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* CHAPTER VII.
PETER IN LYDDA, JOPPA, AND CÆSAREA.
Acts 9 : 32-35. 32 And it came to pass, as Peter went throughout all parts, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. 33 And there he found a certain man named Æneas, which had kept his bed eight years; for he was palsied. 34 And Peter said unto him, Æneas, Jesus Christ healeth thee: arise, and make thy bed. And straightway he arose. 35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
$23. THE RAISING OF DORCAS.
Acts 9 : 36-43. 36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called i Dorcas : this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 37 And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick, and died : and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38 And as Lydda was nigh unto Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men unto him, intreating him, Delay not to come on unto us. 39 And Peter arose and went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa: and many believed on the Lord. 43 And it came to pass, that he abode many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.
$24. PETER'S VISIT TO CORNELIUS.
ACTS, CHAP. 10. I Now there was a certain man in Cæsarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of the band called the Italian 2 band, 2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 3 He saw in a vision openly, as it
1 That is, Gazelle. 2 Or, cohort
were about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in unto him, and saying to him, Cornelius. 4 And he, fastening his eyes upon him, and being affrighted, said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are gone up for a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa, and fetch one Simon, who is surnamed Peter: 6 he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side. 7 And when the angel that spake unto him was departed, he called two of his household-servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; 8 and having rehearsed all things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 Now on the morrow, as they were on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour: 10 and he became hungry, and desired to eat: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance; II and he beholdeth the heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth : 12 wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts and creeping things of the earth and fowls of the heaven. 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 and unclean. 15 And a voice came unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, make not thou common. 16 And this was done thrice: and straightway the vessel was received up into heaven.
17 Now while Peter was much perplexed in himself what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men that were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood before the gate, 18 and called and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodging there. 19 And while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20 But arise, and get thee down, and go with them, nothing doubting: for I have sent them. 21 And Peter went down to the men, and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? 22 And they said, Cornelius a centurion, a righteous man and one that feareth God, and well reported of by all the nation of the Jews, was warned of God by a holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words from thee. 23 So he called them in and lodged them.
And on the morrow he arose and went forth with them, and certain of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the morrow 1 they entered into Cæsarea. And Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his kinsmen and his near friends. 25 And when it came to pass that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and findeth many come together: 28 and he said unto them, Ye yourselves know 2 how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to join himself or come unto one of another nation; and yet unto me hath God shewed that I should not call any man common or unclean: 29 wherefore also I came without gainsaying, when I was sent for. I ask therefore with what intent ye sent for me.
1 Some ancient authorities read he. ? Or, how unlawful it is for a man &c.
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago, until this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house; and behold, a man stood before me in bright apparel, 31 and saith, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call unto thee Simon, who is surnamed Peter; he lodgeth in the house of Simon a tanner, by the sea side. 33 Forthwith therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all things that have been commanded thee of the Lord. 34 And Peter opened his mouth, and said,
Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him. 36 1 The word which he sent unto the children of Israel, preaching a good tidings of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all) -37 that saying ye yourselves know, which was published throughout all Judæa, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 even Jesus of Nazareth, how that God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem ; whom also they slew, hanging him on a tree. 40 Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest, 41 not to all the people, but unto witnesses that were chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he charged us to preach unto the people, and to testify that this is he which is ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
825. PETER'S DEFENCE OF HIS ACTION RESPECTING
Acts 11: 1-18.
I Now the apostles and the brethren that were in Judæa heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. 4 But Peter began, and expounded the matter unto them
1 Many ancient authorities read He sent the word unto. ? Or, the gospel
in order, saying, 5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even unto me: 6 upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw the fourfooted beasts of the earth and wild beasts and creeping things and fowls of the heaven. 7 And I heard also a voice saying unto me, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. 8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath ever entered into my mouth. 9 But a voice answered the second time out of heaven, What God hath cleansed, make not thou common. 10 And this was done thrice: and all were drawn up again into heaven. II And behold, forthwith three men stood before the house in which we were, having been sent from Cæsarea unto me. 12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, making no distinction. And these six brethren also accompanied me; and we entered into the man's house: 13 and he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, Send to Joppa, and fetch Simon, whose surname is Peter; 14 who shall speak unto thee words, whereby thou shalt be saved, thou and all thy house. 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized 1 with the Holy Ghost. 17 If then God gave unto them the like gift as he did also unto us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was 1, that I could withstand God? 18 And when they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then to the Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto life.
THE EARLY DAYS OF THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH, AND
CONTEMPORARY EVENTS IN JERUSALEM.
Acts 11 : 19–26. 19 They therefore that were scattered abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phænicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none save only to Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the 2 Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number that believed turned unto the Lord. 22 And the report concerning them came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem : and they sent forth Barnabas as far as Antioch: 23 who, when he was come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad ; and he exhorted them all, 8 that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord :
1 Or, in ? Many ancient authorities read Grecian Jews. Some ancient authorities read that they would cleave unto the purpose of their heart in the Lord.
24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith : and much people was added unto the Lord. 25 And he went forth to Tarsus to seek for Saul: 26 and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that even for a whole year they were gathered together l with the church, and taught much people; and that the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
$27. RELIEF SENT FROM ANTIOCH TO THE BRETHREN IN
Acts 11 : 27–30. 27 Now in these days there came down prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great famine over all 2 the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius. 29 And the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send 8 relief unto the brethren that dwelt in Judæa: 30 which also they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
$28. THE PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH BY HEROD
ACTS 12: 1-24. I Now about that time Herod the king put forth his hands to afflict certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. And those were the days of unleavened bread. 4 And when he had taken him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him; intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison : but prayer was made earnestly of the church unto God for him. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains : and guards before the door kept the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shined in the cell : and he smote Peter on the side, and awoke him, saying, Rise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. 8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And he did so. And he saithTM unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. 9 And he went out, and followed; and he wist not that it was true which was done 4 by the angel, but thought he saw a vision. 10 And when they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth into the city; which opened to them of its own accord : and they went out, and passed on through one street; and straightway the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of
1 Gr. in. 2 Gr. the inhabited earth. 3 Gr. for ministry.