Acts 5:33-42

33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them.

34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 

35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.

36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.

37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.

38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;

39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it — lest you even be found to fight against God.”

40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

furious (v.33) = sawn through (“cut to the heart” in the KJV) — violent mental anguish and indignation

plotted (v.33) — tense indicates continuous action. The leaders were willing and wanting to kill the apostles.

Gamaliel (v.34) —  He was not a believer and, later, wrote a prayer to be read in synagogues against the believers.

Gamaliel means “the reward of God.” We may safely regard him as identical with the famous Rabbi Gamaliel, grandson of that Hillel who founded the more liberal of the two schools into which the Pharisees were divided. He was a man of great learning and noble character, the first of those seven eminent Jewish doctors of divinity who alone were styled Rabbi (Master). He had studied Greek literature, and was in advance of most of the Rabbis in culture and liberality. He was held in the highest possible repute by the Jews, and was honorably named “the beauty of the Law.” He is said to have died 18 years before the destruction of the temple. As we know, Saul of Tarsus was one of his pupils (Acts 22:3). — Walker, page 130

put the apostles outside (v.34) — remove them from the chamber

Theudas (v.36) — nothing is known about him for sure — perhaps one of the insurgents in Palestine around 4 B.C., the time of Herod the Great

Judas (v.37) — 6 A.D., incited a nationalist revolt against paying tribute to Caesar — the census was that of Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, imperial legate of Syria for the second time

plan (v.38) — determination, design

beaten (v.40) —  the first suffering of the apostles (1 Peter 4:13-14)

The verb [beaten] occurs again in the Acts in 16:37; 22:19. The Sadducean party were loathe to let them off unpunished, and possibly a compromise was thus arrived at between them and the Gamaliel section of the Sanhedrin. The apostles probably received the “forty stripes save one” spoken of in the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 25:1-3), and the word used suggests a severe cudgeling or flogging. These were the first stripes, so far as we know, received by Christ’s followers on His behalf. — Walker, page 133.

teaching (v.42) = instruction of believers

preaching (v.42) = declare as good tidings — evangelism

This entry was posted in Acts. Bookmark the permalink.