Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
(a) Increasing in number; see entry for Acts 4:4.
(b) Widows. In the ancient world, polygamy was seen as a solution to the need to provide for women who had lost husbands to warfare and disease. Since the early church opposed polygamy (1 Cor. 7:2), it had to solve the problem of what to do with young widows. In short, it developed practices for taking care of them (1 Tim. 5:5-16).
So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
The word of God was not the Bible which had not yet been fully written. In a new covenant context, the word of God is the good news of Jesus. See entry for Word of God.
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
The word of God. In a new covenant context, the word of God is the good news of Jesus. See entry for Word of God.
(b) Many priests. Malachi the prophet said, the Lord would come to the temple and purify the sons of Levi” (Mal. 3:2–3), and Jesus did this by offering himself on the cross (Tit. 2:14). As a result of the Lord coming to the temple, many sons of Levi became followers of Christ.
for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.”
This Nazarene. A Nazarene was someone from Nazareth, a Galilean town of little consequence. In Judea, Jesus was known as a Nazarene in fulfilment of prophecy (see entry for Matt. 2:23).
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