But when the Jews saw the multitudes
The vast number of people, the inhabitants of the city, the Gentiles, that were assembled together to hear the word. This must be understood of the unbelieving Jews, who came with no good design:
they were filled with envy;
at the Gentiles, that they should have the word equally preached to them, as to themselves, to whom the oracles of God were committed; or at the popularity of the apostles, that such numbers should follow them; and they might fear many converts might be made by them, from among them:
and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul;
concerning Jesus of Nazareth being the Messiah, which they denied; and concerning free justification by his righteousness, which they affirmed to be by the works of the law: and they went on
contradicting and blaspheming;
publicly opposing him, and speaking evil of him, and of his doctrines; and not only so, but belching out their blasphemies against the Lord Jesus Christ. The Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, leave out the word "contradicting", as redundant, it having been before said, that "they spoke against", or "contradicted" what Paul delivered; though it may not be superfluous, but express their continuance in their contradiction and opposition; and which was attended with, and issued in blasphemy: such a spirit of reproach and blasphemy is with the Jews a sign of the Messiah's coming;
``says R. Jannai F24, when you see generation after generation reproaching and blaspheming, look for the feet of the Messiah, according to ( Psalms 89:51 ) .''This they have been doing one age after another, even for many ages; and therefore, according to one of their own signs, the Messiah must be come.
F24 Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 11. 4.