Acts 9:31
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

King James Bible
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Darby Bible Translation
The assemblies then throughout the whole of Judaea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edified and walking in the fear of the Lord, and were increased through the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

World English Bible
So the assemblies throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, and were built up. They were multiplied, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
Then, indeed, the assemblies throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace, being built up, and, going on in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 9:31 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Then had the Churches rest - Instead of ἱα εκκλησιαι, the Churches, ABC, several others, the Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Vulgate, have ἡεκκλησια, the Church. Every assembly of God's people was a Church; the aggregate of these assemblies was The Church. The wordειρηνην, which we translate rest, and which literally signifies peace, evidently means, in this place, prosperity; and in this sense both it and the Hebrew שלום shalom are repeatedly used. But what was the cause of this rest or success? Some say, the conversion of Saul, who before made havoc of the Church; but this is not likely, as he could not be a universal cause of persecution and distress, however active and virulent he might have been during the time of his enmity to the Christian Church. Besides his own persecution, related above, shows that the opposition to the Gospel continued with considerable virulence three years after his conversion; therefore it was not Saul's ceasing to be a persecutor that gave this rest to the Churches. Dr. Lardner, with a greater show of probability, maintains that this rest was owing to the following circumstance: Soon after Caligula's accession to the imperial dignity, the Jews at Alexandria suffered very much from the Egyptians in that city; and at length their oratories were all destroyed. In the third year of Caligula, a.d. 39, Petronius, who was made president of Syria in the place of Vitellius, was sent by the emperor to set up his statue in the temple at Jerusalem. This was a thunder-stroke to the Jews, and so occupied them that they had no time to think of any thing else; apprehending that their temple must be defiled, and the national religion destroyed, or themselves run the risk of being exterminated if they rebelled against the imperial decree.

The account given by Josephus will set this in a clear point of view. "Caligula sent Petronius to go with an army to Jerusalem, to set up his statues in the temple, enjoining him if the Jews opposed it, to put to death all that made resistance, and to make all the rest of the nation slaves. Petronius therefore marched from Antioch into Judea, with three legions, and a large body of auxiliaries raised in Syria. All were hereupon filled with consternation, the army being come as far as Ptolemais. The Jews, then, gathering together, went to the plain near Ptolemais, and entreated Petronius in the first place for their laws, in the next place for themselves. Petronius was moved with their solicitations, and, leaving his army and the statues, went into Galilee, and called an assembly of the heads of the Jews at Tiberias; and, having exhorted them without effect to submit to the emperor's orders, said, 'Will ye then fight against Caesar?' They answered that they offered up sacrifices twice every day for the emperor and the Roman people; but that if he would set up the images, he ought first of all to sacrifice the whole Jewish nation; and that they were ready to submit themselves, their wives and children, to the slaughter." Philo gives a similar account of this transaction. See Lardner's Credibility, Works, vol. i. p. 97, etc.

It appears, therefore, that, as these transactions took place about the time mentioned in the text, their persecution from the Romans diverted them from persecuting the Christians; and Then had the Churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee, and Samaria; the terror occasioned by the imperial decree having spread itself through all those places.

Were edified - Οικοδομουμεναι, A metaphor taken from a building.

1. The ground is marked out;

2. the ichnograph, or dimensions of the building, ascertained;

3. the foundation is digged;

4. the foundation stone laid;

5. the walls builded up with course upon course;

6. the top-stone brought on;

7. the roof raised, and the whole covered in; and,

8. the interior part fitted up and adorned, and rendered convenient for the intended inhabitant.

This figure frequently occurs in the sacred writings, especially in the New Testament. It has its reason in the original creation of man: God made the first human being as a shrine or temple, in which himself might dwell. Sin entered, and the heavenly building was destroyed. The materials, however, though all dislocated, and covered with rubbish and every way defiled, yet exist; no essential power or faculty of the soul having been lost. The work of redemption consists in building up this house as it was in the beginning, and rendering it a proper habitation for God. The various powers, faculties, and passions, are all to be purified and refined by the power of the Holy Spirit, and order and harmony restored to the whole soul. All this is beautifully pointed out by St. Peter, 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Peter 2:5 : To whom (Jesus Christ) coming as unto a Living Stone, chosen of God and precious, ye also, as Living Stones, are Built Up a spiritual House, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God by Jesus Christ. And St. Paul, who, from his own profession as a tent-maker, could best seize on the metaphor, and press it into this spiritual service, goes through the whole figure at large, in the following inimitable words: Ye are the Household of God, and are Built upon the Foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Cornerstone, in whom all the Building, Fitly Framed together, groweth unto a Holy Temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are Builded together for a Habitation of God, through the Spirit, Ephesians 2:19-22. Edification signifies, therefore, an increase in the light, life, and power of God; being founded on the doctrine of Christ crucified; having the soul purified from all unrighteousness, and fitted, by increasing holiness, to be a permanent residence for the ever-blessed God.

Walking in the fear of the Lord - Keeping a continually tender conscience; abhorring all sin; having respect to every Divine precept; dreading to offend him from whom the soul has derived its being and its blessings. Without this salutary fear of God there never can be any circumspect walking.

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the churches.

Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting to his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem...

Deuteronomy 12:10 But when you go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God gives you to inherit...

Joshua 21:44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he swore to their fathers...

Judges 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

1 Chronicles 22:9,18 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about...

Psalm 94:13 That you may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be dig for the wicked.

Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek...

Zechariah 9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man...

Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.

were edified.

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things with which one may edify another.

1 Corinthians 3:9-15 For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, you are God's building...

1 Corinthians 14:4,5,12,26 He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the church...

2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord has given us for edification, and not for your destruction...

2 Corinthians 12:19 Again, think you that we excuse ourselves to you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved...

2 Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness...

Ephesians 4:12,16,29 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Why comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.

1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

and walking.

Nehemiah 5:9,15 Also I said, It is not good that you do...

Job 28:28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments...

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the fraudulent mouth, do I hate.

Proverbs 14:26,27 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge...

Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

Proverbs 23:17 Let not your heart envy sinners: but be you in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

Isaiah 11:2,3 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might...

Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of your times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit...

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Colossians 1:10 That you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

and in.

John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever...

Romans 5:5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith...

Ephesians 1:13,14 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed...

Ephesians 6:18,19 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit...

Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which has loved us...

were multiplied.

Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly...

Acts 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

Esther 8:16,17 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor...

Zechariah 8:20-23 Thus said the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities...

Library
'This Way'
'Any of this way.'--ACTS ix. 2 The name of 'Christian' was not applied to themselves by the followers of Jesus before the completion of the New Testament. There were other names in currency before that designation--which owed its origin to the scoffing wits of Antioch--was accepted by the Church. They called themselves 'disciples,' 'believers, 'saints,' 'brethren,' as if feeling about for a title. Here is a name that had obtained currency for a while, and was afterwards disused. We find it five times
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Copies of Christ's Manner
'And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed.... 40. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and, turning him to the body, said, Tabitha, arise.--ACTS ix. 34, 40. I have put these two miracles together, not only because they were closely connected in time and place, but because they have a very remarkable and instructive feature in common. They are both evidently moulded upon Christ's miracles; are distinct imitations of what Peter had
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Sharon. Caphar Lodim. The Village of those of Lydda.
Between Lydda and the sea, a spacious valley runs out, here and there widely spreading itself, and sprinkled with villages. The holy page of the New Testament [Acts 9:35] calls it Saron: and that of the Old calls the whole, perhaps, or some part of it, 'the plain of Ono,' Nehemiah 6:2, 11:35; 1 Chronicles 8:12... The wine of Sharon is of great fame, with which they mixed two parts water: and remarkable is that they say concerning the houses of Sharon. R. Lazar saith, "He that builds a brick house
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Caphar Tebi.
And this village neighboured upon Lydda, situate on the east of it. "R. Eleazar had a vineyard of four years' growth; on the east of Lydda, near Caphar Tebi." Of it there is this mention also:-- "They sometime brought a chest full of bones from Caphar Tebi, and they placed it openly in the entrance to Lydda. Tudrus the physician and the rest of the physicians go forth"--(namely, that they might judge, whether they were the bones of men or no; and thereby, whether they were to be esteemed clean or
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Cross References
Acts 2:47
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 5:11
Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Acts 8:1
And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

Acts 16:5
So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Acts 20:32
"Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

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