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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Acts 3



Verse 1

Were going up (ανεβαινονanebainon). Descriptive imperfect active. They were ascending the terraces to the temple courts.

The ninth (την ενατηνtēn enatēn). Our three o‘clock in the afternoon, the time of the evening sacrifice. Peter and John like Paul later kept up the Jewish worship, but not as a means of sacramental redemption. There were three hours of prayer (third, sixth, ninth).

Verse 2

Was carried (εβασταζετοebastazeto). Imperfect passive, picturing the process as in Acts 2:1.

Laid daily (ετιτουν κατ ημερανetithoun kath' hēmeran). Imperfect again describing their custom with this man.

Beautiful (ωραιανHōraian). This gate is not so called elsewhere. It may have been the Gate of Nicanor on the east side looking towards Kidron described by Josephus (Ant. XV. 11, 3; War Acts 2:5, Acts 2:3) as composed chiefly of Corinthian brass and very magnificent.

Verse 3

Asked (ηρωταērōtā). Began to ask, inchoative imperfect. It was his chance.

Verse 4

Fastening his eyes (ατενισαςatenisas). First aorist (ingressive) active participle of ατενιζωatenizō For this verb see note on Luke 4:20 and note on Acts 1:10. Peter fixed his eyes on the beggar and invited him to look (βλεπσονblepson) on them.

Verse 5

Gave heed unto them (επειχεν αυτοιςepeichen autois). Imperfect active of επεχωepechō to hold to. For the idiom with τον νουνton noun understood, see note Luke 14:7; 1 Timothy 4:16. He held his eyes right on Peter and John with great eagerness “expecting to receive something” (προσδοκων τι λαβεινprosdokōn tōi labein). He took Peter‘s invitation as a promise of a large gift.

Verse 6

In the name (εν τωι ονοματιen tōi onomati). The healing power is in that name (Page) and Peter says so. Cf. Luke 9:49; Luke 10:17; Acts 4:7, Acts 4:10; Acts 19:27; Acts 16:18.

Walk (περιπατειperipatei). Present imperative, inchoative idea, begin to walk and then go on walking. But the beggar does not budge. He knows that he cannot walk.

Verse 7

Took him by the right hand (πιασας αυτον της δεχιας χειροςpiasas auton tēs dexiās cheiros). Doric form πιαζωpiazō for πιεζωpiezō Genitive of the part affected. Peter had to pull him up on his feet before he would try to walk.

Verse 8

Leaping up (εχαλλομενοςexallomenos). Present middle participle, leaping out repeatedly after Peter pulled him up. Only here in the N.T.

He stood (εστηestē). Second aorist active.

Walked (περιεπατειperiepatei). Went on walking, imperfect active. He came into the temple repeating these new exercises (walking, leaping, praising God).

Verse 10

They took knowledge of him (επεγινωσκονepeginōskon). Imperfect active, inchoative, began to perceive.

Were filled (επληστησανeplēsthēsan). Effective first aorist passive.

At that which had happened (τωι συμβεβηκοτιtōi sumbebēkoti). Perfect active participle of συμβαινωsumbainō Acts 3:11 The Codex Bezae adds “as Peter and John went out.”

As he held (kratountos autou). Genitive absolute of krateō to hold fast, with accusative rather than genitive to get hold of (Acts 27:13). Old and common verb from kratos (strength, force). Perhaps out of gratitude and partly from fear (Luke 8:38).

In the porch that is called Solomon‘s (epi tēi stoāi tēi kaloumenēi Solomōntos). The adjective Stoic (stoikos) is from this word stoa (porch). It was on the east side of the court of the Gentiles (Josephus, Ant. XX. 9, 7) and was so called because it was built on a remnant of the foundations of the ancient temple. Jesus had once taught here (John 10:23).

Greatly wondering (ekthamboi). Wondering out of (ek) measure, already filled with wonder (thambous Acts 3:10). Late adjective. Construction according to sense (plural, though laos singular) as in Acts 5:16; Acts 6:7; Acts 11:1, etc.

Verse 12

Answered (απεκρινατοapekrinato). First aorist middle indicative. The people looked their amazement and Peter answered that.

Ye men of Israel (Ανδρες ΙσραηλειταιAndres Israēleitai). Covenant name and so conciliatory, the stock of Israel (Philemon 3:5).

At this man (επι τουτωιepi toutōi). Probably so, though it could be “at this thing.”

Fasten you your eyes (ατενιζετεatenizete). The very verb used about Peter in Acts 3:4.

On us (ημινhēmin). Dative case, emphatic proleptical position before τι ατενιζετεtōi atenizete

On us why do ye fasten your eyes? As though (ωςhōs). ωςHōs with the participle gives the alleged reason, not always the true one.

Power (δυναμειdunamei). Instrumental case, causa effectiva.

Godliness (ευσεβειαιeusebeiāi). Causa meritoria.

Had made (πεποιηκοσινpepoiēkosin). Perfect active participle of ποιεωpoieō

To walk (του περιπατεινtou peripatein). Articular infinitive in the genitive case of result, purpose easily shading off into result (ecbatic infinitive) as here as is true also of ιναhina f0).

Verse 13

His servant Jesus (τον παιδα Ιησουνton paida Iēsoun). This phrase occurs in Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 52:13 about the Messiah except the name “Jesus” which Peter adds, the first part of the quotation is from Exodus 3:6; Exodus 35:30. The lxx translated the Hebrew παιςebhedh by παις τεουpais the servant of Jehovah being a Messianic designation. But the phrase “servant of God” (δουλος τεουpais theou) is applied also to Israel (Luke 1:54) and to David (Luke 1:69; Acts 4:25). Paul terms himself Παιςdoulos theou (Titus 1:1). υιοςPais is just child (boy or girl), and it was also used of a slave (Matthew 8:6, Matthew 8:8, Matthew 8:13). But it is not here παιςhuios (son) that Peter uses, but ον υμεις μεν παρεδωκατεpais Luke quotes Peter as using it again in this Messianic sense in Acts 3:26; Acts 4:27, Acts 4:30.

Whom ye delivered up (υμειςhon humeis men paredōkate). Note emphatic use of δεhumeis (ye). No μενde to correspond to κmen First aorist active (παραδιδωμιk aorist) plural indicative of παρεδοτεparadidōmi (usual form εκεινουparedote second aorist).

When he (υμειςekeinou). Emphatic pronoun, that one, in contrast with “ye” (κριναντοςhumeis), genitive absolute with krinantos here the nearest word (Pilate), the latter.

Verse 14

But ye (υμεις δεhumeis de). In contrast with Pilate (εκεινουekeinou).

Murderer (ανδρα πονεαandra phonea). A man a murderer. In contrast with “the Holy and Righteous One.”

To be granted (χαριστηναιcharisthēnai). As a favour (χαριςcharis). First aorist passive infinitive of χαριζομαιcharizomai So also Acts 25:11; Acts 27:24.

Verse 15

But the Prince of life ye killed (τον δε αρχηγον της ζωης απεκτεινατεton de archēgon tēs zōēs apekteinate). “The magnificent antithesis” (Bengel) Peter here draws between their asking for a murderer and killing the Prince (or Author) of life. Peter pictures Jesus as the source of all life as is done in John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:14-20; Hebrews 1:2. ΑρχηγοςArchēgos (αρχηarchē beginning, αγωagō to lead) is an adjective “furnishing the first cause or occasion” in Euripides, Plato. Thence substantive, the originator, the leader, the pioneer as of Jesus both Beginner and Finisher (Hebrews 12:2). See also Hebrews 2:10; Acts 5:31 where it is applied to Jesus as “Prince and Saviour.” But God raised him from the dead in contrast to what they had done.

Whereof we are witnesses (ου ημεις μαρτυρες εσμενhou hēmeis martureōs esōmen). Of which fact (the resurrection) or of whom as risen, ουhou having the same form in the genitive singular for masculine or neuter. Peter had boldly claimed that all the 120 have seen the Risen Christ. There is no denial of that claim.

Verse 16

By faith in his name (τηι πιστει του ονοματος αυτουtēi pistei tou onomatos autou). Instrumental case of πιστειpistei (Aleph and B do not have επιepi) and objective genitive of ονοματοςonomatos

His name (το ονομα αυτουto onoma autou). Repeats the word name to make the point clear. Cf. Acts 3:6 where Peter uses “the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” when he healed the man.

Made strong (εστερεωσενestereōsen). Same verb used in Acts 3:7 (and Acts 16:5). Nowhere else in the N.T. Old verb from στερεοςstereos firm, solid.

Through him (δι αυτουdi' autou). Through Jesus, the object of faith and the source of it.

Perfect soundness (ολοκληριανholoklērian). Perfect in all its parts, complete, whole (from ολοςholos whole, κληροςklēros allotment). Late word (Plutarch) once in lxx (Isaiah 1:6) and here alone in the N.T., but adjective ολοκληροςholoklēros old and common (James 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Verse 17

And now (και νυνkai nun). Luke is fond of these particles of transition (Acts 7:34; Acts 10:5; Acts 20:25; Acts 22:16) and also και τα νυνkai ta nun (Acts 4:29; Acts 5:38; 22:32; Acts 27:22), and even και νυν ιδουkai nun idou (Acts 13:11; Acts 20:22).

I wot (οιδαoida). Old English for “I know.”

In ignorance (κατα αγνοιανkata agnoian). This use of καταkata occurs in the Koiné. See also Philemon 1:14. One may see note on Luke 23:34 for the words of the Saviour on the Cross. “They had sinned, but their sin was not of so deep a dye that it could not have been still more heinous” (Hackett). If they had known what they were doing, they would not knowingly have crucified the Messiah (1 Corinthians 2:8).

Verse 18

Foreshewed (προκατηγγειλενprokatēggeilen). First aorist active indicative of προκαταγγελλωprokataggellō late compound to announce fully beforehand. Only twice in the N.T. in the critical text (Acts 3:18; Acts 7:52).

That his Christ should suffer (πατειν τον Χριστον αυτουpathein ton Christon autou). Accusative of general reference with the aorist active infinitive (πατεινpathein of πασχωpaschō) in indirect discourse (predictive purpose of God). Their crime, though real, was carrying out God‘s purpose (Acts 2:23; John 3:16). See the same idea in Acts 17:3; Acts 26:23. This “immense paradox” (Page) was a stumbling block to these Jews as it is yet (1 Corinthians 1:23). Peter discusses the sufferings of Christ in 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:1.

Verse 19

Repent therefore (μετανοησατε ουνmetanoēsate oun). Peter repeats to this new crowd the command made in Acts 2:38 which see. God‘s purpose and patience call for instant change of attitude on their part. Their guilt does not shut them out if they will turn.

And turn again (και επιστρεπσατεkai epistrepsate). Definitely turn to God in conduct as well as in mind.

That your sins may be blotted out (προς το εχαλιπτηναι υμων τας αμαρτιαςpros to exaliphthēnai humōn tas hamartias). Articular infinitive (first aorist passive of εχαλειπωexaleiphō to wipe out, rub off, erase, smear out, old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Colossians 2:14) with the accusative of general reference and with προςpros and the accusative to express purpose.

That so (οπως ανhopōs an). Final particle with ανan and the aorist active subjunctive ελτωσινelthōsin (come) and not “when” as the Authorized Version has it. Some editors put this clause in Acts 3:20 (Westcott and Hort, for instance).

Seasons of refreshing (καιροι αναπσυχεωςkairoi anapsuxeōs). The word αναπσυχιςanapsuxis (from αναπσυχωanapsuchō to cool again or refresh, 2 Timothy 1:16) is a late word (lxx) and occurs here alone in the N.T. Surely repentance will bring “seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.”

Verse 20

And that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus (και αποστειληι τον προκεχειρισμενον υμιν Χριστον Ιησουνkai aposteilēi ton prokecheirisōmenon humin Christon Iēsoun). First aorist active subjunctive with οπως ανhopōs an as in Acts 15:17 and Luke 2:35. There is little real difference in idea between οπως ανhopōs an and ινα ανhina an There is a conditional element in all purpose clauses. The reference is naturally to the second coming of Christ as Acts 3:21 shows. Knowling admits “that there is a spiritual presence of the enthroned Jesus which believers enjoy as a foretaste of the visible and glorious Presence of the ΠαρουσιαParousia Jesus did promise to be with the disciples all the days (Matthew 28:20), and certainly repentance with accompanying seasons of refreshing help get the world ready for the coming of the King. The word προκεχειρισμενονprokecheirisōmenon (perfect passive participle of προχειριζωprocheirizō from προχειροςprocheiros at hand, to take into one‘s hands, to choose) is the correct text here, not προκεκηρυγμενονprokekērugmenon In the N.T. only here and Acts 22:14; Acts 26:16. It is not “Jesus Christ” here nor “Christ Jesus,” but “the Messiah, Jesus,” identifying Jesus with the Messiah. See the Second Epiphany of Jesus foretold also in 1 Timothy 6:15 and the First Epiphany described in 1 Peter 1:20.

Verse 21

Restoration (αποκαταστασεωςapokatastaseōs). Double compound (απο κατα ιστημιapoαποκατιστημιkataπαλινγενεσιαhistēmi), here only in the N.T., though common in late writers. In papyri and inscriptions for repairs to temples and this phrase occurs in Jewish apocalyptic writings, something like the new heaven and the new earth of Revelation 21:1. Paul has a mystical allusion also to the agony of nature in Romans 8:20-22. The verb apokathistēmi is used by Jesus of the spiritual and moral restoration wrought by the Baptist as Elijah (Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12) and by the disciples to Jesus in Acts 1:6. Josephus uses the word of the return from captivity and Philo of the restitution of inheritances in the year of jubilee. As a technical medical term it means complete restoration to health. See a like idea in palingenesia (renewal, new birth) in Matthew 19:28; Titus 3:5. This universalism of Peter will be clearer to him after Joppa and Caesarea.

Verse 22

Like unto me (ως εμεhōs eme). As me, literally; Moses (Deuteronomy 18:14-18) claims that God raised him up as a prophet and that another and greater one will come, the Messiah. The Jews understood Moses to be a type of Christ (John 1:21). God spoke to Moses face to face (Exodus 33:11) and he was the greatest of the prophets (Deuteronomy 34:10).

Verse 23

That prophet (του προπητου εκεινουtou prophētou ekeinou). Emphasizes the future prophet as on “him” (αυτουautou) before “hearken.” They had refused to “hearken” to Moses and now, alas, many had refused to “hearken” to Christ.

Shall be utterly destroyed (εχολετρευτησεταιexolethreuthēsetai). First future passive of εχολεexolė (οo) τρευωthreuō a late verb, to destroy utterly (εχex), only here in the N.T., common in the lxx.

Verse 24

From Samuel (απο Σαμουηλapo Samouēl). Schools of prophets arose in his time, few before him (1 Samuel 3:1).

Verse 25

Ye (υμειςHumeis). Emphatic position.

The covenant which God made (της διατηκης ης ο τεος διετετοtēs diathēkēs hēs ho theos dietheto). Literally, “the covenant which God covenanted.” ΔιατηκηDiathēkē and διετετοdietheto (second aorist middle indicative of διατημιdiathēmi) are the same root. See note on Matthew 26:28. The covenant (agreement between two, diatithēmi) was with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) and repeated at various times (Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4, etc.). In Hebrews 9:15-18 the word is used both for covenant and will. The genitive relative δια τιτημιhēs attracted to case of the antecedent.

Verse 26

Unto you first (υμιν πρωτονHumin prōton). The Jews were first in privilege and it was through the Jews that the Messiah was to come for “all the families of the earth.”

His servant (τον παιδα αυτουton paida autou). As in Acts 3:13, the Messiah as God‘s Servant.

To bless you (ευλογουντα υμαςeulogounta humas). Present active participle to express purpose, blessing you (Robertson, Grammar, p. 991). In turning away (εν τωι αποστρεπεινen tōi apostrephein). Articular infinitive in the locative case, almost preserved in the English.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 3:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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