From the Garden to the City. The Everlasting New Covenant. Acts 2. Acts 2 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
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From the Garden to the City The Everlasting New Covenant
Acts 2 • Acts 2 • 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. • 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. • 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. • 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. • What is occurring? • The “glory of the Lord” is sanctifying the new sanctuary or temple. • This is a similar event that occurred under the Old Covenant with the Tabernacle and two temples.
Acts 2 • For example review the dedication of Solomon’s Temple: • II Chronicles 5 • 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the housewas filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; • 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled thehouse of God. • II Chronicles 7 • 1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the firecame down from heaven, and consumed the burntoffering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORDfilled the house.
Acts 2 • 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled theLORD’S house. • 3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, theybowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. • In Acts 2 we see the new Temple of God dedicated and sanctified. This new Temple involves individual Christians. (More about this later.) • The way this event is presented it is the next Temple of Israel under the next covenant, the New Covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 2 • Acts 2 • 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. • 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. • 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? • 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? • 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, • 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, • 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. • 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? • 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Acts 2 • What Old Testament judgment is this event reversing? • The confusion of the languages at the tower of Babel. • The new Israel was going to be made up of all nations in fulfillment of numerous Old Testament prophecies. • Isaiah 66 • 18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. • 19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. • 20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
Acts 2 • Isaiah 66 • 21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD. • 22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. • 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. • 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
Acts 2 • 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: • 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. • 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; • 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: • 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Acts 2-Last Days • What period of time does “the last days” represent? • In the Old Testament, in addition to the Joel passage, the term “the last days” occurs twice: • Isaiah 2 • 1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. • 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. • 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Acts 2-Last Days • Isaiah 2 • 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. • 5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. • Micah 4 • 1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. • 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Acts 2-Last Days • Micah 4 • 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. • 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. • 5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. • To What are these propheciesreferring? • In the books of Hebrews and James the term “the last days” is used to describe the period of the New Testament.
Acts 2-Last Days • Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; • James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. • When the Apostle Peter uses the term “the last days” on the Day of Pentecost he is probably referring to the last days of the Old Covenant.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Acts 2 • 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: • 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: • 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. • What does it typically mean when the Bible talks about the heavenly bodies being darkened? • In the first lesson of this series it was shown that this meant some earthly government fell from power. • What is the “great and notable day of the Lord?”
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • In the Old Testament when “the day of the Lord” is discussed it is usually “at hand” and described as a day of the Lord’s vengeance, wrath, and fierce anger; blood; smoke and fire; darkness, cloudy, and the heavenly bodies darkened; desolation and sacrifice. • In chapter one of the prophet Zephaniah the judgment of Judah is described as “the great day of the Lord.” • Zephaniah 1 • 1 The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. • 2 I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD…. • 4 I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all theinhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;…
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Zephaniah 1 • 7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the dayof the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. • 8 And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel…. • 14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. • 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness andgloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, • 16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. • 17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Zephaniah 1 • 18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. • In Isaiah, chapter thirteen, the judgment of God against Babylon is called “the day of the Lord.” • Isaiah 13 • 6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. • 7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: • 8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Isaiah 13 • 9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. • 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. • 11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. • 12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. • 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shallremove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. • 14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Isaiah 13 • 15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. • 16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. • 17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. • 18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. • Isaiah 34 • 2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter… • 4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down,…
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Isaiah 34 • 6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea… • 8 For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. • Jeremiah 46 • 10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates. • 11 Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Ezekiel 30 • 1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, • 2 Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! • 3 For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. • 4 And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. • 5 Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword. • Joel 1 • 14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Joel 1 • 15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come… • 17 The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laiddesolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered… • 19 O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned allthe trees of the field. • 20 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured thepastures of the wilderness. • Joel 2 • 1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for theday of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Joel 2 • 2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains:.. • 3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them… • 5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array… • 8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. • 10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the starsshall withdraw their shining:
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Joel 2 • 11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? • Joel 3 • 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. • 15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. • 16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of thechildren of Israel. • 17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Amos 5 • 16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing. • 17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD. • 18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. • 19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. • 20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • The most relevant passage to Acts’ use of the “day of the Lord” is in Malachi, the last prophet in the Old Testament. • If Malachi is the last prophet in the Old Testament, who is the last prophet under the Old Covenant? • The Lord Jesus Christ’s cousin John the Baptist and Malachi has several passages regarding him. • Malachi 3 • 1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. • 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: • 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Malachi 3 • 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. • 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. • 6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. • Who is the messenger to which this passage is referring? • John the Baptist. • Malachi 4 • 1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Malachi 4 • 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun ofrighteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. • 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. • 4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. • 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming ofthe great and dreadful day of the LORD: • 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. • The phrase “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” is the same Greek in The Septuagint as the phrase “great and notable day of the Lord”in Acts 2:20.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Luke 1 • 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. • 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. • 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. • 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. • 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. • Matthew 17 • 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. • 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. • 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Matthew 3 • 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? • 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: • 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. • 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. • 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: • 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • The message of Malachi, John the Baptist, and Saint Peter on the Day of Pentecost is the same: • There is a day coming when God will judge Israel. • The “wicked”, “the chaff”, and “the unrepentant” will be burned up and those that “fear God” , “the wheat” and “the repentant” will be saved.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • The “great and notable day of the Lord” in Acts 2 is referring to the events surrounding 70 AD when God pours out his wrath and takes vengeance on apostate Israel for the rejection and crucifixion of their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. • Luke 21 describes this period of time as “the days of vengeance.” • Luke 21 • 5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, • 6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down… • 18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. • 19 In your patience possess ye your souls. • 20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Luke 21 • 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into. • 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which arewritten may be fulfilled. • Matthew 24 • 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: • 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: • 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. • 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! • 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Matthew 24 • 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. • 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. • Adam Clark’s Commentary on Luke 21: • Verse 18. But there shall not a hair of your head perish.] A proverbial expression for, Ye shall not suffer any essential injury. Every genuine Christian shall escape when this desolation comes upon the Jewish state. • Verse 19. In your patience] Rather, your perseverance, your faithful continuance in my word and doctrine. Ye will preserve your souls. Ye shall escape the Roman sword, and not one of you shall perish in the destruction of Jerusalem. Instead of κτησασθε, possess, or preserve ye, I read κτησεσθε, ye shall preserve. This reading is supported by AB-B, five others; both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Æthiopic, Vulgate, all the Itala except two, Origen, Macarius, and Tertullian.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Clark’s Commentary on Luke 21, Continued • “It is very remarkable that not a single Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, though there were many there when Cestius Gallus invested the city; and, had he persevered in the siege, he would soon have rendered himself master of it; but, when he unexpectedly and unaccountably raised the siege, the Christians took that opportunity to escape. See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles lib. 3. c. 5, and Mr. Reading’s note there; and see the note here on Mt 24:20. • Clark’s Commentary on Matthew 24 • Verse 16. Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains] This counsel was remembered and wisely followed by the Christians afterwards. Eusebius and Epiphanius say, that at this juncture, after Cestius Gallus had raised the siege, and Vespasian was approaching with his army, all who believed in Christ left Jerusalem and fled to Pella, and other places beyond the river Jordan; and so they all marvellously escaped the general shipwreck of their country: not one of them perished. See on Mt 24:13.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Clarks’ Commentary on Matthew 24, continued • Verse 17. Let him which is on the house top] The houses of the Jews, as well as those of the ancient Greeks and Romans, were flat-roofed, and had stairs on the outside, by which persons might ascend and descend without coming into the house. In the eastern walled cities, these flat-roofed houses usually formed continued terraces from one end of the city to the other; which terraces terminated at the gates. He, therefore, who is walking on the house top, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house; but let him instantly pursue his course along the tops of the houses, and escape out at the city gate as fast as he can. • Verse 18. Neither let him which is in the field return back] Because when once the army of the Romans sits down before the city, there shall be no more any possibility of escape, as they shall never remove till Jerusalem be destroyed. • Verse 19. And woe unto them (alas! for them) that are with child, etc.] For such persons are not in a condition to make their escape; neither can they bear the miseries of the siege. Josephus says the houses were full of women and children that perished by the famine; and that the mothers snatched the food even out of their own children’s mouths. See War, b. 5. c. 10.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Clarks’ Commentary on Matthew 24, continued • Verse 19, continued But he relates a more horrid story than this, of one Mary, the daughter of Eliezar, illustrious for her family and riches, who, being stripped and plundered of all her goods and provisions by the soldiers, in hunger, rage, and despair, killed and boiled her own sucking child, and had eaten one half of him before it was discovered. This shocking story is told, War, b. 6. c. 3, with several circumstances of aggravation. • Verse 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter] For the hardness of the season, the badness of the roads, the shortness of the days, and the length of the nights, will all be great impediments to your flight. Rabbi Tanchum observes, "that the favour of God was particularly manifested in the destruction of the first temple, in not obliging the Jews to go out in the winter, but in the summer." See the place in Lightfoot. • Neither on the Sabbath-day] That you may not raise the indignation of the Jews by traveling on that day, and so suffer that death out of the city which you had endeavoured to escape from within. Besides, on the Sabbath-days the Jews not only kept within doors, but the gates of all the cities and towns in every place were kept shut and barred; so that their flight should be on a Sabbath, they could not expect admission into any place of security in the land.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Clarks’ Commentary on Matthew 24, continued • Our Lord had ordered his followers to make their escape from Jerusalem when they should see it encompassed with armies; but how could this be done? God took care to provide amply for this. In the twelfth year of Nero, Cestius Gallus, the president of Syria, came against Jerusalem with a powerful army. He might, says Josephus, War, b. 2. c. 19, have assaulted and taken the city, and thereby put an end to the war; but without any just reason, and contrary to the expectation of all, he raised the siege and departed. Josephus remarks, that after Cestius Gallus had raised the siege, "many of the principal Jewish people, πολλοι των επιφανων ιουδαιων, forsook the city, as men do a sinking ship.“ • Vespasian was deputed in the room of Cestius Gallus, who, having subdued all the country, prepared to besiege Jerusalem, and invested it on every side. But the news of Nero’s death, and soon after that of Galba, and the disturbances that followed, and the civil wars between Otho and Vitellius, held Vespasian and his son Titus in suspense. Thus the city was not actually besieged in form till after Vespasian was confirmed in the empire, and Titus was appointed to command the forces in Judea. It was in those incidental delays that the Christians, and indeed several others, provided for their own safety, by flight.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Clarks’ Commentary on Matthew 24, continued • In Luke 19:43, our Lord says of Jerusalem, Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. Accordingly, Titus, having made several assaults without success, resolved to surround the city with a wall, which was, with incredible speed, completed in three days! The wall was thirty-nine furlongs in length, and was strengthened with thirteen forts at proper distances, so that all hope of safety was cut off; none could make his escape from the city, and no provisions could be brought into it. See Josephus, War, book 5. c. 12. • Verse 21. For then shall be great tribulation] No history can furnish us with a parallel to the calamities and miseries of the Jews:-rapine, murder, famine, and pestilence within: fire and sword, and all the horrors of war, without. Our Lord wept at the foresight of these calamities; and it is almost impossible for any humane person to read the relation of them in Josephus without weeping also. St. Luke, Lu 21:22, calls these the days of vengeance, that all things which were written might be fulfilled. 1. These were the days in which all the calamities predicted by Moses, Joel, Daniel, and other prophets, as well as those predicted by our Saviour, met in one common centre, and were fulfilled in the most terrible manner on that generation.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Clarks’ Commentary on Matthew 24, continued • 2. These were the days of vengeance in another sense, as if God’s judgments had certain periods and revolutions; for it is remarkable that the temple was burned by the Romans in the same month, and on the same day of the month, on which it had been burned by the Babylonians. See Josephus, War, b. 6. c. 4. • Verse 22. Except those days should be shortened] Josephus computes the number of those who perished in the siege at eleven hundred thousand, besides those who were slain in other places, War, b. 6. c. 9; and if the Romans had gone on destroying in this manner, the whole nation of the Jews would, in a short time, have been entirely extirpated; but, for the sake of the elect, the Jews, that they might not be utterly destroyed, and for the Christians particularly, the days were shortened. These, partly through the fury of the zealots on one hand, and the hatred of the Romans on the other; and partly through the difficulty of subsisting in the mountains without houses or provisions, would in all probability have been all destroyed, either by the sword or famine, if the days had not been shortened.
Acts 2-The Day of the Lord • Verse 22. Except those days should be shortened continued] The besieged themselves helped to shorten those days by their divisions and mutual slaughters; and by fatally deserting their strong holds, where they never could have been subdued, but by famine alone. So well fortified was Jerusalem, and so well provided to stand a siege, that the enemy without could not have prevailed, had it not been for the factions and seditions within. When Titus was viewing the fortifications after the taking of the city, he could not help ascribing his success to God. "We have fought," said he, "with God on our side; and it is God who pulled the Jews out of these strong holds: for what could machines or the hands of men avail against such towers as these?" War, b. 6. c. 9.
Acts 2 • Acts 2 • 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. • Those that “called on the name of the Lord” knew of the Lord Jesus Christ’s warning in Luke 21 (Matthew 24) and they fled Jerusalem before the Romans built a trench around it (Luke 19:43) and cut off all escape. • Thus the “good figs” were “saved” from the judgment on that “great and notable day of the Lord.” The “bad figs” suffered the “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)
Acts 2 • Josephus, a Jew who was an eye witness to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, writes the following: • “let him indulge my affections herein, though it be contrary to the rules for writing history; because it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were; while the authors of them were not foreigners either. This makes it impossible for me to contain my lamentations.” • Josephus, Flavius ; Whiston, William: The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1987, S. Wars 1.11-12
Acts 2 • Acts 2 • 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: • 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:… • 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. • 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 2 • God showed His approval of the Lord Jesus Christ by “miracles, wonders and signs”, but Israel was guilty of rejecting and crucifying Him. This happened according to the pre- determined plan of God, but Israel still must bear guilt and judgment for this deed. • Acts 2 • 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? • 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. • 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. • 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Acts 2 • Three thousand Jews (good figs) were “pricked in their heart”- .to pain the mind sharply, agitate it vehemently .2a esp. of the emotion of sorrow. (Strong’s Concordance ) They repented of their great sin and other sins, were baptized, and received their personal Pentecost. • What is “this untoward generation”? • This is the group of Jews who lived at the time of the crucifixion of Christ and refused to accept the Gospel. • In Matthew 12:38-45 the Lord Jesus Christ discusses this “generation.”
Acts 2 • Matthew 12 • 38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. • 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: • 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. • 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. • 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with thisgeneration, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. • 43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Acts 2 • Matthew 12 • 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. • 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. • The “evil and adulterous generation” of Jews (especially the leaders) that lived at the time of the Lord Jesus Christ wanted to see a sign. The only sign they would receive is the resurrection of the Messiah. • The men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South will “rise in judgment” on the generation then living because this generation did not repent when someone greater than Jonas and Solomon was preaching to them. • The Lord Jesus Christ then describes “this wicked generation” as a man who has an evil spirit cast out but does not replace it with anything.
Acts 2 • The evil spirit returns with seven other evil spirits and the last state of the man is worse than the first. • This is a description of Israel’s reaction to Christ. He came and cast the evil spirits out of Israel, but the majority of that generation rejected His message and the evil spirits returned and possessed Israel again. This final state was worse than the first. • Listen to how Josephus, a Jew and part of that generation, describes this “untoward generation” that the Romans destroyed in 70 AD: • “That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness that this was, from the beginning of the world.”
Acts 2 • “here I cannot but speak my mind, and what the concern I am under dictates to me, and it is this: I suppose, that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them,…for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments; for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.” • In Saint Peter’s sermon he is exhorting the Jews to save themselves from the destruction that this “untoward generation” would suffer in 70 AD. Of course Saint Peter did not know the exact date but knew the day of the Lord was “at hand.”
Acts 2 • Acts 2 • 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. • 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. • 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. • 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; • 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. • 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, • 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.