Acts 9:32
And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelled at Lydda.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(32) As Peter passed throughout all quarters.—The plan of the writer, arranging his materials, leads him from this point of Acts 12:18 to dwell entirely on the personal work of Peter. So far this section of the book may be described as the Acts of Peter. On the other hand, it is obvious that he only gives those acts as part of his general plan, not caring to follow the Apostle’s course, as in a biography, but confining himself to tracing the steps by which he had been led to the part he played in the great work of the conversion of the Gentiles. The “all quarters” may well have included Galilee.

He came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.—On the term “saints” see Note on Acts 9:13. Lydda, the Lud of the Old Testament (1Chronicles 8:12; Ezra 2:33; Nehemiah 7:37; Nehemiah 11:35), was a town in the rich plain of Sharon, one day’s journey from Jerusalem, founded originally by settlers from the tribe of Benjamin, and retaining to the present day its old name as Ludd. It is mentioned by Josephus (Wars, iii. 3, § 5) as transferred by Demetrius Sotêr, at the request of Judas Maccabeus, to the estate of the Temple at Jerusalem (1 Maccabees 10:30; 1 Maccabees 10:38; 1 Maccabees 11:34). Under the grasping rule of Cassius, the inhabitants were sold as slaves (Jos. Ant. xiv. 11, § 2). It had, however, recovered its former prosperity, and appears at this time to have been the seat of a flourishing Christian community. In the wars that preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, it was partially burned by Cestius Gallus A.D. 66 (Jos. Wars, ii. 19, § 1), all but fifty of the inhabitants having gone up to the Feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem, and was again occupied by Vespasian A.D. 68 (Jos. Wars, ii. 8, § 1). When it was rebuilt, probably under Hadrian, when Jerusalem received the new name of Ælia Capitolina, it also was renamed as Diospolis (= city of Zeus), and as such was the seat of one of the chief bishoprics of the Syrian Church. It was, at the time when Peter came to it, the seat of a Rabbinic school, scarcely inferior to that of Jabneh, and retained its fame after the scribes of the latter city had migrated to Tiberias. Gamaliel, son of the great Rabbi who was St. Paul’s master, and himself honoured with the title of Rabban, presided over it, and was succeeded by the great Tarphon (Lightfoot, Cent. Chorogr. c. xvi.). The question which we naturally ask, who had planted the faith of Christ there, carries us once more on the track of Philip the Evangelist. Lying as it did on the road from Azotus to Cæsarea, it would lie in his way on the journey recorded in Acts 8:40, as he passed “through all the cities;” and we may believe, without much risk of error, that here also he was St. Luke’s informant as to what had passed in the Church with which he was so closely connected.

A certain man named Æneas.—The Greek name (we note the shortened vowel Ænĕas of the later form of the word), perhaps, implies that he belonged to the Hellenistic section of the Church. Had the fame of Virgil’s poem made the name of the Trojan hero known even in the plains of Palestine? In the care with which St. Luke records the circumstances of the case, the eight years of bedridden paralysis, we note a trace of professional exactness, as in Acts 3:7; Acts 9:18; Acts 28:8. The word of “bed,” used commonly of the couches of the lower class (see Note on Matthew 2:4), suggests the thought that poverty also was added to his sufferings.

Acts 9:32-35. And as Peter passed through all quarters — Where the disciples that were dispersed had planted churches; he came to the saints that were at Lydda — A town of Phœnicia, situated in the tribe of Ephraim, one day’s journey from Jerusalem. It stood in the plain or valley of Sharon, which extended from Cesarea to Joppa, and was noted for its fruitfulness; and there — The providence of God so ordering it, for the greater confirmation of the gospel; he found a certain man named Eneas — His name is mentioned for the greater assurance of the fact here recorded; which had kept his bed eight years — In so deplorable a state as to be quite incapable of rising from it, or any way helpful to himself, because of the palsy wherewith he was afflicted; and Peter — Being moved with compassion for him, and concerned to relieve his misery, as well as to confirm the gospel which he preached, said, Eneas, Jesus Christ — In whose name I preach and act, maketh thee whole — Operates while I now speak to strengthen and restore thy weakened frame. The great difference there is between the manner in which this miracle is wrought by Peter, and that in which Christ performed his works of divine power and goodness, is very observable; and the different characters of the servant and the Son, the creature and the God, are strikingly apparent. Arise, and make thy bed — Depending entirely upon his almighty agency. And he arose immediately — The palsy instantly leaving him, and the disabled man being all at once strengthened. It deserves notice here, also, that no faith on the part of the person to be healed was required; and the like is observable in many other cases, where persons, perhaps ignorant of Christ, were surprised with an unexpected cure. But where persons petitioned themselves for a cure, a declaration of their faith was often required, that none might be encouraged to try experiments out of curiosity, in a manner which would have been very indecent, and have tended to many bad consequences. And all that dwelt in Lydda and Saron — That is, many of the inhabitants of those places; turned to the Lord — That is, did so as soon as they saw him restored to health and strength, whom they before knew to be weak and helpless, and when they had had an opportunity of being informed in the particulars of so unparalleled a fact.9:32-35 Christians are saints, or holy people; not only the eminent ones, as Saint Peter and Saint Paul, but every sincere professor of the faith of Christ. Christ chose patients whose diseases were incurable in the course of nature, to show how desperate was the case of fallen mankind. When we were wholly without strength, as this poor man, he sent his word to heal us. Peter does not pretend to heal by any power of his own, but directs Eneas to look up to Christ for help. Let none say, that because it is Christ, who, by the power of his grace, works all our works in us, therefore we have no work, no duty to do; for though Jesus Christ makes thee whole, yet thou must arise, and use the power he gives thee.To the saints - To the Christians.

Which dwelt at Lydda - This town was situated on the road from Jerusalem to Caesarea Philippi. It was about 10 or 12 miles southeast from Joppa, and belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. It was called by the Greeks Diospolis, or city of Jupiter, probably because a temple was at some period erected to Jupiter in that city. It is now so entirely ruined as to be a miserable village. Since the Crusades, it has been called by the Christians George, on account of its having been the scene of the martyrdom of a saint of that name. Tradition says that in this city the Emperor Justinian erected a church.

Ac 9:32-43. Peter Heals Eneas at Lydda and Raises Tabitha to Life at Joppa.

The historian now returns to Peter, in order to introduce the all-important narrative of Cornelius (Ac 10:1-48). The occurrences here related probably took place during Saul's sojourn in Arabia.

32-35. as Peter passed throughout all quarters—not now fleeing from persecution, but peacefully visiting the churches.

to the saints which dwelt at Lydda—about five miles east of Joppa.

Throughout all quarters, where the disciples that were dispersed had planted churches.

Saints: see Acts 9:13.

Lydda; a little town about the west bank of the Jordan, not far from the Mediterranean Sea. And it came to pass, as Peter passed through all quarters,.... The Arabic version reads, "all the foresaid places", as Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; through which he took a tour, in order to visit the new churches here planted, fix pastors over them, and confirm the Gospel by miracles, which they had received:

he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda: a city which lay on the west of Jerusalem, and is said (u) to be a day's Journey from it; and a day's journey were ten parsas, or forty miles (w): it was but thirty two miles from Jerusalem, and was a place famous for Jewish doctors; for which reason it is frequently mentioned in the Talmudic writings, under the name of Lod or Lud. Mention is made of R. Simlai, who was of Lydda (x), and of the chambers of Beth Nithzah, and of Arum in Lydda (y) where the doctors disputed; there was a school here, of which R. Akiba was president (z) here also the sanhedrim sometimes sat, since we are told that Ben Sutda was tried and stoned at Lud or Lydda (a); and here likewise they intercalated the year (b), it being in Judea: this place was situated in a plain; so says Jerom (c),

"they that dwell in Sephela, that is, in the plain, Lydda and Emmaus, which design Diospolls and Nicopolis, shall possess the Philistines.''

And with this agrees the account the Talmudists (d) give of it,

"the country of Judea was divided into three parts, the hill country, the plain, and the valley; from Bethhoron to Emmaus was the hill country; from Emmaus to Lydda was the plain or champaign country; and from Lydda to the sea, the valley.''

Hence also we read (e) of , "the plain of Lydda": and now Peter coming from Jerusalem, and the hill country of Judea, into this plain and champaign country, is properly said to come down to the saints there. So Quadratus in Josephus (f) is said to come up from Lydda to Jerusalem. This place was near the Mediterranean sea; and was in Jerom's time called Diospolis (g), and in the time of R. Benjamin (h) Seguras; it is the same with Lod in Ezra 2:33 The builder of it was Shamed the son of Elpaal, 1 Chronicles 8:12. It was in the times of Josephus (i) a village, yet not inferior to a city for greatness. It is now called S. Georgia. And here it seems some saints or Christians dwelt, whom Peter, among the rest, visited; and which is mentioned for the sake of the miracle he there wrought, next related. And these saints at Lydda very likely were converted under Philip's ministry, as he passed from Azotus to Caesarea, Acts 8:40 and, it may be, were in a church state, or, however, were afterwards. Zenas the lawyer, the Apostle Paul speaks of in Titus 3:13 is said to be bishop of Diospolis, or Lydda; in the beginning of the fourth century Aetius was bishop of this place, who assisted in the council of Nice; and in the same century, anno 331, Dionysius, another bishop of this place, was present at a council at Constantinople; and in the fifth century Photinus wrote himself bishop of Lydda, in the Chalcedon council, anno 451 (k).

(u) Misn. Maasersheni, c. 5. sect. 2. T. Bab. Betza, fol. 5. 1. & Roshhashana, fol. 31. 2. & Juchasin, fol. 37. 1.((w) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 93. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (x) Juchasin, fol. 105. 1.((y) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 40. 2. T. Hieros. Pesachim, fol. 30. 2.((z) Misn. Roshhashana, c. 1. sect. 6. (a) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 25. 4. (b) Ib. fol. 18. 3.((c) In Obadiah 1. 19. (d) T. Hicros. Sheviith, fol. 38. 4. (e) Misn. Sheviith, c. 9. sect. 2.((f) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 8. (g) Epitaph. Paulae, fol. 59. A. (h) ltinerar. p. 52. (i) Antiqu. l. 20. c. 5. sect. 2.((k) Reland. Palestina Illustrata, 1. 3. p. 878, 879. Vid. Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 2. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 2.

{10} And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.

(10) Peter's apostleship is confirmed by the healing of the man who suffered from paralysis.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 9:32-35. This journey of visitation and the incidents related of Peter to the end of chap. 10. occur, according to the order of the text, in the period of Paul’s abode in Cilicia after his departure from Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). Olshausen (comp. also Wieseler, p. 146); in an entirely arbitrary manner, transfers them to the time of the Arabian sojourn, and considers the communication of the return to Jerusalem, at Acts 9:26 ff., as anticipated.

διὰ πάντων] namely, τῶν ἁγίων, as necessarily results from what follows. Comp. Romans 15:28.

Λύδδα, in the O. T. Lod (1 Chronicles 9:12; Ezra 2:33), a village resembling a town (Joseph. Antt. xx. 6. 2; Bell. ii. 12. 6, iii. 3. 5), not far from the Mediterranean, near Joppa (Acts 9:38), at a later period the important city of Diospolis, now the village of Ludd. See Lightfoot, ad Matth. p. 35 ff.; Robinson, III. 363 ff.; von Raumer, p. 190 f.

Αἰνέας was, according to his Greek name[249], perhaps a Hellenist; whether he was a Christian (as Kuinoel thinks, because his conversion is not afterwards related) or not (in favour of which is the anything but characteristic designation ἄνθρωπόν τινα), remains undetermined.

ἰᾶταί σε] actually, at this moment.

ʼΙησοῦς ὁ χριστός] Jesus the Messiah.

στρῶσον σεαυτῷ] Erroneously Heumann, Kuinoel: “Lectum, quern tibi hactenus alii straverunt, in posterum tute tibi ipse sterne.” The imperative aorist denotes the immediate fulfilment (Elmsl. ad Soph. Aj. 1180; Kühner, II. p. 80); hence: make thy bed (on the spot) for thyself; perform immediately, in token of thy cure, the same work which hitherto others have had to do for thee in token of thine infirmity.

στρώννυμι, used also in classical writers absolutely (without εὐνάς or the like), Hom. Od. xix. 598; Plut. Artax. 22.

Saron, שָׁרוֹן[250]] a very fruitful (Jerome, ad Jes. 33:19) plain along the Mediterranean at Joppa, extending to Caesarea. See Lightfoot, ad Matth. p. 38 f.; Arnold in Herzog’s Encykl. XI. p. 10.

οἵτινες ἐπέστρ. ἐπὶ τ. κύρ.] The aorist does not stand for the pluperfect, so that the sense would be: all Christians (Kuinoel); but: and there saw him (after his cure) all the inhabitants of Lydda and Saron, they who (quippe qui), in consequence of this practical proof of the Messiahship of Jesus, turned to the Lord. The numerous conversions, which occurred in consequence of the miraculous cure, are in a popular hyperbolical manner represented by πάντες οἱ κ.τ.λ. as a conversion of the population as a whole.

Since Peter did not first inquire as to the faith of the sick man, he must have known the man’s confidence in the miraculous power communicated to him as the ambassador and announcer of the Messiah (Acts 9:34), or have read it from his looks, as in Acts 3:4. Chrysostom and Oecumenius adduce other reasons.

[249] The name Αἰνέας (not to be identified with that of the Trojan Αἰνείας) is also found in Thuc. iv. 119. 1; Xen. Anab. iv. 7. 13, Hell. vii. 3. 1; Pind. Ol. vi. 149. Yet Αἰνεάς instead of Αἰνείας is found in a fragment of Sophocles (342 D) for the sake of the verse.

[250] Not to be accented Σαρῶνα, with Lachmann, but Σάρωνα. See Bornemann in loc. Comp. Lobeck, Paralip. p. 555.Acts 9:32-35. Healing of Aeneas.32–35. Peter heals a paralytic at Lydda

32. as Peter passed throughout all quarters] The history now turns from Saul to Peter, to shew us that when the former had been prepared for his special work the latter was taught by revelation that the time had arrived for the next and complete extension of the Church among all nations. Peter had been labouring, as no doubt all the rest of the twelve also (for we have seen that only two were at Jerusalem when Saul came thither), in building up the Churches in Judæa and Samaria, and the narrative of two miracles which follow in the history makes intelligible to us the position of Peter when Cornelius is warned to send for him.

he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda] On saints, see above on Acts 9:13.

Lydda] The Hebrew Lod, 1 Chronicles 8:12. It was afterwards called Diospolis. It was near to Joppa, and a day’s journey from Jerusalem. Josephus (Antiq. xx. 6. 2) calls it “a village not less than a city in largeness.”Acts 9:32. Διὰ πάντων) The masculine [not as Engl. Vers. “throughout all quarters”]. Comp. with this ἐν οἷς, ch. Acts 20:25.Verse 32. - Went for passed, A.V.; all parts (διὰ πάντων) for all quarters, A.V. All parts. Afford, following Meyer, understands "through all the saints," which is scarcely so well. The current of St. Luke's narrative is here temporarily diverted from St. Paul, in order to trace that portion of St. Peter's apostolic work, which led immediately to that opening of the door of faith to the Gentiles in which Peter was to have the priority in point of time (Matthew 16:18, 19), but Paul the chief burden of labour and danger (Galatians 2:7-9; Romans 11:13), and which was also the main subject of St. Luke's history. He came down; Lydda (afterwards called Diospolis, now Ludd), being more than half-way between Jerusalem and the sea-coast at Joppa. Lydda

The Lod of the Old Testament (Ezra 2:33); about a day's journey from Jerusalem.

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