Acts 15:14

Hearken unto me (akousate mou). Usual appeal for attention. James was termed James the Just and was considered a representative of the Hebraic as opposed to the Hellenistic wing of the Jewish Christians ( Acts 6:1 ). The Judaizers had doubtless counted on him as a champion of their view and did later wrongfully make use of his name against Peter at Antioch ( Galatians 2:12 ). There was instant attention when James began to speak. Symeon (Sumewn). The Aramaic form of Simon as in 2 Peter 2:1 . This little touch would show his affinities with the Jewish Christians (not the Judaizers). This Aramaic form is used also in Luke 2:25 Luke 2:34 of the old prophet in the temple. Possibly both forms (Symeon, Aramaic, and Simon, Greek) were current in Jerusalem. How (kaqw). Strictly, "according as," here like o in indirect discourse somewhat like the epexegetic or explanatory use in 3 John 1:3 . First (prwton). Told by Peter in verse Acts 15:7 . James notes, as Peter did, that this experience of Barnabas and Paul is not the beginning of work among the Gentiles. Did visit (epeskepsato). First aorist middle indicative of episkeptomai, old verb to look upon, to look after, provide for. This same verb occurs in James 1:27 and is one of various points of similarity between this speech of James in Acts and the Epistle of James as shown by Mayor in his Commentary on James. Somehow Luke may have obtained notes of these various addresses. To take from the Gentiles a people for his name (labein ex eqnwn laon twi onomati autou). Bengel calls this egregium paradoxon, a chosen people (laon) out of the Gentiles (eqnwn). This is what is really involved in what took place at Caesarea at the hands of Peter and the campaign of Barnabas and Paul from Antioch. But such a claim of God's purpose called for proof from Scripture to convince Jews and this is precisely what James undertakes to give. This new Israel from among the Gentiles is one of Paul's great doctrines as set forth in Galatians 3:1-29 ; Romans 9:1-11:36 . Note the use of God's "name" here for "the Israel of God" ( Galatians 6:16 ).