Acts 11:28
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.

King James Bible
And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Darby Bible Translation
and one from among them, by name Agabus, rose up and signified by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine over all the inhabited earth, which also came to pass under Claudius.

World English Bible
One of them named Agabus stood up, and indicated by the Spirit that there should be a great famine all over the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius.

Young's Literal Translation
and one of them, by name Agabus, having stood up, did signify through the Spirit a great dearth is about to be throughout all the world -- which also came to pass in the time of Claudius Caesar --

Acts 11:28 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Named Agabus - This man is mentioned but in one other place in the New Testament. In Acts 21:10-11, he is referred to as having foretold that Paul would be delivered into the hands of the Gentiles. It is not expressly said that he was a Christian, but the connection seems to imply that he was.

And signified - See John 12:33. The word usually denotes "to indicate by signs, or with a degree of obscurity and uncertainty, not to declare in explicit language." But here it seems to denote simply "to foretell, to predict."

By the Spirit - Under the influence of the Spirit. He was inspired.

Great dearth - A great famine.

Throughout all the world - The word used here οἰκουμένην oikoumenēn usually denotes "the inhabitable world, the parts of the earth which are cultivated and occupied." It is sometimes used, however, to denote "an entire land or country," in contradistinction from the parts of it: thus, to denote "the whole of the land of Palestine" in distinction from its parts; or to denote that an event would have reference to all the land, and not be confined to one or more parts, as Galilee, Samaria, etc. See the notes on Luke 2:1. The meaning of this prophecy evidently is, that the famine would be extensive; that it would not be confined to a single province or region, but that it would extend so far as that it might be called "general." In fact, though the famine was particularly severe in Judea, it extended much further. This prediction was uttered not long after the conversion of Saul, and probably, therefore, about the year, 38 a.d. or 40 a.d. Dr. Lardner has attempted to show that the prophecy had reference only to the land of Judea, though in fact there were famines in other places (Lardher's Works, vol. 1, pp. 253, 254, edit. London, 1829).

Which came to pass ... - This is one of the few instances in which the sacred writers in the New Testament affirm the fulfillment of a prophecy. The history having been written after the event, it was natural to give a passing notice of the fulfillment.

In the days of Claudius Caesar - The Roman emperor. He began his reign in 41 a.d., and he reigned for 13 years. He was at last poisoned by one of his wives, Agrippina, who wished to raise her son Nero to the throne. During his reign no less than four different famines are mentioned by ancient writers, one of which was particularly severe in Judea, and was the one, doubtless, to which the sacred writer here refers:

(1) The first happened at Rome, and occurred in the first or second year of the reign of Claudius. It arose from the difficulties of importing provisions from abroad. It is mentioned by Dio, whose words are these: "There being a great famine, he (Claudius) not only took care for a present supply, but provided also for the time to come." He then proceeds to state the great expense which Claudius was at in making a good port at the mouth of the Tiber, and a convenient passage from thence up to the city (did, lib. Ix. p. 671, 672; see also Suetonius, Claudius, cap. 20).

(2) a second famine is mentioned as having been particularly severe in Greece. Of this famine Eusebius speaks in his Chronicon, p. 204: "There was a great famine in Greece, in which a modius of wheat (about half a bushel) was sold for six drachmas." This famine is said by Eusebius to have occurred in the ninth year of the reign of Claudius.

(3) in the latter part of his reign, 51 a.d., there was another famine at Rome, mentioned by Suetonius (Claudius, cap. 18), and by Tacitus (Ann., John 12:43). Of this, Tacitus says that it was so severe that it was deemed to be a divine judgment.

(4) a fourth famine is mentioned as having occurred particularly in Judea. This is described by Josephus (Antiq., book 20, chapter 2, section 5). "A famine," says he, "did oppress them at the time (in the time of Claudius); and many people died for the lack of what was necessary to procure food withal. Queen Helena sent some of her servants to Alexandria with money to buy a great quantity of grain, and others of them to Cyprus to bring a cargo of dried figs." This famine is described as having continued under the two procurators of Judea, Tiberius Alexander and Cassius Fadus. Fadus was sent into Judea, on the death of Agrippa, about the fourth year of the reign of Claudius, and the famine, therefore, continued probably during the fifth, sixth, and seventh years of the reign of Claudius. See the note in Whiston's Josephus, Antiq., book 20, chapter 2, section 5; also Lardner as quoted above. Of this famine, or of the want consequent on the famine, repeated mention is made in the New Testament.

Acts 11:28 Parallel Commentaries

A Nickname Accepted
'The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch' --ACTS xi. 26. Nations and parties, both political and religious, very often call themselves by one name, and are known to the outside world by another. These outside names are generally given in contempt; and yet they sometimes manage to hit the very centre of the characteristics of the people on whom they are bestowed, and so by degrees get to be adopted by them, and worn as an honour. So it has been with the name 'Christian.' It was given
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Repentance unto Life
By "Repentance unto life," I think we are to understand that repentance which is accompanied by spiritual life in the soul, and ensures eternal life to every one who possesses it. "Repentance unto life," I say, brings with it spiritual life, or rather, is the first consequent thereof. There are repentances which are not signs of life, except of natural life, because they are only effected by the power of the conscience and the voice of nature speaking in men; but the repentance here spoken of is
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Other New Testament Names for "Being Filled with the Spirit. "
That we may see how full the New Testament is of this blessing, and that we may the better understand what it is and how it is obtained, let us just glance at some other terms used by the Holy Ghost when speaking of it. 1. "Baptized with the Holy Ghost." "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts i. 5). See also Acts xi. 16, Matt. iii. 11, Mark i. 8, Luke iii. 16, John i. 33. Now, though "baptized" and "filled" are sometimes convertible terms, it is instructive to note
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Lucas, Evangelii el medicinae munera pandens; Artibus hinc, illinc religione, valet: Utilis ille labor, per quem vixere tot aegri; Utilior, per quem tot didicere mori!" Critical and Biographical Schleiermacher: Ueber die Schriften des Lukas. Berlin, 1817. Reprinted in the second vol. of his Sämmtliche Werke, Berlin, 1836 (pp. 1-220). Translated by Bishop Thirlwall, London, 1825. James Smith (of Jordanhill, d. 1867): Dissertation on the Life and Writings of St. Luke, prefixed to his Voyage and
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Cross References
Matthew 24:7
"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.

Matthew 24:14
"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Acts 18:2
And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,

Acts 21:10
As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

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