Home First
Covenant
Second
Covenant
Topical
Studies
Table of
Contents

 


ACTS
The continued Life of Jesus through the Apostles

CHAPTER THREE

"Gift at the Gate"
Key Verse = Acts 3:6

  1. Gift at the Gate
  2. Sermon in Solomon's Porch



GIFT  AT  THE  GATE

Top
Next Section


Acts 3:1
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(1)  Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.

It came to pass as Simon Peter and John were going up together to the temple at the time of prayer, at the ninth hour,


Peter and John went up
These two are found first associated together by their Master,  along with James,  as a sacred triumvirate:
Mark 5:37 Peter, James, John Healing of the ruler of the synagogue's daughter
Mark 9:2 Peter, James, John Mount of Transfiguration
Mark 14:33 Peter, James, John In the Garden to pray before the crucifixion
Luke 22:8 Peter & John Preparation for the last Passover
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

In Luke 24:53,  it is said that the apostles were continually in the temple,  praising and blessing God.
From Acts 2:46,  it is clear that all the disciples were accustomed daily to resort to the temple for devotion.  This was the place and the manner in which they and their fathers had worshipped.

They came slowly to the conclusion that they were to leave the temple,  and they would naturally resort there with their countrymen to worship the God of their fathers.  In the previous chapter (Acts 2:43) we are told in general that many wonders and signs were done by the hands of the apostles.  From the many miracles which were performed,  Luke selects one of which he gives a more full account,  and especially as it gives him occasion to record another of the addresses of Peter to the Jews.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

The Temple
Josephus says:
“The hill was a rocky ascent,  that declined by degrees towards the east parts of the city,  till it came to an elevated level.  This hill it was which Solomon,  who was the first of our kings,  by divine revelation,  encompassed with a wall;  it was of excellent workmanship upwards,  and round the top of it.
He also built a wall below,  beginning at the bottom,  which was encompassed by a deep valley;  and at the south side he laid rocks together,  and bound them one to another with lead,  and included some of the inner parts,  till it proceeded to a great height,  and till both the largeness of the square edifice and its altitude were immense,  and till the vastness of the stones in the front were plainly visible on the outside,  yet so that the inward parts were fastened with iron,  and preserved the joints immovable for all future time.
When this work (for the foundation) was done in this manner,  and joined together as a part of the hill itself to the very top of it,  he wrought it all into one outward surface,  and filled up the hollow places with were about the wall,  and made low places which were about the wall,  and made it a level on the external upper surface,  and a smooth level also.”
(Josephus, Antiquities XV, XI, 3)

Also,  according to Josephus,  Herod built only as far as the actual Temple proper  (the three inner rooms,  one for the alter,  the Holy Place,  and the Most Holy Place).  These three inner rooms were built by the priests in about a year and six months.  Herod built the cloisters and the outer enclosures in about eight years.

Josephus goes on to say,
“It is also reported that during the time that the temple was building, it did not rain in the day time, but that the showers fell in the nights, so that the work was not hindered."
(Ant. XV, XI, 7)

Hour of prayer...9th hour
The Jews had three hours of prayer a day:
9:00 A.M. "3rd hour" the time of the morning oblation (sacrifice)
12:00 noon "6th hour" noon
3:00 P.M. "9th hour" the time of the evening oblation (sacrifice)

It should be noted that the disciples had no command to withdraw at once from the Jewish worship.  For a time,  therefore,  and with the purpose of using these ceremonials to impress the realities they shadowed forth upon other minds,  the disciples retained their relation to the Jewish church,  and conformed to its pure temple worship.

From the Amplified Bible
(1)  Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour (three o'clock in the afternoon),

Acts 3:2-5
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(2)  And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple;

Behold a certain man, lame from his mother's womb, was carried by men who were accustomed to bring him and lay him at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, so that he might ask alms from those who entered into the temple.

(3)  who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.

And when he saw Simon Peter and John entering the temple, he begged of them to give him alms.

(4)  And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us."

And Simon Peter and John looked at him and said, Look at us.

(5)  So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

And he looked at them, expecting to receive something from them.


Lame from his mother's womb
The mention of this shows that there was no deception in the case. The man had been always lame; he was obliged to be carried; and he was well known to the Jews.

Whom they laid daily
That is,  his friends laid him there daily.  He would therefore be well known to those who were in the habit of entering the temple.  Among the ancients there were no hospitals for the sick,  and no alms-houses for the poor.  The poor were dependent,  therefore,  on the Charity of those who were in better circumstances.  It became an important matter for them to be placed where they would see many people.  Hence,  it was customary to place them at the gates of rich men (Luke 16:20);  and they also sat by the highway to beg where many persons would pass,  Luke 18:35John 9:1-8.  The entrance to the temple would be a favorable place for begging;  for:
(1) Great multitudes were accustomed to enter there
(2) When going up for the purposes of religion,  they would be more inclined to give alms than at other times;  and especially was this true of the Pharisees,  who were particularly desirous of publicity in bestowing charity.  It is recorded by Martial (i. 112) that the custom prevailed among the Romans of placing the poor by the gates of the temples;  and the custom was also observed a long time in the Christian churches.

The gate of the temple which is called Beautiful
In regard to this gate there have been two opinions
(1) One of which supposes that it was the gate commonly called Nicanor, which led from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women
(2) The other that it was the gate at the eastern entrance of the temple, commonly called Susan.
It is not easy to determine which is intended;  though from the fact that what is here recorded occurred near Solomon's porch,  it seems probable that the 2nd opinion was intended.
This gate was large and splendid.  It was made of Corinthian brass,  a most valuable metal,  and made a magnificent appearance (Josephus, Jewish Wars, book 5, chapter 5, and section 3).

From Josephus:
“…but on the east quarter,  towards the sun-rising,  there was one large gate through which such as were pure came in,  together with their wives;  but the temple further inward in that gate was not allowed to the women…”
(Josephus, Ant. XV, XI, 5)
“There was also an occult passage built for the king:  it led from Antonia to the inner temple,  at its eastern gate;  over which also he erected for himself a tower,  that he might have the opportunity of a subterraneous ascent to the temple in order to guard against any sedition which might be made by the people against their kings.”
(Josephus, Ant. XV, XI, 7)

Alms
eleemosune (NT:1654) compassionateness (as exercised towards the poor),  sympathy

The equivalent in Judaism takes on the sense of benevolent activity and can thus be used more narrowly for almsgiving.
Doing works of benevolence and giving alms are common expressions (cf. Matthew 6:1-2; Acts 9:36; Luke 11:41; 12:33).
With fasting and praying,  giving alms is a special practice of piety for both Jews  (Matthew 6:1 ff.) and Christians (Did. 15.4).
It is lauded in Acts 9:36 (cf. 10:2)
But Jesus warns against its misuse in the service of personal vanity (Matthew 6:2-3)
(from Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, abridged edition, Copyright © 1985 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. All rights reserved.)

Fixing his eyes
The word used here denotes  "to look intently,  or with fixed attention."  It is one of the special words which Luke uses (Luke 4:20; 22:56; Acts 1:10; 3:12; 6:15; 10:4; etc.) 12 times in all.  It is used by no other writer in the New Testament, except twice by Paul, 2 Corinthians 3:7, 13.

Expecting to receive something from them
Because it was a constant custom for all who entered the temple to carry money with them to give to the treasury,  or to the poor,  or to both.  It was on this ground that the friends of the lame man laid him at the gate of the temple,  as this was the most likely place to receive alms.
(From Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)

This cripple is a vivid illustration of the lost sinner in that:
(1) he was born lame all are born sinners
(2) he could not walk no sinner can walk so as to please God
(3) he was outside the temple sinners are outside God's temple, the church
(4) he was begging sinners are beggars, searching for satisfaction
(from Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Copyright © 1992 by Chariot Victor Publishing, an imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(2)  [When] a certain man crippled from his birth was being carried along, who was laid each day at that gate of the temple [which is] called Beautiful, so that he might beg for charitable gifts from those who entered the temple.
(3)  So when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them to give him a gift.
(4)  And Peter directed his gaze intently at him, and so did John, and said, Look at us!
(5)  And [the man] paid attention to them, expecting that he was going to get something from them.

Acts 3:6
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(6)  Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

Then Simon Peter said to him, Gold and silver have I none; but what I have I give to you.  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.


Silver and gold
It was customary to carry money into the temple for offerings and to give to the poor,  and according to rabbinical law it was unlawful to carry a purse into the temple.  In other words,  what had not been given already in their offering would be given to the beggar so as not to carry it into the inner part of the temple where only the  “clean”  male Jews were allowed to enter.

The Miracle
1. THE QUESTION “Look at us” Purpose: To excite or deepen expectation and faith
2. THE COMMAND “Rise up and walk” Purpose: To exercise his faith
3. THE RESULTS “Leaping up” Purpose: Showed the reality of Jesus, caused multitude to believe

In The Name Of Jesus
All believers have Full,  Legal,  Redemptive,  Gospel,  and FAMILY rights to use the name of Jesus in:
1. Salvation (Mt. 1:21; Acts 4:12)
2. Baptism (Mt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; 8:16; 19:5)
3. Fellowship (Mt. 18:5; Lk. 9:48)
4. Worship (Mt. 18:20; 1 Cor. 1:10)
5. Good Deeds (Mk. 9:41)
6. Combat (Mk. 16:17; Lk. 10:17)
7. Preaching (Lk. 24:47); Acts 8:12)
8. Healing (Mk. 16:18; Acts 3:6, 16; James 5:14-16)
9. Judgment (1 Cor. 5:1-5; Acts 13:6-11; 2 Thess. 3:6)
10. Prayer (Jn. 14:13-15; 15:16; 16:23-26)
11. All Things (Col. 3:17)
12. Praise (Eph. 5:20; Heb. 13:5)
13. Receiving the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:13; 24:49; Jn. 7:37-39; 14:26; Acts 1:4-8)
14. Doing the Works of Christ (Mk. 16:17-20; Jn. 14:12-15)

Free,  unlimited,  and unqualified use of His name is the church’s deposit.  Checks will be honored in the amount signed with a steady and unwavering heart. (James 1:5-8)

From the Amplified Bible
(6)  But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!

Acts 3:7-10
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(7)  And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

And he took him be the right hand and lifted him up; and in that very hour his legs and his feet received strength.

(8)  So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them — walking, leaping, and praising God.

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.

And all the people saw him walking and praising God;

(10)  Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

And they recognized that he was the beggar who had sat daily and asked alms at the gate which is called Beautiful; and they were filled with amazement and wonder at what had happened.


Feet and ankle bones
Feet baseis - A technical word,  used by Luke only,  and described by Galen as the part of the foot lying beneath the leg,  upon which the leg directly rests,  as distinguished from the tarsos,  "the flat of"  the foot between the toes and heel."
Ankle Bones sfura - Also technical. Some of the best texts read sfudra, but the meaning is the same.
The joint connecting the foot to the leg

Received strength
estereootheesan - Used by Luke only.  In medical language applied to the bones in particular.
(from Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

'And immediately his feet and ankles became strong'
(from Greek-English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domain. Copyright © 1988 United Bible Societies, New York. Used by permission.)

A parallel of our own experience:
(a) Stood
(b) Walked
(c) Entered
 
1 Walking
2. Leaping
3. Praising

The art of "walking" is one that is acquired by long practice. Children learn slowly. Caspar Hauser, discovered in one of the cities of Germany, who had been confined in prison from a child, was unable to walk in an easy way when released, but stumbled in a very awkward manner (see his Life). When, therefore, this man was able at once to walk, it was clear proof of a miracle.

These actions are very naturally described.
He walked in obedience to the command of the apostle,  "rise up and walk"
He leaped to try the strength of his limbs, and to be convinced of the reality of the cure
He praised God as a testimony of the gratitude he felt for the cure he had received
Now was fulfilled, in the most literal manner, the words of the Prophet Isaiah,  Isaiah 35:6:  "The lame man shall leap as a hart."
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Every word here is emphatic, expressing both the perfectness and the instantaneousness of the cure.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

All the people
The people who had been accustomed to see him sit in a public place.

They knew
In this they could not be deceived;  they had seen him a long time, and now they saw the same man expressing his praise to God for complete recovery.  The particulars in this miracle are the following,  and they are as far as possible from any appearance of imposture:
(1) The man had been affected from a child.
This was known to all the people. At this time he was over 40 years of age  (Acts 4:22).
(2) He was not an impostor.
If he had pretended lameness, it is wonderful that he had not been detected before, and not have been suffered to occupy a place thus in the temple.
(3) The apostles had no agency in placing him there.
There was manifestly no collusion or agreement with him to attempt to impose on the people.
(4) The man himself was convinced of the miracle.
He did not doubt that the power by which he had been healed was of God.
(5) The people were convinced of the miracle.
They saw the effects.
They had known him well.
They had had every opportunity to know that he was diseased.
They were satisfied that he was restored.
There was no possibility of deception in the case. It was not merely the friends of Jesus that saw this; not those who had an interest in the miracle, but those who had been his enemies, and who had just before been engaged in putting him to death.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(7)    Then he took hold of the man's right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady,
(8)    And leaping forth he stood and began to walk, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
(9)    And all the people saw him walking about and praising God,
(10)  And they recognized him as the man who usually sat [begging] for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement (bewilderment, consternation) over what had occurred to him.



SERMON  ON  SOLOMON'S  PORCH

Top
Previous Section


Acts 3:11 & 12
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(11)  Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon's, greatly amazed.

And as he was assisted by Simon and John, all the people ran in astonishment towards them to the porch that is called Solomon's.

(12)  So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?

And when Simon Peter saw it, he said to them; Men of Israel, why are you wondering at this man or why are you looking at us as though by our own power or authority we had made this man to walk?


Held on to
The word  "held"  means that he  "adhered"  to them;  he  "joined himself"  to them;  he was desirous of "remaining" with them.  "He clung to his benefactors, and would not be separated from them" (Prof. Hackett).

Solomon's Porch
The outer court of the temple or court of the Gentiles was surrounded by cloisters supported upon ranges of marble columns.  They were called porches and were used by the Jews and strangers as public promenades.  The eastern side of the court was called  “Solomon’s Porch,”  built by him and left standing when Nebuchadnezzar took the city,  probably because of its grandeur and beauty.  It was over 800 feet long.

Peter's Second Sermon

Part 1:  Accusation     Verses 12-19
1. The Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
 
YOU –
(a) Delivered up
(b) Denied before Pilate
(c) Desired a murderer instead
(d) Killed the Prince of life
GOD – Raised Him from the dead
2. His name (through faith) healed this man

Part 2:  Application    Verses 20-26
1. REPENT Change of mind, thought
2. BE CONVERTED Change the LIFE,  actions
3. THAT In order that
4. RESTORATION A complete re-establishment
5. THE CHIEF PURPOSE ALL THE EARTH BLESSED

Peter used this healing as an opportunity to present Christ and offer forgiveness to the nation.  Note that he addressed  "Men of Israel"  as he did in 2:14 and 22.  He preached Christ to them and accused them of denying their own Messiah.  Just a few weeks before,  Peter himself had denied Christ three times.  Yet because Peter confessed his sin and made things right with the Lord (John 21),  he was able to forget his failure. (Read Romans 8:32-34.)
(from Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Copyright © 1992 by Chariot Victor Publishing, an imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved.)

Why do you marvel?
The particular thing which he intended to reprove here was not that they wondered,  for that was proper;  but that they looked on himself and John as if they had been the authors of this healing.
They ought to have understood it.  The Jews were sufficiently acquainted with miracles to interpret them and to know whence they proceeded;  and they ought not,  therefore,  to ascribe them to man.

It may be remarked that here was ample opportunity for them to establish a reputation of their own.  The people were disposed to pay them honor;  they might at once have laid claim to vast authority over them;  but they refused all such personal honor,  and ascribed all to the Lord Jesus.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From Chrysostom:
And,  in truth,  much more did they increase their glory by despising glory,  and showing that what had just taken place was no human act,  but a Divine work;  and that it was their part to join with the beholders in admiration,  rather than to receive it from them.  Do you see how clear of all ambition he is,  and how he repels the honor paid to him?  In the same manner also did the ancient fathers; for instance,
Daniel (Daniel 2:30) "Not for any wisdom that is in me."
Joseph (Genesis 11:8) "Do not interpretations belong to God?"
David (1 Samuel 17:34) "When the lion and the bear came, in the name of the Lord I rent them with my hands."
Peter (Acts 3:12) "Why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?"
(from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Volume 11, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(11)  Now while he [still] firmly clung to Peter and John, all the people in utmost amazement ran together and crowded around them in the covered porch (walk) called Solomon's.
(12)  And Peter, seeing it, answered the people, You men of Israel, why are you so surprised and wondering at this? Why do you keep staring at us, as though by our [own individual] power or [active] piety we had made this man [able] to walk?

Acts 3:13-15
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(13)  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.

The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our Fathers has glorified his Son Jesus whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let him go.

(14)  But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

But you denied the Holy One and the Righteous and asked a murderer to be given to you,

(15)  and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

And killed the Prince of Life, whom God has raised from the dead; all of us are his witnesses.


Notice the contrast:
God of Abraham-Isaac-Jacob The Men of Israel Pilate
Glorified Jesus
Raised Him from the dead
Delivered Jesus to Pilate
Denied the Holy One
Preferred a murderer over the Just
Killed the Prince of life
Was determined to free Jesus

As in his first sermon (Acts 2:22-24),  Peter now shows them their own reflection in opposition to their God.  And even more - it was Pilate, the hated Roman, who had been the one who not only knew Jesus was innocent and just, but was the only one who tried to free him.

Jesus is here called:
Servant pais NT:3816 a boy (as often beaten with impunity), a child; specifically, a slave or servant.
"The servant of the Lord" was a Jewish Messianic title
Holy hagios

NT:40

sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated)
"The Holy One" was a Jewish Messianic title
Just dikaios NT:1342 equitable (in character or act); by implication, innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively)
"The Just One" or "Righteous One" was a Jewish Messianic title
Prince archegos NT:747 originator, author, captain
Who has life in himself, and gives life to others

Excerpts from The Bible Exposition Commentary
The healing of the lame beggar drew a crowd around the three men. Solomon's Porch, on the east side of the temple, was a corridor where our Lord had ministered (John 10:23) and where the church worshiped (Acts 5:12).
In his sermon at Pentecost, Peter had to refute the accusation that the believers were drunk. In this sermon, he had to refute the notion that he and John had healed the man by their own power. (Paul and Barnabas would face a similar situation after healing a lame man. See Acts 14:8-18.) Peter immediately identified the source of the miracle - Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Wisely, Peter said that this was the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Spirit certainly gave Peter boldness as he reminded the Jews of the way they had treated Jesus. They had denied Him and delivered Him up to be crucified. Even worse, they had asked for a guilty man, Barabbas, to be set free so that an innocent prisoner might be crucified! In order to convince them of their crimes, Peter used several different names and titles for our Lord: God's Son, Jesus, the Holy One, the Just One, the Prince (Pioneer) of life. This was no ordinary man that they had handed over to the Romans to crucify!
Calvary may have been man's last word,  but the empty tomb was God's last word.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

From the Amplified Bible
(13)  The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified His Servant and Son Jesus [doing Him this honor], Whom you indeed delivered up and denied and rejected and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had determined to let Him go. [Exodus 3:6; Isaiah 52:13.]
(14)  But you denied and rejected and disowned the Pure and Holy, the Just and Blameless One, and demanded [the pardon of] a murderer to be granted to you.
(15)  But you killed the very Source (the Author) of life, Whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

Acts 3:16
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(16)  And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Faith in his name has healed this man whom you see and know, and made him strong; it is the faith in him which has granted this healing before you all.


His name, through faith in his name
By means of faith in him;  that is,  by the faith which Peter and John had in Jesus.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

It is done by the name of Christ,  not merely by naming it as a spell or charm,  but ... by virtue of a commission and instructions we have received from him,  and a power which he has invested us with,  that name which Christ has above every name;  his authority,  his command has done it.
The power of Christ is fetched in through faith in his name, a confidence in him, a dependence on him, a believing application to him, and expectation from him, even that faith which is by him,  which is of his working;  it is not of ourselves,  it is the gift of Christ;  and it is for his sake,  that he may have the glory of it;  for he is both the author and finisher of our faith.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Three things are here brought prominently forward to enhance the proof of divine agency in this cure:
First the notoriousness of the man's condition "whom you see and know"
Second the completeness of his restoration "this perfect soundness"
Third the publicity of his restoration "in the presence of you all"
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(16)  And His name, through and by faith in His name, has made this man whom you see and recognize well and strong. [Yes] the faith which is through and by Him [Jesus] has given the man this perfect soundness [of body] before all of you.

Acts 3:17 & 18
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(17)  "Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers.

But now, my brethren, I know that you did this through ignorance just as your leaders did it.

(18)  But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.

But those things which God before had preached by the mouth of all the prophets that his Christ should suffer, he has so fulfilled.


Yet now, brethren
Though they had been guilty of a crime so enormous,  yet Peter shows the tenderness of his heart in addressing them still as his brethren.  He regarded them as of the same nation with himself;  as having the same hopes,  and as being entitled to the same privileges.  The expression also shows that he was not disposed to exalt himself as being by nature more holy than they.

This verse is a remarkable instance of tenderness in appealing to sinners.  It would have been easy to have reproached them for their enormous crimes;  but that was not the way to reach the heart.  He had indeed stated and proved their wickedness.  The object now was to bring them to repentance for it; and this was to be done by tenderness,  kindness,  and love.  People are melted to contrition,  not by reproaches,  but by love.

In ignorance
Peter stated that Israel's ignorance caused them to commit this awful crime.  Ignorance is no excuse,  but it does affect the penalty handed out.  This is why Jesus prayed,  "Father,  forgive them,  for they know not what they do"  (Luke 23:34).  God was now giving Israel one more opportunity to receive their Messiah.  Peter promised in vv. 19-20  that if the nation would repent and receive the Lord,  He would blot out their sins (Isaiah 43:25 and 44:22-23),  send Christ to them,  and give them  "times of refreshing."  Peter was not describing individual salvation here so much as the blessing that would come to the nation if they would but repent and believe.  Of course,  national salvation depended on personal faith.
(from Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Copyright © 1992 by Chariot Victor Publishing, an imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved.)

"They had sinned,  but their sin was not of so deep a dye that it could not have been still more heinous" (Hackett).  If they had known what they were doing,  they would not knowingly have crucified the Messiah,  (1 Corinthians 2:8).
1 Corinthians 2:7-8
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,  which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.     (NKJV)
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

All his prophets
That is,  by the prophets in general,  without affirming that each individual prophet had uttered a distinct prediction respecting this.  The prophets  "taken together,"  or the prophecies  "as a whole,"  had declared this.

The Christ
Not a proper name here but the title meaning Messiah.

He has fulfilled
He has caused to be fulfilled in this manner;  that is,  by the rejection,  the denial,  and the wickedness of the rulers.  It has turned out to be in strict accordance with the prophecy.  This fact Peter uses in exhorting them to repentance;  but it is not to be regarded as an excuse for their sins.  The mere fact that all this was foretold;  that it was in accordance with the purposes and a prediction of God,  does not take away the quilt of it,  or constitute an excuse for it.  In regard to this,  we may remark:
(1) The prediction did not change the nature of the act. The mere fact that it was foretold, or foreknown, did not change its character.
(2) Peter still regarded them as guilty. He did not urge the fact that this was foreknown as an excuse for their sin, but to show them that since all this happened according to the prediction and the purpose of God, they might hope in his mercy. The plan was that the Messiah should die to make a way for pardon, and, therefore, they might hope in his mercy.
(3) This was a signal instance of the power and mercy of God in overruling the wicked conduct of people to further his own purposes and plans.
(4) All the other sins of people may thus be overruled, and thus the wrath of man may be made to praise him.
(5) But, this will constitute no excuse for the sinner. It is no part of his intention to honor God or to advance his purposes; and there is no direct tendency in his crimes to advance his glory. The direct tendency of his deeds is counteracted and overruled, and God brings good out of the evil.
If it be asked why Peter insisted on this if he did not mean that it should be regarded as an excuse for their sin, I reply, that it was his design to prove "that Jesus was the Messiah," and having proved this, he could assure them that there was mercy. Not that they had not been guilty; not that they deserved favor; but that tire fact that the Messiah had come was an argument which proved that any sinners might obtain mercy, as he immediately proceeds to show them.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From the Amplified Bible
(17)  And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance [not aware of what you were doing], as did your rulers also.
(18)  Thus has God fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (the Messiah) should undergo ill treatment and be afflicted and suffer.

Acts 3:19
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(19)  Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of tranquility shall come to you from before the presence of the Lord;


Repent
metanoeo

(NT:3340)

suggests remorse, to change one's mind

Metanoeo in the Old Testament
The Prophets
The prophets do not invent a special word for true repentance but make do with the common word for return (šûb).  This carries with it a sense of turning back,  i.e.,  after relapse,  but not exclusively so,  for sometimes the idea is that of turning from.
In general,  what is meant is an about-face.
The turning is mostly to God (once in Nehemiah 9:29 to the law),  and what is turned from is evil conduct,  previous conduct,  violence,  idols,  or sin.
The concept of conversion stresses positively the fact that real penitence involves a new relation to God that embraces all spheres of life and claims the will in a way that no external rites can replace.
Metanoeo in Judaism
The LXX
This word is rare in the LXX.  It is used for "to regret" and "to change one's mind" - with both God and man as subject.
Philo
Philo uses the terms for "change of mind,"  but he also gives them the religious nuance of religious and moral conversion,  i.e.,  the total change of turning to God and turning from sin that affects all life and conduct.  Without such conversion there is no salvation.
Josephus
Like Philo,  Josephus uses the terms both in the common sense and in the religious and moral sense.
He attaches significance to external forms,  focuses on individual vices and virtues,  and relates conversion to the averting of punishment.
Yet the goal of a new life stands behind the individual manifestations.
Metanoeo in Secular Greek
Has first the sense "to note after or late" (often with the sense "too late").
It then means "to change one's noús," i.e., opinion, feelings, or purpose.
If it is perceived that the former noús was wrong,  it then takes on the sense "to regret," "to rue," in various constructions, and often with an ethical nuance.
Metanoeo in Rabbinic Literature
The rabbis give linguistic expression to the Old Testament view of conversion with their frequent use of terms for  "to convert"  or  "conversion."
It is a break with wicked acts and where necessary entails restitution.
It comes to expression in penitential prayer.
Its positive side is obedience to the law.
By obstinate sinning, one may forfeit it and incur final punishment.
Metanoeo in the New Testament
The Linguistic Understanding
Paul has the verb only once, and the noun four times.  The verb occurs 12 times in Revelation,  the noun three times in Hebrews and once in 2 Peter.
The popular sense occurs in Luke 17:3-4 and 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 ("regret" or "remorse").
The usual meaning is "change of mind" or "conversion" with the full OT nuance.  This nuance is important,  for it makes a big difference whether the call of Jesus to repent is a call to total conversion or simply a call to sorrow for sin,  a change of mind,  or acts of restitution.
John the Baptist
The summons acquires new urgency inasmuch as it stands in the light of eschatological revelation.
This is a once-for-all conversion,  an inner change,  that is required even of the righteous and must find expression in acts of love.
In the teaching of Jesus
The preaching and miracles are a call to conversion in a final and unconditional decision,  in a once-for-all turning to God in total obedience (cf. Mark 1:15; Matthew 12:39 ff.; 11:20 ff.; Matthew 4:17).
This is the point of Jesus' teaching even when the terms are not used.
Not merely evil,  but anything that might be put before God must be renounced (Matthew 5:29-30; 10:32 ff., etc.).
Conversion applies to all people,  demanding a complete commitment that seeks forgiveness in full trust and surrender.
Faith is its positive aspect (cf. Mark 1:15).
It is not a human achievement,  for it involves becoming small and receptive like a child (Matthew 18:3).
Metanoeo in Early Christianity
Greek ideas are interfused (Hermas Visions 3.7.3; Justin Apology 61.10;  Mart. Pol. 9.2),  but Christian influence is apparent (Did. 10.6; 1 Clem. 7.4; Hermas Similitudes 9.22.3;  Justin Apology 15.7-8),  and there is a strong orientation to the Old Testament (1 Clem. 8; Justin Dialogue 25.4; 30.1; 107.2).
 Jewish ideas make some impact.  Thus keeping the commandments is part of conversion (Hermas Visions 5.6-7)
Penitence with weeping and wailing is required (Justin Dialogue 141.3).
(from Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, abridged edition, Copyright © 1985 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. All rights reserved.)

Therefore
Why?  Why should they repent?
Because of all that had just happened and been said:
(1) vs 7-10 They saw the miracle and knew it was a true miracle
(2) vs 13-15 They crucified not only an innocent man, but their Messiah
(3) vs 17 They did it in ignorance
(4) vs 18 God used their actions to fulfill prophecy concerning the Messiah
And because of what God wants to do in their lives, and for all mankind:
(1) vs 19 So their sins could be blotted out
(2) vs 19 So the Lord could send refreshing
(3) vs 20 So the Lord could send Jesus the Messiah back to them

Converted
epistrepho

(NT:1994)

to turn oneself around

Epistrepho in the Old Testament
The compound verb occurs some 579 times in the LXX for various forms of turning (to, from, back, etc.), and religiously for apostasy or conversion.
In Isaiah 6:10 the LXX introduces the idea of conversion for healing.
In Jeremiah 2:27 an apostate people turns its back on God.
In Jeremiah 11:10 it turns to the wicked acts of its fathers
In Psalms 90:13 God is asked to turn again to his people
Epistrepho in Judaism
The verb has such varied meanings as
"to convert"
"to change"
"to turn to or against"
 "to wander" "to walk" "to turn to a matter" "to pay regard to" "to note." The noun means "attention" "returning" "repentance" "conversion" "change of mind."
Philo
Philo allegorizes the turning of Lot's wife or the turning of Moses to God as turning from or to knowledge.  He also equates the word with moral improvement or turning to righteousness.  The turning of the spirit to itself reflects Hellenistic modes of thought.
Josephus
Only rarely in Josephus does the compound have a religious or ethical sense.
Epistrepho in Secular Greek
The verb has such varied meanings as
"to convert"
"to change"
"to turn to or against"
"to walk"
"to turn to a matter"
"to pay regard to"
The noun means
"attention"
"returning"
"repentance"
"conversion"
"change of mind"
Epistrepho in the New Testament
In John 21:20
The verb implies turning aside from Jesus
In Luke 17:4
A transferred sense, an inner change and consequent renewing of relationship.
In 2 Peter 2:21
Falling back into the old servitude is the point.
In 2 Luke 1:16-17
The leading back of many in Israel to God.
Epistrepho in Early Christianity
Various meanings may be found in early writings:
"turning aside"
"turning back"
"restoring"
"converting"
(from Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, abridged edition, Copyright © 1985 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. All rights reserved.)

Blotted out
May be forgiven,  or pardoned.
The expression  "to blot out sins"  occurs also in Isa 43:25;  Ps 51:1, 9;  Jer 18:23;  Neh 4:5;  Isa 44:22.
The expression  "to blot out a name"  is applied to expunging it from a  "roll,"  or  "catalog,"  or  "list,"  as of an army, etc.  Ex 32:32-33;  Deut 9:14; 25:19; 29:29, etc.
The expression to  "blot out sins"  is taken from the practice of creditors charging their debtors,  and when the debt is paid,  canceling it,  or wholly removing the record.

The word used here properly refers to the practice of writing on tables covered with wax,  and then by inverting the stylus,  or instrument of writing,  smoothing the wax again,  and thus removing every trace of the record.  This more entirely expresses the idea of pardoning than blotting does.  It means wholly to remove the record,  the charge,  and every trace of the account against us.  In this way God forgives sins.

Times of refreshing
The word anapsuxis (from anapsuchoo,  to cool again or refresh, 2 Timothy 1:16)  is a late word  (the Septuagint) and occurs only here in the New Testament.  Surely repentance will bring  "seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord."
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

The word rendered "refreshing," anapsuxis (NT: 403), means properly  "breathing,"  or  "refreshment,"  after being heated with labor,  running,  etc.  It hence denotes  "any kind of refreshment, as rest, or deliverance from evils of any kind."  It is used nowhere else in the New Testament, except that the verb is used in 2 Tim 1:16, "Onesiphorus ... oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain."

It is used by the Septuagint in the Old Testament nine times: Ex 8:15, "But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite";  that is,  cessation or rest from the plagues,  Hos 12:8; Jer 49:31; Ps 69:11, etc.   The idea that the times of the Messiah would be times of rest,  ease,  and prosperity,  was a favorite one among the Jews,  and was countenanced in the Old Testament.  See Isa 28:12,  "To whom he said,  this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing," etc.

They anticipated the times of the gospel as a period when they would have rest from their enemies,  a respite from the evils of oppression and war,  and great national prosperity and peace.  Under the idea that the happy times of the Messiah had come,  Peter now addresses them,  and assures them that they might obtain pardon and peace.

From the Amplified Bible
(19)  So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;

Acts 3:20-21
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(20)  and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,

And he shall send to you One who has been prepared for you, even Jesus Christ,

(21)  whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

Whom heaven must receive until all the things which God has spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began should be fulfilled.


And that He may send Jesus Christ
Under this economy of things,  he shall send Jesus Christ,  that is,  the Messiah,  to teach people;  to redeem them;  to save them;  to judge the world;  to gather his people to himself;  and to condemn the wicked.  Under this economy they were then.  This,  therefore,  was an argument why they should repent and turn to God that they might escape in the Day of Judgment.

Who before was preached
Who has been proclaimed as the Messiah.
The name  "Jesus Christ"  is equivalent here to "the Messiah."
The Messiah had been proclaimed to the Jews as about to come.  In his time was to be the period of refreshing.  He had come;  and they were under the economy in which the blessings of the Messiah were to be enjoyed.  This does not refer to his personal ministry,  or to the preaching of the apostles,  but to the fact that the Messiah had been a long time announced to them by the prophets as about to come.

Whom heaven must receive
The common belief of the Jews was that the Messiah would rein on the earth forever,  John 12:34.  On this account they would object that Jesus could not be the Messiah,  and hence,  it became so important for the apostles to establish the fact that he had ascended to heaven.  The evidence which they adduced was the fact that they saw him ascend,  Acts 1:9.
The meaning of the expression  "whom the heavens MUST receive,"  is that it was  "fit" or  "proper"  dei  (NT:1163) that he should ascend.

The times of the restoration
The noun rendered restoration apokatastaseoos (NT: 605),  does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament.
The verb from which it is derived occurs eight times.  It means properly  "to restore a thing to its former situation,"  as restoring a  "strained"  or  "dislocated"  limb to its former soundness.  Hence,  it is used to restore,  or to heal,  in the New Testament:  Matt 12:13, "And it (the hand) was restored whole as the other"; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10.

And hence,  it is applied to the preparation or fitness for the coming of the Messiah which was to attend the preaching of John in the character of Elias,  Matt 17:11; Mark 9:12.

Thus,  in Josephus (Antiq., 2:3, 8),  the word is used to denote the return of the Jews from the captivity of Babylon,  and their restoration to their former state and privileges.

The word has also the idea of  "consummation, completion, or filling up."
Thus, it is used in Philo, Hesychius, Phavorinus, and by the Greek Classics. (See Lightfoot and Kuinoel.)

Thus, it is used here by the Syriac:  "Until the complement or filling up of the times";  that is, of all the events foretold by the prophets, etc.

Thus, the Arabic: "Until the times which shall establish the perfection or completion of all the predictions of the prophets," etc.  In this sense the passage means that the heavens must receive the Lord Jesus until all thrums spoken by the prophets in relation to his work,  his reign,  the spread of the gospel,  the triumph of religion,  etc.,  shall have been fulfilled.

It also conveys the idea of the predicted recovery of the world from sin,  and the restoration of peace and order;  the consummation of the work of the Messiah,  now begun,  but not yet complete;  slow it may be in its advances,  but triumphant and certain in its progress and its close.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

THE FIRST TIME HE CAME
As a Servant
To Suffer
To Die
To seek and to save those that were lost (Luke 19:10)
And because of this, they did not recognize their Messiah.
THE SECOND TIME HE WILL COME
In Power
In great Glory
As the Conqueror
As the Lord of Glory they looked for the first time.


From the Amplified Bible
(20)  And that He may send [to you] the Christ (the Messiah), Who before was designated and appointed for you — even Jesus,
(21)  Whom heaven must receive [and retain] until the time for the complete restoration of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past [from the most ancient time in the memory of man].

Acts 3:22-24
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(22)  For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.

For Moses said, The Lord shall raise up a prophet like me for you from among your brethren; listen to him in all that he shall say to you.

(23)  And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'

And it shall come to pass that every person who will not listen to that prophet shall be lost from his people.

(24)  Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days.

Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken and preached, have likewise foretold of these days.


For Moses truly said
Verse 22 is an amplification of verse 21,  namely,  the statement  "by...his holy prophets."  A closer equivalent would be  "for example,  it was Moses who said."
(from the UBS Handbook Series. Copyright (c) 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies)

To the fathers
To their ancestors,  or the founders of the nation.

A Prophet like me
In the Septuagint it is the translation of the word roeh, "a seer"; 1 Samuel 9:9,  indicating that the  "prophet"  was one who had immediate intimate conversation with God.  It also translates the word nabhi,  meaning  either
"one in whom the message from God springs forth"
  or
"one to whom anything is secretly communicated"
Hence,  in general,  the  prophet"  was
one upon whom the Spirit of God rested Numbers 11:17-29,
one, to whom and through whom God speaks Numbers 12:2; Amos 3:7,8
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

Deuteronomy 18:15-19
The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,  according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, "Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die."
And the LORD said to me:  "What they have spoken is good.  I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.  And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him."     (NKJV)

Christ is a prophet,  for
by him God speaks unto us
in him all divine revelation centers
by him it is handed to us
Christ is
a prophet like unto Moses
a favorite of Heaven;
more intimately acquainted with the divine counsel
more familiarly conversed with, than any other prophet
He was
a deliverer of his people out of bondage, like Moses
their guide through the wilderness, like Moses
a prince and a lawgiver, like Moses
the builder of the true tabernacle, as Moses was of the typical one
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Thus explained,  the prophecy had no  "exclusive"  or even  "direct"  reference to the Messiah,  and there is no evidence that the Jews understood it to have any such reference,  except as one of the series of prophets that God would raise up and send to instruct the nation.  If,  then,  it is asked on what principle Peter appealed to this, we may reply:
(1) That the Messiah was to sustain the character of a prophet,  and the prophecy had reference to him as one of the teachers that God would raise up to instruct the nation.
(2) It would apply to him by way of eminence,  as the greatest of the messengers that God would send to instruct the people. In this sense it is probable that the Jews would understand it.
(3) This was one of those emergencies in the history of the nation when they might expect such an intervention.  The prophecy implied that in times of perplexity and danger God would raise up such a prophet.  Such a time then existed.  The nation was corrupt,  distracted,  subjected to a foreign power,  and needed such a teacher and guide.
If it be asked why Peter appealed to this rather than to explicit prophecies of the Messiah,  we may remark
(1) That his main object was to show their guilt in having rejected him and put him to death.
(Acts 3:14-15)
(2) That in order to do this,  he sets before them clearly the obligation to obey him;  and in doing this,  appeals to the express command of Moses.
He shows them that,  according to Moses,  whoever would not obey such a prophet should be cut off from among the people.  In refusing,  therefore,  to hear this great prophet,  and putting him to death,  they had violated the express command of their own Lawgiver.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(22)  Thus Moses said to the forefathers, The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as [He raised up] me; Him you shall listen to and understand by hearing and heed in all things whatever He tells you.
(23)  And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to and understand by hearing and heed that Prophet shall be utterly exterminated from among the people. [Deuteronomy 18:15-19.]
(24)  Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel and those who came afterwards, as many as have spoken, also promised and foretold and proclaimed these days.

Acts 3:25 & 26
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(25)  You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'

You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, By your seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed.

(26)  To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."

Now it was for you first, God appointed and sent his Son to bless you if you turn and repent from your evils.


Sons of the prophets
The meaning is,  not that they were literally the  "descendants"  of the prophets,  but that they were their  "disciples,"   "pupils,"  "followers."  They professed to follow the prophets as their teachers and guides.  Teachers among the Jews were often spoken of under the appellation of fathers,  and disciples as sons, Matt 12:27.
As they were the professed disciples of the prophets,
they should listen to them.
As they lived among the people to whom the prophets were sent,  and to whom the promises were made,
they should avail themselves of the offer of mercy,  and embrace the Messiah.

And of the covenant
That is, you are of the posterity of Abraham,  with whom the covenant was made.
The word  "sons"  was often thus used to denote those to whom any favor pertained.  Whether by inheritance or in any other way.  Thus,
Matt 8:12 The children (sons) of the kingdom"
John 17:12 "the son of perdition"

The word  "covenant"  denotes properly  "a compact or agreement between equals,  or those who have a right to make such a compact,  and to choose or refuse the terms."

When applied to God and man,  it denotes a firm promise on the part of God;  a pledge to be regarded with all the sacredness of a compact,  that he will do certain things on certain conditions.
It is called a covenant only to designate its sacredness and the certainty of its fulfillment,  not that man had any right to reject any of the terms or stipulations.

In your seed
This promise the apostle Paul affirms had express reference to the Messiah,  Gal 3:16.
Galatians 3:16
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.     (NKJV)

To you first
To the Jews first in Privilege
To the Jews first in Opportunity
This was the direction,  that the gospel should be first preached to the Jews,  beginning at Jerusalem,  Luke 24:47.
Luke 24:46-47
Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."     (NKJV)
Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.     (NKJV)

As you are the children of the prophets,  and of the covenant,  the first offers of salvation belong to you,  and God thus makes them to you.  The great mission of Jesus Christ is directed first to you,  that you may be saved from your sins.  God designs to bless you,  but it is by turning each of you away from his iniquities.
The salvation promised in the covenant is a salvation from sin,
not from the Romans;  and no man can have his sin blotted out who does not turn away from it.
We may learn from this that neither political nor ecclesiastical privileges can benefit the soul,  merely considered in themselves:
a man may have Abraham for his father, according to the flesh;
and have Satan for his father, according to the spirit.
A man may be a member of the visible church of Christ,  without any title to the church triumphant.
In short, if a man be not turned away from his iniquities, even the death of Christ profits him nothing.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

To bless you
In this particular context  "blessing"  is described as making all of you turn away from your wicked ways.  This is therefore more than some mere verbal formula and can be translated in a number of languages as
"caused good to you"
"caused you to be richly benefited"
The final clause then specifies how this took place.
By making all of you turn away involves a causative expression which may be indicated clearly in some languages as
"God caused good to you;  he did this by causing you to turn away from your wicked ways."
(from the UBS Handbook Series. Copyright (c) 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies)

From the Amplified Bible
(25)  You are the descendants (sons) of the prophets and the heirs of the covenant which God made and gave to your forefathers, saying to Abraham, And in your Seed (Heir) shall all the families of the earth be blessed and benefited. [Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16.]
(26)  It was to you first that God sent His Servant and Son Jesus, when He raised Him up [provided and gave Him for us], to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness and evil ways. [Acts 2:24; 3:22.]


(End of Chapter Three)

 

Bibliography

 


Home First
Covenant
Second
Covenant
Topical
Studies
Table of
Contents
Top