Acts 4:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 4:26, NIV: The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.'

Acts 4:26, ESV: The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

Acts 4:26, KJV: The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.


Acts 4:26, NLT: The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against his Messiah.'

Acts 4:26, CSB: The kings of the earth take their standand the rulers assemble togetheragainst the Lord and against his Messiah.

What does Acts 4:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The church leaders in Jerusalem continue their prayer, acknowledging God's sovereignty. The quote is from Psalm 2:2 and continues the passage from Acts 4:25. Although the writer of Psalm 2 must have had other kings and rulers in mind, the group praying here is thinking of Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate.

Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judea. The chief priests and other members of the Sanhedrin arrested and condemned Jesus to death, but they did not want to kill Him themselves because they didn't want the people to rebel against them (Luke 22:66–71; Mark 12:12), not to mention that they did not have the legal right to execution since they were under Roman rule. So, they brought Jesus to Pilate and accused Jesus of treason against the emperor because He claimed to be king (John 19:12). Pilate had no context since Jesus was from Galilee, on the other side of Samaria. He sent Jesus to Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, who happened to be in town for the Passover (Luke 23:6–16). Herod Antipas knew Jesus from Galilee and because of his association with John the Baptist, whom Antipas had killed (Mark 6:14–29).

The people praying in the room are well aware that they will face persecution. Jesus specifically stated that if the world hates Him, they will hate His followers (John 15:18–21). In the week before the crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, "They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake" (Luke 21:12). But He also said that this is their opportunity to fulfill His statement in Acts 1:8 (see Luke 21:13–19). The Holy Spirit will give them guidance, and they will bear witness to Jesus in front of these rulers (Matthew 10:16–20).

It is by setting themselves against God and Jesus, and arresting Jesus' followers, that the kings and rulers will hear how they can be reconciled to God. Some of them even listen (Acts 6:7).