Acts 10:10
And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
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(10) He fell into a trance.—St. Luke characteristically uses, as in Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17, the technical term ekstasis (whence our English ecstasy) for the state which thus supervened. It is obvious that it might in part be the natural consequence of the protracted fast, and the intense prayer, possibly also of exposure under such conditions to the noontide sun. The state was one in which the normal action of the senses was suspended, like that of Balaam in Numbers 24:4, or that which St. Paul describes in 2Corinthians 12:3, “whether in the body or out of the body” he cannot tell, and, as such, it was, in this instance, made the channel for a revelation of the Divine Will conveyed in symbols which were adapted to the conditions out of which it rose.

10:9-18 The prejudices of Peter against the Gentiles, would have prevented his going to Cornelius, unless the Lord had prepared him for this service. To tell a Jew that God had directed those animals to be reckoned clean which were hitherto deemed unclean, was in effect saying, that the law of Moses was done away. Peter was soon made to know the meaning of it. God knows what services are before us, and how to prepare us; and we know the meaning of what he has taught us, when we find what occasion we have to make use of it.And he became very hungry - Prom the connection, where it is said that they were making ready, that is, preparing a meal, it would seem that this was the customary hour of dining. The Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, however, had but two meals, and the first was usually taken about ten or eleven o'clock. This meal usually consisted of fruit, milk, cheese, etc. Their principal meal was about six or seven in the afternoon, at which time they observed their feasts. See Jahn's Bible. Archaeol. section 145.

He fell into a trance - Greek: an ecstasy, ἔκστασις ekstasis, fell upon him. In Acts 11:5, Peter says that in a trance he saw a vision. The word "trance, or ecstasy," denotes "a state of mind when the attention is absorbed in a particular train of thought, so that the external senses are partially or entirely suspended." It is a high species of abstraction from external objects, when the mind becomes forgetful of surrounding things, and is fixed solely on its own thoughts, so that appeals to the external senses do not readily rouse it. The soul seems to have passed out of the body, and to be conversant only with spiritual essences. Thus, Balaam is said to have seen the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance Numbers 24:4, Numbers 24:16; thus Paul, in praying in the temple, fell into a trance Acts 22:17; and perhaps a similar state is described in 2 Corinthians 12:2. This effect seems to be caused by so intense and absorbing a train of thought as to overcome the senses of the body, or wholly to withdraw the mind from their influence, and to fix it on the unseen object that engrosses it. It is often a high state of reverie, or absence of mind, which Dr. Rush describes as "induced by the stimulus of ideas of absent subjects, being so powerful as to destroy the perception of present objects" (Diseases of the Mind, p. 310, ed. Philadelphia, 1812). In the case of Peter, however, there was a supernatural influence that drew his attention away from present objects.

10. a trance—differing from the "vision" of Cornelius, in so far as the things seen had not the same objective reality, though both were supernatural. He became very hungry; he might be more than ordinarily hungry, to fit or suit the vision, which is hereafter mentioned.

He fell into a trance: the most excellent way of God’s manifesting himself unto man, is by a trance; (and they reckon seven ways, in which God makes himself known unto man); but what this trance was is diversly expressed: it is certain. that in it the soul was, as it were. absent from the body, drawn off from the perception of earthly and sensible things, and enabled unto the perception of heavenly mysteries: in such an ecstasy was St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:2, and St. John, Revelation 1:10, who is therefore said to be in the Spirit. And he became very hungry,.... It being in the middle of the day, when it was usual to eat; and perhaps he had ate nothing that day, for those were reckoned the most religious persons, who eat nothing before the Minchah:

and would have eaten; though the Jews say (e), a man ought not to eat near the Minchah, not even the least, lest he should continue at it, and so neglect his prayers:

but while they made ready, while Simon's family were getting dinner ready, preparing the food for it:

he fell into a trance; or an ecstasy, or an ecstasy fell upon him; it was what was supernatural, and came from above, and did not arise from any natural cause in him; he was as it were out of the body, and entirely in the spirit; all the bodily organs and senses were shut up, and all sensible objects removed from him; and he was wholly intent on what was proposed to him in the vision, which filled him with wonder and astonishment.

(e) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat. ib.

And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a {f} trance,

(f) For though Peter does not stand amazed as one that is tongue tied, but talks with God and is instructed in his mysteries, yet his mind was far from being as it normally was; shortly, however, it returned to its normal state.

Acts 10:10. πρόσπεινος: only here, not found in LXX or classical Greek, probably intensive force in πρός, see Grimm-Thayer, sub v., although not in R.V.—ἤθελε γεύσασθαι: there is no mention of any long period of previous fasting, as if that would account for the vision; Peter was about to partake of his ordinary meal.—ἐπέπεσεν, see critical notes.—ἔκστασις: represented in such a way as to distinguish it from the ὅραμα of Cornelius in Acts 10:3; a trance, an ecstasy in which a person passes out of himself, always in connection with “visions,” in what may be called its technical use; sometimes it is used as expressing simple astonishment, cf. Acts 3:10, etc.; for a good account of the word and its various significations in N.T. and LXX, see Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek, pp. 121, 122; on the distinction between ἔκσ. and ὅρ. see Alford, note, in loco.10. he fell into a trance] So that the vision was seen by him only mentally, when he was rapt out of the body, and beheld all things as a man in a dream.Acts 10:10. Ἐγένετο, he became) immediately after prayer.—πρόσπεινος, hungry) at the regular time of meals: however in somewhat of an extraordinary manner. The tokens of apparitions accord with the state of the natural faculties.—γεύσασθαι, to taste [to partake of food]) A verb expressing temperance.—παρασκευαζόντων, whilst they were making ready) viz. those persons whose business it was to make ready. Even when the natural faculties are not quiescent, still the Divine operation can predominate.—ἔκστασις, a state of mental transport, a trance) Prayer makes the mind adapted for receiving a revelation; and the trance fortifies a man against his own spirit.Verse 10. - Hungry for very hungry, A.V.; desired to eat for would have eaten, A.V. Hungry. The word so rendered (πρόσπεινος) occurs nowhere else either in the New Testament or in any other writer. Possibly he, like Cornelius (ver. 30), had been fasting till the time of prayer. A trance (ἔκστασις) expresses a state of transition from the ordinary state into a new or different state. Applied to a man, it denotes that state in which the external senses and the volition are suspended, and all his impressions are derived from within (see Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17). It is also used to express great astonishment (Luke 5:26; Acts 3:10; Mark 5:42). In the LXX. of Genesis 2:21 it is spoken of Adam's deep sleep, and in Genesis 27:33 of Isaac's exceeding trembling, and elsewhere of strong emotions. Very hungry (πρόσπεινος)

Only here in New Testament.

Would have eaten (ἤθελε γεύσασθαι)

Rev., correctly, desired to eat. Γευέσθαι is rendered both to eat and to taste, more frequently the latter. See Matthew 27:34; John 2:9; 1 Peter 2:3; and compare Acts 20:11.

He fell into a trance (ἐπέπεσεν ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἔκστασις)

Lit., an ecstasy fell upon him. The best texts, however, read ἐγένετο, came upon him, or happened to him. See on astonishment, Mark 5:42. Luke alone employs the word in this sense of ecstasy or trance.

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