And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.…
I. THE TIME AND PLACE. Correspondence with the facts of the natural world and of the Jewish Church. Harvest festival. Connection with the Passover, from which it was reckoned - seven weeks. The gifts of God poured out at Jerusalem, where yet he was about to pour out his judgments. The new must be grafted on the old, according to the promises in the prophets, that there should still be a remnant according to the election of grace. Favorable position of Palestine to be the center of the world's religious life. Distinction from Greece and Rome, and the great absolutisms of the East. Providential education of the Jews to be the world's messengers in Christ's Name. Rebuke of human pride. Not to the wise, not to the wealthy, not to the politically powerful, was the function assigned, but to the small and despised people in whom the gracious preparation was made, to the Church when it was in the attitude of prayer.
II. THE FORM OF MANIFESTATION.
1. Tongues; not swords, not scepters, but the sign of persuasion and moral victory over men's hearts.
2. Fire, changing, subduing, penetrating, purifying, irresistible. The element of the world's destruction. So the power of truth brings about the overthrow of error and the destruction of the evil world.
3. Accompanied with the sound of a mighty rushing wind from heaven, symbol of the vastness of the spiritual forces now to be sent upon earth, of their mysteriousness of operation, of their super-earthly origin; not brought about by any devices or machinery of man's, but the free gift of God, that his Name alone be glorified.
4. Distributed amongst God's people; "sat upon each of them," "cloven tongues," probably referring to the flames being divided into portions - "parting asunder" (Revised Version). Whether the all of ver. I mean all the twelve apostles alone, or all the disciples, is of little consequence, for the promise of the Spirit was declared by Peter to be for all flesh (see below).
5. The voice of the Spirit. Either an unknown tongue which the Spirit interpreted, partly by inspiration of those who heard it, and partly by communication of its meaning to individuals, or the special gift of languages imparted for the occasion, by a miraculous elevation of the faculties, so that the uneducated Jew spoke a foreign tongue. The former seems the most likely. But the one great fact is the utterance of the Spirit's voice. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.