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Acts 13:34-37

Context
13:34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus 1  from the dead, never 2  again to be 3  in a state of decay, God 4  has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you 5  the holy and trustworthy promises 6  made to David.’ 7  13:35 Therefore he also says in another psalm, 8 You will not permit your Holy One 9  to experience 10  decay.’ 11  13:36 For David, after he had served 12  God’s purpose in his own generation, died, 13  was buried with his ancestors, 14  and experienced 15  decay, 13:37 but the one 16  whom God raised up did not experience 17  decay.

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

2 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.

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

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

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

6 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 The concept of “divine decrees,” not very understandable to the modern reader, has been replaced by “promises,” and since God is the implied speaker in the context, it is clear that these promises were made by God.

7 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.

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

9 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.

10 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.”

11 sn A quotation from Ps 16:10.

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

13 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.

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

15 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.

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

17 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.”



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