Acts 4:8 MEANING

Acts 4:8
(8) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost.--The tense implies an immediate sudden inspiration, giving the wisdom and courage and words which were needed at the time. The promises of Matthew 10:19-20, Luke 21:14-15, were abundantly fulfilled. The coincidence of names in the juxtaposition of the representatives of the new and the older Israel is striking. On each side there was a John; on each a Cephas, or Caiaphas, the two names possibly coming from the same root, or, at any rate, closely alike in sound. A few weeks back Peter had quailed before the soldiers and servants in the high priest's palace. Now he stands before the Sanhedrin and speaks, in the language of respect, it is true, but also in that of unflinching boldness. We may, perhaps, trace a greater deference in the language of the Galilean fisherman, "Ye rulers of the people," than in the "Men and brethren" of St. Paul (Acts 23:1; Acts 23:6), who was more familiar with the members of the court, and stood in less awe of them.

Verse 8. - Elders for elders of Israel, A.V. and T.R. Filled with the Holy Ghost; in direct fulfillment of the promise (Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12; Luke 21:14, 15; comp. Acts 7:55). St. Peter addresses them with all respect (see Matthew 23:2).

4:5-14 Peter being filled with the Holy Ghost, would have all to understand, that the miracle had been wrought by the name, or power, of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, whom they had crucified; and this confirmed their testimony to his resurrection from the dead, which proved him to be the Messiah. These rulers must either be saved by that Jesus whom they had crucified, or they must perish for ever. The name of Jesus is given to men of every age and nation, as that whereby alone believers are saved from the wrath to come. But when covetousness, pride, or any corrupt passion, rules within, men shut their eyes, and close their hearts, in enmity against the light; considering all as ignorant and unlearned, who desire to know nothing in comparison with Christ crucified. And the followers of Christ should act so that all who converse with them, may take knowledge that they have been with Jesus. That makes them holy, heavenly, spiritual, and cheerful, and raises them above this world.Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost,.... At that very instant, having received a fresh measure of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, besides what he had poured forth upon him at the day of Pentecost; so that he had great courage and presence of mind, and freedom of speech, as Christ had promised his disciples they should have, when they were brought before governors and magistrates, Matthew 10:18. The case was much altered with Peter, he who but a little while ago was frightened by a servant maid, now stands before the Jewish sanhedrim, with undaunted courage and resolution:

and said unto them, ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel; he addresses them in a very handsome manner, and gives them their proper titles as magistrates; which ought to be done by men and Christians; honour should be given, to whom honour is due: the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, and some copies, add "hear", which seems very necessary; he called for audience, or desired to be heard a few words, in the defence of himself and fellow apostle, and in answer to their questions.

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