Acts 17:26
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

King James Bible
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Darby Bible Translation
and has made of one blood every nation of men to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, having determined ordained times and the boundaries of their dwelling,

World English Bible
He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings,

Young's Literal Translation
He made also of one blood every nation of men, to dwell upon all the face of the earth -- having ordained times before appointed, and the bounds of their dwellings --

Acts 17:26 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And hath made of one blood - All the families of mankind are descended from one origin or stock. However different their complexion, features, or language, yet they are derived from a common parent. The word blood is often used to denote "race, stock, kindred." This passage affirms that all the human family are descended from the same ancestor; and that, consequently, all the variety of complexion, etc., is to be traced to some other cause than that they were originally different races created. See Genesis 1; compare Malachi 2:10. The design of the apostle in this affirmation was probably to convince the Greeks that he regarded them all as brethren; that, although he was a Jew, yet he was not enslaved to any narrow notions or prejudices in reference to other people. It follows from the truth here stated that no one nation, and no individual, can claim any pre-eminence over others in virtue of birth or blood. All are in this respect equal; and the whole human family, however they may differ in complexion, customs, and laws, are to be regarded and treated as brethren. It follows, also, that no one part of the race has a right to enslave or oppress any other part, on account of difference of complexion. No one has a right because:

He finds his fellow guilty of a skin

Not colored like his own; and having power

T' enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause to

Doom and devote him as his lawful prey.

For to dwell ... - To cultivate and until the earth. This was the original command Genesis 1:28; and God, by his providence, has so ordered it that the descendants of one family have found their way to all lands, and have become adapted to the climate where he has placed them.

And hath determined - Greek: ὁρίσας horisas. Having fixed, or marked out a boundary. See the notes on Romans 1:4. The word is usually applied to a field. It means here that God "marked out," or "designated in his purpose," their future abodes.

The times before appointed - This evidently refers to the dispersion and migration of nations. And it means that God had, in his plan, fixed the times when each country should be settled, and the rise, the prosperity, and the fall of each nation. The different continents and islands have not, therefore, been settled by chance, but by a wise rule, and in accordance with God's arrangement and design.

And the bounds of their habitation - Their limits and boundaries as a people. By customs, laws, inclinations, and habits he has fixed the boundaries of their habitations, and disposed them to dwell there. We may learn:

(1) That the revolutions and changes of nations are under the direction of infinite wisdom;

(2) That people should not be restless and dissatisfied with the place where God has located them;

(3) That God has given sufficient limits to all, so that it is not needful to invade others; and,

(4) That wars of conquest are evil.

God has given to people their places of abode, and we have no right to disturb those abodes, or to attempt to displace them in a violent manner. This strain of remark by the apostle was also opposed to all the notions of the Epicurean philosophers, and yet so obviously true and just that they could not gainsay or resist it.

Acts 17:26 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 32:8
"When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel.

Job 12:23
"He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away.

Psalm 74:17
You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter.

Jeremiah 27:5
"I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight.

Malachi 2:10
"Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?

Acts 14:17
and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness."

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