Acts 5:30
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.—This synonym for crucifying comes from the LXX. version of Deuteronomy 21:23, where it is used in a wider sense, including analogous forms of punishment, such as hanging or impaling. It meets us again in Peter’s speech to Cornelius (Acts 10:39. Comp. Galatians 3:13).

5:26-33 Many will do an evil thing with daring, yet cannot bear to hear of it afterward, or to have it charged upon them. We cannot expect to be redeemed and healed by Christ, unless we give up ourselves to be ruled by him. Faith takes the Saviour in all his offices, who came, not to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sins. Had Christ been exalted to give dominion to Israel, the chief priests would have welcomed him. But repentance and remission of sins are blessings they neither valued nor saw their need of; therefore they, by no means, admitted his doctrine. Wherever repentance is wrought, remission is granted without fail. None are freed from the guilt and punishment of sin, but those who are freed from the power and dominion of sin; who are turned from it, and turned against it. Christ gives repentance, by his Spirit working with the word, to awaken the conscience, to work sorrow for sin, and an effectual change in the heart and life. The giving of the Holy Ghost, is plain evidence that it is the will of God that Christ should be obeyed. And He will surely destroy those who will not have Him to reign over them.Raised up Jesus - This refers to his resurrection.

Hanged on a tree - That is, on the "cross," Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24; Acts 10:39; Acts 13:29. This is the amount of Peter's defense. He begins with the great principle Acts 5:29, which they could not gainsay, that God ought to be obeyed rather than man. He then proceeds to state that they were convinced that God had raised up Jesus from the dead, and as they had such decisive evidence of that, and were commanded by the authority of the Lord Jesus to be "witnesses of that," they were not "at liberty" to be silent. They were bound to obey God rather than the Sanhedrin, and to make known everywhere the fact that the Lord Jesus was risen. The remark that God had raised up Jesus whom they had "slain," does not seem to have been made to irritate or to reproach them, but merely to "identify" him as the person that had been raised. It was also a confirmation of the truth and reality of the miracle. Of his "death" they had no doubt, for they had been at pains to certify it, John 19:31-34. It is certain, however, that Peter did not shrink from charging on them their guilt; nor was he at any pains to "soften" or "mitigate" the severe charge that they had murdered their own Messiah.

29, 30. Then Peter, &c.—(See on [1954]Ac 2:22, and [1955]Ac 3:13, &c.). The God of our fathers; this is the rather mentioned by the apostle, that they might not think our Saviour, or they his ministers, preached any other God unto them, but him whom they had worshipped from their forefathers.

Hanged on a tree; a tree, or wood, which is rather mentioned than a cross, that the allusion to Deu 21:23 might be more full, where he that is hanged on a tree is accursed; and in that Christ was made a curse for us, Galatians 3:13. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus,.... Not from the dead, though this was true; but called him to the work and office of a Saviour, inverted him with that office, and sent him to perform that work; so that this refers rather to the incarnation of Christ, in consequence of the ancient council and covenant of grace: and this the apostles attribute to God the Father, under the character of "the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob", as in Acts 3:13, to show that they did not bring in and worship any strange God; nor introduce any novel doctrine; or speak of any other Saviour or Redeemer, than he whom the God of their fathers had appointed, and who was made known to them, whom they looked for and believed in, and were justified and saved by:

whom ye slew and hanged on a tree; this is said in defence of themselves, being charged that they intended to bring this man's blood upon them; they therefore insist upon it that they had slain Jesus whom God raised up, inasmuch as they had condemned him to death in their sanhedrim, and had urged and importuned Pilate to crucify him, and had imprecated his blood upon them and on their children; and were not content to put him to any kind of death, but insisted on his being crucified, or hanged on a tree; that is, stretched out upon the cross, which was both a painful and shameful death, to which they were manifestly accessary, and therefore justly charged with it.

{11} The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

(11) Christ is appointed and indeed declared Prince and preserver of his Church, in spite of his enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 5:30-32 now presents, in exact reference to the previous Θεῷ μᾶλλον, the teaching activity of the apostles as willed by God.

ὁ Θεὸς τ. πατ. ἡμ.] Comp. Acts 3:13.

ἤγειρεν] is, with Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Erasmus, and others, to be referred to the raising from the dead, as the following relative sentence contains the contrast to it, and the exaltation to glory follows immediately afterwards, Acts 5:31. Others, such as Calvin, Bengel, de Wette, hold that it refers generally to the appearance of Christ, whom God has made to emerge (Acts 3:22; Acts 3:26, Acts 13:23; Luke 1:69; Luke 7:16).

διαχειρίζεσθαι] to murder with one’s own hands. See Acts 26:21; Polyb. viii. 23. 8.

Comp. διαχειροῦσθαι, Job 30:24. This purposely chosen significant word brings the execution of Christ, which was already in Acts 4:10 designated as the strict personal act of the instigators, into prominent view with the greatest possible force as such. So also in the examples in Kypke, II. p. 34. The following aorist κρεμάσ. is synchronous with διεχειρ. as its modal definition.

ἐπὶ ξύλου] on a tree: an expression, well known to the hearers, for the stake (עֵץ, Genesis 40:19; Deuteronomy 21:22; Isaiah 10:26; comp. Acts 10:39; 1 Peter 2:24; Galatians 3:13) on which criminals were suspended. The cross is here designedly so called, not because the σταυρός was a Roman instrument of death (see, on the other hand, Acts 2:36, Acts 4:10), but in order to strengthen the representation, because ἐπὶ ξύλου reminded them of the accursed (see on Galatians 3:13).

Acts 5:31. Him has God exalted by His right hand to be the Leader (not as in Acts 3:15, where a genitive stands alongside), i.e. the Ruler and Head of the theocracy (a designation of the kingly dignity of Jesus, comp. Thuc. i. 132. 2; Aesch. Agam. 250; and τιμαὶ ἀρχηγοί, Eur. Tr. 196), and a Saviour (the author and bestower of the Messianic salvation). On the idea, comp. Acts 2:36. As to τῇ δεξ. αὑτοῦ, see on Acts 2:23.

δοῦναι μετάνοιαν κ.τ.λ.] contains the design of τοῦτοντῇ δεξιᾷ αὑτοῦ: in order to give repentance to the Israelites and the forgiveness of sins. With the exaltation of Christ, namely, was to commence His heavenly work on earth, through which He as Lord and Saviour, by means of the Holy Spirit, would continually promote the work of redemption to be appropriated by men (would draw them to Him, John 12:32-33) in bringing them by the preaching of the gospel (1 Peter 1:23) to a change of mind (comp. Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25), and so, through the faith in Him which set in with the μετάνοια, making them partakers of the forgiveness of sins in baptism (comp. 1 Peter 3:21). The appropriation of the work of salvation would have been denied to them without the exaltation of Christ, in the absence of which the Spirit would not have operated (John 7:39; John 16:7); but by the exaltation it was given[171] to them, and that, indeed, primarily to the Israelites, whom Peter still names alone, because it was only at a later period that he was to rise from this his national standpoint to universalism (chap. 10).

With the reading αὐρτοῦ μάρτ. (see the critical remarks), μάρτ. governs two genitives different in their reference, the one of a person and the other of a thing (see Winer, p. 180 [E. T. 239]; Dissen, ad Pind. Ol. i. 94; Pyth. ii. 56), and αὐτοῦ could not but accordingly precede; but the emphasis lies on the bold ἡμεῖς, to which then τὸ πνεῦμα κ.τ.λ. is added still more defiantly.

τῶν ῥημάτ. τούτων] of these words, i.e. of what has just been uttered. See on Matthew 4:4. Peter means the raising and exaltation of Jesus. Of the latter the apostles were witnesses, in so far as they had already experienced the activity of the exalted Jesus, agreeably to His own promise (Acts 1:5), through the effusion of the Spirit (Acts 2:33 f.). But Luke, who has narrated the tradition of the externally visible event of the ascension as an historical fact, must here have thought of the eye-witness of the apostles at the ascension.

καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα δὲ τὸ ἅγιον] as well we … as also the Spirit (on the other hand, see Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 181), in which case δέ, according to the Attic usage, is placed after the emphasized idea (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 169). The Holy Spirit, the greater witness, different from the human self-consciousness, but ruling and working in believers, witnesses with them (συμμαρτυρεῖ, Romans 8:16). Comp. Acts 15:28.

τοῖς πειθαρχ. αὐτῷ] to those who obey Him. In an entirely arbitrary manner this is usually restricted by a mentally supplied ἡμῖν merely to the apostles; whereas all who were obedient to God (in a believing recognition of the Messiah preached to them, comp. Acts 2:38, Acts 11:17, and so through the ὑπακοὴ τῆς πίστεως, Romans 1:5) had received the gifts of the Spirit. They form the category to which the apostles belong.

[171] Not merely the actual impulse and occasion given, as, after Heinrichs, Kuinoel and de Wette, also Weiss, Petr. Lehrbegr. p. 307 (comp. his bibl. Theol. p. 138), would have us take it. Against this view may be urged the appended καὶ ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, which is not compatible with that more free rendering of δοῦναι.Acts 5:30. ὁ Θεὸς τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν, cf. Acts 3:13. St. Peter, as before, will not dissociate himself from the common wealth of Israel, or his hearers from the message and works of the Christ.—ἤγειρεν: does this word refer to the Resurrection, or to the sending of Jesus into this world, and His raising up by God as the Messiah? The former is the view taken by St. Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Erasmus, and amongst moderns by Meyer-Wendt, Nösgen, Alford, Overbeck, Felten, Blass, Holtzmann, Weiss, Hilgenfeld; but in Acts 3:15, Acts 4:10, the phrase is ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν (cf. Sir 48:5 : ὁ ἐγείρας νεκρὸν ἐκ θανάτου), although in Acts 10:40, Acts 13:37, the word evidently refers to the Resurrection. Others interpret the word as ἀνίστημι in Acts 3:22, and as in Acts 13:22, ἤγειρεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Δαυείδ (cf. Luke 1:69; Luke 7:16), so Calvin, Bengel, De Wette, Lechler, Hackett, Page. One of the chief arguments for the former interpretation is the contrast marked in the next clause between the death of the Cross and the Resurrection, but this contrast would still be marked by the following verb. Is it not possible that, as in the days of old God had raised up a Saviour, or Saviours, for Israel, cf. Jdg 2:18, ἤγειρε Κ. αὐτοῖς κριτάς, Jdg 3:9; Jdg 3:15, ἤγειρε Κ. σωτῆρα τῷ Ἰ., St. Peter may now speak of Him as raising up Ἰησοῦς, i.e., a Saviour? see further, Acts 5:31.—διεχειρίσασθε, cf. Acts 26:21, “whom ye slew, hanging Him on a tree,” R.V., not as in A.V., “whom ye slew and hanged on a tree,” which would make the words refer to a Jewish mode of punishment, for, according to Jewish law, only those were hanged who were already dead (Deuteronomy 21:22, Joshua 10:26). The word which means in middle to lay hands upon, and so to slay, to kill, is only used by St. Luke (not in LXX), and forcibly represents the guilt of the Jews in the murder of Jesus, as if they had perpetrated it with their own hands (cf. Acts 26:24), “made away with violently,” Page; cf. instances in Wetstein (trucidastis).—κρεμάσαντες ἐπὶ ξύλου, LXX, Genesis 40:19, Deuteronomy 21:22-23, Joshua 10:26, Esther 5:14; Esther 6:4 (Galatians 3:13). Although St. Luke uses κρευασθείς of crucifixion, Luke 23:39, St. Peter alone uses the exact phrase of the text given in Acts 10:39, and so he too has ξύλον, 1 Peter 2:24, for the Cross (although St. Paul uses the same word, Acts 13:29). The word may therefore have a place amongst the many coincidences between St. Peter’s addresses and the language of his Epistles, see above on pp. 121 ff. The fact that their victim was thus accursed in the eyes of the law aggravated their guilt, and at the same sharply contrasted their act and that of God; for a similar contrast see Acts 3:14-15.30. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus] As Peter did in Acts 3:13, so here the Apostles point out that there is no severance of themselves from the worship of the Covenant God of Israel, but that they were teaching that His promise through Moses had now been fulfilled, for that in Jesus the promised prophet had appeared. Cp. Deuteronomy 18:15, and St Peter’s speech, Acts 3:22.

whom ye slew and hanged on a tree] Better, whom ye hanged on a tree and slew. This sentence describes the Roman, and not the Jewish mode of execution. With the latter people only those who were already dead were to be hanged (Deuteronomy 21:22; Joshua 10:26).

In the word which they use for slew the Apostles intimate that the guilt of the Crucifixion was as truly upon the Jews as if the act had been done by their hands, and not by those of the Roman soldiery.

The phrase hanged on a tree is used by St Peter again (Acts 10:39), and by nobody else in the N. T. He also has a similar expression, tree for cross (1 Peter 2:24), “He bare our sins in his own body on the tree.”Acts 5:30. Τῶν πατέρων, of our fathers) ch. Acts 3:13.—ἤγειρεν, hath raised up) of the seed of David: ch. Acts 13:23, Acts 3:22. For it was this raising up that was referred to by the promises given to the fathers. The same verb occurs, Luke 1:69.—διεχειρίσασθε) He had previously said, ἀνείλετε, ἀπεκτείνατε, ἐσταυρώσατε; he now uses a severer expression [“ye have laid violent hands on”].—ἐπὶ ξύλου, on a tree) In a tree (the tree of knowledge of good and evil) was the beginning of sin: in a tree was the atonement for it.Verse 30. - Hanging him for and hanged, A.V. The God of our fathers, etc. Observe how carefully Peter preserves his own brotherhood with the Jews whom he was addressing, and the continuity of the New Testament with the Old Testament as being the sequel of the acts of the same God of Israel. Raised up; viz. from the dead; ἤγειρε, not ἀνίστη, as Acts 3:22, 26. Some, however (Calvin, Bengel, etc.), take ἤγειρε, as here used, to mean "raised up" in the wider sense of ἀναστῆσαι, as in the T.R. of Acts 13:23, where, however, the R.T. has ἤγαγε. Slew; viz. with your own hands, as διεχειρίσασθε means. It only occurs besides in Acts 26:27. Ye slew (διεχειρίσασθε)

Only here and Acts 26:21. To slay with one's own hands.

Tree

See on Luke 23:31.

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