Acts 4:2
Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
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(2) Being grieved.—The verb is one which expresses something like an intensity of trouble and vexation. (Comp. Acts 16:18.)

Preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.—Literally, preached in Jesusi.e., in this as the crucial instance in which the resurrection of the dead had been made manifest. (Comp. the close union of “Jesus and the resurrection” in Acts 17:18.)

4:1-4 The apostles preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. It includes all the happiness of the future state; this they preached through Jesus Christ, to be had through him only. Miserable is their case, to whom the glory of Christ's kingdom is a grief; for since the glory of that kingdom is everlasting, their grief will be everlasting also. The harmless and useful servants of Christ, like the apostles, have often been troubled for their work of faith and labour of love, when wicked men have escaped. And to this day instances are not wanting, in which reading the Scriptures, social prayer, and religious conversation meet with frowns and checks. But if we obey the precepts of Christ, he will support us.Being grieved - The word thus translated occurs in only one other place in the New Testament Acts 16:18. It implies more than simple sorrow; it was a mingled emotion of indignation and anger. They did not grieve because they thought it a public calamity, but because it interfered with their authority and opposed their doctrine. It means that it was painful to them, or they could not bear it. It is often the case that bigots, and people in authority, have this kind of grief, at the zeal of people in spreading the truth, and thus undermining their influence and authority.

That they taught the people - The ground of their grief was as much the fact that they should presume to instruct the people as the matter which they taught them. They were offended that unlearned Galileans, in no way connected with the priestly office, and unauthorized by them, should presume to set themselves up as religious teachers. They claimed the right to watch over the interests of the people, and to declare who was authorized to instruct the nation. It has been no unusual thing for men in ecclesiastical stations to take exceptions to the ministry of those who have not been commissioned by themselves. Such men easily fancy that all power to instruct others is lodged in their hands, and they oppose others simply from the fact that they have not derived their authority from them. The true question in this case was whether these Galileans gave proof that they were sent by God. The working of the miracle in this case should have been satisfactory. We have here, also, a striking instance of the fact that men may turn away from evidence, and from most important points, and fix their attention on something that opposes their prejudices, and which may be a matter of very little moment. No inquiry was made whether the miracle had been really performed; but the only inquiry was whether they had conformed to their views of doctrine and order.

And preached through Jesus ... - The Sadducees would be particularly opposed to this. They denied the doctrine of the resurrection, and they were troubled that the apostles adduced proof of it so strong as the resurrection of Jesus. It was perceived that this doctrine was becoming established among the people; multitudes believed that he had risen; and if he had been raised up, it followed also that others would rise. The Sadducees, therefore, felt that their cause was in danger, and they joined with the priests in endeavoring to arrest its spread among the people. This is the account of the first opposition that was made to the gospel as it was preached by the apostles. It is worthy of remark that it excited so much and so speedily the enmity of those in power, and that the apostles were so soon called to test the sincerity of their attachment to their Master. They who but a few days before had fled at the approach of danger, were now called to meet this opposition, and to show their attachment to a risen Redeemer; and they did it without shrinking. They showed now that they were indeed the true friends of the crucified Saviour, and this remarkable change in their conduct is one of the many proofs that they were influenced from above.


Ac 4:1-13. Peter and John before the Samhedrim.

1-12. the captain—of the Levitical guard.

of the temple—annoyed at the disturbance created around it.

and the Sadducees—who "say that there is no resurrection" (Ac 23:8), irritated at the apostles "preaching through (rather, 'in') Jesus the resurrection from the dead"; for the resurrection of Christ, if a fact, effectually overthrew the Sadducean doctrine.

Being grieved; or angry to such a degree that it was a great trouble to them. The doctrine of the resurrection alone could not but vex the Sadducees, who denied it; but it did more afflict them, that the apostles

preached it through Jesus; asserting, not only the resurrection of our Saviour, which the Jews gave so much money unto the soldiers to hinder the report of, Matthew 28:12,13, but also that Christ was the author of the resurrection, and the first fruits of them that sleep; and because they inferred from Christ’s resurrection that his disciples should rise from the dead also.

Being grieved that they taught the people,.... Any doctrine, and especially that which follows, and which particularly gave uneasiness to the Sadducees, they were exceedingly distressed by it; it pained them to the very heart, and they were filled with wrath and indignation:

and preached through, or in Jesus, the resurrection of the dead; they not only preached the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead in general, but gave an instance and proof of it in the resurrection of Christ, affirming that he was risen from the dead; and they also preached up the resurrection of the dead in his name, and asserted, that he would be the author of it, and it would be erected by his power: so that their doctrine was equally disagreeable to the Pharisees and Sadducees; to the Sadducees, who denied that there was, or would be any resurrection of the dead; and to the Pharisees, who though they believed it, yet were highly offended that it should be said, that Jesus was risen from the dead; and that the general resurrection of the dead should be attributed to him.

Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Acts 4:2. διαπονούμενοι, cf. Acts 16:18, only in Acts in the N.T., not, as often in classical Greek, referring to the exertions made by them, but to the vexation which they felt, “being sore troubled,” R.V. (πόνος, dolor, Blass), cf. LXX, Ecclesiastes 10:9, used of pain caused to the body, and 2Ma 2:28, R. (A. al. ἀτονοῦντες), but cf. Aquila, Genesis 6:6; Genesis 34:7, 1 Samuel 20:3; 1 Samuel 20:34, of mental grief.—ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ: not “through,” but as in R.V., “in Jesus,” i.e., “in persona Jesu quem resurrexisse dicebant” (Blass). Others render it “in the instance of Jesus” (so Holtzmann, Wendt, Felten, Zöckler).—τὴν ἀνάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν: on the form of the expression see Plummer on St. Luke, Luke 20:35, and Lumby’s note, in loco. It must be distinguished from () ἀνάστασις τῶν νεκρῶν. It is the more limited term implying that some from among the dead are raised, while others as yet are not; used of the Resurrection of Christ and of the righteous, cf. with this passage 1 Peter 1:3 (Colossians 1:18), but see also Grimm-Thayer, sub ἀνάστασις. It was not merely a dogmatic question of the denial of the Resurrection which concerned the Sadducees, but the danger to their power, and to their wealth from the Temple sacrifices and dues, if the Resurrection of Jesus was proclaimed and accepted (see Wendt and Holtzmann, in loco, and Plummer on Luke 23:1-7, note). Spitta agrees with Weiss, Feine, Jüngst, in regarding the mention of the distress of the Sadducees at the preaching of the Apostles as not belonging to the original source. But it is worthy of notice that in estimating the positive value of his source, A., he decides to retain the mention of the Sadducees in Acts 4:1—it would have been more easy, he thinks, for a forger to have represented the enmity to the Church as proceeding not from the Sadducees but from the Pharisees, as in the Gospels. But the Sadducees, as Spitta reminds us, according to Josephus, included the high-priestly families in their number, and it was by this sect that at a later date the death of James the Just was caused. Only once in the Gospels, John 12:10, the chief priests, rather than the Pharisees, take the initiative against our Lord, but this was in the case of what was essentially a question for the Sadducees (as here in Acts 4:2), the advisability of getting rid of Lazarus, a living witness to the truth which the Sadducees denied. It is no unfair inference that the chief priests in St. John occupy the place of the Sadducees in the Synoptists, as the latter are never mentioned by name in the fourth Gospel; and if so, this is exactly in accordance with what we should expect from the notices here and in Acts 5:17, and in Josephus; see on the point Lightfoot in Expositor, 1890, pp. 86, 87.

2. being grieved] Better, being troubled. The word signifies thoroughly pained. It is used (Acts 16:18) of St Paul’s feeling when the “damsel possessed with a spirit of divination” cried after him at Philippi.

that they taught the people] One objection which the scribes and priests would feel towards the Apostles would be that they were “unlearned and ignorant men” (Acts 4:13), and so not deemed fit to teach.

and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead] Better, and published in Jesus. This would rouse the feelings of the Sadducees. The resurrection is said to be in Jesus, because His resurrection was a pledge that all should rise. “In Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). The language of the Apostles in the Acts does not dwell on this as a consequence of the resurrection of Jesus, for like all Jewish teaching, what they said was historical rather than doctrinal.

Acts 4:2. Διὰ τὸ διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς, on account of their teaching) This the Priests were annoyed at, on account of their authority: the Prefect of the temple, through fear of attempts at revolution.—καταγγέλλειν, their announcing) This the Sadducees were annoyed at, as they denied the resurrection: and their error was being utterly refuted by the one sole and incontrovertible example of Jesus Christ especially.

Verse 2. - Sore troubled for grieved, A.V.; because for that, A.V.; proclaimed in Jesus for preached through Jesus, A.V. The preaching the resurrection of the Lord Jesus as the "First fruits of them that slept," would be especially obnoxious to the Sadducees, "which deny that there is any resurrection" (Luke 20:27). The Sadducees were at this time in power (see Acts 5:17; and comp. Acts 23:6-8); and we learn from Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,'20. 9:1) that the son of this Annas (or Anauus) went over to the sect of the Sadducees, being himself high priest as his father had been. Acts 4:2Being grieved (διαπονούμενοι)

Only here and Acts 16:18. The Rev. renders the force of διά by "sore troubled;" vexed through and through.

The resurrection

The Sadducees denied both the resurrection and a future state. "In the Gospels the Pharisees are represented as the great opponents of Christ; in the Acts it is the Sadducees who are the most violent opponents of the apostles. The reason of this seems to be, that in the Gospels Jesus Christ came in direct collision with the Pharisees, by unmasking their hypocrisies and endangering their influence among the people; whereas the apostles, in testifying to the resurrection of Christ, opposed the creed of the Sadducees. Perhaps, also, in attacking the apostles, who taught the resurrection of that Jesus whom the Pharisees had persecuted and crucified, the Sadducees aimed an indirect blow at the favorite dogma of their rival sect" (Gloag, "Commentary on Acts").

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