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Acts 4


 1 And (1) as they spake unto the people, the Priests and the (a) (*) Captain of the Temple, and the Sadducees came upon them,


(1) None are commonly more diligent or bolder enemies of the Church, than such as profess themselves to be head builders; but the more they rage, the more constantly the faithful servants of God do continue.
(a) The Jews had certain garrisons for the guard and safety of the Temple and holy things, Matthew 26:65 . These garrisons had a Captain, such as Eleazarus Ananias the high Priest's son was, in the time of the war that was in Judea, being a very impudent and proud young man, Josephus, library 2, of the taking of Judea.

(*) It is to be thought that this was the Captain of the Romanís garrison.


 2 Taking it grievously that they taught the people, and preached in Jesusí Name the (*) resurrection from the dead.


(*) The Sadducees were great enemies to this doctrine.


 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold, until the next day, for it was now eventide.


 4 Howbeit, many of them which heard the word, believed, and the (b) number of the men was about (*) five thousand.


(b) While they thought to diminish the number, they increased them.

(*) The whole Church was increased to this number.


 5  ∂ And it came to pass on the morrow, that their (c) rulers, and Elders, and Scribes, were gathered together at Jerusalem,


(c) These were they that made the Sanhedrin, which were all of the tribe of Judah, until Herod used that cruelty against Davidís stock.


 6 And Annas the chief Priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the (d) kindred of the high Priest.


(d) Of whom the high Priests were wont to be chosen and made, the execution of the yearly office being now changed them.


  (2) And when they had set them before them, they asked, By what power, or (*) in what (e) Name have ye done this?


(2) Against such as brag of a succession of persons, without a succession of doctrine, and by that means beat down the true ministers of the word, so far forth as they are able.

(*) By whose authority or commandment?
(e) By what authority.


 8 Then Peter full of the (*) holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and Elders of Israel,


(*) For he could not have so spoken of himself.


  (3) For as much as we this day are examined, of the (*) good deed done to the impotent man, to wit, by what means he is made whole,


(3) Wolves which succeed true Pastors plead their own cause, and not Gods neither the Churches.

(*) Judges ought not to condemn, but approve and commend that which is well done.


 10  (4) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye have crucified, whom God raised again from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you, whole.


(4) He is indeed a true shepherd, that teacheth his sheep to hang upon Christ only, as upon one that is not dead, but hath conquered death, and hath all rule in his own hand.


 11  (*) This is the stone cast aside of you (♣) builders which is become the head of the (♠) corner.


(*) Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:7 .

(♣) Meaning Priests, Elders and Governors.

(♠) For to uphold the weight and force of the building.


 12 Neither is there salvation in any other; for among men there is (f) given none other (g) Name (h) (*) under heaven, whereby we must be saved.


(f) Of God.
(g) There is no other man, or no other power and authority whatsoever; which kind of speech being usual among the Jews, rose upon this, that when we are in danger, we call upon them at whose hands we look for help.
(h) Anywhere; and this setteth forth unto us the largeness of Christ's kingdom.

(*) That is, none other cause or means.


 13  (5) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and understood that they were unlearned men and without (i) knowledge, they marveled, and knew them, that they had been with Jesus.


(5) The good liberty and boldness of the servants of God doeth yet thus much good that such as lay hid under a vizard of zeal, at length bewray themselves to be indeed wicked men.
(i) The word used here, is Idiot, which being spoken in comparison had to a Magistrate, betokeneth a private man, but when we speak of sciences and studies, it signifieth one that is unlearned; and in account of honor and estimation it importeth one of base degree, and no estimation.


 14 And beholding also the man which was healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against it.


 15 Then they commanded them to go aside out of the Council, and (k) (*) conferred among themselves,


(k) Laid their heads together.

(*) The wicked still rage against Christ, though their own conscience do condemn them.


 16  (6) Saying, What shall we do to these men? For surely a manifest sign is done by them, and it is openly known to all them that dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.


(6) He that flattereth himself in ignorance, cometh at length to do open wickedness, and that against his own conscience.


 17 But that it be noised no farther among the people, let us threaten and charge them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this (*) Name.


(*) They gave commandment to preach Christ no more.


 18 So they called them, and commanded them, that in (*) no wise they should speak or teach in the Name of Jesus.


(*) They prefer their authority to the ordinance of God.


 19  (7) But Peter and John answered unto them, and said, Whether it be right in the sight of God, to obey you rather than God, judge ye.


(7) We must so obey men to whom we are subject, that especially and before all things we obey God.


 20 For we cannot but speak the thing which we have (*) seen and heard.


(*) To the intent that we should bear witness, and preach them.


 21  (8) So they (*) threatened them, and let them go, and found nothing how to punish them, because of the people, for all men praised God for that which was done.


(8) So far off are the wicked from doing what they list, that contrariwise God useth even that to the setting forth of his glory, which he giveth them leave to do.

(*) God hath put a ring through the wickedís noses so that he stayeth them from their mischievous purposes.


 22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.


 23  (9) Then as soon as they were let go, they came to their (*) fellows, and shewed all that the high Priests and Elders had said unto them.


(9) The Apostles communicate their troubles with the Congregation.

(*) To encourage one another, and to glorify God.


 24  (10) And when they heard it, they lifted up their voices to God with one accord, and said, O Lord, thou art the God which hast made the heaven, and the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,


(10) We ought neither to be afraid of the threatenings of our enemies, neither yet foolishly contemn their rage and madness against us; but we have to set against their force and malice, an earnest thinking upon the power and good will of God (both which we do manifestly behold in Christ) and so flee to the aid and succor of our Father.


 25 Which (♣) by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, (*) Why did the Gentiles rage, and the people imagine vain things?


(♣) They grounded their prayers upon Godís promise, who had assured that he would enlarge the kingdom of Christ.

(*) Psalm 2:1 .


 26 The Kings of the earth assembled, and the rulers came together against the Lord, and against his Christ.


 27 For (*) doubtless, against thine holy Son Jesus, whom thou hadst (♣) anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the (l) people of Israel gathered themselves together,


(*) This is the verifying of the prophecy.

(♣) And appointed to be King.

(l) Although the people of Israel was but one people, yet the plural number is here used, not so much for the twelve tribes, every one of which made a people, as for the great multitude of them, as though many nations had assembled themselves together, as in Judges 5:14 .


 28 To (m) do whatsoever (n) thine (*) hand, and thy (♣) counsel had determined before to be done.


(m) The wicked execute God's counsel, though they think nothing of it, but they are not therefore without fault.
(n) Thou hadst determined of thine absolute authority and power.

(*) Power and justice.

(♣) All things are done by the force of Godís purpose, according to the decree of his will, Ephesians 1:11 .


 29 And now, O Lord, behold their (*) threatenings, and (♣) grant unto thy servants with all boldness to speak thy word,


(*) Assuage their rage and malice which they enterprise against thee.

(♣) They seek not how to live at ease, but whereby they may most glorify God.


 30 So that thou stretch forth thine hand, that healing, and signs, and wonders may be done by the Name of thine holy Son Jesus.


 31  (11) And when as they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all (*) filled with the holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God (♣) boldly.


(11) God witnesseth to his Church by a visible sign, that it is he that will establish it by shaking the powers both of heaven and earth.

(*) This was a sign of Godís presence and the performance of his promise.

(♣) This boldness and constancy declared that their prayer took effect.


 32  (12) And the multitude of them that believed, were of (o) one heart, and of one (♣) soul; neither any of them said, that anything of that which he possessed, was his (♠) own, but they had all things (*) common.


(12) An example of the true Church, wherein there is consent as well in doctrine as in charity one towards another; And the Pastors deliver true doctrine both sincerely, and constantly.
(o) They agreed both in counsel, will, and purposes.

(♣) Of one mind, will, consent and affection.

(♠) Their hearts were so joined in God, that being all members of one body, they could not suffer their fellow members to be destitute.

(*) Acts 2:44 .


 33 And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.


 34  (13) Neither was there any among them, that (*) lacked, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the price of the things that were sold,


(13) True charity helpeth the necessity of the poor with his own loss, but so that all things be done well and orderly.

(*) As the Apostles suffered none to lack, so Paul commandeth, that no idle loiterers be maintained, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 .


 35 And laid it down at the Apostlesí feet, and it was distributed unto every man, (*) according as he had need.


(*) The goods were not alike divided amongst all, but as every man had want, so was his necessity moderately relieved.


 36 Also Joses which was called of the Apostles, Barnabas (that is by interpretation, the son of consolation) being a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,


 37 Where as he had land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it down at the Apostlesí feet.




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