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tized with water; but ye shall be baptized | grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them with the Holy Ghost.
all, that with purpose of heart they would 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them cleave unto the Lord. the like gift as he did unto us, who believed 24 For he was a good man, and full of on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much I could withstand God?
people was added unto the Lord. 18 When they heard these things, they 25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, held their peace, and glorified God, saying, for to seek Saul : Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted 26 And when he had found him, he repentance unto life.
brought him unto Antioch.
And it came 19 F 'Now they which were scattered to pass, that a whole year they assembled abroad upon the persecution that arose about themselves with the church, and taught Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and much people. And the disciples were called Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to Christians first in Antioch. none but unto the Jews only.
27 9 And in these days came prophets 20 And some of them were men of Cyprus from Jerusalem unto Antioch. and Cyrene, which, when they were come to 28 And there stood up one of them named Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there the Lord Jesus.
should be great dearth throughout all the 21 And the hand of the Lord was with world : which came to pass in the days of them: and a great number believed, and Claudius Cæsar. turned unto the Lord.
29 Then the disciples, every man accord22 | Then tidings of these things came ing to his ability, determined to send relief unto the ears of the church which was in unto the brethren which dwelt in Judæa : Jerusalem : and they sent forth Barnabas,.30 Which also they did, and sent it to that he should go as far as Antioch. the elders by the hands of Barnabas and 23 Who, when he came, and had seen the Saul.
Chap. 8. 1. • Or, in the church. Verse 19. “ Phenice.”—Most writers suppose that Phænicia is here intended. But this was so near-being, as it were, a part of Palestine when under the same government that we are more inclined to agree with Dr. Wells and a few others, who think that the sea-port of this name in the island of Crete is denoted. (See the note on ch. xxvii. 12.)
26. “ Christians." —Before this, and indeed after, we find that they were called among themselves, disciples, brethren, saints, believers, the faithful; and that the Jews called them Nazarenes and Galileans. It has been disputed whether they took this name to themselves, or their adversaries applied it to them. That they took it to themselves does not seem very likely when we consider that the name is not subsequently employed by Luke himself, or by the apostles in their writings. It occurs, indeed, in 1 Pet. iv. 16, and is implied in verse 14, where, however, it is introduced as being applied reproachfully by persons not professing the Christian religion. On the other hand, the Jews were not likely to apply this name to the followers of Jesus, since it would, on their part, imply that he was the Christa point which they have always stiffy denied. In fact, they continued to call, and do continue to call them by other names. It therefore only remains that the name should have been applied by the Gentiles of Antioch; which is the more probable, considering that they really wanted a name by which to denote, without circumlocution, the followers of the new religion. The names used by the apostles, they could not appreciate or employ; and those employed by the Jews had no force to them; and it therefore became natural that they should give them a name from Christ, of whom they so continually heard them speak. That the name was originally applied as a term of scoffing and reproach, as some allege, is indeed possible, but does not appear to us, by any means, a necessary conclusion.
28. “ Agabus.”—Ecclesiastical history does not notice this Agabus. But the Greeks believe that he was one of the Seventy disciples, and allege that he suffered martyrdom at Antioch.
“ Which came to pass in ihe days of Claudius Cæsar."— History records four famines, all of them local, which occurred in the time of Claudius ; and some expositors have adduced them all as fulfilling the present prophecy, without considering that they occurred in different years. They seem to have thought it necessary to understand the whole world” in the large sense of the whole Roman empire ; but, even so, these four famines, put together, affected only a small part of the Roman empire. It is more probable that Palestine only is intended ; particularly as the disciples at Antioch did not expect to suffer by the famine themselves, and determined to send relief to their brethren in Judea. A very severe famine accordingly happened in that country; and that it was confined to it, appears from the manner in which Josephus mentions relief as being brought from other countries, which he describes as supplying large quantities of corn when it became necessary to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread. This also appears from the manner in which he states the bounties of queen Helena of Adiabene, who came at this time to Jerusalem. " She came very seasonably for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who were at that time greatly afflicted by so grievous a famine, that many perished for want of food. Helena sent to Alexandria some of her own people, who brought back large quantities of corn; and others she despatched to Cyprus, whence they returned with cargoes of figs: all which food was, on its arrival, distributed to the needy in Jerusalem” (* Antiq.'xx. 2. 6). This statement does, at the same time, show the fulfilment of the prophecy and limits its application.
12 And when he had considered the thing, | King Herod persecuteth the Christians, killeth
he came to the house of Mary the mother James, and imprisoneth Peter; whom an angel
of John, whose surname was Mark; where delivereth upon
prayers of the Church. 20 In many were gathered together praying. his pride taking to himself the honour due to God, 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of he is stricken by an angel, and dieth miserably, the gate, a damsel came 'to hearken, named
24 After his death, the word of God prospereth. Rhoda. Now about that time Herod the king 14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she 'stretched forth his hands to vex certain of opened not the gate for gladness, but ran the Church.
in, and told how Peter stood before the 2 And he killed James the brother of gate. John with the sword.
15 And they said unto her, Thou art 3 And because he saw it pleased the mad. But she constantly affirmed that it Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter was even so. Then said they, It is his also. (Then were the days of unleavened angel. bread.)
16 But Peter continued knocking: and 4 And when he had apprehended him, when they had opened the door, and saw him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to they were astonished. four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; 17 But he, beckoning unto them with the intending after Easter to bring him forth to hand to hold their peace, declared unto them the people.
how the Lord had brought him out of the 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison : but prison. And he said. Go shew these things #prayer was made without ceasing of the unto James, and to the brethren. And he Church unto God for him,
departed, and went into another place. 6 And when Herod would have brought 18 Now as soon as it was day, there was him forth, the same night Peter was sleep- no small stir among the soldiers, what was ing between two soldiers, bound with two become of Peter. chains: and the keepers before the door 19 And when Herod had sought for him, kept the prison.
and found him not, he examined the keep7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord ers, and commanded that they should be put came upon him, and a light shined in the to death. And he went down from Judæa prison : and he smote Peter on the side, to Cæsarea, and there abode. and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. 20 q And Herod 'was highly displeased And his chains fell off from his hands. with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thy- came with one accord to him, and, having self, and bind on thy sandals. And so he made Blastus "the king's chamberlain their did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy gar- friend, desired peace; because their country ment about thee, and follow me.
was nourished by the king's country. 9 And he went out, and followed him; 21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed and wist not that it was true which was in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and done by the angel ; but thought he saw a made an oration unto them. vision.
22 And the people gave a shout, saying, 10 When they were past the first and the It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. second ward, they came unto the iron gate 23 And immediately the angel of the that leadeth unto the city; which opened to Lord smote him, because he gave not God them of his own accord : and they went out, the glory: and he was eaten of worms,
1 and passed on through one street; and forth- gave up the ghost. with the angel departed from him.
24 But the word of God grew and mul11 And when Peter was come to himself, tiplied. he said, Now I know of a surety, that the 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Lord hath sent
his angel, and hath delivered Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their me out of the hand of Herod, and from all ministry, and took with them John, whose | the expectation of the people of the Jews. surname was Mark. 1 Or, began.
* Or, bare a hostile mind, intending wdr. * Gr. that was over the king's bed-chamber. & Or, charge-chap. 11. 29, 30. Verse 1. “ Herod the king.”—His proper name was Agrippa ; but when he became king, he took the name of Herod, which seems to have been considered, in the Herodian family, as a sort of title of sovereign distinction—like " Cæsar"
2 Or, instant and earnest prayer was made.
8 Or, to ask who was there.
to the emperors ;-the one being taken from Herod the Great, and the other from Julius Cæsar. Agrippa's father was Aristobulus, a son of Herod the Great by the Asmonean Mariamne; and one of his sisters was the noted Herodias, the wife of Herod of Galilee. Agrippa himself was born three years before the birth of Christ, and he was but two years old when his grandfather, Herod, put to death Aristobulus and another of his sons, Alexander. After this, Herod sent the child to Rome for education, and that he might grow up under the imperial favour. The emperor Tiberius became attached to him, and determined to place him near his own son Drusus, whose favour, as well as that of the empress Antonia, he also obtained. But Diusus died; and Tiberius loathing to see the familiar faces of those he had been wont to see around his son, commanded them all to depart from Rome. Agrippa was then a young man, overwhelmed with debts and perfectly destitute. He returned to his own country; but would not go to Jerusalem, as he had no means of making a figure there corresponding to his birth and disposition. He therefore retired to the castle of Massada, where he lived more like a private person than a prince. His uncle, Herod of Galilee, who for a long time behaved very generously to him, allowed him a yearly pension, and made him governor of Tiberias ; but finding that nothing he felt disposed to do could support his nephew's profuseness and large expenses, he one day ventured to reprove him gently for his bad management. Agrippa took offence at this; and repaired to Flaccus, the proconsul of Syria, with whom he had been acquainted at Rome, and who gave him a good reception. But he was soon again left destitute, in consequence of being accused of accepting a large bribe to use his influence with Flaccus in favour of the Damascenes, in a dispute about boundaries between them and the Sidonians. He then proceeded to Ptolemais, where he borrowed some money, and was purposing to sail for Rome, when he was arrested by a body of cavalry, sent by the imperial procurator of Jamnia, to require payment of a debt of 300,000 denarii, which he had formerly contracted. Agrippa promised to pay; but, taking advantage of the night, fled to the ship. He sailed to Alexandria, and there borrowed 200,000 denarii, on his wife's security, from Alexander the Alabarch, whom we have mentioned under ch. iv. 6. He then proceeded to Rome, where Tiberius, whose affliction for the loss of Drusus had been softened by time, received him with great kindness, and assigned him an apartment in the palace. The day after, however, the emperor received a letter from the procurator of Jamnia, acquainting him with the debt of Agrippa and his flight from Ptolemais; on which Tiberius forbade him his presence until his debt should be discharged. On this he got the empress Antonia to lend him the required sum, and thus cleared himself of this troublesome affair. He afterwards repaid the empress, out of a larger sum which he borrowed elsewhere. Being now restored to the favour of Tiberius, Agrippa was directed to attend on Tiberius Nero, the son of Drusus : but he chose rather to attach himself to Caius Caligula-the son of Germanicus, and grandson of his benefactress, the empress Antonia—who soon became so partial to the Jewish prince that he could not live without him.
They were one day riding together, when Agrippa expressed a wish to Caius, that Tiberius would soon die and leave the empire to him. This was overheard by a slave who had been freed by Agrippa, and who being soon after arrested for theft, screened himself from immediate punishment by alleging that he had a matter of great importance to communicate to the emperor. His application was at first neglected, until Agrippa himself, by means of Antonia, procured an audience for him. Immediately after the emperor had heard the man's communication, Agrippa, though clothed in purple, was put in chains, and committed to the guard of an officer, who had orders to watch him strictly.
Tiberius did not, however, live much longer; and Caius, who succeeded, immediately released Agrippa from his confinement; and, a few days after, calling him to his presence, he presented him with a royal diadem, constituting him king of Gaulonitis, Batanea, Trachonitis, and the tetrarchy of Lysanias: he also bestowed upon him a chain of gold, equal in weight to the one of iron by which he had been fastened to the soldier who had kept him in custody:
Agrippa tarried more than a year at Rome, before he proceeded to take possession of his kingdom. On his way, he received, at Alexandria, the signal insult which we have already described under Luke xxiii. 11. On his arrival, his guod fortune roused the envy of his wicked sister Herodias, who prevailed upon her husband to proceed to Rome, and endeavour also to obtain the title of king from the emperor. How he failed, we have shown in the note to Matt. xiv. l; and, having lost all in the attempt to gain more, his tetrarchy of Galilee was added to the kingdom of Agrippa.
Agrippa soon after went to Rome himself, and while there rendered the Jews a service, of which they were gratefully mindful, in persuading the emperor to recall an order which he had issued for his statue to be placed in the temple of Jerusalem: for Caius Caligula, although a monster of profligacy, claimed to be a god, and was greatly enraged when informed that, of all his subjects, the Jews alone refused him divine honours.
Agrippa was still at Rome when Cains was assassinated, soon after this transaction; and he then took a very conspicuous and influential part in the affairs of the imperial city. Claudius Drusus, who was called to the empire by the soldiers, being a quiet and unambitious man, wished to decline that honour ; but Agrippa encouraged him to accept it, and persuaded the senate to acknowledge him as emperor. Claudius was grateful for these services; and, as soon as he had assumed the government, raised Agrippa to the rank of consul, conferred upon him Samaria, Judea, Abila of Lysanias, and a part of Libanus; and concluded an alliance with him in the Forum at Rome. Thus the entire kingdom of Herod the Great, which after his death had been broken into several governments, was reconstructed in favour of his grandson. As a further token of his regard, the emperor bestowed the kingdom of Chalcis upon Agrippa's brother Herod. Having thus suddenly, after the great vicissitudes of his remarkable life, become one of the greatest princes of the East, Agrippa returned to Judea, which he governed for about three years, very much to the satisfaction of the Jews, among whom he was highly popular, from the desire which he exhibited to please them, and from the zeal which he felt or affected for their religion. This brings us to the date at which the present chapter commences.
2. “ He killed James... with the sword."—Now, under the rule of a native prince, we cease to read of crucifixions, and find such forms of capital punishment which the Jews were accustomed to employ. Slaying with the sword was accounted the most ignominious of the four forms of capital punishment which were in use among them,
4. “ Four quaternions of soldiers.”—That is, sixteen soldiers, consisting of four in each party. They were probably to watch him in turns, four at a time. We may collect from verse 6, that, of the four soldiers constantly keeping guard, two watched at the door of the prison, and that Peter was chained to the other two, so that he was between them, his right arm being chained to the left arm of one soldier, and his left arm to the right arm of the other. This will illustrate the subsequent details.,
15. " His angel."- As explained by the notions of the Jews, this would not mean Peter's ghost, or intimate that they supposed him dead; nor, necessarily, that it was his guardian angel (for they supposed every person had one); but that it was an angel in his shape. They believed that commissioned angels did sometimes assume the appearances of particular men, especially when they had something to communicate which might most suitably come from the persons whose aspects they assumed.
19. “Commanded that they should be put to death."— It was very generally, in ancient times, considered a capital offence, for those to whom prisoners were entrusted to permit their escape. Herod was probably the more induced to this, that by throwing the blame and penalty on the keepers, he might express his own real or assumed disbelief of the account which they had given.
“ He went down from Judæa to Casarea." - Josephus acquaints us with the object of this journey, which was to preside at the solemnities and games which were celebrated every Olympiad in honour of Cæsar. "Great numbers of persons of rank and distinction resorted to Cæsarea on this occasion.
20. “ Because their country was nourished by the king's country.”—The people of Tyre and Sidon having but a very limited territory, and being entirely devoted to commerce and manufactures, necessarily depended upon the Jerish territory for their supplies of grain. We have explained this more fully elsewhere. The cause of the difference, which was made up on this occasion, nowhere appears.
21. “ Upon a set day," &c.—The account here given, agrees with and corroborates that which Josephus has supplied of the same circumstances. We must adduce his statement, not only for the sake of the perfect coincidence, but for the circumstances of explanation which it supplies to the briefer narrative of St. Luke.
The “set day” was the second day of the festival. On that day, Herod Agrippa put on a dress of rich and curious texture; and when he appeared in the theatre, the beams of the rising sun were reflected from the silver garment with such wonderful and dazzling effect, that the spectators were struck with awe and admiration. On this some fawning parasites cried out that he was a god; and in set form they implored him, “Be thou merciful unto us; for although we have hitherto received thee only as a man, yet henceforth we shall regard thee as superior to mortal nature.” This impious flattery was not rejected by the king, nor did he rebuke those by whom it was offered. But just then looking up, according to Josephus, he beheld an owl sitting on a cord over his head; and he immediately understood that its appearance was of evil omen to him ; for it had been predicted to him by a German, while he was in chains at Rume, that an owl which then appeared was an auspicious omen of deliverance to him, but that when he should again see it. he would die within five days. The omission of this absurd incident of the owl, by which Josephus manages to make a very sad narrative ludicrous, is certainly not a circumstance which detracts from the superior authority of St. Luke as an historian. But, to proceed. The king was immediately smitten with grievous torments in his bowels; and, in his agony, he turned to those around him, and exclaimed, “ Behold, your god is now condemned to die: and it is now my sad necessity to prove that my flatterers are a set of profligate liars, and to convince the world, by dying, that I am not immortal, But God's will be done." With these words his pains so increased upon him that it was necessary to re move him to his palace. After five days, during which his tortures had no abatement, he expired, being then in the fifty-fourth year of his age, and the seventh of his reign. (* Antiq.' xix. 8.)
Thus Josephus concurs with the Evangelist in ascribing the death of Herod to the manifest and immediate judgment of God upon him, for his acceptance of impious flatteries. There is no real difference between them as to the malady of which he died. Josephus does not mention the disease, but merely the effect, agonizing pains in the bowels : but Luke, who was a physician, goes higher, giving the cause of those pains—"he was calen of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
of the Jews: and they had also John to their
minister. 1 Paul and Barnabus are chosen to go to the Gen.
6 And when they had gone through the isle tiles. 7 Of Sergius Paulus, and Elymas the sor14 Paul preacheth at Antioch, that Jesus
unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, is Christ. 42 The Gentiles believe : 45 but the a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was BarJews gainsay and blaspheme: 46 whereupon they jesus: turn to the Gentiles. 48 As many as were ordained 7 Which was with the deputy of the to life believed.
country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent Now there were in the church that was at who called for Barnabas and Saul, and deAntioch certain prophets and teachers ; as sired to hear the word of God. Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, 'which name by interpretation) withstood them, had been
brought up with Herod the te- seeking to turn away the deputy from the trarch, and Saul.
faith. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul) fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto him, I have called them.
10 And said, O full of all subtilty and 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou and laid their hands on them, they sent them enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not away.
cease to pervert the right ways of the 4' So they, being sent forth by the Holy Lord ? Ghost, departed unto Seleucia ; and from 11 And now, behold, the hand of the thence they sailed to Cyprus.
Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, 5 And when they were at Salamis, they not seeing the sun for a season. And impreached the word of God in the synagogues mediately there fell on him a mist and a
"Or, Hcrod's foster-brother.
darkness; and he went about seeking some they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, to lead him by the hand.
ʻand with an high arm brought he them out 12 Then the deputy, when he saw what of it. was done, believed, being astonished at the 18 And about the time of forty years doctrine of the Lord.
*suffered he their manners in the wilder13 Now when Paul and his company ness. loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in
19 And when he had destroyed seven Pamphylia : and John departing from them nations in the land of Chanaan, 'he divided returned to Jerusalem.
their land to them by lot. 14 | But when they departed from Per- 20 And after that he gave unto them ga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and judges about the space of four hundred and went into the synagogue on the sabbath fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. day, and sat down.
21° And afterward they desired a king : 15 And after the reading of the Law and and God gave unto them Saul the son of the Prophets the rulers of the synagogue Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the sent unto them, saying, Ye men and bre- space of forty years. thren, if ye have any word of exhortation 22 And when he had removed him, he for the people, say on.
raised up unto them David to be their king ; 16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning to whom also he gave testimony, and said, with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man that fear God, give audience.
after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all 17 The God of this people of Israel chose my will. our fathers, and exalted the people 'when 23 Of this man's seed hath God accord
Gr. mporopópnois, perhaps for impopopópnosy, as a nurse beareth, or, feedeth her child.-Deut. 1. 31; 2 Mac. 7.97 i according to the Sept., and so Chrysost.
• Judges 3. 9.
2 Exod. 1. 1.
9 Exod. 13. 14, 16.
71 Sam. 8.5.
81 Sam. 16. 13.
9 Psal. 89. 20.
5 Josh. 14. 9.
10 Isa. 11.).