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Cornelius (Κορνηλιος). The great Cornelian family of Rome may have had a freedman or descendant who is
centurion (εκατον-ταρχης, leader of a hundred, Latin centurio). See on Mt 8:5 . These Roman centurions always appear in a favourable light in the N.T. (Mt 8:5; Lu 7:2; 23:47; Ac 10:1; 22:25; 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 (εκ σπειρης της καλουμενης Ιταλικης). A legion had ten cohorts or "bands" and sixty centuries. The word σπειρης (note genitive in -ες like the Ionic instead of -ας) 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.
Devout (ευσεβης). Old word from ευ (well) and σεβομα (to worship, to reverence), but rare in the N.T. (Ac 10:2,7; 2 Peter 2:1 ). It might refer to a worshipful pagan (Ac 17:23 , σεβασματα, objects of worship), but connected with "one that feared God" (φοβουμενος τον θεον) Luke describes "a God-fearing proselyte" as in 10:22,35 . This is his usual term for the Gentile seekers after God (13:16, 26;17:4,17 , 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. Ac 13:43 ); but clearly Cornelius and his family were still regarded as outside the pale of Judaism (10:28,34; 11:1,8; 15:7 ). They had seats in the synagogue, but were not Jews.
Gave much alms (ποιων ελεεμοσυνας πολλας). Doing many alms (the very phrase in Mt 6:2 ), a characteristic mark of Jewish piety and from a Gentile to the Jewish people.
Prayed (δεομενος). 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 Mt 6:1-18 ).
Coming in (εισελθοντα). 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 (10:30; 11:13 ) and also the story of the vision to Peter (10:1-16,28; 11:5 ).
Lord (κυριε). Cornelius recognizes the angel of God (verse 3) as God's messenger.
Are gone up (ανεβησαν). Timeless second aorist active indicative of αναβαινω. Gone up like the smoke of incense in sacrifices.
For a memorial (εις μνημοσυνον). Old word from μνημων. The only other instance in the N.T. is by Jesus about the act of Mary of Bethany (Mt 26:13; Mr 14:9 ). His prayers and his alms proved his sincerity and won the ear of God.
Fetch (μεταπεμψα). First aorist middle (indirect, for one's self) imperative of μεταπεμπω, 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 10:22.
Whose (ω). To whom, dative of possession.
By the seaside (παρα θαλασσαν). 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.
Rehearsed (εξηγησαμενος). See on Lu 24:35 . All the details about the vision. The soldier was "devout" like Cornelius and would protect the two household servants (οικετων).
On the morrow (τη επαυριον). Locative case of article with the compound adverb (ημερα day being understood), the second day after leaving Caesarea, 28 miles from Joppa. The third day (the next morrow, verse 23) they start back home and the fourth day (on the morrow again, verse 24) they reach Caesarea.
As they (εκεινων). The party of three from Caesarea. Genitive absolute with present participle οδοιπορουντων (journeying) and εγγιζοντων (drew nigh).
The housetop (το δωμα). Old word and in Gospels (Lu 3:19 , etc.), but only here in Acts. From δεμω, 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.
Hungry (προσπεινος) Only instance of the word known, a απαξ λεγομενον. Probably "very hungry" (προς=besides, in addition).
Desired (ηθελεν). 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" (παρασκευαζοντων). "The natural and the supernatural border closely on one another, with no definable limits" (Furneaux).
He fell into a trance (εγενετο επ' αυτον εκστασις). More exactly, "An ecstasy came upon him," in which trance he passed out of himself (εκστασις, from εξιστημ) and from which one came to himself ( 12:11). Cf. also 11:5; 22:17 . It is thus different from a vision (οραμα) as in verse 3.
Beholdeth (θεωρε). Vivid historical present and change from past time.
Opened (ανεωιγμενον, perfect passive participle with double reduplication, state of completion).
Descending (καταβαινον). Present active participle describing the process.
Sheet (οθονην). Old word for linen cloth and only here in the N.T. Accusative case in apposition with σκευος (vessel).
By four corners (τεσσαρσιν αρχαις). Instrumental case of αρχη, 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. Isa 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).
All manner of (παντα). Literally, all, but clearly all varieties, not all individuals. Both clean and unclean animals are in the sheet.
Not so, Lord (Μηδαμωσ, κυριε). The negative μηδαμως calls for the optative ειη (may it not be) or the imperative εστω (let it be). It is not ουδαμως, 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 (θυσον) the unclean animals as from the Lord (κυριε) but declines it three times.
For I have never eaten anything (οτ ουδεποτε εφαγον παν). Second aorist active indicative, I never did anything like this and I shall not do it now. The use of παν (everything) with ουδεποτε (never) is like the Hebrew (lo--kol) though a like idiom appears in the vernacular Koine (Robertson, Grammar, p. 752).
Common and unclean (κοινον κα ακαθαρτον). Κοινος from epic ξυνος (ξυν, συν, together with) originally meant common to several (Latin communis) as in Ac 2:44; 4:32; Tit 1:4; Jude 1:3 . The use seen here (also Mr 7:2,5; Ro 14:14; Heb 10:29; Re 21:27; Ac 10:28; 11:8 ), like Latin vulgaris is unknown in ancient Greek. Here the idea is made plain by the addition of ακαθαρτον (unclean), ceremonially unclean, of course. We have the same double use in our word "common." See on Mr 7:18f. where Mark adds the remarkable participle καθαριζων (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.
Make not thou common (συ μη κοινου). Note emphatic position of συ (thou). Do thou stop making common what God cleansed (εκαθαρισεν). The idiom of μη with the present active imperative κοινου means precisely this. Peter had just called "common" what God had invited him to slay and eat.
Thrice (επιτρις). 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 (ανελημφθη). First aorist passive indicative of αναλαμβανω, to take up. The word used of the Ascension ( 1:22).
Was much perplexed in himself (εν εαυτω διηπορε). Imperfect active of διαπορεω, intensive compound (δια, thoroughly, and α privative and πορος, 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 δια. See on Lu 9:7 and Ac 2:12 . When out of the ecstasy he was more puzzled than ever.
Might be (αν ειη). Optative with αν in indirect question simply retained from the direct (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1021, 1044). See Ac 17:18 , for the direct and Lu 1:62 for the indirect (αν θελο both times). It is the conclusion of a fourth class condition.
Having made inquiry (διερωτησαντες). First aorist active participle of διερωταω, another compound of δια, 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 (επεστησαν επ τον πυλωνα). Second aorist active indicative of εφιστημ, intransitive. Note repetition of επ. The messengers stopped right at the folding gates of the passage (πυλωνα) which led from the street to the inner court or house.
Called (φωνησαντες). In a loud voice that those inside the house might hear.
Asked (επυνθανοντο). Imperfect middle of πυνθανομα, old verb to make inquiry especially with an indirect question as here. Kept on inquiring. Westcott and Hort follow B C here and read επυθοντο (second aorist middle, effective aorist). Either makes sense, though the imperfect is more picturesque.
Were lodging (ξενιζετα). Present middle indicative retained in indirect question. See on verse 6 for the verb.
Thought (διενθυμουμενου). Genitive absolute of present middle participle of διενθυμεομα, a double compound (δια and εν- with θυμος) and another απαξ λεγομενον save in ecclesiastical writers, though ενθυμεομα 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.
But (αλλα). So usually, though it is open to question whether αλλα is adversative here and not rather, "Now then."
Get thee down (καταβηθ). Second aorist active imperative, at once.
Go (πορευου). Present middle imperative, go on.
Nothing doubting (μηδεν διακρινομενος). Another compound of δια, old and common verb for a divided mind (δια like δυο, two). Note usual negative of the present middle participle, the subjective μηδεν. The notion of wavering (Jas 1:6 ) is common with this verb in the middle voice. In Ac 11:12 the aorist active (μηδεν διακριναντα) is used perhaps with the idea of conduct towards others rather than his own internal doubt as here (Page).
For I (οτ εγω). 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 (verse 19).
Cause (αιτια). Or reason. Common in this sense. See on Mt 19:3 .
Nation (εθνους). Not λαου, for the speakers are Gentiles.
Was warned (εχρηματισθη). First aorist passive of χρηματιζω, old word for doing business, then consulting an oracle, and here of being divinely (word God not expressed) warned as in Mt 2:12,22; Lu 2:26; Heb 11:7 . Then to be called or receive a name from one's business as in Ac 11:26; Ro 7:3 .
Lodged them (εξενισεν). Active voice here rather than passive as in 10:6.
Accompanied him (συνηλθαν αυτω). 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 ( 11:12).
Was waiting (ην προσδοκων). Periphrastic imperfect active, in eager expectation and hope, directing the mind (δοκαω) towards (προς) anything. Old and common verb.
Near (αναγκαιους). Only instance in the N.T. of this sense of αναγκαιος from αναγκη, necessity, what one cannot do without, necessary (1Co 12:22 ), duty (Ac 13:46 ), or blood relations as here. The ancient Greek writers combined these two words (συγγενεις, kinsmen, αναγκαιους, necessary friends) as here. It was a homogeneous group of Gentiles close to Cornelius and predisposed to hear Peter favourably.
That Peter entered (του εισελθειν τον Πετρον). This is a difficult construction, for the subject of εγενετο (it happened) has to be the articular genitive infinitive του εισελθειν with the accusative of general reference τον Πετρον. 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 του and the infinitive as the subject of a verb occurs in the LXX (2Ch 6:7 , etc.). See Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1067f. for full discussion of this obvious Hebraism. Somewhat similar examples appear in Ac 20:3; 27:1 . But the Codex Bezae avoids this awkward idiom by the genitive absolute (προσεγγιζοντος του Πετρου) and some additional details (one of the servants ran forward and announced that he was come).
Worshipped him (προσεκυνησεν). "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 (verse 26). Jesus accepted such worship (Mt 8:2; Lu 5:8 by Peter).
As he talked with him (συνομιλων αυτω). Present active participle of συνομιλεω, 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 Lu 24:14 which see and Ac 20:11; 24:26 .
Findeth (ευρισκε). Vivid historical present indicative active.
Come together (συνεληλυθοτας). Second perfect active participle of συνερχομα. It was an expectant group of Gentiles eager for Peter's interpretation of the vision of Cornelius.
How that it is an unlawful thing (ως αθεμιτον εστιν). The conjunction ως is sometimes equivalent to οτ (that). The old form of αθεμιτος was αθεμιστος from θεμιστο (θεμιζω, θεμις, law custom) and α privative. In the N.T. only here and 1Pe 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 Ac 11:3; Ga 2:12 . It is that middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:14 ) which Jesus broke down.
One of another nation (αλλοφυλω). Dative case of an old adjective, but only here in the N.T. (αλλος, another, φυλον, race). Both Juvenal (Sat. XIV. 104, 105) and Tacitus (History, V. 5) speak of the Jewish exclusiveness and separation from Gentiles.
And yet unto (καμο). Dative of the emphatic pronoun (note position of prominence) with κα (χρασις) meaning here "and yet" or adversative "but" as often with κα 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 (verse 14) "common and unclean." It is a long journey that Peter has made. He here refers to "no one" (μηδενα), not to "things," but that is great progress.
Without gainsaying (αναντιρρητως). Α privative with compound adverb from αντ (back, in return, against) and verbal ρητος (from ερρηθην, to speak). Late and rare and here only in the N.T., but the adjective in 19:36. Without answering back. That is true after the Holy Spirit expressly told Peter to go with the messengers of Cornelius ( 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 (τιν λογω). More exactly, "for what reason" as in Plato, Gorgias 512 C.
Four days ago (απο τεταρτης ημερας). From the fourth day, reckoning backwards from this day.
I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer (ημην την ενατην προσευχομενος). Periphrastic middle imperfect and accusative of extension of time (all the ninth hour).
Is heard (εισηκουσθη). Sort of timeless first aorist passive indicative as is "are had in remembrance" (εμνησθησαν. See verse 4 "are gone up for a memorial").
In the house of Simon (εν οικια Σιμωνος). See 9:43 for παρα Σιμων with same idea.
And thou hast well done that thou art come (συ τε καλως εποιησας παραγενομενος). "And thou didst well in coming." A regular formula for expressing thanks as in Php 4:14; 3Jo 1:6; 2 Peter 1:19 . The participle completes the idea of καλως ποιεω 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 (προστεταγμενα σο). Perfect passive participle with the dative case (σο). Cornelius is a military man and he employs a military term (προστασσω, old word to command). He is ready for orders from the Lord.
I perceive (καταλαμβανομα). Aoristic present middle of καταλαμβανω, to take hold of, the middle noting mental action, to lay hold with the mind (Ac 4:13; 10:34; 25:25; Eph 3:18 ). It had been a difficult thing for Peter to grasp, but now "of a truth" (επ' αληθειας) 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 (προσωπολημπτης). This compound occurs only here and in Chrysostom. It is composed of προσωπον face or person (προς and οπς, before the eye or face) and λαμβανω. The abstract form προσωπολημψια occurs in Jas 2:1 (also Ro 2:11; Eph 6:9; Col 3:25 ) and the verb προσωπολεμπτεω in Jas 2:9 . The separate phrase (λαμβανειν προσωπον) occurs in Lu 20:21; Ga 2:6 . The phrase was already in the LXX (De 10:17; 2Ch 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.
Acceptable to him (δεκτος αυτω). Verbal adjective from δεχομα. 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" ( 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.
The word which he sent (τον λογον ον απεστειλεν). Many ancient MSS. (so Westcott and Hort) read merely τον λογον απεστειλεν (he sent the word). This reading avoids the anacoluthon and inverse attraction of λογον to the case of the relative ον (which).
Preaching good tidings of peace through Jesus Christ (ευαγγελιζομενος ειρηνην δια Ιησου Χριστου). 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 Eph 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 κυριος). A triumphant parenthesis that Peter throws in as the reason for his new truth. Jesus Christ is Lord of all, both Jews and Gentiles.
Ye know (υμεις οιδατε). Peter reminds his Gentile audience that the main facts concerning Jesus and the gospel were known to them. Note emphatic expression of υμεις (you).
Beginning (αρξαμενος). The Textus Receptus has αρξαμενον (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 ρημα 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 Lu 23:5 . Here is this aorist middle participle almost used like an adverb. See a similar loose use of αρξαμενος in the same sense by Peter in Ac 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 ( 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.
Jesus of Nazareth (Ιησουν τον απο Ναζαρεθ). Jesus the one from Nazareth, the article before the city identifying him clearly. The accusative case is here by προλεψις, 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 θεος). First aorist active of the verb χριω, to anoint, from which the verbal Χριστος is formed (Ac 2:36 ). The precise event referred to by Peter could be the Incarnation (Lu 1:35f. ), the Baptism (Lu 3:22 ), the Ministry at Nazareth (Lu 4:14 ). Why not to the life and work of Jesus as a whole?
Went about doing good (διηλθεν ευεργετων). Beautiful description of Jesus. Summary (constative) aorist active of διερεομα, to go through (δια) or from place to place. The present active participle ευεργετων is from the old verb ευεργετεω (ευ, well, εργον, work) and occurs only here in the N.T. The substantive ευεργετης (benefactor) was often applied to kings like Ptolemy Euergetes and that is the sense in Lu 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).
That were oppressed (τους καταδυναστευομενους). Present passive articular participle of καταδυναστευω. A late verb in LXX and papyri. In the N.T. only here and Jas 2:6 (best MSS.). One of the compounds of κατα made transitive. The reality of the devil (the slanderer, διαβολος) is recognized by Peter.
For God was with him (οτ ο θεος ην μετ' αυτου). Surely this reason does not reveal "a low Christology" as some charge. Peter had used the same language in Ac 7:9 and earlier in Lu 1:28,66 as Nicodemus does in Joh 3:2 .
And we are witnesses (κα ημεις μαρτυρες). Compare "ye yourselves know" (verse 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 ( 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 ων (which) is attracted into the genitive case to agree with the antecedent παντων (all), a common enough idiom.
Whom also they slew (ον κα ανειλαν). Second aorist active indicative of αναιρεω with α as often in Acts (2:23; 5:30 ). But note κα (also) in the old MSS., not in the Textus Receptus. They "also" slew him, went that far, "this crowning atrocity" (Vincent), κα could here be "even."
Hanging him on a tree (κρεμασαντες επ ξυλου). This same expression used by Peter in 5:30 which see for discussion.
Gave him to be made manifest (εδωκεν αυτον εμφανη γενεσθα). Peculiar phrase, here only in the N.T. and in Ro 10:20 (quoted from Isa 65:1 ). Εμφανη, predicate accusative after infinitive γενεσθα agreeing with αυτον object of εδωκεν.
Chosen before (προκεχειροτονημενοις). Perfect passive participle dative plural from προχειροτονεω, to choose or designate by hand (χειροτονεω, χειρ, hand, and τεινω, to stretch, as in Ac 14:23; 2Co 8:19 ), beforehand (προ), 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 (ημιν οιτινες συνεφαγομεν κα συνεπιομεν αυτω). The "who" (οιτινες) is first person agreeing with "us" (ημιν). Second aorist active indicative of the common verbs συνεσθιω and συμπινω. Αυτω 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 Lu 24:41-3 , 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" (μετα το αναστηνα αυτον, μετα with the accusative articular infinitive second aorist active and the accusative αυτον 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.
To testify (διαμαρτυρασθα). First aorist middle infinitive. See on 2:40.
Ordained (ωρισμενος). Perfect passive participle of οριζω, old verb, to mark out, to limit, to make a horizon.
Judge (κριτης). The same point made by Peter in 1Pe 4:5 . He does not use the word "Messiah" to these Gentiles though he did say "anointed" (εχρισεν) in verse 38. Peter's claim for Jesus is that he is the Judge of Jew and Gentile (living and dead).
Every one that believeth (παντα τον πιστευοντα). This accusative active participle of general reference with the infinitive in indirect discourse is the usual idiom. Only λαβειν (second aorist active infinitive of λαμβανω) 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 ( 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 αυτου), not as a title or magic formula (Ac 18:13 ), but the power of Christ himself represented by his name.
While Peter yet spake (ετ λαλουντος του Πετρου). Genitive absolute of present participle, still going on.
The Holy Ghost fell (επεπεσεν το πνευμα το αγιον). Second aorist active indicative of επιπιπτω, old verb to fall upon, to recline, to come upon. Used of the Holy Spirit in 8:16; 10:44; 11:15 . It appears that Peter was interrupted in his sermon by this remarkable event. The Jews had received the Holy Spirit ( 2:4), the Samaritans ( 8:17), and now Gentiles. But on this occasion it was before baptism, as was apparently true in Paul's case (9:17f. ). In 8:16; 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.
They of the circumcision which believed (ο εκ περιτομης πιστο). The believing ones of the circumcision, more exactly.
Were amazed (εξεστησαν). Second aorist active indicative, intransitive, of εξιστημ. They stood out of themselves.
On the Gentiles also (κα επ τα εθνη). Or, even upon the Gentiles.
They heard (ηκουον). Imperfect active, were hearing, kept on hearing.
Speak (λαλουντων). Present active participle, speaking, for they kept it up.
With tongues (γλωσσαις). Instrumental case as in 2:4,11 which see. The fuller statement there makes it clear that here it was new and strange tongues also as in 19:6; 1Co 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 (Ac 11:15 ).
Can any man forbid the water? (Μητ το υδωρ δυνατα κωλυσα τισ?). The negative μητ 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 Lu 6:39 . Note the article with "water." Here the baptism of the Holy Spirit had preceded the baptism of water (Ac 1:5; 11:16 ). "The greater had been bestowed; could the lesser be withheld?" (Knowling).
That these should not be baptized (του μη βαπτισθηνα τουτους). Ablative case of the articular first aorist passive infinitive of βαπτιζω with the redundant negative after the verb of hindering (κωλυσα) and the accusative of general reference (τουτους). The redundant negative after the verb of hindering is not necessary though often used in ancient Greek and in the Koine (papyri). Without it see Mt 19:14; Ac 8:36 and with it see Lu 4:42; 24:16; Ac 14:18 . Cf. Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1061, 1094, 1171. The triple negatives here are a bit confusing to the modern mind (μητ in the question, κωλυσα, to hinder or to cut off, μη with βαπτισθηνα). 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 κα ημεις). The argument was conclusive. God had spoken. Note the query of the eunuch to Philip (Ac 8:36 ).
Commanded (προσεταξεν). First aorist active indicative. Peter himself abstained from baptizing on this occasion (cf. Paul in 1Co 1:14 ). Evidently it was done by the six Jewish brethren.
Them to be baptized (αυτους βαπτισθηνα). Accusative of general reference with the first aorist passive infinitive.
In the name of Jesus Christ (εν τω ονοματ Ιησου Χριστου). The essential name in Christian baptism as in 2:38; 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" (αυρε διες, Bengel) were these for the whole group.
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