What does Acts 13:17 mean?
ESV: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.
NIV: The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country;
NASB: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it.
CSB: The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors, made the people prosper during their stay in the land of Egypt, and led them out of it with a mighty arm.
NLT: The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them multiply and grow strong during their stay in Egypt. Then with a powerful arm he led them out of their slavery.
KJV: The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
This is the only one of Paul's many synagogue sermons directly recorded in Scripture. This first of five sections recalls God's saving work in the history of Israel. Here, Paul recounts the popular story of how God saved the Israelites from slavery by leading them out of Egypt. The middle of the section will show how God acted to establish the nation and save the national identity. Finally, Paul reminds his audience of how God promised to send a Savior to sit on David's throne forever (Acts 13:16–25).
The "fathers" God chose were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's sons. Despite the brutal conditions in Egypt, the people became "great"; when they left, they had about 600,000 men and additional women and children (Exodus 12:37). The "uplifted arm" may mean God's power, but may also refer to Moses' arm which held his staff aloft to herald God's action of parting the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to cross and held it again as God allowed the waters to drown Pharaoh's army (Exodus 14:16, 21, 26–27).
Paul will go on to explain how the Jewish leadership rejected God's Savior, how God saved His Savior from the grave, and the spiritual nature of salvation, as well as warn the Jews and devout Gentiles to accept God's Savior (Acts 13:26–41). Some of the Jews and many of the Gentiles will accept the Jewish Savior, but the Jewish establishment as an organization will not (Acts 13:42–52).
Acts 13:16–41 gives the transcript of Paul's message in Pisidian Antioch. It is the only recording of Paul's many synagogue sermons. Paul's message can be broken into five parts, each identified with a call to heed Paul's words: 1. God's saving work in Israel's history and promise of a future Savior (Acts 13:16–25); 2. The Savior's story (Acts 13:26–31); 3. The prophecies of the Savior (Acts 13:32–37); 4. The nature of ''salvation'' (Acts 13:38–39); 5. A warning to accept the Savior (Acts 13:40–41). Some Jews and many Gentiles do accept the message, but the synagogue leaders drive Paul and Barnabas out of town (Acts 13:42–51).
Acts 13 transitions Luke's account (Acts 1:1) fully into a record of Paul's ministry to spread the news about Jesus. The Holy Spirit calls Paul and Barnabas for their first missionary journey. They teach about Jesus' offer of forgiveness of sins on the island of Cyprus and in the district of Pisidia in modern-day south-central Asia Minor. Along the way, they face opposition, desertion, and persecution: themes that will follow Paul throughout his life. But they also experience the joy of watching the people they'd least expect come to a saving faith in Jesus.
The first chapters of Acts, save for a quick account of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:1–31), cover the ministry of the apostles, particularly Peter. Those passages also detail the spread of the news about Jesus from His followers. That message goes to the Jews of Jerusalem (Acts 2—7) and Judea (Acts 8:26–40; 9:32–43), the Samaritans (Acts 8:4–25), and God-fearing Gentiles (Acts 10—11). Now, Paul's contribution to the ''end of the earth'' portion of Jesus' commission in Acts 1:8 begins, as he and Barnabas start their first missionary journey. Luke will record two more of Paul's journeys (Acts 15:36—18:22 and 18:23—20:38) before settling in on his return to Jerusalem, arrest, and sea voyage to Rome (Acts 21—28).
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 12/6/2023 9:26:51 PM
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