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Acts 13:32-34

Context
13:32 And we proclaim to you the good news about the promise to our ancestors, 1  13:33 that this promise 2  God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising 3  Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; 4  today I have fathered you.’ 5  13:34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus 6  from the dead, never 7  again to be 8  in a state of decay, God 9  has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you 10  the holy and trustworthy promises 11  made to David.’ 12 

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

2 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).

3 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).

4 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.

5 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.

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

7 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.

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

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

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

11 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.

12 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.



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