Acts 2:2 MEANING

Acts 2:2
(2) Each aspect of the old Feast of Weeks, now known as Pentecost, or the "Fiftieth-day" Feast, presented a symbolic meaning which made it, in greater or less measure, typical of the work now about to be accomplished. It was the "feast of harvest, the feast of the firstfruits;" and so it was meet that it should witness the first great gathering of the fields that were white to harvest (Exodus 23:16). It was one on which, more than on any other, the Israelite was to remember that he had been a bondsman in the land of Egypt, and had been led forth to freedom (Deuteronomy 16:12), and on it, accordingly, they were to do no servile work (Leviticus 23:31); and it was, therefore, a fit time for the gift of the Spirit, of whom it was emphatically true that "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17), and who was to guide the Church into the truth which should make men free indeed (John 8:32). It was a day on which sacrifices of every kind were offered--burnt offerings, and sin offerings, and meat offerings, and peace offerings--and so represented the consecration of body, soul, and spirit as a spiritual sacrifice (Leviticus 23:17-20). As on the Passover the first ripe sheaf of corn was waved before Jehovah as the type of the sacrifice of Christ, of the corn of wheat which is not quickened except it die (Leviticus 23:10; John 12:24), so on Pentecost two wave-loaves of fine flour were to be offered, the type, it may be, under the light now thrown on them, of the Jewish and the Gentile Churches (Leviticus 23:17). And these loaves were to be leavened, as a witness that the process of the contact of mind with mind, which--as the prohibition of leaven in the Passover ritual bore witness--is naturally so fruitful in evil, might yet, under a higher influence, become one of unspeakable good: the new life working through the three measures of meal until the whole was leavened. (See Note on Matthew 13:33.)

(2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven. . . .--The description reminds us of the "sound of a trumpet" (Exodus 19:19; Hebrews 12:19) on Sinai, of the "great and strong wind" that rent the mountains on Horeb (1 Kings 19:11). Such a wind was now felt and heard, even as the wind, the breath, the Spirit of God, had moved upon the face of the waters, quickening them into life (Genesis 1:2).

A rushing mighty wind.--Better, a mighty breath borne onwards, so as to connect the English, as the Greek is connected, with St. Peter's words that, "holy men of old spake as they were moved (literally, borne on) by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). The Greek word for "wind" is not that commonly so translated (anemos), but one from the same root as the Greek for "Spirit" (Pnoe and Pneuma--both from Pneo, "I breathe"), and rendered "breath" in Acts 17:25. It is obviously chosen here as being better fitted than the more common word for the supernatural inbreathing of which they were conscious, and which to many must have recalled the moment when their Lord had "breathed on them, and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:22). Now, once more, they felt that light yet awful breathing which wrought every nerve to ecstasy; and it filled "the whole house," as if in token of the wide range over which the new spiritual power was to extend its working, even unto the whole Church, which is the House of God (1 Timothy 3:15), and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Verse 2. - From heaven a sound for a sound from heaven, A.V.; as of the rushing of a for as of a rushing, A.V. All the house; showing that it was in a private dwelling, not in the temple (as in Acts 3:1) that they were assembled (see Acts 2:46). Perhaps the word "church" (ὁ κυριακὸς οῖκος) derives its use from these early meetings of the disciples in a house, as distinguished from the temple (τὸ ἱερὸν).

2:1-4 We cannot forget how often, while their Master was with them there were strifes among the disciples which should be the greatest; but now all these strifes were at an end. They had prayed more together of late. Would we have the Spirit poured out upon us from on high, let us be all of one accord. And notwithstanding differences of sentiments and interests, as there were among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands his blessing. A rushing mighty wind came with great force. This was to signify the powerful influences and working of the Spirit of God upon the minds of men, and thereby upon the world. Thus the convictions of the Spirit make way for his comforts; and the rough blasts of that blessed wind, prepare the soul for its soft and gentle gales. There was an appearance of something like flaming fire, lighting on every one of them, according to John Baptist's saying concerning Christ; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul; in which, as in the fire on the altar, the spiritual sacrifices are offered up. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and more than ever under his sanctifying influences; more weaned from this world, and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven: in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they had miraculous powers for the furtherance of the gospel. They spake, not from previous though or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance.And suddenly there came a sound from heaven,.... Which is expressive of the original of the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God, which come from above, from heaven, from the Father of lights; and of the freeness of them, being unmerited; and so come suddenly, at an unawares, being unthought of, undesired, and unexpected, and so certainly undeserved; and may be a symbol of the sound of the Gospel, which from hence was to go forth into all the earth; and may likewise express the rise of that, and the freeness of the grace of God in it, and its sudden spread throughout the world:

as of a rushing mighty wind; it was not a wind, but like one; and the noise it made, was like the rushing noise of a strong and boisterous wind, that carries all before it: the Spirit of God is sometimes compared to the wind, because of the freeness of his operations; as that blows where it listeth, so he works when and where, and on whom he pleases; and also because of the power and efficacy of his grace, which is mighty and irresistible, and works with great energy upon the minds of men; and as the wind is secret and invisible, so the operations of the Spirit are in a manner secret and imperceptible unto men: this may likewise be applied to the Gospel, when it comes with the Holy Ghost, and with power; it makes its way into the heart, and throws down the strong holds of sin and Satan; there it works effectually, though secretly, and is the power of God to salvation:

and it filled all the house where they were sitting; which was the temple, or the upper room or chamber in it, where they were assembled; so in the Ethiopic confession of faith (s) it is said,

"the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles, in the upper room of Zion;

this may be a symbol of the Gospel filling the whole world,

(s) Vid. Ludolph. not. in Claud. reg. Ethiop. Confess. p. 13.

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