Acts 4:3
And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold to the next day: for it was now eventide.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) It was now eventide.—The narrative started, it will be remembered, from 3 P.M. (Acts 3:1). The “eventide” began at 6 P.M.

Put them in hold.—Literally, in custody. In Acts 5:18, the word is translated “prison.” The old noun survives in our modern word “strong-hold.”

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.Put them in hold - That is, they took them into "custody," or into safe keeping. Probably they committed them to the care of a guard.

Eventide - Evening. It was not convenient to assemble the council at night. This was, moreover, the time for the evening prayer or sacrifice, and it was not usual to assemble the Sanhedrin at that hour.

CHAPTER 4

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.

Put them in hold; some think this not to have been so strait a custody as that of a prison, but that rather the apostles were delivered to some who promised that they should be forthcoming. The prediction of our Saviour began now to be fulfilled, Luke 21:12.

They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you. Howsoever, God was pleased to suffer persecution to come by degrees on his church; after the sun was down, (Christ was gone from them), it was not presently pitch darkness with them. God always remembers his people’s condition, and his own promise, and lays no more upon them than they are able to bear. And they laid hands on them,.... The Arabic version renders it, "on both"; on Peter and John; seized them by force, and drew them out of the temple:

and put them in hold unto the next day; not in the common public prison, as in Acts 5:18 but they put them into the hands, and under the care and custody of a set of men, to keep and guard them; that they might not go away, until they had an opportunity of bringing them before the sanhedrim, to be examined and punished by them:

for it was now eventide; it was at the ninth hour, or about three o'clock in the afternoon, when Peter and John went up to the temple, where they healed the lame man; after which, both of them preached to the people; so that it must now be evening; at least, as the Syriac version renders it, "the evening was near", or was drawing on.

And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 4:3. Εἰς τήρησιν] into custody, i.e. into prison. Comp. Thuc. vii. 86. 1; Acts 5:18.

ἑσπέρα] as they had gone to the temple at the ninth hour, and so at the beginning of the first evening (Acts 3:1), the second evening, which commenced at the twelfth hour, had probably already begun. See on Matthew 14:15.Acts 4:3. ἐπέβαλον αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας: the verb is always as here joined with the same noun in Acts, and twice in the Gospel; the phrase is found once in Matthew and Mark, and twice in John; see Luke 20:19; Luke 21:12, Acts 4:3; Acts 5:18; Acts 12:1; Acts 21:27, cf. in LXX, Genesis 22:12, 2 Samuel 18:12; Esther 6:2, so also in Polybius.—τήρησιν, cf. Acts 5:18, only used elsewhere in N.T. by St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:19; in Thuc., vii., 86 (Wendt), it denotes not only the act of guarding, but also a place of custody. Five times in LXX, but in the former sense. For another instance of its meaning as a place of custody (see Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien, p. 55), on papyrus in Egypt, second or third century after Christ.—ἦν γὰρ ἑσπέρα ἤδη, cf. Acts 3:1, the judicial examination must therefore be postponed until the next day, see Jeremiah 21:12, on which it appears that the Rabbis founded this prohibition against giving judgment in the night (Lumby and Felten, in loco).—ἑσπέρα: only in St. Luke in the N.T., Luke 24:29, Acts 4:3 (Acts 20:15, W.H[147] margin) and Acts 28:23.

[147] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.3. and put them in hold] i.e. in prison. The word means ward, safe keeping. And it is worth noticing on the use of it, that the Jews only employed imprisonment for this precautionary purpose. It was not a mode of punishment with them, and where we find mention of it so used in the Scripture records, the authorities who inflicted it were not Jewish.

unto the next day: for it was now eventide] The Jews were not allowed to give judgment in the night, and their day ceased with the twelfth hour. It was already about the ninth hour when Peter and John were going up to the Temple (Acts 3:1), so that before the address of Peter and the arrest of him and John was completed it would be too late to enter on a judicial enquiry. The Rabbis founded the prohibition on Jeremiah 21:12, “O house of David, thus saith the Lord, Execute judgment in the morning.” In Mishna Sanhedrin iv. 1 it is said: “Judgments about money may be commenced in the day and concluded in the night, but judgments about life must be begun in the day and concluded in the day.” And even the rule about the declaration of the new moon, which was looked on as a judicial proceeding, is similarly regulated (Mishna Rosh ha-Shanah iii. 1), and it may not be declared unless the examination of the witnesses, and all other preliminaries enjoined before its proclamation, be completed before dark.Acts 4:3. Εἰς τήρησιν, in confinement, custody) So Peter and John were sharpened (exercised) in faith.—αὔριον, the morrow, the next day) The morrow is here put for the next day, by Mimesis (i.e. using the words which were probably used by the persons committing the apostles to prison: Append.). [On that night what great things we may suppose occurred (passed) in the souls of those great apostles!—V. g.]—ἑσπέρα, evening) of that day, the morning of which is in ch. Acts 3:1.Verse 3. - Ward for hold, A.V. (see ver. 18); morrow for next day, A.V. They laid hands on them. The harsh persecution of the disciples at Jerusalem at this time when the Sadducees were in power is in exact accordance with Josephus's statement in the passage just referred to, that the Sadducees were more severe and cruel in their administration of justice than any other Jews. Their tenet of no life to come made them look to severe punishments in this life. In hold (εἰς τήρησιν)

A somewhat antiquated rendering. Better, as Rev., in ward. See on 1 Peter 1:4.

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