And 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.
When Nineveh was burned under Sardanapalus, great quantities of treasure were known to bare fallen into the fiery ruins. Belesis, governor of Babylon, had been one of the conspirators against the dead king, and was aware of all the circumstances of the sack of the city. He told the other generals that in the midst of the fight he had at one time despaired of success, and then he had solemnly sworn to the immortal gods that, if victory were vouchsafed him, he would convey bodily all the ashes of the conflagration to Babylon, and deposit them in a vast temple which he would erect to receive them in honour of the propitious deities: he added that his tender conscience would not permit him to delay the fulfilment of his vow. No one could object to so pious a proposal; so Belesis set the whole army at work to gather up the remains of the fire. When the valuable mass reached Babylon he smelted the heaps in great furnaces, and enriched himself to a fabulous amount with the gold and silver that came forth. This he had understood all along; but he was neither the first nor the last man who has put forward his conscience to make gain out of godliness with a villainous deceit.
(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And 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.