The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 10

Cornelius, a devout man, being commanded by an angel, sends for Peter, 1-10, who by a vision is taught not to despise the Gentiles, 11-16; and is commanded by the Spirit to go with the messenger to Caesarea, 17-24. Cornelius discloses the occasion of his sending for him, 25-33. As he preaches Christ to Cornelius and his company, 34-43, the Holy Spirit falls on them and they are baptized, 44-48.

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called The Italian Band, 2 A devout man and one who feared God with all his house, who gave many alms to the people and always prayed to God. 3 He saw in a vision evidently, about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming to him and saying to him, "Cornelius." 4 And when he looked at him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and call for one, Simon, whose surname is Peter. 6 He lodges with one, Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea-side. He will tell you what you ought to do." 7 And when the angel who spoke to Cornelius had departed, he called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of those who waited on him continually. 8 And when he had declared all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.

9 On the next day, as they were going on their journey and drew near to the city, Peter went up upon the house-top to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 And he became very hungry and wished to eat, but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened and a certain vessel descending to him, like a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth, 12 In which were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, wild beasts, creeping animals, and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, "Rise, Peter. Kill and eat." 14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." 15 And the voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed, do not call unclean." 16 This was done three times, and the vessel was received back into heaven.

17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men who were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house and were standing before the gate, 18 And called and asked whether Simon, who was surnamed Peter, lodged there. 19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men seek you. 20 Arise therefore, go down, and go with them, doubting nothing, for I have sent them." 21 Then Peter went down to the men who were sent to him from Cornelius, and said, "Behold, I am he whom you seek. What is the cause for which you have come?" 22 And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man and one who fears God and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by a holy angel to send for you into his house and to hear words from you." 23 Then he called them in and lodged them. And on the next day, Peter went with them, and some brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the next day, they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. 25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. 26 But Peter took him up, saying, "Stand up. I myself am also a man." 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 And he said to them, "You know that it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a Jew to keep company or come to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore, I came to you without gainsaying as soon as I was sent for. I ask therefore for what intent you have sent for me."

30 And Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 And said, 'Cornelius, your prayer is heard and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call here Simon, whose surname is Peter. He lodges in the house of one, Simon, a tanner, by the sea-side. When he comes, he will speak to you.' 33 Immediately therefore I sent for you, and you have done well that you have come. Now therefore, we are all here present before God to hear all things that are commanded you by God."

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, "In truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. 35 But in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 You know that word which was published throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached, 38 That God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they slew and hanged on a tree. 40 God raised him on the third day and showed him openly, 41 Not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that it is he who was ordained by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets give testimony to him, that through his name, whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins."

44 While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak in languages and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they requested him to stay some days.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 10[➚]


[v.34] - "God is no respecter of persons" - Reference, Deuteronomy 10:17; 2nd Chronicles 19:7; Job 34:19; Matthew 22:16; Luke 20:21; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; 1st Peter 1:17.