning, and at noon; to which seems to answer the three times that are taken notice of by Luke in this history: that in the morning was at the third hour, as in Acts 2:15 or nine o'clock in the morning; that at noon was at the sixth hour, as in Acts 10:9 or twelve o'clock at noon; and that in the evening at the ninth hour, as here, or three o'clock in the afternoon. Not that these were times of divine appointment. The Jews (o) themselves say,

"there is no number of prayers from the law, and there is no repetition of this or that prayer from the law, and there is no , "fixed time" for prayer from the law.''

But according to the traditions of the elders,

"the morning prayer was to the end of the fourth hour, which is the third part of the day--the prayer of the "Minchah", (or evening prayer,) they fixed the time of it to answer to the evening daily sacrifice; and because the daily sacrifice was offered up every day from the ninth hour and a half, they ordered the time of it to be from the ninth hour and a half, and it is called the lesser "Minchah"; and because in the evening of the passover, which falls upon the evening of the sabbath, they slay the daily sacrifice at the sixth hour and a half, they say, that he that prays after the sixth hour and a half is excused; and after this time is come, the time to which he is obliged is come, and this is called the great "Minchah"---lo, you learn, that the time of the great "Minchah" is from the sixth hour and a half, to the ninth hour and a half; and the time of the lesser "Minchah" is from the ninth hour and a half, until there remains of the day an hour and a quarter; and it is lawful to pray it until the sun sets.''

So that it was at the time of the lesser "Minchah" that Peter and John went up to the temple; which seems to be not on the same day of Pentecost, but on some day, or days after; it may be the sabbath following, when there was a great number of people got together.

(o) Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 1. sect. 1. Ib. c. 3. sect. 1, 2, 4. Vid. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 26. 2.

Now {1} Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

(1) Christ, in healing a man that was born lame and well known to all men, both in a famous place and at a popular time, by the hands of his apostles partly strengthens and encourages those who believed, and partly also calls others to believe.

Acts 3:1. After the description of the first peaceful and prosperous life of the church, Luke now, glancing back to Acts 2:43, singles out from the multitude of apostolic τέρατα κ. σημεῖα that one with which the first persecution was associated.

ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό] here also in a local reference (see on Acts 1:15; comp. LXX: 2 Samuel 2:13; Joseph. Antt. xvi. 8. 6); not merely at the same time and for the same object, but also in the same way, i.e. together, יַחְדָּיו, 2 Sam. l.c. Prominence is here given to the united going to the temple and the united working, directing special attention to the keeping together of the two chief apostles.

ἀνέβαινον] they were in the act of going up.

ἐπὶ τὴν ὥραν τῆς προσευχῆς] ἐπί, used of the definition of time, in so far as a thing extends to a space of time; see on Mark 15:1; Nägelsb. on the Iliad, p. 284, ed. 3. Hence: during the hour, not equivalent to περὶ τὴν ὥραν (Alberti, Obss., Valckenaer, Winer, and many others). Concerning the three hours of prayer among the Jews: the third (see on Acts 2:15), the sixth (noon), and the ninth (that of the evening sacrifice in the temple), see Lightfoot, Schoettgen, and Wetstein, in loc. Comp. Acts 10:3; Acts 10:9.

The Attic mode of writing ἐνάτην is decidedly attested in the Book of Acts.

Acts 3:1. St. Luke selects out of the number of τέρατα καὶ σημεῖα the one which was the immediate antecedent of the first persecution. “Non dicitur primum hoc miraculum fuisse, sed fuit, quanquam unum e multis, ipso loco maxime conspicuum,” Blass, as against Weiss, Hilgenfeld, Feine.—ἀνέβαινον, cf. Luke 18:10. “Two men went up into the Temple to pray,” i.e., from the lower city to Mount Moriah, the hill of the Temple, “the hill of the house,” on its site see “Jerusalem,” B.D.2. The verb is in the imperfect, because the Apostles do not enter the Temple until Acts 3:8. St. Chrysostom comments: Πέτρος καὶ Ἰωάννης ἦσαν καὶ τὸν Ἰησοῦν εἶχον μέσον, Matthew 18:20.—ἐπὶ τὴν ὥραν τῆς προσευχῆς, not during or about, but marking a definite time, for the hour, i.e., to be there during the hour—sometimes the words are taken to mean “towards the hour”: see Plummer on Luke 10:35 (so apparently Weiss). Page renders “for, i.e., to be there at the hour” (so Felten, Lumby). In going thus to the Temple they imitated their Master, Matthew 26:55.—τὴν ἐνάτην, i.e., 3 P.M., when the evening sacrifice was offered, Jos., Ant., xiv., 4, 3. Edersheim points out that although the evening sacrifice was fixed by the Jews as “between the evenings,” i.e., between the darkness of the gloaming and that of the night, and although the words of Psalms 134, and the appointment of Levite singers for night service, 1 Chronicles 9:33; 1 Chronicles 23:30, seem to imply an evening service, yet in the time of our Lord the evening sacrifice commenced much earlier, The Temple; its Ministry and Services, pp. 115, 116. According to Schürer, followed by Blass who appeals to the authority of Hamburger, there is no ground for supposing that the third, sixth, and ninth hours of the day were regular stated times for prayer. The actual times were rather (1) early in the morning at the time of the morning sacrifice (see also Edersheim, u. s., p. 115); (2) in the afternoon about the ninth hour (three o’clock), at the time of the evening sacrifice; (3) in the evening at sunset (Jewish People, div. ii., vol. i., 290, E.T.). The third, sixth, and ninth hours were no doubt appropriated to private prayer, and some such rule might well have been derived from Psalm 55:7; cf. Daniel 6:11. This custom of prayer three times a day passed very early into the Christian Church, Didache 1, viii. 3. To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the three daily times of prayer are traced back in the Berachoth, 26 b; Charles, Apocalypse of Baruch, p. 99.

Acts 3:1-10. Healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple

1. Now Peter and John went up together] The word together has been transferred to the previous verse. See the last note. The verb is in the imperfect tense, and would be more correctly rendered were going up. The Temple stood above the city on Mount Moriah.

into the temple] While earnestly labouring for the spread of Christ’s teaching, they did not cast off regard for that schoolmaster which had been appointed to bring men to Christ.

at the hour of prayer] The preposition indicates the period of time towards which their movement tended, and may be well rendered for the hour, &c. They were on their way, and would get there at the time appointed for prayer.

We read in Scripture of three specified hours of prayer, in accordance with which the Psalmist speaks of his own custom (Psalm 55:17), “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray.” And in like manner Daniel prayed “three times a day” (Daniel 6:10). The hour of morning prayer was the third hour, and Peter went up to the housetop to pray (Acts 10:9) about the sixth hour, which was noon, and the evening prayer was this to which Peter and John were going up.

being the ninth hour] At the Equinox this would be three o’clock in the afternoon, but when the daylight was longer it would be later, so that if there were 18 hours day and 6 hours of darkness, each hour of the day would be an hour and a half long, and the hours of the night only half an hour each. At such time the ninth hour would be at half-past four.

Acts 3:1. Ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, together) This being put in the beginning, emphatically signifies the union (joining) together of Peter and John.[25] Hesychius remarks, ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, i.e. ὁμοῦ, εἰς τὸν αὐτὸν τόπον.—Πέτρος) Others have written Πετρος δὲ, supposing that ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ should be joined with the preceding words [ch. Acts 2:47]. More conveniently, others, though of a later date, have inserted δὲ after ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό. The short reading without the δὲ, is the mean between the extremes [the starting-point from which the others have departed, one on the one side, the other on the other], and the ancient reading.—[τὴν ὥραν τῆς προσευχῆς, the hour of prayer) It is right that public prayers should be frequented even by men who are adult, and in higher positions of honour than most men.—V. g.]—τὴν ἐννάτην, the ninth) the wonted hour, suited for prayer, on account of soberness [the mind not being heavy, as it is apt to be after meals], before supper: ch. Acts 10:3. [This is our three o’clock in the afternoon. He who would accustom himself to collect his thoughts at that time, and to apply himself to (to find time for) prayer, would derive no common profit from the practice. There is no difference as to time, regarded in itself. But it is a proof of choice obedience to cut short or interrupt labour, when we are in the height of business, for such a purpose. It was about mid-day that Peter prayed in private: ch. Acts 10:9.—V. g.]

[25] Lachm., after the oldest MSS. ABC Vulg. Memph. Theb. Lucif. 199, puts ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ at the end of the last verse of ch. 2, and reads in ch. Acts 3:1, Πέτρος δέ. But Tisch., with Ee Syr. and Rec. Text, puts them at the beginning of ch. 3. Ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ δέ.—E. and T.

Verse 1. - Were going up for went up together, A.V. and T.R. Peter and John. The close friendship of these two apostles is remarkable. The origin of it appears to have been their partnership in the fishing-boats in which they pursued their trade as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. For St. Luke tells us that the sons of Zebedee were "partners with Simon," and helped him to take the miraculous draught of fishes (Luke 5:10). We find the two sons of Zebedee associated with Peter in the inner circle of the Lord's apostles, at the Transfiguration, at the raising of Jairus's daughter, and at the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (see also Mark 13:3). But the yet closer friendship of Peter and John first appears in their going together to the palace of Caiaphas on the night of the betrayal (John 18:15), and then in the memorable visit to the holy sepulcher on the morning of the Resurrection (John 20:2-4), and yet again in John 21:7, 20, 21. It is in strict and natural sequence to these indications in the Gospel that, on opening the first chapters of the Acts, we find Peter and John constantly acting together in the very van of the Christian army (see Acts 3:1, 3, 11; Acts 4:13, 19; Acts 8:14, 25). The hour of prayer; called in Luke 1:10, "the hour of incense," that is, the hour of the evening sacrifice, when the people stood outside in prayer, while the priest within offered the sacrifice and burnt the incense (see Acts 2:46, note). Hence the comparison in Psalm 141:2, "Let my prayer be set before thee as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." Acts 3:1Went up (ἀνέβαινον)

The imperfect: were going up. So Rev., ascending the terraces, on the highest of which the temple stood.

Ninth hour

The time of the evening sacrifice; or, as the words of prayer indicate, half an hour later, for the prayer which accompanied the offering of incense.

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