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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - ACTS 5

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    CHAPTER V

    2. Kept back (enosfisato). Only here, ver. 3, and Tit. ii. 10, where it is rendered purloining. From nosfi, aloof, apart. The verb means to set apart for one's self; hence to appropriate wrongfully.

    3. To lie to (yeusasqai). Rather, to deceive. The design of Satan was to deceive the Holy Ghost. To lie to would require a different case in the noun, which occurs in ver. 4, where the same verb is properly rendered lie (unto God). Satan fills the heart to deceive. The result of the attempt is merely to lie.

    4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own (ouci menon soi emene). A play on the words. Lit., remaining, did it not remain to thee? Rev., very happily, whiles it remained, did it not remain thine own?

    Conceived (eqou). Lit., put or fixed. Wherefore didst thou fix this deed in thy heart? - i.e, resolve upon it.

    5. Gave up the ghost (exeyuxe). Used by Luke only. A rare word, occurring in the Septuagint, and in medical writers. See Ezek. xxi. 7, "Every spirit shall faint." See, also, on failing, Luke xxi. 26.

    6. Wound him up (sunesteilan). Better, as Rev., wrapped him round. The verb means to draw together, or draw in; hence used for shortening sail, reducing expenses, lowering or humbling a person. In 1 Corinthians vii. 29, it occurs in the phrase, "the time is short (sunestalmenov Rev., properly, shortened);" i.e., drawn together, contracted. In the sense of wrapping up it is found in Aristophanes, of wrapping cloaks or garments about one; also of tucking up the garments about the loins, as a preparation for service. In the sense of shrouding for burial, it occurs in Euripides ("Troades," 382): "They were not shrouded (sunepestalhsan) by the hands of a wife." In medical language, of bandaging a limb; of the contraction of tumors, and of organs of the body, etc. Some, however, as Meyer, refer the word here to the pressing together of the dead man's limbs.

    8. Answered. "The woman, whose entrance into the assembly of the saints was like a speech" (Bengel).

    For so much (tosoutou). Perhaps pointing to the money still lying at his feet.

    9. Ye have agreed together (sunefwnhqh umin). The verb is passive. Lit., was it agreed by you. The figure in the word is that of concord of sounds. Your souls were attuned to each other respecting this deceit. See on music, Luke xv. 25.

    To tempt (peirasai). To put it to the proof whether the Holy Spirit, ruling in the apostles, could be deceived. See on ver. 3.

    The feet. Graphic. The steps of the young men returning from the burial are heard at the door.

    12. Were wrought (egeneto). The best texts read ejgineto, the imperfect, were being wrought from time to time.

    All. The whole body of believers.

    13. The rest. Unbelievers, deterred by the fate of Ananias from uniting themselves to the church under false pretenses.

    Join himself (kollasqai). See on Luke xv. 15; x. 11. In all but two instances (Rom. xii. 9; 1 Cor. vi. 17), the word implies a forced, unnatural, or unexpected union. Thus Philip would not, without a special command, have "joined himself" to the chariot of the Ethiopian prince (Acts viii. 29). Saul's attempt to join himself to the apostles was regarded by them with suspicion (Acts ix. 26); and the fact that certain persons "clave to" Paul in Athens is expressly contrasted with the attitude of the citizens at large. The sense of an unnatural union comes out clearly in 1 Corinthians vi. 16.

    14. Were added (prosetiqento). Imperfect: kept being added.

    15. Couches (krabbatwn). See on Mark ii. 4.

    The shadow of Peter passing by. But the proper rendering is, as Peter passed by, his shadow might, etc. 13

    18. In the common prison (en thrhsei dhmosia). Incorrect. Thrhsiv is not used in the sense of prison, but is an abstract term meaning ward or keeping, as in ch. iv. 3. There is no article, moreover. Note, too, that another word is used for the prison in the next verse (thv fulakhv). Rev., therefore, correctly, in public ward.

    19. By night (dia thv nuktov). More correctly, during this night: dia in the course of. Compare ch. xvi. 9.

    20. Stand. Compare ch. ii. 14; and see on Luke xviii. 11; xix. 8.

    Of this life. The eternal life which Christ revealed. It is a peculiar use of the phrase, which is commonly employed in contrast with the life to come, as 1 Cor. xv. 19. Compare John vi. 63, 68. Not equivalent to these words of life.

    21. Early in the morning (upo ton orqron). 'Upo, beneath, is often used in the sense of just about, or near. Orqron is from ornumi, to cause to arise: the dawn. See on Luke xxiv. 1. Render as Rev., about daybreak.

    Taught (edidaskon). Imperfect: began teaching.

    The council (sunedrion). The Sanhedrim.

    The senate (gerousian). From gerwn, an old man, like the Latin senatus, from senex, old. Taking on very early an official sense, the notion of age being merged in that of dignity. Thus in Homer gerontev are the chiefs who form the king's council. Compare the Latin patres, fathers, the title used in addressing the Roman senate. The word in this passage is the name of the Spartan assembly, Gerousia, the assembly of elders, consisting of thirty members, with the two kings. "The well-known term," as Meyer remarks, "is fittingly transferred from the college of the Greek gerontes to that of the Jewish presbyters." They summoned, not only those elders of the people who were likewise members of the Sanhedrim, but the whole council (all the senate) of the representatives of the people. Prison (desmwthrion). Still another word for prison. Compare vv. 18, 19. Rev., prison-house. The different words emphasize different aspects of confinement. Thrhsiv is keeping, as the result of guarding. See on ver.

    18. Fulakh emphasizes the being put under guard, and desmwthrion the being put in bonds.

    22. Officers (uphretai) See on Matt. v. 25.

    24. They doubted (dihporoun). See on Luke ix. 5. Rev., were much perplexed, giving the force of dia, thoroughly at a loss. Compare Luke xxiv. 4. 14

    28. Did not. The best texts omit ouj, not, and the question.

    We straitly charged. So Rev. (paraggelia pathggeilamen). Lit., we charged you with a charge. See on Luke xxii. 15, with desire I have desired. Intend (boulesqe). Or ye want. See on willing, Matt. i. 19.

    This man's. The phrase is remarkable as furnishing the first instance of that avoidance of the name of Christ which makes the Talmud, in the very same terms, refer to him most frequently as Peloni, "so and so."

    29. We ought (dei). Stronger, we must.

    To obey (peiqarcein). Not often used in the New Testament to express obedience, the most common word being uJpakouw. Sometimes peiqw is used. But this word, in itself, is the only one of the several in use which expresses the conception of obedience exclusively. 'Upakouein is to obey as the result of listening to another: peiqesqai is to obey as the result of persuasion. This is the special term for the obedience which one owes to authority (arch). It occurs four times in the New Testament: Acts v. 29, 32; xxvii. 21; Tit. iii. 1; and in every case, of obedience to established authority, either of God or of magistrates. In Acts xxvii. 21, where it is used of the ship's officers hearkening to Paul's admonition not to loose from Crete, Paul speaks of his admonition as divinely inspired; compare xxvii. 10. In ch. iv. 19, Peter and John say hearken (akouein). That is a mere listening to or considering the proposition made to them. This is a deliberate course of action.

    30. Ye slew (dieceirisasqe). Only here and ch. xxvi. 21. To slay with one's own hands.

    Tree. See on Luke xxiii. 31.

    31. Prince. See on ch. iii. 15.

    Repentance - remission. See on Matt. iii. 2; Jas. v. 15; Luke iii. 3.

    32. Witnesses. See on Acts i. 22.

    Obey. See on ver. 29.

    33. They were cut to the heart (dieprionto). Only here and ch. vii. 54. The verb means, originally, to saw asunder. A strong figure for exasperation.

    To slay. See on Luke xxiii. 32.

    34. The apostles. The best texts substitute touv ajnqrwpouv, the men. A little space (bracu). Better as Rev., a little while.

    36. Joined themselves (prosekollhqh). The best texts read prosekliqh, were inclined; i.e., leaned to, or took sides with.

    37. Obeyed. Note the word for obeyed (epeiqonto), implying the persuasive power of Theudas' boasting. See on ver. 29.

    Taxing (apografhv). See on Luke ii. 1, 2.

    Much people. The best texts omit much.

    Were dispersed (dieskorpisqhsan). See on Matt. xxv. 24.

    38. Refrain (aposthte). Lit., stand off.

    Of men (ex anqrwpwn). Out of men, proceeding out of their devices. It will come to naught (kataluqhsetai). Lit., be loosened down. Used of the dilapidation of the temple (Luke xxi. 6), and of the dissolution of the body under the figure of striking a tent (2 Cor. v. 1). See on Mark xiii. 2.

    39. To fight against God (qeomacoi). Lit., to be God-fighters.

    41. They were counted worthy to suffer shame (kathxiwqhsan atimasqhnai). This is an instance of what rhetoricians style an oxymoron, from ojxuv, sharp, and mwrov, foolish; a pointedly foolish saying, which is witty or impressive through sheer contradiction or paradox, as laborious idleness, sublime indifference. In this case the apostles are described as dignified by indignity.

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