Acts 14Boldly in the Lord; through confidence in the Lord.—Gave testimony; by enabling them to perform miracles.
An assault; a movement; that is, a plan arranged.
In the speech of Lycaonia; which it appears Paul did not understand; so that he was not aware of their design until they had, in part, carried it into effect.
Jupiter—Mercurius; prominent deities worshipped in those times. Jupiter was the supreme god, and Mercury the god of eloquence,—the attendant and messenger of Jupiter.
Gates; the gates or doors of the building in which the apostles then were.
That is, he left them to themselves, without any special revelation; while yet there was sufficient evidence of his existence and character, in the visible creation, if they had been disposed to be guided by it.
Who persuaded the people; not necessarily the same individuals as those who had been ready to regard the apostles as gods. It is very probable that there was a suppressed and secret hostility before, which the influence of these Jews concentrated, and strengthened, and brought out into action, while the others withdrew. And generally, in fact, the fluctuations of the popular will, so proverbial for their frequency and suddenness, arise not from reversals of opinion in the same parties, but from alternations of ascendency, in respect to opposite and contending ones. In our Savior's case, for example, when the populace shouted "Hosanna" on one day, and "Crucify him" on another, we are not necessarily to suppose that the same individuals were changed from friends to enemies, but only that friends were predominant while he was entering Jerusalem in triumph, and enemies when he was brought in as a criminal. Very slight circumstances are sometimes sufficient, in such cases, to turn the scale,—to throw one party, hitherto prominent, into discouragement and inaction, and to bring up another, hitherto overawed and restrained, to ascendency and power.
Lystra, &c.; the very cities from which they had just been expelled.
Through much tribulation; referring to the exposure and suffering which they had just been called to endure.
Ordained them elders; instituted officers with such duties and powers as the circumstances here required. Ordaining them was inducting them to office, as in Acts 6:6, where the designation of the individuals had been previously made by the church. In this case, it is not stated how the individuals were designated. There has been a great deal of discussion, between different branches of the modern church, on the question whether religious teachers ought to be elected by the church, or appointed by superior ecclesiastical officers. We should have supposed that, if it had been intended that either practice should be considered an essential feature in the future administration of the church, the mode in this, and in other similar cases, would have been distinctly specified.
From whence they had been recommended, &c.; as related Acts 13:1-4.
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