26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
Verses 26-27 present the providential God.
The Athenians believed they were unique among the peoples of the world; other cultures were “barbarians.” Paul’s argument was that they were not unique.
And He has made from one blood [Adam] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,
All human beings are descended from one ancestor whom God created. This again emphasizes that God is distinct from creation, which includes humanity. He cannot be identified with the universe. The whole human race is from one source. God created the national entities of the world.
and has determined their preappointed times
Paul asserted that God determined the life span and geographical boundaries of where people groups would live. God decreed the “times” or history of humanity to be what it is. God sovereignly pre-appointed all this. Paul appears to have argued from the premise of “natural revelation” (Ro 1:18-20; Acts 14:17). God reveals Himself by the things He created.
The argument from the Greek tenses here implies that God determined where and when human beings would live. His determination preceded creation.
and the boundaries of their dwellings,
God also set boundaries around geographical national entities. There is a reality beyond Greece. There is something beyond Stoical fate and Epicurean chance; God ascribes times and localities where men and nations can flourish. The rise and fall of national entities are in God’s sovereign determination (Deut 32:8; Dan 2:36ff; Lu 21:24).
God determines how long national entities exist.
God’s independence does not mean that He is disengaged from the world. The argument of this passage is that God is in control of national entities. He is sovereign over history, even to the point that He manages the geographical location of national entities. The time of their rise, duration of their ascendancy, and decline is in the hands of God (Dan 2:21). God has done this with the Persian, Greek, Roman, German, and other nations. He will decide the extent of influence and power of the Western nations of our day.