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IV.-4 “ About five thousand.” Including those who were converted before.-Doddridge.
IV.—-13. “And perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men.” The Greek word here rendered ignorant, and by Schleusner unlearned, as it unquestionably is sometimes, as 1 Cor. xiv. 16. and little eloquent, as 2 Cor. xi. 6. seems here to retain its proper sense, of a private person, one of the vulgar, a plebeian. The Apostles were neither men of letters nor scholars, nor in any public rank of life, as the priests and magistrates were.—Valpy's Greek Testament.
IV.19. “Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” According to Plato, Socrates replied to his accusers in the following manner :-0 ye Athenians, I will obey God rather than you.
IV._25 &c. “ Who by the mouth of thy servant Dani hast said, Why did the heathen rage,” &c. Those who doubt whether the 2nd Psalm does really apply to our Lord, will do well to consider attentively the Apostle's exposition, in the 27th and 28th verses, of the two first verses of the Psalm coltained here in the 25th and 26th verses.
IV.-31. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.” With the influence of the Spirit: special eminent gifts of the Spirit fell upon all who were there present.–Valpy's Greek Testament.
V.-36. For before these days rose up Theudas.” Josephus's account of Theudas, Antiq. b. xx. C. V. s. 1. referred to a transaction that occurred seven years after Gamaliel's speech, of which this text is a part. The contradiction is removed by the probability that there might be two impostors of the same name: for there were four persons of the name Simon within forty years, and three of Judas within ten years, all of whom were leaders of insurrections.-Horne's Introd vol. i. page 596.
VI.l. “ There arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews." The immediate descendants of Abraham by Isaac and Jacob, whom God, having delivered from their oppressive bondage in Egypt, chose for himself to be his peculiar people, and their direct issue, without any intermixture of Gentile blood or language, are termed by St. Paul, Hebrews of the Hebrews, Phil. iii. 5. as opposed to the Hellenistic Jews, or those who lived among the Greeks, whose language they spoke, and who were called Hellenists: Acts vi. 1. ix. 29. xi. 20. Many of the latter were descended from parents, one of whom only was a Jew. Of this description was Timothy, Acts xvi. 1. Those who were born in Judæa, of parents rightly descended from Abraham, and who received their education in Judæa, spoke the language of their forefathers, and were thoroughly instructed in the learning and literature of the Jews, were reckoned more honourable than the Hellenists; and to mark the excellence of their lineage and language, they were called Hebrews; a name the most antient, and therefore the most honourable of all the names borne by Abraham's descendants; for it was the name given to Abraham himself, by the Canaanites, to signify that he had come from the other side of the Euphrates.See Horne's Introd. vol. iii. page 254.
“ Because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.” A distribution of alms was made every day. This practice obtained among the Jews in common, for they used to collect every day for the poor, and give it daily to them. Maimonides speaks of it in this manner: “They appoint collectors, who receive every day from every court a piece of bread, or any sort of food, or fruit, or money, from whomsoever that offers freely for the time; and they divide that which is collected, in the evening, among the poor, and they give to every poor person of it his daily sustenance : " from hence the Apostles might take up this custom, and
follow it.—Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. page 354.
VI.-5. “They chose Stephen," &c. The names of these seven deacons are all of Greek derivation; hence we may infer, that, very probably, they are all Hellenists, and that, consequently, by their designation, the church was desirous of giving full satisfaction to the complaint of those whose widows were neglected.—Ostervald.
VI.-9.“ Libertines." Were Jews born at Rome, whose grandfathers had been in slavery there, and then made free. Their sons were liberti, their grandfathers libertini. The rest of the synagogue were Jews that had been born in the countries respectively named.—Wall.
Disputing with Stephen.” It is essential to the ends of justice, that the proceedings of the courts should be committed to writing, and preserved in archives or registries : Josephus inforins us that there was such a repository at Jerusalem, which was burnt by the Romans, and which was furnished with scribes or notaries for recording the proceedings. From this place, probably, St. Luke derived his account of the proceedings against the protomartyr Stephen, related in Acts vi. and vii.-Horne's Introduction, vol. iii. p. 110.
VII.-14. “Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.". The family of Jacob are differently reckoned at their going into Egypt. In Deut. x. 22. Moses says, that they were threescore and ten, that is to say all who came out of Jacob's loins (Gen. xlvi. 26.) were threescore and six, besides him self, Joseph, and his two sons, who were in Egypt before; which make threescore and ten. But in Acts vii. 14. Stephen adds to these nine of his sons' wives, and thus makes the number threescore and fifteen. The latter, though not of Jacob's blood, were of his kindred, as Stephen justly expresses it, being allied to him by marriage.-Horne's Introd. vol i. p. 584.
VII.-16. “And laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought.” We find at Josh. xxiv. 32. that Jacob bought this sepulchre. We may therefore conclude with Beza that the nominative Abraham was, by some busy transcriber, written in the margin, and which, afterwards, found its way into the text.
VIII.-14. “They sent unto them Peter and John.” ' It is observable, that as Peter was sent on this errand by the other apostles, they had no notion of his being their head or superior.-Ostervald.
VIII.-30. “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest ?” In Palestine, when persons are reading, privately, in a book, they usually go on, reading aloud with a kind of singing voice, moving their heads and bodies in time, and making a monotonous cadence at regular intervals, thus giving emphasis ; although not such an emphasis, pliant to the sense, as would please an English ear. Very often they seem to read without perceiving the sense; and to be pleased with themselves, merely because they can go through the mechanical art of reading in any way. This practice may enable us to understand how it was that Philip should hear at what passage in Isaiah the Ethiopian eunuch was reading, before he was invited to come up and sit with him in the chariot.Horne's Introduction, vol. iii. page 468.
IX.-15. “A chosen vessel.” This is spoken after the propriety of the Hebrews, with whom a thing or person that is made use of to some excellent purpose, is not only styled a véssel, but to denote yet further the worth of it, is called a vessel of desire, which is of the like signification with a vessel of choice.—Edwards's Style of Sacred Scripture. IX.
“And let him down by the wall in a basket.” The preposition by, i. e. by the side, or by the way of, is, in the original, the same as is used at St. Luke v. 19. where it is
rendered incorrectly through, intimating that the tiling or roof was broken through, as stated in our translation of St. Mark ii. 4. On which passage, see the remarks in this work.
IX.-31. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judæa,” &c. That we may not mistake the cause of this rest, or peace, the following historical circumstance extracted from Mr. Horne's Introduction, vol. ii. page 517. may prove useful. “If we advert to the political circumstances of the Jewish nation at that time, we shall find the true cause of this rest. The emperor Caligula had ordered his statue to be erected in the temple at Jerusalem; and, in pursuance of his mandate, Petronius, the president of Syria, was on his march with an army for that purpose. Filled with consternation, the Jew's met him in vast multitudes in the vicinity of Ptolemais or Acre, and ultimately prevailed on him to abandon his design. It was this persecution of the Jews by the Romans, that the sacred writer had in view, which diverted the Jews from persecuting the christians."
IX.-36. “Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas.” As she was a Jewess, who spoke nothing but Greek, she was called by the former name among the Jews, and by the latter among the Greeks; for, in both languages, the two names signify the same thing, namely, (i roe or fawn.-Ostervald.
IX.-37. “Whom, when they had washed.” When the principle of life was extinguished, the first funeral office among the Jews was to close the eyes of the deceased. This was done by the nearest of kin, who gave the parting kiss 10 the lifeless corpse. Thus it was promised to Jacob when he took his journey into Egpt, that Joseph should put his hands upon his eyes. Gen. xlvi. 4; and accordingly we read that, when Jacob expired, Joseph fell upon his face and kissed him, Gen. 1. i. The next office was the ablution of the