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And preaches Christ in the synagogues.

CHAP. IX.

The Jews lay wait to kill him.

A.M. cir. 4010.

said ;

A.M.cir. 1037.

20 And straightway he preached Damascus, proving that this is very A.D.cir. 36. A. D. cir. 33. An. Olsinp. Christ in the synagogues, that he is Christ.

An. Olytrip. cir. CCII. 1. the Son of God.

23 | And after that many days cir. Ccrli. 1. 2i Bat all that heard him were amazed, and were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill

• Is not this he that destroyed them him : which called on this name in Jerusalem, and 24 . But their laying await was known of Saul. came hither for that intent, that he might bring And they watched the gates' day and night to them bound unto the chief priests ?

kill him. 99 But Saul increased the more in strength, 25 Then the disciples took him by night, and and confounded the Jews which dwelt at' let him down by the wall in a basket.

e

+ Ch. 8. 37.ch. 8. 3. ver. 1. Gal. 1. 13, 23.

och. 18. 28.

a Ch. 23. 12. & 25. 3. 2 Cor. 11. 26.-- 2 Cor. 11. 32.

r So Josh. 2. 15. 1 Sam. 19. 12.

he must then have a consummate knowledge of every Chris- | slaughter. See chap. vii. 58. viii. 1. ix. 1. xxvi. 10, 11. tian doctrine. To this day, we find that even the genuine Therefore these three meanings of the original word are all Christian convert has a thousand things to learn; and for exemplified in the conduct of Saul. his instruction he is placed in the church of Christ, where he Verse 22. Confounded the Jeros] Euve%uve; overwhelmed is built up on his most holy faith, by the ministry and expe- || them so with his arguments, that they were obliged to blush rience of the disciples. Without the communion of saints, for the weakness of their own cause. who is likely to make a steady and consistent Christian; even Proving that this] Ouros this person, viz. JEšus, is very though his conversion should have been the most sincere, and Christ; Esiv X41505 is the Christ, or Messiah. See on the most remarkable?

ver. 21. Verse 20. Preuched Christ in the synagogues] Instead of Verse 23. And after that many days were fulfilled] What 601569 Christ, 1750's Jesus, is the reading of ABCE. seve follows relates to transactions which took place about three ral others of high importance, together with the Syriac, l' years after his conversion ; when he had come a second timé Coptic, Æthiopic, Armenian, Slavonic, and Vulgate.

to Damascus, after having been in Arabia. See Gal. i. 17, 18. The great question to be determined for the conviction of what he did in Arabia, we know not; he probably preached the Jews, was, that Jesus was the Son of God. That the Christ in different Jewish synagogues; but with what fruit, Christ, or Messiah, was to be the Son of God, they all be we are not told. St. Luke, who could not have been ignolieved. Saul was now convinced that Jesus, whom they had rant of this part of his history, passés it over in silence; crucified, and who had appeared to him on the way, was the and any assertion, at this distance of time, relative to his Son of God, or Messiah ; and therefore as such he proclaimed employment in Arabia for those three years, must be both him. The word Christ should be changed for Jesus, as the foolish and impertinent. latter is, without doubt, the genuine reading.

Verse 24. They watched the gates day and night to kill The first offers of the grace of the gospel were uniformly him.] At this time Damascus was under the government of made to the Jews. Saul did not at first offer Jesus to | Aretas, king of Arabia ; who was now at war with Herod, the heathens at Damascus; but to the synagogues of the his son-in-law, who had put away his daughter, in order to Jews.

marry Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. As Herod was Verse 21. Is not this he that destroyed them] 'O 7.0007,095 supported by the Romans, Saul's enemies might intimate that The verb topdeo has three acceptations in the Greek writers. he was in league with them or Herod; and as the gates of 1. To treat one as an enemy, to spoil him of his goods. 2. the city were constantly watched and shut, that no spy might To lead away captive, to imprison. 3. To slay. Paul was enter, and no fugitive get away, they thought it would be properly copfwr u destroyer, in all these senses. 1. He acted easy to apprehend him; and doubtless got orders for the dif. as the most determined enemy of the Christians : Being ex ferent officers at the gates to be on the look-out, that he might ceedingly mad against ther, he persecuted them to strunge not be permitted to escape. cities, chap. xxvi. 11. 2. He shut up many of the saints in Verse 25. Let him dowon by the wall] Favoured, probably, prison, chap. viii. 3. ix. 14. xxvi. 10. 3. He persecuted by a house built against or upon the wall, through the winthem unto death; gave his voice against them, that they dow of which they could lower him in a basket; and by might be destroyed ; and was a principal instrument in the this means he made his escape. His escape was something martyrdom of Stephen. He breathed threatenings and || similar to that of the spies at Jericho, Josh. ii. 15.

Saul escapes to Jerusalem, preaches

THE ACTS.

Christ there, and is again persecuted.

A.M.cir. 4040.
A. D. cir. 36.

A. D. cir. 36.

cir. CCIII. 4.

26 I And when Saul was come to 28 And he was with them, coming A.M.cir. 4040. An. Olymp. Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself in and going out, at Jerusalem. An, Olymp.

to the disciples : but they were all 29 And he spake boldly in the name cir. CCIII. 4. afraid of him, and believed not that he was a of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the disciple.

* Grecians : 'but they went about to slay him. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him 30 Which when the brethren knew, they to the apostles, and declared unto them how he brought him down to Cæsarea, and sent him had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had forth to Tarsus. spoken to him, and how he had preached 31 5 Then had the churches rest throughout boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, and were

b

a Ch. 22. 17. Gal. 1. 17, 18. ch. 4. 36. & 13. 2. ver. 20, 22.

d Gal. 1. 18.

• Ch. 6. 1. & 11. 20. ver. 23. 2 Cor. 11. 26.

& See ch. 8. 1.

Verse 26. He assayed to join himself to the disciples) Freely conversing and associating with them ; but this seems ETEICATO monacofan, he endeavoured to get closely united to to have continued only fifteen days. See Gal. i. 18. them, to be in religious fellowship with them.

Verse 29. Disputed against the Grecians] That is, the Believed not that he was a disciple.] They did not sup- | Hellenistic Jews, viz. those who lived in Grecian cities, pose it possible that such a person could be converted to the spoke the Greek language, and used the Septuagint Version faith of Christ. The full power of divine grace, in the con for their scriptures. And thus the Syriac Version has interversion of the soul, was not yet completely known.

preted this place. See the note on chap. vi. 1. where this Verse 27. Barnabas-brought him to the apostles] That subject is largely explained. is, to Peter and James; for others of the apostles he saw Verse 30. They brought him down to Cæsarea] Calmet none, Gal. i. 19.

It

appears that he went up at this time to contends that this was Cæsarea of Palestine, and not Cæsarea Jerusalem, merely to see Peter, with whom he abode fifteen Philippi ; it being his opinion, and indeed that of others, days, Gal. i. 18. How it came that the apostles and church that where this word occurs without any addition, in the New at Jerusalem had not heard of Saul's conversion, which had | Testament, Cæsarea of Palestine is meant; and not Cæsarea taken place three years before, is not easy to be accounted Philippi. See on chap. viii. 40. for. The following considerations may help : 1. It is certain Sent him forth to Tarsus.] This was his own city ; and it that intelligence did not travel speedily in those primitive was right that he should proclaim to his own countrymen times; there were few open roads, and no regular posts, ex and relatives that gospel, through which he was become wise cept those between military stations. 2. Though there were to salvation. many Jews in Damascus, and several Christians; yet the city Verse 31. Then had the churches rest] Instead of ci exwas heathen, and under a heathen king, with whom the Jews rangiai, the churches, ABC. several others, the Syriac, at Jerusalem could have little commerce. 3. Though Herod Coptic, Æthiopic, Armenian, and Vulgate, have exx17012, had married the daughter of Aretas; yet, as he had put her the church. Every assembly of God's people was a church ; away, there were great animosities between the two courts, the aggregate of these assemblies was,

The which at last broke out into an open war: this must have word elçuring which we translate rest, and which literally prevented all social and commercial intercourse. 4. The signifies peace, evidently means, in this place, prosperity ; Christians were at that time greatly persecuted by the Jews ; ||and in this sense, both it, and the Hebrew dibu shalom are and therefore the few that dwelt at Damascus could have little repeatedly used. But what was the cause of this rest or connection, if any, with their brethren at Jerusalem. 5. It might success? Some say, the conversion of Saul, who, before, be the interest of the Jews at Jerusalem, supposing they had made havoc of the church : but this is not likely, as he could heard of it, to keep the fact of Saul's conversion as quiet as not be a universal cause of persecution and distress, however possible, that the Christian cause might not gain credit by it. | active and virulent he might have been, during the time of his 6. They might have heard of his conversion; but either did enmity to the Christian church. Besides, his own persecution, not fully credit what they had heard, or were not satisfied related above, shews that the opposition to the gospel conthat the person who now presented himself was the man; fortinued with considerable virulence three years after his conit is not likely that all the Christians at Jerusalem had been version : therefore, it was pot Saul's ceasing to be a persepersonally acquainted with Saul.

cutor, that gave this rest to the churches. Dr. Lardner, Verse 28. He was with them, coming in and going out] ll with a greater show of probability, maintains that this rest

CHURCH.

Peter, preaching through all

CHAP. IX.

quarters, comes to Lydda.

A.M.cir. 4041,
A. D. cir. 37.

A. D. cir. 36.

A.M.cir. 4040. edified; and walking in the fear ofl throughout all quarters, he came
An. Olymp.

the Lord, and in the comfort of the down also to the saints which dwelt An. Olymp. cir. CCIII. 4. Holy Ghost, were multiplied. at Lydda. 32 [ And it came to pass, as Peter passed 33 And there he found a certain man named

cir. CCIV.1.

[blocks in formation]

was owing to the following circumstance : Soon after Cali

up, with course upon course ; 6. the top-stone brought on; gula's accession to the imperial dignity, the Jews at Alex- 7. the roof raised, and the whole covered in ; and, 8. the andria suffered very much from the Egyptians in that city ; interior part fitted up and adorned, and rendered convenient and at length their oratories were all destroyed. In the third for the intended inhabitant. This figure frequently occurs year of Caligula, A. D. 39. Petronius, who was made pre-, in the sacred writings, especially in the New Testament. It sident of Syria in the place of Vitellius, was sent by the has its reason in the original creation of man: God made emperor to set up his statue in the temple at Jerusalem. the first human being as a shrine or temple, in which himself This was a thunder-stroke to the Jews, and so occupied might dwell. Sin entered, and the heavenly building was them, that they had no time to think of any thing else ; ap- destroyed. The materials, however, though all dislocated, prehending that their temple must be defiled, and the national and covered with rubbish, and every way defiled, yet exist; religion destroyed, or themselves run the risk of being ex no essential power or faculty of the soul having been lost. terminated, if they rebelled against the imperial decree. The work of redemption consists in building up this house

The account given by Josephus will set this in a clear as it was in the beginning ; and rendering it a proper habitapoint of view. “ Caligula sent Petronius to go with an army tion for God. The various powers, faculties, and passions, to Jerusalem, to set up his statues in the temple ; enjoining are all to be purified and refined by the power of the Holy him, if the Jews opposed it, to put to death all that made Spirit ; and order and harmony restored to the whole soul. resistance, and to make all the rest of the nation slaves. All this is beautifully pointed out by St. Peter, 1 Epist. chap. Petronius therefore marched from Antioch into Judea, withii

. 4, 5. To whom (Jesus Christ) coming as unto a LIVING three legions, and a large body of auxiliaries raised in Syria. Stone, chosen of God and precious, ye also as Living All were hereupon filled with consternation, the army being stones, are built up a spiritual House, a holy priesthood, come as far as Ptolemais. The Jews then gathering together, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God by Jesus Christ. And went to the plain near Ptolemais, and entreated Petronius St. Paul, who, from his own profession as a tent-maker, in the first place for their laws, in the next place for them- | could best seize on the metaphor, and press it into this spiri. selves. Petronius was moved with their solicitations; and, tual service, goes through the whole figure at large, in the leaving his army and the statues, went into Galilee, and following inimitable words: Ye are the nousehold of God, called an assembly of the heads of the Jews, at Tiberias ; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and and having exhorted them, without effect, to submit to the prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief CORNER-STONE, emperor's orders, said, “Will ye then fight against Cæsar?' || in whom all the BUILDING, FITLY FRAMED together, growetk They answered, that they offered up sacrifices twice every unto a noLY TEMPLE in the Lord: in whom ye also are day for the emperor and the Roman people ; but that if he

BUILDED together for a HABITATION of God, through the would set up the images, he ought first of all to sacrifice the Spirit, Eph. ii. 19-22. Edification signifies, therefore, an whole Jewish nation; and that they were ready to submit | increase in the light, life, and power of God; being founded themselves, their wives and children, to the slaughter." on the doctrine of Christ crucified, having the soul purified Philo gives a similar account of this transaction. See Lard- from all unrighteousness, and fitted, by increasing holiness, ner's Credibility, Works, Vol. I. p. 97, &c.

to be a permanent residence for the ever blessed God. It appears, therefore, that as these transactions took place Walking in the fear of the Lord] Keeping a continually about the time mentioned in the text, that their persecution tender conscience ; abhorring all sin ; having respect to every from the Romans, diverted them from persecuting the Chris- | divine precept ; dreading to offend him, from whom the tians; and then had the churches rest throughout all Judeu, | soul has derived its being and its blessings. Without this and Galilee, und Samaria; the terror occasioned by the im- salutary fear of God, there never can be any circumspect perial decree having spread itself through all those places. walking.

Were edified] Osxocou ovlevat ; a nietaphor taken from a In the comfort of the Holy Ghost] In a consciousness of building. 1. The ground is marked out ; 2. the ichnograph, their acceptance and union with God, through his Spirit; by or dimensions of the building ascertained ; 3. the foundation which, solid peace and happiness are brought into the soul is digged ; 4. the foundation-stone laid ; 5. the walls builded the truly religious man knowing and feeling that he is of God,

Peter heals Æneas, who had been

THE ACTS.

ill of u palsy eight years.

A. D. cir. 37.

A. D. cir. 37.

A. M. cir.4041. Eneas, which had kept his bed eight 35 And all that dwelt in Lydda and A. M.cir. 4011. An. Olymp. years, and was sick of the palsy. • Saron saw him, and turned to the An. Olymp.

34 And Peter said unto him, Eneas, | Lord. * Jesus Christ maketh thee whole : arise, and 36 1 Now there was at Joppa, a certain dismake thy bed. And he arose immediately. ciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is

cir. CCIV.1.

cir. CCIV. 1.

a Ch. 3. 6, 16. & 4. 10.

b 1 Chron. 5. 16.-ech. 11. 21.

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by the Spirit which is given him : nothing less can be implied Verse 34. Jesus Christ maketh thee whole] Not Peter, for in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.

he had no power, but what was given him from above. And as Were multiplied.] No wonder that the church of God in an instrument, any man could heal with this power, as well as creased, when such lights as these shone among men. This Peter; but God chose to put honour upon those primitive is a short, but full and forcible description of the righteous-preachers of his word, that men might see that they were ness, purity, and happiness of the primitive church.

commissioned from heaven. Verse 32. As Peter passed through all quarters] Ala Arise, and make thy bed.] Give now full proof that Jesus Tartwv, Bp. Pearce thinks, should be translated not through Christ has made thee whole, by arising, and by making thy all quarters, but through all the saints. The churches hav- bed. He was at home, and therefore was not commanded, ing rest, the apostles made use of this interval of quiet, to as the paralytic person, to take up his bed; but he was visit the different congregations, in order to build them up on ordered to make it, that all might see that the cure was their most holy faith. Of Saul, we hear no more till chap. perfect. xi. 30. which is supposed to be about five years after this Vorse 35. All that dwelt in Lydıla and Saron saw him] time ; eight in all, from his conversion. Peter, it seems, Saron was that champaign country that lay between Joppa had continued in Jerusalem, all the time that the churches and Lydda. The long affliction of this man had been well were in a state of persecution throughout the whole land. known, and his cure, consequently, became a subject of Great as he was, he never evidenced that steady, determinate general examination : it was found to be real. It was known courage, by which St. Paul was so eminently distinguished; to have been performed by the grace and mercy of Christ; nor did he ever suffer half so much for God and his truth.

and the consequence of all this conviction was, that all these To the saints] The Jeros, who had been converted to people became Christians. Christianity.

Verse 36. Noro there was at Joppa! This was a sea-port Which dwelt at Lydda.] A town in the tribe of Ephraim town on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, about a day's almost on the border of Judea, and nigh unto Joppa : it was journey from Jerusalem. It is supposed to be the same about ten leagues from Jerusalem, and was afterwards known which is called in the Old Testament Japho, which belonged by the name of Diospolis, or the city of Jupiter.

to the tribe of Dan, Josh. xix. 46. It is at present called Verse 33. A certain mun named Eneas] This name has

Jaffa ;

and is still a place of considerable note. been celebrated in the annals of heathen poetry, in that A certain (lisciple named Tubithaj This word is more probeautiful work of the poet Virgil, called the Æneid ; which perly Syriac, than Hebrew. Hoftebilho is the word in the gives an account of the misfortunes, travels, wars, &c. of a Trojan prince of this name, after the destruction of his native Syriac Version, and is their manner of writing the Hebrew

38 tsebi ; the teth being changed for the s isaddi. city Troy. On the difference of names which so frequently occurs in some parts of the Scriptures, Calmet makes the fol- The word lesz tabio, and the feminine Leaf labitho, have lowing judicious remarks : As both Greek and Hebrew, or the same meaning as the Hebrew •38 tsebi, and the Greek Syriac, were commonly spoken in Palestine, most persons Apras Dorcas, and signify the gazel or antelope : and it is had two names, one Greek and the other Hebrew. Thus still customary in the East, to give the names of beautiful Peter was called Cephas in Hebrew, and Petros in Greek. i animals to young women. The comparison of fine eyes to Paul was called Saul in Hebrew, and Paulos in Greek. The those of the antelope, is continually occurring in the writings person in ver. 36. Tabitha in Hebrew, and Dorcas in Greek. of the Arabic and Persian poets. The person in the text And the paralytic person cured by Peter, Hananiah in He probaby had her name in the same way. She was very beaubrew, and Aineas in Greek. So Thomas was the Hebrew tiful, and was therefore called Tabitha and Dorcas. name of the apostle, who in Greek was called Didymus. This woman was full of good works] She spent her life in

llad kept his bed eight years] This was occasioned by a acts of kindness and charity. Her soul was full of love to palsy; and now inveterate and hopeless, through its long God and man; and her whole time was filled up with works standing.

of piety and mercy.

The death and character of Dorcas ;

CHAP. IX.

Peter is sent for, to come to Joppa.

A. D. cir. 37.

A.M.eir. 4041.
A. D. eir. 97.
An. Olymp

A. M. cir. 4041. called a Dorcas: this woman was full 38 And forasmuch as Lydda was
An. Olymp.

of good works and alms deeds which nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had cir. CCIV. 1. she did.

beard that Peter was there; they sent cir. CCIV. 1. 37 And it came to pass in those days, that she unto him two men, desiring him that he would was sick, and died: whom when they had not delay to come to them. washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. 39 Then Peter arose and went with them.

1 Or, Doe, or, Roeb 1 Tim. 2. 10. Titus 3. 8.

. Ch. 1. 13. Or, be grieved.

Verse 37. She was sick, and died) Even her holiness A similar description is given by Virgil of the funeral and usefulness could not prevent her from sickness and death.' obsequies of Misenus, Æneid vi. ver. 212. Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return, is a decree that Nec minus interea Misenum in littore Teucri must be fulfilled, even on the saints ; for the body is dead, Flebant, & cineri ingrato suprema ferebant. sentenced to death, because of sin, though the Spirit be life because of righteousness.

Pars calidos latices et dëna undantia flammis Whom when they had washell] Having the fullest proof Expediunt, corpusque lavant frigentis & unguunt that she was dead, they prepared her for her interment.

In

Fit gemitus : tum membra toro defleta reponunt, most nations of the world, it was customary to wash their

Purpureasque super vestis velamina nota dead before they buried them; and before they laid them Conjiciunt, &c. out, to lie in state, as Homer tells us, was the case with the “ Meanwhile, the Trojan troops with weeping eyes body of Patroclus :

To dead Misenus pay his obsequies. Ως ειπαν, εταροισιν εκεκλετο διος Αχιλλεύς,

First from the ground a lofty pile they rear Αμφι πυρί Σησαι τριποδα μεγαν σφρα ταχιςα

Of pitch-trees, oaks and pines, and unctuous fir : Πατροκλος λουσειαν-----

The fabric's front, with cypress twigs they strew; Και τοτε δη λουσαν τε, και ελειψαν λιπ’ ελαιω- And stick the sides with boughs of baleful yem,

Iliad. xviii. 343.

The topmost part, his glittring arms adorn ; “ So saying, he bade his train surround with fire

Warm waters then in brazen cauldrons borne, A tripod huge, that they might quickly cleanse

Are poured to wash his body, joint by joint; Patroclus, from all stains of clotted gore.

And fragrant oils the stiffened limbs anoint. They on the blazing hearth a tripod placed,

With groans and cries Misenus they deplore. Infus'd the water, thrust dry wood beneath,

Then on a bier with purple covered o'er And soon the flames encompassing around

The breathless body, thus bewail'd they lay. Its ample belly, warmed the flood within.

DRYDEN. Soon as the water in the singing brass

These rites, in many respects, resemble those still used Simmer'd, they bath'd hin, and with limpid oil

among the native Irish. See the account of the funeral ceAnointed.

remonies of the Egyptians, in the notes on Gen. chap. I. 2. They stretch'd him on his bed, then cover'd him The primitive Christians washed the bodies of their dead, not From head to feet with linen texture light,

only out of decency and affectionate respect to them ; but as And with a wide unsullied mantle last.”

a token of their firm belief in the resurrection of the dead.

COWPER. Verse 38. Sent to Peter-desiring that he would not delay The waking or watching of the deal, was also practised to come] Tabitha died at Joppa, and Peter was at Lydda, among the ancient Greeks, as we learn from a preceding pa- about four leagues distant. But why did they send for ragraph, where Achilles, addressing his dead friend Patroclus, Peter? We cannot tell. It is not likely that they had any tells him,

expectation that he should raise her from the dead; for none of Τορα δε μοι παρα νηυσι κορωνισι κεισεαι αυτως

the apostles had as yet raised any : and if God did not chuse Αμφι δε σε Τρωαι και Δαρδανιδες βαθυκολποι

to restore Stephen to life, this favour could not be reasonably KAQ,UGOYTAL, YUXTAS TE nas quota daupuyaoura.. expected, in behalf of inferior persons. However, they

Il. xviii. 338. might hope that he who cured Eneas at Lydda, might cure 66 Mean time, among

Dorcas ; for it is probable that they had sent for Peter My lofty gallies thou shalt lie, with tears

before she died : and in this sense we might understand the Mourned day and night, by Trojan captives fair

απεςειλαν of the text. . And Dardan, compassing thy bier around.COWPER. Verse 39. Shewing the coats and garments] Xitwas

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