According to the flesh, he would raise up Christ - This whole clause is wanting in ACD, one of the Syriac, the Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Vulgate; and is variously entered in others. Griesbach rejects it from the text, and Professor White says of the words, "certissime delenda," they should doubtless be expunged. This is a gloss, says Schoettgen, that has crept into the text, which I prove thus:
The passage therefore, according to Bp. Pearce, should be read thus: Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath, of the fruit of his loins, to set on his throne; and foreseeing that he (God) would raise up Christ, he spake of the resurrection of Christ, etc. "In this transition, the words which Peter quotes for David's are exactly the same with what we read in the psalm above mentioned; and the circumstance of David's foreseeing that Christ was to be raised up, and was the person meant, is not represented as a part of the oath; but is only made to be Peter's assertion, that David, as a prophet, did foresee it, and meant it."
Therefore - As David was dead and buried, it was clear that he could not have referred to himself in this remarkable declaration. It followed that he must have had reference to some other one.
Being a prophet - One who foretold future events. That David was inspired is clear, 2 Samuel 23:2. Many of the prophecies relating to the Messiah are found in the Psalms of David: Psalm 22:1, compare Matthew 27:46; Luke 24:44 - Psalm 22:18, compare Matthew 27:35 - Psalm 69:21, compare Matthew 27:34, Matthew 27:48 - Psalm 69:25, compare Acts 1:20.
And knowing - Knowing by what God had said to him respecting his posterity.
Had sworn with an oath - The places which speak of God as having sworn to David are found in Psalm 89:3-4, “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish,” etc.; and Psalm 132:11, “The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it, Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon my throne”; Psalm 89:35-36. The promise to which reference is made in all these places is in 2 Samuel 7:11-16.
According to the flesh - That is, so far as the human nature of the Messiah was concerned, he would be descended from David. Expressions like these are very remarkable. If the Messiah was only a man, they would be unmeaning. They are never used in relation to a mere man; and they imply that the speaker or writer supposed that there pertained to the Messiah a nature which was not according to the flesh. See Romans 1:3-4.
He would raise up Christ - That is, the Messiah. To raise up seed, or descendants, is to give them to him. The promises made to David in all these places had immediate reference to Solomon and to his descendants. But it is clear that the New Testament writers understood them as referring also to the Messiah. And it is no less clear that the Jews understood that the Messiah was to be descended from David, Matthew 12:23; Matthew 21:9; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 22:45; Mark 11:10; John 7:42, etc. In what way these promises that were made to David were understood as applying to the Messiah, it may not be easy to determine. The fact, however, is clear. The following remarks may throw some light on the subject:
(a)The kingdom which was promised to David was to have no end; it was to be established forever. Yet his descendants died, and all other kingdoms changed.
(b)The promise likewise stood by itself; it was not made to any other of the Jewish kings; nor were similar declarations made of surrounding kingdoms and nations. It came, therefore, gradually to be applied to that future king and kingdom which was the hope of the nation; and their eyes were anxiously fixed on the long-expected Messiah.
(c)At the time that he came it had become the settled doctrine of the Jews that he was to descend from David, and that his kingdom was to be perpetual.
On this belief of the prophecy the apostles argued; and the opinions of the Jews furnished a strong point by which they could convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. Peter affirms that David was aware of this, and that he so understood the promise as referring not only to Solomon, but in a far more important sense to the Messiah. Happily we have a commentary of David himself as expressing his own views of that promise. That commentary is found particularly in Psalm 2:1-12; Psalm 16:1-11; In these Psalms there can be no doubt that David looked forward to the coming of the Messiah; and there can be as little that he regarded the promise made to him as extending to his coming and his reign.
It may be remarked that there are some important variations in the manuscripts in regard to this verse. The expression “according to the flesh” is omitted in many mss., and is now left out by Griesbach in his New Testament. It is omitted also by the ancient Syriac and Ethiopic versions, and by the Latin Vulgate.
To sit on his throne - To be his successor in his kingdom. Saul was the first of the kings of Israel. The kingdom was taken away from him and his posterity, and conferred on David and his descendants. It was determined that it should be continued in the family of David, and no more go out of his family, as it had from the family of Saul. The unique characteristic of David as king, or what distinguished him from the other kings of the earth, was that he reigned over the people of God. Israel was his chosen people, and the kingdom was over that nation. Hence, he that should reign over the people of God, though in a manner somewhat different from David, would be regarded as occupying his throne, and as being his successor. The form of the administration might be varied, but it would still retain its prime characteristic as being a reign over the people of God. In this sense the Messiah sits on the throne of David. He is his descendant and successor. He has an empire over all the friends of the Most High. And as that kingdom is destined to fill the earth, and to be eternal in the heavens, so it may be said that it is a kingdom which shall have no end. It is spiritual, but not the less real; defended not with carnal weapons, but not the less really defended; advanced not by the sword and the din of arms, but not the less really advanced against principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places; not under a visible head and earthly monarch, but not less really under the Captain of salvation and the King of kings.
In answer to the accusation of the priests Peter showed that this demonstration was in direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, wherein he foretold that such power would come upon men to fit them for a special work. “Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem,” he said, “be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: 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: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” AA 41.1
With clearness and power Peter bore witness of the death and resurrection of Christ: “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: Him ... ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.” AA 41.2
Peter did not refer to the teachings of Christ to prove his position, because he knew that the prejudice of his hearers was so great that his words on this subject would be of no effect. Instead, he spoke to them of David, who was regarded by the Jews as one of the patriarchs of their nation. “David speaketh concerning Him,” he declared: “I foresaw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did My heart rejoice, and My tongue was glad; moreover also My flesh shall rest in hope: because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.... AA 41.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on Acts 17:1-10.
After leaving Philippi, Paul and Silas made their way to Thessalonica. Here they were given the privilege of addressing large congregations in the Jewish synagogue. Their appearance bore evidence of the shameful treatment they had recently received, and necessitated an explanation of what had taken place. This they made without exalting themselves, but magnified the One who had wrought their deliverance. AA 221.1Read in context »
The Saviour is still carrying forward the same work as when He proffered the water of life to the woman of Samaria. Those who call themselves His followers may despise and shun the outcast ones; but no circumstance of birth or nationality, no condition of life, can turn away His love from the children of men. To every soul, however sinful, Jesus says, If thou hadst asked of Me, I would have given thee living water. DA 194.1
The gospel invitation is not to be narrowed down, and presented only to a select few, who, we suppose, will do us honor if they accept it. The message is to be given to all. Wherever hearts are open to receive the truth, Christ is ready to instruct them. He reveals to them the Father, and the worship acceptable to Him who reads the heart. For such He uses no parables. To them, as to the woman at the well, He says, “I that speak unto thee am He.” DA 194.2
When Jesus sat down to rest at Jacob's well, He had come from Judea, where His ministry had produced little fruit. He had been rejected by the priests and rabbis, and even the people who professed to be His disciples had failed of perceiving His divine character. He was faint and weary; yet He did not neglect the opportunity of speaking to one woman, though she was a stranger, an alien from Israel, and living in open sin. DA 194.3Read in context »
Peter showed them that this manifestation was the direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, wherein he foretold that such power would come upon men of God to fit them for a special work. SR 244.1
Peter traced back the lineage of Christ in a direct line to the honorable house of David. He did not use any of the teachings of Jesus to prove His true position, because he knew their prejudices were so great that it would be of no effect. But he referred them to David, whom the Jews regarded as a venerable patriarch of their nation. Said Peter: SR 244.2Read in context »