Acts 4:25
(25) Who by the mouth of thy servant David . . . .--The older MSS. present many variations of the text. It probably stood originally somewhat in this form: "Who through the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David our father, thy servant," and was simplified by later copyists. In the citation from Psalms 2 we have another lesson from the Apostles' school of prophetic interpretation. The Psalm is not cited in the Gospels. Here what seems to us the most striking verse (Acts 4:7) of it is passed over, and it does not appear as referred to Christ till we find it in Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5.

Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine . . .?--Neither noun has the article in the Greek or in the Hebrew. Why did nations rage and peoples imagine . . .? The word for "rage" is primarily applied to animal ferocity, especially to that of untamed horses.

Verse 25. - Who by the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say for who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, T.R. and A.V.; Gentiles for heathen, A.V.; peoples for people, A.V. Who by the Holy Ghost, etc. The R.T. here is impossible, but the T.R. is perfectly easy and natural. The confusion in the manuscripts from which the R.T. is formed appears to have arisen from στόματος having been accidentally mistaken for πνεύματος, which led to other changes. Three readings resulted and seem to be combined: ὁ διὰ τοῦ πατρός ἡμῶν Δαβὶδ εἰπών: or, ὁ διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου εἰπών: or the original one, ὁ διὰ στόματος Δαβὶδ παιδός σου εἰπών, which is preserved in the T.R.

4:23-31 Christ's followers do best in company, provided it is their own company. It encourages God's servants, both in doing work, and suffering work, that they serve the God who made all things, and therefore has the disposal of all events; and the Scriptures must be fulfilled. Jesus was anointed to be a Saviour, therefore it was determined he should be a sacrifice, to make atonement for sin. But sin is not the less evil for God's bringing good out of it. In threatening times, our care should not be so much that troubles may be prevented, as that we may go on with cheerfulness and courage in our work and duty. They do not pray, Lord let us go away from our work, now that it is become dangerous, but, Lord, give us thy grace to go on stedfastly in our work, and not to fear the face of man. Those who desire Divine aid and encouragement, may depend upon having them, and they ought to go forth, and go on, in the strength of the Lord God. God gave a sign of acceptance of their prayers. The place was shaken, that their faith might be established and unshaken. God gave them greater degrees of his Spirit; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than ever; by which they were not only encouraged, but enabled to speak the word of God with boldness. When they find the Lord God help them by his Spirit, they know they shall not be confounded, Isa 1.7.Who by the mouth of thy servant David has said,.... In Psalm 2:1 from whence we learn, that that psalm, though it is without a title, and does not bear David's name, yet is one of his and so Kimchi says, that David composed it at the beginning of his reign; though Aben Ezra thinks, that it was composed by one of the singers for him, on the day he was anointed; yet he afterwards seems to doubt of it, and on Psalm 2:7 says, they are the words of David, or the words of the singer. And certain it is, that in the apostles' time this psalm was reckoned to be David's by the Jews in common; and therefore they speak of it as such: and it was the sense of the ancient doctors of the synagogue, that this psalm is to be understood of the Messiah. Jarchi says, our Rabbins expound the business (of this psalm) concerning the King Messiah; and Kimchi observes, that there are some that interpret this psalm of Gog and Magog (k), and the Messiah, or anointed, that is the King Messiah; though one of these writers was of opinion, that it is best to understand it of David himself; and Aben Ezra says, that it was composed either for David, or for the Messiah, and to understand it of the Messiah, the thing is more clear. The verses Psalm 2:7 are particularly applied to the Messiah in some of their most ancient writings (l), and also in modern ones (m), as is Psalm 2:2 to Messiah ben Joseph (n): and indeed the whole psalm belongs to the Messiah, as appears from the express mention of him, and the vain attempts of the kings of the earth against him; from the decree and resolution of God to make and declare him king of Zion, notwithstanding their utmost efforts; from his having the Gentiles for his inheritance, which is true of no other; and especially from that reverence, adoration, and worship, which were to be given to him, and that trust and confidence to be placed in him, which can by no means agree with David, nor with any mere creature. The Syriac version reads, "who in the Holy Ghost, by the mouth", &c. and so read Beza's most ancient copy, and five other manuscripts of his; and the Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions, read, "who in the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father David", &c. and the Alexandrian copy, but does not seem to be a genuine reading; since the Jews were not used to call David, but Abraham, their father; nor is it, with propriety, expressed, that God the Father said in, or by the Spirit, what follows,

why did the Heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? that is, the Gentiles, and the people of the Jews, Pilate, and his council, with the Roman soldiers, and the Jewish sanhedrim, with the common people; who raged against Christ, seized him in a furious manner, led him as a malefactor, and hurried him from bar to bar, in a tumultuous way, and with great noise and clamour urged the crucifixion of him; nor did their rage cease until they had put him to death: yet it was a vain thing in them to imagine he should be held under the power of death; or that this would put a stop to the spread of his doctrine, and the enlargement of his kingdom and interest; since he rose from the dead, as a triumphant conqueror, over all his enemies, and pouring forth his Spirit, in an extraordinary way, he spread his Gospel, and his glory throughout the earth.

(k) Vid. T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol 3. 2. (l) Zohar in Numb. fol. 82. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 44. fol. 38. 4. & T. Bab. Succa, fol. 52. 1.((m) Maimon. in Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 11. sect. 1. Abarbinel Mashmiah, Jeshua, fol. 37. 4. & 38. 1.((n) Pirke Eliezer, c. 19.

Acts 4:24
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