on Acts 4 :4
The number - was about five thousand - That is, as I understand the passage, the one hundred and twenty which were converted before pentecost, the three thousand converted at pentecost, and one thousand eight hundred and eighty converted since the conversion of the three thousand; making in the whole five thousand, or ὡσει about that number: there might have been more or less; the historian does not fix the number absolutely. A goodly flock in one city, as the commencement of the Christian Church! Some think all the five thousand were converted on this day; but this is by no means likely.
on Acts 4 :4
Howbeit - But; notwithstanding.
Many of them ... - This was one of the instances, which has since been so often repeated, in which persecution is seen to have a tendency to extend and establish the faith which it was designed to destroy. It finally came to be a proverb that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church"; and there is no lesson which men have been so slow to learn as that to oppose and persecute men is the very way to confirm them in their opinions and to spread their doctrines. It was supposed here that the disciples were few; that they were without power, wealth, and influence; and that it was easy to crush them at once. But God made their persecution the means of extending, in a signal manner, the truths of the gospel and the triumphs of his word. And so in all ages it has been, and so it ever will be.
And the number ... - It seems probable that in this number of 5,000 there were included the 120 persons who are mentioned in Acts 1:15, and the 3,000 people who were converted on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:41. It does not appear probable that 5,000 would have been assembled and converted in Solomon's porch Acts 3:11 on occasion of the cure of the lame man. Luke doubtless means to say that, up to this time, the number of persons who had joined themselves to the apostles was about 5,000. On this supposition, the work of religion must have made a very rapid advance. How long this was after the day of Pentecost is not mentioned, but it is clear that it was at no very distant period; and the accession of near two thousand to the number of believers was a very striking proof of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Of the men - Of the "persons." The word "men" is often used without reference to sex, Luke 11:31; Romans 4:8; Romans 11:4.
on Acts 4 :4
4:4 The number of the men - Beside women and children, were about five thousand - So many did our Lord now feed at once with the bread from heaven!