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Peter Condemns Ananias and Sapphira

Ananias and his wife Sapphira also sold a piece of property. But they agreed to cheat and keep some of the money for themselves.

So when Ananias took the rest of the money to the apostles, Peter said, “Why has Satan made you keep back some of the money from the sale of the property? Why have you lied to the Holy Spirit? The property was yours before you sold it, and even after you sold it, the money was still yours. What made you do such a thing? You didn’t lie to people. You lied to God!”

As soon as Ananias heard this, he dropped dead, and everyone who heard about it was frightened. Some young men came in and wrapped up his body. Then they took it out and buried it.

Three hours later Sapphira came in, but she did not know what had happened to her husband. Peter asked her, “Tell me, did you sell the property for this amount?”

“Yes,” she answered, “that’s the amount.”

Then Peter said, “Why did the two of you agree to test the Lord’s Spirit? The men who buried Ananias are by the door, and they will carry you out!” 10 At once she fell at Peter’s feet and died.

When the young men came back in, they found Sapphira lying there dead. So they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 The church members were afraid, and so was everyone else who heard what had happened.

Peter’s Unusual Power

12 The apostles worked many miracles and wonders among the people. All of the Lord’s followers often met in the part of the temple known as Solomon’s Porch.[a] 13 No one outside their group dared join them, even though everyone liked them very much.

14 Many men and women started having faith in the Lord. 15 Then sick people were brought out to the road and placed on cots and mats. It was hoped that Peter would walk by, and his shadow would fall on them and heal them. 16 A lot of people living in the towns near Jerusalem brought those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits, and they were all healed.

Trouble for the Apostles

17 The high priest and all the other Sadducees who were with him became jealous. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the city jail. 19 But that night an angel from the Lord opened the doors of the jail and led the apostles out. The angel said, 20 “Go to the temple and tell the people everything about this new life.” 21 So they went into the temple before sunrise and started teaching.

The high priest and his men called together their council, which included all of Israel’s leaders. Then they ordered the apostles to be brought to them from the jail. 22 The temple police who were sent to the jail did not find the apostles. They returned and said, 23 “We found the jail locked tight and the guards standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors and went in, we didn’t find anyone there.” 24 The captain of the temple police and the chief priests listened to their report, but they did not know what to think about it.

25 Just then someone came in and said, “Right now those men you put in jail are in the temple, teaching the people!” 26 The captain went with some of the temple police and brought the apostles back. But they did not use force. They were afraid that the people might start throwing stones at them.

27 When the apostles were brought before the council, the high priest said to them, 28 “We told you plainly not to teach in the name of Jesus. But look what you have done! You have been teaching all over Jerusalem, and you are trying to blame us for his death.”

29 Peter and the apostles replied:

We don’t obey people. We obey God. 30 You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But the God our ancestors worshiped raised him to life 31 and made him our Leader and Savior. Then God gave him a place at his right side,[b] so that the people of Israel would turn back to him and be forgiven. 32 We are here to tell you about all this, and so is the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to everyone who obeys God.

33 When the council members heard this, they became so angry that they wanted to kill the apostles. 34 But one of the members was the Pharisee Gamaliel, a highly respected teacher. He ordered the apostles to be taken out of the room for a little while. 35 Then he said to the council:

People of Israel, be careful what you do with these men. 36 Not long ago Theudas claimed to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him. But he was killed. All his followers were scattered, and that was the end of that.

37 Later, when the people of our nation were being counted, Judas from Galilee showed up. A lot of people followed him, but he was killed, and all his followers were scattered.

38 So I advise you to stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If what they are planning is something of their own doing, it will fail. 39 But if God is behind it, you cannot stop it anyway, unless you want to fight against God.

The council members agreed with what he said, 40 and they called the apostles back in. They had them beaten with a whip and warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go.

41 The apostles left the council and were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus. 42 Every day they spent time in the temple and in one home after another. They never stopped teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Footnotes

  1. 5.12 Solomon’s Porch: See the note at 3.11.
  2. 5.31 right side: See the note at 2.33.

Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself,(A) but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.(B)

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan(C) has so filled your heart(D) that you have lied to the Holy Spirit(E) and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?(F) Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?(G) What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”(H)

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died.(I) And great fear(J) seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body,(K) and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”(L)

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord?(M) Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.(N) Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.(O) 11 Great fear(P) seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders(Q) among the people. And all the believers used to meet together(R) in Solomon’s Colonnade.(S) 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.(T) 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.(U) 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.(V) 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.(W)

The Apostles Persecuted

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party(X) of the Sadducees,(Y) were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.(Z) 19 But during the night an angel(AA) of the Lord opened the doors of the jail(AB) and brought them out.(AC) 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”(AD)

21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

When the high priest and his associates(AE) arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin(AF)—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there.(AG) So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests(AH) were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.

25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people(AI) would stone them.

27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin(AJ) to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,”(AK) he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”(AL)

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!(AM) 30 The God of our ancestors(AN) raised Jesus from the dead(AO)—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.(AP) 31 God exalted him to his own right hand(AQ) as Prince and Savior(AR) that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.(AS) 32 We are witnesses of these things,(AT) and so is the Holy Spirit,(AU) whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were furious(AV) and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel,(AW) a teacher of the law,(AX) who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census(AY) and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.(AZ) 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”(BA)

40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged.(BB) Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing(BC) because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.(BD) 42 Day after day, in the temple courts(BE) and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news(BF) that Jesus is the Messiah.(BG)

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