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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 1



Verse 1. And when the day of Pentecost. The word Pentecost is a Greek word, signifying the fiftieth part of a thing; or the fiftieth in order. Among the Jews it was applied to one of their three great feasts which began on the fiftieth day after the Passover. This feast was reckoned from the sixteenth day of the month ABIB, or April, or the second day of the Passover. The paschal lamb was slain on the fourteenth of the month at even, (Le 23:5); on the fifteenth of the month was a holy convocation—the proper beginning of the feast; on the sixteenth was the offering of the first-fruits of harvest, and from that day they were to reckon seven weeks, i.e., forty-nine days to the feast called the feast of Pentecost, so that it occurred fifty days after the first day of the feast of the Passover. This feast was also called the feast of weeks, from the circumstance that it followed a succession of weeks, Ex 34:22; Nu 28:26; De 16:10.

It was also a harvest festival, and was accordingly called the feast of harvest. And it was for this reason that two loaves made of new meal were offered on this occasion as first-fruits, Le 23:17,20 Nu 28:27-31.

Was fully come. When the day had arrived. The word means here simply, had come. Comp. Mr 1:15; Lu 1:57. This fact is mentioned, that the time of the Pentecost had come, or fully arrived, to account for what is related afterwards, that there were so many strangers and foreigners present. The promised influences of the Spirit were withheld until the greatest possible numbers of Jews should be present at Jerusalem at the same time, and thus an opportunity be afforded of preaching the gospel to vast multitudes in the very place where the Lord Jesus was crucified, and also an opportunity be afforded of sending the gospel by them into distant parts of the earth.

They were all. Probably not only the apostles, but also the one hundred and twenty mentioned in Ac 1:15.

With one accord. See Ac 1:14. It is probable they had continued together until this time, and given themselves entirely to the business of devotion.

In one place. Where this was cannot be known, Commentators have been much divided in their conjectures about it. Some have supposed it was in the upper room mentioned, (Ac 1:13;) others that it was a room in the temple; others that it was in a synagogue; others that it was in the promiscuous multitude that assembled for devotion in the courts of the temple. See Ac 2:2. It has by many been supposed that this took place on the first day of the week, that is, on the Christian Sabbath. But there is a difficulty in establishing this. There was probably a difference among the Jews themselves on this subject. The law said that they should reckon seven Sabbaths, that is, seven weeks, "from the morrow after the Sabbath," Le 23:15. By this Sabbath the Pharisees understood the second day of the Passover, on whatever day of the week it occurred, which was kept as a holy assembly, and might be called a Sabbath. But the Caraite Jews, or those who insisted on a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, maintained that by the Sabbath here was meant the usual Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. Consequently with them the day of Pentecost always occurred on the first day of the week; and if the apostles fell in with their views, the day was fully come on what is now the Christian Sabbath. But if the views of the Pharisees were followed, and the Lord Jesus had with them kept the Passover on Thursday, as many have supposed, then the day of Pentecost would have occurred on the Jewish Sabbath, that is, on Saturday.—Kuinoel; Lightfoot. It is impossible to determine the truth on this subject. Nor is it of much importance. The day of Pentecost was kept by the Jews also as a festival to commemorate the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.

{a} "the day of Pentecost" Le 23:15 {b} "they were all in one accord" Ac 1:14 {*} "accord" or, "consent"

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