Acts 14:16

16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way.

Acts 14:16 in Other Translations

KJV
16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
ESV
16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.
NLT
16 In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways,
MSG
16 "In the generations before us, God let all the different nations go their own way.
CSB
16 In past generations He allowed all the nations to go their own way,

Acts 14:16 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 14:16

Who in times past
For many hundred years past; even ever since God chose and separated the people of Israel from the rest of the nations, to be a peculiar people to himself: from that time he

suffered all nations to walk in their own ways;
of ignorance, superstition, and idolatry; which they devised, and chose, and delighted in: not that he gave them any licence to walk in these ways, without being chargeable with sin, or with impunity; but he left them to themselves, to the dim light and law of nature, and gave them no written law, nor any external revelation of his mind and will; nor did he send any prophets or ministers of his unto them, to show them the evil of their ways, and turn them from them, and direct them to the true God, and the right way of worshipping him; but left them to take their own methods, and pursue the imagination of their own hearts: but the apostle suggests, that the case was now altered, and God had sent them and other ministers of his, among all nations of the world, to protest against their superstition and idolatry; and to reclaim them from their evil ways, and to direct them to the true and living God, and his worship, and to preach salvation by his Son Jesus Christ.

Acts 14:16 In-Context

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:
15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.
16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way.
17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Acts 17:30
  • 2. Psalms 81:12; Micah 4:5