Acts 2:7

ESV And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
NIV Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?
NASB They were amazed and astonished, saying, 'Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
CSB They were astounded and amazed, saying, "Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?
NLT They were completely amazed. 'How can this be?' they exclaimed. 'These people are all from Galilee,
KJV And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
NKJV Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?

What does Acts 2:7 mean?

The Christ-followers in Jerusalem have just received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–4). A crowd of Jews and proselytes, in Jerusalem for Pentecost, is astounded to hear the group speaking all different languages (Acts 2:9–11). Even more amazing, to them, is that the speakers all seem to be from Galilee.

In the time of Jesus, Jews lived throughout the Roman Empire. There were major settlements in present-day Asia Minor and in Alexandria, Egypt. Judea was still considered the Jewish homeland. North of Judea was Samaria, where remnants of the Ten Northern Tribes intermarried with Gentiles the Assyrians brought in from other nations they had conquered. North of Samaria is Galilee, which was a mix of Jews and Gentiles. It's also the home territory of Jesus, who was from Nazareth, and Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew, who all lived in Capernaum when Jesus called them (Mark 1:16–21; 2:13). Nathanael was from Cana in Galilee (John 21:2). Of course, Jesus' mother and brothers were also from Nazareth. Philip was from Bethsaida, Peter and Andrew's hometown (John 1:43–44), barely outside the Galilean border on the north end of the Sea of Galilee.

It's believed that eleven of the original disciples were from Galilee or someone very near. Only Judas wasn't, as "Iscariot" may refer to Kerioth, a region in Judea. The Galilean accent was different from the Judean. The proud Judeans insisted that their language was precise whereas the Galileans' was so sloppy they couldn't even interpret the law correctly. It is this accent that gave Peter away as he was denying Jesus (Matthew 26:73).

How we speak doesn't limit the Holy Spirit. He specializes in taking those the world considers uneducated (Acts 4:13) and foolish (1 Corinthians 1:27) to reach others for Christ (Luke 12:11–12). When Moses claimed he could not be God's spokesman because he was "slow of speech" (Exodus 4:10), God responded, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak" (Exodus 4:11–12).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: