Acts 1:20-26

20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “ ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’[a]and, “ ‘May another take his place of leadership.’[b]
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us,
22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.
24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen
25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”
26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Acts 1:20 in Other Translations

KJV
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
ESV
20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it';and "'Let another take his office.'
NLT
20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’
MSG
20 It's exactly what we find written in the Psalms: Let his farm become haunted So no one can ever live there. "And also what was written later: Let someone else take over his post.
CSB
20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his dwelling become desolate; let no one live in it; and Let someone else take his position.

Acts 1:20-26 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ACTS

This book, in some copies, is called, "The Acts of the holy Apostles". It contains an history of the ministry and miracles of the apostles of Christ, and is a sort of a journal of their actions, from whence it takes its name. It begins at the ascension of Christ, and reaches to the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul at Rome; and is a history of upwards of thirty years: it gives an account of the first Gospel church at Jerusalem, and of the progress of the Gospel there, and in Judea, by the means of all the apostles, and particularly Peter, the minister of the circumcision, and who also first opened the door of faith to the Gentiles: it shows how the Gospel went forth from Jerusalem, and was spread in the Gentile world, especially by the Apostle Paul, whose companion Luke was, that was the writer of this book; for that it was written by him is very evident from the beginning of it, it being dedicated to the same person his Gospel is, and of which he makes mention; and in the Complutensian edition the book is called, "The Acts of the Apostles of Saint Luke the Evangelist"; and so the title of it in the Syriac version is, "the Book of the Acts: that is, the history of the blessed apostles, which my Lord Luke the Evangelist collected for the saints". It was by him written in the Greek language; and we are told {a}, that there was a version of it into the Hebrew language, and which was laid up in the library of the Jews at Tiberias; and is cited by R. Azarias {b} under the name of twlweph, "the Acts": of the authority of this book there has been no doubt, among the ancients, only Cerinthus the heretic endeavoured to discredit it; and it was not received by another sort of heretics called Severiani, from Severus, a disciple of Tatian {c}. It is a most excellent and useful work, showing the first planting of Christianity, and of Christian churches, both among the Jews and Gentiles; the spread and progress of the Gospel in several parts of the world; what sufferings the apostles endured for the sake of it; and with what patience and courage they bore them; and what success attended them; and is a standing proof and confirmation of the Christian religion.

{a} Epiphan. Contr. Haeres. l. 1. Haeres. 30. {b} Meor Enayim, p. 167. {c} Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 29.

Acts 1:20-26 In-Context

18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.
19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “ ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’and, “ ‘May another take his place of leadership.’
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us,
22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.
24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen
25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”
26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Cross References 8

  • 1. Psalms 69:25
  • 2. Psalms 109:8
  • 3. S Mark 1:4
  • 4. ver 8; S Luke 24:48
  • 5. Acts 6:6; Acts 13:3; Acts 14:23
  • 6. 1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10; Acts 15:8; S Revelation 2:23
  • 7. 1 Samuel 14:41
  • 8. Acts 2:14

Footnotes 2

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