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1 But a certaine man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, solde a possession,

2 And kept backe part of the price, his wife also being priuy to it, and brought a certaine part, and layd it at the Apostles feete.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the holy Ghost, and to keepe backe part of the price of the land?

4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine owne? and after it was sold, was it not in thine owne power? why hast thou conceiued this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied vnto men, but vnto God.

5 And Ananias hearing these words, fell downe, and gaue vp the ghost: and great feare came on all them that heard these things.

6 And the yong men arose, wound him vp, and caried him out, and buried him.

7 And it was about the space of three houres after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8 And Peter answered vnto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much. And she saide, Yea, for so much.

9 Then Peter saide vnto her, How is it that ye haue agreed together, to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feete of them which haue buried thy husband, are at the doore, and shall cary thee out.

10 Then fell she downe straightway at his feete, and yeelded vp the ghost: And the yong men came in, and found her dead, and carying her forth, buried her by her husband.

11 And great feare came vpon all the Church, and vpon as many as heard these things.

12 And by the hands of the Apostles, were many signes and wonders wrought among the people. (And they were all with one accord in Solomons porch.

13 And of the rest durst no man ioyne himselfe to them: But the people magnified them.

14 And beleeuers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

15 Insomuch þt they brought foorth the sicke into the streetes, and layed them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by, might ouershadow some of them.

16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about vnto Hierusalem, bringing sicke folkes, and them which were vexed with vncleane spirits: and they were healed euery one.

17 Then the high Priest rose vp, and al they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadduces) and were filled with indignation,

18 And laid their hands on the Apostles, & put them in the common prison.

19 But the Angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doores, and brought them foorth, and said,

20 Goe, stand and speake in the Temple to the people all the words of this life.

21 And when they heard that, they entred into the Temple early in the morning, & taught: but the high Priest came, and they that were with him, and called the Councill together, and all the Senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to haue them brought.

22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,

23 Saying, The prison truely found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doores, but when we had opened, we found no man within.

24 Now when the high Priest, and the captaine of the Temple, and the chiefe Priests heard these things, they doubted of them wherunto this would grow.

25 Then came one, and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison, are standing in the Temple, and teaching the people.

26 Then went the captaine with the officers, and brought them without violence: (For they feared the people, lest they should haue bene stoned.)

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the Councill, and the high Priest asked them,

28 Saying, Did not wee straitly command you, that you should not teach in this Name? And behold, yee haue filled Hierusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this mans blood vpon vs.

29 Then Peter, and the other Apostles answered, and saide, Wee ought to obey God rather then men.

30 The God of our fathers raised vp Iesus, whom yee slew and hanged on a tree.

31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to bee a Prince and a Sauiour, for to giue repentance to Israel, and forgiuenesse of sinnes.

32 And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the holy Ghost, whom God hath giuen to them that obey him.

33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and tooke counsell to slay them.

34 Then stood there vp one in the Councill, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctour of Law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the Apostles forth a litle space,

35 And said vnto them, Yee men of Israel, take heed to your selues, what ye intend to doe as touching these men.

36 For before these dayes rose vp Theudas, boasting himselfe to be some body, to whom a number of men, about foure hundred, ioyned themselues: who was slaine, and all, as many as obeied him, were scattered, & brought to nought.

37 After this man rose vp Iudas of Galilee, in the dayes of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: hee also perished, and all, euen as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

38 And now I say vnto you, refraine from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsell or this worke be of men, it will come to nought.

39 But if it be of God, ye cannot ouerthrow it, lest haply yee be found euen to fight against God.

40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the Apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speake in the Name of Iesus, and let them goe.

41 And they departed from the presence of the Councill, reioycing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his Name.

42 And dayly in the Temple, and in euery house, they ceased not to teach and preach Iesus Christ.

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Commentary for Acts 5

The death of Ananias and Sapphira. (1-11) The power which accompanied the preaching of the gospel. (12-16) The apostles imprisoned, but set free by an angel. (17-25) The apostles testify to Christ before the council. (26-33) The advice of Gamaliel, The council let the apostles go. (34-42)1-11 The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was, that they were ambitious of being thought eminent disciples, when they were not true disciples. Hypocrites may deny themselves, may forego their worldly advantage in one instance, with a prospect of finding their account in something else. They were covetous of the wealth of the world, and distrustful of God and his providence. They thought they might serve both God and mammon. They thought to deceive the apostles. The Spirit of God in Peter discerned the principle of unbelief reigning in the heart of Ananias. But whatever Satan might suggest, he could not have filled the heart of Ananias with this wickedness had he not been consenting. The falsehood was an attempt to deceive the Spirit of truth, who so manifestly spoke and acted by the apostles. The crime of Ananias was not his retaining part of the price of the land; he might have kept it all, had he pleased; but his endeavouring to impose upon the apostles with an awful lie, from a desire to make a vain show, joined with covetousness. But if we think to put a cheat upon God, we shall put a fatal cheat upon our own souls. How sad to see those relations who should quicken one another to that which is good, hardening one another in that which is evil! And this punishment was in reality mercy to vast numbers. It would cause strict self-examination, prayer, and dread of hypocrisy, covetousness, and vain-glory, and it should still do so. It would prevent the increase of false professors. Let us learn hence how hateful falsehood is to the God of truth, and not only shun a direct lie, but all advantages from the use of doubtful expressions, and double meaning in our speech.

12-16 The separation of hypocrites by distinguishing judgments, should make the sincere cleave closer to each other and to the gospel ministry. Whatever tends to the purity and reputation of the church, promotes its enlargement; but that power alone which wrought such miracles by the apostles, can rescue sinners from the power of sin and Satan, and add believers to His worshippers. Christ will work by all his faithful servants; and every one who applies to him shall be healed.

17-25 There is no prison so dark, so strong, but God can visit his people in it, and, if he pleases, fetch them out. Recoveries from sickness, releases out of trouble, are granted, not that we may enjoy the comforts of life, but that God may be honoured with the services of our life. It is not for the preachers of Christ's gospel to retire into corners, as long as they can have any opportunity of preaching in the great congregation. They must preach to the lowest, whose souls are as precious to Christ as the souls of the greatest. Speak to all, for all are concerned. Speak as those who resolve to stand to it, to live and die by it. Speak all the words of this heavenly, divine life, in comparison with which the present earthly life does not deserve the name. These words of life, which the Holy Ghost puts into your mouth. The words of the gospel are the words of life; words whereby we may be saved. How wretched are those who are vexed at the success of the gospel! They cannot but see that the word and power of the Lord are against them; and they tremble for the consequences, yet they will go on.

26-33 Many will do an evil thing with daring, yet cannot bear to hear of it afterward, or to have it charged upon them. We cannot expect to be redeemed and healed by Christ, unless we give up ourselves to be ruled by him. Faith takes the Saviour in all his offices, who came, not to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sins. Had Christ been exalted to give dominion to Israel, the chief priests would have welcomed him. But repentance and remission of sins are blessings they neither valued nor saw their need of; therefore they, by no means, admitted his doctrine. Wherever repentance is wrought, remission is granted without fail. None are freed from the guilt and punishment of sin, but those who are freed from the power and dominion of sin; who are turned from it, and turned against it. Christ gives repentance, by his Spirit working with the word, to awaken the conscience, to work sorrow for sin, and an effectual change in the heart and life. The giving of the Holy Ghost, is plain evidence that it is the will of God that Christ should be obeyed. And He will surely destroy those who will not have Him to reign over them.

34-42 The Lord still has all hearts in his hands, and sometimes directs the prudence of the worldly wise, so as to restrain the persecutors. Common sense tells us to be cautious, while experience and observation show that the success of frauds in matters of religion has been very short. Reproach for Christ is true preferment, as it makes us conformable to his pattern, and serviceable to his interest. They rejoiced in it. If we suffer ill for doing well, provided we suffer it well, and as we should, we ought to rejoice in that grace which enabled us so to do. The apostles did not preach themselves, but Christ. This was the preaching that most offended the priests. But it ought to be the constant business of gospel ministers to preach Christ: Christ, and him crucified; Christ, and him glorified; nothing beside this, but what has reference to it. And whatever is our station or rank in life, we should seek to make Him known, and to glorify his name.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Acts 5

  • Steve morrow
    ACTS 5:29 THEN PETER AND THE OTHER APOSTLES ANSWERED AND SAID WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN ACTS 10:34 then peter opened his mouth and said of a truth I perceive that GOD is no respecter of persons --10:35-- but in every nation he that feareth HIM and worketh righteousness is accepted with HIM
  • Steve morrow
    ACTS 5:1 but a certain man named ananias with sapphira his wife sold a possession --5:2-- and kept back part of the price his wife also being privy to it and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles feet --5:3-- but peter said ananias why hat satan filled thine heart to lie against the holy spirit and to keep back part of the price of the land
  • Steve morrow
    ACTS 5:4 whiles it remained was it not thine own and after it was sold was it not in thine own power why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart thou hast not lied unto men but unto GOD --5:5-- and ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost and great fear came on all them that heard these things
  • Jerry
    these bold disciples, who just weeks before were cowering in a secret hideout because of their fear of getting arrested and murdered like the Christ, were now proclaiming the gospel, tells me their testimony was indeed real. Once the Holy Spirit came and filled them, they had no more fear, because they KNEW Jesus was God...awesome!!
  • Cowboy 🐄
    History repeats itself when we act beyond reason before consulting God
  • Steve morrow
    ACTS 5:20 GO STAND AND SPEAK IN THE TEMPLE TO THE PEOPLE ALL THE WORDS OF THIS LIFE ACTS 1:1 the former treatise have I made o theophilus of all that JESUS began both to do and teach --1:2-- UNTIL THE DAY IN WHICH HE WAS TAKEN UP AFTER THAT HE THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD GIVEN COMMANDMENTS UNTO THE APOSTLES WHOM HE HAD CHOSEN

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