Acts 3:11–26 John Nicholas’ Sunday School study notes from 2/18/2018

We hope these notes are a supplement to your weekly consideration of our class and further your continued study in Acts.

Peter’s second Sermon

Proposed Chiastic structure -not fully vetted, however it looks like the main point of the sermon is verse 19 – Repent and turn back that your sins may be blotted out

Acts 3:11–26 (ESV)

11While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s.

  • 12And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?
    • 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
        • 14But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
          • 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
            • 16And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
              • 17“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
                • 18But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.
                  • 19Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
                • 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
              • 21whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
            • 22Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
          • 23And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
        • 24And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
      • 25You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
  • 26God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”


  • V12 – not our power raised the man
    • V13 – the same God of the prophets
      • V 14 – you denied
        • V15 – you killed
          • V16 – his name is power the man was made strong
            • V17 – your ignorance
              • V18 – the prophets foretold the suffering servant
                • V19 – repent and sins forgiven
              • V20 – the foretold one is here
            • V21 – the prophets knowledge
          • V22 –  the Lord will raise a prophet/Jesus
        • V23 – those who do not listen will be killed
      • V24 – the prophets believed and testified
    • V25 – The God of the Covenant
  • V26 – God raised His Servant (Jesus)


The particular interest of this sermon lies in the way in which it gives further teaching about the person of Jesus, describing him as God’s servant, the Holy and Righteous One, the Author of life and the prophet like Moses. This indicates that a considerable amount of thinking about Jesus, based on study of the Old Testament, was taking place.

11 ⸂Κρατοῦντος* ⸀δὲ αὐτοῦ τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰωάννην συνέδραμεν πᾶς ὁ λαὸς πρὸς αὐτοὺς⸃* ⸁ἐπὶ τῇ στοᾷ τῇ καλουμένῃ Σολομῶντος ἔκθαμβοι.

And while he was holding fast to Peter and John all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s utterly astonished

  • Don’t forget – up until a moment ago walking was unfamiliar to this man – in Acts 4 we will learn that he is approximately 40 years old the miracle came through them, hence holding on to them – amazement would be part of the lame man’s story too.
  • Hold fastkratountos – prob not for support, more likely out of thankfulness/gratitude, perhaps fear
  • The adjective Stoic (στοικος [stoikos]) is from this word στοα [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).
  • Solomon’s Colonnade was a covered portico running the entire eastern portion of the temple’s outer court.
  • 3:11 Verse 11 is transitional, linking the healing narrative in the temple with Peter’s sermon from Solomon’s Colonnade. Solomon’s Colonnade lay along the eastern wall and thus across the court of the Gentiles and some distance from the sanctuary. Although Luke did not mention any exit from the sanctuary, one has to assume that the group exited the temple by way of the beautiful gate, traversed the court of the Gentiles, and reassembled at Solomon’s portico.15 The scene was now set for Peter’s speech. The healed man was there as living evidence of the miracle, holding fast to Peter and John. The crowd likewise came running to the scene with a mixture of curiosity and awe. Peter was not about to miss this opportunity for witness.
  • All the people – the busiest time of the day at the temple, the last sacrifice Tamid.
    • Therefore many witnesses to the is miracle
    • Because the man was known amazement followed

12 ⸂ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Πέτρος ἀπεκρίνατο πρὸς τὸν λαόν⸃· ἄνδρες Ἰσραηλῖται, τί θαυμάζετε ἐπὶ τούτῳ ἢ ἡμῖν τί ἀτενίζετε ὡς* ⸆ ἰδίᾳ δυνάμει ἢ εὐσεβείᾳ ⸀πεποιηκόσιν τοῦ περιπατεῖν αὐτόν;

And (when he) it(the people running to them) Peter replied to the people, men, Israelites, why are you astonished at this, or why are you staring at us as(if) by our own power or godliness we have made him walk.

  • Kerygma – Greek term for preaching(this term is not used in this verse) Peter begins preaching here
  • Peter uses a method that Jesus used, a miracle was performed and a message was given.  It is unclear if this was intended by Peter
  • 3:12 Verses 12 and 16 go closely together. Verse 12 raises the question about the power behind the man’s healing. Verse 16 provides the answer. In between is inserted the basic kerygma of the death and resurrection of Christ and the Jewish responsibility in those events. The basic function of vv. 13–15 is to establish the Jewish guilt in rejecting Jesus. The remainder of the sermon is basically an appeal to repent and affirm Christ.
  • Notice he quickly points the credit for the healing away from he and John
  • No mention of the faith of the recipient/the lame man
  • Strictly by the power of the name of Jesus
  • Staring at us – atenizete, same word used in v4.

13 ὁ θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ καὶ ⸋[ὁ θεὸς]⸌ Ἰσαὰκ καὶ ⸋[ὁ θεὸς]⸌ Ἰακώβ,* ὁ θεὸς τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν, ἐδόξασεν τὸν παῖδα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν ὃν ὑμεῖς °μὲν παρεδώκατε ⸆ καὶ ἠρνήσασθε κατὰ πρόσωπον Πιλάτου, κρίναντος ἐκείνου ⸀ἀπολύειν·

And the God of Abraham and Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, has decided to free(him)

  • His servant Jesus (τον παιδα Ἰησουν [ton paida Iēsoun]). This phrase occurs in Isa. 42:1; 52:13 about the Messiah except the name “Jesus” which Peter adds, the first part of the quotation is from Ex. 3:6; 4:30. The LXX translated the Hebrew ebhedh [ʿeḇeḏ; עֶבֶד] by παις [pais], the servant of Jehovah being a Messianic designation. But the phrase “servant of God” (παις θεου [pais theou]) is applied also to Israel (Luke 1:54) and to David (Luke 1:69; Acts 4:25).
  • All under God’s purview
  • See the ref to Isaiah 52:13 – glorifying His servant
  • The glorified Christ was seen by the apostles, their witness is evidence of the glorification
  • It was the design of this miracle to glorify Jesus, to exhibit him in his δόξα, and to teach men to see and confess his dignity and the power of his higher life, attained through the resurrection and ascension, as well as to demonstrate that in him dwelt the fulness of vital and saving power, the gracious exercise of which was designed for the benefit of mankind.
  • The identification of Jesus as the Servant is found in 3:26, 4:27, 30. These are the only places in the New Testament where the name is applied to him, but the prophecies about the suffering of the Servant are cited or alluded to in Mark 10:45; 14:24; Luke 22:37; John 12:38; Acts 8:32f.; 1 Peter 2:22–24; and elsewhere.
  • Compare contrast pais (Greek) – servant and eved(Hebrew) servant
    • Correlations between OT prophecy and NT occurrence
    • Key in word study is not all words mean every possible meaning at all times
    • In this case servant=servant since Peter is using pais as opposed to doulos.
    • Therefore, although eved can also mean slave in this case servant is the appropriate and correct translation

14 ὑμεῖς δὲ τὸν ἅγιον καὶ δίκαιον ⸀ἠρνήσασθε καὶ ⸆ ᾐτήσασθε ἄνδρα φονέα ⸇ χαρισθῆναι ὑμῖν,*

But you denied the Holy and righteous(one) and demanded a man, a murderer, be granted to you

  • Notice the contrast, Holy righteous for man murderer
  • This is the conviction of the Sanhedrin
    • They chose unholy over holy
    • They chose unrighteous over righteous
    • They chose man’s ways over God’s ways

15 τὸν δὲ ἀρχηγὸν τῆς ζωῆς ἀπεκτείνατε ὃν ὁ θεὸς ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν, οὗ ἡμεῖς μάρτυρές ἐσμεν.*

And you killed the originator of life whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

  • More contrast – the murderer for the author of life(see  John, Colossians, 1 John)
  • The thought of salvation as life (both words represent the same Aramaic word) is found here and in 5:20; 11:18; 13:46, 48; here there is probably a deliberate antithesis with you killed.
  • חַיִּין life and/or salvation-aramaic
  • The resurrection is the glorification – v13
  • Notice the witness here.  Key to remember that the witness stands as testimony to Christ
    • Additionally this meets with the requirement of Jewish testimony – there must be at least two witnesses.  Peter is standing before them with John.  Both had seen the resurrected Christ

16 καὶ °ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ τοῦτον ⸂ὃν θεωρεῖτε καὶ οἴδατε,⸃ ἐστερέωσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,* καὶ ἡ πίστις ἡ διʼ αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ τὴν ὁλοκληρίαν ταύτην ἀπέναντι πάντων ὑμῶν.*

And on the faith of His name this man whom you see and know, (made) strong (on?) his name, and faith through him has given him (the) perfect health, this in the presence of all of you.

  • he and the other apostles were witnesses of Christ’s life, so he doth now declare that this life was manifestly proved unto the Jews by a sign or effect, because they see the cripple healed, in whom they had an excellent and evident token of the Divine power of Christ.
  • First, the miracle which resulted in a well-known man being made perfectly sound in body before the very eyes of the crowd depended on the power associated with the name of this Jesus. Second, this power became effective through faith in the name of Jesus. Such faith was possible through Jesus: the proclamation of his power made it possible for people to believe.
  • Surely Peter worked by faith. But what about the man? If he had little faith to begin with, the miracle that led him to this point—clinging as he did to the apostles (v. 11)—was already bringing about in him the greater miracle of faith in Christ, the Author of life. Perhaps this is what Luke wanted us to see by emphasizing faith alone rather than the possessor of faith.
    • Faith is not a manifestation from ourselves but a supernatural(?)898888990 intervention from God – maybe

17 Καὶ νῦν, ⸆ ἀδελφοί, ⸂οἶδα ὅτι⸃ κατὰ ἄγνοιαν ἐπράξατε ⸇ ὥσπερ καὶ οἱ ἄρχοντες ὑμῶν·

And now brothers I know that according to ignorance you acted just as also your rulers (did)

  • Highlights the sin of ignorance – which is not an excuse
  • Had they known him for who he truly was, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor 2:8). Such sins were considered by the Jews as forgivable sins and were distinguished from conscious, intentional sins, which the Old Testament describes as those done “with a high hand” (RSV). Means of atonement were available for sins of ignorance, but not for intentional, deliberate sins (cf. Num 15:27–31). Jesus himself had recognized their ignorance in crucifying him and had already prayed for their forgiveness (Luke 23:34)
  • Peter was offering the Jerusalem Jews a second chance. Once they had disowned the Christ. It was, however, a rejection in ignorance. Now they could accept Christ and be forgiven. Should they fail to do so once Peter gave them a full understanding of Christ’s true identity, it would be a wholly different matter, a deliberate, “high-handed” rejection.
  • The implication – acting in ignorance, being informed of ignorance then one has the choice to repent
  • Ie – once you have knowledge of the sin you are committing and you continue to commit it you have become culpable.  “the Mosaic law made no explicit provision for atoning for such sins.
  • that when he exhorteth unto repentance, he doth also declare that there is remission of sins prepared for them before the face of God.

18 ὁ δὲ θεός, ⸀ἃ προκατήγγειλεν διὰ στόματος πάντων τῶν προφητῶν παθεῖν τὸν χριστὸν αὐτοῦ, ἐπλήρωσεν οὕτως.

But/and God, (the things) which through (the) mouth of all the prophets would suffer, his Christ, he fulfilled in this way

  • but/and God – the way of salvation is only through/by the works of God.  Ie man cannot manifest his own salvation only God through Christ the Son provides salvation
  • Their crime, though real, was carrying out God’s purpose (2:23; John 3:16). See the same idea in Acts 17:3; 26:23. This “immense paradox” (Page) was a stumbling block to these Jews as it is yet (1 Cor. 1:23). Peter discusses the sufferings of Christ in 1 Pet. 4:13; 5:1.
  • In these passages that deal with the Jewish responsibility for Jesus’ death, it should be borne in mind that there are four mitigating emphases. One is this emphasis on ignorance. A second is that Acts nowhere contains a blanket condemnation of the Jews: only the Jerusalem Jews are given responsibility in Jesus’ death. In Paul’s speeches to the Jews of the dispersion, he never charged them with any guilt in Jesus’ crucifixion but made clear that only the Jerusalemites were responsible (cf. Acts 13:27–28; cf. Luke 13:33–34). Third, the Gentiles are shown to have shared in the culpability (“lawless men,” 2:23; Pilate, 3:13). Finally, the suffering of the Messiah was bound up with God’s own divine purposes (v. 18): God foretold it, the prophets had spoken it, and the death of Christ fulfilled it.
  • Luke is fond of the phrase all the prophets (3:24; 10:43; Luke 24:27), but we may well ask how references to the suffering of the Messiah can be found in literally all the prophets. The phrase is doubtless to be taken hyperbolically. Since the Old Testament nowhere speaks of a suffering Messiah (even the term ‘Messiah’ does not occur as a title in the Old Testament) we should probably think primarily of the teaching about the suffering of God’s Servant (Isa. 53), and also of other passages in the prophets and the Psalms which may have been taken as typological or prophetical of the sufferings of the Messiah (Jer. 11:19; Dan. 9:26; Zech. 13:7; Pss. 22, 69); this would give us material from three of the four books of the ‘latter prophets’ (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Book of the Twelve; omitting Ezekiel) and also from the Psalms.

The main point of the sermon

19 μετανοήσατε οὖν καὶ ἐπιστρέψατε εἰς τὸ ἐξαλειφθῆναι ὑμῶν τὰς ἁμαρτίας,* 

Therefore repent and turn back to blot out/wipe away your sins

  • Repent therefore (μετανοησατε οὐν [metanoēsate 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 ἐπιστρεψατε [kai epistrepsate]). Definitely turn to God in conduct as well as in mind. That your sins may be blotted out (προς το ἐξαλιφθηναι ὑμων τας ἁμαρτιας [pros to exaliphthēnai humōn tas hamartias]).
  • The image of scraping away a layer of the animal skin scroll to take away an error so it can be re-written
  • The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem “In rejecting God’s Messiah they had rejected God’s purpose for them. Accepting the Messiah would thus be a return to God. In vv. 19b–20 Peter gave the threefold result of their repentance: (1) their sins would be forgiven, (2) the “times of refreshing” would come upon them, and (3) God would send the Messiah whom he had appointed for them. The forgiveness of sins is clear enough. Throughout Acts repentance is closely connected with forgiveness; indeed it is the basis for forgiveness (cf. 2:38).”

20 ὅπως ἂν ⸀ἔλθωσιν καιροὶ ἀναψύξεως ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ἀποστείλῃ τὸν προκεχειρισμένον ὑμῖν ⸉χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν⸊,*

So that times may come of refreshing from the presence of the Lord and he may send the appointed for you, Christ Jesus

  • Jesus lives, ascended and sitting at the right hand of God the Father
  • The second result will be the coming of Jesus from heaven. He is described as ‘the Messiah foreordained for you’, i.e. for the Jews; some scholars have taken this to mean that Jesus has been foreordained to become the Messiah at the parousia, the implication being that this is a piece of primitive Christology which envisaged Jesus as becoming Messiah only in the future at the parousia. But this is a faulty understanding of the text. It states rather that the Jesus who will return at the parousia is the one who had already been ordained as the Messiah for the Jews
  • He(Peter) intended to remind his fellow Jews that the hope of Israel’s restoration should not be forgotten and, indeed, could only be fulfilled in Jesus.

21 ὃν δεῖ οὐρανὸν μὲν δέξασθαι ἄχρι χρόνων ἀποκαταστάσεως πάντων ὧν ἐλάλησεν ὁ θεὸς διὰ στόματος* ⸆ τῶν ἁγίων ⸂ἀπʼ αἰῶνος αὐτοῦ προφητῶν⸃.*

Indeed whom heaven must receive, until the time of the restoration of all things about which  God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from earliest times.

  • The verb ἀποκαθιστημι [apokathistēmi] is used by Jesus of the spiritual and moral restoration wrought by the Baptist as Elijah (Matt. 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 παλινγενεσια [palingenesia] (renewal, new birth) in Matt. 19:28 and Tit. 3:5.
  • What was true for the Jews in Solomon’s Colonnade still holds true today. Only in receiving the Christ of God by repentance and turning to him is there forgiveness, refreshing, and restoration.
  • The word ‘fulfilment’ (rsv establishment) is from the same root as the word translated ‘restore’ in 1:6; hence we should take the phrase to signify God’s perfect realization of the things that he had promised through the prophets, the chief of which was the setting up of his rule or kingdom.

22 Μωϋσῆς μὲν ⸀εἶπεν ὅτι προφήτην ὑμῖν ἀναστήσει κύριος ὁ θεὸς* ⸁ὑμῶν ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ὑμῶν ὡς ἐμέ·* αὐτοῦ ἀκούσεσθε κατὰ πάντα ὅσα ἂν1λαλήσῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς.*

Indeed Moses said, ‘the Lord God will raise up a prophet from your brothers, like me.  You will listen to everything that he says to you.’

  • Key thought – raise up as reference to the resurrection of Jesus
  • Like unto me (ὡς ἐμε [hōs eme]). As me, literally; Moses (Deut. 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 (Ex. 33:11) and he was the greatest of the prophets (Deut. 34:10).
  • Two motifs in the tradition of Deuteronomy were particularly applicable to Christ. One was the prophetic motif. A new prophet would come, a newer and greater prophet than Moses—one whom the people must hear. The second was the reference to God’s “raising up” (anistēmi) this prophet. In the original context of Deuteronomy the word simply meant to bring forth, but in application to Christ it was sure to be seen as a reference to his resurrection.

23 ἔσται δὲ πᾶσα ψυχὴ ἥτις ἐὰν μὴ ἀκούσῃ τοῦ προφήτου ἐκείνου ἐξολεθρευθήσεται ἐκ* τοῦ λαοῦ.*

And it will be (that) every soul who does not hear that prophet will be utterly destroyed from the people

  • In the present passage Peter implicitly assumes that Jesus is the prophet in question (cf. 7:37). Moses, therefore, is a prophet of the coming of Jesus, and gives his backing to the warning against disobeying Jesus.
  • Leviticus 23:29 originally dealt with those in Israel who refused to observe the Day of Atonement. They were to be “rooted out,” totally “cut off” from the community. The application to Christ means that those who do not listen to him and turn to him in repentance will no longer be a part of the people of God (v. 23b; cf. Heb 2:3).

24 καὶ πάντες δὲ οἱ προφῆται ἀπὸ Σαμουὴλ καὶ τῶν καθεξῆς ὅσοι ἐλάλησαν καὶ κατήγγειλαν τὰς ἡμέρας ταύτας.*

And all the prophets from Samuel and those who followed (him) all those who have spoken(about) and proclaimed these days.

  • The whole of the Old Testament could thus be seen to bear witness to Jesus and the setting up of the church. For all the prophets were concerned with eschatological events and not simply with what was to happen in their own time. This was the accepted understanding of the prophets in New Testament times;
  • In what sense could Samuel, in particular, few of whose utterances are in any case recorded (1 Sam. 3:19–4:1), be regarded as a prophet of Jesus? In general, it must be replied that in many prophecies there is an element of future hope which was unfulfilled at the time or only imperfectly fulfilled, and that the prophetic hope of God’s final intervention and establishment of his perfect rule was certainly not fulfilled in Old Testament times; it awaited a still-future realization. The reference to Samuel is admittedly difficult; the most that can be said is that Christians may have regarded his prophecies of David’s kingdom as finding ultimate fulfilment in the rule of the Son of David (Bruce, Book, p. 93).

25 ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ υἱοὶ τῶν προφητῶν καὶ τῆς διαθήκης ἧς ⸉διέθετο ὁ θεὸς⸊ πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ⸀ὑμῶν λέγων πρὸς Ἀβραάμ·* καὶ ἐν τῷ σπέρματί σου ⸁[ἐν]ευλογηθήσονται πᾶσαι αἱ πατριαὶ τῆς γῆς.

You are the sons of the prophets and the covenant that God ordained with your fathers saying from(to) Abraham, ‘and in the your descendents all the nations will be blessed on earth

  • The covenant which God made (της διαθηκης ἡς ὁ θεος διεθετο [tēs diathēkēs hēs ho theos dietheto]). Literally, “the covenant which God covenanted.”
  • What Peter was concerned to do was to convince his Jewish hearers that God’s covenant with Abraham was fully realized in Jesus.
  • These prophetic promises were made for the Jewish people. They were the ‘descendants of the prophets’, and therefore they could expect to see the fulfilment of the promises made to the people of Israel and to benefit from them. The point could be reinforced by the reminder that the Jews were also the heirs of the still earlier covenant which God had made with Abraham. In this covenant God had promised blessings to his descendants, but had also affirmed that through his posterity all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; Gal. 3:8).
  • In Galatians 3:16 Paul makes it clear that the ‘seed’ is to be interpreted as a singular noun, referring to Jesus: he is the descendant of Abraham through whom blessings will come to all nations. Peter had exactly the same thought in mind here.

26 ὑμῖν πρῶτον ⸉ἀναστήσας ὁ θεὸς⸊ τὸν παῖδα αὐτοῦ ἀπέστειλεν °αὐτὸν εὐλογοῦντα ὑμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἀποστρέφειν ἕκαστον ἀπὸ τῶν πονηριῶν ⸀ὑμῶν.*

First to you God had raised up his servant, sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your wickedness

  • This is brought out clearly by the way in which Peter goes on to state how God has raised up his servant to bless the audience by turning them away from their sin. The blessing bestowed in the covenant with Abraham by means of Jesus thus consists in enabling men to depart from the way of sin and thus to be fit to receive the other spiritual gifts associated with the Messiah. Raise up is probably used in the same way as in verse 22 of bringing somebody on to the stage of history; it is just possible that it means to raise from the dead (cf. 13:33f.). The little word first should not be overlooked. Here is the first explicit statement in Acts that historically the gospel came first to the Jews. But the promise in the previous verse suggests that the thought ‘and also for the Gentiles’ is implicit, and there may well be the warning that if the Jews fail to respond the Christian mission will turn to the Gentiles.
  • The Jews had the first opportunity to believe the messiah
  • Peter was primarily concerned with the Jews. The gospel was preached to them first. Soon it would reach far beyond the boundaries of Judaism “to all the peoples on earth.”
After a the priests prepare the altar (Lev 1:7; 6:1-6/8-13; Mishnah: Tamid 1:2), the first male lamb of the Tamid sacrifice is brought out and tied to the altar at dawn (Mishnah: Tamid 3:2-3:3)
The twice daily communal sacrifice of the Tamid is the focus of religious life for the covenant people (Ex 29:38-42; Num 28:4-8). It is the only sacrifice other than the Feast of Fristfruits or the Sabbath that requires a single male lamb for the liturgical service. The Sabbath requires a male lamb in addition to the Tamid lamb for each of the two Sabbath services (Num 28:9-10)
The incense is offered in the Sanctuary and the first Tamid lamb is sacrificed as the Temple gates open [Mishnah: Tamid 3:7; Edersheim, The Temple, chapter 7, p. 108]
It is the time for the communal “Shacharit” (morning) prayer service (Acts 2:15) at the start of the 3rd hour. Individual morning prayer may be recited until noon (Mishnah: Berakhot 4:1A; Acts 10:9)
The second lamb is brought out and tied to the altar at high noon. [Mishnah: Tamid 4:1]
The second Tamid lamb is given a drink from a gold cup and remains near the altar until the time of sacrifice (Ex 29:41; Mishnah: Tamid 3:4; 4:1G; Josephus, Against Apion, 2.8[105]).
Individual afternoon prayer lasts from the sixth hour (noon) to about the eleventh hour (5 PM), the length of the time from when the second lamb is tied near the altar to the conclusion of the afternoon service (Mishnah: Berakhot, 4:1C; Acts 10:9).
The second Tamid lamb is sacrificed [Antiquities of the Jews 14.4.3 (14:65); Philo Special Laws I, XXXV (169)]
3 PM is the second hour of prayer [Acts 3:1; 10:9] “Minchah” (gift-offering); also called the hour of confession.
The afternoon liturgical service is concluded with the burning of the incense (sacrifices of the two lambs is embraced by the burning of the incense, making it a single sacrifice) and the priestly benediction (Mishnah: Tamid, 6:3-7:2; Num 6:24-26).
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 1991 revised 2012 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.