on Acts 2 :6
When this was noised abroad - If we suppose that there was a considerable peal of thunder, which followed the escape of a vast quantity of electric fluid, and produced the mighty rushing wind already noticed on Acts 2:2, then the whole city must have been alarmed; and, as various circumstances might direct their attention to the temple, having flocked thither they were farther astonished and confounded to hear the disciples of Christ addressing the mixed multitude in the languages of the different countries from which these people had come.
Every man heard them speak in his own language - Use may naturally suppose that, as soon as any person presented himself to one of these disciples, he, the disciple, was immediately enabled to address him in his own language, however various this had been from the Jewish or Galilean dialects. If a Roman presented himself, the disciple was immediately enabled to address him in Latin - if a Grecian, in Greek - an Arab, in Arabic, and so of the rest.
on Acts 2 :6
When this was noised abroad - When the rumor of this remarkable transaction was spread, as it naturally would be.
Were confounded - συνεχύθη sunechuthē̄. The word used here means literally "to pour together," hence, "to confound, confuse." It is used:
(a) of an assembly or multitude thrown into confusion, Acts 21:27;
(b) of the mind as perplexed or confounded, as in disputation, Acts 9:22; and,
(c) of persons in amazement or consternation, as in this place. They did not understand this; they could not account for it.
Every man heard them speak ... - Though the multitude spoke different tongues, yet they now heard Galileans use the language which they had learned in foreign nations. "His own language." His own dialect - διαλέκτῳ dialektō. His own idiom, whether it was a foreign language, or whether it was a modification of the Hebrew. The word may mean either; but it is probable that the foreign Jews would greatly modify the Hebrew, or conform almost entirely to the language spoken in the country where they lived. We may remark here that this effect of the descent of the Holy Spirit was not special to that time. A work of grace on the hearts of people in a revival of religion will always "be noised abroad." A multitude will come together, and God often, as he did here, makes use of this motive to bring them under the influence of religion. Curiosity was the motive here, and it was the occasion of their being brought under the power of truth, and of their conversion. In thousands of cases this has occurred since. The effect of what they saw was to confound them, to astonish them, and to throw them into deep perplexity. They made no complaint at first of the irregularity of what was done, but were all amazed and overwhelmed. So the effect of a revival of religion is often to convince the multitude that it is indeed a work of the Holy One; to amaze them by the display of his power; and to silence opposition and cavil by the manifest presence and the power of God. A few afterward began to cavil Acts 2:13, as some will always do in a revival; but the mass were convinced, as will be the case always, that this was a mighty display of the power of God.
on Acts 2 :6
2:6 The multitude came together, and were confounded - The motions of their minds were swift and various.