You Can Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians

Acts 4:6

6 with 1Annas the high priest and 2Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.

Acts 4:6 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 4:6

And Annas the high priest
So called, either because he had been an high priest, though he was not now, but Caiaphas his son-in-law; or because he was the Sagan of the high priest, and had all the other priests under his government; and is mentioned first, because he was father-in-law to Caiaphas; (See Gill on Luke 3:2) he could not be called so, because he was (ayvn) , "prince", or president of the council; for not he, but Gamaliel, was president at this time. And

who was properly high priest, and continued so for three years after the death of Christ:

and John;
who is thought by Dr. Lightfoot to be the same with Jochanan, or John ben Zaccai; a famous Jewish Rabbi, who lived at this time, and until, and after the destruction of Jerusalem: this Rabbi was (Nhk) , "a priest" F20, as this John was, of the kindred of the high priest; he lived also at Jerusalem; for it is said of him {u}, that he sat in the shadow of the temple, and expounded all the whole day; and a very remarkable story is told of him, which happened just about this time F23; which is, that

``forty years before the destruction of the temple--the doors of the temple opened of themselves, when Rabban Jochanan ben Zaccai reproved them, saying, O temple, temple, wherefore dost thou fright thyself? I know thee, that thine end shall be, to be destroyed; for so prophesied of thee Zechariah, the son of Iddo, ( Zechariah 11:1 ) . "Open thy doors, O Lebanon"''

The chief objection to him, as that learned writer observes, is, that he lived and died a Pharisee, whereas this John seems to have been a Sadducee; see ( Acts 5:17 ) . This puts me in mind of John the high priest, who ministered in the high priesthood fourscore years, and at last became a Sadducee F24: Beza's ancient copy reads "Jonathan: and Alexander"; whose surname was Lysimachus, and had the title of "Alabarcha"; he was a very rich man F25: after Alexander the great had been at Jerusalem, this name became frequent among the Jews; and it is said F26 to be promised him, and was fulfilled, that every son that was born to the priests that year he entered Jerusalem, should be called Alexander; and therefore it is no wonder to hear of an Alexander among the kindred of the high priest; frequent mention is made of (yrdnokla ybr) , "Rabbi Alexander", in the Jewish writings F1:

and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest;
by whose means they were become members of the sanhedrim:

were gathered together at Jerusalem;
where the great council only sat, until the destruction of it; it seems by this, that some of the members of it lived in the country; it may be in some of the villages adjacent, where they might be easily and quickly sent for, upon any occasion, as they very likely now were; the Syriac version leaves out the words "at Jerusalem".


F20 Juchasin, fol. 20. 2.
F21 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 26. 1.
F23 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 39. 2. & Hieros. Yoma, fol. 43. 3.
F24 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 29. 1.
F25 Joseph Antiqu. l. 20. c. 4. sect. 2.
F26 Juchasin, fol. 14. 1. & 159. 1. Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 18. 2.
F1 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 53. 2. Chagiga, fol. 5. 1. Megilla, fol. 17. 2. Nedarim, fol. 41. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 1. & passim.

Acts 4:6 In-Context

4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem,
6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, "By what power or by what name did you do this?"
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders,

Cross References 2

  • 1. Luke 3:2; John 18:13, 24
  • 2. See Matthew 26:3
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.