Acts 14:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

King James Bible
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Darby Bible Translation
And having chosen them elders in each assembly, having prayed with fastings, they committed them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.

World English Bible
When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.

Young's Literal Translation
and having appointed to them by vote elders in every assembly, having prayed with fastings, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 14:23 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And widen they had ordained - χειροτονήσαντες cheirotonēsantes. The word "ordain" we now use in an ecclesiastical sense, to denote "a setting apart to an office by the imposition of hands." But it is evident that the word here is not employed in that sense. That imposition of hands might have occurred in setting apart afterward to this office is certainly possible, but it is not implied in the word employed here, and did not take place in the transaction to which this word refers. The word occurs in only one other place in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 8:19, where it is applied to Luke, and translated, "who was also chosen of the church (that is, appointed or elected by suffrage by the churches) to travel with us, etc." The verb properly denotes "to stretch out the hand"; and as it was customary to elect to office, or to vote, by stretching out or elevating the hand, so the word simply means "to elect, appoint, or designate to any office." The word here refers simply to an "election" or "appointment" of the elders. It is said, indeed, that Paul and Barnabas did this. But probably all that is meant by it is that they presided in the assembly when the choice was made. It does not mean that they appointed them without consulting the church; but it evidently means that they appointed them in the usual way of appointing officers, by the suffrages of the people. See Schleusner, and the notes of Doddridge and Calvin.

Ordained them - Appointed for the disciples, or for the church. It is not meant that the elders were ordained for the apostles.

Elders - Greek: presbyters. Literally, this word refers to the aged. See the notes on Acts 11:30. But it may also be a word relating to office, denoting those who were more experienced than others, and who were chosen to preside over and to instruct the rest. What was the nature of this office, and what was the design of the appointment, is not intimated in this word. All that seems to be implied is, that they were to take the charge of the churches during the absence of the apostles. The apostles were about to leave them. They were just organized into churches: they were inexperienced; they needed counsel and direction; they were exposed to dangers; and it was necessary, therefore, that persons should be designated to watch over the spiritual interests of the brethren. The probability is, that they performed all the functions that were required in the infant and feeble churches; in exhorting, instructing; governing, etc. The more experienced and able would be most likely to be active in exhorting and instructing the brethren; and all would be useful in counseling and guiding the flock. The same thing occurred in the church at Ephesus. See the notes on Acts 20:17-28. It is not improbable that the business of instructing, or teaching, would be gradually confined to the more talented and able of the elders, and that the others would be concerned mainly in governing and directing the general affairs of the church.

In every church - It is implied here that there were elders in each church; that is, that in each church there was more than one. See Acts 15:21, where a similar phraseology occurs, and where it is evident that there was more than one reader of the Law of Moses in each city. Compare Titus 1:5, "I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst ...ordain elders in every city"; Acts 20:17, "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church." It could not mean, therefore, that they appointed a single minister or pastor to each church, but they committed the whole affairs of the church to a bench of elders.

And had prayed with fasting - With the church. They were about to leave them. They had entrusted the interests of the church to a body of men chosen for this purpose; and they now commended the church and its elders together to God. Probably they had no prospect of seeing them again, and they parted as ministers and people should part, and as Christian friends should part, with humble prayer, commending themselves to the protecting care of God.

They commended them ... - They committed the infant church to the guardianship of the Lord. They were feeble, inexperienced, and exposed to dangers; but in his hands they were safe.

To the Lord ... - The Lord Jesus. The connection shows that he is particularly referred to. In his hands the redeemed are secure. When we part with Christian friends, we may, with confidence, leave them in his holy care and keeping.

Acts 14:23 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Deified and Stoned
'And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 13. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

St. Barnabas' Day. We Preach unto You that Ye Should Turn from These Vanities unto the Living God which Made Heaven
St. Barnabas' Day. We preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: who in time past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. 7,7,7,7,7,7,7,7,7,7 Sollt ich meinem Gott nicht singen [130]Paul Gerhardt. 1659. trans. by Catherine
Catherine Winkworth—Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year

Jew and Gentile
On reaching Antioch in Syria, from which place they had been sent forth on their mission, Paul and Barnabas took advantage of an early opportunity to assemble the believers and rehearse "all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles." Acts 14:27. The church at Antioch was a large and growing one. A center of missionary activity, it was one of the most important of the groups of Christian believers. Its membership was made up of many classes of people from
Ellen Gould White—The Acts of the Apostles

The Sovereignty of God in Reprobation
"Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God" (Rom. 11:22). In the last chapter when treating of the Sovereignty of God the Father in Salvation, we examined seven passages which represent Him as making a choice from among the children of men, and predestinating certain ones to be conformed to the image of His Son. The thoughtful reader will naturally ask, And what of those who were not "ordained to eternal life?" The answer which is usually returned to this question, even by those who profess
Arthur W. Pink—The Sovereignty of God

Cross References
Luke 2:37
and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.

Acts 1:24
And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen

Acts 11:30
And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

Acts 13:3
Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Acts 20:32
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

2 Corinthians 8:19
and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness,

Titus 1:5
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,

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