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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

Sections of the Apostolic Writings
The Gospels and Acts • The “Pauline” Letters • General Letters • End Times

Acts: Introductory Notes and Outline
Chapters:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14
15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28

P’yilut HaSh'liakim
The Acts of the Emissaries

~ 4 ~

C. Persecution Begins (chs 4-8)

1. The First Persecution (4:1-5:16)

[Jerusalem, Shavuot, Sunday, 20 June 28 CE*]

1As KefaPeter and YochananJohn were speaking to the people, the kohenimpriests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Tz'dukimSadducees came up to them, 2upset because they were teaching the people and proclaimed in Yeshua the resurrection of the dead.[2] 3They arrested them and kept them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening.[3] 4But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of men was about five thousand.[4]

[Monday, 21 June 28 CE*]

2. Kefa Addresses the Sanhedrin (4:5-12)

5The next morning the rulers, zekanimelders, and sofrimTorah-teachers assembled in Yerushalayim.[5] 6'AnanAnnas the Kohen HaGadolHigh Priest was there, with KayafaCaiaphas[6] Yochanan, Alexander, and all the members of the high priestly family. 7They had Kefa and Yochanan brought before them and challenged them, “By what power, or in what name, did you do this?”[7]

8Then Kefa, filled with Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and zekanim of Yisra'el, 9if we are on trial today for doing a good deed to a crippled man, to determine by what means he has been healed, 10let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Yisra'el, that by the name of Yeshua HaMashiachthe Messiah of Nazareth — Whom you crucified, but Whom God raised from the dead[10] — by Him this man stands here before you healed. 11This Yeshua is ‘the stone which you builders rejected, and which has become the cornerstone.’[11] 12There is salvation in no one else, for there no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved!”

3. Sanhedrin Prohibits Proclaiming the Gospel (4:13-22)

13Now when they saw the boldness of Kefa and Yochanan, and had perceived that they were uneducated and ignorant men,[13a] they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Yeshua.[13b] 14Seeing the man who had been healed standing there with them, they had nothing to say in response. 15But when they had ordered them to leave the council chamber, they conferred among themselves, 16saying, “What shall we do to these men? It is clear to everyone in Yerushalayim that a significant miracle has been worked through them, and we can’t deny it. 17But to keep this from spreading further among the people, let’s threaten them to not speak to anyone in this name from now on.” 18They called them back in and and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Yeshua.

19But Kefa and Yochanan answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves,[19] 20but we can’t stop talking about the things we have seen and heard.”

21After threaening them further, they let them go. They could find no way to punish them, because the people were all giving God glory for what had been done; 22for the man who had been miraculously healed was more than forty years old.

4. A Renewing of Power (4:23-31)

23After they had been released they went to their own people and reported everything that the Cohenim GadolimLeading Priests (Sanhedrin) and the zekanim had said to them. 24When their friends heard about it, together they raised their voices to God, and said, “Sovereign Lord, You made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. 25You said by Ruach HaKodesh through the mouth of Your servant, our father David,

‘Why do the nations rage,
and the peoples plot a vain thing?
26The kings of the earth take a stand,
and the rulers take council together,
against the Lord, and against His Messiah.’[26]

27“For truly, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate conspired with the GoyimGentiles (i.e., the Romans) and the people of Yisra'el against Your Holy Servant, Yeshua, Whom You anointed, 28to do the very thing that Your hand and Your will had predestined to happen. 29And now, ADONAI, consider their threats, and grant Your servants the ability to speak Your Word with complete boldness, 30while You stretch out Your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of Your Holy Servant Yeshua.” 31After they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. They were all filled with Ruach HaKodesh, and they spoke the Word of God boldly.

5. Belivers Share Among Themselves (4:32-37)

 32The multitude of Believers were of one heart and mind, and none of them claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.[32] 33With great power, the Sh'liachim gave their testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua, and abundant grace was on them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, because those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35and laid them at the feet of the Sh'liachim for distribution to anyone who had need. 36Yosef, whom the Sh'liachim called Bar-Nabba (which translates as “Son of Encouragement,” or “the Exhorter”), a LeviLevite who was a native of KyprosCyprus, 37sold a field that he had, and brought the money and laid it at the feet of the Sh'liachim.

Chapter 5


   * Dates are from The Chronological Gospels ©1969 by Michael John Rood

  2. The sect of the Sadducees were in control of the temple and the Levitical Priesthood. They rejected all things supernatural, so they rejected the idea of a bodily resurrection. They knew that they had to stop this message in its tracks because if Yeshua actually had risen from the dead it would prove that their entire theology was wrong. The words “in Yeshua” may mean the resurrection of those who are positionally “in Yeshua,” or it may mean that the resurrection is “through the instrumentality of Yeshua.” [RETURN]

  3. Under Israel’s laws, it was illegal to hold any form of court hearings after sunset, on a Feast day, or on the eve of a Feast day. Yeshua’s late-night mock trial was totally unlawful on all counts. [RETURN]

  4.  Kefa and Yochanan had no money to give the lame beggar as he had asked. But because instead of feeling bad about their lack of resources, they were faithful to use what resources HaShem had given them, a man who had never been able to walk was fully restored to perfect health, and five thousand more men (and who knows how many additional women) came to trust in the Name of Yeshua. See the global note on “name.” So in just two days the number of Messianic Believers had grown from about 120 to about 8,000. [RETURN]

  5. They assembled together to sit as Israel’s Supreme Court. [RETURN]

  6. Kayafa (Caiaphas, meaning “depression”), whose full name was Yosef Kayafa, was Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) under Tiberius. (Matthew 26:3; Matthew 26:57; John 11:49; John 18:13-14; John 18:24; John 18:28). The procurator Valerius Gratus appointed him to the position. He was son-in-law of 'Anan (Annas). [RETURN]

  7. Clearly, no human power of persuasion could either make a lame man walk or change the hearts of 8,000 men and an untold number of women in a single day. [RETURN]

10. There is no record of the Sanhedrin ever denying the resurrection of Yeshua, however, they could not admit it without admiting that He was indeed the Messiah. This would have caused them to relinquish their authority to Him. [RETURN]

11. Psalm 118:22 [RETURN]

13a. They weren’t truly “uneducated” and “ignorant” men, but they hadn’t spent numerous years under the teaching of one of the prestigeous rabbis like Gamliel, Shammai, or Hillel. These men doing the judging were graduates of their equivalent of Yale, Harvard, or MIT. Kefa and Yochanan had only gone to “community college,” and they were being ridiculed because they had spent their lives working for a living instead of doing nothing but study Torah their whole lives as the “learned” men judging them had been able to do. [RETURN]

13b. They did, however, recognize Yeshua as a credible rabbi (though certainly not a prestegious one), and were amazed that these men were so well spoken after only a year under His teaching. [RETURN]

19. Is it right to obey the clear teaching of God, or the commands of men? So then, should we obey the clear teaching of God as clearly spelled out in the Scriptures (all 66 books in their current configuration), or should be obey the takanot of the Sages as recorded in the Talmud? Yeshua clearly threw their takanot in their faces when he consistently healed people on Shabbat. This is why I personly consider myself a Messianic Karaite Jew. [Please see “Philosophy.”] What choice should you make for yourself? [RETURN]

26. Psalm 2:1-2. The Hebrew word for anointed (or Anointed One) is מָשִׁיחַ (mashiach), Messiah. [RETURN]

32. There are some who claim that this was an early attempt at communism, and that it should be the norm for the Body of Messiah. It should be noted that (a) this practice was limited to the Messianic Community in Jerusalem; (b) it was during a time of intense persecution — those who admitted to faith in Messiah very frequently lost their job or other source of income; (c) thus, it was during a time of great need. Because of the continuing persecurion, we later find the Messianic Communities in the Diaspora sending gifts to the poor Believers in Jerusalem. (e.g., Rom 15:26; 1Cor 16:1-4) [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Shabbat, 25 April 2020
Revised with additional notes and comments on Shabbat, 05 June 2021

Page last updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2022 12:52 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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