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Acts 4:25

    Acts 4:25 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Who by the mouth of your servant David have said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    who by the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples imagine vain things?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Who has said, by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David your servant, Why are the nations so violently moved, and why are the thoughts of the people so foolish?

    Webster's Revision

    who by the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples imagine vain things?

    World English Bible

    who by the mouth of your servant, David, said, 'Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    who by the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples imagine vain things?

    Definitions for Acts 4:25

    Heathen - People; nations; non-Jews.
    Vain - Empty; foolish; useless.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 4:25

    By the mouth of thy servant David hast said - Several add, but impertinently, δια πνευματος ἁγιου, by the Holy Spirit; but it is sufficient that God has said it; and thugs we find that David spoke by the inspiration of God; and that the second Psalm relates to Jesus Christ, and predicts the vain attempts made by Jewish and heathen powers to suppress Christianity.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 4:25

    Who by the mouth ... - , Psalm 2:1-2. This is a strong, solemn testimony to the inspiration of David. It is a declaration of the apostles, made in solemn prayer, that God himself spake by the mouth of David. This is the second part of their prayer. In the first, they acknowledge the right of God to rule; in this, they appeal to a prophecy; they plead that this was a thing foretold; and as God had foreseen it and foretold it, they appealed to him to protect them. The times of tumult and opposition which had been foreseen, as about to attend the introduction of the gospel, had now come. They inferred, therefore, that Jesus was the Messiah; and as God had designed to establish his kingdom, they appealed to him to aid and protect them in this great work. This passage is taken from Psalm 2:1-2, and is an exact quotation from the Septuagint. This proves that the Psalm had reference to the Messiah. Thus, it was manifestly understood by the Jews; and the authority of the apostles settles the question. The Psalm was composed by David, but on what occasion is not known; nor is it material to our present purpose. It has been a matter of inquiry whether it referred to the Messiah primarily, or only in a secondary sense. Grotius supposes that it was composed by David when exposed to the hostility of the Assyrians, the Moabites, Philistines, Amalekites, etc.; and that, in the midst of his dangers, he sought consolation in the purpose of God to establish him and his kingdom. But the more probable opinion is, that it referred directly and solely to the Messiah.

    Why did the heathen - The nations which were not Jews. This refers, doubtless, to the opposition which would be made to the spread of Christianity, and not merely to the opposition made to the Messiah himself, and to the act of putting him to death.

    Rage - This word refers to the excitement and tumult of a multitude; not a settled plan, but rather the heated and disorderly conduct of a mob. It means that the progress of the gospel would encounter tumultuous opposition, and that the excited nations would rush violently to put it down and destroy it.

    And the people - The expression "the people" does not refer to a class of people different essentially from the pagan. The "pagan," Hebrew and Greek, "the nations," refer to people as organized into communities; the expression the people is used to denote the same persons without respect to their being so organized. The Hebrews were in the habit, in their poetry, of expressing the same idea essentially in parallel members of a sentence; that is, the last member of a sentence or verse expressed the same idea, with some slight variation, as the former. (See Lowth on the sacred poetry of the Hebrews.)

    Imagine - The word "imagine" does not quite express the force of the original. The Hebrew and the Greek both convey the idea of meditating, thinking, purposing. It means that they employed "thought," "plan," "purpose," in opposing the Messiah.

    Vain things - The word used here κενά kena is a literal translation of the Hebrew רק rēyq, and means usually "empty," as a vessel. which is not filled; then "useless," or what amounts to nothing, etc. Here it means that they devised a plan which turned out to be vain or ineffectual. They attempted an opposition to the Messiah which could not succeed. God would establish his kingdom in spite of their plans to oppose it. Their efforts were vain because they were not strong enough to oppose God; because he had purposed to establish the kingdom of his Son; and because he could overrule even their opposition to advance his cause.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 4:25

    4:25 Psalm 2:1.