Acts 4:18
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Not to speak at all.—The Greek is even more forcible: absolutely not to utter . . . The very name of Jesus was not to pass their lips.

4:15-22 All the care of the rulers is, that the doctrine of Christ spread not among the people, yet they cannot say it is false or dangerous, or of any ill tendency; and they are ashamed to own the true reason; that it testifies against their hypocrisy, wickedness, and tyranny. Those who know how to put a just value upon Christ's promises, know how to put just contempt upon the world's threatenings. The apostles look with concern on perishing souls, and know they cannot escape eternal ruin but by Jesus Christ, therefore they are faithful in warning, and showing the right way. None will enjoy peace of mind, nor act uprightly, till they have learned to guide their conduct by the fixed standard of truth, and not by the shifting opinions and fancies of men. Especially beware of a vain attempt to serve two masters, God and the world; the end will be, you can serve neither fully.What shall we do to these men? - The object which they had in view was evidently to prevent their preaching. The miracle was performed, and it was believed by the people to have been made. This they could not expect to be able successfully to deny. Their only object, therefore, was to prevent the apostles from making the use which they saw they would to convince the people that Jesus was the Messiah. The question was, in what way they should prevent this; whether by putting them to death, by imprisoning them, or by scourging them; or whether by simply exerting theft authority and forbidding them. From the former they were deterred, doubtless, by fear of the multitude; and they therefore adopted the latter, and seemed to suppose that the mere exertion of their authority would be sufficient to deter them from this in future.

The council - Greek: The "Sanhedrin." This body was composed of 71 or 72 persons, and was entrusted with the principal affairs of the nation. It was a body of vast influence and power, and hence they supposed that their command might be sufficient to restrain ignorant Galileans from speaking. Before this same body, and probably the same men, our Saviour was arraigned, and by them condemned before he was delivered to the Roman governor, Matthew 26:59, etc. And before this same body, and in the presence of the same men, Peter had just before denied his Lord, Matthew 26:70, etc. The fact that the disciples had fled on a former occasion, and that Peter had denied his Saviour, may hate operated to induce them to believe that they would be terrified by their threats, and deterred from preaching publicly in the name of Jesus.

A notable miracle - A known, undeniable miracle.

That it spread - That the knowledge of it may not spread among them any further.

Let us straitly threaten them - Greek: "Let us threaten them with a threat." This is a "Hebraism" expressing intensity, certainty, etc. The threat was a command Acts 4:18 not to teach, implying their displeasure if they did do it. This threat, however, was not effectual. On the next occasion, which occurred soon after Acts 5:40, they added beating to their threats in order to deter them from preaching in the name of Jesus.

18-22. Whether it be right … to hearken to you more than … God, judge ye. Not to speak at all; neither privately nor publicly.

Nor teach in the name of Jesus; as his apostles and ministers sent from him. And they called them,.... From the apartment where they were; or ordered their servants to call them in to them:

and commanded them not to speak at all; either privately or publicly, in the ministry of the word, or in working of miracles, in the city, or in the country:

nor teach in the name of Jesus; any doctrine whatever; or "the name of Jesus", as the Arabic version reads; that is, the doctrine of Jesus, that which respects his person, his carnation, his offices, his sufferings, death, and resurrection from the dead.

And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 4:18. καθόλου: only here in N.T. The word which had been very common since Aristotle (previously καθʼ ὅλου) is quite classical in the sense in which it is used here, and it is also found a few times in the LXX (see Hatch and Redpath for instances of its use without and with the art[159], as here in T.R.). It is frequently used by medical writers, Hobart, Medical Language of St. Luke, p. 197.—μὴ φθέγγεσθαι: “not to utter a word,” so Rendall, ne muttire quidem (Blass). The word seems to indicate more than that the disciples should not speak, “ne hiscerent aut ullam vocem ederent,” Erasmus. In contrast to διδάσκειν we might well refer it to the utterance of the name of Jesus in their miracles, as in Acts 3:6; only found twice elsewhere in N.T., and both times in 2 Peter 2:16; 2 Peter 2:18, but its use is quite classical, and it is also found several times in LXX.

[159] grammatical article.18. And they called them] back again into the council chamber.

and commanded them] The verb is frequently used of the injunctions which our Lord gave that His miraculous deeds should not be spread abroad (Mark 6:8; Luke 5:14, &c.). The pronoun them is not found in the best MSS.Acts 4:18. Φθέγγεσθαι, to speak) in familiar discourse.—διδάσκειν, to teach) in their public speeches (sermons).Verse 18. - Charged for commanded, A.V. To speak (φθέγγεσθαι)

See on 2 Peter 2:16.

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