Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Verse 1. - At Antioch., in the Church that was there for in the Church that was at Antioch, A.V.; prophets, etc., for certain prophets, etc., A.V. and T.R.; Barnabas, etc., for as Barnabas, etc., A.V.; Symeon for Simeon, A.V.; the foster-brother of for which had been brought up with, A.V. At Antioch, in the Church, etc. Κτὰ τὴν οϋσαν ἐκκλησίαν rather means "the existing Church," just as at αἱ οϋσαι ἐξουσίαι means "the existing powers," "the powers that be," in Romans 13:1, A.V. and T.R. The then Church seems mere the meaning than the Church there. Luke writes from the standpoint of many years later. Prophets were a regular part of the ministry of the then Church (see Acts 11:27; Acts 21:9, 10; Romans 12:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28; 1 Corinthians 13:2, etc.; 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3, etc., 1 Corinthians 14:22, 24, 31, 32: Ephesians 4:11. See also note on Acts 4:26). Teachers (διδάσκαλοι) are coupled with prophets, as here, in 1 Corinthians 12:28, 29; Ephesians 4:11. The teachers would appear to differ from the prophets in that they were not under the ecstatic influence of the Holy Spirit, and did not utter exhortations or prophecies in a poetic strain, but were expounders of Christian truth, under the teaching of the Spirit. What they spoke was called a διδαχή (1 Corinthians 14:26), and their function was διδασκαλία, as Romans 12:7, where διδασκαλία is reckoned among the χαρίσματα, the gifts of the Holy Ghost. It was forbidden to women to teach (διδάσκειν: 1 Timothy 2:12), though they might prophesy (Acts 21:9). It is thought by Meyer, Alford, and others that the position of the particles τε attaching the two following names to Barnabas in the first place, and one name following to Manaen in the second, indicates that Barnabas, Symeon, and Lucius were prophets, and Manaen and Saul teachers. Lucius has by some been falsely identified with St. Luke. The foster-brother; σύντροφος may equally mean a foster-brother, one nursed at the same time at the same breast, which would indicate that Manaen's mother was wet-nurse to Herod the tetrarch; or a playmate, which would indicate that he had been sodalis to Herod. It is only found here in the New Testament, but is used by Xenophon, Plutarch, etc., and in 1 Macc. 1:7; 2 Macc. 9:29. In this chapter and onwards the scene of the great drama of Christianity is transferred from Jerusalem to Antioch. The first part, which has hitherto been played by Peter and John and James, is now taken up by Barnabas and Saul, soon, however, to be classed as Paul and Barnabas.
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Verse 2. - And as for as, A.V. They ministered; i.e. not, as Meyer explains it, the whole Church, but the prophets and teachers, doubtless at an assembly of the Church. The word λειτουργούντων, here rendered "they ministered" (from which the word "Liturgy" is derived), signifies any solemn ministration or holy service. In the Old Testament the LXX. use it as the rendering of שֵׁרֵת, to minister (often with the addition "to God," or "to the Lord "), which is a general word applying to the ministrations of priests and Levites (Exodus 28:35; Numbers 8:26, etc.). Hence its use in Hebrews 10:11 (see too Luke 1:23; Hebrews 9:21). Joshua too is called Moses'minister (מְשָׁרֵת) in Joshua 1:1, etc., and the angels are called λριτουργικὰ πνεύματα, "ministering spirits" (Hebrews 1:14). Just as the Church transferred from the Jewish congregation so many other words and things, so also the use of the words λειτουργία λειτουργεῖν, to Sicily "Divine service," without specifying the particular office, whether prayer, or preaching, or Holy Communion, or ordination, or any ether part of the worship of God. Its classical use was to designate any office performed by an individual for the public good. Hence in the New Testament its application to Church alms (2 Corinthians 9:12), to gifts for the support of the ministry (Philippians 2:30), to the office of magistrates (Romans 13:6), etc. The restricted application of the term λειτουργία to the service used in the celebration of the Eucharist was of much later growth, as is evident from Chrysostom explaining the word here of preaching. "What means ministering? Preaching" (Hom. 27.). It seems to have arisen from the fact that the first forms of prayer were those come posed for the office of the Holy Communion. This passage, therefore, does not give the slightest support to fasting Communion. What was the exact occasion of the service and fast here spoken of it is impossible to say. The Holy Ghost said, etc. This is the origin of the question in the Ordination of Deacons, "Do you trust that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you this office?" Separate me (ἀφορίσατε). The act of separation, or ordination, would be by the laying on of the hands of Symeon and Lucius and Manaen, as Chrysostom says (at least of the two last named), in the presence of the whole Church, but the separation by the Holy Ghost, at least as regards Saul (ὁ ἀφορίσας με), bad been from his mother's womb (Galatians 1:15). Observe, too, the καλέσας of Galatians 1:15, and the προσκέκλημαι here. This is another instance of the very close resemblance between parts of the Acts and the Epistle to the Galatians, which looks as if St. Paul was writing it about the same time as he was giving to St. Luke the details of his own history (see Acts 8:19, note). The ordination was to the apostolate (Chrysostom). Barnabas and Saul are never called apostles till after their ordination or consecration (Acts 14:14).
And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
Verse 3. - Then for and, A.V. It does not follow that the laying on of hands was on the same day. On the contrary, the mention of the fasting again in this verse makes it impossible so to understand it. Doubtless, on receiving this intimation of the Spirit, they fixed a day for the ordination, and prepared for it by fasting and prayer. The ember days of the Church before ordinations are m accordance with this precedent of Holy Scripture. With this departure of Barnabas and Saul commences the second and main part of the Acts of the apostles.
So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
Verse 4. - Went down to for departed unto, A.V. (κατῆλθον). Seleucia was the sea-port of Antioch, about sixteen miles from it, and five miles north of the mouth of the Orontes. It was a free city by a grant from Pompey. It is now in ruins, but "the masonry of the once magnificent port of Seleucia is in so good a state that" it might be repaired and cleared out "for about £31,000" (Colonel Chesney, quoted in Lewin, 1. p. 119). They sailed to Cyprus. Barnabas, no doubt, took the lead, and was naturally drawn to his native island of Cyprus - within a hundred miles of Seleucia, and, on a clear day, visible from it. The number of Jews in the island, and the partial evangelization of it which had already taken place (Acts 11:19, 20), and which promised them assistance and support, no doubt further influenced them. John Mark went with them, as we learn from the fifth and thirteenth verses, and possibly other brethren as deacons and ministers (see next note). They sailed straight to Salamis, "a convenient and capacious harbor," in the center of the eastern end of the island, and the principal or one of the principal towns. It had a large population of Jews. It was destroyed in the reign of Trajan, in consequence of a terrible insurrection of the Jews, in which they massacred 240,000 of the Gentile population. No Jew was ever after allowed to land in Cyprus.
And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
Verse 5. - Proclaimed for preached, A.V.; as their attendant for to their minister, A.V. (ὑπηρέτην). It is a word taken from the synagogue, where it denotes an inferior minister (see Luke 4:20). In Acts 5:22 the ὑπηρέται are the apparitors of the high priest. Here it is synonymous with διάκονος, a deacon. John was to Barnabas and Saul what Joshua was to Moses, Elisha to Elijah, etc. Peter, when he went to Caesarea, was accompanied by six brethren (Acts 11:12).
And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
Verse 6. - The whole island for the isle, A.V. and T.R. Paphos; on the south coast at the further extremity of the island, now Baffa. It had once a convenient harbor, which is now choked up from neglect. The chief temple of the Cyprian Venus was here. A certain sorcerer. The Greek word μάγος, whence magic and magician, is the same as in Matthew 2:1 is rendered "wise men." But here, as in Acts 8:9, it has a bad sense. It is a Persian word, and in its original use designated a Persian religious caste, famous for their knowledge, wisdom, and purity of religious faith. They were attached to the court of the Babylonian monarchs, and were deemed to have great skill in astrology, in interpretation of dreams, and the like (see Daniel 1:20; Daniel 4:7; Daniel 4 in the LXX.). In Jeremiah 39:3, 13, the name Rab-mag seems to mean "the chief of the magi." But in process of time the word "magus" came to mean a sorcerer, a magician, a practicer of dark arts, as e.g. Simon Magus (see the chapter on magic in Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.,'lib. 30. cap. 1.).
Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
Verse 7. - The proconsul for the deputy of the country, A.V.; a man of understanding for a prudent man, A.V.; the same for who, A.V.; unto him for for, A.V.; sought for desired, A.V. The proconsul (ἀνθύπατος); here and vers. 8, 12. This is an instance of Luke's great accuracy. Cyprus had become a proconsular province in the reign of Claudius, having previously been one of the emperor's provinces governed by a propraetor, or legatus. A man of understanding (ἀνδρὶ συνετῷ). Συνετός is a rare word in the New Testament, and is always translated in the A.V. "prudent" (see Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 1:19). It is common in the LXX., where it represents the Hebrew words מַשְׂכִּיל נָבון מֵבִין, and חָכָם, all signifying "intelligence," "skill," "knowledge," and the like. The substantive σύνεσις has the same scope (see Luke 2:47; Ephesians 3:4; Colossians 1:9, etc.); ἀνὴρ συνετός, therefore, means something more than "a prudent man." It means a man of knowledge and superior intelligence and understanding. And such was Sergius Paulus, a noble Roman, who is twice named by Pliny in the list of authors placed at the commencement of his work as the authorities from whom he derived the matter contained in the several books. It is not a little remarkable that the two books, lib. it. and lib. 18, for which Sergius Paulus is quoted are just those which contain accounts of the heavenly bodies, and prognostications from the sun and moon and stars, from thunder, from the clouds, and such like things, which doubtless formed the staple of Elymas's science; so that there can be little doubt that Sergius Paulus had Elymas with him, that he might learn from him such matters as might be useful for the hook which he was writing. There is also a curious passage in lib. 30. cap. 1. of the 'Hist. Nat.'(quoted by Lewin, vol. 1. p. 128), in which Pliny, after enumerating the most famous teachers of magic, Zoroaster, Orthanes, Pythagoras, and others, adds, "There is also another school of magic which springs from Moses and Jannes, who were Jews, but many thousand years later than Zoroaster; so much more recent is the school of Cyprus;" showing that he knew of a school of magic art at Cyprus taught by Jews, and leading us to infer that he had acquired this knowledge either from the pen or the mouth of Sergius Paulus. Anyhow, a remarkable confirmation of St. Luke's narrative. Another Sergius Paulus, who might be a son or grandson of the proconsul, is highly commended by Galen for his eminent philosophical attainments (Lewin, vol. 1. p. 127). One L. Sergius Paulus was consul suffectus in A.D. , another in A.D. . Renan thinks they may have been descendants of the Sergius Paulus in the text.
But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
Verse 8. - Turn aside for turn away, A.V.; proconsul for deputy, A.V. Elymas, from the Arabic elite, plural oulema, a wise man, a wizard, a magician. But Renan thinks this derivation doubtful. Elymas withstood Barnabas and Saul just as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses (2 Timothy 3:8, ἀντέστησαν).
Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
Verse 9. - But for then, A.V.; is also for also is, A.V.; fastened for set, A.V. (above, Acts ill 4, note). Who is also called Paul. The explanation of Jerome, Augustine, Bede, and many modern commentators, as Meyer, Olshausen, etc., and not rejected by Renan, is that Saul took the name of Paul on the occasion of this remarkable and important conversion of Sergius Paulus. Saul's future intercourse with Gentiles made it desirable that, after the common custom of the Jews of his day - as seen in Peter, Stephen, Mark, Lucius, Jason, Crispus, Justus, Niger, Aquila, Priscilla, Drusilla etc. - he should have a Gentile name, and so, in honor of his illustrious convert, or in memory of his conversion, or at the special request of Sergius Paulus (Baronius), he took the name of Paul, which in sound was not unlike his Hebrew name. The fact of this change of name being recorded by St. Luke at this precise moment makes this the most simple and natural explanation. Compare Gideon's change of name to Jerubbaal (Judges 6:32; Judges 7:1; Judges 8:29, 35). Alford, on the ether hand, thinks it strange that any one should make such a mistake as Jerome's, and says that "this notice marks the transition from the former part of his history" - "gathered from the narratives of others" - to "the joint memoirs of himself and St. Paul." But this gives no account of the coincidence of the two Pauls, nor is it true that the latter half of the Acts begins here. It began at ver. 1, and the name of Saul has been retained three times in the early part of this chapter. Farrar speaks of this explanation as, long and deservedly abandoned," and as having in it an element of vulgarity. Howson thinks that Paul had long been his Roman name, but that the conversion of Sergius Paulus, as it were, stereotyped the Roman name as that by which the apostle was henceforth to be known. The idea of Augustine and others, that he took the name of Paul (paulus, small) from humility, to indicate that he was "the least" of the apostles, is fanciful. Neither is Chrysostom's assertion, that he changed his name at his ordination or consecration, borne out by the facts. Renan ('Saint Paul,' 1:19) notes that "Paul" was a very common name in Cilicia. No certainty can be arrived at in the matter.
And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
Verse 10. - All guile and all villainy for all subtlety and all mischief, A.V.; son for child, A.V. The word ῤᾳδιουργία, reckless conduct, villainy, wickedness, is only found here in the New Testament. The kindred form (ῤᾳδιούργημα) occurs in Acts 18:14. Thou son of the devil (comp. John 8:38, 44; 1 John 3:10). Elymas showed himself a child of the devil in his endeavors to resist the truth of the gospel, and substitute his own falsehoods and imposture. Compare the severity of Peter's language in rebuking Simon Magas (Acts 8:20-23). Probably, too, he accused (διέβαλεν) Paul and Barnabas, and traduced their motives before the proconsul, when he saw his own influence being undermined, and his gains likely to be stopped.
And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
Verse 11. - Is upon thee; or rather, against thee (Matthew 10:21; Matthew 26:55; Luke 11:17; and ver. 50 of this chapter). For a season. It has been well observed that this limitation in time is an indication that there was place for repentance. It was a remedial chastisement. A mist (ἀχλύς); only here in the New Testament; but it is a medical term, very common in Hippocrates, to express a darkening and dimming of the eyes by cataract or other disease. As regards the reason why the particular punishment of blindness was inflicted upon Elymas, it might be to put a forcible interruption upon those observations of the stars and clouds by which the magician pretended to foresee the future. It would exhibit, too, to Sergius, Paulus the utter helplessness of the great necromancer. Some to lead him by the hand (χειραγωγούς), as Saul had needed χειραγωγοῦντας when he was struck blind by the vision of the Savior's glory (Acts 9:8).
Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
Verse 12. - The proconsul for the deputy, A.V.; teaching for doctrine, A.V. Believed. We cannot, perhaps, conclude positively from this that Sergius was baptized and became an avowed Christian, though the usual language of the Acts rather leads us to infer it (see ver. 48; Acts 2:44; Acts 4:4; Acts 8:12, 13; Acts 11:21; Acts 19:18). Farrar thinks that if so marked a person had become a lifelong convert, we should have heard of him as such in other writings, Renan says, "La conversion d'un Romain de cet ordre, a cette epoque est chose absolument inadmissible." Alford and Olshausen speak doubtfully. Lange and Howson and Meyer look upon him as a genuine convert. The 'Speaker's Commentary' speaks of him as "the first fruits of heathenism." Being astonished at the teaching. "For the connection of the judgment concerning the doctrine with the miracle seen, comp. Mark 1:27" (Meyer).
Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
Verse 13. - Vow for now when, A.V.; set sail for loosed, A.V.; and came for they came, A.V.; departed.., and returned for departing... returned, A.V. A very marked change may here be observed in the relations of Barnabas and Paul. Hitherto Barnabas has always occupied the first rank. It has been "Barnabas and Saul" (Acts 11:30; Acts 12:25; vers. 2, 7). But now the whole mission, including Barnabas, is described as οἱ περὶ τὸν Παῦλον, Paul and his company, and ever after it is usually "Paul and Barnabas" (vers. 43, 46, 50; Acts 15:2, 22, 35); though in Acts 14:14 and Acts 15:12, 25, the old order is retained. Renan dwells much on the beauty of Barnabas's character as seen in his cheerful acquiescence in this change of relative position, and his single-minded devotion to the success of the work. Came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia, in that part of the coast of Asia Minor which looks due south. Perga was about seven and a half miles inland, on the river Cestrus, which is navigable. There was a constant intercourse between Paphos the capital of Cyprus, and Perga the capital of Pamphylia, fostered probably by the two famous temples of Venus and Diana. The word for set sail (ἀναχθέντες) is a nautical term, meaning sailing from the shore or harbor into the open sea (see Acts 16:11; Acts 21:1; Acts 27:12; Luke 8:22). At Perga John Mark left them. Perhaps his position as Barnabas's cousin was less pleasant now that Paul took the first place; perhaps his courage failed him now that they were fairly launched out into the heathen world, where, unlike Cyprus, his Jewish kinsmen were a small minority, and the dangers and fatigues were great. Pamphylia was now governed by a propraetor, being an imperial province. Its name denotes that it was inhabited by a mixed race - men of all tribes, aborigines, Cilicians, Greeks, etc.
But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
Verse 14. - They, passing through from Perga, came for when they departed from Perga they came, A.V.; of for in, A.V.; they went for went, A.V. Traveling due north into the interior for over a hundred miles, they would reach Antioch in Pisidia, now a Roman colony. It would be a difficult and dangerous road, infested with robbers (2 Corinthians 11:26), mountainous, rugged, and passing through an untamed and half-savage population. Pisidia was part of the province of Galatia. The direction of their route was probably determined by the locality of the Jewish populations, which were always their first object, and their door of access to the more pious heathen. Sat down; perhaps, as many think, on the seat of the rabbis - those "chief seats in the synagogues," which our Lord rebukes the scribes for loving (Mark 12:39), but which "Paul as a former Sanhe-drist, and Barnabas as a Levite," had a fair claim to occupy; but more probably on the seats of ordinary worshippers, where, however, the presence of strangers would at once be noticed.
And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
Verse 15. - Brethren for ye men and brethren, A.V. The order of the synagogue service was first the prayers, read by the Sheliach, or angel of the synagogue, the people standing. Then came the reading of the Law in Hebrew by the reader, and the interpretation by the interpreter, who, outside of Judaea, generally used the version of the LXX. This reading, or lesson, was called the Parashah. Next came the reading and interpreting of the prophets, called the Haphtorah, either by the regular reader or by any one invited by the ruler of the synagogue (Luke 4:16, 17). Then came the Midrash, the exposition or sermon, which Paul undertook at the invitation of the ruler of the synagogue. Our Lord at Nazareth seems to have delivered the Midrash sitting (Luke 4:20); here St. Paul stands (ver. 16).
Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
Verse 16. - And for then, A.V.; the for Ms, A.V.; hearken for give audience, A.V. Beckoning with the hand (see Acts 12:17, note). Ye that fear God; addressed to the devout heathen who attended the synagogue service (see Acts 10:2, note, and 22; ver. 43 of this chapter; Acts 15:21; 16:14; 17:4, 17; 18:7).
The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
Verse 17. - Israel for of Israel, A.V., sojourned for dwelt as strangers, A.V.; a for an, A.V.; led he them forth for brought he them out, A.V. The word ὕψωσεν, exalted, is thought by some to be borrowed from the LXX. of Isaiah 1:2 (רוןממְתִי), I have brought up" (A.V.), but this is very doubtful, as ὑψόω is frequently used in the New Testament in the sense of exalting from a low to a high estate (see Matthew 11:23; Matthew 23:12; Luke 1:52; Luke 10:15; Luke 14:11; Acts 2:33; see too Genesis 41:52 (LXX., Cod. Vat.) and Gen 48:19). The resemblance of this exordium to that of Stephen's speech in Acts 7. must strike every one. The natural conclusion is that that speech made a deep impression upon St. Paul when he heard it at Stephen's trial. The common purpose in the two speeches is to conciliate and gain the attention of the Jewish hearers by dwelling upon the great events of the history of their fathers, of which they were proud, and claiming for Christians an equal heritage in that history. The speeches diverge in that Stephen sought to show in that history instances of the same stubborn unbelief in their fathers which had led the children to crucify the Lord of glory; but St. Paul rather sought to show how the promises made to their fathers had their fulfillment in that Jesus whom he preached unto them, and how the crucifixion of Christ by the Jerusalem Jews was an exact fulfillment of the Law and the prophets which had just been read to them in the synagogue. In both speeches it is a great point to exhibit Christianity as the true development of Judaism (comp. Hebrews 1:1 and throughout).
And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
Verse 18. - For about for about, A.V. Suffered he their manners (ἐτροποφόρησεν). This word τροποφορέω, to bear or put up with any one's (perverse) manners, is found nowhere else in the New Testament. But in the Cod. Alex. of the LXX. it is the rendering of Deuteronomy 1:31, instead of ἐτροφόρησεν he bare or carried, as a nursing father carries his child, which is the read of the Cod. Vat. and of the margin of the R.T. here. The Hebrew נָשָׂא is capable of either sense. From this quotation from Deuteronomy it is conjectured that the Par-ashah on this occasion was from Deuteronomy 1, and if the ὕψωσεν of ver. 17 is taken from Isaiah 1, that would seem to have been the Haphtorah, and it is curious that Deuteronomy 1. and Isaiah 1. are read in the synagogues now on the same sabbath (but see note on ver. 17). Forty years is invariably the time assigned to the dwelling in the wilderness (Exodus 16:35; Numbers 14:33, 34; Numbers 32:13; Numbers 33:38; Deuteronomy 1:3; Psalm 95:10, etc.).
And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
Verses 19, 20. - Canaan for Chanaan, A.V.; he gave them their land for an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years: and after these things he gave them judges, etc., for he divided their land unto them by lot: and after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, etc., A.V. and T.R. It is difficult to say what is the meaning of the R.T. in regard to the four hundred and fifty years, what is the terminus a quo or ad quem intended by it. The usual explanations of the reading of the R.T. (adopted by Lachman, Bishop Wordsworth, and others) is that the years are dated from the birth of Isaac, and that the meaning is that the promise to give the land to the seed of Abraham was actually performed within four hundred and fifty years (ὡς ἔτεσι) (after the analogy of Galatians 3:17), which gives a good sense and is not at all improbable (see Bishop Wordsworth's note). The reading of the T.R. has grave objections on the score of chronology as well as grammar. Duration of time is expressed by the accusative case, as vers. 18 and 21; the measure of time in which a thing is done by the dative. So that the natural rendering of the T.R. would be that he gave them judges four hundred and fifty years after the entrance into Canaan; which of course cannot be the meaning. The other objection is that, if the times of the judges from the final conquest of the land to the judgeship of Samuel was four hundred and fifty years, the whole time from the Exodus to the building of the temple must have been about six hundred and forty years (37 from death of Moses to Othuiel + 450, + 30 for judgeship of Samuel, + 40 of Saul's reign, + 40 for David's reign, +3 years of Solomon, + and the 40 years in the wilderness), whereas 1 Kings 6:1 gives the time as four hundred and eighty years; while the genealogies suppose a much shorter time - about two hundred and eighty years. It is an immense gain, therefore, to get rid of this four hundred and fifty years for the time of the judges, and by the well-supported reading of the R.T. to get a calculation in agreement with Galatians 3:17 and with the chronology of the times. Gave them... for an inheritance. The T.R. has κατεκληροδότησεν, the R.T. has κατεκληρονόμησεν, which words are not infrequently interchanged in different codices of the LXX. (see Joshua 19:51; Deuteronomy 1:38; Deuteronomy 21:16, etc.). They have nearly identical meanings, "to give as an inheritance by lot." Neither word occurs elsewhere in the New Testament.
And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
Verse 21. - Asked for for desired, A.V.; Kish for Cis, A.V.; for for by, A.V. The forty years assigned to Saul may very probably include the seven years and six months (2 Samuel 5:5) which elapsed before David's kingdom was established over all Israel, while the house of Saul was still in power. The first twenty or thirty years of his reign after the rescue of Jabesh-gilead are passed over in absolute silence. The narrative from 1 Samuel 13. to 31. relates only to about the last ten years of his life (for the correction of the A.V. of 1 Samuel 13:1, see 'Speaker's Commentary').
And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
Verse 22. - Raised up for raised up unto them, A.V. and T.R.; bare witness for gave testimony, A.V.; my for mine own, A.V.; do for fulfill, A.V.; who for which, A.V. This is not an exact quotation, but the combined meaning of 1 Samuel 13:14 and Psalm 89:21.
Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
Verse 23. - Promise for his promise, A.V.; brought for raised, A.V. and T.R. (comp. Isaiah 48:15; Hebrews 1:6). This verse leads to the great announcement which Paul had to make of the next great step in God's dealings with Israel, for which the pro- ceding ones of the redemption from Egyptian bondage, and the kingdom of David, were preparatory, viz. the actual coming of the Son of David, the Messiah, to save his people Israel.
When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
Verse 24. - His coming (τῆς εἰσόδου); his entrance upon his ministry, with reference to the ὁδὸς (the way) of Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1 (for the use of dadoes, see 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1).
And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
Verse 25. - Was fulfilling for fulfilled, A.V.; what suppose ye for whom think ye, A.V. and T.R.; the shoes of whose feet for whose shoes of his feet, A.V.; unloose for loose, A.V. St. Paul, as reported by Luke, follows very closely the narrative in Luke 3:3, etc. Compare the words Προκηρύξαντος Ἰωάννου... βάπτισμα μετανοίας with Luke 3:3, Κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας. Compare Πρὸ προσώπου τῆς εἰσόδου with Τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου, Luke 3:4. Compare Παντὶ τῷ λαῷ Ἰσραήλ with the mention in Luke 3:9, 10, of the multitudes of the people, and the enumeration of the different classes of people. Com- pare the question, "Whom [or, 'what'] think ye that I am?" with the statement in Luke 3:15, that all men were musing in their hearts of John whether he were the Christ or not. Compare the construction of the phrase, Ἔρχεται μετ ἐμὲ οϋ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἄξιος τὸ, ὑπόδημα τῶν ποδῶν λῦσαι with Luke 3:16; and in ver. 26 compare the Υἱοὶ γένους Ἀβραὰμ with the Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ, and the Τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ of Luke 3:8. There is also a strong resemblance to John 1:19-28. St. Paul fortifies his own witness to Jesus as the Christ by that of John the Baptist, probably from knowing that many of his hearers believed that John was a prophet (see Luke 20:6; Matthew 21:26; comp. Peter's address, Acts 10:37).
Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
Verse 26. - Brethren for men and brethren, A.V., as ver. 15; those among you that fear for whosoever among you feareth, A.V.; to us for to you, A.V. and T.R.; sent forth for sent, A.V. and T.R. The same address in substance as that in ver. 16, comprising the Jews and the devout heathen. To us; see ver. 33; but on the other hand (ver. 38), "to you," seems preferable. This salvation proceeding from the Savior, mentioned in ver. 23 (comp. Acts 10:36, "The word which God sent").
For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
Verse 27. - In for at, A.V.; nor for nor yet, A.V.; sabbath for sabbath day, A.V.; fulfilled... by for they have fulfilled... in, A.V. For they, etc. It is not clear what is the force of the γὰρ in this verse. Meyer (following Chrysostom), Alford, and others, make it mark the contrast between the Jews addressed by Paul and the Jews at Jerusalem. "This salvation is sent forth to you [according to Bengel, 'from Jerusalem,' according to others, 'from God'], for the Jerusalem Jews have rejected Christ. And in consequence of their rejection, you, who had no share in crucifying the Lord of glory, are invited to take their place. But it maybe taken as expressing the cause why this salvation is complete and capable of being offered to them. This salvation is preached to you because, through the instrumentality of those that dwell at Jerusalem, all that was written in the Scriptures concerning Christ has been fulfilled. Christ has been crucified and raised from the dead, and so now remission of sins is proclaimed to you through him (vers. 38, 39; comp. Acts 3:13-20). Which are read every sabbath. Note the value of the constant reading of Holy Scripture in the congregation.
And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
Verse 28. - Asked they of for desired they, A.V. The narrative of this verse is exactly that of Luke 23:4, 5, 14-23.
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
Verse 29. - All things that were for all that was, A.V.; tomb for sepulcher, A.V. The reference is to his being crucified between two thieves (Luke 23:32, 33), to parting his raiment among them (ibid. 34) to offering him vinegar (ibid. 36), to the commendation of his spirit to his Father (ibid. 46). The words καθελόντες and ἔθηκαν εἰς μνημεῖον are the same as Luke 23:53, 55 (μνῆμα and μνημεῖον being interchanged).
But God raised him from the dead:
And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
Verse 31. - For many days for many days, A.V.; that for which, A.V.; who are now for who are, A.V. and T.R. St. Paul thus confirms the statement in Acts 1:3 (see note to Acts 1:11). From Galilee to Jerusalem. Who are meant? and what ascent from Galilee to Jerusalem is here intended? The answer to the first question is, the eleven apostles, whose special office it was to bear witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:22, note). The answer to the second is, that the ascent from Galilee, where most of our Lord's appearances took place, to Jerusalem, shortly before the Ascension, is here intended, and that this passage is a distinct recognition by St. Luke of the Galilaean appearances. There is, as is well known, great obscurity, and apparent discrepancies in the accounts of our Lord's appearances after the Resurrection. St. Matthew seems to place them exclusively in Galilee (Matthew 28:7, 10, 16). St. Mark likewise (16: 7); but in the section 9-20 he mentions the appearance to Mary Magdalene and to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, but gives no clue as to where the appearance to the eleven took place. St. Luke seems to place them exclusively in Judaea, but very curiously puts a mention of Galilee in the angel's mouth in the very place where, according to St. Matthew, he announced the Lord's appearance in Galilee. St. John, again places the three first appearances in Jerusalem (John 20.), but describes at length a third as having taken place in Galilee (John 21:2, 14). St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:6) speaks of an appearance to five hundred brethren at once, which in all probability took place in Galilee, as only a hundred and twenty names were numbered at Jerusalem (Acts 1:15). It is, therefore, satisfactory to have this confirmation of the residence of the apostles in Galilee between the Resurrection and the Ascension in St. Luke's report of St. Paul's speech. Observe that St. Paul distinctly separates himself from these witnesses by the emphatic ἡμεῖς in ver. 32.
And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
Verse 32. - Bring you good tidings of the promise made for declare unto you glad tidings how that the promise which was made, A.V.
God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Verse 33. - How that God for God, A.V. ("how that" being in ver. 32); our children for us their children, A.V. and T.R.; raised up for hath raised up... again, A.V.; as also it is for as it is also, A.V. Our children. The reading of the R.T. is not adopted by Meyer or Alford, and is scarcely an improvement upon the T.R. There can be no reasonable doubt that ἀναστήσας, raised up, means here, as in ver. 44, raised from the dead. Observe with what skill the apostle speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of God's promise to their fathers, which it was to be presumed they were anxiously expecting. The second psalm. Many manuscripts and editions have, "the first," because the first psalm was often reckoned not numerically but as an introduction to the whole book, so that the second psalm was numbered as the first. This is probably the reason why the eighteen psalms as reckoned by the Jews include Psalm 19, though Joshua ben Levi explains it by the rejection of the second psalm, on account, no doubt, of its testimony to Messiah as God's begotten Son. But the rabbins generally acknowledge the application of this psalm to Messiah (Lightfoot, 'Exercit. on the Acts'). Thou art my Son, etc. This application of the second psalm to the Resurrection is best explained by Romans 1:4. The reference in both passages to David is remarkable (vers. 22, 23). Christ, who was begotten of the Father before all worlds, was declared before men and angels to be the Son of God, when he was raised from the dead in the power of an endless life.
And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
Verse 34. - Hath spoken for said, A.V.; holy and sure blessings for sure mercies, A.V. No more to return to corruption. This is added to show that Christ's resurrection was a final victory over death; not like that of Lazarus, or the Shunammite's son, or Jairus's daughter, but, as St. Paul himself says (Romans 6:9), "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him." Here he tells us that this eternal exemption of Christ from death was promised or signified in Isaiah 55:3, which he quotes from the LXX., only abbreviating the διαθήσομαι κ.τ.λ., into δώσω, I will give. What, then, is meant by the ὅσια Δαβὶδ τὰ πιστά? The Hebrew has חֻסְדֵי דָוְד הַנֶּךאמָנִים, which can mean nothing else but "the sure mercies of David," the favor and mercy promised to David in God's everlasting covenant, well ordered in all things and sure. And in like manner, in 2 Chronicles 6:42, ὅσια Δαβὶδ means "the mercies of God to David." And if we turn to the account of this covenanted mercy in 2 Samuel 7, we shall see that it comprises the setting of David's seed upon his throne for ever (see specially vers. 12-16). In ver. 15 it is said, חַסְדִי לאִ יָסוּר מִמֶּגוּ, "My mercy shall not depart from him." And in the next verse his house and his kingdom are described as being נֶאְמַן לְעֹלָם, sure," or "established for ever," which, when applied to the personal Christ, the Son of David, manifestly implies his eternal exemption from death and corruption (see also Psalm 132:4). The sense of the Hebrew, therefore, is clever and certain, and it is equally certain that the LXX. meant to represent this sense in the version here quoted by St. Paul. Ὅσιος, though properly meaning "holy, pious," and thence "mild" and "merciful" (εἰρηνικὸς, Hesych.) as applied to man, came to be applied in the same senses to God (Revelation 15:4; Revelation 16:5; and here and in the LXX.). Beyond doubt, therefore, the passage before us is rightly rendered in the A.V., "the sure mercies of David;" the plural, ὅσια, represents the חֲסָדִים of the Hebrew. Clemens Alex. (quoted by Schleusner) uses it in the same way for "mercies or "benefits:" Πόσα αὐτῷ ὀφείλομεν ὅσια: "For how many mercies are we indebted to Christ!" In a similar way, the Latin pietas is used for God's "justice" or "kindness" ('AEneid,' 2:536; 5:688). "Trini pulses pietatem" (on a sepulchral monument, A.D. 1427): "Beat at the door of God's mercy." Gronovius, in his note on 'AEian. V. H.,' 8:1, where he ascribes to ὅσιος the primitive sense of what is "just" and "due," from man either to God or to his fellowman, adds, "Tribuunt quidem LXX? interpetiam Deo τὸ ὅσιον: sod etiam tum significat quoddam quasi offcium benignitatia in heroines pios, Deo decorum."
Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Verse 35. - Because for wherefore, A.V. and T.R.; thou wilt not give for thou shalt not suffer, A.V. (see Acts 2:27, note); thy for thine, A.V. It is remarkable that St. Peter and St. Paul should both quote this sixteenth psalm, and use precisely the same argument.
For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
Verse 36. - In his own generation served the counsel of God for served his own generation by the will of God, A.V. Many good commentators construe the words as the R.T. does, only some, instead of in his own generation, render "for," i.e. for the good of, "his own generation." But the A.V. is the most natural division of the sentence, and gives the best sense, only the punctuation should connect the words "by the will of God" with "fell on sleep." There is an allusion to 2 Samuel 7:12 and 1 Kings 2:l, 10, and it is intimated that God was still caring for David in his death. But there was this vast difference between David and Christ. David had a work to do limited to his own generation, and when that work was done he died and saw corruption. But Christ had a work to carry on for eternal generations, and so he rose and saw no corruption.
But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
Verse 37. - Raised up for raised again, A.V., Ἤγειρεν, "raised from the death of sleep, as Acts 5:30; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 5:14, etc. The two words (ἀνίστημι and ἐγείρω) are combined in Acts 12:7. Ἐγείρω is "to arouse," or "awaken;" ἀνίστημι, to "make to get up." Or in the passive ἐγείρομαι to be "awakened," and in the neuter, ἀνέστην, to get.
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
Verse 38. - Brethren for men and brethren, A.V., as before, vers. 26 and 15; proclaimed for preached, A.V.; remission for the forgiveness, A.V.
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Verse 39. - Every one that believeth is for all that believe are, A.V. Here, then, is the great gospel message of grace, "the gospel of the grace of God," as St. Paul speaks in Acts 20:24; the proclamation, consequent upon the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, of a free and full forgiveness of sins to all that repent and believe the gospel (Acts 20:21); see Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Acts 4:12; Acts 5:31; Colossians 1:14, etc., and Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:77. Note, too, how adroitly the apostle points out the superiority of the gospel which he was preaching to them over the Law, and the pre-eminence of Christ over Moses.
Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
Verse 40. - Spoken for spoken of, A.V.
Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
Verse 41. - If one for though a man, A.V. "Though" best expresses the ἐὰν and the כּי of the Hebrew. The passage is quoted nearly verbatim from the LXX. of Hebrews 1:5. The difference from the Hebrew arises from the LXX. having read in their copy בֹּגדְיִם, proud, arrogant men (καταφρονητάι), for בַגּוים, among the heathen, as is clear from their rendering the Hebrew בוגֵד, in Habakkuk 1:13 and Habakkuk 2:5, by the same word (καταφρονοῦντας and καταφρονητής). The rendering καὶ ἀφανίσθητε, and perish, for the Hebrew תְּמָהוּ (another form of the preceding verb הִתַּמְהוּ, which in the A.V. is construed with it, and the two together rendered "wonder marvelously"), is not so easily explained. The two best explanations seem to be
(1) that the LXX. read תְּמָהוּ וְהתַּמְהוּ instead of the present order of the words, and so rendered the first word θαυμάσατε, wonder, and, taking the next word from another root, תָמַם, rendered it ἀφανίσθητε, perish;
(2) that, reading the words in the same order in which they now stand in the Hebrew text, they rendered the first θαυμάσατε, or, with the intensive addition, θαυμασίᾳ, and took the second in the sense it has in Arabic, "to be altered" or "changed for the worse," and expressed it by ἀφανίσθητε, meaning" change countenance from fear and astonishment." And in favor of this explanation the use of ἀφανίζουσι τὰ πρόσωπα in Matthew 6:16 ("they disfigure their faces") is quoted (see Rosenmüller on Habakkuk 1:5). St. Paul took the LXX. as he found it. Perhaps he saw signs in some of that unbelief and perverse opposition which afterwards broke out (ver. 45), and so was led to close his sermon with words of awful warning.
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
Verse 42. - And as they went out for when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, A.V. and T.R.; they for the Gentiles, A.V. and T.R.; spoken for preached, A.V. They besought. The R.T. is that of Chrysostom and the best manuscripts, and is adopted by Meyer, Olshausen, Lange, Afford, Bishop Wordsworth, the 'Speaker's Commentary,' etc. There is a difference of opinion as to who is meant by they. The simplest explanation is that they means Paul and Barnabas, who went out of the synagogue before the formal dismissal of the congregation; and, as they were going out, received an invitation to repeat their instruction on the next sabbath.
Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Verse 43. - The synagogue broke up for the congregation was broken up, A.V.; the devout for religious, A.V.; urged for persuaded, A.V. This verse manifestly describes something subsequent to the event recorded in the preceding. The congregation had asked Paul and Barnabas, perhaps through the ruler of the synagogue, to return next sabbath. But when the congregation broke up, many Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas to their own house and received further instructions and exhortation to continue in the grace of God. No doubt Barnabas had his full share in this more private ministry of exhortation (Acts 4:36, note, and Acts 11:23). (For the meaning of "to continue in the grace of God," see Galatians 5:4.)
And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Verse 44. - Sabbath for sabbath day, A.V.; almost the whole city was gathered for came almost the whole city, A.V. We may suppose that as many as could crowded into the synagogue, and that a multitude stood outside in the street.
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
Verse 45. - Jealousy for envy, A.V.; contra-dieted the things for spake against those things, A.V.; and blasphemed for contradicting and blaspheming, A.V. and T.R. Jealousy. Neither word exactly expresses the ζῆλος. The indignation of ver. 17, A.V. (where see note), is nearer the sense; though jealousy of the influence of the two strangers may have entered into the fierce passion which was stirred up in the Jewish mind, as well as jealousy for their own religion, which they saw was being superseded by the doctrine of Paul.
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Verse 46. - And for then, A.V. and T.R.; spake out boldly for waxed bold, A.V.; be for have been, A.V.; seeing for but seeing, A.V. and T.R.; thrust for put, A.V.; eternal for everlasting, A.V. Spake out boldly. Observe that Barnabas as well as Paul resented the unseemly opposition of the Jews. It was necessary. The necessity arose from the command of Christ (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Acts 3:26). It is in accordance with this purpose of God that St. Paul says of the gospel that "it is the power of God unto salvation... to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Compare, too, our Lord's saying (Matthew 15:24) and the woman's reply (ibid. 27). In point of fact, this had been the practice of Paul and Barnabas no less than of Peter, and was the very motive that had brought them to Antioch. Lo, we turn to the Gentiles. These were, indeed, bold words to speak in a Jewish synagogue; the speakers had doubtless sought courage from the Holy Ghost (see Acts 4:29).
For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
Verse 47. - For a light for to be a light, A.V.; the uttermost part for the ends, A.V. The quotation is from the LXX. (Cod. Alex.) of Isaiah 49:6. Compare the frequent quotations by St. Paul from Isaiah in Romans 15. The additional words which appear in the LXX., εἰς διαθήκην γένους, have no counterpart in the Hebrew, and are probably corrupt. The application of the passage is, God declared his purpose by Isaiah, that his Servant Messiah should be the Light and Salvation of the Gentiles, and we are commissioned to give effect to that purpose by our preaching.
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Verse 48. - As for when, A.V.; God for the Lord, A.V. and T.R. As many as were ordained to eternal life believed. This can only refer to the predestination or election of God, viewed as the moving cause of their faith (comp. Ephesians 1:4, 5, 11, 12; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 1:2. See the Seventeenth Article of Religion).
And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
Verse 49. - Spread abroad for published, A.V. As the persecution after the death of Stephen led to the preaching of the Word in Judaea and Samaria and beyond, so here the contradiction and opposition of the Jews led to the free preaching of the gospel for the first time among the heathen population of Pisidia.
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
Verse 50. - Urged on for stirred up, A.V.; the devout women of honorable estate for the devout and honorable women, A.V. and T.R.; stirred up a for raised, A.V.; cast them out of their borders for expelled them out of their coasts, A.V. Urged on (παρώτρυναν). The word only occurs here in the New Testament, and is not common elsewhere. The devout women of honorable estate: εὐσχήμων is, literally, well-formed; then decent, becoming; and then honorable, well-to-do (comb. Acts 17:4, γυναικῶν τῶν πρώτων). See Mark 15:43, where Joseph of Arimathaea is described as εὐσχήμων βουλευτής, "an honorable counselor." The devout women (αι} σεβόμεναι) were the Gentile proselytes who worshipped God, as in ver. 43. So of Lydia (Acts 16:14), and of "the devout Greeks" (Acts 17:4, 17; Acts 18:7). The chief men (τοὺς πρώτους), as in Acts 17:4
But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
Verse 51. - They shook off the dust, etc.; according to the Lord's injunction (Luke 9:5; comp. Acts 18:6). And came into Iconium; a distance of about sixty miles south-east, a five days' journey (Renan). Iconium lay on the high road from Antioch in Syria to Ephesus. It is now called Cogni, and has a population of nearly thirty thousand souls. Iconium is assigned by Xenophon to Phrygia; by others to Pisidia; and again by others (Cicero, Strabo, etc.) to Lyeaonia. At this time it was the capital of a separate tetrarchy (Lewin, 'Saint Paul'), but Renan calls it" the capital of Lycaonia" ('Saint Paul,' p. 41).
And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
Verse 52. - And the disciples, etc. Nothing can be more beautiful than this description. In spite of the persecution, in spite of the danger, in spite of the banishment of their teachers, the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost (see 1 Thessalonians 1:6; Hebrews 10:34). With regard to this important incident at Antioch, Renan observes on its powerful influence in turning St. Paul's mind more decisively to the conversion of the Gentiles as the great object of his apostleship. He adds, "The character of that great soul was to have a boundless power of expansion. I know none to be compared with it in respect of its inexhaustible freshness, its unlimited resources of will, and readiness to make the most of every opportunity, except that of Alexander the Great?