Acts 1:16-17

“Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”
– Acts 1:16-17, New International Version

Divine Inspiration

Between the ascension of Christ on mount Olivet and the Day of Pentecost, the apostles and others devoted themselves to prayer. When they returned from the mount to Jerusalem, they went to their Upper Room headquarters. About 120 persons were present. During the time they were in the Upper Room, Peter stood up among them to speak.

Peter was concerned about a replacement for Judas who had betrayed Christ. He begins by claiming that the Holy Spirit had inspired King David. Here and in Acts 4:25 Luke records that David spoke by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit spoke using David’s mouth. A similar statement is made in Mark 12:36. In II Peter 1:21 Peter expanded his claim of inspiration to men moved by the Holy Spirit. According to him, they spoke from God.

Then, Peter cited (Acts 1:20) David’s comments in Psalms 69:25 and 10:98. He finds the fate of Judas foreshadowed in these verses. Because of the treason of Judas, a new person had to be elected to take up the ministry and apostleship abdicated by Judas. The disciples put forward the names of two men: Joseph Barsabbas (who was also called Justus) and Matthias. Following the precedent of Proverbs 16:33 they cast lots, and Matthias was chosen.


Bruce, F. F. The Book of Acts. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1975.
Haenchen, Ernst. The Acts of the Apostles. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1971.
Lenski, R. C. H. St. Luke’s Gospel. Columbus: The Wartburg Press, 1946.
Robertson, A. T. Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vols. 1-6. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1930.
Swete, Henry Barclay. The Holy Spirit in the New Testament. London: Macmillan and Company, 1910.

Copyright © 2001 GMF.

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