Acts 5:13
And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
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(13) Of the rest.—We are left to conjecture who these were who are contrasted with the Apostles on the one side and with the people on the other. Does it mean that the Apostles stood aloof in an isolated majesty, and so that none of the other disciples dared associate himself with them? or is this St. Luke’s way of speaking of the Pharisees and other teachers, who also resorted to the portico, but, as in the days of our Lord’s ministry (John 7:48; John 12:42), had not the courage to attach themselves to those with whom they really sympathised? The latter view seems every way the more probable, ‘and so the passage stands parallel with those which tell us how the people heard our Lord gladly and “came early to hear him” (Luke 21:38).

Acts 5:13-14. And of the rest — Who were not really converted to Christianity; durst — Or presumed; no man to join himself to them — As, had it not been for the late signal judgment, some hypocrites might have attempted to do, in order to obtain a share in the distributions which were made among the Christians from their fund of charity; but the people magnified them — Namely, the apostles: had a great veneration for them, and spake of them with the highest expressions of reverence and respect, as persons who were owned by God in a most signal manner. And believers were the more added — Though the death of the two above-mentioned unhappy offenders deterred many, who did not sincerely believe in Jesus, and were not awakened to a sense of the importance of things spiritual and eternal, from joining themselves to the church; yet such as truly believed and were brought under a serious concern about their salvation, were united to the Lord in great numbers; multitudes both of men and women — Becoming his genuine disciples, and making an open profession of their faith, by submitting to the ordinance of baptism: for they wisely inferred, from what had happened, how dangerous it would be to oppose or suppress the inward convictions of their minds, in a matter of such great importance.

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 of the rest - Different interpretations have been given of this expression. Lightfoot supposes that by "the rest" are meant the remainder of the 120 disciples of whom Ananias had been one; and that they feared to put themselves on an equality with the apostles. But this interpretation seems to be far-fetched. Kuinoel supposes that by "the rest" are meant those who had not already joined with the apostles, whether Christians or Jews, and that they were deterred by the fate of Ananias. Pricaeus, Morus, Rosenmueller, Schleusner, and others, suppose that by "the rest" are meant the "rich" men, or the people of authority and influence among the Jews, of whom Ananias was one, and that they were deterred from it by the fate of Ananias. This is by far the most probable opinion, because:

(1) There is an evident contrast between them and the people; "the rest," that is, the others of the rich and great, feared to join with them; but "the people," the common people, magnified them.

(2) the fate of Ananias was suited to have this effect on the rich and great.

(3) Similar instances had occurred before, that the great, though they believed on Jesus, were afraid to come forth publicly and profess him before people. See John 12:42-43; John 5:44.

(4) the phrase "the rest" denotes sometimes what is more excellent, or which is superior in value or importance to something else. See Luke 12:26.

Join himself - Become united to, or associated with. The rich and the great then, as now, stood aloof from them, and were deterred by fear or shame from professing attachment to the Lord Jesus.

But the people - The mass of the people; the body of the nation.

Magnified them - Honored them; regarded them with reverence and fear.

13-16. of the rest durst no man join himself, &c.—Of the unconverted none ventured, after what had taken place, to profess discipleship; but yet their number continually increased. Of the rest; such who were not of the common sort of people, and here seem to be distinguished from them: or, of the rest (more largely) who had not joined themselves to the church, being amazed at this judgment on these two hypocrites, durst not make a formal show of religion, unless they had a thorough persuasion in their mind concerning the truth of it, and a firm resolution in their conversation to live answerably unto it.

And of the rest durst no man join himself to them,.... By the rest are meant, either those that were without the church, and those either the profane and persecuting sort, who durst not come nigh the apostles to touch them, or say one word to them, for fear of being struck dead; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "and then there was no more any man that durst restrain them", or go about to hinder them from preaching: or the better sort, such who attended on the word, and were either real believers or hypocrites, who durst not, one nor the other, join themselves to them, because of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira; which not only deterred hypocrites from coming into the church, but also kept off such who were really converted persons; but this sense seems to be contradicted in the following verse. Rather therefore by them are meant those within the church, and not only the private members of it, but the ministers of the word, of which number Ananias might have been; these, the rest of them, durst not come nigh the apostles, or familiarly converse with them, much less put themselves upon an equal foot with them, but with great reverence of them kept their distance from them:

but the people magnified them; both the ministers of the word, as Barnabas and others, who showed such a respect to the apostles, they having extraordinary gifts, and extraordinary things also being done by them, and especially the twelve apostles; these the people in general spoke well of, praised and cried up as marvellous men, because of what was done by them.

And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people {g} magnified them.

(g) Highly praised them.

Acts 5:13. τῶν δὲ λοιπῶν: variously interpreted (1) of the rest of the believers in contrast to the Apostles, but this is unnatural, as the Apostles are not elsewhere regarded as objects of fear to their fellow-believers, and ἅπαντες above certainly need not = ἀπόστολοι as Hilgenfeld interprets it. See, however, Alford, in loco, and Gore, Church and the Ministry, p. 256, note. J. Lightfoot applies ἅπαντες to the hundred-and-eight (the Apostles making up the hundred-and-twenty), who durst not join themselves in the dignity and office of Apostleship, properly so called, having seen the judgment that one of the Twelve had brought upon Ananias, one of their own number (as Lightfoot ranks Ananias amongst the hundred-and-twenty); (2) of non-believers as contrasted with ἅπαντες; this is adopted by Blass, but it obliges him to translate κολλᾶσθαι, se eis immiscere=interpellare, vexare, whereas the word is more often used, as he admits, both in the Acts and in the LXX of friendly intercourse דבק, Deuteronomy 10:20, 2 Samuel 20:2, 2 Kings 18:6, Psalms 118(119):31, cf. Acts 8:29; Acts 9:26; Acts 10:28; Acts 17:34; (3) of the rest including ὁ λαός, who stood aloof from joining their lot, but at the same time regarded them with respect; (4) of the rest, i.e., rulers, scribes, priests, men of position, as contrasted, ἀλλά, with the λαός, the populace, cf. Acts 4:21, where the same contrast is marked (so Hort, Page, Rendall), see also Luke 21:38. For κολλᾶσθαι see further on Acts 5:36.

13. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them] The sentence seems to convey an opposition to what has been stated in Acts 5:12, and should begin with But. The sense intended is that the assemblies of Christians made the porch of Solomon their special rendezvous when they went up to the Temple, seeing that it was there that the first addresses in the Temple-precincts had been given by St Peter. And while they were so assembled none of the other people who had not yet joined the new community ventured to attach themselves intrusively to the Christian body. The verb κολλᾶσθαι is used of Philip (Acts 8:29) when he is commanded “Go near and join thyself to this chariot,” where the action meant by it is one that was to press some notice of Philip upon the eunuch. From such intrusion all who were not Christians held back, and left the worshippers in Solomon’s porch alone.

but the people magnified them] Render, howbeit the people, &c. This is necessary because we have taken but as the conjunction at the beginning of the verse. There are two different conjunctions in the original.

Although the people (= the rest, who were not of the Church) held back from pressing themselves among the congregation, yet they greatly praised them for the words and works of which they heard and saw.

Acts 5:13. Τῶν λοιπῶν, of the rest) who were not believers.—κολλᾶσθαι, join himself) on familiar terms.

Verse 13. - But for and, A.V.; howbeit for but, A.V. The rest seems most naturally to mean those who were not included in the ἅπαντες, viz. the Jews as distinguished from the disciples. The effect 'of the miracles was that the Jews looked with awe and reverence upon the Apostolic Church, and none durst join them from mere curiosity or with any idle purpose. But, on the contrary, the people magnified them, treated them with the utmost respect, and spoke of them with all honor. Join himself (κολλᾶσθαι). The word occurs in the New Testament ten times, of which seven are in St. Luke's Gospel or in the Acts. The other three are in St. Paul's Epistles (see for the use of it in the sense it has here, Luke 15:15; Acts 8:29; Acts 9:26; Acts 10:28; Acts 17:34). Acts 5:13The rest

Unbelievers, deterred by the fate of Ananias from uniting themselves to the church under false pretences.

Join himself (κολλᾶσθαι)

See on Luke 15:15; and Luke 10:11. In all but two instances (Romans 12:9; 1 Corinthians 6:17), the word implies a forced, unnatural, or unexpected union. Thus Philip would not, without a special command, have "joined himself" to the chariot of the Ethiopian prince (Acts 8:29). Saul's attempt to join himself to the apostles was regarded by them with suspicion (Acts 9:26); and the fact that certain persons "clave to" Paul in Athens is expressly contrasted with the attitude of the citizens at large. The sense of an unnatural union comes out clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:16.

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