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Bible Commentaries
Acts 11

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

Peter Vindicates His Ministry to the Gentiles Before Brethren in Jerusalem, V. 1-18

1) "And the apostles and brethren," (de hoi apostoloi

kai hoi adelphoi) "Then both the apostles and the brethren," of the church, the saints at Jerusalem, and in Judea, Acts 8:1; Acts 8:3.

2) "That were in Judea heard," (hoi ontes kata ten loudaian) "Those who were throughout Judea," having scattered first on the great persecution of the church, (ekousan) "Heard" or received the report with astonishment, Acts 8:4.

3) "That the Gentiles also had received," (hoti kai ta ethne edeksanto) "That the Gentiles, nations, or various ethnic people had also received," Jesus Christ and His word, John 1:11-12; Acts 2:41; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 11:18.

4) "The word of God," (ton logon tou theou) "The word (testimony) of God," concerning the risen Lord, which Peter especially preached to the household of Cornelius, as Philip had preached it to the eunuch, Acts 8:35; Acts 10:36; Acts 10:43.

This word is: a) "True from the beginning," Psalms 119:160.

b) "Inspired of God," 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

c) "Quick and powerful," Hebrews 4:12.

d) "The standard of judgement," 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

Verse 2

1) "And when Peter was coming up to Jerusalem," (hote de anebe Petros eis lerousalem) "Then when Peter went up to Jerusalem," from his Joppa and Caesarea experiences, especially, Acts 9:10.

2) "They that were of the circumcision," (hoi ek peritomes) "Those who were out of or from among (the) circumcision," the Jews, the professed believers in Jesus, a large number still contended that they should observe the law to stay saved, Galatians 2:1-13.

3) "Contended with him," (diekrinonto pros auton) "Disputed with him," Acts 15:1-5; or entered a contention over the matter of his conduct at Cornelius’ house with him, as the Devil contended with Michael, with sharp, contrasting views, Judges 1:9; Galatians 2:11-14.

Verse 3

1) "Saying, Thou wentest in to men," (legontes hoti eiselthes pros andras) "Saying, you entered of your own accord or will to associate with responsible men," they were disregarding his special call and revelation from God that he was to do so, Acts 10:13-20; Acts 10:34-35; Acts 10:43.

2) "Uncircumcised," (akrobusian echontas) "With those who were uncircumcised," did you not? This contention was one of bitterness, not because of Peter’s baptism of Cornelius, as Philip had the eunuch, Acts 8:38-39, but because of his socializing with him, eating with him in his own place of lodging, then in Cornelius’ home, Acts 10:23; Acts 10:25-33.

3) "And didst eat with them," (kai sunephages autois) "And you did eat with them," did you not? This was something Peter later sought to avoid, for which Paul reproved him sharply, Galatians 2:11-14.

To the Law-clinging Jews it was not so offensive for one to become a believer in or follower of Jesus Christ, and be baptized, as it was to socially fellowship together, by eating and lodging in the same residence, see? The middle wall of separation, in worship and Christian fellowship, had been fulfilled and abolished in the death of Christ, a matter they were obstinate in accepting, Colossians 2:14-17; Ephesians 2:11-22.

This act of a Jew eating with a Gentile seems to have become more a traditional law offence than one of Divine origin, John 4:6; John 18:28; Acts 10:28; Mark 7:1-9.

Verse 4

1) "But Peter rehearsed the matter," (de Petros eksetitheto) "Then Peter proceeded to explain the matter," to review or set forth in order what had occurred between him and Cornelius and their encounters with the Lord and each other and near associates of each, as related, Acts 10:1-48.

2) "From the beginning," (arksamenos) "In order from the beginning," from the time the angel of the Lord appeared to him and from the time the Lord appeared to Cornelius, each in separate visions or trances, with revelations of His will for them, John 7:17; Ephesians 5:17.

3) "And expounded it," (eksetitheto) "And expounded it or explained," how it came to be, set forth in an orderly step by step, accurate, and logical manner, with fervor of conviction, James 1:22; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

4) "By order unto them, saying," (autois kathekses legon) "Even in a coherent, chronological, orderly step by step manner, saying," testifying of his experience first in Joppa, while in fasting and prayer, Acts 10:9-10. The best way to clear up fault-finding and misunderstanding is by giving accurate, clear, understandable information.

Verse 5

1) "I was in the city of Joppa praying:” (ego emen en polei loppa proseuchomenos) "I was in the city of Joppa engaged in prayer," praying, Acts 10:9-10.

2) "And in a trance I saw a vision," (kai eidon en ekstasei horama) "And in an ecstasy (trance) I saw a vision," as follows, Acts 10:9-16.

3) "A certain vessel descend," (katabainon skeuos ti) "A certain vessel (containment) coming down," down before me, where I was praying, on the housetop of Simon the tanner, Acts 10:9-10.

4) "As it had been a great sheet," (hos othonen megalen) "Similar to a great sheet," Acts 10:11.

5) "Let down from heaven by four corners," (tessarsin archais kathiemenen ek tou ouranou) "Let down by four corners out of or from heaven," the throne area of heaven itself, Acts 10:11.

6) "And it came even to me:" (kai elthen achri emou) "And it came up to me," upon the rooftop of the house where I was praying in Joppa, Acts 10:11. To Peter it came to prepare him for the special call of God to carry the gospel to the Gentiles in Caesarea, Galatians 2:12.

Verse 6

1) "Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered," (eis hen atenisas katenooun) "Into which when I gazed intently and recognized," or perceived what was before me.

2) "And saw fourfooted beasts of the earth," (kai eidon ta tetrapoda tes ges) "And I saw the quadrapeds or four footed animals of the earth," of all types, as asserted, Acts 10:12.

3) "And wild beasts and creeping things," (kai ta theria kai ta herpeta) "And the wild beasts and the reptiles," including creeping and crawling creatures, of all kinds, Acts 10:12.

4) "And fowls of the air," (kai ta peteina tou ouranou) "And the fowls of the air-heaven," of all manner, types, or kinds. Upon the sheet-vessel appeared all these animal or blood-life creatures for a mighty feast to which Peter was invited, Acts 10:12-13.

Verse 7

1) "And I heard a voice saying unto me," (ekousa de kai phones legouses moi) "Then I also heard a voice instructing to me," from the throne area of heaven, from where the sheet-vessel revelation had been let down, specially to me, to prepare me for a mission to which he was preparing me to go, as surely as he was Paul when he struck him blind, Acts 10:11-13; Acts 9:3-9.

2) "Arise, Peter," (anastas, Petros) "Stand up or arise, Peter," arise from your praying, your devotions, to receive service, marching, witnessing orders, around a specially prepared feast, Acts 10:13; Acts 26:16-20.

3) "Slay and eat," (thuson kai phage) "Slay and eat," of these mixed creatures you behold before you, for the law had been nailed to the cross. There were no longer restrictions against eating any animal (formerly classified under the law as clean or unclean), Colossians 2:14-17. What is more clear is that the middle wall of veil separation that barred or obstructed Jew and Gentile from more intimate social feasting and worshipping together had been removed, Ephesians 2:11-22. This is the primary lesson of the vision of the sheet-vessel.

Verse 8

1) "But I said, Not so, Lord:” (eipon de medamos, Kurie) "Then I replied, not at all Lord," or never Lord. In impulsive Peter-like obstinacy he replied to the Lord erroneously, much as he did on the night of the Lord’s betrayal, Matthew 26:33-35.

2) "For nothing common or unclean," (hoti koinon he akatharton) "Because a common, profane or unclean thing," as defined in Moses law, Leviticus 11:1-4; Isaiah 66:17; Ezekiel 4:14.

3) "Hath at any time entered into my mouth," (ouepote eiselthen eis to stoma mou) "Never at all entered into my mouth with my permission or will;" After three years with the Lord Jesus Christ, in spite of the Lord’s teaching that he had come to fulfill the law and that outward things one ate did not pollute them, Peter still seemed to hold with the ceremonial keepers of the law as if it were applicable to him, Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 16:16; Luke 24:44; Matthew 15:18; Mark 7:18-23.

Verse 9

1) "But the voice answered me again from heaven," (apekrithe de ek deuterou phone ek tou ouranou) "Then replied the second time a voice out of the upper heaven," Acts 10:14.

2) "What God hath cleansed," (ha ho ’ theos ekatharisen) "Whatever God has cleansed," declared to be clean, acceptable, in order for use, Matthew 15:11; Romans 14:14; Romans 14:17; Romans 14:20; 1 Corinthians 10:25; Galatians 3:19-25.

3) "That call not thou common," (su me koinou) "You (are to) regard not (as) common or profane," or to consider or associate it with the unclean, polluted, or profane, or divinely disapproved, Romans 3:3-4. "Do not contradict what I have declared from heaven," the Lord chided and reprimanded Peter, Colossians 2:14-17.

This is not an advocacy of a social revolution to abolish all social orders and merge all into one ethnological race, but one that calls for a recognition of each as having equal access of right to receive salvation, to baptism, and to worship and glorify God in the church, in spiritual matters, without barricades in the flesh of race against race, Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 10

1) "And this was done three times:” (touto de egeneto epi tris) "Now this occurred on three occasions," or this happened three times, in successive order, to reflect the trinity of the matter (divine sanction) and that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter should be established, 2 Corinthians 13:1.

2) "And all were drawn up again into heaven," (kai anespasthe palin hapanta eis ton ouranon) "And all (these) things was (were) pulled up again into heaven," the sheet-vessel and all blood-life living creatures that were types or figures in this lesson of two things: 1) The clean and unclean animal food to be eaten of Jews under the Levitical house-law of Mosaic worship, and 2) Signifying that the Gentiles were no longer to be debarred from worship in the church with Jews of one church body, with the veil now removed, nor should they be considered socially unfit for fellowship in social meals with the Jews; consider the: a) house that Moses built --- the organized Jewish household of administered order of worship and service as having been displaced and replaced with b) house that Jesus built, a better household (church) organized and administered program of worship and service in which Jew and Gentile spiritually may sit down and feast and worship together, Ephesians 2:14-22; Colossians 2:14-17; Mark 13:34; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:1-7.

Verse 11

1) "And, behold, immediately," (kai idou eksautes) "And behold at once," at that moment, or immediately after the sheet-vessel was taken back up into the heaven, from where the disclosure came, Acts 10:16.

2) "There were three men already come unto," (treis andres epestesan) "Three mature or responsible men had presented themselves," having already arrived from the house of Cornelius. The three men were two household servants and a sentry soldier from the centurion Italian band of Cornelius, Acts 10:7-8.

3) "The house where I was," (epi ten oikoan en he emen) "At the (entrance of) the house where I was lodging," at Simon the tanner’s house, Acts 10:5-6.

4) "Sent from Caesarea unto me," (apestalmenoi apo Kaisareias pros me) "Having been deputized or commissioned from Caesarea to me," to secure my help. This rehearsal of the matter, from the beginning, Acts 10:4 is given in absolute and definitive harmony with the progressive occurrences as recounted, Acts 10:3-22.

Verse 12

1) "And the Spirit bade me go with them," (eipen de to pneuma moi sunelthein autois) "Then the Spirit directed me to go in company with them," as surely as He directed Philip to join the chariot of the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:29; as He directed the Antioch church to send out Paul and Barnabas, Acts 13:2; and as Paul was directed by the Spirit to do His will, Acts 20:22-23; Romans 8:14.

2) "Nothing doubting," (meden diakrinata) "Doubting not one thing, - Acts 10:17; questioning nothing, protesting nothing that was declared concerning the clean and unclean in eating as having had restrictions abolished and replaced with the New Testament order of worship and service, Colossians 2:14-17; Ephesians 2:11-22; Acts 10:13-15; Hebrews 3:1-7.

3) "Moreover these six brethren accompanied me," (de elthon sun emoi kai hoi heks adelphoi houtoi) "Then there came in colleague with me these six brethren," from the church, saints, or brethren at Joppa, Acts 9:38; Acts 9:41; Acts 10:23; Acts 10:45.

4) "And we entered into the man’s house:” (kai eiselthomen eis ton oikon tou andros) "And we seven brethren entered into the house of the man," who had sent for us, Cornelius. Thus seven Jewish Christian brethren journeyed from Joppa where Peter had raised Dorcas from the dead and presented her to the disciples, saints, or church brethren in Joppa, from which church mission Peter and the six brethren journeyed to bear the message to this large Gentile household, Acts 10:17-48.

Verse 13

1) "And he shewed us," (apengeilen di hemin) "Then he reported or recounted to us,"

2) "How he had seen an angel in his house," (pos eiden ton angelon en to oiko autou) "How he saw the angel in his house," the messenger from God, Hebrews 1:14; Acts 10:3.

3) "Which stood and said unto him," (stathenta kai eiponta) "Which stood erect and instructed him," communicated to him the following instruction, Acts 10:3-4. He saw this messenger with his eyes, heard him with his ears, and obeyed his directions from his heart, Hebrews 5:9.

4) "Send men to Joppa and call for Simon," (aposteilon eis loppen kai metapempsai Simona) "Send (a deputy) of men, authorized men, to Joppa and summon Simon," a particular Simon, further identified as follows:

5) "Whose surname is Peter," (ton epikaloumenon Petron) "The Simon who is surnamed Peter," which means a little stone, Acts 10:5.

Verse 14

1) "Who shall tell thee words," (hos lalesei hermata pros se) "Who will speak sufficient words to thee," who will tell you, explain or preach to you understandable words, the way, as Philip did to the eunuch, Acts 8:30-35.

2) "Whereby thou shall be saved," (en hois sothese su) "By which you all, and you too, may be saved," in particular, Acts 10:6; Luke 19:9-10; Psalms 19:7; John 6:68; Acts 10:43.

3) "And all thy house," (kai pas ho oikos sou) "All of your household," or your family and servants as well, Romans 1:14-16; Romans 10:8-13. This apostle Peter was an obedient witness of Jesus Christ who had been chosen, and with him, thru his ministry from the beginning, John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:36-43.

Verse 15

1) "And as I began to speak," (en de to arksasthai me lalein) "Then as I began to speak," or "from the time I began speaking and continuing as I spoke," Acts 10:34; Acts 10:43 to explain the scriptures that gave witness to Jesus whom I had known personally, had eaten with, listened to and seen in His life, death, His resurrection and His ascension into heaven.

2) "The Holy Ghost fell on them," (epepesen to pneuma to hagion ep’autous) "The Holy Spirit fell on them," on all those of the household of Cornelius, his near relatives, his household servants, and his intimate friends who had listened to the gospel message, Acts 10:24; Acts 10:33-44.

3) "As on us at the beginning," (hosper kai eph’ hemas en arche) "Just as also (or even as) he did also on us at the beginning," at Pentecost, when the church was empowered to begin her world wide mission of bearing the gospel, "to all nations," beginning at and in Jerusalem, with the same results, Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:15-17; Acts 15:7-9.

Verse 16

1) "Then remembered I the word of the Lord," (emnesthen de hou hrematos tou kuriou) "Then I remembered, I recalled the declaration of the Lord," what the Lord had asserted. The ability to recall and the will and resolution to be a "doer of the word," are desirable virtues for every child of God to cultivate, James 1:22; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 5:17.

2) "How that he said," (hos elegan) "How that he affirmed," Acts 1:4; John 14:26.

3) "John indeed baptized with water;" (loannes men ebaptisen hudati) "John surely baptized (immersed in water," Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5.

4) "But ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost," (humeis de baptisthesthe) "Yet you all will be immersed," (en pneumati hagio) "in or with (the) Holy Spirit;" The "ye" or (you all) referred specifically and definitively to the “church ye," or "you all’ whom He had chosen, called, and commissioned as His church, His house, or His bride to do His work and will, John 7:39; John 15:16; John 15:27; John 20:21; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:5.

Verse 17

1) "Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift," (ei oun ten isen dorean edoken autois ho theos) "Since therefore God doled out to (gave to) them the same, equal, or like-gift," of both the spirit in regeneration and succeeding Holy Spirit manifestation gift to speak in tongues, languages, to glorify God, as the one hundred and twenty church brethren had done on the recent Pentecost, Acts 1:15; Acts 2:4-12; Acts 10:44-46.

2) "As he did unto us," (hos kai hemin) "As also he had to us," without distinction at Pentecost, Acts 2:4-17. The Holy Spirit manifestation gift was bestowed because of and after their trust in Jesus Christ in each instance, not because of circumcision, Acts 10:43.

3) "Who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ," (pisteusasin epi ton kurion lesoun Christon) "Who trusted on the Lord Jesus Christ;" To none was the Holy Spirit manifestation given on Pentecost or later in Cornelius’ house, except to those who had first believed, or first been saved, Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4-17; Acts 10:43-44.

4) "What was I that I should withstand God?" (ego tis hemen dunatos kolusai ton theon) "Who was I to be able to hinder, obstruct, or to act in opposition to God?" in refusing, declining, or hesitating to baptizethem who had believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him thru the message I had preached and which the six Joppa church brethren with me had observed, and to which baptism they consented, when I publicly asked "can any man forbid water that these should be baptized?" Acts 10:34; Acts 10:38. Who was I to disobey God? John 14:15; John 15:14.

Verse 18

1) "When they heard these things," (akousantes de taota) "While hearing these things," as they had been definitively narrated, recounted in clear, conscientious detail, Acts 11:1-17.

2) "They held their peace," (hesuchasan) "They kept silence," or withheld further objections to the ethnic association and religious service that occurred in Caesarea, at the house of Cornelius. They were silenced from contention and fault-finding.

3) "And glorified God, saying," (kai ekoksasan ton theon legontes) "And they gave glory to God affirming," the "they" refers to the Apostles and brethren in the Jerusalem church to which Peter had returned and to whom he had recounted the Joppa and Caesarea experience, Acts 11:1-4.

4) "Then hath God also to the Gentiles," (ara kai tois ethnesin ho theos) "Then God has also to the ethnics, to other races of people," the heathen or Gentiles.

5) "Granted repentance unto life," (ten metanoian eis zoen edoken) "Given repentance to (eis, into) life; Repentance that leads into Spiritual life. Note repentance is doled out or granted from God to all men, and all men are commanded to exercise that gift of remorse, regret, or grief for sin toward Him, by placing personal choice, or volitional trust in Jesus Christ unto life, Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30-31; Acts 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Acts 2:38; Acts 13:24.

Verse 19

Barnabas Sent by Church at Jerusalem to Antioch, V. 19-24

1) "Now they which were scattered abroad," (hoi men oun diasparentes) "Therefore those who were dispersed or scattered abroad," from Jerusalem, Acts 8:4.

2) "Upon the persecution that arose about Stephen," (apo tes thlipseos tes genomense epi Stephano) "From the affliction or persecution occurring over Stephen," surrounding his testimony and mighty message for which he was stoned to death, Acts 7:1-60; Acts 8:1-4.

3) "Traveled as far as Phenice and Cyprus and Antioch," (dielthon eos Phoinikes kai Kuprou kai Antiocheias) "Passed through the country as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch," capitol of Syria, north west of Judea on land and to the Island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean sea north west.

4) "Preaching the word to none," (medeni lalountes ton logon) "Continually speaking the word," witnessing the story of the risen Lord, "to no one," of any other race or ethnic origin.

5) "But unto the Jews only," (ei me monon loudaios) "Except to the Jews alone," they traveled witnessing only to the Jews in these territories, to the Jews first, Romans 1:14-16.

Verse 20

1) "And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene," (esan de tines eks auton andres Kuprioi kai Kurenaioi) "But some of them were mature men who were Cypriotes and Cyrenians," who were preaching the word as they went, Acts 1:8; Acts 8:4. Cyrene was the city of Simon who was compelled to bear the cross of Jesus to Calvary, Matthew 27:32.

2) "Which, when they were come to Antioch, ’(oitines elthontes eis Antiocheian) "Who when they had come into Antioch," capitol of Syria, third city of importance in the Roman Empire to Rome, Italy and Alexandria, Egypt. The city was said to be overrun with Greek parasites, quacks, impostors, with rival debaucheries.

3) "Spake unto the Grecians," (elaloun kai pros tous Hellenas) "Also spoke to the reeks," the intellectual debauching contentious rabble, perhaps Grecian Jews, half-breeds, Romans 1:16.

4) "Preaching the Lord Jesus," (euangelizomenoi ton Kurion lesoun) "Continually preaching the Lord Jesus," that Jesus was Saviour and Master, faithfully, obediently witnessing as members of the Lord’s empowered and commissioned church, to whom He had pledged His eternal presence, Matthew 28:18-20; John 15:16; John 20:21; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Acts 4:12; John 14:16-17.

Verse 21

1) "And the hand of the Lord was with them," (kai en cheir Kuriou met’ auton) "And a master hand was with them," or "The hand of the Lord (Jesus) existed with them," the hand of strength; This refers to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit with leading and sin convicting power, for good, Proverbs 1:22-23; Acts 4:28. It blessed, accompanied the word they preached, 1 Thessalonians 1:5.

2) "And a great number believed," (polus tearithmos ho pisteutas) "To the effect that a large number believed," or a great number trusted in Jesus Christ, received Him, were saved, John 1:11-12; 1 John 5:1; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:8-13.

3) "And turned unto the Lord," (epestrepsen epi ton Kurion) "That is or thereby, they turned to the Lord," in the pattern of their conduct, as a new way of life, as Peter had turned from fishing, Matthew from tax collecting, and Luke from a medical profession, and Paul from a law practice. They turned as the Thessalonians "to serve the living God," and "look for His Son from heaven," 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Mark 8:34-37; Luke 9:23.

The "hand of God" is upon "all them for good that seek Him," means that honest seekers, who believe in God’s existence and goodness, are enabled by the Spirit of God to understand, feel, and know what is necessary to be saved and that only their choice of exercised will determines or seals their destiny for heaven or hell, Ezra 8:22; John 1:11-12; Romans 10:13.

Verse 22

1) "Then tidings of these things came unto the ears," (ekousthe de ho logos) "Then the account (report) of these things was heard, (came to) the ears," to the attention or knowledge, to their intelligence or understanding, Luke 14:35. Men must "take heed how they hear," Luke 8:18.

2) "Of the church which was in Jerusalem:” (tes ekklesias tes ouses en lerousalem peri auton) "Of the church (members) in and around Jerusalem," in the Jerusalem area - - First referred to as the company of 120, Acts 1:15, which grew to above 3,000 souls, Acts 2:41, which number grew to above 5,000, Acts 4:4.

3) "And they sent forth Barnabas," (kai eksapesteilan Barnaban) "And they commissioned, deputized or sent Barnabas forth on a mission," from Jerusalem to come to Antioch, as they had sent forth Peter and John to go into Samaria in a time of need, Acts 8:14.

4) "That he should go as far as Antioch," (heos Antiocheias) "As far as to Antioch." Or "to go to Antioch specifically," to that needy influential capitol city in Syria where a great number of Hellenecians had believed on Jesus Christ and turned from their morally and ethically deviating ways to follow the ways of Jesus Christ and His Church, as those ways were preached and taught to them by missionary witnesses and brethren, Acts 1:8; Acts 11:20-21; according to Matthew 28:19-20.

Verse 23

1) "Who, when he came," (hos paragrnomenos) "Who having arrived," at Antioch, from the Jerusalem church as a sent missionary, Acts 11:22.

2) "And had seen the grace of God, was glad," (kai idon ten charin ten tou theou echare) "And beholding the grace of God (at work) rejoiced," at what he saw, in the lives of the new converts, what he witnessed, what he heard, in spite of the environment and circumstance in the generally debauched atmosphere of the city, given to idolatry and sensuality; of the power of God’s grace, Romans 3:24; Romans 4:17; Romans 4:20.

3) "And exhorted them all," (kai parekalei pantes) "And he exhorted them all," all who had believed and trusted, changed their moral and ethical conduct, putting off such things as hindered their influence and putting on things, adding things, that made for righteous fruitbearing, Ephesians 4:30-31; 2 Peter 1:5-11.

4) "That with purpose of heart," (te prothesei tes kardias) "To the end that with purpose or determination of heart," persistent affections, with the mind of Christ to do the Father’s will, 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 8:12; Philippians 2:5-9, as Paul did, Acts 20:24; Acts 21:13; Romans 1:14-16.

5) "They would cleave unto the Lord," (prosmenein to Kurio) "They would all cleave to (remain) in the (ways) of the Lord," be steadfast, unmovable, unfainting, in the labors of the master, 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Galatians 6:9, even as Paul did, unto death, 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 2:10.

Verse 24

1) "For he was a good man," (hoti en aner agathos) "Because he was (spiritually) a good man," a man good from the heart, though he later once quarreled with Paul over taking or not taking John Mark his nephew, on a missionary tour with him and Paul, and even parted company over the matter, Acts 13:13; Acts 15:36-41.

2) "And full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:" (kai pleres pneumatos hagiou kai pisteos) "And full of or controlled (motivated by) the Holy Spirit and of faith," a desired state and objective of pursuit for every child of God, Ephesians 5:17-18; Galatians 5:22-26. To be "filled with" means to be controlled, superintended, or directed by the Holy Spirit, in harmony with the word of God, 1 John 4:1-3; Romans 8:14; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10.

3) "And much people was added unto the Lord," (kai prosetethe ochlos hikanos to Kurio) "And a considerable crowd (of people) was added to, became attached to the Lord," as a result of his work as on the day of Pentecost, in connection with the preaching of the word of salvation and repeatedly after Pentecost as the Spirit accompanied the word with power, Acts 2:41-47; Acts 5:14. One is added to the Lord by faith in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 3:26; Romans 1:16; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:5; Romans 4:16; Romans 10:8-13.

Verse 25

Barnabas Enlists Paul as Educational Helper at Antioch Church, V. 25, 26

1) "Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus," (ekselthen de eis Tarson) "Then he (Barnabas) went forth of his own will and accord to Tarsus," birthplace of Saul, the one he vouched for, that he might be accepted into the company of fellowship of the church brethren at Jerusalem, whom the Jerusalem brethren later sent forth from Jerusalem to Tarsus, Acts 9:26-30.

2) "For to seek Saul:” (anazetesai Saulon) "To search for Saul," whose whereabouts was not definitely known, except that some six years previously he was sent forth there by the same Jerusalem church that had more recently sent Barnabas to Antioch, Acts 11:22-24. From Saul’s conversion and baptism in the Damascus, Syria area, Acts 9:1-20, A.D. 35 to this time A.D. 42 had been near seven years of which little is known, except a brief time he spent in Damascus and Jerusalem, as he recounted it later, Galatians 1:15-24. Barnabas, in this gesture of search for Paul, showed an unselfish concern for the need of the brethren in Antioch, above his own care for any place of honor or preeminence, an evidence of his being filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit, Acts 11:24; Ephesians 5:17.

Verse 26

First Called Christians at Antioch

1) "And when he had found him he brought him into

Antioch," (kai heuron egagen eis Antiocheian) "And when he (Barnabas) had found (located) him (Saul) he brought him into Antioch," from Tarsus, Acts 11:25.

2) "And it came to pass that a whole year," (egeneto de autois kai eniauton holon) "Then it occurred or happened to them (that for) even a full year," from the time Paul returned from Tarsus to Antioch. This appears to be the first formal New Testament church Bible school. The second in Ephesus for two years, Acts 9:10.

3) "They assembled themselves with the church," (sunachthenai en te ekklesia) "To be assembled in colleague (close relation) with the church," as teachers, instructors, soul winners and church administrative helpers, Ephesians 4:7-11; Galatians 6:6.

4) "And taught much people," (kai didakosi ochlon hikanon) "And to teach (they taught) a considerable crowd or large number of people," in what might be termed a Bible school or Bible Institute labor, 1 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15.

5) "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch," (chrematisai te protos en Antiocheia tous) "And then firstly (in order) the disciples came to be called Christians in Antioch," Acts 26:28. Whether this descriptive title was first given in honor or derision is not clearly disclosed, but whether given in honor or derision it is accepted by true disciples without shame.

Verse 27

Mercy Gifts - Alms Sent by Antioch to Jerusalem V. 27-30

1) "And in those days," (entautais de tais hemerais) "Then in these (those) days," about A.D. 43 or 45, after the Bible School had been operating in the Antioch church for an extended period of time, Acts 11:26.

2) "Came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch," (katelthon apo lerosolumon prophetai eis Antiocheian) "There came down of their own choice prophets from Jerusalem into Antioch;" They were unsent by the Jerusalem church, not authorized to do any mission work in or with Paul and Barnabas in Antioch. The occasion was one when in the midst of conference a visiting prophetic speaker arose and spoke with liberty, as Acts 13:1, according to his prophetic Divine gift manifestation, Acts 2:9; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11.

Verse 28

1) "And there stood up one of them named Agabus

(anastas de wis sks auton onomati Agabos) "Then one of them (the prophets) by name of Agabus stood up," one of those who had come down from Jerusalem, as a witness, of his own accord, with the Holy Spirit gift of prophecy for the profit or edification of all, Ephesians 4:11-14; 1 Corinthians 12:28. He also later prophesied correctly of the coming imprisonment of Paul, Acts 21:10-11.

2) "And signified by the Spirit," (esemainen dia tou pneumatos) "And signified through the Spirit," thru inspiration of the Spirit of prophecy which he had received of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 14:31-32; 1 Corinthians 14:40.

3) "That there should be a great dearth," (limon megale mellein esesthat) "That there was about to be (to exist or become) a great famine," as Joseph prophesied to pharaoh in Egypt, Genesis 41:9; Genesis 41:36; Genesis 41:53-54.

4) "Throughout all the world:” (eph’ holen ten oikomenen) "Upon or over (that would cover) the whole inhabited earth," as in the days of the famine that once turned the world to the storage food shelters in Egypt, Genesis 41:56-57.

5) "Which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar," (hetis egeneto epi Kaudiou) "Which happened or occurred (came to be) in the time of Claudius," who reigned in the land A.D. 41-54, during which time secular history recounts seven famines during his reign as Roman Emperor. He was poisoned by his wife, Agrippina.

Verse 29

1) "Then the disciples," (ton de matheton) "Then the disciples," in the church at Antioch, after hearing the prophecy of Agabus about the coming overspreading, continuing famine through the known world, that affected the Jerusalem area brethren in bringing them near starvation.

2) "Every man according to his ability," (kathos euporito tis) "Just as each was prosperous," or to the extent of the prosperity of each in the church at Antioch, 2 Corinthians 8:12-14; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Luke 6:38.

3) "Determined to send relief," (horisan hekastosauton eis diakonian pempsi) "They determined (each of them) to send something for help, relief, or ministration," Romans 15:26-27; An alms or charitable love gift of compassionate help, John 13:34-35; such as commanded and commended by our Lord, Matthew 25:34-45; James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17.

4) "Unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea," (tois katoikousin en te loudaia adelphois) "To those brethren residing in (making their home in) Judea," a thing many churches on both the Asian and European continents were solicited by Paul to do in showing their love for Christ and His church by charitably sharing to help their church brethren in physical need, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-6; 2 Corinthians 8:10-14; 2 Corinthians 9:1-5.

Verse 30

1) "Which also they did,"(ho kai epoiesan) "Which they also did," as "doers of the word" and not hearers only, James 1:22. They proved themselves to be Christians indeed in their responsive compassion and charity to their needy brethren, John 14:15; John 15:14; John 13:34-35.

2) "And sent it to the elders," (aposteilantes pros tous presbuterous) "Sending it by deputization to the elders," the mature ordained leaders in the Jerusalem church, for fair distribution according to the needs of their members, 2 Corinthians 8:14-15; Acts 6:1-7; Acts 14:23. Elders were mature ordained leaders in the church, not in the office of either deacon or bishop.

3) "By the hands of Barnabas and Saul," (dia cheiros Barnaba kai Saulou) "Through the hand (aid or assistance) of Saul and Barnabas," who went with "the stuff," the charity gift, to see that it reached its destination, to be used as designated, and to see that it was not seized, sold, or misappropriated along the journey, a thing Paul later offered to do in international travel and transport of gifts of a similar nature from the church at Corinth and other European continental churches, 1 Corinthians 16:3-4.

The indoctrinated Antioch church was the first to:

a) Send out foreign missionaries,

b) And to send charitable relief to a sister church.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-11.html. 1985.
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