Acts 2

The Day of Pentecost

1 When 1the day of Pentecost [a]had come, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled 2the whole house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire [b]distributing themselves, and [c]they [d]rested on each one of them.
4 And they were all 3filled with the Holy Spirit and began to 4speak with other [e]tongues, as the Spirit was giving them [f]utterance.
5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, 5devout men from every nation under heaven.
6 And when 6this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own [g]language.
7 7They were amazed and astonished, saying, "[h]Why, are not all these who are speaking 8Galileans?
8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own [i]language [j]to which we were born?
9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and 9Cappadocia, 10Pontus and [k]11Asia,
10 12Phrygia and 13Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around 14Cyrene, and [l]15visitors from Rome, both Jews and [m]16proselytes,
11 Cretans and Arabs -we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God."
12 And 17they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean *?"
13 But others were mocking and saying, "18They are full of [n]sweet wine."

Peter's Sermon

14 But Peter, [o]taking his stand with 19the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.
15 "For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, 20for it is only the [p]third hour of the day;
16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
17 '21AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' God says, 'THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL [q]MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;
18 EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.
19 'AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.
20 'THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.
21 'AND IT SHALL BE THAT 22EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'
22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: 23Jesus the Nazarene, 24a man [r]attested to you by God with [s]miracles and 25wonders and [t]signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know -
23 this Man, delivered over by the 26predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, 27you nailed to a cross by the hands of [u]godless men and put Him to death.
24 "[v]But 28God raised Him up again, putting an end to the [w]agony of death, since it 29was impossible * for Him to be held in its power.
25 "For David says of Him, '30I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS * IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.
26 'THEREFORE * MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER * MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;
27 BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO 31HADES, 32NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.
28 'YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.'
29 "Brethren *, I may confidently say to you regarding the 33patriarch David that he both 34died and 35was buried, and 36his tomb is with us to this day.
30 "And so, because he was 37a prophet and knew that 38GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS * ON HIS THRONE,
31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that 39HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.
32 "This Jesus 40God raised up again, to which we are all 41witnesses.
33 "Therefore having been exalted 42to the right hand of God, and 43having received from the Father 44the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has 45poured forth this which you both see and hear.
34 "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: '46THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
35 UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET."'
36 "Therefore let all the 47house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both 48Lord and Christ -this Jesus 49whom you crucified."

The Ingathering

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren *, 50what shall we do?"
38 Peter said to them, "51Repent, and each of you be 52baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 "For 53the promise is for you and your children and for all who are 54far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."
40 And with many other words he solemnly 55testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this 56perverse generation!"
41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand 57souls.
42 They were 58continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to 59the breaking of bread and 60to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many 61wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
44 And all those who had believed were together * * and 62had all things in common;
45 and they 63began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
46 64Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and 65breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
47 praising God and 66having favor with all the people. And the Lord 67was adding to their number day by day 68those who were 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 68

  • 1. Leviticus 23:15; Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8
  • 2. Acts 4:31
  • 3. Matthew 10:20; Acts 1:5, 8; Acts 4:8, 31; Acts 6:3, 5; Acts 7:55; Acts 8:17; Acts 9:17; Acts 11:15; Acts 13:9, 52
  • 4. Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:21
  • 5. Luke 2:25; Acts 8:2
  • 6. Acts 2:2
  • 7. Acts 2:12
  • 8. Matthew 26:73; Acts 1:11
  • 9. 1 Peter 1:1
  • 10. Acts 18:2; 1 Peter 1:1
  • 11. Acts 6:9; Acts 16:6; Acts 19:10; Acts 20:4; Acts 21:27; Acts 24:18; Acts 27:2; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:15; Revelation 1:4
  • 12. Acts 16:6; Acts 18:23
  • 13. Acts 13:13; Acts 14:24; Acts 15:38; Acts 27:5
  • 14. Matthew 27:32
  • 15. Acts 17:21
  • 16. Matthew 23:15
  • 17. Acts 2:7
  • 18. 1 Corinthians 14:23
  • 19. Acts 1:26
  • 20. 1 Thessalonians 5:7
  • 21. Joel 2:28-32
  • 22. Romans 10:13
  • 23. Acts 3:6; Acts 4:10; Acts 10:38
  • 24. John 3:2
  • 25. John 4:48; Acts 2:19, 43
  • 26. Luke 22:22; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; 1 Peter 1:20
  • 27. Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:33; Luke 24:20; John 19:18; Acts 3:13
  • 28. Matthew 28:5, 6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:5, 6; Acts 2:32; Acts 3:15, 26; Acts 4:10; Acts 5:30; 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
  • 29. John 20:9
  • 30. Psalms 16:8-11
  • 31. Matthew 11:23; Acts 2:31
  • 32. Acts 13:35
  • 33. Acts 7:8; Hebrews 7:4
  • 34. Acts 13:36
  • 35. 1 Kings 2:10
  • 36. Nehemiah 3:16
  • 37. Matthew 22:43
  • 38. Psalms 132:11; 2 Samuel 7:12; Psalms 89:3
  • 39. Matthew 11:23; Acts 2:27
  • 40. Acts 2:24; Acts 3:15, 26; Acts 4:10; Acts 5:30; 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
  • 41. Acts 1:8
  • 42. Mark 16:19; Acts 5:31
  • 43. Acts 1:4
  • 44. John 7:39; Galatians 3:14
  • 45. Acts 2:17; Acts 10:45
  • 46. Psalms 110:1; Matthew 22:44
  • 47. Ezek 36:22, 32, 37; Ezekiel 45:6
  • 48. Acts 2:23
  • 49. Luke 2:11
  • 50. Luke 3:10, 12, 14
  • 51. Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; Acts 5:31; Acts 20:21
  • 52. Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 16; Acts 22:16
  • 53. Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 54:13; Isaiah 57:19; Joel 2:32; Romans 9:4; Ephesians 2:12
  • 54. Ephesians 2:13, 17
  • 55. Luke 16:28
  • 56. Deuteronomy 32:5; Matthew 17:17; Philippians 2:15
  • 57. Acts 3:23; Acts 7:14; Acts 27:37; Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 3:20; Revelation 16:3
  • 58. Acts 1:14
  • 59. Luke 24:30; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 10:16
  • 60. Acts 1:14
  • 61. Acts 2:22
  • 62. Acts 4:32, 37; Acts 5:2
  • 63. Matthew 19:21; Acts 4:34
  • 64. Acts 5:42
  • 65. Luke 24:30; Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 10:16
  • 66. Acts 5:13
  • 67. Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4; Acts 5:14; Acts 6:1, 7; Acts 9:31, 35, 42; Acts 11:21, 24; Acts 14:1, 21; Acts 16:5; Acts 17:12
  • 68. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Footnotes 48

Acts 2 Commentaries