« PreviousContinue »
Julian Period, 4743. Vulgar Æra,
PETER AGAIN ADDRESSES THE PEOPLE-CHAP. IX.
2 And a certain man, lame from his mother's womb, Jerusalem. was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up and immediately his feet and ancle-bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up, stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God:
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
11 And, as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
St. Peter again addresses the People.
12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the peo-
13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to him let go.
14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
16 And his name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17 And now brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye Jerusalemriod, 4743. did it, as did also your rulers 16.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing" shall come from the presence of the Lord;
16 It seems difficult to interpret these words in their literal sense, when we remember the numerous miracles of our Lord, and the abundant proofs the Jews received, that he was their promised Messiah. The ayvóta here referred to, would be better rendered by the word, error, or prejudice, as Whitby proposes. Lightfoot again endeavours to shew that the ignorance here spoken of, consisted in their mistake of the place of our Lord's birth, and in their expectations of a temporal, instead of a spiritual kingdom. Wolfius would point the passage differently; he thinks the expression ώσπερ καὶ οἱ ἄρχοντες ὑμῶν, refers not to ἄγνοιαν, but to ἐπράξατε, and the meaning is, therefore, scio vos ignorantiam adductos, ut faceretis, sicut duces vestri, scil: Enpažav. It is my opinion that St. Peter, in this passage, intended to intimate to the Jews that their conduct and condemnation of the Holy Jesus proceeded from their ignorance of their own prophets, with whom they ought to have been better acquainted. The following verse corroborates this interpretation (a).
(a) Wolfius, ap Kuinoel. Comment in lib. hist. vol. iv. p. 121. Other explanations are given by Kuinoel, but as they appear very forced, they are omitted.
17 The words, "when the times of refreshing shall come,” commentators suppose should be rendered, "when the times of refreshing may come." This opinion is defended by the following parallel passages, where the same word örs av is used: Ps. ix. 14. öπwy av lęayyéiλw-the Hebrew is, wh, "That I may shew forth, &c. Psa. xcii. 8. öñшç äν ¿1⁄2oλо0pεvOwo. Heb. Downs, That they may be destroyed for ever, Ps. cxix. 101. öжшç av øvλážw. Heb. x wyn, That I might keep, Acts xv. 17. önwg av ikŸytýowot. That they might seek, &c. So in the same verse, Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, önwç av Owo, that the times of refreshing may come (a), &c. Markland has made the same remark, but proposes to connect ὅπως ἄν with ἐπλήρωσεν, ver. 18. putting (ueravonoare àμaprías) in a parenthesis: those times which God before had shewed, he hath so fulfilled-THAT times of refreshment may come: όπως ἄν for ἵνα(b). The times of refreshing, appear here primarily to refer to the blessings which should accompany the extension of the dominion of the Messiah, if he were at length acknowledged by his people. The words have been severally applied, to the preachers of the Gospel-the influences of the Spirit-and the intervening period between this time and the destruction of Jerusalem, which was allotted to the Jews for repentance and conversion.
From the arguments of the apostle, compare ver. 16 with 19, 20, and 26, the curc of the lame man may, I think, be considered as a significant action, or miracle; whereby St. Peter wishes to demonstrate to the Jews, while their first impression of surprise and astonishment lasted, that the same faith in the
PETER AGAIN ADDRESSES THE PEOPLE-CHAP. IX.
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was Jerusalem. riod, 4743. preached unto you 16: Vulgar Æra,
21 Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things 19, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me"; him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Holy One and the Just, which "hath made this man strong,"
(a) Lightfoot's Exerc. on the Acts. Pitman's edit. vol. viii. p. 388.
18 The Greek word πρоKEKηρvyμέvov, here translated, "which before was preached," is rendered in nearly forty MSS. as if it signified προκεχειρισμένον ὑμῖν, who was before ordained for you, or fore designed-vμv being read with an emphasis. The meaning therefore of the expression is, That God may send Jesus Christ, who was before designed for you, in the predictions of the law and the prophets (a).
(a) Markland ap Bowyer, and Whitby in loc.
19 In the unpublished papers of the first Lord Barrington, the noble author endeavours to prove, at great length, that the earliest notion which men had of immortality, was their resurrection, and restoration to the paradisiacal state. The notion of immortality entertained by the patriarchs, was their resurrection in the land of Canaan, and eternal possession of that land in a glorified condition. He supposes that the expression of St. Peter, in this passage, is an allusion to the anticipated restoration of mankind to their former condition of innocence and happiness: and his opinion is confirmed by the peculiar metaphors under which St. John, in the Apocalypse, describes the future state. Lightfoot would render the word aroкaráσraσic, by "accomplishment," instead of restitution. By whatever word we express the idea, it is still the same. St. Peter refers to the eventual completion of the happiness of mankind, by the universal establishment of Christianity, and the blessings of its influence: a period which all the prophets have anticipated in their sublimest visions; and the best men, in all ages, have delighted to contemplate, and which, in our own day, we have reason to hope, is progressively advancing.
20 As St. Peter has applied this passage to our Lord, it will be unnecessary to examine the arguments by which some writers would apply the prediction of Moses to the long line of prophets that came after him (a). It is sufficient for us to know, even when taken collectively, they were not like unto him in so many points as Jesus of Nazareth (b).
Jortin gives the following parallel :
The resemblance between Moses and Christ is so great and striking, it is impossible to consider it fairly, and carefully, without seeing and acknowledging that He must be foretold, where He is so well described.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul which Jerusalem. riod, 4743. will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among Vulgar Era, the people.
First, and which is the principal of all, Moses was a lawgiver and the mediator of a covenant between God and man. So was Christ. Here the resemblance is the more considerable, because no other prophet beside them executed this high office.
The other prophets were only interpreters and enforcers of the law, and in this respect were greatly inferior to Moses. The Messias could not be like to Moses in a strict sense, unless he were a legislator. He must give a law to men, consequently a more excellent law, and a better covenant than the first. For if the first had been perfect (as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews argues,) there could have been no room for a second.
2. Other prophets had revelations in dreams and visions, but Moses talked with God, with the Aóyog, face to face. So Christ spake that which he had seen with the Father, Num. xii. 6, 7,8.
All the prophets of the Old Testament saw visions and dreamed dreams--all the prophets of the New were in the same state. St. Peter had a vision; St. John saw visions; St. Paul had visions and dreams. But Christ neither saw visions, nor dreamed a dream, but had an intimate and immediate communication with the Father-he was in the Father's bosom-and he, and no man else, had seen the Father. Moses and Christ are the only two in all the sacred history who had this communication with God.-Bishop Sherlock, Disc. 6.
3. Moses in his infancy was wonderfully preserved from the cruelty of a tyrant-so was Christ.
4. Moses fled from his country to escape the hands of the king-so did Christ, when his parents carried him into Egypt. Afterwards, "The Lord said to Moses, in Midian, Go, return into Egypt; for all the men are dead which sought thy life,” Exod. iv. 19. So the angel of the Lord said to Joseph, in almost the same words, "Arise, and take the young child, and go into the land of Israel, for they are dead which sought the young child's life," Mat. ii. 20. pointing him out, as it were, for that prophet which should arise like unto Moses.
5. Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, chusing rather to suffer affliction.-Christ had all the kingdoms of the world offered him by Satan, and rejected them; and when the people would have made him a king, he hid himself, chusing rather to suffer affliction.
6. "Moses," says St. Stephen, "was learned, Taidevon, in
Οξὺ δ' ανήβησας, ταχινοι δέ τοι ἦλθον ἴουλοι
PETER AGAIN ADDRESSES THE PEOPLE-CHAP. IX.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel, and those Jerusalem. riod, 4743. that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise Valgar Era, foretold of these days.
7. Moses delivered his people from cruel oppression and heavy bondage-so did Christ from the worst tyranny of sin
8. Moses contended with the magicians, and had the advantage over them so manifestly, that they could no longer withstand him, but were forced to acknowledge the divine power by which he was assisted-Christ ejected evil spirits, and received the same acknowledgments from them.
9. Moses assured the people whom he conducted, that if they would be obedient, they should enter into the happy land of promise; which land was usually understood, by the wiser Jews, to be an emblem and a figure of that eternal and celestial kingdom to which Christ first opened an entrance.
10. Moses reformed the nation, corrupted with Egyptian superstition and idolatry-Christ restored true religion.
11. Moses wrought a variety of miracles-So did Christ; and in this the parallel is remarkable, since beside Christ "there arose not a prophet in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do."
12. Moses was not only a lawgiver, a prophet, and a worker of miracles, but a king and a priest. He is called a king, Deut. xxxiii. 5. and he had indeed, though not the pomp, and the crown, and the sceptre, yet the authority of a king, and was the supreme magistrate; and the office of priest he often exercised-In all these offices the resemblance between Moses and Christ was singular. In the interpretation of Deut. xxxiii. 5. I prefer the sense of Grotius and Selden to Le Clerc's. The parallel between Moses and Christ requires it, and no objection can be made to it. The apostolical constitutions also, if their judgment be of any weight, call Moses "High Priest and King;” τὸν ἀρχιερέα καὶ βασιλεα. vi. 3.
13. Moses, says Theodoret, married an Ethiopian women, at which his relations were much offended; and in this he was a type of Christ, who espoused the Church of the Gentiles, whom the Jews were very unwilling to admit to the same favours and privileges with themselves. But I should not chuse to lay a great stress upon this typical similitude, though it be ingenious. 14. Moses fasted in the desert forty days and forty nights, before he gave the law: so did Elias, the restorer of the lawand so did Christ before he entered into his ministry.
15. Moses fed the people miraculously in the wilderness-So did Christ with bread, and with doctrine; and the manna which descended from heaven, and the loaves which Christ multiplied, were proper images of the spiritual food which the Saviour of the world bestowed upon his disciples. John vi. 31, &c.
16. Moses led the people through the sea-Christ walked upon it, and enabled Peter to do so.
17. Moses commanded the sea to retire and give way.- Christ commanded the winds and waves to be still.
18. Moses brought darkness over the land-The sun withdrew its light at Christ's crucifixion. And as the darkness which was spread over Egypt was followed by the destruction of the firstborn, and of Pharaoh and his host-so the darkness at Christ's death was the forerunner of the destruction of the Jews, when, in the metaphorical and prophetic style, and according to Christ's express prediction, "the sun was darken