Acts 4:25
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, 'WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS?

King James Bible
Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

Darby Bible Translation
who hast said by the mouth of thy servant David, Why have the nations raged haughtily and the peoples meditated vain things?

World English Bible
who by the mouth of your servant, David, said, 'Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing?

Young's Literal Translation
who, through the mouth of David thy servant, did say, Why did nations rage, and peoples meditate vain things?

Acts 4:25 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Who by the mouth ... - , Psalm 2:1-2. This is a strong, solemn testimony to the inspiration of David. It is a declaration of the apostles, made in solemn prayer, that God himself spake by the mouth of David. This is the second part of their prayer. In the first, they acknowledge the right of God to rule; in this, they appeal to a prophecy; they plead that this was a thing foretold; and as God had foreseen it and foretold it, they appealed to him to protect them. The times of tumult and opposition which had been foreseen, as about to attend the introduction of the gospel, had now come. They inferred, therefore, that Jesus was the Messiah; and as God had designed to establish his kingdom, they appealed to him to aid and protect them in this great work. This passage is taken from Psalm 2:1-2, and is an exact quotation from the Septuagint. This proves that the Psalm had reference to the Messiah. Thus, it was manifestly understood by the Jews; and the authority of the apostles settles the question. The Psalm was composed by David, but on what occasion is not known; nor is it material to our present purpose. It has been a matter of inquiry whether it referred to the Messiah primarily, or only in a secondary sense. Grotius supposes that it was composed by David when exposed to the hostility of the Assyrians, the Moabites, Philistines, Amalekites, etc.; and that, in the midst of his dangers, he sought consolation in the purpose of God to establish him and his kingdom. But the more probable opinion is, that it referred directly and solely to the Messiah.

Why did the heathen - The nations which were not Jews. This refers, doubtless, to the opposition which would be made to the spread of Christianity, and not merely to the opposition made to the Messiah himself, and to the act of putting him to death.

Rage - This word refers to the excitement and tumult of a multitude; not a settled plan, but rather the heated and disorderly conduct of a mob. It means that the progress of the gospel would encounter tumultuous opposition, and that the excited nations would rush violently to put it down and destroy it.

And the people - The expression "the people" does not refer to a class of people different essentially from the pagan. The "pagan," Hebrew and Greek, "the nations," refer to people as organized into communities; the expression the people is used to denote the same persons without respect to their being so organized. The Hebrews were in the habit, in their poetry, of expressing the same idea essentially in parallel members of a sentence; that is, the last member of a sentence or verse expressed the same idea, with some slight variation, as the former. (See Lowth on the sacred poetry of the Hebrews.)

Imagine - The word "imagine" does not quite express the force of the original. The Hebrew and the Greek both convey the idea of meditating, thinking, purposing. It means that they employed "thought," "plan," "purpose," in opposing the Messiah.

Vain things - The word used here κενά kena is a literal translation of the Hebrew רק rēyq, and means usually "empty," as a vessel. which is not filled; then "useless," or what amounts to nothing, etc. Here it means that they devised a plan which turned out to be vain or ineffectual. They attempted an opposition to the Messiah which could not succeed. God would establish his kingdom in spite of their plans to oppose it. Their efforts were vain because they were not strong enough to oppose God; because he had purposed to establish the kingdom of his Son; and because he could overrule even their opposition to advance his cause.

Acts 4:25 Parallel Commentaries

Library
With and Like Christ
'Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.' --ACTS iv. 13. Two young Galilean fishermen, before the same formidable tribunal which a few weeks before had condemned their Master, might well have quailed. And evidently 'Annas, the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest,' were very much astonished
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The First Blast of Tempest
'And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2. Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now even-tide. 4. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. 5. And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

"And all that Believed were Together. " Acts 4:44.
"And all that believed were together." Acts 4:44. 1 Restore, O Father! to our times restore The peace which filled thine infant church of yore; Ere lust of power had sown the seeds of strife, And quenched the new-born charities of life. 2 O never more may differing judgments part From kindly sympathy a brother's heart; But linked in one, believing thousands kneel, And share with each the sacred joy they feel. 3 From soul to soul, quick as the sunbeam's ray, Let concord spread one universal
J.G. Adams—Hymns for Christian Devotion

Ananias and Sapphira
BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. One of the most striking features of the early Christian Church was what we have come to know as Christian Communism, or as the historian describes it in Acts iv, 32: "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." It is a bright and a pleasing picture that is thus presented. Nor is it difficult to understand how such a spirit
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Cross References
Psalm 2:1
Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing?

Isaiah 7:7
thus says the Lord GOD: "It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.

Matthew 3:9
and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Acts 1:16
"Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.

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