Acts 13:45 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 13:45, NIV: "When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him."

Acts 13:45, ESV: "But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him."

Acts 13:45, KJV: "But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming."

Acts 13:45, NASB: "But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming."

Acts 13:45, NLT: "But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said."

Acts 13:45, CSB: "But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what Paul was saying, insulting him."

What does Acts 13:45 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul and Barnabas have returned to the synagogue where Paul spoke a week prior. His message covered God's gracious salvation of Israel throughout their history, including His promise that He would send an ultimate Savior through the line of David. Paul then explained how the Jewish Scriptures showed that Jesus is that Savior (Act 13:15–41). Some of the Jews and many of the God-fearing Gentiles asked Paul to return and tell them more. In the ensuing time, they tell their friends and family, and so many people come to hear Paul speak that the synagogue leadership—"the Jews"—get jealous.

In the Abrahamic covenant, God promised that He would bless the world through Abraham (Genesis 12:3). This blessing is the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior of the world. The intent was that before Jesus, Israel as a nation would faithfully follow the Mosaic law and be a "light for the nations" (Isaiah 42:6), showing the people the greatness of God. After Jesus came, they would directly share the gospel with the nations. Israel failed, and God allowed Assyria and then Babylon to take their independence, but the offer of God's salvation must go to God's people, first. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem, already rejected and murdered Jesus. With each new town, Paul and Barnabas will first go to the synagogue and offer Jesus' message to the local Jewish leadership. They will nearly all reject it.

This breaks Paul's heart. He will later write, "For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh" (Romans 9:3). But Jewish culture is communal, and even though many individual Jews accept Paul's message, if the leadership doesn't lead the people into a saving relationship with Christ, then "Jews" have rejected Him.

The leadership in Pisidian Antioch will incite Gentile city leaders to drive Paul and Barnabas out of the district. As Jesus instructed the disciples, Paul and Barnabas will shake the dust off their feet as they leave (Matthew 10:14), but the Jews and Gentiles who listen to Paul and accept his words about Jesus will receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:50–52). Paul and Barnabas will meet opposition like this—and much worse—throughout this first missionary trip. In their next stop, Iconium, the people and rulers will try to stone them (Acts 14:5). In Lystra, the antagonists from Pisidian Antioch and Iconium will follow them and rile up the locals. They will stone Paul (Acts 14:19). And yet, when Paul and Barnabas return to their home base of Syrian Antioch, they will "[declare] all that God had done for them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles" (Acts 14:27).