Acts 4:34
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
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(34) Neither was there any among them that lacked.—Better, perhaps, any one in need.

Sold them, and brought the prices.—Both words imply continuous and repeated action. It is possible that besides the strong impulse of love, they were impressed, by their Lord’s warnings of wars and coming troubles, with the instability of earthly possessions. Landed property in Palestine was likely to be a source of anxiety rather than profit, As Jeremiah had shown his faith in the future restoration of his people by purchasing the field at Anathoth (Jeremiah 32:6-15), so there was, in this sale of their estates, a proof of faith in the future desolation which their Master had foretold (Matthew 24:16-21).

4:32-37 The disciples loved one another. This was the blessed fruit of Christ's dying precept to his disciples, and his dying prayer for them. Thus it was then, and it will be so again, when the Spirit shall be poured upon us from on high. The doctrine preached was the resurrection of Christ; a matter of fact, which being duly explained, was a summary of all the duties, privileges, and comforts of Christians. There were evident fruits of Christ's grace in all they said and did. They were dead to this world. This was a great evidence of the grace of God in them. They did not take away others' property, but they were indifferent to it. They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ, and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to him. No marvel that they were of one heart and soul, when they sat so loose to the wealth of this world. In effect, they had all things common; for there was not any among them who lacked, care was taken for their supply. The money was laid at the apostles' feet. Great care ought to be taken in the distribution of public charity, that it be given to such as have need, such as are not able to procure a maintenance for themselves; those who are reduced to want for well-doing, and for the testimony of a good conscience, ought to be provided for. Here is one in particular mentioned, remarkable for this generous charity; it was Barnabas. As one designed to be a preacher of the gospel, he disentangled himself from the affairs of this life. When such dispositions prevail, and are exercised according to the circumstances of the times, the testimony will have very great power upon others.That lacked - That was in want, or whose needs were not supplied by the others.

As many as ... - The word used here is employed in a large, indefinite sense; but it would be improper to press it so as to suppose that every individual that became a Christian sold at once all his property. The sense doubtless is, that this was done "when it was necessary:" they parted with whatever property was needful to supply the needs of their poor brethren. That it was by no means considered a matter of "obligations," or enjoined by the apostles, is apparent from the case of Ananias, Acts 5:4. The fact that "Joses" is particularly mentioned Acts 4:36 shows that it was by no means a universal practice thus to part with all their possessions. He was "one" instance in which it was done. Perhaps there were many other similar instances; but all that the passage requires us to believe is, that they parted with whatever was "needful" to supply the needs of the poor. This was an eminent and instructive instance of Christian liberality, and of the power of the gospel in overcoming one of the strongest passions that ever exist in the human bosom - the love of money. Many of the early Christians were poor. They were collected from the lower orders of the people. But "all" Were not so. Some of them, it seems, were people of affluence; but the effect of religion was to bring them all, in regard to feeling, at least, on a level. They felt that they were members of one family, and they therefore imparted their property cheerfully to their brethren. Besides this, they were about to go to other lands to preach the gospel, and they cheerfully parted with their property that they might go and proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. See the notes on Acts 2:44.

33. with great power—effect on men's minds.

great grace was upon them all—The grace of God copiously rested on the whole community.

So far forth as might relieve the present necessities of believers; not that every one parted with all that he had, for that had taken away (at least) the use and force of the eighth commandment; for where there is no propriety there can be no theft. Now Christ came not to dissolve any law, but to fulfil it: the meaning then is, that these early Christians would not only part with their revenue, but, rather than their brethren should want, they would and did sell their fee simple. See Acts 2:44. Neither was there any among them that lacked,.... Bread to eat, or clothes to wear, or any of the necessaries of life; which shows their great charity, and gives a reason why they were in so much favour with the people, because they took so much care of their poor; and this flowed from the grace of God bestowed upon them:

for as many as were possessors of lands and houses; or "vineyards", as the Ethiopic version reads, whether in Jerusalem or elsewhere;

sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold; whether lands, houses, or vineyards.

{13} Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

(13) True charity helps the need of the poor with its own loss, but in such a way that all things are done well and orderly.

Acts 4:34-35. Γάρ] adduces a special ground of knowledge, something from which the χάρις μεγάλη was apparent. For there was found no one needy among them, because, namely, all possessors, etc.

πωλοῦντες κ.τ.λ.] The present participle is put, because the entire description represents the process as continuing: being wont to sell, they brought the amount of the price of what was sold, etc. Hence also πιπρασκομ. is not incorrectly (de Wette) put instead of the aorist participle. See, on the contrary, Kühner, II. § 675. 5. The aorist participle is in its place at Acts 4:37.

παρὰ τοὺς πόδας] The apostles are, as teachers, represented sitting (comp. Luke 2:46); the money is brought and respectfully (comp. Chrysostom: πολλή ἡ τιμή) placed at their feet as they sit.[162]

ΚΑΘΌΤΙ ἌΝ Κ.Τ.Λ.] See on Acts 2:45.

[162] The delivery of the funds to the apostles is not yet mentioned in Acts 2:45, and appears only to have become necessary when the increase of the church had taken place. With the alleged right of the clergy personally to administer the funds of the church, which Sepp still finds sanctioned here, this passage has nothing to do.Acts 4:34. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐνδεής: cf. Deuteronomy 15:4, where the same adjective occurs; cf. Acts 15:7; Acts 15:11, Acts 24:14, Isaiah 41:17. No contradiction with Acts 6:1, as Holtzmann supposes; here there is no ideal immunity from poverty and want, but distribution was made as each fitting case presented itself: “their feeling was just as if they were under the paternal roof, all for a while sharing alike,” Chrys., Hom., xi.—ὅσοι γὰρὑπῆρχον, “non dicitur: omnes hoc fecerunt [aorist] ut jam nemo vel fundum vel domum propriam haberet, sed: vulgo [saepe] hoc fiebat [imperfect] ad supplendum fiscum communem pauperibus destinatum; itaque nunquam deerat quod daretur,” Blass, in loco, cf. remarks on Acts 2:47.—τὰς τιμὰς τῶν πιπρασκομένων, “the prices of the things which were being sold”. The language shows that we are not meant to infer that the men sold all that they had (cf. Wetstein, especially Appian, B. Civ., v., p. 1088, τιμὰς τῶν ἔτι πιπρασκ.). πωλοῦντες et πιπρασκ. both imperfect (Blass), and see also Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, p. 58.—κτήτορες in N.T. only here, rarely elsewhere, see instances in Wetstein; not in LXX, but cf. Symmachus, Joel 1:11.34. Neither was there any among them that lacked] The A. V. omits the word for, which is represented in the Greek and is needed for the sense. “For neither was there, &c.” This was one reason for their favour among men. All could see and admire the spirit of self-sacrifice which was exhibited by what they were doing.

brought the prices of the things that were sold] The language here expressly avoids saying that these men sold all they had. They sold some things, and the sum realized by what was sold was offered to the common store. We never hear that a similar fund was raised in any place except Jerusalem.Acts 4:34. Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐνδεής τις, for neither was there any in need) So it ought to be in our days, even without goods being; in common,—a state of things which is suited only to the highest perfection (flower) of faith and love.—πωλοῦντες, selling) They laid out their wealth to good account, before that the Romans devastated the city. As the Israelites made gain from the Egyptians, so did the Christians from the Jews.[38]

[38] Viz. by selling their lands, which the Roman invasion would soon make worthless to the Jews.—E. and T.Verse 34. - For neither for neither, A.V.; among them any for any among them, A.V. One striking proof of the greatness of the Divine grace that was upon the Church at this time was that there was no such thing as want or poverty among them. The equality typified in the daily collection of manna was literally fulfilled among them (2 Corinthians 8:14, 15); for the rich sold their houses and lands, and laid the price of them at the apostles' feet, to be used for the common wants. The present participle in the Greek (πωλοῦντες... πιπρασκομένων) indicates the process as continuing (Meyer).
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