Acts 5:12
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
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(12) Many signs and wonders. . . .—See Note on Acts 2:22.

They were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.—See Notes on Acts 3:2; John 10:23. It was, we have seen, at all times a favourite place of resort for teachers. The chronology of this period of the history is still, as before, left somewhat indefinite; but assuming some months to have passed since the Day of Pentecost, what is now related would be in the winter, when, as in John 10:23, that portico, as facing the east and catching the morning sunlight, was more than usually frequented. On “with one accord,” see Note on Acts 4:24.

Acts 5:12. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs, &c., wrought — Many miracles of mercy for one of judgment. Now the gospel power returned to its proper channel, which is that of grace and goodness. These miracles, which were not a few, but many, not of one kind merely, but of divers kinds, evidently proved the divine mission of the apostles, for they were signs and wonders, such wonders as were confessedly signs of the divine presence and power; they were not done in a corner, but among the people, who were at liberty to inquire into them, and if there had been any fraud or collusion in them, would have easily discovered it. And they were all — All the believers; with one accord in Solomon’s porch — Frequently meeting there, and conversing together with the most affectionate expressions of mutual endearment, being unanimous in their doctrine, worship, and discipline; and there was no discontent or murmuring about the death of Ananias or Sapphira, as there was against Moses and Aaron, about the death of Korah and his company, Numbers 16:31. The separation of hypocrites from the society of the faithful, should make those that are sincere cleave so much the closer to each other. It seems strange that the priests, and other rulers of the temple, should suffer the Christians to keep their meetings there; but it was, doubtless, through the providence and grace of God, who inclined the hearts of their enemies to tolerate them there a while, in order to the more convenient spreading of the gospel.

5:12-16 The separation of hypocrites by distinguishing judgments, should make the sincere cleave closer to each other and to the gospel ministry. Whatever tends to the purity and reputation of the church, promotes its enlargement; but that power alone which wrought such miracles by the apostles, can rescue sinners from the power of sin and Satan, and add believers to His worshippers. Christ will work by all his faithful servants; and every one who applies to him shall be healed.And by the hands ... - By the apostles. This verse should be read in connection with the 15th, to which it belongs.

Signs and wonders - Miracles. See the notes on Acts 2:43.

With one accord - With one "mind," or intention. See the notes on Acts 1:14.

In Solomon's porch - See the Matthew 21:12 note; John 10:23 note. They were doubtless there for the purpose of worship. It does not mean that they were there constantly, but at the regular periods of worship. Probably they had two designs in this; one was, to join in the public worship of God in the usual manner with the people, for they did not design to leave the temple service; the other, that they might have opportunity to preach to the people assembled there. In the presence of the great multitudes who came up to worship, they had an opportunity of making known the doctrines of Jesus, and of confirming them by miracles, the reality of which could not be denied, and which could not be resisted, as proofs that Jesus was the Messiah.

Ac 5:12-26. The Progress of the New Cause Leads to the Arrest of the Apostles—They Are Miraculously Delivered from Prison, Resume Their Teaching, but Allow Themselves to Be Conducted before the Samhedrim.

12. Solomon's Porch—(See on [1952]Joh 10:23).

By the hands of the apostles; by the apostles’ ministry: though they were holy and excellent men, they were but instruments; the power they acted by was God’s; which also they had prayed for and acknowledged, Acts 4:30.

Among the people; generally among the meaner sort, according to that question, Have any of the rulers believed on him? John 7:48.

Not many mighty, not many noble, are called, 1 Corinthians 1:26.

In Solomon’s porch; a large and capacious place, where they might with greatest convenience hear and see what was done and said.

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought,.... That is, by their means, or by them as instruments, or through the imposition of their hands on persons, many miraculous and wonderful cures, as well as other extraordinary actions, were performed:

among the people; the common people, who attended in great numbers on their ministry, when the chief men and rulers of the nation despised them.

And they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch; which is to be understood not of the whole church, nor of the hundred and twenty disciples, but of the twelve apostles, who met in this place to preach the Gospel to the people; and they were agreed in their doctrine and practice, and were united in their affections to one another. Of Solomon's porch; see Gill on John 10:23. These words, with what follow to the 15th verse, are to be read in a parenthesis.

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
Acts 5:12-16. After this event, which formed an epoch as regards the preservation of the holiness of the youthful church, there is now once more (comp. Acts 2:43 f., Acts 4:32 ff.) introduced as a resting point for reflection, a summary representation of the prosperous development of the church, and that in its external relations.

δέ is the simple μεταβατικόν, carrying on the representation.

By the hands of the apostles, moreover, occurred signs and wonders among the people in great number. And they were all (all Christians, comp. Acts 2:1, in contrast to τῶν δὲ λοιπῶν[166]) with one accord in Solomon’s porch (and therefore publicly): of the rest, on the other hand, no one ventured to join himself to them; but the people magnified them (the high honour in which the people held the Christians, induced men to keep at a respectful distance from them): and the more were believers added to the Lord, great numbers of men and women; so that they brought out to the streets, etc. The simple course of the description is accordingly: (1) The miracle-working of the apostles continued abundantly, Acts 5:12 : διὰπολλά. (2) The whole body of believers was undisturbed in their public meetings, protected by the respect[167] of the people (καὶ ἦσαν, Acts 5:12ὁ λαός, Acts 5:13), and the church increased in yet greater measure; so that under the impression of that respect and of this ever increasing acceptance which Christianity gained, people brought out to the streets, etc., Acts 5:14-15. Ziegler (in Gabler’s Journ. f. theol. Lit. I. p. 155), entirely mistaking the unartificial progress of the narrative, considered καὶ ἦσανγυναικῶν as a later insertion; and in this Eichhorn, Heinrichs, and Kuinoel agree with him; while Laurent (neutest. Stud. p. 138 f.) recognises the genuineness of the words, but looks on them as a marginal remark of Luke. Beck (Obss. exeg. Crit. V. p. 17) declared even Acts 5:15 also as spurious. It is unnecessary even to make a parenthesis of Acts 5:14 (with Lachmann), as ὥστε in Acts 5:14 is not necessarily confined in its correct logical reference to ἀλλ ̓ ἐμεγ. αὐτ. ὁ λαός alone, but may quite as fitly refer to Acts 5:13-14 together. Compare Winer, p. 525 [E. T. 706].

τῶν δὲ λοιπῶν] are the same who are designated in the contrast immediately following as ὁ λαός, and therefore those who had not yet gone over to them, the non-Christian population. It is strangely perverse to understand by it the newly converted (Heinrichs), or the more notable and wealthy Christians like Ananias (Beza, Morus, Rosenmüller). By the τῶν λοιπῶν, as it forms the contrast to the ἅπαντες, Christians cannot at all be meant, not even as included (Kuinoel, Baur).

κολλᾶσθαι αὐτοῖς] to join themselves to them, i.e. to intrude into their society, which would have destroyed their harmonious intercourse. Comp. Acts 9:26, Acts 10:28, Acts 17:34; Luke 15:15. This αὐτοῖς and αὐτούς in Acts 5:13 must refer to the ἅπαντες, and so to the Christians in general, but not to the apostles alone, as regards which Luke is assumed by de Wette to have become “a little confused.”

μᾶλλον δέ] in the sense of all the more, etc. See Nägelsbach on the Iliad, p. 227, ed. 3. The bearing of the people, Acts 5:13, promoted this increase.

τῷ κυρίῳ] would admit grammatically of being construed with πιστεύοντες (Acts 16:34); but Acts 11:24 points decisively to its being connected with προσετίθεντο. They were added to the Lord, namely, as now connected with Him, belonging to Christ.

πλήθη] “pluralis grandis: jam non initur numerus uti Acts 4:4,” Bengel.[168]

κατὰ πλατείας (see the critical remarks)] emphatically placed first: so that they (the people) through streets, along the streets, brought out their sick from the houses, etc.

ἐπὶ κλιν. κ. κραββάτ.] denotes generally: small beds (κλιναρίων, see the critical remarks, and comp. Epict. iii. 5.13) and couches. The distinction made by Bengel and Kuinoel with the reading κλινῶν, that the former denotes soft and costly, and the latter poor and humble, beds, is quite arbitrary.

ἐρχομ. ΠΈΤΡΟΥ] genitive absolute, and then Ἡ ΣΚΙΆ: the shadow cast by him.

ΚἌΝ] at least (καὶ ἐάν, see Herm. ad Viger. p. 838) is to be explained as an abbreviated expression: in order that, should Peter come, he might touch any one, if even merely his shadow overshadowed him. Comp. Fritzsche, Diss. in 2 Cor. II. p. 120, and see on 2 Corinthians 11:16.

That cures actually took place by the shadow of the apostle, Luke does not state; but only the opinion of the people, that the overshadowing would cure their sick. It may be inferred, however, from Acts 5:6 that Luke would have it regarded as a matter of course that the sick were not brought out in vain, but were cured by the miraculous power of the apostle. As the latter was analogous to the miraculous power of Jesus, it is certainly conceivable that Peter also cured without the medium of corporeal contact; but if this result was in individual instances ascribed to his shadow, and if men expected from the shadow of the apostle what his personal miraculous endowment supplied, he was not to be blamed for this superstition. Zeller certainly cannot admit as valid the analogy of the miraculous power of Jesus, as he does not himself recognise the historical character of the corresponding evangelical narrative. He relegates the account to the domain of legend, in which it was conceived that the miraculous power had been, independently of the consciousness and will of Peter, conveyed by his shadow like an electric fluid. An absurdity, which in fact only the presupposition of a mere legend enables us to conceive as possible.

τὸ πλῆθος] the multitude (vulgus) of the neighbouring towns.

οἵτινες] as well those labouring under natural disease as those demoniacally afflicted; comp. Luke 4:40 f.

Then follows Acts 5:17, the contrast of the persecution, which, however, was victoriously overcome.

[166] The limitation of ἅπαντες to the apostles (Kuinoel, Olshausen, and others) is by Baur urged in depreciation of the authenticity of the narrative. The apostles are assumed by Baur to be presented as a group standing isolated, as superhuman, as it were magical beings, to whom people dare not draw nigh; from which there would result a conception of the apostles the very opposite of that which is found everywhere in the N. T. and in the Book of Acts itself! Even Zeller has, with reason, declared himself opposed to this interpretation on the part of Baur.

[167] “Est enim in sancta disciplina et in sincero pietatis cultu arcana quaedam σευνότης, quae malos etiam invitos constringat,” Calvin. It would have been more accurate to say: “quae profanum vulgus et malos etiam,” etc.

[168] Comp. on the comparatively rare plural πλήθη, not again occurring in the N. T., Bremi, ad Aeshin. adv. Ctesiph. p. 361.

Acts 5:12. δέ: merely transitional; ἐγίνετο marking the continuance of the miracles; διὰ τῶν χειρῶν characteristic of St. Luke in Acts, cf. Acts 2:23; Acts 7:25; Acts 11:30; Acts 14:3; Acts 15:23; Acts 19:11. On Luke’s fondness for this and similar phrases with χείρ, see Friedrich, Das Lucasevangelium, p. 8; Lekebusch, Apostelgeschichte, p. 77. Such phrases, cf. διὰ στόματός τινος, are thoroughly Hebraistic; so also in Acts 3:13, Luke 3:21, κατὰ πρόσωπον, and for other instances, Blass, Grammatik des N. G., pp. 126, 147.—Στοᾷ Σολ., Acts 3:11.—ἅπαντες, cf. Acts 2:1, including other believers as well as the Apostles, see below. ὁμοθυμαδὸν, see Acts 1:14.

12–16. Miraculous powers of the Apostles. Continued growth of the Church

12. And by the hands of the apostles, &c.] By the hands may here only be the Hebrew mode of expressing by. Cp. (Joshua 14:2) “By lot was their inheritance as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.” But as in the description of our Lord’s miracles we very often read “he laid his hands upon a few sick folk” (Mark 6:5, &c.), and as it is said of the Apostles (Mark 16:18) “they shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover,” it seems better to understand the words here of such acts of imposition of hands, though we presently find (Acts 5:15) that the multitudes believed that a cure could be wrought without such an act.

and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch] This must refer to such assemblies as were held by the Apostles for conference and instruction when they went up at the usual times of prayer. Thus all will signify the whole company assembled on some such occasions, and not embrace every person who had joined the new teaching. They came to Solomon’s porch, both teachers and hearers, with one common purpose, to tell and know more of the religion of Jesus. But it is not necessary to interpret the sentence to signify that they took a regular possession of this cloister as their place for worship (see Acts 3:11).

Acts 5:12. Ἅπαντες, all) who believed.—στοᾷ, in the porch) a spacious place.

Verse 12. - By the hands of the apostles, etc. Two things are here remarkable. The one that Christianity at its beginnings was mightily helped and advanced by miracles done in the Name of Jesus Christ. The other that the authority of the apostles as the rulers of the Church was greatly strengthened by these miracles being wrought exclusively by their hands. We cannot understand either the external relations of the Church to the world, or the internal relations of the people to their spiritual rulers, unless we duly take count of these two things. With one accord (see Acts 4:24, note). In Solomon's porch (see Acts 3:11, note). It is quite true to nature that Solomon's porch, having been the scene of the miracle, became the place of frequent concourse. There is a difference of opinion among commentators as to whether the all refers to the whole Christian laity as in Acts 2:1, or to the apostles only. Alford thinks the latter, Meyer the former. The opinion that the whole body of Christians is meant seems most probable, both from the use of the words in Acts 2. I and from the phrase ὁμοθυμαδὸν (especially in connection with ἅπαμτες), which seems more applicable to a mixed multitude than to twelve colleagues like the apostles. You could hardly say that all the queen's ministers met in a Cabinet Council with one accord. There is no need for the parenthesis as in the A.V. Acts 5:12Were wrought (ἐγένετο)

The best texts read ἐγίνετο the imperfect, were being wrought from time to time.


The whole body of believers.

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