Acts 5:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,

King James Bible
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

Darby Bible Translation
But a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

World English Bible
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession,

Young's Literal Translation
And a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

Acts 5:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But a certain man - In the previous chapter the historian had given an account of the eminent liberality and sincerity of the mass of early Christians, in being willing to give up their property to provide for the poor, and had mentioned the case of Barnabas as worthy of special attention. In this chapter he proceeds to mention a case, quite as striking, of insincerity, and hypocrisy, and of the just judgment of God on those who were guilty of it. The case is a remarkable instance of the nature of "hypocrisy," and goes to illustrate the art and cunning of the enemy of souls in attempting to corrupt the church, and to pervert the religion of the gospel. Hypocrisy consists in an attempt to "imitate" the people of God, or to assume the "appearance" of religion, in whatever form it may be manifested. In this case religion had been manifested by great self-denial and benevolence. The hypocrisy of Ananias consisted in "attempting" to imitate this in appearance, and to impose in this way on the early Christians and on God.

With Sapphira his wife - With her concurrence or consent. It was a matter of "agreement" between them, Acts 5:2, Acts 5:9.

Sold a possession - The word used here κτῆμα ktēma does not indicate whether this was "land" or some other property. In Acts 5:3, however, we learn that it was "land" that was sold; and the word here translated "possession" is translated in the Syriac, Arabic, and the Latin Vulgate as "land." The pretence for which this was sold was doubtless to have the appearance of religion. That it was "sold" could be easily known by the Christian society, but it might not be so easily known for "how much" it was sold. Hence, the attempt to impose on the apostles. It is clear that they were not under obligation to sell their property. But, "having" sold it for the purposes of religion, it became their duty, if they professed to devote the avails of it to God, to do it entirely, and without any reservation.

Acts 5:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Whom to Obey, --Annas or Angel?
'Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18. And 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
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

On Zeal
"It is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing." Gal. 4:18. 1. There are few subjects in the whole compass of religion, that are of greater importance than this. For without zeal it is impossible, either to make any considerable progress in religion ourselves, or to do any considerable service to our neighbour, whether in temporal or spiritual things. And yet nothing has done more disservice to religion, or more mischief to mankind, than a sort of zeal which has for several ages prevailed,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Whether Human Law Binds a Man in Conscience?
Objection 1: It would seem that human law does not bind man in conscience. For an inferior power has no jurisdiction in a court of higher power. But the power of man, which frames human law, is beneath the Divine power. Therefore human law cannot impose its precept in a Divine court, such as is the court of conscience. Objection 2: Further, the judgment of conscience depends chiefly on the commandments of God. But sometimes God's commandments are made void by human laws, according to Mat. 15:6: "You
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Devil is Directly the Cause of Man's Sinning?
Objection 1: It would seem that the devil is directly the cause of man's sinning. For sin consists directly in an act of the appetite. Now Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 12) that "the devil inspires his friends with evil desires"; and Bede, commenting on Acts 5:3, says that the devil "draws the mind to evil desires"; and Isidore says (De Summo Bono ii, 41; iii, 5) that the devil "fills men's hearts with secret lusts." Therefore the devil is directly the cause of sin. Objection 2: Further, Jerome says
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Joshua 7:18
He brought his household near man by man; and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, was taken.

Malachi 1:14
"But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King," says the LORD of hosts, "and My name is feared among the nations."

Acts 4:37
and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Acts 5:2
and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.

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