Whom the heaven must receive - He has already appeared upon earth, and accomplished the end of his appearing; he has ascended unto heaven, to administer the concerns of his kingdom, and there he shall continue till he comes again to judge the quick and the dead.
The times of restitution of all things - The word αποκαταστασις, from απο which signifies from, and καθιστανειν, to establish or settle any thing, viz. in a good state; and, when απο is added to it, then this preposition implies that this good state, in which it is settled, was preceded by a bad one, from which the change is made to a good one. So in Acts 1:6, when the disciples said to Christ, Wilt thou at this time restore again (αποκαθιστανεις ) the kingdom to Israel? they meant, as the Greek word implies, Wilt thou take the kingdom from the Romans, and give it back to the Jews? Now, as the word is here connected with, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, it must mean the accomplishment of all the prophecies and promises contained in the Old Testament relative to the kingdom of Christ upon earth; the whole reign of grace, from the ascension of our Lord till his coming again, for of all these things have the holy prophets spoken; and, as the grace of the Gospel was intended to destroy the reign of sin, its energetic influence is represented as restoring all things, destroying the bad state, and establishing the good - taking the kingdom out of the hands of sin and Satan, and putting it into those of righteousness and truth. This is done in every believing soul; all things are restored to their primitive order; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps the heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God. The man loves God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself; and thus all the things of which the holy prophets have spoken since the world began, relative to the salvation of any soul, are accomplished in this case; and when such a work becomes universal, as the Scriptures seem to intimate that it will, then all things will be restored in the fullest sense of the term. As therefore the subject here referred to is that of which all the prophets from the beginning have spoken, (and the grand subject of all their declarations was Christ and his work among men), therefore the words are to be applied to this, and no other meaning. Jesus Christ comes to raise up man from a state of ruin, and restore to him the image of God, as he possessed it at the beginning.
All his holy prophets - Παντων, all, is omitted by ABCD, some others, one Syriac, the Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Vulgate. Griesbach leaves it out of the text, and inserts the article των, which the Greek MSS. have, in the place of παντων . The text reads thus: Which he hath spoken by his holy prophets, etc.
Since the world began - Απ 'αιωνος ; as αιων signifies complete and ever-during existence or eternity, it is sometimes applied, by way of accommodation, to denote the whole course of any one period, such as the Mosaic dispensation. See the note on Genesis 21:33. It may therefore here refer to that state of things from the giving of the law; and as Moses is mentioned in the next verse, and none before him, it is probable that the phrase should be so understood here. But, if we apply it to the commencement of time, the sense is still good: Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these things; and indeed the birth, life, miracles, preaching sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension, and reign of Jesus Christ, have been the only theme of all prophets and inspired men from the foundation of the world.