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Acts 1:9

    Acts 1:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And when he had said these things, while they were looking, he was taken up, and went from their view into a cloud.

    Webster's Revision

    And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

    World English Bible

    When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 1:9

    He was taken up - He was speaking face to face with them, and while they beheld he was taken up; he began to ascend to heaven, and they continued to look after him till a cloud received him out of their sight - till he had ascended above the region of the clouds, by the density of which all farther distinct vision was prevented. These circumstances are very remarkable, and should be carefully noted. They render insupportable the theory that states, "that our Lord did not ascend to heaven; that his being taken up signifies his going into some mountain, the top of which was covered with clouds, or thick vapours; and that the two men in white garments were two priests, or Levites, who simply informed the disciples of his revisiting them again at some future time." One would suppose that an opinion of this kind could hardly ever obtain credit among people professing Christianity; and yet it is espoused by some men of considerable learning and ingenuity. But the mere letter of the text will be ever sufficient for its total confutation. He that believes the text cannot receive such a miserable comment. Foreign critics and divines take a most sinful latitude on subjects of this kind.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 1:9

    While they beheld - While they saw him. It was of importance to state that circumstance, and to state it distinctly. It is not affirmed in the New Testament that they "saw him rise" from the dead, because the evidence of that fact could be better established by their seeing him after he was risen. But the truth of his "ascension to heaven" could not be confirmed in that manner. Hence, it was so arranged that he should ascend in open day, and in the presence of his apostles; and that not when they were asleep, or were inattentive to what was occurring, but when they were engaged in a conversation that' would fix the attention, and even when they were looking upon him. Had Jesus vanished secretly, or had he disappeared in the night, the apostles would have been amazed and confounded; perhaps they would even have doubted whether they had not been deceived. But when they saw him leave them in this manner, they could not doubt that he had ascended to heaven, and that God approved his work, and would carry it forward. This event was exceedingly important:

    (1) It was a confirmation of the truth of the Christian religion.

    (2) it enabled the apostles to state distinctly where the Lord Jesus was, and at once directed their affections and their thoughts away from the earth, and opened their eyes on the glory of the scheme of religion they were to establish. If their Saviour was in heaven, it settled the question about the nature of his kingdom. It was clear that it was not designed to be a temporal kingdom. The reasons why it was proper that the Lord Jesus should ascend to heaven rather than remain on earth were:

    (1) That he had "finished" the work which God gave him to do "on the earth" John 17:4; John 19:30, and it was proper that he should be received back to the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, John 17:4-5; Philippians 2:6, Philippians 2:9-10.

    (2) it was proper that he should ascend in order that the Holy Spirit might come down and perform his part of the work of redemption. Jesus, by his personal ministry, as a man, could be but in one place; the Holy Spirit could be in all places, and could apply the work to all people. See note on John 16:7.

    (3) a part of the work of Christ was yet to be performed in heaven. That was the work of intercession. The high priest of the Jews not only made an atonement, but also presented the blood of sacrifice before the mercy-seat, as the priest of the people, Leviticus 16:11-14. This was done to typify the entrance of the great high priest of our profession into the heavens, Hebrews 9:7-8, Hebrews 9:11-12. The work which he performs there is the work of intercession, Hebrews 7:25. This is properly the work which an advocate performs in a court for his client. As applicable to Christ, the meaning is, that he, as our great high priest, still manages our cause in heaven; secures our interests; obtains for us grace and mercy. His work, in this respect, consists in his appearing in the presence of God for us Hebrews 9:24; in his presenting the merits of his blood Hebrews 9:12, Hebrews 9:14; and in securing the continuance of the mercy which has been bestowed on us, and which is still needful for our welfare. The Lord Jesus also ascended that he might assume and exercise the office of King in the immediate seat of power. All worlds were made subject to him for the welfare of the church; and it was needful that he should be solemnly invested with that power in the presence of God as the reward of his earthly toils. 1 Corinthians 15:25, "he must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet." Compare Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:6-11.

    A cloud received him - He entered into the region of the clouds, and was hid from their view. But two others of our race have been taken bodily from earth to heaven. Enoch was transported (Genesis 5:24; compare Hebrews 11:5); and Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind, 2 Kings 2:11. It is remarkable that when the return of the Saviour is mentioned, it is uniformly said that he will return in the clouds, Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Mark 13:26; Revelation 1:7; Daniel 7:13. The clouds are an emblem of sublimity and grandeur, and perhaps this is all that is intended by these expressions, Deuteronomy 4:11; 2 Samuel 22:12; Psalm 97:2; Psalm 104:3.
    Book: Acts