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Acts 5:4

    Acts 5:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Whiles it remained, was it not your own? and after it was sold, was it not in your own power? why have you conceived this thing in your heart? you have not lied to men, but to God.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    While you had it, was it not your property? and after you had given it in exchange, was it not still in your power? how has this purpose come into your mind? you have been false, not to men, but to God.

    Webster's Revision

    While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God.

    World English Bible

    While you kept it, didn't it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn't it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven't lied to men, but to God."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Whiles it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 5:4

    Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? - See the note on Acts 5:2, and see that also on Acts 2:44 (note).

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 5:4

    Whiles it remained - As long as it remained unsold. This place proves that there was no "obligation" imposed on the disciples to sell their property. They who did it, did it voluntarily; and it does not appear that it was done by all, or expected to be done by all.

    And after it was sold ... - Even after the property was sold, and Ananias had the money, still there was no obligation on him to devote it in this way. He had the disposal of it still. The apostle mentions this to show him that his offence was especially aggravated. He was not "compelled" to sell his property - he had not even the poor pretence that he was "obliged" to dispose of it, and was "tempted" to withhold it for his own use. It was "all" his, and might have been retained if he had chosen.

    Thou hast not lied unto men - Unto people "only," or, it is not your "main" and "chief" offence that you have attempted to deceive people. It is true that Ananias "had" attempted to deceive the apostles, and it is true, also, that this was a crime; but still, the principal magnitude of the offence was that he had attempted to deceive "God." So small was his crime as committed against "men" that it was lost sight of by the apostles, and the great, crowning sin of attempting to deceive "God" was brought fully into view. Thus, David also saw his sin as committed against "God" to be so enormous that he lost sight of it as an offence to man, and said, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight," Psalm 51:4.

    But unto God - It has been "particularly" and "eminently" against God. This is true, because:

    (1) He had professedly "devoted" it to God. The act, therefore, had express and direct reference to him.

    (2) it was an attempt to deceive him. It implied the belief of Ananias that God would not detect the crime, or see the motives of the heart.

    (3) it is the prerogative of God to judge of sincerity and hypocrisy; and this was a case, therefore, which came under his special notice. Compare Psalm 139:1-4. The word "God" here is evidently used in its plain and obvious sense as denoting the "supreme divinity," and the use of the word here shows that the Holy Spirit is "divine." The whole passage demonstrates, therefore, one of the important doctrines of the Christian religion, that the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son, and yet is divine.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 5:4

    5:4 While it remained, did it not remain thine? - It is true, whosoever among the Christians (not one excepted) had houses or lands, sold them, and laid the price at the feet of the apostles. But it was in his own choice to be a Christian or not: and consequently either to sell his land, or keep it. And when it was sold, was it not in thy power? - For it does not appear that he professed himself a Christian when he sold it. Why hast thou conceived this thing in thy heart? - So profanely to dissemble on so solemn an occasion? Thou hast not lied to men only, but to God also. Hence the Godhead of the Holy Ghost evidently appears: since lying to him, Ac 5:3, is lying to God.
    Book: Acts