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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Acts 5



Verse 1

Sold (επωλησενepōlēsen). Aorist active indicative again, for a single case.

Verse 2

Kept back (ενοσπισατοenosphisato). First aorist middle indicative of νοσπιζωnosphizō old verb from νοσπιnosphi afar, apart, and so to set apart, to separate for oneself, but only here, Acts 4:3; Titus 2:10 in the N.T.

His wife also being privy to it (συνειδυιης και της γυναικοςsuneiduiēs kai tēs gunaikos). Genitive absolute with second perfect participle of συνοιδαsunoida to know together with one, “his wife also knowing it together with him.”

Brought a certain part (ενεγκας μερος τιenegkas meros tōi). Aorist active participle of περωpherō for a definite act. The praise of Joseph was too much for Ananias, but he was not willing to turn over all. He wanted praise for giving all and yet he took care of himself by keeping some. Thus he started the Ananias Club that gave a new meaning to his lovely name (God is gracious).

Verse 3

Filled (επληρωσενeplērōsen). The very verb used of the filling by the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31). Satan the adversary is the father of lies (John 8:44). He had entered into Judas (Luke 22:3; John 13:27) and now he has filled the heart of Ananias with a lie.

To lie to the Holy Spirit (πσευσασται σε το πνευμα το αγιονpseusasthai se to pneuma to hagion). Infinitive (aorist middle) of purpose with accusative of general reference (σεse) and the accusative of the person (object) as often in Greek writers, though here only in the N.T. with this verb. Usual dative of the person in Acts 5:4 (αντρωποιςanthrōpois men, τωι τεωιtōi theōi God). The Holy Spirit had been given them to guide them into truth (John 15:13).

Verse 4

Whiles it remained (μενονmenon). Present active participle of mend, unsold, Peter means.

After it was sold (πρατενprathen). First aorist passive of πιπρασκωpipraskō to sell.

How is that thou hast conceived (Τι οτι ετουTi hoti ethou). Quid esto quod. See note on Luke 2:49. See also Acts 5:9. Second aorist middle indicative second person singular of τιτημιtithēmi The devil filled his heart (Acts 5:3), but all the same Ananias did it too and is wholly responsible.

Verse 5

Hearing (ακουωνakouōn). Present active participle of ακουωakouō while hearing.

Fell down (πεσωνpesōn). Second aorist active participle of πιπτωpiptō fell all of a sudden while listening.

Gave up the ghost (εχεπσυχενexepsuxen). First aorist active indicative of εκπσυχωekpsuchō late verb in lxx and Hippocrates, to breathe out, to expire. In the N.T. only here, Acts 5:10; Acts 12:23. It is needless to blame Peter for the death of Ananias. He had brought the end upon himself. It was the judgment of God. Physically the nervous shock could have caused the collapse.

Verse 6

The young men (οι νεωτεροιhoi neōteroi). Literally the younger men (contrast with οι πρεσβυτεροιhoi presbuteroi the elder men). Same as νεανισκοιneaniskoi in Acts 5:10 and so no order in the young church. Perhaps these young men were acting as ushers or actual pallbearers.

Wrapped him round (συνεστειλανsunesteilan). First aorist active indicative of συστελλωsustellō old verb, to draw together, or contract (1 Corinthians 7:29), to roll together, to wrap with bandages, to enshroud as here. Nowhere else in the N.T. Frequent in medical writers. They may have used their own mantles. The time for burial was short in Jerusalem for sanitary reasons and to avoid ceremonial defilement.

Verse 7

And it was about the space of three hours after (εγενετο δε ως ωρων τριων διαστημαegeneto de hōs hōrōn triōn diastēma). Literally “Now there came an interval (διαστημαdiastēma distance, space between) of about (ωςhōs) three hours.”

When (καιkai). This use of καιkai after εγενετοegeneto is characteristic of Luke‘s style in the Gospel.

Not knowing (μη ειδυιαmē eiduia). Feminine singular of second perfect active participle of οιδαoida ΜηMē usual negative of the participle in the Koiné.

Verse 8

For so much (τοσουτουtosoutou). Genitive of price. Perhaps Peter pointed to the pile of money at the feet of the apostles (Acts 5:2). The use of ειei in direct questions appears in Luke (Luke 13:23; Luke 22:49) as in the lxx like the Hebrew im and in Acts 1:6; Acts 19:2, etc.

Verse 9

Ye have agreed together (συνεπωνητη υμινsunephōnēthē humin). First aorist passive indicative of συμπωνεωsumphōneō (to voice together, symphony), impersonal with dative; It was agreed together by you (or for you). “Your souls were allured together respecting this deceit” (Vincent).

To tempt the Spirit of the Lord (πειρασαι το πνευμα κυριουpeirasai to pneuma kuriou). Like “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” It was close to the unpardonable sin which was attributing the manifest work of the Holy Spirit to Beelzebub.

The feet (οι ποδεςhoi podes). Graphic picture by Peter as he heard the steps of the young men at the door.

Verse 10

Immediately (παραχρημαparachrēma). Hence her death was regarded as supernatural like that of Ananias.

By her husband (προς τον ανδρα αυτηςpros ton andra autēs). Face to face to her husband.

Verse 11

Upon the whole church (επ ολην την εκκλησιανeph' holēn tēn ekklēsian). Here εκκλησιαekklēsia for the first time in Acts of the believers in Jerusalem. Twice already in the Gospels, once of the whole body of believers or the Kingdom (Matthew 16:18), the other of the local body (Matthew 18:17). In Acts 7:38 it is used of the whole congregation of Israel while in Acts 19:32 it is used of a public assembly in Ephesus. But already in Acts 8:3 it is applied to the church which Saul was persecuting in their homes when not assembled. So here the etymological meaning of “assembly” disappears for “the church” were now the scattered saints hiding in their separate homes. The whole body of believers in Jerusalem and all who heard of the fate of Ananias and Sapphira (beautiful, her name means) were in awe and dread. It was already a dangerous thing to be a follower of Christ unless one was willing to walk straight.

Verse 12

Were wrought (εγινετοegineto). Imperfect middle, wrought from time to time.

With one accord (ομοτυμαδονhomothumadon). As already in Acts 1:14; Acts 2:46; Acts 4:24 and later Acts 7:57; Acts 8:6; Acts 12:20; Acts 15:25; Acts 18:21; Acts 19:29, old adverb and only in Acts in the N.T. Here “all” is added. In Solomon‘s Porch again as in Acts 3:11 which see.

Verse 13

Durst (ετολμαetolma). Imperfect active of τολμαωtolmaō old verb, not to fear or shun through fear, boldly to take a stand. The fate of Ananias and Sapphira continued to hold many in check.

Join (κολλασταιkollasthai). Present middle infinitive of κολλαωkollaō old verb to cleave to like glue as in Luke 15:15 which see. Seven times in Acts (Acts 9:26; Acts 10:28; Acts 17:34). The outsiders (the rest) preferred, many of them, to remain outside for the present, especially the rulers.

Howbeit the people (αλλο λαοςall'̇̇ho laos). Probably individuals among the people, the populace as distinct from the rulers and hostile outsiders.

Verse 14

Were the more added (μαλλον προσετιτεντοmāllon prosetithento). Rather (μαλλονmāllon) instead of decrease as one might expect. Imperfect passive indicative of προστιτημιprostithēmi common μιmi verb, kept on being added.

Both of men and women (ανδρων τε και γυναικωνandrōn te kai gunaikōn). The distinction between ανδρεςandres and γυναικεςgunaikes and to be considered in connection with ανδρεςandres in Acts 4:4 which see.

Verse 15

Insomuch that (ωστεhōste). With the present infinitive εκπερεινekpherein and τιτεναιtithenai regular Greek idiom for result.

Into the streets (εις τας πλατειαςeis tas plateias). Supply οδουςhodous (ways), into the broad ways.

On beds and couches (επι κλιναριων και κραβαττωνepi klinariōn kai krabattōn). Little beds (κλιναριαklinaria diminutive of κλινηklinē) and camp beds or pallets (See note on Mark 2:4, Mark 2:9, Mark 2:11).

As Peter came by (ερχομενου Πετρουerchomenou Petrou). Genitive absolute with present middle participle.

At the least his shadow might overshadow (καν η σκια επισκιασειkan hē skia episkiasei). Future active indicative with ιναhina (common with οπωςhopōs in ancient Greek) and κανkan (crasis for και εανkai ean =even if), even if only the shadow. The word for shadow (σκιαskia like our “sky”) is repeated in the verb and preserved in our “overshadow.” There was, of course, no virtue or power in Peter‘s shadow. That was faith with superstition, of course, just as similar cases in the Gospels occur (Matthew 9:20; Mark 6:56; John 9:5) and the use of Paul‘s handkerchief (Acts 19:12). God honours even superstitious faith if it is real faith in him. Few people are wholly devoid of superstition.

Verse 16

Came together (συνηρχετοsunērcheto). Imperfect middle, kept on coming.

Round about (περιχperix). Old adverb, strengthened form of περιperi only here in the N.T.

Vexed (οχλουμενουςochloumenous). Present passive participle of οχλεωochleō to excite a mob (οχλοςochlos) against one, to trouble, annoy. Old word, only here in the N.T., though ενοχλεωenochleō in Luke 6:18.

Were healed every one (ετεραπευοντο απαντεςetherapeuonto hapantes). Imperfect passive, were healed one at a time, repetition.

Verse 17

Which is the sect of the Sadducees (η ουσα αιρεσις των Σαδδουκαιωνhē ousa hairesis tōn Saddoukaiōn). Literally, “the existing sect of the Sadducees” or “the sect which is of the Sadducees,” ηhē being the article, not the relative. αιρεσιςHairesis means a choosing, from αιρεομαιhaireomai to take for oneself, to choose, then an opinion chosen or tenet (possibly 2 Peter 2:1), then parties or factions (Galatians 5:20; 1 Corinthians 11:19; possibly 2 Peter 2:1). It is applied here to the Sadducees; to the Pharisees in Acts 15:5; Acts 26:5; to the Christians in Acts 24:5-14; Acts 28:22. Already Luke has stated that the Sadducees started the persecution of Peter and John (Acts 4:1.). Now it is extended to “the apostles” as a whole since Christianity has spread more rapidly in Jerusalem than before it began.

Verse 18

With jealousy (ζηλουzēlou). Genitive case. Old word from εν τηρησει δημοσιαιzeōto boil, our zeal. In itself it means only warmth, ardour, zeal, but for a bad cause or from a bad motive, jealousy, envy, rivalry results (Acts 13:45). Common in the epistles.

In public ward (δημοσιαιen tērēsei dēmosiāi). As in Acts 4:3 only with της πυλακηςdēmosiāi (public) added, in the public prison, perhaps not the “common” prison, but any prison is bad enough. In Acts 5:19 it is called “the prison” (tēs phulakēs), the guardhouse.

Verse 20

And stand (και στατεντεςkai stathentes). First aorist passive participle (intransitive, ingressive aorist), take a stand. Bold and pictorial command.

All the words of this life (παντα τα ρηματα της ζωης ταυτηςpanta ta rhēmata tēs zōēs tautēs). Not just a Hebraism for “all these words of life.” Probably “this life” which the Sadducees deny and of which the angel is now speaking, this eternal life. (John 6:63, John 6:68; 1 Corinthians 15:19).

Verse 21

About daybreak (υπο τον ορτρονhupo ton orthron). From ορνυμιornumi to stir up, to arouse, so the dawn (Luke 24:1; John 8:2). Old word, but in the N.T. only these three passages. “Under the dawn” or “about dawn.” Sub lucem. The temple doors would be open for early worshippers and traffickers (John 2:14).

Taught (εδιδασκονedidaskon). Imperfect active, began to teach.

The council (το συνεδριονto sunedrion). The Sanhedrin.

The senate (την γερουσιανtēn gerousian). From γερωνgerōn an old man, just as the Latin senatus is from senex, old. Like the γεροντεςgerontes in Homer and the Elder Statesmen in Japan. Apparently the senate of the people were also part of the Sanhedrin and the use of “and” (καιkai) is explanatory and adds this item in particular. Page thinks that this group of elders were not members of the Sanhedrin at all.

To the prison house (εις το δεσμωτηριονeis to desmōtērion), another word for prison (τηρησις δημοσιαtērēsis dēmosia in Acts 5:18, η πυλακηhē phulakē in Acts 5:19). See also Acts 5:22, Acts 5:23, Acts 5:25. This from δεσμοςdesmos bond, and τηρεωtēreō to keep, place where bound men are kept.

Verse 22

The officers (οι υπηρεταιhoi hupēretai). Under-rowers, literally (Matthew 5:25). The servants or officers who executed the orders of the Sanhedrin.

Shut (κεκλεισμενονkekleisōmenon). Perfect passive participle of κλειωkleiō Shut tight.

Standing at the doors (εστωτας επι των τυρωνhestōtas epi tōn thurōn). Graphic picture of the sentinels at the prison doors.

Verse 24

They were much perplexed (διηπορουνdiēporoun). Imperfect active of διαπορεωdiaporeō old verb by Luke only in the N.T. See note on Acts 2:12. They continued puzzled.

Whereunto this would grow (τι αν γενοιτο τουτοtōi an genoito touto). More exactly,

As to what this would become. Second aorist middle optative of γινομαιginomai with ανan the conclusion of a condition of the fourth class (undetermined with less likelihood of determination), the unexpressed condition being “if the thing should be allowed to go on.” The indirect question simply retains the optative with ανan (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1021, 1044). If they had only known how this grain of mustard seed would grow into the greatest tree on earth and how dwarfed the tree of Judaism would be beside it!

Verse 26

Brought (ηγενēgen). Imperfect active of αγωagō was bringing (leading), slowly no doubt, and solemnly.

But without violence (ου μετα βιαςou meta bias). Literally, not with violence.

For they feared (εποβουντο γαρephobounto gar). Imperfect middle, still feared, kept on fearing.

Lest they be stoned (μη λιταστωσινmē lithasthōsin). Negative purpose with μηmē (like ινα μηhina mē), probably with “not with violence,” though possible with “they feared.” They handled the apostles gently for fear of being stoned themselves by the people. First aorist passive subjunctive of λιταζωlithazō (from λιτοςlithos stone), old verb to pelt with stones (Acts 14:19; John 10:31-33).

Verse 27

They set them (εστησανestēsan). First aorist active indicative (transitive) of ιστημιhistēmi f0).

Verse 28

We straitly charged (Παραγγελιαι παρηγγειλαμενParaggeliāi parēggeilamen). Like the Hebrew idiom (common in the lxx), though found in Greek, with charging (instrumental case) we charged (cf. same idiom in Luke 22:15). Somewhat like the cognate accusative. The command referred to occurs in Acts 4:17, Acts 4:18 and the refusal of Peter and John in Acts 4:20.

To bring upon us (επαγαγειν επ ημαςepagagein eph' hēmās). Note repetition of επιepi Second aorist active infinitive of επαγωepagō old verb, but in the N.T. only here and 2 Peter 2:1, 2 Peter 2:5. The Sanhedrin gladly took the blood of Christ on their heads and their children to Pilate (Matthew 27:25). Paul tried to save the Jews (Acts 18:6; Acts 22:20). “

This man” (του αντρωπου τουτουtou anthrōpou toutou). Contemptuous slur and refusal to call the name of Jesus as in the Talmud later.

Verse 29

We must (δειdei). Moral necessity left them no choice. They stood precisely where Peter and John were when before the Sanhedrin before (Acts 4:20).

Obey (πειταρχεινpeitharchein). Old verb from πειτομαιpeithomai and αρχηarchē to obey a ruler. Only by Luke and Paul in the N.T.

Verse 30

Ye slew (διεχειρισαστεdiecheirisasthe). First aorist middle indicative of διαχειριζομαιdiacheirizomai old verb from διαdia and χειρcheir (hand), to take in hand, manage, to lay hands on, manhandle, kill. In the N.T. only here and Acts 26:21.

Hanging him upon a tree (κρεμασαντες επι χυλουkremasantes epi xulou). First aorist active participle of κρεμαννυμιkremannumi (κρεμαννυωkremannuō seen already in Matthew 18:6 and Luke 23:39). Peter refers to Deuteronomy 21:23 as Paul does in Galatians 3:13, the curse pronounced on every one who “hangs upon a tree.”

Verse 31

Exalt (υπσωσενupsōsen) In contrast to their murder of Christ as in Acts 2:23. Peter repeats his charges with increased boldness.

With his right hand (τηι δεχιαι αυτουtēi dexiāi autou). So instrumental case, or at his right hand (locative case), or even “to his right hand” (dative case) as in Acts 2:33.

Prince and Saviour (αρχηγον και σωτηραarchēgon kai sōtēra). See note on Acts 3:15. Clearly “Prince” here.

To give (του δουναιtou dounai). Genitive of articular infinitive (second aorist active of διδωμιdidōmi) of purpose.

Verse 32

We are witnesses (ημεις εσμεν μαρτυρεςhēmeis esōmen martureōs). As in Acts 2:32.

Things (ρηματωνrhēmatōn). Literally, sayings, but like the Hebrew dabhar for “word” it is here used for “things.”

And so is the Holy Ghost (και το πνευμα το αγιονkai to pneuma to hagion). The word for “is” (εστινestin) is not in the Greek, but this is plainly the meaning. Peter claims the witness of the Holy Spirit to the raising of Jesus Christ, God‘s Son, by the Father.

Verse 33

Were cut to the heart (διεπριοντοdieprionto). Imperfect passive of διαπριωdiapriō old verb (δια πριωdiaδιαpriō), to saw in two (εβουλοντοdia), to cut in two (to the heart). Here it is rage that cuts into their hearts, not conviction of sin as in Acts 2:37. Only here and Acts 7:54 (after Stephen‘s speech) in the N.T. (cf. Simeon‘s prophecy in Luke 2:35).

Were minded (βουλομαιeboulonto). Imperfect middle of ανελεινboulomai They were plotting and planning to kill (anelein as in Acts 2:23; Luke 23:33 which see) then and there. The point in Acts 4:7 was whether the apostles deserved stoning for curing the cripple by demoniacal power, but here it was disobedience to the command of the Sanhedrin which was not a capital offence. “They were on the point of committing a grave judicial blunder” (Furneaux).

Verse 34

Gamaliel (ΓαμαλιηλGamaliēl). The grandson of Hillel, teacher of Paul (Acts 22:3), later president of the Sanhedrin, and the first of the seven rabbis termed “Rabban.” It is held by some that he was one of the doctors who heard the Boy Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:47) and that he was a secret disciple like Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, but there is no evidence of either position. Besides, he appears here as a loyal Pharisee and “a doctor of the law” (νομοδιδασκαλοςnomodidaskalos). This word appears already in Luke 5:17 of the Pharisaic doctors bent on criticizing Jesus, which see. Paul uses it of Judaizing Christians (1 Timothy 1:7). Like other great rabbis he had a great saying: “Procure thyself a teacher, avoid being in doubt; and do not accustom thyself to give tithes by guess.” He was a man of judicial temper and not prone to go off at a tangent, though his brilliant young pupil Saul went to the limit about Stephen without any restraint on the part of Gamaliel so far as the record goes. Gamaliel champions the cause of the apostles as a Pharisee to score a point against the Sadducees. He acts as a theological opportunist, not as a disciple of Christ. He felt that a temporizing policy was best. There are difficulties in this speech of Gamaliel and it is not clear how Luke obtained the data for the address. It is, of course, possible that Saul was present and made notes of it for Luke afterwards.

Had in honour of all the people (τιμιος παντι τωι λαωιtimios panti tōi laōi). Ethical dative. ΤιμιοςTimios from τιμηtimē old word meaning precious, dear.

The men (τους αντρωπουςtous anthrōpous). Correct text as in Acts 5:35, not “the apostles” as Textus Receptus.

Verse 35

Take heed (προσεχετε εαυτοιςprosechete heautois). Hold your mind (νουνnoun unexpressed) for or on yourselves (dative case), the usual idiom.

Verse 36

Theudas (ΤευδαςTheudas). Luke represents Gamaliel here about a.d. 35 as speaking of a man who led a revolt before that of Judas the Galilean in connection with the enrolment under Quirinius (Cyrenius) in a.d. 6. But Josephus (Ant. XX. 5, 1) tells of a Theudas who led a similar insurrection in the reign of Claudius about a.d. 44 or 45. Josephus (Ant. XVIII. 1, 6; XX. 5, 2; War ii. 8, 1 and 17, 8) also describes Judas the Galilean or Gaulonite and places him about a.d. 6. It is not certain that Josephus and Luke (Gamaliel) refer to the same Theudas as the name is an abbreviation of Theodosus, a common name. “Josephus gives an account of four men named Simon who followed each other within forty years, and of three named Judas within ten years, who were all instigators of rebellion” (Hackett). If the same Theudas is meant, then either Josephus or Luke (Gamaliel) has the wrong historical order. In that case one will credit Luke or Josephus according to his estimate of the two as reliable historians.

To be somebody (ειναι τιναeinai tina). Indirect assertion with the infinitive and the accusative of general reference (εαυτονheauton) and τιναtina predicate accusative. ΤιναTina could be “anybody” or “somebody” according to context, clearly “somebody” of importance here.

Joined themselves (προσεκλιτηproseklithē). Correct text and not προσεκολλητηprosekollēthē (Textus Receptus). First aorist passive indicative of προσκλινωprosklinō old verb to lean towards, to incline towards. Here only in the N.T.

Was slain (ανηιρετηanēirethē). First aorist passive of αναιρεωanaireō (cf. Acts 5:33).

Obeyed (επειτοντοepeithonto). Imperfect middle, kept on obeying.

Were dispersed (διελυτησανdieluthēsan). First aorist passive indicative (effective aorist) of διαλυωdialuō old verb to dissolve, to go to pieces. Here only in the N.T.

Verse 37

Of the enrolment (της απογραπηςtēs apographēs). Described by Josephus (Ant. XV. 1, 1). The same word used by Luke of the first enrolment started by Augustus b.c. 8 to 6 (Luke 2:2). See the note on Luke 2:2. This is the second enrolment in the fourteen year cycle carried on for centuries as shown by numerous dated papyri. Ramsay (The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the N.T.) has produced proof from inscriptions that Quirinius was twice in Syria as Luke reports (Robertson, Luke the Historian in the Light of Research).

Drew away (απεστησεapestēse). Causative sense of the first aorist active indicative of απιστημιaphistēmi made people (λαονlaon no need of “some of the”) to revolt (apostatize) with him.

He also (κακεινοςkakeinos crasis for και εκεινοςkai ekeinos). That one, also.

Were scattered abroad (διεσκορπιστησανdieskorpisthēsan). First aorist (effective) passive indicative of διασκορπιζωdiaskorpizō old verb to disperse. Used of sheep (Mark 14:27), of property (Luke 15:13). Aorist here after imperfect (επειτοντοepeithonto) as in Acts 5:36.

Verse 38

Refrain from (αποστητε αποapostēte apo). Second aorist (ingressive) active imperative of απιστημιaphistēmi of Acts 5:37. Do ye stand off from these men. “Hands off” was the policy of Gamaliel.

For if--be (οτι εανηιhoti eaṅ̇ēi). οτιHoti gives the reason for the advice. Gamaliel presents two alternatives in terms of two conditional clauses. The first one is stated as a condition of the third class, εανean with the present subjunctive ηιēi undetermined with prospect of determination. Assuming that it is from men, “it will be overthrown” (καταλυτησεταιkataluthēsetai first future passive of καταλυωkataluō to loosen down like a falling house) as was true of the following of Theudas and Judas the Galilean.

Verse 39

But if it is of God (ει δε εκ τεου εστινei de ek theou estin). The second alternative is a condition of the first class, determined as fulfilled, ειei with the present indicative. By the use of this idiom Gamaliel does put the case more strongly in favor of the apostles than against them. This condition assumes that the thing is so without affirming it to be true. On the basis of this alternative Gamaliel warns the Sanhedrin that they cannot “overthrow” (καταλυσαιkatalusai) these men for they in that case must “overthrow” God, lest haply ye be found (μη ποτευρετητεmē potė̇hurethēte negative purpose with first aorist passive subjunctive) even to be fighting against God (και τεομαχοιkai theomachoi late adjective from τεοςtheos and μαχομαιmachomai in lxx and here only in the N.T.).

Verse 40

To him they agreed (επειστησαν αυτωιepeisthēsan autōi). First aorist passive indicative of πειτωpeithō to persuade, the passive to be persuaded by, to listen to, to obey. Gamaliel‘s shrewd advice scored as against the Sadducaic contention (Acts 5:17).

Not to speak (μη λαλεινmē lalein). The Sanhedrin repeated the prohibition of Acts 4:18 which the apostles had steadily refused to obey. The Sanhedrin stood by their guns, but refused to shoot. It was a “draw” with Gamaliel as tactical victor over the Sadducees. Clearly now the disciples were set free because only the Sadducees had become enraged while the Pharisees held aloof.

Verse 41

They therefore (οι μεν ουνhoi men oun). No answering δεde

They were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the Name (κατηχιωτησαν υπερ του ονοματος ατιμαστηναιkatēxiōthēsan huper tou onomatos atimasthēnai). First aorist passive indicative of καταχιοωkataxioō old verb to count worthy. Three times in N.T. (Luke 20:35; Acts 5:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:5). First aorist passive infinitive of ατιμαζωatimazō old verb to make one dishonoured (ατιμοςatimos). Forms here an oxymoron (οχυςoxus sharp, μοροςmoros foolish) pointedly foolish saying “which is witty or impressive through sheer contradiction or paradox as laborious idleness, sublime indifference” (Vincent). The apostles felt honoured by dishonour. Note the same use of “the Name” as in James 2:7; 3 Jo James 1:7. With the Jews this absolute use of “the Name” meant Jehovah. The Christians now apply it to Jesus.

Verse 42

Every day (πασαν ημερανpāsan hēmeran). Accusative of extent of time, all through every day. In the temple and at home (εν τωι ιερωι και κατ οικονen tōi hierōi kai kat' oikon). This was a distinct triumph to go back to the temple where they had been arrested (Acts 5:25) and at home or from house to house, as it probably means (cf. Acts 2:46). It was a great day for the disciples in Jerusalem. They ceased not (ουκ επαυοντοouk epauonto). Imperfect middle. They kept it up. Jesus as the Christ (τον Χριστον Ιησουνton Christon Iēsoun). Jesus is the direct object of the participles διδασκοντεςdidaskontes (teaching) and ευαγγελιζομενοιeuaggelizomenoi (preaching or evangelizing) while “the Christ” (τον Χριστονton Christon) is the predicate accusative. These words give the substance of the early apostolic preaching as these opening chapters of Acts show, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah of promise. Gamaliel had opened the prison doors for them and they took full advantage of the opportunity that now was theirs.


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 5:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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