And it shall come to pass afterward
After the teacher of righteousness has been sent, and a plentiful rain of the Gospel has been let down in the land of Judea, in the ministry of John the Baptist, Christ and his apostles, and such a comfortable enjoyment of the blessings of grace in it, and the knowledge of God by it; and after the wonderful work of redemption wrought by Christ. R. Jeshua in Aben Ezra and Jarchi both say this prophecy refers to time to come; and Kimchi observes, that the phrase is the same with "in the last days"; and so the Apostle Peter quotes it, ( Acts 2:17 ) ; a phrase, as the above writer observes, which always signifies the days of the Messiah, to which he applies these words; and so do other Jewish writers, both ancient and modern F15; and there is no doubt with us Christians that they belong to the times of Christ and his apostles, since they are by an inspired writer said to be fulfilled in those times, ( Acts 2:16 Acts 2:17 ) ; here some begin a new chapter; [that] I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh;
not on such whose hearts are made tender as flesh, according to ( Ezekiel 36:26 ) ; as Jarchi; for the Spirit must be given first to make the heart such; nor only upon men in the land of Israel, a place fit to prophesy in, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi; but upon all men, as this phrase frequently signifies; see ( Isaiah 40:5 ) ; that is, all sorts of men, Jews and Gentiles, men of all nations; and such there were on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured down upon the apostles, and the grace of the Spirit was given to many of all nations; though that was only the beginning of the fulfilment of this prophecy, which quickly had a further accomplishment in the Gentile world; and denotes the abundance of the gifts of the Spirit, both extraordinary and ordinary, and of his grace, and the blessings of it, bestowed on them; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy;
as Agabus, Barnabas, Simeon and the four daughters of Philip the evangelist, ( Acts 11:28 ) ( 13:1 ) ( Acts 21:9 Acts 21:10 ) ; your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions;
as Ananias, Peter, Paul, John, and others, some in their elder, some in their younger years, ( Acts 9:10 ) ( 10:17 ) ( 16:9 ) ( 22:17 ) ( 26:19 ) ( 27:23 ) ; though prophecy, dreams, and visions, being the usual ways of conveying knowledge, here signify that the knowledge of men in Gospel times should be equal to, yea, exceed, whatever was communicated to men in the highest degree in former times: John the Baptist was greater than any of the prophets, and yet the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than he, ( Luke 7:28 ) .
F15 Zohar in Numb. fol. 99. 2. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 15. fol. 219. 2. Debarim Rabba, sect. 6. fol. 242. 2. Abarbinel, Mashmia Jeshua, fol. 9. 3. R. Isaac, Chizzuk Emunah, par. 1. p. 51.