Acts 2

1 And when the day of Pentecost was now accomplishing, [a] they were all together in one place.
2 And there came suddenly a sound out of heaven as of a violent impetuous blowing, [b] and filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared to them parted tongues, as of fire, and it sat upon each one of them.
4 And they were all filled with [the] Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave to them to speak forth.
5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, pious men, from every nation of those under heaven.
6 But the rumour of this having spread, [c] the multitude came together and were confounded, because each one heard them speaking in his own dialect.
7 And all were amazed and wondered, saying, Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galilaeans?
8 and how do *we* hear [them] each in our own dialect in which we have been born,
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and those who inhabit Mesopotamia, and Judaea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 both Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya which adjoin Cyrene, and the Romans sojourning [here], both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our own tongues the great things of God?
12 And they were all amazed and in perplexity, saying one to another, What would this mean?
13 But others mocking said, They are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke forth to them, Men of Judaea, and all ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words:
15 for these are not full of wine, as *ye* suppose, for it is the third hour of the day;
16 but this is that which was spoken through the prophet Joel, [d]
17 And it shall be in the last days, saith God, [that] I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your elders shall dream with dreams;
18 yea, even upon my bondmen and upon my bondwomen in those days will I pour out of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will give wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 the sun shall be changed to darkness and the moon to blood, before the great and gloriously appearing [e] day of [the] Lord come.
21 And it shall be that whosoever shall call upon the name of [the] Lord [f] shall be saved.
22 Men of Israel, [g] hear these words: Jesus the Nazaraean, a man borne witness to by God to you by works of power and wonders and signs, which God wrought by him in your midst, as yourselves know
23 -- him, given up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye, by [the] hand of lawless [men], have crucified and slain.
24 Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death, inasmuch as it was not possible that he should be held by its power;
25 for David says as to him, I foresaw the Lord continually before me, because he is at my right hand that I may not be moved.
26 Therefore has my heart rejoiced and my tongue exulted; yea more, my flesh also shall dwell in hope,
27 for thou wilt not leave my soul in hades, nor wilt thou give thy gracious one to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me [the] paths of life, thou wilt fill me with joy with thy countenance.
29 Brethren, let it be allowed to speak with freedom to you concerning the patriarch David, that he has both died and been buried, and his monument is amongst us unto this day.
30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn to him with an oath, of the fruit of his loins to set upon his throne;
31 he, seeing [it] before, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that neither has he been left in hades nor his flesh seen corruption.
32 This Jesus has God raised up, whereof all *we* are witnesses.
33 Having therefore been exalted by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which *ye* behold and hear.
34 For David has not ascended into the heavens, but he says himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand
35 until I have put thine enemies [to be] the footstool of thy feet.
36 Let the whole house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him, this Jesus whom *ye* have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 And having heard [it] they were pricked in heart, and said to Peter and the other apostles, What shall we do, brethren?
38 And Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptised, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins, and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For to you is the promise and to your children, and to all who [are] afar off, as many as [the] Lord our God may call.
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation.
41 Those then who had accepted his word were baptised; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.
42 And they persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of bread and prayers.
43 And fear was upon every soul, and many wonders and signs took place through the apostles' means.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common,
45 and sold their possessions and substance, and distributed them to all, according as any one might have need.
46 And every day, being constantly in the temple with one accord, and breaking bread in [the] house, they received their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God, and having favour with all the people; and the Lord added [to the assembly] daily those that were to be saved.

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Acts 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The descent of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost. (1-4) The apostles speak in divers languages. (5-13) Peter's address to the Jews. (14-36) Three thousand souls converted. (37-41) The piety and affection of the disciples. (42-47)

Verses 1-4 We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with them there were strifes among the disciples which should be the greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had prayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit poured out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And notwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests, as there were among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came with great force. This was to signify the powerful influences and working of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and thereby upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for his comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, prepare the soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearance of something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them, according to John Baptist's saying concerning Christ; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on the altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his sanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of the gospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Verses 5-13 The difference in languages which arose at Babel, has much hindered the spread of knowledge and religion. The instruments whom the Lord first employed in spreading the Christian religion, could have made no progress without this gift, which proved that their authority was from God.

Verses 14-21 Peter's sermon shows that he was thoroughly recovered from his fall, and thoroughly restored to the Divine favour; for he who had denied Christ, now boldly confessed him. His account of the miraculous pouring forth of the Spirit, was designed to awaken the hearers to embrace the faith of Christ, and to join themselves to his church. It was the fulfilling the Scripture, and the fruit of Christ's resurrection and ascension, and proof of both. Though Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake with tongues as the Spirit gave him utterance, yet he did not think to set aside the Scriptures. Christ's scholars never learn above their Bible; and the Spirit is given, not to do away the Scriptures, but to enable us to understand, approve, and obey them. Assuredly none will escape the condemnation of the great day, except those who call upon the name of the Lord, in and through his Son Jesus Christ, as the Saviour of sinners, and the Judge of all mankind.

Verses 22-36 From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a few weeks before. His death is considered as God's act; and of wonderful grace and wisdom. Thus Divine justice must be satisfied, God and man brought together again, and Christ himself glorified, according to an eternal counsel, which could not be altered. And as the people's act; in them it was an act of awful sin and folly. Christ's resurrection did away the reproach of his death; Peter speaks largely upon this. Christ was God's Holy One, sanctified and set apart to his service in the work of redemption. His death and sufferings should be, not to him only, but to all his, the entrance to a blessed life for evermore. This event had taken place as foretold, and the apostles were witnesses. Nor did the resurrection rest upon this alone; Christ had poured upon his disciples the miraculous gifts and Divine influences, of which they witnessed the effects. Through the Saviour, the ways of life are made known; and we are encouraged to expect God's presence, and his favour for evermore. All this springs from assured belief that Jesus is the Lord, and the anointed Saviour.

Verses 37-41 From the first delivery of that Divine message, it appeared that there was Divine power going with it; and thousands were brought to the obedience of faith. But neither Peter's words, nor the miracle they witnessed, could have produced such effects, had not the Holy Spirit been given. Sinners, when their eyes are opened, cannot but be pricked to the heart for sin, cannot but feel an inward uneasiness. The apostle exhorted them to repent of their sins, and openly to avow their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, by being baptized in his name. Thus professing their faith in Him, they would receive remission of their sins, and partake of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. To separate from wicked people, is the only way to save ourselves from them. Those who repent of their sins, and give up themselves to Jesus Christ, must prove their sincerity by breaking off from the wicked. We must save ourselves from them; which denotes avoiding them with dread and holy fear. By God's grace three thousand persons accepted the gospel invitation. There can be no doubt that the gift of the Holy Ghost, which they all received, and from which no true believer has ever been shut out, was that Spirit of adoption, that converting, guiding, sanctifying grace, which is bestowed upon all the members of the family of our heavenly Father. Repentance and remission of sins are still preached to the chief of sinners, in the Redeemer's name; still the Holy Spirit seals the blessing on the believer's heart; still the encouraging promises are to us and our children; and still the blessings are offered to all that are afar off.

Verses 42-47 In these verses we have the history of the truly primitive church, of the first days of it; its state of infancy indeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence. They kept close to holy ordinances, and abounded in piety and devotion; for Christianity, when admitted in the power of it, will dispose the soul to communion with God in all those ways wherein he has appointed us to meet him, and has promised to meet us. The greatness of the event raised them above the world, and the Holy Ghost filled them with such love, as made every one to be to another as to himself, and so made all things common, not by destroying property, but doing away selfishness, and causing charity. And God who moved them to it, knew that they were quickly to be driven from their possessions in Judea. The Lord, from day to day, inclined the hearts of more to embrace the gospel; not merely professors, but such as were actually brought into a state of acceptance with God, being made partakers of regenerating grace. Those whom God has designed for eternal salvation, shall be effectually brought to Christ, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.

Footnotes 18

  • [a]. It was come and running its course of fulfilment as a feast.
  • [b]. It is not 'wind,' but they heard blowing, as of hard breathing, for which the Greek is used. 'Blast' is too sudden and passing.
  • [c]. Or 'this voice having taken place ' but I believe what is in the text to be the sense. It was what happened at the place which brought the crowd there: it was not the mighty rushing wind being heard everywhere. The end of the verse goes to confirm this. What struck those who came was hearing their own tongues: Gen. 45.16 and Jer. 50.46 are examples. The rumours of Jacob's coming spread to Pharaoh's house.
  • [d]. See Joel 2.28.
  • [e]. Though used for 'illustrious,' 'glorious,' the Greek word has in it the sense of 'manifestation, appearing, displaying itself:' see Titus 2.11,13.
  • [f]. 'Jehovah;' so ver 39.
  • [g]. Lit. 'Men, Israelites,' as elsewhere, cf. ch. 1.16.
  • [h]. 'Borne witness to, to you,' is not agreeable English; but 'approved,' in the modern use at any rate, is not the sense, and 'among you is feeble. The manifestation or demonstration was to the Jews. The witness was borne to them objectively, to Jesus as its subject.
  • [i]. See Ps. 16.8.
  • [j]. Lit. 'and more also.'
  • [k]. Or 'holy,' hosios. It corresponds to the Hebrew chasid = merciful, gracious: see Note f, ch. 13.34,35; 2Chron. 6.42; and Heb. 7.26.
  • [l]. 'in' (eis) hades: see Note, Matt. 11.23.
  • [m]. Or, 'of Christ. '
  • [n]. See Ps. 110.1.
  • [o]. It means, 'to receive in full,' or 'with satisfaction;' or, as to an opinion or teaching, 'to accept and receive it as true:' see Note, Luke 8.40.
  • [p]. As ch. 13.12; 1Cor. 14.26.
  • [q]. See Note g, ch. 3.1.
  • [r]. The remnant of Israel whom God was sparing. The Lord now added these to the Christian assembly. The present participle as here gives the character instead of the fact; as I might say, 'the being spared ones;' it is the class of persons God was then saving. It is not a doubt as to their being saved, nor a state, but a class: see Luke 13.23.

Acts 2 Commentaries