Verse 1. The ninth hour - The Jews divided the time from sunrise to sunset into twelve hours; which were consequently of unequal length at different times of the year, as the days were longer or shorter. The thirdhour therefore was nine in the morning; the ninth, three in the afternoon; but not exactly. For the thirdhour was the middle space between sunrise and noon; which, if the sun rose at five, (the earliest hour of its rising in that climate,) was half an hour after eight: if at seven (the latest hour of its rising there) was half an hour after nine. The chief hours of prayer were the third and ninth; at which seasons the morning and evening sacrifices were offered, and incense (a kind of emblem representing prayer) burnt on the golden altar.
Verse 2. At the gate of the temple, called Beautiful - This gate was added by Herod the Great, between the court of the Gentiles and that of Israel. It was thirty cubits high, and fifteen broad, and made of Corinthian brass, more pompous in its workmanship and splendour than those that were covered with silver and gold.
Verse 6. Then said Peter, Silver and gold have I none - How unlike his supposed successor! Can the bishop of Rome either say or do the same?
Verse 12. Peter answered the people - Who were running together, and inquiring into the circumstances of the fact.
Verse 13. The God of our fathers - This was wisely introduced in the beginning of his discourse, that it might appear they taught no new religion, inconsistent with that of Moses, and were far from having the least design to divert their regards from the God of Israel. Hath glorified his Son - By this miracle, whom ye delivered up - When God had given him to you, and when ye ought to have received him as a most precious treasure, and to have preserved him with all your power.
Verse 14. Ye renounced the Holy One - Whom God had marked out as such; and the Just One - Even in the judgment of Pilate.
Verse 16. His name - Himself: his power and love. The faith which is by him - Of which he is the giver, as well as the object.
Verse 17. And now, brethren - A word full of courtesy and compassion, I know - He speaks to their heart, that through ignorance ye did it - which lessened, though it could not take away, the guilt. As did also your rulers - The prejudice lying from the authority of the chief priests and elders, he here removes, but with great tenderness. He does not call them our, but your rulers. For as the Jewish dispensation ceased at the death of Christ, consequently so did the authority of its rulers.
Verse 18. But God - Who was not ignorant, permitted this which he had foretold, to bring good out of it.
Verse 19. Be converted - Be turned from sin and Satan unto God. See chap. xxvi, 20. But this term, so common in modern writings, very rarely occurs in Scripture: perhaps not once in the sense we now use it, for an entire change from vice to holiness. That the times of refreshing - Wherein God largely bestows his refreshing grace, may come - To you also. To others they will assuredly come, whether ye repent or no.
Verse 20. And he may send - The apostles generally speak of our Lord's second coming, as being just at hand. Who was before appointed - Before the foundation of the world.
Verse 21. Till the times of the restitution of all things - The apostle here comprises at once the whole course of the times of the New Testament, between our Lord's ascension and his coming in glory. The most eminent of these are the apostolic age, and that of the spotless Church, which will consist of all the Jews and Gentiles united, after all persecutions and apostacies are at an end.
Verse 22. The Lord shall raise you up a prophet like unto me - And that in many particulars. Moses instituted the Jewish Church: Christ instituted the Christian. With the prophesying of Moses was soon joined the effect, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt: with the prophesying of Christ that grand effect, the deliverance of his people from sin and death. Those who could not bear the voice of God, yet desired to hear that of Moses. Much more do those who are wearied with the law, desire to hear the voice of Christ. Moses spake to the people all, and only those things, which God had commanded him: so did Christ. But though he was like Moses, yet he was infinitely superior to him, in person, as well as in office. Deut. xviii, 15.
Verse 23. Every soul who will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people - One cannot imagine a more masterly address than this, to warn the Jews of the dreadful consequence of their infidelity, in the very words of their favourite prophet, out of a pretended zeal for whom they rejected Christ.
Verse 24. These days - The days of the Messiah.
Verse 25. Ye are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant - That in, heirs of the prophecies. To you properly, as the first heirs, belong the prophecies and the covenant. Gen. xii, 3.
Verse 26. To bless you, by turning you from your iniquities - Which is the great Gospel blessing.