Acts 3:1

The Lame Beggar Healed

1 Now Peter and John were 1going up to the temple at 2the hour of prayer, 3the ninth hour.[a]

Acts 3:1 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 3:1

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple
These two disciples were intimate companions, and great lovers of each other; they were often together: they are thought, by some, to have been together in the high priest's palace at the trial of Christ; and they ran together to his sepulchre, ( John 18:15 John 18:16 ) ( 20:2-4 ) and they now went together to the temple, not to attend the daily sacrifice, which was now abolished by the sacrifice of Christ, but to attend to the duty of prayer, which was still in force, and that they might have an opportunity of preaching Christ, where there was a number of people together:

at the hour of prayer; being the ninth hour,
or three o'clock in the afternoon. This was one of their hours of prayer; it was customary with the Jews to pray three times a day, ( Daniel 6:10 ) which, according to the Psalmist in ( Psalms 55:17 ) were evening, morning, and at noon; to which seems to answer the three times that are taken notice of by Luke in this history: that in the morning was at the third hour, as in ( Acts 2:15 ) or nine o'clock in the morning; that at noon was at the sixth hour, as in ( Acts 10:9 ) or twelve o'clock at noon; and that in the evening at the ninth hour, as here, or three o'clock in the afternoon. Not that these were times of divine appointment. The Jews


F15 themselves say,

``there is no number of prayers from the law, and there is no repetition of this or that prayer from the law, and there is no (ewbq Nmz) , "fixed time" for prayer from the law.''

But according to the traditions of the elders,

``the morning prayer was to the end of the fourth hour, which is the third part of the day--the prayer of the "Minchah", (or evening prayer,) they fixed the time of it to answer to the evening daily sacrifice; and because the daily sacrifice was offered up every day from the ninth hour and a half, they ordered the time of it to be from the ninth hour and a half, and it is called the lesser "Minchah"; and because in the evening of the passover, which falls upon the evening of the sabbath, they slay the daily sacrifice at the sixth hour and a half, they say, that he that prays after the sixth hour and a half is excused; and after this time is come, the time to which he is obliged is come, and this is called the great "Minchah"---lo, you learn, that the time of the great "Minchah" is from the sixth hour and a half, to the ninth hour and a half; and the time of the lesser "Minchah" is from the ninth hour and a half, until there remains of the day an hour and a quarter; and it is lawful to pray it until the sun sets.''

So that it was at the time of the lesser "Minchah" that Peter and John went up to the temple; which seems to be not on the same day of Pentecost, but on some day, or days after; it may be the sabbath following, when there was a great number of people got together.

F15 Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 1. sect. 1. Ib. c. 3. sect. 1, 2, 4. Vid. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 26. 2.

Acts 3:1 In-Context

1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple.
3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.
4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us."
5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.

Cross References 3

  • 1. See Luke 18:10
  • 2. Psalms 55:17
  • 3. Acts 10:3, 30; Matthew 27:46; [1 Kings 18:29]

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.