Acts 2
People's New Testament
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2:1 The Day of Pentecost


The Disciples Gathered Together. The Baptism of the Spirit. The Apostles Speak as the Spirit Gives Utterance. The Gospel Heard in Many Tongues. The Theory of the Scoffers. Peter's Sermon. The Prophecy of Joel Fulfilled. Christ and the Resurrection Preached. The Jews Convicted of Crucifying the Lord. The Inquiry of Convicted Sinners. Peter's Reply. Three Thousand Baptized. Continuing in the Apostles' Doctrine. The Progress of the Church.

When the day of Pentecost was fully come. The entire period between it and the passover, the waiting period of the disciples, was filled full. Pentecost, one of the three great annual festivals of the Jews, lasted only one day, was on the fiftieth day from the morrow after the passover Sabbath (Le 23:15-22). The Savior, crucified on Friday, was in the tomb on the passover Sabbath, and rose on Sunday, the day from whence the count began. The Sunday following would be the eighth day, and the fiftieth day would fall on Sunday, the first day of the eighth week. Hence, the ancient church observed Pentecost on the first day of the week. For fuller discussion, see Meyer, Howson and Milligan on this passage. All agree that Pentecost come on Sunday. Pentecost was the feast of the grain harvest, and was also held by the Jews to be the anniversary of the giving of the law (Ex 23:16 34:22,23).

They were all... in one place. Not only the apostles, but the hundred and twenty disciples. They probably had an intimation that the promised day had come.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
2:2 There came a sound. As this day, the day of the founding of the church, was to be a day of signs and wonders, the shedding forth of the Spirit was made perceptible to all. The sound was heard, the tongues of fire were seen, the word was spoken in many languages.

It filled all the house. The mighty sound. At the same time the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, their spirits baptized in the Spirit.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
2:3 There appeared unto them cloven tongues. Luminous tongues sat on each of them, parting asunder (Revised Version), or distributing themselves (margin). Meyer says that the idea is that they parted and distributed themselves on those present. These tongues symbolized the fact that the kingdom now inaugurated was to conquer by the spoken word, by the sword of the Spirit.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
2:4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. All the disciples present. To be filled implies that the human spirit within was overwhelmed by, or immersed in, the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit was not a sprinkling, but an outpouring that overwhelmed the human spirit.

Began to speak. This was the Beginning. See Lu 24:47 Ac 11:15.

With other tongues. In other languages (Revised Version). In the languages of all the different countries from which Jews had come up to Pentecost. Many would be unable to understand the Hebrew dialect of Judea in that period, and hence, they must be preached to in the tongue of their own country if they understood. That the gospel on this, the first day the Great Commission was ever preached, was preached in all tongues, symbolized the fact that it is for all nations.

As the Spirit gave them utterance. They were not allowed to preach the Great Commission until now, in order that every word uttered on this day might be the word of the Spirit, not of man. The words were to be spoken to an audience, not of those in Jerusalem only, but to our whole race in all time, in order to show how sinners are to be saved under the gospel.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
2:5 There were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men. Devout Jews who had come up to the great feast of Pentecost. The Jews were already scattered in many nations, but foreign Jews were wont to flock to the great national feasts. Some, too, had come to end their days at Jerusalem.

Every nation under heaven. From all quarters of the world. Jews, in foreign lands, attended Pentecost in larger numbers than the other feasts, because the time of year favored travel.

Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
2:6 When this was noised abroad. When this sound was heard (Revised Version).

The multitude came together. Led by the sound and the marvelous events.

Speak in his own language. Of the foreign country in which he had been reared.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
2:7,8 Are not all these who speak Galileans? Most of the disciples to this time were. The Galileans were not generally learned men, yet now all hear, every man his own tongue.
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
2:7,8 Are not all these who speak Galileans? Most of the disciples to this time were. The Galileans were not generally learned men, yet now all hear, every man his own tongue.
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
2:9 The long list of nations embraces the various races embraced in the we of Ac 2:8:

Parthians. Parthia was east of the Tigris.

Medes. Media, another part of the Medo-Persian empire, east of the Tigris.

Elamites. Elam was an ancient name of Persia.

Mesopotamia was the seat of Babylon. These four countries just named were thickly populated with Jews descended from those carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar.

Cappadocia. A Roman province not far from the Black Sea.

Pontus. A province south and east of the Black Sea.

Asia. The Roman province of which Ephesus was the capital. All the seven churches were in the province called Asia (Re 1:4,11).

Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia. Parts of what is called Asia Minor.

Egypt. The great African province where many ten thousands of Jews had their home.

Parts of Libya. Of Africa.

About Cyrene. A great Grecian city on the coast west of Egypt. It is said that one-fourth of the population of Cyrene was Jewish.

Strangers of Rome. Roman Jews sojourning at Jerusalem.

Proselytes. Gentiles who had been converted to Judaism.

Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
2:11 Cretes. From the island of Crete.

Arabians. Many Jews dwelt in the desert lands south and east of Palestine, all called generally Arabia.

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
2:13 Others mocking. Some were amazed and bewildered; others, stubbornly skeptical, scoffed and suggested that the speakers were drunk.

New wine. More exactly, sweet wine, a wine made by soaking raisins, pressing out and fermenting the juice, which was very intoxicating. Most wines of Palestine had very slight intoxicating qualities.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
2:14 Peter, standing up. In the name of all the apostles. Jesus had said that Peter should receive the keys of the kingdom (Mt 16:19), and they are now to be used to open its doors.

With the eleven. Eleven other apostles besides himself. He now begins the first gospel sermon. He and the apostles now begin their witness to Christ.

For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
2:15 These are not drunken. It was only the third hour, nine o'clock. The Jews at their festivals seldom ate before this hour, and as their drink was taken at a meal, could not be drunken.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
2:16 This is that which was spoken. He turns to their prophets for an explanation.

By the prophet Joel. Who lived about 800 B.C. See Joe 3:1-5.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
2:17 It shall come to pass in the last days. The phrase Last days was used by the Jews to denote the last dispensation, that of Christ. See Isa 2:2.

I will pour out of my Spirit. A figurative expression to indicate abundant gifts of the Spirit.

Upon all flesh. On all races, not on the Jews alone.

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. To prophesy in the New Testament means to communicate religious truth by divine authority, as well as to foretell the future. The prophecy was fulfilled in the inspired speaking on Pentecost and afterwards, as well as by the daughters of Philip (21:9). It will be seen that both sexes are included.

See visions... dream dreams. Such visions as that of Peter at Joppa (Ac 10:9-16). Such dreams as that of Paul at Troas, where he saw the Macedonian asking him to Come and help us (Ac 16:9).

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
2:19 I will shew wonders in heaven. Peter not only quotes that part of the prophecy of Joel which was applicable to the events now transpiring, but he quotes that part also which pertains to the calamities coming on the Jewish nation, and to the final judgment (Joe 2:28-32). I understand Ac 2:19 to apply directly to the overthrow of Judea and Jerusalem.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness. See PNT Mt 24:29.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
2:21 Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, etc. To turn to the Lord for salvation in his appointed way. It means far more than simply prayer. He who would call on the name of the Lord for salvation must do more than say, Lord, Lord, open unto us (Lu 13:25). He must hear and obey (Mt 7:21).
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
2:22 Hear these words. Peter now begins to preach Christ directly to them. He boldly declares that they knew of his miracles, and wonders and signs. He demonstrates the Messiahship in Ac 2:22-36: (1) By the miracles of which they were witnesses. (2) By his Resurrection, proved (a) by the prophecy of David; (b) by the testimony of all the apostles present who were witnesses; (c) by the phenomena then witnessed, which could be only due to his exaltation to the right hand of God.
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
2:23 Being delivered by the determinate counsel. It was the will of the Father that he should die, and was known to the Father before his coming. See Isa 53:1-12.

By wicked hands have crucified. By the hands of wicked Romans, whom they caused to crucify the Lord.

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
2:24 Because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. It was not possible that Jesus be held by death, because he had life in himself, and, besides, it was the Father's will that he should arise. This verse epitomizes the four Gospels.
For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
2:25-28 David speaketh. See Ps 16:8-11.
Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
2:25-28 David speaketh. See Ps 16:8-11.
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
2:27 Not leave my soul in hell. In Hades, the unseen abode of the dead. The meaning is that he would not remain under the power of death. See Ps 16:10. David did not speak this of himself, but of the Son of David. See Ac 2:29.

Thine Holy One. The Lord Jesus. The promised Messiah.

Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
2:29 He is both dead and buried. David. His sepulcher was in their midst, within the walls of the city. All his hearers had seen it.
Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
2:30 Knowing that God had sworn. God had promised to David that Christ should sit on his throne. See 2Sa 7:11-16 Ps 89:3,4,35,37 132:11.
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up. David foretold it; we are all witnesses of it. There were, including himself, at least twelve witnesses there who had seen the risen Lord again and again. The next point is the exaltation of Christ to a heavenly throne.
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
2:33 He hath shed forth this. The supernatural marvels of this wonderful day were the proof of Christ's exaltation. He had shed them forth.
For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
2:34 For. Peter now shows that David had foretold the exaltation of Christ.

David... saith. See Ps 110:1. Jesus quotes the same passage and applies it to himself (Mt 23:32.).

The LORD. God, the Father.

My Lord. Christ.

Sit thou on my right hand. See Ac 2:33. To sit at the right hand implies participation in the Supreme Government.

Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
2:35 Until I make, etc. When the work of the Mediator is ended and all conquered to Christ, then all power is given up to the Father. See 1Co 15:23-28.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know, etc. This is the grand climax, the conclusion to which the whole discourse had been directed.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
2:37 When they heard this. The conclusion, supported by such convincing demonstration. Before Peter began to speak they did not understand the signs; but now it was clear to them that they had rejected and crucified the Lord.

Pricked in their heart. Convicted of their sins, and pierced with sorrow. They believed Peter's affirmation; their faith revealed their sin in rejecting Christ. Overwhelmed with sorrow, they ask,

What shall we do? Is there any way that such sinners can be pardoned?

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
2:38 Repent, and be baptized. For the first time the terms of pardon under the New Covenant and the Great Commission are given; given once for all time, and always the same. The convicted, broken-hearted, sorrowing sinner, believing that Jesus is the Christ, is to repent and be baptized.

Repent. Not sorrow. They already sorrowed; but a change of purpose; the internal change which resolves to serve the Lord. The Greek term metanoeo, rendered repent, means a change of mind. The act of obedience in baptism is an outward expression of both faith and repentance.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Upon the name (Revised Version). Upon the ground of the name. In submission to the authority of Jesus Christ.

For the remission of sins. Thus, by complying with the conditions just named, they shall receive remission of sins. No man can receive pardon without faith and repentance, nor can he without submission to the will of Christ. Meyer says:

Eis (for) denotes the object of baptism, which is the remission of the guilt contracted in the state before metanoia (repentance).''

And Prof. Hackett writes:

In order to the forgiveness of sins we connect naturally with both the preceding verbs. This clause states the motive or object which should induce them to repent and be baptized.''

The gift of the Holy Spirit. Promised as a comforter to all who obey Christ, but whom the world cannot receive (Joh 14:17).

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
2:39 For the promise. Of pardon, and the gift of the Spirit.

Unto you. Even unto those who rejected the Lord.

To your children. Your children after you.

To all that are afar off. To the Gentiles. That he refers to the Gentiles is shown in the next clause,

even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Peter spoke as the Spirit gave him utterance, and perhaps did not fully comprehend his own words.

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
2:40 Save yourselves. This was the object of the many other words. They could save themselves by complying with the conditions named in Ac 2:38, and thus accepting Christ as their Savior.

From this perverse generation. The wicked Jewish race.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
2:41 They that gladly received his word. Every believing penitent would gladly receive it.

Were baptized. Not indefinitely in the future, but that day.

The same day there were added about three thousand souls. Hackett, in his Commentary on Acts, writes:

It is proper to add that pools numerous and large which encircled Jerusalem, as both those still in use, and as the remains of others testify of at the present day, afforded ample means for the celebration of the rite of baptism. The habits of the East, as every traveler knows, would present no obstacle to such a use of the public reservoirs.''

It has been objected to the immersion of the three thousand that the apostles could not have done it in one day. We are not told that the apostles only were the baptists, or even baptized at all. There were at least 120 disciples there; perhaps even more on this great day. Perhaps the Seventy were all there. But the apostles alone could have discharged the office. There would be 250 to each one. Sixty persons have been immersed easily in an hour by one person. At this rate the whole work could have been accomplished by twelve men in about four hours. The celebrated Chrysostom, aided by his elders, baptized (immersed) 3,000 in a day in A.D. 404.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
2:42 They continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine. In the things taught by the apostles.

And fellowship. Contribution to the common fund and its distribution.

In the breaking of bread. The Lord's supper. From this time it is observed as an ordinance of the church.

In prayers. I think the prayers of the regular worship are meant. These four items are all features of the public church life.

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
2:43 Fear came upon every soul. Of the unbelievers.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
2:44 Had all things common. Many, perhaps most, were sojourners at, not citizens of, Jerusalem. It was needful that they remain together for the time, and while sojourning here, they threw their common funds together. Alford says:

In order, however, rightly to understand this community, we may remark, It is only found in the Church at Jerusalem. No trace of its existence is discoverable anywhere else; on the contrary, St. Paul speaks constantly of the rich and poor. See 1Ti 6:17 Ga 2:10 2Co 8:13,15 9:6,7 1Co 16:2 Jas 2:1-5 4:13.''

And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
2:45 Sold their possessions. Real estate.

Goods. Personal property.

Parted them to all men. On this special liberality we may note, (1) It partly arose from the non-resident or pilgrim character of a large part of the converts. (2) It was not an obligatory rule; the laws of ownership or property were not disturbed or questioned. Even Ananias might have kept all his land unblamed.

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
2:46 Continuing daily... in the temple. They gathered there for the purpose of teaching the multitudes.

Breaking bread from house to house. Eating their food from house to house. It may refer to observing the Lord's Supper in private residences.

Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
2:47 The Lord added to the church. This is the first time the church is named as existing. It had been founded on Pentecost.

Such as should be saved. Those that were being saved (Revised Version). Those being saved on the conditions that the Gospel imposes the Lord added to his church.

The People's New Testament by B.W. Johnson [1891]

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