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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 cleave unto the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
19¶Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
22¶Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
23 Who, when he came, and had seen the 3 Chap. 8. 1.
30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Or, in the church.
Verse 19. "Phenice."-Most writers suppose that Phoenicia is here intended. But this was so nearear-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 stiffly 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 the 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.
1 King Herod persecuteth the Christians, killeth James, and imprisoneth Peter; whom an angel
prayers of the Church. his pride taking to himself the honour due to God, he is stricken by an angel, and dieth miserably. 24 After his death, the word of God prospereth." Now about that time Herod the king 'stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the Church.
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for him.
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a
10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
1 Or, began. 2 Or, instant and earnest prayer was made. * Gr. that was over the king's bed-chamber,
12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
16 But Peter continued knocking and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said. Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. 18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.
19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judæa to Cæsarea, and there abode.
20 And Herod 'was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having | made Blastus 'the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.
21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
8 Or, to ask who was there. 4 Or, bare a hostile mind, intending war. • 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
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 good 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. 1; 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 Caius 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 Cæsarea."-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 Jewish 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 Rome, 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 remove 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 eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."
1 Or, Herod's foster-brother.
they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18 And about the time of forty years 'suffered he their manners in the wilder
19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, 'he divided their land to them by lot.
20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
23 10Of this man's seed hath God accord
2 Exod. 1. 1. 3 Exod. 13. 14, 16. Gr. irgotopopnay, perhaps for irgopopópnosy, as a nurse beareth, or, feedeth her child.-Deut. 1. 31; 2 Mac. 7.97; according to the Sept., and so Chrysost, 5 Josh. 14. 2. Judges 3. 9. 7 1 Sam. 8. 5. 81 Sam. 16. 13. 9 Psal. 89. 20.
10 Isa. 11. 1.