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Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, [1886], at

Acts Chapter 2

Acts 2:1

act 2:1

Was fully come (συμπληροῦσθαι)

Used by Luke only. See on Luk 9:51. Lit., as Rev., margin, was being fulfilled. The day, according to the Hebrew mode, is conceived as a measure to be filled up. So long as the day had not yet arrived, the measure was not full. The words denote in process of fulfilment.


Meaning fiftieth; because occurring on the fiftieth day, calculated from the second day of unleavened bread. In the Old Testament it is called the feast of weeks, and the feast of harvest. Its primary object was to thank God for the blessings of harvest. See Deu 16:10, Deu 16:11.

With one accord (ὁμοθυμαδὸν)

The best texts substitute ὁμοῦ, together. So Rev.

Acts 2:2

act 2:2

A sound (ἦχος)

See on Luk 4:37.

Of a rushing mighty wind (φερομένης πνοῆς βιαίας)

Lit., of a mighty wind borne along. Πνοή is a blowing, a blast. Only here and Act 17:25. Rev., as of the rushing of a mighty wind.

The house

Not merely the room. Compare Act 1:13.

Were sitting

Awaiting the hour of prayer. See Act 2:15.

Acts 2:3

act 2:3

There appeared

See on Luk 22:43.

Cloven tongues (διαμεριζόμεναι γλῶσσαι)

Many prefer to render tongues distributing themselves, or being distributed among the disciples, instead of referring it to the cloven appearance of each tongue. Rev., tongues parting asunder.

Like as of fire

Not consisting off fire, but resembliny (ὡσεὶ).

It sat

Note the singular. One of these luminous appearances sat upon each.

Acts 2:4

act 2:4


Bringing into prominence the first impulse of the act. See on began, Act 1:1.

With other tongues (ἑτέραις γλώσσαις)

Strictly different, from their native tongues, and also different tongues spoken by the different apostles. See on Mat 6:24.

Gave (ἐδίδου)

A graphic imperfect; kept giving them the language and the appropriate words as the case required from time to time. It would seem that each apostle was speaking to a group, or to individuals. The general address to the multitude followed from the lips of Peter.

Utterance (ἀποφθέγγεσθαι)

Used only by Luke and in the Acts. Lit., to utter. A peculiar word, and purposely chosen to denote the clear, loud utterance under the miraculous impulse. It is used by later Greek writers of the utterances of oracles or seers. So in the Septuagint, of prophesying. See Ch1 25:1; Deu 32:2; Zac 10:2; Eze 13:19.

Acts 2:5

act 2:5

Dwelling (κατοικοῦντες)

Denoting an abiding; but here it must be taken in a wide sense, since among these are mentioned those whose permanent residence was in Mesopotamia, etc. See Act 2:9.


See on Luk 2:25.

Acts 2:6

act 2:6

When this was noised abroad (γενομένης δὲ τῆς φωνῆς ταύτης)

Wrong. Lit., And this sound having taken place. Rev., correctly, when this sound was heard. The sound of the rushing wind.

Were confounded (συνεχύθη)

Lit., was poured together; so that confound (Latin, confundere) is the most literal rendering possible. Used only by Luke and in the Acts. Compare Act 19:32; Act 21:31.

Heard (ἤκουον)

Imperfect, were hearing.

Language (διαλέκτῳ)

Rather, dialect; since the foreigners present spoke, not only different languages, but different dialects of the same language. The Phrygians and Pamphylians, for instance, both spoke Greek, but in different idioms; the Parthians, Medes, and Elamites all spoke Persian, but in different provincial forms.

Acts 2:7

act 2:7

Amazed and marvelled (ἐξίσταντο καὶ ἐθαύμαζον)

The former word denotes the first overwhelming surprise. The verb is literally to put out of place; hence, out of one's senses. Compare Mar 3:21 : "He is beside himself." The latter word, marvelled, denotes the continuing wonder; meaning to regard with amazement, and with a suggestion of beginning to speculate on the matter.


Not regarded as a sect, for the name was not given to Christians until afterward; but with reference to their nationality. They used a peculiar dialect, which distinguished them from the inhabitants of Judaea. Compare Mar 14:70. They were blamed for neglecting the study of their language, and charged with errors in grammar and ridiculous mispronunciations.

Acts 2:9

act 2:9

Parthians, Medes, and Elamites

Representing portions of the Persian empire.


The dialect of Galilee being different from that of Judaea.


Not the Asiatic continent nor Asia Minor. In the time of the apostles the term was commonly understood of the proconsular province of Asia, principally of the kingdom of Pergamus left by Attalus III. to the Romans, and including Lydia, Mysia, Caria, and at times parts of Phrygia. The name Asia Minor did not come into use until the fourth century of our era.

Acts 2:10

act 2:10


Where the Jews were numerous. Two-fifths of the population of Alexandria were said to have been Jews.


In Libya, west of Egypt.

Strangers (ἐπιδημοῦντες)

See on Pe1 1:1. Rev., rightly, sojourners.

Acts 2:11

act 2:11


Whose country bordered on Judaea, and must have contained many Jews.

Speak (λαλούντων)

Rev., rightly, gives the force of the participle, speaking.

Wonderful works (μεγαλεῖα)

See on majesty, Pe2 1:16. From μέγας great. Rev., mighty works. Used by Luke only.

Acts 2:12

act 2:12

Were in doubt (διηπόρουν)

Used by Luke only. See on Luk 9:7. Better, as Rev., perplexed.

Acts 2:13

act 2:13

Others (ἕτεροι)

Of a different class. The first who commented on the wonder did so curiously, but with no prejudice. Those who now spoke did so in a hostile spirit. See on Act 2:4.

Mocking (διαχλευάζοντες; so the best texts)

From χλεύη, a joke. Only here in New Testament.

New wine (γλεύκους)

Lit., "sweet wine." Of course intoxicating.

Acts 2:14

act 2:14

Standing up (σταθεὶς)

See on Luk 18:11; and Luk 19:8.

Said (ἀπεφθέγξατο)

See on Act 2:4. Better, Rev., spake forth. "This most solemn, earnest, yet sober speech" (Bengel).

Hearken (ἐνωτίσασθε)

Only here in New Testament. From ἐν, in; and οὖς the ear. Rev., give ear.

Words (ῥήματα)

See on Luk 1:37.

Acts 2:15

act 2:15

Third hour

Nine in the morning: the hour of morning prayer. Compare Th1 5:7.

Acts 2:17

act 2:17

All flesh

Without distinction of age, sex, or condition.

Visions (ὁράσεις)

Waking visions.

Dream dreams (ἐνύπνια ἐνυπνιασθήσονται)

The best texts read ἐνυπνίοις, with dreams. The verb occurs only here and Jde 1:8. The reference is to visions in sleep.

Acts 2:19

act 2:19

I will shew (δώσω)

Lit., I will give.

Wonders (τέρατα)

Or portents. See on Mat 11:20.


See on Mat 11:20.

Acts 2:20

act 2:20

That great and notable day of the Lord come

The Rev. heightens the emphasis by following the Greek order, the day of the Lord, that great and notable day. Notable (ἐπιφανῆ) only here in New Testament. The kindred noun ἐπιφάνεια, appearing (compare our word Epiphany), is often used of the second coming of the Lord. See Ti1 6:14; Ti2 4:1; Tit 2:13.

Acts 2:22

act 2:22

Approved (ἀποδεδειγμένον)

The verb means to point out or shew forth. Shewn to be that which he claimed to be.

Miracles (δυνάμεσι)

Better, Rev., mighty works. Lit., powers. See on Mat 11:20.

Acts 2:23

act 2:23

Being delivered (ἔκδοτον)

An adjective: given forth, betrayed.

Ye have taken

The best texts omit.

Wicked hands

The best texts read by the hand of lawless

Crucified (προσπήξαντες)

Only here in New Testament. The verb simply means to affix to or on anything. The idea of the cross is left to be supplied.

Have slain (ἀνείλετε)

See on Luk 23:32. Rev., rendering the aorist more closely, did slay.

Acts 2:24

act 2:24

Pains (ὠδῖνας)

The meaning is disputed. Some claim that Peter followed the Septuagint mistranslation of Psa 18:5, where the Hebrew word for snares is rendered by the word used here, pains; and that, therefore, it should be rendered snares of death; the figure being that of escape from the snare of a huntsman. Others suppose that death is represented in travail, the birth-pangs ceasing with the delivery; i.e., the resurrection. This seems to be far-fetched, though it is true that in classical Greek the word is used commonly of birth-throes. It is better, perhaps, on the whole, to take the expression in the sense of the A. V., and to make the pains of death stand for death generally.

Acts 2:25

act 2:25

I foresaw (προωρώμην)

Not to see beforehand, but to see before one's self, as in Psa 16:8.

I should not be moved (μὴ σαλευθῶ)

Or be shaken. Generally so rendered in the New Testament. See Mat 11:7; Mat 24:29; Heb 12:26, etc.

Acts 2:26

act 2:26

Rejoiced (ἠγαλλιάσατο)

Rev., was glad. See on Pe1 1:6.

Shall rest (κατασκηνώσει)

See on nests, Mat 8:20. Better, as Rev., dwell. Lit., dwell in a tent or tabernacle. Rendered lodge, Mat 13:32; Mar 4:32; Luk 13:19. It is a beautiful metaphor. My flesh shall encamp on hope; pitch its tent there to rest through the night of death, until the morning of resurrection.

In hope ( ἐπ' ἐλπίδι)

Lit., on hope: resting on the hope of resurrection; his body being poetically conceived as hoping.

Acts 2:27

act 2:27

Leave (ἐγκαταλείψεις)

Lit., leave behind.

Suffer (δώσεις)

Lit., give.

Acts 2:29

act 2:29

Let me speak (ἐξὸν εἰπεῖν)

Lit., it is permitted me. Rev., I may. It is allowable for him to speak, because the facts are notorious.

Freely (μετὰ παῤῥησίας)

Lit., with freedom. The latter word from πᾶν, all, and ῥῆσις, speech; speaking everything, and therefore without reserve.

The patriarch (πατριάρχου)

From ἄρχω, to begin, and πατριά, a pedigree. Applied to David as the father of the royal family from which the Messiah sprang. It is used in the New Testament of Abraham (Heb 7:4), and of the sons of Jacob (Act 7:8).

He is dead and buried (ἐτελεύτησε καὶ ἐτάφη)

Aorists, denoting what occurred at a definite past time. Rev., rightly, he both died and was buried.

His sepulchre is with us

Or among us (ἐν ἡμῖν). On Mount Zion, where most of the Jewish kings were interred in the same tomb.

Acts 2:30

act 2:30

According to the flesh, he would raise up Christ

The best texts omit. Render as Rev., he would set one upon his throne.

Acts 2:34

act 2:34

Is not ascended (οὐ ἀνέβη)

Aorist, did not ascend.

Acts 2:35

act 2:35

Thy footstool

A.V. omits of thy feet.

Acts 2:36

act 2:36

Assuredly (ἀσφαλῶς)

From ἀ, not, and σφάλλω, to cause to fall. Hence, firmly, steadfastly.

Acts 2:37

act 2:37

They were pricked (κατενύγησαν)

Only here in New Testament. The word does not occur in profane Greek. It is found in the Septuagint, as Genesis 34:7, of the grief of the sons of Jacob at the dishonor of Dinah. See, also, Psa 109:16(Sept. 108) Psa 109:16 : "broken in heart." The kindred noun κατάνυξις occurs Rom 11:8, in the sense of slumber (Rev., stupor). Compare Isa 29:10. See, also, Psa 60:3. (Sept. 59) Psa 60:3 : οἶνον κατανύξεως, the wine of astonishment (Rev., wine of staggering). The radical idea of the word is given in the simple verb νύσσω, to prick with a sharp point. So Homer, of the puncture of a spear; of horses dinting the earth with their hoofs, etc. Here, therefore, of the sharp, painful emotion, the sting produced by Peter's words. Cicero, speaking of the oratory of Pericles, says that his speech left stings in the minds of his hearers ("De Oratore," iii., 34.)

Acts 2:38

act 2:38


See on Mat 3:2.

In the name (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι)

Lit., upon the name. See on Mat 28:19.


See on Luk 3:3; and Jam 5:15.

Acts 2:39

act 2:39

Afar off (εἰς μακρὰν)

Lit., unto a long way. Referring probably to the Gentiles, who are described by this phrase both in the Old and New Testaments. See Zac 6:15; Eph 2:11-13. Peter knew the fact that the Gentiles were to be received into the Church, but not the mode. He expected they would become Christians through the medium of the Jewish religion. It was already revealed in the Old Testament that they should be received, and Christ himself had commanded the apostles to preach to all nations.

Shall call (προσκαλέσηται)

Rev. gives the force of πρός, to: "shall call unto him."

Acts 2:40

act 2:40

Other (ἑτέροις)

And various.

Did he testify (διεμαρτύρετο)

The preposition διά gives the force of solemnly, earnestly.

Save yourselves (σώθητε)

More strictly, be ye saved.

Untoward (σκολιᾶς)

Lit., crooked. Toward in earlier English meant docile, apt. The opposite is froward (froward). So Shakespeare:

"'Tis a good hearing when children are toward,

But a harsh hearing when women are froward."

Taming of the Shrew, v., 2.

"Spoken like a toward prince."

3 Henry VI., ii., 2.

Untoward, therefore, meant intractable, perverse. So Shakespeare:

"What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave ?"

K. John, i, 1.

"And if she be froward,

Then hast thou taught Hortensio to be untoward."

Taming of the Shrew, iv., 5.

Compare Deu 32:5.

Acts 2:42

act 2:42

Continued steadfastly

See on Act 1:14.

Doctrine (διδαχῇ)

Better, teaching.

Fellowship (κοινωνίᾳ)

From κοινός, common. A relation between individuals which involves a common interest and a mutual, active participation in that interest and in each other. The word answers to the Latin communio, from communis, common. Hence, sometimes rendered communion, as Co1 10:16; Co2 13:14. Fellowship is the most common rendering. Thus Phi 1:5 : "your fellowship in the gospel," signifying co-operation in the widest sense; participation in sympathy, suffering, and labor. Compare Jo1 1:3, Jo1 1:6, Jo1 1:7. Occasionally it is used to express the particular form which the spirit of fellowship assumes; as in Rom 15:26; Heb 13:16, where it signifies the giving of alms, but always with an emphasis upon the principle of Christian fellowship which underlies the gift.

Breaking (κλάσει)

Used by Luke only, and only in the phrase breaking of bread. The kindred verb κλάζω or κλάω, to break, occurs often, but, like the noun, only of breaking bread. Hence used to designate the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

Prayers (προσευχαῖς)

Always of prayer to God. Compare on δεήσεις, prayers, Luk 5:33; and besought, Luk 8:38.

Acts 2:43

act 2:43

Fear (φόβος)

Not terror, but reverential awe: as Mar 4:41; Luk 7:16; Pe1 1:17, etc.

Acts 2:44

act 2:44

Common (κοινὰ)

Compare fellowship, Act 2:42.

Acts 2:45

act 2:45

Possessions (κτήματα)

Landed property.

Goods (ὑπάρξεις)

Possessions in general; movables.

Acts 2:46

act 2:46

With one accord (ὁμοθυμαδὸν)

See on Mat 18:19.

From house to house (κατ' οἶκον)

Better, as Rev., at home, contrasted with in the temple. Compare Plm 1:2; Col 4:15; Co1 16:19.

Did eat their meat (μετελάμβανον τροφῆς)

Rev., take their food. Partake would be better, giving the force of μετά, with. Note the imperfect: "continued to partake."

Singleness (ἀφελότητι)

Only here in New Testament. Derived from ἀ, not, and φελλεύς, stony ground. Hence of something simple or plain.

Acts 2:47

act 2:47

Added (προσετίθει)

Imperfect: kept adding.

Such as should be saved (τοὺς σωζομένους)

Lit., as Rev., those that were being saved. The rendering of the A. V. would require the verb to be in the future, whereas it is the present participle. Compare Co1 1:18. Salvation is a thing of the present, as well as of the past and future. The verb is used in all these senses in the New Testament. Thus, we were saved (not are, as A. V.), Rom 8:24; shall or shalt be saved, Rom 10:9, Rom 10:13; ye are being saved, Co1 15:2. "Godliness, righteousness, is life, is salvation. And it is hardly necessary to say that the divorce of morality and religion must be fostered and encouraged by failing to note this, and so laying the whole stress either on the past or on the future - on the first call, or on the final change. It is, therefore, important that the idea of salvation as a rescue from sin, through the knowledge of God in Christ, and therefore a progressive condition, a present state, should not be obscured, and we can but regret such a translation as Act 2:47, 'The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,' where the Greek implies a different idea" (Lightfoot, "On a Fresh Revision of the New Testament").

To the church

See on Mat 16:18.

Next: Acts Chapter 3