Acts 8:33

33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth."

Acts 8:33 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 8:33

In his humiliation his judgment was taken away
The humiliation, or low estate of Christ, lay in his assumption of human nature, with the weaknesses and imperfections of it; in the meanness of his parentage and education; in the sorrows he endured from his cradle to his cross; in his last conflict with Satan in the garden; in his being apprehended, bound, scourged, and condemned, both by the sanhedrim, and the Roman governor; and in being enclosed with the assembly of the wicked soldiers, who put on him their own clothes, and a crown of thorns on his head, and a reed in his hand, and then in a mock manner bowed to him as king of the Jews; and last of all in his obedience to death, even the death of the cross, and in his being laid in the grave. Now in this his low estate, "his judgment was taken away"; in the text in ( Isaiah 53:8 ) the words are, "he was taken from prison and from judgment"; which some understand of his sufferings, and render the words thus, "by an assembly, and by judgment he was taken away"; that is, by the Jewish sanhedrim, and by the judgment or sentence of Pontius Pilate, his life was taken away: and others interpret it of his resurrection from the dead, when he was taken or delivered from the prison of the grave, and could not be held any longer by the cords and pains of death; and from the judgment or condemnation under which he lay, being justified in the Spirit, when he was raised from the dead. The words, as here cited, differ from the original text; which have caused some to think, that there was a different reading of these words, which the Septuagint followed, and Luke after them. Dr. Pocock F21 has proposed a translation of the Hebrew text, as agreeable to this citation, without supposing a various reading, thus, "because of affliction, even from judgment he is taken; or when he was humbled, he was taken from judgment"; it being all one whether he was taken from judgment condemnation, and punishment, as at his resurrection, or whether his punishment was taken from him: though the sense of the words, as they are here cited, rather seems to be this; when he was taken and bound by the Jews, and detained by them a prisoner, and arraigned before the high priest, and at Pilate's bar, and false witnesses suborned, which was his time of humiliation and affliction; when he was reproached, blasphemed, buffeted, and spit, upon, justice was not done him, right did not take place, but was removed from him, and he was treated in a most unjust and unrighteous manner:

and who shall declare his generation?
not his divine or human generation; nor the sorrows of his life; or the duration of his life since his resurrection; nor the numbers of his spiritual seed and offspring; senses put upon the words they will by no means bear; but the generation or age in which Christ lived, which for its wickedness among themselves, and their barbarity to him, and ill usage of him, cannot be sufficiently described and declared; and a great deal of it they themselves own; (See Gill on Matthew 10:36) (See Gill on Matthew 12:39)

for his life is taken from the earth,
not in a common, but in a judicial way; in the most cruel, barbarous, and unjust manner, in a violent way; though not without his Father's will, and his own consent; and though his life was taken from the earth, he now lives in heaven, and that for evermore.


F21 Not. Miscell. c. 4. p. 72.

Acts 8:33 In-Context

31 He replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.
32 Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth."
34 The eunuch asked Philip, "About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?"
35 Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus.