Blaine Robison, M.A.
Published 9 August 2017; Revised 21 December 2020
Scripture Text: The Scripture text used in this commentary is prepared by Blaine Robison and based on the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament. The essentially literal translation seeks to reflect the Jewish character of the author and writing. See my web article The Jewish New Testament. Scripture quotations may be taken from different versions. Click here for abbreviations of Bible versions. Quotations marked with the initials "BR" indicate the translation of the commentary author.
Sources: Bibliographic data for works cited may be found at the end of the chapter commentary. Works without page numbers are cited ad loc. Important Jewish sources include the following:
● DSS: Citations marked as "DSS" are from the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of Jewish manuscripts of Scripture and sectarian documents found in the Qumran caves. Most of the Qumran MSS belong to the last three centuries BC and the first century AD. Online DSS Bible.
● LXX: The abbreviation "LXX" ("70") stands for the Septuagint, the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, which was in use among Jews by the mid-2nd century B.C. Online.
● Josephus: Citations for Josephus, the first century Jewish historian (Yosef ben Matityahu), are from The Works of Flavius Josephus (c. 75–99 A.D.) trans. William Whiston (1737). Online.
● MT: The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. Work on developing a uniform Hebrew Bible began in the 2nd century under Rabbi Akiva, but completed by Jewish scholars known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries A.D. The oldest extant manuscripts date from around the 9th century. Online.
● Targums: The targums are early Aramaic translations of the Hebrew text with commentary: Targum Jerusalem (1st c. AD), Targum Neofiti (1st c. AD), Targum Onkelos (c. 35–120 AD) and Targum Jonathan (2nd c. AD). See an index of targum texts here.
Syntax: Unless otherwise noted the meaning of Greek words is from F.W. Danker, The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009), and the meaning of Hebrew words is from The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1981), abbreviated as "BDB." See the Greek Guide for the meaning of grammar abbreviations and pronunciation of Greek words. Parsing data for Greek words is from Anthony J. Fisher, Greek New Testament. The numbering system of the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is identified with "SH" (Strong's Hebrew number) and "SG" (Strong's Greek number). Strong's Online.
Terminology: In order to emphasize the Jewish nature of the apostolic canon and its central figure I use the terms ADONAI (for 'LORD' when quoting a Tanakh source), Yeshua (Jesus), Messiah (Christ), Tanakh (Old Testament), and Besekh (New Testament).
See the article Witnesses of the Good News for background information on Acts. For a suggested timeline of Acts see the dating chart of George Edmundson. All dates given for the narrative of Acts are estimates.
In Chapter Three Luke describes the creation miracle of healing the lame man at the Temple and Peter's second sermon which added a great harvest of souls for the Messianic kingdom.
Healing the Lame Beggar, 3:1-10
Peter's Second Sermon, 3:11-26
Sunday, Sivan 14, A.D. 30
Rome: Caesar Tiberius (AD 14-37)
Prefect of Judea: Pontius Pilate (AD 26-36)
Jewish High Priest: Joseph Caiaphas (AD 18-37)
Healing the Lame Beggar, 3:1-10
The date cannot be determined with any certainty. In the previous chapter Luke reported that following Pentecost the apostles performed signs and wonder over some period of time (2:43). Given the outcome of this day's activities (4:4), it would be appropriate for the date to be in the month of Tishri (September), the time of harvesting fruits.
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth.
Now: Grk. de, conj. used to indicate (1) a contrast to a preceding statement or thought, "but;" (2) a transition in presentation of subject matter, "now, then;" or (3) a connecting particle to continue a thought, "and, also," sometimes with emphasis, "indeed," "moreover" (Thayer). The second meaning applies here. Peter: Grk. Petros, personal name meaning 'a stone' (BAG, Mounce), although Thayer says the name signifies a stone, a rock, a ledge or a cliff, and Danker defines the name as "rockman." Petros translates the Hebrew name Kêpha ("rock"), a loanword in Hebrew (SH-3710; BDB 495), which was given to him by Yeshua (John 1:42). Peter was unquestionably the leader of the apostles. For a summary of Peter's life and ministry see my article Simon Peter: Fisherman-Apostle.
and: Grk. kai, conj. that marks a connection or addition. Kai has three basic uses: (1) continuative – and, also, even; (2) adversative – and yet, but, however; or (3) intensive – certainly, indeed, in fact, really, verily, yea (DM 250f). The first use applies here. Kai is used in the LXX to translate the vav (ו) character added to words for conjunctive effect. There are over 50 conjunctions in biblical Greek, but kai is by far the most common in the Besekh, occurring over 9,000 times (BibleHub). The excessive use of conjunctions is evidence of either an original Hebrew text or Jewish Greek. See my note on the significance of conjunctions in the Besekh.
John: Grk. Iōannēs attempts to transliterate the Heb. Yōchanan and means "the Lord is gracious." John's father was Zebedee (Matt 4:21) and he and had a brother Jacob (aka "James"). When Yeshua first called John to discipleship, he was engaged in mending fishing nets along with his father and brother (Matt 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-19). John and Jacob had a close working relationship with Simon Peter in fishing (Luke 5:10). He may have been younger since he is almost always mentioned second after Jacob, but this is not certain. It is generally thought that Salome was John's mother (cf. Matt 27:56; Mark 15:40). In addition, Salome may have been the sister of Yeshua's mother mentioned in John 19:25, and in that case John would have been a blood cousin of Yeshua.
Bible scholars agree that John was "the disciple whom Yeshua loved" and who reclined next to Yeshua during the last supper (John 13:23-26). John was the only apostle to stand by Yeshua at his crucifixion and then accepted responsibility for Yeshua's mother, Miriam. John was a passionate evangelist to Jews and Gentiles alike, one whom Yeshua knew would outlive the other apostles (John 21:20-23). The fact that John is listed second after Peter in this narrative indicates his prominence among the apostles. John possessed a keen intellect and left an inspired literary contribution to the apostolic canon. He produced perhaps the most theological narrative of Yeshua's life, as well as three letters and the book of Revelation. For more on the background of John see my article Witnesses of the Good News.
were going up: Grk. anabainō, impf., to proceed in a direction that is up, go up. to: Grk. eis, prep. that focuses on entrance, frequently in relation to direction toward a goal or place and consequent arrival; into, to, towards. the Temple: Grk. hieron, sanctuary or temple (subst. neut. of the adj. hieros, 'sacred, holy'). When used of the Temple in Jerusalem hieron applies to the entire 35-acre complex with its courts, rooms and chambers, in contrast to naos, which refers to the sanctuary where priests offered sacrifices. For a description of the construction and characteristics of the temple see my comment on Mark 11:11. See an illustration here. at: Grk. epi, prep. used primarily as a marker of position or location; 'at, in, on, upon, over.'
the hour: Grk. hōra may mean (1) a short space of time, the twelfth part of a day; hour; (2) fig. for a period of time in the day; "the hour was already late;" or (3) fig. for a point of time as occasion for action or for an event; time. The first usage applies here. of prayer: Grk. proseuchē, a general word for prayer in the apostolic writings, appearing in contexts of worship, personal requests and intercession for others. In the LXX proseuchē renders Heb. tephillah (SH-8605), occurring numerous times in the Psalms. The noun is derived from the verb palal (SH-6419), lit. means "to intervene or to interpose" (DNTT 2:863). The presence of the definite article points to a particular time of prayer and worship, such as the daily prayer services at the Temple.
the ninth: Grk. enatos, adj., ninth, generally in reference to a series. A number of versions translate the adj. as "three o'clock" (CEB, CEV, CJB, CSB, MSG, NCV, NEB, NET, NIRV, NLT, NRSV, WE), which is inaccurate. The ninth hour, measured from sunrise, is an hour, not a minute. Prayer services were customarily held three times a day (cf. Ps 55:17; Dan 6:10), at the third hour (9:00-10:00 am), the sixth hour (noon-1:00 pm) and the ninth hour (3:00-4:00 pm). Stern notes that according to one Talmudic source (Berachot 26b) the three prayer services were instituted after the fall of the First Temple to replace the sacrifices. The three services are called Shacharit ("morning"), Minchah ("afternoon") and Ma'ariv ("evening"). Determination of the time was made from an improvised sundial on a Temple stairway (cf. 2Kgs 20:9-11; Isa 38:8).
Lightfoot makes the mistake of assuming that this reference to the hour of prayer was on the day of Pentecost, but as Gill notes it was some day, or days after; perhaps the Sabbath following, when a great number of people got together. Given the temporal reference in 4:3, I suggest this event occurred on Sunday, the week after Pentecost.
2 and a certain man, being lame from the womb of his mother, was being carried, whom they placed every day at the gate of the temple, called Beautiful, to ask alms from those entering the temple.
and: Grk. kai, conj. a certain: Grk. tis, indefinite pronoun generally used to indicate non-specification; some one, any one, a certain one. Many versions don't translate the pronoun, but it serves emphasize the significance of the person. man: Grk. anēr, an adult man without regard to marital status. In the LXX anēr renders several Heb. words, but primarily: (1) ish, man; (2) enosh, men, people; (3) ba'al, lord, husband, head of a household (DNTT 2:562). The man's name is never given, but he was above 40 years of age (Acts 4:22). being: Grk. huparchō, pres. part., may mean (1) be present in a functional manner, or (2) to function or be in a state as determined by circumstance. The second meaning applies here, used of a physical condition; be. lame: Grk. chōlos, adj., crippled in the feet, limping, halting, lame (Mounce). The adjective covers a variety of structural problems that could limit or prevent mobility.
from: Grk. para, prep., with the root meaning of beside (DM 108), conveys association between persons, things, or circumstances, which may denote (1) a point of origin, from; or (2) a close association or proximity, with, beside, in the presence of. The first usage applies here. the womb: Grk. koilia, abdomen, here the female reproductive organ. The description of "lame from the womb" suggests a congenital defect rather than a trauma after birth. In addition, the muscles of his legs were likely atrophied due to lack of use. of his: Grk. autos, personal pronoun used to distinguish a person or thing from or contrast it with another, or to give him (it) emphatic prominence. The pronoun may mean (1) self, (2) he, she, it, or (3) the same. mother: Grk. mētēr (=Heb. ima) refers to a biological female parent.
was being carried: Grk. bastazō, impf. pass., may mean (1) take up something from a position; lift; (2) sustain a burden; bear, carry; (3) remove from a position; remove, pilfer, steal. The second meaning applies here. The fact of being carried indicates the disability precluded walking. The lame man was fortunate that he had friends or family members who brought him to the Temple, much as the four friends brought the invalid on his bed to Yeshua (Mark 2:3). whom: Grk. hos, relative pronoun used to give significance to the mention of a person, thing, or piece of information that precedes; who, which, what, that. they placed: Grk. tithēmi, impf., may mean (1) to arrange for association with a site, place or put; or (2) arrange for creation of role or status, make or appoint. The first meaning applies here.
every: Grk. kata, prep., the root meaning is "down," but the preposition is used here in a distributive sense of "among." day: Grk. hēmera may refer to (1) just the daylight hours, (2) the 24-hour period including the night, (3) an appointed day or (4) an imprecise period, such as a timeframe for accomplishing something or a time of life (BAG). The first meaning applies here. at: Grk. pros, prep., generally depicts motion toward a destination or goal ("to, toward"), but here of proximity after arrival. the gate: Grk. thura, a device for opening and closing an entranceway; door, gate. of the Temple: Grk. hieron. See the previous verse. According to Josephus there were ten gates that gave access to the temple area (Wars, V, 5:3).
called: Grk. legō, pres. pass. part., may mean (1) to make a statement or utterance, whether mentally, orally or in writing, often used to introduce quoted material; or (2) to call or give a name to a person or thing. The second meaning applies here. Beautiful: Grk. hōraios, adj., fair, blooming, beautiful. In the LXX hōraios renders several different words, all of which relate to physical appearance. Stern suggests the gate spoken of here may be the Nicanor Gate referred to in the Mishnah (Middot 2:3), which led from the Court of the Gentiles into the Court of the Women of the Temple. Josephus says that nine of the ten gates were covered over with gold and silver, but one gate on the east side was made of Corinthian brass, and covered over with silver and gold. When struck by the morning sun the Nicanor gate gleamed with great glory. The Mishnah mentions miracles being performed at that gate, which could imply this story.
to ask: Grk. aiteō, pres. inf., to ask in expectation of a response; ask, ask for, request. Some versions render the verb as "beg," which can have a pejorative connotation. alms: Grk. eleēmosunē, merciful disposition, regard for the needs of others; benevolence, kindness, charity, specifically gifts of alms. In the LXX eleēmosunē renders two important Hebrew words: (1) Heb. chesed (SH-2617), goodness, favor, kindness, first in Genesis 47:29. Chesed means proper covenant behavior, what partners in the covenant owe one another. (2) Heb. tsedaqah (SH-6666), righteousness, first in Deuteronomy 6:25. Mercy in the form of charity is righteousness because it conforms to the standards of Torah. The Torah contains no specific enactment concerning beggars or begging, since it makes ample provision for the relief and care of "the poor in the land."
Begging, however, came to be known to the Jews in the course of time with the development of the larger cities (ISBE). Although almsgiving for the poor is strongly advocated in the Tanakh, as well as other Jewish literature, begging for money was not approved. The first clear criticism of begging in Jewish literature is found in Sirach 40:28, "My son, do not lead the life of a beggar; it is better to die than to beg." This attitude is reflected in the remark of the unjust steward, "I am ashamed to beg" (Luke 16:3). Professional beggars were a despised class among the Hebrews, because they were physically able to work. Jewish communities were forbidden to support the professional beggar from the general charity fund (Baba Bathra 9a). However, it was likewise forbidden to drive a beggar away without any alms (B.B. 10a). This was especially true of those who begged because of a physical disability.
The prevalence of begging may be attributed to an inadequate system of ministering relief, the lack of remedies for serious diseases or maladies, and the impoverishment of the land under the excessive taxation of the Roman government. from: Grk. para. those: pl. of Grk. ho, definite article but used here as a demonstrative pronoun. entering: Grk. eisporeuomai, pres. mid. part., to go in, to come in, to enter, whether a locality or a structure. the temple: Grk. hieron.
3 who having seen Peter and John being about to enter into the temple, began asking to receive alms.
who: Grk. hos, relative pronoun. having seen: Grk. horaō, aor. part., to perceive physically with the eye, or in a fig. sense to experience something or to have extraordinary mental or inward perception. Peter and John: See verse 1 above. being about: Grk. mellō, pres. part., a future oriented verb with a pending aspect, being in the offing, be about to, be going to. to enter: Grk. eiseimi, pres. inf., enter an area, go in or into. into: Grk. eis, prep. the temple: Grk. hieron. See verse 1 above. began asking: Grk. erōtaō, impf., can mean (1) to ask with the focus on querying for information; or (2) to ask in the sense of making a request, frequently with the effort to soften the tone for what might sound peremptory. The second meaning applies here. The imperfect tense indicates continuous or repetitive action in past time. The verb clearly indicates that the lame man had focused on the two apostles.
to receive: Grk. lambanō, aor. inf. The verb marks the transit of something from a position to another person who is the agent with the latter being also the receptor; to take (in the active sense) or receive (in the passive sense). The lame man was ready to accept whatever was offered. alms: Grk. eleēmosunē. See the previous verse. The presumptive form of alms would be money. The man could reasonably expect that anyone going into the temple would have money in order to leave an offering in the treasury (cf. Mark 12:41). The money would be the Jewish shekel, since Roman coinage was not permitted within the Temple. Israelites were enjoined by God not to appear before Him empty-handed (Ex 23:15; 30:11-13; 34:20; Deut 16:16) and specifically to present their tithes and freewill offerings (Lev 27:30-31; Deut 14:22).
4 But Peter, having fixed his gaze at him, with John, said, "Look at us!"
But: Grk. de, conj. Peter: See verse 1 above. having fixed his gaze: Grk. atenizō, aor. part., look intently; to observe with great interest and a fastened or fixed gaze (HELPS). Metaphorically the verb means to fix the mind on something. at: Grk. eis, prep. See verse 1 above. Here the preposition marks the limit of the gaze. him: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. Peter's absolute concentration on the lame man may hint at his recognition of a divine appointment. with: Grk. sún, prep. used to denote association or connection, in this case the former. The preposition indicates a joint observation of the two apostles.
John: See verse 1 above. The preposition could also hint that it was John who was going to the Temple, and Peter decided to go with him. John apparently had a special connection to the Temple. The numerous allusions to the Temple in John's narrative of Yeshua and the book of Revelation suggest that John had intimate knowledge of the sacred site. Edersheim argues persuasively that John was of priestly lineage (106), as does Moseley (24). Consider the fact that Miriam, mother of Yeshua, was a blood relative of Elizabeth, a priest's wife descended from Aaron (Luke 1:5, 36), and thereby John through his mother Salome, sister of Miriam, would have had priestly connections. The name Yochanan had a priestly connection being given to the son of the priest Zechariah (Luke 1:13) and occurring in the names of those of high priestly descent in Acts 4:6.
Having priestly descent would account for John's personal acquaintance with the high priest (John 18:15, 16), which gave John access into the council-chamber itself with Yeshua at His trial, while Peter, for whom he had gained admittance to the palace, remained outside in the porch area. John, like other priests, had his own house in Jerusalem where he took the mother of Yeshua (John 19:27) and where Miriam of Magdala found John and Peter together on the morning of the resurrection (John 20:2). In John 20:5 Peter rushed into the tomb while John hesitated outside. According to Jewish law, John would have defiled himself had he entered a room where there was a dead body. So, the evidence for John's connection with the Jerusalem Temple is very strong.
said: Grk. legō, aor. See verse 2 above. Look: Grk. blepō, aor. imp., may mean (1) possess the physical ability to see; (2) use one's eyes to take note of an object; (3) be looking in a certain direction; or (4) to have inward or mental sight. The second meaning has application here. at: Grk. eis. us: Grk. hēmeis, pl. pronoun of the first person. Peter's entreaty may imply that the lame man did not make eye contact with people as they went by him. The man could have interpreted Peter's words to mean, "Do we look like we have much money?" Yet, Peter's request treats the beggar as a person worthy of notice and invites a relationship.
5 And he was paying heed to them, expecting to receive something from them.
And: Grk. de, conj. he: Grk. ho, definite article, but used here as a demonstrative pronoun. was paying heed: Grk. epechō, impf., notice intently; observe, pay close attention to, focus on. to them: pl. of Grk. autos, personal pronoun. expecting: Grk. prosdokaō, pres. part., be on alert for; expect, wait for, look for. to receive: Grk. lambanō, aor. inf. See verse 3 above. something: Grk. tis, indefinite pronoun. from: Grk. para, prep. See verse 2 above. them: pl. of Grk. autos. The lame man may have been surprised that Peter spoke to him. Probably nobody ever spoke to him while he sat at the Temple gate, but Peter's declaration gave the man some hope. Noteworthy in this story is the fact that the lame man did not ask to be healed. He was only seeking some financial support.
6 Now Peter said, "Silver and gold is not possessed by me, but what I have, I give this to you: in the name of Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah, walk!"
Now: Grk. de, conj. Peter said: Grk. legō, aor. See verse 2 above. Silver: Grk. argurion may mean (1) the precious metal silver and fig. of wealth; (2) silver as a medium of exchange, money in general; or (3) specifically a silver coin. The first meaning applies here. and: Grk. kai, conj. gold: Grk. chrusion (diminutive of chrusos, gold) may mean (1) the precious metal of gold, fig. of wealth; (2) precious things and ornaments made from gold; or (3) a coin minted with gold. The first meaning applies here. When the two metals are listed together in Scripture silver is normally mentioned before gold due to being considered more valuable. The combination of "silver and gold" also serves as an expression of significant wealth (Gen 24:35; Deut 8:13; 1Kgs 10:25; Eccl 2:8; Dan 5:23).
is not: Grk. ou, adv., a particle used in an unqualified denial or negation. possessed: Grk. huparchō, pres. See verse 2 above. The verb is used here to indicate that which is at one's disposal, such as property or holdings. by me: Grk. egō, pronoun of the first person. The dative case of the pronoun would imply Peter meant "these things have not been given to me." but: Grk. de, conj. what: Grk. hos, relative pronoun. I have: Grk. echō, pres., to have, hold or possess with a wide range of application: e.g., (1) hold in one's hands, wear, preserve, seize; (2) have as one's own or at hand, possess; (3) have with oneself or in one's company (BAG). The third meaning applies here.
I give: Grk. didōmi, pres., generally to give something to someone, often with the focus on generosity, but may be used to mean bestow, hand over, impart, entrust, yield, put, or sacrifice (BAG). The verb denotes giving without expectation of payment or reward. this: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pronoun signifying a person or thing set forth in narrative that precedes or follows it; this. to you: Grk. su, pronoun of the second person. in: Grk. en, prep. generally used to mark position, lit. "in" or "within."
the name: Grk. onoma is used in its central sense of identifying someone with a proper name. In Hebrew literature "name" also carries the extended sense of qualities, powers, attributes or reputation. In the LXX onoma translates Heb. shem (SH-8034), name, used for both the proper name of people and places, and also fig. of reputation. The saying "in the name" is not a ritual formula but a declaration of the authority behind the action that follows.
of Messiah: Grk. Christos (from chriō, to anoint), the expected fulfiller of the hopes of Israel for an end-time deliverer, the Messiah. In Greek culture christos had no religious connotation at all and described someone smeared with whitewash, cosmetics or paint (DNTT 2:334). Jewish translators of the LXX chose Christos to render Heb. Mashiach (SH-4899), Anointed One, and in so doing infused new meaning into the Greek word. Mashiach is used in the Tanakh for the Messiah the hope of Israel (Ps 2:2; Dan 9:25-26), and this usage defined the term among Jews in the first century. For a discussion of Jewish hope and expectation of the Messiah see my article The Messiah.
Yeshua: Grk. Iēsous, a transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua ("Jesus" in Christian Bibles). Yeshua is a contraction of the Hebrew name Y’hoshua ("Joshua"), which means "YHVH [the LORD] is salvation" (BDB 221). The meaning of his name is explained to Joseph by an angel of the Lord, "You shall call his name Yeshua, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matt 1:21). For more information on the meaning our Lord's name, his identity, and the history of translation of the name see my web article Who is Yeshua?.
the Nazarene: Grk. ho Nazōraios, "the Nazarene." The noun with the definite article indicates a title of distinction (Gloag). Stern notes that in the Talmud Yeshua is referred to as Yeshu HaNotzri, "Jesus the Nazarene" (Berachot 17b; Sotah 47a) (15). Most Bible versions translate the noun as "of Nazareth" even though the Greek text does not have Natzeret (SG-3478), the Greek name for Nazareth. Some versions do translate the noun as "the Nazarene" (AMP, CEB, DLNT, EHV, HCSB, LEB, LITV, MPNT, MRINT, MSG, NASB, NET, NLT, YLT). The MW and TLV use the Hebrew form of the title ha-Natzrati. See my comment on Acts 2:22 for the significance of the title.
walk: Grk. peripateō, pres. imp., to engage in pedestrian activity; go about; walk about, walk around, walk. See the Textual Note below. It's noteworthy that Peter did not command the man to stand. The imperative mood is not intended to convey a command in the sense of obeying a law, but an entreaty designed to convey hope that the impossible is possible. Such a command would not seem ridiculous to Peter who had witnessed Yeshua heal lame people on various occasions (Matt 15:30-31; 21:14; John 5:9).
A number of versions have the words "rise up and" (or words to that effect) before "walk" (CSB, CEB, CEV, ESV, GNB, KJV, NCV, NET, NIRV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, OJB, TLV). Omitting the words are CJB, GW, MSG, NASB, NEB, NIV, NOG and NJB. The great majority of MSS have the words egeire kai ("arise and"), but two early witnesses Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, as well as four other MSS, do not have the words (GNT 426). The UBS-4 translation committee gave the words a "C" rating, which means the committee had difficulty in deciding which variant to place in the text (Metzger 257). The majority of the committee actually considered it more probable that the words were present originally, but in deference to the strong combination of the early witnesses that support the shorter reading, it was decided to enclose them within brackets.
7 And having taken hold of him by the right hand, he raised him; moreover immediately his feet and ankles were strengthened.
And: Grk. kai, conj. having taken hold: Grk. piazō, aor. part., to lay hold of or take under control, used here in the sense lending physical assistance. of him: Grk. autos, personal pronoun; used of the lame man. by the right: Grk. dexios, right as a direction or location, used here of a bodily member. hand: Grk. cheir, the anatomical limb of the hand. The description indicates that Peter was right-handed. On can only wonder whether in that moment Peter recalled when he was the beneficiary of a helping hand. Yeshua had invited him to walk on the water, but being distracted his confidence failed and he began to sink. When Peter appealed to Yeshua for help, Yeshua reached out his hand and took hold of him (Matt 14:31).
he raised: Grk. egeirō, aor., to rise or raise, is used with a variety of meanings: (1) to arouse from sleep, to awake; (2) to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life; (3) to cause to rise or raise, from a seat or bed; or (4) to raise up, produce, cause to appear, such as appear before the public or a judge, erect a building, or incite opposition. The third meaning applies here. Egeirō appears frequently in the Besekh in reference to resurrection. We might say that in a fig. sense Peter exhorts the man to take hold of resurrection power, since healing would give him a new life. him: Grk. autos. moreover: Grk. de, conj. immediately: Grk. parachrēma, adv., instantly, immediately or at once. There was not even an instant of delay. his: Grk. autos. feet: pl. of Grk. basis, stepping or step, then that with which one steps, the foot. The noun occurs only here in the Besekh.
and: Grk. kai. ankles: pl. of Grk. sphudron, ankle or ankle bone. The noun occurs only here in the Besekh. were strengthened: Grk. stereoō, aor. pass., make firm, used here of restoring strength and stability to a leg. Luke as a physician identifies the source of the man's disability as in his feet and ankles. The weakness in the bones had led to atrophy in the leg muscles. Now creation power shot through the man's blood vessels, bones, tissues and tendons. This was no ordinary providential kind of miracle, but a miracle on the order of Yeshua's healing the man blind from birth and raising Lazarus from the dead. Luke's description illustrates God's repeated use of human agents to assist in the healing process. When Yeshua first sent out His disciples part of their mission statement was to "heal the sick" (Matt 10:8; Luke 10:9).
After Pentecost the apostles continued their healing ministry. In this story healing began with Peter seizing the man's hand to help him stand. God did the rest. Scripture includes guidance on how to minister to the bodies and souls of men (Heb 12:12-13; Jas 5:14-16; 1Pet 2:24). Seeking help from medical practitioners is entirely appropriate (Matt 9:12). They are part of God's plan for healing. Since God desires to heal, it would be foolish to ignore a treatment plan from a doctor or other medical practitioner that would help the body to heal. See my article Divine Healing.
8 And leaping up he stood and began walking; and he entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.
And: Grk. kai, conj. The healing was manifested by three action verbs. leaping up: Grk. exallomai, pres. part., leap up or spring up. The verb occurs only here in the Besekh. However, the verb occurs six times to translate five different Hebrew words, four of which describe a characteristic of an animal (Joel 2:5; Mic 2:12; Hab 1:8; Nah 3:17). Two times there is a parallel to the usage here: for Heb. dalag (SH-1801), to leap, occurring in a psalm of David in which he exclaims that by God's power he can leap over a wall (2Sam 22:30), and then for Heb. patsach (SH-6476), to burst forth with joyous shout, used in the poetic line of Isaiah 55:12 that the mountains and the hills will burst out in joyous singing in celebration for receiving the mercy of God.
he stood: Grk. histēmi, aor., may mean (1) cause to be in a place or position; or (2) be in an upright position, used of bodily posture. The second meaning applies here. This would be the first time the man had stood upright in his life. We can only imagine the wonder the man experienced as he realized he could now look directly into the eyes of others. and: Grk. kai. began walking: Grk. peripateō, impf. See verse 6 above. With the atrophy in his limbs banished the man easily gained mobility by advancing his feet alternately, marveling at each step. and: Grk. kai. he entered: Grk. eiserchomai, aor., to go or enter into a geographical area, manufactured structure or other place defined in the context. The verb implies passing through the gate. with: Grk. sún, prep. See verse 4 above. them: pl. of Grk. autos, personal pronoun. The man stayed close to the two apostles.
into: Grk. eis, prep. See verse 1 above. the temple: Grk. hieron. See verse 1 above. The location is appropriate to display the mighty power of God. Going "into the Temple," implies the Court of the Women, perhaps even into the Court of the Israelites, effectively interrupting the prayer service. walking: Grk. peripateō, pres. part. and: Grk. kai. leaping: Grk. hallomai, pres. part., to move or surge upward quickly; leap, spring up. The verb occurs only three times in the Besekh, first in John 4:14 to describe living water springing up into eternal life and lastly in Acts 14:10 to describe the outcome of healing a man lame from the womb. The action of leaping fulfilled the Messianic promise of Isaiah 35:6, "Then the lame will leap like a deer." and: Grk. kai. praising: Grk. aineō, pres. part., to give recognition for extraordinary performance, to praise, to extol or celebrate. The verb is used in Jewish literature of only praise of God (BAG). This man's response to being healed is in sharp contrast to the lame man whom Yeshua healed at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:8-15).
God: Grk. theos, God or god, which must be determined from the context. In secular Greek writings a number of deities, always represented in anthropomorphic form, were called theos. In ancient polytheistic culture theos was not one omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, Creator and ruler of the universe as described in Scripture (Gen 1─3; John 1:1-3; Rom 1:25). In the LXX theos primarily renders the name of the Creator God Elohim (2568 times), but sometimes YHVH (300 times) (DNTT 2:67-70). Given the plural nature of Elohim the full triunity of God must be represented in theos. The only God in existence is the God who created the heavens and the earth out of nothing (Gen 1:1) and who chose Israel out of all the nations on the earth for a covenantal relationship (Ex 19:5; Isa 44:6; 45:5-6; 46:9).
Thus, theos is not just a representative word for monotheism. God is a Person, not a philosophical construct. In the Besekh theos is used overwhelmingly for the God of Israel. The God of Israel is the only God there is. The deities of all other religions and cults are the product of Satan-inspired imagination. Other religions do not worship the same God as Christians and Jews, because if they did they would not hate Jews and Israel and they would bow down to the Jewish Messiah.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God;
And: Grk. kai, conj. all: Grk. pas, adj., comprehensive in scope, but without statistical emphasis; all, every. The singular form views the group as a whole. the people: Grk. laos, a group of humans, understood geographically or ethnically and in Scripture often viewed in contrast with the ruling class. The term corresponds to the Heb. am-ha'aretz, "people of the land," i.e., the people of Israel. saw: Grk. horaō, aor. See verse 3 above. him: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. walking: Grk. peripateō, pres. part. See verse 6 above. and: Grk. kai. praising: Grk. aineō, pres. part. See the previous verse. God: Grk. theos. See the previous verse. The attention of the people was diverted from the ordinary activities of the temple to the extraordinary event that had taken place among them.
10 and they recognized him that he was the one sitting for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with awe and amazement at what had happened to him.
and: Grk. de, conj. they recognized: Grk. epiginōskō, impf., 'to know about,' which may be used (1) of familiarity with something/ someone through observation , experience or receipt of information; (2) of awareness or recognition based on previous knowledge; (3) in an increasing measure, really know, know well; or (4) with focus on acquisition of knowledge, find out. The second usage fits here. him: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. that: Grk. hoti, conj. that serves as a link between two sets of data, whether (1) defining a demonstrative pronoun; that; (2) introducing a subordinate clause as complementary of a preceding verb; (3) introducing a direct quotation and functioning as quotation marks; or (4) indicating causality with an inferential aspect; for, because, inasmuch as. The first usage applies here.
he: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pronoun. See verse 6 above. was: Grk. eimi, impf., to be, a function word used primarily to declare a state of existence, whether in the past ('was, were'), present ('are, is') or future ('will be'), often to unite a subject and predicate (BAG). the one: Grk. ho, definite article. sitting: Grk. kathēmai, pres. mid. part., be at rest on the haunches, to sit down or to take a seat. for: Grk. pros, prep., lit. "near or facing" (DM 110), used here to express an intended end or purpose (Thayer). alms: Grk. Grk. eleēmosunē. See verse 2 above. at: Grk. epi, prep. the Beautiful: Grk. hōraios, adj. See verse 2 above. Gate: Grk. pulē, a large door; an entrance-gate to a city or fortress; a door-gate. The term typically refers to the exit people go out (HELPS). of the temple: Grk. hieron. See verse 1 above.
and: Grk. kai, conj. they were filled: Grk. pimplēmi, aor. pass., to cause to be in a condition that allows for no further addition, to be filled. The verb implies filled to one's (individual) capacity (HELPS). with awe: Grk. thambos, amazement, astonishment, awe. The term refers to someone who becomes stunned (dumbfounded) at what they see or hear; a state of amazement due to the suddenness and unusualness of the phenomenon, with either a positive or a negative reaction, here positive (HELPS). and: Grk. kai. amazement: Grk. ekstasis (from existēmi, "remove from a standing position, astonish"), the noun reflects a mental displacement from a normal condition; being astounded over something beyond what one normally thinks possible. The noun can also convey the idea of a person experiencing a state in which the mind reaches far beyond the powers of ordinary perception (HELPS).
at: Grk. epi. what: Grk. ho. had happened: Grk. sumbainō, perf. pass., take place as an event; happen, come to pass. to him: Grk. autos. The creation miracle had an extraordinary impact on the people present at the temple. They were eyewitnesses of God's mercy and power. Many of them had no doubt witnessed miracles performed by Yeshua, and in particular the lame man he healed at the pool of Bethesda near the Sheep Gate (John 5:2-9). The coincidence of two incredible miracles of lame men being healed in proximity of the temple just two years apart could not be missed. The people were overwhelmed with the realization that God was still doing marvelous things in their midst.
11 Now as he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people, greatly amazed, ran together to them at the portico called 'Solomon.'
Now: Grk. de, conj. as he: Grk. autos, personal pronoun, alluding to the healed man. was clinging: Grk. krateō, pres. part., may mean (1) gain control of; secure, arrest, seize; or (2) have firm hold on; take hold of, hold fast, hold to. The second meaning applies here. to Peter and John: See verse 1 above. all: Grk. pas, adj. See verse 9 above. the people: Grk. laos. See verse 9 above. greatly amazed: Grk. ekthambos, adj., very excited, quite amazed. The adjective indicates being utterly astonished, stressing the impact on the viewer in a powerful, personal way (HELPS). The word occurs only here in the Besekh. ran together: Grk. suntrechō, aor., to come on the run together, to hurry together. to them: pl. of Grk. autos. at: Grk. epi, prep.
the portico: Grk. stoa, an ambulatory consisting of a roof supported by columns placed at regular intervals, portico. Some versions have "porch," which is misleading since a porch is strictly an exterior structure forming a covered approach to the entrance of a building. called: Grk. kaleō, pres. pass. part., to identify by name or give a term to; call. Solomon: Grk. Solomōn, a transliteration of Heb. Shelômôh ("His peace"), the tenth son of David and the second son of Bathsheba (2Sam 12:24). He succeeded David to the throne and reigned forty years about 1000 B.C. Solomon is remembered most for his wisdom, his extensive building program, his immense wealth generated through trade, and especially for multiplying horses and wives contrary to Torah (Deut 17:16-17).
Solomon was credited with composing 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs (1Kgs 4:32). Three books in the Tanakh are attributed to him: Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes, as well as Psalm 72 and 127. His wisdom was even sought out by the Queen of Sheba (1Kgs 10:1). The grand temple constructed in Jerusalem was based on plans by his father David (1Kgs 6:38; 1Chr 28:11-18), who told Solomon that the plans came from ADONAI (1Chr 28:19). The construction of the temple is detailed in 1Kings 5—8. David had wanted to build a temple for ADONAI but God revealed that his son would be the one to have that honor (2Sam 7:13; 1Kgs 8:17-20; Acts 7:46-47).
Josephus alludes to the portico ("cloister," Ant. XV, 11:3; XX, 9:7; Wars V, 5:1), originally a colonnaded wall that provided a border for the temple complex. At the time Herod rebuilt the temple only the eastern wall of that border still stood. Herod had it incorporated into the redesign of the temple. The portico of Solomon was located on the eastern side of the Court of the Gentiles and should not to be confused with the Royal Stoa, which was on the southern side of the Temple complex. The portico of Solomon had double columns, whereas the Royal Stoa had four rows of columns (ISBE). Apparently the portico of Solomon was the place where the scribes normally held their schools (Morris 518).
The transition in Luke's narrative implies the conclusion of the prayer service. Peter and John with the healed man departed the Court of the Women, walked across the Court of the Gentiles and stopped in the colonnaded area of Solomon's portico. The crowd ran after them, intensely curious about the miracle. The first mention of the portico is John 10:23, which describes Yeshua walking in this area on Hanukkah, the festival of light. On that occasion the Temple authorities demanded that Yeshua tell them plainly whether he was the Messiah. He said to them,
"I told you, and you are not trusting. The works that I do in the name of my Father, these testify about me. But you are not trusting, because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life." (John 10:25-28 BR)
Yeshua proclaimed the word of God in this portico following the creation miracle of healing the man born blind (John 9:1-7). Now another creation miracle had occurred and the portico of Solomon became an auspicious location for Peter to proclaim the message of salvation. The voice of Yeshua would call to his sheep through Peter.
12 But Peter having seen it, answered to the people, "Men, Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Or, why are you staring at us, as if by our own power or godliness we have made him to walk?
But: Grk. de, conj. Peter having seen it: Grk. horaō, aor. part. See verse 3 above. The verb alludes to the action of the people described in the previous verse. answered: Grk. apokrinomai, aor. mid., make a response to a specific query or to answer someone, whether to a question, request, exhortation, command, etc. In the LXX apokrinomai renders Heb. anah (SH-6030), to answer or respond to something said, whether in conversation or a legal proceeding, used first in Genesis 18:27 in Abraham's dialog with ADONAI. to: Grk. pros, prep. See verse 10 above. Here the preposition denotes being in company with others and speaking face to face. the people: Grk. laos. See verse 9 above.
Men: pl. of Grk. anēr, voc. case. See verse 2 above. The direct address of "men" would include proselytes. Israelites: Grk. pl. of Grk. Israēlitēs, voc. case, a descendant of Israel the patriarch and member of the people of Israel. Many versions render the direct address as "Men of Israel," but both nouns are in the vocative case. Such an address would require the genitive case of Grk. Israēl. Calling them "Israelites" gives emphasis to their covenant identity distinguished from the proselytes. Peter also uses the name to call the crowd back to their single identity as a nation descended from Jacob in contrast to the multiple Judaisms or parties by which Jews identified themselves in the first century.
why: Grk. tís, interrogative pronoun. are you amazed: Grk. thaumazō, pres., be extraordinarily impressed; to wonder, be amazed, astonished, impressed, surprised. at: Grk. epi, prep. this: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pronoun. Stern comments that the start of Peter's speech is so Jewish! The crowd had just witnessed an unbelievable miracle, and he asks, deadpan, "What are you all acting so surprised about?" Or: Grk. ē, conj. used to denote an alternative. why: Grk. tís. are you staring: Grk. atenizō, pres. See verse 4 above. at us: Grk. hēmeis, pl. pronoun of the first person, used of the two apostles. as if: Grk. hōs, adv. with the primary function of connecting narrative components and used here to offer a subjective perspective to the quality of a person, as to be equivalent.
by our own: Grk. idios, adj., belonging to oneself, one's own. Peter deflects attention from himself to give glory to God. power: Grk. dunamis, the quality or state of being capable, here as an exhibition of a singular capability to perform a wondrous deed or miracle. Peter denies he has the innate ability to heal, let alone perform a creation miracle. Yeshua certainly sent his apostles to heal (Matt 10:8), but they relied on the Lord's inherent ability as verse 6 above indicates. or: Grk. ē. godliness: Grk. eusebeia, devotion to and awesome reverence for God and religious tradition, a characteristic highly valued in Jewish culture; devoutness, godliness, piety. The term properly indicates someone's inner response to the things of God which shows itself in godly piety or reverence (HELPS).
we have made: Grk. poieō, perf. part., a verb of physical action that may refer to (1) producing something material; make, construct, produce, create; or (2) to be active in bringing about a state of condition; do, act, perform, work. The first meaning applies here. In the LXX poieō renders chiefly Heb. asah (SH-6213), accomplish, do, make, work (first in Gen 1:7), and used of a wide range of human and divine activity. him: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. to walk: Grk. peripateō, aor. inf. See verse 6 above. Peter alludes to the generally accepted belief that God rewards goodness and rebuts the notion that his own piety had any influence on God healing the lame beggar. Peter then begins an impromptu sermon inspired by the Holy Spirit.
13 The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Yeshua, whom you indeed delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, who had decided to release him.
The God: Grk. theos, the God of Israel. See verse 8 above. of Abraham: Grk. Abraam, a transliteration of Heb. Avraham, a personal name. The first Hebrew patriarch, he became the prime example of trusting faithfulness. He was the son of Terah, a descendant of Noah's son, Shem (Gen 11:27). He grew up in Ur of the Chaldees, a prominent Sumerian city. He was known at the beginning as Abram ("father is exalted"), but his name was changed subsequently to Abraham ("father of a multitude") (Gen 17:5). Abraham was living in Haran when God called him to migrate to Canaan, and during his sojourn there God spoke to him and established a covenant with him. For more information on the great patriarch see my web article The Story of Abraham.
and: Grk. kai, conj. the God: Grk. theos. of Isaac: Grk. Isaak, a transliteration of Heb. Yitschaq ("laughter"), the only son of Abraham by Sarah when Abraham was one hundred years old and Sarah was ninety (Gen 21:1-6). Isaac was actually Abraham's second-born child, Ishmael being his first-born by Hagar, Abraham's concubine-wife. God made it clear to Abraham that being the child of promise the Messianic line would go through Isaac (Gen 21:12). Isaac became a child of sacrifice and a type of Yeshua when God commanded Abraham to kill his son in a worship ceremony in the "land of Moriah" (Gen 22:1-14), in the vicinity where Yeshua would be crucified. Later, through the matchmaking efforts of his father, Isaac married his second cousin Rebekah (Gen 22:15, 51, 57-58, 67). God reiterated the covenant He made with Abraham with his son Isaac (Gen 26:2-5, 23-24; Ex 2:24; 6:4; Lev 26:42).
and: Grk. kai. the God: Grk. theos. of Jacob: Grk. Iakōb attempts to transliterate Heb. Ya'akov ("Jacob"). The meaning of Jacob's name, "heel-catcher," originally had no pejorative connotation. As indicated by Hosea 12:3, "heel-catcher" illustrated the strength and power he had with God. (For more on the background of Jacob see my web article Our Father Jacob.) God reiterated the Abrahamic covenant with Isaac's son Jacob (Gen 28:10-22; 35:9-12), affirming the same promises and specifying that the Messianic line would not go through Esau. The covenant with Jacob introduced something new: Jacob's name was changed to Israel ("God perseveres," BDB 975) and God promised that from him would come a nation and an assembly of nations (Gen 35:11). See the Textual Note below concerning this triple divine title.
the God: Grk. theos. of our: Grk. hēmeis, pl. pronoun of the first person. fathers: pl. of Grk. patēr, normally used of a male biological parent or ancestor, as well as frequently in reference to God. In the LXX patēr renders ab ("av"), which generally occurs in the human sense, but also of God as father in relation to Israel (Ex 4:22) (DNTT 1:616f). The use of "fathers" emphasizes the direct line of descent from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As a people Jews could rightly take pride in their descent from the patriarchs. The Torah may have been given to Moses, but all the covenantal promises began with Abraham. Several passages in the Tanakh declare God's love and covenant loyalty to the descendants of the fathers (Deut 9:5; Ps 105:6-9; Isa 41:8-9; 51:1-2; Jer 33:25-26; Mic 7:20).
Referring to God as directly associated with each of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) is a quotation from Exodus 3:6, a declaration God makes to Moses (also in Ex 3:15; 4:5). Yeshua himself had quoted this verse three days before his crucifixion to the Sadducees to demonstrate that God raised the dead (Matt 22:32; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37). In its original context the reminder to Moses of God's relationship to the patriarchs asserted God's deep concern for His covenant people and His intention to deliver them from Egyptian bondage. Thus, quoting from Exodus establishes the basis for the message of deliverance from sin in the present circumstances.
Stern also notes that the phrasing is found in the first paragraph of the Amidah, the central section of the Minchah ("afternoon") prayer service, which begins, "Blessed are You, Adonai our God and God of our fathers, God of Avraham, God of Yitzchak and God of Ya'akov…" and which his hearers would have recited in their minchah prayers in small groups throughout the Temple grounds, much as is done today at the Western Wall ("Wailing Wall") in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is ironic for Stern to mention the association of the triple divine title with the Amidah but not include it in his Complete Jewish Bible translation of this verse. The Messianic Tree of Life Version also inexplicably fails to present the full quotation from Exodus 3:6, but it is found in the Orthodox Jewish Bible.
has glorified: Grk. doxazō, aor., (from doxa, "glory"), enhance esteem or reputation through word (of praise) or action to honor. In the LXX doxazō renders Heb. navah (SH–5115), to beautify, adorn with praises (Ex 15:2), but principally kabad (SH–3513), to be weighty, to be honored or praised (Lev 10:3; Ps 15:4). His Servant: Grk. pais, one in a dependent capacity and used of (1) a child; (2) a personal or household servant; and (3) a royal attendant. The term is used here in a special sense as a title of the Messiah. N.T. Wright says that the meaning 'servant' is probably uppermost in pais, but inexplicably renders the word as "child" in his own translation of the verse (52, 54). In the LXX pais occurs 500 times and is used to translate ten different Hebrew words (DNTT 1:283). Pais renders Heb. ben, son (Prov 4:1) and Heb. na'ar (SH-5288), youth (Prov 1:4), but most often Heb. ebed (SH-5650), servant, first in Genesis 9:25, and often as servants of the king (+340 times).
It is in the translation of ebed that we find pais used in the special sense of the "servant of the LORD" (pais kuriou), first applied to Moses (Josh 1:6, 13; 9:24; 11:12, 15; 12:6; 13:8; 14:7; 18:7; 22:2, 5; 2Chr 1:3), but also Joshua (Josh 7:7) and David (Ps 18:Title; 36:Title). The comparable title "servant of God" (pais theou), is used of Moses (1Chr 6:49; 2Chr 24:9). In Solomon's dedication of the Temple he referred to his father David as the servant of the LORD God (YHVH Elohim, 2Chr 6:16). In the servant songs of Isaiah, God refers to Jacob/Israel as His servant (Isa 41:8-9; 42:1; 44:1-2, 21; 45:4), and then pais occurs in 52:1 where God introduces the Suffering Servant.
Yeshua: See verse 6 above. Yeshua is God's suffering servant spoken of in Isaiah 52–53. Yeshua was glorified in his resurrection and ascension to heaven. whom: Grk. hos, relative pronoun. you: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. indeed: Grk. mén, a particle of affirmation; indeed, verily, truly. Many versions do not translate the particle. delivered: Grk. paradidōmi, aor., to convey from one position to another, in general "to hand over," in this case a reference to subjecting Yeshua to arrest and a judicial process. and disowned: Grk. arneomai, aor. mid., to give a negative answer; say no, deny. The verb can mean (1) to contradict a statement or (2) to disown or repudiate. The second meaning is intended here. in: Grk. kata, prep.
the presence: Grk. prosōpon is used to mean (1) the face, by which someone is identified; (2) the countenance or visage projected by someone; and (3) a personal presence or the act of appearing before someone. The third meaning is intended here. of Pilate: Grk. Pilatos, Pontius Pilate was the fifth governor of Judaea from the time that Archelaus was deposed in A.D. 6. As a Roman province Judaea included the territories of Idumea, Judea and Samaria. Pilate ruled A.D. 26 to 36 and therefore the judge in the trial of Yeshua. For more information on Pilate see my note on John 18:29. who had decided: Grk. krinō, aor. part., has a wide variety of applications, but is used here as a legal term in reference to rendering a judicial decision (BAG).
In the LXX krinō is used mainly to translate three different Heb. words: din, rib and shaphat (DNTT 2:363). All three Hebrew words mean to judge in a legal sense e.g., Ruth 4:1-3; 1Sam 24:16; 2Sam 19:9). to release: Grk. apoluō, pres. inf., may mean (1) to set free from a condition or obligation, to release or to free; or (2) to cause to depart from a place, to send off or dismiss. The first meaning applies here. him: Grk. ekeinos, demonstrative pronoun. Peter reminds his hearers that Pilate's guilt is mitigated somewhat by the fact that he offered to release Yeshua. The chief priests categorically refused Pilate's offer of mercy.
14 But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and requested a murderer to be granted to you,
But: Grk. de, conj. you: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. Peter addresses the crowd as distinguished from the rulers (verse 17 below). Perhaps Peter recognized men who were part of the malevolent crowd at the public trial and execution of Yeshua (Matt 27:20-25; Mark 15:6-15). disowned: Grk. arneomai, aor. mid. See the previous verse. the Holy: Grk. hagios, adj. with the definite article, primarily means set apart for dedication to the interests or expectations of God. In this sense things, places, people, and angels are deemed holy by virtue of being consecrated to God, that is, "wholly His." Hagios is also used to denote a character quality of ethical purity. In the LXX hagios translates Heb. qadosh (SH-6918), which means separate, sacred, holy. Qadosh is first used of God in Leviticus 11:44.
Yeshua could be called holy for five different reasons. First, Yeshua was holy is the same sense as every other first born Jewish male. Luke's narrative of Yeshua's infant presentation at the Temple quotes the Torah passage that the firstborn son who opens the womb is called holy (Luke 2:23; Ex 13:2). Second, he is called the "the Holy One of God" (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69; Acts 2:27; 13:35) as a Messianic title. Third, he was holy because he was full of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1). Fourth, Yeshua is holy in that he was set apart by the Father to do His will (1Pet 1:15). Fifth, Yeshua is holy as an inherent divine quality (Heb 7:26; 1Jn 2:20; Rev 3:7; 6:10; 15:4).
and: Grk. kai, conj. Righteous One: Grk. dikaios, adj., being in accord with God's covenantal standards expressed in Torah for acceptable behavior, upright or just. In the LXX dikaios renders Heb. tsaddiq (SH-6682), 'just or righteous' (BDB 843). In Scripture a just man is one who is blameless or innocent of wrongdoing, one who follows the ethical and moral demands of Torah. Yeshua is referred to by the dual adjectives "holy and righteous" by the angel of the waters (Rev 16:5). Referring to Yeshua as the Righteous One could have two meanings. First, the "Righteous One" would be a Messianic title (also in Acts 7:52; 22:14) as found in the Tanakh,
"The Righteous One, My Servant will make many righteous and He will bear their iniquities" (Isa 53:11 TLV).
"Behold, days are coming"—it is a declaration of ADONAI—"when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and He will reign as king wisely, and execute justice and righteousness in the land" (Jer 23:5 TLV; also in 33:15).
Second, calling Yeshua the "Righteous One" serves as a rebuttal to the slander of the ruling council that he was a sinner (John 9:16, 24; cf. 2Tim 4:8; 1Jn 2:1). Many people in Scripture are called righteous precisely because they walked with God and lived by God's commandments, including Abel (Matt 23:35; Heb 11:4), Noah (Gen 6:9), Job (Job 1:1; 9:20), Lot (2Pet 2:7), Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:6), Joseph (Matt 1:19), Miriam (Luke 1:47-48), Simeon (Luke 2:25), Joseph of Arimathea (Luke 23:50) and Cornelius (Acts 10:22). Of interest is that Yochanan the Immerser is called both righteous and holy (Mark 6:20). However, only Yeshua could be considered as without sin (Heb 4:15).
and: Grk. kai. requested: Grk. aiteō, aor. mid. See verse 2 above. a murderer: Grk. phoneus, one who commits unjustified intentional homicide. Peter alludes to Barabbas, who had been imprisoned for insurrection and murder (Mark 15:7). to be granted: Grk. charizomai, aor. pass. inf., may mean (1) to grant as a favor, to give graciously to; or (2) to discharge from obligation, including forgiveness, whether a financial obligation or liability for offense or wrongdoing. The first meaning is intended here regarding an administrative procedure involving recognition of jurisdiction as a matter of policy and good will. to you: Grk. humeis. There was a custom that at Passover time the Romans would release a prisoner. The crowd and the rulers demanded Pilate that he release Barabbas in exchange for Yeshua. The contrast and difference between Yeshua and Barabbas is made crystal clear.
15 but you killed the Prince of life, whom God resurrected from death, of which we are witnesses.
but: Grk. de, conj. you killed: Grk. apokteinō, aor., 2p-pl., put an end by force to existence of someone; kill. The verb is used often of killing prophets of God (Matt 14:5; 23:37; Luke 11:47; Acts 7:52; 1Th 2:15), especially the plot by Judean leaders to kill Yeshua (Matt 16:21) and martyrdom of Yeshua's followers (Matt 24:9; John 16:2; Rev 2:13; 6:11). The verb is also used of homicide (Matt 21:39), accidental killing (Luke 13:4) and divine judgment (Rev 6:8). In the LXX apokteinō renders Heb. harag (SH-2026; BDB 246), kill or slay and used for homicide (Gen 4:8), mass revenge killing (Gen 34:25), penal execution (Ex 32:27), killing in war (Num 31:7), and planned massacre of Jews (Esth 3:13) (DNTT 1:429). The plural form of the verb hints at the conspiracy of the temple rulers to kill Yeshua, which no doubt dated from the early part of his ministry, because Yeshua had interfered with the extortion racket at the temple (John 2:13-16).
the Prince: Grk. archēgos, may mean (1) one in a a preeminent position; leader, prince, ruler; (2) one who begins something, as first in a series and thus supplies the impetus; or (3) an originator or founder (BAG). Either the first or third meanings may apply. The majority of versions favor the third meaning and have "Author" (or a synonym), but since the primary meaning of the English word is one who publishes a written work, it does not seem the best choice. A few versions have "Source" (AMP, GW, HCSB, ISV, NOG). The noun occurs only four times in the Besekh, all in reference to Yeshua (also Acts 5:31; Heb 2:10; 12:2).
In the LXX archēgos occurs 23 times and renders different Heb. words that denote leadership positions and the exercise of power, primarily rôsh (SH-7218), head, chief, first in Exodus 6:14 (then Num 10:4, 13:3; 14:4; 25:4; Deut 33:21; 1Ch 7:40; 8:28; Neh 7:71) (DNTT 1:165). Archēgos is also used to translate Heb. nasi (SH-5387), captain, ruler, chief (Num 13:2; 16:2), Heb. sar (SH-8269), chief, ruler, captain, prince (Neh 2:9; 7:70; Isa 30:4), and Heb. qatsin (SH-7101), a chief, ruler (Isa 3:6-7). Because of its Hebraic background some versions render the noun as "Prince" (ASV, HNV, KJV, MW, NASB, NJB, NKJV, NTE, TPT, WEB, YLT). Both Delitzsch and the OJB use the Hebrew word sar for "prince."
of life: Grk. zōē, the state of being alive in contrast with being dead. The Besekh not only uses zōē in its normal meaning of physical existence in the presence age, but over forty times for life that continues into the next age and eternity, half of which are in the writings of John. In the LXX zōē renders Heb. chay (SH-2416, alive, living) with both literal and figurative uses. Peter could intend "originator of life" in the same sense as John uses logos of Yeshua (John 1:3), but following the LXX usage Yeshua is the Prince of all life on the earth, the Savior of the world.
whom: Grk. hos, relative pronoun. God: Grk. theos. See verse 8 above. resurrected: Grk. egeirō, aor. See verse 7 above. Egeirō appears in Yeshua's prophecies of being raised on the third day from his arrest (Matt 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; Luke 9:22; 24:6). The verb graphically depicts the prone corpse of Yeshua lying on a tomb shelf being reanimated and transformed by the return of his spirit so that he could rise to an erect position and leave the tomb. Thus, God "brought him back to life" (GW, NOG, TLB). from: Grk. ek, prep. death: Grk. nekros may be used as (1) a noun, corpse or (2) adj., without life in the physical sense, being dead. The term, of course, applies to Yeshua's body not his spirit. Although nekros lacks the definite article most versions render the term as a noun "the dead," which may be misleading.
Peter does not mean "from a place," implying that Yeshua was raised from Hell (or Hades) as declared in the Apostles' Creed. (For this unbiblical claim see my article Is the Apostles' Creed Apostolic?) Peter means "death" as a condition or state. Several versions render nekros here as "death" (CEV, ERV, GNB, ICB, NMB, WE). Unlike previously resurrected people who had to die again, Yeshua was given victory over death so that he could never die again. Peter makes the point, which is uniformly and consistently declared in the Besekh, that God resurrected Yeshua from the state of being dead (Acts 2:32; 3:26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 37; 26:8; Rom 4:24-25; 7:4; 8:11; 10:9; 1Cor 6:14; 15:15; 2Cor 4:14; 5:15; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:20; Col 2:12; 1Th 1:10; 2Tim 2:8; 1Pet 1:21). Yeshua did not resurrect himself.
of which: Grk. hos. we: Grk. hēmeis, pl. pronoun of the first person. are: Grk. eimi, pres. See verse 1 above. witnesses: pl. of Grk. martus, one who attests the fact or truth of something, often used in a legal context of who testifies before a legal proceeding regarding first hand knowledge (cf. Matt 18:16; Acts 7:5). Peter repeats this from his first sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:32). The nature of the witness is of course what they have seen and heard and touched (1Jn 1:1). The identification of "we" at the very least includes John and Peter, which would satisfy the legal requirement for two witnesses to establish a fact (Deut 17:6; 19:15; Matt 18:16). Using the specific pronoun for "we" might imply all the apostles.
16 And on account of the faithfulness of his Name, this one whom you see and know, his Name has strengthened; and the faithfulness which is through him has given to him the wholeness before all of you.
And: Grk. kai, conj. on account of: Grk. epi, prep. See verse 1 above. With the dative case of the noun following the preposition is used here to denote the basis or reason for the effect of the deed (Thayer). Most versions begin the verse with "through" in order to introduce an assumed statement of Peter, but that preposition occurs in the second half of the verse. the faithfulness: Grk. pistis incorporates two primary facets of meaning, first that which causes trust and faith, i.e., faithfulness or reliability, and second, trust or confidence in an active sense (BAG). Almost all versions translate the noun as "faith." In the CJB Stern translates pistis as "trust" to more clearly signify to English-speakers the confident reliance on God, as opposed to mere mental assent.
Like other Bible commentators Stern assumes that the manifestation of pistis refers to the attitude of the healed man. Bruce says that the cripple would have known no benefit had he not responded in faith to what Peter said. On the contrary Yeshua healed people without any mention of trust by the healed person. In the case of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda Yeshua actually healed him against his will (John 5:7-9), for which the healed man reported Yeshua to the authorities. Yeshua also raised two men from the dead who could not have demonstrated faith (Luke 7:14-15; John 11:43-44). If the pistis mentioned here was a human attitude, then it could be attributed to Peter and John. They certainly had confidence that God would heal the man.
However, the use of pistis in the LXX provides important insight into Luke's narrative. Pistis is used two times in the LXX to render Heb. emun, 'faithfulness' (SH-529; BDB 53; Deut 32:20; Prov 13:17), but over 20 times renders Heb. emunah, firmness, steadfastness, or fidelity (SH-530; BDB 53), mainly of men's faithfulness (1Sam 26:23; 2Kgs 12:15; 22:7; Jer 5:1, 3; 7:28; 9:3; Hos 2:20), but also of God's faithfulness (Ps 33:4; Lam 3:23; Hab 2:4). Pistis also translates Heb. aman (SH-539), to confirm, to support (Jer 15:18); amanah (SH-548), fixed support (Neh 9:38; 11:23; SS 4:8); and emet (SH-571), firmness, faithfulness, or truth (Prov 14:22; Jer 28:9; 33:6). The LXX usage emphasizes that the intended meaning of pistis is faithfulness.
of his: Grk. autos, personal pronoun, genitive case. The antecedent of "his" would be the mention of "Yeshua" in verse 13 above, "the Holy and Righteous One" in verse 14, and the "author of life" in the previous verse. Name: Grk. to onoma, genitive case. See verse 6 above. Many versions have either "in his name" or "in the name of," even though the preposition en or eis, normally found in the expression "in the name of," is totally absent (e.g., Matt 28:19; John 3:18; Acts 3:6; 8:16; 19:5). Moreover, both onoma and autos are in the genitive case and the genitive case normally is expressed with "of the," not "in the." Since Peter was likely speaking in Hebrew to the crowd, then "the Name" renders Heb. HaShem, which is a Jewish circumlocution for the sacred name YHVH.
Longenecker is the only commentator consulted who affirms that to onoma was a pious Jewish surrogate for God and connoted his divine presence and power. (See Tracey Rich, The Name of G-d.) By asserting the faithfulness of God, Peter anticipates Paul's own emphasis on the faithfulness of God and His Messiah in Romans. (See my note on Romans 1:17). this one: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pronoun. whom: Grk. hos, relative pronoun. you see: Grk. theōreō, pres., may mean (1) pay attention to; look at, observe, watch, behold; (2) conclude on the basis of personal experience; consider, infer, see; or (3) have awareness in depth; perceive, experience. The first meaning has primary application here.
and: Grk. kai. know: Grk. oida, pres., to have seen or perceived, hence to know. The verb is used for experiential knowledge. In the LXX oida occurs frequently to render Heb. yada (SH-3045), to know, (e.g., Gen 3:5; 4:1), which in most occasions refers to a personal knowledge, primarily by experience but also by learning (DNTT 2:395). his: Grk. autos. Name: Grk. onoma. has strengthened: Grk. stereoō, aor. See verse 7 above. and: Grk. kai. the faithfulness: Grk. pistis. which is: Grk. ho, definite article, but used here as a demonstrative pronoun. through: Grk. dia, prep. used as a prefix to a statement, which may express (1) instrumentality; through, by means of; or (2) causality; on account of, because of. The first usage applies here. him: Grk. autos, that is, Yeshua. In other words, the power to heal the lame man was not in the words Peter spoke, but in the one whom God resurrected.
has given: Grk. didōmi, aor. See verse 6 above. to him: Grk. autos, that is, the healed man. the wholeness: Grk. holoklēria, a complete cure. HELPS says that the term properly refers to the condition of wholeness, where all the parts work together for "unimpaired health" This term occurs only here in the Besekh. In other words, God did a thorough work of rehabilitating the man's body so that now he would be able to live a normal life, pursue an occupation and have a family. before: Grk. apenanti, adv., in a position facing an entity, in sight of, thus before. all: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. See verse 9 above. of you: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. The individuals of the crowd, whom Peter addresses and who had formerly called for the crucifixion of Yeshua, were now eyewitnesses to the healing power of the man they condemned.
17 "And now, brothers, I know that you acted according to ignorance, just as also your rulers.
And: Grk. kai, conj. now: Grk. nun, adv., marker of time in the present; now or just now. brothers: pl. of Grk. adelphos, voc. case, lit. "of the same womb," and in secular Greek meant a male sibling; brother. In the apostolic narratives adelphos primarily refers to blood siblings or fellow Israelites who are of the same blood by virtue of descent from Jacob. In the LXX adelphos is used for the Heb. ach, meaning (1) brother, a male sibling born of the same mother and father (Gen 4:2); also half-siblings (Gen 20:5). Peter addresses the crowd on the basis of shared lineage. I know: Grk. oida, perf. See the previous verse. that: Grk. hoti, conj. that serves as a link between two sets of data, whether (1) defining a demonstrative pronoun; (2) introducing a subordinate clause as complementary of a preceding verb; (3) introducing a direct quotation and functioning as quotation marks; or (4) indicating causality with an inferential aspect. The second usage applies here.
you acted: Grk. prassō, aor., to engage in activity with focus on productivity; do, perform, engage in, carry out. Sometimes the verb prassō is associated with works that might be either good or bad (Rom 9:11; 2Cor 5:10), but most often this verb is associated with evil conduct (Luke 23:41; John 3:20; Acts 15:29; 16:28; 19:19, 36; 25:11, 25; 26:9, 31; Rom 1:32; 2:1-3; 7:15, 19; 13:4; 2Cor 12:21; Gal 5:21). according to: Grk. kata, prep. ignorance: Grk. agnoia (from agnoeō, not to know), may refer to (1) the state of being uninformed, which may be manifested as a lack of awareness and therefore excusable; or (2) a disregard of what is morally appropriate. BAG and Danker say the first meaning is intended here. Mounce says the word means ignorance or willfulness, but does not indicate a preference for this passage. Thayer seems to adopt a negative meaning, defining the term in this context as "moral blindness."
In the LXX agnoia is used mostly for Heb. asham (SH-817), guilt, offence, or error arising unintentionally and which required a guilt offering (Gen 26:10; 2Chr 28:13; Ezek 40:39; 42:13; 44:29; 46:20), but also Heb. shegagah (SH-7684), sin of error or inadvertence (Lev 5:18; 22:14; Eccl 5:6) (DNTT 2:406). In Greek culture ignorance was considered the root of all evil. In the Torah disobedience of God's commandments is the cause of evil. As the saying goes, "ignorance before the law is no excuse," and Jews knew the law. The interpretive question is "of what were they ignorant?" The crowd could not say: "We didn't know it was illegal to crucify an innocent man. We thought it was okay to release a murderer who should have been executed."
just as: Grk. hōsper, adv. of manner relating events and conditions, just as. also: Grk. kai. your: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. rulers: pl. of Grk. archōn, one who has eminence in a ruling capacity or one who has administrative authority. Among Jews the term is used of synagogue officials (Matt 9:18; Luke 8:41; Acts 14:5), religious party leaders (Luke 14:1), and members of the Sanhedrin (Luke 18:18; 23:13, 35; 24:20; John 3:1; 7:26; Acts 4:5, 8; 13:27; 23:5; 1Cor 2:8). The additional clause of comparing the crowd to the rulers clarifies what Peter meant by "ignorance." Paul described the ignorance of the Judean rulers when he said, "if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1Cor 2:8 NASB). According to Paul the ignorance of the rulers was of the hidden plan of salvation through the Messiah.
However, this ignorance did not remove the culpability of the malicious mob or the Sanhedrin in the death of Yeshua. Peter had already accused the rulers of unlawful killing in his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:23, 36-38). He will confront the rulers again over their complicity in the crucifixion (Acts 4:10; 5:30). If individuals in the crowd could truly be excused by virtue of ignorance then what is the basis for the command to repent in verse 19 below? If a mob demonstrates for a murderer to be released and an innocent man to be killed instead, how can they be acquitted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice? Ignorant does not mean innocent. In reality Paul did not acquit the rulers of wrongdoing by virtue of their ignorance of God's plan. In fact, he excoriates the Judean authorities in his letter to the congregation in Thessalonica, by pointing out that they "killed both the Lord Yeshua and the prophets and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God and hostile to all people" (1Thess 2:15 TLV).
But: Grk. de, conj. what: pl. of Grk. hos, relative pronoun. The plural pronoun affirms that the prophecies had multiple aspects. God: Grk. theos. See verse 8 above. announced beforehand: Grk. prokatangellō, aor., announcing something before it happens; foretold, predicted. The verb occurs only two times in the Besekh (also Acts 7:52 in Stephen's sermon). by: Grk. dia, prep., lit. "through." the mouth: Grk. stoma, the organ of the mouth. The message from God was oral before it was written. of all: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. See verse 9 above. the prophets: pl. of Grk. prophētēs, one who is gifted with the ability for interpretation or revelation transcending normal insight or awareness, i.e., a prophet. In ancient Greek culture the word-group always had a religious meaning and referred to one who predicts or tells beforehand (DNTT 3:76).
The Hebrew prophets were wholly devoted to the God of Israel and could be trusted to speak on His behalf, whether foretelling (predicting or telling beforehand) or forth-telling (declaring a message to be heeded). The prophets offered four types of messages: (1) allegation, naming sins and warning Israel and Judah of the sins that will lead to judgment; (2) judgment, announcing consequences in the form of disasters and foreign oppression; (3) instruction, teaching how to avoid wrath and turn back to God; and (4) future hope, promises of restoration and revival, including promises of Messiah.
The record of the Tanakh indicates considerable variance in the activity and ministry of prophets. They were a diverse group with different personalities, vocations and manner of ministry. Some left literary works that later became authoritative Scripture. Others left no writings. Some gave advice to kings. Some prophesied in worship settings. Some saw visions. Some proclaimed a message in startling symbolic actions. Some were gentle, some were fiery, some were confrontational, some worshipful, some full of joy, others full of sadness. But, they all spoke for God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2Pet 11).
The first half of Peter's statement refers to the fact that God spoke directly to men and through many men to declare the coming of One who would solve the sin problem and establish God's reign on the earth. Some of these passages employ motifs or types to depict the character or nature of the Messiah. Other passages offer specific predictions. Scholars differ as to the number of predictions. Kaiser identifies 65 direct predictions of the Messiah in the Tanakh (240-242). In the Introduction to his Complete Jewish Bible, David Stern lists 55 prophecies in the Tanakh fulfilled by Yeshua (CJSB li-liv).
Risto Santala suggests there are considerably more prophecies that relate to the Messiah. He says that there are 72 Messianic interpretations in the Aramaic Targums associated with different passages in the Bible. However, he goes on to say that it is estimated that the Tanakh contains altogether some 456 prophecies concerning the Messiah. Of these 75 are to be found in the Pentateuch, 243 in the Prophets and 138 in the "Writings" and Psalms. Most of these references are isolated verses, in which the Rabbis in particular see the Messianic motif. In some cases there are whole chapters to be considered (148-149).
The phrase "all the prophets" is not intended to distinguish a specific portion of the Tanakh as Jews organized the Hebrew Bible into Torah, Prophets and Writings, but simply point to those men to whom God revealed Messianic prophecy. Besides the literary prophets the reference could also include Noah, Abraham, Job, Jacob, Balaam, and Moses. These prophets spoke with a single voice. In other words, there is no contradiction between the various prophets on the subject of the Messiah.
that His: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. Messiah: Grk. Christos. See verse 6 above. would suffer: Grk. paschō, aor. inf., to feel heavy emotion (Thayer). The verb often has a negative connotation of distress or suffering, the result of ridicule, rejection or physical pain. Yeshua experienced all these things. thus: Grk. houtōs, adv., thus, so, in keeping with, in this manner, in this way. He has fulfilled: Grk. plēroō, aor., may mean (1) cause to abound in content to a maximum, fill; or (2) to bring to fruition or completion, complete, fulfill, fill up, carry out. The second meaning has application here. Stern says that Peter assumes his audience is aware of the relevant passages already and has their agreement that they apply to the death of the Messiah; otherwise at this point he would have lost his audience or an argument might have ensued.
Gilbert comments that the words "Messiah would suffer" does not exist in the biblical prophets (205), so Peter is not quoting a specific Messianic prophecy. However, Peter likely intends this statement as a summary of one aspect of Messianic prophecy. "All the prophets" means "all the prophets who spoke about Messiah's suffering." Yeshua alluded to these prophecies when he told his disciples that the Son of Man must suffer (Matt 16:21; 17:12; Mark 8:31; 9:12; Luke 9:22; 24:46). Messiah's suffering was particularly predicted by David, Isaiah, Micah, Daniel, and Zechariah. Following is a chronological list as found in CJSB (liii-liv):
There is also prophecy by typology, that is, the prophets themselves were types of the Messiah in their own suffering. Moses prophesied of a prophet "like me" who would come (Deut 18:15). Paul says that Moses chose to "endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin" (Heb. 11:25 NASB). When Yeshua asked his disciples "who do people say I am," their response was "Jeremiah, or one of the prophets" (Matt 16:13-14). Yeshua accused certain Pharisees of being the sons of those who murdered the prophets (Matt 23:29-31) and Paul summarizes the various way in which prophets suffered and were martyred (Heb 11:35-38).
19 Therefore repent and return, for the blotting out of your sins;
Therefore: Grk. oun, an inferential conj., which is used here to indicate a conclusion connected with data immediately preceding, 'so, therefore, consequently, then. Repent: Grk. metanoeō, aor. imp., to have a serious change of mind and heart about a previous point of view or course of behavior, generally translated as "repent." In the LXX metanoeō almost always renders Heb. nacham (SH-5162), to be sorry, change one's mind or repent, sometimes used of God (1Sam 15:29; Jer 4:28; 18:8; Amos 7:3, 6; Jon 3:9, 10; 4:2; Zech 8:14) and other times of humans (Jer 8:6, 10; 31:19; Joel 2:13, 14) (DNTT 1:357). However, metanoeō is used one time to render Heb. shuv: "Remember this, and show yourselves men; bring again [Heb. shuv] to mind, you transgressors" (Isa 46:8 BR). The use of metanoeō may reflect a desire to emphasize the beginning point of change with a decision of the will to receive the salvation being offered.
and: Grk. kai, conj. return: Grk. epistrephō, aor. imp., may mean (1) go back to a point, (2) turn about within a space, or (3) change a mode of thinking. The third meaning applies here. In the spiritual sense the verb describes turning back to God and being transformed. In the LXX epistrephō is generally used to translate Heb. shuv (SH-7725), bring back to mind, to return, turn back, turn around, first in Genesis 8:12 (DNTT 1:354). When used for repentance shuv means to turn away from evil in the sense of renouncing and disowning sin, and to turn toward the good or becoming obedient to God’s will as expressed in the commandments (TWOT 2:909, e.g., 1Kgs 8:33, 35, 47-48; 2Chr 7:14; Isa 30:15; 59:20; Ezek 18:21; Hos 6:1; Jon 3:8). The translation of "be converted" in the KJV reflects a prejudice that Jews must change religions by adopting Christianity. At that time, as Stern points out, Christianity did not even exist. There was only Judaism with Yeshua and Judaism without Yeshua.
for: Grk. pros, prep., lit. "toward." See verse 2 above. the blotting out: Grk. exaleiphō, aor. pass. inf., may mean (1) blot out, by wiping or (2) in an extended and judicial sense to cancel. HELPS defines the verb as properly, to rub out, i.e. completely remove; obliterate; remove totally from a previous state with the outcome of being blotted out or erased. In Greek culture the verb was used for canceling obligations or entitlements. The infinitive is a verbal noun and is used here to emphasize a result. Peter promises that the heavenly record of sin would be expunged upon sincere repentance. In the LXX exaleiphō renders Heb. machah (SH-4229), to wipe or wipe out, to blot out. The verb is used in the Tanakh of removing living things from existence (Gen 7:4, 23), removing a name from the book of life (Ex 32:32-33; cf. Rev 3:5), exterminating a people (Deut 9:4; Ps 9:6), and removing transgressions from continued remembrance (Isa 43:25; 44:22), which is the purpose of the verb in this context.
of your: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. sins: pl. of Grk. hamartia may refer to (1) a behavioral action, a misdeed that creates liability, every departure from the way of righteousness; (2) the result of sinning or the condition of being sinful; or (3) an invasive evil power. Hamartia is the dominant word for sin in the Besekh. In the LXX hamartia translates a range of Hebrew words for guilt and sin, particularly Heb. chata (SH-2398), miss, go wrong, lapse, sin (Gen 20:6; 39:9) and avon (SH-5771), iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity (Gen 15:16) (DNTT 3:577). Throughout Scripture sin as a behavior is a disobedience of God's written commandments (Rom 3:20; 5:13; 7:7), not a violation of a man-made rule or a cultural custom.
The degree of intentionality is not a factor in defining sinful behavior. Indeed, the Torah recognizes that a transgression could be unintentional (Heb. shegagah, SH-7684), sin of error or inadvertence (Lev 4:1-3, 27-28; 5:18; Num 15:22-29). Nevertheless, atonement was still required. In Scripture hamartia does not include the imperfections that separate humanity from divinity, "falling short of the glory" (Rom 3:23). In the immediate context Peter may imply the particular sins that were committed in the illegal trial and execution of Yeshua.
The promise of "blotting out sins" is likely be an allusion to the promise given to Israel through Isaiah (43:25; 44:22). God's promise to not "remember" sins does not mean He has amnesia, but rather there is no double jeopardy. Once sins are forgiven, they will not be considered again. We need to make one final comment here. The majority of versions render the clause "for the blotting out of your sins" as "that your sins may be [or "might be"] wiped away [or blotted out]" (AMP, ASV, CEB, CJB, CSB, DRA, ESV, HCSB, HNV, JUB, KJV, LEB, MW, NASB, NET, NIV, NJB, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, NTE, OJB, RSV, TLV, WEB). This is a surprising translation by well-regarded versions. There is no "may be" or "might be" in the Greek text. Repentance and returning to God have a guaranteed result, not a possible result. CEV gives the correct sense: "you will be forgiven." God is not capricious; He means what He says.
20 in order that if possible times of refreshing may come from the presence of the LORD; and He may send the one appointed to you, Yeshua the Messiah,
in order that: Grk. hopōs, conj. expressing an objective, purpose, or end in view; in order that, so that, that. if possible: Grk. an, particle, a disjunctive particle often used with subjunctive mood verbs, that implies a possibility based on a preexisting condition or stipulation. Thayer defines the term as a particle indicating that something can or could occur on certain conditions, or by the combination of certain fortuitous causes. Thayer gives the meaning in this verse as "if it be possible." HELPS says that the particle "adds an important hypothetical sense to a statement which narrows down the sense of that statement." The aorist subjunctive of the following verb indicates the particle is placing the hypothetical scenario in the future. Most versions do not translate the particle, but its use here reinforces Peter's assertion.
times: pl. of Grk. kairos may refer to (1) an appropriate or set temporal segment of time; or (2) a period, definite or approximate, in which an event takes place; time, period. The second meaning applies here. In the LXX kairos translates five different Hebrew words, primarily Heb. eth (SH-6256), 'time,' of an event or an appointed time (first in Gen 18:10) (DNTT 3:835). The breadth of usage in the LXX indicates the versatility of the word. The plural form of the word may suggest a long continuous period or perhaps successive periods of time.
of refreshing: Grk. anapsuxis, (from anapsuchō, refresh, revive) refreshment, especially as coolness from extreme heat; breathing space, respite, recovery, rest. The noun occurs only here in the Besekh. In the LXX anapsuxis occurs only in Exodus 8:15 to translate Heb. revachah (SH-7309), respite. In the Exodus passage the noun refers to a relief from God's judgments being carried out on Egypt. A form of anapsuxis (anapsuchēn) occurs three times in the LXX: (1) in Psalm 66:12 for Heb. revayah (SH-7310), abundance, saturation, a place of relief; (2) in Jeremiah 49:31 for Heb. betach (SH-083), security, safety; and (3) in Hosea 12:8 for a construction "masati ôn," meaning "to attain prosperity."
may come: Grk. erchomai, aor. subj., to come, come back, return or appear and in a few instances, to go. The verb generally depicts physical movement, mostly with implication of a position from which action or movement takes place, but it also may focus on the goal for movement. Some versions translate the verb as "will come" (CEV, EXB, GNB, GW, NIRV, NLT, NOG), as if it were guaranteed, but Lightfoot rightly points out the ambiguity in the grammatical construction of the entire clause. from: Grk. apo, prep. generally used to denote separation, but here indicates a place of origin; from. the presence: Grk. prosōpon. See verse 13 above. The noun here refers to a personal presence.
of the LORD: Grk. kurios may mean either (1) one in control through possession, and therefore owner or master; or (2) one esteemed for authority or high status, thus lord or master. In the LXX kurios occurs over 9,000 times, the great majority of times to replace Heb. YHVH (over 6,000 times), but also to translate the divine title Adonai ("Lord"). Kurios also occurs a number of times to identify men of higher rank to whom respect is owed (DNTT 2:511). Kurios is the principal title by which disciples and others addressed Yeshua during his earthly ministry, over twice as many times as any other title. However, Peter is clearly making a distinction by using LORD as the one who will send Yeshua.
Using kurios for YHVH ("LORD") is not a translation as it is for Adonai ('Lord'), but an interpretative substitution that encompassed all that the Hebrew text implied by use of the divine name. YHVH is the Creator and Lord of the whole universe. Above all He is the God of Israel, His covenant people. Because YHVH delivered His people from Egypt and chose them as His possession, He is the legitimate Lord of Israel. The LXX thus strengthened the tendency to avoid the utterance of the name of God. The overwhelming use of kurios for the sacred name was not an immediate development. The oldest LXX MSS (fragments) have YHVH written in Hebrew characters in the Greek text. The use of kurios for the sacred name is also found in post-Tanakh Jewish literature, and frequently in Philo and Josephus (DNTT 2:511-512).
Stern sees the promise "times of refreshing from the presence of the LORD" as referring to the Messianic Age, that is, the restoration to Israel of self-rule about which the apostles asked Yeshua (Acts 1:6). Gilbert takes the expression simply as referring to opportunities for renewal. Bruce comments that based on the LXX usage of anapsuxis (Ex 8:15), repentance would bring the people of Jerusalem a respite from the judgment pronounced by Yeshua (Matt 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 19:43-44), just as Ninevites experienced a respite from the judgment pronounced by Jonah. But while Nineveh's doom was deferred, Jerusalem's fell within the time-limit announced: "this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Mark 13:30 NASB).
The real point that Peter makes is that the "times of refreshing" IS the presence of the LORD. N.T. Wright says that upon genuine repentance times of refreshment "can come from the very presence of the Lord himself, a kind of advance anticipation of the full and final 'refreshment' that we can expect when God completes the work at last" (58). The ambiguity of whether times of refreshing may come depends on the extent of repentance. For Peter the times of refreshing would be national in scope and not merely individual. For the nation to experience the fullness of the presence of God as the disciples did on Pentecost would require complete repentance of those responsible for Yeshua's death and acceptance of Yeshua as Messiah. In centuries past the spiritual health of the nation was a reflection of the spiritual health of its leadership. It was the rejection of Yeshua by the Sanhedrin that brought the threat of judgment on Jerusalem. To remove that threat would require their repentance.
and: Grk. kai, conj. He may send: Grk. apostellō, aor. subj., to cause to move from one position to another, but often to send as an authoritative personal representative. In the LXX apostellō translated Heb. shalach ("to stretch out or to send"), often in contexts of commissioning and empowering a messenger (DNTT 1:128). Again, the subjunctive mood introduces a certain ambiguity in the promise. the one: Grk. ho, definite article but used here as a demonstrative pronoun. appointed: Grk. procheirizō, perf. pass. part., select for oneself for a special role or task, appoint. The verb occurs only three times in the Besekh, all in Acts (also Acts 22:14; 26:16). to you: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. Yeshua the Messiah: See verse 6 above. Stern notes that Peter's audience, like today’s Orthodox Jews, expected the Messiah in the future. Peter asserts that the very Messiah they expect will turn out to be Yeshua.
Some commentators interpret verses 19-21 as all of a piece, that is, the promises will only be fulfilled with the Second Coming of Yeshua. However, the straightforward view is that Peter speaks of three separate events, the times of refreshing being the first and the return of Yeshua the second. The ambiguity of the second promise does not have to do with the fact of Yeshua's return, which he forthrightly declared (Matt 24:30; 25:31), but rather its timing. The apostles hoped for Yeshua's immediate return, but they recognized that he had not offered any certainty as to when it would happen (Matt 24:42; Acts 1:7). So, if the nation experienced the presence of God as a result of spiritual revival among the leaders, then perhaps God will choose that time to send Yeshua back to earth and establish his kingdom.
21 whom it behooves heaven indeed to receive until the times of restoration of all things of which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from the past age.
whom: Grk. hos, relative pronoun. it behooves: Grk. dei, pres., impersonal verb from deō ('lack, stand in need of') and thus conveys the idea of something that's necessary, something that must or needs to happen; must, necessary, behooves. heaven: Grk. ouranos refers to the area above the earth that encompasses three areas: (1) the atmosphere, (2) interstellar space and (3) the transcendent dwelling-place of God (Ps 148:1-4; cf. 2Cor 12:2). In Scripture ouranos is always "up" as a direction from the surface of the earth. In the LXX ouranos translates the Heb. hashamayim (lit. "the heavens") (DNTT 2:191). The "heaven" in view here is the location of the throne of God and the home of angels.
indeed: Grk. mén, particle. See verse 13 above. to receive: Grk. dechomai, aor. mid. inf., to receive, frequently with the connotation of enthusiastic acceptance. One can only imagine the rejoicing of the angels at the ascension of Yeshua. until: Grk. achri, adv., a function word signifying an interval between two points with focus on continuity, here of an extension in time; until. the times: pl. of Grk. chronos may mean (1) a span or period of time, or (2) a point or definite moment in time. In the LXX chronos occurs about 100 times, translating eight different Hebrew words for time, but most often yōm, "day, days" (DNTT 3:841). The Hebrews did not conceive of time in the abstract, but used yom overwhelmingly in the sense of ordinary measurable time.
Often there is no substantive difference in meaning between kairos (used in the previous verse) and chronos. These two terms sometimes occur together (Eccl 3:1 LXX; Dan 2:21; 7:12; 9:12, Acts 1:7; 1Th 5:1; Titus 1:2-3), which may blur the relative distinction between the terms. In this context the kairoi of refreshing is not a predestined time, but the result of meeting the prerequisites for experiencing the presence of God. On the other hand, the chronōn of this verse does refer to a predestined, sovereignly planned event.
of restoration: Grk. apokatastasis from apokathístēmi, "to restore." The noun occurs only here in the Besekh. The word does not occur in the LXX, but it is found in two important Jewish sources (BAG): (1) Philo, Who is the Heir of Divine Things, 293, which comments on the promise to Abraham of his descendants taking possession of the land; and (2) Josephus (Ant. XI, 3:9; 4:6) of the restoration of Jerusalem and the Jews to the land after the exile. Longenecker observes that the verb apokathistēmi ("restore"), the verbal form of apokatastasis ("restoration"), is often used in the LXX of the eschatological restoration of Israel (cf. Jer 15:19; 16:15; 24:6; 50:19 [27:19 LXX]; Ezek 16:55; Hos 11:11).
of all things: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. See verse 9 above. Bruce suggests that the Greek word apokatastasis should perhaps be rendered "fulfillment" or "establishment." Bruce continues,
"The promise here is much wider in scope than the restoration of the kingdom to Israel in the sense meant by the apostles (Acts 1:6) and in Matthew 17:11/Mark 9:12 where Elijah is spoken of as coming to "restore" all things before the great and terrible day of ADONAI (Mal 4:5). The apokatastasis here appears to be identical with the palingenesia ("regeneration") of Matthew 19:28. But the idea of restoration is not excluded; the final inauguration of the new age is accompanied by a renovation of all nature (cf. Rom 8:18-23)."
Gleason Archer concurs with the last statement of Bruce, saying the word refers to the "restoration of the physical earth in the Messianic kingdom or Millennium" (HELPS). Thayer goes a step further by saying that the restoration not only is of establishing a true theocracy but also of that more perfect state of (even physical) things which existed before the fall. However, as Longenecker points out, the restoration terminology as used in the LXX, Philo and Josephus and the prophecy of Elijah (Mal 4:5; Matt 17:11), promises the return of Israel to the land, not the provision of a new heaven and new earth. Also, Peter does not say that full restoration waits for Yeshua's coming, but that he will remain in heaven until the times [plural] of restoration. This grammar hints that the times of restoration begin before Yeshua's return.
of which: Grk. hos. God: Grk. theos. See verse 8 above. spoke: Grk. laleō, aor., is used in the Besekh primarily to mean making an oral statement and to exercise the faculty of speech; assert, proclaim, report, say, speak, talk about, utter. by: Grk. dia, prep. See verse 16 above. the mouth: Grk. stoma. See verse 18 above. of His: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. holy: Grk. hagios, adj. See verse 14 above. prophets: pl. of Grk. prophētēs. See verse 18 above. from: Grk. apo, prep. See verse 20 above. the past age: Grk. aiōn, an extended period of time, which may be (1) a general reference to a long period of time in the past ('ages ago') or in the future of a period with no apparent end; eternity; or (2) a segment of extended time determined by qualifiers as present or future; age. Yeshua and the apostles speak of two specific ages – the present age (Matt 28:20; Mark 10:30; Titus 2:12) and the age to come (Matt 12:32; Mark 10:30; Heb 6:5).
In the LXX aiōn renders Heb. olam, first in Genesis 3:22. Olam means "a long duration, antiquity or futurity" (BDB 761), which is also used as an adverb meaning "for ever, for all time," the first being in Genesis 9:12 (DNTT 3:827). In the Tanakh olam is used for ancient time (Gen 49:26), and indefinite futurity (Deut 15:17). In Hebrew thought historical time was divided into ages, perhaps coinciding with the great covenants that God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David (Eccl 1:10; Rom 16:25; 1Cor 2:7; 10:11; Eph 3:9; Col 1:26; Titus 1:2; Heb 9:26). For Peter the past aiōn encompasses all of the prophetic history recorded in the Tanakh.
In verse 18 Peter considered those prophets who predicted the sufferings of the Messiah. Now he considers another aspect of Messianic prophecy, the prelude of Messiah's arrival. Moses had forewarned that Israel would be scattered among the nations (Deut. 4:27), but that in the "latter days" God would restore his people to their land (Deut 4:30; 30:4-5). Here Peter alludes to the prophets who echoed the message of Moses of Israel's restoration to the land (cf. Isa 11:11-12; 43:6; 49:8-12, 22; 51:11; Jer 3:14-18; 16:14-15; 23:3-6; Ezek 28:25-26; 34:11-14, 23; 36:24; 37:12, 24-25; 38:8, 12; 39:25-29; Amos 9:14-15; Zech 8:1-8). No speculation is offered on when the times of restoration might begin or when Yeshua might return, since Yeshua had cautioned his apostles that the "times and seasons" are determined by the Father.
The Talmud records Rabbinical debates as to whether the tribes dwelling in the Diaspora would ever return to Judea (Sanhedrin 110b). With the demise of the state of Israel in the second century and the rise of the Christianity as a state-sanctioned religion in the fourth century, patristic and medieval Church leaders, having adopted replacement theology, considered the return of Jews to the land as either impossible or irrelevant. However, the integrity of the Bible rests upon fulfillment of prophecy. The aliyah ("going up) of Jews returning to the land began in earnest in the late 1800s. The reestablishment of Israel as a political nation in 1948 indicates that biblical chronology is rapidly nearing its consummation.
22 Moses indeed said, 'The LORD your God will raise up to you a prophet like me from your brothers, him you will heed according to everything as much as He might say to you.
MT: "YHVH your God will cause to arise for you a prophet like me from the midst of your brothers. Him you shall heed." (Deut 18:15 BR)
LXX: "The LORD your God shall raise up to you a prophet from out of your brethren, as me. Him you shall hear." (Deut 18:15 ABP)
Moses: Grk. Mōusēs, transliterates Heb. Mosheh, the great Hebrew leader, prophet and lawgiver of Israel born about 1525 BC. His life can be easily divided into three 40-year periods, the first being his birth and early life in Egypt, the second his years in Midian, and the third the wilderness period after the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. Moses was the leader of the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness. At Mount Sinai Moses served as God's spokesman to facilitate the beginning of the covenant relationship between God and Israel. Forty years later on the plains of Moab Moses renewed the covenant with Israel and made preparations for their entry into the promised land.
Moses was a heroic leader of the people and a devout man of God. Yet, due to an act of disobedience to God's instructions Moses was not permitted to enter the land of Canaan with the nation (Num 20:8-12). At the end of his life God allowed Moses to view the land from the top of Mt. Pisgah before his death and there he died at the age of 120. God buried him in the land of Moab (Deut 34:1-7). However, Moses' death was not the end of his importance or influence, because Scripture asserts that Moses compiled, wrote and/or edited the five books attributed to his name (Matt 22:24; Mark 12:19; Luke 16:29; 24:27, 44). Moses left Israel and the Body of Messiah with the rich legacy of God's Word. Moses was a giant of a man.
indeed: Grk. mén, a particle of affirmation. Most versions do not translate this particle, but it gives added emphasis to the quotation presented. said: Grk. legō, aor. See verse 2 above. The Greek verb "say" functions as quotation marks for the text following since ancient writings did not contain punctuation. Peter then quotes from Deuteronomy 18:15. The quotation follows the word order of the Hebrew text and the LXX quite closely, except that the last clause is an interpretive addition. The same passage is also cited in Stephen's sermon at 7:37.
The LORD: Grk. kurios. See verse 20 above. Kurios substitutes for the sacred name YHVH. It's very likely that Peter did pronounce the sacred name in quoting Moses. While great caution was exercised in writing the sacred name, the Mishnah confirms that there was no prohibition against verbally pronouncing the Name in ancient times. In fact, the Mishnah recommends using God's Name in a greeting to a fellow Jew and cites examples from Judges 6:12 and Ruth 2:4 (Berachot 9:5). See my web article The Blessed Name. your: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. See the textual note below. God: Grk. theos for Heb. Elohim. See verse 8 above. Moses frequently referred to "your God" in addressing Israel, not to exclude himself, but to remind the people that they belonged to God by virtue of His having chosen them (Ex 6:7).
will raise up: Grk. anistēmi, fut., to rise, stand up or get up and in its ordinary use refers to the physical motion of transition from a sitting or recumbent position or simply standing. The verb also has a variety of fig. uses, here in the sense of making an appearance. Since anistēmi is the usual word in the Besekh for resurrection, the verb could constitute a play on words. In other words Moses not only predicted the appearance, but also the resurrection of the one like him. to you: Grk. humeis. a prophet: Grk. prophētēs. See verse 18 above. like: Grk. hōs, comparative adv. me: Grk. egō, pronoun of the first person. The passage Peter quotes is the only one in the Torah where Moses identifies himself as a prophet. The epilogue in Deuteronomy states that no prophet had arisen in Israel like Moses who spoke to ADONAI face to face (Deut 34:10).
Moreover, Deuteronomy 18:15 is the only passage in the Torah where Moses identifies the coming of the Messiah as one like him. After the intertestamental period when apocalyptic writings predicted the coming of the Messiah, expectation was high that the prophecy of Moses would come to pass. When Yochanan the Immerser began his ministry a delegation from the Judean authorities asked him if he was "the Prophet" (John 1:21), a clear allusion to the prophecy of Moses. Yochanan denied that he was the Prophet. However, after the immersion of Yeshua Philip encountered Nathanael and said, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the Torah, and the Prophets, wrote" (John 1:45). Then after Yeshua fed the five thousand, people in the crowd declared "This is truly the Prophet who is coming into the world" (John 6:14) and tried to force him to become king.
After Yeshua's prophesying on the last day of the Feast of Booths, someone in the crowd said, "This is truly the Prophet" (John 7:40). Other people criticized the idea because they didn't believe the Messiah could come from Galilee. In any event Peter's declaration that the prophecy of Moses had been fulfilled was bound to resonate with the crowd. In considering the question, "was Yeshua a prophet like Moses?" Stern answers,
"Yes, and more. A prophet speaks for God, which Yeshua did; but he also spoke as God. He spoke what the Father gave him to say, as did all the prophets; but he and the Father are one (John 10:31). Moses explained the sacrificial system for atonement; Yeshua was the final sacrifice for sin, the eternally effective atonement. Moses established the system of priests, with his brother Aaron as the first high priest of the Tabernacle; the resurrected Yeshua is the eternal high priest in the heavenly Tabernacle that served as model for the earthly one (Heb 7–10). At no point did Yeshua contradict what Moses said; rather, he clarified and strengthened the Torah (Matt 5:17–20), made its application plainer (Matt 5:21–7:29), and sometimes himself was the application." (231)
For points of comparison between Moses and Yeshua see my web article Moses and Yeshua.
from: Grk. ek, prep. See verse 15 above. your: Grk. humeis. brothers: pl. of Grk. adelphos. See verse 17 above. This passage from Deuteronomy was widely understood then as a Messianic prophecy, since Pharisee leaders asked Yochanan the Immerser if he was "the prophet" (John 1:21). Based on Yeshua's miraculous feeding of the five thousand some of that crowd wondered if Yeshua was "the Prophet" (John 6:14), as did some of the crowd to whom Yeshua offered living water (John 7:40). him: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. you will heed: Grk. akouō, fut. mid., may mean (1) to hear, with the focus on willingness to listen or to heed the substance of what is said; (2) hear with comprehension, understand; or (3) receive information aurally, hear, hear about. The first meaning has relevance here. In the LXX akouō consistently stands for Heb. shama, which not only means to apprehend, but also to accept and to act upon what has been apprehended (DNTT 2:173).
The last clause of the verse and the next verse is not found in Deuteronomy 18:15, but Peter offers a short midrash on the verb "you will heed." according to: Grk. kata, prep., properly "down from," and used here to mean "in reference to" what Yeshua said, as well as to emphasize agreement or conformity to the standard of Yeshua's words. everything: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. See verse 9 above. as much as: Grk. hosos, correlative pronoun, here denoting maximum inclusion. The pronoun gives emphasis to "everything," but is not translated in most versions. He might: Grk. an. See verse 20 above. Most versions do not translate the particle. say: Grk. laleō, aor. subj. See the previous verse. to you: Grk. humeis. The verb "will heed" implies hearing speech, and Peter asserts that the instruction of Moses had broad application to all the teaching of Yeshua.
23 Moreover it will be every soul who, if he
should not heed that prophet, will be destroyed from the people.'
Moreover: Grk. de, conj. it will be: Grk. eimi, fut. mid. See verse 1 above. every: Grk. pas, adj. See verse 9 above. soul: Grk. psuchē may mean (1) a quality without which a body is physically dead; life; (2) that which possesses vital being; person; or (3) that which is integral to being a person beyond mere physical function; life (inner) self, soul. In the LXX psuchē corresponds to the Heb. nephesh (SH-53-15), that which "breathes" air (Gen 1:20). In Hebrew thought a person is a soul-body. Thus, in Scripture "soul" does not refer to a non-physical part of a human being, but rather to the whole person (e.g., Acts 2:41; 7:14; 27:37; 1Pet 3:20). Important to the usage of psuchē rather than anthrōpos is the reality that souls are eternal (cf. Matt 10:28; Acts 7:59; 1Cor 5:5; 1Pet 3:18; Rev 6:9).
Some versions obscure Peter's point by translating pas psuchē as "anyone" or "everyone" (CJB, CSB, HCSB, NIV, NLT, NRSV). who: Grk. hētis, relative pronoun, anyone, who, whoever. if: Grk. ean, conj. that serves as a conditional particle and produces an aspect of tentativeness by introducing a possible circumstance that determines the realization of some other circumstance. he should not: Grk. mē, adv., a particle of qualified negation, subjective in nature, involving will and thought; not. heed: Grk. akouō, aor. subj. See the previous verse. that: Grk. ekeinos, demonstrative pronoun. prophet: Grk. prophētēs. See verse 18 above. "That prophet" is the one Moses said would come.
will be destroyed: Grk. exolethreuō, fut. pass., destroy or utterly destroy; eradicate, eliminate. The verb refers to a complete loss of inheritance (HELPS). The verb occurs only here in the Besekh. In the LXX exolethreuō occurs about 200 times to translate five different Hebrew words that mean either "to exterminate," occurring in passages that describe the extermination of seven Canaanite tribes, as well as other enemies in battles, but also "to cut off," occurring in passages concerning the penalty for violating covenant expectations. The verb depicts the result of God's judgment, and expresses His wrath over the sin of man and the disobedience of His people Israel (DNTT 1:465).
Deuteronomy 18:19 does not contain the specific warning Peter sets forth here, but it is a reasonable interpretation of the Heb. verb darash (SH-1875), to resort to, to require, to seek. In the context of Deuteronomy the warning of Moses has implications of being brought before a legal authority to answer a charge of disobedience and the assurance of punishment if found guilty (cf. Deut 13:14; 17:4-5; 23:21; Ezek 33:6). However, Deuteronomy does contain warnings that failure to obey will result in the imposition of destroying curses, including being scattered among the nations (Deut 4:23-27; 7:4; 28:15-68).
from: Grk. ek, prep. the people: Grk. laos. See verse 9 above. Here laos refers to Israel as the elect nation that received the covenant of commandments. In the Tanakh judgment is often presented as national in scope, but Peter makes judgment individual and personal. Christianity has generally assumed that Israel rejected Yeshua and in response God rejected Israel, resulting in the destruction of the Temple (A.D. 70), expulsion from Jerusalem (A.D. 135), and centuries of exile (Luke 21:24). However, Peter does not predict God's rejection of the nation of Israel, only individuals ("souls") of Israel who do not heed the prophet like Moses. Those who heed Yeshua become part of Israel's faithful remnant (Romans 9–11).
And: Grk. kai, conj. moreover: Grk. de, conj. all: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. the prophets: pl. of Grk. prophētēs. See verse 18 above. from: Grk. apo, prep. Samuel: Grk. Samouēl, a transliteration of Heb. Shemuel ("name of God"). Samuel was the son of Elkanah by his second wife Hannah, the last judge, the first king-maker, priest, and prophet who linked the period of the judges with the Israelite monarchy. Born in answer to barren Hannah's fervent prayer, Samuel was dedicated to the Lord before his birth (1Sam 1:10-11) and then raised by Eli at the Shiloh sanctuary (1Sam 1:28; 2:11, 20). Samuel heard from God and received his first prophetic mission as a young lad (1Sam 3:1, 11-14) and continued to hear directly from God (1Sam 3:19-21; 9:6).
Psalms 99:6-7 relates that God spoke with Samuel from out of the pillar of cloud as God had previously with Moses and Aaron. Jeremiah regarded Samuel and Moses as the two great intercessors of Israel (Jer 15:1). As a judge Samuel administered justice at Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah, and Ramah (1Sam 7:15-17). Samuel served as the prototype for future prophets who advised and confronted the kings of Israel and Judah. After warning Israel of the dangers of a monarchy (1Sam 8:10-18), Samuel anointed Saul as Israel's first king (1Sam 10:1). After the failure of Saul to please the Lord (1Sam 15:1), Samuel was called to anoint David as the next king (1Sam 16:13). The fact of Samuel's death is reported but not his age (1Sam 25:1). He died in Ramah and was buried there.
Peter honors Samuel as the first of the literary prophets who laid the foundation for Messianic hope. He did this by reporting three major prophecies. The first Messianic prophecy came from Hannah (1Sam 2:1-10). After leaving Samuel in the care of Eli, Hannah offered a song of thanksgiving, but in reality she received a revelation from God about the consummation of His kingdom. After she lauds the greatness of God she introduces the anointed king in the final verse, saying that ADONAI "judges the ends of the earth. He gives strength to His king, exalting the horn of His anointed one" (1Sam 2:10 TLV).
The second Messianic prophecy came from an unnamed prophet who prophesied God's judgment on the house of Eli (1Sam 2:27-36) and then announced, "I will raise up for myself a faithful cohen who will do what I want and what I intend. I will make his family faithful, and he will serve in the presence of my anointed one forever" (1Sam 2:35 CJB). The third Messianic prophecy came from Nathan who gave the noteworthy prophecy that God made a personal and everlasting covenant with David by which God promised that He would establish the throne of David forever (2Sam 7:12-14).
and: Grk. kai. the ones: pl. of Grk. ho, definite article but used here as a demonstrative pronoun. afterwards: Grk. kathexēs, adv., in sequence; successively, afterwards. as many as: Grk. hosos, correlative pronoun. See verse 22 above. have spoken: Grk. laleō, aor. See verse 21 above. Peter affirms that Samuel and the rest of the prophets presented a single great story of God's plan for deliverance of His people. These prophets included Nathan, David, Elijah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Nahum, Zephaniah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. also: Grk. kai. proclaimed: Grk. katangellō, aor., to proclaim, with connotation of broad dissemination; announce, declare, proclaim.
these: pl. of Grk. houtos, demonstrative pronoun. days: pl. of Grk. hēmera. See verse 9 above. Peter's reference to "these days" probably alludes to the prophetic mention in the Tanakh of the "last days" or "latter days" (Deut 4:20; Isa 2:2; Jer 23:20; 30:24; 48:47; 49:39; Ezek 38:16; Dan 2:28; 10:14; Hos 3:5; Mic 4:1). "These days" are "those days." He could also be alluding to five different aspects of Messianic prophecy with which his audience would be familiar. First, there would be the days preceding the Messiah's arrival, dubbed "the footsteps of the Messiah," borrowed from Psalm 89:51. The Mishnah used this idiomatic expression to anticipate that the days preceding the coming of the Messiah would be a time of great suffering and persecution (Sotah 9:6). Ever since the conclusion of the exile Israel had suffered under the domination of successive foreign powers.
Second, there would be the days in which specific predictions are fulfilled that confirm the identity of the Messiah. For example,
● He will come at a specific time (Dan 9:24-26; Matt 2:1, 16, 19; Luke 3:1, 23).
● He will be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2; Matt 2:5; John 7:42).
● He will be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:18, 25; Luke 1:26-35).
● He will be a descendant of Abraham (Gen 12:3; Matt 1:1).
● He will be a descendant of Judah (Gen 49:10; Matt 1:2-3).
● He will be a descendant of David (2Sam 7:12-13; Matt 22:45; John 7:42).
● He will have a ministry of binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and announcing the acceptable year of the LORD (Isa 61:1-2; Luke 4:18-19).
● He will be a teacher of righteousness who will explain the Torah (Deut 18:15, 18; Isa 30:19-21; Joel 2:23; Matt 5:17; 22:16; John 4:25-26).
● He will ride into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech 9:9; Matt 21:1-11).
● He will enter the Temple with authority (Mal 3:1; John 2:13-22; Matt 21:12‒24:1).
Third, there would be the days in which the immediate result of Messiah's arrival occurs, namely his rejection and suffering as noted in verse 18 above (Isa 53; Dan 9:24-26). Fourth, there would be the days in which Messiah is raised from the dead (Ps 2:7-8; 16:10; Isa 53:9-10; Matt 28:1-20), exalted to the right hand of God (Ps 16:11; 68:18; 110:1; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11), exercises his priestly office in heaven (Zech 6:13; Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25–8:2), be the cornerstone of God's Messianic community (Ps 118:22-23; Isa 28:16; Matt 21:42; Eph 2:20; 1Pet 2:5-7), and become the hope of the nations (Isa 11:10; 42:1-4; 49:1-8; Matt 12:18-21).
Fifth, there would be the days of victorious arrival in which Messiah will defeat the forces of evil and establish his throne as David's heir in Jerusalem to rule the earth (Gen 49:10; Jer 23:5; Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Zech 9:9; 12:9; 14:9; Matt 24:29-31; 25:31; Luke 1:31-33, 68-74; Acts 1:6; Rev 19:11-16; 20:1-4; 21:1-2).
25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made to your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your Seed all the clans of the Land will be blessed.'
You: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. are: Grk. eimi, pres. See verse 1 above. the sons: pl. of Grk. huios, a male offspring or descendant, whether by direct birth or by more remote ancestry. In the LXX huios renders Heb. ben (SH-1121, "son," "son of"), which is used in three distinctive ways: (1) to identify direct paternity; (2) to mean not the actual father but a more distant ancestor; or (3) to mean in a broader sense of having the characteristics of. In this context "sons" refers to lineage. of the prophets: pl. of Grk. prophētēs. See verse 18 above. Peter did not mean "sons of the prophets" in the sense of direct lineage of individual prophets. Gill comments that Peter means Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are called prophets (Ps 105:15), his hearers being naturally descended from them. To the patriarchs belonged important Messianic promises to which they were heirs.
and of the covenant: Grk. diathēkē, a set-agreement having complete terms determined by the initiating party, which also are fully affirmed by the one entering the agreement (HELPS). Thayer explains that the term is used to mean (1) the last disposal which one makes of earthly possessions after death, as in "last will and testament" (e.g., Gal 3:15; Heb 9:16-17); or (2) a compact initiated by God with ones He chose for a close relationship and which makes certain absolute promises to the human parties (Eph 2:12; Heb 7:22 and often). The second meaning applies here. In the LXX diathēkē translates Heb. b'rit (SH-1285), pact, compact, or covenant (first in Gen 6:18) (DNTT 1:365). It is noteworthy that the noun is singular.
God made a covenant with several different men (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron and David) and with the nation of Israel. Each of these covenants set forth specific expectations, promises, duration and a sign or perpetual reminder of the covenant. For a detailed discussion of all these covenants see my web article The Everlasting Covenants. In this verse diathēkē refers to a particular covenant. that: Grk. hos, relative pronoun. God: Grk. theos. See verse 8 above. made: Grk. diatithēmi, aor. mid., to arrange as one wills, particularly of an enduring arrangement. The verb is used of both entering into a covenant and making a testament. God did both with Israel.
to: Grk. pros, prep. See verse 2 above. The root meaning of pros is "near" or "facing," and depicts God presenting his offer of covenant to the patriarchs. Most versions translate the preposition as "with," but the covenant was not a contract between equal parties and the beneficiaries had no input into the terms of the covenant. It is noteworthy that Luke did not use the preposition sun, which does mean "with." your: Grk. humeis. The KJV has "our," but the earliest MSS support "your." fathers: pl. of Grk. patēr. See verse 18 above. Peter follows the speech pattern of Moses who frequently says "your fathers" in addressing Israel as God directed (Ex 3:15) in referring to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Thus, the "covenant" of which Peter speaks is the one God made with Abraham and then reaffirmed with Isaac and Jacob.
saying: Grk. legō, pres. part. See verse 22 above. to: Grk. pros. Abraham: Grk. Abraam. See verse 13 above. Peter then conflates Genesis 12:3 and Genesis 22:18 to present the covenantal promise. And: Grk. kai. in: Grk. en, prep. your: Grk. su, pronoun of the second person. Seed: Grk. sperma may refer either to the source (e.g. seed, semen) or the product of propagation (e.g., posterity, descendant). The noun is singular, but a some versions translate it as "descendants" (AMP, CEB, ERV, NCV, NET, NLT, NOG, NRSV). The phrase "in your Seed" occurs only in Genesis 22:18 and refers to the promise of one special descendant, rather than the promise of many descendants, as Paul argues in his letter to Galatia (Gal 3:16-17).
all: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. the clans: pl. of Grk. patria, a people group linked by kinship; lineage, ancestry, family, tribe. The term indicates descent from the same father and ancestral patriarch, thus clan (DNTT 1:616). The clans were the families within the tribes. In the LXX patria occurs frequently and translates two Hebrew words: (1) mishpachah (SH-4940), a clan, first in Exodus 6:14, and then elsewhere in Exodus and the books of Samuel and Chronicles; (2) Heb. av (SH-1), father, first in Num 1:4, and especially in census lists of Numbers and Chronicles. The choice of patriai instead of ethnē, "nations," confirms that the rest of the quotation does not come from Genesis 22:18 (which has Heb. goyim, "nations," and the LXX has Grk. ethnē, "nations"), but from Genesis 12:3, which has mishpachah, clans. Of interest is that the LXX of Genesis 12:3 renders mishpachah with Grk. phulai, "tribes."
of the Land: Grk. gē can mean soil (in receiving seed), the ground, land (as contrasted with the sea), the native land of a people group, and the earth in contrast to heaven (BAG). The LXX uses gē more than 2,000 times and primarily translates the Heb. erets (SH-776), first in Genesis 1:1 (DNTT 1:517). In the Tanakh erets designates either (a) the earth in a cosmological sense, or (b) "the land" in the sense of a specific territorial area, primarily the Land of Israel (BDB 75). Given the fact that Peter is alluding to covenantal promises he most likely means the Land promised to Israel, rather than planet earth.
will be blessed: Grk. eneulogeō, fut. pass., to confer benefits on, or to bless. The verb occurs only two times in the Besekh (also Gal 3:8, which quotes from Gen 12:3). In the quoted verse eneulogeō translates Heb. barak (SH-1288), to kneel or bless, first in Genesis 12:3. While Christians take the promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 to apply to all peoples on the earth, the LXX makes clear that the promise was to the direct descendants of Abraham who would enter the land.
LXX Genesis 12:3, "And in you all the families [Heb. mishpachah, family; Grk. phulē, tribe] of the land [Heb. adamah, ground, land; Grk. gē] will be blessed."
26 To you first, God having resurrected His Servant and sent him, blessing you in turning each from your iniquities."
To you: Grk. humeis, pl. pronoun of the second person. first: Grk. prōton, adv., having to do with beforeness, with resultant meanings of (1) having a primary position in sequence and (2) standing out in significance or importance. The second meaning has application here. The adverb reflects the priority of Israel receiving the good news of the kingdom before the nations (cf. Rom 1:16). God: Grk. theos. See verse 9 above. having resurrected: Grk. anistēmi, aor. pass. See verse 15 above. His: Grk. autos, personal pronoun. Servant: Grk. pais. See verse 13 above. Peter reminds his hearers again that the Father raised Yeshua.
and: Grk. kai, conj. sent: Grk. apostellō, aor. See verse 20 above. him: Grk. autos. blessing: Grk. eulogeō, pres. part., may mean (1) to invoke divine favor; or (2) to express high praise, to bless, to offer a blessing. The first meaning applies here. The corresponding Heb. verb is barakh, which lit. means to kneel or to bless (BDB 138). In the Tanakh barakh is an endowment of favor or beneficial power (cf. Gen 1:28), ordinarily transmitted from the greater to the lesser, either from God to man, from man to man or parent to child. you: Grk. humeis. in: Grk. en, prep. turning: Grk. apostrephō, pres. inf., to turn away from or to reject. each: Grk. hekastos, adj. used in reference to an individual person or thing; each, every, every one.
from: Grk. apo, prep. your: Grk. humeis. iniquities: pl. of Grk. ponēria, a mindset of hurtful scheming; cunning, baseness, maliciousness or sinfulness. Thayer adds depravity and iniquity. In the LXX ponēria appears 41 times and renders Heb. ra (SH-7451), bad, evil, wicked (Ex 10:10) (DNTT 1:564). The term appears in the Wisdom literature for sinners who oppress the righteous and then in the Prophets the term reflects the spiritual condition of God's people that resulted in their exile. Stern notes that the blessing consists in turning Israelites from their evil ways. On the one hand, Israel must take responsibility for turning (verse 19 above), but on the other hand, God does the turning, as Jeremiah said: "Bring us back to You, ADONAI, and we will return" (Lam 5:21 TLV).
Ant.: Flavius Josephus (c. 37–100 A.D.), Antiquities of the Jews (Latin Antiquitates Judaicae). trans. William Whiston (1737). Online.
BAG: Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. trans. W.F. Arndt & F.W. Gingrich. The University of Chicago Press, 1957.
BDB: The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Oxford University Press, 1907. Reprinted by Associated Publishers and Authors, Inc., 1981.
Bruce: F.F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts. Rev. ed. William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1988. (New International Commentary on the New Testament)
CJSB: David Stern, Complete Jewish Study Bible, Hendrickson Publishers, 2016.
Danker: Frederick William Danker, The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. The University of Chicago Press, 2009.
DM: H.E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament. The Macmillan Co., 1955.
Delitzsch: Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890), Hebrew New Testament. Leipzig, 1877. Online. (Translation of the Greek New Testament into biblical Hebrew.)
DNTT: Colin Brown, ed., Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 3 Vols. Zondervan Pub. House, 1975.
Edersheim: Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889), The Temple-Its Ministry and Services, Updated Edition. Hendrickson Publishers, 1994. Online.
Gilbert: Gary Gilbert, Annotations on "The Acts of the Apostles," Jewish Annotated New Testament, eds. Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Brettler. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Gill: John Gill (1697-1771), Exposition of the Entire Bible. Online.
HELPS: Gleason L. Archer and Gary Hill, eds., The Discovery Bible New Testament: HELPS Word Studies. Moody Press, 1987, 2011. (Online at BibleHub.com)
ISBE: James Orr, ed., International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1939. Website HTML, 2011. Online.
Kaiser: Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. The Messiah in the Old Testament. Zondervan Pub. House, 1995.
Lightfoot: John Lightfoot (1602-1675), Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations upon the Acts, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica (1859 ed.), Vol. 4. Hendrickson Pub., 1989.
Longenecker: Richard N. Longenecker, Acts. Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 9. Software version 2.6. Zondervan Corp., 1989-1999.
Metzger: Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. 2nd ed. United Bible Societies, 1994.
Morris: Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John. William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1971. (New International Commentary on the New Testament)
Moseley: Ron Moseley, Yeshua: A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church. Lederer Books, 1996.
Mounce: William D. Mounce, Mounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament. 2011. Online.
Santala: Risto Santala, The Messiah in the New Testament in the Light of Rabbinical Writings. Trans. William Kinnaird. Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 1993.
Stern: David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, Jewish New Testament Publications, 1996.
Thayer: Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Harper Brothers, 1889.
TWOT: Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 2 Vols. ed. R. Laird Harris. Moody Bible Institute, 1980.
Wars: Flavius Josephus (c. 37–100 A.D.), Wars of the Jews (Latin De Bello Judaico). trans. William Whiston (1737). Online.
Wright: N.T. Wright, Acts for Everyone, Part One: Chapters 1-12 (The New Testament for Everyone). Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.
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