Acts 4:27
For of a truth against your holy child Jesus, whom you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Of a truth. . . .—Many of the better MSS. add the words “in this city.”

Against thy holy child Jesus.—Better, as before, Servant. (See Notes on Acts 3:13) The word is the same as that used of David in Acts 4:25.

Both Herod, and Pontius Pilate.—The narrative of Herod’s share in the proceedings connected with the Passion is, it will be remembered, found only in Luke 23:8-12. So far as the hymn here recorded may be considered as an independent evidence, the two present an undesigned coincidence.

With the Gentiles, and the people of Israel.—Even here the nouns are, in the Greek, without an article. The “peoples” (the Greek noun is plural) are rightly defined, looking to the use of the Hebrew word, as those of Israel.

Acts

OBEDIENT DISOBEDIENCE

THE SERVANT AND THE SLAVES

Acts 4:25
, Acts 4:27, Acts 4:29.

I do not often take fragments of Scripture for texts; but though these are fragments, their juxtaposition results in by no means fragmentary thoughts. There is obvious intention in the recurrence of the expression so frequently in so few verses, and to the elucidation of that intention my remarks will be directed. The words are parts of the Church’s prayer on the occasion of its first collision with the civil power. The incident is recorded at full length because it is the first of a long and bloody series, in order that succeeding generations might learn their true weapon and their sure defence. Prayer is the right answer to the world’s hostility, and they who only ask for courage to stand by their confession will never ask in vain. But it is no part of my intention to deal either with the incident or with this noble prayer.

A word or two of explanation may be necessary as to the language of our texts. You will observe that, in the second of them, I have followed the Revised Version, which, instead of ‘Thy holy child,’ as in the Authorised Version, reads ‘Thy holy Servant.’ The alteration is clearly correct. The word, indeed, literally means ‘a child,’ but, like our own English ‘boy,’ or even ‘man,’ or ‘maid,’ it is used to express the relation of servant, when the desire is to cover over the harsher features of servitude, and to represent the servant as a part of the family. Thus the kindly centurion, who besought Jesus to come and heal his servant, speaks of him as his ‘boy.’ And that the word is here used in this secondary sense of ‘servant’ is unmistakable. For there is no discernible reason why, if stress were meant to be laid on Christ as being the Son of God, the recognised expression for that relationship should not have been employed. Again, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, with which the Apostles were familiar, employs the very phrase that is here used as its translation of the well-known Old Testament designation of the Messiah, ‘the Servant of the Lord’ and the words here are really a quotation from the great prophecies of the second part of the Book of Isaiah. Further, the same word is employed in reference to King David and in reference to Jesus Christ. In regard to the former, it is evident that it must have the meaning of ‘servant’; and it would be too harsh to suppose that in the compass of so few verses the same expression should be used, at one time in the one signification, and at another in the other. So, then, David and Jesus are in some sense classified here together as both servants of God. That is the first point that I desire to make.

Then, in regard to the third of my texts, the expression is not the same there as in the other two. The disciples do not venture to take the loftier designation. Rather they prefer the humble one, ‘slaves,’ bondmen, the familiar expression found all through the New Testament as almost a synonym to Christians.

So, then, we have here three figures: the Psalmist-king, the Messiah, the disciples; Christ in the midst, on the one hand a servant with whom He deigns to be classed, on the other hand the slaves who, through Him, have become sons. And I think I shall best bring out the intended lessons of these clauses in their connection if I ask you to note these two contrasts, the servants and the Servant; the Servant and the slaves. ‘David Thy servant’; ‘Thy holy Servant Jesus’; us ‘Thy servants.’

I. First, then, notice the servants and the Servant.

The reason for the application of the name to the Psalmist lies, not so much in his personal character or in his religious elevation, as in the fact that he was chosen of God for a specific purpose, to carry on the divine plans some steps towards their realisation. Kings, priests, prophets, the collective Israel, as having a specific function in the world, and being, in some sense, the instruments and embodiments of the will of God amongst men, have in an eminent degree the designation of His ‘servants.’ And we might widen out the thought and say that all men who, like the heathen Cyrus, are God’s shepherds, though they do not know it-guided by Him, though they understand not whence comes their power, and blindly do His work in the world, being ‘epoch-making’ men, as the fashionable phrase goes now-are really, though in a subordinate sense, entitled to the designation.

But then, whilst this is true, and whilst Jesus Christ comes into this category, and is one of these special men raised up and adapted for special service in connection with the carrying out of the divine purpose, mark how emphatically and broadly the line is drawn here between Him and the other members of the class to which, in a certain sense, He does belong. Peter says, ‘Thy servant David,’ but he says ‘Thy holy Servant Jesus.’ And in the Greek the emphasis is still stronger, because the definite article is employed before the word ‘servant.’ ‘The holy Servant of Thine’-that is His specific and unique designation.

There are many imperfect instruments of the divine will. Thinkers and heroes and saints and statesmen and warriors, as well as prophets and priests and kings, are so regarded in Scripture, and may profitably be so regarded by us; but amongst them all there is One who stands in their midst and yet apart from them, because He, and He alone, can say, ‘I have done all Thy pleasure, and into my doing of Thy pleasure no bitter leaven of self-regard or by-ends has ever, in the faintest degree, entered.’ ‘Thy holy Servant Jesus’ is the unique designation of the Servant of the Lord.

And what is the meaning of holy? The word does not originally and primarily refer to character so much as to relation to God. The root idea of holiness is not righteousness nor moral perfectness, but something that lies behind these-viz, separation for the service and uses of God. The first notion of the word is consecration, and, built upon that and resulting from it, moral perfection. So then these men, some of whom had lived beside Jesus Christ for all those years, and had seen everything that He did, and studied Him through and through, had summered and wintered with Him, came away from the close inspection of His character with this thought; He is utterly and entirely devoted to the service of God, and in Him there is neither spot nor wrinkle nor blemish such as is found in all other men.

I need not remind you with what strange persistence of affirmation, and yet with what humility of self-consciousness, our Lord Himself always claimed to be in possession of this entire consecration, and complete obedience, and consequent perfection. Think of human lips saying, ‘I do always the things that please Him.’ Think of human lips saying, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me.’ Think of a man whose whole life’s secret was summed up in this: ‘As the Father hath given Me commandment, so’-no more, no less, no otherwise-’so I speak.’ Think of a man whose inspiring principle was, consciously to himself, ‘not My will, but Thine be done’; and who could say that it was so, and not be met by universal ridicule. There followed in Jesus the moral perfectness that comes from such uninterrupted and complete consecration of self to God. ‘Thy servant David,’-what about Bathsheba, David? What about a great many other things in your life? The poet-king, with the poet-nature so sensitive to all the delights of sense, and so easily moved in the matter of pleasure, is but like all God’s other servants in the fact of imperfection. In every machine power is lost through friction; and in every man, the noblest and the purest, there is resistance to be overcome ere motion in conformity with the divine impulse can be secured. We pass in review before our minds saints and martyrs and lovely characters by the hundred, and amongst them all there is not a jewel without a flaw, not a mirror without some dint in it where the rays are distorted, or some dark place where the reflecting surface has been rubbed away by the attrition of sin, and where there is no reflection of the divine light. And then we turn to that meek Figure who stands there with the question that has been awaiting an answer for nineteen centuries upon His lips, and is unanswered yet: ‘Which of you convinceth Me of sin?’ ‘He is the holy Servant,’ whose consecration and character mark Him off from all the class to which He belongs as the only one of them all who, in completeness, has executed the Father’s purpose, and has never attempted anything contrary to it.

Now there is another step to be taken, and it is this. The Servant who stands out in front of all the group-though the noblest names in the world’s history are included therein-could not be the Servant unless He were the Son. This designation, as applied to Jesus Christ, is peculiar to these three or four earlier chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. It is interesting because it occurs over and over again there, and because it never occurs anywhere else in the New Testament. If we recognise what I think must be recognised, that it is a quotation from the ancient prophecies, and is an assertion of the Messianic character of Jesus, then I think we here see the Church in a period of transition in regard to their conceptions of their Lord. There is no sign that the proper Sonship and Divinity of our Lord was clear before them at this period. They had the facts, but they had not yet come to the distinct apprehension of how much was involved in these. But, if they knew that Jesus Christ had died and had risen again-and they knew that, for they had seen Him-and if they believed that He was the Messiah, and if they were certain that in His character of Messiah there had been faultlessness and absolute perfection-and they were certain of that, because they had lived beside Him-then it would not be long before they took the next step, and said, as I say, ‘He cannot be the Servant unless He is more than man.’

And we may well ask ourselves the question, if we admit, as the world does admit, the moral perfectness of Jesus Christ, how comes it that this Man alone managed to escape failures and deflections from the right, and sins, and that He only carried through life a stainless garment, and went down to the grave never having needed, and not needing then, the exercise of divine forgiveness? Brethren, I venture to say that it is hopeless to account for Jesus Christ on naturalistic principles; and that either you must give up your belief in His sinlessness, or advance, as the Christian Church as a whole advanced, to the other belief, on which alone that perfectness is explicable: ‘Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ! Thou art the Everlasting Son of the Father!’

II. And so, secondly, let us turn to the other contrast here-the Servant and the slaves.

I said that the humble group of praying, persecuted believers seemed to have wished to take a lower place than their Master’s, even whilst they ventured to assume that, in some sense, they too, like Him, were doing the Father’s will. So they chose, by a fine instinct of humility rather than from any dogmatical prepossessions, the name that expresses, in its most absolute and roughest form, the notion of bondage and servitude. He is the Servant; we standing here are slaves. And that this is not an overweighting of the word with more than is meant by it seems to be confirmed by the fact that in the first clause of this prayer, we have, for the only time in the New Testament, God addressed as ‘Lord’ by the correlative word to slave, which has been transferred into English, namely, despot.

The true position, then, for a man is to be God’s slave. The harsh, repellent features of that wicked institution assume an altogether different character when they become the features of my relation to Him. Absolute submission, unconditional obedience, on the slave’s part; and on the part of the Master complete ownership, the right of life and death, the right of disposing of all goods and chattels, the right of separating husband and wife, parents and children, the right of issuing commandments without a reason, the right to expect that those commandments shall be swiftly, unhesitatingly, punctiliously, and completely performed-these things inhere in our relation to God. Blessed the man who has learned that they do, and has accepted them as his highest glory and the security of his most blessed life! For, brethren, such submission, absolute and unconditional, the blending and the absorption of my own will in His will, is the secret of all that makes manhood glorious and great and happy.

Remember, however, that in the New Testament these names of slave and owner are transferred to Christians and Jesus Christ. ‘The Servant’ has His slaves; and He who is God’s Servant, and does not His own will but the Father’s will, has us for His servants, imposes His will upon us, and we are bound to render to Him a revenue of entire obedience like that which He hath laid at His Father’s feet.

Such slavery is the only freedom. Liberty does not mean doing as you like, it means liking as you ought, and doing that. He only is free who submits to God in Christ, and thereby overcomes himself and the world and all antagonism, and is able to do that which it is his life to do. A prison out of which we do not desire to go is no restraint, and the will which coincides with law is the only will that is truly free. You talk about the bondage of obedience. Ah! ‘the weight of too much liberty’ is a far sorer bondage. They are the slaves who say, ‘Let us break His bonds asunder, and cast away His cords from us’; and they are the free men who say, ‘Lord, put Thy blessed shackles on my arms, and impose Thy will upon my will, and fill my heart with Thy love; and then will and hands will move freely and delightedly.’ ‘If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’

Such slavery is the only nobility. In the wicked old empires, as in some of their modern survivals to-day, viziers and prime ministers were mostly drawn from the servile classes. It is so in God’s kingdom. They who make themselves God’s slaves are by Him made kings and priests, and shall reign with Him on earth. If we are slaves, then are we sons and heirs of God through Jesus Christ.

Remember the alternative. You cannot be your own masters without being your own slaves. It is a far worse bondage to live as chartered libertines than to walk in the paths of obedience. Better serve God than the devil, than the world, than the flesh. Whilst they promise men liberty, they make them ‘the most abject and downtrodden vassals of perdition.’

The Servant-Son makes us slaves and sons. It matters nothing to me that Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled the law of God; it is so much the better for Him, but of no value for me, unless He has the power of making me like Himself. And He has it, and if you will trust yourselves to Him, and give your hearts to Him, and ask Him to govern you, He will govern you; and if you will abandon your false liberty which is servitude, and take the sober freedom which is obedience, then He will bring you to share in His temper of joyful service; and even we may be able to say, ‘My meat and my drink is to do the will of Him that sent me,’ and truly saying that, we shall have the key to all delights, and our feet will be, at least, on the lower rungs of the ladder whose top reaches to Heaven.

‘What fruit had ye in the things of which ye are now ashamed? But being made free from sin, and become the slaves of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness; and the end everlasting life.’ Brethren, I beseech you, by the mercies of God, that ye yield yourselves to Him, crying, ‘O Lord, truly I am Thy servant. Thou hast loosed my bonds.’4:23-31 Christ's followers do best in company, provided it is their own company. It encourages God's servants, both in doing work, and suffering work, that they serve the God who made all things, and therefore has the disposal of all events; and the Scriptures must be fulfilled. Jesus was anointed to be a Saviour, therefore it was determined he should be a sacrifice, to make atonement for sin. But sin is not the less evil for God's bringing good out of it. In threatening times, our care should not be so much that troubles may be prevented, as that we may go on with cheerfulness and courage in our work and duty. They do not pray, Lord let us go away from our work, now that it is become dangerous, but, Lord, give us thy grace to go on stedfastly in our work, and not to fear the face of man. Those who desire Divine aid and encouragement, may depend upon having them, and they ought to go forth, and go on, in the strength of the Lord God. God gave a sign of acceptance of their prayers. The place was shaken, that their faith might be established and unshaken. God gave them greater degrees of his Spirit; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than ever; by which they were not only encouraged, but enabled to speak the word of God with boldness. When they find the Lord God help them by his Spirit, they know they shall not be confounded, Isa 1.7.For of a truth - Truly; in reality.

Thy holy child Jesus - The word "child" is commonly applied to infants, or to sons and daughters in very early life. The word which is used here παῖς pais is different from what is commonly applied to the Lord Jesus υἱός huios. The latter expresses sonship without respect to age. The word which is here used also sometimes expresses sonship with out any regard to age, and the word "son" would have been a more happy translation. Thus, the same word is translated in Acts 3:13, Acts 3:26. In Acts 20:12, it is translated "youngman."

Both Herod ... - Luke 23:1-12.

With the Gentiles - The Romans, to whom he was delivered to be crucified.

The people of Israel - The Jews, who were excited to this by the rulers, Matthew 27:20.

25. by the mouth of … David—to whom the Jews ascribed the second Psalm, though anonymous; and internal evidence confirms it. David's spirit sees with astonishment "the heathen, the people, the kings and princes of the earth," in deadly combination against the sway of Jehovah and His Anointed (his Messiah, or Christ), and asks "why" it is. This fierce confederacy our praying disciples see in full operation, in the "gathering together of Herod and Pilate, the Gentiles (the Roman authority), and the people of Israel, against God's holy Child ('Servant') Jesus." (See on [1950]Ac 3:13). The best ancient copies read, after "were gathered together," "in this city," which probably answers to "upon my holy hill of Zion," in the Ps 2:6. Thy holy child; it speaks Christ’s dearness to God as a child, and obeying of God as a servant.

Whom thou hast anointed, to be a King Priest, and Prophet to his church.

Both Herod and Pontius Pilate, &c.: a strange agreement against Christ, his truths, and people; Gentiles and Jews never combined so together before. Henceforth it is no dishonour to any, if they follow that which is good, to have great and many enemies, for so had our Saviour: nor is it any honour to any to persecute and despise such; so did Herod, Pilate, Judas, &c. For of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus,.... This is the interpretation of the above passages in Psalm 2:1 and the application of them to Jesus; who is called the "child" of God, because the human nature of Christ was taken into union with the second person, who is the Son of God: unless the word should rather be rendered "servant", as it is in Acts 4:25 and which is a character that belongs to Christ, and is often given him as Mediator, who, as such, is God's righteous servant; and he is called "holy", because he was so in his conception and birth, and in his life and conversation, being free both from original sin, and actual transgression; and which is an aggravation of the sin and guilt of these men, that they should rise up, and gather together against him; and yet it was a clear case, a notorious fact, a certain truth, that could not be denied: and for the further aggravation of their crime, as well as for the sake of explaining the phrase "his, Christ", it is added,

whom thou hast anointed; with the oil of gladness, above his fellows. Christ was, in some sense, anointed to be prophet, priest, and King, from eternity, being so early set up as Mediator, or called unto, and invested with that office; see Proverbs 8:22 and he was anointed in time, both at his incarnation and baptism, having the Spirit without measure given unto him, which is that anointing, that teacheth all things.

Both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together. This Herod was Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the great, and who beheaded John the Baptist; and Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea, at the time of Christ's death; the Gentiles were those of Pilate's council, and the Roman soldiers;

and the people of Israel, were the Jews, both the rulers, and the common people; the Syriac version renders it, "the synagogue of Israel": and these, though they were of different nations, and of different interests, yea enemies to one another, as the Jews and Gentiles in general were; and as were Herod and Pontius Pilate in particular; yet all gathered, consented, and agreed together to mock, scourge, and crucify this innocent and holy person. The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions add, "in this city"; and so the above copies of Beza's, and others; meaning, in the city of Jerusalem, where the apostles now were, and where the above persons met together, and from whence a prophet could only perish. The Alexandrian copy reads, "in this thy city": which was called the city of God, and the holy city; and yet in this was this wicked convention, and all this wickedness done.

For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the {l} people of Israel, were gathered together,

(l) Although the people of Israel were but one people, yet the plural number is used here, not so much for the twelve tribes, every one of which counted as a people, but because of the great multitude of them, as though many nations had assembled themselves together, as in Jud 5:14.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 4:27-28. For in truth there assembled, etc. This γάρ confirms the contents of the divine utterance quoted from that by which it had been historically fulfilled.

ἐπʼ ἀληθείας] according to truth (Bernhardy, p. 248), really. Comp. Acts 10:34; Luke 4:25; Dem. 538; Polyb. i. 84. 6.

ἐπὶ τὸν ἅγιον παῖδά σου Ἰησ. ὃν ἔχρισ.] against Thy holy servant, etc. Explanation of the above κατὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ. The (ideal) anointing of Jesus, i.e. His consecration on the part of God to be the Messianic king, took place, according to Luke, at His baptism (Acts 10:38; Luke 3:21-22), by means of the Spirit, which came upon Him, while the voice of God declared Him the Messiah. The consecration of Christ is otherwise conceived of in John (ὃν ὁ πατὴρ ἡγίασε; see on John 10:36).

Ἡρώδης] Luke 23:11.

σὺν ἔθνεσι κ. λαοῖς Ἰσρ.] with Gentiles and Israel’s peoples. The plural λαοῖς does not stand for the singular, but is put on account of Acts 4:25, and is to be referred either, with Calvin and others, to the different nationalities (comp. Acts 2:5) from which the Jews—in great measure from foreign countries—were assembled at the Passover against Jesus; or, with Grotius and others, to the twelve tribes, which latter opinion is to be preferred, in accordance with such passages as Genesis 28:3; Genesis 35:5; Genesis 48:4. The priesthood not specially named is included in the λαοῖς Ἰσρ.

ποιῆσαι] contains the design of the συνήχθησαν. This design of their coming together was “to kill Jesus;” but the matter is viewed according to the decree of God overruling it: “to do what God has predetermined.”

ἡ χείρ σου] symbolizes in the lofty strain of the discourse the disposing power of God. Comp. Acts 4:30; Acts 7:50; Acts 13:11; 1 Peter 5:6; Herod, viii. 140. 2; Herm. ad Viger. p. 732. A zeugma is contained in προώρισε, inasmuch as the notion of the verb does not stand in logical relation to the literal meaning of ἡ χείρ σου—with which some such word as προητοίμασε would have been in accord—but only to the attribute of God thereby symbolized.

The death of the Lord was not the accidental work of hostile caprice, but (comp. Acts 2:23, Acts 3:18) the necessary result of the divine predetermination (Luke 22:22), to which divine δεῖ (Luke 24:26) the personally free action of man had to serve as an instrument. Οὐκ αὐτοὶ ἴσχυσαν, ἀλλὰ σὺ εἶ ὁ τὸ πᾶν ἐπιτρέψας καὶ εἰς πέρας ἀγαγὼν, ὁ εὐμήχανος καὶ σοφός· συνῆλθον μὲν γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι ὡς ἐχθροὶ …, ἐποίουν δὲ ἃ σὺ ἐβούλου, Oecumenius. Beza aptly says: ποιῆσαι refers not to the consilia et voluntates Herodis, etc., but to the eventus consiliorum. Comp. Flacius, Clav. I. p. 818.Acts 4:27. γάρ: confirms the truth of the preceding prophecy, by pointing to its historical fulfilment, and does not simply give a reason for addressing God as ὁ εἰπών—to emphasise this fulfilment συνήχ. is again quoted, and placed first in the sentence.—ἐπʼ ἀληθείας, of a truth, i.e., assuredly, Luke 4:25; Luke 20:21; Luke 22:59, Acts 10:34; so too in LXX, Job 9:2, and also in classical Greek. The phrase is characteristic of St. Luke, and is only used elsewhere in N.T. in Mark 12:14; Mark 12:32, the usual expression being ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, never used by St. Luke (Friedrich).—παῖδα, see on Acts 3:13.—ὂν ἔχρισας: showing that Jesus = τοῦ Χριστοῦ named in the quotation just made, cf. Luke 4:18, and Isaiah 61:1 and Acts 10:38. Nösgen compares also John 10:36, and refuses to limit the reference to Acts 3:21. The words may no doubt be referred to the Baptism, but they need not be confined to that.—Ἡρῴδης = βασιλεῖς of the Psalm, Π. Πειλᾶτος = ἄρχοντες, but Nösgen, referring to Acts 3:17, regards the ἄρχ. as included in the λαοί. Ἡρ. instead of Ἡρωίδης, Blass, in loco, and Grammatik des N. G., pp. 7, 8, the iota subscript W.H[163] thus accounted for; Winer-Schmiedel, p. 41.—ἔθνεσιν καὶ λαοῖς Ἰ.: the first word = the centurion and soldiers, those who carried out the orders of Pilate; λαοί the plural (quoted from the Psalm) does not refer with Calvin to the different nationalities out of which the Jews who came up to the Feast were gathered, but possibly to the tribes of Israel, Grimm-Thayer, sub, λαός, like עַמִּים, Genesis 49:10, Deuteronomy 32:8, Isaiah 3:13, etc., R. V., “the peoples of Israel”. St. Luke’s Gospel alone gives us the narrative of Herod’s share in the proceedings connected with the Passion, Acts 23:8-12; see Plumptre, in loco, and Friedrich, Das Lucasevangelium, pp. 54, 55.

[163] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.27. For of a truth] Here the best MSS. insert the words in this city. The Apostle proceeds here to apply the language of the Psalmist to the events preceding the Crucifixion. The insertion of in this city is very natural under such circumstances.

against thy holy child Jesus] Read here, Servant Jesus, as Acts 3:13, for the original is the same though differently translated in the A.V.

whom thou hast anointed] By the descent of the Holy Ghost at His Baptism. (Matthew 3:16.)

both Herod] The representative of the rulers of the Jews. This Herod was Antipas the son of Herod the Great by his Samaritan wife Malthace. He was tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (Luke 3:19), and because our Lord belonged to Galilee Pilate took occasion to send Jesus to be examined by him, as Herod was in Jerusalem to keep the feast of the Passover.

and Pontius Pilate] who was the Roman Governor, and so in his person were represented many nations at this time under the sway of Rome. His officials and soldiers would be drawn from all lands, and the mockery to which Jesus was exposed at their hands might well be described as the rage of the Gentiles.

Pontius Pilate] was the sixth Roman procurator of Judæa; he was appointed a.d. 25–6 in the twelfth year of Tiberius, and he continued to hold the office till a.d. 36, when he was sent to Rome by Vitellius under an accusation brought against him by the Samaritans. Of his after life and his death there are many legends, but no history.Acts 4:27. Συνήχθησαν, were gathered together) This is repeated from Acts 4:26.—ἐπʼ ἀληθείας, of a truth) as the fact itself demonstrates.—παῖδά σου, Thy Servant or Minister [not child, as Engl. Vers.]) of whom David was a type: for the latter is called by the same designation, Acts 4:25, “Thy servant (παιδός σου) David.”—ὃν ἔχρισας, whom Thou hast anointed) He is the Lord’s Anointed (= Christ) King, Acts 4:26. Psalm 2:2; Psalm 2:6, “Yet have I set (Hebr. anointed) my King upon My holy hill of Zion.”—Ἡρώδης, Herod) He, when he had Jesus in his power, nevertheless did not let Him go, but sent Him back to Pilate; thereby consenting to those things which the latter was about to do: Luke 23:7, etc., Acts 13:31, The Pharisees said,—“Herod will kill Thee.”—λαοῖς, the peoples) The plural, repeated from the Psalm; used poetically. One or two MSS. have λαός, but λαοῖς has reference to the 25th verse, λαοὶ, plural.[36] Comp. 1 Kings 22:28, ἀκούσατε λαοὶ πάντες. And the present prayer of the disciples answers to the second Psalm, as a comparison shows:

[36] E and Hilary read λαος. But the weight of authorities is on the side of λαοῖς.—E. and T.

the kings,

Herod:

the rulers,

Pontius Pilate:

the heathen,

the heathen (= the Gentiles):

the peoples,

the peoples of Israel.

The Psalm is treating of the Kingdom of Christ: wherefore Herod and Pilate are mentioned among His enemies, rather than Caiaphas the High Priest, who is included in Acts 4:29.Verse 27. - Of a truth in this city for of a truth, A.V. Servant for child (as in Acts 3:26), A.V.; didst anoint for hast anointed, A.V.; peoples for people, A.V. For of a truth, etc. The saying just quoted is proved to have been the word of God by its exact fulfillment in the heathen and Jewish rulers and peoples who were concerned in the crucifixion of the Lord Christ. In this city. This is omitted in the A.V. and T.R., but found in most uncials and Fathers, and adopted by Wordsworth, Alford, Meyer, Bengel. etc. Herod. St. Luke (Luke 23:1-12) is the only one of the evangelists who records the part taken by Herod in conjunction with Pontius Pilate in the condemnation of Christ. Possibly the inference may be that St. Luke was led to record it in his Gospel front know-tug of this application of Psalm it. to him and Pilate. Peoples, in the plural, either because of the "many nations" (Acts 2:5) from which the Jews of the dispersion came to Jerusalem, or with reference to the twelve tribes (see Genesis 28:3, "Thou shalt be a multitude of peoples," Hebrew). Didst anoint (ἔχρισας)

See on Christ, Matthew 1:1.

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