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Ac 2:1-13. DESCENT OF THE SPIRIT--THE DISCIPLES SPEAK WITH TONGUES--AMAZEMENT OF THE MULTITUDE.
1-4. when the day of Pentecost was fully come--The fiftieth from the
morrow after the first Passover sabbath
(Le 23:15, 16).
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, &c.--"The whole description is so picturesque and striking that it could only come from an eye-witness" [OLSHAUSEN]. The suddenness, strength, and diffusiveness of the sound strike with deepest awe the whole company, and thus complete their preparation for the heavenly gift. Wind was a familiar emblem of the Spirit (Eze 37:9; Joh 3:8; 20:22). But this was not a rush of actual wind. It was only a sound "as of" it.
3. cloven tongues, like as of fire, &c.--"disparted tongues," that is, tongue-shaped, flame-like appearances, rising from a common center or root, and resting upon each of that large company:--beautiful visible symbol of the burning energy of the Spirit now descending in all His plenitude upon the Church, and about to pour itself through every tongue, and over every tribe of men under heaven!
4. they . . . began to speak with . . . tongues, &c.--real, living languages, as is plain from what follows. The thing uttered, probably the same by all, was "the wonderful works of God," perhaps in the inspired words of the Old Testament evangelical hymns; though it is next to certain that the speakers themselves understood nothing of what they uttered (see on 1Co 14:1-25).
5-11. there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation--not, it would seem, permanently settled there (see Ac 2:9), though the language seems to imply more than a temporary visit to keep this one feast.
9-11. Parthians, &c.--Beginning with the farthest east, the Parthians, the enumeration proceeds farther and farther westward till it comes to Judea; next come the western countries, from Cappadocia to Pamphylia; then the southern, from Egypt to Cyrene; finally, apart from all geographical consideration, Cretes and Arabians are placed together. This enumeration is evidently designed to convey an impression of universality [BAUMGARTEN].
Ac 2:14-36. PETER FOR THE FIRST TIME, PUBLICLY PREACHES CHRIST.
14-21. Peter, standing up with the eleven--in advance, perhaps, of the rest.
17. in the last days--meaning, the days of the Messiah
as closing all preparatory arrangements, and constituting the final
dispensation of God's kingdom on earth.
19. I will show wonders, &c.--referring to the signs which were to precede the destruction of Jerusalem (see on Lu 21:25-28).
22-28. a man approved of God--rather, "authenticated," "proved," or
"demonstrated to be from God."
23. determinate counsel and foreknowledge--God's fixed plan and
perfect foresight of all the steps involved in it.
24. was not possible he should be holden of it--Glorious saying! It was indeed impossible that "the Living One" should remain "among the dead" (Lu 24:5); but here, the impossibility seems to refer to the prophetic assurance that He should not see corruption.
28. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life--that is,
29-36. David . . . is . . . dead and buried, &c.--Peter, full of the Holy Ghost, sees in this sixteenth Psalm, one Holy Man, whose life of high devotedness and lofty spirituality is crowned with the assurance, that though He taste of death, He shall rise again without seeing corruption, and be admitted to the bliss of God's immediate presence. Now as this was palpably untrue of David, it could be meant only of One other, even of Him whom David was taught to expect as the final Occupant of the throne of Israel. (Those, therefore, and they are many, who take David himself to be the subject of this Psalm, and the words quoted to refer to Christ only in a more eminent sense, nullify the whole argument of the apostle). The Psalm is then affirmed to have had its only proper fulfilment in JESUS, of whose resurrection and ascension they were witnesses, while the glorious effusion of the Spirit by the hand of the ascended One, setting an infallible seal upon all, was even then witnessed by the thousands who stood listening to Him. A further illustration of Messiah's ascension and session at God's right hand is drawn from Ps 110:1, in which David cannot be thought to speak of himself, seeing he is still in his grave.
36. Therefore--that is, to sum up all.
37-40. pricked in their hearts--the begun fulfilment of
whose full accomplishment is reserved for the day when "all Israel
shall be saved" (see on
38. Repent--The word denotes change of mind, and here includes the
reception of the Gospel as the proper issue of that revolution of mind
which they were then undergoing.
40. with many other words did he testify and exhort--Thus we have
here but a summary of Peter's discourse; though from the next words it
would seem that only the more practical parts, the home appeals, are
Ac 2:41-47. BEAUTIFUL BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
41-47. they that gladly received his word were baptized--"It is
difficult to say how three thousand could be baptized in one day,
according to the old practice of a complete submersion; and the more as
in Jerusalem there was no water at hand except Kidron and a few pools.
The difficulty can only be removed by supposing that they already
employed sprinkling, or baptized in houses in large vessels. Formal
submersion in rivers, or larger quantities of water, probably took place
only where the locality conveniently allowed it" [OLSHAUSEN].
42. continued steadfastly in--"attended constantly upon."
44. all that believed were together, and had all things common--(See on Ac 4:34-37).
46. daily . . . in the temple--observing the hours of Jewish worship.
47. Praising God--"Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy
wine with a merry heart, for God now accepteth thy works"
also see on