Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 3:25

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Ye are the children of the prophets - This is the argumentum ad hominem: as ye are the children or disciples of the prophets, ye are bound to believe their predictions, and obey their precepts; and not only so, but ye are entitled to their promises. Your duty and your interest go hand in hand; and there is not a blessing contained in the covenant which was made with your fathers but belongs to you. Now, as this covenant respected the blessings of the Gospel, you must believe in Jesus Christ, in order to be put in possession of all those blessings.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Ye are the children of the prophets - Greek: “Ye are the sons of the prophets.” The meaning is, not that they were literally the “descendants” of the prophets, but that they were their “disciples,” “pupils,” “followers.” They professed to follow the prophets as their teachers and guides. Teachers among the Jews were often spoken of under the appellation of fathers, and disciples as sons, Matthew 12:27. See notes on Matthew 1:1. As they were the professed disciples of the prophets, they should listen to them. As they lived among the people to whom the prophets were sent, and to whom the promises were made, they should avail themselves of the offer of mercy, and embrace the Messiah.

And of the covenant - Ye are the sons of the covenant; that is, you are of the posterity of Abraham, with whom the covenant was made. The word “sons” was often thus used to denote those to whom any favor pertained. whether by inheritance or in any other way. Thus, Matthew 8:12, “The children (sons) of the kingdom”; John 17:12, “the son of perdition.” The word “covenant” denotes properly “a compact or agreement between equals, or those who have a right to make such a compact, and to choose or refuse the terms.” When applied to God and man, it denotes a firm promise on the part of God; a pledge to be regarded with all the sacredness of a compact, that he will do certain things on certain conditions. It is called a covenant only to designate its sacredness and the certainty of its fulfillment, not that man had any right to reject any of the terms or stipulations. As man has no such right, as he is bound to receive all that his Maker proposes, so, strictly and literally, there has been no compact or covenant between God and man. The promise to which Peter refers in the passage before us is in Genesis 22:18; Genesis 12:3.

In thy seed - Thy posterity. See Romans 4:13, Romans 4:16. This promise the apostle Paul affirms had express reference to the Messiah, Galatians 3:16. The word “seed” is used sometimes to denote an individual Genesis 4:25; and the apostle Galatians 3:16 affirms that there was special reference to Christ in the promise made to Abraham.

All the kindreds - The word translated “kindreds” πατριαὶ patriaidenotes “those who have a common father or ancestor,” and is applied to families. It is also referred to those larger communities which were descended from the same ancestor, and thus refers to nations, Ephesians 3:15. Here it evidently refers to “all nations.”

Be blessed - Be made happy.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Here is a powerful address to warn the Jews of the dreadful consequences of their unbelief, in the very words of Moses, their favourite prophet, out of pretended zeal for whom they were ready to reject Christianity, and to try to destroy it. Christ came into the world to bring a blessing with him. And he sent his Spirit to be the great blessing. Christ came to bless us, by turning us from our iniquities, and saving us from our sins. We, by nature cleave to sin; the design of Divine grace is to turn us from it, that we may not only forsake, but hate it. Let none think that they can be happy by continuing in sin, when God declares that the blessing is in being turned from all iniquity. Let none think that they understand or believe the gospel, who only seek deliverance from the punishment of sin, but do not expect happiness in being delivered from sin itself. And let none expect to be turned from their sin, except by believing in, and receiving Christ the Son of God, as their wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.