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would be, that he gave them commands with respect to the will of God, and being himself inspired by God, his commandments were, therefore, the commandments of God.
2. But taken in connexion with the words that follow, “ whom he had chosen through the Holy Ghost,” the meaning would be, that Jesus did not choose his disciples, according to his own discretion, but through divine inspiration. See Matthew xx. 23, and Luke vi. 12, 13. I have entered upon this, further, in my observations upon the Syriac Acts of the Apostles. This construction has been the least adoped, but it is the one most strenuously defended by Kypke. I prefer, but reluctantly prefer this last interpretation. I do not entirely adopt it, and I could have wished the text had been, " that he had given them commands with respect to, and on account of, the Holy Ghost," with reference to the promise given, that the Holy Spirit should be poured out upon them, and that they were to remain at Jerusalem, until the promise should be fulfilled. No manuscript, at least no one that has yet been collated, or ancient translation, has this reading, and to translate it so, with the present text, would be contrary to grammar or to custom.
Two constructions are, however, decidedly to be rejected.
1. Those who translate it “after he had given them commandments through the Holy Ghost,” and who contend that it was given them, John xx. 22. He gave them their commandments, verbally, and not through the Holy Ghost, but promised that they should receive it, after his ascension.
2. Those who consider it as bearing this sense, “that he was taken up through the Holy Ghost unto heaven:” a most extraordinary construction, and one which will not bear examination.
3. “ Forty days.”] Whether this connects with that which precedes, or that which follows, I know not'; nor is it, in fact, of much consequence, since the sense remains the same. It would appear, that, independent of the times that have been named, and have been recorded by the four evangelists, Jesus had other and familiar intercourse with the disciples, apd, perhaps, in Galilee, but as Luke is not more particular upon this subject, I will rather
profess my ignorance, than hazard conjecture.
“ Being seen of them.”] Not that he appeared to them, but that his presence was of
that nature, as is the case with those whom we see from casual or stated intercourse. A
in the Book of Tobit, quoted by Heinsius, explains this well. The angel is made to say, that he appeared to them in the shape of a common man, and that they had not taken him for an angel :-“ All these days I did appear unto you; but I did neither eat nor drink, but
ye did see a vision.' Tobit xii. 19,
Being assembled together.”] Every one, who understands Greek, knows that the original signifies “to assemble," "to be together," and to eat with me,” and that there has been a question, which should be preferred.
« With.”] Jesus did actually eat with his disciples, and the Syriac, the Arabic translation, edited by Espenius, and the vulgate confirm it; but, as on further reading, the immediate subject seems to apply to the ascension, and not to the appearance on the day of resurrection, the above construction seems unappropriate. Others conceive, that Jesus only conversed with his disciples, and in this they are borne out by the old Latin translation, "and when he had conversation with them;" and by the Arabic, printed in the Polyglott. I do not reject this by any means, and offer my ideas upon it thus; that
Jesus was again together with his disciples, and (for the sake of connexion with what follows) for the last time, previous to his ascension, that he then instructs his disciples agreeably to what we afterwards read, and that they then interrogate him, respecting the kingdom of Israel. Another illustration, however, occurs to me, which I do not, however, contend for, but leave to the discretion of my readers. The Greek word may be rendered "to assemble,” to command that others should “ assemble and remain together.” Supposing this sense to be admitted, then it might be
1. That he commanded them to remain together, and not to quit Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Ghost.
2. As Luke must have known of the journey to Galilee when he wrote the Acts of the Apostles, he commanded them to return from Galilee to Jerusalem, and to assemble on a given day, and in some particular place.
Lightfoot, who understood this passage to apply to the meeting in Galilee, has been sufficiently refuted by Whitby. When Jesus.commanded his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem, it is evident that they were then at Jerusalem.
“ Should not depart from Jerusalem,"] I have already remarked, that this injunction is not at all at variance with the appearance in Galilee. If we say to any one, you shall not quit such a town, (as, for instance, you are not to leave the university before you shall have received an answer to an application, or before you shall have received a specific summons,) this is not a positive confinement within the precincts of a town, or a prohibition to be literally understood not to move from it, but merely an order generally that you are not to leave it; in fact, that you are not to change your usual residence. But, this illustration appears to me unnecessary, for I cannot understand it in
any other light, than as recording the conversation which Jesus had with the disciples, the day of the ascension.
5. John introduced his proselytes to the new religion, which he preached by the command of God, solely by baptism with water. But you shall now be introduced to a higher baptism, by the most copious effusion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Baptism was, also amongst the Jews, a confession of having adopted a new religion.
6. When they, therefore, were come to