Acts 4:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 4:27, NIV: Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.

Acts 4:27, ESV: for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

Acts 4:27, KJV: For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

Acts 4:27, NASB: For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

Acts 4:27, NLT: 'In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed.

Acts 4:27, CSB: "For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed,

What does Acts 4:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After the Jewish ruling council arrests and releases Peter and John, the two apostles join the other church leaders in applying Psalm 2 to their situation. The nations strive against God's rule, the people try to escape God's authority to no avail, the kings assume power, and the rulers scheme—all in an attempt to break free of God's sovereignty over their lives (cf. Psalm 2:3).

Jesus' crucifixion fits this psalm perfectly. Antipas was a Tetrarch—a vassal leader of a fourth of a kingdom—who assumed the position of king or "Herod" (Luke 23:6–12). The "ruler" Pilate took council with Antipas (Luke 23:6–7, 12), the Jewish leaders (Luke 23:13–16), his wife (Matthew 27:19), and even Jesus (John 18:33–38) in an attempt to maintain control of the situation. The raging nations—called "Gentiles" in Acts—are the Roman guards who beat Jesus so viciously (John 19:1–5). The peoples of Israel are both the Sanhedrin, who machinated Jesus' execution, and the crowd whom the Sanhedrin manipulated into supporting their goal (Matthew 27:15–23).

"This city" is Jerusalem where the leadership of the church has been since Jesus' ascension (Acts 1:12). Isaiah describes Jesus as God's servant (Isaiah 42:1–4; 52:13—53:12) while Paul gives more information in Philippians 2:1–11. He says that although Jesus is God and equal to God, He submitted Himself to God's plan and "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:7).