The Meaning of Acts 2:23 Explained

Acts 2:23

KJV: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

YLT: this one, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, being given out, having taken by lawless hands, having crucified -- ye did slay;

Darby: him, given up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye, by the hand of lawless men, have crucified and slain.

ASV: him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay:

Discover Acts 2:23

What does Acts 2:23 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Peter pointed out that Jesus" crucifixion had been no accident but was part of God"s eternal plan (cf. Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; Acts 13:29). Peter laid guilt for Jesus" death at the Jews" feet (cf. Acts 2:36; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:10; Acts 5:30; Acts 7:52; Acts 10:39; Acts 13:28) and on the Gentile Romans (cf. Acts 4:27; Luke 23:24-25). Note Peter"s reference to both the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man in this verse.
"God had willed the death of Jesus ( John 3:16) and the death of Judas ( Acts 1:16), but that fact did not absolve Judas from his responsibility and guilt ( Luke 22:22). He acted as a free moral agent." [1]
The ultimate cause of Jesus" death was God"s plan and foreknowledge, but the secondary cause was the antagonism of godless Jewish and Roman men. Really the sins of every human being put Jesus on the cross.

Context Summary

Acts 2:14-24 - The Outpoured Spirit
The exulting joy of these Spirit-anointed people was accounted for by some through charging them with drunkenness. Peter dismissed the charge as absurd, seeing that the day was yet young. With a readiness that the Spirit had inspired, he declared it to be a partial fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. This is that, Acts 2:16. Alas, we cannot say as much! This might be that; this shall be that-these are all that we can affirm. Shall we ever be able to say, This is that?
In the pre-Christian times the Spirit was given to mountain-top saints, but from Pentecost onward, sons and daughters, old and young, servants and hand-maidens, were to participate in His gracious influences. It is for the democracy of the Church, for the whosoevers who call on the name of the Lord, for the valleys as well as the hills.
Notice that God's determinate counsel and pre-arrangement did not take away the guilt that lay upon the murderers of the Christ. The hands that slew Him were wicked ones, Acts 2:23. But God vindicated Jesus by the Resurrection, which reversed the judgment of men and proved Him the Son of God with power, Romans 1:4. [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 2

1  The apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, and speaking various languages,
12  are admired by some, and derided by others;
14  whom Peter disproves;
37  he baptizes a great number who were converted;
41  who afterwards devoutly and charitably converse together;
43  the apostles working many miracles,
46  and God daily increasing his church

Greek Commentary for Acts 2:23

Him [τουτον]
“This one,” resumptive and emphatic object of “did crucify and slay.” [source]
Being delivered up [εκδοτον]
Verbal adjective from εκδιδωμι — ekdidōmi to give out or over. Old word, but here only in the N.T. Delivered up by Judas, Peter means. By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (τηι ωρισμενηι βουληι και προγνωσηι του τεου — tēi hōrismenēi boulēi kai prognōsēi tou theou). Instrumental case. Note both purpose (βουλη — boulē) and foreknowledge (προγνωσις — prognōsis) of God and “determined” (ωρισμενη — hōrismenē perfect passive participle, state of completion). God had willed the death of Jesus (John 3:16) and the death of Judas (Acts 1:16), but that fact did not absolve Judas from his responsibility and guilt (Luke 22:22). He acted as a free moral agent. By the hand Luke is fond of these figures (hand, face, etc.) very much like the Hebrew though the vernacular of all languages uses them. Lawless men (ανομων — anomōn). Men without law, who recognize no law for their conduct, like men in high and low stations today who defy the laws of God and man. Old word, very common in the lxx. Ye did crucify First aorist active participle of προσπηγνυμι — prospēgnumi rare compound word in Dio Cassius and here only in the N.T. One must supply τωι σταυρωι — tōi staurōi and so it means “fastened to the cross,” a graphic picture like Paul‘s “nailed to the cross” Second aorist active indicative with first aorist vowel α — a instead of ο — o as is common in the Koiné. This verb αναιρεω — anaireō to take up, is often used for kill as in Acts 12:2. Note Peter‘s boldness now under the power of the Holy Spirit. He charges the people to their faces with the death of Christ. [source]
By the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God [τηι ωρισμενηι βουληι και προγνωσηι του τεου]
Instrumental case. Note both purpose God had willed the death of Jesus (John 3:16) and the death of Judas (Acts 1:16), but that fact did not absolve Judas from his responsibility and guilt (Luke 22:22). He acted as a free moral agent. [source]
By the hand [δια χειρος]
Luke is fond of these figures (hand, face, etc.) very much like the Hebrew though the vernacular of all languages uses them. Lawless men (ανομων — anomōn). Men without law, who recognize no law for their conduct, like men in high and low stations today who defy the laws of God and man. Old word, very common in the lxx. Ye did crucify First aorist active participle of προσπηγνυμι — prospēgnumi rare compound word in Dio Cassius and here only in the N.T. One must supply τωι σταυρωι — tōi staurōi and so it means “fastened to the cross,” a graphic picture like Paul‘s “nailed to the cross” Second aorist active indicative with first aorist vowel α — a instead of ο — o as is common in the Koiné. This verb αναιρεω — anaireō to take up, is often used for kill as in Acts 12:2. Note Peter‘s boldness now under the power of the Holy Spirit. He charges the people to their faces with the death of Christ. [source]
Lawless men [ανομων]
Men without law, who recognize no law for their conduct, like men in high and low stations today who defy the laws of God and man. Old word, very common in the lxx. [source]
Ye did crucify [προσπηχαντες]
First aorist active participle of προσπηγνυμι — prospēgnumi rare compound word in Dio Cassius and here only in the N.T. One must supply τωι σταυρωι — tōi staurōi and so it means “fastened to the cross,” a graphic picture like Paul‘s “nailed to the cross” Second aorist active indicative with first aorist vowel α — a instead of ο — o as is common in the Koiné. This verb αναιρεω — anaireō to take up, is often used for kill as in Acts 12:2. Note Peter‘s boldness now under the power of the Holy Spirit. He charges the people to their faces with the death of Christ. [source]
Did slay [ανειλατε]
Second aorist active indicative with first aorist vowel α — a instead of ο — o as is common in the Koiné. This verb αναιρεω — anaireō to take up, is often used for kill as in Acts 12:2. Note Peter‘s boldness now under the power of the Holy Spirit. He charges the people to their faces with the death of Christ. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 2:23 mean?

Him by the determinate plan and foreknowledge - of God delivered up by hands lawless having crucified You put to death
τοῦτον τῇ ὡρισμένῃ βουλῇ καὶ προγνώσει τοῦ Θεοῦ ἔκδοτον διὰ χειρὸς ἀνόμων προσπήξαντες ἀνείλατε

τῇ  by  the 
Parse: Article, Dative Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ὡρισμένῃ  determinate 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Participle Middle or Passive, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: ὁρίζω  
Sense: to define.
βουλῇ  plan 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: βουλή  
Sense: counsel, purpose.
προγνώσει  foreknowledge 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: πρόγνωσις  
Sense: foreknowledge.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεοῦ  of  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
ἔκδοτον  delivered  up 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ἔκδοτος  
Sense: given over, delivered up.
χειρὸς  hands 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: χείρ  
Sense: by the help or agency of any one, by means of any one.
ἀνόμων  lawless 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: ἄνομος  
Sense: destitute of (the Mosaic) law.
προσπήξαντες  having  crucified 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: προσπήγνυμι  
Sense: to fasten.
ἀνείλατε  You  put  to  death 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: ἀναιρέω  
Sense: to take up, to lift up (from the ground).

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