Acts 2

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The Coming of the Holy Spirit

1 When 1the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like 2a mighty rushing wind, and 3it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
3 And divided tongues 4as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them.
4 And they were all 5filled with the Holy Spirit and began 6to speak in other tongues 7as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
6 And 8at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
7 And 9they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking 10Galileans?
8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
9 Parthians and 11Medes and 12Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,
11 both Jews and 13proselytes, Cretans and Arabians--we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
12 And 14all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
13 But others 15mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."

Peter's Sermon at Pentecost

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, 16since it is only the third hour of the day.[b]
16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 17"'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, 18that I will pour out my Spirit 19on all flesh, and your sons and 20your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants[c] and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and 21they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 22the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before 23the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that 24everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'
22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, 25a man attested to you by God 26with 27mighty works and wonders and signs that 28God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know--
23 this Jesus, 29delivered up according to 30the definite plan and 31foreknowledge of God, 32you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
24 33God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because 34it was not possible for him to be held by it.
25 For David says concerning him, 35"'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell 36in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to 37Hades, 38or let your 39Holy One 40see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'
29 "Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about 41the patriarch David 42that he both died and 43was buried, and 44his tomb is with us to this day.
30 45Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that 46God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,
31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that 47he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
32 This Jesus 48God raised up, 49and of that we all are witnesses.
33 50Being therefore 51exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from 52the Father 53the promise of the Holy Spirit, 54he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
34 For 55David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, 56"'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand,
35 until I make your enemies your footstool.'
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that 57God has made him 58both Lord and Christ, this Jesus 59whom you crucified."
37 Now when 60they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, 61what shall we do?"
38 And Peter said to them, 62"Repent and 63be baptized every one of you 64in the name of Jesus Christ 65for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive 66the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For 67the promise is for you and 68for your children and for all 69who are far off, everyone 70whom the Lord our God calls to himself."
40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, 71"Save yourselves from this 72crooked generation."
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and 73there were added that day about three thousand souls.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 And 74they devoted themselves to the apostles' 75teaching and the 76fellowship, to 77the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43 And awe[d] came upon every soul, and 78many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
44 And all who believed were together and 79had all things in common.
45 And 80they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
46 And day by day, 81attending the temple 82together and 83breaking bread in their homes, they received their food 84with glad and generous hearts,
47 praising God and 85having favor with all the people. And the Lord 86added to their number 87day by day those who 88were being 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.

Cross References 88

  • 1. Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8; [Leviticus 23:15]
  • 2. [1 Kings 19:11; Job 38:1; Ezekiel 1:4]
  • 3. [Acts 4:31; Acts 16:26]
  • 4. Matthew 3:11
  • 5. Acts 4:31; Acts 13:52
  • 6. See Mark 16:17
  • 7. [1 Corinthians 12:10, 11]
  • 8. ver. 2
  • 9. ver. 12
  • 10. Acts 1:11; [Matthew 26:73]
  • 11. 2 Kings 17:6
  • 12. Genesis 14:1, 9; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 8:2
  • 13. Acts 6:5; Acts 13:43; Matthew 23:15
  • 14. ver. 7
  • 15. [Acts 17:32; 1 Corinthians 14:23]
  • 16. [1 Thessalonians 5:7]
  • 17. Cited from Joel 2:28-32
  • 18. ver. 18, 33; Isaiah 32:15; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:27; See Romans 5:5
  • 19. [Acts 10:45; Titus 3:6]
  • 20. Acts 21:9
  • 21. Acts 11:28; Acts 21:10; 1 Corinthians 12:10
  • 22. See Matthew 24:29
  • 23. [1 Thessalonians 5:2; Revelation 16:14]
  • 24. Romans 10:13; [Acts 16:31]
  • 25. See John 3:2
  • 26. Acts 10:38; Luke 24:19
  • 27. 2 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Hebrews 2:4
  • 28. [Matthew 12:28]
  • 29. Matthew 26:24; [Acts 3:13; Matthew 20:19]; See Luke 24:20
  • 30. Luke 22:22; [Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; Acts 13:27]
  • 31. 1 Peter 1:2; [1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8]
  • 32. See Acts 5:30
  • 33. ver. 32; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:10; Acts 10:40; Acts 13:30, 33, 34, 37; Acts 17:31; Romans 4:24; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:11; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:15; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 1:21; [Ephesians 2:5]
  • 34. [Luke 24:5; John 10:18; 2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:17, 18]
  • 35. Cited from Psalms 16:8-11
  • 36. Romans 4:18
  • 37. ver. 31; See Matthew 11:23
  • 38. Acts 13:35
  • 39. See Hebrews 7:26
  • 40. [Luke 2:26]
  • 41. Acts 7:8, 9; Hebrews 7:4
  • 42. [Acts 13:36]
  • 43. 1 Kings 2:10
  • 44. Nehemiah 3:16
  • 45. [2 Samuel 23:2; Matthew 22:43; Hebrews 11:32]
  • 46. See Luke 1:32
  • 47. ver. 27
  • 48. ver. 24
  • 49. Acts 1:22; Acts 4:33
  • 50. Acts 5:31; Ephesians 1:20; Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 3:22
  • 51. Exodus 15:6; Psalms 98:1
  • 52. Acts 1:4; [John 16:7]
  • 53. Galatians 3:14
  • 54. ver. 17
  • 55. [John 3:13]
  • 56. Cited from Psalms 110:1
  • 57. See Matthew 28:18
  • 58. Romans 14:9; 2 Corinthians 4:5
  • 59. ver. 23
  • 60. [Acts 5:33; Acts 7:54]
  • 61. Acts 16:30; Luke 3:10
  • 62. Acts 3:19; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:18, 20; Luke 24:47
  • 63. Acts 22:16; [Acts 8:12]; See Mark 16:16
  • 64. Acts 10:48; See Acts 8:16
  • 65. See Mark 1:4
  • 66. Acts 10:45; [Acts 8:15, 20; Acts 11:17]; See John 7:39
  • 67. Romans 9:4
  • 68. Acts 3:25; Isaiah 54:13; [Isaiah 44:3]
  • 69. Acts 22:21; Isaiah 57:19; Ephesians 2:13, 17
  • 70. Joel 2:32; Romans 8:30
  • 71. [ver. 21, 47]
  • 72. Deuteronomy 32:5; Matthew 17:17; Philippians 2:15
  • 73. ver. 47
  • 74. [Hebrews 10:25]; See Acts 1:14
  • 75. See 1 Corinthians 14:6
  • 76. Galatians 2:9; Philippians 1:5; 1 John 1:3
  • 77. Luke 24:35; [ver. 46]; See Acts 20:7
  • 78. See Mark 16:20
  • 79. Acts 4:32, 34, 35; [Matthew 19:21]
  • 80. [See ver. 44 above]
  • 81. Acts 3:1; Acts 5:21, 42; Luke 24:53
  • 82. See Acts 1:14
  • 83. [ver. 42]
  • 84. [Acts 16:34]; See John 16:22
  • 85. Acts 5:13
  • 86. ver. 41; Acts 5:14; Acts 11:24
  • 87. Acts 16:5
  • 88. 1 Corinthians 1:18; [ver. 21, 40; Acts 16:31]

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested
  • [b]. That is, 9 a.m.
  • [c]. Greek bondservants; twice in this verse
  • [d]. Or fear

Acts 2 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.