Acts 4
Vincent's Word Studies
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
Captain of the temple

It was the duty of the Levites to keep guard at the gates of the temple, in order to prevent the unclean from entering. To them the duties of the temple-police were entrusted, under the command of an official known in the New Testament as "the captain of the temple," but in Jewish writings chiefly as "the man of the temple mount." Josephus speaks of him as a person of such consequence as to be sent, along with the high-priest, prisoner to Rome.

Came upon (ἐπέστησαν)

Or stood by them, suddenly. Compare Luke 24:4; Acts 22:20; Acts 23:11. Of dreams or visions, to appear to.

Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Being grieved (διαπονούμενοι)

Only here and Acts 16:18. The Rev. renders the force of διά by "sore troubled;" vexed through and through.

The resurrection

The Sadducees denied both the resurrection and a future state. "In the Gospels the Pharisees are represented as the great opponents of Christ; in the Acts it is the Sadducees who are the most violent opponents of the apostles. The reason of this seems to be, that in the Gospels Jesus Christ came in direct collision with the Pharisees, by unmasking their hypocrisies and endangering their influence among the people; whereas the apostles, in testifying to the resurrection of Christ, opposed the creed of the Sadducees. Perhaps, also, in attacking the apostles, who taught the resurrection of that Jesus whom the Pharisees had persecuted and crucified, the Sadducees aimed an indirect blow at the favorite dogma of their rival sect" (Gloag, "Commentary on Acts").

And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
In hold (εἰς τήρησιν)

A somewhat antiquated rendering. Better, as Rev., in ward. See on 1 Peter 1:4.

Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
The number was about five thousand

Translate ἐγενήθη as Rev., came to be; indicating the addition to the original number of the many that believed.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
What power - what name

Lit., what sort of power; what kind of name.

Have ye done

The ye closes the sentence in the Greek with a contemptuous emphasis: you people.

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Salvation (ἡ σωτηρία)

Note the article: the salvation; the Messianic deliverance.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

See on freely, Acts 2:29.

Perceived (καταλαβόμενοι)

The word, meaning originally to seize upon or lay hold of, occurs frequently in the New Testament in different phases of this original sense. Thus, to apprehend or grasp, Ephesians 3:18; Philippians 3:12, Philippians 3:13; Romans 9:30 : of seizure by a demon, Mark 9:18 : of something coming upon or overtaking, John 12:35; 1 Thessalonians 5:4 : of comprehending, grasping mentally, as here, Acts 10:34; Acts 25:25.

Unlearned (ἀγράμματοι)

Or, very literally, unlettered. With special reference to Rabbinic culture, the absence of which was conspicuous in Peter's address.

Ignorant (ἰδιῶται)

Originally, one in a private station, as opposed to one in office or in public affairs. Therefore one without professional knowledge, a layman; thence, generally, ignorant, ill-informed; sometimes plebeian, common. In the absence of certainty it is as well to retain the meaning given by the A. V., perhaps with a slight emphasis on the want of professional knowledge. Compare 1 Corinthians 14:16, 1 Corinthians 14:23, 1 Corinthians 14:24; 2 Corinthians 11:6.

Took knowledge (ἐπεγίνωσκον)

Or recognized. See on Acts 3:10.

And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
Conferred (συνέβαλον)

See on pondered, Luke 2:19.

Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
It spread (διανεμηθῇ)

Only here in New Testament. Lit., be distributed. In 2 Timothy 2:17, "their word will eat as a canker," is, literally, will have distribution or spreading (νομὴν ἕξει). Bengel, however, goes too far when he represents the members of the council as speaking in the figure of a canker. "They regard the whole as a canker."

And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
To speak (φθέγγεσθαι)

See on 2 Peter 2:16.

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
Punish (κολάσωνται)

Originally, to curtail or dock; to prune as trees: thence to check, keep in bounds, punish.

For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
Lord (δέσποτα)

See on 2 Peter 2:1.

Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
Servant (παιδός)

See on Acts 3:13.

Rage (ἐφρύαξαν)

Only here in New Testament. Originally, to neigh or snort like a horse. Of men, to give one's self haughty airs, and to act and speak insolently. Philo describes a proud man as "walking on tiptoe, and bridling (φρυαττόμενος), with neck erect like a horse."

The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Didst anoint (ἔχρισας)

See on Christ, Matthew 1:1.

For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Thy hand

Thy disposing power.

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
Heart and soul

See on Mark 12:30.

And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Gave (ἀπεδίδουν)

Lit., gave back (ἀπό); as something which they were in duty bound to give.

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,
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
The money (τὸ χρῆμα)

The sum of money.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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