on Acts 4 :32
The multitude of them that believed - The whole 5000, mentioned Acts 4:4, and probably many others, who had been converted by the ministry of the other apostles since that time.
Were of one heart and of one soul - Were in a state of the most perfect friendship and affection. In all the 5000 there appeared to be but one heart and one soul; so perfectly did they agree in all their views, religious opinions, and holy affections. Some MSS. add, και ουκ ην διακρισις εν αυτοις ουδεμια, and there was no kind of difference or dissension among them. This remarkable reading is found in the Codex Bezae, another of great authority, E, two others, Ambrose, Bede, Cyprian, and Zeno. Diogenes Laertius relates of Aristotle, ερωτηθεις, τι εστι φιλος; being asked, What is a Friend? εφη, μια ψυχη δυο σωμασιν ενοικουσα answered, One soul dwelling in Two bodies. This saying has been justly celebrated: but what would this wonderful philosopher have thought and said, had he seen these disciples of Jesus, and friends of mankind: one soul dwelling in 5000 bodies!
They had all things common - See the notes on Acts 2:44, where this subject is examined. See below, Acts 4:34.
on Acts 4 :32
And the multitude - The number of believers at this time had become large. In Acts 4:4, it is said that it was five thousand, and the number was constantly increasing.
One heart - This expression denotes "tender union." They felt alike, or were attached to the same things, and this preserved them from jars and dissensions.
One soul - This phrase also denotes "close and tender union." No expression could denote it more strikingly than to say of friends they have one soul. Plutarch cites an ancient verse in his life of Cato of Utica with this very expression - "Two friends, one soul" (Grotius). Thus, Diogenes Laertius also (5, Acts 1:11) says respecting Aristotle, that "being asked what was a friend, answered that it was one soul dwelling in two bodies" (Kuinoel). The Hebrews spake of two friends as being "one man." There can be no more striking demonstration of union and love than to say of more than five thousand suddenly drawn together that they had one soul! And this union they evinced in every way possible - in their conduct, in their prayers, and in their property. How different would have been the aspect of the church if the union had continued to the present time!
Neither said ... - That is, I they did not regard it as their own, but to be used for the benefit of the whole society. See the notes on Acts 2:44.
on Acts 4 :32
4:32 And the multitude of them that believed - Every individual person were of one heart and one soul - Their love, their hopes, their passions joined: and not so much as one - In so great a multitude: this was a necessary consequence of that union of heart; said that aught of the things which he had was his own - It is impossible any one should, while all were of one soul. So long as that truly Christian love continued, they could not but have all things common.