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Peter is delivered out of

THE ACTS.

prison by an angel.

A.M.cir. 4048. A. D. cir. 44. cir. ccV. 4.

5 Peter therefore was kept in pri- | And he saith unto him, Cast thy gar- A.D.C.948

. An. Olymp. son: but prayer was made without ment about thee, and follow me.

An. Olymp. ceasing of the church unto God

Godi 9 And he went out, and followed cir. Ccv. 4. for him.

him ; and wist not that it was true which was 6 And when Herod would have brought him done by the angel ; but thought he saw a fotth, the same night Peter was sleeping be- vision. tween two soldiers, bound with two chains : and 10 When they were past the first and the sethe keepers before the door kept the prison. cond ward, they came unto the iron gate that

7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came leadeth unto the city; which opened to them upon him, and a light shined in the prison : and of his own accord : and they went out, and passhe smote Peter on the side, and raised him up,ed on through one street; and forthwith the ansaying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell gel departed from him. off from his hands.

11 And when Peter was come to himself, he 8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thy | said, Now I know of a surety, that 'the Lord self, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did.hath sent his angel, and 5 hath delivered me out

a Or, instant and earnest prayer was made. 2 Cor. 1. 11. Eph. 6. 18. i Thes. 5. 17.ch. 5. 19.-Ps. 126. 1. - ch. 10. 3, 17. & 11. 5.

• Ch. 16. 26.-Ps. 34. 7. Dan. 3. 28. & 6. 22. Hebr. 1. 14.- Job 5. 19. Ps. 33. 18, 19. & 34. 22. & 41. 2. & 97. 10. 2 Cor. 1. 10. 2 Pet. 2.9.

Verse 5. Prayer was made without ceasing] The Greek ! sively, is possibly, what is meant by the expression in the word entens signifies both fervour and earnestness, as well text. The prison in which he was confined might have been as perseverance. These prayers of the church produced that that which was at the outer wall. miraculous interference mentioned below; and without which, Iron gate] This was in the innermost wall of the three; Peter could not have thus escaped from the hands of this and was strongly plated over with iron, for the greater securuthless king.

rity. In the East, the gates are often thus secured to the Verse 6. Sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two present day. Pitts says so of the gates of Algiers; and Po. chains] Two soldiers guarded his person; his right hand cock, of some near Antioch. Perhaps this is all that is meant being bound to the left hand of one; and his left hand bound by the iron gate. One of the quaternions of soldiers was to the right hand of the other. This was the Roman method placed at each gate. of guarding their prisoners; and appears to be what is inti Which opened-of his own accord] Influenced by the mated in the text.

unseen power of the angel. Verse 7. Smote Peter on the side] He struck him in The angel departed from him.] Having brought him into such a way, as was just sufficient to awake him from his a place in which he no longer needed his assisiance. What sleep.

is proper to God, he always does : what is proper to man, he His chains fell off from his hands.] The chains mentioned requires him to perform. above, by which he was bound to the two soldiers.

Verse 11. When Peter was come to himself] Every Verse 8. Gird thyself] It seems Peter had put off the thing he saw astonished him; he could scarcely credit his principal part of his clothes that he might sleep with more eyes; he was in a sort of ecstacy; and it was only when the comfort. His resuming all that he had thrown off, was aangel left him, that he was fully convinced that all was real. proof that every thing had been done leisurely. There was Now I knowthat the Lord hath sent his angel] The no evidence of any hurry; nor of any design to elude justice, poor German divine is worthy of pity, who endeavoured to or even to avoid meeting his accusers in any legal way. It persuade himself and his countrymen, that all this talk about appears that the two soldiers were overwhelmed by a deep the angel was mere illusion : that Peter was delivered in a sleep, which fell upon them from God.

way which he could not comprehend, and therefore was led Verse 9. Hewist not] He knew not; from the Anglo-to attribute to a particular providence of God, what probably Saxon, pistan, to know. He supposed himself to be in a was done by the præfect of the prison, who favoured him! dream.

But it is the study of this writer to banish from the word of Verse 10. The first andsecond ward] It is supposed God all supernatural influence; and to reduce even the mira. that ancient Jerusalem was surrounded by three walls : if so, | cles of Christ to simple operations of nature, or to the work. then passing through the gates of these three walls succes- lings of inagination and the prejudices of a weak and credulous

He comes to the house of Mary,

CHAP. XII.

where the disciples are praying.

A. D. cir. 44.

cir, CCV.4.

cir. CCV. 4.

4. M. cir4048. of the hand of Herod, and from all! 15 And they said unto her, Thou A. M. cir.4048.

the expectation of the people of the art mad. But she constantly affirmed An. Olymp. Jews.

that it was even so. Then said they, 12 And when he had considered the thing, "he · It is his angel. came to the house of Mary the mother of John, 16 But Peter continued knocking: and when whose surname was Mark; where many were they had opened the door, and saw him, they gathered together o praying:

were astonished. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of 17 But he, 'beckoning unto them with the the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named hand to hold their peace, declared unto them Rhoda.

how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. 14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she And he said, Go shew these things unto James, opened not the gate for gladness; but ran in, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went and told how Peter stood before the gate. into another place.

* Ch. 4. 23.-_ch. 15. 37.-_. ver. 5.- Or, to ask who was there.

• Gen. 48. 16. Matt. 18. 10.-ch. 13. 16. & 19. 33. & 21. 40.

people. Such men should at once cast off the mask which so in the likeness of different Rabbins. As aylenos signifies in thinly covers their infidelity; and honestly avow themselves general, a messenger, whether divine or human; some have to be what they are, the enemies of revelation in general; and thought that the angel or messenger here, means a servant or of the Christian religion in particular. Peter could say, Now || person which the disciples supposed was sent from Peter to I know of a certainty that the Lord hath sent his angel, and announce something of importance to the brethren: it was delivered me, &c. No such thing, says Mr. E. Peter was also an opinion among the Jews, even in the time of the apos. deceived; it was not the Lord, it was the præfect or some tles, as appears from Philo, that the departed souls of good other person.--Now we know that Peter spake by the Holy men officiated as ministering angels : and it is possible that the Ghost: but we have no such testimony of Mr. E. nor of any disciples at Mary's house, might suppose that Peter had been of his associates.

murdered in the prison; and that his spirit was now come And all the expectation of theJews.] It seems they had to announce this event, or give some particular warning to the built much on the prospect of having him sacrificed, as they church. already had James.

Verse 17. Declared-horo the Lord had brought him out Verse 12. And when he had considered] When he had of the prison] He still persisted in the belief, that his deli. weighed every thing, and was fully satisfied of the divine in verance was purely supernatural. It seems that some modern terposition; he went to the house of Mary the mother of critics could have informed him of his mistake. See ver. 11. John Mark, the author of the Gospel, where it appears many

Shew these things unto James, and to the brethren That were gathered together making prayer and supplication, and is, in one word, shew them to the church, at the head of probably for Peter's release.

which, James undoubtedly was; as.we may clearly underVerse 13. As Peter knocked] The door was probably stand by the part he took in the famous council held at Je. shut for fear of the Jews: and as most of the houses in the rusalem, relative to certain differences between the believing East have an area before the door, it might have been at Jews and Gentiles. See chap. xv. 13-21. There is still no this outer gate, that Peter stood knocking,

supremacy for Peter. He who was bishop or overseer of the A damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.] She came to church at Jerusalem, was certainly at the head of the whole inquire who was thre. Rhoda signifies a rose ; and it appears church of God at this time; but James was then bishop or to have been customary with the Jews, as Grotius and others inspecter of the church at Jerusalem, and consequently, was remark, to give the names of flowers and trees to their daugh- the only visible head then upon earth. ters: thus Susannah signifies a lily, Hadassah, a myrtle, Ta He departedinto another place.] Some popish writers mar, a palm tree, &c. &c.

say that he went to Rome, and founded a Christian church Verse 15. It is his angel.] It was a common opinion there. Those who can believe any thing, may believe this. among the Jews that every man has a guardian angel: and Where he went we know not; but it is probable that he in the popish church, it is an article of faith. The Jews also withdrew for the present into a place of privacy, till the believed that angels often assumed the likeness of particular heat of the inquiry was over, relative to his escape from the persons. They have many stories of the appearance of Elijah || prison : for he saw that Herod vas intent on his death.

The people of Tyre and

THE ACTS. .

Sidon displease Herod.

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A.M.cir.4018.

18 Now as soon as it was day, there one accord to him; and, having 4. M. cir.4048. A. D. cir. 44. An. Olymp:

was no small stir among the soldiers, made Blastus the king's chamber- An. Olymp. cir. CCV. 4. what was become of Peter.

lain their friend, desired peace; be19 And when Herod had sought for him, and cause their country was nourished by the king's found him not, he examined the keepers, and country. commanded that they should be put to death. 21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal And he went down from Judea to Cæsarea, and apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an orathere abode.

tion unto them. 20 I And Herod - was highly displeased with 22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is them of Tyre and Sidon : but they came with the voice of a god, and not of a man.

a Or, bare an hostile mind, intending war.

bed chamber.

Gr. that reas over the king's

c 1 Kings 5. 9, 11. Ezek. 27. 17.

Verse 19. Commanded that they should be put to death.] || tetrarchy of his brother Philip, four years before this) went Ile believed, or pretended to believe, that the escape of Peter || down to Cæsarea and there exhibited shows and games in howas owing to the negligence of the keepers : jailers, watch nour of Claudius, and made vows for his health. On the sea men, &c. ordinarily suffered the same kind of punishment cond day of these shows, he put on a garment made wholly which should have been inflicted on the prisoner, whose es of silver, and of a contexture most truly wonderful; and cape they were supposed to have favoured.

came into the theatre early in the morning ; at which time He went down from Judea to Cæsarea] How soon he the silver of his garment being illuminated by the first rewent down, and how long he staid there, we know not. flexion of the sun's rays, shone out after a surprising män.

Verse 20. Highly displeased with them of Tyre] Onner; and was so resplendent as to spread a horror over those what account Herod was thus displeased, is not related by who looked intently upon him: and presently his flatterers any historian, as far as I have been able to ascertain. Jo-cried out, one from one place, and another from another, sephus who speaks of this journey of Herod to Cæsarea, says “ lle is a god" and they added, “ Be thou merciful to us, nothing of it; and it is useless for us to conjecture.

for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a Having made Blustustheir friend] Blastus was pro-man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to more bably an eunuch, and had considerable influence over his mas tal nature." Nor did the king rebuke them, nor reject ter Herod; and to reach the master, it is likely they bribed the their impious flattery. But looking up he saw an owl on a chamberlain.

certain rope over his head, and immediately conceived that Desired peace] The Tyrians and Sidonians being equally this bird was to him a messenger of ill-tidings; and he fell subjects of the Roman government, with the inhabitants of into the deepest sorrow; a severe pain also arose in his bow. Galilee, Herod could not go to war with them; but being ir-els, and he died after five days' severe illness.” This is the ritated against them, he might prevent their supplies: they sum of the account given by Josephus, Ant. lib. xix. cap. viii. therefore endeavoured to be on peaceable, i. e. friendly terms sect. 2. (See IVhiston's Edition.] Notwithstanding the emwith him.

bellishments of the Jewish historian, it agrees in the main Their country was nourished by the king's country.] That surprisingly, with the account given here by St. Luke. Jois, they had all their supplies from Galilee; for Tyre and Si-sephus, it is true, suppresses some circumstances which would don being places of trade and commerce, with little territory; have been dishonourable to this impious king; and according were obliged to have all their provisions from the countries to his manner, puts a speech in Herod's mouth, when he found under Herod's jurisdiction. This had been the case even himself struck with death, expressive of much humility and from the days of Solomon, as we learn from 1 Kings v. 11. contrition. But this speech is of no authority. When Jose. where it is said, that, Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand

sephus takes

up and pursues the thread of mere historical narmeasures of wheut, for food to his household; and twenty ration, he may be safely trusted : but whenever he begins to measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by embellish, or put speeches in the mouths of his actors, he is no year. See also Ezek. xxvii. 17.

longer to be credited. He even here, traņsforms an angel of Verse 21. Upon a set day, &c.] A day on which games, the Lord, into an owl ; and introduces it most improbably into &c. were exhibited in honour of the Roman emperor. What his narration : as if an owl, a bird of all others that can least this refers to, we learn from Josephus. “ Herod having bear the light, should come and perch on the pavillion of the peigned three years over ALL Judea, (he had reigned over the king, when the sun was shining with the most resplendent rays!

Herod full of arrogance, is smitten of

CHAP. XII.

God, and dies a most miserable death.

A. M. cir. 1018.
A. D. cir. 44.

A. D. cir. 44.

cir. CCV, 4.

23 And immediately the angel of

of || 25 1 And Barnabas and Saul re. A.M.cir.4018. An. Olymp the Lord #smote him, because he turned from Jerusalem, when they An. Olymp.

gave not God the glory: and he was had fulfilled their d ministry, and cir. CCV. 4. eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

e took with them John, whose surname was 24 I But the word of God grew and multi- Mark. plied.

• 1 Sam. 25. 38. 2 Sam. 24. 17.-Ps. 115. 1.- Isai. 56. 11.

ch. 6, 7. & 19. 20. Col. 1. 6.

a Or, charge. ch. 11. 29, 30.- ch. 13. 5, 13. & 15. 37.

rver. 19.

Verse 23. The angel of the Lord smote him. His death was the son of Mary, mentioned ver. 12. He accompanied was most evidently a judgment from God.

the apostles to Cyprus, and afterwards in several of their Because he gave not God the glory] He did not rebuke voyages till they came to Perga in Pamphylia. Finding them bis flatterers, but permitted them to give him that honour | about to take a more extensive voyage, he departed from that was due to God alone. See on ver. 21.

them. See the case chap. xiii. 13. and xv. 37–40. And was eaten of worms] Whether this was the morbus pedicularis, or whether a violent inflammation of his bowels, 1. When the nature, spirit, and tendency of Christianity terminating in putrefaction, did not actually produce worms, are considered, we may well be astonished that it should ever which for several days, swarmed in his infected entrails, we find a persecutor among the souls it was designed to instruct cannot tell. It is most likely that this latter was the case; and save! Devils can have no part in it, and therefore we and this is at once more agreeable to the letter of the text, may naturally expect them, through envy and malice, to opand to the circumstances of the case, as related by Josephus. I pose it; but that men, for whose use and salvation the wis

And gave up the ghost.] That is, he died of the disorder by dom and mercy of God made it, should reject its offers of which he was then seized, after having lingered in excruciating mercy, and persecute to death those who proclaimed it, is torments, for five days, as Josephus has stated. Antiochus the most unaccountable thing that can be conceived. What Epiphanes, and Herod the Great, died of the same kind of a proof is this of mere maliciousness, where the persecutor disease. See the observations at the end of chap. i. relative || not only serves no self-interest by it, but destroys, as far as he to the death of Judas.

can, all that could promote his own present and eternal happi. Verse 24. But the word of God] The Christian doctrine || ness! This argues such blindness of understanding, hardness preached by the apostles, grew and multiplied; became more of heart, and derangement of mind, as can be accounted for evident, and had daily accessions ; for the spirit of revelation only on the supposition of a nature totally fallen from God, rested on those men, and God was daily adding to that word righteousness, and truth. The Jews crucify Christ, and maras circumstances required, in order to complete that testimony li tyr Stephen ; and Herod murders James; and both join toof his, which we now find contained in the New Testament.gether to persecute the followers of Christ and destroy his As there is in the original, an allusion to the vegetation of cause. Reader, consider the consequences: this bad people grain, (r=&ave, it grew, as corn grows, the stalk and the ear; were permitted to remain till they had filled up the measure 4.25 87117, IUVET0, it was multiplied, as the corn is in the full ear,) || of their iniquity; and were then cut off by a most terrible there is probably a reference to the parable of the sow ER and judgment : and Herod was visited for his transgressions in his SEED;

for the seed is the word of God, and the doctrine | such a most awful way, as strongly marked the displeasure of of the kingdom. It was liberally sown; it grew vigorously; God against persecutors. If a man contend with a man, the and became greatly multiplied. And why? because it was contest is in a certain way equal : the potsherds strive with the word, the doctrine of God, there was no corruption in it: the potsherds of the earth: but when a man enters the lists and because God watered it with the dew of heaven from on against his Muker, as every persecutor does, woe unto that man! high.

he must be torn in pieces, when there is none to deliver. Verse 25. Returned from Jerusalem] That is, to Anti 2. How true is the saying, there is neither counsel nor och, after the death of Herod.

might against the Lord. In the midst of all troubles and When they had fulfilled their ministry] When they had | afilictions, that kingdom of heaven which is like a gruin of carried the alms of the Christians at Antioch, to the poor | mustard seed, grew and increased, and became a mighty tree saints at Jerusalem, according to what is mentioned, chap. / which is now filling the whole earth ; and fowl of every wing, xi. 29, 30. to support them in the time of the coming fa are flying to lodge in its branches. Ride on and be thou mine.

prosperous, o Christ! we wish thee good luck with thine And took with them John, whose surname was Mark.] This honour.

Names of certain prophets

THE ACTS.

and teachers at Antioch.

CHAPTER XIII. Of the prophets and teachers in the church of Antioch, 1. By command of the Holy Spirit, the church appoints Saul

and Barnabas to a particular work, 2, 3. They depart and travel to Seleucia, Cyprus, and Salamis, preaching in the Jewish synagogues, 4, 5. At Paphos they meet with Barjesus or Elymas a Jewish sorcerer, who endeavoured to prevent the Deputy of the island, from receiving the Christian faith, 6–8. Saul, for the first time called Paul, denounces the judgments of God upon him, and he is struck blind, 9-11. The Deputy seeing this, is confirmed in the faith, 12. Paul and his company leave Paphos, and come to Pamphylia, where John Mark leaves them, and returns to Jerusalem, 13. Paul and Barnabas proceed to Antioch, and coming into a synagogue of the Jews, are requested by the rulers of it to preach to the people, 14, 15. Paul preaches, and proves that Jesus is the Christ, 16–41. The Gentiles desire the sermon to be preached to them the next sabbath, and many of the Jews and proselytes receive the Christian faith, 42, 43. The next sabbath the whole city attend ; and the Jews, filled with envy, contradict and blaspheme, 44, 45. Paul and Barnabas with great boldness shew, that by the order of God the gospel was to be preached first to them; but seeing they had rejected it, it should now be taken from them, and sent to the Gentiles, 46, 47. The Gentiles rejoice and receive the truth, 48, 49. The Jews raise a persecution against the apostles, and expel them, 50. They come to Iconium, full of joy and the Holy Ghost, 51, 52.

COW there were in the church || of Cyrene, and Manaen, a which had A.M.cir. 4049 An. Olymp.

that was at Antioch certain | been brought up with Herod the te An. Olymp

prophets and teachers; as "Barnabas, || trarch; and Saul. and Simeon that was called Niger, and · Lucius 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted,

A.M.cir. 4019.
A. D. cir. 45.

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A. D. cir. 45.

cir. CCVI. 1.

cir. CCVI.1.

a Ch. 11. 27. & 14. 26. & 15. 35.-_och. 11. 22-26.

c Rom. 16. 21.

d Or, Herod's foster-brother.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIII.

woman who nursed Herod Antipas; and the son also, whose Verse 1. Certain prophets and teachers] [169¢7,741 xan milk the young Herod shared. Of a person whose name was oidacxa2.00. It is probable that these were not distinct offi Manaen or Menahem, and who was in the court of Herod, ces: both might be vested in the same persou. By prophets we read several things in the Jewish writers. They say that we are to understand, when the word is taken simply, per this man had the gift of prophecy, and that he told Herod sons who were frequently inspired to predict future events; when he was but a child, that he would be king. When and by teachers, persons whose ordinary office was to instruct Herod became king he sent for him to his court; and held him the people in the Christian doctrine. These also, to be pro in great estimation. It might have been the son of this Me. perly qualified for the office, must have been endued with the nahem, of whom St. Luke here speaks. Dr. Lightfoot has influence of the Holy Spirit; for as but a very small portion

shewn this to be at least possible. of the scriptures of the New Testament could have as yet Verse 2. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted] On been given, it was necessary that the teachers should derive Mondays and Thursdays it was usual with the more pious much of their own teaching by immediate revelation from Jews to attend the public service in their synagogues, and to God. On prophets and teachers, see the note on chap. fast: the former is what we are to understand by ministering xi. 27.

to the Lord. On the sabbaths they attended the service in Barnabas] Of whom see before, chap. xi. 22—24. the synagogue, but did not fast. The Greek word, Leitoup

Simeon--Niger] Or Simeon the Black, either because of yourTwv, signifies performing the optiče of praying, supplicathis complexion, or his hair. It was on reasons of this kind ing, rendering thanks, &c. hence the word leitefyla liturgy, that surnames, surnonis, name upon name, were first imposed. the work of prayer, &c. from doon supplication, according Of this Simeon nothing farther is kuown.

to some; or rather from leitos common, and apyoy work, the Lucius of Cyrene] See chap. xi. 20.

common or public work in which all the people were engaged. Manuen, which had been brought up with Herod] Our The Holy Ghost said] A revelation of the divine will margin has given the proper meaning of the original word was made to some person then present; probably to either GOYTpoços a foster-brother; i. e. Manaen was the son of the Il Simcon, or Lucius, or Manaen mentioned before.

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