Acts 4:4 MEANING

Acts 4:4
(4) The number of the men was about five thousand.--Better, became, or was made up to, about five thousand. It seems probable, though not certain, that St. Luke meant this as a statement of the aggregate number of disciples, not of those who were converted on that day. As in the narrative of the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:21), women and children were not included. The number was probably ascertained, as on that occasion, by grouping those who came to baptism and to the breaking of bread by hundreds and by fifties (Mark 6:40). The connection in which the number is given makes it probable that it represents those who, under the influence of the impression made by the healing of the cripple and by St. Peter's speech, attended the meetings of the Church that evening. The coincidence of the numbers in the two narratives could scarcely fail to lead the disciples to connect the one with the other, and to feel, as they broke the bread and blessed it, that they were also giving men the true bread from heaven.

Verse 4. - But for howbeit, A.V.; that for which, A.V.; came to be for was, A.V. The number of the men; strictly, of the males (ἀνδρῶν) (Acts 5:14), but probably used here more loosely of men and women. It is not clear whether the five thousand is exclusive of or includes the three thousand converts at the Feast of Pentecost; but the grammar rather favors, the former, as there is nothing in the word ἀνδρῶν, itself to signify "disciples," or "believers," and therefore it is more naturally referred to those of whom it had just been predicated that, having heard the Word, they believed it.

4:1-4 The apostles preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. It includes all the happiness of the future state; this they preached through Jesus Christ, to be had through him only. Miserable is their case, to whom the glory of Christ's kingdom is a grief; for since the glory of that kingdom is everlasting, their grief will be everlasting also. The harmless and useful servants of Christ, like the apostles, have often been troubled for their work of faith and labour of love, when wicked men have escaped. And to this day instances are not wanting, in which reading the Scriptures, social prayer, and religious conversation meet with frowns and checks. But if we obey the precepts of Christ, he will support us.Howbeit, many of them which heard the word,.... The doctrine of the Gospel, preached by Peter and John:

believed; the report of it, and in Christ, as risen from the dead, which was the sum and substance of it: and this they did, notwithstanding the opposition made by the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducces, and the violence they used to the apostles; for though they kept their persons in hold, they could not stop the free course of the word, which ran and was glorified:

and the number of the men was about five thousand; or "was five thousand", as the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions read; that is the number, not of the hearers, but "of them that believed", was so many; and so read the Arabic and Ethiopic versions: there were so many persons converted at this time; for this number does not include the three thousand that were converted under the first sermon, but regards those who now became true believers, and were added to the church; so that there were now eight thousand persons added to it; a great increase indeed! now had Christ the dew of his youth, and now were these fishermen fishers of men indeed: that our Lord's feeding five thousand men with five barley loaves and two fishes, should have any regard to the conversion of these five thousand men, is but a conceit.

Courtesy of Open Bible