16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:
17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.
18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.
19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20 “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior — Jesus —
24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’
and you who fear God (v.16) — Gentile proselytes (v.43) and other Gentiles (v.42) who had not converted but recognized Israel’s God as the true God
exalted (v.17) — blessed them, intervened for them, increased their numbers and gave them influence
with an uplifted arm (v.17) — Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments (Exodus 6:6).
put up with their ways (v.18) — suffered their manners — The verb so rendered is found only here. The change of a single letter in the Greek verb gives us a different and beautiful rendering favored by some authorities, “bare them as a nursing father.” This accords with the LXX of Deuteronomy 1:31, to which allusion is here made. Both readings give excellent sense. — The Acts of the Apostles, by Thomas Walker, page 291.
forty years (v.18) — Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways (Hebrews 3:8-10).
seven nations (v.19) — When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you (Deuteronomy 7:1).
judges (v.20) — “the children of Israel did evil again” — Judges 3:12; 10:6; 13:1
The monarchy had begun with the cry: “Make us a king!” (1 Samuel 8:5) and had ended with the cry: “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15). — Acts Dispensationally Considered, by C.R. Stam, page 195.
king (v.21) — And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them (1 Samuel 8:7).
forty years (v.21) — The length of Saul’s reign isn’t mentioned in the Old Testament.
The quote in verse 22 is from Psalm 89:20, 1 Samuel 13:14 and Psalm 40:8.
My will (v.22) — plural, “all My wishes”
Jesus (v.23) — The Greek form of Joshua — “Jehovah Saves” or “Jehovah Is Salvation”
coming (v.24) = entering into His ministry
course (v.25) — from a runner’s race (Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7)
Notice how often Paul refers to God as the One doing the action in the history of Israel.