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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Acts 10



Other Authors
Verse 1

Cornelius (Kornēlios). The great Cornelian family of Rome may have had a freedman or descendant who is centurion (hekatoṅtarchēs leader of a hundred, Latin centurio). See Matthew 8:5. These Roman centurions always appear in a favourable light in the N.T. (Matthew 8:5; Luke 7:2; Luke 23:47; Acts 10:1; Acts 22:25; Acts 27:3). Furneaux notes the contrasts between Joppa, the oldest town in Palestine, and Caesarea, built by Herod; the Galilean fisherman lodging with a tanner and the Roman officer in the seat of governmental authority.

Of the band called the Italian (ek speirēs tēs kaloumenēs Italikēs). A legion had ten cohorts or “bands” and sixty centuries. The word speirēs (note genitive in ̇es like the Ionic instead of ̇as) is here equal to the Latin cohors. In the provinces were stationed cohorts of Italic citizens (volunteers) as an inscription at Carnuntum on the Danube (Ramsay) has shown (epitaph of an officer in the second Italic cohort). Once more Luke has been vindicated. The soldiers could, of course, be Roman citizens who lived in Caesarea. But the Italian cohorts were sent to any part of the empire as needed. The procurator at Caesarea would need a cohort whose loyalty he could trust, for the Jews were restless.

Verse 2

Devout (eusebēs). Old word from eu (well) and sebomai (to worship, to reverence), but rare in the N.T. (Acts 10:2, Acts 10:7; 2 Peter 2:1). It might refer to a worshipful pagan (Acts 17:23, sebasmata objects of worship), but connected with “one that feared God” (phoboumenos ton theon) Luke describes “a God-fearing proselyte” as in Acts 10:22, Acts 10:35. This is his usual term for the Gentile seekers after God (Acts 13:16, Acts 13:26; Acts 17:4, Acts 17:17, etc.), who had come into the worship of the synagogue without circumcision, and were not strictly proselytes, though some call such men “proselytes of the gate” (cf. Acts 13:43); but clearly Cornelius and his family were still regarded as outside the pale of Judaism (Acts 10:28, Acts 10:34; Acts 11:1, Acts 11:8; Acts 15:7). They had seats in the synagogue, but were not Jews.

Gave much alms (poin eleemosunas pollas). Doing many alms (the very phrase in Matthew 6:2), a characteristic mark of Jewish piety and from a Gentile to the Jewish people.

Prayed (deomenos). Begging of God. Almsgiving and prayer were two of the cardinal points with the Jews (Jesus adds fasting in his picture of the Pharisee in Matthew 6:1-18).

Verse 3

Coming in (eiselthonta). Ingressive second aorist active participle, not present. So punctiliar, “saw come,” not “saw coming.” So also “say” or “speak,” not “saying.” Luke repeats the account of this vision to Cornelius twice (Acts 10:30; Acts 11:13) and also the story of the vision to Peter (10:1-16, Acts 10:28; Acts 11:5).

Verse 4

Lord (kurie). Cornelius recognizes the angel of God (Acts 10:3) as God‘s messenger.

Are gone up (anebēsan). Timeless second aorist active indicative of anabainō Gone up like the smoke of incense in sacrifices.

For a memorial (eis mnēmosunon). Old word from mnēmōn The only other instance in the N.T. is by Jesus about the act of Mary of Bethany (Matthew 26:13; Mark 14:9). His prayers and his alms proved his sincerity and won the ear of God.

Verse 5

Fetch (metapempsai). First aorist middle (indirect, for one‘s self) imperative of metapempō usual voice in ancient Greek with this verb in sense of sending another for one‘s own sake. Only in Acts in the N.T. See also Acts 10:22.

Verse 6

Lodgeth (xenizetai). Present passive indicative of xenizō old verb from xenos a stranger as a guest. So to entertain a guest as here or to surprise by strange acts (Acts 17:20; 1 Peter 4:4).

Whose (hōi). To whom, dative of possession.

By the seaside (para thalassan). Along by the sea. Note accusative case. Outside the city walls because a tanner and to secure water for his trade. Some tanneries are by the seashore at Jaffa today.

Verse 8

Rehearsed (exēgēsamenos). See note on Luke 24:35. All the details about the vision. The soldier was “devout” like Cornelius and would protect the two household servants (oiketōn).

Verse 9

On the morrow (tēi epaurion). Locative case of article with the compound adverb (hēmerāi day being understood), the second day after leaving Caesarea, 28 miles from Joppa. The third day (the next morrow, Acts 10:23) they start back home and the fourth day (on the morrow again, Acts 10:24) they reach Caesarea.

As they (ekeinōn). The party of three from Caesarea. Genitive absolute with present participle hodoiporountōn (journeying) and eggizontōn (drew nigh).

The housetop (to dōma). Old word and in Gospels (Luke 3:19, etc.), but only here in Acts. From demō to build, and so any part of the building (hall, dining room, and then roof). The roof was nearly flat with walls around and so was a good place for meditation and prayer and naps.

Verse 10

Hungry (prospeinos) Only instance of the word known, a hapax legomenon Probably “very hungry” (pros =besides, in addition).

Desired (ēthelen). Imperfect active. Was longing to eat. It was about twelve o‘clock noon and Peter may even have smelt the savory dishes, “while they made ready” (paraskeuazontōn). “The natural and the supernatural border closely on one another, with no definable limits” (Furneaux).

He fell into a trance (egeneto ep' auton ekstasis). More exactly, “An ecstasy came upon him,” in which trance he passed out of himself (ekstasis from existēmi) and from which one came to himself (Acts 12:11). Cf. also Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17. It is thus different from a vision (horama) as in Acts 10:3.

Verse 11

Beholdeth (theōrei). Vivid historical present and change from past time.

Opened (aneōigmenon perfect passive participle with double reduplication, state of completion).

Descending (katabainon). Present active participle describing the process.

Sheet (othonēn). Old word for linen cloth and only here in the N.T. Accusative case in apposition with skeuos (vessel).

Let down (Kathiemenon). Present passive participle of Kathiēmi Old verb, but in the N.T. only here and Luke 5:19; Acts 9:25. Linear action here picturing the process, “being let down.”

By four corners (tessarsin archais). Instrumental case of archē beginning. We say “end” or extremity for this use of the word. The picture is the sheet held up by four cords to which the sheet is fastened. Isaiah 11:12 had said that Israel would be gathered from the four corners of the earth. Knowling follows Hobart in taking the four corners of the sheet to be a medical phrase for bandage (the end of a bandage).

Verse 12

Were (hupērchen). Imperfect of huparchō in sense of ēn to exist, be. Fish are not mentioned, perhaps because the sheet had no water, though they were clean and unclean also (Leviticus 11:9; Deuteronomy 14:9).

All manner of (panta). Literally, all, but clearly all varieties, not all individuals. Both clean and unclean animals are in the sheet.

Verse 14

Not so, Lord (Mēdamōskurie). The negative mēdamōs calls for the optative eiē (may it not be) or the imperative estō (let it be). It is not oudamōs a blunt refusal (I shall not do it). And yet it is more than a mild protest as Page and Furneaux argue. It is a polite refusal with a reason given. Peter recognizes the invitation to slay (thuson) the unclean animals as from the Lord (kurie) but declines it three times.

For I have never eaten anything (hoti oudepote ephagon pan). Second aorist active indicative, I never did anything like this and I shall not do it now. The use of pan (everything) with oudepote (never) is like the Hebrew (lȯ̇kōl) though a like idiom appears in the vernacular Koiné{[28928]}š (Robertson, Grammar, p. 752).

Common and unclean (Koinon kai akatharton). Koinos from epic xunos (xunsun together with) originally meant common to several (Latin communis) as in Acts 2:44; Acts 4:32; Titus 1:4; Judges 1:3. The use seen here (also Mark 7:2, Mark 7:5; Romans 14:14; Hebrews 10:29; Revelation 21:27; Acts 10:28; Acts 11:8), like Latin vulgaris is unknown in ancient Greek. Here the idea is made plain by the addition of akatharton (unclean), ceremonially unclean, of course. We have the same double use in our word “common.” See notes on Mark 7:18. where Mark adds the remarkable participle katharizōn (making all meats clean), evidently from Peter who recalls this vision. Peter had been reared from childhood to make the distinction between clean and unclean food and this new proposal even from the Lord runs against all his previous training. He did not see that some of God‘s plans for the Jews could be temporary. This symbol of the sheet was to show Peter ultimately that Gentiles could be saved without becoming Jews. At this moment he is in spiritual and intellectual turmoil.

Verse 15

Make not thou common (su mē Koinéou). Note emphatic position of su (thou). Do thou stop making common what God cleansed (ekatharisen). The idiom of mē with the present active imperative Koinéou means precisely this. Peter had just called “common” what God had invited him to slay and eat.

Verse 16

Thrice (epitris). For three times. Peter remained unconvinced even by the prohibition of God. Here is a striking illustration of obstinacy on the part of one who acknowledges the voice of God to him when the command of the Lord crosses one‘s preferences and prejudices. There are abundant examples today of precisely this thing. In a real sense Peter was maintaining a pose of piety beyond the will of the Lord. Peter was defiling what God had cleansed.

Was received up (anelēmphthē). First aorist passive indicative of analambanō to take up. The word used of the Ascension (Acts 1:22).

Verse 17

Was much perplexed in himself (en heautōi diēporei). Imperfect active of diaporeō intensive compound (dia thoroughly, and a privative and poros way), to be completely at a loss to know what road to take. Old verb, but in N.T. only in Luke and Acts. Page notes that Luke is singularly fond of verbs compounded with dia See note on Luke 9:7 and note on Acts 2:12. When out of the ecstasy he was more puzzled than ever.

Might be (an eiē). Optative with an in indirect question simply retained from the direct (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1021, 1044). See note on Acts 17:18, for the direct and note on Luke 1:62 for the indirect (an theloi both times). It is the conclusion of a fourth class condition.

Having made inquiry (dierōtēsantes). First aorist active participle of dierōtaō another compound of dia to ask one after another, to ask through, old verb, but only here in the N.T. It took diligent inquiry to find the obscure house of Simon the tanner.

Stood before the gate (epestēsan epi ton pulōna). Second aorist active indicative of ephistēmi intransitive. Note repetition of epi The messengers stopped right at the folding gates of the passage (pulōna) which led from the street to the inner court or house.

Verse 18

Called (phōnēsantes). In a loud voice that those inside the house might hear.

Asked (epunthanonto). Imperfect middle of punthanomai old verb to make inquiry especially with an indirect question as here. Kept on inquiring. Westcott and Hort follow B C here and read eputhonto (second aorist middle, effective aorist). Either makes sense, though the imperfect is more picturesque.

Were lodging (xenizetai). Present middle indicative retained in indirect question. See note on Acts 10:6 for the verb.

Verse 19

Thought (dienthumoumenou). Genitive absolute of present middle participle of dienthumeomai a double compound (dia and eṅ with thumos) and another hapax legomenon save in ecclesiastical writers, though enthumeomai is common enough and Textus Receptus so reads here. Peter was revolving in his mind, through and through, in and out, to find the meaning of the strange vision.

Verse 20

But (alla). So usually, though it is open to question whether alla is adversative here and not rather, “Now then.”

Get thee down (katabēthi). Second aorist active imperative, at once.

Go (poreuou). Present middle imperative, go on.

Nothing doubting (mēden diakrinomenos). Another compound of dia old and common verb for a divided mind (dia like duo two). Note usual negative of the present middle participle, the subjective mēden The notion of wavering (James 1:6) is common with this verb in the middle voice. In Acts 11:12 the aorist active (mēden diakrinanta) is used perhaps with the idea of conduct towards others rather than his own internal doubt as here (Page).

For I (hoti egō). The Holy Spirit assumes responsibility for the messengers from Cornelius and thus connects their mission with the vision which was still troubling Peter. Peter had heard his name called by the man (Acts 10:19).

Verse 21

Cause (aitia). Or reason. Common in this sense. See note on Matthew 19:3.

Verse 22

Righteous (dikaios). In the Jewish sense as in Luke 1:6; Luke 2:25.

Well reported of (marturoumenos). Present passive participle as in Acts 6:3. Cf. the other centurion in Luke 7:4.

Nation (ethnous). Not laou for the speakers are Gentiles.

Was warned (echrēmatisthē). First aorist passive of chrēmatizō old word for doing business, then consulting an oracle, and here of being divinely (word God not expressed) warned as in Matthew 2:12, Matthew 2:22; Luke 2:26; Hebrews 11:7. Then to be called or receive a name from one‘s business as in Acts 11:26; Romans 7:3.

Verse 23

Lodged them (exenisen). Active voice here rather than passive as in Acts 10:6.

Accompanied him (sunēlthan autōi). Associative instrumental case after verb. The wisdom of having these half dozen Jewish Christians from Joppa with Peter in the house of Cornelius in Caesarea becomes manifest in Jerusalem (Acts 11:12).

Verse 24

Was waiting (ēn prosdokōn). Periphrastic imperfect active, in eager expectation and hope, directing the mind (dokaō) towards (pros) anything. Old and common verb.

Near (anagkaious). Only instance in the N.T. of this sense of anagkaios from anagkē necessity, what one cannot do without, necessary (1 Corinthians 12:22), duty (Acts 13:46), or blood relations as here. The ancient Greek writers combined these two words (suggeneis kinsmen, anagkaious necessary friends) as here. It was a homogeneous group of Gentiles close to Cornelius and predisposed to hear Peter favourably.

Verse 25

That Peter entered (tou eiselthein ton Petron). This is a difficult construction, for the subject of egeneto (it happened) has to be the articular genitive infinitive tou eiselthein with the accusative of general reference ton Petron Most commentators consider it inexplicable. It is probably an extension of the ordinary articular infinitive under the influence of the Hebrew infinitive construct without regard to the case, regarding it as a fixed case form and so using it as nominative. Precisely this construction of tou and the infinitive as the subject of a verb occurs in the lxx (2 Chronicles 6:7, etc.). See Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1067f. for full discussion of this obvious Hebraism. Somewhat similar examples appear in Acts 20:3; Acts 27:1. But the Codex Bezae avoids this awkward idiom by the genitive absolute (proseggizontos tou Petrou) and some additional details (one of the servants ran forward and announced that he was come).

Worshipped him (prosekunēsen). “Cornelius was not an idolator and would not have honoured Peter as a god” (Furneaux). The word probably means here reverence like old English usage (Wycliff) and not actual worship, though Peter took it that way (Acts 10:26). Jesus accepted such worship (Matthew 8:2; Luke 5:8 by Peter).

Verse 27

As he talked with him (sunomilōn autōi). Present active participle of sunomileō rare compound and here alone in the N.T., with associative instrumental case. The uncompounded verb is common enough though in the N.T. only in Luke 24:14 which see and Acts 20:11; Acts 24:26.

Findeth (heuriskei). Vivid historical present indicative active.

Come together (sunelēluthotas). Second perfect active participle of sunerchomai It was an expectant group of Gentiles eager for Peter‘s interpretation of the vision of Cornelius.

Verse 28

How that it is an unlawful thing (hōs athemiton estin). The conjunction hōs is sometimes equivalent to hoti (that). The old form of athemitos was athemistos from themisto (themizōthemis law custom) and a privative. In the N.T. only here and 1 Peter 4:3 (Peter both times). But there is no O.T. regulation forbidding such social contact with Gentiles, though the rabbis had added it and had made it binding by custom. There is nothing more binding on the average person than social custom. On coming from the market an orthodox Jew was expected to immerse to avoid defilement (Edersheim, Jewish Social Life, pp. 26-28; Taylor‘s Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, pp. 15, 26, 137, second edition). See also Acts 11:3; Galatians 2:12. It is that middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:14) which Jesus broke down.

One of another nation (allophulōi). Dative case of an old adjective, but only here in the N.T. (allos another, phulon race). Both Juvenal (Sat. XIV. 104, 105) and Tacitus (History, Galatians 2:5) speak of the Jewish exclusiveness and separation from Gentiles.

And yet unto (kamoi). Dative of the emphatic pronoun (note position of prominence) with kai (crasis) meaning here “and yet” or adversative “but” as often with kai which is by no means always merely the connective “and” (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1182f.). Now Peter takes back both the adjectives used in his protest to the Lord (Acts 10:14) “common and unclean.” It is a long journey that Peter has made. He here refers to “no one” (mēdena), not to “things,” but that is great progress.

Verse 29

Without gainsaying (anantirrhētōs). A privative with compound adverb from anti (back, in return, against) and verbal rhētos (from errhēthēn to speak). Late and rare and here only in the N.T., but the adjective in Acts 19:36. Without answering back. That is true after the Holy Spirit expressly told Peter to go with the messengers of Cornelius (Acts 10:19-23). Peter‘s objections were made to the Lord in the vision which he did not understand. But that vision prepared him for this great step which he had now taken. He had stepped over the line of Jewish custom.

With what intent (tini logōi). More exactly, “for what reason” as in Plato, Gorgias 512 C.

Verse 30

Four days ago (apo tetartēs hēmeras). From the fourth day, reckoning backwards from this day.

I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer (ēmēn tēn enatēn proseuchomenos). Periphrastic middle imperfect and accusative of extension of time (all the ninth hour).

Verse 31

Is heard (eisēkousthē). Sort of timeless first aorist passive indicative as is “are had in remembrance” (emnēsthēsan See note on Acts 10:4 “are gone up for a memorial”).

Verse 32

In the house of Simon (en oikiāi Simnos). See note on Acts 9:43 for para Simōni with same idea.

Verse 33

And thou hast well done that thou art come (su te kalōs epoiēsas paragenomenos). “And thou didst well in coming.” A regular formula for expressing thanks as in Philemon 4:14; 3 Jo Philemon 1:6; 2 Peter 1:19. The participle completes the idea of kalōs poieō neatly. Cornelius commends Peter for his courage in breaking away from Jewish custom and takes no offence at the implied superiority of the Jews over the Gentiles. Cornelius and his circle of kinsmen and close friends are prepared soil for a new era in the history of Christianity. The Samaritans were now nominal Jews and the Ethiopian eunuch was a single case, but here Peter the chief apostle, not Philip the preaching deacon (evangelist), was involved. It was a crisis. Cornelius reveals an open mind for the message of God through Peter.

Commanded thee (prostetagmena soi). Perfect passive participle with the dative case (soi). Cornelius is a military man and he employs a military term (prostassō old word to command). He is ready for orders from the Lord.

Verse 34

Opened his mouth (anoixas to stoma). Solemn formula for beginning his address (Acts 8:35; Acts 18:14; Matthew 5:2; Matthew 13:35). But also good elocution for the speaker.

I perceive (katalambanomai). Aoristic present middle of katalambanō to take hold of, the middle noting mental action, to lay hold with the mind (Acts 4:13; Acts 10:34; Acts 25:25; Ephesians 3:18). It had been a difficult thing for Peter to grasp, but now “of a truth” (ep' alētheias) the light has cleared away the fogs. It was not until Peter had crossed the threshold of the house of Cornelius in the new environment and standpoint that he sees this new and great truth.

Respecter of persons (prosōpolēmptēs). This compound occurs only here and in Chrysostom. It is composed of prosōpon face or person (pros and ops before the eye or face) and lambanō The abstract form prosōpolēmpsia occurs in James 2:1 (also Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25) and the verb prosōpolempteō in James 2:9. The separate phrase (lambanein prosōpon) occurs in Luke 20:21; Galatians 2:6. The phrase was already in the lxx (Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Ps 82:6). Luke has simply combined the two words into one compound one. The idea is to pay regard to one‘s looks or circumstances rather than to his intrinsic character. The Jews had come to feel that they were the favourites of God and actually sons of the kingdom of heaven because they were descendants of Abraham. John the Baptist rebuked them for this fallacy.

Verse 35

Acceptable to him (δεκτος αυτωιdektos autōi). Verbal adjective from δεχομαιdechomai Acceptabilis. That is to say, a Gentile would not have to become a Jew in order to become a Christian. Evidently Peter had not before perceived this fact. On the great Day of Pentecost when he spoke of the promise “to all those afar off” (Acts 2:39) Peter understood that they must first become Jews and then Christians. The new idea that now makes a revolution in Peter‘s outlook is precisely this that Christ can and will save Gentiles like this Cornelius group without their becoming Jews at all.

Verse 36

The word which he sent (τον λογον ον απεστειλενton logon hon apesteilen). Many ancient MSS. (so Westcott and Hort) read merely τον λογον απεστειλενton logon apesteilen (he sent the word). This reading avoids the anacoluthon and inverse attraction of λογονlogon to the case of the relative ονhon (which).

Preaching good tidings of peace through Jesus Christ (ευαγγελιζομενος ειρηνην δια Ιησου Χριστουeuaggelizomenos eirēnēn dia Iēsou Christou). Gospelizing peace through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to have real peace between individuals and God, between races and nations, than by Jesus Christ. Almost this very language occurs in Ephesians 2:17 where Paul states that Jesus on the cross “preached (gospelized) peace to you who are afar off and peace to you who are near.” Peter here sees what Paul will see later with great clearness.

He is Lord of all (ουτος εστιν παντων κυριοςhoutos estin pantōn kurios). A triumphant parenthesis that Peter throws in as the reason for his new truth. Jesus Christ is Lord of all, both Jews and Gentiles.

Verse 37

Ye know (υμεις οιδατεhumeis oidate). Peter reminds his Gentile audience that the main facts concerning Jesus and the gospel were known to them. Note emphatic expression of υμειςhumeis (you).

Beginning (αρχαμενοςarxamenos). The Textus Receptus has αρχαμενονarxamenon (accusative), but the nominative is given by Aleph A B C D E H and is certainly correct. But it makes a decided anacoluthon. The accusative would agree with ρημαrhēma used in the sense of message or story as told by the disciples. The nominative does not agree with anything in the sentence. The same phrase occurs in Luke 23:5. Here is this aorist middle participle almost used like an adverb. See a similar loose use of αρχαμενοςarxamenos in the same sense by Peter in Acts 1:22. The baptism of John is given as the terminus a quo. The story began with a skip to Galilee after the baptism just like the Gospel of Mark. This first message of Peter to the Gentiles (Acts 10:37-44) corresponds in broad outline with Mark‘s Gospel. Mark heard Peter preach many times and evidently planned his Gospel (the Roman Gospel) on this same model. There is in it nothing about the birth and childhood of Jesus nor about the intervening ministry supplied by John‘s Gospel for the period (a year) between the baptism and the Galilean Ministry. Peter here presents an objective statement of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus with proof from the Scriptures that he is the Messiah. It is a skilful presentation.

Verse 38

Jesus of Nazareth (Ιησουν τον απο ΝαζαρετIēsoun ton apo Nazareth). Jesus the one from Nazareth, the article before the city identifying him clearly. The accusative case is here by προλεπσιςprolepsis Jesus being expressed for emphasis before the verb “anointed” and the pronoun repeated pleonastically after it. “Jesus transfers the mind from the gospel-history to the personal subject of it” (Hackett).

God anointed him (εχρισεν αυτον ο τεοςechrisenχριωautonΧριστοςho theos). First aorist active of the verb διηλτεν ευεργετωνchriō to anoint, from which the verbal διερεομαιChristos is formed (Acts 2:36). The precise event referred to by Peter could be the Incarnation (Luke 1:35.), the Baptism (Luke 3:22), the Ministry at Nazareth (Luke 4:14). Why not to the life and work of Jesus as a whole?

Went about doing good (διαdiēlthen euergetōn). Beautiful description of Jesus. Summary (constative) aorist active of ευεργετωνdierehomai to go through (ευεργετεωdia) or from place to place. The present active participle ευeuergetōn is from the old verb εργονeuergeteō (ευεργετηςeu well, και ιωμενοςergon work) and occurs only here in the N.T. The substantive τους καταδυναστευομενουςeuergetēs (benefactor) was often applied to kings like Ptolemy Euergetes and that is the sense in Luke 22:25 the only N.T. example. But the term applies to Jesus far more than to Ptolemy or any earthly king (Cornelius a Lapide).

And healing (καταδυναστευωkai iōmenos). And in particular healing. Luke does not exclude other diseases (cf. Luke 13:11, Luke 13:16), but he lays special emphasis on demoniacal possession (cf. Mark 1:23).

That were oppressed (καταtous katadunasteuomenous). Present passive articular participle of διαβολοςkatadunasteuō A late verb in lxx and papyri. In the N.T. only here and James 2:6 (best MSS.). One of the compounds of οτι ο τεος ην μετ αυτουkata made transitive. The reality of the devil (the slanderer, diabolos) is recognized by Peter.

For God was with him (hoti ho theos ēn met' autou). Surely this reason does not reveal “a low Christology” as some charge. Peter had used the same language in Acts 7:9 and earlier in Luke 1:28, Luke 1:66 as Nicodemus does in John 3:2.

Verse 39

And we are witnesses (και ημεις μαρτυρεςkai hēmeis martureōs). Compare “ye yourselves know” (Acts 10:37). Peter thus appeals to what the audience know and to what the disciples know. He made the same claim about personal witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus at Pentecost (Acts 2:32). Here Peter affirms full knowledge of the work of Jesus in Judea (for whole country including Galilee and Perea) and Jerusalem (given mainly in John‘s Gospel). In the Greek ωνhōn (which) is attracted into the genitive case to agree with the antecedent παντωνpantōn (all), a common enough idiom.

Whom also they slew (ον και ανειλανhon kai aneilan). Second aorist active indicative of αναιρεωanaireō with αa as often in Acts (Acts 2:23; Acts 5:30). But note καιkai (also) in the old MSS., not in the Textus Receptus. They “also” slew him, went that far, “this crowning atrocity” (Vincent), καιkai could here be “even.”

Hanging him on a tree (κρεμασαντες επι χυλουkremasantes epi xulou). This same expression used by Peter in Acts 5:30 which see note for discussion.

Verse 40

Gave him to be made manifest (εδωκεν αυτον εμπανη γενεσταιedōken auton emphanē genesthai). Peculiar phrase, here only in the N.T. and in Romans 10:20 (quoted from Isaiah 65:1). ΕμπανηEmphanē predicate accusative after infinitive γενεσταιgenesthai agreeing with αυτονauton object of εδωκενedōken f0).

Verse 41

Chosen before (προκεχειροτονημενοιςprokecheirotonēmenois). Perfect passive participle dative plural from προχειροτονεωprocheirotoneō to choose or designate by hand (χειροτονεω χειρcheirotoneōτεινωcheir hand, and προteinō to stretch, as in Acts 14:23; 2 Corinthians 8:19), beforehand (ημιν οιτινες συνεπαγομεν και συνεπιομεν αυτωιpro), a double compound as old as Plato, but here alone in the N.T. Peter is evidently stating the thing as it happened and not trying to make a convincing story by saying that both friends and foes saw him after his resurrection. It is the “historian‘s candour” (Paley) in Luke here that adds to the credibility of the narrative. The sceptical Jews would not have believed and Jesus was kept from open contact with the world of sin after his Passion.

To us who did eat and drink with him (οιτινεςhēmin hoitines sunephagomen kai sunepiomen autōi). The “who” (ημινhoitines) is first person agreeing with “us” (συνεστιωhēmin). Second aorist active indicative of the common verbs συμπινωsunesthiō and Αυτωιsumpinō μετα το αναστηναι αυτονAutōi is associative instrumental case. There are difficulties to us in understanding how Jesus could eat and drink after the resurrection as told here and in Luke 24:41-43, but at any rate Peter makes it clear that it was no hallucination or ghost, but Jesus himself whom they saw after he rose from the dead, “after the rising as to him” (μεταmeta to anastēnai auton αυτονmeta with the accusative articular infinitive second aorist active and the accusative auton of general reference). Furneaux dares to think that the disciples misunderstood Jesus about eating after the resurrection. But that is to deny the testimony merely because we cannot explain the transition state of the body of Jesus.

Verse 42

He charged (παρηγγειλενparēggeilen). First aorist active indicative as in Acts 1:4. There Jesus is the subject and so probably here, though Page insists that ο τεοςho theos (God) is here because of Acts 10:40.

To testify (διαμαρτυρασταιdiamarturasthai). First aorist middle infinitive. See note on Acts 2:40.

Ordained (ωρισμενοςhrisōmenos). Perfect passive participle of οριζωhorizō old verb, to mark out, to limit, to make a horizon.

Judge (κριτηςkritēs). The same point made by Peter in 1 Peter 4:5. He does not use the word “Messiah” to these Gentiles though he did say “anointed” (εχρισενechrisen) in Acts 10:38. Peter‘s claim for Jesus is that he is the Judge of Jew and Gentile (living and dead).

Verse 43

Every one that believeth (παντα τον πιστευονταpanta ton pisteuonta). This accusative active participle of general reference with the infinitive in indirect discourse is the usual idiom. Only λαβεινlabein (second aorist active infinitive of λαμβανωlambanō) is not indirect statement so much as indirect command or arrangement. The prophets bear witness to Jesus Christ to this effect. It is God‘s plan and no race distinctions are drawn. Peter had already said the same thing at Pentecost (Acts 2:38), but now he sees himself that Gentiles do not have to become Jews, but have only to believe in Jesus as Messiah and Judge as foretold by the prophets. It was glorious news to Cornelius and his group.

Through his name (δια του ονοματος αυτουdia tou onomatos autou), not as a title or magic formula (Acts 18:13), but the power of Christ himself represented by his name.

Verse 44

While Peter yet spake (ετι λαλουντος του Πετρουeti lalountos tou Petrou). Genitive absolute of present participle, still going on.

The Holy Ghost fell (επεπεσεν το πνευμα το αγιονepepesen to pneuma to hagion). Second aorist active indicative of επιπιπτωepipiptō old verb to fall upon, to recline, to come upon. Used of the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:16; Acts 10:44; Acts 11:15. It appears that Peter was interrupted in his sermon by this remarkable event. The Jews had received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), the Samaritans (Acts 8:17), and now Gentiles. But on this occasion it was before baptism, as was apparently true in Paul‘s case (Acts 9:17.). In Acts 8:16; Acts 19:5 the hands of the apostles were also placed after baptism on those who received the Holy Spirit. Here it was unexpected by Peter and by Cornelius and was indubitable proof of the conversion of these Gentiles who had accepted Peter‘s message and had believed on Jesus Christ as Saviour.

Verse 45

They of the circumcision which believed (οι εκ περιτομης πιστοιhoi ek peritomēs pistoi). The believing ones of the circumcision, more exactly.

Were amazed (εχεστησανexestēsan). Second aorist active indicative, intransitive, of εχιστημιexistēmi They stood out of themselves.

On the Gentiles also (και επι τα ετνηkai epi ta ethnē). Or, even upon the Gentiles.

Was poured out (εκκεχυταιekkechutai). Present perfect passive retained in indirect discourse of εκχεωekcheō or εκχυνωekchunō old verb, used metaphorically of the Holy Spirit also in Acts 2:17 (from Joel 2:28.), Acts 2:33.

Verse 46

They heard (ηκουονēkouon). Imperfect active, were hearing, kept on hearing.

Speak (λαλουντωνlalountōn). Present active participle, speaking, for they kept it up.

With tongues (γλωσσαιςglōssais). Instrumental case as in Acts 2:4, Acts 2:11 which see. The fuller statement there makes it clear that here it was new and strange tongues also as in Acts 19:6; 1 Corinthians 14:4-19. This sudden manifestation of the Holy Spirit‘s power on uncircumcised Gentiles was probably necessary to convince Peter and the six brethren of the circumcision that God had opened the door wide to Gentiles. It was proof that a Gentile Pentecost had come and Peter used it effectively in his defence in Jerusalem (Acts 11:15).

Verse 47

Can any man forbid the water? (Μητι το υδωρ δυναται κωλσαι τισMēti to hudōr dunatai kōlūsai tiṡ). The negative μητιmēti expects the answer No. The evidence was indisputable that these Gentiles were converted and so were entitled to be baptized. See the similar idiom in Luke 6:39. Note the article with “water.” Here the baptism of the Holy Spirit had preceded the baptism of water (Acts 1:5; Acts 11:16). “The greater had been bestowed; could the lesser be withheld?” (Knowling).

That these should not be baptized (του μη βαπτιστηναι τουτουςtou mē baptisthēnai toutous). Ablative case of the articular first aorist passive infinitive of βαπτιζωbaptizō with the redundant negative after the verb of hindering (κωλσαιkōlūsai) and the accusative of general reference (τουτουςtoutous). The redundant negative after the verb of hindering is not necessary though often used in ancient Greek and in the Koiné{[28928]}š (papyri). Without it see note on Matthew 19:14 and note on Acts 8:36, and with it see note on Luke 4:42, note on Luke 24:16; and note on Acts 14:18. Cf. Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1061, 1094, 1171. The triple negatives here are a bit confusing to the modern mind (μητιmēti in the question, κωλσαιkōlūsai to hinder or to cut off, μηmē with βαπτιστηναιbaptisthēnai). Literally, Can any one cut off the water from the being baptized as to these? Meyer: “The water is in this animated language conceived as the element offering itself for the baptism.”

As well as we (ως και ημειςhōs kai hēmeis). The argument was conclusive. God had spoken. Note the query of the eunuch to Philip (Acts 8:36).

Verse 48

Commanded (προσεταχενprosetaxen). First aorist active indicative. Peter himself abstained from baptizing on this occasion (cf. Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:14). Evidently it was done by the six Jewish brethren.

Them to be baptized (αυτους βαπτιστηναιautous baptisthēnai). Accusative of general reference with the first aorist passive infinitive.

In the name of Jesus Christ (εν τωι ονοματι Ιησου Χριστουen tōi onomati Iēsou Christou). The essential name in Christian baptism as in Acts 2:38; Acts 19:5. But these passages give the authority for the act, not the formula that was employed (Alvah Hovey in Hackett‘s Commentary. See also chapter on the Baptismal Formula in my The Christ of the Logia). “Golden days” (αυρει διεςaurei dies Bengel) were these for the whole group.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Acts 10:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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