Acts 2

1 And when the days of Pentecost were filled [were fulfilled], all the disciples were together in the same place.
2 And suddenly there was made a sound from heaven, as of a great wind coming, and it filled all the house where they sat [and it filled all the house where they were sitting].
3 And diverse tongues as fire appeared to them, and it sat on each of them. [And tongues diversely parted as fire appeared to them, and it sat upon each of them.]
4 And all were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak in diverse languages [and they began to speak with diverse tongues], as the Holy Ghost gave to them to speak.
5 And there were in Jerusalem dwelling Jews, religious men, of each nation that is under heaven.
6 And when this voice was made, the multitude came together, and were astonished in thought [and in soul, or understanding, was confounded, or astonished], for each man heard them speaking in his own language.
7 And all were astonished, and wondered, and said together, Whether not all these that speak be men of Galilee, [Forsooth all men were astonished, and wondered, saying together, Whether not all these that speak be Galileans,]
8 and how heard we each man our language in which we be born? [and how we heard each man his tongue in which we be born?]
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and they that dwell at Mesopotamia [and they that dwell in Mesopotamia], Judaea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya, that is about Cyrene, and comelings Romans, and Jews, and proselytes,
11 men of Crete, and of Arabia, we have heard them speaking in our languages the great things of God. [men of Crete and Arabia, we have heard them speaking in our tongues the great things of God.]
12 And all were astonished, and wondered, saying together, What will this thing be?
13 And others scorned, and said [saying], For these men be full of must.
14 But Peter stood with the eleven, and raised up his voice [Forsooth Peter standing with the eleven, raised his voice], and spake to them, Ye [men] Jews, and all that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with ears perceive ye my words [and with ears perceive my words].
15 For not as ye ween [Soothly not as ye deem, or guess], these be drunken, when it is the third hour of the day;
16 but this it is, that was said by the prophet Joel,
17 And it shall be in the last days, the Lord saith, I shall pour out my Spirit on each flesh [I shall pour out my Spirit on all flesh]; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your elders shall dream swevens.
18 And on my servants and on mine handmaidens in those days I shall pour out of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I shall give great wonders in heaven above, and signs in earth beneath, blood, and fire, and heat of smoke [blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke].
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that the great and the open day of the Lord come [before that the great and open day of the Lord shall come].
21 And it shall be, each man whichever shall call to help the name of the Lord, shall be safe.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear ye these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God before you by works of power, and wonders, and tokens [Ye men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man proved of God in you by virtues, or miracles, and wonders, and tokens], which God did by him in the middle of you, as ye know,
23 ye tormented, and killed him by the hands of wicked men, by counsel determined and betaken by the fore-knowing of God. [him, the counsel determined, or ended, and by the prescience, or before-knowing, of God, betaken by the hands of wicked ye tormenting slew.]
24 Whom God raised, when sorrows of hell were unbound, by that that it was impossible that he were holden of it [after that it was impossible him to be holden of it].
25 For David saith of him, I saw afar the Lord before me evermore, for he is on my right half, that I be not moved.
26 For this thing mine heart joyed, and my tongue made full out joy [and my tongue gladded], and moreover my flesh shall rest in hope.
27 For thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, neither thou shalt give thine holy to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life, thou shalt fill me [thou shalt full-fill me] with mirth with thy face.
29 Brethren [Men brethren], be it leaveful boldly to say to you of the patriarch David, for he is dead and buried, and his sepulchre is among us into this day.
30 Therefore when he was a prophet, and knew, that with a great oath God had sworn to him [that with an oath God had sworn to him], that of the fruit of his loins should one sit on his seat,
31 he seeing afar spake of the resurrection of Christ, for neither he was left in hell, neither his flesh saw corruption.
32 God raised this Jesus, to whom we all be witnesses.
33 Therefore he was enhanced by the right hand of God, and through the promise of the Holy Ghost that he took of the Father, he shedded out this Spirit, that ye see and hear. [Therefore he enhanced by the right hand of God, and by the promise of the Holy Ghost taken of the Father, he shedded out this, that ye see and hear.]
34 For David ascended not into heaven; but he saith, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right half,
35 till I put thine enemies the stool of thy feet.
36 Therefore most certainly know all the house of Israel, that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus, whom ye crucified.
37 When they heard these things, they were compuncted in heart; and they said to Peter and [to] other apostles, Brethren [Men brethren], what shall we do?
38 And Peter said to them, Do ye penance [Penance, he said, do ye], and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, into remission of your sins; and ye shall take the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is to you, and to your sons, and to all that be far, whichever our Lord God hath called. [Forsooth repromission is to you, and to your sons, and to all that be far, whomever the Lord our God hath called to.]
40 Also with other words full many he witnessed to them, and admonished them, and said, Be ye saved from this depraved generation [saying, Be ye saved from this wicked, or shrewd, generation].
41 Then they that received his word were baptized, and in that day souls were increased, about three thousand;
42 and [they] were lasting stably in the teaching of the apostles, and in communing of the breaking of bread [and communing of breaking of bread], and in prayers.
43 And dread was made to each man [Forsooth dread was made to each soul]. And many wonders and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem, and great dread was in all.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common.
45 They sold possessions and chattel [They sold possessions and substances, or goods], and parted those things to all men, as it was need to each.
46 And each day they dwelled stably with one will in the temple, and brake bread about houses, and took meat with full out joy and simpleness of heart, [Forsooth day by day they lasting together in the temple, and breaking bread about houses, took meat with gladness and simpleness of heart,]
47 and praised together God, and had grace to all the folk [praising together God, and having grace to all the people]. And the Lord increased them that were made safe, each day into the same thing.

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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.

Acts 2 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.