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Acts 5:15

    Acts 5:15 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    So that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    insomuch that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that, as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some one of them.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And they even took into the streets people who were ill, and put them on beds, so that when Peter went by, some of them might be in his shade.

    Webster's Revision

    insomuch that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that, as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some one of them.

    World English Bible

    They even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    insomuch that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that, as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some one of them.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 5:15

    Insomuch that they brought forth the sick - This verse is a continuation of the subject begun in the 12th. The following is the order in which all these verses should be read, from the 11th to the 15th.

    Acts 5:11. And great fear came upon all the Church, and upon as many as heard these things.

    Acts 5:13. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them; but the people magnified them:

    Acts 5:14. And believers were the more added to the Lord, both men and women.

    Acts 5:12. (last clause.) And they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

    Acts 5:12. (first clause.) And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;

    Acts 5:15. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, etc., etc.

    How these different verses and clauses of verses, got so intermingled and confounded as they are now in our common text, I cannot tell; but the above will appear at once to be the natural order in which they should be placed.

    That - the shadow of Peter passing by - I cannot see all the miraculous influence here that others profess to see. The people who had seen the miracles wrought by the apostles pressed with their sick to share the healing benefit: as there must have been many diseased people, it is not likely that the apostles, who generally addressed such persons, prayed and used imposition of hands, could reach all those that were brought to them, as fast as the solicitude of their friends could wish. As, therefore, they could not get Peter or the other apostles, personally, to all their sick, they thought if they placed them on that side of the way where the shadow was projected, (the sun probably now declining, and consequently the shadow lengthening), they should be healed by the shadow of the man passing over them, in whose person such miraculous powers were lodged. But it does not appear that the persons who thus thought and acted were of the number of those converts already made to the faith of Christ; nor does it appear that any person was healed in this way. The sacred penman simply relates the impression made on the people's minds; and how they acted in consequence of this impression. A popish writer, assuming that the shadow of Peter actually cured all on which it was projected, argues from this precarious principle in favor of the wonderful efficacy of relics! For, says he, "if the shadow of a saint can do so much, how much more may his bones, or any thing that was in contact with his person, perform!" Now, before this conclusion can be valid, it must be proved:

    1. That the shadow of Peter did actually cure the sick;

    2. That this was a virtue common to all the apostles;

    3. That all eminent saints possess the same virtue;

    4. That the bones, etc., of the dead, possess the same virtue with the shadow of the living;

    5. That those whom they term saints were actually such;

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 5:15

    Insomuch - So that. This should be connected with Acts 5:12. Many miracles were performed by the apostles, "insomuch, etc."

    They brought forth - The people, or the friends of the sick, brought them forth.

    Beds - κλινῶν klinōn. This word denotes usually the "soft" and "valuable" beds on which the rich commonly lay. And it means that the rich, as well as the poor, were laid in the path of Peter and the other apostles.

    Couches - κραββάτων krabatōn. The coarse and hard couches on which the poor used to lie, Mark 2:4, Mark 2:9,Mark 2:11-12; Mark 6:55; John 5:8-12; Acts 9:33.

    The shadow of Peter - That is, they were laid in the path so that the shadow of Peter, as he walked, might pass over them. Perhaps the sun was near setting, and the lengthened shadow of Peter might be thrown afar across the way. They were not able to approach him on account of the crowd, and they "imagined" that if they could "anyhow" come under his influence they might be healed. The sacred writer does not say, however, that any "were" healed in this way, nor that they were commanded to do this. He simply states the "impression" which was on the minds of the people that it "might be." Whether they were healed by this, it is left for us merely to conjecture. An instance somewhat similar is recorded in Acts 19:12, where it is expressly said, however, that the sick were healed by contact with "handkerchiefs" and "aprons" that were brought from the body of Paul. Compare also Matthew 9:21-22, where the woman said respecting Jesus "If I may but touch his garment I shall be whole."

    Might overshadow - That his shadow might pass over them. Though there is no certain evidence that any were healed in this way, yet it shows the full belief of the people that Peter had the power of working miracles. "Peter" was supposed by them to be eminently endowed with this power, because it was by him that the lame man in the temple had been healed Acts 3:4-6, and because he had been most prominent in his addresses to the people. The persons who are specified in this verse were those who dwelt at Jerusalem.