Acts 10:7
And when the angel which spoke to Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) A devout soldier.—The word implies that the man was, like his superior officer, a convert to the faith of Israel, though not, in the full sense of the word, a proselyte. It is natural to infer the same of the two slaves to whom their master imparted the vision, which to those who were living as heathens would have seemed strange and unintelligible. It is obvious that all such facts are interesting as throwing light on the character of Cornelius, and showing that, to the extent of his power, he sought to lead those over whom he had any influence to the Truth which he had found precious as leading him to a higher life.

Acts 10:7-8. When the angel was departed, he called, &c. — He was obedient to the heavenly vision, without dispute or delay, and sent forthwith to Joppa to fetch Peter to him. Had he himself only been concerned, he might have gone to Joppa to Peter; but he had a family, and kinsmen and friends, (Acts 10:24,) a little congregation of them, that could not go with him, and therefore he sends for Peter. And to show him the greater respect, he sends two of his household servants — All of whom feared God; (Acts 10:2;) and a devout soldier that waited on him continually — Always attended his person. How many such attendants have our modern officers? A devout soldier would now be looked upon by many as little better than a deserter from his colours. Observe, a devout centurion had devout soldiers; a little devotion, indeed, commonly goes a great way with soldiers; but there would be more of it in them, if there were more of it in their commanders. And when he had declared all these things — Just in the manner they had happened, of which he informed them, because Peter’s coming was a matter in which they also were concerned, having souls to save as well as he. He sent them to Joppa — That very evening. Thus, on Cornelius’s part, all things are disposed toward his receiving the gospel; and the same providence, at the same time, disposes all things on Peter’s part toward his coming to publish it.10:1-8 Hitherto none had been baptized into the Christian church but Jews, Samaritans, and those converts who had been circumcised and observed the ceremonial law; but now the Gentiles were to be called to partake all the privileges of God's people, without first becoming Jews. Pure and undefiled religion is sometimes found where we least expect it. Wherever the fear of God rules in the heart, it will appear both in works of charity and of piety, neither will excuse from the other. Doubtless Cornelius had true faith in God's word, as far as he understood it, though not as yet clear faith in Christ. This was the work of the Spirit of God, through the mediation of Jesus, even before Cornelius knew him, as is the case with us all when we, who before were dead in sin, are made alive. Through Christ also his prayers and alms were accepted, which otherwise would have been rejected. Without dispute or delay Cornelius was obedient to the heavenly vision. In the affairs of our souls, let us not lose time.A devout soldier - A pious man. This is an instance of the effect of piety in a military officer. Few people have more influence; and in this case the effect was seen not only in the piety of his family, but of this attending soldier. Such men have usually been supposed to be far from the influence of religion; but this instance shows that even the disadvantages of a camp are not necessarily hostile to the existence of piety. Compare Luke 3:14. 7, 8. when the angel … was departed, he called—immediately doing as directed, and thereby showing the simplicity of his faith.

a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually—of the "soldiers under him," such as the centurion at Capernaum had (Mt 8:9). Who this "devout soldier" was, can only be matter of conjecture. Da Costa [Four Witnesses] gives a number of ingenious reasons for thinking that, having attached himself henceforth to Peter—whose influence in the composition of the second Gospel is attested by the earliest tradition, and is stamped on that Gospel itself—he is no other than the Evangelist Mark.

Two of his household servants; these servants doubtless Cornelius had instructed, as appears Acts 10:2, and God blesses him with faithful and successful service from them.

A devout soldier; no condition, or temptation, too hard for the grace of God to overcome; both centurion and soldier are willing to hazard all they had, rather than not to obey God, and come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Waited on him continually; this soldier, for his religion’s sake, and his holy life, was taken into nearer attendance on Cornelius; it is no small matter to have one near us that hath power with God. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed,.... For when be had delivered his message, he either disappeared, or withdrew, and immediately Cornelius showed himself ready to obey the heavenly vision: for

he called two of his household servants; who were not of the band of soldiers under him, but were servants in his family, and such as feared God with him;

and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually: besides his household servants, there were soldiers that continually attended him, and among these there was one at least that was a devout and religious man; and him he called out from among the rest, and to him with the two household servants he communicated the vision: these three persons being religious, were very proper ones to be informed of this matter, and to be sent on the errand they were; and three might be particularly pitched upon, being a sufficient number to attest to Peter what they had from the mouth of their master, for by the mouth of two or three witnesses is everything established; and partly for the honour of Peter, and to show a proper respect to him, he would not send a single person, who could have told the story, and done the errand as well as three, but this would not have looked respectful enough.

And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 10:7. οἰκετῶν: one related to the οἶκος, a milder and a narrower term than δοῦλος, which would simply denote ownership; more closely associated with the family than other servants, οἰκέτας τε καὶ δούλους, cf. Romans 14:4, 1 Peter 2:18.—εὐσεβῆ: not of itself showing that the soldier had entered into any relationship with the Jews, but in connection with Acts 10:2 it can scarcely imply less than in the case of Cornelius; of each it might be said, as of St. Paul in his service of Christ, δουλεύων τῷ Κ. μετὰ πάσης ταπεινοφροσύνης (Acts 20:19), and both master and servant were about to become οἰκέται of a nobler household: οἰκεῖοι τοῦ Θεοῦί and συμπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων; see Acts 11:14.—προσκαρτερούντων, see above on chap. Acts 1:14. A good reference is given by Wendt to Dem., 1386, 6, θεραπείνας τὰς Νεαίρᾳ τότε προσκαρτερούσας (so too Polyb., xxiv., 5, 3); but see on the other hand Blass, in loco. Kuinoel supposes that they acted as house-sentries, but there is no need to limit the service to that; cf. Acts 8:13, and LXX, Susannah, ver 6.7. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius [him] was departed] The proper name does not appear in the oldest MSS. When the additional note on the last verse had found its way into the text, the name of Cornelius was placed instead of the pronoun for greater clearness. The reality of the angelic presence is strongly marked by these words which speak of his going away from the sight of Cornelius as any human being would have departed.

a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually] Better, “of them that attended on him.” The soldier was attached to the personal service of Cornelius in the same way as that in which the soldiers were under that other centurion (Luke 7:8) who could say to one, “Go,” and he was obeyed.Acts 10:7. Ὡς, when) when first, as soon as: Acts 10:33, “Immediately therefore I sent.”—ἀπῆλθεν, was departed) He did not suddenly disappear.—δύο, two) In our days, he who is deemed to be the successor of Peter receives more splendid embassies.Verse 7. - That for which, A.V.; him for Cornelius, A.V. and T.R. Two of his household servants (see Acts 9:38, note). Cornelius's faith and piety were like Abraham's - he taught his household to keep the way of the Lord, and to do justice and judgment (Genesis 18:19).
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