Acts 6:2
(2) Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples.--The Apostles meet the crisis with singular tact and moderation. They do not resent the suspicion; they are not careful to vindicate themselves against it. They remembered, it may be, the precedent presented by the life of Moses (Exodus 18:25), and they act, as he had acted, by delegating part of their authority to others. The collective action of the multitude is strikingly in harmony with the Greek ideas attached to the word Ecclesia, as the assembly in which every citizen might take his share. Representative government might come as a necessity of later times; as yet, every member of the congregation, every citizen of the new polity, was invited, as having a right to vote.

It is not reason.--Literally, It is not pleasing, as in Acts 12:3. The word implies that they had undertaken a burdensome duty, not for their own pleasure, because they liked it, but for the good of the community.

And serve tables.--The word was used for the "tables" of money-changers, as in Matthew 21:12, John 2:15, and was, therefore, equally appropriate whether we think of the relief as being given in money or in kind.

Verse 2. - And for then, A.V.; fit for reasons, A.V.; forsake for leave, A.V. It is not fit; literally, pleasing; ἀρεστόν is often the rendering of טוב in the LXX.; e.g. Gem 16:6; Deuteronomy 12:28. In Exodus 15:26, Deuteronomy 6:18, etc., it stands for יָשָׁר, that which is right. Serve tables. The English reader should remember that the "ministration" of ver. 1, the "serve" of this verse, and the "deacon" which was the name of the new officers, are all forms of the same Greek word (διακονία διακονεῖν διάκονος). In ver. 4 "the ministry of the Word" is opposed to "the daily ministration" of meat. The passage gives a necessary warning to the ministers of God's Word not to spend too much time and strength upon any secular work, even though it be a work of charity. They must give themselves to the Word of God and to prayer. There are Christian laity to serve tables.

6:1-7 Hitherto the disciples had been of one accord; this often had been noticed to their honour; but now they were multiplied, they began to murmur. The word of God was enough to take up all the thoughts, cares, and time of the apostles. The persons chosen to serve tables must be duly qualified. They must be filled with gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, necessary to rightly managing this trust; men of truth, and hating covetousness. All who are employed in the service of the church, ought to be commended to the Divine grace by the prayers of the church. They blessed them in the name of the Lord. The word and grace of God are greatly magnified, when those are wrought upon by it, who were least likely.Then the twelve,.... The twelve apostles, as the Syriac version reads; for their number was now complete, Matthias being chosen in the room of Judas: these being informed of the murmur there was between the two sorts of believers, the Hebrew and thc Hellenistic Jews,

called the multitude of the disciples unto them; either the hundred and twenty, the original members of the church, which first formed it, and on whom the Holy Ghost descended on the day of Pentecost; or rather the whole body of the church: for what the apostles had to say concerned them all; and they all had an equal right to chose their officers, that should minister unto them; and when they were convened together, they addressed them after this manner:

and said, it is not reason; or "it is not pleasing", neither to God, nor to us; so the Arabic version reads, "this does not please us"; nor could it be pleasing to the church itself:

that we should leave the word of God the study of the word, meditation upon it, and preaching it: not that they did relinquish either of these; but they were sometimes obliged to omit them, or not so frequently attend them; the care of the poor taking up more of their time, than the work of the ministry, or preaching of the Gospel would admit of; and therefore thought it not so right and proper, or so acceptable a thing to God and man, that they should in the least neglect a work of so great importance to the souls of men, and cause it to give way to that which only regarded their bodies:

and serve tables; the tables of the poor, collect for them, inspect into their several cases, and circumstances, and distribute accordingly to them; which required a good deal of time, care, thought, and circumspection, especially in such a church, where the numbers were so large. From hence we learn what is the business of deacons, who were afterwards appointed to take this part of the apostles' work off of their hands, and attend to it; which is to serve tables: the table of the Lord, by providing the bread and wine for it; receiving both from the minister, when blessed, and distributing them to the members; and collecting from them for the poor, and the defraying the charge; and observing what members are missing at the ordinance, whom they are to admonish; and if their admonitions are not regarded, to report it to the church: and they are likewise to serve the minister's table, by taking care that he has a sufficient competency for his support; and it belongs to them to stir up the members of the church to their duty in communicating to him; and what they receive of them, they are to apply to his use: and also, they are to serve the poor's table; to whom they are to distribute of the church's stock, with all impartiality, simplicity, cheerfulness, and sympathy.

Acts 6:1
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