Bible Gemz 1621 - Four Key Verses to Understand (Acts 13:19-29)

All this took about 450 years. "After that, God gave them judges to rule until the time of Samuel the prophet.

Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years.

But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after My own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.'

"And it is one of King David's descendants, Jesus, who is God's promised Savior of Israel!

Before He came, John the Baptist preached that all the people of Israel needed to repent of their sins and turn to God and be baptized.

As John was finishing his ministry he asked, 'Do you think I am the Messiah? No, I am not! But He is coming soon—and I'm not even worthy to be His slave and untie the sandals on His feet.'

"Brothers—you sons of Abraham, and also you God-fearing Gentiles—this message of salvation has been sent to us!

The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the One the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned Him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets' words that are read every Sabbath.

They found no legal reason to execute Him, but they asked Pilate to have Him killed anyway.

"When they had done all that the prophecies said about Him, they took Him down from the cross and placed Him in a tomb.

(Acts 13:19-29)

At the present time I am teaching Deeper Bible 401 and will soon move on to 501 here in Auckland These two levels are set in the midst of Beth Talmud – the House of Interpetation. In class we are looking at rightly interpreting the Word of God. So it seems fitting that here in the Gemz we should be doing the same thing. In these 11 verses are four verses which need to be analyzed in order for us to interpret them correctly. Those verses are:

All this took about 450 years. "After that, God gave them judges to rule until the time of Samuel the prophet. (19)

The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the One the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned Him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets' words that are read every Sabbath. (27)

They found no legal reason to execute Him, but they asked Pilate to have Him killed anyway. (28)

"When they had done all that the prophecies said about Him, they took Him down from the cross and placed Him in a tomb. (29)

Verse 19:

All this took about 450 years. “After that, God gave them judges to rule until the time of Samuel the prophet. . . "

There is a difference here between the Eclectic text and the Western Text. The first counts the 450 years from the Patriarchs to the migration in to the Promised Land whereas the Western Text counts 450 years for the period of entry into the Promised Land to the beginning of the prophets – in other words 450 years of the Judges. In the case of the Eclectic text the inference is that it took 450 years assumedly from the issuing of the promise to Abraham to the time when they entered into the land (I.e. The fulfillment of the promise) the beginning of the Judges. This covers the 400 years of sojourn, forty years in the wilderness and the time taken to conquer the land – some estimate about 10 years. After that span of time God gave them Judges.

The Western text which also matches what Josephus records indicates that the 450 year span covered the time of the Judges. Which was it that Paul meant? Did Paul intend to highlight the period of the Judges or highlight the time between the promise made to Abraham and its fulfillment in entering into the Promised Land?

With this panoramic sweep of time Paul is also highlighting the two main periods of Jewish history – namely the time of the Judges as contrasted with the time of the Kings.

You do some thinking about it all. I will sum it up at the end of our examination of this whole segment.

Verse 27:

The people of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the One the prophets had spoken about. Instead they condemned Him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets’ words that are read every Sabbath.

Notice the translation from the NASB - "For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him.

Because they did not recognize nor understand. Did not recognize nor understand what? The TEV spells it out - "Did not know that He is the Saviour.”

There are two different verbal actions here – 1. did not know and 2. did not understand.

But also there are two different objects of the verbs – 1. That He is Saviour and 2. The words of the prophets.

I.e. They did not know Him and they did not know the what the prophets said or wrote about Him. They misunderstood the words of the Prophets and therefore they did not know Him.

Or some interpret this to mean the object of the not knowing is Him. While the object of the not understanding is the fulfilling of the words of the Prophets.

Surely if you had known what was going on your would not have ended up fulfilling the prophetic statements at all.

The strength of this last interpretation is to highlight the idea that despite having the words of the prophets read to you each Sabbath (for you read Sunday) you can still end up fulfilling those very same words and end up in the state whereby you did not know He is the Saviour, the long awaited Messiah. How could you miss that?

Verse 28:

They found no legal reason to execute Him, but they asked Pilate to have Him killed anyway.

Is this clause one of Concession or is it one of Reason? What is the strength of Paul’s statement here?

The inference here is a judicial one on the basis of having carried out an investigation. They have observed, examined the facts, weighted those facts up and reflected upon them and even though the facts point to innocence still they go ahead and condemn Him. Or on the other hand they have observed, examined the facts, weighted those facts up and reflected upon them and because of that they go ahead and condemn Him anyway.

Thus the thrust is either: despite the fact that His innocence was clear (not a single reason could be found to execute Him) nevertheless they asked Pilate to carry out the death sentence.

or: because they found no reason to execute Him, they pushed Pilate to condemn Him for sedition not blasphemy. I.e. Without having found Him guilty of any capital offense they still pushed their case demanding Pilate put Him to death. They would settle for nothing less than the death penalty.

The contrast between these two verses is telling. Take time to ponder them.

These two verses are followed by

Verse 29:

When they had done all that the prophecies said about Him, they took Him down from the cross and placed Him in a tomb.

What a staggering verse in the light of the two before it. When they had fulfilled, accomplished or carried out everything that had been written about Him, they took Him down from the cross and placed Him in a tomb. You are kidding me.

They carry out all the things written to the minute detail and still they don’t realize what they are doing. It was God Himself who had all these things recorded by the prophets and written in the Prophets and read every week by the Jews for centuries and still they dare to carry out those things to letter. Incredible. The point is that God in His foreknowledge was behind the recording of the events that would happen and God was behind the fulfilling of those same events. However those carrying them out were culpable in multiple ways. Despite the fact that their own Scriptures foretold what would happen down the smallest detail they still missed it and ended up fulfilling the prophets' statements themselves.

Oh, how scary is that. We can know the Word of God, know what it says but misunderstand just what is being said and end up carrying out the very opposite of what we are longing for.

Oh God give me wisdom to see from Your perspective and understand the full extent and importance of what you are telling me.

(For some) listening to the wife is like reading the Terms and Conditions of a website. You understand nothing but still you agree. Lisa Purba

May you never treat God’s word like the Terms and Conditions of a website. Agreeing while understanding nothing. Ian

Learn to pay attention to the fine print. Ian

But don’t put off believing (trusting in Him) until you have read the fine print. For some of you that will mean trusting Him would never happen. Ian

We can talk facts or we can talk intent or motive. The first step is separating the two. Ian

Our worst fault is our preoccupation with the faults of others and our refusal to look at our own. Ian

The man who trusts no one, is usually the man no one trusts.

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