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Acts 13:14-41

Context
13:14 Moving on from 1  Perga, 2  they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, 3  and on the Sabbath day they went into 4  the synagogue 5  and sat down. 13:15 After the reading from the law and the prophets, 6  the leaders of the synagogue 7  sent them a message, 8  saying, “Brothers, 9  if you have any message 10  of exhortation 11  for the people, speak it.” 12  13:16 So Paul stood up, 13  gestured 14  with his hand and said,

“Men of Israel, 15  and you Gentiles who fear God, 16  listen: 13:17 The God of this people Israel 17  chose our ancestors 18  and made the people great 19  during their stay as foreigners 20  in the country 21  of Egypt, and with uplifted arm 22  he led them out of it. 13:18 For 23  a period of about forty years he put up with 24  them in the wilderness. 25  13:19 After 26  he had destroyed 27  seven nations 28  in the land of Canaan, he gave his people their land as an inheritance. 29  13:20 All this took 30  about four hundred fifty years. After this 31  he gave them judges until the time of 32  Samuel the prophet. 13:21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled 33  forty years. 13:22 After removing him, God 34  raised up 35  David their king. He testified about him: 36 I have found David 37  the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, 38  who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’ 39  13:23 From the descendants 40  of this man 41  God brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, just as he promised. 42  13:24 Before 43  Jesus 44  arrived, John 45  had proclaimed a baptism for repentance 46  to all the people of Israel. 13:25 But while John was completing his mission, 47  he said repeatedly, 48  ‘What do you think I am? I am not he. But look, one is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the sandals on his feet!’ 49  13:26 Brothers, 50  descendants 51  of Abraham’s family, 52  and those Gentiles among you who fear God, 53  the message 54  of this salvation has been sent to us. 13:27 For the people who live in Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize 55  him, 56  and they fulfilled the sayings 57  of the prophets that are read every Sabbath by condemning 58  him. 59  13:28 Though 60  they found 61  no basis 62  for a death sentence, 63  they asked Pilate to have him executed. 13:29 When they had accomplished 64  everything that was written 65  about him, they took him down 66  from the cross 67  and placed him 68  in a tomb. 13:30 But God raised 69  him from the dead, 13:31 and 70  for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied 71  him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These 72  are now his witnesses to the people. 13:32 And we proclaim to you the good news about the promise to our ancestors, 73  13:33 that this promise 74  God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising 75  Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; 76  today I have fathered you.’ 77  13:34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus 78  from the dead, never 79  again to be 80  in a state of decay, God 81  has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you 82  the holy and trustworthy promises 83  made to David.’ 84  13:35 Therefore he also says in another psalm, 85 You will not permit your Holy One 86  to experience 87  decay.’ 88  13:36 For David, after he had served 89  God’s purpose in his own generation, died, 90  was buried with his ancestors, 91  and experienced 92  decay, 13:37 but the one 93  whom God raised up did not experience 94  decay. 13:38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one 95  forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 13:39 and by this one 96  everyone who believes is justified 97  from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify 98  you. 99  13:40 Watch out, 100  then, that what is spoken about by 101  the prophets does not happen to you:

13:41Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish! 102 

For I am doing a work in your days,

a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.’” 103 

1 tn Or “Passing by.”

2 sn Perga was a city in Pamphylia near the southern coast of Asia Minor.

3 tn Or “at Antioch in Pisidia.”

sn Pisidian Antioch was a city in Pisidia about 100 mi (160 km) north of Perga. It was both a Roman colony and the seat of military and civil authority in S. Galatia. One had to trek over the Taurus Mountains to get there, since the city was 3,600 ft (1,100 m) above sea level.

map For location see JP1 E2; JP2 E2; JP3 E2; JP4 E2.

4 tn Grk “going into the synagogue they sat down.” The participle εἰσελθόντες (eiselqonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

5 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.

6 sn After the reading from the law and the prophets. In the 1st century Jewish synagogue, it was customary after the reading of the Torah (law) and prophets for men to give exhortation from the scriptures.

7 tn Normally ἀρχισυνάγωγος (arcisunagwgo") refers to the “president of a synagogue” (so BDAG 139 s.v. and L&N 53.93). Since the term is plural here, however, and it would sound strange to the English reader to speak of “the presidents of the synagogue,” the alternative translation “leaders” is used. “Rulers” would also be acceptable, but does not convey quite the same idea.

8 tn Grk “sent to them”; the word “message” is an understood direct object. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

9 tn Grk “Men brothers,” but this is both awkward and unnecessary in English.

10 tn Or “word.”

11 tn Or “encouragement.”

12 tn Or “give it.”

13 tn This participle, ἀναστάς (anasta"), and the following one, κατασείσας (kataseisa"), are both translated as adverbial participles of attendant circumstance.

14 tn Or “motioned.”

15 tn Or “Israelite men,” although this is less natural English. The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which only exceptionally is used in a generic sense of both males and females. In this context involving an address to a synagogue gathering, it is conceivable that this is a generic usage, although it can also be argued that Paul’s remarks were addressed primarily to the men present, even if women were there.

16 tn Grk “and those who fear God,” but this is practically a technical term for the category called God-fearers, Gentiles who worshiped the God of Israel and in many cases kept the Mosaic law, but did not take the final step of circumcision necessary to become a proselyte to Judaism. See further K. G. Kuhn, TDNT 6:732-34, 743-44.

17 tn Or “people of Israel.”

18 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

sn Note how Paul identifies with his audience by referring to our ancestors. He speaks as a Jew. God’s design in history is the theme of the speech. The speech is like Stephen’s, only here the focus is on a promised Son of David.

19 tn That is, in both numbers and in power. The implication of greatness in both numbers and in power is found in BDAG 1046 s.v. ὑψόω 2.

20 tn Or “as resident aliens.”

21 tn Or “land.”

22 sn Here uplifted arm is a metaphor for God’s power by which he delivered the Israelites from Egypt. See Exod 6:1, 6; 32:11; Deut 3:24; 4:34; Ps 136:11-12.

23 tn Grk “And for.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

24 tn For this verb, see BDAG 1017 s.v. τροποφορέω (cf. also Deut 1:31; Exod 16:35; Num 14:34).

25 tn Or “desert.”

26 tn Grk “And after.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

27 tn The participle καθελών (kaqelwn) is taken temporally.

28 sn Seven nations. See Deut 7:1.

29 tn Grk “he gave their land as an inheritance.” The words “his people” are supplied to complete an ellipsis specifying the recipients of the land.

30 tn The words “all this took” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to make a complete statement in English. There is debate over where this period of 450 years fits and what it includes: (1) It could include the years in Egypt, the conquest of Canaan, and the distribution of the land; (2) some connect it with the following period of the judges. This latter approach seems to conflict with 1 Kgs 6:1; see also Josephus, Ant. 8.3.1 (8.61).

31 tn Grk “And after these things.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

32 tn The words “the time of” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

33 tn The words “who ruled” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. They have been supplied as a clarification for the English reader. See Josephus, Ant. 6.14.9 (6.378).

34 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

35 sn The expression raised up refers here to making someone king. There is a wordplay here: “raising up” refers to bringing someone onto the scene of history, but it echoes with the parallel to Jesus’ resurrection.

36 tn Grk “about whom.” The relative pronoun (“whom”) was replaced by the pronoun “him” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek. The verb εἶπεν (eipen) has not been translated (literally “he said testifying”) because it is redundant when combined with the participle μαρτυρήσας (marturhsa", “testifying”). Instead the construction of verb plus participle has been translated as a single English verb (“testified”).

37 sn A quotation from Ps 89:20.

38 sn A quotation from 1 Sam 13:14.

39 tn Or “who will perform all my will,” “who will carry out all my wishes.”

40 tn Or “From the offspring”; Grk “From the seed.”

sn From the descendants (Grk “seed”). On the importance of the seed promise involving Abraham, see Gal 3:6-29.

41 sn The phrase this man is in emphatic position in the Greek text.

42 tn Grk “according to [his] promise.” The comparative clause “just as he promised” is less awkward in English.

sn Just as he promised. Note how Paul describes Israel’s history carefully to David and then leaps forward immediately to Jesus. Paul is expounding the initial realization of Davidic promise as it was delivered in Jesus.

43 tn Grk “John having already proclaimed before his coming a baptism…,” a genitive absolute construction which is awkward in English. A new sentence was begun in the translation at this point.

44 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the context for clarity, since God is mentioned in the preceding context and John the Baptist in the following clause.

45 sn John refers here to John the Baptist.

46 tn Grk “a baptism of repentance”; the genitive has been translated as a genitive of purpose.

47 tn Or “task.”

48 tn The verb ἔλεγεν (elegen) has been translated as an iterative imperfect, since John undoubtedly said this or something similar on numerous occasions.

49 tn Literally a relative clause, “of whom I am not worthy to untie the sandals of his feet.” Because of the awkwardness of this construction in English, a new sentence was begun here.

50 tn Grk “Men brothers,” but this is both awkward and unnecessary in English.

51 tn Grk “sons”

52 tn Or “race.”

53 tn Grk “and those among you who fear God,” but this is practically a technical term for the category called God-fearers, Gentiles who worshiped the God of Israel and in many cases kept the Mosaic law, but did not take the final step of circumcision necessary to become a proselyte to Judaism. See further K. G. Kuhn, TDNT 6:732-34, 743-44. Note how Paul includes God-fearing Gentiles as recipients of this promise.

54 tn Grk “word.”

55 tn BDAG 12-13 s.v. ἀγνοέω 1.b gives “not to know w. acc. of pers.” as the meaning here, but “recognize” is a better translation in this context because recognition of the true identity of the one they condemned is the issue. See Acts 2:22-24; 4:26-28.

56 tn Grk “this one.”

57 tn Usually φωνή (fwnh) means “voice,” but BDAG 1071-72 s.v. φωνή 2.c has “Also of sayings in scripture…Ac 13:27.”

sn They fulfilled the sayings. The people in Jerusalem and the Jewish rulers should have known better, because they had the story read to them weekly in the synagogue.

58 tn The participle κρίναντες (krinante") is instrumental here.

59 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

60 tn Grk “And though.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

61 tn The participle εὑρόντες (Jeuronte") has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.

62 sn No basis. Luke insists on Jesus’ innocence again and again in Luke 23:1-25.

63 tn Grk “no basis for death,” but in this context a sentence of death is clearly indicated.

64 tn Or “carried out.”

65 sn That is, everything that was written in OT scripture.

66 tn Grk “taking him down from the cross, they placed him.” The participle καθελόντες (kaqelonte") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

67 tn Grk “tree,” but frequently figurative for a cross. The allusion is to Deut 21:23. See Acts 5:30; 10:39.

68 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

69 sn See the note on the phrase “raised up” in v. 22, which is the same Greek verb used here.

70 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun (“who”) was replaced by the conjunction “and” and the pronoun “he” at this point to improve the English style.

71 sn Those who had accompanied him refers to the disciples, who knew Jesus in ministry. Luke is aware of resurrection appearances in Galilee though he did not relate any of them in Luke 24.

72 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun (“who”) was replaced by the demonstrative pronoun “these” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style, due to the length of the sentence in Greek and the awkwardness of two relative clauses (“who for many days appeared” and “who are now his witnesses”) following one another.

73 tn Or “to our forefathers”; Grk “the fathers.”

74 tn Grk “that this”; the referent (the promise mentioned in the previous verse) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn This promise refers to the promise of a Savior through the seed (descendants) of David that is proclaimed as fulfilled (Rom 1:1-7).

75 tn Or “by resurrecting.” The participle ἀναστήσας (anasthsa") is taken as instrumental here.

sn By raising (i.e., by resurrection) tells how this promise came to be realized, though again the wordplay also points to his presence in history through this event (see the note on “raised up” in v. 22).

76 sn You are my Son. The key to how the quotation is used is the naming of Jesus as “Son” to the Father. The language is that of kingship, as Ps 2 indicates. Here is the promise about what the ultimate Davidic heir would be.

77 tn Grk “I have begotten you.” The traditional translation for γεγέννηκα (gegennhka, “begotten”) is misleading to the modern English reader because it is no longer in common use. Today one speaks of “fathering” a child in much the same way speakers of English formerly spoke of “begetting a child.”

sn A quotation from Ps 2:7.

78 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

79 tn Although μηκέτι (mhketi) can mean “no longer” or “no more,” the latter is more appropriate here, since to translate “no longer” in this context could give the reader the impression that Jesus did experience decay before his resurrection. Since the phrase “no more again to be” is somewhat awkward in English, the simpler phrase “never again to be” was used instead.

80 tn The translation “to be in again” for ὑποστρέφω (Jupostrefw) is given in L&N 13.24.

81 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

82 tn The pronoun “you” is plural here. The promises of David are offered to the people.

83 tn Or “the trustworthy decrees made by God to David.” The phrase τὰ ὅσια Δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά (ta Josia Dauid ta pista) is “compressed,” that is, in a very compact or condensed form. It could be expanded in several different ways. BDAG 728 s.v. ὅσιος 3 understands it to refer to divine decrees: “I will grant you the sure decrees of God relating to David.” BDAG then states that this quotation from Isa 55:3 is intended to show that the following quotation from Ps 16:10 could not refer to David himself, but must refer to his messianic descendant (Jesus). L&N 33.290 render the phrase “I will give to you the divine promises made to David, promises that can be trusted,” although they also note that τὰ ὅσια in Acts 13:34 can mean “divine decrees” or “decrees made by God.” In contemporary English it is less awkward to translate πιστά as an adjective (“trustworthy”). The concept of “divine decrees,” not very understandable to the modern reader, has been replaced by “promises,” and since God is the implied speaker in the context, it is clear that these promises were made by God.

84 sn A quotation from Isa 55:3. The point of this citation is to make clear that the promise of a Davidic line and blessings are made to the people as well.

85 tn Grk “Therefore he also says in another”; the word “psalm” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

86 tn The Greek word translated “Holy One” here (ὅσιόν, {osion) is related to the use of ὅσια (Josia) in v. 34. The link is a wordplay. The Holy One, who does not die, brings the faithful holy blessings of promise to the people.

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

88 sn A quotation from Ps 16:10.

89 tn The participle ὑπηρετήσας (Juphrethsa") is taken temporally.

90 tn The verb κοιμάω (koimaw) literally means “sleep,” but it is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for the death of a believer.

91 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “was gathered to his fathers” (a Semitic idiom).

92 tn Grk “saw,” but the literal translation of the phrase “saw decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “looked at decay,” while here “saw decay” is really figurative for “experienced decay.” This remark explains why David cannot fulfill the promise.

93 sn The one whom God raised up refers to Jesus.

94 tn Grk “see,” but the literal translation of the phrase “did not see decay” could be misunderstood to mean simply “did not look at decay,” while here “did not see decay” is really figurative for “did not experience decay.”

95 tn That is, Jesus. This pronoun is in emphatic position in the Greek text. Following this phrase in the Greek text is the pronoun ὑμῖν (Jumin, “to you”), so that the emphasis for the audience is that “through Jesus to you” these promises have come.

96 sn This one refers here to Jesus.

97 tn Or “is freed.” The translation of δικαιωθῆναι (dikaiwqhnai) and δικαιοῦται (dikaioutai) in Acts 13:38-39 is difficult. BDAG 249 s.v. δικαιόω 3 categorizes δικαιωθῆναι in 13:38 (Greek text) under the meaning “make free/pure” but categorizes δικαιοῦται in Acts 13:39 as “be found in the right, be free of charges” (BDAG 249 s.v. δικαιόω 2.b.β). In the interest of consistency both verbs are rendered as “justified” in this translation.

98 tn Or “could not free.”

99 tn Grk “from everything from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one in the translation, with “by the law of Moses” becoming the subject of the final clause. The words “from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify you” are part of v. 38 in the Greek text, but due to English style and word order must be placed in v. 39 in the translation.

100 sn The speech closes with a warning, “Watch out,” that also stresses culpability.

101 tn Or “in.”

102 tn Or “and die!”

103 sn A quotation from Hab 1:5. The irony in the phrase even if someone tells you, of course, is that Paul has now told them. So the call in the warning is to believe or else face the peril of being scoffers whom God will judge. The parallel from Habakkuk is that the nation failed to see how Babylon’s rising to power meant perilous judgment for Israel.



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