There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
Verse 1. - Now there was (two last words in italics) for there was (in roman), A.V. and T.R.; Cornelius by name for called Cornelius, A.V. A glance at the map will show that Caesarea (see note to Acts 9:30) was but a short distance, some thirty miles, from Joppa. It was doubtless with a view to Peter's momentous errand to Caesarea that Luke recorded his previous visit to Lydda and his residence at Joppa, consequent upon the restoring of Dorcas to life: the origines of Gentile Christianity being the prime object of the Acts (see Introduction to the Acts). The Italian band; or, cohort (σπείρα). The σπείρα, or cohort, was used in two senses. When spoken of strictly Roman troops, it meant the tenth part of a legion, and consisted of from four hundred and twenty-five to five hundred or six hundred men, according to the strength of the legion. Its commander was called a chiliarch, and it was divided into centuries, each commanded by a centurion. But when spoken of auxiliary provincial troops, it meant a regiment of about a thousand men (Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 3:42). It is in this last sense probably that it is used here. Josephus, in the passage above quoted, speaks of five such auxiliary cohorts coming from Caesarea to join Vespasian's army, and he tells us in another place ('Bell. Jud.,' 2:18, 7) that the principal portion of the Roman army at Caesarea were Syrians. It is pretty certain, therefore, that the Italian cohort here spoken of were auxiliaries, so called as being made up in whole or in part of Italians, probably volunteers or velones (Farrar, vol. 1:278, note). Another reason for this conclusion is that it does not seem likely that one of the divisions of a legion should have a name (though it was very common for the legions themselves to be distinguished, in addition to their number, prima, secunda, decima, etc., by such names as Italics, Parthica, Augusta, etc.), but that separate regiments would naturally have appropriate names for the same reason that the legions had. Thus, besides the Italian cohort here named, we have the Augustan cohort in Acts 27:1. It might be important for the security of the procurator, in so turbulent a province as Judaea, to have at least one cohort of Italian soldiers at the seat of government. Renan ('Apotres,' p. 202) thinks the full name of the cohort may have been "Cohors prima Augusta Italica civium Romanorum;" and adds that there were in the whole empire not fewer than thirty-two cohorts bearing the name of Italian.
A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
Verse 2. - Who for which, A.V. A devout man (εὐσεβής); and in ver. 7. It is an interesting question as to what was the precise religions status of Cornelius, whether he was a proselyte in any technical sense. But the whole narrative, in which he is spoken of simply as a Gentile and uncircumcised, seems to indicate that, though he had learnt from the Jews to worship the true God, and from the Jewish Scriptures read or heard in the synagogue to practice those virtues which went up for a memorial before God, yet he was in no sense a proselyte. It is pleasant to think that there may have been many such in the different countries where the Jews were dispersed (comp. Acts 13:16, and probably Acts 11:20).
He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
Verse 3. - Openly for evidently, A.V.; as it were about for about, A.V. and T.R.; unto for to, and to for unto, A.V. Openly; or, evidently (φανερῶς), indicates the distinctness and certainty of the vision. It was, as Meyer says, a clear angelic appearance; there was no indistinctness or confusion about it, and consequently it left no kind of doubt in the mind of Cornelius. An angel; or rather, the angel; the addition of God defines it (see Acts 5:19, note).
And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
Verse 4. - He, fastening his eyes upon for when he looked on, A.V. (ἀτενίσας, as Acts 3:4, etc.); and being affrighted for he was afraid and, A.V.; gone for come, A.V. For a memorial; i.e. thy prayers and thine alms are set is the sight of God, and are the cause of his now remembering thee and sending this message to thee. Cornelius's good works were the fruit of his faith in God as revealed in the Old Testament.
And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
Verse 5. - Fetch for call for, A.V.; one (in italics) for one (in roman), A.V. and T.R.; who is surnamed for whose surname is, A.V. Peter is always used by St. Luke, rather than Cephas.
He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
Verse 6. - The last clause in the A.V. and T.R., "he shall tell thee," etc., is omitted in the R.V.
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;
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).
And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
Verse 8. - Having rehearsed for when he had declared, A.V.; all things for all these things, A.V.
On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
Verse 9. - Now on for on, A.V.; were for went, A.V. The house top; the quietest and most retired place in an Eastern house (comp. 1 Samuel 9:25, 26). It is not inconsistent with this that the hour-top could also be made a place of special publicity, from its height and open space (see Luke 12:3). About the sixth hour. Noon, the second of the three hours of prayer among the Jews, called "the midday prayer." The last was the ninth hour (Acts 3:1) and the first the third hour, nine in the morning (Acts 2:15). See Psalm Iv. 17.
And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
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.
And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Verse 11. - He beholdeth the for saw, A.V. ; descending for descending unto him, A.V. and T.R.; were for had been, A.V.; let down by four corners upon the earth for knit at the four corners and let down to the earth, A.V. and T.R. The vessel coming down from the open heavens implied that the command to eat what was contained in it was given by revelation. The things sent were from God, and the command to eat was from God. Peter's hunger had prepared the way for the particular form of the vision.
Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
Verse 12. - Beasts and creeping things of the earth for beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, A.V. and T.R.; heaven for air, A.V. The distinction between clean and unclean was very sharply drawn in the Levitical Law (Leviticus 11; see especially vers. 41-44 and Leviticus 20:25; Deuteronomy 14:3-20). Peter's astonishment must, therefore, have been exceeding great at the command to slay and eat. And so his answer in ver. 14 shows. And yet our Lord had taught him the same truth (Matthew 15:10-20, or still more distinctly Mark 8:14-23).
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
Verse 14. - And unclean for or unclean, A.V. and T.R. It is rather a striking testimony to Peter's religious character as a Jew before his call to the apostolate, that, poor Galilaean fisherman as he was, unlearned and ignorant, he had yet always conscientiously obeyed the Law of Moses in regard to things clean and unclean (comp. Daniel 1:8-15). The address, Lord (Κύριε), seems certainly to recognize the voice as that of Christ, which also agrees with the descent of the vessel from heaven. The answer is very similar to the refusals in Matthew 16:22; John 13:8.
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou 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."
This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
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.
Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
Verse 17. - Was much perplexed for doubted, A.V.; the for this, A.V.; might for should, A.V.; that for which, A.V.; by for from, A.V.; having made inquiry, stood for had made enquiry, and stood., A.V. The gate (πυλών); the porch or gate into the court of an Eastern house. In Acts 12:13 we have "the door of the gate" (see Matthew 26:71; Luke 16:20, etc.).
And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
Verse 18. - Lodging for lodged, A.V.
While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
Verse 19. - And while for while, A.V. Thought (διενθυμουμένου, R.T.), stronger than the ἐνθυμουμένου of the T.R.; thought over through and through; considered in all its bearings. It only occurs here and two or three times in Cyril and other Church writers. The Spirit (so Acts 11:12). In Acts 13:2 it is τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἄγιον.
Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
Verse 20. - But arise for arise therefore, A.V.; nothing doubting for doubting nothing, A.V. But arise. The but answers the unexpressed idea - Do not hesitate, do not delay, but go at once. For I have sent them. This is one of the many passages which distinctly mark the personality of the Holy Spirit (comp. Acts 8:29; Acts 13:2; Acts 20:28, etc.). Here, too, we may notice the working of God's providence, under whose direction Peter's thoughts and Cornelius's message meet at the same point, like men working from opposite ends of a tunnel and meeting at the same spot.
Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
Verse 21. - And for then, A.V.; the men for the men which were sent unto him from Coffins, A.V. and T.R.
And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
Verse 22. - A centurion for the centurion, A.V.; righteous for just, A.V.; well reported of for of good report among, A.V.; of God (in italics) for from God (in roman), A.V.; a holy for an holy, A.V.; from thee for of thee, A.V. Righteous; as Matthew 1:19 (comp. the description of Cornelius in ver. 10). The mention here of his being well reported of by all the nation of the Jews is an additional trait (comp. Luke 7:2-5). For the expression, "of good report" (μαρτυρούμενος), see Acts 6:3, note. Of God. The rendering, "warned from God," however, fairly represents ἐχρηματίσθη, because χρηματίζομαι does not mean "to be warned," but "to be divinely warned." Ξρηματίζεσθαι παρὰ Θεοῦ ἀποκάλυψιν δέχεσθαι, (Theophylaet). See the frequent use of the word in the New Testament (Matthew 2:12; Luke 2:26; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 11:7, etc.). Josephus frequently uses the verb in the active voice in the same sense. To hear words from thee. A Hebrew turn of expression.
Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
Verse 23. - So he called for then called he, A.V.; he arose and went forth for Paler went away, A.V. and T.R.; certain of the brethren for certain brethren, A.V. And lodged them is rather a feeble rendering of ἐξένισεν. The same word is rendered entertained in Hebrews 13:2, which is nearer the sense; "to entertain as a guest." The word carries with it that he showed them hospitality, and thus broke down the wall of partition between him and them. "He gave them friendly treatment, and made them at home with him" (Chrysostom). (For ξενίζομαι, see ver. 32.) He arose and went forth. This was on the morrow of their arrival. It was two days' journey from Caesarea to Joppa, and two days' journey back again, the distance being thirty miles. They would probably stop the night at Apollonia, which was half-way, on the coast road. Certain of the brethren. The ready missionary spirit of the first disciples is here apparent (comp. Acts 20:4).
And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
Verse 24. - On the morrow for the morrow after, A.V.; was waiting for waited, A.V.; having called for and had called, A.V.; and his near for and near, A.V. On the morrow. The addition of after in A.V. makes the sense clearer. They entered into Caesarea. A memorable event, being the first invasion of the Roman empire by the soldiers of the cross. His near friends. We have here a proof of the strong faith of Cornelius. He did not doubt the angel's promise (vers. 5 and 6). We see his brotherly love. He invited his friends to come and hear the message of salvation; those whom, as Chrysostom suggests, he had himself brought to a better mind.
And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
Verse 25. - When it came to pass that Peter entered for as Peter was coming in, A.V. The commentators all notice the ungrammatical phrase, ἐγένετο τοῦ εἰσελθεῖν, of the R.T. It seems to be a mixture of two con- structions - ἐγένετο τοῦ εἰσελθεῖν τὸν Πέτρον and ὡς δὲ εἰσῆλθεν ὁ Πέτρος. But probably the T.R. is right. Worshipped him; not necessarily as a god, because προσκυνεῖν (with a dative or an accusative, or, as here, without any case, Hebrew הִשְׁתַחֲוֶה) is constantly used to express that prostration which Orientals practiced before those whom they wished to honor; e.g. Genesis 23:7, 12; Genesis 33:3, 6, 7, etc. But Peter's answer shows that he saw in it greater honor than ought to be paid by one man to another (see Acts 14:15).
But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
Verse 26. - Raised for took, A.V.
And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
Verse 27. - Findeth for found, A.V.; many come for many that were come, A.V.
And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
Verse 28. - Ye yourselves for ye, A.V.; to join himself for to keep company, A.V.; and yet unto me hath God showed for but God hath showed me, A.V. Ye yourselves know. It was notorious among the Romans that the Jews kept themselves aloof from other people. Hence the accusation against them, in common with Christians, of being haters of the human race. Tacitus says of them that they hated all people, except their own countrymen, as their enemies, and refused to eat or intermarry with them ("Separati epulis discreti cubilibus;" 'Hist.,' 5:5). The word ἀλλόφυλος, one of another nation, occurs only here in the New Testament, but is common in the LXX. often as a synonym for "Philistines" (see Judges 3:3, etc.). This rather refutes Meyer's remark that "the designation (of Gentiles) here is tenderly forbearing."
Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
Verse 29. - Wherefore also I came for therefore came I unto you, A.V.; when for as soon as, A.V.; with what for for what, A.V.; ye sent for ye have sent, A.V.
And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
Verse 30. - Until this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer for I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour I prayed, A.V. and T.R.; apparel for clothing, A.V. Four days ago. This was the fourth day (see ver. 23, note). Until this hour, etc. The reading of the R.T. is not adopted by Meyer or Alford, and the R.V. is unintelligible. The A.V. seems to give the meaning clearly and accurately. Until this hour probably denotes the sixth hour, midday, as in ver. 9. Peter's journey would naturally have been taken in the cool of the early morning. Starting at 5 or 6 a.m., five hours, with perhaps an hour's halt, would bring him to the end of his fifteen miles' journey by 11 or 12 a.m. Apparel. The same phrase, ἐσθὴς λαμπρά, is used by St. Luke (Luke 23:11). In the description of the transfiguration a stronger expression is used, ἐξαστράπτων, dazzling.
And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
Verse 31. - Saith for said, A.V.
Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
Verse 32. - Unto thee for hither, A.V. ; who is surnamed for whose surname is, A.V.; lodgeth for is lodged, A.V. (ξενίζεται in the middle voice; for the active, see above, ver. 23); Simon for one Simon, A.V. The clause which follows in the A.V., "who when he cometh shall speak unto thee," is omitted in the R.T. and R.V.
Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
Verse 33. - Forthwith for immediately, A.V.; we are for are we, A.V.; in the sight of for before, A.V.; have been for are, A.V.; the Lord for God, A.V. and T.R.
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Verse 34. - And for then, A.V.
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Verse 35. - Acceptable to for accepted with, A.V. As regards the truth that God is no respecter of persons, which the present incident had brought home so vividly to Peter's apprehension, there can be no difficulty in understanding it. Cornelius was devout, he feared God, he was fruitful in prayer and almsgiving. God did not say to him, "All this would have been accepted in a Jew, but cannot be noticed in a Gentile." But, Gentile as he was, his prayers and alms went up for a memorial before God. If the things done were good in themselves, they were equally good whoever did them. God is no respecter of persons to accept or reject one or another, because of who he is, and not because of what he does (Ephesians 6:8). The rule is glory, honor, and peace to every one that worketh good, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, for there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:10, 11). The word προσωπολήπτης (respecter of persons) occurs only here at all; προσωποληπτέω (to accept or respect persons), once only, in James 2:9; προσωποληψία (respect of persons), Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:1. The same idea is expressed by πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν, by which the LXX. render the Hebrew נָשָׂא פָּנִים, and by πρόσωπον θαυμάζειν, by which they also render it and the kindred phrase, חַדַר פָנִים (see Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 10:17, etc.). The first phrase occurs in Luke 20:21 and Galatians 2:6; the latter only in Jude 1:16, where it is rightly rendered in the R.V., "showing respect of persons." Another phrase is ἀπροσωπολήπτως (without respect of persons), 1 Peter 1:17, and βλέπειν εἰς πρόσωπον (to regard the person), Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:14.
The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Verse 36. - He for God, A.V.; preaching good tidings of peace for preaching peace, A.V.
That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
Verse 37. - That saying ye yourselves know for that word, I say, ye know, A.V.; beginning for and began, A.V. The construction of vers. 36, 37, and 38, is somewhat difficult, but by far the easiest and most natural way, both as regards grammar and sense, is to make ὑμεῖς οἴδατε govern τὸν λόγον directly: You, Gentiles, well know the word which God sent to the Israelites, when he caused the gospel of peace to be preached to them, the word, namely, which came [τὸ γενόμενον ῤῆμα - comp. especially Luke 3:2] throughout all Judaea," etc. (ver. 38), "about Jesus of Nazareth, how that God anointed him," etc. In the above sentence, τὸ γενόμενον ῤῆμα is in apposition with τὸν λόγον, but amplifies and explains it; and again Ἰησοῦν τὸν ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ, with all that follows down to the end of ver. 39, is a still further explanation of the ῤηγ῀μα, and a summary of that gospel which, as Cornelius already knew, had been preached to the Jews by Jesus himself. The parenthesis, "He is Lord of all," is most opportunely inserted, that his hearers might know that Jesus of Nazareth was Lord of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews. The words λόγος and ῤῆμα are synonymous, as in ver. 44 and in 1 Peter 1:23, 25 (see Luke 3:2; Ephesians 6:17), and are better both expressed by the English word, as in the A.V., than by word and saying, as in the R.V.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Verse 38. - Even Jesus of Nazareth, how that God anointed him for how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth. The reference to the anointing (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18, 21; Matthew 1:16, 17; Acts 4:27) was necessary to represent him as God's Christ (see Acts 9:22). For the designation, of Nazareth, comp. Acts 2:22; Acts 3:26; Acts 4:10; Acts 6:14; Luke 24:20. Oppressed of the devil. This ascription of disease to Satan agrees with Job 2:7 and Luke 13:16. The word rendered "oppressed" (καταδυναστευομένους) occurs in the New Testament only here and James 2:6, but, with its substantive καταδυναστεία, is found repeatedly in the LXX. and the Apocrypha, and in classical Greek, though rarely. A good example of its force is Exodus 1:13, and of the substantive Exodus 6:7. It means "to rule over oppressively, and by force." In the explanatory addition, For God was with him, Peter teaches what our Lord himself and St. John in his Gospel so constantly do, that our Lord's miracles were wrought by the power of God (see e.g. John 5:17, 19, 30; John 7:28; John 8:28; John 9:3, 4; Luke 11:20, etc.). The unity of the Son with the Father would be taught later.
And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Verse 39. - Country for land, A.V.; whom also for whom, A.V. and T.R.; hanging him for and hanged, A.V.
Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
Verse 40. - Gave him to be made manifest for showed him openly, A.V.
Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
Verse 41. - That were chosen for chosen, A.V. Peter here again brings forward the special apostolic office of being witnesses of Christ's resurrection (see Acts 1:8, 21, 22; Acts 2:32; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:33; Acts 5:32; Acts 13:31; Acts 26:16, as well as vers. 39 and 42 of this chapter). This constant reference to the testimony of eye-witnesses is an indication of the thoroughly historical character of Christianity, and of the importance of Christian evidences. The new matter which Peter was to bring before Cornelius and his company begins at ver. 40, but with the prefatory remarks in ver. 39, which both attest the truth of what Cornelius already knew and prepare for the following revelation. Who did eat and drink (see Luke 24:30, 41-43; John 21:12, etc.).
And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
Verse 42. - Charged for commanded, A.V.; this is he which is for it is he which was, A.V. To be the Judge, etc. This statement involves the resurrection of the dead (comp. John 5:21-29; Revelation 20:11, 12). It is easy to see how the creeds would be formed from the repetition of short doctrinal statements like this (see 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Verse 43. - Bear for give, A.V.; every one that for whosoever, A.V.; on him for in him, A.V. Here we have another article of the Creed, the forgiveness of sins, preached too in immediate anticipation of baptism, on the profession of faith in Jesus Christ (ver. 48). Comp. Acts 8:37 (T.R.) and 38.
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Verse 45. - Amazed for astonished, A.V. They of the circumcision would doubtless be the brethren from Joppa who accompanied Peter (ver. 23). A more striking confirmation of Peter's vision cannot be conceived than this descent of the Holy Ghost upon the uncircumcised. How could they any longer be reckoned common or unclean whom God thus cleansed with his Holy Spirit?
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Verse 46. - For they heard them, etc. This was the incontrovertible evidence of their reception of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 11:15-18, and Acts 2:4 and 11, and note on ver. 4).
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Verse 47. - The water for water, A.V. They actually had the Spirit, which God himself supplied; could any one object to their having the water also, which was the part of the sacrament which it rested with man to supply, in order to complete the new birth (John 3:5)?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Verse 48. - Jesus Christ for the Lord, A.V. and T.R. No one forbidding or objecting, Peter immediately ordered that they should be baptized. He does not appear to have baptized them himself, any more than St. Paul did his converts (1 Corinthians 1:13-17). They prayed him to tarry with them, no doubt that they might receive fuller instruction in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, into which they had been baptized.