31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ 34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’ 35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ 36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; 37 but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.
Paul completed his oration with a reference to the apostolic witness to His resurrection. The Twelve attested to the Resurrection (Acts 1:3, 21f). Then Paul turned to the testimony of Scripture itself by quoting specific passages to prove He was the Savior (Acts 13:33-36).
He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.
After God raised Jesus from physical death, He appeared physically to His disciples for “many days.” These people were “witnesses” to His resurrection. Witnesses were essential to verify the Resurrection (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39-41; 13:30-31).
And we [emphatic] declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers.
Paul had the authority of an apostle to declare the promise of Jesus the Messiah. The emphatic “we” puts Paul himself as a witness to the Resurrection of Christ with the Twelve mentioned in the previous verse.
The emphasis on “promises” here shows how God fulfilled what He said in the Old Testament.
God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus.
The promise of Christ was promised to Israel and verified by His resurrection. Paul now passed from the Old Testament to verify that Jesus fulfilled those Scriptures.
As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son,
Paul quoted Psalm 2:7 (referred to in Acts 13:32) to attest that God would raise the Savior from the dead and that Jesus is that Savior. The reference to Psalm 2:7 does not refer to the birth but the Resurrection of Christ.
We must understand “Son” in Psalm 2 as both a royal and a Messianic title.
Today I have begotten You.’
“My Son” alludes to the Davidic Covenant, where out of David’s offspring would come the Messiah (He 1:5). “Today” refers to the day of the Resurrection of Christ. Christ was the Son of God from all eternity (Lu 1:35; 3:22; 9:35), but God exalted Him to be at His right hand through the Resurrection (Ro 1:3-4). The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ demonstrate His Messianic destiny (He 1:3-5).
And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’
Again, Paul quoted Isaiah 55:3 to show that his listeners could experience the salvation Jesus gave. The promises to King David were fulfilled in Christ. Isaiah 53:3 also predicted that the Jews would reject the Messiah when He came (Ps 69:4; Jn 15:25).
The word “sure” points to the certainty of the Resurrection because an eternal kingdom was promised to David’s seed.
Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
We see the significance of Jesus’ resurrection to prove He was the Messiah in two following quotations from Scripture.
‘You will not allow Your Holy One [Messianic title] to see corruption.’
The body of Jesus never returned to the grave for corruption (Ro 6:9). The word “corruption” harks back to Psalm 16:10. For the third time in Acts, Luke quoted Psalm 16:10. Acts 13:35 quotes from the Septuagint to establish how Jesus would rise from the dead. His body would never decay because of the Resurrection. Peter quoted this verse in Acts 2:25-28.
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;
David, in contrast to Jesus, died physically without resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead but not David, showing that Psalm 16:10 could not refer to David but Jesus. Both Peter (Acts 2:27, 30, 31) and Paul denied the possibility of Psalm 16:10 referring to King David. Neither was Psalm 16:10 fulfilled in David because he had no eternal reign. David died and was buried where his body decayed. Thus, he could not have fulfilled this promise.
but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.
The actual fulfillment of Psalm 16:10 was in Jesus Christ rising from the dead. The great contrast to King David is that Jesus’ body never experienced “corruption.” David’s body dissolved in the grave, but not Jesus’. The Psalmist David could not be the subject of his prophecy because it could only be fulfilled in the Resurrection of the uncorrupted body of Christ.
Paul completed his argument for Jesus as the Messiah by appealing to the witness of the apostles and to Scripture itself. He is the One who fulfilled the promises to David.
The Resurrection of Christ manifests His Sonship.
Romans 1:4 regards the Resurrection of Christ as the manifestation of His prior Sonship. His Sonship did not originate in the Resurrection.