Acts 17:25
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

King James Bible
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

Darby Bible Translation
nor is served by men's hands as needing something, himself giving to all life and breath and all things;

World English Bible
neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things.

Young's Literal Translation
neither by the hands of men is He served -- needing anything, He giving to all life, and breath, and all things;

Acts 17:25 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Neither is worshipped with men's hands - The word here rendered "worshipped" (θεραπέυεται therapeuetai) denotes to "serve"; to wait upon; and then to render religious service or homage. There is reference here, undoubtedly, to a notion prevalent among the pagan, that the gods were fed or nourished by the offerings made to them. The idea is prevalent among the Hindus that the sacrifices which are made, and which are offered in the temples, are consumed by the gods themselves. Perhaps, also, Paul had reference to the fact that so many persons were employed in their temples in serving them with their hands; that is, in preparing sacrifices and feasts in their honor. Paul affirms that the great Creator of all things cannot be thus dependent on his creatures for happiness, and consequently, that that mode of worship must be highly absurd. The same idea occurs in Psalm 50:10-12;

For every beast of the forest is mine;

And the cattle upon a thousand hills.

I know all the fowls of the mountain;

And the wild beasts of the field are mine.

If I were hungry, I would not tell thee;

For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

Seeing he giveth - Greek: he having given to all, etc.

Life - He is the source of life, and therefore he cannot be dependent on that life which he has himself imparted.

And breath - The power of breathing, by which life is sustained. He not only originally gave life, but he gives it at each moment; he gives the power of drawing each breath by which life is supported. It is possible that the phrase "life and breath may be the figure hendyades, by which one thing is expressed by two words. It is highly probable that Paul here had reference to Genesis 2:7; "And the Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." The same idea occurs in Job 12:10;

In whose hand is the life (margin) of every living thing;

And the breath of all mankind.

And all things - All things necessary to sustain life. We may see here how dependent man is on God. There can be no more absolute dependence than that for every breath. How easy it would be for God to suspend our breathing! How incessant the care, how unceasing the providence, by which, whether we sleep or wake - whether we remember or forget him, he heaves our chest, fills our lungs, restores the vitality of our blood, and infuses vigor into our frame! Compare the notes on Romans 11:36.

Acts 17:25 Parallel Commentaries

Library
April 7. "In Him we Live and Move" (Acts xvii. 28).
"In Him we live and move" (Acts xvii. 28). The hand of Gehazi, and even the staff of Elisha could not heal the lifeless boy. It needed the living touch of the prophet's own divinely quickened flesh to infuse vitality into the cold clay. Lip to lip, hand to hand, heart to heart, he must touch the child ere life could thrill his pulseless veins. We must come into personal contact with the risen Saviour, and have His very life quicken our mortal flesh before we can know the fulness and reality of His
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Paul at Athens
'Then Paul stood In the midst of Mars-hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24. God, that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

St. Justin Martyr (Ad 166)
Although Trajan was no friend to the Gospel, and put St. Ignatius to death, he made a law which must have been a great relief to the Christians. Until then they were liable to be sought out, and any one might inform against them; but Trajan ordered that they should not be sought out, although, if they were discovered, and refused to give up their faith, they were to be punished. The next emperor, too, whose name was Hadrian (AD 117-138) did something to make their condition better; but it was still
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Whether Idolatry is Rightly Reckoned a Species of Superstition?
Objection 1: It would seem that idolatry is not rightly reckoned a species of superstition. Just as heretics are unbelievers, so are idolaters. But heresy is a species of unbelief, as stated above ([3101]Q[11], A[1]). Therefore idolatry is also a species of unbelief and not of superstition. Objection 2: Further, latria pertains to the virtue of religion to which superstition is opposed. But latria, apparently, is univocally applied to idolatry and to that which belongs to the true religion. For just
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Deuteronomy 30:20
by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."

Job 22:2
"Can a vigorous man be of use to God, Or a wise man be useful to himself?

Psalm 50:10
"For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.

Isaiah 42:5
Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it,

Jeremiah 38:16
But King Zedekiah swore to Jeremiah in secret saying, "As the LORD lives, who made this life for us, surely I will not put you to death nor will I give you over to the hand of these men who are seeking your life."

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