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Chapter 10

1There was at Caesarea a man named Cornelius, a captain in what was known as the Italian regiment. 2He was a devout man, who feared God, as did all the members of his household. He was liberal in charities to the people, and always prayed to God. 3One afternoon, about three o’clock, he had a vision, and distinctly saw an angel of God come into his room and say to him,

“Cornelius!”

4He stared at him in terror, and said,

“What is it, sir?”

“Your prayers and charities,” the angel answered, “have gone up and been remembered before God. 5Now send men to Joppa, for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter. 6He is being entertained at the house of a tanner named Simon, which is close to the sea.”

7When the angel who had spoken to him was gone, Cornelius called two of his servants, and a devout soldier who was one of his personal attendants, 8and after telling them the whole story, sent them to Joppa.

9The next day, while they were still on their way, and were just getting near the town, Peter went up on the housetop about noon to pray. 10He got very hungry, and wanted something to eat. While they were getting it ready, he fell into a trance, 11and saw the sky opened and a thing like a great sheet coming down, lowered to the ground by the four corners, 12with all kinds of quadrupeds, reptiles, and wild birds in it. 13And a voice came to him,

“Get up, Peter! Kill something and eat it!”

14But Peter said,

“Never, sir! For I have never eaten anything that was not ceremonially cleansed.”

15The voice came to him again a second time,

“Do not call what God has cleansed unclean.”

16This happened three times; then the thing was taken right up into the sky.

17While Peter was still wondering what the vision he had had could mean, the men whom Cornelius had sent had asked the way to Simon’s house and reached the door, 18and they called out to ask if Simon who was called Peter was staying there. 19As Peter was pondering over his vision, the Spirit said to him,

“There are two men looking for you. 20Get up and go down, and go with them without any hesitation, for I have sent them.”

21Then Peter went down to see the men, and said to them,

“I am the man you are asking for. What is the reason for your coming?”

22They answered,

“Cornelius, who is a captain, and an upright and God-fearing man, and who has a good reputation with the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to listen to what you have to say.”

23So Peter invited them in and entertained them. The next day he started off with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa, 24and the day after, he reached Caesarea. Cornelius had invited in his relatives and his intimate friends and was waiting for them. 25When Peter actually came in, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet and made obeisance to him. 26But Peter lifted him to his feet, and said,

“Get up! I am only human myself.”

27So they went in talking together, and Peter found that many people had gathered, 28and he said to them,

“You know that it is against the Law for a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit one; but God has taught me not to call anyone vulgar or unclean. 29That was why, when I was sent for, I came without any hesitation. And now I want to ask why you sent for me.”

30Cornelius answered,

“Three days ago, just at this time of day, I was praying in my house about three o’clock, when a man in dazzling clothing stood before me, 31and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your charities have been recalled to mind by God. 32So send to Joppa and invite Simon who is called Peter to come here. He is staying at the house of a tanner named Simon, close to the sea.’ 33So I sent for you immediately, and you have very kindly come. Now we are all here in God’s presence, to hear everything that the Lord has instructed you to say.”

34Then Peter began and said,

“Now I really understand that God shows no partiality, 35but welcomes the man of any nation who reveres him and does what is right. 36He has sent his message to Israel’s descendants, and made the good news of peace known to them through Jesus Christ. He is Lord of us all. 37You know the story that has gone all over Judea, starting from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed, 38about Jesus of Nazareth, and how God endowed him with the power of the holy Spirit, and he went about doing good and curing all who were in the power of the devil, because God was with him. 39We are witnesses of everything that he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. Yet they put him upon a cross and killed him. 40But God raised him to life on the third day and caused him to be plainly seen, 41not by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had designated beforehand, that is, by us, who ate and drank with him after he had risen from the dead. 42He also directed us to announce to the people and bear solemn testimony that he is the one whom God has appointed to be the judge of the living and the dead. 43It is of him that all the prophets bear witness that everyone that believes in him will have his sins forgiven in his name.”

44Before Peter had finished saying these words, the holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to his message. 45The Jewish believers who had come with Peter were amazed because the gift of the holy Spirit had been showered upon the heathen too, 46for they heard them speaking in foreign languages and declaring the greatness of God. Then Peter said,

47“Can anyone refuse the use of water to baptize these people when they have received the holy Spirit just as we did?”

48And he directed that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on there a few days.

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