Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 44 (Acts 2:44)

And, all that believed - Οἱ πιστευοντες , The believers, i.e. those who conscientiously credited the doctrine concerning the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and had, in consequence, received redemption in his blood.

Were together - Επι το αυτο . "These words signify either, in one time, Acts 3:1 ; or in one place, Acts 2:1 ; or in one thing. The last of these three senses seems to be the most proper here; for it is not probable that the believers, who were then 3000 in number, Acts 2:41 , besides the 120 spoken of Acts 1:15 , were used all to meet at one time, or in one place, in Jerusalem." See Bp. Pearce.

And had all things common - Perhaps this has not been well understood. At all the public religious feasts in Jerusalem, there was a sort of community of goods. No man at such times hired houses or beds in Jerusalem; all were lent gratis by the owners: Yoma, fol. 12. Megill. fol. 26. The same may be well supposed of their ovens, cauldrons, tables, spits, and other utensils. Also, provisions of water were made for them at the public expense; Shekalim, cap. 9. See Lightfoot here. Therefore a sort of community of goods was no strange thing at Jerusalem, at such times as these. It appears, however, that this community of goods was carried farther; for we are informed, Acts 2:45 , that they sold their possessions and their goods, and parted them to all, as every man had need. But, this probably means that, as in consequence of this remarkable outpouring of the Spirit of God; and their conversion, they were detained longer at Jerusalem than they had originally intended, they formed a kind of community for the time being, that none might suffer want on the present occasion; as no doubt the unbelieving Jews, who were mockers, Acts 2:13 , would treat these new converts with the most marked disapprobation. That an absolute community of goods never obtained in the Church at Jerusalem, unless for a very short time, is evident from the apostolical precept, 1 Corinthians 16:1 , etc., by which collections were ordered to be made for the poor; but, if there had been a community of goods in the Church, there could have been no ground for such recommendations as these, as there could have been no such distinction as rich and poor, if every one, on entering the Church, gave up all his goods to a common stock. Besides, while this sort of community lasted at Jerusalem, it does not appear to have been imperious upon any; persons might or might not thus dispose of their goods, as we learn front the case of Ananias, Acts 5:4 . Nor does it appear that what was done at Jerusalem at this time obtained in any other branch of the Christian Church; and in this, and in the fifth chap., where it is mentioned, it is neither praised nor blamed. We may therefore safely infer, it was something that was done at this time, on this occasion, through some local necessity, which the circumstances of the infant Church at Jerusalem might render expedient for that place and on that occasion only.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible