Acts 5:35

35 Then he said to his colleagues, “Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men!

Acts 5:35 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 5:35

And said unto them, ye men of Israel
This he said after the apostles were put out, when the council was by themselves; and he addressed them as "men of Israel"; not as distinct from the priests and Levites in the council, but because they were all of the stock of Israel; for this council did not consist of Israelites only, as distinct from priests and Levites, as appears from ( Acts 5:21 Acts 5:27 ) . A sanhedrim commonly consisted of each of these; though if only of Israelites it was a lawful one. Maimonides says F3,

``they did not use to appoint any in the sanhedrim, but priests, Levites, and Israelites, that were genealogized and fit to be married into the priesthood---and that it was a command, that in the great sanhedrim there should be priests and Levites; as it is said, "thou shalt go to the priests and Levites"; but if they are not found, if they are all Israelites, lo, this is lawful,''

or a proper sanhedrim. His speech to them follows,

take heed to yourselves;
consider well, do not act a rash and precipitant part; do not give way to passion and wrath, and hastily lay hands on these men, and destroy them; lest ye bring yourselves into disgrace and danger, and bring upon yourselves the ill-will and resentment of men, and the wrath of God: take time to consider of the matter, and deliberately consult

what ye intend to do as touching these men;
what punishment to inflict upon them, whether imprisonment, scourging, or death; do nothing rashly.


FOOTNOTES:

F3 Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 1. 2.

Acts 5:35 In-Context

33 When they heard this, the high council was furious and decided to kill them.
34 But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while.
35 Then he said to his colleagues, “Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men!
36 Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About 400 others joined him, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing.
37 After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed, too, and all his followers were scattered.