What does Acts 2:34 mean?
ESV: For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "‘The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand,
NIV: For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, " ‘The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
NASB: For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE Lord SAID TO MY Lord, 'SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
CSB: For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand
NLT: For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
KJV: For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
NKJV: “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
Verse Commentary:
Peter is continuing his argument that David's prophecies give key identifying characteristics of the Jewish Messiah. First, Peter used Psalm 16:8–11 to show that someone David called his Lord would die and be raised again by God (Acts 2:25–28). Peter explains that this can't be David because after David died he was buried, and everyone knows where his grave is (Acts 2:29). No, the "Holy One" is Jesus, and the 120 Galileans standing before the crowd are witnesses to Jesus' resurrection (Acts 2:32).

Now, Peter goes to a passage that he'd heard Jesus use to show the Messiah, or Christ, is greater than David. It was custom at that time for Jews to refer to the Messiah as the "Son of David." God promised David that he would have an heir that would rule on David's throne forever (2 Samuel 7:16). This heir will free Israel from oppression and rule in peace (Isaiah 9:1–7). It's true that as David's descendant, the Messiah would be his biological "son"—many times removed. And Jesus is descended from David through both adoption by Joseph (Matthew 1:6–16) and by birth through Mary (Luke 3:23–32). But the scribes use the term "Son of David" to mean David's heir is somehow subordinate to David.

Jesus has already used Psalm 110:1, quoted in Acts 2:34-35 to show this is not the case (Mark 12:35–37). As Jesus explained, "David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?" (Mark 12:37). The first "Lord" is God the Father, the second "Lord" is the Messiah, the heir of David. David is submitting to his own heir.

The second line further shows David is not speaking of himself. Not only did David not rise from the dead, he certainly didn't ascend to heaven and take the seat at God's right hand. The seat to the right hand of a ruler is reserved for that ruler's most trusted advisor. The right hand represents authority and strength. David had no delusions that he belongs at the right hand of God, but, while on trial in front of the Sanhedrin, Jesus claimed He does (Luke 22:69).
Verse Context:
Acts 2:14–36 transcribes the first sermon ever given by a Christian. The Holy Spirit that Jesus promised (John 14:16–17) has come upon 120 of His followers in Jerusalem (Acts 1:15; 2:1–4). They immediately start speaking in different languages, shocking a crowd of Jews and proselytes who are in town to celebrate Pentecost (Acts 2:5–11). Some of the crowd dismiss the speech as nonsense; others are very interested (Acts 2:12–13). Peter, combining his natural enthusiasm as spokesman for the group with wisdom from the Spirit, responds by obeying Jesus and being His witness (Acts 1:8).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 2 describes the beginning of the church in three episodes. First, the Holy Spirit comes upon the Jesus-followers in Jerusalem, equipping them with the ability to teach the gospel in different languages (Acts 2:1–13). Second, Peter gives a public declaration using Old Testament prophecy to show Jesus is the long-awaited Jewish Messiah (Acts 2:14–36). Third, people believe. They repent, trust Jesus will forgive their sins, and agree to be baptized as a public sign that they are now Jesus-followers (Acts 2:37–47). That quickly, the church is born.
Chapter Context:
Acts 2 describes the creation of Jesus' church. Forty days after Jesus' resurrection He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9). One hundred and twenty disciples obeyed His command to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, 2–15). In Acts 2, they receive the Holy Spirit and share the gospel with a crowd of people who have come to celebrate Pentecost. Three thousand believe, and the church comes to life. In the following chapters, Jesus-followers fulfill Jesus' promise that they will be His witnesses ''in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth'' (Acts 1:8).
Book Summary:
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 7/24/2024 1:32:45 PM
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