Acts 10:9

9 The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon,

Acts 10:9 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 10:9

On the morrow, as they went on their journey
From Caesarea to Joppa; Joppa is said to be six and thirty miles distant from Caesarea; so far Caesarea was from Lydda, but it seems to be further from Joppa; for according to Josephus F2, from Joppa to Antipatris were a hundred and fifty furlongs, which are almost nineteen miles, and from thence to Caesarea were twenty six miles; unless there was a nearer way by the sea shore, as there was a way by that from Caesarea to Joppa, of which the above author makes mention F3; wherefore they must either have set out the evening before, or early that morning, to get to Joppa by the sixth hour, or twelve o'clock at noon; as it seems they did, by what follows:

and drew nigh unto the city;
that is, of Joppa, were but a little way distant from it:

Peter went up upon the housetop to pray;
the roofs of houses in Judea were flat, and persons might walk upon them, and hither they often retired for devotion and recreation; (See Gill on Matthew 10:27), (See Gill on Matthew 24:17), it was on the former count, namely for prayer, that Peter went up thither, and that he might, be private and alone, and undisturbed in the discharge of that duty. This being at a tanner's house, though not in his shop, brings to mind a canon of the Jews F4,

``a man may not enter into a bath, nor into a tanner's shop, near the Minchah,''

or time of prayer. Now this was about the sixth hour or twelve o'clock at noon, when Peter went up to pray; at which time the messengers from Cornelius were near the city of Joppa; this was another time of prayer used by the Jews, and is what they call the great Minchah, which began at the sixth hour and an half, and so was as is here said, about the sixth hour (See Gill on Acts 3:1)


F2 Antiqu. l. 13. c. 13.
F3 De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 14.
F4 Misn. Sabbat, c. 1. sect. 2.

Acts 10:9 In-Context

7 As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants.
8 He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa.
9 The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon,
10 and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.
11 He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners.
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