Acts 4:35 MEANING

Acts 4:35
(35) And laid them down at the apostles' feet,--The words are a vivid picture of one phase of Eastern life. When gifts or offerings are made to a king, or priest, or teacher, they are not placed in his hands, but at his feet. The Apostles sat, it would seem, in conclave, on their twelve seats, as in the figurative promise of Matthew 19:28, and the vision of Revelation 4:4.

Verse 35. - Laid them for laid them downs A.V.; unto each... as any one for unto every man... as he, A.V., a change without an improvement. Laid them at the apostles' feet. A significant token of the place occupied by the apostles (as later by the bishops of the Church) as the trustees and dispensers of the Church's funds as well as of the Church's doctrines. Compare "Ante pedes praetoris in fore expensum est auri pondo centum" (Cie. pp. Flacco, quoted by Alford). We have, too, here an instance of the way in which Church institutions rose gradually as occasion gave birth to them. So the institution of deacons (Acts 6:2, 3), of presbyters or priests (Acts 14:23), of bishops (1 Timothy 1-3.), of Confirmation (Acts 8:14-17), appear to have come about in each case pro re nata.

4:32-37 The disciples loved one another. This was the blessed fruit of Christ's dying precept to his disciples, and his dying prayer for them. Thus it was then, and it will be so again, when the Spirit shall be poured upon us from on high. The doctrine preached was the resurrection of Christ; a matter of fact, which being duly explained, was a summary of all the duties, privileges, and comforts of Christians. There were evident fruits of Christ's grace in all they said and did. They were dead to this world. This was a great evidence of the grace of God in them. They did not take away others' property, but they were indifferent to it. They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ, and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to him. No marvel that they were of one heart and soul, when they sat so loose to the wealth of this world. In effect, they had all things common; for there was not any among them who lacked, care was taken for their supply. The money was laid at the apostles' feet. Great care ought to be taken in the distribution of public charity, that it be given to such as have need, such as are not able to procure a maintenance for themselves; those who are reduced to want for well-doing, and for the testimony of a good conscience, ought to be provided for. Here is one in particular mentioned, remarkable for this generous charity; it was Barnabas. As one designed to be a preacher of the gospel, he disentangled himself from the affairs of this life. When such dispositions prevail, and are exercised according to the circumstances of the times, the testimony will have very great power upon others.And laid them down at the apostles' feet,.... Showing great veneration and respect to the apostles, and a sort of neglect and contempt of their worldly substance; and signifying that they entirely delivered them to the apostles, and subjected them to their disposal:

and distribution was made unto every man, according as he had need; though they had all things in common, yet there was an order observed; a man might not go to the common stock and take out of it what he would; but as all was committed to the care of the apostles, and was in their power; the distribution was made by them, to every man, to the original proprietors, as well as to others, and that not as much as a man would have, or he might crave; but as much as he needed, for the present, of which the apostles were the judges.

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