Acts 2:29-36

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto My Lord, Sit thou on My right hand,

35 Until I make Thy foes Thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Peter is explaining that David could not have been writing about himself in Psalm 16. David was long dead and still in his grave. David was referring to his descendant, Jesus Christ, who did fulfill the prophecy, as they had all witnessed. David had not ascended into heaven as he wrote, and Peter quotes in Psalm 110:1 (also quoted in 1 Corinthians 15:25 and Hebrew 1:13 and 10:13).

As a servant, Christ had won victory on the first plane; He had not originated evil. As man He had won victory on the second plane; He had overcome evil in its assaults from without. He now said: I am going into death, but death cannot hold Me. Death is the wage of sin. Death is that which has resulted from the fact of rebellion against God. I am going into it, but it cannot hold Me: Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hades, Neither wilt Thou give Thy Holy One to see corruption. — Morgan, pg. 76.


None of the rabbis ever thought of applying the psalm to the promised Messiah. There is, however, an old tradition, which no doubt was known and believed in that day, which applied the psalm literally to David. This application was as follows; “Those words, ‘my flesh shall rest in hope,’ teach us that neither worm nor insect had any power over David.” Peter shows that such a traditional belief that the words referred to David himself were incorrect. They could not mean King David. — Gaebelein, pg. 58.

brethren, let me speak freely (v.29) — Peter’s bold message was given with gentleness. freely = with boldness of speech

patriarch (v.29) — father or chief of a race. David is the ancestor of the royal line of the Jews.

David is dead and buried (v.29), so Psalm 16 couldn’t apply to him when it speaks of Hades.

sepulcher (v.29) — David’s sepulcher — Nehemiah 3:16

God swore with an oath (v.30) — Psalm 132:11

seeing this before (v.31) — looking into the future

The resurrection of Christ (v.31) — Peter’s argument was clear, consecutive and forcible. It ran as follows.

  1. The words of Psalm 16 about the resurrection refer definitely to someone.

  2. They cannot denote David, for he died and saw corruption.

  3. But, as all Jews acknowledged, the Messiah was promised as prince of the house of David.

  4. The Psalm, therefore, refers to the Messiah.

  5. Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead, and so He is the expected Messiah. — Walker, pg. 50.

This Jesus (v.32) — emphatic. This Jesus of Nazareth of whom I have been speaking.

we all are witnesses (v.32) — The apostles saw, touched and spoke with the risen Lord.

Holy Spirit (v.33) — The Holy Spirit and what He was doing at Pentecost was evidence that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

shed forth (v.33) = poured forth — fulfilling Joel’s prophecy

right hand (v.34) — the place of honor, power and glory

footstool (v.35) — Planting a foot on the neck of a prostrate foe is a symbol of complete victory.

assuredly (v.36) = with perfect certainty. In Greek, very emphatic.

whom ye have crucified (v.36) — contrasting their dishonoring of Christ with God’s honoring of Him. Not only that, but this Christ whom they crucified now holds the scepter of power over them.

This psalm [Psalm 16] our Lord had used to silence His enemies. His own testimony had brought out four indisputable facts about that psalm. (1) That David wrote the psalm. (2) That he wrote it by the Spirit. (3) That the psalm spoke of Himself. (4) That it revealed Himself as both David’s son and David’s Lord (Matthew 22:41-46). And now the Holy Spirit uses this psalm likewise to show that the Christ had to ascend into heaven and take His place at the right hand of God till the time should come when His enemies are made His footstool. This exalted place Jesus the Nazarene had now taken; that He was really there was fully demonstrated by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But we must not overlook something else which this prophecy teaches. These Jews might have said, If Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, why does He not take the throne of His father David and begin His Kingdom reign? The 110th Psalm gives the answer. He was to go to heaven first and sit upon His Father’s throne. He was to wait there for the promised Kingdom while His enemies are in opposition to Him. — Gaebelein, pages 59-60.

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