Acts 5

Ananias and Sapphira pretended to give all 1
Ananias died at Peter's rebuke; his wife follows 5
Wonders and signs by the apostles 12
High priest and others in prison; angel let them out and told them to preach 17
Fear that the work would grow 21
Brought before council; obey God rather than men 25
Leaders accused of killing Jesus; convicted; desire to kill apostles 30
Gamaliel's logical appeal 34
The apostles leave rejoicing; preaching in every house 41
Text Comments
.1 ¶ But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
 2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
.3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
 4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
  3 - Lied to the Holy Ghost This is more than what we tell someone else.
  4 - Lied ... unto God And to the Holy Spirit according to verse 3. This helps us understand that both are divine beings. Somehow he thought that what he said didn't matter. 
.5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
 6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
 7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
 8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
.9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
 10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
 11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
  5 - Gave up the ghost Or "expire" from ekpsucho.
  5 - Great fear Honesty was the issue. All must have felt the seriousness of the situation. Deceit is involved in the story of Achan jos0719-21 and 2ch2208. Compare the punishment of Nadab and Abihu le1001,2.
  6 - Wound him up Or "wrapped him."
  6 - Carried ... buried A prompt dealing with the matter.
  7 - Wife ... came in She had an opportunity to be honest.
  10 - Carrying her The "young men" had barely had time to take care of her husband's body.
  11 - Church Apparently the first use of this term, ekklesia, although the KJV includes "church" for this verse in ac0247.
.12 ¶ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
 13  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
.14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
 15  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
 16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
  12 - Signs and wonders It is significant that we don't see a great number of such miracles later. God uses these things to give a work credibility. Later, appeal is made to the plan of God in His word.
.17 ¶ Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
 18  And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
 19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
.20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
  17 - Then Should read "But."
  20 - Speak Or "continue speaking."
  20 - Words of this life "the full message of this new life." (NIV). Compare ph0216.
.21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.   21 - When they heard Hearing the command of the Angel of the Lord they did not hesitate.
 22  But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
 23  Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
.24  Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
.25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
 26 ¶ Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
 27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
 28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
.29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
   28 - Filled Jerusalem  A challenge for us
   29 - Obey God rather When to disobey  This is a verse to remember in times of persecution. For a better understanding, compare Paul's advice. ro1301
.30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
.31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
 32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
 33  When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
  30 - God rasied up ... ye slew The "ye" is emphatic in the Greek. Imagine how forceful this statement was! Before God, the Jewish leaders were chiefly responsible for the death of the Saviour.
  30 - Tree A term Peter used for the cross ac1039, 1pe0224. It appears also in the OT.
.34  Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
 35  And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
 36  For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
  34 - Then Rather "but."
  34 - Gamaliel A respected teacher, grandson of famous Hillel, and a Pharisee.
  34 - Doctor Should read "teacher." God often uses people or angels to turn men from error and evil plans.
 37  After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
 38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
.39  But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
 40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
  39 - Fight against God True logic.
  40 - Apostles ... beaten Not following the plan of Gamaliel to which they had agreed.
.41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
 42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
  Notice that their work was both public and in homes.
Acts home
Commentary home