And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Added to the Lord.—Here, probably, the word is used in its definite New Testament sense for the Lord Jesus.
Both of men and women.—The mention of the latter forms an introduction to the dissensions connected with the “widows” in Acts 6, and is itself characteristic of St. Luke as a writer who had seen and known the effect of the new Religion in raising women to a higher life, and whose knowledge of its history was in great measure derived from them. (See Introduction to St. Luke’s Gospel.) So in Acts 8:3 women are named as prominent among the sufferers in the first general persecution.
Were the more added - The effect of all these things was to increase the number of converts. Their persecutions, their preaching, and the judgment of God, "all" tended to impress the minds of the people, and to lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Compare Acts 4:4. Though the judgment of God had the effect of deterring hypocrites from entering the church - though it produced awe and caution, yet still the number of true converts was increased. An effort to keep the church pure by wholesome discipline, and by cutting off unworthy members, however rich or honored, so far from weakening its true strength, has a tendency greatly to increase its numbers as well as its purity. People will not seek to enter a corrupt church, or regard it as worth any effort to be connected with a society that does not endeavor to be pure.
Multitudes - Compare Acts 4:4.Acts 2:47 over which Christ was Lord and head; for they were added to the Lord before, by believing in him, when they gave up themselves to him, to be saved by him; and now to the apostles, and the church by the will of God; and this case of Ananias and Sapphira was so far from hindering persons from coming into the church, that there were greater additions made to it than before, even of such as were true believers in Christ. The Ethiopic version reads, "and many were added who believed in our Lord"; the Arabic version, "they that believed in the Lord increased"; the Syriac version, "and they more increased who believed in the Lord"; and so the Vulgate Latin version, "but the multitude of them that believe in the Lord were the more increased"; all of them reading the phrase, "the Lord", not in construction with the word "added", but with "believers: multitudes both of men and women"; the weaker sex were not intimidated any more than the men, such power went along with the word, and such grace was bestowed upon them. This church must now be prodigiously numerous, for before these additions, eight thousand had been added to the hundred and twenty; such success the Gospel had, and such progress it made in the hands of such mean and contemptible persons, notwithstanding the opposition of the chief men of the nation to it. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 5:14. μᾶλλον δέ προσετίθεντο: the favour of the people which still protected the Church (cf. Acts 5:17) resulted in further increase of believers, “were the more added,” um so mehr; imperfect, signifying the continuous growth of the Church; on the verb see Acts 2:41. πλήθη, plural (only here in N.T.), because not only men as in Acts 4:4, but women also (Weiss), but Bengel “pluralis grandis: jam non initur numerus, uti 4, 4,” to the same effect Blass, “sæpe fiebat ut magnus numerus accederet, inde plur. hic tantum N.T.”. On St. Luke’s characteristic fondness for this and similar words see Acts 4:32. γυναικῶν: this mention of women forms as it were an introduction to the further mention in Acts 6:1 ff., cf. Acts 8:3, where women are again mentioned amongst the victims in the general persecution of the Church (see Plumptre’s note, in loco). This constant reference to the share of women in the ministry of the Gospel and the life of the Church is characteristic of St. Luke in both his writings.14. And believers were the more added to the Lord] In the Greek it is clearly seen that the words rendered to the Lord belong quite as closely to believers as to were added. “Persons believing in the Lord were added to His Church.” The addition of this verse makes clear what has been said on Acts 5:13, that the joining there mentioned was an intrusion into the congregation when they were assembled for public instruction. For the increase of the Church was not hindered in any degree. The Christians were held in reverent regard, and the faith which they preached gained multitudes of adherents.Acts 5:14. Πλήθη) multitudes. The Plural expresses greatness of numbers. The definite number is not now any more given, as it is in ch. Acts 4:4.Verse 14. - Added to the Lord; as in Acts 11:24, not as in margin. Multitudes; πλήθη, found in the plural nowhere else in the New Testament.
Imperfect: kept being added.
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