Acts 13:49
And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
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(49) Throughout all the region.—This clearly involves a considerable period of active working. It was not in Antioch only, but in the “region” round about, the border district of the three provinces of Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Galatia, that the new faith was planted. Each town and village in that region presented the spectacle of at least some few men and women who no longer sacrificed to their country’s gods, who were no longer content even to worship in the synagogue of the relligio licita of the Jews, but met in small companies here and there, as the disciples of a new Master.

Acts 13:49-52. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all that region — Paul and Barnabas, it seems, during their stay at Antioch, made excursions into the neighbouring country, for the sake of preaching to the idolatrous Gentiles; or the people who came from the country to Antioch, and believed the doctrine preached by Paul and Barnabas, carried the glad tidings of salvation home with them. From this time forth it appears in all the Gentile countries. Paul, after preaching to the Jews, constantly offered salvation to the Gentiles, and by so doing fulfilled the commission which he had received from Christ, when he made him his apostle to the Gentiles. But the Jews stirred up the devout, &c. — The unbelieving Jews in Antioch, greatly enraged at the success with which Paul and Barnabas preached to the Gentiles, stirred up some women of considerable rank, who, having been proselyted to their religion, were peculiarly zealous for it; and the chief men of the city — Also, who probably were the husbands of these proselyted women; raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas — Representing them, doubtless, as exciters of sedition, and innovators in religion, who might occasion danger to the state; and expelled them out of their coasts — Out of the territory belonging to Antioch. But they shook off the dust of their feet — For a testimony against them; as Christ had commanded his apostles to do, in token of the certain ruin which should befall such despisers of his gospel. See on Matthew 10:14. And came unto Iconium — Where they renewed the proclamation of those glad tidings, which many of the inhabitants of Antioch had so ungratefully rejected. This place lay on the western border of Lycaonia, and on the confines of Pisidia, Galatia, and Phrygia; to the latter of which it seems once to have belonged. See Raphelius. And the disciples — Who remained at Antioch; were filled with joy — That so blessed a message as that which Paul and Barnabas had brought them, had reached their ears, and been received by them; and with the Holy Ghost — With his enlightening, sanctifying, and comforting influences, and probably also with, at least, some of his extraordinary gifts; confirming them in the faith which they had newly embraced; and likewise qualifying them for carrying on the cause of Christ in that place, when the first planters of their church could no longer continue to cultivate and water it.

13:42-52 The Jews opposed the doctrine the apostles preached; and when they could find no objection, they blasphemed Christ and his gospel. Commonly those who begin with contradicting, end with blaspheming. But when adversaries of Christ's cause are daring, its advocates should be the bolder. And while many judge themselves unworthy of eternal life, others, who appear less likely, desire to hear more of the glad tidings of salvation. This is according to what was foretold in the Old Testament. What light, what power, what a treasure does this gospel bring with it! How excellent are its truths, its precepts, its promises! Those came to Christ whom the Father drew, and to whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual, Ro 8:30. As many as were disposed to eternal life, as many as had concern about their eternal state, and aimed to make sure of eternal life, believed in Christ, in whom God has treasured up that life, and who is the only Way to it; and it was the grace of God that wrought it in them. It is good to see honourable women devout; the less they have to do in the world, the more they should do for their own souls, and the souls of others: but it is sad, when, under colour of devotion to God, they try to show hatred to Christ. And the more we relish the comforts and encouragements we meet with in the power of godliness, and the fuller our hearts are of them, the better prepared we are to face difficulties in the profession of godliness.When the Gentiles heard this - Heard that the gospel was to be preached to them. The doctrine of the Jews had been that salvation was confined to themselves. The Gentiles rejoiced that from the mouths of Jews themselves they now heard a different doctrine.

They glorified the word of the Lord - They honored it as a message from God; they recognized and received it as the Word of God. The expression conveys the idea of praise on account of it, and of reverence for the message as the Word of God.

And as many as were ordained - ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι hosoi ēsan tetagmenoi. Syriac, "Who were destined," or constituted. Vulgate, "As many as were foreordained (quotquot erant praeordinati) to eternal life believed." There has been much difference of opinion in regard to this expression. One class of commentators has supposed that it refers to the doctrine of election - to God's ordaining people to eternal life, and another class to their being disposed themselves to embrace the gospel - to those among them who did not reject and despise the gospel, but who were disposed and inclined to embrace it. The main inquiry is, what is the meaning of the word rendered "ordained"? The word is used only eight times in the New Testament: Matthew 28:16, "Into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them"; that is, previously appointed - before his death; Luke 7:8, "For I also am a man set under authority"; appointed, or designated as a soldier, to be under the authority of another; Acts 15:2, "They determined that Paul and Barnabas, etc., should go to Jerusalem"; Acts 22:10, "It shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do"; Acts 23:23, "And when they appointed him a day," etc.: Romans 13:1, "the powers that be are ordained of God; 1 Corinthians 16:15, They have addicted themselves to the ministry of saints." The word τάσσω tassō, properly means "to place" - that is, to place in a certain rank or order. Its meaning is derived from arranging or disposing a body of soldiers in regular military order. In the places which have been mentioned above, the word is used to denote the following things:

(1) To command, or to designate, Matthew 28:16; Acts 22:10; Acts 28:23.

(2) to institute, constitute, or appoint, Romans 13:1; compare 2 Samuel 8:11; 1 Samuel 22:7.

(3) to determine, to take counsel, to resolve, Acts 15:2.

(4) to subject to the authority of another, Luke 7:8.

(5) to addict to; to devote to, 1 Corinthians 16:15. The meaning may be thus expressed:

(1) The word is never used to denote an internal disposition or inclination arising from one's own self. It does not mean that they disposed themselves to embrace eternal life.

(2) it has uniformly the notion of an ordering, disposing, or arranging from without; that is, from some other source than the individual himself; as of a soldier, who is arranged or classified according to the will of the proper officer. In relation to these persons it means, therefore, that they were disposed or inclined to this from some other source than themselves.

(3) it does not properly refer to an eternal decree, or directly to the doctrine of election - though that may be inferred from it; but it refers to their being then in fact disposed to embrace eternal life. They were then inclined by an influence from without themselves, or so disposed as to embrace eternal life. That this was done by the influence of the Holy Spirit is clear from all parts of the New Testament, Titus 3:5-6; John 1:13. It was not a disposition or arrangement originating with themselves, but with God.

(4) this implies the doctrine of election. It was, in fact, that doctrine expressed in an act. It was nothing but God's disposing them to embrace eternal life. And that he does this according to a plan in his own mind a plan which is unchangeable as he himself is unchangeable is clear from the Scriptures. Compare Acts 18:10; Romans 8:28-30; Romans 9:15-16, Romans 9:21, Romans 9:23; Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 1:11. The meaning may be expressed in few words - who were then disposed, and in good earnest determined, to embrace eternal life, by the operation of the grace of God upon their hearts.

Eternal life - Salvation. See the notes on John 3:36.

49-52. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region—implying some stay in Antioch and missionary activity in its vicinity. The word of the Lord, concerning salvation to be found only by Christ, and the Gentiles to be admitted to partake of that salvation.

Was published throughout all the region; like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened, Matthew 13:33.

And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. That is, of Pisidia, in which Antioch was; not by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, who seem to go directly to Iconium, after they were expelled the city and suburbs of Antioch; but by some of those who were converted under their ministry, and had gifts bestowed on them, qualifying them to preach the Gospel to others, which they did with success. There were no doubt several churches planted in this country, and particularly there was one at Antioch, of which these new converts were the beginning, and which continued: in the "fourth" century, this church was a patriarchate, for it is said, under Valentinian and Theodosius, Optimus obtained the patriarchate of Antioch in Pisidia; in the "fifth" century, it was the metropolitan of Pisidia; in this age, mention is made of several bishops of this place; Candidianus, bishop of Antioch in Pisidia, was present at two synods, one at Constantinople against Eutyches, and another at Ephesus; Dionysius, bishop of the same place, assisted in the synod at Chalcedon, and Pergamius at that which was at Constantinople, under the Emperor Theodosius, and at another at Chalcedon, under the Emperor Marcianus: there were also in this century, bishops of other churches in Pisidia; as Severus, bishop of Sozopolis in Pisidia, who was present in the council at Ephesus, against Nestorius; and Olympius, bishop of Mount Hem in Pisidia, who was at the Chalcedon council; and Paulinus bishop of Apamea, Eortius bishop of Nicopolis, and Alexander bishop of Seleucia, and Longinus bishop of Talbondana, all in Pisidia: in the "sixth" century, there were churches in Pisidia embracing the truth of Christ; Bacchus was bishop of Antioch, and John of another place, who both were in the fifth synod at Constantinople: in the "seventh" century, we read of the church at Antioch, as the metropolitan of Pisidia, and of a bishop of it in the sixth council at Constantinople: in the eighth "century", Gregory, bishop of this place, condemned in a synod the worship of images, but afterwards recanted; and in the same century, this city was taken by the Turks, and spoiled (a); and after this, we read no more of its church state.

(a) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 4. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 5. c. 7. p. 418. & c. 10. p. 588. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 4. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 8. c. 10. p. 366. & c. 16. p. 515.

And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
Acts 13:49. διεφέρετο; divulgabatur, “was spread abroad,” R.V.; not only by the preaching of the Apostles themselves, but by small knots of Christians in other towns, see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 105, and so Blass, in loco; only here in N.T. in this sense, so in (Wis 18:10) Plut.; Lucian; imperfect, a certain lapse of time is implied, see Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 105.—ὅλης τῆς χώρας: the phrase, “the whole Region,” indicates that Antioch was the centre of a Region, a notice which introduces us to an important fact of Roman imperial administration. Antioch, as a Roman colony, would be the natural military and administrative centre of a certain Regio, and there is evidence that in Southern Galatia there were also other distinct Regiones, χῶραι, Ramsay, St. Paul, pp. 102–104, 109, 110–112.

Verse 49. - Spread abroad for published, A.V. As the persecution after the death of Stephen led to the preaching of the Word in Judaea and Samaria and beyond, so here the contradiction and opposition of the Jews led to the free preaching of the gospel for the first time among the heathen population of Pisidia. Acts 13:49
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