Acts 13:41
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New American Standard Bible

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which ye will in no wise believe if one declare it to you.

World English Bible
'Behold, you scoffers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which you will in no way believe, if one declares it to you.'"

Young's Literal Translation
See, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish, because a work I -- I do work in your days, a work in which ye may not believe, though any one may declare it to you.'

Acts 13:41 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Behold, ye despisers - Hebrew, "Behold, ye among the pagan." The change from this expression to "ye despisers" was made by the Septuagint translators by a very slight alteration in the Hebrew word - probably from a variation in the copy which they used. It arose from reading בּוגדים bowgadiym instead of בגּוים bagowyim. The Syriac, the Arabic, as well as the Septuagint, follow this reading.

And wonder - Hebrew, "And regard, and wonder marvelously."

And perish - Thin is not in the Hebrew, but is in the Septuagint and the Arabic. The word means literally "to be removed from the sight; to disappear; and then to corrupt, defile, destroy," Matthew 6:16, Matthew 6:19. The word, however, may mean "to be suffused with shame; to be overwhelmed and confounded" (Schleusner); and it may perhaps have this meaning here, corresponding to the Hebrew. The word used here is not what is commonly employed to denote "eternal perdition," though Paul seems to use it with reference to their destruction for rejecting the gospel.

For I work a work - I do a thing. The thing to which the prophet Habakkuk referred was, that God would bring upon them the Chaldeans, that would destroy the temple and nation. In like manner Paul says that God in that time might bring upon the nation similar calamities. By rejecting the Messiah and his gospel, and by persevering in wickedness, they would bring upon themselves the destruction of the temple, the city, and the nation. It was this threatened destruction doubtless to which the apostle referred.

Which ye shall in no wise believe - Which you will not believe. So remarkable, so unusual, so surpassing anything which had occurred. The original reference in Habakkuk is to the destruction of the temple by the Chaldeans; a thing which the Jews would not suppose could happen. The temple was so splendid; it had been so manifestly built by the direction of God; it had been so long under his protection, that they would suppose that it could not be given into the hands of their enemies to be demolished; and even though it were predicted by a prophet of God, still they would not believe it. The same feelings the Jews would have respecting the temple and city in the time of Paul. Though it was foretold by the Messiah, yet they were so confident that it was protected by God, that they would not believe that it could possibly be destroyed. The same infatuation seems to have possessed them during the siege of the city by the Romans.

Though a man ... - Though it be plainly predicted. We may learn:

(1) That people may be greatly amazed and impressed by the doings or works of God, and yet be destroyed.

(2) there may be a prejudice so obstinate that even a divine revelation will not remove it.

(3) the fancied security of sinners will not save them.

(4) there are people who will not believe in the possibility of their being lost, though it be declared by prophets, by apostles, by the Saviour, and by God. They will still remain in fancied security, and suffer nothing to alarm or rouse them. But,

(5) As the fancied security of the Jew furnished no safety against the Babylonians or the Romans, so it is true that the indifference and unconcern of sinners will not furnish any security against the dreadful wrath of God. Yet there are multitudes who live amidst the displays of God's power and mercy in the redemption of sinners, and who witness the effects of his goodness and truth in revivals of religion, who live to despise it all; who are amazed and confounded by it; and who perish.

Acts 13:41 Parallel Commentaries

Unworthy of Life
'... Seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.'--ACTS xiii. 46. So ended the first attempt on Paul's great missionary journey to preach to the Jews. It is described at great length and the sermon given in full because it is the first. A wonderful sermon it was; touching all keys of feeling, now pleading almost with tears, now flashing with indignation, now calmly dealing with Scripture prophecies, now glowing as it tells the story of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

To the Regions Beyond
'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. 2. 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. 3. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. A. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Man after God's Own Heart
"A man after mine own heart, who shall fulfil all my will."--ACTS xiii. 22. A BIBLE STUDY ON THE IDEAL OF A CHRISTIAN LIFE No man can be making much of his life who has not a very definite conception of what he is living for. And if you ask, at random, a dozen men what is the end of their life, you will be surprised to find how few have formed to themselves more than the most dim idea. The question of the summum bonum has ever been the most difficult for the human mind to grasp. What shall a man
Henry Drummond—The Ideal Life

Appendix xii. The Baptism of Proselytes
ONLY those who have made study of it can have any idea how large, and sometimes bewildering, is the literature on the subject of Jewish Proselytes and their Baptism. Our present remarks will be confined to the Baptism of Proselytes. 1. Generally, as regards proselytes (Gerim) we have to distinguish between the Ger ha-Shaar (proselyte of the gate) and Ger Toshabh (sojourner,' settled among Israel), and again the Ger hatstsedeq (proselyte of righteousness) and Ger habberith (proselyte of the covenant).
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Cross References
Isaiah 5:24
Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble And dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Ezekiel 33:9
"But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

Habakkuk 1:5
"Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days-- You would not believe if you were told.

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