Acts 3:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

King James Bible
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Darby Bible Translation
whom heaven indeed must receive till the times of the restoring of all things, of which God has spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since time began.

World English Bible
whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God spoke long ago by the mouth of his holy prophets.

Young's Literal Translation
whom it behoveth heaven, indeed, to receive till times of a restitution of all things, of which God spake through the mouth of all His holy prophets from the age.

Acts 3:21 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Whom the heavens must receive - The common belief of the Jews was, that the Messiah would reign on the earth forever, John 12:34. On this account they would object that Jesus could not be the Messiah, and hence, it became so important for the apostles to establish the fact that he had ascended to heaven. The evidence which they adduced was the fact that they saw him ascend, Acts 1:9. The meaning of the expression "whom the heavens must receive," is that it was "fit" or "proper" δεῖ dei that he should ascend. One reason of that fitness or propriety he himself stated in John 16:7; compare John 17:2. It was also fit or expedient that he should do it, to direct the affairs of the universe for the welfare of the church Ephesians 1:20-22, and that he should exercise there his office as a priest in interceding for his people, 1 John 2:1-2; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34, etc. It is remarkable that Peter did not adduce any passage of Scripture on this subject; but it was one of the points on which there was no clear revelation. Obscure intimations of it might be found in Psalm 110:1-7; Psalm 16:1-11; etc., but the fact that he would ascend to heaven was not made prominent in the Old Testament. 'The words "whom the heaven must receive" also convey the idea of "exaltation" and "power"; and Peter doubtless intended to say that he was clothed with power, and exalted to honor in the presence of God. See Psalm 115:3. Compare 1 Peter 3:22, "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right banal of God; angels, and authorities, and powers being made subject unto him." See the notes on Acts 2:33.

Until - This word implies that he would then return to the earth, but it does not imply that he would not again ascend to heaven.

The times of the restitution of all things - The noun rendered restitution ἀποκαταστάσεως apokatastaseōs, does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. The verb from which it is derived occurs eight times. It means properly "to restore a thing to its former situation," as restoring a "strained" or "dislocated" limb to its former soundness. Hence, it is used to restore, or to heal, in the New Testament: Matthew 12:13, "And it (the hand) was restored whole as the other"; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10. And hence, it is applied to the preparation or fitness for the coming of the Messiah which was to attend the preaching of John in the character of Elias, Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12. Thus, in Josephus (Antiq., Mark 2:3, Mark 2:8), the word is used to denote the return of the Jews from the captivity of Babylon, and their restoration to their former state and privileges. The word has also the idea of "consummation, completion, or filling up." Thus, it is used in Philo, Hesychius, Phavorinus, and by the Greek Classics. (See Lightfoot and Kuinoel.) Thus, it is used here by the Syriac: "Until the complement or filling up of the times"; that is, of all the events foretold by the prophets, etc. Thus, the Arabic: "Until the times which shall establish the perfection or completion of all the predictions of the prophets," etc. In this sense the passage means that the heavens must receive the Lord Jesus until all thrums spoken by the prophets in relation to his work, his reign, the spread of the gospel, the triumph of religion, etc., shall have been fulfilled. It also conveys the idea of the predicted recovery of the world from sin, and the restoration of peace and order; the con. summation of the work of the Messiah, now begun, but not yet complete; slow it may be in its advances, but triumphant and certain in its progress and its close.

All things - All things which have been foretold by the prophets. The expression is limited by the connection to this; and of course it does not mean that all people will be saved, or that all the evils of sin can be repaired or remedied. This can never be, for the mischief is done and cannot be undone; but everything which the prophets have foretold shall receive their completion and fulfillment.

Which God hath spoken - Which have been revealed, and are recorded in the Old Testament.

Of all his holy prophets - This does not mean that each one of the prophets had spoken of these things, but that all which had been spoken would be fulfilled.

Since the world began - This is an expression denoting the same as from the beginning, meaning to affirm with emphasis that all the prophecies would be fulfilled. The apostles were desirous to show that they, as well as the Jews, held entirely to the prophets, and taught no doctrine which they had not taught before them.

Acts 3:21 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Servant of the Lord
'Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, In turning away every one of you from his iniquities.' --ACTS iii. 26. So ended Peter's bold address to the wondering crowd gathered in the Temple courts around him, with his companion John and the lame man whom they had healed. A glance at his words will show how extraordinarily outspoken and courageous they are. He charges home on his hearers the guilt of Christ's death, unfalteringly proclaims His Messiahship, bears witness
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Watching the Horizon
"Thy Kingdom Come." "Thou art coming! We are waiting With a hope that cannot fail; Asking not the day or hour, Resting on Thy word of power, Anchored safe within the veil. Time appointed may be long, But the vision must be sure: Certainty shall make us strong, Joyful patience must endure. "O the joy to see Thee reigning, Thee, my own beloved Lord! Every tongue Thy name confessing, Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Brought to Thee with glad accord! Thee, my Master and my Friend, Vindicated and enthroned!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Christ Rightly and Properly Said to have Merited Grace and Salvation for Us.
1. Christ not only the minister, but also the author and prince of salvation. Divine grace not obscured by this mode of expression. The merit of Christ not opposed to the mercy of God, but depends upon it. 2. The compatibility of the two proved by various passages of Scripture. 3. Christ by his obedience truly merited divine grace for us. 4. This grace obtained by the shedding of Christ's blood, and his obedience even unto death. 5. In this way he paid our ransom. 6. The presumptuous manner in which
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

An Ox in the Congregation
Friday, July 10.--I rode to London and preached at Short's Gardens on "the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth" [Acts 3:6]. Sunday, 12. While I was showing, at Charles' Square, what it is "to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God" [see Micah 6:8], a great shout began. Many of the rabble had brought an ox, which they were vehemently laboring to drive among the people. But their labor was in vain; for in spite of them all, he ran round and round, one way and the other, and at length
John Wesley—The Journal of John Wesley

Cross References
Matthew 17:11
And He answered and said, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things;

Luke 1:70
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--

Acts 1:11
They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

Acts 3:20
and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,

Romans 8:21
that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Hebrews 1:1
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,

2 Peter 3:2
that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

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