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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - ACTS 9

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    CHAPTER IX

    1. Breathing out (empnewn). Lit., breathing upon or at, and so corresponding to against the disciples.

    Threatenings and slaughter (apeilhv kai fonou). Lit., threatening; so Rev. In the Greek construction, the case in which these words are marks them as the cause or source of the "breathing;" breathing hard out of threatening, and murderous desire.

    2. Of this way (thv odou). Rev., more correctly, "the way." A common expression in the Acts for the Christian religion: "the characteristic direction of life as determined by faith on Jesus Christ" (Meyer). See ch. xix. 9; xxii. 4; xxiv. 22. For the fuller expression of the idea, see ch. xvi. 17; xviii. 25.

    Women. Paul three times alludes to his persecution of women as an aggravation of his cruelty (ch. viii. 3; ix. 2; xxii. 4).

    3. There shined round about (perihstrayen). Only here and ch. xxii. 6. Flashed. See on Luke xi. 36; xxiv. 4.

    A light. Compare ch. xxii. 6; xxvi. 13.

    4. Saying. In Paul's own account he says that the words were spoken in Hebrew (ch. xxvi. 14).

    5. It is hard for thee, etc. Transferred from ch. xxvi. 14, and omitted by the best texts.

    6. Trembling and astonished. The best texts omit.

    7. Speechless (eneoi). Only here in New Testament.

    11. Street (rumhn). See on Luke xiv. 21. A narrow street or lane.

    Straight. So called from its running in a direct line from the eastern to the western gate of the city.

    15. Chosen vessel (skeuov ekloghv). Lit., an instrument of choice. On vessel, see on Matt. xii. 29; and on the figure, compare 2 Corinthians iv. 7.

    16. How great things (osa). Rev., more correctly, how many.

    17. Brother. In Christ.

    18. There fell - scales (apepeson - lepidev). Both words occur only here in the New Testament. In Paul's own account of his conversion in ch. 26. he does not mention his blindness: in ch. 22. he mentions both the blindness and the recovery of sight, but not the particular circumstances which Luke records. The mention of the scales, or incrustations, such as are incidental to ophthalmia, is characteristic of the physician, and ajpopiptein, to fall off, was used technically by medical writers of the falling of scales from the skin, and of particles from diseased parts of the body. "We may suppose that Luke had often heard Paul relate how he felt at that moment" (Hackett).

    20. Christ. The correct reading is Jesus, the individual or personal name of the Lord. Christ was not yet current as his personal name. Paul's object was to establish the identity of Jesus the Nazarene with the Messiah.

    21. Destroyed (porqhsav). Rather, laid waste, made havoc of, as Rev. Compare ch. viii. 3. Paul uses the same word in Gal. i. 13.

    22. Confounded. See on ch. ii. 6.

    Proving (sumbibazwn). The verb means to bring or put together: hence to compare and examine, as evidence, and so to prove. Used in the literal and physical sense in Eph. iv. 16. In Col. ii. 2, of being knit together in love. In 1 Cor. ii. 16, of instructing, building up, by putting together. In this sense the word occurs in the Septuagint. See Leviticus x. 11; Judg. viii. 8.

    The Christ. Note the article. Not a proper name, but an appellative. See on ver. 20.

    23. To kill. See on Luke xxiii. 32.

    24. Laying await (epiboulh). So rendered by A.V. wherever it occurs, viz., ch. xx. 3, 19; xxiii. 30; but properly changed by Rev., in every case, to plot. "Laying await" refers rather to the execution of the plot than to the plot itself.

    Watched. See on Mark iii. 2. Imperfect: they were or kept watching, day and night.

    25. By the wall (dia tou teicouv). Rev., more accurately, through the wall, as is explained by 2 Cor. xi. 33. Either through the window of a house overhanging the wall, or through a window in the wall itself opening to houses on its inner side. Hackett says that he observed such windows in the wall at Damascus. On the mode of escape, compare Josh. ii. 15; 1 Sam. xix. 12.

    Basket (spuridi). See on Matt. xiv. 20. In Paul's account of this adventure he uses sarganh, a plaited or braided basket of wicker-work; or, as some think, of ropes.

    26. Join himself. See on ch. v. 13; Luke xv. 15; x. 11.

    27. Declared (dihghsato). Related throughout. See on Luke viii. 39; and compare on declaration, Luke i. 1.

    Had preached boldly (eparrhsiasato). See on freely, ch. ii. 29.

    29. Grecians. Rev., correctly, Grecian Jews. See on ch. vi. 1.

    Went about (epeceiroun). Better, attempted: lit., took in hand.

    31. The churches. The best texts read the church; embracing all the different churches throughout the three provinces of Palestine.

    Edified. Or build up.

    Comfort (paraklhsei). From parakalew, to call toward or to one's side for help. The word is rendered in the New Testament both exhortation and consolation. Compare Acts xiii. 15; Rom. xii. 8; 2 Corinthians viii. 17; Heb. xii. 5; and Luke ii. 25 (see note); 2 Thessalonians ii. 16; Matt. v. 4. In some passages the meaning is disputed, as Philip. ii. 1, where, as in 1 Cor. xiv. 3, it is joined with paramuqion or paramuqia, the meaning of which also varies between incentive and consolation or assuagement. Here exhortation is the rendering approved by the best authorities, to be construed with was multiplied: was multiplied by the exhortation of the Holy Ghost; i.e., by the Holy Spirit inspiring the preachers, and moving the hearts of the hearers.

    32. Lydda. The Lod of the Old Testament (Ezra ii. 33); about a day's journey from Jerusalem.

    33. Eight years. The duration of the malady, and the fact of his having been bedridden for the whole time, are characteristic of the physician's narrative.

    Bed. See on Mark ii. 14.

    Sick of the palsy. Better, as Rev., palsied. See on Luke v. 18.

    34. Jesus Christ. But note the article: Jesus the Christ; the Anointed; Messiah.

    Maketh thee whole (iatai se). Rev., healeth thee. See on Luke vi. 19. Make thy bed (strwson seautw) Lit., strew for thyself. Not, henceforth, but on the spot, as an evidence of restoration.

    35. Saron. Rev., properly, Sharon. Always with the definite article: the plain; extending thirty miles along the sea from Joppa to Caesarea.

    36. Disciple (maqhtria). A feminine form, only here in New Testament. Tabitha - Dorcas. The latter word being the Greek equivalent of the former, which is Aramaic, and meaning gazelle, which in the East was a favorite type of beauty. See Song of Solomon ii. 9, 17; iv. 5; vii. 3. It was customary at this time for the Jews to have two names, one Hebrew and the other Greek or Latin; and this would especially be the case in a seaport like Joppa, which was both a Gentile and a Jewish town. She may have been known by both names.

    37. Upper chamber. See on ch. i. 13.

    38. That he would not delay (mh oknhsai). The best texts read ojknhshv, putting the request in the form of a direct address, Delay not. To come (dielqein). Lit., to come through. Rev., come on.

    39. Coats and garments. See on Matt. v. 40.

    Which (osa). Lit., as many as.

    Made (epoiei). The imperfect: was accustomed to make.

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