Acts 10:15
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(15) What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.—In the framework of the vision, the clean and the unclean beasts stood on the same footing, were let down from heaven in the same sheet. That had purified them from whatever taint had adhered to them under the precepts of the Law. In the interpretation of the vision, all that belongs to humanity had been taken up into heaven; first, when man’s nature was assumed by the Eternal Word in the Incarnation (John 1:14), and, secondly, when that nature had been raised in the Ascension to the heaven of heavens, sitting on the right hand of God (Acts 7:56; Mark 16:19).

Acts 10:15-16. And the voice spake the second time — When God commands a strange, or seemingly improper thing, the first objection frequently finds pardon. But it ought not to be repeated. This doubt and delay of Peter, however, had several good effects. Hereby the will of God, on this important point, was made more evident and incontestable. And Peter also, having been so slow of belief himself, could the more easily bear the doubting of his brethren, Acts 11:2. What God hath cleansed — By such a declaration of his will, in commanding thee to eat them; that call not thou common — But readily submit thyself to his directions, acknowledging the power of the great Lawgiver to change his precepts as he shall see fit. This was done thrice — To make the deeper impression on Peter’s mind. That is, the sheet was drawn up a little way, and let down again a second time, and so the third time, with the same call to him, Kill and eat. But whether Peter’s refusal was repeated the second and third time is not certain; we may suppose it was not, since his objection had the first time received such a satisfactory answer.

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.What God hath cleansed - What God has pronounced or declared pure. If God has commanded you to do a thing, it is not impure or wrong. Perhaps Peter would suppose that the design of this vision was to instruct him that the distinction between clean and unclean food, as recognized by the Jews, was about to be abolished, Acts 10:17. But the result showed that it had a higher and more important design. It was to show him that they who had been esteemed by the Jews as unclean or profane - the entire Gentile world - might now be admitted to similar privileges with the Jews. That barrier was robe broken down, and the whole world was to be admitted to the same fellowship and privileges in the gospel. See Ephesians 2:14; Galatians 3:28. It was also true that the ceremonial laws of the Jews in regard to clean and unclean beasts was to pass away, though this was not directly taught in this vision. But when once the barrier was removed that separated the Jews and Gentiles, all the laws which were founded on such a distinction, and which were framed to keep up such a distinction, passed away of course. The ceremonial laws of the Jews were designed solely to keep up the distinction between them and other nations. When the distinction was abolished; when other nations were to be admitted to the same privileges, the laws which were made to keep up such a difference received their death-blow, and expired of course. For it is a maxim of all law, that when the reason why a law was made ceases to exist, the law becomes obsolete. Yet it was not easy to convince the Jews that their laws ceased to be binding. This point the apostles labored to establish; and from this point arose most of the difficulties between the Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity. See Acts 15; and Romans 14-15: 15. What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common—The ceremonial distinctions are at an end, and Gentiles, ceremonially separated from the chosen people (Ac 10:28), and debarred from that access to God in the visible ordinances of His Church which they enjoyed, are now on a perfect equality with them. Do not make in thy esteem, or practice, as common, that is, polluted. The Jews did imagine, that by unclean creatures were meant the Gentiles, as by clean creatures they would have themselves to be understood; howsoever, they opposed common unto holy; indeed a holy man is (as they called him) a singular man: it was God that cleansed Cornelius, turning him from idolatry to the worship of the true God, from darkness unto light.

And the voice spake unto him again the second time,.... The following words,

what God hath cleansed; that is, hath pronounced clean and lawful to be used, as he now had all sorts of food, Matthew 15:11.

that call not thou common; or pronounce it to be unholy or unclean, and unlawful to be used: and the same holds good of men, as well as things; for as hereby the Lord instructed Peter, that there was nothing of itself common, or unclean, and unfit for use; so that no man, not any Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, or be he who he would, was common or unclean, and his company to be avoided as such. Distinctions both of men and meats were now to be laid aside; and the Jews themselves own, that what is now unclean, will be clean in the time to come, or the times of the Messiah; they say (f),

"every beast which is unclean in this world,

the holy blessed God ,

cleanses it, in the time to come, (the times of the Messiah,) as they were at first clean to the sons of Noah Genesis 9:3, wherefore, as the herb was clean to all, and as the beasts were clean to the sons of Noah; so also in the time to come he will loose what he has bound, or forbidden.''

And particularly they observe, that a swine is call from "to return", because the Lord will return it unto Israel. (g).

(f) R. Moses Haddarsan in Galatin. l. 11. c. 12. & Bereshit Rabba in Pugio Fidei, c. 12. sect. 1.((g) Abarbinel Rosh Amana, c. 12. fol. 18. 2.

And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that {l} call not thou common.

(l) Do not consider them to be unprofitable.

Acts 10:15. The last word of Acts 10:14 carries us back to the thought of the teaching of his Master, which St. Peter had evidently not yet realised, cf. Mark 7:19. Mark alone draws the inference, “this He said, making all meats clean,” which, compared with this verse, makes another link of interest between St. Mark and St. Peter.—ἐκ δευτ.… ἐτὶ τρίς (only here and in Acts 11:10, in classics εἰς τρίς), to emphasise the command, cf. Genesis 41:32, “ad confirmationem valuit” Calvin.—ἐκαθάρισε, declarative: “de coelo enim nil nisi purum demittitur” Bengel.—κοίνου: “make not thou common,” R.V., “as though man by his harsh verdict actually created uncleanness where God had already bestowed His cleansing mercy in Christ” (Rendall). We cannot limit the words, as has been attempted, to the single case of Cornelius, or refer them only to the removal of the distinction between clean and unclean meats.

15. And the [a] voice spake unto him again the second time] coming from heaven as the first voice had come. There is no verb in the original, and it would perhaps be better to supply “came” rather than “spake.”

What God hath cleansed, that call [make] not thou common] The heaven-sent voice revokes what had been enjoined from heaven at the giving of the Law. The power which made the restriction can remove it. That it would be removed Christ had intimated (Matthew 15:11), “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man.” The old dispensation is now to give place to the new, and Peter is taught by the vision that men are not to make such distinctions and separations for themselves. “For meat destroy not the work of God” (Romans 14:20).

Acts 10:15. Ἐκαθάρισε, hath cleansed) hath made and declared to be clean. For nothing save what is clean (pure) is let down from heaven. Peter continued to remember well this verb: ch. Acts 15:9. Comp. as to Paul, ch. Acts 13:2, note.—σὺ, thou) who art less than GOD: Acts 10:26, ch. Acts 11:17.—μὴ κοίνου, do not thou call common) There is no third or middle term between pure (clean) and common.

Verse 15. - A voice for the voice, A.V.; came for spake, A.V.; make not for that call not, A.V. What God hath cleansed, etc. "The Law was our schoolmaster ['tutor,' R.V.] to bring us to Christ." But now, under the gospel of faith, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. There is neither Jew nor Greek. "Old things are passed away, and all things are become new." Acts 10:15Call not thou common (σὺ μὴ κοίνου)

The thought goes deeper than merely styling "common." Lit., do not thou defile. Do not profane it by regarding and calling it common. Rev., "make not thou common."

Acts 10:15 Interlinear
Acts 10:15 Parallel Texts

Acts 10:15 NIV
Acts 10:15 NLT
Acts 10:15 ESV
Acts 10:15 NASB
Acts 10:15 KJV

Acts 10:15 Bible Apps
Acts 10:15 Parallel
Acts 10:15 Biblia Paralela
Acts 10:15 Chinese Bible
Acts 10:15 French Bible
Acts 10:15 German Bible

Bible Hub

Acts 10:14
Top of Page
Top of Page