Acts 10–12; Psalm 129

Peter and Cornelius

10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of wwhat was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man xwho feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. yAbout the ninth hour of the day1 zhe saw clearly in a vision aan angel of God come in and say to him, Cornelius. And he stared at him in terror and said, What is it, Lord? And he said to him, Your prayers and your alms bhave ascended cas a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging dwith one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

Peter’s Vision

The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, ePeter went up fon the housetop about gthe sixth hour2 to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into ha trance 11 and saw ithe heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: Rise, Peter; kill and eat. 14 But Peter said, By no means, Lord; jfor I have never eaten anything that is kcommon or lunclean. 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, mWhat God has made clean, do not call common. 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what nthe vision that he had seen might mean, behold, othe men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate 18 and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19 And while Peter was pondering nthe vision, pthe Spirit said to him, Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 Rise and go down and qaccompany them without hesitation,3 for I have sent them. 21 And Peter went down to the men and said, I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming? 22 And they said, Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and rGod-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by sa holy angel to send for you to come to his house and tto hear what you have to say. 23 So he invited them in to be his guests.

The next day he rose and went away with them, and usome of vthe brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and wfell down at his feet and xworshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, yStand up; I too am a man. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew zto associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but aGod has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.

30 And Cornelius said, bFour days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at cthe ninth hour,4 and behold, da man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, Cornelius, eyour prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.

Gentiles Hear the Good News

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: Truly I understand that fGod gshows no partiality, 35 but fin every nation anyone who fears him and hdoes what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for ithe word that he sent to Israel, jpreaching good news of kpeace through Jesus Christ (lhe is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, mbeginning nfrom Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how oGod anointed Jesus of Nazareth pwith the Holy Spirit and with qpower. He went about doing good and healing all rwho were oppressed by the devil, sfor God was with him. 39 And twe are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. uThey put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but vGod raised him on wthe third day and made him to xappear, 41 ynot to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as zwitnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And ahe commanded us to preach to the people and to testify bthat he is the one appointed by God to be judge cof the living and the dead. 43 dTo him eall the prophets bear witness that feveryone who believes in him receives gforgiveness of sins hthrough his name.

The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles

44 While Peter was still saying these things, ithe Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among jthe circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because kthe gift of the Holy Spirit lwas poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them mspeaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 nCan anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit ojust as we have? 48 And he pcommanded them qto be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

Peter Reports to the Church

11 Now the apostles and rthe brothers5 who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, sthe circumcision party6 criticized him, saying, tYou went to uncircumcised men and uate with them. But Peter began and explained it to them in order: vI was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. But I said, By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth. But the voice answered a second time from heaven, What God has made clean, do not call common. 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, wmaking no distinction. xThese six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 yhe will declare to you a message by which zyou will be saved, you and all your household. 15 As I began to speak, athe Holy Spirit fell on them bjust as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, cJohn baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 17 If then dGod gave ethe same gift to them as he gave to us fwhen we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, gwho was I hthat I could stand in God’s way? 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they iglorified God, saying, jThen to the Gentiles also God has kgranted lrepentance that leads to life.

The Church in Antioch

19 mNow those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists7 also, npreaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And othe hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed pturned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw qthe grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord rwith steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, sfull of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people twere added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to uTarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called vChristians.

27 Now in these days wprophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named xAgabus stood up and foretold yby the Spirit that there would be a great zfamine over all the world (this took place in the days of aClaudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, bto send relief to cthe brothers8 living in Judea. 30 dAnd they did so, sending it to ethe elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

James Killed and Peter Imprisoned

12 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed fJames the brother of John gwith the sword, and when he saw hthat it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during ithe days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him jin prison, delivering him over to four ksquads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest lprayer for him was made to God by the church.

Peter Is Rescued

Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, mbound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, nan angel of the Lord ostood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. pHe struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, Get up quickly. And qthe chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, Dress yourself and rput on your sandals. And he did so. And he said to him, Wrap your cloak around you and follow me. And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but sthought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. tIt opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter ucame to himself, he said, Now I am sure that vthe Lord has sent his angel and wrescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.

12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of xJohn whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and ywere praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, za servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, ain her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, You are out of your mind. But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, It is bhis angel! 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But cmotioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Tell these things to dJames and to ethe brothers.9 Then he departed and went to another place.

18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and fordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.

The Death of Herod

20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and ghaving persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain,10 they asked for peace, because htheir country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, The voice of a god, and not of a man! 23 Immediately ian angel of the Lord struck him down, because jhe did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

24 But kthe word of God increased and multiplied.

25 lAnd Barnabas and Saul returned from11 Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them mJohn, whose other name was Mark.


They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth

A Song of mAscents.

129  Greatly1 have they pafflicted me qfrom my youth

rlet Israel now say

Greatly have they pafflicted me qfrom my youth,

syet they have not prevailed against me.

tThe plowers plowed uupon my back;

they made long their furrows.

The Lord is righteous;

he has cut vthe cords of the wicked.

May all who hate Zion

be wput to shame and turned backward!

Let them be like xthe grass on the housetops,

which ywithers before it grows up,

with which the reaper does not fill his hand

nor the binder of sheaves his arms,

nor do those who pass by say,

aThe blessing of the Lord be upon you!

We bbless you in the name of the Lord!