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1: And as they were speaking to the people, the priests - came
upon them - So wisely did God order, that they should first bear a
full testimony to the truth in the temple, and then in the great
council; to which they could have had no access, had they not
been brought before it as criminals.
2: The priests being grieved - That the name of Jesus was preached
to the people; especially they were offended at the doctrine of
his resurrection; for as they had put him to death, his rising
again proved him to be the Just One, and so brought his blood
upon their heads. The priests were grieved, lest their office
and temple services should decline, and Christianity take root,
through the preaching of the apostles, and their power of working
miracles: the captain of the temple - Being concerned to prevent
all sedition and disorder, the Sadducees - Being displeased at the
overturning of all their doctrines, particularly with regard to
4: The number of the men - Beside women and children, were about
five thousand - So many did our Lord now feed at once with the
bread from heaven!
5: Rulers, and elders, and scribes - Who were eminent for power,
for wisdom, and for learning.
6: Annas, who had been the high priest, and Caiaphas,
who was so then.
7: By what name - By what authority, have ye done this? - They seem
to speak ambiguously on purpose.
8: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost - That moment. God moves
his instruments, not when they please, but just when he sees it
needful. Ye rulers - He gives them the honour due to their office.
10: Be it known to you all - Probably the herald of God proclaimed
this with a loud voice. Whom God hath raised from the dead - They
knew in their own consciences that it was so. And though they
had hired the soldiers to tell a most senseless and incredible
tale to the contrary, (Mt 28:12,15), yet it is observable,
they did not, so far as we can learn, dare to plead it before
Peter and John.
11: (Ps 118:22).
12: There is no other name whereby we must he saved - The apostle
uses a beautiful gradation, from the temporal deliverance which
had been wrought for the poor cripple, by the power of Christ,
to that of a much nobler and more important kind, which is
wrought by Christ for impotent and sinful souls. He therein
follows the admirable custom of his great Lord and Master, who
continually took occasion from earthly to speak of spiritual things.
13: Illiterate and uneducated men - Even by such men (though
not by such only) hath God in all ages caused his word to be
preached before the world.
17: Yet that it spread no farther - For they look upon it as a
mere gangrene. So do all the world upon genuine Christianity.
Let us severely threaten them - Great men, ye do nothing. They
have a greater than you to flee to.
18: They charged them not to speak - Privately; nor teach - Publicly.
19: Whether it be just to obey you rather than God, judge ye
- Was it not by the same spirit, that Socrates, when they were
condemning him to death, for teaching the people, said, "O ye
Athenians, I embrace and love you; but I will obey God rather
than you. And if you would spare my life on condition I should
cease to teach my fellow citizens, I would die a thousand times
rather than accept the proposal."
21: They all glorified God - So much wiser were the people than
those who were over them.
24: The sense is, Lord, thou hast all power. And thy word is
fulfilled. Men do rage against thee: but it is in vain.
25: (Ps 2:1).
27: Whom thou hast anointed - To be king of Israel.
28: The sense is, but they could do no more than thou wast
pleased to permit, according to thy determinate counsel, to save
mankind by the sufferings of thy Son. And what was needful for
this end, thou didst before determine to permit to be done.
30: Thou stretchest forth thy hand - Exertest thy power.
31: They were all filled - Afresh; and spake the word
with boldness - So their petition was granted.
32: And the multitude of them that believed - Every individual
person were of one heart and one soul - Their love, their hopes,
their passions joined: and not so much as one - In so great a
multitude: this was a necessary consequence of that union of
heart; said that aught of the things which he had was his own
- It is impossible any one should, while all were of one soul.
So long as that truly Christian love continued, they could not
but have all things common.
33: And great grace - A large measure of the inward power of the
Holy Ghost, was upon them all - Directing all their thoughts,
words, and actions.
34: For neither was there any one among them that wanted - We may
observe, this is added as the proof that great grace was upon
them all. And it was the immediate, necessary consequence of
it: yea, and must be to the end of the world. In all ages and
nations, the same cause, the same degree of grace, could not but
in like circumstances produce the same effect. For whosoever
were possessors of houses and lands sold them - Not that there was
any particular command for this; but there was great grace and
great love: of which this was the natural fruit.
35: And distribution was made - At first by the apostles
themselves, afterward by them whom they appointed.
36: A son of consolation - Not only on account of his so largely
assisting the poor with his fortune; but also of those peculiar
gifts of the Spirit, whereby he was so well qualified both to
comfort and to exhort.
37: Having an estate - Probably of considerable value. It is
not unlikely that it was in Cyprus. Being a Levite, he had
no portion, no distinct inheritance in Israel.