13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.
22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
saw (v.13) = deliberate consideration
boldness (v.13) = boldness of speech. They had just told the rulers that they had crucified the only one who could save them.
uneducated (v.13) — specifically in the law and theology of the Jews
untrained (v.13) = idiots — common and ill-informed
marveled (v.13) — tense indicates “continued marveling” — The leaders were astonished, not at the words of Peter, but that these uneducated men would dare speak up before them.
The point is that these judges — veterans all — could easily see that the men before them were no clever deceivers. They were uneducated and common men, whose boldness plainly sprang from deep conviction. A basic honesty shone forth from them as they faced their accusers, relating what they had actually seen and knew to be the truth, with the result that the judges were convinced in their own hearts that Peter and John had indeed been with the resurrected Christ. — Acts Dispensationally Considered, by C.R. Stam, page 163
realized (v.13) — they were recognized as those who had been with Jesus
could say nothing against it (v.14) — The proof (the healed man) was standing right there with them — fulfillment of Luke 21:15
conferred (v.15) — The leaders spent no time discussing whether Peter and John might have been right.
notable (v.16) = well-known
that it spreads no further (v.17) — referring to talk of the miracle and the power behind it.
commanded (v.18) — an official injunction, legally binding
speak (v.18) = speak loudly and clearly — public utterance
in the name (vs. 17 and 18) — lit. “on the name” — with Jesus as the subject. Note that the Sanhedrin did not mention the name of Jesus Christ.
Peter (v.19) had no option but to obey the higher authority — God
The rulers let the apostles go even though they had declared that they had no intention of obeying their charge.