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Messianic Learning 

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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

~ 11 ~

[Jerusalem MAP] 41 CE]

D. Kefa Defends His Ministry to the Gentiles (11:1-18)

1The Sh'liachimEmissaries, Apostles and the brothers[1] throughout Y'hudahJudea heard that the Goyim[GN] had also received the word of God. 2So when KefaPeter came up[2a] to Yerushalayim, those of the circumcision[2b] took issue with him. 3They said, “You went into the homes of uncircumcised men,[3a] and actually ate with them!”[3b]

4But Kefa began systematically explaining to them, 5“I was in the city of Joppa MAP] praying, and in a trance I saw a vision: some kind of container was coming down towards me, like it was a huge sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. It came all the way down to me. 6When I had looked carefully at it and considered, I saw four-footed animals[6a], wild animals, reptiles[6b], and birds of the sky. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Kefa; kill and eat!8But I said, ‘Oh no, Lord! Nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered into my mouth.’[8] 9But a voice from heaven answered me a second time, ‘What God has purified, don’t you call unclean.’ 10This happened three times, and then everything was drawn back up into heaven. 11Then immediately three men sent to me from Caesarea were standing outside the house where I was. 12The RuachSpirit told me to go with them without discriminating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered into the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, and saying, ‘Send to Joppa, and have Shim'on Kefa brought here. 14He will convey a message to you by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15Just as I began to speak, Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as he had fallen upon us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered the Lord’s words, how He used to say, ‘Yochanan immersed in water, but you will be immersed in Ruach HaKodesh.’ 17If God gave them the same gift He gave to us when we believed in the Lord Yeshua HaMashiachthe Messiah, who was I to hinder [the work of] God?”

18When they heard that, they held their peace and glorified God, saying, “Then God has granted even the GoyimGentiles repentance[18] that leads to life!”

[Antioch MAP] 41 CE]

19Meanwhiloe, those scattered by the persecution that began with Stephenos traveled as far as Phoenicia MAP], Kypros MAP], and Antioch,[19] speaking the message only to Jews.[GN] 20But some of them from Kypros and Cyrene MAP] went to Antioch and began speaking to the Hellenists[GN] also, proclaiming the Good News about the Lord Yeshua. 21The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. 22When the news about them came to the attention of the Messianic Community in Yerushalayim, they sent Bar-NabbaSon of Encouragement to Antioch. 23When he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart, 24for he was a good man, full of Ruach HaKodesh and of faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

[Tarsus MAP] 43 CE]

25Then Bar-Nabba went to Tarsus to look for Sha'ul.

[Antioch MAP] 43 CE]

E. HaDerek Spreads into Asia Minor (11:19-26)

26When he had found him, he brought him back to Antioch. For an entire year they fellowshiped with the Messianic Community[GN] there, and taught many people. The talmidim were first called “Messianic” in Antioch.[26]

F. Believers in Antioch Send Support to Impoverished Believers in Jerusalem (11:27-30)

27Now at that time some prophets came down from Yerushalayim to Antioch. 28One of them named Agabus stood up, and predicted through the Ruach that there would be a great famine sweep across the entire world. (This took place while Claudius was emperor.)[28] 29So the talmidim, according to their ability to do so, decided to send relief to the brothers who lived in Y'hudah; 30which they did by sending it with Bar-Nabba and Sha'ul to the zachenimelders.

Chapter 12

  1. The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings” or “countrymen.” [BACK]

 2a. Since Jerusalem is the capital city of the world, whenever a Jewish person, anywhere in the world, is traveling towards Jerusalem he/she is “going up”; when traveling away from Jerusalem, one is “going down.” [BACK]

2b. This is a complicated issue. Rav Sha'ul frequently uses the word “circumcision” to refer to Jews in general, and Luke traveled with him for many years. Sha'ul also uses the word to refer to Jews who put their faith in their Jewish identity instead of in God. It may also refer to prostelites, circumcised Believers who were former Goyim. See the note on Acts 10:45. Before the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15, a few years after this) it was asumed that in order for anyone not born Jewish to become part of HaDerek (the Messianic Community) one would first have to become a Prostelite through a formal “conversion” process that included circumcision. Upon “conversion” the person was considered a Jew in every way. In this context it would seem to refer to men who were part of the Messianic Community who felt that circumcision was necessary. [BACK]

 3a. “Uncircumcised” or “uncircumcision” is a Hebrew euphamism for “non-Jew” or “Gentile,” usually used as a racial slur. [BACK]

 3b. I find it interesting that newer members of any movement or organization are generally greater nitpickers than those who have been around for a while. These men who apparently were formerly Gentiles wouldn’t dream of associating with Gentiles, and rebuked Kefa for doing so. [BACK]

 6a. Lifestock, domesticated animals as contrasted with wild animals. [BACK]

 6b. Greek ἑρπετὰ (herpeta), from which we derive “herpetology,” the branch of zoology concerned with reptiles and amphibians. [BACK]

  8. See notes 14 and 15 on chapter 10. For over 1,800 years the Church has taught that the disciples and Apostles “converted to Christianity” when they came to faith in Yeshua. That’s simply not true. And it’s similar to Islam’s heretical claim that the Jewish Patriarchs and Yeshua were all Muslims.

“Jesus was not only a Palestinian, but he was the first Islamic martyr, a senior Palestinian leader said this week. … ‘The prophets were all of the same religion [Islam]… Jesus was born in this land; he lived in this land,’ he said. ‘It is known that he was born in Bethlehem… He also lived in Nazareth, moved to Jerusalem. So he was a Palestinian par excellence… We respect Jesus, we believe in him [as a Muslim prophet], just as we believe in the prophet Muhammad.’” The Jerusalem Post, “Senior Palestinian claims Jesus was an Islamic martyr.” 30 Dec. 2019. Accessed 29 April 2020.

The Sh'liachim (Emissaries, Apostles) and all of the early Messianic Jews remained faithful to Torah. This event occurred quite some time after the Resurrection and we find Kefa still adhering to the food mitzvot of Torah. Near the end of his life,  Sha'ul claimed, “I am (not I was) a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees.” (Acts 23:6). See also Acts 26:4-5.

A couple of years ago I let a friend talk me into going with them to a church service (much against my better judgement), and I was utterly dismayed when I heard the pastor say, “And good old Peter just couldn’t wait to get out of there and go grab himself a ham sandwich and a shrimp cocktail.” And yes, the rest of his message was just as blasphemous and misguided! Needless to say, I haven’t been back to any church. [BACK]

18. To repent does not mean simply to chnage one’s mind or to be sorry for what one has done. The Hebrew word שׁוּב (shuwb) means to turn back or away from evil and return to God and His Torah, to be restored to right relationship with God. [BACK]

19. Antioch was the capital of Syria, situated on the river Orontes, founded by Seleucus Nicanor in 300 BCE and named in honour of his father, Antiochus. Many Hellenistic Jews lived there. [BACK]

22. Bar-Nabba beans “son of encouragement.” [BACK]

26. In all likelihood, this was intended as derision rather than as a complement. The followers of Yeshua referred to their sect of Judaism as HaDerek (The Way). I can just imagine their detractors saying something like, “Those idiots think that carpenter was the Messiah, but he’s long dead and buried. What a bunch of Messianics!” [BACK]

28. Claudius ruled the Roman empire from 41-54 CE. [BACK]

Page originally posted on Tuesday, 28 April 2020
Minor text revisions; dates, outline, and more notes added Friday 11 June 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 16 April 2023 02:40 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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