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Acts 2:9

    Acts 2:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Men of Parthia, Media, and Elam, and those living in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,

    Webster's Revision

    Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,

    World English Bible

    Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 2:9

    Parthians - Parthia anciently included the northern part of modern Persia: it was situated between the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf, rather to the eastward of both.

    Medes - Media was a country lying in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea; having Parthia on the east, Assyria on the south, and Mesopotamia on the west.

    Elamites - Probably inhabitants of that country now called Persia: both the Medes and Elamites were a neighboring people, dwelling beyond the Tigris.

    Mesopotamia - Now Diarbec in Asiatic Turkey; situated between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates; having Assyria on the east, Arabia Deserta with Babylonia on the south, Syria on the west, and Armenia on the north. It was called Padan-aram by the ancient Hebrews, and by the Asiatics is now called Maverannhar, i.e. the country beyond the river.

    Judea - This word has exceedingly puzzled commentators and critics; and most suspect that it is not the true reading. Bishop Pearce supposes that Ιουδαιαν is an adjective, agreeing with Μεσοποταμιαν, and translates the passage thus: the dwellers in Jewish Mesopotamia. He vindicates this translation by showing that great numbers of the Jews were settled in this country: Josephus says that the ten tribes remained in this country till his time; that "there were countless myriads of them there, and that it was impossible to know their numbers." - Μυριαδες απειροι, και αριθμῳ γνωσθηναι μη δυναμεναι. See Ant. lib. xv. c. 2, s. 2, and c. 3, s. 1; Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. 1, 2. This interpretation, however ingenious, does not comport with the present Greek text. Some imagine that Ιουδαιαν is not the original reading; and therefore they have corrected it into Syriam, Syria; Armeniam, Armenia; Ινδιαν, India; Λυδιαν, Lydia; Ιδουμαιαν, Idumea; Βιθυνιαν, Bithynia; and Κιλικιαν, Cilicia: all these stand on very slender authority, as may be seen in Griesbach; and the last is a mere conjecture of Dr. Mangey. If Judea be still considered the genuine reading, we may account for it thus: the men who were speaking were known to be Galileans; now the Galilean dialect was certainly different from that spoken in Judea - the surprise was occasioned by a Jew being able to comprehend the speech of a Galilean, without any interpreter and without difficulty; and yet it is not easy to suppose that there was such a difference between the two dialects as to render these people wholly unintelligible to each other.

    Cappadocia - Was an ancient kingdom of Asia comprehending all that country that lies between Mount Taurus and the Euxine Sea.

    Pontus - Was anciently a very powerful kingdom of Asia, originally a part of Cappadocia; bounded on the east by Colchis; on the west by the river Halys; on the north by the Black Sea; and on the south by Armenia Minor. The famous Mithridates was king of this country; and it was one of the last which the Romans were able to subjugate.

    Asia - Meaning probably Asia Minor; it was that part of Turkey in Asia now called Natolia.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 2:9

    Parthians ... - To show the surprising extent and power of this miracle, Luke enumerates the different nations that were represented then at Jerusalem. In this way the number of languages which the apostles spoke, and the extent of the miracle, can be ascertained. The enumeration of these nations begins at the east and proceeds to the west. Parthians mean those Jews or proselytes who dwelt in Parthia. This country was a part of Persia, and was situated between the Persian Gulf and the Tigris on the west, and the Indus River on the east. The term "Parthia" originally referred to a small mountainous district lying to the northeast of Media. Afterward it came to be applied to the great Parthian kingdom into which this province expanded. Parthia proper, or Ancient Parthia, lying between Asia and Hyrcania, the residence of a rude and poor tribe, and traversed by bare mountains, woods, and sandy steppes, formed a part of the great Persian monarchy. Its inhabitants were of Scythian origin. About 256 years before Christ, Arsaces rose against the Syro-Macedonian power, and commenced a new dynasty in her own person, designated by the title of Arsacidae. This was the beginning of the great Parthian empire, which extended itself in the early days of Christianity over all the provinces of what had been the Persian kingdom, having the Euphrates for its western boundary, by which it was separated from the dominions of Rome (Kitto's Encyclop.). Their empire lasted about 400 years. The Parthians were much distinguished for their manner of fighting. They usually fought on horseback, and when appearing to retreat, discharged their arrows with great execution behind them. They disputed the empire of the East with the Romans for a long time. The language spoken there was that of Persia, and in ancient writers Parthia and Persia often mean the same country.

    Medes - Inhabitants of Media. This country was situated westward and southward of the Caspian Sea, between 35 degrees and 40 degrees of north latitude. It had Persia on the south and Armenia on the west. It was about the size of Spain, and was one of the richest parts of Asia. In the Scriptures it is called Madai, Genesis 10:2. The Medes are often mentioned, frequently in connection with the Persians, with whom they were often connected under the same government, 2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 18:11; Esther 1:3, Esther 1:14, Esther 1:18-19; Jeremiah 25:25; Daniel 5:28; Daniel 6:8; Daniel 8:20; Daniel 9:1. The language spoken here was also that of Persia.

    Elamites - Elam is often mentioned in the Old Testament. The nation was descended from Elam, the son of Shem, Genesis 10:22. It is mentioned as being in alliance with Amraphel, the king of Shinar, and Arioch, king of Ellasar, and Tidal, king of nations, Genesis 14:1. Of these nations in alliance, Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, was the chief, Genesis 14:4. See also Ezra 2:7; Ezra 8:7; Nehemiah 7:12, Nehemiah 7:34; Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 22:6, etc. They are mentioned as a part of the Persian empire, and Daniel is said to have resided at Shushan, which is in the province of Elam, Daniel 8:2. The Greeks and Romans gave to this country the name of Elymais. It is now called Kusistan. It was bounded by Persia on the east, by Media on the north, by Babylonia on the west, and by the Persian Gulf on the south. The Elamites were a warlike people, and celebrated for the use of the bow, Isaiah 22:6; Jeremiah 49:35. The language of this people was of course the Persian. Its capital, Shusan, called by the Greeks Susa, was much celebrated. It is said to have been fifteen miles in circumference, and was adorned with the celebrated palace of Ahasuerus. The inhabitants still pretend to show there the tomb of the prophet Daniel.

    Mesopotamia - This name, which is Greek, signifies between the rivers; that is, the region lying between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. In Hebrew it was called Aram-Naharaim; that is, Aram, or Syria, of the two rivers. It was also called Padan Aram, the plain of Syria. In this region were situated some important places mentioned in the Bible: "Ur of the Chaldees, the birthplace of Abraham Genesis 11:27-28; Haran, where Terah stopped on his journey and died Genesis 11:31-32; Charchemish 2 Chronicles 35:20; Hena 2 Kings 19:13; Sepharvaim 2 Kings 17:24. This region, known as Mesopotamia, extended between the two rivers from their sources to Babylon on the south. It had on the north Armenia, on the west Syria, on the east Persia, and on the south Babylonia. It was an extensive, level, and fertile country. The language spoken here was probably the Syriac, with perhaps a mixture of the Chaldee.

    In Judea - This expression has greatly perplexed commentators. It has been thought difficult to see why Judea should be mentioned, as if it were a matter of surprise that they could speak in this language. Some have supposed that there is an error in the manuscripts, and have proposed to read Armenia, or India, or Lydia, or Idumea, etc. But all this has been without any authority. Others have supposed that the language of Galilee was so different from that of the other parts of Judea as to render it remarkable that they could speak that dialect. But this is an idle supposition. This is one of the many instances in which commentators have perplexed themselves to very little purpose. Luke recorded this as any other historian would have done. In running over the languages which they spoke, he enumerated this as a matter of course; not that it was remarkable simply that they should speak the language of Judea, but that they should steak so many, meaning about the same by it as if he had said they spoke every language in the world. It is as if a similar miracle were to occur at this time among an assembly of native Englishmen and foreigners. In describing it, nothing would be more natural than to say they spoke French, and German, and Spanish, and English, and Italian, etc. In this there would be nothing remarkable except that they spoke so many languages.

    Cappadocia - This was a region of Asia Minor, and was bounded on the east by the Euphrates and Armenia, on the north by Pontus, west by Phrygia and Galatia, and south by Mount Taurus, beyond which are Cilicia and Syria. The language which was spoken here is not certainly known. It was probably, however, a mixed dialect, made up of Greek and Syriac, perhaps the same as that of their neighbors, the Lycaonians, Acts 14:11. This place was formerly celebrated for iniquity, and is mentioned in Greek writers as one of the three eminently wicked places whose name began with C. The others were Crete (compare Titus 1:12) and Cilicia. After its conversion to the Christian religion, however, it produced many eminent men, among whom were Gregory Nyssen and Basil the Great. It was one of the places to which Peter directed an epistle, 1 Peter 1:1.

    In Pontus - This was another province of Asia Minor, and was situated north of Cappadocia, and was bounded west by Paphlagonia. Pontus and Cappadocia under the Romans constituted one province. This was one of the places to which the apostle Peter directed his epistle, 1 Peter 1:1. This was the birthplace of Aquila, one of the companions of Paul, Acts 18:2, Acts 18:18, Acts 18:26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19.

    And Asia - Pontus and Cappadocia, etc., were parts of Asia. But the word Asia is doubtless used here to denote the regions or provinces west of these, which are not particularly enumerated. Thus, it is used Acts 6:9; Acts 16:6; Acts 20:16. It probably embraced Mysia, Aeolis, Ionia, Caria, and Lydia. "The term probably denoted not so much a definite region as a jurisdiction, the limits of which varied from time to time, according to the plan of government which the Romans adopted for their Asiatic provinces" (Prof. Hackett, in loco). The capital of this region was Ephesus. See also 1 Peter 1:1. This region was frequently called Ionia, and was afterward the seat of the seven churches in Asia, Revelation 1:4.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 2:9

    2:9 Judea - The dialect of which greatly differed from that of Galilee. Asia - The country strictly so called.
    Book: Acts

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