Acts 10

1 A man was in Caesarea [Forsooth some man was in Caesarea], Cornelius by name, a centurion of the company of knights, that is said of Italy;
2 a religious man, and dreading the Lord, with all his household; doing many alms to the people, and praying the Lord evermore.
3 This saw in a vision openly, as in the ninth hour of the day [or noon], an angel of God entering in to him, and saying to him, Cornelius.
4 And he beheld him, and was adread, and said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said to him, Thy prayers and thine almsdeeds have ascended up into mind, in the sight of the Lord.
5 And now send thou men into Joppa [And now send men into Joppa], and call one Simon, that is named Peter.
6 This is harboured at a man, Simon, currier [currier, or tanner], whose house is beside the sea. This shall say to thee, what it behooveth thee to do.
7 And when the angel that spake to him, was gone away, he called two men of his house, and a knight that dreaded the Lord, which were at his bidding. [+And when the angel that spake to him, had gone away, he called two men of his house, and a knight dreading the Lord, of them that obeyed to him.]
8 And when he had told to them all these things, he sent them into Joppa.
9 And on the day following, while they made journey, and approached to the city [and nighed to the city], Peter went up into the highest place of the house to pray, about the sixth hour.
10 And when he was hungered [And when he hungered], he would have eaten. But while they made ready, a ravishing of the Spirit felled on him [an excess of soul, or ravishing of Spirit, fell on him];
11 and he saw heaven opened, and a vessel coming down, as a great sheet with four corners, to be let down from heaven into earth, [and he saw heaven opened, and some vessel coming down, as a great sheet with four cords, for to be sent down from heaven to earth,]
12 in which were all four-footed beasts, and creeping [things] of the earth, and volatiles of heaven [and volatiles of heaven, either of the air].
13 And a voice was made to him, Rise thou, Peter, and slay, and eat. [+And a voice was made to him, Rise, Peter, slay, and eat.]
14 And Peter said, Lord, forbid [Lord, far be it from me], for I never eat any common thing and unclean.
15 And again the second time the voice was made to him, That thing that God hath cleansed, say thou not unclean [That thing that God hath cleansed, thou shalt not say unclean].
16 And this thing was done by thrice; and at once [and anon] the vessel was received again into heaven.
17 And while that Peter doubted within himself, what the vision was that he saw, lo! the men, that were sent from Cornelius, sought the house of Simon, and stood at the gate. [And the while Peter within himself doubted, what the vision was which he saw, lo! the men, that were sent from Cornelius, seeking the house of Simon, stood nigh at the gate.]
18 And when they had called, they asked if Simon, that is named Peter [that was named Peter], had there harbour.
19 And while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said to him, Lo! three men seek thee.
20 Therefore rise thou, and go down, and go with them, and doubt thou nothing [and go with them, nothing doubting], for I sent them.
21 And Peter came down to the men, and said, Lo! I am, whom ye seek; what is the cause, for which ye be come [for which ye have come]?
22 And they said, Cornelius, the centurion, a just man, and dreading God, and having good witnessing of all the folk of Jews, took answer of an holy angel, to call thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Therefore he led them in, and received in harbour; and that night they dwelled with him. And in the day following he rose, and went forth with them; and some of the brethren followed him from Joppa [and some of brethren from Joppa followed him], that they be witnesses to Peter.
24 And the tother day he entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius abode them, with his cousins, and necessary friends, that were called together [Forsooth Cornelius abode them, with his cousins, and necessary friends called together].
25 And it was done, when Peter was come in [when Peter had entered], Cornelius came meeting him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter raised him, and said, Arise thou, also I myself am a man, as thou. [Peter soothly raised him, saying, Rise, and I myself am a man, as and thou.]
27 And he spake with him, and went in, and found many that were come together. [And he speaking with him, entered in, and found many that came together.]
28 And he said to them, Ye know, how abominable it is to a Jew, to be joined either to come to an alien [Ye know, how abominable it is to a man Jew, to be joined or to come to an alien]; but God showed to me, that no man say a man common, either unclean [or unclean].
29 For which thing I came, when I was called, without doubting. Therefore I ask you, for what cause have ye called me?
30 And Cornelius said, To day, four days into this hour, I was praying and fasting in the ninth hour in mine house. And lo! a man stood before me in a white cloak, [And Cornelius saith, From the fourth day passed till to this hour, I fasting was praying in the ninth hour in mine house. And lo! a man stood before me in a white cloth,]
31 and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine almsdeeds be in mind in the sight of God.
32 Therefore send thou into Joppa [Therefore send into Joppa], and call Simon, that is named Peter; this is harboured in the house of Simon currier, beside the sea. This, when he shall come, shall speak to thee.
33 Therefore at once [Therefore anon] I sent to thee, and thou didest well in coming to us. Now therefore we all be present in thy sight, to hear the words, whatever be commanded to thee of the Lord.
34 And Peter opened his mouth, and said, In truth I have found, that God is no acceptor of persons;
35 but in each folk he that dreadeth God, and worketh rightwiseness, is accept to him [is accepted to him].
36 God sent a word to the children of Israel, showing peace by Jesus Christ; this is Lord of all things [this is the Lord of all men].
37 Ye know the word that is made through all Judaea, and began at Galilee [forsooth beginning from Galilee], after the baptism that John preached, Jesus of Nazareth;
38 how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost, and virtue; which passed forth in doing well [which passed forth in well-doing], and healing all men oppressed of the devil, for God was with him.
39 And we be witnesses of all things, which he did in the country of Jews, and of Jerusalem [and Jerusalem]; whom they slew, hanging on a tree.
40 And God raised this in the third day, and gave him to be made known,
41 not to all the people, but to witnesses before-ordained of God; to us that ate and drank with him, after that he rose again from death [from dead].
42 And he commanded to us to preach to the people, and to witness, that he it is, that is ordained of God doomsman of the quick and of the dead [that is ordained of God doomsman of quick and dead].
43 To this all prophets bear witnessing [To this all prophets bear witness], that all men that believe in him, shall receive remission of sins by his name.
44 And yet while that Peter spake these words, the Holy Ghost felled [fell] on all that heard the word.
45 And the faithful men of circumcision, that came with Peter, wondered [And the faithful of circumcision wondered, that came with Peter], that also into nations the grace of the Holy Ghost is shed out.
46 For they heard them speaking in languages [Forsooth they heard them speak with tongues, or languages], and magnifying God. Then Peter answered,
47 Whether any man may forbid water, that these be not baptized, that have also received the Holy Ghost as we [that have received the Holy Ghost as and we]?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they prayed him, that he should dwell with them some days.

Acts 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

Cornelius directed to send for Peter. (1-8) Peter's vision. (9-18) He goes to Cornelius. (19-33) His discourse to Cornelius. (34-43) The gifts of the Holy Spirit poured out. (44-48)

Verses 1-8 Hitherto none had been baptized into the Christian church but Jews, Samaritans, and those converts who had been circumcised and observed the ceremonial law; but now the Gentiles were to be called to partake all the privileges of God's people, without first becoming Jews. Pure and undefiled religion is sometimes found where we least expect it. Wherever the fear of God rules in the heart, it will appear both in works of charity and of piety, neither will excuse from the other. Doubtless Cornelius had true faith in God's word, as far as he understood it, though not as yet clear faith in Christ. This was the work of the Spirit of God, through the mediation of Jesus, even before Cornelius knew him, as is the case with us all when we, who before were dead in sin, are made alive. Through Christ also his prayers and alms were accepted, which otherwise would have been rejected. Without dispute or delay Cornelius was obedient to the heavenly vision. In the affairs of our souls, let us not lose time.

Verses 9-18 The prejudices of Peter against the Gentiles, would have prevented his going to Cornelius, unless the Lord had prepared him for this service. To tell a Jew that God had directed those animals to be reckoned clean which were hitherto deemed unclean, was in effect saying, that the law of Moses was done away. Peter was soon made to know the meaning of it. God knows what services are before us, and how to prepare us; and we know the meaning of what he has taught us, when we find what occasion we have to make use of it.

Verses 19-33 When we see our call clear to any service, we should not be perplexed with doubts and scruples arising from prejudices or former ideas. Cornelius had called together his friends, to partake with him of the heavenly wisdom he expected from Peter. We should not covet to eat our spiritual morsels alone. It ought to be both given and taken as kindness and respect to our kindred and friends, to invite them to join us in religious exercises. Cornelius declared the direction God gave him to send for Peter. We are right in our aims in attending a gospel ministry, when we do it with regard to the Divine appointment requiring us to make use of that ordinance. How seldom ministers are called to speak to such companies, however small, in which it may be said that they are all present in the sight of God, to hear all things that are commanded of God! But these were ready to hear what Peter was commanded of God to say.

Verses 34-43 Acceptance cannot be obtained on any other ground than that of the covenant of mercy, through the atonement of Christ; but wherever true religion is found, God will accept it without regarding names or sects. The fear of God and works of righteousness are the substance of true religion, the effects of special grace. Though these are not the cause of a man's acceptance, yet they show it; and whatever may be wanting in knowledge or faith, will in due time be given by Him who has begun it. They knew in general the word, that is, the gospel, which God sent to the children of Israel. The purport of this word was, that God by it published the good tidings of peace by Jesus Christ. They knew the several matters of fact relating to the gospel. They knew the baptism of repentance which John preached. Let them know that this Jesus Christ, by whom peace is made between God and man, is Lord of all; not only as over all, God blessed for evermore, but as Mediator. All power, both in heaven and in earth, is put into his hand, and all judgment committed to him. God will go with those whom he anoints; he will be with those to whom he has given his Spirit. Peter then declares Christ's resurrection from the dead, and the proofs of it. Faith has reference to a testimony, and the Christian faith is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, on the testimony given by them. See what must be believed concerning him. That we are all accountable to Christ as our Judge; so every one must seek his favour, and to have him as our Friend. And if we believe in him, we shall all be justified by him as our Righteousness. The remission of sins lays a foundation for all other favours and blessings, by taking that out of the way which hinders the bestowing of them. If sin be pardoned, all is well, and shall end well for ever.

Verses 44-48 The Holy Ghost fell upon others after they were baptized, to confirm them in the faith; but upon these Gentiles before they were baptized, to show that God does not confine himself to outward signs. The Holy Ghost fell upon those who were neither circumcised nor baptized; it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. They magnified God, and spake of Christ and the benefits of redemption. Whatever gift we are endued with, we ought to honour God with it. The believing Jews who were present, were astonished that the gift of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Gentiles also. By mistaken notions of things, we make difficult for ourselves as to the methods of Divine providence and grace. As they were undeniably baptized with the Holy Ghost, Peter concluded they were not to be refused the baptism of water, and the ordinance was administered. The argument is conclusive; can we deny the sign to those who have received the things signified? Those who have some acquaintance with Christ, cannot but desire more. Even those who have received the Holy Ghost, must see their need of daily learning more of the truth.

Acts 10 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.