Acts 2:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 2:28, NIV: You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'

Acts 2:28, ESV: You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

Acts 2:28, KJV: Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.


Acts 2:28, NLT: You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.'

Acts 2:28, CSB: You have revealed the paths of life to me;you will fill me with gladnessin your presence.

What does Acts 2:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter is talking to a crowd of men who have come to Jerusalem from as far away as Mesopotamia and Rome to celebrate Pentecost. The men are startled to find a group of Galileans who can speak their unique dialects (Acts 2:1–13). Peter ties this phenomenon in to a prophecy given through Joel (Joel 2:28–32). The Holy Spirit has come and given God's followers the ability to prophesy. Whoever repents and turns back to God will be saved. Those who refuse will experience the horrors of the day of the Lord (Acts 2:17–21). Peter then begins to speak about Psalm 16 (Acts 2:22–27).

This is the end of Peter's quote of Psalm 16:8–11 and the endcap of the chiasm or mirrored passage. Acts 2:27 is the center of the poem: the resurrection of Jesus. Because of Jesus' resurrection, we have hope for our own (Acts 2:26, 28), and the presence of Jesus brings us joy and security (Acts 2:25–26, 28).

This is good news for Peter's audience. Some of the men present and the Jewish nation as a whole are responsible for the death of Jesus about fifty days before. But God raised Jesus from the dead, as David prophesied in Psalm 16:10. The audience knows about David's words but don't understand the application until Peter explains they apply to Jesus (Acts 2:25, 27).

Peter's audience killed David's heir and their own Messiah. But, just like Joel's words (Joel 2:32), David's words give hope. God provides the way of life. If we choose it, we too can experience the presence of God and the joy that this brings (Psalm 16:8–9). Soon, Peter will explain this path (Acts 2:37–41). Jesus came to earth to die so that we can have real life. "Life" is from the Greek root word zōē . It doesn't mean just to be alive, but to live fulfilled in body and spirit. On earth, we experience zōē by obeying and finding joy in God. In our resurrected bodies, we will embody zōē for eternity.