on Acts 3 :23
on Acts 3 :23
And it shall come to pass - It shall be, or shall occur. This is not the usual word rendered "it shall come to pass." It is a word commonly expressing "futurity," but here it conveys the notion of "obligation." In this verse Peter has not quoted the passage in Deuteronomy literally, but he has given the sense.
Every soul - Every "person" or "individual." Soul is often put for the whole man by the Hebrews, Acts 7:14; Joshua 10:28.
Hear that Prophet - That is, obey his instructions. He shall have authority to declare the will of God; and he that does not obey him refuses to obey God. Compare Luke 10:16; John 13:20.
Shall be destroyed - This quotation is made according to the sense, and not literally. In the Hebrew the expression is Deuteronomy 18:19, "I will require it of him," that is, I will hold him answerable or responsible for it; I will punish him. This expression the Septuagint has rendered by "I will take vengeance on him." The idea of the passage is, therefore, that God would publish the man that would not hear the prophet, without specifying the particular way in which it should be done. The usual mode of punishing such offences was by cutting the offender off from among the people, Exodus 30:33; Exodus 12:15; Exodus 9:15; Numbers 15:31; Numbers 19:13; Leviticus 7:20-21, Leviticus 7:25, Leviticus 7:27, etc. The sense is, that he should be punished in the usual manner; that is, by excision, or by being destroyed from among the people. The word translated "shall be destroyed" means properly "to exterminate, wholly to devote to ruin," as of a wicked people, a wicked man whose life is taken, etc.
To be destroyed from among the people means, however, to be excommunicated, or to be deprived of the privileges of a people. Among the Jews this was probably the most severe punishment that could be inflicted. It involved the idea of being cut off from the privileges of sacrifice and worship in the temple and in the synagogue, etc., and of being regarded as a pagan and an outcast. The idea which Peter expressed here was, that the Jews had exposed themselves to the severest punishment in rejecting and crucifying the Lord Jesus, and that they should, therefore, repent of this great sin, and seek for mercy. The same remark is applicable still to people. The Scriptures abundantly declare the truth, that if sinners will not hear the Lord Jesus, they shall be destroyed. And it becomes each individual to inquire with honesty whether he listens to his instructions and obeys his Law, or whether he is rejecting him and following the devices and desires of his own heart. It will be a solemn day when the sinner shall be called to render a reason why he has rejected the teachings and laws of the Son of God!
on Acts 3 :23
3:23 Every soul who will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people - One cannot imagine a more masterly address than this, to warn the Jews of the dreadful consequence of their infidelity, in the very words of their favourite prophet, out of a pretended zeal for whom they rejected Christ.