SUMMARY.--Fasting and Prayer at Antioch. The Holy Spirit Directs Paul and Barnabas to Be Sent Forth. Their Ordination. They Preach the Word in Cyprus. Elymas Rebuked. The Proconsul Converted. The Missionaries Sail to Perga. The Gospel Preached in Antioch of Pisidia. The Persecution Raised by the Jews. The Departure to Iconium.
21. By the space of forty years. The Old Testament does not give the length of Saul's reign, but Josephus says Saul reigned for forty years.
22. He raised up unto them David. The Lord called the young shepherd to the throne. A man after mine own heart. The language does not occur in this form in the Old Testament, but is implied in 1 Sam. 13:14 . This does not imply that David was perfect, but that he sought to do the Lord's will, instead of showing stubborn disobedience, like Saul. He exhibited nobility of purpose, sought the welfare of the people, and aimed at a purer life.
24, 25. When John had first preached. John, who preached before the Savior's coming, is named because he was well known to the Jews, and most of them regarded him a prophet. See Matt. 3:1-12 and John 5:32-35 Matt. 3:1-12 and John 5:32-35 .
26. Men and brethren. Having declared the coming of the Savior of the seed of David, he now shows to whom his salvation was offered, not only to "children of the stock of Abraham," but to "whosoever among you feareth God," Gentiles as well as Jews.
27-37. Paul now recapitulates the facts of the Gospel, viz: (1) Christ rejected by the rulers; (2) the Scriptures that they read every Sabbath fulfilled by condemning him; (3) the demand upon Pilate to slay him, when he had declared there was no cause of death; (4) the Scriptures fulfilled in his death; (5) the abundantly attested resurrection; (6) he declares that the promise made the fathers was now fulfilled to their children (see Genesis 12:3 Genesis 22:18 , etc.) Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. See Psa. 2:7 . Paul gives the thought in Rom. 1:4 : "He was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead." No more to return to corruption. Never more to endure death. I will give you the sure mercies of David. The mercies promised to David, one of which was a descendant whose throne should be everlasting. See Isa. 55:3 , and compare 2 Sam. 7:10 . Thou wilt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost. See Acts 2:27-31 , notes.
38-41. Through this man. The risen Savior. Only through Christ does God offer pardon. See 4:12 Romans 3:25 Romans 8:1-4 . By him all that believe are justified. If you believe on Jesus as the Messiah and accept him in faith, he will do for you what the law could never do, justify you before God. The law could not bring peace. Beware therefore. The address closes with a warning of the danger of rejecting Christ. Verse 41 is freely quoted from Habakkuk 1:5 . His words referred primarily to the invasion of the Chaldeans, but reached beyond to a greater punishment for the greater sin of rejecting Christ. Only a few years after Paul quoted this at Antioch "the despisers wondered and perished" in the awful calamity of the Jewish nation, brought on by refusing the Savior.
42, 43. When the Jews were gone out. The Revised text gives a different sense: "As they (Paul and Barnabas) went out," they were asked to speak again the next Sabbath. When the congregation broke up. When the services were over, many, both Jews and proselytes, followed them to learn more, and possibly yielded to Christ. Persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. By trusting in and obeying him. This could not be done if they refused Christ when he was preached to them.
44. The next sabbath came almost the whole city. The sermon of the Sabbath before, the labors of Paul and Barnabas during the week, and the talk aroused, filled the city with intense interest.
45. When the Jews saw the multitudes. The vast concourse, in large part Gentiles, anxious to hear of the "ensign to whom the Gentiles shall seek," aroused Jewish bigotry. Nothing ever stirred the Jews of either Palestine or of Gentile countries to such hatred as the declaration that Christ is a Savior of the Gentiles as well as the Jews. See 22:21 . Contradicting and blaspheming. Contradicting the application of the prophecies to Jesus, which Paul made in his address; blaspheming by denying and speaking contemptuously of the Son of God.
46. It was necessary. The preachers met this attitude of the Jews by boldly stating their purpose to turn from them to the Gentiles. It was God's will that the Gospel should first be offered to the chosen people. See Acts 1:8 Acts 3:26 3:26 . While the chosen people were to have the first opportunity, yet "God had put no difference" between Jew and Greek. As soon as the Jewish audiences manifested a self-willed, contradictory spirit, instead of engaging in idle disputation, the apostles were wont to turn to the Gentiles.
47. For so hath the Lord commanded. It was not only the Lord's will that they should preach first to the Jews, but that they should then turn to the Gentiles. So the Lord had shown in their own prophets. Isaiah 49:6 is quoted, where Christ is declared to be "a light of the Gentiles," and appointed "for salvation to the ends of the earth;" a world Savior.
48. When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad. Glad, not only that the gospel was offered to them, but that in sacred writings of the Jews, it was declared that the Gentiles should have the gospel. They, too, had always been embraced in God's plan of redemption. As many as were ordained to eternal life. This passage has been used as a proof text for the extreme Calvinism that makes God arbitrarily select some for salvation and reject others. Wesley, on the other hand, says: "The original word rendered ordained is not once used in the Scriptures to express eternal predestination of any kind. The sense is that those, and those only, now ordained, now believed. Not that God rejected the rest; it was his will that they also should be saved, but they thrust salvation from them. Nor were those who then believed forced to believe. Grace was offered to them and they did not thrust it away." It is God's ordination that those of humble, teachable, honest hearts, seeking the truth and life, shall come to life when it is offered, and such accepted the gospel on this occasion. Believed. "Made a public profession of their faith."--Dean Howson.
50. The Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women. Gentile women who had learned to revere the One God, women of high rank (see Revision). A Roman writer (Strabo) declares that the women in this part of Asia exerted a powerful influence. And the chief men. Probably the husbands of these women. Raised persecution. There was probably no appeal to the magistrates, who were Romans (Antioch of Pisidia was a Roman colony), but they excited tumultuous opposition. The missionaries retired for the time, because their work was interrupted. They were not exiled, for they returned afterward ( 14:21 ).
51. They shook off the dust of their feet. See Luke 9:5 . The Master's command was obeyed. Iconium. In Lycaonia, about fifty miles east of the Pisidian Antioch. At a later period, Iconium became celebrated as the capital of the Turks, before Constantinople fell into their hands. The Turkish sultan was long called the Sultan of Iconium. It was only after the Turkish conquests in Europe that the capital was moved to Constantinople. It is still a place of 30,000 inhabitants, and is called Konieh.
52. The disciples were filled with joy. Those of Antioch. Even if Paul and Barnabas were driven away, they had left them a glorious inheritance.