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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Acts 2:3


    CHAPTERS: Acts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47

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    King James Bible - Acts 2:3

    And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

    World English Bible

    Tongues like
    fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them.

    Douay-Rheims - Acts 2:3

    And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of
    fire, and it sat upon every one of them:

    Webster's Bible Translation

    And there appeared to them, cloven tongues as of
    fire, and it sat upon each of them.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    και
    2532 CONJ ωφθησαν 3700 5681 V-API-3P αυτοις 846 P-DPM διαμεριζομεναι 1266 5730 V-PEP-NPF γλωσσαι 1100 N-NPF ωσει 5616 ADV πυρος 4442 N-GSN εκαθισεν 2523 5656 V-AAI-3S τε 5037 PRT εφ 1909 PREP ενα 1520 A-ASM εκαστον 1538 A-ASM αυτων 846 P-GPM

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (3) -
    :4,11 Ge 11:6 Ps 55:9 1Co 12:10 Re 14:6

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 2:3

    y se les aparecieron lenguas repartidas, como de fuego, que se asent sobre cada uno de ellos.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Acts 2:3

    Verse 3.
    Cloven tongues like as of fire] The tongues were the emblem of the languages they were to speak. The cloven tongues pointed out the diversity of those languages; and the fire seemed to intimate that the whole would be a spiritual gift, and be the means of bringing light and life to the souls who should hear them preach the everlasting Gospel in those languages.

    Sat upon each of them.] Scintillations, coruscations, or flashes of fire, were probably at first frequent through every part of the room where they were sitting; at last these flashes became defined, and a lambent flame, in the form of a cloven tongue, became stationary on the head of each disciple; a proof that the Spirit of God had made each his temple or residence. That unusual appearances of fire were considered emblems of the presence and influence of God, both the Scriptures and the Jewish writings amply prove. Thus God manifested himself to Moses, when he appointed him to deliver Israel, Exod. iii. 2, 3; and thus he manifested himself when he delivered the law on Mount Sinai, Exod. xix. 16-20. The Jews, in order to support the pretensions of their rabbins, as delivering their instructions by Divine authority and influence, represent them as being surrounded with fire while they were delivering their lectures; and that their words, in consequence, penetrated and exhilarated the souls of their disciples. Some of the Mohammedans represent Divine inspiration in the same way. In a fine copy of a Persian work, entitled Ajaceb al Makhlookat, or Wonders of Creation, now before me, where a marred account of Abraham's sacrifice, mentioned Gen. xv. 9-17, is given, instead of the burning lamp passing between the divided pieces of the victim, Gen. xv. 17, Abraham is represented standing between four fowls, the cock, the peacock, the duck, and the crow, with his head almost wrapped in a flame of lambent fire, as the emblem of the Divine communication made to him of the future prosperity of his descendants.

    The painting in which this is represented is most exquisitely finished. This notion of the manner in which Divine intimations were given was not peculiar to the Jews and Arabians; it exists in all countries; and the glories which appear round the heads of Chinese, Hindoo, and Christian saints, real or supposed, were simply intended to signify that they had especial intercourse with God, and that his Spirit, under the emblem of fire, sat upon them and became resident in them. There are numerous proofs of this in several Chinese and Hindoo paintings in my possession; and how frequently this is to be met with in legends, missals, and in the ancient ecclesiastical books of the different Christian nations of Europe, every reader acquainted with ecclesiastical antiquity knows well. See the dedication of Solomon's temple, 2 Chronicles vii. 1-3.

    The Greek and Roman heathens had similar notions of the manner in which Divine communications were given: strong wind, loud and repeated peals of thunder, coruscations of lightning, and lambent flames resting on those who were objects of the Deities regard, are all employed by them to point out the mode in which their gods were reported to make their will known to their votaries. Every thing of this kind was probably borrowed from the account given by Moses of the appearance on Mount Sinai; for traditions of this event were carried through almost every part of the habitable world, partly by the expelled Canaanites, partly by the Greek sages travelling through Asiatic countries in quest of philosophic truth: and partly by means of the Greek version of the Septuagint, made nearly three hundred years before the Christian aera.

    "A flame of fire seen upon the head of any person was, among the heathens, considered as an omen from their gods that the person was under the peculiar care of a supernatural power, and destined to some extraordinary employment. Many proofs of this occur in the Roman poets and historians. Wetstein, in his note on this place, has made an extensive collection of them. I shall quote but one, which almost every reader of the AEneid of Virgil will recollect: - Talia vociferans gemitu tectum omne replebat: Cum subitum, dictuque oritur mirabile monstrum.

    Namque manus inter, maestorumque ora parentum.

    Ecce levis summo de vertice visus Iuli Fundere lumen apex, tactuque innoxia molli Lambere flamma comas, et circum tempora pasci.

    Nos pavidi trepidare metu, crinemque flagrantem Excutere, et sanctos restinguere fontibus ignes.

    At pater Anchises oculos ad sidera laetus Extulit, et coelo palamas cum voce tetendit: Jupiter omnipotens - Da auxilium, pater, atque haec omina firma. VIRG. AEN. ii. v. 679.

    While thus she fills the house with clamourous cries, Our hearing is diverted by our eyes; For while I held my son, in the short space Betwixt our kisses and our last embrace, Strange to relate! from young Iulus' head, ) A lambent flame arose, which gently spread Around his brows, and on his temples fed. ) Amazed, with running water, we prepare To quench the sacred fire, and slake his hair; But old Anchises, versed in omens, rear'd His hands to heaven, and this request preferr'd: If any vows almighty Jove can bend, Confirm the glad presage which thou art pleased to send. DRYDEN.

    There is nothing in this poetic fiction which could be borrowed from our sacred volume; as Virgil died about twenty years before the birth of Christ.

    It may be just necessary to observe, that tongue of fire may be a Hebraism: for in Isa. v. 24, a wl leshon esh, which we render simply fire, is literally a tongue of fire, as the margin very properly has it. The Hebrews give the name of tongue to most things which terminate in a blunt point: so a bay is termed in Josh. xv. 2, l lashon, a tongue. And in Josh. xv. 5, what appears to have been a promontory is called yh wl leshon hayam, a tongue of the sea.

    It sat upon each] That is, one of those tongues, like flames, sat upon the head of each disciple; and the continuance of the appearance, which is indicated by the word sat, shows that there could be no illusion in the case.

    I still think that in all this case the agent was natural, but supernaturally employed.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire , etc.] An emblem of the various tongues and languages, in which they were to preach the Gospel; these appearances were like flames of fire parted, and these parted flames looked like tongues; so, a flame of fire is with, the Jews called, a wl , a tongue of fire, ( Isaiah 5:24) hence the Apostle James compares a tongue to fire, ( James 3:6) this was the baptism with fire, John the Baptist speaks of, (See Gill on Matthew 3:11); and the Jews say f67 , the holy blessed God baptizeth with fire, and the wise shall understand.

    Through this baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, the apostles became more knowing, and had a greater understanding of the mysteries of the Gospel, and were more qualified to preach it to people of all nations and languages.

    The Holy Spirit, in his gifts and graces, is compared to fire, because of its purity, light, and heat, as well as consuming nature; the Spirit sanctifies, and makes men pure and holy, purges from the dross of sin, error and superstition; and enlightens the minds of men, and gives them knowledge of divine and spiritual things; and fills them with zeal and fervour for the glory of God and Christ, and the good of his church and interest, and for the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel; as well as fortifies them against their enemies, whom he consumes, according to ( Zechariah 2:5) a passage of Scripture the Jews make use of in an uncommon sense; for they say f68 , that as Jerusalem was destroyed by fire, by fire it shall be built again; as it is said, ( Zechariah 2:5) For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about.

    The pouring forth of the Spirit upon the apostles, in this form of cloven tongues, as of fire, was indeed the means of rebuilding Jerusalem, in a spiritual sense; or of founding the Gospel church state in the world: and it sat upon each of them ; the fire, or the Holy Ghost in the appearance of fire. The Syriac and Arabic versions read, and they sat upon each of them; and so Bezas most ancient copy; that is, the cloven tongues sat on them; either one upon one of them and another upon another, or many upon each of them: where they sat, whether on their lips, or on their heads, it not certain, probably on the latter; nor how long they sat; however, their sitting upon them may denote the continuance of the gifts and graces of the Spirit with them. These cloven tongues cannot but bring to mind the division and confusion of the tongues or languages at Babel; which gave rise to different nations, and different religions; but these divided tongues gave rise to the spreading of the Gospel, and settling the true religion among the nations of the world. The Jews seem to have respect to this account, when they tell us of lights from above, that came forth and dwelt in the synagogues, whyyrb , on the heads of those that prayed, and the lights yglptm , were divided upon their heads.


    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 1-4 - We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with them there wer strifes among the disciples which should be the greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had prayed more together of late Would we have the Spirit poured out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And notwithstanding differences of sentiments an interests, as there were among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lor commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came with great force This was to signify the powerful influences and working of the Spiri of God upon the minds of men, and thereby upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for his comforts; and the roug blasts of that blessed wind, prepare the soul for its soft and gentl gales. There was an appearance of something like flaming fire, lightin on every one of them, according to John Baptist's saying concernin Christ; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindle pious and devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire of the altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his sanctifyin influences; more weaned from this world, and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoice more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtheranc of the gospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance.


    Greek Textus Receptus


    και
    2532 CONJ ωφθησαν 3700 5681 V-API-3P αυτοις 846 P-DPM διαμεριζομεναι 1266 5730 V-PEP-NPF γλωσσαι 1100 N-NPF ωσει 5616 ADV πυρος 4442 N-GSN εκαθισεν 2523 5656 V-AAI-3S τε 5037 PRT εφ 1909 PREP ενα 1520 A-ASM εκαστον 1538 A-ASM αυτων 846 P-GPM

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    3. There appeared. See on
    Luke xxii. 43.

    Cloven tongues (diamerizomenai glwssai). Many prefer to render tongues distributing themselves, or being distributed among the disciples, instead of referring it to the cloven appearance of each tongue. Rev., tongues parting asunder.

    Like as of fire. Not consisting of fire, but resembling (wsei).

    It sat. Note the singular. One of these luminous appearances sat upon each.


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    2:3 {Parting asunder} (diamerizomenai). Present middle (or passive) participle of diamerizw, old verb, to cleave asunder, to cut in pieces as a butcher does meat (aorist passive in #Lu 11:17f.). So middle here would mean, parting themselves asunder or distributing themselves. The passive voice would be "being distributed." The middle is probably correct and means that "the fire-like appearance presented itself at first, as it were, in a single body, and qen suddenly parted in this direction and that; so that a portion of it rested on each of those present" (Hackett). The idea is not that each tongue was cloven, but each separate tongue looked like fire, not real fire, but looking like (hwsei, as if) fire. The audible sign is followed by a visible one (Knowling). "Fire had always been, with the Jews, the symbol of the Divine presence (cf. #Ex 3:2; De 5:4). No symbol could be more fitting to express the Spirit's purifying energy and refining energy" (Furneaux). The Baptist had predicted a baptizing by the Messiah in the Holy Spirit and in fire (#Mt 3:11). {It sat} (ekaqisen). Singular verb here, though plural wpqesan with tongues (glwssai). A tongue that looked like fire sat upon each one.


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47

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