Acts 2

1 The festival of Shavu'ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place.
2 Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them.
4 They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
5 Now there were staying in Yerushalayim religious Jews from every nation under heaven.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered; they were confused, because each one heard the believers speaking in his own language.
7 Totally amazed, they asked, "How is this possible? Aren't all these people who are speaking from the Galil?
8 How is it that we hear them speaking in our native languages?
9 We are Parthians, Medes, Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Y'hudah, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,
10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome;
11 Jews by birth and proselytes; Jews from Crete and from Arabia. . . ! How is it that we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things God has done?"
12 Amazed and confused, they all went on asking each other, "What can this mean?"
13 But others made fun of them and said, "They've just had too much wine!"
14 Then Kefa stood up with the Eleven and raised his voice to address them: "You Judeans, and all of you staying here in Yerushalayim! Let me tell you what this means! Listen carefully to me!
15 "These people aren't drunk, as you suppose - it's only nine in the morning.
16 No, this is what was spoken about through the prophet Yo'el:
17 'ADONAI says: "In the Last Days, I will pour out from my Spirit upon everyone. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my slaves, both men and women, will I pour out from my Spirit in those days; and they will prophesy.
19 I will perform miracles in the sky above and signs on the earth below blood, fire and thick smoke.
20 The sun will become dark and the moon blood before the great and fearful Day of ADONAI comes.
21 And then, whoever calls on the name of ADONAI will be saved."'
22 "Men of Isra'el! Listen to this! Yeshua from Natzeret was a man demonstrated to you to have been from God by the powerful works, miracles and signs that God performed through him in your presence. You yourselves know this.
23 This man was arrested in accordance with God's predetermined plan and foreknowledge; and, through the agency of persons not bound by the Torah, you nailed him up on a stake and killed him!
24 "But God has raised him up and freed him from the suffering of death; it was impossible that death could keep its hold on him.
25 For David says this about him: 'I saw ADONAI always before me, for he is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.
26 For this reason, my heart was glad; and my tongue rejoiced; and now my body too will live on in the certain hope
27 that you will not abandon me to Sh'ol or let your Holy One see decay.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will fill me with joy by your presence.'
29 "Brothers, I know I can say to you frankly that the patriarch David died and was buried - his tomb is with us to this day.
30 Therefore, since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that one of his descendants would sit on his throne,
31 he was speaking in advance about the resurrection of the Messiah, that it was he who was not abandoned in Sh'ol and whose flesh did not see decay.
32 God raised up this Yeshua! And we are all witnesses of it!
33 "Moreover, he has been exalted to the right hand of God; has received from the Father what he promised, namely, the Ruach HaKodesh; and has poured out this gift, which you are both seeing and hearing.
34 For David did not ascend into heaven. But he says,
35 'ADONAI said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."'
36 Therefore, let the whole house of Isra'el know beyond doubt that God has made him both Lord and Messiah - this Yeshua, whom you executed on a stake!"
37 On hearing this, they were stung in their hearts; and they said to Kefa and the other emissaries, "Brothers, what should we do?"
38 Kefa answered them, "Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh!
39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for those far away - as many as ADONAI our God may call!"
40 He pressed his case with many other arguments and kept pleading with them, "Save yourselves from this perverse generation!"
41 So those who accepted what he said were immersed, and there were added to the group that day about three thousand people.
42 They continued faithfully in the teaching of the emissaries, in fellowship, in breaking bread and in the prayers.
43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many miracles and signs took place through the emissaries.
44 All those trusting in Yeshua stayed together and had everything in common;
45 in fact, they sold their property and possessions and distributed the proceeds to all who were in need.
46 Continuing faithfully and with singleness of purpose to meet in the Temple courts daily, and breaking bread in their several homes, they shared their food in joy and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God and having the respect of all the people. And day after day the Lord kept adding to them those who were being saved.

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Acts 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The descent of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost. (1-4) The apostles speak in divers languages. (5-13) Peter's address to the Jews. (14-36) Three thousand souls converted. (37-41) The piety and affection of the disciples. (42-47)

Verses 1-4 We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with them there were strifes among the disciples which should be the greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had prayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit poured out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And notwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests, as there were among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came with great force. This was to signify the powerful influences and working of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and thereby upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for his comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, prepare the soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearance of something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them, according to John Baptist's saying concerning Christ; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on the altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his sanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of the gospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Verses 5-13 The difference in languages which arose at Babel, has much hindered the spread of knowledge and religion. The instruments whom the Lord first employed in spreading the Christian religion, could have made no progress without this gift, which proved that their authority was from God.

Verses 14-21 Peter's sermon shows that he was thoroughly recovered from his fall, and thoroughly restored to the Divine favour; for he who had denied Christ, now boldly confessed him. His account of the miraculous pouring forth of the Spirit, was designed to awaken the hearers to embrace the faith of Christ, and to join themselves to his church. It was the fulfilling the Scripture, and the fruit of Christ's resurrection and ascension, and proof of both. Though Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake with tongues as the Spirit gave him utterance, yet he did not think to set aside the Scriptures. Christ's scholars never learn above their Bible; and the Spirit is given, not to do away the Scriptures, but to enable us to understand, approve, and obey them. Assuredly none will escape the condemnation of the great day, except those who call upon the name of the Lord, in and through his Son Jesus Christ, as the Saviour of sinners, and the Judge of all mankind.

Verses 22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a few weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and of wonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must be satisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christ himself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which could not be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an act of awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away the reproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christ was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in the work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, not to him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life for evermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and the apostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon this alone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous gifts and Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects. Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we are encouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour for evermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is the Lord, and the anointed Saviour.

Verses 37-41 From the first delivery of that Divine message, it appeared that there was Divine power going with it; and thousands were brought to the obedience of faith. But neither Peter's words, nor the miracle they witnessed, could have produced such effects, had not the Holy Spirit been given. Sinners, when their eyes are opened, cannot but be pricked to the heart for sin, cannot but feel an inward uneasiness. The apostle exhorted them to repent of their sins, and openly to avow their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, by being baptized in his name. Thus professing their faith in Him, they would receive remission of their sins, and partake of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. To separate from wicked people, is the only way to save ourselves from them. Those who repent of their sins, and give up themselves to Jesus Christ, must prove their sincerity by breaking off from the wicked. We must save ourselves from them; which denotes avoiding them with dread and holy fear. By God's grace three thousand persons accepted the gospel invitation. There can be no doubt that the gift of the Holy Ghost, which they all received, and from which no true believer has ever been shut out, was that Spirit of adoption, that converting, guiding, sanctifying grace, which is bestowed upon all the members of the family of our heavenly Father. Repentance and remission of sins are still preached to the chief of sinners, in the Redeemer's name; still the Holy Spirit seals the blessing on the believer's heart; still the encouraging promises are to us and our children; and still the blessings are offered to all that are afar off.

Verses 42-47 In these verses we have the history of the truly primitive church, of the first days of it; its state of infancy indeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence. They kept close to holy ordinances, and abounded in piety and devotion; for Christianity, when admitted in the power of it, will dispose the soul to communion with God in all those ways wherein he has appointed us to meet him, and has promised to meet us. The greatness of the event raised them above the world, and the Holy Ghost filled them with such love, as made every one to be to another as to himself, and so made all things common, not by destroying property, but doing away selfishness, and causing charity. And God who moved them to it, knew that they were quickly to be driven from their possessions in Judea. The Lord, from day to day, inclined the hearts of more to embrace the gospel; not merely professors, but such as were actually brought into a state of acceptance with God, being made partakers of regenerating grace. Those whom God has designed for eternal salvation, shall be effectually brought to Christ, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.

Acts 2 Commentaries