Bible Commentary Bible History

Strange Tongues | Acts 2:5-13

“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.”

Commentary: There were many Jews and devout men (spiritual men of Godly character) in Jerusalem, and many of them were from various lands, which meant plenty of people to minister unto. Since the Jews did not readily accept Jesus as Messiah, the apostles and disciples needed to preach unto them, in hopes to convert them into Salvation in Christ Jesus.

Soon, strange language is heard among the brethren there, and many men were confused at this. It was noted that the works of God was being done here, for Peter explained that this was the spiritual experience of tongues – a different way to prophesy. The people were not, after all, drunk with new wine; rather, they were spiritually involved that the Holy Ghost was moving and speaking in and through them. What a marvelous experience!

Historical notes: During the Jewish feasts, the pilgrims of Judaism would organize in Jerusalem, and there would usually be at least 100,000 or more. On the day of Pentecost, there were at least 16 different countries or territories represented during this event. Imagine the overwhelm of the disciples and apostles to see so many people needing ministry.

Other notes: New wine usually was potent enough to make one become drunk easily, because the body was not accustom to it (“used to it”); whereas, cheap wine, the kind that people drank much more (because it’s cheap and easy to find), would take much longer for drunkenness due to the body’s accustom to it. When the body is accustom to a drug, it usually takes more each subsequent use, because the body requires more of it to product the same (desired) effect, which is why drugs are particularly dangerous for the body and soul. This is one of the most common causes of overdose, because the person has reached the point of too much accustomed, and consumes too much of the drug that it causes overdose requiring medical attention.

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