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Acts 17:26

    Acts 17:26 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And he has made of one blood all the nations of men living on all the face of the earth, ordering their times and the limits of their lands,

    Webster's Revision

    and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation;

    World English Bible

    He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and he made of one every nation of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation;

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 17:26

    Hath made of one blood - In AB, some others, with the Coptic, Ethiopic, Vulgate, Itala, Clement, and Bede, the word αἱματος, blood, is omitted. He hath made of one (meaning Adam) all nations of men; but αἱμα, blood, is often used by the best writers for race, stock, kindred: so Homer, Iliad, vi. ver. 211:

    Ταυτης τοι γενεης τε και αἱματος ευχομαι ειναι.

    I glory in being of that same race and blood.

    So Virgil, Aen. viii. ver. 142, says;

    Sic genus amborum scindit se Sanguine ab uno.

    Thus, from one stock, do both our stems divide.

    See many examples of this form in Kypke. The Athenians had a foolish notion that they were self-produced, and were the aboriginals of mankind. Lucian ridicules this opinion, Αθηναιοι φασι τους πρωτους ανθρωπους εκ της Αττικης αναφυναι, καθαπερ τα λαχανα. The Athenians say that the first men sprung up in Attica, like radishes. Luc. Philo-pseud. 3.

    To dwell on all the face of the earth - God in his wisdom produced the whole human race from one man; and, having in his providence scattered them over the face of the earth, by showing them that they sprang from one common source, has precluded all those contentious wars and bloodshed which would necessarily have taken place among the nations of the world, as each in its folly might have arrogated to itself a higher and more excellent origin than another.

    And hath determined the times before appointed - Instead of προτεταγμενους καιρους, the times before appointed, ABDE, and more than forty others, with both the Syriac, all the Arabic, the Coptic, Ethiopic, MS. Slavonian, Vulgate, and Itala, read προστεταγμενους καιρους, the appointed times. The difference between the two words is this: προτασσειν signifies to place before others; but προστασσειν is to command, decree, appoint. The προστεταγμενοι καιροι, are the constituted or decreed times; that is, the times appointed by his providence, on which the several families should go to those countries where his wisdom designed they should dwell. See Genesis 10:5-32; and see Pearce and Rosenmuller.

    And the bounds of their habitations - Every family being appointed to a particular place, that their posterity might possess it for the purposes for which infinite wisdom and goodness gave them their being, and the place of their abode. Every nation had its lot thus appointed by God, as truly as the Israelites had the land of Canaan. But the removal of the Jews from their own land shows that a people may forfeit their original inheritance, and thus the Canaanites have been supplanted by the Jews; the Jews by the Saracens; the Saracens by the Turks; the Greeks by the Romans; the Romans by the Goths and Vandals; and so of others. See the notes on Genesis 11:1-32 (note).

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 17:26

    And hath made of one blood - All the families of mankind are descended from one origin or stock. However different their complexion, features, or language, yet they are derived from a common parent. The word blood is often used to denote "race, stock, kindred." This passage affirms that all the human family are descended from the same ancestor; and that, consequently, all the variety of complexion, etc., is to be traced to some other cause than that they were originally different races created. See Genesis 1; compare Malachi 2:10. The design of the apostle in this affirmation was probably to convince the Greeks that he regarded them all as brethren; that, although he was a Jew, yet he was not enslaved to any narrow notions or prejudices in reference to other people. It follows from the truth here stated that no one nation, and no individual, can claim any pre-eminence over others in virtue of birth or blood. All are in this respect equal; and the whole human family, however they may differ in complexion, customs, and laws, are to be regarded and treated as brethren. It follows, also, that no one part of the race has a right to enslave or oppress any other part, on account of difference of complexion. No one has a right because:

    He finds his fellow guilty of a skin

    Not colored like his own; and having power

    T' enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause to

    Doom and devote him as his lawful prey.

    For to dwell ... - To cultivate and until the earth. This was the original command Genesis 1:28; and God, by his providence, has so ordered it that the descendants of one family have found their way to all lands, and have become adapted to the climate where he has placed them.

    And hath determined - Greek: ὁρίσας horisas. Having fixed, or marked out a boundary. See the notes on Romans 1:4. The word is usually applied to a field. It means here that God "marked out," or "designated in his purpose," their future abodes.

    The times before appointed - This evidently refers to the dispersion and migration of nations. And it means that God had, in his plan, fixed the times when each country should be settled, and the rise, the prosperity, and the fall of each nation. The different continents and islands have not, therefore, been settled by chance, but by a wise rule, and in accordance with God's arrangement and design.

    And the bounds of their habitation - Their limits and boundaries as a people. By customs, laws, inclinations, and habits he has fixed the boundaries of their habitations, and disposed them to dwell there. We may learn:

    (1) That the revolutions and changes of nations are under the direction of infinite wisdom;

    (2) That people should not be restless and dissatisfied with the place where God has located them;

    (3) That God has given sufficient limits to all, so that it is not needful to invade others; and,

    (4) That wars of conquest are evil.

    God has given to people their places of abode, and we have no right to disturb those abodes, or to attempt to displace them in a violent manner. This strain of remark by the apostle was also opposed to all the notions of the Epicurean philosophers, and yet so obviously true and just that they could not gainsay or resist it.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 17:26

    17:26 He hath made of one blood the whole nation of men - By this expression the apostle showed them in the most unaffected manner, that though he was a Jew, be was not enslaved to any narrow views, but looked on all mankind as his brethren: having determined the times - That it is God who gave men the earth to inhabit, Paul proves from the order of times and places, showing the highest wisdom of the Disposer, superior to all human counsels. And the bounds of their habitation - By mountains, seas, rivers, and the like.