Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you
The apostle calls the Jews, brethren, whom he before only styled men of Judea, and men of Israel, because they were his brethren according to the flesh, as many of them afterwards were in a spiritual relation; and the rather he adds this affectionate appellation to soften their minds, and prepare them to receive the account he was about to give of David, and of his prophecy of the Messiah, and his resurrection; in which he used much freedom of speech, consistent with truth, good sense, and strong reasoning; which he thought might be allowed to take, and they would not be displeased at, in discoursing to them
of the patriarch David;
who was a "head of the fathers", as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it; a prince of the tribes of Israel; one of the greatest kings the tribes of Israel ever had; and therefore this name well becomes him; though it is more commonly given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the heads of the twelve tribes:
that he is both dead, and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto
it is a plain case, and a certain matter of fact, which nobody disputes or denies, that David really died, and was laid in the grave, and that his monument, or tomb, was still extant, so that he was not risen from the dead; and therefore the above citation could not respect him, but another, even the Messiah, and had been literally fulfilled in Jesus. The Jews say F26, that David died on the day of Pentecost; which was the very day on which Peter was now preaching; he was buried in Jerusalem, and his sepulchral monument was in being when Peter said these words. And Josephus relates F1, that the sepulchre of David was opened by Hyrcanus, who took out of it three thousand talents; and that it was afterwards opened by Herod F2: which, if true, may serve to render credible what Peter says concerning its continuance to that day. Though it may be questioned whether any such treasure was ever in it, or taken out of it; and still less credible is the account which R. Benjamin F3 gives of two men in his time, who, under the wall of Zion, found a cave, which led them to a large palace built on pillars of marble, and covered with gold and silver; and within it was a table, and a golden sceptre, and a crown of gold; and this, says the author, was the sepulchre of David, king of Israel.
F26 T. Hieros. Chagiga, fol. 78. 1.
F1 De Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 5. & Antiqu. l. 7. c. 15. sect. 3.
F2 Ib. l. 16. c. 7. sect. 1.
F3 Itinerar. p. 45, 46.