Acts 2:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
'AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' God says, 'THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;

King James Bible
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:

Darby Bible Translation
And it shall be in the last days, saith God, that 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 elders shall dream with dreams;

World English Bible
'It will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams.

Young's Literal Translation
And it shall be 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;

Acts 2:17 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

It shall come to pass - It shall happen, or shall occur.

In the last days - Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, after these things, or afterward. The expression the last days, however, occurs frequently in the Old Testament: Genesis 49:1, Jacob called his sons, that he might tell them what should happen to them in the last days, that is, in future times - Heb. in after times; Micah 4:1, "In the last days (Hebrew: in later times) the mountain of the Lord's house," etc.; Isaiah 2:2, "in the last days the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the tops of the mountains," etc. The expression then properly denoted "the future times" in general. But, as the coming of the Messiah was to the eye of a Jew the most important event in the coming ages - the great, glorious, and crowning scene in all the vast futurity, the phrase came to be regarded as properly expressive of that. It stood in opposition to the usual denomination of earlier times.

It was a phrase in contrast with the days of the patriarchs, the kings, the prophets, etc. The last days, or the closing period of the world, were the days of the Messiah. It does not appear from this, and it certainly is not implied in the expression, that they supposed the world would then come to an end. Their views were just the contrary. They anticipated a long and glorious time under the dominion of the Messiah, and to this expectation they were led by the promise that his kingdom should be forever; that of the increase of his government there should be no end, etc. This expression was understood by the writers of the New Testament as referring undoubtedly to the times of the gospel. And hence they often used it as denoting that the time of the expected Messiah had come, but not to imply that the world was drawing near to an end: Hebrews 1:2, "God hath spoken in these last days by his Son"; 1 Peter 1:20, "Was manifested in these last times for you"; 2 Peter 3:3; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 2:18, "Little children, it is the last time," etc.; Jde 1:18. The expression the last day is applied by our Saviour to the resurrection and the day of judgment, John 6:39-40, John 6:44-45; John 11:24; John 12:48. Here the expression means simply "in those future times, when the Messiah shall have come."

I will pour out of my Spirit - The expression in Hebrew is, "I will pour out my Spirit." The word "pour" is commonly applied to water or to blood, "to pour it out," or "to shed it," Isaiah 57:6; to tears, "to pour them out," that is," to weep, etc., Psalm 42:4; 1 Samuel 1:15. It is applied to water, to wine, or to blood, in the New Testament, Matthew 9:17; Revelation 16:1; Acts 22:20, "The blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed." It conveys also the idea of "communicating largely or freely," as water is poured freely from a fountain, Titus 3:5-6, "The renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he shed on us abundantly." Thus, Job 36:27, "They (the clouds) pour down rain according to the vapor thereof"; Isaiah 44:3, "I will pour water on him that is thirsty"; Isaiah 45:8, "Let the skies pour down righteousness"; Malachi 3:10, "I will pour you out a blessing." It is also applied to fury and anger, when God intends to say that he will not spare, but will signally punish, Psalm 69:24; Jeremiah 10:25. It is not infrequently applied to the Spirit, Proverbs 1:23; Isaiah 44:3; Zechariah 12:10. As thus used it means that he will bestow large measures of spiritual influences. As the Spirit renews and sanctifies people, so to pour out the Spirit is to grant freely his influences to renew and sanctify the soul.

My Spirit - The Spirit here denotes the Third Person of the Trinity, promised by the Saviour, and sent to finish his work, and apply it to people. The Holy Spirit is regarded as the source or conveyer of all the blessings which Christians experience. Hence, he renews the heart, John 3:5-6. He is the source of all proper feelings and principles in Christians, or he produces the Christian graces, Galatians 5:22-25; Titus 3:5-7. The spread and success of the gospel is attributed to him, Isaiah 32:15-16. Miraculous gifts are traced to him, especially the various gifts with which the early Christians were endowed, 1 Corinthians 12:4-10. The promise that he would pour out his Spirit means that he would, in the time of the Messiah, impart a large measure of those influences which it was his special province to communicate to people. A part of them were communicated on the day of Pentecost, in the miraculous endowment of the power of speaking foreign languages, in the wisdom of the apostles, and in the conversion of the three thousand,

Upon all flesh - The word "flesh" here means "persons," or "people." See the notes on Romans 1:3. The word "all" here does not mean every individual, but every class or rank of individuals. It is to be limited to the cases specified immediately. The influences were not to be confined to any one class, but were to be communicated to all kinds of persons - old men, youth, servants, etc. Compare 1 Timothy 2:1-4.

And your sons and your daughters - Your children. It would seem that females shared in the remarkable influences of the Holy Spirit. Philip the Evangelist had four daughters which did prophesy, Acts 21:9. It is probable also that the females of the church of Corinth partook of this gift, though they were forbidden to exercise it in public, 1 Corinthians 14:34. The office of prophesying, whatever was meant by that, was not confined to the people among the Jews: Exodus 15:20, "Miriam, the prophetess, took a timbrel," etc.; Judges 4:4, "Deborah, a prophetess, judged Israel"; 2 Kings 22:14. See also Luke 2:36, "There was one Anna, a prophetess," etc.

Shall prophesy - The word "prophesy" is used in a great variety of senses:

(1) It means to predict or foretell future events, Matthew 11:13; Matthew 15:7.

(2) to divine, to conjecture, to declare as a prophet might, Matthew 26:68, "Prophesy who smote thee."

(3) to celebrate the praises of God, being under a divine influence, Luke 1:67. This seems to have been a considerable part of the employment in the ancient schools of the prophet, 1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 19:20; 1 Samuel 30:15.

(4) to teach - as no small part of the office of the prophets was to teach the doctrines of religion, Matthew 7:22, "Have we not prophesied in thy name?"

(5) it denotes, then, in general, "to speak under a divine influence," whether in foretelling future events, in celebrating the praises of God, in instructing others in the duties of religion, or "in speaking foreign languages under that influence." In this last sense the word is used in the New Testament, to denote those who were miraculously endowed with the power of speaking foreign languages, Acts 19:6. The word is also used to denote "teaching, or speaking in intelligible language, in opposition to speaking a foreign tongue," 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. In this place it means that they would speak under a divine influence, and is specially applied to the power of speaking in a foreign tongue.

Your young men shall see visions - The will of God in former times was communicated to the prophets in various ways. One was by visions, and hence one of the most usual names of the prophets was seers. The name seer was first given to that class of men, and was superseded by the name prophet, 1 Samuel 9:9, "He that is now called a prophet was beforetime called a seer"; 1 Samuel 9:11, 1 Samuel 9:18-19; 2 Samuel 24:11; 1 Chronicles 29:29, etc. This name was given from the manner in which the divine will was communicated, which seems to have been by throwing the prophet into an ecstasy, and then by causing the vision, or the appearance of the objects or events to pass before the mind. The prophet looked upon the passing scene, the often splendid diorama as it actually occurred, and recorded it as it appeared to his mind. Hence, he recorded rather the succession of images than the times in which they would occur. These visions occurred sometimes when they were asleep, and sometimes during a prophetic ecstasy, Daniel 2:28; Daniel 7:1-2, Daniel 7:15; Daniel 8:2; Ezekiel 11:24; Genesis 15:1; Numbers 12:6; Job 4:13; Job 7:14; Ezekiel 1:1; Ezekiel 8:3.

continued...

Acts 2:17 Parallel Commentaries

Library
March 4. "They were all Filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts ii. 4).
"They were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts ii. 4). Blessed secret of spiritual purity, victory and joy, of physical life and healing, and all power for service. Filled with the Spirit there is no room for self or sin, for fret or care. Filled with the Spirit we repel the elements of disease that are in the air as the red-hot iron repels the water that touches it. Filled with the Spirit we are always ready for service, and Satan turns away when he finds the Holy Ghost enrobing us in His garments
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Pentecost Tuesday
Text: Acts 2, 29-36. Only the text, without a sermon, is printed in the edition of 1559 of Luther's works.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The Means of Grace
"Ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them." Mal. 3:7. I. 1. But are there any ordinances now, since life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel? Are there, under the Christian dispensation, any means ordained of God, as the usual channels of his grace? This question could never have been proposed in the apostolical church, unless by one who openly avowed himself to be a Heathen; the whole body of Christians being agreed, that Christ had ordained certain outward means,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Pricked in their Heart
Peter's discourse was not distinguished by any special rhetorical display: he used not the words of man's wisdom or eloquence. It was not an oration, but it was a heart-moving argument, entreaty, and exhortation. He gave his hearers a simple, well-reasoned, Scriptural discourse, sustained by the facts of experience; and every passage of it pointed to the Lord Jesus. It was in these respects a model of what a sermon ought to be as to its contents. His plea was personally addressed to the people who
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 35: 1889

Cross References
Joel 2:28
"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.

Acts 2:16
but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

Acts 2:18
EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.

Acts 2:33
"Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

Acts 11:27
Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

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