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Acts 2:16-18

Context
2:16 But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 1 

2:17And in the last days 2  it will be,God says,

that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, 3 

and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,

and your young men will see visions,

and your old men will dream dreams.

2:18 Even on my servants, 4  both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 5 

Acts 2:29-33

Context

2:29 “Brothers, 6  I can speak confidently 7  to you about our forefather 8  David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 2:30 So then, because 9  he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants 10  on his throne, 11  2:31 David by foreseeing this 12  spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, 13  that he was neither abandoned to Hades, 14  nor did his body 15  experience 16  decay. 17  2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and we are all witnesses of it. 18  2:33 So then, exalted 19  to the right hand 20  of God, and having received 21  the promise of the Holy Spirit 22  from the Father, he has poured out 23  what you both see and hear.

1 sn Note how in the quotation that follows all genders, ages, and classes are included. The event is like a hope Moses expressed in Num 11:29.

2 sn The phrase in the last days is not quoted from Joel, but represents Peter’s interpretive explanation of the current events as falling “in the last days.”

3 tn Grk “on all flesh.”

4 tn Grk “slaves.” Although this translation frequently renders δοῦλος (doulos) as “slave,” the connotation is often of one who has sold himself into slavery; in a spiritual sense, the idea is that of becoming a slave of God or of Jesus Christ voluntarily. The voluntary notion is not conspicuous here; hence, the translation “servants.” In any case, the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

5 sn The words and they will prophesy in Acts 2:18 are not quoted from Joel 2:29 at this point but are repeated from earlier in the quotation (Acts 2:17) for emphasis. Tongues speaking is described as prophecy, just like intelligible tongues are described in 1 Cor 14:26-33.

6 tn Since this represents a continuation of the address beginning in v.14 and continued in v. 22, “brothers” has been used here rather than a generic expression like “brothers and sisters.”

7 sn Peter’s certainty is based on well-known facts.

8 tn Or “about our noted ancestor,” “about the patriarch.”

9 tn The participles ὑπάρχων (Juparcwn) and εἰδώς (eidw") are translated as causal adverbial participles.

10 tn Grk “one from the fruit of his loins.” “Loins” is the traditional translation of ὀσφῦς (osfu"), referring to the male genital organs. A literal rendering like “one who came from his genital organs” would be regarded as too specific and perhaps even vulgar by many contemporary readers. Most modern translations thus render the phrase “one of his descendants.”

11 sn An allusion to Ps 132:11 and 2 Sam 7:12-13, the promise in the Davidic covenant.

12 tn Grk “David foreseeing spoke.” The participle προϊδών (proidwn) is taken as indicating means. It could also be translated as a participle of attendant circumstance: “David foresaw [this] and spoke.” The word “this” is supplied in either case as an understood direct object (direct objects in Greek were often omitted, but must be supplied for the modern English reader).

13 tn Or “the Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn The term χριστός (cristos) was originally an adjective (“anointed”), developing in LXX into a substantive (“an anointed one”), then developing still further into a technical generic term (“the anointed one”). In the intertestamental period it developed further into a technical term referring to the hoped-for anointed one, that is, a specific individual. In the NT the development starts there (technical-specific), is so used in the gospels, and then develops in Paul’s letters to mean virtually Jesus’ last name.

14 tn Or “abandoned in the world of the dead.” The translation “world of the dead” for Hades is suggested by L&N 1.19. The phrase is an allusion to Ps 16:10.

15 tn Grk “flesh.” See vv. 26b-27. The reference to “body” in this verse picks up the reference to “body” in v. 26. The Greek term σάρξ (sarx) in both verses literally means “flesh”; however, the translation “body” stresses the lack of decay of his physical body. The point of the verse is not merely the lack of decay of his flesh alone, but the resurrection of his entire person, as indicated by the previous parallel line “he was not abandoned to Hades.”

16 tn Grk “see,” but the literal translation of the phrase “see decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “look at decay,” while here “see decay” is really figurative for “experience decay.”

17 sn An allusion to Ps 16:10.

18 tn Or “of him”; Grk “of which [or whom] we are all witnesses” (Acts 1:8).

19 tn The aorist participle ὑψωθείς (Juywqei") could be taken temporally: “So then, after he was exalted…” In the translation the more neutral “exalted” (a shorter form of “having been exalted”) was used to preserve the ambiguity of the original Greek.

20 sn The expression the right hand of God represents supreme power and authority. Its use here sets up the quotation of Ps 110:1 in v. 34.

21 tn The aorist participle λαβών (labwn) could be taken temporally: “So then, after he was exalted…and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit.” In the translation the more neutral “having received” was used to preserve the ambiguity of the original Greek.

22 tn Here the genitive τοῦ πνεύματος (tou pneumato") is a genitive of apposition; the promise consists of the Holy Spirit.

23 sn The use of the verb poured out looks back to 2:17-18, where the same verb occurs twice.



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