Acts 2:37

37 Now when 1they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, 2what shall we do?"

Acts 2:37 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 2:37

Now when they heard this
Or "him", as the Arabic version; that is, Peter speaking these things, describing the character of Jesus of Nazareth; opening the prophecies concerning him; asserting his resurrection from the dead, and exaltation at the right hand of God; ascribing this wonderful affair, of speaking with divers tongues, to his effusion of the Spirit; and charging them home with the iniquity of crucifying him:

they were pricked in their hearts;
the word of God entered into them, and was as a sharp sword in them, which cut and laid open their hearts, and the sin and wickedness of them; they saw themselves guilty of the crime laid to their charge, and were filled with remorse of conscience for it; they felt pain at their hearts, and much uneasiness, and were seized with horror and trembling; they were wounded in their spirits, being hewn and cut down by the prophets and apostles of the Lord, and slain by the words of his mouth; they were as dead men in their own apprehension; and indeed, a prick, a cut, or wound in the heart is mortal:

and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, men and
brethren, what shall we do?
the persons they before mocked at, they are glad to advise with, what should be done in this their sad and wretched case; what they should do to obtain the favour of God, the forgiveness of their sins, and everlasting salvation. Convinced, awakened sinners, are generally at first upon a covenant of works; are for doing something to atone for their past crimes, to set themselves right in the sight of God, to ingratiate themselves into his favour, and procure the pardon of their sins, and the inheritance of eternal life. And they seem also to be at a loss about the way of salvation, what is to be done to attain it, or how, and by what means it is to be come at; and are almost ready to despair of it, their sin appearing in so dreadful a light, and attended with such aggravating circumstances. Beza's ancient copy reads, "some of them said to Peter" not all that heard, but those that were pricked to the heart.

Acts 2:37 In-Context

35 until I make your enemies your footstool.'
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Acts 5:33; Acts 7:54]
  • 2. Acts 16:30; Luke 3:10
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.