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Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible - New Testament

Acts of the Apostles 11 (Chapter XI Study)

 

Acts of the Apostles Exposition: Index | Introduction to the book of Acts of the Apostles | Acts of the Apostles 1 | Acts of the Apostles 2 | Acts of the Apostles 3 | Acts of the Apostles 4 | Acts of the Apostles 5 | Acts of the Apostles 6 | Acts of the Apostles 7 | Acts of the Apostles 8 | Acts of the Apostles 9 | Acts of the Apostles 10 | Acts of the Apostles 11 | Acts of the Apostles 12 | Acts of the Apostles 13 | Acts of the Apostles 14 | Acts of the Apostles 15 | Acts of the Apostles 16 | Acts of the Apostles 17 | Acts of the Apostles 18 | Acts of the Apostles 19 | Acts of the Apostles 20 | Acts of the Apostles 21 | Acts of the Apostles 22 | Acts of the Apostles 23 | Acts of the Apostles 24 | Acts of the Apostles 25 | Acts of the Apostles 26 | Acts of the Apostles 27 | Acts of the Apostles 28

Acts of the Apostles full text: Acts of the Apostles 1 | Acts of the Apostles 2 | Acts of the Apostles 3 | Acts of the Apostles 4 | Acts of the Apostles 5 | Acts of the Apostles 6 | Acts of the Apostles 7 | Acts of the Apostles 8 | Acts of the Apostles 9 | Acts of the Apostles 10 | Acts of the Apostles 11 | Acts of the Apostles 12 | Acts of the Apostles 13 | Acts of the Apostles 14 | Acts of the Apostles 15 | Acts of the Apostles 16 | Acts of the Apostles 17 | Acts of the Apostles 18 | Acts of the Apostles 19 | Acts of the Apostles 20 | Acts of the Apostles 21 | Acts of the Apostles 22 | Acts of the Apostles 23 | Acts of the Apostles 24 | Acts of the Apostles 25 | Acts of the Apostles 26 | Acts of the Apostles 27 | Acts of the Apostles 28

In this chapter we have, I. Peter's necessary vindication of what he did in receiving Cornelius and his friends into the church, from the censure he lay under for it among the brethren, and their acquiescence in it, ver. 1-18. II. The good success of the gospel at Antioch, and the parts adjacent, ver. 19-21. III. The carrying on of the good work that was begun at Antioch, by the ministry of Barnabas first, and afterwards of Paul in conjunction with him, and the lasting name of Christian first given to the disciples there, ver. 22-26. IV. A prediction of an approaching famine, and the contribution that was made among the Gentile converts for the relief of the poor saints in Judea, upon that occasion, ver. 27-30.

Peter's Vindication.

1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Juda heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. " alt="St-Takla.org Image: Barnabas encouraged Paul to come to Antioch to help the new converts. (Acts 11: 25) - "Paul and Barnabas visit Cyprus" images set (Acts 13:1-12): image (6) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "ولما وجده جاء به إلى أنطاكية" (أعمال الرسل 11: 25) - مجموعة "زيارة بولس وبرنابا إلى قبرص" (أعمال الرسل 13: 1-12) - صورة (6) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا" width="640" height="463">

St-Takla.org Image: Barnabas encouraged Paul to come to Antioch to help the new converts. (Acts 11: 25) - "Paul and Barnabas visit Cyprus" images set (Acts 13:1-12): image (6) - Acts, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "ولما وجده جاء به إلى أنطاكية" (أعمال الرسل 11: 25) - مجموعة "زيارة بولس وبرنابا إلى قبرص" (أعمال الرسل 13: 1-12) - صورة (6) - صور سفر أعمال الرسل، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا

III. The good use they made of this prediction. When they were told of a famine at hand, they did not do as the Egyptians, hoard up corn for themselves; but, as became Christians, laid by for charity to relieve others, which is the best preparative for our own sufferings and want. It is promised to those that consider the poor that God will preserve them, and keep them alive, and they shall be blessed upon the earth, Ps. xli. 1, 2. And those who show mercy, and give to the poor, shall not be ashamed in the evil time, but in the days of famine they shall be satisfied, Ps. xxxvii. 19, 21. The best provision we can lay up against a dear time is to lay up an interest in these promises, by doing good, and communicating, Luke xii. 33. Many give it as a reason why they should be sparing, but the scripture gives it as a reason why we should be liberal, to seven, and also to eight, because we know not what evil shall be upon the earth, Eccl. xi. 2. Observe,

1. What they determinedthat every man, according to his ability, should send relief to the brethren that dwelt in Judea, v. 29. (1.) The persons that were recommended to them as objects for charity were the brethren that dwelt in Judea. Though we must, as we have opportunity, do good to all men, yet we must have a special regard to the household of faith, Gal. vi. 10. No poor must be neglected, but God's poor most particularly regarded. The care which every particular church ought to take of their own poor we were taught by the early instance of that in the church at Jerusalem, where the ministration was so constant that none lacked, ch. iv. 34. But the communion of saints in that instance is here extended further, and provision is made by the church at Antioch for the relief of the poor in Judea, whom they call their brethren. It seems it was the custom of the Jews of the dispersion to send money to those Jews who dwelt in Judea, for the relief of the poor that were among them, and to make collections for that purpose (Tully speaks of such a thing in his time, Orat. pro Flacco), which supposes there were many poor in Judea, more than in other countries, so that the rich among them were not able to bear the charge of keeping them from starving; either because their land had become barren, though it had been a fruitful land, for the iniquity of those that dwelt therein, or because they had no traffic with other nations. Now we may suppose that the greatest part of those who turned Christians in that country were the poor (Matt. xi. 5, The poor are evangelized), and also that when the poor turned Christians they were put out of the poor's book, and cut off from their shares in the public charity; and it were easy to foresee that if there came a famine it would go very hard with them; and, if any of them should perish for want, it would be a great reproach to the Christian profession; and therefore this early care was taken, upon notice of this famine coming, to send them a stock beforehand, lest, if it should be deferred till the famine came, it should be too late. (2.) The agreement there was among the disciples about it, that every man should contribute, according to his ability, to this good work. The Jews abroad, in other countries, grew rich by trade, and many of the rich Jews became Christians, whose abundance ought to be a supply to the want of their poor brethren that were at a great distance; for the case of such ought to be considered, and not theirs only that live among us. Charitable people are traders with what God has given them, and the merchants find their account in sending effects to countries that lie very remote; and so should we in giving alms to those afar off that need them, which therefore we should be forward to do when we are called to it. Every man determined to send something, more or less, according to his ability, what he could spare from the support of himself and his family, and according as God had prospered him. What may be said to be according to our ability we must judge for ourselves, but must be careful that we judge righteous judgment.

2. What they didthey did as they determined (v. 30). Which also they did. They not only talked of it, but they did it. Many a good motion of that kind is made and commended, but is not prosecuted, and so comes to nothing. But this was pursued, the collection was made, and was so considerable that they thought it worth while to send Barnabas and Saul to Jerusalem, to carry it to the elders there, though they would want their labours in the mean time at Antioch. They sent it, (1.) To the elders, the presbyters, the ministers or pastors, of the churches in Judea, to be by them distributed according to the necessity of the receivers, as it had been contributed according to the ability of the givers. (2.) It was sent by Barnabas and Saul, who perhaps wanted an occasion to go to Jerusalem, and therefore were willing to take this. Josephus tells us that at this time king Irates sent his charity to the chief men of Jerusalem, for the poor of that country; and Helena, queen of the Adiabeni, being now at Jerusalem, and hearing of many that died of famine there, and in the country about, sent for provisions from Cyprus and Alexandria, and distributed them among the people; so says Dr. Lightfoot, who also computes, by the date of Paul's rapture, "fourteen years before he wrote the second Epistle to the Corinthians" (2 Cor. xii. 1, 2), that it was in this journey of his to Jerusalem, with these alms and offerings, that he had his trance in the temple (which he speaks of, ch. xxii. 17), and in that trance was rapt up into the third heaven; and then it was that Christ told him he would send him thence unto the Gentiles, which accordingly he did as soon as ever he came back to Antioch. It is no disparagement, in an extraordinary case, for ministers of the gospel to be messengers of the church's charity, though to undertake the constant care of that matter would ordinarily be too great a diversion from more needful work to those who have given themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.

St-Takla.org                     Divider of Saint TaklaHaymanot's website فاصل - موقع الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت

Other commentaries and interpretations on the Book of Acts of the Apostles:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28

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