From what I know about Acts 2:25-28 already after listening to three Day of Pentecost sermons and reading several commentaries, context is definitely king.
The events that day tell me everything I need to know about why Peter applied David’s prophecy of the Holy One seeing no corruption. But before I delve into the context of Peter’s full Psalm 16 quote (the slated topic of my next post), I have a list of key considerations to share that I have been thinking about for a couple of weeks now:
- Was Psalm 16:10 written to be especially applied by the early church preachers, namely the apostles Peter and Paul? I think it was. The Holy Bible does not give a more plain use of this scripture outside of its fulfillment twice noted in the Book of Acts.
- Is it important for me to know what those listening to Peter that day thought about the Psalm 16 passage he quoted before he explained it as a proof text to them? I decided no. One commentary I read said Hebrew hermeneutics dictated how the men and brethren back then would have applied Psalm 16 to David. But nothing they had previously entertained about the psalm is relevant on this side of the cross save that they must have thought David wrote it perhaps solely referring to himself; hence whatever their thinking on the psalm was, it turned out to be the perfect setup for Peter’s application of the passage on the Day of Pentecost. Glory! God makes Bible study easy for the poor and needy.
- So, do I believe the only right thing to think about when we consider Psalm 16:8-11 is how Peter schooled the men and brethren with his explanation of that passage on the Day of Pentecost? Of course not. After all, Peter said David “spake of the resurrection of Christ,” the sweet spot of his sermon, and whenever I hear “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,” I hear Christ Jesus of Nazareth praying to Father God in heaven and speaking of himself (Acts 2:31; Psalm 16:10). And this is always the chief consideration to come around to every time: We believe what Peter said, what Paul said, that the proof is in the resurrection—only because Jesus believed in resurrection enough to die for us on the cross.