Acts 10:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
But he, having fixed his eyes upon him, and become full of fear, said, What is it, Lord? And he said to him, Thy prayers and thine alms have gone up for a memorial before God.

World English Bible
He, fastening his eyes on him, and being frightened, said, "What is it, Lord?" He said to him, "Your prayers and your gifts to the needy have gone up for a memorial before God.

Young's Literal Translation
and he having looked earnestly on him, and becoming afraid, said, 'What is it, Lord?' And he said to him, 'Thy prayers and thy kind acts came up for a memorial before God,

Acts 10:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And when he looked on him - Greek: Having fixed his eyes attentively on him.

He was afraid - At the suddenness and unexpected character of the vision.

What is it, Lord? - This is the expression of surprise and alarm. The word "Lord" should have been translated "sir," since there is no evidence that this is an address to God, and still less that he regarded the personage present as the Lord. Compare the notes on Acts 9:5. It is such language as a man would naturally use who was suddenly surprised; who should witness a strange form appearing unexpectedly before him; and who should exclaim, Sir, what is the matter?"

Are come up for a memorial - Are remembered before God. Compare Isaiah 45:19. They were an evidence of piety toward God, and were accepted as such. Though he had not offered sacrifice according to the Jewish laws; though he had not been circumcised; yet, having acted according to the light which he had, his prayers were hard, and his alms were accepted. This was done in accordance with the general principle of the divine administration, that God prefers the offering of the heart to external forms; the expressions of love to sacrifice without it. This he had often declared, Isaiah 1:11-15; Amos 5:21-22; 1 Samuel 15:22, "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams," Hosea 6:6; Ecclesiastes 5:1. It should be remembered, however, that Cornelius was not depending on external morality. His heart was in the work of religion. It should be remembered, further, that he was ready to receive the gospel when it was offered to him, and to become a Christian. In this there was an important difference between him and those who are depending for salvation on their morality in Christian lands. Such people are inclined to defend themselves by the example of Cornelius, and to suppose that as he was accepted before he embraced the gospel, so they may be without embracing it. But there is an important difference in the two cases. For:

(1) There is no evidence that Cornelius was depending on external morality for salvation. His offering was that of the heart, and not merely an external offering.

(2) Cornelius did not rely on his morality at all. His was a work of religion. He feared God; he prayed to him; he exerted his influence to bring his family to the same state. Moral people do neither. "All their works they do to be seen of men"; and in their heart there is "no good thing toward the Lord God of Israel." Compare 1 Kings 14:13; 2 Chronicles 19:3. Who ever hears of a man that "fears God," and that prays, and that instructs his household in religion, that depends on morality for salvation?

(3) Cornelius was disposed to do the will of God as far as it was made known to him. Where this exists there is religion. The moral man is not.

(4) Cornelius was willing to embrace a Saviour when he was made known to him. The moral man is not. He hears of a Saviour with unconcern; he listens to the message of God's mercy from year to year without embracing it. In all this there is an important difference between him and the Roman centurion; and while we hope that there may be many in pagan lands who are in the same state of mind that he was - disposed to do the will of God as far as made known, and therefore accepted and saved by his mercy in the Lord Jesus, yet this cannot be adduced to encourage the hope of salvation in those who do know his will, and yet will not do it.

Acts 10:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
February 13. "Thy Prayers are Come up for a Memorial Before God" (Acts x. 4).
"Thy prayers are come up for a memorial before God" (Acts x. 4). What a beautiful expression the angel used to Cornelius, "Thy prayers are come up for a memorial." It would almost seem as if supplications of years had accumulated before the Throne, and at last the answer broke in blessings on the head of Cornelius, even as the accumulated evaporation of months at last bursts in floods of rain upon the parched ground. So God is represented as treasuring the prayers of His saints in vials; they are
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

'God is no Respecter of Persons'
'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, 31. And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32. 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. 83. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Whether Judiciary Power is to be Specially Attributed to Christ?
Objection 1: It would seem that judiciary power is not to be specially attributed to Christ. For judgment of others seems to belong to their lord; hence it is written (Rom. 14:4): "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?" But, it belongs to the entire Trinity to be Lord over creatures. Therefore judiciary power ought not to be attributed specially to Christ. Objection 2: Further, it is written (Dan. 7:9): "The Ancient of days sat"; and further on (Dan. 7:10), "the judgment sat, and the books
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether all Men Will be Present at the Judgment?
Objection 1: It would seem that men will not all be present at the judgment. For it is written (Mat. 19:28): "You . . . shall sit on twelve seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." But all men do not belong to those twelve tribes. Therefore it would seem that men will not all be present at the judgment. Objection 2: Further, the same apparently is to be gathered from Ps. 1:5, "The wicked shall not rise again in judgment." Objection 3: Further, a man is brought to judgment that his merits may
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Leviticus 2:2
He shall then bring it to Aaron's sons the priests; and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.

Psalm 20:3
May He remember all your meal offerings And find your burnt offering acceptable! Selah.

Matthew 26:13
"Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."

Acts 3:4
But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, "Look at us!"

Acts 14:9
This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well,

Philippians 4:18
But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

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