And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And they of the circumcision which believed . . .—St. Luke obviously dwells on this as a testimony, beyond suspicion, to the reality of the gift. Those who came with Peter were apparently not sharers at the time in the exultant joy which they were yet compelled to recognise as the Spirit’s work. They listened with amazement as they heard the rapturous chant burst from the lips of the as yet unbaptised heathens. Here, accordingly, was one definite fulfilment of Peter’s vision. Those who so spake had been, as it were, carried up into heaven, as the four-footed beasts and creeping things had been, and so a proof was given that no man might henceforth call them common or unclean. Peter himself had indeed learnt that lesson so fully (Acts 10:28) as not to need this special attestation, but for those who came with him this evidence was needed and was sufficient.They of the circumcision; such as were not only themselves circumcised, but born of circumcised parents, who are thus called, Galatians 2:12. These, not minding, or understanding, the many predictions of the calling of the Gentiles, thought that Christ was only promised unto the Jews; and were amazed to see now such an argument as might convince them to the contrary.
Poured out, speaks the abundant measure in which the Holy Ghost was given unto them.
were astonished, as many as came with Peter; who were six brethren, as appears from Acts 11:12 these were amazed,
because that on the Gentiles also was poured out of the gift of the Holy Ghost; which they before thought was peculiar to the Jews; and this was according to their former notions, and the sentiments of the whole nation, that the Shekinah does not dwell without the land, and only in the land of Israel (o); yea, they sometimes say, only upon the families in Israel, whose genealogies are clear (p): the same they say of prophecy (q), which is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and was one of those which were now bestowed. They own, that before the giving of the law, the Holy Ghost was among the Gentiles, but from that time ceased to be among them (r): hence even these believing Jews wonder at the pouring it forth upon them; which they needed not, had they known that the legal dispensation was now at an end, and the Gospel dispensation had taken place; in which it had been foretold the Spirit should be poured forth on the dry ground of the Gentiles.
(o) Zohar in Gen. fol. 118. 4. & in Exod. fol. 2. 3. & 70. 2. Maimon. Kiddush Hachodesh, c. 4. sect. 12. & Jarchi in Jonah i. 3.((p) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 70. 2.((q) Zohar in Gen. fol. 128. 4. (r) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 21. p. 59.And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 10:45-46. Οἱ ἐκ περιτ. πιστοί] those who were believers from the circumcision, i.e. believers who belonged to the circumcised, the Jewish-Christians. Comp. Acts 11:2; Romans 4:12; Galatians 2:12; Colossians 4:11; Titus 1:10. On περιτομή in the concrete sense, comp. Romans 3:30; Romans 4:9; Romans 4:12; Romans 15:8; Galatians 2:7; Php 3:3.
ὅσοι συνῆλθ. τ. ΙΙ.] see Acts 10:23.
ἐπὶ τὰ ἔθνη] Cornelius and his company now represented, in the view of those who were astonished, the Gentiles as a class of men generally; for the article signifies this. Observe also the perfect; the completed fact lay before them.
γάρ] reason assigned ab effectu.
λαλούντων γλώσσαις] γλώσσαις (or γλώσσῃ) λαλεῖν is mentioned as something well known to the church, without the ἑτέραις, by the characteristic addition of which the event recorded in chap. 2 is denoted as something singular and not identical with the mere γλώσσαις λαλεῖν, as it was there also markedly distinguished by means of the list of peoples. Now if, in the bare γλώσσαις λαλεῖν, this γλώσσαις were to be understood in the same sense as in chap. 2. according to the representation of the narrator, then—as Bleek’s conception, “to speak in glosses,” is decidedly to be rejected (see on chap. 2)—no other meaning would result than: “to speak in languages,” i.e. to speak in foreign languages (different from their mother tongue), and therefore quite the same as ἑτέραις γλώσσαις λαλεῖς. But against this we may decisively urge the very expression ἑτέραις (with which agrees καιναῖς in the apocryphal passage, Mark 16:17) only added in chap. 2, and almost ostentatiously glorified as the chief matter, but not inserted at all elsewhere (here or at chap. 19 or 1 Corinthians 12-14). So much the more decidedly is γλώσσαις here and in Acts 19:6 not to be completed by mentally supplying ἑτέραις (so Baur still, and others, following the traditional interpretation), but to be explained: “with tongues,” and that in such a way that Luke himself has meant nothing else (not: “in languages”) than the to him well-known glossolalia of the apostolic church, which was here manifested in Cornelius and his company, but from which he has conceived and represented the event of Pentecost as something different and entirely extraordinary, although the latter also is, in its historical substance, to be considered as nothing else than the first speaking with tongues (see on chap. 2). Cornelius and his friends spoke with tongues, i.e. they spoke not in the exercise of reflective thought (of the νοῦς, 1 Corinthians 14:9), not in intelligible, clear, and connected speech, but in enraptured eucharistic ecstasy, as by the involuntary exercise of their tongues, which were just organs of the Spirit. See the more particular exposition at 1 Corinthians 12:10.
 Comp. also van Hengel, de gave d. talen, pp. 75 ff., 84 ff., who, however, here also (see on chap, 2.) abides by the view, that they spoke “openly and aloud to the glorifying of God in Christ.”Acts 10:45. οἱ ἐκ π., see Acts 10:23, cf. Romans 4:12, and for the phrase as describing St. Paul’s most bitter and narrow opponents, see Galatians 2:12, Colossians 4:11, Titus 1:10. The fact was thus fully testified, even by those who were not in sympathy with it.—καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ ἔθνη: “nam uno admisso jam nulli clausa est janua” Bengel. Cf. Acts 2:38, a gift which they thought did not appertain to the Gentiles; see on Acts 10:44, and Schöttgen, Hor. Heb., in loco.44–48. The Holy Ghost is sent upon Cornelius and his friends, and they are baptized
45. they of the circumcision] The six Jewish Christians mentioned in Acts 11:12 as companions of St Peter.Acts 10:45. Ἐπὶ τὰ ἔθνη, on the nations) So one house is called, either because they hence inferred that the other Gentiles also were about to receive the Holy Spirit: for once that one was admitted, now henceforth the door is closed against none; and rightly from this instance they draw the conclusion as to all cases; ch. Acts 11:18, Acts 14:27 : or else because it was not convenient to use the term ἐθνικοὺς, Gentiles.Verse 45. - Amazed for astonished, A.V. They of the circumcision would doubtless be the brethren from Joppa who accompanied Peter (ver. 23). A more striking confirmation of Peter's vision cannot be conceived than this descent of the Holy Ghost upon the uncircumcised. How could they any longer be reckoned common or unclean whom God thus cleansed with his Holy Spirit?
From this point Luke distinguishes Christians into two classes - those of the circumcision and those of the uncircumcision; calling the former, Jews, and the latter Gentiles or Greeks.
See on Acts 2:7.
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