The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 13

Paul and Barnabas are chosen to go to the Gentiles, 1-5. Of Sergius Paulus and Elymas the sorcerer, 6-12. Paul preaches at Antioch that Jesus is Christ, 13-41. The Gentiles believe, 42, 43; but the Jews gainsay and blaspheme, whereupon Paul and Barnabas turn to the Gentiles, of whom many believe, 44-49. The Jews raise a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, who go to Iconium, 50-52.

1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate Barnabas and Saul for me for the work to which I have called them." 3 And when they had fasted, prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they also had John for their minister. 6 And when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Barjesus, 7 Who was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man, who called for Barnabas and Saul and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9 Then Saul (who also is called Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, "O full of all subtlety and all mischief, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season." And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

13 Now when Paul and his company set sail from from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia and went into the synagogue on the sabbath and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men, brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, speak." 16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand, said, "Men of Israel and you who fear God, give audience. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm he brought them out of it. 18 And about the time of forty years he put up with their manners in the wilderness. 19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot. 20 And after that, he gave judges to them, about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward, they desired a king, and God gave Saul the son of Kish to them, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king, to whom also he gave testimony, and said, '"I have found David" the son of Jesse, "a man after my own heart" who shall fulfill all my will.' 23 Of this man's offspring God has, according to his promise, raised up to Israel a Savior, Jesus. 24 Before his coming, John had first preached the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, 'Who do you think that I am? I am not he. But behold, there comes one after me whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to untie.'

26 "Men, brothers, children of the stock of Abraham, and whoever among you fears God, to you the word of this salvation is sent. 27 For those who dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know him, nor yet the words of the prophets which are read every sabbath, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet they desired of Pilate that he should be put to death. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a sepulcher. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 And he was seen many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you the glad tidings, that the promise which was made to the fathers, 33 God has fulfilled the same to us their children in that he has raised up Jesus again, as it is also written in the second psalm,

'You are my Son./
This day I have begotten you.

34 And concerning that he raised him from the dead, now no longer to return to corruption, he said in this way:

'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'

35 Therefore, he also says in another psalm,

'You will not allow your Holy One to see corruption.'

36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption. 37 But he whom God raised again saw no corruption. 38 May it be known to you therefore, men, brothers, that through this man the forgiveness of sins is preached to you, 39 And by him all who believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken in the prophets,

41 '"Behold, you despisers, wonder and perish,/
for I work a work in your days,"
a work "which you will in no way believe,/
though a man declares it to you.

42 And when the Jews had gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles implored that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44 And on the next sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy and spoke against those things which were uttered by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas became bold, and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. But seeing you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For thus the Lord has commanded us, saying,

'I have set you "to be a light of the Gentiles/
so that you should bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women and the chief men of the city, raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their borders. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them and came to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 13[➚]


[v.22] - Quoting 1st Samuel 13:14; Psalm 89:20 (LXX).

[v.33] - Quoting Psalm 2:7 (LXX).

[v.34] - Quoting Isaiah 55:3 (LXX).

[v.35] - Quoting Psalm 16:10 (LXX).

[v.41] - Quoting Habakkuk 1:5 (LXX).

[v.47] - Quoting Isaiah 49:6 (LXX).