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ACTS
The continued Life of Jesus through the Apostles

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

"Sent, Went, Spent"
Key Verse = Acts 13:2

  1. Paul & Barnabas Sent to the Gentiles 3. At Antioch in Pisidia
  2. Preaching in Cyprus 4. Blessing and Conflict at Antioch


Chapter 13 brings us to the second half of Acts.
In the 1st half Jerusalem is the center of the narrative,
and the main theme is the extension of the church from Jerusalem throughout Palestine.
In the 2nd half Jerusalem drops into the background,  and Antioch becomes the center of the narrative because it sponsored the extension of the church in Asia and Europe.
This extension was accomplished by three missions by Paul, each beginning and ending in Antioch.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)
Though Christianity had already spread beyond the limits of Palestine,  still the Church continued a stranger to formal missionary effort.  Casual occurrences,  particularly the persecution at Jerusalem (Acts 8:2),  had hitherto brought about the diffusion of the Gospel.  It was from Antioch that teachers were first sent forth with the definite purpose of spreading Christianity,  and organizing churches with regular institutions (Acts 14:23).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

PAUL  AND  BARNABAS  SENT  TO  THE  GENTILES

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Acts 13:1
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(1)  Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas and Simon who was called Niger and Lucius from the city of Cyrene and Manaen who was the son of the man who brought up Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.


The church that was at Antioch
Speaking of the ekklesia,  not a building.
The church is not comprised of mud,  brick,  wood or stone cut by human hand.
The church is comprised of  "living stones...built [into] a spiritual house,  for a holy (dedicated,  consecrated) priesthood,  to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ."  (1 Peter 2:5   AMP)

We usually identify the preaching of the Gospel with the quiet rural villages of Palestine where the Lord Jesus ministered.  For this reason,  many Christians are surprised to learn that the church in the Book of Acts was almost entirely urban.
Historian Wayne A. Meeks writes that  "within a decade of the crucifixion of Jesus,  the village culture of Palestine had been left behind,  and the Greco-Roman city became the dominant environment of the Christian movement" (The First Urban Christians, p. 11).
The church began in Jerusalem,  and then spread to other cities,  including Samaria,  Damascus,  Caesarea,  and Antioch in Syria.  At least forty different cities are named in Acts.  From Antioch,  Paul and his helpers carried the Gospel throughout the then-known world.  In fact,  the record given in Acts 13-28 is almost a review of ancient geography.  About the year 56,  the Apostle Paul was able to write,  "So that from Jerusalem,  and round about unto Illyricum,  I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ", (Romans 15:19).  What a record!
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

This extension was accomplished by three missions by Paul,  each beginning and ending in Antioch of Syria.

Prophets and Teachers
These men were serving as "prophets and teachers" in a local church.
The Prophets helped lay the foundation for the church as they proclaimed the Word of God  (Ephesians 2:20;  1 Corinthians 14:29-32).  They were more  "forth-tellers"  than  "foretellers,"  though at times the prophets did announce things to come  (Acts 11:27-30).
The Teachers helped to ground the converts in the doctrines of the faith (2 Timothy 2:2).
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Barnabas
Barnabas  (Acts 4:369:27; 11:22, 26)  at first seems to have been the leader.

Simeon who was called Niger
"Niger"  is a Latin name meaning  "black."   Black translates a Greek word brought over from Latin and means  "dark complexioned"  or  "black."  Some scholars believe Simeon was the same person as Simon of Cyrene,  who bore Jesus' cross (Luke 23:26).

Lucius of Cyrene
Cyrene was in Africa.

Of the five here named,  four are known to be Jews;  and therefore,  probably,  Lucius was also a Jew from Cyrene,  where Jews are known to have abounded.
(from Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Manaen
He is not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament.
Manaen is a Hellenistic form of the Hebrew “Menahem” meaning Comforter.
“Which had been brought up with Herod”  -  is more concisely and exactly rendered   “Herod’s foster-brother”  (and is so translated in the Emphatic Dioglott,  Numeric,  Moffatt,  Revised,  and the Interlinear Greek-English).  The title “foster-brother” was given to boys of the same age as royal princes,  who were brought up with them at court.
Herod the tetrarch is Herod Antipas,  the son of Herod the Great,  not Herod Agrippa who was the grandson of Herod the Great.
According to Alexander on Acts:  “Josephus and the Talmud speak of a Menahem, an Essene, who predicted the elevation and long reign of Herod the Great, and was therefore an object of his special favor. It is very possible that this man’s son was nursed or educated with the king’s sons, and afterwards converted to the Christian faith.”
Manaen shows how the gospel was reaching some of the higher classes, even to the home of Herod Antipas in Rome.

Saul
Saul was an apostle;  and yet he is mentioned here among the  "prophets and teachers."   He was last on the list,  but soon to become first

From the Amplified Bible
(1)  Now in the church (assembly) at Antioch there were prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God) and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger [Black], Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Acts 13:2 & 3
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

 (2)  As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

As they fasted and prayed to God, the Holy Spirit said to them, Appoint for me Saul and Barnabas for the work to which I have called them.

(3)  Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

So, after they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

THE FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY BEGINS
Acts 13:2–14:28


Ministered to the Lord
Leitourgeo – the word from which  “liturgy”  is derived. It is applied to:
1. The Ministry of Angels (Hebrews 1:7; 14)
2. Christian Charity and Kindness (Romans 15:27; Phil. 2:30)
3. Magistrates as Ministers of God (Romans 13:6)
4. Christian Ministry and Missions (Romans 15:16)
5. Public Worship – especially Jewish ritual (Luke 1:23; Hebrews 10:11)

Literally the word was used of a person who performed a public duty or service to the state at his own expense,  or one who ministered relief of his own substance.

It was common in the Septuagint of the priests who served in the tabernacle (Exodus 28:31,39).  Here used of worship (prayer, exhortation, fasting).

In most modern translations, it is translated "worshipping."

Fasted
There are indications that New Testament Christians were especially sensitive to the Spirit’s communications during fasting.  And this should be one of the main reasons for a fast.

Separate to Me Barnabas and Saul
Set apart to me,  or for my service.  To designate,  or appoint to this specific work.

This was not to supersede or take the place of the stated ministry already in progress,  but to be superadded to it.
Some things to consider:
(1) The Lord spoke when they were all whole-heartedly worshipping Him,  with their minds and body withdrawn from earthly and natural things.
(2) The Lord spoke audibly  (through one of the prophets)  a confirmation of a mission of which Barnabas and Saul were already aware.
(3) Note: when a prophet speaks,  he or she will only confirm what you already know,  ‘out of the mouth of two or three witness let the matter be established.’
(4) Even then they did not jump and run immediately,  but continued to fast and pray  (for how long,  we do not know – but to continue to fast would indicate that it included at least the next meal – time)  in order to be positive of the perfect and divine will of God in the matter.
(5) The other ministers laid their hands on them indicating:
A. An official commission by the church of Antioch in accordance with the Divine Commission,  showing that they were uniting with God in sending out these two treasured and valuable brethren.
B. Identification with the two being sent out,  showing that they were willing to cooperate in this new venture,  and to be joint – laborers together in the Lord although distance might separate them.

He does not specify the work,  but refers to a former call of which they themselves knew the meaning,  whether others did or no:  as for Saul,
he was particularly told that he must bear Christ's name to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15),
that he must be sent to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21);
the matter was settled between them at Jerusalem before this, 
that as Peter,  James,  and John laid out themselves among those of the circumcision,
so Paul and Barnabas should go to the heathen,  Galatians 2:7-9.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From the Amplified Bible
(2)  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
(3)  Then after fasting and praying, they put their hands on them and sent them away.



PREACHING  IN  CYPRESS

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Acts 13:4
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(4)  So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

Thus these two were sent forth by the Holy Spirit, and they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.


Sent out by the Holy Spirit
This begins Paul's first Missionary Journey.

By His influence,  authority,  and under his continual direction.
His Influence Without the first, they were not qualified to go
His Authority Without the second, they had no authority to go
His Direction Without the third, they could not know where to go
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Seleucia
The Seleucia of the New Testament was founded in 300 B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator,  to provide a seaport for Syrian Antioch which lay some 16 miles inland.  It lay near the mouth of the Orontes,  and was a naval base in Roman imperial times.  This city is to be distinguished from the Seleucia on the Tigris founded by the same monarch 12 years earlier.

Antioch was connected with the sea by the Orontes River. Strabo says that in his time they sailed up the river in one day. The distance from Antioch to Seleucia by water is about 41 miles, while the journey by land is only 16 1/2 miles.

Here,  in the midst of unsympathizing sailors,  the two missionary apostles,  with their younger companion,  stepped on board the vessel which was to convey them to Salamis.  As they cleared the port,  the whole sweep of the bay of Antioch opened on their left - the low ground by the mouth of the Orontes;  the wild and woody country beyond it;  and then the peak of Mount Casius,  rising symmetrically from the very edge of the sea to a height of 5000 feet.  On the right,  in the southwest horizon,  if the day was clear,  they saw the island of Cyprus from the first.  The current sets northerly and northeast between the island and the Syrian coast.  But with a fair wind,  a few hours would enable them to run down from Seleucia to Salamis,  and the land would rapidly rise in forms well known and familiar to Barnabas and Mark"   (Life and Epistles of Paul, vol. 1, pp. 135,138).

Cyprus
An island in the eastern part of the Mediterranean directly off the coast of Syria and Cilicia – 148 miles long and about 40 miles wide.  Barnabas,  who accompanied Paul on his first missionary trip was a native of the Cyprus and with John Mark returned to evangelize Cyprus after they had left Paul’s company (Acts 15:36-39).

From the Amplified Bible
(4)  So then, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from [that port] they sailed away to Cyprus.

Acts 13:5
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(5)  And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.

And when they had entered the city of Salamis, they preached the word of our Lord in the synagogues of the Jews; and John ministered to them.


Salamis
A town on the east coast of Cyprus,  founded,  according to tradition,  by Teucer,  from the island of Salamis,  off the coast of Greece.  It possessed a good harbor and was a populous and flourishing town in the Hellenic and Roman periods.  According to tradition Barnabas was martyred there in the reign of Nero.

This was the principal city and seaport of Cyprus.  It was situated on the southeast part of the island,  and was afterward called Constantia.

In the synagogues
Jews were living in all the countries adjacent to Judea, and in those countries they had synagogues.  The apostles uniformly preached first to them.

The plural implies that the Jews were numerous in Salamis. 
Augustus,  according to Josephus,  made Herod the Great a present of half the revenue of the copper mines of Cyprus,  so that numerous Jewish families would be settled in the island.  In the reign of Trajan,  upon the breaking out of a Jewish insurrection,  the whole island fell into the hands of the Jews,  and became a rallying-point for the revolt.  It is said that two hundred and forty thousand of the native population were sacrificed to the fury of the insurgents.  When the rebellion was extinguished,  the Jews were forbidden thenceforth,  on pain of death,  to set foot on the island.
(from Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

It was Paul's custom to preach the Gospel  "to the Jew first"  (Romans 1:16);  but the Gospel usually took root among the Gentiles who attended the Jewish synagogues.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

John
This is John Mark  (Acts 12:12).  He was with them as their friend and traveling companion;  perhaps also employed in making the needful arrangements for their comfort,  and for the supply of their needs in their travels.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

As their assistant
Huperetes (NT:5257)  An attendant,  servant;  the verb meaning
“to serve,”  or
“to relieve”  or
“to supply.”
In other words,  John Mark did not go along for the prime purpose of preaching  (although he may have had some opportunity to do so),  but his job was to see to all the menial duties of preparing wardrobe,  food,  lodging,  etc.,  while Paul and Barnabas concentrated on the  “work whereunto they were called.”
Excerpts from "The Apostle: A Life of Paul"
They had his words in their memories - and very possibly on papyrus.  For they were accompanied by Barnabas' relative John Mark, a young man with stumpy fingers and a terse way of speech, who had come back with them from his home in Jerusalem.  He was their subordinate, yet an integral member of the team:  Luke's term to describe his position was used in the Roman world for a "document handler."  Mark may have already written down, at Peter's behest, a collection of the authentic sayings and doings of Jesus, and been sent by the Jerusalem church with the express intention of strengthening Barnabas and Paul, since they were to work among Gentiles, by public readings.  And he could add priceless eyewitness testimony of the sufferings of Jesus if, as is generally supposed, he was the young man who had followed him in the Garden of Gethsemane and fled naked at the arrest.
The three missionaries shipped from Seleucia in the first days of the sailing season early in March A.D. 47 for the easy run to Cyprus, an obvious preliminary choice in that Barnabas was a Cypriot and the island had a substantial Jewish minority, large enough to raise a dangerous rebellion some fifty years later.
(From "The Apostle: A Life of Paul," by John Pollock; RiverOak Publishing, a division of Cook Communication Ministries)

From the Amplified Bible
(5)  When they arrived at Salamis, they preached the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God] in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John [Mark] as an attendant to assist them.

Acts 13:6 & 7
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(6)  Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus,

And when they had traveled the whole island as far as the city of Paphos, they found a Jewish sorcerer, who was a false prophet and whose name was Bar-Shuma;

(7)  who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.

Who was a close friend to a wise man, the proconsul whose name was Sergius Paulus, who called for Saul and Barnabas and desired to hear from them the word of God.


Gone through the island
The length of the island, according to Strabo,  was 1,400 stadia,  or nearly 170 miles.

Paphos
This was the Greek settlement of  “New Paphos,”  so called to distinguish it from the Phoenician foundation of  “Old Paphos,”  which lay about seven miles to the southeast.  Both cities were noted,  among other things,  for the cult of the goddess called  “the Paphian,”  a deity of Syrian origin identified with the Greek Aphrodite.

Paphos, next in importance to Salamis,  was a city at the western extremity of the island.  It was the residence of the proconsul,  and was distinguished for a splendid temple erected to Venus,  who was worshipped throughout the island.  Cyprus was fabled to be the place of the birth of this goddess:  here she was worshipped with all her rites;  and from this place she was named the Paphian Venus,  the queen of Paphos.  This temple and whole city were destroyed by an earthquake;  so that a vestige of either does not now remain.

Bar-Jesus
Bariesous - Literally,  “son of Joshua.”   Nothing is known about him except that is stated in this chapter -
He was a sorcerer magos - a magician - a wizard,  sorcerer,  a pretender to magic powers,  a professor of the arts of witchcraft.   A magician,  one who used magical arts,  and pretended to have commerce with supernatural agents.
He was a false prophet pseudoprophetes - a pseudo prophet - one who,  acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet,  utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies.  A deceiver,  one who pretended to have a divine commission;  a fortune teller.
He was a Jew Ioudaios - The aggravation of this man's case was his being one of God's chosen family,  who,  by giving himself over to this miserable occupation,  virtually proclaimed himself an apostate from the Faith of his fathers;  and his nationality is noted here,  no doubt,  as a brand upon him.
He was with the proconsul sun - to be with one, to accompany - a primary preposition denoting union.  Being or acting together and sharing a common task or destiny.  This being or acting together carries the sense of supporting or helping one another, i.e., taking the side of one another.

The word "Bar" is Syriac, and means "son."  Jesus (Joshua) was not an uncommon name among the Jews.

Sergius Paulus
He was
Proconsul anthupatos - anti, "instead of,"  and hupatos,  "supreme,"  denotes  "a consul,  one acting in place of a consul,  a proconsul,  the governor of a senatorial province.
Intelligent sunetos - intelligent,  having understanding,  wise,  learned.  To be able to understand and evaluate.  It also may have the sense of candid,  and may have been given to this man because he was of large and liberal views;  of a philosophic and inquiring turn of mind; and was willing to obtain knowledge from any source.  Hence,  he had entertained the Jews;  and hence,  he was willing also to listen to Barnabas and Saul.  It is not often that men of rank are thus willing to listen to the instructions of the professed ministers of God.

We have here a striking instance of a supposed error becoming a conclusive proof of accuracy even in minute points.  The Roman provinces were divided by Augustus into two great classes:
1. Senatorial – governed by Proconsuls – overseen by the Senate in Rome.
2. Imperial – governed by Propraetors or Consular Legates – overseen by the Emperor himself.

As Cyprus was originally an Imperial province,  the use of the word Proconsul,  or its Greek equivalent,  was regarded as an error.  It was afterward discovered,  through the discovery of ancient manuscripts,  that before the date of these events,  the island had been transferred from the one class to the other.  It was now actually under a Proconsul;  a fact confirmed by the existence of a Cyprian coin,  belonging to the same reign,  on which Proclus  (successor of Sergius Paulus)  bears the title of Proconsul.

In the time when Augustus united the world under his own power,  the provinces were divided into two classes. Augustus found two names which were applied to public officers in existence,  one of which was henceforward inseparably blended with the imperial dignity and with military command,  and the other with the authority of the senate and its civil administration.  The first of these names was  "Praetor";  the other was "Consul."  What is to be accounted for here is that the latter is the name given by Luke to Sergius Paulus,  as if he derived his authority from the senate.

At the same time,  Dio Cassius informs us that Cyprus was retained by the emperor for himself,  and the title of the governor,  therefore,  would naturally have been,  not "Proconsul,"  as here,  but "Procurator."  Yet it so happens that Dio Cassius has stated the reason why the title  "Proconsul"  was given to the governor of Cyprus,  in the fact which he mentions that  "Augustus restored Cyprus to the senate in exchange for another district of the empire."

Sought to hear the Word of God
Epizeteo - to search (inquire) for; intensively, to demand, to crave, seek diligently.
 
Thus the Gentiles seek material things  (Matthew 6:32)
The Jews seek righteousness  (Romans 11:7 "Israel has not obtained what it seeks;")
Sergius Paulus seeks to hear God's word  (Acts 13:7)
In Hebrews the Old Testament saints seek a heavenly country (Hebrews 11:14)
And Christians seek an eternal city (Hebrews 13:14).
(from Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, abridged edition, Copyright © 1985 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(6)  When they had passed through the entire island of Cyprus as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain Jewish wizard or sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus.
(7)  He was closely associated with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent and sensible man of sound understanding; he summoned to him Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the Word of God [concerning salvation in the kingdom of God attained through Christ].

Acts 13:8-10
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(8)  But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

But Bar-Shuma the sorcerer (whose name is interpreted Elymas) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith.

(9)  Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him

Then Saul, who is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked at him

(10)  and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?

And said, O man full of every kind of subtlety and of all evil things, son of the devil and enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?


Elymas
Elumas - of foreign origin;  a wizard

Elymas is the interpretation,  not of the name Bar-Jesus,  but of the word rendered  "the sorcerer."  It is an Arabic word,  and means the same as Magus.  It seems that he was better known by this foreign name than by his own.

Withstood them
Anthistemi - to set against, to resist by actively opposing.

He resisted them.  He was aware that if the influence of Saul and Barnabas should be extended over the proconsul,  that he would be seen to be an impostor and his power be at an end.  His interest,  therefore,  led him to oppose the gospel.  His own popularity was at stake;  and being governed by this,  he opposed the gospel of God.  The love of popularity and power,  the desire of retaining some political influence,  is often a strong reason why people oppose the gospel.

Sergius Paulus functioned as the governor of the island.  Such leaders often kept private sorcerers.  Bar-Jesus realized that if Sergius Paulus believed in Jesus,  he would soon be out of a job.
(from Life Application Bible Copyright © 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Saul, who is also called Paul
This is the last time that this apostle is called  "Saul."   Henceforward,  he is designated by the title by which he is usually known,  as  "Paul."

The name  "Paul"  is of Roman origin.  In the Latin language the name Paulus signifies little,  dwarfish -
Some have conjectured that it was given by his parents to denote that he was small when born.
Others,  that it was assumed or conferred in subsequent years because he was little in stature.
The name is not of the same signification as the name Saul.  This signifies one that is asked,  or desired.

It was common for Jews,  especially those who lived outside of Palestine proper,  to have both a Hebrew and Roman name.  Thus, 
Symeon was also called Niger (Acts 13:1)
Barsabas was also called Justus (Acts 1:23)
As Paul now comes prominently forward as the apostle to the Gentiles,  Luke now retains his Gentile name,  as he did his Jewish name during his ministry among the Jews.

Filled with the Holy Spirit
"The Holy Spirit controlled him,"  or  "the Holy Spirit completely possessed him."  Inspired
to detect his sin;
to announce divine judgment;
and to inflict punishment on him.

Looked intently
Atenizo  (NT:816)  to fix one's eyes on some object continually and intensely  -  'to look straight at,  to stare at,  to keep one's eyes fixed on.'

When Paul looked at him with the Spirit of God, he revealed him as he truly was, not as Sergius-Paulus had imagined him to be:
Full of deceit
Dolos  (NT:1388)  Implies that he was practicing an imposition (an excessive or uncalled-for requirement or burden),  pretending to supernatural powers without possessing any,  and having only cunning and deceit as their substitutes.
And that he knew it.
Full of fraud
Radiourgias  (NT: 4468)  denotes properly  "facility of acting,"  and then  "sleight of hand;  sly;  cunning arts,  by which one imposes on another,  and deceives him with a fraudulent intention."
Son of the devil
 Possessing his nature;  filled with his cunning.
Under his influence;  practicing his arts;  promoting his designs by deceit and imposture,  so that he may be called his father.  Satan is represented here as the author of deceit and the father of lies.
Enemy of all righteousness
Practicing deceit and iniquity, and thus opposed to righteousness and honesty.
A man who lives by wickedness will, be the foe of every form of integrity.
A man who lives by fraud will be opposed to the truth.
A panderer to the vices of people will hate the rules of chastity and purity
A manufacturer or vendor of ardent spirits will be the enemy of temperance societies.

From the Amplified Bible
(8)   But Elymas the wise man — for that is the translation of his name [which he had given himself] — opposed them, seeking to keep the proconsul from accepting the faith.
(9)   But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit, looked steadily at [Elymas]
(10) And said, You master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness, and wickedness, you son of the devil, you enemy of everything that is upright and good, will you never stop perverting and making crooked the straight paths of the Lord and plotting against His saving purposes? [Hosea 14:9.]

Acts 13:11
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(11)  And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time."  And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

And now the hand of the Lord is against you, and you shall be blind and shall not see the sun for a time. And in that very hour there fell on him a mist and darkness; and he went about seeking some one to lead him by the hand.


The hand of the Lord is upon you
The hand of the Lord being upon any one can denote:
Divine aid or favor
Ezra 7:28
So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me.
Acts 11:21
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Divine punishment unto destruction
Deuteronomy 2:15
For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed.
1 Samuel 5:6
But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them.
Divine punishment unto repentance
Isaiah 51:17
Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury.
1 Peter 5:6
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

By this sudden and miraculous punishment
he would be awed and humbled,
and the proconsul and others would be convinced that he was an impostor,
and that the gospel was true.

His wickedness deserved such punishment;  and at the same time that due punishment was inflicted,  it was designed that the gospel should be extended by this means.

In all this there was the highest evidence that Paul was under the inspiration of God.
He was full of the Holy Spirit
He detected the secret feelings and desires of the heart of Elymas
He inflicted on him a punishment that could have proceeded from none but God

That the apostles had the power of inflicting punishment is apparent from various places in the New Testament,
1 Corinthians 5:4-5
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:19-20
Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

The punishment inflicted on Elymas,  also,  would be highly emblematic of the darkness and perverseness of his conduct.

Not seeing the sun for a time
For how long a time this blindness was to continue is nowhere specified.  It was,  however,  in mercy ordained that the blindness should not be permanent and final;  and though it was a punishment,  it was at the same time benevolent,  for nothing would be more likely to lead him to reflection and repentance than such a state of blindness.  It was such a manifest proof that God was opposed to him it was such a sudden divine judgment;  it so completely cut him off from all possibility of practicing his arts of deception,  that it was adapted to bring him to repentance.  Accordingly there is a tradition in the early church that he became a Christian.  Origen says that  "Paul,  by a word striking him blind,  by anguish converted him to godliness" (Clark).

Mist
Achlus   (NT:887)  Only here in the New Testament.  The word is used by medical writers as a name for a disease of the eyes.  The mention of the successive stages,  first dimness,  then total darkness,  are characteristic of the physician.
(from Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

"In the single place of its New Testament use it attests the accuracy in the selection of words,  and not least of medical words,  which  'the beloved physician'  so often displays.  For him it expresses the mist of darkness...  which fell on the sorcerer Elymas,  being the outward and visible sign of the inward spiritual darkness which would be his portion for a while in punishment for his resistance to the truth"  (Trench, Syn., Sec. c)
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

Seeking someone to lead him by the hand
This is a striking account of the effect of the miracle.  The change was so sudden that he knew not where to go.  He sought someone to guide him in the paths with which he had before been familiar.
How soon can God bring down the pride of man,  and make him as helpless as an infant!
How easily can He touch our senses,  the organs of our most exquisite pleasures,  and wither away all our enjoyments!
How dependent are we upon Him for the inestimable blessing of sight!
And how easily can He annihilate all the sinner's pleasures,  break up all his plans,  and humble him in the dust!  Sight is his gift;  and it is a mercy unspeakably great that He does not overwhelm us in thick darkness,  and destroy forever all the pleasure that through this organ is conveyed to the soul.

From the Amplified Bible
(11)  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind, [so blind that you will be] unable to see the sun for a time. Instantly there fell upon him a mist and a darkness, and he groped about seeking persons who would lead him by the hand.

Acts 13:12
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(12)  Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

And when the proconsul saw what had happened, he was amazed and believed the teaching of the Lord.


The proconsul believed
To what extent he believed,  we do not know,  but there are some indications (according to history,  not in the Scripture),  that in the next two generations certain members of his family were known as Christians.  Ramsay claims that Sergia Paulla,  the proconsul’s daughter,  was a Christian,  as also her son Gaius Caristanius Fronto,  member of a prominent family of Pisidian Antioch.

Astonished at the teaching
Ekpleessomenos  (NT:1605)  Being struck with astonishment,  as Elymas was struck with blindness.  Thus the word of God is a two-edged sword:  it smites the sinner with judgment or compunction;  and the sincere inquirer after truth,  with conviction of its own worth and excellence.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Many have been astonished at the teaching of the Lord.  Even as the disciples were astonished:

Matthew 19:23-25
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."   When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
The reason for this astonishment is explained in Isaiah 55:8-9:
Isaiah 55:8-9
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,"  says the Lord.  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Notwithstanding all the endeavors of Elymas to turn away the deputy from the faith,  he was brought to believe,  and this miracle,  wrought upon the magician himself  (like the boils of Egypt,  which were upon the magicians,  so that they could not stand before Moses,  Exodus 9:11),  contributed to it.  The deputy was a very sensible man,  and observed something uncommon,  and which intimated its divine original,
(1) In Paul's preaching:  He was astonished
At the doctrine of the Lord,  the Lord Christ,
the doctrine that is from him, the discoveries he has made of the Father,
the doctrine that is concerning him, his person,  natures, offices, undertaking.
Note, The doctrine of Christ has a great deal in it that is astonishing; and the more we know of it the more reason we shall see to wonder and stand amazed at it.
(2) In this miracle:  When he saw
What was done,  and
How much Paul's power transcended that of the magician,  and
How plainly Elymas was baffled and confounded
He believed.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From the Amplified Bible
(12)  Then the proconsul believed (became a Christian) when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished and deeply touched at the teaching concerning the Lord and from Him.



AT  ANTIOCH  IN  PISIDIA

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Acts 13:13
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(13)  Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

Then Paul and Barnabas sailed from the city of Paphos, and came to Perga, a city in Pamphylia; and John separated from them and went to Jerusalem.


Paul and his party
Those with him - Barnabas and John - and perhaps others who had been converted at Paphos;  for it was common for many of the converts to Christianity to attend on the apostles in their travels.

Until now,  Paul (Saul) was in a secondary position and Barnabas was spoken of as the lead  (Acts 9:27; 11:30; 13:2). 

Now Paul ranks first always in Acts except in Acts 14:4; 15:12,25.

Perga in Pamphylia
Pamphylia was a province of Asia Minor.
Located in what is now southern Turkey,  Pamphylia was a small district on the coast.  It measured about eighty miles long and twenty miles wide.

In the earliest time,  Pamphylia was but a narrow strip of low-lying land between the base of the mountains and the sea,  scarcely more than 20 miles long and half as wide.  A high and imposing range of the Taurus Mountains practically surrounds it upon three sides,  and,  jutting out into the sea,  isolates it from the rest of Asia Minor.  Several roads leading from the coast up the steep mountain to the interior existed in ancient times;  one of them,  called the Kimax or  "the Ladder,"  with its broad stair-like steps 2,000 ft. high,  may still be seen.  Beyond the steps is the high land which was once called  "Pisidia,"  but which the Romans,  in 70 AD,  made a part of Pamphylia.
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

But we may naturally suppose that Barnabas having persuaded Paul to begin at Cyprus,  with which he was so well acquainted,  Paul,  in turn,  might plead for their trying next the regions lying westward of his own Cilicia,  as he himself had already broken ground to the east of it.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Perga
As Perga was not a maritime town,  it is conjectured that the apostles sailed up the river Cestrus,  in order to come to this place,  which,  according to Strabo,  was situated about sixty leagues up this river,  and near to which was a famous temple dedicated to Diana.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The capital of Pamphylia,  located on the river Cestrus,  about seven miles from its mouth,  was visited by Paul when on his first missionary journey.  It was celebrated for the worship of Artemis (Diana),  whose temple stood on a hill outside the town.  Arif Mansel of Istanbul University conducted excavations at Perga in 1946, 1953-1957, and from 1967 to his death in 1975 on behalf of the Turkish Historical Society.  Jale Inan of Istanbul University has been excavating there since 1975.  The city consists of an acropolis on its North side and the major part of the city that lay at its feet on the South.  The city was divided into four quarters by two colonnaded streets.  Most of the city wall dates to the Hellenistic period,  but a later addition on the South dates to the fourth century A.D.  Outside the wall on the South stand the theater and stadium and inside the walls numerous structures, including baths,  a palestra,  an agora,  two churches,  and a fountain.
(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright © 1988.)

Departing
Apochoreo  (NT:672)  To move away from,  with emphasis upon separation and possible lack of concern for what has been left.
(from Greek-English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domain. Copyright © 1988 United Bible Societies, New York. Used by permission.)

It denotes not mere local separation,  but secession or desertion.  A term still stronger is used in Acts 15:39 (aphistemi - instigate to revolt;  to desist, desert).

Why John Mark left Barnabas and Paul at Perga and returned to Jerusalem is uncertain;  Paul,  at any rate,  regarded his departure as desertion.
1. Perhaps he did not care for the increasing rigors which evangelization in Asia Minor would involve (the terrain being extremely rugged).
2. Perhaps he found that the  “mission field”  was more  “work”  and less  “adventure”  as he,  as a young man,  may have supposed.
3. Perhaps he longed for the  “comforts of home”  to which he was accustomed,  as a member of a relatively wealthy household.
4. Perhaps he resented the way in which his cousin Barnabas was falling into the second place  (when the expedition set out from Syria,  the order was  “Barnabas and Saul;”  now it is  “Paul and his company”).
5. Perhaps it was a combination of all these and possibly more that caused the young man to  “desert the work.”

More than likely,  although he had agreed to go along in the capacity of a servant,  the reality of the duties of a servant was unbearable to the young man who had always had his own servants.

A. T. Robertson said that Mark  "flickered in the crisis,"  but the light did not completely go out.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Excerpts from "The Apostle: A Life of Paul"
The ship sailed into the Gulf of Attalia. Leaving on the port side a great mountain, and the harbor of Attalia below cliffs where streams fell by waterfalls to the sea, she worked her way a few miles up the Cestrus river to the lesser harbor near the walled city of Perga.
Here Mark returned to Jerusalem.
Paul saw it as rank desertion.  Mark's excuse has been variously guessed.  Some think Paul had fallen ill of malaria, and made for the mountains to seek cooler air rather than from deliberate intent, and Mark was frightened.  But he would hardly have left a relative in a strange land with an invalid.  Another guess, he considered they were exceeding their commission by going to the Gentiles, does not square with the undisputed fact that his Gospel was written primarily for Romans.  He may have resented Barnabas' surrender of the leadership; he may have been a coward, or homesick, or even lovesick.  Whatever the cause, Mark's withdrawal left a wound in Paul which took years to heal.
(From "The Apostle: A Life of Paul," by John Pollock; RiverOak Publishing, a division of Cook Communication Ministries)

From the Amplified Bible
(13)  Now Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John [Mark] separated himself from them and went back to Jerusalem,

Acts 13:14 & 15
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(14)  But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.

But they left Perga and came to Antioch, a city in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.

(15)  And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on."

And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the elders of the synagogue sent to them, saying, O men and brethren, if you have a word of encouragement for the people, speak.


Antioch in Pisidia
Paul and Barnabas traveled 100 miles north and about 3,600 feet up to get to this important city on the Roman road.  As you follow Paul's journeys in Acts,  you will notice that he selected strategic cities,  planted churches in them,  and went on from the churches to evangelize the surrounding areas.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Antioch -
Like the Syrian Antioch,  this Antioch was founded by Seleucus Nicator.  Under Roman rule,  this city was called Caesarea.
(from Holman Bible Dictionary. Copyright © 1991 by Holman Bible Publishers. All rights reserved.)
Being a border city, it was considered at different times as belonging to different provinces (see Cellar. Ndtit. 2, 187 sq.).  Ptolemy (5, 5) places it in Pamphylia,  and Strabo (12, 577) in Phrygia (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Geog. s. v.).  Its first inhabitants were from Magnesia on the Maeander.  After the defeat of Antiochus (III) the Great by the Romans,  it came into the possession of Eumenes, king of Pergamos,  and was afterward transferred to Amyntas.  On his death the Romans made it the seat of a proconsular government,  and invested it with the privileges of a Colonia Juris Italici,  which included a freedom from taxes and a municipal constitution similar to that of the Italian towns (Ulpianus, lib. 50).  Antioch was noted in early times for the worship of Men Arcaeus, or Lunus.  Numerous slaves and extensive estates were annexed to the service of the temple;  but it was abolished after the death of Amyntas (Strabo, 12, 8; 3, 72).
(from McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Antioch was a commercial center commanding the great trade route between Ephesus and the Cilician Gates.  A University of Michigan team under the direction of David Robinson excavated at Antioch in 1924.  They were able to show that life at Antioch in Paul's day centered on two paved squares,  the Square of Tiberius (built during the emperor's reign, A.D. 14-37)  and the Square of Augustus  (constructed just before the birth of Christ).  From the lower square,  twelve steps some seventy feet long led into the Square of Augustus through a magnificent triple-arched gateway.  The squares were at least partly faced with shops and houses.  Unfortunately,  nearly all the stone uncovered by excavators has been carried off by local inhabitants;  so the ancient magnificence of the place can only be imagined today.
(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright © 1988.)
Pisidia -
A mountainous province in central Asia Minor (modern Turkey),  twice visited by the apostle Paul  (here and in Acts 14:24).   Pisidia was a wild,  mountainous country infested with bandits.  When Paul wrote that he had been "in perils of robbers"  (2 Corinthians 11:26),  he may have been referring to his dangerous journey through the mountains of Pisidia.
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The territory lay within the Taurus Mountain range and therefore resisted invasion by ancient peoples.  Only in 25 B.C.  did the Romans gain control over the region through economic diplomacy.  The New Testament does not record any missionary activity in Pisidia itself.
(from Holman Bible Dictionary. Copyright © 1991 by Holman Bible Publishers. All rights reserved.)

Went into the synagogue
Though Paul and Barnabas were on a special mission to the Gentiles,  yet they availed themselves of every opportunity to offer the gospel to the Jews first.

Why did Paul go to the Jewish synagogue when his special commission was to the Gentiles? For several reasons:
(1) He knew he would get a hearing among the Jews in the synagogue,  and this was the logical place to start.
(2) He had a personal burden for his people  (Romans 9:1-3 and 10:1).
(3) He wanted his nation to hear God's Word and so be without excuse.
(from Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Copyright © 1992 by Chariot Victor Publishing, an imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved.)

After the reading of the law and the prophets
A certain portion of the law and another of the prophets,  was read every Sabbath;  and the law was so divided as to be read over once every year.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Rulers of the synagogue
Those were persons who had the general charge of the synagogue and its service,  to keep everything in order,  and to direct the affairs of public worship.  They designated the individuals who were to read the Law;  and called on those whom they pleased to address the people,  and had the power also of inflicting punishment,  and of excommunicating, etc. (Schleusner).  Seeing that Paul and Barnabas were Jews,  though strangers,  they sent to them,  supposing it probable that they would wish to address their brethren.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

What happened in a synagogue service?
First, the Shema was recited (this is Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!",  which Jews repeated several times daily).
Certain prayers were spoken
Then there was a reading from the law (the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy)
A reading from the Prophets intending to illustrate the law
And a sermon
Those in charge of the service decided who would lead the service and give the sermon.  A different person was chosen to lead each week.  Since it was customary for the synagogue leader to invite visiting rabbis to speak,  Paul and Barnabas usually had an open door when they first went to a synagogue.  But as soon as they spoke about Jesus as Messiah,  the door would often slam shut.  They were usually not invited back by the religious leaders,  and sometimes they would be thrown out of town!
(from Life Application Bible Copyright © 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(14 ) But they [themselves] came on from Perga and arrived at Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue there and sat down.
(15)  After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the leaders [of the worship] of the synagogue sent to them saying, Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation or consolation or encouragement for the people, say it.

Paul's First Recorded Sermon
Acts 13:16-41


There are 2 places in the New Testament where we have a fairly detailed account of a synagogue service:
This is one
The other is in Luke 4:16 where Jesus preaches in the synagogue in Nazareth early in His Galilean ministry.  In the Nazareth synagogue Jesus read (standing),  and taught (sitting) according to custom.

Paul,  however,  stood while he spoke.  The difference being that
Jesus had read the Scripture,  and delivered an exposition of the Scriptures;
while in this case the rulers read the law and prophets,  and Paul’s sermon was classified as an “exhortation” instead of an actual exposition on the portions of Scripture read.

There are certain traditional peculiarities which have doubtless united together by a common resemblance the Jewish synagogues of all ages and countries:
1. The arrangement for the women’s places in a separate gallery, or behind a partition of lattice-work.
2. The desk in the center, where the reader, like Ezra, may “open the book in the sight of all the people.”
3. The carefully closed Ark (on the side of the building nearest to Jerusalem) for the preservation of the rolls or manuscripts of the law.
4. The seats all round the building, whence “the eyes of all them that are in the synagogue” may be “fastened” on him who speaks.
5. The “chief seats,” which were appropriated to the “ruler” or “rulers” of the synagogue, according as its organization might be more or less complete.
These are some of the features of a synagogue which agree at once with the notices of Scripture, the descriptions in the Talmud, and the practice of modern Judaism.

On their entrance into the building,  the four-cornered Tallith was first placed like a veil over the head,  or like a scarf over the shoulders.  The prayers were then recited by an officer called the “Angel” or “Apostle” of the assembly.  The sacred roll of manuscript was handed from the Ark to the Reader by the Chazan, or “minister,”  and then certain portions were read according to a fixed cycle,  first from the Law (Torah),  and then from the Prophets (Nevi’im).

The Reader stood while thus employed,  and the entire congregation sat around.  The manuscript was rolled up and returned to the Chazan.  Then followed a pause,  during which strangers or taught men who had  “any word of consolation”  or exhortation rose and addressed the meeting.  And thus,  after a pathetic enumeration of the sufferings of the chosen people or an allegorical exposition of some dark passage of Holy Writ,  the worship was closed with a benediction and a solemn “Amen.”

To such a worship in such a building and congregation came together at Antioch in Pisidia on the Sabbath which immediately succeeded the arrival of Paul and Barnabas.  Proselytes came and seated themselves with the Jews;  and among the Jewesses behind the lattice were  “honorable women”  of the colony.  The two strangers entered the synagogue,  and,  wearing the Tallith,  which was the badge of an Israelite,  “sat down”  with the rest.

The prayers were recited,  the extracts from the Law and the Prophets were read,  and then we are told that  “the rulers of the synagogue”  went to the new-comers on whom many eyes had already fixed,  and invited them to address the assembly,  if they had words of comfort or instruction to speak to their fellow Israelites.

The very attitude of Paul,  as he answered the invitation,  is described to us,  He  “rose”  from his seat,  and,  with the animated and emphatic gesture which he used on other occasions,  “beckoned with his hand.”  Paul outlines the history until David,  then abruptly turns from it  BECAUSE HE HAS REACHED HIS THEME,  God’s crowning mercy and promise to David  –  THE ACTUAL ADVENT OF MESSIAH.  He preaches Jesus and the resurrection,  and adds a clear announcement of the central doctrine and truth of Christianity  –  JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.

Forgiveness and remission of sins had been already preached by Peter and others.  But they had said nothing about being justified;  about a sinner’s being accounted righteous,  or treated by God as though he were righteous. Righteousness was the great text and theme of the Pharisees.  But until this convert from their ranks uttered these words (vs. 39),  the true relation of a sinner to the law of perfect righteousness had not been expressly stated by any Christian teacher.

Acts 13:16-19
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

 (16)  Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, "Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:

So Paul stood up, and lifting his hands said, O men of Israel and those of you who fear God, hear my words:

(17) The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.

The God of this people of Israel chose our forefathers and exalted and multiplied them when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with a strong arm he brought them out of it.

(18)  Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.

And he fed them in the wilderness for forty years.

(19)  And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.

And he destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, and he gave them their land for an inheritance.


This message by Paul,  beginning with verse 16b and going through verse 41,  is roughly similar in theme to the message of
Peter (Acts 2:14-39)
and of
Stephen (Acts 7:2-53)
Special emphasis is placed upon
the historical background of Jesus' ministry
prophetic utterance concerning his role
the tendency of people to reject him
(from the UBS New Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies.)

This sermon can be divided into 3 sections:
1. Preparation (vv. 16-25)
 
Paul reviewed the history of Israel,  climaxing with the ministry of John the Baptist and the coming of their Messiah. 
He made it clear that it was God who was at work in and for Israel,  preparing the way for the coming of the promised Messiah.
He also reminded his hearers that the nation had not always been faithful to the Lord and the covenant, but had often rebelled.
Every pious Jew knew that the Messiah would come from David's family, and that a Prophet would announce His coming beforehand. John the Baptist was that prophet.
2. Declaration (vv. 26-37)
 
As Paul addressed both the Jews and the Gentile  "God-fearers"  in the congregation,  he changed his approach from third person ("they') to second person ("you").  He explained to them why their leaders in Jerusalem rejected and crucified the nation's Messiah.
3. Application (vv. 38-52)
 
Paul had declared the Good News to them (Acts 13:32),  and now all that remained was to make the personal application and  "draw the net."  He told them that through faith in Jesus Christ they could have two blessings that the Law could never provide:
FORGIVENESS of their sins
JUSTIFICATION before the throne of God
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook
Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Men of Israel, and you who fear God
The synagogue congregation was composed of two groups:
Jews Men of Israel Jews by birth
Gentiles You who fear God Gentiles who worshiped God and attended the synagogue without accepting all of the demands of the Jewish law (cf. Acts 10:2).
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

Uplifted Arm
This expression denotes  "great power."  The arm denotes  "strength,"  as that by which we perform anything.  A high arm,  an arm lifted up,  or stretched out,  denotes that  "strength exerted to the utmost."  The children of Israel are represented as having been delivered with an  "outstretched arm,"  Deut 26:8; Ex 6:6.  "With a strong hand,"  Ex 6:1.  Reference is made in these places to the plagues inflicted on Egypt,  by which the Israelites were delivered;  to their passage through the Red Sea;  to their victories over their enemies, etc.

Probably the Jews of the dispersion, that lived in other countries, being more in danger of mingling with the nations, were more jealous of their peculiarity than those that lived in their own land were; and therefore Paul is here very careful to take notice of it, to their honor
(1) That the God of the whole earth was,  in a particular manner,  the God of this people Israel,
a God in covenant with them,
and that he had given them a revelation of his mind and will,  such as he had not given to any other nation or people;  so that hereby they were distinguished from,  and dignified above,  all their neighbors,  having peculiar precepts to be governed by,  and peculiar promises to depend upon.
(2) That he had chosen their fathers
to be his friends Abraham was called the friend of God
to be his prophets by whom he would reveal his mind to his church,
to be the trustees of his covenant with the church
He puts them in mind of this,  to let them know that the reason why God favored them,  though undeserving,  and ill deserving,  was because he would adhere to the choice he had made of their fathers,  Deuteronomy 7:7-8:
The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people,  for you were the least of all peoples;  but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers,  the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand,  and redeemed you from the house of bondage,  from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
They were beloved purely for the fathers' sakes,  Romans 11:28:
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake,  but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
(3) That he had exalted that people,  and put a great deal of honor upon them,  had advanced them into a people,  and raised them from nothing,  when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt.
(4) That he had with a high hand brought them out of Egypt,  where they were not only strangers,  but captives,  had delivered them at the expense of a great many miracles,  both of mercy to them and judgment on their oppressors (signs and wonders, Deuteronomy 4:34):
(Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation,  by testings,  by miraculous signs and wonders,  by war,  by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,  or by great and awesome deeds,  like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? )
and at the expense of a great many lives,  all the first-born of Egypt, Pharaoh,  and all his host, in the Red Sea; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, gave men for thee. Isaiah 43:3-4:
(For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;  I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.  Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.)
(5) That he had suffered their manners forty years in the wilderness (Etropophoresen).  Some think it should be read,  etrophophoresen - he educated them,  because this is the word the Septuagint use concerning the fatherly care God took of that people, Deuteronomy 1:31.  Both may be included;  for,
[1] God made a great deal of provision for them for forty years in the wilderness: miracles were their daily bread,  and kept them from starving:  They lacked not any thing.
[2] He exercised a great deal of patience with them.  They were a provoking,  murmuring,  unbelieving people;  and yet he bore with them,  did not deal with them as they deserved,  but suffered his anger many a time to be turned away by the prayer and intercession of Moses.
(6) That he had put them in possession of the land of Canaan:  When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,  that were doomed to be rooted out to make room for them.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Seven nations
The Canaanites, Hittites, Girgasites, Amorites, Hivites, Peresites, and Jebusites. The rabbis frequently call them Shebaah 'Omowt,  the Seven Nations.
Deuteronomy 7:1
When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess,  and has cast out many nations before you,  the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you.
Joshua 3:10
And Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites."
Nehemiah 9:7-8
You are the Lord God, who chose Abram, and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and gave him the name Abraham;  You found his heart faithful before You,  and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, and the Girgashites — to give it to his descendants.  You have performed Your words, for You are righteous.

From the Amplified Bible
(16)  So Paul arose, and motioning with his hand said, Men of Israel and you who reverence and fear God, listen!
(17)  The God of this people Israel selected our forefathers and made this people great and important during their stay in the land of Egypt, and then with an uplifted arm He led them out from there. [Exodus 6:1,6.]
(18)  And for about forty years like a fatherly nurse He cared for them in the wilderness and endured their behavior. [Deuteronomy 1:31.]
(19)  When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave them [the Hebrews] their land as an inheritance [distributing it to them by lot; all of which took] about 450 years. [Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 14:1.]

Acts 13:20
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

 (20)  After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

And for a period of four hundred and fifty years he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel.


Judges
Men and one woman (Deborah - Judges 4:4) who were raised up in an extraordinary manner to administer the affairs of the nation and to defend it from enemies.  See Judges 2:16 (Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them.).

The judges referred to were far from being judges in the contemporary sense of the word;
they were spiritually endowed leaders who arose at particular times in Israel's history and enabled Israel to overcome their enemies.
It is not easy to translate properly the word judges since the systems of present-day courts and judicial procedures are so utterly different from what existed in biblical times.  In reality these judges were simply leaders or "strong chiefs."  In fact,  the closest equivalent to the judges in many face-to-face societies is the term  "chief,"  since it is the chief who not only gives direction to the activities of the tribe but also judges the internal disputes.
(from the UBS New Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies.)

About four hundred and fifty years
Since this appears to contradict 1 Kings 6:1 (And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign),  various solutions have been proposed.
1. Taking the words as they stand in the Greek - thus,
'after that, by the space of four hundred and fifty years, he gave judges'
the meaning may be,  that
about 450 years elapsed from the time of the covenant with Abraham until the period of the judges;
which is historically correct,  the word  "about"  showing that chronological exactness was not aimed at.
2. But taking the sense to be that it was the period of the judges itself which lasted about 450 years - this statement also will appear historically correct,  if we include in it the interval of subjection to foreign powers which occurred during the period of the judges,  and
understand it to describe the whole period from the settlement of the tribes in Canaan to the establishment of royalty.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(20)  After that, He gave them judges until the prophet Samuel.

Acts 13:21-25
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

 (21)  And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for a period of forty years.

(22)   And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'

And when in time God took Saul away he raised up to them David to be their king, concerning whom he testified, saying, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, to do my will.

(23)  From this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior — Jesus —

Of this man's offspring God has, according to his promise, raised to Israel a Savior, Jesus,

(24)  after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

Before whose coming, he had sent John to preach the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

(25)  And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.'

And as John fulfilled his ministry, he said, Who do you think I am? I am not he. But behold there comes one after me, the strings of whose shoes I am not worthy to untie.


A man after My own heart
These words,  quoted by Paul as a direct saying of God are a combination of
Psalms 89:20-21
I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him, with whom My hand shall be established; also My arm shall strengthen him.
1 Samuel 13:14
But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.

Why was David a man after God's heart more than Saul?
First, we must understand Saul's failure:
He rebelled against God in sparing the sheep and oxen and valuable property of Amalek,  together with Agag the king,  when he was commanded to destroy all.  And when he finally did repent,  it was not with true repentance, for he still laid the final blame on the people when he said  "because I feared the people and obeyed their voice." (1 Sam 15:8-23)  It reminds of Adam when he said "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."  (Genesis 3:12)
The Pulpit Commentary suggests:
Years might elapse before the first earthly step was taken to appoint his successor (1 Samuel 16:13);  nay,  had Saul repented,  we gather from 1 Samuel 15:26 that he might have been forgiven:  for God's threatenings,  like his promises,  are conditional.  There is no fatalism in the Bible,  but a loving discipline for man's recovery.  But behind it stands the Divine foreknowledge and omnipotence;  and so to the prophetic view Saul's refusal to repent,  his repeated disobedience,  and the succession of David were all revealed as accomplished facts.
(from The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
The UBS Old Testament Handbook adds:
In Hebrew thought the heart is the place where one's will,  desire,  and choice are exercised.  This may be expressed as  "a person whose desire is to serve the LORD"  or  "the kind of man he wants."
(from UBS Old Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1978-2004 by United Bible Societies. All rights reserved.)

Paul reviewed the history of Israel,  climaxing with the ministry of John the Baptist and the coming of their Messiah.  He made it clear that it was God who was at work in and for Israel,  preparing the way for the coming of the promised Messiah.  He also reminded his hearers that the nation had not always been faithful to the Lord and the covenant, but had often rebelled.  Every pious Jew knew that the Messiah would come from David's family,  and that a Prophet would announce His coming beforehand.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

John the Baptist was that Prophet, and
Jesus of Nazareth was that Messiah!

From the Amplified Bible
(20)  After that, He gave them judges until the prophet Samuel.
(21)  Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
(22)  And when He had deposed him, He raised up David to be their king; of him He bore witness and said, I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart, who will do all My will and carry out My program fully. [1 Samuel 13:14; Psalms 89:20; Isaiah 44:28.]
(23)  Of this man's descendants God has brought to Israel a Savior [in the person of Jesus], according to His promise.
(24)  Before His coming John had [already] preached baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
(25)  And as John was ending his course, he asked, What or who do you secretly think that I am? I am not He [the Christ. No], but note that after me One is coming, the sandals of Whose feet I am not worthy to untie!

Acts 13:26-29
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

 (26)  "Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.

O men and brethren, descendants of the family of Abraham, and whosoever among you reverences God, to you is the word of salvation sent.

(27)  For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.

For inasmuch as the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders did not understand him nor the books of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they condemned him; but all the things which were written have been fulfilled.

(28)  And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death.

And though they found no cause for his death, they asked Pilate that they might kill him,

(29)  Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.

And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they lowered him from the cross and laid him in a sepulchre.


Men and brethren
Paul now exhorts them to embrace the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.
He uses,  therefore,  the most respectful and fraternal language.

Sons of the family of Abraham
Descendants of Abraham;  you who regard Abraham as your ancestor.
He means here to address particularly the native-born Jews;  and this appellation is used because they valued themselves highly on account of their descent from Abraham;  and because the promise of the Messiah had been specially given to Abraham.

You who fear God
Gentile proselytes to the Jewish faith.
Thus including all of mankind.

They did not know
Him
They knew not who he was,  nor what errand he came into the world upon;  for,  if they had known,  they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8).
(Luke 23:34) Christ owned this in extenuation of their crime:  "They know not what they do"
(Acts 3:17) So did Peter:  "I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers"
The voices of the prophets
It was also because they knew not the voice of the prophets though they heard them read every Sabbath day.
They did not understand nor consider that it was foretold that the Messiah should suffer.
Because they knew not the voice of the prophets,  which warned them not to touch God's Anointed,  they fulfilled them in condemning him;  for so it was written that Messiah the prince shall be cut off,  but not for himself  (Daniel 9:26).
Note:  It is possible that men may be fulfilling scripture prophecies,  even when they are breaking scripture precepts.
(from The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Though they found no cause for death
They found no crime which deserved death.  This is conclusively shown by the trial itself.
After all their efforts
After the treason of Judas
After their employing false witnesses
Still no crime was laid to his charge.  The Sanhedrin condemned him for blasphemy;  and yet they knew that they could not substantiate the charge before Pilate,  and they therefore endeavored to procure his condemnation on the ground of sedition (Compare Luke 22:70-71, with Luke 23:1-2).

When they had fulfilled all the rest that was written of him they fulfilled what was foretold concerning his being buried.  They took him down from the tree,  and laid him in a sepulchre.
This is taken notice of here as that which made his resurrection the more illustrious.  Christ was separated from this world,  as those that are buried have nothing more to do with this world,  nor this world with them;  and therefore our complete separation from sin is represented by our being buried with Christ.
They laid him in a sepulchre, and thought they had him fast.

The rejection of Christ:
ITS  GROUND
1. Ignorance of Christ Himself
(1) Of His Divine Sonship
(2) Of His mediatorial authority
(3) His saving mission
Had they known all this,  "they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
2. Deafness to the voices of the prophets who predicted Him.
Here we have the two-fold ground of all rejection of Christ. If men only knew Him, and recognized the force of those many prophecies which find their fulfillment only in Him, the acceptance of His Person and saving benefits would be inevitable.
ITS  INEXCUSABLENESS
1. Christ was with them,  and demonstrated His Divine personality and mission by many infallible proofs -
His sinless humanity
His miraculous works
His wonderful teaching
2. They heard the prophecies frequently read;  and had they listened without prejudice,  they must have seen how they all converged in Him.
3. There was no cause for His rejection.  He did them no harm,  but ever strove to do them good.
ITS  FRUSTRATION
1. Their rejection,
in its most aggravated form,  only fulfilled the prophecies which went before on Him.
2. God reversed the humiliation of death which they inflicted on Him by raising Him from the dead.
What to them was the end of His mission,  proved only its beginning.
3. Their rejection proved the origin of that gospel which Paul was now preaching to the wide world.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

From the Amplified Bible
(26)  Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and all those others among you who reverence and fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation [the salvation obtained through Jesus Christ]. [Psalms 107:20.]
(27)  For those who dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not know or recognize Him or understand the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, have actually fulfilled these very predictions by condemning and sentencing [Him].
(28)  And although they could find no cause deserving death with which to charge Him, yet they asked Pilate to have Him executed and put out of the way.
(29)  And when they had finished and fulfilled everything that was written about Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.

Acts 13:30-33
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

 (30)  But God raised Him from the dead.

But God raised him from the dead;

(31)  He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.

And for many days he was seen by them who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people.

(32)  And we declare to you glad tidings — that promise which was made to the fathers.

And behold we also preach to you that that very promise which was made to our fathers,

(33)  God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:
'You are My Son,  today I have begotten You.'

Behold God has fulfilled it to us their children, for he has raised up Jesus, just as it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son this day I have begotten you,


We declare glad tidings  
1.
Ho  dé    Theós     eégeiren     autón      ek    nekroón
     But    God        raised         Him        from the dead!!!
2. He was seen for many days  (forty days according to Acts 1:3)
3 The promise has been fulfilled
4.
    anasteésas         Ieesoún
He has raised up     Jesus
We must set the glory of the resurrection against the shame of the cross,  and the grave.  And the resurrection is equally proved by the witnesses who saw it,  and by the testimonies of the Prophets.
(from Geneva Notes, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2005, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

It was the resurrection of Jesus Christ that was the crucial event.
These are the good tidings.
This is the Good News.

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the one thing that sets apart the Christian faith above all earthly religions.
When Buddha died his ashes were divided into eight portions and buried under mounds raised in his home town and at seven other locations.
Muhammad was buried in his own house, which had already served as a mosque for some years.
After Confucius died, he was buried in a grave in the city of Ch'uFu, Shandong.
And their followers can go to their graves and say, "See, here are his remains."
Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb in Jerusalem.
But His followers go to the empty tomb and say with the angels, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen!"  (Luke 24:5, 6).

As Paul later told the believers in Corinth:
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  But now is Christ risen from the dead"   1 Corinthians 15:19-20

You are My Son
Thou art my Son (Psalms 2:7) does not refer to Jesus' deity so much as to his Messiahship.  Part of this quotation was heard at Jesus' baptism (Mark 1:11) and indicated the entrance of Jesus into his Messianic mission. "Sonship" in Biblical thought is a many-sided concept and can designate Messiahship without in any way minimizing the reality of Christ's deity.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

The resurrection of Christ was the great proof of his being the Son of God,  and confirms what was written in the second Psalm  (thus ancient was the order in which the Psalms are now placed),  "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."  That the resurrection of Christ from the dead was designed to evidence and evince this is plain from that of the apostle (Romans 1:4): He was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead.
Romans 1:3-4
Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
When he was first raised up out of obscurity,  God declared concerning him by a voice from heaven,  "This is my beloved Son"  (Matthew 3:17),  which has a plain reference to that in the second Psalm,  "Thou art my Son."  Abundance of truth there is couched in those words:
that this Jesus was begotten of the Father before all worlds,
was the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, as the son is of the father's,
that he was the logos,  the eternal thought of the eternal mind,
that he was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin; for upon this account, also, that holy thing was called the Son of God (Luke 1:35),
that he was God's agent in creating and governing the world, and in redeeming it and reconciling it to himself,
and faithful as a son in his own house, and as such was heir of all things.
Now all this,  which was declared at Christ's baptism and again at his transfiguration,  was undeniably proved by his resurrection.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(30)  But God raised Him from the dead.
(31)  And for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are His witnesses to the people.
(32)  So now we are bringing you the good news (Gospel) that what God promised to our forefathers,
(33)  This He has completely fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, You are My Son; today I have begotten You [caused You to arise, to be born; formally shown You to be the Messiah by the resurrection]. [Psalms 2:7.]

Acts 13:34 & 35
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(34)  And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:
'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'

And God raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, as he said, I will give you the sure mercies of David.

(35)  Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

And again he said in another place, You shall not suffer your Holy One to see corruption.


No more to return to corruption

The word  "corruption"  is usually employed to denote  "putrefaction,  or the moldering away of a body in the grave;  it’s returning to its native dust."  But it is certain that the body of Christ never in this sense saw corruption  (See the notes on Acts 2:27).

The sure mercies of David
This quotation is made from Isaiah 55:3.
The word  "mercies"  here refers to the promise made to David;  the mercy or favor shown to him by promising to him a successor that should not fail to sit on his throne.  These mercies and promises are called  "sure,"  as being true or unfailingthey would certainly be accomplished  (2 Corinthians 1:20).
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
God made to David a promise,  a certain pledge;  he bestowed on him this special mercy,  in promising that he should have a successor who should sit forever on his throne.  This promise was understood by the Jews,  and is often referred to in the New Testament,  as relating to the Messiah.

The Greeks call those things  "holy things"  which the Hebrews call  "gracious bounties":
They are called David's bounties in the passive voice,  because God bestowed them upon David.
They are termed  "sure",  after the manner of speech which the Hebrews use,  who terms those things  "sure"  which are steady and certain,  and such things which never alter or change.
(from Geneva Notes, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2005, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Sure mercies of David Paul considers as being fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ.  It is evident that the apostle considered the word
David as signifying the Messiah
Sure mercies being such as relate to the new covenant
Blessings are evidently those which are sealed and confirmed to mankind by the resurrection of Christ
and it is in this way that the apostle applies them.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The favor and mercy promised to David in God's everlasting covenant,  well ordered in all things and sure.  And if we turn to the account of this covenanted mercy in 2 Samuel 7, we shall see that it comprises the setting of David's seed upon his throne for ever  (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
"When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers,  I will set up your seed after you,  who will come from your body,  and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name,  and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be his Father,  and he shall be My son.  If he commits iniquity,  I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.  But My mercy shall not depart from him,  as I took it from Saul,  whom I removed from before you.  And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you.  Your throne shall be established forever."
(from The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption
Quoted from Psalms 16:10
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,  nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Paul here says that that promise is fulfilled.

Rabbis used a technique called gezerah shavah to connect passages that used the same key word;  thus here Paul may use  "holy"  in Isaiah 55:3 to lead into a citation of Psalms 16:10,  which guarantees that the object of David's promise would never rot.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

He rose to die no more;  so it is expressed,  Romans 6:9:
Knowing that Christ,  having been raised from the dead,  dies no more.  Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Lazarus came out of the grave with his grave-clothes on,  because he was to use them again;
but Christ,  having no more occasion for them,  left them behind.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(34)  And as to His having raised Him from among the dead, now no more to return to [undergo] putrefaction and dissolution [of the grave], He spoke in this way, I will fulfill and give to you the holy and sure mercy and blessings [that were promised and assured] to David. [Isaiah 55:3.]
(35)  For this reason He says also in another psalm, You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption [to undergo putrefaction and dissolution of the grave]. [Psalms 16:10.]

Acts 13:36-39
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

 (36)  For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;

For David, after he had served his own generation according to the will of God, died; though he was a greater man than his fathers, yet he saw corruption.

(37)  but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.

But he whom God raised did not see corruption.

(38)  Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;

Be it known to you, therefore, brethren, that through this very one is preached to you the forgiveness of sins:

(39)  and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.


David...saw corruption
The Jews considered Psalms 16 to be a messianic psalm,  and it was clear that this promise did not apply to David,  who was dead,  buried,  and decayed.  It had to apply to Jesus Christ the Messiah.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Therefore
This is the legitimate conclusion:
seeing the word of God is true,  and he has promised an endless succession to the seed of David
seeing David and all his family have failed in reference to the political kingdom,  a spiritual kingdom and a spiritual succession must be intended,  that the sure covenant and all its blessings may be continued
seeing the person by whom this is to be done is to see no corruption
seeing David has died, and has seen (fallen under the power of) corruption
seeing Jesus the Christ has done all the miracles which the prophets said he should work
seeing he has suffered all the indignities which your prophets said he must suffer
seeing after his death he has risen again from the dead,  and has not fallen under the power of corruption
then he must be the very person in whom all the predictions are fulfilled,  and the person through whom all the blessings of the covenant must come.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Forgiveness - Believe - Justified
(NT:859) aphesis Forgive What God offers to us through Jesus
Release from bondage or imprisonment. Forgiveness, pardon of sins.
We are forgiven, but the fact that we sinned still stands - we no longer must pay the penalty for that sin.
(NT:4100) pisteuo Believe Our response
To believe, to place confidence in, to trust - signifies reliance upon.
We believe that God's Word is true, that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, that Jesus died because of, and to take the penalty for, our sins. We believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that He lives today.
(NT:1344) dikaioo Justify What God does to us through Jesus
To render just or innocent.
While forgiveness removes the penalty of our sins, justification goes beyond that - it removes sin itself.
In the Greek grammar it is present indicative - it reaches back to the origin and continues in the future.
It is just as if we never sinned.

You could not be justified by the law
It is the argument of the Epistle to Galatians and Romans in a sentence" (Furneaux).  The failure of the Mosaic law to bring the kind of righteousness that God demands is stated.  his is made possible in and by Christ alone.  Real righteousness will come (Romans 6-8) to those whom God treats as righteous (Romans 3-5) though both Gentile and Jew fall short without Christ (Romans 1-3).  This is the doctrine of grace that will prove
a stumbling block to the Jews with their ceremonial works and
foolishness to the Greeks with their abstract philosophical ethics (1 Corinthians 1:23-25).
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

It is only because of the justification through Jesus that we have the promise in 1 John 3:2  "we shall be like Him."

From the Amplified Bible
(36)  For David, after he had served God's will and purpose and counsel in his own generation, fell asleep [in death] and was buried among his forefathers, and he did see corruption and undergo putrefaction and dissolution [of the grave].
(37)  But He Whom God raised up [to life] saw no corruption [did not experience putrefaction and dissolution of the grave].
(38)  So let it be clearly known and understood by you, brethren, that through this Man forgiveness and removal of sins is now proclaimed to you;
(39)  And that through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as his Savior and devotes himself to Him] is absolved (cleared and freed) from every charge from which he could not be justified and freed by the Law of Moses and given right standing with God.

Acts 13:40 & 41
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(40)  Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:

Beware, therefore, lest that which is written in the prophets may come upon you.

(41)  'Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you.'"

Be careful, O you despisers, for you shall wonder and perish; for I will do a great work in your day I which you will not believe even if a man tell it to you.


If you reject these benefits now freely offered to you in Christ,  the judgment of God will come upon you.  As God sent judgment upon your fathers by Babylon (Habakkuk 1:5-10),  so now He will send judgment upon you by Rome (Luke 21:20-24).  This was fulfilled in 70 A.D.
(Dake's Annotated Reverence Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, Lawrenceville, GA)

Paul concludes with Habakkuk 1:5;  he says  "in the Prophets"  because some of the smaller books of the prophets were grouped together and treated as a single book.  Habakkuk refers to impending judgment under the Chaldeans (1:6),  which only the righteous remnant will endure by faith (2:4);  here the principle is applied to the judgment of the end.  The Dead Sea Scrolls apply the text to those who violated God's covenant by disbelieving the Teacher of Righteousness (the founder of the Qumran community).  That it does that for us which the law of Moses could not do.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

We may learn:
(1) That people may be greatly amazed and impressed by the doings or works of God,  and yet be destroyed.
(2) There may be a prejudice so obstinate that even a divine revelation will not remove it.
(3) The fancied security of sinners will not save them.
(4) There are people who will not believe in the possibility of their being lost, though it is declared by prophets, by apostles, by the Savior, and by God.  They will still remain in fancied security,  and suffer nothing to alarm or rouse them.  But,
(5) As the fancied security of the Jew furnished no safety against the Babylonians or the Romans, so it is true that the indifference and unconcern of sinners will not furnish any security against the dreadful wrath of God.
Yet there are multitudes who live amidst the displays of God's power and mercy in the redemption of sinners,  and who witness the effects of his goodness and truth in revivals of religion,  who live to despise it all;  who are amazed and confounded by it;  and who perish.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From the Amplified Bible
(40)  Take care, therefore, lest there come upon you what is spoken in the prophets:
(41)  Look, you scoffers and scorners, and marvel and perish and vanish away; for I am doing a deed in your days, a deed which you will never have confidence in or believe, [even] if someone [clearly describing it in detail] declares it to you. [Habakkuk 1:5.]



BLESSING  AND  CONFLICT  AT  ANTIOCH

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Acts 13:42 & 43
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(42)  So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.

And as Paul and Barnabas were having them, the people besought them to speak these things to them the next Sabbath.

(43)  Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Now when the congregation was dismissed, a great many Jews, and also proselytes who feared God, followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.


According to Josephus, many Gentiles attended synagogues with great interest.  Even as late as the fourth century,  the Christian preacher John Chrysostom complains that Gentiles — in this case Christians — were still attending synagogue services.  Those who were interested in Judaism but unattracted to circumcision might well find Paul's message appealing.
(from IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament by Craig S. Keener Copyright © 1993 by Craig S. Keener. Published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.)

This new and thrilling message created great excitement.  After the synagogue service,  many of Paul's hearers showed themselves ready to accept his message.   Religious or devout proselytes - an unusual expression that ought to indicate full converts to Judaism.  However,  from the context it seems to refer to the  "God-fearers"  or  Gentile half-converts to Judaism who accepted the Gospel.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(42)  As they [Paul and Barnabas] went out [of the synagogue], the people earnestly begged that these things might be told to them [further] the next Sabbath.
(43)  And when the congregation of the synagogue dispersed, many of the Jews and the devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked to them and urged them to continue [to trust themselves to and to stand fast] in the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God.

Acts 13:44 & 45
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(44)  On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

And the next sabbath day the whole city gathered to hear the word of God.

(45)  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.

But when the Jews saw the great crowd, they were filled with envy,  and they bitterly opposed the words of Paul, and they blasphemed.


Almost the whole city
Jews,  proselytes,  and Gentiles,  came together to hear this doctrine of God,  this divine teaching,  by which so many of their kindred and acquaintance had become so wise and happy.  It is not by public discourses merely that people are converted to God;  but by the private teaching and godly conduct of those who have received the truth.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

This brought a vast concourse of people to the synagogue on the sabbath day.
Some came out of curiosity, the thing being new.
Others longing to see what the Jews would do upon the second tender of the gospel to them.
Many who had heard something of the word of God came to hear more, and to hear it, not as the word of men but as the word of God.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

Filled with envy
Greek: "zeal"   The word here denotes  "wrath indignation,"  that such multitudes should be disposed to hear a message which they rejected,  and which threatened to overthrow their religion.
Contradicting antelegon
 
It was interruption of the service and open opposition in the public meeting.
Blaspheming blasphemeo disparagement; slander; reviling.
The sense evidently is, that they reproached and vilified Jesus of Nazareth;  they spake of him with contempt and scorn.  Also, they reviled and slandered Paul.
Opposed Opposed the doctrine that Jesus was the Messiah;  that the Messiah would be humble,  lowly,  despised,  and put to death.  "They spoke against what Paul was saying"  is equivalent to  "they said, What Paul was saying is a lie."

From the Amplified Bible
(44)  The next Sabbath almost the entire city gathered together to hear the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God].
(45)  But when the Jews saw the crowds, filled with envy and jealousy they contradicted what was said by Paul and talked abusively [reviling and slandering him].

Acts 13:46 & 47
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(46)  Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

Then Paul and Barnabas said to them boldly, It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you; but because you reject it, you have decided against yourselves and you are unworthy of everlasting life, so behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

(47)  For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'"

For so has our Lord commanded us, as it is written, I have set you to be a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.


Grew bold
Spoke boldly and openly.  They were not terrified by their strife,  or alarmed by their opposition.  The contradictions and blasphemies of sinners often show that their consciences are alarmed;  that the truth has taken effect;  and then is not the time to shrink,  but to declare more fearlessly the truth.

Paul and Barnabas's response to their opponents here has some Old Testament precedent (Luke 4:24-27) but goes further.  It had always been God's purpose to bless the Gentiles in Abraham (Genesis 12:3  "And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed").

Now Paul and Barnabas,  having made the Jews a fair offer of gospel grace,  here give them fair notice of their bringing it to the Gentiles,  if by any means  (as Paul says Romans 11:14)  they might provoke them to emulation.
1. They own that the Jews were entitled to the first offer:  "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you,  to whom the promise was made,  to you of the lost sheep of the house of Israel,  to whom Christ reckoned himself first sent."
2. They charge them with the refusal of it:  "You put it from you; you will not accept of it;  you will not so much as bear the offer of it, but take it as an affront to you."
You do,  in effect,  pass this judgment upon yourselves,  and out of your own mouth you shall be judged.
3. Upon this they ground their preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised:  "Since you will not accept eternal life as it is offered,  our way is plain,  Lo,  we turn to the Gentiles.  If one will not,  another will.  If those that were first invited to the wedding-feast will not come,  we must invite out of the highways and hedges those that will,  for the wedding must be furnished with guests.
4. "For so hath the Lord commanded us; the Lord Jesus gave us directions to witness to him in Jerusalem and Judea first, and after that to the utmost part of the earth, to preach the gospel to every creature, to disciple all nations."  (Mark 16:15Acts 1:8)
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

Paul's final message in the synagogue declared that God had sent the Word to the Jews first  (Acts 3:26; Romans 1:16),   but they had now rejected it.  Therefore,  Paul would now take the Good News to the Gentiles;  and he quoted Isaiah 49:6 to back up his decision.  He was ready to go to the ends of the earth to win souls to Christ!
(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
(46)  And Paul and Barnabas spoke out plainly and boldly, saying, It was necessary that God's message [concerning salvation through Christ] should be spoken to you first. But since you thrust it from you, you pass this judgment on yourselves that you are unworthy of eternal life and out of your own mouth you will be judged. [Now] behold, we turn to the Gentiles (the heathen).
(47)  For so the Lord has charged us, saying, I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles (the heathen), that you may bring [eternal] salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth. [Isaiah 49:6.]

Acts 13:48 & 49
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(48)  Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified God; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

(49)  And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.

And the word of the Lord was published throughout all that region.


As many as had been appointed


There has been much difference of opinion in regard to this expression.
One class of commentators has supposed that it refers to the doctrine of election -
to God's ordaining people to eternal life.
Another class to their being disposed themselves to embrace the gospel -
to those among them who did not reject and despise the gospel,  but who were disposed and inclined to embrace it.

Acts 13:48 gives us the divine side of evangelism,  for God has His elect people (Ephesians 1:4).  The word translated ordained means  "enrolled,"  and indicates that God's people have their names written in God's book (Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3).
But Acts 13:49 is the human side of evangelism:  if we do not preach the Word,  then nobody can believe and be saved.  It takes both (see 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 and Romans 10:13-15).
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Question:  Who does God call to repentance?
Answer:  Everyone -
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
John 12:32
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

Question:  What do we have to do to be saved?
Answer:  Believe on Jesus -
Romans 10:8-9
But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):  that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

God provided the means
John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
God provides the ability
2 Timothy 2:25
...if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.

This is "prevenient grace"
God provides to us who are dead in trespasses and sins, the ability to respond to His offer of salvation.
God has determined that those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus should be saved.
God has given to each of us the ability to choose for Him or against Him.
God has ordained and appointed each of us who believe on Jesus to eternal life.

From the Amplified Bible
(48)  And when the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified (praised and gave thanks for) the Word of God; and as many as were destined (appointed and ordained) to eternal life believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Jesus as the Christ and their Savior).
(49)  And so the Word of the Lord [concerning eternal salvation through Christ] scattered and spread throughout the whole region.

Acts 13:50-52
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(50)  But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.

But the Jews incited the chief men of the city and the rich women who worshipped God with them, so that they stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them beyond their borders.

(51)  But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.

And as they went out, they shook off the dust of their feet upon them, and they came to the city of Iconium.

(52)  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


The fact brings before us another feature of the relations between Jews and Gentiles at this period.  They "compassed sea and land to make one proselyte."  They found it easiest to make proselytes of women.  Such conversions had their good and their bad sides.  In many cases there was a real longing for a higher and purer life than was found in the infinite debasement of Greek and Roman society,  which found its satisfaction in the life and faith of Israel.  But with many,  such as Juvenal speaks of when he describes ("Sat." 6:542)  the Jewish teacher who gains influence over women,  "The trembling Jewess whispers in her ear,  And tells her of the laws of Solymae" (i.e., Jerusalem).  The change brought with it new elements of superstition and weakness,  and absolute submission of conscience to its new directors,  and thus the Rabbis were often to the wealthier women of Greek and Roman cities what Jesuit confessors were in France and Italy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Here we get the darker side of the picture.  The Jews stir up the women of the upper class,  and they stir up their husbands.  The latter were content apparently to acquiesce in their wives accepting the Judaism with which they had become familiar,  but resented the intrusion of a new and,  in one sense,  more exacting doctrine.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

Shook off the dust from their feet
This was a very significant rite;  by it,  they in effect said:
Ye are worse than the pagan:  even your very land is accursed for your opposition to God,  and we dare not permit even its dust to cleave to the soles of our feet;  and we shake it off,  in departing from your country,  according to our Lord's command  (Matthew 10:14),  for a testimony against you,  that we offered you salvation,  but ye rejected it and persecuted us.
The Jews,  when traveling in pagan countries,  took care,  when they came to the borders of their own,  to shake off the dust of their feet,  lest any of the unhallowed ground should defile the sacred land of Israel.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Iconium
According to Strabo,  Iconium was a small fortified town,  the capital of Lycaonia.
"Lycaonia was a province at the back of Pamphylia,  higher up in Asia Minor,  and to the north-east of Pamphylia."
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

"The city wall is said to have been erected by the Seljukian sultans:  it seems to have been built from the ruins of more ancient buildings,  as broken columns,  capitals,  pedestals,  bas-reliefs,  and other pieces of sculpture contribute toward its construction.  It has 80 gates,  of a square form,  each known by a separate name,  and,  as well as most of the towers,  embellished with Arabic inscriptions ... I observed a few Greek characters on the walls,  but they were in so elevated a situation that I could not decipher them" (Capt. Kinneir).  See Colonel Leake's description;  and also the work of Col. Chesney (1850) on the Euphrates Expedition, vol. i, p. 348,349.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Were filled with joy
This happened even in the midst of persecution, and is one of the many evidences that the gospel is able to fill the soul with joy even in the severest trials.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From the Amplified Bible
(50)  But the Jews stirred up the devout women of high rank and the outstanding men of the town, and instigated persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of their boundaries.
(51)  But [the apostles] shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium.
(52)  And the disciples were continually filled [throughout their souls] with joy and the Holy Spirit.



(End of Chapter Thirteen)

 

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