Acts 4
Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary - Alford
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
'Chap. 4:1-4.] Apprehension and imprisonment of the two Apostles.

1.] ἐπέστ., see reff.

οἱ ἱερεῖς, the officiating priests, as soon as they were released from their duties.

The στρατηγὸς τ. ἱεροῦ was the captain of the Levitical guard of the temple, mentioned by Jos. B. J. vi. 5. 3, δραμόντες δὲ οἱ τοῦ ἱεροῦ φύλακες ἤγγειλαν τῷ στρατηγῷ. We hear in Jos. Antt. xx. 6. 2, of ὁ στρατηγὸς Ἄνανος: and in B. J. ii. 12. 6, he is said to be son of the high priest Ananias. In 2 Macc. 3:4, we hear of the προστάτης τοῦ ἱεροῦ, who appears to have been the same officer. See Winer, Realw., art. Temple, end.

Σαδδουκ.] See note on Matthew 3:7. Perhaps they on this occasion had moved the guard and the priests to notice the matter: for διαπον. seems only to refer to them. Cf. also ch. 5:17.

2.] ἐν τ. Ἰησ,—not, as E. V., ‘through Jesus,’ but in the person (or example) of Jesus, alleging Him as an example of that which the Sadducees denied: preaching by implication, inasmuch as one resurrection would imply that of all, the resurrection of the dead. The ἐν in reff. carries this somewhat further, but the usage is philologically the same. ‘The resurrection through Jesus’ does not appear on the present occasion to have formed part of their preaching.

3.] ἑσπέρα, perhaps, from their adjourning the case till the next day, the second evening, beginning with the twelfth hour: see Matthew 14:15, and note.

4.] ἐγενήθη—This form is unknown in good Greek: but common in Hellenistic,—see Colossians 4:11; 1Thessalonians 2:14; Winer, § 15. It appears to have been originally a Doric form: and is commonly, though this cannot always be pressed (1Thessalonians 1:5, 1Thessalonians 1:6; 1Thessalonians 2:5, and notes there), used where a passive sense is admissible, and an agent understood: cf. e.g. Matthew 6:10; Matthew 8:13; Matthew 21:42. Here the agent would be God: see ch. 2:47.

τῶν ἀνδρῶν] It does not appear whether we are to take this strictly as masculine, or more loosely as if it were ἀνθρώπων: Meyer thinks the former: Olshausen, that as yet only men attached themselves to the church (but see ch. 1:14): De Wette objects to the stricter view, that Luke does not so reckon, ch. 2:41 (see however Luke 9:14, and cf. Mt.): but leaves it undecided. The laxer use of ἀνδρῶν occurs Luke 11:31, and James 1:20. In ch. 5:14, men and women both are mentioned as being added to the Lord.

Wordsw. sees in the 5000 ἄνδρες a fulfilment of the prophecy contained in the miracle of feeding the 5000. But how will the circumstances tally, seeing that these were but new converts, babes in grace, not yet fed to the full as were those others? And again, it is not quite certain whether this number was that of new converts on this occasion, or of the whole Church: but most probably the latter.

5-12.] The Apostles examined before the Sanhedrim. Peter’s speech.

5.] αὐτῶν, of the Jews; a construction frequently used where there can be little chance of mistaking to whom or what the pronoun refers, see John 8:44, note; Romans 2:26; Winer, edn. 6, § 22. 3. 3 b. In this place, however, it has been mistaken: for Meyer refers αὐτῶν to the believers just mentioned, inasmuch as they were Jews: absurdly enough.

ἄρχ. κ. πρεσβ. κ. γρ.] The Sanhedrim: see Matthew 2:4; Matthew 26:59; ch. 5:21.

ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ] Why is this specified? The difficulty of accounting for it has led in some mss. to ἐν being altered to εἰς, so as to imply that certain of them who dwelt out of town (Lightf. &c.) were summoned to Jerusalem, I believe it merely implies that the meeting was not held in the temple, but in the city.

6.] On Annas and Caiaphas, both called high priests, Luke 3:2,—see note there. Of John and Alexander nothing is known. Lightfoot supposes John to be identical with the Jochanan ben Zacchai of the Talmud, who however (De W.) was not of the high-priestly, but only of the priestly race:—and Pearson, Wolf, Krebs, and Mangey suppose Alexander to have been the brother of Philo Judæus, mentioned by Jos. Antt. xviii. 8. 1. But this is very improbable; for he was Alabarch of the Jews at Alexandria, Jos. ibid.

7.] ἐν ποίᾳ δυνάμει—not = ἐν π. ἐξουσίᾳ, ‘in what authority,’—but in what (manner of) power; of what kind was the enabling cause, the element in which, as its condition, the deed was wrought?—ἐν ποίῳ ὀνόματι—not ‘in what name,’—i.e. ‘by whose authority,’ but by (‘in,’ see above) what (manner of) name, spoken: see ch. 3:6, 16; Jos. Antt. viii. 2. 5.

τοῦτο, not the teaching (Olshaus., &c.),—nor both the miracle and the teaching (Heinr.), but the miracle: and that only.

8.] πλησθ. πν. ἁγ., i.e. specially, for the occasion.

9.] εἰ, if, with an implication of the fact being so: see ch. 11:17.

ἐν τίνι, not ‘by (in) whom,’—this is not yet brought forward: but wherein, in what, as the conditional element. No person had been mentioned in the question, ver. 7,—nor does Peter afterwards say ἐν Ἰησοῦ χρ., but ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ. Ἰ. χρ. On the other hand, ἐν τούτῳ, ver. 10, may very well be masculine, as referring to Ἰησοῦς χρ. Himself, included in the previous words τῷ ὀν. Ἰ. χρ.:—it may also be neuter, ‘in this Name:’ but the masc. is preferable, on account of οὗτος following so soon in ver. 11.

10.] ὃν … ὅν: the copula is omitted to make the contrast more striking.

παρέστηκεν, stands, as in E. V. He was there present.

11.] See Matthew 21:42, note.

12.] In Jos. Antt. iii. 1. 5, Moses, praying to God for Israel, says, ἐν αὐτῷ γὰρ εἶναι τὴν σωτηρίαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἐν ἄλλῳ. σωτηρία is used here in the higher sense of salvation, not with reference to the healing of the lame man. See reff. The article implies, ‘the salvation for which we all look;’ our salvation: ἐστὶν ἡ σωτ. is paraphrased in the next clause by δεῖ σωθῆναι ἡμᾶς.

οὔτε γὰρ …] lit. for neither is there another name under heaven (which is) given (by God) among men (not ‘to men,’ Vulg., Beza, Kuinoel), whereby we must be saved: i.e., as E. V. Dr. Burton’s rendering, ‘For neither is the name which is given among men, whereby we are to be saved, any other than this,’ is ungrammatical.

13-18.] Consultation and sentence of the Sanhedrim.

13.] καταλαβάμενοι, having had previous knowledge; not as E. V., which would be the partic. pres.; see the past, ch. 25:25.

ἰδιῶται,—the word of contrast to those professionally acquainted with any matter: here therefore, laics, men of no knowledge on such a subject as this.

ἐπεγίνωσ·κον,—they recognized them; (so Od. ω. 215, αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν πατρὸς πειρήσομαι ἡμετέροιο, αἴ κʼ ἐμʼ ἐπιγνοίη κ. φράσσεται ὀφθαλμοῖσιν: Plato, Euthyd. 301 e, ἆρα μοί ποτε αὕτη (ἡ σοφία) παραγενήσεται ὥστε μοι οἰκεία γενέσθαι; Ἐπιγνοίης ἂν αὐτήν, ὠ Σώκρατες, ἔφη, οἰκείαν γενομένην;) their astonishment setting them to think, and reminding them that they had seen these men with Jesus:—not for a pluperfect, here or any where else: nor is ἦσαν;—that they (once) were with Jesus.

14.] This, according to De W., is the only place in Luke where τε couples two sentences. He therefore objects to the reading; and also as destroying the contrast; but clearly the former is no sound critical reason, nor is it correct: see ch. 1:15 al. fr.:—and I cannot see that any contrast is intended: the two circumstances which the Sanhedrim found it difficult to gainsay were, the boldness of these illiterate men, conferred by their companionship with Jesus, and the presence of the healed man standing with them.

17. διανεμηθῇ] be scattered or spread: lit., be distributed: so Plato, Minos, 317 D, τίς ἐπιστήμων διανεῖμαι ἐπὶ γῇ τὰ σπέρματα; and afterwards, τίς δὲ τὴν τροφὴν ἐπὶ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων σώματα διανεῖμαι ἄριστος

Henry Alford - Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

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