5:1 But 1 a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife,
sold a possession,
(1) Luke shows by contrary examples how great a sin hypocrisy
is, especially in those who under a false pretence and
cloak of zeal seem to shine and be of great importance in
5:2 And a kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being
privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it] at
the apostles' feet.
(a) Craftily took away.
5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan b filled thine
heart c to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part]
of the price of the land?
(b) Fully possessed.
(c) For when they had appointed that farm or possession for
the Church, they were foolish to keep away a part of the
price, as though they were dealing with men, and not
with God, and therefore he says afterwards that they
5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was
sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou d
conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto
men, but unto God.
(d) By this is meant an advised and purposeful deceit, and
the fault of the man in listening to the devil's
5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed
together to e tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the
feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the
f door, and shall carry thee out.
(e) Look how often men do things with an evil conscience;
and so they pronounce sentence against themselves, and
as much as in them lies, they provoke God to anger, as
they do this on purpose, in order to test whether he is
just and almighty or not.
(f) Are at hand.
5:112 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as
many as heard these things.
(2) The Lord by his marvellous power bridles some so that they
may not hurt the Church: others he keeps in awe and fear of
him: and others he draws unto himself.
5:13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the
people g magnified them.
(g) Highly praised them.
5:173 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were
with him, (which is the h sect of the Sadducees,) and
were filled with indignation,
(3) The more that the Church increases, the more the rage os
Satan increases, and therefore they proceed from threats to
(h) The word which is used here is "heresy", which
signifies a choice, and so is taken for a right form of
learning, or faction, or study and course of life,
which the Latins call a sect: at first this word was
used indifferently, but at length it came to be used
only in reference to evil, whereupon came the name of
"heretic" which is taken for one that goes astray from
sound and wholesome doctrine in such a way that he
thinks lightly of the judgment of God and his Church,
and continues in his opinion, and breaks the peace of
5:194 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison
doors, and brought them forth, and said,
(4) Angels are made servants of the servants of God.
5:205 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the
i words of this life.
(5) God therefore delivers his own, so that they may more
vigorously provoke his enemies.
(i) Words by which the way unto life is shown.
5:216 And when they heard [that], they entered into the
temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high
priest came, and they that were with him, and called the
council together, and all the senate of the children of
Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
(6) God mocks his enemies attempts from above.
5:257 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men
whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and
teaching the people.
(7) The more openly that Christ's power shows itself, the more
the madness of his enemies who conspire against him
5:268 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought
them without violence: for they feared the people, lest
they should have been stoned.
(8) Tyrants who do not fear God are forced to fear his
5:289 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should
not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled
Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend k to bring this
man's blood upon us.
(9) It is the characteristic of tyrants to set down their own
commandments as right and proper, be they ever so wicked.
(k) Make us guilty of murdering that man whom yet they will
not condescend to name.
5:2910 Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said,
We ought to obey God rather than men.
(10) We should obey man only in so far that in obeying him we
also obey God.
5:3011 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew
and hanged on a tree.
(11) Christ is appointed and indeed declared Prince and
preserver of his Church, in spite of his enemies.
5:3212 And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is]
also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey
(12) It is not sufficient for us that there is a proper goal,
but we must also according to our calling go forward until
we come to it.
5:33 When they heard [that], they l were cut [to the heart],
and took counsel to slay them.
(l) This shows that they were in a most vehement rage, and
tremendously disquieted in mind, for it is a borrowed
kind of speech taken from those who are harshly cut
in pieces with a saw.
5:3413 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee,
named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation
among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles
forth a little space;
(13) Christ finds defenders of his cause, even in the very
company of his enemies, as often as he thinks necessary.
5:3614 For before these days rose up Theudas, m boasting
himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four
hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many
as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
(14) In matters of religion we must take good heed that we
attempt nothing under a pretence of zeal to which we have
not been called.
(m) To be of same fame.
5:38 And now I say unto you, n Refrain from these men, and let
them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of o men,
it will come to nought:
(n) He dissuades his fellows from murdering the apostles,
neither does he think it good to refer the matter to
the Roman magistrate, for the Jews could endure
nothing worse than to have the tyranny of the Romans
(o) If it is counterfeit and devised.
5:4115 And they departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for
(15) The apostles, accustomed to suffer and bear words, are
eventually accustomed to bearing stripes, and yet in such
a way that by means of them they become stronger.
5:42 And daily in the p temple, and in every house, they
ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.