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Acts 8:22

    Acts 8:22 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Let your heart be changed, and make prayer to God that you may have forgiveness for your evil thoughts.

    Webster's Revision

    Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee.

    World English Bible

    Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 8:22

    Repent therefore of this thy wickedness - St. Peter did not suppose his case to be utterly hopeless; though his sin, considered in its motives and objects, was of the most heinous kind.

    If perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee - His sin, as yet, only existed in thought and purpose; and therefore it is said, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 8:22

    Repent, therefore - Here we may remark:

    (1) That Simon was at this time an unconverted sinner.

    (2) that the command was given to him "as such."

    (3) that he was required to "do the thing"; not to wait or seek merely, but actually to repent.

    (4) that this was to be the "first step" in his conversion. He was not even directed to "pray" first, but his first indispensable work was to "repent"; that is, to exercise proper sorrow for this sin, and to "abandon" his plan or principle of action.

    And this shows:

    (1) that all sinners are to be exhorted to "repent," as their first work. They are not to be told to "wait," and "read," and "pray," in the expectation that repentance will be "given" them. With such helps as they can obtain, they are to "do the thing."

    (2) prayer will not be acceptable or heard unless the sinner comes "repenting"; that is, unless he regrets his sin, and "desires" to forsake it. Then, and then only, will he be heard. When he comes "loving" his sins, and resolving still to practice them, God will not hear him. When he comes "desirous" of forsaking them, grieved that he is guilty, and "feeling" his need of help, God will hear his prayer. See Isaiah 1:15; Micah 3:4; Proverbs 1:28; Psalm 66:18.

    And pray God - Having a "desire" to forsake the sin, and to be pardoned, "then" pray to God to forgive. It would be absurd to ask forgiveness until a man felt his need of it. This shows that a sinner "ought" to pray, and "how" he ought to do it. It should be with a desire and purpose to forsake sin, and in that state of mind God will hear the prayer. Compare Daniel 4:27.

    If perhaps - There was no certainty that God would forgive him; nor is there any evidence either that Simon prayed, or that he was forgiven. This direction of Peter presents "another" important principle in regard to the conduct of sinners. They are to be directed to repent; not because they have the "promise" of forgiveness, and not because they "hope" to be forgiven, but because sin "is a great evil," and because it is "right" and "proper" that they should repent, whether they are forgiven or not. That is to be left to the sovereign mercy of God. they are to repent of sin, and then they are to feel, not that they have any claim on God, but that they are dependent upon Him, and must be saved or lost at His will. They are not to suppose that their tears will purchase forgiveness, but that they lie at the footstool of mercy, and that there is hope - not certainty - that God will forgive. The language of the humbled sinner is:

    "Perhaps he will admit my plea,

    Perhaps will hear my prayer;

    But if I perish I will pray,

    And perish only there.

    continued...

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 8:22

    8:22 Repent - if perhaps the thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee - Without all doubt if he had repented, he would have been forgiven. The doubt was, whether he would repent. Thou art in the gall of bitterness - In the highest degree of wickedness, which is bitterness, that is, misery to the soul; and in the bond of iniquity - Fast bound therewith.