New American Standard Bible
"Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.
King James Bible
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
Darby Bible Translation
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and supplicate the Lord, if indeed the thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee;
World English Bible
Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
Young's Literal Translation
reform, therefore, from this thy wickedness, and beseech God, if then the purpose of thy heart may be forgiven thee,
Acts 8:22 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Repent, therefore - Here we may remark:
(1) That Simon was at this time an unconverted sinner.
(2) that the command was given to him "as such."
(3) that he was required to "do the thing"; not to wait or seek merely, but actually to repent.
(4) that this was to be the "first step" in his conversion. He was not even directed to "pray" first, but his first indispensable work was to "repent"; that is, to exercise proper sorrow for this sin, and to "abandon" his plan or principle of action.
And this shows:
(1) that all sinners are to be exhorted to "repent," as their first work. They are not to be told to "wait," and "read," and "pray," in the expectation that repentance will be "given" them. With such helps as they can obtain, they are to "do the thing."
(2) prayer will not be acceptable or heard unless the sinner comes "repenting"; that is, unless he regrets his sin, and "desires" to forsake it. Then, and then only, will he be heard. When he comes "loving" his sins, and resolving still to practice them, God will not hear him. When he comes "desirous" of forsaking them, grieved that he is guilty, and "feeling" his need of help, God will hear his prayer. See Isaiah 1:15; Micah 3:4; Proverbs 1:28; Psalm 66:18.
And pray God - Having a "desire" to forsake the sin, and to be pardoned, "then" pray to God to forgive. It would be absurd to ask forgiveness until a man felt his need of it. This shows that a sinner "ought" to pray, and "how" he ought to do it. It should be with a desire and purpose to forsake sin, and in that state of mind God will hear the prayer. Compare Daniel 4:27.
If perhaps - There was no certainty that God would forgive him; nor is there any evidence either that Simon prayed, or that he was forgiven. This direction of Peter presents "another" important principle in regard to the conduct of sinners. They are to be directed to repent; not because they have the "promise" of forgiveness, and not because they "hope" to be forgiven, but because sin "is a great evil," and because it is "right" and "proper" that they should repent, whether they are forgiven or not. That is to be left to the sovereign mercy of God. they are to repent of sin, and then they are to feel, not that they have any claim on God, but that they are dependent upon Him, and must be saved or lost at His will. They are not to suppose that their tears will purchase forgiveness, but that they lie at the footstool of mercy, and that there is hope - not certainty - that God will forgive. The language of the humbled sinner is:
"Perhaps he will admit my plea,
Perhaps will hear my prayer;
But if I perish I will pray,
And perish only there.
LibrarySeed Scattered and Taking Root
'And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. 4. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
Twenty-Sixth Day for the Holy Spirit on Young Converts
Whether Simony is an Intentional Will to Buy or Sell Something Spiritual or Connected with a Spiritual Thing?
The Holy Spirit Sending Men Forth to Definite Lines of Work.
The devising of folly is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.'
2 Timothy 2:25
with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
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