Acts 2:15

15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning.

Acts 2:15 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 2:15

For these are not drunken
Meaning not only the eleven apostles, but the rest of the hundred and twenty, on whom also the Spirit was poured forth, and who were endowed with his extraordinary gifts:

as ye suppose;
and had given out that they were: and this shows the sense of being filled with new wine; that they meant that they were really drunk, and which they believed, or at least would have had others believe it; the unreasonableness of which supposition and suggestion the apostle argues from the time of day:

seeing it is but the third hour of the day;
or nine of the clock in the morning: for till this time it was not usual with the Jews, if men of any sobriety or religion, so much as to taste anything: the rules are these F8,

``it is forbidden a man to taste anything, or do any work after break of day, until he has prayed the morning prayer.''


``the morning prayer, the precept concerning it is, that a man should begin to pray as soon as the sun shines out; and its time is until the end of the fourth hour, which is the third part of the day F9.''

So that a man might not taste anything, either of eatables or drinkables, until the fourth hour, or ten o'clock in the morning: hence it is said F11, that

``after they offered the daily sacrifice they ate bread, (Nyev ebra Nmzb) , "at the time of four hours":''

or on the fourth hour, and sooner than this it was not lawful to eat, even ever so little; and whoever did, was not reckoned fit to be conversed with.

``Says R. Isaac F12, whoever eats a green or herb before the fourth hour, it is forbidden to converse with him; and the same says, it is unlawful to eat a raw herb before the fourth hour. Amemar, and Mar Zutra, and Rab Ashe were sitting, and they brought before them a raw herb before the fourth hour. Amemar and Rab Ashe ate, and Mar Zutra did not eat: they said to him, what is thy meaning? (he replied) that R. Isaac said, whoever eats a herb before the fourth hour, it is forbidden to converse with him.''

The time for taking food by persons of different characters, is thus expressed by them:

``the first hour is the time of eating for the Lydians, the second for thieves, the third for heirs, the fourth for labourers, the fifth for every man; is it not so? Saith R. Papa, the fourth is the time of repast for every man; but (the truth is) the fourth is the time of eating for every man, the fifth for labourers, and the sixth for the disciples of the wise men F13.''

Hence that advice F14,

``"at the fourth hour", go into a cook's shop, (or tavern,) if thou seest a man drinking wine, and holding the cup in his hands, and slumbering, inquire about him, if he is one of the wise doctors''

The "gloss" upon it is,

``at the fourth hour, for that is the time of eating, when all go into the shops (or taverns) to eat.''

Now whereas they that are drunken are drunken in the night, and not in the day, and much less so soon in the day, when it was not usual, at least with religious men, to have tasted anything by this time; and whereas the apostles, and their company, were sober and religious men, and had never done thing to forfeit their character, it was unreasonable to suppose anything of this kind in them.


F8 Maimon. Hilch, Tophilla, c. 6. sect. 4. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 28. 2.
F9 lb. c. 3. sect. 1. Vid. T. Beracot, fol. 26. 2.
F11 Targum in Eccl. x. 17.
F12 T. Bab. Betacot, fol. 44. 2.
F13 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 10. 1.
F14 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 83. 2.

Acts 2:15 In-Context

13 But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.
15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning.
16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 "In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.