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The Book of Acts Chapter 4:1-19 (12 of 44)
Dr. Harley Howard
1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and
the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came
Now you would imagine that with all of this good news,
there would be great joy among the leadership of the
people, that there would be gladness over the great
news of the Messiah. But as we will see, such was not
the case at all, in fact the very opposite was the
case as we will see throughout the entire book.
As Peter and the others spoke to the people, three
groups of people suddenly confronted them:
1. The priest: Self-explanatory, but likely they
came in force or in a large group.
2. The captain of the temple: The commander of the
Levites who kept guard in and around the temple. He
was the temple top cop, so to speak. "The captain of
the temple guard" was the commanding officer of the
temple police force. He was considered inferior in
rank only to the high priest and had the
responsibility of maintaining order in the temple
3. The Sadducees: The Sadducees were descendants of
the Hasmoneans, who looked back to Mattathias, Judas,
Jonathan, and Simon (168-134 B.C.) as having
inaugurated the Messianic Age and saw themselves as
perpetuating what their fathers had begun. As priests
from the tribe of Levi, they claimed to represent
ancient orthodoxy and were uninterested in
innovations. Thus they opposed any developments in
biblical law (i.e., the "Oral Law"), speculations
about angels or demons, and the doctrine of the
resurrection. Likewise, they rejected what they
considered to be vain hopes for God's heavenly
intervention in the life of the nation, and for a
coming Messiah, since, as they believed, the age of
God's promise had begun with the Maccabean heroes and
was continuing on under their supervision. For them,
the Messiah was an ideal, not a person, and the
Messianic Age ...
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