Acts 9:31
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.

King James Bible
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Darby Bible Translation
The assemblies then throughout the whole of Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified and walking in the fear of the Lord, and were increased through the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

World English Bible
So the assemblies throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, and were built up. They were multiplied, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
Then, indeed, the assemblies throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace, being built up, and, going on in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 9:31 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Then had the churches rest - That is, the persecutions against Christians ceased. Those persecutions had been excited by the opposition made to Stephen Acts 11:19; they had been greatly promoted by Saul Acts 8:3; and they had extended doubtless throughout the whole land of Palestine. The precise causes of this cessation of the persecution are not known. Probably they were the following:

(1) It is not improbable that the great mass of Christians had been driven into other regions by these persecutions.

(2) he who had been most active in exciting the persecution; who was, in a sort, its leader, and who was best adapted to carry it on, had been converted. He had ceased his opposition; and even he was now removed from Judea. All this would have some effect in causing the persecution to subside.

(3) but it is not improbable that the state of things in Judea contributed much to turn the attention of the Jews to other matters. Dr. Lardner accounts for this in the following manner: "Soon after Caligula's accession, the Jews at Alexandria suffered very much from the Egyptians in that city, and at length their oratories there were all destroyed. In the third year of Caligula, 39 a.d., Petronius was sent into Syria, with orders to set up the emperor's statue in the temple at Jerusalem. This order from Caligula was, to the Jews, a thunderstroke. The Jews must have been too much engaged after this to mind anything else, as may appear from the accounts which Philo and Josephus have given us of this affair. Josephus says 'that Caligula ordered Petronius to go with an army to Jerusalem, to set up his statue in the temple there; enjoining him, if the Jews opposed it, to put to death all who made any resistance, and to make all the rest of the nation slaves. Petronius therefore marched from Antioch into Judea with three legions and a large body of auxiliaries raised in Syria. "All were hereupon filled with consternation, the army being come as far as Ptolemais." See Lardner's Works, vol. i, pp. 101, 102, London edition, 1829.

Philo gives the same account of the consternation as Josephus (Philo, DeLegat. a.d. Cai., pp. 1024, 1025). He describes the Jews "as abandoning their cities, villages, and open country; as going to Petronius in Phoenicia, both men and women, the old, the young, the middle-aged; as throwing themselves on the ground before Petronius with weeping and lamentation," etc. The effect of this consternation in diverting their minds from the Christians can be easily conceived. The prospect that the images of the Roman emperor were about to be set up by violence in the temple, or, that in case of resistance, death or slavery was to be their portion, and the advance of a large army to execute that purpose, all tended to throw the nation into alarm. By the providence of God, therefore, this event was permitted to occur to divert the attention of bloody-minded persecutors from a feeble and bleeding church. Anxious for their own safety, the Jews would cease to persecute the Christians, and thus, by the conversion of the main instrument in persecution, and by the universal alarm for the welfare of the nation, the trembling and enfeebled church was permitted to obtain repose. Thus ended the first general persecution against Christians, and thus effectually did God show that he had power to guard and protect his chosen people.

All Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria - These three places included the land of Palestine. See the notes on Matthew 2:22. The formation of churches in Galilee is not expressly mentioned before this; but there is no improbability in supposing that Christians had traveled there, and had preached the gospel. Compare Acts 11:19. The formation of churches in Samaria is expressly mentioned, Acts 8.

Were edified - Were built up, increased, and strengthened. See Romans 14:19; Romans 15:2; 1 Corinthians 8:1.

And walking - Living. The word is often used to denote "Christian conduct, or manner of life," Colossians 1:10; Luke 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 John 2:6. The idea is that of travelers who are going to any place, and who walk in the right path. Christians are thus travelers to another country, an heavenly.

In the fear of the Lord - Fearing the Lord; with reverence for him and his commandments. This expression is often used to denote "piety" in general, 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job 28:28; Psalm 19:9; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 13:13.

In the comfort of the Holy Ghost - In the consolations which the Holy Spirit produced, John 14:16-17; Romans 5:1-5.

Were multiplied - Were increased.

Acts 9:31 Parallel Commentaries

Grace Triumphant
'And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2. And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them hound unto Jerusalem. 3. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? 5.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Paul's First Prayer
First, our text was an announcement; "Behold, he prayeth." Secondly, it was an argument; "For, behold, he prayeth." Then, to conclude, we will try to make an application of our text to your hearts. Though application is the work of God alone, we will trust that he will be pleased to make that application while the word is preached this morning. I. First, here was AN ANNOUNCEMENT; "Go to the house of Saul of Tarsus; for behold, he prayeth." Without any preface, let me say, that this was the announcement
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Such, we May Believe, was that John the Monk...
21. Such, we may believe, was that John the Monk, whom the elder Theodosius, the Emperor, consulted concerning the issue of the civil war: seeing he had also the gift of prophecy. For that not each several person has a several one of those gifts, but that one man may have more gifts than one, I make no question. This John, then, when once a certain most religious woman desired to see him, and to obtain this did through her husband make vehement entreaty, refused indeed this request because he had
St. Augustine—On Care to Be Had for the Dead.

Whether any Preparation and Disposition for Grace is Required on Man's Part?
Objection 1: It would seem that no preparation or disposition for grace is required on man's part, since, as the Apostle says (Rom. 4:4), "To him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned according to grace, but according to debt." Now a man's preparation by free-will can only be through some operation. Hence it would do away with the notion of grace. Objection 2: Further, whoever is going on sinning, is not preparing himself to have grace. But to some who are going on sinning grace is given, as is
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Acts 2:47
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 5:11
And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.

Acts 8:1
Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Acts 16:5
So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.

Acts 20:32
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

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