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Acts 5:5

    Acts 5:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And at these words, Ananias went down on the earth, and his life went from him: and great fear came on all who were present.

    Webster's Revision

    And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it.

    World English Bible

    Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 5:5

    Fell down, and gave up the ghost - Πεσων εξεψυξε, Falling down, he expired, breathed his last: "Gave up the ghost" is a very improper translation here. See the notes on Genesis 25:8, and on Matthew 27:50 (note). Two things may be remarked here:

    1. That the sin of this person was of no ordinary magnitude, else God would not have visited it with so signal a punishment.

    2. That Peter must have had the power to discern the state of the heart, else he had not known the perfidy of Ananias. This power, commonly called the discernment of spirits, the apostles had as a particular gift, not probably always but at select times, when God saw it necessary for the good of his Church.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 5:5

    And Ananias, hearing these words ... - Seeing that his guilt was known, and being charged with the enormous crime of attempting to deceive God. He had not expected to be thus exposed; and it is clear that the exposure and the charge came upon him unexpectedly and terribly, like a bolt of thunder.

    Fell down - Greek: Having fallen down.

    Gave up the ghost - This is an unhappy translation. The original means simply "he expired," or "he died." Compare the notes on Matthew 27:50. This remarkable fact may be accounted for in this way:

    (1) It is evidently to be regarded as a "judgment" of God for the sin of Ananias and his wife. It was not the act of Peter, but of God, and was clearly designed to show his abhorrence of this sin. See remarks on Acts 5:11.

    (2) though it was the act of God, yet it does not follow that it was not in connection with the usual laws by which he governs people, or that he did not make use of natural means to do it. The sin was one of great aggravation. It was suddenly and unexpectedly detected. The fast that it was known, and the solemn charge that he had "lied unto God," struck him with horror. His conscience would reprove him for the enormity of his crime, and overwhelm him at the memory of his wickedness. These circumstances may be sufficient to account for this remarkable event. It has occurred in other cases that the consciousness of crime, or the fact of being suddenly detected, has given such a shock to the frame that it has never recovered from it. The effect "commonly" is that the memory of guilt preys secretly and silently upon the frame, until, worn out with the lack of rest and peace, it sinks exhausted into the grave. But there have not been missing instances where the shock has been so great as to destroy the vital powers at once, and plunge the wretched man, like Ananias, into eternity. It is not at all improbable that the shock in the case of Ananias was so great as at once to take his life.

    Great fear came ... - Such a striking and awful judgment on insincerity and hypocrisy was suited to excite awful emotions among the people. Sudden death always does it; but sudden death in immediate connection with crime is suited much more deeply to affect the mind.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 5:5

    5:5 And Ananias fell down and expired - And this severity was not only just, considering that complication of vain glory, covetousness, fraud, and impiety, which this action contained: but it was also wise and gracious, as it would effectually deter any others from following his example. It was likewise a convincing proof of the upright conduct of the apostles, in managing the sums with which they were intrusted; and in general of their Divine mission. For none can imagine that Peter would have had the assurance to pronounce, and much less the power to execute such a sentence, if he had been guilty himself of a fraud of the same kind; or had been belying the Holy Ghost in the whole of his pretensions to be under his immediate direction.
    Book: Acts