Acts 10:16
This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) This was done thrice.—The three-fold repetition was at once general and personal in its significance. It was mystically the token of a complete ratification of the truth proclaimed. It reminded him of the three fold command, “Feed My sheep,” and taught him to take a wider range of work in obeying it (John 21:15-17).

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.This was done thrice - Three times, doubtless to impress the mind of Peter with the certainty and importance of the vision. Compare Genesis 41:32. 16. done thrice—See Ge 41:32. Whereby this great mystery of the conversion of the Gentiles, and taking them into the church, might be the more confirmed, and fixed in St. Peter’s mind. This was done thrice,.... That is, either the voice spoke the same words three times, or the sheet was let down three times; and it may be both; it may be, that every time the voice was spoke, the sheet was let down: this was done, not with respect to any mystical meaning in the number three, but for the confirmation of Peter, that he might be the more firmly assured of the truth of the things represented unto him:

and the vessel was received up again into heaven; to denote, that when the general assembly and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, whether Jews or Gentiles, are all gathered in, by the preaching of the Gospel to them, they will be taken up to heaven, their original and native place, and be for ever with the Lord; as well as to certify to Peter, that what was now shown him on earth, concerning the taking away the distinction of men and meats, was ratified in heaven.

This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 10:16. πάλιν: if we read εὐθύς, see critical notes, we have St. Mark’s characteristic word (used by St. Luke only here in Acts, and once in Luke 6:49), a suggestive fact in a section of the book in which the pen or the language of St. Peter may fairly be traced.16. This was done thrice] The original has a conjunction “And” at the commencement of the sentence.

The repetition of the vision three times over was made that no doubt might remain in the Apostle’s mind, and the reception of the whole into heaven again was designed to point out that it was a lesson which God had as directly sent as of old He sent the Law on Sinai. Cp. the repetition of Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 41:32) and Joseph’s explanation thereof. Peter would also remember when he came out of his trance the thrice-repeated charge given to him by Jesus (John 21:15-17), “Feed my sheep.”Acts 10:16. Ἐπὶ τρἰς, thrice) The decisive number, confirming the fact and signifying immediate speed. Comp. Genesis 41:32.Verse 16. - And this for this, A.V.; straightway the vessel for the vessel... again, A.V. and T.R. This was done thrice; i.e. as is clear from the previous "the second time;" the same voice addressed to him the third time a direction to eat. The repetition three times of the same injunction was to give certainty (comp. Gem 41:32). For the repetition of the same words, comp. Matthew 26:44. The receiving of the vessel again into heaven merely indicated the termination of the vision. The interpretation of it was to follow ver. 19 and following verses (see especially ver. 28), and was further emphasized by what is related in vers. 44-46 and Acts 11:15-17.
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