on Acts 13 :15
After the reading of the law and the prophets - A certain portion of the law and another of the prophets, was read every Sabbath; and the law was so divided as to be read over once every year. In the notes at the conclusion of Deuteronomy, I have considered this subject at large, and given a complete table of the Parashoth, sections of the law, and Haphtaroth, sections of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath in the year in the Jewish synagogues. To have an exact view of every part of the Jewish ecclesiastical economy, the reader will do well to consult the above mentioned table, and those which follow it: they have been drawn up with great care, attention, and indescribable labor.
It has been a question, in what language were the law and prophets read in a synagogue of Pisidia, for in that district Strabo informs us that four languages were spoken, viz. the Pisidian, the Solyman, the Greek, and the Lydian. Dr. Lightfoot conjectures, with great probability, that the Scriptures were read in the original Hebrew; and that an interpreter tendered the reading to the people in their mother tongue. There is no doubt that the Jews and proselytes understood the Greek tongue well; and they certainly had the Septuagint version among them.
The rulers of the synagogue - These were the persons whose business it was to read the appointed sections, and to take care of the synagogue and its concerns; and to see that all was done decently and in order.
Sent unto them - Seeing them to be Jews, they wished them to give some suitable address to the people, i.e. to the Jews who were then engaged in Divine worship; for the whole of the following discourse, which greatly resembles that of St. Stephen, Acts 7:1-53, is directed to the Jews alone; and this was probably spoken either in Hebrew or Greek.
Ye men and brethren - Ανδρες αδελφοι, Men brethren, a Hebraism for, "Ye men who are our brethren," i.e. Jews, as we ourselves are; but ανδρες is often an expletive, as we have already seen. See the note on Acts 7:2.
If ye have any word of exhortation - Ει εϚι λογος εν ὑμιν παρακλησεως· If ye have any subject of consolation, any word of comfort to us, who are sojourners in this strange land, speak it. The Consolation of Israel was an epithet of the Messiah among the Jews; and it is probable that it was in reference to him that the rulers of the synagogue spoke. That παρακλησις is to be understood here as meaning consolation, and this in reference to the Messiah, the whole of the following discourse will prove to the attentive reader; in which Paul shows the care and protection of God towards his people Israel, and the abundant provision he had made for their salvation by Jesus Christ. They wished for consolation, and he declared unto them glad tidings, and many felt the power and comfort of the doctrine of the cross.
on Acts 13 :15
And after the reading of the law and the prophets - See notes on Luke 4:16.
The rulers of the synagogue - Those were persons who had the general charge of the synagogue and its service, to keep everything in order, and to direct the affairs of public worship. They designated the individuals who were to read the Law; and called on those whom they pleased to address the people, and had the power also of inflicting punishment, and of excommunicating, etc. (Schleusner), Mark 5:22, Mark 5:35-36, Mark 5:38; Luke 8:49; Luke 13:14; Acts 18:8, Acts 18:17. Seeing that Paul and Barnabas were Jews, though strangers, they sent to them, supposing it probable that they would wish to address their brethren.
Men and brethren - An affectionate manner of commencing a discourse, recognizing them as their own countrymen, and as originally of the same religion.
Say on - Greek: "speak!"
on Acts 13 :15
13:15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the chief of the synagogue sent to them - The law was read over once every year, a portion of it every Sabbath: to which was added a lesson taken out of the prophets. After this was over, any one might speak to the people, on any subject he thought convenient. Yet it was a circumstance of decency which Paul and Barnabas would hardly omit, to acquaint the rulers with their desire of doing