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Bible Commentaries

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament
Acts 5



Verse 2

His wife-being privy to it; secretly knowing and concurring in the design of keeping back a part of the price for which they sold the land, while they professed to bring the whole.

Verse 3

The Holy Ghost; who was present with the apostles, and under whose direction they acted. Lying is a great sin. Those who practise it are influenced by Satan, and imitate his example.

Verse 4

While it remained; before he sold it.

In thine own power; at his disposal. It was optional with him to give it to the apostles or not, as he chose. There was no constraint or compulsion in this matter, but it was entirely voluntary.

Unto God; by lying to the Holy Ghost, who was with the apostles, they lied unto God; for he was God.

Verse 5

Give up the ghost; instantly died.

Verse 6

Wound him up; in cloths, as was then the custom for burial.

Verse 8

Answered; said.

So much; the sum that Ananias had brought, as if it were the whole price of the land.

Verse 9

Tempt the Spirit of the Lord; by trying to deceive him.

Carry thee out; bury thee, as they did thy husband.

Verse 10

Sometimes known, deliberate wickedness is visited upon the sinner by immediate divine judgments; and no person, when he commits known iniquity, can be sure that it will not be so visited on him; and if it should not be, no impenitent transgressor will ultimately escape. Proverbs 11:21; Proverbs 19:5.

Verse 13

Of the rest; of those outside of the Christian body.

Durst no man join himself; that is, according to some, in a hypocritical way, like Ananias and Sapphira. But perhaps the meaning is, that the multitude without the church were so overwrought by the death of these two persons, that, for the present, no one dared openly to connect himself with the Christian body under the charge of the apostles. This may have been no permanent hinderance to the increase of the church, but only a salutary check promotive of its purity, while the work of conversion went on among the people.

Magnified them; regarded and spoke of them with great respect.

Verse 14

The more; greater numbers in consequence received the gospel, being persuaded that it was from God. The Holy Spirit may make the destruction of some the occasion of the salvation of others. When it is seen that the wicked do not live out half their days, and that the wages of sin is death, many may be led to forsake sin and live. Psalms 55:23; Romans 6:23.

Verse 15

Beds and couches; beds were used by the rich, and couches by the poor.

Verse 17

They that were with him; who agreed with him, especially the Sadducees, who denied the possibility of a resurrection. If Christ was indeed risen, as the apostles affirmed, it proved their doctrine false; and hence the bitterness of their opposition.

Verse 20

The words of this life; the way of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Rulers sometimes forbid what God commands, and thus make it the duty of men to disobey them in order to obey him.

Verse 21

The senate of the children of Israel; men of age and influence, called elsewhere elders of the Jews, and the estate of the elders. Chap Acts 4:5; Acts 22:5; Acts 25:15.

Verse 24

The chief priests; these were the heads of the twenty-four courses into which the priests were divided. 1 Chronicles 24:1-31; 2 Chronicles 8:14; Luke 1:5.

Whereunto this would grow; what would be the effects of it.

Verse 26

They; the officers.

The people; those who favored the apostles.

Verse 28

This name; the name of Jesus.

Bring this man’s blood upon us; prove us guilty of murdering him. Men often shrink from taking the responsibility of their own actions, and are filled with indignation at the statement of the truth concerning them.

Verse 29

Obey God; he commanded them to preach; the rulers forbade it.

Verse 30

On a tree; the cross. Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24.

Verse 31

To give repentance; by sending down the Holy Spirit, convincing men of sin, and leading them to hate and forsake it.

Verse 32

These things; the resurrection of Christ, his ascension to heaven, and his giving repentance and pardon.

The Holy Ghost; by his miraculous powers and his sanctifying effects.

Verse 33

Cut to the heart; enraged, filled with wrath. Chap Acts 7:54. When the exhibition of truth torments men, it is evident that they must experience a great change, or their torment will be eternal; for Jehovah is a God of truth, and the progress of his government will be developing and illustrating the truth for ever.

Verse 34

A doctor of the law; an interpreter and teacher of the divine law. Chap Acts 22:3.

Verse 36

Somebody; a person of eminence and distinction, a leader of the people.

Verse 37

Days of the taxing; the taxing of the Jews by the Roman government.

Drew away much people; he contended that the taxing of Jews by a heathen government was unlawful, and many followed him.

Verse 38

This counsel or this work; the work in which the apostles were engaged.

Verse 40

They agreed; so far as not further to pursue measures for putting them to death, though they scourged them, and again commanded them not to preach.

Verse 41

Counted worthy; to be treated somewhat as Christ was, on account of their attachment to him and zeal in his cause. This was an evidence of their likeness and devotion to him. Like him, they despised the shame, and rejoiced in the prospect of coming glory. It is not in the power of the wicked to destroy the happiness of the righteous. They can destroy themselves, but cannot prevent a single individual who loves and trusts in Jesus Christ, from for ever shouting with the heavenly host, "Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Revelation 19:6.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Acts 5:4". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

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Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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