on Acts 2 :30
According to the flesh, he would raise up Christ - This whole clause is wanting in ACD, one of the Syriac, the Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Vulgate; and is variously entered in others. Griesbach rejects it from the text, and Professor White says of the words, "certissime delenda," they should doubtless be expunged. This is a gloss, says Schoettgen, that has crept into the text, which I prove thus:
1. The Syriac and Vulgate, the most ancient of the versions, have not these words.
2. The passage is consistent enough and intelligible without them.
3. They are superfluous, as the mind of the apostle concerning the resurrection of Christ follows immediately in the succeeding verse.
The passage therefore, according to Bp. Pearce, should be read thus: Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath, of the fruit of his loins, to set on his throne; and foreseeing that he (God) would raise up Christ, he spake of the resurrection of Christ, etc. "In this transition, the words which Peter quotes for David's are exactly the same with what we read in the psalm above mentioned; and the circumstance of David's foreseeing that Christ was to be raised up, and was the person meant, is not represented as a part of the oath; but is only made to be Peter's assertion, that David, as a prophet, did foresee it, and meant it."
on Acts 2 :30
Therefore - As David was dead and buried, it was clear that he could not have referred to himself in this remarkable declaration. It followed that he must have had reference to some other one.
Being a prophet - One who foretold future events. That David was inspired is clear, 2 Samuel 23:2. Many of the prophecies relating to the Messiah are found in the Psalms of David: Psalm 22:1, compare Matthew 27:46; Luke 24:44 - Psalm 22:18, compare Matthew 27:35 - Psalm 69:21, compare Matthew 27:34, Matthew 27:48 - Psalm 69:25, compare Acts 1:20.
And knowing - Knowing by what God had said to him respecting his posterity.
Had sworn with an oath - The places which speak of God as having sworn to David are found in Psalm 89:3-4, "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish," etc.; and Psalm 132:11, "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it, Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon my throne"; Psalm 89:35-36. The promise to which reference is made in all these places is in 2 Samuel 7:11-16.
Of the fruit of his loins - Of his descendants. See 2 Samuel 7:12; Genesis 35:11; Genesis 46:26; 1 Kings 8:19, etc.
According to the flesh - That is, so far as the human nature of the Messiah was concerned, he would be descended from David. Expressions like these are very remarkable. If the Messiah was only a man, they would be unmeaning. They are never used in relation to a mere man; and they imply that the speaker or writer supposed that there pertained to the Messiah a nature which was not according to the flesh. See Romans 1:3-4.
He would raise up Christ - That is, the Messiah. To raise up seed, or descendants, is to give them to him. The promises made to David in all these places had immediate reference to Solomon and to his descendants. But it is clear that the New Testament writers understood them as referring also to the Messiah. And it is no less clear that the Jews understood that the Messiah was to be descended from David, Matthew 12:23; Matthew 21:9; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 22:45; Mark 11:10; John 7:42, etc. In what way these promises that were made to David were understood as applying to the Messiah, it may not be easy to determine. The fact, however, is clear. The following remarks may throw some light on the subject:
(a) The kingdom which was promised to David was to have no end; it was to be established forever. Yet his descendants died, and all other kingdoms changed.
(b) The promise likewise stood by itself; it was not made to any other of the Jewish kings; nor were similar declarations made of surrounding kingdoms and nations. It came, therefore, gradually to be applied to that future king and kingdom which was the hope of the nation; and their eyes were anxiously fixed on the long-expected Messiah.
(c) At the time that he came it had become the settled doctrine of the Jews that he was to descend from David, and that his kingdom was to be perpetual.
On this belief of the prophecy the apostles argued; and the opinions of the Jews furnished a strong point by which they could convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. Peter affirms that David was aware of this, and that he so understood the promise as referring not only to Solomon, but in a far more important sense to the Messiah. Happily we have a commentary of David himself as expressing his own views of that promise. That commentary is found particularly in Psalm 2:1-12; Psalm 22; Psalm 69; and Psalm 16:1-11; In these Psalms there can be no doubt that David looked forward to the coming of the Messiah; and there can be as little that he regarded the promise made to him as extending to his coming and his reign.
It may be remarked that there are some important variations in the manuscripts in regard to this verse. The expression "according to the flesh" is omitted in many mss., and is now left out by Griesbach in his New Testament. It is omitted also by the ancient Syriac and Ethiopic versions, and by the Latin Vulgate.
To sit on his throne - To be his successor in his kingdom. Saul was the first of the kings of Israel. The kingdom was taken away from him and his posterity, and conferred on David and his descendants. It was determined that it should be continued in the family of David, and no more go out of his family, as it had from the family of Saul. The unique characteristic of David as king, or what distinguished him from the other kings of the earth, was that he reigned over the people of God. Israel was his chosen people, and the kingdom was over that nation. Hence, he that should reign over the people of God, though in a manner somewhat different from David, would be regarded as occupying his throne, and as being his successor. The form of the administration might be varied, but it would still retain its prime characteristic as being a reign over the people of God. In this sense the Messiah sits on the throne of David. He is his descendant and successor. He has an empire over all the friends of the Most High. And as that kingdom is destined to fill the earth, and to be eternal in the heavens, so it may be said that it is a kingdom which shall have no end. It is spiritual, but not the less real; defended not with carnal weapons, but not the less really defended; advanced not by the sword and the din of arms, but not the less really advanced against principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places; not under a visible head and earthly monarch, but not less really under the Captain of salvation and the King of kings.
on Acts 2 :30
2:30 Psalm 89:4, and c.