And they of the circumcision which believed
Or "of the Jews that believed", as the Ethiopic version renders it; the circumcised Jews who believed in Jesus Christ:
were astonished, as many as came with Peter;
who were six brethren, as appears from ( Acts 11:12 ) these were amazed,
because that on the Gentiles also was poured out of the gift of the
which they before thought was peculiar to the Jews; and this was according to their former notions, and the sentiments of the whole nation, that the Shekinah does not dwell without the land, and only in the land of Israel F15; yea, they sometimes say, only upon the families in Israel, whose genealogies are clear F16: the same they say of prophecy F17, which is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and was one of those which were now bestowed. They own, that before the giving of the law, the Holy Ghost was among the Gentiles, but from that time ceased to be among them F18: hence even these believing Jews wonder at the pouring it forth upon them; which they needed not, had they known that the legal dispensation was now at an end, and the Gospel dispensation had taken place; in which it had been foretold the Spirit should be poured forth on the dry ground of the Gentiles.
F15 Zohar in Gen. fol. 118. 4. & in Exod. fol. 2. 3. & 70. 2. Maimon. Kiddush Hachodesh, c. 4. sect. 12. & Jarchi in Jonah i. 3.
F16 T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 70. 2.
F17 Zohar in Gen. fol. 128. 4.
F18 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 21. p. 59.