1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles

Song of Songs



1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy

1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John

Revelation 1-11
Revelation 12-22

Notes on Acts
From the Original 1599 Geneva Bible Notes

Ac 1:1

1:1 The {1} former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to {a} do and teach,

      (1) Luke switches over from the history of the Gospel, that is from the history of the sayings and doings of Christ, unto the Acts of the Apostles.
      (a) The acts of Jesus are the miracles and deeds which showed his Godhead, and his most perfect holiness, and examples of his doctrine.

Ac 1:3

1:3 {2} To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many {b} infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

      (2) Christ did not immediately ascend into heaven after his resurrection in order to thoroughly prove his resurrection, and with his presence strengthen and encourage his Apostles in the doctrine which they had heard.
      (b) He called those things infallible proofs which are otherwise termed necessary: now in that Christ spoke, and walked, and ate, and was felt by many, these are sure signs and proofs that he truly rose again.

Ac 1:4

1:4 And, being {c} assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.

      (c) They were dispersed here and there, but he gathers them together so that all of them might together be witnesses of his resurrection.

Ac 1:5

1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized {d} with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

      (d) Either by the Father, or by me: so that either the Father or Christ is set here contrasted with John, as the Holy Spirit is contrasted with water, as things that are comparable to one another.

Ac 1:6

1:6 {3} When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time {e} restore again the kingdom to Israel?

      (3) We must fight before we triumph, and we must not search curiously after those things which God has not revealed.
      (e) To the old and ancient state.

Ac 1:7

1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the {f} seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

      (f) That is, the proper occasions that provide opportunities for doing matters, which occasions the Lord has appointed to bring things to pass in.

Ac 1:9

1:9 {4} And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

      (4) After Christ had promised the full power of the Holy Spirit, with whom he would govern his church (even though he would be absent in body), he took up his body from us into heavenly tabernacles to remain there until the latter day of judgment, as the angels witness.

Ac 1:11

1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up {g} from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

      (g) That is, out of your sight.

Ac 1:12

1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath {h} day's journey.

      (h) About two miles.

Ac 1:13

1:13 {5} And when they were {i} come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James.

      (5) Ecclesiastical assemblies to hear the word, and to make common prayer, were first instituted and kept in private houses by the Apostles.
      (i) They went into the house which the Church had chosen at that time to be a gathering place for the whole assembly.

Ac 1:14

1:14 These all {k} continued with {l} one accord in {m} prayer and supplication, with the {n} women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his {o} brethren.

      (k) The Greek word signifies an invincible constancy and steadfastness.
      (l) It is to good purpose that this agreement is mentioned: for those prayers are most acceptable to God which are made with agreeing minds and wills.
      (m) The disciples prayed for the sending of the Holy Spirit, and also to be delivered from present dangers, of which there were many that they were experiencing.
      (n) For it was appropriate to have the wives strengthened and encouraged who would afterwards be partakers of the dangers with their husbands.
      (o) With his relatives.

Ac 1:15

1:15 {6} And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of {p} names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

      (6) Peter is made the spokesman and interpreter of the whole company of the Apostles, either by secret revelation of the Holy Spirit, or by the express judgment of the congregation.
      (p) Because men are commonly referred to and enrolled by their names.

Ac 1:16

1:16 {7} Men [and] brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

      (7) Peter anticipates the offence that might be taken at the falling away of Judas the betrayer, showing that all things which happened to him were foretold by God.

Ac 1:18

1:18 Now this man {q} purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and {r} falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

      (q) Luke did not consider Judas' purpose, but that which followed it, and so we used to say that a man has done himself harm, not that he wanted and intended to, but in respect of that which followed.
      (r) The Greek words signify this much, that Judas fell down flat and was torn apart in the middle, with a tremendously great noise.

Ac 1:20

1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his {s} bishoprick let another take.

      (s) His office and ministry: David wrote these words against Doeg the King's herdsman: and these words "shepherd", "sheep", and "flock" are used with reference to the Church office and ministry, so that the Church and the offices are called by these names.

Ac 1:21

1:21 {8} Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus {t} went in and out among us,

      (8) The Apostles do not deliberate at all, but first they consult and take guidance from God's word: and again they do nothing that concerns and is incumbent upon the whole body of the congregation, without making the congregation a part of the decision.
      (t) This kind of speech signifies as much in the Hebrew language as the exercising of a public and difficult office, when they speak of such as are in any public office; De 31:2; 1Ch 27:1 .

Ac 1:22

1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up {u} from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

      (u) From our company.

Ac 1:23

1:23 {9} And they {x} appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

      (9) The Apostles must be chosen immediately from God: and therefore after praying, Matthias is chose by lot, which is as it were God's own voice.
      (x) Openly, and by the voices of the entire company.

Ac 1:25

1:25 That he may take {y} part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression {z} fell, that he might go to his own place.

      (y) That he may be a member and partaker of this ministry.
      (z) Departed from, or fallen from: and it is a metaphor taken from the word "way": for callings are signified by the name of "ways" with the Hebrews.

Ac 2:1

2:1 And {1} when the day of Pentecost was {a} fully come, they were {b} all with one accord in one place.

      (1) The Apostles being gathered together on a most solemn feast day in one place, that it might evidently appear to all the world that they all had one office, one Spirit, and one faith, are by a double sign from heaven authorised, and anointed with all the most excellent gifts of the Holy Spirit, and especially with an extraordinary and necessary gift of tongues.
      (a) Literally, "was fulfilled": that is, was begun, as in Lu 2:21 . For the Hebrews say that a day or a year is fulfilled or ended when the former days or years are ended, and the other has begun; Jer 25:12 : "And it will come to pass that when seventy years are fulfilled, I will visit, etc." For the Lord did not bring his people home after the seventieth year was ended, but in the seventieth year: Now the day of Pentecost was the fiftieth day after the feast of the Passover.
      (b) The twelve apostles, who were to be the patriarchs as it were of the Church.

Ac 2:4

2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with {c} other tongues, as the {d} Spirit gave them utterance.

      (c) He calls them "other tongues" which were not the same as the apostles commonly used, and Mark calls them "new tongues".
      (d) By this we understand that the apostles were not speaking one language and then another by chance at random, or as eccentric men used to do, but that they kept in mind the languages of their hearers: and to be short, that they only spoke as the Holy Spirit directed them to speak.

Ac 2:8

2:8 {e} And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

      (e) Not that they spoke one language, and different languages were heard, but the apostles spoke with different languages: for otherwise the miracle would have been in the hearers, whereas it is really in the speakers; Nazianzen in his oration of Whitsunday.

Ac 2:10

2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, {f} Jews and proselytes,

      (f) By Jews he means those that were both Jews by birth and Jews by profession of religion, though they were born in other places: and these latter ones were proselytes, who were born Gentiles, and embraced the Jewish religion.

Ac 2:12

2:12 {2} And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

      (2) God's word pierces some in such a way that it drives them to seek out the truth, and it so chokes others that it forces them to be witnesses of their own impudency.

Ac 2:13

2:13 Others {g} mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

      (g) The word which he uses here signifies a kind of mocking which is reproachful and insolent: and by this reproachful mocking we see that no matter how great and excellent the miracle, the wickedness of man still dares to speak evil against it.

Ac 2:14

2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, {h} lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

      (h) The holiness of Peter is to be marked, in which the grace of the Holy Spirit is to be seen, even from the very beginning.

Ac 2:15

2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the {i} third hour of the day.

      (i) After the sunrise, which may be about seven or eight o'clock to us.

Ac 2:16

2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the {k} prophet Joel;

      (k) There is nothing that can dissolve questions and doubt except testimony taken out of the Prophets: for men's reasonings may be overturned, but God's voice cannot be overturned.

Ac 2:17

2:17 {3} And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon {l} all {m} flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

      (3) Peter setting forth the truth of God against the false accusations of men, shows in himself and in his companions that the prophecy of Joel concerning the full giving of the Holy Spirit in the latter days has been fulfilled: and this grace is also offered to the whole Church, to the certain and undoubted destruction of those who condemn it.
      (l) All without exception, both upon the Jews and Gentiles.
      (m) That is, men.

Ac 2:21

2:21 {4} And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall {n} call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

      (4) The most important use of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to bring men to salvation by faith.
      (n) These words "call on" signify in Holy Scriptures and earnest praying and craving for help from God's hand.

Ac 2:22

2:22 {5} Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man {o} approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

      (5) Christ, being innocent, was by God's providence crucified by wicked men.
      (o) Who is by those works which God did by him so manifestly approved and admitted of, that no man can deny him.

Ac 2:23

2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and {p} foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked {q} hands have crucified and {r} slain:

      (p) God's everlasting foreknowledge, which can neither be separated from his determinate counsel, as the Epicureans say, neither yet be the cause of evil: for God in his everlasting and unchangeable counsel appointed the wicked act of Judas to an excellent end: and God does that well which the instrument does wickedly.
      (q) God's counsel does not excuse the Jews, whose hands were wicked.
      (r) The fact is said to be theirs by whose counsel and urging on it is done.

Ac 2:24

2:24 {6} Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the {s} pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

      (6) As David foretold, Christ did not only rise again, but also was void of all decay in the grave.
      (s) The death that was full of sorrow both of body and mind: therefore when death appeared conqueror and victor over those sorrows, Christ is rightly said to have overcome those sorrows of death when, as being dead, he overcame death, to live forever with his Father.

Ac 2:27

2:27 Because thou wilt not {t} leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

      (t) You will not allow me to remain in the grave.

Ac 2:28

2:28 Thou hast {u} made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

      (u) You have opened to me the way of true life.

Ac 2:30

2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had {x} sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

      (x) Had sworn solemnly.

Ac 2:32

2:32 {7} This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

      (7) Peter witnesses that Jesus Christ is the appointed everlasting King, which he manifestly proves by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of David.

Ac 2:33

2:33 Therefore being by the {y} right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

      (y) Might and power of God.

Ac 2:36

2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath {z} made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

      (z) Christ is said to be "made" because he was advanced to that dignity, and therefore it is not spoken with reference to his nature, but with reference to his position and high dignity.

Ac 2:38

2:38 {8} Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

      (8) Repentance and remission of sins in Christ are two principles of the Gospel and therefore of our salvation: and they are obtained by the promises apprehended by faith, and are ratified by us in baptism; and with our salvation comes the power of the Holy Spirit (Ed.).

Ac 2:39

2:39 For the {a} promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.

      (a) The word that is used here shows us that it was a free gift.

Ac 2:40

2:40 {9} And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

      (9) He is truly joined to the Church who separates himself from the wicked.

Ac 2:41

2:41 {10} Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

      (10) A notable example of the power of the Holy Spirit: but such are not baptized until they make confession of their faith. (Ed.)

Ac 2:42

2:42 {11} And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and {b} fellowship, and in {c} breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      (11) The marks of the true Church are the doctrine of the apostles, the duties of charity, the pure and simple administration of the ordinances, and the true invocation used by all of the faithful.
      (b) Sharing of goods, and all other duties of charity, as is shown afterwards.
      (c) The Jews used thin loaves, and therefore they broke them rather than cut them: so by breaking of bread they meant living together, and the banquets which they used to keep. And when they kept their love feasts, they used to celebrate the Lord's supper, which even in those days began to be corrupted, and Paul corrects this in 1Co 11:17-34 .

Ac 2:43

2:43 {12} And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

      (12) As often as the Lord thinks it to be expedient, he bridles the rage of strangers, so that the Church may be planted and have some refreshing.

Ac 2:44

2:44 {13} And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

      (13) Charity makes all things common with regard to their use, according as necessity requires.

Ac 2:46

2:46 {14} And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

      (14) The faithful came together at the beginning with tremendous results, not only for the hearing of the word, but also to eat.

Ac 3:1

3:1 Now {1} Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, [being] the ninth [hour].

      (1) Christ, in healing a man that was born lame and well known to all men, both in a famous place and at a popular time, by the hands of his apostles partly strengthens and encourages those who believed, and partly also calls others to believe.

Ac 3:5

3:5 And he {a} gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

      (a) Both with heart and eyes.

Ac 3:11

3:11 And as the lame man which was healed {b} held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.

      (b) Either because he loved them who had healed him, or because he feared that if he let them go out of his sight that he would become lame again.

Ac 3:12

3:12 {2} And when Peter saw [it], he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

      (2) Miracles are appointed to convince the unbelievers, and therefore they wickedly abuse the miracles who, standing amazed, either at the miracles themselves or at the instruments and means which is pleases God to use, take an occasion to establish idolatry and superstition by that which God has provided for the knowledge of his true worship, that is, Christianity.

Ac 3:15

3:15 And killed the Prince {c} of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

      (c) Who has life in himself, and gives life to others.

Ac 3:16

3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: {d} yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

      (d) Because he believed on him who was raised from the dead, whose name he heard about from us.

Ac 3:17

3:17 {3} And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers.

      (3) It is best of all to receive Christ as soon as he is offered to us: but those who have neglected so great a benefit through man's weakness, yet have repentance as a means. As for the shame of the cross, we have to set against that the decree and purpose of God for Christ, foretold by the Prophets, how that first of all he would be crucified here upon the earth, and then he would appear from heaven the judge and restorer of all things, that all believers might be saved, and all unbelievers utterly perish.

Ac 3:18

3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed {e} by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

      (e) Though there were many Prophets, yet he speaks only of one mouth, to show us the consent and agreement of the Prophets.

Ac 3:21

3:21 {f} 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.

      (f) Or, be taken up into heaven.

Ac 3:22

3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, {g} A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

      (g) This promise referred to an excellent and singular Prophet.

Ac 3:24

3:24 Yea, and all the prophets {h} from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

      (h) At which time the kingdom of Israel was established.

Ac 3:25

3:25 {4} Ye are the {i} children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

      (4) The Jews that believed are the first begotten in the kingdom of God.
      (i) For whom the Prophets were especially appointed.

Ac 3:26

3:26 Unto you first God, having {k} raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

      (k) Given to the world, or raised from the dead, and advanced to his kingdom.

Ac 4:1

4:1 And {1} as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the {a} captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,

      (1) There are none more commonly diligent or bold enemies of the Church than those who profess themselves to be the chief builders of it, but the more they rage, the more steadfastly the faithful servants of God continue.
      (a) The Jews had certain troops for the guard and safety of the temple and holy things (see Mt 26:47 ). These garrisons had a captain, such as Eleazarus Ananias, the high Priest's son in the time of the war that was in Judea, being a very impudent and proud young man; Josephus, lib. 2, of the taking of Judea.

Ac 4:4

4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the {b} number of the men was about five thousand.

      (b) While they thought to diminish the number, they actually increased it.

Ac 4:5

4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their {c} rulers, and elders, and scribes,

      (c) These were those who were members of the Sanhedrin, who were all from the tribe of Judah, until Herod came to power.

Ac 4:6

4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the {d} kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.

      (d) From whom the high Priests were usually chosen and made. At this time the former high Priest was stepping down, and a new high Priest was being appointed.

Ac 4:7

4:7 {2} And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what {e} name, have ye done this?

      (2) Against those who brag of a succession of persons, without a succession of doctrine, and by that means beat down the true ministers of the word, as much as they are able.
      (e) By what authority.

Ac 4:9

4:9 {3} If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;

      (3) The wolves who come after true pastors plead their own cause and not God's, neither the cause of the Church.

Ac 4:10

4:10 {4} 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.

      (4) He is indeed a true shepherd that teaches his sheep to rest upon Christ alone as upon one that is not dead, but has conquered death, and has all rule in his own hands.

Ac 4:12

4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other {f} name {g} under heaven {h} given among men, whereby we must be saved.

      (f) There is no other man, or no other power and authority at all; and this kind of speech was common among the Jews, and arose from this, that when we are in danger we call upon those at whose hands we look for help.
      (g) Anywhere: and this shows us the largeness of Christ's kingdom.
      (h) Of God.

Ac 4:13

4:13 {5} Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and {i} ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

      (5) The good liberty and boldness of the servants of God does yet this much good, that those who lay hidden under a mask of zeal at length betray themselves to indeed be wicked men.
      (i) The word used here is "idiot", which signifies a private man when it is used in reference to a magistrate: but with reference to sciences and studies, it signifies one that is unlearned, and with regard to honour and estimation, it implies one of base degree, and of no estimation.

Ac 4:15

4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they {k} conferred among themselves,

      (k) Laid their heads together.

Ac 4:16

4:16 {6} 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].

      (6) He that flatters himself in ignorance, at length comes to do open wickedness, and that against his own conscience.

Ac 4:19

4:19 {7} 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.

      (7) We must obey men to whom we are subject, but especially and before all things we must obey God.

Ac 4:21

4:21 {8} 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.

      (8) The wicked are so far off from doing what they wish, that God uses them contrary to their desires to set forth his glory, which he gives them permission to do.

Ac 4:23

4:23 {9} And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

      (9) The apostles share their troubles with the congregation.

Ac 4:24

4:24 {10} 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:

      (10) We should neither be afraid of the threats of our enemies, neither yet foolishly condemn their rage and madness against us: but we have to set against their force and malice an earnest thinking upon the power and good will of God (both which we manifestly behold in Christ) and so flee to the aid and assistance of our Father.

Ac 4:27

4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the {l} people of Israel, were gathered together,

      (l) Although the people of Israel were but one people, yet the plural number is used here, not so much for the twelve tribes, every one of which counted as a people, but because of the great multitude of them, as though many nations had assembled themselves together, as in Jud 5:14 .

Ac 4:28

4:28 For to {m} do whatsoever {n} thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

      (m) The wicked execute God's counsel, even though they think nothing of it, but they are not therefore without fault.
      (n) You had determined by your absolute authority and power.

Ac 4:31

4:31 {11} 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.

      (11) God witnesses to his Church by a visible sign that it is he that will establish it, by shaking the powers both of heaven and of earth.

Ac 4:32

4:32 {12} And the multitude of them that believed were of {o} 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.

      (12) An example of the true Church, in which there is equal consent both in doctrine and in charity toward one another: and the pastors deliver true doctrine both sincerely and constantly.
      (o) They agreed in counsel, will, and all plans.

Ac 4:34

4:34 {13} 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,

      (13) True charity helps the need of the poor with its own loss, but in such a way that all things are done well and orderly.

Ac 5:1

5:1 But {1} a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

      (1) Luke shows by contrary examples how great a sin hypocrisy is, especially in those who under a false pretence and cloak of zeal seem to shine and be of great importance in the Church.

Ac 5:2

5:2 And {a} kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it] at the apostles' feet.

      (a) Craftily took away.

Ac 5:3

5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan {b} filled thine heart {c} to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?

      (b) Fully possessed.
      (c) For when they had appointed that farm or possession for the Church, they were foolish to keep away a part of the price, as though they were dealing with men, and not with God, and therefore he says afterwards that they tempted God.

Ac 5:4

5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou {d} conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

      (d) By this is meant an advised and purposeful deceit, and the fault of the man in listening to the devil's suggestions.

Ac 5:9

5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to {e} tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the {f} door, and shall carry thee out.

      (e) Look how often men do things with an evil conscience; and so they pronounce sentence against themselves, and as much as in them lies, they provoke God to anger, as they do this on purpose, in order to test whether he is just and almighty or not.
      (f) Are at hand.

Ac 5:11

5:11 {2} And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

      (2) The Lord by his marvellous power bridles some so that they may not hurt the Church: others he keeps in awe and fear of him: and others he draws unto himself.

Ac 5:13

5:13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people {g} magnified them.

      (g) Highly praised them.

Ac 5:17

5:17 {3} Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the {h} sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,

      (3) The more that the Church increases, the more the rage os Satan increases, and therefore they proceed from threats to imprisonment.
      (h) The word which is used here is "heresy", which signifies a choice, and so is taken for a right form of learning, or faction, or study and course of life, which the Latins call a sect: at first this word was used indifferently, but at length it came to be used only in reference to evil, whereupon came the name of "heretic" which is taken for one that goes astray from sound and wholesome doctrine in such a way that he thinks lightly of the judgment of God and his Church, and continues in his opinion, and breaks the peace of the Church.

Ac 5:19

5:19 {4} But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,

      (4) Angels are made servants of the servants of God.

Ac 5:20

5:20 {5} Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the {i} words of this life.

      (5) God therefore delivers his own, so that they may more vigorously provoke his enemies.
      (i) Words by which the way unto life is shown.

Ac 5:21

5:21 {6} And when they heard [that], they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

      (6) God mocks his enemies attempts from above.

Ac 5:25

5:25 {7} Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.

      (7) The more openly that Christ's power shows itself, the more the madness of his enemies who conspire against him increases.

Ac 5:26

5:26 {8} Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.

      (8) Tyrants who do not fear God are forced to fear his servants.

Ac 5:28

5:28 {9} Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend {k} to bring this man's blood upon us.

      (9) It is the characteristic of tyrants to set down their own commandments as right and proper, be they ever so wicked.
      (k) Make us guilty of murdering that man whom yet they will not condescend to name.

Ac 5:29

5:29 {10} Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

      (10) We should obey man only in so far that in obeying him we also obey God.

Ac 5:30

5:30 {11} The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

      (11) Christ is appointed and indeed declared Prince and preserver of his Church, in spite of his enemies.

Ac 5:32

5:32 {12} And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

      (12) It is not sufficient for us that there is a proper goal, but we must also according to our calling go forward until we come to it.

Ac 5:33

5:33 When they heard [that], they {l} were cut [to the heart], and took counsel to slay them.

      (l) This shows that they were in a most vehement rage, and tremendously disquieted in mind, for it is a borrowed kind of speech taken from those who are harshly cut in pieces with a saw.

Ac 5:34

5:34 {13} Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;

      (13) Christ finds defenders of his cause, even in the very company of his enemies, as often as he thinks necessary.

Ac 5:36

5:36 {14} For before these days rose up Theudas, {m} boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

      (14) In matters of religion we must take good heed that we attempt nothing under a pretence of zeal to which we have not been called.
      (m) To be of same fame.

Ac 5:38

5:38 And now I say unto you, {n} Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of {o} men, it will come to nought:

      (n) He dissuades his fellows from murdering the apostles, neither does he think it good to refer the matter to the Roman magistrate, for the Jews could endure nothing worse than to have the tyranny of the Romans confirmed.
      (o) If it is counterfeit and devised.

Ac 5:41

5:41 {15} And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

      (15) The apostles, accustomed to suffer and bear words, are eventually accustomed to bearing stripes, and yet in such a way that by means of them they become stronger.

Ac 5:42

5:42 And daily in the {p} temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

      (p) Both publicly and privately.

Ac 6:1

6:1 And {1} in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the {a} Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the {b} daily ministration.

      (1) When Satan has assailed the Church on the outside, and with little result and in vain, he assails it on the inside, with civil dissension and strife between themselves: but the apostles take occasion by this to set order in the Church.
      (a) From among their own members, who became religious Jews from among the Greeks.
      (b) In the bestowing of alms according to their need.

Ac 6:2

6:2 {2} Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples [unto them], and said, It is not {c} reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve {d} tables.

      (2) The office of preaching the word, and dispensing the goods of the Church, are different from one another, and not rashly to be joined together, as the apostles institute here. And the deacons must seek the consent of the Church more than the apostles.
      (c) It is such a matter that we may in no way accept it.
      (d) Banquets: though by the name of tables other offices are also meant, which are added to it, such as those which pertain to the care of the poor.

Ac 6:3

6:3 {3} Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

      (3) In choosing deacons (and much more in choosing ministers) there must be an examination of both their learning and their manners of life.

Ac 6:6

6:6 {4} Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they {e} laid [their] hands on them.

      (4) The ancient Church, with the laying on of hands, as it were consecrated to the Lord those who were lawfully elected.
      (e) This ceremony of the laying on of hands came from the Jews, who used this ceremony both in public affairs, and in the offering of sacrifices, and also in private prayers and blessings, as appears in Ge 48:13-22 ; and the Church also observed this ceremony, as is evident from 1Ti 5:22; Ac 8:17 . However, there is no mention made here either of cream, or shaving, or razing, or crossing, etc.

Ac 6:7

6:7 {5} And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the {f} faith.

      (5) A happy result of temptation.
      (f) This is the figure of speech metonymy, meaning by "faith" the doctrine of the Gospel which brings about faith.

Ac 6:8

6:8 {6} And Stephen, full of faith and {g} power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

      (6) God trains his Church first with evil words and slanders, then with imprisonments, afterwards with scourgings, and by these means prepares it in such a way that at length he causes it to meet in combat with Satan and the world, even to bloodshed and death.
      (g) Excellent and singular gifts.

Ac 6:9

6:9 {7} Then there arose certain of the {h} synagogue, which is called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

      (7) Schools and universities in ancient times were addicted to false pastors, and were the instruments of Satan to spread abroad and defend false doctrines.
      (h) Of the people and the school, as it were.

Ac 6:10

6:10 {8} And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

      (8) False teachers, because they will not be overcome, flee from disputations and resort to manifest and open slandering and false accusations.

Ac 6:12

6:12 {9} And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon [him], and caught him, and brought [him] to the council,

      (9) The first bloody persecution of the Church of Christ, began and sprang from a council of priests, by the suggestion of the university teachers.

Ac 6:13

6:13 {10} And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

      (10) An example of frivolous objectors or false accusers, who gather false conclusions from things that are well uttered and spoken.

Ac 6:15

6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, {i} saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

      (i) By this it appears that Steven had an excellent and wholesome countenance, having a quiet and settled mind, a good conscience, and certain conviction that his cause was just: for seeing as he was to speak before the people, God beautified his countenance, so that by the very beholding of him the Jews' minds might be penetrated and amazed.

Ac 7:1

7:1 Then {1} said the high priest, Are these things so?

      (1) Steven is allowed to plead his cause, but for this reason and purpose, that under a disguise and pretence of the Law he might be condemned.

Ac 7:2

7:2 {2} And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of {a} glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in {b} Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

      (2) Steven witnesses to the Jews that he acknowledges the true fathers, and the only true God, and more than this shows this that these are more ancient than the temple and all the temple service appointed by the Law, and therefore they ought to lay another foundation of true religion, that is to say, the free covenant that God made with the fathers.
      (a) The mighty God full of glory and majesty.
      (b) When he says afterwards in Ac 7:4 that Abraham came out of Chaldea, it is evident that Mesopotamia contained Chaldea which was near to it, and bordered upon it; and so writes Plinius, book 6, chap. 27.

Ac 7:5

7:5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not [so much as] to {c} set his foot on: yet he {d} promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when [as yet] he had no child.

      (c) Not enough ground to even set his foot upon.
      (d) The promise of the possession was certain, and belonged to Abraham, though it was his posterity that enjoyed it a great while after his death: and this is the figure of speech synecdoche.

Ac 7:6

7:6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat [them] evil {e} four hundred years.

      (e) Four hundred years are counted from the beginning of Abraham's progeny, which was at the birth of Isaac: and four hundred and thirty years which are spoken of by Paul in Ga 3:17 , from the time that Abraham and his father departed together out of Ur of the Chaldeans.

Ac 7:9

7:9 {3} And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was {f} with him,

      (3) Steven diligently recounts the horrible misdeeds of some of the fathers, to teach the Jews that they ought not rashly to rest in the authority or examples of the fathers.
      (f) By these words are meant the peculiar favour that God shows men: for he seems to be away from those whom he does not help: and on the other hand, he is with those whom he delivers out of troubles, no matter how great the troubles may be.

Ac 7:10

7:10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him {g} favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

      (g) Gave him favour in Pharaoh's sight because of his wisdom.

Ac 7:16

7:16 And were {h} carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor [the father] of Sychem.

      (h) The patriarchs who were the sons of Jacob, though only Joseph is mentioned; Jos 24:32 .

Ac 7:19

7:19 The same {i} dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.

      (i) He devised a subtle plan against our stock, in that he commanded all the males to be cast out.

Ac 7:20

7:20 In which time Moses was born, and was {k} exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:

      (k) This child was born through God's merciful goodness and favour, to be of a lovely and fair countenance.

Ac 7:30

7:30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an {l} angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.

      (l) Now, he calls the Son of God an angel, for he is the angel of great counsel, and therefore immediately after he describes him as saying to Moses, "I am the God of thy fathers, etc."

Ac 7:35

7:35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send [to be] a ruler and a deliverer by the {m} hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

      (m) By the power.

Ac 7:37

7:37 {4} This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

      (4) He acknowledges Moses as the Lawgiver, but in such a way that he proves by his own witness that the Law had respect to a more perfect thing, that is to say, to the prophetical office which accompanied Christ, the head of all Prophets.

Ac 7:41

7:41 And they made a {n} calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

      (n) This was the superstition of the Egyptian's idolatry: for they worshipped Apis, a strange and marvellous looking calf, and made beautiful images of cows.

Ac 7:42

7:42 Then God turned, and {o} gave them up to worship the {p} host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices [by the space of] forty years in the wilderness?

      (o) Being destitute and void of his Spirit, he gave them up to Satan, and wicked lusts, to worship stars.
      (p) By "the host of heaven" here he does not mean the angels, but the moon, and sun, and other stars.

Ac 7:43

7:43 Yea, ye {q} took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

      (q) You took it upon your shoulders and carried it.

Ac 7:44

7:44 {5} Our fathers had the tabernacle of {r} witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.

      (5) Moses indeed erected a tabernacle, but that was to call them back to the one whom he had seen on the mountain.
      (r) That is, of the covenant.

Ac 7:45

7:45 Which also our fathers that came after {s} brought in with Jesus into the {t} possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out {u} before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

      (s) Delivered from hand to hand.
      (t) This is said using the figure of speech metonymy, and refers to the countries which the Gentiles possessed.
      (u) God drove them out that they should yield up the possession of those countries to our fathers when they entered into the land.

Ac 7:47

7:47 {6} But Solomon built him an house.

      (6) Solomon built a temple according to God's commandment, but not under any condition that the majesty of God should be enclosed within it.

Ac 7:51

7:51 {7} Ye stiffnecked and {x} uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye.

      (7) Steven, moved with the zeal of God, at length judges his own judges.
      (x) They are of uncircumcised hearts who still lie drowned in the sins of nature, and are stuck fast in them: for otherwise all the Jews were circumcised with regard to the flesh, and therefore there are two kinds of circumcision; Ro 2:28-29 .

Ac 7:53

7:53 Who have received the law by the {y} disposition of angels, and have not kept [it].

      (y) By the ministry of angels.

Ac 7:54

7:54 {8} When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with [their] teeth.

      (8) The more Satan is pressed, the more he breaks out into an open rage.

Ac 7:55

7:55 {9} But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus {z} standing on the right hand of God,

      (9) The nearer that martyrs approach to death, the nearer that they rise up, even into heaven, as they behold Christ.
      (z) Ready to affirm him in the confession of the truth, and to receive him unto himself.

Ac 7:57

7:57 {10} Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and {a} ran upon him with one accord,

      (10) The zeal of hypocrites and superstitious people eventually breaks out into a most open madness.
      (a) This was done in a rage and fury, for at that time the Jews could put no man to death by law, as they confessed before Pilate saying that it was no lawful for them to put any man to death, and therefore it is reported by Josephus that Ananus, a Sadducee, slew James the brother of the Lord, and for so doing was accused before Albinus, the president of the country; lib. 20.

Ac 7:58

7:58 And cast [him] out of the city, and stoned [him]: and the {b} witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

      (b) It was appointed by the Law that the witnesses should cast the first stones; De 17:7 .

Ac 7:60

7:60 {11} And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, {c} lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he {d} fell asleep.

      (11) Faith and charity never forsake the true servants of God, even to the last breath.
      (c) The word which he uses here refers to a type of imputing or laying to one's charge that remains firm and steady forever, never to be remitted.
      (d) See 1Th 4:13 .

Ac 8:1

8:1 And {1} Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

      (1) Christ uses the rage of his enemies in the spreading forth and enlarging of his kingdom.

Ac 8:2

8:2 {2} And devout men {a} carried Stephen [to his burial], and made great lamentation over him.

      (2) The godly mourn for Steven after his death, and bury him, showing in this an example of singular faith and charity: but no man prays to him.
      (a) Amongst all the duties of charity which the godly perform, there is no mention made of enshrining relics.

Ac 8:3

8:3 {3} As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed [them] to prison.

      (3) The dispersion or scattering abroad of the faithful is the gathering together of churches.

Ac 8:5

8:5 {4} Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

      (4) Philip, who was before a deacon in Jerusalem, is made an evangelist by God in an extraordinary way.

Ac 8:9

8:9 {5} But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used {b} sorcery, and {c} bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

      (5) Christ overcomes Satan as often as he desires, and carries him about as it were in triumph, in the sight of those whom Satan deceived and bewitched.
      (b) The word which is used in this place was at first used of good things, and is borrowed from the language of the Persians, who call their wise men by that name; but afterwards it was used of evil things.
      (c) He had so allured the Samaritans with his witchcraft that as blind and mad idiots they were wholly addicted to him.

Ac 8:13

8:13 {6} Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

      (6) The wicked and the highly reprobate are often forced to taste the good gift of God, but they immediately spit it out again.

Ac 8:14

8:14 {7} Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

      (7) Peter, not chief but as an ambassador sent from the whole company of the apostles, and John his companion, according to the authority which was committed unto them, strengthen, encourage, and build up the churches of Samaria, whose foundation had been laid before by Philip.

Ac 8:15

8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the {d} Holy Ghost:

      (d) Those excellent gifts which are necessary, especially for those that were to be appointed rulers and governors of the Church.

Ac 8:18

8:18 {8} And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

      (8) Covetousness and the seeking of glory at length remove the hypocrites from their dens.

Ac 8:20

8:20 (9) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

      (9) They are the successors of Simon Magus, and not Simon Peter, who either buy or sell holy things.

Ac 8:21

8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this {e} matter: for thy heart is not {f} right in the sight of God.

      (e) In this doctrine which I preach.
      (f) Is not upright indeed and without the concealing of hypocritical motives.

Ac 8:22

8:22 {10} Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

      (10) We must hope well even for the vilest sinners, as long as and as much as we can.

Ac 8:23

8:23 For I perceive that thou art in the {g} gall of bitterness, and [in] the {h} bond of iniquity.

      (g) He calls the inward malice of the heart and the venomous and demonic wickedness with which the magician was wholly filled with the gall of bitterness: and he is said to be in the gall, as though he were wholly overwhelmed with gall, and buried in it.
      (h) Entangled in the bonds of iniquity.

Ac 8:26

8:26 {11} And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

      (11) Christ, who calls freely whom he wishes, now uses Philip, who was not thinking about any such thing, to unexpectedly instruct and baptize the eunuch, and by this means extends the limits of his kingdom even into Ethiopia.

Ac 8:27

8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch {i} of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

      (i) A man of great wealth and authority with Candace. Now this word "Candace" is a common name of all the Queens of Ethiopia.

Ac 8:31

8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should {k} guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

      (k) To show me the way to understand it.

Ac 8:32

8:32 {12} The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

      (12) Those things which seem to come most by chance or fortune
      (as men term it) are governed by the secret providence of God.

Ac 8:33

8:33 In his {l} humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his {m} generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

      (l) The Hebrew text reads it in this way, "out of a narrow strait, and out of judgment was he taken": and by the "narrow strait" he means the grave and the very bonds of death, and by "judgment" he means the punishment which was laid upon him, and the miserable state which Christ took upon himself for our sakes, in bearing his Father's wrath.
      (m) How long he will endure: for Christ, having once risen from the dead, dies no more; Ro 6:9 .

Ac 8:37

8:37 {13} And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, {n} I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

      (13) Profession of faith is required of those being baptized, and therefore it is evident that we are not first ingrafted into Christ when we are baptized, but are already ingrafted, and then are baptized. (Ed.)
      (n) The sum of the confession which is necessary for baptism.

Ac 9:1

9:1 And {1} Saul, yet {a} breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

      (1) Saul (who is also Paul), persecuting Christ most cruelly, who did as it were flee before him, falls into Christ's hands, and is overcome: and with a singular example of the goodness of God, in place of punishment which he justly deserved for his cruelty, is not only kindly received, but is also even by the mouth of God appointed an apostle, and is confirmed by the ministry and witness of Ananias.
      (a) This is a sign that Saul's stomach boiled and cast out great threats to murder the disciples.

Ac 9:2

9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this {b} way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

      (b) Any trade of life which a man take upon himself the Jews call a "way".

Ac 9:5

9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] {c} hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

      (c) This is a proverb which is spoken of those who through their stubbornness hurt themselves.

Ac 9:7

9:7 And the men which journeyed with him {d} stood speechless, hearing a {e} voice, but seeing no man.

      (d) Stood still and could not go one step forward, but remained amazed as stood still like statues.
      (e) They heard Paul's voice: for afterwards it is plainly said in Ac 22:9 that they did not hear the voice of the one who spoke. Others, however, try to reconcile these places (which seem to contradict) by saying that the men with Saul heard the sound of a voice, but did not hear it clearly.

Ac 9:11

9:11 And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of {f} Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

      (f) Tarsus was a city of Cilicia near to Anchiala. It is said that Sardanapalus built these two cities in one day.

Ac 9:15

9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a {g} chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

      (g) To bear my name in.

Ac 9:16

9:16 For I will {h} shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

      (h) I will plainly show him.

Ac 9:17

9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into {i} the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

      (i) Into Judas' house.

Ac 9:20

9:20 {2} And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

      (2) Paul begins immediately to execute the office which was given and commanded to him, never consulting with flesh and blood.

Ac 9:22

9:22 {3} But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, {k} proving that this is very Christ.

      (3) Paul does not do battle only with his own authority, but also with the testimonies of the Prophets.
      (k) By conferring places of the Scripture together, as skilful craftsman do when they make something, they used to gather all parts together, to make them agree fitly one with another.

Ac 9:23

9:23 {4} And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

      (4) Paul, who was before a persecutor, now has persecution planned against himself, though it will not happen for a long time.

Ac 9:25

9:25 {5} Then the disciples took him by night, and let [him] down by the wall in a basket.

      (5) We are not forbidden to avoid and eschew the dangers and conspiracies that the enemies of God lay for us, but only if we do not swerve from our vocation.

Ac 9:26

9:26 {6} And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

      (6) In ancient times no man was rashly or lightly received into the members and the sheep of the Church, much less to be a pastor.

Ac 9:28

9:28 {7} And he was {l} with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

      (7) The steadfast servants of God must look out for danger after danger: yet God watches out for them.
      (l) With Peter and James, for he says that he saw none of the apostles but them; Ga 1:18-19 .

Ac 9:29

9:29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the {m} Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

      (m) See Ac 6:1 .

Ac 9:30

9:30 {8} [Which] when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.

      (8) The ministers of the word may change their place with the advice and counsel of the congregation and church.

Ac 9:31

9:31 {9} Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were {n} edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

      (9) The result of persecutions is the building of the Church, so that we will patiently wait for the Lord.
      (n) This is a borrowed type of speech which signifies establishment and increase.

Ac 9:32

9:32 {10} And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all [quarters], he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.

      (10) Peter's apostleship is confirmed by the healing of the man who suffered from paralysis.

Ac 9:35

9:35 And all that dwelt at {o} Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.

      (o) Lydda was a city of Palestine, and Saron a first-class country, and a place which was excellent for grazing, between Caesarea of Palestine and Mount Tabor, and the lake of Gennesaret, which goes far beyond Joppa.

Ac 9:36

9:36 {11} Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

      (11) Peter clearly declares, by raising up a dead body through the name of Christ, that he preaches the glad tidings of life.

Ac 10:1

10:1 There {1} was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian [band],

      (1) Peter consecrates the first fruits of the Gentiles to God by the means of two miracles.

Ac 10:2

10:2 [A] {a} devout [man], and one that feared God with {b} all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

      (a) So that he worshipped one God, and was not an idolater, and neither could he be void of faith in Christ, because he was a devout man: but as of yet he did not know that Christ had come.
      (b) This is a commendable thing about the man, that he laboured to have all his household, and well-known friends, and acquaintances to be religious and godly.

Ac 10:4

10:4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, {c} What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are {d} come up for {e} a memorial before God.

      (c) What do you want with me Lord? For he prepares himself to hear.
      (d) This is a borrowed kind of speech which the Hebrews used very much, taken from sacrifices and applied to prayers: for it is said of whole burnt sacrifices that the smoke and smell of them goes up into God's nostrils, and so do our prayers, as a sweet smelling sacrifice which the Lord takes great pleasure in.
      (e) That is, in as much that they will not allow God as it were to forget you: for so the Scripture often talks childish with us as nurses do with little children, when they prepare their tongues to speak.

Ac 10:10

10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a {f} trance,

      (f) For though Peter does not stand amazed as one that is tongue tied, but talks with God and is instructed in his mysteries, yet his mind was far from being as it normally was; shortly, however, it returned to its normal state.

Ac 10:11

10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the {g} four corners, and let down to the earth:

      (g) So that it seemed to be a square sheet.

Ac 10:12

10:12 Wherein were {h} all manner of {i} fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and {k} creeping things, and fowls of the air.

      (h) Here is this word "all" which is general, plainly used for something indefinite and uncertain, that is to say, for some of all sorts, not for all of every sort.
      (i) That is, such as were proper for men's use.
      (k) To see what is meant by these creeping things see Le 11:2-47 .

Ac 10:14

10:14 {2} But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

      (2) Peter learns daily in the knowledge of the benefit of Christ, yea, even after he had received the Holy Spirit.

Ac 10:15

10:15 And the voice [spake] unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, [that] {l} call not thou common.

      (l) Do not consider them to be unprofitable.

Ac 10:25

10:25 {3} And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped [him].

      (3) Religious adoration of worship is proper only to God: but civil worship is given to the ministers of the word, although not without danger.

Ac 10:30

10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until {m} this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

      (m) He does not mean the very hour at the present time (as it was nine o'clock when he spoke to Peter), but the like, that is, about nine o'clock the other day.

Ac 10:31

10:31 {4} And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

      (4) Cornelius' faith demonstrated itself by prayer and charity.

Ac 10:32

10:32 {5} Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of [one] Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

      (5) As faith comes by hearing, so it is nourished and grows up by the same.

Ac 10:34

10:34 {6} Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that {n} God is no respecter of persons:

      (6) Distinction of nations is taken away by the coming of Christ: and it is evidently seen by their faith and righteousness, which ones are agreeable to him and which ones he accepts. {n} That God does not judge according to the outward appearance.

Ac 10:35

10:35 But in every nation he that {o} feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

      (o) By the "fear of God" the Hebrews understood the whole service of God, by which we perceive that Cornelius was not void of faith, no more than they were who lived before Christ's time: and therefore they deal incorrectly who deduce meritorious works and free will from this passage.

Ac 10:36

10:36 The {p} word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

      (p) God showed the Israelites that whoever lives godly is acceptable to God, no matter what nation he comes from, for he preached peace to men through Jesus Christ, who is Lord not only of one nation, that is, of the Jews, but of all.

Ac 10:37

10:37 {7} That word, [I say], ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

      (7) The sum of the Gospel (which will be made manifest at the latter day, when Christ himself will sit as judge both of the living and the dead), is this, that Christ promised to the fathers and exhibited in his time with the mighty power of God (which was demonstrated by all means) and at length crucified to reconcile us to God, did rise again the third day, so that whoever believes in him should be saved through the remission of sins.

Ac 10:38

10:38 How God {q} anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

      (q) This manner of speaking is taken from an old custom of the Jews, who used to anoint their kings and priests, because of which it came to pass to call those anointed upon whom God bestowed gifts and virtues.

Ac 10:41

10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses {r} chosen before of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

      (r) This choosing of the apostles is properly given to God: for though God is president in the lawful election of ministers, yet there is in this place a secret opposition and setting of God's choosing and men's voices against one another, for the apostles are appointed directly by God, and the Church ministers indirectly.

Ac 10:44

10:44 {8} While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

      (8) The Spirit of God seals that in the heart of the hearers which the minister of the word speaks by the commandment of God, as is evident by the results.

Ac 10:47

10:47 {9} Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

      (9) Baptism does not sanctify or make those holy who receive it, but is an outward sign to the world of the profession of faith. (Ed.)

Ac 11:1

11:1 And {1} the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.

      (1) Peter, being reprehended without reason by the unskilful and ignorant, does not object and say that he should not be judged by any, but openly gives an account of his actions.

Ac 11:18

11:18 {2} When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

      (2) Those who ask a question of the truth which they do not know, ought to be quietly heard, and must also quietly yield to the declaration of the truth.

Ac 11:19

11:19 {3} Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and {a} Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

      (3) The scattering abroad of Jerusalem is the cause of the gathering together of many other churches.
      (a) He speaks of Antioch which was in Syria and bordered upon Cilicia.

Ac 11:20

11:20 {4} And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

      (4) The church of Antioch, the new Jerusalem of the Gentiles, was extraordinarily called.

Ac 11:22

11:22 {5} Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

      (5) The apostles do not rashly condemn an extraordinary calling, but instead they judge it by the effects.

Ac 11:25

11:25 {6} Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:

      (6) There was no contention amongst the apostles, either with regard to usurping, or with regard to holding places of degree.

Ac 11:27

11:27 {7} And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.

      (7) God punishes his Church when he punishes the wicked, in his scourges and plagues which he sends upon the earth, in such a way that he nonetheless conveniently provides for it.

Ac 11:29

11:29 {8} Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send {b} relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

      (8) All congregations or churches make one body.
      (b) That is, that the deacons might help the poor with it: for it was appropriate and helpful to have all these things done orderly and decently, and therefore it is said that they sent these things to the elders, that is, to the governors of the Church.

Ac 12:1

12:1 Now {1} about that time {a} Herod the king stretched forth [his] hands to vex certain of the church.

      (1) God gives his Church peace only for a short time.
      (a) This name Herod was common to all those that come from the stock of Herod Ascalonites, whose surname was Magnus: but he that is spoken of here was nephew to Herod the great, son to Aristobulus, and father to the Agrippa who is spoken of afterwards.

Ac 12:2

12:2 And he {b} killed James the brother of John with the sword.

      (b) Violently, his cause not being heard at all.

Ac 12:3

12:3 {2} And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

      (2) It is an old habit of tyrants to attain the favour of the wicked, with the blood of the godly.

Ac 12:4

12:4 {3} And when he had apprehended him, he put [him] in prison, and delivered [him] to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

      (3) The tyrants and wicked make a gallows for themselves even then when they do most according to their own will and fantasy.

Ac 12:5

12:5 {4} Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

      (4) The prayers of the godly overturn the counsel of tyrants, obtain angels from God, break the prison, unloose the chains, put Satan to flight, and preserve the Church.

Ac 12:7

12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon [him], and a light shined in the {c} prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from [his] hands.

      (c) Literally, "habitation"; (Ed.).

Ac 12:12

12:12 {5} And when he had considered [the thing], he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

      (5) Holy meetings in the nights of both men and women (when they cannot take place in the day time) are allowable by the example of the apostles.

Ac 12:13

12:13 {6} And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel {d} came to hearken, named Rhoda.

      (6) We obtain more from God than we dare well hope for.
      (d) Out of the place where they were assembled, but not out of the house.

Ac 12:17

12:17 {7} But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

      (7) We may sometimes give place to the rage of the wicked, but yet only in such a way that our diligence which ought to be used in God's business does not slacken in the least.

Ac 12:18

12:18 {8} Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.

      (8) Evil counsel in the end results in the hurt of those who devised it.

Ac 12:20

12:20 {9} And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's [country].

      (9) A miserable and shameful example of what happens to the enemies of the Church.

Ac 12:22

12:22 {10} And the people gave a shout, [saying, It is] the voice of a god, and not of a man.

      (10) The flattery of people makes fools glad.

Ac 12:23

12:23 {11} And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he {e} gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

      (11) God resists the proud.
      (e) Josephus records that this king did not repress the flatterer's tongues, and therefore at his death he complained and cried out about their empty praise.

Ac 12:24

12:24 {12} But the {s} word of God grew and multiplied.

      (12) Tyrants build up the Church by destroying it.
      (s) Those that heard the word of God.

Ac 13:1

13:1 Now {1} there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with {a} Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

      (1) Paul with Barnabas is again the second time appointed apostle of the Gentiles, not of man, neither by man, but by an extraordinary commandment of the Holy Spirit.
      (a) This was the same Antipas who put John the Baptist to death.

Ac 13:2

13:2 As they {b} ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have {c} called them.

      (b) While they were busy doing their office, that is, as Chrysostom expounds it, while they were preaching.
      (c) The Lord is said to call, from which this word "called" comes from, which is common in the Church, when he causes that to be which was not, whether you refer it to the matter itself, or to any quality or thing about the matter: and the use of the word "call" has come about because when things begin to be, then they have some name: and furthermore this also declares God's mighty power, in that he spoke the word, and things were made.

Ac 13:3

13:3 {2} And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.

      (2) Fasting and solemn prayers were used before the laying on of hands.

Ac 13:4

13:4 {3} So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto {d} Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

      (3) Paul and his companions first bring Cyprus to the subjection and obedience of Christ.
      (d) Seleucia was a city of Cilicia, so called after Seleucus, one of Alexander's successors.

Ac 13:8

13:8 {4} But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

      (4) The devil makes Christ's victory more glorious in that he sets himself against him.

Ac 13:10

13:10 {5} And said, O full of all subtilty and all {e} mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

      (5) The sorcerer, who was stricken by Paul with a physical punishment (although extraordinarily), shows an example to lawful magistrates how they ought to punish those who wickedly and obstinately hinder the course of the Gospel.
      (e) He points out a fault of those who run eagerly and with great desire into all types of wickedness with the least bit of prompting from the world.

Ac 13:11

13:11 And now, behold, the {f} hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

      (f) His power which he shows in striking and beating down his enemies.

Ac 13:13

13:13 {6} Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

      (6) An example in one and the very same group of people both of singular steadfastness, and also of great weakness.

Ac 13:14

13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in {g} Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

      (g) This distinguishes between it, and Antioch which was in Syria.

Ac 13:15

13:15 {7} And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, [Ye] men [and] brethren, if ye {h} have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

      (7) In the Synagogue of the Jews (according to the pattern of which Christian congregations were instituted) the Scriptures were read first, then those who were learned were licensed by the rulers of the Synagogue to speak and expound.
      (h) Literally, "If there is any word in you": this is a kind of speech taken from the Hebrews, by which is meant that the gifts of God's grace are in us, as it were in treasure houses, and that they are not ours, but God's. In the same way David says, "Thou hast put a new song in my mouth"; Ps 40:3 .

Ac 13:16

13:16 {8} Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with [his] hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.

      (8) God bestowed many wonderful benefits upon his chosen Israel, but especially this, that he promised them the everlasting redeemer.

Ac 13:17

13:17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and {i} exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an {k} high arm brought he them out of it.

      (i) Advanced and brought to honour.
      (k) Openly and with strong power, breaking in pieces the enemies of his people.

Ac 13:20

13:20 And after that he gave [unto them] judges about the space of {l} four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

      (l) There were from the birth of Isaac until the destruction of the Canaanites under the governance of Joshua four hundred and forty-seven years, and therefore he adds in this place the word "about", for three years are missing; the apostle, however, uses the whole greater number.

Ac 13:21

13:21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of {m} forty years.

      (m) In this space of forty years the time of Samuel must be counted and included with the days of Saul, for the kingdom did as it were include his administration.

Ac 13:23

13:23 {9} Of this man's seed hath God according to [his] promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

      (9) He proves by the witness of John that Jesus is the Saviour who would come from David.

Ac 13:24

13:24 When John had first preached {n} before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

      (n) John as a herald did not show Christ coming from afar off, as the other prophets did, but right at hand and having already begun his journey.

Ac 13:26

13:26 {10} Men [and] brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

      (10) Christ was promised and sent appropriately to the Jews.

Ac 13:27

13:27 {11} For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled [them] in condemning [him].

      (11) All things came to pass to Christ, which the Prophets foretold concerning the Messiah: so that by this also it appears that he is the true and only saviour: and yet nonetheless they are not to be excused who did not only not receive him, but also persecuted him most cruelly, even though he was innocent.

Ac 13:30

13:30 {12} But God raised him from the dead:

      (12) We must set the glory of the resurrection against the shame of the cross, and the grave. And the resurrection is equally proved by the witnesses who saw it, and by the testimonies of the Prophets.

Ac 13:33

13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he {o} hath raised up Jesus again; {13} as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

      (o) For then he appeared plainly and manifestly as the only Son of God, when he left behind his weakness and came out of the grave, having conquered death.
      (13) If Christ had remained dead, he would not have been the true Son of God, neither would the covenant which was made with David have been certain.

Ac 13:34

13:34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, [now] no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the {p} sure mercies of David.

      (p) The Greeks call those things "holy things" which the Hebrews call "gracious bounties": and they are called David's bounties in the passive voice, because God bestowed them upon David. Moreover, they are termed "sure", after the manner of speech which the Hebrews use, who terms those things "sure" which are steady and certain, and such things which never alter or change.

Ac 13:35

13:35 {14} Wherefore he saith also in another [psalm], Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

      (14) The Lord was in the grace in such a way that he experienced no corruption.

Ac 13:38

13:38 {15} Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

      (15) Christ was sent to give them free remission of sins who were condemned by the Law.

Ac 13:39

13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from {q} all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

      (q) Whereas the ceremonies of the Law could not absolve you from your sins, this man absolves you, if you lay hold of him by faith.

Ac 13:40

13:40 {16} Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;

      (16) The benefits of God turn to the utter undoing of those that condemn them.

Ac 13:42

13:42 {17} And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

      (17) The Gentiles go before the Jews into the kingdom of heaven.

Ac 13:43

13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and {r} religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

      (r) Who had forsaken their heathen religion, and embraced the religion set forth by Moses.

Ac 13:45

13:45 {18} But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

      (18) The favour on the very same Gospel is to the reprobate and unbelievers death, and to the elect and those who believe it is life.

Ac 13:46

13:46 {19} Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and {s} judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

      (19) The Gospel is proclaimed to the Gentiles by the express commandment of God.
      (s) By this your doing you pronounce as it were sentence upon yourselves, and judge yourselves.

Ac 13:48

13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were {t} ordained to eternal life believed.

      (t) Therefore either all were not appointed to everlasting life, or either all believed, but because all did not believe, it follows that certain ones were ordained: and therefore God did not only foreknow, but also foreordained, that neither faith nor the effects of faith should be the cause of his ordaining, or appointment, but his ordaining the cause of faith.

Ac 13:50

13:50 {20} But the Jews stirred up the {u} devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

      (20) Such is the craft and subtlety of the enemies of the Gospel, that they abuse the simplicity of some who are not altogether evil men, in order to execute their cruelty.
      (u) Those who embraced the Law of Moses.

Ac 13:51

13:51 {21} But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

      (21) The wickedness of the world cannot prevent God from gathering his Church together, and to foster and cherish it, when it is gathered together.

Ac 14:1

14:1 And {1} it came to pass in {a} Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

      (1) We should be no less constant in the preaching of the Gospel than the perversity of the wicked is obstinate in persecuting it.
      (a) Iconium was a city of Lycaonia.

Ac 14:2

14:2 But the {b} unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

      (b) Who did not obey the doctrine.

Ac 14:3

14:3 {2} Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

      (2) We should not leave our places and give in to threatenings, or to open rage, but only when there is no other remedy, and that not for our own peace and quiet, but only so that the Gospel may be spread further abroad.

Ac 14:6

14:6 They were ware of [it], and {c} fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:

      (c) It is sometimes proper to flee dangers, at the appropriate times.

Ac 14:8

14:8 {3} And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:

      (3) It is an old subtlety of the devil, either to cause the faithful servants of God to be immediately banished, or to be worshipped as idols: and he does this by taking occasion of miracles which they have done.

Ac 14:13

14:13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the {d} gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.

      (d) Of the house where Paul and Barnabas were.

Ac 14:15

14:15 {4} And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of {e} like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these {f} vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

      (4) That is also called idolatry which gives to creatures, be they ever so holy and excellent, that which is proper to the only One God, that is, invocation, or calling upon.
      (e) Men, as you are, and partakers of the very same nature of man as you are.
      (f) He calls idols "vanities", after the manner of the Hebrews.

Ac 14:16

14:16 {5} Who in times past {g} suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

      (5) Custom, be it ever so old, does not excuse the idolaters.
      (g) Allowed them to live as they wished, prescribing and appointing them no type of religion.

Ac 14:19

14:19 {6} And there came thither [certain] Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew [him] out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

      (6) The devil, when he is brought to his last chance, at length rages openly, but in vain, even at that time when he seems to have the upper hand.

Ac 14:21

14:21 {7} And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and [to] Iconium, and Antioch,

      (7) We must go forward in our calling through a thousand deaths.

Ac 14:22

14:22 {8} Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

      (8) It is the office of the ministers, not only to teach, but also to confirm those that are taught, and prepare them for the cross.

Ac 14:23

14:23 {9} 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.

      (9) The apostles committed the churches which they had planted to proper and special pastors, who they appointed not rashly, but with prayers and fastings preceding their choice: neither did they thrust them upon churches through bribery, or lordly superiority, but chose and placed them by the voice of the congregation.

Ac 14:24

14:24 {10} And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.

      (10) Paul and Barnabas, having completed their journey, and having returned to Antioch, give an account of their journey to the congregation or church.

Ac 14:25

14:25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into {h} Attalia:

      (h) Attalia was a sea city of Pamphylia, near to Lycia.

Ac 14:26

14:26 And thence sailed to {i} Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

      (i) Antioch of Syria.

Ac 15:1

15:1 And {1} {a} certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

      (1) The Church is at length troubled with dissension within itself, and the trouble rises from the proud and stubborn intellects of certain evil men. The first strife was concerning the office of Christ, whether we are saved only by his righteousness apprehended by faith, or if we also have need to observe the Law.
      (a) Epiphanius is of the opinion that this was Cerinthus.

Ac 15:2

15:2 {2} When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

      (2) Meetings of congregations were instituted to suppress heresies, to which certain were sent by common consent on behalf of all.

Ac 15:3

15:3 And {b} being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

      (b) Courteously and lovingly brought on their way by the Church, that is, by certain ones appointed by the Church.

Ac 15:6

15:6 {3} And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

      (3) The matter is first handled, both parts being heard, in the assembly of the apostles and elders, and after is communicated to the people.

Ac 15:7

15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, {4} Men [and] brethren, ye know how that a {c} good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

      (4) God himself, in the calling of the Gentiles who are uncircumcised, taught that our salvation consists in faith, without the worship appointed by the Law.
      (c) Literally, "of old time", that is, even from the first time that we were commanded to preach the Gospel, and immediately after that the Holy Spirit came down upon us.

Ac 15:9

15:9 And put no {d} difference between us and them, purifying their hearts {e} by faith.

      (d) He put no difference between us and them, with regard to the benefit of his free favour.
      (e) Christ proclaims those blessed who are pure of heart: and here we are plainly taught that men are made pure of heart by faith.

Ac 15:10

15:10 {5} Now therefore why {f} tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

      (5) Peter, passing from the ceremonies to the Law itself in general, shows that no one could be saved, if salvation were to be sought for by the Law, and not by grace alone in Jesus Christ; and this is because no man could ever fulfil the Law, neither the patriarch nor the apostle.
      (f) Why do you tempt God, as though he could not save by faith?

Ac 15:12

15:12 {6} Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

      (6) A true pattern of a lawful council, where God's truth alone reigns.

Ac 15:13

15:13 And after they had held their peace, {g} James answered, saying, Men [and] brethren, hearken unto me:

      (g) The son of Alphaeus, who is also called the Lord's brother.

Ac 15:14

15:14 {7} Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

      (7) James confirms the calling of the Gentiles out of the word of God, in this agreeing with Peter.

Ac 15:18

15:18 {h} Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

      (h) And therefore nothing comes to pass by chance, but only by God's appointment.

Ac 15:19

15:19 {8} Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

      (8) In indifferent matters, we may be patient with the weakness of our brethren with the end in view that they may have time to be instructed.

Ac 15:20

15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from {i} pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and [from] blood.

      (i) From sacrifices, or from feasts which were kept in idol's temples.

Ac 15:22

15:22 {9} Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; [namely], Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

      (9) In a lawful synod, neither those who are appointed and chosen judges, appoint and determine anything tyrannously or upon a lordly superiority, neither do the common multitude stir up disorder against those who sit as judges by the word of God: and the like manner of doing things is also used in proclaiming and ratifying those things which have been so determined and agreed upon.

Ac 15:24

15:24 {10} Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which {k} went out from us have troubled you with words, {l} subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

      (10) The council of Jerusalem concludes that the ones who trouble men's consciences are they who teach us to seek salvation in any other means than in Christ alone, apprehended by faith, no matter where they come from, and whoever they pretend to be the author of their calling.
      (k) From our congregation.
      (l) A borrowed type of speech taken of those who pull down that which was built up: and it is a very common metaphor in the scriptures, to say "the Church is built", for "the Church is planted and established".

Ac 15:28

15:28 {11} For it seemed good to the {n} Holy Ghost, and {o} to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these {p} necessary things;

      (11) That is a lawful council, which the Holy Spirit rules.
      (n) First they made mention of the Holy Spirit, so that it may not seem to be any man's work.
      (o) Not that men have any authority of themselves, but to show the faithfulness that they used in their ministry and labour.
      (p) This was no absolute necessity, but in respect of the state of that time, so that the Gentiles and the Jews might live together more peaceably, with less occasion to quarrel.

Ac 15:29

15:29 {12} That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

      (12) Charity is required even in indifferent matters.

Ac 15:30

15:30 {13} So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:

      (13) It is required for all people to know certainly what to hold in matters of faith and religion, and not that the Church by ignorance and knowing nothing, should depend upon the pleasure of a few.

Ac 15:33

15:33 And after they had tarried [there] a space, they were let go in {q} peace from the brethren unto the apostles.

      (q) This is a Hebrew idiom, which is the same as saying, "as the brethren wished them all prosperous success, and the church dismissed them with good leave."

Ac 15:36

15:36 {14} And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do.

      (14) Congregations or churches easily degenerate unless they are diligently watched over, and therefore these apostles went to oversee the churches they had planted, and for this reason also synods were instituted and appointed.

Ac 15:37

15:37 {15} And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.

      (15) A lamentable example of discord between excellent men and very great friends, yet not because of profane matters or their own private affairs, neither yet because of doctrine.

Ac 15:39

15:39 {16} And {r} the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

      (16) God uses the faults of his servants to the profit and building of the Church: yet we have to take heed, even in the best matters, that we do not let our anger overflow.
      (r) They were in great heat: but in this we have to consider the power of God's counsel, for by this means it came to pass that the doctrine of the Gospel was spread into many places.

Ac 16:1

16:1 Then {1} came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a {a} Jewess, and believed; but his father [was] a Greek:

      (1) Paul himself does not receive Timothy into the ministry without sufficient testimony, and permission of the brethren.
      (a) Paul, in his second epistle to Timothy, commends the godliness of Timothy's mother and grandmother.

Ac 16:2

16:2 Which was {b} well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

      (b) Both for his godliness and honesty.

Ac 16:3

16:3 {2} Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

      (2) Timothy is circumcised, not simply for any necessity, but in respect of the time only, in order to win the Jews.

Ac 16:4

16:4 {3} And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the {c} decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

      (3) Charity is to be observed in things indifferent so that regard is had both of the weak, and of the peace of the Church.
      (c) These decrees which he spoke of in the former chapter.

Ac 16:6

16:6 {4} Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were {d} forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

      (4) God appoints certain and determinate times to open and set forth his truth, so that both the election and the calling may proceed of grace.
      (d) He does not show why they were forbidden, but only that they were forbidden, teaching us to obey and not to enquire.

Ac 16:9

16:9 {5} And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

      (5) They are the ministers of the Gospel by whom he helps those who are likely to perish.

Ac 16:10

16:10 {6} And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

      (6) The Saints did not easily believe every vision.

Ac 16:13

16:13 {7} And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where {e} prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted [thither].

      (7) God begins his kingdom in Macedonia by the conversion of a woman, and so shows that there is no exception of persons in the Gospel.
      (e) Where they customarily assembled themselves.

Ac 16:14

16:14 {8} And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

      (8) The Lord opens the heart to hear the word which is preached.

Ac 16:15

16:15 {9} And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought [us], saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide [there]. And she constrained us.

      (9) An example of a godly housewife.

Ac 16:16

16:16 {10} And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of {f} divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

      (10) Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, and covets to enter by undermining, but Paul openly stops him, and casts him out.
      (f) This is a sure sign of the god Apollo, who would give answers to those that asked him.

Ac 16:18

16:18 And this did she {g} many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

      (g) Paul made no haste to do this miracle, for he did all things only as he was led by the Spirit.

Ac 16:19

16:19 {11} And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew [them] into the marketplace unto the rulers,

      (11) Covetousness of evil gain and of profit is an occasion for persecuting the truth. In the meanwhile, God sparing Timothy, calls Paul and Silas as the stronger to battle.

Ac 16:20

16:20 {12} And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

      (12) Covetousness pretends a desire for common peace and godliness.

Ac 16:21

16:21 {13} And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

      (13) It is an argument of the devil to use the authority of ancestors, though not distinguishing exactly which ancestors.

Ac 16:22

16:22 {14} And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat [them].

      (14) An example of evil magistrates, to obey the fury and rage of the people.

Ac 16:24

16:24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet {h} fast in the stocks.

      (h) Because he wanted to be more sure that they did not escape, he set them fast in the stocks.

Ac 16:25

16:25 {15} And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

      (15) The prayers of the godly do shake both heaven and earth.

Ac 16:27

16:27 {16} And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

      (16) The merciful Lord, as often as he desires, draws men to life even through the midst of death, and whereas they justly deserved great punishment, he shows them great mercy.

Ac 16:28

16:28 {17} But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

      (17) In means which are especially extraordinary, we should not move our foot forward, unless God goes before us.

Ac 16:33

16:33 {18} And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed [their] stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

      (18) God with the very same hand wounds and heals when it pleases him.

Ac 16:35

16:35 {19} And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.

      (19) Shame and confusion is in due time the reward of wicked and unjust magistrates.

Ac 16:37

16:37 {20} But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast [us] into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.

      (20) We must not render injury for injury, and yet nonetheless it is lawful for us to use such helps as God gives us, to bridle the outrageousness of the wicked, so that they do not hurt others in a similar way.

Ac 16:38

16:38 {21} And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.

      (21) The wicked are not moved with the fear of God, but with the fear of men: and by that means also God provides for his, when it is needed.

Ac 16:40

16:40 {22} And they went out of the prison, and entered into [the house of] Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

      (22) We may avoid dangers in such a way that we never neglect our duty.

Ac 17:1

17:1 Now {1} when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

      (1) The casting out of Silas and Paul was the saving of many others.

Ac 17:3

17:3 {2} Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

      (2) Christ is therefore the mediator, because he was crucified and rose again: and he is certainly not to be rejected because the cross is shameful.

Ac 17:5

17:5 {3} But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain {a} lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

      (3) Although the zeal of the unfaithful seems ever so virtuous, yet at length it is found to have neither truth nor fairness. Yet the wicked cannot do what they wish, for even among themselves God stirs up some, whose help he uses for the deliverance of his own.
      (a) Certain companions which do nothing but walk the streets, wicked men, to be hired for every man's money to do any mischief, such as we commonly call the rabble and very cesspools and dunghill knaves of all towns and cities.

Ac 17:6

17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the {b} world upside down are come hither also;

      (b) Into whatever country and place they come, they cause sedition and tumult.

Ac 17:9

17:9 And when they had taken {c} security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

      (c) When Jason had put them in good assurance that they would appear.

Ac 17:10

17:10 {4} And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews.

      (4) That is indeed the wisdom of the Spirit which always sets the glory of God before itself as a mark with which it directs itself, and never wavers from it.

Ac 17:11

17:11 {5} These were more {d} noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

      (5) The Lord sets out in one short period of time, and in one people, different examples of his unsearchable wisdom to cause them to fear him.
      (d) He compares the Jews with the Jews.

Ac 17:13

17:13 {6} But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

      (6) Satan has his who are zealous for him, and those who one would least suspect.

Ac 17:14

17:14 {7} And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

      (7) There is neither counsel, nor fury, nor madness against the Lord.

Ac 17:15

17:15 {8} And they that conducted Paul {e} brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

      (8) The sheep of Christ also watch their pastor's health and safety, but yet in the Lord.
      (e) It is not for nothing that the Jews of Berea were so commended, for they brought Paul safe from Macedonia to Athens, and there is in between these two places all of Thessalia, and Boeotia, and Attica.

Ac 17:16

17:16 {9} Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was {f} stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to {g} idolatry.

      (9) In comparing the wisdom of God with man's wisdom, men scoff and mock at that which they do not understand: and God uses the curiosity of fools to gather together his elect.
      (f) He could not forbear.
      (g) Slavishly given to idolatry: Pausanias writes that there were more idols in Athens than in all Greece; yea they had altars dedicated to Shame, and Fame, and Lust, whom they made goddesses.

Ac 17:17

17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with {h} them that met with him.

      (h) Whoever Paul met with that would allow him to talk with him, he reasoned with him, so thoroughly did he burn with the zeal of God's glory.

Ac 17:18

17:18 {10} Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this {i} babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

      (10) Two special sects of the philosophers set themselves against Christ: the Epicures, who mock and scoff at religion: and the Stoics, who decide religious matters according to their own thinking.
      (i) Literally, "seed gatherer": a borrowed kind of speech taken from birds which spoil corn, and is applied to those who without any skill blurt out the knowledge which they have gotten by hearing this man and that man.

Ac 17:19

17:19 And they took him, and brought him unto {k} Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, [is]?

      (k) This was a place called, as one would say, Mars hill, where the judges sat who were called Areopagita upon important matters, who in ancient time arraigned Socrates, and afterward condemned him of impiety.

Ac 17:21

17:21 {11} (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

      (11) The wisdom of man is vanity.

Ac 17:22

17:22 {12} Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too {l} superstitious.

      (12) The idolaters themselves provide most strong and forcible arguments against their own superstition.
      (l) To stand in too foolish and slavish a fear of your gods.

Ac 17:23

17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your {m} devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE {n} UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

      (m) Whatever men worship for religion's sake, that we call religion.
      (n) Pausanias in his Atticis makes mention of the altar which the Athenians had dedicated to unknown gods: and Laertius in his Epimenides makes mention of an altar that had no name entitled upon it.

Ac 17:24

17:24 {13} God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

      (13) It is a most foolish and vain thing to compare the Creator with the creature, to limit him within a place who can be comprehended in no place, and to think to allure him with gifts, from whom all men have received all things whatever they have: and these are the fountains of all idolatry.

Ac 17:26

17:26 {14} And hath made of {o} one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

      (14) God is wonderful in all his works, but especially in the work of man: not that we should stand amazed at his works, but that we should lift our eyes to the workman.
      (o) Of one stock and one beginning.

Ac 17:27

17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might {p} feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

      (p) For as blind men we could not seek out God except by groping, before the true light came and enlightened the world.

Ac 17:29

17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, {q} graven by art and man's device.

      (q) Which things (gold, silver, and stones) are custom engraved as much as a man's mind can devise, for men will not worship those things as they are, unless by some art it has formed into an image of some sort.

Ac 17:30

17:30 {15} And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

      (15) The oldness of the error does not excuse those that err, but it commends and sets forth the patience of God, who nonetheless will be a just judge to those who condemn him.

Ac 17:31

17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given {r} assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

      (r) By declaring Christ to be the judge of the world through the resurrection from the dead.

Ac 17:32

17:32 {16} And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this [matter].

      (16) Men, to show forth their vanity, are affected and moved differently by the very same Gospel, which nonetheless does not cease to be effectual in the elect.

Ac 18:1

18:1 After {1} these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

      (1) The true ministers are so far from seeking their own profit, that they willingly depart from what is rightfully theirs, rather than hindering the course of the Gospel in the slightest way.

Ac 18:2

18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that {a} Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

      (a) Suetonius records that Rome banished the Jews because they were never at rest, and that because of Christ.

Ac 18:4

18:4 {2} And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and {b} persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

      (2) The truth ought always to be freely uttered, yet nonetheless the doctrine may be moderated in accordance with the hearers, so that they are most profited.
      (b) Exhorted so that he persuaded, and that is what the word signifies.

Ac 18:5

18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul {c} was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews [that] Jesus [was] Christ.

      (c) Was very much grieved in mind: by which is signified the great earnestness of his mind, which was greatly moved: for Paul was so zealous that he completely forgot himself, and with a wonderful courage gave himself to preach Christ.

Ac 18:6

18:6 {3} And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook [his] raiment, and said unto them, Your {d} blood [be] upon your own heads; I [am] clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

      (3) Although we have tried all possible means, and yet in vain, we must not stop our work, but forsake the rebellious, and go to those that are more obedient.
      (d) This is a type of speech taken from the Hebrews, by which he means that the Jews are the cause of their own destruction, and as for him, that he is without fault in forsaking them and going to other nations.

Ac 18:9

18:9 {4} Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

      (4) God does confirm and maintain the steadfastness of his servants.

Ac 18:11

18:11 And he {e} continued [there] a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

      (e) Literally, "sat", whereupon they in former time took the name of their bishop's seat: but Paul sat, that is, continued teaching the word of God: and this type of seat does not belong to those who never took their seats with a mind to teach in them.

Ac 18:12

18:12 {5} And when Gallio was the deputy of {f} Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,

      (5) The wicked are never weary of doing evil, but the Lord wonderfully mocks their endeavours.
      (f) That is, of Greece, yet the Romans did not call him deputy of Greece, but of Achaia, because the Romans brought the Greeks into subjection by the Achaians, who in those days were Princes of Greece, as Pausanias records.

Ac 18:14

18:14 And when Paul was now about to open [his] mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O [ye] Jews, {g} reason would that I should bear with you:

      (g) As much as I rightly could.

Ac 18:15

18:15 But if it be a question of {h} words and {i} names, and [of] your law, look ye [to it]; for I will be no judge of such [matters].

      (h) As if a man has not spoken well, as judged by your religion.
      (i) For this profane man thinks that the controversy of religion is merely a fight about words, and over nothing important.

Ac 18:18

18:18 {6} And Paul [after this] tarried [there] yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; {k} having shorn [his] head in {l} Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

      (6) Paul is made all to all, to win all to Christ.
      (k) That is, Paul.
      (l) Cenchrea was a haven of the Corinthians.

Ac 18:20

18:20 {7} When they desired [him] to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;

      (7) The apostles were carried about not by the will of man, but by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Ac 18:21

18:21 But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, {m} if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

      (m) So we should promise nothing without this clause, for we do not know what the following day will bring forth.

Ac 18:24

18:24 {8} And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, [and] {n} mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

      (8) Apollos, a godly and learned man, does not refuse to profit in the school of a base and abject handicraftsman, and also of a woman: and so becomes and excellent minister of the Church.
      (n) Very well instructed in the knowledge of the scriptures.

Ac 18:26

18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto [them], and expounded unto him the {o} way of God more perfectly.

      (o) The way that leads to God.

Ac 18:27

18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through {p} grace:

      (p) Through God's gracious favour, or by those excellent gifts which God had bestowed upon him.

Ac 19:1

19:1 And {1} it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

      (1) Paul, not being offended at the rudeness of the Ephesians, plants a church amongst them.

Ac 19:2

19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the {a} Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

      (a) Those excellent gifts of the Holy Spirit, which were in the Church in those days.

Ac 19:3

19:3 {2} And he said unto them, Unto {b} what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto {c} John's baptism.

      (2) John only began to instruct the disciples whom Christ would make perfect.
      (b) In what doctrine then are you taught and instructed?
      (c) To be baptized into John's baptism is to profess the doctrine which John preached and to be identified with his baptism.

Ac 19:9

19:9 {3} But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that {d} way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one {e} Tyrannus.

      (3) For a man to separate himself and others from infidels who are utterly desperate, is not to divide the Church, but rather to unite it, and make it one.
      (d) By this word "way", the Hebrews understand any type of life, and here it is taken for Christianity.
      (e) This was a man's proper name.

Ac 19:13

19:13 {4} Then certain of the vagabond Jews, {f} exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

      (4) Satan is forced to give witness against himself.
      (f) So were they called who cast out demons by forcing them to leave in the name of God: and in the beginning of the Church, those who had the gift of working miracles, and laid their hands on those that were possessed with demons, were called the same.

Ac 19:16

19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and {g} prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

      (g) He prevailed against them, though they struggled ever so much.

Ac 19:18

19:18 {5} And many that believed came, and {h} confessed, and shewed their deeds.

      (5) Conjuring and sorcery is condemned by open testimony, and by the authority of the apostle.
      (h) Confessed their errors, and openly detested them, being terrified with the fear of the judgment of God: and how does this compare to confession to a priest?

Ac 19:19

19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all [men]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it] {i} fifty thousand [pieces] of silver.

      (i) Those that give the lowest estimate, reckon it to be about eight hundred pounds English.

Ac 19:21

19:21 {6} After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the {k} spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

      (6) Paul is never weary.
      (k) By the motion of God's Spirit: therefore we may not say that Paul ran rashly unto death, but as the Spirit of God led him.

Ac 19:23

19:23 {7} And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.

      (7) Gain cloaked with a show of religion is the very cause why idolatry is strongly and stubbornly defended.

Ac 19:24

19:24 For a certain [man] named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver {l} shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;

      (l) These were special counterfeit temples with Diana's picture in them, which those who worshipped her bought.

Ac 19:27

19:27 So that not only {m} this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

      (m) As if he said, "If Paul goes on in this way as he has begun, to confuse the opinion which men have of Diana's image, all of our gain will come to nothing."

Ac 19:31

19:31 {8} And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring [him] that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

      (8) There ought to be in all Christians, and especially in the ministers, an invincible steadfastness which may not by any storms or assaults be overcome, which nonetheless must modestly allow itself to be governed by wisdom.

Ac 19:34

19:34 {9} But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great [is] Diana of the Ephesians.

      (9) Instead of reason, the idolaters are sufficiently contented with their own madness and outcries, and those are the greatest defence that they have.

Ac 19:35

19:35 {10} And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, [Ye] men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the [image] which {n} fell down from Jupiter?

      (10) An example of a political man who redeems peace and quietness with lies, which Paul would have never done.
      (n) The Ephesians believed superstitiously that the image of Diana came down to them from heaven.

Ac 19:38

19:38 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a {o} matter against any man, the {p} law is open, and there are {q} deputies: let them implead one another.

      (o) Have anything to accuse any man of.
      (p) For there are certain days appointed for civil causes and matters of judgment, and the deputies sit on those days.
      (q) By the deputies are meant also the deputies' substitutes, that is, those who sat for them.

Ac 19:39

19:39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a {r} lawful assembly.

      (r) He speaks of a lawful assembly not only to speak against the disordered tumult of the people, but also against all meeting and coming together which was not by order: for there were certain days appointed to call people together in.

Ac 20:1

20:1 And {1} after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto [him] the disciples, and embraced [them], and departed for to go into Macedonia.

      (1) Paul departs from Ephesus by the consent of the church, not to be idle or at rest, but to take pains in another place.

Ac 20:2

20:2 And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them {a} much exhortation, he came into Greece,

      (a) For after so great trouble, there was need of much exhortation.

Ac 20:3

20:3 {2} And [there] abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.

      (2) A perverse zeal is the guider and instructor to murderers: and we are not excluded by the wisdom of God to prevent the endeavours of wicked men.

Ac 20:7

20:7 {3} And upon the {b} first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

      (3) Assemblies in the night-time cannot be justly condemned, neither should they be, when the cause is good.
      (b) Literally, "the first day of the Sabbath", that is, upon the Lord's day: so that by this place, and by 1Co 16:2 we properly understand that in those days the Christians habitually assembled themselves solemnly together upon that day.

Ac 20:8

20:8 {4} And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

      (4) The devil, taking care to trouble the Church with a great offence, gives Paul a singular occasion to confirm the Gospel

Ac 20:16

20:16 {5} For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

      (5) Paul, an earnest and diligent follower of Christ, making haste to his bonds without any ceasing or stopping in his race, first of all as it were makes his testament, wherein he gives an account of his former life, defends the doctrine which he taught, and exhorts the pastors of the church to persevere and go forward with continuance in their office.

Ac 20:17

20:17 And from {c} Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

      (c) According as the situation of these places is set forth, the distance between Ephesus and Miletus was almost 50 miles or 80 km.

Ac 20:18

20:18 {6} And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,

      (6) A graphic image of a true pastor.

Ac 20:20

20:20 [And] how I kept {d} back nothing that was profitable [unto you], but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

      (d) I did not refrain form speaking, neither did I conceal my motives in any way at all, either for fear or for wicked gain.

Ac 20:22

20:22 {7} And now, behold, I go {e} bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

      (7) He testifies that he goes to his imprisonment by the commandment of God.
      (e) He calls the guiding direction of the Holy Spirit, who forced him to take his journey to Jerusalem, the bond of the Sprit, whom he followed with all his heart.

Ac 20:26

20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I [am] {f} pure from the blood of all [men].

      (f) If you perish, yet there will fault with me. See Geneva (d) "Ac 18:6"

Ac 20:27

20:27 {8} For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

      (8) The doctrine of the apostles is most perfect and absolute.

Ac 20:28

20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to {g} feed the church of God, which {h} he hath purchased with {i} his own blood.

      (g) To keep it, to feed and govern it.
      (h) A notable sentence for Christ's Godhead: which shows plainly in his person, how that by reason of the joining together of the two natures in his own person, that which is proper to one is spoken of the other, being taken as deriving from one another, and not in the original: which in old time the godly fathers termed a communicating or fellowship of properties or attributes, that is to say, a making common of that to two, which belongs but to one.
      (i) The words "his own" show forth the excellency of that blood.

Ac 20:29

20:29 {9} For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

      (9) A prophecy of pastors that would immediately degenerate into wolves, against those who boast and brag only of a succession of persons.

Ac 20:30

20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to {k} draw away disciples after them.

      (k) This is great misery, to want the presence of such a shepherd, but it is a greater misery to have wolves enter in.

Ac 20:32

20:32 {10} And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an {l} inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

      (10) The power of God, and his free promises revealed in his word, are the props and upholders of the ministry of the Gospel.
      (l) As children, and therefore an inheritance of free love and good will.

Ac 20:33

20:33 {11} I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.

      (11) Pastors must before all things beware of covetousness.

Ac 20:35

20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought {m} to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

      (m) As it were by reaching out the hand to those who otherwise are about to slip and fall away, and so to steady them.

Ac 20:37

20:37 {12} And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,

      (12) The Gospel does not take away natural affections, but rules and bridles them in good order.

Ac 21:1

21:1 And {1} it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the [day] following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:

      (1) Not only ordinary men, but even our friends, and such as are endued with the Spirit of God, sometimes go about to hinder the course of our calling: but it is our part to go forward without any stopping or staggering, after we are sure of our calling from God.

Ac 21:4

21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the {a} Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

      (a) They foretold through the Spirit what dangers were about to befall Paul, and this they did as prophets: but they misdirected him away from Jerusalem because of a fleshly affection.

Ac 21:8

21:8 And the next [day] we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the {b} seven; and abode with him.

      (b) He speaks of the seven deacons which he mentioned before in Ac 6:1-7 .

Ac 21:9

21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did {c} prophesy.

      (c) They had a peculiar gift of foretelling things to come.

Ac 21:14

21:14 {2} And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

      (2) The will of God bridles all affections in those who earnestly seek the glory of God.

Ac 21:19

21:19 {3} And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

      (3) God is to be praised, who is the author of all good sayings and deeds.

Ac 21:20

21:20 {4} And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

      (4) In things indifferent (of which sort the traditions of the Pharisees were not, but rather the ceremonies of the Law, until the time when Christian liberty was more fully revealed to the Jews) charity exhorts us to conform or apply ourselves willingly so far as we may, to our brethren who do not stubbornly and maliciously resist the truth (but are not thoroughly instructed), especially if the question pertains to a whole multitude.

Ac 21:24

21:24 Them take, and {d} purify thyself with them, and {e} be at charges with them, that they may shave [their] heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but [that] thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

      (d) That is, consecrate thyself: for he does not speak here of the unclean, but of those who are subject to the vow of the Nazarites.
      (e) That it may be known that you were not only present at the vow, but also a main participator in it: and therefore it is said afterwards that Paul declared the days of purification: for although the offerings for the Nazarites offerings were appointed, yet they might add somewhat unto them; see Nu 6:21 .

Ac 21:26

21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, {f} to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

      (f) The priests were to be informed of the accomplishment of the days of the purification, because there were sacrifices to be offered the same day that their vow was ended.

Ac 21:27

21:27 {5} And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

      (5) A preposterous zeal is the cause of great confusion and great troubles.

Ac 21:31

21:31 {6} And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.

      (6) God finds some even amongst the wicked and profane themselves, to hinder the endeavours of the rest.

Ac 21:38

21:38 Art not thou that {g} Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

      (g) Concerning this Egyptian who assembled thirty thousand men, read Josephus, book 2, chap. 12.

Ac 22:3

22:3 {1} I am verily a man [which am] a Jew, born in Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the {a} feet of Gamaliel, [and] taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

      (1) Paul, making a short declaration of his former life, proves both his calling and doctrine to be from God.
      (a) That is, his daily hearer: the reason of this speech is this: those who teach commonly sit in the higher place, speaking to their students who sit upon benches beneath, and therefore he says "at the feet of Gamaliel".

Ac 22:20

22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that {b} slew him.

      (b) This is properly spoken, for Steven was murdered by a bunch of cutthroats, not by order of justice, but by open force: for at that time the Jews could not put any man to death by law.

Ac 22:22

22:22 {2} And they gave him audience unto this word, and [then] lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a [fellow] from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

      (2) Resolute and stubborn pride will neither embrace the truth itself, neither allow others to receive it.

Ac 22:23

22:23 And as they {c} cried out, and cast off [their] clothes, and threw dust into the air,

      (c) The description of a seditious tumult, and of a foolish and mad multitude.

Ac 22:24

22:24 {3} The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.

      (3) The wisdom of the flesh does not consider what is just, but what is profitable, and in addition takes into account the profit that can be gained, according as it presently appears.

Ac 22:25

22:25 {4} And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

      (4) There is no reason why we may not use those lawful means which God gives us in order to repel or prevent an injury.

Ac 22:29

22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was {d} a Roman, and because he had bound him.

      (d) Not by nation, but by the law of his city of birth.

Ac 23:1

23:1 And {1} Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men [and] brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

      (1) Paul, against the false accusations of his enemies, displays a clear conscience, for proof of which he repeats the whole course of his life.

Ac 23:2

23:2 {2} And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

      (2) Hypocrites are forced at length to betray themselves by their violence.

Ac 23:3

23:3 {3} Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, [thou] {b} whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten {c} contrary to the law?

      (3) It is lawful for us to complain of injuries, and to summon the wicked to the judgment seat of God, but yet we must do it without hatred, and with a quiet and peaceable mind.
      (b) This is a vehement and severe speech, but yet not reproachful: for the godly may speak severely, and yet be void of the bitter affection of a severe and angry mind.
      (c) For the Law commands the judge to hear the person that is accused patiently, and to pronounce the sentence judiciously.

Ac 23:5

23:5 {4} Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

      (4) We must willingly and from the heart give honour to magistrates, although they are tyrants.

Ac 23:6

23:6 {5} But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men [and] brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

      (5) We may sometimes lawfully set the wicked against themselves, so that they stop assaulting us, in order that the truth is not hindered.

Ac 23:7

23:7 {6} And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

      (6) The agreement between the wicked is weak, even though they conspire together to oppress the truth.

Ac 23:8

23:8 {7} For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither {d} angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

      (7) It is an old heresy of the Sadducees to deny the existence of angels and souls, and in addition the resurrection of the dead.
      (d) Things that exist without a body.

Ac 23:9

23:9 {8} And there arose a great cry: and the {e} scribes [that were] of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.

      (8) The Lord, when it pleases him, finds defenders of his cause, even amongst his enemies.
      (e) The scribe's office was a public office, and the name of the Pharisees was the name of a sect.

Ac 23:10

23:10 {9} And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring [him] into the castle.

      (9) God will not forsake his own, even to the very end.

Ac 23:12

23:12 {10} And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves {f} under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

      (10) Those who are carried away with a foolish zeal think that they may lie and murder, and do whatever mischief they wish.
      (f) Cursing and prohibiting themselves, they promised.

Ac 23:15

23:15 Now therefore ye with the {g} council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.

      (g) You and the senate ask that the same thing should be done, so that the tribune will not think that it was demanded of him because of an individual's private interests.

Ac 23:17

23:17 {11} Then Paul called one of the centurions unto [him], and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.

      (11) The wisdom of the Spirit must be joined with simplicity.

Ac 23:22

23:22 {12} So the chief captain [then] let the young man depart, and charged [him, See thou] tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.

      (12) There is no counsel against the Lord and his servants.

Ac 23:26

23:26 {13} Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix [sendeth] greeting.

      (13) Lysias is suddenly made by the Lord to be Paul's protector.

Ac 24:1

24:1 And {1} after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and [with] a certain orator [named] Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

      (1) Hypocrites, when they can not do what they want to do by force and deceit, at length they go about to accomplish it by a show of law.

Ac 24:2

24:2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse [him], saying, Seeing that {a} by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very {b} worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,

      (a) Felix ruled that province with great cruelty and covetousness, and yet Josephus records that he did many worthy things, such as taking Eleazar the captain of certain cutthroats, and put that deceiving wretch the Egyptian to flight, who caused great troubles in Judea.
      (b) He uses a word which the Stoics defined as a perfect duty and perfect behaviour.

Ac 24:5

24:5 For we have found this man [a] {c} pestilent [fellow], and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a {d} ringleader of the sect of the {e} Nazarenes:

      (c) Literally, "a plague".
      (d) As one would say, a ringleader, or a flag bearer.
      (e) So they scoffingly called the Christians, taking the name from the towns where they thought that Christ was born, whereupon it happened that Julian the apostate called Christ a Galilean.

Ac 24:9

24:9 And the Jews also {f} assented, saying that these things were so.

      (f) Confirmed what Tertullus said.

Ac 24:10

24:10 {2} Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of {g} many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:

      (2) Tertullus, by the devil's rhetoric, begins with flattery and finishes with lies: but Paul using heavenly eloquence, and but a simple beginning, casts off from himself the crime of sedition, with which he was being charged, with a simple denial.
      (g) Paul pleaded his cause two years before Felix departed out of the province, see Ac 24:27 , but he had governed Trachonite, and Batanea, and Galavnite, before Claudius made him governor of Judea; see Josephus in the History of the Jewish War, lib. 2, cap. 11.

Ac 24:13

24:13 Neither can they {h} prove the things whereof they now accuse me.

      (h) They cannot lay forth before you and prove with good reasons.

Ac 24:14

24:14 {3} But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call {i} heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

      (3) Paul proceeds in the case of religion from a conjectural state to a practical state, not only admitting of the religion which he was accused of, but also proving it to be true, to be heavenly and from God, and to be the oldest of all religions.
      (i) Here this word "heresy" or "sect" is taken in a good sense.

Ac 24:17

24:17 {4} Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.

      (4) Paul in conclusion tells the things thing which was truly done, which Tertullus before him had corrupted in various ways.

Ac 24:18

24:18 {k} Whereupon certain Jews from {l} Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

      (k) And while I was occupied with those things.
      (l) By this it is evident that these from Asia were Paul's enemies, and the ones that stirred up the people against him.

Ac 24:20

24:20 Or else let these same [here] say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the {m} council,

      (m) Where the tribune brought me.

Ac 24:22

24:22 {5} And when Felix heard these things, having more {n} perfect knowledge of [that] way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.

      (5) The judge suspends his sentence because the matter is doubtful.
      (n) Felix could not judge whether he had done wickedly in the matter of his religion or not until he had a better understanding of the way which Paul professed: and as for other matters with regard to the charge of sedition, he considers it good to defer it until he hears Lysias, and therefore he gives Paul somewhat more liberty.

Ac 24:23

24:23 {6} And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let [him] have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.

      (6) God is a most faithful keeper of his servants, and the power of the truth is wonderful, even amongst men who are otherwise profane.

Ac 24:24

24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife {o} Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

      (o) This Drusilla was Agrippa's sister of whom Luke speaks afterwards, a harlot and very licentious woman, and being the wife of Azizus king of the Emesens, who was circumcised, departed from him, and went to this Felix the brother of Pallas, who was at one time the slave of Nero.

Ac 24:27

24:27 {7} But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to {p} shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

      (7) With an evil mind, that is guilty in itself, and although sometimes there is some show of fairness, yet eventually the conscience will be extinguished: but in the meanwhile we have need of continual patience.
      (p) For he had behaved himself very wickedly in the province, and had it not been for favour of his brother Pallas, he would have died for it: so that we may gather by this why he would have pleased the Jews.

Ac 25:1

25:1 Now {1} when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.

      (1) Satan's ministers are subtle and diligent in seeking every occasion: but God who watches for his own, easily hinders all their counsels.

Ac 25:6

25:6 {2} And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.

      (2) We may justly avoid an injury, but not with an injury.

Ac 25:7

25:7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which {a} they could not prove.

      (a) They could not prove them certainly and without undoubted reasons.

Ac 25:9

25:9 {3} But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?

      (3) God does not only turn aside the counsel of the wicked, but also turns it upon their own heads.

Ac 25:13

25:13 {4} And after certain days king {b} Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.

      (4) Festus, without even trying to, even before kings, brings to light the wickedness of the Jews, and Paul's innocence, and in this way marvellously confirms the Church of God.
      (b) This Agrippa was the son of Agrippa whose death Luke spoke of before, and Bernice was his sister.

Ac 25:16

25:16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to {c} deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

      (c) The Romans did not used to deliver any man to be punished before, etc.

Ac 25:19

25:19 {5} But had certain questions against him of their own {d} superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

      (5) The profane and wicked take an occasion to condemn the true doctrine, because of private controversies and contentions of men between themselves: but the truth nevertheless abides safe and sure in the meantime.
      (d) This profane man calls the Jewish religion "superstition", and that before King Agrippa, but it is no wonder: for the rulers of provinces, because of the majesty of the empire of Rome, used to think themselves better than kings.

Ac 25:22

25:22 {6} Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.

      (6) That is fulfilled in Paul which the Lord had told to Ananias about him; see Ac 9:15 .

Ac 25:23

25:23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great {e} pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.

      (e) Gorgeously, like a prince.

Ac 25:26

25:26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my {f} lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.

      (f) To Augustus. Good princes refused this name at the first, that is, to be called lords, but afterwards they allowed it, as we read of Traianus.

Ac 26:2

26:2 {1} I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:

      (1) To have a skilful judge is a great and singular gift of God.

Ac 26:4

26:4 {2} My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

      (2) Paul divides the history of his life into two times: for the first he calls his adversaries as witnesses: for the latter, the fathers and Prophets.

Ac 26:5

26:5 Which {a} knew me from {b} the beginning, if they would testify, that after the {c} most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

      (a) That I was, and where, and how I lived.
      (b) That my parents were Pharisees.
      (c) The sect of the Pharisees was the most exquisite amongst all the sects of the Jews, for it was better than all the rest.

Ac 26:6

26:6 {3} And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

      (3) There are three chief and principal witnesses of true doctrine: God, the true fathers, and the consent of the true Church of God.

Ac 26:8

26:8 {4} Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

      (4) He proves the resurrection of the dead, first by the power of God, then by the resurrection of Christ, of which he is a sufficient witness.

Ac 26:10

26:10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave {d} my voice against [them].

      (d) I consented to and allowed their actions: for he was not a judge.

Ac 26:11

26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and {e} compelled [them] to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted [them] even unto strange cities.

      (e) By extreme punishment.

Ac 26:18

26:18 {5} To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

      (5) The end of the Gospel is to save those who are brought to the knowledge of Christ, and are justified and sanctified in him, being laid hold on by faith.

Ac 26:19

26:19 {6} Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

      (6) Paul alleges God to be author of the office of his apostleship, and that God's grace is a witness.

Ac 26:22

26:22 {7} Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to {f} small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

      (7) Christ is the end of the Law and the Prophets.
      (f) To everyone.

Ac 26:23

26:23 That Christ should {g} suffer, [and] that he should be the {h} first that should rise from the dead, and should shew {i} light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

      (g) That Christ would not be such a king as the Jews dreamed of, but one appointed to bear our miseries, and the punishment of our sins.
      (h) The first of those who are raised from the dead.
      (i) Life, yea and that a most blessed life which will be endless: and this is set against darkness, which almost in all languages sometimes signifies death, and sometimes misery and calamity.

Ac 26:24

26:24 {8} And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.

      (8) The wisdom of God is madness to fools, yet nonetheless we must boldly confirm the truth.

Ac 26:26

26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a {k} corner.

      (k) Secretly and privately.

Ac 26:27

26:27 {9} King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

      (9) Paul, as it were forgetting that he stood a prisoner to defend his cause, does not forget the office of his apostleship.

Ac 26:29

26:29 And Paul said, {l} I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

      (l) I would to God that not only almost, but thoroughly and altogether, both you and all that hear me this day, might be made as I am, only except for my bonds.

Ac 26:30

26:30 {10} And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:

      (10) Paul is solemnly acquitted, and yet not dismissed.

Ac 27:1

27:1 And {1} when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto [one] named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band.

      (1) Paul, with many other prisoners and through the midst of many deaths, is brought to Rome, but yet by God's own hand as it were, and set forth and commended to the world with many singular testimonies.

Ac 27:7

27:7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against {a} Salmone;

      (a) Which was a high hill of Crete.

Ac 27:9

27:9 {2} Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the {b} fast was now already past, Paul admonished [them],

      (2) God's providence does not take away the causes which God uses as means, but rather orders and disposes their right use, even when he reveals an extraordinary issue.
      (b) This refers to the Jews fast which they kept in the feast of expiation, as we read in Le 23:17 , which fell in the seventh month which we call October, and is not good for navigating or sailing.

Ac 27:11

27:11 {3} Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

      (3) Men cast themselves willingly into an infinite amount of dangers, when they choose to follow their own wisdom, rather than God, when he speaks by the mouth of his servants.

Ac 27:14

27:14 But not long after there arose against {c} it a tempestuous wind, called {d} Euroclydon.

      (c) By Crete, from whose shore our ship was driven by that means.
      (d) Northeast wind.

Ac 27:18

27:18 {4} And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next [day] they lightened the ship;

      (4) The result proves that none provide worse for themselves than those who commit themselves to be governed only by their own wisdom.

Ac 27:21

27:21 {5} But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

      (5) God spares the wicked for a time, for the sake of his elect and chosen.

Ac 27:25

27:25 {6} Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

      (6) The promise is made effectual through faith.

Ac 27:27

27:27 {7} But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in {e} Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed {f} that they drew near to some country;

      (7) We attain and come to the promised and sure salvation through the midst of tempests and death itself.
      (e) For Ptolemy writes that the Adriatic Sea beats upon the east shore of Cecilia.
      (f) Or, some country drew near to them.

Ac 27:30

27:30 {8} And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,

      (8) No matter how foul the act, distrust and an evil conscience can always compel men to commit it.

Ac 27:31

27:31 {9} Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

      (9) Although the performing of God's promises does not depend upon secondary causes, yet they make themselves unworthy of God's bountifulness who do not embrace those means which God offers them, either upon rashness or distrust.

Ac 27:33

27:33 {10} And while the day was coming on, Paul besought [them] all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.

      (10) When the world trembles, the faithful alone are not only at peace, but strengthen and encourage others by their example.

Ac 27:34

27:34 Wherefore I pray you to take [some] meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an {g} hair fall from the head of any of you.

      (g) This is a proverb which the Hebrews use, by which is meant that they will be safe, and that not one of them will perish.

Ac 27:39

27:39 {11} And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain {h} creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.

      (11) Then are tempests most of all to be feared and looked for, when the port or haven is nearest.
      (h) A creek is a sea within land, as the Adriatic Sea, and the Persian Sea.

Ac 27:41

27:41 And falling into a place where {i} two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.

      (i) So is an isthmus called, because the Sea touches it on both sides.

Ac 27:42

27:42 {12} And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.

      (12) There is nowhere more unfaithfulness and unthankfulness in unbelievers.

Ac 27:43

27:43 {13} But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from [their] purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast [themselves] first [into the sea], and get to land:

      (13) God finds even amongst his enemies those whose help he uses to preserve his own.

Ac 27:44

27:44 {14} And the rest, some on boards, and some on [broken pieces] of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

      (14) The goodness of God overcomes man's malice.

Ac 28:1

28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called {a} Melita.

      (a) That place which we today call Malta.

Ac 28:3

28:3 {1} And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid [them] on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

      (1) The godly are sure to have danger upon danger, but they alway have a glorious outcome.

Ac 28:4

28:4 {2} And when the barbarians saw the [venomous] beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet {b} vengeance suffereth not to live.

      (2) Although adversity is the punishment of sin, yet seeing that God in punishing men does not always punish because of sin, they judge rashly who either do not wait for the end, or who judge and esteem of men according to prosperity or adversity.
      (b) Right and proper.

Ac 28:6

28:6 Howbeit they looked when he should have {c} swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: {3} but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

      (c) The Greek word signifies to be inflamed or to swell: moreover, Dioscorides in his sixth book, chap. 38, witnesses that the biting of a viper causes a swelling of the body, and so says Nicander, in his remedies against poisons.
      (3) There are none who are more changing in every way than they who are ignorant of true religion.

Ac 28:7

28:7 {4} In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.

      (4) It never yet was a regret to any man who received the servant of God, were he ever so miserable and poor.

Ac 28:9

28:9 {5} So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:

      (5) Although Paul was a captive, yet the power of God was not captive.

Ac 28:10

28:10 {6} Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded [us] with such things as were necessary.

      (6) God does well to strangers for his children's sake.

Ac 28:11

28:11 {7} And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose {d} sign was Castor and Pollux.

      (7) Idols do not defile the saints, who do in no way give consent of them.
      (d) So they used to deck the front part of their ships, because of which their ships were called by such names.

Ac 28:14

28:14 {8} Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

      (8) God bows and bends the hearts even of profane men, as it pleases him to show favour to his own.

Ac 28:15

28:15 {9} And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as {e} Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.

      (9) God never allows his own to be afflicted beyond their strength.
      (e) Appius was a paved road made by Appius the blind, with the help of his soldiers, long and broad, and it ran out towards the sea, and there were three taverns on it.

Ac 28:16

28:16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by {f} himself with a soldier that kept him.

      (f) Not in a common prison, but in a house which he rented for himself.

Ac 28:17

28:17 {10} And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men [and] brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

      (10) Paul in every place remembers himself to be an apostle.

Ac 28:19

28:19 {11} But when the Jews spake against [it], I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.

      (11) We may use the means which God gives us, but in such a way that we seek the glory of God, and not of ourselves.

Ac 28:23

28:23 {12} And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he expounded and {g} testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and [out of] the prophets, from morning till evening.

      (12) The Law and the Gospel agree well together.
      (g) With good reasons, and proved that the kingdom of God foretold to them by the Prophets had come.

Ac 28:24

28:24 {13} And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

      (13) The Gospel is a taste of life to those that believe, and a taste of death to those that are disobedient.

Ac 28:26

28:26 {14} Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

      (14) The unbelievers willingly resist the truth, and yet not by chance.

Ac 28:27

28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they {h} closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

      (h) They made as though they did not see that which they saw against their desires: yea, they did see, but they would not see.

Ac 28:28

28:28 {15} Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it.

      (15) The unbelief of the reprobate and castaways cannot cause the truth of God to be of no effect.

Ac 28:29

28:29 {16} And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

      (16) Not the Gospel, but the contempt of the Gospel is the cause of strife and debate.

Ac 28:30

28:30 {17} And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,

      (17) The word of God cannot be bound.

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