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Names of certain prophets


and teachers


the kingdom. It was liberally sown; it grew vigorously; | of mere maliciousness, where the persecutor not only serves and became greatly multiplied. And why because it was the word, the doctrine of God, there was no corruption in it; and because God watered it with the dew of heaven from on high.

25. Returned from Jerusalem} That is, to Antioch, after the death of Herod." When they had fulfilled their ministry] When they had carried the alms of the Christians at Antioch, to the poor saints at Jerusalem, according to what is mentioned, chap. xi. 29, 30. to support them in the time of the coming famine. And took with them John, whose surname was Mark.] This was the son of Mary, mentioned ver. 12. He accompanied the apostles to Cyprus, and afterward in several of their voyages till they came to Perga in Pamphylia. Finding them about to take a more extensive voyage, he departed froin them. See the case clap. xiii. 13. and xv. 37-40.

1. When the nature, spirit, and tendency of Christianity are considered, we may well be astonished that it should ever find a persecutor among the souls it was designed to instruct and save! Devils can have no part in it, and therefore we may naturally expect them, through envy and malice, to oppose it; but that men, for whose use and salvation the wisdom and mercy of God made it, should reject its offers of mercy, and persecute to death those who proclaimed it, is the most unacCountable thing that can be conceived. What a proof is this

no self-interest by it, but destroys, as far as he can, all that could promote his own present and eternal happiness! This argues such blindness of understanding, hardness of heart, and derangement of mind, as can be accounted for only on the supposition of a nature totally fallen from God, righteousness, and truth. The Jews crucify Christ, and martyr Stephen; and Herod murders James; and both join together to persecute the followers of Christ, and destroy his cause. Reader, consider the consequences: this bad people were permitted to remain till they had filled up the measure of their iniquity; and were then cut off by a most terrible judgment: and Herod was visited for his transgressions in such a most awful way, as strongly marked the displeasure of God against persecutors. If a man contend with a man, the contest is in a certain way equal; the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth: but when a man enters the lists against his Maker, as every persecutor does! wo unto that man! he must be torn in pieces, when there is none to deliver.

2. How true is the saying, there is neither counsel nor might against the Lord. In the midst of all troubles and afflictions, that kingdom of heaven which is like a grain of mustard seed, grew and increased, and became a mighty tree, which is now filling the whole earth; and fowl of every wing are flying to lodge in its branches. Ride on, and be thou prosperous, O Christ! we wish thee good luck with thine honour.


Of the prophets and teachers in the church of Antioch, 1. By command of the Holy Spirit, the church appoints Saul and Barnabas to a particular work, 2, 3. They depart, and travel to Seleucia, Cyprus, and Salamis, preaching in the Jew ish synagogues, 4, 5. At Puphos they meet with Bar-Jesus or Elymas, a Jewish sorcerer, who endeavoured to prevent the deputy of the island from receiving the Christian faith, 6-8. Saul, for the first time called Paul, denounces the judg ments of God upon him, and he is struck blind, 9-11. The deputy, seeing this, is confirmed in the faith, 12. Paul and his company leave Paphos, and come to Pamphylia, where John Mark leaves them, and returns to Jerusalem, 13. Paul and Barnabas proceed to Antioch; and coming into a synagogue of the Jews, are requested by the rulers of it to preach to the people, 14, 15. Paul preaches, and proves that Jesus is the Christ, 16-41. The Gentiles desire the sermon to be preached to them the next Sabbath, and many of the Jews and proselytes receive the Christian faith, 42, 43. The next Sabbath the whole city attend; and the Jews filled with enny, contradict and blaspheme, 44, 45. Paul and Barnabas with great boldness show, that by the order of God the Gospel was to be preached first to them; but seeing they had rejected it, it should now be taken from them, and sent to the Gentiles, 46, 47. The Gentiles rejoice and receive the truth, 48, 49. The Jews raise a persecution against the apostles, and expel them, 50. They come to Iconium, full of joy and the Holy Ghost, 51, 52. [A. M. cir. 4049. A. D. cir. 45. An. Ólymp. cir. CCVI. 1.] TOW there were in the church that was at Antioch, certain prophets and teachers; as b Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch; and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said,Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.


Ch.11.27.& 14.25. & 15.35.-b Ch.11.22-26. Rom. 16.21-d Or, Herod's fosterbrother - Num.5 14. Ch. 9. 15. & 2.21. Rom. 1.1. Gal. 1. 15. & 2.9.

NOTES-Verse 1. Certain prophets and teachers] Пpoφηται και διδασκαλοι. It is probable that these were not distinct offices: both might be vested in the same person. By prophets we are to understand, when the word is taken simply, persons who are frequently inspired to predict future events: and by teachers, persons whose ordinary office was to instruct the people in the Christian doctrine. These also, to be properly qualified for the office, must have been endued with the influence of the Holy Spirit; for as but a very small portion of the scriptures of the New Testament could have as yet been given, it was necessary that the teachers should derive much of their own teaching by immediate revelation from God. On prophets and teachers, see the note on chap. xi. 27. Barnabas Of whoin see before, chap. xi. 22-24. Simeon-Niger] Or Simeon the Black, either because of his complexion, or his hair. It was on reasons of this kind that surnames, surnoms, name upon name, were first imposed. Of this Simeon nothing farther is known.

Lucius of Cyrene] See chap. xi. 20. Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod] Our margin has given the proper meaning of the original word, CUTρodos, a foster-brother; i. e. Manaen was the son of the woman who nursed Herod Antipas; and the son also, whose milk the young Herod shared. Of a person whose name was Manaen or Menahem, and who was in the court of Herod, we read several things in the Jewish writers. They say that this man had the gift of prophecy, and that he told Herod when he was but a child that he would be king. When Herod became king he sent for him to his court; and held him in great estimation. It might have been the son of this Menahem, of whom St Luke here speaks. Dr. Lightfoot has shown this to be at least possible.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their
hands on them, they sent them away.

4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto
Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to h Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, i they preached the word
of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also
k John to their minister.

f Matt 9.38. Ch. 14.25. Rom. 10, 15, Eph.3.7, 8. 1 Tim.2.7. 2 Tim.1.11. Heb.5. 4.-g Ch.6.6-h Ch.4.36,-i Ver. 46.-k Ch. 12. 25. & 15.37.

made to some person then present; probably to either Simeon, or Lucius, or Manaen, mentioned before.

Separate me Barnabas and Saul] Consecrate, or set them apart, for the particular work, whereunto I have called them. How this was done, we find in the next verse.

3. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them] 1. They fasted: this was probably done by the whole church. 2. They prayed, that God might bless and prosper them in their work. 3. They laid hands upon them; thus solemnly appointing them to that particular work. But was it by this fasting, praying, and imposition of hands, that these men were qualified for this work? No. God had al ready called them to it, ver. 2. and he who called them, had qualified them. Both their call and their qualification came from God; but he chose that they should have also the sanc tion of that church of which they had been members; and therefore he said, Separate me, &c. The ordination of elders among the Jews was by three persons; and here we find three, Simeon, Lucius, and Manaen, ordaining two others, Barnabas and Saul. But how did the Jews ordain? Not by imposition of hands; this is strictly forbidden, see Maimon. Sanh. ch. 4. "After what manner is the ordaining of elders for ever? Not that they should lay their hands on the head of an elder; but only that they should call him Rabbi, and say to him, Behold thou art ordained, and hast power of judging," &c. It is remarkable that the imposition of hands in the or daining of elders was not used among the ancient Jews, probably never under the first temple; and rarely, if ever, under the second. See Lightfoot on this place. The church at Antioch, however, did depart from this custom; they pnt their hands on the heads of Barnabas and Saul; thus desig. nating them to be the persons whom they, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, sent to preach the Gospel of Christ to the heathen.

2. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted] On Mondays and Thursdays it was usual with the more pious Jews to attend the public service in their synagogues, and to fast; the former is what we are to understand by ministering to the Lord. On the Sabbaths they attended the service in the syna. gogue, but did not fast. The Greek word, AɛcrovpYourTwv, Big. nifies performing the office of praying, supplicating, render-acting thus, they fulfilled the mind of the Spirit. Hence, is it ing thanks, &c. hence the word Xerupyta, liturgy, the work of prayer, &c. from Airn, supplication, according to some; or rather from Astros, common, and epyov, work, the common or oublic work in which all the people were engaged.

The Holy Ghost said] A revelation of the divine will was

When the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas ana Saul for the work whereunto I have called them; and the elders of the church, in consequence, prayed, fasted, and laid their hands upon them; they certainly understood that by not evident, that when the elders of the church of God have good reason to believe that He has called certain persons to the work of the ministry, and qualified them for that work, that they should proceed as the elders of the church of Antioch did; and by fasting, prayer, and imposition of hands,


6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos,
tley found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose
naine was Bar-Jesus: ca 19

Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus,
a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired
to hear the word of God

8 But Elymas, the sorcerer, (for so is his name by interpre
1 Ch.8.9.-m Exod.7.11. 2 Tim.3.8-n Ch.4.8.

separate those persons for the work whereunto God has called
them. Such persons will consider themselves accountable to
GOD and his church; and should take care how they use the
gift and authority received from both. Is it not being wise
above what is written to say, "When God has called and
given authority, there is no need of ordination or appointment
from man." I would just ask the objector, Why then, when
God had called Barnabas and Saul to the work, did he com-
mand the church to separate them to him for that very work?
And why did they in obedience, fast, pray, and lay hands
upon them? I shall dispute with no man about the superior
excellence of the Episcopal or Presbyterian form in ordina-
tion: if all the preliminaries be right, they may be both equal
ly good, for all that I have ever been able to learn to the con-
trary; but that there should be some proper scriptural form
attended to, I am fully satisfied. Besides, if the plan of the
church at Antioch were regularly and faithfully followed, in
sending forth the ministers of the gospel, no man can prove
that God would not own them in an especial manner, and
more particularly prosper their work. But O! ye rulers of
the church, be careful, as ye shall answer it to God, never to
lay hands on the head of a man, whom ye have not just rea
son to believe God has called to the work, and whose eye is
single, and whose heart is pure. Let none be sent to teach
Christianity, who have not experienced it to be the power of
God to the salvation of their own souls. If ye do, though they
have your authority, they never can have the blessing nor the
approbation of God. "I sent them not: therefore they shall
not profit this people at all, saith the Lord." Jer. xxiii. 32.

4. Being sent forth by the Holy Ghost] By his influence, authority, and under his continual direction. Without the first they were not qualified to go; and without the second, they had no authority to go; and without the third, they could not know where to go.

Departed unto Seleucia] This is generally understood to be Seleucia of Pieria, the first city on the coast of Syria, coming! from Cilicia; near the place where the river Orontes pours itself into the sea.

They sailed to Cyprus. A well known island in the Mediterranean Sea. See on ch. iv. 36.

5. Salamis] The capital of the island of Cyprus, afterward called Constantia: and now Salina, situated on the eastern part of the island.

They preached the word of God] Tov Aoy, the doctrine of God, the Christian religion, emphatically so called.

They had also John to their minister.] This was John Mark of whom we have heard, chap. xii. 25.-for their minister, banperen, to assist them in minor offices, as deacon, or servant; that they might give themselves wholly to the doctrine of the Lord.

6. Gone through the isle] "OAny, the WHOLE isle, is added here by ABCDE., several others, both the Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Vulgate, and Itala: and also by several of the Greek Fathers: and this must be the true reading; for it is evident they ran through the whole island from east to trest. Unto Paphos] This town, next in importance to Salamis, was situated on the western part of the isle; and having gone from Salamis to this place, is a proof that they had gone through the whole island from east to west, according to the reading noticed above. There was probably no town in the universe more dissolute than Paphos. Here Venus had a su perb temple; here she was worshipped with all her riles: and from this place she was named the Paphian Venus, the queen of Paphos, &c. This temple and whole city were de stroyed by an earthquake; so that a vestige of either does not now remain. There are two islands which go by this name, both adjoining, and on the west side of the island of Cyprus. One is called Old Paphos, the other New Paphos; the latter is probably the island here mentioned, though they are often confounded. On this island there is a Christian church, dedicated to St. George, in which service is performed by the Greek ministers. It is a bishop's see, suffragan to the Abp. of Nicosia. T

A certain sorcerer] Tiva payov, a magician, one who used magical arts, and pretended to have commerce with supernatural agents. A person who dealt in sleight of hand, or legerde main. Such as I have supposed Simon Mugus to be. See the note on chap. viii. 9.

A false prophet] A deceiver, one who pretended to have a divine commission: a fortune-teller.

Bar Jesus] i. e. the son of Jesus or Joshua; as Bar-Jona, is the son of Jonah: Bar-tholomew, the son of Thalmi, &c. 7. The deputy of the country] Avovara, the proconsul. Rosenmuller and others remark, that in those days, the Ro. mans sent two different kinds of governors into the provinces. Some of the provinces were Cesarean or imperial, and into those they sent proprætors: others belonged to the senate and people of Rome, and into those they sent proconsuls. Cyprus 384

tation,) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from
the faith.
Paphos to the Roman deputy

Ghost, set his eyes on him,
9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy

cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child
of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not

had formerly been an imperial province; but Augustus, who
made the distinction, had given it to the people, whence it was
governed by a proconsul. See Dio. Cass. Hist. Rom. lib. iv.
page53.2 [Edit. Leunclav.]

Matt. 13,38 John 8.44. 1 John 3.8. Eccles.1.31. Rom.1.29.

where else; he became a Christian; had his name written in the book of life; and probably on that very account, blotted Sergius Paulus] This proconsul is not mentioned any out of the Fasti Consulares.

sound understanding, and, therefore, wished to hear the doc trine taught by these apostles; he did not persecute the men A prudent man] Avopi ovvero, a man of good sense, of for their preaching; but sent for them that he might hear for himself.

pretation)] That is, Elymas is the interpretation of the word payos, or sorcerer; not of the word Bar-Jesus, as some have 8. But Elymas, the sorcerer, (for so is his name by inter imagined; and to support which they have been led into strange etymologies on the word Bap-Inoous, Bar-Jesns. But how is Elymas, EXvuas, the interpretation of the word payos, magician or sorcerer ? Ans. Both names are Asiatic; but neither Hebrew nor Greek. I have already observed in the note on Matt. ii. 1. that & mogh, in Persian, means an idolter, a worshipper of fire, and sometimes what we term a magician. Elymas is from the Arabic le tim, knowledge, science, doctrine, art; from alama, he was wise, skilled, &c. hence aleem,or alymon, a doctor, or learned man, and with the Greek termination, cλvuas, elymas, the interpretation of & mogh, Greek payos, magos, a magician, a wise man, doc. tor, &c.

Paul occurs, and the last time in which this apostle is called
Saul, as his common or general naine.
9. Saul, who also is-Paul] This is the first time the name

quired, &c.
Saul Shaul, was the name of the first Israelitish king,
and signifies asked, sought: from N shaal, be asked, in-

dwarfish; but if from the Hebrew, NSD pala, it signifies, er
Paul, Paulus, if derived from the Latin, signifies little,
derivation assigned to it by St. Jerome, Com. in Ep. Pauli ad
traordinary, wonderful; and this appears to have been the
chius must have had the same in view; for he defines it thus,
IIavlos, Davμasas ʼn EKλEKTOS, σvußovAOS, Paul, wonderful, o
Philein. who translates it mirabilis, wonderful: and Hesy
view, Isa. ix. 6. His name shall be called (NSD pele yoets
elect, counsellor. The lexicographer had probably here in
and thus make his Bavuasos ovußovλos out of it, by way of ex-
planation. Triller, however, supposes the opßovAos of He-
wonderful, counsellor; which he might corrupt into Paulus,
sychius to be corrupted from ovvooulos, fellow-servant, which
is a term not unfrequently applied to apostles, &c. in the New
used by Paul himself, Col. i. 7. and iv. 7. The Latin original is
the most probable. It is well known that the Jews, in the apos-
Testament: who are called the servants of God: and it is
tolic age, had frequently two names; one Hebrew, the other
Greek or Roman. Saul was born of Jewish parents, a Hebrew
of the Hebrews; he had therefore his first name from that
language, N Shaul, asked or begged; as it is possible, he
might have been a child for whom his parents had addressed
their fervent petitions to God. The case of Samuel is one in
point. See 1 Sam. i. 9-18. As he was born in Tarsus in Ci-
licia, he was consequently born a free Roman citizen: and
hence his parents would naturally give him for cognomen, some
name borrowed from the Latin tongue; and Paulus, which sig
nifies little, might indicate that he was at his birth a small or
diminutive child. And it is very likely that he was low in
stature all his days; and it is to this he refers himself, 2 Cor.
x. 10. for his bodily presence is weak, and his speech con-
temptible. If he were small in stature, his voice would be na-
turally low and feeble; and the Greeks, who were fond of a
thundering eloquence, would despise him on this very ac-

nounced was not from himself, but from God. And indeed had
Filled with the Holy Ghost] Therefore the sentence he pro
would have ventured thus to accost this sorcerer in the pre-
sence of the governor, who, no doubt, had greatly admired him
he not been under a divide influence, it is not likely that he
pernatural powers without possessing any; and having only
10. O full of all subtilty] Aodov, deceit, pretending to su-
cunning and deceit as their substitutes.

lently well defines a juggler, one who is expert at sleight of
And mischief] Padiovpytas, from padios, easy, and spyor,
a work; one who is ready at his work; a word which excel
and accomplished villain.
hand; though it is often employed to signify an abandoned

ing his nature; filled with his cunning; and, in consequence,
practising deceit.
Child of the devil Yie diabolov, son of the devil, possess-

posed in thy heart to all that is just, true, and good
Enemy of all righteousness]. Έχθρε πάσης δικαιοσύνης, τη

Elymas the sorcerer struck blind.

CHAPTER XIII. Paul and his company arrive at Antioch. they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

11 And now, behold the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And im mediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. 13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos,

p Exod.9.3. 1 Sam.5 6.-q Ch.15.38.

Wilt thou not cease to pervert, &c.] Ου παύση διαστρέφων, wilt thou not cease perverting. He had probably laboured in this bad work from the beginning of Paul's ministry in the place; and God in his mercy had borne with him; and no doubt the apostles had warned him, for thus much seems implied in the reproof. What a terrible character is given of this bad man! He no doubt passed among the people for what we cali a clever fellow; and he was so clever as to hide himself under a pretty dense mask; but God, who searches the heart, plucked it off and tells him, and those who were perverted by him, what an accomplished deceiver and knave he was.

The right ways of the Lord] Tas ddovs Kupcov ras evocas, the ways of the Lord, the straight ways. This saying is very emphatical. The ways of Elymas were crooked and perverse; the ways of the Lord, the doctrine taught by him, plain and straight. What is here said of the conduct and teaching of Elymas, for he was a false prophet, is true of all false doc. trine: it is compler, devious, and tortuous; while the doctrine of God is simple, plain, and straight; directing in the way, the sure way, that leads to present peace, and everlasting hap piness. From the phraseology which the apostle employs in this terrible address to Elyinas, we may learn, as well as from his name Bar-Jesus, that he was by birth and education a Jen. On this account he was the greater enemy to Christianity; and on this same account, he was the less excusable. il. The hand of the Lord is upon thee] The power of God is now about to deal with thee in the way of justice.

Thou shall be blind] Every word here proves the immediate inspiration of Paul. He was full of the Holy Ghost when he began this address: by the light of that Spirit, he discern ed the state of Elymas, and exposed his real character; and by the prophetic influence of that same Spirit, he predicted the calamity that was about to fall upon him, while as yet there was no sign of his blindness! Mark this!

Not seeing the sun for a season.] In the midst of judgment God remembers mercy. This blindness was not to be perpetual; it was intended to be the means of awakening and soft. ening the hard heart of this poor sinner. There is an ancient tradition, and it is mentioned both by Origen and Chrysostom, that Elymas, in consequence of this, became a sincere convert to the religion of Christ. Origen says, "And Paul by a word, striking him blind, who was with the proconsul Sergius Paul, δια των πόνων, επιστρέφει αυτόν εις θεοσέβειαν, by anguish converted him to godliness." And commenting on Thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun axpikаipov, for a season, asks. "And why for a season 7 That being smitten on account of his transgressions, and brought to repentance, he might at last be deemed worthy to see the sun, not only with his body, but with his mind; that the divine virtue might be proclaimed in restoring him to sight, and his soul believing, might receive godliness." Com. in Exod. Vol. I. p. 117. edit. de la Rue. Par. 1733. There fell on him a mist and darkness] Axλvs, achlus, is a disordered state of the eye, in which the patient sees only as through a thick mist. This thick mist, or perturbed state of the eye, took place first: it increased, and oxoros, thick, Dositive darkness was the issue.

14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and

r Ch. 16. 13. & 17 2 & 18.4 - Luke 14. 16. Ver.27.

maritime town, it is conjectured that the apostles sailed up the river Cestrus, in order to come to this place, which, ac cording to Strabo, was situated about sixty leagues up this river, and near to which was a famous temple, dedicated to Diana. For Pamphylia, see chap. ii. 10.

And John departing from them] Why John Mark left his brethren at this place, we are not informed; probably he went to visit his pious mother, Mary, at Jerusalem, and to see Peter, to whom he is supposed to have been much attached. It certainly was not with the approbation of Paul that he left them at this place, as we learn from chap. xv. 38. yet his de parture does not seem to have merited the displeasure of Barnabas; for John Mark having met these apostles at Antioch, when Paul purposed to revisit the various places where they had planted the word of God, Barnabas was willing to take him with them; but Paul would not consent, because he had departed from them, from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work, ch. xv. 35-39. and this occasioned a separation between Barnabas and Paul. It does not appear that John Mark was under any obligation to accompany them any longer, or any farther, than he pleased. He seems to have been little else than their servant, and certainly was not divinely appointed to this work, as they were; and consequently might leave them innocently, though not kindly, if they could not readily supply his place. In this respect, John Mark night be to blame; but Barnabas, whose nephew he was, could look over this fault more easily than Paul, who could not find those motives to pass by what was reprehensi ble in his conduct, which natural affection might furnish to his brother apostle.

14. They came to Antioch, in Pisidia] This place is mentioned thus to distinguish it from Antioch, in Syria, with which it had nothing in common but the name. There were

several cities and towns in various districts of these countries

called Antioch: some have reckoned up not less than twelve. Pisidia, in which this was situated, was a province of Asia Minor, near to Pamphylia, having Phrygia on the north, and Pamphylia on the south. The position of all these places may be seen on the map. Into the synagogue on the Sabbath day] Though Paul was now on a special mission to the Gentiles, yet he availed him. self of every opportunity, in every place, of making the first offer of salvation to the Jews.

15. After the reading of the law and the prophets] A certain portion of the law, and another of the prophets, was read every Sabbath; and the law was so divided as to be read over once every year. In the notes at the conclusion of Deuteronomy, I have considered this subject at large, and given a complete table of the Parashoth, sections of the law, and Haphtaroth, sections of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath in the year, in the Jewish synagogues. To have an exact view of every part of the Jewish ecclesiastical econo my, the reader will do well to consult the above-mentioned Table, and those which follow it; they have been drawn up with great care, attention, and indescribable labour.

It has been a question, in what language were the law and prophets read in a synagogue of Pisidia, for in that district, Strabo informs us, that four languages were spoken, viz. the Pisidian, the Solyman, the Greek, and the Lydian. Dr. Lightfoot conjectures, with great probability, that the Scriptures were read in the original Hebrew, and that an interpre

He went about) Περιαγων. Not knowing how to take a right step, he groped about in great uncertainty; and, not being able to find his way, he sought for some persons to lead him by the hand. This state of Elymas, is inimitably expressed in one of the cartoons of Raphael, now at Hainpton-ter rendered the reading to the people in their mother tongue. court, (and lately engraved in the true spirit of the original, by Mr. Thomas Holloway,) in which his whole figure expres ses the depth of distress, concern, uncertainty, and confusion; and, to use a word common in exhibiting this matchless piece of painting, he is blind from head to foot. In this man. ner, the text authorized the painter to express the state of this miserable culprit.

12 The deputy-believed] This was a proof that the doctrine was true; and that the power of God, from which nothing could be concealed, and which nothing could resist, was with these preachers.

Being astonished,] ExAnoσopcvos; being struck with as tonishment, as Elymas was struck with blindness. Thus the word of God is a two-edged sword: it smites the sinner with judgment, or compunction; and the sincere inquirer after truth, with conviction of its own worth and excellence.

13. Paul and his company loosed from Paphos.] They sailed away from this island, leaving, it may be presumed, Elymas a sincere and deeply humbled penitent: and Sergius Paul, a thorough and happy believer in the doctrine of Christ. Previously to this time, St. Luke always mentions Barnabas before Paul; but after this, he mentions Paul always first; probably after seeing how God had distinguished him in the late proceedings at Cyprus; as much of the Holy Spirit now rested upon him.

They came to Perga in Pamphylia.] As Perga was not a

There is no doubt, that the Jews and proselytes understood the Greek tongue well; and they certainly had the Septuagint version among them.

The rulers of the Synagogue] These were the persons, whose business it was to read the appointed sections: and to take care of the synagogue and its concerns; and to see that all was done decently and in order.

Sent unto them] Seeing them to be Jews, they wished them to give some suitable address to the people, i. e. to the Jews who were there engaged in the Divine worship; for the whole of the following discourse, which greatly resembles that of St. Stephen, chap. vii. is directed to the Jers alone; and this was probably spoken either in Hebrew or Greek.

Ye men and brethren] Avopes adɛλøvɩ, men brethren, a Ile braism for "Ye men who are our brethren," i e. Jews, as we ourselves are; but aydpes is often an expletive, as we have already seen. See the note on chap. vii. 2

If ye have any word of exhortation] Ει έτι λόγος εν υμιν napakλnocws If ye have any subject of consolation; any word of comfort to us, who are sojourners in this strange land, speak it. The Consolation of Israel, was an epithet of the Messiah among the Jews; and it is probable, that it was in reference to him, that the rulers of the synagogne spoke. That napakλnois is to be understood here, as meaning conso lation, and this in reference to the Messiah, the whc.e of the following discourse will prove to the attentive rewder; in


brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, I them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them
the space of forty years.
said, I have found David the son of Jesse, ka man after mine
David to be their king: to whom also he gave testimony, and
own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
231 Of this man's seed hath God, according to his promise
baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
24 When John had first preached, before his coming, the

Suffered he their manners] Erpоropoрnoe avrovs; he dealt indulgently with them; howsoever they behaved towards him, he mercifully bore with, and kindly treated them. But instead of erpopopnoev, ACE., some others, with the Syriac, Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopic, and some of the Fathers, read &rpopopopnoer, which signifies, he nourished and fed them, or bore them about in his arms as a tender nurse does her child. This reading confirms the marginal conjecture, and agrees excellently with the scope of the place; and is a reading at least of equal value with that in the commonly received text. Gries bach has admitted it, and excluded the other. Both, when rightly understood, speak nearly the same sense; but the latter is the most expressive, and agrees best with Paul's discourse, and the history to which he alludes. See the same form of expression, Num. xi. 12. Exod. xix. 4. Isa. xlvi. 3, 4. and Ixiii. 9.

19. Destroyed seven nations] The Canaanites, Hittites, Girgasites, Amorites, Hivites, Peresites, and Jebusites. The rabbins frequently called them mos nya Shebaah Omoth, the Seven Nations.

20. And after that he gave unto them judges, about the space of four hundred and fifty years] This is a most diffi cult passage, and has been termed by Scaliger, Crux Chronologorum. The apostle seems here to contradict the account in 1 Kings vi. 1. And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the Land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, he began to build the house of the Lord.

Sir Norton Knatchbull, in his Annotations upon difficult texts, has considered the various solutions proposed by learned men of the difficulty before us; and concludes, that the words of the apostle should not be understood as meaning, how Long God gave them judges, but when he gave them; and therefore proposes that the first words of this verse, Kat pera Taura ws ETEOL TETраKOGLоLS Kаι жEVтNKOVтa, should be referred to the words going before, ver. 17. that is, to the time WHEN the God of the children of Israel chose their fathers.

"Now this time wherein God may properly be said to have Chosen their fathers, about 450 years before he gave them judges, is to be computed from the birth of Isaac, in whom God may properly be said to have chosen their fathers; for God, who had chosen Abraham out of all the people of the earth, chose Isaac at this time out of the children of Abraham, in whose family the covenant was to rest. To make this computation evident, let ns observe, that from the birth of Isaac to the birth of Jacob are 60 years; from thence to their going into Egypt, 130; from theree to the Exodus, 210; from thence to 386

Paul proclaims salvation


whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets ⚫ which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in code aning him.

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And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.

29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30 But God raised him from the dead:

31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him frown Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.

32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the pro. mise which was made unto the fathers,

Mart 10.6. Luke 24.47. Ver.46 Ch.325 Luke 24.34 Ch.3.17. 1 Cor. 2.9Ve. 14, 15 Ch.1521-4 Lure 24.2), 44. Ch 25,22, & 8.23-11 Matt 27.22. Mark 15 0,14 Luke 233, 21, 22. John 19, 6, TN- Ch. 3, 13,14 w Luke 18. 31. & 24. 41. John 19.9, 30, 36, 37-x Matt 2.0. Mark 15 46 Luke 23.53. John 19 39-y Matt. 24 Ch 24 & 4.13, 15, 26. & 50- Matt 25.16. Ch 1.3. 1 Cor. 15.5, 6, 7. —a Ch. 1. 11. -b Ch.1.8. & 2.32. & §. 15, & 5.2-e Gen.3.15.& 12.3. & 22.18. Ch.26.6. Rom. 4.

through the death of Christ.

33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the se cond Psalin, d Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure f mercies of David. 35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36 For David, h after he had served his own gene-ation by the will of God, i fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. 38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that kthrough this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him, all that believe, are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 13. Gal 3.16-d Psa. 2.7. Heb. 1.5. & 5.5.- Isa. 58.3. -f Gr. Tà õσta, holy, or just things which word the LXX. both in the place of Isa. 55. 3. and in many others, use for that which is in the Hebrew, mercies. -g Psalm 16. 10. Ch. 2. 31.h Or, after he had in his own age served the will of God Ver. 22 Pea 78. 72il Kings 2.10, Ch.2.29.-k Jer. 31.34. Dan.9.24. Luke 24. 47. 1 John 2. 12.-1 Isa.63 11. Rom.3. 28. & 8.3. Heb.7.19.

course, or race, is used here to point out the short duration of cient, a thousand more may be added. But in the above reathe Baptist's ministry, and the fervent zeal with which he per- sons it is demonstrated, that the doctrine of the eternal Sonformed it. It signifies properly his ministry, or life. A ship of Christ is absolutely irreconcilable to reason, and conman's work, employment, function, &c. is his race, course, or tradictory to itself. ETERNITY is that which has had no begin. way of life. John had a ministry from God; and he dis.ning, nor stands in any reference to time; Sox supposes charged the duties of it with zeal and diligence; bore the fa- time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to tigues of it with patience and resignation; and was gloriously such generation: therefore the conjunction of these two successful in it, because the hand of the Lord was with him. terms, Son and eternity, is absolutely impossible, as they im26. Men and brethren] This should have been translated ply essentially different and opposite ideas. brethren simply. See the note on chap. vii. 2.

Children of the stock of Abraham] All ye that are Jews. And whosoever among you feareth God] That is, all ye who were Gentiles, and who are now proselytes of the Jewish religion.

The word of this salvation] The doctrine that contains the promise of deliverance from sin, and the means by which it is brought about; all which is founded on Jesus, of the stock of David, dying and rising again for the salvation of Jews and Gentiles.

If the passage in question be understood of the resurrection of Christ, it points out that the human nature, which was produced by the power of God in the womb of the Virgin, and which was the Son of God, could see no corruption; and therefore, though it died for sín, must be raised from the dead before it saw corruption. Thus God owned that human nature to be peculiarly his own; and therefore Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead, Rom. i. 4.

34. No more to return to corruption] To the grave, to death, the place and state of corruption; for so we should understand the word diapopav, in the text.

27. Because they knew him not] A gentle excuse for the persecuting high-priests, &c. They did not know that Jesus was the Christ, because they did not know the prophets and The sure mercies of David.] Ta boia Aaßid ra risa. why did they not know the prophets, which were read every These words are quoted literatim from the Septuagint verSabbath day? Because they did not desire to know his will:sion of Isa. Iv. 3. where the Hebrew is DNI on chasand therefore they knew not the doctrine of God: nor did dey David haneemanim, of which the Greek is a faithful they know that in condemning Christ, they fulfilled those very translation; and which sure mercies of David, St. Paul conScriptures which were read every Sabbath day in their Syna- siders as being fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ. From gogues. this application of the words, it is evident that the apostle considered the word David as signifying the Messiah; and then the sure or faithful mercies, being such as relate to the new covenant, and the various blessings promised in it, are evidently those which are sealed and confirmed to mankind by the resurrection of Christ: and it is in this way that the apos. tle applies them. Had there not been the fullest proof of the resurrection of Christ, not one of the promises of the New Covenant could have been considered as sure or faithful. I he did not rise from the dead, then, as said the apostle, your faith and our preaching are vain, 1 Cor. xv. 14.

28. They found no cause of death in him] No reason why he should be condemned. Though they accused him of several things, yet they could not substantiate the most trifling charge against him; and yet, in opposition to all justice and equity, desired Pilate to put him to death! This paints their perfidy in the strongest light.

29. They took him down from the tree] The apostle passes rapidly over several circumstances of his death, that he might establish the fact of his resurrection.

30. But God raised him from the dead] And thus gave the fullest proof of his innocence. God alone can raise the dead; and he would not work a miracle so very extraordinary, but on some extraordinary occasion.

31. He was seen many days, &c.] The thing was done but a very short time since; and many of the witnesses are still alive, and ready to attest the fact of this resurrection in the most unequivocal manner.

32. We declare unto you glad tidings] We proclaim that Gospel to you which is the fulfilment of the promise made unto the fathers.

The following observations of Bp. Pearce are judicious. "For the sense of these words, we must have recourse to what God said to David in 2 Sam. vii. 11, 12, &c. explained by what is said in Psal. lxxxix. 3, 4, 28, 29, 36. where frequent mention is made of a covenant established by God, with David, and sworn to by God, that David's seed should endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven, and as the sun, to all generations. This covenant and this oath are the sure and sacred things of which Isaiah, lv. 3. speaks; and Luke in this place. And Paul understood them as relating to the kingdom of Jesus, (the Son of David,) which was to be an everlasting kingdom; and if an everlasting one, then it was necessary that Jesus should have been (as he was) raised from the dead: and to support this argument, Paul, in the next verse, strengthens it with another, drawn from Psalm xvi. ver. 10." See also the note among the marginal readings.

33. Written in the second Psalm] Instead of rw Yudμw Tw evrep, the second Psalm; pwr paduw, the first Psalm, is the reading of D. and its Itala version, and several of the primitive Fathers. Griesbach has received it into the text; but not, in my opinion, on sufficient evidence. The reason of these various readings is sufficiently evident to those who are acquainted with Hebrew MSS. In many of these, two Psalms are often written as one; and the first and second Psalms are written as one in seven of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS. Those who possessed such MSS. would say, as it is written in the FIRST Psalm: those who referred to MSS. where the two Psalms were separate, would say, in the SECOND Psalm; as they would find the quotation in question in the first verse of 38. Be it known unto you therefore] This is the legitimate the second Psalm. There is, therefore, neither contradiction conclusion: Seeing the word of God is true, and he has pronor difficulty here; and it is no matter which reading we pre-mised an endless succession to the seed of David; seeing Da fer, as it depends on the simple circumstance, whether we consider these two Psalms as parts of one and the same; or whether we consider them as two distinct Psalms.

Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.] It has been disputed, whether this text should be understood of the incarnation, or of the resurrection of our Lord. If under stood of his incarnation, it can mean no more than this, that the human nature of our blessed Lord was begotten by the energy of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the blessed Virgin; for, as to his divine nature, which is allowed to be God, it could neither be created nor begotten. See some reasons of fered for this on Luke i. 35, and if those be deemed insuffi

36. David-fell on sleep-and saw corruption.] David died, was buried, and never rose again; therefore, David cannot be the person spoken of here: the words are true of some other person; and they can be applied to Jesus Christ only; and in him they are most exactly fulfilled. See the notes on chap. ii. 29, 30, &c.

vid and all his family have failed in reference to the political kingdom; a spiritual kingdom and a spiritual succession must be intended, that the sure covenant and all its blessings may be continued. Again, seeing the person by whom this is to be done, is to see no corruption; seeing David has died, and has seen (fallen under the power of) corruption; seeing Jesus the Christ has wrought all the miracles which the prophets said he should work; seeing he has suffered all the indignities which your prophets said he must suffer; seeing after his death he has most incontestably risen again from the dead, and has not fallen under the power of corruption-Then he must be the very person in whom all the predictions are ful

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