Acts 2:1-13 – God’s Holy Spirit Sent From Heaven – Check The Numbers – Michael W. Smith

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Acts 2:1-13 – God’s Holy Spirit Sent From Heaven – Check The Numbers


The year was 1491 B.C. God instructed the Jews, while they were in the Egyptian desert, that there were three major feasts in which all males of Israel were required to observe. Those feasts were: “Unleavened Bread; Pentecost (Harvest or Weeks); and Tabernacles (Booths or Ingathering).”The future location where those feasts would be observed would the temple in Jerusalem. (Exodus 23:14-10; Leviticus Chapter 23, and Deuteronomy 16:1-16) (MacArthur Study Bible Chart Leviticus 23).

In 722 B.C., the Jews of Samaria, (the northern kingdom) were captured and taken away by Assyria’s King Shalmaneser to exile in Assyria (2 Kings 17:6, Ryrie Study Bible). As a recognizable group, the Jews of Samaria never returned to their homeland. From 597 B.C. to 586 B.C., through three deportations, the Jews in Judah (the southern kingdom) were taken captive to Babylon by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:1-11, 21; 2 Chronicles 36:1-21) The Jews from Judah were kept in exile for 70 years (2 Chronicles 36:21; Ezra 3:8) (Ryrie Study Bible). Ezekiel 36:24-28 tells us that dispersed Jews who are still living around the world at the time of the end of the tribulation, who are known as “true Israel,” will be spiritually transported back to their homeland. (Matthew 24:29-31, ‘Israel is the elect.’ Deuteronomy 7:6; Romans 2:28-29; 6:6-7)

In Acts 2:5-11, per Exodus 23:16, Leviticus 23, and Deuteronomy 16:10,16, local Jews, and Jews from all of the dispersed lands had returned to Jerusalem for the observance of the Feast Of Pentecost, also known as the feast of Harvest and Weeks (Ryrie Study Bible). Even during the diaspora, dispersed Jews would return to Jerusalem to celebrate the three designated feasts (Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Tabernacles). The miracle of Pentecost is shown in Acts 2:11, “we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” It is important to know that this occurrence was a miracle of understanding unknown languages. This interpretation is similar to the United Nations where one speaker’s words are made understandable to all of the attendees regardless of their nationalities.

It was since 722 B.C. that the dispersed Jews were living in lands of people who spoke languages that were not Hebrew. The Greek Empire lasted from approximately 336 B.C. until 146 B.C. It was during that time that the Jews “were sucked into the Greek culture,” per Judaism Online:


Also, it was during the times of the four world empires of “Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome” (Daniel 7:4-7) that the Jews were living in the lands of other cultures and were subject to those cultures, and oppressive actions, and attitudes toward the Jews.

On this Day of Pentecost, all of the Jews who were in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, “heard them speak in his own language” (vs 6). The Pentecost Jews heard the disciple Jews speaking in the upper room (vs 13), 120 in number, including 12 Apostles (vs 15) speaking in their Galilean dialect (vs 7) to at least 3,000 Pentecost Jews (2:41) who were from many far-away lands; “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?” (vs 8).

This discussion on “tongues” is not in the same in this chapter context as that of the discussion on spiritual gifts in Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 12-14. The teaching here is that 120 Galileans spoke in their own Galilean language, and that more than 3,000 Passover Jews, of other languages, could hear the 120 disciples speaking words that were understandable to the Passover Jews.

It is important to know that many Jews who had been dispersed to foreign lands, many of which were far away from Jerusalem, had forgotten how to speak their native Hebrew language. They had learned to speak other languages, including Aramaic and Greek. When Saul (Apostle Paul) received the heavenly message from the risen Christ, Saul heard the words of our Lord in Aramaic, which was the common tongue of the first century Jew (Scofield Study Bible, MacArthur Study Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Acts 26:14). It is also important to know that the New Testament was written in the Greek language. Can we not say that “Divine” intervention was involved in choosing the Greek language for the writing of the New Testament? The preciseness of the Greek language provides us with the words for the New Testament that are far superior to those of any other language.

Lesson Series – The Acts Of The Holy Spirit

Study Text

Acts 2:1-13

Coming of the Holy Spirit

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The Crowd’s Response

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

Study Notes

The following study notes come from the MacArthur Study Bible, and are provided by

Acts 2:1-13

2:1 Day of Pentecost. “Pentecost” means “fiftieth” and refers to the Feast of Weeks (Ex. 34:22, 23) or Harvest (Lev. 23:16), which was celebrated 50 days after Passover in May/June (Lev. 23:15–22). It was one of 3 annual feasts for which the nation was to come to Jerusalem (see note on Ex. 23:14–19). At Pentecost, an offering of firstfruits was made (Lev. 23:20). The Holy Spirit came on this day as the firstfruits of the believer’s inheritance (cf. 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:11, 14). Those gathered into the church then were also the firstfruits of the full harvest of all believers to come after. in one place. The upper room mentioned in 1:13.

2:2 a sound…as…mighty wind. Luke’s simile described God’s action of sending the Holy Spirit. Wind is frequently used in Scripture as a picture of the Spirit (cf. Ezek. 37:9, 10; John 3:8).

2:3 The disciples could not comprehend the significance of the Spirit’s arrival without the Lord sovereignly illustrating what was occurring with a visible phenomenon. tongues, as of fire. Just as the sound, like wind, was symbolic, these were not literal flames of fire but supernatural indicators, like fire, that God had sent the Holy Spirit upon each believer. In Scripture, fire often denoted the divine presence (cf. Ex. 3:2–6). God’s use of a fire-like appearance here parallels what He did with the dove when Jesus was baptized (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16).

2:4 all. The apostles and the 120. Cf. Joel 2:28–32. filled with the Holy Spirit. In contrast to the baptism with the Spirit, which is the one-time act by which God places believers into His body (see notes on 1 Cor. 12:13), the filling is a repeated reality of Spirit-controlled behavior that God commands believers to maintain (see notes on Eph. 5:18). Peter and many others in Acts 2 were filled with the Spirit again (e.g., 4:8, 31; 6:5; 7:55) and so spoke boldly the Word of God. The fullness of the Spirit affects all areas of life, not just speaking boldly (cf. Eph. 5:19–33). with other tongues. Known languages (see notes on v. 6; 1 Cor. 14:1–25), not ecstatic utterances. These languages given by the Spirit were a sign of judgment to unbelieving Israel (see notes on 1 Cor. 14:21, 22). They also showed that from then on God’s people would come from all nations, and marked the transition from Israel to the church. Tongues speaking occurs only twice more in Acts (10:46; 19:6).

2:5 Jews, devout men. Hebrew males who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They were expected to celebrate Pentecost (see note on v. 1) in Jerusalem, as part of observing the Jewish religious calendar. See note on Ex. 23:14–19.

2:6 this sound. The noise like gusty wind (v. 2), not the sound of the various languages. speak in his own language. As the believers were speaking, each pilgrim in the crowd recognized the language or dialect from his own country.

2:7 Galileans. Inhabitants of the mostly rural area of northern Israel around the Sea of Galilee. Galilean Jews spoke with a distinct regional accent and were considered to be unsophisticated and uneducated by the southern Judean Jews. When Galileans were seen to be speaking so many different languages, the Judean Jews were astonished.

2:9–11 The listing of specific countries and ethnic groups proves again that these utterances were known human languages.

2:9 Parthians. They lived in what is modern Iran. Medes. In Daniel’s time, they ruled with the Persians, but had settled in Parthia. Elamites. They were from the southwestern part of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia. This means “between the rivers” (the Tigris and Euphrates). Many Jews still lived there, descendants of those who were in captivity and who never returned to the land of Israel (cf. 2 Chr. 36:22, 23). Judea. All the region once controlled by David and Solomon, including Syria.

2:9, 10 Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia. All were districts in Asia Minor, in what is now Turkey.

2:10 Egypt. Many Jews lived there, especially in the city of Alexandria. The nation then covered the same general area as modern Egypt. Libya adjoining Cyrene. These districts were W of Egypt, along the North African coast. Rome. The capital of the Empire had a sizeable Jewish population, dating from the second century B.C. proselytes. Gentile converts to Judaism. Jews in Rome were especially active in seeking such converts.

2:11 Cretans. Residents of the island of Crete, off the southern coast of Greece. Arabs. Jews who lived S of Damascus, among the Nabatean Arabs (cf. Gal. 1:17). we hear them speaking.See note on v. 6. wonderful works of God. The Christians were quoting from the OT what God had done for His people (cf. Ex. 15:11; Pss. 40:5; 77:11; 96:3; 107:21). Such praises were often heard in Jerusalem during festival times.

2:13 new wine. A drink that could have made one drunk.

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The scripture text was taken from

The translation of the text is from The New King James Version.

Unless otherwise noted, scripture notes were taken from The MacArthur Study Bible notes that are contained in

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Author: Eternity

Things are discussed in this website that relate to God's creation, from "eternity to eternity," and all that is addressed within those paramaters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, "Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: "God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: "No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans."

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