Acts 1:25 MEANING

Acts 1:25
(25) That he may take part of this ministry.--Better, the portion, or the lot, so as to give the word (cleros, as in Acts 1:17) the same prominence in English as it has in the Greek.

From which Judas by transgression fell.--The last three words are as a paraphrase of the one Greek verb. Better, fell away.

That he might go to his own place.--Literally, as the verb is in the infinitive, to go to his own place. The construction is not free from ambiguity, and some interpreters have referred the words to the disciple about to be chosen, "to go to his own place" in the company of the Twelve. If we connect them, as seems most natural, with Judas, we find in them the kind of reserve natural in one that could neither bring himself to cherish hope nor venture to pronounce the condemnation which belonged to the Searcher of hearts. All that had been revealed to him was, that "it had been good for that man if he had not been born" (Mark 14:21).

Verse 25. - To take the place in this for that he matt take part of this, A.V. and T.R.; fell away for by transgression fell, A.V. (παρέβη). The use of παραβαίνω in an intransitive sense for "to transgress, fall away from, turn aside from; and the like, is frequent in the LXX. (Exodus 32:8; Deuteronomy 17:20, etc.). To his own place. An awful phrase, showing that every man has the place in eternity which he has made for himself in time. If the reading place, in the beginning of the verse, is adopted instead of the part (κλῆρον) of the A.V., then them is a contrast between the blessed place of apostleship, which Judas forfeited, and that of traitorship, which he acquired.

1:15-26 The great thing the apostles were to attest to the world, was, Christ's resurrection; for that was the great proof of his being the Messiah, and the foundation of our hope in him. The apostles were ordained, not to wordly dignity and dominion, but to preach Christ, and the power of his resurrection. An appeal was made to God; Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, which we do not; and better than they know their own. It is fit that God should choose his own servants; and so far as he, by the disposals of his providence, or the gifts of his Spirit, shows whom he was chosen, or what he has chosen for us, we ought to fall in with his will. Let us own his hand in the determining everything which befalls us, especially in those by which any trust may be committed to us.That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship,.... Of the ministry of the apostles, or of the apostolical ministration; which lay in preaching the Gospel, administering ordinances, planting churches, and working miracles; and which part, lot, or inheritance, Judas had; see Acts 1:17.

And from which Judas by transgression fell; by betraying his Lord, whose apostle he was, he was turned out of his office, and had no longer part in the apostolical ministry:

that he might go to his own place; which may be understood of Judas, and of his going to hell, as the just punishment of his sin; which is commonly so called by the Jews, who often explain this phrase, "his place", by hell; as when it is said of Laban, Genesis 31:55 that he "returned to his place", it intimates, say they (d), that he returned to his place, which was prepared for him in hell; and so likewise when it is said of Balaam, Numbers 24:25 that he "returned to his place", they observe (e), that

"he did not return from his evil way, but returned to his place; and so intimates by saying, to his place, that which was prepared for him in hell, as the Rabbins of blessed memory say (f); "they came everyone from his own place", Job 2:11 a man from his house, a man from his country it is not written, but a man from his place, which was prepared for him in hell; and because they came to show mercy to Job, they were delivered from hell, and became worthy of the world to come; and so here, and "he returned to his place", , "which was prepared for him in hell".

And another of their writers (g), on the same passage, has this remark, and he returned to his place, and he does not say,

"he went on his way, for he was driven out of his way, and went down to hell.

And agreeably to what is said of Job's friends, the Targumist on Job 2:11 paraphrases the words thus,

"and there came a man, or everyone from his place, and by this merit they were delivered from the place, prepared for them in hell.

And which place the same Targumist on Job 8:4 calls , "the place of their rebellion"; that is, procured by it: and so Judas's own place was what he had merited by his sin, and was righteously appointed for him; and though it was not peculiar to him, but common to all impenitent sinners, yet very proper for him, as a betrayer; for it is a settled point with the Jews (h), that

"he that betrays an Israelite into the hands of the Gentiles (so Judas betrayed his master), whether in his body, or in his substance, has no part in the world to come.

This clause is by some understood not of Judas, but of Matthias, or of him that was to come in the room of Judas; and by "his own place" it is thought is meant, the "part of the ministry and apostleship", in the former clause, and which the Alexandrian copy reads, "the place of this ministry", he was to take; and now Judas by his iniquity falling from it, made way for another, for Matthias to go to his own place, which God had in his counsel and purposes designed for him; or "into his place", as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it; that is, into the place of Judas, to take his place among the apostles, in his room and stead: the Alexandrian copy reads, "into that righteous place",

(d) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 43. 2.((e) Ib. fol. 127. 1.((f) Vid. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 74. 3.((g) Baal Hatturim in Numbers 24.25. (h) Maimon. Hilchot Chobel, &c. c. 8. sect. 9.

Courtesy of Open Bible