Acts 2:15

15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!

Read Acts 2:15 Using Other Translations

For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that.

What does Acts 2:15 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Acts 2:15

For these are not drunken
Meaning not only the eleven apostles, but the rest of the hundred and twenty, on whom also the Spirit was poured forth, and who were endowed with his extraordinary gifts:

as ye suppose;
and had given out that they were: and this shows the sense of being filled with new wine; that they meant that they were really drunk, and which they believed, or at least would have had others believe it; the unreasonableness of which supposition and suggestion the apostle argues from the time of day:

seeing it is but the third hour of the day;
or nine of the clock in the morning: for till this time it was not usual with the Jews, if men of any sobriety or religion, so much as to taste anything: the rules are these F8,

``it is forbidden a man to taste anything, or do any work after break of day, until he has prayed the morning prayer.''

Now

``the morning prayer, the precept concerning it is, that a man should begin to pray as soon as the sun shines out; and its time is until the end of the fourth hour, which is the third part of the day F9.''

So that a man might not taste anything, either of eatables or drinkables, until the fourth hour, or ten o'clock in the morning: hence it is said F11, that

``after they offered the daily sacrifice they ate bread, (Nyev ebra Nmzb) , "at the time of four hours":''

or on the fourth hour, and sooner than this it was not lawful to eat, even ever so little; and whoever did, was not reckoned fit to be conversed with.

``Says R. Isaac F12, whoever eats a green or herb before the fourth hour, it is forbidden to converse with him; and the same says, it is unlawful to eat a raw herb before the fourth hour. Amemar, and Mar Zutra, and Rab Ashe were sitting, and they brought before them a raw herb before the fourth hour. Amemar and Rab Ashe ate, and Mar Zutra did not eat: they said to him, what is thy meaning? (he replied) that R. Isaac said, whoever eats a herb before the fourth hour, it is forbidden to converse with him.''

The time for taking food by persons of different characters, is thus expressed by them:

``the first hour is the time of eating for the Lydians, the second for thieves, the third for heirs, the fourth for labourers, the fifth for every man; is it not so? Saith R. Papa, the fourth is the time of repast for every man; but (the truth is) the fourth is the time of eating for every man, the fifth for labourers, and the sixth for the disciples of the wise men F13.''

Hence that advice F14,

``"at the fourth hour", go into a cook's shop, (or tavern,) if thou seest a man drinking wine, and holding the cup in his hands, and slumbering, inquire about him, if he is one of the wise doctors''

The "gloss" upon it is,

``at the fourth hour, for that is the time of eating, when all go into the shops (or taverns) to eat.''

Now whereas they that are drunken are drunken in the night, and not in the day, and much less so soon in the day, when it was not usual, at least with religious men, to have tasted anything by this time; and whereas the apostles, and their company, were sober and religious men, and had never done thing to forfeit their character, it was unreasonable to suppose anything of this kind in them.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 Maimon. Hilch, Tophilla, c. 6. sect. 4. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 28. 2.
F9 lb. c. 3. sect. 1. Vid. T. Beracot, fol. 26. 2.
F11 Targum in Eccl. x. 17.
F12 T. Bab. Betacot, fol. 44. 2.
F13 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 10. 1.
F14 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 83. 2.
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