There came also a multitude out of the cities round about to Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)There came also a multitude.—Here also the tense points to a continual and daily concourse. The work of expansion is beginning. The “cities round about” may have included Hebron, Bethlehem, Emmaus, and Jericho; perhaps also Lydda and Joppa. (See, however, Notes on Acts 9:32; Acts 9:36.) It is obvious here also that we have the summary of what must have occupied, at least, several months.
Vexed with unclean spirits.—In this work the Apostles and the Seventy had already experienced the power of the Name of the Lord Jesus (Luke 10:17). Now that they were working in the full power of the Spirit, it was natural that they should do yet greater things (John 14:12).
Vexed - Troubled, afflicted, or tormented.
Unclean spirits - Possessed with devils; called "unclean" because they prompted to sin and impurity of life. See the notes on Matthew 4:23-24.
And they were healed - Of these persons it is expressly affirmed that they were healed. Of those who were so laid as that the shadow of Peter might pass over them, there is no such direct affirmation.
on beds and couches—The words denote the softer couches of the rich and the meaner cribs of the poor [Bengel].
shadow of Peter … might overshadow some of them—Compare Ac 19:12; Lu 8:46. So Elisha. Now the predicted greatness of Peter (Mt 16:18), as the directing spirit of the early Church, was at its height.
They were healed every one; an evidence that these cures were not wrought by second causes, for the best medicines do not always succeed; as also, in that they were perfectly and suddenly cured who were thus miraculously cured, the God of nature restoring nature beyond what means and art could do.
unto Jerusalem; where the apostles were: the Syriac version adds, "unto them", that is, to the apostles; and the Arabic version, "with them"; along with those of the city of Jerusalem, who brought out their infirm persons into the streets to be cured:
bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits; with devils, by whom they were not only possessed, but greatly harassed and afflicted: sometimes tearing and convulsing them, and sometimes throwing them on the ground, and bruising them; or into fire and water, of which there are some instances in the evangelists:There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 5:16. δὲ καὶ: very common in St. Luke, Luke 2:4; Luke 3:9; Luke 5:10; Luke 9:61; Luke 14:12, etc., and also nine times in Acts. St. John uses it frequently, but seldom in Matt. and Mark; used for the sake of giving emphasis.—πέριξ only here, strengthened for περί, not in LXX, but see Hatch and Redpath, found in Acta Andr. et Matth. Apocr., 26 (see Lumby’s note), in classics from Æschylus.—τῶν π. πόλεων, “the cities round about Jerusalem,” omitting εἰς before Ἱερουσ.—ὀχλουμένους: only here in N.T., cf. Luke 6:18, οἱ ἐνοχλούμενοι (W.H, R.V.) ὑπὸ πν. ἀκαθ. Both verbs are peculiar to St. Luke in the N.T. in connection with disease (ἐνοχλεῖν is used in Hebrews 12:15 in a different sense), and both were often used by medical writers. In Tob 6:8, ὀχλῇ the simple verb is used of the vexing and disturbing of an evil spirit, and ἐνοχλεῖν is used several times in the LXX, of being troubled with sicknesses, Genesis 48:1, 1 Samuel 19:14; 1 Samuel 30:13, Malachi 1:13. So J. Weiss, who is by no means inclined to overrate Dr. Hobart’s work, regards the use of the two verbs just mentioned as the employment in St. Luke of technical medical terms, Evangelium des Lukas, pp. 273, 274 (1892); found in Hipp., Galen, Dioscorides, cf. in the latter, Mat. Med., iii., 116, τοὺς ὑπὸ ξηρᾶς βηχὸς καὶ ὀρθοπνοίας ὀχλουμένους θεραπεύει, see also Luke 6:19; Luke 8:46, for a like effect following on the manifestation of the miraculous powers of Christ.
 Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.16. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem] The best MSS. have no word for unto. The construction without that preposition would be and there came also together the multitude out of the cities round about Jerusalem. The use of the word city (πόλις) is common even when the places so called are very insignificant, as of Nazareth (Matthew 2:23), Nain (Luke 7:11), and Arimathæa (Luke 23:51).
bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits] It was recognized that the power of the Apostles extended not only to physical, but also to spiritual maladies. Indeed the whole history being of a supernatural character, the cures wrought on ordinary maladies were of the nature of signs and wonders, and spake of a power which was not human. The power here displayed is that which in Christ’s own life was confessed to be that of the Son of God (Luke 4:40-41).
The verb in the original for vexed is found only here and in Luke 6:18 in the N. T., and like the word rendered “gave up the ghost” (Acts 5:5; Acts 5:10), is used frequently in the works of Greek medical writers, so that it is such a word as we should expect to find a physician using in the description of this malady.
unclean spirits] are those which are called wicked in other parts of the New Testament (Matthew 12:45, &c.), and the former epithet is probably applied to them because the sufferer in his state of frenzy wandered into places where he would incur ceremonial defilement, as the demoniac who had his dwelling among the tombs (Mark 5:3), the latter on account of the evil effects so often patent in the condition of the afflicted person, as loss of speech, hearing and other senses, the belief of the Jews being that spirits afflicted with such maladies were the cause of the like affliction in human beings.
and they were healed every one] For it was only a complete faith which had prompted the bringing them unto the Apostles, and to such faith all things had been promised by Christ (Mark 9:23).Verse 16. - And there also came together the multitude from for there came also a multitude out of, A.V.; about Jerusalem for about unto Jerusalem, A.V.; folk for folks, A.V.; that were for which were, A.V. And there also came together, etc. One great result of these numerous miracles would be to manifest that the Lord Jesus was still with his Church as truly as when he was upon the earth (Matthew 28:20), and this manifestation remains for the comfort of his people, even now that such miracles have ceased. With regard to what is said in ver. 15 of the shadow of Peter being thought to have had a healing power, it may have been true that it had, as Christ could heal by a shadow as well as by a word or touch, but we cannot say for certain that it was so; anyhow, it was a marvelous season of refreshing to the Church, preparing her for the coming trial.
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