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Acts 17:27

    Acts 17:27 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    So that they might make search for God, in order, if possible, to get knowledge of him and make discovery of him, though he is not far from every one of us:

    Webster's Revision

    that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:

    World English Bible

    that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:

    Definitions for Acts 17:27

    Haply - Perhaps.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 17:27

    That they should seek the Lord - This is a conclusion drawn from the preceding statement. God, who is infinitely great and self-sufficient, has manifested himself as the maker of the world, the creator, preserver, and governor of men. He has assigned them their portion, and dispensed to them their habitations, and the various blessings of his providence, to the end that they should seek him in all his works.

    Feel after him - Ψηλαφησειαν αυτον, That they might grope after him, as a person does his way who is blind or blindfolded. The Gentiles, who had not a revelation, must grope after God, as the principle of spiritual life, that they might find him to be a Spirit, and the source of all intellectual happiness; and the apostle seems to state that none need despair of finding this fountain of goodness, because he is not far from every one of us.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 17:27

    That they should seek the Lord - Greek: to seek the Lord. The design of thus placing them on the earth - of gang them their habitation among his works - was, that they should contemplate his wisdom in his works, and thus come to a knowledge of his existence and character. All nations, though living in different regions and climates, have thus the opportunity of becoming acquainted with God, Romans 1:19-20. The fact that the nations did not thus learn the character of the true God shows their great stupidity and wickedness. The design of Paul in this was doubtless to reprove the idolatry of the Athenians. The argument is this: "God has given to each nation its proper opportunity to learn his character. Idolatry, therefore, is folly and wickedness, since it is possible to find out the existence of the one God from his works."

    If haply - εἰ ἄρα γε ei ara ge. If perhaps - implying that it was possible to find God, though it might be attended with some difficulty. God has placed us here that we may make the trial, and has made it possible thus to find him.

    They might feel after him - The word used here ψηλαφήσειαν psēlaphēseian means properly "to touch, to handle" Luke 24:39; Hebrews 12:18, and then to ascertain the qualities of an object by the sense of touch. And as the sense of touch is regarded as a certain way of ascertaining the existence and qualities of an object, the word means "to search diligently, so that we may know distinctly and certainly." The word has this sense here. It means "to search diligently and accurately for God, to learn his existence and perfections." The Syriac renders it, "That they may seek for God, and find him from his creatures."

    And find him - Find the proofs of his existence. Become acquainted with his perfections and laws.

    Though he be not far ... - This seems to be stated by the apostle to show that it was possible to find him; and that even those who were without a revelation need not despair of becoming acquainted with his existence and perfections. He is near to us:

    (1) Because the proofs of his existence and power are round about us everywhere, Psalm 19:1-6.

    (2) because he fills all things in heaven and earth by his essential presence, Psalm 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23-24; Amos 9:2-4; 1 Kings 8:27. We should learn then:

    (1) To be afraid of sin. God is present with us, and sees all.

    (2) he can protect the righteous. He is always with them.

    (3) he can detect and punish the wicked. He sees all their plans and thoughts, and records all their doings.

    (4) we should seek him continually. It is the design for which he has made us; and he has given us abundant opportunities to learn his existence and perfections.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 17:27

    17:27 If haply - The way is open; God is ready to be found. But he will lay no force upon man; they might feel after him - This is in the midst between seeking and finding. Feeling being the lowest and grossest of all our senses, is fitly applied to the low knowledge of God; though he be not far from every one of us - We need not go far to seek or find him. He is very near us; in us. It is only perverse reason which thinks he is afar off.