Acts 14:17

17 Yet 1he did not leave himself without witness, for he 2did good by 3giving you rains from heaven and 4fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with 5food and 6gladness."

Acts 14:17 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 14:17

Nevertheless, he left not himself without witness
Of his kindness and goodness to them, during this long interval and period of time; for they had not the written law, yet they were not destitute of the law of nature; and had, besides, many instances of providential goodness, by which they might have known God: and should have been thankful to him, and glorified him as God, and not have worshipped the idols of their own hands; the goodness of God should have led them to repentance, and not have been abused to so many wicked purposes as it had been:

in that he did good;
in a providential way, to persons very undeserving of it, of which some particular instances follow:

and gave us rain from heaven,
which none of the gods of the Gentiles could, do, ( Jeremiah 14:22 ) . So (Mymvg xtpm) , "the key of rains", is by the Jews F1 said to be one of the keys which God has in his own hands, and which he does not commit to any other: and a wonderful blessing is this to mankind, and which God gives to the just and to the unjust, and did give to the ignorant and idolatrous Gentiles. Beza's most ancient copy, and four other ancient copies of his, and some others, read "you", instead of "us"; which reading seems most agreeable:

and fruitful seasons;
spring, summer, harvest, and autumn, at which several times, different fruits of the earth appear:

filling our hearts with food and gladness;
giving a sufficiency of food, and even an abundance of it, and that for pleasure and delight, as well as for support and refreshment: the Syriac version reads, "their hearts"; some copies read, "your hearts".


F1 Targum Jerus. in Gen. xxx. 22. & Jon. in Deut. xxviii. 12.

Acts 14:17 In-Context

15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.
16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.
17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness."
18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.

Cross References 6

  • 1. [Acts 17:27; Romans 1:19, 20]
  • 2. Numbers 10:32
  • 3. Leviticus 26:4; Deuteronomy 11:14; Deuteronomy 28:12; Job 5:10; Psalms 65:10; Psalms 147:8, 18; Ezekiel 34:26; Joel 2:23
  • 4. Psalms 67:6; Psalms 85:12; Ezekiel 34:27; Joel 2:24; Zechariah 8:12
  • 5. Psalms 104:27
  • 6. Psalms 104:15
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.