The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 5

Ananias and Sapphira his wife fell down dead for their hypocrisy at Peter's rebuke, 1-11. The rest of the apostles wrought many miracles, 12, 13; to the increase of the faith, 14-16. The apostles are again imprisoned, 17, 18; but delivered by an angel bidding them preach openly to all, 19, 20. But after their teaching accordingly in the temple, 21-28, and before the council, 29-32, they are in danger to be killed; but through the advice of Gamaliel, a great counselor among the Jews, they are kept alive and are only beaten, for which they glorify God, 33-41. They did not cease from daily preaching, 42.

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 Kept back part of the price (his wife also being aware of it), and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the value of the land? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own power? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God." 5 And Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and expired. And great fear came on all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose, wound him up, carried him out, and buried him.

7 And it was about the space of three hours after when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?" And she said, "Yes, for so much." 9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door and shall carry you out." 10 Then she fell down immediately at his feet and expired. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon all the church and upon as many as heard these things.

12 And by the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were wrought among the people, and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. 13 And of the rest, no man dared join himself to them, but the people magnified them. 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. 15 They even brought forth the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and couches so that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There also came a multitude out of the cities around to Jerusalem bringing sick persons and those who were afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees) were filled with indignation, 18 Laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison-doors and brought them forth, and said, 20 "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." 21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those who were with him came and called the council together and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 Saying, "We truly found the prison shut with all safety and the keepers standing outside before the doors. But when we had opened, we found no man inside." 24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they were doubting concerning them and to what this would come. 25 Then someone came and told them, saying, "Behold, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people." 26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council, and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, "Did we not strictly command you that you should not teach in this name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man's blood upon us." 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, "We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree. 31 God has exalted him with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart and took counsel to slay them. 34 Then someone in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, had in reputation among all the people, stood up and commanded to put the apostles forth a little time. 35 And said to them, "Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do concerning these men. 36 For before these days, Theudas rose, boasting himself to be somebody, to whom a number of about four hundred men joined themselves. He was slain, and as many as obeyed him were all scattered and brought to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose in the days of the taxing and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and even as many as obeyed him were all dispersed. 38 And now I say to you, refrain from these men and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is from men, it will come to nothing, 39 But if it is from God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God."

40 And they assented to him. And when they had called the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. 41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42 And daily in the temple and in every house they did not cease to teach and preach Jesus Christ.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Acts, Chapter 5[➚]