Pristine Grace

Acts 1:6-8, (GILL)
6  When they therefore were come together,.... That is, Christ, and his eleven apostles; for not the hundred and twenty disciples hereafter mentioned, nor the five hundred brethren Christ appeared to at once, are here intended, but the apostles, as appears from Ac 1:2

they asked of him, saying, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? The kingdom had been for some time taken away from the Jews, Judea was reduced to a Roman province, and was now actually under the power of a Roman governor. And the nation in general was in great expectation, that upon the Messiah's coming they should be delivered from the yoke of the Romans, and that the son of David would be king over them. The disciples of Christ had imbibed the same notions, and were in the same expectation of a temporal kingdom to be set up by their master, as is evident from Mt 20:21 and though his sufferings and death had greatly damped their spirits, and almost destroyed their hopes, see Lu 24:21 yet his resurrection from the dead, and his discoursing with them about the kingdom of God, and ordering them to wait at Jerusalem, the metropolis of that nation, for some thing extraordinary, revived their hopes, and emboldened them to put this question to him: and this general expectation of the Jews is expressed by them in the same language as here;

"the days of the Messiah will be the time when larvyl twklmh bwvtv, "the kingdom shall return", or "be restored to Israel"; and they shall return to the land of Israel, and that king shall be exceeding great, and the house of his kingdom shall be in Zion, and his name shall be magnified, and his fame shall fill the Gentiles more than King Solomon; all nations shall be at peace with him, and all lands shall serve him, because of his great righteousness, and the wonderful things which shall be done by him; and whoever rises up against him God will destroy, and he shall deliver him into his hands; and all the passages of Scripture testify of his and our prosperity with him; and there shall be no difference in anything from what it is now, only "the kingdom shall return to Israel" [i].''

[i] Maimon. in Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 11. sect. 1.

7  And he said unto them,.... To his disciples,

it is not for you to know the times or the seasons; meaning, not the times that are past from Adam to Christ; as how long the world stood; when the flood came; when Sodom and Gomorrha were burned to ashes; when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, and the law was given to them; when the kingdom of Israel began, and when the Jews were carried captive, and when they returned; when the sceptre departed from Judah, and Daniel's weeks had an end: or the particular seasons of the year, and the times for planting, ploughing, sowing, reaping, &c. but when should be the time, the day, and hour of the coming of the son of man, when he shall set up his kingdom in a more glorious manner, and the kingdoms of this world shall become his; or when the kingdom shall be restored to Israel. This, by the Jews, is said to be one of the seven things hid from men [k]:

"seven things are hid from the children of men, and these are they; the day of death, and the day of consolation, and the depth of judgment, and a man knows not what is in the heart of his neighbour, nor with what he shall be rewarded, and "when the kingdom of the house of David shall return", and when the kingdom of Persia shall fall.''

Which the Father hath put in his own power; and not in the power of a creature, no, not of the angels; see Mt 24:36 wherefore it is vain and sinful, as well as fruitless, to indulge a curious inquiry into these things, or into the times and seasons of what is future; as of the time of a man's death, of the end of the world, of the second coming of Christ; only those things should be looked into which God has revealed, and put into the power of man to know by diligent search and inquiry. Says R. Simeon [l],

"flesh and blood, (i.e. man), which knows not wyegrw wyte, "its times and its moments", (and so the Vulgate Latin renders the words here), ought to add a void space to the blessed God, who knows the times and moments.''

[k] T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 54. 2. Vid. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 65. fol. 57. 4. [l] Apud R. Sol. Jarchi in Gen. ii. 2.

8  But ye shall receive power,.... From on high, with which they were to be endured, Lu 24:49 meaning the power of the Holy Ghost, strength from him to preach the Gospel, and work miracles in confirmation of it, and courage and greatness of mind, amidst all reproaches and persecutions, to face and oppose their enemies, profess the name of Christ, abide by his truths and ordinances, make their way through all opposition and difficulties, and spread the Gospel all over the world; for intend of enjoying worldly ease, honour, wealth, and riches, they were looking for, our Lord gives them to understand that they must expect labour, service, afflictions, and trials, which would require power and strength, and which they should have:

after that the Holy Ghost shall come upon you; from above, from heaven, as he did, and sat upon them in the form of cloven tongues, and of fire; upon which they were filled with knowledge and zeal, with strength and courage, and with all gifts and abilities necessary for their work:

and ye shall be witnesses unto me; of the person of Christ, of his deity and sonship, of his incarnation, his ministry, and his miracles, of his suffering and death, of his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven. This was to be their work, and what belong to them, and not to enquire about a temporal kingdom, and the setting up of that, and the times and seasons of it; their business was to testify of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that followed, and to preach a crucified Jesus, as the only Saviour of lost sinners: and this

both in Jerusalem, the "metropolis" of the nation, and there, in the first place, where such dwelt who had been concerned in the crucifixion of Christ, many of whom were to be called by grace, and converted through their ministry:

and in all Judea; that part of the land of Israel which was distinct from Samaria and Galilee, and from beyond Jordan; where churches were to be planted, as afterwards they were; see Ac 9:31.

And in Samaria; where Christ had before forbid his disciples to go; but now their commission is enlarged, and they are sent there; and here Philip went upon the persecution raised against the church at Jerusalem, and preached Christ with great success, to the conversion of many; and hither Peter and John went to lay their hands on them, and confirm them; see Ac 8:5

and unto the uttermost part of the earth; throughout the whole world, whither the sound of the apostles, and their words went, Ro 10:18.

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